Opinions are like assholes, in more ways than one. There was a time when people could keep their scents to themselves and those in the immediate vicinity, but then along came social media like a megaphone for butts and suddenly everyone’s blasting their e-romas across the globe.
Horrifying simile aside, it’s not so bad until they congregate and decide to draw lines in the digital sand. We’ve all seen those little pictures pop up on our Facebook feeds making blanket statements in Impact font. Those innocuous little doodads used to make funny observations about cats and ridicule celebrities, but they’ve been twisted into beacons for gathering thousands of like-minded b-holes under one pixelated banner.
There is a silver lining, though. Their openness with everyone saves you from the awkward silence that follows the revelation that you may, in fact, hate them. But sometimes for your own sanity, you have to let people know how much they stink.
These are the assholes I’m tired of smelling.
1. “I think girls look better without make-up.”
There’s this fantastic movement going on right now to change the public perception of “beauty”. People are sick of advertisers telling them they should aspire to look like those rail-thin models when it’s neither genetically possible nor physically practical to eat nothing and have a normal job that doesn’t involve old dudes taking pictures of their semi-nudity. Slowly but surely, the public is warming to the idea that beauty can be found in imperfections. And then there’s make-up.
In a desperate attempt to escape the friend-zone, “sensitive” guys will often post something akin to, “I don’t like when girls wear make-up. I like natural beauties.” It’s a thinly-veiled plot to appear progressive and forward-thinking because chicks are into that crap. But what they’re really saying is, “I like girls who are beautiful without make-up.” Well, no shit.
Invasive surgical procedures non-withstanding, we can’t really change the face they’re born with. Until science finds a way to cherry-pick genetics (and grants me my tiger-otter-chameleon sidekick) we’re stuck working with what we’ve got. Sometimes that’s a complexion that turns heads in a rainstorm; sometimes it’s a mug only a mother could love. Begrudgingly. No matter where they fall in the Punnett square, the reality is that people just look better with make-up.
I rewatch some of my favorite movies every year. Part of what makes them my favorites is the layers and nuance. No matter how many times I watch them, there’s always something I never noticed before. It could be anything, from a plot-driven wardrobe change to a prophetic set decoration in the background. But the main reason I do it is because revisiting the stories gives me the same nostalgic comfort as the smells and sounds of my parents’ house, no matter where I am.
I save a number of movies for the winter holidays, chiefly because they’re snowy and holiday-ish. Since it’s the first time I’ve sat down with them this season, so I went with two of my absolute favorites.
The Family Stone is about an uptight woman who goes home with her boyfriend for Christmas, meeting his rambunctious, tightly-knit family for the first time. He plans to propose to her, but he needs his family’s (more specifically, his mother’s) approval so he can give her his great-grandmother’s ring.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind focuses on a quiet man who is having his recent ex-girlfriend erased from his memory though a purposely dubious scientific process. He’s asleep during the procedure, but as he relives each moment with her in reverse-chronology, he realizes he doesn’t want to lose these memories after all.
If by that they mean that things happen which cause other things which eventually somewhere down the line causes something of note, yes, they do happen for a reason. But if they mean every little action happens with the intent of one day causing something at least tweet-worthy, well that’s simply not true.
But every once in a while, something magical happens — against all logic and reason, in the face of overwhelming odds, fate sees fit to put two things together as though they were meant to be.
Some people call it destiny. Some call it coincidence. Some call it luck. Me? I just call it right.
This is the story of how I was a Nielsen household.
It Was the Best of Times
I have a Bachelor of Arts in RTVF. That fancy acronym stands for Radio, Television, Film. While that sounds like I should be some kind of media guru, what it actually means is I’m a Film major who is vaguely aware that the other two exist. I only took as many Radio and TV courses as was necessary to fill my degree’s requirements, which with my inability to register for classes on time was several.
This one semester I thought it was probably a good idea to learn about Film Law, since copyrights and permits and all that are half the battle in production. But the class was long-filled and I really needed to be considered a full-time student, so I took Media Sales instead.
So Bryan Singer just announced that the next X-men film will drop in 2016 and deal with one of their most infamous and powerful villains to date — Apocalypse.
This set all my sensibility alarms off. The X-men movie franchise hasn’t quite recovered from the series of bumbling, painfully mediocre movies since The Last Stand tried (and failed) to handle the Dark Phoenix Saga. The upcoming Days of Future Past looks to be attempting to right the ship and bring the franchise into a new era of continuity and greatness, but ready to tackle Apocalypse? No way.
For those of you who don’t know, the Age of Apocalypse story is based on an alternate universe where Professor X was killed and Magneto became the leader of the X-men. The world’s first mutant En Sabah Nuhr (the real name of Apocalypse) rose to power and essentially became Marvel’s mutant Hitler, adhering to the mantra “Survival of the Fittest” and determined to eliminate all inferior lifeforms, chiefly humans. Magneto and the X-men were the main rebel group, though there were others who also played their parts. It was a long, intricate, epic take on how things could have turned out in a world without Charles Xavier.
It goes without saying, it needs to be handled carefully and with respect to the source material. Bringing it to screen in less than 3 years time? Forget it. Not possible. I was so disturbed by the idea that I had to take a walk (and it’s below freezing in Texas right now). I took that time to really think about where I want my life to go and the best way to handle the news, so I took a deep breath and I started thinking. If this movie is inevitable, how can it possibly be done right?
Here’s what I came up with:
Days of Future Past will run it’s course, not really taking much from the comics except the time travel (maybe Storm getting cooked by a Sentinel for good measure). The climatic battle in the Past pits Young Charles and Erik working together once more to protect the President from malfunctioning Sentinels. Meanwhile in the Future, the Old X-men defend Old Wolverine’s body from a Sentinel assault in hopes he can right the Past in time to save them. They have a contingency plan, however, to utilize Blink’s mutant powers to time travel themselves to an alternate universe where they can try again. The battle in the Past reaches a fever pitch and…. Young Charles dies.
Midnight struck on November 30th and I was still four beards short. While the holiday rush played a small part in my inability to make up lost ground, the awful truth is, I had plenty of time Saturday night and found myself completely over it. If Week 1 was dipping my toes in the water, Week 2 wading in slowly, and Week 3 learning to swim, the final week has been a desperate slapping at the water in an attempt to stay afloat.
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so by the home stretch this should have been second nature. Problem is, I’ve spent 27 years putting things off until the last possible, moment, and no 3 week diligence is going to change that.
But enough musing of failures. Onto the train wreck.
In the continued effort to catch up, this was the result of filling in the Gamekeeper gaps. At one point I thought this was going to be the 5 0’clock shadow, but simulating stubble is really freaking hard to do.
I’ve mentioned before that my hair is really thick and straight, which means the shorter it gets, the thicker and straighter it seems. Cutting strands into pieces creates a veritable storm of little double-pointed daggers flying every which way. You can forget about getting them to spread out evenly.
Fun fact: sideburns were originally called “burnsides” after Ambrose Burnside, a general in the Civil War who has some sweet ass muttonchops. We honor him now by calling both styles by completely different names. Turns out he was kind of a screw up who wasted a lot of the North’s resources, so don’t feel too bad for him.
There is something inherently friendly about muttonchops. Like the person sporting them doesn’t have an angry bone in their body. Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead fame seems like one raw mother in name and description, but take one look at the guy and you’d swear he’s that favorite uncle who always greets you with a noogie and a slap on the back. Sure there’s a chance he’s murdered the crap out of some people, but at least he’s on your side.