The Monday Morning Dawdle

Are you quiet or vocal when watching television, a movie, or a film? Can you sit there with others and watch silently, or are you filled with oohs, ahhs, and other gesture forms?

I talk to the television. Sometimes I shout at it.

Garry is hard of hearing, so he thinks I’m trying to talk to him. He pauses the set to ask me “WHAT???”

I say “I was just yelling at the television.”

He says, “Shut up and watch!”

I correct grammar. “FEWER, NOT LESS!” I yell.

“That’s the wrong century for that invention” I mutter.

“Hey, no one recovers from rabies, except in old western TV series…”

“How come they all have beautiful purebred dogs on the open range?”

“Where do they buy coffee?”

I mutter about bad research and history. Finally, I go back to processing photos or writing because clearly I’m ruining Garry’s video viewing experience.

How many rolls of toilet paper does your household use monthly on average?

Three or four? We have bidets, so we use a lot less TP than most households. We have three toilets and three bidets. I don’t know how we lived without them.

Do you believe that if a person takes a life, they destroy a part of themselves – what are your views on this?

I don’t really have an opinion. First, what do you mean by “takes a life”? Does this include anything living, like plants? And do I have to personally kill it or is it okay to be a bystander?

Does “taking a life” include killing a mosquito or crushing ants?

I think murder is a bad idea. I’ve never even fantasized about killing anyone or anything. I doubt I could kill someone even if they were trying to kill me. I would think too long and forget to pull the trigger.

Photo: Garry Armstrong
Tombstones – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Did you know the weight of all the ants on planet Earth is more than the weight of all the people on Earth? I read that on National Geographic (I think). Who weighed the ants? Is that a job — ant weigher?

Has anyone weighed cockroaches? Is that position still open?

Categories: Anecdote, Death and Dying, Life, Movies, old movies, Q & A, questions

Tags: , , , , , ,

27 replies

  1. I also talk to the TV or movie. About similar things I suspect. Continuity issues like the wrong tie in a snippet or getting in the wrong side of the car for the next shot. My wife gets annoyed with me, but I can’t help it.
    Useless titbits like the wight of ants are all speculation, no one knows how many ants there are so how could they know what they might weigh collectively? It’s like the environmentalists claiming that some percentage of animal life on the planet have gone extinct with climate change. They don’t even know how many animals there are or were. They’re still discovering new ones. It’s all BS to make them look smarter, but it proves they are dumber.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They have pretty good statistics on birds because organizations have been doing counts on them for 75 years at least. Other things, like insects? That seems to me more of a “best guess” than a fact. One of the things that are wrong with places — like National Geographic — is that they mix fact with speculation because they are also telling a story. Which they want you to read — and I do. Many people can’t tell the difference between a guess and a fact and they come from many walks of life. These days, a huge part of “news” isn’t news. It isn’t new, it isn’t objective — and often, it isn’t even a best guess but is really an outright lie. It’s no wonder that people become confuse and begin to distrust everyone.

      It’s important — for all of us — to spend a little extra time questioning the questionable and seeking the truth where truth is available — and recognizing guesses as what they are.

      But. I’m a pretty good researcher and if I read something that strikes me as “unfounded” and likely to not be based on any kind of science, math, or even history — I dig a little deeper. Most people can’t or won’t do that. They find one error or misjudgement or “suggestion,” and assume that EVERYTHING is now untrue. The world was never all one way or the other. There have always been many shades of truth. Speculation isn’t a lie, but it isn’t a fact. Lies are NOT speculation and those who tell them are not making a “best guess.” They are just plain old-fashioned lying.

      I think it’s up to us to put this kind of information in a context, to recognize when something is a guess, a suggestion, or wishful thinking. A lot of what I read in otherwise excellent magazines like NG and Smithsonian are wishful thinking. It’s what they wish — maybe hope — is or was — true. And most importantly, they mean well. Their intent is not to trick anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well said. I agree with all of that. Of course there is the issue of what is a lie. If you know that what you are saying is not true, then it’s definitely a lie. If you don’t know then you believe it’s the truth even if another person knows it’s a lie. The problem with propaganda is that even lies repeated often enough by enough other people become the accepted truth, even when it never was and never will be.


        • True, but we wouldn’t want to eliminate fiction.

          Propaganda can be a positive force too. We always think of propaganda as bad, but when it tells the truth and counters lies, is it still bad? I’ve actually had this argument with my cousin who is a Ph.D. Sociologist. She feels that if it’s true, it isn’t propaganda. But it IS. Truth is what it is and how it is presented is not the issue.

          This whole business of truth, true-ish, possibly true, and absolutely false can get very complicated. It already HAS gotten very complicated and that’s why I feel so out of touch with the world. There used to be some rules we followed in this country, some oaths that were considered — on some level — sacred. Now, nothing is important enough for dishonorable people to respect. The whole concept of respect seems to have vanished. It’s not just truth that’s the problem. It’s honor, conscience, goodness itself. I often find myself at a total loss because for me — for us — there are rules. But for many, MANY others, there are no rules.

          Liked by 2 people

    • motiv, talking to the TV is a personal peeve for me.

      Eons ago, I had a rep for doing movie lines as the film played. “Casablanca” may be everyone’s favorite for doing familiar movie lines. Just as Conrad Veidt orders Claude “Louie” Rains to shut down Rick’s club, you automatically say, “Gambling? I’m shocked” Then you laugh as Rains is handed his gambling money.

      Years ago, one of my TV news pals and I attended a midnight retro screening of “Walk East On Beacon” – a classic film noir. Understand that both of us were local “celebs” from our TV news jobs. We were kindred spirits, known for wacko stunts. We sat in the front row of the theater filled with cinema buffs – serious about their film noir. As the movie played, we riffed lines and made snarky comments we thought to be funny. After several pleas by ushers to cease our rude behavior, the manager confronted us and told us to leave. We stared at him and he said, “Yes, I know who you are. But this is very rude behavior unbecoming your celebrity status. Please just LEAVE and leave NOW”. Startled, we left realizing we’d pushed things too far.

      It was enough of a jolt to my senses that I realized I needed to curb my enthusiasm for doing all those iconic movie lines when watching films in a room or theater with other people. I used to think it was funny and had a “rep” for my trivia knowledge.

      Karma has now come around the bend. Watching films is a very personal thing for me. Mentally, I’m IN the movie I am watching. I abhor people making snarky lines about cliches that are an essential part of many old films we love.

      So, just shut up and watch! What?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand fully. You got the Marvin J Mooney treatment.

        I love movies and refuse to watch those “making of …” rubbish. Movies are supposed to be magic, discovering how they make the magic is only for budding movie makers, not the general public.

        Liked by 1 person

        • motiv, sometimes those “making of” movie things are interesting. “Gone With The Wind” is an example because of all the production calamity and the myriad screen tests for the “Scarlet” role.
          Ditto “Casablanca”. I had the opportunity to chat with Julius Epstein, one of the screen writers (along w/ his brother, Phillip) and his behind-the-scenes anecdotes were hilarious.

          motiv, have you seen “The Offer” — a recent cable mini-series about all the shenanigans that occurred during the shooting of “The Godfather”. It’s VERY interesting!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting answers and questions combined Marilyn – who indeed weighed the ants and why weren’t cockroaches awarcded the same honour.

    I have wondered that, if under threat and if armed would l protect myself in time or allow deep thoughts to get in the way? We may never know the answer to that question until we are in the position of life and death or threatened positions l should imagine.

    You sound like my Suze, she at times can be very vocal with the television 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really hate bad grammar and bad research — and especially, totally wrong history. Part of the pleasures of TV for me is arguing with people on TV who can’t argue back. It just totally drives Garry crazy.

      I am pretty sure I could not kill anyone, not even when threatened. I just don’t have that instinct. I’ve actually thought about it, especially recently — and I can’t see it in my mind. Not even hazily.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. How could you possibly work out the combined weight of all ants, or people for that matter? I guess most ants would weigh the same. Are there fat ants? You would still have to estimate how many ants were living at any one time.
    People would be even more complicated. Would you average out the weight? Do the numbers of obese people counterbalance the number of malnourished people? Someone needs to look into this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I bet you’re really popular at the local cinema!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your lighthearted answers Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

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