Tuesday, December 31, 2013

마술적 실수주의의 슬픔

(오늘 "쥐"에 대해서 적고 싶었는데 "쥐"의 주제는 너무 심오해서 2일 이상 생각해야해요. "쥐"의 주인공도 이렇게 생각해요. "It would take many books, my life," / "내 삶의 사연을 얘기하도록 많은 권이 필요할텐데..."라고 밝혔어요. 그러니까 내일 미술적 실수주의에 대해서 적어볼거예요. 참으세요^^)

관객은 좀 힘들것 같다. 감독나 작가가 관객에게 큰 감동을 주고 싶지만 관객들은 모든 것 익숙해졌다. 예를 들어 내가 어렸을 때 공포영화가 매우 무서웠지만 지금 익숙해져서 많이 무섭지 않다. 드라마영화를 볼 때도 그렇다. 요새 드라마영화 보면 슬프지 않고 감동 없다.

그러나 부조리한 것과 슬픈 것이 같이 나오면 큰 감동 나올 수 있다. 예를 들어, 내 경험에 의하면 이 장면이 가장 슬픈 것이다:


역시 애니매션이라서 일반인들 슬픈 장면을 기대 안 했을 것이다.  게다가 나처럼 많은 사람들 심각한 드라마 장면을 면한다. 드라마영화들은 관객의 감정을 움직이려 하고 귀여운 영화들은 관객을 부드럽게 이다. 그래서 Up을 봤을 나는처럼 울었지만 The Shawshank Redemption나 Schindler's List 볼 때는 눈물 한 방울도 떨어지지 않았다.

만화도 마찬가지이다. 나는 너무 심각한 이야기나 그림이 나오면 외면하지만 귀여운 작품이 있을 때는 감동을 받는다. 이렇게 생각하면서 내일부터 "쥐"를 이야기할 것이다. 지금은 이 그림을 고려할것이다. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

만화: 전기, 사실주의, 마술적 사실주의, 판타지

학자들이 동의하는 문학에 대한 4가지 종류가 있다.: 전기, 사실주의, 미술적 사실주의와 판타지. 한편 만화는 보통 판타지이지만 전기, 사실주즤, 미술적 사실주의이기도 하다. 오늘은 미술적 사실주의에 대한 생각 적어본다.

미술적 사실주의 문학은 사실주의 문학처럼 캐릭터의 마음과 줄거리 몰두할 수 있고 마술로 중요한 것을 강조 할 수 있다. 예를 들어, Craig Thompson의 'Blankets'을 분석해보면 작가가 어떤 것에 독자들이 초점을 두게 하고 싶은지 밝힌다.





이전에 청소년 2명이 모텔에서 등록했고 같이 잠을 잘것이다. 다른 작가가 이 장면을 창조한다면 더 야할것 같다. 이 예술을 천사로 그려서 순수하고 사랑스러운 느낌을 강조한다.

예를 한 번 더 들면, 같은 작품에서 주인공과 주인공의 아버지의 관계를 묘사하는 방식을 보자.  아빠의 손 주인공의 머리 크기 과장된 대비를 있다. 아버지를 향한 주인공의 두려움을 상징한.



다음 주도 미술적 사실주의 만화, "쥐"에 대한 분석 계속할 것이다.

Friday, December 27, 2013

만화: 책임감

만화에 대한 일기 시작 했을 때 이렇게 적었다: "일반 사람들은 항상 영웅처럼 행동할 수 없지만 만화에 있는 영웅들은 항상 용감하고 올바르게 행동한다. 만화를 읽으면 영웅이랑 가까워질 수 있다." 오늘은 왜 매일 내가 일어날 때마다 스파이더맨에 대해 생각하는지를 적어본다.

Peter Parker 우연히 특별한 초능력을 가지게 되었다. 그런 능력을 받은 댓가로 Spider-Man이 되어 다른 사람들을 보호하는 것이다. 그래서 이 모토를 만들었다: "With great power comes great responsibility." 큰 힘에는 큰 책임이 따른다.

Spider-Man의 재능 때문에 Peter Parker의 사생활이 깨졌다. 그래도 다른 사람을 보호준다. 나에게 동기 부여 준다. 왜냐하면 우리도 재능이 있다. 우리 재능에는 지식, 착함, 돈 등이 있지만 보통 다른 사람 나누기 보다는 자기위해 쓰고 싶어한다. 특히 힘들수록 욕심이 많아 진다.

하지만 우리가 Spider-Man처럼 책임감을 가지고 다른 사람을 도와준다면 우리도 영웅과 가까워질 수 있다. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dr. Kevin's 외국어 배우기 방법

매일
어휘 – 메모카드 복습 80장과 새로운 단어 20장을 공부한다. (Anki 쓰면 더 편할것 같다. 컴퓨터나 휴대폰으로 쓸 수 있다. http://ankisrs.net/) 어휘는 가장 중요한 것이다!

읽기 – 어휘 암기를 위해서 생각없이 책 2~4장 읽는다. (배우고 있는 단어가 나오면 더 쉽게 암기할 수 있고, 아는 단어가 나오면 자연스럽게 어떻게 쓰는지 본다.)

듣기 – 드라마 30분정도 본다. (외국어나 원어 자막이 필요하면 자막이랑 본다. http://subscene.com/)

쓰기 – 일기를 쓰다. (Lang-8 쓰면 더 편할것 같다. http://lang-8.com/)

매주
읽기 – 책나 기사를 먼저 생각없이 읽고, 모르는 어휘를 찾으면서 다시 읽다. 모르는 단어를 사전으로 찾으보고 다시 읽는다.

듣기/말하기 – 2~3번 외국어 할 수 있는 사람이랑 만나고 1시간정도 외국어만 대화한다.

듣기 – 15분정도 드라마 보면서 대본 적다. 모르는 단어를 사전으로 찾아보고 다시 듣다.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

12월23일 - 만화: Bechdel and Wood

멀티미디어 즉 영화, 책, 텔레비젼 프로그램은 불행한 일이지만 남자에 집중되어 있다. 당연히 여자 캐릭터가 있지만 주인공 보통 남자이고 여자캐릭터들주변부에 있다. 동양과 서양 양쪽 다에서 여자의 지위가 상승하고 있지만 멀티미디어에서는 여전히 남자캐릭터들이 집중 조명된다. 그래서 "The Bechdel Test" 벡델평가가 만들어졌다.

벡델평가는 3개의 규칙이 있다.

1) 여자 2명 이상 있고
2) 서로 얘기하고
3) 남자말고 다른 주에 대해서 대화한다.

벡델평가에 통과하기 어렵지만 대부분의 보통 영화와 만화들이 합격을 못한다는 것은 생각해 볼 문제이다. 예를들어 최근에 Gravity가 유명해졌고 여자캐릭터가 주인공이지만 벡델평가를 합격하지 못 한다. 내가 가장 좋아하는 영화 중하나인 Pacific Rim 에서는 나보다 거칠고 싸움을 잘 하는 여자캐릭터가 나오지만 다른 여자와 얘기를 나누지 않는다.





물론, 이 만화는 벡델평가를 합격할 수 있다. 이건 Brian Wood이 쓰였다. 또, 이 캐릭터들을 너무 야하게 묘사하지 않았다. 또! 이 만화 제목은 "X-Men"이고, 60년 전에 처음처럼 제목이다. 내 생각에 이 캐릭터들은 여자, "X-Women" "X-Girls" "X-Ladies" 등이 아닌 그냥 인간이다. 성별이 상관없다. 

이건도 여자캐릭터만 만화이지만 쓰레기이다.

X-Men이랑 비교하세요: 



These clothes are sooo tight. Jesus christ. 배꼽도 볼 수 있네..."Divas"란 제목하는 만화이다. 영어로 이 단어는 불평을 많이 하고 "왕자병"있는 여자에 대해서 표현한다.

Bonus! Take a look at one of Rob Liefeld's X-Men drawings! 



Look at this shit. 우선, 여성캐릭터가 1명 밖에 없고 노출이 심한 옷을 입고 있다.

Also, I'm pretty sure Psylocke is cutting her own boob...  (사실은 이 캐릭터 이름이 "Psylocke"이고 첫번 그림에도 있다. 초록색 옷 입는 여자와 빨간색 옷 입는 여자 중에 있다. Psylocke의 옷은 많이 바꿨죠?) 







2월20일 - 만화 2회: Rob Liefeld

http://lang-8.com/kswarzala/journals/62327640811059241317307996597803454844

이제부터 몇일 동안 좋아하는 만화에 대해서 표현할 것이다. 그런데 그러기 전에 좋은 만화를 잘 이해하기위해 먼저 쓰레기같은 만화 예를 들것이다. 

Rob Liefeld은 작가이자 화가이고, 내가 싫어하는 만화를 대표하는 작가이다. 먼저 Rob의 품을 보 잘못된 만화의 실체 실감할 수 있다.








이 그림은 남자들의 근육이 너무 크게 과장되고 총도 너무 커서 이상하다. 
(혹시, 지금 장에 있으면 이걸 보면 안 돼요.) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v430/eharrold44/liefeld.jpg 

이 그림은 이전 그림보다 훨씬 더 이상하다. 사실은 내가 이 만화를 보고 있는 것을 다른 사람들이 본다면 엄청 창피할 것이다. 만화의 글은 그림보다 더 좋지 않다. 유치한 것을 적으며 남상스럽게? 하고 싶지만 그냥 초등학생처럼 적다. 큰 총이 있는 근육질의 남자가 옷을 야하게 입고 있는 여자를 지킨다. 하~~~~~품.


Friday, December 20, 2013

12월19일 - 만화 1회

나는 29살인 남자임에도 만화를 아주 좋아한다. 내가 좋아하는 만화를 들자면 Spider-Man, X-Men, The Avengers... 정도 얘기할 수 있겠다. 하지만 내 친구들은 모두 만화를 좋아하지 않는다. 매 주 만화 4권에서 6권까지 읽곤 하지만 같이 얘기 나눌 수 있는 친구 없다. 지금부터 나의 만화인생에 대하여 써보고자 한다. 특히 내 가장 좋아하는 만화 적가 즉 Kirkman, Remender, Slott, Wood, and Fraction에 대하여 언급하고 싶다.

오늘 잠깐 동안 만화를 좋아하는 이유 대해서하고 싶다. 만화들 좀 유치하지만 좋은 을 찾을 수 있다. 일반 사람들항상 영웅처럼 행동할 수 없지만 만화에 있는 영웅들 항상 용감하고 올바르게 한다. 내가 읽으면 영웅이랑 가까워질 수 있다.

그리고 난 5살부터 만화를 종종 읽어서 만화 캐릭터랑 친해졌다. 다른 사람이 드라마 나온 캐릭터랑 친해졌고 드라마들이 몇 주만 동안 나온다. 난 20년 이상 만화를 읽었기 때문에 드라마 캐릭터보다 많이 친해 질 수 있다.

Monday, December 16, 2013

12월13일 - 먼저 인사합시다! 3회: Que Harrias Tu?

1회 http://lang-8.com/kswarzala/journals/11591127584620969744652022129842167396
2회 http://lang-8.com/kswarzala/journals/333589402811665390049564305068657712740

일 동안 외국인에 대한 광고를 분석하고 있다. 이 광고 통해 어떻게 하면 좋은 광고를 만들 수 있을지에 대해 생각하고 있다. 외국인에 대한 광고 긍정적으로 만들고 싶으면 외국사람의 단점이 아니라 한국사람의 예의와 실례를 강조해햐 한다. 사람들이 예를 따라 할 수 있도록 좋은 예와 나쁜 예를 같이 더 쉽게 이해할 수 있을 것이다.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sam3deneMgk

이 프로그램은 엄마가 영어를 잘 못하고 딸이 영어와 스페인어 원어민이다. 식당에서 엄마가 주문할 때 무한 남자가 그녀를 모욕하기 시작했다. 영어 배우라고 멕시코 음식을 먹라고 강요하고 스페인어로 장난했다. 또 외국사람이 한국을 깨지고 있어라고 불평했다. 사실 이건 내가 한국에서 많이 들었던 말이다. 

하지만 가까이 있는 사람들이 엄마와 딸을 보호줬다. 특히 수염 기른 남자가 모욕적인 말을 듣자마자 즉각 즉.각. 반응했다. 모녀를 보호했던 사람들이 영웅처럼 되고, 그 놈이 그냥 인종별적인 사람처럼 됐다.

아다시피, 다른 외국인처럼 내가 한국어를 배우고 있지만 유창하지 않아서 공공장소에서 실수 많이 했다. 나를 옹호해 주는 사람을 한번도 만났다. 

그래서 내가 생각하는 광고 내용은 흑인한테 장난하는 한국인에 관한 것이다. "Hey yo wassup man"이라고 말하지만 다른 한국인 "그렇게 하면 안 돼요"하고 혼낸다. 간단하죠?
한 사람이 나쁜 예를 만들고 예의 바른 사람이 좋은 예를 만든다. 외국사람의 부족한 언어 실력과 상관없다.

Friday, December 13, 2013

2월12일 - 먼저 인사합시다! 2회: 미국버거

어제 내가 모욕적인 광고에 대해서 적었다. 여기 있다: http://lang-8.com/kswarzala/journals/11591127584620969744652022129842167396 . 오늘은 설명하고 싶은 것 있다.

우선 광고를 만들었던 사람에 대해서는 화가 나진 않았다. 그 사람들이 외국사람을 도와주고 싶었지만 외국사람 아이 비슷하게 해서 외국인에게 모욕적인 광고를 제작했다. 하지만 이 사람들 좋은 의사가 있었다.

어제 내 친구랑 (안녕! 친구야!) 이 광고에 대 이야기하면서 나는 좋은 광고를 어떻게 만지 생각해 보았다. 이건 곤란한 이다. 왜냐하면 사람들 다 다른다. 몇 몇 사람들은 어떤 대접을 받고 싶어하고 또 다른 사람들은 그와 다른 대접을 받고 싶어한다.

하지만 뭘 하면 안 되기에 대해서 얘기할 수 있다. 예를들어, 이걸 보십시요: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sam3deneMgk

오늘 읽기가 좀 길어서 여기까지 쓰고 내일 계속 할 것이다. 그런데 이 비디오에 대해서 어떻게 생각해요, 여러분? 당신이 저기 있다면 어떻게 할 거예요?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

12월11일 - "먼저 인사 합시다!"

어젯밤에 식당에서 혼자 먹으면서 TV광고를 보았다. 첫 내용은 초등 여학생이 큰 도시 길에서 지도 보며 헷갈려 하는 것 처럼 보였다. 다음 장면은 식당에서 초등학생이 젓가락으로 음식을 먹어보았지만 서툴렀다. 마지막 장면은 아이가 길에서 앉아서 쓸쓸하고 슬퍼 보였다. 한국인 2명이 다가오고 아이에게 인사하자마자 아이가 20대 외국여자가 되었다. 그다음에 "외국인에게 먼저 인사합시다"란 글이 나왔다.

나는 이해했다. 이 광고가 외국사람한테 친절하자는 뜻을 제시하고 싶었지만 실패했다. 외국사람들은 아이가 아니다. 또한 외국사람이라고 해서 반드시 유치하거나 바보같은 사람 아니다. Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with commercial...내 고향에서는 외국사람이랑 만나면 아기 말고 손님처럼 해야 한다. 그 사람은 바보가 아니고 그냥 영어로 완벽하게 이야기 못 하고 우리 풍습을 잘 모를 뿐이다. 그러니까 우리 고향에 있는 사람들이 친절하게 대해줘야 한다.

미국에서는 이 광고 같은 광고가 나오면 사람들이 화를 낼 것 이다. "Let's be nice to foreigners, because they're like babies." 내가 상상할 수 없다.

그러던 중 술을 마시던 한 남자가 나에게 소리를 질렀다. 내가 그 사람을 무시했기 때문에 외국사람에 대한 불평 했고 나무랐다. 외국여자가 즉 내 친구들이 뚱뚱하고 무례하다는 얘기를 했다. 그는 내가 한국어를 이해할 수 있는지 몰라서 그렇게 얘기했다. I love you, Korea, but man, sometimes...

아기에 대한 광고 말고 예의에 대해 제대로 말하는 광고가 어때? "외국사람은 좀 어리버리"하다는 내용 말고 "우리 한국사람이 예의를 제대로 하자"라는 내용이 나오면 좋겠다. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12월3일 - 북한 3/3

2회에는 한국이랑 통일에 대해서 적었다. 이번회는 다른 방법에 대해서 적을 것이다.

한국이랑 통일을 할 수 있지만 60년 전부터 북한과 한국 사이의 불신이 증가되었고 문화, 경제, 정치가 너무 달라서 다른 방법이 필요다. 북한은 민주화가 중요한데 민주화를 스스로 이루어내려 하면 위험해질 수 있다. 사실은 민주화를 이룬 나라 중에 전쟁을 일으킨 나라가 많다. 아마 한국사람들이 이것을 간과했다고 생각한다. 왜냐하면 미국이랑 친한 사이였고 미국의 강한 경제 때문에 한국이 민주화를 했을 때 전쟁이 발생하지 않았다.

그래서 경제가 강하고 북한과 친한 관계에 있는 나라가 필요다. 미국, 일본, 한국이 북한과 친하지 않지만 북한 건국부터 중국이랑 특별한 관계 있다. 중국에는 자치권을 가진 5개의 자치구가 벌써 있다. 북한이 중국 안에 자치권으로 흡수된다면 전쟁을 막을 뿐만 아니라 중국과 한국이 좋은 사이로 발전되고 개성공업지처럼 경제 협력이 늘어나고 국경 개방이 수 있다. 또한 중국의 경제가 노동자들을 많이 필요하는 상태에서 북한의 수 많은 기술 없는 노동자를 이용할 수 있다.

당연히, 우리 평화를 좋아하는 사람들은 북한이 핵무기를 양보하고 한국이랑 통일을 하거나 평화적으로 민주화를 하는 것을 희망하지만 북한에게 강요하면 안 된다. 평화적인 계획을 원하면 북한도 그 계획을 좋아해야 한다. 중국에 흡수된다면 북한이 평화를 이루고 경제를 살리고, 다른 나라와 좋은 관계를 형성할 것이다.

http://lang-8.com/kswarzala/journals/26498091436508296671644966806629621348

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

11월25일 - 북한 2/3

북한이 협조적이라면 한국과의 통일은 평화적으로 시행될 수 있다. 북한과 한국은 똑같은 민족이 한글을 사용한다. 그러나 한국과의 관계가 좋지 않은 이유는 2지가 있다.

먼저 북한과 한국 경제는 종류와 품질도 다른다. 공산주의인 북한과 자본주의인 한국이 섞이면 아무래도 경제에 손해가 생길 것이다. 현재 전망은 북한이 한국이랑 통일한다면 USD 1조 (1,000,000,000,000,000원) 필요할 것이다. 그러면 사회의 가장 약한 사람 즉 노약자, 가난한 사람, 아이가 힘들 것이다.

게다가 북한과 한국 관계가 점점 악화경멸하는 것 또한 점차 심해졌다. 한국전쟁 시절에 10의 1 사람이 죽거나 다쳤고 5백만 여 명이 피난을 갔다. 재산 피해는 1948년 국내 총생산 만큼 컸다. 그 때부터 수십건의 력적인 사건이 일어났다. 1392년부터 한반도에서 똑같은 문화가 있었지만 문화는 빨리 바뀔 수 있다. 그 결과로 지금은 한국과 북한의 문화가 따로 존재한다.

통일을 원하는 사람들 정치,경제,문화 그리고 력적인 역사를 무시하면서 인종의 집중을 원할 뿐인다. 만약 우선이 평화와 인권이면 다른 방법이 나올 것이다.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

11월20일 - 북한 1/3

북한은 경제가 약하고 핵무기가 있으며 전체주의 정부로 매우 위험다. 더구나 인도주의 위기가 있어서 북한의 현재 상황이 지속되면 안 된다. 또한 이제까지 평화적인 계획이 성공을 했고 핵무기를 보유하고있기 때문에 전쟁이 일어나면 안 된다. 지금은 미국이 패권있지만 북한이랑 좋은 관계가 없어서 미국이 앞장서면 전쟁이 시작을 하는지도 모른다. 대한민국이랑 똑같은 언어와 역사 그리고 비슷한 문화가 있는데도 이들의 관계는 좋지 않다. 좋은 결과가 없을것 같다. 겁난다.


북한이 대한민국이랑 통일하거나 스스로 민주화가 불가능하다에 대해서 설명할 것이다. 내일 북한 대한민국에 대해서 쓸 것이다.

 

Friday, November 1, 2013

10월31일 - 공포 2회

해피 할로윈~ 3일 동안 공포에 대해서 적고 있어요. 첫번 일기는 여기 있어요: http://lang-8.com/kswarzala/journals/309850861569076486465119644180905562534

물론, 늑대 인간, 귀신, 미녀, 괴물을 믿는 사람이 거의 없어서 공포영화는 무섭지 않을 텐데  무서워 할 때도 있다. 그 이유는 두가지가 있는데, 첫째는 공포영화가 진짜 무섭거나 둘째는 갑작스런 효과음등으로 놀라게해서 공포를 조성한다. 진짜 무서운 영화는 마음속에서 겁이 생긴다.

예 를들어, 1954년 일본에서 히로시마와 나가사키의 원자 폭탄 투하 거의 10년 후에 첫번 Godzilla 영화 나왔다. 도시를 전부 다 파괴한 Godzilla는 거대하고 고통을 느끼지 않는 것으로 묘사되어 폭탄을 상징했다. 거울처럼 공포영화들이 마음속의 두려움을 끌어낸다.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

10월30일 - 공포 1회

나는 영화를 좋아하는데 그중 3개의 장르를 특히 좋아한다. 구체적으로, 애니메이션, 영웅, 공포물을 엄청 좋아한다. 내일 할로윈이라서 3일 동안 왜 공포를 좋아하는지 알려줄 것이다.

3가지 종료 중에는 공통점 것이 없어 보이지만 있다. 드라마 영화는 나에게 감정이 풍부하게 너무 열심히 해본다. 슬픈 노래를 하는 장면이나 슬픈 화면이 나오면 내가 그냥 외면하곤 한다. 그러나 애니매션, 영웅, 공포 영화랑 비교하면 심각하지 않다. 예를들어 제일 슬픈 화면은 Up에 첫10분이다. 처음부터 애니매션이라서 귀여우니까 쉽게 방어를 절감할 수 있다. 그래서 이 영화를 관심 더 있다.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10월29일 - An Actual Crazy Person

내 생각에 가장 큰 차이는 코미디 것 같다. 다른 나라의 코미디를 이해하기가 어렵다. 나는 한국 코미디를 보면 웃기지 않다고 생각한다. 여러분, 미국의 코미디에 대해서 어떻게 생각해요?

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-eJSHoH9Fs

이해할 수 있어요? 아니면 미국보다 한국 코미디를 더 좋아해요? 이 동영상이 너무 좋지만 한국사람들은 별로 안 좋아하나 봐요.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10월28일 - 여행자 패션

2007년부터 이사 13번 했다. 한 장소에서 1년 이상 살아본 적이 없다. 당연히 옷이 많면 이사하기가 힘들어서 옷은 거의 없다. "케빈아, 어떻게? 아주 잘 생기고, 아주아주 섹시하고, 옷을 너무 잘 입어서 옷이 많은 것 같아~" 네, 알았어. 내 비밀을 알려줄게. 넥타이이다.

넥타이는 가볍고 좁을 뿐만 아니라 쉽게 챙길 수 있고 쉽게 갖을 수 있다. 게다가 오늘 검은색 셔츠에 핑크색 넥타이하고 다음 날에 같은 셔츠에 하얀색 넥타이를 메면 다른 모습으로 보인다. 그러니까 옷장에 7개정도의 셔츠와 7개정도의 바지가 있고 20개정도의 넥타이가 있기 때문에 집에 나갈 때마다 멋쟁이가 된다.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

10월23일 - 섹시한 여자

프리미엄이 됐을 때부터 조회수를 많이 받았어요. 감사합니다!


하지만 이상한 것을 하나았어요. 야하거나 이상한 제목을 가진 글이 조회수가 높더라구요.
그러니까 이번 일기 제목이 "섹시한 여자"이므로 제 글이 내일 조회수 1위를 기록할거라 예상해요.
인터넷 이용자들은 변태라서요...

하지만, 변태님, 걱정하지 마세요. 여기 섹시한 여자 사진 있어요!
You're welcome!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10월22일 - 21

여러분, 먼저 오른쪽에 보십시요. 달력을 봐요? 예쁘죠? 지난달 30일부터 주말 빼고 맨날 일기 적었지만 어제 21일 못 썼어요. 그래서 오늘부터 "21"숫자를 싫어할거예요. 계산할 때, 21를 게을리할거예요! 십팔, 십구, 이십, 시십이...이렇게.
그리고, 이제부터, 제 나이는 28살이에요. 왜냐하면 21살이 없었어요. 8년 전 생일이 지고 있었을 때 갑자기 22살이 됐어요. 또! 제 생일은 2월14일이지만 옆에있는 "2"과 "1"을 빼버리고 지금부터 제 생일은 그냥 "월4일"이에요. "어떤 달?" "그냥 달! 덕쳐!" Las Vegas에 가면 브래크재크 안 해요! 그리고! 가게 있으면 계산이 2천백원이면 안 낼거예요! 꼭!


진짜 화가 난다...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10월18일 - 주말, Motherfuckers!

내일은 주말이 시작될 거에요. 이번주는 특히 힘들었으니까, 매우 기대하고 있어요. 여러분, 특별한 계획이 있어요? 전 있어요. 친구를 만나려고 진주나 창원에 가고 싶지만, 일요일에 대학원을 위한 에쎄이를 써야 해서 이번 주말에는 여행을 할 수 없어요. 그렇긴 하지만 좋은 계획도 있어요.

 먼저, 잠을 잘거에요. I'm going to 잠, then I'm going to 잠 again, and then I'm going to 잠 some more. 그 다음에 쓰레기 먹을게요. 요즘에는 몸에 좋은 음식을 많이 먹었기 때문에 치킨이나 피자를 먹어도 괜찮을 것 같아요. 그래서 치킨과 피자를 먹고 싶어요. 그 다음에 맥주를 마실거에요. 부여읍은 더러운 술집이 많이 있어서 가보고 싶어요. 아마, 부여읍 예쁜 여자들 중에 (여기: http://i46.tinypic.com/2ch8aip.jpg) 한 명한테 얘기할거예요. 그 다음에 만화책, 즉 Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers 읽고, 영화 볼까 해요. 마무리 15분 동안 에쓰에이 쓸거예요.
Perfect Plan.
You're a genius, Kevin.
 
영어를 배우고 있는 분, 저처럼 욕을 하지 마세요.
Don't say "motherfuckers".
불친절해요.

Friday, October 18, 2013

10월17일 - 질 대 양

어젯밤 선생님께 혼났다. 한국어 수업하고 있는 중에 너무 피곤해서 집중 못 했는데 한국어 선생님이 그런 나를 혼내셨다. 몇 주 동안 선생님이랑 수업 할 때는 내가 너무 boring했다. 지금도 한국어로 "boring"을 번역할 수 있지만, 너무 피곤해서 정신을 못 차리고 있다. 얘들아 과로 하지말자.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

10월16일 - 국물

천재라서 에너지가 아주 많이 필요한다. 공부하기 에너지, 재치하게 하기 에너지, 잘 생기게 하기 등등등...
그러니까 에너지를 유지하도록 끊임없이 영양을 공급해 줘야한다그러나 우리 새로운 학교 급식소에서 나오는 식사는 양이 부족해서 실망스럽고, 먹어도 금방 배가 고파진다.
여기 좀 보세요. 이게 뭐야? 국물도 없잖아요. 천재들은 요만큼만 먹고는 살 수 없다.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10월15일 - Awful, Awful Dancing Girls

우선 여자가 춤을 추는 것은 관찮다. 취미가 춤추기이면 문제 없다. 그러나 맞는 장소에서 올바로 춤을 춰야 된다. 예를들어, 초등학교에서 섹시하게 춤을 추는 것은 안 된다.

알다시피 지난 주말에 내가 대전으로 여행갔고 "Science Day"를 구경하려고 과학박물관에 갔다. 그 때 그곳에는 학생들이 많았고 관심갖는 학생이 많으면 좋겠다고 생각했다. 그 축제는 좀 유치하게 느껴져서 초 중학생을 위한 축제라고 생각했다.

그 때 춤추기 시범이 있었다. 처음에 애들이 만든 로봇이 나왔고 아주 좋았다. 재미있게 보면서 학생들이 과학에 관심을 보였다. 그러나 다음에 섹시하게 입었던 여자들이 야하게 춤을 췄다. 이건 문제가 많다라고 느꼈다. 우선 초등학생 앞에서 야하게 춤을 추면 안 된다. 그리고 여학생도 있었다. 여학생이 그걸 본다면 어떻게 생각할까? 그 과학에 흥미있는 여학생은 인기있는 여자를 보면 그 여자처럼 되고 싶지 않을까? 또 그 인기많은 여자가 야하게 춤을 추면 여학생이 나쁜 생각을 쉽게 할수 있다. "사람들이 똑똑하고 과학적인 여자를 보고 싶지 않고 섹시한 여자 좋아해"하고 생각할것 같다. 우리는 여학생들이 섹시한것 보다는 공부하는 것에 더 관심갖도록 노력해야한다.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10월14일 - 리셋

나의 인생에 제일 중요한 시간은 아침이다. 많은 사람들은 아침에 무엇을 보았냐에 따라 기분이 나빠지거나 좋아진다. 하지만 나는 좀 이상하다. 부지런하게 하루를 시작하면 하루 종일 부지런하고, 게으르게 일어나면 하루 종일 게으르진다. 그러나 아침에 아무리 게으르게 일어나도 일과 공부는 해야 한다. 그러니까는 자기 마음 고치고 기분을 바꾼다. 집에 있으면 샤워 하거나 20분 동안 잘 수 있지만 작업장에 있으면 다음시까지 휴식한다. 예를들어 현재시간이 2시47분이면 13분 동안 후식을 취할 있고 11시13분이면 47분 동안 휴식을 취할 수 있다. 그 다음 스스로에게 "지금 이 순간부터, 새로운 하루가 시작되었다! 난 꼭 천재가 될거야!"라고 외친다. 리섹버튼을 누른 것처럼. 기분이 나쁘면 시간이 갈수록 기분이 더 나빠진다. 나의 충고는 휴식하고 스트레스 플리하다가 열심히 일이다.

Monday, October 14, 2013

10월11일 - 대전

이번 주말에 친구랑 대전에 갈 것이다. 지금까지 대전에 3번쯤 갔지만 KTX역과 시외터미널만 봤다. 사실은 난 조용하고 재미없는 사람이라서 주말마다 그냥 집에 있곤 한다. 그래서 시내에 재미있는 것이 어떤 것이 있는지 잘 모른다. 여러분, 대전에 재미있는 것을 추천해 주세요~

Friday, October 11, 2013

10월10일 - 김!

지난주에 나의 어머니가 나에게 택배를 보냈지만 이사가기 전 주소로 보냈다. 그래서 내 친구가 내 택배를 받고 나한테 보내줬다. 내 친구는 너무너무 착해서 선물을 보내고 싶지만 준비를 잘 못했다. 생각없이 2kg 정도 김을 샀고 보냈다. 그래서 집에서 이틀마다 250g 정도 김을 먹는다. 김이랑...매우 친해졌으니까 하이쿠 적었다.



초록색식물
소금과유맛있다
혼자다먹어

Thursday, October 10, 2013

10월9일 - 한글날

안녕하세요, 어려분. 휴일 잘 보내고 계시죠?

오늘 한글날이라서 쓰기 연습에 대해서 물어볼거예요. 평소에 일기를 쓰면 한국분들이 고쳐줘요.(감사합니다!) 하지만 실력향상 어떻게 해야하나요? 쓰기가 좀 더 편해졌지만 실력이 아직 낮아요. 여러분, 랭에이트에서 일기를 쓰고 실수를 고치려고 어떻게 배운 것을 복습해요? 저는 일기를 쓴 후에 “아, 그건 틀려. 그건 맞아,”하자마자 다음 일기에 똑같은 실수를 다시 해요.

오늘 아침에 생각 해봤어요. 일기 쓰고 첨삭 받고나서 바로 다른 사이트에 다시 그대로 써요. 일기 쓰고 첨삭 받고나서 바로 다른 사이트에 다시 그대로 써요. 그러면 한국분들처럼 쓰기 연습을 할 수 있고 실수를 잘 이해 할 수 있을 거예요. 어떻게 생각해요?

[http://lang-8.com/kswarzala/journals/37287410799784436660062533078301515364]

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ikiru


Ikiru

Ikiru will make you feel inspired to make the world a better place, and then Ikiru will punch you in the fucking stomach for feeling that way.

Kurosawa has never pulled any of his punches. I wanted to start this review by talking about some of his other movies, aside from those based on Shakespeare.

In Seven Samurai, there’s a moment that nearly knocked me out of my chair the first time I saw it. Throughout the movie, one assumes that the seven samurai fighting to protect the village will emerge triumphant. As time goes by and it becomes apparent hat this won’t happen exact as you expect, you start preparing yourself for a heroic sacrifice. The samurai will all die in battle and the samurai in love will ride off with his sweetheart, despite their class differences. But then, none of that happens, because did you think this was a movie or something?

At the end, 4 of the 7 have died. If some samurai are to die, and not all, none or one, you have an idea about who it will be. You know what I mean. Most people can tell within the first five minutes of being introduced to a character whether or not that character will die. But the movie subverts your expectations entirely by killing off some characters that you thought couldn’t possibly die and keep one character alive whose name you can’t even remember. Even from a realistic standpoint, you would imagine that the best fighter at least would survive, but nope. He’s offed too. The characters are killing off seemingly at random, almost like a real battle, where staying alive is more about luck than fighting ability or how much other people like you.

Anyway, the line. The three remaining samurai are staring at the graves of their fallen comrades, marked only by their swords. The villagers are off celebrating. Kambei, the leader of the samurai remarks that they have lost. It is the villagers that have won, which is why they’re celebrating in honor of their victory, and no one but the samurai mourn the barely marked graves of their friends. The young samurai in love is even rejected by the peasant girl he’s fallen in love with. (Accounts differ on this. My swayable opinion is that she – and by proxy, the peasantry – rejects him – and by proxy, all warrior class – due to his violent nature.)

After bleeding and dying for these people, they can’t even gain acceptable, or at least a flower for their graves. It is a jarring, realistic ending unencumbered by movie logic where righteous actions will be rewarded. They will not, but the actions remain righteous nonetheless.

You can regard the ending of Rashomon as being much of the same as Seven Samurai. By the end, ideas about heroism, fidelity and honesty are scrutinized and found to be imaginary. You are not as badass or tough as you think you are, and instead of being a sword-swinging legend, you’re a pants-pissing coward. Your wife will leave you in a second for the first cooler guy who looks at her the right way. And you’re so greedy that you’ll steal off a dead body to put a few coins in your pocket. These are not movie truths; they are human truths.

So is Kurosawa just throwing depressing shit at his audience? Well, yes, but not without a purpose.

One of the things I love about Ikiru (and there are many things I love about Ikiru) is the simplicity of its story. An aging bureaucrat has been diagnosed with cancer and has about 6 months to live. The first half of this movie deals with his acceptance of this fact, as he comes to terms with his impending death. You might get tricked into thinking this is the subject of the story, but you would be very wrong.

The movie expends most of its energy depressing the shit out of you. Suddenly, maybe about an hour and a half in, the main character, Watanabe, discovers a purpose; he will build a new park using his position in the local government. The movie is promptly uplifted. He rushes out of his office filled with purpose and an important goal. He is struggling against his own death. There’s even a version of the happy birthday song in the background. As soon as he leaves the office, the screen fades to black and the narrator informs us that five months later, our protagonist has died. You’re punched in the stomach at the exact moment you feel most hopeful.

Surely the park was built though, right? Yes, but, not as you’d expect. During Watanabe-san’s funeral, we’re shown flashbacks of him working tirelessly to get this park built, and the various bureaucrats that impeded his progress. At his funeral, these same bureaucrats are congratulating themselves for all the hard work they did for building the park. They go on and on. “No, no, you were the most important person in building this park.” “No, you were.” “Well, let’s just agree we’re all pretty amazing.” This, at the man’s funeral. We are even told that Watanabe-san was seated in the bank during the opening ceremony, publically snubbed.

“Ikiru” in Japanese means “to live,” and this is ikiru: You will work hard, you will die, nobody will care, and drunken coworkers will take credit for your deeds. See what I mean about being punched in the fucking stomach?

Perhaps there is hope. Before the funeral scene closes, the bureaucrats are seen promising themselves not to let Watanabe-san’s death go to waste. The audience feels the same. We all feel like going out and making a difference goddammit before we die. The bureaucrats seem ready to do something great, and we are too. Of course, nobody does anything, including you. After the funeral, during the following day’s work, we see all of them just as lazy and worthless as they were before. An opportunity to be great even presents itself but they intentionally let it slip by. In this sense, Ikiru is speaking to its audience. You might feel inspired now, but when you sober up tomorrow morning, you will go back to doing what you did yesterday.

So where does that leave us? Is everything pointless? Are we just drifting through life? No, although he was snubbed, Watanabe-san achieved his goal. The park was built and the citizens love it. And that is the part that matters. We are all faced with impossible tasks under terrible circumstance, yet we must see them through to the end. We will, at best, die without accolades, but dying with accolades was never the goal; doing the right thing is.

The Empty Glass


Imagine for a second that you’re sitting across the table from me, and there’s a glass of milk between us. For about 15 seconds, you close your eyes and plug your eyes, and for the sake of this mind experiment, let’s pretend that no information can get through to you. After 15 seconds, you open your eyes, unplug your eyes and, aside from the milk in the glass being missing, nothing in the room is changed.
Now, having no information about these 15 seconds and no way of every really knowing, you’re forced to take a guess as to what happened, but, for the sake of this thought experiment, think of ever. Possible. Thing. That could have happened to that milk. It’s not possible to actually imagine each and every possible event, since it would be nearly infinite, so just imagine how many there and how many of them are weird. You might say that a monkey broke in the room drank the milk and left. Maybe I have a sponge in my pocket or a vacuum cleaner down my pants or something. Maybe a ghost drank the milk. Maybe aliens came and used a tractor beam on it. Maybe I just drank it.
Alright, now that we have tons of different possibilities, try to rank them. Or, if you thought of too many examples, try to imagine just what the ranking would look like. (i.e. what kinds of things are most likely? What kinds of things are not likely at all?)
If you’re any kind of normal, the less weird examples go on top weird in the middle, and supernatural things at the bottom. Again, you can’t know what happened, but you know that the easiest event to have occurred is just for me to have drank the milk. We don’t need to bring in milk-drinking trained animals or ghosts or aliens. Even if you’re the type of person (an idiot) who thinks ghosts must be real, you’ll probably still agree it’s more likely that the person drinking the milk was me, and not a ghost, since there’s no debating the existence of me.
You might start to realize that you do something like this every time you don’t know something for certain, and you don’t know many things for certain very often. If you go to a restaurant and order a cheese sandwich, what’s going to cheese sandwich? It’s possible the server didn’t hear you, and you’ll get a peas sandwich instead, but this is less likely. It’s possible someone will steal that cheese on the way to your table, but even less likely still. The cheese could be swiped by a burglar or a unicorn. But still, the safest thing to assume is the thing that happens the most often. When you order a cheese sandwich, you will probably get a cheese sandwich.
I first began to notice that people think like this over 10 years ago, and I like to think that this is where my atheism got started. I was in Theology class, of all places, and we were going through the Old Testament. Our teacher was telling us the story of Moses parting the Red Sea, and pointed out several interesting things to us. First, that if you’re in Egypt – particularly Cairo or the northern part as I believe is implied in the bible – and you’re going to Israel, crossing the Red Sea would send you in the wrong direction. (You would be surprised how few people realize this…or maybe you won’t be that surprised.) Also, in Hebrew, like Arabic, there are no vowel letters, so if you read “bk” it could be “book” or “beak.” Now, according to my Theology teacher, there’s a place on the way to Israel from Egypt called the “Reed Sea”, which apparently is what the biblical authors meant when they wrote “Rd”. Please don’t pay any attention to the fact that both of those words are in English. Now, this Reed Sea, according to my Theology teacher was very shallow and when the wind hit it just right, would actually dry up in the middle, or something. I don’t know. And, according to my Theology teacher, this is where God killed a bunch of Egyptian soldiers who were just doing what they were told.
Regardless of whether or not any of that is true, even at that age I had an “empty glass” thought. If we have two explanations, one using magic and one not using magic, why should we assume that the one with magic is real? Why not a grand coincidence involving this supposedly-partable sea?
I hope to continue this conversation later as we talk about the other way that we make assumptions: trust.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Warm Bodies

Over the weekend, I saw Warm Bodies in the theaters. Against my better judgment, I was actually somewhat excited for this movie. I should never get excited for things. Warm Bodies came from the same director as 50/50, which pleasantly surprised me. Warm Bodies did not.

This is a hard movie to categorize. In fact, leaving the theater, this was the first question I had to ask myself, because it's not readily apparent and it certainly isn't a zombie movie. It is, however, great at doing the thing that makes money, which is tricking 20-something guys into watching it with their girlfriends. Is that a genre of film yet?

But like I said, not a zombie. (I know, right? Zombie on the poster and everything.) If it were, it wouldn't make any damn sense. I'm not even sure where to begin in things that don't make sense in this movie.

So there's this zombie who lives in an airplane by himself, listening to music and collecting things. Maybe you already see the conflict here with traditional zombie movies. If not, hang tight. It gets worse. Said zombie's name is R because he can't remember the rest of it. You might think it's kinda dumb that he can't remember the rest of it. Let's see what you remember when you're dead.

While on a routine hunting raid, he sees a beautiful girl, falls in love with her, and eats her boyfriend. One of those things is ok for a zombie movie, and if you don't know which one, I can't help you. In this movie, eating someone's brains lets you experience their memories, which I actually thought was kinda cool, provided that I didn't think about it too hard. (Do different pieces of the brains have different memories? If you eat you a pilot's brain can you fly an airplane? If you a brain and throw it up later, do you get to experience the memories again?)

Anyway, I'm focusing on the wrong parts here. R the zombie can manage speaking simple sentences and uses this to get the beautiful girl to fall in love with him, and falling in love turns him human. There. Don't read anything else about this movie except for that one sentence. Does that sound stupid as fuck to you? It should.

Anyway, like I said earlier, this movie has a genre problem. A lot of our horror movies are about "becoming the other" - maintaining one's humanish traits while being not quite human. Zombies, werewolves, vampires are all scary because they have a lost key elements of their humanity. Warm Bodies was almost sitting on a brilliant idea with this movie, since it's a man losing his humanity as a zombie and then coming back with the power of athingcalledlove. That "coming back" aspect could have added an interesting element to the zombie mythos, especially since the absence of love is essentially what makes zombies monsters in the first place. R could have been shown dealing with his hunger, being love with a woman he wants to devour and forcing himself to control his urges...no, wait, I'm sorry. That's a terrible idea. That's a terrible idea because it is Twilight. I just accidentally made Twilight. Goddammit.

The movie makes an attempt to be a romance film, I guess, because it's not funny or scary, and actually not even romantic, but it's gonna go in some genre doesn't it? So what the fuck ever. Romance. The focus throughout the movie is on the relationship between the two characters, which sucks because they're boring and hipsters.

I can almost applaud this movie for being creative and trying out something new, but two things hold me back. One, I feel like this movie maybe have been pitched as "Twilight but with zombies" and while it's better than Twilight, you don't earn creativity points with an idea like that. Two, this movie was dumb. And no matter how creative a movie may be, being dumb will ruin it every time.

Stoker

This is another one I did a while back -- about one and a half months ago.

Stoker is a movie for literary critics. That is the best way to explain it. If someone were to ask me if I liked it, I would have to answer in a way similar to when someone asks me if I liked Avengers, which goes a little something like this: "I hated it. I fucking hated it. It was so terrible that to this day it keeps me up at night. But you might like it." To me, Stoker is this in reverse. I loved it, but you might not like it.

Like I said, it is a movie for literary critics, and the first way in which that applies is that literary critics don't usually like what most people like. Sometimes they like what everybody hates, but I think the former occurs more often than the latter. "Things that are popular are usually not good." I could be wrong though.

Anyway, there's just not enough in here to be well-liked amongst a mainstream audience. the story is nothing amazing, nor the characters, nor the actors playing them apart from Nicole Kidman, whom I finally understand as deserving every bit of praise she's ever received. There are also no particularly moving scenes of drama, the "thriller" scenes are only somewhat thrilling, and certainly not enough romance to pull fans of that genre. The most accurate way to describe the story is "coming-of-age" but again, there is not much market for that in the movie industry. The literary industr however...

The last word I'll say on the subject of this movie's subject is this: If you've ever found yourself reading a novel for nothing than its symbols and motifs, I have found you a movie.

Full disclosure: Stoker was directed by 박찬욱 of Oldboy fame and director of one of my favorite movies, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. I kinda knew going into this that I would at least like it, but after watching it, it's hard to recommend it, but I'll try.

As I keep repeating, it's a literary-type movie, but it utilizes the medium of film to write a novel. Imagine for a second you're reading a novel and the line is something like, "The mother was thinking of the father and daughter hunting together." It will be painfully straightforward and a little boring to read. However, in Stoker, while the mother's hair is being brushed, it slowly transforms into the long grass where the father and daughter can be seen hunting together. Visually, I can assure you, it was very satisfying to watch, but more importantly, it used film to the best of its ability. There are numerous example of this, of blending different imagery and sounds to blur the lines between what's happening to the character and what's on that character's mind, but the hair one was my favorite.

Sound, as well, was heavily played with in this movie. In one scene, the daughter is sipping a glass of wine, and the volume on it is turned up so loud you can hear her breath in the glass. I'm not entirely sure what it should signify, but I knew that she was drinking the most important glass of wine in the world.

In an opening scene, two characters are standing on stairs and one remarks to the other that she feels insecure/afraid/disadvantaged/I-don't-remember-the-exact-word-he-used because he was higher on the staircase than her. Now, I don't presume to be a literary critic or even a film critic, or even a functional member of society, but from there on out, I paid very close attention to how high people were in relation to one another. The uncle's room was on a floor higher than everyone else, and when they needed to see him, they had to climb stairs to do it. I loved that whenever people wanted the daughter to leave the room, they sent her to the basement, the lowest place in the house. There's a scene of sexual assault, and I'm sure you could already guess that the victim was underneath the assailant. Prior to that, when she felt more comfortable with him, she stood on playground equipment high above him. Before rape can occur someone comes to save the girl, and the protector is directly above the rapist as he kills him. All deliberate.

I'm sure this isn't the first movie to employ such tactics, but it purposefully drew the audience's attention to it and thus made literary critics of us all. The movie actually improved the audience's ability to watch it. I'll give you one final example that I hope everyone who saw it noticed. Remember when I was talking about the hair turning into the grass and the father and daughter hunting together? Well, these two had a very close relationship, and regardless of whether or not it really happened or if it was just in the mother's imagination of how it happened, I believe it's significant and underscores their close relationship that the only scene with the father and daughter together has them lying in the grass holding their rifles and aiming. In other words, they were at exactly the same height 100% of the time they were together.

This is all I have time for today, but I'll say this one final thing. The theme of this movie is "waiting" -- waiting to grow up, waiting for the perfect opportunity, waiting in the way that a spider catches a fly.

Inglourius Basterd

I wrote this piece almost two full months ago. At first I intended to write about Tarantino's treatment of women in Inglourious Basterds, but I got caught up in so many other things I wanted to talk about that I never got there. Two months later, the steam for finishing this piece as wound down, but I'll give you this work in progress all the same.

For a time in college I absolutely loved Quentin Tarantino. As far as I was concerned, the man could do no wrong. I watched and rewatched Pulp Fiction any chance I could. I'm not sure exactly what triggered it, whether it was Kill Bill Part Two or the car movie that I never actually saw getting bad reviews, but I got sick of Tarantino movies. Actually, maybe the watching and rewatching might have something to do with that.

Tarantino-ness is a hard thing to accurately define, especially since I just made that word up. It's easy to pick out pieces of it though: gratuitous barefoot women, excessive violence, weird oldies music, nonsensical film techniques and so on. I don't want to say "avaunt-garde", because it's not quite weird enough to be called that, but I think it's fair to say that for mainstream culture, he's just about as far left-field as one can be and still make money. And here's the thing, I don't think being weird for the sake of being weird is great art. Furthermore, it annoys me. So, one day while listening to Pulp Fiction's wacky yet lovable soundtrack for the 100th time, I just got sick of it. I didn't want anything to do with Tarantino-ness for a while.

Django Unchained just came out in theaters a short while ago, so you'd think I'd be reviewing that one, talking about Tarantino so much. I never saw Death Proof, and I heard it was bad, so I probably never will. Until a short while ago, I never Inglouious Basterds, but I heard it was great. With the new movie getting great reviews as well (including from my favorite film critics) I thought I should give Tarantino-ness another chance. I still hate weird for being weird, but that's where I'm coming from when I watch this.

First off, there's a few great things in this movie. For one, Tarantino didn't cast himself in any capacity, which is awesome. He unfortunately cast Eli Roth though, who sucks at acting just as much as he does at life. At one point, Eli Roth gets all excited over killing a guy and is running around yelling and congratulating himself like he just did the most bestest macaroni painting in the whole wide world. I imagine it was supposed to be written as his character being easily excitable or insane or bloodthirsty or something, but I get the feeling that everyone watching him during the shoot is thinking, "Jesus, shut the fuck up, Eli." Also, Tarantino loves being post-modern, doesn't he? Yes, you cast a torture-porn director as the most violent character in the movie. Congrats on being clever, but the guy can't act worth a shit and nobody realized who he was until they IMDBed it later.

Another thing that I like in this movie is most of the dialogue, and a few scenes are fantastic. Due to the episodic nature of Tarantino movies (and why do that exactly? I can't think of a reason except to be weird again. Maybe to show the title of the chapters, I guess?) I can actually remember most scenes. The very first scene, I think, is a preview to how the rest of the movie will go.

If you know anything about this movie, you'll know that it's a subversion of expectations, and this is established pretty early on. There is a diary farmer hiding a Jewish family in his floorboards, and is visited by a commanding officer in the SS. The convenient thing about having Nazis in your movie is they are a handy narrative shortcut for "evil at any cost". We know that if the dairy farmer tips his hand even slightly, the SS will liquidate him, his home, his family and the Jewish family he's sheltering. This particular officer gives off a very menacing atmosphere, but the dairy farmer seems collected, stoic and unintimidated. It comes as a large shock when he gives up the Jewish family rather easily and then watches as the SS shoot and kill the family through the floor. This turn of events pulls the rug out from under the audience and not for the last time. There are a few small examples throughout the film (the scene in the projecter's booth, the bar scene has no less than 3 subversions of expectations) and they all build up to the big twist that the plan to kill Hitler actually succeeds. (You would think with so many smaller twists throughout the movie, we would have figured it out long ago.)

For the entire second half of the movie, the audience is under the assumption that the plan will fail and all the characters will die, because of course Hitler didn't die in a theater. This theme is established early on and it teaches the audience that anything can happen in this movie. In most movies, if you see Brad Pitt, you'll safely assume he'll live to see the end. (He does, but that's besides the point.) This movie makes you remember that everybody is killable or corruptable.

However, there's two things in the first scene that don't make any sense. If I'm missing something, please tell me.

First, the character of Landa comes off as being rather ruthless, fancies himself a kind of detective, and seems to relish in his duties. He remarks that he enjoys the nickname he's given by his enemies ("The Jew Hunter") and compliments himself on his ability to out think the people he's "hunting". As I said, he's coldblooded, choosing to execute the Jewish family living under the floorboards, when they could have just as easily been arrested. (I don't want to bring too much historical accuracy in a movie about shooting Hitler in the face a million billion times, but I don't think this early in the war was "kill Jewish people on sight" time.) However, when Shosanna makes her escape, he pulls out his gun and watches her go. Had this been a different character, it would show an interesting moment of humanity, but with Landa, it seems contradictory to everything we know about him and everything we just saw him do. You think you're Sherlock Holmes, dude? The person whom you were very clearly interested in killing just a minute ago is right in front of you. Open and shut case.

Another point is why Shosanna is even here in the first place. Did you think about it at the end of the movie? Because she isn't characterized in this scene whatsoever. We have no idea about her relationship to her family or her personality or anything, and it would have been so easy to do, too. A 15-second shot with her under the floorboards. Her father holds her close to comfort her and she seems calm. Or maybe she shows a playful smile to her younger sister, showing her that everything will be ok. Perhaps we notice her clutching her most prized possession, a film camera. But nope, none of that. Instead we get the back of her head. Why was she included in this scene? Well, the answer is that we need to connect Landa with Shosanna and give her motive for revenge.

The problem is that that motive is completely unnecessary. Yes, she had motive for revenge, but by the end of the motive, she doesn't personally do anything to Landa. She doesn't even confront him. Also, I would be pretty pissed at the dairy farmer if I were her, but he's never seen again. There was really no purpose to connect these two characters except for the strudel scene. And revenge? Sure, I guess she'd want to kill any Nazi to avenge her family, but she doesn't bring up her family again for the rest of the movie. If she doesn't seem to remember, why should we? A character I would have loved to have seen would be one willing to sacrifice the theater she'd been working towards her entire life, her entire film collection, her beloved and her own life for the sake of the greater good. Instead we got this lame half-written, cliched revenge plot. Of course, the jokes on me for falling victim to Tarantino-ness. The femme-fatale, revenge-seeking character is the only thing he knows how to write.

Dammit, now I hate Tarantino again. And just when I was about to give him a chance.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Darwin Day


Even though it’s already passed, I wanted to talk a little bit about Darwin Day, why it’s so important, and why it’s improperly named.

Darwin Day, for the unaware, occurs every year on February 12th, which was Charlie’s B-Day. To the best of my knowledge, there are no “Darwin Day Traditions” or anything much associated with it. There’s no specific decoration like mistletoe. There’s no special food like turkey. There’s no special event like trick-or-treating. I’m unclear as to whether or not I would even want a tradition for this holiday. On the one hand, I love Darwin Day, so of course I would love for it to be more popular than it is today, but I can’t really think of anything one could do to properly celebrate this day. Charles Darwin was part of a club of adventurers that traveled around the world to find new animals to eat, (I am not making that up) so maybe our Darwin Day Dinners should include something weird to eat, like a koala. Just a thought.

But like I said before, there’s nothing that can be used to truly celebrate Darwin Day not because there’s nothing we could find to fit thematically, but because Darwin Day actually is more important than these types of celebrations.

Darwin Day, like I said, was Charles Darwin’s birthday, but we’re not really celebrating Darwin himself, are we? Not to say that he wasn’t a super guy, because he was, but the reason he is famous is not for being super, but by discovering evolution and creating a theory to explain it.
But then, theories get made all the time, and we didn’t create holidays honoring those creators do we? There is no Newton Day for discovering gravity and creating its theory, or Hubble Day or Einstein Day, so what makes Darwin Day so special?

Well, it’s the idea of evolution that’s so great. I would argue that evolution, while still being a very important and informative theory, is really impressive because of how brave it is, and how brave it makes us. Evolution as an idea challenges us to consider and examine something seemingly untouchable: our own origins. The first person to widely publish theory of evolution (I forgot his name. Starts with a D,) was able to take evidence from the beaks of birds and create a working theory of us, of all of us. And it’s not cool just because it was right, it’s cool because he created a space in which we could question and then subsequently explain everything around us. From then on out, nothing was sacred in the realm of science, and our understanding of the universe expanded because of it. Darwin Day is really not about Charles Darwin or evolution; it’s about the idea that with science we can learn about anything. We are all a little braver because Charles Darwin was born February 12th.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You're a Fucking Asshole

"Ha! This is going to be awesome!" you might be saying to yourself. "Kevin's going to talk about how other people are fucking assholes." No, sorry, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about you. The fucking asshole in question is you. You are the fucking asshole, you fucking asshole.
Now, I don't know you personally, so maybe you're a fucking asshole for lots of reasons or maybe you're not even a fucking asshole. However, if you're reading this, chances are good that something in this article applies to you. Because you're a fucking asshole. Let's get started.

You don't give any money to charity, or you give a small amount just once or twice a year. Let me just be clear, in terms of being a fucking asshole, these two things are the same. Now, to the charity you give to, the money you give -- even if it's once a year, even if it's a relatively small amount -- can make a difference provided the charity in question knows what it's doing.
But in asshole world, you and the person that never gives are the same. Maybe you're even a little bit worse because unlike the schmuck that blatantly doesn't give a fuck whether people other than him live or die, you're pretending like you care. You're not even giving anything away, you're just buying the feeling you get from telling your friends you "give" to charity. Fuck you. You're as selfish an asshole as the guy who doesn't give anything, you just don't have the balls to admit that you don't really care, and too insignificant to have another reason for people to like you.

And for those of you that don't give anything at all, my initial, emotional response to people like you is "Fuck you." However, if I take a second to calm down and really think about it, I want to say "Fuck you." You're alive, did you notice? You're also reading this on a computer, or, bonus points, a tablet or phone, so I can safely assume that you're not dead and not destitute. Now unless you're Tarzen, king of the fucking jungle with no parents and having fought your way through lions and poisonous snakes and I-don't-give-a-serious-fuck-what-else since you were born, you got help from somebody at some point in your life, somebody who gave a shit whether somebody besides themselves succeeded and survived. That seemed to fucking work out well, didn't it? You living, non-destitute asshole. Why not extend that success some more? Do you think living is a zero-sum game and if some child in Africa doesn't die of Malaria you lose a year off your life?

"But," you say, speaking in the direction of a computer assembled by a group of people whose combined daily salary couldn't buy the McValue meal you had for breakfast, "I don't owe those people anything." And that's a valid point. You really don't owe the Egg McMuffinless of the world a damn thing, but, here's the thing, nobody gives a fuck about what you "owe" anybody or how much they "owe" you or why to assholes like you, the latter is always more than the former. Does it effect you at all that another human being can be born with a disease that liquifies their insides and that could have been prevented with the spare change in your couch? Does it bother you at all that children through no fault of their own (except the conscious decision to be born in a poor country) live their entire lives hungry and starve to death? If you do care, but still don't do anything, please refer back to my initial response. (Refresher: It was "Fuck you.") If you really don't care, well then I guess I'm just curious why other people would care about you then.

"Well," you say into your tablet PC that's worth enough to feed, clothe, house and educate any child in any poor country in the world for a year, "I'm not like those guys. I have the genuine excuse that I can't afford it." No, you fucking asshole, you can. You just don't want to. I don't even know what to call you, but if I had to choose one word, it's "childish". You're the exact combination of being unable to distinguish needs from wants and too fucking dumb to know how much a dollar is worth. You may think you're some industrious, poverty-stricken hero, scraping to make ends meet, but you're fucking not. I don't even have the time and space to tell you all the fucking idiotic ways you blow your money, but let's just say it's starts with an "E" and ends in an "verything." You could have spared $40 a month to prevent a child from dying from something dumb like mosquitoes, but you just had to have a brand new phone to take pictures of your dinner and yourself in the bathroom. You're the worst kind of moron, and that includes fucking morons. Learn how not to buy everything goddamn thing your heart desires and figure out what a dollar is worth, because some people can't afford to wait for you to grow the fuck up.

"But, I give money every week to my church," you interject. Oh man, if the first category of people is selfish and the second category is childish, then you're just flat out fucking dumb. You're the type of asshole that pays an extra $20 for a sandwich if I told you it was holy, aren't you? Be honest now.

See, giving to a charity should be thought of like buying a product. A good charity provides a great, life-changing service at a cheap price, and a bad charity provides little-to-no benefit. It's about efficiency of money, you see. Each dollar given to charity is not always worth one dollar, it could be more or less depending who does what with it. Now, with this in mind, why would you give money to a church that blatantly and openly wastes its resources constructing buildings just to hear some guy (who is living off your donations, by the way) talk about something you already know about. (Not to mention the money those places are already saving in America on not paying property taxes by being religious. Meanwhile, organizations that are solely dedicated to helping others have to pay in full.) And when churches actually get to the charity part, much of the resources are spent on proselytizing instead of of actually helping.

If you give your money to the Catholic Church, it's worse than useless; It's harmful. AIDS is the 3rd biggest killer in low-income nations and the 6th biggest killer worldwide. the Catholic Church helped AIDS reach that goal by telling people that condoms don't prevent it, or that people shouldn't use condoms, or that we're still living in the 13th century. In addition to throwing your money away on one of the most wasteful organizations in the world, you're funding an AIDS-encouraging propaganda machine. Take that money and give it to a good charity or just light it on fire. It'll be better for everybody.

Now, I want to be clear on a few things when comparing charities to churches. I send give your money to a good charity. A charity that wastes much of its money on needless expenditures and concentrates too much on sending messages is no different than a church, and therefore an equally inefficient use of money. But, even a good charity has expensive offices, spreads a message and pays their employees, so what's the difference? Well, first of all, charity offices are usually not overly ornate, at least not in the sense that they have expensive art and golden altars decorating them. Also, a charity office is dedicated to making the charity function better and serve those in need. In other words, it helps facilitate the money from the people giving it to the people needing it. A church is for you, the person that sits in it, the person that gave the money. One is a well-organized location whose sole purpose is to make the world suck less, the other is for you, to sit.

And the salaries are the same way. The people at good charities are educated in this field, they've dedicated their lives to it, and have years of experience. The guy at the church's qualifications are that he read the same book over and over again. Charities often have a message, but that message is usually "not dying is important". Churches have a similar message, but with a "join our church" thrown in there. Which one is a better use of your money? Which one keeps more people alive?

Now, I have to put a disclaimer here, because this is a nuanced issue but Christians still lose their shit over the slightest bit of warranted criticism, so here it is. I don't care if you go to church, and I don't care if you give money to the church because you want. If you're interested in giving to charity, giving to a church is better than nothing, but there are better alternatives.

Have you made it this far without being called a fucking asshole? Congratulations. You regularly give a respectable sum of money to a good charity that doesn't waste money and helps change people's lives, and you do it for no reason other than it's the right, human thing to do. You're genuinely making the world a better place. Give yourself a pat on the back, and then immediately stop fucking patting yourself on the back. Take a look around, dipshit, does it look like poverty's over? When I ate my Cheerios this morning, I didn't see any goddamn unicorns or rainbows in it, so I guess the world's not fucking perfect after all. Surprise.

Look, I know you care and I believe it, but why are you so complacent? We're not done with this task yet, so there's no time to rest. I'm not asking you to sell all your Earthly possessions to move to India and feed children with your bare hands (although that shit is fucking hardcore) but just...it's like farting, alright? I'm sure at some point in their lives, everyone has met a group of people, most likely guys, who think that farting in front of each other is totally ok. Maybe you used to be or still are one of those guys. Anyway, these guys are in an environment where nobody tells them that "Dude, that's fucking gross. Cut it out." Well, everyone person who isn't doing their fair share to make the world suck less is making a big fart right in your face, and you're letting them.

At some point, for reasons beyond me, it became rude to point out that people not bothering to give anything to somebody dying are fucking assholes. If you care about the cause you give money to, you shouldn't be afraid to let people know when they're not even helping a reasonable amount. Let's say we need to move a piano out of a room. We have two strong men with Ph.D's in lifting shit, and twenty handicapped kindergarteners. Is it unreasonable to suggest that the two big guys with doctorates in picking up should do most of the work. Is it unreasonable to call them assholes when they make the one-eyed, one-legged five-year-old do it? Because that's how feeding people looks like in the world right now. It is so so goddamn easy for us, and so goddamn hard for them, it's insane that we can't be bothered to do it.

Now, I called quite a few people fucking assholes during the course of this article. Actually, the vast majority of the US population. If you got offended by what I said, congratulations on being the dictionary definition of a first world problem. There are people in the world who wish that the worst thing that happened to them in a day was reading an article on the internet that made them angry, or their feelings got hurt, or somebody said that giving to their church is less efficient than giving to a real charity. Or maybe you're just pissed at me because I called you out on being selfish and/or dumb, or you're trying to think of ways that you can one-up any charity work I've done. You're a fucking asshole if that's what you care about and what you're still focusing on, but that's fine, because you're probably going to be stuck in that position until you die, funding a megachurch inside of feeding the poor, downloading ringtones instead of textbooks for children, and congratulating yourself on being a "good person" because, hey, it's not like you made the world be poor or anything. There's not really a point in addressing you, so, carry on, I guess.

If you're the other type of person, the type whose initial reaction wasn't "Oh, I'm childish? Well, you use a bunch of naughty words, so you're childish," or maybe you realized that you buy some things you don't really need and that money could have gone towards something worthwhile, well then hopefully you learned a little bit about assholes today and how not to act like them. I won't tell you exactly what to be, but you should know how not to be. Take that knowledge and do something with it.