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Movies: The Mystery of Hitchcock, Mind and Spirit: Mental Illness and PC language,Mothers Who Think: Does your mommyhood define you?


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From Table Talk
April 12, 1999 2:16PM (UTC)

The Mystery of Hitchcock

Movies | David Watkins - 08:16am Apr 6, 1999 PST (# 261 of 308))

I protest against the depiction of Hitchcock as some sort of moral monster
- "a troll" as one poster called him.

Obviously he took pleasure in frightening his audience, but since his
audience took pleasure in being frightened, what right have we to
disapprove. I'm sure that nearly everybody in this thread takes an
ultra-liberal stance on kinky sex between consenting adults - isn't the
principle identical?

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Hitchcock's wife and daughter, who surely knew him better than anybody else
could have, have been loyal to his memory. This must count for something.

His fondness for practical jokes didn't alienate the people who worked for
him. Towards Tippi Hedren he does seem to have behaved very badly, but this
was one episode in a long life - haven't we all done things we'd love to
forget. And OTOH Hedren owes her position as a minor but unchallengeable
movie icon only to Hitchcock. Without him she'd be a woman who once
appeared in a beer commercial.

I don't see that his films, taken as a whole, are morally perverse. I think
he genuinely disapproved of cruelty, (real, not playful cruelty), and of
any creed that justifies cruelty. There is a story, the source of which I
don't recall, that, travelling through France by train, he looked out of
the window, saw a little boy and a priest walking with the priest's arm
resting on the boy's shoulder, and commented quietly: "That's the most
terrifying thing I've ever seen."

Does anyone recall Stewart's final speech in "Rope"? It goes something like
this: "That's true. You've only put my theory into practice. Logically, I
should be with you. Well, I shall never trust logic again." This, I
maintain, is the nearest thing to a moral manifesto in Hitchcock's oeuvre.

Mental Illness and PC language

Mind and Spirit | Wyatt Parkinson - 05:53am Mar 10, 1999 PST (# 4 of 12)

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Often those who call you "crazy" are doing so because you do not conform to
society's standards. I believe there is Relative Insanity and Absolute
Insanity, but they often get confused. Relative Insanity depends on culture
and society, and Absolute Insanity is an actual physiological disfunction
of the brain. When you're relatively insane, it could mean that either
you're an insane person living in a sane society, or a sane person living
in an insane society (and often, it's the latter). As with absolute
insanity, the physiological disfunction along with the often impulsive
behaviours that go along with it should truly indicate that the person is
insane.

As for PC, I find it annoying in that the people who promote it think that
changing language and dropping euphemisms everywhere will somehow unite
society and get rid of hatred. Of course, this is total bullshit, because
as it has already demonstrated, it only divides people and stirs up hatred.
There are better ways of bringing people together than reforming language.
One way is to bring communities back to together after they have been
ripped apart by the assembly-line housing and ubiquious shopping malls
created by suburban sprawl.

Does your mommyhood define you?

Mothers Who Think |maryanne - 05:54pm Apr 5, 1999 PST (# 8 of 101)

I work full-time as a professor at a university, I have a full and active
social life, lots of hobbies and always make sure that I have lots of
personal time....that said, I think that being a parent of 2 small children
is a big part of my identity. It's an enormously important part of who I am
and how I spend my time. The same holds true for my husband who also
teaches full time, plays basketball every week, etc. So, of course, being a
parent defines me, it's a central part of my life...but it's also not the
ONLY part of my life....

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But I love being a mother, it's one of the best parts of my life, and if
someone wants to talk about parenting or family size or whatever...or wants
to praise my kids and tell me how great they are...I'm all for it! I don't
feel like I have to resist that part of my identity or go around insisting
that motherhood DOESN"T DEFINE me, because I don't think 1) that anyone
thinks that it does, and 2) it is an enormous, central part of my life and
I'm proud of that.


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