Retconning my life

This is one of the cases where the name contains the true meaning; like literally con your life into believing it could be something else.

Retroactive continuity (retcon) is a literary device often used to say ‘Hey, we screwed up but here’s everything in a completely new light just to mess with you’.

Sometimes it’s a major re-imagining of pivotal characters like Alan Moore’s Joker in The Killing Joke or just the equivalent of a girl giving herself a perm for one day as is often the case with sitcoms. From ground-breaking to campy they have long since been a crucial part of pop culture.

‘Reinventing yourself’ I feel, is sometimes, almost a parody of retconning. Not everybody will be happy with it; it might get panned and be reviled in equal measure and the producers (parental units) are definitely going to give you a lot of grief about it.

But sometimes, life can derail and not be the same as the story you had envisioned.  When this happens, some people choose to find familiar patterns to stick to in their lives, much like when TV shows try to find their niche crowd, quietly enjoying comfortable success. But the others try that elusive technique of successfully making something new which remains faithful to its origins. This could be an utter disaster (Ghostbusters) or beautifully preserved (Doctor Who); which brings me to the whole concept of ‘reinventing your own life.

To be honest, it doesn’t feel nearly as high stakes as altering a classic character backstory. Because, we all know the majority of the ‘new year new me’ stuff doesn’t last long. Sure it’s a nice idea to ‘start a spin class’. But once you realize how expensive yoghurt smoothies are, you’re back to lazing around on the couch with your cat the rest of the year.

However, I have a half-baked solution to this. One common trope of retconning is the practice of showing already established events from a new perspective. This doesn’t change what happened or how we feel about those events, but does give a deeper understanding and appreciation of the characters. In the same way that getting a pet, eating healthy or concentrating on your work is not suddenly going to change your core character, but instead, make you achieve a new perspective on things and provide marked additions to subtly enhance your personality and attitude.

So this year, why not do the same things you’ve been doing (let’s face it we are pretty much stuck with our habit repertoire at this time) but do them in an entirely new way.   I for one, will not be mourning the failure of all the ‘too ideal’ resolutions but instead be grateful for this world and the people around and the experiences that changed me, for better or for worse.

In popular culture, retconning has toppled god level beings and made despicable characters humane. Giving second chances is way underrated. This year, I plan on having a surprisingly tender moment with someone I hate; my life will be like a TV show goddammit.

P.S. Yes, I procrastinate so much that I have published my new year post on march.

 

Life without an audience?

I recently watched Bo Burnham’s Make Happy and I swear I heard angelic vocalisation in the background at the exact moment when I realised I had stumbled on to something amazing.

Oh wait.. the vocalisation was in the show.. If that doesn’t pique your interest..

I’m not doing this very well. Makes sense, cause a grand total of one person I know watched it.

But since I’m like 10% more eloquent in writing, I’m hoping I can convince you and our two readers to watch this perspective changing work of pure art.

Wow I feel myself getting hyped just writing it

OKAY HERE GOES

‘A young comic challenges the very form of stand-up comedy’.. maybe I should first explain the traditional form.

It’s when someone comes on stage and rants for an hour about everything humanity has to endure in order to live in our outrageously comfortable first world lifestyles and by doing so hopes to find a connection with their audience who despite wanting to feel unique feels a quiet sense of relief that they are not alone in feeling that airplane food is really inedible.

Bo Burnham raps. And sings. And interacts with voiceovers. About irony and love and depression.

Basically, watching his show will make you laugh and cause your weekly existential crisis to arrive a bit early.

I’m kinda mad that I can’t quote some of the exemplary lines from the show or go into detail about each of the segments cause this is probably the only stand-up routine that should not be spoiled

Bo Burnham with his conveniently alliterative rap name was a child of the internet, but proves he can tackle all-encompassing critical points of culture. All of the segments are genuinely funny in an understated way and even as he proclaims they are discrete, they all come together in a breathlessly beautiful way and perfects a new genre for mainstream stand-up comedy (his previous special ‘what.’ introduced it and it’s brilliant)

The show itself is technically marvelous. The professional lighting and the perfectly choreographed sequences with inherently hostile voice-overs elevate his content, his pithy narrative ability and his singing voice which were already pretty amazing to begin with, resulting in a layered and complex performance

In his quest to escape the comfortable boundaries other comedians set up by being ‘relatable’, he makes a show about performing.

But like he says at the end, we’re all performers; capturing everything through pixels and constantly seeking validation for said performance by others and ourselves. We are the audience of our own carefully curated show and the ratings in the form of likes and shares measure our self-worth and decides whether our show gets cancelled or picked up for another season.

Yes, he’s a child of the internet but he resents everything it has become.. this theme was explored a little bit in his previous specials  but in this one, he abandons the subtext completely and literally spells it out in the most honest monologue at the end

And yet as he expresses anger at how ‘Lip-sync battles’ and celebrities playing ‘Pictionary’ is capturing our valuable attention, he acknowledges that he’s no better as his whole show is designed to do the exact same.

He points out that just because he has the self-awareness to admit the flaws in his material doesn’t mean we can let him off the hook

When he laments about the entertainment industry, social media and how celebrity culture is moulding our generation into personality-less drones, he does so with such remarkable passion that you get this weird feeling of hope that maybe there is potential for the tide to turn.

Shows and performances are designed as a form of escapism; an evening where we can just laugh and let go of our fears. Bo Burnham however shines the light (sometimes literally) on humanity’s weaker moments, so that when we do laugh, it’s almost always tinged with self-pity and also through a sense of connection to this flawed persona on stage as he promises you that you can never escape your inner demons.

It’s still very funny though. Really.

He switches between humour and thoughtfulness at dizzying rates that at the end of it you are left feeling emotionally exhausted and hitting the replay button.

At the end of it all, you’re just left with one question.

Are you happy?

P

 

 

my mind farts part 1

Tall glassy buildings grow on arable soil

Mimicking the skyline of promised lands

Time does not stop, morning or night

Lights ever alive, food courts ever open

Greasing the wheels of the economy, the vehicles

The honking incessant

Stands stark as the noise speaks more

The insides safe from the outside

The power (electricity?) maintained

And the silent must remain unheard

The buildings a mirror to their dreams

A

Studying – Haiku

I am lost without you

While I try to find the root of 2

Yesterday’s brewed coffee

Lies stagnant in the corner of the room

 

You invade my every thought

My desperation is supplemented

by the guilt of not studying

I just want some college to take me

Please…  just please TAKE ME

 

Every Sunday I cry

For the lost weekend when

I didn’t meet you

I didn’t even open my books

I’m sorry

 

You are the tab that’s always open

I leave my laptop on sleep

While I sleep

You watch over me

As I raise a bleary eye in the morning

I hate myself.

 

I keep thinking it’s my fault

That I didn’t pay attention to you

I still don’t

I’m guilty

Don’t punish me

 

I prayed to God the other day

I pray to you every day

You are the only thing

That I believe in now

Please believe in me in return

I swear I’ll study

 

There’s too much for me to say

In my SoP

Every time I think

BRB

I need to pee

 

A

Metaphors and foreshadowing

Hi P, it’s Monday!

I am expressing my excitement on the awesomeness of foreshadowing in this post. I realised the importance of this through this one life-changing show called Breaking Bad. Even a scene with the family just eating breakfast was so important. There wasn’t a 5 second interval in the entire show which was irrelevant. Everything was perfect, everything could be explained (it won’t be if I wasn’t partial towards the show, but there’s a reason that I like the show and will defend it forevaaa)

There’s this show called Walking Dead. I have persuaded so many people to watch it, but they don’t really think its awesome. They think its gruesome and has a lame story. They’re right. I don’t watch that show for the story. I watch the show for the colour filter, apocalypse and the general fear atmosphere. The survival instinct surpasses all. Which is why, in this nonsense show, when they had a 20 second foreshadowing clip of ants eating half a cookie inspired me to type this post.

Foreshadowing is best because

  • It lets you interpret the meaning – ambiguity is AWESOME in entertainment. It means that anything is right. And because its such a fictional world, the more interpretations, the better. This is why poets write such big words and unconnected lines. If it was straightforward, no one would appreciate it. It would be like.. i don’t know..not poemy
  • It’s like reading a story book you can imagine far more than what was intended. And imagination is also AWESOME

Foreshadowing is a visual metaphor. It is a pun for the eyes, a taste of vision, a lick of foresight, a tr(eat) to the optics.

I don’t know why I bulleted the points.. that’s all I had to say. Maybe I wanted to shoot it out, hit the nail on the head, hammering the opinion.

But even being able to say this much was so hard.

Toodles

A