Life and Death
Life and death are seemingly polar opposites of each other. One is celebrated with joy among the pangs of pain. The other is loathed and shatters entire worlds. But although these concepts seem antithetical to each other, perhaps they really give each other meaning.
Would anything have meaning if our time in this world was eternal? Sure, we could find meaning in seeing the birth of stars pass by each millennia, but would a story with no end have its same taste of success or passion or fervor? Would love be so powerful if it were to last forever? What if meaning is derived not from how long it can last, but rather in how precious it is?
Without darkness, there is not light. With no light, there is no darkness. In trying to sustain the unsustainable and to try to prevent the unpreventable, it rips away the boundaries of what forms the essence of our most meaningful concepts. If such is true, then a meaningful life is captured in not how long it is lived, but how much quality can be found in every second breathed. Death may be the end of all things, but it is the ultimate reminder of what truly matters in life.
So take those risks. Dream a little bigger. Climb a little higher.
Every second matters.
Harry Situation Reviews: Morbius
Morbius is the new superhero film by Marvel and Sony as part of their own Spider-Man Cinematic Universe. It stars Jared Leto as the titular vampiric hero, along with Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Tyreese Gibson, and Jared Harris.
The story centers on Dr. Michael Morbius, a brilliant scientist and physician who has been suffering from a rare blood disease since childhood. Desperate for a cure he begins to experiment on himself with the use of vampire bats. The experiment seems successful but not without some side effects. He has gained near supernatural abilities such as superhuman strength, flight, and echo location sense similar to a bat. However he begins to hunger for human blood, morphing him into a vampiric monstrosity. Can Morbius control his darker half or succumb to the monster within?
Morbius is an interesting character in Marvel comics. First starting off as an antagonist in The Amazing Spider-Man comics to gradually becoming an anti-hero later on, teaming up with the Avengers and the Midnight Sons. I was definitely excited for this while also remaining skeptical. I mean did we really need a Morbius movie? Regardless, we got one, and it was super disappointing.
The first—and probably only positive—thing about this movie are the performances. Jared Leto seemed like a good fit as Dr. Morbius. He did a better job in this role than as the Joker in Suicide Squad. At the very least he didn't do much of his standard weird-ass method acting, so that's good.
Rest of the cast do an exceptional job with what they're given. But I think the best out of the bunch was Matt Smith. He seemed to be having the time of his life portraying the villain in this movie. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by stating that. I mean it's pretty obvious that he was going to be the main antagonist.
Sadly a good cast and good performances cannot save a bland story. It's the typical superhero origin story we've witnessed for the past two decades and ultimately does nothing new with it. You know exactly what I'm talking about. The protagonist gets super powers. His rival gets similar powers. There's a big battle. The end. The only difference is there's no sky laser this time.
And you'd be surprised how fast all these cliches happen in this movie because it is so rushed. I think the movie was barely a half hour in and Morbius is already experimenting on himself with the cure to his disease. And then afterwards he goes on a killing spree. Speaking of, there are several elements that the movie seems to gloss over like with Morbius' childhood or that he won a Nobel prize or the fact that he created artificial blood, which that alone raises a number of questions unless you're familiar with the comics.
I also cannot help but notice that there were scenes in the trailers that were cut from the movie. For example, the scene where Morbius is talking to Jared Harris isn't in the final cut. The scene where Morbius is singing that famous Bach composition isn't in the final cut. Also, that scene where Michael Keaton's Vulture from the MCU says "What's up, doc?" isn't in the final cut either.
And let's not forget the CGI. Good god, the CGI. Now I'm not say it's terrible. In fact there are some that holds up pretty well, like Morbius' vampire face. Yet other times it looks very awkward and pretty bad. Like super obvious CGI bad. And it's not helped by the awkward slow motion they also incorporate into the movie too. I thought we were done with that shit in the early 2010s.
Ultimately what does this movie in is that it is boring. The action isn't exciting. The horror elements it incorporates are lackluster. The fights are nothing more than a CGI blur that you cannot make out what is happening.
Overall this movie was a letdown. Delay after delay, followed by a review embargo, was already a red flag that the studio had little faith. I don't know what more to say but don't watch it. It's bad. Not the worst Marvel film I've seen but it's up there.
-Awkward CG & slow motion
Final Grade: D
So those are my thoughts on Morbius. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts on it? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose!
Michael Morbius: "I've seen this movie before. The stranger in the hoodie kicks everybody's ass. I love that part."
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #Marvel #superhero #supernatural #horror #fantasy #scifi #vampire #ThisMovieSucks
Writing is Risk
I can't help but cringe when I see writing prompts that ask the writer to "keep it clean." Other than certain rules around basic grammar, punctuation and spelling that help ensure ideas can be conveyed clearly across audiences (and even here, there is arguably some flexibility), writing should be untethered. Good writing exists at the place where creativity and risk intersect - if there isn't some sort of fear or discomfort at play while you contemplate sharing your writing, you're doing it wrong. It's hard to be honest with yourself, let alone the world, but that authenticity is what makes writing sing - the best songs evoke strong emotion, connect people and move us to action.
This is not to say that good writing has to be full of "fucks" - obscenity, sexuality, violence and the like all have their place insofar as they further the story or characterization and help the author to build a world or setting that feels true. Many a work has been criticized for unnecessary rape, for instance, that does little to advance the plot or characters and is used more so for shock value, often offering insight into the writer's social/political views on women more than anything else. But to box someone in from the start - to tell them to keep it clean in a world that is very much the opposite - seems like a recipe for the production of writing that is superficial and half-hearted. Give me the grime and the pain any day, to remind me I am real.
Write about… a Vanilla Protein Shake!
When my challenge is ignored I feel like a hole opens in my chest; tiny at first, but painful, sharp as a pin’s prick-prick-prick. With time the hole widens, and deepens, the pain swelling along with it to an unending, unbearable ache. I open Prose, and I open Prose, and I open Prose! That lonely challenge at the very bottom of the list taunts me; dirty, insulting, laughing. The hole in my chest grows a vortex, spinning and pulling at the very cruxt of my being, tattoo-ing my unworthiness forever.
With meandering time the vortex of shame grows, grows, GROWS… sucking my pride inside it, allowing anger space to build! My eyes stray to those cocky, snotty names watching my wallows from on high; those with their clever challenges, and their thousand upon thousand followers, and with fourteen entries on their challenge. Hey Lolly! Are they so smart? Do they teem with brilliance? I seethe and burn within my tornado lust, it’s hole ever widening, ever pulling, ever threatening now to drag my very soul within it. I brace, and strike-strike-strike at it’s heart, knife-less it is true, but with imagined talons and fangs, sharp and hoary.
But the vortex is strong. It pulls, pulls, pulls me inside. Dark is the room, dark the walls, dark the very air. I breath in the dark, and I exhale it, until I myself am the dark, swimming within it alive as it sucks me ever deeper inside. “My God!“ I despair. “There is still three weeks to go!”
And at the very core lies shame. The hole’s bottom runs deep-thick-slick with it. Calf high humility sludge, oozing through toes, slurping at skin, holding tight. It is a bad place, this. Vainly climbing; clawing, sliding, stretching and slipping, two up-three down in the cruddy, muddy mire. Why would they write… why would they… why? It is only me down here… it is only… me... alone. It is just me down here, drowning in Prose.
But wait! What there? An entry! Am I saved? Thank you, thank you, thank you! Oh, sweet and lovely ”Platty-puss!” I will follow you! I will read all of your writings! The world is no longer so dark, or life so tragic, and all for the kindness that is you!
Joy, joy, joy! Thank God and Platty-puss I have climbed, risen high above that smart aleck Huckleberry guy who has no entries on his stupid challenge.
Ha, ha! What a loser he is!
My name is
My name is
My name is
(insert real name here)
Well, we live in a little surburban town.
I don’t really live .... outside like that.
Shush. I don’t need internal commentary.
We. We are one person.
No, we’re not.
Well.........I suppose not.
We have a dog and a brother.
He’s not my brother.
Well you live inside here, deal with it. Stop interrupting me.
What do I enjoy?
What do I enjoy?
Well, I am an artist, I sing, dance, act, paint...
I don’t. I prefer numbers. Strict, solid, single-answer numbers.
I am creative.
What you are is abnormal.
I would like to think that I am confident-
Lies. Confidence is lying to yourself. It’s saying that you’re better than what you actually are. It’s deluding yourself so you feel-
No one asked your opinion.
..........I’m sorry if I upset you.
See, I don’t understand you.
These.... feelings? I was trying to protect you.
I don’t need protection.
Well, what do you call “seven panic attacks per week”?
I- that was one time.
Well, no matter what, I’ll always be here to take over.
“Take over” sounds a little harsh.
I’ll be here.
If I need you.
If you need me.
My name is
My name is
(insert real name here)
A broken heart
I was young
I loved you
as a child
loves its mother
it was natural
you smiled at me
alone and insecure
you made me feel beautiful
I was yours forever
angry at you
for some slight
an adolescent fury
full of sorrow and remorse
I sought your forgiveness
was not in your nature
and though I begged
that became weeks
became an impenetrable wall
I could not fell
and so I lay my heart
at the foot
where it lies
An ode to loss and persistence
There was something about that amateur concert yesterday. It keeps bothering me, a sense of presence on the periphery of my mind, dripping with persistent annoyance of autumnal drizzle. A misty mystery.
In the pallid morning light I am watching raindrops on the car window. As it accelerates, the drops stay still. They shiver in nervous excitement: not yet... not yet... not yet... YES! Finally resolved, they take off, almost simultaneously, chasing each other to the end of the glass and off, spinning into watery oblivion.
'Weather talk' is an expression in English meaning empty conversation, innocuous and meaningless. That is exactly what, slightly contemptuously, I thought of it while living in California. The weather there was nice. The air was warm. The sky was blue. The days were long and easy. Not so in England - you really can talk about the weather for hours here - there is just so much of it...
There is a kestrel flying past the window, slicing through the grey misty air, intent on it's goal, assured in it's elegant trajectory. No hesitant trembling there. There is unquestionable beauty in it's simplicity. But there is also a strange, uncertain beauty in discordant complexity.
What was it, at that concert yesterday? It was the usual mix of of adults and children, playing with various degrees of proficiency: in the adults enthusiasm shoring up insufficient skill and in the children - parental pressure shoring up insufficient enthusiasm. A couple of beautiful, almost professional performances, strategically framed the concert at the beginning and the end. Was it that Liszt piece, with an almost unbearable sense of unrest just under the surface? No... it was that thin old woman, taught and trembling, like a string, like the raindrops, like the tears in my eyes that came, incomprehensible, out of nowhere.
The old woman walks on to the stage, accompanied by a younger one - attentive and slightly apologetic - her daughter, judging by the attitude. The mother is very nervous. Once seated at the piano, she has to take a few deep breaths to calm down enough to stop her hands trembling. For a few seconds she sits still, visibly stealing herself, and then suddenly plunges into her piece. Her fingers tap the keys lightly, with certainty, and there is spring - her eyes young, sparkling with laughter, her hands moving with the unthinking elegance of the kestrel in flight. You could see her sitting in a bright sunlit family room, demonstrating the piece to her daughter, happy in their shared enthusiasm. Suddenly, she stumbles. Her face falls. A look of helpless confusion replaces the sunny smile. Her daughter moves forward involuntarily, as if to help, but then the expression of grim determination replaces that of confusion on the old woman's face and, with the help of the score in front of her, she plunges on. It is a long piece. Over the course of interminable minutes she forgets the familiar music again and again, every time unable to believe the betrayal of her mind, every time returning to the score with grim persistence, unwilling to accept her loss, her frailty, the signs of decline...
The daughter stops moving forward with each mistake, only her fingers moving, as if willing to transmit their knowledge to her who taught them in the beginning, so many years ago. When there was spring, and light, and mum would remind her of the things she needed to pack for school, and she didn't have to follow her surreptitiously into the kitchen, just to make sure that the stove was off after she finished... Her mother never taught her to cook. She used to resent her mother's lack of domesticity - the house was always a mess and meals - a haphazard affair. Sometimes, while rooting through the fridge in search of something edible, she had that bitter feeling of being uncared for, unloved, unheeded... But then there were other times, when her mother would teach her music - or simply play, sharing her passion, offering the music as a gift of love. When she grew up she realised that she kept her room immaculate and learned baking at least in part as a protest. But she also learned to play the piano.
It was a few years before vague worries caused by her mum forgetting and loosing things became impossible to ignore. One day she was making a cake, listening to mum playing one of her favourite pieces in the next room. The music stopped in mid-sentence. She ran into the room, suddenly terrified. Her mother was sitting at the piano, shoulders slumped, arms hanging uselessly by her side. Mum's face had that helplessly confused expression she came to dread. Her eyes, bright with tears trembling in the lower eyelids, huge with despair, burned themselves into her daughterâ€™s memory, as did her trembling voice, repeating over and over again, with heartbreaking persistence, 'I can't remember... I can't remember... I can't remember...'
That afternoon she made an appointment with mum's GP and in a week received a letter with the diagnosis they both dreaded. She cried. Her mum didn't. She sat there, in the sunlit room, her back straight, her arms hanging limply by her side. After a few minutes of silence, she stood up and walked to the piano, an expression of grim determination on her face. She sat down and started to play.
Over the next few years, the daughter would learn to both love and hate this piece. Listening to it flowing from her mother's fingers and stopping abruptly, and starting again and again and again - a memorial to past skill, a testament to present spirit, a hymn that denies faith, an ode to loss and persistence.
The Will to Live is Fickle
—our efforts in Living are vain,
everything is too tight, too plain—
—I’ve strived [sic!] for a storybook life,
and cut my days short with a knife—
—ask us to mingle, and say I could,
but what perchance would make it Good?
—should we exchange more than words,
scouring lives across the floor boards—
—that’s more mess than my container
can make without spilling over—
—odd if emptiness cannot be poured
best be left unsatiated—
—than in turn contaminated
a soul was anchored once though barely—
—know there’s nothing here now, really
and I am sorry—
I’ll not hurt—
I’ll not hurt