atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2728: Where am I today?

I don't know. 1-10, I feel like a 2 or 3; but when I think about it I feel more like a 5. A general malaise of spirit, inchoate, without focus. Not "bad", just "not-good".

It's just enough to put me into "ennui" territory, where I don't feel like doing much of anything because nothing sounds interesting. Or maybe I'm just bored with it all, which is odd considering that I just spent two weeks in a place where all I could do was eat, read, or sleep. (Oh, I could watch daytime TV which is the very definition of "vapid", or I could socialize with a bunch of people with whom I have NOTHING in common, or....)

Well, perhaps my two-week vacation from intellectual stimulation wasn't enough to totally inure me to the feelings of "I've done all this before" that I get from various activities. And it's too damn hot outside to do anything outdoors that's more strenuous than walking.

* * *

The Boy Scouts are a hate group because they exclude gays, but gay groups that exclude those who "aren't gay enough" are simply exercising their civil rights.


Same-old, same-old.

* * *

Circumscision ban literature is anti-semitic.

* * *

This ought to be entertaining. Let George Lucas make his Star Wars TV series and further lay waste to the promise of the universe he created. It'll end up being a train wreck of awesome proportions.

People who say "George Lucas raped my childhood!" are overreacting, IMHO, unless they devoted their entire lives to Star Wars when they were young. Look: in 1977-1978 I was all over that shit, because at the time Star Wars was a groundbreaking film. Nothing like it had ever been done before and it captured the imagination.

Prior to SW, no one had done an SF film that way. Special effects were an afterthought, something shoehorned into the budget between props and costumes. No one tried to create a believable world out of whole cloth; the last time it had been tried was with Forbidden Planet in the 1950s, and that was done entirely on a sound stage.

SW actually took us to the places in which it was set. We were on Tattooine to see the beginnings of Luke's adventures. "Tattooine" was in Tunisia, and those were the only location shoots in the movie--everything else was shot on a sound stage--but it was done so well that it made the other fake environments feel real.

The special effects set it apart from all prior SF movies. They spent a lot of money on the effects, in some case inventing new techniques; the result was effects shots that looked like they went into space, just hung a camera on a convenient asteroid, and filmed reality--the ships were not obvious models and the motions were fluid and realistic.

When I was 10, I was a dedicated Star Wars freak. By the time Empire Strikes Back came out, I had moved on to real science fiction (and was, in fact, writing my own) and the SW franchise was just really frickin' cool movies to me.

So when people say--in response to the awful dreck that comprises eps 1-3 of the franchise--that "George Lucas raped my childhood!" I just sigh and shake my head. All George Lucas did was to take a movie series with incredible promise and tack on three of the worst hack job movies in motion picture history. They haven't ruined eps 4-6 by existing.

George Lucas' big crime is to keep fucking with those movies. Adding special effects to them didn't bother me; in the 1970s he'd had a specific vision for SW and hadn't been able to do it because the technology simply did not exist. He could have made the movie he wanted for about sixty million dollars in 1975 money, but SW was already a hideously expensive movie at $6 million--studios were not used to laying out that kind of money to make any movie unless it was chock-full of known stars. In 1975 George Lucas was a relative nobody and all his actors were unknowns. He had to cut corners.

But when he had the opportunity to insert those elements, he got carried away and changed things that should have been left unchanged. Greedo shooting first. Anakin looking like Hayden Christiansen instead of whoever-it-was at the end of Jedi. Little things--but little things that matter, little things that make the characters more realistic.

Han shooting first made him a real scoundrel. Han wasn't a good guy at the beginning of his story; he was a criminal and he operated in some rough company. WTF, he was working for Jabba the freakin' Hutt. By the time we get to Return of the Jedi, Han's volunteering to help the Rebel effort and has even come to lead a very risky mission to blow up the shield generator protecting the Death Star.

That character growth--the positive, real change, making him a dynamic and interesting character--has been eradicated by having Greedo shoot first. Instead of Han Solo starting out bad and turning good, now he's a pirate with a heart of gold. It's a little thing, but it's kind of not.

In order for the Hayden Christiansen thing to make sense, Ben Kenobi should have looked young, and Yoda, and whoever else did the "I died but became more powerful than you could possibly imagine" thing. They should have at least slapped some makeup on old Hayden to make him look older. WTF.

...but all of this is just stupid editing hackery made possible by computers. None of it rises to the "George Lucas raped my childhood" level.

And as for the possible TV series? If it ever happens, it'll be God-awful.

Kind of like Star Trek: The Next Generation. Gene Roddenberry was awesome back in the '60s and '70s. But by the time we got to the late 1980s, he'd lost whatever it was that he'd had two decades earlier, because the pilot for ST:TNG was awful.

Same reason eps 1-3 of SW sucked, too: there was no one second-guessing him. Whatever he wanted to do, he could do, and no one had the power to tell him, "Gene, this is shit!"

The first season of ST:TNG wandered back and forth between "acceptable" and "Jesus Christ!" But in 1987 it was the only SF TV show around, and it was Star Trek! So it somehow struggled past that. (If something similar were to happen now, it wouldn't make it six weeks.)

The second half of the first season was immeasurably better than the first half, and the second season was still better. The best thing that ever happened to that series was when Gene Roddenberry stopped contributing to it. It's a crying shame that he had to die, but if he had just written a couple eps and then stayed away from it the effect would have been the same. "Gene, what do you think of this?" "I don't care; I'm retired. Just send me my frickin' royalty check."

Something big like Star Trek, you have a legion of fans to keep the writers, producers, and directors honest. You can sit back and rake in the royalties and let others do the work.

* * *

Last night, after I got into bed, I started worrying: what if I deliberately hurt myself again? What if I do someting worse? I don't want to! I don't want to end up back in the hospital!

Then I realized I was having a panic attack, took Xanax, and slept like a stone.


So, of course, part of my utter lack of motivation is the after-effects of the Xanax. I still feel sleepy.

The more I think about it, the more I want to go ahead and have my RX reviewed by a shrink. The therapist, L., suggested it, and the social worker at Will County Health (who I saw Wednesday) said that was the one thing she could arrange for me, if I wanted it. It might not hurt to do that--maybe modify the regime and see how I do.

Psych medication is a finicky thing to get right, and it's nothing short of a miracle that my MD in Iowa hit the bullseye with the Paxil. I've done very, very well on that stuff, but I've been on it long enough that it may be time for a change.

* * *

Someone did a translation of the Kaze no Stigma light novel. It's not a very good one; the writing is wooden. Oh well.

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