Monday, January 29, 2018

Should I keep blogging?

I have been struggling with the idea of my blog for a long time. It is the place where I decided, long ago, that I wasn’t going to use it as a soap box for my politics, my philosophies, or my general opinions on the way the world works. It would be a place for me to talk about movies, plays, books, and maybe a few games here and there when I had a chance to play them. It was a refuge for me to write about and share my interests regarding entertainment. Did I like something? Did I hate something? Was it worth spending money on, in my opinion? Is there a way I can promote local artists and performances without just being some random dude who says “go see this show” and maybe give performers the kind of coverage usually reserved for big budget Hollywood blockbusters? I had some regular readers, I had some random readers, and I had people who appreciated MY art for what it was…

And then the old monster reared its ugly head- a vicious beast once called “Politically Correct” culture, and has now fallen under other names… “Social Justice Warriors”, “Call Out Culture”, and “Antifa”. You see, I could no longer call “Split” a tense thriller- because it was so “obviously promoting transphobia”. I could no longer write about my views on plays, because those plays were not intended for me as an audience member. I wasn’t allowed to enjoy “It” because they presented Bev as a “Damsel in distress” and countless films and shows were guilty of “Cultural appropriation” even if casting Scarlet Johannsen fit with the core concept of a Japanese woman’s brain trapped in an android modeled after Western beauty standards. No, I couldn’t dare to write about things and if I did I would get backlash- either on my social media or in person.

So I’m in this place right now where I don’t want to write on my blog… MY REFUGE!

So, if you read my blog- I’m going to use my platform to promote something that really should be small and really shouldn’t even need to be said;

start calling them out on it.

Start embarrassing them.

Start showing them that they’re being silly or stupid and don’t just dismiss the extremist views and presume other people are just going to ignore it.

They are killing art and they are slaughtering culture and they are slaying real heroes who have struggled for decades. They have fed on Dave Chappelle and RuPaul and various performers, writers, and artists. They have attacked, demonized, vilified, and virtually crucified people by using the small niche markets they have access to in order to cry foul without context. They have pushed and shoved till the fringes have become indistinguishable from the norm. They have presumed their “experiences” and their “identity” simply trumps all logic and reason and they shouldn’t be challenged. They are weaponizing compassion to excuse their tyranny and mob mentality.

It is time to remember that, sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar. That context matters. That discussion matters. That bullying is wrong even if it comes from a former victim, even if it’s “revenge”, and that we need to risk being offended and talking about that offense rather than silencing it. And that the ridiculous needs to be exposed for what it is.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Year in Review: Maybe my last blog.

This has been... a year.

2017 brought me a lot of personal heartache and pain, not that my dear faceless readers really need to know the nitties and the gritties but the truth of the matter is that I'm currently and for some time have been in a bit of a tailspin. I started off the year strong enough, with several writing projects lined up and delivered to various degrees of success.

I had two reviews published on the website for my favorite podcast. ( Give them a listen!

As a playwright, I delivered a Burlesque script and an adaptation for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for The Paper Wing Theatre Company. I was also able to direct my Original script for "Big Dang Hero", a superhero play satirizing the current Super Hero trends in entertainment. Three positives right off the bat right there, but the end result of stressful productions, professional disappointments, and health concerns made me want to take a break from theater for a significant time.

Personal attacks were on the rise because I have an opinion and I share it an it isn't always (Actually very rarely) welcome. I had a very public and deeply hurtful falling out with someone I had long considered a friend- the pain is still fresh and sore and I don't know if I'll ever really recover from this one. I've never felt this betrayed in my entire life.

But, on the bright side, it has also been one hell of a year for movies. So without further ado...

One of the weirder entries of the year, Dave Made a Maze is an incredibly artistic film with amazing set design and wonderful creature effects... all in cardboard! Check it out... giant vagina trap.

Anne Hathway and giant monsters rampaging across Korea. Just watch it.

8. Gerald's Game
 Gerald's Game on Netflix is a riveting suspense ride with a compelling performance from Carla Cugino. Some changes from the book but only in that it streamlined the narrative a bit more cleanly for the film. All of the truly gory bits remain intact. Highly recommended for fans of tense slow burns.

7. Thor: Ragnarok
the fan in me is gobsmacked. If Guardians was Marvel's answer to Star Wars, Thor is an answer to Flash Gordon... all the good and what many might find "bad". Because this film embraces the camp and allows Hemsworth and Ruffalo to gab it up with humor and charm.

6: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Fuck the haters.

5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The real star of the film is MgDonagh’s script, itself. A brilliantly written piece with so much wound up in the words and those ever important bits of silence, a certain meaning expressed behind words that mean something entirely different, and the implications that don’t always spell things out for the audience. Some will walk away feeling the film ended in one way, others will walk away finding something else entirely, and none of it is “wrong” when all is said and done. Three Billboards is often about our perceptions and the fact that, sometimes, the villain isn’t always so obvious.

4. Get Out
 It's a stark look at race relations in the modern era. These people aren’t looking to lynch Chris or use the dreaded “N” word… what they are is far scarier and far more accurate a portrayal of racism in the modern era. And horror does what it supposed to do as it peels back the layers to reveal a darkness within that we are often too frightened to look at ourselves. This is horror at it’s absolute best!

3. It
the best adaptation of a Stephen King work since the 1979 Salem's Lot.

2. Baby Driver
Amazing action and fun. 

1. The Shape of Water
Too beautiful for words.

I watched a lot of movies but I didn't review all that many. I maintained lists over on letterboxd, where you can find updates on various films I'm watching on a regular basis... if you're so inclined. I don't know... this may be my last blog entry.

Thanks for reading.