Review(ish): 6 Reasons I’m on the Fence about 13 Reasons Why

Last night, I finished a show called “13 Reasons Why.” Now that it’s all said and done, I’m frankly not sure I should have watched it. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. Did I like it? Not really. Did I hate it? Nah. Too harsh. Did I need to watch it? Not sure. Is it topically important? Yes. Absofuckinglutely. Was said topic handled properly? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. On the fence here.

Before I begin: If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out. Right now. Right. Fucking. Now. You aren’t alone, and there are people who are fucking eager to help you. Don’t wanna talk to anybody? How about texting? Some awesome people who realize phone calls can be scary have set up a texting crisis line. Go. You’ve got nothing to lose if you’re at that point.

The Premise:

High school girl commits suicide. She leaves thirteen cassette tapes (well, thirteen sides) explaining why she chose to end her life, hence the title. The show follows one particular student as he listens to the tapes, which leads to at least half of the show being presented as flashbacks to when the girl – Hannah Baker – was still alive.

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13 Reasons Why I’m on the Fence (spoilers ahead):

  1. The blame game. No sense in saving this one for last; it needs to be addressed right away. Hannah (and therefore the show) strongly asserts that there are thirteen people responsible for Hannah taking her own life. Not Hannah, the girl who sat down in the bathtub and opened her wrists. Not Hannah, the girl who baited her guidance counselor into failing her. Not Hannah, the girl whose mom asked more than once if anything was wrong. The reason I’m on the fence? Well, that’s easy: it’s realistic. It’s extremely realistic for troubled people, regardless of age and stage in the whole hormones and puberty thing, to seek out people to blame. I think it’s more realistic for us to blame ourselves, but we do point fingers. If only that motherfucker hadn’t… If only she’d listen… If only he’d stay… If only they would pay attention… If only… They all hate me… They’re better off without me… Why do they all treat me like shit?… It’s so. Fucking. Realistic. The problem lies in the fact that teenagers and other people who are in highly susceptible states of mind are watching this show (based off of a book that I didn’t know existed until the end of the show), and they’re thinking…yeah! Fuck those guys! I’ll show them! So where do we draw the line between depicting realistic scenarios and being socially responsible? Do we only show one type of suicidal narrative? Do we avoid it altogether? Do we allow the conversation to occur in all forms? Was the show irresponsible? Or was it honest? Or…was it both? I’d say both. It was honest to the narrative of some and irresponsible to all. Does that mean it should be censored? See what I mean? Fence-rider.
  2. Dangerous implications that are never addressed. There are things shown or implied in the show that never get proper treatment. For example, toward the end, the boy who plays a photographer / stalker is shown stockpiling weapons in a secret compartment at the bottom of a clothing trunk. This is never addressed, but the implications are clear. There isn’t one gun. There are several. And the picture the mind paints in this post-Columbine society is one of an impending black trench coat and a troubled, bullier / bullied boy, going out in a “blaze of glory” in the middle of school, taking out as many students and teachers as he can before he aims the muzzle at his own head. Again, these are conversations that need to be had. The problem is that we are shown one or two images that imply these things, but there is never any discussion about it. It’s merely displayed there and left to you to understand that this is yet another terrible type of fallout from bullying and exploitation.
  3. Soft-core pornification of rape. Two girls in the show are raped: Hannah and her one-time best friend, Jess. As with the previous two points I broached, I’ll also say that this is yet another topic that needs to be addressed. It’s all too often swept under the rug, hidden away as something shameful and secret. So I’m okay with the fact that the show discussed rape, the rape mentality and the conflicted emotions felt by victims and witnesses. What I’m not okay with is the way one scene in particular was drawn out. When it gets to Hannah’s rape, it seemed like the scene would never end. Were producers trying to convey the endlessness of victims’ experiences? Were they trying to make viewers feel as much discomfort as possible without showing rape-porn? Perhaps. And I understand that – we need to be uncomfortable. We need to be confronted with shit we try to hide from; otherwise, it will never be addressed. But the soft lighting? The endless slapping sounds as he took her from behind? The close-up camera zoom on Hannah’s breasts as the perpetrator fondled her and slipped her bra down? Or the zoom on her ass as he pulled her panties down? Was that really fucking necessary? “Hey guys, I need you to get a better shot of her ass! Wait, hang on, there’s not enough tit in this scene! If we’re gonna show a real rape, we need to show WHY THE FUCKING RAPIST WANTED HER?!?!?!” What. The. Fuck. And how long are we supposed to sit there while we watch her body rocking back and forth, back and forth, as she’s being raped? I sincerely think this was mishandled. And that isn’t me saying we shouldn’t talk about rape. We should.
  4. Okay so I’m not done with the blame bit. How many times are we told that Clay, the main character who listens to Hannah’s tapes, is responsible for Hannah’s death? Sometimes he’s told, “We’re all responsible.” Okay, fair enough. Fine. But right before Clay begins his own tape, he asks Tony something like, “Did I kill Hannah Baker?” And Tony tells him that yes, he did kill Hannah Baker. A few fucking minutes into the tape, Hannah says YOU SHOULDN’T BE ON THESE TAPES, CLAY, BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN US WAS MY FAULT. And yet, the narrative through the rest of the damn show is that yes, Clay did kill Hannah Baker. Is being shy, nervous around girls and somewhat introverted a crime? He didn’t kill Hannah Baker; he only hurt her by his inaction sometimes. Yes, he could have stood up for her a couple times. But fucking hell, is there zero room for “mistake” in life? Not according to this show. You so much as breathe around someone who dies the next day, and it’s your fault. Yeah, we need to have discussions about our roles in each others’ lives. About how we treat each other. About compassion and empathy. But you fucking killed Hannah Baker because you left the room AFTER SHE TOLD YOU TO LIKE A HALF-DOZEN TIMES? Piss right off.
  5. The treatment of authority figures. Throughout the show, the students / kids are taught a myriad of lessons. Whether they stick or not isn’t my issue – it’s realistic that most people aren’t gonna fucking change. And it adds to the true story of how horribly we treat each other, and how we all need to do a gut-check. The kids are shown discussing these matters, though. They at least get chances at redemption, telling the viewers that they deserve another chance. The authority figures? Hmm. Let’s see. Over the course of the show, we watch as Hannah’s perception of her parents grows more and more negative, though I will say they are treated the kindest. Them and Clay’s dad (though he is a bit oblivious, but not criminally so). (Oh, and by the way, of fucking course the victim’s parents – victims themselves – are painted with a soft brush. God forbid they have flaws aside from extremely common arguments over finances. No, let’s save the flaws for everyone else in the show – every last one of them are murderers! Until they kill themselves, then Hannah’s parents morph into villains, too.) Alex’s dad, the police officer, has no redeeming qualities. He’s proud that his sons fight people. He let’s them break the law, regularly. He’s constantly looking for a way to escape responsibility, for himself and his boys. Is this realistic? Yeah, for a lot of people it is. But he’s not even a three-dimensional character. There’s no depth to him and no opportunity for reflection or growth. He’s a stock stereotype. (Oh, and by the way? Alex shoots himself in the head at the end of the show. With one of his dad’s guns. AND WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT AT ALL.) Justin’s mom and her boyfriend, another set of stock stereotypes: abusive, neglectful drug addicts. Yes, these people exist. But in the show – all the kids get a chance to own up to shit they did and change their ways. Repeatedly, in fact. “Oh you won’t be reasonable in this episode? Well, you’ll get a chance IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE REMAINING TWELVE EPISODES! Your parents? Man, fuck them. Adults suck.” The guidance counselor? He never fully accepts his responsibility and his role in his students’ lives. Realistic for a lot of people, fine. But again, young and susceptible viewers are validated, “SEE! THIS is EXACTLY why I won’t go see Mr. Smith. Guidance Counselors are a fucking joke. AND SO ARE ALMOST ALL ADULTS IN THE HISTORY OF EVER.” There are a lot of shitty adults. Because, all too often, shitty kids turn into shitty adults. But a show that claims to want to help the suicide epidemic is making it worse by telling kids that adults are useless.
  6. How peaceful they made the act of suicide look. When it came time for Hannah’s suicide scene in the denouement? It shows the whole scene set-up, from start…to finish. And it fucking wrecked me. That part, I’m not gonna take umbrage with. It should have wrecked me. People need to be wrecked to take this shit seriously. It’s fucking serious, and people are in danger. The problem I have is that, once Hannah slits her wrists (which it shows – explicitly), there’s no real demonstration of pain. Maybe there is no pain – maybe she’s too numb and in a state of shock to feel it or express it. But you know what’s fucked up? How g-damn peaceful they made it look. I even thought, “Damn. Maybe…I mean, look how easy that was… WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, STEPHANIE.” I knew right then they’d fucked that part up. She shivered. Hannah shivered. She fucking shivered, then closed her eyes, slid down a little, and peacefully went to sleep while the bathwater turned a warm shade of pink. Yes, suicide is a private thing. Probably often done in silence. And there’s a complete sense of being abjectly alone. But I think creators of a show like this had a responsibility to make it not look like you’re TAKING A FUCKING NAP IN THE BATHTUB. Look. Just LOOK at how EASY it is: a momentary wince and then a nice little nap. <—THAT is irresponsible.

You know what? I’ve just talked myself out of almost any redeeming quality about this show. It’s irresponsible and dangerous. Hell, I knew what it was about going in – and my reaction when it was over? “I should not have watched that show.” I even said that same thing to two people: “I should not have watched that show. I really shouldn’t have watched it.” I was a fucking wreck. And I’m a grown-ass woman with at least like, one or two coping mechanisms. And it fucked me up at the end. I can’t imagine what it’s doing to kids. No, I won’t go so far as to say: ban it. Not gonna do it. But is the show irresponsible? Fucking right it is.

P.S. I’m fine now, by the way. At least from the effects of the show. I’m more concerned with the impact it’s having on kids – or adults who aren’t currently strong enough to fight.

 

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Cryogenically-Frozen Chicken

When I think about you, I MasturDate?

I took myself to a movie last night. Masturdation, yay!? Yeah, no. You’d think this would be cause for celebration. Alas, no, for I watched a “film” that I never intended to see. One of those where you see a teensy snippet of a preview, and you go…”That looks stupid as fuck.” You scornfully scoff at the screen, because your cinematic tastes are far too refined for such drivel. So why, pray-tell, did I take myself out to see Passengers?

passengers
Even the poster is lame. Oh. Yay. I can’t wait to gleefully sit through two hours of this movie now that I’ve been pseudo-intensely stared at by the headshots of these two. Where do I sign up?

The Build-Up

Why. The Fuck. Would I do this to myself? I’ll tell you why. One of my besties (yes, I said “besties,” because I’m pretty sure it will annoy the shit out of him) is a bully. That’s right. The author of stupidityhole bullied me into going to see this “film.” You see, he wanted me to be enlightened by the…no. I just snorted. No. I can’t even finish that sentence. He wanted me to share in his misery about this film, because that’s how bullies behave!

I wasn’t gonna do it. No. Fucking. Way. I’ve been wanting to take myself to a movie, but not this…this thing.

I refused. I outright refused.

And then he said the three magic words. You guessed it. “Cryognically-frozen chicken.” Motherfuck. I was undone, and he knew it. He refused to tell me what that meant. I’d simply have to see the film now in order to understand that. So. Over the course of, I dunno…a couple days. (He says it was more like an hour. Pfft.) He tormented me by randomly blurting out, “cryogenically-frozen chicken”…or…”ice-cold bock-bock if you prefer.”

And I caved. WHO WOULDN’T?! I had to know what the fuck he was on about. Look, I’m weak, okay? I mean. What the fuck is he talking about?! ARE THERE CHICKENS IN CRYO-CHAMBERS?! WILL THEY FROLIC AROUND IN SPACE?! IS THIS A MOVIE ABOUT SPACE-CHICKENS?! OHMYFUCK I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE, AND IT’S CRYOGENICALLY-FROZEN CHICKEN! Fucking hell. This is what happened to my brain after being bullied for days. Weeks. Months. (Maybe two hours.)

So I acquiesced: I’d see the “film.” I’d resist the urge(s) to walk out before it was over. And I’d sit through at least forty-five seconds of the end-credits. I already knew, going in, that this was probably all some big trick. One of the many schemes I’m subjected to on the regular.

In Dreams become…

Two or three days ago. Maybe last week. Look, we already know I’m shit with time, okay? At some point in the not-so-distant past, I even dreamed about this shit.

In the dream, I saw the damn cryobock movie and never understood the cryochicken reference. I panicked. In the dream. Because I knew what this would mean. That shit would make me watch it again!

Also in the dream, Laurence Fishburne looked just like his Morpheus character from The Matrix and simply wandered around, shaking his head and muttering “damn” at random, unexpected intervals. (We can also blame this one on stupidityhole, who told me “Morpheus is in the movie. And he says, “damn.” Now you have to see it.”) (What is wrong with me?)

At another point in the dream, Laurence Fishburne was actually more like HAL in 2001. And all throughout the ship, anytime something pseudo-dramatic happened, his voice would echo throughout the ship…”Daaaamn.”

I woke in a cold sweat. Holy fuck. Okay. The Fishburne/Morpheus/HAL shit was funny. But missing out on cryobock and being heckled eternally until I watched it again? Fuck. This can’t happen.

…Reality (Spoilers ahead and blah blah)

It was all I could do to stay awake during this…this thing. But I knew falling asleep would be signing my death warrant (aka: having to see this fucker again). And oh did I get restless. I even messaged stupidityhole shit like this randomly during the movie:

MAY I PLEASE WALK OUT

FUCKINGBAUXIENENSLJDBWIXKSN

OHMYFUCKINGPLEASE

-Something about punching his face off.

And, SHOCKER, he didn’t reply to any of those. He was reveling in my misery. Fucker.

Space Ghost Notes

I entertained myself by jotting little notes on my phone. Would you like a sampling? Sure you would!

Jock wakes after asteroid collision
Wonder how long it will be before they show his ass

Ship is to travel 120 years (total) and can’t get through a MFing asteroid belt?

CALLED IT. Jock boy nudie shower shot.

Oooo Bob Dylan music playing…while Jocky McGee models clothes?!
What the fuck am I watching

HOW COULD BOB DYLAN AGREE TO LEND HIS MUSIC TO THIS
Thank you for a moment of peace Bobby

Bartender android
Yay

He passenger not crew
Jim

I do like the scene where he wanders out in space, thinking, feeling, lost…adrift, afraid, alone, desperate, hopeless

Nearly suicides afterward w/o spacesuit
I would too if I was in this fucking movie

He woke blondie on purpose!
Year later

FUCKING SPACE-STALKER

Also WHERE’S THE FUCKING CRYOBOCK! I WANT CRYOGENICALLY-FROZEN CHICKEN RIGHT NOW I NEED TO LEAVE

He mechanic
She writer

“It’s the ultimate geographical suicide.” This is her line, and she’s a writer?! i’m gonna piss myself

Hm. I wonder when spacehumping begins

ohmyfuck
dance competetions
basketball
swimming
bar scenes
movies

I’M SORRY HE WENT WOMAN SHOPPING FOR FUCKS SAKE AND SHE HAD NO CHOICE

space flying yay

CUE SPACE HUMPING
CALLED IT
ugh lots of space humping

OH YAY! MORPHEUS!
“How long were you alone?”
~ A year
“Still…daaaaaaamn”

OKAY. I GOT MY DAAAAAMN. WHERE’S THE FUCKING CHICKEN?!

how many times do i have to watch blondie swim?!?!?!
crazy half-naked gravity field failure in pool
yay i get to watch blondie suspended in a spacebubble…dangling in her swimsuit
on the bigscreen

WHY AM I HERE

Ship falling apart
that wasn’t predictable at all
morpheus bites the dust
holes in the ship

“How’s that even happen? I thought this ship was supposed to be meteor-proof.”
“I guess one got through.”

who the hell wrote these lines

There was one other dude in the theater. He either fell asleep or slid down in his seat to whack it to spacehumping. Ew. He’s nasty. Nasty dude. Bad.

Three chicks came in at some point. Looked like mom and two daughters. They laughed at the “serious” moments. That was entertaining.

In conclusion… NO. JUST. NO.

So remember that dream I told you about?’

Yeah.

Sometimes dreams do come true.

No. Fucking. Idea. What the hell he meant by “cryogenically-frozen chicken.”

Credits start, and I’m thinking…it better be in the forty-five seconds of this he told me to sit through.

I’m the last one in the theater. The others hauled ass.

I sit through half the credits.

Nada.

I get up. Walk down the aisle and am about to leave. But then, I think…what if this is part of the trick? I’ve sat through all this, no way am I leaving yet.

Prop myself against the wall (ewww, why is it sticky?) and watch – EVEN READ – the credits until it’s completely over. Screen goes black. Lights come on.

There’s a simple solution to all this.
I’m gonna kill him.

Aftermath

Best part?! My car is stranded there at the theater. The snowstorm that was supposed to start at 10 PM started several hours early.

Yeah. I called an uber, and he got me almost “home.” Then I walked the rest of the way. Only about half a mile. Was kind of fun, actually.

Car is still there, because there’s been over a foot of snow where I am, and I can’t get out.

But I got to be out and about in the snowstorm! Driving around Portland, chatting with a cool driver. Then walked the rest of the way in the snow!

AND I STILL DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK STUPIDITYHOLE MEANT BY CRYOGENICALLY-FROZEN CHICKEN.

You know what he said, right? Guess you’ll have to see it again, hey? Dreams do come true! Or something.

Expletives ensued.

Question for Peopleaneous

Did anyone see this movie and actually LIKE it? I’d love to know what the hell I missed that has like twelve people on earth raving about it.

 

I can’t help myself. Can we talk about Game of Thrones? Please? Fuck it, I’m gonna. This post be spoilery and full of spoilers.

Y’all know damn well I don’t do formal reviews. I’m just gonna talk a bunch of shit and label it a review(ish). If I wanted to write an essay, I’d knock your fucking socks off. But I’d rather talk shit. So I’m gonna talk shit. Once more for those in the nosebleeds: SPOILERS, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Brienne & Tormund

brienne-tormund_1
He totally wants to do her. She does, too. She’s just in denial and hung up on Jamie. Come on, Brienne. Get some wildling up in ya.

Dudes. DUDES. Tormund being a total horndog toward Brienne, and Brienne being wildly uncomfortable….was, without question, my absolute favorite part of the season. Rare is the occasion when I laugh out loud if I’m watching or listening to something by myself. I don’t really know why that is. But oh man, I busted a gut in these few scenes. Look! Just look at their faces! Brienne is a badass and has been one of my top characters since I met her. Same with Tormund. They should totally do it. And he’s a wildling, for fuck’s sake. I bet once you go wildling, you never go back.

Lady Mormont

Lyanna Mormont.jpg

This chick right here needs no introductions. She can introduce her damn self just fine. Seriously. She is an epic badass. When Jon and Sansa approach her to ask for the support of her house (read: her knights), she gives them hell. And rightfully so. No house worth its salt will throw its banner behind a cause without knowing fucking well it’s not only for a worthy cause but also that the knights will not be fighting a guaranteed losing effort. The Starks begin with simple pleas, but Lady Mormont isn’t having it. When all is said and done, she devotes her entire army to the cause: 62 fighting men, which makes them all the more valuable to her house and to Bear Island. And she didn’t just devote her troops, she’s active through the entire effort between the Starks and the Boltons (Ramsay).

Seriously. Team Stark. Team Mormont. Team Dothraki (I only seem to like Daenerys when she has a Dothraki horde.)

5btYjMA
Fo’ real yo’

The Dothraki Horde

Am I the only one who’s happy to see these motherfuckers back in action? I mean besides the yum factor (*sniff* I still miss Khal Drogo), they’re simply badass. Look, I’m in the MAJOR minority here in what I’m about to say: I think Emily Clarke is seriously lacking as an actress. Like hardcore. I get tired of watching her. Now, I love her story-line and her role. I love Daenerys. I just don’t think Emily Clarke is right for the part (it could very well be a problem with her direction, though). So I focus on other things, like The Dothraki, or her cool counselors. Oh. And of course the dragons. Duh.

images
Yep. Much prefer Daenerys this way, even more so if she was in Dothraki threads, which she kind of is here.

But I really fucking hate this guy:

wannabe daario naharis
He is such a cocksmudge. Seriously, Daario Naharis he is not. And he’s certainly not compelling as either a love interest or a trusted advisor. Perhaps most aggravating of all is how he switches from an American to a pseudo-British accent….sometimes in the same fucking sentence! I hope we never see him again now that she’s leaving him in the pyramid. Better yet, go back to Treme, bitch. You were a shit actor then, too.

I mean, really. Whatever happened to the real Daario Naharis? He was smug and cocky and arrogant and mysterious.

Daario Naharis
Will the real Daario Naharis please stand up? Please stand up? Am I the only one who misses this guy? Seriously. Why did they axe this Sebastian Bach lookin’ motherfucker. I’ll hire him.

Hmmmm. What else?

Oh! Oh! This Crazy Bitch!

Cersei has gone full on Mad Queen on us. How many times did she threaten to burn cities? To burn it all to ash for the sake of her children? Over and over and over and fucking over again. And then she did it. She burned the fucking sept, with everyone in it: Margaery, Loris, The High Sparrow, Lancel, Mace Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, etc. Anyone in the sept boiled alive by wildfire. (If anyone survived it, I’ll be pissed because it’s simply not possible the way they filmed it. They were all trapped.)

wildfire

The best part? It instantly bites that crazy bitch in the ass.

Oops
She underestimated Tommen’s love for Margaery and his desire to be a good king. Whoopsie. Mommy’s prophesy came true.

But hey, at least she got the throne, right? For now…

watch-out-cersei-here-are-all-the-contenders-that-could-take-the-iron-throne-in-season-7-1036313
I’ll give her this. This episode was the first time I’ve ever seen her looking like a badass. Too bad even her brotherlover hates her now. She’s so fucked. I can’t wait to see one of her brothers off her ass. At least that’s what I think is gonna happen.

Who else do I wanna talk about? I mean, Jon Snow doesn’t surprise me, except it was really nice seeing his ass. He’s always a brooding, emotional, thoughtful badass. I love Jon Snow. And I fucking KNEW he was a Targaryen. Absolutely one of the best good characters. I love what has happened with Sansa. It took her long enough, but she’s certainly earned a place in my good character book. She reminds me a lot of Catelyn, her mother’s character. And that’s a good thing. Hmm. (I am curious how it will play out once it comes to light that Jon is not Ned’s bastard and doesn’t belong in House Stark afterall. But Sansa, Arya and Bran still in the picture.)

Oh! Oh! I was superpumped to watch Sansa watch Ramsay get eaten by his own dogs. I’m glad Jon spared him on the battlefield so we all got to have that moment.

I never in a million years imagined Theon Greyjoy returning to my good graces, but it’s a testament to good writing and good acting that he’s there now. I’m proud of what he’s become now and look forward to seeing more of him next season (which very well may be our last season).

Things are shaping up nicely, and while I’m sad to see the end so near, I’ll kinda be glad when it’s over, too. I don’t watch much TV…so I tend to put off GOT until a season has piled up. Then I lose a day marathoning the fuck out of it until I’m caught up. So…this is six seasons so far? I’ve devoted six full days of my life to this show! Doesn’t sound like much, but it is. Hell, it’s a phenomenal story, though.

Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! I can’t finish this post without Arya.

I’ve been worried that Arya is losing her humanity and, just as importantly, her identity. I don’t want a girl to be no one. I want a girl to be Arya Stark. And I want Arya Stark to get back to the rest of the Starks, bringing with her all of her newfound badassery! Suffice it to say, I’m superpumped that a girl is Arya Stark and not no one. That scene with her and the little bitch was badass. By the way, Arya is totally Batman.

AryaBatman

Also. I read what I thought was a massive spoiler before I ever watched the season. Someone wrote, after some episode, that Arya died. I didn’t mean to run into that. You know how the internet is. And I was fucking livid. It’s part of what took me so long to finally watch the season and get caught up. I was dreading it. So yeah. I’m thrilled.

Oh! Oh! And Oh My Fuck, this scene!

Arya-Stark-killing-Walder-Frey-Game-of-Thrones
Sweet. Fucking. Revenge! Arya’s back, bitches!

OHMYGOD AND THE HOUND

I fucking knew he was still alive. On Game of Thrones, if you don’t actually watch someone die, there’s a damn good chance he or she is still alive. I acted a damn fool when this motherfucker showed back up on the screen. Fistpumping the air, screaming, “YEAH! YEAH MOTHERFUCKER! YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” I shit you not. Welcome back, my friend.

the-hound-game-of-thrones.png
Shityeah, mothafucka! THAT’S MY HOMEBOY RIGHT THERE! I hope he and his brother, the FrankenMountain, meet up so he can slam an axe down into that beast’s unholy skull.

So. Those are my highlights. What were yours?

Masturdation Take 2: Date Night with Deadpool

First, for my writing and your reading pleasure:

Friday the 15th, I took myself out for a date. A masturdate, that is. Since I was already scheduled to be off work that day, I decided to make the best of it. There was an afternoon showing of Deadpool, which was good…because my anxiety levels are nowhere near low enough to masturdate on a Friday night when the place is packed with touchy-feely couples.

Unlike my Date Night with Bill Murray, my Date Night with Deadpool had a few people in the theater aside from myself. So. Let’s see. There was me – the only solo chick there to watch Deadpool. Then there were about eight or so solo dudes there. And there were two couples: one young teenage couple, and one couple with what looked to be a seven or eight year old little boy. Y’all. This is Deadpool we’re talking about, not TMNT. It took them until halfway through to realize they’d made a mistake…in spite of the fact that it was obvious on the opening credits.

Anyway.

Deadpool.

Deadpool

I’ve never really gotten the appeal of Ryan Reynolds, as either an actor or as a hot piece of ass. But uhm. Yeah. Deadpool changed my mind. I’m not into Ryan Reynolds, but I definitely would fuck Deadpool to death. TO DEATH. That filthy mouth, the irreverence, the silliness, and yes the ass.

This isn’t going to be a review, because I’d rather talk to y’all about parks and shit. Not shit. I mean parks and shit. Not parks and poop. You know? Yeah, you know.

I laughed my ass off during the flick. It was interesting, because no one was laughing. So I felt self-conscious and tried to will myself not to laugh. Then I said fuck it. This shit is funny.

And you know what happened?

When I started laughing at funny shit, so did others. It’s as though we all had the same anxiety. The same reservation.

So me and this one dude in particular laughed at pretty much the exact same shit all throughout the movie.

The flick was filthy, vulgar, bloody, laden with sexual innuendo and overt sexual references. In other words, I wanted to marry it. Deadpool was so fucking funny I wanted to marry it.

I needed the humor. The filth. The irreverence. It made it worth striking out on my own. I didn’t even wear my hoodie, y’all. I laughed and had a blast and realized that when someone tries to tear you down, it’s best to realize it’s not about you. It really isn’t. So go out, masturdate and be like Deadpool.

deadpool2

P.S. Guess what?! I totally wrote this from work. So if the site is working up here tomorrow, I’ll get to the one about my little park visits and share some piccies!

Pom Poko: Review(ish) of a Fucked Up Animovie

The Geek Squad

I’ve recently been welcomed into the geek fold at work. They don’t know it (yet), but I refer to them as the Geek Squad (shut up, BestBuy, this isn’t about you). I’ve always known they were geeks – I mean, come on. Boys are usually pretty obvious about such things. But they (well, most of them) didn’t know it about me.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had to work closely with a couple of them on a new project. The geekiness seeped out, and I found my people. Half a dozen or so dudes who say “fuck” a lot, trade anime and books and play video games together. Some of them are married, while others still live at home. I’m totally picturing a basement full of gadgets, anime and porn, maybe a D&D table, with mom or grandma scornfully delivering PB&J, laundry and classifieds every few hours.

Anatomy of a (Stephanie) Geek

For the record, I’m only about half-geek. Something like: Half anime/comics/gamer geek. Three-quarters introverted, dark corner dwelling book nerd. Four-fifths anti-establishment, pot-smoking smartass. (Just trust my math on this, okay? I’m smart.) Some of the guys are more overtly geeky, while some of them look like total heads but talk a very geeky game.

Herman the Hipster Slings Porn in the Parking Lot

A week or so ago, Herman the Hipster (seriously, no idea that one was a geek) received a boon. One of his recently married friends was ordered by his not-so-geeky wife to get rid of his anime collection. My argument, upon hearing this, was how in the fuck did she not know she was marrying a geek? Didn’t she know what she was getting? Didn’t he take her for a test drive in his replica batmobile? And how in the fuck did he not know he was marrying a controlling bitch? If he’s as geeky as his (formerly) outlandishly massive collection of anime indicates, then he was probably grateful to be getting any booty at all. (I somehow doubt he’ll remain grateful for long.)

So that was how Herman the Hipster happened upon three trunkfuls of anime. And I don’t mean a pocket-sized Prius trunk. I mean the back of a Toyota Forerunner. We’re talking individual films, box sets of entire anime seasons, leather-bound collector’s editions of super rare ones, and one super secret super pervy porny hentai box set at the bottom of a big bin.

Herman the Hipster decided to sell off his friend’s (former) collection at cut rates to any interested coworkers, then sell the rest on ebay at the going prices. So cigarillo-smoking, assumed-to-be-pothead Pookie informed me of the deals goin’ down in the parking lot. (Doesn’t everyone know a Pothead Pookie? This is at least the second one I’ve known.)

Apparently, like three of the lonelier geeks got into a serious bid-war for the hentai box set. I suppose they found the artwork enticing: picture a naked anime chick with a rack the size of the wheels on a monster truck. She’s floating in space – hovering, I imagine, directly over the bed of a sexually frustrated geekboy – covered in what I can only hope is icing. All of the icing in the world, after the cupcake factory exploded. On her tits.

Pookie Prophesies in the Parking Lot

But that all happened once I was out of the way…they couldn’t exactly let the chick see them locked in a bid-war for porntoons. While I was out there with Herman the Hipster, Pookie the Pothead and Manbun Merv, Herman shows us the ones he’s set aside for himself. One of which was Pom Poko.

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Looks like a harmless little anime, doesn’t it? Looks can be deceiving, my friends.
Pookie looked to be in the throes of traumatic flashbacks.

Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: Dude, what the fuck are you keeping that for? Burn it!
Herman the Hipster: What? It sounds cute. I’m gonna show it to my daughter.

Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: What the fuck is the matter with you?! You can’t show that to your kid!
Herman the Hipster: Haha what? Why not?

Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: Dude. You show that shit to your kid, and she’ll be traumatized for life. I’m telling you. It’s about these…these…these fucking fucked up fucking squirrels, man!

Manbun Merv: *chuckles* What’s wrong with squirrels?

Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: OH MY GOD. DO NOT SHOW THIS SHIT TO YOUR KIDS. It’s…it’s about these squirrels, man…

Stephanie the Smartass She-Geek: Those look like raccoons to me, Pookie.
Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: Oh my god, woman! That’s not the point! These fucked up little animals..they try to save their homeland, right? And they use their motherfucking nutsacks to do it!

Everyone dissolves into laughter. Pretty sure I snorted and doubled over.

Stephanie the She-Geek: That sounds like the best thing ever!
Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: That’s because you don’t understand! Herman, you can not show this shit to your kid. I’m telling you, they use their nutsacks to fight the humans.

At this point, we all take turns quizzing him about the nature of these nutsacks. We’re all under the impression that he means…like a sack of nuts. Peanuts or something that they’ve gathered. Cuz Pookie keeps referring to them as squirrels.

Stephanie the She-Geek: But it’s Studio Ghibli!
Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: It’s Studio FUCKED UP is what it is!
Stephanie the She-Geek: You’re just being a perv!
Manbun Merv: Pookie man, that’s kinda fucked up.

Herman the Hipster: Okay, okay, how about this. Stephanie, you take it home and watch it. Then bring it back to me and let me know if you think Pookie is just retarded. I really think my kids would like it.

Pookie the Parking Lot Prophet: I see how y’all are, man. Fine! That’s fine! All I can say is good luck, Stephanie. You’re gonna regret watching that fucked up shit.

Stephanie Regrets Watching that Fucked Up Shit

Dudes, Pookie was totally right. I was absolutely convinced that he was reading into it with a dirty mind. I do it, too. I mean, hell, a bunch of animals using their sacks of nuts to fight? I’d have had dirty thoughts about it, too. So I was totally convinced that Pookie was just being a perv, and the movie would be completely innocent.

But Pookie was right. Those little raccoons. They weren’t using sacks of peanuts. They were using their fucking testicles!

The basic premise of the movie is that humans have encroached upon the raccoons’ territory, to the point where they’re running out of places to live. So the raccoons devise a scheme to push the humans back and make them stop development. A pretty common theme for kid flicks. But these raccoons’ scheme involved teaching the youth the ancient skill of shape-shifting.

That’s right. And do you know one of the things that the little male raccoons liked to shapeshift?

Their nutsacks.

Pom Poko Nads
Just look at their little nuts! All up in your face!
Umbrellas, parachutes, carpets. Or murdering humans by stretching their nuts out over big chasms then pulling back when a vehicle drives upon it. I shit you not, y’all. Take a look:

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Pookie was right. I couldn’t even finish it. Not because of the nuts. That was super fucking bizarre and funny in a fucked up kinda way. But because it was boring. I just couldn’t get into the story at all.

I returned the DVD to Herman with a sticky that said, “2 out of 2 geeks agree: do NOT show this to your kids!” Unless he wants his daughter asking Santa for a pair of nuts so she can fight the man, too!

I did some digging afterward, wondering what was up with these testicularly gifted critters and found out that they’re modeled after the Tanuki: a Japanese raccoon-dog of lore, with pendulous nads and shape-shifting abilities.

tanuki

I love learning about different cultures, but this was quite a surprise. I believe I could have gone my whole life without knowing about the…gifted tanuki.

So uhm. Yeah. Note to self: Listen to Pookie.

A Musical Interlude: Clint Mansell

I love Clint Mansell. I think I always have, only I didn’t know it until someone put a name to the music that moves so many. Best known for his work as a composer, Mansell has scored films such as The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream, and Black Swan. And, you may have noticed, those are all three Darren Aronofsky films, but Mansell has scored for others as well.

I don’t know if I’ve told y’all…but The Fountain ranks among my favorite films. And it is no exaggeration to say that it would be a different film entirely without Mansell’s touch. It is dark and moving. Poignant and ethereal. Emotional and painful. Hopeful and yearning. Surreal and earthy. Life and death and resurrection and everything between. Soul shattering pain and redemption. I don’t even know what I’m saying, really. It’s everything.

I cried. Nay, I wept. I was an absolute wreck in the aftermath of The Fountain. For days. Days. I had been warned, at least a couple of years prior to watching it…I had been warned to steer clear of it. But then The Aussie told me it was important. I almost didn’t make it through it, quite literally choking on my sobs more than once. But I did. And it will always be part of me now. Perhaps it always was, and that’s why it moved me so.

All of these rambles to lead you into this song:

Listen to it. Please. I beseech you to listen and not with ears only, but with all of you. If you listen, you will know where I am today and why I’m not very talkative (blogative?). I’ve had it on loop for an hour. And if you listen, I’d love to know what the song does to you. It shakes me to my core and somehow fuels my depression while also comforting me. It makes me feel…understood. Felt.

But don’t listen to me. Listen to the song. Please. And then, listen to the entire soundtrack. It’s instrumental, so you can listen to it while doing other things…if you’re not too much of a wreck to function.

Below is the entire soundtrack, but if you’re wanting all the feels, you may as well go for it and watch the film.

If you haven’t seen The Fountain, go forth. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you are a sensitive creature at all, it will shatter you. But it’s a shattering you must endure.

TheFountain

Yeah. I’m gonna need to medicate with Billy Idol or something soon. Or a New Girl marathon! Yeah! No. Bad idea. Why must memories so firmly attach themselves to everything?

Anyone have any tips for really good comedy? Gimme gimme!

Take it or Leave it: Steins;Gate (Episodes 1 through 3)

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This anime with the weirdly punctuated name (Steins;Gate – REALLY?!) is supposed to be my jam. I’ve had it downloaded for a while, but I was busy finishing up FMAB (Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood…much better punctuation in that one). Barring a few exceptions, I’m super late to anime and only seriously got into it within the last five years.

This semi-wannabe-kinda sorta review thingy should be taken with this in consideration: I just came off of FMAB. And, quite frankly (hi again, Frank), I don’t think anything can or will ever top it. Naturally, after coming off of something of such epic magnitude, the first thing to follow is going to be a huge, flaccid disappointment. (Yes, I meant to say flaccid.) (Yes I know what flaccid means.) (Okay, I’ll stop saying flaccid.) (Prude.)

So. Steins;Gate.

The Premise

“After discovering time travel, a university student and his colleagues must use their knowledge of it to stop an evil organization and their diabolical plans.” (Premise brought to you by a direct copy/paste from IMDb. Because I’m lazy. But I’m no plagiarist – I cite my sources. Hmph.)

Here’s another direct copy/paste – this time from user j4x: “Okabe Rintarou, an university student who refers to himself as Crazy Mad Scientist Hououin Kyouma and his lab’s members work on a microwave device that can transfer messages to the past. Without getting captured, they should get it working in order to beat the evil organization, SERN and stop their evil plans.”

Sounds right up my alley, alright. So I understand the recommendation. Anime? Check. Sci-fi? Check. Time travel? Check. Conspiracy theories? Check. Mental disturbances? Check. Social anxiety? Check. Good vs. Evil? Check. Geeky/pervy techy sidekick? Check. Smart women? Check. I mean, really. There are so many things for me to like about this.

But I’ve had problems with it, and I’m only three episodes in.

Problems I’ve had with it, only three episodes inMayuri_full_profile

Mayuri Shiina is a major character. As the lifelong friend and financier/snack supplier of the main character, Mayuri is around a lot. She works at some cafe where she dresses like a kitty cat and prances and meows for customers. Look, I get it. A lot of pre-teen or even teenaged geeks really dig watching adult anime girls dress and act like helpless little girls in short skirts and tiny little voices. And oh my god does Mayushii have a tiny little voice. It drives me batshit. The character is sweet, unassuming, just darling. Fine. But does she have to sound like an infant? Grump grump grump. Steins;Gate does have at least one strong female character that I’ve met thus far. But Mayuri gets under my skin. I think FMAB spoiled me to strong chicks in anime. To be fair, they haven’t fan serviced her yet. Yet.

Let’s not even talk about the pink-haired coworker of Mayuri. She’s up there in the promo pic. So far, I’ve only seen her in her work costume. With kitten ears and making her hands into paws. So she can act like a cat. And meow. I may have just vomited typing that. Not yet. But close.

There are also these scenes where the mad scientist is hanging out in hacker chat rooms trying to solve his mysteries. (Are they mysteries, or is he crazy? That’s a major plot point, and that is somewhat intriguing. But I’m also pretty sure the answer to that is obvious.) Okabe/Hououin goes into these underground hacker/conspiracy chat rooms, and you (the viewer) are looking at the screen and inundated with lines and lines of chat room text. It’s overwhelming, and I get superanxious trying to read all of it. How are you to know which pieces to pay attention to and which to discard as extraneous information? ARGH! I should have taken a screenshot so you can see what I mean. But I didn’t, and I’m at work. So. Yeah. I kept pausing over and over and over again so that I wouldn’t miss a single line of text. I’m sure most of it was extraneous and irrelevant, but I couldn’t help myself. Text was there! Demanding to be read!

I just haven’t been grabbed. It hasn’t captivated me yet. Is it because of the annoying little things I’m picking apart? Or do I have time to pick it apart and notice annoying little things because it hasn’t captivated me yet?

Things I do Like Thus FarDaru_profile

Itaru, better known as Daru, is the hacker of the top secret future lab. UGH. And I just got a fucking spoiler when I looked for a picture of him to include here. And now I’m pissed! Hmph. Don’t google the show unless you want spoilers. Anyway! Daru is the stereotypical otaku guy. Fat, lazy, geeky, whip-smart with all things techy/computer. And he’s a pervert. It’s funny watching him call Okabe out on his eccentricities and delusions. And it’s funnier still when he tries to make the girls say things like, “his banana is floppy.” I like Daru. Daru makes me laugh, and that’s super important.

I love how weird and eccentric and over-the top Okabe is. His labcoat. His maniacal laughter. The way he speaks into his phone…while it’s switched off. How convinced he is of his delusions. And how real I really think they are.

The time travel. The conspiracy theories. The phone microwave time machine thingy. The gel bananas. The floppy gel bananas. The mean (but not really) super. The time jumps and multiple timelines. Love it.

To Continue or Cut My Losses

Only three episodes in, now is the time to quit if I’m not diggin’ it. I mean, I’ve only put in an hour of my life thus far. And that’s not too bad at all, especially when there isn’t much else demanding my time. But there are things I hate about it…cut and run.

On the other hand, not everyone can be royalty. I mean. It’s unfair to hold all anime up to FMAB or Ghibli standards (puhleeze). It would be akin to choosing your favorite artist or musician and saying that all else is garbage because it’s not such and such artist or musician. We aren’t going to fall head-over-heels for everything. It’s acceptable to just like something, right? But it’s also probably not a good idea to leave a RHCP concert and expect me to swoon over Yanni five minutes later. I mean, let’s get real. For fucks sake.

Yeah. I’m gonna give it more time. It’s not like I’m hating it. So I’ll watch a few more episodes and reassess.

See? That wasn’t so difficult, now, was it? Now to figure out dinner. Decisions suck. Grump grump grump.

Date Night with Bill Murray

Every now and then, for the past year or so, I’ve gotten an urge to go to the theater for a movie. It’s usually because something comes out that I really wanna see. I’ve ignored the urge, until now.

Friday, I ditched work early and went to see the afternoon matinee showing of Rock the Kasbah. By myself. Yeah, yeah, I know the movie bombed. Like hardcore bombed, only outperforming a shitty take on a shitty old cartoon. But I’ve been interested to see Rock the Kasbah since I first heard about it. Because Bill Murray. What more reason could one possibly need?

Rock-the-Kasbah-Movie

Breakin’ it Down

The IMDb synopsis of the film reads: A down-on-his-luck music manager discovers a teenage girl with an extraordinary voice while on a music tour in Afghanistan and takes her to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, Afghan Star.

I usually try to avoid reading IMDb synopses as well as movie trailers; I find them rather spoilery. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m highly sensitive to spoilers. And if you are as well – and have any interest in Rock the Kasbah – please refrain from reading any more of this post, because I am not going to avoid spoilers. I’m not a professional reviewer, and I intend to just speak my mind about the movie.

Bill Murray’s character, Richie Lanz, is a washed up music manager. I mean, seriously washed up – both his professional and personal lives are a shambles. The movie opens to Richie listening to a horrendous audition – performed by actress Sarah Baker – as the girl, Maureen, sings her heart out. We learn right away just how hard-up and possibly shady Richie’s character is when he signs shakes hands with the girl (he doesn’t do paperwork – handshakes are his thing) and accepts a check to represent her, a retainer of sorts.

His only other singer is cover-singer Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel), and she’s pretty fucking terrible at what she does. She can’t sing for shit, and she’s completely aimless when performing on stage – and those performances are limited to one-off bar gigs. Even the drunk audience won’t stick around to listen to her.

Richie meets some USO dude during one of Ronnie’s performances, and this is how they wind up in Afghanistan. For me, things didn’t get interesting until Afghanistan. I like Zooey Deschanel and all, New Girl anyone? But I wasn’t drawn in by the plot until the culture-shocked and wasted Ronnie ditched Richie in Kabul, absconding with his cash and passport.

Yes, that's Bruce Willis' lap she's on. Uh. What the hell was his character's name? John McClane. No. Wrong movie. Oh who cares. It's Bruce Willis.
Yes, that’s Bruce Willis’ lap she’s on. Uh. What the hell was his character’s name? John McClane. No. Wrong movie. Oh who cares. It’s Bruce Willis.

This is when Richie’s sad and pathetic life turns into a weird and pathetic life. But, ever the optimist, he doesn’t give up. Even though that means becoming a gun runner to drum up some cash, selling faulty American ammo to a Pashtun tribe. And it’s while visiting the Pashtuns that Richie takes a fateful piss in the desert of Afghanistan.

During his (midnight?) piss, he hears the voice of a young girl singing and playing his guitar. Richie’s Pashtun guide and interpreter warns him that it is haram – forbidden by Islamic law – for a Pashtun female to sing or perform music. But Richie and the girl, Salima, are undeterred, though violation of the law could have them both honor-killed. Salima is the daughter of the tribe’s leader, Tariq (Fahim Fazli), and though he forbids it – Salima runs away with Richie to perform on Afghan Star – think an Afghani American Idol.

Salima & Richie
Salima & Richie

It is unclear to me whether Richie even needed the money at this point, because of the gun-running, but it looks like this is his chance at redemption. He’s constantly lying to people, saying he repped big stars – such as Madonna – but he’s really never had any success in the entertainment industry. This is his chance, and as you may guess, it has a happy ending. Richie refuses to give up on Salima, even when she is taken back to her village compound. And he is spared death by helping save the village against an internal uprising by Tariq’s rival.

Jonas Khan -
Jonas Khan – “Nizar” in the film. Just gonna put this here because yum. I’m writing this on Halloween, and this is my candy.

That is the movie in a nutshell, though I didn’t mention Bruce Willis’ strange uber-soldier / mercenary memoir writing / Danielle Steel fan character, Bombay Brian. Bombay Brian had that permanent semi-grin that Willis always seems to wear. But it worked for the character. He was weird, quirky, angry, and emotional. The interactions between Bombay Brian and Richie provided some of the funnier moments.

I also haven’t mentioned Kate Hudson’s character, Merci. Look, I’m not gonna mince words here. I don’t like Kate Hudson. I don’t think she’s a good actress, and I don’t get the appeal other than her body – which I’m not interested in. But I know plenty of people think she’s hot and don’t wanna watch a movie without a “hot chick” parading around in her underwear at some point. Cue Kate Hudson’s “Merci.” She’s the friendly “heart of gold” prostitute that helps Richie save the day, first by “merci/mercy fucking” him and then by harboring Salima while she’s in Kabul for the singing competition. Her fake-ass Texas/southern accent is ridiculous and off-putting. It distracts the hell out of me when I hear put-on southern accents. Just stop it already, Hollywood. Unless you’re poking fun on purpose, stop trying to pull off southern accents. Most of your people can’t do it believably. This is a huge pet peeve for me, FYI. So yeah. If Bill Murray isn’t your thing, but Kate Hudson doing poor mimicry of a drawl in her underwear is your thing, then this movie is still your jam.

The Final Takeaway (plus some things that struck me)

Though this movie was billed as a comedy, I didn’t really laugh much. But it was fun to laugh out loud, uninhibited, when it struck me. Empty theater for the win! Seriously, I was the only one in there…which I loved.

Richie tokin' it out during a drive in Kabul
Richie tokin’ it out during a drive in Kabul. Note the empty house.

This wasn’t a great comedy. And for roughly the first half of the movie, I was unimpressed and had a hard time relaxing and getting into it. Part of that could have been because I was way way way outside my comfort zone. Being out and about and alone in a theater. It was weird and unsettling but also cool and thrilling. I don’t know how much of that contributed to my initial impressions of the flick. But it’s worth noting.

Once the movie found its purpose in Afghanistan, it felt like the plot flowed better. Though it was still a bit plodding at times, I kind of expected that from a quirky Bill Murray film. I did expect it to be funnier. But, to me, it was more drama than comedy. Maybe a subtle blend into dramedy.

Bill Murray was Bill Murray, but a bit more serious than I’m used to seeing. Bruce Willis was Bruce Willis. Zooey Deschanel was a muted Zooey Deschanel. Kate Hudson was an annoying Kate Hudson. Leem Lubany (Salima) wasn’t very good, really. I found her stoic, never looking afraid or emotional, but she’s young and inexperienced and I’m okay with that. Side note: I kept thinking of a young Jami Gertz, circa The Lost Boys, when I looked at Salima. Is it just me?

Leem Lubany (Salima)
Leem Lubany (Salima)
Jami Gertz (blurry crap)
Jami Gertz (blurry crap)

I inexplicably began crying while Selima sang on Afghan Star. I couldn’t figure out why, and it made me uncomfortable. Sometimes I start crying like that, during movies or shows, and I don’t know why. I tried to figure this one out, and the closest I could come to a legit reason to weep was the fact that I was watching someone literally risking her life in pursuit of a passion.

When’s the last time we truly risked our lives for something? When’s the last time anything was even worth that to us? And what does that say about our existence if we can’t come up with something that we’re willing to risk being stoned to death in pursuit of?

There were some overt references to the U.S.’ interference and double-dealings, funding and arming any side of any conflict so long as the cash keeps flowing. The double-timing arms dealers have so much money, they literally throw it at Richie in one scene. And they make some comment that there’s always plenty of cash just there for the taking, so long as the U.S. is in some declared state of war – because war is lucrative. And, of course, tribal infighting results in a gun battle (though super short) at the end of the movie because Afghanistan. Personally, I appreciated the jabs.

Salima RTKB

Through it all Richie perseveres and Salima sings. Dressed in white, angelic and innocent, singing “Peace Train” to win the competition. It’s beautiful and poetic, and we are shown images of people across Afghanistan glued to television sets or radio, watching and listening to this forbidden performance. Tentative smiles on the faces of little girls, filled to the brim with hope for a brighter future. Awareness and acceptance dawning on the faces of strict and hardened men. The peace train rolls through and touches them, hearts and minds opening to a brighter future of acceptance and equality. It’s beautiful and idealistic and optimistic.

For Bill Murray and for the message of the movie, it was worth watching in spite of its weaker moments and Kate Hudson’s lameass accent and underwear.

Salima quotes Rumi to Richie at a decisive point in the film, and I loved it. I love Rumi, and it’s perfect to finish this post out:

There is a candle in your heart,
ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?

The beauty and simplicity of Rock the Kasbah made it worth the watch. And I think it suffered from marketing misfires – it shouldn’t have been sold as a comedy. It’s more of a touching “come together, never give up, fight against all odds, can’t we all just get along” kinda movie with moments of awkward and subtle hilarity. I liked the film, and I think it’s kinda important.

P.S. I didn’t write about the soundtrack, but I thought this article summed it up succinctly if you’re interested in soundtracks like I am. And for those of you that like trailers, here ya go:

Salvaging Saturday: Anime & You

ShaoMayMiniPandaI don’t have heaps to say right now. My head still isn’t right. But it’s super important to me to say: THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone who messaged me. Everyone who read and related or just heard. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and didn’t message. Seriously, thanks. Y’all got me out of bed – or at least awake and functioning – today. Those little “plings” of support, alerting me to each new like or message. At first I resisted even reading them. And then I realize that means that I was resisting feeling better. So I called myself out and read your warm messages. And let you pull me out of my funk, far enough out that I’ve fed myself and played with the cats and am watching anime and letting myself smile and relax a bit. Thank you.

And thanks anime. I mean, seriously. Check out that spirited little mini-panda. Who could resist smiling at that?

I’m going to shower and scrounge up food. Maybe I’ll even get out and go to the grocery store. What?! Thanks, y’all.

MR. ROBOT: Season 1

Before I get started with my little review of MR. ROBOT (which will be CHOCK full of spoilers)…can we just take a moment to drool over Rami Malek’s face? I mean, just look at that structure. Those eyes. That mouth. That stubble.

I don’t mean just any ole iteration of Rami Malek. I specifically mean the Rami Malek of MR. ROBOT. Okay. I really really mean Elliot Alderson. Because who really gives a shit about Rami Malek. Let’s be real, here. I’m here for the Elliot.

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That Elliot. Oh he’s different alright. Different. Wide-eyed, rarely blinking, hoodie-wearing, superbrilliant, superparanoid hackerboy. I’m gonna need another moment.

MR. ROBOT --

Oh, hello. I wasn’t staring and totally losing the plot again. Pinky swear. (That’s not the same as a promise, right? Cuz I don’t break promises. But I do break pinkies.) (Hang on, I don’t break actual fingerpinkies.) (Yet.)

Yeah. Kidding. Mostly. In all seriousness, what the fuck am I supposed to be writing about? Oh yeah. MR. ROBOT.

MR. ROBOT was the shit! And one more time for those of you who were distracted by the Elliot, I’m gonna write spoilers. I’m gonna throw that shit around like they’re going out of style. I’m telling you, warning you, because I fucking hate spoilers. But what I hate more than spoilers is posts full of spoilers that are like, “Hey cutie. Yeah you. Come look at this flower.” *BLAMMO* “This isn’t a flower at all! This is a certain evil character in Game of Thrones having his guts exploded! Got ya, bitch!” Yeah. That shit pisses me off. So consider yourself warned.

Second point I want to make is this – I have zero confidence in my reviews. This isn’t going to be some award-winning Amazon Prime 5,000 upvoted review kinda posts. Not only that, but this isn’t even gonna be a coherent, episode by episode break down. Wanna know why?

democracyhack

I BINGEWATCHED THE FUCK OUTTA THIS FUCKER. THAT’S WHY. BOOYAH. Seriously, it was that damned good. If you’re into hackery stuff, conspiracies (government, corporate, dark web hackers), down with the man, fuck society, geekboys with social anxiety and drug problems in hoodies because fuck yeah hoodies, fuck the popo ho and the one percent? Yeah, this show is your jam, man. IT’S YOUR JAM.

Oh and if your thing isn’t those things, but is instead suit-wearing assdouches, then this is your jam, too. No it’s not. Get the fuck outta here.

I watch the best shows. Seriously. Cuz I have the best informant on the best shows. So I don’t even have to do any work. Just say, “Oh yeah? Good one?” And he’s like, “Oh yeah, man. This is your jam.” And bam. BEST FUCKING SHOW.

So. Elliot is fucked in the head. Seriously fucked. He’s suffering from very real mental illness(es), which is significantly exacerbated by his drug abuse. You know right away that he’s aware that he’s ill. He’s talking to his imaginary friend (or is he talking to you). And he can’t stop. Probably shouldn’t stop. It keeps him sane. Crazysane. Sanecrazy. Crane. No. That’s a fucking bird. Something. He needs that outlet to work his thoughts out. To try to make sense of the storms in his head and in his life.

I love that a major cable network created a show with a mentally unstable main character. Not only is Elliot suffering from mental illness and something else. Gah, I REALLY don’t wanna spoil this part. So I won’t. Yet. Maybe. We’ll see. I’ve decided: I’m totally gonna spoil it. Elliot has..what? Split personality? Dissociative Disorder is a definite, but I’m not sure the actual term for the next part. Is it split personality? Dissociative Identity Disorder? Because there’s a whole character in the show that isn’t actually a separate character. This character is only visible to Elliot. Only Elliot doesn’t know that. Not at all. Not only that, but Elliot actually is both characters. What I mean to say is that Elliot actually acts as both characters. He just doesn’t know it and neither do we, until the end of the season. I saw it coming a mile off, but actually WHO that second personality is to Elliot and why he created him? Now that, I did not see coming. Pretty sure I’ve made it clear at this point that Elliot has more than one issue going on in his head.

His social anxiety is significant, as is his depression and anxiety in general. He sucks at relationships. He really only has one long-lasting relationship in his life, and he fucks it up on the regular by not being…”normal.” Oh and I’m by no means bashing “abnormal.” I say fuck normal. Normal is boring. Normal is vanilla. Vanilla is boring. You get the idea. Elliot is nowhere close to being boring vanilla. He’s complex and withdrawn and completely inward and introverted and devious and conniving and at-times diabolical and sad and lonely and hates being touched. Major. Major props to USA Network for doing a show with an Elliot as the main character.

I don’t know what it says about me that I totally wanna do Elliot. And I don’t really give a fuck. Oh. Shit. How’d we get back here? Y’all set me up.

MR. ROBOT is intense. Emotional. Dramatic. Edgy. Fast-paced. Climactic. It’s a fucking rollercoaster, and you will not be able to stop watching. It’s got the aforementioned and aforedrooledupon Elliot. It’s got criminals and drug dealers, soft sweet weary ones and murderous crazyeyemotherfucker ones. It’s got besties and coworkers. It’s got douchebag executives. It’s got The Man. And The Man is keeping everyone down. It has dead parents and arcade games. It has crazy girls in combat boots and a hijabi hacker. It’s got an arcade and sweaty withdrawal. It’s got V for Vendetta callouts and sedated masses. It’s got everything for someone like me. Probably for someone like some of you, too.

Hm, what else? Maybe I should mention other characters, yes? Elliot is your guide through most of the show. But he is the quintessential unreliable narrator. I love the Unreliable Narrator, and Elliot is an epic one. But that also means we need other characters to help us create a better frame of reference for reality. While we see them almost exclusively through Elliot’s eyes, and I dig that you have to willfully think outside of his box. Hints are dropped along the way of truths that many will miss. Hints that are at times subtle and other times in your face. Let’s take Darlene for instance.

Darlene. Darlene is crazy. Darlene is wild and eccentric, wears combat boots and hoodies with short skirts and big socks. Her eyes are rimmed in thick black makeup, and her unkempt hair is nearly its own character. Nothing wrong with any of that. Darlene – on the surface – is the kind of person I would get along with. On first glance, I would think our characters would mesh. But no. No. Let’s be plain, here. I hated Darlene. From the moment I met her, I hated this crazy bitch. She was loud and mouthy and obnoxious and bossy and flighty and bitchy and selfish. She was annoying and pushy. And she reminded me, somewhat, of a person (that used to be) in my life. That was not helping her case with me. I loved her style. Her eccentricity. But the rest of it was ew. Despite all of the things going against her, there was something nagging about Darlene. Something nagging at the back of my mind. All through the season, I wondered, “Just who is Darlene? I mean, who is she really?”

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You can just feel that there’s more to Darlene than is presented. And if you pick up on any of the subtle little hints, you’ll know – long before they tell you – that Darlene is (somehow) more than just some random hackergirl. Will it make you like her in the end? Will it endear her to you? Perhaps. Before the reveal of just who she really is, her character began to soften somewhat. You could see chinks in her carefully crafted armor. And through those chinks, vulnerability was revealed. And it made her more whole, more beautiful. So, for me, by the time of the (surprising) reveal, I began to soften toward her. And it made the reveal all the more poignant.

Angela. Elliot tells you about Angela right from the start. She’s important to him, and she’s really his only friend and ongoing relationship. I don’t mean love-affair relationship, FYI. Angela is solid and good in Elliot’s eyes. And that’s true in mine, too…for most of the season. She’s definitely plain vanilla. She’s the good girl who doesn’t want to make waves. With anyone. Not even with her cheatingass boyfriend. Not with her employer who allows clients to demean her. Not with Elliot who is never there for her. She shows up to work on time, good little worker bee that she is. She jogs on the regular, iPod earbuds firmly in place. Starbucks Vanilla Latte kinda girl. But, due to myriad circumstances and events, she begins to change. Slowly at first and then more quickly. She’s practically unrecognizable (to me) by the end of the season, compared with the cloying, skittish, unsure Angela we meet in the beginning. Let’s not even get into the fact that the actress develops duck-face by the end of the season. I mean what the fuck. She’s in her twenties, for crying out loud. Did she (they) really have to botox her lips to hell and back? Gross. Anyway. I’m worried about Angela, about who she may be turning into. About what has happened to her now that she’s finally accepted that she can’t rely on Elliot to be her protector. Blank slate Angela has finally been written upon. But we don’t know yet, if she’s writing her own story now instead of waiting for someone else to keep writing it for her…or if she’s found a new author for her story. If the latter is the case, Angela as we knew her is in trouble.

Tyrell. Ooooo Tyrell is one big crazy douchebag mess of a tyrant. He’s pouty and whiny and needy and demanding and scary and posturing and fucking nuts. I said I’m fine with Elliot’s brand of crazy. Tyrell’s brand of crazy is another matter altogether. I said Elliot has moments of behaving diabolically. Tyrell is diabolical. Diabolical and egomaniacal and and ohmyfuck how does one describe him? He is an excellent villain to watch. He will stop at nothing to succeed. And if he can’t achieve his aims, he will stop at nothing to stomp the everlovingshit out of those that thwart him. He will use any means necessary. He and his equally diabolical wife have Tyrell screwing other people to get ahead. And while that may sound bad enough, it gets worse. It gets much worse. Tyrell is the kind of guy that pays homeless people to let him vent his rage upon them. Tyrell is the kind of guy that buttfucks a male assistant to get access to his phone. Tyrell is the kind of guy that murders someone who damages his pride. Tyrell. Tyrell is awesomely wicked.

Shayla. I don’t really want to talk about Shayla. I loved Shayla’s character so so much. Shayla’s character and storylines broke my heart, from the start. She was beautiful and broken. She was lost and hopeful. She was so many dichotomous things wrapped into one vulnerable but strong girl. I don’t want to talk about Shayla anymore.

There are other characters that deserve mention. Hell that deserve more than mention. Like Krista. Krista is Elliot’s therapist. Elliot is obligated to see her because of something unknown in his past. Elliot hacks the shit out of Krista and totally invades her privacy, her life. Elliot hacks everyone. Krista is sweet and kind and broken and really does care about Elliot. And and oh god, Bill. I will never forgive Elliot for what he did to Bill. Team Bill. But I’ve given so many shittons of spoilers that I kinda want to stop myself and let this post fly.

Geez, I haven’t even talked about the acting in this show. Stellar! Or the Christian Slater. Still the same guy with the never-aging face and that cool, distinct way of speaking. It’s Christian Slater! My old pre-teen crush! “Pump Up The Volume,” anyone? I mean, hello! Or the soundtrack. Ambient and found-sounds kinda things. Subways and computer sounds and soft music and manic music and you usually forget there is a soundtrack. It’s just back there, doing it’s job, modifying pace and tempo and heart rhythms. I’m still rambling. I can’t seem to stop.

I probably cried more while watching this show than is normal. Some of it hit a bit close to home for me. Some of it I related to to a freakish amount. Some of it broke my heart. Some of it scared me. Some of it weirded me right the fuck out. Some of it was exhilarating and funny, and sometimes I cry at those things, too. Yeah. I don’t think you’ll cry as much as I did during this show. Pretty sure those weren’t normal reactions I was having. But it also made me laugh out loud and snort and guffaw and clap my hands together with delight and grin like a fool. More than any of that, though, it made me nod my head and think FUCK YEAH DAMN THE MAN!

I anxiously await season two. Until then, I’ll be pondering the fsociety’s next move(s). In the meantime, you should catch up. Watch season one and tell me: Are you in on the conspiracy? Are you even aware there is one? Is there really one? Is any of it even real?

I wonder if he’s found my bug. Is this my bug? Are you my bug?