Thursday, July 31, 2008

Man. Bike.

A scene from last week.

On a muggy and disturbingly hot day, I was sitting in a Puerto Rican restaurant, a hole-in-the-wall on a main avenue in the Bronx. As I was eating my Super Desayuno (eggs, salami, mashed plantain, and fried cheese) at the white counter, a tall, drowsy and thin man with pockmarked, light skin sauntered into the place sideways.

He turned around to show what he was struggling to lug into the restaurant. It was a girl's bike, which he then tried to sell to the customers for "fordy dahlahs, fordy dahlahs".

When nobody took the offer, he exhaled and sauntered back out; the labor and burden of carrying the bike literally uphill of the avenue and into as many stores as he could was evident on his face. As well as buckets of sweat.

Back to my plate, I scooped some plantain, stabbed a piece of cheese and ran it through egg yolk from a bleeding sunnyside up serving. I supposed I was to assume he was looking for money to support his drug habit, but I know not the man's history and intent.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First-line grabbers.

Just pondering the beginnings to famous songs and novels in popular media.

Of course, there are those who lines are historic [-made a big impact during its time and remembered for that.] Such as, "Call me Ishmael" and "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

But sometimes, what attracts me is the explicit, earnest nature of some openings. Don't misunderstand, explicitness for it's own sake is never a good idea, just like special effects in films with no real story to guide them will always produce rubbish *ahem, Guillermo Del Toro, ahem*. But when it's employed by intelligent design, ear/eye candy can be quite riveting.

Nas, one of my favorite all-time rappers who is known for his intelligence, creativity and conspiracy theory leanings, released a new album called Nas (formerly called "Nigger") on July 15th, 2008. On it, the song "Testify" starts off with a very calm, reflective and somewhat cheerful track. He then comes on to softly profess:
"I just burnt my American flag, and sent three cracker Nazis to hell and I'm
sad."
The lyrics and track was so severely contrasted I had to laugh, as this is the stuff comedy is made of.

I also bought an Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange) novel called "Earthly Powers". It was a bit difficult to find, being how it's out of print. I found one copy at a small, dark cafe in the recesses of Manhattan for $175. I think that was because it was a first edition signed by the author himself. At any rate, it was worth hunting down a $7.50 Hardback copy, so I could read the novel that starts:

"It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me"

Rich.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A critique on the Silver Lining.

Parental Advisory: please excuse the preaching tone of this post. It is how my idea is best expressed.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Why don't you try thinking positively?"

Lillian said this in reference to what I said about calling my ex. See, I was explaining to her that some days ago my pride caved in and I texted my ex to see if she wanted to hang out and have dinner, although I was trying to never call her again since she doesn't really call me. I was upset with myself for this decision. Penelope (the ex) has been busy dating people who do nothing for her (maybe she should stop judging them so closely, despite the fact she's been on lots of dates and is starting to lose patience with the men she keeps coming across), while I sit at home collecting dust on my eyebrows (not so much lately though). So, both out of jealousy and humor, I said to Lillian "whatever, I hope she dies."

Now, whoa, WHOA! Hold on, just.....please.....lend me your ears. I'll return them in original condition, I promise.

Of course I don't really think that, and some of you may believe the nature of such a statement disqualifies it for joking intent, especially from someone of religious claim. But I joke morbidly. It's who I am. Just an expression. The Goths would understand. The Disturbed One knows how I am. Anyway, from this, Lillian (who is used to me saying such things) told me to think positively.

Main point: Yes, I've named this blog "Dynamics", which references the complete chain events of life that are mentally incomprehensible; the individual links inside the degrees that connect all. This thinking implies that everything has importance. So perhaps, it is with some hypocritical skepticism that I render this idea of "thinking positively" useless.

I suppose I am to see the positive in everything, and that'll in turn make me personally feel better, which will then affect the decisions I make. In the Christian viewpoint, this may imply that I should always remember that God is with me, helping me to see and guiding me. But this advice may encourage a most selfish and lazy attitude in the hands of the irresponsible. Sit back, do whatever you want and don't worry about it. Christ has covered the bill. Surely this is the design of descent into chaos.

God has given you faculties of your own to help realize His vision (or realize Himself, as we are all different shades of Him) in your unique way. To progress the world towards the ideal. So, when problems occur, we should not be thinking "How can I make myself feel better?", but instead "How can I get past this?". And it is after we've done all we can to get past it that we ask and Providence enters the picture.

Be active, not passive.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Why so serious?"

Mmmmmk. Pretty simple.

This movie gets 15 out of 10 stars. And yes, I know my math well.

Christian Bale's Batman was good, but was completely overshadowed by Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent, Gary Oldman's Commission Gordon, and of course Ledger's The Joker.

At the rate of this kind of script writing and directing, Christopher Nolan, who's been my favorite director (next to David Fincher), will in due time replace Spielberg as the national household name. See The Prestige. See Insomnia. See Memento, which is what really put him on the map.

The film went on a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was still the best thing this year so far. I wouldn't even bother watching other comic book movies. For every one that comes out, I might as well just go watch this one over again.
Now, here's the thing: I was wondering if Batman's partner's sequel will top his, and I began to look for a picture of him until I stumbled upon this rumored film:

This was supposed to be filmed by Wolfgang Peterson (Troy, The Perfect Storm) a long time ago, but the project was cancelled. A theory says this is the left over poster from the project, but both Brandon Routh and Christian Bale were cast in their respective parts after the project was cancelled. So perhaps it's been renewed. Or maybe someone online photoshopped this. Your thoughts, or inside info if you have it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Their side as well.

Alas, the other two women. I talk to both frequently, but their emotional struggles are quite independent of my influence.

[Marisol] lives in South West New York City, occupationally manipulating alarm systems from a third-party company. She found the person she was ready to dynamically augment her seed with and they've been together for years, but the children have not come. They live with her mother, mother's boyfriend, and her brother. Marisol's fiancee keeps saying they can start the family when he and Marisol move into their own place, and they've made a joint savings account so they may put their money aside together. But he keeps spending money that could go into the account on frivolous things. This prolongs the process as well as her stress: Marisol and her fiancee are the only ones in the household working (last I checked). This not only eliminates privacy but adds a sort of unnecessary responsibility, as Marisol occasionally has to take some out of the little bit of savings she has to pay bills that others in her household should be covering, which in turn stirs arguments with her mother (amongst other things that stir them). Thus far, Marisol either still has hope in the future for her fiancee's participation in her dream, or has given up on starting her own family entirely...........but this does not necessarily have to be. I mean, I would never suggest she do anything immoral, but what she wants is something quite natural and meaningful for herself. And if she cannot get this in the existential place she's in now, perhaps she should.....um...."reinvent" her place (she's constantly getting offers from guys who are willing to help this along).

And last but not least, [Lillian], the softball fanatic and religious zealot without the zealotry. She's also found someone to settle down with, but he apparently is not settled within himself. They first met in their softball league a long while ago. At the time, [Maurice] and two other guys were interested in Lillian, but as it became apparent that two of them were focused on being inside Lillian and not with her, she chose Maurice. A close and intimate relationship between the two developed and a family of her own, which is what she would love, was in her grasp just yet. This, however, was soon shattered by familial matters. Maurice's father, with whom he was very close, had passed away. He felt lost without him, and in trying to cope with this he looked to his siblings for support, but they stopped talking to him for mysterious reasons. So, investigating this and find good emotional grounding for himself left no room for him to continue with Lillian and he broke up with her. This was over a year ago, and even though he still claims to love her and want to be with her, he has not come back.

Bloody hell..............trying to find certainty in a world that changes everyday. Is life all war with periods of peace, or all peace with periods of war? That has nothing to do with anything, but I thought it was a great quote.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Their side

At this point in my death life, there is a current descent into hermitage. I've plotted my life into the arts and crafts world. My closer friends desire a tight knit social microcosm. Both reasons are interchangeably why we are letting each other go. Says my logic anyway. Such is what appears to be the dynamics of life.

4 women that I talk to on the regular basis, all the same age (26-27), living in different parts of New York City with only me to connect them, are going through a rough and quite depressing time in their lives right now. They all deeply long to have a husband and a few children. But as each day passes and the reality that they are not getting any younger becomes sharper, it seems to them to become more and more difficult to develop said relations.

[Carla] has her own apartment and job, working as a sex educator to different classes in different schools. She has tried the company of a variety of people which include: the shot guy I've referred to in the "my side" post whom I've promptly labeled "50 Cent"; a club promoter; some being who lives upstate; and others. Although "50" has come the closest to fulfilling her long-term, full-time post for a position as husband due to the fact that they've known each other for so long and have been through much, he has failed. Unfortunately, the relationship began to be less about spending time with him and more about being responsible for him. How can he be the husband when he's too busy being the child?

Given this context, a review of our hanging out again possibly implies that Carla considered me to start her new family with, and my conversation with her about it led to her having the same feelings as my ex may have...............

[Penelope], as I've stated before, liked me when we were younger, but I never looked at her in such a light. Not that she was hideous or Republican or anything, I just seen her as a close companion. But, on the Monday after "Minority Report" was first released in theaters (this is how I remember dates), I decided to try taking our relationship further. A few events, discussions and arguments came and gone in the following year and some months, but we ultimately broke up because our lives we're in irreconcilable directions. She had, early, begun casting for the part of her husband and children's father in the film of her life. But I could not take the role, as I'm allergic to children and have not a bit more than a moral love* for them.

I do not find them cute, I don't think they're the only way to continue my being nor would I have them on the strength of. It is not a moral imperative to have them as the Conservative Christians believe (although it is imperative that we take care of and teach the ones that are here), nor can the will of child-bearing come from having someone who looks like me or having an existential challenge, as others of no special mention have suggested. Basically put, unless I come across ones who have the character (or a derivative) of Hermione, I do not have the patience. These feelings can possibly come from a variety of sources, which I will list elsewhere.

Again, given this context, it is possible that with my adamant views, and Carla and Penelope's desperation to find someone passionate about starting a family, it maybe that it has come to the point that they hardly tolerate [my/any kind of] male fellowship in their lives unless it is steering towards that special vision for themselves. Penelope is doing her best to get on with herself, focusing on enjoying life the best she can now. Carla is trying the same, but I fear her attempt is weaker, as she has taken up crying occasionally on review of her own situation.

This is just a hypothesis. Both parties have never said such a thing about the toleration, but I fear it maybe working within their spirits, and the descent into hermitage coming from my pathological rejection of conventional societal values............I'm making myself a hermit. The dynamics.

This post has become quite long. I'll discuss the other two's plight at a later time.

*See C.S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity", the chapter about Forgiveness.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Somebody help me.

Guillermo Del Toro has made a couple of films that garnered quite the critical acclaim, including Blade 2, Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Hellboy, and what I'll shortly talk about here, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. He is able to make amazing visuals for characters, sets, creatures and concepts. These usually includes extraordinarily detailed, memorable, creepy designs that really project the sense of the story taking place in a bizarre, magical universe of it's own. Although this quality of filming doesn't particularly show in Blade 2, both of the Hellboy films definitely do this, and with a bit of style. Here's the thing..........

This man cannot tell a story worth his life. I ask for someone to help me, because the rest of the world seems to fervently disagree and I feel backed into a corner here.

Hellboy 2 stars Ron Perlman as the titular character, a red demon with shaved horns, a huge right hand and a tail. After being found off the coast of Scotland as a baby and raised in the U.S. by a Professor Bruttenholm, he is subsequently employed by the fictional Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. As obligated by job, he, along with a fish creature and a pyrokinetic who is his girlfriend, is tasked with investigating and stopping an elf who wants to awaken a golden army of Steampunk-style robots to destroy all humans.

I thought the plot was unique upon first reading about it, but I still didn't want to watch because it looked like it would suck as bad as the first one did. A friend I hadn't hung with in a long time wanted to see it, and in the midst of us doing so, I found that my expectations for the film were accurate.


Del Toro's visual style, which employs anamatronics and real costumes for creatures rather than computerized graphics, sometimes damages him. Apart from the dialogue being taken straight out of a cheesy fantasy film from the 1970's, some of the performances in film, like Hellboy's child-self in the beginning, come across extremely clunky and stupid. The story, from opening credits to close, feels rushed and empty, especially when topped with terrible action-hero punchlines. The film's only real merits were the villain Nuada (Luke Goss), who captivated my attention more than anything, and a few action parts.


I finally realized that del Toro does B-movies, or movies that don't really have self-importance or any real artistic goal. Movies that suck on purpose. Peter Jackson, who works include the new King Kong and the Lord of the Rings series, has history with and employs the same visual style. But his films are good! The characters have depth and are realistic. The narrative is intelligent. People enjoy the suck in B-movies and find some kind of cult value or novelty in it. I can't see it. But even with the B-movie approach, or I should say, even knowing in what light to view the film, Hellboy 2 does not entertain me.

Del Toro, in my general opinion, just makes terrible films. The Fascist general's story in Pan's Labyrinth was good, but the best thing Del Toro ever filmed was Blade 2. And not because it was inherently good, just that it was the best out of all three Blade films.

But don't take my word for it. Guillermo del Toro is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, so I would still recommend watching Hellboy 2 for yourself if you're in the mood for such a story.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My side

At this stage in death life, there is a current descent into hermitage. All of my closer friends are going through some personal things in their life. I’m finding intolerable faults with all of them. Both statements are interchangeably the reason I must begin to let them go. Says my logic anyway. You can look at my PT on the right side below and see for yourself if there’s something wrong with my perspective.

One, let’s say [Carla], has some sort of problem with “initiating”, calling or texting me to ask to hang out. Almost every time we have gotten together, I’d invite her to dinner or ask if she could have company. I met her at B.M.Community College, during which time we met in Poetry class and got acquainted. Then I started working for the school newspaper and stopped seeing her around. I called Carla once, years later, asking to see if she’d like to attend a movie, and she got all defensive because she had some boyfriend who got jealous of her male friends. This same boyfriend has recently been shot and relinquished to ex status.

We started hanging out again months ago and she’s paid for one meal at Applebees. I’ve paid for every external activity ever since. Ok, she lives by herself, I live with my mother (saving up to move but people recommend I stay and finish my Master’s, that’s another story). She’s got more bills. Fine, we also sometimes sit at her house and drink those Smirnoff cooler things and watch T.V, but she doesn’t call for this either. I’ve discussed this with her, and she says it’s not something she does on purpose. But she still does it, so, even though I just hung out with her Friday (I didn’t want to go home) I must resort to pride and not call her anymore.

There is also my ex, [Penelope] who was my best friend since the 4th grade or some such nonsense. An elementary school teacher who is quite the tranquil, thoughtful person. Note: do not confuse thoughtful with considerate. Not in my estimation at least.

After A Series of Unfortunate Events which include a miscarriage, an abortion, arguments over tardiness and things of the past, we’ve (I’ve) decided to be friends (although we still engaged in intimate matters). This worked for sometime, until she disappeared for weeks and I had to yell at her on the phone to get the confession that she was seeing a guy who lived across the street from me and whose mother spoke to my mother. They dated for a little while, and then he admitted to Penelope that she was not his main dish, just the appetizer. That was months ago, and we started hanging again for a little while, but lately she also has stopped picking me up from work or asking to hang after offers of paying for dinner at Red Lobster or Friendly’s has stopped. So I must cut her off as well. This is not the only time she’s done this.

I almost always see bloggers post about loneliness. And that sharp sting of social despair has stuck me at times as well, but I didn’t want to give it the sad picture that others have. Company is unnecessarily costing me money, so the hermitage must be, until I come across someone else.

However, I did not mention the personal matters that they, and two other women I know, are going through, because that warrants a post within itself, which I shall write next. Oddly, they all have different spins on the same plight. Let us examine……….

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I wonder.........

How come Hollywood film directors haven't attempted to remake an old kung-fu movie?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Transportation

Ok, so a young man's vision of buying a car no longer symbolizes independence. It symbolizes the addition of CO2 emissions to our damaged and raped skies. And the amount of money being put out for gas per month could probably pay rent for a small apartment. Since efforts for cleaner, renewable fuel sources are still being combated by evil turdfaced Republicans, saving up for a nice vehicle is moot.

There's public transportation, which I take now and have been taking my whole life. This is more efficient, as hybrid, electric buses are now the norm here in NYC thanks to Bloomberg, but then I'm subjected to a disaster much worse than global warming: other people. Loud teenagers wrestling and blasting their ringtones, screaming like a group of jokers? Parents who think it's ok to bring their wailing infants on the train for everyone to enjoy, with no attempt to quell the crying? No thanks. I mean, I do most of my reading and writing on the train, but I could just move those activities to my lunch break or when I get home. Or during work on the days when there's no customers....which is everyday.

This leaves a bike, a skateboard, a private jet, a private copter, and my feet.

I haven't been paid the $50,000,000,000,000 advance on my new Great American Global novel which will stay on the National Bestseller's List until your great grandchildren are three times as old as you are now. So the jet and the copter are out.

A skateboard would be cool. I've always wanted to relearn to ride and do some basic tricks. But my frail 26-year-old bones are not used to serious injury on the weekly or monthly basis. So, in the process of trick-training I'd most likely fall and....well....die. Besides, I don't really think a skateboard is used for long-distance traveling unless a motor and some handles are attached. And while that would be a decent ride to work, I wouldn't know where to store it while working.

I have no problem walking to work. I like walking, and it can be done (just follow the train tracks all the way to the stop I get off). The thing is, since my job is a little over 6 miles from my apartment door, I'd have to leave my house at some zombified hour in the morning to get there on time. Occasionally? Data verified. All the time? Invalid entry.

The bike looks like a very good prospect. Besides dodging cars in that long stretch of intersections underneath the train all the way to work, I think it would be a fun and healthy trip. I seen a bike online at puma.com. Besides glowing in the dark, it has a mechanism in the middle of the aluminum frame that allows you to fold the bike in half (though not by much), and a locking cord that, when broken by someone trying to steal your bike, breaks the bike altogether.

It looks like a great bike, and $1,600 U.S.D. looks like a great price.......a price I could cover when I got that book advance. This is all just consideration anyway. Ah well.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Historical Context

Sometimes, I look at XBox 360 games, at the new Touch Screen P.C. that's being released next month, at all the CG laden action/adventure films of late, at networking internet sites and I think, the future is here. I say that because nothing surprises me anymore. I feel like we are 2 minutes away from flying cars and holographic T.V.s.

I was thinking all of this as I played Halo 3 with my little brother the other day. It occurred to me that he doesn't have a historical context with these objects (he's 11). He hasn't witnessed the height of gaming technology go from this:



To this:


He didn't hear the clunky, low-budget blips of "Pole Position" or "Pitfall" on the Atari before listening to full 15-instrument classical orchestrations on the soundtrack of some video games by the likes of Harry Gregson Williams and James Newton Howard.

I mean, there's now world wide social networking. Censorship in mass media is now for the most part non-existant. The earth is in environmental danger. There's the possibility of a black President.

For the most part, these things are definitely progressive in nature. But I feel sorry for my younger brother. This could just be old man mentality talking, but for some reason, it seems like we're quite close to the end of everything.

A word from our sponsors.........

Eight things I am passionate about:
1. The Earth - save it
2. Learning- Never want to stop.
3. Animals - take care of them
4. Liberal Politics
5. Independence- Learning to be.
6. Gaming - The other world
7. Writing/Reading- What I do with about 90% of my idle time.
8. God - The ideal

Eight things I want to do before I die:
1. Go to Japan
2. " " London
3. " " Amsterdam
4. Write something and get it published
5. Inspired a great literary and artistic interest amongst the new generation
6. Go over 140 mph with my newly bought Mustang in the desert
7. Win an Oscar
8. Make my family proud

Eight things I say often:
1. Bollocks, mate
2. F*** him!
3. We're buying it today?
4. Are we playing today?
5. Who helped you?
6. Down this aisle, make your first left, against the wall, next to the stairs
7. Rugs, carpets and remnants
8. F*** her!

Eight books I've read recently:
1. The Fencing Master
2. Song of Solomon
3. Silence
4. The Winter of Frankie Machine
5. The Book of Numbers (Bible)
6. 361
7. Dead Street
8. Rant

Eight Movies I have seen Eight times:
1. The Last Dragon
2. Bloodsport
3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
4. Memento
5. Ocean's Twelve
6. The Bourne Identity
7.
8.

Eight People who should do this meme:
1. Any
2. one
3. who
4. wants
5. to
6. do
7. it
8.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Kill One, Save a Thousand"

"Wanted", directed by Timur Bekmambetov, actually turned out to be fun and entertaining for the most part. It came complete with a plot twist here, a narrative metaphor there, and a twist on meaning somewhere else. I was not expecting an actual basic story but rather a measly excuse to link flipping cars, Guiness World Record bullet physics and acrobatic A-list actors together. But they did a decent job at providing the former.

James McAvoy (of "Atonement" fame) is Wesley Gibson, a bored, stressed, panic attack-plagued accounts manager who drags himself through each day having to face his malevolent boss and backstabbing best friend who is sleeping with Gibson's girlfriend. A routine visit to the pharmacy leads him to a mysterious woman (Angelina Jolie) who tells him that his father, one of the world's greatest assassins, was killed on the rooftop by the second world's greatest assassin, a man named Cross. After the obligatory car chase, Gibson is introduced to Sloan (Morgan Freeman) who invites Gibson to join the Fraternity, a millennium-old society of secret assassins whose job is restore order to the world by killing particular targets. Gibson, not wanting to go back to his dreadful life, decides to take his father's place in the society and pursue Cross for revenge.


As far the hyperkinetics go, I suppose I should be glad that the writers at least took the time to explain why all that crap was happening. As much of an action film fan as I am, I've never liked them, even when why they were happening made sense, because they always looked silly. Sometimes, not even the explanations make the mile-high jumping and impact surviving look any better. In this movie, Gibson's excuse for all this is that he has super-strength and accelerated healing, and he still seems to unsensibly survive certain situations. But characters making the most thought-out decisions in a matter of microseconds, surviving wrecks and crashes that would easily kill a number in the hundreds, and easily shooting targets that the most trained and calm snipers in the galaxy would miss are staples of the action genre that date back to early 1940's kung-fu films.

There were times when the dialogue and acting seemed amateur, but I couldn't really tell if that was because of the actors or the director not shooting the scene right (most likely the latter). The special effects in a few scenes, particularly the train wreck, came out a bit shoddy. It almost appeared as if they just filmed a toy train falling down a clearly fake cliff. And they destroy the infinitely miniscule bit of credibility the film had by setting a rule for what these highly-trained assassins can do, and in a later scene defying that rule and throwing it out the window. Or so it appeared to me, I mean, limiting a character's abilities is part of what makes them realistic, right?

But despite these things, I thought the overall film was enjoyable. I'm definitely inspired to read the graphic novel.