Idle Hands

I’ve never really gotten the hang of doing nothing. It’s part of the reason I update this blog so frequently and have done so for over two and-a-half years. Seriously, it would take you several days of focused reading to get through the whole thing, and that’s assuming you do nothing else besides eat and sleep. Sometimes I wonder if I would have more readers if I posted less often, sort of a quality over quantity kind of thing. I’m not sure. What I do know is that I spend more time than I should doing shit that I feel like I have to do. My new job is both helping and hurting at the same time. Physically, it’s even more taxing than the last one, and since I’m working more and longer hours, my days off never seem to last long enough. Also, since I get to go home only when I’ve finished everything rather than at a set time, the pressure is really on me to finish everything so that I can catch that last bus/train or whatever. The people I work with are nice enough. There’s just not much to latch on to.

I feel an overpowering need to see Gone Girl. I have a thing for movies about obsession. One of my favorite filmmakers of the moment is Darren Aronofsky, who has yet to make anything that can be considered fun or upbeat, but has a real gift for making visually arresting movies about people in a downward spiral. The Wrestler and Black Swan are two lovely movies that, in terms of structure and theme, are eerily similar. But back to David Fincher. I can understand why some might find him cold and clinical (especially his fascination with serial killers), but I think his movies are consistently good to great. You would be hard-pressed to find a more compulsively watchable thriller than Zodiac, a film that captures the human need to have everything make sense better than anything since 12 Angry Men. See, I don’t see films that are that well-made as depressing. Maybe it’s just that I have a natural fascination with fucked-up shit (one of my favorite authors is Cormac McCarthy), but I actually thought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was, for lack of a better word, fun.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: One of the nice things about being an adult is that there is no “have to”. You either feel like doing something or you don’t. If you don’t like your job, leave. Yes, you might have a family to feed, but if your job really is shitty and dehumanizing, you owe it to them and yourself to at least try to find something a little better. Because having a breadwinner who is surly and distant and who treats their time together as just one more thing to get done today is going to take its toll in the long run. I have no intention of ever having kids and even I can see that. As far as I’m concerned, there is no need to ever stop having adventures, so long as you decide for yourself what they are.

Some people just start going through the motions after a while. I’ve never figured out why Rob Reiner suddenly went from making great movies to making crap. Maybe he just got so comfortable with his personal life that he stopped feeling the need to challenge himself? I have no idea. Every couple years, Woody Allen will make a decent film that will be hailed as the start of a late-period resurgence, then go back to making mediocre films for the next few years. It’s pretty apparent that these days, he just makes movies because he likes traveling and writing and getting actors together and shooting. He doesn’t have all that much to say anymore. Most of what he does is what somebody else on the internet referred to as “Starbucks intellectualism”: that is, attractive people briefly pondering the Big Mysteries of Life before deciding that it doesn’t really matter and going off together and being happy. It says something that his most financially successful film to date is Midnight in Paris. From what I’ve heard, Magic in the Moonlight is the sort of thing you see on cable while flipping through channels one night and decide to stick with just because.

woody allenI anticipate my blogging schedule to become a little bit more inconsistent in the coming weeks. I’ll still be updating regularly, as the dogs in my head are still barking and so on and so forth. But I would like to devote more time to my games: jigsaw puzzles, computer games, and board games. I downloaded an old RPG called Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura a while back, and between that and Skyrim, I hope to find myself very engaged during my free time in the coming weeks and months or so. I’m still on a bit of a horror kick when it comes to my movies, so I expect to see more of those pretty soon as well. (I watched Drag Me to Hell last week. Classic Raimi. A good discussion question about that one would be just how much of it happens in the protagonist’s head. I’d say a lot.) So no, I’m not going anywhere, just reshuffling a little. I kinda have to. Because I am still getting over being effectively forced out of my last job and being stuck living with my parents and unable to find an apartment.

With regards to that last bit, I have one more thing to say: It’s depressing when people function as a unit rather than individuals. Because I complain a lot about my parents, but it’s important to remember that even though they are two distinct people, they seem to function more as a tag-team than anything. And that is a problem. Because you can’t just play a role.

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