Archive for June, 2017

Technology Is the Devil, Part I’ve Lost Count

June 28, 2017

I got a new phone (ugh!) and when I use Gmail, sometimes there are SUGGESTED RESPONSES in little boxes at the bottom of my emails based on, I’m assuming, what the algorithm that has “read” my emails deems most appropriate.  Samples include: “Sure, that sounds great,” or “See you then!”  I’ve literally NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED IN MY WHOLE LIFE.  As if I can’t up with clever, unique ways of responding to even the most simplest of invitations!  Pass me the cyanide pills, ’cause I’m gonna need those little buggers when the robots start taking over.

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Three’s a Trend

June 25, 2017

So actually there are only two of these that I can think of right now, which means that this post is anticipating a third one, which I’m guessing will happen verrrrry soon because I am something of a cultural prophet.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: a rise in the true crime meta-doc.  What is that, you ask?  It’s a sub-trend of the true crime trend, which has been ongoing for the past few years, and sees us revisiting crimes––some major, some less so––of the past, oh, forty or so years (OJ, Robert Durst, Making a Murderer, et al).  But in the true crime meta-doc, instead of just going over the facts of the case and maybe positing a new theory as to what happened, the director charts the progress of a fake-film he/she is “making” about the true crime case.  The first example of this is Kate Plays Christine, about the news anchor Christine Chubbuck, who killed herself on air in 1974; the meta-doc came out the same year as a narrative film on the topic, called simply Christine, did.  I saw the narrative film and didn’t have much interest in seeing the meta-doc, until Richard Brody told me I was a moron (which is true) and so now I am faced with the dubious task of seeing the documentary and un-seeing the narrative film.

And then this year, after the deluge (okay fine, maybe there were just two?) documentaries about JonBenet Ramsey’s murder, came the supremely weird (and possibly exploitative? also h/t Brody) Casting JonBenet, in which actors from the Boulder area, where the Ramsey family lived, audition for a possibly fake (unclear) movie about JonBenet and, during their try-outs, talk about everything from their experience with prostate cancer to their own family members being murdered to their mostly crackpot theories about the case.

Now––why the new meta-doc trend, and why return to something like the JonBenet Ramsey case, which has been covered in myriad ways ad nauseam since the girl’s murder in 1996?  My theory is that these major cases were cultural traumas, and therefore we just can’t let go.  For a bit more on that, let me introduce Neil Smelser, sociologist.  Take it away, Neil!:

The idea [of mass cultural trauma] is that certain historical events are so profound in their cultural and personal impact that they develop the features that resemble psychological trauma, namely that they’re permanently unsettling, that you can’t forget about them, even if you try to forget about them, there’s a kind of compulsive need to relive and re-experience.

The murder of one child, however adorable and young she was, might seem like small potatoes in the face of the Holocaust or slavery, but Ramsey was, I’d argue, emblematic of American innocence, and the fact that her murdered has never been solved (though I have a guess as to who it was) means the Freudian compulsion to repeat is heightened. And we’re repeating via meta-doc because all the more straightforward ways of doing so (made for TV movie, documentary, interview with family members, books on case) have been done already, and thus we have to resort to more avant-garde/oblique projects.

What will the next true crime meta-doc be?!  Here are some guesses: Ted Bundy (movie’s in the works, so the timing is good!), Laci Peterson, and… Son of Sam?  I am stuck on this one.  Help me out, people!

One final note: I would like to have a feather boa cape-thing (what is the word for this?) like the one the ersatz JonBenet wears in Casting JonBenet.  Thankssomuch.

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And SCENE.

Another Post About Celebrities

June 22, 2017
ML: so
george clooney started a tequila company 4 years ago as a “side project”
with some other rich people
and diageo is apparently now buying it for 700 million fucking dollars
ID: yeah
i saw that
wtf
ML: w
t
f
ID: do you ever just think like
my life sucks
why am i not george clooney?
ML: only 4 or 5 times a day

PLEASE LET’S BE CLEAR

June 16, 2017

If I were more articulate, I’d find a way to describe my day yesterday other than “shittastic,” but because I dropped my phone down an elevator shaft, I don’t have access to my Thesaurus app, so I’m out of luck.  On my way home from an errand, I picked up the Evening Standard magazine, which I do on the regs even though I become full of rage when I see that once again, they are featuring the offspring of a celeb who is him/herself “on the brink of stardom.”  I honestly think the ES Mag goes this route 50 out of 52 issues a year, give or take.  These pieces all manage to peddle the same lies, and y’all know how I feel about a FORMULA.  So, while it shouldn’t bother me at all, below are a few statements you will inevitably see made in a profile about a celeb’s kid.  I call bullshit, and call on ES Mag to do same:

  1. The celeb’s kid is “not your average celebrity’s child” (Yes they are, because they are trying to become actors)
  2. Because they are totally “down to earth”
  3. Due to have “never really known” their parent(s) is (are) famous
  4. They never considered acting as a career (this one cracks me up)
  5. They’re totally not into the Hollywood scene (they say while sitting at the Chateau Marmont and musing on their first rehab stint, at sixteen)
  6. They don’t drink (DUI charges pending)
  7. They had to work as hard/harder than anyone else (HAHAHAH)

I Would Like This Turban Thing

June 13, 2017

That is all.  Thank you.

1000w

The Mindful Poet

June 12, 2017

 

Now I am opening my eyes. Now it is 8:36. Now I am dressing myself.   Now I am eating cereal. Now I am taking out my garbage. Now I am noticing that my garbage smells. Now I drop it in the bin on the corner. Now I am walking to work. Now I see the sky is ominous. Now I am waiting for the tube. Now I am contemplating throwing myself across the tracks. Now I am getting on the tube. Now I am pretending not to notice the woman sitting across from me, who is very pretty, or the man sitting next to her, who is in a handicapped seat but does not appear to be handicapped. Now I am not working hard at not judging him. Now I am arriving at work. Now I am imagining murdering my boss. Now I am entering data into the spreadsheet. Now I am wondering if life is meaningless. Now I am eating the sandwich I packed for lunch: cucumber, smoked salmon, and butter. Now I am thinking cheese would have been preferable. Now I am briefly napping in the toilet stall. Now I am returning to my desk. Now I am listening to two colleagues banter, and wondering why I am not in on the joke. Now I am thinking about checking my Facebook. Now I’m deciding not to. Now I’m sharpening my pencil, despite not needing it. Now I’m wondering what my life would have been like if I hadn’t quit playing the piano. Now I am imagining myself on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, and the audience applauding. Now I am deep in my reverie. Now my boss asks for “that report,” so I snap back to reality. Now I am watching the clock as the end of the day looms: 4:56, 4:57, 4:58, 4:59, 5:00. Now I am entering my local to have a pin before heading home. Now I am noticing my brain getting foggy. Now I am climbing the stairs to my flat. Now I am hearing the penultimate step on the staircase creak. Now I am hearing my neighbors make raucous love. Now I am undressing. Now I am nodding off.

Now I am sleeping. Now I am sleeping. Now I am sleeping.

FUCK YOU I’M MILLWALL

June 8, 2017

So, as most everyone knows by now, we had a wee bit of the TERROR here in London last weekend.  Not ideal.  But one of the things that always follows terrorist incidents are stories of human bravery.  Case in point: this absolute legend, who, unarmed, charged the terrorists yelling a battle cry of, “Fuck you, I’m Millwall!”

For the Americans amongst my readers, Millwall is a football/soccer club that is, how should I put this: thoroughly disliked.  Their fans are known to be uneducated thugs. In fact, a common cheer they use as a retort is, “No one likes us, we don’t care.”  So imagine how exciting it is for them––whether they’ll admit it or not––to all of a sudden find themselves VERY liked!

My husband and I have, like many others out there, found the story and the tagline pretty amazing.  So the other night, we were joking about making t-shirts with “Fuck You, I’m Millwall” on them, because of course when something is funny, the first thing you should do is make a t-shirt of it.  I was one click away from ordering 400 customized t-shirts (to the tune of nearly 1,000 GBP) when my wet blanket husband decides actually, it would be weird, and maybe we’d have to check with Millwall (even though I wasn’t planning on using the logo) and instead we could think about just having them say FYIM even though exactly two people in the universe (him and me) would know what the fuck that meant.

So fine, even though we were going to donate the proceeds to the victims’ families and other charitable causes, and even though I’m sure Millwall officials would be thrilled to partner with us on this initiative, the project will go on the shelf for now.  But let the record show that this shirt would have been bomb.

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Comforting Rejections

June 4, 2017

In the not-so-distant past, I had a short, experimental-type thing rejected from a small literary magazine.  I must have succeeded in making something truly disappear from my Gmail–no small feat––because I can’t find the rejection note, but I’ll approximate here:

“Dear Itinerant Daughter,

Thank you for sending us A Short, Experimental-Type Thing.  While we are going to pass on this, please be assured that every submission we receive is read and evaluated carefully by our esteemed staff.”

Which got me thinking… why would it be comforting to me to know that you guys really thought hard about it but nonetheless decided my piece was crap?  In actuality, the rejection note I would be happy to receive would go more like this:

“Dear Itinerant Daughter,

Thank you for sending us a piece we can’t be bothered to remember the name of.  We’re passing, but only because we have so few staff members––all undeniably lazy and lacking in erudition––that we in fact haven’t gotten around to reading anything anyone’s sent us in… gosh, going on two years now.  Mostly we just assign numbers to submissions and then pick digits at random out of a hat and run the corresponding essays.  Unfortunately, your number didn’t come up this time.”

That’s more like it.