Jury Duty was uneventful. I was called for a jury, but while we cooled our heels in the jury room it turned out there was a mistrial and we had to disassemble. We were soon dismissed, and I had a lovely afternoon at the Birmingham Museum. It's too bad about the mistrial; it was a case that didn't hit any hot buttons with me, so I could walk into it completely impartial, and I was looking forward to seeing which side I'd eventually come down on.
But one interesting thing happened while they were choosing the jury. One of the lawyers asked if we had any bumper stickers. I mentioned that I hadn't actually put them on my car yet, but I had a Bright Blue Dot sticker and an Amnesty International Denounce Torture sticker. I just haven't put them on my car. Obviously I'm ambivalent; not about the message of these stickers, but about becoming the kind of person who has bumper stickers. I'm like the guy in Angels in America who wrote a check to Jesse Jackson's campaign, but "I'm ambivalent. The check bounced." I feel kind of wierd about mentioning it at all; from then on everyone in the room who looked at me saw the Strident Liberal Guy.
If I may swipe and rewrite a line from Doris Lessing's novel The Golden Notebook (of which I read a big, delightful chunk while hanging loose in the jury pool): in my head there's a Liberal, and there's Aaron. The Liberal spends a lot of time criticising Aaron, and Aaron returns the favor.
As it happens, the Birmingham, Alabama chapter of Amnesty International is apparently ambivalent as well; I met a few of them at the Politically Incorrect Cabaret, and they've stopped meeting when and where their info sheet sez they do. (I know cuz I tried to attend a meeting, but the coffee shop in question was closed. I emailed them and asked for an update, but got no reply. Too bad; some cute women in the group. I'm Nasty, International.)
Dope Movies of the weekend: The Old Dark House and The Love God.
Old Dark House was an obvious influence on The Addams' Family and Rocky Horror. It's directed by James "Bride of Frankenstein" Whale, and the film is a fever dream of homoerotic sublimation. Whether it meant to be or not is beyond my ken. As for The Love God, it's a Don Knotts vehicle that unjustly flopped; apparently Knott's fans weren't ready for him to make a racy comedy. Here's a summary in dialogue form (not actual dialogue, but it may as well be):
Gangster: Here we are, goin' inta tha dirty magazine bidness togetha!
Knotts: Oh no, there's been a misunderstand-
Gangster: And we're gonna have the foxiest dames!
Knotts: Really, I don't know anything about-
Gangster: The nakedest photos!
Knotts: I'm just a simple Sunday School teach-
Gangster: The most revealin' poses!
Knotts: I couldn't soil my family name with such-
Gangster: But it's gotta have CLASS.
If you've ever wanted to see crowds of women lusting after Don Knotts, you must see this movie.