Posts Tagged ‘personal

12
Dec
19

Special Days and Family Animosity

***

Who cares about special days, anyway?  Why get worked up about celebrating anything, when family is there to rain crap on your parade?  Hmm?

I mean, it’s just stupid to continually get your hopes up even a small measure when you know someone or something stupid and unkind is going to appear.  If it’s not the lousy weather, it’s family…which, for me, can be like a hurricane or tornado of misery.

But, that’s life.  That’s what this lucky guy has been given.  I live it.  And, then, at some point, hopefully when I’m still sane, I’ll die.  God(s) help me.  Where is this life going?  What is my calling?  ‘Still unclear on that one.

Why DO I clash with my family so much?  Why can’t I tolerate my brother, anymore?  Why does he just have to be in the room for me to turn bitter and raise my scorpion tail?

I’m sick of getting upset, sick to my stomach with disapproval and feeling like my body is going to combust at any moment with my heart racing, my eyelids fluttering and my teeth wearing away.

And, when I seek answers from someone I thought I liked, someone who isn’t part of the current battle, the best I get is a silly offer to take drugs or see a therapist.  Nice.  I could have gotten that answer from a commercial or poster somewhere.  Maybe you have a manual on how to live I can read.

And, breathe.

No mas, ‘kay?

16
Sep
19

A Party Year and I Don’t Feel Festive

***

Chinese astrology (and, maybe, predictions from astrology in general) is a bit like a certain brand of computer games that seems to have a mind of its own, telling me how and when to play. And, I guess, as I recently experienced a major “glitch” (troubling error), perhaps that too resembles my experiences with Chinese astrology.

I refer you back to 2015…a Wood Sheep year I thought was a sign of finding the love I have sought most of my life. I thought good things were in the near future; I just had to get out and find them. But, not long into that fateful year, I wound up in a hospital and was subject to a number of tests and treatments like a lab rat just to get me back in semi-normal functioning order. The expression “it cost me an arm and a leg” became a grim, somewhat sinister reality that year and continues to haunt me. I saw pretty faces but lost all or never had any chance of achieving a greater connection with them. So much for finding love. If there was any love that year, it was more like pity and it came with suffering.

Now, to be fair, there was no book or placemat telling me that was the year to find love. I took it upon myself to believe that from what I had grasped of/from Chinese astrology. I didn’t have a master/medium/guru to consult. I simply “divined” the possibility from what I had learned. Which, like many of my mistakes in this life, resulted in a slap-in-the-face disappointment.

In 2004, I took a costly trip overseas to fill a big hole in my life’s “experience folder.” I followed the ways of Bruce Almighty and said (to anyone who wrinkled their nose at me when I told them what I had planned), “If you don’t like what I’m doing, you can ‘megabyte’ me.” I didn’t know much about Chinese astrology at the time but had an inkling of good feeling and built my hopes up by carefully planning everything I could. Sadly, while I was ensured a measure of safety from certain harm, plans fell apart, social experiments failed under a cloak of deceptive friendship and I returned home with a case of souvenirs which left me feeling nearly as empty as I did when I left home.

I cried for days if not weeks, nearly as long as it took me to shake the jet lag. I felt as if the monkey (year) had made a fool out of me, once again. I remember watching so many others enjoying themselves while I struggled to insert myself into the fun, somehow. It was a bit like watching a celebration on a big TV and thinking I could step through the screen; there was no logical way to fit into the picture. The party crowd was just an illusion on the other side of a glass wall; I was not welcome (unless I changed who or whatever I was/am, maybe). I took what small positives I could from that experience…it was an experience which taught me a few things I’d hopefully be able to use on future trips to avoid repeat disappointment.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the price of tea in China? Perhaps nothing.

But, this year, 2019, is said to be a year to party and enjoy the fruits of past labors. Yet, as I think of the past eleven years, I cannot fathom how or what to celebrate. I used to dismiss the disagreements with family, who seemed unable to understand my interest in, my passion for celebrations of other cultures, and find my own small way to enjoy something like the Asian moon/harvest festival.

2011 was probably the last year I can recall feeling remotely good about that. I made an effort to grow pumpkins and redeem what was lost in my youth to very strange foul weather, a freak hail storm which destroyed a precious pumpkin plant in my family’s garden in the middle of summer, as if some god threw down a lightning bolt and said, “No! You can’t have any! No pumpkins for you!” I sought out my own kind of moon cake and bought paper lanterns. I had a party for one outside while the rest of my family isolated themselves with TV and computer screens. It was both mildly amusing and deeply tragic.

This year, I feel very un-festive. I feel like…what’s the point? And, somewhat accepting my lack of company on the same wave length, I feel like leaving the lights off and the decorations packed away. The Asian moon/harvest festival just came and went, and I didn’t even check out the moon until the night my most recent upset unfolded, the cliche Friday the 13th. I didn’t find my special moon cake. And, as family talked about caramel apples, I didn’t feel as strongly as I have in the past to get a special one of my own (which usually costs more than I’ve been told makes any sense to pay).

I couldn’t care less about dressing up for Halloween, if family can get together for Thanksgiving or if there are any decorations or presents out for Christmas. I’m slowly starting to agree with all those who “bah humbug” the holidays as commercial trickery. And, that really makes me want to cry. But, perhaps, all my “dammed” tears (tears I cannot seem to shed alone and which continue to amass behind a mental dam) are merely the sound of paper tearing, paper torn by the grim reality of practical value, telling me what is merely an illusion of happiness and what is the biological function of inevitable decomposition.

It’s really difficult to stand firm on any feeling because there always seems to be that other side of the fence making some kind of noise. If you’re the festive sort, there’s someone who’s a “humbug” nearby, trying to lower your lights and silence the music. If you’re the “humbug,” there’s someone turning up their music, launching firecrackers and/or turning their home into a spectacle. It’s like, no matter where you go, there’s no peace of mind. And, if the peace people carol about cannot be found, well, that’s just tragic and tears me to the core. It makes me question everything. And, questioning everything just stops the world dead. Everything becomes a rusting amusement park strung with cobwebs.

I “hear” some factor of Virgo (and/or Pisces?) might be responsible for this recent bout with self-doubt. But, who knows for sure. Though, I do see others, even here, having similar doubts. At least, it appears the doubts are similar. But, knowing my luck, this is just another misconception, another assumed grasp of reality ready to be shaken by disagreement.

It just makes me feel lousy to think this year could be the biggest party in twelve years and I, once more, don’t feel like being part of the crowd. Imagine going the next eleven years, listening to people rave about that party back in 2019 before they bemoan the toils of the present “labor” year.

To be fair, I’m not much of a crowd person, as far as I know my core spirit (though my thoughts of such have been swayed by research of astrology). I’ve never been comfortable at loud parties with countless people…or even a family of fifteen. When I was a kid, grown-ups did all of the partying; and us kids just had to sit quietly with a present, if we were lucky to get one. We didn’t get to play much together nor with the adults. I would latch onto brief smiles from pretty older aunts and cousins and think I was at the door to some magical world…and then be forced to let it all slip away as I returned to a restricted life at home like Cinderella and try to reset my mind for school work and all the education I was being told was important. I rarely knew the true warmth of friendship; friends would appear and disappear or change into something I could no longer accept.

And, I still occasionally mourn the loss of what I consider the best friend I’ve ever had, partially blaming myself (and partially blaming her). She was the only friend who stood beside me and came to my aid when I was suffering; she checked in on me like a good nurse. Male friends were only looking for fun I could rarely supply because I didn’t share the same sort of imagination or have the latest toys. But, *she* wasn’t like that; she would have been my friend, no matter what I had or didn’t have. And, though I didn’t share all of her interests (which made me worry I wasn’t the best of friends), I was fairly content just being with her, seeing her smile and hearing her infectious laughter. Yet, we drifted apart after she denied me the growing feelings I had and went to a different school where she became involved with some guy using drugs; and, back then, that was like a cardinal sin to those of us who had been raised on anti-drug campaigns. Had I known then what I know now, I might not have shuddered at all at the realization and fought to keep her at my side (instead of letting her go and drifting into my own solitary misery). [Granted, to be fair, I was in no position to fight for someone else at the time. I was grateful to have any friend visit me and give me some sign of comfort and/or strength to fight with my own internal monsters. I couldn’t be someone’s hero when I needed my own hero…or heroine (a female hero, not the drug).]

If I had an inkling of that same good, enduring feeling (that I had with her) with another person in the past thirty years, I’d be less inclined to mope. But, sadly, I cannot say anyone could compete with her. A rare phone call or email just isn’t the same as someone who could pay me a visit and shake the tears from my branches until I could smile, again. A pen pal is a nice dessert but far from the main course I still do not have in/with me. And, I think of all the things we had yet to do together, things so many young lovers claim they’ve done (or so I hear). While many turned their focus to the pursuit of sex, I was thinking about so many other possibilities that would bring far better, enduring joy. It just never came to pass. And, at my age, it seems like a foolish notion to consider anything outside of a world of broken marriages and single parenthood, of “sloppy seconds” and “second chances,” if that, of people making desperate moves out of desperate positions only to fall back into fruitless ruts after attempting to satisfy their “sweet tooths” (or sweet teeth?). I don’t want to think any window has closed for good………..

….So, we’ve reached that point in my train of thought when I know I need to hit the breaks (Tsssh!) and regroup so I can get on with my life before I am completely and permanently derailed.

I know I shouldn’t let any of this get to me. But, I feel an inclination to mentally stab myself (not using an actual knife) for missing out on some festivities, for not making the proper moves to share in the fun, every time word of some party going on reaches my ear. I don’t buy into all the “best ever” and “bigger than ever” crap people keep pitching. But, I know there’s a party…and, even though I’m not the best party joiner…suffering from some variety of social discomfort/anxiety…I’m missing…something. I suspect what I am really missing is the joy of good companionship, of friendship and revitalizing love. But, many if not all of us feel that pull when people are enjoying themselves; don’t we? You feel like you’re on a dark street looking in on some lively, colorful crowd laughing, dancing, eating and drinking. You feel just a little like that infamous Scrooge traveling the pathways of time and space with those three eerie spirits.

But, down the road, I doubt these feelings will matter much…or they will just become “wash” in the layers of sand gathered during aging. I just…don’t want to be an old humbug. But, I also don’t see a way around it. And, that makes me quite nauseous and tense.

And, how does one go on living when the past seems so empty, when your story cannot feel as good as that of another you encounter (and it makes no sense to say it’s better than the case of some other poor chap)? When that fateful day arrives to write an obituary about yours truly, what will it say and who will write it? I currently don’t have someone I know will do myself justice in print. Nor, even if I did, can I feel good about filling this life to its fullest. Maybe I never should let such notions get into my head. Maybe everyone can only live life as full as they can or the Fates allow. Maybe I only get half a life while someone else gets twice their expected share. Maybe that’s just the way of the cosmos and beyond human understanding…and not something we humans should dare pass around as fact or expectation.

So, what if I write my own obituary? Would that matter? A little. And, still, it would feel empty. Because, aside from my good intentions and fewer deeds of service than some I’ve come to know, I see plenty of missed opportunities either thrust upon me by controlling and/or mentally abusive adults or spawned from within myself by genetic “doubts” and “fears.” And, it pains me to think of when I did take chances only to fall flat on my back and injure myself. It’s as if even trying to do something was in error. So, why try anything? It’s a question that continues to peck at me and leaves me feeling restless.

If only I could tune out the rest of the world and focus only on what is in front of me. Even if I could or would do that, could I be content or find contentment in that? Or, is it already too late?…because I’ve bitten the apple that flooded my eyes with illusions of wonder?…with ideas of what could be and pretty faces I wish I could call my friends and lovers?

16
Sep
19

Who Was Forced Into This World at Birth?

*****

Just a quick/simple question…

Who here was a forced birth? When you were born, did your mother go into labor?…or was labor induced before you were plucked from the womb? And, did you suffer in any way from the forced birth?

[Okay; maybe not very simple.]

I ask because I was a forced birth. And, I was subject to some “birth defect” as a result. And, looking at how my life has unfolded and continues to unfold, I keep getting this rippling, echoing feeling like I should never have entered this world, or this dimension. [Yet, another part of me pulls me in a different direction and tells me I am here for some special purpose that is written in the numbers and stars. It’s an on-going game of tug-of-war inside me.]

Now, after you answer that question, if you care to walk with me, be warned. It gets a bit “heavy.” And, you may feel the ground crumble from under your feet.

As I touched on in a previous post, I see so much in this world/dimension that is wrong and conflicts with my spirit. I’ve endured so much “crap” and see plenty of others suffering even more, at least, in ways I don’t even want to imagine much less see. I see plenty of people living in delusional ways at great expense while plenty more unseen or badly rendered faces get dragged through messes with authorities and militaristic policing forces. And, I start to wonder if the stories we write, so many that have been “dystopian,” aren’t unfolding as we write them…or if certain stories written long ago, perhaps predicted by ancient people, aren’t weaving into existence.

I am divided between the world around me which lacks friendship, self-esteem, cooperation and a little discipline, which settles for and offers little for slavery, lacks glamor/style and divides people like cold fish in a processing plant…and the world I see on TV which is either on the verge of destruction, even total annihilation, or “living the high life” of risk, wealth, drugs, marriage and lust. I see dreamy possibilities but no real and/or pleasant path to achieving them…nor do I comprehend what I would do once I reached that dreamy plateau…which makes all creative efforts fairly worthless, like building a house of cards just to see it fall. If there is a way to reach the “golden city,” it seems paved with traps, deception and torture; is it any different than being lured into biting an apple from a tree you were warned to avoid?

And, while all of this–and more–passes through my mind, I am sure some may breeze by my words and shake their heads or laugh at their foolish nature. You may tell me all I have said makes no sense or isn’t true. But, maybe, that’s just how you perceive this world/life. And, maybe, we each experience it differently. Maybe, no matter how we connect, we are each experiencing this existence separately and only seeing virtual reactions from the bodies/minds around us…isn’t that a terrifying thought?

So far, my only “saving grace” has been to be mindful of the good stories from long ago, of figures like Jesus being of service to others. I tell myself to help others when and where I can; so even if the rest of this life sucks and the world goes up (or down) in flames tomorrow, I can die knowing I did some good.

But, even that feels somewhat sad and empty…or, rather, I feel sad and empty when my thoughts shift to what seems to be missing in this life…love and friendship…comfort and acceptance…being in tune with the natural world as nature intended and feeling the fullness of my spirit as it was created, not simply repeating the words of some fabricated religion, telling myself it will get better. Talk is cheap, as some say. And, I am growing tired of talking. My spirit burns and yearns for something greater. It wants to sink my toes in warm, wet sand and let the symphonies of crashing tides and whispering woods fill it to the brim of zen/blissful completion. But, if this world is so crappy…if everything is polluted and some risk to my being…why? Why do I burn this way inside? Is it a mad trick to torture me?…like dangling a carrot in front of a hungry horse?

16
Sep
19

A Fatal Choice -Which Do You Choose?-

***

Let’s say you enter this life and have two choices of how to live.

A) You survive until you are 60 to 110 years old but are doomed to die from a plague sweeping the planet which ultimately touches nearly every person like mold on pumpkins. Your life expectancy is a blend of genetics and whatever man-made products you put into yourself which keep you going as long as you can…as well as bringing you down in the end.

B) You sign a contract or invest in the necessary equipment (sort of like paying for college and all that goes with it to get a degree) to transfer your “doomed” human identity into a machine supplied by a monopolizing company already spreading its financial cloak of dominance over the planet. However many years and however you live those years as a human being are inconsequential; as you will join the collective hive/mind of billions of other robots who bought into this “life insurance plan.”

Which would you choose?

Or, do the prospects of both make you wish you were never born?

[More on that philosophy in a near-future post.]

Just answer the question. Don’t LIKE or star this for later and forget about it or pass it on. And, if it’s not too much trouble, explain your answer/decision; what makes you choose that path?

06
Sep
19

What’s Left to Write About? The Fate of Creativity

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It’s all been done…said the Bare Naked Ladies long before the Big Bang.  They weren’t kidding.

I feel that periodic urge to pose like that Thinker statue, right now.   Deep Thoughts…by Jack Writingbolt.

I am not a man of few words, yet, even now, I am finding it hard to put into words the panic, dread and frustration I feel at the thought of lacking originality and creativity in this world.  As a creative spirit myself, I feel like a dryad about to lose his tree/forest and evaporate into nothingness…but the world won’t let me.  I’m still here, whether it’s to watch the world decay around me and slowly turn me toward the dark side…or to make some impacting, positive change yet to rock the world (at a time when the average person who rocks the world seems to be a guy under 30 with a huge chip on his shoulder that is never quite explained before he is “dealt with”).

Just the other day, a thought came to me…and this isn’t about one particular gorgeous songstress I admire.  What would song writers write about if they didn’t write about past or current relationships of some kind?  If they didn’t write about how a boss or partner/spouse wronged them or “did them right,” what would fill a CD?  It’s as if the air is so thick with lust and disgust that we can’t think any other way.  I, myself, have heard more than enough talk of sex and material ambitions that mean little to me; I can’t tune out enough…I can’t tune into anything better and am quickly losing my ability to be a good listener/therapist.  [Though, my back massages remain legendary.]

When I think of all the CDs I’ve sampled, I realize, too, what few songs make it to radio and how many more seemed doomed to only be heard by diehard fans.  Is it intentional to disregard the majority of an artist’s work to either sell CDs (and disappoint later) or discourage creativity?

Imagine being an artist hired to fill a gallery with your work.  But, when you present your year’s work, the owner of the gallery says “no” to two thirds or three fourths of it, forcing you to take back some pieces you thought were better than the ones given the “okay.”  How would you feel, after thinking you were free to fill the space with whatever you could do?  Now, imagine how that might affect your output over time.  Would you still make as much?  Change the type of output?  Scrap your whole portfolio and never go to art college?

Now, imagine being a songwriter and putting all of your energy into releasing a new album in time for some not-so-important-but-crucial release date only to milk crap from your teats…and one “hit” song.   [By the way, non-related note, I “love” how Spell Check just checked “teets” and offered “tweets” but nothing closer to teats.]  Tell me I am wrong.  [I’m not wrong.]  You fill the CD with songs about passing fancies with B- and C- list famous names; maybe you get a thrill from flirting with emotional danger.  Maybe it fuels your creativity (because nothing else in this smog-clouded world will).

Then you go about performing these songs at concerts to promote that recent album…and let fans know you still remember every song you ever wrote, just in case one or more wants to hear that song which is personal to you but meant something else to them at a time in their life.  “Oh, sing that song you sang about person A because that was playing when I had sex with boyfriend C last winter.”

Or, tell me concert goers, do these performers NOT sing these songs about past relations years later?   Are they eventually forgotten?  I say this because I know certain groups, like the Rolling Stones and Linkin Park, would perform a wide selection of their work, from start to…well, ultimate finish, in some cases.  I would like to think a performer could just forget some of the work they put out, even if it was made for therapy or just to fill an album.  But, can they?  I mean…it’s out there, in abundance.  It really makes you think about what some say about the internet.  When you put it out there…here…it’s never going away.

So, then I think…

Do these songwriters enjoy reliving every good and bad moment they had in life through their songs?  Or, are they chugging back bottles of acid relief to keep themselves from puking misery every time an unpleasant time replays with the song in their minds?

And then I think…

Imagine getting into a relationship with a musician and having to relive all those past relationships in song and public functions because your “date” is a walking billboard, YouTube channel or “Alexa” for a long list of steamy and heart-break-turned-bitter-revenge creations, like ugly, mean-spirited kids they are forced to tote around in the process of a painful divorce.  It’s like the thought of pairing up with a single parent or “separated” individual.  I’m sorry if I sound cold when I say the oxygen suddenly leaves my body, and I want to pound a table for more air just to breathe, again.  I’m just not that guy who wants to dish about past relations (unless it’s the topic on the table for an inevitable date discussion) or step in as the dad to someone’s kids.  I like to think I am stronger…

And, breathe.  No mas.  ‘Kay?  [‘Sorry if I don’t “hyper-link” that to a previous post of mine so you can read over a string of past thoughts that somehow connect through my blog.  You’ll just have to read backward and be amazed when something connects…or try key word searches.]

Food for thought.  And, on that note (which is quickly becoming my regular phrase and should go on a T-shirt), I have a post about food and how it plays with our minds, coming soon, if I don’t second guess it.

14
Aug
19

The Older Man at the Dating Carnival

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So, there I was, a middle-aged man at what is essentially a carnival, surrounded by families, couples and a zoological encyclopedia of younger women often traveling in small packs like wild gazelles.

I found myself longing and looking at the young gazelles…and then feeling completely out of sorts and out of place. Had I indulged my youthful thoughts, I’d later admonish myself for acting like some pedophile. I look around, trying to spot the older cheetahs, the cougars and elephants…and I can’t see anything other than mothers, wives and grandmas. I feel completely out of place with attachment to nothing other than the family I accompany, and even that is sketchy attachment, like a loose tooth waiting to pop out of a kid’s mouth. I am adrift in the sea of human connectivity. And, being so lost, I had almost no interest in being among the crowd.

Part of me wanted to blink my eyes and storm right back to the car or even hike all the way home. Part of me was lingering like a child insistant on getting a balloon or toy before he goes home. I came to sample new foods and help my nephews have fun and be safe. I could only manage the babysitting duty. The food (and mingling, if I had that nerve) just couldn’t fit itself into my abilities; the heat and crowding didn’t help.

Some day, you’ll find me in a National Geographic special on human nature and see the lone, hungry outsider who can’t seem to find a mate or make many decisions. He will be tortured by constant references to Taylor Swift (whose name kept popping up at said carnival as if the phone was ringing for me to take some kind of action I did not know).
[What am I to do, Tay? They’re playing your song. They’re naming pigs after you. They have your “swag” for sale. The days of Hannah Montana and the first wave of Spice Girls didn’t generate as much attention. Suddenly, you’re everywhere…and I feel like I am nowhere. I don’t want a Taylor Swift sundae or Cotton Cand-Tay. I want to *savor* the real thing.]

Sorry, readers, for bringing her into yet another blog post. But, it happened for a reason. Of that, I am certain. I’m just not sure why.

14
Aug
19

Award Shows Are Bogus ver. 081419

***

I’ve been fairly certain for a while. But, now, I am convinced; award shows are complete crap, utter rubbish, excessively expensive lies designed to look glamorous at the expense of souls.

All participants…all of those members of the “foreign press”…are either naïve or devious scum. Now, some of that naïve scum could redeem itself; there’s still hope. But, those who run the machines are surely black as sin or the thickest roots in an underground railroad to decide, like some Hunger Games contest, which celebrities and “little people” (the faceless crew members who outnumber the big names and slave over the projects of those who call themselves producers) get food and care for the year and who gets to fight over the scraps and eat shit. The lucky ones get their names attached to the next box-office big ticket while the bottom of the food chain gets to show of their bodies and talk stupid in the films that come out at the end of summer, when “kids” go back to school and no one gives a flying fook what they watch.

Now, breathe. And, let me shed a little light on the shape of this crap…or, rather, what supports my stomach-turning, fury-stoking feelings.

Every year, there’s that “best picture” film that takes one big award and another…and another…and gets so much buzz from all those cracked camera-toting tabloid freak shows who put every famous and not-so-famous face on the spot with stupid questions, testing them to see if they crack and say anything different from their last interview, anything negative about the people they recently knew as part of the crew. Everybody is “amazing.” Every experience is something good for the resume, even if the person secretly loathed or struggled through it. Every director is uniquely talented. Every interview is to make sure the next job goes smoothly and to collect a check; so don’t expect anyone to answer openly and honestly, even if you’re straight-shooting, expected-to-cuss Samuel L. Jackson.

So, why do we even do interviews?! It’s not for the fans. It’s for promotion…more and more promotion. An interview is a talking movie poster which can’t say anything about what happens in the movie, due to contractual threats that pretty much shackle all who partake in making the expensive torture package that actors refuse to watch because they struggled through it; they didn’t enjoy it. An interview is just a painful showcase of faces who habitually look down when they feel the urge to lie, to hold in the vomit and glaze over what they’d like to say. Hey! Look who’s in the movie! And, they’re talking without reading a script! How amazing…like watching animals behind glass in a zoo.

If you really enjoyed making something, wouldn’t you want to look at it, again? Or, do you go crazy because you find a mistake and realize you can’t correct it? Your hard work is now someone else’s baby, and you have no control. So, all your effort amounts to what someone makes of it. That’s rather cruel punishment in its own way and not respectful to the creative soul.

And, I have sampled a number of these “amazing” films. Not one has earned 5 out of 5 stars with me; they’re all lucky if they get a 3. I saw The English Patient, Schindler’s List, The Hurt Locker and, just recently, The Shape of Water. Oh, there was SO much buzz about The Shape of Water, not too long ago. And, I remember the high praise the rare FEMALE director got for The Hurt Locker. Of all the films I just mentioned, I guess The Hurt Locker was the best…but that’s not saying much. When you put Average Joe in a pageant with four corpses beaten to a bloody pulp, of course Average Joe is going to look good and smell all the sweeter. It’s like that one girl in school who gathers a cluster of less pretty girls around her so she stands out as the pretty one; it’s like some status tactic used by schools of fish.

Now, let me come right out and say I did not see these films in the theater for a good reason; I had my doubts from the start. And, again, it took just one lousy lie of a rental to sully my belief in all the award talk. But, I keep hope alive, and I…I guess maybe I’m a little naïve, too, yet, to give these other “hits” a chance. I want to see what makes them so great.

So, let’s talk about my latest mistake, The Shape of Water. Oh, how the director got lauded with praise and looked so sweet and innocent on stage, giving his grand speech and kudos to all who let him make such a…gruesome, rude and lewd film. If I may be so frank, it’s as if he was extremely horny and hungry while watching the old Creature from the Black Lagoon, late at night, and then had the nerve to think making a remake with more nudity and foul language was a great idea. What a damn creative fool.

Sally Hawkins is the poster woman for the demure, docile, closet freak. Thank goodness she didn’t go on some murderous rampage; that would have really ruined the part. All crap aside, she gave the film an ounce of redemption…well, aside from what she had to do in the first half-hour. Seriously, del Toro, excessive nudity…excessive because it had NOTHING to do with the story. Nada. You didn’t get a close up of her scars until the one guy examined her. No; you just had her get naked, over and over, again, for your personal amusement.

And, what was with the other sex scene? Why didn’t you go one step or two steps further? Why not have the gay artist–with his foul mouth and obsessive dialogue–take advantage of the pie guy? Come on, throw in some finger this and f-that while they indulge in some gay sex. Or, why couldn’t Octavia Spencer get naked with her husband? Why can’t black and gay folks get fair sex play? Booo! No, I’m just kidding. But, really, why include any sex other than what was the focus of the film? There only had to be one sex scene, and you spoiled it before they got in the tub.

I would not be surprised if you ended up in court with all the other poor and stupid men who are getting grilled for indecent actions. I would not be surprised if something popped out of your closet. Why can’t you keep certain lewd thoughts to yourself? And, why did you have to make the film so graphic when it could have been a much nicer and just as exotic love story?

You went down some Stephen King, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino side street and drove through Frank Miller’s neighborhood. You took Splash and turned it into Sin City. Oh, sure the ending is bittersweet and finally happy; but I ate a ton of shit before I could even try to smile; so the whole experience left me queasy. You poured acid on my whipped cream sundae. You’re not the worst film maker out there…but The Shape of Water had better not be your opus. I’d like the water to wash it out of my memory so I can fantasize, again. Your “big hit” is a giant seagull dropping, not something I could comfortably watch more than once. It has little to no replay value; I’d snip off just the final ten minutes and call it a lovely short film that encompasses the best of the story…which pretty much makes the movie another Citizen Kane; just spare us the horrific two-plus hours and tell us it was your childhood sled.

You want my humble rating? Would that do anything for you? I’d give The Shape of Water 1 out of 5 stars, overall. I’d give Sally Hawkins 4 stars for being a beautiful, caring freak who thankfully didn’t do anything too gross or wrong to make me hate her; and I feel sorry for her, for having to expose herself the way she did. I’d give cinematography 3 stars, maybe 4, because the movie did have a decent colored noir quality to it; it suited a Dick Tracy sort of story. But, Octavia Spencer pretty much reprised her roll in The Help; so what can I rave about that? One black woman in an otherwise white world? And, the story? I already said; it’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon in modern 3-DUH, Dolby foul mouth, bloody Sunday whack-a-vision. You get no points for creativity other than visual artistry, period. You are just another big name with all of the latest tools in your kit, and when given the chance to build a sand castle, you played with mud pies. When you had the chance to focus on a Cinderella story, you chose to screw the docile doe in the dark room; you put the horny jerk in the same cage with the last unicorn (and thank goodness *that* didn’t happen). [And, FYI, oddities eating cats went out with Alf…and it wasn’t any funnier then, either…but it was suggested, not on camera.]

But, ya all come back now and watch my masterpiece, again, ya hear? This is a family show…not. It definitely earns its R rating, unlike some films that only get an R because of one lousy little cross of the line. I’d say The Shape of Water even edges an X rating…because there was more flashing of boob and overt sex than most R-rated films I’ve seen.

Here’s a brief lesson in the school of suggestion: Sex, nudity and gore can be veiled and still convey the message.
1) When Sally’s character takes a bath or shower, we could see her silhouette behind a shower curtain, and we’d still know she’s naked. Or, you could have her enter the bathroom and cut to her already covered in soap suds; no need to expose the actress or any body double you may have used…which would only make the whole effort even more stupid and pointless.

When I was in school, my English/writing teachers would draw red circles around portions of stories that didn’t contribute to the plot or characters and took away from the overall enjoyment. What you included (which turned me off and made me ill) was definitely not key to anything; I am sure most viewers would be aware of a person needing to get naked for a bath or having sex with a wife…or were you afraid people might think the creep’s marriage was void of sex?…hey, that might have made that other scene with the cleaning lady better; ya know?

2) A rather pointless sex scene could be conveyed with sounds and/or two flirty people slipping into a room together; ya don’t have to show the woman exposing herself and the cruel, creepy, FBI-ish, White-Collar-Bizarro guy throttling her on the bed!

[How to curb/replace the excessive foul and lewd language is another matter…I’d just omit it. It didn’t make the love story any prettier. It just lumped your enchanting crapper-piece with the likes of Superbad and…I can’t think of any other crappers at the moment…thank goodness they are washed from memory. I’ve seen movies with rape scenes that were just as creepy/unsettling but more suggestive than overt.]

3) When your feature creature wants to eat another animal… Couldn’t you have shown the creature holding the cat and then cut away to an audio clip of someone crunching celery. Then, when the owner returns, have him look down and recoil in horror…and we’d get it! We’d know why he’s horrified. Ya don’t have to show all the bits and blood. Bleh!

Can you imagine some steamy love story where the man makes the woman bleed in the you-know-what area and one or both lovers develop a scarring STD after they have their sweaty fun? [Ya know what; that just gave me a crazy idea for a sexual alien comedy that would still be far cleaner than your mess.] Would you enjoy that movie as much as a more suggestive one without the unfortunate side effects of some realities? There’s a line between realistic and horrifying reality…and you sure cross it, mister, but not for the benefit of the viewers…unless you want to scare people away from love fantasies and support eating disorders…because I could have developed one had I kept my eyes glued on the screen and not used the fast-forward button.

At this rate, I could lose my appetite for film, altogether, before I am old enough to be a cripple stuck in a wheelchair in front of some TV with a bunch of other elder folks losing their minds to medication abuse. Just think…what’s the use in going into movie-making, aspiring to create some soul-satisfying masterpiece when the whole industry is one more mine field of twisted metal, of warping your dreams into nightmares and slave labor? People are dying and committing suicide for some reason. And, it doesn’t surprise me when I try to grasp what all goes into this industry and the infuriating cover-ups that get splashed all over TV screens, even when some creative soul dies tragically.

Losing my appetite for film would be a serious crime against nature, against my creative soul. The water is so polluted, even I am having a hard time writing/creating anything spectacular; but, then again, I work alone, most of the time. I don’t have a clue what it’s like to be surrounded by teammates who can actually work together to make something run like clockwork and make people wonder what the budget must have been to create such a spectacle.

So, I must remind myself not to pay a lick of attention to award shows. Or, at least, I must go to bed before that final fifteen minutes into overtime when we viewers are supposed to be holding our breaths for the big reveal, the final envelope of crap. I must write them off and stick to the trailers that work for me.

Sell me a good trailer, and I’ll give you a chance. And, if you lie to me…..well, let’s just say my response will be…amazing, amazing crying crazy amazing. You’ll certainly find me writing you off my interest list. And, I have ways of swaying the masses. Not that it matters much when the majority seems to be losing all sense of creativity, as if they’ve become so numb from countless abusive images that they no longer have the brain cells to produce anything remotely as good as the stories they refuse to let go, stories from so long ago, they’ve been dragged behind cars for decades, tossing through one remake after another like tin cans on strings.

You know who the real losers are here (aside from creative souls)? The movie theaters and good people who appreciate them. All of the modern technology this world pushes for and all of the crappy, expensive films that get made…bump out all of the wonderful places that one could say feel like a second home. The day when someone decides to shut down the last movie theater in favor of some microscopic internet service station (ding! ding! goes the air tube keeping you couch potatoes alive), I’m sure to cry or have a considerably furious stomach upset because it will be like a nuclear bomb going off and destroying some serene tourist attraction. [Don’t get me started on the horrors of nuclear power pursuits.]

There wouldn’t be any concern for piracy if people didn’t introduce devices that could do such a thing. And, if movie theaters could afford better security without making visitors feel violated like other venues that practically X-ray you when you walk through, if people still cared, maybe thieves wouldn’t get away with what they still do, even after the days of VHS and the most primitive of camcorders. I don’t know why anyone cares about bootlegging, lately…because I am not sure what films are really worth stealing. Or, is that why so many films suck and twist the original story material?…is that why Michael Bay mangled Transformers?…because too many pirates were trying to make a buck off other people’s work? So, since the dawn of film piracy, everyone in the industry just started pumping out their worst, not their best? We settled into dependency upon whatever the latest technology is and putting up poster children as feature stars? Are we selling good stories or the latest model of movie camera you can only get at exclusive electronics stores?…on sale this week until tomorrow…flash sale!

And, breathe. I…don’t know how to wrap this up. The stench is just pouring out of me. So, I leave it as it is, like a broken garbage bag. I had to air it out, though, so I didn’t die from the stink in silence. Now, you know, and knowing is half the battle.




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