From time to time, I—like all other sentient, sapient, and mortal animals—think about my end. Never the most pleasant of thoughts, but with an ounce of realism, something that becomes easier with time. I will die and wishing that weren’t so won’t do anyone a lick of good.
In so thinking, I started putting a list together of things I would like done in the wake of my demise. It’s by no means comprehensive.
The astute reader might note that the last three a good general rules of behavior.
Hope this finds you well.
"To a modern audience, these maps are less an account of expanding geographic knowledge than a history of Western thinking about the rest of the world." (via » An Animated Atlas of The Known World - Blog of the Long Now)
Toothpaste For Dinner comic: everyone else gets online
The below review is relatively spoiler-free:
Maybe I just don’t much care for Martin Scorsese. I loved Gangs of New York, Goodfellas is a hellava flick, Taxi Driver, Casino, Shutter Island, all good.
I don’t care for The Departed at all, but that’s another story.
Overall, I’m not really a Scorsese fan. He has a penchant for doing things full bore and a reputation that allows him a lot of creative freedom. He’s a damn institution, but he’s not for me.
Overwritten and under edited
The Wolf of Wall Street clocks in right near three hours and I can say I never really felt the movie drag. Scenes did at times, though some of the very longest and most involved scenes—like the ludes—were among the best in the movie. But overall, I feel TWoWS suffered from the same cancerous growth. I want to see this thing after its been trimmed down to size, sheered of fluff, and made into the tight story it could be. Instead, way too much of Belfort’s two memoirs feel squeezed in with long rambling scenes.
Some great sequences…
That said, there are some great sequences. As previously mentioned, the ludes scene is great. As is the scene when Belfort meets the Fed assigned to his case. And the—very much over the top—scene in which Belfort first goes after the rich with the boiler tactics. All great stuff.
…but many too long and over the top
But often the motivation and under editing that makes these scenes fun makes others almost insufferable. Lots of lengthy orgy scenes well after we know Belfort is a deviant epicurean. A few too many instances of reliance on breaking the fourth wall to make a point. Does no one object to Scorsese when a scene highlighting one characters eccentricities runs a full fifteen? It’s too much.
To show visually and audibly the excesses of the last 80s?
It occurs to me that the point of these overlong scenes and completely out-stretched episodes of debauchery might be to first establish and then nauseatingly drive home just how awful, greedy, and consumptive the ’80s were. If that’s the case, the film succeeds and then some. Or rather, and then way too much. Oh, and at least one too many false endings.
This isn’t exactly a complain except that, yeah, actually, it kinda is. I’m no censor. Not in any way, shape, or form. But sheesh there were a ton of nude females in this film. But not to worry, ladies. Jonah Hill balances it ALLLLL out by pulling out a plastic pud to pull at the pool party.
That was too much alliteration. Just…too much.
Seriously, though, I’d put a tenner on that being the most nudity in any film ever nominated for Best Picture.
next time someone tells you Muslim countries oppress women, let them know Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, and Senegal have all had female Presidents or Prime Ministers and 1/3rd of Egypt’s parliament is female but the US has yet to even have a female vice president and can’t say “vagina” when discussing female reproductive rights
The following was written in a nostalgic, slightly melancholy buzz.
I’m a little boy and God is there and he cares and loves and nothing else at all. It’s beautiful but it’s really nothing to little 4 year old me. It’s truth and not, he is real like Dad’s job is real, she is my future like a family of my own is future. That is to say God is everything and absolutely nothing.
I don’t recall the incessant fighting, but I’ve been told numerous times since that this is all there was: fighting and quiet followed by more fighting. I wonder if I don’t recall because of my age or because my mind decided I shouldn’t.
Then I’m six and God is someone else entirely. Where once God was the idea of permanence and love unconditional, now he judges and lets nothing slide. Now my heart is black for all that comes naturally to my little mind. My soul is damned just for being me. And I rush home, as much as a little six year old boy can rush anywhere without permission, without assistance, to sob into my pillow.
When Mom asks what’s the matter, what’s so upset me, it sets off fighting I actually can recall.
Then I grow into the drudgery of church. I go only at Dad’s and then every Wednesday night and twice Sunday. I go knowing I’ll be bored, knowing I’ll argue at Sunday school, knowing I’ll leave unhappy. It’s a special kind of torture even worse than school where I never feel happy for long. In a way, church is better, in other ways it isn’t. No one at school says this is forever.
Then I’m older still and boredom and fear give way to apathy. I still believe, I still know where God is, what he—he is always he now—does and why he does it, and what my future will be.
I have the recurring dream, or maybe it’s just an idea, where I’m in my Mom’s bed from my early childhood, the one that holds a ten year too old mattress today in her guest room with too many long term occupants. In the dream, I’m alone in my Mom’s bed like after school when I was just so tired and I would fall into it because it was so much bigger than mine. I’m looking at myself from above, a camera focused way in on my calm demeanor.
It pulls back a bit until all of me is in the frame laying in the bed that just breaks the boundaries of the screen. Then it pulls away quickly, all at once, and my expression is anything but calm. The bed spins away, out of control while the cameraman knows exactly what he’s doing. I’m spinning away, alone as I will be always.
I still see it sometimes, though far less than I used to, and when I do I hope my stomach is empty. I hope nothing is in there to be spoiled, to turn sour.
I shake it off, partly, as I always have. It’s become less fearsome as I’ve grown, gotten older, become more resolute in my idea of the world and that beyond, but sometimes I’m still the scared boy who once knew God as nothing but there and true and loving and then knew nothing but fear and retribution and then spun his wheels for years knowing absolutely nothing.
(via How Old Will You Be When You Publish Your Great American Novel?)
Takes a minute to get use to this display of data, but I like it.