Just now, Comedy Central was showing Driving Miss Daisy (from 1989). It’s a lovely movie in its own way, even to modern standards, but I couldn’t lose myself in it. Not because the acting was bad, or the plot was superficial, or the dialogue sounded scripted. But because I couldn’t get my brain to stop focusing on all kinds of themes and motifs central to the film, the most important one being the reason why it focused on the relationship between a Jewish lady and her black driver (I can offer you several reasons at first glance, the most obvious one being that Jews and blacks are both known for their outsider position in American society). I found myself reaching for an imaginary pad of paper and a pen every three minutes to jot down notes on all the symbols and otherwise significant events I could see on the screen, as if I was going to write a paper on it any day now. (As a side note, it’s too bad I’m not. This would make a wonderful counterpart to a paper I once wrote on black-Jewish relations in The Human Stain by Philip Roth for my Jewish-American Fiction class. And yes, I can remember most of the topics I wrote papers on. I’m sorry. I just really liked doing them all.)
I guess this proves I really earned my MA degree. And I wonder what I’m going to do now that I can’t channel my creative energy into academic papers. Probably make all of you sit through my every thought on American culture..
because here at EAT.SLEEP.READ.LOVE., we aim to please.
(ourselves, if no one else.)