Handing It Over

A new mission for this blog: I will make an attempt to share something, daily, that brings me joy or makes me smile. Considering all the crap going on in the world and the despair I often feel at our insane domestic policies in this country, I realized that I need to reflect, and more importantly, share something positive with others. I won’t stop writing other kinds of entries, nor will I shy away from political rants and diatribes when warranted, but I want to contribute, if only slightly, to the smile quotient in the world.

These daily entries may be essays, quotations, songs, images, links, anecdotes, videos, or anything else that I come across that makes me smile or offers me a moment of joy. Some days you may not find the entry makes you smile, and that’s ok. There will be a new one the following day.

For today, I want to share this video by Bjork which made me smile.

Be well.

Now What Kind of Pies?

It’s a been a dark and stormy day here in Providence with a few ups and downs. I was primed for an interview through my temp agency, Randstad, at Hasbro but that fell through when Hasbro decided to just go with the first person they’d interviewed. That was a bummer because I could really really really have used the job. Wednesday I’m going to sign up with OfficeTeam and hopefully they will have some better luck than I’ve had for the past couple of months.

One the good side of things, I found out that I will be getting paid for producing Podcastle, and that they will pay me from when I started back in December. It’s not a lot of money, but will be a big help this coming month as rent comes due and I don’t have any job lined up yet.

I’ve stayed busy today and will be doing some writing later, and it seems that the storm is abating somewhat. I plan on getting a few more things done before making dinner and maybe watching a movie with my flatmate. Hope your day is going well and I wanted to share this great old footage I found on Youtube of a young Tom Waits:

Leaving on a Jet Plane?

I have never wanted or even imagined living anywhere other than the United States..

Until now.

Not that I necessarily will emigrate. Not that there is necessarily any other nation that is not, on some fundamental level, fucked up in one way or another. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to spend my life fighting for a number of basic rights that many other countries have seen fit to offer their citizens. Like access to health care. Like not visiting war and torture upon the world. Like not locking up a significant portion of its population while denying money to social services.

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have the Democrats in office over the Republicans any day. Despite what some might say, there are significant differences between the two parties. But even during the dark days of George W. Bush’s presidency, I could pretend to myself that, after eight years, the Democrats would bring a level of sanity and integrity back to our government.

I know, I know, it was a naive notion.

The point isn’t really about which party is better for the country, it’s that both parties seem unable to create sane policy that actually helps people. Now that the Supreme Court has determined that corporations, as persons, can donate to candidates (but of course can’t be held morally, ethically, or legally culpable for the murders they might commit), the fight for progressive causes and justice in this country will become even more difficult and slow. Yes, the United States is worth the fight. Yes, justice and progress are always created out of the hard work and dedication of people fighting for the future against the dead ideals of the past. I just don’t know how much I want to fight for certain things that are offered in other places.

I would rather have access to good health care than the freedom to own a gun.

I would rather have a relatively stagnant economy that puts workers and people before ravenous profit.

I would rather live somewhere that did not torture.

Again I say that I would rather live somewhere that did not torture.

So . . . what do these thoughts signify? Nothing really. At the moment, I’m not going to leave the U.S. and I’m still trying to figure out what I can do to help further a variety of progressive causes. But I feel very pessimistic about some important social policies in this nation and, well, I just think that it’s interesting that I’ve never before thought of living in another country until now, when the Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House.

[Cross-posted on Daily Kos]

Freshly Viewed: Ink

Last night I watched Ink and totally fell in love with this movie. Primarily because, while the basic story (father needs to reconnect to what’s important and save his daughter and, by doing so, himself) is neither subtle nor original, the world that writer/director Jamin Winans creates—a world where our dreams come from invisible but actual storytellers and our nightmares from equally invisible but malevolent incubi—feels fresh and unique. Also, the movie ignores any number of conventional storytelling structures, letting itself unfold with a dreamlike structure and pace, particularly in the first half of the film. I was reminded of City of Lost Children, not so much for the story or the cinematography, but for how richly developed the world of the movie is and just how much I wanted to go back to that world and explore it through other stories.

In a way, Ink is about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves: the ways in which we make ourselves brave or cowardly, strong or weak; the narratives we present to others in hopes of hiding our flaws and our fears. I could talk about the acting or the visuals or the small moments of joy and sorrow that just feel right and not at all forced stereotypical movie languages, but most of all I simply want to say that if you have an ounce of poetry inside you, if you want to see into a new world (or into our world in a new way), or if you want to see a beautifully crafted movie, you should watch Ink. And soon.