Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Corridors and Question Marks

Last night I had a peculiarly vivid dream.

What a way to begin a story, huh?

I found myself in a long, dim corridor. Well, I suppose dim isn't quite the right word. The lighting was cozy. There were plain, but elegant lamps at regular intervals down the hallway. Between these fixtures were dark, oak doors—pretty heavy ones by the looks of it.

I stuck my hands in the pockets of my grungy levis and meandered down the length of the corridor looking at the doors as I passed. The floor was made up of old looking wooden planks, well worn, but not a creak sounded as I placed my weight on them. I thought this was odd, but it didn't worry me too much. I felt uncharacteristically relaxed walking down the musty hall.

On each of the doors was a cheap looking gold plaque, at about eye level—like you would see in an old office building. I looked at the first door I passed and read the sign.

INVESTMENT RETURN

I looked at the ornate brass handle below the sign (strangely it was at the center of the door) and thought about turning it. But the rising tension in my shoulders made me feel differently—decisions always seem to make me tense up. So I continued my walk.

I read the sign of each door I passed

TALENT, INHERITANCE PROPERTY, OPTIMAL FITNESS, CAPITAL GAINS, ENLIGHTENMENT, BEAUTY, REVOLUTION

Those are a few that I can remember. I recall reaching the end of the corridor where the last, heavy door stood. This one merely displayed a large question mark. Of all the doors I had seen, this was the most tempting. But I didn't feel bored, so I turned away. Before proceeding back down the hallway, I paused and looked at the door to the left.

CLEAN SOCKS & UNDERWEAR

Without hesitation I entered.

Inside, the room was much like the hall I had just left. Except it was large and square. Two lamps upon each of the four walls lit the room rather well and in the center was a well worn wooden table. Upon this was a neatly folded set of Hanes tag-less boxer briefs and a pair of socks. I was disproportionately delighted.

I immediately striped off my garments and replaced my stretched and worn underwear with the fresh cotton boxers on the table. A perfect fit. I quickly did the same with my socks—which were riddled with holes and sweat and dirt.

That's when I woke up.

The first thing I noticed was a neatly folded set of socks and underwear sitting on my bedside dresser. At first I was astonished. Who could have put these here? I wondered. Had a breach between the dream world and reality been created? Was this one of those times where you think you've woken up, but you are actually still dreaming?

Then I remembered that I had put them there the previous evening—like I always do. I laughed it off and pulled on the clean, though somewhat worn, undergarments.

Looking out the window facing the foot of my bed, I saw the morning light playing through the branches of a tree standing just outside. For a moment I was startled, the shadows on the pane looked exactly like a gigantic question mark. I closed my eyes and shook my head like an old cartoon character. When I lifted my lids, the illusion was gone.


Just my imagination.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Esoteric Musings

It's gets far too complex for interpretation at this point. To create you must simplify your reality to the level of your skill. Skill comes far more slowly than understanding.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I am a traveler


I am a shut in,

I am the wise man,

I am the village idiot,

I sail upon this infinite,

ever expanding,

ever shrinking sphere,

the turbulence of my soul tilts,

and rocks my fragile vessel which,

as my weathered old uncle

with palms that could have been the bark

of some ancient tree

from some past life once told me,

this hull and these sails are my constant savior,

the only thing between my self,

and between the eternal sea of all,

and even as this thought touches my thoughts,

the ship melts and is taken by the ocean,

which swallows me and I swim in it,

breathing in the water, filling my lungs with this strange liquid,

this liquid of simultaneous life and death,

and I am very far,



the stars whirl past me as these words extend forth into the incomprehensible

all of everything and nothing,

It is too much

I search for the void,

a hole in space, time, and soul that I might slip through into beyond the black,

I see it approach and pull me in,

my pace quickens down this corridor,

the door-less entrance into less than nothing is at hand and I am about to step through,

 

when I feel your eyes on my back,

and before I can even turn,

I am home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ownership of the Experience

Ownership is (in my opinion) an illusion, save for in one respect and this respect is in the instance of experiences. Experiences as experienced by individuals are the one thing that in all practical senses belong to those individuals. This is not in spite of the fact that there's nothing physical to own, but rather because of this fact. To claim ownership over anything physical is ridiculous because of the impermanence of this "ownership" and of the impermanence of the physical itself. However, experiences--whether chosen by the individual or not--are the only thing that no one else can access, take away or share in.
The irony of the system of society in which we live is that the majority of most peoples experiences consist of running around trying to grab more and more of the physical, all the while trying to hold on to everything they have previously picked up.
Liberation from this vicious cycle consumerist ouroboros comes with this realization that physical ownership is in fact an illusion. At this point we can stop, as Fight Club's Tyler Durden puts it, "working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."




In other words, we need to reclaim ownership of the experience and transcend the system so that we can begin our purposeful and meaningful existence. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Threefer and More Criticism

The following are my reviews of the three most recent movies I have watched. Enjoy.

The Ladykillers- A Coen Brothers, not quite classic but still dark, fun filled, yarn.

If you enjoy Tom Hanks as a southern gentleman criminal reading the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, then you will enjoy this movie. Meaning? You'd be hard pressed to find any by the end of this film, but the simple story fills the movie's time surprisingly well and I was never caught wondering how much longer I had to go. I must say though, that the only thing that allows it to carry itself so well is the characters and their quarks.
***

Cassandra's Dream- A Woody Allen thriller/brothers film, weird.

Alright, let's try and look at this movie objectively. It's a hard thing, for me at least, to do with any Woody Allen film. The plot is basically a character study of two brothers who get themselves into a dark and messy situation and how they separately react to the events that follow.

The best thing to be said of the film is that it builds tension throughout the first half better than almost any movie I've seen, but about two-thirds the way into the film I was beginning to wonder when it was all going to end--at this point the film had reached an odd sort of "dragging tension." Also, it lacked much insight into the relationship between brothers, which was disappointing because his insights into different relationships is  Woody Allen's foremost quality (in my opinion).

in all, worth watching if you love seeing Woody Allen movies for the sake of seeing Woody Allen movies.
***

The Fountain- A humorless quasi-meta triptych of a movie.
 This film is notorious for lacking any sort of middle ground for critics. They either love it or hate it. Oddly, I find myself able to see the movie from both points of view, which is a bit crippling.
Anyways, the general idea of the film consists of a mish-mash of Christian/Mayan/Taoist myth and ideology that interweaves itself throughout three separate story-lines going on, which all (it could be argued) consist of the same two characters, but never quite "touch."

It is--like it sounds--a pretty precariously balanced story, fraught with all sorts of potential pitfalls. However, is this not always the case when a movie enters new territory? And, for all that could have gone so horribly wrong, they maneuver the film with excellence through the dark clouds.

One thing you may notice in the movie is that it is completely humorless. Not a single funny moment story-wise, not even one joke that breaks the seriousness of the mood for even a moment. Now, usually I would hate this in a film, but here it works well. In fact, had they tried some comic relief it would have just been awful. All this isn't to say there isn't happy moments in the movie, certainly much of it is touching and here in it lies the films secret strength: it moves you emotionally, in many directions.

So, overall I give this film the thumbs-up. Not because it was flawless, but because it ventured into new territory which is something that so few films do today. Along with that, Hugh Jackman doesn't hurt anything either.
****

Well, kids! That was fun, so until next time, I bid you farewell,

Film Critic #1313

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

To You, Mr. Man With a Spray-Paint Can

Near the vicinity of my home there have been a few works of "graffiti" recently added to the shopping carts and cigarette butts which decorate the streets. Now, I have no qualms with those who consider the world their art gallery, but--as it is with any artist who displays his or her work--they open themselves up to criticism, which is now being passed, by me.
This graffiti artist has left two of his or her musings along the sidewalk. One reads, "All is one..." and with this one I have no quarrel. The other reads, "When all is said and done, have you said and done enough?" and it is with this one that I have the proverbial "bone to pick."
Number one: Did you get this phrase from someone's Facebook status? Because that's the impression that I'm getting.
Number two: The only time when all is said and done is when your dead, and then it doesn't really matter how much you said or did, does it?
Number three: I remain a firm believer in quality over quantity (except where American currency is concerned).
In summation, I suggest to you Graffiti Artist, that you spend a little more time at WikiQuote before again venturing forth to desecrate public property.

Sincerely yours,

Public Art Critic #1313

Fargo and the Need to Categorize Everything, Even Art

A word to the wise about the debate--one of the favorites among film dilettante --as to who the protagonist is in the film Fargo: if you're having a hard time fitting something into your structure it might be because your structure isn't as universal as it is conveniently believed to be.