Sunday, December 25, 2005

" somewhere tiny tim is dreaming of thumbellina "


dear all,

by now, it's 21 minutes past what would be christmas if it truly existed in this 90% buddhist country.

i think that since i don't have a house or a stove or any sort of chimney type thing, he just won't make it to my bangkokian apartment. and that's cool.

if you're alone, don't worry, a new year is around the bend. go get a nice xmas-type breakfast with a stranger.

if you're with a loved one or family or both, take this day off to remind yourself just how wonderful being with each other is.

whatever your preferred religion or holiday sensibilities, be safe and take care.

and if santa also doesn't show up at your house, i'm willing to be the packaged recipient of your "wasted cookies.

milk might prove more difficult to send by post though.

merry chrisannukwanza to all!


bay in bkk


Sunday, December 18, 2005

" always down for the hometown "


Herb Caen once wrote:

"It's the indescribable conglomeration of beauty and ugliness that makes San Francisco a poem without meter, a symphony without harmony, a painting without reason -- a city without equal."

Walking its streets reveals this truth. It's no surprise that other cities -- like New York, London, Sydney and Minneapolis -- offer similar realities. City streets are a time capsule that take us back in history, give us a glimpse of the future and help us capture the moment.

They provide context -- a place where we can put our lives into perspective. A place where we can explore who we once were, what we've become and what the future might hold.


tonight's homework:

get out into the streets with your camera of choice. prepare food and weather-appropriate clothing. walk around your neighborhood and photograph the things and people and animals and objects and everything and anything that catches and commands to be documented. only a sense of exploratory professionalism is needed.

develop the photos (or download them into your computer if you are a digital-photog), then print them at the lab (off of your desktop printer). affix them in a poster-size design on a main wall in your living quarters/house/apt/studio/domicile, scrapbook them, flip-book them, exhibit them, share them, cherish them.

this is where you are right now. the place where you are, and where you are existing. you exist. and the love you have for the place you exist in, reflects in the way the place you exist in will love for you.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

" the ebb and flow of international commerce"


weederman23: some japanese dude bought all of my buttons at the weekend market
weederman23: about 40-60 of my custom buttons for a hundred bucks
mira0013: that's so cool
weederman23: i think so
weederman23: i started to feel weird about it, but it's cool
mira0013: feel weird, why?
weederman23: like, i think i intended for them to be sold and spread throughout thailand...and having a japanese guy buy them...
weederman23: i mean, they were getting really good. like i've been making them really intricately this time around, but i know in japan he can sell them for more
weederman23: and is he really interested in them? or interested in them as a commodity; just something to sell?
weederman23: aaaanyways, i got over it when i did a little math
mira0013: what was that little math?
weederman23: about $2.50 a button
weederman23: so i figure, "hey, that's a sandwich right there"
weederman23: and in total, that could potentially equal out to a lot of sandwiches
mira0013: yeah
mira0013: so many that you might even get sick of sandwichses
weederman23: maybe, but i don't think that would ever happen


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

" i double-kong dare you " or " yes, spoilers ahead "


sometimes people forget about the entertainment factor. it's about the ride, the gasps of terror, the funny, the drama, the tears of joy, and about the experience of it all. king kong is a brilliant ride of all of these isms.

you have to take a guarded stance against the bullshit blockbuster movies that hollywood and hollywood-type studio systems are trying to sell to you. sure they may be gimungous and visually spectacular, but you end up watching a 15 dollar-a-pop-plus-popcorn-set piece of flashy poo. it's hollow. it's vacuous. it's wasted your time, and made some ass-muppet in tinseltown that much richer.

to get back to it, director peter jackson has created a cinematic feast to consume, not only with the eyes, but with the entire being. you can tell how much he loves this character, with the vast everythingness of the piece.

it's about powerful storytelling. you have to want to lend yourself to a film, to fully engross yourself and everything in the moment, in order to fully appreciate a majesty of this sort. and it does live up to the hype. oh yes. believe it this time; king kong will do it for you, in which ever way it needs to be done.

and okay, let's take a moment to discuss a few tics people have about such tales:

a) CGI creatures: people, you're all going to have to get over the fact that it's CGI. seriously. i mean, i didn't hear you complain when you went to see jurassic park for the first time. all i heard were gasps of delight and wonder. yes, i was there.

using the CGI technology has become old hat, so when you see one or many of these creatures, it's only human of us to automatically think to ourselves (and out loud. yeah i know who you annoying people are.), "gee, these CGI creatures look soooo CGI. i am actively and consciously going to not believe it/them."

and why? because you're better than the movie? because you're smarter than the filmmakers who only want to entertain you and tell you a story? what are they going to do but do their best to portray these monsters and ancient animals in the best way they know how?

i suppose the moral is, stop being such a smart-ass viewer. if you paid for the ticket to ride, you are going to have to exercise your imagination muscle. of course it's fake! that's the whole point!! it's called suspension of belief, and i say, look into it.

also, if it still looks fake to you, think of it as sort of a nod to the 1933 version of king kong, and the clay models they were working with then; how they moved and how they moved people with their at-the-time staggering realism. it's true, look into it.

b) film versus fanboy: no doubt this is a pet project of peter jackson's. it is plainly obvious that he loves the king that is kong. you can just imagine him in the screening room, going fucking insane at how it's all coming together.

he's writhing with excitement, the screen flickering to and fro, and he's rolling on the floor bawling out with tears of joy. okay maybe not, but you can see how hard he worked with his crew on this. it's no mere project, it's a fulfillment.

sometimes you meet these people who are called fanboy's(and they can be girls too, although i'm not sure that fangirl would mean the same stereotype as a fanboy), and they're passionate. i mean, they'll talk your ear off at length about the latest bit of cinema gossip, nerd fiction, comic book crossover spectacular, their theories on everything geek, and pretty much can either go one of two ways: cool, or really not cool at all.

you look at peter jackson, and you start to realize, this guy is a fanboy (the good kind) that made it! if any of you cannot believe how nerdy and successful this amazing at-one-time-pudgy and-hobbit-like man is, did you catch the sumatran rat monkey(dead alive reference) cage in the illegal live-animal capture hold in the brig of the boat? fantastic!!! that's what i'm talking about. and if you still are confused, ask a friend, because odds are you do actually know someone that is a fanboy, and you just don't know.

c) you know how it ends: c'mon people, pull it together. we all know that you know how it ends. it's the entire point of the movie. it's a reinterpretation. it's a fable, a fantasy, a tall tale, an adventure, and a story. it's beauty and the beast exemplified. it's magical. it's raw and vicious. it's period and somewhat campy and stylized and perfect.

of course king kong dies in the end. he has to die in the end. don't you ever get mad at me or make that face; i told you this in the title. and it's king kong, how can he survive in the city? it's just not going to happen. this is a tragedy. it's a fable of caution; of how we can let nature be wild in it's own environment.

and you see how truly along kong is in his jungle solitude; he fights for survival every day and overcomes it as the last of his kind. it'll touch you, or else you're not truly all-human in the way that king kong is not truly all-flesh-and-blood.

it's of how we ourselves become the monsters and destroy all of the beautiful things we try to uphold. this is a melancholy story about love and the nature of the world living in tandem with each other. it's all of this, and it's all told through the eyes of this 25-foot tall protagonist. i tell you, it's super-fresh!

d) it's 3 hours long in running time: can you handle that? can you even foresee how long this is going to be? i'm betting that your imagining the strain of a droning-on feature slumping languishly in places making the whole thing drag and strain under the weight of a story drawn out and killed.

in fact, this piece is 3 hours and 8 minutes long, and it only seems like an hour and a half or so. this is what we like to call, the magic of editing (also known as the power of pacing and storyboarding, but at a different point in time as per to the [post]production). i never lags or feels dialogue heavy. it's all about balance and choices; the choice here was obviously to make a kick-ass super fest, and it succeeds.


so use the restroom beforehand, tuck your store-bought snackies safely into the pockets of your bag, sip your drinks slowly, and get ready to not just watch a movie, but to be moved with an experience.

just trust me when i say you're going to love it. and if you don't you can write to me and tell me why, we can discuss it openly and truthfully, weighing the pros and cons over tea, and maybe even have a dialogue of our own. i know it's not perfect, but it's perfect enough to look past all of the little details you might be inclined to list and exploit.

i'm sure you can come up with a whole slew of other nitpicky things (billy elliot get all frustrated and small when he could've been a greater character antagonist, the "natives" on skull island and how come they had to be scary and darkly-skinned and then where did they all go later on? the use of slow-motion but in a strange way that takes you out of the action, andy serkis as lumpy the cook and how his eye wasn't really shut all the way [and kudos for his death scene. this boy gets got in one of the nastiest most savage ways-of-nature that one can think of], the dinosaurs-are-falling sequence and how did the characters run so fast and so far without getting lost? on and on and on and on STOP IT!!!), but you'd only actively ruin a superbly made film for doing so.

but in all fairness to your intelligence if you happened to dislike the piece, in light of mass-consumerism, brand-namerism, pro-republicanism, gaudy jewelryisms, and teenagers ruling them all, this is a perfect example of what your "money's worth" should look like.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

" condo panorama duece "


looking to the world outside; strange eminations from everywhere linger.

turning your back on the night, to lay down against the slow breeze of the dark lights.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

" hey! where'd my movie experience go? "


nerdy regression:

sooooo, where'd the story go?

what is 'aeon flux-y' about this movie at all excepting the names and pseudo-artistically mad cinematic references to an obviously superior(albeit animated) creator-owned super universe.

it had everything setup: storyline, creator still alive (lookit the nerds of batman [only a few of them and you know which ones those are and in what order], superman[s], and LOTR!!! okay okay, that's not a fair comparison, but still...).

there is an Aeon Flux, yes to be true, but this isn't it. sorry.

i can't believe MTV just sunk to a lower (than they already can pour and instill shit to flourish in the minds of pop-culture and their minions) level with this adapted (tripe) piece. at the end of the show, i was sad to see peter chung's name mentioned; i mean you sort of have to, but it hurts to see it up there alongside his creation.

it remains valid that the characters and the creators (inclusive of petur chung, [was-off-to-a-great-start debut-ist] K-kusama, [fresh off of monster oscar and other lauded performances] charlize theron, fuckin jonny lee miller [sick boy hackers guy? c'mon!], [did you even catch dirty pretty things or the great modern drama hotel rwanda???] sophie O., and also the ill placed and surprisingly cast [usually brilliant and still great in a confused re-interpretation of aoen flux] frances mcdormand. it's just so sad is all; that so many creatives can come together and completely miss the point.

the shots are stylized without weight. the costumes are exquisite beyond a mere star trek voyager episode and nearly pret-a-porter in the real world...if the real world were a utopian-esque student fashion contest in singapore. the dialogue harks no clear references to the original snappy dark lusciousness that was the playful double-speak banter between aeon and everyone she encountered.

gone are the innuendos, the fun, the funny, and the quirkyness wrapped within real and intimate dangers. maybe it's just a fan-boy's ultimate job to criticize everything and shit on every attempt to adapt original fictional pieces and character-driven storylines, but there should've been more (creator) input?

perhaps, maybe? somewhere? anywhere other than a non-veiled reference to the fly-in-the-eye(lash) liquid televisioned intro of the series. it was confusing and made me sad ironically.

i suppose they'll get on, move on, creation-ing more stuff from existing [fan-praised]stuff, but this might've been one that they could have spent a little more time on story, rather than MTV's involvement on.

that said, it's like i said with the entire star wars prequels before they came out,

"if it's rad, it'll add the the awesomeness that is the star wars universe. if not, then it'll prove that you don't really have to mess with perfection of originality."

it's up to you ultimately i guess.