Monday, August 23, 2010

Rant, Bitch, Hate

There is no reason for me to write this post. I will not be seeing Eat, Pray, Love anytime soon, but I cannot deny a small desire to watch the thing akin to the urge one often has to place the tongue on a bad tooth. I do not care for Julia Roberts, nor do I wish to see the story of a moneyed woman take a year off (which, according to Stuff White People Like, is a very white person’s thing to do—this post almost seems written for Eat, Pray, Love) to find some spiritual mojo via “The Other.” Essentially the prospect of this film (based on, I hear, a true story, ho-hum) intrigues and offends me for the same reason that I reject a lot of anthropology: it’s just so fucking ugly. Americans are the ultimate insulated, comfortable culture. Only in our society could we spawn such ennui, the sort of quasi-existential crises that beset well-to-do white women. Who am I? Where is my center? Why am I so adrift and unsatisfied? Sure, all good questions, but only those with means have the time or energy to ask them, much less search for answers. The others are too busy trying to pay bills and get food on the table.

In a sense, this is the sort of feminism that the 60s crop championed, the kind that deals with the problems of the average middle to upper class white women and ignores the plight of the poor. For that I am annoyed, especially when I see the picture of Julia Roberts with a fucking spoon in her mouth, lazily eating gelato in Italy. The praying and loving might be a minor draw, but I would guess the food—and the story’s philosophy of ignoring Atkins and indulging in carbs—is what gets asses in the seats. Women, for years told to eschew pasta in favor of salads, have a reason to indulge again. (Thank you, Hollywood!) Nothing wrong here, but I wish the message (or, if you will, permission) came form a source more interesting than a Julia Roberts vehicle.

Anyway, can there be a better symbol for the film than the before mentioned photo? Julia looks well dressed. (Money.) She is sitting in an exotic European setting. (The Other = enlightened.) And she has a spoon in her mouth, much like the one her character might have been born with. The message of salvation through consumption is somewhat sickening, though who could imagine a better philosophy for Americans?

Anyway, sorry to vent. Go back to doing what you do.