Spring and the Corona Luna

Wednesday gratefuls: Garbage collectors, workers at power plants, cleaners in all places, showing us how important “menial” labor can be. Kate in her sewing room!! Yeah. Sewed on some buttons, made some mug rugs. Seoah doing grocery shopping for us. Brenton and his many pictures, videos, obvious joy being with Murdoch. Concerned friends. Upcoming PSA blood draw, Lupron, visit with Eigner.

Another, grimmer topic. Wanna sacrifice yourself for the economy, grandpa? Any of my readers of a certain age going with Dan Patrick? “‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?…If that is the exchange, I’m all in,” Patrick said.” Patrick is Lt. Gov. of Texas, Dan Patrick. The quote is from a Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson.

Patrick made his senicidic comment after Trump declared he wanted to get the economy going by Easter, “This country’s not made to be shut down.” Only after being told that if he did, deaths would be in the hundreds of thousands, and his lackey Lindsey Graham said, “You would own those deaths.” did he pull back. OK, we’ll open it up on April 30th, he decided. Why April 30? Who knows?

Last year when Kate had a period of feeling better we went to see, first, “The Kitchen”, a women take over the mob movie with Elizabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy, in return Kate agreed to go see Midsommar. “It’s Scandinavian,” I said.

Hmm, yeah. Sorta. I’m a fan of horror movies (not slasher flicks. Ugh.). Hammer Films. The Thing. The Fly. Rosemary’s Baby. The Exorcist. The Shining. The Omen. Creature of the Black Lagoon. Not many get made that are thoughtful, even beautiful. The Horror of Dracula, a 1958 Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee movie in the Hammer Film series, was beautiful. So was Polanski’s 1967 The Fearless Vampire Killers.

There are now two that are both beautiful and thoughtful: The Wickerman (1973) and Midsommar (2019). The Wickerman has a Celtic folklore background while Midsommar uses Swedish themes. I’ve learned in doing some research that these are folk horror movies. A new genre to me by name, but not by preference.

Anyhow, in Midsomar, Ari Aster, director and writer, draws on Swedish folklore. Some of the ideas there are familiar to you like the Maypole, the colorful Swedish garments, white trimmed in flowers and runes, all that blond hair, and festive bonfires outdoors. And, yes, naked Swedes can be seen dancing around midsommar bonfires. Look it up on your interweb.

Aster also draws on one aspect of Swedish folklore embedded enough in the culture to give a name to certain high cliffs and promontories: Ättestupa. In prehistoric times, Swedes believe, elders threw themselves from the attestupa when they were no longer able to care for themselves or assist around the camp. Senicide. Though attestupa may have been challenged among folklorists, senicide is/was real. Elders wandering away from the village to starve, active euthanasia of the elderly, or, as Lt. Patrick suggests, economic senicide.

The most disturbing scenes in Midsomar come during the attestupa. The Harga collective using seasonal language for life’s stages: Spring: 1-18, Summer: 19-36, Fall: 37-54, and Winter: 55-72. This last season, Winter, is the mentoring season. At 72 Winter ends, and so do you. That, for the Harga, was when you headed for the attestupa.

Midsomar is on Prime Video right now, free. If these kind of movies fit into your cinema way, I’d encourage you to watch it. It’s a very good example of the folk horror genre. If you watch it, let me know what you think of the last scene.