Best Trailers of 2016; and by best, I mean favorite?

Have the trailers blurred into each other? Are you now tired of trailers? That’s funny, a best of list should make you want to see more.The list is a bloody failure. I’m sorry to have wasted your time. Please subscribe for more.

That Matt Damon trailer is here for only one reason: Matt Damon shooting off three arrows.

A Day in the Life of

Last night I took a break from watching La La Land and headed to Hacksaw Ridge instead. The turnout was spectacular. It was a full house on a weekday. That got us thinking. Friend wondered if it could have anything to do with faith. I liked that thought. I liked it so much I pursued it further. Could it be that they were running commercials for the movie exclusively and extensively on the Christian channels? I hadn’t come across much of a publicity push anywhere else that would explain the turnout. Could it be that a local celebrity preacher name-dropped the movie in one of his sermons? Or could it be that he handed out the tickets himself? Teach a man to fish and he won’t starve for the rest of his life. Direct your congregation to a Mel Gibson film and you don’t need to worry about your sheep going astray.

The movie itself was a mixed bag. The war scenes had me turning towards my friend at least twice with a “did you see that?” expression on my face. A Star Wars or a Marvel movie couldn’t make me do that. Shame on those for disneyfying violence. When you disneyfy violence, you sanitize and degrade it. There’s a way and a need to degrade violence, but that’s by exposing its brutality- not by making the victims faceless and the fights bloodless. Just because you make a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re right, Disney.

From one empire to another. We need to talk about the similarities between the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey and Pizzagate. Democrats like to make fun of Trump’s supporters for their gullibility and existence in a post-truth society. The way Democrats look at the Republicans must be the way Chomsky looks at them all. Chomsky views the stories published by NY times the way Hillary supporters look at the fake news stories planted by the alt-right on facebook. The more enlightened you are, the more is your ability to spot fake news apparently. Unfortunately, not many people have the free time or the inclination to reach a level of enlightenment where they begin to question the stories put out by outlets like NY Times. One such person with no time or inclination was the assassin of the Russian ambassador. Poor guy believed all the blame for the devastation in Aleppo could be laid squarely at the door of Russia. Did he know that Assad had offered a way to end the conflict even before it had become all encompassing? Did he know that US and its middle east allies wouldn’t come to the table unless Assad stepped down? Does he know how the American, or for that matter any other country’s, scales tip when the time comes to choose between geopolitical equations and saving human lives? Got to appreciate the cold hearted ruthlessness of the empires, even if they go around in cloaks boasting the values of freedom and democracy and human rights. If you only knew the number of autocratic regimes the US has propped up over the years. We need to support this murderous dictator because we need him in our fight against communism, we need him in our fight against terrorism, we need to depose this leader because he poses a threat to his own people… The problem with badmouthing and calling out the hypocrisy of the empire is people react to it in only one of two ways, and both of them amount to dismissal. Either they go:  We know all of this, tell us something we don’t know; or Okay (I don’t see how any of this concerns me).

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At this point, I could go on and end up like that Charlie Day meme or rehabilitate my image by talking about Blade Runner and Ryan Gosling. The prospect of Roger Deakins and Dennis Villeneuve getting back together to frame Ryan Gosling should be enough to make you forget the crushing despair of having to spend your whole life being manipulated and misinformed- and thank Jesus Christ, it is. What is real and what is reel, when the real is a construct of lies and the reel at least tries its utmost to stay true to itself?

Ego kills; A cautionary tale

That’s “kills”, not Kallis. An understandable mistake when you come to read my blog. Oh, just the greatest all-rounder of all time. For a die-hard South African tragic, I didn’t exactly take to him until he was at the end of his career. It’s like what they say, you don’t really know what you have until you no longer have it. I keep complaining about my “lifeless” hair but we all know I’ll be on my knees begging for its forgiveness within the next decade or two. I’m pushing my luck when I say two decades but hope for the best, eh?

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People acting all concerned about me, let me tell you something. I don’t need your concern, I didn’t ask for it. It doesn’t even fit me. You should have asked me for my size before you bought it. Now what are you going to do with it? I know for a fact that store has a strict 24 hr return policy and the clock says it’s well beyond that. We’re going to have Superman turn the Earth back on its axis like he does in that movie to save his girlfriend, for you to be able to return this item of purchase. We’re going to need a bigger boat. We’re going to need a miracle. Mamma Mia!

First you doubted me, then you inspired me. You said you were concerned about me not knowing how to swim and that you were worried it was going to be too late pretty soon for me to be able to do something about it. You said there’s no shame in starting small. You suggested I get a couple of those floaters that kids use and learn to swim in the shallow end of a community swimming pool. Well, let me tell you something. I’ve seen a lot of people swim, I mean a LOT and I know everything about it. I’ve read every book ever written about swimming. When you see me swim, you’re not going to believe people can swim like that. I’m telling you, I’m built for it. I’m a natural. You don’t need to teach a baby turtle how to swim, or act all concerned if it’s going to make it. It’s a fucking turtle, of course it’s going to make it. I am likewise, I’m a born swimmer. I am going to swim much better than David Schwimmer. Teachers have long been praising my attributes. I have limbs as big as flippers, they kept remarking through out my childhood. That’s a trait I share with Michael Phelps no less. You’d know that if you took a break from worrying about others and read a book every once in a while. Do you even read, bro?

I’m a big league player, a king size bed, a trenta sized cup, they don’t come bigger than me. You might be thinking if I’m all that, then why haven’t I ever stepped into a pool? Well, let me tell you. It was only because I couldn’t decide which stroke to use. You know how it is. Once you choose a stroke, you gotta stick to it. You just can’t jump from one stroke to another. It’s a lot of pressure. What if I choose the wrong one? I’ll never be able to play that down .

Be that as it may, it’s time to go boom. I’m going to listen to my homie Marcus Aurelius. “Life is about action, not contemplation.” This is the moment of truth brought to you by Mountain Dew, kyunki darr ke aage jeet hain. This is when Mr. Anderson turns into Neo. This is when Carrie Ann Moss’ beautiful jaw hits the floor. This is when I’m going to jump from a motherfucking helicopter into the motherfucking ocean. Screw your pools and lakes, your ponds and streams, your rivers and reservoirs. If I’m going to get my beak wet, it’s gotta be the motherfucking ocean. Valhalla!

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Some of his friends truly did believe he was going to survive the jump, and wriggle back to life to the tune of Moby’s Extreme Ways. Yeah, that didn’t happen. In his mind’s eye, he was going to swoop like an eagle and glide like a shark- but this is life, there are no shortcuts here. We ran out of them way back when. Nowadays, it’s like Jake Gyllenhaal says, “If you want to win the lottery, you got to make the money to buy the ticket.” Peace.

 

London Falling

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Real Queen/ My Queen

 

Oye British politician somberly appearing on television and declaring “I am absolutely gutten and heartbroken,” SHOW, DON’T TELL. After discovering Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box, did Brad Pitt simply SAY, “I am angry, very angry” or did he ACT it out? Television audience deserve better. Learn to wear your heart on your sleeve or don’t appear on my television screen, guv’nor.

I’m on the side of the good guys here. For their sake I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a case of the boy who cried wolf. For their sake I want Great Britain to really suffer, at the minimum a lost decade. Xenophobic racist attacks on existing migrants would be a bonus. I know I shouldn’t be wishing harm upon what are some of my own friends and relatives but everything in order to serve the greater narrative, eh? When did the threat of physical violence ever stop Gandhi from staging a public spectacle? He was willing to be lathi-charged as long as there was possibility of word getting around. Be like Gandhi. Know the importance of selling a story.

For months now I’ve been hearing that Britain on its own would be a smaller and weaker negotiating partner and would hence have to make do with less than ideal trade agreements. Well, I want to see that play out. I want to see a decline in British exports and I want to see a decline in the spending power of the British tourist. I want to see London’s financial sector fall to its knees and for wealthy Chinese to buy prestigious London real estate at bargain prices. I want to see Scotland break away and I want to see football transfers stalled by work permit requirements.

I hope every fear of theirs comes true, every nightmare of theirs comes to life. I hope their music bands stop performing in their own country, because their currency is worthless. At the same time, I hope some great music comes out of the chaos.

Relations between US and the EU won’t be as good with US’ biggest ally out of the EU. EU will no longer be disproportionately aggressive towards Russia with UK, and by extension the US, out of the picture. Britain will be reduced to a small country like Pakistan, trying to win favors from whomever it can. It will resort to playing off China against the USA. It may even give the Kohinoor back in exchange for some FDI from India. (Ironic, huh? Britain feared it would turn into Pakistan by letting in Pakistanis but it’s going to turn into Pakistan because of not letting in Pakistanis.)

Cristiano Ronaldo might have been wrong in calling Iceland all those things but he’d be will within his rights to call England all of those things. Namely, a small-minded nation that isn’t going to achieve anything. Well, it’s Capital might end up beneath the waves in the next 50 years and that wouldn’t be nothing. So visit it while you can, don’t wait for the currency to fall much further, there won’t be nothing left to visit.

The monarchy will become all the more important now, I guess. With no substance, symbols become everything.

Even today, you can see countries clamoring to get into the EU. EU looks like Elysium from where they are. Turkey is leveraging the refugee crisis to get closer to the EU, India would chop off an arm and a leg to have the concessions Britain had as a member of the EU, and to all that Britain said NO, BILL PLEASE.

The day after:

Front page of the Hindu: The referendum is likely to drive away students given the ‘unwanted’ feeling generated now.

Page 13 of the Hindu: The drop in the pound is likely to result in an increase in the number of students opting for the UK as a destination for higher education as this will make studying there significantly cheaper.

I mean I know the world is complex and there are two sides to every coin but WTF!

Quote of the day- “Migration to the UK will come down significantly. A recession tends to do that.”

The story behind the picture of Lea Seydoux: This tweet by Edgar Wright.

You want metaphors? I’ll give you metaphors. You cheered on when fictional Ramsay met his death but you know what, Ramsay won where it counts- at the polling booth. You cheered on when Harry vanquished Voldemort but you know what, you made JK Rowling cry and feel powerless. You made her lose to Voldemort, a figment of her imagination. How embarrassing, for her.

Did you hear the story about how the leave vote was strongest in the regions most dependent on EU*? Forget Apple, forget Steve Jobs, forget iPhone, this ladies and gentlemen is true human ingenuity.

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*There’s actually a very good reason why the people in the regions most dependent on aid from EU wanted to leave the EU. These regions have suffered from deindustrialization, closure of factories, loss of jobs and have the highest levels of poverty. They may said to have suffered the most from globalization, as such. First came the impoverishment, then came the meager aid- as they see it. But is the answer to rail against globalization or to get newer skills and better degrees, as the backers of globalization put it.

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Writing out of ennui, writing out of turn

I lost all shape last night. I wasn’t moving my feet. I was a WTA player on the cusp of a personal milestone. I was playing to the strength of my opponent. I became their puppet and they my puppeteer. I wouldn’t step back and take a deep breath and gain perspective. I wouldn’t recollect. I was too caught up in the moment, a deer in the headlights, a nerd in the same room as their crush. I possibly put myself in the way of bodily harm too, and in the pursuit of what? I lost sight of the big picture, missed the forest for the trees; I was in the throes of a goddamn disease.

[JUMP]

Mother wakes me up at 1130. I know this because checking her claim against the time on the phone is the first thing I do. “Oh good, it’s only 7 hrs until England v Wales,” I mentally establish. A pleasant thought to start off the day. She says something about lunch and heading out but having just woken up and busy with thoughts about England v Wales, I pay no attention. I never said I was a role-model.

When I finally get off the bed, it’s 6 and 1/2 hours to kickoff. By the time I finish brushing and listening to select tracks from Kanye’s Life of Pablo, it’s  6 hours… you get the drift.

[JUMP]

We met on G-chat. Well, me met in real life first but we didn’t really open up to each other until we hit the G-chat. And by opening up I mean, I sent her links to my favorite songs and she sent me links to her favorite songs. I preferred my songs to hers but I knew enough to say nothing more than 🙂 I was more eloquent and less dependent on emojis when holding forth on other matters and judging by the number of haha’s I received, funny too. That or she was distracted and was merely being nice. After a while me moved on to Whatsapp and this was more convenient. I could now chat with her while simultaneously watching and feverishly tweeting about sports. Then one day, she asked if I had an account on Snapchat. I said I didn’t and she sent me a sad face. I didn’t know it then but that was how the cookie crumbled. I couldn’t stay up with her and she left me behind. The perils of seeing a sixteen year old. The only place where I see her these days is on Instagram. When people ask me what I’m doing on Instagram, I say I’m only there to comment ‘Lord’ on Bendtner’s photographs, nothing more. When they persist and ask why is my account locked and why do I not let them follow me, I politely change the subject saying it isn’t worth it.

[JUMP]

A friend I knew and an online acquaintance I’ve never met walk into a bar. They both order the bartender to send me a message each on FB messenger. I notice their messages as soon as they’re sent. It’s now been a week.

[JUMP]

I lost all shape last night. (I was laying prone on the couch). I wasn’t moving my feet. (They were resting on the armrest of the couch). I possibly put myself in the way of bodily harm. (Left eye prone to dryness on continued extended exposure to electronic screens).

If I were the protagonist’s best friend, I’d be the one with the theories

Question: When do women find a man attractive?

Wrong Answers: When he’s kind, when he’s funny, when he’s smart, when he’s good looking, when he’s athletic, when he has a towering intellect, when he’s tall, when he pays attention, when he pays for travel, when he knows his way around tools- both kinds, when he knows how to dance, when he’s confident, when he’s humble, when he’s self-made, when he has an endowment fund, when he has a great set of teeth, when he’s popular, when he’s lonely at the top, when the boss loves him, when he does what he wants and is his own boss, when he cooks, when he’s so involved he forgets to eat, when he fights for the rights of the downtrodden, when he’s close to his mum.

Right Answer: When he’s with another woman.

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Question: When do men find a woman attractive?

Wrong answer: “When she’s a lesbian?”

Right Answer: When she’s asleep, when she’s awake, when she’s brushing her teeth, when she’s team morning breath, when she’s groggy and miserable from lack of sleep, when she’s refreshed and raring to go after a good night’s sleep, when she swears by makeup, when she scoffs at makeup, when she’s gotten a fleek new hairstyle, when she’s got no hairstyle, when she likes kids, when she hates kids, when she’s smoking a cigarette, when she’s disgusted by a person smoking a cigarette, when she’s a doctor, when she’s a lawyer, when she’s a painter, when she’s an engineer, when she’s down for everything, when she’s down for nothing, when she curses like a sailor, when she blushes at a cuss word, when she’s the life of the party, when she can’t wait to leave the party, when she’s all loose on the dancefloor, when she’s uptight and thinks all who dance are sluts (her words), when she’s an outdoor person who likes to run, when she’d rather stay in and watch a rerun, when she likes Woody Allen, when she doesn’t mind Adolf Hitler, when she’s lost some weight, when she’s gained some weight, when she likes to read, when she doesn’t understand why people read, when she’s the one with the brain, when she doesn’t like to think because “it causes wrinkles”, when she knows how to play an instrument, when the only thing she plays is one guy against another, when she’s a mother, when she’s a daughter, when she’s a blonde, when she’s a brunette, when she has a pair of arms and a pair of legs.

So don’t sweat it ladies. What you are is enough. Down with the brands, and down with their ads.

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Question: Is this post pro- or anti- women?