Words from a Recently Diagnosed Introvert

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What the Bleep Do We Know?

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
- Albert Einstein

I’ll start off by stating that I was intrigued and challenged by the film. I had a few rolled-eye moments stomaching the journey of lead character, Marlee Martin, but all in all, the film left a profound impact on me.

Her journey (as it was displayed) was basically the path of least resistance/creative tension model; add some metaphysics, dose of chaos theory, a classic story line, and bunch of melodrama and you have Marlee’s quandary.

I understand and appreciate why the film was structured this way, ie, the necessity to reach a mass audience. But for me, I feel like the lead character’s melodrama and less than unique experience distracted from some of the subtler nuances. I was also slightly bothered by the “single-woman-in-her-thirties-as-basket-case” cliche.

That said, if I had created the film, I think I would have incorporated the story of a character who was struggling with a slightly more provocative, perhaps even darker reality. I would ask myself, “what is the most burning question people have regarding human consciousness?” and create a story based on that. Some of my answers might be, “why do bad things happen to good people?” or “why do good people do bad things?” or “why do I do good things, but think bad thoughts?”

From there I might build off the story of the Buddhist monk who conducted his daily meditation in front of an altar with a candle and two photos; one of Gandhi and one of Hitler. When asked by a Brother how he could possible have a photo of Hitler on his altar, he responded by stating, “I believe we must spend equal time meditating on our darkness as we do our light.”

In my film the main character may be a guard at a concentration camp during WWII, a Hutu soldier in Rwanda, an American soldier in Iraq, a National Guardsman in 1968, a corporate executive at Enron…someone truly struggling on an extreme scale with something I think we all struggle with on a daily basis.

After establishing my premise, I would have many of the same quantum physicists and meta-scientists support it in very much the same way, but again, with this emphasis on the duelisms of good/evil, right/wrong, light/dark, etc. I would ask questions of these experts like, “What are the elements and conditions that have created such fragmentation in our lives?” How can a killer feel so extricably disconnected from his victim? Why do we make decisions that will offer short-term benefit for ourselves, but create long-term harm for others? Where does revenge originate? What is evil?”

I think, that the film would then develop and thereby underscore many of the same profound points as the original, only with a slightly more raw and hard-hitting illustration to support the theories.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Some gals have all the luck?

(Ok, just one more silly post before I sign off completely and enter into a quieter, simpler life of poverty, chastity and all the rest...)

What's up with Mary Kay LeTourneau?

The woman survives a completely fucked up and abusive childhood, gains a college degree, gets married, has a gaggle of kids, maintains a successful career as a teacher, rapes her twelve year old student, goes to prison, has their first child, continues having sex with him during her parole, goes to prison again for several years, has their second child which is immediately taken away from her, survives abuse in prison, teaches fellow inmates in several subjects, builds a prison library, withstands some of the most shameful and embarrassing public scrutiny, is completely cut-off from her kids, and then gets out of prison and heads straight back to the community from whence she came, appearing confident and happy; resembling a shorter version of Nicole Kidman, ie, absolutely glowing, stunning, graceful, with nary an age, stress, or stretch mark, and maintaining the ability to be articulate and compassionate in public - hardly looking the worse for wear - preparing for her upcoming wedding with aforementioned twelve year old and a reunion with her family.

Ok, is this woman the second Buddha or a very complex socio-path? Is this an extraordinary strength of character or a cleverly, yet thinly veiled smoking gun?

I mean, I wake up with a 1 1/2 glass of wine hangover, have one work deadline, someone leaps ahead of me to get the only empty seat on BART, and a boss offers me "constructive criticism," and I have ten more gray hairs, an ulcer flair up, and look like I've been hit by a truck, wishing I could just crawl back into bed or shrink in the corner - whatever is closest.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Disengaging and Unplugging

Funny cultural phenomenon, blog communities.

There's a whole big, beautiful world out there.
I, for one, don't need another excuse to be in front of the computer.

Bye indefinitely.

This is the Happy Introvert signing off...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The American Foodscape

So, Len Pickell, Martha Stewart, and Anna Ayala walk into a bar. Len orders a bottle of '97 Chateauneuf de Pape. Martha orders an imminently drinkable glass of new vine Merlot from the California winery trying to shatter the image that merlot is for novices and screw tops are for rednecks. Anna orders a Corona with lime.

Martha begins the conversation by letting the other two know what their expectations can be of prison food...

Someone else want to pick this up? Someone far wittier than me? I think there's fodder here for something HILARIOUS. I just don't have what it takes to pull it off.

I'm great at vision, not so great at execution.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Can't get enough

For those of you who didn't get the full flavor the first time around, I'll give it to you again http://www.americawestandasone.com/video.html. This time without the glorious whistles and bells and brainwashed children on the website, just the dude with bad 80's haircut belting out the tune of the decade.

Play particular attention to his emphasis on the word "One".
Now you try - "Wah-Un".

It is disturbing how much he looks like the Dad from "Sweet Hereafter", remember - the one who has sex with his daughter?

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Puke and Awe

As if I wasn't already nauseous enough from returning late last night from a nearly week-long ag conference in DC where one of the main topics of much discussion was the very legitimate concern of the Walmartization of our food supply and factoids and visual depictions of the current conditions of factory farms that would make Upton Sinclair roll over in his grave...

As if I wasn't already nauseous enough from no days off in over two weeks, an average of 3-4 hours of sleep/night in the last week and the over-consumption of bad conference center coffee, refined sugar, bleached flour, and sub-par wine...

As if I wasn't already nauseous enough from having to get up early this morning for a three hour cadaver anatomy lab wherein the cadavers had most of their facial features, hands, feet, and body hair still in tact and the smell of formaldehyde and raw meat was so strong you could taste it...

...I returned home and someone had sent me this via email

You'll find me pale and sunken, curled up in a fetal position in a state of dismay, experiencing the occasional dry heave.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

6 Degrees of Hutu

Some strange and serendipitous things have happened in the last couple of weeks:

1) The pope dies and I have visions of him in my periphery
2) I get re-inspired to listen to lots of Ricki Lee Jones
3) I unwittingly rent "Hotel Rwanda" within a few days of the 11th anniversary of the 1994 genocide
4) I discover that Ricki Lee Jones has a link on her website to photos taken during the genocide, by a photographer friend of hers
5) I learn that the Rwandan people are 90% Catholic
6) Several members of the Rwandan Catholic diocese - priests, bishops, and nuns condoned and even aided in the killing of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
7) The Vatican chose not to excommunicate most of the aforementioned
8) The Pope hadn't visited Rwanda since 1990
9) I rediscover that in 1984, ten years prior to the genocide, Ricki Lee Jones recorded a song called, "Theme for the Pope"
10) In the '30s the Pope enrolled in a theater arts program to study playwrighting


I'm pretty sure that if I did some more stealth research I would come up with some evidence that Ricki Lee Jones had an affair with Don Cheadle. Or that she's the Pope's love child. One of the two.