Unnecessary cheap tricks

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This is my 5 minutes write up about last night’s The Walking Dead Season Finale – for the other Walking Dead addicts on here.

Okay, this is how I see it: Carol went from absolute badass to a pussycat who cannot handle killing anymore, in about 5 minutes. Does that make sense? No. Not one little bit, I can buy the change of heart but you have to build it up, it just wouldn’t happen overnight, no way. Then the Saviours somehow managed to block every single road AND somehow knew where the gang was going to stop to hatch their little plan? (btw, never has whistling in a dark forest seem SO creepy) I know Negan is powerful, but is he THAT powerful? And how did they know that Rick was going to be leaving Alexandria with the others? They couldn’t possibly know that Maggie was going to have a medical emergency… were they hoping they were going to come in search of Glenn and co? Or were they waiting JUST IN CASE?

The group would never have had to take Maggie away if they didn’t let their ONLY doctor go on a run, totally stupidly, only for her to predictably get shot through the eye. And Daryl and the others leaving last week was also incredibly stupid. Not to mention the awful habit everyone has developed of stopping in the middle of forests, rail tracks, etc…to have deep, intense or life-affirming (loud) chats when they should know better by now: you’ve gotta keep moving, SILENTLY, or bad things are going to happen!! In fact, this half season has been one spectacularly bad decision after another.

Anyway, all in all, we KNEW what was going to happen, we knew we were going to meet Negan (whom I found waaay too cool and likeable actually because, er, I’m supposed to hate him!), at the end of the episode of course, we knew somebody was going to get killed, and we knew there was going to be a cliffhanger…and I’m fine with all that… but WHY not let us see who got killed? It seems like SUCH a cheap trick. Isn’t the fact that somebody gets killed and Rick and co are in such a dire situation ENOUGH of a cliffhanger and enough to whet our appetites for next season? Come on!! I was SO upset after watching the finale last night that I left my house and went to McDonalds, I NEEDED junk food real actual bad. I broke my diet because of you AMC!
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The wind cannot defeat a tree with strong roots

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Glacial land, magnificent
and supremely indifferent
Beauty and cruelty
closely intertwined
The horror and the sublime
To human woes, nature is blind

The frozen river
a two-way mirror
where fate awaits —
a frightful fork
in the frigid road:
embracing death
or gathering the strength
to live another day
The purest of emotions — love —
so easily tainted by ugliness,
a savage quest for revenge
on those who have taken
everything that was worth
drawing breath for

Life wins, albeit
sustained by somber shades
At the heart of the tempest,
in adversity, the eternal verity:
the wind cannot defeat
a tree with strong roots

Those of you who have seen “The Revenant” will know that the title, and indeed the last two lines of this little write-up belong to the film. Those lines have been with me since I left the cinema late Sunday night, and they (along with this magnificent film) were the inspiration for this post. If you haven’t seen The Revenant yet, I highly recommend it. The directing and photography are akin to visual poetry, for a start. The acting is spot on. It’s incredibly poignant and…it’s life…with all its beauty and misery.The Revenant

Image credit: fromthegrapevine.com

Worst Thank You Ever

walking-dead Dumpster scene Nicholas and Glenn

The last couple of episodes of The Walking Dead are easily the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV in terms of pure “on the edge of your seat” tension. After the last episode, I was emotionally drained… I screamed, whimpered, I watched through my fingers at times, I cried and cried some more and frantically clutched the TV remote control almost hard enough to leave finger grooves into it.
I’ve always said that this show is not really about zombies but basic human psychology…now, I get that in this post apocalyptic world, the rules are gone and you’ve got to do what you need to survive. I get that, I really do and I love how we’ve been shown the struggle of trying to hold on to your humanity while trying to stay alive – an almost impossible challenge at times.

It was fascinating watching the differences between the Alexandrians who have been protected and, let’s face it, incredibly lucky so far, and Rick’s group who have been to hell and back…the inevitable frictions between the ones who had been ‘out there’ and knew how tough it was, and the people of Alexandria – who didn’t have a clue and therefore held on to their ‘principles’ – were riveting because you could identify with them all. Even in Rick’s group, everybody has evolved in different ways, with Glenn staying true to himself and Carol becoming a total badass. And still, you could identify with both of them, Glenn gave Nicholas another chance which is something Carol would never have done…I cheered when Glenn gave Nicholas the opportunity to redeem himself but I also became even more of a Carol fan (I didn’t think it was possible) when she took charge last week as Alexandria was attacked by the wolves…I love Glenn and Carol both, I understand them both and I realise that they are vital assets to Alexandria, the both of them.
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So, the complexity of human nature is fascinating and the many shades of grey rather than simplistic black and white feels real. Only lately, the shows seems to make a rather too obvious point that kindness and empathy have to be punished, every single time. Rick was all for “getting rid” of the Alexandria doctor because he was a wife beater and dangerous, people in Alexandria objected, obviously…and the result? One half of their founders killed by said doctor. Okay, point made.
But the writers keep making that point over and over. Morgan will not kill anyone, he’s all about the sanctity of life “especially now” as he puts it…and I’m down with that, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wanted to throttle him when he let some of the wolves escape last week…the very same wolves who then attacked Rick in the last episode. So Morgan and his principles may just have condemned Rick and therefore the whole of Alexandria. Again, point made loud and clear. Michonne refused to leave anyone behind despite what Rick advised her to do. Result? Hardly any of them make it back – point rammed down our throats. And now Glenn? He gave Nicholas a second chance which (apparently) is something he has now paid for with his life. Give us a break now, will you?? POINT F*****G MADE!
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That scene with Nicholas and Glenn on top of that dumpster was fantastically well done, I am not sure I breathed at all for 30 seconds or so, until I heard a heartbreaking “nooooo!” and realised it was coming from me. Then the tears came. By the end of the episode, the sight of Rick actually looking panicked (a very rare occurrence) hardly made an impact because I was emotionally exhausted.

Discussion with friends followed the episode and one of them advanced the theory that Glenn isn’t dead, that Nicholas fell on top of him and Nicholas is the one being torn apart by the walkers…I somehow found the courage to watch that scene again and it looks like that could indeed be true…Glenn’s face does seem to show horror rather than pain. Still, even if that’s the case, how can he get out of this alive in a plausible manner? And wouldn’t that be a cheap dirty trick from the show? To put us through emotional turmoil for nothing? In any case, I do hope Glenn is still alive, he’s one of the few characters I’m really attached to. Plus, I’ve had enough of the show punishing the characters who have held on to their humanity. As much as I love Rick and Carol, as much as I realise how necessary they are to the survival of Alexandria, they have gone slightly nuclear. We need individuals who balance each other out and Glenn, like Daryl, is vital to keep Rick and Carol under some kind of control. We need some kindness and humanity TWD writers, otherwise, what’s the point of survival if all that’s left is coldness and selfishness?

Last time I wrote about The Walking Dead was back in March: Psychology and the various layers of human behaviour
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Life – not a John Wayne movie

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Feels like some have watched
far too many
John Wayne movies
The time of settlers
and pioneers
is long gone
No more need to shoot the nasty Indians
merely trying to hold on to their land
although to be fair it wasn’t exactly guns
used to exterminate Native Americans
but much more subtle means
and to subtle, add obscene!
I won’t dwell on this genocide
It’s not part of the agenda
I guess my point really is
who are you trying to kid
with your “rights” and “constitution”
blabbering on like it’s going out of fashion
most of the pro-gun advocates
spew so many inaccurate
facts and utter rubbish
I wouldn’t trust them with a fork
let alone a gun
or any kind of weapon
regular shootings don’t happen
in any other
civilised country
but America
The maiming and killing of innocents lives
the misery and pain of the ones left behind
Enough already!
You don’t live in a war-torn country
Your streets are not a jungle!
(please nobody mention downtown LA)
Safety is an illusory concept anyway
but in any case
it is not to be gained
with the “right” to carry a gun
move on from the pathetic vigilante mentality
and do everyone a favour

This is my 5 minutes write-up of the day, I’m nursing a hangover and this just came spilling out, so here it is in all its (non) glory 😉

Image credit: frontpagemag.com

Cliché

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I am the cliché driving off into the sunset
On my way to that mythical unspecified place
Where damaged and tortured souls conglomerate

You’ve seen me in many films
I’m positive I made you weep
Inspired you even, this stuff’s pretty deep

But baby, I have to tell ya
That sunset leads nowhere fast
Stay put, work it out, you can’t run from the past

Okay, so this came to me while looking at the sky this evening in the car: one joke about driving off into the sunset, a remark on how many movies have ended that way – and I came up with these modest but very cynical few lines. Don’t blame me, blame the sea and sky for inspiring such cynicism…(well, ok, you can blame me a little)

Rough Cut

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I wish I could imbue our story with a cinematic feel
Some dramatic lingering shots
Of blurry rusty leaves and whatnot
Sepia toned to give it a vintage sheen

What we had was barely a B-movie
Not even sordid, utterly banal in its mediocrity
An unfinished tale – hardly Hollywood worthy
A rough cut of random scenes, poorly edited – c’est la vie