Many years ago, a dear friend approached me and asked me if I had seen the movie The United States of Leland. I told her I had not only never seen it, but up to that point, had never heard of it. She told me how it is a movie she genuinely believed would have a huge impact on me. A movie that dealt with autism, empathy, and emptiness in a way she had never seen before. She also went on to tell me it starred a young Ryan Gosling, and at that point, I was sold. Little did I know it would take my years until I found myself sitting down, watching the movie, in awe that everything she said was right. The movie had such a strong impact on me, the first thing I thought was “I need to tell more people about this movie”. What better place to do that then here? Don’t worry, much like my Why Haven’t You Seen It Column, nothing major will be spoiled here. Just me explaining why I think everyone needs to see The United States of Leland. By the way, if you HAVE seen this, please hit me up here, as I would genuinely like to share some theories, and only know one person who has seen this film. My goal here is to change that.
Last couple months have been sort of tough. Some major changes have happened in my life, accompanied by some loss and some learning. I notice in times like that, it is easiest to want to just crawl under your blankets and lose complete faith in humanity, but that would be too easy. To throw up your arms and just accept that the world sucks is to only perpetuate the inherent and undeniable suckiness of the world. I think, rather than that, it is in those lowest points you seek out things that will rekindle your flame of faith in humanity. I think it is in those darkest hours we need to seek out light. Seek our reminders why, even amid the chaos of our own tumultuous lives, that life is still pretty f*cking spectacular if you just know where to look. These 6 videos, I hope, will restore your faith in humanity just long enough that it leads you (and me) to more reasons why life, as ugly as it can get, it still pretty miraculous, too. I know my site is usually all doom and gloom, but how about a smile for once? I think we could all use one. Safe to say my new gig at Neatorama may have softened me up a bit, but don’t let that worry you. We all need to smile there and there, and here are six reasons to smile. I’ll get back to the weird and twisted soon, rest assured.
Ah, summer. With the scratch of your claws still stinging the flesh of my back, I bid you adieu. Not only do I bid you adieu, I stand on the balcony, flipping you off with both hands as you walk off into the distance. Some folks look at Labor Day as a sad day. A day of mourning, as they lay summer in her shallow grave for another 9 months. Some folks hang their heads heavy, speaking of how the shorter, colder days make them sad. They talk about summer like she was the greatest lay they ever had. Like she had some magical pixie dust she sprinkled on their f*cking faces every day that made their lives seem like a Disney movie, minus all the dead parents. Thing is, that was not my summer. As I am sure many of you noticed, I vanished pretty early in summer, and was not heard from much in the interim. Do you know why? Summer had me locked in a basement and came down only to feed my gruel and shove a finger in my arse. Summer would beat me into submission, only to wake me so it could beat me some more. It was like the movie Martyrs. I, for one, am so grateful to see this summer come to end. Truth is, I wish I could put its face against a curb and just bring a boot down on its jaw. To most everyone else, autumn means death. Death of nature, of welcoming weather, of beach trips and cook outs. To me, this autumn is a birth. Something utterly beautiful, but I had to live through the hell that was this summer to get here. Was it worth it? Well, I survived, didn’t I? That says it all.
I heard a story many years back that haunted me. It was the kind of thing you hear and it immediately changes the way you look at the world. It was about a very broken woman leaving her husband for another man. The kicker was that the man she was leaving her husband for was not a man she intended to have a relationship with. It was not a man she wanted to fall in love with and have save her. That is silly thinking. It was a man she was going to have kill her. It was not until 2008 until someone decided to take this story and make it into a film. The reality is, we will never truly know what that woman’s real mindset was, but someone made a (somewhat speculative) and engrossing movie out of the story. I will also tell you it is bleak and heart breaking, but feels honest in an area where most movies would fear to tread. This is another messed up movie (that you should watch). This is Downloading Nancy.
Okay, so there was this girl. By the way, anytime, any guy tells you an insane story, and it doesn’t begin like that, he is lying. That is the source of most of the stupid shit men do. To try to impress one (or many) girls. It is often brazen and a bit stupid, but the best of us learn and grow from it (and sort of learn to just be ourselves, eventually). But a guy in his early twenties will do some awfully stupid shit. Like the time I lied myself, who was deathly afraid of heights (and still is) into having to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet to impress a girl. Did I mention that was the first f*cking plane I was ever in? Yeah, that is essential in all this. Afraid of heights, afraid of flights, and I jumped out of a f*cking plane. This story is not being told to make me look cool by the way. As you will slowly figure out, it is an ode to being honest, lest you find yourself in as asinine (yet kind of awesome) a position was in.