Sunday, June 10, 2012

"It Was The Greatest Movie I've Ever Seen in my Life!"

"And you wouldn't believe the celebrities who did cameos: Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson.  Of course they didn't use their real names, but you could tell it was them."

I mentioned in one of these posts several months ago that I was going to try and compile a top 10 movie list.  As someone suffering from a massive infestation of geekteria (there is no cure), this turned out to be way more goddamn complicated than it should have been.  So I gave up.  But now, being the brave and valiant blogger that I am (and also not being able to think of anything else to write about), I shall try again.  Here we go:

Some of the choices for my top 10 movie list were super easy: Star Wars? Check. The Sound of Music? Of course.  Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy? You bet your smelly pirate hooker ass!  But then things started to get difficult.  As you can see from my no brainers, I have a bit of an eclectic palate. I do lean towards comedies, but that is far from the only genre in which I partake.  So, I started asking myself some difficult questions about this seemingly straight forward, quick and easy topic:

1. Should I create some kind of subsection for each genre, and list my top 10 of each of those? 

      Tempting, but I foresee problems:

That would be quite a few movies to list, and some of them would be embarrassingly short (would some lines in Klingon from a Star Trek movie count as a foreign film? If so, can I use it twice?).  What school of genre category should I adhere to? For example, most award shows have Drama, Comedy, Animated, and Short films.  Ok, yeah, that sounds good, you say.  Use those parameters.  Oh, how sweetly naive you are, you stupid, stupid, dummy.

How can we forget about the video store (and by 'video store', I mean 'netflix') categorization matrix?! Action & Adventure, Family & Children, Gay & Lesbian, Special Interest (these are actual Netflix genres...  for serious), Classics, Musicals, Independents, etc.?  That would be just too tedious, and many of the lists would overlap. I mean, isn't 'Musicals' and 'Gay & Lesbian' essentially the same genre anyway? Tee hee hee!  The cheekiness!*
        *the views of the writer of this blog are not necessarily represented by the terrible quality    
         and borderline discriminatory nature of the preceding joke.  But my dead dad would have 
         thought it was fucking hilarious so I just had to leave it in.

The conclusion I came up with was no; multiple lists covering many genres was not going to be fun.  Not fun to read, and, more importantly, not fun to write.

Hurdle #2:  Everything changes, dude (I know it isn't a question, gimme a minute).

        My favorites from childhood or even my teen years are certainly not my favorites now (though some of you may be not believe it based on my current taste in movies).  So here's the question (see, if you were a little more patient, everything would have been fine, Gee Whiz!): Should I look back and try to remember all the movies I loved throughout my life and come up with some kind of rating system based on number of viewings divided by the age I was at the time, assuming, of course, that the younger I was, the more often I would watch a movie out of an innate need for repetition and/or the rapturousness of pretty colors rather than an actual love of the films story arc, character development, cinematography, musical score and/or emotional evocations from the actors?

Sounds complicated.  And also, impossible.

An overall, life-spanning favorite movie list is out (and for obvious reasons, my future favorite movie list is also out.  Unless... I have invented a time machine at some point during my life and my future self comes back to their past, which is currently my present, and gives me a list of future-me's top 10.  IF I did invent such a machine, I think that the perfect moment for future-me to contact present-me would be to show up... right.... NOW!  Nope, I am not responsible for time travel.  Wait ....Thought I heard something that sounded like the space-time continuum being ripped, but alas, it was just my dog farting.  Not me.  My dog).

Hurray, another piece of this ridiculous and unnecessary puzzle has fallen into place! Let's recap:

Decision one: Top 10 list will be all-genre-encompassing and not several smaller lists ranked by genre.  I mean, which one would you even list first? No, no, I'm not going down that road.  No need.  It would totally be Snuff films though, right? Yeah, it would!

Decision two: this top 10 will be a reflection of my current favorites only and not involve time travel in anyway (I know, I'm as crushed as you are).

Alright, imaginary readers, my brain has officially overloaded ("by all medical logic, steam should be shooting out of his ears!").  I'm going to have to karate chop this post in half like the belligerent cinder block that it is and take a break to go gently weep in the corner.  Or, you know, play Farmville or something.

Stayed tuned for Part two.... 
     More shit exactly like this.  Sorry. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Oh, shut up! I'm Trying to READ!"

"Oh, reeeeally?! I learned to do that years ago! And what is it you're reading? A bit of Petrarchian verse, is it? A little bit of French drama?"

As a person that, until recently, has never had a gluttonous, insatiable compulsion to self-educate, I have come to the conclusion that my repository of important historical events, artwork, literature and sciences is more hollow and dusty than I would ideally prefer it.  In other words, I don't know shit 'bout nothin'. At least it feels that way to me.

I've already taken some steps to intelligsize myself (one of which is obviously not discontinuing my use of made-up words): I read some books about astrophysics (fancy talk for astronomy), I've gone back to school, I've stopped smashing cans into my forehead for money (and fun!).  

But, since I am trying to develop my writing skills, and you know, fulfill my lifelong dream of become a professional writer, I thought it was time that I began to stuff my brain with writing relevancies instead of random movie quotes, obscure British T.V shows from the 80's factoids, and entire Simpson's episodes.  Seriously, I know SO much Simpson's dialogue, it's both the coolest and the most geekiest thing in the Universe.

I did some googlin' and some yahooin' and some... ask jeevesin', I guess, and found that in 1998 a place called the Modern Library made a list of the 100 best novels in modern literature.  Then they did some kind of readers poll, because it's a 'free country' and everyone's 'entitled to their own opinion'.  Pff! I didn't use that amateur-hour list full of crap!  I used the one complied by professionals, acting professionally. Can you even imagine?!

Anyway, I took a look at this list, and was shocked that I wasn't even aware of most of these titles and authors, let alone the fact that I haven't read them!  Nothing makes you feel stupider than staring a list of 100 of the best books ever written (in English and published after 1900, of course) and not having any idea what's going on.  So guess what?  I'm gonna read 'em.  Yessiree, I am.  

Now, I have read a few, 4 counts as a few, dammit! I really don't remember them though, so I may have to re-read.  I've seen some movies based on a couple of these books, that totally counts, right?  No, it doesn't, you're right.  You're always right and it makes me sick inside!!

I've been wondering how to tackle this list, which is a daunting dilemma since I am obsessed with organization and spreadsheets and stuff.  Yeah, I'm going to make a spreadsheet.  And, also yes, I am ashamed at my spreadsheet geektasticness.  So, do I read 1-100? 100-1? By Author?  There are several authors listed more than once.  

Number one is James Joyce's Ulysses, which I recently got from the library.  I've read about 10-15 pages, and I think it's going to consume massive amounts of brain power in order to get through it.  I'm starting to think I'll go the 100-1 route.  Or just do it randomly by what interests me most.  Whatevs. 

But don't despair, this blog won't turn into my personal English class, with constant book reports and blatant attempts at flattery and gift-giving in order to receive the A+ that will simultaneously validate my existence and leave me desperate for more just like that first hit of sweet, sweet candy (candy being a slang term for crack cocaine, if anyone isn't as street as I).  Awwww, yeah.  


There'll still be weird posts whenever I can think of something weird to post about.  I'll just stick in my two cents about a book when I happen to finish one.  Since I'm a parent, full-time college student, and generally lazy to a point where it couldn't possibly be healthy blogger that is also trying to author some fiction and create my own brand of martial arts (spoonitsu: the ancient art of scooping out someone's eyes with a spoon.  Then probably taunting them until they commit suicide or something.  I don't know, I haven't worked out all the kinks yet), I probably won't burning through these books too fast.  Not literally burning them, in case anyone was worried. Or stupid. 

I won't show you my spreadsheet though.  Some things are private. 

Updated 12/9/12- changed an improper 'to' to a 'too'.  I disgust myself.