Monday, July 25, 2016


Never had I ever seen a full episode of Seinfeld until recently. Like many Americans, I became hooked. It is a great show, except for Jerry, who I hate.

Reasons why I hate Jerry Seinfeld's character in Seinfeld in a bad way, not because I am supposed to:

  1. That smirk. Nobody smirks like Jerry smirks, and no matter what is happening in the show, he has a trace of an awful grin on his face. 
  2. He tells jokes with the breathing room and build up for laughter. He's a comedian in the show, but he is also a character. The others believe their characters, Jerry makes his a joke. It's funnier when I believe, and I can't believe if Jerry doesn't.
  3. Jerry has nothing to him. Kramer is brilliant--he is full and vibrant, confusing, but developed. George has complex feelings of self-loathing and self-inflation. Elaine is a total judgy gossip who is just trying to get by. What does Jerry have to offer, really? Besides that dumb smirk. He bores me to tears.
Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Kramer (Michael Richards) are both truly talented and wonderful in their roles. They believe everything that comes out of their mouths, and in that moment they are their character. I love that.

I watched episode one after I started in the middle. That first episode is so flat and painful to watch. I hated every minute of it, turning it off before the episode ended, unable to bear another second. It is amazing how the writing was adapted, the pacing reworked, how those involved turned something awful into something really great, a classic. I admire that adaptability.

For the record, I'd fuck Kramer, marry Elaine, and kill Jerry.

About Me: an update

No longer a wide-eyed, youthful student of literature, I have graduated. Now my wide eyes burn with computer vision syndrome from my first big-girl job.

I've transitioned from soft Carolina to raging Devils blue, working in the development department at Duke University. It's a great place to be, and I'm very excited to get the experience. 

I moved from a belovedly sloppy abode to a crooked apartment in a hundred+ year old home with a deliciously inexpensive taco truck down the block where I have eaten most nights since living there. My love interest/housemate has been working nights, so I have taken to reading at the gym and obsessively cleaning the house around midnight. 

The search for an affordable camera is a painful one. I had to be held back from investing a couple hundred dollars on a beautiful ten year old camera that I found on Craigslist, catch is that it records on tape. I know I could make films on my iPhone, but I really don't have any projects in mind right now. I want to learn the tools, and carrying around a camera makes me feel more confident in looking like a dumbass trying to get the framing I want. I feel like Garp in World According to Garp when he decides that he will write, but then spends a year not writing, just absorbing BUT THEN he does become a writer. Okay, it's a fictional story, but whatever. 

Because of the aforementioned computer vision syndrome, I have been avoiding movies and television lately, reading more in the past week than I have in the past two months. I'm an avid reader when I'm in the zone. If I get around to it I may do some book posts here. I want to put a little more effort into these posts, I'm not super proud of them up to this point. I have to keep reminding myself that that is okay, I'm trying to learn how to write thoughtfully and create meaningful content that is still of the standard I am striving for. We'll see how it goes. At this rate, I'll pop back in two months from now. 

Sending sunshine your way.

Wetlands (2013) Film & Review Not for the Faint of Stomach

Disgusting is erotic. Eroticism is disgusting.

Total indulgence in a body--embracing oozing smells and secretions, relishing pieces taught to be trimmed and tamed--is fascinating. Sex is the closest thing we have to socially acceptable bodily indulgence. Sex smells. Sex sweats. Sex cums. We love it. 

Screenshot from trailer
Sex is also an oddly powerful word, regardless of its meaning. I've never really noticed the way it is shaped, especially with a capital S, the unusual x. Sex. Sex. Sex. 

Anyway, I say all of this while being known to obsessively pick at my skin, taking time to watch skin flake off my body and pus snake out of my acne, to stare in wonder at the blood that collects in my DivaCup every month before it spins its way down the drain, among other disgusting habits (dare I say hobbies?) that I have been taught to conceal. This could account for the affinity I have to Wetlands, a 2013 German film directed by David Wendt, starring Carla Juri playing Helen.

The film is based on a novel by Charlotte Roche, and chronicles a nasty teenager who takes pleasure in the nastiness of bodies. The film is indulgent in the disgusting eroticism of the body and so is Helen. Like the film itself, Helen is unafraid to confront the world with a bold and wry confidence that challenges the shy or prude around her. I like that, and I like her. I like seeing a character that is bizarre in such a relatable way. I like the idea of sexual liberation being paired with bodily liberation. Her pussy smells, not in a way that makes people crinkle their noses, but in a way that attracts men to her, carried by the smell of her totally rank vag. I've always liked the natural smell of myself, but I'm not supposed to, am I? If I'm giving TMI about my own filthiness, then I don't recommend the film. 
Screenshot from trailer

Carla Juri is wonderful. She believes in Helen. She is also outlandishly beautiful, which makes the filth surrounding her even more unsettlingly fascinating. 

Some of the shots and narrative feels a little too tried in the indie film sector of recent years, and seem like a mirroring of methods more than an original take. It takes me out of a story when I see something that was so obviously inspired by another. I hate when a character introduces themselves to us with a quick montage of bizarre, colorful scenes that shock us, the viewers, and put us in our places. Amelie did it and did it wonderfully. I shouldn't be thinking about Amelie's world. I should be thinking about Helen's. 

The film also ran into storytelling trouble by having too many paths it tried to follow. Helen and her best friend were great. Helen and her parents' marriage struggles got to be excessive. It felt out of character for Helen to push for them so much, too. I like the contrary parts of her personality, but it could have been drawn out by her best friend or her love interest. The divorce could stay, but could be woven into the story more subtly, without taking up so much space.

Screenshot from trailer
Watch the movie, indulge in the grossest parts of you. We're used to being exposed to sex and war, but we have not tapped into the disgusting on the same degree, so we still get shocked and unsettled by it.