Coming 2 America

They’re making Coming to America 2 with Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and the rest of the cast. They are actually making a sequel and the ‘to’ is a ‘2’ in the title. I don’t know if I should be feeling nostalgic about this, I don’t think I can. Eddie Murphy nowadays is just not funny. I’ve tried to laugh for him, I have, but I just can’t. He was a comedy god in the 80s, you can’t deny that. Timeless stuff. But nowadays his comedy is just lame. Man, this is weird. What is going on in Hollywood.

8 1/2

I finally sat down to watch Fellini’s 8 1/2, a film that’s been ranked as one of the all time greats. I can see why, but I also couldn’t finish it. It’s a director’s film not a writer’s film.

Fellini achieved some visual magic for sure but the writing in it – the dialogue, the actions – are after a while quite maddening. Yet the film is stylistically flawless, and it feels as if it hasn’t aged that much some 40 or 50 years later. Most of the performances hold up as well, especially the protagonist and the people closest to him. It’s just that the actual film is difficult to watch the more it goes on. The tortured feelings of an artist that it portrays quite well in some ways are what make it a hard pill to swallow.

There’s not much of a story there, a director trying to get a movie together, who begins to doubt himself amid a circus of showbiz types and members of the Catholic Church. But even describing it like that isn’t actually what it’s about because so much of it is just about the things happening in between getting the movie together.

So the reason why I needed a break from it 20 minutes out from it’s end was the ceaseless, nonsense dialogue that got too much for me. By that point in the movie there are these hallucinatory scenes, which coupled with dialogue that sounds like people complaining constantly, which it pretty much was, I could feel my own sanity slipping. The dialogue does not stop. No one stops talking, there are no silences, no breaks. It’s fine for the most part but something clicked about that and I clocked off.

So this movie is the type of movie where you need to drink a lot of coffee to watch it and preferably in the morning when you have nothing to do. Neither of which I did. But I will. I’ll finish it off and give it a 5/5 for driving me crazy just because of how well it’s shot, how unique it is.

Pirate Radio

Cooper’s missing. 

It’s been 72 hours since he disappeared and the police are yet to do anything about it. They’re spread thin chasing leads about a spree of weird incidents across town. 

Cooper’s two best friends, Lara and Audrey, both deeply in love with the lad, have decided to search for him – even though he stopped talking to Audrey after a long date with Lara.

The two girls searched for Cooper at his last known location, behind the bar on the edge of town, where Lara admitted to Audrey she was kissing him after they asked a stranger to buy them a pack of beers. Besides that they know Cooper’s parents, who are even meaner to Cooper than they are to themselves, are doing nothing to help.

While the girls found nothing at the scene, many of the townsfolk were praying for the lad that night because the pastor had asked them too. Lara and Audrey knew this, they were at church when the pastor acted in accordance with his position in the community. But what the girls didn’t know was that some of these townsfolk were praying around a black cauldron boiling with oil and bone.

A text from an unknown number with the single word “unchanged” was sent to Audrey’s phone just as the two were leaving. It included an attachment of an image of Cooper before he met up with Lara. Specifically, he was sitting at the truckstop diner drinking a strawberry milkshake.

The girls made their way there and entered the diner with concerned looks, which at that time of night were not the looks two young girls should have while so many unseemingly types were around: truckers and drunks looking to do anything to not yet go home. However, none of them were paying the girls any attention. In fact, they were all too busy listening to a pirate radio station blast on about what the police had cornered inside the old Mill.

As the search for Cooper continued to turn up false leads, Lara overheard a biker at the diner mention how some young lad with lanky limbs he had working for him was no longer the person he made himself out to be. She tried to put certain thoughts out of her head, quickly shifting focus back to Audrey. Someone needed to, Audrey was young, immature and in way over her head as she tried to put the moves on a couple of loggers chowing down on turkey-burgers at a booth. She wanted to press them for information, but Lara put a stop to it. “Maybe he’s been like this all along…?” Lara thought. She couldn’t get it out of her head and hated how paranoid she was becoming because of all this.

In the mill across town, exactly eight police officers, the entire town’s police force, were inside the building, standing in front of a large office with no windows, signalling to each other to bolster defensive positions and make sure the thing inside had no way of getting out.

At the pirate radio station, the DJ quickly added in that a young lad with black hair and lanky limbs had been spotted with another man in a black “wizard’s hat” just outside the east side trailer park. He then thanked the locals and their commitment to the neighbourhood watch program. Lara and Audrey immediately knew it was Cooper because no one else could be described as lanky limbed. The DJ followed it up with that a man with a similar description as the one wearing the black plastic wizard’s hat was last week reported to have been fleeing Ned Dickens’ farm after one of his cows became violently ill.

As the girls were leaving the diner, a trucker asked them if they would like a lift to wherever it was they were going. They kindly declined, but he insisted he could get them to where they needed to be, such as the trailer park, faster than their feet ever could. Lara gave the man the finger before running out the door with Audrey in tow. They ran across the gravel car park outside the diner, stopping just at the road. It was dark out. They looked back to see if anyone was following but no one had bothered. In fact, inside the diner looked dark, like the lights were all off. But before they could think much of it, a red porsche came speeding to a stop right next to them. In the driver’s seat was a young man with black hair and lanky limbs, but it wasn’t Cooper. “Get in,” he said. “I’m going to the trailer park too.”

Flat vs Raised

Most people are used to flat or low-cut keys on their keyboards – mostly, because Apple made it fashionable. But are they actually of value to the writing process?

Flat keys are economical, ubiquitous among laptop users. Low-cut keys are standard in workplaces, going hand in hand with the Microsoft office. And then you have raised keys, standard on ancient keyboards yet also common on modern gaming keyboards. That always struck me as odd. Why do gamers need keyboards with raised keys? What’s so special about raised keys? What’s better for the writer?

When I was getting distracted while typing on the macbook, I started to realise that it was the setup causing much of the problem. It wasn’t conducive of creativity. It was small, not comfortable, oddly positioned and ugly. I then brought home a low-cut keyboard and quickly realised the way I type at work isn’t conducive of creativity either. Then I saw somewhere that raised keys on gaming keyboards are made for keystroke precision. Voila, the answer started to form.

I researched gaming keyboards: mechanical, metal, high-quality. They were made for that needed their fingers to feel comfortable while also free to move quickly around the space they were working on. But they were only ever marketed to gamers, never writers. Writers get fountain pens if they want a high-quality writing experience, which they give whenever writing on paper, but what about when you need to type stuff up?

I did some research then went out and bought myself a mechnical gaming keyboard with raised “brown” keys. The “brown” classification signifies the sound they make when you type on them. For brown, read: not annoying. It took a week maybe two to get used to the keys and since then I’ve never looked back. Typing on raised keys has helped me tremendously. My keystrokes are accurate, my typing is faster, my hands are much more comfortable, the experience always feels conducive of creativity and it’s fun. It’s actually fun writing on this thing.

So, even though I typed on flat keys for a long time, having my macbook since 2009. Low-cut keys for even longer and still use daily at work; I really dislike my work keyboard. I now use a mechanical keyboard with raised keys at home. And I’m never looking back. I even bought the mouse that goes with it.

Mission: Impossible marathon

I’m on day four of my Mission: Impossible marathon. One was great and the best one, a perfect template. Two was cool but over-styled, love the Australian setting. Three was very good but a little too Bourne. Four is solid for the most part but there is this layer of cheese, though it doesn’t touch Tom Cruise, and, as always, he holds the movie together. Only two more to go this week.

Deal with it

The problem with people is that they’re people, and people will do things that suit themselves rather than other people. Obstacles and challenges they pose. Gate keepers for paths to glory. As long as you keep in mind what you set out to do, your purpose, than you can overcome the problems people shall cause. Most of the time, you can do that by working out their personal motivations, why are they blocking this pathway, why now. That’s all people are really, a bunch of questions hiding away hopes and dreams, desires and needs, governed by fear and rooted in self-preservation. Here’s to gin.