I knew this would be bad. I'd read the reviews, seen the trailer.
But - Mother of God - how bad it was! I mean, it surpassed my most dismal expectations by a factor of 10, 100 even, full orders of magnitude worse even than "The Room". This movie will be studied for decades to come as an example of how bad filmmaking can get.
This is a movie - that - if they were smart - they'd let you in to free and charge you to escape. If you survived the whole fucking thing it'd be free. If.
And how Jeff Goldblum and the rest found themselves in it? Well, SHAME. I mean, when it's not trying to rip off Indiana Jones, Star Wars, any of the previous franchises, it's just flailing. An overly "complex" plot and subplots, it's ridiculous - in the extreme. A man on a stage holding a can of soda for 3 hours - at any time about to prise it open with a fizzy pop - would generate far, far more suspense and applause.
Anyways, I seem to have developed a taste for trash lately and I'm thinking it's really time to improve my media diet. Enough with the bollocks already...
- Category: Film
I've been dying to go to one of these, only - as always - work gets in the way.
Anyways, Tuesday night and I'm free as a bird.
I haven't been to a poetry reading since Café La Gare in Edmonton. These I enjoyed greatly, watching people bringing in their retinues of admirers, cheerleader, one of note, a local older wealthy businessman/politician, who always showed up with a crowd of attractive lady boosters to read from his deep and only slightly concealed plagiarized verse, this trick, it worked well with his disciples but the larger audience gets into a debate as to "Plagiarism" vs "Homage", TS Eliot's line about
"Tedious arguments of insidious intent" has been borrowed - was it intended as a reference to the poem, or was he hoping we wouldn't notice?
This is before the days of internet, when catching plagiarists involved having read the actual poem. And - other than his retinue, everyone here has read the poem - it's English 101.
SO, looking forward to something with the same ambiance, atmosphere, and here I am. The weather, for the middle of June, positively miserable, in an open pagoda in Lakeside Park, grey, maybe 9 or 10 degrees and a biting wind from down-lake. I'm shivering the whole thing through, but if the others - most as poorly dressed as myself - can bear it, than so can I.
There's a procession of people with drums setting up about 30 yards from our Pagoda, it looks like a drum circle, there will be an accompaniment.
People come and go, most seem to be veterans, know one another. There's a table filled with young 20-30 somethings, another with a couple of families, men in their late 40's, a few others.
The Hostess announces the rules - a 3 minute time limit, gets the sign up sheet, solicits judges (In 3 Categories; Presentation, Content, Originality); I decline, I know, I'm the worst. If I judged everyone else half as harshly as I judge myself I'd be damned.
There are 9 Poets signed up and it begins. We're competing with a drum circle that's set up nearby, the drumming, sometimes an annoyance, sometimes a good accompaniment, the poets all have names like "Quanta" and "Rain" and "Shadow", a surprising number of girls (really? Maybe not...).
Many of the poets have brought girlfriends, boyfriends, family boosters or cheerleaders.
Reading from typed or handwritten pages, from colored index cards, from their phones, voices tremulous, trembling, A quiver that solicits sympathy, they're putting themselves out there, way out there, the host(ess)es are the only ones with any composure, both having done this a few times, and an older man with his family reading sports styled poems, in the vein of "Mighty Casey", he's obviously done this a lot, the 80 year old hostess snapping her fingers to indicate support, miming basketball shots, she's into him...
A man with an actual basketball, "Quanta" is his name, is reading poems about ecological destruction and love, stands aloof from the rest of the audience until it's his turn to be called - trying to hard to be enigmatic, aloof, he bounced his basketball into the pagoda as if he "just happened onto" the slam and happened as well to have a poem or two in his pocket. His is a rapper style, against the world, too many rhymes, like "Aesop Rock" None-shall-pass but without the music and the emphasis of the additional rhymes, unnecessary, already been done.
A girl, young, describing her ideal relationship, boyfriend, in rhyming verse, aa-bb-cc or "I'd meet him in a place...I'd see our love in his face...we'd go for long walks and kiss...and when I was away I'd always miss..."
Next up a Valley girl in search of a meaningful connection, a described night out that fails with her lover and again with her boyfriend.
Another girl has a rapper style rant against the the patriarchy. The next one hates environmental destruction and wants to protect the Old Growth Forest. The next wants love-love-love. And yet another laments the old family values.
A note on the girls here, they all look like raccoons, dark eyes, from lack of sleep or drugs or crying or maybe both. Ages, now that everyone has more-or-less assembled - from a teenage judge with the sports-reader family to 80 years old, perhaps 30 people all told, most in their twenties/thirties, a few in their forties, and a handful in their 70's and 80's.
At the end of it all, a full couple hours later, brief intermission punctuated by freestyle readings (prose, whatever, generally random), scoring, the lowest score perhaps a 7.5, the highest a unanimous 10, to be kind if I were judging, honestly, the highest would have been a 7.5 but that's the point of the boosters, to skew the scores upwards. It's one of those things where the scores put a value on your friendships, nothing else. There are "prizes" for 3rd, 2nd, 1st Place. Modest prizes, like keychains, because - after all, it's poetry...
There were a couple in the middle that prove surprising literate. And most of them have some sense of rhyme or rhythm or turn of the phrase. There were people struggling with great ideas and failing badly and people mastering trivial ones. But maybe it's the cold and probably it's just me but it does suggest that while many, most even, can ape the idea, the rhyme and reason of it, few can climb any pinnacle of greatness, this poetry, it's a game for mugs...
Next Slam, July, if I have the night off I'll have to partake.
- Category: Reviews
Monday, volunteer, then insure jeep. Back out to Balfour to pick it up. Plates on, it still starts, back to town.
A rainy day, rainy, rainy, rainy, and at night I'm glad of it, lay down the back seat, just enough room if you lie on the diagonal. 6 Feet I'm guessing. My home for the summer. Pick up a couple of extra sleeping bags at Share - gotta keep warm, and I'm due - when the weather improves - a trip to the locker, to get my maps, pickaxe, shovel, other tools - when the thrift shop is done (they know, 2 weeks I've told them) I'll be off, first stop Revelstoke, this weather, won't make Crystal Mountain until August - earliest, but there's a lot of other places waiting to be discovered and summer is merely delayed, not cancelled...
- Category: Blog
We'd been looking forward to this for months. Bu the weather. The weather. Pouring rain, nonstop.
Ken's unsure, as am I, but sometimes you have to take the chance. Fortune favors the bold.
We drive out of the pouring rain, clear it finally North of Kaslo and it's going to be a fine night. Mighty fine.
The past two days at the restaurant have been busy, and we're stocked. Vodka, Pepperoni, Cigarettes. By the end of the night these are always in demand. We leave around 8:30, find it around 10:00 PM, set up my tent (lent to me by Chris, who couldn't make it, first day caving - his new job guiding at the local Cave attraction), and then check it out. As good as I remember. Dose up, there's 200, 300 people there. And Ken, when he takes MDMA becomes the self-appointed security guard, wandering around the campsite to check up on people, make sure they're OK, helping all the "Took too much" people to the first aid tent...
Eventually the rain catches up to us, more a drizzle than the downpour we were having in Balfour, huddle around the campfire, get warm, go out and dance again.
We're asleep at 7:00, back at work for 1:00, I'm shattered. Ken had an absolutely amazing time, I follow up with a poster to the Solstice Rave - 3 days, he's enthused, and within a few minutes he's already bought tickets. He's lived here 10, 12 years and he's only now just discovering why...
The rest of the day at the restaurant, largely single people - perhaps a dozen of them, some few other tables, quiet, which suits my diminished abilities, one single person, an older magician quietly practicing card tricks, quietly shuffling, forcing cards, he seems a little quiet, not showy, for a magician, this is the rehearsal. Another an older woman complaining about the prices. I know, I know. A younger woman - was she at the rave? Others.
And by Monday I'm back in town...
- Category: Blog
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