I thought I’d be able to blog while the family experienced a “Big Chill” weekend up in Northern California — boy was I wrong! With so much going on (in a good way), I found it all but impossible to concentrate on meaningful posts. It hurt at first to miss a day (or two), but now it’s time to get my mojo back.

We spent one of the days together in San Francisco. Despite my pleas for a day of bumming around City Lights bookstore and Fisherman’s Wharf, we took in the musical Wicked instead.

That, and George Clooney’s new movie Up in the Air have given me serious pause for reflection heading into the readings that will begin January 1.

If you haven’t seen Wicked, it involves a slick role reversal of the Good Witch/Bad Witch paradigm in The Wizard of Oz. The moral universe spins on its head… what appears righteous and upstanding on the surface turns out to be nothing of the kind, while evil is just misunderstood.

Aside from my displeasure that they didn’t stick to the script and deliver what might have been a tragic (in context) ending… I was left pondering for hours the notion of what comprises true goodness and how we recognize it.

Up in the Air proved to be a perfect double bill — a sophisticated tale about right & wrong and what constitues moral/acceptable behavior as we age and become more aware of the Machiavellian nature of the world.

I don’t like giving away plots. So no spoilers here if I can help it (whoops, did I go too far with Wicked?). The movie reminded me a lot of Alan Ball’s masterpiece, American Beauty for its character depth and richness of story. At times comedic, at others poetic and even tragic, it sparkles with sharp storytelling and deft narrative.

I’d love to engage a discussion about the ending here as well, which I didn’t care too much for from a personal point of view. But matters like this will just have to wait till Hamlet begins at the top of the year, unless there is breaking news on the poll front here on this site.

Gee, it feels great to be writing again!


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