Showing posts with label classicTelevision. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classicTelevision. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Finally Appreciating the Female Camper

Permission to speak freely? I have never envied men who camped with women. It's not that I don't appreciate women, it's just that the female camper usually seems like a proverbial 'fish out of water.' When I camped with a small band of RV campers this past summer, it really hit me that I had never considered this topic before, despite its importance to the human condition.

Imagine the poor devil camping in the desert in winter, and having to listen to the lawnmower-like scream of a vacuum cleaner for hours a day. Think of all the electricity it wastes. And yet, the crazed woman never thinks things are clean enough. She fancies herself a nature-lover (aka, a scenery snacker). Yet she thinks dust blowing in the desert wind is unnatural. This is one of the many examples of a woman-camper being a liability to the poor fellow. But who wants to give up on half the human race that easily?

Last summer my best conclusions about why women disliked camping were:
  1. They lack sports and activities that are done outdoors. Many of these primal satisfactions are enjoyed by the mighty male hunter/warriors of the tribe, but not by them.
  2. Their crucial importance in the cycle of life and physical survival has been downgraded as we have developed a cash economy. The home doesn't produce anything anymore. Now it's all about running to the store to satisfy one's needs, and the camper is usually far away from decent shopping. 
Well, it was just my first stab at it. So what should women-campers do? Let us put that aside, and go back to world of experience and observation before coming back to this issue.

These days I have switched over to watching "Wagon Train" DVDs. Now how is that for a classic television western, aimed at the RV lifestyle?

In the first season, an episode started off with a woman in the wagon train singing a child to sleep. It may have been an old spiritual song, but she sang it like a lullaby, and with no accompaniment. (The actress was Shelley Winters, who sang well enough for roles in Broadway musicals.) This had a powerful effect on me.

Many people have vague memories from their childhood of a woman's voice, humming or singing around the house. It is the sort of primal satisfaction that I like to experience, or at least be reminded of, when camping.

This experience gave me what I was looking for: a way to appreciate a woman-camper above and beyond mere existence and survival. She has a way of creating a 'reality distortion field' around her house, which makes life for everybody seem better than what it actually is, if 'is' just refers to material conditions.

Those conditions have been austere and grim for most people of our species for virtually all of its lifespan. Isn't it incredible that evolution has equipped women with the hardware and firmware to make life not just possible, but also worth living?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Under-appreciated

It is quite amazing how over-rated and over-hyped some things and some people turn out to be.  Geographically, Colorado would be an excellent example of this. All you can do is remind yourself that people are sheep, and then flee.

The converse situation, with the Under-appreciated, is more enjoyable to think about. It is a challenge to identify and dwell on the goodies of the Under-appreciated. A tangible example can have a big impact on the observer.

I wrote about my newfound appreciation of Classic Television. Perhaps the reader can suggest other shows than the ones I've mentioned. What I really need is DVDs with those shows.

My current kick is "The Virginian." One episode, "Run Quiet" of Season Two, is about a deaf mute who gets into all kinds of trouble. Along the way, he meets a woman who had been treated shabbily by a fiance. She had become cynical and defeatist about men in general. Despite herself, she takes an interest in this deaf mute.

At the end of the show, the deaf mute avoids Danger, and returns to her.  Somebody, probably the writer or the teleplay-"writer", was thoughtful with a single detail in the ending. It made the show.

His back is turned to the camera. She approaches him and the camera. Paragraphs and paragraphs of story are written into the evolution of her face. (And the sneaky make-up people had gradually made her look younger and prettier through the show.) 

The audience was probably expecting the music to swell, and the two people to melt into a big wet sloppy kiss. In fact, there was an uptick in the music, but it was not-so-obvious. They didn't kiss at all. The woman approached him and grabbed his shoulders, with a look of relief and appreciation. How could mere arms and posture be so expressive? He gently touched her chin. It was so adult and un-Hollywoodish. It was as if the teleplay had been written by Johannes Brahms.

From now on, when they give the credits at the end of the show, I will no longer gloss over the "Teleplay by..." line. Movies are primarily a visual medium; thus even the best writing won't affect the viewer powerfully unless someone has translated Ideas into photograph-able action.