knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
I just got done watching Snowpiercer a little while ago. Me = behind-the-times.

I mean I liked it, but it's left me wondering about some things. Namely, when did I get so literal? I actually had to remind myself at several points that the film wasn't an attempt to portray a possible or likely future. I mean seriously. Why does that even need to be clarified? Huh? Me? Why?

I'd like to point out to me that I'm the guy who wrote a story about magically animated garbage struggling to understand the limitations of its own consciousness. The most promising (to my mind) story I have on the back burner takes place in a world whose landscape is highly mutable according to a large number of variables, some of which are mediated by human thought. On the front burner, I'm developing a story about magic and have to remind myself from time to time that that means I don't have to worry about physics. When? When did I get so literal?

knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
So for some reason, I am watching Noah, and everything it's doing to me is boiling over. What the FUCK Darren??? Where shall we begin?

... with the why-can't-we-all-just-get-along fallacy?

That we kill each other doesn't make us wicked. It makes us animals. And don't pull that "animals don't kill for fun" shit. Regardless of the motivations behind the behaviors you are criticizing, they stem - fundamentally - from a failure to divorce ourselves from the natural processes that wrought us. That we HAVEN'T overcome our evolutionary heritage doesn't mean we CAN'T. Though, admittedly, I (a foaming-at-the-mouth optimist) have yet to convince myself that that sort of transformation is possible short of speciation ...

... with the juicy white privilege crap?

I'm actually not going to climb on that horse because others already have as far as I can see. Just be warned that in a forward thinking culture, the horse they're riding in on fucks YOU ...

... with the atavistic misogynist nonsense that is your token female cast?

Why do Connelly and Watson even HAVE lines? Who gives a shit what the women think? You are, after all, explicitly relegating them to roles as baby factories. I mean that is literally what you are doing. LITERALLY. Women are commodities. Argh I can't write sentences that express the rage ...

... with the rampant technophobia?

I am SO TIRED of people writing these themes from technophobic standpoints. Hey technology's bad. Industry has FUCKED the Earth. It's all our fault. We did this. Maliciously. Despite all those precedents that told us not to do it in the first place. I mean all of those precedents man. Yeah totally. Civilizations make decisions based on the exact same processes that individuals do. That's how it works totally. So these people are going to weather (ugh) the cleansing of the world right? Get rid of all that evil tech that's killing it. Oh let's overlook the fact that a miracle created a gigantic forest for us to CUT DOWN cuz FUCK PLANTS BRO. That isn't hypocrisy, it's necessity. Life is sacred. Life for the win! Uhhh. Complex life. Uhhh. Meatlife for the win!

Technology is bad! Let's use fire for ANYTHING.

Technology is bad! Let's wear clothes!

Technology is bad! Let's USE TOOLS!

Technology is bad! Let's live in a tent and not a tree! Cuz FUCK trees!

Technology is bad! Let's survive a world-eating flood







Edit (about ten minutes later): Oh. Noah's the villain. Well why didn't you just SAY so?

Second Edit (about forty minutes later): Okay, finally finished slogging through this mess. And everything I originally said stands. Fuck your movie. Fuck it. I'm tired of Villains-and-Victims stories, and I'm tired of clean-slate optimism. Generally speaking, I'm just tired of things that are so stupid I have to make up names for them so that I have talismans to focus my wrath on.
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
Shout outs to Rinue:

Everyone should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).

In no particular order:

01. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1990)
02. The Fall (2006)
03. Mumford (1999)
04. Gattaca (1997)
05. Pi (1998) (fucking MATH)
06. Flight of Dragons (1982)
07. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) (or the anime Hikaru no Go; same sentiment)
08. Groundhog Day (1993) (act 3 more than the rest of it, but still)
09. Wonder Boys (2000)
10. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Hahaha. Successfully avoided including Her, Garden State, and Can't Hardly Wait.

Was going to put State and Main on there, but felt that Mumford basically accomplishes all of the same things in a description of me, plus one more.

Wanted to put War Games on there, but I don't feel like I've earned it yet.

Honorable mentions go to Rounders (1998) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

The romantic aspect of my character is a little overemphasized in this list, but I did my best to pair it with other stuff wherever it showed up.
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I just watched Ender's Game, and now that I'm toast I can't ever go back to being just bread again. Maybe if I scrape off most of the black stuff, my soul will still be edible.

That was really morbid. And I knew it would be bad from the trailer alone.
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Beyond this point, thar be Spoilers

Went to see Riddick this eve ... for reasons. Specifically, a certain lingering fascination with the Riddick phenomenon (if it can be accurately described as such) and a fanboyish desire to see Katee Sackhoff in roles other than her stint on Battlestar Galactica*. The Sackhoff fandom is also what tricked me into being bored out of my skull by the pilot of Longmire. As for the Riddick fascination, I'm not even sure that's the right way to describe it.

Let's get the most pertinent answer out of the way: Riddick's no good. Half the script is unnecessary, half is boring, and the other half is those folks** wankin' in yo face, bitch. Thing is, I didn't really expect any different, there's just this special spot in my craw for the Riddick films. I still kind of like Pitch Black. It's got a lot of interesting visuals, and that particular chapter in the Riddick ... "story"'s the wrong word ... milieu? shows at least a passable attempt at the character. Though, to be fair, I don't know that I have much love for the sociopath-with-the-heart-of-gold archetype (otherwise known as Hollywood's concept of the "antihero"). Past that, the whole franchise just kind of gets weird if you start to think about it. I don't know a thing about the video games, but having seen Chronicles of Riddick more than once for ... some ... reason, I find it odd how muddled the characterization of the guy has gotten. Part of the problem is probably that Riddick is a secondary character, and no one seems to realize this because he had such a prominent role in Pitch Black.

Folks, the survivalist skillset gets a prominence bump in any creature-feature, but the addition of any other sort of story element bumps Muscles von Maladaptive back down to foil status (at best). The dude can't carry a franchise, and yet the film makers insist on piling one up on top of him.

I freely admit that I'm one of those audience members that's going to get disproportionately attached to tertiary characters. I get it, for the most part, but not with Riddick, sorry. It's opaque as the Cult of Boba Fett if you think about it, though I will go on record as saying that I believe I've cracked the Cult of Boba Fett thing.

As for Elysium, it's hard to imagine in hindsight why I felt as compelled as I did to see this. Though I don't think I ever actually saw a trailer for it. Blomkamp is now firmly in my M. Night Shyamalan category of directors: guys who could be pretty durn good if not for that big elephant in the room holding them back. In Blomkamp's case, it's (ironically) his proficiency and experince with spe-fects (coining it, portmanteau ala me) ... I think. Sort of like the guy who made Skyline. Blomkamp is at least attempting "high concept" sci-fi, but District 9 and Elysium get too caught up in animators giving me a pearl necklace. So the concepts get left in the dust.

The other thing is the premise itself, which is pretty much crap. The touted part of the film is the whole orbital habitat thing, but really it comes down to this: Rich folk have magical healing machines. Remember the sarcophagus in Stargate? Now streamline an MRI and apply the same concept to the result. The Eloi got it, and the Morlocks want some of that action. Sure I'm being glib, but its shockingly accurate to the story. The payoff at the end of the film is that the system gets skewered by, more or less, the heroes' righteous indignation, which emotion is portrayed by futuristic-gun understudies because the lead was out sick. It's part of a vague sense of confusion that started at the beginning and never got addressed by any part of the film: the behavior and policies of the Elysians is demonstrably maladaptive. Nothing suggests at any point that they lack the resources to make these machines available to the general public, and the film's "denouement" ... wait for it ... makes these machines available to the general public. It would have been more fun just to actually watch an action movie where a guy literally steps out at the end and says, "And the moral of the story is: be nice to poor people, for fuck's sake."

It's made me more enamored of an image I have in my head, which was initially inspired by the scene in Brazil where Sam shows Jill his mother's apartment. Story idea is themed around use of space amidst rampant overcrowding.

It's also made me wonder if I shouldn't take some economics courses. Principally, the film portrays a world in which the middle class has essentially undergone an extinction event. So the thing about economic collapse is that poverty reaches critical mass and suddenly there's no money anymore because it isn't worth anything, right? It's like that point in Slumdog Millionaire where the tourist gives the little impoverished boy a hundred dollar bill. Seriously, what's he supposed to do with that? Wipe his ass? In Elysium, however, the poor are still scrambling to earn like there's no tomorrow. What are they planning to buy for Christ's sake? There's nothing to buy. Or there shouldn't be, film maker. I don't know how to put the concept into the proper terms (hence, economics courses), but I felt indignant about it either way.

Oh, and the trailer reel in front of Riddick was kind enough to inform me that, not only are they remaking Robocop (for cryin' out LOUD), but there's also an American remake of Oldboy on the way. Fuck them.

Fuck them all.

* A high degree of self-awareness compels me to clarify that I did not know ahead of time that Sackhoff gets topless. Not what sold me the movie, folks.

** Fans of patriarchy propaganda. The ones got a belly full of laughter at the WWF scene in The Scorpion King. The ones go "woooooooo!" when the blood rushes to their cocks every time somebody gets all kinds of dead in dramatically improbable fashion. The ones feel it necessary to hold me to their standards of gender and notions on the nature of power and intelligence. I have rage against these people, both personal and general, and I will leave it at that***.

*** Though I really feel like there should be some sort of slang term for the particular sort of homoerotic satisfaction that is got from watching the muscley heroes. I mean a word that is to "bromance" what "porn" is to "erotica". Jason Statham, I'm looking at you (and your fiiiiiine fucking ass****).

**** No seriously. Fuuuuuuuuuck. Also? George Clooney in The American ... [cathartic shudder].
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
Drive by quote of the day:

C.J. Cregg: Duchamp was the father of Dadaism.

Toby Ziegler: I know.

C.J. Cregg: The Dah-dah of Dada.

Toby Ziegler: *pause* It's like there's nothing you can do about that joke. It's coming, and you just have to stand there.

I am increasingly fond of getting art jokes and references after my art history course. Watched the first half of Clueless a few weeks ago, and at the scene where what's-his-head is commenting on what's-her-head's father's art collection, I was thinking, "Biiiiiig Clothespin. Na na naNa!"

I've developed a theory over the past couple of weeks, watching my current professors and thinking about the ones this spring, that one of the reasons students seem to a lot of teachers (that I've observed, so it's a small sample) to be disconnected from the classroom experience is that the students are actually identifying (consciously or not) the professors as trolls. We're talking about a generation that's gone through the majority of their life with the internet now coming into a learning experience based in some cases around the dialectic method. The problem is that several of my professors have had a habit of asking a question in a way that makes it clear their expecting a specific answer. When the answer is provided, they understandably want the student to engage more, so they argue the opposite side. So what you have is a person expecting a specific answer and arguing against that answer in order to get a rise out of their interlocutor. Bam. Troll. Disengage.

On: The Giant Mechanical Man: It's almost like there's this subgenre of film based around attempts to satirize certain types of behavior or certain value systems by people who don't know how to satirize. Anything. So what you get is this sort of toxic character who, rather than providing the film with an avenue to saying anything meaningful, just feels out of place and alienating. I spent basically the whole film thinking, "I really like this except for everything Topher Grace is being asked to do." It felt like a direction problem, but I don't really know if that's a valid observation.

The worst part for me though is when I confront myself with why I like the rest of the film (aside from the performances, which I thought were good). It's nice to think there's this inevitability in any life dominated by feelings of futility, that eventually you'll find someone else who feels just as broken and that'll be magical. It'll be a connection. And you'll fix each other because that's how it works, so you're excused. It ain't your fault. It's just a matter of time.

There's this sort of gut-wrenching banality there, which feels beautiful in a way that makes me want to keep regurgitating nonsense about it because then I don't have to think about why I identify with banality.

Maybe two months ago? I had an "artistic revelation" that the purest method a writer has of reaching an audience is to stop trying to say anything. That's when it becomes possible for the reader to get something from the work. It's all by way of saying that I want to throw myself at a brick wall. Hard. Stomach in knots and all that's left to come up is inefficacy.

I've been telling myself for a long time that one of the fears I'm dealing with in this depressive epoch I'm going through is that I actually do have something worthwhile to say, but that I am incapable of the thought processes necessary to articulate it. It's all by way of saying that it's easier to extrapolate it to others, to ascribe significance to one's own ...

For fuck's sake. Nevermind.
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
First off, I'm a big fan of the first two "Terminator" films. All sorts of fun packed into two enduring cult classics (if I'm not misapplying the term).

That said, I would not have previously thought it was possible to come up with an A.I. stupider than Skynet, but the guys who made "Oblivion" proved how limited my imagination can be.

Soooooooooo stupid.

Also? At some point, I will begin actually updating this journal again. I have this feeling.
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
I just watched Inception again. I believe this is my third viewing, which is somewhat of a dropped ball on my part. Inception's a particularly galvanizing film for me.

It confronts me with my own limitations vis-a-vis craft because I just can't stop taking it apart to see what makes it tick. The reason for that compulsion is that I can't explain things about it to my satisfaction. It's not that I don't get it. I get the thing just fine. It's that I have to continually rewrite the rules in my head as I'm watching it to explain why things work the way they do. I can't just let it go.

The flip side of that coin is that I do continually come back to the realization that I don't care if certain mechanics don't make sense. It's about the emotion of the thing. It's about character and theme. While watching it, I am happy. I love watching these people being themselves within their story. Eames-slash-Arthur must be huge, by the way. I've never googled it because I don't really want to know. It's too delicious thinking about the possibility without exploring it, but I digress. The emotive power of the film is a bit of a slap in the face. I can't believe that things I've written have that kind of force behind them, with the possible exception of a snippet I wrote for my Fiction Writing class in Iowa and maybe parts of the novella.

At some point along the way, inaction turned me into my own limitations. My ability is incomplete because I am.
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
Draft One of "The Effluvian Heresy" is done.

Go tell that shit on the mountain!


I'm now some intense revisions away from never having to see that squiggly red line under "effluvian" again. I KNOW it's not a word you stupid word processor! I don't add it to the dictionary because I don't want you to recognize it in case I one day misspell "effluvium" while typing! Sheesh!

I really should turn those lines off. They only help me a little bit and annoy me a lot.

Boy howdy did finishing it ever turn out to be a literary bum rush. The "progressus interruptus" if you will (I can't blame you if you won't), or possibly the kowtowing to old habits if you want to get really technical, that hit last week with the holidays and the getting sick and the beginning the process of getting over being sick led to a marked decline in production for that week, and I finally got sick of it. Decided to finish the whole thing in one last charge of defiance at the old emotional regime. I was going to do it last night, but work got in the way. So today I wrote just under five thousand words. In the last few hours or so I was typing almost as fast as I could think. It was awesome.

I had my whole celebration planned out in advance: order bad Chinese food, get some beer (*sip sip*) stream Hanna from Blockbuster on demand. I actually had to order the Chinese food then finish the draft while I waited for it because the place closes at ten, and I was down to the wire. Has been very good night so far.

On the whole, I'd say I enjoyed Hanna. It suffers a bit from being a super-soldier story, which have become way too cliched for my taste. As a new take on an old theme, it worked. Then again, other than the super-soldier thing, this is the sort of story I'll whore my inner fanboy out to any day of the week. Also, like everybody was in it. Like everybody.

Work is proving to be exactly what I was looking for when I took the job. It's easy as hell, close by, and completely incapable of engaging the parts of my emotional landscape that occasional rouse themselves enough to ... care. There's some stress related stuff stemming from the fact that I sell tobacco and alcohol and am now apparently old and "wise" enough to be spooked by the classes they make you take so you know exactly what's going to happen if you sell to someone underage. I wasn't spooked the first time around, but I was also much younger and slightly stupider. Those stresses are fading a bit with the advent of routine, so things are going as well as I'd hoped they would. Last night, my brain was sufficiently not stimulated that I started struggling with the math involved in calculating the number of outcomes in the Pick 3 since we have a lot of people come in and play it. Math ain't my strong suit, yo, but I can reverse engineer it given enough time and stubborn determination. Well, I suppose that's not reverse engineering so much as forward engineering. Who cares if somebody else figured it out first? I submit to you that if someone were to, without prior knowledge of the formula's discovery or even its existence, derive the Pythagorean Theorem, that would be just as significant a discovery as Pythagoras' himself. I mean, it wouldn't be as historically significant, but "pish posh" I say. Pish Posh. Them Pick 3 numbers got real stuck in mah brain cuz I don' know much about those innergals. Is it integrals? It's not. I just looked it up. Whatever it is, I'm not very good at it, so I was doodling on a strip of receipt paper for like thirty minutes trying to remember if order mattering meant multiplying the number of possibilities by itself number-of-choices times or whatever. I figured some of it out and then managed to get bored enough with the problem to drop it. Good way to pass half an hour though. Pretty soon, I might start bringing a book to the overnight shifts. I have that much down time, and it would be nice to get some more reading time in.

Fantasy football's over, and I won my league's championship. The phrase you're looking for is "cha-CHING!" Take that, rent check! I actually had one of my few lifetime sports moments the Monday after Christmas because my opponent in the 'ship had four people playing in that game including Drew Brees. I had a Saints running back by the name of Sproles in that one as well, and he'd been good for me all season. He actually managed to hold the other four off (the rest of my team had started on previous days so the game was like watching my opponent's team trying to catch up to my points total) until the last bit of the game when Brees was trying to complete one touchdown pass to break the Marino record. As the score sat at that point, if the pass was to anyone but Sproles, I would have lost the game. So of course the announcer I'm listening to on internet radio is drawing it out, "And he's done it! Drew Brees has surpassed the Dan Marino single season passing yardage record with a touchdown pass to ... ... ...



Darren Sproles!" I was up out of my chair, yelling in triumph. It was pretty cool. Would have been cooler if it wasn't, y'know, football but whatever. The money sure helps.

Kid brother finally decided to come out to me, finally. Mostly, he did this by wearing a Queers & Allies t-shirt, which cheesed me off enough to reopen the discussion, albeit obliquely. The conversation went like this:

Me: So are you an ally or ...
Him: No. I'm a queer.
Me: THANK you!

Apparently he's been out for two years. Is in fact, out to our mother, who is significantly less awesome than me *glower*. He says he thought it was funny how I had to consciously use gender neutral terminology when asking him about his social life vis a vis dating and wanted to see how long I'd keep doing it.

knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
Thousand words on the day. Bam. Done.

It's a bit of a comfort today, actually, because I didn't write yesterday. I had actually been planning not to because I had plans with my mother. They got moved to today though, and I ended up not writing anyway. It's brought one of my issues with the current phase of the Self Actualization Project to the fore, in that I'm not sure what precedent to pursue as regards productivity. I'm writing on a regular basis for the moment,

(Bells. Imagine bells. It feels really, really good. Like, ray of sunlight meets cacophonous major chord good.)

but I'm not sure how exactly to address the limitations I've begun working with. I write a thousand (or in most cases so far, between a thousand and eleven hundred) words and then stop at the end of the current paragraph. Is that good or bad? It's hard to say. One thing I'm finding, is that it sort of keeps the iron hot between days in that I come back in the middle of some scene or other instead of the stopping place way that I've tried in the past. That didn't work, and at least so far this is. Presumably, some of that is that psychological thing that Romie told me about that I can never remember the name of where productivity goes up when you change your work environment, but some of its genuine enthusiasm for the current project. So yay, and all.

I've also been debating with myself about whether to hold myself to a quota mentality. What I'm trying for the immediate present is not holding myself accountable for missed days. I don't intend to make up yesterday's thousand words. The idea I'm working with here is that I'm accountable, not for individual parts, but for the entire piece. If it gets finished more or less on schedule, I don't really care if I miss a few days here and there. If I'm not falling back on the old patterns, I'm winning. Take that ... ... ... me. So, for the moment, we see what happens when I cut myself some slack.

Try to run with it, character flaws.

I dare you.

In other news, my dreams are starting to get all weird and interesting again, when I can remember them anyway. I blame a spate of me delving back into geek television. I've been very into The Big Bang Theory lately, and I've also been gradually watching all of Farscape on Netflix for awhile now. I'm really in love with Farscape by now. Some episodes end up being fairly lackluster, but I like the way it's willing to take itself seriously and not in equal measures. I don't know if it really has anything to do with stimulating my inner geek more often, or if it's related to pursuing creativity more actively, or if it's all just a big post hoc ergo propter hoc clusterfuck. Whatever it is, I'm heartened by the idea that I might be getting closer to the sort of emotional space where stuff like this happens in my brain.

"Minds are jagged jails
For hearts that perjure themselves
In cold rooms at dawn"
-Me, #45. Found it looking through the old journal. Had forgotten. Quite like it.

Y'know, I just looked back at this entry's title, and there's a way to interpret it that makes it kinda gross. Whatever. I stand by the original sentiment. That woman's profile could ... ... slice a cheese? Why is that the first thing that popped into my head? I'm a romantic and a writer. I should have poetry coming out of my ears.

And running for its life.
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
Would you excuse me while I shake my fists at the sky for a moment?

"HELO LIVES! HELO LIVES! How's THAT for breaking your cycle of violence? HUH??? So many dead. My favorite characters. Always they die (and don't point out Inigo to me because it's rude). But Helo! Lives!

GOD I hate Lee. Hate him so much that flames. Flames on the side of my face. It's appropriate therefore that he is the one to deliver the news of the just frakkin' weird and inexplicable answer these people choose to their final problem. I mean WHAT? You actually think it's a good idea to set humanity (whatever THAT frakkin' means anymore) back 150,000 years? Out of sight, out of mind, huh? Frakkin' moron.

Hardly seems to matter that much because HELO LIVES! Set those bells a'ringin'! HELO LIIIIIIIIIIIIIVES!

Story really feels like it got away from them there at the end. Like the writers were children chasing the story around shouting, "Play with us! We wanna play!" And the story's all like, "Nope sorry. You're so small, I could hurt you. Run along now." Catch a tiger by the tail and all that. Huh, Neal Stephenson? Huh, Robert Jordan? Give 'em some credit I guess. The dying leader did eventually know the secret of the opera house: Caprica Six picks up Hera and carries her through a bulkhead into the CIC. Prophecy realized. Next plot point. Think Adama's kicking himself for putting everyone through hell for four years when all he ever really needed to do was give Gaeta's job to Starbuck?

"Can't tell a story if you don't know how it ends."
-Lewis, "The Lookout"

All well and good. I feel your pain. Know who doesn't? HELO! BECAUSE HE LIVES! HE-LO LI-IVES! HE-LO LI-IVES!

What's up with this whole "Let's redeem Gaius Baltar without killing him" movement? Are you people nuts? I mean, good LORD! The final season's attrition on the secondary characters alone ... Callie gets flushed out an airlock. Dee shoots herself. Felix frakkin' mutinies. Don't even get me started on the tertiary cast. It was like last call except instead of going home, you stumble outside and someone hits you with a big frakkin' stick and you DIE.

You know who didn't? Helo. Wait what? Helo lives. He does??? Yup. OhMyGodThat'sTheBestThingThatHasEverHappenedEver. Helo LIVES!

On the whole, I love "Battlestar Galactica" with every bone in my body. I liked the final season quite a lot, despite it's flaws. Yes I know I'm a little behind the times,

But so what because Helo LIVES! Helo LIVES! He-ee-ee-ee-eee-LO LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVES!!!!!!!!
knaveofstaves: A picture of an interpretation of the Knight of Wands Tarot card featuring the Egyptian God Thoth (Default)
I just got done watching Wristcutters, and am left in a quandary of feeling. I suppose I liked the attempt, but not the execution? Is that fair? Though you can sell me on almost anything if you lure Tom Waits in to get his Tom Waits on.

I have a certain fascination for broken worlds, just as I have a hard-on for professional killers and ... well I can't think of a third one right now, but I'm sure it's out there.

But come ON. There's writing your story in your world instead of about it, and there's taking that too far. When did we become obsessed with a lack of curiosity and imagination? When did those become sexy personality traits?

[begin thought stream]

You confirm there are bugs. I was ready to kill a rat and see if it decomposed, but YOU confirmed there are BUGS. Do you even begin to ask yourself what that MEANS??? There are plants. PLANTS!!! There are gas stations. Try to wrap your head around the fact that there are Gas. Stations. Is there trucking? Does order impose itself on an orderless world? There are no signs of anarchy. Does suicide make you a malaise breather? Is it in the fucking air??? You are driving around with a pseudo-black hole, wormhole, bottomless pit thing under your passenger seat. You refer to it simply as a black hole because the term is convenient to the mechanics you've imposed on it. Why am I the only one who wants to throw half a rope down there and see if I can pull it back out? If that works, try tying a lit cigarette to it and waiting an hour. Try a cockroach. Try a snake. Try an ice cube. Try anything! I've met the girl who died from an overdose. You introduced me to her. She's here by mistake. You Admit This. I've met the girl who froze to death and ended up here for no reason. Why haven't I met the soldier who threw himself on a grenade? Why not the fella accidentally strangled himself attempting autoerotic asphyxiation? Is that too much like the OD? There is electricity. There are power lines. That's all fine because the world is broken and rules stop mattering at some point, but here's the thing: There's Fucking Radio. Does magnetism still happen under any circumstances at all? You've made a point that there are no stars. There's clouds, so there's weather. But there is no visible sun, and there is radio. There's currency (presumably), and everyone speaks English. And YOU have confirmed there are BUGS.

[end thought stream]

Why is it that people are uninterested in asking questions of a broken world? Are the answers scary? Are you so in love with dysfunction and so limited by a lack of imagination that you are afraid to even try to define the indefinable?

"Don't stop asking questions, baby."
-Tommy Corn, "I Heart Huckabees"

I'm actually a little surprised by the intensity of my reaction to this movie while I was watching it. I've seen quite enough of the looking-for-love-in-all-the-available-places genre to find it a bit tired anymore. I suppose it's another symptom of my recent overhaul of my ideas about story, a process that began with Inception.

I actually had a similar reaction to The Adjustment Bureau after it was clear that the filmmakers were asking me to fall in love with Her for the five hojillionth time so that I would be invested in Cookie Cutter VonMattDamonIsAwesome's sole motivation. If I'm sitting in the middle of your climactic chase scene wondering when your friendly Bureau agent is going to show up and give me the inspiring speech about how everything's turning out all right, you have done something Wrong. The only thing I can say about that movie is that it made me redefine my personal argument about the Free Will question from:

The difference between free will and the appearance of free will is irrelevant.


The difference between free will and the appearance of free will is irrelevant as long as the decision making authority in the latter case is infallible.

So bully for you I guess.

This is a common theme these days. Perhaps artistic identity crises have that effect.
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