Friday, October 30, 2009

Looking for "Whatever Works"

(Larry David as Boris Yellnikof in "Whatever Works")

How auspicious a start for my new incentive than Woody Allen's 40th film "Whatever Works". In one of the most natural pairings, he teams up with Larry David who, like Allen, is a poster child of brilliant neuroticism. The film stars Davd as Boris Yellnikof; a intelligent, divorced, neurotic (a Woody Allen movie fixture) misanthrope who believes that his knowledge of the world and the universe leads him to be a genius. He's not that far off actually; he knows that he is in a film and addresses the audience very forwardly. There are even failed attempts to convince the other characters in the movie that they are in a movie, but nothing doing. So to him we are all "inchworms".

However, his stagnant life comes to a halt when he meets Melodie St. Ann Celestine (that's a mouthful) played by Evan Rachel Wood. She had arrived from the South to get away from her overbearing family. For Boris, this will not do. Melodie is the complete opposite of him. She's a bright-eyed, sweet and endearingly earnest well-to-do girl. After some minutes of convincing, Boris lets Melodie stay in his apartment for a while. In doing so, she begins to hang out with Boris and learn what makes him tick. He never changes but she starts to absorb his many smart but cynical views on the world and humanity. This routine extends to well over a year and when Melodie's parents start showing up looking for her... well, like I'm gonna tell you everything, inchworm!

Anyway, what made this movie so perfect for me to start with this new incentive I have is the fact that it embraces the small joys in existence. As much as Boris doesn't want to admit it, this very odd episode impacts his life in a positive way. This outside influx of Melodie and her family doesn't really change him at the end of the movie, but that doesn't matter. Change happens all around us and even the forces of genius can't stop that. However, as Boris says we look for "whatever works" to make life livable. So even though I'll be looking for a new job and bringing my life back to a steady routine, I don't want my blog to be a casualty again. I love doing this and I can't wait to do more in whichever manner I please. I think Boris would like that. Perhaps there is more at work here like he said...


The movie's theme: Groucho Marx's "Hello, I Must Be Going" from Animal Crackers (1930)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A New Incentive

I have something to share with you. Around five years ago, I had reached the utter low point of my psyche. My original dreams were starting to fall apart and my brain kept scrambling to stay afloat by trying to figure out what else I could do. Not only that, the prospect of having to be an adult, albeit an autistic one, frightened me. I mean, what if I spend my whole life trying to achieve something only to leave barely a dent on the world? Sure I'd have people who love me and care about me but my life, my contribution and my legacy won't do much for the rest of the world. So it was thoughts of growing up and angst compounded with alienation, fear and a sense of worthlessness. It almost destroyed me.

Though the worst of it has happened all those years ago, those thoughts do come up to haunt me on occasion. Recently they came back with some renewed vigor after I lost my librarian job to the recession a month ago. Although I've been working hard to remedy the situation, it left a huge void leaving me stagnant and mentally frustrated. What was I to do?

Thankfully, I remembered what I truly cared about that gave me the incentive to take a job in the first place... to fund my real life. Which has always been devoted to art; even before I even understood the concept. I love talking about it and exploring the infinite realms of what art can and will become. Even if I don't absorb as many things as people who have more mental stamina than I do, that doesn't mean that I care about art that I love any less. In fact, I feel it makes me appreciate the things I love even more.

I may not be the best writer in the world or the best video artist in the world but I love expressing my thoughts. I love music, I love anime, I love movies and I love books (when I read them on my own time). Nothing will change that and my thoughts will always overflow out of my head. So I hope to write more frequently on this blog in the near future and maybe, just maybe, I'll make my mark on the universe yet!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Boy Who Flew: A Piece on Michael Jackson

There's a famous story in Greek folklore about a father and son named Daedalus and Icarus. They were imprisoned by King Minos and kept in a tower on the island of Crete. Fortunately, Daedalus was a skilled craftsman and created wings for both of them to escape from the tower out of wax and feathers. As they escaped using the wings, Icarus wanted to fly as high as he could to be with the gods. Despite his father's warning, he flew higher and higher until the wax melted. With nothing to hold the feathers, the wings gave way and he fell to his death.

I'm reminded of this story because when the news of Michael Jackson's death first broke, I realized the parallel between his life and that story. With a few but vital and sad differences.

Michael was imprisoned in such a tower; created by his own mind and kept there by his father who was not a Daedalus but a King Minos. So with Michael acting as both Daedalus and Icarus, he fashioned wings for himself to escape this prison. However, these were no ordinary wings made of wax and feathers. They were created out of his talent. His passionate vocal, his keen songwriting, his powerful dancing and his boundless creative spirit. With these wings, he flew into the clear blue sky.

As he went higher and higher, many others started to exploit all of the cracks in his armor from the damage inflicted on being in the tower. With this fear, he became scared to land, so he continued to fly higher and higher. Unfortunately, for all of his talent and wealth, he could only fly so high. So on June 25, 2009, his wings, just like Icarus', gave way and he fell.


When I was 7-9, I was a Michael Jackson freak. I listened to him obsessively, emulated his dance moves and saw him as a hero. This, like many of the musical phases of my life, passed me by. However, when I heard he had died, it all came back.

He brought so much to this world despite all of the bull that happened to him or that he brought to himself.

He will be missed.