Tag: stories

Predestination is Lazy and Tiresome

painted vine

My back is trying to go out. My mom is recovering from her hip surgery and might come home today. Chick’s weird ear thing is still a weird ear thing and I don’t think we can afford to fix it. An appointment has been made for aspiration of fluids. I need to be making money. Wait, no! No pressure right now or I’ll curl up into a tight ball of inertia that will eventually implode and become a black hole into which everything will be sucked up and subsumed. The car might be breaking down too. Well, why not?

Bill O’Reilly was my boss in my dream, that’s how you know it was a nightmare.

I’ve been watching The Secret Circle. Another silly witch show. It only ran for one season so not a big run. I wonder why it seems that teen vampires and vampires in general are so much more popular than witches? Personally i find witches more interesting. I loved the Ann Rice treatment of vampires in the 80’s but it got old pretty fast. My friend Catherine posed a question on vampires the other day – how could they father children if they have no living fluids in their bodies? If they have no blood, they must also have no semen. They are, in fact, dead already. I would like to extend that question to this: if they have no flowing blood, how can they possibly get erections? If they can’t get erections, then how can they be having so much sex? These are worthy questions of those creating vampire stories. An explanation is not an unreasonable expectation. If you take a myth and you pervert it to your uses and you make it new, you still need to answer – in some semi-scientific way at least – how your mythical creatures operate and live.

If you create a new mythology based on an old mythology you have to back up your new mythology with some semblance of thought and answers.

One of the things that keeps me from being a real fan of shows involving the supernatural (except for “Supernatural” because of reasons) is the huge theme of predestination and fate. I am so fucking tired of the idea of THE CHOSEN ONE and THE ONE WITH EXTRA POWER BECAUSE OF ANCIENT BLOODLINE and INDIVIDUALS FATED TO BE TOGETHER or INDIVIDUALS ILL-FATED AND ALWAYS STAR-CROSSED AND PINING STUPIDLY FOR EACH OTHER AND ALL THE MELODRAMA OF DYING FOR LOVE AND DON’T YOU KNOW THERE ARE OTHER THINGS IN LIFE AND SOMETIMES WORLD PEACE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ROMANCE?

Humans love this shit. They really love, and apparently crave, the concept of their lives and purpose being decided for them by an unseen force long  before they were born. They love it as much as they love the idea of ancient family royalty. I think it’s total bullshit. (Both predestination and ancient family bloodlines meaning anything other than a nasty tendency towards incest to keep blood “pure”) People love predestination because it means they aren’t responsible for their lives or actions. People love the idea that they were born with a higher purpose. When played out in fiction it’s nearly always means that one person is born evil and another person is born “pure” enough to defeat them. It’s just God and Satan all over again. Infantile bullshit. Simplistic belief in good versus evil. Angels versus demons. Black magic versus white magic.

One thing I appreciate about the show Supernatural is the ambiguous nature of the Angels and the demons. That the angels don’t all agree with each other about their ultimate directives from God, that not all of them even believe that God is still in the building, that not all of them feel humans are worth protecting. And demons are not so cut and dried evil, that they have weaknesses humans can relate to, that they are not all completely evil. It’s still full of predestination and that break-off show they hinted at at the end of Season 10 is all about ancient families. I’m so sick to death of ancient families. Royal families. Special families.

Can we please stop with that bullshit? What I’d like to see is a show about witches that has no royal witch bloodlines. No chosen one. No star crossed lovers. No predestination. I want a show that has myth but without all the religious overtones. I want one that has more realistic characters, where there’s witchery and magic but without the childish themes of good versus evil. How about a show that has curses and spells and interesting characters battling real evil like political corruption and spousal abuse and bigotry? How about witches or other mythical creatures whose power doesn’t come from gods or devils but from the well of humanity and from nature? I’d love to see witches and other mythical creatures taking responsibility for their lives, their actions, and stop looking to blame bad relationships on destiny.

The thing that really ruined Grimm for me was the whole Royal family story-line. YAWNFOREVER. It’s so fucking irritating and soapy. I loved all the monsters and fairytale derived creatures – I loved the crime solving and the relationship between Nick and Hank and them having to negotiate between two worlds. I love the trailer full of artifacts and I love Rosalee and Monroe and the herb shop and trying to figure out how to stop spells and I loved how not all the creatures are monsters but beings from another world who have to learn to live with each other. I loved all that. Then they had to muck it up with the usual stupid bloodline bullshit. Did the Hapsburgs teach us all NOTHING? There is nothing noble about “pure” bloodlines. There is no such thing as pure blood and that people think that’s powerful and desirable creeps me out and it says how little we’ve evolved over the last few thousand years. That depresses me.

I’ve got a black kitten named Tonkatsu in my lap as I type this. How fitting is that? He’s purring like he doesn’t know that lots of people think black cats are bad luck and that black cats are harder to adopt out than other cats. Don’t you dare tell him! He’s the sweetest little boy kitten ever! He’s purring madly and he wants to be part of everything going on. He loves to be in human laps and to play and he has the funniest disco swagger EVER.

It’s time for me to get dressed and go visit my mom in the hospital and ice my back some more and think about what a family Grimoire for a fucked up weird 100% impure and un-royal family might look like. What magic might it contain? What myths might come out of such a tome? The most interesting and powerful families, in my opinion, are ones that are full of members from different origins and legends. People of mixed blood are healthier and stronger. That’s a fact of nature. Mixed genes are better. It also means a rainbow of stories and legends and family histories all mashed together. It’s crazier and harder to track and way more interesting.

So here I go. Having a boozeless Friday. May your family be mixed-breed and your future yours to make!

The Entertainment Line-up Right Now

The shows I’m watching right now:

  • Medium (almost finished with the whole series): I love this show.  I love Patricia Arquette.  I love her teeth, I love her acting, I love the character she plays, I love that she’s a regular medium sized female lead in a television series.  I also adore the Character Bridgette played by Maria Lark.
  • Ultimate Force (still on season 1): This is a damn bloody and violent show with mostly men and guns.  In spite of all the testosterone, the acting is really good.  I may not be able to stick with it though.  Not because of the gore.  I’m not even sure why.  It’s already been off the air for a few years but there are four seasons total.  I really love Tony Curran‘s nose.  It’s fierce.  Right, but I also think he’s a great actor.
  • Covert Affairs (just a few episodes): This one is already annoying me.  I find the blind agent Auggie to be smug and have failed to really enjoy the main character.  I am watching it because I miss MI5.  I also need to say that the first time I saw the actor Sendhil Ramamurthy (also in Ultimate Force) my first thought was that it was probably a curse to be a man and be that pretty.  He may be the most beautiful man alive and I can’t believe him in the roles he’s playing.
  • Castle:  It’s back.  I’ve seen the first episode of the new season and I’m pretty sure my irritation is only going to grow in this season.  I still love this show but it seems like one of the ones that will just string me along to the bitter fucking end where Castle and Beckett will never be able to get their shit together to be together and both of them are going to piss me off in the process.  The thing is, I can’t hate the characters, I blame the writers of the show.  This is a popular formula and I stop watching shows when they become tedious with their teasing and their “almost” hook ups.  So stupid.  Why can’t they be together and still be a team?  They can still annoy each other and bicker- no need to have one or the other.  Whether or not I continue watching “Bones” hinges on the same issue.
  • Rookie Blue:  I like this show.  Kinda.  I kinda don’t.  I can’t decide.  I think the main character, Andy McNally, is super stupid.  But the rest of them are pretty okay.  Mostly I’m just interested in the Dov character and I can’t stop looking at Gail just because she’s so striking.
  • Combat Hospital: This show is really compelling.  I love medical shows.  I really do.  I’m not even sure why.  The acting and the story lines in this show are fantastic.  It’s possible I’ll get tired of it by the next season, hard to say.  Right now I’m bummed it’s done.
  • Pan Am (Pilot): I watched the pilot episode and it’s not promising.  The main thing I was left with is the nagging need to know how Maggie started off with long bohemian style curly hair and in a half an hour cab ride to the airport ended up with a Funicello-style flip?  Did the cabby cut and style it for her?  Does this character wear a wig while she works and then lets her wild side down when she returns to her sty of an apartment?  I also dislike the blatant campy crap which dumbs down what could, maybe, turn out to be an interesting show.  I do like the costumes.  I’ll give it at least one more chance to impress but my brain will never let go of that hair thing.*

I interrupt this exciting television show list to ask “It’s 12 pm, do you know where your tuna is?” because my brain just shouted it in my head and I like to share.

It would apparently also like to suggest that “what’s good for the goose often isn’t good for anyone”.  (These bits of brain flotsam were pulled right out of the nonstop stream of dialog inside my head.)

  • Lie To Me: Such a fantastic show.  I have nothing else to say.  Except: Tim Roth!  Oh, wait, I do have something else to say.  The hair people who do Kelli Williams’ hair on the show are doing her a major disservice.  At least through the whole first season.  I think last season they wised up a little.
  • MI-5: Excellent show.  I’ve loved every season of it so far.  But how could I not like a show featuring Richard Armitage as a bad-ass spy?  As long as he doesn’t have a mullet, he’s golden.  But he’s not why I watch the show.  The whole cast is brilliant and it’s easy for me to invest myself in their future.  I do love spy shows like this one.
  • The Mentalist: I am afraid that Simon Baker gets cast as very similar characters in different shows.  Luckily I like the character type he plays.  But I like him better in the Mentalist than I did in the Guardian.  Absolutely love the supporting characters too, with special emphasis on the (sadly underused) Kimball Cho (Tim Kang).  Okay, maybe he’s not really underused but the focus has been more on Wayne and Grace and while they are good too, I like Cho the best.  His deadpan delivery is unmatched.
  • Downton Abbey: I can only see it online on PBS so it will be a while before I see the new season.  It is really engaging and well done.  The costumes are superb and I’m still hoping the show won’t go down the tragic route.
  • Bones: I was done watching this show last season but then I saw the last few episodes and now that Bones and Seely have finally gotten together and she’s apparently going to have his baby, I have to see if they’re going to actually work it out.  If they decide to have it but not be together, I’m not going to keep watching.  My needs are simple and they’re classic and they’re very boring.  I always want the girl to get the boy.  Or the boy to get the boy.  Or the girl to get the girl.  Whatever, I want the couple I’m rooting for to get together and if I get strung along and teased for too many seasons, I abandon ship.  So this show is on probation.

That’s my lineup for right now.  I have entered into a complete book lull.  At this time in my life I don’t want a show or a book to turn my world upside down or inside out.  I’m not an intellectual (as is obvious to most people) and I don’t have lofty or major expectations from my entertainment.  I want interesting stories with happy endings.  I want the couple to get together and work things out. I want the killer to be caught.  I want the broken people healed.

I just want it to be well done.

I finally finished the boring book I was reading.  It met all my criteria for entertainment except for that last one.  It was not well done, it was not well written, and it was not engaging.  I need to find some new books to read but I don’t want to be disappointed.

There you have it.  I just needed to share my thoughts on all those shows because I largely watch them alone (a couple of them I watch with my mom) and I want to put my comments somewhere.  Now you can read them and agree or disagree.  And please feel free to tell me what you’re watching right now- I’m totally interested to know!

*Not the show’s fault my brain is obsessive to a clinical level.

Show me your blood, and I’ll show you mine.

I don’t know what kind of dreams a McBurger would inspire.  I don’t know what it feels like to wait in a line in my car to order my dinner from a window behind which an adenoidal teen writes barely coherent notes.  Would it sound like music?  Would it make me feel the wheat shaft brush against my shin as the dry shushing of the grass talks to the fall wind?

When I was five, one of the few memories I have that clings to the skin of my life is of eating a beet straight from my mother’s garden, covered in a sheen of thin soil and tasting like more than a Russian joke of body odor.  I ate it like it was candy.  I was probably as dirty as the beet.  Dirty fucking hippie kid.  Another early memory is of eating an onion raw in front of a baby sitter who looked at me with the same look everyone reserves for carnies; mixed awe and horror.  I ate an onion like it was an apple.  I was somewhere  between five and six years old.  I only know this because we’d left the commune but we still lived a few doors down from the house that caught fire.

I have few early memories.  These are potent earthy markers.

What if every memory was suspended from the pollution of other people’s memories?  Would they be more corrupt or more pure?

I don’t know.  I have so few answers.  There are so many questions they crawl up the walls to the ceiling while I dream of human-consuming worms, house fires lapping up baby dolls with revolving faces in dark play attics, the great tundra of the school grounds across the street whose bushes hid the answers to life in pulpy copies of Playboy and Playgirl, the darker meanings lost on us children.  The presence of evil felt but never expressed.  Wonder and eyes glued to inconceivable contortions of the life we thought was real.

Snails and salt.  Vacancy.  Sometimes the horror of what we found in the bushes was more bearable than the horror in our own homes.  Sometimes the bushes were the safest place to wait for life to evolve, to take us into the future where something was more possible than nothing.

Life is nothing but blood and more blood.  How much you pump, how much you consume, how much you need, how much you’ll lose, and how much you’ll share.  It’s life.  It’s the visceral manifestation of your soul, however you like to lay that out: on bible pages mod-podged to your forehead or pinned to a frame like dead butterflies caught mid-flight and pickled by formaldehyde and ozone.  Life is nothing more than skin and blood and I’ve spilled my share.

Our lives can be measured by how much blood we have to make, how much we have to lose, and how cut up we are in the process of dying before death.  It’s one long continuum of beating veins and active arteries.  I feel the pressure of it in my temple, pulsing like a light tribal drumbeat; I want you to walk away now.  Leave this livid pallor to the rest of us.

None of it matters much if you find your way back to the dirt.  To the beets with the bloom of soil on the surface your teeth grind past and forgive for the sweet-sick taste of bloody earth.  It bleeds all over your fingers and your mouth like a plague of love as frightening as locusts.  You will remember past the Peter Gabriel nightmare in the attic because what shines is this other remembrance, this second life no one can ever say they saw or they’ll have to show you their own blood too.

It all echoes in the underpasses where ghosts like to drift with needles and razors and maggoty boxes of noodle-roni.  It all lives in shadow where the cars are afraid to park, where unspent rage finds purchase in the oil spills and the exhaust drips of tired dry asphalt.  You’ll never see it.  You’ll never know it’s there.  You’ll never see the blood because if you did your whole life would unravel from the navel outwards.

So show me the dirt.  Show me your veins.  Show me your blood and I’ll show you mine.