This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Angelika White Theater.

Just got home from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. If found it to be good, but I like sad movies with a great attention to detail. It's really an interesting movie. But I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about all the hipsters that were down at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas, and really the hipsters that pervade all area around independant theaters. They were cloggin up the roads with their BMWs and Lexuses, and they bother me. It's not my place to judge them, and they're not really doing anything wrong, but they still bother me.

You see, they all want to be at the hot spot, right? Doing the hot thing? See and be seen? I'm so far removed from that I literally don't know why they all converge on the Angelika Theater district at 4pm on a Saturday. Is it to catch the Matinee'? Isn't the Matinee' something people who aren't cool enough are interested in? Are they trying to be artsy? Are they trying to impress somebody? Do they love being around people who are as white as them? All the different kinds of hipsters are there -- hipster teens in packs like really hot wolves who would get eaten in the real wild; hipster young adults who should be at school or Denny's or something and probably are actually there for the movies (of course the girls got all dolled up for it anyway to impress the disheveled-haired boys, who clearly want to appear aloof); hipster parents trying to recapture their youth and who think they're better than everyone else there; people trying to make a hipster statement with their clothing.

(To take a side trip here for a second, can we please get away from the idea that clothing is a means of self-expression? It is to cover our nakedness, nothing more. Anything more is vanity. Yes, this statement probably makes me crazy, but I'm convinced the world would be up to 27% happier if we weren't finding it necessary to look cool all the time. I mean, we fall back on the idea that we are "expressing ourselves", but often what we are expressing is not a statement at all but a desire for attention or even worse something we will regret saying later, like the 5th grader who wore the parachute pants to school and was remembered for it years later (I wish I could remember that kid's name -- Mike Schmidt?) . I say, F all that, we cannot be trusted to say things with our clothes. After years of shawls and Chic jeans, we've lost our clothing-expression privledges. Say it with me, "clothing is not a means of self-expression". Maybe I'll put that on a t-shirt.)

Anyway, back to the white people at the Angelika. I've figured out that this is why people overseas hate us -- they sees us as either "red-staters" (inbred hicks in pickups with a hint of *gasp* Christianity and *double gasp* Moralizing), or "blue staters" (white people who are selfish and arrogant posers who drive Lexuses and waste money on all sorts of crap and then turn around and criticise people for driving SUVs or not recycling.) They don't realize that even though the counrty is divided in terms of political parties, we are a nation of individuals. There are some countries where this is a concept they do not understand at all. They view life collectively, in community with one another. This makes them different, but we do not hate them even though things like Hitler and Stalin happen because of it. We rescue them.

What I'm trying to say is I can't hate the people at the Angelika even if they think they're better than me (which sounds like paranoia, actually -- the reality is they probably never noticed me. Those snobs). They're human beings just like me, even if they do waste too much time in the bathroom.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Remembrance (no War)

I remember when I was 8 and we flew to California for vacation. My mother's cousin (Rose, I think -- can someone confirm this?) lived on the coast, and her street was on such a steep incline it seemed to be built on the side of a mountain. I especially remember to this day the large dog that my mom's cousin owned licking my face. I especially especially remember to this day my mom's cousing talking about mudslides and how tragic they could be. I didn't see any when I was out there, but my imagination went wild with what a mudslide could possibly look like. I was picturing something akin to the chocolate slide in Willy Wonka, only worse-tasting. I saw in my mind huge torrents of chocolatey mud taking out houses, poles, and large dogs, and depositing them in the ocean.

The reality we are seeing now is much, much worse. After the Tsunami in Asia and these mudslides in Cali, we clearly need to rethink this whole "living on the coasts" thing. If I were an evolutionist I would say that the sea has a habit of reclaiming its own. I'm not, so I'll put it like this: God created nature, which has awesome power and points to Him. Ignore its warning signs at your peril.

But my thoughts are prayers go out to Asia, even though they hate us Americans; and, to Californians, even though they hate us "Red-Staters". Praying for those who hate you -- there's a lesson in there somewhere.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Alias: Part Two: Side Characters


Marshall somebody-or-other is the tech guy for SD6, more than roughly equivalent to James Bond's "Q". Things you need to know about him: He has a crush on Sydney, he's shy and nervous and goofy, and he's basically there for comic relief. The interesting thing about this guy is he comes up with brand-new technological marvels every episode -- from the camera/purse to the phone bug/wire to the fingerprint lifter to the, you get the idea. He's either very fast or very busy or both. Marshall is an example of a character that shouldn't work but does -- he's an obvious James Bond ripoff, and obviously comic relief, and he has no reason to exist outside of that. But we like him anyway.

Anna Espinosa was the Baby with One Eyebrow to Sydney's Maggie Simpson. She's gone now, but she sure was important early on. Maybe the actress that played her passed away (but couldn't she come back with a new face? This is a spy show) . Ok, wtf? I can't get blogger to get me out of italics. This is all coming out as an aside. I'm sorry, but I can't continue with this if I can't italicize when I want, where I want. Bleaaagh!

Ok. That's better. It's just as well, I don't want to discuss characters anymore anyway. I'll just skim over the archetypes: Hot Young Spy Bad Guy (Sark), Wisecracking CIA Friend (Weiss), Intrepid Reporter Friend (Will "15%" Tippin), Felicity-Style Best Friend (Francie), Unknown Important Character Who Could Show Up At Any Second (Mom). That about does it. Oh, there's also Sam from "The Single Guy", but you pretty much know he's dead from the moment you lay eyes on him.

The amazing thing about the show for me is all the spares that worked on it. I mean, the people in charge of this and having creative control over it are the same people involved in Felicity, for Pete's sake. Fricking Felicity. Plus, the director has never done action before, the actors are either unknown or spares themselves, and on top of all that it's on ABC. Let that sink in. They haven't had a good show since...gosh, I can't think of one. They never picked up Mulholland Drive, and God is punishing them for that. Anyway, God let this one through. How did this happen? Are the writers of the average spare show, say, Will and Grace, able to go off and write a perfectly good show later on if given the right environment? I don't know why, but this is fascinating to me.

Alias works because it has style, it has fun, it has plot twists galore, it has hot girls kickboxing, and it knows what its trying to do and it does it. And can I repeat that Jennifer Garner is awesome in the best female role on network TV. She manages to be both cute and bad-a__ at the same time. I wholeheartedly recommend it, even if it does take a few episodes to really "get" what's going on.

We'll see what I think after Season Two. Jack Bristow just did his most toolish deed ever, and I need to see what happens. come on, Netflix, disk two is a day late!