I used to think I knew myself pretty well. I knew I liked to read mysteries and write poetry. I knew I liked disaster and action movies and situation comedies on television. I knew I liked bawdy jokes. I knew I didn't like people much, at least more than one at a time. I knew I didn't like anyone's kids but my own. There were oh so many things I was sure I knew about myself. But, lately, I'm not so sure I know myself at all.
My tastes seem to have taken a drastic change. I first noticed this phenomenon when I found myself looking forward to the next episode of "The Shield." My reading also took a more serious turn when I started looking for meatier, more intricate plots. Then, this year I got hooked on "The Sopranos" on A&E on Sunday mornings. I never miss it. Also, I fell in love with "Treme" on HBO. Now that the first season is over, I am in mourning, and anxiously awaiting the next season.
In the past couple of years, I have started watching Coen Brothers movies. I rarely understood them, but I was strangely drawn to them. Which brings me to today. I watched yet another Coen Brothers film called "A Serious Man". This movie chronicled the life of a Jewish family man, a Physics professor, whose life begind to unravel and leaves him with a serious case of angst. He is up for tenure at his college, and someone is sending anonymous letters accusing him of all manner of immoral activities. He suspects the sender of the letters is a student from South Korea who failed his Physics class and who tried to bribe him into a passing grade with an envelope full of money. His wife stuns him with the information that she wants a divorce so she can marry another man who apparently wants to stay friends with him. His brother, who has been sleeping on their couch, is arrested and suffering a meltdown. His son owes a bully $20.00 for pot that he bought from him, and has to run home from the school bus every day to avoid a beating. His daughter seems to have a hair-washing fetish.
All of the above happens in the first 30 minutes of the movie, and things just don't get any sunnier. After I watch Coen Brothers movies, I tend to try to analyze them, but that way lies madness. For this particular movie, I am content to characterize it in the following way: Sh*t happens and then you die.
The next movie on my Netflix list is Avatar. Should be uplifting.