Lessa and I went to see the Manzanar Fishing Club documentary at the Del Amo Galleria last night. I wasn't expecting much of a turn out. Yeah the movie has such a limited release that it was only at that theater for that day, but come on, it's a documentary about our negative past and fishing. That's not a wide net the film makers were casting.
Manzanar Fishing Club Review 04/09/2012
The Next Batman Movie 29/08/2012
I was just reading rumors that, if it ever happens, the Justice League movie will introduce the new Batman story arc. I was thinking, though, that while Christopher Nolan is done with the series, the arc he created should continue with Jason Gordon Levitt not as Batman but as Robin or Nightwing. All three movies cover the mythos of heros and their roles in society, questioning our need of them. At the same time, there are questions about the kinds of heros we have and how Batman needed to be as dark as they come with Harvey Dent more of the face of a white knight. What if Levitt’s vigilantism is a hybrid of the two? What if he maintains principles that the Batman couldn’t and dances that line between moral and above the law in ways the Batman couldn’t? He obviously has an army of children to help him with the orphanage above the Batcave, so why couldn’t he be more than Batman while at the same time exploring the same issues or going beyond them. Instead of a violence versus violence hero, we have a hero that deals with intimate problems like child abuse and poverty. It’s really a missed opportunity, I think.
my english is not yours 25/08/2012
english is my father’s third language
my older brothers’ second
california english is my transplanted mother’s adopted tongue
and my southern grandmother’s bane
my english is in the middle
between the situational sing-song slang
of the inner city i was born in and visit
where words are chopped short or completely
because we are too poor or proud to speak like you
and the affluent suburbs i moved to
where words are chopped short or completely
because it’s situationally ironic
your english is a shell game
its rules changed by situational slight of hand
rules that can be broken
but not by me
never by me
let me be honest 23/08/2012
it wasn’t the first time,
when my younger
got the promotion i applied for
it wasn’t the second, third, or fourth time
when the pattern of comparative experience
were promoted over my comparative experience
and unfair skin
it wasn’t the two times temporary promotions were created
so i could earn the pay and responsibility
before filling the position with
let me be honest with you
i am both fair and unfair
i can be whatever you want me to be
do whatever you want me to do
but i cannot stop unfairness
and, it seems,
you cannot be fair because of it
California Writers Contest 16/08/2012
The California Writers Exchange contest introduces emerging writers from California to the New York literary community and provides them a network for professional advancement. Every third year, writers in California are invited to submit manuscripts. Judges review the entries and select a winning poet and fiction writer. Winners are flown to New York City for an all-expenses-paid, weeklong trip to meet with literary agents, editors, publishers, and writers, and to give a public reading.
We are currently accepting submissions for the 2013 California Writers Exchange contest. Download the application here. The deadline is August 31, 2012.
The California Writers Exchange is funded by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.
Past winners of the California Writers Exchange are:
Craig Santos Perez (poetry)
Sean Bernard (fiction)
Elaine Beale (fiction)
Larry Colker (poetry)
Dylan Landis (fiction)
Allison Benis White (poetry)
I went to the movies Tuesday and saw the trailer for the new Red Dawn movie. I was really excited for it because I am definitely a Wolverine at heart, but something didn’t sit right about China being the enemy. The original was about a band of teens fighting an invasion of Cuba/Soviet Communist forces. This movie came out during the cold war, so the paranoia against Communism was still running strong. And why shouldn’t it have? We had gone to war with Communism in Korea and Vietnam and didn’t do as well as we thought while the Red countries were spreading out as were our images of their breadlines and harsh living conditions. All of this attacks the heart of the American dream of equality and wealth. It makes sense.
This new move, however, is kind of bullshit and is a symptom of our distaste or outright hate for those people that actually build shit, which is the backbone of any and all economies, don’t fool yourselves otherwise. In the new movie, the enemy is China or some other Asian country with a penchant for red flags. The same mostly white, midwestern teens are still fighting the invasion with the same urge toward patriotism from the audience–I’ll admit I was with them, but there is a huge difference between Cuba/Soviet Union and China being our enemies: China builds our shit. We are trade partners. The offer us goods that we don’t want to pay for but want to own. How are they our enemies? The problem here is the devaluation of physical labor–China is the master of this, but we also import labor from south of the border–to the point that we stop caring where the shit comes from and the people who make it. I bought my ipad knowing full well of the working conditions in China. I’ll be more inclined to buy an Apple TV or Google’s competing system because Apple’s China-made system will be 3 times less than Google’s American made product.
Why do we dislike factory workers so much? Why are we not only okay with those jobs going away but also okay with the organizations formed to fight for their rights (unions) to dissolve? Why are we okay with seeing the country that supplies us with so many of our goods as the enemy and not the people who put them in a position to take our jobs away, the people who helped dissolve the unions and are working to dissolve regulations that are intended (not entirely successfully for those zero sum readers out there) to protect them or at least make their lives livable when their bodies can no longer perform the labor that we already don’t like?
I’m going through one of those spells where I am weary for the world’s lack of empathy, foresight, and common sense. Libertarianism is an awesome form of thought if the populace understands how the system works, but we don’t, so that’s out. Progressivism tries to protect the populace but it is run by people who are people and who end up just collecting power. The questions that I ask aren’t accusatory to either side or to the wealthy; they are questions that every individual in America should ask themselves when they see our economy not working.
In previous posts, I had been writing about Monster speaking in the frame as if he’s figuring out what has lead him to act the way he has, well today, I hit a wall because I don’t know what direction to take it in. I actually got to do some pretty good scenes with the new structure like this one:
“Cameron kept trying to teach me that it was better to want something, anything, than want nothing and have nothing,” I say. “But what do you do when you’re left without that constant presence that asks you to be better than you are?”
“That’s not true,” Line says. “You’re saying the fight tonight was because you can’t be a better person without someone there to tell you to be?” She rests her head on his shoulder. We are more immediately physical than I have been with anyone, and it’s happened so suddenly.
The room is quiet. I can hear the old wood creaking with the temperature changes. “You’re right. That’s an old lie that I’ve told myself. I am a decent person for the most part, at least I think I am. I guess Cameron just saw this huge absence he was creating, and he gave me Regina’s number to make up for it.” I wrap my arm around her and pull her closer. “That’s why I blamed him; he was trying to fill this hole at the heart of me and left, but it wasn’t his job to fill it. I’m supposed to find it.”
“Then why tonight? Why do you want to go home?”
“I don’t. None of us brothers do.”
But the problem that I face now is how much do I give in to the new structure and how much do I keep original? Right now I’m thinking about arranging the story more artificially. The scene above shows Monster really starting to talk out the experiences he’s had. If I continue on that road, I’m should start breaking the chronology of the story and making it his self-discovery more controlled. So then the structure of the novel takes apart the three major aspects of his life leading up to his trip to Finland: Cameron, Regina, and his family. Cameron will always come first because it is Cameron leaving that makes him want something more, but I don’t know what to follow it with. This might be an easier way to tackle the story, though because then I can reset at the beginning of each of these sections. Hmm. I think I’m going to try it.