February 17, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Failure to Communicate

Well, I've hit another wall. The last time was almost four weeks ago, so maybe it's a cyclical/lunar/male PMS thing. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I slept in today, my first day off in almost two weeks, burned out after a very long work week. Whatever the cause, I've found myself wholly uninspired, with nothing to write about.

So, as I learned last time, the only way through this wall is to plow right through it. You might have to feel my pain with me, in the form of banal, lackluster writing. But that's the price you pay for being a loyal reader. You experience the highs, you deal with the lows.

In what spare time I've had in the past few weeks, I've tried to catch up on my movie-watching. I recently signed up for Netflix, which allows me to rent as many movies as I can watch for one monthly fee ($20). Though the DVDs come by mail, the service is extremely prompt, with most movies arriving two days after ordering them. You create a list of movies you want on their Web site, and they automatically send out the next one on your list when you return a movie. (I should be their pitch-man.)

Though I am a film school graduate, there have been some conspicuous holes in my movie-watching history that I've endeavored to fill up. Most notably, I had not seen "The Godfather" or "Cool Hand Luke" until recently. Also on the list are "On the Waterfront," "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Field of Dreams." Another gaping hole is "Gone With the Wind," though I haven't yet added that to the list. Five hours just seems like too long for any movie, no matter how good it is.

Of the Netflix movies I've seen so far, "Cool Hand Luke" moved me the most. Beautifully shot by the recently deceased Conrad Hall, with a fantastic performance by Paul Newman, the film left me thinking for a long time after the credits rolled. I won't ruin the movie for those who haven't seen it by discussing the subtext, but I'll just say that the film seemed inspired by a "higher power." I love a good allegory, boss.

And what better movie to talk about on a day when I'm experiencing a "failure to communicate"?


Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily Chuckle:

Don't force it, get a larger hammer.

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Today's Column
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2/16: Cold City
2/15: Man-Eaters of Tsavo
2/14: Valentine Gems
2/13: Grab Bag
2/12: The End is Near
2/11: And the Winner Is...
2/10: Exploration is Risky Business
2/9: Staphylococcus
2/8: Morning Cup of Kofi
2/7: Game Over
2/6: The Eagle Never Landed
2/5: Pope: Potter No Problem
2/4: Time for Another Rewrite
2/3: A Matter of Opinions
2/2: Suicidal Bravado
2/1: Godspeed, Columbia

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