It’s been said that I can be a, “pain in the ass to watch a movie with.” I’m not going to attribute that quote to any one particular person, partly because I made up the quote, but also because I can imagine any of my exes telling me that. The sentiment, either in those words or similar ones, would be carried out in an exasperated tone and I would scribble a mental note to keep myself from falling into a similar situation again. I have some very particular preferences for enjoying a film, all of which are related to losing yourself inside the created piece for the entirety of its duration. So, no lights, no talking, and absolutely no questions will be permitted during the film. I’m not a masochist though, so I usually just watch movies that I don’t feel the need to invest myself in if there will be others in the room. Therefore, if Anchorman is on the screen, quip away, quip away. Comedies are fine, terrible movies are fine, mediocre movies are fine, Hollywood movies are definitely fine; in fact, the majority of movies that people usually want to watch are fine. The problem is I don’t usually watch the movies that are most often watched. I’m watching bizarre foreign films, indies, and strange experimentals that may require more than one viewing and at the minimum at least a fully attentive audience to fully understand.
There’s something delightfully phony about the entire online dating thing, Facebook, and basically social media in general. The fact that we are making profiles that purport to represent our true selves is a fallacy in and of itself. How can we trust the opinion of someone who is creating their own public persona? Clearly there is a conflict of interest here between a truthful representation and making sure to only highlight specific and enviable aspects of a globe-trotting migrant cosmopolitan lifestyle. *Ahem* Cough. Cough.
Beard, glasses, vaguely “hipster-ish”
Skinny, thin, slender, possibly “emaciated”
Often emits loud random sounds – “Squuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaak!” “Poooookoooooooo”
“Sharp elbows” – Can be useful in a variety of situations.
Strong cocktails: iced, stirred, and ready upon waking.
Chopping wood while fantasizing about chain gangs.
Inspiring mortal terror in enemies.
Achieving catharsis through defecation.
Arm wrestling disabled children.
Racial stereotypes when they are beneficial for, “the white man.”
Raising cannibalistic pets.
Lying to my family.
“Pressure and time. That’s all it takes really, pressure and time.” Red, from The Shawshank Redemption, was referring to Geology – the study of the Earth and the changes that act upon it and also one of Andy Defresne’s favorite pastimes. Pressure and time and a rock can be transformed, transfigured into something else – maybe something more, maybe something less, but always something different. The life of a human is that of applied pressure and a constant ticking of the clock. We slip in and out of fantastical realms as the Buzz of the alarm steadily announces its presence. “Wake Up. Wake Up. Wake Up. Wake Up,” it whispers again and again, annoyingly consistent. The volume of the irritation increases, but we learn to tune out the noise and delay, delay, delay until finally opening our eyes, squinting, rubbing out the night crust and misplaced eyelashes, only to discover the day has already passed. Our lives have slipped on by. We chose the comfort of our womb-like beds and deferred something slightly disagreeable. We slept through the Buzz of life, but there’s no escape from the pressure. It can be delayed, postponed, or rerouted, but the pressure grows unrelentingly. The pressure will be released, violently if need be, and no amount of walking through life zombified and unconscious will relinquish its hold.
Wake up. Eat. Go to work. Eat. Come home. Eat. Watch a movie. Eat. Go to sleep. Dream about eating. Wake up and do it again. Repeat for the next 25,000 days or so. Take a child and ask them about their hopes and dreams and expectations. Ask them again at fourteen. Then at twenty-one, twenty-eight, and onward, once every seven years for the rest of their lives. 56 Up is the story of us, of life, of change, and of accepting the successes and failures that are unavoidable if you are lucky enough to keep getting older. The eighth installment in the series continues its amazing report on the lives of a particular group of individuals whose experiences growing up and, for some, out of the United Kingdom are among the most universally relatable.