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THE WASTELAND

THE WASTELAND

Warning:  the cultural landscape, once lush and fragrant, has been plagued by a terrible and long-lasting drought.  The lush foliage has shrunken into pale patches of grimy moss.  The shards of glorious sunlight have darkened into just a glimmer of shadows.  Rainbows no longer include the colors green and purple.  The sociological touchstones that once served to ground us are often now misunderstood or completely ignored. 

It was only a matter of time really.  I saw most of the signs, even the ones I pretended for a while to ignore.  I would show The Graduate to my students and one of them would always ask, “Is this Simon and Garfunkel?” and I would smile and tell them how Mike Nichols had gotten the duo involved with the soundtrack and I’d see some slight nods of recognition and hear at least two whispers of “My parents like them” and it didn’t matter that the kids themselves weren’t fans; at least they were somewhat aware that a group called Simon and Garfunkel once existed on the planet.

I BLAME JOHN HUGHES

I BLAME JOHN HUGHES

I spent my pre-teen years believing that nothing could be sexier than sticking a lipstick into my cleavage, bending my head towards it, and applying a perfect pout. It wasn't until years later that I realized that my cleavage without a piece of makeup stuffed inside of it was sexy enough on its own.

I blame John Hughes for my confusion.

I spent my entire eighth grade year blowing on dandelions, my eyes clamped tightly shut.  I was wishing that one day a derelict in detention would sit beside me and sweep his eyes over my entire body – from the tips of my Keds with no laces to the tippy top of my curly head – and know me instantly, better than anyone ever had or ever will.

I blame John Hughes for my predilection towards men who look like they only shower sometimes.

SUNDANCE

SUNDANCE

THE FIRST TIME I SAT DOWN IN A THEATRE AT SUNDANCE, I BURST INTO TEARS.

I WAS IN PUBLIC; THEY WERE NOT HEAVING, CRAZY-PERSON TEARS.  BUT JUST AFTER I FILED INTO MY ROW AT THE EGYPTIAN, THE BEAUTIFUL OLD-SCHOOL MOVIE HOUSE ON PARK CITY’S MAIN STREET, I LOOKED UP AT THE SCREEN.  WHATEVER LOGO AND CATCHPHRASE THE PROGRAMMERS HAD SELECTED FOR THAT YEAR’S FESTIVAL SHONE BRIGHTLY, PROJECTED FROM A LIGHT THAT APPEARED ALMOST DIVINE, AND I LEANED BACK AGAINST THE PLUSH SEATS (I’M NOT SURE ANYMORE, BUT I THINK THE SEATS WERE MADE FROM A BURGUNDY VELVET), AND I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT I WAS THERE.