It’s Over Now…

It seems odd to celebrate someone’s “death day.”  Given my love of Layne Staley and his music, it would seem more appropriate to celebrate his birthday.  But I can’t help thinking of Layne’s personal struggle with drugs not only every April 5, but almost every time I hear his music.  And I would likely have my “Grunge” card revoked if I didn’t also mention Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, whose suicide ironically occurred on this same day, eight years before, also after a struggle with heroin, which he claimed to have tried in order to help cope with a painful stomach condition.  (It is interesting to note that in both cases, the musicians’s bodies were not discovered immediately after their deaths, so the date of their death was determined by medical professionals.)

“We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time…

If I can’t be my own, I’d feel better dead”

 

“Chaos and hate shadow me, pain it fills me up…Only one thing makes me feel, missing better half of me.”

 

 

*related: http://alienredqueen.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/in-chains-music-and-drug-addiction/

 

Kurt Donald Cobain~ 2/20/1967-4/5/1994

Layne Thomas Staley~ 8/22/1967- 4/5/2002

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James Franco: Perfect or Pervy?

So, if you’ve been on social media at all today you may have seen the various stories about James Franco allegedly attempting to “hook up” with a seventeen year old young woman via Instagram. In case you missed it, here’s a highlight:

Girl goes to show.  Girl meets Franco and takes Instagram with him.  Girl “tags” Franco in photo.  Franco tries to score with girl.
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I mean, in my opinion, he seems to come across as a petulant teen boy with blue balls at one point, (after the girl once again asks for proof of identity) saying “I gave it to you.  If you don’t wanna meet, then text me when you do.”  As in…call me when you’re ready to put out? And then, in a “surprise twist” (haha,) girl is too smart to fall for it and tricks Franco into proving his identity with photos. And despite the fact that Franco is obviously looking for a booty call and not much more  and was trying to sign off when she wasn’t interested, despite the fact that she is barely this side of legal (apparently 17 is legal in NY?) some people on social media and news comment sections are feeling bad for Franco, and blaming the girl, like she somehow “entrapped” him. Even if it’s legal and she is beyond the “age of reason” and legally able to make a yes or no decision on whether or not she wants to be another notch on Franco’s bedpost, she tried to catch him in his bullshit, and some people are pissed at her for it.  What does that say about how far our society has or hasn’t come in regards to gender differences and sexuality?

 

EDIT: Update 2/4/2014   James Franco “scandal” a hoax to promote his new film?

EDIT: Update 2/4/2014   James Franco admits embarrassing incident on Instagram

Oh, okay, so he admits to being caught being a creeper.  Does this “confession” change the fact that he was trolling for young poontang?

‘Murica V. America

My regular readers know how much I dislike the hypocritical, intolerant, and generally ignorant memes going around now, so I came up with a rebuttal.  Hopefully it will make some people feel stupid.

THEIRS:

'Murica... cuz this is my cuntry...

‘Murica… cuz this is my cuntry…

MINE:

America...because there were actually people here already when when our ancestors got to "our" country...

America…because there were actually people here already when when our ancestors got to “our” country…

At least the immigrants everyone complains about now aren’t trying to hand out small pox infested blankets or anything.  How dare they want any rights or respect in this country?

Rest In Peace, Plutarch

I love all the people slinging shit around Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death. Yes, he was a junkie! Yes, he had small children that needed him. But I all these people judging him like, “He should have just stayed clean…” (really?) are just showing how ignorant they are about the struggle of addiction.
I read in an article recently that, when asked how bad his problem was, he claimed he knew he would die soon if he couldn’t get clean. He tried to get clean, going to AA and rehab more than once. He actually remained cleaned for quite a while, a stretch of (I think) around 20 years. And he clearly was no longer using for the “fun of it.” He was suffering with his addiction, and his story, right up to his “death prediction,” reminds me once again of Layne Staley– another brilliant artist who suffered and lost his battle with addiction.
So I wish people would stop being so damn high and mighty, especially about things I’m betting most of them have never battled themselves. At the very least, if they have nothing “nice” to say, they should just refrain from commenting at all.
The air must be really nice up on that high horse. ~smh

images (1)

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee

The Monroe Meme:They Said It First!

JEuBmMY

And I’ve thought something along these lines every time I see one of those memes come through my Facebook feed.  Okay, not exactly in those wordsreally…just that perhaps her quotes aren’t necessarily “words to live by,” when considered within the scope of her many insecurities, mistakes, and less-than-admirable traits.  While I would not call her a whore, it is considered pretty much general knowledge that she carried on affairs with a very married President of the United States (and later after being rejected by him, with his brother.) In fact, it is said she became somewhat obsessed with the Prez, although he seemed to view her as not much more than a very pretty notch on his proverbial bedpost.  But I am referring to more than just her sexual proclivities and questionable relationships.

[By]1956 …she’d begun to lose herself to self-doubt, depression, drugs, and alcohol.

[Her] mother and maternal grandparents had all struggled with mental illness and institutionalization, [and she] began taking sleeping pills for her insomnia. She regularly consulted psychiatrists. She drank heavily, and began a habit of arriving late to work, and sometimes not being able to work at all.

In short, she was kind of a basketcase.  To top it all off (no pun intended,) she ended her career and life early with an intentional overdose of barbiturates.  The image I get of her is a woman who was trying to make her way and own her sexuality in a largely male dominated industry.  However there seemed to be a dichotomy between the part of her that relished her sexuality and the power it gave her, and part of her still felt objectified and dependent on men.

 “People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn’t see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.”

“Please don’t make me a joke.  End the interview with what I believe. I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not trying to crap on her memory; I rather like her.  I’m not even trying to pass judgment on her chasing a married man, even allegedly pulling that huge mistress party foul and calling his wife.  I’m not passing judgment on her drug use, and definitely not her depression.  I’m not even saying the fact of these things invalidates her ideas…  If anything, it makes her very “human.”  I am just not sure that when people quote her for her empowered and self-actualized feminine ideology, they realize all the ways in which she was not necessarily “role model” material, especially not for young women just coming into their sexuality (not to mention the emotional upheaval of adolescence . ) 

 ” I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.”

” I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”

” If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere.”

” Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

(source)

Admittedly, many of her quotes do seem empowered and self-actualized.  But the fact of her downward spiral and consequent suicide seems to indicate that all her self-actualization and pragmatic ideas on the ways of the world were not enough to save her from her inner demons.

Rest in peace, Norma Jean…

WWJD. Or something like that.

So, my regular readers know I’m not especially religious…and that I’m actually especially suspicious and cynical about organized religion…  And as I was laying in bed last night/this morning, busy with the business of not sleeping, I got to thinking about something that occupies my mind too often lately;

How much I hate most people on the internet.  

How rude and obnoxious the anonymity of online forums and social sites allow some people to be.

And how much I really need to start extricating myself from the internet’s devious grasp.  I spend too much time arguing with asshats I don’t even know…because, even though I know it’s not my job to school people, there are some displays of douchebaggery I have a hard time just passing by.

So I thought, I need to handle this stuff better.  I thought…

WWJD?

But I don’t believe in Jesus.  Besides, my real question would be “Would Jesus Slap the Shit Out of Someone For This?”  But WJStSOoSFT is just not as pithy as WWJD…so, who could I emulate in these types of situations that would better fit my ideology AND this sweet acronym???

Here’s a few of the solutions I came up with, inspired by some of the best “J’s” ever…

Q:  Someone is being dick on the internet and I can’t punch them in the face…  What do I do???

A:

Q:   What would Johnny do?   A: Get High and Eat Cake

Q: What would Johnny do?
A: Get High and Eat Cake

A:

Q: What Would Jack Do? A: "The problem is not the problem.  The problem is your attitude about the problem" or... "I was my hands of this weirdness."

Q: What Would Jack Do?
A: “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem”
or…
“I wash my hands of this weirdness.”

A:

Q: What Would Johnny (Knoxville) Do? A:  Break something, or hit someone in the balls and film it.

Q: What Would Johnny (Knoxville) Do?
A: Break something, or hit someone in the balls… and film it.

And if all else fails:

Q: What would John (Torrance) Do? A: Start talking to the voices and smashing shit up...

Q: What would John (Torrance) Do?
A: Start talking to the voices and smashing shit up…

This last one also begs the question, What Would Jack (Nicholson) Do?  The answer is probably the same.

Happy Tuesday!

Hairy Pits and Stinky Breath

I love fiction.  Love to be immersed in a good book…or book series.  Love movies, especially horror films. I’m one of those people that will suspend disbelief over things like dinosaurs jumping through rifts in time, and massive pandemics killing off entire populations…

And yet I can’t quite seem to get through a show without nitpicking the little things.  I think about things that a lot of people either don’t consider, or choose not to consider.

Like, I love a good period piece just like most other people.  I totally got sucked into Game of Thrones, along with everyone else…

And yet those steamy and/or romantic sex scenes…

GOTclinch

Yeah, those…  All I can think of is how not only did hardly anyone have perfect, white teeth like they do in these shows, without modern dental care, most people were likely missing teeth, and what teeth they had were probably half rotten, and all bucked and twisted.  And can you imagine what their breath would be like?  I guess they had to ignore such things if they wanted to, you know, propagate the species.  But I’m betting there weren’t nearly so many passionate kisses or face-to-face close embraces as the writers of this type of story like to imagine.

250px-MaterCars

And if I’m lyin’, I’m cryin’!

I mean, I don’t know specifically what era Game of Thrones is set in, however if one were to infer anything from the clothing styles, type of ruling party, and customs, it could likely be anywhere between the 14th and 18th centuries.  Personal hygiene likely left a lot to be desired back then.  Apparently, people in medieval times actually did bathe quite often, and it wasn’t until the renaissance that people began to fear that frequent bathing might be “unhealthy.”  Often, only visible body parts were washed, and the remaining “odors” from infrequently bathed people were covered by perfumes and the like.  Now…without being too vulgar, you can just imagine which parts went unwashed.  And then we’re supposed to believe in hot, steamy, romantic sex???

But let’s set that aside for a moment.  Let’s focus on the visual aspect of hygiene.  We are always being told that “men are visual” creatures when it comes to sex, but I’d wager both women and men take for granted some of the anachronistic hygiene practices seen in most period pieces.  Like shaving.

Aside from dictates written by the Prophet Muhammad regarding  hygiene and codes of conduct for those of Muslim faith, historically speaking, cosmetic shaving/hair removal was not a widespread practice, and made its way to the West around 1915. (source)

Take these hot chicks for example;  I’m not picking on GOT specifically (hey, even I would probably bang Daenerys Targaryen); it just happens to suit my purposes as far as examples go.  I mean, people seem to be naked a lot in this particular period piece.

"I've got this unidentifiable lump right...here..."

“I’ve got this unidentifiable lump right…here.  DO you think it’s an ingrown hair?”

They’d likely have looked more like…

this :

(wikipedia)

(wikipedia)

TO be fair, this isn’t the only type of stuff I nitpick.  Having at least a small knowledge of criminal justice, I love  to pick apart police procedural dramas.  One of the biggest pieces of crap almost all of them try to sell is the idea that one small team personally goes through every step of crime solving, from collecting their own evidence, processing said evidence in their own lab, conducting often aggressive interviews with suspects and witnesses, and finally solving the crime and (in some cases) participating in the prosecution.

Likely I don’t have to tell most of you that not only is this not the case, it’s not really even feasible, let alone in the unusually short time span which these TV detectives clear their cases (a few days.)  Oh well.  I suppose if they portrayed it at the snail’s pace which some murder cases plod along, they’d lose viewers to comatose boredom.  Also, if they included the real number of people it likely takes to solve most crimes, viewers would not be able to keep track with, or more importantly, “bond” with the characters.  And that would never do since a lot of TV shows are successful, I would wager, because of the viewers’ attachments to certain characters.  So I just have to suspend my disbelief.  And it’s really not that big of a deal for me.  As I may have mentioned before. I really don’t ask for much when it comes to “entertainment” TV or films.  I just want to be immersed in a different kind of place for a short period of time and be…well, entertained.

So, what are some of your pet peeves when it comes to TV inaccuracies?

In Which I Comment About A Movie I Haven’t Yet Finished

Bored with your DVD collection?  Try watching a subtitled movie with a toddler.  You’ll likely get a different plot every time.  Last night hubby and started watching The Sorcerer and the White Snake.  We’ve had this on our Netflix queue for a while and I figured it was just a typical Jet Li martial arts movie.  Don’t get me wrong, I like both of those things, but I haven’t been in a martial arts movie mood lately.  But hubby put it on last night for a while, although it’s definitely a challenge watching a movie that required actual reading of subtitles, I got the gist of most of the plot, just missed some convos between characters here and there.  But we never got to finish the movie, and who knows when we will, so…

images

In many ways this was a typical martial arts film, but it had a lot of Chinese mysticism thrown in there– talking animals and shape-changing demons– as if it were the most natural thing in the word.  Now for your entertainment (and my own,) I’ll extrapolate some possible “interpretations” of scenes from the movie… and, shockingly, virtually no spoilers.*

"We are having so much fun frolicking in this field!"

“We are having so much fun frolicking in this field!”

"You only want me for my body..."

“You only want me for my body…”

"Mmmm...it really does taste like chicken..."

“Mmmm…it really does taste like chicken…”

 

Now this scene…pretty easy really.

A look like this usually says one of two things: 1) I'm dying, or 2) I love you and I'm gonna suck your face off now.

A look like this usually says one of two things:
1) I’m dying, or
2) I love you and I’m gonna suck your face off now.

What about this one?

"Be gone, foul temptresses!"

“Be gone, foul temptresses!”

"Ooooh! Jet Li!  Can we get your autograph?!"

“Ooooh! Jet Li! Can we get your autograph?!”

"Mah bitches..."

“Mah bitches…”

And lastly…

"mmmmm...boobies..."

“mmmmm…boobies…”

So anyhoo…sorry I’ve been lazy with my posts and comments lately.  I’ll try to be better…maybe.  In the meantime, maybe check out this movie.  Maybe even watch it without the subtitles…

 

 

Humpday Food For Thought: Read This Book

I’ve had a couple things rattling around in the ol’ gulliver. One is this book.

Gulliver: a slang term used by the character “Alex” in the book A Clockwork Orange (by Anthony Burgess,) and later a movie by the same title directed by Stanley Kubrick. Russian/Gypsy “NADSAT” teenage vernacular.  (source) 

Yeah, I’m re-reading A Clockwork Orange.  For those of you who never have read Anthony Burgess novel from which Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic film was based, it’s definitely worth the read, if for no other reason than because the end of the movie is not the true end of the story.  The book is written from the point of view of the main character; it wouldn’t be appropriate to necessarily call him a “protagonist” in the traditional sense, because Alex is, at least initially, not a very sympathetic character.  He’s actually a sociopath juvenile delinquent.  Published in 1962, the novel is still surprisingly relevant.  The setting is some future, dingy, dystopic London, where gangs roam the streets with near impunity, especially at night.  Different age groups seem to have different slang, a language all their own almost, and the narrator is no exception.  While the seeming overabundance of essentially made up words is a bit overwhelming at first (there’s actually a glossary of Nadsat language included in the back of my copy of the book,) the reader eventually gets used to seeing certain terms repeated, and the definition of other Nadsat words may be gleaned from the context in which they’re used.  I think the use of this “language” is part of the reason for the book’s timelessness.  The fictional slang often takes the place of words that might otherwise date the material more.

The novel has three main parts, the first of which opens on Alex and his gang’s path of drugging, rape, and violence on a typical (for them) night in the city.  Supposedly inspired by actual events of violence and juvenile delinquency experienced by the author and his family, the novel is a scathing (and still very relevant) political text on the condition of youth violence and the idea of free will, with harrowing consequences.

Anyway…all of this amounts to… it’s a hell of a book and you should read it.

a-clockwork-orange_592x299

clockwork_big

Scooby Doo “Misogyny Incorporated”

I’ve always liked Scooby Doo cartoons.  Maybe the “spooky” plots appealed to my budding love of horror (as a child), or maybe I just had the same love of the ginormous and dopey Scooby that I imagine was pretty common.  And in it’s current incarnation Mystery Incorporated, I can enjoy a show that has survived, relatively unchanged, with my daughter.  

But maybe that’s the problem.  It is relatively unchanged.  Despite the more modern technology included in the newer episodes, and the added element of fairly shallow relationship drama between the characters, the same ol’ costumes the characters have always worn are not the only thing that is painfully retro about this show.

I'm always stoked to see the characters in anything besides their normal outfits, even if it is a stereotypically sexist situation like...ugh...the girls at a spa.

I’m always stoked to see the characters in anything besides their normal outfits…even if it is a stereotypically sexist situation.

Though featuring some pretty decent names in the voice cast– Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Patrick Warburton as the recurring character, Sheriff Stone, Gary Cole, Vivica Fox, Francis Conroy, Tia Carrere, Jeff Bennett (animated voice actor heavy weight!), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs!!!) and Casey Kasem (radio personality and the original Shaggy)– I’m a bit disappointed in Mystery Incorporated.

Hanna- Barbera, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network had an opportunity here to not only revamp this old series, but to reel in a new generation of kids with trickier plots, smarter technology, and better role models…and they failed miserably.  I realize it’s just a cartoon, and but doesn’t the inclusion of an element of mystery sort of imply they want kids to be interested while they are entertained, and to think?  

Instead. what we got was the same old boring formula.  Sure, the some of the monsters may be a little more innovative, and the Scooby and “the gang” have more electronic toys available to them to help them on their way, but that’s pretty much the extent of the changes.  I realize the creators and producers likely want to stay sort of loyal to the originals; if they changed too much, the show might lose some of it’s nostalgic appeal for older viewers like me.  Playing devil’s advocate though, how many of today’s viewers really have any frame of reference in regards to the older Scooby shows??? Wikipedia is more generous in their assessment of the show, stating:

 [...]the series takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the classic Scooby-Doo formula (similar to A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!), with increasingly outlandish technology, skills and scenarios making up each villain’s story, and a different spin on the famous “meddling kids” quote at the end of every episode. Contrasting sharply with this, however, are two elements that have never been used in a Scooby-Doo series before: a serial format with an ongoing story arc featuring many dark plot elements that are treated with near-total seriousness, and ongoing relationship drama between the characters.

But what rankled me the most about the show is something that was probably present in the earlier shows as well, but was likely something I just didn’t pick up on as much in my younger days, and that is the overall superficiality of the characters and the reinforcement of cliquishness and stereotypes.

Daphne is the “pretty one.”  She’s a rich girl from a rich, snobby family, and she simpers over Fred as if being the object of his affection and attention her life’s dream.

And poor Velma.  She’s smart and she’s the techie of the group (if you discount Fred’s obsession with ridiculously elaborate traps.)   She’s curvy and wears her signature skirt, turtleneck, knee socks, and glasses…  And she is still alluded to as being the homely, nerdy, lonely, and even fat girl of the group.  Fat???  Since when is having boobs and a butt a bad thing?  Oh, right…in this country the “prettiest” women on our magazine covers are as narrow and devoid of curves as a twelve year old boy…  And everyone is subject to our scrutiny.

I forgot...this is America, so apparently, this is fat...

I forgot…this is America, so apparently, this is fat…

The other day I saw an episode about a villain that was performing some sort of love spell on people, resulting in immediate and random pairings of characters– just whoever they happened to be standing next to at the moment.  Granted, it was always a perfectly even ration of male to female characters– no sexually ambiguous pairings on this show!–  But that didn’t stop Daphne from pointing out,  in a shocked and appalled voice, the fact that “nerds” and “cool people” were suddenly in love!  Eeek! The humanity!

There’s another character on the show named Marcie Fleach.  Her nickname is “hot dog water.”  It made me giggle at first…until the characters went on to characterize her;  she’s smart… but she’s rumpled and messy looking, and she allegedly smells like “recycled water used to cook hot dogs.”  In short, she’s the class freak, and she’s portrayed with in the same “ugly betty” way as Velma (basically, if they didn’t tell you she was supposed to be ugly, you probably wouldn’t think it.)  I know I’m not the first person to notice the way “smart” people are always categorically considered “ugly.”

Ugly Betties

Ugly Betties

Those of you who are regular readers know that I’m not generally in the habit of making mountains out of mole hills, but for some reason, this annoys the piss out of me.  If I really think about it, it’s probably because this type of categorization is so adolescent.  It’s introducing our young children to “the IN-crowd,” teaching kids that it’s normal and okay to ostracize people based on how they look.  It’s reinforcing immature stereotypes that start in elementary school and (more and more frequently lately) result in bullying and violence in high school.

I’m not trying to be all chicken little here.  The sky’s not falling, or anything because of this stupid kid’s show.  I just basically don’t like snobby people or bullies.  That kind of behavior is not something I want my daughter to learn, pigeon-holing people into groups (which are then basically judged as worthy or not worthy of inclusion.)

What do you think, gentle readers?