That will be me in three months, posing seductively on a car like nobody’s business. For those of you who don’t know, I have wanted to go to California since I was about 12 years old. I love The O.C., Hollywood, Katy Perry, Paris Hilton, Buffy…I love it all and I want to go to the place that spawned it. I love beaches and warm weather and nice cars and L.A. trash and I don’t care I want it all. So. My babe Kasey Carroll lives there, and after she spent like a year living with me last year, we decided it was a fair trade off if I stayed with her. I know that Cali isn’t quite as glamorous and fun as Leicester, but it’s fine. I don’t mind.
I BOOKED MY TICKET TODAY. I DID IT. In 98 days I am taking myself and my boyfrand Owain to the West Coast to see our love Kasey and cuddle and have the best time ever. I know that I am moving to Brighton in June/July which is a HUGE move to make right before a huge expensive holiday, but I kind of don’t care that much. I owe something to my teenage self and I am going to take one of the only chances I will get to go to California for pretty cheap and hang with my top lass. I am excited.
That is all.
After time spent believing
that the key to communicating
amongst the people
is – I am still not so sure
I didn’t weep for fifteen years
I didn’t spend a night clean
for fifteen of the longest years
and I didn’t have anyone
But the key is not to live
with the people, it is to live
with myself, first
I have a discomfort
with who I am; inherently
my concerns lay within
am I talented, am I smart
am I funny – can I drink?
But to like myself enough
to stop being a victim
to stop letting
myself become less
than I can
That is the key – the only
one. To live among the people
is not a case of knowing them
or of suffering for the hell of it
The key to living among them
is knowing myself, and knowing
what I need. I deserve the coast
I deserve the wind and to be told
by myself and others -
I am good.
No matter how long it is after I see a film before I write about it, I still find it very hard to be unbiased. Captain America has always been my favourite Avenger, and I tend to walk into the cinema ready to love the film and to have a real good cry. I did both.
The hardest thing with the second wave of Avengers films is knowing whether to compare the movie to its predecessor, or The Avengers. With Iron Man 3 I found that it, hands-down, beat Iron Man 2. Whereas when standing up to The Avengers, it was a tough comparison. With The Winter Soldier I found it to be a good competitor for The Avengers and Captain America – it had the innocence of Captain America while garnering sympathy for Steve; whilst simultaneously being huge. The irony is that maybe three days ago I was complaining that people don’t make films like Spielberg anymore; little-bigs that make you gasp at their size but sob at their story. This is perhaps a reasonable contender.
I spent half of the film with my glasses off for fear of them filling up with tears, and even I can tell you that it was gorgeous. Every single shot was mind-blowingly spectacular, full of colour and smaller tidbits for the more keen eye to notice. Everything was very deliberate and well-placed, which is something I always enjoy. The fights were incredible, the explosions not too many – however, the car chases could perhaps have been cut down to one or two. Small issues.
To write a spoiler-free review of The Winter Soldier would be perhaps to skim over the things that I truly loved most. This was as much Natasha’s story as Steve’s, and it’s a good one. That people still think she is boring or useless astounds me. She fights as well, if not better, as the men who have incredible superpowers. Her backstory is dark and still very much private, and we do want to know more. Her selflessness and her willing to give up her own secrecy and safety to help Steve or S.H.I.E.L.D. are impressive and warm my heart almost as much as Steve does. We also see a lot more of Nick here, too – Captain America’s influence and presence will draw out sincerity and honesty in even the most stone cold of hearts.
Peggy. Oh, lovely Peggy. Flashbacks and museums are enough to make me sob like a baby, but Peggy’s actual presence here really had me bawling. I was a little disappointed that she couldn’t be in it more – and especially so that they couldn’t just have one fucking dance. But all the same, the time that our Cap spends with her is still a reminder of his love and huge heart. But Peggy is not our only returning character. The Winter Soldier himself serves as a reminder of Steve’s dedication and friendship. His strength perhaps matches Steve’s, mostly, blow for blow. We will never know who is stronger, as no-one ever truly wins a fight between the two. However, character is equally as strong in both of them – despite being frozen, despite being wiped and tortured and used – Bucky is still a good friend with Steve’s best intentions at heart. Even if he doesn’t know why.
Overall I was impressed. Captain America holds a special place in the Avengers filmography and in my own heart – he is sweet, sympathetic, and just a downright great guy. For me, The Winter Soldier holds a top place among the others. Perhaps second only to The Avengers, but even then – it’s tough. The spectacle, despite being incredible, wasn’t as exciting as the character and story here, and a lot of what made The Winter Soldier such a great movie was the people within it. Even from an unbiased point of view I would tell you to go and watch it – just don’t wear too much make-up, and be sure not to cry all over your glasses.
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Firstly, if you don’t have WordPress you can now follow me with BlogLovin’! Lovely! Secondly, I don’t actually follow anyone with WordPress. I don’t check it often, but I would like to. If you read my blog and post similar kind of content, I will take a peek at your blog if you like this post. I would love to find blogs to follow that I actually like, but it’s tough and time-consuming xo
Thirdly, I have a brand new sexy idea. Due to the nature of the majority of my writing, it is vastly different to what I actually do. The thing that I do and want to do for my career is write about films and occasionally poetry. I enjoy poetry and all that, of course, but I appreciate that my audience for the different writing I do is very different. I am at a stage now where I think it would be a good idea to separate my blogs and make a brand new one focused solely on Film and TV. I would still stream and promote those posts through februarystationery, but the primary goal of this blog would be to post poetry and personal updates etc. If you are up for this or have any ideas, let me know! Thanks as always xo
As you may or may not know, I am a tiny bit obsessed with Spielberg. I do not believe that anyone has made films like he has – huge scale films with intimate plot and detailed exploration of character. Even as a child born in 1993, I was still raised on Spielberg. It seems obvious to say that he is my favourite director, but I don’t really mind. Take any big or iconic film from a 40 year or so period, and you can guarantee that Spielberg’s name will be attached in some way. He is iconic. Of course it has to be taken into account that, of course, he did not do all of the work. He did not compose the music, and in some cases, he would almost turn down theme songs that are now entirely unforgettable. It is incomprehensible to imagine Jaws without its music, and yet that’s almost how it was.
But less about how things almost weren’t, and more about how they are. My love of Spielberg is almost unquantifiable, despite all of my learnings and academic frameworks I cannot pin it down or begin to reason it. I know why he is memorable, important, great. But why I love his films so much is rooted in a much more fluid kind of nostalgia and personal needs.
My favourite, numero uno Spielberg films are very obvious ones. Jurassic Park, Jaws, Indiana Jones. The classics and the greats. I love Jaws above most things because I love Moby Dick. All screen adaptations of Moby Dick are awful, and Jaws is very close to it. I love Brody’s weaknesses and development. I love Quint. I love monologues and blatant horrific gore; despite a 12 rating. I love its humour and its impossibly slow pace. We argue, often, on my film course about whether Jaws or Star Wars invented our current blockbuster trend. Whilst I do agree that Jaws started the pattern of budgets and summer openings that we see now, I believe that Star Wars itself follows much the same formula as our current films. Jaws is so, so, so slow. I love that. I love that 70% of the film is talking about a shark rather than actually battling it, and when we do see the shark, it isn’t actually that frightening.
I love Jurassic Park mostly because I love Ellie Satler. I am currently writing my dissertation on women in science fiction, and she has her own chapter. She is smart, beautiful, and holds her own amongst the other doctors and scientists. Her emotional strength makes her smarter and stronger than her counterpart, and he has to become more like her in order to survive and save others. That is beautiful. I love chaos theory, dinosaurs, forged families. I believe that Jurassic Park is a great example of a Spielberg little-big film, while perhaps in a smaller way than E.T. or something similar. I have never been one for E.T., it frightens me to death.
My love of Indiana Jones primarily comes from being confronted with the trilogy from birth. There have been times when I have watched nothing but, and when I look back to my childhood I remember curling up in my cousin’s bed and making her watch it over and over. I think, really, I just love Harrison Ford a lot. Han Solo remains a big part of my childhood and life, and so does Indiana Jones. His charm and sarcasm and general self are super cool and super hip and as a child that was all I wanted to be.
I am sure I will write much more on Spielberg. I could write books on him. I think he’s a swell guy, a talented filmmaker, and an all round gem of the baby boom. I love Zemeckis and the rest of the crew, too, but in a less big way. Just hearing the Jurassic Park theme or seeing the Jaws poster evokes emotion in me that I have never had in my life. To close, have a quote from a film I chose not to talk about for fear of sobbing into my laptop.
You know the one.
Gigolo Joe: She loves what you do for her, as my customers love what it is I do for them. But she does not love you David, she cannot love you. You are neither flesh, nor blood. You are not a dog, a cat, or a canary. You were designed and built specific, like the rest of us. And you are alone now only because they tired of you, or replaced you with a younger model, or were displeased with something you said, or broke. They made us too smart, too quick, and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us. That’s why they hate us, and that is why you must stay here, with me.
Honestly? Honestly, when I found out that I was not dying I was disappointed. Pathetically and classically, like I was so frequently in youth. When it hit me that the cause of my shaking, bleeding, paralysis and fitting – that the reason for my absences and redundancies could have been prevented, I was sick. Obsessive guilt and substance abuse were obvious, an inability to get out of bed had a clear link to the abuses suffered at the hands of not only my own parents, but others too. The adult has an obligation to the child. Is it sadder, even, that I wasn’t aware of that until recently? I thought that everybody had an obligation to only themselves. The extent of the neglect and direct abuse were not obvious to me until they manifested physically, until they started to kill me. Until adults, teachers, family friends said to me that they knew things were not right. That my mother’s drinking and self-destruction affected me and that they had to care for me Friday ’til Monday every single week. Yet not one person, not even the people who I think of now as family, said a word. The more I learn about myself the more I learn about everyone else – that adults don’t really seem aware of their obligation to children. I am still a child in an adult’s body, and even I know that I have an obligation. To my sister, who I love so dearly and who is still in a situation that I myself couldn’t get away from. She is so bright, so beautiful, a light in my life that I want to save and keep so innocent. She said to me that my home was magical because she got bathed and fed there. Can you imagine that? A child so innocent and ignorant of her situation that she thinks basic hygiene is magic. That child was me, and I owe something to her, too. I was so sweet. I was so smart and I just wanted to learn and play and I didn’t know that I was so different to all the children that didn’t have to go home and make their own dinners and find their mother drunk. In their own way I know that teachers and other kids’ parents would try to check up on me but it was not enough. A child will always think that its surroundings are normal. a child will always love the parent irregardless of whether or not the parent hits it or throws it down the stairs. Honestly I don’t think I have cried at my own life for maybe ten years. Films and alcohol and TV and books and drugs are an enjoyable escape when it is infrequent use. But when you suppress your own feelings and experiences so, so deeply that you don’t cope there will be a time when it comes back. When it makes you punch walls and scream at someone who just wants to be there for you. When it literally makes you sick and blind in one eye, when it makes your ears bleed. Your own body can not handle too many things bottled up inside of it. I have spent so many years knowing that my life is not normal. That a mother who comes home and puts her arm through a window on purpose is not one you should admire. That coming home with your father to pick up your clothes and finding your mother in the middle of an overdose with a scalpel sticking out of her arm is not something you should have to deal with. But to leave that child (because thirteen is a child) in that same house that night, dismiss it as an attention seeking act and leave her with a violently dangerous mother – it is abuse. The fact that I was still not taken away, even then, it amazes me. My sister is the light of my life, the only good thing to come from a horrific woman – but she should not have been allowed to happen. When my mother got pregnant again, I was twelve. She asked me if she should have an abortion. At the time I said no, of course not, and I never considered that this was not my responsibility. I am so glad I said no, but the life that was saved is still one that needs saving. I never confronted these things because how could I? How can you accept the fact that your broken head was not an accident – neglect is abuse. That your dehydration was not an accident – neglect is abuse. That starving, seeing your mother nearly die, being abandoned over and over again – it is not normal. Taking a child, a three or seven or thirteen year old, away from that situation for one weekend is not helpful. They have to wake up there and come home and see things that nobody ever should. I do not care anymore if it was difficult, if it was uncomfortable, if my mother was your daughter or friend or sister. You should have done something more than slap her on the wrist and shake your head. The adult has an obligation to the child and not one person in my life lived up to that obligation. How could I face up to the fact that my life made me desperately ill and nobody stepped in once? By the time I was thirteen I was drinking every day and overdosing twice a month. I took pills every single day whether I needed them or not. I am only the sister, but I am the adult. I now have an obligation to take my sister out of there. On my seventeenth birthday my mother tried to kill herself and I had to call the ambulance. With a kind of weary ambivalence I carried on with my party, and when crisis support came over, I took the party elsewhere. To the adults who came over with flowers to support my mother in that situation – you were not helping. You were saying that her actions were reasonable and that it was not harmful or abnormal to do that to a child. To my auntie, who despite her usually calm demeanour and kindness screamed at my mother about how awful it was to do that to your children – thank you. My auntie who took me in, who came over only to celebrate my birthday and then left. The auntie and uncle who were my parents, who took me on holidays and tried constantly to tell my mother that she didn’t deserve children. Thank you for the speck of normality in my life; although I wish you could have done more.
I am darkness and dirt and a nasty, tainted soul. I am rude and mean and I know why. I do not fit in, I say words differently to everyone else and I have no basic manners or skills because I was not brought up. I feel like I have an obligation to people to be funny and interesting and smart, that I have to help them and say witty things and that I can’t have feelings of my own. That to be so honest as to even write something true, once in my life, would be letting down the people around me. I have for so long felt a responsibility to keep everyone is in order and make sure that I don’t crack and let them know. I am a person who enjoys writing and films and laughing and driving. But under that, more truthfully, I am awful. I was not born awful. I was born as pure as my sister, perhaps even more so. I was born to parents who wanted so desperately to love me and they could not, any more than they loved destroying themselves. A child cannot speak for itself and it cannot do a thing to change its own situation. I am at a point now where I can start to fix myself and embrace what has happened to me, but I have to understand it first. The worst memories of abusive situations come to me, strangely, in dreams. I have to check with someone whether or not it was real; but I know. For a while I have to be sad, I have to cry when I need to and I have to write things that are dark and sick and that should not have happened. I am sure that if I even told my mother my diagnosis, she would tell me that I am a sick liar. Even with all of the witnesses and evidence. But I have to get better. I have to save my sister and I have to lose my mother and above all I have to help myself. I am not a child anymore and whilst I wish so desperately that someone had taken care of me, there is no-one left who can. After all of the things I have done, after destroying the body I was given, after the things I have thought and said to other people – I feel like maybe I do not deserve help. But I think about that girl, with her hand-me-down clothes and her toothless smile. With a big scar on her head and a tube sticking out of her arm. With her books and her toys and her longing to be a part of other families. I owe so much to her, to myself. To make up for the years that she was so tortured and hurt, I want to be pure. I want to be nice and clean and I want to save the girl that is still in the situation that nobody ever should have to be. I feel so much for all of the children that go through this every single day, and I find it so ironic that my mother gave £2 a week to the NSPCC. I am moving. Seeing my father around town is funny, but it is the most soul-destroying thing you can imagine. Growing up his home was sanctuary, it was the safest space I had. I would misbehave so that I would get kicked out of my mother’s. Until I was kicked out of his, too. Without reason, without warning. I do not want to believe that adults cannot be trusted, that they are more concerned with etiquette and awkwardness than saving the life of a child.
Things will get worse before they get better. I will need intensive care and perhaps, even, hospitalisation. When the realisation and the memories really come flooding through. I am sorry, to friends and family and readers, if I am not who you want me to be right now. If you want upbeat but absent, I can’t help you. I am all here now, and it isn’t the best of sights.
But I will get better – I will nurture that poor little child, and I will save the one who is still here. There is nothing else I can do, now. But remind you that as an adult, you too have an obligation. Always intervene.