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Because everyone loves a farce

Tuesday, May 25   1:00 AM

Amoral Euro Trash: Assemble!

Continuing the Monday night tradition we began with El Mariachi last week, tonight Jinx and I (and Freshman Matt, and Jagger) watched The Spanish Apartment, a film so rife with what I can only assume is unintentional awfulness that I couldn't take it seriously.

I hope/assume that Comatose Caitlin, who owns the movie, has never been that foolish. To take something so absurd seriously.

There were a few good elements, however, and one of the more amusing ones was the broadly-drawn national stereotypes. The German character acted like Germans I know, spoke careful English like Germans I know, and even seemed to think (to the extent that any character in this movie "seemed to think") like Germans I know.

It was hilarious, and, I assume, intended to be satiric. And while I'm less versed in other stereotypes, the scruffy guitar-playing expatriate American and the charming Italian with his stumbling English are types I've seen often enough in real life. That they were artless caricatures only adds to their appeal, as long as everyone gets the joke.

Even without the cheap thrill of a glossy multilingual melodrama, today would have been a good day. I ate dinner with some fellow German students (including an abstracted-looking Kora) and talked to Prof Peterson about Good Bye, Lenin!, an excellent German film which I'm angling to borrow from him. It was a good lunch: even Prof Peterson's knee-jerk sexism didn't bother me.

Don't watch the Good Bye, Lenin! trailer, by-the-way: it will spoil the movie for you quite a bit. I want some sort of law prohibiting trailers from including scenes from late in the movie. The last thirty minutes, let's say, are off-limits.

I talked to Graham, who, by the time the conversation was over, had ended up in an odd bind.

I also talked to a German security guard who, in the casually rational way that Germans deal with all problems, told me he'd go help Graham.

I talked to K. Elizabeth Bates, whose novel "Dancing Toward Home" rocked the Honors committee. I thought some of the content was a bit sentimental, but apparently I'm alone: even the irascible Prof Goldgar was, I'm told, moved.

I've always thought that Miss Bates was a better writer than me (even though she never learned the difference between "then" and "than") and it's nice to think that my criticism, in some tiny way, has helped her get where she is today.

I also talked to my parents, who told me that my supposedly-hot brother Matt has made a big impression on the folks at "In-Fish" (as my dad, the King of Clipping, calls it) and might get some articles published, which would be cool.

I beat him to it, anyways. If you count Lawrentian filler, a handful of SHNS newspaper articles, and that sentimental essay I wrote for The Lake Country Journal in high school. I gave him math and science, but English is my domain.

There was other news from home. I'm not keeping it vague to faux-hide some problem, mind. You'd just find it inconsequential, Dear Reader.

So there were a multitude of good conversations. The storms I had in my head (to steal a phrase from Slug) for most of last week seem to have left, and my sickness too is waning.

Graham gmailed me the song "Brainerd, Minnesota" from the Fargo soundtrack, and having that song is somehow very fulfilling.

It's all so very uplifting, but I still need my sleep.

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