A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || October 11, 2001 || 12:12 am

Funny thing. I tend to take so much of my history, my heritage, for granted.

But let’s back up, shall we?

Last Sunday, after a really terrific day out, Maxim and I stopped at the local Blockbuster to rent a movie or two. Blockbuster is a bit overblown for our tastes, but they squashed our local indie joint long ago and the bitches at Movie Gallery have just simply gotten too surly as of late, so we’ve boycotted them altogether.

So, it was going on eleven pee emm and our idea was to dash in and dash out. Then we saw the sign.

The sign said, “ALL PRE-VIEWED MOVIES, $2.00 OFF.” Oh my. Ohmyohmyohmy. This meant that the used movies selling for $3.99 clocked in at just under two bucks and we are nothing if not bargain whores. We fingered the plastic-and-cardboard encased mock-celluloid, oohed and ahhhed and excitedly showed finds to one another. Three movies for the kids and seven movies for the bigger kids later, the bigger kids strolled out happily. Heh. Got one over on the man AGAIN.

I am NOT a stickler for big-budget, eagerly-anticipated flicks. I shun them like they have four degrees of the plague. I have yet to see Episode I or Titanic or Pearl Harbor. I may rent them in ten more years, I may not. Who the fuck knows?

*shakes head* All this just to tell you that I picked up Angela’s Ashes, put it down, walked away, fondled some other flicks, and went back to Angela’s Ashes again. It had to be good, it just had to, ‘cos the crap movies are always over-priced. So I had heard some high praise on it. So it had the whole ‘critically-acclaimed’ albatross weighing it down. The dirty, pained-looking boy on the front just fixated me (I know, could I BE more Pavlovian??). The corker was remembering a radio interview that I’d heard Frank McCourt do some months ago. My recollections of it were what sealed the deal, so to speak, and the movie was bought.

With my daily pursuit of life, liberty and clean towels and underwear, I just got around to watching it tonight. The first half of the movie held forth several jokes that were all the more funny if you were a ‘cultural insider’. There were times when I was just guffawing and Maxim looked at me quizzically, expecting me to sketch out the details for him.

It wasn’t until the last half of the movie that it clicked. Here in front of me was a story painfully like the one of my great-grandfather, one I have briefly outlined here before (July 4 entry). The gnawing at my belly commenced, the upset that it was one of mine that had lived very nearly the same story. I sit here with it choking me even now, some two hours later.

I forget sometimes from whence I came, I forget about all of the wonderful little inside magic that you experience from being part of a particular nationality. Irish, German, Italian—I was lucky enough to have at least one formidable figurehead from each of these veins of my lineage take part in my childhood and early upbringing. I was gifted with the knowledge and practices and rhythms of speech that come from a person who is not a mishmosh of several cultures.

I want to not forget the beauty in that. I had a Pop and a Nuna and an Oma that spoke in rich tongues and shared exotic foods and gave me a glimpse into the life I might have been solely a part of had I been born on other shores.

Being cultured is not having buckets of money. It’s not being able to speak in multiple tongues. Being cultured is having a knowledge of a variety of things, having obtained that knowledge through experience.

I have the trademark German stoicism, the patent Irish superstition, the marked Italian passion, but more than that, more than the bloodlines and their accompanying traits, I have history among these.

I bear the mark of their experiences, and I do not wish to forget that.

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

(you know you want to)