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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Running 'round in circles...

It's Monday, and frustration has yet again visited my doorstep. My mother's been in the hospital since late last week (but she's expected to be out by tomorrow the latest), my girlfriend is suffering through a bad case of allergies, Sex and the City became number one this weekend, and I still haven't found a fucking new job. It's days like this I actually find it hard to write, but I still at least try to give you all something small to read. You know, because I don't want to be seen as derelecting my self ordained duties. So, I guess instead of one big rant today, I'll be writing a whole bunch of mini rants. Sorry, but for some reason my mind finds it harder than usual to find a coherent throughline of hatred. I'm in shotgun mode today (goddamn ADD).

First off, Hillary Clinton's victory in Puerto Rico is merely a spiteful event at that. No amount of delegates at this point is going to save her, unless Obama turns out to be a sleeper spy from the Middle East that eats babies, lights Bibles on fire, and decries the advances of feminism and race relations...and even THEN he'd draw a huge amount of supporters away from McCain, so I really think it's done. Ms. Clinton is the Ron Paul of the Democratic Party, only her shtick found its way into the public consciousness through repetition and a previous two term administration in the White House. If there were any doubt that the White House was run by, if not heavily influenced by Senator Ratchet here, then it has been wiped out. Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, deal with it and move on.
Second of all, Sex and the City being number one was inevitable I guess. It's the film's longevity that'll show us all truly what a success it was...which, if the drop in numbers between Friday and Sunday is any indication, won't be very big at all. Sure, it was destined to be number one, but that's because its fanbase NEEDED to see it opening night. That was the biggest event in their social calenders, besides all the sex, bar hopping, and shoe shopping. Unfortunately for them, the results have been a mixed bag with critics and fans alike, and it doesn't look like it'll maintain its "fabulousity" for another weekend. Not even Indy could do it, so there's no chance in Hell that Seabiscuit and her cronies could do it. Feel free to make your race horse jokes in the comments, I made my own with a text to my brother yesterday. ("Does this mean we feed her carrots and put a wreath of flowers around her neck for the photos?") She won this weekend, but she surely won't hit the trifecta, so cash your tickets in now.

Third, and lastly, the job market sucks. I know, it's public knowledge, but seriously I haven't found anything that would take me out of this damn office and into a better, if not more permanent job. My options are running thin, as well as my patience, and frankly there's is a lot of frustration in the air. Which brings us back to the beginning of the post, frustration is mounting. Not just for me, but for a lot of us. Politics, entertainment, economics, anything and everything seems to be increasingly polarizing these days. The trend doesn't look like it's going down anytime soon either, and it's sad. Even on the Internet, your opinion doesn't count for much unless you have either a major amount of gravitas behind it, or you have a bunch of like minded persons behind you.

For instance, I had posted the following on a message board about the Sex and the City movie:
"[Name Withheld], a theory for you...most of the "female driven" entertainment out there is written by males. Males who would write equally shitty "male driven" entertainment and would inflict the same amount of pain on the world. Most females flock to it because it's the same universal situations everyone seeks to romanticize, but portrayed with a decidedly female bent on the same old wish fulfillment. They enjoy it, even on a guilty pleasure level, much as guys enjoy such movies.
Try to get a guy to watch it though, and you'll meet with mostly disastrous results; much like you would trying to get a woman to watch the male equivalent of Sex and the City. The point is, labels are still labels, and Sex and the City is almost like the female Superbad. Only it lacks the charm, star power, and general brevity of its running time to be endearing with the public. It's not that female driven movies are bad, it's just that sometimes they're just as bad as male driven movies, and the only reason they gain notice is because, well...they're female instead of male.
Just a biased opinion though, and before anyone questions it, yes I've seen some episodes of the show and I hated that too. Neither am I against all "chick flicks", I was quite fond of Serendipity and The Sweetest Thing (if that even counts)."

I clearly admit my bias against the show, I clearly state my own opinion, but neither were enough for some of the show's most vocal fans. I had actually received this in response:

"You see, I just don't get it. You can't possibly have "hated" the show based on the merits of the acting/writing etc. and therefore must hate it due to its "female bent."
Are we now to hate the works of Austen because Marianne, Elinor and Emma's wish was to find and marry a man? Decidedly female-centric stories (and no, I'm not saying that SatC is NECESSARILY in the same league) the lot of them that can be viewed as (to quote you) "the same universal situations everyone seeks to romanticize, but portrayed with a decidedly female bent on the same old wish fulfillment."
And you're way off when you write "Try to get a guy to watch it though, and you'll meet with mostly disastrous results; much like you would trying to get a woman to watch the male equivalent of Sex and the City." While the average man may not have time for a chick flick, I think you'll find that many women, like Agent Provocatrice stated, are more open to the male version of entertainment than you like to pigeonho...I mean, think.
And on opinion? You liked Serendipity and The Sweetest Thing? Two universally derided/panned films, while hating the (generally regarded as) groundbreaking SatC. I know it's all opinions, but if it look like shit and smells like shit, well, you know the rest."

A couple more comments claiming I was against it merely because it was a female story instead of a male story flew up, and I posted this to correct myself:

"I'm sorry I misrepresented myself. I'm not against Sex and the City because it's about females, I'm against it because I really don't like the writing and acting. You could replace the leads with men, switch the shoes to foreign cars, and replace Chris Noth with Carmen Electra and you'd still hear me bitch about the theme song and whomever filled Samantha's shoes. This was an error on my part, and I apologize.
Moreso, I'm not a fan because it's the type of show that breeds the occasional fan who takes the show as gospel. That woman who needs the latest labels here and now, the woman who demands that a man keep her in money so she can indulge in such things, and that woman who sees this show as the most flimsy excuse to drink, screw, and shop her way to happiness. As opposed to us "peasants" who have to settle for actually liking someone for who they are, instead of being drawn to their bank book.
And since when did being in the minority become a crime on this site? I apologize if I happened to like Serendipity and The Sweetest Thing over Sex and the City and The Lake House, but that's just how I roll. I would enjoy a female themed project if it were intelligent, about real life values, and actually funny/dramatic, instead of something that's consumeristic and shallow as this. Again, just my biased opinion. (And "raunch and poo jokes" aren't always male humor. I find it surprising how I've "pigeonholed" female humor, and yet male humore is pigeonholed as "raunch and poo jokes". What the Hell ever happened to wordplay and slapstick? Which, last time I checked, everyone can enjoy.)
Sorry if I'm long winded or sounding misogynist, I assure you it's unintended, but I reflect the feelings, "What in the hell happened to the hard work of the last two generations of profesional women to try to be taken seriously?"
We've gone from Murphy Brown to Carrie Bradshaw. What next?"

Apparently, that wasn't a good enough explanation, because this followed right after:

"You know, I think you earned the vitrol by coming across as kind of a tool -- and not in a particularly interesting or funny way. Seriously. You can be a grade A asshole around here and be absolutely beloved, but you have to be the right kind of asshole.
Honestly? I liked Sex and the City when it was on the air (the first few seasons were the ones I liked best, but I found things to enjoy in the later seasons as well). I saw the movie, and I thought parts of it were cute. I read your comments and I wanted to shove a Manolo Blahnik up your nose. Not just the stiletto. The whole damn shoe.
It was a visceral reaction that I can't really explain. I was also immediately convinced that if the SaTC ladies were real, they'd think you were a douchebag.
Now, you're probably a very nice person who doesn't deserve to go through life with an overpriced piece of footwear permanently lodged in your nasal cavities (and just RUINING your profile),and you're probably NOT ACTUALLY the sort of man that roving packs of sexually vociferous women in $700 outfits would point and laugh at while applying the nom de plum "Mr. Douchebag" on the gritty yet glamorous streets of New York City. But when you get on a website like this one and then detour both the high and (occasionally amusing) low roads in favor of the smug ramp onto the pretentiousness turnpike, people are probably going to react to that.
We only do smug pretension ironically here.
You know, as a woman, I'd like to go on record as saying that any guy who feels that liking SaTC gives him some sort of special insight into my psyche is probably a guy that I won't date, won't be friends with, and WILL mock in social situations. What can I say? I'm not the Carrie, I'm not the Miranda, I'm not the Samantha, and as much as I covet her wardrobe I am not the Charlotte. I'm the Cranky Bitch, and people thinking that the inner workings of me will correlate to a fun TV show written by gay men and a group of women who have very little in common with me regionally and culturally total sets off my Things That Will Make Me Go Stabby radar.
But yeah, I wouldn't take it personally. Kinda like Harry Hamlin just has a really punchable face, you've just really had a couple of punchable posts."

I just find it amazing that I've been labeled a "douchebag" because I take a contrary opinion on a film. And to think, would you really be able to tell if this was from Aint It Cool News or Pajiba, if it weren't for the telling bitchy prose? I guess my final point is this:

To all Sex and the City Fans,

I am not part of this show's demographic. Short of radical surgical procedures or homosexual tendencies, I will NOT be part of this show's demographic. This is not meant in an offensive way, just a commentary that women in general and homosexual men seem to be the greatest support base for the Sex and the City phenomenon, of which I'm neither. STOP TRYING TO CONVERT ME, IT WILL NOT WORK.

That's all.

Actually, that's not all. Douchebag or not, I guess I've earned it. The old adage about pleasing everyone all of the time is true. And posts like this really don't bother me. I have the name Mr. Controversy for a reason. Not everyone will like what I say, and in fact I feel vindicated. I am Mr. Controversy, although Mr. Douchebag might be funnier. Still, thanks for the fan mail, kids.

In short, I would REALLY be better off in bed with a steaming mug of tea and a book or movie to read/watch until I fell asleep and woke up refreshed and appreciated. Or, I could use a super advanced screening of Wall-E or Dark Knight in IMAX. But, that doesn't seem to be in the cards. Oh, and last but not least, I know you're not a regular reader but I just felt like saying Happy Birthday, Mom.

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