Bait and Switch

Earlier in the week I received a tempting invitation from my Beauty to join her for dinner at her place, and then maybe we’d go see the new Indiana Jones movie. Nothing not to look forward to there, so naturally I accepted. Then this morning I get a call that her youngest daughter and her friend are going to the movie too. Well that’s no trouble, Indy’s good fun for the whole family… but wait there’s more. They don’t want to see Indy. They want to see Made of Honor. Ummm… okay, I’m a good sport. Besides, it’s a little late to claim I had other plans, although my toenails really did need clipping.

Well I had no idea how good of a sport I am. I’ve been known to enjoy a movie now and then where nothing exploded and no one was eaten by some impossibly fanged creature from an alien world. But this movie would definitively be improved by having something blow up. Patrick Dempsey would be top of my candidate list.

Now this is the point where I should issue a spoiler warning. But instead, if you think you’d ever put yourself through a viewing of this drivel, just send me $8.50, I’ll send you back a bag of microwave popcorn, and you can munch it while you read on.

Some movies have something for everyone. This one had nothing for anyone, especially if anyone happened to be me. The opening was promising as the first scene took place at Cornell University. (Maybe there would at least be engineers in the movie!) But then the credits finished, we were 10 years into the future, and locked in urban metrosexual hell. A place where buddies are actually supportive of the guy being the Maid of Honor (MOH) in a wedding and help him train for the role. What self-respecting guy has emotionally supportive friends?

The rival love interest is Scottish royalty, so there wasn’t much to relate to on that side either. Castles, caber tosses, and a side of haggis. The only point where I felt briefly comfortable was the 90 seconds the film spent inside a local Scottish pub. The lads in there looked like they might be fun. But alas, the camera followed McDreamy instead.

In the end, I was thrilled when the MOH professed his love and got the girl… because this meant the movie was damned near over. I’ve seen Soviet propaganda films where the protagonist was a tractor that were more gripping than this movie. In fact, had Patrick Demsey’s role been played by a Farmall, the movie would have been way more entertaining. (However, the four drunk women in the row behind us giggled through most of the film, so I conclude they are not fond of tractors.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not remotely regretting that I missed the Sci-Fi channel’s premier of Heatstroke where some angry alien creature eats bikini-clad teens on the beach. But that’s mostly because I was served a steak the size of my head and a baked potato drowning in cheese for dinner. My baby takes good care of me, and apparently isn’t above paying bribes in advance. I can live with that.


The Blind Leading the Gay

New York’s Governor Paterson has announced that the state will recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. This will entitle “domestic partners” to 1,324 benefits previously available only to heterosexual couples. Minimally, this settles the debate over whether or not there are legal advantages to being married. There are well north of a thousand of them. And while groups may debate the morality of same-sex unions, there is no justification for openly discriminating against the legal entitlements of homosexuals.

Just thinking out loud here, but maybe the solution is to separate the word “marriage” from the idea of a legally binding partnership. Let the government define “partnership” as any binding agreement between two consenting adults, and have that used for any legal or financial dealings. Then leave the term “marriage” as the purview of religious or other social groups to define and regulate within their communities.

Either way, this is a welcome and refreshingly bold step for the new governor. And for those who think that Governor Paterson is destroying the sanctity of the institution of marriage, perhaps they should get Silda Spitzer’s opinion on how sanctimonious marriage is already.


Ironic Irony

James Dow, an evolutionary anthropologist at Oakland University, is studying how religion evolved in humans. He’s written a computer program that shows that religion flourishes in societies, but only where non-believers are attracted to believers. The reason for this attraction is not understood, but appears to be required. Without it, believers and their religion quickly go extinct.

So we can conclude that my attraction to my Beauty is a mystery, but the fact that it exists is actually furthering the cause and success of religion in society. And you thought I wasn’t making a contribution…