7 Things I Don’t Understand

Basil Rathbone. Image from denofgeek.com

Remakes

There are a billion original stories out there, some of them even on this blog, so why do movie studios insist on giving us the same crap over and over?

How many Sherlock Holmes have their been throughout the life of the character? The answer is a lot. Do we need that many Sherlock Holmes? Personally, I think we should have stopped at Basil Rathbone.

Basil Rathbone. Image from denofgeek.com
Basil Rathbone.
Image from denofgeek.com

I’ve written about this one before in Things I Hate Part 1:

Hollywood has always remade movies.  This is nothing new. They’ve done it since time immemorial, but recently, there has been a glut of remade television shows, foreign films, books, comic books, other movies and little else. It seems that it’s all about the almighty dollar and creative thought is dead, or at least, it’s no longer being financed by the studios.

I think the crux of the issue, as I alluded to above, is financing. Why should Hollywood bother taking a risk on making something new and original, when they can just repackage the same crap over and over, and you people will pay to go see it? The box office numbers tell me that you do.

I, for one, vote with my wallet. Not that I see many movies in the theater, but the movies I pay to see are always original. I never pay to see remakes because I want them to stop. I want more originality and creativity in Hollywood. These days, I mostly watch foreign films to find that.

Suburbia

Suburbia as seen in Edward Scissorhands
Suburbia as seen in Edward Scissorhands

I’ve written about this one before in Things I Hate Part 3:

I hate suburbia… all of it… everywhere. The suburbs are supposed to be cleaner, safer, better. I call bullshit. If by better you mean devoid of any sort of culture whatsoever, universally painted in shades of beige, teeming with chain restaurants and chain stores, and full of asswipes whose idea of the high life is having their windows smashed because they ridiculously live on golf course, then, maybe. Personally, I’ll take the grime and noise of the city over your fake cul-de-sacs, your keeping up with the Jones-ism, and your homogenized uniformity any day. Just driving through the suburbs makes my skin crawl. I don’t know how people live there.

I admit that I’m biased on this one. When I was in high school, my parents decided that the neighborhood I lived in all my life wasn’t good enough and moved us out to the suburbs. I hated every second of it. Instead of being ranked by how cool you were in high school, this school was about how rich you were. I went to school with a kid who drove a Ferrari. He was sixteen years old and drove a car that cost about as much as the house I lived in. Do you think he bought that car with his own money at his part-time job? Not likely.

I was not rich. My family was not rich. I had been supporting myself since I was fifteen, so even if my family was rich, it wouldn’t have mattered. I parked my ancient Chevrolet Chevette amid Ferraris, Bentleys, Mercedes and Maseratis. When I was 18 and legally emancipated, I got the fuck out of suburbia and never looked back.

Gated Communities

In suburbia, which I hate, there is an even worse section of suburbia–that of the gated community. I have to drive a mile out of my way each way every day because of one. They’ve managed to somehow gate off a major city street so no one can get through except the rich fucks who live there.

In my mile out of the way drive, I pass many more gated communities. One of them, on a four lane street that everyone has to take because the other gated community has blocked off a major thoroughfare, has its own light. Fortunately, this light only goes red when someone needs to get in or out of the gated community, but every time I get stuck there, it pisses me off.

Countless people on their way to work have to stop for one asshole, and there is always only one asshole. I’ve never seen more than one car going in or out at the same time and I’ve passed this stupid light ten times a week for nearly three years. Four lanes of traffic come to a grinding halt so one rich bitch can go shopping in Beverly Hills.

It’s that sense of entitlement that really pisses me off about the rich. All of us poor people are obviously not as important as that one person going in and out of Richville or Urethra or Gates of the Elite (they always have stupid names).

Even if I was super rich, I can’t imagine living in a gated community. I don’t understand the point. It seems to me a bit like prison. You have your own little secure prison cells called home; common areas like golf courses, clubhouses and pools; and a secure gate around the whole thing so no one can get in or out except at the one bottleneck. It seems claustrophobic to me. The only gated community I would live in is a gate around my property.

How to make bread

The other morning, as I was getting ready for work, I went to make coffee as I have done every morning of my adult life. I put water in the coffeemaker, put coffee in the coffee grinder and hit the grind button. Nothing happened. There was no lovely noise of coffee beans being ground. There was nothing. Now, not having had any coffee yet, I had no real idea how to react to this crisis, and believe me, it was a crisis.

I stood there for more moments than I’d care to admit, pushing a useless button. I had all the necessary ingredients for coffee–coffee, water, heat and beans–except the beans were whole and not ground. I panicked and thought of all sorts of schemes to get the beans from a whole to a ground state including using the pepper mill, food processor and even a meat tenderizer, before I finally gave up and decided to get coffee at Starbucks on the way to work.

Not an appropriate instrument for grinding coffee.
Not an appropriate instrument for grinding coffee.

This got me thinking about all the things I don’t know how to do without electricity. I have an excellent bread recipe, but I don’t know how to make bread without a bag of store-bought flour. I drink coffee every day, but I haven’t a clue how to make it without an electric coffee grinder and coffee pot. I’m willing to bet that not many of you do either.

We have let the modern conveniences of life take away our knowledge of how to do things. Cars all have computers nowadays. Even my coffeepot has a computer chip in it. We have lost so much of our history to electricity. We have replaced knowledge with technology.

I bought a new electric coffee grinder, but now, I’m also keeping my eye out for an old school hand grind number and a coffee pot that brews on the stove. I will not be without coffee again because of a dumb thing like electricity.

Animal abuse

Anyone who says animals don’t have souls has no idea what a soul is or hasn’t spent any time around animals. I don’t necessarily believe in a soul as a discrete entity that lives within ourselves and turns into a ghost when our bodies decay. I do believe in personalities, and let me tell you, animals have them.

I do not understand how you could take an innocent puppy and turn him into a killer for the sake of entertainment and profits. I don’t understand bullfighting, cock fighting or dog fighting. I don’t understand how anyone could starve, neglect, beat or otherwise mistreat an animal. Anyone who could hurt an animal doesn’t have a soul. I’m perfectly alright with not understanding how to abuse an animal.

Violence in the name of religion

To be honest, I don’t understand religions, but most of them seem pretty peaceful to me. They’re about respecting a higher power than yourself. They foster a sense of community and good deeds. Even the most heinous of organized religions has a charitable arm.

So, why is it that so many people, now and for thousands of years, are killed in the name of religion? How can you take the word of Jesus, who by all accounts, was a rather likeable fellow, and turn that into protesting funerals holding signs that say GOD HATES FAGS?

How could a prophet whose name is always followed by “peace be upon him” be turned into a reason for so muck killing? What about peace upon the rest of us?

Most wars, skirmishes, military actions, rebellions, improvised explosive devices and hate crimes can be directly or indirectly traced back to the perpetrator’s religious beliefs. I don’t care what you believe, but please, stop killing each other in the name of religion.

Bigotry

I suppose, in some ways, bigotry goes hand in hand with religious violence. In other ways, it doesn’t. I will never understand hating someone because of their religion, sexual preference, skin color or other beliefs. I admit that I’m biased against some people for their beliefs. I wrote a letter to my neighbor in that vein not too long ago.

But, we’re not talking about bias here. We’re all biased for or against those who see the world the same or differently than we do. It’s an evolutionary trait. We all judge people on first impressions. It’s what humans do.

We are talking about hate. Hating someone you’ve never met because they are in a same-sex union, hating someone because they don’t worship the same god as you, hating someone because their skin color is different from yours… these are things I will never understand. Honestly, I hope I never do.

I would like to know how to make bread from absolute scratch though. I suppose I’ll need some chickens and a cow.