After The Man Who Fell to Earth

As promised in yesterday’s post, here are my initial impressions and thoughts now that I have seen this film … Part of me is inclined to announce spoiler warnings because it just seems like courtesy, but, given that the movie came out in 1976, it seems silly to do so. Though I am sure there a plenty of other out there who, like me, were born some years after and had not seen it. Anyhow, the following assumes you’ve seen the film and know what I’m talking about:

My very first reaction after the end of the movie, and what I literally asked my friend, was “what the fuck did I just watch?”. OK, I get it, it was the 70’s. I get the excuses for nudity and sex (and I thought today’s movies were bad – I actually got to see David Bowie’s junk) and I have no problem with that.

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You enjoyed that, didn’t you?

But, was there a point to anything in that movie? I certainly have many more questions than answers–

  • I understand that Mr. Newton (Bowie) is an alien from another planet who has come to earth because his own home world has become a desert and his family has no water (and it was never really clear if that family is still alive or if they’re dead by the end of the film – all of the images of his family seem to be flashbacks and imagined scenarios so I don’t know that the clip of his wife and children slumped over in the sand isn’t just his worried imagination). But he never actually makes it back to his homeworld. He goes through all this trouble to amass a fortune to fund a space program that he seems ready to pilot off with water to bring back when…
  • Newton is kidnapped(?) and taken to this holding where there are all manner of tests and experiments performed on him (because he’s an alien, because somehow word got out) and I get that. I understand that. But, while I was initially led to believe he was there against his will -he calls out for help and tries to get out of the building at one point when Mary Lou comes to see him – he also seems rather calm about it all at moments (he’s certainly not being held in a concrete cell) and at one point tells Mary Lou that he can do anything and gets what he wants because he is rich. So, does this mean he wanted to be there? Were the experiments his idea to show the world? There was some brief discussion about this, but it wasn’t conclusive. But, if he wanted to be there, why call for help? Why not just walk out the front door? I’m mostly just confused on this point.
  • Why did he never go back home? At the end of the film, Newton is sitting at an outdoor cafe, drinking some kind of alcohol, and talking with Dr. Bryce (Rip Torn). He drops the glass as a waiter is coming up and there are statements from both the waiter and Bryce, as well as an affirmation from Newton, that he’s had enough (to drink and/or of Earth?). Newton bows his head and credits roll. What, if anything, has been resolved by the end of this film? I realize that it’s entirely possible that the whole point was that nothing was resolved. One thing I DID notice…

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  • At the beginning of the film, all Newton wants to drink is water. He is almost obsessed with it (which is reasonable given the lack of water back home) and turns down any other drink but water. However, shortly after meeting Mary Lou, who is an obvious alcoholic, he begins to drink booze instead. In fact, after Newton begins to drink alcohol, we don’t see him drink water again. BUT, we do see numerous booze bottles around the home. This is also when the plot starts to lose focus. Is there a commentary in there on alcohol? Or is that just my being straight edge seeing that message?
  • The way time flows in this film is hard to follow. It’s obvious that years progress – other characters around Newton age while he stays the same – but we’re never clued in to when time jumps forward or by how much (beyond the general notion that, oh Bryce has grey hair now and Mary Lou has put on a couple of pounds and has some sag).

Over all, I enjoyed the film and am glad I got to see it in the theater. I wonder how this film was received in the time in came out? What aspects of culture or life have I simply not noticed because I grew up in a different point in time? I find it rather interesting, living in the time that I do, to hear commentary from one character in the film about humankind only being able to process and accept so much new tech before they simply can’t take it. I’ve not yet read any other reviews or critiques or theories about it as I wanted to have just my own impressions initially. I think though, that now I’m going to look this up as I am really curious.

DON’T FORGET! This coming Saturday, 3pm CST, I’ll be on Google Hangouts for a live chat.

 

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Before The Man Who Fell to Earth

This post will be in two parts, a before (today’s post) and an after (tomorrow’s post).

This evening a local theater is showing the film, The Man Who Fell to Earth. Kind of a David Bowie memorial/ tribute showing. I’ve not seen it before and I’m curious to see how it is. I’m planning to meet with a friend of mine later this evening and hang out for a bit after the show.

All I’ve seen is the trailer. I know this is a movie from 1976 and that, if I wanted to, I could pull up a kinds of reviews, plot run downs and analyses, and whatnot. I could go in already knowing what to expect and with the opinions of other people telling me how to view the film.  But I don’t want to. I want to have the experience of going in, being surprised, and making my own decisions.

Tomorrow I will post my thoughts and reactions.

Scars

For fun (and for the sake of saving myself time) I thought I would share another of my old diary/ blog posts from High School. The following is from the first blogging site I ever joined, at age 17. The blogs I wrote back then were more like diary entries in that they were sometimes very personal. At this point in my life, I was a few months into studying Tae Kwon Do and Aikido (making good on some goals I’d made earlier in 2002).  I’ve also altered the names because it’s been over a decade and I don’t even communicate with some of these people anymore – thought I would extend them the courtesy of relative anonymity.

For anyone interested, this is a photo of the dent I refer to in the entry. Yes, still visible 13 years later – it’s the shadowed area in the middle of my shin. Admittedly more impressive in person:

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Before I leave you with this old entry, I want to remind everyone that I will be live in Google Hangouts for a live chat this coming Saturday January 23rd, at 3 PM CST. More about that Here.

TITLE: owie

DATE: 01/14/2003 20:48:41

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BODY:

Hey there all. I’m back. I just got home from the dojo not too long ago. And I feel like I’m falling apart.

1) I have a rather freakish dent in my right shin…yes a DENT….how did it get there? I was sparring this one guy one night after Aikido and I went to give him a good roundhouse to the hip, I mean I put a lot of power into it…and he brought his knee up to block it. My shin rammed into his knee and left this dent there…I have yet to actually see a doctor about it, though I probably should.

2)The back of my left knee..I have no idea why, but the ligaments or something got pulled. pain results, Nuff said.

3) My back, again I’m not too sure why, it just hurts.

4) My left shoulder. I tackled a couch with a box frame and it smacked into a wooden beam in the middle of the couch. Yes, I am an idiot. So now that shoulder is all outta whack.

But, on the bright side, I think I have Ushiro downpat.

Oh Oh! I almost forgot! I have some exciting news! Victor, my boyfriend is going to compete in this TKD tournament later in the month! Or at least I hope he competes….he’s a 3rd degree black belt, and he is so flexible it hurts to watch, and he is just…you really have to see him in class, it can be awe inspiring. The only guy I can think of that would be a toss up in a sparring match with him is this guy Brian. Vick has more power than Brian does, but Brian is FAST. in the time it takes a human to blink, he’s fucked you up bad and made you look like a Picasso!

But seriously, I hope he competes. He should do really well. And besides, I want to camcord it and watch it over and over and over again. Partly because it’s cool, and partly because…well, you try watching a good martial artist do complicated forms…with his do bok half open and the deep rooted ki ahps…..you just try watching that and NOT get turned on! And sparring! I’m not even going to go into how much fun THAT is too watch!

Although, there is one negative side effect of knowing people who are THAT good. It just makes you feel so insignificant. Like you can’t do anything in comparison. I mean, seriously. I can’t think of a single thing I can do better than him… And I’m not all that good looking, I sometimes wonder why the hell he’s with me. Did he sit on a duck? You guys know that joke right? These people go to heaven and there is one rule, if you sit on a duck you are handcuffed to someone REALLY ugly!

Anyways, it’s getting late and I need my sleep. So I shall bid you all adieu.

-Lisa

What Day is it Anyhow?

When you work overnight shifts, sometimes your days blur and merge. When I woke up this evening, I had no concept of time let alone what day it was. I had to go back and look up previous posts to figure out that this is post 21.

I’ll be honest – I didn’t want to write this today. I didn’t sleep much yesterday and spent all of last night (my night off from Job 1) sorting through and packing boxes of books for Job 2. I was so tired I actually fell asleep sitting in my chair with a barcode scanner in my hand for about an hour. For anyone who is a facebook friend, you’re already aware of this as I had been posting about it at various stages. But, this has pretty much been my day. Nothing glamorous, don’t have time for a think piece, just a factual report of the day.

And some photos from Job 2:

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I start off with boxes like these. I sort through to see what I will sell and what will go on to the community book sale.

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This is where I determine which books will be sold on Amazon, which will be sold to other vendors, and which go on to the community sales.

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These lower shelves are filled with books already listed on Amazon. This is also where I keep my bubble mailers.

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More books listed on Amazon waiting to be ordered. I currently have over 1,300 active listings in my store.

But, it’s not all work and no play. A few months ago, my friend Mike came over and helped me construct this book tower in response to a challenge Hank Green put forward on Youtube. I didn’t win, but I had a lot of fun 🙂

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Please consider picking up something for yourself or a friend over at my Amazon store, AikiFox Books. 50% of the proceeds go to support the Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners program which gives free books to prisoners throughout the state of Illinois.

March 1, 2002

Thought I would share this entry from my diary from 14 years ago. I was 17 when I wrote this. I find this ever so amusing now… “I don’t want to be a boring teacher anymore” – there was a brief period of my adolescence where I thought I wanted to be a speech teacher (Mostly because that was my favorite class and Mrs. Malinak was amazing. Still is). Now I’m nearly 31, in a committed relationship with a teacher, and just re-applied for grad school in the hopes of becoming a school social worker. 🙂

There was also a period where I really wanted to go into the military. My father, his brothers, and my grandfathers had all been in the military. At the time, I was really close to my father and I wanted to make him proud of me. Had I gone in, I would have been the first female in my family to join. This period of my life was also filled with a lot of self-loathing and internalized misogyny that had been handed down to me from my father. I felt like I needed to shun anything about me that was “too girly” to be worthwhile or to gain my father’s approval.

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Later that year I did follow through with these goals. That summer I made the phone calls to different instructors and started studying Tae Kwon Do and Aikido. I started trying to eat healthier – this was more of a phase 1 in that I stopped sitting on the couch eating bags of doritos. started exercising by way of martial arts, and stopped eating so many doritos. Because I wanted to impress/ not embarrass myself in front of a boy (the TKD instructor’s son), I added some new foods to the list of things I would eat. I still have no idea what is in an eggroll and I’m perfectly happy NOT knowing.

These are still basic goals that I have for myself, trying to improve myself. I’ve been doing pretty good in trying to eat healthier and lose weight – I’m at 139.8 lbs today. I’m not taking lessons anymore, but I’m still exploring new interests and learning new skills.

Someone Broke into my Car

Last night, as I got in my car to head to work, I turned on my stereo to discover that, instead of the David Bowie playlist I created on my iPod, the radio was playing instead. I looked down to discover that my iPod (and the cord, and my headphones) was missing. This is the 3rd time in a matter of months that my iPod has been stolen out of my car.

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The 89 Daytona I used to drive. Before it went to crap. There was no opening these doors.

I suppose that it’s my fault for leaving it in the car in the first place. It also doesn’t help that I occasionally forget to lock my car. The beater I drive for 8 years was impossibly hard to open so I never needed to before upgrading. I’ve been trying to be better about that since break in #2. Also, I was parked in a different spot this time, so, I suspect it may even be the same person.

On the one hand, I am kind of irritated because I didn’t exactly have another iPod in my budget. On the other hand, I know that there are much bigger issues and that, whomever took it, probably had their reasons. Maybe they wanted one and couldn’t afford one. Maybe they needed the money that could be made from selling it. Accepting that rationale, I make peace with it. Because I realize that, at this point in my life, I have the fortune to not have very many unmet needs and could just buy another if I choose to (don’t get me wrong – I’m not rich. There isn’t a lot left over for wants, but needs are certainly met). I was similarly un-phased when someone stole my bike some years ago when I still worked at a thrift store and used that bike as a primary mode of transportation. I just figured someone else must have needed it worse than I did.

We live in this society that places so much value on material objects. These objects, like clothing, carry meaning and send messages to others around us – our interests, our values, our status within society. We are repeatedly told that having these things will bring us happiness, and, for a very short, fleeting time, they do. We are told that we need these things – being able to at least look the part we want to play can go a way toward making us feel it and to making others around us to treat us that way. Have you never heard the phrase, “The clothes make the man”? Well, so do accessories and gadgets. I don’t blame anyone for using objects to try to belong to something, even superficially. Belonging is a human need. It also just so happens that our society does not give everyone the same opportunities to seek these things out in the legal or socially accepted ways.

So, in conclusion, at the end of the day, it’s all just stuff. But after I buy the next iPod I’m going to start bringing it inside with me.

Let’s Chat!

mesit

Welcome to Day 18 of my self-imposed Blog-Every-Day-for-30-Days Challenge!

Are you a long time reader? Maybe you have no idea who I am but you managed to stumble on this blog after doing a search for rag rugs. Or making rope out of rags. Or things you can do with old video tape. (After my doll blogs, these are my most viewed posts that people keep finding.) However long you have been reading, I want to say Thank You.

Thank You for taking time out of your day to absorb my ramblings and my photos. Thank You for letting me know when you like my content and for all the times you’ve left a comment. As a token of my appreciation, I’d like to invite you to join me in a Google Hangout on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.

This will be the link to use

You can ask me questions and tell me your thoughts. We can share ideas. We can sing songs together. Or you can watch me try to balance random objects on my head while I try not to laugh. 🙂

Now… as soon as I can figure out how, I plan to add a countdown timer on the sidebar…