To Do:  1. Get Hobby 2. Floss

Here's what I need to do: 1. Get Hobby, 2. Floss. Blogging just gets in the way.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Girl, Uncomfortable


I have been putting off watching Hotel Rwanda for a long time. I wanted to wait until a period in my life where I felt like I could deal with the atrocities documented in the film. The beauty of not being displaced by war or living in a place where I rarely have to fear rebel forces or step over bodies on the way to my mailbox is that I can decide when I am ready deal with genocide. Until Sunday, I didn't feel ready.

Movies like this should be prefaced not by the reminder that pirating DVDs is criminal, but rather with warnings about the legalities of committing war crimes. I knew it wasn't a comedy or created by the people who brought me any of my animated favorites and I didn't expect any steamy love scenes or anything, but still, not wearing mascara was not enough preparation for this movie.

I don't want to spoil what happened in Rwanda for anyone who doesn't remember 1994, but sometime around when women and children start getting chopped up by people with machetes, I started to feel a little suicidal. I was deeply ashamed of myself for my failure to join the Peace Corps or adopt any Rwandan orphans.

Rather than compose my suicide note apologizing for my complacency, I decided to call Dad. I got his answering machine. I left a cryptic message asking just where in the hell was G*d in 1994.

Then, I climbed up on the roof. I looked down and wished that I had chosen better shoes for jumping off the roof. Something with an ankle strap would have been a better option to make sure that it didn't come of my foot mid-fall and come down on top of my head. I decided to call Mom. She can always talk me down off the roof.

Mom said, "You think you're upset? Just imagine if you had been there. You think the Tutsi's got to think about the shoes they were going to die in? Well, they didn't and it's not too late to join the Peace Corps." I thought she'd add something about what a wonderful mother I'd be to a displaced child if only they hadn't all been adopted by celebrities, but she didn't.

Instead, she lowered her voice and said, "I have to keep it down. I'm in the library. There's this new program where you can sign up to read a book to a service dog. People are trying to get my spot in line."

I asked her what she was going to read to the dog. She hadn't decided yet. She wanted to know if there were any parameters. No one had told her if there was any prohibited subject matter. She had selected a few books as she wasn't sure of the dog's reading level and she didn't want to choose anything that another library patron had already read to the dog. "He looks pretty bored," she said.

"If he wasn't off-duty, I'd put the dog on the phone with you. He'd talk you off that roof; that's what these kind of dogs do, you know. They are miracle workers." This is where I stopped listening. I think I'd like to have a service dog. I have lots of uses for a highly trained dog. It could find the remote in the couch cushions, uncork a bottle of wine, drive me places, and most importantly prevent me from watching depressing, although deeply important movies.

I would just like to mention here that while I have been using those handy address labels that Amnesty International sends me a few times a year, this year, I am going to pay for them. I swear.

Mist 1


68 Comments:

At 12:31 AM, Blogger ShadowFalcon said...

I know what you mean. There are so many good films that I've actully blocked out of my memoary cos I can't deal with it.

 
At 1:23 AM, Anonymous hedgehog said...

Movies like this should be prefaced not by the reminder that pirating DVDs is criminal, but rather with warnings about the legalities of committing war crimes.

Please, someone, put Mist1 in charge of the world. I hadn't thought of it before you wrote that, but I suppose there are people out there who think Hotel Rwanda is an instruction manual. Then again they also think the documentary "Rambo II: First Blood" is a comedy. They are confused.

 
At 1:33 AM, Blogger phishez_rule said...

You should watch movies with a bottle of vodka (or other alcoholic beverage of choice) and a box of chocolate. Just to desensitize yourself.

And then go shag a black guy. You'll feel you're making it up to them. And by the end you won't give a damn if the world implodes.

 
At 3:53 AM, Blogger crowwoman / rhian said...

dang Mist! you short-circuited my brain with the jump from Rwanda to Service Dogs. I'm still twitching as smoke pours from my ears.

 
At 4:28 AM, Blogger tammy said...

I usually hire my own seeing-eye dog to watch those kinds of movies with me. I just close my eyes while they boil down the gory parts to a single mournful woof.

 
At 4:58 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

The advantage to have a very dark sense of humor is that you can laugh at anything and everything. I always put Schindler's List in when I need to lighten up.

 
At 5:31 AM, Blogger Trish said...

You're braver than me for watching Hotel Rawanda...I just can't do it.

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Irish Church Lady :) said...

I totally get you Mist. I have not yet watched Hotel Rwanda for that same reason. When I do, I'm calling you to talk me off my roof because I will be up there with my dog.

I was proud of myself for going to see the Last King of Scotland at the theatre.

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

I watched that movie and cried the whole time. And then I called my friend and cried to her for an hour about how ashamed I was earlier that day for getting angry that Macy's no longer carried my lipstick shade.

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger Pickled Olives said...

I watched a documentary on Rwanda several months before the movie came out. I decided I wasn't going to watch the Hollywood version since the documentary was enough to make me cry. Your mother is right about the shoes ya know.

 
At 6:13 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

I watched a documentary on the making of that film... to be honest, I had no idea up until then anything happened. That is pretty sad.

I've never put much faith in seeing eye dogs. They are supposed to be so smart and everything. I watched a seeing eye dog almost drag a lady into a busy street a few years ago. Luckily, so did the other 3 cars that were zooming by. Apparently the seeing eye dog couldn't see worth a damn either. A typical case of the blind leading the blind.

Anyways.....

I should really go now.

 
At 6:37 AM, Blogger Mystic Wing said...

Some years ago when I was alone for a weekend, I saw "The Mission," "Platoon," and "Blue Velvet" all in a three-day span.

I still haven't recovered.

Recently, we saw Hotel Rwanda on video, then attended Children of Men in the theater on the same weekend.

Perhaps I should seek help for these masochistic tendencies.

 
At 6:38 AM, Blogger The Stiltwalker said...

however harrowing this story, as many others of civil conflict in Africa and elsewhere, I can't bring myself not to hate all these damn exiled Somalians in Maine.

Sorry, I know that was bad.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

shadow,

I am sorry to hear about your blocked mammary.

hedgehog,

I don't want to be in charge of the world. I'm not that responsible.

phishez,

Not even vodka could have helped with that movie.

crow,

I know. I shouldn't have switched like that, it was wrong.

tammy,

That's a great idea.

av,

So, I should think of Hotel Rwanda as a black comedy?

trish,

I'm still on the roof.

icl,

I can't see stuff like that in the theater. I can't risk people seeing my mascara run.

debbie,

Which lipstick shade was it?

olives,

Was that the movie where they were trapped in a church? My dad told me about another documentary that didn't end as well.

ryan,

Was the dog okay?

 
At 6:42 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

mystic,

You are so much tougher than I am.

stilt,

It was very, very bad. Of course, I jumped from Rwanda to seeing-eye dogs. That was bad too.

 
At 6:44 AM, Blogger Matt said...

I lose it for the cleft palatte children.

 
At 6:52 AM, Blogger Nölff said...

I am very proud of you. With your payment for address labels, human rights worldwide will be protected.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

well i will admit i have never paid for my address labels either mist. you mean i should do it? sigh... oh, ok then.

smiles, bee

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger wreckless said...

eeew guilt. I saw the movie and felt the same as you. I feel it when I watch extreme home makeover too. I end up tearing up and hiding this from my kids. I suck at knowing I have things others don't.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Ariel said...

I watched American History X this weekend. I, sadly, didn't use my waterproof mascara. Eric was terrified when I answered the door.

 
At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jonas said...

Mist, you and your mom are living proof that humor and intelligence are genetic.
I LOVE your blog!

And, yes, Hotel Rwanda is THAT kind of film. Meanwhile genocide continues in Darfur...

 
At 7:41 AM, Blogger Paula D. said...

Yes, Hotel Rwanda was deep & eye opening. When I left the theatre I was drained & felt like I should have been involved in some cause to bring light to the situation.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Curiosity.Killer said...

You were stunningly profound, Mist 1. Until you hit the strapless shoe part -- you came right back.

But truthfully, you absolutely right about warnings about the legalities of committing war crimes. Hear, hear!

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger deb said...

That was a good movie, although it took a good for the puffiness around my eyes to subside. The UN peacekeeping general was a Canadian, Romeo Dallaire. He tried to commit suicide after that happened. He's written a book about it as well "Shaking hands with the Devil".

It was a good movie though. It showed the world what we refused to see and it's still happening today in Sudan. We don't seem to learn lessons very easily.

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Melanie said...

that movie was completely disturbing. and put me at ease to know that i don't have to feel guilty about not wanting to ever see that part of the world. ever.

yea... where was god? and why isn't he there now?

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger furiousBall said...

That movie helped me NOT commit suicide in some ways actually. I was going through my separation from my wife. That served as a reminder that my worst day is nothing compared to what was going on over there. My wife was still alive (and children too), things worked out (we reconciled and are doing very well now). Bad stuff lends perspective at times when we need it I've found.

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Glamourpuss said...

The press coverage at the time was more than enough to stop me going to watch that movie but it is important that people are aware of what happened - might make them actually think about foreign policy -no oil reserves, no international intervention. Or is that just a coincidence?

I tried reading to my cat but she kept criticising my diction. Now I leave her to watch Ugly Betty instead.

Puss

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger booda baby said...

They always come back wounded, the ones put on the front lines of movie watching. Don't you feel a whole lot better prepared for when your progeny - or some neighbor's kid - comes to you, asking where the hell was God in 2007?

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger tallulah said...

Your mother is a wise woman.

 
At 9:35 AM, Anonymous lizza said...

I knew it! You're a softie at heart...albeit one who is a slave to cosmetics and shoes.

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger velvet girl said...

I haven't seen the movie yet. I can't bring myself to do it because I know that any whisper-thin shred of faith that I still have in mankind will be destroyed.

These kinds of films do underscrore a very important point, though... we really do lead very spoiled lives here.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

God also sat out the Crusades, the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, American slavery, McCarthyism, and He doesn't seem to be too involved in Iraq.

What needs to change is what we do with our free will.

Tell your mom that if you read a dog a story, he has enjoyment for one day. If you teach him to read, he can enjoy himself forever.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Scottsdale Girl said...

Well even if the movie scarred you for life, it was at least GOOD.

Don't watch Friends With Money. For the love of god - just.don't.

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Blitz Krieg said...

I've used so many "free" address labels I will shortly be joining the VFW, American Legion, Arbor Day Foundation and the La Leche League.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Yasamin said...

i'm back! did you miss me? i missed me. you had no idea i was gone did you?

i havent paid for my jerry's kids mailing labels either. at least they spelled my name right this time. i might actually pay for them... just for that. ;p

 
At 10:54 AM, Anonymous perry said...

You should have suggested (to your mom) a reading from the last chapter of Old Yeller. Might get exciting when the next blind guy says "Comeon Boy" and tries to drag him outside.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Kris Bartels said...

I have some of those....came in the mail just yesterday. They have funny little mailboxes on them.

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Tammie Jean said...

I haven't seen the whole movie yet. I was watching it at a friend's house, but my husband couldn't take it and he said we had to go. I guess I'll have to rent it to see the rest. It's tough stuff, but I think it has to be done.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Comedy + said...

Okay, I'm not ever watching that movie, ever. Your life is so interesting. Your parents' too.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Nance said...

Hey, listen: we all do our part. Every time I sit through a movie with anyone in it who is NOT Daniel Day-Lewis or Johnny Depp, I think, "I am doing this for the future of the Film Industry!" I just know that Martin Scorsese is proud of me.

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger Jay said...

What happened to you this weekend that made you suddenly capable of watching the movie?

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Kristyn said...

I haven't seen it and I don't think it's my kind of movie. I'm not much for movies about 1994 and the people who got chopped up in 1994. I'm pretty sensative.

On another note, I wonder if I could train my shih-tzu to be a service dog? He'd be the cutest service dog ever!

 
At 12:48 PM, Anonymous C said...

I understand your guilt completely, but get off of the roof and go to savedarfur.org. Sign all of the petitions, then go to darfurscores.org, see how poorly (or not) you elected officials are responding to the genocide through legislation, then get pissed off at how people with the power to act still do nothing. Feel less guilty. I hope. I still feel bad because I've been planning to write very compelling letters about U.S./U.N. intervention in Darfur since Xmas (I was on a goodwill-towards-man kick). How are we gonna heal the world if the privileged can't crack open a thesaurus for peace?

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Natalia said...

I must be a masochist. I just watched a slew of documentaries about animal abuse, prisoner abuse in Gitmo...and a few other feel-good movies.

-N

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger James Burnett said...

That movie depressed the hell out of me.

And when they "grow" a service dog that can serve drinks I'll sign up for one too. I've got issues. I could use a dog in a vest.

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Kiyotoe said...

the bright spot in that movie was that it showed us that there are people like Paul Rusesabagina still in the world......

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

matt,

Do they send you address labels?

nolff,

One person can make a difference.

bee,

I'm still not going to pay for the ones that say Mr. Mist 1.

wreck,

That show has made me cry too. If you ask me about this later, I will deny it.

ariel,

I can only imagine.

jonas,

You should meet my dad. I love this blog too.

Thanks for coming by.

paula,

Sometimes, guilt is a great motivator.

curiosity,

I have lots of important stuff to say.

deb,

I don't know if I can read that book.

melanie,

I'm going to have to talk to G*d about that.

furious,

Perspective is a good thing.

puss,

No one has ever mentioned foreign policy on my blog before. I feel smarter already.

booda,

I'm going to give the kid a copy of Hotel Rwanda. That'll prevent any further questions that I can't answer.

tallulah,

She really is. Even the dog thinks so.

lizza,

Shhhh. Don't let that get out.

velvet,

Still, I really like being sheltered and spoiled.

hearts,

Dogs can lick their balls. I think they've got life-long enjoyment covered.

scotts,

I like my friends with money.

blitz,

Amnesty is the only organization that spells my name right.

yasamin,

Exactly how I feel.

perry,

We did discus that book actually.

kris,

Did you get the ones with foil accents?

tammie,

I had to pause it a few times.

comedy,

My parents are the most interesting people that I have ever known for my entire life.

nance,

Johnny Depp was going to come over to watch the movie with me, but I didn't want him to see me cry, so I turned him down.

jay,

I am facing my fears. I had a choice, this movie or spiders. I chose the movie.

kristyn,

Any dog can be a service dog. Tell your therapist to draft a letter stating that your dog provides you with a mental health service (in that he makes you happy). Then you can take him everywhere with you.

c,

Where the hell is my thesaurus?

natalia,

How are you feeling after all that?

james,

I don't want fur in my drinks.

kiyotoe,

Ah...always with the silver lining.

 
At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Trew Life Advice said...

Great stuff! I regret that I lost contact with your blog.

Well, when I watched the film, I almost felt compelled to chop somebody up for chopping someone up. I was slightly contingent in regards to bawling my eyes out from the carelessness that the Britain and American soldiers had for those people. Reason: Because, even though I was only 10 years old, neither my family, nor I, tried to help.

I watched that movie and practically threw it back at Family Video; not because it was bad, but because it scared the shit out of me.

I don't practice empiricism, but this movie could have been an equivalent.

Putting myself through that emotional affair almost had me in tears. I loved the fact that the truth was exposed, but sometimes the truth hurts.

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger hyacinths and biscuits said...

I don't even know what to say, but you're better than me because I can't even bring myself to watch it. I don't know if I'm strong enough to face what a horrible and selfish person I am, seeing as I'll probably be watching a show about people whose biggest problem in life is that they're about to die, while my biggest problem will be wondering how long I can hold it before I have to leave the movie to go to the bathroom. And the fact that my new shoes may be hurting - my new shoes that I spent $50 on instead of spending $50 helping someone who has real problems.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

trew,

Chopping people up is messy.

Thanks for coming by.

h & b,

My new shoes hurt my feet too. They also ruined my pedi. Still, they are so cute, I can't be angry with them.

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Matt said...

No. I happen to live next to a colony of cleft-pallates. It's the largest in the region.

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger The CEO said...

1,
I am always so impressed by the depth you show, and the strength that you exhibit. Simply amazing.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Gucci Muse said...

Well I never saw the movie, and I don't think that God stands idly by and does nothing-its not up to God, its up to use here on earth for the most part I think and God sees what we do-how we treat each other-I love Old Yeller-aawwh, Mist1 your commenters took me back with that one, but now to the rest of your post-

About the dog-the scratch and sniff ones... just a thought...

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

lol! I have probably a few thousand address labels from various charities in my house. I could live to 120 years of age and I still wouldn't be able to use all of these damn things!

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

matt,

Are you trying to force me to respond with an off-color comment about how people with cleft palates give the best head?

Well, I'm not going to bite. And neither will someone with a cleft palate.

0,

I know. Deep down inside, I am really very shallow.

gucci,

I think A & E should have stepped in with an episode of Intervention.

miztris,

You can never move.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger mysterygirl! said...

Mist, next time you feel like watching a movie, come over and we'll watch Zoolander. It has fashion in it, and nobody is injured except for a few models in a freak gasoline-fight accident. To the best of my knowledge, though, it wasn't based on a true story-- or at least I haven't received any address labels for a Foundation for the Prevention of Gasoline Fights.

 
At 6:39 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

mystery,

I cannot watch that movie, it's too upsetting and painful to learn about the injustices in the modeling industry. There is no organization to support their cause. Tragic.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Tug said...

I cry at commercials. I will not be watching a movie that makes me cry. E.VER.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Some Random Girl said...

I've been putting off watching this until I am almost suicidal because I know it's going to be a tear jerker! It's in my qeue.queue.Q. however the fuck you spell that word!

 
At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Karmyn said...

Okay - good to know. I am NEVER watching that movie. I am striking it from my Netflix queue now.

 
At 2:42 AM, Blogger Odat said...

I can't watch anything like that!!!
I too could use a service dog, but I'd probably play "books on tape" rather than read to him/her.
Hey you don't ask for those labels...keep em...guilt free!
Peace

 
At 6:06 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

The proper term is African American comedy.

 
At 6:59 AM, Blogger Cheetarah1980 said...

I watched the HBO movie Some Time in April (or something like that). It scared the hell out of me. I don't know if I can handle Hotel Rwanda. I do know that the same thing is happening in Sudan right now. Actually it's happening in another East African country as well, though I can't remember which one. The point is instead of feeling guilty we could do something. Doesn't have to be much. Why don't you donate a pair of old shoes to an Amnesty organization so the children who have to walk 8 miles to a refugee camp every night can have something on their feet. Every little bit helps.

 
At 7:51 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

tug,

Commercials are the best part of watching TV.

srg,

It will make you jump. Please, feel free to call my mom. She will talk you through it.

karmyn,

I bet Rwandans don't like to watch it either.

odat,

I suppose if I pay for them, then it's not tax-deductible.

av,

Pardon me. I am so ashamed.

cheet,

I don't think anyone wants to walk eight miles in heels.

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger La Cubana Gringa said...

I also thought the same thing when I saw the movie...furthermore I wondered where the hell I was in 94...and why I hadn't known. I felt so ashamed!

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

lcg,

I know where I was in 94. My mind was elsewhere.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger K said...

mist,

since when do you pay for anything?

and really, mary janes are coming back now, so the next time you think about rooftop rendezvous, please order a pair.

maybe you could rent a kid from angelina jolie. she has enough of 'em.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

k,

Angelina and I went kid shopping the other day. She got the cutest pair on sale.

 

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