A discovery that no one will care about

I have been watching, How to Train your Dragon recently, because it's on HBO all the time and it's awesome. And I was really starting to get bugged by the fact that the dragon in the movie looked... familiar. AND NOW I KNOW WHY.

This website also has lots of other awesome/terrible discoveries. I particularly like this one:

Movie review: Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine was not my choice. Granted, it seemed like a better idea than Never Say Never. However, it seemed like kind of a downer of a movie, even just from the description, in which the phrase "doomed marriage" came up front and center.

The movie follows two timelines, one tracing the initial love story, and the other its eventual disintegration. The story is fairly simple, and much of what distinguishes the movie is found in the details. The song that Dean plays, or the dance that Cindy does when they fall in love. The way that Dean chastises her for letting the dog run away, or the way she rejects his advances as they fall apart. This is not a complicated narrative, in need of expository scenes. It is a pair of periods in life, being described.

The ending is understandably... sad. I had to watch another, happier movie afterwards to snap myself out of what was sure to be a state of terrible mopey-ness. I actually found myself digging into a tub of ice cream not too much later.

That being said, I would not ever willlingly choose to watch this movie. It is very well done, but not particularly entertaining. In fact, most of the time, it is simply painful to watch. You feel absolutely terrible for the characters involved. There isn't even any particular lesson to take away from all of this, no way of avoiding such a calamity for one's self. It just leaves you feeling sad and terrible and in need of some sort of reprieve.

A short story

Over the past two weeks, I have allowed myself to fall into the habit of conversing at serious length with a new friend of mine, who happens to be a first year at my school, who ostensibly has no plans to move to New York. From this friend, I obtained this link to a short story from Jonathon Safran Foer.

The story's narrative voice is fairly similar to that of a myth, fable, or fairy tale. Characters are referenced by their most significant identifier, e.g. the jumper, the boy and the girl, etc. Their dialogue is earnest and without implicit guile. Everything described is just so.

The focus of this fable is a mythical "Sixth Borough" of Manhattan and how it came to disappear. Its disappearance is slow and only perceptible for the oddest and most debatable of reasons. In fact, one might say that it was a fluke that anything was noticed at all. However, once the disappearance is perceived, it becomes inevitable, despite all of the efforts of the people of Manhattan. Interestingly enough, the Sixth Borough is treated almost anthropomorphically; it is leaving because of some unknown motivation that is inscrutable to all involved. As it leaves, all that Manhattan retains of it is Central Park, which is placed in its heart, and the vaguest of circumstantial evidence that the Sixth Borough ever existed (which is of course, in Central Park).

The parallels between this story and a breakup are hard for me to avoid making. The inscrutability of the partner's reasons for leaving. The gradual dissolution of all evidence of the relation. The faintest memory residing only within the heart of the city. That the memory happens to be one of the few parts of the city that is alive seems to be a graceful way of describing how we grow from these experiences.

The linkage is made even more explicit by the one truly human part of the story, where a boy in the Sixth Borough and a girl in Manhattan, who are connected only by a pair of tin cans and a string that they must continually extend, are eventually forced to break off their relations because of the inevitability of the growing distance. Their one utterance of love is shut up in those tin cans, forever to be held on to, but never to be released.

I suppose it's only appropriate that this story come my way as I leave school, and I too have to face the inevitability of the distance that will come between me and all of the friends that I have made here. Hopefully someone else out there has a less melodramatic reading of it than I do, but that's what's on my mind these days. It was a very nice story. Thanks to my friend for pushing it my way.

I'm beginning to understand...

The inherent appeal of tumblr over a standard blog. Every so often, I just want to post a song link or something, and tumblr is way better for that than blogger. Facebook would actually be the ideal venue for everything, except the audience is too big. I don't actually want everyone on facebook to see everything that I put down. And I don't really want to manage a list of 500-600 friends, or what not. Blaaaagh.

Anyway, it's a gorgeous day for once in Boston, and I am of course wasting it by sitting around writing at home, listening to Taylor Swift (exploratory listening, humoring a friend). Catch you guys later.


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