Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Romance is horsesh!#

Wow, what a strong title, guess we're gonna have to say something special to justify that. Really I'm following a traditional journalistic practice of putting up a sensationalist headline and then following it with something that is either A: rather less overt or B: completely unrelated. Obviously though I have some beef with love...not really, I'm a huge fan, what I have a beef with is the modern portrayal of love in 90% of movies.

For example, I just finished watching Hitch. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the premise...ah forget it, if you don't know what it's about, watch it. Anyways, this chick screws him over royally. Why? Because she's irrational, jealous, and lacks the ability to openly discuss issues with him before getting passionately angry. But this is played off as her being a loyal that it? With one circumstantial second-hand quote you completely throw away all gut feelings about someone just based on what your societal perspective has trained you to believe? Panther piss. She behaves like an unreasonable wench, and he does nothing about it, apart from eventually vindicating himself once his life is ruined, and the lives of others with it. Once he's vindicated he ends up crawling back to her, asking for a second chance. And this is where the shovels start working.

Someone treats you like that, you don't say, "Oh, well she's a proud woman and independent and I can't live without her." No, you say, "Screw her, hope she gets fired after being forced to print a retraction." You move away, drink in a bar, and hold onto nothing but enmity for her.

This modern portrayal of the proud man having to realize how much he needs the woman and then come back to her, is not how life is, and it creates a false expectation in many young women that they can do whatever they want, they're the proud and free spirit that he has to come to accept. Nope, you're both people, and unless you learn to behave like decent people and develop some trust, you're never going to make it.

I'm not saying men are always right, but they're most certainly not always wrong. This ladies first mentality was created a long time ago with the concept of chivalry. Men would idolize their ladies, protecting them from the world, and putting their needs before self and safety. However it was a two-way street, in exchange for this sort of treatment the women acknowledged that the men were indeed doing something remarkable.

Now, with gender equality, women want to have all the same privileges, responsibilities, and power as men, but yet they expect to still be treated like queens by men, who have passed from a proud warrior dedicating himself to service of a fair lady, to mere footstools of servants. We're expected to put a woman before all else, but not given any of the respect that comes with this endeavor, it's just what you're supposed to do.

Thus, love is real, romance is reprehensible, and Hollywood is Horsesh!%.

On a different note, I really need to stop watching so many movies and reading the news all day. I get an extremely jaded view of the world, and after reading all the news I am less and less inclined to go back to America...not that anywhere else in the world is particularly spectacular, but I see a lot less abuse of power and oppression here in the UK, maybe because here people just don't care, they're okay with letting the government handle it. Honestly I don't mind letting the government do their thing, so long as they leave us alone to do ours. And preferably stop bombing foreign countries based on political and economic interests.

So, yeah, that's my rant for the day, all two of them. Brighten up though, hopefully this will give you a laugh. In keeping with the battle of the sexes theme today.

And one for Fathers' day, cause I'm pretty sure my dad has this book.

Enjoy, and have a happy Fatherz Day

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Here it is again, saturday afternoon. This must be what purgatory is like. You know there's something good at the end, but the lack of good just drags on interminably. I apologize for not posting all the time. I re-read many of my early works, and now see somewhat the difference. Back then life was an open book, so full of adventures and unknown paths that simply thinking about it set my head to spinning. Now, however, I can see the future clearly enough (so I think) to know what the path before me is, but not clearly enough to wax poetic about it. 3500 miles and several months still separate me from my greatest adventure yet, but the distance might as well be in parsecs. I'm not good at seeing myself settled down. Running rampage across the continents, acquiring a reputation and stories, yeah, I could see that. For me, that's the easier path.

I've always been terrified of settling down. As the elephant in Servants of the Queen by Kipling, I am betwixt and between. I know well enough my own imperfections to doubt that I will overcome them. What I do not know well enough is the strength that can be gained from faith and a loving companion. I see myself as I am alone, not as I could be with her. I am a hexagonal lattice, there will always be a bond dangling from the edge (yeah, sorry, dissertation permeates my entire thinking process).

What comes after settling down? Do we like....get old in one place? I dunno, I've never spend that much time in one place since coming into my own. There were always jumping off points just over the horizon, future paths to consider. Now though, there is one path, and it stretches out as far as the eye can see, showing no signs of a divergence. So yeah, that's the difference in my writing I reckon. I am terrified, and yet excited as I have never been before.

So...yeah, summation, I don't know enough of the future to see the adventures. The adventures may be on a smaller, less Michael Bay explosive scale, but they will ideally be shared with my best friend. One thing I do know, there will be plenty more slow saturday evenings listening to music and watching the sky fade to grey, but I can pretty much guarantee I won't be on here blathering on to you, I will be on a couch, a cold concoction of reminiscence in my hand, and my other hand will be holding hers, and life will be, in that moment, perfect.

Sorry, no poetry or deep platitudes tonight. Hope your saturday evenings are mellow, cool, and shared by those you love.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Under the Setting sun

Here in Wales the sun has just set. The sky is still the lighter blue of twilight before the night goes dark, and it's 10:30. I would apologize for not posting, but before tonight all you would have gotten is a short "Here's my daily routine, gym, lab, watch baseball online, eat some frozen food, sleep." Which is quite boring, nothing new has happened, not much exciting going on. Tonight however two things happened, I played some futbol with coursemates, and watched an excellent film, these things have gotten me in an artistic mood.

The Last Word
As I said, I found this to be an excellent film. Maybe it's the writer in me, but I always enjoy understated, realistic levels of drama. Stories that are fabricated, but the people in them react in a normal fashion. There's no overt comedy, no melodramatic rise and fall, just life. Good things happen, bad things happen, a joke gets told in passing, and that's how it goes. Somehow the characters become so much more relatable then, allowing us to truly experience the emotion as they are. I vastly prefer this to films where the entire point is to be sad, or make the audience cry. Because while life can be sad, it is often overplayed into tragedy for the sake of an oscar, but even while viewing an intensely sad film, I often struggle to understand the emotions portrayed, because it's just too much, there's no empathy between audience and character. Because of this, The Last Word was a great film.

Well, it wouldn't be a proper evening of kickabout if both my toes weren't bleeding, but happily the damage appears minor, no massive holes or ripped blisters, just ones that formed and popped. It was a good evening, the only two shots I took were both on goal, but blocked by a defender who decided handballing was better than letting it go in...kind of a dick. Granted I also miscued about 10 passes and through-balls, but hey, I'm American, we're not good at this. I forgot how much fun it is to get a group of friends together and just run around. One of the more interesting conversations I heard was a kid from Libya explaining that he wouldn't be going home this summer, due to a lack of interest in getting shot. He was so matter of fact about it, "I'm not going home, there I'd be killed." Happily his family is safe, hopefully soon they can all be together again.

There's a shine on the green turf as the players take the field. There are no stands, no crowds, no refs, and most of all no salaries. Uniforms are only makeshift, those who brought a red shirt against those who didn't. With a rush the ball is off, whirling and dancing through the forest of legs. The sun settles low over the trees as shouts of Line, Again, and Center echo off of the surrounding buildings. The most common sound is the rattling of the ball off of the fence behind the goal, since none of these are professionals. The heat, the excitement, there is a joy in racing along the springing turf, legs stretched out and lungs pumping. Friendships are forged, respect is given for a well struck ball, or a well cut out pass. It is a game, just a game among friends. As the sun sinks lower many legs tire. The energetic runs of early on are gone, replaced by closely marked friends, casually strolling and chatting, waiting for an opportune chance to spend some of their precious remaining energy on a run. But eventually the light fades, the boots are removed, and everyone limps off the pitch to return home.

Anyways, I'm off to bed, early start tomorrow. This summer cannot go by fast enough.