Monday, June 25, 2012

Vegas, Snark, Random Thoughts

I realized that I sounded like a horribly ungrateful brat after the last post so I wanted to rectify some of that.

I know that I'm incredibly lucky to have spent three nights in an exceptional hotel being utterly irresponsible while most of the rest of the world was at work in the middle of the week. I got to my room at the Bellagio and thought, "You put a small kitchen in and I'd be totally content living here."

Any fun I had or didn't have was completely my own responsibility and I should work on doing what I want to do to ensure having fun. Or recognize imperfect times as fun. I should also likely lower my expectations from "all the fun in the world" to "have a real good time" (sorry, couldn't resist). I likely put too much pressure on any given trip and that's not fair to some poor, unsuspecting city.

And I did have fun. Sitting pool side, sipping drinks, the endless people watching that Vegas provides and the snide comments I can make about those people while in the company of others. I drank more than usual and I enjoyed some fantastic meals and some horribly fantastic meals. I spent much time in sports books watching the multiple screens project all the athletic contests I could ever hope to watch even if I don't actually bet on sports. (Someone suggested I'd probably be good at it, with my ample knowledge. I don't have nearly that much confidence.) Despite it being desert heat, I never found the hundred on the thermometer to be oppressive, but quite pleasant actually, because I'm forever weird, and now have a nice base tan for when I do get to lay outside on a lounge chair again, which, really, is one of my favorite past times, even if that will happen infrequently during SF's "summer".

I thought a bit about our culture and how we're so far down a hole of snark that we have a hard time enjoying anything anymore. I'm completely guilty of this myself, and I think that's partly what happened in Vegas. As much as I love, and travel well with, my dad, our personalities are so similar that I think we feed off each and can get a little too snarky. Again, we had fun. But the sensory overload and all the problems with the town I had he had as well and this gets exasperated when we're together.

This led me to thinking about how our internet culture and Twitter exist to always boohoo everything as well. Very rarely is anything said with true awe or wonder. Again, I'm completely guilty of this. My default mode remains eye rolling teenager at just about everything.

If you haven't been paying attention, I was super duper excited to see Brave. I went Friday night, still exhausted from Vegas. Pretty much nothing was gonna make me hate this movie. I'd already decided I loved it. Which is why I stayed away from internet reviews. And I did love it. Buuuuutt. It wasn't quite what I expected? I wanted it to be a bit more swashbuckling than it was. It was a little too preachy in the "love your mother" thing, which didn't help that I was with my mother who could turn and say, "SEE! Always be nice to your mother!" (Also: that's not exactly the message, but nice try, mom.) I also wouldn't have minded a hint of romance. It didn't have to be a fairy tale princess story but a boy sidekick would have been nice. I also find that I always want cartoon movies to be longer, expand more on story, and then have to remind myself that they aren't made for me. Still. I hope there's a directors cut.

When I got home and did peruse a few reviews, they mostly said that Pixar was phoning it in. Which, while it may be true, is kind of a lazy thing to point out as well. "Yeah yeah, girl goes on heroes journey and that's not really that impressive because we've seen it before and WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY, PIXAR?" Ugh. Just enjoy it. It was beautiful. I mean, truly, a beautiful film. It's unfortunate that "girls with bows and arrows" could currently be its own genre because she was pretty badass. I want her hair, and her horse, and even the annoying little brothers. My main complaint was that I'd watched so many of the available trailers online that the first 20 minutes of the movie weren't a surprise to me. Oh, and I share my mother's complaint, "Her eyes should have been green, not blue." This may be personal bias as my mother and I both have green eyes.

Like I said, I was gonna like it regardless, even if it wasn't perfect. I hope everyone else does too.

Twitter has also universally decided it hates the new Sorkin show Newsroom. The basic indictment was that it's "Sorkin walking around being quippy for the sake of being quippy". Uhh. That's what he does. That's why everyone loved the West Wing. That's why everyone loved that Facebook movie. (I guess, I didn't see it.) It just felt like one person on Twitter decided they didn't like it (or read the New Yorker review where they didn't like it) and then no one liked it, as a way to prove how cool they were? I'm not sure. But it felt so disingenuous of a reaction by EVERYONE because we have this hivemind, it suddenly reeked of mob mentality and not original thought. Somewhere on there someone had an issue with character names. Wait, Nolan named the thread holder in Inception Ariadne and no one blinks but a girl named Mac Mac in a Sorkin show and everyone flips? I...don't get the world sometimes. They also had issues with "That's not how real news happens!" Well, no shit. It's television. Do you guys all think that West Wing was an authentic representation of life in the White House? But we all enjoyed that as entertainment anyway. I wonder how that show would have been received in the days of Twitter.

Which is all a long way of saying: I don't care what everyone else thinks, I quite enjoyed it on a sheer entertainment level. I like Sorkin speechifying. It gets my juices flowing in a way that doesn't happen with all the other mindless fun crap I watch. (Are you guys watching Lost Girl on Syfy? You should really watch that.) If being hip means hating things for the sake of hating things, I'm...generally on board with that. But even for me, it's starting to be too much. I found myself getting completely soured on Twitter, a forum I usually love to keep me up to date on everything. I don't have any deep thoughts on that or what it means. Just thought I'd point it out and maybe even try myself to be a little more positive? Just a little. I'm not capable of a lot.

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