8/10/12: Batman’s Boots Edition

Since returning to Rock Hill, I’ve mostly lazed about, with the exception of occasionally dragging myself off the computer to take care of things.  Today’s lone validation of existence was heading to the dry cleaners for the very first time.  My suit pants and jackets have dust all over them from the last time I took them out and wore them (my father’s father’s funeral), or at least from when I dropped them all on the dirty floor after the ceremony.  For years, my mom would be the one taking our laundry to the dry cleaners, so I’m entirely unfamiliar.  The dingy buildings the service usually rests in had me wondering about “quality” of something I had no measure of judgment over.  The one I randomly walked into, right across from the dorms at Winthrop, seemed nice enough.  I half-expected to walk in and see an angry guy yelling about spilt coffee and throwing around racist slurs, but maybe that’s just because of movies.

Speaking of movies (did you notice the segue, did you, huh) I’ve since seen The Dark Knight Rises for the second time, with my dad.  The measure of hyperbole, both good and bad, in TDKR’s critical consensus is to be avoided.  I have to agree that The Dark Knight was a better film overall, but that doesn’t make this “horrible.”  Expectations shouldn’t get so ridiculously high that the same film can come out  missing one scene and be a tragedy.  Anyway, Bane is a character I love to death, and he’s relatable in all the ways your Hot Topic wallet chain-wearing kid wants The Joker to be.  My criticism remains, that the ending gets way too convoluted and then brushed aside way too quickly, but it at the very least tries for something more than, say, The Amazing Spider-Man.  Even a sincere thought is appreciated.

My feelings on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish Version) were also pretty positive, though with caveats.  If you’ve heard anything about the movie, it’s probably about how brutal and painful-to-watch the two (three?) rape scenes are.  When artists get all “I should be able to talk about anything with my work,” I tend to agree, but some topics are sensitive and need to be treated with respect.  The scenes in Dragon Tattoo are disturbing, and for the rest of the movie I prayed to the high heavens that it wasn’t just for shock value.  It turns out the scenes were relevant, character-building, and tone-setting.  The Swedish title is even Men Who Hate Women, so, you know, earned, I guess.  I don’t think of myself particularly squeamish in regards to depictions of violence or sex, but there is a line of acceptability, separating the needed versus the perverse.  Director Niels Arden Oplev puts one tiny finger right across that line, but you’ll probably find yourself justifying it by the end.

Aside from all that, it’s a pretty slick and engaging mystery tale.  Neat.

I perused the blogs of a couple of women I used to see, this morning.  The more I looked, the more I realized their similarities.  Part of that may be me reading into things, or it may be proof of a “type.”  They both have many a text post where they ramble on about whatever political or social issue is eating them up on the day, which isn’t exactly noteworthy if I do the same thing myself.  What I think is noteworthy is that both seem unchallenged.  More than unwavering, but unchallenged.  I know both are loners, with one who establishes quick and fruitless friendships while the other shuts out most of the sentimental world.  My theory is that they both rely on Tumblr or Facebook likes for the validation of their words, rather than proving those words right by conversation and impersonal argument.  The internet acts as a quick and dirty tool for enabling others.  It’s ridiculously easy to be a “friend” on the internet if all you have to do is click a Like button, while a friend in physical form requires more immediate communication.  Don’t let me be a crotchety old person or anything, because I am well aware of the overlap.  I simply believe we’ve all convinced ourselves that clicking a button is a sign of something deeper, when all it really is is the most casual note of observation.  Hell, I’ll get someone to like this WordPress post.  They’ve done it before, and I don’t know them, and rarely am I invested enough to suddenly call them best friends.  I imagine the physical equivalent is slowly nodding your head at someone completely across the crowded room, which would probably be seen as creepy.

Anyway, one cross-section I noticed was that of “Critical thinking is so dumb!  It challenges me, and that would make me uncomfortable!”  Every post similar to this will get at least ten Likes from some kid desperate for an Internet (Girl)Friend, and I don’t think anyone in the process realizes the harm they’re doing.


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