from Monday, July21st of the year2008.
For reasons completely incomprehensible unto me, I purchased, for cash money, a copy of the film adaptation of The Da Winci Code. I have no idea why I did this; I read the book and it was just wretched, an assault on language and punishingly irritating. Anyway, maybe I subconsciously was aroused by the idea of Paul Bettany applying a cilice to his person. In any event, I would love to know the history in film of people speaking heavily accented English rather than just speaking whatever it is that they speak. I know this is a time-honored tradition but even as a kid, I was interested in this phenomenon. I suppose a lot of this comes from Cold War anxieties, where you need the enemy to speak a perversion of English, rather than a fluent, eloquent version of his mother tongue.
I have posted before about my perverse excitement at being able to read Osama bin Laden’s eloquent screeds; the shock was, of course, to find how “un-accented” the language was, and how smoothly it flowed and developed. It must be somehow important to maintain “accented English” as this politically charged level at which English can exist, although I wonder the extent to which it reverse-engineers xenophobia among children.
The other day, I totally saw Hancock, which was, you know, 2.5 hours of air conditioning, and in it, our Hero torments a carful of teenage Chinese thugs, who, through subtitles communicate such delights as, “You pay for new roof!” ““Â The whole thing was so outrageous that I turned to N”” and B”” and delivered what I think is a good analysis of filmic accents: “When Chinese people speak Chinese they don’t sound like Chinese people; they sound like People.” Fair enough: words to live by.
Anyway, so what is even going on: Paul Bettany in this movie is some kind of homicidal albino Opus Deiid-out monk, and his accent is like, a combination of MandÃ½ Patinkin in The Princess Bride and English people on a gap year in Spain. It is Wildly Inappropriate. Also, some of the time he seems to be speaking Latin. It’s outrageous. Doesn’t he have a nice, plummy accent he can trot out? Isn’t that the whole point of hiring him? As I write this, I am cleansing my mind with an episode of A Shot at Love with TÃ½la TequÃla, who just shouted, “Shut your f***ing trash-hole, bitch!” which is sort of a nice interlude. I love that you can even say “Trash-hole” on TV. How times have changed.
Things I have recently consumed: Many instances of BBQ Brisket. A giant steak that was beyond delicious. A baked potato, for the first time in what I would guess is six years, with bacon bits upp inn. An enormous amount and variety of queso, including one abstractly composed one featuring a pile of beef in addition to a red tortilla chip suspended like the interior of the Louvre pyramid in an abstract puddle of surprisingly good guacamole. I totally love Tex Mex. Where do I even get it in New York that isn’t horrifying?