I found this link on my Twitter feed, which redirected me back to the Guardian (my daily online news fallback). This is the perfect example of why I love Twitter, the Guardian, Finland AND My Little Pony. Granted, yes, it’s been nearly twenty years (okay, maybe more like fifteen, but that’s peanuts) since I’ve had a My Little Pony, but I think my parents still have the pink dreamhouse in the attic.
[In a quick, somewhat-related digression, I feel compelled to mention that I made a TV for the dreamhouse (I know, the nineties generation, eh?), and I cut out a picture of Star Wars for the screen. My Little Ponies were forever watching Luke, Han and Obi Wan in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon ready to rescue Leia. Siiiiiiiigh.]
Anyway, The Guardian ran a pictorial feature on Finnish artist Mari Kasurinen, whose sculptures are My Little Ponies done up as famous movie characters. Brilliant. I love it so much I don’t know where to start. Such a brilliant marriage of childhood merchandise with adolescent pop culture. Perfect for my generation. A combination of various shades of nostalgic grey. If anyone is thinking of an early birthday present for me– I know you are– the Batman and Robin are still available.
Taryn had tickets last night for the Arts Club’s Homechild, so she selected me to accompany her! All in all, the play was pretty good, with an amazing set. The perfomances, on the whole, were decent enough, slightly verging on sketch comedy personifications at times, with an overdrawn Scottish accent drifting in and out. Duncan Fraser, as aged homechild, Alistair, was a knockout. He was fantastic. If it weren’t for his tight, insular performance (only heightened after the character suffers a stroke), the rest of the ensemble would have bordered on farce. As a script, Joan MacLeod’s play takes on the familiar trope of the uncomfortable unearthing of past family secrets and shadows and applies it to an aspect of Canadian history usually swept under the rug: home children. I must admit, I felt somewhat ashamed to find myself ignorant of this part of our history. Perhaps most home children found themselves out east, and thus there isn’t much history here in BC? I will definitely research it further. While the conventions of the play did not seem overly original at first, I found that the ambition of the play lies in bringing history to light, rather than artistic innovation. With that in mind, the play is entertaining and accesible to any audience. It did not explicitly inform, but notified, urging you to find out more for yourself, much the same way Lorna must seek out Alistair’s long lost sister, Katie. Cliched, but worth it.
Okay, so I joined, read a few other people’s profiles, and yes, I am a complete dork. I must simplify. Right now, it looks like I am that ‘weird’ one, you know, there was one in every lecture hall. The one who wears clothes six years out of date (exactly six years), glasses, and takes things a little too seriously. I think that’s me. Oh dear.
I just joined a Meetups group for movie buffs in my area. This was how I filled out my New Member survey:
Have you ever seen a movie that’s changed your life in some way?
Every movie I see changes me somehow, some just more than others! I think the most profound/most recent was The Lives of Others.
Why do you enjoy movies?
I enjoy different movies for different reasons. Mostly, I love to get caught up in the characters and the atmosphere. It makes me feel a little more connected to humanity in the same way a deep conversation with a new friend does.
What, for you, makes a movie outstanding?
I think about it for days, months, years afterwards.
Because I’m a dork, I uploaded this profile picture:
Now, would you see a movie with me or would you run screaming?
Is it weird that I desire so badly for there to be an em dash for online posting thingys that I honestly lament humanity’s existence every time I am forced to used a space-hypen-space (” – “) or a double hyphen (“–“) instead?
I did. I caved. After however many years of just saying no, I finally started watching Battlestar Galactica. (like with Lost, I also blame Jason for this twelve step-worthy practice.) I am currently still in the middle of the first episode/mini-series, even after two false starts. So far, decent enough. (I am told that it gets better – even better.) However, there have been a few details that have made it hit a little close to home… in a way that I’m not sure endears the show or cheapens it. I’ve actually (well, sort of) met Tricia Helfer, and she was really nice, so seeing her as a big bad Cylon doesn’t quite have the effect I think it should. I think/hope this will change. Also, every time I see Gaius (James Callis), I think of this and expect him to yell, “Come the fuck on, Bridget!” The scenes of Caprica City are actually filmed at SFU, my alma mater, so watching the world be destroyed in the same place where I used to sit with a cigarette and catch up on my readings is a little weird. Also, when a motley gang of refugees ran across the scene, I am convinced one of them went to high school with me. I guess that’s what happens when you live in Hollywood North.
I am one of those people who thinks (realizes) that audiences do not view things in a bubble. Their preconceptions of a location or of an actor wholly inform their interpretation of the current work, whether they realize it or not. Sam Mendes exploited this wonderfully in Revolutionary Road. He was fully aware of the Jack and Rose mythology when he put Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio together. When not blatant stunt casting, it can be used very effectively. The same goes with locations. For each cheesy establishing shots of Big Ben when the setting moves to England, there’s a scene in a swanky casino, drumming up references to everything from Casino to Vegas Vacation. Then there’s always Sleepless in Seattle and the Empire State building. The final meeting scene holds so much poignancy when remembering the reference to An Affair to Remember. Of course, most contemporary audiences have never see or even heard of that movie, so, naturally, the character must discuss it.
Anyway, I think I will definitely enjoy BSG, as soon as I can let go of pre-established realities and unintentional intertexuality.
When I get bored at work, I try to give myself something of a postmodern education (duplicity intended), as in I browse Wikipedia making some notes in my journal. I started on Derrida, in an attempt to understand him (see this) and wound up on marxist critic Fredric Jameson (see: Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism). Postmodernism, in all its postmodernity, has yet to achieve a generally agreed-upon definition. I have my own perspective, and I was SO happy to read Jameson’s definition and find that it corresponds with my own, only more eloquently put and academically legitimate. Jameson describes, and I paraphrase: Postmodernity is characterized by pastiche and a crisis of historicity. In a postmodern culture, parody or satire, which requires a moral judgement or comparison with societal norms, is replaced with pastiche , a collage, imitation, or other form of juxtaposition without a normative grounding. With the crisis of historicity, Jameson succinctly states: “there no longer does seem to be any organic relationship between the American history we learn from schoolbooks and the lived experience of the current, multinational, high-rise, stagflated city of the newspapers and of our own everyday life.”
What causes this crisis? For Marx, the proletariat worker was alienated through the increased methods of production (they had nothing to do with the output of their work, they just toiled away all day with no clear visualization of purpose). Perhaps the cause of postmodernity is not an alienation of labour, but an alienation of communication. I’m not sure, but I can definitely understand the feeling that we are somehow outside of history, that all the important things have already happened and we are simply the leftover; those few incoherent thoughts remaining after you awake from a dream. I can understand the crisis of pastiche; the feeling that there is nothing new to contribute to the world, other than simply recycling old ideas. And not even recycled with a hint of irony or self-reflexivity. Everything is a trend; a signfier without a signified. Is pastiche just a series of empty signs? I shall have to read more Jameson, and maybe some Derrida and McLuhan.
It’s just been one of those days so far. Stared at the screen, pushed some paper. Read a few preliminary reviews of The Watchmen. I finally caved around 11 am and got a chocolate bar. On a whim I chose a Crunchie. I have no idea why.
As I sat at my desk, slowly savouring it, I realized why. The ‘honeycomb’ centre flips a few pages in a mental scrapbook, landing on a candy store in Whitby, North Yorkshire, circa 1998. I bought a bag of cinder toffee there, finding out in a rapid rate that this is the stuff inside a Crunchie bar. Anyway, since I don’t really use my brain all that much at work, I ventured forth on a rambling thought path, which led me past the idea that a retreat into something nostalgic usually signifies that I’m not quite happy, while the exploration and experimentation of new, uncharted waters usually signifies that I’m enjoying life and living it to its full potential.
My original thoughts explored this observation as something relating to society; a “big picture” reflection unsubstantiated by any evidence other than my own conjecture. Yet somehow that seems like my own self just finding some way to alienate my own feelings. Denial even? When I started this post, I had no intention of degenerating into emo ramblings, but alas, here it is. Maybe I’m finding far too much time to be alone and self-reflexive now that we’ve wrapped filming for Red Hood. Maybe I’m just having a bad day. Maybe I will go back to my Google Images of Patrick Wilson to cheer myself up, now that the chocolate is gone.