On being 100, "regretflix," and blurbing poetry.

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Sept. 12 2008 10:54 AM

Outbreak of Civility

On being 100, "regretflix," and blurbing poetry.

Yet again, I bring special qualifications to the week's Fraywatch subjects: I too was charmed by 100-year-old " Diary" geezer Leon Despres, and I too have a copy of Hotel Rwanda sitting unwatched near my TV. We were all in it together this week, with some very agreeable results.


Loving Leon: "Keep writing Leon you are interesting" Boils said. S/he was speaking for all readers—there were no dissenting voices, a rare phenomenon in the Fray. Eikciv put it this way: "I must admit that I did come to tears, not because I felt sorry for you, not at all, but because your voice carries such impact. Suddenly, I wanted to go to your apartment and converse with you for an entire day."

Thiscame from Old Jarhead:

Sorry to use the trite phrase 'an inspiration' but your diary entry fills me with optimism. So I'll say it anyway; your attitude is an inspiration, and bears testimony to the beauty, and absurdity, of life. I'm only a little over halfway to your years, and will quite probably never see 100, but if I can sustain only a fraction of your interest in life for whatever years I've been allotted, I'll continue to be satisfied. Bravo!

More of the same (in the nicest possible way) from Akaneshua:

In a country that values youth over wisdom, it is easy to lose touch with people who retire or are shuffled off to nursing homes but I think this separation is at a great disservice to us. These articles are like a conversation with that interesting older man whom you see around but never get to speak with.

Regretflix—that was KathM's splendid coinage, and she was one of many who read and enjoyed the article about unwatched movies from Netflix, with Hotel Rwanda the most mentioned. Fray posters contributed advice: Ed Dunkle suggests we multitask while watching and remember, "The key to happiness is low expectations."

Why not just send the movies back? Because of the pesky requirement to rate them—as Persia says, "Where's my 'I'm a lazy slacker and didn't watch it' button?"

Dsf3g  spoke for many:

When The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is just a hand's width away from Conan, I mean, seriously, what do you usually feel most in the mood for, German Expressionism or Austrian Blade Wielding Killing Machine?

But others wanted to talk up the neglected films: Which you might think had the most supporters? Fitzcarraldo perhaps? Vegemighty kept putting if off because of"applying for grad school, rugby season, job interviews, a wedding, a honeymoon, starting grad school …" but eventually watched it and "quite liked it." No,the surprising wave of enthusiasm (surprising? astonishing) was for the little-known Roll Bounce, along with a warning against letting it persuade you back on to the ice-rink (keywords: negative, falling, gruesome, not a good idea.)

This is a cry from the heart of Bureau Cat:

So you have heard from the person who has had Z sitting on top of his or her TV set for months now. Please ask him/her to send it in, on my behalf—I have been waiting for it.

And more good advice from Chicagogirl (whom we know to have an extensive knowledge of movies, and very good taste): "Go with Galaxy Quest."

Another Fray with no fights came on Ron Rosenbaum's " Spectator" on blurbing poetry: The best efforts by posters will feature in the column, and as of now there's still time to contribute. Literate, interesting, and collegial—the discussion is a model Fray. —MR ... 3:30 p.m. GMT