I’ve eased off the blogging a bit over the holidays. Maybe because I’ve been catching up with the family and going through a phase of enjoying the detachment from social media. Well, I’ve been around, but not writing about every insignificant thought that goes through my head.
2011 was good for me. Plenty of writing, plenty of reading. Lots of time spent doing the things I love. And I’m hoping that 2012 will be kind of like 2011 but with more of everything. And aside from my main writing goals (which I consider long-term goals, rather than “resolutions”), I’d love to get more writing published about the place, get my first book into print, and really get stuck into my creative writing honours, which I’ll be starting in second semester this year.
If I work real hard over the next year and a half, fingers crossed, I could even end up with a scholarship for a PhD. Dream big, work hard, what have I got to lose?
I’ve made three quick resolutions for myself, two of which are very easy to organise and try to manage. I’ll probably try to whip up a couple of lists to keep track of them better.
Number 1 is to finish all the books I started reading over the past couple of years. While I’m mainly thinking of my paperbacks, I should really count my ebooks too. I have a bad habit of starting books and not finishing them. And while I’m planning on reading up a shitstorm this year (I have an extensive amount of manga and bizarro I want to read) I’m hoping to catch up on all the books I should have finished a long time ago.
Number 2 is to read/watch more cyberpunk books and movies. Especially from the ’80s and ’90s. I love how some of them are uncannily close to what’s happening now. And I’ve got Blade Runner right up the top of my list, and I’d love any suggestions for good cyberpunk films, although I’m also referring back to the Cyberpunk Review for ideas (thanks to Brent Millis for putting me on to that website).
Number 3 is to watch all the movies and tv shows I bought last year, but haven’t yet watched. There’s a lot of films I’m itching to watch that I simply haven’t gotten around to watching yet. It’s pretty sad. But I’m really looking forward to it, and I think it’s something I should be able to smash my way through early on in the year.
I’m also pretty keen on finishing my compressed book reviews of everything I read last year. I think I’ll need to get on top of it soon, otherwise this year’s reading will consume me and I’ll simply sink back into the same hole I found myself in early last year.
And I’m also considering making a few changes to this blog, make it more reader-friendly, maybe try for a monthly thorough book review, maybe film review, I’d love to get into that sort of stuff and really deconstruct some narratives. I watched Hot Fuzz for the umpteenth time tonight (as in watched it once tonight, for the umpteenth time, not umpteen times in the one night), and I’d love to get into the mechanics of the film, the set up of the plot and characters, the tropes, fish-out-of-water narrative, parody, suspension of disbelief, development of motifs. And that’s without getting started on the filmography, match-cuts and such. Any good film or book, I find I just want to get right down to the miniscule details and pick it to shreds. Some people hate that, but I love figuring out HOW a film or book does what it does, and come up with an idea as to why it does that. Instead of just saying “oh I love Nick and Danny in Hot Fuzz, they’re hilarious”, I really enjoy being able to say “I love how their characters and relationship builds over the film” because the dynamic changes from around the major plot points.
Anyway, I’d like to have more interesting content going on here, I’d imagine I’ll still write an occasional post on whatever literary/cultural studies breakdown is plaguing my mind at any one moment (gender, capitalism, and the aesthetics of sex and violence in the media are always favourites). I’m also tempted to feature a writer friend/acquaintance every so often. Maybe with an article, maybe a short story or poem or something, or maybe an interview. Who knows.
Less of these long-winded rambling “here’s what I’m doing/what I want to do/what I should have done” type posts. More action.
Anyway, here’s a few things I’ve been watching/listening to.
I’ve got this song stuck in my head. And I was never really much of a Charlie Sheen fan. Never really watched Two-and-a-Half Men. But there’s something about a total freakin’ rockstar from Mars that appeals to me…
I’ve just started watching this show, Serial Experiments Lain. It’s a cyberpunk/psychological thriller anime from 1998. A couple of episodes in, it’s very strange, but quite compelling. A teenage girl kills herself and after, Lain gets an email from her. It feels a little like Perfect Blue with a hint of Ghost in the Shell. Maybe Ghost Hound is a good comparison. Nice animation, the plot looks like it’s really going places, and I love the dramatic tension from the understated title character. And the opening theme is pretty cool. And Lain wanders randomly about the house in a bear suit. Winning!
Now, this I haven’t seen. But I watched the trailer. First time I watched the trailer was a video without the subs. But I just kind of forgot about the dialogue, the visuals were that stunning. This is the best looking anime trailer I’ve seen, and the animation quality looks phenomenal. And the director did Ghost in the Shell, and I love that shit. I’d get it on bluray if it weren’t $40.
I must admit, The Hobbit is the film I’m most excited to see this year. And it’s in December. Fuck. I read the book in my first year of uni and wrote a paper on it. I loved it. Really, can’t wait.
I’ll wrap things up with this song from what I believe to be the best episode of Futurama. I adore this show. I’d probably call it as one of the most consistently entertaining American cartoons still running. Futurama and Daria are probably my two favourite American cartoons. This show has only disappointed me a couple of times. Most of the time, it’s pretty spot on. The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings tops the lot for me. Probably because it’s at that pivotal point in the series, the final episode of season 4 (before its cancellation). While the musical number’s not the best the show’s put out, but it’s pretty awesome, and I love the plot. As with any Futurama episode, it can go in any direction (it’s not set in a fixed formulaic mold as in those other animated sit-coms based around the nuclear family). Fry wants to impress Leela by learning to play the holophoner. He sucks at it, so he swaps his clumsy human hands with the robot devil’s hands, and from then on out, he’s doing his thing while the robot devil uses his sly cunning to get his hands back. Even outside the opera, the plot has a very soap opera feel to it, yet it still feels very organic to the characters. While they’ve had some real stunners in their run, and there are some genuinely brilliant moments in seasons 5 and 6, this, to me, is the high point of the show.
2012, la-de-da, woop-de-fuckin’-do.