Pacific Rim

uploads_802ba0ef-d925-4200-a974-640f6b780c8d-pacific-rim-jaegers-wallpaper1

The guys didn’t have the Pacific Rim experience I wanted them to. Disappointing, but not unexpected. For the life of me, I can’t see how someone could walk out of that movie, especially in IMAX 3D, and not have a big goofy smile on their faces. To nitpick specifics about it seems to be like having mind-blowing sex and then complaining about how the room you were fucking in was decorated.

I guess you’re either in or out. I have a truly difficult time accepting that not everyone thinks like I do, so the idea of someone hearing about a movie where giant robots and monsters fight and not drooling over it is genuinely confusing.

But beyond my giant monster fetish, I realized last night that it’s not really a movie for me anyway. It’s magic, it’s peace, it’s a reminder of the joy in life.

Matthew and I used to be GODS in the backyard. We created whole worlds. Our brains linked up as much as the two pilots in the giant robots were, we seamlessly created entire adventures and shows, doing what I now realize in retrospect was lightning-fast improv between the characters, and birthing huge plots, and continuing episodes. The developments were based on purity: what was going to be cooler? Well, here comes the T-Rex AGAIN!

We had everything we ever wanted, but obviously it couldn’t last. So now we limp around like cripples, wondering how we’re going to fit in and accomplish something in this world.

But Pacific Rim brings it back. It’s the spirit of childhood alive again on the screen. To me, it’s like the go carts are for Randal in Clerks 2, a reminder of a time when things were simpler, and I didn’t have to figure out life, I just had to figure out how the next human action figure was going to be eaten.

Last night, desperate for a break from the daily gang rape of my brain, I sat there in the dark, looking up at the screen at those giant monsters stomping cities, and I smiled.

Even without seeing myself, I could tell how boyish the grin must have looked. So I guess I can’t really recommend this movie to everyone, but for me, it’s a chance to be able to push the world away, and breathe freely for a second, lost in O-mouthed joy.

Bob the Cow

607271-cow

In my spare time I wandered, for it gave me time to let the inner monologue run its course freely, without the distraction of attempting an actual activity. I took long walks through open fields, basking in the sun or moonlight, joyously free of purpose, but still mentally consumed. I guess I wanted to figure life out, find out what the meaning of all of it was. It was on one of these walks that I came across Bob.

Bob was a cow, and I knew his name because he was capable of speech. It took a while for me to trust my senses as I was often stoned on these walks, but there he was, time and time again, a talking cow. I asked him how he got to be this way. Apparently he had eaten some of the mushrooms found in his own droppings and gained consciousness.

Bob had been astonished by what he had seen in his visions, so he continued to eat more of the mushrooms. I was in awe of the fact that he could not only talk, but was also extremely intelligent. After a few initial meetings that were as surreal as you would imagine, we fell into patterns of gorgeous verbal dialogue. Bob was growing more and more depressed as he realized his place in the world. One night, he unleashed a rant that would serve as a mind trip in itself.

“Your species only has tragedy because of their bloated sense of self-importance. They believe that humans are special and valuable, that each one of them is unique. When one of them dies, just one, they look at it as a horrible moment. When it happens on a mass scale, it is enough to make a historical milestone. So many tears are cried for mass slaughter, and when something like 9/11 happens, it forever carves out a place in time. Yet, for my species, every day is 9/11. There is constant genocide, but no one sheds tears for it because we are not considered as special or unique.”

I mentioned to him that there were animal rights activists who got worked up over that exact line of reasoning.

“While endearing, the idealistic thoughts of a small fraction of your species do nothing to change what is happening to mine. The more aware my brain grows, the more I cannot stand how you look at yourselves. Your so called gift of thought, a gift that I share as well and am beginning to see as a curse, throws your entire sense of self-worth completely out of proportion. Few things in history have as much horrific notoriety as the Holocaust, and yet now every day I must deal with a holocaust of my species. Were you humans to be considered on the same level as us cows, there would be no more tragedy. The idea of news coverage over a single fallen human would be ludicrous. How special must you think each and every one of you to be to devote such time to it when such small numbers perish? Meanwhile, thousands of my brothers and sisters are slaughtered every day and most of you don’t pause for a second to think about it. I have seen life as a dumb beast, as you would refer to us, and I have now seen life as a thoughtful, conscious creature. This unique perspective, birthed from time on both sides, has shown me the truth. I cannot look at you as anything other than animals whose brains have played the cruelest joke of all on you: the belief that you matter.”

I argued that we could live in a world where both, and all, species could matter. Bob was dismissive.

“There is no force on this planet stronger than the arrogance of humans. If you look closer, more deliberately, you will see that this entire world runs on their belief that self-preservation is the most holy of all pursuits.”

After my talks with Bob, I started to have a hard time taking the world seriously. I remember the day a mass shooting occurred in a shopping mall, and, of course, every news channel was covering it. They used the word ‘tragedy’ over and over again. Later that day, I went for one of my walks, this time on a busy street close to the city. I looked in the windows of various fast food restaurants, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and saw humans gleefully devouring Bob’s comrades.

Later that night, watching the coverage again, looking at the pained faces of those who had lost someone, and once again hearing that word, ‘tragedy’, used excessively, I suddenly had my answer about life, and I lost it, falling off the couch hysterical, laughing until my face was wet with tears, finally seeing clearly the folly of existence.

A Conversation with the Artistic Urge

urge

The Artistic Urge sits on a chair, body bulky and muscled, lazily lolling his head in distant contemplation. Jason enters the room, timidly closing the door and approaching him. His appearance is gaunt.

“Hey man,” Jason mumbles, “I thought we could talk.”

The Urge is bored already and slowly turns his head towards him. “Uh huh. What about?”

“Well, I was just wondering…” He trails off, trying to find the words. “Is it possible that you could stop taking such an intense interest in my lack of…um…”

“Fucking? Dating? Romance? Significant others? Which one is it this time?!” The Urge barks out.

“Well, yes. All of those.”

The Urge exhales frustration. He speaks his next words with the tired nature of a man constantly repeating himself. “What did I tell you back in 7th grade?”

Jason looks at the ground.

“What did I tell you?!” His voice is gruff now, but still not at the full level of intensity that it has been known to reach.

“Not fucking is my gimmick,” Jason says softly.

“What was that? I couldn’t quite hear you.”

“Not fucking is my gimmick.”

“Yes, yes it is. That’s the sweet spot right there. And you know your only job is to get me to the sweet spot.”

“I know, but it’s just that you’re so obsessive in your interest over it, and I feel like it’s all that’s on my brain now. I’m just focusing on it too much and I feel like it’s sending out all these negative vibes. I mean, you keep telling me to write about it on facebook…”

“And you will continue to!”

“Everyone I know is on there!”

“Yes, and that’s the point! That’s what’s going to make you different! What is our mantra?”

“I don’t want to-”

“What the fuck is our mantra?!” The intensity in The Urge’s voice is rising now, the submissive and horrified nature of Jason increasing.

“The antithesis of humanity.”

“That’s right! Every goddamn human on this planet is about presenting an appealing version of themselves! That’s how this whole fucking world works! That’s how this species SURVIVES! Confidence, appearing competent, knowing how to play the game, that’s what makes this despicable planet TURN! How can you hope to set yourself apart as much as you desire-”

“As much as YOU desire!”

“Oh I’m sorry, did you not tell me constantly that you wanted to be a great, legendary artist?! Don’t ever interrupt me! Now, how can you hope to set yourself apart if you’re out there presenting an appealing facade as opposed to dragging your most pathetic qualities out onto full display in a public forum? I’m open to other suggestions if you have any.”

“Talent?” Jason offers hopefully.

The Urge scoffs. “Talent is nothing without an iron-clad commitment to being different.”

“I don’t even feel human anymore! I don’t know what’s happening to my personality! It feels muted because of the way you force me to look at things!”

“That’s because I’m getting stronger! For the last time, you are not supposed to be human! Need I remind you of what happened when the human side started winning? Hmm? Need I remind you of that? What did you tell me when you were laying next to her in bed, oh so content? What was your choice of words again? Didn’t you tell me to quote, ‘fuck off’? Was that it?!”

“I was happy for once.”

“You abandoned me to lay there in your sickening glee! You couldn’t have cared less if you ever used me again! Oh, how glad I was when she left! Then I could really sink the claws in, truly take over with full time hours! I don’t know why you’re complaining to me now, we both know you haven’t truly felt human since she left.”

“That’s old news. I thought it might be nice to find someone else at this point and-”

“And what? Become lazily, happily, dopey and complacent again?! Huh? Put me on the back burner again and deny our very destiny?! You know why you’re here!”

“Look, maybe I could do both. If you would just back off a little from constantly telling me to be so raw-”

“I WILL NEVER BACK OFF OF TELLING YOU TO BE RAW! DO YOU HEAR ME?! YOU WILL DIG DEEPER AND DEEPER UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY EXPOSED TO EVERYONE ON THIS PLANET! YOU WILL ALWAYS TURN YOUR GUTS INSIDE OUT WHEN YOU’RE WITH ME!”

Jason attempts not to cower in the intensity of his clearly stronger side. The Urge gets up off the seat and walks toward him menacingly.

“You defiant little faggot you listen to me and you listen to me good. I don’t give a fuck about what plans you have for your human side because I want your human side dead and gone! There is nothing human about what we’re trying to achieve! So you take whatever little fantasies you have about romance, normality, peace, playing house, whatever it may be, and you bury them! You are of no use to me like that. I need you weak, crippled, tap dancing along the edge of madness, hopelessly devoted to an ideal that would make normal people scream in terror!”

He feels the need to scream but suppresses it, listening helplessly.

“I told you not to give away your virginity because it was the main focus of my plan for you! I’ve seen the slavish devotion and lust with which this species chases physical love and therefore knew the confusion with which they’d approach your lack of it! It would have been priceless! Look at you! You’re gorgeous!”

Jason blushes, despite himself. “Well, gee, thanks,” he sheepishly mumbles.

“Shut up! Imagine how this world will react to you in a position of fame, looking like this, and still not getting any! THAT I can sell! Remember Britney Spears?”

“OK, look, you did not just drop a Britney Spears reference in the middle of this-”

“Silence! Her virginity gimmick was golden, as much as I never respected her music! That was what I wanted for you. Now I have to keep you as celibate as possible, to maintain the proper balance of weirdness and odd marketability!”

“You’re insane! What the fuck kind of artistic plan is that? Look, I’m dead all over lately! Too inside my own head because you always instruct me to break things down, over and over again! I can’t remember the last time I just lived and didn’t over-analyze! Remember how much I soared with some confidence and female attention? Remember that? It will probably help the art too! C’mon man, I can’t take this! Let me shine again!”

The Urge lunges forward, grabbing Jason by the neck and putting him up against the wall.

“I’m going to tell you this one last time, alright? Don’t act like I don’t know you! Don’t act like you’re not falling all over yourself because of the misanthropic nature of Bukowski’s work that I guided you to discover! I know what you like, I know what you are, and I know what the sweet spot is! You have comedian blood and you must always bathe in self-deprecation! I am not granting you any relief! You have already greatly angered me by even bringing this up!”

The Urge’s eyes now bulge with redness and hell fire.

“NOW YOU GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE AND YOU GO WRITE SOME LENGTHY PHILOSOPHICAL BULLSHIT ABOUT HOW YOU CAN’T GET LAID! I WANT YOU TO FEEL FUCKING EMBARRASSED AFTER HITTING ‘POST’! AND IF YOU COME AT ME LIKE THIS AGAIN, I WILL MAKE IT RAIN INTROVERSION AND SELF-DOUBT IN FUCKING SPADES ANY TIME A FEMALE COMES WITHIN TWENTY FEET OF YOU! ARE WE UNDERSTOOD?!”

Jason, tearful, spent, and defeated, puffs through wheezed breaths and, feeling the sting of submission that has become so commonplace, says “Yes, Master.”

He is released from The Urge’s grasp and heads towards the door, shuffling off dejectedly towards the laptop once again.

Seeing Girls Differently

667px-Attackofthe50ftwoman

I wonder how many guys on this planet have seen girls as I see them. Sometimes I feel like the fact that no one is running through the streets screaming, ‘Girls exist!’, like a terrified extra in a Godzilla movie, is proof that no one does.

Granted, I’ve always been hopelessly dedicated to hopeless romanticism, always had a hypersensitive side that gives a uselessly poetic twinge to everything, and perhaps I’ve gone a little more numb to the idea of experiencing emotions these past three years than I care to admit, but wow! The gawking catatonic despair of staring at a girl and feeling literally choked with lust and passion, while being a writer’s dream, is so overwhelming!

But lust, like life, is just a glorious illusion. Intense as it may be, it is easily dismissed. My raging adolescent-level hormones are no match for the terror of actually thinking I like someone because of who they are. The writer could sit here all day with a massive erection, ranting to you guys about girl problems with much aplomb and finesse, but it would be so self-indulgent for the sake of prose.

If I want to be truly real with you, I think what causes fear with girls is my sincerity. I can’t turn that shit off. I feel it leaking from every orifice of me when I like someone. It feels like a giant canoe trying to push upstream against the river of controlled emotion that is successful courtship. Christ, my eyes are the biggest betrayers ever. I have serious problems controlling them. I remember one time before an open mic in NY, a fellow comedian who was about to tell a joke he’d written said, “You don’t steal jokes, do you?” Then, before I had time to answer, he said “No, you don’t, I can see it in your eyes.” That statement always resonated with me. If he could read them, I’m sure girls, who are mostly smarter than us in this area from a continual assault from the puddle of stupidity and semen that is men from puberty on, can easily read them as well.

I have no tricks up my sleeve other than blatancy. The very act of looking at a girl can be exhausting and stimulating, and I want nothing more than to clear the air of anything other than romantic hyperbole laced truth. I have nothing to say. I have lost any ability to be interesting or funny, which I still maintain I am somewhere deep inside this mess of pretentious introspection. I have but one true pick up line that to me is the ultimate compliment, but I fear will translate as dripping with arrogance: you make me want to try.

As most of this world passes me by inspiring nothing but slack-jawed disinterest and mockery, I cannot think of a higher compliment to give to a female than that. And while I’m sure the sincerity of the quiet boy admitting that something on this planet actually makes him want to jump into the game he so despises is too intense to speak of, I’m sure my eyes have already broadcast it every time I look upon you.

Ugh. There goes the damn writer again…