Every time I go on a “staycation” (hate that invented word but suddenly have occasion to abuse it) vacation, I intend to get a whole slew of things on a long to-do list done. Things start well but if I get derailed in some way (I like routine), I am really derailed, so I spend time reading and watching film after film. It’s for the best because the things on the to-do list are almost always work-related. Why would I spend my vacation working? I have done this all my life. This American work ethic (or insanity) never leaves, no matter how long you have been outside the US. The urge to work, check work email, be engaged instead of tuning out and turning off just buzzes under the skin. I am trying to retrain myself. But it’s difficult. One part of me wants to proceed one way, another part wants to proceed another. My lazy side is winning out because I am just so exhausted on every level right now. Usually I have to scheme with myself
Not that I watch “easy” things. I have watched some challenging documentaries, as usual. I have not just watched crap like the stupid film about Denzel Washington as an alcoholic airline pilot (stupid movie but I liked the small parts played by John Goodman and Don Cheadle), although I did watch that. Mostly I have chosen documentaries like Pink Ribbons, Inc., which also brought to mind the book Brand Aid and the whole idea of “cause marketing”. Or Hit So Hard, a documentary on former Hole drummer, Patty Schemel and her experiences in that and other bands, her drug addictions, her self-doubt and finally reaching some sort of peace with herself. And now Sons of Perdition, a documentary about the FLDS (Fundamental Latter Day Saints – a splinter group living far afield of the mainstream Mormon church and the young men who have left or been thrown off the “compound”. The film chronicles the “Lost Boys” of this group, exiled by the group’s leader, Warren Jeffs (who has been convicted of sexual assault against children in the US).
Most interesting was to see the juxtaposition between an entire family rejecting a member (as in Sons of Perdition) (“choosing between family and what someone else wants you to be”) and a family accepting a member even when she has not completely accepted herself (as it appears Patty Schemel’s mother did when Schemel came out as a lesbian in her teen years). Schemel may not have been completely comfortable with this, but it seems her mother loved and was proud of her in every way. (Naturally we are seeing only what the documentary gives us. I did enjoy Schemel’s mother’s reaction when Schemel was upset that she had made a pass at another girl (something similar), which was not reciprocated. Her mother indicated that there was nothing wrong with the feelings – there isn’t! – but that not much better could be expected. It’s Marysville (a “hicktown” in Washington state, north of Seattle. I know the feeling – I got in trouble for calling my own little Washington town a “hicktown” on the intercom system of my junior high. But for god’s sake – let’s agree to be honest. It was a hicktown!)