For you, the dress code is casual.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bitter about a war movie, and other tidbits

So, it's another lazy weekend day. It's simply too hot to be out in the world, pushing a hundred, over 30. I'm not one of these people that stops eating in the heat, you know. I eat less, but I tend to eat well and in large quantities when I do eat. Like, this morning it was shaved leftover grilled ribeye steak (well seasoned with Montreal steak spice) and asparagus that was sauteed in garlic butter and roma tomatoes all mixed in with scrambled eggs, served with toasted baguette. Some good shit, you know?

But life is lazy and vacuous in heat like this, and the few good meals I have tend to be enjoyed that much more, 'cos it's all I really got going on. Now, I need to clean my living room floor. Sometime in the next three hours, my piece of shit sofa will be gone. Thank the lord. I will clean my floor before the new arrival comes. I will not be laying my rugs down again, in the interest of making my room less musty and more airy in this extended heat wave. (Continuing through next weekend, according to most reports. Slightly cooler, but no rain in sight.)

Watched Jarhead. Disappointed. Well, no, not disappointed, but not satisfied. You can't make a movie about a war and have the war be the plot, you know? It's like they said:

"Hey, let's make a war movie."
"What happens in it?"
"Well, it's a bunch of guys on the front-to-be, waiting for the opportunity to fight."
"Yeah, but, like, what happens?"
"Guys. War. That."

I mean, in Saving Private Ryan, they're looking for a dude. In Three Kings, they're in search of fabled Iraqi gold. In The Great Escape, it's, yes, an escape. In Platoon, it's auto-biographical, and one could even wax poetic and call it a look at the systemic degradation of innocence and ethics in a trained killing machine like the Marines. In Apocalypse Now, it's a another look at just how much success the forces have in creating machines meant to kill, and what the consequences of that success is.

It's not just about fucking war. It's a story set within the confines of a precise place and time, an epic event. Hell, even fucking English Patient is a war movie. Yet, it's not. Within my life at this present time, there are a dozen different stories I could tell, but it all comes under the heading of a Life Called Steff, doesn't it? Sure. Same with wars.

Stupid writing that looks flashy pisses me off. So, this was good, had the potential to be really good, but never actualized it, is all. It had nothing really tying it together. As if a bunch of shitty events in a shitty time in history is congruent enough to be a whole story. Nope.

I mean, Platoon may have had a lot of varying stories that may not necessarily seem as though they do tie together, but you have that great ongoing subtheme with Barnes and Elias that brings different POVs and a unifying link to every aspect of that story. And in an incredibly good way, too. What a great flick.

So, yeah. Fooey on these writers for not having the craft to see that, at the very least. Nice try, but it misses the mark a bit. Still, watchable. Some good shit there. Just flawed as a story, is all.

Anyhow, a glass of lemonade will take the edge off the floor cleaning I must now do. GayBoy and I have decided to rent a movie (what, we don't know) instead of venturing into the world. Buses would be like riding a dirty whore on a day like today. We shall pass, stay in, eat cold, delicious food, and drink crisp white wine. Laziness in a clean house on a new couch in the blistering heat, sounds like a good summer evening in.

Depress-o-meter: I can't decide if I'm a 4 or a 5 out of 10, ten being lousiest. I'm in a fairly good mood, but I have anxieties. Is money going to be okay? Will I manage my time well this week? When should I set up my tutoring? Man, I don't want to make those calls, why can't these people use email? Will I get enough exercise in this week? Is the sky falling? Why is blue cold? Oh, my freakin' head. So, good mood, but really stupid waves of negativity and worry, which is another aspect of depression. It's the brain's way of saying, "Okay, so I don't need to think about how depressed I am, but I need to keep myself active, 'cos these chemicals have me hopping, so let's think about all the shit you can't do fuck all about right now. Let's obsess." What fun. What I can do, though, is clean up and create a feeling of accomplishment here, now. So, let's do that then. And that's the secret in the battle. Okay, you can't change that, but what, right now, is in your power to change? Then change it. Takes discipline, but... it can be done.