Archive for justified

My Life: The Movie

Posted in Daily Prompt with tags , , , , , on August 28, 2014 by cueball

I first really noticed that people think of their lives as movies when the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal exploded.  Every talking head on sports television had to get out and scream about how if they had been Mike McQuery and they had seen Sandusky with the boy in the shower they would have gone all caveman and beaten Sandusky and rescued the boy and got him to the police.  Just like in a Bruce Willis movie. 

Whether they would have or not is irrelevant to this blog post (though it is interesting how a lot of guys on ESPN keep getting other people in fictional fights), what is relevant is that they all thought about it like an action movie.  We all think of our lives in that way at least a little.  We all day dream our lives like they were on the big screen.  We all have the same question, “Who would I cast as me in a movie of my life?”

Now, here is the interesting thing, I don’t have an answer to that question.  I do think of my life as a movie, complete with soundtrack.  Even if I am walking somewhere without my iPod, I hear some cool song playing in the background. However, I never cast the movie of my life that is in my head. 

I think there are two reasons that are slightly combined and another reason that stands on its own.  The first two reasons are 1) that I think of the people in this movie of my life in terms of characters and not as actors and therefore 2) I would need to see someone read for the character to cast it properly.  This probably comes from my attempts to write fiction and develop characters, who are inherently based on people I know, have known, and/or have talked to for 15 seconds.  I’m too close to the characters to see them as anything other than who they are as characters independent of any actor.  That is kind of weird, because often when I am reading a book, I cast the characters in the book as known actors in my mind.  I always have thoughts like, “If this becomes a movie, Sam Elliot would be perfect for that character.”

The other reason I do not think like that about the actors for My Life:  The Movie, is that until recently, I have not seen many true representations of me or the people I know in movies or television by actors.  I don’t just mean African-Americans, I mean Southerners both white, black, and Latino with whom I work and with whom I am friends. 

Rectify and to a lesser extent Justified are the first television shows, certainly in a long time and maybe ever, that have representations of any true Southern characters to me.  Rectify is the first television show I’ve seen in a very long time that doesn’t treat a Southern drawl as a sign of stupidity.  It does not treat small towns as some place that time forgot filled with all these quirky and interesting characters that show our protagonist, usually a white northerner, the true meaning of life.  Rectify treats its small Southern town as the living and possibly dying place that small Southern towns actually are and the people that inhabit that town as complicated actual humans and not caricatures. 

Speaking of caricatures, there is one other show on television filmed in the South and that is Reckless on CBS.  I will give them credit for filming in Charleston, which is the setting of the show.  However, my favorite thing about the main cast is that they only have one cast member from the traditional South, Anna Wood originally from Mt. Airy, North Carolina who plays a character originally from Chicago.   

The actor who I would cast as me in My Life:  The Movie?  I haven’t seen him.  At least not an African-American actor who I would cast, since only the same 10 guys audition for and get all the “black” parts on television.  This is another reason for me to go digging into African-American independent cinema.

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Random Thoughts Strung Together To Resemble a Complete Piece

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by cueball

During the day, I usually spend quality time thinking about one of these things:  beer, writing, literature, movies, television, music, college basketball, football, and soccer.  Seriously, if I put it on a pie chart, 98% of the chart would be one of those things.

I’ve been in an aggressively and happily pensive mood the last week or so.  That comes off about 2 months of being, as Hamlet might have called it, melancholy.

One thing I’ve done is I’ve started to go days without turning on the television.  This is particularly easy right now with most of the network shows in rerun and the cable shows not starting up their new show runs until January.  If there isn’t a basketball, soccer, or football game on that piques my interest I stay away from the television.

It seems a simple thing, but it has freed up my mind to wander to all the places I like it to go and find ideas to write about.  I can still listen to music and podcasts with no problem, but television was more than just a time suck.  It sucks the space for original thought out of my mind as well.

My relationship with television sometimes reminds me of Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy song “Television, The Drug Of The Nation”:

Apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive
the methadone metronome pumping out
150 channels 24 hours a day
you can flip through all of them
and still there’s nothing worth watching

Now, I love television.  From Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, to Battlestar Galactica, to The Wire, to Breaking Bad, to Justified, to Rectify, and everything in between there are great cultural and artistic experiences to be had with television.  However, those weren’t the things I was watching until 2 in the morning. This was not quality television.  Just whatever was on in hopes that it might be exciting for at least 30 seconds to make me feel better about whatever was going on in my head.

So, I’ve decided no television before prime time unless a sporting event worth watching is scheduled.  Then I’ll turn it on again in prime time only if I’m watching something specific.  If there is something on I want to watch I’ll watch it but I won’t sit around flipping channels hoping to find something to excite me.  If I’m busy writing or reading something interesting, I’ll just DVR it watch it later.

I feel better already.

I had nothing else to write about this morning.  There is a beer review or two coming up later today.  Also, I’m currently reading The Outsider (1953) by Richard Wright.  I’ll probably write something about that later today or this weekend once I finish.  It will be thoughts on it as a work unto itself and it alongside Invisible Man (1952) by Ralph Ellison.  These are two works that came out around the same time with similar characters and similar stories.  That isn’t surprising since the authors were very similar in the respective lives and outlooks on the world.