A Dark Chest of Wonders

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Spoilers Don’t Exist

Dude, you only spoil your self.

You cannot be spoiled by someone simply telling you how a story ends. Someone saying, “This happens to person X and Y, person B and D hook up finally, person T and L kill person D, person B commits suicide; person A rides off into the sunset, and person Z goes insane.” is not the same as the author saying, “This happens to person X and Y, person B and D hook up finally, person T and L kill person D, person B commits suicide; person A rides off into the sunset, and person Z goes insane.” In the end, you will still have to experience the way that the author wants to present that information to you, whether you know it or not. Knowledge is power, so use a spoiler in your advantage and maybe start thinking about how that could possibly happen to person A, who’s a horrible, horrible creature of a man, yet somehow made it out of the storm alive. Maybe person A is redeemed, maybe the author just likes to have a bitter ending for people who hated the villain, maybe person A will be killed in an epilogue by a protagonist who comes back to life, etc. Knowing does nothing, it will not take away from the experience that the author will give you personally. There are only a few cases where knowing were less than lucrative when it came down to it, such as if you saw the Fight Club movie before you read the Fight Club book, because there’s only a slim difference between them, and that’s the 30th chapter, which is only in the book: the film covers chapters 1-29, but never the last chapter where Jack (Joe in the book) is institutionalized. Oh,

Sorry.

Spoiler alert.

Lines for lines

So…you’re telling me I’m in line…

to get into another line? 

Know Your Craft

Know your craft, 

Love your craft, 

but never be your craft, 

and never let your craft be you. 

Beautiful is so Ugly

I just realized how much I hate the word “beautiful”; maybe it has something to do with people using it all the time now to try and sound sophisticated (I guess), in such contexts as, “Oh, the plot was so beautifully woven.” I don’t know why, but it just crawls under my skin.

On another note: I’m done with American Horror Story, simply because a) I’m sick of the goddamned musical numbers; it was fine in Asylum, it was downright disrespectful in Freak Show and now that it’s going to be in the fifth season apparently (because Ryan Fucking Murphy just loves musicals and season five is supposed to be about some musical hotel) I don’t think I can do it, b) I have little faith that what could be a thriller like that of Hitchcock, I doubt they’ll be able to keep it up and we’ll be left with some half baked piece of crap about ghosts, and c) the writing for the show is actually pretty bad; as the opinion goes and holds true, Murder House and Asylum were excellent seasons, very well written; Coven and Freak Show, I think some people got dropped from the team because…why? I’d like to know.

Either way, with an ensemble cast of a degrading Jessica Lange, Lady Gaga, and Evan Peters among others (truly, the only reason I might even consider season five is fro Sarah Paulson and Finn Wittrock who actually have a decent amount of talent that they seem to be able to apply with any material they’re given. What could have been a truly game changing horror show has turned into a Broadway debacle I don’t want to be a part of any longer.

All I Need Is Shades 

Sometimes you go so hard

Bitches be like, 

I need shades in this MF. 

There’s nothing better than that feeling of being on point and just getting everything done and being like no troubles, all bout that bass, no trouble. 

Push

When no  else will push you, you have to push yourself–because no one else will. 

The Pop Formula, or What Happened to Family Guy

So, uh, anyone remember when Family Guy was funny? Why did it stop? How did a really good show that had some very genuine moments start to simply fester off and die? It stopped being about Family. Believe it or not, there was a time when Meg was not simply a punching bag, Stewie was not full on gay, Peter wasn’t that stupid among other things. Furthermore, there was a time when the episodes actually had decent stories that really did move along well. Looking at the first to most recent seasons of Family Guy on Netflix, and the acute viewer might notice that while the visual aesthetic of the show has gone up, the plot, writing, and actual hilarity of the show has gone down a toilet (cue cutaway gag). While I have always liked Family Guy, and to an extent I still do, I think one can see how a small viewer ship (those first couple of seasons) actually may have benefited the show. It’s a strange thing with popular culture that seems to be more a rule or some kind of formula:

  1. Create something that totally flips the script, it’s totally original, genuine, and has incredible quality.
  2. It starts to amass a small niche audience.
  3. The niche audience starts tell their friends about it, and people say, “I guess that sounds alright”
  4. The sequel comes out: the next season, the next album, the next book in a series, or a new film by a director, or a direct sequel to the first film within a series.
  5. People watch the sequel and begin to go back and look at how it all began, and now the thing is really picking up traction, it grows and swells, and by the time the third part of this thing comes around, a decent audience has built up. This is the exposition of the pinnacle.
  6. Now that the Thing has become a legitimate thing, the creator of the Thing is getting a bigger paycheck than he was in the beginning, so now he’s spending time doing one of a couple of things: a) he’s not a douche and he spends a decent amount of money on the show to make it a little bit better without sacrificing quality. b) He’s still not a douche, but he’s starting to invest in other things: maybe another show, a movie, something that they’ve always really wanted to do. c) This guy is a douche, and he decides to spend his paycheck buying yachts, tigers, and whores to fill his heart while he complains viewers are complaining at him because he left the goddamned show to rot and fester in its luminescence without realizing that it’s dying now. More often than not, you will get Type C. This is the climax of the pinnacle.
  7. Now the Thing is on autopilot: the creator is back every week, but now he has a room of writers, animators, and creators. He contributes a little here and there, tells them the general idea of where everything is going to go. He has a seven hour work week for the most part; the rest of the time, he’s at home watching a show better than his. He keeps getting more and more royalties; his audience continues to amass, and people who just got on board and surprised that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be, while those loyal, dedicated fans continue to watch the slow death of their favorite thing.
  8. Now, the Thing is really going down hill. The Type C creator is off doing other things, he’s spending about ten minutes a day, maybe not everyday, more like every other day, sitting down to talk about this thing while his lackies do all the work for him. He’s being recognized on the street, he’s walking red carpets, he even has his own scandal. The show continues to suffer greater and greater blows, each season, while amassing more regular viewers, is flatlining in fart jokes and murder plots.
  9. The viewership has flatlined. The quality has flatlined. Every week, it’s the same basic, mundane, mindless thing. Every episode costs 1.5 million, but you could make this at home in your bedroom with 30 bucks, and to be sure, it might even be a little bit better. Blog posts and articles are talking about you wanting to end the series to go on and do better things even though you’ve been saying you’ve been doing better things for years now, and none of it was all that great. Your movie flopped. Your book flopped. Your fashion line and restaurant flopped. Your show is all that you have left, but you’ve gotten so fed up with going into the studio for thirty seconds a week that you just wish it would end. The show has been renewed for 10 more seasons. You weep.
  10. It’s the final season. At least. And yet, you’re sadder than you ever thought you would be. Not because where the show once had 300M viewers, it now only has 3, not because reviews have panned your show as a total bust, no one takes you seriously anymore, and you have more money than you, your grandkids, great grandkids, and their kids, plus Bill Gates could ever spend in one lifetime. You weep because you lost the thing you once cherished so much. You lost it all. Now you do it all again, for the high, for the money, for the fame. You’ll do it all again.

And they do it again and again, and somehow we all fall pray to it; we succumb to the mediocrity and the idiocy like it’s the norm. I suppose that nothing gold can ever really stay.

Rosemary’s Baby: A Review

Horror’s modern Odyssey, Ira Levin’s 1967 novel Rosemary’s Baby sets a precedent, rightly named by Chuck Palahniuk who wrote an introduction for this edition, that would fall in line for what would be come classic horror stories and “romances” alike, with Stephen King’s The Shining being the true and obvious baby of this little book and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga being a less than expected residue of it; at least it’s good to know that even bad authors, Meyer, have a decent taste in literature.

This being said, while Levin’s novel proves to be a true statement of horror within it’s last half hour in which the baby is finally born–the most exciting part that plays out as a 30 page short story with sharp contrast to the earlier episodes of the novel–it still left something of a lot to be desired. The sand in the hourglass was too much and it took nearly 200 pages before it really started to run down the clock, with Rosemary beginning to piece things together in perfect thriller fashion.

The problem that the modern reader might face with Rosemary’s Baby is the fact that, Levin’s novel has spawned so many demons over the years, it is easy to find it a bland and fairly predictable novel, of which it surely, for the most part, without the spoilage of the culture we live in today found in every B-horror movie and most recently resurrected by American Horror Story (that’s seasons 1-3, read this novel and tell me that it doesn’t create something of a trilogy connecting both plot points and ideas that Levin presents in the novel).

While it was an easy read, and if I had really stayed on track I may have gotten through it within a day or so, I’m, overall, bored with it. A classic for sure, one that knows how to build plot, suspense, and fairly decent writing, but nothing so striking as its history and the rejuvenation of a genre that it would bring on in later years. I may reread it (maybe only the last 30 pages for times sake) sometime if I really have the Guts for it (score one Palahniuk references), but right now I think I’ll simply let it aside.

I like Kanye West, or a Rant Worthy of the Sway Meltdown

*Note: I get a little crazy towards the end, this wasn’t intended to become a rant about my generational agnst, but I guess eventually you start realizing things that you just have to let out. Enjoy.

“He’s an uneducated, egotistical, cunt, talentless, trashy, unstylish, unfashionable, pissy, petty, prissy, ugly, cock sucking, idiotnigger, douchebag and I hope he dies a slow, painful, cancerific death; UGH! I absolutely hate Kanye West.”

The crowd cheers, applause all around, pumping fists and hollering, whooping. I stand in the back, but I muster my strength and stride to the front.

I raise my hand at this public service announcement–“Um, sorry, excuse me: I like Kanye.”

“You ignorant fuck. GTFO”

–Said the Internet.

Yes: I like Kanye West. Every news article about him doing something dickish, there are 100K comments talking about how much they hate him, how he’s talentless, how he’s just a waste of space, etc., etc. I’m sure many of you are some of those people who write those comments, are just as negative as he’s perceived to be. I’m not claiming that Kanye West isn’t actually a dick, I’ve never met the guy, all I’m basing my opinion on is the fact that I enjoy his music and think he’s not that bad of a guy, honestly: I’m sure many people are ten times worse than Kanye, the only difference is that they’re not famous. I do think that it’s true that everyone loves to hate Kanye simply because we all really need someone to hate: I hate fanfiction, I hate the people who write it, who advocate it, and the people who eventually publish it because it was popular amongst dunces. And I’m not saying that Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Harper Lee, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, or many others are very much better than E.L. James, Stephanie Meyer (yes, Twilight is actually a total ripoff of Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, or maybe the movie; I doubt Meyer has that good of taste in literature, this apparent by her writing. Look, another person we all love to hate!), Anna Todd, and other writers of fanfiction, but, well…they are. Lots of people hate the presidents just because they’re the president and aren’t listening at all to their needs to open a mayonnaise jar and butter their bread and flip their burgers.

We all have someone that we vehemently hate, I think it’s fine, but I think that a) when you do hate someone, you need to have a real, valid point for hating them and b) you need to be able to consider both sides. Saying that just because someone likes a certain artist who you’ve found no meaning in, doesn’t really give you the right to say that they’re an ignorant fuck who doesn’t know good music. I like classical music, which apparently you listen to all the time because you’re so cultured, but I prefer the sounds and beats of rap more; I can tolerate rock, actually, I do like rock, I just happen to like X genre more and I’ll listen to them on a daily basis. Because people seem to be all pretentious pricks about music, if they don’t listen to your music, apparently their wrong. I think that it’s important to acknowledge the shortcomings and the gains of your artists, your music that you listen to as well as, again, seeing why someone might find one type of music very interesting over another. Kanye West, and we all know this, has one 21 Grammy’s for a reason; 4 out of his 6 albums are pretty tight (as they say), I especially enjoyed Yeezus.

I can admit that, honestly 808s wasn’t that good, and I can admit that while My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a great album, it doesn’t have as much replay value as Graduation, College Dropout, Late Registration, all three of which spawned classics–and you can’t deny that, even though Ye samples a lot of songs, that they are not classics; they’re classics for this generation, this era of music, and, honestly, I do believe that they will be listened to twenty, thirty, maybe even forty years down the line. We live in a world, I in a generation, where everything is rapidly changing, and it’s hard to fathom what might be a classic and what might not be a classic in fifty years. Music and entertainment has taken some of the largest leaps they have ever seen; the populace is actually smarter, no longer do we want sappy stories, we know all the old cliches; give us something new. People always say do it yourself, and they also say that my generation is one of the laziest ever, but you just haven’t seen what we have to offer yet. In ten years, tops, you’ll be biting your tongue, you lips, and shooting yourself brain dead because you just won’t accept the fact that we’re pretty damn dope.

When I’m thirty and have written some of the best books of my generation, you’ll still be shaking your head no–this can’t be possible that, kids who grew up listening to what has been coined trash music could produce music that was so moving, create films that were genius, write books and novels that are comparable to Faulkner, Lee, Joyce, Hemingway and Steinbeck. We are redefining what it means to be someone everyday, and we are one of the most passionate generations thus far. We have the technology, the resources, and the true knowledge and energy to achieve those things that we dream about as children. Every generation had the tools to become what they wanted, it’s just a matter of how they used it. It may not seem like we’ve used our tools very well just yet, but just wait. I sit in class with people who I’ll be competing against in ten or fifteen, maybe even as early as five years, for whose most influential. Yes, we are raised by the internet, yes we have a greater disconnect with our parents, yes we can be pretentious assholes who talk too much and seemingly don’t do enough, but I think that it’s warranted.

THE END.

My Quick, Stupid, Unedjumacated Patriotic Thingamajigga

Patriotism.

One thing that America happens to be good at is either showing it or rejecting it. There are plenty of Internet Americans who despise America, and the human race, with a passion despite the fact that they are a human and they are of the American nationality. Yet, because of some of the moves that the government has made, they absolutely hate America. They just wish they could fly away to Switzerland and despise America with an even more deeply rooted passion. Some people just can’t help but think about, all the time, how America is the great second coming of the Roman Empire, soon to fall about itself in corruption and evil and terrorism and religion and ethnic cleansing and cops and the obesity and education…you get the point: people, Americans even, love to hate America.

I love America. I do: I get to do basically whatever the hell I want to, so long as it’s in the confines of the law, which, to be sure, are pretty fucking wide reaching. Sure, you can’t murder children and then have sex with their bleeding corpses while their parents watch and while you shoot heroin, but you can come pretty close and get off Scott-free, and that’s simply a fault of the justice system and their own laws, but as I was saying: you can get away with a lot in America. For this matter, my patriotism doesn’t come from placing my hand on my heart and professing undying loyalty to my country under God (who I don’t believe in, by the way). My patriotism comes from the history and the accomplishments that this country has made in the few centuries it has stood, it comes from the fact that, comparably, we live in a pretty damn good place; even the worst off of us live better than the worst off people in India or China. People still flock to America, and sure our system isn’t perfect, but people still want to come here.

“Oh boy I hate them goddamned Injuns comin’ in and buyin’ my beer and eatin’ my food and shittin’ in my toilet, just wish I could takes my gun and shoot them fuckers up like Columbine, whew, wouldn’t it be sweat.” Only in America could I possibly say that, honestly: combing redneck hillbillery with a national tragedy that shook the nation and still laugh about it. I’m glad to live in America, and honestly, I really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else; I can’t even imagine living anywhere else. I love America not because of our Army, our pledge, or our government: I love America because I love America, because of what we have achieved so far and what we can achieve in the future, and the fact that because of America, I have such a mentality as to believe, and assert, that one day I will be a success and that one day my dreams will come true.