As I’ve exhorted every time the topic has come up these past weeks: we are breaking thousands of children. Thiago’s story is every single imprisoned kid’s. Irrevocably harmed. We’re guilty.
The movie strikes one of my favorite balances: it’s weird and stylish without being avant-garde or impenetrable. It’s obviously a movie telling a story, there’s no question of “wait, did that happen ,” or “did I misunderstand the purpose of that scene,” there are little splashes of excitement and whimsy that separate it from a movie made by anyone other than Boots Riley. Scott Pilgrim and Dazed and Confused fill that same role for me, and they’re some of my all-time faves. A movie can score so many extra points from me just for trying. It can be a “bad movie” and still wedge itself into my heart (I’m lookin’ at you, Smokin’ Aces).
It draws a lot from Idiocracy, which is a hard comparison to avoid given Terry Crews’s similarly small role in both and the popularity of self-abuse game shows (though the timbre of this flick’s 150-million-viewer strong I Got The Shit Kicked Out of Me is a measure darker). I felt StBY was less cynical, though. Even with the folks happy to be slaves under Silicon-Valley endgame company Worryfree, Idiocracy opens with humanity already totally done for. And I always appreciate cynicism in the service of utopia rather than a bitter stew.
The bloody head-wound worsening until his third act redemption was on-the-nose, but Lakeith’s stagger throughout made him look weighed down. The world is always crushing him. And now I’m embarrassed that I didn’t register whether or not it persisted after that same redemption moment.
Armie Hammer did a pitch-perfect sneering Winklevii, so it stands to reason that he’d be the best fit for the sort of dictator tech-bro we see ascending to power around us every day. He’s won me over, big time, and I love comparing his maxed-out persona here with the snuggly big-brother-lover he played in Call Me By Your Name.
So simple that maybe you missed it but the popular soft drink is named Soda Cola. Made better for not rubbing it in the audience’s face (though it certainly rubs Cassius’s face). And along those lines, I am so embarrassed that it took me until the actual last reading of his name that “Cassius Green” = “Cash Is Green,” but there’s no WAY anyone else missed that.
And there was even more! Loved the costuming; psychedelic suits, bold ties, one-of-a-kind earrings. Extra flair like Mr. ____’s eyepatch seems a little try-hard when you focus on it, but who gives a shit? David Cross and Patton Oswalt were truly the best selections for white voice; I’ll follow Lily James into the dark after Baby Driver. So cool to see fellow NYU-er and inspired comedienne Kate Berlant show up (… Though now that I think about it, she vanishes halfway through, hm), along with cameos by Bay Area comics Kamau W. Bell and Nato Green. The Coup and tUnE-yArDs synthesize their boisterous joy for a soundtrack that had me swaying and tapping my toes every time a beat dropped. I’m going to be listening to “Level It Up” and “Hey Saturday Night” for the rest of the month, guaranteed. And let’s not forget, Patton starred in The Coup’s video for “The Magic Clap” back in 2012, which was, of course, from an album titled Sorry To Bother You.
Finally: I’ve spent some time lingering in Layover, the Oakland bar hosting several scenes. Just need to cap this on my cool, y’know?
Oh christ I’m half-staff at this map. Gimme that granular data. I don’t even care about what they’re trying to show me, I’m tracking down precincts where like 8 people voted for Trump and 5 for Hillary. Could move there and make an actual difference, change the world. Combine this with Google Streetview. Show me the houses and color them red and blue. I’m an explorer.
EDIT: “Brian what are you rambling on about now, how could you possibly find anything interest-” motherfucker i just uncovered the dark truth that 80% of the Area 51 aliens voted for Trump, how was your Friday evening with wine and friends you cur
Might as well keep the birthday rap train steaming along given that I never shared this back in October beyond texting it to Olivia (though she did post it on her Facebook wall at the time). It must be wild being my friend. Y’all are so lucky.
listen up yall got a friend named Olivia
birthday call so i’m droppin trivia
she’s way progressive to a point: shivvin ya
she’s downright quick as a fox: vivica
she’s everybody’s only favorite Quakerchic
she called me Birna and the nickname sticked
Livejournal page turna and an improv whiz
acting in plays and giving Jesse shiz
on that InstaQueen level Princess Diana
law to the lawless, reigns from Atlanta
tearin down the system with a fervor that’s rare
it’s why she hides her identity: last name Claire
and if these 27 years sound like fantasy
there’s evidence here:
it happened, a whole fam-i-ly
adopted a Gremlin one eye and tremblin
a gecko named Jucci patterned like Gucci
tattoo legend Michael ceramics gone wild
not the only pot we enjoy just a trifle
all four got that vital love always in cycle
You think you can be better than them? Try to!
party strooooong, Livvy’s worth a parade
or at least a song better than mine from 8th grade
Exiting my car at the sidewalk, a man sitting on some nearby stairs said “you look so kind!” I said “I try,” but it was hard to hear over the sound of my heart bursting. I think it was my sunshine yellow shirt what tricked him so.
Leaving the office, my boss’s housekeeper offered her traditional “be careful,” but this time she poked her head from around the corner and gave me the “I’m watching you” double-fingers. Is this yet criminal menacing?
On a flight several days ago, I sat next to a woman who held a pillow in her lap during take-off. I looked over about twenty minutes later and she had nodded off sitting up, neck at a 90 degree angle to her shoulders. The pillow remained on her lap. I reached up and turned off her reading light—the plane fell dark. Hers was the only light on.
Produced this one-taker last night for Angela’s birthday. Kicks off a little rocky but coalesces before the end. As always, all it takes is a bit of alcohol.
Massive role model vibes from Alex Cameron. Highlights are any clips of him dancing, like the hotel parking lot or the strip mall parking lot or the Vegas sidewalk with his saxophone boy Roy Malloy. I’m left with one question: for such a scummy life, how does he keep those white jeans spotless? Dude’s torso is entirely spots.
“Shit,” I said. “I have cancer.”
“Well,” my doctor said, “these kinds of tumors are usually noncancerous. And they grow very slowly, so in six months or so, we’ll do another MRI. Don’t worry. You’re going to be okay.”
“What about my hearing?” I asked.
“We don’t know what might be causing the hearing loss, but you should start a course of Prednisone, the steroid, just to go with the odds. Your deafness might lessen if left alone, but we’ve had success with the steroids in bringing back hearing. There are side effects, like insomnia, weight gain, night sweats, and depression.”
“Oh, boy,” I said. “Those side effects might make up most of my personality already. Will the ‘roids also make me quick to pass judgment? And I’ve always wish I had a dozen more skin tags and moles.”
The doctor chuckled. “You’re a funny man.”
I wanted to throw my phone into a wall but I said good-bye instead and glared at the tumorless people and their pretty tumorless heads.
I’d never read anything by Alexie until this essay and, I gotta say, I think I’d cope with a diagnosis somewhat similarly. Looking forward to learning how else we might align.
Like James Gunn, I’ve attempted to be transgressive or provocative when I write jokes. I was also an edgy teen before that. There are too many posts for me to ever sanitize. “Rape” and “retarded” tossed around flippantly. The n-word spelled out to make (unnecessary) rhetorical points about censorship. Sure, sexually-tinged jokes at the expense of minors.
But I also can’t and won’t ever be the director of a globally-popular superhero movie series. I doubt I’ll be recognized at a county-wide level, unless I fall down some stairs in a particularly funny way. So, like, sorry you didn’t consider your trajectory, James, when you took some shots at social mores. Society likes to shoot back.
On the positive side of comedy, today the New York Times contains a profile of Hannah Gadsby. If you haven’t watched Nanette yet, do so. It didn’t rock my world, but I’m swamped in progressive comedy and I dwell on it often. (I think I was most tickled by her cerebral, historically-evidenced line of material on Van Gogh.) The show she’s created is important and it’s accessible. Hannah demands her humanity and succeeds.
Is the opposite of a red flag just a green flag? Why don’t we have a fair opposite to “red flag?”
I don’t think we talk about green flags enough. Because reluctance is a big part of conversations about dating, right? “Yeah, she seems cool, I guess. We’ll see where things go.” I think most of the time we’re falling in love with folks who are merely Okay, like they’re hot enough for you to fear losing them but they’re just generally Acceptable, and a big part of Accepting them is the comfort that they feel similarly about you. Then the red flags are the worst bits of them, the parts that make you say “what if he’s Unacceptable though?” Then—for fair, healthy reasons—they’re overlooked in the hopes that they aren’t planted too deep.
But shouldn’t love be about enjoying another person and then seizing onto the qualities that push them above and beyond? When I think of the women I’ve caught feelings for, it’s because I really like them, but then they’re also blowing my mind and making me laugh with these incidental phrases and body language and thoughts. Raising green flags left and right. Sure, shit may be unrequited, but I don’t really get bothered given that I’m excited to feel anything that shoots past my amiability toward all folks.
And dashing out “simultane story respo” off-the-cuff: massive green flag. I admit there’s probably some context missing, that you don’t know her personality and, even if you do know mine, you’ve got no idea how they interplay. Too bad; this is the most erogenous DM I’ve ever received.