01 March 2017

GREEN ROOM/2015

GREEN ROOM/2015
DIRECTOR: Jeremy Saulnier
WRITER: Jeremy Saulnier
CAST: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Macon Blair

The term green room refers to what is basically a waiting area for performers before they go on stage. In this petty decent suspense thriller a band of what seems to be punk rockers (I dunno for sure) are desperate yet again to make any sort of money they can get their hands on and agree to play a show for a bunch of neo-Nazi skin heads. The action takes place around rainy Portland Oregon known more for it green anarchists and Prozac addled post slacker generation than for skin heads, but seems everywhere you turn anymore there is a hive of Nazis stirring up trouble. The band has a rocky start but they soon win over the hearts and souls of the crowd with their ear splitting three chord mayhem. Upon returning to the green room they stumble in upon a murder scene and that is when things get complicated and the movie turns tense. The over all storyline is that they are trapped in the green room with the Nazis trying to get in to kill them off as potential murder witnesses. The rockers are not really fighters but when pushed into a corner they, for the most part, give the bad guys a pretty good fight. And by pretty good I mean at times the violence is jarring. At other times it is done off camera a little too much, but there is enough in your face gore and blood spatter to keep you either glued to screen or repulsed and avoiding it.

Patrick Stewart plays the head Nazi and the tragically recently departed Anton Yelchin plays one of the more resilient band members. Not everyone get out alive and they go down twitching, with pit bull at their throats sometimes. There are quite a few plot holes and problems (like why did Stewart's character Darcy want the Nazi holding the band prisoner the green room to give them the pistol other than as a plot contrivance) and why do a couple band members just run into situations that can only result in certain death? Like the soldier in the old war movies who charges the machine gun nest. Why not just wait and come up with a better plan or do nothing. I guess the film has to move along but these little bugs can ruin it all really. But in this case they do not really. Any movie like this relies on short cuts and gimmicks to keep things moving. In this case the bigger picture is salvaged by the end. The film luckily does not turn into some sort of lame social statement about the evils of white supremacism which in today's climate it certainly could have. It simply uses the situation everyone finds themselves in to build the action around. The punk band may be morally better than Nazis (but not morally better than prog-rockers!) and yet they are not above playing for skinheads for some slimy ass money. In fact the skinheads are portrayed as assholes, natch, but their hands are forced into trying to cover up a murder of passion. Definitely worth a watch and I wonder if there is an unrated version out there? A couple of the deaths seemed overly edited to me. But not disappointing in the violence department, or any other for that matter.






RANDOM COOL GIF

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28 February 2017

31/2016/ROB ZOMBIE


31/2016
DIRECTOR: Rob Zombie
WRITER: Rob Zombie
CAST: Sheri moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Philips, Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Meg Foster, Ginger Lynn, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs

I figured I would get around to watching the new Rob Zombie film 31 sooner or later. I will admit that I went into it with low expectations and maybe that helped me to enjoy the movie more than I thought I was going to. Not as bad as I expected it to be. I think Zombie has some talent behind a camera, but I am not really into his hickploitation laden homages to retro-horror of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre school. It is as if they could almost work at some level but they never do. I did enjoy House of 1000 Corpses overall. But nothing since then, including everyone's darling The Devil’s Rejects. With 31 he returns to the realm of hillbilly-psycho horror after taking a break and doing the Satan/witch debacle Lords of Salem, which I reviewed here. In the end this is what Zombie does the best, and that ain’t much really, and it is what he seems to enjoy doing. 

A group of smelly looking and foul mouthed carnies are traveling by RV between shows back in about 1976 when, after stopping for an obvious trap in the road, they are either promptly killed or captured and then taken to play the game of 31, on the night of Halloween. Get it? November 31st. Seems the game has been going on for many years and may it explain the ongoing  disappearance of local people on Halloween night. The game is overseen by Malcolm McDowell and a couple women all dressed up as if they were members of a decadent French king's court. Winning the game consists simply surviving for twelve hours pitted against a collection of murderous killer clowns basically, all with names ending in " head". The most viscous of the bunch is Doom-Head, played effectively by Richard Brake. The oddest is a Nazi dwarf called Sick-Head. Luckily he is killed off early on. The sooner you kill off dwarves the better as far as I am concerned.  While the game goes on for twelve hours not much actually happens. Only four conflicts occur, meaning one every three hours. All the while the game is being bet on by McDowell and the others, with each of the protagonists getting different odds as far as their chances of survival goes.

Taken at this level the film has potential in a real b-movie sense. It could have been a decent little horror film. But there are a few problems. One is Zombie himself. He wrote the script and it is just too full of low level attempts at filthy redneck humor. There is a joke about a pregnant woman and her unborn baby that is simply stupid and in bad taste and it is told in a such a way that it drags on way too long. The over all dialog is just not that good. Simply vile in some places when there is no reason for it to be other than Zombie is trying to shock us out of our puritanical value system and elicit a predictable reaction. Another problem is that the camera work is too jerky. I hate shaky cam work and I expected some here, but it goes overboard in most scenes. The editing is choppy and too quick and sometimes during fight sequences you do not know what you are looking at, like during the duel chainsaw fights. The editing goes back and forth between the two fights in a way that is distracting. Some scenes have annoying overuse of gimmicks like strobe lights to create a sense of disorientation or anxiety, but it creates more a sense of vertigo. 

And like I said in my review of Lords of Salem a big problem I have with this film is with goddamned Sheri Moon Zombie in the lead role. She has been in every film the man has ever made. I guess you save money in the casting department this way. She has really not been in anything else. She played a minor role in Tobe Hooper's remake of The Toolbox Murders ( reviewed here) and I think that is all she has ever done. Why do other other directors not ring her up? She has played the lead in like half a dozen of her husband's films, right? Because she cannot act and she is just revolting. I think here we see her closer to her true self than her previous roles when she is grabbing her crotch and talking dirt to a horny old gas station attendant (played by Tracey Walter). 

Rob Zombie is an interesting guy and I like his music and his music videos. I thought he would make some interesting horror films when he started all of this and to some degree he has. But to a larger degree he has delivered nothing special. I remember reading he was going to do a remake of The Blob and that sounded interesting, but it never happened. I can appreciate what he seems to be trying to do with some parts of his films, returning to old slasher/psycho/weirdo movie themes from the 70's and80's. But he seems to have a pissy-ass attitude towards life in a lot of interviews I have seen of him, dissing his old band mates and ranting on about the dreary, godless nature of the universe and how we will all be nothing but worm food one day. His humorless nihilism comes through in his work and while it works for his music it is hard to deal with for the length of a movie. I really would like to see that Blob remake and I would like to not see his trailer park trophy wife in it. 







19 February 2017

MOVIES I COULDN'T FINISH


This is a category I have actually been meaning to start for a while. I watch lots of movies but the truth is I finish only about half of the ones I start anymore. I am getting older and I have seen who knows how many movies in my life. At one time I tended to finish almost everything I started but in recent years I find myself getting bored or dissatisfied or even downright irritated by a film I have either just began or got to about the halfway mark on. Even with the idea in mind that I could just finish and then review it as a motivator I found I just cannot often finish some movies, even after multiple restarts. Perhaps with age comes a sense of feeling a bit jaded and cynical and having an idea, from experience, of where this train wreck is headed. The same old place all train wrecks end up. Sometimes it is simply the technical quality of the film. Often the cinematography can set me off quickly. I do not like shaky cam work or washed out, videoish looking film textures, or long arty ass static shots. Found footage films are out 99% of the time. Sometimes the acting and script is too lame for me to endure for 90 minutes or more. Sometimes it might be the pacing of the film and even a film with a big name cannot salvage the poor editing. It may be too slow or even too fast for me. slower tends to be better than rapid, choppy editing for me. Sometimes something may simply be too contrived and formulaic. Even the music score can set me off for some reason. 

In fact I am often not sure why I just give up on a film quickly but here I attempt to explore some of the possibilities. The only real "rule" here for me in selecting a film is that I expected the movie to be half way decent or entertaining before going into it. If I start a film that is most likely some low budget slasher flick of the slumber party or teen camp out variety I know what I am for and go in with low expectations and am less likely to be put off and even more likely to finish the film. If I am led to believe the film might be something special, because of the presence of a certain actor or the director's name, and then it fizzles quickly for me then it may wind up here. Also, if I tired to restart the film a few times and still find myself unable to endure it to the end then it might wind up here. I also will not do that much research into any of these as I am not sure what the point would be in doing that. I am also not saying other people may not enjoy the film and should not try it. I am just slightly fascinated with this habit I have of being able to finish only about half of the movies I start anymore. And with that in mind lets see the four films I selected for this post (each post will have four entries):

OUTLAWS AND ANGELS: I guess for me the last great American western movie was The Unforgiven, and Clint Eastwood was the last real cowboy actor. This movie featured his daughter Francesca in a role, so I was curious simply because of the Eastwood name. It is the first feature film by writer/director JT Mollner and I do not know who one other cast member is. In fact I do not even know which one was Francesca. It is in the style of many of the newer westerns and seems to be more inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s abysmal contributions to the genre than anything by Eastwood, Sam Peckinpah or John Ford. The first opening shots seemed promising but that all soon fizzled. The opening of the western town at the beginning with two hookers talking about stuff like anal sex and the choppily edited bank holdup scene, complete with an attempted retro style, but utterly corny, title sequence, just had me struggling to keep going. The dialog was trying hard to sound cowboy but sounded like a clueless city dude making up hillbilly dialogs. The violence was gratuitous and excessive without craft, and the deaths elicited still more corny dialog from the characters trying hard to act and show emotion. I figured the film was going to be something in the end where the gang of murderous bandits were going to hole up in hiding at the farm house shown at the beginning, where some young and troubled farm girls lived, and that there was going to some twist as in the hunters becoming the hunted or something like that. I assumed there wold be weird sexual situations as well. From some briefs reviews I read later it seems that is exactly what was going to happen, and that could have been a good story. A good story, maybe, in more capable hands.  The weak writing, direction, and acting just put me to where I could not make it past about the 20 minute mark. I understand the film degenerates into some sort of ultra-violent deviant sexual miasma in no time.  The music did not fit a western at all and seemed way too modern in spots. I think this quote from IMDb, where it got a merciful 5.3 rating, by astute user mike3368 hits the nail on the head: 

As an aging Western fan, just consider me a lone sentinel standing watch against this current spate of other movie genres masquerading as Westerns. THIS MOVIE IS NOT A WESTERN. This movie contains a purely pornographic plot and script, even if the visuals might somehow escape an XXX-rating . . . its R-rating makes a joke of the MPAA film rating system. It is almost impossible to find a shred of redeeming value in this movie . . . perhaps it was the oddity of finding the beautiful daughter of Clint Eastwood, Francesca Eastwood, appearing on screen with her mother in a cameo role, Frances Fisher – "Unforgiven" (1992). Well, the dialog was so mumbled, so garbled, so poorly delivered and edited that much of it was unintelligible . . . and that is a good thing. This movie works diligently to destroy everything we Americans regard as sacred, e.g., parenthood, Christianity, family, home, and childhood. Retribution? There is none. Director J. T. Mollner's first full-length movie, and maybe his last?

We can only hope. 



THE DAISY CHAIN: This film is from 2008 and stars Samantha Morton who is supposed to be a decent actress but I usually do not care for her work. She does seem to be able to act and it might just be the films I have seen her in that annoy me, like this one. I just did not want to see another annoying kid movie, and it was clear that that was what this was going to be. Not only an annoying and evil child movie, but also one set in a boring ass seaside town in boring ass Ireland, and so I would have to listen to that grating Irish accent all through the film. I had sat through all of the Babadook and endured that fucking annoying brat thinking something might come of it all in the end and when it never did I swore I would not endure another evil kid movie. I felt there might be something to this film and even made some screen captures as I was watching it thinking it might deserve a longer review after I finished it. But by about 30 minutes into the movies I realized I was on my third setting of trying to watch it. I took it off my old iPad once and then put it back on later for one more go and after a few minutes I just could not stand it any longer. The awful Irish accent, the bleak boring setting, the waves crashing over and over in the background, the dismal boring little cottage on the cliff, the awful Irish accent, the bratty child and her evil secret that Samantha Morton’s character is too dumb or blind to see, and of course the awful Irish accent. The film was very slow and boring and bleak in that unforgiving Irish sort of way. It got a 5.1 on IMDb and that is about right. I just do not like evil kid flicks any more. They are not scary in a real Satanic spirit sort of, they are just evil in that way that all kids are basically evil and annoying. And well, when it is a kid with an Irish accent, there you go. 

DETACHMENT: This is a story about a depressed looking school teacher who takes up a teaching position at a school full of angry, aggressive and ethnically challenged students who are dead set on not learning and want to make the teacher’s life a living hell. After working ten years in China as a teacher and knowing the sense of futility a teacher can experience with even passive students I just could not deal with it. The burned out teacher with a jaded credo against the classroom of rebellious gangsta wannbe teenage thugs is just one genre I have never cared for. I liked a few of the angry young men movies from 60’s Britain but I just could not handle Brody’s long face and longer nose looking out into a room full of angry ghetto rats for the next two hours. After the obligatory contentious and overly critical progressive female school principal character was added to further make his cursed life more miserable I opted to bail out after about 20 minutes. Why would I want to watch that? Despair and depression are not fun. Did he win over the kids in the end? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I don’t care. Just so happy I went to school back in the 60’s and 70’s is all I get from these sort of films. It gets a 7.7 on IMDb no doubt because depression and unending, uncomfortable conflict are seen as arty, topical and controversial topics for most people. I have never gone in for all of that myself, And hell, how depressing can it really be? I ain't even in B/W or French!


JOHN WICK: Maybe 20 minutes before I pulled the plug on this one that a lot of people really like (a decent 7.2 on IMDb) and probably in so small part due to the fact it stars Keanu Reeves. To be honest I never thought Keanu was a good actor although I admit he has charisma and fantastic looks. His best stuff was his early teenage angst films and The Matrix. I often check out a film if he is in it. I consider his presence a recommendation. I like the guy a lot though I just feel he is an average actor in terms of ability. But this and the weird Eli Roth film Knock Knock makes me wonder what is up with the guy. Bad choices as far as I am concerned and are no better roles being tossed his way any longer? Once an actor begins making films where the poster art shows him pointing a hand gun towards the camera one can figure his serious dramatic acting days are over.  This film was so contrived I could not stand it. His wife dies of cancer. He becomes the broken man, a shadow of who he used to be,  flirting with self-destruction. This is proven by the fact he drives his cool Ford Mustang around in reckless doughnuts while barely missing trucks and bull dozers then beating on the steering wheel.  What guy has not been there? His not dead wife leaves him a cute little dog he should have named Plot Device. Soon a bunch of bad, ruthless Russian dudes want his car and when he says no (and called one a bitch I think) they break into his upscale house,  beat him, steal his car and kill his little cute pooch. And all of this is like in the first ten minutes of the movie.  So I wonder what the next hour and a half will involve? Maybe this guy tracking down the nasty Russian dudes and killing them off one by one? It is clear the guy has a past that makes him lethal. He broods a lot and talks in sentences of three or four words. I first thought it was like CIA or Black Ops, but he was once a hitman it seems. Retired now of course, but in movies there is always something to drag the once dangerous character back of retirement. And killing his puppy ranks up there at the top of the list. The problem for me was I did not buy Reeves as this sort of character. Not at all. Just like I did not buy him as a serial killer in The Watcher. This is a Charles Bronson type role and not one for Ted of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure fame. I didn’t buy him in this one and the plot is lackluster B-Movie fodder, something for someone like the new frozen faced Mickey Rourke to cover. 

11 February 2017

UZUMAKI/2000


UZUMAKI
2000/Director: Higuchinsky/Writers:Junji Ito (manga), Kengo Kaji (supervising screenwriter)
Cast: Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Hinako Saeki, Eun-Kyung Shin, Keiko Takahashi, Ren Osugi

I think I have mentioned in a few previous posts about my ambivalence towards more modern Japanese (and Asian in general, though I consider Japan to be yardstick by which the rest of Asian cultures is measured, for better or worse) horror films, or cinema in general. Which rare exceptions I find most of it wanting and I much prefer the Japanese cinema prior to about 1970. Uzumaki is for me one the exceptions. I had long put off watching this movie for one reason or another, but it was on my list of films to see before I died so I finally popped it in the DVD player and was pleased with the results, though it is a far from perfect horror film. I got the BT from demonnoid.com and was surprised to the find the entire manga comic series by Junji Ito included. I included, free of charge, a few pages for readers to check out. To honest I had no ideas this was based on a comic book unit I opened the folder. But like the film I was pleased with the story and art which I glanced over. I tend to not like the goofy looking fairy like characters that adorn the majority of manga comics and I felt the drawing in Junji Ito’s story to look more like the b/w independent stuff coming out of the US from places like Fantagraphic books.

The story takes place in the small Japanese city of Kurouzu which has come under the curse of evil spirals (or vortexs as they are called in the translation). It is not clear why the town is cursed but soon schoolgirl Kirie and her childhood boyfriend Shuichi are at the center of the escalating nightmare. Kirie finds Shuichi’s father absorbed in filming the spiral aptterns on a snails back one day on the way home from school. Soon there is a suicide at the school when a boy leaps from the top of a very high spiral staircase, landing at the bottom with blood and brains splattered everywhere. Things get more and more out of control as Shuichi’s father loses his mind under the influence of the vortex curse, one night almost losing control when there are no more spiral patterned naturo fish rolls in his miso soup. He convinces Kirie’s father, a pottery maker, that the vortex is the highest form of art and asks him to design a vortex patterned plate. Soon Kirie’s father is pulled into the curse. The situation at home is not the only concerns since at school students are turning into snails and having their hair grow out into elaborate spiral like designs the size of trees. The spiral (vortexs… it really bothers me how these films are translated at times. The term spiral is never once used though sometimes it is the better word to use. We do not say a “votex staircase”) motif appears all over the film, though not as frequently as in the comic book story. Eventually even the dark clouds in the sky assume a menacing spiral pattern.

Shuichi’s father eventually decides he wants to become a vortex himself. What better way to achieve this than to crawl into the washing machine and click it on. His mother winds up in the hospital in despair and she soon clips off all her hair as to eliminate any spiral designs. Soon she realizes her finger prints are spirals and…well… you can guess the rest right? She kills herself after a centipede tries to slither down her ear and soon her dead husband is calling to her from the other side, where there are perfect vortexes. Shichi himself gets all tied in knots, literally, and in the last scenes we see the towns people all under the effects of the vortex curse, except for Kirie. One memorable scene as her stalker admirer throw himself under a moving car so she will always remember him and he gets all twisted around the wheel and rim. The film ends with unanswered questions but most movies like this do. The comic book seemed to go off into other directions, such as many of the town’s folk turning into dangerous zombie like creatures. While some people in the film appear “zombiefied” they never collect together and terrorize Kirie as they do in the manga story. The film is shot using a greenish hue and it looks eerie. The music score is good and the acting above average. There are no gratuitous school girl panty shots and no sex, which is actually a relief and gives this Japanese shocker a boost in the credibility department. So many newer Japanese horror films are of the Pinku Eiga style, which is simply softcore porn with a few mutilations thrown in to balance things out. Nothing like seeing a young naked Japanese school girl in one scene and then a disemboweled, blood drenched one in the next to push all the borderline personalities watching right over the edge. I thought the film was creepy and well made and the effects and photography are pretty good for this style of movie. If you can get the comic book, if that is your bag, as I think it is actually a better story.
SAMPLES FROM THE UZUMAKE MANGA BY JUNJI ITO

03 February 2017

DONNIE DARKO/2001/JAKE GYLLENHAAL



DONNIE DARKO/2001
DIRECTOR: Richard Kelly
WRITER: Richard Kelly
CAST: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Moore, Mary McDonnell, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Seth Rogen, Katherine Ross

If you have ever tried to think  of a way to describe exactly what constitutes a “cult movie” (not really an easy thing to do) then the film Donnie Darko can offer up at least one viable description. It is a type of film that usually slips under the radar upon its initial release, but its latent appeal is kept alive in a sort of modern day midnight movie circuit by fans and critics who love the film and are prone to giving it multiple viewings and gushing reviews. All of this despite the fact that the movie usually sucks on many levels. One thing I notice about Donnie Darko and its legions of rabid followers is the notion that to appreciate the film one must have at least borderline genius IQ. If one leaves the film confounded and frustrated it is only be cause the viewer does not have the intelligence of a Vulcan to figure it out. Not that anyone has ever really figured it out, but there seems to the idea that film is open to multiple interpretations and all of them can be right, somehow, so long as you are intelligent enough to make a seemingly plausible defense of your interpretation in a film forum.  I am posting a piece of trivia here from IMDb that shows actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Seth Rogen (in his first film appearance) have not a clue themselves as to what the film is about, and they friggin' starred in it! It is the center quote and supposedly Gyllenhaal has made similar remarks again in other interviews (which I have not read but read about but unverified here say is good enough for me):



And here I offer a quote from a British fan site about the film  that attempts to explain and clarify some aspects of the film:

"Tangent Universe: The PoTT states that time is usually a stable construct but every now and then the fourth dimension gets corrupted. When this happens it creates a TU which is highly unstable and will only last a few weeks before it collapses in upon itself. There is a danger that when the TU collapses it could cause a black hole capable of destroying the PU as well.

This is what happens in the movie, there is a corruption in time and at midnight on October 2nd a TU is created. The next 28 days are now set in this alternate reality. Shortly after the TU starts Frank wakes Donnie up and lures him out of the house. A few minutes later a huge jet engine falls though the rip in time and lands in Donnie's bedroom.

It is important to remember that the TU is NOT created by the jet engine or Frank waking up Donnie. We are already within the TU when both those events occur. Unfortunately we never find out what caused the TU to begin, it's just an unexplained phenomenon."

And you may wonder what the fuck does that mean? I don’t know. Even if you see the movie it still makes no sense. It is as if the story is based on some book that exists in the film (and in some format inside some DVD releases) called the Philosophy of Time Travel that one must read in order to even begin to have a clue as to what is going on. But the website here only obfuscates matters more. And why must we even have to read a manual basically to appreciate a film that is mediocre at best in terms of filmmaking quality.

 In short Jake Gyllenhaal (who does a fine acting job again as the cute, boyish type character with more than a smidgen of hostility and danger lurking right under the surface) plays high school student Donnie Darko who seems to be drifting in and out of some sort of randomly recurring time warp or something and he can see his own future, or something again. To make things even more confusing, he is possibly suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. So, is he really in a time portal or tangent or is he just nuts, or is he actually nuts but also in a time portal? Very deep ponderings over this on the net. Deep, too deep for me. Is he alive, or he is dead? Is he merely the product of Frank the Rabbit’s imagination? The movie never tries to fully explain anything and the ending does nothing to resolve anything that came before it. I don’t buy all this deep meaning crap and that it is a high level brainiac film, only for the intellectually elite to mull over. There is so much analysis about the film, tying this scene to that scene and what the vortex near the end means and when it is occurring in the timeline of things and what the chubby Asian/Hipanic girl signifies and who the rabbit is and isn’t and on and on. What it adds up to is that nobody really understands what the fuck the movie is about but they have heard it is a movie for brainy people and since “hey, I am a brainy person” they do not want to tell the emperor he has no clothes and appear dumb and so they join in and make up all sorts of Alice in Wonderland interpretations. Well, I must be pretty dumb. I don’t get it. To be honest, I do not want to get it. The filmmakers do not know how to tell a story and it is not my job as the viewer to just make up stuff to give the film meaning and make myself appear to be brilliant.

 I am not saying the film is without merit or to avoid it. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it a 6 or so. The acting is good and there are some interesting moments. Here and there. Sometimes. Watching Gyllenhaal almost whack off in front of an elderly Katherine Ross was pretty cool. But I do not like a film that cannot tie all the loose ends together. I do not want to go and read some book written after the film was made that attempts to explain it or visit websites that babble on and on about time portals and black holes and all sorts of garbage that either was barely mentioned in the film or were not mentioned at all. It is all just afterthought and conjectures made up long after the film was released. It is a senseless  film story wise but worth a watch for people, like me, who like to just see something that is known as a “cult film” in a bucket list sort of fashion and just get it over with. I finally saw it. I reviewed it. I can move on now. 






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02 February 2017

I DELETED MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT

Today I deleted my Facebook account. It takes two weeks to completely vanish. But is in the process. It had been in a state of deactivation on and off for the past two weeks anyway. I had used a Chrome extension to kill the newsfeed a while back and had decided to just leave it deactivated and use their Messenger service to "stay in touch" with those cherished friends, family and loved ones. You know the type maybe. The ones who never replied to my messages in the first place but kept me inconstant suspense waiting to hear back from them. Then  the post announcing I was going away and to reach me by Messenger had been up on my sacred wall for almost two weeks  (at that time of course my site was not deactivated) and no one sent any sort of message of concern or well wishing. It take thirty seconds to send something new or respond to my precious messages, and I know the rats have been online as I had seen the little green  light on their chat box on. In one case I sent a message and I saw it say "read"  with a time stamp, but still no reply to my original message. During the same time period I had sent a couple messages to someone once close to me in my life and they yet again ignored me. I feel they have stopped following me and responding to me because I tend to support the Republican party. I am not a Trump fan but I do not see him as Hitler or that the end of the world is nigh. I suppose if a person cannot stay in touch with you because your political views are not in line with their's then there was not much of a relationship there in the first place and Facebook Messenger is not going to save what little is left. At the same time I had another close friend ignore a few messages and attempts at conversation. It got to be too much for me. All the bi-partisan bullshit and the uselessness of Messenger. I tried a period of just posting movie and comic book related shit and it soon because senseless. Checking back to see if there was a like or happy face or, my God, a comment. And I guess that like or emoji somehow validates me as a human human, and the more likes I get the better a person I am. And if I get none I must be shit. 

Finally I just "snapped" when I had posted a picture of a cat a friend here in China had rescued after it was hit by a car. The cat was left paralyzed and had to use a strange device to crawl around in. The picture was a rather tragic image and the look in the cats eyes so touching. I have 1400+ "friends and I only got, after a week, one little sad face from a lady I follow who I know likes cats. That was it. Bullshit. "Why am I here?" I know seeking approval or acceptance from a social media site is lame but in the end I guess that I what I was doing. I live in China. I seldom even get to speak English to anyone. My Chines is very low level and so I do not have conversations with Chines people. To me the act of sending a comment or attempting to start a chat or sharing a paralyzed cat picture is important to me, although I know it does not have to be to anybody else. I am isolated and in need of contact. Facebook will not fill that void. I have to deal with those issues on my own in some other way. The cost of using Facebook began, long ago, to outweigh the benefits for me. I could go on and on, but the time has come to let it go. 

I have been struggling with this for a year or so. This is not my first post about Facebook here. I started the account in 2009 and it has had a long history with me. I imagined it to be something other than what it was and that deluded way of thinking helped me to hang on until to a dwindling hope until I just could not stand it any longer. There was not any one final straw. There were many final straws that drove this sad camel to the ground, but he managed to shamble back up and titter about, only to collapse once more, and to stand once more, and again only to be pushed back down into the slime. Well this is one camel that is sick and tired of slime. Unless it is The Green Slime, then that is okay. 

In the end I would like to say I will miss it but I am not sure. I sort of do now in a way as it is till the early stages. I may miss it for a time the way a drinker does booze for a spell after he quits. But soon that feeling just vanishes. The withdrawal subsides. I used to be a drinker and I know how it goes. Hard to really feel like I should miss a place that will not even notice I am gone. There is a sadness in letting it go. But it is a sadness that it never was what I hoped it would be. I may explore it later, or I may not. But I officially deleted, not just deactivated,  my account earlier and that is that.


It is not completely out of a sense of bitterness or suspicion about any club that would have me as a member type of thing. It is just that over time my preoccupation with being part of a group and wanting to fit in has actually led to me blogging/writing less. I am having similar issues with my music projects and I may explore that in another post or podcast. In the end I just want to churn out something half ass compelling or interesting. The preoccupation with fitting in and getting a pat on the back from the people who get more traffic or smiley faces on their Facebook posts has done more harm than good. I want to get back to the simple ideas I had when I started all of this, to make a type of blog or the type of music that I would want to read or listen to myself. Instead I lost my way trying to please people and get a pat on the back. Nothing wrong with that either, it is human and normal to seek approval. But it can become a problem if one has or develops Internet approval issues. And that is easy to do these days. Let's see if I can get over it all and pick myself up by my virtual bootstraps and trudge onward into the blogging sunset. Goodbye Facebook.

12 December 2016

THE URANIUM CAFE PODCAST EPISODE 12


Quite possibly my worst podcast ever. You don't want to miss it.



THE URANIUM CAFE PODCAST EPISODE 12