I’d throw my pie for this show.

•July 15, 2013 • 4 Comments

This weekend I got a little lost in Netflix new original series Orange Is the New Black. And boi was that a pleasant experience.

Funny as hell, poignant to the point it hurts and your eyes get misty, empowering themes and stories full of realism. It’s like the perfect lecture on intersectionality and feminism without ever coming across as a lecture. Mostly I think because it’s sneaky television, real damn sneaky television. The kind where they start off by selling you things you recognise, your assumptions are being pampered and lured into a false sense of nothing will ever change. Only for you to be rather rudely awakened as the stories and the season progress to a point where the tropes you thought you knew are used to smash the tropes you spent the beginning of the season accepting. They spend thirteen episode telling you beautifully tragic and emotionally true stories and meanwhile making you realise that even in fiction there is such a thing as critical thinking and “show, don’t tell”. Better yet they’re kinda unapologetic about showing us that truth is a contextual thing that does not come in one natural flavour.

Featuring an ensemble cast so diverse it is a rare gem in itself and pretty much completely unheard of considering it is almost all-female. It’s a show that deals with patriarchy, gender, respect, love, race, sexuality, religion, standards, norms, injustice, strength, agency, pain and understanding. And it’s an incredibly layered experience because of it. What you see at first glance, what you think you have to accept, is never the end result. It’s a beautiful thing to watch that progress. It’s a beautiful thing to experience, going from slightly annoyed, a little defeated without knowing it to becoming happy and hopeful.

It feels new. It feels fresh. It lives up to the original series label.

But maybe I shouldn’t say more, because half of the experience really was having all my shitty and sad assumptions shattered while getting to enjoy beautifully written and acted television. The story and character development was just off the hook, mind blown a little. In the best of ways, even if the finale did leave me hurting, hurting real bad.

Watch it, even if you have doubts stick with the show, in the end you’ll be pretty ecstatic you did. Or I was. If it weren’t for the intense pain on behalf of the characters I got to know I’d be dancing around my room doing a CeCe Peniston impression.

I would link you to the trailer, but that sorta feels pointless because it doesn’t even come close to describing what the show is really about. But I will give you the intro. Here you go.

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•June 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m sitting in darkness. I can’t see anything. Useless eyes. Not even any shades. It’s utter and complete. I can’t even tell where I end and the pitch black darkness begins. It’s a sludge. We’re the same. I am the darkness as much as the darkness is something that surrounds and beats down on me.

I need a hero. But I’ve got the wrong DNA. I have all the wrong genes. I don’t get heroes. I must create heroes. Maybe that isn’t a burden, maybe it’s a gift. But it’s also a heavy load. It means I’ll never be able to rest, I’ll never be protected. I’ve got to spin spin spin the web that surrounds me. If I stop it goes away. If I stumble it becomes a mess.

Paranoid egocentrism that isn’t neccesarily far off.

It seems like such a queer adventure.

•June 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Accidentally watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this morning and was reminded of how interesting ageing seems to be. Partly because growing old is the ultimate queerness in the culture we’ve created. It’s something no one speaks about other than in hushed whispers containing a lot of death and retirement home comments, it’s mostly a forgotten, something repressed by the collective obsession of static and youthful immortality. Ageing has no room in a world where Marilyn Monroe and James Dean are ideals highlighted and turned into myths and a biological kind of religion. We’re told that youth should be eternal, that our bodies are temples that should do like the Catholic Church and vegetate into a frozen moment unaffected by the passage of time.

So we pretend old age is a side-effect some of us unlucky few might have to endure as a price for the youthful years of potential fertility and strong bones. In turn old people become queer as fuck by simply being. It’s rather glorious in many ways. You become culturally unstable and almost lawless by the simplest acts such as loudly occupying space other than your deathbed. This means there is so much room for adventures, there’s so much room to finally break free of those last tethers pulling us down and holding us tight against the norm. Because no matter what you do, there is and will never be any way in which you can fulfill the current norm. It’s a lost cause that opens up a whole world of new doors for you to walk, roll or hobble through.

Obviously it is like any other adventure, it’s what you make of it. But I still find myself looking forward to this adventure where your existence becomes a thorn in a sick and twisted society that tolerate you at best. A time in your life when such a simple thing as wearing colourful shoes will make you seem like full-blown radical. It takes so little to upset, because your mere existence is a mortal reminder that chafes and burns in people’s minds and eyes.

I find myself thinking about exploring that new terrain with a huge smile on my face.

(Other stuff that makes ageing seem super cool, Advanced Style)

I’ve soiled the kitchen with my thoughts.

•May 29, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Do you ever feel like your daydreams and fantasies spill out over into the physical world?

Because sometimes my mind plays tricks on me, and thoughts and ideas become so vivid I have a hard time separating them from the physical world. Not that I have a problem separating what’s real from what’s fantasy, but I’ve got this weird thing where I feel as if what’s inside my head can become a tangible physical form and leave traces behind. I sometimes get really anxious because I remember being in a specific room or place and after I’ve left it I get really worried I forgot to rid it off my thoughts. I get this “vision” of how it’s become a goo on the floor or writings on a wall. Then I get really worried someone will walk in on my inner personal thoughts laying about and that they’ll stumble upon my left-over imagination smeared all over the place.

This becomes especially problematic if the thoughts we’re dealing with are of a sexual nature. There is nothing more mortifying than imagining you’ve left your sexual fantasies behind in a public restroom or in someone’s kitchen. The worst part is that you don’t even have to have the thoughts at a specific time/place, but it’s enough to remember a thought for it to leave traces behind. As if the physical realm is just one sticky loofah waiting around to suck up whatever you drop while passing through.  And the shitty thing is that I know how crazy this is and sounds, but that doesn’t stop the burning anxiety from momentarily crippling me as I am struck with the sudden pangs of “oh shit, did I take my daydream with me as I left the lunch room!?”.

Sometimes I think I might have weird problems. But also, I don’t think I’m alone. You so very seldom are. So I’m going to imagine there are a lot of us like this out there. And that’s a thought I have no problem leaving in any place for anyone to find.

It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside…

•May 29, 2013 • 2 Comments

It’s kinda funny that the more I structure my life and the more I work away from kinks and problems that come with a weird brain chemistry the less I feel like myself. I desperately need to remember to pay my bills and eat and similar things. But the more external control and focus that I excersise on my very messy mind I feel a little like I’m getting more firmly caught and stuck in a spider’s web, or as if I’m repeatedly chopping off my foot that then keep on regrowing only for me to do it all over again.

I’m so desperate in my attempts to control myself that I feel like the my has slipped the self. This might be part or entirely a delusion I gently whisper in my mind’s ear to justify not trying very hard at continued structure. But sometimes you just get sick of the to-do lists, the inane habits and the strict walking of that line which is arbitrarily set by others.

This can only end badly, but…sometimes you just don’t have the energy to care so you say fuck it and roll with the shit. I just hope I don’t mean that literally.

Into Darkness without any real Trek feel

•May 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness and it made me realise how badly I miss the Star Trek franchise. I mean this wasn’t a bad movie, even if the dialogue left something to be wished for and the acting was a little off in places. Not to mention the whole old school white dudes run this mother aspect. But it was a solid space action, but it wasn’t a Star Trek movie. They had the old toys and names but other than that it fit none of the old themes and hardly felt like it run along the lines of the regular mottos of this universe. This was all about shooting first and asking questions later. It was big POWs and even bigger WOWs.

And what’s so amazing about the existing series is the pace and the importance of philosophical debate. Even back in the original series there was some room left for it, not as much as in the coming reboots, but it was still there. It was about exploration, it was anthropology class in space. It was hard moral dilemmas to deal with. Ultimately it was also progressive.

This movie on the other hand was all about blowing stuff up; volcanoes, ships, people, libraries, you name it, they exploded it. I get that the pacing of a movie is ultimately very different from that of a weekly TV show, but it felt so simple. It felt as if Star Trek had been stripped of everything that made it Trek.

Maybe I am biased because I’m much more of a fan of the later shows such as TNG and Voyager and this is based heavily on Shatner’s version of Kirk but with a buffed up physic. Which is part of why it also felt so flat. This series is so heavily built around interesting and strong leaders (being backed up by even stronger and more interesting crews) and Kirk isn’t really either of those things. He’s a frat boy and not even putting him in space makes him any more appealing.

Not to mention Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan has to have been the worst casting in the world of casting considering the context of this movie. Basically what it created was to making the main speaking cast as interesting and diverse as something uninteresting and very homogeneous, and left you longing for the background characters’ stories, even just their names would have done. Anything over this bland an impersonal sludge that kept on hogging most of the screen time.

For instance that scene where Sulu takes the bridge stands out and becomes very memorable as it felt like a tiny little taste of what could have been. It reminds you that it could have been a movie in space featuring big cosmic battles but also a movie about people having their abilities seriously tested. I guess you could argue that there was this through Spock’s struggle with his emotions and Kirk and Uhura’s struggles with Spock, but…I…it fell kinda flat. It felt like a prosthetic slapped on the finished movie to give it a human touch so they could justify squeezing four more explosions into the script and add a somewhat superfluous touch of romance.

I’m being picky and grumpy I know and maybe I’d been much more positive about this movie if only there had been a Number One or at least a Janeway. But there were none. There was only a blonde nondescript lady who took her clothes off for no good reason and Uhura who seemed to mostly exist to prop up Kirk and Spock’s relationship. So I’m disgruntled and prone to emphasise the flaws rather than to praise the success.

Yet I was entertained and bedazzled by the visuals. And maybe I shouldn’t complain too much because the first ten minutes were really good and rang true. It was a perfectly silly action movie and I didn’t feel cheated out of my money as I got to see huge space battles set to epic scores. It’s just that it wasn’t original, it wasn’t progressive, it wasn’t philosophical and it wasn’t Star Trek, and I really really miss Star Trek. Because Star Trek used to be all of those things.

Yeah, so what comes after sunscreen?

•May 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

When I was fifteen “wear sunscreen” seemed like a legit and adequate enough of an advice for the future. Now however when maturity is gaining substance and age is becoming a lot more abstract and easily forgotten it has sorta lost its POW.

So I’m closing in on thirty and big picture picture this is no age at all, but it’s reminding me of how lost I am. I’ve literally spent thirty years flailing. It’s over a decade of free falling while randomly and loudly exclaiming SQUIRREL!! as something briefly catches my attention. Then I’m back to letting the wind ruffle my hair as I go weeeeee while spiraling mindlessly.

This has worked. It does work. To some degree at least. But…I’m kinda…I think I need a quest. Something that is a little abstract but can be wrestled into a tangible square of physicality. But the thing is I’m still that lost person. I don’t have a strong conviction that I can use as my calling. Or if I do there’s been too many squirrels along the way to sorta dim the radiance of my zealotry. So again, here I am, lost.

Is this what they mean with age crisis? Could be maybe. But it’s not the age that’s the problem, because that’s pointless, or well it is to me. The problem is that I’ve leveled up, but I don’t know what to spend these new experience points on. In a matter of speaking.

Yeah, I can probably continue with this post with another seven hundred words, but they’d all be metaphors for being lost. So I might as well be content with what I have and for now leave it at that. However I would gladly accept advice beyond wear sunscreen.

 

 

(As I’m looking over the draft of this post it’s becoming abundantly clear what this is all about. My two/three year cycle is closing in on its end stage and I’m becoming restless to the point of being lost and delirious sans the suicidal tendencies. I don’t have any internal long-term motivation so I have to create it artificially through physical plans on paper. Right now I’m in an open-ended one which leaves little to no room for change and it’s making me feel a little cagey. Not because there is something wrong with what I have, but because there is something wrong with my mind. Sitting still does not seem to be an option that gives me much comfort beyond a quick coffee (that’s both figuratively and literally). As much as I revel in the planning and the mental quaking it’s always a life crisis. It’s a kind of rebirth that hurts. Also it’s a dangerously arbitrary selection of singling out on distraction that’s nurtured into a way. Still I’d very much appreciate advice of any kind. In fact I’m jonesing for some.)