Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Voice In My Head

All right! That's IT! You're not moving from this spot until you have a blog post. POSTED. Not just written, POSTED, too. (Internal grumbling)

So...uh. What do you want to write about? Dunno. Must be something. New stuff happens every day, and all that. I mean, you've been thinking about doing that "shout out" post where you go down your blog roll and talk about who's who and why you like them? What about that?

Well, kind of a crappy opening for that kind of post. Maybe next week. Because you WILL post next week. No arguments! So what else ya got?

Well, there's the Brokeback Mountain thing....Oh, don't even start. Look, first of all you did LIKE the film. Well... You DID! It's just that you didn't love it, and you wanted to, and you just don't. Well...I could post some of my excerpts from the forum on why I didn't like it... Um, I mean, why I DID like it, but not enough. Or whatever I feel about it. Ambivalent I guess. (Quick drivewesaid.com forum search ensues)

Posted Dec 15, 2005 :

Todd Friel was having a big ol' hissy the other day on his talk show about Brokeback Mountain. Neither he, nor anyone who called in, had either read the story or seen the film. So, basically, they went into raptures about the "glorification of deviance", the subversion of the "macho cowboy image", and the "positive message to sinners" that it sends. Which is a lot for a tragedy of ill-starred lovers to accomplish.

I thought it particularly choice that they basically revile the film and attribute to it all of the things that David Ehrenstein claims it lacks, in his negative review in his Fablog.

Posted Dec 17, 2005:

Saw Brokeback Mountain. Pretty little gift-box of a movie, with very little passion.
Posted Dec 30, 2005:

Interesting post Phyl. I do have problems with the film, though not to the degree that David does. I don't think. I've been trying to articulate them, but I keep getting stuck.
-->Edit - Possible spoilers may follow:

I think in part because I can identify - I know small town western life; hell, for two hours after the movie I had Ennis's stupid accent back. But while I sypathize with Ennis, and Ledger's performance is strong, I don't understand him. These are not the choices I would make, despite our similar backgrounds. Mind you, Ennis is not as educated, nor as culturally advantaged as I was. But damn, man, get a clue!

Part of the problem may be the direction, or maybe it's Proulx's original story, but there are also serious problems with the way the romance and passion is presented. In the end, it's very hard, based on what we've been shown to figure out what exactly is between Ennis and Jack besides sexual attraction. And that, frankly, ain't enough for me.

To me, gay isn't about whom you sleep with, but rather whom you can fall in love with. Whom you can feel passion for. It's an attraction to mind, body, spirit. We're supposed to believe that passion, but we're only shown one aspect of it, and that (referring to the initial sex scene) is frankly ludicrous. The failure is I'm supposed to believe this deep abiding love, but the film only shows its physical manifestations and reactions to its loss - it doesn't do a good job of showing it develop. Without that, Jack's last speech doesn't carry as much weight as it should; Ennis forelorn conversations with shirts don't move the way they should. They got close, but didn't take you there the way they needed to.

I dunno. I'm just not there yet. There's something I'm trying to say, and that's still not entirely it.
Posted Jan 20, 2006:
I do not love Brokeback Mountain. I have Ennis's accent, at least when I'm tired (or, according to Boo, when "tired, walking, cranky, watching TV, or reading"), but I don't feel much else for him that I can connect to, despite a fine performance by Ledger.

The thing is, the bastard has a choice, and he makes the wrong one.This is not society's fault, it's his. He has a choice to live for love or to live for normal, and he chooses normal. Fuck him. That the film chooses him as the survivor at the end speaks the wrong mesage altogether about repression and how to respond to it. Jack is the more interesting character, though even he would have done well to avoid getting married.

Everyone seems to want to bring up the times. Tough decade and all that...Fuck the times. Get the hell out of Dodge, my friend. My great aunt left Iowa in 1927, and lived most of her life with a female companion in Los Angeles. Was she a lesbian? We'll never know for sure, perhaps, but the odds are very good. And good for her - love is worth it. Personally, I think her story would be more interesting.

To a degree, I think that's what David's on about, though aside from his initial blog entry, I have avoided other contentious discussions of it. It's not a landmark portrayal of being gay. It's a landmark portrayal of lassitude and indirection. What I find annoying about that aspect of it, is that it's pretty condescending to us small town boys. "Oh, dear, what options do they have?" Plenty, actually.

Add to that the press emphasis, which discounts some true landmark films, such as Longtime Companion, Prick Up Your Ears, Parting Glances - you want a breakthrough performance? See Steve Buscemi in that - and I get a bit irritated.

And, I get a bit annoyed by the gay press (both traditional and non) reaction to the flick as well - there's at least enough anticipatory panting over Ledger and Gyllenhaal's kissing and love scene (ludicrous love scene - absolutely ridiculous) to earn the "slash" description. Not entirely the film's fault to be sure, but it is somewhat marketed in the same way that Corbin Fisher and Straight College Men websites market porn - "see your almighty dollar convince (or coerce) two avowed heteros into making out on screen!"

However - aside from those quibbles, not bad.

Or...not. I mean, what do you really have to say about the film that hasn't been said elsewhere?

So, barring that, I should probably apologize to my few loyal readers for being so non-communicative. It's largely due to work. I'm doing a huge amount of curriculum development and writing courseware, and after spending all day writing, I just haven't had the urge to spend more time at home in front of the computer. Oh, playing The Sims 2, sure, but not actually typing sentences.

A cop out to be sure.

I'm toying with the idea of posting more frequently, but shorter. Of course, then I'd be so much like every other blog, and I like being different. Special. I wish I were special. You're so fucking special...I should play some Radiohead! Yeah! Or...

I could post about music...

I did get Hypnotize after all, part two of System of a Down's effort for 2005. And it rocketh mightily...I'm still surprised how much I like these guys. Granted I grew up with banger stuff (hell, we played the likes of Highway to Hell and Rock and Roll All Night at high school dances, along with the Alicia Bridges and Donna Summer...Jesus the 70's were fucking insane musically, no?), but it wasn't really in my collection, which largely consisted of disco, Simon & Garfunkel, and early New Wavers such as The Police, Devo, and The B52's, as well as some shit no one's heard of then or since (Slow Children, anyone? anyone?)

So, I don't know how I come to adore this group of grouchy Californian Armenians. Except that they get more musically interesting with every album. And ...and that when Serj screams "Blast OFF! Party Time! And Where the FUCK ARE YOU!" in B.Y.O.B., he manages to perfectly question and answer three lyrical themes at once. It's a clever trick. Clever is good.

Of course, thinking about music also makes me feel like shit that I missed the final Minneapolis performance of All The Pretty Horses. When it came down to it, Jen and Dave and I decided we'd rather go drink beer in nordeast than try to make the show. Which was so crowded we wouldn't have gotten in anyway. But, I feel like I should have made an effort. I did get to see Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle on cable, though, so the night wasn't a total waste. (Did you mean that as a pun? Because...weak, man.)

Should have fun at Flogging Molly in a couple weeks, though. Big fun. Can't wait.

Ooooh, and Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake!

And, of course, there's One Voice Mixed Chorus this weekend. It'll be nice to see one of their concerts again where I haven't already heard all the music. It's been years since that happened.

So, basically what you're saying is nothing's going on right now, except work, and that's both too much writing and not worth writing about. Why don't you try again next week after something happens? Yeah. Good idea. And stop talking to yourself.


Grouchbutt said...

I say you are the Vermeer of blogging.

julie beth said...

yes, you do wonders with the light!

also, you could always post more recipes. your recipes make me hungry, every time.

Randy Wylde said...

I'll try to get a recipe up this week. Those are easy posts!

Randy Wylde said...

Oh! And thank you both!