Hope that the people you love will catch up to you

Hope that the people you love will catch up to you June 10, 2019

OK. I’m back home in Pennsylvania and back to work at the Big Box after spending the past week and a half traveling to and from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (twice) for my father’s funeral.

I keep starting to write about my father, about his death and his life and our relationship and all that it means to me, but all of that, so far, has been too much of a convulsive process to be anything ready to post or share here. That will come later.

For now, I need to get back to something like normal, which includes doing something more than opening this login and staring at the blank screen wondering how and what to say about my dad. So let’s wait on that. I’ll get back to it when I’m able.

Until then, here’s where I left off last week when I first got the get-up-here-now phone call from my sister. It’s a half-baked handful of week-old items, but at least it will provide a fresh discussion thread for comments.

• “Why Everyone Thought Aladdin Had a Secret Sex Message.” One fun detail in this How do these things even get started? story is that the perpetually indignant white evangelicals who were so certain they’d discovered non-existent sex messages in Aladdin also completely missed the actual centerfold snuck into The Rescuers.

Our old friends at “MovieGuide” have a small part in this story too. When we last checked in with MovieGuide, they were getting cozy with Russian mobsters/oligarchs and warning against “upper male Smurf nudity.” Jeffrey Bloomer reminds us that, back in the 1990s, MovieGuide had warned its culture-war readership of the rumors in a piece titled “Aladdin Exposed.” Today, though, their guide recommends the movie as “a sure hit and a sweet cinematic confection bursting with kinetic energy and firmly grounded in the message of the importance of personal honesty and integrity.”

What changed? Time. That’s all — just the passing of time. MovieGuide is all about the dangers of evil Hollywood corrupting our youth. That means whatever Hollywood is doing right now must be bad — a betrayal of the beloved traditions from years gone by when we and Hollywood were both so much more innocent and young. Time turns scandalous threats into nostalgia for “the way things used to be back when they were so much better than now.” And that will turn absolutely anything into a sure sweet hit firmly grounded in an important message — even Playboy.

RIP Jean Vanier. Related: Alissa Wilkinson on Terrence Malick on Franz Jägerstätter.

• The title of this post comes from Mary Gauthier’s “Drag Queens in Limousines.” Pretty sure that’s Tania Elizabeth playing violin and singing harmony.

I love the echo here of Psalm 27:10 — “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me in.” The hands and face of God are the hands and faces of those who take us in.

This song offers practical advice, too: If you ever find yourself lost and penniless in a strange city, you can turn to drag queens in limousines and/or nuns in blue jeans for help. People like that won’t turn you away. (Drag queens in blue jeans may not be quite as fabulously helpful. And it’s probably best to avoid nuns in limousines altogether.)

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