Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Moving on: we meet a disgraced serviceman, Lars, who, rather than being promoted, is dismissed due to rumors that he made a pass at a fellow serviceman. Feeling lost, confused, purposeless, he moves back home and soon becomes enmeshed in the Brotherhood: a group of neo-Nazis that plan unrelenting attacks on Muslims, homosexuals, Pakistanis, anything that isn't deemed "natural" by them.
The film focuses on the friendship (relationship) that Lars and his fellow brother, Jimmy, develop over the course of molding Lars into a full, lifetime member of the Brotherhood. The filmmakers succeed in making you feel sympathy for these men despite the fact that they are filthy fucking scum and deserve a permanent place in hell (if there ever was one).
Love is love, and it knows no limitations. However, love can exist alongside hate, and that's yet another point, I feel, that the filmmakers are trying to make. Our basic human nature allows us to do both: love and hate. They loved each other, even in the face of losing everything they lived and breathed for, including their own lives.
Jimmy's brother, Patrick, discovers their romance, and is forced to choose between two loyalties: that to his brother and that to his brethren. Unfortunately, he chose the latter. Lars and Jimmy are fooled into thinking they are being treated to a surprise in relation to Lars' recent initiation into the Brotherhood, when in reality, they were being taken to a field where Jimmy would be faced with a choice: you kill Lars, or we kill you both. Luckily, but quite sadly, it ended up with Jimmy reluctantly beating Lars within an inch of his life.
They are let go and decide to finally runaway together to be happy. They go back to the house where they were staying and pack up their things; Jimmy helps Lars into the car, and closes the trunk of the car...
This is when the filmmakers really fuck with your mind.
Okay, so you've seen these two men suffer from violence and alienation, and you've empathized with them and their struggle. You've (perhaps) put it all behind you that they are neo-Nazi scum and do not deserve a single tear shed over any kind of harm--emotional, physical, or otherwise--they may endure. Well, as Jimmy is closing the trunk, a man comes up from behind him and stabs him deep in the chest. At first you think this is just a final retaliation from the Brotherhood, but no; it's someone else; it's someone who does deserve sympathy.
A few days prior to this happening, Jimmy was shopping in a hardware store, and the clerk that rang him up was none other than the gay kid from the beginning of the movie. They quietly acknowledged each other, but nothing was said beyond the standard customer service transaction: he rang up the items, Jimmy then paid and left. Presumably, he followed Jimmy home, and mustered up the courage to retaliate against his attacker.
The closing scene ends with Jimmy on life support in the hospital, with his brother, Patrick, sitting at his bedside, feeling the remorse of having put his loving brother in this position. Lars arrives and replaces Patrick at the bedside, but not before they express sorrow and thanks to each other in a wordless exchange. The end.
"I started out trying to find my own way in life. I listened to those around meThis turned out to be the work of Satan, according to his own admission. Yes, Satan. For me (and many others), that's an extremely absurd, if not insane, notion. When the time came for him to go on winter break, he had this to say: (the bold is mine)
who weren't wise in God. Those who were telling me to 'just be happy', 'accept
myself' and 'live my own life.'"
"So what happened? Well, Satan moved in and presented a new variable. He gave me the one man I had been looking for, for the past three years. An honest, loving, attractive, caring and loyal man. The one I had always imagined and desired. While home, I fell for him. He said all of the right things and had all of the right traits. I told my family about him and surprisingly enough, they accepted it. They told me, 'as long as you're happy, we're happy.' Upon hearing this I should have been jumping for joy, screaming at the top of my lungs and crying until there were no tears left...but it didn't happen. I simply smiled, said thank you and moved on."Let's stop right here and deconstruct the implicit claims that he has just made. He is claiming that no one has free will. If "Satan moved in and presented a new variable", then Dylan, his now-ex-boyfriend, would be a pawn of Satan; I would be a pawn of Satan; the people who accepted Jacob as their friend and were happy with his happiness are pawns of Satan. If we are to understand his own logic, then the only person who is not a pawn of Satan is Jacob. That would mean that this world exists only for Jacob.
This is a world where we are chained by our being moved and forced by either God or Satan, except in the case of Jacob. He, and he alone, has free will. Again, this is all according to his own implicit admission. He says he spoke to God, and this is what He replied:
"Jacob - Leave your boyfriend and move to Arizona with your family because what you are doing is not what I have planned and if you don't change now, it'll beI equate this to talking to an invisible brick wall: it doesn't exist, but you want it to say something to you, so you supplant the voice of your conscience for the voice of God. There is only one thing to say to that: it's fucking nonsensical insanity. Religions are a plague on humanity and they should be destroyed.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
A couple fight at a restaurant because the girl in the relationship is turning into a "bag lady"; a shoe, an empty picture frame, a bowl of cooked oatmeal; all have a place inside her bag(s). Women get objectified as sex symbols; they get hit on at bus(t) stops, and sold at auctions. If you are in a lifeboat with your wife, mother, and child, and it's sinking, who are you going to throw overboard? Follow that with a rough group of people beating and ultimately executing the guy who created the catchphrase, "right on!" Next time you take your clothes to the laundromat, check the fine print; they may not be washing your clothes at all. Dinner, rape, murder: thank you, meat and potatoes. Think you can talk about sex whilst only rhyming with words that end in the sound "ee"? They sure can! A blind man fights with his man-dog. Close the proverbial curtains.
If you're lucky enough to get tickets, you should check it out. It plays every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm until June 12. As I understand it, most of the remaining nights are sold out, so I would call in advance.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I applaud the filmmakers for tackling an extremely controversial topic: love and incest. I believe that we often condemn incest based solely on the fact that it produces inbred children. But what about two people who can't produce children? It's still viewed as wrong, but is it not less so? I don't have the answer; and who's to say that there's a right one?
I regret to say that the film's themes merely scratch the surface of things. We know that these brothers love each other beyond all acceptable limitations, more than I can possibly imagine, but there is never any explanation as to why they love each other so. It just happens and that's that. In the end, it seems that the eldest brother is more invested in--maybe dependent on?--their relationship than the other one.
There are too many unanswered questions, and they hold back this film's potential.
There is a line in the film that says, "there are two sides to everything: the good and the other side." The response: "if you know the good, why would you choose the other?" And that explains most things in my life.
"Do Começo ao Fim" ("From Beginning to End") by Brazilian director, Aluisio Abranches.
A controversial film about a homosexual and incestuous relationship between two half-brothers.
Tickets and information here. [
"Broderskab" ("Brotherhood") by Danish director, Nicolo Donato.
A film about two men in a neo-nazi group that develop a relationship forbidden by the very ideology they enforce through violence.
Tickets and information here. [
"8: The Mormon Proposition" by American director, Steven Greenstreet.
Quite obviously, a film about the Mormon Church's role behind the Proposition 8--to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage--campaign in California during the 2008 elections.
Tickets and information here. [
"El Baile de la Victoria" ("The Dancer and the Thief") by Spanish director, Fernando Trueba.
A political thriller and romance about a safe-cracker that wants to get his life back on track after being released from prison. The story is set during the period after the fall of the repressive Pinochet regime in Chile.
Tickets and information here. [
"Cargo" by Swiss director, Ivan Engler.
I saw the trailer for this and just couldn't help myself; I had to buy a ticket to a screening. It's a thriller that takes place on board a transport ship in space.
Tickets and information here. [
"Howl" by American directors, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.
A biopic about Allen Ginsberg--James Franco plays the lead role--and the controversy surrounding his poem, Howl.
Tickets and information here. [
Reviews will follow after each performance. Stay tuned.
*There may be other screening times for certain films. I've listed the screenings that I am personally attending.
At this point, the victim started yelling back at the two men in the vehicle, and "a heated verbal argument ensued." The driver stopped the car, and the victim walked over and kicked it. The witness told the officers that "the two suspects [then] jumped out and began punching the victim. Then they picked him up and slammed him head first into the pavement. He was knocked out on impact."
Although the report does not indicate whether the assailants got back into their car, or took off on foot, they were said to have fled westbound on NE 50th. Police conducted an area check, but were unable to locate the two men. The reporting officer said he contacted the eatery that was listed on the sandwich board, but the owner "denied having any employees that own a red car or had recently gotten off shift." He further adds, "[t]he owner was not very forthcoming with information and gave the impression that he knew more about the suspects than what he was telling police."
The report concludes by stating that the "staff at HMC reported that the victim would survive, but had bleeding in his brain."
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
I worked a full and (mostly) productive day at work; although, it became a struggle around 3 p.m. Nevertheless, I pushed onward. After work, I headed up to Gay City to get my periodic STD testing. Yes, I'm responsible like that. I must say, the guy who screened me, Victor, was unbelievably attractive. It didn't help that he positioned my arm in such a way that I could easily grab his junk. No, Jon, no. Show some restraint. Okay.
Onto the next and final part of my day: my friend, Rich's, 25th birthday party. We all got drunk for about six and a half straight hours. During that time frame we played ping pong, smoked cigars, chatted, and eventually found ourselves smoking our hookah on the roof, stargazing, while two people played guitar and the ukulele. It was extremely peaceful and relaxing. As the night came to a close, our (RB2) band, The Shredders of Dignity, decided to play a few gigs. By this time, we were dead tired, and called it a night. However, there were some--
Now there are four of us: Rich, Kristin, Jessica and me. We woke up, smoked the hookah (for the millionth time already), and drove over to Mae's Cafe on Phinney for some delicious breakfast. I had the Denver omelet, while Jessica indulged on the smoked salmon and cream cheese omelet. I can't recall what Kristin and Rich ate. It was a sunny and beautiful day, so we opted to walk to the park to throw the Frisbee around and play hackeysack. For whatever reason, we thought it would be a great idea to do the Infinite Setlist 2 on Rock Band. Let me emphasize the fact that we never doubted our ability to beat this monster of a project.
For the next nine hours we played Rock Band. Yes, you read that correctly. Nine hours. There are 84 songs in the Endless Setlist. We completed 81 of them before we ran into the impossible: "Visions" by Abnormality. This horrendous piece of musical garbage slammed the brakes on our winning streak and forced us to face the fact that we could not complete the IS.
Dear Rock Band,By this time it was nearly 2 a.m., if I recall correctly. Again, we went to bed, but this time we did it with shame and defeat in our hearts and minds. Jessica, however, drove home. I didn't have such luxury--I don't own a car. So, the next morning, Rich, Kristin and I drove to Krispy Kreme to grab a donut, and then we finally parted ways: they went to their kickball game and I caught the bus home. When I got home, which I had not been to since Friday evening, I took a long shower followed immedialy by a long nap. The end--sort of.
Rich, Kristin, Jessica and Jon
Here are some of the email exchanges the four of us had this morning:
I’m still sad about what happened on Saturday. I don’t know if I will ever be the same. 81 songs. 81 freaking songs. Happy Monday!
I’ve been borderline depressed….the last 3 songs are EXACTLY why we were going to choose medium…. I don’t even want to listen to the radio or any rock music at all.
I had a similar thought.... I feel like we should have taken a picture of 81 of 84 songs complete and posted on failblog or something. Overall the whole weekend was a giant success in my opinion.
Agreed. I hate Rock Band. I don't even want to see any of the instruments. Can you put them downstairs in the storage room? I might smash the drums if I come across them.
Monday, May 10, 2010
It just seems odd to me that after this election, someone who was not in any of
the debates could somehow become prime minister in a party that clearly won many fewer votes and seats than the Tories.
I'll admit that I don't know much of anything about the political parties/system of Britain, but I know enough to make sense of what Sullivan is stating here. Let me try and break it down:
Today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered his resignation in an attempt to sway the third place party, Liberal-Democrats, to form a ruling coalition with the second place party, Labour. Initially, the Conservatives (Tories) were talking with Liberal-Democrats to form a coalition. This means that the Lib-Dems hold all the cards at the moment.
With Brown out, and if a Lab-Lib coalition--as they like to call it--forms, the Labour party would decide on a new leader, who would then be the next British P.M. I believe that is how it works; that's exactly how Sullivan puts it. Odd.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
"Kitten mittens. You'll be smitten. So come on down to Paddy's Pub. We're the home of the original kitten mittens. Meeeoooow."
"Well, I could put the trash into a landfill, where it's going to stay for millions of years, or I could burn it up, and get a nice smokey smell in here, and let that smoke go into the sky where it turns into stars."
"How about a can of wine?"
Okay, those were all from Charlie; but come on, he's the wild card, bitches!
(1) The hipster look*:
And (2) The desert look**:
*I have already figured out one outfit into which I would like to incorporate this: white chuck taylor low-tops, cuffed jean shorts--something I loved wearing last summer, and my dark blue AE t-shirt.
**I had to view some videos online as to how to wear it this way. It's easy once you get the hang of it.
UPDATE: Here is the outfit I mentioned.
I've been keeping myself busy with work and hanging out with my friends. Now that I have the same 'weekend' as most of them, we see each other more often. That being said, I couldn't tell you how many hours we've clocked playing Rock Band 2 in the past month. I think we should start filming our band's performances. Shredders of Dignity on YouTube. It may soon become a reality. Oh, and yes, our band name is (The) Shredders of Dignity. It's a long and esoteric story. Don't ask. It's kind of our own thing.
You may be wondering what that note (in the picture) is supposed to mean, besides the obvious. Well, it's my reminder at work to stay on top of everything, but at the same time, to not get ahead of myself and make (too many) errors. So far, it's working. (Un)fortunately, I've been taking my new job very seriously, but I'm hoping that it will all pay off down the road. Let's hope so. It's never a bad thing to be good at your job, right?
Sadly, I have been completely out of the loop with all the news that is happening in the world. I need to start spending my time after work reading the blogs and newspapers. As a result, my own blog--snooze fest--has been dormant for a while. I just need some inspiration, and I hope it's coming soon.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Dinner Clean House<---First Time. Shower<---Really?
Straighten House<---Second Time. Shower<---Oh, come on! Gas Work Ashley Present?<---Give... Work Ashley<---...and you shall receive.
Laundry Clean House<---Rockstar!
Condoms Books Games
- Tampons <---Fail.
Wine? Breakfasts (Snacks?)
- Tampons <---Double fail.
Drop Henry Work
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Nearly three years ago I became friends with a rather young, gay male. In the time I have known him he has matured into a very bright and ambitious guy; he was admitted to Cornish College of the Arts, he fell in love with the man of his dreams, and he proclaimed, incessantly, that he had everything. On Thursday, I noticed that he was posting cryptic Facebook status updates: "...is making the biggest decisions of his life." The first thought I have is "oh no, he's considering marriage or something serious like that." He is young, and although it's not my life to live, I wouldn't want him to settle down at 19 years old.
I texted him to find out what was going on, and I was, much to my dismay, given this response:
"I broke up with Dylan and Im leaving Seattle to go live with my family in Arizona because I strongly feel that this is what God wants me to do."There were more text messages after those, but the point is there. Religion stole my friend from me. It's nothing but lies. Why do people so easily fall into the trap of illusion? I didn't even get to say goodbye. And now, I've lost another person dear to me. Is God punishing me? No. Shit happens. There's nothing left to do but accept it.
"Im packed up, withdrawn from school and waiting for my ride. I know this is INSANE but its whats best for me."
"I cant keep lying to myself, acting like Gods ok with my decisions when i know hes not. Im tired of hiding from Him!"
All the ingredients, save the absinthe, were put into a large plastic tube, sealed shut, injected with CO2 for the carbonation, and then shaken to perfection. The bartender then took out a chilled glass, and sprayed the inside of it with absinthe while at the same time lighting it on fire. Pour the drink in the glass, give it a brandy cherry, and enjoy!
It had a dark gray color to it; smelled like black licorice, and tasted like lemon. It was delicious.
We had other drinks, but they were bartender's choice, so I couldn't tell you what they were. By the end of the night, we had about five to six drinks. If you want top quality, check out Vessel. [$$$].
Thursday, April 8, 2010
It's the story of a well-off family during the Great Depression, and the tragedies that befall them all. (Then again, don't most plays follow that formula?) It questions the lengths that we will go to in order to survive during a time of struggle. Leo's company is losing money, and his employees are demanding better pay. He wants to give it to them; his business partner would rather hire someone to burn down the shop and claim the insurance money. Leo won't do it. In the end, the only thing that has not been lost is their integrity.
For me, the entire performance was carried by the impeccable acting by Bradley Goodwill, who played the role of Leo's business partner, Sam Katz. There was never a moment where I felt he was merely reciting lines; every delivered line felt authentic. Michael Mantell played the role of Leo just as well. The character made me question my own political motives with the line, "I don't vote because I came to realize that both sides were just as bad." Here, here.
Lastly, as we were returning to our seats during the first intermission, either the old man or old woman walking in front of us let out a very loud fart. Not a word was said until we sat back down. "Was it just me, or did the people in front of us just fart?" I asked. Insert laughter.
Photo taken from Intiman's Paradise Lost Play Guide.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
View Capitol Hill Stairs in a larger map
I was surprised to find that there is a park hiding under I-5, along with a Mountain Bike Skills training course. If I was into mountain biking, I would have needed a new pair of pants upon my discovery of it. It's also very peaceful. Surprisingly enough, you can barely hear the traffic above. Although, I think that may have been due to the fact that much of it was at a standstill. Here are some photos of it all:
It was a very quick and easy trip to get to the bottom of the stairs. Going back up...not so much. There were three other people walking up/down the stairs, and I was the only one not wearing workout clothes. Either way, it was a good workout getting my fat ass back up that hill.
After my Adventure with Stairs, I made a stop at Vivace for an iced latte first; then I went over to Cal Anderson Park to get in a few pages of reading; and then I headed home. I'm glad I got off my lazy ass and out of my apartment today.
As a side note, after we parted ways, I couldn't help but think of how that situation would have played out in a world envisioned by Ayn Rand. Rather than say, "sure, no problem," when asked if I could help her out, the response would have been, "what do I get in return?" Fuck, I hate Ayn Rand.
- Find a fledgling restaurant that is run by an arrogant asshole.
- Send Gordon Ramsay to "save" the restaurant.
- Show the restaurant's chef exclaim how good the food is; show Ramsay spitting the food out and describing it with no less than five expletives.
- Have Ramsay observe a regular dinner service.
- Have Ramsay bitch out the chef/owner/manager about all the things that are wrong and need to be fixed.
- Have said chef/owner/manager bitch out Ramsay and proclaim there is absolutely nothing wrong with the restaurant, and that they just "need customers".
- Insert commentator's remark about how this will be "Chef Ramsay's most difficult challenge yet."
- Have chef/owner/manager break down in tears and say they'll do anything to fix their restaurant.
- Have Ramsay redecorate the entire restaurant and create a new "minimal" menu.
- Insert pep talk with Ramsay and the entire restaurant staff.
- Everyone rejoices.
- Ramsay expresses his skepticism.
- Roll credits.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
From Dalkey Archive Press:
On Christmas Eve 1999, all the Jews in the world die in a strange, millennial plague, with the exception of the firstborn males, who are soon adopted by a cabal of powerful people in the American government. By the following Passover, however, only one is still alive: Benjamin Israelien; a kindly, innocent, ignorant man-child. As he finds himself transformed into an international superstar, Jewishness becomes all the rage: matzo-ball soup is in every bowl, sidelocks are hip; and the only truly Jewish Jew left is increasingly stigmatized for not being religious. Since his very existence exposes the illegitimacy of the newly converted, Israelien becomes the object of a worldwide hunt...Also, the title, Witz, is Yiddish for 'joke'.
Meanwhile, in the not-too-distant future of our own, "real" world, another last Jew—the last living Holocaust survivor—sits alone in a snowbound Manhattan, providing a final melancholy witness to his experiences in the form of the punch lines to half-remembered jokes.
How do you explain that?
In fact, even now, as I look over this page and its words and images, I shudder. It terrifies me. I live for answers. This is what the rest of the page says:
"Dreams and images bombard me (last night & this morning). ThingsI think I may have stumbled upon one of the biggest mysteries in my life. There is so much in the journal, and it is more than just words on paper.
unfrom the deep are migrating to the surface."
"I am beginning to believe that the world is extremely simple and straight-forward. This may be because I can't figure out anything, or that there is nothing (to figure out)."
I didn't really get into politics until after I graduated from college in the spring of 2007. As to why that is, I'm not really sure. I know I wasted most of my time during college, and I could have walked away from it with so much more, but you live and learn.
I can't speak for the past generations, but there is definitely a deeply rooted apathy with regards to civic participation amongst many of my peers, and it drives me nuts. However, I know that I surround myself with people who will actually listen to me, and they know that I do my homework. If I think something is important, they're going to take notice if I keep mentioning it over and over again. (See here, here, here, here, here, and here). So, I'm not just working for my own purpose, I'm working for everyone else. I think that's a valuable thing to offer.
My other contribution was my (O-) blood; I'm a universal donor, and anyone can receive my blood. Sadly, as a practicing homosexual, I am banned from donating blood ever again. Although, things may change in the future.
"He's cute," I would tell myself, as I looked across the way.
There were several cute guys there that day, and I couldn't force myself to believe that I could ever speak to any of them. I proved myself right. It wasn't that difficult, either. The heat was beginning to drive me insane. I couldn't exactly move all of their stuff into a different area of the park. Nearly every square inch of ground was occupied. Thankfully, I liberally applied sunscreen to my face, neck, arms, and legs. I never got a single burn.
My anxiety was getting the best of me. Luckily, my friend returned and relieved me of my duty. I informed him I was leaving, much to his dismay. The wait for the bus was anything but exciting. I became a captive audience to a woman, clearly drunk and consumed by the heat waves. My friend and his boyfriend were leaving, and I managed to excuse myself from the woman's meanderings, and catch a ride with them. The air conditioning never felt so good.
I arrived home, fatigued. I needed a nap. A few hours passed when I received a phone call. This person was not in my phone's address book, but I somewhat recognized the number. I've avoided him for the past several months. I thought I was doing him a favor by disappearing from his life. I increasingly questioned our friendship, and what it really meant to him. At the time, he had only contacted me once, and that was to ask how I was doing. I let the call go to voicemail. Would he leave me a message or not?
The phone made its sound, indicative of having received a voicemail. He had. I listened to it. "Hey JB
On the walk over, I listened to "Crashin'" by Jack's Mannequin. That song would be ingrained in my mind, forever, as the night our friendship rekindled. I waited longer than expected for him to show up. Then again, he always had a penchant for making me wait. I hated that about him. At last, he finally showed. He looked so cute. I always found him to be so attractive. It kind of puzzled me as to why he would do the things he did with someone who looks like me. I wasn't exactly the attractive type. I was paunchy, constantly hunching over, and my clothes were rather shabby. I guess he found something of interest in me; but what?
We walked to the movie theater, chatting along the way. "How have you been? What have you been up to? What's new?" he asked. I was still emotionally guarded at that time, so my answers were short, and disclosed very little. I always preferred for the other person to talk about themselves, rather than me talking about myself. I find myself to be dull, and boring. I hardly ever find anything uninteresting in the guys I meet. I prefer to surround myself with people that embody and represent everything that I am not.
After the movie
The temperature was still lingering in the low 80s, and it was now nearly 2 a.m. He was ready to head home, and he invited me to come along. One movie for the evening would not suffice. We watched yet another film at his apartment. In that moment, things went back to the way I remember them being, even if they meant absolutely nothing. We cuddled on his couch. Having my arm around him, and him being so close was exciting and anxious all at once. What could he possibly be thinking? By the time the movie ended, it was nearly 4 a.m. This is when he invited me to stay the night. We had known each other, at that point, roughly two and a half years. Not once had he ever offered to let me spend the night. Why now? Why all of a sudden? What had changed? This may have all just been inside my head. It really meant nothing. Sometimes I feel as though he is incapable of feeling anything for me. Friendship or otherwise. The question still remains: what does he feel?
As we had done in the past, on numerous occasions, we had sex
That was one of the best nights of my life; and I spent it with a person that I love
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Right now I'm merely enduring it all. I'm waiting for it all to pass. There's not much I can do to make it any better. However, my endurance is running out; I've been hunched over that toilet for nearly seven years.
Photo from assbach's flickr.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Well, it's now 2010, and Ellis is releasing his newest book, Imperial Bedrooms, which is the story of the same characters, only now they are in midlife. I've been waiting for the publisher's galley copy, and it finally arrived this week. However, I couldn't just jump right into the book; I had to re-read LTZ. It's funny how one's perception of a book changes over time. That being said, my enjoyment of the book waned.
I feel very little sympathy for these characters. They know that they're trapped--at times--by their own wills, but none of them make any effort to escape their own personal hell. The only thing they can bring themselves to do is fuck an assortment of people--it doesn't matter if it's a guy or girl--consume copious amounts of drugs, and move from one place to another with increasing apathy. Nothing makes these people happy. They know it. They fully embrace it.
The climactic moment comes when Clay, the protagonist, and the only one who shows any sign of redemption, goes over to a friend's apartment, and witnesses his friends rape a 12 year old girl. "Why?" he asks. "Why not?" is the response. It's extremely disturbing, on many levels, but not nearly as the things that happen in Ellis' magnum opus, American Psycho. (If you have a weak stomach, I do not recommend reading AP.)
The question now becomes: what happened to the characters? Well...
First off, the book cover is terrible. Look at it. What. The. Fuck? It bears no relevance, at all, to the story. Okay, I got that much out of the way. How was the story? It was crap. Ellis took a mediocre idea and recycled it with elements from all of his other novels. In the first few sentences, he writes himself into the book. Now we're dealing with two narrators: Ellis and Clay. Maybe it's just me, but for the entirety of the novel, I couldn't refrain from replacing the fictional character (Clay) with the author (Ellis).
Most of the usual characters return (Rip, Trent, Blair, and Julian) this time around, but the story focuses mostly on Clay. The premise is that he is a successful screenwriter, and he travels to L.A. to assist in casting auditions for the movie he wrote; along the way he runs into his old friends; mystery and drama ensue.
It's 25 years later, and none of them have gotten any better. Clay enjoys manipulating young women by offering them parts in movies in return for sex; Julian is no longer being pimped out, but rather, pimping out young men; Blair and Trent are now married, but superficially so.
The plot is as thin as a thread: someone has gone missing, and Clay keeps being followed and sent mysterious text messages from a blocked number, and maybe someone wants someone else out of the picture, and a girl wants to be in a movie, but at the cost of her boyfriend, and blah, blah, blah. Although I read the whole thing--all 168 pages of it--I stopped caring nearly halfway into it. If you've read Less Than Zero, Glamorama, and Lunar Park, then you've already read Imperial Bedrooms, and you can probably go ahead and pass.
After starting my day at the gym yesterday, I walked home passed Edie's Shoes on Pine and Bellevue. They really know how to lure me in, seeing as how they always have new sets of shoes rotated in and out of the window displays. This time around, it was shoes by Tretorn. I really like the color combination--I guess I'm a sucker for things that are blue/gray.
They're $60, which means I probably won't be their proud owner anytime soon. But I'm not worried; I find quality shoes more often than I find quality men. I love you, shoes.
Monday, March 22, 2010
5:30 a.m. rolled around and I had to make a decision. Either I indulge myself and get some disgustingly good McDonald's breakfast--I love their Sausage McMuffin with Egg--and waste some time on the internet until I go to work; or, I throw on my gym clothes, brave the cold weather, and spin to my heart's content for an hour. Luckily for me, my body, and my coworkers, I chose the latter.
I got to work on time, and my coworker told me she was a little bit frightened at how lively I was being this morning. (I also rode the escalator like Buddy the Elf.) I really need to get in as much time as I can before April 19th--that's when my gym membership expires.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
A store seeking to obtain the endorsement must meet the following criteria:I think this is a great idea. Of course, this merely means that stores can do this. It does not require them to do it. Although, something tells me I won't have much luck trying to taste my $3.00 "cab sauv".
The LCB may issue endorsements to stores smaller than 9,000 square feet if the store meets operational requirements and the LCB finds there are no stores in the community that meet the minimum size requirements.
- At least half of the gross sales of the store must be from retail sales of grocery products for off-premise consumption or the store must be a membership organization;
- The store must be at least 9,000 square feet; and
- The store cannot have more than one public safety violation within the past two years.
The licensee must be able to observe and control individuals in the tasting service area, make food available for participants, limit sample size to 2 ounces, and provide no more than 4 ounces per customer per visit. Store employees serving beer and/or wine at tasting events must hold an alcohol servers permit, and sampling costs must be borne by the store.
Photo from bbp's Flickr.