a tangled web

it’s been a while since i complained about a news article but i just found one that got me going.

a couple in halifax was engaged but didn’t see eye to eye on the wedding planning — he wanted something cheaper, she wanted something more expensive — so the guy postponed the wedding. in response, the woman ended the relationship altogether.

then they went to court to fight over who got to keep the $19,000 engagement ring. there were texts of him telling her she could keep the ring but i guess he hadn’t meant it, or maybe he had a change of heart. she said she just wanted to sell the ring to pay off debt incurred from planning the wedding. now the guy has claimed bankruptcy so neither of them get the ring — the bank gets it.

what a disaster, and what a perfect example of how petty and cruel human beings can be, even to the people we claim to love and cherish the most. it’s a good thing these clowns didn’t actually tie the knot.

my problems with this story are:

  1. a couple not being able to come to a compromise on wedding plans, and ultimately breaking up over them, is absolutely pathetic.
  2. both people going into debt just planning a wedding — not even getting to the wedding itself — is also pathetic.
  3. spending $19,000 on a ring is beyond pathetic. not to mention that the diamond industry is horrific in its treatment of workers and the environment, and carefully controls their own market to inflate prices ridiculously. every sensible person should boycott diamonds.
  4. despite their apparent dire financial straits, the couple managed at one point to afford a trip to mexico together for which the small claims adjudicator ordered the woman pay her ex back $3000. i can’t believe that a financially strapped couple would drop this kind of money on a vacation.

it’s all so depressing. i hate seeing evidence that these kind of people really do exist. i mean, i bitch about them all the time but i rarely see this kind of detailed evidence of them so this is a real mindfuck. did i mention he has his full name tattooed on his left bicep in a crossword-style, along with the words “reign” and “journey”? i’m not sure if those are the terrible names he picked for his poor, unfortunate children, or if they’re merely words the big cornball finds inspirational. he also has numerous other lame inspirational tattoos that mention dedication and being strong and have lots of ellipses. why do people overuse ellipses so much now, anyway? what a fucking ghastly trend that is.

man, there’s a lot to hate about this one little news story.

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the unhappy couple themselves. what a surprise that a competitive bodybuilder would turn out to be crazy.

 

the show ‘catfish’ acts like it’s about helping people, but it’s not. it’s actually just a freakshow.

jenn has occasionally watched a show called catfish that i’ve had the misfortune of witnessing. it’s a documentary series where people who have fallen in love with someone online but have not been able to meet their e-love track those people down and actually meet face to face. inevitably, there is a ton of juicy drama caught on tape because when they finally meet, one person is an unemployed, obese basement dweller who claimed to be a successful model. you can imagine the disappointment and confrontations that would ensue.

there’s obviously a lot to hate about this show: people who end up in long term online relationships with people who refuse to actually meet them; people who can’t sort that situation out on their own and require the aid of a FUCKING TV SHOW to help them do it; people who want to expose their most private, intimate moments on tv — that’s all red flag, “i’m a screaming fuckhead” stuff. but that’s not the worst part.

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i don’t even need to add a snarky photo caption.

the worst part is the hosts (nev schulman and max joseph) who give the impression that they and their show are all about helping people find truth, admit mistakes, grant forgiveness, ***and maybe even find love***. the truth is, that’s only a tiny fraction of the show. the vast majority of it is spent mercilessly capturing all the painful, awkward, heated moments on film. like when two people finally meet and realize one has been lying to the other for several years, and the host says, “we’ll give you a few minutes on your own to talk,” acting like he’s giving them some time to work things out privately, away from prying eyes. he then walks away, but the cameras and microphones keep on rolling, capturing it all in HD. come on, get real. internationally televised conversations are not private.

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“i’m gonna move over here, just ignore the camera guy act and have that awkward, heavy conversation. act natural and say ‘like’ a lot. ok, roll tape.”

these guys are either delusional or soulless liars because the truth is obvious. no one watches catfish for the happy endings or the last shot at redemption that max and nev encourage each participant to give each other. people watch it to see crazy shit go down, to see what crazy lies some crazy trash is telling to some crazy fool. that’s why the juicy drama makes up about 95% of each episode. max and nev are all too happy to oblige their audiences craving, just as long as they can still market themselves as altruistic hipster angels.

oh yeah, and the music fucking sucks. it’s all hipster garbage with typical “whooah oh oh oh oh oh” choruses, just like i’ve bitched about before, and they use it ham-handedly to try to amplify the tone of any given scene. like, “here’s where she forgives him, cue the hopeful whooah oh oh oh oh chorus from that mumford and sons knockoff act.”

i’d like to make note that while reading up on the show and these guys, i learned nev was thrown out of a university for punching out a female student. after internet rumours about this swirled for a while, nev wrote a book where he quickly and casually mentioned the incident. he says he was tackled and choked with his camera strap so he punched his assailant once in an attempt to free himself from the vicious onslaught. however, the woman he punched and several witnesses claim she merely tapped him on the shoulder and asked him not to take pictures of lesbians kissing, at which point he punched her repeatedly. he was expelled from the school because of the incident. if nev really only defended himself against a brutal assault, why would he have been expelled? come on.

i already thought ol’ nev was a phony snake in the grass because of his shitty show and its bullshit facade, and that punching-out-a-lesbian story only crystallized my belief. i think it was a careful, calculated move on his part to address and downplay (and outright lie about) a potentially damaging part of his history before it blew up and did some real damage to his image and his brand.

fuck catfish, and fuck its hosts. don’t trust them or their garbage show for a second.

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!

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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.

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it’s a guilty pleasure.

time makes monsters of us all/why i can’t be a parent yet

the other day, i saw a really nice, cute little kid. good kids are always heart-warming. they’re like puppies or kittens in that way. but every time i see nice kids, i can’t help but worry about the horrible person they will likely become, or at least the poor choices that they, just like most of us, will inevitably make in their lives: driving drunk, fighting, getting addicted to substances, becoming selfish and intolerant and unkind, being a bum, blah blah blah. it’s part of the reason i can’t have kids yet. i just can’t stop obsessing about the myriad impending disappointments my own progeny would bestow upon me. i would want them to always be my innocent, wide-eyed, unspoiled child, and never the annoying adult fuck up i wish would stop calling me for money.

i knew one young woman from an apparently good home who recently died of a drug overdose. she had been battling her addictions for quite some time but lost in the end. i can’t imagine being her parents and going through her pregnancy, birth, infancy, toddler-hood, school, swim lessons, soccer practices, and coming of age, only to have her turn into a drug- and alcohol-fueled monster that eventually self-destructs. i would be so disappointed in myself, wondering if i could have done something differently to prevent that end, and in her for not having the strength to avoid or at least work through her addictions. and i don’t think it would be fair to do that, to have a child without being able to say to them, “i will always love you, no matter what kind of a horrible failure you turn out to be.” i’m not ready to put all that time, love, effort, and money into a person i may not ultimately be able to accept.

maybe i should try to not be such a heartless rigid prick. but you know, i feel great about my life and don’t want to change anything at this point, so it doesn’t really make sense to go making profound personal changes. maybe i just feel alienated because other people are confident enough to take the gamble of raising a potential hellion — i guess i just wish other people were as pessimistic about humanity as i am.

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“that’s my boy. [disappointed sigh]”

i’m a peach.

irreconcilable differences

i keep reading about movie and music stars and their dramatic, troubled love lives. i find it all really disheartening. it seems like every star has been married at least 3 times, engaged another 3 separate times, and has multiple kids with multiple partners.

nuff said. and yuck, btw

when i say it like that, i imagine white trash living in trailer parks. it’s crazy that i’m actually talking about some of the most revered, wealthy, and recognized people in the world. rich white trash, indeed.

maybe that’s why the poor trash live like that. maybe they’re emulating the rich and famous people they see on tv. i think more than likely though, no one is emulating anyone else. they’re all probably just equally emotionally fucked up.

i understand that a lot of hollywood marriages are supposedly pure facade, just career moves to keep their names in the public spotlight so their music and films sell better, but i believe most of them are legit. i think most of them are people really trying to find love and a life partner, and they are actually failing miserably at it. there are a few reasons i believe this.

  1. a fair amount of the marriages and engagements i’m reading about are to nobodies, and marrying a nobody doesn’t help a career out.
  2. i think most stars are totally out of touch with reality due to being coddled by everyone around them. if all of your friends and family were sucking your dick 24-7 in the hopes of borrowing some money from you or making it into your will or being invited on vacation with you, you would certainly be emotionally stunted by it. i think it’s rare that people can live in that world and not be affected by it, and even more rare that stars are able to control their personal lives so tightly as to not allow any leech scum into their sphere.
  3. i don’t believe people are so dishonest as to have multiple sham weddings and relationships. i should believe it. i mean, i think a lot of non-stars relationships are shams too. couples that lie to and cheat on each other have sham relationships, it’s just a different shade of sham. but the idea of talking with managers about who is hot right now, who could really help catapult my name to the cover of US and people again, of spending years with a person that i don’t really care about, of having kids with that same person i don’t care about…someone would have to be a right fucked sociopath to wear that mask for so long. and as much as i hate people and believe the worst about many of us, i just don’t think many people have the diligence or work ethic to keep that up and pull it off. so i don’t think many would sign up for it in the first place. or maybe they sign up for it, realize it sucks, and that’s why they divorce so quickly? maybe the line between manufactured relationships and real life emotions gets blurred, maybe it’s only contrived as far as stars can handle it, and then reality boils to the surface and the whole thing falls to shit.

hollywood relationships: a lot like pro wrestling.

whatever. regardless of why it happens, i think it’s fucked up and don’t like it. i like real life and real people.

fair weather lover

i used to be a real fair weather lover/partner/boyfriend/spouse, whatever you want to call it. i would jump ship from a relationship at the first sign of difficulty. my routine was to start dating some chick, have a great time with them in the honeymoon phase, eventually run into some annoying minor disagreement with them, break it off, and then meet someone else and start the cycle all over again.

it took a long time before i realized that every relationship, no matter how good, has its own issues that require effort to work through. obviously not all of my girlfriends would have been suitable for the long haul — good grief, in some cases one of us would have wound up dead by now — but my point is that compromise is hard. swallowing your pride, admitting you’re wrong, and apologizing can be hard. accepting ‘sorry’ when someone else fucks up can be hard. and there are always going to be disagreements, stupid arguments, little things two people will butt heads over. i think it takes a lot of emotional strength and integrity to accept or work through all that stuff and maintain a healthy relationship.

but this is where it gets tricky. if i were not already with someone who is worth shutting my fucking mouth for occasionally, how would i know if someone else was worth it? say i was dating some chick and things were mostly good but she was kind of weird or bitchy or arrogant or whatever sometimes — would she be worth the effort to look past that stuff, or would it be futile and ultimately doomed? how would i know if or when to give up and pull the plug? how many and what kind of flaws would be acceptable? thinking about that kind of stuff makes me really grateful that i learned this lesson right around the time i met jenn. i can’t imagine the mental struggle of finding a good match who had a few serious flaws, someone who really straddled the suitable/unsuitable line, and left me paralyzed with indecision as to our future together.

fuck it, i guess it wouldn’t be that hard. i’d just dump em and find a partner that didn’t keep me second guessing them.

the good news is once you get to that face, it’s easy to keep going with it. cry faces are hideous.

less annoying when dead

i like to annoy jenn a lot. just stupid things like tickling her when she’s tired and wants to fall asleep, she hates that. sometimes she gets pretty pissed and i usually reply in an even more annoying know-it-all tone that one day i’ll be dead, and then she’ll miss all the annoying things i used to do. i mean, being annoying is one of the unfortunate ways that i show people i care, and even if she doesn’t appreciate that, i figure she will at least miss the routine of it all.

but a few days ago, the thought occurred to me that maybe she won’t miss me being annoying at all. maybe when i die, she’ll breathe a heavy sigh of relief and say, “thank christ i can finally get to sleep without having to deal with the same old stupidity, night after night.” maybe, at least in that one sense, she’ll be grateful that i’m dead and gone. i wonder how she’ll feel about it. but i guess i’ll never know since i’ll be dead then.

the things we will miss out on when we die.

“he sure won’t be doing any tickling now. is that his face?”