Thoughts Within Thoughts Day, Aprilcot 17, 41 A.B.
Point A: "Where The Money Is" - seen at a theater yesterday - still seems a rather silly movie today.
Point B: Even silly things can spark a lot of non-silly thoughts.
Point C: Among the non-silly thoughts sparked by "Where The Money Is" is the realization that I have no way of knowing for sure what the ultimate significance of this movie may be.
Point D: If "Where The Money Is" turns out to be the last movie ever made by Paul Newman (or even the last movie ever released while he is still alive), its significance will be much greater than I now believe it to be.
Point E: If one of its lesser stars goes on to superstardom, the significance of this movie will again be altered - and I might well not know it for many years.
Point F: If someone who watched this movie with me in the theater is inspired to try to rob an armored car like Newman and his co-stars did, the significance of this movie will be changed again.
Point G: The significance of a given movie - or anything else, for that matter - is always tentative and contingent, and to some degree dependent upon things which have nothing directly to do with the movie (or thing) itself.
Point H: Although watching this movie still seems to have been something of a waste of time, the fact is that much of life is an unavoidable waste of time. This movie is hardly unique. However much I might crave to always be operating at life's legal speed limit, it's simply not possible. There will always be times when the best option available is simply a waste of my time. Being bedridden with illness; sitting in traffic; fidgeting in waiting rooms; watching commercials on a videotape because it's easier than hunting for the remote to fast forward through them; politely chatting with someone at the door when the excellent book he or she called me away from sits unread on the couch; etc., etc., etc. What can ya do?
Point I: There are some tasks we must do, yet would never be put at the top of any list of priorities which we might make. Consider a lone doctor working in the aftermath of a disaster which has injured thousands. His or her first priority might be to save lives, but he or she must also eat and sleep at some point. At any given moment, saving one more life is Job One, BUT unless Job One is put on hold for Job Eat and Job Sleep at some point, the doctor won't be able to go on. So: At some point the doctor will eat and sleep and lives will be lost as he or she does so. An extreme example, of course, but rarely do any of us work on our first priority, really. Is watching TV ever the most important thing we could be doing? Is mowing the lawn, clipping our nails, or cleaning out a closet? Is writing an entry here ever the best possible use of my time? Is your reading it ever the best possible use of yours? And yet were we to attempt to always do the most important thing we could be doing, how long might we last with our sanity intact?
Point J: Has anyone ever actually successfully faked a stroke? We know opossums can fake death convincingly enough to be left alone by predators. We know that Houdini and other humans have mastered the fine art of being buried alive for extended periods of time. Poe once wrote a story called "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" in which a man was hypnotized into believing he was dead and then brought out of his trance after seven months - at which point he was a decaying "corpse". Hugh Schonfield wrote a book called "The Passover Plot" in which he hypothesized that Jesus faked his own death on the cross with the aid of soporific drugs. Some frog eggs can remain in dry dirt for years and years before a sudden rain prompts them to hatch into tadpoles. Seeds thousands of years old can be made to germinate. Perhaps the dead DNA hidden in an unrecognized fossil somewhere will one day be shaping new life. Exactly how confused and blurry can the boundary line be between the way things seem and the way they actually are?
Point K: Suppose Newman's character had actually suffered a stroke but its only permanent effect turned out to be the destruction of his memory of the crime he was in prison for. Imagine being imprisoned for a crime you had no memory of whatsoever. Is it just to jail a body for crimes that the body's mind cannot recall?
Point L: A movie with that issue as its focus might have been worthwhile. Or did Hitchcock already make one like that? Is it sufficient that Kafka wrote novels somewhat similar? And isn't this the basic idea behind Buddhist and Hindu belief in reincarnation? Don't many people in India believe that we're imprisoned in this body for crimes committed in a prior life we can't recall?
Point M: What crime do you suppose you committed in a prior life
merited your being sentenced to having to read this entry clear down to
this point in this one?
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(©Now by Dan Birtcher while buried