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Cameron H.

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Posts posted by Cameron H.

  1. 5 minutes ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

    I might need to leave. I went to this Wikipedia article. It made me sad for penguins. But then I thought, “hey do cats rape (like dolphins do because I never miss a chance to tell people with dumb dolphin tattoos or jewelry that dolphins are known rapists. See Jaws 3) Cats are not listed among the animals, in case you DON’T want to bum yourself out by learning about animal rape. 

    Then the next thing I thought was: if Macavity did rape Grizabella, did he shout “Macavity!” as he came.

    i will show myself out.

    This is upsetting

    • Hedgehog 1

  2. 1 hour ago, The_Triple_Lindy said:

    Sheï»ż haunted many a low resort
    Near the grimy road of Tottenham Court
    She flitted about the No Man's Land
    From "The Rising Sun" to "The Friend at Hand"

    So Grizzabella is not from the same side of town, it would seem. But that doesn't automatically make her a sex worker -- perhaps she was just aping upperclass glamour, and now that she's been brought low by time and age, everyone around her takes a certain schadenfreude in her current state.Â ï»ż

    The rest of those lyrics, however, don’t seem, to me anyway, to suggest that it was ever just an act:

    And the postman sighed as he scratched his head
    "You'd really had thought she ought to be dead"
    And who would ever suppose that 
    That was Grizabella, the glamor cat

    Since the movie never plays with irony, I think we have to take it at face value. She was truly a glamour cat, and now she isn’t. Or, maybe, she still is, but is no longer recognizable as such.

    I also have to go back to my theory of “jellicle” being synonymous with a kind of self-actualization. If her jellicle nature is “glamour cat,” then existentially, she can’t lie about that. In my opinion, either she was or she wasn’t. 

    • Like 2


    9 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

    Thereï»ż is the line that she went off with Macavity, that is what happenedï»żï»ż to her. And I don’t know why I interpret that to mean he was her pimp and not just that  he was abusive or stole all her stuff or any other scenario. 

    I think of McCavity as generally being a corrupting influence, literally rotting those around him from the inside out (My Cavity). I don’t think he has a specific modus operandi, however. More of a general malignancy that poisons everything around him. 

    9 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

    What’s weirdï»ż, and what I have been thinking about it since you brought it up, is that there shouldn’t be prostitution in a Cat world. That is a human vice. So maybe it just says I was never convinced they were actually cats is the problem. But I don’t know, maybe if the world felt more silly and joyful (and I have seen clips of the stage show tï»żhat seem that way) then my brain wouldn’t have gone there. 

    I think that’s my biggest hang up on the “sex worker” theory. I’m not saying it’s not right, maybe it is, but it doesn’t exactly hold water based on everything we do see. I think we are supposed to see occasional expressions of humanity in the cats’ behavior, but I don’t think we’re supposed to impose human motivations upon them. 

    • Like 1

  4. 8 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

    Not to mention that it seems to completely miss the point of the character

    Or it could be that the point being made is that we (the audience) are supposed to make superficial assumptions about her because we're all just a bunch of lousy cats, too. I think this might actually be pretty likely. I still think she's just a stray though.

    • Like 2

  5. 1 hour ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

    I hate to disagree with you, forum Paul. But I do think that is a logical conclusion based solely on the film. Sure the poems are for kids and it’s a family musical, but in the FILM the cats are weirdly sexualized. And the Taylor Swift song , if I recall correctly, has catnip and it is sort of implied she is bewitching them. I don’t know. I got the impression she was once like the Taylor Swift cat and then she sort of fell into prostitution. Why else is she out on the STREET? She became a streetwalker! 

    I don’t think Andrew Lloyd Webber would say she’s a sex worker... but, again, the movie is weirdly sexual in a way that I don’t like. And that is what I thought she was as well until I fell down the poetry rabbit hole (still mad at T.S. Eliot). 

    I have to respectfully disagree, forum June. While I agree some of the cats are sexualized, and there are certainly hints of promiscuity (Rum Tum Tugger and Taylor Swift’s cats, for sure), I would argue that Grizebella is one of the only cats that isn’t sexualized. And, I have to stress, an assumption that McCavity is her pimp feels patently absurd. I don’t believe they even share a single scene together! 

    I just don’t see any evidence of prostitution. I’m not even sure what would be exchanged for sexual favors. Cat treats? Is it coded in a language that I just don’t understand? I guess I need something more solid then, “She just comes off as a sex worker.”

    I think it’s exactly as it says on the tin. Just like they have literal railroad cats and literal barge cats, she was literally a glamorous cat. I think her tragedy is far more universal. It’s essentially, “I used to be amazing, but things went bad, and now everyone’s forgotten about me. So much so, that, even to myself, I am completely unrecognizable as the being I once was.”

    I think a more apt parallel for Grizebella would be aging actress - which, to me, makes a lot of sense for a stage production. In her heyday, she used to be center stage, but despite her obvious talent, she got pushed further and further to the wings, until one day, her agents just stopped calling altogether. This is why she gets the big number at the center of the movie. She’s saying, “Look at me! I still have worth! I’m more than just the pretty face I used to be!”

    Again, there’s nothing wrong with it if she is supposed to be a sex worker, but to make a superficial assumption based on, I guess, how the character looks, without further evidence to back that up, feels fraught to me. Not to mention that it seems to completely miss the point of the character.

    • Like 2

  6. I’m not sure we should just breeze right past the fact that Paul referred to Grizabella the Glamour Cat as...the “sex worker” cat?!?

    The cats in the movie are supposed to represent real cat personalities, traits, and behavior. For example, Rum Tum Tugger is supposed to evoke a horny alley cat, while Mungojerry and Rumpleteezer represent the more mischievous nature of cats. Even the more fantastical cats like Mr Mephistopheles, represent cats who do amazing, seemingly magical things. You know what cats aren’t known for? Sex work. I’m...not even sure what that would even be.

    Basically, Grizebella is a cat who was once beautiful and pampered. She had a cushy life, but has since fell on hard times. She would have been a cat you’d put in a competition or something. And while it’s never mentioned explicitly, I believe the audience is supposed to come to the conclusion that, as she grew older and her beauty began to fade, she was abandoned by her owners. This leaves her in a decidedly un-jellicle existential dilemma. What happens to you when you can no longer be the thing you were born to be? Not only that, what happens when you lose your entire support system when you learn that the love you thought you had turns out to be superficial and conditional?

    The song “Memories” is Grizebella remembering the good life she used to have, wishing she could go back there, accepting that she can’t, and trying to find the courage to carry on.

    So, while there is certainly nothing wrong with sex work as a profession, no, Grizebella is not meant to represent a “sex worker cat.”

    • Like 2

  7. 1 hour ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

    Iï»ż thinkï»żï»żï»ż Eliotï»ż just usedï»ż his own cat’s nickname. But I tend to think this becï»żause I do not like these poems and think it’s all dumb and people pretend all his poems are great because they had to read PRUFROCK in school. 


    Eta I agree with Cameron’s theory about sï»żelf actualization in the context of the film and, probablyï»ż thï»żï»że mï»żusical. I haven’t seen it. But I also think the film and the musical give this weird word significance just because it came fromï»żï»żï»ż ï»żtï»żhï»że pen of a Pulitzer Prize winner. And it’s just s stupid thing.ï»żÂ ï»żï»żï»żï»żï»żï»żï»ż

    I tend to agree. I think, because of Eliot’s erudition and the density and scope of the allusions found in his work, that there’s a bit of literary FOMO - now and from his contemporaries. I always felt, particularly in college, there was a fear that if you admitted that you didn’t like him, you were opening yourself to accusations of “not getting it” regardless of whether or not your criticisms had any merit.  (Personally, I’m more of an e e cummings man.)

    But, yeah, with these inviolable literary genius types, there always tends to be a move to over analyze their work — even when all signs point to it just being something they threw together on a lazy afternoon.

    • Like 3

  8. To answer Paul's question about why Judi Dench's character is called Old Deuteronomy and not something more whimsical, I think it has to do with her role in the Musical, where she is portrayed as the wise magistrate of the feline world.  (And, to clarify briefly, we don't actually know that she doesn't have a silly name. Explicitly, we are told all Cats have three names. Implicitly, we are to infer that these names are: the name they are given by a human, the name they are given by other cats, and the name they give themselves. For all we know, her name is actually Wimblewuzzle or something equally absurd.)

    Anyway, Old Deuteronomy is a name that was given to the wisest cat in T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." As a poet, T.S. Eliot was known for his use dense imagery and use of classical, often obscure, sometimes contradictory, allusions. The Book of Deuteronomy, of course, is the fifth book of the Torah, and is a series of sermons where Moses reminds the Hebrew people of where they came from, who they are (through their laws), and where they are going. The Shema Yisrael in Deuteronomy 6 helps to further solidify the Jewish identity.

    In Cats, Dench's Deuteronomy plays a similar role. As she guides Victoria (and us) through the world of Cats. She tells us what cats should strive to be (jellicle), what they should avoid being (dogs), and where they hope to go (The Heavyside Layer).     

    • Like 2

  9. I’m still listening, so maybe they get to it, but here’s what a jellicle cat is:

    A jellicle cat is a cat who is destined to fulfill a specific purpose - railroad cat, theater cat, kitchen cat, etc. Even Macavity fulfills a role as an evil cat. To put that in human terms, Paul Scheer is a human being. Paul Scheer the human has free will and can be anything he chooses to be, but the “jellicle” version of Paul Scheer might be be Actor/Comedian Paul Scheer. In other words, that identity is the fulfillment of his destiny.

    Essentially, the cats are striving for self-actualization and eventual reincarnation.  To use Paul as an example again, “Actor/Comedian Paul Scheer” might be his jellicle identity, but to qualify for the Heavyside Layer, Paul would have to be the BEST Actor/Comedian Paul Scheer he can be. Note: this doesn’t mean he has to be the best actor/comedian out of all actor/comedians, but the best actor/comedian *Paul Scheer* he can be. If you were to put it in Buddhist terms (which you 100% should), the Heavyside Layer would be like attaining Nirvana, and being a jellicle would be the equivalent of a bodhisattva - in other words, the step just before full enlightenment.

    As for the plot, Victoria is an abandoned kitten. She is young and is just learning the nature of cats. She learns that on that particular night, one cat will be chosen for reincarnation as a reward for being the fullest expression of their specific cat type. Macavity, a bad cat, is up for reincarnation as well, because he is the fullest embodiment an evil cat. Macavity kidnaps all his competition, so when the choice is made, he will be the only option available. Eventually, the other nominees are freed, Macavity is stopped, and the Grizabella the Glamour cat is chosen - proving that, ultimately, its more about who you are on the inside rather than what you are on the outside. At the end, Dench tells Victoria that she too might one day become a jellicle cat - presumably a cat of love and kindness, as it is through her heart that the others are finally able to see the Grizabella for what she truly is.

    • Like 1

  10. So, I've been trying to figure out what this movie is actually about. One theory I've had is that it's about white male mediocrity. Pippin himself bemoans his less than "extraordinary" existence and how he wants to do more, but he, by his own admission, kind of sucks at all of it. Ultimately, The Lead Player tells him that the best thing he can do is die in a spectacular fashion -- and he ends up fucking that up too. 

    At least, that's what I got out of it.

    Of course there was a line cut from the performance. At the end, when asked how he's feeling, Pippin is supposed to reply, "Trapped, which isn't bad for a Musical Comedy." Fosse wanted that line to be "Trapped, but happy, which isn't bad for a Musical Comedy." Honestly, I like how this performance ended as it leaves his response ambiguous. However, I also like Fosse's rewrite since, if I'm right about white male mediocrity, it ends with him dissatisfied, but accepting his limitations.   


    • Like 3

  11. 6 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

    The funny part is the composer also wrote Godspell.  It took him 30 years but he had a big hit with Wicked.

    Wasn’t this, and Godspell, a hit? I feel like I’ve seen a movie contemporary to when Pippin was on Broadway that referenced it. I want to say Annie Hall, but I don’t think that’s right...

    • Like 1

  12. Yeah, my bad. Lol

    Honestly, I really like the first song and I liked a lot of the meta stuff, but mostly, this wasn’t very good. With Bob Fosse’s name attached I expected some pretty stellar choreography, but in all but a few cases, it was pretty lackluster.

    Also, Pippin, or Pepin the Hunchbacked, was a real person, but also kind of a non-entity. I was really confused as to why he was chosen as the protagonist — especially when it’s pretty much completely factionalized. It literally could have been about anyone. Was that the point of them trying to coax someone up on stage? Maybe...?

    All in all, I wouldn’t mind seeing a better version of this, but this version was...not great.

    • Like 3