For when “dislike” just doesn’t cut it…











{January 9, 2009}   Juno

Okay. This post has been a long time coming. In fact, when I started this blog it was mostly to encourage myself to finally put my hate-on for this badly-written, poorly-acted mess of a “film” into proper words. Until now I mostly just grind my teeth and sigh loudly whenever someone starts wanking about Juno, Diablo Cody or Ellen “Fivehead” Page (or as I sometimes refer to her, The Enemy). My floormates are all right now watching it, and they were all ~OMG TOTES SHOCKED LYKE WHOA~ that someone could dislike a movie as “cute” and “quirky” and… uh… other adjectives that are commonly used… as Juno. Hence, I left the common room, eyes rolling and head shaking.

This is NOT a response to the film’s popularity. I saw the film with my good friend Maddie before Christmas of 2007 (therefore before the movie got wide release). She will testify that I didn’t laugh. I walked out of it thinking, “wait… she learned NOTHING from any of it!” and I’m sure I’m not the only one who got physically nauseous at the non-sequitur ending where they butcher a song that no 16-year-old couple would know.

I thought, “there’s no WAY that this is gonna become popular.” And yet…

I’m also trying to make this about the movie, and not about my dislike for the people involved in the movie (Saint Ellen; Michael “SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CAST AS SCOTT PILGRIM” Cera [trust me, that post is coming soon]; Diablo “Used to be a stripper, probably should have stayed one” Cody; Korean Pro-Life Stereotype Girl…). But that’s gonna fail. Cheap shots are going to be taken.

Problem #1) I hate movies in which bad people make bad choices and don’t have to face the consequences. Fox Searchlight (the production company) makes SO MANY movies with that theme (See: Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State, Confetti, Thirteen)

Juno makes a stupid mistake that SHOULD ruin her life (or at least seriously make her re-evaluate her priorities). She constantly gets out of things with minimal possible effort – she found foster parents in the Penny-Saver. There was no research done on her part and she expected to be all, “Hey. Have a kid. Don’t name it something dumb.” Her family didn’t punish her or even explain to her WHY TEEN PREGNANCY IS NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN TAKE IN STRIDE. When she found out, her first reaction was to hang herself. With licorice.

When Michael Bluth and Sydney Bristow start having problems, Juno made them worse by going DIRECTLY against all the advice she was given. She never realizes it.

She tells Paulie to date other people, then gets super-possessive when he thinks of asking out the girl who smells like soup (which was stolen from Strongbad or, going even farther back, “So I Married An Axe Murderer?”.)

And all this time she thinks she has a right to be sassy and judgmental towards everyone else? Ugh girl needs to be slapped.

Problem #2) The dialogue

Has there ever been another movie with a vernacular that so wormed its way into the minds of EVERYONE*? There are like 50 Facebook groups called “I wAnNa TaLk LyKe JuNo ItS sOoOoO cLeVaR.” 

Firstly, the dialogue SOUNDS written. This is more the fault of the screenplay than the actors, but don’t tell anyone I’m cutting Kitty Pryde some slack. However, delivering the dialogue completely monotone and deadpan makes it sound like she’s reading the script for the first time. Always. No Oscar for you.

Also, clever lives are given to every single character. I could understand MAYBE if Juno was the only one, because MAYBE we could believe that she does nothing but think of Last Comic Standing-rejected wordplay. Unfortunately, EVERYONE** gets a stab at the lowest common denominator euphemisms. That famous scene where Rainn Wilson tells her she’s preggers without using any real words is a great example. Their exchange makes Gilmore Girls’ banter seem well thought out. Her friend Leah is just as bad (“Phuket, Thailand?” Really?!) and even Jason Bateman is not exempt (though his best line, “Technically, that would be kicking it Old Testament,” was DIRECTLY stolen from VERONICA MARS, who is much smarter, sassier, prettier, stronger, a better role model etc.)

Also, this has been stated SO MANY TIMES by smart people but OH MY GOD MORGAN FREEMAN WAS NOT IN THE BONE COLLECTOR. IT WAS DENZEL WASHINGTON. I KNOW YOUR PROVINCE DOESN’T HAVE THE BEST TRACK RECORD AS FAR AS BLACK PEOPLE GO, BUT SHIT. She could at least get her references right. They could have easily redeemed ALL the bad references by having someone in the movie call her on them.

As my friend Sofi put it,

“Thunderbirds = Go.
Thundercats = Ho.
Juno = No.” 

Amen.

I absolutely can’t stand things that try to be quirky JUST for the sake of being quirky. I hate false non-conformity. 

Problem #3) Ellen Page

UGH. Bitch needs to get a new schtick. If I have to see or hear about her losing her virginity (which comes up much more often than you’d think, but that could just be the people I know) one more time while having the act betray her somehow (see: An American Crime, Mouth to Mouth, The Tracey Fragments)… 

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t like her and I don’t get the big deal. There are three or four dozen girls from my high school who have just as much character and can out-act and out-shine her. Oh, and the is-she-or-isn’t-she-a-lesbian thing? She’s playing it up on purpose because no one is telling her to shit or get off the pot. 

Juno fandom is one of the few things I actively hold against people, because I just don’t understand the obsession. I really did try to give it a fair, open-minded chance, but the negative and stupid parts outweighed what probably could have been a quirky love story. 

* I needed to redeem this post somehow
** Srsly, I needed to do it twice to counterbalance.



{October 14, 2008}   Badmouthing a Professor online

I don’t care how easy it is, or how much work you put into your 65% essay. You’re gonna get in trouble, and at this point in your life (ie University) you should know two things:

1) Education is FULL of bureaucratic bulljive and arbitrary power-tripping from those in power. I probably know this better than most (*cough*), but there were also instances when the work was actually not my best. 

2) Anything you write on Facebook or the internet or a message board will come back to haunt you. I also probably know this better than most, and I implore people: IF YOU ONLY HAVE TO REGRET ONE THING YOU WRITE ONLINE, MAKE SURE IT ISN’T A POST IN WHICH YOU CALL THE PROF THE C-WORD.

 

Okay. A bunch of people recently received some marks back in a class that was supposed to be a bird course. I was one of them. I didn’t take the course (Acting for Non-Majors) because it was supposed to be an easy mark – I took it because I thought I’d enjoy it.

I’m not.

It’s a half-credit course, but it’s more work, stress, running around and pain-in-the-ass than my full- and 1.5-credit courses. The fact that I was given a mark of 60% on an assignment that I KNOW was exactly what she wanted does nothing to help. I am close to dropping the course, which disappoints me a little. I’m not a quitter. Anyone who knows me says that I am nothing if not perseverant.

 

Here’s the deal: Our first assignment was to choose a monologue. She gave us a sheet of possible choices, and I chose one from the list. I read the whole play, and (thinking that she approved it because it was on the list) started the arduous task of memorizing it.

I received an email from her after I’d shown her the selection, telling me that she hated the monologue and that she’d bring another one for me. Fair enough. I’m glad she told me early, but if she hated it, why was it on the sheet of monologue possibilities?

I actually really liked the next monologue I was given, from a Canadian piece called, “In The Cards.” I thought it was a good choice for me – the girl was quirky and the right age and a little sarcastic without being Juno-ish with the slang (but that’s for another entry). I was given the monologue on Monday and given one week to do my essay. On Tuesday I went to my university library, who didn’t have a copy. I then took a trip down to the big Toronto Reference Library, who informed me that there wasn’t a copy in the whole library system. I then went online and checked to see if University of Toronto had one. They didn’t. My theatre contacts told me to check out TheatreBooks, whose website told me they had copies in stock. When I went (on Thursday morning), they told me they print them individually and it would take two weeks to get me a copy. I immediately emailed her and explained everything. I asked her if she had a copy I could use, and if she did, could she get it to me before Monday so I could hand it in on time.

I received a reply on Saturday night, telling me that she didn’t have a copy of the play, and that I need to pick a new play. I didn’t get an extension, and that I shouldn’t have waited so long to contact her. I would have been finished my essay if she hadn’t disapproved of my first choice. 

I spent all Sunday in the York library reading plays, and I finally found one I really enjoyed called “When Did You Last See Your Trousers?” I didn’t have time to get it approved (she notoriously takes two days to respond to emails) so I did the whole essay in one night. For what it was, it was pretty darn good.

When my peers and I got to class the next morning, she told us she would have given us until Wednesday, but we could hand it in then if we wanted and she would give us a chance to later improve on our mark. She said that if we hadn’t heard from her by Wednesday, we should assume we did quite well and that she has no issues.

Wednesday came and went, and I breathed a sigh of relief. My first major Drama assignment and there weren’t any issues! Sweet beans!

I get an email from her on Saturday of the Thanksgiving long weekend, telling me that I shouldn’t have used an unapproved monologue (!!!) and for that reason she was going to give me 60%. I thought I was alone until I saw our Facebook group, in which my peers were discussing how unfairly they’d been marked. 

But they weren’t saying anything to justify their own academic work – they called her names and made dumb remarks that had nothing to do with anything… they were just venting. In public. Where anyone could read it. 

I don’t know if they were given the same opportunity, but I am meeting with her tomorrow to go over my monologue and essay so that I can hopefully get a better mark. Why would they insult her online knowing that she can get meaner anytime she likes? If I were her and I read that, I would rescind any offers of appeal or extra credit. 

I don’t think she marked my assignment fairly, but she was within her right to give me that mark. She is also well within her right to file reports of slander on y’all. Smarten up and keep the insults to the schoolyard.



{October 10, 2008}   “So What?” by Pink

My dislike of this song is an unpopular stance in my dorm, where all the seventeen year old girls from small towns REALLY buy into false non-conformity. I like to think that being at one point cited on Pink’s wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_(singer)) makes me an expert on her, even though I haven’t thought of her in years.

Which brings me to my main dislike of her infectious (like malaria) single, “So What?” Even if the Nana-na-na-nana-na cadence wasn’t the most awkward rhythm to sing along with, Pink only ever really sings about one topic: her own relevancy. 

Her “comeback” album was called “I’m Not Dead,” which is hilarious and tongue-in-cheek. There was “Stupid Girls,” in which she mocked pop starlets while claiming to be different. She imitates those same starlets in the video, showing that she doesn’t fit into the cookie-cutter mould. However, in imitating them, she still wears the wet white t-shirt, she still does the slutty dance moves, she still washes the convertible in a bikini. There was “Cuz I Can,” her ode to her own bad-assitude. Now, with “So What?” She offers to fight her ex-husband and pretty much everyone else because she doesn’t give a darn.  Then she goes around and says, “I don’t need love and marriage because I’m a rock star!”

But ALL of her songs are about being a rock star. It’s safe to say that if Pink didn’t have any songs about being a rock star, she wouldn’t have any songs and therefore, y’know… wouldn’t be a rock star. 

It’s not self-affirming, because she wants to fight him. It doesn’t take a psychologist to see that she’s still bitter.

It’s not original, because it rips off all of her other songs.

AND it has by far the most annoying verse construction ever, and I’ve heard it three times today already.



The title says it all, doesn’t it? There are a group of boys on my dorm floor who have woken me up between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning every day laughing like drunken sociopaths (oh, wait). I could accept this as one of the downsides to not living at home during university had it happened once on a Saturday night, but I was kept awake for four nights in a row. It’s a lot more annoying than it sounds.

Night 1: Fire alarm. Simple enough. They pulled it knowing that one of their buddies was getting some, and that both he and the girl would have to scramble to get dressed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t dressed to deal with a Canadian October night either. I didn’t fall back to sleep once we were allowed back in.

Night 2: Another drunken night for these charming lads, they ask the naive boy from Hong Kong to “pet the squirrel.” Having never seen a skunk before, he didn’t know the difference. The poor boy was sprayed, and the others brought him back up to our floor and paraded him around, yelling and laughing raucously. I woke up thinking, “What the Mitch smells like burning eraser?” The skunk funk was so bad that I was awake, nauseous and angry, for the rest of the night.

Night 3: Possibly my “favourite” of the pranks, the four boys take turns peeing in an empty recycling bin. At 3:00 am, they knock on a different guy’s door and empty the bin onto him. The whole bin of urine soaked him and his carpet… and the hallway’s carpet… everyone knows that urine is the WORST smell to try to get out of upholstery or clothing. Well, except skunk. Together they’re a lethal combination. Anyway, I wake up to “I AM GOING TO F***ING KILL ALL OF YOU. WHAT THE F***?!” as well as cries of pure disgust. It was at this point I called the Don, who – of course – did nothing. No more sleep for me.

 

I approached the boys the next day, looking like ass (and, admittedly, playing up my I’m-gonna-cry-out-of-exhaustion face) and said, “Guys, seriously. I have 8:30 am classes. Can you please pull your pranks earlier so that I can get some sleep? I’m so tired. I’m not saying that you can’t be asses to each other, just realize that I’m right next door and I have to be up early. Please.” They must think I’m pretty okay, or else they pitied me, because they didn’t make fun of me. They agreed, and I was tired enough to think they’d stop.

I’m an IDIOT when I’m tired.

Night 4: When I heard rambunctious conversation begin to get louder, I stepped out of my room wearing pyjamas and holding my toothbrush. My hair was in braids and on my feet were slippers. I yawned as I walked past. It could not have been more obvious that I was preparing to sleep – at 10:00. One guy asked me if they were being too loud, and I said that they were fine as long as they didn’t get louder. I thought they’d redeemed themselves, but really they just hadn’t started drinking yet. After a few Molsons, they started discussing – very loudly – how they deal with girls who aren’t good at handjobs. Offensive? Maybe. Inappropriate? Sure. Nauseating? Most certainly. My head clutched between my two pillows, I could still hear every awful comment and every subsequent high-five. 

I emerged from my bed, and they laughed and called me over, eager to share the rest of the conversation with me. AM I THAT MUCH OF A DUDE?! It was at this point that I practically begged them to hang out in another hallway. I don’t know if they did, because I actually did fall asleep out of exhaustion as soon as I got back to my room. I had an 8:30 class so I only got a few hours of rest, but it was more than what I’d been getting.

 

I stayed at The Boy’s house the next night. He was my hero for being quiet and for letting me sleep past noon for the first time since I moved out.



et cetera