download (1)download There was a great deal of hullaboo in the entertainment and cultural media recently when people began expressing outrage that Emma Stone, a white actress was cast as a character who is a quarter Asian, in the movie Aloha written and directed by Cameron Crowe. I felt like there was more protest to this issue than other casting issues, and director actually ended up posting an apology. But the whole thing seemed like the same process – where nonwhite actors were extremely and rightfully angered and hurt by this film representing like an 85% Asian landscape with no Asian faces, and on the other side, the white people are taken aback, completely surprised by the reaction, pointing to some tiny part cast with an Asian face as proof of their lack of racism.

I read about all this stuff and casting diversity is one of my favorite topics to talk about, but this one, I just don’t care. Why? Am I that tired? In other news, the leader of NAACP just got outed as white, spending years feigning to be black, which is a strange, strange story. I don’t even know where to begin, but in both cases, I don’t have an emotional, gut response when I normally would get bananas. Am I just fatigued? Am I bored talking about representations of race? Maybe. Or maybe it’s because I am feigning to be an Asian.

insidious 3

insidious3-fb-banner Husband and I rarely go to the movies, but when we do, man do we have a good time. We’re like Wow! Lights! Music! Guns! Hot models chasing each other! Oh my god, I’m out of the house and yet the sun is down at the same time! And then I’ll check out the Times and be surprised that the flick suffered a lackluster review, to which I always respond, perhaps critics should have three kids, not see movies for years, then go out. Truly, those conditions will make every film feel like an epic endeavor and accomplishment.

Anyway, I hate scary movies, so it’s not a good use of my movie allotted time on earth, but since I have one friend I owe big time and she loves them I go. This friend visited me every Friday with food during my maternity leave with the twins, because I was too wiped out to leave the house. We didn’t even know each other very well at the time, but she was so generous with her time, company, and food, even when she had a family of her own, that even though horror films scary the bejesus out of me, I go when she asks. The last one was Insidious 3, about a demon who gloms on this young girl and is sucking her soul out or something. Her fate depends on a medium who must overcome her demons (not like inner demons, but like actual, scary-as-sh*t demons who sneak into her house and move her stuff and choke her) in order to help the young girl. Thankfully, it all works out in the end, otherwise, the nightmares would be endless, because it is terrifying. I forced myself to watch some of it, but I cope with these movies by taking my glasses off to blur the action – honestly, that can make it worse, since audio is so crucial in these films to heighten the tension.

I survived. There were four times the movie made me scream. There were times when the main demon popped up unexpectedly, or put a gooey hand on the heroine’s shoulder, etc, that were darn freaky, and so startled, I let out a few screams. Sadly, these were not like quick staccato screams, but like long, a sustained, high-pitched soprano screeching. A wee bit embarrassing. Luckily, my volume fit in with the audience because they were also very loud, offering running commentaries (“Don’t go in there alone!” “Turn back!” “Put on your pants!” whatever etc.), which is annoying for other movies, but comforting in this case When the medium turns her luck around and actually punches out a demon, the whole audience roared. I did too. I applauded wildly. I fist pumped in the air and let loose a loud, victorious “YEAH!”

I don’t get out much.

lou reed

I never got into the music of Lou Reed. Don’t hate. I am not actually sure I could pick his music out of a lineup. During lunch, I accidentally ran into a Lou Reed memorial. It was a bunch of chairs, chevron-ed under a cluster of trees at Lincoln Center, with speakers blasting music. A lot of people were sitting and standing there listening, and I walked quickly around trying to find the source of the music, going “where’s the show? where’s the band?” like a genius. Turned out it was a DJ playing Lou Reed’s greatest hits, or maybe all of the B-sides, or all of his music. I would not know.

In any case, even though I have not sampled his music, I like what I’ve read about him. He caught my eye by being a successful musician married to another successful musician who was actually his age. That’s rare. Usually it seems one partner’s powers are quite diminished compared to the star partner’s powers. Laurie Anderson, his bad arse music star wife (another musician whose work strikes me as meh, but whose life seems terribly interesting), read at her husband’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She talked about how right before he died, his hands were moving in different tai chi positions (they both practiced), and it made her feel incredibly and unexpectedly light.

Here are the rules of life they developed:
1. Don’t be afraid of anyone.
2. Get a really good bullshit detector and learn how to use it.

3. Be really really tender.