Monday, September 20, 2010


I've written about some ways my thinking and even taste changed after brain surgery. Like how I used to be a compulsive list maker and now that's totally gone. And how I never found Meryl Streep attractive—and still don't when I think of her—but if I catch her in a movie when I'm changing channels on the TV I instantly feel this attraction to her.

Well now I've discovered that same thing with another movie actress I never found attractive and still don't when I think of her: Mitzi Gaynor. But the other night I was surfing my favorite channels and SOUTH PACIFIC was on, about halfway through. I stopped because I appreciate the music, the artistry of the melodies and lyrics and most of all I always appreciated the message, which was very radical in the 1950s when it came out, that relationships between people from different nationalities and different ethnic groups or "races" (in this case "white" "Americans" and "Tonkanese") is not only okay but can be beautiful (an almost revolutionary sentiment in a time when laws against interracial marriage were on the books of all but thirteen states in the good old USA).

And I always appreciated the musical and acting talent of the cast. But the only woman in the movie who appealed to me as a teenager at the time was France Nuyen ("Liat"). In fact I fell in love with her the first time I saw this flick. But Mitzi Gaynor, even though I could see she was talented is so much not my type I could hardly understand how any man could be attracted to her.

I still feel that way, and yet, when I stumbled on SOUTH PACIFIC the other night and paused to watch it for a while, I couldn't help feeling attracted to her! My reason said no way, but something else was responding as if I were falling in love! I kept thinking Man is she talented and beautiful and lovely and I just want to wrap my arms around her... The same way I feel when I catch Streep in a movie on TV and yet thinking of either of them right now I feel no attraction whatsoever!

What's that all about? Interesting though, isn't it.

[PS: The reason I'm writing this in the middle of the night is my soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old woke up feeling badly from a sore throat and other things so I'm staying nearby (the little alcove I use as an office in our apartment is right next to his bedroom) while he falls back asleep.]


Elisabeth said...

Amazing thoughts for the middle of the night.

I find I can be disappointed when a character I fell in love with as a child reappears in my adult life and is such a disappointment. Almost the opposite of your experience here, Michael.

To think you have done so well post brain surgery. I'm now having to survive a broken leg. In some ways they can't compare and yet I have been introduced to a whole new world.

Thanks, Michael.

By the way, I read your 'political 'posts but I rarely feel equipped to comment on them. Australian politics and American politics are not quite the same.

Lally said...

Thanks for tuning in Elisabeth, as I follow your blog as well, but almost never comment since you have such extensive comment threads with so many extremely articulate readers making sharper observations then I probably would.

Jamie Rose said...

I can't help you with Streep, but I think I can hook you up with Mitzi.

Lally said...

No thanks Jamie! The strange thing is I do NOT find either of those actresses my type or attractive or desirable, except when I see them in a movie on TV and even then a part of my brain is still saying I don't dig these women in that way, but another part os falling in love and desire with them. Strange, ain't it!