Words & threads

The future stands still, but we move in infinite space.


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Being a feminist here- and beyond.

Right now I'm in a coffee shop, trying to get math homework done, and I keep being interrupted by small talk from this one guy sitting at the table adjacent to mine. He's probably around my dad's age, keeps commenting on what I'm eating (?), said its awesome that I'm studying (THANKS) and also handed me this article in the paper because I would be able to relate- it was a story about high school students. Actually, the story was about a group of boys who hosted a prom "draft" where they ranked girls and got to choose. A second ago I was thinking about how I wish I was wearing a sweatshirt with more coverage because the sweater/tank top combination I'm wearing feels too revealing under this gaze. Last night, I tweeted about this dress a certain actress was wearing at this huge art-fashion gala, and then later regretted my tweet because an interview came out where she was asked if she was a feminist, and her response was "No, I love men!"

Somehow, I think I might have more of my math homework done if I was that boy on the other side of the room and not my 18 year old girl self. Nobody is expecting him to entertain them. I'm not saying this guy next to me even meant anything by his bothersome behavior, or that the celebrity is anything besides misinformed, but please, don't tell me that feminism is not relevant today, here- and I haven't even gotten into the multitude of greater things that plague American women every day in 2014.

However, I live in a nation that has progressed.

I have to admit I've read a few more important articles since that thing about the anti-feminist artist- about women dealing with a lot more at stake than their salary or the respect they are denied. In Nigeria, almost 300 girls around my age and younger have been kidnapped in a terrorist group's attempt to deny them of education, freedom, and quite possibly their lives. They were kidnapped three weeks ago and are still in captivity, or worse, already sold into underage marriage or enslaved (albeit, those two things are not very different).

Their issues are not the same as my issues. I live under a shelter of security and what's wrong and upsetting to me is miles from the reality of the problems out there beyond my spot typing away at this coffee shop. I know I can't make a direct impact, but I can't help but think that anyone who wants to fight for the equality of the sexes in the west should be absolutely appalled to see that a person's gender is causing not only their education to be threatened but also their entire existence. Their safety is our concern at the moment, but the only way change will happen in the long term is if we attack the issue of education and work to make it an undeniable right to every human being.

All Hail Optimus Prime!!

On Where Pianos Roam

Last night, I went to see a late night showing of the new movie "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen". Now, after much thought on the way home, as I lay in bed this morning, while I took a shower, and as I ate breakfast, I offer up my review of this long-awaited Transformers sequel. First off, I have some disclaimers .  .  . 1.  I went into the movie theater wanting to love this movie, and so, admittedly, this review is coming from a Transformer fan/enthusiast (and not some casual moviegoer fulfilling a simple curiosity over cars that turn into robots). 2.  When I do a review, I try to base it solely on the film's actual merits and to take the film for what it is (as opposed to what I might want it to be).   I make the strongest consideration for what I feel the film-makers were going for, as opposed to making comparisons to other films and/or prequels. 3.  I might suggest that you see this movie for yourself before reading my review.  (There are no plot spoilers here.)  Otherwise, if you do read this, take my review with a grain of salt and decide for yourself how you feel about it.  All are welcome to agree and/or disagree with my assessment. So, here goes .  .  . Yes, I sat in the movie theater with the best of hopes that I would love "Revenge of the Fallen".  As it turns out, I do love it, but unfortunately, not as much as I had hoped. First, the good news .  .  . In terms of special effects and masterful visual art, director Michael Bay and friends have clearly outdone themselves.  Colossal meteors falling from the sky, panoramic fighting scenes on rugged Egyptian landscapes, slick and modern machines traveling at ungodly speeds, fighting scenes jam-packed with action and swift movement .  .  .  I could go on and on.  The cinematography is first rate--every shot framing each dazzling focal point with skill and a visual artist's discerning eye. Color is used to great effect as well.  Bright and shiny primary colors for the Autobots, and darker, dirtier, metallic hues for the largely camouflaged  Decepticons. The entire film has such a vivid look to it.  It's all quite beautiful. Then, there is the sound.  On a technical level, this film should receive recognition for the sounds it employs.  The fighting sequences are made more jarring and  more spectacular with these piercing and otherworldly sounds--making the scenes so much more potent and effective. Just about all of the main characters from the first film have returned for this second instalment.   I'm quite happy about this since I think they made for a pretty solid ensemble cast. Shia Lebouf puts in a more beffuddled and dorky performance this time around and does so to great effect.  One scene in particular had me  rolling. There was a good bit of humor in this film that helped balance out all of the gloom and doom.  I can appreciate it when a  film doesn't try to take itself too seriously.  This movie has some very funny moments. This sequel has also not diminished my love for Optimus Prime.  He's one of my favorite leaders and heros in films.  He does not disappoint in this sequel.  (I hold a high fondness for trucks.   Always have.) Finally, I actually really liked that the Decepticons took most of center stage this time around.  We get to see the sheer scope and volume of what they are capable of--the wrath with which they hone their particular brand of selfish evil.  They are quite a resourceful and scary little batch of villains. So now, the not so good news. I think I can some up most of what I did not like about this film in one sentence .  .  . This film lacks depth.  (Cringing while I typed this.) With the presence of huge fighting scenes and all out war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, there was the absence of substantive character and plot development.  I found myself trying to latch onto some sort of emotional handle on this thrill ride but could not find one.  The chemistry between Shia and Megan Fox left much to be desired.  No friendships and bonds were neither strengthened nor dissolved.    It all felt a little empty.   (For example, I really loved the bond between Shia's character "Sam" and Bumblebee.  A man's car has always rivaled dogs as his best friend.  There was very little interaction between them.) Now, most people would dismiss a movie like Transformers and say that it's not exactly the kind of film that Oscar-voters would salivate over (although it should clearly be in the running for all of the technical awards).   This latest instalment which favors more of a formulaic, action-driven model would justify such a dismissal; however, it doesn't have to be this way. With themes of compassion, friendship, transformation,  humanity, good triumphant over evil, and love, I feel that these Transformer films are capable of so much more depth.  These are the kinds of elements that can transform a film from being a regular summer blockbuster into a timeless classic.  These are the kinds of qualities that help a viewer personally relate to a film.   These Transformer movies  could be on the level of brilliant epic sagas like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and even the latest Batman films.  Sadly, this  sequel does not  elevate the Transformer franchise  to such a lofty status. (Incidentally, there is a new addition of Autobots in the film who are "twins" as it were.   While they had a couple of funny moments, they just seemed odd and out of place.  A comparison to Jar Jar Binks comes to mind, but that would be too harsh.  They were not so much annoying as they were unnecessary.  I wouldn't be sad if they disappeared in the next film.) In closing, I have to say that all is not lost.  I still strongly recommend seeing this movie in theaters.  The visual work alone is worth seeing on the big screen.  It's all fantastically, mind-bogglingly amazing!  (I plan on seeing it again in an IMAX theater.) It's still 2 and a half hours of non-stop thrills, fun, and action-packed Autobot magic.   Bumblebee is still adorable.  Megan Fox is still ridiculously GORGEOUS, and thank the almighty powers that be .  .  .  . .  .  .  .  rest assured .  .  .  . .  .  .  .  Optimus Prime is still a motherfucking badass!! (Pardon the French.) -gordon

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