Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I finally watched Errol Morris's documentary Fast, Cheap & Out of Control, which Belinda has been telling me about for years. It is truly amazing, maybe the best documentary I've ever seen. There is a shot of a four-legged robot bouncing down a hallway that I had to rewind and watch again because I have never seen anything like it in my life.

Of the four people profiled in the movie, my favorite is George Mendonca, the topiary gardener. Unlike the other three, he wasn't trying to change anything or learn anything or prove anything. He just dedicated his life to keeping something beautiful alive.

My affection for George Mendonca is related to Jessica's theory of the Void. All four of the men were in the movie because of the ingenious ways they had found to fill the void inside of them--with tigers or robots or mole rats--but somehow the gardener didn't seem to be trying too hard. His life seemed peaceful. He wasn't bothering anybody, and he didn't have that drive to keep messing with things that just seems to be making our world increasingly insane. He found a good way to be and he stuck with it.


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