Getting Schooled: THE REVENANT

I’ve been once again wonderfully schooled in my comments! I really like how smart and articulate my readers are; I will choose to believe this means I am doing something to attract such people, which reflects well upon me, even though all I did to deserve this particular schooling was declare that The Revenant was “boring.” Hooray! Abe writes in the comments a review of the movie more trenchant and interesting than any professional review of it I have ever read, and certainly more interesting than all the boring-ass dudes in my life who are just popping huge boners about how “brutal” the movie is, just because that bear eats DiCaprio for an hour and a half (sorry, spoiler). Check this shit out (spoilers):

In regards the Revenant: I agree that its very single-minded and turn-free story structure can be dull, but one of the things I liked about it (and which I thought you yourself might enjoy) is its both metaphorical and literal treatment of capitalism as fatal flaw. The strongest part of the film for me was the world, how it was this middle point between wilderness and the beginning of its tarnishing: the easy killing of animals for pelts; that incredible moment outside the camp where natives flock like children in the third world, trying to sell junk and beg for money in a world that didn’t have either a decade before. Part of the pleasure of the movie was how well it recreated a place that seems impossible to access.
I talked with someone who was turned off by the ceaseless revenge driving the story, but I don’t think we’re supposed to see the savagery and careless destruction as a good thing. I think we’re supposed to find it sad, the ruination of a beautiful and spiritually rich world by the wants of men and thirst for wealth/power/revenge/sex etc. It’s supposed to be sickening because it’s about that despoiling. That’s why the final fight between Leo and Tom Hardy is so starkly brutal, just the two of them wrestling, biting each other, ensuring that both of them will die because of this dark lust they both have. If we’re meant to root for Leo, it’s only because we’re complicit in that mutually assured destruction and because we know that ultimately his desired but ultimately already-lost allegiance with a spiritual world is no longer tenable in the seedy reality of capitalism. He wishes he could bring those things back, as Tom Hardy says himself, a little on-the-nose at the end, but knows that they’re forever lost, just like the wilderness.

I’m not too small a man to admit that this extremely insightful and well-written mini-review has pretty much completely turned me around on The Revenant. I definitely had been thinking about capitalism while watching it, but I think about capitalism while watching everything, and I had not developed my dim impression that “it’s about capitalism or something” into anything like a fully-formed view of the film. I took the lazy way out, and didn’t bother thinking hard enough about the film, which is a trait I despise in others and am ashamed to admit I partook in. I left simply feeling exhausted by the movie without interrogating the real source of that exhaustion, which was not Men Being Eaten By Bears Over And Over Again but rather Capitalism, Duh. Because what is a better for capitalism than a man being eaten by a bear a bunch of times? A BEAR MARKET (I’m sorry, I am just kidding at this point)

I love this review so much.

Why does Anthony Lane get paid the big bucks to complain about an actress looking old or having flabby thighs when shit like this gets posted on my blog for free???? CAPITALISM IS BULLSHIT, that’s why

Anyway, keep the schoolings coming, although please don’t be mean. To sum up, thus far I have been usefully schooled on:
– dishwasher management
– The Revenant


I have spent probably 37 hours doing administrative stuff and dealing with administrative emergencies this week and I am heartily sick of it. It is insane that this is a big part of the job! Everyone tells you it is, but you don’t pay any attention, you just think they are complaining and dumb. Cut to: you get a job, and suddenly you’re sitting in a full faculty meeting in which you are voting on whether to amend the wording of the proposed amendment to the proposed amendment, and you look at the ensemble conductor sitting next to you and you both just stare into each others’ eyes like, how is this my life! It is hilarious to me how many things I do in the daily course of my job that I have absolutely no training in and no way of knowing how to do. It’s fun! Just think, in only one year I have learned so much about paperwork!

It is very cool how after the entire first week of classes is already over, you get 20 emails from business majors telling you they are “interested” in your class and could you please tell them what the workload is. LOL! News flash kid, this class filled up back in March and you really should not be just now expressing interest in a class that has already met twice and had an assignment due! And no, I won’t be detailing the workload to you, lazybones. LORD. If you have to ask, then it’s already too much work, I promise you. I will confess that writing brusque emails to business majors is one of the many pleasures of this job, I’m not made of stone.

My beautiful husband finally built me the bookshelves he’s been promising to build me for almost ten years. The wait was worth it, as they are amazing and glorious. They have completely transformed my office into a heaven-upon-earth. I can sit at my desk and be surrounded by all my materials; my bust of Beethoven finally has a home; there is even a place to jam all my cords down behind the filing cabinet so that it doesn’t look like a nightmare back there. I am so happy. Best husband in town!

The best movie I have seen in year is FORCE MAJEUR, please do yourself a favor. We talked about it for 3 hours and I still have more thoughts about it.

Okay I have to go now because I have to listen to like twelve symphonies by tomorrow afternoon

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One Response to Getting Schooled: THE REVENANT

  1. Chairman_Luedtke says:

    I love your stuff on the admin plague in academia. Hason & I always enjoy reading it because it resonates so much with me. The admin madness is quite next level where I currently teach. Thanks for the great writing!

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