A couple days ago, I got mad. You’re saying, “So what’s new about that? You’re always cranked out about something or other.” And I’ll return with, “Yes, but just listen for a sec. I mean, this is MY blog for chrissake. ‘Tis where I vent.”
Late Tuesday night, as per, I opened up Netflix on my browser and flicked through the “Watch Instantly” section hoping to find something diverting. Let’s be real here — I love porn and all, but I can’t be watching it 24 hours a day. My lady parts get fatigued. “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men” showed up in the New Films tab, hallelujah. Last autumn, I had meant to see it when it was in actual theatres since I always find DFW’s musings worthy of an evening’s entertainment and, gosh darn it, if that John Krasinski isn’t just button-cute adorable. When it was on wide release, it had slipped my mind for a minute and by the time I wished to actually purchase a ticket, the film had slipped its way out of the cinema.
So, I rubbed my hands together all pleased with myself and the fact that I wouldn’t have to ratchet my ass off the couch for entertainment. Press: PLAY.
Yeah, so it played for a goodly amount of time, say and hour or so and by that time, I was so thoroughly ready to click “Close Tab” and be done with it, I had to sit on my hands. And not for any good reason. My mouth hung open agog. Now, I’ll leave it to my good acquaintanceship to know that I am not usually “agog” for any reason. Mapping the human genome. Nope. A black president elected. Yawn. Jersey Shore renewed for another season — wait, wha??
I was agog for one reason and one reason alone. Rape. Phew, I know all the, what, two guys who read this site are just about to hit “Close Tab” right this second, but hold up a minute. Let me explain the premise of this film/book for a wink. A female anthropologist is interviewing a number of men about their relations with women, which lets out a) vitriol b) inanity c) ugliness. None of which is all that illuminating. (That is aside from the one interview where a black man discusses the humiliation and pride his father had as a bathroom attendant. That was brilliant. Maybe you guys should stick to talking about one another instead of lady-kind, eh? Just a thought.)
Anyway, the final interview is between the anthropologist and her ex-boyfriend (played by John Krasinski) who is explaining why he fucked a random “hippie-ish” pick-up. His infidelity was the cause of their break-up. He explains that he was attracted to her because of her unruly long hair and silly clothes and hot body and goes about seducing her. He brings her back to his flat and fucks her, enjoys it and then can’t wait for her to be gone. CANNOT WAIT FOR HER TO STOP TALKING ABOUT HERSELF. He wants to throw her out, until she begins telling him about an incident that occurred not long ago.
She’d been hitch-hiking, thumbs-out, hot pavement, nape of neck sweat bared, etc. And then a car pulls up and, utterly grateful, she hops right in. The driver peels away and instantly she senses that he is going to rape, dismember and scatter her body around a 30 mile radius. She grows cold, shaky as she watches him drive down a one-way dirt track. She focuses all her ability on this potential rapist/murderer to be able to force him to view her as another human being. She watches him and doesn’t flinch, doesn’t blink. She physically reasons with him until he pulls to a stop and asks her to get out of the car and lie down. She does so, all the while keeping her eye on him, all steady and sane. And as he leans in and cock out, fucks her like an animal, she holds him as he weeps into her shoulder. She has managed to survive by using the tools she had at hand to convince this man that she was a human being. She seduced him into not killing her.
And then as John Krasinski is reciting this tale to his disbelieving ex, he begins weeping. He says, “And that’s when I realized I loved her. I loved her. I know what love is.”
And that’s where I went agog. There are innumerable things wrong here. Any rape victim will tell you this, but beyond that — the fact that this ex-boyfriend is reasoning to his ex-girlfriend that he never felt capable of love with her but throw in a woman violated and BAM, yes, I can love now! I am free! That is fucked up. That is fucked up because he needs a woman broken and woman who has the most vulnerable part of her, the part capable of repro-fucking-duction, soiled and ripped up to FEEL anything for her. And the little, teeny fact that she held the rapist as he wept! Christ. She’s the bloody Madonna now. Just carry on, I don’t mind. That’s pretty contemptible. And I don’t give a shit if you’re David fucking Foster Wallace, that is some rationalized, self-serving view of female-hood. That is man looking in from the outside not getting a whiff of it. I’m sorry, Balk, I love you, I do. But, yes, David Foster Wallace is probably a bit overrated.
Back to regularly scheduled programming soon, I just needed to vent. Sry.