They don’t stand on their own. Context is the only thing that gives them legs. A good idea in theory is only smoke.
I always took the theatre of world events with a grain of salt. I don’t know what has changed, maybe the pandemic made me realize that I too was a part of that theatre. Maybe it’s just my white privilege bubble finally bursting. I’ve never felt more sorrow for humanity than in the last 12 months. So much carelessness and hate, so much disregard for one another.
Because what else are we supposed to do while we're here.
Then I found out someone already made one.
I just searched "what is happening in politics" and found this site, and although I had already read the first few articles. It's still startling to view them all in one place.
The US is on the brink of a fascist coup. This is not an alarm bell, or an exaggeration. This will happen, if not stopped by their current legal systems.
As stated by the heading: "Read in moderation."
Drag Me to Hell
The Loved Ones
Donnie Darko (maybe not horror, but hey if Die Hard is considered a Christmas movie)
I might be missing some, I don't know.
"They have blighted cinema, and also blighted culture to a degree". - Alan Moore on Superhero films
I don't completely disagree with this statement. I think an overemphasized trend in any direction can have a negative effect on culture. And superhero movies have had such a catch-all mass popularity effect on culture. Sometimes I miss watching a movie and being surprised, it is so rare now to see auteurs that stand out. Everyone is looking to be a cog in the MCU or Star Wars Universe. And many of these films are great rides. But to actually be confronted or challenged about how we process the extreme situations we currently live in has become more and more rare, especially in film. That challenge now seems to be left mostly to the comedians, Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, Tom Segura, Eric Andre, Michael Che and others. They are the only ones achieving this with an artistic method, and by that I mean to the point where they dare you to see things from their perspective. Comedians are the only ones confronting dangerous topics without fear and convincing you to look deeper at situations you may have already casted judgement on. Popular film and television no longer attempt this.
When it’s time to sell a broken world.
Safety and happiness of your child.
Although I’m only a casual hip-hop listener, here’s my top 5 in no order:
To be something.
Watching High Score on Netflix, realizing how long it took for character choice to be implemented into video games in a main-stream way, here are a few of my characters of choice:
Street Fighter II: I started out with Chun-Li, moved to Guile, then it's been Ryu ever since.
Mortal Kombat: Began with Sub-Zero and eventually moved to Scorpion.
Mario Kart: I started with Toad, and eventually landed on Yoshi.
I am going to release a new song every six-weeks.
The reasoning behind this:
1. I wait too long to put stuff out and then regret not releasing earlier.
2. How much better is a recording if sat on for many many years? How much better was that tenth mix? So many of the best records were put together in a short period of time. London Calling was recorded in two weeks (apparently). And some of the most mediocre records took way too long, see Chinese Democracy.
3. It will force me to be less precious.
4. It will force me to try new things. Experimentation and tinkering is the way to propel ourselves and society forward, see NN Taleb or Seth Godin for more my inspiration on this.
5. The six weeks timeline I got from that Basecamp dude who hates meetings, in his opinion one month is too short for small but substantial projects and multiple months is too long. Six weeks seems to be the sweet spot. It makes sense musically too. No time to wait for inspiration, before getting into the studio. Get into the studio and then be inspired. It also allows enough time to schedule with other players if needed and allows for ample time to play with mixes if song structure and recording is done within a month.
6. Announcing it here will hold me accountable and just as this blog has helped me write and expose my ideas to others often, this will hopefully help me do the same.
7. Making music is the best.
8. Wish me luck.
9. Stay tuned. blankcinema.com
The one movie and book that had the biggest impact on my life was Fight Club. It not only shaped many of my beliefs about society, but even had an impact on some of my friendships as I was growing up, for better or worse.
It did not introduce me to a lot of concepts or ideas that I had never considered, but more that it presented those concepts as a game to be played and as real life with consequences simultaneously. Because of this it was incredibly dark/sad as well as funny/inspiring. It was fun to make-believe that you were going to start a revolution to overturn consumerist culture and globalist apathy, and it was also scary the more you pushed those concepts.
Over 20 years later, it feels incredibly relevant now.
"Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned."
"Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart."
Do shows like the X-Files still exist and I’m just not paying attention? Or was that a one-time awesome concept that no one has been able to recreate. I guess Stranger Things is pretty close, never mind.
Hey, Springfield! Are you suffering from the heartbreak of monster-itis? Then take a tip from Mr. Paul Anka!
To stop those monsters, one-two-three
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee
Guarantee void in Tennessee
Paul Anka and Lisa:
Just don't look! Just don't look! (x2)
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” - Tony Robbins.
I'm thinking of this quote and how it relates to change not on a personal level, but on mass scale, revolutions. The pain of what is and the pain of what was is no longer acceptable. It's messy to change and it's only going to get messier, but hopefully change is seen through until the end, until the current status quo becomes alien. A paradigm shift.
World: Let us get back to you on that.
My son is failing incredibly lately while talking and it's making me happy. Not because he's falling back on his development, he's not. But because he's extending himself much farther. No longer is he putting two or three words together simply and succinctly to get his wants across. He's aiming for full sentences with descriptive words, and colloquial additions, he's telling a story and he's just bulldozing through all of it while picking up a few extra syllables here and there and dropping a few others on the way, and half the time I have no idea what he's saying.
I have nothing to talk about because I’ve been inside working and discussing TV shows and social media all day. I have to replenish the well. Time to go see a concert or go to an art gallery. Haha. We’re all going to die.
There’s a great JG Ballard short story where two volunteers have decided to participate in an experiment to remove their ability to sleep. They start noticing that the room is becoming smaller and smaller until, in their minds, the room and then are squashed into a singularity and the one supervising the experiment watches them suddenly become vegetables.
That’s how I’m starting to feel right now...I’m too pretty for jail-time.
There is an idea that says if you work really hard and focus on your goals, good things will happen for you.
I'd like to rephrase this. Chill the eff out and do what interests you, share it with others, don't take any of it too seriously, chances are, no one's listening, no one cares, and we're all going to die soon anyways... Amen.
A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight. - Jim Chappelow - Investopedia
Black Swan and Anti-Fragile were two of my favourite books consumed last year. These are 2 of 5 books in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Incerto series. I enjoyed Skin in the Game as well, but these two drove the message home for me. Now is a good a time as any to read them. You won't be going out much.
Maybe I can say that a little more clevererer and a little more adage-y.
If you compare yourself to giants you’ll always lose. If you appreciate their company, they might let you stand on their shoulders.
Yeah...that was a good.
The nightly news is poisonous to your mental health. Panic is induced instantly, when you hear about some viral outbreak, as your child coughs in the next room. It's not an outbreak, it's just being sick, it's not markets in free-fall, it's a good deal on stocks if you're smart enough to take advantage of it, he's not the next president, just some asshole with a few gaudy hotels. When we hyperbolize everything, we separate ourselves from reality, frame by frame, creating gods, demons, martyrs and sensation.
These crave ads are slowly wearing me down. If everyone shares their crave account and everyone shares their Netflix account and everyone shares their Spotify account and everyone shares their Prime account. I think we can get infinite content down to the price of water.
Some random one-liner brain garbage. I thought these were hilarious when I thought of them. Now ... meh. Also highlights the issue I have with Will Smith which no one else seems to comprehend, my horror when someone eats pizza with a knife and fork and how much I love the word twee, and dislike 'the future is...'
The world needs more will Smith. Wait....that doesn’t sound right.
Crime is always at the top of the crime chart in America.
If you are eating pizza with a fork, it’s either not very good pizza or you are bad at eating.
Plant based sausage party.
The future is twee.
Iain M Banks, you spell your name wrong.
Don’t try to surf, don’t do it. The less you do, the more you do. Let’s see you popup. Popup! That’s not it at all, do less, get down. Let’s see you do it again. Popup. No. Too slow. Do less. Popup. Popup. You’re doing too much get down. Popup. No. Remember don’t do anything. Get down. Popup. No, we’ll you gotta do more than that.
A roast only works if the person enjoys being roasted. If you aren't enjoying it, what are you doing? Also, it just makes the roaster look mean, and they're not, they're doing you a favour, providing you with a gift. Take it gracefully. Laugh at yourself, it takes a lot of courage to brutally mock someone to their face, respect it.
In the past I would try to not overwork, now I think it's a good thing, if you want to. If you want to overwork for a week, what's wrong with it? Just take it easy next week. I think sometimes we can pay too much attention to the clock. We don't have to work 9-5 everyday, every week. Let's work 9-9 for 6 days this week and then 10-2 1 day next week. Go with the flow dude.
I have a new philosophical theory on art:
When a style/motif/mode is being craved by society, its initial appearances do not have to be great, perfect, polished, or of the highest quality, in fact this may be detrimental to its acceptance. Examples of this are the earliest forms or protozoa of different genres. Examples in movies: Some of the first horror film types in their respective genres; 'Night of the Living Dead', 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', 'The Blair Witch Project'. Examples in music: the earliest of any genre or the earliest of different movements; 'Bob Dylan', 'The Velvet Underground', 'The Stooges', 'The Pixies', even early revivalists or 2nd waves of genres, 'The White Stripes', 'The Strokes'. The works here stand out by what they don't contain and what they solely focus on or omit. They didn't have to be good. They just gave the world what it was craving. I came up with this theory while listening to the title track on 'Is This It?' and thought "This didn't need to be good, it was just needed".
This also could be utter nonsense. I'm not sure.
The highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes is not given to the best movies, it is given to the movies with the least amount of flaws. Controversy won't get you over 90% which makes sense, the rating should be read as 90% of people enjoy this. One reviewer didn't rate it at 90%, 90% of reviewers rated it positively. I am coming to terms with this. I'm starting to think the best films are rated between 70% and 85%. Not too many obvious flaws, but an enough character to be divisive.
I wonder if when engineers, architects, or scientists win awards they use it as a platform for veganism or voting or abortion rights or climate change. It seems odd that this soapbox is only appropriate when you pretend for a living. I don't disagree with the causes, or the speeches. And fully support the sentiment. It just seems strange to me. Maybe it's because all causes need an icon to promote them, a path-dependence to side with. Those with fame now have to be political, the times demand it. Hollywood is now woke...on awards night anyway.
I don't like to talk politics too much. It generally doesn't make me happy to do so, because of this I try and avoid discussions. I think if anything the past few years of American politics has shown us what a farce the show truly is. Take it seriously and it will be bad for your health.
This moment was made for you, by you.
Take a moment to enjoy it, always accept it, then ask yourself
"what am I trying to tell myself?"
I think the battle of generations is primarily fought between 20-30 and 50-60. Maybe this is where the distance in the understanding of the world is concretely realized.
Maybe I never full joined the battle because familial generation party-line was divided across a few lines. My older brothers being born in the 70s myself being born in the 80s and having a niece born at the tail end of what is considered millennials on the cusp of Gen Z being raised in our home at the same time I was becoming a teenager.
A generational divide never made too much sense to me then, and it doesn't now.
The way we are currently judging what defines these generations is through how they most commonly consume media. If you can separate yourself from that, then you are free from those divides.
If you think the previous generation handed you a raw deal, and you live in the western world, you're probably wrong.
If you think kids have it easy these days, you're probably wrong too.
Give up the fight, every struggle is relative and individual, and most of them are not that different. The struggle to be heard, understood and to make a difference.
Everything is communication.
Friday, it hit me with clarity that my current role was to make sure two machines were communicating with each other properly, that they understood each other. At first this made feel a bit inhuman, soulless. Then I realized that the purpose of these two machines talking to one another was that so a few people had the ability to communicate with many, many, more people. It was a chain, a person on one end, a string of machines, then another person on the other end. That is all we are doing, sending messages. The value of the message is everything.
Sweet report Kylo Ren.
Hey buddy, whaddaya say we get a couple beers, smoke some acid and rewrite a little history.
How long does it take to kill Al Pacino.
I don’t know, this is a war movie, it’ll probably win. Cuz not enough war movies have won Oscars.
Taxi Driver....but with a clown.
Wasn’t this nominated 20 years ago? Did it win then? It won’t now.
Sweet divorce Kylo Ren.
Scarlett Johansson is in every movie now?
This seems like a Soderbergh film... is it?
This reminds me of that movie from the 90s with Michael J Fox ... Greedy, only good. This looks awesome actually, I really want to see it. Subtitles though.
Are we entering a new era of game shows?
Every night there's a new game show on TV. Are cable networks just throwing whatever they can at the wall to see what sticks? Live entertainment is now on your phone, on demand quality content is on Netflix, Crave and Prime, but where do you find the game shows? Cable. They're cheap, they're weekly. The last ditch effort of a dying medium.
The Masked Singer is awesome though.
Watching The Basketball Diaries...DiCaprio was a great actor from the beginning. How many people are that good from the start? Again, maybe acting isn't that difficult. It doesn't matter, DiCaprio is amazing in this at 20, 21? Jim Carroll was a junkie, a poet, an author, and was in a band. So New York.
I'm not too interested in reading books like this anymore, after you've read some Burroughs, Welsh and Bukowski, you're like, okay, it's hard being effed up all the time, I get it. You feel like an insect...got it.
That being said I think Naked Lunch is a masterpiece and almost totally incoherent. One of those rare reads where not just the plot, not just the tone, not just the content, but the format in which it is presented is so unique that it stands alone. American Psycho is in this category too. Completely unique.
I watched Joker the other night and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I think it was a good movie. Maybe. It had all the collective parts of a good movie, but something felt missing.
I could feel the influences coming at me almost every other shot Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, American Psycho. Maybe a little Requiem for a Dream here and there. There were many scenes that I thought were incredible. But I didn't quite get what this movie added to the Batman story or even to the culture as a whole.
The Joker's origin story has always been a bit hazy, mysterious, perhaps deliberately so. Maybe the problem I had was that it tried to nail that story down so clearly. Here is why the Joker is unstable, here is why the Joker is a villain, he is actually a sympathetic character with mental illness, who went off of his medication. Okay...I guess that makes sense. But part of what is likeable about the Joker, the most iconic villain of all time, is that he seems like he's having a good time doing terrible things, we only really start to feel that near the very end and by then, the tragedies that he has endured are still fresh in our minds. Jaoquin's performance was fantastic, most of the cinematography was great, I liked the music as well. I'm just not sure I liked the movie. Maybe I'm not supposed to.
The tone was soooo dark. But is that the end goal of a superhero movie, just more darkness to legitimize the content. Did it need to take place in the DC universe at all? The parts involving the Wayne family seemed tacked on. Did we need to see Bruce's parents get killed? Couldn't this just have been Taxi Driver: The Clown Version? Or a stand alone Joker origin story. I'm still wrestling with this. On technical points alone it's Certified Fresh, but on gut reaction, I'm not so sure. And I think gut has more weight on this scale.
I wanted to keep it pure, everything pure. And yet nothing can be. Erosion is pure, rust is pure, decay is pure.