Sunday, September 24, 2017

I took my mother to see Mother!

I took my mother to see Mother!
Disturbing. Shocking. Disgusting. Leaving a seismic wake in its aftermath.

In this day and age, it is very difficult to cause these sort of deep responses to a film.

Jaded, our culture is nearly unshockable.

Today, we watch Facebook videos of police shootings. YouTube is replete with videos that go far beyond the standards displayed on America's Funniest Videos, where men die trying to videotape viral stunts.

Darren Aronofsky's Mother! addresses this virality, virility, creativity and all the attenuating issues surrounding these topics. 

Mother! is not a movie to love or to enjoy. It is not a movie that is scary or horrific, in the normal notion of the genre. This is a movie that is not even a story.

Mother! nears the mythical with its run up and down its allegorical spiral from micro to macro views on what it means to "generate." 

What is disturbing is to witness the brutality of an invasion of privacy. What is shocking is to see a woman, revered and loved by all generations and genders, beaten and demoralized before our eyes. What is disgusting is to see our religious beliefs presented so literally.

Mother! was not meant to entertain but to provoke the viewer well past the boundaries of the theater.

Taken from cradle to crater, Mother! will challenge perspectives on humanity, on society, on culture.

For what, after all, is art?

Friday, September 8, 2017

What to pack in your Hurricane Evacuation Bag - Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose


On Friday, September 1, 2017, Hurricane Harvey was headed my way and time to back a bag for a possible evacuation.

For the first time, I've published a YouTube video, giving you a "What's In My Bag", evacuation style.

Not wanting to make light of the matter, I do think it is important to know what to include. Pack light, but pack smart.

You don't want to take any more than you can reasonably carry, just in case, and know that you may have to winnow down even further from that.

Suggest you include:

  1. 2 changes of clothes
  2. extra pair of walking, water-proof, shoes
  3. 2 sets of underwear
  4. pajamas
  5. surge protector
  6. extra phone chargers
  7. extra phone batteries
  8. toiletries
  9. facial wipes
  10. Clorox wipes
  11. hand sanitizer
  12. medicine
  13. insurance records
  14. passport
  15. driver's license
  16. birth certificate
  17. legal documents
  18. flashlight
  19. first aid kit
  20. sewing kit
  21. make-up
  22. jewelry
  23. wallet
  24. debit cards
  25. extra cash
Be aware that this does not include food. This WIMB, Hurricane Harvey evacuation style, focuses on personal essentials.

I'll post another video on how I manage my documents and photographs, particularly for insurance purposes in case of another hurricane.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Rubin's Rubric: Dark Matters

"Science is competitive, aggressive, demanding.
It is also imaginative, inspiring, uplifting." - Vera Rubin

I felt compelled to write this after hearing about the death of Vera Rubin. A legendary astronomer, she discovered dark matter. Nominated but never awarded a Nobel prize, she received numerous other awards for her life's work.

From her we learn, "Dark matters".

Rubin's Rubric: Dark Matters

Vera watched a life's worth of decades.
Stars swirl by her window sill.
Year after year, galaxies whirl and rotate
Until she stands next to Ford at Mellon,
Wondering why planets don't loosen and ovate.
Instead, they watch Andromeda strain against itself
Then she remembers: Coma's gravity was so great
It clustered. Fritz Zwicky confirms as much himself.

Strong enough, yet unseen, almost forgotten.
It lassoes the stars, reigns over them,
Corralling the light into submission.
Unexpected, like a cosmic Black Bart:
Fourth walls broken into seeming mayhem
A force so dark, moving into a Wilder direction.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Truman lives up to his name
Capote: a story of the man in the mirror

I watched Capote again--Hulu was promoting it as a feature film tonight. A riveting film, the movie is about the making of Truman Capote's renowned book, "In Cold Blood".

I read the book a long time ago; I was just out of college. It was riveting, chilling and un-put-downable. Called a non-fiction novel for the creative licenses that some thought Truman took, it could be argued this this bio-pic took the same license with Truman's life.

The film is the back story of how Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman), with the help of Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), wormed his way into the small town of Holcomb, Kansas to inject himself into the chief of police's (Chris Cooper) home, the investigation and, ultimately, the murderers' prison cells.

Ultimately, the movie's lens lands upon Truman's relationship with one of the murderers, Perry Smith. Perry, articulate, artistic and charming, is the product of a transient Cherokee mother and a violent, alcoholic father.

"It's as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day he stood up and went out the back door, while I went out the front," he explains to Harper. And she, of all people, knew about Truman's own troubled childhood.

So accurate is Hoffman's performance that when Truman rolls into a fetal position on his bed, you see Dill Harris in his back-of-the-head cowlick and sloped shoulders. As Virginia Woolfe said, "A true picture of man as a whole can never be painted until a [person] has described that spot [at the back of his head] the size of a shilling." In that moment, you see his childish fear and insecurity.

Truman, so self-involved that he began writing his acceptance speech before he even started writing the book, was conflicted enough by his relationship with Perry that he drank his way through Harper Lee's movie opening. This was the beginning his eventual alcoholism and the end of his friendship with Harper Lee.

A truer man has never spoken, or in Truman's case, written again.