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More Mall-College Ideas

So this school/mall setting is basically a rectangle. In the rotunda is a moveable carnival/food court. On one of the short sides of the rectangle is a 4 or 5 story-high seating area, with retractable tables. The entire student body can be seated in these seats for presentations and lectures. The rotunda can be quickly converted to a stage where said presentations and lectures can be given from. While not being used for presentations and lectures, students often study in these seats, or hang out and make out, like people their age do.

Said lectures and presentations might be made on cultural topics – such as why it is important to go to school in such a setting; the importance of consumerism; general brain-washing types of things.

This college could very well be the Harvard equivalent. The bigger the mall/ consumerist environment, the “better” the school. That’s the general concept. Cross-promotion is king.

Would it be too much to incorporate that which I’ve absorbed about premium youtube content? Is there an element other than just the students living their lives? What kind of cross-promotion are they expected to participate in as students? Are they expected to express preferences in some kind of public forum as a way of asserting social status?

Which then naturally brings me to a completely new idea about what if everyone had youtube channels and interacted with society in a large part in that way? I won’t get into that quite yet, since I haven’t fleshed out the mall-school thing yet.

So, is it a mark of social status to be more consumerist than somebody else? Or to like the “right” brands? That relates to today FO’ SHO’.

What’s the way out? What’s the fatal flaw that the protagonist is going to find? Maybe we’re not there yet, maybe I still need to establish this world…

Farmers exist. Bankers exist. There is always a center of commerce in any given town. But going to this particular school is like going to Harvard. It’s the best of the best. And the protagonist will have a conflict with that.

Nature – what about nature? It still exists. But it’s largely ignored. And considered dangerous? Except for a select few who are the equivalent of homeless in that they actually go out and hike and camp and effectively live in the nature that most people don’t understand because it’s been so long since anybody has ever really appreciated it. It’s kind of like the factionless in Divergent. It sounds like it sucks, but it’s really the best thing ever because there are no rules or limitations. Nature exists in a lot of places, even with people taking resources from it.

Is there a revolution? Is it nature vs. development? Ehhhh, I’m not sure yet.

————–

Ok, ok, ok. But I do have a fairly distinct concept of the dorm areas. How does that affect social interactions? In that format is it pretty similar to today’s dorm life? What about the people that work in these school-malls? Are they separate workers from the students? Do they get special treatment or benefits because they work here? Do they interact with the students in a more significant way than a seller/buyer relationship? Are the students the employees? Eh, that’ sounds a little overly complicated, socially-wise.

Or, well, maybe not. Your social status depends on what job you get; at which store. But I also like the idea of non-students socializing with students and having some kind of effect on them as a result. They can be secret friends and confidantes. They can also be secret competitors and enemies.

How long is this college program? Does it result in running your own company? After you graduate are you expected to be hired by a company and participating in their sinister business deals to promote their own brand? Is this really all just an allegory for the business of business? Does that even make sense???

Ok, maybe that’s seeing too far in the future. I don’t know.

I think that’s pretty good for the time being. Considering I’m 3 glasses of wine down and have poured myself one last glass. Just please don’t be too hung over tomorrow when I have to take my dad to the airport!!

P.S. – I’m not even gonna spell check this BOO YAAAAAAAAA

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If College Were Like The Mall Of America…

Hold the phone ya’ll. I wish I was artistic cause then I could draw a really BAD ASS rendering of the mall/college that I’ve dreamt about multiple times. Coupled with the fact that last night I dreamt more about my former school years, essentially taking a journey back in time from college to high school to junior high in different forms.

For example, my remembrances of college were based in the actual dorms and rooms. I clearly have some subconscious fascination with multiple-occupant dorm rooms and how exactly they are situated. Whether they are super cramped or vastly and illogically designed – like either three beds in a space the size of a hummer, or three beds in a space the size of a suburban household in Denver, CO, full square footage, as if the walls between the sitting room and the family room didn’t exist. Also, in the larger rooms, a distinct lack of privacy (aside from the bathroom – my subconscious hasn’t been compromised in that regard)…

I suppose my memories of high school were the least distinct of the three levels, but I would say in general, when I dreamt about my educational years, they tend to either take place in college or in a quasi version of my junior high. None of the characters are really form junior high, but the physical world is more like junior high than high school. And in this case, when my dreams devolved even further to elementary school, they were more of my teachers, and less about physically what my elementary school was like. And the idea that it’s been so long since I’ve been in elementary school that they have architecturally updated my elementary school. I guess it kind of goes through phases, but I can honestly say, my high school, in any recognizable form, has not appeared in my dreams for quite some time. I can’t really remember the last time it appeared.

I digress.

Ultimately I’m trying to manifest the idea of this college that takes place in a mall, and what all comes out of that. What’s the interesting kicker to that scenario?

Temptation?

Security & safety?

A future society in which consumerism via education is king?

This could possibly be the most original idea I’ve ever had.

NEWSFLASH: My Civil War Story is basically Cold Mountain.

But what about a society in which the most popular college education comes in conjunction with a mall? Literally, your college is in a MASSIVE mall, at least four times larger than the Mall of America. Like the MOA, the four corners of the complex are dormitories, and virtually everything in between is consumer temptation. As you walk to class you are bombarded with consumeristic information; information that is tied in with your college experience. Billboard outside every store that attempt to convince you that you NEED this item and item in order to have the proper college experience.

And the fact that this whole complex is contained, and you basically never have to leave the building except to visit your family… there’s definitely security in that. That idea definitely comes from the contained nature of my own college experience. There wasn’t much venturing outside of campus because mobility was restricted unless you had a car. In this case, the whole experience having a mall incorporated into your college is a given. It’s not like you come form some uber-agrarian community and this college world is completely foreign, but it is definitely a different kind of assault on your senses and personal identity.

Are there illegal connections going on relating to alcohol and drugs? Scamming on tests?

I guess I’m starting to physically imagine what this landscape would look like. What would the outside world look like? How big of a leap would it be to go to this kind of school and where would it subsequently take you in society? Would it take you to an even more consumeristic world? Would you actually gain influence or power? A government center that ALSO was incorporated with a shopping mall? What’s the end game? Is it brain washing? That seems too derivative to me. Too simple.

If the dormitories are the literal cornerstones, and the shopping mall the interior, where are the classroom’s? How fluid or in-discrepant is the school versus the mall? Is it all just brain-washing?

Escaltors? Stairs? Amphitheaters?

Seriously you guys, I think I could come up with a legitimate floor plan for this shiz. And that floor plan could potentially lead to very profound story telling. Or at least, I would hope so. In all likelihood probably not.

Sorry that this post doesn’t make much sense.

Stream of consciousness HOLLAAAA!!

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Lady Liberty Said It First… Or At Least She Would Have

The purpose of the law is to protect the rights of its people by preventing injustice. In the United States of American these rights are outlined in the Bill of Rights. At their most basic, the Bill of Rights is meant to protect, as described in The Declaration of Independence, one’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, (aside from that silly assertion that “all [people] are created equal) whatever form that might take for an individual – unless it impinges upon others rights to the same pursuits.

The Right to Life:

You might be like HBO’s Dexter and find happiness in murdering other people, but you are violating the Bill of Rights by denying those people that you killed their right to life. As such you are subject to the force of law; you have acted unlawfully. Your prosecution is not to ensure justice, but to prevent injustice. It is not just that you go to prison. Rather, it is unjust that you not be punished for violating another person’s rights.

The Right to Liberty:

The Bill of Rights protects its citizen’s liberty. Liberty is defined as the state of being free within a society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. This includes religion. You are free to believe in whatever you want, as long as your actions, whether as a result of your religious beliefs or not, do not impinge upon other’s right to liberty. For one or many to prevent the liberty of others would be unjust, and would therefore merit punishment (see Dexter, above). It is both unjust to deny one’s liberty; it would be unjust to not protect one’s right to liberty.

Separation of Church & State:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom, secular government. Government shan’t be based on religion nor can it oppress the practice or belief in any claimed religion. One might say that Dexter believes that murder is his religion. But he’s not being persecuted for believing that murder is paramount, nor simply for killing another person. He is being persecuted because murdering another person is violating their right to life. Without the concept of one’s right to life, murder would not necessarily be considered bad.

Am I making any sense? I’m not going to pretend that my arguments above are bulletproof. Not in the slightest. And I realize that I am attempting to describe a delicately subtle difference that in most linguistic circles means exactly the same thing. But I swear, they are different. And here’s what I’m getting at – the government has no right to deny gay people from being recognized as married under United States of America law.

#1 – Gay and lesbian folk are people; human beings. Thusly they deserve the right to life. Ok, this isn’t so much an issue anymore. There is still homophobic violence out there, but I wouldn’t say that gay and lesbian people are actively being denied the right to life on a large scale basis. And I think that is because of human’s innate sense of one’s right to life. We don’t all ascribe to that belief because the Bill of Rights says so. There’s some innate belief in the sanctity of life.

#2 – Because gay and lesbian folk are human beings, and especially if they are citizens of the United States of America, they have the right to liberty. In laymen’s terms, they can do whatever they want (unless it violates the rights of others). I don’t see how allowing gay or lesbian people to get married would violate the basic rights of anyone else.

And don’t get me fucking started on what it says in the Constitution about marriage cause do you know who wrote those words? Yes, you should. If you don’t you really should go back to school. Do you know when that was written? Just like two hundred years ago when being same-sex inclined was basically not even an option. I feel pretty confident saying there have been gay and lesbian people for pretty much all of time, whether or not I have any proof. Over time it’s just been a matter of how acceptable or not the expression of that personal belief was in any given society.

Everyone is free to believe in whatever they want. People who believe gay and lesbians should not be allowed to marry have every right to believe that. They do not however, have the right to pass a law which explicitly denies the supposed liberty of gay and lesbian people to get married.  Every heterosexual person in the United States of America has the freedom to get married. They aren’t just allowed to get married, they are free to get married. Why aren’t gay and lesbian people free to get married? What right do the collective “we” have to decide whether or not to allow an entire group of people a liberty that most of us take for granted? Yes, not so long ago it was illegal for white and non-white people to get married, and frankly, that only further proves the outdatedness of the words in the Constitution regarding marriage, but come on people, let’s just let everyone be equal. Science can prove that homosexual people are just as human as heterosexual people. Why is that not enough proof that homosexual folk deserve the same inalienable rights as heterosexual folk?

#3 – Religion is not a legitimate reason to change the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights to deny an entire group of people those rights. Remember that little ditty about separation of church & state? This is where it applies. You can’t propose a law that says gay and lesbian people can’t get married because it is ordained by God (even that is constantly up for debate). Ok, so you say the original Constitution said marriage is between a man and a woman. Need I remind you again of when this document was conceived and written? -> in a time when homosexuality was frowned upon. And really, the assertion in a supposedly secular document that marriage is between a man and a woman is proof that the Constitution is not immune from bias. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable for this bias to be changed to reflect the times we live in now.

Admittedly, when Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all [people] are created equal,” he wasn’t really taking into account the fact that slavery still existed; that there were thousands, even millions of people in the world who were not being treated equally. But we can’t blame him, the science to prove the humanity of black africans didn’t exist yet *eye roll*. However, if “all [people] are created equal” doesn’t outweigh every argument against gay marriage, I don’t know what does. I mean, it’s in the fucking first paragraph of the fucking first document ever composed asserting the existence of a new sovereign nation that shortly thereafter became the United States of America. Like, if Lady Liberty was a real person and could speak, that’s the first thing she would have said having been mystically and spontaneously manifested from the earth.

So don’t give me this shit about not letting gay and lesbian people get married. How exactly is allowing homosexual people the freedom to get married in the eyes of the law (which they should already have) impinging upon the rights of heterosexual people? Pass a “law” in your church or religion that gay people can’t get married, whatever. I’ll just choose not to follow your religion; I have the right not to; the right to choose. But in a government that explicitly states there be no weight given to religious beliefs in its law-making… couldn’t be more clear to me the un-Constitutionality of passing a law that not only denies a basic right but also is motivated, supported, and promoted by a religious institution.

It would probably be pertinent of me to note that I am not attempting to bash religion. On the whole I think religion can be a very profound tool in bringing people of the world together, no matter the technical differences. I also know that not all religious people out there believe homosexuality to be an abomination, and I obviously would align myself with those types of people.

As my high school hockey teammate once said in some Minnesota governing session, gay marriage is not a religious issue, it’s a human rights issue. I don’t think (hope) there aren’t any  political leaders in the United States today that believe homosexual people to somehow not quite human. So why aren’t they given the same rights and freedoms that everyone else is given? I could ask that question in so many different ways about a million times over, and I wouldn’t be the first, or the last.

Yvette Nicole Brown, of NBC’s Community, described God as love. God. Is. Love.

GOD IS LOVE

Can’t we all just love each other, ya’ll?

Whether or not you believe in God I sure as hell hope you believe in love, cause love is basically what’s at the heart of it all. Without love  we would be like Dexter and we wouldn’t have any kind of concept of the sanctity of life. Or the importance of community. I mean, seriously, what more can a girl say in a post that she’s not gonna spell check and nobody’s gonna read?

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Is Emily Thorne the New Sydney Bristow?

Short Answer: No. Sydney Bristow is my boo.

Long Answer: She definitely has the potential to be.

Nobody will ever be more of a kick-ass chick for me than Sydney Bristow (I’m sorry, I haven’t seen Alien, so chill out on the Sigourney Weaver in Alien comments, ya’ll). Jennifer Garner is pretty much a goddess in my estimation and has been ever since the pilot episode of Alias. I think Alias was probably the first television show, and probably only one of a subsequent few, that I latched onto IMMDIATELY. By the end of the pilot episode, when they left it on a cliffhanger, I was like “OH NO YOU DIDN’T!” and the pilot was like “OH YES I DID!” and in the second episode they did it again and I was like “OH NO YOU DIDN’T AGAIN!” and the second episode was like “Get over it already…”

I still can’t find the words to describe my love for that show or Jennifer Garner. She was my first girl crush ya’ll! And she shall always be #1 in my heart.

In case you’re curious (I know you are) my other girl crushes include Jessica Biel, Emily Blunt, and… YOU GUESSED IT, Emily Van Camp!

SEGWAAAYY!!!

Emily Van Camp, formerly of everyone’s favorite crunchy CW show Eeverwood, is now gracing the world with her presence on ABC’s fantastically devious Revenge. I don’t think I’ll explain to you the premise of the show as it’s probably somewhat obvious based on the title. Emily Van Camp plays the main character Emily Thorne and I’ll tell you what – although she isn’t a super spy like Sydney Bristow, she speaks chinese AND knows karate. She’s like Sydney Bristow’s kid sister who lives in the Hamptons and thwarts evil in silk evening gowns. Now many of you devoted readers might call my attention to the fact that Sydney Bristow already has a kid sister, but who says she can’t have two?? One sister works for the CIA, one works for a South American version of the CIA, and the other fights crime amongst the rich and well connected. Sound perfectly plausible to me.

Seriously though, Emily Van Camp/Emily Thorne is likable for pretty much all the same reasons Jennifer Garner/Sydney Bristow is likable. They have that girl next-door vibe that is totally disarming and feels very genuine and innocent. Like, how can you NOT trust them? That vibe subsequently legitimizes all morally ambiguous decisions they make and actions they take. Otherwise we wouldn’t give a crap and we wouldn’t watch their respective shows.

Maybe Emily Thorne isn’t the next Sydney Bristow, but they definitely come from the same ilk. AND I ADORE THEM BOTH FOR IT.

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Regarding Trolls…

(The following post is basically just a silly rant about people being mean, idiotic, and just plain obnoxious on the internet, with a slight attempt at being intellectual abou tit. Hehe, I accidentally typed “tit.” Hehehe)

So who’s been watching The Newsroom on HBO?? This girl has. It’s a wonderful show. What issues it has in picking a political perspective, it makes up for in excellent characters (as well as the actors who portray them), and I’m a sucker for likable characters. Doubly so if they have a romantic interest. Triply so (most of the time) if there is a love triangle.

But love triangles have nothing to do with this post (I wish). This post is about Internet Trolls. Internet Trolls are random people who post random shit on random websites in order to get a rise out of other random people because they think somehow it’s fun and makes them cool. This very topic was addressed by the character Neal on The Newsroom. And frankly, with what few lines he had about it, he described the whole moral kit and kaboodle better than I just did and probably ever could, so if you really want a smart description and analysis of what Internet Trolls are and what they try to do and how they function, just go watch The Newsroom. It’ll save you a lot of time and be far  more entertaining and stimulating than this post is likely to be.

Trolls piss the shit out of me. Perhaps this is because of my own people-pleasing nature that causes me to never want to make anybody mad or feel bad, but I just don’t see what’s so fun about making somebody angry or uncomfortable.  It’s probably some kind of miniature power trip that they can say “OHH look at me I just shut down this one page on the internet out of millions of pages on the internet because I’m using my intellect for obnoxious purposes.” Attention-seeking much?

Now, not everyone who posts something mean, stupid, or obnoxious on the internet is a Troll. For instance, when somebody leaves a comment about, say, a certain brilliant podcast on Nerdist.com (The JV Club hosted by Janet Varney a.k.a. the voice of Korra on the Nickelodeon show Legend of Korra) that says, “Interviewer needs to stfu,” that’s hardly grounds for Troll-dom, mostly in its utter stupidity & brevity. In the actual episode on which this comment was made a brief discussion was had about finding one’s own voice annoying and consequently how ironic it was that these two lovely ladies (the aforementioned Janet Varney and guest Yvette Nicole Brown of NBC’s Community) were creating something strictly with their voices. “Interviewer needs to stfu” has got to be the least amount of effort a wannabe Troll can exude in order to feed their need for anonymous attention. I gave it one look, one iota of a thought, and then posted my own comment saying how lovely the episode was (it really was lovely and I would recommend the podcast to all of my devoted followers).

As was addressed by Neal in The Newsroom, Trolling is all about inciting a reaction; getting a rise out of people that would otherwise have too much common sense to stoop to the level of insulting anonymous strangers on the internet. A one-off comment of ten words or less is not generally going to incite internet backlash because most people DO have enough common sense to identify that commenter as an obnoxious idiot who is trying to get a rise out of people for no good reason. OR that person is a twelve-year boy who thinks it’s hilarious and cool to write curse words where his mom can’t find out. The REAL internet Trolls have clubs & shit where they revel in their Troll-dom and have complex initiation processes where you have to prove how Troll-ish you are. Seriously?? Is this real life?? Cause that sounds closer to a cult than a club if you ask me. A cult of hatefulness. Was the Ku Klux Klan a klan, a klub, or a kult (what were those Kardashians thinking with all the K’s??)?? It was/is a cult, ya’ll!!

NEWSFLASH: Cults aren’t happy places where people do happy things. Rainbows and butterflies don’t exist in cults; nobody screams for ice cream; three legged races result in severed limbs, and humans genetically altered with strains of synthetic, hallucinatory marijuana turn into zombies and eat the faces off their dogs. Scared straight yet?

If The Newsroom covering internet Trolls can do anything, it will hopefully bring a broader knowledge of this epidemic to the internet masses – and by masses I mean both people who leave comments on the internet and people who don’t. I personally enjoy leaving comments on internet posts that I am interested in. I like knowing that there are like-minded people out there who like to think that they think as critically about entertainment as I like to think I do (did that even make sense?), and neither of us will place judgment on the other (unless of course one of us is wrong ;-)).

I was recently Trolled on TVLine.com. There was a poll about who should win the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and while I was only familiar with the work of one of the nominees, I had heard wonderful, wonderful things about one of the other actors, leading me to believe that perhaps he DID deserve the recognition, more so than the brilliant actor I would have chosen otherwise. So I placed my very (not) important and (not at all) influential vote for the actor with whom I was not familiar, and left a comment on the post saying as much as a way of giving him my benefit of the doubt props. Naturally, some 12 foot tall, hairy-eared, slobbering Troll posted a reply that basically said I was the reason the Emmy Award voting system was so flawed. That I was making the popular hive-mind choice and was therefore the reason why shows like Buffy and The Wire got cancelled before their time. And because I was stupid, and tried to reply with something sincerely snarky, s/he literally said, “Shame on you.” Twice. If I hadn’t already subconsciously suspected s/he was a Troll, or at the very least a very judgmental person, that second response sure as hell sealed the deal.

As Neal lamented about when he was thwarted in his quest to become Grand Master Troll of the Realm, I recognized this poster as a hack; a wannabe. A slightly pathetic soul who finds some kind of misguided self-affirmation in getting a rise out of other people. In case you didn’t already guess, I did not rise to his/her second taunt. And actually, another person replied very kindly to my initial post, saying “oh you really should! that actor was very excellent!” See? Why can’t everyone just post nice stuff like that? (Because that’s what HelloGiggles.com is for! He-llo!)

The fact that internet Trolls exist is stupid enough, but the fact that people who watch The Newsroom fall prey to their antics on posts ABOUT The Newsroom is utterly ridiculous to me. This poster who called him/herself “Chuck Finley (AJ)” was making all these political statements (politics are addressed on this show and some people were not pleased with the show’s comparison between The Tea Party and The Taliban in the season finale – that’s fair game) and then replied to basically every reply by saying something even more annoying and inflammatory and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at these posters who rose to the taunt of the very topic that was addressed, quite intelligently in my opinion, on the very same show not two weeks earlier! I realize that it’s probably much more important (and fun) to worry about the romantic entanglements and Will’s going up against The Man (who is really a woman played like a boss by Jane Fonda), but seriously people – PAY ATTENTION. These are not just throw-away subplots. Yes, Neal’s Trolling story was a plot device to get us further into the death threat fiasco, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t important, nor that it is not a real thing.

Now, I realize that it is purely my own opinion that people should learn about and actively attempt to subdue internet Trolls – and that, frankly, is why I am writing this post to my hundreds, thousands, and millions of loyal readers. I’m pretty sure my WordPress blog is so prolific it reaches the eyeballs or aborigines in Australia, as well as all the native tribes of the Amazon River Delta. IN FACT, my blog posts travel back through time via the mysterious blue mists on the Amazon River, lovingly guided by a regal, talking, black panther. Basically what I’m saying is that my blog, and specifically this post, transcends the laws of physics and therefore space and time as we know it. With that kind of power I  feel it necessary to send out the call to internet posters everywhere and scream at the top of the my lungs,

“T–t–troll! T–TROOOLLLL IN THE DUNGEONS!”

and hope that at least one person in the universe (and the history of all time) heeds the call and pays it forward.

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Some Thoughts on The Hunger Games Movie

I haven’t posted on here in a while and one would think seeing The Hunger Games in theaters a few weeks ago would inspire a rant on how it good it was. But, strangely, it did not. And it wasn’t because it was bad, in fact I enjoyed it very much. I went and saw it again by myself. But for all it’s awesomeness and faithfulness to the books and the great acting, I can’t say it inspired me to write about how much I enjoyed it. Maybe I just expected it to be good and was thusly not surprised when it was??

Let me start off by saying that visually, it was pretty much exactly what I imagined in the books. I’ll owe that in part to Suzanne Collins for painting a clear picture, and to Gary Ross for having the vision to put it on screen. I wasn’t really sure what I thought the Capitol was going to look like. I suppose I never imagined the city as a whole, I just imagined each scene and each building and each room Katniss was in. Even when they were on the roof my focus wasn’t on the city itself. Overall though, I found the representation of the Capitol and especially the citizens to be RIGHT ON. Again, I didn’t have a fully formed picture of the zany things people  of the Capitol wore, but Gary Ross sort of filled that in for me.

I was underwhelmed by the Girl on Fire sequence. My personal opinion is that the fire needed to engulf them even more, like it was emanating from their pores. I also kind of imagined Katniss’ face looking like that of Natalie Portman in Black Swan when she’s full on Black Swanning. I was thinking equal parts gorgeous and lethal.

Cinna was underwhelming. There was basically not emotion in his performance. It wasn’t bad, it just sort of wasn’t there. I was pleasantly surprised by Haymitch, whom I suppose I was most worried about. I thought Woody Harrelson really got across the idea that Haymitch drank to escape his woes, and then as the Games go on he sort of straightens up just enough to help out Katniss. And of course, Effie was great. “That’s Mahogany!”

Loved it when Katniss attacks Peeta after he admits he loves her in his interview. It was a fave part in the book, just the physicality of it, and I loved it in the movie. Jennifer Lawrence is so badass.

Oh did I forget to mention how badass Jennifer Lawrence is? I mean, she’s basically the perfectly Katniss. Sure, I would have liked her to be a little more steely, but she really did embody that idea in the books that in her interview, for instant, she really just sort of became someone else for 5 minutes. And throughout the games she did managed to do a pretty good acting job. When Prim asks her if the thing with Peeta is real and she totally evades the question? Perfect. Though not sure if the weight of that relationship really came off on screen to people who hadn’t read the books. I’m not sure they established particularly well that they would pretend to be in love with one another, and then afterward once Katniss kissed Peeta in the cave it wasn’t clear that Katniss was faking it, and then at the very end it wasn’t totally clear that Katniss had basically told Peeta it was all a ruse. I mean, he was obviously upset about it, but they could have spelled it out with one more line of dialogue or something.

For the record, I didn’t like the love story in the books, I didn’t like it in the movies. Although while I’ve never been much of a Peeta fan, Josh Hutcherson gave him a real authenticity that I didn’t get from the books. In the books he was too good and perfect, and in the movies, while his character held to that, he didn’t seem like a total deer in the headlights. He seemed to have the potential for flaws whereas in the books he was just nice and helpful all the time no matter how much Katniss mistreated him.

Prim was awesome. Rue was cute as a button. Mutts were disappointing. They moved well but they didn’t look very real, both in their design and in their execution CGI-wise. That’s probably just a result of the lower budget.

Gamemaker room was AWESOME.

“Contain IT.” ~ President Snow to Seneca Crane gave me the shivers. Adding more President Snow was PERFECT. His character emphasized the political undertones of the film which come across in the books via Katniss’ thoughts, but without Snow in the movies that idea probably would have been missing completely.

Katniss’ fight with Clove was BADASS. Clove has always kind of been my favorite evil tribute. Just the fact that she can throw knives is pretty fucking badass.

Loved the movie, can’t wait to see Catching Fire, though rumor has it Gary Ross won’t be directing, which would be a damn shame. As long as they get a good director to do the second installment… I’ll be nervous about it until I hear definitive news.

And yeah, I think that’s all I’m going to say on that.

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Could this post BE any more random??

Warning: The title of this post has almost nothing to do with the actual content of this post. Or is it the other way around????

Am I the only person who finds Kate Winslet’s character’s death in Contagion rather sudden? Admittedly, I watched the film in about 3 parts. I was forced to pause twice because I had other stuff to do, but considering the import placed upon her character, as the main investigator sent by the C.D.C., I was surprised that she just bit the dust almost as soon as she was infected.

The whole movie was kind of that way. I mean, it had a definite arc to it, but that particular arc seemed stunted to me.

Just wanted to share that. Ever since I saw it. :-\

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Supercharged Raging Hormones

I had a SUPER horny dream last night. Just shy of dream porn I was basically dry humping some blonde model type and was about to secretly and shamefully hook up with him in the attic until I was found out by someone else that resembled Victoria Grayson from Revenge.

Then, after that erotically charged sequence, I was walking around a school doing something and then of course, eventually ended up looking for my car in the parking lot. But during all my walking around the school I ran into like half a dozen guys that I had at one point or another either dated, hooked up with, flirted with, or generally been seriously interested in jumping their bones, and might I add for my own pride, they me. Though since this is all made up in my head, I’m not sure that’s actually a compliment, probably more vanity and insecurity.

I’m gonna go out on a limb (not really) and say it was raging hormones from “my grandma falling.” Don’t worry, my real grandma didn’t fall. That’s a code phrase I use for something that maybe somebody out there in the world has heard of before. Not one person I’ve ever said that to has heard of it, but I feel like the person I heard it from can’t be the only person who says, so I’m oddly hoping that one day I’ll say it to some random person and they’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and we’ll become bosom friends like on Anne of Green Gables. Well, ok, probably not really. But I will be genuinely surprised if anybody I say it to actually knows what the hell I’m talking about.

I don’t trust my relationship with the internet enough to reveal what the hell I’m talking about, but it wouldn’t take a genius to put together raging hormones and a healthy 24 year old young woman… think about it ladies. And men, this is something you don’t like to think about.

But seriously, guys, what do you have to bitch about? Sure, you get the occasional unruly and embarrassing boner. Try bleeding from your crotch for a week. Oops! Just gave away my “secret”!!! *eye roll*

 

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46 Minutes of Perfect Television.

To continue my Dollhouse posting rampage…

The episode “Beginning” in season 2 is possibly one of the most perfect 46 minutes of television I’ve ever witnessed. I am SO GLAD I have been re-awakened to its perfection. I wish I could do justice to it like Mark of Mark Reads and Watches surely would, and in fact, if memory serves, Dollhouse is on his list of tv shows to watch and review. Nonetheless, I’ll do my best to explain the perfection of this episode.

First of all, it features Sierra, my favorite supporting character. I actually think I like her more on this show than Eliza Dushku. Dichen Lachman needs a lead role like fo’ realz. She kills in this episode, literally and metaphorically. Throughout the series she has played the spectrum of personalities. She has played innocent and sweet, she has played bad ass assassin, racist southern belle, BFF to Topher… I mean, that’s not even scratching the surface. Oh yeah, she also played a forensic expert from the Centers for Disease Control. Joss Whedon said in an episode commentary that Dichen Lachman was always game to do whatever weird and crazy shit she was asked to do. And that commitment shines brightly.

Secondly, the emotional arc of the story if mutha fuckin’ intense. From the first scene you know things are going to be grim because we actually start at the meeting that led Priya, a.k.a. Sierra, into the Dollhouse. Thus far in the series all we know is a man named Nolan raped Sierra and she couldn’t deal with the trauma so she escaped her burdens by joining the Dollhouse. Sierra and Victor confronted Nolan briefly, and without resolution, really, in the season 1 episode “Needs.” At their parting Sierra says threateningly, “You’ll see me again.” I believed her then, and the girl was not lying.

Lastly, the execution of this episode is absolute perfection – the writing, the directing, the acting – every moment absolutely pulls at your heart strings, and on so many levels all at the same time. Gosh, I don’t even know where to start. First, there’s the obvious disturbing fact that Sierra is unknowingly engaging in romantic sessions with the man who traumatized her. Then there is Sierra and Victor’s ongoing basic-human-instinct love connection to root for. Then there’s Topher, who up until now has been pretty moral-less, and now he’s suddenly faced with a situation in which he is forced to face reality – that the people he imprints are actually people. Oh, and did I forget to mention DeWitt? She’s getting the smack down from her boss over this whole situation and she’s forced to compromise her own already skewed moral compass. Angsty episode, no?

The moment you realize, or rather, remember who Nolan is, you feel sick. This guy is sick; this situation is completely disturbing. And Sierra, even as a doll, has this instinct that something is wrong; that she doesn’t like “it” whatever “it” is. And sweet, sweet Victor is do enamored by her that he tries to destroy the thing that he thinks is making Sierra unhappy. I mean, how cute is that? They are like little innocent children and they still have this intense connection with one another that can’t be broken, even with having their minds wiped and re-wiped 5 days a week. Joss is totally right, there is something very romantic about that. So when Nolan decides to get super disgusting he demands Sierra be imprinted to stay with him forever. And Adelle succumbs. Frankly, I think it’s a smidge cowardly of her, but considering the fact that she needs skewed morals in the first place to run a dollhouse, it’s not totally surprising. She feels a great weight and responsibility toward her charges, and if she’s forced to sacrifice one doll to keep the rest in her care, she’ll do it, albeit grudgingly. She doesn’t trust anyone else to take care of these dolls like she does.

At this point I looked at the dvd player and it was only half way through the episode and I realized I had forgotten most of what happened next. I knew Sierra would return to the Dollhouse but I couldn’t remember exactly how. Knowing Victor was going to sit by that pillar until Sierra returned… GUH! Heartbreaking x infinity. They both think she’s coming back, but we, the viewer, and the handlers, and Topher and DeWitt, know she’s not. The beauty of innocence and ignorance. I suspected Topher of imprinting Sierra with some sort of ass kicking trickster, but I had forgotten that he actually imprinted her with her original identity, Priya. And in the scene where Priya confronts Nolan I thought surely he’s imprinted her with some extra kung fu skills, so she could kill Nolan cleanly, but that was not the case apparently. Priya still wins, but she’s left with an even greater trauma, that of having murdered another human being. Add a bullet point to the list of traumas in her life that she can’t live with.

The most shocking reveal of the episode however comes when we learn that not only did Nolan raper her, but he effectively tortured her as well. Nolan is some kind of doctor and when Priya wouldn’t submit to him, he had her institutionalized and pumped her full of drugs to make her crazy. Oh, but the plot has yet to thicken. Nolan has ties to Rossum and the Dollhouse, and that’s the whole reason DeWitt was forced to let Sierra go. They don’t say it outright in the show, but it seems pretty clear that Nolan was drugging Sierra in purpose so that he could get her into the Dollhouse and play her however he liked for the rest of his sick and twisted life. This guy might as well be a serial killer the lengths he went to to get what he wanted. What a fucking sicko. So we learn Priya didn’t volunteer for the dollhouse like the other featured actives did, she was forced to join by her rapist. Everybody, including Topher, thought she was simply a paranoid schizophrenic and left it at that.

By the end of the episode Nolan is dead and chopped into pieces, Priya is horribly scarred by her experience, and Topher recognizes his own moral indiscretions and faults, and DeWitt as well, to a certain extent. Priya and Topher have this incredible conversation, right before he wipes her back in Sierra, about what they’ve all just been through. One of the more poignant tendrils of that conversation is regarding the morality of her own situation as a doll. When Topher met crazy Priya in the institution he was promising her a better life… but is being a doll really a better life?? She went from being one man’s slave, to an organization’s slave. Why she isn’t more antagonistic toward the dollhouse I don’t know, maybe because plot-wise it wouldn’t do for Sierra not to be there, but the idea that what she’s been through at the dollhouse is actually almost worse than her real life traumas is gut wrenching. The audience is left in Topher’s shoes by the end. What he did for her, in the past and in the present, was arguably for her own safety and sanity… but it was also very very wrong. And that ambiguity and hypocrisy is what Dollhouse is all about. Every character on that show has some flaw that has brought them to where they are right now. There is something in them that is not completely honorable. Getting the audience to empathize and identify with them nonetheless? That’s just good story telling.

Dichen Lachman does some incredible acting in that last scene (which interestingly was the first scene they shot for episode… WOW), but the most impressive bit for me was after she’s begged Topher to erase these most recent memories when it’s time for her to “wake up,” and she’s crying, and she lays down in the chair and gets wiped. You can see her facial expression soften and relax, and she sits up with that blank look on her face and says, “Did I fall asleep?” and SHE’S STILL GOT TEARS RUNNING DOWN HER FACE!! She’s not crying anymore, but those tears that 10 seconds ago were coming from Priya, are now just phantoms of something else. Those are Priya’s tears on Sierra’s face. They really are two different people. They have the same body, but they are not the same person. Some might argue the actives in their doll-state are not people, but I think they might as well be, and when Sierra returns to Victor, who is still loyally waiting at  his post, with his big innocent puppy dog eyes, my heart just broke again. Having them sleep in the same pod might go a smidge too far in terms of their innocence, I mean, it’s not like they were doing anything inappropriate, it was actually very sweet, but it felt like in the past the handlers and minders and what not were trying to keep them apart, to prevent glitches or something, and now all of a sudden they’re letting them sleep together? I’m all for the relationship development, but it just seemed off course from what they’d already established.

I’m sure once I publish this I’ll realize some other things I wanted to hit upon, but it’s late and I should probably go to bed. I will try and dream about romantic things á la Victor and Sierra. Damn I love them together. I would love nothing more than to see them as love interests in a movie or on a tv show. They have crazy good chemistry. To be fair though, I think they are two actors that tend to have chemistry with everybody. Which I think is another strength of this show. The lead actors have great chemistry with one another that you root for, but they also can have chemistry with others guest actors who you also can root for simultaneously, for example Eliza Dushku and Patton Oswalt. Or Enver Gjokaj and Olivia Williams. Not to mention the surprisingly convincing chemistry betwixt Doc Saunders and Boyd. That relationship was definitely more convincing the second time around. Interesting how your opinion can change over a long period of time without seeing something.

Well, I’ve written almost 2000 words on the subject of “Beginnings” because it’s seriously one of the most perfect 46 minutes of television I’ve ever seen. Hopefully I’ve properly described why this episode deserves so high an honor. Though the simplest explanations are Dichen Lachman and the writers of the episode – Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.

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Quick Follow-Up

Dollhouse supporting cast:

Dichen Lachman: Bad ass-est Aussie this side of Hugh Jackman. I understand she has a non-traditional hollywood look that some ass holes would suggest would limit the kinds of roles she’ll get, but that’s just narrow-minded. She’s a bad ass. I’m glad she got that part on Being Human. She was a bad ass doll on Dollhouse, and now she’s a bad ass vampire on Being Human.

Enver Gjokaj: I don’t know if I spelled that last name right, but I’m too lazy to look it up on imdb. What a lovely handsome young man! Joss is right, it’s those big doe eyes when he’s Victor and he’s totally innocent. And then when he’s imprinted to woo DeWitt – YUM-MY. I don’t know why he hasn’t gotten more roles cause he’s a damn good looker.

Amy Acker: I don’t completely understand her appeal, she seems a little one-note, but she does Doc Saunders like nobody’s business. Those scars are mood-dy. And she plays the Doc with such vulnerability. I don’t like her season 2 character arc. But when she/we learned she was a doll, O. M. F. G. One of many awesome reveals on the show, BY FAR.

Miracle Laurie: I liked her more the first time around than I do now, but she’s pretty bangin’, I gotta say. Mellie bugs me, but November is pretty kick-ass. And where I pined for she and Paul to get together, I didn’t care so much this time around, like they lacked chemisty somehow in my mind’s eye this time. I don’t know.

Tahmoh Penikett: Another name I’m hoping I spelled close to correctly. I remember the first time around thinking he wasn’t anything special. But upon this most recent viewing I’ve warmed up to him. I mean, Tahmoh is a great looking guy, and he seems to be a good actor when he’s playing the moral center. I don’t feel particularly strongly about him, but I am not disappointed.

Olivia Williams: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? Why she had to chop her hair in the second season I’ll never know, I think it made her look much older, but dayam what a morally corrupt -yet-ambiguous gangster. She is someone who is aesthetically pleasing to me.

That’s all I care to mention. I know there are other supporting characters, but I find them less interesting. I don’t have as much to say about them.

Now I’m gonna go watch Katherine McPhee on Jimmy Fallon.

Peace.

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