Dream 542: Homemade Maracas

03.23.2018 § Leave a comment

Troy and Brunhilda hand Karin and I some homemade maracas, constructed out of balled up duct tape inside cardboard toilet paper rolls sealed shut with more duct tape. We start to shake.


Film Micrœview #414: Annihilation (2018)

03.17.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Bad.

Man, I gave this guy too much credit. I thought this was going to be a shameless Tarkovsky ripoff, judging by the trailer. Instead, it was just crap.

Film Micrœview #413: Noah (2014)

03.17.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Shrug.

I just don’t know what to make of this one. It somehow rides the line of ridiculing religious myth and recognizing its power to plumb the human spirit, ridiculing the notion of a wrathful creator deity and throwing it into relief against the paradoxes of faith. I saw some stuff I’ve never seen before. But mostly I just kind of feel like… huh? Honestly.

Dream 541: Community deodorant

03.16.2018 § Leave a comment

Climbing down a snowy mountain. The signs at three elevation levels show simple thick black lines on white. Diagonal paths. Something is wrong. A team passing us on their way up are concerned about spoilers.

At the peak, Karin wants us each to take a swipe of deodorant. I’m like “gross” though when I realize it’s just a community deodorant stick.
Driving up and down the peninsula.

I’m just trying to learn more about butts on my iPad but all I can find are like softcore porn rap videos.

Mongolia. You can’t move there because of some law. At least you can’t stay there. This old poor couple somehow has a white foreigner as a servant though.

Film Micrœview #412: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

03.11.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

It’s difficult for me to separate this film from my fond childhood memories of watching it with my brother. He and I knew half the dialog by heart (well, I expect he still knows the entirety to this day, because he’s like that). I sampled the film in one of the songs I wrote growing up, and even named another song after a line from it.

I was struck as ever by the quality of the cinematography, the music, the humor, the performances, and the surreality of the adventure.

What was new for me this time around was some subtleties to the handling of race. Of course, it doesn’t bode well when the movie opens with a chain gang comprised only of dozens of black people, and then immediately it becomes apparent that all of our main characters are going to people who just escaped from this chain gang, and they are all white, even though no other white people were seen on the chain gang. Then they quickly find another black person, who is the very essence of the problematic Magic Negro trope, who gives them a ride and a vision, and they, his guests, and many and younger/stronger, don’t even help out. To top it off, in the next scene, one of the three white men writes off the vision like this: “What the hell does he know? He’s a nigger and an old man.”

I had never noticed before that this character, Everett, used a racial slur at this moment. It chills me that I never noticed that before. Maybe I had dwelled more on the humor arising from this moment in the characterization, how this guy never balks at an opportunity to wax philosophical, even if he believes the whole debate to be rationally moot from the get-go (this theme comes up frequently through the film). More likely I should just admit that I was less sensitive to racism when I was a kid. In any case, this got me thinking about racism as portrayed in this film, and I noticed something I hadn’t before. All characters who express racist thoughts are also shown to be somehow progressive. The KKK Grandmaster is the “reform” candidate running for governor. The enterprising bible salesman is in the KKK. Even the radio station manager, who is the other character to use the word ‘nigger’, is associated with advanced technology. Everett furthermore is the one who tries to profit off the popularity of black music by lying about their race to the (blind) radio station manager. We don’t really get the other main protagonists’ take on their black brothers, but Delmar at least refers to Tommy as a “colored boy” when asking the others to offer him a lift. And of course they do all pitch in to save Tommy near the climax. But I still see enough points to sketch an outline of a ethos OBWAT takes on race. I think the authors knew it would be too easy to make the backwoods white folks the racists. Too easy to write off. Not that the incumbents are not loathsome as well, but I think at least on this matter it is suggesting that change is not necessary inherently good. If Everett advocates for the New South, flooding away the old, replacing it with a more connected, more consumerist (“I’m a Dapper Dan man!”) life, maybe we’re losing something really special. Anyway, I had never realized just how much we should dislike this Everett guy until this viewing.

Dream 540: Bucket

03.09.2018 § Leave a comment

A huge stack of photocopies of Calvin & Hobbes book pages on 8½” x 11″ paper in a white paint bucket.

I’m having a big party at my warehouse. I come into the shed to pee in a bucket. Gladys steps out from behind a curtain and scoots out without a word or eye contact. The only thing this could mean is: there’s nothing secretive she’s doing in here; she just doesn’t want to know anything about anything I might be doing secretively in here.

When is our flight?

Gladys and I are making a warehouse hotel kitchen’s bed. She notes that the flag on the hall display had been set to “on” w/r/t sex occurring.

Film Micrœview #411: Black Panther (2018)

03.02.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Dr. Pepper.

In Killmonger we have one of the most complex superhero movie villains I’ve ever seen. On one level he embodies the voice of anger of all repressed people. On another level he represents misguided American interventionism. On another level he speaks for the African diaspora. On another level we recognize him as a manifestation of the part of any person who has lost their patience for change, for inaction, for selective loyalties. On another level he is just a fantastically drawn character. When he is called out in the climactic conflict for having become his enemy in his extreme measures to overcome him, it rings true, not trite. His sympatheticness goes far beyond mere moments screenwritten humanizing. In defeat, he does not change. He continues to transform, purifying and refining his dream. He still goes with pride. And he teaches the protagonist the way forward, where his father could not.

I’ve never seen anything quite like Black Panther. I never knew how much I needed to see someone ripping the front wheel off a moving vehicle, or crashing a car by launching a spear through its engine. I got the feels when the female general brings a halt to infighting. Music was amazing. I laughed uncomfortably when the white guy was told in no uncertain terms that he was not to a say a single further word, appreciated that he was relegated to a clean-up job, and took some time to explore how I felt that I wouldn’t have too many cosplay options for this movie I had just loved (not that I cosplay, but the point remains). I hope that Marvel gets the picture, that it’s way more amazing to apply the whole techno-magical stuff to dive deep into inner space than it is to go to outer space.

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