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I went to see "Reign Over Me"

I went to see the Don Cheadle, Adam Sandler movie "Reign over Me" today. It's about a man (Sandler) who loses his wife and kids in one of the planes on 9/11 and a friend (Cheadle) who attempts to help him find his way out of it.

It wasn't bad film, just cheesy and a bit slow in places. I'm also not sure about using 9/11 for a film of this sort.

The film was in one of those really old cinemas where they have cruddy seats, two levels of seating and curtain to protect the screen from the customers. In a market bigger than Casper, it would've go out of business years ago, but I'm inclined to suspect that the multiplexes wouldn't find Wyoming terribly cost effective.

Wyoming's not the greatest place in the world. I imagine Yellowstone Park's nice but it's closed this time of year. The biggest problem I have with Wyoming is that I think it might be oppressive socially. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a party animal, but half the radio stations were talking explicitly about God a lot, and one just seemed to be reading from in 24/7. It was all "begat this" and "begat that."

Oh and another thing, I've yet to find a good bookshop here. One of my rules of thumb when it comes to assessing the "cultural life" and "breadth of opinion" in an area is to look at the bookshop, and Wyoming is lacking.

I've only been here a few days (for an interview) and it's claustrophobic already.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 7th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
...half the radio stations were talking explicitly about God a lot, and one just seemed to be reading from in 24/7. It was all "begat this" and "begat that."

This is true for just about any small town in the U.S., no matter what state you are visiting.

Also, Wyoming is the least populated state in the U.S. This could explain a lot.
Apr. 7th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
It always surprises how much religious programing there is in America, but I think it's more obvious in the "old south" and mid-west. I interned in Boston one summer and didn't notice it as much.

In England you get 2 or 3 hours on a Sunday, after which it's back to non-religious programming. In England's defence though, we don't have as much "open content" either (especially during the day -you wouldn't get anything too violent before 9pm for example)
Apr. 7th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
Also, Wyoming is the kind of place people move to if they want to be a rancher or outdoorsman/woman of some kind. Or, like myself, a place that you dream of running away to so you can live in a remote cabin and work on your artistic endeavors.

I mentioned that it is the least populated state in the U.S. Well, the population is, I think, under 600,000. That's smaller than the population of Fort Worth.
Apr. 7th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC)
I'd agree that the rancher/cowboy type'd like it here. It certainly seems to be pushing that "self image" quite hard (just look at the license plate for one thing!).

I can see why people come here, I'll probably try and come back to have a good look round Yellowstone, but I think I'm a big city person
Apr. 7th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
You do know that that's not a "self-image" that they're "pushing", right? That's a way of life for a lot of the people that live in Wyoming. It's not some wannabe lifestyle that they're using to impress people.

I understand the small town, outdoors way of life because my grandfather was a cowboy. He was born in New Mexico and raised there and in Texas and eventually owned on his own small ranch/farm. I spent weekends and summers there and was sometimes put to work myself. So, I understand very much that people who live that life are quite proud of it because it is a hard life that demands respect. I think that is where Wyomingites are coming from.
Apr. 8th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)
I think I might have used an unfortunate turn of phrase when I responded to your comment. I didn't mean it to be insulting when I said they were "pushing a particular self image."

I've no doubt that the ranching element of Wyoming's society is there and plays a strong part in what they do, how they act and how they behave to one another.

At the same time though, ranching in Wyoming can be used as an emotional shorthand for who they are and what the rest of the US can expect from them. Phrases like "Don't mess with Texas" work in the same way here. Does the ranch or the phrase define all that it means to be a Texan or a Wyomingite? Hell no. But I would argue that it helps define an area in someone's mind and draw tourists to visit. Once you're there your image of a play will change, but I'd argue you'd always be looking at a place through that first prism you had.

I'm sorry for how I phrased what I wrote. Looking back at it, I can see it might come across as ham-fisted to someone who knows the place like you do.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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