mockturtle (hellblazer06) wrote,

ashes to ashes

This is a valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens, where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operations from your sight. - The Great Gatsby

Every morning as the bus climbs up onto the bridge I look down into the valley of ashes, the actual Gatsby set, and it's so funny, because only earlier this year, on the very same bus, I was reading Gatsby and trying to visualise it, and now it's there, right there, right before my eyes. It was never a scene I could get my head around, especially in school, but now I will always have a visual reference. Bless you, Baz, and the weird morning meta you've created.

Please tell me that last week never has to be revisited, ever, in the ongoing history of the universe. There was one bright spot, though: the philosophy of Fassbender films.

My stiff upper lip re missing certain personages in Brissie due to work demands started to quiver as the day approached, as always, and again I turned to alternative entertainments. It does kind of work, the whole distraction factor, and besides, I did get to flirt shameslessy with my very own and most favourite twink.

I'd made it all the way into the city where there were roadworks everywhere and the bus stop to Newtown looked closed (hard to tell twixt patrons and slumped over drunks at times) and I was just about to get into a really good hand wringing fret when out of nowhere bounded Kid Awesome, who directed me to an aleternate bus stop. Is there nothing he cannot do? He was off to the gym (of course) and lives in Newtwon (naturally) so he knew exactly the best bus to catch.

Forgive my sarcasm. Kid Awesome is one of the finest human beings on earth, mind, body and soul, but my situation and ancestry (curmudgeonly cougar/embittered Scottish spinster) demands that I must be tetchy and unkind at all times.

Why Newtown? Sydney Uni have been running a series of lectures on Philosophical Concepts in Film, and I always sign up and always miss 'em due to this and that, but this time, exhausted as I was, I heaved myself from the bed and set off at sparrow's to get there in time. Despite all the bus stop boo hoo I managed to get there an hour early (but would not have if not for Kid Awesome) and thus managed to enjoy a coffee and toast in a Newtown cafe reading my now battered and dog-eared (just from a couple of weeks of bouncing around in the bag) copy of Kerouac and feeling very much like I was a child pretending to be a grown up. Which I was, except, sadly, for the child part.

I always remember my Dad drinking coffee in these scrabulous try hard beat cafes when he used to take me with him as a wee thing trawling his flea ridden commie bookshops. It must have been so hard, living out here sans decent coffee, conversation or bookshops. I wish he'd lived long enough for the internet, and for me to rediscover him properly as an adult. Ah, well.

Anyways, onto the course, and what a hoot. I had so much fun. I realise now how much I miss philiosphy, I never took it seriously at uni, just taking it to make up the numbers, and it was always such an easy A for me. I guess we never respect what comes too easily. Now my poor muddled brain struggles so it's more challenging, but at least it was something I could understand, especially with the films illustrating the points I might have otherwise laboured with, and by the afternoon I was holding my own in robust discussions, and getting the nods of the lecturer, and let me tell you, getting the nod off someone this week, well, it was the saving of me.

Oh yes, the lecturer, apparently followed like a cult figure, dressed head to toe in black with swept back hair, everything you could possibly want him to be. The very image of a philosopher.

So now I can manage a clumsy discourse on the Socratic themes in Hunger, the obvious Nietzschean tropes in X-Men and the like (hell, one of the clips was even Inglourious Basterds). So there you go, my Fassbender ogling managed to take on extra-textual meaning and discourse. Win.

I also noticed a lot of the imagery in The Passion of Joan of Arc seemed to be shared with Hunger, both of which deal with the examined life, etc. It's amazing, watching back these old films, just how ripped off and ripped off and ripped off again they are. I mean, we also watched clips from Citizen Kane (oooh! snowgobe!).

Then there was the historical Fassbender, where I watched Gunpowder, Treason and Plot on Saturday night, just cause. It is a relentlessly and irksome pro-Catholic tract, but Fassy was being his most handsome self, and, well, I'll just watch anything he's in, even under the guise of historical observance. Not a lot of examination or down-going in this, but you don't get that with fanatics (we examined that, too).

Oh, the Nietzschean themes in It's a Wonderful Life - giggle. I had no idea it was so deep. This course is fun, because I've been missing a lot, apparently. Asleep at the wheel as always, that's me.

Well, I am exhausted. I didn't tell you how my week from hell ended, with a Top Gear challenge in just trying to get home. There was some sort of traffic snarl, and, as always, they took away my buses to service the rich, so I clambered on one, only to be dumped off again. Three more buses I clambered on only to be dumped off as the drivers turned back to pick up rich people in rich suburbs. It took me over four hours and four buses to get home eventually. I crashed so hard on my bed I fell asleep after ten minutes of Winchesters and woke up with my glasses still on and askew. Oh dear.

At least the hotwater tap has been fixed here, so I can get a brew.

Sunday I spent running about trying to do everything until I fell over, and took Monday off because I was a poorly wee poppet. Yes, I probably am just an ageing hysteric, but I felt much better after a quiet day of typing, writing and sewing buttons back onto shirts and coats. I didn't even get online. I did get to watch the Winchesters, though. Silly episode, but I liked it. There are moments when the boys just pull faces at each other, which would be so cheap in other shows, but it kind of makes it in Winchester world.

Oh, I also found Casanova on telly on Sunday night. I didn't watch all of it, as it ran late and that would be naughty (always missing the Tennant for work, story of my life) but it was fun. I hadn't realised this telling of the tale had, well, informed other texts, shall we say. For me, though, Davey is the far better trickster, as, even when I see into those ridiculous blue contacts, I believe him when he's hurt or feels. It gives all the other tom foolery a little depth. He is not a man without purpose or goals, he is a man in love (albeit with many). That and I just adore David. That cheeky wink might have gotten a bit (okay, a lot) tired in Doctor Who, but here, it's just perfect. Oh, my cheeky boy. My sexy clown. My architect of his own downfall (through downfall comes understanding?).

Meanwhile, in an odd case of art imitating pathetic scrawls, the Fass is now being rumoured to play Alexander Litvinenko, which is a bit in the league of fooking hell, as I'd borrowed quite a bit of the former Mr Litvinenko when filling out Arkady's cv (I figured he wouldn't mind, what with being dead and all. Oh, if I'd actually finished it you would have been amazed and amused. All I can say now is fooking hell.

Tuesday night? Stranded again. The bus drivers must be still working to rule, and as we're stuck in gridlock for hours they just pull over and dump us on the side of the road when it comes to clocking off. I fogured that f I was dumped in Gladesville I'd try that coffee shop I see every day, but no, stranded in the middle of nowhere, but wait, it gets better, as the most violent and terrifying storm so far this year roared up. And I was clutching Himself's birthday goodies, including designer wrapping paper, $10 a sheet. Fabby. Squealed as the lightening struck. Bent under a year's worth of rain in ten minutes. Joy. Finally got going again after nearly and hour of stranding. Picked up Himself on the last leg of the journey. Shrug. What can you do?

Decided against getting online as it was still rumbly and late (four hours to get home) and I just poured myself a glass of wine and retired with my now very sad and battered paperback.

Oh, that hyterical thing? Scratch that. People might call me that, but by lunchtime yesterday I was rubbed raw with misery. I know, you're saying it's just an office, how bad could it be? As bad as the worst circle of hell, that's how bad. They are awful, bullying, contrary and ridiculous and I am heartily sick and tired of it. No wonder I shake and sweat every morning. Any sane person would.

Thursday. Oh, I didn't get online last night, either. It was stiffling, steaming, sweaty hot and I was tired and knackered after a long day of being screamed at (doing seven things at once isn't enough for these creatures) and I figured I was overheated and cranky and wee pootie would be same so I just called it.

The intent was to at least get some pen ink down on paer, but no, I wallowed in front of some very bad television indeed. Hawaii Five-0 has completely lost me in the stupid tv stakes, especially since they've nix the essential cop buddyness as originally established. I swear I only had it on out of misguided nostalgia for the original, and steaming childhood summers spent in the thrall of Steve McGarrett, the proper one.

As for White Collar? I'm really starting to hate the show. Or at the very least, tire of it, as it feels like I have sift entire beach-loads of sand to find one grain of gold, and I'm really not up for the effort these days. Only the extreme prettiness of Matty Bomer keeps me staggering on, though, for an all Mozzie episode, all the time, there were a surprising amount of Peter/Neal moments, as, just for once, the boys were pretty much on the same page. It works so well. Why they have to have them betraying each other every other day I do not know. The show works best when they're working together, Peter taking the high road and Neal the low, as were.

Anyways, pretty Matty, blah blah blah. And as for the hastily and very badly squeezed in voice over about their Nazi gold being okay, no, it's really, really not. There's no escaping the taint of stolen Nazi loot, and the fact that the writers think that, and had to be prodded into making some sort of afterthought statement, this far in, demonstrates what a pack of wankers they truly are. Would that I could send Magneto after Neal and Moz to teach them the very grave errors of their ways (in a way, in the fic, that is exactly what I have done).

So that was me, bad, bad, badly written tv, all the way. My only excuse it the heat and humidity, far to draining to do anything sensible or mature, I'm afraid. I did have mad philosophical dreams, in the three hours I had left to me, if that's any help.

Oh, I was up all night wrapping up the Peanut Gallery's birthday present, with the comedy non-sticky sticky tape and the cellopane that kept sticking to me and nowt else. The whole thing was meant to be a Steed style hamper to go with the Avengers 50th anniversary box set and other Avengers emphemera I'd bought on Ebay, but he seemed singularly unimpressed so that's that for my great idea. And I was so pleased with the way I'd put it together, too. Oh well. I would have been happy with it, but I guess that's entirely not the point.

Oh, speaking of Fassy, and I'm always speaking of Fassy as I'm back on the Fassy bandwagon bigtime of late, there remain abiding titters over my copy of Jane Eyre, which came wrapped with Nabonga. People who ordered this also ordered...error...error...ERROR...bzzt...BZZT!...KILL...CRUSH...DESTROY.

Yes, Skynet totally happens because of my daft Amazon orders. The Peanut Gallery has made some good runs at destroying the iTunes algorithm with his choices, but nothing can beat my insane Amazon orders.

Sunday. Yesterday we went on the annual route march that is sculpture by the sea. Never an easy job to get to the Eastern suburbs (barbed wire, machine gun nests, towers, etc) but we made it, two hours later than planned, and at the wrong beach (but the best we could do given lack of transport options). So we had a restorative coffee at Bronte, watching the crazy rich people, then Himself went over the headland to Tamarama, which nearly killed me, instead of round, as I used to. Oh, I'm getting old. I've done it twice on crutches, but this time round I really tuckered out, so unfit am I these days.

Anyways, grim, coal grey clouds gave way to brilliant, beating down sunshine (one elderly lady praised my pale British complexion, just before it burnt off entirely) and the crowds were thick but in good humour (I just grew weary of the young Asian girls who had to pose with and the feral toddlers who had to jump on every damn sculpture, despite the no touch signs, impeding my attempts to get a half decent shot of the things, cf old, tired and grumpy).

They were right though, cracking year, instead of others which have been soul sucking in their lame sameness (another shiny metal square, fine, you've found a theme and you're sticking with it, bully for you as you explore the same square space every freakin' year, you imagination-free talentless hack). No, this year there were many silly and delightful objects, which infuriates the serious art critics, who call it shameless populism, but I love me a colourful bit of quirky. There was a lot of sly humour and ridiculousness and Lewis Carroll absurdity in the pieces this year, which I liked (because I'm not a joyless and puckered old prune with no tv who only goes to see foreign films).

Hard to pick my favourite this year, really hard, but I think it'd have to be the weird yellow slug things that crawled from the sea and up the nearest block of flats, just for silliness and vague Pertwee-era Doctor Who-ness, which very definitely appealed.

Some photos here, more at my Flickr page.


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Tags: art, david tennant, matthew bomer, michael fassbender, photographs, sculpture, supernatural, the avengers, white collar

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