Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movies and the South.

When one thinks of the term "Film Festival" one does not think of Nashville. One does not think of the South at all. The two places most people think of are far from the South: Cannes in the South of France (that's in Europe) and Aspen in the Rockies of Colorado (that's in the Western US).

Amazingly, Nashville has its own Film Festival held every year as it has for the last 42 years. Yes, you heard me right. 42 years. Celebrities, Premiers and star studded parties in the center of Green Hills. (Green Hills is the 'old' money part of Nashville.) Originally called "Sinking Creek", it was the champion of independent, experimental and documentary film. More recently, the festival now sees a broader reach of emphasis including Music Films. (Well, it IS the Music City!)

In fact, the city is so 'into' film that recently (just back in March) the local 'ART" film house hosted what was coined "an ambitious film retrospective" (one of many it seems to hold regularly) of films ABOUT life in the South called "Visions of the South." It is obvious that this city loves Film as much as it loves non-light beer and amateur politicians. (Yes, that's a dig, but let's not dwell on it shall we?) It is amazing to see that some films don't really get life in the South right, where others seem to do it justice. And I guess a 'film retrospective' is just what the good Suthunah needs.

It will not stun or amaze you to learn that in the 20-plus years that I have lived in the wonderful Athens of the South (Yeah, Nashville's sister city is Athens, Greece) that I have attended neither Sinking Creek nor the Nashville Film Festival nor any of the 'Film Retrospectives' at the local Art House. No, not one. Not even once. Not on a bet, not on a dare and not by accident.

Why, you may ask? It's simple. I prefer my entertainment to be more...well...entertaining. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure that all the films in the above Festivals and Retrospectives have great followings, great scripts and all that, but when it all comes down to it, RARELY are they entertaining to me, the standard guy-on-the-street. And by that I mean, no gun-play, no car chases and nothing 'ker-splodes.' A rather simplistic explanation, but it's better than saying that I don't want to watch the kinds of films that sound like this:
 Title: Bloomington
"A former child star, known for her role in a cult-hit sci-fi TV program, decides to attend college in Bloomington, Indiana where she begins an affair with her femme-fatale psych professor." It's noted that this is a study of lesbian relationships and the writer even notes that there is no nudity, as if that's a reason for attending. I'd rather watch 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'. (And if you know me at all, watching Ace Ventura ranks just above going under the house and just below a root canal.)

Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with any of these films, any of these film series, festivals and the like. There is nothing wrong with anyone who is associated with them nor anything wrong with anyone who attends. They're just not my cup of suthun-sweet-tea. So as much as I love the South and the things that go with it, the Nashville Film Festival will go on (again) as it always does, without me.

I'm sure they are crying in their non-light malt beverage
'unoaked chard.*

*My brother, Bubba, suggested the change in the last line. I am unsure what "unoaked chard" is, but if he says that a person who attends such film festivals and film retrospectives would enjoy 'unoaked chard' over a non-light malt beverage, then I'm one to believe him. Brother bubba is knowledgeable in such things and I bow to such knowledge. He also keeps me from using 'it's' in place of 'its.'

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Need to Pick up a Pickup

Well, I've gone and done it. I went and told one of my good ol' suthun neighbors that I was interested in getting a pickup. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, that should be a good thing. And yes, owning a pickup is just another in the long line of great 'suthun' things that one might need to be considered one of the natives. (Right behind a chain saw and a hunting dog.)

But you see, I told him I was interested in the truck above.

Yes, it looks good. And yes, I really am considering it for when I have a nice pocket full of change.

The reason for my neighbor's disgust is that the above pickup is totally electric. And an Electric Pickup just doesn't seem to get the Suthun Man's juices flowing the way, say, a V-8 Powered PickEmUp DO. The truck in question is the 1998 Chevy S10 EV. Now, Chevy notwithstanding, the S10 EV was considered at the time to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution. Its sister, the EV-1 (a sedan sold through Saturn Dealers on lease programs) made quite a splash when the two were introduced.
By today's standards, with hybrids and Chevy's new VOLT in the on-deck circle, the EVs' paltry 50-70 mile range is laughable at best. BUT in today's economy when my wife and I spend our weekends at home and don't drive much other than to run to and from the grocery stores (yes, bubba plural) and the ever increasing trips to the hardware store for mower parts and potting soil, (a mere 2-5 miles per trip, even if you include a swing through the drive-in at the burger joint) and coupled with ever rising costs of gasoline (Yikes, $4 a gallon?? Really?) this would be the answer to a prayer.

But even Neighbor Bubba looked askance at me when I mentioned the electric pickup. "What's next?" he asked, "You gonna teach one of your CATS to hunt?" (That got a good laugh from the assembled.)

I still think the electric pickup is what I need for my future, and if anyone has a spare $10 or 12 G's sitting around, send it my way. You can find me here in the South, bein' laughed at by the locals.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who's Idea was THIS?

I grew up in Colorado. I have lived in the South for more than 20 years, however and recently found a small irritant that I just don't understand. It's nothing major, like I say, just a minor irritant, like a little itch that won't go away or an odd smell as you pass through the kitchen. Not enough to do anything about (like take out the garbage) but it's noticeable nonetheless. What is this minor irritant?

It's the use of MISTER. I'm not talking about the casual every day use. Like greeting your boss in the morning, "Oh, hello there, Mr. Jones..." or yelling at your kids as they run out the front door bare-assed naked: "You get back here, Little Mister!" No, these are all normal uses of the word.

It's the use of the moniker MISTER when coupled with a man's first name, such as "Mister Marv." I hear it a lot. I don't know why, it just grates on my nerves. It almost sounds as if they are making fun of my first name somehow. When a grown woman uses it at work, I want to reach out and pour lukewarm coffee on her. The worst, though is the kids. Neighbor kids. For some strange reason kids in the south are taught to greet neighbors and acquaintances (adults) in this "Mister" and "Miss" manner from an early age.

For a woman, calling her Miss with the first name, it seems almost genteel; like Marshall Dillon calling on his lady friend, Miss Kitty. (Now you see why I used the photo above, dontcha!) It's both formal and personal at the same time.

I've heard little kids call their preschool teacher Miss, such as "Miss Suzy, I pooped in my pants" but I don't hear them doing the same thing as they get older. (No, not pooping in their pants, the other thing.) Then, it's always Miss Smith, or Mister Smith, though I am unsure at what age this changes.

So, who's idea was this anyway? I went on a rather unscientific research expedition (spoke to a couple of people..) One Southern belle I spoke to said it should be blamed on the Southern Baptists. I think Southern Baptists can be blamed for a heck of a lot these days but I'm not convinced that they are the ones behind this particular afront. Another long time Suthunah suggested it's a plot by the Russians. Ok, so he's not completely aware that this is the 21st Century, and he still thinks Andrew Jackson is going to be the next president, so we'll leave that one out. The last explanation suggests that the affectation comes from the 18th Century Southern Society where using Mister or Miss gave status and formality to someone in a public situation where status or formality may not readily be perceived.

Ok, this I can accept! Perhaps with this in mind I can get used to the neighbor kids shouting "HIIIiii Mister Maaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrv" at the top of their lungs every time they see me.

Yes. Every. Time.
Every. Darned. Time.

Ah..the South is such a colorful place to live.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Invention Intervention - The Shopping Bike

I like this guy. He's a true suthunah. Unconventional thinking coupled with a broken bike and a stolen abandoned (and yet workable) shopping cart. My brother Bubba would have been able to fix that bike, but this Suthun Genelman has done him one bettah!

As you can see by the cargo pants and flip-flop shoes, he's just headed down to Walmart for a quick visit. I can see him shooting through the vegetables and grabbing those six packs he needs before the half time is over. (Yes, I am familiar enough with sports to know that it's not football season but decided the visual works better than '...before the end of Iron Chef.")

I did not get close enough to see if the bike is just resting on its front forks or if it's welded or even bolted in place. I'm also amazed to see that this cart does not have the ubiquitous 'wonky' wheel that most shopping carts are designed burdened with. Either way, this is a great invention. (Until, perhaps you hit a little rock. We all know those carts don't go over bumps well...)

Perhaps now we need a "Speed Lane" in the grocery store beside the "fast lane." Anyway, Welcome to the South!