Cara Blouin

I want to say that maybe Rapture, Blister, Burn is the feminist play we deserve, but I’ve been trying not to blame myself for the bad things that happen to me. It’s one of the many struggles that I go through as a living human female, an experience that, by the way, I regularly complain about not seeing portrayed on stage. I like to blame *that* on the glut of white male playwrights who dominate the art. “I am sick,” I whine, “of seeing female characters who are just cardboard cutouts who don’t have real feelings or motivations written by jerk dudes who don’t know what it is like to be a lady.”

So it’s hard to know how to feel about the paper dolls that Gina Gionfriddo has cut out to use as mouthpieces for her barely thought out ideas in Rapture, Blister, Burn. I think it’s worse. It’s one thing to be alienated by someone who can’t understand your experience. It’s a curious betrayal to be alienated by someone who presumably should be able to.

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So, I didn’t think that I especially cared very much about The Avengers 2: Robo-Boogaloo and after seeing the teaser trailer I actually still kind of don’t. But I also kind of do, because even though the adventures of a bunch of super-powered guys who shoot and punch shooting and punching a bunch of robots doesn’t have a huge amount of appeal for me, puzzles about story DO have some appeal for me.

I am, therefore, going to play a game – based on what we’ve got here in the trailer and the very little we know about what’s definitely in the movie, I’m going to see if I can figure out what happens in it.

Strictly-speaking, this is me just improvising – I am sort of talking my way through the sort of movie that I might make if I knew these things had to be in it. Don’t count it as a real prediction (though, if I turn out to be exactly right, or close to right, or even better than the movie that actually comes out, definitely call me up to work on all of your movies, you guys know I am a genius, right?); this is the idle speculation game.

Let’s play though. Read the rest of this entry »

I like to wait to jump into these arguments until they’ve sort of blown over a little bit. It gives me time to think, it gives the aggrieved a chance to get riled up and then find something else to distract them, it leaves us with the opportunity to try to lay out some ideas in a way that doesn’t have to navigate the thorny situation of a person trying to justify the opinions of their TV heroes or something.

I want to talk about this fight between Bill Maher and Sam Harris on one side, and kind of on the other side Ben Affleck and Reza Aslan.

I’m on the Affleck/Aslan side of the argument, and rather than going through the details of their fight, I want to try to recontextualize the argument in a way that maybe suggests that this fight is misguided.

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I guess it’s the 15th anniversary of the release of Fight Club, so everyone is talking about it again I guess. Fight Club gets a bad rap these days, and there’s a feeling that maybe the Suck Fairy came and worked her magic, turning a film that a lot of folks kind of liked fifteen years ago into a big pile of crap. What is this movie? A testosterone-saturated pile of White Male aggression, a maybe kind of racist, patriarchical Trojan horse fed to a new generation of teenage boys under the guise of an appealing adolescent nihilism? It is gross, who even liked this, right?

I liked this, and actually I think it’s pretty brilliant. Hear me out though, I’ll explain.

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Part of a series that includes:

Atheism

Materialism

Mysticism

So. I have been holding off writing this part while I thought about it, because I have had this fear that what I was saying was a basically ordinary thing, that only seemed complex or significant to me because of the process that I went about to get to it. I remember once when I took the SATs, and I didn’t have a graphing calculator, so I took a minute to re-derive the quadratic equation so I could use it to solve problems. This felt very satisfying to me, like I’d accomplished something great and important, but obviously it wasn’t of any more practical significance than it would have been if I’d just remembered what the quadratic equation was.

The idea that I have here sort of synergizes with that, though – that in a way what I want to talk about is the difference between talking or thinking about something or changing something at a surface level, and changing something at this deep, deep psychic level. At the top they look the same, but they aren’t the same, and that’s important.

Maybe this will be made clear. Anyway, another caveat: I’m going to be referring to “zen” here as a specific practice as I’ve gleaned it. I am not a Zen Buddhist, really; I don’t come from a Zen Buddhist culture, I am not trained in a Zen Buddhist tradition, I don’t participate in it as a living religious culture. All I’ve done is read a little bit, and the misfortune I have is that the word “zen” as a kind of meditative practice appears to be the only word for the thing I want to describe. So, I’ll get to that to, but I want to just here at the beginning clear up what I mean, and apologize for stealing people’s vocabulary.

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Help My Friend Michael Scott

Posted: October 4, 2014 in Threat Quality

So, Michael Scott (not of the Office, a different Michael Scott) is a friend of mine.  He’s an independent filmmaker and VFX artist in California.  He’s kind of well-known for this pretty great series of lightsaber fighting videos he made:

as well as for his enthusiasm for (and criticism of movies).

On September 30th, he was hit by a car and critically injured.  Like, very critically injured.  His friends are trying to raise money to help him.  I think he’s got insurance to cover his medical bills, but we all know that severe injuries cost a lot more than medical bills — based on the extent of the damage, he could be out of work for months (possibly forever).

Michael was the first person who expressed interest in film rights to The Translated Man.  He has since hired me to write several film treatments for him.  I’ve found him to be a very smart, very good, very generous person.  I know that many of you guys don’t know him from Adam (strictly speaking, most of you don’t know ME from Adam), but if you’ve got a few dollars lying around, he sure could use the help.

GoFundMe

Cara Blouin

Here is a quote from Manohla Dargis’ review in the New York Times of the movie “Boyhood,” by Richard Linklater, which — as I am sure you have heard — used the same actors over a decade to tell the story of the life of a single child:

It’s no surprise that watching actors naturally age on camera without latex and digital effects makes for mesmerizing viewing. And at first it may be hard to notice much more than the creases etching Mr. Hawke’s face, the sexy swells of Ms. Arquette’s belly and Mr. Coltrane’s growth spurts. You may see your own face in those faces, your children’s, too.”

I am not familiar enough with the sexy swells of my own belly to know whether or not I could have had some deeper human experience by identifying with those of Patricia Arquette. But I did not actually see my face in the two mentioned, because my face is female.

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