What happens when an ass gets ahead of the rest of the body

Have you ever wondered what is wrong with people? Why they have to blow things totally out of proportion? Or why they choose to say things that make barely any sense? And how social media (yes, I get it’s funny I’m using a blog to say all this) facilitates this kind of idiocy because it is easy to go on the offensive. Read below to get an idea of what I’m talking about if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid it (so far).

There she sat, totally innocent of anything except being a night owl. Playing some game (I swear it wasn’t solitaire), when all of a sudden a strange request pops up. She has never encountered such a message before. It tells her there is someone with a message for her. She reads the message and is mildly perturbed at who this person was, disturbing her at 1am. She had seen his name before, but did not know him. It read (some information withheld for obvious reasons):

“Hello,

It has come to my notice that you have used some of my photos for an XXXXXXXX article on the XXXXX play. I’d be happy if the creator of the photo is also mentioned (although the copyright belongs to the XXXXXXXXX). As a journalism student, you must follow and practice fundamental and good journalism ethics. This is very upsetting.

Thank you.”

I replied immediately, in spite of the fact that he clearly has some big ideas and little actual experience with journalism.

“Hi, I wasn’t the one who uploaded the piece, and I’m sorry that the image credits weren’t given. Will fix it ASAP.”

I also checked the website to be sure. Here’s what I added to that message:

“It is copyrighted to you though.”

Let me be clear at this point, that I meant that the alternative text which appears in case the image doesn’t load is what shows his copyright, with the All Rights Reserved, etc. It was not visible to the public unless they couldn’t load the image for some reason. As he is very clearly aware, we are journalism STUDENTS and occasionally some mistakes are made. I made the required edit. I made the edit as soon as it was brought to my attention. I admitted to the error, fixed it, and tried to get on with my life.

In spite of my sincere attempt to handle the situation like an adult and a professional person, I got this gem as a reward:

“As the author of the content, you should ensure it is not published incomplete. Whether it’s Reuters, NYT, Guardian, even Times, everyone mentions the photographer. This happened even with the XXXXX photos, where nothing was even mentioned.”

This particular XXXXX refers to a fest my department at college hosts every year. It is not in any way related to the piece he cried about. I had to make this evident to him, since apparently, that distinction is not obvious to some people.

“Please address those issues to someone in the XXXXXX Dep. I can only fix what is my responsibility.”

His reply was just as condescending as the earlier ones, “I am aware. But make it a habit in future, cool?” If you’re aware, why bring it up with me? He had to cap it off with the “habit in future” helpful hint. Please insert choice word describing this person. I replied with a brush-off “Yes yes”. And naive little me thought that would be the end of it. Though I did forward the messages to one of my professors, since he had complained about the department’s lack of respect for him, or whatever it was he was trying to say. Which was really not a fair or sensible thing for him to say, since,

A) He only got to take the photographs of that play because the department got permission for photographs to be taken.

B) The XXXXX fest my department hosts uploads hundreds of photos in various albums during and after the fest. And we have all seen the albums are titled with the additional statement under it: “Photo or creds XXXXXX”. If he wants each photo to have his name, he should sit and look through each and every one of the hundreds we use and comment “This is mine!” Doesn’t have enough time to do it? Well, neither does anyone else.

 

Now, whilst I was being a normal person, guess what he did. He started making a thinly veiled attack on me. He claimed later this wasn’t directed at me (keep reading), but he made the comment with a link to my piece on the play, on a completely separate website. I only saw this when I was in college, and friends of mine who also happen to be his on Facebook showed me. It didn’t really bother me (much) at the time, because I’ve done stupid things while upset, and then tried to make amends. This was his holier-than-thou post: “I really enjoy when someone adds words and context to my photographs. However, little do I get to know about such events as we never believe in crediting the photographer.  This culture is practised extensively by majority of people. Well, grow a pair”.

I’m not sure if this last part was directed at me. If it was, here’s what I’d say in a perfectly beautiful and articulate world, which I think this post could exist in: “Why would I do that, I like my body as a woman, and also, how would that make me supposedly braver (if that’s your faulty logic)? It doesn’t seem to have done you any good.” I mean, hiding behind a screen in the middle of the night and taking pot-shots. Why not come to the department and take up this cultural issue in a sensible discussion in the place you seem to think is the hub of all evil toward people who take their profession seriously.

Then, a day later, a professor familiar with the situation responded to this guy’s post. My professor tried to clear up the confusion and burst this guy’s self-righteous little bubble. I laughed, I read the comments off a friend’s phone, and got through my day quite happily. I thought I had moved on from this small tangle he seems to be intentionally trying to make into a ball of wool that cannot be unraveled. I got home and saw this, “So the credits were added now and I am supposed to believe they were always there?”

Reining in my sailor side, I replied, “Please do not involve me in your battles with the XXXXXXXX Dep. As I told you earlier, the images were copyrighted to you in the alternative text which appears (it is visible to the admins of the website). No one was trying to deny you took the pictures. If it is such a big problem for you, do what any sensible photographer does and put a watermark on it.”

Does that seem the least bit rude or angry? Apparently it does if you are hoping for such a reaction. He replied in a long and rather pointless way about the department and the fest, and the website on which my piece appeared (my explanatory comments),

“Such rage. Much misinterpretations. I have always been associated with the XXXXXX (my)department and worked for XXXXXX(the fest) purely out of the love of the XXXXX(my) department. It is however interesting to see that a simple thing like not mentioning the photographer (which isn’t visible to public) took such a turn of thought by one few comments by XXXXX sir. I made a general remark not at the XXXXXX(the website where the piece was published) but blogs and publishing sites in general. Since it’s the XXXX(website run by students of the department), he took a blunt jab at me. I never meant it out of arrogance but simply because I like knowing where my photos are used along stories. I am sorry if this still doesn’t make sense to you. Damage done is damage done, on my part.

PS. I intentionally do not use a watermark for any of the photos with the department as these are high resolution files, and putting a watermark makes it little difficult, if say needed to crop. I give the same amount of attention to the work here as my real clients. *takes a step back*”

“Damage done is damage done on my part,” I don’t know what he meant. Was he trying to weasel an apology in without actually saying it? Or is he saying he is the injured party? Let me be as clear as he has been, Je ne sais pas.

I didn’t reply, so naturally he felt obliged to force me to ask him to stop harassing me “Also, arrogance and cheap remarks is easy and looks fun. Making witty and twisted insults instead of understanding my point is upsetting and just not my thing.”

You’ve heard it all, including the things I didn’t choose to publicise on Facebook. He’s clearly referring to the things my professor said. So why refer to me? Because he seems to think I am an easy target. Politeness apparently didn’t work. Maybe asking for what I wanted directly was the only option.

“Seriously, leave me alone. I fixed what I had to.

Go take up any other issue with people in the XXXX dep.”

And I typed one more thing, “The situation with the XXXX piece was the only one you get to talk to me about. I fixed it.” While I was typing this and hit send, I saw his brilliant reply to my earlier comment, “You fucked up. Stop being a coward about it. Own up.”

And this is the point where the cursing angel inside me had to be suppressed by the decency devil. I merely said “I already did you little piece of shit”.

To which he could only say, “Insults. Lovely.”

Yes, I happen to think it is beautiful when people use a good curse. I am not narrow-minded like that. I had enough. “If you message me again I will definitely report you.”

 

(I had already blocked him briefly, but had to unblock him in order to see the comments my professor and he had exchanged regarding this whole thing, into which I was dragged for no apparent reason. And apparently Facebook has some rule about waiting 48 hours before you can re-block someone.)

His response to my genuine warning about reporting him: “Mature people.”

Well, I like to think so. It took a lot to make me use “little piece of shit”. You’ve been hurling mud with little accuracy and the mistaken idea that it’s actually mud for more than a day.

The ultimate line to shut him up, if I do say so myself, “And using fucked up is so polite.”

Sometime after this messaging ended, he deleted his post about the play, which linked to my article. Seriously, thanks man, I didn’t want his kind of publicity.

And that is hopefully the end of this saga, at least as far as it involves me.

 

 

Sequelling All The Way Home

A girl sits at her computer, face serious as she opens a new tab and googles meg cabot. The link to the website loads, and suddenly it is there, the Save the Date for the wedding of Susannah Simon and Dr. Hector “Jesse” de Silva, as well as the announcement about the wedding of HRH Mia Thermopolis to Michael Moscovitz.

When I read a book and grow up with the protagonist, and live her life for a chapter or two hundred, I want a conclusion to that process. Yes, the book itself had some kind of ending, perfect or otherwise, and it will do for a while, but what about after the eighth time you read it? You NEED another story to answer the infinite questions you have about their lives.

That’s where my jumping-up and down reaction to the news of The Royal Wedding-The Princess Diaries XI came from. When I visited Meg Cabot’s website as I sometimes do to check up on any new releases from my favourite author, I was rewarded with the best news ever. Not only was The Royal Wedding coming out this June, the seventh book in the Mediator series-Remembrance is being published in February 2016!

I had no idea how I would wait for it to be released for three long months. I just knew that once it was out, I would have to read it absolutely as soon as possible. The revival year, that’s what I think of 2015 as, the year Meg Cabot did this, Harper Lee released Go Set a Watchman, Jurassic World came out, and a bunch of other long-awaited sequels made their appearance.

Trying to look at a Pinterest board about The Royal Wedding, the sign-up form kept popping up annoyingly, every time I refreshed the page, I had a moment’s peace before that awful red thing popped right back up. I gave in, and got myself an account, something I’ve avoided ever since that became a social media option.

In all my excitement, I went on a fan girl expedition through the Mia Thermopolis blog, the Pinterest board, and made myself overly excited and unable to wait to read the book. As fun as all these franchise-y things were, I really just wanted the book. Once I got it, I couldn’t stop reading.  It gave me a sense of homecoming, immersing myself in Mia’s particular brand of neurotic and lovable recording of her life.

Two girls immersed in a conversation, eagerly discussing the book one just finished borrowing and reading. Slightly embarrassing conversations, they didn’t really want people they didn’t like to overhear. These were spread over years as one book after the other was released. They never discussed To Kill a Mockingbird, it was the domain of another set of her friends, a few years later. They had equally detailed discussions and analyses, but sometimes they had to agree to disagree.

How could a bunch of diary entries get millions of fans from preteens to adults so incredibly excited? If you’ve read even one of the books in the series, you would know why. All the reviews mention the new fans, but everyone knows, it’s the original fans that matter, “Original fans of the series, now adults themselves, will be thrilled with this (The Royal Wedding),” said Booklist. I don’t think anything has ever been truer in a book review.  When Publishers Weekly said, “Readers who first discovered Cabot’s Princess books as teens will enjoy seeing Mia and Michael all grown up, ….. Since this is being billed as the final book in the series, one hopes that Cabot will reconsider and write more of Mia and Michael’s story . . .” all I could think was Yes, please please please. I want more!

That was the thought at the back of my mind as page after page passed by. I wanted to finish the book, but I really didn’t. I dreaded the end, though I knew it would be just what I wanted for Mia. I knew that Jean Louise wouldn’t get such a happy ending. I was reading Go Set a Watchman at the same time, I had to. There was no way I could have read Lee without something to balance my confusion and irritation. Go Set a Watchman is not a funny book, it made me stand on my head (not literally). Mia I knew perfectly and identified with more than I probably should, considering how downright crazy she sometimes is. Jean Louise on the other hand is like some other species, but I love her too.

Reading the little extra things included in the diary, like Mia’s shopping list, or text messages; those are usually the most fun parts of the book. It’s endlessly entertaining to see her try to control everything, fail, but then have everything turn out wonderfully. It also does that thing, the thing that everyone claims people want to know about celebrities, “They’re just like us!” If you’ve seen any entertainment which is about entertainment, be it a TV show or even if you just look at a magazine, half the articles are about emphasising how normal they are, while the other half is about showing how much cooler their lives are.

Go Set a Watchman is the much awaited continuation of the story of Jean Louise Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. It has that uniquely vague title to keep the reader guessing. I assumed it had something to do with Atticus, who is old and carries his famous pocket-watch and wears a wristwatch as well.  I was on the right track, what with my lack of knowledge of biblical text. It is something Jean Louise hears in her church when she returns home and has her world shattered.

The train going by, that chug-chug sound playing as she read; she was transported to her teens again. All the times she read TKMB, it was a struggle to find meaning, a battle with the author to win. She had to understand. In the present, it was so clearly Lee’s writing, but writing not with the voice of a child, but a woman! As the landscape becomes increasingly familiar to Jean Louise, I settled back into my chair and the 20th century world of “the South”.

When I saw the link to the first chapter of Go Set a Watchman, all those conflicted feelings from when I read TKMB came back, but the prospect of an adult Scout Jean Louise Finch was amazing. I read the chapter immediately, and died a little inside when the casual mention of Jem’s death pops out of nowhere. It seemed almost like a plot device to explain why Hank and Atticus are so close, it hurt. As I read the book, it felt less like a blow to my solar plexus, and more of a why’d-she-do-it kind of irritation.

The book is constantly returning to the past, bursting with the exploits of Scout and Co.  While she has grown-up, there is still that girl who challenges her world, but loves it (old Maycomb) running throughout the narrative. Her struggle for a large part of the book is deciding whether or not marrying Hank will allow her to be happy. It is at the same time a story of the changed and unchanged Maycomb, as Jean Louise reacts to the things that upset, confuse, anger or please her.

It seems like the usual returning to home, how everything has changed! narrative, until Jean Louise visits the courthouse and has her entire faith in her father (and Hank) totally destroyed. That’s where the book started to be unbelievably confusing for me. Each page left me with an unsettled feeling, like I was with Jean Louise, trying to comfort her after she feels this utter horror. Her entire world is formed around Atticus’ views and when their views diverged, it broke her.

I was puzzled, why was Atticus doing this? He wasn’t nearly as great as a lot of people who’ve read the book seem to think. We were sitting in Lit class, the five of us and our teacher. She asks us, you know that part where Atticus drives Calpurnia in the car? Yes, we do. Well, why does Cal have to sit in the back? We were stumped for a second, and then, we knew, Atticus, for all his equality-of-man-before-law speak, was just as inherently racist as the rest of his town. That was when Jem became a better symbol for justice than his father for me. Yes, he was a bit of a bully, and he had some of his own blind spots, but he was a child.

Jean Louise tells us of Jem’s life in snippets, right up until he dropped dead because of his weak heart at 28. He was popular, on the football team in high school, he was going to join his father’s business, and then, just like that, he was gone. I still cannot reconcile myself to this. I cannot forgive Lee for Calpurnia turning away from Scout. Jean Louise feeling rejection, that I felt with her; it made me just as upset.  It is not easy to forgive people who don’t exist in your world, even if the protagonist does. You don’t have to see their faces and feel their contrition.

How do you forgive a fictional character, how do you the forgive the author who created too much heartache? Can you just throw a glass tumbler full of scotch into the fireplace and be done with it? Not having tried this method, I have no personal feedback about its cathartic properties, but it doesn’t seem to have worked for the (many) television characters I’ve seen doing it, so I suppose it’s safe to say don’t try this at home, it’ll just exasperate whoever has to clean it up.

Forgiving the authors is harder than you might think. It is their book, but it is also mine! I choose to appreciate Roland Barthes at this moment, the author’s identity is really insignificant, and whatever the interpretation prescribed by them, it is not how I choose to read it. You have the ending you want, the explanations you want, the perfect scapegoat all lined up, and then they go and do that. How dare they?

In another literature class, a friend was talking about Lee’s new book. She introduced the topic for the benefit of everyone else, she paused. Then she said something that made things click in my mind, you could almost see the flash bulb going off above my head in the dark AV Room where we sat. Harper Lee wrote Go Set a Watchman before To Kill A Mockingbird, my eyes widened in the stereotypical surprise reaction, but I was feigning nothing. Genuinely shocked though I was, that revelation made it easier for me to forgive Lee for some of the pain and confusion she caused me.

The inconsistencies in the novels, and such huge ones, they disappeared. It didn’t matter anymore, the constant over-analyses I endured courtesy of the OCD part of my mind suddenly ceased. I had been wondering (almost daily I am ashamed to admit) about the infamous case that Atticus didn’t win in TKMB, how the heck was it that he won it in Go Set a Watchman?  This became far less relevant than it had been just a minute before. It was time to move on, to get on with my life. I had to do what Scout did, grow up.

I felt the joy in Mia’s life, but I also felt the loss of myself and re-centering that Jean Louise does. The book ended, and I felt more irritated and confused than anything else, the perfect tribute to how I felt years ago when I first read Lee’s TKMB.

Not another Spy movie

I laughed. I laughed a lot. I cringed and then I laughed. I laughed because it was funny, and then there were the times I laughed because of years of conditioning that have taught me that all fat jokes are hilarious.

I like Melissa McCarthy, right from when I saw her as accident-prone Sookie on Gilmore Girls. Spy was a far better film to watch than another of McCarthy’s films,  Identity Thief. Not just because Rose Byrne was in it with her “bird arms”, at one point trying to push a gun across the floor to Susan Cooper AKA Penny Morgan, AKA Amber Valentine AKA whatever.

I like the paradigm of an inept but surprisingly awesome agent saving the day, I mean we all loved Johnny English, didn’t we? But Susan Cooper is not lucky the way Johnny English was. She is instead extremely ingenious, and has some scary-good combat skills, which we get to see in a video of one of her training exercises. “I wanted to put it up on YouTube”, says her boss, deadpan Elaine Crocker who threatens another agent if he dares to call her “Betty Crocker”.  That was one of the moments where the movie was funny without insisting on doing it at the expense of Susan.

In pursuit of someone who tried to shoot them, Cooper naturally got on a scooter, and immediately regretted it, “Who puts a roof on a scooter? What are you, the Pope?!” It made me pause the film to really get all my laughter out. The film offers plenty of these zingers, but sadly also insists on poking fun at Cooper’s clothes through other characters, mainly the villain Rayna. The upside to this is that we see how ridiculous it is to make fun of her clothes when either she has no choice about it, or because she is just dressing how other people expect her to (crazy cupcake necklace with a toggle system, seriously Agent Bradley Fine??? That’s your idea of a gift to someone you owe your life?). The many sides to Susan Cooper are probably better represented than a lot of women usually get in movies, from her sarcasm to intelligence to scary meanness to sweetness and fainting/vomiting at the sight of some gory things.

It was a chance to laugh, and a great one at that. It will probably be funny and entertaining for at least a few repeat viewings, which can’t be said for a lot of movies. Even though I objected to parts of it, I can’t deny the appeal of a comedy spy movie like it. Without films like it, our lives would be a lot more serious. Who wants that?

So what if I AM Sadness?

“Sadness, sadness, look here. You’re totally sadness.” I look up briefly, giving him my most supremely irritated look, the one reserved for annoying siblings. He kept insisting as I watched the film, It’s you, it’s you.

With every passing moment, I denied this. I am not always sad, I have other emotions, I don’t only sit around in some kind of existentialist funk. (Granted, I do get that way sometimes. ) With the idea of myself as “Sadness” reinforced constantly, it kept me from enjoying the movie as much. And isn’t that a huge problem? Other people labeling us makes us so aware of what we are and aren’t that we stop enjoying things, and it sucks.

Inside Out had been out for a while, I just hadn’t got around to watching it until this weekend. I wanted to watch it. I was really excited after watching the trailer, but somehow that feeling fizzled out as I heard more about it. I knew that it was bound to be disappointing in some way. It didn’t help that my brother had already watched it and any reference to it ended with my grumpy face and his smug irritating expression out in full force.

It was just a film, but it took on this massive topic, EMOTIONS, and the  emotions of a tween, can you imagine? It was a task not many people could have taken on, but those little animated figures worked really hard to make it seem real and yet fun. It was an interesting film, sort of like Osmosis Jones, but quite naturally, centered in this decade. With its basis in the human mind, Inside Out wasn’t like any other animated film I’ve seen.

Though it was definitely a children’s film, it was so popular among adults. From the feed of a psychiatrist I know, to an  uncle somewhere in my family tree, Facebook posts popped up for a couple of weeks after it came out here. It was not a phenomena, certainly not the way Frozen was, and it seems to have gone to the place where a lot of animated movies go. That list of movies teachers find appropriate for 9-year-olds, but interesting enough to show 13-year-olds as well.

I don’t know why this happens. Why don’t we ever want to re-watch these animated films the same way we do some dabba action film? There are exceptions of course, the Despicable Mes, the Kung Fu Pandas, and a couple of others that seem to have escaped the watch-once-and-don’t-repeat instructions.

Maybe it has to do with labels too, we don’t want to be outside of the popular culture of our age-group. Watching these films once is acceptable, but loving them as much as The Avengers is just not done. Or are we just too old to enjoy a bright bubbly world, Imagination Land and Bing-Bong’s song? Seems unlikely.

The longest synopsis ever: Into the Woods for 2350 words

I am always open to watching musicals filled with perfectly produced songs, though they do tend to get a little long. I was terribly excited for the film after watching the trailer.  With so many actors I admire,  I was sure it would be a blast. Of course I mean the good kind, not the boom kind.

Let me begin at the beginning with the narrator. Ah, the narrator, the cornerstone of every film that just couldn’t manage to tell a story without the help of an omnipotent voice guiding the audience through scenes.

Right from the “Once upon a time….”, the characters we are introduced to are from stories we’ve all heard a thousand times. Naturally, Cinderella gets the ball rolling (pun intended) and then we see little Jack, who is convinced his cow is male, and whose mum keeps smacking him on the head after looking at him affectionately. That really makes you wonder about the whole “mommy hits me ’cause she loves me” fallacy.

As you go through the first five minutes of the film, Anna Kendrick’s blatantly American accent begs the question, this far off kingdom, in a village on the edge of the woods, is that a joke about  America: the colony? Seems too unlikely, so let’s move on. There’s the childless couple (the baker and his wife), who are really taken advantage of by Little Red Riding Hood who comes to stock up on food for Granny. She seems to eat through a lot of their inventory, and Emily Blunt just offers her more cookies, and naturally, a basket to carry them.

Jack is off to the market to sell Milky White, with more admonishments from his mom. She notices the birds flying toward the angelic call of Cinderella’s desperate song. Cindy wants help finishing her unending and ridiculous chores, because her parents taught her to be “nice”, “kind”, etc., read as PUSHOVER. After getting bitch-slapped, literally, she falls to the floor, while her evil stepsisters cackle.

“It’s the witch from next door”, possibly my favourite line from the movie.  Followed by the entrance of her lifetime, Meryl Streep, AKA the Devil (from the movie, not reality) speaks the lines that make the movie, “It’s not what I wish, it’s what you wish”. A long convoluted explanation for the baker’s impotence reveals the witch is also Rumplestiltskin-y; she took his new-born sister away how-many-ever-years ago!

The baker’s father was an all-out horrible person, he stole not only loads of greens from the witch’s garden for his pregnant wife, he also stole the magic beans! This caused something terrible to happen to the witch: she lost her youth and beauty. The witch has some wonderful rhyming lines to impart her advice to the couple, as well as her conditions to remove her curse from them.

Everyone has a reason to go into the woods, for a baby, for money, to get to the king’s festival, and to visit grandma. Everything will be accomplished before dark, that’s the optimistic Disney voice breaking through.

Cindy gets her wish for an awesome dress to go to the festival in, courtesy of the willow tree she had watered for years with her tears, location: beside her mother’s grave. Her magical make-over includes a pair of heels/slippers as pure as gold.

The narrator catches us up on how Red seems to have wandered into an unfamiliar area of the woods. Mr. Wolf is Johnny Depp in a strange amalgamation of all the roles I’ve ever seen him in. Let’s just say he’s creepy. When he starts singing, it’s like every child molester come to the big screen in the form of a very strangely dressed individual. But when he talks about grandma’s brittle bones, somehow I felt less disgusted.

The witch’s purpose in choosing the slightly daft baker becomes clear when she reveals she cannot touch any of the objects she needs for her plan. He is hesitant to steal a kid’s cloak, how nice to see he has better morals than his dad who deserted him as a child. Despite possessing morals, the baker’s wife is quite possibly the only interesting/good thing about him.

This movie really reminded me why I hate Red Riding Hood. From her ear-piercing shriek when the baker tried to steal her cloak, to the way she has no intuition about the wolf, she is Annoying. In a Disney twist, the baker cut through the wolf’s stomach and let both red and her grandma out. Blood-thirsty grandma wanted help skinning the wolf, but the baker had places to be. The scene after that was more than a little disturbing, with Red describing her attraction to the wolf (Even Disney couldn’t avoid 50 shades!).  The wolf’s stomach strongly resembled a cloth bazaar, with the stomach lining more like lining for a pretty purple dress.

On the plus side, Red gives the baker her cloak for cutting through the wolf’s cloth stomach and getting them out. We have the ever-helpful voice over telling us about how Cindy ran away from the first night of the king’s festival after dancing with the prince. His villain-style proclamation as she runs (for her life?), “I must find that girl”, strikes fear in my heart.

More singing, with Cindy explaining to the baker’s wife why Prince Charming just isn’t what she expected. The cow runs off just when Blunt notices the “slipper” on Cindy’s foot is fancy and pure as gold. She runs after the cow, and apparently spends the night chasing it without any luck.  She meets up with her husband after he has been tossed huge cold coins that Jack stole from the giants home in the sky. Jack really loves the cow he was forced to sell and wants him her back.

Meanwhile, the prince who spies on Rapunzel and her “Mother”, the witch, runs into his brother(king’s heir) who is searching for Cindy.  The pissing match in song is no better than a regular one, as they fight it out to see who has the better unattainable crush. The heir gets to see Cindy again at the second night of the festival, she went back.  She is running away once when the nameless baker’s wife is coincidentally also running close by after she tricked Rapunzel and cut off a pretty long portion of her corn-yellow hair. Blunt nearly got the golden slipper, but Cindy is no longer a pushover, and she grabs it back from the desperate woman on the ground. Irony, anyone?

Blunt holds onto her Rapunzel hair scarf in awe as she hears Chris Pine’s say in a very deep voice, “The woods can be a dangerous place”. That gem comes from the heir as he pauses in his pursuit of Cindy to question Blunt about who the heck Cindy is. Way-to-state-the-obvious, ha? Everyone knows the woods are dangerous, even oblivious little Red and that’s why they HAD to make a movie about it.

The most amazing thing in the entire film happens just as the baker sits down in defeat because he really isn’t a very capable person, and shouldn’t have tried to send his wife back to the village, assuring her he could do it all himself. He sits down only to be lifted up as Milky White gets up. He sat on the cow and then falls to the ground for the second time in less than a minute!

Brief pause for another unintentionally epic statement from the baker, “Perhaps it’ll take two of us to have this child”.

The scene reuniting the baker and Blunt was a blur, the only thing I could see was the way Rapunzel’s braid was waved around and played tug-o-war with, before being tossed aside. Their hopefulness is totally ruined as Jack comes back with a golden egg to buy back his best bud. As they argue, and Blunt is horrified with her husband for taking money from a child, someone large, white and on the brink of death for the past hour, bites the dust.

Wearing the scarf, the baker is about to leave Blunt to find and buy another cow the next morning when Jack cuts down the beanstalk and something resembling an earth quake shakes the kingdom as the giant man falls down to earth and dies. That night, Cindy flees from the prince again. How has she been faster than a guy on a horse, especially since she has never worn heels before, and these seem pretty damn high. The sticky pitch on the stairs stops Cindy in her tracks this time, and time stops as she debates her options. Insecurities and indecision abound in her song, but after singing it through, she decides to leave behind a shoe and see what the prince does.

He watches her run off, since she has such speed in her extremely trip-worthy dress and with one heel on. As the prince pursues with his plan to test her shoe on every maiden in the village, he once again encounters blunt and lets her keep the shoe she bargained for and traded with Cindy. The callous toss from Cindy’s hand landed the last of six magic beans in the soil and started to grow but there was no one to see.

In classic Grimm’s fairy tale style, the stepmother cut her daughters’ feet to fit the shoe, but her plan failed as the peon noticed the blood dripping from the slipper and the other daughter fainted post losing part of her foot.

Ugh, snakes, that’s all there is to think about Rapunzel’s new home in a swamp. Did they really need to show us snakes to prove it is a horrible place? Definitely going to have nightmares, thanks Disney. The film becomes increasingly dark, as Rapunzel’s prince is revealed to be blind after the witch caught him and Rap in the tower and he fell into a wall of thorns and she was sent to my own personal hell sans her ridiculously long messy braid. That short minute of immense darkness is destroyed when the snakes don’t actually do anything to her, even though she probably stepped on a couple in her rush to get to the prince, and then her tears heal his eyes.

The intense scene with the resurrected cow really builds, as the devil witch imbibes the cow’s milk magic potion. There is an immaculate conception during the witch’s transformation, which leaves baker and wife very happy.

Everyone is happy, the movie can end now. But wait, there’s still that pesky second beanstalk that Cindy accidentally created. Havoc ensues and the film takes an unexpected turn in the form of the dead giant’s wife coming down the new stalk to find Jack. Oops. Though she looks fancy in her cool new dress and younger person skin, complete with shocking blue eye shadow, the witch has lost her magic as well as the trust of Rap, who sees her mother as a monster now.

The baker and wife are left searching the forest with Red, yelling Jack futilely. Too bad his name wasn’t Marco. They split up to find Jack faster, and leave their newborn with Red. I’m not touching that idea with a pole, it stinks so much. Blunt heads into one part of the forest and has an impromptu make-out session with the Prince, who is supposed to be slaying the giant, as per every fairytale, ever, or at least making friends with her to convince her to leave peacefully. Instead, he convinces the “peasant” to abandon monogamy in a time when they might be crushed. The baker finds the princess/Cindy at her mother’s grave, and their incredibly awkward conversation ends with her accompanying him back to his wife. Said wife is still making out with the prince, but he’s got to go slay the giant. She has a moral crisis which is resolved mostly by blaming it on the woods, but it really doesn’t matter since she is soon facing the repercussions of the earth-quake inducing movements of the giant. She falls off a cliff. This feels wrong, like she was punished for her moments of adultery. Not cool, Disney.

A beautifully crafted blame game ensues between the baker, Jack, Red, Cindy and the witch. She takes responsibility for it all, but wants to take Jack to the giant. She calls them “Nice, not good or bad, just nice” and herself “right”. Her fear of doom has her throwing away all she has left, some magic beans, and they fall all over the place with the “nice” group scrambling after them. Thunder, lightning, the whole shebang, and then she disappears into the ground.

The baker ditches his baby with Cindy, and wanders into darker parts of the woods. Deserting his kid like his dad leaves him hallucinating and he comes back after a good cry. Let’s use Jack as bait to get the giant stuck in the tiny mud pit where the witch was absorbed into the earth. Their hail Mary plan relies partially on the birds Cindy talks to. A little bird also told her that the prince had been straying.  When she sees him, he explains this like a true prince, “I was raised to be charming, not sincere”. They break up, no one really cares.

The plan works, the giant is killed. The remaining people are going to live together, since their family members are dead or missing. My favourite characters died, I hate this movie now. It took them two hours to try to prove you need to be careful what you wish for. I learned that lesson, after I started watching the movie I had been hoping to watch for so long.

I don’t regret the time I spent watching it. The songs were amazing, and Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt were fabulous. If anyone is interested, it actually passes the Bechdel test, there were quite a few of moments of singing between women, that were not about men. None of the characters really had names except Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack, so I think that category is definitely passed.

I can do this all night

The night draws on,

I couldn’t care less.

The world I am in is just for me,

Created by someone far away,

Hoping for someone like me to come along,

And love what they worked on,

Timelessly.

Don’t I owe them the courtesy?

The pages go by at an incredible speed,

While they spent far more than me,

Giving me this treasure.

I am absorbed,

It may not be the great work of some long-dead person,

But it amazes me,

Moving me to tears or laughter.

A book.

That is not enough to describe,

The feelings it can evoke in me.

It does not allow me to sleep,

Unputdownable.

I have no qualms,

I will continue until the aching loss of the last page registers.

Then I will sleep,

As the rest of the world around me is slowly coming to life,

The birds beginning their tweeting and chirping,

The early risers rising,

The lone vehicles zooming down my street.

But I,

I am asleep.

Honesty has never been so entertaining

Watching the Honest Trailers has become one of my addictive past-times. If you love funny videos that make fun of some of your favourite movies, the Honest Trailers are the best thing you can come across.

As part of my fortnightly YouTube binges, I watch a bunch of the Honest trailers, in addition to more serious material like TED talks and actual movie trailers. The clips just call to me, and pretty soon I see that three hours have passed since I opened the first YouTube tab. It’s no wonder, what with the numerous links, my compulsive need to open them, and the slow buffering of the videos. I really cannot expect anything to get done on those evenings.

What I wonder about is why the trailers are so appealing, when they make fun of movies we actually loved. Maybe, it is because they pick on the faults we noticed in the movies, and never had the confidence to mock with such brash charm (an oxymoron, I am aware).

Whatever the case, the commentator (Jon Bailey) has a huge fan-base, and Screen Junkies take on these movies is absolutely hilarious. The brand of humour appeals on a different level than great literary critics or whomever appeal to intellect, but it is infinitely more interesting to watch Bailey rip a movie to shreds than to read some critic’s written review. This is  because of the freedom they have online compared to “serious” critics, but I wonder if their work doesn’t reflect the sort of thing people would like to see more than the traditional ‘3 out of 5 stars’ boring write-ups. They have re-invented the review to make it a much more engaging event in anyone’s day.

A couple of my favourites of the Honest Trailers include the ones about Divergent, The Hunger Games, Frozen, Iron Man 3, Captain America:The Winter Soldier, and of course The Hunger Games. I won’t include the Twilight trailers, because there really is no point, the movies mock themselves without any one else trying.

The Honest Trailers were created by Andy Seignor and Brett Weiner as a part of the shows on the Screen Junkies channel on You Tube. They have more than 2 million subscribers, and this speaks to their abilities better than I can.