Posts Tagged ‘crime

20
Jul
18

Cherish Your Anonymity

*****

With so many suffering heavy punishment for speaking their minds via modern technology, it’s ever more vital we who do not “tweet” with our actual names spelled out on a glowing screen applaud and celebrate our “anonymity.”  We cowardly souls who bravely don costumes and vent as we feel fit when technology works with us; we should be comforted and celebrated.

It seems like every day in the news someone is getting grilled for something “offensive.”  We have squads of LGBT and feminism police officers, hordes of body-celebrating (instead of shaming) and various other armies going to war with the most sensitive of mining equipment capable of picking up the slightest blip of questionable commentary, increasingly adjusting the high standard of moral conduct until everyone who isn’t a violated woman or LGBT-type person will be guilty of offense and thereby open to verbal, mental and physical assault by the so-called victims.  So far, we without publicized names have been safe of retaliation.

I can’t speak for every offense case, but I would not be surprised if some offenses deemed fit for court or the loss of a job turned out to be misinterpreted.  After all, kids on a playground can cry wolf and have a teacher call a parent simply because the tattle-tale had a sweet face or stronger voice than the supposed offender.  And, who is to say some of these offensive voiced bits aren’t said at times when the speakers are not in the best of moods or right minds?  I know I don’t subscribe to alcohol or recreational drugs.  But, others do.  And, just because shit comes out of one’s mouth three years ago on a bad day does not mean that person is anti-gay or a chauvinistic maniac.

And, what if someone is a tad gay-phobic or unclear on the nature of that lifestyle?  Is every inappropriate remark worthy of jail time or a giant fine?  Are we catering to lawyers so they can put their hideous faces and names on every item advertised on local TV?  I don’t want to see so many lawyer ads.  I don’t want those people thinking they run the place just because they are getting old and think investing in a little advertising everywhere makes them immortal.  You TV lawyers have really become annoying!  And, I will not likely support you or any cause/company with your name on it because you are (annoying).

But, I’m getting off-subject, now.  Ehem.

You really have to mind your words and be sure you don’t touch another living soul lest you be accused of inappropriately fondling someone.  A pat on the back could be deemed the grabbing of a breast (on your back, apparently).  A sociable kiss on the cheek might be viewed as unwanted intimacy of the worst kind unless you can certify you are from a nation that does this socially as a part of their native culture.  Parents who kiss their kids on the lips?  You’re likely next on the chopping block.

One wonders if “social media” isn’t a mousetrap.  It lures people out of hiding to voice every little thing to come into their tiny brains…only to get them in trouble?  Snap!  You’re dead and out with the banana peels you slipped on coming in here.

But, I suppose, being anonymous DOES have it’s setbacks.  I mean, people are less trusting of random or fake names…unless you learn to share a sense of creativity and/or humor and can spell correctly (which so many cannot).  [Stop trying to speak English if you cannot use a dictionary.  I don’t use Spanish words I don’t know how to spell.]  You can’t really be a shopkeeper with a fake name, can you?…unless it’s a brand name.  But, even then, you have to be accountable for that shop with a real name/some form of ID.   People who use their real names seem to be taken more seriously because they seem fearless and, well, real, genuine.

[Yet, in this shady world of face-less interaction–unless you use some service like Skype which seems already forgotten these days–how do you determine a real face you see is that person’s real face?  And, how many “faceless” internet users stalk those “real” people, taking advantage of the exposed while remaining randomly generated user names, often with long barcode-like numbers attached, giving me the impression they are “bots” or some call center staff members in a building dominated by Middle-Eastern folks by the dozens?]

It seems astounding that more celebrities don’t use fake online names/accounts.  But, maybe they do, and all we know are the ones we hear about in the news when some mosquito with a microphone or phone-camera is stalking these people.

Once upon a time, people kept personal thoughts on parchment scrolls they had to carry with them wherever they went.  If anyone else read them, it was because the author read, lost or donated the scrolls.  Many years later, people kept notebook-style journals, especially teenage girls, who would lament brothers and parents violating their privacy.  Now, we have computers of various capacities and sizes.  And, instead of a PC journal like the one Doogie Howser, M.D. kept, so many turn to blogs and these accursed “tweeting” type accounts, putting everything “out there” for the world to see and LIKE and shallowly evaluate from afar…from anonymous spaces.

In short, those of you who have not put your real selves out for all to see, ye who do not YouTube your boob lube and hash-tag your new ‘do rag and personal mag’ (magazine), blippity blobbity blah!….  My blood pressure spiked just then and tangled my tongue-fingers.  Or, is it my finger-tongue?  Anyway.  Those of you, like me, who create unique identities for themselves online for whatever reason, embrace and applaud your anonymity, today.  And, count your blessings.  Because you could be somewhere down the list of those moral-criminal-hunting Elmer Fudds and receive severe punishment for the slightest misunderstanding or careless outburst on your worst day.  But, for now, you’re Joe Cool and free to be loose with those journalistic lips.

[We should start a holiday.  But, no one seems to follow me on those thoughts any better than I follow others.  So, I guess I’m limited to suggesting and waiting for some trendsetter to print up all the hoopla and manufacture all the swag.]

Happy Anonymity Day(s)!

26
Jan
17

The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun, 2015/2016 Movie Review

****

Call me a cab and find a shrink. I may need some help sorting out my feelings about “The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun,” a French film starring Scottish actress Freya Mavor, and the mad people behind it. I am as much aroused and intrigued as I am puzzled and disgusted…which–from my understanding of the director’s explanation–seems on par with French cinema.

[NOTE: This film is either closely or loosely based on a novel I have not read, a novel the director claims is “insane” (though he loves it) and about a woman raised by a nun who still speaks to her as a conscience. My views are based solely on the DVD film and the interview I watched subsequently. And, I’d recommend watching both at least twice to have any chance of grasping every detail…unless you are just so damn observant that you miss nothing the first time through.]

The story seems to take place in the mid-1970s, resembling the TV series Mad Men. Dany, a tall, timid and short-sighted secretary (a 23-year-old Catholic school girl version of Donna from “That 70s Show”) is asked by her ad agency boss to type up his rough rewrite of some fifty-page “report” by the end of the day. Concealing her sexual fantasies, she is willing to tackle the task but confesses to a lack of typing speed. The boss offers her a chance to complete the work at a house shared by his wife and young daughter, provided she tells no one. Dany quickly begins to imagine him leaving his wife and child to toy with her. On top of being a daydreamer, she has a bad habit of “complicating” matters with questions which quickly get on the nerves of the boss and Anita (the wife and Dany’s former secretary school rival who may have “fooled around” with her “ages ago” which is actually a little over three years before the story begins).

When the report is finished, the boss makes one more request of his most trusted secretary. Accompanying the family to the airport, Dany is left with a teal Thunderbird and the “simple” chore of driving it back to the family’s Paris home. While the boss and his family are away, Dany decides to play, motivated by a tempting voice in her head. She takes the car south, in hopes of spending a few hours at the beach, but soon finds herself running into people who claim to have seen her earlier, a flirtatious stalker and amassing evidence that may convict her of murder. Whether or not the ending is a happy one remains debatable.

Though fairly brilliant in terms of cinematography (aside from maybe one or two poorly lit scenes), casting and music, the intentionally “trippy” and disorienting short story is not unlike something Quentin Tarantino would devise, except, thankfully, lacking his usual excess of gore. It has many of the touches I long to put in a similar movie: the fashions (though some, including the frequently featured “dress,” are a bit revealing), the moody lighting and music, the variety of camera shots, the comic book panels (without being panels), the bookish beauty with hidden sides to her personality and a backstory (though not flushed out in the movie) to explain her behavior, the scandalous/suspicious encounters, the well-devised plot of the villains played out (not perfectly) in the background, etc. There’s a somewhat magical flow to the whole product which some have said is a 95-minute music video. I prefer to think of it as a daring perfume ad (which could be ironic, considering the protagonist works for an advertising agency).

Even after two viewings, I have some questions. One, why can’t a half-dozen auto mechanics catch a man either entering or exiting a restroom at their gas station/cafe? Two, why would a religious young secretary hook up with a guy who admits to disabling her (borrowed) car and daringly climbs inside with her before she knows his name (considering she aspires to hooking up with her boss, unless both men are nothing more than a night of fun to her)? How does she stay so calm with the guy when he’s obviously dangerous in more than one scene? How does such a damsel in distress get from the wilderness to a truck stop, track down a missing car and then walk some unknown distance down a seaside road alone to find said missing car? Where were the parents of the boy at the beach? And, why would he want to climb in the car of a strange older woman when he knows something is amiss with the trunk?

While I can accept the nudity and sex as typical of adult films and more commonly accepted in non-American films (which is a bit surprising, considering the general impression I get of Americans being comfortable with casual sex and rape), the amount presented in the film was still more than I care to see. I also didn’t care for a young actress consistently playing with a religious necklace between her sexually daring exploits. [This may have been included to reflect the character’s childhood in the care of a nun (if the movie is sticking true to what the director says of the novel). But, viewing the film without such knowledge, I felt the necklace was unnecessary and misused. If it provided moments of conscience, I question Dany’s morals.]

The “naught bits” justify what some have said of the director. Or, at least, I assume what the director said of those who question his work is true and agree with the sentiments. He says people accuse him of “getting off” on his actresses and abusing certain camera shots. Well, despite his claims to the opposite, he DOES seem to play with women in a manner I’d say is either erotic or pornographic. He prefers the term “fetish.” His little collection of paintings and admission to designing pornographic comic books–the former displayed in his enclosed interview for the film–do not depict him as an entirely honest man, either.

Let me pause right here to address more about the interview portion of the DVD. Why is it certain (if not all) French “artists” speak with contradicting thoughts? Why is something “utterly useless” obviously valued by the person? Why is trash worth discussing at any length? Why build something just to tear it apart? And, why does the explanation for one idea spring off in some other direction that seems completely unrelated? [I have tried drumming up an example–without jotting down every word the guy says–but it just gives me a headache.] Is this simply some attempt at being modest (versus boasting)? Am I right in being puzzled? Or, is someone doing a poor job of translating the interview?

Just as I fuss and fume over some of Tarantino’s work, this little tale *directed* by Joann Sfar is a steamy pot of artistic potential. It’s not utter trash…nor is it a blissful masterpiece. But, with a little more editing, I’d be inclined to describe it as the latter. [Why do some artists poop on their creations?]

This is a DVD I’d keep on hand for reference material but would have a bit of a hard time watching regularly/casually (particularly with anyone who is not a lover). And, I’d consider working with those responsible for the camera shots/editing, provided they can cope with making some changes to their “routine.” While I might share some of the same fetishes, I would do more to keep the nudity, sex and violence blurred/veiled or–better yet–suggested (versus “in-your-face”).

[And, as I often say, if I am going to dabble in nude artwork, I’d keep such pieces private between me and my lover. It feels wrong to paint (or draw) nude and/or provocative images of someone working with me who is not (my lover). It is inexcusable to claim you are protecting actresses while displaying nude and/or scandalous images of them on publicly released material.]

“The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun” (2015/2016)
Directed by Joann Sfar
Editted by Maryline Monthieux and Christophe Pinel
Original “opera” music by Agnes Olier

14
Jul
14

The Next Time You Feel the Need to Ask, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…,”

…hold your tongue and consider the possible consequences/misuse of that thought. You’re as likely to contribute to crime and horrific punishment as you are to creating something new and exciting.

14
Jul
14

Creation Is Like a Bowl of Cherries

The beauty and sweetness of the fruit lasts only so long before the rotting begins. With good intentions often–if not always–come(s) horrible misuse and/or abuse.

After going on some great trip or winning some contest, have you ever met someone who wanted you to share the rewards (photos, souvenirs, a sample/taste if food is involved, etc.) sooner than you felt comfortable/willing? You might tell them to wait or–if you have no qualms about your friends/family turning on you–deny them their desired share until you decide how much you want to give and when. Now, you have the “freedom” to put it all out there for all to see (including some you don’t want to see). You tell yourself this will relieve the pressure of nagging hands/eyes and keep those you care about connected. But, what is everyone you don’t personally know doing with the same bounty of information? While you think the farm is free, you don’t own the land. And, any fence you might put up is only as good as its designer. Only the designer can put up a fence no one else can bypass (until someone figures out how to do just that).

If I’ve learned one thing about life from my exposure to the age of the internet (and all of its minions), it’s that just about anything (or everything?) that starts out as a good thing gets abused/misused until tabloids and TV anchors can’t get enough bad news out to the masses. [Whether the bad news is genuine or just hype to stir paranoia in the interest of consumption…is always a good question.]

The second thing I’ve learned is that no story or truth is as valid and worth hearing as the one from the source itself. Anything else is likely tainted with suspicion and/or foul intent. Yet, it’s difficult to reach/hear/see the truth when there are so many riled voices clamoring at once.

And, before there ever was an internet, I learned advertised reputations and all of the lovely things people stamp on the backs of covers (for example) in favor of the creator(s) are often wrong.

But, let’s get back to the matter of misusing what is intended to be an improvement. It’s like indulging in some form of food or drink–which initially tastes good–and then vomiting the inevitably foul bi-product or result of such action. [If you’ve ever had a hangover or found yourself with your face in a toilet bowl after consuming more alcohol than your weak stomach could handle, you get the drift.] If word gets out, if something becomes a fad/trend, it seems there’s almost always a chance it will carry trouble in its wake.

So, while the internet gives seemingly boundless freedom and inspiration to the billions on this planet (those who have access, anyway) to create to their heart’s content with the hopes of becoming a wealthy star (pending management by some foreign agent who will gladly take a cut of the profits for sitting within some proximity of you), this is reckless action bound to benefit a greedy, manipulative few rather than satisfy and improve the world. The “farmers” just made it easier for the “crops” to come to them with less labor. And, in the process, the masses risk losing their health, wealth and dignity/privacy…basically, their freedom (of life as it is granted either naturally or by a higher power). The old ways of abusing power simply have found a new mask to wear.




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