“If you don’t have a dream, you don’t have a life.”- Bryce Harper
I know what you’re thinking. A movie review? But I though this was a blog about taking ugly things and making them pretty! Well, you’re not wrong. I’ve just decided to expand my horizons, that’s all. I’m applying my same mindset of taking one point of view and changing it into another to things like movies, music, actors, people, maybe even politics if I’m feeling dull. I often find that there’s a ray of light in an otherwise bleak background of a lame excuse for a feature film, and I thought that those little rays deserved a shout out, a little love. (Even if it is a very small amount.)
Royal Deceit (also known as The Prince of Jutland) takes Shakespeare’s Hamlet back to it’s original Danish roots, and not in a good way. The plot’s the same, but with some differences. The King of Jutland, (which is in Denmark) is murdered along with his eldest son by his greedy brother who them marries the newly widowed queen. The King’s younger son, Hamlet (wait, no, it’s Amled) apparently goes crazy but in reality is plotting his revenge against his uncle who is now his stepfather. It differs in that there isn’t a coinciding role for Ophelia, though Amled does roll in the hay with a nice lass before falling in love later on. It’s all very nice, with some off-screen battles and tom-foolery to boot.There are also differences in character names, (Gertrude- Geruth; Claudius- Fenge (don’t ask), as well as other not-so-important characters.) as well as in overall production and show. (As in bad production and a no show audience.)
The cast list is fair, with but to be honest, Christian Bale is really the only reason to watch this. He does the best with what he has playing Amled, who barks and crows shamelessly, but is not afraid to drop the act to drop his pants with some nice farm girl who might be a nod to Ophelia, but it’s doubtful since he forgets about this random girl (who Fenge sent to spy on Amled, but that backfired since she slept with him so…) and falls in love with some princess later on. Gabriel Byrne plays Fenge, but he always looks confused and worried. (Not that he doesn’t have reason to feel so.) Helen Mirren plays Geruth, the loving and timid mother of Amled and Queen of Jutland. She falls in love with her husband’s brother the day he murders him, then doesn’t speak to her madness-ridden child (her last surviving, I might add) until he comes out as sane to her. At which point she believes him fully and helps him burn his uncle and her new husband alive. So aside from believing everything she is told all the time by everyone and being a little bipolar, she’s an asset. There are some rough looking thugs backing up Fenge, but they mostly look like they want a drink. However, I recognized one of them (Ribold) from a TV show called The Tudors and another (Frovin) from Trainspotting, which is a favorite. Oh, and Tom Wilkinson and Andy Serkis showed up as other minor characters. And that chick that Amled falls in love with later on? Yeah, that was Kate Beckinsale, so can we really blame him for forgetting Farm Girl One after seeing the princess Ethel? (The correct answer is no, in case you were wondering.)
So despite a nicely rounded out cast, this was more of a flop than Newsies. (Sorry Christian.) They had all these cool things happen but they never showed them! A paranormal encounter, a war, a murder all were told to us by a narrator that reached bored at best. And yet, I can’t help but watch this movie over and over and over and over and- well, it’s quite terrible how many times I’ve seen this, actually. So why do I keep going back for more? Maybe it’s Bale’s hilariously passive aggressive speeches that sound crazy but allude to his father’s murder, stirring guilt and fear in the stomach of his uncle. Maybe it’s seeing Gollum hanging out with Spud, though the possibility of the two of them heading over to Mother Superior and shooting up isn’t such a stretch. Or Tom Wilkinson (who will forever be Lord Cornwallis from The Patriot in my mind) hanging out with the rest of these misfits. It’s pretty great. And I’m only marginaly ashamed at the fact that I can recite Amled’s “thieves” speech. Just a little sad. So if you’ve got Netflix, pop this ugly baby on and watch it out of the corner of your eye as you cook dinner. Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with the stick-chewing, poor-script, excessive sobbing nature of this memorable flick. (or not)
Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.
For Your Enjoyment. 🙂
“I think death is ugly. Dying sucks and I’m not looking foreword to it.”
Alright. It’s Friday. I’m tired. I don’t really want to write this. I don’t really want to talk about death right now. For those of you who don’t know, Heath Ledger would have turned 35 today. But he died when he was 28, so… (Frustrated sigh) I don’t know why it’s hard for people to talk about dying. (That’s a bold faced lie.) Life has so much to give! (Cheesy filler words.) Death is just moving on. It’s ok. (True.)
I know this is a sensitive subject, even for me, and I’m doing my best to not offend anybody. If you feel like this is just going to ruin your day, don’t read it. I’m honestly writing this post for myself, because I can’t think about other things or people right now, sorry. Death is bad. The pure absence of life in a body is really scary. To think that that will one day be me is not something I enjoy thinking about, yet it often creeps into my daydreams and fifth period fantasies. Whenever I think about death and dying, like really think about it, I get this empty feeling in my stomach. It’s like I’m at a fair, just in town for the weekend. The Carnies set up the portable rides early this morning and now they’re up and running. Their lights are bursting, the music is blaring, the wind is whirling trash and other junk around my feet. I’m on one of those rides that takes you up really high, so you can see all the rides and all the houses, all the little people. It pauses for just a moment- and time stands still. Suddenly, I can see. The music is a distant memory, the wind has lulled, and I can see. Perspective is everything. From up here I can see all the hidden places around the fair grounds where couples are making out, some thugs are smoking, a girl is crying as a boy walks away past two women holding hands who whisper as they pass the girl. But they keep going. They all just keep going. Looking at the dim lights in the houses, I imagine what’ going on inside. A baby cries, awakened by the life of the fair just across the street. A wife scolds her son for coming home late while another tries to persuade her son to go to the fair, just for a bit. Just to get out. On the other side of the street, two men argue on a clean front lawn. The lights on their house are out. Perspective is everything. From up here, in The Verge, I can see everything in perspective.
Then the moment’s over and the ride whips me around and I’m back on the ground, part of the fray. I guess death is just scary. And I’m afraid. I’m afraid I won’t live a life good enough. Good enough for who? For some arbitrary god? For my friends? Will my pitiful existence not meet the standard of some high class big name? Will my work and my love be enough to satisfy the society I’ve so despised? How much of my success (or lack there of) be accredited to my education? How many of my actions can be accounted for because of the public school system and all of it’s glorious tests? How much of what I say and do really matters? The truth is, I don’t know. There are people who I spend five or more hours a day with that ,mean the world to me, and there are people I’ve never met who mean just as much. So do my actions mean anything? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe my words will save someone’s life. Maybe I’ll drift into the oblivion without a backwards glance in my general direction. But you’re reading this. So I mean, I guess that’s something. Or not. I don’t know. I’m just going to act on my behalf and make decisions based on where I want to go and what I want my life to be. Sorry if that offends you. I’m just trying to make the worlds a more glittery place. I’m just trying to live. Sorry if that offends you.
Never forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.
“When anything is blocking my head or there’s a worry in my life, I just go sit on Mars or something and look back here at Earth. All you can see is this tiny speck. You don’t see the fear. You don’t see the pain. You don’t see thought. It’s just one solid speck. Then nothing really matters. It just doesn’t.” -Heath Ledger
“Drugs are ugly because they make people do ugly things.”
I told you this week was going to be big. Last post, I showed you how religion is beautiful because it keeps us human. This week I’m not going to support the use of drug use, I’m just going to propose an explanation for why some people find them a beautiful torture. (For the record, I do not support this post. But sometimes I have to contradict myself just to keep things interesting.)
Drugs are hell. I’m not an expert, so don’t go all Dr. Lipshitz on me, but all drugs have severe side affects. But then again, life is a side affect of death, so why not make it a wild trip, right? Umm.. wrong. Even though movies, music, social media, even society often portray drugs as ‘just fine’, there’s always a price to pay. And if you’re too dead to pay it, someone you love will have to. There’s nothing pretty about a drug addict. Thin, gaunt, pale, and always needs a fix. Why would you want to spend time with someone so severely unhinged? Why would you want to be that person? Drugs are an ugly beast, lurking in the shadows. It’s like everybody’s always telling me about me and my motorcycle: “It’s not if you crash, it’s when.” And just like me on my bike, the chances of you living to tell the tale are up to fate. But telling you how ugly drugs are is the easy part. They’re obviously horrible. So where is the beauty?
To understand the beauty in the horror, we have to look at why people do drugs in the first place. Some people do drugs because they can. Maybe they’ve been poor all their life and they’ve just struck it rich. How many stories of newly famous stars who got into hard drugs can you think of? More than a few, right? One of the biggest draw backs of doing drugs is that they are expensive. So if you find yourself suddenly loaded, why not blow a few grand on some really nice cocaine? Give it a spin, why don’t ya! Others do drugs because they are so damn miserable that a high is the only thing to cheer them up. Some people in this world have really, truly horrible lives. Abuse, hatred, fear, violence and straight up ignorance all run rampant through the slums and back streets of society. The Eternal Underdogs are the kids who grow up in a rough neighborhood with tough parents, only to be shoved into the lowest regarded class at a high school run on a broken public school system to try and give them “opportunities”. Yeah, opportunities for what? These aren’t staright laced middle class kids who define average, nor are they semi-rebellious upper class entitled youth. These are the Eternal Underdogs. These are the kids who have to fight to survive. Alcoholism, gangs, hunger, pain, fear are all a part of their day to day. Do you really expect them to sit quietly in the back of the class and cross multiply to find x when they can just not go to class and get stoned instead? Wouldn’t you? Would you rather fail a class because you don’t have time to do the loads of homework that your overbearing teachers assign because you’re fifteen and working the night shift at the 7-11 on Broadway; or drop out of high school and spend that hour smoking some leaves that take the ever present tension out of your shoulders and the constantly nagging worries out of your mind for a bit? Obviously you would go light up because the low road is always easier and you, the Eternal Underdog, do not need anything else burdening your life.
At this point, the beauty is clear. Drugs are the beautifully simple answer to the complex and quite often disturbing questions life throws at us. Should I go to school and suffer through a day of judgment, low self esteem, and ultimately insignificant woes? I’m already drowning in missing assignments and the teacher never answers my questions. I could go smoke, could go get stoned. All those rock stars do it. All my friends do it. Why not join them? It would be so easy and so painless to just slip into the oblivion, into the crowd. I could be like them. When I get high, all my trouble would go away. Wouldn’t that be nice? Life only gets harder. They say it gets better, but it doesn’t. Not really. After barely getting out of high school, you have to go to college, where you set the pace for the rest of your pitiful existence. Maybe there you try out some harder stuff. You get a bigger high. A longer one. A new one. After college you get tossed into the real world, as if you haven’t been in it all along. Drowning in student loans and rent and trying to find a job, you’d much rather stay home and shoot up than go out and try to find someone nice to keep you warm at night. When facing the void of possible rejection and heartbreak, it’s so much easier to get high and just soar above it. Drugs are the clouds on which we can float in between periods in hell. People who do drugs are always searching, wanting for more. To them, “natural highs” are BS. They know better. But they also know that once you start down that path, hell will be a good day when you’re trying to get off. Everybody does drugs for a different reason. But mostly, I think they’re just trying to escape. They’re all just running. It doesn’t matter what from. But they’ll be running the rest of their lives. Drugs are the beautiful beasts that we all fear. It’s just that some of us aren’t afraid.
AND SO MANY OTHERS. THE LIST GOES ON FOR A VERY LONG TIME. DON’T MAKE IT ANY LONGER.
Don’t shoot the messenger- iamtheseventies.
“I think religions are ugly. They are fantasies and false, their all just false advertising.”
Ouch. Religion. This is going to be tough. So religions are ugly because they are “false”. I know I’ve just offended at least half of all people everywhere. I beg of you, remember that this blog is about proving people wrong, so I’m not agreeing with the unnamed person who said, “religion is ugly”. I’m going to prove them wrong.
In this day and age, religion is becoming less and less popular and is not an essential part of our lives. With growing advances in science and technology, religions are up for serious skepticism. Anomalies explained through divine actions can now be explained with hard evidence and facts. Humans have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and answers to our plethora of questions. At first, we found answers in the books and teachings of prominent religious leaders. But we kept asking questions. We couldn’t be satisfied with an answer whose proof was faith. You can’t touch faith, you can’t see it. But you can feel it. Yet here in the 21st century, religion is on sort of a social taboo.
Today, at least in America, if you go around praising your religion, you will get teased, brace against a cold shoulder, and even feel the sting of condescending pricks. If you ask me, that is completely unacceptable. C’mon guys, really?! Just because you have more faith in your iPhone than you do in a god, doesn’t make you any better. If you go to temple, or church, or whatever doesn’t mean you’re a fool, less of a person, weak, or lame. Anyone who says otherwise probably thinks religion is just about saying some mumbo-jumbo words under your breath and following strange dietary restrictions. (Oh how sorely mistaken you are.) Religion is about tradition, pride, hope, fear, strength, and bravery. Yeah, religion is pretty badass.
Every Sunday, my grandmother goes to church. She dresses up, puts on her lipstick and big pearl earrings, and heads down to church. I try to go with her, it’s the least I can do. All around the world, people are doing the same thing. Religion means something different to everybody. And if it’s not for you, fine. But don’t bag on religions just because you don’t believe them. Religions aren’t just about explaining how the world came to be and what not. Until we had a better answer, we just had to accept that some higher power was at work. But religion teaches us so much more. It teaches us to be humble, kind, forgiving, understanding, and respectful. If you ask me, we could all do with a lesson in being human.
In a world where I can type up some words and listen to Lou Reed and fight with my brother all at the same time, life goes by pretty fast. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. Things like the internet have only given Cruelty a mask from behind which to yell insults at the world they so despise. Earlier in my blog life I shared a quote from one of my favorite movies: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he’ll tell you the truth.” People think that they can say whatever they want on the internet, but with great power comes great responsibility. Are we ready for this responsibility? The internet is still fairly young, and we’re only just beginning to see the side affects of undignified free speech.
I’m not saying go out into the world and join a Scientologist cult, I’m just saying religion is not just about God. On the contrary, it’s really about you. What do you need to get you through the fights, the losses. Who patches you up? Who kisses your bruises and puts a Band-Aid on your broken heart? Who’s always there for you when you need them. For me, it’s music. Lou Reed, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Rolling Stones, T.Rex, they’re my religion. I’m not saying these guys are gods (though it is a valid argument), they’re just what I believe in. Which is all religion really is: what you believe in beyond all doubt. Yeah, I think there’s a higher power. I don’t believe in coincidences. But I also think we have the power and choice to change our fate.
So next time Grandma is heading out to church, offer to drive. Even if you don’t believe in her religion, she’ll love the fact that you went with her. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something. Religions are more about giving you hope and advice on how to live in peace with each other than muttering mumbo-jumbo words under your breath. It’s about devotion and sacrifice, about putting someone else before you. So next time you see a sign for your local Buddhist temple, don’t think about how weird or strange or ugly it is, appreciate that a group of people are getting together to unite. Their just trying to be less lonely bits of assembled stardust in a giant Cosmo of nothingness and chaos.
Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.
“I think germs are ugly. I don’t like them because you can only kill 99%. There’s always that 1% that’s out to get you.”
Ahh, the germ paradox. So can we all just agree that yes, germs are ugly? Ok? Set? Good. Now onto the good stuff.
Let’s define germs, so that we’re all on the same page. For all intents and purposes, a germ is a disease-causing microorganism. Yes? Fine? Good. Like I’ve mentioned earlier in the week, some seriously awesome horror movies can be spawned off of this. But I’m pretty sure they’ve already done flicks on germs. (The Germ, Contagion, The Seventh Seal, etc.) But the scariest part of these skin peeling, nerves testing, gag reflex pushing movies is that more often than not, they are plausible. If not based on a true story. Take movies like Contagion for example. It’s a Hollywood-ized, romanticized, Damon-ized story that COULD ACTUALY HAPPEN. With all the travel and close contact we have today, spreading an airborne disease would be so easy it makes me want to crawl into a hole and never breath near another human again. Ever.
These theories are pretty mainstream, too. It’s not a secret that the best way to annihilate the human population of Earth is either: A) Nuclear War; B) Airborne Toxic Event; or C) Dragons. If I was going to take us out, I would choose option B. (Mostly because A is too expected, and C is too cliché) All you have to do is release a quick-mutating disease that is spread my contact or, even better, is airborne. Then you’re set. Just sit back and watch the world burn. Because if you’re planning something like this, then you don’t want money, fame, love, success. You just want to watch the world burn.
So how is all this nonsense a paradox? Well, in our race to cleanse ourselves of these disease causing germs, we have invented marvelous chemicals that you can spray all over your house, in your clothes, and even rub on your hands right before you eat. How wonderful! They are actually. Well, most of them. Where would we be without soaps and sanitation? If you said “The Black Plague” you are correct! I also would have accepted “Europe in the Dark Ages”. One of the reasons The Plague spread so fast was the lack of sanitation and the abundance of clothes sharing, (like with dead people). So now we wash our hands and don’t catch The Plague. But the one catch on all these great products is that little sticker that reads: Kills 99% of Germs! So while you’re washing your hands, killing off the 99%, that 1% is NOT DYING. In fact, they’re getting stronger, they’re becoming resilient. And in time that 1% will become the 99%, only the chemicals will only be able to kill the 1%.
The paradox is that whilst trying to destroy the germs that can harm us, we are making them stronger and harder to kill. Hence an eternal battle between humans and germs that we will never win because we can’t kill all the bacteria because we need bacteria to survive. Yet at he same time, germs are taking lives everyday. So where does it end? It doesn’t. That’s a paradox.
Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.
“I think weeds are ugly. Like when they pop up in your garden and make the whole thing look ugly.”
Just for clarification, we’re not talking about the TV show Weeds nor are we talking about marijuana. Anyways, weeds are ugly. They are hard to get rid of and hard to kill. Isn’t it annoying when you work so hard to make your garden look nice and pretty then you turn around and it’s overrun with weeds? Weeds have been the source of Saturday morning chores for decades. Why?
Not all weeds are bad, you know. Dandelions are weeds, but everybody’s blown the flowers of and made a wish. Little did we know that those little “fairies” were the dandelion’s seeds and when we blew them all over the place, we were signing ourselves up for three weeks worth of weeding. Other weeds, like thistle, are dangerously beautiful. Their flowers are vibrant and enticing, but thistle weeds are notorious for their sharp thorns on their stems.
One of the great things about weeds are that they’re resilient. We can spray them with chemicals, yank out their roots, and chop them up; but they’ll be back next month. That kinda reminds me of us. Some humans think they’re better than others. It’s like we think that there’s two kinds of people: the ones we want in our garden Earth and those we don’t. Some people think they’ve got this birthright to out the “weeds” of society. But they never do it themselves, they hire other, slightly lower, people to do their dirty work for them.
Maybe I’m mixing my metaphors. What I’m trying to say is what if the rich posh people are the flowers, the hard working middle class are the gardeners, and the poor dirty homeless people are the weeds? Welcome to planet Earth, we just have a place for everybody, don’t we? Think about it. We can spit on them, ignore them, or try to eradicate them, but they’re resilient and keep coming back. There will always be homeless people. So maybe we’re going about this the wrong way. Maybe we need to treat weeds like we’d treat regular flowers. We shouldn’t let them overrun our garden, but we shouldn’t expel them either. Same with people. If we help each other out every once and a while, then we’d have less homeless people anyways.
So whether we’re talking about plants or people, just be kind. Sure weeds are a pain, but think about the insane similarities between how we treat actual weeds and how we treat the weeds of society. Scary, right?
Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.
“Ugly? Oh, um… Mold. Yeah it’s gross and is like death.”
Aha. Just a precursor of what’s to come, my dear readers. Mold grows on things that are decaying and is nature’s way of saying “Hey! Missed your chance to eat me! Time to throw me out now.” But how can we make this ugly, smelly expiration date into pure beauty?
This week (and mostly next) are going to be big in my blog world. We’re going to really dig deep into beauty and where to find it. But more of that to come. First up to bat: Mold. So it’s pretty gross, right? A fungi with innumerable amounts of relatives, found everywhere from your backyard to your attic to your refrigerator. That’s a scary thought. If you are looking for the plot of your next horror film, I’ve just fed it to you on a silver spoon. Mold can cause serious lung problems, not to mention GROWING inside of you. Yes, it’s true. Some people with severe reactions to mold and other fungi are at risk for developing mold in their lungs. That not only sounds ugly, but makes me nervous.
Now hold on a minute, just because mold can be found just about anywhere in the fongging world, I’m not saying that y’all should never do anything anywhere ever again. First off, that would be impossible, considering mold is just as likely to be found in your house as in your favorite flower shop, so don’t even try it. Second, just because it’s out there doesn’t mean we should be afraid. Sure, we should take preventative actions to stop mold from growing in our homes, but we can’t eliminate mold from the entire planet Earth.
The world is full of potentially dangerous matter. And there’s no way in hell we can possibly protect ourselves and our loved ones from all, if any, of it. The best we can do is watch our step and sometimes take things with a grain of salt. I don’t think we are going to live longer if we wrap ourselves up in bubble wrap and breath through a gas mask for the rest of our lives. We as a population need to accept danger. We need to say, “Yes, there are things out there that can kill me in under a minute. And yes, there are things out there that could have been killing me my entire life. But it’s ok.” The world is a very dangerous place. But hiding in our basements (where mold is mostly likely to grow, mind you) and cowering in fear, waiting for the day that something kills you is not the way to survive. We need to educate ourselves and our up and coming generations. We just need to get street smart, people. Living is the only way we learn how to die. And that’s ok. That’s fine.
So how is mold beautiful? Well, as dangerous as it can be, it reminds us that even in the 21st century there are still things out there that have been around since the beginning of life that have the power to end us. Mold, like death, is nature’s expiration date. It says “Time to go, move on to the next place.” Mold is beautiful because it reminds us that life is only beautiful because of death. We’re so worried about staying alive because we know that eventfully, we will in fact die. And at MY funeral-
Don’t forget the glitter. iamtheseventies.
“For a dreamer, night’s the only time of day.” – Jack Kelly (Newsies)