Sunday, February 04, 2007

Children, Connections and List

I can cross Children of Men off my 'Must See' list.
Note - spoilers below this picture...

Children of Men Movie Stills: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael <span onclick=Caine, Alfonso Cuaron" align="middle">

So many ideas and themes in this movie - and for pretty much most of the movie, the big ideas and themes didn't derail the film. From the harrowing last few minutes where the cameras move seamlessly from building to building as tanks were blasting so called "terrorists" out of hiding. A few people I've talked to say they were disappointed the way the movie ended, but given the other hour-and-a-half, I will say it's a petty gripe.

One of the petty bitches that I heard was the building-to-building fighting stopped once Kee emerged with her baby. The basic premise - a human birth is witnessed for the first time in more than 20 years - yeah, I would that would turn anyone's head - even during combat since the event would be so shattering. And, of course, the fighting resumed. Yeah, the execution was a tad clumsy, but honestly, I couldn't do better, so I'll shut the hell up.

It's a dystopian film, but it's a reality that can easily be envisioned. We had the Princess Di-like mourning of the death of the youngest person on Earth, the shelled cars that look like daily car bombing reports from Baghdad and the crackdown on terrorism and immigrants - taken to some extremes, but totally plausible if you take the stance that this is what would happen if for every terrorist event, there came more laws that chipped away at personal freedoms. It quickly moved to my top two or three movies of the year (United 93, Pan's Labrinth and Children of Men).

Moving on...this morning -
I was at The Radial Cafe - eggs, sourdough toast, hash browns, coffee and paper. A girl sat next to me and I overheard her conversation. I felt an odd connection for some reason, but I ruled it out breaking the ice since she was talking to a guy. I soon later heard her say "I have a journalism degree" and knew why I felt the connection. The guy left for church and I asked what she was doing with the degree.

It was a story I've become all too familiar with: doing insurance work for a company. She gave newspapers a try, but the $7 an hour wage just wasn't paying the rent and student loans. She lamented that she wants to get back into the field and ditch the "responsible" job. I'm in the same boat. I just applied for a job in central Oregon as well as Prague. Both promise a vow of poverty just as my car is approaching its twilight years. Soon, I found myself encouraging her to look into freelancing. I told her about how computer savvy reporting (being able to not only report, but post your stuff on the Internet, take photos and even video) is the way to survive. I told her to seriously think about freelancing. Basically, I was encouraging her to play it safe. The exact thing that I'm trying not to do.

There are others out there - in Omaha. There's enough to start a freelance support group: a place where all of us can trade stories, pointers and encourage one another. Just like Omaha's rock/indie music scene is supposed to be super supportive, the same ethos should apply to writing. Except for a few things: first - writing is a solitary activity. Second - though I'm not speaking for writers in general, I would say that if I was in this group, I would encourage writers to apply for certain magazines and give certain pitches...but only after I was rejected by that magazine.

Long iPod list since I had to work Saturday...

"Broken Chairs" - Built to Spill ****
"A Chance of a Lifetime" - The Rapture ***
"Ars Moriendi" - Mr. Bungle ****
"A Boy Named Sue (live)" - Johnny Cash *****
"Centre For Holy Wars" - The New Pornographers ****
"Instinct Blues" - The White Stripes ***
"On the Road" - Tom Waits ****
"Take to the Sky" - Tori Amos ***
"Lighten Up" - The Beastie Boys ****
"As Wicked" - Rancid ****
"My Finest Hour" - The Sundays ***
"Sweet as the Night" - ELO ***
"Yard of Blonde Girls" - Jeff Buckley **
"For We Are the King of the Boudoir" - The Magnetic Fields ***
"I Am a Pilgrim" - Johnny Cash ***
"Murder for the Money" - Morphine ***
"They're Red Hot" - Robert Johnson ****
"Big Day Coming" - Yo La Tengo ***** (Whitey's daily dose of Yo La Tengo, along with Tom Waits and Johnny Cash)
"Chillout Tent" - The Hold Steady *** (Way too many folks jumped onto this band with this album)
"Approaching Pavonis Mons By Baloon (Utopia Planitia)" - The Flaming Lips ***
"The Fly" - u2 *****
"Leif Erikson" - Interpol ****
"Solitary Man" - Johnny Cash ****
"Blackbird" - Beatles *****
"Creeque Alley" - The Mamas & the Papas *****
"Hat and Feet" - Fountains of Wayne ****
"3rd Act: ? Vs. Scratch 2... Electric Boogaloo" - The Roots ** (not much to it)
"Back in the U.S.S.R." - The Beatles **** (though not a fave - still better than a ***)
"Artistic Roll Call" - Bill Hicks ****
"Peas Porridge Hot" - De La Soul ****
"Please" - NIN ***
"To Have and Not to Hold" - Madonnna ***

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