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March 2004

Eternal Surprise

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I think hell may have frozen over, because I just saw a Jim Carrey movie that I really loved. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind owes more of its brilliance, really, to Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry who, among other things, seem to have wisely made sure that Carrey downplayed every moment he was on-screen so that he comes across as quirky and damaged instead of hyper and attention-starved. I don't mean to knock his performance by saying that, though: Carrey really did an outstanding job in this. I just never thought I would find him so moving to watch.

This is the first film I’ve seen that really captures the fluid quality of memory. It portrays how memories of different events tend to slide into one another when try to grab onto each of them, and also how our memories can shift from total recall of almost all the details of a moment to a laser-like focus on certain elements while the rest of the details fade away entirely. A bunch of effects that could have been hokey gimmicks in the hands of less sensitive directors really come together in a way that evokes that terrible feeling of trying to grasp at a memory that’s too mercurial to hold on to.

Also, Mark Ruffalo is really hot and it's nice to see him in his underpants.

Proactive

I’m being all mature about it and everything, but in my gut I still feel a little flip-flop and wince of pain when I see or read the word "Yale." (I can reveal the truth, now that there can be no further threat of jinxing.) Having focused like a laser beam on my application package for their grad program for so long, it's a little hard to let go of my daydreams of slaving away in their design studio, or working my way into Skull and Bones to procure incriminating Polaroids in case any future administrations need toppling.

There hasn't been any actual wallowing since the first week, thankfully, because the soul-crushing possibility of being stuck in my current job for another year was too horrible to face without setting any emergency plans in motion. Emergency Plan A (formerly referred to as grad-school Plan C) is underway, after I hustled enough to ship one last application package overseas to a school I originally ruled out for being too impractically far away. While I wait to hear anything from there, I’ve set Emergency Plan B in motion, which involved making a case for my current job to transform into one that’s much less nerdy and much more art-directorial, since that would dig me out of this hole I’ve put myself in over the years. Emergency Plan C is not so much a plan as a vow to put up with a pay cut and find another job altogether next Fall, but that would be a rock-bottom last choice for a number of reasons (financial issues, career issues, school-application issue, blahbedy blah blah blah).

Going to school abroad would be nice, but hard. Being an art director (or something equivalent) where I work now would be nice, but hard. Hell, just knowing one way or another would be nice. With all that anxiety about the future freed up for a spell, I might even have time for fun once in a while.

WYSIWYGin'

If you loved Worst. Sex. Ever. or if you're just beside yourself because you missed it, rejoice! The fine folks that cooked up W.S.E. (with a teeny bit of help from me) are launching a brand new series of blogger readings/performances called The WYSIWYG Talent Show. (You can read Chris' description until the whole website's ready.) Yay! First show is on St. Patrick's Day, and more details will be along soon.

WYSIWYG Talent Show

Calling All Film Buffs!

OK everybody, here's your challenge: name me some movies that have interesting/funny/campy/beautiful title sequences that feature images of New York City. The whole movie doesn't need to be about New York, as long as it's in the title sequence. The sequence can show views of the city, or closer-up scenes that show real New Yorky spots. The images of the city can be animated or stylized, too.

Off the top of my head, I can think of West Side Story, North by Northwest, Panic Room, Hair, and so on.

Does anyone know offhand if there are images of New York in the title sequences for Shaft, Sweet Charity, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Plaza Suite, Breakfast at Tiffany's, or especially Can't Stop the Music? I can't remember.

If you think of anything, please suggestions in the comments...

Jungle Fever

My Fellow Subversionists

It's hard to even start writing about the whole gay marriage controversy, because I feel so strongly about it and because I think it ties into so many different dynamics swirling around in modern society. I freely 'fess up to my bias, of course: I’m gay and I wanna get married. To expand a teensy bit more: if I’m going to make the major effort (and endless mini-efforts) of committing to someone who I care about so deeply, then I want to enjoy the many benefits (and yes, even the responsibilities) that the law bestows on other couples in order to encourage stability for each of those couples and the society in which they live.

I don't care if your religion approves or not: I’m not asking it to. But our government claims to function separately from religion, and it grants legal rights to married couples that have nothing whatsoever to do with the religious affiliations of married couples. If the law grants each individual the full rights of adult citizens I can't see how a couple can be denied the full rights of any two other citizens who choose to pair up. that’s why I can't accept the idea of any legislation that chooses to make a distinction between gay or straight couples: if there's a precedent for restricting the rights of a gay couple, then it also sets a precedent for restricting the rights of the individuals involved.

But there I go ranting on and on when what I meant to say was: Look at how many people I care about and respect are taking a stand on this: Aaron and Keith, Mark and Rich, David and Mark, Nancy and Cynthia, and of course Phyllis and Del and all the other folks who've grabbed this opportunity. Look at the pictures and read the stories: these aren't people doing this to rend the very fabric of society or make a mockery of what you hold dear. These are people who want to share their lives with someone they love, and want that effort to count for something.

Aaron and Keith
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