14 December 2005


I just finished a free two-week trial of Netflix.  I didn't expect to keep it after the two weeks, but unlimited DVDs for ten bucks a month?  I may have to resume service when I get back from the holiday break.

The first DVD I got through Netflix was Elephant, directed by Gus Van Sant.  It's a look at a fictional Columbine-like high-school shooting, but it doesn't attempt to analyze what happens or take any sort of political stand.  It simply follows a handful of thoroughly ordinary high-school students on a day that becomes extraordinary, sometimes looking at the same scene from different points of view.  After the shooting started I kept hoping there'd be one student or teacher with a hidden handgun to end the violence quickly, but of course everyone was disarmed and an easy victim.  But that's not the point of the movie, and it was easy to enjoy it for what it was.  Certainly not a movie for everyone—it requires lots of patience and has no resolution to speak of—but I found it fascinating and disturbingly powerful.  Quoting allmovie.com: "Van Sant has said that the title of the film references the classic 'elephant in the room'—the thing affecting everybody that nobody wants to talk about."

The "elephant in the room" for my sweetheart O and me is the kids issue.  She's sure she wants children and I'm not.  We do talk about it sometimes, but it's difficult because we love each other and it's hard to face the fact that we might not end up together because of one disagreement.  Most issues are relatively easy to compromise on, but you can't have half a kid.  And I don't want to be a father unless I really want to be a father; it wouldn't be fair to the children.  So there's no question of loving her enough to decide that, hey, maybe I'll just have kids for her.  All I can do is keep talking about it and keep my mind open.


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