Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, August 05, 2005

My Bill Murray Moments 

Bill Murray (Buster Keaton on 'ludes) seems to be settling in to a career of portraying intelligent, disappointed men who, for one reason or another, have stopped dealing with the world. Some of them have lost the ability to connect, others have made a decision to withdraw. Rushmore, Lost in Translation, and now the new Jim Jarmusch movie, Broken Flowers.

The Bill Murray Moment is instantly recognizable, even if Mr. Murray isn't the actor performing it. A full face shot while, off camera, someone is saying or doing something so outrageous, so stupid, or so sad that you beg for that face to respond. It remains wearily attentive, but doesn't move, except for, occasionally, an almost imperceptible sagging. You can almost hear him thinking 'I'd love to respond appropriately, but I reached my limit years ago.'

It's a talent he has, for looking like there's always something going on behind the face, despite the immobility. The stiller he stays, the more tantilizing is the thought process in his head. I completely understand what you're saying and even the bizarre reasons you have for saying it. I'm sorry, I'm just maxed out on morons right now. Get back to me. Dazed, but not confused.

I've had a number of Bill Murray Moments lately. Corzine and the Half Mil Babe. Bush on Intelligent Design. The Times investigating Roberts' adoptions. Juan Cole. Paul Krugman. I want to be outraged. I want to jump up and down and break things. I might even feel better if I did. But more and more . . . I. Just. Stare.
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