An Idea Worth Considering

Have you ever felt like there’s a big party going on somewhere to which everyone is invited except you? I have that feeling most of the time. In some cases, it’s because there actually are parties going on that I might like to attend but no one thought to tell me about. Perhaps I should find it reassuring that New York, in its own way, has proven to be just as big of a drag as California was. I spend much of my time lounging around my apartment trying to motivate myself to do something more exciting and productive, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy. I keep wishing somebody would actually, you know, give me something, but the things I really need never fall directly into my lap. Maybe too many people see me as a cypher. Maybe I just haven’t found “my people” yet. All I know is that there are a hundred things going on in my head at any given moment, and I’m not always sure what to do about it.

I saw Cloud Atlas last night. It’s a sprawling, messy, sometimes heavy-handed and pretentious head trip of a movie, but I’m definitely glad that I saw it. The novel is one of my favorite books of the last ten years, and while it was subtler in underlining its themes than the film and possessed a dry wit that strongly contrasts with the film’s crowd-pleasing sincerity, I still recommend the movie to anyone willing to take a chance on something different. It is unquestionably one of the most ambitious movies I have ever seen, and if nothing else, I hope plenty of people see it just so that I will have someone to discuss it with. The conceit of having actors play multiple roles (sometimes under pounds of makeup so that they can portray someone of a different age, race, or even gender) to convey the idea that the characters in various places and time periods are reincarnations of each other doesn’t always work, but it is kind of amusing to watch, say, Hugo Weaving play a villainous female nurse or Hugh Grant play a cannibal in post-apocalyptic Hawaii. (Yes, really.) The actors are miscast in some roles and properly cast in others, so it’s possible that with some reshuffling of the actors and roles, this idea could have worked. I should probably give a shout-out to Halle Berry in particular, whom I’ve never liked (she was distractingly awful in the X-Men films) but who is quite good as a plucky Hispanic journalist and Ben Wishaw, who is simply spectacular as a broke gay composer in 1930s England.

Hugo Weaving as an evil Romulan Korean. I could watch him be menacing and say things with gravitas all day.

See how I’m getting carried away? I really wish I’d had somebody to see the film with. I don’t want to be “that guy” and say the book was better; I just want to explore the ways that what works on the page sometimes works better than you’d think on film. And sometimes it doesn’t. The reviews are mixed, but the crowd I saw it with was decent-sized for a matinee, and there was a line for the next showing as I left. I really hope this movie finds an audience. It’s far from perfect, but goddamn, will it ever give you something to think about.

While I’m rambling, I want to say that I just got my DVDs of the first season of Game of Thrones in the mail. I think I’ll marathon my way through it on the flight back home for Thanksgiving. Now if my father would stop calling my adviser behind my back and let me figure shit out for myself, I might be able to look forward to my vacation a little more…

If you have 30 minutes, you should totally watch this moving and inspiring speech by Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski about her transition to womanhood. Anyone who has ever felt different should be able to relate to this, and it’s important not to forget the “T” in LGBT.

Every so often, I have to write something like this: a post that has no real focus or point to it, but hopefully, will entertain someone. So if I had to tie this thing together somehow, I’d say that…I don’t know, that New York is now boring in its own way. I still haven’t gotten around to seeing much of the city. Sure, I could take off and walk the Brooklyn Bridge anytime I like, but what’s the point? Wherever I go, I fall through the cracks. And the strain of pulling everything together is starting to wear me down.

I’m on season four of Deep Space Nine. I’ve gushed about it before, but I really love this show. It’s gritty and complex in ways that previous Trek series weren’t while still remaining true to the spirit of the franchise. I used to think that finishing something that takes a while would automatically lead to bigger and better things, but more and more, I finish something, then say, “Now what?” It has been a long time since I have felt properly defined.

Oh, and earlier today, there was supposed to be a gathering of some sort that was Halloween-related. I went to the meeting place and no one was there, which means either that I had showed up in the wrong place (unlikely, since I checked multiple times to make sure I had the right spot), or that nobody showed up (equally unlikely, since literally hundreds of people were invited.) My therapist says I’m not very good at reading subtext. Most likely, there’s something very obvious that I didn’t think through here. But I’m still sour about it. You ever just sit around your house feeling angry, like something is pulling you apart? Yeah, that happens to me a lot. I just wish I could figure out what I did wrong before I, you know, do it.

Here’s an old song I like. Enjoy.


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