Sunday Night Journal — August 28, 2005
Not So Calm Before the Storm
Yet again, only six weeks after Hurricane Dennis, we are preparing for a hurricane. Although Hurricane Katrina is as of right now (10pm Sunday night) heading for New Orleans, a lot can happen in the next twelve hours or so. And besides, this storm is so large and intense that even if it doesn’t change course we’ll still get a hurricane.
We completed most of our preparations much earlier in the day, and now although there is nothing much that I can do I find it hard to focus on anything. I had intended to write tonight about a movie that I saw for the third or fourth time Friday night: The Day the Earth Stood Still. But that will have to wait till next Sunday, or some other time.
I find this foreboding idleness very hard to bear. I figured out many years ago that I have a very low tolerance for novels or plays or movies in which the characters brood and fret and talk inactively and unproductively. I think I remember an essay in which Matthew Arnold declares this a fatal fault in drama, and I agree with him. I understand perfectly well that beneath a superficial calm profound inner dramas may occur, psychological or spiritual crises may arise and be resolved. But it had better be done with genius, as by Ingmar Bergman. If not, bring on the car chases.
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