So Fuck You, You Can Go Cry Me An Ocean

[Save Rock And Roll – Fall Out Boy ft Elton John]

I’m mostly going to bitch about the episode of Glee where they commemorated Finn/Cory, and also catch up on my life. (I have to write these little intro excepts because Tumblr cuts it off pretty fast and I don’t know how to fix it.)

First, the Glee rant. For those of you somehow not in the know, the actor for the main role of Finn Hudson, Cory Monteith, passed away during July from a drug OD. He was struggling with drugs all his grown life, so it wasn’t exactly completely out of the blue, although he was supposed to have gotten better from the rehab stint he did a month prior. And also a quick disclaimer: I understand there are some strong and loyal Glee fans out there and since I’m going to be tagging this post, they might come across it. I want to make this clear: I mean no disrespect to him, to his work, or to his legacy. You’ll see that my rant is mostly about how the show treated the tribute to him, but some may overlap into sensitive areas.

The tribute episode for him, titled “The Quarterback“, mostly depicted a period of time after Finn’s death, where actors from the previous seasons as well as the current season paid him tribute through each of their storylines and song. It showcased the grief experienced by Finn’s mom, his stepdad Burt and his step-brother/co-Directioner Kurt; Puck his best friend from high school; Santana, the chick who he lost his virginity to and who was horrible to him most of the time; Mercedes who was just his friend but I think the actress was probably really close to Cory in real life, so she got her own song; Will, the teacher; Sue Sylvester, who actually had a really touching and out-of-character scene over him, which I again suspect came as a result of Jane Lynch being very close to Cory; and of course Rachel, aka Lea Michele, aka Cory’s real life girlfriend/fiance or however they were. Then, of course, everyone else were also featured crying and etc.

The entire episode, I felt, was a way for each cast member to properly say goodbye to Cory in a place where Cory meant a lot. And in that, it was very good. The emotions were extremely raw, and I even overlooked the bad lip syncing done when Rachel did her solo, because it was obvious that Lea was breaking down, and that was real. For the same reasons, I overlooked Sue’s huge character discrepancy because I know from interviews that Jane Lynch respected and loved Cory a lot, and of course she wanted a way to say goodbye properly on screen. For the most part, I think that all the monologues were either well structured, or at least forgiveably deviant. But, I had a problem with the story for the episode.

Because, see, Glee is a show about issues. It’s a musical dramedy, which tackles all and almost every hot button issue that comes around, which may be relevant to the target demography (teens and young adults). They had homosexual relationships, bullying, suicide attempts, trans-gender, divorce, adultery, teen pregnancy, hell they even had a school shooting. So when the episode started with Kurt’s voice over saying that Finn had already died, and that they did not want to go into the ‘how’ despite so many people asking, I was extremely annoyed.

Yes, this was a clear reflection of the real-life situation where all the tabloids wanted to talk about was that Cory died from OD, and how tragic it all is, when all they want is some privacy for the family. But in the show, in the story continuation, why couldn’t they address the OD? How is drug use and abuse not a common issue among the demography? There are so many ways which the OD could have been written into the episode without evening changing much of the script, and they really could have hit home the impact of an OD for some of the audience.

They could have easily had Puck feel extreme guilt that he didn’t look out for Finn at a party, where he OD’d. The survivor’s guilt storyline is almost identical to the real one that happened. It would have been a matter of a few extra words to put in Puck saying something like, “I was the screw up, not him. So why am I still walking around?”

Will could have gone through self-blame, thinking that he wasn’t father enough to Finn, and didn’t give him enough guidance, only to realize in the end that he did all he could, and ultimately Finn made a bad, fatal choice.

They could have easily had either Kurt or Rachel go through the stages of extreme anger at Finn for having done something so dumb, and died from it, and finally succumb to the real grief that is in their hearts, but they didn’t. They had a chance to show kids who may be experimenting dangerously with drugs that it could end horribly and hurt everyone around them, but they didn’t. They didn’t even so much as put a whiff of it. We don’t even know if Finn died from an accident or foul play.

And, I understand it was out of respect to Cory that they didn’t talk about the dark side of his life. I understand, most likely, that FOX probably didn’t let it happen, or the producers were worried that an episode might glorify drug use and ODing, and make matters worse. But I just feel like, with so many other teen after-school specials having dealt with the topic, that they definitely could have done something about it. It was a missed opportunity to take a tragic death and bring some good into it.

Alright, that’s it for the Glee rant.

Recently, I’ve been working a lot. The new manager has been very tough on everyone, but he has also trained me up in a lot of areas. I am now moderately confident in my coffee skills, and with more practise I’m sure I’ll be rather competent. I also got a new phone, the Sony Xperia Z1, and of course I ran it under the tap because the motherfucker is waterproof. I’m finalizing the steps to studying next year, and now I’m just waiting for summer to properly roll around so I can wear the new sunglasses I got from ASOS.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Phoenix Wright instead of Pokemon, and it’s quite gripping so far.

That’s all for now. I think I should find a theme for this blog but I feel like that’s not really my thing. Maybe the theme for my blog could be themes.

Alex.

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Keep it in the family

Today Mela and I went to see Crazy, Stupid Love together. It was the first time we went to see a movie together in the cinemas.

The movie was fantastic – and what else would you expect from Steve Carell? In an interview, he said that Ryan Gosling stole the show, but I think Carell still kept it his own. His comedic timing and facial expressions were still as on point as always. Julianne Moore kept up her end of the deal, portraying the infidel but regretting wife opposite Carell, mirroring his amazing skills. I have to say, though, spouse-wise, the chemistry between Fey and Carell in Date Night was much better.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s storyline was brought in almost as an afterthought – or so it appears at the start. But a twist in the plot – nothing Sixth Sense, don’t worry – saw that it was still brought together in a neat little bundle. Still, I feel that the structure could have inserted Stone and Gosling’s storyline a lot sooner, but as it were, it wouldn’t have made sense to do so.

It was a sweet movie, with the obligatory heartstring tugging declaration of love. The difference to the usual rom-com is that the main declaration was done indirectly over the phone in a manner more fitting for a couple who’s been married for 25 years. Nonetheless, the second declaration was done in front of a huge crowd with the cheesy “I should have fought for you” idea – I suppose there has to be a cliche moment somewhere.

In all, it was a very enjoyable film where the subplots were all brought together in one big climax. I would highly recommend seeing it, although perhaps not on the Xtremescreen – it costs too much.

Alex.

When we kiss, they’re perfectly aligned

[Such Great Heights – Iron and Wine cover]

My relationship with my mother has been improving lately. That is not to say that at times she inexplicably explodes at me, or something she’d do just make me lose faith in her completely – it’s a disheartening thing to think of your mother ‘ this is why I hate people’ (and I know it sounds harsh, but my mother’s view, for someone who’s meant to be a ‘minority’, is shockingly racist and narrow-minded).

But, apart from that, on a very basic level, things have gotten a bit better. She’s still strict on matters that confounds me, but she’s more lenient in letting me find my own way, and recently she’s been regaling me with stories of the awkward drama that’s been happening behind my back whilst I was young.

For example, it turned out that my mom’s family strictly opposed her marrying my dad – by technicality, they eloped.

It turned out my maternal grandmother, who passed away when I was 5 or 6 and who I thought loved me enough that she overlooked any shortcomings she saw in my dad, actually refused to see me for a whole year after I was born.

And then my mom told me about how my fraternal grandparents, who I know raised me until I was 8, offered to take me in because they saw how terrible the conditions were at my maternal grandparents’, and even though it was difficult for them they never complained. Originally my mother had told them they’d only need to care for me for 2 years, and 2 years became five and a half, and when she apologized, all they said was, “Taking care of your daughter has been nothing but fun, and it’s been a really good distraction from old age.”

I mean, I get that being their only grandchild, it’s an automatic doting kind of thing, and if my uncle had had a child – who would have definitely stayed behind in China – that child would definitely get more love than me, and that’s fine. But at the time they weren’t to know that I’d live overseas. It’s difficult to communicate with them because of the language and generation barrier, and there are a lot of things happening in my life that I just can’t explain nor expect them to get, but when I really think about it, I’m quite dreading the day we get a phone call with some gravely bad news.

But yes, back to my mother. I’m glad that she’s starting to take me as a mature and serious thinker. Recently a family friend of ours have been going through some weird stuff, where the mom of the family is just making plain bad choices, and my mom had been pretty worked up over it, but didn’t know what to say when the mom visited us, so I told her beforehand to just be diplomatic – don’t agree or disagree, because it would just make things difficult, and my mom’s health can’t deal with difficult. And the thing is she is actually taking all my advice, because she says I’m better at understanding social interactions.

We’ll see how this goes.

Also, the title of this post, for my own future references, has everything to do with a very important thing that happened. I don’t quite want to write it here yet, and it’s nothing personal against the person to whom it is concerned. We’ll see.

I’m damned happy.

Alex.

Just a dash of formaldehyde

[Build God, Then We’ll Talk  – Panic! At The Disco]

On my morning train ride today, I bumped into a girl who I keep bumping into particularly on Wednesdays in the morning. She’s studying some pretty interesting psychology and biology stuff, so she’s always regaling me with factoids.

This morning, she told me about how a friend of hers in Cornell had a lecturer who showed them this bone which had 26 markings on it, and said how researchers thought that it was evidence that the primitive man used to use the bone as a way to mark the passing of each day.

The lecturer then said, “but I ask you this: what kind of man would need to mark out 26 days exactly? Wouldn’t it make more sense that a primitive woman used this as a way to mark her menstrual cycle?”

When I heard this, I enjoyed a light-bulb igniting moment where my mind was opened up to beyond the generalizations which I have come to accept as normality, to a mindset where in primitive times, there were women too, and they did as much as the men did.

Alex.

Maybe I know somewhere deep in my soul

[The Only Exception – Paramore]

Day 10: How you wake up in the morning.

Well, going on from what I just wrote about my pillow…

It’s weird, I go to sleep curled up and in weird positions and I always always wake up dead straight and tucked in like Sheldon.

Some days I wake up pretty damn excited for the day, which is a bad idea because it builds the day up to ridiculous expectations. And I have many ridiculous expectations of my days lately.

Most days I wake up wanting to lie in, not sleep, but just lie there and think. I used to have amazing stories live and die while I lie there and think them. I wish I still had those moments of revelations.

I rarely ever wake up during that time a while after the sun rises when the birds are being very social. Nor does a rainstorm wake me up in time for me to feel really warm and  while it bitches outside.

Last year I stayed up all night to watch a FIFA game, and after the game ended, I was treated to the post game sunrise. I walked outside onto the balcony, and stayed out there long enough to let the dew creep up on my cheeks, and be chased away by my breaths. When you’re the only person awake on the street, it almost feels like the moment is all about you. When someone else who is awake walks past your house and sees you on the balcony, you just know they think you’re having unique morning thoughts, and are above the rest of the post-sun risers.

Alex.

The stars at night aren’t as big and bright as you made them out to be

[I Fell In Love Without You – Motion City Soundtrack]

Day 03: What you think about love.

Oh dear God no.

My thoughts on it waxes and wanes depending on how lonely I feel at a particular point in time. Sometimes I believe love at first sight that lasts a lifetime, and sometimes I just think LOVE STINKS WOAH WOAH WOAH.

It’s a very big and sweeping question to ask. I don’t really know anything about romantic love, but I do think I know some about friendship love, and I think that friendship love is great and warm and all, but it really doesn’t fill holes that romantic love fills (yes, yes, that is indeed what she said). That is not to say you can’t live without those holes filled (and it continues), but all – or, well, most – of us at some point yearn for that hole to be filled (voila).

It’s hard to put into words moments of love – it really does seem to be a phenomenon that only exists as an ongoing awareness, but I suppose if I had to pinpoint moments where I really felt that tug at my heart that wasn’t the copious amounts of junk food I eat, I’d say when I get one of those not-exactly-quiet-but-eventless moments where I think about the things someone has done for me, and realized the amount they’ve actually put up with me, and a moment that made me laugh, I get that gurgling warm feeling in my stomach which I think is called gratitude…or…love.

As you can tell, to me, love is an abstract idea which people have over-simplified to make their life more meaningful.

Alex.

Posting just to be vague…

I know how little I’ve been posting, and aside from all the assessment and my actually trying to do well in them – hence preparing and all that – and having nothing to really write about, I think it’s safe to say that everything interesting about me and my life is sort of on hiatus at the moment. I mean, I’m settling into work, which was the most recent new development in my life, so there’s nothing fresh to add there.

ANYWAY the vague part, which is just a thought I had today:

It’s easy to differentiate between being hung up on someone, and being hung on up on how you felt with them.

By the same token, it is easy to differentiate between someone who actually knows what they’re feeling – and someone who is just making excuses for slipping back into the habit.

Now that my immediate assessments are over, I will resume writing my Sex and the Screen blog posts, so they’ll be showing up shortly too.

Alex.