Thursday, January 8, 2009


Lets get this out there right now: I am not on my way to China next year. Due to a poor interview (my fault) and lord knows what other circumstantial variables, the good folk at the Whitman-In-China Program decided that one Noah Binford Sanders was not up to par for a year spent teaching the Chinese English. Before I blunder along on a fairly ill-advised rant against my alma mater, let me say this: I'm not really that sad that I'll not be spending my next year in China. At the time of application it seemed like an out to a life that as of late feels a bit, well, content. The failure to achieve though has, happily, sort of thrown open the door on a few opportunities I had yet to consider. Thus, I appreciate the saddened "oohhhs" I'm sure some of you are muttering, but please, keep them to yourselves. Instead lets spend a little bit of time belittling my undergraduate institution.

First off, Whitman College didn't even have the gall to phone me and tell me I hadn't made it. Hell, they didn't even have the cajones to send me an actual letter. Instead, in the body of an email they sent me this photocopied form letter:

I'm pretty positive the print on that bad boy is a little too small for you not blessed with superhuman vision, but let me paraphrase for you. Ahem, "Dear Noah, this is a poorly written form letter we let a ill-tempered monkey write to inform you that your future plans are now nothing more than ethereal shit. Have fun scraping your emotionally battered self off the floor and figuring out your future. Yours, Robo-Professor #6 P.S. We spent the 120,000 dollars you gave us for tuition on artichoke dip and the processing fees for scantily clad pictures of your mother. Tee hee."

And to Whitman I say this: fuck you in your shiny metal faces. Really, and please believe, I'm not mad that I did not make it in to this program. I'm angry that the cold-hearted automatons who populate the Whitman-In-China program couldn't have the manners to actually write a real letter to the possibly two candidates who didn't make it. Instead they sent that impersonal piece of ass-fluff you see above. Thanks a lot Whitman, you continue to unimpress me with your general thick-headed manner of handling, well, everything post-graduation.

Next time you're little minions call me asking me to bleed another dime out of my already Whitman-scoured bank account, I'm going to explain to them, using many curse words and many unfriendly allusions to their mother's age-addled bodies that no, Whitman College can not now, or ever, have single cent from me ever again.

Rant over. I feel better. Who wants to start drinking?

It's funny to rant like this just prior to writing about an absolutely beautiful, loving film like The Unbearable Lightness of Being (55). I was excited from the get-go about this film. Phillip Kaufman put together some of my favorite films of the 80s (this film, The Right Stuff - hell, he wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark), it's based on a world-famous book by Milan Kundera, and it stars one of the great acting duos of all time, Daniel Day-Lewis and Juliette Binoche. What isn't to be excited about?

The film revolves around The Prague Spring, a sort of brief Summer of Love that took place in the briefly Bohemian capitol of the Czech Republic. It follows the tumultous romantic lives of Tomas and Teresa as they philosophically blunder through the invasion of the Communist Russians and all of the terrible political fall-out that comes with it. This is an epic love story (the movie clocks in at well over 2 hours) that uses love in its many forms as a parallel for political strife and activism and vice-versa. Kaufman has an absolute field day in this film with a plethora of filmic devices, and in a story this long and this philosophically dense, it's entirely needed.

Daniel Day Lewis and Juliette Binoche fuck and fight like no other, and the painful mistakes they make as husband and wife nearly burst forth from the screen. You actually want to reach out and hold both of them, as if you as a viewer could somehow change their tragically beautiful story arc.

This film would be nothing without the absolutely virtuoso performance by the oft-naked Lena Olin as Sabrina, Tomas' always-present mistress, as the constant reminder of what could've been for the deeply attached Tomas and Teresa. She is beautiful, and again very naked, and her story runs a delicate parallel to the lead story. This is a long, and sometimes slow film, but it is well worth the watch.

Finally, don't be a screen-gagged dolt, watch this film and then go out and read the book. You're The Biggest Loser drowned brain will thank you for it.

Monday: The 39 Steps (56)

1 comment:

Mark said...

Eff Whitman's robotic letter writing service. I think we developed the prototype during an Alkocronix meeting, made out of duct tape, Jeff's looping machine, an old keg, the unfulfilled hopes and dreams of some librarians, and spaghetti. Alas, our goal of creating the intertube also went unfulfilled. Screw them. Remember: you can always journey to Macktown, USA to find some company.