post-ironic quotation marks

Slightly neurotic (but cute!) singleton looking for adventure, finical stability, and some delusion of meaning. With much thought in the topic of sincerity and the occasional film review.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

An open letter to New York City

Dear New York City,

Please be less windy. And have more Belgium waffle trucks.

thank you.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

My attempt at structuralist commentary. SPOILERS for Paprika


I recently saw Paprika. One thing that I really liked about it was how the plot line went against my expectations of the structure of the film. Normally movies end up pairing of the two most attractive people together. It doesn't have to make sense, but that's what happens. In Paprika, Chiba Atsuko a lovely scientists works with an equally handsome scientist, Osanai Morio, who confesses that he's jealous of the attention she gives to Tokita Kohsaku, a child in a giant genius body. Osanai harbors a crush on Atsuko, but since she's portrayed as an ice queen, it's hard to tell if she likes him back. During the first third of the film, I spent time thinking how lovely they looked as a couple, and then when he saves her from jumping off a balcony, I found myself thinking how that solves it. Atsuko is going to realize that Osanai is a pretty good catch and worthy of her love.

Except that he isn't (hey! I said spoiler). Instead, he's helping out the chairman of the board who wants to put a stop to the dream project to protect the sanctity of dreams by becoming dream terrorists themselves (or so the chairman claims). That there's the suggestion that he's being used by the chairman (or would be used) has little to do with it. I found myself feeling cheated that I was not getting the outcome I expected, and I found myself feeling bothered that I still wanted Osanai and Atsuko to end up together. Considering everything that's pretty bothered, but does deal with another classic trope -- redemption.

But why did I even feel that it was necessary to invent a relationship between two characters based on level of attractiveness in the first place? Because every other movie I've ever seen ends up that way. Even the ones that aren't romantic comedies or romances are also about the most handsome boy -- or even the not most handsome, but most sensitive, or most something boy -- getting the girl. Or else it's about him not getting the girl.

It's all about training. Stories, and movies are all about set up. If there's a gun in the first act, it needs to be fired before the end of the show. I've been taught to expect certain things in stories, but those expectations are on false assumptions.

For instance, that they guy is the main point in the movie. Paprika is about a therapist sprite, not about a hunky scientist. It's about the expectations of reality and the blending of dreams with that reality.

In the end, Paprika is not a movie about romantic relationships but relationships between people. That can be between men and woman, or old friends, or even realizing that the person you love is not the person you're suppose to.

Paprika laughs at what you expect movies to be about. And that's a good thing.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

If you read it in the Internets horoscope page, it must be true.

From today's horoscope for Pisces off of

Have you ever thought about writing, or perhaps working for a company in which you can use your excellent communication skills, jill? The planetary alignment is emphasizing writing and communication. It's time to show the world that you have a gift, and that people can count on you to do a great job. What about the publishing business?
What with only two publishing related internships, a few writing classes in Uni, and a computer clogged up with unfinished short stories? No, I've never thought about working in the publishing industry, or being a writer. Never.

At least the Universe believes in me! Now if only the publishing houses would.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Reason why the universe wasn't intelligently designed: the horrible fact that children are born into ignorance and each generation must relearn the wealth of human knowledge again. That all the advancements of thought and idea are built upon the previous generation (which is good, because otherwise everyone would be constantly reinventing the wheel), but in the terms of ideas this is a double edged blade because while theory might have discarded some useless idea (which if I discover on my own will have to realize that so and so thought of it first) but that a child needs to re-read the great in order to comprehend the present. But that leaves little time for enjoying the present. I'm talking of course about books mostly, that focusing only on the classics means that one will probably start to sound like Harold Bloom and condemn the modern literary scene to drivel. That the wealth of human knowledge must be learned and experienced starting from the beginning and working towards the present day, building and building until we are standing upon the shoulders of giants. It would be easier if we could just have all this knowledge inside of us to begin with. Maybe.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

I told my mom that she should read The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Every time she's asked for a recommendation because her friend wants to start up a book club, it's always been this one. But I've never really expected her to pick up that book. Most people never read what I recommend. And with mom, I'm constantly watching or reading with censorship in mind, there are so many things which she finds offensive, although maybe this has gone down a bit. Will this bother her or worry her? Is there something the character does that goes against her moral values? It is tiring to watch with other views in mind. Not necessarily will others find this good, but what will this say about me if she hates it? I should only recommend books to strangers.

But it's a wonderful book, and I hope that her book club friends will encourage her to enjoy it (they seem more the type).

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

I haven't written on this thing for a while, because myspace offers a count, and an upload to facebook. More readers, except that sometimes I don't want more readers. I just want to write something that isn't going to sit on my laptop for forever and a day, waiting for me to delete it. But when I have something clever to say, such as I'm forever interested in talking to people who work low level jobs in the film industry, I don't want my "friends" to see that.

Besides, the myspace blog has this horrible problem with looking like a live journal, and not respecting that I want my type to look a certain way.

So, here's to the revival of "post-ironic quotation marks." It will not be discussing anything to interesting. It will be horribly written, and it will be more or less for me.

What does post-ironic mean. It's not ironic. It's not sincere. It's an ironic form of sincerity, when a person knows that the word he is using is not appropriate word for the context, it is the right word, but is not the word he wants to use, meaning that it is actually a false or insincere word because he does not agree with it. (In that last rambling statement, right should have been written with quotation marks around it.) When the word is not your word, when it is not something you agree with, use the air quotes. It is after all another person's choice of word, not your own.

But, dear readers (who have found this blog after an abysmal hiatus) keep in mind that the use of the air quote calls to mind your values as well. If you use the air quote to signify words and ideas which you must use (because society, language, or something dictates that it is the sincere or proper use) which you don't necessarily agree with, then everything not surrounded by air quote can be assumed that they are words and ideas which you have no problem using.

This is akin to newspapers running corrections on the minor details they get wrong, or when an editor will comment upon the misspelling of a word in a quote by writing [sic], and there were many larger errors in the paper which were never mentioned or recanted, and not everything in the editors corrections were noted or corrected.

Because the words the person chooses to say are still his own, even when she feels that she must choose a word because it is appropriate to the situation or subject matter. By using the word she is agreeing with it, and there are probably many things that she says that she feels are not true or wrong that she does not set aside by using air quotes. It's realizing that she is parroting someone else, and that she is trying to be sincere or appropriate and still isn't, but its not playing games with the word in question. It's not ironic. It's beyond that.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pet Peeve number one about apartment hunting in NYC, if you're not on the lease then there's a chance that you will have absolutly no say about the apartment. You will more or less be required to change your lifestyle to fit in, and the asumption is that you will enjoy this change. If you don't like orange, and the person you're living with has decided to paint the living room bright orange, that's too bad. It's their apartment, you're just renting a room. Which means they can limit what sort of things you bring in -- the number of no meat kitchens is freaky -- your hours, whether or not you can have friends over, if you can stay in the house when you're not sleeping. etc. etc.

I also don't get the 'no kitchen' unless there isn't a kitchen, why can't i use it?

That being said, living with only guys sucks. The pair has the most annoying laugh I've ever encountered (the braying of jackasses), and the dishes sit in the sink until god knows when. They also have no design sense, but since I'm only here for the next week, I'll think that I'll survive. Now, off to the park and then to the coffee shop.