Monday, July 24, 2017

Rear Window Redux

The l0th commandment prohibits covetousness, but coveting whether a wife, a fortune or for that matter another person’s talents lies at the heart of all aspiration. It’s certainly a key element of the romantic impulse and on a more down and dirty level, it’s what drives the porn industry. You want to be able to see what you can’t have. And one wonders what would occur if you put a person in the kind of isolation chamber occupied by those who have compromised immune systems. With lust no longer imminent, would there be a diminution in desire? Sure there are hormones and pheromones and one can assume that the condition of estrus or ululation in dogs and cats is duplicated in humans regardless of what's transpiring in the world around them. But so many behaviors are social and one wonders if both criminality and arrivism (not to mention Bovarysm) are not in someway motivated by the feelings of inequity that derive from the condition of the have-not (or the sufferer from metaphysical have-notism)—the perpetual voyeur who looks longingly with his face up against the window of other lives. That's in fact the plight of Hitchock's brilliantly conceived voyeur (who just happens to be a convalescing photographer) in Rear Window.Whether L.B. (James Stewart) is missing out isn't the point. Even those who possess a great deal of talents, material goods and sexual experience can find themselves perfectly capable of looking at their respective glasses half-filled to the extent that there's always someone who has more money, more talent and who experiences more or better dalliances.

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