glass and bone and muscle and memory and forget and forget and forget

I am still pulling shards from the palm that gripped too tightly; I am still adjusting a knuckle that will never heal because I struck too hard.

My fingers shake when I try to hold them still, and they seize up whenever I try to run them across frets and keys. These nails won’t stop growing no matter how much I chew at them, and when I bite them to the quick, your infection comes back.

I still have trouble twisting my wrist after what I did to it.

I still have trouble prevent my hand from clenching into a fist.

If I said thank you, I would mean it sincerely, though it might not mean much to you and seem an empty platitude.

I want her to hold my hand without feeling the shards of you I’m still pulling out; I want her to run her fingers across my knuckles and never feel how broken I am.

I want to cry constantly and endlessly because I want to tell her the truth. I want to give to her all that I learned from you. This isn’t magic or illusion or sleight of hand; I want to be bare with her, so she can see my crooked dance.

I want to leave all my shame with you. I want to forget the words I said were true. I want to stop wanting more than I had with you. I want to tell the truth. I want to tell the truth. I need to tell the truth.

I want to put all the glass back together and find that I can still see through. I want to set the bones in place and find that my hand can still be used.

I need her to know that a piece of me is and forever will be with you.

But the bulk of my heart is back in my chest, and I think I’m ready to move.

Her eyes light up in a way I’ve never seen before. Her smile lifts her cheeks and her breath escapes in a low, scratching laugh. She likes the way I am, who I’ve made an effort to become.

I am proud of myself for getting this far. I am so proud of myself for getting this far.

And I need to thank you, because I couldn’t have the hope I have now without having felt the desperation I felt before.

I need to thank you, because I still feel that I don’t deserve this kind of happiness.

I need to thank you because I like her. She likes me. And now I know what to do.

I would have never figured this out if it wasn’t for you.

And now we can forget some things. And now we can forget some hurtful, painful things.

And now we can forget that there was a time when we thought that life couldn’t get better.

And now we can forget that there was a time where we thought that we were each others’ world.

And now we can forget that there was a time when we struggled and clung on to hopes and idealizations and lies and lies and lies we told ourselves were still love.

And now we can remember each other as something that makes us better now.

And now I can be with her, and I don’t think of you.

And now I can be with her.

First Night

I went to the club and saw her sitting with her friend at a table with a few other people I didn’t know. She was smiling politely as the other people fawned over her friend, but she looked bored. When she looked up and saw me, her eyes lit up and she waved me over. I know that I talked to her friend and the other people about something for a few minutes, but it was so empty and hollow that I can’t even remember what we talked about.

Then she asked me to dance and pulled me onto the dance floor before I could respond. The playlist was the same one they used every Sunday; fun, danceable singles from the ‘50s and ‘60s. We danced awkwardly together and I suggested a couple of beers, which turned into a couple more and a couple more after that. She grabbed my hands and guided me through her uninhibited movements. Sometimes she staggered and her feet dragged out of time, but other times she spun perfectly, carelessly, trusting her momentum would keep her moving and my hands would catch her if we fell. Then she danced like Mia Wallace and I danced like Vincent Vega. We alternated between making out and dancing until we were too tired to continue.

I suggested the pool bar upstairs, a personal favourite of mine because of the friendly staff and my pathological fear of change. I bought a pitcher and she tried her best to look sexy, crossing her legs, pouting her lips, raising her eyebrows suggestively. It all worked like magic on me, of course, but I was completely charmed by how she laughed at all my jokes. It wasn’t polite laughter or patronising laughter – she truly thought that every shitty joke I made was hilarious. What dress was she wearing? Did it have flowers on it? Was it yellow? These are details I wish I had committed to memory.

She said that she wasn’t very good at pool, and I offered to show her how to shoot; a classic move for charming ladies. She laughed and explained that she was left-handed. I think I tried anyways, but we were both a little too drunk to manoeuvre properly and ended up talking about movies instead. She said her favourite movie was called Withnail & I. I said that I had actually just downloaded that movie onto my computer and had been intending to watch it soon. Astoundingly, this was not a lie or some trick to get her to my apartment; I actually had downloaded it and was intending to watch it. She suggested we walk to my apartment and watch it. I obviously agreed.

At the time, I was infuriated at my roommate for the way he had treated a friend of mine, and I was in the process of moving out. She went to say hello to him and I guided her straight into my room while giving him a disapproving look. In retrospect, that was probably the funniest part of the night. Not my favourite part at all, but the quickness with which it happened still makes me laugh.

She sat gingerly on my bed and I started to get nervous. I can pretend to be calm and confident because I am a good actor and liar, but beautiful women intimidate me when they show an interest. I get worried that I’ll do something to scare them away and I start to panic. I started to show her every object in my room. I showed her my pills and said, “I am a crazy person. I take these pills because I am a crazy person and they make me less crazy.”

She thought it was charming. I asked, “Would you like to see my 10-inch Wookiee?” and when she nervously agreed I pulled out a 10-inch stuffed toy of Chewbacca. She thought it was charming. She thought I was charming. We talked a bit about ourselves, and when she mentioned that she was almost a year younger than me, I was surprised. From the way she spoke and the way she held herself, I had thought that she would be much older than me; she was so confident and she enjoyed herself in the way that only someone who has experienced great suffering can enjoy themselves. Her eyes were so amazingly blue. There is no shade of blue in the world that is the same shade of blue that her eyes are.

I got the movie set up on my laptop and we curled up on my bed to watch it. I think we got halfway in before we started taking off each other’s clothes. We kissed each other passionately and our tongues softly ran circles around each other’s lips. I asked if she wanted to go to dinner sometime. She laughed and kissed me even harder.

As I hovered over her, I waited. I looked at her with concern and asked if she was sure. I asked if she wanted to go to dinner first. I already felt a strong connection with this woman, and I wanted more than just a night with her. She looked at me with gentle, caring, profoundly blue eyes and smiled at my offer. She closed her eyes and put her hands on the small of my back.

“You’re so sweet. Just fuck me already.”

Marianne (short story, one take, it’s not great but it’s something)

As the other guests claimed couches and recliners as their own, we sat in the wicker chairs on the patio. The keg was tapped dry and the counter was lined with empty liquor bottles. She pulled a bottle of wine from her bag and asked if I’d like to share. She wore a tan leather jacket and a burgundy turtleneck. Her dirty blonde hair landed just below her jawline, and when she leaned forwards to find her corkscrew, it fell gently around her face.

She was doing her master’s degree in a field I don’t remember; something about literature from a specific place and time. I was in the first year of my undergrad, at a time when I thought I would become a lawyer and protect innocent people from soulless corporations. I told her of this aspiration, and she smiled softly. “We need people like you,” she said.

Her name was Marianne. The way she pronounced it was cradling a newborn; she held it delicately in her mouth and I dared not repeat it with my own clumsy tongue. I silently mouthed the perfectly arranged consonants and vowels, and her name fell slowly through my throat until it settled and spread in my stomach. Marianne.

We talked about music we both listened to and books that we had both read. We both loved Indian food and we both loved going for walks at dawn. We both took showers in the evening. We both fell asleep with white noise machines in the background. We were both interested in medieval history. I admitted I was scared of rollercoasters. She admitted she was scared she would be forgotten after she died.

We moved to the grass and lay on our backs. In the country, we could see all of the stars. I pointed out the Big Dipper, and she pointed out Heracles, Vega and Aquila. I pointed out the Little Dipper, and I called it ‘Ursa Minor’ because I wanted to seem smart. She laughed and her hand found mine. We fell silent and I held my hand perfectly still. I wondered if I should squeeze her hand softly or run my thumb across her palm. I wondered if it would be strange to trace her knuckles with the tips of my fingers. I wondered if I should keep holding onto her hand as she rolled on top of me and pressed her lips against mine.

Her hands ran through my hair and across my chest with deliberateness; the slow, purposeful movements of a craftsman seeking imperfections in their materials. She dropped her jacket on the ground next to us and guided my trembling hands along the contours of her waist. As she felt my apprehension, she placed a steady finger on my lips and whispered, “I am here now, and so are you. I will not hurt you unless you try to keep me in your heart. If you do that, my name will never leave your thoughts.”

She asked me to look into her eyes – grey, deep and lonely. She asked me to tell her I loved her – honestly, truly loved her. She told me to hold every inch of her – know her thoroughly and completely. We embraced and we kissed. She got dressed and left.

I am an old man now, with a wife, children, and grandchildren on the way. I love my family, and I am happy with the turns my life took. But I know that when the bell tolls, when I am lying on my deathbed and I take my final breath, there will be just one name on my lips. Marianne.

I Just Read Warren Ellis’ Moon Knight #1

And I am so excited.

I’m so excited that I’m going to write a whole tangent explaining why I love this character, why I’m excited and why you should be excited, too.

There will be spoilers for several Moon Knight stories, as well as #1.

I’ve been a fan of Moon Knight since I picked up the first Bendis/Maleev volume on a recommendation from a friend right around the time the series was cancelled.

Since then, I read all the Moon Knight I could get my hands on, because I think he’s one of the most interesting characters in the Marvel roster.

The portrayal of the mentally ill in comic books has historically been pretty negative. Most of the mentally ill characters in comic books are villains who are based off of stereotypes and misunderstandings of mental illness. Many heroes can only be assumed to have a mental illness, and most of those heroes are driven by their mental illness rather than hindered by it. For example, we can assume that Spider-Man has some sort of depression and pathological guilt disorder, but I’m not sure if they’ve ever straight up said that Peter Parker suffers from clinical depression. Both Wolverine and Punisher have some form of PTSD, and I would actually argue that Wolverine is possibly suicidal, but their rage drives them forward.

Moon Knight has always been a little up and down with the portrayal of mental illness, mostly because one of his personalities is legitimately an ancient moon god, but I feel that he’s the character who best captures the stigma and feeling of what it is to be mentally ill
Other characters perceive Moon Knight as dangerous, creepy and unstable, and his disassociative identity disorder is less commonly an obstacle he must overcome, and more frequently the catalyst for him being placed in harm’s way to begin with.

I know that this isn’t always true of Moon Knight, and that many writers have used his mental illness as somewhat of a joke or a driving force, but much like Spider-Man’s depression and Bruce Banner’s anger issues, disassociative identity disorder is a part of the Moon Knight character. From reading Moon Knight #1 as well as reading and loving many titles from his prolific career, I have high hopes that Warren Ellis will address this aspect of the character with intelligence and sensitivity.

Moon Knight #1 introduces a brand new depiction of Moon Knight. Rather than the flamboyant cape and hood, Marc Spector now sports an all white three-piece suit. This isn’t just a bit of fan-service for the Planetary fans out there; the new costume matches Moon Knight’s new attitude and *modus operandi*. Rather then swoop down on the murder scene after the police have left, Moon Knight strolls calmly up to the detective in charge, gives him a friendly handshake and begins to investigate the crime scene with an aptitude and process reminiscent of Sherlock or Dexter.

After deducing that the perpetrator is living in the sewers, he makes a brief joke about his (apparent) sanity, and calmly descends into the sewers to apprehend them. When he meets the murderer – a former SHIELD agent who’s turned himself into a Frankenstein-type monster – he throws his moon-shaped throwing star off to the side and begins having a conversation with the guy about why he’s doing what he’s doing. Even though it ends up being a trick (he actually ricocheted the throwing-moon into one of the guy’s plates, draining it of fluid with the guy realizing), this is a decidedly different approach than what we are accustomed to with Moon Knight. Moon Knight is known for being brash, aggressive, and fighting with an almost reckless abandon; this calculated method of taking down an enemy with as little risk as possible isn’t something we’ve seen frequently from Moon Knight in the past.

We then see Marc Spector in his psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist’s office, and this is why I think Warren Ellis is going to do a good job with Moon Knight. There’s definitely something off about the psych, but she tells Marc that even though he *was* reanimated and possessed by an ancient Egyptian moon god, his mental illness was entirely caused by Khonshu, and he does *not* have DID. Again, there’s something very wrong with this psychiatrist, because she tells Spector:

> You’re not insane. Your brain has been colonized by an ancient consciousness from beyond space-time. Smile.

I’m not sure whether Warren Ellis is going to reveal this as being true or if the psychiatrist is just another part of Spector’s delusions, but the final two pages, which show a dejected Marc Spector looking at phantoms of Stephen Grant and Jake Lockley, as well as a giant Khonshu apparition saying “YOU ARE MY SON” make me think that Ellis is going to further explore Spector’s mind, and that Khonshu is not responsible for Spector’s delusions. Either way, that last panel of an unmasked Moon Knight staring sadly at the ground perfectly highlights the isolation that many mentally ill people feel, especially when they are told something along the lines of “It’s just a phase” or “You just have to snap out of it.”

I really do hope that Ellis further explores mental illness with the same lenses that he’s used to explore transhumanism, pulp fiction, and metaphysics, because I know he could do it justice if took it on. As someone who suffers from mental illness, I would love to see Moon Knight portrayed as a superhero who struggles with mental illness separate from his super-heroics. I think it’s safe to say that many comic book readers deal with mental illness on a daily basis in one way or another, and it would be refreshing and reassuring to see a superhero we can relate to in that way.

Regardless of my own opinions and perceptions of the character, I know Warren Ellis is going to do a fantastic job with a highly under-used character. If you’re familiar with Moon Knight already, you’ll probably really enjoy his take on it, and if you’ve never even heard of the character, Moon Knight #1 is as good a point as any to jump on board.

Reddit, Subreddit Growth, and Community Conversations: Troll In the Dungeon!

I’m debating whether to continue going on reddit for entertainment or just to use it as a news aggregate.

I’ve already unsubscribed from /r/funny (lol look at this thing you’ve already seen!), /r/AdviceAnimals (lol look at us running memes into the ground!), /r/gaming (lol zelda remember zelda? I remember zelda here is a picture of skullkid, remember skullkid?!) and /r/pics (lol sob stories with non-descript pictures!). The only defaults I have left are /r/science, /r/technology, and whatever news subreddits are still default. I subscribed to /r/ottawa, /r/comicbooks and /r/writingprompts, but those subreddits are growing really fast, and becoming increasingly circlejerky. /r/ottawa has a lot of raging anti-NIMBY/Glebe people who post uncomfortably conservative comments, /r/writingprompts has dozens and dozens of prompts that have 20 upvotes, yet no comments, and there’s an increasing amount of images in /r/comicbooks that just consist of a small collection with the title “I know it’s not much, but I am proud that this is mine” or something like that. I’m still an active member in those communities, but as more people flock to them, I see the quality conversations and stories start to dwindle and be replaced by jokes or references that earn karma and push actual contributors to the bottom.

I already moved from /r/gaming to /r/Games to /r/TrueGaming to just unsubbing from all gaming reddits except /r/LeagueOfLegends (Warwick jungler, I dunk scrubs) because of diluted user-contributed content. Comments, self-posts and links always decline in quality as more people join a subreddit and start posting frequently. Just like any community, the more people you have, the more likely you are to have vocal idiots and assholes who delight in griefing people they don’t agree with. Mods leave reddit communities because of time constraints, or they hire more mods to watch when they’re away, but in a subreddit like /r/comicbooks, which has almost 100,000 subscribers, fourteen mods isn’t enough to patrol and moderate even half that number. People discount negative comments on topics such as feminism as ‘baseless’ or ‘inane’ because they occur over the internet, but they fail to realize that a lot of the people who are dishing out the abuse aren’t just 13-year old boys and fedora-wearing neckbeards; increasingly, they are young adults and adults who have jobs, educations, families, and (probably most discomforting) the right to vote. Only respond about a topic you care about if you have thick skin, because sometimes the follow-ups to your response are more heart-breaking than the initial comment.

Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to engage. Some people (hi) thrive off of internet conflict because they just love arguing and writing passionately. Some people’s blood just starts boiling when they see certain types of comments about topics they are passionate about. Some people will just upvote, downvote, or neither, then move on to the next post. Engaging can be risky if the topic is entirely subjective; stuff like homophobia and misogyny aren’t likely to be argued out of somebody over the internet. If you aren’t that great a debater, you might actually just make yourself and your position look foolish, especially if the other person responds with sourced evidence proving you wrong.

It’s definitely important to take a stand over the internet on topics you care deeply about, but always be aware of the demographics of the site or subreddit your commenting on so your time isn’t wasted, and make sure that you can back up and defend your points adequately.

Dang, I started this out as a blog where I was going to talk about video games and comics and shit, but I guess it’s just me ranting. Oh well, I think I kind of stuck with the subject with this one and didn’t go off on too much of a tangent. I think this is my fourth or fifth post. That’s kind of neat. Maybe I’ll start letting people know that I have a blog.

And then when people start reading it, I will forget about it while following a new hobby that will only last a month… he said, looking at the dusty Nintendo 3DS, the unplugged Wacom Tablet and the pile of half-read books.

EDIT: I did not realize this, and I don’t know if anybody actually read this post before this edit, but a sentence got cut out in between the sentence where I mention /r/comicbooks having 100,000 subscribers and the next one where I abruptly start going on a tangent about feminism. I don’t remember exactly what the sentence was that got cut out, but it was something along the lines of “Despite the increase in joke posts or self-aggrandizing karma-seeking posts, /r/comicbooks still remains one of the only subreddits where I have had several discussions about sensitive issues such as feminism and sexual assault in literature where everybody has been very considerate and the conversation ended on a positive note; most other subreddits are aggressive and dismissive whenever anybody even mentions the word ‘feminism.'”

Phew, glad I fixed that, wouldn’t want my reader to get angry at me. Hey. Hey, singular reader. This edit’s for you.

Shit sorry

I told you I would forget about this.

Le Bleu est une Couleur Chaude by Julie Maroh is one of the sweeter comics I have read in a while.

Apparently the movie is also really good, despite some awkward post-shooting reports that the director is kind of a creepy dickhole.

Read the comic, though. It’s about a young woman discovering her sexuality and falling in love, and then it kind of just turns into an average romantic-drama. What is nice, though, is that it feels like a realistic examination of what it’s like to acknowledge and come to terms with your own sexuality in a slightly more progressive world. The illustration isn’t particularly breath-taking, though Julie Maroh’s use of colour and grey scale feels appropriate for the content and story. The language is beautiful, in both French and English, and if you can read French, I would definitely recommend reading it in the original French, though the English translation is just as beautiful. I don’t think it will (or should) win any Eisner awards, especially considering it’s already four years old, but it’s definitely worth a read.

It’s distinctly human feeling, and despite it’s shortcomings, it feels painfully and pleasantly honest with itself. Considering how many LGBTQ characters are being awkwardly plopped into DC and Marvel comics nowadays, it’s very refreshing to read a comic about LGBTQ characters that doesn’t feel forced or … inaccurate, I guess.

DC’s nostalgia series/fever dream/PR nightmare Earth 2 ret-conned the original Green Lantern – Alan Scott – to be gay, and it just doesn’t feel right. Not that the character can’t be written as gay, it’s just that it feels like the writers are conscious of his sexuality and trying to find the right balance of him being a normal superhero and him being gay. There’s something stiff about the writing; the way they awkwardly replace Alan’s deceased boyfriend’s name with the word ‘boyfriend’ just doesn’t feel like something any other character would say. I might be looking too far into it, and in recent issues they’ve seemed to have find a better balance for the character, but they still seem to be pushing his sexuality to the forefront, as though it makes him a more interesting character – which it doesn’t.

I’ve always felt that the best representation of a gay character in the mainstream comic books was Ultimate Colossus. For a very long time, his sexuality was just hinted at through jokes; like how much he liked Will & Grace, or how handsome he thought Angel was. Instead of doing a ‘very special’ issue to have him come out of the closet, they just had the more openly gay Northstar give Colossus his number, and they started dating. The casualness of that moment felt right for the characters, and while it’s obviously not that easy for all series, I think that that sort of honesty is what comic book (and by extension ALL) writers should do with LGBTQ characters, regardless of the writer’s own sexuality.

Le Bleu est une Couleur Chaude is definitely a good read for writers trying to figure out how to write LGBTQ characters. It can be tricky for inexperienced writers to write characters that don’t share your gender or sexuality. You don’t want to just completely ignore their sexuality or have it just go without saying, because that’s not the way the world works; people aren’t always accepting of differences, especially if it’s a religious or personal history issue. However, you also don’t want to make a huge stinking deal over it and have it overtake the character’s other traits and skills, because even if the character is fleshed out in your mind, they might come off as being one dimensional.

Either way, it’s great to see LGBTQ characters written by an LGBTQ person. I think that to get into the mindset of a character that is different from you as a writer, it’s always best to read something created by someone from the group you are trying to portray. I know that there are people that would argue, “No, that’s not fair, anybody can write anybody, everybody is a person, and people can write people,” and so on and so forth. But I think that there are some fundamental differences between people of different walks of life (ethnicity, sexuality, gender, whatever), and that when we ignore those differences, we end up portraying a character offensively or poorly.

Whether you’re LGBTQ or not, a writer or not, French or not, whatever or whatever, Le Bleu est une Couleur Chaude is an enjoyable read and I recommend at least checking it out and making your own opinions on whether or not you feel it is a good representation of LGBTQ people.

Also, I just read an interview with the author/illustrator, and apparently she was upset that the lead actresses were not lesbians. To not have the main characters, who are lesbians, played by lesbian actors seems kind of weird. I don’t really think there’s a shortage of lesbian actresses, so why not, right? It’s just kind of got a Laurence Olivier as Othello vibe to it; not that he wasn’t a great actor and he wasn’t great in that role, but they didn’t hire a black guy because they were racist, not because there were no black actors.

Weird.

Okay, so maybe don’t go see the movie.

I will try not to forget about this blog.

My Dinner with My Dinner with Andre, part 1

Last night, I decided to watch a movie I’d heard about extensively and seen referenced several times in TV shows and movies, but that I had never actually seen. In My Dinner with Andre, actor/playwright Andre (played by Andre Gregory) invites actor/playwright Wally (played by Wallace Shawn) to dinner at an upscale restaurant. Wally is our narrator, and as the movie opens with him walking to the restaurant, we discover that, though they used to be close friends, he hasn’t actually seen Andre in years. All he knows about Andre is that he supposedly disappears for months at a time, to visit exotic locations. A mutual friend has told Wally that he ran into Andre alone and weeping against a building because of a line from an Ingmar Bergman movie: “I could always live in my art, but never in my life.” Wally shows up at the restaurant, greets Andre, they sit down, and they talk.

The most interesting and phenomenal thing about the way the movie is shot is that it is almost two hours of two men sitting at a table and talking. The opening scene has Wallace Shawn walking through the tumultuous world of New York; he walks past the perpetually honking cars, the heavy, spiked iron fences that enclose apartments and gardens, and he closes his eyes softly as the screaming subway car comes to a halt in front of him. In New York, there is constantly something happening, and it is inescapable. When he arrives at the restaurant, he orders a club soda (which they don’t have), and is then greeted by Andre. The rest of the movie, save the closing scene, consists of the two of them talking about Andre’s experiences, life both in and out of New York, the purpose and evolution of art, the sweeping expansion of technology into our every day lives. I won’t go into great detail about the specifics of each part of their discussion, but the two-hour long chat covers a broad range of topics concerning, mostly, what it means to be alive. If you haven’t watched the movie, you’ll probably get more out of this post if you take a break and watch it first. If you find radio panel discussions, prolonged lectures, or the theatre to be boring, you probably will not be able to be engaged in the movie, because it is just two men (mostly Andre) talking. There are no action sequences, no confrontations, no explosive arguments or tears; just two men talking about their experiences and what it is means to be alive. I won’t do any more plot summary, because I want to talk about something specific: How do the themes and topics of My Dinner with Andre, a movie from 1981, apply to today’s culture?

One of the main themes of My Dinner with Andre is existentialism. Andre’s experiences have led him to believe that to truly live, to be in contact with reality and to experience living, one must separate oneself entirely from the world they know and live without any pre-existing ties to that world. Wally’s belief is that if he is happy with his girlfriend, his job, and his Charlton Heston auto-biography, who’s right is it to tell him that he is not truly happy? This dilemma is not isolated to their generation, and questions like “Are we too interconnected?” are being asked more and more frequently as technology becomes involved in every aspect of our lives. Andre mentions that he believes that people are being brainwashed by TV, magazines, and newspapers that provide nothing but superficial content which has no bearing on life. In the contemporary world, more and more people are constantly connected to each other through Facebook, and are constantly bombarded with superficial content, such as viral marketing, vaguely inspirational quotes, and meaningless photo updates from friends showing what they’re eating. There are many notable differences between the digital media of today and the print & analog media of the 1970s and ’80s. I feel that the most important difference is the immediacy of digital media, which is both a blessing and a curse. Not only are we able to absorb and respond to new information as soon as it is presented, we often do so in short blurts before being drawn to the next piece of new information. I won’t lie, I have five different tabs open in my browser right now, and I’m sure many of you have more.

I won’t attempt to answer the question “Are we too interconnected?” because that’s a whole other bag of snakes, but I will try to apply both Andre and Wally’s reasoning and beliefs to contemporary media. Andre would most definitely believe that we are far too connected with each other. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, WordPress, and a slew of other social media websites are a constant presence in our lives. I’m on Facebook right now, and a good number of you (if not all) heard or read about this blog through Facebook. I know people who constantly have Facebook logged into their phones, or who feel the need to photograph whatever they are eating or drinking and post it online before they sit down to enjoy it. While Andre would argue that this need to constantly tell the world what you’re doing shows a detachment from reality, Wally would probably argue that it doesn’t matter what makes life pleasant, so long as life is made pleasant. When using the internet, though many of us are exposed to images we would rather not see, one can generally pick and choose what they want to read and view. If you are interested in World War II history, you can invest in that. If you just want to see pictures of kittens and nothing else, there are an obscene number of sites devoted to just that. So, does modern technology prevent us from living a fully realized life? No, I don’t think so, but I do believe that many people live their lives through their devices, in an odd way. Where a photographer would climb a hillside just to get the perfect shot from the perfect perspective, someone with Instagram makes it to the top and takes a quick picture as an afterthought, to show everybody that they were there. A writer might spend days writing, editing and proofreading a movie review, but someone with twitter on their phone might just write “My Dinner with Andre was 2 long 2 boring #badmovies #menolikey #notconcernedwithexistentialism” and be done with it. I’m not technophobic and I understand that these brief updates have their place in the world as a form of entertainment and communication. However, I think that for many people, the time and effort that goes into honing and refining a focused craft such as photography or writing is lost when there are hundreds of thousands of photographs, updates and blogs with similar content being created, updated and shared every second. I realize how hypocritical that is, considering this is a blog, but I’d like for the content of this blog to go beyond the standard and be interesting and thought-provoking enough to get people to take the time from their busy schedule and read it.

So, that’s one-thousand two-hundred and six words, five-thousand six-hundred and seventy-four characters, and one big ass blog post. I’m going to talk a little more about My Dinner with Andre tomorrow, but this is already a kind of long entry, and I want to get it posted before I go to bed. As of this posting, I haven’t actually told anybody about this blog. What I’m thinking is that every time I announce a new project, I always end up talking about it and what I want to do with it, but I almost never actually follow through with it. By keeping this blog secret for a little while longer, I’m hoping to get into a habit of posting stuff weekly or daily. It doesn’t really matter as long as I’m updating frequently, I guess. I’m also kind of shy with a lot of my writing. A lot of people who know me and have me on Facebook probably wouldn’t guess that, because I am prone to writing long, tangential rants, but a large amount of what I write never actually makes it to the page. Not telling people about this blog will let me be a little more honest in my writing until I decide whether or not to keep going or just scrap the whole thing. We’ll see if that’s a good idea when people start reading this. Which, I guess is right now for you!

– Nat

Breaking the Seal

Ah, shit. You always want your first to be important. Sex, books, albums, jobs, and apparently blog posts. Your first doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be importantMemorable. You want to jump in and make a splash, get people to notice you, make your friends and family proud, and prove to yourself that you can do it. You want people to read past this sentence, but you have no guarantee that they will. Do people even actually read stuff any more? I’m not convinced that attention deficit is a disorder as much as it is an epidemic. When I read articles or books I’m not that interested in, I always end up just trying to scan through, looking for the punchiest sentences, the funniest jokes, and the most quotable passages that I can take out of context and post online. I think this habit’s started to take an actual toll on me, though, because when I’m actually reading something that I like and I see a word on the opposite page that grabs my attention, I inevitably end up reading a sentence or two surrounding that word. Here, watch, you’ll probably have already read these words before you actually get to this point: boobs, penis, sex. You see? I didn’t even need to put it in bold for you to skip an entire paragraph to see what was going on in the more apparently more interesting section of this post (if you didn’t skip ahead to that, good job, but also SEX). Really, that wasn’t even raunchy, it was just individual words that drew your attention. I could be far more raunchy, like if I were explaining how beads of sweat rolled slowly down the small of her back as he wrapped his hands around her figure and lowered her onto his throbbing thingamahoober. Raunchy, isn’t it?

New paragraph. It’ll get easier from this point out. Even though I wasted the entire first paragraph rambling about my own attention span and my pubescent sixth-sense for noticing dirty words in literature, the twisting of the cap has broken the seal, and now you’re reading the satisfying fizz. I’ll keep the fizz nice, short, and light, because I actually want to do something with this blog, and so far, I’m not doing very well with that.

So what do I want to actually talk about with this blog? Comic books, books, and movies, mostly. And hopefully, because I’m not very good with being consistent. Studying and assignments take precedence over this, but I’ve taken a little too long to actually start a project of passion like I want this to be. I want to talk about why Wolverine is depressed and suicidal, and how his immortality makes him a tragic character similar to Sisyphus. I want to talk about Woody Allen and the rise of the sympathetic, anhedonic protagonist; the misanthrope that derives pleasure from his own misery. I want to talk about We Need to Talk About Kevin, and the question of whether it is normal to be monstrous, or monstrous to be normal. But I also want this to be a labour of love, and if I don’t feel driven or compelled to update, then I just won’t.

Either way, I’ll try to regurgitate something half-decent pretty soon, so I can turn this into something more than ‘want-to’s and ‘what-if’s.

– Nat