Monthly Archives: December 2013

Thing(s) to do in life.

 

If there’s anything I figured out in the last few months its that I really like writing, and not just blogs – stories and screenplays and several other things as well. I have been involved in the production of a film (screenplay writing, storyboarding, other stuff) which may or may not suck. However I did love working on it, which is a new feeling. Usually I don’t like working on most things (except writing and sometimes drawing) and as soon as the tiniest sign to stop comes along I’m one of the first to throw in the towel. Anyway, so I guess I will just send the rest of my days in a tired, sleepy, busy state just for the sake of job satisfaction and personal happiness. And then a guy will come along while I’m in my thirties (but I look much younger) and ruin everything by being all “you have to loosen up, hot thang”. The rest of the story will be in my memoirs.

Having said that, I planned to post one of my stories but unfortunately I had no time to sleep properly, let alone acquire the copyright on it this past week so that’s shitty for you.

I find that though I’m not terrible at acting and sometimes I don’t even mind my face in video, I much prefer the writing and other things I can easily do while sitting alone in my room, alone, without the company of too many people. I used to really like acting but its been a while since I let anything apart from close friends matter much to me at an emotional level, especially in front of other people. And acting involves becoming a person who does let things matter and making sure other people can see that it matters. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. And rather sad when you consider the fact that I used to really like acting. Now I’m the very loaf of cynicism and a complete feelings hoarder. Ah, the tricks life plays on us.

Contemplative Jazz Music

 

While in many ways, these past few months, and especially the past few weeks have been like living my eighteen year old life, at least my attitude towards human company when it comes to work has remained the same. Or maybe I’m just temperamental and I require people who have the exact same or very nearly the same kind of work ethic in order to not lose my mind or my temper.

I have become a workaholic in the way I never dreamed I could be while I was slacking off, masturbating and generally avoiding all responsibility and extra work in law school. It may have a lot to do with the fact that it turns out I rather enjoy the process of making a movie, coming up with ways of visually shooting a story, of considering what the implications of shooting something a particular way is, or the kind of editing one would use. Film making is a lot of hard work, apparently. I don’t know how directors have lives, or sex, or anything. And I especially don’t know how they would do it if they also wrote and storyboarded. Simply watching one of the guys who owns the camera shooting the same scene again and again and again, from different angles, getting multiple shots for safety is tiring. So is doing the same lines, the same smile, the same expression over and over again, but its certainly easier than being the guy with the movie camera (hehe. Geddit?). I’m assuming this, considering the fact that I’ve never actually handled a camera professionally.

And yet I don’t actually mind doing it. It may turn out really crappy, and I will feel bad if it does, but it was my first experience with the camera, and I rather liked it. I may like the whole business of dark rooms, pencils and notepapers and journals more calming and up to my speed, but this has its own romance. Of making something that is so… visual. Like drawing, except with moving pictures (I wonder if anyone thought of it that way before? I am so. Funny.) and with real people and real lighting, and awfully real expressions.

I guess this is why people mooted in law school even though they may not win. It’s fun to do. Its interesting, and its new and I like it. It also makes my vocabulary next to a seven year old’s as is evident.

And yet, as always, there is a dark side to this tale of sunshine, butterflies and free love. I have rediscovered my control freak self when it comes to work. It was always around in college, but it only came out around fest time when I had to make people (men) practice our group dance (yes, that’s what I got scarily intense about in law school. Suddenly, everything comes into perspective, does it not?). When it comes to the film process, I’m worse. It turns out, I hate delegating. I highly suspect that if it were solely up to me I would personally supervise and overlook every single thing. Apparently, I’m of the school of thought that believes “If you want something done right, you do it yourself.” Even when someone else did something I made sure I read and reread and discussed like some kind of useless philosopher. And I really like doing it. I suspect I’ll like doing it even if I fail occasionally.

Still. It’s better than not working at all, right? Maybe I will become a movie trope. If rom-coms are anything to go by, sooner or later I’ll end up looking like Meg Ryan or Katherine Heigl. I could do worse.

–        Billy

 

P.S. – I wont be in Delhi next week and will finally be having vacation during these vacations, so no blog. Fuck you and your hopes for relieving some boredom by reading this blog next week.

Also, I’ll try and get the copyright thing done by next time so I can have stories as back ups.

Toodles.

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Love Stories, Homosexuality and Crime

Warning – wee bit muddled, with all the good intentions and very little articulation.

The first time I was introduced to the idea of being gay – I don’t remember that. I do know that I thought it was a bit “wrong” somehow because that was the way I was told about it. I never really thought about it much. Whoever told me definitely did not make much of an impression, even about the concept. The next time I came into contact with the idea was Bend it Like Beckham, a 2002 movie with Keira Knightley, and an Indian girl who likes to play football the way Billy Elliot liked to dance. Anyway, for those who remember the film, Keira Knightley’s mother starts believing that her daughter is a lesbian (the blame is placed primarily on the indiscriminate playing of football, which is understandable. Let’s not pretend that football doesn’t make you a little homosexual, right?) and finally confronts her about it. Keira’s like “no woman, you fucking cuckoo?” (that was the basic gist)

And then she said the words that changed everything for me. She said “And so what if I were a lesbian? What’s wrong with that?” (or something like that. You must know by now, no actual research goes into these posts)

I couldn’t think of a reply to Keira Knightley’s angry, frustrated question. I already knew about sex and at the time it was simultaneously appealing, tempting, scary and disgusting. Lesbian or gay sex was about the same combination in the same proportions. Suddenly, gays and lesbians were… well, a novelty. Something that wasn’t bad, but I had personally never encountered. By the time I familiarized myself with Will and Grace, gay people had become a rare gift that I had yet to encounter. Not a very progressive viewpoint, certainly, but I was learning.

That phase was lost by the time I was seventeen, which was the first time someone came out to me. Well, sort of. A new friend told me he had slept with guys as well as girls.

“Is that a joke?”

“No.”

And maybe I’ve imagined it like this ever since, but I think he was waiting, proper waiting, actually waiting, for my response. Because admit it or not, I think knowing that a potential friend can deal with unexpected news, would actually accept you, is important.

“So, what exactly are you?”

He said that he was mostly just straight. Which is how I would love to describe myself if I ever dabbled in the lesbotic arts, which I currently haven’t done.

The next intervention that television and film made on my sexuality came a bit later. When I was nineteen (or twenty) I had an unhealthy obsession with James Spader. It started, naturally, with Boston Legal and manifested itself in familiarizing myself with all of his filmography, everything he had been in, procuring the ones that seemed enjoyable, taking snapshots of his beautiful young face from the movies, fantasizing about meeting Alan Shore in an abandoned corporate building’s conference room… it was a lark.

In the process I saw stuff like Sex, Lies and Videotape, Mannequin, Pretty in Pink, Bad Influence…. I was in the throes of a wasted quarter life in Law School and nothing was going to stop my unhealthy obsession with the man who at the time was in his early fifties (I think).

Recently however, I became familiar with another show that Spader is doing which sent me on a minor Spader relapse (exacerbated by the fact that I’m too sick to do anything but TV and internet). It’s called The Blacklist, and its quite an ok show. Its only ten episodes in so I cant really say much, except that I will watch it as long as its on simply to watch James Spader make being a witty criminal look SO good. And sound SO good. Take a listen. If you don’t like the way he looks, just shut your eyes and listen.

Anyway, this compelled me to look into James Spader again. Apparently he’s going to be in the next Avengers movie so that’s something to look forward to. Then I watched White Palace again. It’s a 1990 movie with Susan Sarandon. There’s sex, there’s swearing, there’s jews…. every pleasure you want out of life.

As I watched the film just a few days ago, I started getting a little déjà vu. Not because I had seen it three years ago, but because …. well. I realized Susan Sarandon’s sexual nature was a bit familiar to me. It wasn’t too long before I realized that my sexual personality was probably subconsciously based on hers in the movie. I already had a natural affinity, no doubt, but at the time I first watched it, I wasn’t sexually active. Now that that has changed – I laugh at the same stuff, I … well, lets not get into details. But yes, things are a bit familiar.

I had always assumed that movies have a lot of influence on the people watching it. In my case, I had rather presumptuously assumed the influence was largely intellectual. You know, I’d get interested in scientific, social, philosophical, technical… other random aspects of the movie concerned. It was all very British and pince-nez and nearly hipster. But that’s not it at all. My very behavior, my likes and dislikes, what I have experienced, what I have been brave enough to try. All of it has depended so much on the movies and shows I watch – I’m open to sexual experiences, I have no problems or questions with homosexuality, I occasionally like to get a little rough and more than occasionally like to be gotten rough on, I have a very progressive and often problematic attitude towards free speech, I find powerful douchebags hot, and so on an so forth.

You have to ask yourself – who would you be if popular culture hadn’t snuck in its lessons through your skull? Who would you be without Game of Thrones introducing you to the idea of complicated, amazing, power hungry women who have and use their sexuality whenever they want or need to? Who would you be if Bend it Like Beckham had never had that one line? Who would you be if Indian networks decided to not show Will and Grace on television? Who would you be if you had never seen Boston Legal?

I remember watching Secretary for the first time (another James Spader movie. I think that man has been a huge part of my sexual awakening without either of us ever knowing. I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know it when he finds out). Suddenly, BDSM made so much sense… Before that I had assumed BDSM involved people who just had no self respect. The beautiful thing about that movie was that it never directly addresses feminism or the arguments for and against BDSM… but you know it has, sneakily, carefully, and very beautifully. There is one moment, when Lee is sitting on the chair and refuses to move because her boss/ impending lover told her not to. People try to dissuade her, bring her food, support her… Her father, a recovering alcoholic reads a passage from the Bible – “You are the child of god’s holy gift of life. You come from me, but you are not me. Your soul and your body are your own, and yours to do with as you wish.” And your mind slowly gets blown.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India did something pretty awful – it overturned the Delhi High Court’s judgment (from 2009) that decriminalized homosexuality, “unnatural sex”. I can’t imagine what this means for the thousands upon thousands of people who struggle with themselves on a daily basis. What it means for me is that a lot of my friends, people whom I love and care about, even have to think for a minute about whether their country’s law allows them to love whomever and however they want to. In fact, considering the fact that the Supreme Court seems to have an utterly Victorian, unbelievably prudish definition of “unnatural sex” (anything that is not “penis into vagina”) I myself am a criminal on several counts.

I have never been more saddened by anything the Supreme Court did in my lifetime. Because its one thing when they kowtow to power every day, when they show blatant disregard for the kind of desperation that has brought everyday individuals to the highest court in the land, when they are unceasingly misogynistic. Its disheartening when they actively decide they want to continue the unfair and frankly, unsavory system that exists currently.

People, especially adults who never went to law school often ask me if I don’t want to make a difference. If I did, why did I leave the legal profession? The truth is I realized I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, and I don’t have the stomach for it. I am slightly sociopathic, very rude, and quite disarmingly morbid at times, but that doesn’t make it easy for me to deal with the courts, and its multitudes of terribleness.

On the other hand, there was films, and TV, and the natural high of making people laugh, and winning points by making jokes – this, I understand. This I can deal with. And this, I know, from my own personal experience, changes things in the most effective way possible – underhandedly and subtly. Watching Secretary was a revelation because I realized the truth of pop culture being a normalizing agent – suddenly, I didn’t care why people chose (if they did choose at all) to be dominants or submissives in bed as long as they were safe and emotionally and mentally satisfied.

This whole normalizing this is certainly used by largely male dominated film industries to normalize all kinds of crap, from rape culture to stalking, to unabashed machismo based, purposeless violence. On the other hand, there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned love story – a simple one, with no AIDS or excessive amounts of political and/or social discussions about homosexuality – to suddenly make you not care, as long as people have the temerity to fall in love, to want people and the courage to do something about it (the way I, cold and heartless as I am, would never have).

I hate adults sometimes, and many times, I want them to not be in control. I want a world where their opinions about what is “proper” doesn’t stop me from doing what I want – whether it is kissing girls, or choking on a penis. I have hopes for the entertainment world, and I know how to navigate it. I have hopes because if aspiring writers and directors and actors I meet are anything to go by, sooner or later people my age, with positive and compassionate attitudes about feminism, about rape culture, about homosexuality are going to be flooding the entertainment industry. And soon enough, people are going to watch. And maybe in a decade’s time, we wont be “criminals” for things we do in bed with a consenting partner.

God, I can’t think of a good ending for this post. Just… fuck it.

– Billy

Nearly Dying and Other Excuses

Ok so I’m back. And I know I’ve not been around for a while, but I never said I couldn’t take a break, and there were good reasons for taking a break, followed by lazy reason, and then good reasons again.

Good reason – I had dengue fever.And it became a problem. The kind of third world problem that just reminds me that I am in fact, very much in the third world, even if really I get the privileges of the first world. Although considering the fact that my dengue fever got aggravated by pneumonia that I probably caught while waiting in a crowded disease ridden casualty ward is very telling of the time and place, no? Anyway, I was in a bad way. Had tubes coming out of me and everything.

Apparently there was a point when they were anticipating full organ failure followed by life ending death, but they didn’t bother to tell me. I could have had a spiritual/ moral awakening, but because I wasn’t told I came out of the horrifyingly noisy Intensive Care Unit still the morally lacking, blaspheming atheist I was. I didn’t even feel the need to get emotional with my family or friends later, though I’m told they managed that bit quite well on their own. I feel like I’m not using enough commas in the above sentences, but eh…

Lazy reason – I got out, and didn’t feel like writing much…. And the hospital had made me pretty lazy. It took practically all of my willpower to get back into serious working mode for college. Couldn’t quite manage it for everything else. At least I have my priorities straight this time around with college.

Good reason – All of November is very stressful with assignments and projects, and catching up on lost time… And there were some rather stress inducing presentations that I thought went fairly well, given that I had been tripping on Kurkure out of nervousness. I appear to be smart in this new college and I don’t want to lose my edge there. I also don’t want to becoming an annoying smart person so I’m constantly trying not to say too much, and failing constantly at it.

So there. I don’t think I yall a secret or embarrassing detail for every week. I’ll just make it a big one. OK. While I was in the hospital two things happened that I previously thought would be indicators that I should mercy kill myself. 1. I had a fucking catheter through which I had to pee. This was painful, disgusting, embarrassing and I don’t wish to discuss it. 2. There were diapers involved and I couldn’t really clean up after myself so some poor nurse had to do it.

There are many reasons I didn’t kill myself while I was thus incapacitated with blinding shame about my excretory and digestive systems. I had always imagined I would be old and would have lived well before any of this happened. Also, I didn’t have the energy. Also, I hadn’t watched all the Star Treks or the Classic Who serials like I had always thought I would before I died. Also, I didn’t really know how I could possibly kill myself while I was in the ICU except to sneak a syringe full of into one of the IV tubes, but apparently that is very painful. Also, I had barely started liking my life and where it was all going so I didn’t actually want to end it right then. Finally, I kept wondering if just before going to the hospital I had somehow, inadvertently given my family or my friends the impression that they did not make me happy. I didn’t want to leave with that. I would have preferred to have one of those big elaborate pre-funeral funerals…Now that I think about it, I may be one of the few people around who casually wondered about killing myself without knowing that my body could actually give up any moment. Oh, the irony.

There was one thing I must mention that I found rather funny. The catheter meant that I didn’t actually pee… there was a bag that just filled up with my pee over a few days. So basically, I had a bag of what looked like non-aerated mountain dew hanging off the side of my mechanized hospital bed. Had I been up and about, this would mean I would have had to carry a transparent bag of urine around. Every patient in the ICU had their Bag’o’pee as I started calling it in my head, and somehow they both disturbed and amused me.

Never thought I'd use this picture in a proper context, but given the nature of above mentioned grievances....
Never thought I’d use this picture in a proper context, but given the nature of above mentioned grievances….

 

Anyway, there will be no more this week. I will start afresh with a blog post every week from next week on. This week I can’t because I haven’t thought of anything, what with frantically finishing projects for Critical Theory I and Film Theory I and Evolution of Cinema I and so on and so forth. As much as I would love to wax eloquent about philosophy and critical theory and movies, I don’t think people want to read my academic papers on the same, which is essentially the mode I’m in right now, writing wise.

I need to get back in the usual chirpy, depraved mode I usually am in for blog posts. Hopefully two to three days of writing expletive ridden notes in my writing journal thingy should do the trick.

– Billy

P.S. I livestreamed the 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode. 🙂 !!!

Also… here’s some funny/ awesome that I stole from tumblr and throw at your face.

 

Oh Benedict, why must you probe your way thusly into my heart through my vagina and my funny bone?
Oh Benedict, why must you probe your way thusly into my heart through my vagina and my funny bone?

 

:) Spock's Milkshake.
🙂