Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 129 of 229

31 Oct

129 off 229

Ella looks as confused as I am. This is an odd scene indeed. The coal blackface man is urging some other fellow to poke-out his tongue. After some goading, he obliges. The porridge worm worker grabs him by the tongue and rises from the table. Nathan finds it terribly funny. Ella appears to be uneasy. I share Ella’s unease. I have that troubled feeling you have when you’re out and a strange rowdy group is aggressively nice to you. There’s more than likely a mugging coming your way, but how can you not stay and talk when they’re calling you ‘mate’ loudly and being so social?

This coal miner could in fact be a doctor who performs minstrel shows as a hobby. He left his tongue depressor at the office and is forced to bizarrely latch onto the patient’s tongue. The patient is encouraged to bite the doctor/miner. “Stick-out your tongue and say, ‘Aaaaaarh’,” was clearly practiced differently in the 19th century.


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