Things People Should Talk About

timeline.jpgI’ve been absent for a while.  Why?  Because the last few weeks have been harder on me.  Basically when it comes to emotions and things like that.  I say this because spring time, for some reason although it’s pretty self-explanatory when I think about it, is harder for me than any other time of the year.  It’s an anniversary of sorts, as the saying goes.  More than likely this is when life as I knew it came crumbling down around me although I always knew eventually it would dump on my head and cause me a big headache.  It’s the emotional stuff that continues to grip tight.  It’s that emotional stuff that has tripped me up more than anything else, and for good reason.

After such a long time of not really wanting to share with the rest of the world or whoever reads this, I felt it necessary for part of my healing process to write what I’m about to write.  I won’t be going in-depth so no need to fear reading a novel length piece.  I see brave people talking about their experiences as when children and are now adults of their abusive experiences by the hands of mothers, fathers, other family members, and equally messed up by strangers.  One of them includes a good friend of mine whose father abused her and then was so nice enough to pass it on and abused his grandchildren when they were young.  It’s a vicious cycle and an ugly one.  It perplexes me why people think it’s okay to abuse young children.  It shouldn’t be so hard of a concept to understand, but when you look at the Catholic Church, mainly the behind the door activities conducted by priests and their choir boys, it should be alarming to people who aren’t and are Catholics.  Get the priests some sexual outlet because obviously what is required of them now is clearly not working.

Bringing this back to my own personal life, it isn’t my biological father smacking me or knocking me down that stuck with me.  It isn’t even the time he purposely burned me because I pissed him off so much that I had to suffer for pissing him off so bad.  It’s the things I can’t go in-depth about because frankly, it’s too painful to even admit that happened even though I know it did.  It’s those things that made me wish at one point he was still alive so I could do everything to him that he did to me.  He left me with many unresolved emotions where I didn’t know my head from my ass.  It was damn painful and still is to an extent.  This is the part that if I were an outsider looking in, well it makes it all more tragic.  It didn’t have to be this way.  He didn’t have to treat me so poorly, but it’s no use wishing things were different.  Some parents hate their kids.  My biological father was one of them.  I know this because he told me this many times.

My saving grace is I was plucked out of there before it got even worse.  This post is to all those survivors who did survive and those who never got a chance.  This post is to all those who still struggle with herself or himself while trying to improve and heal themselves.  Without getting too preachy or mushy, this shit lasts a lifetime.  This is basically my disclaimer that yes, my biological father was abusive.   For everything that happened to me, there were many good things that occurred too after the fact.  This is my way of saying I’m glad I survived because I have a lot more to accomplish and want to be thankful for.

2019

 

Movie Recommendation: Black Sea (2014)

Quote from Black Sea by Daniels: “What happens when one of them starts to figure out their share gets bigger, and there is less people to share it with?”

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Producers: Jim Cochrane, Alexander Dostal, Alasdair Flind, Merve Harzadin, Kevin Macdonald, Jane Robertson, Tessa Ross, and Charles Steel

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Screenwriter: Dennis Kelly

Major Cast: Jude Law, Karl Davies, Konstantin Khabernskiy, Daniel Ryan, Scoot McNairy, Tobias Menzies, Michael Smiley, David Threlfall, Sergey Kolesnikov, Sergey Puskepalis, Sergey Veksler, and Grigoriy Dobrygin
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout and some graphic images and violence

Running Time: 1 hour and 54 minutes

*******
This adventure, drama, and thriller is about Captain Robinson (Jude Law) and the men he brings with him on a gold finding expedition on sunken U-boat deep in the waters.  They include the financier’s representative, Daniels (Scoot McNairy) and a young man, Tobin (Bobby Schofield).  When everyone is chosen for the expedition, half the crew is Russian and the other half British.  Everyone involved is promised a sizable portion of the gold once it is found.  Key word if it is found.  As they go further in the submarine, issues arise including communication with the Russians.  As you probably guessed it, motives are revealed as the men learn who they can trust and can’t trust.  Since Robinson is the captain, he’s the one who makes the final decisions and the submarine remains underwater despite previous explosions and damage.  It’s a given not everyone survives because not everyone usually survives in this kind of movie so who survives?  I’m not telling you nor will I give away the ending, but I will say the acting of Jude Law is impeccable.  He really commands every inch of the screen.  Black Sea has some twists and turns, some of it predictable, but it’s a solid movie from start to finish.

 

I rate Black Sea FOUR FINGERS at 90%

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Documentary Recommendation: Farewell Ferris Wheel (2016)

Quote from Farewell Ferris Wheel by Carnival Owner : “No one has to tell them what to do, how to do it, they start working.”

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Writers: Miguel ‘M.i.G’ Martinez and Jamie Sisley

Directors: Miguel ‘M.i.G’ Martinez and Jamie Sisley

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: 1 hour and 12 minutes

*******

Documentary filmmakers usually sway either for or against the topic they are covering.  I’ve only seen a few documentaries where you are given equal sides to the topic.  By the end of these films, you have to decide what you feel, think, and know to be true and accurate.  Farewell Ferris Wheel delves into the U.S. Carnival industry, covering both owners’ and workers’ struggles and rights in as neutral position as possible.  The workers who construct and tear down the rides are Mexican migrant workers, and are given H-2B guest worker visas.  The carnival owners use these H-2B workers because they can’t get afford or won’t to hire U.S. citizens.  The issue with American workers according to one owner is that they cause problems by not showing up on time and as the days go by the labor force become non-existent.  This points to two things.  One, this is hard manual labor that most people would rather not do or can’t do.  Two, this is hard manual labor with risks that aren’t worth the pay (even with minimum wages although never discussed).  As you watch the work done by these migrant workers, sometimes without electricity in their housing quarters in addition to the lack of sleep, you can’t help but wonder is it worth it?  Many of the workers know this is backbreaking work and still they come back year after year.  This doesn’t mean they love what they do although they put on a nice smile for the camera, but the fact remains they come back the following year if asked because of the limited opportunities in their country.  They are workers who make do with what’s in front of them because they too have mouths to feed.  I’m not sure who was giving the more accurate reading of the economic situation, but an interesting part of this so-called relationship were tactics used by both in order to better their pockets.  The owners had greater access to government policymakers, but on the flip side there were organizations fighting for migrant workers’ human rights.  The issues of H-2B visas begs another bigger question of economic distribution not only in the U.S. but in the world.  While 3.3% of the U.S. population is unauthorized immigrants according to Pew Research in 2016, I find the following statistics much more troublesome.  According to Forbes in 2016, the top three wealthiest men own as much as the bottom 50% of Americans and the richest 5% of Americans own 2/3 of the wealth.  While migrant workers should definitely get paid their due, so should everyone else.  This documentary is worth watching and is on Netflix. 

I rate Farewell Ferris Wheel Four Fingers of GREAT at 90%

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Documentary Recommendation: Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Quote from Exit Through the Gift Shop by Thierry Guetta: That’s why I call myself Mr. Brainwash. It’s because everything that I do… somewhere… it brainwash your face!”

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Producers: Zam Baring, Holly Cushing Jaime, D’Cruz, Robert Gastman, James Gay-Rees, Meldoy Howse, and Andrew Palmer

Director: Banksy

Major Cast: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta), Debora Guetta, Space Invader,
Monsieur André, Zeus, Shepard Fairey, Ron English, and Caledonia Curry (Swoon), and Rhys Ifans as Narrator

MPAA Rating: R for language

Running Time: 1 hour and 27 minutes

 

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This is the documentary of how a French man, Thierry Guetta, living in Los Angeles gets to the elusive artist, Banksy, by means of he knows this artist who knows another artist. His cousin, Space Invader, connects him to Shepard Fairey, who then connects him with Banksy when he visits Los Angeles.  As they spend time together, Banksy forms a more personal relationship with him despite knowing Thierry is filming street/graffiti artists as a means to a different end.  With the documentary in its final form by Thierry, it is what you’d call garbage according to Banksy.  It has no order and the editing is worse.  Salvaging some of it, he works on creating a documentary people will actually watch.  With this project on his mind, Banksy encourages Thierry to dive head first into creating his own art.  Thierry has now become Mr. Brainwash.  This leads to MBW to paint his way to his first show, but with him being preoccupied with interviews and marketing, the task of pulling it all together at the last-minute falls on the shoulders of others.  There is no denying by the end of his debut, Life is Beautiful , MBW had sold over a million dollars of artwork.  This is what basically happens in the documentary.  It left unanswered questions beyond the primary ones of would he last and was this art.  There were people who thought Mr. Brainwash was Banksy when Exit Through the Gift Shop was released.  These same people thought it was a ploy by Banksy and Fairey in order to strengthen their place within the art and street art scene.   It was a basically viewed as a hoax, and whether you believe it or not, it will be a mystery until someone spills the truth beans.  Life usually is weirder and crazier than fiction, and I believe this story fits both molds no matter where it falls on the continuum.

I rate Exit Through the Gift Shop at PERFECT at 100%

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2019

Coloring: Circles

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Poem: Unwanted Visitor

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I went to sleep with two eyes, ears, legs, arms, feet, and hands. 

The next morning I woke up with something else attached to my body.

It was touching my leg, tickling it, and was moving freely.

I lifted up my covers.  The horror of what I saw.  The color of it made me sick.

Worse, it had ripped my favorite pajamas.

I hopped out of bed and grabbed a scissors from my drawer.

This thing was coming off one way or another, even if it meant blood might be spilled.

As I reached for this unwanted thing, it uncoiled itself around my leg,

and moved in the opposite direction of where my hand went.

I dropped the scissors, twisting left and right until I caught the end of it.

It moved in every direction, each time with more force, as it tried to get free. 

This damn thing thought it was cunning by bringing me to the floor.

I rolled toward the scissors, opened them with force, and closed the blades.

It sounded like bone breaking.

The rest of it swung wildly behind me, then coiled itself around my leg.

I cut into it again.  The two separate pieces struggled to stay alive.

The one piece still attached was angry at what was lost.

With my body lighter, I contorted even more, and that is when I saw.

It wasn’t something intrinsic, something within me I had created.

2019

Movie Recommendation: Gook (2017)

Quote from Gook by Keith: “Look around us, yo.  Nobody watching over us.  It’s just us.”

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Writer and Director: Justin Chon

Major Cast: Simone Baker, Justin Chon, Curtiss Cook. Jr, David So, Trinecia Moore-Pernell, Sang Chon, and Cesar Garcia

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: one hour and 34 minutes

*******
This movie is a little microcosm of the Los Angeles riots.  It’s the racial tensions between the Asian/Korean and African/Black populations during 1992.  It centers around two Korean brothers who own a shoe store.  Eli and Daniel try to make ends meet, but it’s hard when the patrons who enter their store always wants discounts.  As the outcome of the Rodney King beating is spread all over the news, rioting, looting, and fires break out over parts of the city.  Racial and police tension are now at an all time high, which an eleven year old Black girl, Kamilla, is fully aware.  She only wants to help Eli and Daniel instead of going to school or being in the same room as her siblings, which doesn’t sit well with most everyone in her life.  While racial tensions between minorities are a theme throughout Gook, I wanted deeper insight into Eli’s motives and decisions especially when the movie ended.  Yes, he was angry at his situation, long before the riots broke out, but he took a left turn when he should’ve turned right.  There basically wasn’t enough nuance to catapult this movie to great.  Yet, it was good, in the sense, it didn’t mince words including racially charged words and the realities of living in a city with little opportunities.  Green Book might have won Best Picture, but it didn’t have the grittiness of Gook.  A play on words, GOOK is a derogatory name for Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino people, but it’s also a name used for soup like dishes in Korean although it is spelled GUK.  Being an independent movie with a smaller cast and crew, it kept your attention and liked it was in black and white.  I wished it had a few more location set ups as I think it would’ve broken up the story and made it a little more exciting.

I rate Gook GOOD at 80%.

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2019

March Quotes So Far

Guess what?  More quotes from dead people!

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And for those who are Irish and like the color green!

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2019

Which Shoe is Better? Adidas or Puma?

With the internet and social media, it doesn’t take long for a well establish company to find out if you are using another well established company to market one of your products.  Given that two feuding brothers from Germany started Adidas and Puma, I’m going to compare and contrast two recent shoes, very briefly.  They both are capitalizing on the popularity of a franchise.  One is based from a fast food restaurant chain known for their burgers and fries, In-N-Out, and started in California although there are restaurants in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Oregon.  The other is based from The Game of Thrones show that has taken over the world and then some.  You tell me which one will probably sell more.  The fast food chain has now decided to sue the shoe company, and this company would be Puma.  I’m hoping it gets settled in the best way possible, but the shoes have a very ketchup and mustard look to them with palm trees on the shoelaces.  Now, the Adidas shoes are better looking, but I’m not that hard core when it comes to The Game of Thrones like the die hard fans, so I won’t be getting these shoes either.  Yet, it’s an interesting time because as more stores are closing because they can’t turn profit, some continue to struggle while others continue to thrive.  According to Forbes in 2019, Nike is #1 and Adidas is #3.  Is Puma in the top ten?  It isn’t, but Reebok is #6 and Under Armour is #7 when it comes to sports brands. Maybe, things will look better for Puma in 2020.

2019

Advice from a Sandwich Shop

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