Longest Wind Briefs – Trash, Writing and The One I Love

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Every week, I come across some interesting things that are not big enough to devote an entire post to. I invented Longest Wind Briefs as a digest for misfit ideas. I hope you like it.

The Loser Has to Keep America Clean

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Tiberius and I have a routine. Whenever I take him for a walk, he darts for whatever trash he can find laying around (and there is a lot of trash to be found downtown) and I have to pull him away before he starts to chew or eat said trash. As a result, I am naturally inclined to be on the lookout for trash so I can steer the eager puppy around the veritable landmines of filth. Because of this, the same idea comes to my mind often — I could be picking up trash each and every time I take Tiberius for a walk.

I don’t suppose I would need much in order to do so: just a bag-holder to free up my hands so I could walk the dog AND pick up his poop, a grabber of some sort so I don’t have to bend over too often, some gloves for the particularly yucky stuff, and a bunch of smaller garbage bags. It would be nice if others in the community who would benefit from a cleaner neighborhood were interested in donating the supplies, but chances are I will just have to suck it up and pick this stuff up at my local hardware store.

Director’s Cut

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My wife is turning into my favorite writer. The first piece she wrote for her Grand Valley writing class was a narrative recounting a funeral she had attended as a child. Even in the first draft, the story was overflowing with opportunities. I identified a neat nautical theme that I wanted to see her develop, but her writing professor rightly pushed her to expand on a film metaphor that she had included. Amy took a huge risk and changed her piece from a narrative format to a hybrid narrative/film script with setting prompts like Interior and Exterior, stage directions, and narrator voiceovers. It was really bold. If she would ask for advice I would give her my solution to a problem, and immediately afterwards she would have her own solution that made mine look silly. When I imagine my version of the same paper and the paper that my wife pumped out, hers was so much better than mine in every way. There was no contest. The weird thing is that I don’t feel any jealousy. I feel this strange kind of joy from being on the ground floor for the creation of something great. I got to witness every step from brainstorm to final draft. I was able to feel the pride she would have felt if she hadn’t been tired and anxious about what grade it would get her. Amy’s professor eventually suggested she water down some of the more risky elements for fear that the oligarchy of graders would mark it down for MLA compliance issues, but the Director’s Cut I got to see was absolutely stunning.

The One I Love (SPOILERS)

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I have been eyeing The One I Love on Netflix for a long time now. The film stars Elisabeth Moss (Justin talk: “the woman from Mad Men“) as Sophie and Mark Duplass (Justin talk: “the guy from Togetherness“) as Ethan, and it looked like a pretty normal depressing romantic comedy (much like Togetherness, honestly) until Amy found the film under the “Supernatural” category and flipped it on.

I think we can all agree that the filmmaker wants us to believe that Ethan went home with the doppelganger Sophie, but I want to put out another interpretation. I think the therapy was successful and normal Ethan emerged from the house with normal Sophie. It is true that Sophie would never have made bacon for Ethan in the past, but it is also true that doppelganger Sophie would never have left doppelganger Ethan. And Sophie wasn’t the only one who was different. Ethan was at least “20% cooler,” like doppelganger Ethan. What I think happened is that they simply met in the middle. Ethan knew Sophie wanted him to relax, take care of his body, and be more physical. When he followed through on this, Sophie did what she knew Ethan wanted. She became more loving and cuddly and rewarded him with bacon. I don’t think this interpretation robs from the creepiness of the ending; on the contrary, I think it adds to the foreboding. Even assuming that correct Sophie came home with him, Ethan will always wonder if maybe he left his wife behind at that rental house with another man. Unsettling…

If you get a minute, lets talk about how we are supposed to interpret the ending of The One I Love. Extra credit: We could also talk about what our interpretation of this film says about us.

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