Whatever ….

I noted with misplaced envy that a woman poster with an unconventional name had complained on my Facebook feed about a troll who had prefaced his diatribe to her page by making fun of her name.  It should have been rather flattering, in a perverse way.  At least he read her post and had taken the time to think of a nickname and a reply. I get little response to my entries. Of course, I write basically film reviews (for which I actually got paid in a previous lifetime) and she writes political rants. That may be the difference.

When I first started writing this blog (an eternity ago in internet time) I wrote a lengthy critique on the work of one sun-dazed film-maker who had come back to haunt us with one more self-indulgent release and actually got a (largely snarky) reply from one of the film-maker’s longtime buddies in LA. Several years later, I get, as  I say, minimal response. However, the old maxim remains true – Be careful what you wish for.

A few months ago. I began receiving some intriguing posts from what appeared to be an attractive young American woman. Having experienced this “game” in high school and having watched the film Catfish (before the movie title became an Internet term) I did not make an expected move that could be deemed inappropriate or just plain humorous. I assumed the “posts” and “pics” were the product of some bored young suburbanites or some local men/women/collective who knew I was writing a blog (largely for my own reasons) and decided to prank me.  Since my responses to this mysterious “poster” were largely non-committal he/she/they eventually got tired of the “game” and moved on .

Still, it’s an interesting world we now live in.


Who Is This Rixbitz Guy Anyway?

I got a recent email ( part of a mass mailout) from a young woman in the States seeking to solidify a freelance job as a writer. editor, proofreader, etc. In fact, I have received a number of poems, short stories, song lyrics and other literary material from the UK, USA and Australia during the time I have been writing this weblog. For those of you who have sent samples of your work I’ve gotta say I bow to your talents and savour your words. However, I don’t want to mislead anyone: I have zip contacts or influence in the publishing or entertainment biz. (I wish I had because some of the stuff I have received is truly amazing.)

My career for most of my so-called adult life has been in small to medium market electronic media including commercial radio, newspaper columns and a contracted gig as a reporter/host for a weekly arts and entertainment program for a small cable TV network. I got a B.A. in English and History, hitch-hiked across Canada, spent 20 months or so  whistlestopping through Europe and parts of Israel (where I worked on a kibbutz and, later, on a “pirate radio” station in international waters) and Morocco, having many adventures along the way, some blog-worthy and some, uh , not.

I don’t wanna unwittingly catfish anyone so let me just say I’m an original Boomer living in (my) Sixties (and this time I’m gonna remember everything) and  I did inhale (man, did I inhale!) back when my hair was longer.

I originally started to write this blog to keep my brain from turning to jelly. Surprisingly, some folks actually  read my jottings.

Unfortunately for some of my acquaintances my WordPress blog automatically sends to Tumblr, Twitter and what is left of my Facebook “friends”. To those “friends” on Facebook I sincerely apologize (but the majority of them haven’t got this far, anyway. I would wager.

During the time I have been writing this blog, I have received over 24,000 page views. When I told my brother-in-law a few months ago, he laughed derisively and told me that he had received more  simply by trying to sell his car online. Probably. But then I’m not trying to sell you anything.

Those folks who wish to review films or books as soon as they are released may find this column hopelessly behind the times. The blog is simply a collection of scribblings about (largely pop cultural) things (books, films, graphic novels, music, quotes etc.) that I have discovered and  wish to share with friends i.e. anyone who reads this weblog.

Hmmm. it will be interesting to see if I have any pageviews after this confessional column. (Oh well. Might as well get a fresh start in the New Year.)





GUEST REVIEW: “The Dark Knight Rises”

I didn’t have an opportunity to see the latest Batman flick in a movie theatre (long story) but I did read an informal review by sophomore journalism student Sara Katherine  when it popped into my email box and, since I respect her opinion (and her ability to express it in an astute and informative manner), I asked her if I could borrow a few quotes until the film comes out on DVD.

Sara says she has mixed feelings about the flick. On the one hand she liked Anne Hathaway’s version of Catwoman.

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman: Purr-fect in the role!

I definitely preferred her portrayal of Catwoman over Halle Berry’s but I would’ve been okay with a little hint of Michelle Pfeiffer, but only a hint. Hathaway had a bit of  je ne sais quoi going on.  She brought a little class to Catwoman that I enjoyed seeing.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “The Dark Knight Rises”: Accept no substitute

She thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt was  ” completely convincing in the heroic, dedicated cop role. I am so very glad they didn’t stick him in the Boy Wonder’s costume at the end of the movie! I also liked that the script didn’t hound the point to death that he was foreshadowed to be Robin.” Although, like many young female moviegoers. Ms. K admits she has a blind spot when it comes to Mr. G.  ” I can’t criticize him because to me he will always be Tom Hansen of one of my favorite movies, 500 Days of Summer.”

Getting In Touch with Their “Dark” Side: from l. to r. Joseph Gordon Levitt, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon; Christian Bale as Batman; Tom Hardy as Bane; Anne Hathaway (Catwoman)

” I like that they left it to the end for the audience to find out that the child who escaped the prison walls was not Bane. That was very well executed.”

I enjoyed that Batman wasn’t the only hero. One reason I tend to root for Batman and Iron Man over characters like Green Lantern or Superman is because it’s more inspiring. Okay, yes, Iron Man is technically like a bio-human with his electromagnetic arc reactor, but that’s beside the point. The point is: they don’t start out with something superhuman about them. Being part of the 1% is amazing and gives them an advantage but it feels more hopeful. It took the police force (mainly Blake/Robin and Commissioner Gordon), Fox, and Alfred in his own way, for victory to be achieved. Let’s face it, Wayne couldn’t have done it all himself.

Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox: Inventive performance
Michael Caine as Alfred (pictured here with Christian Bale): The Butler Didn’t Do It

On the other hand, Sara felt that … There was a lot of themes trying to be crammed into one plot.  Is it a morality story? Is it about government/political statement? The citizens were definitely too wishy-washy for me. They’re afraid, then they’re siding with Bane and his minions in government executions which felt very French Revolution, and then, they’re honoring Batman again at the end. Is it about being a hero for others even when you don’t feel like it?

And then there was the ending. “The last ten to fifteen minutes ruined it all for me. I know they have to keep hope alive and all that jazz, blah blah blah. It was just too tidy for my taste. Everything wrapped up so beautifully in a wonderful justice always prevails package. Which, I know, is the way these superhero gigs usually work, but I would’ve liked a nice little exception. It was too clean and shiny in the end. I really actually would’ve enjoyed Batman dying instead. I mean if they seriously make another movie with Batman and Robin together, the people of Gotham should be angry. Batman Rises–AGAIN! I don’t think so. If he’s going to be dead, let sleeping dogs lie. Even though right now there’s no talk of another movie (it was supposed to be the end of a trilogy after all), you do truly never know with Hollywood .

The complete review is on Sara’s blog.

And while I’m at it let me throw in a plug for Ms. K’s blog. She calls it “Hope as an Anchor”. It is divided into sections such as “Books You Should Read”, “Poems I Adore” (everything from e.e. cummings and Edward Lear to some poets I haven’t heard of … and I’m an English major!), “Some Quotes I Fancy” (from John Lennon, Ferris Bueller and Albert Camus, to name just a few) and “Websites You Should Check Out(yes, she`s on Pinterest.)

To check it out click on the link below: