Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LiveJournal facsimile blog, part 4372

I'm in that weird ennui-space again and it's self-indulgent to write about it, AGAIN, but I will, because I have to. Because if I don't type these words out of my body, I might self-destruct.

I deal with depression. Big deal.

"Nobody likes their jobs, nobody got enough sleep...just suck up, suck up and be nice."

Reverting to lyrics to express my angst? Check.

I deal with anxiety, dyspraxia, autism, migraines. PMDD. Whatever. We are all steeping in mental illness and we all need validation for our pain. Who the fuck cares?

But the fact remains that I am unhappy. I am unhappy with the way things have transpired in my "career" and I don't know what to do about it or where I want to go with it. I don't know how much to care. And I am so sick of caring what people think of me. I'm unraveling, but I won't admit it outside this very public space of admitting it. I'll HATE that I wrote these words tomorrow.

Mostly, I've stopped drinking which I think is why all these things are more salient at the moment. They're rearing their heads for me to figure out how to confront them. Mostly, I've also stopped moving, doing, anything. This is probably a depressive episode. Lots of people have had this same issue, are sharing this same problem right this minute, as I am.

I need to funnel my propensity to daydream and live entirely inside my own head into art. I know I do, but inertia claims me as her loyal subject. This is actually a really big change from yesterday wherein I washed my hair, put on eyeliner, and listened to Chelsea Wolfe all day. Today I barely put on pants and went for a walk.

The worst part about depression (aside from all of it?) is the guilt. I feel guilty that I'm indulging myself...letting myself steep in the stew of my self-loathing. It is crippling, but I'm doing it anyway. I've already stepped onto the Sadness Train. There's no going back now. I just have to wait it out. Wait it out. Listen to music. Take a walk. Watch "The Office". WALLOW.

Wait it out and
ALLOW it to pass...

I wallow quite well, in fact.

At the root of the listlessness is a situation that feels like a lack of control. I've lost control over my job because I've let it all just be as it is, like a river passing by me as I sit on the bank. That's a great way to meditate and it has even worked out really well in life most of the time, but not right now. Right now I am angry and I want to run. My solution last week was to separate myself from it emotionally, and that worked well for me then. But it's not a permanent solution.

Inside my head, when I'm not having nightmares or feeling guilty about work, I am a mythological creature that rules a magical world no one but those I invite can inhabit. The older I get, the less time I spend in my magical world. That stops now. Fuck you and your adult world. I choose oblivion because fantasy has kept me alive for 33 years now. It is my most favorite friend.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Today was.

"Why are you looking for a harmony?
There is harmony in everything."

I've had a very strange day. What started out frantic anxiety soon dissolved into an apathy so pervasive that I almost reveled in it. I felt a blissful calm as I looked upon the world, removed. I could not seem to care about anything at all. Needles of emotion crept back in by evening.

Then I listened to the new Grimes album twice in a row. The lyrics are already up on AZLyrics, so I read them and I felt like myself again...not because of Grimes necessarily, but because I was immersing myself in something that came from creativity and light.

I miss the person I used to be before the library...not that the library made me any kind of way necessarily. It's maybe that adulthood settled into me at the same time that I began there. 

I used to be quite simple. I experienced life in real time and I didn't care what anyone thought about my reactions to it. I am a simple girl, yet I tried to appear complex. Why? Because others do that?

With the term "adult" came anxiety, worry, thinking thinking thinking. Thoughts so plentiful that they crippled me into a state of inaction. I stopped trying to see beyond its mass...and maybe fell asleep. 

That post-storm mist is finally dissipating and I don't like what I've become. I've become this thing that worries and doesn't stim and doesn't live and doesn't move and doesn't dance. My ways of coping have always been my own. Why did I start using conventional methods? 

As a child, I created a structure all by myself that I lived quite happily within. I had it all figured out by age 15. I knew how to regulate myself. I got so lost.

I appear distant and unfriendly when I take care of myself, perhaps even vacant. I am tired of trying to be this congenial creature. I'm more like a Darcy than a Jane. I'm more Gahan than Gore. I'm so tired of being nervous and surrounded by people. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I've been thinking about women in horror...

How we rule as villains. How women are more often protagonists in horror than we are in any other genre of film (besides maybe romantic comedy?)...

Suddenly, I get it. It's right there in front of me, actually. The reason I love horror is because of the presence of women. I like them. I like them a lot. I like looking at them. I like being one. I like the delicious evil they can deliver while wearing the shit out of a vinyl jumpsuit. I used to think it was mostly attraction, but it's power. We have it in horror.

But, we are ONLY allowed to have power within very specific contexts. We are allowed to take this power in horror because this is a space in which we scream and run for our lives. If we succeed in NOT getting raped by overwhelming monsters and fear, we get to live and maybe look like a hero.

Conversely, the villainous women haven't escaped this violence. They've turned it upon their aggressors. Y'all want the dominatrix, but only when she comes with a menu of torture methods YOU can choose from. Y'all want the chick in the leather jacket, but only when she's got the tortured past that makes her receptive to a man that's the minimum amount of nice to her, like maybe he pays for a dinner and doesn't hit her the first time she "talks back". What a MAN.

When I talk about how much I love Drusilla or Akasha or Julie or Carrie, I don't know that in a world of equality I would enjoy the havoc they wreak quite as much. The blood and the telekinetic fire is a catharsis for the injustices suffered daily by the everyday woman. The onscreen vengeance of a man-hating villainous woman is catnip to me in a way that would make a person think I hate men (I don't.), or that I've been wronged by men (I have. I really really have.).

Bad girls aren't, as is commonly thought, who the good girls wish they could be. They are who we wish we didn't have to create in order to cope. The real woman is not the perfect girl-next-door or the bad-whore-down-the-street. She's a flawed and complex person somewhere else on that continuum. We're all open books, but YOU don't know which page to turn to, do you, do you?

We can take up space if we're exceptional, like Sigourney Weaver or Meryl Streep. We can take up space if we're attractive, but this is a transient space that is constantly threatening to close in upon us. Meanwhile, men are allowed to be complex and awful or complex and good, granted big spaces either way, just for the existence of the protuberances between their legs.

Can you imagine a life in which every movement you make is scrutinized? A world wherein a simple act like pulling hair up off your face in public invites comments from strangers? A society in which walking down a street is an invitation of harassment? Can you imagine there NEVER being a time in your life when some man doesn't expect something from you, whether that be kindness, sex, or time? This is the path women tread every goddamned minute we share space with men.

So maybe we want to set you on fire with our minds...just a little. Would you blame us?

We are not virgins and we are not whores because we are not defined by whether or not men have invaded our spaces. We will be taking our spaces back and that's going to look ugly at first. We're going to have to use elbows and knees. Men are going to react with cruelty to take us back down, but I think we're collectively too fed up to go back now.

This is why girl-villains are important, because women have a right to be angry and we have a right to take up space. Men should consider themselves lucky we're getting our aggressions out through fiction. It won't always be this easy for men. For now, we're letting you live.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Top 5 Horror Heroines.

Let's take a moment to honor some women that make my enjoyment of horror movies possible. It's time to give the good girls of horror a standing ovation. These ladies saved the day/the world/themselves from the terrifying situations they faced. Here are my top 5 heroines.

"I'm into survival."
#5 -- Nancy Thompson of "A Nightmare on Elm Street". She woke HERSELF up from nightmares that killed everyone else and defeated that mean old Freddy Krueger without ANY of the men in her life helping her out.

#4 -- Sidney Prescott of "Scream". She's got PTSD and she still snarks and outsmarts the killer.

#3 -- Alice from "Resident Evil". She's stylish, badass, and a woman that employs both an economy of words and actions. I dig that a lot.

#2 -- Ellen Ripley from "Alien". She was against the whole "bring the alien on the ship" thing from the very beginning. She was the only professional in the whole crew and the only one that survives all four movies. Do. NOT. Fuck. With Ripley. or her cat.

"I'm the chosen one...and I CHOOSE to be shopping."
#1 -- Buffy Summers from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Ok, so I didn't watch this movie as part of my horror movie reviews but the movie is technically the beginning of this character and horror is part of the Buffy brand. It counts, I tell you! No one is better than Buffy. She eclipses genre and pop culture medium!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Horror Movie Review: Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) is a meta-analysis of the entire horror genre. It's funny, self-aware, and gruesome. Lots of spoilers ahead as per usual, but this time, if you haven't seen the movie (and you should if you like meta-horror or Joss Whedon) DON'T read on. This movie is best viewed without spoilers.

I was really really super-psyched about this movie when it came out because it is a horror written by Joss Whedon. I knew he would subvert the genre and flip it on its head. He did and this is a really great horror film, but it also disappointed me this time around...just a bit.

We have the traditional horror formula here. Hot dude and hot chick are in a relationship, stoner dude, smart dude, and "virgin" girl protagonist. The film has interesting ways of letting you know that these are out-dated archetypes and if these are the rules, perhaps it's time to break the rules and start over. Buuuuut, they still employ these outdated stereotypes of horror. We still see gross displays of the over-sexed blonde, including her topless. That disappointed me. It's not like you HAVE to have it. They could have shown the reaction to it without showing it, if they wanted to make the point that it's part of the process.

I do like that the movie ultimately threw the gauntlet of horror at you and then blew it up. Like see, we can be done with this formula now, ok? But again, it used the formula to make the movie that thinks the formula should be blown up, sooooo....

I don't know what to think. The meta of horror was done better in "Scream" without showing boobs. The music is pretty good in this film, but the score wasn't even noticeable. Joss has terrible taste in music for the most part though, so that wasn't a surprise. All three of the boy-protagonists are hot, so that's a bonus you don't normally get in horror.

I enjoy that the take-away is supposed to be a big reset button on horror as we know it, but I didn't enjoy it as much this time around as I did the first couple of times watching it.

I would have liked seeing the personalities of the characters a bit more before they were brainwashed. I would have liked this movie a LOT more if they had simply treated the "over-sexed blonde" character with a little more respect. They didn't have to be so overt. We know this character already. Don't hit us over the head with it. AND it was Joss! The film would have benefited from his patented flip-the-gender technique here. We could have seen Hemsworth's character being the oversexed one. Wouldn't that have been nice? He could have been the "whore" archetype! Damn it, why didn't they do that?

Other random notes:
*Joss. Why you gotta always have a big fuck-off snake?
*Sigourney!!! How perfect was that moment when she showed up? No. One. Else. Could have been that character.

If you're a horror aficionado, this movie should be up your alley, because it makes fun of everything you love while still DOING the thing you love. If you want to be genuinely freaked out by your horror, this probably isn't for you. Other than that, pretty great horror film.

Aesthetics: 3

Plot: 4

Characters: 4

Score: 3

Treatment of Women/Minorities: 3.5

Rewatchability: 3


Horror Movie Review: The Haunting

"...a house that was born bad."
The Haunting (1963) inspired a lot of haunted house horror. It includes several female characters, passes the Bechdel Test, and even includes a lesbian character. Its imagery is intriguing with composed shots and decadent set-pieces. It included some snarkiness, particularly from the character of the probably-lesbian Theo. There's not really any sexism present here either, which is very surprising for 1963.

The two main female character's relationship to one another is interesting. They yell at each other, share sexual tension and help comfort one another all in the space of a minute effortlessly. There's almost zero passive-aggressiveness between them, besides the shade thrown by Theo frequently. I really like Theo.

Beyond that, I didn't find this movie scary or the main character Nell's psychological downfall particularly intriguing, and I think that's what the film is mostly about. I can see why this film is considered a classic in horror, but I probably won't be watching it again. I had to buy the DVD to see it, and I'll be donating it to the library, so look for it on the shelf to check out in the next month or so if you're interested in seeing it.

Aesthetics: 2.5

Plot: 3

Characters: 3

Score: 2.5

Treatment of Women/Minorities: 3.5

Rewatchability: 1