Sunday, March 4, 2012


I was sitting in ninth grade study hall all those years ago, when I eavesdropped on the following conversation:

"I cried last night," said the girl.

"Oh, yeah?" the boy replied. "Why?"

"Love Story was on TV."

"It sucked that much, huh?"

"Ha ha, smarty. No, I cried because the girl died at the end."

"The girl didn't really die. The director said 'That's a wrap' or something, the actress jumped out of the hospital bed, got her paycheck, and went home."

"Oh, you are so funny."

"Aw, c'mon, it's just a movie!"

"Yeah, but it can happen in real life, too!"

"Then that's when you should cry."

"Yeah, but I like crying a lot whole better when it's only a movie."


  1. I am not sure if this is a problem for the Existentialism in us all or just maybe the split personalty.
    Or it could be because the movie was just that bad... I think I was the only person in America who disliked this movie.
    But I cry at movie all the time ! So what do I know.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. First off, thanks for commenting, parsnip. This post was a little experimental, a little off the beaten path, and I really wasn't sure anybody was going to comment, so I appreciate you doing so.

    This post is a fictional version of a real conversation that's been stuck in my brain like a shard of corn beef in a upper biscupid. I was musing on how some people seem to enjoy crying at something fictional, just as others enjoy getting scared stiff at make-believe monsters, yet would prefer, understandibly, to avoid a situation that might bring on such an emotion in real life. This is something Aristotle pointed out two thousand or so years ago, hence the title of the post. I just happened to recall a real-life conversation that was a good example of his theory.

    As for the movie LOVE STORY. Long time since I've seen it, and recall thinking it was only so-so at the time. I feel Ryan Oneil (Oneal? O'neal? O'neil? I don't feel like looking it up) is better at comedy than drama, and this movie obviously wasn't meant to be funny (though some may have found it unintentionally so.) I don't think Ali McGraw is much of an actress, but thought she was pretty in a different, real-life, non-Hollywood kind of way. I remember liking the scene where she and Ryan romp around in the snow. The rest of the movie doesn't live up to that, but, as I said, it's been a long time since I've seen it.

    I once read a Mad magazine parody of Love Story. Ali McGraw is on her death bed. The doctor tells Ryan O'Howeverhisnameisspelled that she has only a half-hour to live, and to break the news to her gently.

    RYAN: Oh, look, you favorite show is about to come on, Thity Minutes.

    ALI: You mean Sixty Minutes.

    RYAN: Trust me, darling.

    I wonder what Aristotle would have thought of THAT?

    1. Aristotle would have giggled. I know this because he and I were very good friends.
      I don't always comment on every blog, who has the time but try to get to (later) the ones I do enjoy reading...

      cheers, parsnip

  3. Ryan actually said THIRTY, not Thity Minutes.

    I intentionally changed the spelling so the Time Warner corporation, which owns Mad magazine, wouldn't sue me for plagerism. Yeah, that's the ticket...

  4. loved this post, hated the movie. i have a tendency to yell at movies. (and yes, it really did suck that much.) intellectually, i know that they're not supposed to be real, but damn. my willing suspension of disbelief only goes so far.
    so if you hear someone in a theater yelling precautions to the protagonist, it's probably me. and if you hear someone laughing in places in the movie when no one else is, that's me too.

    1. Lorraine, that's why I prefer watching movies at home! Then only the parakeets can hear me as I hoot at the movie.

  5. @rraine--You'd make a good critic.

    @Jim--Hooting means never having to say you're sorry.

    Thank you both for commenting.

  6. What a fantastic memory. I can see why it stayed with you. Both kids had great insight and equally interesting points of view.
    Being a 'girl' I do like her POV. It's intelligent and self protective. I like happy endings though. I admit it. But I am also the type that pushes through cruel and difficult times with quiet optimism.

    It is the journey, not the destination. The destination is death (and what is probably beyond). See? Optimism!

    1. If the destination is death, Akeru, then I think I'll turn around and go in the other direction.

      Oh, it doesn't work that way?

      Thanks for dropping by, Akeru, and keep smiling.


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