Friday, December 28, 2012

Ramble On

"Ramble on
Sing My Song"
(Robert Plany/Jimmy Page)

THEN:

Me:  "But what am I supposed to write in a journal?"

Wise Therapist:  "Just write.  Write whatever comes to your mind.  Specifically, whatever you are feeling."

Me:  But what if I'm not feeling anything?"

Him (smiling):  "Then just write."


NOW:

Just write.

Word of wisdom.  And quite honestly, extremely helpful sentiments to someone in need of them. 

You all know the back story.  If you are still reading this, you know why it started.  And how helpful it has been.  But for a while, for the last several months, I kind of lost the thread. 

Just write.

A week ago, a little birdie reminded me that just writing had been such a therapeutic, cleansing experience for me.  "Are you writing?" she asked.  Not just on the blog.  Anywhere?  Anything?

No.  I wasn't.  Not a word, not a syllable.  Not a dark thought or a happy moment.  Not about my trials and tribulations of becoming a productive member of the work force.  Not about my struggles.  not about my happiness.  Not a word.  Not a single letter.

Just write.

A mistake.  A miscalculation.  I'm done.  I'm free.  I'm evolved.  No more backsliding.  No more troubles.  Just a magical flight from messed up to higher up. 

Except it doesn't really work that way does it?  The demons linger, deep within, long after the emergency triage is needed.  Long after the therapies and the sessions and the deep, meaningful talks.  Long after you have jettisoned you past, even the parts that were accidentally jettisoned, they rise up from deep down inside you.  They whisper your hidden secrets and they remind you that you are no good. 

Just write.

But they are just a bunch of liars.  You are good and you have evolved.  Sure you aren't perfect.  Sure you make mistakes.  But the question is, what do you do with them.  Do you learn?  Do you improve? Do you give up and give in to that nagging sensation that beckons you to take the easy way - the path of least resistance?

But then you are reminded.  There is a better way.  Not easier, no.  But better.  More fulfilling.  Ultimately the ONLY way to get where you want to go.

Just write.

Then, perhaps, it becomes just right.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pushing the Reset Button

Made a huge mistake?  Just water under the bridge.  Screwed the pooch on your project?  No worries, it's all good.

It's called pushing the reset button - just pretend like it never happened and move on.

Except, of course, the Reset Button is a myth.

There is no going back.  There is no do over.  What's done is done and it cannot be erased as easily as deleting a document on your computer.

BUT.

But that doesn't mean you can't move on

To err is human.  To dwell on all of your past mistakes is...well that's a mistake.  You may not be able to push the reset button,  but that doesn't mean you can live your life weighed down by all of your misdeeds.

Balance. The answer is to find a balance between what you have done and how you can live with it.  For if you do not move forward, chances are you are moving backwards.

To err is human.  To learn from your mistakes is a step above.  To wallow in your own self pity is simply destructive.

Move on or move back.  There's no middle ground.  It's like a relationship.  It works the same way.  Either you are moving forward or you will stagnate into reverse.

Saying "we all make mistakes" certainly doesn't excuse poor behavior.  It is a fact, but a sad fact.  No one expects perfection, but there are lines that should not be crossed.  Yet here we are, crossing lines all the time.  And with no magic reset button either.

So what can I do?  I can wallow in self pity.  I can can pretend it never happened.  I can push the fake reset button.  But then I will have learned nothing,  Then I won't be a better person for it in a week, a month a year.

So instead, I will learn from it - I will try better next time.  I will work on myself to try and make sure it doesn't happen again.  Then, perhaps, I will be, arguably, a better person for it. 

So damn you magic Reset Button, damn you for not existing and making everything so easy.  But thank you too.

 Because, ultimately, easy doesn't make it better, just easier.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Movie Review Friday - The Dark Knight Rises

Ed's Note:  Sorry for the title mess up - I've dont that twice RISES, not Returns.  The lesson, as always, is that I'm a dumbass.

Fair warning - I saw it last night for the first time.  And much like its predecessor, The Dark Knight, this movie clearly needs several watchings in order to formulate something that makes sense.

Second fair warning - MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW - if you have not seen the movies, and you want to, I'd stop reading right now.

Now then:

Upon watch number one, The Dark Knight Rises (DKR) is not as good as The Dark Knight (DK).  And really, for one simple reason - Heath Ledger's Joker brings such a disturbing edge to the film, that it simply cannot be matched by DKR's banal Bane.  Yes, the stakes are higher in this last film of the trilogy, it's not simply Gotham's soul at stake, but its physical existence.  Even so, the movie lacked the emotional tilt of the DK without the freakish lunacy of the Joker.

Christopher Nolan, as it has been mentioned many times, has completely re-defined the superhero genre with the batman trilogy.  These are action movies almost as an afterthought.  These movies make you think.

Nolan raises the bar in this one.  Whereas the Joker was interested in Gotham's soul, Bane is interested in wreaking revenge on Gotham, and The Batman, in a completely destructive way.  He bombs the city, blows all the bridges and has a mobile nuclear bomb ready to detonate in a minute.  Oh and by the way, he's got Bruce Wayne several thousand miles away in an inescabpeable prison with a broken back.

But wait, it's not actually Bane at all who is controlling everything,  It's really Marion Cottilard, the daughter of Batman's enemy from the first movie, out for some serious revenge. 

But I digress.  While I was bored with Bane, the cast does a nice job here.  Michael Caine's Alfred is always great.  Gary Oldman's portrayal of Sirius Bl...I mean Commissioner Gordon always solid.  I like their take on the "Robin" character with Joseph Gordon Levitt.  And I loved Anne Hathaway's performance as Selina AKA "Catwoman".  Morgan Freeman kinda sleepwalks through this one as Lucious Fox but hey, he's Morgan Freeman. 

This movie is also about class divide.  Like i said, Nolan's movies are really more about making you think than anything else.  In the Dark Knight, he was making a point about people's propensity to do evil when given the opportunity.  While this movie expands upon this, he seems to be making more of a social message about our society.  Mainly that rich people take advantage of the poor, but that people who supposedly want to help poor people are actually taking a different kind of advantage as well.  It's a very mixed up moral message here (pardon the M's).  Are all our leaders bad?  Does anyone care about anyone else?

I remeber reading Roger Ebert's review in which he states that the movie spends a long time debating whether or not Batman is even a necessary evil or over-kill.  I disagree.  In Nolan's specific world - with horrors of such indescribable levels, its is completely necessary to have antiheroes like The Batman. 

Was it a good movie?  A bad movie?  It's considered a masterpiece.  As I said, after watch #1, I didn't enjoy it as much as DK.  But I remember not liking teh DK at first either.  It took me a long time to appreciate Ledger's groundbreaking performance (best psycho since Hannibal Lechter).  But this movie makes you think about a lot of different things - and the last half an hour is a suspense filled ride where batman finally gets his groove on.  Also a happy ending is actually a nice feeling after all of the suffering Nolan puts us through for three films.

So there you have it.  I give  it a thumbs up and recommend it.