Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I enjoy horror movies to some extent. As we all may know, I'm a coward, no doubt a result of watching too many episodes of Criminal Minds. With that in mind, I enjoy horror movies that cross the line of unbelievability - I don't cower at something like a burnt monster with blade fingers who haunts your dreams, nor do I fear a hulking man in a hockey mask breaking down my door with a machete, simply because it'll never happen. That doesn't completely exempt realistic horror movies, either, since things like Scream doesn't bother me, and I can't think of something more "realistic" than a (physically beatable) psychopath running around in a mask with a knife. The things that do bother me, though, are things like the Exorcist or things dealing with the paranormal: okay, sure, not possible in real life, but they maintain a level of believability which gives me the chills.
You can't have a good scary movie without gore. Beyond horror films, gory violence is a largely prevalent factor in action movies - I would know, my favourite movie ever is Kill Bill. Why, then, is gore necessary?
(On a similar point, though partially a digression: crime shows. Flip on the television at 8pm and you're either watching Glee, a reality show, or, more likely, a crime drama. Why is it that everyone is obsessed with watching television shows with realistic crimes, bloated and bloody bodies, and cop shoot-outs? Who knows. Maybe it's gratifying to witness justice in a world sometimes devoid of some - who knows)
It's distressing to think of the general audience as obsessed with bloody violence and gory deaths onscreen, but it's undeniable. Horror movies attempt to outdo each other by creating unrealistic, over-the-top gory ends to their characters - I think of, for example, Final Destination, a series based completely around the idea of disgusting death, or perhaps the Saw franchise, once great (and I use the term "great" liberally given that the first was marginally good and shocking but the rest are just freaking ridiculous) but now nothing more than "torture porn." Don't get me started on the Saw movies. (I'm gonna go off anyways. I really can't believe the studio churned out sequel after sequel with more elaborate and disgusting deaths. Even if you're a fan, it's chilling to think of the creative process: "guys, I know! Let's throw a girl into a pit of needles!" "No, no, let's put a guy on a cross device that twists every segment of his body in a different direction!" "Excellent idea! You're promoted." That's disgusting)
I fail to come up with an answer as to why people are obsessed with violence and death. I could argue that it comes down to everyone's obsession in the extreme: nobody wants to see a tame action movie, for example, they all want to see an entire city blown up by robots while a brainless female runs out of the explosion in slow motion. Nobody wants to see a person in a horror movie have a heart palpitation out of fear (goddamn it, I would if Ghostface was after me), they want to see a prolonged chase sequence where the female victim just barely gets away before the killer reappears and drives a knife into her stomach or fake rack. I suppose, then, a society already consumed in the extreme, a natural extension of said consumption is to want to see it onscreen.
Perhaps, though, a better reason for the obsession with bloody death, is the idea of indulgence. I'm a firm believer that everyone is capable of the most unspeakable evils possible; it just comes down to heart, and whether or not a person acts on it. I could very possibly kill someone, it sickens me to think, but I could. (Let's please not take that the wrong way, I'm kidding) Everything is possible. In that sense, then, perhaps watching bloody offings onscreen is indulgence on behalf of the audience's "dark side."
I'm truly unsure as to why audiences are obsessed with this, though. Maybe it's just for the thrill of watching something so horrifying; maybe it's for an unconscious reaffirmation of security, knowing that, in your moderately comfortable theater seat, you're safe from the crazed killer and that would never happen to you in your life. I don't have an answer, it's merely speculation.
I am, though, sitting in eager anticipation for Scream 5.
Monday, April 18, 2011
|"Some idiot bailed you out." Get it? Bail.. freedom.. titled Freedom.. ha ha.. ha.. okay you got me I'm lazy as shit and didn't want to draw anything for this. Creative block, nothing to draw!|
My second year of university officially drew to a close today at 3pm. To be honest, I'm a little bit sad, but I'm mostly relieved.
This past year, academically, was a year of prosperity. I switched programs and officially became a bleeding heart Humanities kid, what with my English major and Cinema / Professional Writing minors (actually, fingers crossed still for the second minor. Priiiiice, give me a 75!). For some reason or another, I kept up with biology, taking two courses first semester and one second semester. Why? Especially knowing that two of them were as difficult as a reluctant hooker and taught by an awful woman? I don't know. I told myself it was to please my parents still, or to give them a segue and bring them lightly through my transition to a student of English; they've long stopped caring about what I'm doing in my academic life, so my reasoning fails me. The real reason was to maintain my connections, given that most of my friends are science kids (whether or not they still are in the sciences in the present). Despite wanting to die a slow death during those classes, I know the real reason I kept up with them was to keep the good times rolling. I hate cliches, but it's the truth, that those classes were fun.
Aside from that, I was very much alone this year in my new field of study. I have no problem with that: I don't need to have someone sitting beside me to better my university learning experience. I learn the same whether or not I'm sitting with someone (in the case of biology, maybe that's a lie. I totally didn't learn anything but I'd take that with socialization and mutual feelings of doom above anything else). With the case of my humanities credits, I was very much fine being the sexy mysterious tall guy sitting alone intent on listening. (Even I laughed at that.) That all doesn't say that I'm a social recluse; while I maintained the relationships I had from first year and am very much glad I did, I'm proud to say that I met a lot of new people this year, too, and I look forward to seeing them again next year. Of course, it certainly helped that some of my classes required outside of class time groups for group assignments / work, but even in that "forced" environment, I'm glad I shared the good times with those people. I'm thankful for everyone in my life, new and old friends alike.
In response to my switching of majors, I find it funny to look back at some of the posts here on this blog of mine before class began in September. I had massive amounts of anxiety; it was make it or break it - I had finally made my parents accept that I'm an English kid at heart, and because of that, anything other than success in the courses I fought to take would not be acceptable. Suffice to say I found that success, and I can't be happier. I'm back in the mindset where I'm disappointed with a high 70; I don't mean to gloat, but I'm over the moon with knowing that the work I'm doing is finally up to - and above - standard. I should only hope my success carries onto next year.
As for my exams this year, I don't have much to say. I've already gotten three final marks (two exam marks, from the two I wrote on the 8th and 9th), and I'm very pleased. Like I said, I'm now in the mindset where I think to myself, Damnit, I could've made it two or three percent higher, but anything compared to my first year marks are gold. Oh, and my right hand is totally out of business. Cramp central.
I look forward to next year with a great excitement. The courses I've mapped out for next year are exciting to me - I'm finally taking the Graphic Novel, which is a course completely tailor-made for me - and not to mention a massive change in my life is on the rise: I'm finally moving out. I can't wait to live in residence and I can't have thought of a better person to share the experience with. I'm more than excited for the good times undoubtedly on the horizon.
For now, though, I'm just looking forward to the summer. I've been reading up a fury now that I'm off of class - the Hunger Games is really, really, really fantastic, and I have a large stack of books to be read, too. I've worked a lot in the past week, and while I'm exhausted, I'm at least happy I'm making money. The craziness of my job is sure to mount as I have four full months of work ahead - joy, joy, joy - but, again, at least I'll have an income. Most of all, though, I'm excited to spend time with the people I love most in the world. Plans have already begun swirling like wildfire, and I should only hope they all carry through (I think this year we have a newfound drive to fulfill things). The nerd in me is shaking with anticipation for the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and for X-Men First Class and the slew of other cool looking movies coming out.
All in all, I had a good second year of class, and it scares me to think that I'm officially 50% done my university career. I don't want to get too ahead of myself with my stress levels; for now, bring on the summer.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Immediate reaction: INCREDIBLE.
Thought out reaction: very, very good.
This morning was a good morning for me: I woke up to find that the majority of Judas had leaked online, and like the bad fan I am, I listened to a fanmade "seamless" version, which pretty much turned out to be the finalized version, save for a missing intro. Imagine my joy at hearing that it was decided that Judas would be officially rush-released to capitalize on not losing sales / audience due to the leak; and before 1pm I had my shiny high-quality copy of Judas. By 4, I heard it on the radio. Damn, it sounds sexy on the radio.
Here's the thing. Judas is, pretty much, Bad Romance. Straight down to structure: the same kind of hooks (the woahing: caught in a bad romance vs I'm in love with Judas, Jud-ah-as; the hooks: rah rah ra ra ahh vs Juda Juda-ahah), the same structured chorus, the same placement of the hooks throughout the song (the beginning, the post-chorus). It may seem to be irritating in that sense, that Lady Gaga is stuck in repetition; to be honest, I kinda blame Red One, the producer on - wait for it - Poker Face, Bad Romance, and Judas. If you listen hard enough in Judas you can hear the "Red One Airhorn" - I can't explain it any other way, you'll recognize it if you hear it. (in fact wait. It's crazy evident in Just Dance)
The fact of the matter is that what Lady Gaga does, she does it well. Yes, Judas is 100% formula: but honestly, the formula isn't broken. If it ain't broke, leave it the hell alone. Bad Romance is without a doubt Lady Gaga's best song; to nearly replicate it is smart.
The sound, however - much like Born This Way, regardless of how much I now detest the song - is fresh and progressive. The only comparison you can make to 2011 Gaga is 2010 Gaga - no other artist has yet had a song that sounds anything like Judas. Lyrically, it's impressive - she isn't singing about the fame like she did on, well, The Fame; she's mastered metaphor and timing. I can see this song exploding with controversy - it already is, since she's playing Mary Madgelene in the video - and, honestly, it's what we've come to expect from her, pushing the envelope. No, I don't think it's only for shock value; while the song on surface value is a platform to spew as much blasphemy as possible, it's about falling in love with the wrong person, a "Judas." The message of, say, Alejandro is still intact, it's just a bit more heavy handed.
Like I've already said, her hooks are 100% formula. I loved them the first time around, and I love them even more now. My favourite parts are easily the Juda-Judahah chant as well as the woooooooooah I'm in love with Judas, Jud-ah-as. They're absolutely catchy, and as a pop song, it has done its job: it was stuck in my head all shift long at work.
I can't get enough of this song. It's very familiar while new. It's renewed my faith (pun intended?) in Born This Way the album, as I'm sure the sledgehammer beat and improved lyrics will carry over to the other tracks. Can't wait for the video.
THE NEXT DAY: I wake up to this monstrosity. Yes.. yes, she posted this herself.
This is the real deal. This is the album cover. As horrific as it is it's slowly growing on me.. I think I was so let down because I was expecting so much more. But as it is it's campy and it's pretty much exactly what she set out to do. Still, that isn't stopping me from using the single cover as the album cover on my iTunes..
Monday, April 11, 2011
|I gave Cartoon Matt a makeover. My hair is darker (as in real life) and I (hopefully) look less like John Lennon. |
Another note: shit, my arms are fucked up. Ignore.
The month of March was a fantastic month for my thriving blog. I got myself back into posting regularly. I think my style and subject matter took a drastic change (my most recent posts deal with and look a lot different than what I used to talk about and how I used to write). In fact, I was proud of the rejuvenation: I was proud of what I was producing as well as the large influx of readers I started to get.
Then came April.
Yes, I've completely hit a wall. Apologies! I blame the exam season. I just came off of having three exams in three consecutive days, and needless to say, I'm exhausted. As a result I've found less and less time devoted to sitting around on my computer and doing nothing / blogging. (that's usually how a blog post comes to be, if you've ever wondered. You sit there, you go to blogger.com, you stare for a while like a delirious dog, then think to yourself "oh yeah, that one thing I wanted to talk about"... and then boom like an unplanned baby, there's a blog post) I blame exams given that I have no life outside of them. When I do have a life, I sit on the floor with a friend around a cheesecake while watching Eurotrip. We quite literally took a whole cheesecake, made a straight line down the middle to equate halves, and then ate the whole damn thing. I digress. (you get the point: I'm a little bit dry when it comes to content nowadays)
I think my evolution to using hand-drawn images (and when I mean hand-drawn I just mean that they're original, I obviously do them on a program) has been both a blessing and a curse. Having my drawings, I feel, takes a little bit away from my "professional credibility," but at the same time makes my blog more personal and, hopefully, more humourous. On the flip side, they're a bitch to draw. You may not think it, but each one can take the upwards of an hour to complete. Guilty as charged: I have around five drafts of blog posts I've intended to post, but they haven't come to fruition 1. because I almost feel like they're already outdated, whether it be my response to "current events" or that they've just become irrelevant in my life, and 2. I don't want to sit down and draw an image for each. Kill me now.
So, yes, I've hit a wall. Given that I actually am intending on posting this one, I am preparing to buckle down to draw a masterpiece of a picture for everyone. Again, apologies for my inactivity: exhaustion, busyness, not having much of a life, and laziness come together to make quite the toxic cocktail of blogger fatality. Hang on, my sexy readers. I'll be back and rabid come summer (or, at least, come the end of my exams).
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
|I do, in fact, sleep in that.|
(another note: I 'm massively impressed with my Lady Gaga the more I'm looking at it)
My dad snores. If you were to youtube "loud snoring" - like I just did - you would hear various people snoring very loud, but in comparison to my dad, they sound like they're whispering. I wear earplugs to bed every night by default, but even still, through a closed door and through earplugs, I somehow still hear him. The sound of snoring is honestly the worst sound in the world. It frustrates me, and - this is very true - the sound of my dad snoring makes me nauseous (I can't quite explain it).
Naturally, traveling with the family is a living hell. The thought of being trapped in the same room with him snoring at night gives me chills. If I'm lucky, my parents get two rooms. That's been a decision that's come about recently. We can only get two rooms in tropical places since resorts have some policies where more than two adults (I count as an adult. I think my sister is old enough to count too) can't stay in the same room. Other places - like New York, which you'll hear about - there's no such luck, and we're all in the same room. I have to share a bed with my sister. Like, ew!
It all started one year when I went with the family to my sister's out of town baseball tournament. It was late one night - probably past midnight - when everyone turned in. My dad fell asleep instantly and started snoring only minutes after. I hadn't had the chance to fall asleep. My sister and I took turns getting up and walking over to his bed to hit him, wake him, and yell "you're snoring!" He grumbles and turns over only to start snoring again after a few minutes. Needless to say, his snoring got so bad and it got so late (I think it was around 3am) that my sister and I slept on the floor beside the air conditioner so the noise of his snoring was drowned out.
The worst night of my life, though, was our last night in New York City. Alright, yes, I'm a very dramatic person, but I'm not exaggerating when I say it truly was the worst night of my life. Similarly, don't be shocked at the measures I took.
It was a long day. I think that was the day we saw Ground Zero and rode on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. As with every day in New York we found a neat little restaurant in somewhere like Little Italy and we spent the night eating like mad; we'd get back to our hotel (very close to Times Square) after wandering around in Times Square for a while; and once our parents (we traveled with another family - my parents' friends and their daughter, my sister's good friend) locked us away in our rooms, they'd go back out to find a bar or something. That night, I distinctly remember my sister, her friend and I watched Grease on TV until my sister's friend went back to her room and my sister and I decided we'd get to bed early so that we'd be sound asleep by the time my dad got back. He seems to snore loudest when he's tired or when he's been drinking - so, every night. Vacations make it worse.
It did work. I fell asleep. (apparently so did my sister, since I was solo for the rest of my night of hell)
I was awoken by my dad's snoring at around 1am. I don't know when they got back. I put my earplugs in, to no avail. My next step was to pile my pillows on top of my head - again, to no avail. I started to press down on the pillows on top of my ear in effort to make some sort of soundproof clamp. No dice. Getting more and more frustrated, I got up to stir him. By the time I made it back to my bed he was snoring again.
I was so exhausted, and all I wanted to do was sleep (never get in the way of an exhausted Matt needing sleep, I say). The sound of his snoring that night was making me furious. I swore at him under my breath over and over again. I lived in a fantasy where I woke him up with a loud electric guitar. I decided my anger wasn't getting me anywhere, so I went to the washroom to regroup. The washroom was considerably quieter - I could still hear him, but it seemed like it was off in the distance. I collected myself and decided on my next step.
Before getting back to my bed I hit him again, buying me a moment's time of silence. I prayed to god that I'd fall asleep instantly out of exhaustion, but nothing happened. Time to put my plan in motion. I grabbed my ipod and blasted The Fame Monster. I can't fall asleep to music. It only makes me more attentive; I pay attention to the lyrics. Bad RomSNOREance. AlSNOREejandro. MonSNOREter. Speechless (I fucking love the song Speechless. It brought me silence). Dance iSNOREn the Dark. TelephSNOREone. So Happy I Could SNORE Die. (I skipped Teeth) No result. Onto The Fame.
After listening to music for a good two hours I was all the more furious. To be honest, I could've cried, I was so angry. I was beyond exhausted at that point. I looked at the clock and read some obscene number, which spurred me to my most drastic motion to date.
My sister and I were using two blankets. I snatched mine along with my pillow. I made it to the washroom. I slammed the door behind me hoping that the sound would wake my dad up to buy me more time. I crammed towels into the crack beneath the door, making the washroom as soundproof as possible. I made a bed in the bathtub. And I slept. It was the most glorious moment of my life, falling to sleep in that New York bathtub, surrounded by my makeshift nest. That was at 4am.
I was brought to consciousness some time later. "GET TO YOUR BED!" my mom screamed at me from the doorway, flinging the light on and blinding me. Turns out she needed to use the washroom and I startled her (I guess that would be a startling image to find. It is, after all, one of my greatest fears. A something in a bathtub). I pleaded with her to let me return to sleep in my tub bed, but she had none of it.
I walked back to my bed, defeated, and didn't sleep. I stayed awake until my dad woke up around 8am, completely revitalized by his good night sleep. "How'd you sleep?" he asked me. The oblivious ass.
The thing is, I know he isn't snoring on his own accord. It's a problem, though; and I HATE him for not doing anything about it. My mom rarely sleeps at night. I can't imagine what it'd be like trying to sleep every night beside the human vacuum cleaner. When I bring it up to him, he doesn't listen. When I bring it up to my mom, she defends him, saying "well it isn't his fault!" Yeah, I get that, mother.
For his birthday this year, I'm getting him one free ride in the car. I'm driving him straight to the sleep clinic.