Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Frank: Do you know who Marcel Proust is?
Dwayne: He's the guy you teach.
Frank: Yeah. French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he's also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh... he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, 'cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn't learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you're 18... Ah, think of the suffering you're gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don't get better suffering than that.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Gazing out of my bedroom window
Rain softly patters against the bare cherry blossom tree
Wanting to feel the water against my face
I contemplate meandering outside
However I falter
Chained by reason and responsibility
A decade since the time
I felt truly loved
Running through the woods
Air filling my lungs
Branches brushing against my face
Gazing at the sunset
We were wild
Gazing out the window
What have I become?
An interchanging part
In an increasing sterile word
Where I am not a man
But a number
Leaving my wild tribe
I ventured to the dark place
Feeling like a loner
No one understood me
I longed for my tribe
For the wild
Opening the window
I gaze towards to sky
Letting the water gently caress my arid skin
My fears and apprehensions wash away
My eyes dart towards a dash of pink
A lone cherry blossom swept up into the airThe rumpus has begun.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
During the short, but wonderfully satisfying winter break, my family and I loaded up our trusty mystery machine, and ventured up to the majestic dá’aw, or as people from the bay area enjoy calling it, Tahoe. However, in recent years the Tahoe region has become polarized between the weekend residents, who are rich enough to afford a second home along with fancy Bogner jackets, and the locals who are annually trying to scrape together enough money in order to afford a season ski pass. Yet, for how terrible this sounds, the system actually works as long as the bears or the beautiful cast of Twilight who are secretly residing in the woods, are patient enough to not eat anyone before their credit cards are maxed out. And in a really roundabout kind of way, this got me thinking about the subject of escapism.
My recent Tahoe excursion, along with the recent news that James Cameron’s latest epic, Avatar has grossed a billion dollars world wide, led me to the realization that as human beings we need escapism in order to survive our own lives. Throughout my investigation, completely based on my own biased observations and devoid of any scientific principle, I have come to the conclusion that we jump down our rabbit hole of choice, movies, in order to enter a world that is ultimately fair.
True Fact: without any stylization or exaggeration life would make a terrible movie. First and foremost the rewards for the protagonist at the end of the film are completely missing. This is evident, because if they were there, girls would occasionally return my text messages. Unacceptably often, main character and their acquaintances will die for reasons that weren’t their fault, such as getting hit by a drunk driver or slipping in the shower. However, the worse offence of Life: The Movie is that the bad guys rarely die in a climatic final battle. After 8 years, two wars, billions of dollars, and thousands of lives, there is still a certain somebody the US Military still can’t seem to find.
I believe that we essential reject our world every time we sit down to watch a movie. Take for example when you are watching Star Wars Han Solo will never say to Luke Skywalker “Sorry Luke we can’t afford to fly the Millennium Falcon into battle with you today, budget cuts.” Another example would be Die Hard. We know Hans Gruber will not have a sudden surge of common sense and rig every floor of Nakatomi Plaza will explosives, even though he knows John McClane will be the cause of his demise, again.
However, escapism does have a dark underbelly, and that is when it manages to transforms into sexism. Every Friday night, myriads of people flock to their local multiplexes to view movies that could all share the same title: Scantily Clad Women, Explosions and Guns. Or if you like, Scantily Clad Women, Explosions, and Guns 2: More Explosions and Less Clothes. Now these movies are all well good up to a point, they usually fill their role as two hours of cheap entertainment. However, when I stop to contemplate the potential effects of these movies, I become a tad frightened. See there is nothing wrong with having sex symbols, until you remember that you are turning real women into just that, a symbol, and despite what certain actresses may say during interviews with gossip magazines, no one enjoys being a blow up doll. Yes, some argue that men are objectified as well, and to some extent that argument is correct. However, I find it very hard to believe that the objectification of men in the film industry is for the benefit of women. Because most of the women I know don’t enjoy the company of steroid abusers that solve all of their problems with chainsaws and one-liners.Yes it is a sad fact of life that sex sells extremely well. Yet, do you know what also sells? Education. So maybe with few chainsaws and Michael Bay in our escapism and a lot better-developed characters and plot lines, we can take these new lessons of fairness found in movies, and apply them to our own society. Hell, maybe our world isn’t too far-gone, and we should do everything we can to improve it. Just a passing thought.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Late in the evening the two men meet and cobble together a collection of paragraphs which they call a ‘deal’, although in reality it has all the meaning and authority of a bus ticket, not that it stops them affixing their signatures to it with great solemnity. Obama’s team then briefs the travelling White House press pack – most of whom, it seems, understand about as much about global climate politics as our own lobby hacks know about baseball – and before we know it the New York Times and CNN are declaring the birth of a ‘meaningful’ accord.
Meanwhile a friend on an African delegation emails to say that he and many fellow members of the G77 block of developing countries are streaming into the corridors after a long discussion about the perilous state of the talks, only to see Obama on the television announcing that the world has a deal. It’s the first they’ve heard about it, and a few minutes later, as they examine the text, they realise very quickly that it effectively condemns their continent to a century of devastating temperature rises.
By now the European leaders – who know this thing is a farce but have to present it to their publics as progress – have their aides phoning the directors of civil society organisations spinning that the talks have been a success. A success? This deal crosses so many of the red lines laid out by Europe before this summit started that there are scarlet skid marks across the floor of the Bella Centre, and one honest European diplomat tells us this is a ‘shitty shitty deal.’
This deal is beyond bad. It contains no legally binding targets and no indication of when or how they’ll come about. There isn’t even a declaration that the world will aim to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees C – instead leaders merely ‘recognise the science’ behind that vital threshold, as if that were enough to prevent us crossing it. The only part of this deal anyone sane came close to welcoming was the $100bn global climate fund, but it’s now becoming apparent that even that’s largely made up of existing budgets, with no indication of how new money will be raised and distributed so poorer countries can go green and adapt to climate change.
Monday, January 4, 2010
That was from the mouth of a Time Warner spokesperson. Uh, did my cable company just tell me to start pirating to make my voice heard?
via New York Times