Remade in Their Image

Remakes for the most part are a disappointing phenomenon. Why do
people feel the need to remake classics, and redo masterpieces, thus
leaving our culture’s sacred artistic ruins in ruin. Some are simply eager
to cash in on regurgitating old ideas, as the tried and true is a proven
moneymaker, and as the antithesis of artistic integrity and fond
memories, the market hates uncertainty. Others favor remakes as an
homage to the original work, but this is merely empty and ironically,
usually the end result tends instead to be rather insulting, missing
everything, including the meaning that may have made the original
groundbreaking, or interesting, something instrumental if not
monumental in leading to its succeeding. Support for remakes also
derives from people who claim that something, whether it be a video
game, a movie, a song, needs “updating” for the new generation, so that
they may appreciate it, believing the current crop of flat screen tweens
would not have the attention span, the patience or the capacity to accept
it in it’s current antiquated state. In other words, it should be remade in
their image; fast pace, action packed, with concepts easily “graspable”,
more controversial, superficial, and basically something that’s able to
hold the attention of your average undereducated, uninterested text
messaging teenager.

Under the guise of remaking, people are in effect rewriting, even
obscuring history, as the new “appreciators” most often are not even
made aware, and may in fact never discover that a prior(superior)
version exists. Many of the things that are being remade for today’s
society are in fact things which some of us nostalgically hold near and
dear as an illustration of everything that’s wrong with (and as a form of
escapism from) today’s society. Instead of teaching people how to
appreciate old things, how to increase their attention span, and how to
grasp the concept an original masterpiece was trying to convey, they
would rather make it more “accessible” to accommodate those who
could not appreciate it, would be unable to grasp it etc, thus discarding
much of the underlying theme which they thought made it such a great
idea to remake in the first place! It’s like if someone said the Mona Lisa
should be redone, because it is too plain and young people would find it
boring or unattractive to look at. But would this be anything other than a
sad irony, a missing of the boat? Should something simply be remade
to accommodate the ignorant masses, or should people be forced to
learn to appreciate it if they are to deserve to?

Tomorrow, will people remake the remade films of today, in their own
image? so that they will be interesting to themselves?
Or wouldn’t we prefer for them to understand us, the lessons we learned,
who we really were, what we believed, what we said, what we really
meant, in our own carefully chosen words?

From my 2008 Book, SideQuests

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Of Mice and Manticores

It’s always a struggle to get to the core
of what’s eating at the heart of the manticore
Who are we?
Why are we here and what does it mean?
another day, another dream.
That’s merely the difference
between the mice and the manticores
those who are, or
at least from afar appear as worker bees,
who don’t think to know,
don’t look and just don’t care to see.
Like the martians chronicled,
their secret of life is just to be.
Then there are,
the ones who differ
meaning those who prefer
to defer to dreams,
the manticores who would be queen
part men, part lions,
alert and aware
they must beware of the three blind mice
looking for the cat.
potentially, exponentially,
they are increasing everywhere.
In the future, as in the past,
like the spirit of the pioneers,
have such creatures all but disappeared?

This poem originally was written in 2005
and appeared in my 2008 Book, SideQuests

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Sometimes We’re Just Bad News

The Bad News Bears (1976)

bears5

Starring: Walter Matthau, Tatum O’Neal, Ben Piazza, Vic Morrow, Chris Barnes, Erin Blunt, Jackie Earle Haley, Joyce Van Patten, Brandon Cruz, Howard Culver
Synopsis(Unknown Source):

The success of this underdog comedy from director Michael Ritchie almost single-handedly spawned the kids’ sports film boom of the 1980s and 90′s. When beer-breathed ex-minor-league ball player and professional pool cleaner Walter Matthau agrees to coach a Los Angeles little league team, he soon finds he’s in over his head, having inherited an assortment of pint-sized peons and talentless losers. They play well-organized teams and lose by tremendous margins, and the parents threaten to disband the Bears to save the kids (and themselves) any further embarrassment. Matthau refuses, though, and brings in a pair of ringers: Amanda (Tatum O’Neal), his ex-girlfriend’s tomboy daughter, and Kelly (Jackie Earle Haley), a cigarette-smoking delinquent who happens to be a gifted athlete. With their help, the Bears manage to change their losing ways and qualify for the championship, where they face their arch-rivals.

I played a lot of youth sports as a kid: basketball, little league, tennis, softball, etc. From 1985-1992 i played in thousands of games, tournaments, matches, scrimmages, practices etc. I was never the star player on the team, but never the worst either. Always, i was the mediocre athlete, fiercely competitive and who played his heart out. I remember in 4th grade i was in the unique position of attending a school where there were no 5th grade boys. In order for the school to field a 5th grade basketball team they had to use us, the 4th graders. So basically we were 4th graders playing in the 5th grade basketball league. Well we were all excited when we finally got to play our first game, and i’ll never forget what happened when we showed up. The other team was older and twice our size and once they saw us outside the locker room, they started celebrating, screaming and high fiving each other, taunting us, as they knew we would obviously be no match for them. It was depressing and humiliating, but it was infuriating as well. We wanted badly to win and we played with everything we had and we beat them 18-16. The looks on the other teams’ faces after the game was a mix of shame and utter disbelief. As 4th grade kids in a 5th grade league, we went on that year to take 2nd place in the division(the team that took first really did deserve it as they were the best team and simply unbeatable).

All of my experiences in youth sports over the years led me to appreciate what an amazing film “The Bad News Bears” is. It captures so perfectly the essence of the politics, competition and emotions that go along with childhood athletics. A movie like “The Bad News Bears” could never be made in today’s politically correct society. Unlike the watered down, “Zoog Disney” kids culture of today, “Bad News Bears” shows kids as they really are. Awkward, self conscious, cruel and nasty. Do you think quotes like the following would have made the cut in modern kids films?

“What do you expect? All we got on this team are a bunch of j**s, sp**ks, n***ers, pansies, and a booger eating moron.”

In fact, the honesty of this film and the lessons it teaches is what appeals to me so deeply. If trying your best, playing fair, and just having fun is more important than winning at any cost, then you may in fact have to accept defeat. And perhaps life’s most important lesson, one I wish that I had learned long ago:

that by doing everything right, by putting your heart and soul into something that means so much to you and giving it your all, you still may not get the girl, you still are not guaranteed victory just by virtue of hopeful romanticism and having a heart of gold. So many modern films sellout on this point in order to score a cheap fairy tale ending. That’s precisely what makes “Bad News Bears” such a moving story of redemption, because it brings out the feeling of success against overwhelming odds, but also captures the heartbreak of working so hard and coming so close only to come up short with a lousy second place trophy in the end. Yet we remain hopeful romantics in spite of knowing the eventual outcome of all our efforts will probably just be a huge disappointment. “Just wait ’til next year”.

kellyamanda

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The Stepford Wives and The Men Who Love Them

The Stepford Wives (1975)

Starring: Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson, Nanette Newman, Tina Louise
Directed by: Bryan Forbes
Synopsis(unknown source):

“Ira Levin’s scary novel about forced conformity in a small Connecticut town made for this compelling 1975 thriller. Katharine Ross stars as a city woman who moves with her husband to Stepford and is startled by how perpetually happy many of the local women seem to be. Her search for an answer reveals a plot to replace troublesome real wives with more accommodating fake ones (not unlike the alien takeover in Invasion of the Body Snatchers). The closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she faces–not to mention the likelihood that the men in town intend to replace her as well. Screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and director Bryan Forbes (King Rat) made this a taut, tense semiclassic with a healthy dose of satiric wit.”

This film is an absolute masterpiece. There’s no need to even bother going to see the awful remake.

It’s very easy for one to identify with the men in this movie. Early on we see as Katharine Ross’s husband works hard to provide for her and loves her deeply. Her character comes off as nagging, nitpicking, and unreasonable and though she loves him she complains constantly and is obsessed with her “goddamned picture taking”. She resents him for leaving the big city and wanting to settle down in a mansion in stepford. He gets invited to join the town’s “mens association” where it’s revealed to him that all the wives in the town have been killed and replaced by robots and he must do the same to his. He agrees reluctantly though none of this is shown in the film as everything is seen through the wife’s eyes. The rest of the film consists of Ross’s character trying to figure out what is going on in stepford, and even as she slowly puts together the clues of what happend to the wives she is ultimately unable to avoid sharing their fate.

I’ve often fantasized that I could have cloned versions of the girls I like only i’d “make them reasonable”. Yet what makes this film so poignant is how it illustrates that the annoying qualities of girls, that can make them so difficult and unaccommodating, are precisely what gives them their appeal. I may roll my eyes at a girl’s constant indecisiveness, or get aggravated when they don’t do what i want. I might think the things they’re into are lame, their hobbies pointless, their coldness heartbreaking….but in the end i just grin and bear it because the truth is that deep down I love them so fucking much for being human.

unrelated footnote:
I’m pretty sure this movie is what created my affinity for girls who wear head scarves.

stepford

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“Mother Teresa” – A Camgirl on Sex and Religion

The opinionated Teresa from oish.com it turns out isn’t dead after all. She’s back, and she’s got some things to say about the Catholic Church.

I had a teacher for my Freshman year Religion class, he was a priest, and well I remember him handing us out these papers where it had a little graph. And basically, kissing with tongue was rated in the middle of the graph. And anything after that was all the way over into the ‘NO NO’ area. God, what a pain in the ass. I mean, why the hell do you think this big priest scandal is coming out? WE ARE HUMAN, WE HAVE NEEDS AND URGES and it just seems SO unrealistic to tell someone to just cut off this normal human urge FOR LIFE. It seems like it would only lead to that! And it also seems like priesthood would only attract men who had some sort of problems – hence the whole messing around with young children. Ugh. I know thats stereotyping – and I’m just talking IN GENERAL. I realize there are SOME people who will be able to sacrifice hugely like that because they have this fire for God and their religion. And you know, that’s great! But really, it’s so unnatural and it would be very rare in my mind.

Did you know that it’s also ‘wrong’ to masturbate under the Catholic Religion? At least that’s what I was taught. I remember when this kid in my class asked our teacher, Father S, if he ever masturbated and if not, how he was able not to. I kid you not, he turned like 20 shades of red. It was funny. We knew he did it.

Well it appears Teresa has a little bit too much machismo for my tastes, but she makes some excellent points. I went to a Catholic grade school myself, but I have never been religious. I was always a little partial to greek mythology, (seriously).

You realize stds are MORE likely through anal sex, and you can even get stds through oral? I understand girls who don’t have “sex” because they don’t want to get pregnant (and of course I understand truly religious people or those with really strong moral beliefs who decide not to have sex), but if you’re claiming to have all these morals and/or be religious … yet you go out having oral and whatever else with your boyfriend or various people – DOOD – you’re seriously confused.

I guess this is another pet peeve of mine. I understand it – i mean, as humans we tend to be hypocritical at some point or another. Hell I know I am at times! I try as much as possible NOT to be, but no one knows everything and we’re bound to change our minds as we learn new things. And especially being young, we’re thrown so many different messages from everyone so it’s just plain out hard. But really, if you’re going to call yourself religious, AT LEAST MAKE A REAL EFFORT, or just don’t call yourself religious!

As I said I’m not religious, and its been awhile since I’ve been with a girl “completely”. I’ve eaten neck with a couple girls but even that isn’t recent memory. I don’t exactly get out much since i started working 50 hours a week. Not too mention I had a violent breakup with my last girlfriend and have decided to keep things on a superficial level with girls and treat them as objects to keep the relationship on solid ground.

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Rumors of a Popular Cam Girl’s Death

It’s no secret that cam girls occasionally take a hiatus. However, I’m not so sure that’s the case with Teresa from oish.com. Apparently she hasn’t updated or appeared on the site in over 3 weeks and the rumors are starting to fly among her loyal patrons.

Concerned :I HEARD TERESA WAS DEAD.

Fan:
Me too….i feel so sad for her family and friends.

Floyd:
You better be wrong.Her family would never allow the webpage to still be up.

Paul from N.Y.:
Maybe she got AIDS and killed herself,you never know it could happen.

Sheila:
Unless her family isn’t very website and/or computer literate.

One would think that if rumors on your website began to circulate that you were dead, you might want to show up and disprove their validity. Anyhow, Teresa is extremely friendly and home schooled, therefore very intelligent compared to most cam girls. We here at onlinedailynews hope that she is all right and just busy enjoying the real world that the rest of us have left behind and will hopefully come to her senses and return to her site safely.

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