zoethe: (aragorn)
It's Wednesday. I have not accomplished 1/10th of what I wanted to get done for school over Spring Break. Must knuckle down tonight and the rest of the week - of course, have plans for the weekend so limited knuckling there.

I have, however, had a good break and enjoyed it, so that counts for something.

Went to the movies last night for a final watching of LOTR:Two Towers before it disappears from the big screen. Still very good, still exciting, but after the extended version of FOTR it seems to lack...heart. Those character moments that round out the movie and make me really care about the Fellowship as people. No fault of Jackson's - this is a middle movie, and basically about schlepping people around Middle Earth, and he managed to make it very good despite those limitations.

I just hope the third one doesn't lose the people in trying to tell the story. There's a lot of ground to cover.

(And the flippy thing is still really cool!)
zoethe: (Default)
It all started with a casual conversation. Jeff was talking about life in Africa, when his family went there and how they had very little music, but did have the soundtrack to "Bugsy Malone," and how he still knew all the words. Oh, and how creepy and disturbing certain sections of the movie were. So the other night we were at the video store and I decided, what the hell, I'm curious. I know it got bad reviews, but how bad can it really be.

Wow. A lot worse than I imagined. I fast forwarded through most of it, and still gave up halfway through. After Jody Foster's vamp number. She was 12.

This is one that I really wish I'd been at the pitch meeting to witness: how do you sell something like this? "You know, boss, the pedophile market is totally untapped. We could make a killing!"

Because Bugsy Malone is a '30s gangster movie wherein everyone is a kid - sort of "Lord of the Flies" with zoot suits. And if they had played it straight, then.. no, it still would have sucked, but it wouldn't have been quite so ridiculous. Instead, the cars are all driven by pedal power (because kids are too young to drive, I guess), and instead of bullets the guns shoot out something that looks vaguely like oatmeal. Because having children shoot each other would be too disturbing, I suppose.

And yet, we are treated to an image made for skin-creep. Jody Foster at the budding of her womanhood (not even flowering yet, mind you), leaning back against a wall in a slinky evening gown with her arms thrown up over her head, languidly akimbo, and sliding sensuously up and down the panelling singing:

No one south of Heaven's
Gonna treat you finer
Tallulah had her training
In North Carolina

(Yes, I was able to find a fan website, proving that nothing is too horrible to spawn an obsession)

Training? Training in what? Considering the context, it isn't hard to make assumptions. And what are they trying to say about North Carolina with this ringing endorsement? That the age of consent is 4? I've seen bad Paul Williams lyrics before, but this one ws the first to genuinely turn my stomach.

So, if you are a closet pedophile, check it out. Otherwise, [shudder]
zoethe: (Default)
Kangaroo Jack opened at Number 1. It grossed $17.7 million. That means, conservatively, that 2.5 million Americans went to the theatres to see this abomination.

These people need to be hunted down and eliminated before they breed more of their kind.

(Oh, and Ferrett? You were correct to assume there would be fart jokes.)
zoethe: (Star Wars)
Aragorn is the first fictional character I ever fell in love with.

Oh, sure, I had teeny-bopper crushes on TV stars and singers. And this was [gasp] at the time when Harrison Ford had not burst upon the American scene. I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and lost my heart to someone who existed only on paper. There wasn't even a picture to relate him to, no visual. I loved him for what he represented and for his nobility.

I fell in love with the ideal of honor and holding true to a task, no matter how painful, no matter the cost.

It is not an ideal that holds up well to real life in the modern world.

This first love was tucked away as I grew older and more cynical. As the practicalities of life pushed back idealism. But now Viggo Mortenson has stepped forward and filled the shoes of that youthful dream with impressive realism. And it reminds me of who I meant to be.

I have marched into death, holding the hand of a dying friend. I have flung myself into danger, preventing fatal mistakes by car wreck victims. I have held true in the face of despair. I have clung to my convictions when others told me to give up.

I have failed many times as well.

There are places I find myself wanting. Striving I must still do. But that is the lesson of Aragorn, isn't it? You continue to strive toward your goals. He hid from his fate as a Ranger for years and accepted the mantle with great reluctance.

And yet he did what he needed to do.

May I always strive to do the same.
zoethe: (Default)
Took a walking tour of the many places on the CWRU campus that my position will require me to visit. The pace of walking changes your perspective because you don't merely admire the beautiful old stone buildings as they whiz by. You can examine them at your leisure.

And be jarred by the wincing ugliness of the modern buildings that cozy up next to them.

Now, this happens on every major campus. Stone and brick buildings erected in an age of architectural beauty (and cheap labor) are of necessity joined by newer structures from an era of unions and modern materials. Certainly there were modern buildings at the University of Oregon, and at Notre Dame, but at both of these campuses the grand old ladies huddled together at one end of the grounds, their faces turned toward a park-like quad with bronze statuary, their backs to the "new money" usurpers. You can hear them whispering and clucking their tongues.

Such genteel planning played no part at Case. And it more than any of the others is blessed with a multitude of truly fabulous buildings--churches, not just one Notre Dame Cathedral, but at least half a dozen truly impressive structures; Severance Hall and the Art Museum; Adelbert Hall, where I am lucky enough to be working (even if superman would complain that my office was a bit small for changing). There is much to admire.

And cozying up to it, too crass to know its place, are monstrosities like the Baker Memorial Building. I don't know who this Baker guy was, but if I were him I would be steamed. Baker is a tissue-paper building from the 60s, the kind that looked like an abandoned wreck before anyone even moved in. Squat, rectangular, it's short sides made up of pebbly concrete prefab and the long edges that nasty metal-and-glass combo with the lower half of each pane lined with yellow-beige plastic, a color far too ugly for Banana Republic. It's snugged up next to a delicately spired church that looks pained, trapped as it is next to this Steve-Buscimi-in-a-leisure-suit monstrosity.

It's not alone. Tributes to building materials gone wrong sprinkle the campus like warts, punctuated by enthusiastically awful yard sculpture (since when is a 30-foot-high tailpipe "art"?).

And the most enthusiastic thing people can say is, "you should have seen the ones they tore down!"

New buildings are being constructed at Case (a HUGE campus quad-sected by major thoroughfares so that you don't realze the extent of it as you drive by). Some, like the new hospital, show an appreciation for classic design with subtle modern influences. Others, like the Peter B. Lewis Building (trust me, you really do want to look) are horrifying extensions of bad lawn art, embarrassments for the future, when a new generation will look upon them and wonder, "What the fuck were you thinking?"

Actually, I'm doing that already. And retreating to the stone grace of Aldebert Hall, grateful to consort with this grand old lady and retreat from bad architecture once again.
zoethe: (angel)
Just got off an AIM chat with my mom. My sister got a tatoo of Tigger on the small of her back, and my mom wants to get a tat. I told her to go for it--nothing would delight me more than knowing that my 64-year-old mother had gone out and gotten herself a tatoo. I really want to get one--maybe when I'm working again I will finally get brave enough

This came on the heels of going to "The Ring" last night (excellent movie, made even more fun by the fact that we had seen the Japanese original version already so were enjoying the reactions of the audience because we have a pretty good idea of what was coming--and it still made us jump plenty). One of the previews they showed was "8 Mile," the Eminem movie. I'm really looking forward to seeing it. Now, I know I'm supposed to be part of that demographic that hates rap music, loathes "Slim Shady" for his terrible influence on our children, and in general regards the Back Street Boys as a better musical choice. And yet, here I am, genuinely liking the music, genuinely seeking it out. How weird is that, I wonder. I am really anxious to go to "8 Mile" on opening night as much for the anthropology as the movie: will I be the oldest person in the audience? Are there actually a goodly-sized crowd of us Baby Boomers who have managed to make the transition from the Stones to Dr. Dre, and are we just not represented in the demographics because no one knows what to do with us? I am looking forward to finding out if I am unique, or if there is a niche out there.

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zoethe

September 2012

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