Very exciting news! & The Imitation Game review

art, humor, miscellaneous, writing

I lied. I have nothing exciting to tell you.

I finally got a new car, suffice it to say it’s fancier than i deserve. Few shortcomings in design have really stupefied me. Cup holders, completely unusable, retractable, flimsy appendages that are a sneaky scourge of coffee cups and their drinkers. Hot liquid everywhere. Another weird feature is a push button style ignition, fashioned though like a regular key which turns like a regular key, but does not come out. Instead there is another key that you always have with you. This make no sense at all. I have tried to pull out the mock key dozens of times only to remember that it is in fact a “mock” and to feel like an idiot. Well played germans, well played.

Recently I decided to be a little shameless and take up someone i just barely know on his offer to get me tickets to a sporting event. Yesterday, we picked said tickets up at will-call and there we were sitting in the very worst seats in the house up by the roof of arena, flanked on both sides by fat little kids throwing nachos at one another. I made the grievous error of assuming seats would be half decent and taking with me my very polished, fancy model friend and her fiancee. To her credit she didn’t complain once, sitting there in her loubotins with her armani clad fiancee amidst the unwashed masses. ( 😱) I couldn’t handle it, we left early. She opted to finish watching the game. In this way i realized she is a better woman than i, and if nothing else, i came out of the ordeal with an added measure of regard for her and her man.

I had high hopes for The Imitation Game. Here is a summary of how i feel about it.

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There were many glaring shortcomings here. The central problem for me is that this is a movie about a genius which treats its audience like grade schoolers. The lead was not relatable because he never seemed like a real person. I think it’s equal part bad writing/bad acting, but his autism played out so exaggeratedly, that the idea of him being aware of his homosexuality or having had sexual relations at all and worse with multiple men was not believable. Then there is the notion that everyone around suspects him to be a homosexual so it’s hardly ever a revelation, but what are these suspicions based on? We are simply told that it’s obvious, while the man we see presents with no sexual nuance at all. In fact the character is completely devoid of nuance of any kind. His relationship with the girl is also not believable, two misunderstood geniuses, underdogs connecting, an unlikely friendship, it’s the very stuff of emotional engagement, but not here, here it’s flat and dry, at best they always seem like acquaintances joined only by the common goal of decoding the Enigma.

Parts of the writing seemed exceedingly trite, like a bad TV movie. When he tells her he didn’t ever love her in an effort to push her away for her own good? Is this Nickolodean? It’s plain stupid, and somehow she believes him, slaps him and stomps off in a despondent rage. Come on, these people spent years together, they would know better. When his team finally stands up for him? But what’s this fierce, newfound allegiance based on? Apples? I think the key problem is that none of the climactic moments read real, and neither did the chAracters. When the most pivotal scenes come off as counterfeit, the entire film feels like a runner with no legs.
A scene that i thought was exceedingly sophomoric was in the end when he had finally told his story to the investigator and asks “so judge me am i a hero or a criminal” And the investigator, astounded by what he had just heard, responds “i can’t judge you” etc. No duh, you can’t. And owww my nose, must you hit me on it?!? Again it’s like a lifetime movie, what goes unsaid gets said, and whatever little bit of finesse or emotional restraint yet expressed through the writing is thrown out with the cheesy dialogue and one dimensional character development. Keira Knightly, whom i don’t usually like, is actually quite cute in this role, so there is that tiny redemptive morsel.
One day a really good film will be made about Turing, god knows he deserves it. The story of his life and works offers ample inspiration for something as brilliant, and heartbreaking as he was. This flick just isn’t it.

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Saw another movie-Inherent Vice. The title alone seemed like something right up my alley. But this film has no alley, no purpose, no reason to be made. Unwatchable is the only word i can think of to describe it. Its singular redeeming scene was Josh Brollin sensually consuming a chocolate covered banana, i won’t lie, i enjoyed that.

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On Legacy

miscellaneous

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Words can hang round the neck like an indurate noose
Or like strands of pinned butterflies, powdery light
Struggle or not, you won’t shake them loose
They can smother a man if he tries to fight

Trying to peer ahead only adds to the strain
Blind bats still know best where their home is
So stop taxing your eyes, they won’t help you guess
What that word etched on your stone means

On Platitudes

humor, writing

Platitudes, I hate them…or.. Platypuses, I love them

Who’s with me? Are they not the absolute worst? Which do YOU hate? Do you not want to just pile them all together into a heap and light it on fire..then dance around it in your birthday suit chanting something wild and spasmodic while they roast like holiday chestnuts. I hope they don’t go quickly, I hope they suffer.

Platitudes, I hate them. They are quite a bit like secular religiosity aren’t they i.e. content imbued with meaning and intended for the purpose of placation and pacification. Where it is not fashionable to invoke God directly, some utter banality is recited to lubricate the coping mechanisms of the person on its receiving end. The stupid hopeful ones are especially peevish to me.

 “Everything happens for a reason.” Is one of my favorites to hate on, inane as it is. I got smacked upside the head with that one today and I almost punched its source face. Do people not think at all about the meaning of the words they push out of their mouths? At the very least it is deeply insulting to anyone who has endured real hardship, random suffering, loss or injustice. No everything does not happen for a reason, what reason is there for cancer, car accidents or rape?! And hair loss, what reason is there for hair loss, a scalp tan?

“There is always a silver lining.”Is the other one that makes me cringe. Again what’s the silver lining in a severed spinal cord, a shiny set of brand new wheels?

 “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This is obviously retarded. (I heard this word has become politically incorrect, but I refuse to alter my vernacular, as never have I used it in a discriminatory manner) I realize that no example is needed for this self-evident trifle, but I enjoy generating dramatic examples. Here goes. How about that poor 15 year old girl who contracted meningitis a few months back, lost her arms, legs, skin, hair and face, it didn’t kill her, and it certainly didn’t make her stronger.

 “There is a thin line between love and hate.”WHAT?! THAT IS THE MOST HAIRBRAINED OF THEM ALL. It worries me because I do feel like this kind of stupid affects people, rubs off on them. They hear it enough they start to believe it.

I try to see both sides, be the devil’s advocate against my acrimony. Platitudes, are they sometimes all we got? Your friend just finished whining to you about her break up, you are expected to say something comforting quickly, lest she discerns the real meaning of that look on your face. Are platitudes your only resort? Is it possible that if they were stricken from human repertoire, the social fabric of humanity would just woosh and unravel? Are platitudes the trite, vacuous glue that holds us together, keeps us hopeful and spuriously optimistic in an otherwise chaotic world? Hmm.

To avoid confusion, I’d like to clarify that while I hate a platitude, I love me a platypus. This cuddly duck billed, beaver tailed, otter footed, egg laying evolutionary marvel of a mammal is not at all related to its wretched near namesake, the platitude, and would be gravely offended were it ever confused for one.

Blogging for affection..or..How to avoid the cat vomit curse!

humor, writing

IMG_7311.PNG if it’s not entirely obvious, I am new to the blogging endeavor. My original intention was to write for myself and for relief. I am afflicted, like many others I’m sure, with the trouble of excess thinking. Blogging presented an attractive avenue for relieving that pressure in my head, which gets built up by thoughts, feverishly multiplying with no regard for the spatial limitations of my dainty, girly cranium. Blogging whatever, whenever, but on a daily basis, seems also like a good writing exercise and a fun distraction not without therapeutic value.

Furthermore, I had devised a theory, that blogging every day could be a gateway mechanism to writing every day. It is simple enough right? To date, my creative process has been exclusively governed by fickle caprices of inspiration. I have been wholly at her frantic whim. What better tactic is there for revolt, than the establishment of a writing routine. If I could only form a daily ritual of writing, develop a habit, then maybe I can be free from inspiration’s mercurial clutches and finally finish that cursed book I’ve been writing for over five years. This was the plan, it was a good plan, until I started receiving the occasional “such & such has followed your blog” email. Those I did not anticipate, neither did I foresee the regrettable effect they would have on me. Suddenly I am confounded with the shameful realization that I want more of those emails. I thought I wouldn’t care about that element of blogging, the audience, but in all honesty, I find that I do. It has come as a surprise. It runs quite contrary to my Misanthropic conformation, presenting with the potential for a full-fledged identity crisis. Oh ok, ok, so I am exaggerating, not a full-fledged crisis, I am not that brittle, but it is very troubling. I now seek the approval of strangers?! Is that a pig soaring through the atmosphere?!

Suddenly I find myself concerned with such things, as whether the randomness of my writing runs counter to my new ambition of having/gaining readers, readers who “Like” “comment” and generally participate. Do I need to pick a lane? What is my ambition exactly anyways? Do I want all the readers I can get my hands on or do I want to reach and resonate with those who are most like myself e.g. the misanthropes, the misfits, the over thinkers, the creatives, the hermits? Trolling around WordPress this past week, I have found that lots of bloggers talk about the importance of a consistent blogging tone and subject, they even apologize to their readers if ever they opt to change their writing style. God knows that won’t and can’t be me. I will always reserve the right to unapologetically rant about whatever, whenever, however. Does that mean that I won’t be successful at finding an audience? Oy. Additionally, I wish bloggers who are about some kind of marketing, SEO or otherwise, would STOP “Following” me. I will not follow them back or subscribe to their services. It is a deceptive and intrusive practice and I completely hate it after just a week of my stay in the Bloggisphere. It is SPAM!

Bottom line is, if you read to this point, then obviously you find my prose irresistible, so you have to “Follow” my blog, OR ELSE….or else your cat will get a serious case of upset stomach and throw up partially digested mouse parts all over your house. A pungent stench of catguts will indelibly permeate your residence, forcing you to move out and decreasing the value of your home by at least 40% from its current market value…..or worse, rendering it entirely unsellable. That would be a real shame wouldn’t it? No one wants that to happen to you, less than I. ;P

 

On Blogging for unblocking

writing

I don’t know yet how I feel about blogging. I certainly find myself having lots and lots of thoughts, I consider myself almost afflicted with too much thinking. Many a nights excess of thinking keeps me up well past my body’s preference, and to the detriment of my ability to function in the following day. There is no real unifying theme to this annoying, unruly thinking surplus. Furthermore, the thoughts are not even cohesive, there is hardly ever a story told, an idea fleshed out or a resolution found. The mind has become increasingly lazy, unwilling to build anything of value. It feels like fishing for say salmon, a nice fat fish that a jolly fat chef will pay handsomely for at the market, but instead all that burdens the fishnets is by-catch. Random, small, unappetizing underwater creatures of not much substance or consequence. My thoughts have lately become mostly by-catch. I have theorized that the sluggish fisherman that is my brain is so because I have failed to exercise him, to nourish him, to love him even. I’ll confess I have stopped reading. Having spent most of my life an avid reader, I now feel quite paralyzed about it. I bought a book at the airport last week, but I can’t bring myself to start reading it. I don’t know what this obdurate resistance is about. It is as if my brain is afraid to be stirred, having settled into a slumber. Is the hibernation so sweet that it won’t allow itself to be roused. I think in some way blogging is perhaps the first step to finding out what has been blocking me. Whatever it is, it feels like an unwinding of a yarn, like an undoing of some kind. If all cells in the body are renewed every seven years, then I think this current version of me is quite different from the other four. I feel like I am evolving and devolving in this 5th cycle, simultaneously.

But I don’t know that I should be quite so candid on a public blog, this is the other thing which has always stopped me from writing in one, I am almost terminally honest, honest about myself. My flaws & weaknesses have never bothered me, and I never cared if they were seen. I am proud to say that I have seldom been governed by my ego. Most people have a shell, it is formed of a survival instinct, which instructs us that it is beneficial to be perceived a certain way. I know the ways I ought to be perceived, the ways which would be most beneficial to me; erudite, educated, sharp, keen, informed, charming, witty. I am not most of those things in my current self assessment, maybe just half of some of them.  I could fake it, although increasingly I find it harder and less rewarding. But if I want to commit to a blog, for the purpose of understanding, exploring and most importantly unblocking, then I have to give in to the potentially dangerous impulse of being even more honest than usual. Expose the by-catch. Radical honesty, although claimed by many, is not at all common or easy, because it’s counter intuitive to that most primal of instincts i.e. survival. Even as I write this, I wonder who comes through between my words, whom would a random person reading this blog see in it, can I be honest and still seem impressive or interesting? I’ll confess, I always found myself interesting, but do less so now, still I have the urge to write with at least that one superfluous consideration, to seem interesting. I’ll be trying not to. My only consideration should be the truth. Although that might be dishonesty already. I can’t self examine this thoroughly just yet. I know however, that I don’t want to construct some careful reflection of who I want people to think I am. If there is any pleasure to be found in this blogging experiment, then it has to be about the truth of things.

I might not be able to start reading again yet…… I think the death of my grandmother has something to do with this by the way, but I can confess that the reading had tapered off long before this earth shattering event. I digressed. I might not be able to start reading again, yet, but I can start writing, start working on that fisherman, on the salmon….or even just the by-catch. I read recently in some article, I still read those on occasion, that there is an increasing trend in fine cuisine to actually use the by-catch as apposed to waste it. Chefs are becoming hip to creating delicious nightly specials out of these random, previously unwanted sea offerings. It’s respectable and trendy, it aligns with the apparent necessity for conservation. The planet can only take so much abuse from its most heinous parasite, the human. Again I digressed. Perhaps I don’t need to catch the salmon to put a good meal on the table, perhaps I can just work my way through the by-catch and cook up something good too. This blog is already making me formulate my thoughts to completion. I feel accomplished. It’s like the equivalent of getting back to the gym after a long hiatus and walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It’s not much, but it’s a step in the right direction. Soon enough I’ll be running on that treadmill, or catching big fish…or cooking by-catch. Tonight’s dinner special, a smorgasbord of mixed metaphors. It’s a mess. Welcome back, brain.