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I'm wondering how long I have to write before people will start believing anything I say.

No, I mean this.

Early this week I read an email exchange between two columnists about the Olympics, Argentinians, Music, and the Writing Process. It was entertaining but some of the stuff they wrote was complete and utter bullshit (especially about swimming) but people believe them.

Do they KNOW they're writing bullshit? Are they writing it just to see who will believe them? Or is it their honest opinions and they feel just that passionate about it? The strongest lies are the lies that you believe. They columnists in question (Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman. You can read their exchange here. It is rather amusing) have confidence not only their writing but their ideas. They have reached a point where you don't need proof to back up every statement they make, their opinions are "solid" enough to be the proof they need.

I suppose I have to build up to the point before people will believe me when I say that M. Night Shyamalan is our generation's Hitchcock and that The Village was a fabulous piece of storytelling and too many people went to see it expecting a Steven King type movie of blood, guts, gore and 2 hours of not having to think.

"What the hell?? This character development an acting is getting in the way of my plot twist! I DEMAND PLOT TWISTS SHYAMALAN! I DON'T WANT TO THINK!"

So am I implying that everybody who hated The Village are stupid brainless cows who have almost been conditioned to expect no plot and no acting in exchange for 2 hours of being spooked?

Well, yes. Yes I am. And I've just offeneded half of my friends list.

But you know what? I don't really care because The Village really was a good movie. The storytelling in that is so well done and Shyamalan is amazingly honest to his characters. Was the plot twist predictible? Maybe it was, but I didn't care because I thought he used it well in context with his story.

Now I'm not saying that all horror/suspence movies have to make you think. I mean, I don't think they could make a thoughtful Zombie movie if they tried (but they did come close with Day of the Dead) but we shouldn't always expect to go in to get our pants scared off of us.

I don't know - but what I do know is that our horror movie standards have dropped. Hitchcock movies make you think when you watch them. They can also make you REALLY uncofortable. Hitchcock really was the master of suspense. But we've lost that now. We don't have that suspense to look forward to. We have wanna be suspense that gets us on one level but not on another.

In all honesty, the half hour Ivy spent in the woods was probably the meanest thing any director has done to a character.

So yeah, that whole thing I wrote right there probably nobody will take for honest to god's truth. I don't have the ability to make people believe me even though I'm right. Once I have my street cred, whatever I say will be THE WORD OF GOD.

It'll happen. Mark my words.
Personally I thought this was the funniest thing I'd ever read:

I generally view myself as an optimist; I enjoy freedom and kittens and being alive and whatnot.

I really loved the play between Klosterman and Simmons (who could be the funniest columnist of any variety since Dave Barry.)
IT was funny - I don't know, maybe I read it on an off day. I normally enjoy Klosterman's work (Sex, Drugs, and CocoPuffs is a FANTASTIC work) but SImmons seemed like he was play acting a bit.

There are funny moments but other times it's all "get over yourselves. So what if we sucked at basketball, cheer for the americans anyways in other sports."

Of course, we have millions of people cheering america. How about those countries that have maybe a half dozen people? I should cheer for them just to balance the field.
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Example? I mean, I LOVE zombie movies but there hasn't been one that has made me stop and think about the plight of humans or zombies (expect for maybe Day of the Dead).
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Hmmm, I don't know if I could side with you on Dawn of the Dead. YEs, while it could showcase our dependance on material wealth (wasn't the line "Why are they coming back here?" "Perhaps it's a comfort thing" or something like that?) I just don't know if Zombies and social commentary work well.

However, Zombie movies do show us what happens when the world crumbles around us. Nothing gets people in a panic like social upheaval and the walking dead. But plauge movies can do that as well. I guess with Zombie movies you have the option of "Do I fight the zombies and try to survive in this world or do I let myself become one of them?"

And you're right. The Village wasn't horror, but it was suspense and it was good.
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BUt we really can't escape from fear where ever we go. We are kept in the city by being told how dangerous it is in the country (or backwoods and bayoos as Deliverance so lovingly showed us). It's funny how The Village is almost the exact opposite. Instead of "Don't go into the woods or you'll be killed" it's "Don't go into the cities or you'll be killed."

The movie does make you think, however, about freedom of choice. Ivy is told the secrets of the village, yet she chooses not to tell the other townspeople. Why? She could have but she didn't. Maybe she wanted her world just as bad as everybody elses. Maybe living in the village was worth the lie told.

Also, why didn't the guy at the end explain things to the girl? He could have taken her into the station, he could have done a number of things, instead he just helped her on her merry way, as if he wanted to live in a world different from our own.

So the question is: Are some lies worth believing?
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Well, The Stuff teaches us that consumerism will out your intestines. Pretty good message there.

I don't think the ending was weak because the guy just let her go. He wanted that world and wanted her to keep that world.

And why can't some people make desicions for the rest of us? When God does not exists, someone has to play the part (not that I firmly believe this, but it is an interesting idea).
At the end, Ivy actually believed that there were creatures in the woods, thanks to the tard.
I;m going back to this Zombie Idea...

I really think the strong theme of Zombie movies IS us vs. them because through the situations you HAVE to fight whether you like it or not because the minute you DO stop fighting you get eaten. Zombies aren't going to look at you and say "Sorry, I'm just not hungry at this moment, can I have a doggie bag?" Most Sci-Fi books really aren't about Us vs Aliens because the aliens aren't about to eat our brains the minute we leave them alone.

I will grant that some zombie movies do try to have social messages attached (see: The end of the original Night of the Living dead when the only survivor was a black man who is then killed by a hoard of gun toting white men). However, I don't know if I could classify Pet Cemetary as a zombie film (of course, this also raises in question 28 Days Later which, while it was a disease that caused people to eat the flesh of the living, the "zombies" weren't, in fact, dead). It is a movie about the dead coming to life, but I hesitate to put it in the zombie catagory.

I, too, seriously love Zombie movies for they are one of the few types of movies that will scare me to death (and I love it when I have zombie nightmares.). The idea of our world crumbling and having to fight to survives appeals to me, as does the message I feel is in every movie of "Is it worth it to stay alive and fight, or should I kill myself (or get eaten) and give up?" (seen perfectly, I feel, in Bio-Zombie).

At the reading we went to, didn't Chuck say he originally wanted to be Dave Berry but now can't stand him?

That's the moment you should aimming for. The moment where you become more than an amalgam of your influences. Often times, writers refer to this as "finding your own voice."

I read Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman because I enjoy their voice. Do I necessarily agree with everything they write? No. But it does lead me to think, compare/contrast my opinions and (hopefully) develop my own voice.

If the world was only verifiable FACTS (capital letters), then there would be no discourse. I, for one, think that would be horrible. Feel free to disagree with me if you want.
Finding your voice comes from writing and writing a lot. I think it starts out by writing like another person (usually the person whom you REALLY like) and then it settles into your own voice. Like the stuff I write now sounds sorta like I'm trying to be Neil Gaiman, but I'm not REALLY trying to be him, it's just that because that's what I read, it affects my voice (I think I explain this better in my previous entry on FanFic).

As for fact and what not, there are somethings I just know but can't prove. Such as the existance of God, psychic powers do exists, and Steve Martin and I would be the best of friends if we could ever get together. OF course, I'm not going to press these issues onto other people, but I'm not going to be swayed by any arguments made against them because I simply know them to be true (especially the one about Steve Martin).

Oh, and I think that the line "Feel free to disagree with me if you want" whether it was used in jest or not, is the stupidest line in the world. It's like pickin' a fight. "No, I'm not going to disagree with you, EVEN THOUGH I REALLY REALLY WANT TO!" Is seems like it's one of those things where it's all "you can disagree with me, but no matter what you'll be wrong." (falls under "things I know but can't prove)
Oh, no. I disagree with you. Who's bringing right and wrong into it?

I'm going to call you right now to make Shaolin soccer plans.
M. Night Shyamalan is an arrogant hack. And, no I have not seen The Village. I hated Unbreakable and Signs left me feeling meh. He's definitely trying to be Hitchcock, but that mostly that consists of lifting almost as many shots as Vansant's remake of Psycho.
Eh - I'm going to disagree with you here (but not about Pshycho. Vansant's remake of Pyscho was complete crap because he DID lift every shot from HItchcock and admitted to it. That film was a waste because it didn't bring anything NEW to the remake except color and bad acting. Of course, this is true for many remakes.)

While Shyamalan might be seen as lifting shots, what's he's also trying to do (I feel) is create an atmosphere of acting and storytelling that HItchcock tried to do. While some of Hitchcocks movies ARE horror, most are just suspensful love stories with no horror in them (see: Vertigo. Nothing scary in that just plain old crazy people).
So there are 17 million comments, but i just wanted to say YOU ROCK and i totally agree about The Village. I love the director so much.