Attention HMC Reunionistas! Plus: All Hail President Klawe!

Five years ago, Brian Gee had to drag me kicking and screaming to the HMC Class of 1997 five-year reunion. I mean, who the heck goes to a five-year reunion? Ridiculous. But in the end, I had a pretty good time. I haven’t accomplished a whole heck of a lot in the intervening five years in terms of fame, fortune, or promulgating the family genome. But I do still have a thick, luxurious head of hair, so — ha!

Anyway, I’m curious — of my classmates who read this journal (all two of you), are you going this time around? And which official events are you attending? The reunion dinner and Media Studio are both mandatory as far as I’m concerned. But I’m not sure about the other events — maybe its best to stay flexible. You don’t want to be stuck at some $20 event when everyone else is running off to Donutman for strawberry doughnuts. Thoughts?

UPDATE: Did you know that this year HMC installed a new president, and her last name is Klawe? President Klawe. That’s beyond awesome.

Also, since my list of accomplishments is so meager, I’m soliciting suggestions for, errr, augmenting this list. Ideally these would be accomplishments that sound impressive, are vaguely plausible, but are extremely hard to verify. Thanks!

Speaking of Movies I Won’t Be Seeing…

The trailer for 28 Weeks Later looks incredible. The movie seems all about the scrubbing-down and repopulation of London after the zombie apocalypse. From the trailer, it looks like the movie has a sophisticated take on the politics, sociology, and logistics of how this might happen. I’m really interested in seeing how they’ll do this. One of the reasons I so loved Children of Men is how they handled the setting and the sociology. Somehow it felt like a real apocalypse, not a Hollywood mockup.

Of course the problem is that 28 Weeks Later is a zombie movie, so it all goes horribly wrong and lots of people end up getting eaten by zombies. (And unless I miss my guess, I’m betting the plague spreads to America at the end of the movie, since after all, we can’t end up right back where we started.) This is all bad news for me and my pedagogical interests, because zombie movies scare the crap out of me. Also, retching in the theater is not a good way to endear oneself to the other patrons.

The next best thing is for someone to go see this movie for me and tell me what it’s like. Here I have a secret weapon: my friend Shauna, who knows more about makeup and fashion and whatnot than nearly any of my female friends — and who just a couple of years ago discovered that she loves zombie movies. She’s now seen almost every zombie flick from Night of the Living Dead on up, and she knows the zombie canon far better than I do. Or even you do. Yes you! Really.

So. I’m deploying my friend the ex-cheerleader to see this zombie movie for me because I’m too scared to go. Anyone got a problem with that? The only fly in the ointment is that I’m not sure she’ll be happy with the whole taking-a-notebook thing and the writing-a-book-report thing. Sometimes you’ve just got to call in those friendship chits.

As for the ‘River of Blood’, the Less Said, the Better

In what can only be described as a colossal marketing oversight, The Reaping is coming out just a little too late for Passover. From the trailer, I gather that the movie is about some poor town in a swampland (somewhere in Florida?) getting pummelled by the Ten Plagues in Full CGI. No doubt The Reaping‘s effects will blow the effects of the original Ten Commandments out of the water, although to be fair, it takes a really long time to render even a simple firestorm scene on a UNIVAC.

Much more interesting is this movie’s theological implications. God sent the Ten Plagues — the gold standard for divine wrath — in order to force the Egyptians to let the Hebrews go. So after three thousand years, the next people to be punished in this horrific manner turns out to be… some poor backwoods community in the swamps? What on earth could these folks have done? Heck, the Nazis didn’t get even so much as Frogs. The movie’s tagline says, “What Hath God Wrought?” but that’s got to be a red herring. My bet is that these new Ten Plagues turn out to actually be Satan’s fault, although that just raises more questions about what Satan is empowered to do, what Satan’s relationship with God might be, and so on. No doubt The Reaping will explore all these issues with great care and insight, in between blowing shit up.

In related news, my sister the rabbinical student moonlights as a teacher at a Jewish high school. To close out a class about Passover, she asked her students to do a short exercise: imagine what the Ten Plagues might be if translated into modern times. My sister was expecting some somber responses, perhaps derived from global warming, nuclear holocaust, prions, etc. Instead, from one group of teenage girls, she got:

  • Boils = OMG Acne!
  • Slaying of the First Born (Males) = OMG what if all the cute boys suddenly died!
  • Hailstorms = well, we’ll keep that one as-is, because OMG frizzy hair!

I think this is proof that the kids are gonna be all right. Happy Pesach!