Friday, November 16, 2012

Twihard or Go Home


      So yesterday I was downtown with Garrett and our friend Chelsea and we were accosted by the posters up to announce the latest Twilight abomination so of course we had to go. I had honestly forgotten it was coming up because, really, who cares? Twilight is really just a woman trying to recreate the magic of Harry Potter with the prose of a child. It is a weak imitation of the young adult classics that have come out lately. Luckily for her that it is just bad enough that people can still tolerate it and find it fun and campy. So obviously, being a huge fan of all things campy, I needed to see it.

Ok so when we finally got to the theater I don’t think I have ever been more embarrassed to be anywhere and I make a living teach high school girls how to dance. Holding my head low and keeping my voice down, I walked in with Garrett and Chelsea while they were hamming it up and having a grand ol’ time. Sorry I’m not a twelve year old girl and thus I’m not Team Jacob or Team Edward. Everything was confirmed to me when I went in to the actual screening and it was a pretty even blend of drunk college kids who were there for an evening of fun and high school couples consisting of skinny little girls and their equally skinny skater boyfriend who were not all too pleased to be there. What is it about this movie and underage couples? Side note: remember the days when the only place you could go to make out was the movies? Yeah. That has not changed apparently.

As the movie begins the very very apparent problem is the fact that Edward looks WAYY older than when this saga began. Ok I understand. It is impossible to make a five movie series without there being some aging as we go along but COME ON. He is a vampire ergo should not age, right? Well apparently, wrong. Apparently he started out 17 and ended 25. Cause vampires do that, right. I am just saying that if these people have ability to make Taylor Lautner turn from a human to a “giant dog” then can’t they do some kind of CGI magic to make this man child look like a teenager? Guess not.

As this crazy little show continued we got introduced to Renesmee for the first time. I almost pooped my pants. In an effort to make sure that the baby actually looks like it could be the child of Edward and Bella the director decided that as opposed to using an actual child he would insert a CGI baby into Bella’s arms. This is the worst bit of computer work in the entire film. This child looked like something that was cut and pasted out the Sims. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying I can do any better but considering the fact that this is one the largest film franchises in recent history then they certainly can.

As this joy ride keeps trucking along we get introduced to a plethora of new vampires to serve as witnesses to convince the Vultori that Renesmee isn’t an immortal child (a baby who was turned into a vampire) cause those are apparently illegal. This new group of vamps, as they are assembled, resembled more and more like a really bad re-make of X-Men. As they go from person to person showing their skills (one can cause hallucinations and another can produce electricity) I couldn’t help but sit there and give them their new super hero names. The one that really killed me was the fact that Bella, conveniently has the ability to block everyone’s powers because she is a “shield”. I mean COME ON. As they go into a fight with the Vultori who came to power because of these skills that they have of course the good guys are going to have someone who can block those powers. What a cop out.

We finally get to the epic finale when the Vultori come forward to confront the Cullen and Friends and I was of course expecting some kind of huge let down ending where everyone became friends and there was a potluck but I was dead wrong. To those who have not seen it and want to: DO NOT CONTINUE. That being said, Stephanie Meyer envisioned one hell of an ending for this flick. Just after Alice is done showing he Vultori what would happen to the future of vampires, she turned to Bella and goes, “Now”. Chaos. Alice does an illusion kick and hits the head Vultori in the face sending him flying. Jasper gets hs head ripped from his body. Carlise goes flying forward and gets his head ripped off. Esmee goes batshit cray and all of the Cullen and Friends go flying forward and the battle begins. Heads are flying, people are being burned, Dakota Fanning gets eaten by a wolf. I would pay another ten dollar just to see this fifteen minute sequence of total badassery. I laughed, I cried, I wet myself (a little). Just as Bella has beheaded the leader of the Vultori and is about to set him on fire *SNAP* we are pulled back and we find out that the whole thing was just Alice’s vision of what would happen. Instead the Vultori walk away with their tails between their legs and everyone lives. My mind was blown.

And with that the only thing left was to bring this whole thing to a close. As expected, the Cullens are able to stay in Forks, Jacob is crowned a hero, and all is right in the vampy world. Just like in the book it ends with Bella and Edward chillin in a meadow being all cutesy and stuff. In one last tear jerking move, Bella extends her shield power (which now has memory recollection) to show Edward all her favorite memories from the previous four movies. Really, it was cute. Don’t judge me.

      Ok so I know that it is Twilight and people should morally hate it just because it is so terrible but I am going to stick my neck out and say I liked it. It was cheesy, it was campy, but in the end it was also totally badass. The jokes were better, the acting was MUCH better, and it was truly entertaining. And the battle in the end was completely insane. I never thought that Twilight would ever go there but it did. It went all the way there. And more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Life is a Cabaret

So many people want life to be a musical. The cheery songs, the pretty people, the uplifting plot lines. But let's be real and hear me out on this one: Life already is a musical without the singing (except in the shower).  Let's recap what happens in your standard musical:

1. Something goes HORRIBLY wrong:
     Ok so this one doesn't exactly sound too appealing but what is life without some kind of hardship right? Elphaba got roomed with the most ANNOYING girl ever. Rodger got HIV. Christine met a weird loner singer dude. But what is the silver lining in all of this?

2. That tragic event leads to personal growth:
     Life is all about learning and growing and adapting and for some reason in musicals even the most life-crushing event somehow turns out to be positive. Elphaba and Glinda became the bestest of friends and Elphaba turned into a firece-ass swagga girl. Rodger learned to appreciate life and found a hooker with a heart of gold. Christine got a set of pipes on her that makes Xtina sound like Ke$ha sans auto-tune.

3. The personal growth takes a strange and dark turn:
     Just as you think this new personal growth is going to make your life a thousand times better everything comes crashing down (usually conveniently right before the intermission). Elphaba and Glinda meet the wizard who 'aint quite what they thought and Elphaba decided to take him DOWN. Rodger and Mimi part ways when Mimi goes insane. Christina finds out that this new "friend" is actually a creeper stalker sex offender with a fetish for candles and acid-based facials.

4. In the end everything figures itself out through some form of self-realization:
     Before the final curtain falls the main character always overcomes any kind of personal issues by, pardon my french, figuring their shit out. Elphaba decides that she don't care what other people think as long as she does what she knows is right. Rodger and Mimi come back together because they realize life is short and you should spend it with people they love. Christine decides that Phanty is totally cray and that Raul is way hotter and so leaves his ass.

How does this not sound like every single day of my life? Crazy stuff happens, you think you figured it out, it gets way worse and then, even if you haven't really figured it all out you don't really care because you realize that you're totally amazing no matter what happens.

Life is a cabaret ol' chum.

It's just that last step we all need to figure out.

Goodbye loves.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Future Part Two: Election Recap


So last night I was standing in Urban Outfitters sweating my life out as the country around me was waiting in anticipation for the election results to come. It was easily one of the most stressful nights of my life. Every now and then I would get a break, run to the break room and get online as quickly as possible to see how things were progressing. Not gonna lie I was worried. Especially since for the first half of the results Romeny was in the lead. The whole store had a cloud over it. (surprise: Urban Outfitters employees are liberal democrats). It wasn’t until Obama pulled ahead that I was finally able to relax. Then the momentum kept building. And building. And building.

And then it was over.

And we won.

And while I am excited and proud that we were able to get our heads out of our butts and voted for the right person what cannot be ignored are the other propositions that were passed. So, here we go.

California:

Education tax increase (Prop 30): So here is one that I was really not sure if it would pass but it did (53.9%). This is what we are looking at: This is a tax increase to place sales tax 0.25% higher and increase taxes on those making more than $250,000. Where does this money go? Education. This just makes good sense. Putting money into bettering education is to invest in the future of California. The children of this state are the future. Why would anyone argue this?

Payroll deduction political contributions (Prop 32): This one here did not pass (43.9%) and it just doesn’t make sense. What we have here is a measure saying that businesses AND unions cannot take money out of their payroll to donate to political campaigns. What would this stop? This would prohibit things like Chick-Fil-A using payroll money to fund campaigns that are harmful to queer individuals. So sad.

Three Strikes Law Revision (Prop 36): This passed? Thank GOD! (68.6%) This now changes the Three Strikes law that if the third offense is “non-serious and non-violent” then the defendant will not be automatically given life in prison. It made no sense to me as to why this was here in the first place. If someone is a career criminal then so not lock him/her away forever, HELP THEM! Give them training to get a job, assist them in finding housing, supply mental health services. Revive the community, don’t put them behind bars.

Other ideals we care about:

Legalize Same-Sex Marriage: As of right now we have two states that have passed the legalization of same-sex marriage in this election (Maine and Maryland). So if those two states get added to what I like to call The Union of the Gay States of America, then the total membership goes to eight. There is a third state (Washington) that also voted on this and even though it is saying right now that based on votes it has passed with 100% of precincts reporting for whatever reason the state has not called it yet. Get it together.

Same-Sex Marriage Ban: Minnesota has never legalized gay marriage but the state tried to do what so many other states have succeeded in by banning gay marriage for good there. And it lost! Thank God. So while gay marriage is not legal there (yet) the effort to thwart any future efforts has itself been thwarted. Props to you Minnesota. Now go make some syrup.

Legalization of Marijuana: You heard me right. LEGALIZATION of marijuana. Not medical marijuana. Marijuana. Colorado is now officially the first state that has passed a proposition (similar to the one California did not pass in 2010) that has legalized the recreational use of weed. I wonder how many people are moving to Boulder? Santa Cruz is going to empty out. Oregon voted on a similar measure and it did not pass. Once again I feel like there is a connection here to those who profit on the illegal weed trade whose business would be foiled by the passing of a law like this.

What can we take from this election? The nation is changing and growing. It is heading in a direction that, while it may scare some, is a fairer and safer place. God bless the United States of America.
Goodbye loves

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Monday, November 5, 2012

The Future.

Every two years we find ourselves subjected to the most influential popularity contest in the history of our nation: elections. Every four years we get slammed with an even more important presidential election that can literally alter the course of our nation’s history. In 2008 this nation found hope and, well, “change” with a new politician who was taking our country by storm. Four years later America is climbing slowly but surely out of the worst recession in memory with Barack Obama leading the way.

Thanks to the lacking of the previous administration, the Obama administration was steamrolled with an economy that collapsed during the months between the election and the previous administration leaving office causing Obama to inherit this monumental problem. While I am sure we can all agree that this recovery is taking time what cannot be ignored is that the task of flipping a national economy does not happen in one day, one week, or even four years. We are taking about widespread reforms in order to ensure that this not only can begin to heal but also that this does not happen again. It cannot be ignored that this is not a simple task. However, in light of this election, it is also important to remember that this country is NOT a business. Mitt Romney’s plan to fix this country is to “run it like a business” without providing a complete concrete plan as to how this will be done. Take a second though to think about how businesses work. A group of individuals on top do whatever they can to squeeze as much profit out of the workers without much regard to the workforce as a whole. Yes, this is precisely how I want this country to be run. Like a sweatshop. Great work…..

The economy aside it is time to delve into what is the most important part of this election to me: the social issues. I in no way want to downplay the importance of the economy in this election but as a gay man it stands to reason that the issues that hit closest to home for me would be the social ones. Plain and simple: Obama is for gay marriage and Romney is not. Black and white. There is no way around it. Obama has come out to say that he is for gay marriage in America and Romney has come out to say that he is for a nationwide ban that would remove the same-sex marriages already performed. My beliefs on the economy thus have to be pushed aside regardless of what I think. The right to marry goes much further than rights. It goes into my community’s standing as legitimate.

As I young gay man I felt helpless as many others in my position do. I felt like society did not accept me and had no place for me. To eliminate the right to marry is to tell every young gay man that what he feels inside is correct. There is no place for you. There is no acceptance for you. You might as well not be you. To tell a young gay person that they cannot love who they want and be accepted by the law is to tell them that it is simply not worth it to love who they want. It is to tell them that the government and the country cannot and will not accept your relationship as legitimate. It is to break the conscience of every young person to let them know once and for all that they are not worth their existence. At the risk of placing so much weight on this issues: The difference between legalizing gay marriage and banning gay marriage is the difference between life and death.

With that I can say with full confidence that I will not be voting for Mitt Romney and I urge every single person who reads this to do the same. If you know me, if you are my friend, if you appreciate my existence and enjoy who I am you cannot allow this man to win. If you know any queer individual and enjoy them you cannot let this man win. If you do not want to see any more faces of young men and women splash on the news with the headline “Gay Teen Suicide” you cannot let this man win.

In less than 36 hours my life could be changing irrevocably.

In less than 36 hours my future could be altered permanently.

In less than 36 hours this nation will be defined.

It’s now your choice.

And don’t fuck it up.

Goodbye loves.

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