Monthly Archives: February 2016

Metal

David Cronenberg’s “Crash” (1996, based on the J.G. Ballard book) is a psycho-sexual fetishization of the intensity of an auto accident as orgasmic transformation. Like the BDSM notion of pain meets transhumanism mediated by the devices of Detroit.

When my car was totalled on a morning in March of 2014 on my way to work, strangely I didn’t see things the same way. And that’s unfortunate.

I think it all comes down to support group, right?

Interestingly enough, “Crash” was shot in Toronto; same town as Cronenberg’s other old chestnut “Videodrome” (1983). I swear most of it was shot along the Gardiner Expressway or other points east-west. Practically recognize some of the places.

Keep it weird? Yeah, Toronto. Because Austin isn’t weird enough for this. For true. For true.

Until the End

In 1991, German director Wim Wenders released his magnum opus “Until the End of the World“. It is the penultimate road movie. It follows this young woman Claire on her journey from self destruction to finding her purpose to being a saving angel. It shows that we really are connected. The scale of this film is breathtaking. Although it had critical acclaim, it never had a wide audience.

I finally saw it a month ago. After hearing about it over coffee, yet knowing about it for a few years, I rented it. The only copy available anywhere in town was on VHS, so I had to dig my VCR out of storage. Even then it was at almost 3 hours long. On the first viewing, I was blown away. But there are more edits of this film than for Blade Runner.

Today, I took the opportunity to see the film in its original director’s cut, remastered, on the big screen, weighing in at 295 minutes (almost 5 hours). It was amazing. So beautiful. It’s so long that it truly is two movies in one. It shifts gears just before intermission. The first half is a globe-trotting chase of intrigue and exploration. The second half takes place almost completely in an aboriginal cultural preservation center in the Australian outback. It went from “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego” to “Johnny Mnemonic”-gone-native. It went from an expansive examination of the human condition on a broad scale, to an intimate examination of the human condition on a deep scale.

What the 5-hour cut had over the 3-hour cut was a lot of backstory, sidelines, and asides. We see the reason behind the character actions, such as why Claire was on a path to self-destruction. So much is explained, so much is explored. In watching the 3-hour cut, the characters go from one thing to another, and in the awkward jumps you can tell that there were some assumptions the viewer had to make. Those are fleshed out in the full cut.

It didn’t exactly have a happy ending, but it didn’t need to. It had a satisfying aftertaste. I was absolutely blown away, and I felt the connection to the characters and to the world more deeply. I feel like I’ve been on a vacation. I’m still savoring the flavor, texture, and aroma; it’s that good. I don’t have any life choices hanging in the balance, no actions to take, no resolutions. It’s not life changing, but I see things differently. Just like a road movie, my life is a string of events and episodes with motion but no direction; a ship under power with no captain at the wheel. Maybe, somewhere in the self destruction, I can find a transoceanic current to draw me toward making the world better. Who knows the sea?

More Blue Toys

I’m ever-acquiring more Bluetooth gee-gaws. I’ve been wanting a larger Bluetooth keyboard than what I had for, y’know, stuff, but really was kinda balking at paying more than $50 for something I may or may not use. So, uh, I found this:

A much bigger Bluetooth keyboard for all my mobile needs.

Big blue fingers.

So far, so good. Space key is a little hard to smack (as are some of the keys due to this being a short-action fingerboard), so I’m having to alter my typing style to make sure spaces are present. I like that it can pair with 3 different devices and that I can switch between them by pressing the yellow selector keys. What I don’t like is that it feels like Logitech manufactured this thing with a weight inside to make it feel more solid. If I’m buying something to be portable, then by gum it needs to be light. I think I’ll peel it open at some point and see about it.

You might ask me, “Why do you have this Bluetooth keyboard if you’re not going to use it all the time?” To whit, I respond, “Why buy a hammer if I’m not going to be doing carpentry all the time?” It’s a tool…there’s always the potential for a use somewhere.

Since I was already screwing around with Bluetooth devices on my phone, I thought that I would check out some headphones. I already have a pair (which aren’t so great), so how about something from another manufacturer?

Wireless wires.

Wireless wires.

Well, I guess these aren’t so bad for $25, but the high end is just not there. They’re not crisp. This makes me sad. Maybe it’s my old-man hearing, or the tight seal against my ear canals. I dunno. But at least they have bass and more-or-less stay in my ears, as much as earbuds do that sort of thing when I’m sitting still.

All this talk about Bluetooth has me eyeballing tablets, or something with more punch than my tiny Android smartphone. Found myself walking around the store poking at every tablet I could find. Them shits got me schemin’. I wonder if any tablets come with 4G radios…that’d certainly be a deal-maker.

I guess if I weren’t so tied to the necessity and functionality of the PC environment, I’d probably ditch my laptop in favor of a tablet. The future?

Touch, Type

So, this is a post made with this tiny little Bluetooth keyboard and my cellphone. It’s impossible to touch type with it, but it’s slightly faster than Swipe. Maybe I can get fast with it. Who knows? I certainly won’t be penning any Pulitzer prize papers with it, that’s for sure.

BT keyboard, BT mouse, and BT cellphone makes three!

BT keyboard, BT mouse, and BT cellphone makes three!

I even discovered that Android recognizes Bluetooth mice, which is hilarious to me to see a mouse pointer arrow on my cellphone screen. Crazy.

A pointer? On MY phone? It's more likely than you think!

A pointer? On MY phone? It’s more likely than you think!

My blog-writing platform just got a whole lot tinier…and more difficult to use. Progress!