Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I hated it when people would do these...

But self-loathing can be kind of sweet.

1. What is your current obsession? Halo 3 on Xbox Live. Yes I know...very nerdy.

2. What is your weirdest obsession? Teen Melodrama on Friday Night Lights (The TV show)

3. Recall a fond childhood memory? Friday Blockbuster nights back when my parents were still together. It's the only memory I have from that long ago. (Dad always let me rent Star Wars).

4. What’s for dinner? Probably pasta.

5. What would you eat for your last meal? Pad Thai with Chicken from Indochine.

6. What’s the last thing you bought? Literally? A 12 pack of Miller Lite.

7. What are you listening to right now? Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective

8. What do you think of the person who tagged you? I didn't get tagged. I'm just bored.

9. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished, anywhere in the world, where would it be? Manhattan.

10. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Buenos Aires.

11. Which language do you want to learn? Italian.

12. What’s your favourite quote (for now)? "life is so very fragile. we are all vulnerable, and we will all, at some point in our lives...fall. we will all fall. we must carry this in our hearts, that what we have is special. that it can be taken from us, and when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will be tested to our very souls. we will now all be tested. It is these times, it is this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves."

13.What is your favourite color? Blue...usually those of a lighter shade.

14. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? One of my Bruce Springsteen t-shirts.

15. What is your dream job? Anywhere in the Department of Education

16.What’s your favourite magazine? The Economist

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? A wallet and some cds.

18. Describe your personal style? Ummm I guess it would be relaxed?

19. What are you going to do after this? Haven't thought that far yet.

20. What are your favourite films? Blade Runner, Magnolia, The Godfather, The Motorcycle Diaries, Raging Bull, Amelie, quite a few more too...

21. What’s your favorite fruit? Green apples.

22.What inspires you? People.

23. Your favorite books? Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer,The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

24. Do you collect anything? DVDs i guess.

25. Any advice from bitter experience? Sic Transit Gloria...glory fades.

26. What makes you follow a blog? If it's good.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Science Fiction: A Cinematic Black Sheep Or Diamond In The Rough?

Science Fiction movies get a bad rap these days. Let's face it, for every good sci-fi film there are about 20 bad ones. But let's be serious, isn't that the same with any genre? I mean honestly, wouldn't the ratio be the same for say, romantic comedies, family films, or horror?

But for some reason when people ask you what kind of movies you like, people cringe when you say science fiction. Why is this? And please don't say "sci-fi is for nerds," because honestly, we are all nerds in our own way. Whether it's lining up to catch the latest Star Wars in theaters, spending rediculous amounts of money to see Taylor Swift, or even making sure that you are decked out from head to toe in your favorite sports team's clothes we all are a little bit nerdy.

But why does the sci fi genre tend to make people turn up their nose?

I think it's because good sci-fi poses questions that might make people uncomfortable. This is different from most genres because a lot of movies make statements or observations about us. But sci-fi successfully poses questions about us, some that we often are not willing to try to answer because those answers may scare us.

I'll provide a few examples:

Children of Men (2005)--What would happen if a generation did not have to worry about the next?

Wall-E (2008)--What would we (or more importantly the world) look like if a corporation got so big and powerful that it became our world?

Brazil (1985)--What if the government became a beauracracy that used fear as its means for controlling its citizens?

Blade Runner (1982)--What if we had the power to build life?

People don't always have quick and easy answers to these questions, which I think bothers a lot of people. Some could write off these things as "never being able to happen." Not only do I beg for you to look at the question I said Brazil posed but I think we should also define sci-fi as a whole. I think also what turns people off of sci-fi is the fact that actual rules for a film to qualify as sci-fi is for it to actually be grounded in a world like our own. Everything in a sci-fi film has an explanation grounded in real life--as far-fetched as these rules may sometimes be. It doesn't necessarily have to take place in the future--though most sci-fi does--but I think what may turn people off is that these visions of reality are a bit too close for comfort for them.

People often say that sci-fi is just weird, but i think that those people are just close-minded. Yes it can be strange, but it can also be intellectually--and sometimes philosophically--stimulating.