Sunday, March 6, 2011

Testosterone Times

Two films in two days so heavy on the effects of male testosterone I feel truly assaulted by the vicarious energy coming off the screens. Friday the documentary film class showed Murderball, a film about paraplegic men who play what they call wheelchair rugby [it looks more like mayhem on a basketball court] in international competition in the Special Olympics. The focus was the fierce competition between the US and Canadian teams. The game is fast, mean and nasty. The men are amazing to those of us who go all mushy in the middle when we think of paralysis for the rest of one's life. These guys are living more vividly and fully than 90% of their cohort. They even had a whole sequence talking about how they are still able to enjoy sex -- emphasis on "how". Some personal stories were told which were dramatic and both warm and full of challenge. It was definitely not a downer; it was saying: yes, you can have a whole life even when paralyzed, even without limbs.

Lsat night's movie shown here in the community room of our apartment complex was one I missed a couple of years ago, Oliver Stone's, Wall Streett, with Michael Douglas reprising his Gordon Gecko role. Updated with the most recent Wall Street crash, there were many scenes of men on trading floors and in board rooms with the testosterone pumping and voices shouting, a beautiful and scary motorcycle race between two hotshots. The story was softened with a father-daughter conflict which left me wondering, must it always be the women with the irrational emotional ethics? And then the trendy gooeyness about the baby in utero that softens the hardest of hearts. Watching Michael Douglas was a great pleasure, so was watching Eli Wallach as a slightly daffy old geezer who hadn't lost any of his financial insight and meanness.

I think about both and simply mutter, "biology, baby!" It sells at the box office, and it's wrecked the global financial world -- ordinary Americans are poorer, and so are people in far corners of the world we don't even know exist.

1 comment:


I recently watched the old Wall Street and thought the women's roles were as sexual objects and the men's as the hotshots. Nice story about the paraplegics and their amazing ways. -- barbara