Princes, Paupers, and Players

I’m always being berated for what I look like. It isn’t necessarily my natural–or lack-there-of–beauty that gets me the good seats on the scenes of public hangings.

The way I dress, the way I act, the way I talk, is viewed as offensive. It does not match up with the structured norm, and is an embarrassment when displayed for others to see. And all too often, I go rogue, sometimes defeating even the lowest expectations of me and setting a new standard for the rock bottom of near sanity.

This isn’t a sob story. This is an explanation for a puzzled majority of some of the thoughts of my minority.

We don’t want to be the paupers who scramble to convince the world that they are princes, and we don’t want to be the princes who attempt to create an illusion of modesty when so often there is no higher hubris than their own. We are the players that do not make legitimized contenders. We observe. We find odd ways to make our marks in history, and interestingly enough, it is more often that one of us gains true recognition in a world that sees us as outlandish. It may sometimes be negative recognition, but recognition all the same.

Better to be a dark mark on a permanent record than a dull shade of gray, and I have never known anyone who marches to the beat of their own drum to step back in line for perfect harmony.

Unless they are afraid.

And unfortunately, that fear isn’t rare.

I wish I could change it, but I am not an activist. I am an ear and a pen, and that is all there is. There isn’t any more.

Madeline.

An Anti-Abortion Augury

I am not an activist. I do not rally for anything. I do not push my beliefs on others to control how they act. I do not care about what other people do, especially if I don’t play a part in the outcome. This is not a post about the rightness or wrongness of aborting what isn’t yet a child.

I now recognize that, that statement may convey my actual feelings on the subject, but I’ll move on.

I’m writing this because I simply don’t see why people get so heated about abortion. If you aren’t having the child, why do you care so much about what happens to it? I realize that this sounds insensitive and cruel, but the reality of the situation is, if you are not someone who was personally included in the seed-planting portion of this union, you don’t really have the right to dictate the results. You’re not the one who was throwing free throws and scored.

Some people see it as murder. I get it. Who has the right to take any life? Maybe no one.

I just don’t understand why men get so broken up about it. I mean, if you had a one-night stand, odds are you don’t really care about the person you just soiled with your surprisingly skilled swimmers. It was just companionship, and you were about to face a punishment you probably weren’t ready for.

Bonus points if you’re already dating someone else.

You want to make yourself unhappy just because you believe that keeping an unwanted child is “the right thing to do.” That doesn’t make sense. A woman just gave you an out. You can now walk away, childless and void of responsibility, and be with whoever you want.

I guess what I’m saying is, if she’s going the abortion route, run off and have your fairy tale life and stop trying to make everyone unhappy with your sad-sack beliefs.

I’m not saying abortion is good. I’m just saying that when you get a do-over, don’t be a little bitch about it. Not everyone gets that. Go and live your life the way you were going to live it before. Be happy with the shot you got, and don’t dwell. The kid is gone, now. You can’t get it back.

 

I clearly have no morals.

Empathetic Evisceration: For the Greater Good

I really have to call into question the whether there are levels of empathy. Can you be both empathetic and not empathic at the same time?

Allow me to give some context. I have a close friend who was recently dumped by her boyfriend of five months. I dislike this man for multiple, some would say very valid, reasons. So when I discovered that he had broken up with her, I felt somewhat…happy, elated, severely satisfied.

Basically, I was dancing with jazz hands in my head.

And I don’t feel like that makes me a bad friend. I think it makes me a good friend, that I was reveling in her pain.

Not her in pain. The cause of her pain.

And that brings me to my point: is it possible to be sincerely empathetic while also feeling satisfaction about the thing that created a person’s distress? Is that comparable to, let’s say, being happy that someone is sick because it kept them from doing something that would get them hurt?

Or are both of those things horrible and retroactively irrelevant because the “greater good” is an inconsiderate concept with the faintest taste of self-serving malice?

Is feeling no satisfaction in either side of a symbiotically complicated equation the only way to have an emotional reaction that isn’t morally bankrupt? Is lying about it to create a kind of pseudo-empathy to avoid out-kicking your coverage worse, or does honesty still go a long way, here?

Incidentally, I think honesty is very rarely the best policy, but that’s a whole other discussion.

Also, thinking about marriage at nineteen is insane.

I think I have the moral high ground, here.

I may not be very good at this friendship thing.

And Now it’s an Instagram

And now I have an Instagram. An Instagram, I have. My friend made me one years ago that I never used, and now, I’m using it.

That’s how badly I want to be a writer. I’m using Instagram; A platform I have largely criticized since I discovered it.

The username hendhsalah. I’m still building it, so don’t judge my lack of posting, please.

God I need a drink

of water.

I’m such a loser.

Beauty & the Beast: A Review I Didn’t Want to Write (Spoiler Alert)

But I have to. I have been trying to stay away from critiquing popular film and media, and up until now, I think I may have succeeded.

However, enough is enough. Beauty & the Beast was my absolute favorite movie growing up. Me and my parents and brother watched it every single year by the fire place when it snowed.

And sure, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of sane or reasonable, what with all the Stockholm and beastiality, but it’s a good movie dammit.

Where do I begin? Let’s break this down.

Hold on to your hats, folks. This is going to be a long one.

Music:
Not only did they randomly add songs that never existed before, the first song was different. It was difficult to sing along to, and it was awkwardly executed.

The “Gaston” song was a cheap heap of unimpressive acting. It was originally an upbeat, funny, obnoxious number that you couldn’t help but break out in song with. In this movie, the song was slow, slightly disconcerting, and not at all fun or light-hearted. It was a tribute solely to Gaston’s hubris without the snarky and bouncy undertone.

“Be Our Guest” was perhaps the greatest failure of them all. Lumière’s singing was slow and boring. The plates were dancing to a beat that was more suitable for a serenade than an entertaining dinner show. I cannot fathom why the directors would do such a thing.

Cast and characters:
Belle. Emma Watson is a good actress. That is undeniable. I don’t care that her voice was auto-tuned. No complaints on that front, either. However, I don’t think that she quite captured the spirit of Belle. The acting wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either. When I look at her, I don’t see Belle.

Gaston. Gaston, Gaston, Gaston. They cast an unfunny version of the original character that does not make up for his narcissism with anything humorous. Gaston is a terrible person, but we love watching him and singing his song. This guy was not Gaston. He was a creepy stalker type antagonist that seemed really out of place, and he was far too evil.

I wanted to hear my favorite line: “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking…”

New guy couldn’t pull it off. No disrespect to the actor, but he was not cast for the right role.

LeFeu: I loved him. It was a perfect casting. He was funny, he was true to his character and there should be zero complaints about him. Excellent in every single way. I think Jonah Hill would have been a great casting for that role too, but as it is, this actor did a remarkable job.

Now, let’s talk about Lumière. This was perhaps one of the most agitating parts of the movie. Lumière is my favorite character in Beauty & the Beast. He is funny, charismatic, sarcastic, and debonaire. In the remake, to put it frankly, he is flat. There is no charisma. There is no spirit. It’s just a metal thing with a face on it that looks unpleasant at best.

Belle’s father. Where was the loving and a little off his rocker inventor that kept blowing things up and creating all-too-dangerous inventions that probably wouldn’t be very helpful? He wasn’t even remotely eccentric, in the remake. He was a beloved character who was turned into a wise old man with secrets about Belle’s mom.

Beast. No. He was far too rational with Lumière in the beginning of the movie, and his tempter wasn’t quite up to par. The Beast was supposed to be tearing things to shreds and roaring at literally everyone around him. He was forced into a more humane demeanor, maybe to decrease the psychotic element of beastiality, and it just didn’t work.

Poor old Cogsworth. This character was hysterical in the original movie, but he barely had lines in the remake. His and Lumière’s dynamic was a major part in the story. Bye bye, best friends.

Scenes and Storyline:
Let’s go through it in order. The introduction can only be described as gratuitously ostentatious. It set the scene for a disorganized and mediocre film.

The inventor’s invention. The original movie showed Belle’s father in a frenzy with logs and axes flailing around. He was creating something that would never likely be sold to any sane person. In the remake, he just sits at a desk playing with what looks like a windmill. They have a calm conversation and he then goes off to the market, not an inventor’s convention. It was nothing short of awful.

Upon entering the castle for the first time, Belle’s father is not greeted by the castle’s many inhabitants. He helps himself to food and drink, like a common thief. He gets tossed in jail by his own doing. Not defending the cruelty, but it wasn’t entirely uncalled for.

Gaston ties Belle’s father to a tree and leaves him for the wolves to eat him. Then, the enchantress shows up and saves him, just for her to leave him in town to get thrown into what I can only assume was the asylum. I’m just going to let that logic sink in.

Belle watching her mother’s death; That was unnecessary and did nothing but elongate the movie negatively. It wasn’t even really that clear, and contributed nothing to the actual story. It was just far too depressing.

The fight in the castle. It wasn’t bad. It had a few good moments in it, but the enchantress took way too long. By this point, I was begging her to get on with it so I could go to bed.

The final scene. It was fine. It was comparable to the original movie.

Final notes:
They destroyed so many things that it was almost a whole different film. If it weren’t titled ‘Beauty & the Beast,’ it may have been good cinematography. They did not do the original movie justice.

I understand that this was not intended to be an exact copy, but so many elements were such complete perversions of the original that the nostalgic feeling that may have been entwined in this picture was non-existent.

This was not Beauty & the Beast. This is was Stockholm warped into something pseudo-wonderful to distract viewers from everything that is wrong with it.

Oh, and the Beast isn’t supposed to know how to read, by the way.

That was fun. I’m going to start writing more reviews.

Feel free to yell at me.

Hit Me and Run

I got into a car accident, yesterday. The guy on the other side of the divider made a left turn against his red light. I was too close to the light to brake fast enough, and he didn’t make it. I hit the back of his car.

Number one lesson to take away from this: DON’T turn left when your light is RED. I don’t care how far you think the other cars are. FOLLOW TRAFFIC LIGHT LAWS!

The EMT who checked me out said if I had been going 5-10 MPH faster, I would have died.

The accident was ruled the other driver’s fault, but he didn’t get hurt. I, however, hit my head on the window hard enough for my world to spin. I couldn’t see straight, and I have no idea how I managed to pull over. I got out of the car, but I was falling all over myself, and my knees were throbbing with pain.

And the prick didn’t even try to see if I was okay, or not.

But I’m alive. It’s okay. That’s all that matters.

Let me proceed to the actual issue, here. Why the hell does health insurance not cover car accidents? I pay you thousands of dollars a month for you to pay when I get my body fucked up, but there’s fine print upon fine print upon fine print. What the hell type of insanity is this?

GEICO calls me and lets me know that I have to pay $2,500 for my hospital stay, and they would cover what’s left.

What.

Not only am I the one whose car and body was trashed beyond her own control, but I also have to pay for someone else’s mistake? I suppose I should have just lay on the grass and let karma keep count, because I can’t afford to be treated. Is there no justice in this here United States of America, of ours?

So far, every pleasantly bitter tasting injury with a groovy scar I’ve been served has been an issue with the insurance company, and I end up paying. We’re being cheated from so many different con artists, and we don’t even know it. It’s not even on our radar.

No. Instead we’re running around crying about a necklace Melania Trump gave Michelle Obama.

Why do you even care?

But that’s a different rant for a different day. I personally could not give less of a damn about anything anyone’s handing over to anyone else.

Unless you’re paying for my insurance, your dastardly underhanded capitalistic exchanges don’t matter, to me.

Red Forman’s right. This country’s in the crapper.

Your Vanity Leads to Vanity, Where Dreams go to Die.

Yesterday, I was contacted by someone who led me to believe that “they” worked for a publishing company. I do not think I have ever been happier than I was at that moment. Finally. Finally, someone liked my work. It happened.

I thought.

In my excited state, sleep evaded me, and I spent a great amount of time researching the company. I am not privy to throwing my hands up in the air for just anyone. If nothing else, I am a skeptic with no intention of being bamboozled.

Yes, bamboozled. I’m bringing that word back.

Anyway, after hours of research, I discovered that this publishing company is really just a scam artist of the loveliest degree. It’s a pay-to-play. Spend $5000 first, and then see what they’ll do for you.

“Don’t worry. Just take our word for it,” they say.

Or some derivative of that, anyway.

So in summation, yesterday I was finally in touch with a publisher. Today, I woke up.

Life is funny in the most unfortunate of ways.

Let this serve as a warning to you. Be CAUTIOUS of vanity publishers. They will confuse you. They will tell you that other publishing houses ask for more money than they do.

THIS IS UNTRUE!

Do your homework. Map this out. Don’t take the easy way out, because it rarely pays off.

As for me, this is just another let down to add to the list, and that’s okay. My skin’s gotten thicker in this regard. There comes a point where “no” is to be expected, and it doesn’t hurt as much, anymore.

May you never reach that point, my dears.

A-men.

The Chronicles of the Literary World: The Publisher, The Writer, and The Piece of Paper

The Literary World is a complex theoretical universe which is run by many a fiend–or more accurately–three omnipresent controllers:

The Publisher, who rules the literary universe with an iron fist; the King of Crime, Monarch of Mystery, Sultan of Satire, Rajah of Romance, Head Honcho of Horror, Oligarch of Overlooked Genres. In his theoretical, majestic hands lay the key to a world every man with a plan is dying to enter.

The Publisher rules with an iron fist. He decides what is or isn’t good enough. He sets the standards. He says who is too wordy, who flounders around his point, and whoever’s managed to get it just right.

But like every ruler before him, he makes some god awful mistakes–perhaps not to the detriment of something as vast as a country’s economy, but rather, the presentation of drivel that negatively affects an entire population. He is not a god, but he sure makes decisions as though he is one. He also probably wouldn’t sacrifice himself for anyone either, particularly not The Witch Writer.

Or she. But we won’t spend time on gender specifics.

The Writer, who, when published, is given a great amount of power over the minds that choose to lend him their eyes and ears.

He has the eventual control over those who readily enter the often fictional world he has created for them, trapping them with words they struggle to forget. They become his unwitting drones, distracting them from their reality and holding them in his, be it horrible or wonderful. Their minds belong to him, until they find their own way out.

He can be evil or righteous, sometimes neither, and often both.

Or she. But we already decided not to go there.

And finally, The Piece of Paper, a magical thing that has been long romanticized. It is the portal to the world of words, used to both enter it as a Spectator of Sorts and a Mage of Mind Control, if only for a short time. It is a fickle friend, making promises it does not always intend to keep.

No gender-specific pitfall to disclaim, here.

There comes a time when we must choose whether to take the trip into this world as audience or player, or simply ignore it completely and live in our own reality. Choosing the latter is a terrible shame.

I myself have chosen to brave it as a witch.

If the piece of paper will let me through.

And the Publisher doesn’t kick me out.

Huzzah.