Interstellar Wisdom

Is bowling an athletic sport? It's a sport by definition. It's athletic by definition. But it ain't gonna give you that lean body, six pack, cardiovascular capacity to run beyond your corner drug store. It's more of a get together kinda thing where women can watch men make fools of themselves, and men can watch women's butts as they negotiate the hardwood alleyways, while we pretend to watch the ball roll toward the gutter.

Someone told me they had watched Interstellar, and I excitedly asked him what he thought of it. His first question was, "Are you Christian?"

Wat da hell? No, I'm Jimmy. My mind went through about a thousand thoughts because I hadn't realize Interstellar had any religious implications except that maybe there were alien beings.

“I don’t believe in organized religion,” I answered. I spent the next five minutes trying to convince him of this truth because he thought I was Christian because I hang out with a lot of Christians (they’re everywhere), so ipso facto I must be Christian. That literally is five minutes of my life that is forever lost to me. So going back to the original question, I asked him what he thought of Interstellar, since I’d yet to see it.

“Movies can convince you that it’s real,” he said.

“That is the filmmaker’s job,” I said, profoundly.

He nodded and uttered these words of wise wisdom of goodness, “We will never run out of resources on Earth.” I wish he had said ‘On this God-given Earth’ cuz that would have made my freakin’ week.

But of course, he had yet to answer my Gawd dayem question. Then he proceeded to follow up those wise words of wisdom with more wise words of fucking wisdom, “I read an article where they found a fish when scientist have declared that fish extinct. Slowly, the wall of science will eventually crumble and everyone will know the Bible is right. Science is man’s creation and is fallible.”

I knew the answer before I asked the question: “So who wrote the Bible?”

“Man,” the wise one said. “But it was inspired by God.”

So I guess the science behind such things as electricity, water mechanics and engineering are just tropes that have no meaning or use whatsoever. He should stop using lights, turning on the faucet or driving his car because all of that works with the physics of this universe. But hey, who am I but a lowly writer of adult fantasy. The Bible anyone?

He began to go into religious beliefs with the goal of debating me, but I immediately ended the conversation because I ain't versed in them, and if your go to response is 'God inspired it', I can’t reasonably refute that. No one has yet to prove or disprove Her existence, and using that God inspired anything ultimately means nothing in a logical debate. Truthfully, whenever I looked at this dude, I saw:

But here’s the kicker.

When I wrote my book, Nightfall, I knew I had two basic levels of storytelling. The background of the story, the plot, is the conflict of war that ravages the people of the provinces. To readers, this looks like the foreground, the actual story. It’s the background because it showcases the real story of how a father and his wife deals with the loss of a child and the actions they take as the background happens.

Interstellar is similar. The hook is the Earth’s resources are at an end, and humans have to search for a new planet. But the real story is how powerful human connection is, how interlinked we all are, how it transcends life and death, distance and time and dimensions. The fact that the wise Christian missed this and refuses to believe that our planet’s resources can be used up means he lives in great fear, as evident from his statement that movies are convincing and his dependence on The Bible. He seems easily manipulated, and is manipulated to believe humans are born sinners. Geezus fuckin' Krist.

The missed-the-whole-point-of-Interstellar Christian had said many other gems of wisdom, but I didn’t want to go on a tirade against religion. I’m not about that, despite what I’ve written on this site. What I really dislike is how religion stops the conversation. There is no openness, therefore, a reasonable trade of ideas is very limited.

Here’s one gem: “I go to church to worship in the glory of God.”

Well…She is all powerful…couldn’t you do that anywhere and She’d see that? And apparently Heaven has a cover charge, like a lot of clubs on the weekend, given how much money the church collects.

 

 

Masks That We Wear

Who loves dating? Who hates it? I remember one of my former friends saying to her husband as we walked by a North Beach bar in San Francisco, "God, I'm so glad I have you."

I smile as I think about that moment. Not because I hate dating, nor do I love it. I embrace it as I would a dentist appointment. I's gots ta gets my teef cleaned. Or suffer some severe bad breath and painful cavities.

Now, I smiled because she's a bitch and she causes all the conflict in her relationship. She had asked me before she committed to her wedding vows if I could teach her husband how to be more outspoken. I laughed and said no. Because her husband was naturally effeminate, and as a result not loud. I guess I'm loud.

Dating various women for about a year, I've thought about why one out of two marriages fail. And it has a lot to do with the images in our heads. Just like my friend, the bitch, she had an image in her mind as to what her husband should act like. And believe me. She had a massive list of improvements for her husband and how their marriage should look like. It all came down to what other people perceived of them. He needed a college degree. He should have a good, proper job. They should have a house, not a condo. They should have children because the societal norm is to have children. They needed a minivan because that was how you cart around your children. Sedans just ain't cuttin' it no more. They should do family things.

Lawd help mah soul.

Within my circle of friends, one of the women had complained about my humor and subject of conversation. Apparently, when I was talking to a friend of mine, we had made some lewd jokes. That's how guys talk to each other. Women, too, when men aren't around, right? She complained to one of the guys, and he came up to us and asked if we could be more considerate.

Here's tha thang: the conversation was between me and another guy (grammar!). If she overheard us, that ain't my problem. I can't control what she listens to. And if she took offense, then that is 100% her issue because I can't control her delicate sensitivity. Then she put her foot down and said she would never hang out with the group if I was there. In my mind, I as like:

So how does this relate to the divorce rate in the good old You Ess of Hay? I wanted to use 'aye' but that sounds like 'eye'.

Our friend said that if this girl tells people that we're rude or lewd or crude or nude or that we like food, then our chances with some of those women will die. Die. End! Forever go away! Like never come back!

Oh. Mah. Gawd!

For me, if a girl can't keep up with me—humor, spontaneity, physically, honest conversation—or at least makes an attempt at some level, then she and I should not be in a relationship. Can that change in the future? Depends if she can keep up with me in the future. On the flip side, there are women that I can't keep up with, and we should not be together. This isn't a black and white rule that I live by. But it's a good guideline.

Why is it a good guideline?

Yeah, I would so love to see more of your family photos

Yeah, I would so love to see more of your family photos

Let's think about a first date. The guy picks up the girl, opens doors, pulls out chairs, suggests things on the menu, has vanilla conversation, avoiding sensitive subjects like politics and religion, and pays for dinner. What a guy. Aw.

The girl smiles, laughs at every joke, orders a salad and a light entree, holds her farts, excuses herself to fart, sits with good posture, and has vanilla conversation, avoiding sensitive questions like what's your FICO score, how steady is your job, do you have STDs, do you live with your mother? So nice.

The date ends and both have had a pleasant evening and decide a second outing should be on tap. Yay...

I'm itchy

I'm itchy

One month in...

"I love you."

"I love you more."

"You hang up."

"No, you hang up."

Three months later...

He loves sports and spends his Sundays with his buddies yelling at the boob tube. She'd rather have him spend time with her.

She loves shopping, but he never goes with her.

Both see these things as speed bumps and continue on.

A year later...

They're living together. He doesn't make the bed, clean the sink after every use, leaves his clothes all over the floor, and he doesn't like talking about anything of depth.

She has more and more girls' nights out, seems anal about cleanliness and prettiness, and gets pissed off that he won't go to church with her on Sundays.

But they've invested so much in their relationship that they get married.

Five years later...

"I hate you!"

"I hate you more!"

"Hang up!"

"No, you hang up!"

Why is one arm longer than the other?

Why is one arm longer than the other?

Had they been more real with each other, they may have avoided a long relationship that ended in divorce. If church is important to the girl, then she better freakin' tell the dude. If sports and spending time with his best buds is important, he better not hide that shit.

So back to me, if a woman hates my humor, then we ain't meant to be. I don't believe in the church, so a religious girl ain't for me unless she's cool with letting me have my own beliefs. This shit needs to be out in the open. But on first dates and in social gatherings, we're so concerned with how people will see us if we're real, drying up our dating pool, that we wear masks and settle on the next best thing, which isn't best at all. Not even good.

However, if you are in a relationship that you want to save, and there's issues between the two of you, then one simple way of solving those issues is look at the images of what you think your relationship should look like and throw them out.

Like my bitch friend, she had a mountain of ideas of what her man should be, what her marriage should be, what her life should be, and she hated it all. I know she hated it all because all she did was complain, yell, and get really pissed off, like if she was on a continuous period.

image.jpg

Once you get rid of these societal norm images and allow your relationship to blossom on its own, then you can decide if your partner's quirks are something that you can live with. If you can't, then you've got to make a decision.

So where does this leave me? I'm still single. Not that that's a bad thing. It's good in a way because I can continue to explore other women and watch myself play the game, but I can't help but feel alone. So many people either want a relationship or enter one expecting it or the other person to make them happy. From that standpoint, I am alone. Because as I explain that happiness cannot come from another person, it can only come from within, I receive discerning looks as if to say, of course happiness comes when we connect with another person. If it doesn't, then why do humans want to connect? Simply put, it is our nature, just as it is the nature of water droplets to merge when they touch.

Where Da Beaches At?

Are you staring at my ruffles?

Are you staring at my ruffles?

Women. They have all the power, don't they? They can go into a bar and simply ask any man if they want to have sex, and that man will likely say, "Hell yeah!"

A man who tries this will likely get punched. Or slapped if they ask women.

But there's a saying: It's a man's world. And nowhere is this more apparent than in Hollywood. Isn't Holly a woman's name? And what are we doing in her wood? That sounds kinda dirty.

I was taking a much needed break from work and the bland laptop screen when I came across an article on RogerEbert.com: What Even Our Best Blockbusters Are Still Getting Wrong About Women, written by Kyle Buchanan. 

The article intrigued me because I'm always curious about criticisms of female roles in movies, books, TV shows because I write from female point-of-views (POV) in my book. I had read a review of Game of Thrones, and how the author - George R.R. Martin - who writes from different character perspectives had gotten a woman's character wrong. Basically, from the female character's perspective, she had been aware of her breasts swaying as she entered a room. And that was poignant for me because I had never thought about that. Of course a man writing from the POV of a woman won't fully understand what being a woman really means. That doesn't explain Memoirs of a Geisha. Then the reviewer turned it around and asked the men if we ever think about our testicles swaying when we enter a room? Only if my underwear feels rough. So I asked my then girlfriend if she was aware of her breasts swaying when she walked around, and she gave me a look like I had asked a stupid question. I took that as a No. 

This skin cream isn't working

This skin cream isn't working

Buchanan's article simply states that women are very under represented in movies. Even in the well reviewed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, there are really only three female roles with very little screen time. Most of the major characters are male, and even though the central storyline is about fathers and sons, women are crucial in the real world, any world that has opposing sexes.

When Buchanan asked the director about this, Matt Reeves ultimately didn't have a good answer and was disappointed by his choice. Though, he stated this wasn't a conscious decision, which I believe to be true.

The article had put a smile on my face. I mean, the article didn't caress my face and then I smiled cause it felt good. It had been a rough couple of weeks at work, and my writing coach had been kicking my ass, which is a good thing. But, in the midst of all that, I had done something right. Finally. 

In my book, I had made a conscious choice to include a lot of female characters, especially in leadership positions, despite it being a father son story too. The father had lost his son to a predator, and now he has to deal with the guilt of not being able to save his own son and the guilt his wife places on his shoulders.

That's my gum!

That's my gum!

I also needed female characters because they symbolize power transitioning from a purely patriarchal perspective to a more enlightened one. It's enlightened because there's a purpose to males and females, ying and yang. A lot of studies have shown that when men and women work together, they tend to accomplish things with better results as opposed to purely patriarchal (Roman Catholic Church anyone?) or matriarchal only groups. Nature created humans with opposite sexes, and with that, different strengths were given to each that are complimentary. It doesn't take much to prove this. The greatest human creation, a human child, can only be made by a man and a woman.

But, Jimmy, how about test tube babies. Sorry, brah (not referring to women's garment), but we still need genetic material from a man and a woman. There's no way around it.

The article is an incredible read. The comments are also interesting because you'll see both sides of the argument. Do we need token women? Is the reason male actors dominate summer blockbusters because they bring in the most money? What about movies such as Twilight, Hunger Games and Divergent that have strong female leads? Don't they count?

One thing about my chest, I am aware of it when I walk into a room. And that's because of the females. Not that I puff out my chest when women are around, I'm not that egotostical, but that I accentuate my chest. But, Jimmy, using a different word other than puff doesn't mean you're not puffing your chest out, brah. Sure it does. Right...? I'll take that as a No.