Wednesday, June 17

Stop worrying

I try to make friends first. I've been told women appreciate that more. I'm now starting to realize that this was a giant lie. Some men find really amazing girlfriends with whom they have fulfilling relationships. What qualities do those men have? There's a difference between growing up and changing yourself to please others.

Some things are just not visible by just looking at them. There are guys out there who are hopeless in almost every possible way who just happen to have a girlfriend. There is something about their approach or how they live that puts them on the "yes" list. It's not always obvious above things like gold diggers and conventionally handsome people.

I'm thinking more of strategies and ways to work towards relationships other than pumping weights at the gym or changing your entire personality. People want the opposite sexes to want them, not some guise that they put on. A lot of people (both skinny and fat, tall and short) seem to somehow get away with finding someone special. It's as if some major character flaw is hiding under our noses.

You are not your id. If you want girlfriend material, then you need to become boyfriend material. This may require some small changes, or even some big ones, but you will still be you. There is no need for disguises (indeed, disguises work against you in the end). But you do need to be willing to make some accommodations for the people around you.

Stop worrying so much about getting a girlfriend, it'll happen when it happens. That's not to say don't try, but don't be desperate either. There's getting your shit together, and then there's making everything you do a performance. I don't mean this in a "I'm perfect the way I am", but to make having a significant other means you're validated in the fact that someone likes you; working your ass off just for the attention of another human being is somewhat unrewarding and way too much work.

Wednesday, April 22

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Anyone else annoyed that Astrid and all the friends were shit?


Usually I'm not against killing off major characters for dramatic effect ala Lion King but in this case it felt rushed and unnecessary. I wish they didn't make it so obvious that they were going to kill off Hiccup's dad, it would've made more of an impact if it didn't seem so predictable. I did appreciate that it was Toothless who did him in. I actually think the fact that Toothless did it was the only worth while part of it. I thought that killing him was the easy way out. Forcing Hiccup to nut up and all but I guess kids movies can't have 2 living parents. Really kind of brought the pacing and tone down when it didn't have to be. I though that scene was weird overall, but I did like it when Hiccup pushed normal Toothless away. Like "fuck you, dog, you just killed my dad get out of here."

My problem with the movie is that the build up to the conflict with Drago was really weak and I really expected more out of the final battle. It felt really weak in the end. Too much time was spent on Hiccup's mom. Valka took the death way too well. Hiccup didn't seem too impacted either. When someone that close to you dies usually you're pretty fucking sad and need time to recover. Why was it alright with everybody that that bitch was just gone for twenty years for no real reason. It's probably because everyone sees that she's incredibly similar to Hiccup in how she sees the dragons and Berk flat out would have killed them for 15 of those 20 years which she wouldn't allow. She had lots of weird feral quirks in her behavior when she was interacting with Hiccup (as one would expect from someone who hasn't interacted with humans in 20 years), but as soon as Stoick came around, suddenly she was acting perfectly human again. I felt Valka's role was to present Hiccup with the alternative life he could choose and been happy with, but ultimately gives up on because of his sense of responsibility. Was anyone else annoyed that Astrid did almost nothing again in this film? I wanted her to be the awesome girlfriend who made a real difference in the outcome of events but she was worth than useless. I don't entirely blame the screenwriters because there were just too many characters to focus on.

Plot hole: Hiccup missed the stuff where Eret proved himself, and there's a whole island full of people that would have taken in Skullcrusher. Had Hiccup seen Eret becoming "good" it would have worked. Without that, it was a plot hole, one of many. I'm sure Hiccup trusts Astrid, but it just comes off weird that he's giving his father's pet to a guy that's a complete stranger. It just felt off. There were a lot of things that felt off. I don't think it would really have broken the pacing, when Drago is giving his brief monologue on controlling the dragons to Hiccup/ them destroying his village and shit, the writers could have given him a thirty second, "but I found this egg yada yada" to explain it, while giving some irony to the fact that the man who hates dragons is in control of the strongest one. Elephant Chain Syndrome is plausible, but not in the movie. There's just too many things we're expected to overlook. The long lost mom is a stretch, the long-lost mom being insanely good with dragons is a big stretch, Drago the dragon-hater having control over a ginormous dragon with mind control powers is convenient as fuck, and then you've got little things like Hiccup suddenly trusting Eret even though he wasn't there when Eret showed he deserved trust.

You really can't make a longer movie these days; the critics will have your head. You can't even really make a movie paced like The Return of the King; critics will call it too slow. I'm kinda surprised movies aren't down to an hour by now. Pretty much all the critics agree that this film was worse than the original but that it is visually stunning. To think otherwise makes you a dumbass. I thought the first film had perfect pacing and a great message. This film was doing well until about halfway through when it kind of lost focus and the character motivations got weird. That's not to say that it was bad, but it's not the A+ film that the first one was. When I saw the first HTTYD it was one of the first times I watched the movie and actively noticed how amazing the soundtrack was. It's to be expected that the majority are new compositions of the old movie's themes. It was generally enjoyable, but the only memorable songs for me was one near the beginning and the song they used for the credits. It's good but a majority of it is just remixed songs from the original plastered with a few great new songs. Where No One Goes is pretty damn great. There's also a little love song, it's incredibly sweet. HTTYD is immensely better than Frozen (even visual-wise alone). But since this doesn't have any princesses or corny singing, then I don't know if some kids would go watch this repeatedly.

I do like how Drago's motivation was how he never wanted to be weak again. And that Hiccup realized he was too far gone to even remotely pull him out of his view on the world. I still need to see both HTTYD films a few times to really tell which one I liked better. They're both better than Frozen. Frozen was shit. Way too many songs is my biggest complaint. Drago is basically evil Hiccup. Right down to losing a limb and intelligence. Reminder that Drago and Hiccup basically invented the same net gun.

I would just like to say that Drago did nothing wrong. He did nothing right either. Eret was pretty cool in this movie but I hope he does better things in 3 with Skullcrusher. I don't know if I could handle Toothless just up and leaving. It'd be like...fucking ET, except more heart wrenching. I want to end with Hiccup finishing writing a book based on his and Toothless adventures and he peacefully passes away in his sleep. The Book is titled "How to Train Your Dragon" I have to say, the story is weaker compared to the first one. But god damn the visuals in this one are absolutely stunning.

Parents are soft about death nowadays. I think it's a good opportunity for parents to kind of talk about the possibility of death in life. I've always felt parents trying to hide death from their kids was rather selfish. They're only doing it because they don't want to face having to explain it. Death is another part of life, it's one of the few things that every single living thing on this planet has in common. It happens to all of us and sooner or later you're going to find out about it. I was really glad they had the guts to actually have not only a death, but that amazing funeral scene. I also admired how the movie had the guts to show a death and funeral scene; how they honored and remembered Stoic, how they drove the point that life goes on and we all have to continue to live, fight and keep surviving. Fuck, I hate over-protective parents who are protecting their kids for the wrong reasons. Teach your kids about death and sex and other important things before your kid learns that from somewhere else. I'm upset that parents are not complaining about it.

Appreciate what we have today because it might not be there tomorrow

Saturday, April 18

Adult

I'm an Indonesian that has only lived in US as a "foreign" country, so I can't speak to the experience of entering a totally different culture (other than moving to HongKong back in 1992 but then I was 6 years old, can't remember much). For some people, adulthood came about at age 25. I suspect it's different for everyone. I do know people that got there much sooner, usually because of family issues. Adulthood is less about confidence and more about realizing that everyone is varying degrees of lost or self-deluded. Very, very few people have a realistic idea of where they're going in life and how they're actually doing. These self-doubts have to be acknowledged and pushed past as the last barrier to living the life you want to.   I guess this is the answer was what I expected but not what I wanted to hear. I will just have to force myself then something might click.

Was there ever a time in your life where you realised that you were an adult? Actually feeling like an adult. Capable and responsible for shit etc. I guess I don't feel confident in myself. I feel as though I'm not capable of or should not be trusted to move into adult life. I want to travel to Japan at the end of this year but I continue to have looming doubts about my ability to travel and not fuck up big time. The idea of going to a foreign country and getting around, booking shit, organizing whatever else I need seems like a far to daunting task for me to handle. Even though my Japanese should be at an acceptable level to communicate I still don't feel confident.   

I picked it up recently and want to continue because it looks good resume wise and I like the language. Honestly I would have as much doubt in myself if I was going to an English speaking country. I also have similar thoughts about me living by myself. I don't feel as though I could handle all of the extra shit that comes along with it.

If you knew me you would most likely not guess that I had self doubts like these. Honestly, I feel as though I'm more mature than most people my age and I act that way. Not like a dick, rather I think about what I'm doing before I do it; maintain a logical head etc. Today me and two colleagues (one Korean, one Chinese) were discussing the competitiveness of Asian countries, specifically Korea. They were saying, "You have to do shit yourself, you need to go out and get what you want. You can't just sit back because you will become a failure in that environment". My Korean friend, who has lived in Korea then said, "Out of all of the white people I know, you would be the only one that I think could survive in an Asian country. Most people freak out with culture shock but I know you wouldn't. You also just get shit done and don't give a fuck. You can handle a competitive society".   This resonated with me because I never realized that people viewed me as confident, capable and self sufficient. Do I just need to do something that will spark a realization? Will traveling by myself be the thing that initiates the epiphany, or will this only come in time?       

Saturday, April 11

Nightcrawler 2014

Most sociopaths are not successful. They generally are too self absorbed and intrinsically disregarding of society to consider what society expects of them. Hence they tend to be poor, and unwilling to expend effort to acquire wealth.  A sociopath won't care about the admiration of others.

Wealth is admired only because wealth is a proxy for power. Because without the admiration of others, money isn't all that valuable. You can be poor and still be powerful- i.e. through gaining followers, rule breaking, manipulation, etc. So, it's rare for one to stumble across the opportunity to take advantage of a situation that would have them acquire wealth as well as fulfill a fascination, instead of just fulfill a fascination. To clarify, power gets you the admiration of others. Wealth makes you more powerful, but there are other ways to demonstrate power.

Something bugged me about Lou. He's portrayed as full of shit. If he is such a masterful sociopath and manipulator how come he came into success only so late in his life? Well he's portrayed as a pretty knowledgeable and manipulative guy, he would have at least had a few schemes going on that are better than metal theft and scrapping. He didn't find his niche until later. He wanted to make money but he had no skills in particular. When he discovered that he could make easy money by recording incidents he went right for it. He actually says it to Nina that he didn't find what he both liked and was good at until then. He would have at least had run a few schemes before he got into the nightcrawling such that he wouldn't be a total pauper. I always got the vibe that he was run out of town for the last shit he pulled or whatever, like this is a single chapter in his life. The ending was kinda lackluster to be honest.