‘the florida project’ sucks

yesterday i saw someone’s ‘best films of 2017’ list and the florida project was on it. the list didn’t give too much away about what the story of film (which i like — i hate knowing too much going into a movie and creating expectations for it) so jenn and i watched it last night. i thought it sucked. but guess what, i read afterward that everyone is cumming in their pants about it, hailing it as great piece of cinema. well, nuts to that.

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“a bunch of random people have given it lots of stars so it MUST be good”

let me first give praise where praise is due though: willem dafoe is fucking fantastic in this film. that man is a god damned professional. when he acts, you don’t know he’s acting. it feels real and organic — that’s what a good actor should do. so my hat’s off to him. bria vinaite was pretty convincing as well.

aaaaaand that’s about it. the kids came off as kids being directed to act like kids. yeah i know, they’re just kids, what can i expect? listen, i’m not trying to tear them down. i think that most children will naturally have a limited capacity for acting due to their lack of understanding of the craft. considering that, you can’t expect top notch performances from them, so i don’t hold it against them. i’m just saying that part of the nature of most child actors is sub-par acting. it’s not their fault, that’s simply the nature of the beast, but it does have an impact on the films they’re in. so let’s be honest and as critical of the kids and the overall film as we would any other actors or film: their acting wasn’t believable and that detracted from the rest of the film.

moving on: mela murder, aka halley’s friend ashley, was absolutely horrible. every time she spoke, it sounded like she was learning how to read and was practicing doing it out loud. she was that stiff and unnatural in her delivery. 0/10.

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the LA times called murder’s performance “underappreciated,” “raw,” and “perfectly endearing.” i guess those must be the new industry buzz words for “terrible,” “film-destroying,” and “reminiscent of my grade 3 xmas pageant performance.”

something that particularly bothered me: the scene near the end when child protection services shows up to take moonee away was complete bullshit. i’m sick of totally unrealistic depictions of professionals as being completely inept and bumbling. people whose job is to remove kids from bad circumstances understand the gravity of their work. they anticipate and are prepared for the difficult scenes they encounter. they have extensive training in that particular field. they have a fucking clue what they’re doing. they don’t stand around like buffoons while situations escalate to a fever pitch, and they sure as hell don’t helplessly watch as the kids in their care just run off down the street to god knows where. that scene was insulting to the audience, and to people who work in that profession.

the story was shitty too. ‘film spends almost 2 hours showing kids entertaining themselves over the summer and illustrating what trash the mom is, kid gets taken away by CPS.’ it’s weird because there was enough coherent stuff going on that some of the film had a normal, linear story, but there was just as much stuff that was random and seemingly unimportant or unrelated to anything else (like bobby’s son getting angry with him while moving shit into the elevator) which made the film seem more like a character sketch of the hotel and its various inhabitants. these two approaches felt disparate to me, unfocused. maybe that was the director’s intent. don’t know, don’t care. i thought it sucked.

but i get the feeling that one idea the director really wanted the audience to think about with this film was the dual nature of halley: “she’s such a despicable piece of shit…but she truly loves her daughter.” i think that’s a really annoying and pretentious devil’s advocate position to take. why not make a film about hitler’s softer side? i know, that’s a bit of a stretch, but it illustrates my point — a film about hitler’s softer side is a dumb, offensive idea. similarly, suggesting people be more understanding of neglectful parents who do lifelong damage to their kids, intentional or otherwise, is also a dumb, offensive idea.

to sum the florida project up: unfocused; lots of terrible acting; pretentious; preachy. just another piece of shit (dafoe and vinaite’s performances notwithstanding) being lauded by the sycophants and phony industry twits.

business as usual in the entertainment world.

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i don’t feel

i don’t feel much like blogging lately. i think it’s because i was blogging a lot for the last few weeks and burned myself out on it. for the last several days whenever i have checked in here, i’ve felt bored and annoyed, like i was just here out of some sense of obligation.

of course, that’s no fun so i’m making a point to blog less until such time as it starts feeling less forced.

however, there are a few things i want to get off my chest before receding into the abyss once again.

#1. i saw in the news that comedian kathy griffin posted a photo of herself holding donald trump’s bloody head. i don’t really care about this either way, but then i saw that old rocker ted nugent called her picture “downright vulgar, obscene and a genuine variation of a death threat.”

this is coming from the same guy who said barack obama could “suck his machine gun” and hilary clinton was a “worthless bitch” who could “ride one of his guns into the sunset.”

what a fucking hypocrite. it seems like lots of politically active people want to say incendiary things, mock people who take offense and call them “snowflakes,” and wave a flag for freedom of speech — only to cry foul when someone with a different opinion says something similarly inflammatory. it’s a bunch of bullshit. everyone should get some thicker skin, go ahead and talk shit, and not take offense when anyone else talks shit. then i’d never have to hear crowds of hypocrites calling each other snowflakes.

#2. last night i saw a well-dressed middle-aged guy, gassing up his very nice all-wheel drive volvo. his car had an “i [heart] vancouver island” sticker on it, and one of those annoying thule roof rack-mounted cargo boxes. he clearly thought he was a hardcore islander.

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you know you’re a wannabe outdoor enthusiast when…

then he tossed an empty plastic jug of windshield cleaner in the trash can and drove off. i wanted to say, “i see by your car, sticker, and cargo box you’re a real outdoorsy type, so perhaps you’d be interested to know that plastic like the jug you just tossed out is being found by the ton in teeny, tiny pieces throughout the guts of fish and birds in even the most remote regions of earth. since you’re so rugged and adventurous, i thought maybe you’d like to help preserve what’s left of our rotting world by recycling that fucking jug instead of tossing it carelessly in the trash.” but instead, like a coward, i said nothing, and now i hate myself as much as i hate him.

#3. i have been thinking lately that when i’m at my most depressed, i wish i would just die and get the shit over with. conversely, when i’m at my happiest, i wish i would die so as to go out on a high note. i basically think there is never a bad time to hop off of this ride. i mentioned this to riley and he responded that this philosophy should be written in a breezy large print bestseller and promoted by oprah. i thought that was funny.

#4. i went into a lee’s famous chicken and then a tim horton’s yesterday to get junk food for a wedding party. both establishments were filled with the most wretched human vermin: hunchbacked, confused white trash; toothless drunks; mute yet incredibly rude and dismissive ESL students. it occurred to me that perhaps bill and i should go for dinner at lee’s chicken and then wash it down with a double double and some tim bits sometime, and soak in this rich cultural experience that the cowichan valley has to offer.

over and out.

two more entitled craigslist idiots

a few days ago, i posted an ad for two free bags of mixed incandescent light bulbs. i should have known better. i’ve consistently found that the cheaper you sell something for on craigslist, the more shitrats you attract. i didn’t think that would apply to free light bulbs though. i thought some people would want them for the charity they volunteer at, or they would be good people trying to get back on their feet.

ever the naive babe.

i saw one email about them in my inbox from a guy i’ve met a few times who runs a small local music venue. i thought, “perfect. i’m happy to help this cause out,” even though i think the guy himself is a pompous twit. but all the email said was

the Duncan […] could use them

i was mad instantly. like, ok, the venue could use them. so what? is he asking me to DELIVER my free light bulbs too? is two bags of free light bulbs not good enough? so i responded

great. come get them. i’m around tomorrow all day. my address is […]. my phone @ is […], if you need to text or call me.

what time can you come by?

guess what. no response. surprise! i think i’m going to email him again, just to try to get a real response and see if he’s really as entitled as i think he is.

next i got an email about the lights that only said

jim @ [phone #]

i thought such a brief email was an ominous sign but i bit anyway. called the #, got a dude who sounded like he just woke up. i said “hi, is this jim?” he said “no.” silence. i said, “ok, is jim around?” again, “no.” silence. i was about 7/10 frustrated now so i said “well, tell jim i’m calling him about the light bulbs.” the sleepy guy said “ok.” i said, “do you want to take a note?” he said “ok.” i said, “my phone # is […].”

he said, “ok.”

i was fuming because i knew full well he gave zero shits about any of this, had taken no note, and wasn’t going to pass anything on to jim. i’m sure he had some video games to play, pot to smoke, online porn to beat off to. you know, important loser stuff.

unsurprisingly, jim never called me back. instead, i got this email from him today.

jim@[phone #] emailed earlier in week

as if i’ve been blowing ol’ jim off! so i responded

i called you back and left a message with some guy. call me if you want them, [phone #].

i even texted him and said “call or text me if you want the light bulbs.”

but no response.

i think i might stop responding to anyone who strikes me as a shitrat. it’s not even because i’m that frustrated with dealing with them, it’s that i don’t think they deserve free or cheap stuff. if they’re assholes, they can go pay full price for shit and stay broke till the day they die for all i care.

yes, that’s what i’m going to do. i might end up hanging on to these light bulbs for a while but i think i will feel better about it overall.

bad dog (walk)

our idiot dog seriously sliced open a pad on its foot a few days ago so she had to get stitches on it, and now we have to walk her on a leash for the next two weeks. it fucking sucks for both her AND us. leash walks are boring. it also stinks because she needs to keep the bandage clean and dry, which means walking on roads — also boring.

so that all sucks. then on the walk today, we went by a pseudo ditch that runs over someone’s lawn, and i realized just how much i hate to see this.

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like this, but across someone’s picture perfect suburban yard

i was looking at it, feeling scornful, when it suddenly dawned on me that i felt much stronger about this ditch than i should. i mean, who cares? who gives a shit about a lawn/ditch on some random person’s yard?

i do, it seems.

and a lot, at that. and i have no idea why. i have no experience with lawn ditches. never had one, never played in one. as a kid, i almost drowned in a drainage culvert in a farmer’s field, which looks sort of similar to what i’m talking about here, but that’s a stretch. so i can’t really think of any good reason why i feel the way i do about lawn ditches. and that made me want to explore the feeling and figure out just why they irritate the shit out of me.

there’s something about seeing long grass laid down by a shallow torrent of water that feels really backwards to me, like ‘this isn’t a place where water should be.’ lawns and grass shouldn’t be swaps or water pathways. it’s weird. it’s unsettling. it’s like seeing a horse in space. the two just don’t go together.

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it turns out that if you look up ‘horse in space,’ you’ll find lots of pics. maybe they do go together. what a poor example i chose.

lawn ditches also make me think about people and our stubborn nature, our unwillingness to bend even when we know we’re going to lose that particular battle. nature is telling someone, “i’ve got a lot of water in the winter and this is where i put it,” and that person is responding, “i don’t care. i live in a subdivision and must have a lawn. i’m going to ignore you.” and what does the person get? a soggy fucking lawn that looks like shit. they could at least line their lawn ditch with river rocks or something to make it look more natural.

i guess lawn ditches also remind me of standing water on lawns, which i also loath.

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looks great.

i mean, i’m obviously no expert but common sense tells me, this is a problem. flooding in houses is a problem. mould in houses is a problem. water damage is a house killer, and anyone who readily accepts pools of water like this by their house either lacks the sense to put two and two together or they have their head in the sand. it might be hellishly expensive to deal with it but i guarantee you it would cost less than repairing water and mould damage in your home.

the funny thing is that i LOVE fresh water. creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, even swamps — i love em all. i’d kill for some land with any of those things on it. i’d spend a lot of time just sitting by the water, looking at it. but they’re naturally occurring and remind me of how beautiful nature is, rather than how flat and ugly people tend to make things (like lawns), and how stubborn we can be about making them so.

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holy shit, yeah. this makes me feel better.

i also ran into a few annoying people on my walk and they didn’t make me feel any better. one white trash lady was overly friendly and in a really weird way, like she had brain damage or something and couldn’t read social cues, and then she gave me shit because my neighbour’s dog which had followed me wasn’t on a leash. fuck off, lady. call my neighbour and bitch at him about his dog. then just a few minutes later i saw an old white trash lady who i said good morning too, and she didn’t respond. every time i run into that kind of thing, i want to make eye contact and say with some aggression, “i said good morning.” i’m a miserable sod myself, and even i have the courtesy to acknowledge people who say hi. it’s not that hard.

what a lovely day.

ripping on metal culture; winter sunrises force me to qualify a previous statement

i love death metal but i hate death metal culture. i hate the way death metal dudes act. i think they usually come off sort of like white supremacists — turbo-conceited and pretending to be intellectual but really just dumb as fuck white trash.

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bingo (that’s ‘malevolent creation’, btw)

i think death metal guys like to try to sound smart because of the contrast with their boneheadedness. they think other people will think “wow, that guy looks dumb and tough but he’s using 4-syllable words (incorrectly). my preconceptions have been shattered.” i’m sure some people buy into that but i think it’s annoying and phony and childish.

i also think the use of ‘metal horns’ is childish as fuck. it looks so dumb to me, like a secret handshake for a 12-yr old boys treehouse club. grow up.

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ok, i can get behind it when dio does it, but that’s only because he’s legit about it. he’s not kidding around.

i also hate when death metal bands have ‘serious’ music playing as a prelude to their live concerts. they usually use wagner or something else with war-like overtones — again, so it’s smart (because it’s classical) but also tough (because it was like the original death metal!!!!). another thing i hate about the classical intro music is that it usually sounds good but then the band starts and they usually sound like shit. it’s totally anticlimactic.

the reason i’m bitching about all this stuff is a video recently surfaced of a police officer in uniform helping introduce a song with the shitty band, vital remains. it pretty much has all the elements of this culture i hate: fat, gross white trash death metal dudes, insane arrogance, metal horns, classical music intro…but this also has the added bonus of the band standing with their backs to the audience while the intro music plays!!! that’s so sweet and tense!!! i couldn’t wait for them to turn around and melt my face with with their ruthless brutality!!!!!!! too bad they sound like ass as soon as they start playing.

in other news, the weather has gotten colder lately. it’s been around freezing for the last few days. yesterday morning when i got up for work at 6:30, there was an amazing sunrise. it was so great that i decided to catch the sunrise again today. and i realize that i previously bitched about sunrises on here before, and i still stand by what i said, but i need to qualify that previous statement: it’s just summer sunrises i hate. they come way too early in the morning and are a pain in the ass to catch. and when it’s hot as tits in the summer, the last thing i want to welcome to the day is the sun. i mean, once the summer starts i’m pretty much just counting down until it goes away — i can’t stand the heat and scorching sunlight.

but in the winter, i’m grateful for the sun. it’s nice to be warmed by it when the air is so cool. in that sense, i think winter gives the sun purpose, basically. and it seems like the cold makes the colours in sunrises and sunsets more intense, more beautiful. plus they happen at reasonable hours in the winter. so much more convenient. so yay for winter sunrises, nay for summer sunrises.

cheap stuff attracts pieces of shit; a supposed nihilist reveals his true colours

more adventures in selling used crap online. i put our old camper up for sale for the paltry amount of $300 because it’s ugly, has a leak and some water damage at one of the skylights, and some body damage at one spot. everything works great though so it’s not a total piece of crap. i posted the ad and within an hour, i had two replies. within two hours, i had 8 replies. but all these replies were like ‘im intreated when cani see it ??’ so i knew i was dealing with dummies. i thought, no problem, as long as the dummies have $300 it doesn’t matter.

well, it does matter, because all the white trash around here are painfully stupid and flaky. a guy last night said he’d come today to get it but he had no idea where he lived, where i was, or how to get from there to here. this was even using google maps, so i mean he was turbo stupid, or maybe drunk at home alone which isn’t much better. anyway, today i called him at our agreed upon time and he told me he had already driven to mill bay today, and then to duncan, and then home, and he was just wiped out. couldn’t manage to come get the camper tonight. i said ok, you’re not interested. he said he was interested but maybe he could come get it another time this week, and gave some weird specific hours on wednesday or some shit. i said i was busy at work and hung up on him. so i’ve now emailed and called every other piece of shit that has feigned interest in this fucking camper. let’s see which one actually follows through now. i’m constantly amazed at what consistently awful experiences i have selling used stuff online.

in other news, i recently read that sigmund ‘satyr’ wongraven (singer of the norwegian black metal band, satyricon) has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

he revealed this to the world via his instagram account, noting that it was likely benign so it would only be removed if it was a matter of life and death, that many people in the world have it much worse than he, and that he has a great support network of family and friends.

i was immediately struck by two things: how odd it is that a devil-worshiping nihilist has an instagram account, and that said nihilist would not be thrilled at the prospect of an early death. i’ve never liked satyricon at all but always regarded them as one of the ‘true, elite’ black metal legends, thoroughly dedicated to anti-humanism and chaos, so hearing him talk about surgery to save his life, acknowledging that his situation is not ideal, and how grateful he is for those closest to him really messes with my perception of him. maybe i always had the wrong impression, maybe the nihilist angle was just for show, maybe he used to be a nihilist but changed his views over time, or maybe he’s just a phony goofball. who knows, but it sure is weird. i guess impending death tends to soften most people up a bit.

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.
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hollywood relationships are a lot like pro wrestling, actually.

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