Sunday, January 19, 2014

This is how all my genius ideas go

Like a bolt of lightning, it hit me: How much better would Urban Cowboy have been WITHOUT John Travolta?

It's almost depressing to think of how much better it could have been.  John Travolta has always been distasteful to me for a variety of obvious reasons (gross, a Scientologist, etc.), and while he does play Bud's stubborn hick machismo exceedingly well, he's just a little too unlikeable for the role.  We're supposed to care when he almost dies, right? (Spoilers!) And when he cheats on Sissy, you want to say, "Great! Now go find someone else!" to her.  Although Sissy is pretty much a douchebag herself.

Aaron Latham wrote the screenplay based on a factual Bud & Sissy of suburban Houston, who really were a couple of drunk 21 year old idiots who embarked on a tragiromance after meeting at Gilley's one night.  He also kept a diary during the filming of the movie, and it's a pretty fascinating look into how young stars like Winger and Travolta carried on at this time in their lives.  Hints: she's batshit and he is gay.  He is a gay man.  I keep telling my mother this and she won't hear me.  Ok, maybe he's bi, who even cares, he looks like John McCain now.

I'm not really sure who the other up and coming young actors of 1980 were, but I feel like they could have done so much better.  They only cast Travolta because he was on fire from Saturday Night Fever, and there was dancing.  He looks so utterly out of place otherwise.  Oh!  I've got it.  Sam Elliott.  Maybe he was a little too old for that role, but they should have started there, not with Travolta.

Such a missed opportunity, but at least we have that priceless soundtrack.  Seriously, I do love Mickey Gilley.

Poor quality, but that shirt.

Not from the movie, but still nice.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rational Reasons

The Parsons version of this song is heartbreaking, but the Fonda version is not to be overlooked.  It's an interesting combination of GP genius mixed with nerdy vocals and mariachi.  And who can resist adorable gangly young Fonda with his Byronic sideburns?

One of the best things about late 60s fashion is that male hairstyles were distinctly Napoleonic in appearance.  Is that so much to ask?  Christ, give me a reason, dudes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oh goody, we learned something

An alarming thing that I learned at some point on the internet was that people who overtalk about their goals and plans tend not to accomplish those goals, because discussing them at length gives them a sort of premature satisfaction in their future accomplishments, which causes them to spend less time, you know...trying.  I can't remember where I learned this.  But it seems legit.

At some point, I stopped articulating my plans.  Rather than plot them out in exhaustive detail or try to mentally counter potential obstacles in advance, I just leave them in a sort amorphous, ambiguous state once I am aware of them.  I leave them there because 1. you can ditch them as soon as you change your mind without having some inquisitive bastard asking when you're moving to Cuba and 2. it's easier to sneak up on them when they're asleep in space, unaware of their own existence.

I guess I do my best thinking when I'm not trying to think.  It's like having strokes of genius in the shower.

I set some "goals" for myself months ago, if you could even call them goals.  I envisioned a timeline and sequence of events that would suit me, and checked back on them every couple of months, mostly just to make sure that I still cared.  Very casual and vague.  "I'll probably do this sometime."  One afternoon I sat back and said, "Yanno what?  Now."  I spent a couple of minutes prepping, asked for a meeting, and emerged with the result that I had noncommittally decided would be best 6 months ago.  A result that I later learned was unlikely to happen, policy-wise.  I think this worked out because I didn't overthink it.  It didn't strike me as strategy at the time, but some post-conversations I had with the boss made me realize it was.  I turned the impatient and controlling part of my brain off, the part that has to make an announcement the second it has a feeling, and allowed a subtler, more perceptive element to take control.

This sounds like a slightly self-aggrandizing story about getting promoted (it is), but I believe in this method of self-direction.  Negotiations with other people are so delicate and layered, and I'm generally not interested in engaging with that at all for non-personal relationships.  I don't want to, which is why I have to turn my external brain off in order to be able to navigate situations.  Sometimes.  Other times, I just leave the outer brain on because it's always outraged and talking shit and that makes me laugh.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Thanks, Sofia

Kelly: Listen, I'm under Evelyn Waugh. Shh. Okay?
John: Okay, yeah!
Kelly: Okay, arigato.
John: [laughing] Moshi moshi!
[Kelly walks away]
Charlotte: Evelyn Waugh?
John: What?
Charlotte: Evelyn Waugh was a man.
John: [shocked] Oh, c'mon, she's nice. What? You know-- You know, not everyone went to Yale. Its just a pseudonym, for Christ's sake.

No, John, it's not ok.  You go, Charlotte.  IT'S OK TO BE RIGHT SOMETIMES.

"Take my name out your mouth, bitch."