Spanish For Bored

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 20 Feb 2024


What's the hardest part about being a Christian.  Is it abstaining from sin?  Controlling your tongue?  Forgiving your enemies?

Speaking graciously and with 1st Corinthians-grade charity to self-righteous, arrogant people who lower the standards of the world every time they open their mouth?

That's it.  Dios ayudame, I think we have a winner.

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Two things irritated me tonight, enough to write an article about the difficulty of speaking with love and charity from the gutter of aggravation as a whole.  The first was a thumbnail for a video about the guy who scored the latest exercise in unchecked self-importance posing as high cinematic art by Christopher Nolan, which was supposedly about "how he created" the music.  How he created it?  What do you mean.  He's a musician.  He wrote it.

Are you a moron?

The second was a patronizing comment from an African gringo about the need to learn Spanish, but let's start with pretentious filmmakers.

I tried Oppenheimer, and within seconds had edited it down to a total running time of about 10 minutes.  I skimmed the entire film as quickly as possible after I realized that every conversation was going to be underscored with exciting music, presumably because the dialogue wasn't compelling enough and had to be edited to resemble a violent, dramatic spectacle.  Out of my way, world, I have made one good film in my life, which happened to be about "Batman," and ruined a world-class attempt at a great sci-fi film by sweeping Matthew McConaughey's character under the rug because his daughter resented him for sacrificing his relationship with his family to "save the world."  The characters at the end of the movie actually patronize McConaughey, as though it was his duty as an English-speaking white man to live a life of thankless sacrifice for the greater good, and talk about his daughter like she's Albert Einstein.  I didn't change it, even though it's obviously one of the worst endings in the history of film, because I have been told by other people who get rich in my presence that I'm a "great filmmaker," even though my only good film is about "Batman" (and possibly the sleepless cop in Alaska), and I am constantly making a forced, transparently-clunky attempt to "blow the minds" of my audience.  Every freaking movie.  Ever since Memento.  How are we going to shoehorn another attempt at mind-blowing self-importance into this over-rated cinematic mustard-piece?  I know.  Everybody will walk backwards, and the mis-cast DEI agent will be a psychic master of dream manipulation.  Let's edit the dialogue so it sounds like an action sequence and makes the rapid-fire music-video cuts from ages past look like meditative attempts at ASMR.

How unbearably suffocating.  Thoroughly unwatchable and tiresome.

 

"Nolan has always resisted giving the final say on what
his films definitively mean, wanting instead for
audiences to make their own mind up."
The 'Tenet' Ending Explained, No PhD Required

 

A.K.A., making a laughable attempt to hide behind a shroud of wannabe Kubrickian mysteriousness that is transparently ridiculous to all but the producers and coterie of yes-men you enrich.  If you say you "want your audience to make their own minds up," you had better be Stanley Kubrick, or David Lynch.  I went to see Mulholland Drive in the theater with a friend.  When the movie was over, my friend couldn't contain his contempt, and unleashed a short, extremely heartfelt, negative review of the film, for all to hear.  It was as though his loathing and disgust had been simmering like molten vomit in a volcano of viciousness, and the instant the lights in the theater went up, people for 2 or 3 rows in both directions were treated to a short outburst of pure verbal bile. 

I didn't understand Mulholland Drive at the time (and maybe still don't), but I didn't hate it either.  It has since become one of my all-time favorite movies.  I don't know what happened to my friend.  The last time I saw him, he was tearing down some umbrellas in Hollywood because they were blocking the sidewalk and got in his way.  He regaled the waitstaff with a gratuitous entreaty to hasten their progress toward perdition, tore down some umbrellas, and caught up with me.  I had taken the opportunity to distance myself from the furious madman.  He was perhaps the angriest person I have ever known.  He was dangerously out-of-control, and was begging the world to indulge him in a beatdown.  I didn't hang out with him for very long.  I haven't seen him since.

The difference in most David Lynch films (with the exception of the to-my-mind unwatchable, self-indulgent Inland Empire) and all Christopher Nolan films, is that most David Lynch films are actually works of art.  I know how it sounds, but once you transfer the pretentions and presumptions in that statement from forced, over-worked mustard-pieces like Tenet and Inception onto films that are genuinely mysterious, and which melt like scoops of ice cream on the sidewalk of your own imagination over time, you'll see it's true.  Kubrick too.  People are still scavenging for clues in films like Eyes Wide Shut.  The Shining is actually studied as an allegory for Kubrick's involvement in simulating the moon landing.  Blue Velvet is a masterpiece.  Mulholland Drive is a masterpiece.  Lost Highway is actually shaped like a fish, if you watch it properly.

And you're expecting me, Christopher Nolan, to pretend that Oppenheimer is in that class?  Because it took a lot of time and thought (read: $), and the actors are good?

Come on, man.  Please.  Stop insulting me.  What's the Spanish word for "boring?"  You're like the gringos who think they're all street and hardcore because they speak Spanish.  They're not hardcore; they're dry, cultural kindling.  Is that harsh?  Is it harsh to tell an over-celebrated multi-millionaire that he's not an artist, but rather a technician?  I certainly hope not.  Nothing wrong with being a technician, but if you're a technician who presumes to be an artist, is it not the duty of everything that's true to call you out?  Kubrick was a technically-accomplished artist, but he was an artist.  There are actually layers to be peeled back from his films.  He took his US space program payoff money and bought himself a lifetime of leisurely film study in the English countryside.  Did you know that the battle scenes in Full Metal Jacket were actually filmed in England?  All those trees and exotic vibes were imported.  That movie took 2 years to film.  Or 18 months, or something.  Just the shooting.  Well, sure, Christopher Nolan, you probably did know that.  Filmmaking is your field, after all.  If, of course, by film you mean "cerebral, soulless attempt to shoehorn a blown mind into every undiscerning member of the audience," instead of just telling a cool story that can be enjoyed entirely on the surface, if the audience chooses to go no deeper.  There is a difference in Storytelling & Filmmaking.  We don't have to read anything into The Shining if we don't want to.  It can be a horror story if that's all we want it to be.  But we can dig deeper, if we so choose.  With your work, Christopher Nolan, we're forced to work to simply follow the "plot."  Not melt like scoops of ice cream into the fish-shaped narrative of a surreal work of art, a privilege for which I would gladly pay good money to experience again.  But work.  Not use our brains (or imaginations), but actually work.  Just to watch the film.

The article in Esquire linked above has been edited so that the "PhD" part has been removed from the visible headline, but you can still see it in the link preview for this image on Startpage.

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Your yes-men, yet again, Sir Nolan.  Scrubbing the internet of any suggestion that the effortlessness of the sometimes-intangible, always-optional themes of other directors' work is a goal that can still be attained by self-important, pretentious technicians in a dead, postmodern landscape populated by Freemasons and devil-worshippers.

How do you say "bored" in Spanish?

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Exposed starring Keanu Reeves is Satan's attempt to make a Christopher Nolan film.  It is the attempt of the spirits of darkness to tell a story with moving pictures of light.  Spiritually speaking, Exposed makes The Exorcist look like the original Willy Wonka film.  Not the gratuitously-creepy Tim Burton reboot, but the original, beautiful, imaginative story.  That's how The Exorcist looks, compared to Exposed.

It's really insulting.  And the insult is boring.

Not only are we treated to Luciferian one-eye symbology from almost the very first scene, but we're expected to believe this cute, diminutive white girl (played by Ana de Armas) is somehow down with the Puerto Ricans (or whoever), and walks her Latino boyfriend's pitbull around New York while he's in Iraq.  She's fluent in Spanish, teaches non-English speaking children about non-assimilation in some school somewhere, and tells her brother-in-law-to-be that his new girlfriend is alright, but that "she needs to learn Spanish."

As a gringo expat who's been living in Mexico for years, who lives in a town without gringos, where almost no one speaks English....  As a gringo who is genuinely interested in Latino culture, language, and music, and who may even be aware at the moment of this writing that Ana de Armas is Cuban and Spanish (which doesn't mean she's not a gringo), this forced, self-righteous message makes me want to move to Norway and erase every trace of the Spanish language from my mind.  It makes me want to forget I ever tried to learn it.  I wasn't going to say anything, but I tried to watch an ASMR video tonight in which I was told by some African gringo to "learn Spanish, because 'they're' coming, regardless of what Donald Trump says" (paraphrased), and I simply snapped.  Not like a load-bearing rafter.  More like an over-cooked snap pea.  I didn't lose it.  But I lost it.  It's too prevalent, too tiresome, too common.  I had to say something.  

So, if you're going to lecture me about learning Spanish from on high, Satan, from your smug little pedestal in Brooklyn, or Echo Park, know that there's a white man in Mexico who thinks your subjects sound like ungrateful douchebags.  I know you know, but I want them to hear it.  They patronize and dismiss me anyway, so why shouldn't I tell them point-blank that they are soft, cultural chaff, waiting to be consumed by the deadly consequences of unrepentant pride?  I have real contempt for the attitude with which you have conditioned them to speak to me.  Whether it's the characters in a woulda-been great sci-fi film, or ASMR people who think their racism isn't racist, I understand that they are under the influence of a spirit, and in all likelihood are nice enough people.  If we met, at worst we'd have no reason not to be friendly with each other, I have no doubt.  But holy smokes man.  Get off it already.  You're not an artist, and you're not hardcore because you speak Spanish.  You're not fooling anybody with your heady obfuscation, and you don't "have an advantage" over your non-Spanish speaking peers.  You are a time-release disadvantage, waiting for its moment to be destroyed.  If you think you're an artist, or that the "migrants" flooding over the border are going to respect you because you don't respect your own language and country, and have supplicated yourself to a self-righteous, self-hating attitude that believes itself to be benevolent and loving, you're in for a hardcore rude awakening.  You will see the true extent of your perceived "advantage" when people who see a RICH, SPOILED, UNGRATEFUL GRINGO where you see a genius/victimized minority incapable of error, make a better movie than you could ever dream of making, on the subway for a dollar.  I'm sorry, but I can't think of a friendly way to say it.  It's hard to speak charitably to people who think they're better than you.  You're everything I left the U.S. to get away from.  I don't hate you.  But I am very disappointed in you.  You bore me.

What's the Spanish word for "boring?"

Aburrido?  Will it fit in a burrito?  Can I have an aburrido grande, con queso, por favor?

Para llevar.  To go.  But not to the movies.  Not anymore.  It's too much boring, heady work.

Para llevar, though.  For sure.  I'm outta here.

As they say in Spanish, 

"To God."

Good luck,

p.s.  I never thought it would happen.  But this is a new movie I actually want to see.  Unfortunately, I think it's only coming out on Netflix.  Surely not.  But my Spanish isn't good enough to see it in the theaters anyway.  They do a lot of dubbing down here.  It probably wouldn't be subtitled.  I'd have to watch it in Spanish.  So I probably wouldn't go anyway.

Maybe.  If it's showing in Norway.

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket. http://www.pablosmoglives.com


pablosmoglives
pablosmoglives

Replacing my blog at http://pablosmoglives.wordpress.com

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