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Diamond Mine Backup Plan

Westerns have been sitting around my television for a few weeks as my DVD player is 80% broken. But tonight I stole Mikey’s and watched the engaging, provoking and cleanly-paced The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Treasure spins greed, paranoia and man’s worst aspects into a fabulous Hollywood-friendly film. John Huston creates such an effective vehicle for exploring character because he posits it against visually exciting circumstances. Thus, the beats feel organic as the plot serves the characters and not necessarily vice versa. I enjoy movies that I can’t easily reconcile. Granted, the last two minutes should have been shaved off for a more thematically believable take on the louts’ future and the paradisaical Indian village was out and out stupid but other than that, Treasure keeps on the very matter-of-fact dark side of corny.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, as if I haven’t already learned a lesson or two about greed and power, fuels my If All Else Fails Plan. In the case that I end up bankrupt and embarrassingly un-bona fide, I’m going to move to Arkansas and be a diamond miner.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is “the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public.” The diamond prospecting area sits atop a volcanic vent that 95 million years ago burped up a bunch of diamonds and semi-precious stones. For a mere $6.00 (less if you’re a tot), you can dig around in the diamond field. Tip: bring your own trowel, bucket and other diamond-digging tools because the site’s rental fees are a bit pricey. And word on the street is that muddy, churned soil, say after a rainfall, makes for prime diamond hunting. Is this all too good to be true? I’m no expert but 36 diamonds were found last month. Crater of Diamonds State Park also imparted the Strawn-Wagner Diamond, the most perfect diamond ever certified by the American Gem Society.

Yup, I’m off to find my trowel.

UPDATE: The Associated Press thinks Crater of Diamonds is pretty cool too!

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