martedì, agosto 26, 2014

Yes, I quite liked it

I have a lot of serious things I could be blogging about right now, from literal shit that comes out of bums to existential panic and anger over realizing that if I'm lucky I'm going to have maybe 20 more visits with my parents in my life and they're not taking every step they possibly can to remain healthy for as long as possible, but instead I think I'll just write about Guardians of the Galaxy

The first time I saw Flash Gordon was about two years ago, which was down to the F-word being shocked I'd never seen it and forcing me to watch it. He's a few years older than me and had considerably less protective parents in matters PG, which means he saw it when it was first released, by which point I don't think I even knew how to drool yet. I liked it an awful lot, having a taste for bombastic, awesome stupidity (see how much I like Game of Thrones and the works of the Bronte sisters), and being thrilled to find the correct context for the music of Queen. 

(I also liked the fact that it was so easy to find photos of the male lead's schlong on the Internet. Not that it's an awesome schlong or anything, but commercialized female nudity is not going away, so the only scenario a realistic feminist can hope for is the death of modern male modesty. That's right, men. Swing that pipe for the sisterhood. Don't act like penile display wasn't the fucking norm for our species for countless millenia until you decided to hide it like a bunch of blushing little Queen Victorias and invent war and exploitative economic systems to commodify women, in a desperate bid to avoid the possibility maybe somebody someday might laugh at your wiener.)  

At the same time, I was angry watching Flash Gordon because I was already in my mid-thirties, and had seen, probably, thousands of film and television productions with more suspendy-disbelievable special effects. So I knew even as I was enjoying it that my enjoyment was but a tiny, tiny fraction of what it might have been had that movie come out when I was somewhere between six and sixteen, when instead I got - what - Labyrinth? Okay, that was pretty awesome, but not really bombastic or stupid. Princess Bride? Yeah sure . . . if they had cast Bruce Campbell instead of Cary Elwes. Oh my god. That movie would have been so fucking good if they had cast Bruce Campbell instead of Cary Elwes. Can you fucking imagine how good that move would have been with Bruce Campbell instead of Cary Elwes? I could, while I was sitting there watching Flash Gordon and getting angry over how it and anything like it had failed to come out during my most suspendy-disbelievy years, and it made me even more fucking angry because I'd had to have a Princess Bride with Cary Elwes instead of Bruce Campbell instead. Such fucking bullshit

The point of all this was that seeing Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D in a large theater was as close as I have ever come to enjoying Flash Gordon on the airy, bombastic, stupid and awesome level that I would have liked to enjoy it. But for two things: the inclusion of the Piña Colada song, which made me feel like the director just picked his soundtrack at random from an oldies station instead of choosing actually awesome songs; and not being really fucking high.

This counts as a recommendation. 

giovedì, agosto 21, 2014

When I can't say anything nice . . .

. . . I come here.

Have you ever met a total douchebag, and then for coincidental reasons become quite well-acquainted with their family, and their family is lovely so you wonder how the douchebag got to be so douche-y, but then after a couple of years I guess the family gets comfortable with you and you realize where all the douche in the bag came from?

Also, unrelated but pertaining to the same category:

Have you ever met a total douchebag who was actually the sort of really useful person whose social conscience and energy makes the world go around, but is a douchebag nonetheless - not because they give their A-game at work and not at home, but because they get pissed off when they decide their partner isn't giving their A-game at home so they're just a big old nasty hypocrite so far as the people who actually have to spent time with them are concerned?

Anyways, neither of these are really my problems, and the second one, hopefully, won't be anybody's problem soon, at least not in my family.

I'm "home", in Canada, at the mo. Godzilla is having an awesome time with cousins and uncles and grandparents and I'm having a pretty good time. Particularly with my brothers. Maybe having a child has launched me past part of the almost generational gap that had hitherto existed between us. They're a lot older than I am but that "lot" means less with every passing year. Before long we're all just going to be middle aged. Arguably we already are. I don't feel middle aged and they mostly don't look middle aged, and if we can stay off the sauce, judging by the patterns of our older generations, we're not statistically middle aged . . . but there you are. 

lunedì, agosto 04, 2014

Left behind

I guess we are doing something that I'm not sure is a good idea with Godzilla. I guess all parents, no matter how thoughtful or deliberate, do things to their kids they're not sure are good ideas.

The fact is I am taking it on faith - a rather leapy sort of faith - that raising him multilingual isn't the worst fucking idea of all time. He is speaking English and Italian now - understanding both, using words from both - and then on Saturday, he said his first German word. So here it is. Here we are. Here I am thinking about it and wondering if I'm doing the best thing or the worst thing ever for him.

On Friday we're leaving on a two month trip. First for Canada, and then Italy, where he gets to use his Italian muscles, and then Germany, where it looks as though the F-word, the boy and I are going to be visiting about a kajillion kindergartens. The books tell me it'll all be okay - that when we're going, in the midst of a language explosion that has already started, he'll be able to handle all this like it's nothing. My common sense says it'll be okay, and the three plus years that kindergarten runs in Germany is going to be a really sufficient and indeed terrific amount of time to ease him into the language thoroughly and fun-ly enough to let him excel at school, if that's what he'd like to excel at.

And I guess I hope it is. Being really good at school is one of the things that has made my own life so easy, comfortable and interesting (to myself at least). That is what I'm worried about, I guess. That having three languages doesn't just mean having three languages but having a smattering of three languages instead of being really good at one language. That's not how it works. I know that, but I don't know it, not first-hand, because the only language I'm really good at is English - to some degree or another, I suffer all the rest.

And here it is - even more profoundly than fearing I'm wronging Godzilla, and this is what I have to focus on. Here we are, at a threshold that my common sense and linguistic research tells my disbelieving brain that Godzilla is likely to waltz past without missing a step - a threshold I'll never pass. Realizing that if all this works the way it should, that before this kid of mine can reliably piss in a pot, that he is going to surpass me, just blow me away at something, and the reason I'm scared is because I can't do it for myself, I can't even imagine it for myself - but it's going to be just fine for him.

Suddenly the trepidation, the fear, the worry my near ancestors must have felt when their kids (with their strong encouragement and indeed insistence) started going to school instead of burning charcoal and being bandits is a lot easier to understand.

giovedì, luglio 17, 2014


I've been having a weird week. Sort of weird bad, I think it's safe to say. But not too personally bad - abstractly bad? Bad at arm's length?

Obviously the last entry rant was a symptom of one of those bits of badness and there has been little to do there except accept and move on. And I have. I mean - it's funny already. I thought it would take months to get funny. "Editors Note". Hah. That's . . . great. And the author in question is being incredibly grief-stricken and active about trying to resolve the situation - though to be honest that was part of what I was so pissed off about - I knew that the author was going to take a degree of emotional responsibility for the event that meant I was going to be the one ending up comforting her. And anyways, as far as I'm concerned, it really was my fault for not literally wrestling the final proof away from her and doing it myself. It's my name on it.

The bad came in three, with news that a plan for an early escape from this national penal colony is almost certainly not going to happen for us - accept, move on, decide to enjoy a little more time paying laughably low taxes - and then with some real weirdness in the family.

We only have one real weirdo in the family - and - gosh. It just blows me away when people act in such a way that is obviously not in their children's best interests, from any analysis, with any rationalization. I know we're all deeply flawed beings and as parents we make so many decisions that are so easy to second-guess, and it's so hard to know if you're doing the right thing, and so much harder again to know if anyone else is . . . but I guess I've created an introverted, closed little world for myself full of good people and I generally blunder around making the assumption that everybody is doing the best they can raising their children, and anyways maybe the decisions that look incredibly stupid to me are actually correct and I'm the incredibly stupid one for not being able to understand their context.

But once in awhile - and it's often been this particular crazed baby momma who is disgusting me now who has been the one to snap me back into a cold reality where some people are just nasty cunts, and they ultimately don't shut that off with their own kids - I have to look out of this pleasant little world I've built around myself, and it's heartbreaking. Particularly when the victim is a kid who I love.

Anyways. I'm not as upset as I could be. In this particular instance (which has to do with getting the kid in question an EU passport), I thought there was an 18-year cut off, which the baby momma was going to fuck up forever by denying consent. And there was, but the country concerned changed its laws. Like, just now, it changed its laws, and I was alerted to that the same morning that the crazy momma showed her crazy, which was terrifically serendipitous timing, and means that the kid in question can take care of this as an adult in a few months without her input, and makes me feel - I don't know - that maybe God is on this kid's side in the lifelong struggle he's going to have dealing with his momma's crazy (what a thing to think in a world where kids who are loved as much as this one, or should be, are being sold, or shot out of the sky on a Malaysia Airlines flight over Donetsk, or otherwise blown up - but there you are).

At first I was giddy with joy that the laws have been changed, and I'm still grimly pleased that this shitty dog of a woman can just be over-ridden and her contemptible little muscle-flex has ultimately done nothing except once more demonstrate her crazy. But mostly I'm caught up in thinking what's going to happen to this kid in the life-long struggle he's going to have dealing with his momma's crazy.

venerdì, luglio 11, 2014

Sometimes it's good to have an anonymous blog

AH FUCK why did I let a fucking Australian be the one to approve her own final proof???? So fucking embarrassing.

I wrote her a nice little editor's note . . . Which was titled 'editors note' in the print run. Those are literally the first two words in the first run of the first hardback book I have ever edited because she couldn't wait for me to get back from China to check the fucking proof. I never saw the chapter headings. I should have insisted. My fucking name is on it. At the bottom of the fucking 'editors note'.

Fuck fuck fuck a fucking duck.

My only consolation is that no one outside of the state is likely to see it. But it's a bit shitty to work so hard on a thing almost purely as a portfolio piece just to end up with something you don't want to keep looking at because who knows how bad it gets if those are the first two fucking words so it will go nowhere near your portfolio. FUCK.