Thursday, March 13, 2008


As I expected, it's been pretty quiet post-wise around the ranch this week, and not much in the way of taking in cinema either, as I've had to devote every spare minute to studying for my teaching exam, which is happening Saturday morning. I expect to celebrate the passing of my test (how's that for optimism?) by taking the daughters out to the Mission Tiki for their first-of-the-season drive-in double feature, Horton Hears a Who (which I hear does not manhandle the Seuss legacy in the manner of The Grinch or the patently offensive Cat in the Hat) plus co-hit (sigh) Alvin and the Chipmunks. A good time is sure to be had by all, and I, of course, will file a report.

Faced with the prospects of a rather dry weekend of cinema, especially compared to last week's, how nice then to receive an e-mail from Peet Gelderblom which had attached to it a YouTube clip for a song by one Missy Higgins, whom I had never heard of before this day. Peet briefly explains:

"I keep thinking of you... when playing this song, probably because
it sounds from something out of a forgotten Western. It's probably
the most played song on my iPod nowadays, and the girl who sings it
is something of a genius."

I have no idea how much cachet Missy Higgins carries with music critics or how many albums she's sold. But I do know that Peet was right when he suspected I might tune straight into this simple, emotionally complex performance of what Higgins herself describes, with a bracing lack of hyperbole, as "an apology letter from a man to his family." On the evidence of "Forgive Me," Higgins can tell a story with a masterful, elliptical touch that would well suit the ephemeral forgotten Western of which Peet speaks, grounding it in just enough of the personal to resonate with those of us who have, on occasion, needed forgiveness, as well as those of us who have been asked for it. I can even imagine "Forgive Me," or a tune very much like it, floating through the broken, post-apocalyptic landscape of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and certainly the film currently being made of it by director John Hillcoat, who also shot the painful canvases of The Proposition. For now, Missy Higgins in a solo acoustic performance that will take you and me into the weekend here at SLIFR. Thanks, Peet, for the tune and for thinking of me.


Tucker said...

good luck on your exam! your week has probably not been a lot different than mine as I am trying to get my thesis turned in on monday.

Brian Doan said...

Good luck on your test, Dennis!

Anonymous said...

What a nice surprise to find this here. You always find the words for things I cannot. Show 'em what you're worth tomorrow morning, Dennis! My thoughts are with you.

bill said...

Oh, it's tomorrow morning? Kick that test right in the balls! If I misunderstood, and it's next week, kick that test right in the balls next week!

Anonymous said...

Well, by now hopefully you are experiencing a nice feeling of relief and satisfaction! Thanks for sharing that lovely song (and thanks to you, too, Peet). That made a lazy, sunny/rainy Oregon day a little nicer.