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Fired Man Working

The unit of human capital writing this blog post is planned to be scrapped. End of June. This is partly because of a basic design error of almost all of the known units of human capital better know as free will. Most capitalists know free will to be a bitch to be kept at bay in production and to be abused only from the point of view of consumption. In my case I couldn’t handle being ‘owned’ anymore to continue something we started, dreaming to improve the world of education, in order to fuel some organization’s desire to make money on pushing more Theon taming (known originally as training).

I won’t put in my LinkedIn profile that my will to consume is as weak as my will to create is strong. I wonder whether there is a maximum of will meaning a stronger will to create weakens the will to consume, and vice versa. If so it might explain why the wealthy are so concerned to ensure our will to consume is stimulated. The wealthy are só smart (how else would they have become wealthy?): they most probably have enough will to create amongst their happy few to count for all of us. Anyway they have the money so we will just have to consume what they create with what little money they leave.

We can take some comfort in the ideas of Thomas Piketty: as the wealthy will appropriate more and more wealth, there will be less and less for us, leading to a system break-down. At that point most of us will either be death or die quickly in the service of one of the factions of the wealthy, but at least the happy few will become unhappier and fewer for the briefest of moments. It’s not much but we’ll take what we get.

I’m just being bitter, of course. On top of not making any sense. Bottom-line is: I didn’t get it my way. Continue reading

April 27, 2014 Posted by | boredom, innovative technologies that shape our lives, shameless self-promotion, teaching, torture, waking up in a cold sweat | 3 Comments

Monday Movies Believes in a God With a Sense of Humor

The Sessions is a beautiful story, tenderly told. Based on a widely linked 1990 magazine article, it is the (mostly) true story of Mark O’Brien, a thirty-something man with polio who lives confined to a wheeled bed or an iron lung and who, wishing to experience sexual connection, seeks out a sex surrogate. It is not a story of “triumphing over disability,” although there are various triumphs and more than one disabled character.

O’Brien, played by John Hawkes, is an observant Catholic who “can’t tolerate the idea of not having someone to blame for all this.” The movie cuts back and forth between the life he leads with attendants, friends, and the subjects of his writing, and his conversations with and confessions to Father Brendan, a liberal Berkeley priest (William H. Macy). The movie’s unshowy portrayal of O’Brien’s Catholicism is remarkable. O’Brien takes his religion seriously, and it provides a structure for both his succor and his shame, but it’s not a totalizing experience, just a part of his life. It’s one of many details — the Berkeley setting is another — that give the movie a subtle, lived-in specificity. When we first meet O’Brien, he’s crinkling his nose to fend off a sneeze; in two other scenes, characters lift their hands to scratch their noses, a throwaway gesture that illuminates the extent of O’Brien’s prison.

Helen Hunt plays Cheryl, the sex surrogate who O’Brien finds through a therapist. Hunt is matter-of-factly naked and sexual, and the movie’s comic heart lies in their awkward and tender sessions, limited to six. There is a drama of transference and counter-transference — more commonly known as a love story — that feels invented (the various articles bear that out), but the characters feel real throughout. One theme that returns is how O’Brien’s helpers’ partners get jealous of him — it’s well played with the boyfriend of one of his nurses, but a little strained with Cheryl’s husband.

Hawkes is a good bet for an Oscar nomination, but I’d bet against a win–the movie is moving, but not bombastically or unbearably so. There may be a little too much joy.

See any good movies?

November 19, 2012 Posted by | boredom, Monday Movies | , , , | Comments Off

Monday Movies

Why should you suffer because Monday Movies is down the shore? Go on, tell us what you saw.

September 10, 2012 Posted by | boredom | Comments Off

Friday Afternoon Confessional: You [Bleep]ing [Bleep]

I confess I took a four day vacation last weekend and Friday was the first of those four days. When I first thought of FAC, it was about 7:00 and I was sitting at a restaurant, out on their lakefront deck, eating salmon and sipping down a Pacifico. That may sound like I’m flippant about my FAC duties, but I really do hate when I forget to make an effort to get something posted.

This week I was driving to work and a woman cut me off. She had been tailgating me, but I was already following the car in front of me too closely and getting over wouldn’t have done her any good. When she got the slightest bit of daylight in the center lane, she whipped over, passed me and squeezed into the too small space between my car and the one in front of me. This left about three feet between her rear bumper and my front bumper and I was sure to hold that distance for a while so she realized how close she had cut it.

When the traffic in our lane slowed down, I passed on the right and as I caught her eye I found myself calling her a couple of vile names. Not only did I say them, I made sure to be looking right at her as I did so. It was then that I kind of snapped back to sanity. What the hell was I doing? In my efforts to show my displeasure with her reckless and impatient style of driving, I had crossed several lines. A couple of these may have included recklessness and impatience.

I confess this feels more like a real confession than most of the things I post here because I felt awful about my behavior. I also felt awful about how common it’s become for me to get visibly angry about inconsiderate drivers. So for the third time in less than a month, I decided to cut out something I didn’t like about my day-to-day life. First, after being inspired by this very space, I gave up all forms of word snobbery. Then it was pork. Now, it’s road rage.

How about you good Friday reader? When you look back on the last week (or two), do you find any ugly bits that bring you shame? Please, feel free to attempt to cleanse them through sharing. Especially if it makes people overlook the ugly episode described above.

September 7, 2012 Posted by | boredom | 3 Comments

The Part About Amalfitano: Madness is Contagious

As life imitates art, I read this section in the isolated provinces, rural Ohio; the isolation I often feel in the summers of Oberlin can feel a lot like this section, almost entirely inside the Chilean exile Amalfitano’s head.  Arguably, this section is about the tricks that loneliness can play on a person, those poor “chincuales” who “cannot sit still mentally” (200).

Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | 2666, boredom | 16 Comments

Monday Movies Thinks We Should Be Best Friends

Magic Mike follows two performers: Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), a masterful male stripper who dreams of getting his custom furniture business off the ground but can’t raise his credit score; and Adam, aka The Kid (Alex Pettyfer), a dropout college athlete whom Mike leads into a world of temptation. In an attempt to impress Adam’s sister Brooke (Cody Horn), Mike swears to protect him as the netherworld of Florida club life wraps him tighter in its clutches. Continue reading

July 2, 2012 Posted by | boredom | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tuesday Hatred of allergies

Amongst many other things, they interfere with good sex.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | boredom | Comments Off

Monday Movies Is Out Of Time

When a character on screen swims under water, do you ever try to hold your breath for the duration? If so, you may intuit without my help that the radical departure of Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video installation The Clock is that in it, one minute=one minute.

This clock has a very different use in The Clock than it did in its original setting.

The Clock is, in fact, a clock. Its minute and hour hands are clips of feature films that feature clocks. Some are famous, some recognizable, others next to anonymous. Some are critical moments — I had the pleasure to be there for 10:04 pm, the exact moment when the Hill Valley Courthouse was famously struck by lightning on November 12, 1955; cheers went up. Others suggest significant moments within a narrative–the changing of an hour, almost always; even a shot that shows one minute changing to another suggests that a transition is happening elsewhere in the world.

In the world of The Clock, this becomes startlingly true and not-true at once. Whatever momentousness the viewer feels is immediately stolen, as the film moves on to another clip. Indeed, some of the most telling clocks are those that are purely there as set dressing — the large, plain institutional clocks in police stations, the decorative tabletop clocks in living rooms. The force that those clocks exert on life is anterior to what we might naively imagine to be cinema’s chief force, narrative.

Cinematic narrative found its language contemporaneously with the great Modern novelists, Woolf, Forster, Joyce, who (along with Bergson) portrayed time as it elapsed within the self. We’ve received this as a revolutionary dawn, but it was also a fairly quick rebellion — time had only become an impersonal and rigid global latticework in the previous generation, when the need to schedule trains led to the imposition of commonly set clocks.

Marclay’s clock atomizes the cinema’s endlessly malleable putty of time. The minutes are revenants, hungry ghosts unglued from their narratives, friendly snakes eating their tails. I can’t separate the brutal reimposition of impersonal time from the sheer fun of seeing grandfather clocks, clock towers, bedside alarm clocks and wristwatches all finally get one looping dance extravaganza, where Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are just two of the innumerable guest stars. The Clock is strangely fun to watch. I’ve done it twice now, last Saturday from 9:40 pm for about an hour, and last year from about 10 to 11 am.

[Update: I removed the embedded trailer for the clock, now at the link. As the youtube page points out, it should technically only be watched at 12:04 pm. I don't want to mess up your sense of time.]

I’ll keep going back if LACMA keeps showing it. I’ll stop if I learn to time my dreams. What did you spend your time watching?

March 26, 2012 Posted by | boredom, film, innovative technologies that shape our lives, meta, Monday Movies | , , | 7 Comments

Tuesday Hatred gets shorter and shorter but id will not give up

I hate that the cycling season has not yet started. I hate that I forgot why I was excited about the opportunity to hate. I hate that comment threads are getting shorter. I hate that The Wife is out of town this week. I hate that people in Greece feel bad. I hate that nothing out of the ordinary ever happens to me.  I hate all these flares of indignation, certainly when they are of the type that self-extinguishes. I hate that Real Madrid-Barcelona is not a possible Champions League final. I hate that consequently Barcelona’s choir boy image and handball way of playing football will remain unchallenged as the culmination point of early XXIst century soccer. I hate that every quarter there is a next quarter. I hate that US elections are as nonsensical as Greek elections. I hate that everybody is all over everybody else and in the meantime finance goes on as always. I hate that I am bound to forget the exact starting hour of one of The Kids’ activities this week. I hate what I have not become.

Dear Readers, if I may: of the many to hate, pray tell which one bothers you most.

February 14, 2012 Posted by | boredom, Tuesday Hatred | 4 Comments

Friday Afternoon Survey

Calling all drinkers of beer!

I am conducting a super scientific (ha!) survey for a potential project and badly need some information. Please take 30 seconds to participate before your weekend begins. This is just for my sister and me and benefiting no one else.

LET’S TALK ABOUT BEER

If you do you will… earn free beer? wake up sexier? be more loved?… or have my genuine thanks– not nearly as good as the first three.

 

February 3, 2012 Posted by | boredom | Comments Off

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