Author: ehawkes

Indications the Movie is Going to Suck

What’s the first sign that a movie is going to suck?
byu/fuzzyloulou inAskReddit

“I don’t do that anymore. I’m retired.”

“But you’re the best.”

“If I’m gonna do this… I’m gonna do this MY way.”

“We need you back in the game.”

“I’m in the game, it’s called retirement.”

“Your old partner was killed.”

“I’m in.”

“He died from old age”

Geriatric Hero IV – Bad to the bone

Whole movie is shown in the trailer.

Hulk (2003) was like that. As a kid I was so pumped for that movie, watching the teaser multiple times, then they dropped this absolutely incredible action packed trailer, with epic music and everything, holy shit, it’s still one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen.

Then I see the movie with my dad and it was like this slow art piece. Every action scene made an appearance in that trailer.

Seen this with my dad as well. He was already irritated, but when Hulk started crying, he was done. “My Hulk don’t damn cry.” were his exact words lol

I don’t know if this happens in other countries, but in the UK you occasionally get TV spots where they have mini-interviews with members of an audience who’ve just watched the film. So it’ll be filmed in a cinema lobby and be like “What did you think of the film?” and there’ll be a family of four going “Oh it was great, really funny, just perfect for all the family!”.

When you see one of these you know it’s going to be absolute dogshit.

Life Is Always Beginning

If such an episodic life dooms us to inauthenticity, then I say: So be it. The self is not a story.

But a discontinuous self forces us to live in the here and now rather than in the retold past and imagined future. We might even have the feeling that the self is constantly just beginning.

Life doesn’t need a narrative arc. We don’t have to be the stories we endlessly tell and retell about ourselves. Those stories are fabulation and — if told too often — falsification. The more gusto with which we tell stories about ourselves, the further we risk slipping from the truth. One doesn’t have to control one’s sense of self by constantly tying it back to some fictional story of identity.

To live episodically is to allow for the possibility of surprise in relation to the self. Sure, sometimes those surprises are bad. But sometimes they can be rather good.

Life Doesn’t Need a Narrative Arc
The story of the self is not always a grand tale.
By Simon Critchley
Mr. Critchley is a professor of philosophy and an author.

You Can Have a Story or You Can Have Your Life – ChatGpt on

did someone say something along the lines of you can have a story or you can have your life? If so, can you elaborate on what it means

The phrase you’re referring to is likely a variation of the quote “You can have your story or you can have another life. You can’t have both,” which is often attributed to philosopher David Eagleman. The essence of this quote is to convey the idea that people often get stuck in their own narratives, their own stories about who they are, what they can do, and what they can achieve. These self-created narratives, while sometimes empowering, can also limit personal growth and prevent individuals from embracing new opportunities and experiences.

The quote suggests that if you cling too tightly to your current story, your predetermined notions about yourself and your life, you might miss out on the chance to live a different, perhaps more fulfilling life. It’s a reminder to be open to change, to rewrite your story, and to explore new possibilities. Sometimes, holding onto a certain identity or life story can prevent personal evolution and hinder the ability to adapt to new circumstances.

In a broader sense, the quote encourages self-reflection and prompts individuals to question the narratives they’ve constructed about themselves. It invites people to consider whether these narratives are empowering or limiting, and whether they’re willing to let go of old stories to embrace new chapters in their lives.

RIP Michael Gambon, Anecdote from Anthony Sher book

Michael Gambon, Dumbledore in the ‘Harry Potter’ Films, Dies at 82
After he made his mark in London in the 1970s, he went on to play a wide range of roles, including Edward VII, Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill.

Below from, Year of the King: An Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook, by Antony Sher. Gambon talking about his audition for Olivier, where he did Richard III.

Gambon: `Shall I start again?’
Olivier: `No. I think I’ve got a fair idea how you’re going to do it. You’d better get along now. We’ll let you know.’

Gambon went back to the engineering factory in Islington where he was working. At four that afternoon he was bent over his lathe, working as best as he could with a heavily bandaged hand, when he was called to the phone. It was the Old Vic.

`It’s not easy talking on the phone, Tone. One, there’s the noise of the machinery. Two, I have to keep my voice down ’cause I’m cockney at work and posh with theatre people. But they offer me a job, spear-carrying, starting immediately. I go back to my work-bench, heart beating in my chest, pack my tool-case, start to go. The foreman comes up, says, “Oy, where you off to?” “I’ve had bad news,” I say, “I’ve got to go.” He says, “Why are you taking your tool box?” I say, “I can’t tell you, it’s very bad news, might need it.” And I never went back there, Tone. Home on the bus, heart still thumping away. A whole new world ahead. We tend to forget what it felt like in the beginning.’

Tolstoy – A Calendar of Wisdom – September 26

All true wisdom and all true faith are clearly expressed in the same moral law.

All the world is subject to one law, and all thinking beings have the same basic intellect. Therefore, all wise men share the same idea of perfection.

The more I dedicate my time to two things, the more they fill my life with ever-increasing pleasure. The first is the sky above me, and the second is the moral law within me.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Moral law is so obvious and clear that even people who do not know the law have no excuse for violating it. They have only one recourse: to deny their intellect, which they do.

A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul
Leo Tolstoy, Leo.

10 Books from New York Times Best Books of the Year Lists

Selections mine, descriptions from NYTIMES. Book links go to Amazon, list links go to NYTIMES.

The 10 Best Books of 2021
How the Word is Passed
A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America
By Clint Smith
For this timely and thought-provoking book, Smith, a poet and journalist, toured sites key to the history of slavery and its present-day legacy, including Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary; and a Confederate cemetery. Interspersing interviews with the tourists, guides, activists and local historians he meets along the way with close readings of scholarship and poignant personal reflection, Smith holds up a mirror to America’s fraught relationship with its past, capturing a potent mixture of good intentions, earnest corrective, willful ignorance and blatant distortion.

Invisible Child
Poverty, Survival and Hope in an American City
By Andrea Elliott
To expand on her acclaimed 2013 series for The Times about Dasani Coates, a homeless New York schoolgirl, and her family, Elliott spent years following her subjects in their daily lives, through shelters, schools, courtrooms and welfare offices. The book she has produced — intimately reported, elegantly written and suffused with the fierce love and savvy observations of Dasani and her mother — is a searing account of one family’s struggle with poverty, homelessness and addiction in a city and country that have failed to address these issues with efficacy or compassion.

Editors’ Choice: The Best Books of 1998
We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families
Stories From Rwanda.
By Philip Gourevitch.
In 1994 the Government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority of the country to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. In 100 days 800,000 people were killed, most of them individually cut down with knives. The daily killing rate exceeded that of the Nazi Holocaust, and the deed was done mostly not by trained cadres but by neighbors, co-workers, even family members. In the years since, Philip Gourevitch, a New Yorker writer, has talked to survivors, witnesses and participants to discover the origins and personal motives for this collective crime. His grim book — it is his first — lays a burden on the world’s conscience. This genocidal crime now has faces, names, personal psychologies. As we encounter people involved in the massacre, we cannot pull back from looking into their souls, and our own. As the title — taken from a letter by seven Christian pastors to their religious leader — indicates, there were warnings. Those given to international agencies, especially the United Nations, make dismal reading. And American policy, which encouraged the United Nations to stay out of internal conflicts, is sickening in retrospect. The history of Belgian, French and British racism in colonial times bears on the massacres too. Gourevitch withholds judgments, but his restraint gives his book a subtle, subterranean power.

Editors’ Choice: The Best Books of 1997
Into Thin Air 
A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster.
By Jon Krakauer.
Until May 1996, 630 people had climbed Mount Everest and 144 had died on it. That spring at least 30 expeditions of tourists made the climb. On May 10 a rogue storm blew up, and eight people in three separate expeditions approaching or leaving the summit died. Jon Krakauer, a 42-year-old writer, was with one team, assigned by Outside magazine to report on the commercialization of Everest. Although 12 people died altogether in 1996, he says, a record, 84 made it to the top, so it was a safer-than-average year. Krakauer explains the economic incentives for experienced climbers to lead groups of amateurs up the mountain, the even greater incentive for Nepal to license the trips and the total lack of incentive to limit the numbers risking their lives. When things go wrong in the death zone, the last 2,000 feet, and eventually they do, even the world’s best guides cannot save the tourists, or themselves. But his book does more than report on lethal tourism. He wrote it to ”purge Everest from my life.” It didn’t. It may put Everest ineradicably into your mind. This deftly constructed tale lets you sense the excruciating torture of climbing five miles high, the exhilarating and terrifying disorientation of oxygen starvation, the capricious moods of wind and snow, the strange seductiveness of death at odd moments. His re-creation of the storm that killed his companions swirls around the reader like the gale itself and gives this appalling struggle with death a horrifying intimacy.

Editors’ Choice 1992
By Pat Barker.
Pat Barker has been the model of a working-class realistic novelist, but here she leaps the lines of gender, class, geography and history at once. And she takes another daring chance: her novel is about real people who published their own memoirs. “Regeneration” is the story of the British poet Siegfried Sassoon, a World War I combat hero who in 1917 writes a highly publicized letter protesting the war and is sent by a baffled Government to a hospital where the distinguished neurologist and psychologist W. H. R. Rivers is pioneering treatments for shell shock. As an intense father-son relationship develops between the men, Ms. Barker’s themes — war and madness, war and manhood — make the madness of war more than metaphor. But, in the tradition of literary realism, she confronts reality without polemics, anger or artifice. Her story becomes a magnificent antiwar novel and a wonderful justification of her belief that plain writing, energized by the named things of the world, will change readers profoundly by bringing them deep into imagined lives.

Editors’ Choice 1988
Battle Cry of Freedom 
The Civil War Era.
By James M. McPherson.
James M. McPherson’s book – eloquent but unrhetorical, scholarly but not pedantic, succinct and comprehensive at the same time – may be the best volume ever published about the Civil War. Everything Mr. McPherson touches drives his narrative forward, and yet there is not a hint of ostentation from the first sentence to the last. He makes the war steal up on the reader the way it did on the nation, teaching the most important and dreadful truth of all – that no more than ordinarily sinful men and women, and able and patriotic politicians, and a nation enjoying unrivaled prosperity, can make irretrievable and deadly blunders. It is the timeliest possible lesson for us now, and we get it here from a great teacher.

The Magic Lantern
An Autobiography.
By Ingmar Bergman. Translated by Joan Tate.
It is not autobiography in the usual sense. For instance, there is much less about films than you might expect, even though Ingmar Bergman is the most thoroughly artistic film maker ever. And there is not much about his wives or other lovers, nor about his children. But there are gripping revelations, especially about his childhood, told in an unrelentingly honest manner. It is a random, anecdotal, unchronological book that gives you a picture of a highly emotional and not very adaptable soul. It holds you as many of his films do, and his story deals in totally unpredictable ways with a life filled with maladies and rages as well as with an intense love of theater. As in many of his films, by the end he has revealed things you may find it discomforting to know and a central character whom you may not like but who is stamped into your imagination.

Editors’ Choice 1986
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat 
And Other Clinical Tales.
By Oliver Sacks
With the lucidity and power of a gifted short-story writer, Oliver Sacks, an eminent neurologist, writes about two dozen patients who manifest striking peculiarities of perception, emotion, language, thought, memory or action. His decidedly original approach to neurological disorders – he writes like a philosopher-poet -is insightful, compassionate, moving and on occasion, especially when he plays naive about neurological literature, infuriating. His eminently humane approach, and his willingness to take seriously the ordinary locutions people use to talk about their conditions, are entirely to his credit. There is no one else who writes about what used to be called simply ”mental problems” with such understanding and such delightful literary and narrative skill.

Editors’ Choice 1985
Common Ground
A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families.
By J. Anthony Lukas.
Covering a great deal more than its subtitle suggests, this is a huge study of Boston in the 1970’s, when it was under the pressure of court-ordered busing to achieve school desegregation. The three families J. Anthony Lukas focuses on include only a handful of the hundreds of people in a multilayered account of the moral fabric of a city and the vastly different social universes of its neighborhoods. Eventually the turmoil surrounding the desegregation efforts is seen in the context of history, not just national history or that of Boston but the history of the little villages cities are made up of and in many cases even the histories of individuals.

Editors’ Choice 1984
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being
By Milan Kundera
With cunning, wit and elegiac sadness, Milan Kundera, the celebrated Czechoslovak emigre writer, expresses the trap the world has become in this relentless novel about four people who are born of images in Mr. Kundera’s mind – a doctor and his dedicated wife and a frivolous, seductive woman painter and her good, patient lover. The stories of this quartet, all of whom die or fade from the book, are engrossing enough. But this writer’s real business is to find images for the disastrous history of his country in his lifetime. He uses the four pitilessly, setting each pair against the other as opposites in every way, to describe a world in which choice is exhausted and people simply cannot find a way to express their humanity.

Ingmar Bergman – Woody Allen on

”The Seventh Seal” was always my favorite film, and I remember seeing it with a small audience at the old New Yorker Theater. Who would have thought that that subject matter could yield such a pleasurable experience? If I described the story and tried to persuade a friend to watch it with me, how far would I get? ”Well,” I’d say, ”it takes place in plague-ridden medieval Sweden and explores the limits of faith and reason based on Danish – and some German – philosophical concepts.” Now this is hardly anyone’s idea of a good time, and yet it’s all dealt off with such stupendous imagination, suspense and flair that one sits riveted like a child at a harrowing fairy tale. Suddenly the black figure of Death appears on the seashore to claim his victim, and the Knight of Reason challenges him to a chess game, trying to stall for time and discover some meaning to life. The tale engages and stalks forward with sinister inevitability. Again, the images are breathtaking! The flagellants, the burning of the witch (worthy of Carl Dreyer) and the finale, as Death dances off with all the doomed people to the nether lands in one of the most memorable shots in all movies.

A digression here about style. The predominant arena for conflict in motion pictures has usually been the external, physical world. Certainly that was true for many years. Witness the staples of slapstick and westerns, war films and chases and gangster movies and musicals. As the Freudian revolution sank in, however, the most fascinating arena of conflict shifted to the interior, and films were faced with a problem. The psyche is not visible. If the most interesting fights are being waged in the heart and mind, what to do? Bergman evolved a style to deal with the human interior, and he alone among directors has explored the soul’s battlefield to the fullest. With impunity he put his camera on faces for unconscionable periods of time while actors and actresses wrestled with their anguish. One saw great performers in extreme close-ups that lingered beyond where the textbooks say is good movie form. Faces were everything for him. Close-ups. More close-ups. Extreme close-ups. He created dreams and fantasies and so deftly mingled them with reality that gradually a sense of the human interior emerged. He used huge silences with tremendous effectiveness. The terrain of Bergman films is different from his contemporaries’. It matches the bleak beaches of the rocky island he lives on. He has found a way to show the soul’s landscape. (He said he viewed the soul as a membrane, a red membrane, and showed it as such in ”Cries and Whispers.”) By rejecting cinema’s standard demand for conventional action, he has allowed wars to rage inside characters that are as acutely visual as the movement of armies. See ”Persona.”

Through a Life Darkly
Woody Allen reviewing The Magic Lantern by Ingmar Bergman

The Singers Talk – Some Quotes from

Simon LeBon
How are you with hearing your own voice?
I don’t dislike my own voice, but I don’t like watching myself and I don’t like listening to myself because it’s not natural. It doesn’t help. It just makes me feel self-conscious. And I’d rather not. I’d rather be inside the singer, singing out, communicating something than standing outside of the singer, trying to watch myself and see myself as other people see me.

Michael Stipe
It’s pretty amazing how people can connect so deeply to a vocal.
I love the power of music. Singing along to a favorite song, finding harmonies and melodies within it that you love, that’s such a powerful thing. That’s such a powerful community thing. It really helps bring us together in a beautiful way. Singing is one of the most natural and beautiful things we all share. What we don’t share is the ability to hold a note. [Laughter]

Bryan Adams
Yeah. Hitting that note and sustaining it, while staying in pitch? That’s tough!
One thing about my voice: I don’t sing.

What do you mean?
Note. Note. Note. Note. I scoop practically every note that I sing. I sing [subtly ramps the note upwards] “ALL FOR ONE” Every single note is a scoop.

But all the music stops and you have to hit that note.
It’s not, [sings, hitting the note dead-on] “Let’s make it ALL.” It’s [runs his voice up to the note] “AAALLL.” So, you scoop up, that’s how you do it. I’ll do it slower for you. [Starts small and eases his voice up into the note] Everything I sing has a scoop to it. I don’t sing any note straight on.

The Singers Talk: The Greatest Singers of Our Time Discuss the One Thing They’re Never Asked About: Their Voices
Jason Thomas Gordon

Hanging Out in the Kitchen at a Party

Manhattan sidewalks harbored unmeasurable demand for more public space. This Flatiron triangle was particularly notable because the plaza lay just across the street from a lovely park. One of the planners explained: “Why would so many people choose the plaza over the park? For the same reason that people at a dinner party gather in the kitchen instead of the living room or dining room.

Paved Paradise
Henry Grabar

Why would people at a dinner party prefer to gather in the kitchen instead of the living room or dining room?
There could be several reasons why people at a dinner party might prefer to gather in the kitchen instead of the living room or dining room. Here are a few possible explanations:

Social atmosphere: The kitchen is often the heart of the home and a place where people naturally congregate during social gatherings. It tends to have a more casual and relaxed atmosphere compared to the formal setting of a dining room or the comfort-oriented setup of a living room. The informal vibe of the kitchen encourages conversation, laughter, and interaction among guests.

What does it mean to be *on*?
Impression management is a conscious or subconscious process in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event by regulating and controlling information in social interaction.[1] It was first conceptualized by Erving Goffman in 1959 in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, and then was expanded upon in 1967.

African American History Mural, Denver

I saw this when I was walking around downtown recently.  Around the anniversary of the Birmingham church bombing.

On the morning of September 15, 1963, Rev. John H. Cross Jr. and members of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, were preparing to start the Youth Day worship service when a bomb went off.

“I will never forget that horrific noise,” said Barbara Cross, the reverend’s eldest daughter. “I remember everything got real dark and you could hear kids screaming.”

At 10:22 a.m. a massive explosion sent glass, cement and debris flying. An FBI investigation later discovered that four Ku Klux Klan members (KKK) had planted dynamite under a cement staircase outside of the church.

The blast knocked down power lines and blew a hole in the side of the building, completely destroying the ladies restroom in the basement where a group of girls had been getting ready for church.

Four little girls were killed in the church that Sunday morning: 11-year-old Denise McNair, along with 14-year-olds Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins. Nearly two dozen others were injured.

60 years after 4 little girls were killed in a KKK attack on the 16th Street Baptist Church, memories of the lives that were taken live on

Camus on Handling the Meaningless of Existence, ChatGPT on

Did Camus say something to the effect that the proper response to the meaningless of life is to invent rules for it like a game such as football?

Albert Camus did not explicitly say that the proper response to the meaninglessness of life is to invent rules for it like a game such as football in his philosophical works. However, his philosophical ideas do touch on the themes of absurdity and the human search for meaning in a seemingly indifferent universe.

Camus is best known for his concept of the “absurd.” He argued that life is inherently meaningless and that humans seek meaning and purpose in a world that offers none. One of his most famous statements about the absurd comes from his essay “The Myth of Sisyphus,” in which he compares the human condition to that of Sisyphus, a figure in Greek mythology who is condemned to roll a boulder up a hill for all eternity, only to have it roll back down each time he nears the top. Camus concludes that we must imagine Sisyphus as happy because he has embraced the absurdity of his task and found meaning in the act of pushing the boulder, even though the task itself is meaningless.

While Camus did not specifically suggest inventing rules for life like a game of football, his writings often explore the idea that individuals must confront the absurdity of existence and create their own meaning and values. This can involve pursuing passions, embracing relationships, and engaging in activities that give life a sense of purpose, even if those pursuits are ultimately arbitrary in the grand scheme of things. In this sense, his philosophy encourages individuals to make choices and find meaning in a world that lacks inherent meaning or purpose.

Trainspotting – Desultory Quotes

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: [narrating] Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: [narrates] When you’re on junk you have only one worry: scoring. When you’re off it you are suddenly obliged to worry about all sorts of other shite. Got no money: can’t get pissed. Got money: drinking too much. Can’t get a bird: no chance of a ride. Got a bird: too much hassle. You have to worry about bills, about food, about some football team that never fucking wins, about human relationships and all the things that really don’t matter when you’ve got a sincere and truthful junk habit.

Diane: You’re not getting any younger, Mark. The world’s changing. Music’s changing. Even drugs are changing. You can’t stay in here all day dreaming about heroin and Ziggy Pop.
Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: It’s Iggy Pop.
Diane: Whatever. I mean, the guy’s dead anyway.
Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: Iggy Pop’s not dead. He toured last year! Tommy went to see him.
Diane: The point is, you’ve got to find something new.

Loss of WWI Youth – Chariots of Fire Speech

Master of Caius: I take the war list, and I run down it. Name after name which I cannot read, and which we – who are older than you – cannot hear without emotion. Names which will be only names to you, the new college, but which to us summon up face after face, full of honesty and goodness, zeal and vigor, and intellectual promise. The flower of a generation, the glory of England – and they died for England, and all that England stands for. And now, by tragic necessity, their dreams have become yours. Let me exhort you: Examine yourselves. Let each of you discover where your true chance of greatness lies. For their sakes – for the sake of your college, and your country – seize this chance. Rejoice in it, and let no power or persuasion deter you in your task.