20 July 2018

STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2 AND "THE KISS!"


some_text

I m not a fan of Stranger Things or any TV show really. I don't like the way TV shows drag on and on any more and try to keep the viewer engaged by throwing in one curve ball after the other in the story arc. By the way, what he hell is an actual story arc? I gave up on The Walking Dead and I think I will be passing on the new season of Fear the Walking Dead. The list goes on and on actually of TV shows I start off liking then get fed up with, and it seems Stranger Things just got added to that list. I did like season one and felt it was going to go somewhere. I had a few issues of course but I waited until season two was complete and then down loaded the entire season. (I live in China and American TV shows specifically and non-Chinese TV shows generally  are all blocked here. I have to download them basically or do without.) So I got into the early episodes but I got worried by the introduction of the Mad Max character ( an unattractive boyish looking red haired girl) and her possible romantic relationship with either Dustin or Luke. I just hoped it was not going to go in that direction. I just did not want the show to go into sappy pubescent love stories. And of course it did with the characters of Eleven and Mike, and we sort of saw that coming from season one even, although I could have done without that as well.

The first episode of season 2 starts off with an awkward situation where Luke's race (he is black if you do not know by now) is addressed in an odd way. The boys all are going trick or treating as the characters from Ghost Busters but Luke resents that the others assume he is going to be Winston, the only black member of the Ghost Busters. Jeesh, go figure. This is based on the name tags every one is wearing on their costumes. Luke wants to be one of the other white team members and says he does not like the Winston character and criticizes Mike for not wanting to Winston, simply because Mike is not black. Of course mike mumbles in embarrassment and is feels shames deep white guilt inside. But what is the point of all of that? That racism exists because Luke does not want to be the black Ghost Buster character and the other whites guys in the show just assume he will be? The seasons gets stranger when it becomes obvious there is a romantic vibe developing between Max and Luke.

In the last episode the gang all go to the Snow Ball, the big Christmas secular holiday dance and Dustin even gets help from Steve Harrington in getting himself a doofy pompadour to impress Max, but slick Luke wisks her away and in a completely awkward scene he and Max kiss. I got you nice animated gif above so you can watch it over and over if you want. And so what is the point of all of this in he show? why was it necessary to have tomboyish Max even have any romantic (ergo sexual) interest in any of the boys? And why does it have to be the only black lead character in the series? The show takes place in the mid 80's in a small town in Indiana. I was born in Indiana, not a hot bed of diversity. But here the whole relationship is presented in the way interracial relationships are always treated by the new woke and social justice driven Hollywood presents them: as not worthy or a second glance from anyone else. The way it is shown that Luke is attracted to Max and is in competition for her on the same terms as Dustin is absurd. Of course race is shown to be an issue when Luke objects to being Winston, but it is not an issue when he wants to have a love relationship with a white girl. No one in group objects at all. So why was Luke crying about the Ghost Buster issue? Makes no sense.

This is yet again an attempt by Hollywood to create a seemingly color blind world that in reality does not exist. Why does Luke have to love a white girl? It elevates the status of his character of course. Why not actually create another black lead character for the show, a female one, and have Luke become smitten with her, the way it would probably actually happen in real life? Because in the crazy upside down world of progressive Hollywood, that could be construed as racist. Suggesting that one black character could only be attracted to another black character is like saying that that black character should go trick or treating as the only black Ghost Buster character. He can go as a white Ghost Buster if he wants. And why not create a world more fantastic than the one that exists under Hawkings Indiana where white ands black teenagers smooch in public and it is all quite normal. Of course here comes the matter of people wanting to appear "woke" and "enlightened" and they fear to make a criticism of this for fear of being branded a racist. The same way people who questioned whether Norse gods should be black in the Thor films were labelled racist.

I am not sure what will be done with the relationship in season 3. Maybe the race aspect will be dealt with. Max's step brother the evil Billy does not like Luke. His budding relationship with Max will not make him happy. But I doubt that any racial anger will be displayed from Billy. It will be anger at Luke for being a geeky, weirdo guy only. Race will not be addressed here, I can almost guarantee it. But in the real world the race factor would be at the forefront. I do notice online that many fans accuse Billy of racism, although he has never made one single racist comment in the whole season. It must be for no other than he strongly dislike Luke, but he actually strongly dislikes everybody of every race and all two genders. When I check the news in the US these days all I see is racial tension and violence. I do not see peace and harmony and color blindness. In the rest of the world it is even more pronounced. I am in China and married to a Chinese woman. My race is always a factor here. Race is real and it is a factor in social relationships. When people meet me for the first time with her (they know she is married but they do not know I am a white foreigner) their eye balls pop out their heads and their jaws droop slack in sheer disbelief. It is really annoying. But it is the way it really, really is.

If you search the topic on line you will find many people dealing with the race aspect, but many more take to the net to protest that the actress playing Max was distressed that the kiss was unscripted. No mention of the race factor in those types of threads. But I sense it is something that is there but the posters are scared to bring it up. I understand. I am too almost, but nobody reads this measly ass blog anyway, so no biggie.

Luke as the token black character was always a problem for me anyway. But seems the writers felt compelled to make one character black. It was the ethically right thing to do. Which is okay, but I just did not like the character. Actually all of them are annoying to me, Dustin being the worst. But they felt they needed to raise the status of their one black character and the quick easy way to do that was to make his kiss and later, I assume, fall in love with a white girl. They couldn't figure out any other way to do it I guess. Now he is equal to the other white guys even if he is still the only one who resembles Winston. But not to get stuck on just this black and white love angle, I also did not get into the kiss between Mike and Eleven and the message it is sending of another impending and boring romantic twist to the story. With the older characters okay, although that boney teenage girls freaks me out, but these are nerdy kids caught up in a conspiracy theory story and I don't think we need to muddy up the already convoluted storyline more with stupid budding teenage romances. I think I have lost interest in the show.


15 July 2018

CHILD EATER/2016


I was hesitant to label Child Eater under Drek Ahead because I have been labeling almsot every other movie I watch lately under this new category and I thought maybe it is getting old. In the end I decided not to even though I did not like the movie too much. Just because a movie is bad does qualify it to be drek I admit. In fact I like a lot of movies that are actually bad. So what make a movie like this, drek or not drek? Do I have some system or not? Well, maybe I am sorting it out still. A couple factors I think. One is that I find I cannot finish the film. I already have a category called Movies I Could Not Finish and usually I put in four films at a time with a , but in truth most of those films are not drek. I did not like John Wick, but it is not drek by any stretch.  One factor is that a film liek John Wick I may give another shot. Maybe it was the wrong time and I was in the wrong mood. But no way will I give Child Eater another shot. I don't even care who the director is or who played in it or what the production back story is. It used to interest me to "research" all of that but not anymore. I did not expect that much from the film but it went lower than my expectations in most places and I also felt a sense of irritation at being tricked by rave reviews of the film. Who writes those sort of reviews? The director's family? 

I did not care much for the acting or the actors from the beginning but I still gave it a shot for a while. The baby sitter girl is simply too unattractive. I know, know. These are modern times that are rife with social consciousness and all that and we should give fat girls with big noses and oily hair regular looking gals a chance at being a horror movie final girl too. But if the chick is not hot then she must be able to act. Here is a not hot gal who can't act and her poor acting skills, with annoying facial tics and twitches,  is apparent and grating on your nerves. There is her black male friend who just started his job on the small town police force. But, he seems to be gay! Why it is implied he is gay is beyond me. The girl is preggers from her annoying boyfriend and that potentially wasted and useless subplot is forgotten about as quickly as it is introduced. I began fast forwarding the film about half way through just to get it all over with. 

The super short synopsis is about a freaky serial killer stalker guy who eats the eyes of children because he thinks it will restore his sight. Okay, did you get that? The killer is BLIND! Yet he still stalks people and kills them off. He easily liquidates the armed small town police force (except the black gay dude, thank God) and terrorizes a little boy named Lucas and his fat babysitter Helen all without being able to see. At first the movie seems to going down a monster under the bed or a boogeyman in the closet route. Up to a scene where the closet door opens as Lucas turns towards it slowly I felt the film had some B-Movie promise. But suddenly Helen and her boyfriend are out of the house looking for the boy in the area where it is known the eye ball eater lurks. Yea, he only eats the eyes, not the entire child, so the title lies! And actually almsot everyone he kills and eats the eyes of is an adult! Liars! liars! I want to see kids terrorized and eaten! Who doesn't want to see that!

The killer's hands look like those big, fakey rubber gloves you buy in a novelty store around Halloween. Too many problems for me to ignore. The director cannot build tension. I do not buy a blind killer. The acting and dialog is to too bad. Adding weird unnecessary side stories like Helen being pregnant or the black guy being gay added nothing to story so why bring them up. Helen is too unattractive for a horror movie lead girl and cannot act to compensate for that. And in the end the killer is just another joker in weird get up that is always one step ahead of everybody else, even though he is an old blind guy. I guess he had some supernatural powers. Seemed like that in some scenes I skimmed over. So what. Total drek. 






14 July 2018

DREK AHEAD/ANONYMOUS 616/2017



I think this movie started off with a Nietzsche quote. I am not going to go back to double check, I may be wrong because so many lame indie horror movies use a Nietzsche quote during the opening titles anymore. And it is always either the one about what does kill you or be careful when you set out to destroy monsters you do not blah blah blah. I am of the opinion that any horror movie that starts off with nudity, or shows the monsters too soon or opens with a Nietzsche quote is going to be pretty bad. Anonymous 616 from “writer/director” Mike Boss is another one of those new indie style horror movies that takes place in one setting and features a cast of about four people with a few extra characters here and there for a couple minutes. The Roman Polanski film Carnage has a cast of four people and everything takes place in one apartment and it is a genuinely “riveting” film. But, Mike Boss ain’t Roman Polanski. And I put riveting in quotations because that word appeared a few times in fan reviews for Anonymous 616. Some people love this indie tripe. It is not even remotely riveting. You may have to rivet your eyelids to your forehead to keep them open but the movie is dismal at best.

Four old friends sit around one of the character’s small apartment and basically talk and talk. And talk. Later the host lets everyone ingest some sort of psychotropic drug, one of the new fangled so called designer drugs all the kids are doing these days, and this allows one of the guests to have contact with somebody called anonymous 616 in some chat room. The anonymous person begins to convince the guy he needs to act on his God-like properties and just do what it is he wants to do. Don’t hold back, be a God! So he tortures and kills everybody in the place. The actor playing the character Jason is Daniel Felix de Weldon and he has the most annoying appearance. Not like a cool Christopher Walken type annoying appearance, just that “why do I have to look at this ugly face in the lead role for 90 minutes in a movie” appearance. The actors are uniformly bad and the script they are given isn’t much to go on in the first place. Jason’s girlfriend is black. For some reason one character playing a “partner” in a social group of white people has to be black in movies anymore. It adds nothing to the to story to make the character a POC (Person of Color for you unwoke people out there) other than to make the viewer wonder if he is a bad human being for being perplexed why this particular character is not white.

It is because of movies like this I hate watching horror/thriller styled movies any more. I can recommend Carnage. I cannot recommend this. And poor, innocent Nietzsche now has his name associated with it (I think).






12 July 2018

WHY CHINA STRESSES ME OUT/TRYING TO GET REAL SOCKS

Lately I have found myself in dire need of new socks. Should be no problem in China right, to get a decent pair of socks. WRONG! Maybe they make all the socks you are wearing in the US but to get the same brands and styles here is almost impossible. There are several problems involved with a seemingly simple venture like this. 

1) Style - I basically have always worn what might be called white or grey cotton crew socks. Since I have been a teenager it is all I wear. But people here do not wear that style. men do not. Mostly you see weird business man style socks on the guys here. And these pictures here show what seems to be popular these days:



This is what Chinese men wear. These weird ass "ankle socks" that after you wear them make it look like you are not wearing socks (but... you are) or what I call business man socks. Now you can say "hey they wear those same styles in America man! check your privilege at the border you racist hater!" Yea who wears socks like that? commie Bernie Sanders supporters who drink soy milk? I bet Clint Eastwood never wore socks like that and I want socks like Clint Eastwood or John Wayne wore, not some male feminist vegan with hemp underwear. And they do not really do much with cotton here for socks. It is some weird fabric I do not even know. Like some argyle or nylon feeling. Often with Hello Kitty or marijuana leaf patterns on them.  No more Winnie the Pooh patterns of course since a year or so ago China officially banned images of subversive Winnie the Pooh. I am not joking. How can you joke about shit like that. 

2) Size - Of course Chinese people are smaller than their Western counter parts. Overall I would describe most of them as rather scrawny boney little twerps with tiny feet. I have lived in Kunming City for over ten years and not ONCE have I ever been able to find a pair of shoes or boots that fit me. Like in a city of 7 million people (a medium sized city in China) I cannot find shoes. And socks. Even if I find a pair I can stomach the appearance of they will be too small, with the heel area usually coming to the middle or upper middle of my foot at best. Even using online sites we cannot find sizes that will even remotely fit me. They only sale to people with gnome feet. If you go into a shoe store and ask for socks or shoes in a 46 (about a 13 in US size) they actually begin hyperventilating in disbelief. 

3) Price - If you look at the two pictures in the center of the post you will the items are priced at about 13.00 rmb and 18.00 rmb. that would be about 2 dollars and 3 dollars respectively. That price covers several pairs as well. Those images are from the Chinese online shopping site called Taobao. The top image is from the Chinese version of Amazon (amazon.cn) and you may notice a slight difference in price. They sale ten pair of cotton crew socks (colored but I am okay with that) for 134. 134 rmb you ask? No! $134 DOLLARS $$$!!! Thats is over $20 dollars per pair. Down right evil and this is common for any sort of import here from any country outside the majestic motherland.

Now before people start blaming the Lord Satan President Trump and his new tariffs and all that stuff I do not understand, just stop right there. These are the prices as they they have always existed here. This is why there are trade problems in the first place. But me, a small insignificant fish, I just have to deal with it, along with flea powder that sells for $100 (about $8 in US), a box of 10 Twinkies for $120 (about $5 in the store US), Duct Tape for $20, Fritos Chips for $70, imported headache medicine (all they sell here are weak ass caffeine aspirin tablets!) for $50 to a $100 and it goes on and on. To be clear, we do not buy any of that stuff. Jeesh, and all you read about is how insulted and pissed off China is that the US is going to put tariffs on their goods that still wold not make the prices come even close to these crimes against humanity. But good news. I continues searching and finally found 12 pair of Fruit of the Loom white, cotton crew sock for about $14 on amazon.cn. Of course we have to wait a few months for the damned things to get here but I have learned to just breathe in and be happy I got something at all. CORRECTION: After postage that will be almost $30 for SIX pair of cotton socks! About $5 a pair. Well, what can one do?

11 July 2018

BACK FROM MALAYSIA TRIP/GOOGLE PHOTO'S SOCIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANT




We went to Malaysia for a couple weeks and have some pictures of that I will share. But, before I do I want to first share with you these wonderful and quaint  little illustrations that are used to promote some feature in Google Photos (basically the new Picassa I guess)  called Assistant. This is used to collect photos together and create a politically correct load of social justice bullshit sweet little movie complete with some music. Now, anybody who follows this blog (and if you check it once a year that constitutes following in my book) knows I am not the type to get warm fuzzy feelings that often. But the joy I felt at seeing these images moved me to share the feature so you too can enjoy its benefits. As we see in the first image called Smiles we have a happy white dude smiling with his happy black female friend. I am not sure but I think she is related to Maxine Waters. As we know white guys in the west always have in their Google Photos collections tons of smiley photos with their BFFOC, Black Female Friends of Color. It is basically a day to day reality. Much of the time the white man in the image here is apologizing profusely for heinous crimes his race committed against her's long ago. Which is odd, because his family immigrated from Sweden in the early 20th century, but it still matters you know. But even more common is the warm image in picture two, promoting Mother's Day. Yes, much more common is a white woman with a BOC. That would be Baby of Color. White women in America now rarely if ever give birth to actual white babies. For some reason white Bernie Sanders supporting females are able to give ten times the love if the child is adopted and of another race. Well, she can certainly rest assured she is both morally superior and more virtuous at the same time. Something I surely cannot lay claim to.

Now in picture three we have Love Story. Celebrating romantic relationships. Sigh. Love. And here we have what appears to be, well, a couple gay dudes. But not only gay, but the gay dude on the left appears to be a GDOC. That would be Gay Dude of Color. Here they enjoy a romantic moment, perhaps watching a sunset, before they head off to the gay movie house later for a "romantic" film and lots of anonymous sex with lots of other gay dudes. Ain't lover just grand. Now the last picture, to be used for Father's Day, at first glance appears to be the odd one out. What is this? Members of the same race being happy and cheery? Well, yes, but it is okay so long as the race in question is not white. Or even Asian for that matter. But maybe this guy is Pakistani you know. And these days some people do not like to say the terms Middle East or Arab World. They like to call all people east of the Nile river and West of Hawaii Asian now. So, maybe he could be called Asian. Or he could be Hispanic (that means like Mexican) or possibly black. Well, it is confusing. But we are damned sure he ain't white so we can relax. And it is even possible he is gay and he and his partner adopted the baby, and I guess you can't have a better father to remember on father's day than a GFOC. And yes, that would be Gay Father of Color. But, also, I think that baby could be the same baby the white woman is holding in picture two. So, I am not sure what the hell is going on now. Is that non-white dude her partner? Remember, never say husband or wife  or boyfriend or girlfriend, that is really offensive to just about everybody. We are all just partners. Anyway, that goofy ass baby looks about the same to me, so the mind boggles at the possibilities here. All we know is, thank God, that we are not dealing with a white, straight husband/wife couple with a potentially white straight baby. That will not do! Later I will see if there is anything I can get of of this amazing feature. Right now it does not look promising for me though. 

And so my wife and I spent a couple weeks in Malaysia, in the area of Kuala Lampur. We actually did a Vipassana Meditation retreat but I am not going to talk too much about that . Not that I don't have things to say, but just don't want to share that part of my life. Anyway, as they say iGermany kurzgesagt (in a nutshell) I love to get out of China when I can if no other reason than to eat some decent food. Sick of local style Chinese food. Cheap noodles and rice covered with greasy stuff with few if any other options depending on where you live. And the food options in KL were great. It was hot. Super hot and humid. And when it rained it rained. Don't get me wrong, these places can be trying on your nerves and stamina as well and in the end I am happy to be home. Hell, even had some rice with greasy stuff earlier.