further annoying recounting of strange dreams

i had a very strange dream last night.

i dreamed i was on the phone with my investment guy, greg. i hadn’t meant to call him, i had mis-dialed but i was too embarrassed to admit it. so there i was, telling him about the first serious crush i ever had on a girl in grade 5. he was all ears. i told him her name was diane lamoureux and she had been a year older than me. i could hear his fingers clicking away on a computer keyboard, and a second later, he told me that it looked like she was now single and living in powell river. greg noted that with my band playing all over vancouver island and the sunshine coast (for the record, i haven’t played in a touring band for 10 years and have never played a show on the sunshine coast but i guess that was a subplot to the dream that was never expanded upon), it was quite plausible that i could meet up with her there at some point in the near future. suddenly i was no longer embarrassed for calling greg about this since he was so quick and helpful about it. he emailed me a clever, albeit lengthy, video diane had made for an online dating site, and i couldn’t believe how stunning she had turned out — she actually looked nothing like the skinny 11-yr old i had been so enamoured with back in 1990. go figure. she now looked like the titular character from the late 90’s/early 2000’s tv show, felicity, but with the most piercing and beautiful light blue eyes.

fleicity

diane, you’ve changed.

suddenly, there i was in powell river, except powell river was more like the set of degrassi junior high or beverly hills 90210. it was comprised of basically just a single street that housed everything necessary for filming a show. i walked into the diner where all the cool kids hung out, bumped into diane, and tried to play it cool with a quick “oh hello, crazy seeing you here.” i went outside and everything was tinted an apocalyptic orange colour, like the world was on fire. a voice boomed over loudspeakers on the tiny town/film set, saying something like “seek cover or be incinerated by purifying ray of the eye of horath” — i think my mind meant the eye of horus but got it wrong, which is kind of funny.

horus-eye-udjat-egyptian-symbol-tattoo1

the purifying eye of horus, you dummy

all the powell river inhabitants in the know calmly walked inside the closest establishment, chatting away with each other like nothing was up. i was ignorant so i just backed myself right up against a small water tower. then a thin red laser, like the kind emitted from the sight of a sniper rifle, began appearing from unknown origins. it would appear, arc slowly for a second or two across a surface while scorching it, disappear, and then reappear elsewhere in the town. i realized, “whoah, this is serious.” right then, i sensed it had found me so i jumped as high as i could so that it would fire at me at the same point that i started coming down from my jump. ingenious. it was just a normal jump, like two feet high, max. pretty pathetic but it worked. the laser came from the sky and only grazed my white t-shirt before i was out of its way. i fell to my side on the ground to get as far away from it as i could and watched it slowly burn the water tower as it crept toward me on a slight arc before it suddenly disappeared and started doing its thing elsewhere in the tiny town. my shirt had just a small black burn mark on it, like tetsuo in akira when kaneda’s laser rifle runs out of juice. i thought, “what’s the big deal about this stupid laser? i should have been instantly vaporized but all i got was this cigarette burn on my shirt.”

that’s the last thing i remember about the dream, although i think i just got up and continued walking through town, contemplating my next move for how i could casually bump into ol’ diane again.

i have no idea where most of this one comes from. i was thinking about my kindergarten class picture a few days ago, and whenever i think of diane i picture her from our split grade 5/6 class picture. seems like a bit of a stretch but that’s all i can think of for that. for powell river, we talked a bit about savory island last night and that’s near powell river, so i think that’s that. no idea why greg, my financial guy, was in there, and no idea about the laser, or the reference to the eye of horus in particular. i didn’t even know i was aware of the term, ‘eye of horus.’ i’ve been slowly reading a national geographic article on king akhenaten so that must be where the egyptian aspect came from but it hasn’t mentioned the eye of horus at all so that’s a very strange one.

time to look up diane and see what she really looks like now.

fuck! i can’t find anything! she must be hiding from the eye of horath.

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no love

today i was thinking about why i like the exorcist so much. there are obviously a ton of good reasons — strong cast, excellent character development, amazing special effects, religious themes that resonate with me in a big way — but today i realized something else about it i hadn’t thought of before: no romantic subplot!

captain_howdy

except between me and captain howdy, of course.

i couldn’t believe i never noticed this before. i mean, romantic subplots are ubiquitous, and one of the things i hate most in film, TV, and books. nothing ruins a story for me quicker than a predictable, paint-by-numbers story arc: boy meets girl, they seem perfect together, a misunderstanding makes one doubt the other, the misunderstood one vindicates themselves, happily ever after. barf.

what’s even worse is that so many movies and TV shows actually focus largely on this kind of romantic subplot formula but use different story backgrounds so that they can market the show at a different audience. walking dead and true blood for horror fans, mad men for hipsters, breaking bad for skids, game of thrones and big bang theory for nerds…the list goes on. all these shows employ the same old “i thought i could trust you, tim..i thought you were different from the others. i guess i was wrong…” bullshit romantic melodrama, and it’s not just a small side story. that’s actually the focus of the show. the zombies, sword battles, and meth labs are actually the minor details in those shows. they just provide a seemingly unlikely stage where the romance can take place.

yup, everyone just wants to watch the same shitty love story over and over.

i’m veering way off topic onto one of my usual rants so let me rein it back in here. my point is that while most shows employ hackneyed romantic techniques not only for subplots but for primary plots, the exorcist doesn’t even contemplate romance at all. there is zero romance in it. it’s about other things: good, evil, faith, loss of faith. what a breath of fresh air.

but then i started thinking about some of my other favourite films, like the deer hunter, blade runner, the last temptation of christ, akira, the shining, princess mononoke, and apocalypse now, and i realized that there is very little romance in those too. and what romance there is, is far more complex and understated.

i’m not surprised that i prefer subtle, more interesting approaches to typical themes like romance but what i am surprised by is that i didn’t even notice until now that the greatest films of all time (in my opinion, anyway) would place so little emphasis on romance, if any at all.

that just reinforces my belief that romance for the sake of romance in art is just a cheap technique to sell shoddy products to disinterested audiences. i’m sure the same applies to every other medium, too.

people are so disappointing.

all that being said, i still really like love story from 1970. that was a touching flick.

love-story

it’s a guilty pleasure.

i like me, and this

do you know what i like about this blog? besides every single post, i mean. i like that it gives me a place to write down my thoughts on random shit and review them as many times as i want. reviewing is actually really important to me because i frequently find the way i first write stuff isn’t quite what i mean or intended to communicate. in that case it’s nice because i can edit stuff over and over, even years afterward, until i’m finally satisfied that i have said what i actually wanted to. then in the future when i come back and read that post again, i think to myself, “i agree with my past self 100%. nice work, david.” that’s incredibly satisfying.

my last post is what got me thinking about this. the first paragraph about christians didn’t quite say what i had meant to say. it was a little unfocused, and a little finger-waggy. after 7 or 8 tweaks, i finally think i’ve got it, and that feels great.

i know this blog doesn’t mean much to anyone else, and tiny details like a few euphemisms or needless words here and there mean even less to others, but it’s important to me to say what i mean. i want to clearly and correctly represent my rage and indignity.

tetsuo

perfect!

“whole alternatives” is a whole lot of bullshit. so are big film awards.

fuck these guys

i haven’t had popcorn in years and have been watching lots of crappy stephen king flicks with dana recently so i decided to pick some popcorn up. there was all the usual big name stuff but then i saw some stuff with “USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC” and “GMO FREE” writing on it, and it was on sale for less than the big name stuff. i like organic shit and think monsanto is an entity of pure evil that cannot be trusted (although GMO’s themselves may have some place in the world) so i gave this upstart popcorn a shot.

but it sucks, and that sucks.

the god damn stuff didn’t pop worth a shit. after the instructed time in the microwave, less than half the bag had popped. it tasted fine but i felt ripped off that i got such a paltry amount of popcorn. i didn’t lose my shit over it though, i just thought, “maybe that was a bad bag,” and dana and i continued watching the first episode of the 1997 made-for-tv version of ‘the shining’ (which was awful).

then last night i tried to watch an old jack nicholson film, ‘the passenger.’ it earned some awards back in its day but it sucked. i turned it off halfway through, so boring. you know what i’ve learned? basically, if a film gets academy awards or anything like that, it’s a guaranteed piece of shit. for instance, the whole motivation of nicholson’s character in ‘the passenger’ was unclear from the start. he stole a dead man’s identity but i wasn’t sure why until i read the story online afterward. that’s dumb. shit should be clear, unless it’s an abstract art film. then nicholson met a young girl and she asked who he is. he said he used to be someone else but traded him in. then he asked the girl what she’s doing and she replied that she’s talking to a man who might be someone else. this was not delivered in an abstract, interesting way. it was delivered like two normal strangers just talking, even though what they said was far too unlikely, too implausible, to be a casual conversation. and that pissed me off.

dialogue like that is so fucking pretentiously artsy in the lamest, most flaccid way possible. it’s the sort of shit that gives wannabe art losers boners. it’s for the sort of turds who watch the academy awards and think that they really matter. that’s the sort of people who would say “wow, what great dialogue.” suck my dick. it’s not good dialogue, it’s smug and simpering. it’s shit.

the sort of idiot that thinks limp, unrealistic, vaguely mysterious and romantic dialogue is clever and intriguing.

now think about all the amazing films that didn’t clean up at any awards — akira, eraserhead, the exorcist, mad max, the shining, eyes wide shut, edward scissorhands, bladerunner, batman (the michael keaton/jack nicholson one), polyester, the tenant, repulsion, blah blah blah. i could go on. i think all those flicks are a lot more interesting, more multidimensional, more thought-provoking than anything the academy awards has ever gushed over. my point is that any movie that has any edge to it, any aesthetic other than soft, benign, unobjectionable, any film that is not palatable for mass consumption in some way, is overlooked by the major awards. major awards are just a way for a bunch of phony fucking industry types to pat each other on the back and get drunk on champagne. it’s a sickening thing.

ANYWAY. so i was watching that lousy fucking film and i thought, “maybe some popcorn will make this bearable.” i threw a bag of organic, GMO-free popcorn in the microwave for 3 minutes, like the directions said. and by the end of it, nothing had popped. nothing. the bag was as flat as when i put it in. i had never encountered such a faulty bag of popcorn before so i didn’t know what do do. i put it in for another 3 minutes and the stuff popped intermittently but by the end, the bag looked pretty full. i shook it, opened it, and found once again that less than half of the stuff had popped. i thought, “fuck,” and ate it because it was getting late and i needed to get through this god damn movie. i was left with a half-full bowl of popcorn kernels staring at me, mocking me, reminding me of my wasted $4. so i put a plate over the bowl and put them back in the microwave for 4 more minutes. by the end of that, most of them appeared popped. i tried one and it was bland as all hell. that was it, i gave up. i threw the shitty popcorn out, turned off the stupid fucking movie, and went to bed.

it was a bad night. i considered it.

do you know what really pisses me off about the popcorn? not my wasted $4. i can suck that up. what pisses me off is that other people who may be on the fence about supporting organic and GMO-free stuff might try this popcorn, have the same shitty experience as me, and say “holy fuck, organic stuff sucks. i’m just going to stick with cheetos and their chemicals and unsustainable palm oil farming practices.” i’m worried about this crappy ‘whole alternatives’ brand giving organic, GMO-free food a bad rap.

so i went to their website, which is so terrible that it looks like a fake site. i clicked on ‘contact us’ and expected to see an online comment/complain form, but nope. just a phone #. that’s ridiculous since no one talks on the phone anymore. but i called anyway, and guess what. wrong #. it went to some lady’s voice mail who does not appear to have any connection to ‘whole alternatives’ whatsoever. so i’m not sure how i’m supposed to complain to them.

don’t buy this junk. or better yet, find a way to contact them and give them shit. i sure as hell can’t.

and that’s how i wound up here, bitching at great length about my terrible popcorn and film experiences of last night.

first world problems.

never recommend anything

the second you recommend anything to anyone, you create a level of expectation for that person. if you say, “check akira out, it’s not only one of the best examples of anime but also one of the greatest films ever made,” it’s really fucking unlikely that akira is going to live up to that hype. your pal is now going to expect to love akira like you do, that’s probably not going to happen, and they’re going to wind up disappointed with the film. congrats, you just ruined your friend’s chance to enjoy something cool that they might have otherwise really dug. so never, ever say that kind of thing to anyone.

akira

“oh, it’s not bad…i guess.”

it’s like when metallica released the black album. a lot of old fans heard it and said, “this sucks. their old thrashier stuff was way better.” but if the black album was the first record released by a brand new band, if the old metallica fans were not expecting to hear thrash metal on the album in the first place, they would probably have loved it. they would have said, “this is really heavy and awesome. what a great production. what crushing grooves.” the only thing that ruined that album for a lot of those fans were the preconceptions and expectations they had of it.

moral of the story: recommend nothing, unless it’s a really lackadaisical recommendation that couldn’t possibly get anyone excited for whatever you’re talking about. like, “yeah, maybe try watching akira. [head tilted, looking at the ground, shrugging shoulders] you might like it. or not, i don’t know. it’s not for everyone. [heavy sighing]”

and expect nothing, save for disappointment. that way you’re more likely to be pleasantly surprised when you actually enjoy some things.