Made me remember this story I recently came across, this romance between some characters I hadn’t thought about since I was a little kid. They became more relatable after this video, which incidentally Steven Spielberg told me about over Skype. He said it was called the “Citizen Kane of animation”, basically it’s very influential and kind of a huge accomplishment.
This is a love triangle between a girl and two dudes: a dot, a line… and a squiggle. It’s also less than 10% as long as the usual romantic comedy. Sure, there’s no Sandra Bullock but it’s cool, it’s whimsical, it’s wonderfully narrated (by an Englishman, obviously going to be good) and it struck me as a condensed version of the many romantic comedies to come years later. What’s awesome is how many jokes they managed to stuff into this short video- Puns galore as well as visual gags and great musical accompaniment. Keep in mind this was made in 1965, I’m impressed at how well all the ideas and jokes connect 50 years later. Awesome work.
This IS a great cast: Line is a convincing everyman and Dot has the screen presence required to pull off straddling the line (no pun intended!) of the mercurial love interest. Squiggle’s trademark “grimy guitar” musical effects crack me up too. Combined with his slothful ways, that guy is bad news!
If there’s a lesson here – it’s in Line’s tenacity. When Dot rejected him because he was too straight, Line simply decides to gym up. He’s in there pushing himself and when he comes back Line is slingin’ straight fire! Angles? Squiggles?…Um, How about roller-coasters and cathedrals the people at Six Flags and Romans couldn’t even imagine, respectively.
Line just kept upping his game. That is the lesson.
This V-Day, here’s to the dots, lines AND the squiggles – and we’ve tried all of the roles on by now- keep upping your game. DO YOU. Here’s hoping that even if you don’t live happily ever after, at least it’s reasonably so.
Also, Spielberg just snapchatted me saying that this is his favorite actually:
If you have a problem, take it up with him @MinorityReportSS
Robert Frost wrote the iconic poem about his horse and him stopping by the woods on a snowy evening in 1922. I hold a degree in English Literature so I can tell you with confidence that they almost certainly stopped there because the horse or him or both had to poop.
A lot has changed since then and sadly his wonderful poem has become a tad difficult to relate to. In this spirit, it’s time to Remix what this former Poet Laureate referred to as his “best bid for remembrance.” Chill Frost (heh heh), I’m remembering you 93 years later – as I’m sure this Remix will be celebrated in 2108.
Whose woods these are I think I know
Some corporation that bought this land a long time ago
They probably ran off a Cherokee or Navajo
and that community disappeared as quietly as this falling snow
Prose and poems aplenty one reads of nature’s wonders
But transfixed in the moonlight now the sole spell I’m under
Is a spine-bending blood-curdling cold shock tearing me asunder
The Hawk coming at me hard, to strike and freeze me like icy thunder
My tired tried and true old car lets out a painful yelp
A high-pitched wail emanating off a too-old timing belt
Callously ripping apart the slightly boring peace of the Vanilla shroud
Nudging, nudging, guilt tripping and dispersing the only crowd
These woods are dank, wet and cold kinda like my feet
This eerie gray introduction scene to The Hudsucker Proxy captures New Year’s Eve so perfectly. I love every shot of the buildings in 1958/1959 New York, every written word is amazing and pin perfect AND the narrator’s voice is so good:
“Come midnight it’s gonna be 1959. A whole nuther feeling. The new year. The future. Yeah, ole daddy Earth fixin to start one more trip round the sun, everybody hoping this ride-around be a little more giddy, a little more gay…”
I could argue it is my favorite Coens movie, and also my favorite gangster movie, along with Goodfellas (also released in 1990). Miller’s Crossing is very different from any other gangster film because of the trademark wit and clever wordplay that was so often the signature of the early Coens stuff. It’s on full display here with a firecracker cast ripping amazing one-liners in perfect time like they’re jazz drummers, and with the regularity and punch of the Tommy guns Leo’s gang favors.
This zany, brilliant, criminally underrated gangster movie is incredible in it’s scope and authenticity depicting the criminal underworld of 1930s America. The set design and costume design sing, it’s hard to fathom this was before the advent of green screen special effects, some of the backdrops and shots are so gorgeous.
I read a ton of biographies. In almost every biography of a success story, there is a moment early in their life when our protagonist goes against the grain and shows some initiative that separates him or her from the pack.
Two weeks ago, I decided I was tired of emailing my resume out endlessly. No longer content to let my future be determined by the whims of somebody’s inbox, I printed out a dozen copies of my resume, put on some nice duds, and set out to walk into the cushy offices and environs of the people that I want to work for. I don’t especially enjoy walking into the offices of people I don’t know and disrupting their work day, so I had to muster up a little moxie to do this. I did this by drinking a stiff coffee and listening to my spirit animal Eminem’s 8 Mile Road battletrack.
“I got every ingredient, all I need is the courage…”
I repeatedly found myself twenty feet from my destination, taking a deep breath and wiping away the beads of sweat from my brow. I checked my clothes in the semi-reflection of the glass office walls next door, and I walked into my possible bright future, all perfect posture and clean-shaven polite smiles. Not a single office would even look at my resume. I was polite. I wasn’t asking for an interview. I simply wanted to leave a paper copy of my resume and cover letter in an office of people I respected and wanted to work alongside, and people looked at me as if I was a billigerant and pantsless drunken door-to-door salesman with his fly open. (I know that’s technically not possible)
A few people were visibly uncomfortable and behaved as if by putting a resume on a desk I was littering. Time and again, the security personnel or the person at the front desk of said company would tell me that “All our hiring is done online” and direct me to their homepage. I would counter politely that since I was physically in the room now, could I just leave my information? However, our online society of 2014, this handless brainless army we’ve become, these people’s somewhat calm exteriors morphed into palpable discomfort at my suggestion. More than three people literally put their hands up in the air in a display of graphic exasperation to illustrate to me the depths of my demanding boorish behavior. Walking in was seeming to have the opposite effect of what I anticipated, rather than give me an in due to my initiative, it was taking me out of consideration because they thought I was outside my damn mind.
I wondered what the biography subjects I had read about would have done. Well, Einstein probably would have laughed and ridden his unicycle home. But what would the late Youtube commencement speaker Steve Jobs have said to the gentleman who told him to only contact them through their website or LinkedIn? In his biography he repeatedly told prospective employers he was not leaving their premises until they hired him. I appeared to be running the risk of incarceration if I inquired one more time if they could direct me to the person in charge of new hires. The irony was not lost on me that the very companies and industries that were built around ideas of thinking differently, built by people who chased uniqueness and persistently at that, their successors seemed to all be thinking alike now, and not courageously. These days, people celebrate thinking differently as their cover photos and profile pictures but in an ever-increasing number of actual human interactions, something as simple and harmless as asking to leave a paper on a desk can get you treated like a pariah and any deviation from the mundane order of the day appears borderline anarchic.
You may say, the system works fine, dude. You apply online, present yourself as best you can online, that gets you in and then you are there in person. So why did I want to visit these places in person first? It’s because I don’t have any connections, and I feel like I am consistently losing out to those who do (not sure of this but it’s possible), and it’s also because I think my online self is a shell of me. I’m better off paper. Online Me is significantly less charming, impressive and three-dimensional as my real self. The only thing he has going for him is a certain mystique but offline me? I’ve spent every hour of every job of my adult life dealing with people. I used to be terrible at it. I was deathly afraid of speaking to strangers when I was a teenager and only a little better till my early twenties. I could have looped the equator thrice with my long line of “I shoulda said”-s. I eventually improved at talking to people, picked up lessons from others I admired and after years of sales jobs, I became attuned to quickly finding common ground with people and cutting through the false pretenses most put up. Now I’m continuously disappointed in the people I MEET! And I think talking to people is one of my biggest strengths. That’s mainly only because I genuinely love talking to folks. That does not translate online. I can claim that as a “Skill” on my LinkedIn but so can every person on LinkedIn. By being refused the opportunity to speak to people at my dream job headquarters, I began to think that in a way, for the first time, my physical human presence was now being devalued as a result of my online presence constantly becoming ever more influential.
Online Me is only supposed to be a cardboard cut-out, a 2×2 inch screenshot that is a flat and broad clue that could hint at the possibilities of the blood, spirit and joke filled person behind him. But he’s boring. He used to simply be a virtual Driver’s License and now he’s apparently got the keys to a better life for me. I’ve gotta be responsible for this guy, now? I’ve always been averse to technology and while I realized long ago that I would not be a Software Engineer with my lack of appreciation for all things tech, it was hard to foresee that connection between people would come to dwindle so much that our internet representations would come to mean much more than our voices on the phone let alone our presence across a desk.
Isn’t something lost if we are exclusively dating people chosen for us by algorithms on Match? Are amazing new restaurants declaring bankruptcy prematurely because we won’t try them because they have no Yelp reviews? I worry that the era is upon us where our reliance on the Web and our digital selves will cost us the joy and pleasures of connecting offline. There’s no denying that the world has changed and being tech-savvy is very important but let’s try to always hold onto the fact and celebrate it, that Hey, we’re people offline too. We should use technology for conveniences we could not have without it, but if we continue removing human interaction from things that we personally did pre-internet, we run the risk of becoming useless sheeple and that bothers me. I asked someone for directions the other day, and she confided to me that she felt silly asking people for directions nowadays, because it was expected that people should check their phones for maps first and foremost. I told her what I’m telling you, I’m always going to ask people because I love talking to people and it gives me a reason to do so, even if they send me down the wrong streets much too often.
This is a good song to play in the background while reading this poem. Mood music courtesy of Vangelis.
Press PLAY and scroll down or feel free to not press anything and continue with the Silent Version. Seriously though, why would you not play the song?
I could just leave right now.
“Well, I’ll get going” I could be saying…
I don’t want to leave too early but
I really don’t want to end up overstaying
If I leave right now then I’ll sleep very well
but if I leave right now then I’m gonna catch hell
Soon as I leave, they’ll start to mix it all and twist it all
and then tomorrow all I’ll hear is how I missed it all
I’ll wake up feeling fresh, well-rested and pissed off that I left early
Will decide I’d much rather have had 3 hours of sleep and been a lil surly
But if I stay? What then? What magic moment is going to produce itself next?
Seems like everybody just telepathically agreed to check their texts
Hmm but this definitely has potential, just enough potential or else I’d be gone
but what if it’s never realized and I realize too late I held on too long?
And what if this sudden hopefulness is just a result of this drinking?
Beer muscles, impaired judgement and a boost of wishful thinking
If staying sucks, I’ll head home with a ‘tsk’ refrain and regretting this last hour
Curse my alarm angrily tomorrow morning while dragging my feet to the shower
Think of how a good sleep and a hot breakfast tomorrow could be so de-stressing
while the old toss ‘n’ turn and Eggo waffle while dressing’s been getting depressing
Such a fine line between leaving early and overstaying
a moment either way and you find yourself paying
the price of free time for your self and for your lazing
or the price of possibly maybe missing something slightly amazing
Went walking, came across some ice skaters and their faces were so expressive. I was taken by the looks of focus, intensity and fear while learners made their way round the rink and equally entertained by the looks of confidence and grace that the better skaters wore. The best faces were of people who had just fallen. Their laughs were so genuine and accompanied by blushing and other charming hints of shame. I thought not to take photos of people who had fallen but some of these kids – their faces were too good to not capture.
From my epic tolerance for every drug from Milk Chocolate to 70% Dark Chocolate to my wild and debauched nightly benders at the YMCA, Yoga class and Panera Bread, I’m universally regarded as unhinged, untamed and it’s understood that underwear is not in my vocabulary.
WILD. AS. WILD.
So obviously it comes with the territory that I’ve broken my share of chairs. Splintered some wood, ripped some canvas. Ain’t no thing to me. A movie theater in Bombay. A living room in Jakkur. Yards. Get togethers. Dinners in snooty restaurants. A hammock. A bed-frame. On any occasion, without warning, I could begin my descent to a stiff wooden chair soon-to-cave under the pressure of being his majesty’s throne. Executive leather office chairs have choked under the bright lights of my whirling dervish swiveling. So it came as no surprise to my seasoned chair-destroying ears when I plopped down onto my friend’s chair in his backyard recently only to hear a pathetic yokel’s cry: “Dude, you trying to break another chair!?”
I calmly explained that if I wanted to break his chairs, he would be sitting on the floor at that very moment. For when I hear that siren’s cry, in the name of all things sex, drugs, and rock & roll, I am a slave to my muse and that chair is dust the second I feel the thunder, it’s just standing there not knowing it is all.
He pathetically pleaded “That’s how you broke the last one! You can’t just fall into it man, LOWER yourself into the chair. Ease into it.” This civilian’s whining was of course alien to me, me a man proud to have lost his hearing to the hammers of the gods and his feelings to the succubus awaiting him in Pandora’s Box night after night.
I said HELL NO. DUDE MAN BRO, LOWERING YOURSELF INTO A CHAIR IS NOT ROCK & ROLL.
You think Keith Richards eases into his chair? Please. Easing and lowering are beneath our breed. We are the ploppers. The chosen ones. We effortlessly amble up to said chair, situate our ass in the designated air space we choose and then we DROP with the reckless abandon of a skydiver on speedballs. It’s a RUSH, kids. No considerations, no easing, no lowering and no mercy – Just a gut call and pure adrenalin on that two foot drop till your ass hits the chair. And if some chairs break, tough sh*t Sonny. You want to make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs, as the man says.
So then I had to educate the chair-owner on the plight and duty of the chair who stands in the eye of the tornado.
TRUE LIFE: I AM A ROCK STAR’S CHAIR.
Keith Richards – His chair is a born survivor. Rain, wind, snow, lava, doesn’t matter. Keef can plop off a helicopter with a Hatari Hanzo sword unsheathed and this chair welcomes it. The chair itself is a chain smoking, groupie guzzling, drug and booze cocktail imbibing nocturnal animal with creased leather and intimidating upholstery. Remarkably, he’s cozy too. Found in the basement of a palace in Marseilles after a coup.
Mick Jagger– Mick’s chair is on Ebay, it is a leather LA-Z-BOY with his band’s lips insignia prominently displayed on it. It is under the listing “Sir Mick Jagger’s Chair”. Asking price is $495,900. To activate recliner, pull and hold the large brown wooden stick on the side (as seen on Sticky Fingers cover) and this leathery old chair will stun you by gyrating in a herky-jerky manner for the rest of the night. Originally purchased from one Peter Frampton’s 1977 yard sale.
Bono– Bono’s chair is made from an ultra-chic material that is so environmentally friendly that Chris Martin from Coldplay threw a hissyfit because he couldn’t get one. The creation of this chair benefited farmers in the Midwest, kids in Africa and those Chilean miners nobody talks about anymore. This chair sports a Red Cross on the front along with a photo on the back that looks like it was taken from a Benetton ad. Slick and uncomfortable, the ideal chair for a boutique hotel lobby. Ikea will auction off 200 knockoffs for their SIT ON IT, MALARIA 2014 Charity Drive.
Jim Morrison – The best chair in the world for the man who threatens to babble on too long and ultimately expose his member. A dark, weird, disturbed chair with random rhyming couplets carved into it’s armrests with a rusty bloody blade. Probably bought on Craigslist. Greyish brownish grey.
Jimi Hendrix – Extremely flammable. Adorned in Hindu deities. Comfortable if you sit in this one position that nobody seems to have quite figured out yet. Rumored to be an orgasmic sit if found. Rumored to have only been found once, backstage at Monterey Pop. Rumored to be a bullsh*t rumor. Rumored to now be in the home of Nicolas Cage, the one in Aspen.
Do you think these Gods of Rock eased themselves into their chairs? (Nic Cage included) You don’t take over the world by being some hick who says “Excuse me, may I slowly turn and descend my rear end into this sitting tool?” Moreover, these men are all on the record about sitting and smashing:
Mick and Keith famously yelled “Hey you, get off my chair!”
Jim Morrison’s epic ode to destroying chairs with his ass is still sung in bars round the world – “I tried to stand, I tried to hide, break on through to the other side!”
Jimi Hendrix touched on this taboo topic many times in his short life, “Hey Joe, where you going with that chair in your hand? I’m going down to show my old lady, caught her messin’ round with another chair.”
And don’t you dare think that breaking chairs is limited to classic rock. No less a modern day legend than Kanye West has put his own trademark wit to the chair-destroying rite of passage for musical entertainers. He raps on his four times platinum album “Seatyricon” – “Y’aint never seen European shopping sprees with Hova/Salvadore Dali hand-painted Sofa/didn’t even take the bubble wrap off/before we crashed thru it Game Ova”
No less an icon than Paul “Wings” McCartney has stated that the highlight of his career is to this day penning his seminal tribute to the majesty of the chair: “Here, Chair and Everywhere.” Asked to be interviewed for this article, Macca declined but sent this statement through his publicist:
“I’ve always liked sitting in them, to be honest. But breaking them and all that seems a bit silly to me now. I mean, it’s a waste isn’t it? Then you have to clean the mess and get a new chair. I mean, we’ve all done it when we’re young…but you grow up sometime don’t you? Seats are meant to be respected, at least that’s how I raised my kids. When I play “Here, Chair and Everywhere” at my shows – and the audience all gently ease back into their chairs, it’s lovely. Makes me get a wee bit emotional.”
To each his own, apparently. For another perspective, we contacted Axl Rose’s publicist. She responded by saying that Axl was “in the studio furiously working on the remaster for Chinese Democracy which is about to blow the world away” -but he was kind enough to send us a letter which really says it all:
“I f*cking hate sitting. But I love chairs. That’s what “Welcome to the Jungle” is about. Nobody ever got that. Why do you think I’m strapped to an electric chair in the video? I started breaking chairs in Indiana and when I got to LA, there were more chairs than I had ever f*cking seen man. I busted a dozen my first week on the Strip. I had never sat in anything like these before. I even say in Jungle “it’s gonna bring you down!” and to your “na-na-na-na-knees”, I mean how stupid do people have to be to not get the message? Did I have to call the track “Break your chair, motherf*cker” for them to get it? Paradise City was originally written from the perspective of a chair who keeps getting the sh*t kicked out of him but of course David f*cking Geffen that money-hungry m*therf*cking c*cks*ck*er made us change it for MTV.”
Rose included a recent photo of himself holding up his middle 3 fingers with a handwritten note reading “Read between the lines, 1, Axel F-ing Rose.”
I first saw Hook at the cinemas in December of 1991, it was a stunning movie to see at that age when you’re still not one hundred percent certain that the Peter Pan story is fictional. “The world’s a big place! It could happen, right? Hey, I’ve never been to London! Maybe Wendy’s window is magical!? Maybe everything in London is magical? That’s where Mary Poppins is from, right? I need to go to London.”And so on.
Sweeping, epic, romantic, I had never seen anything of that scope before. For the next six months, I told whoever was forced to sit next to me on the school bus that Hook was ROBBED by Dances With Wolves for Best Picture that year. “NOT EVEN A NOMINATION? WHAT A JOKE THE ACADEMY IS, RIGHT? RIGHT?”
Although it was my first exposure to him, it firmly placed newcomer (to me) Robin Williams in the Siddharth Chander’s Childhood Hall-of-Fame (cemented 3 years later by Aladdin) alongside such luminaries as Optimus Prime, The Ultimate Warrior, Eddie Murphy, MacGyver, Axl Rose and Balki from Perfect Strangers. Steven Spielberg would direct the acclaimed Schindler’s List a few years later and it seemed every review stated things like “Finally! Spielberg makes his classic!” The now slightly older me was confused by this because my review of the black and white snoozer simply read: “Ain’t no Hook.” Literally and metaphorically, I might add. How could people enjoy watching Nazis being Nazis more than the Lost Boys having a food fight? You can have Auschwitz, I’m staying in Neverland my man.
One word: RUFIO.
He is the MVP of this thing and just so you know where I stand – I would have sided with Rufio over Pan any day of the week. Rufio was younger, more dynamic, more charismatic, had *MUCH* better hair, funkier clothes and in my opinion crowed at the sky better than Pan who looked like a down on his luck lawyer in his tattered 3-piece suit and spectacles. YOU are the “substitute chemistry teacher”, Pan.
Still, it definitely never got any better than when Rufio elected to be the bigger person, embrace Pan’s return and go all WATCH THE THRONE on Captain Hook and his ship of fools. Rufio sold it completely and although I was not happy that my Asian brethren was unfairly usurped by some middle-aged upper-class yuppie, I was all in for the team because, as second bananas go, Rufio was the best since Goose in Top Gun.
This scene gets me every damn time.
The moment when Pan and Rufio start crowing and doing that thing with their fingers in front of their mouths – I humbly suggest we put that GIF in a time capsule for future generations.
Well, if you want to know what happens when you want some tea and put a pot of water on the stove to boil and then leave the room to get your headphones and then plop down in bed and forget about it completely – eventually the loud interspersed banging and beeping permeates the music and convinces you that it’s NOT part of the beat and then you run out and the water’s all evaporated and the bottom of the pot is burnt and you cover the handle with a towel and throw it in the cabinet and go answer the door and tell your neighbours and landlord that you don’t know why the alarm went off but the reason it went off for so long is that you had your headphones on so you could study and you have to because of said neighbour’s loud music and you remind her in front of landlord that her smoke alarm went off at 3am last month and you had to sleepwalk over there and switch it off since she couldn’t reach it and you wondered who bakes at that hour but you make a joke of it like “heh heh lot of false alarms lately, must be going around” and then they start talking about you in Spanish but that’s actually cool because you don’t understand so you say firmly “OK I really have to go study” and politely shut the door and then you draw the curtains closed and pull the telltale pot out of the evidence locker and boil some more water because after all you still want the tea, in fact now more than previously, but this time you watch it like a hawk and then it comes to a boil and then you blog about it while your lemon green tea cools. Fin.