Ruminations on Beauty and the Inexorable Passage of Time

Last night, as I graded exams I popped in one of my favorite Marx Bros. films, A Day at the Races.


When you’ve seen a movie like that as many times as I have, you have time to pause and reflect on the minor elements of the film while watching it. I couldn’t help but be struck at how Groucho spent half the movie fawning over a lady who could charitably be described as “handsome”.

Have tastes in beauty really changed that much? I don’t want to sound like some lecherous jerk, but I had a hard time seeing what everybody was so excited about. The above image isn’t such a bad shot of her, but it isn’t representative of what I saw. During a dance scene with Groucho, for instance, she towered over him and wore a pulverizingly unflattering dress. Her appearance inspired cowardice in me. On several occasions I literally winced in revulsion and desired to leap in front of a swift-moving vehicle.

Oh well. I guess times have simply changed. Perhaps in 2077, somebody will come across my photograph and remark that I make Johnny Depp look like Rodney Dangerfield.

Unfortunately for me, by 2077 Rodney Dangerfield will represent the pinnacle of human beauty and aesthetics, so I’ll still be out of luck.

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6 Responses to Ruminations on Beauty and the Inexorable Passage of Time

  1. MJ says:

    I was thinking you made Rodney Dangerfield look like Margaret Thatcher.

  2. Ted says:

    I think you make Johnny Depp look like and ant. You could easily beat him to death with your gigantic, hand-like paws.

  3. Peter says:

    Thanks, Mike. You should use your flattery skills more often during heated real estate negotiations.

  4. Kevin s. says:

    “Some see this kitchen as small and outdated. I prefer to think of it as Thatcheresque.”

  5. MJ says:

    Peter, I do use my skills more often than not, how do you think I got you a home in North Minneapolis for under $500k. You think that’s easy?

  6. Peter says:

    From everything you told me at the bar that night we signed the offer, apparently it’s quite difficult.

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