Sometime between 13:25 and 16:32 on March 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The Male Power Fantasy (and why Mad Max and Captain Kirk don’t fit): This relates to a theory I have, which is that the archetypal Western Male Hero is James Bond, to the degree that people (Mainly straight white men) start to see every Western Male Hero as James Bond. Which is to say an aggressively masculine, quip-spitting, hyper violent womanizer. The ultimate Male Power Fantasy. A new supermodel love interest (or two) every film, a gun in his hand, and no consequences for his actions.
  • So many biological genders: If anyone tells you that there are 2-3 sexes in the world I want you to just go ahead and slap them.
  • Fight Club and toxic masculinity (with a side of Mad Max: Fury Road): Hold up – you mean there are people who watch Fight Club and don’t realise that Tyler Durden is meant to be full of shit?
  • Geisha FAQ: Please do not spread misconceptions about these hard-working women artists. They deserve respect and have persevered for centuries with women at the forefront of these professions.
  • Earth is dangerous: I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
  • Of privilege and nostalgia: The reality is, there was never a time when everyone could just enjoy things. To be able to say you had that time is to admit the privilege you had at not having to think about problematic behavior because it didn’t negatively affect your life.
  • To everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.: Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles, tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they don’t really understand.
  • Snarky but amusing and thorough Romeo and Juliet analysis: SUMMARY: Romeo and Juliet is a stunningly rich play that is mostly about how feuds fuck people over badly and how if you have to wait until YOUR KIDS OFF THEMSELVES to figure that out you deserve to lose your children. Romeo and Juliet are victims of the feud and its mindless death-lust, not perpetrators of death on others. They’re not supposed to be figures of ridicule OR representatives of True Love: they’re supposed to make the audience go “oh BABIES, no, you’re going to end so badly” and then be sad when they do.
  • The singular “they”: Next time someone complains about singular “they” I’ll point them to this 17th century rant against singular “you”.

I hardly really know where to begin, or what to say. I love this book, and I love the movie. Both should be required reading/viewing, as far as I’m concerned. ‘Nuff said, I guess.

What follows is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, as well as the book.

The tears were really coming now, and one fat stripe rolled along the barrel of the gun and down the loop around the trigger to burst flat against my index finger. Raymond Hessel closed both eyes so I pressed the gun hard against his temple so he would always feel it pressing right there and I was beside him and this was his life and he could be dead at any moment.

This wasn’t a cheap gun, and I wondered if salt might fuck it up.

Everything had gone so easy, I wondered. I’d done everything the mechanic said to do. This was why we needed to buy a gun. This was doing my homework.

We each had to bring Tyler twelve driver’s licenses. This would prove we each made twelve human sacrifices.

I parked tonight, and I waited around the block for Raymond Hessel to finish his shift at the all-night Korner Mart, and around midnight he was waiting for a night owl bus when I finally walked up and said, hello.

Raymond Hessel, Raymond didn’t say anything. Probably he figured I was after his money, his minimum wage, the fourteen dollars in his wallet. Oh, Raymond Hessel, all twenty-three years of you, when you started crying, tears rolling down the barrel of my gun pressed to your temple, no, this wasn’t about money. Not everything is about money.

You didn’t even say, hello.

You’re not your sad little wallet.

I said, nice night, cold but clear.

You didn’t even say, hello.

I said, don’t run, or I’ll have to shoot you in the back. I had the gun out, and I was wearing a latex glove so if the gun ever became a people’s exhibit A, there’d be nothing on it except the dried tears of Raymond Hessel, Caucasian, aged twenty-three with no distinguishing marks.

Then I had your attention. Your eyes were big enough that even in the streetlight I could see they were antifreeze green.

You were jerking backward and backward a little more every time the gun touched your face, as if the barrel was too hot or too cold. Until I said, don’t step back, and then you let the gun touch you, but even then you rolled your head up and away from the barrel.

You gave me your wallet like I asked.

Your name was Raymond K. Hessel on your driver’s license. You live at 1320 SE Benning, apartment A. That had to be a basement apartment. They usually give basement apartments letters instead of numbers.

Raymond K. K. K. K. K. K. Hessel, I was talking to you.

Your head rolled up and away from the gun, and you said, yeah. You said, yes, you lived in a basement.

You had some pictures in the wallet, too. There was your mother.

This was a tough one for you, you’d have to open your eyes and see the picture of Mom and Dad smiling and see the gun at the same time, but you did, and then your eyes closed and you started to cry.

You were going to cool, the amazing miracle of death. One minute, you’re a person, the next minute, you’re an object, and Mom and Dad would have to call old doctor whoever and get your dental records because there wouldn’t be much left of your face, and Mom and Dad, they’d always expected so much more from you and no, life wasn’t fair, and now it was come to this.

Fourteen dollars.

This, I said, is this your mom?

Yeah. You were crying, sniffing, crying. You swallowed. Yeah.

You had a library card. You had a video movie rental card. A social security card. Fourteen dollars cash. I wanted to take the bus pass, but the mechanic said to only take the driver’s license. An expired community college student card.

You used to study something.

You’d worked up a pretty intense cry at this point so I pressed the gun a little harder against your cheek, and you started to step back until I said, don’t move or you’re dead right here. Now, what did you study?

Where?

In college, I said. You have a student card.

Oh, you didn’t know, sob, swallow, sniff, stuff, biology.

Listen, now, you’re going to die, Ray-mond K. K. K. Hessel, tonight. You might die in one second or in one hour, you decide. So lie to me. Tell me the first thing off the top of your head. Make something up. I don’t give a shit. I have the gun.

Finally, you were listening and coming out of the little tragedy in your head.

Fill in the blank. What does Raymond Hessel want to be when he grows up?

Go home, you said you just wanted to go home, please.

No shit, I said. But after that, how did you want to spend your life? If you could do anything in the world.

Make something up.

You didn’t know.

Then you’re dead right now, I said. I said, now turn your head.

Death to commence in ten, in nine, in eight.

A vet, you said. You want to be a vet, a veterinarian.

That means animals. You have to go to school for that.

It means too much school, you said.

You could be in school working your ass off, Raymond Hessel, or you could be dead. You choose. I stuffed your wallet into the back pocket of your jeans. So you really wanted to be an animal doctor. I took the saltwater muzzle of the gun off one cheek and pressed it against theother. Is that what you’ve always wanted to be, Dr. Raymond K. K. K. K. Hessel, a veterinarian?

Yeah.

No shit?

No. No, you meant, yeah, no shit. Yeah.

Okay, I said, and I pressed the wet end of the muzzle to the tip of your chin, and then the tip of your nose, and everywhere I pressed the muzzle, it left a shining wet ring of your tears.

So, I said, go back to school. If you wake up tomorrow morning, you find a way to get back into school.

I pressed the wet end of the gun on each cheek, and then on your chin, and then against your forehead and left the muzzle pressed there. You might as well be dead right now, I said.

I have your license.

I know who you are. I know where youlive. I’m keeping your license, and I’m going to check on you, mister Raymond K. Hessel. In three months, and then in six months, and then in a year, and if you aren’t back in school on your way to being a veterinarian, you will be dead.

You didn’t say anything.

Get out of here, and do your little life, but remember I’m watching you, Raymond Hessel, and I’d rather kill you than see you working a shit job for just enough money to buy cheese and watch television.

Now, I’m going to walk away so don’t turn around.

This is what Tyler wants me to do.

These are Tyler’s words coming out of my mouth.

I am Tyler’s mouth.

I am Tyler’s hands.

Everybody in Project Mayhem is part of Tyler Durden, and vice versa.

Raymond K. K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you’ve ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your entire life.

David Fincher‘s (one of my favorite directors) latest film, Panic Room, has been in the theaters for a few weeks now, and I just finally got around to seeing it today. Some fan, eh? Ah, well, life’s been a bit crazy lately.

Not quite awake enough to make a full writeup, but in brief — entertaning, not bad for a matinee, but not nearly up to the level of his last few films (Fight Club, The Game, and Se7en). However, PR is a much more straightforward film than any of those three — a story of a mother (Jodie Foster) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) trapped inside a ‘panic room’ inside their new house by a small band of thieves trying to get to a fortune hidden inside the house. Fincher has his usual fun with the cinematography, and the cast all does well — there just wasn’t a lot to the story. Decent mindless escapism, however — worth a rent when it comes out.

…and you open the door and you step inside; we’re inside our hearts. Now imagine your pain as a white ball of healing light. That’s right — your pain, the pain itself, is a white ball of healing light.

I don’t think so.

This is your life. Good to the last drop. Doesn’t get any better than this.

This is your life — and it’s ending one minute at a time.

This isn’t a seminar, and this isn’t a weekend retreat. Where you are now, you can’t even imagine what the bottom will be like. Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static; everything is evolving. Everything is falling apart.

This is your life. Doesn’t get any better than this. This is your life — and it’s ending one minute at a time.

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake! You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We are all part of the same compost heap. We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

You are not your bank account. You are not the clothes you wear. You are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your bowel cancer. You are not your grande latte. You are not the car you drive. You are not your fucking khakis!

You have to give up. You have to realize that someday you will die. Until you know that, you are useless.

I say, let me never be complete. I say, may I never be content. I say, deliver me from swedish furniture. I say, deliver me from clever art. I say, deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth. I say, you have to give up. I say, evolve — and let the chips fall where they may.

This is your life. Doesn’t get any better than this. This is your life — and it’s ending one minute at a time.

You have to give up.

I want you to hit me as hard as you can!

Welcome to Fight Club. If this is your first night, you have to fight.

Fight Club