Kellie, Taylor and I spent our Saturday night at a midnight screening of this strange film, waiting in line for a good half hour to meet the man behind it all - Tommy Wiseau. Tommy wrote and directed the movie and plays the main character (creatively named Johnny). I honestly had not given the film much thought and only knew as much about it as I could read on Wikipedia. I was expecting a sort of Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque experience. Oh, but it was so much more.
We waited in line between excited groups of people speaking in hushed tones about Tommy, many holding boxes of plastic spoons. Reaching the end of the line, I saw that Tommy was dressed like a middle-schooler who listened to too much Green Day: neon green shirt, red tie, and low riding black jeans complete with one of those belts with spikes that punk/emo kids wear. He quickly shook our hands and mumbled something incoherent in his vaguely European (Serbian? Czech?) accent, posing with us for a picture. Also there for us to meet was the much quieter and somewhat charming (re: attractive in a trashy romance novel type way) Greg Sestero, who plays the best friend, Mark.
After everyone filed into the theatre and we survived someone throwing up red wine in the seat next to us, a bizarre Q&A portion of the night began. It involved people asking questions concerning the plot and the making of the movie, and Tommy going off on tangents which lead to the entire audience chanting “USA!USA!USA!” on more than one occasion. There was also a “game” involved which basically was just Greg playing catch with an empty water bottle with members of the audience.The plot revolves around a love triangle of sorts between Johnny, his fiance Lisa, and his “best friend,” Mark. Throughout the movie you grow to root for Tommy’s character, who is way too nice for his own good. The audience also does not like Lisa at ALL, which was made clear from the start. Though set in San Fransisco, the movie barely ever leaves Johnny and Lisa’s apartment (does the name of the movie come from “the room” where the awkward sex scenes happen? we will never know for sure). There are several characters that are completely random and unnecessary as well as plot lines that are introduced and never resolved. Normally all of these inconsistencies would be something to criticize, but in this instance, they just make the movie all the more ridiculous and awesome. Just embrace it, people.
Despite the movie’s ridiculousness, what turned out to be the most entertaining part of the night was all of the rituals involved in watching the movie. It’s almost like playing a drinking game. After coming into the movie knowing nothing of the shouting and spoon throwing involved, we left well-versed in this pocket of culture.
Here I leave you with a brief list of some of the rituals involved in the full Tommy Wiseau experience (sounds like a good band name, eh??).
“SPOON!!” - The most well known ritual involved is the hurling of plastic spoons at the screen. A majority of the artwork in the film involves spoons for some reason, so whenever one enters the shot (or Lisa does something stupid), it rains plastic cutlery.
“Cancer!” - Lisa’s mother likes to give advice to her daughter which seemingly goes in one ear and out the other. We also learn, toward the beginning of the film, that Lisa’s mother has cancer and then never hear of it again. Whenever she enters the movie or touches Lisa on the nose, everyone screams “Cancer!!”
“Go! Go! Go! Go!” - A chant used each time the camera pans over the Golden Gate Bridge during transitions. Shout for joy when it reaches the end, shout your disappointment when it doesn’t.
Football - They sure like tossing around footballs in this movie. Whenever it happens on screen people run into the aisles and play catch themselves.
Waving at Tommy - In the party scene there is a moment where it looks like Tommy is waving at someone in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. A few people run to the front and wave back at him. Everyone cheers.
“Hi Denny! Bye Denny!” - Does Denny even go here? He just appears whenever he wants and randomly buys drugs in a totally unnecessary plot diversion. Shout your hellos and goodbyes each time he enters and exits.
My friend and her other friends have this really fucking awesome magazine, like, seriously, they have a MAGAZINE and they are in COLLEGE, I am so INADEQUATE.
But seriously, it rocks like you wouldn’t fucking believe and it’s fun and it’s free online, and you should SERIOUSLY check it out, and then start following their tumblr because they are hilarious and wonderful and I’m about to start repeating myself so I’ll stop there.
I wanted to timeline Pacey Witter and Joey Potter’s relationship for everyone this week. The more I thought about it and the moments I would mention, though, the more I realized that all their major moments are really annoying. The whole relationship is really annoying. I threw my arms up and considered doing a post about Joey’s facial expressions, or really just Joey’s singular facial expression, because that is all that stared back at me from all their most important romantic moments. I have a soft heart about their relationship though, even if it is disillusioned. It took me no time at all, as I mindlessly screen capped Joey’s persistent face, to realize that the reason their relationship carried me through six seasons of this teen drama is Pacey Witter. So forget Joey; here are six reasons Pacey is the best (I think they are mostly in chronological order, but I am not going to cheat with the internet so who knows).
1. He fell in love with and lost his virginity to his English teacher. Joey also majors in English. Good taste.
2. Those Hawaiian printed shirts.
3. Aptly named for his wit.
4. In all seriousness, he handles Joey’s issues with sex exceptionally well.
5. He bought Joey a wall, and then took her sailing all summer.
6. Most importantly he looks like this (this is him in my hometown, Vancouver!):
'Fake It Till You Make It': The Collective Wisdom of Elle Woods and Anna Stern
Both Elle Woods and Anna Stern share knowledge of the wisdom I like to call the ‘fake it till you make it’ mentality. The concept is simple: faking it till you make it means pretending you totally know what you’re doing and acting confident about it, even though you have no idea what you’re doing.
Who said there was something wrong with false confidence? Besides, the whole second half of faking it till you make it is to then go learn whatever skill you lack confidence in. The point is not to just pretend to be something you’re not all the time, that would be lying. The point is to pretend to be confident while you actually work on being confident.
The phrase can be traced back to Aristotle, and is often associated with Alcoholics Anonymous or a therapy technique for fighting depression. But faking it till you make it isn’t an excuse for just pretending to be happy when you’re not. Use this wisdom for good, not to cover up emotions. It’s almost a whole new angle on the 'glass half full’ outlook on life. The whole feigning confidence part serves as a cover for self-improvement.
Why do you think “Confidence, Cohen” has become one of the more popular quotes from The OC? Cause Anna Stern knows whats up! Elle Woods uses the same idea to get herself into Harvard Law. Elle has a degree in Fashion Merchandising, no experience with law, but sends in an application that makes her look like a boss bitch, and then proceeds to study her butt off. Pretty soon she’s got real confidence, and is practicing law in a murder trail as a first year. Which leads us to this scene of cinematic genius.
What has faking it till I make it ever gotten me? Well, this magazine for one thing. Along with several past jobs I was definitely not qualified for. Maybe a few dates. If i’ve learned anything about life it’s two things: it’s all about who you know and nobody really has any idea what they’re doing and if they say they do they’re a big fat liar (Except maybe Oprah).
Ways to apply the 'fake it till you make it’ mentality to your own life !
Your resume. Again, don’t lie. Just make sure you glean everything from your past experience possible. Play up your strengths.
Breaking into a new social circle. So you don’t have anything to add to that conversation about Plato’s allegory of the cave? I bet they don’t know Liz Lemon’s life story the way you do.
A new job or internship. Just smile, be nice, and work harder than everyone else.
Rockin’ that new outfit you’re unsure about. Someone will compliment you if you believe you look rad. Confidence, Cohen.
(1) The Book Issue isNOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT. Go to bookissue.tumblr.com/read and click the “Buy Print!” button. There are a lot of options, so you can get the magazine small, matte, and B&W, or full, glossy, and colorful. Have it your way *winky face* (And please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns!)
(2) We are now looking for new staff writers! If you are interested in writing on a pretty regular basis, send your CV, a sample piece (between 250 and 1000 words-ish), and a quick bit about yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanksgiving Leftovers vs Our Favorite Fictional Characters
Turkey: Louie (Louie)/Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation) Meat. N'uff said.
Stuffing: Ryan Atwood (The OC) Perfect combination of traditional, comforting Americana with hundreds of flavoring options for a little bit of extra excitement, just like Chino when he’s on his best behavior.
Mashed Potatoes: Liz Lemon (30 Rock) Undoubtedly the queen of making Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches.
Cranberry Sauce: Don and Betty Draper (Mad Men) Something about straight-out-of-the-can cranberry sauce screams 1950’s Americana to me.
Pecan Pie: Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks) Perhaps the most notorious pie connoisseur in television history.
I run a random number generator to pick an episode.
I watch the episode.
I fill in the gaps.
Random Number: 65
Episode: “You Had Me At Goodbye”
As I watched this episode, I really tried to find each character’s trajectory and the driving forces that brought them all together. There is an overarching connection, which we’ll discuss later, but first I want to cover a couple individual characters’ stories.
The episode opens in a high school guidance counselor’s office with Joey Potter sitting in a chair while the counselor sifts randomly through a filing cabinet. With a look of fear and uncertainty, Miss Potter mentions college-application related stress and her lifelong dream of going to clown college.
Years later, in the series finale, Miss Potter would finally receive her letter of acceptance and standard-issue bottle of seltzer water from the prestigious Toby’s Clown School #296 in Lake Placid, Florida.
In a later scene, we are introduced to the infamous creek owner: Dawson Leery. This scene marks the instance where we finally learn Dawson’s true origin. It becomes quite clear that Dawson Leery, seen here whitewashing a fence, is, in fact, none other than Tom Sawyer from Mark Twain’s famous text.
On a muggy day in the summer of 1885, Tom stowed away on a steamboat on the Mississippi River. It just so happened that Nikola Tesla was also aboard the steamboat on a tour of America, and had brought along some of his more impressive inventions. Tom, being a perpetual rascal, stole a space-time manipulation device from Tesla’s luggage and was instantly transported to Massachusetts in the early 1990s. He changed his name to Dawson and did his best to blend in.
The last character I want to talk about is Drue Valentine. It’s clear early on that Drue is a sociopath with an extra case of the crazies. In this episode we see him repeatedly trying to ruin Jen Lindley’s life. In a season five montage, Drue’s character becomes a little more fleshed out (pardon my pun) when we see him killing dozens of minorities and wearing their skin in a last-ditch attempt to get hired via affirmative action.
Drue’s actions can probably be traced back to the ridiculous spelling of his name.
And finally the driving force between the intertwined lives of the people of Capeside: genetic research. The Capeside Six (Joey Potter, Dawson Leery, Pacey Witter, Jen Lindley, Jack McPhee, and Andie McPhee), as they came to be known, are the end result of decades of genetic research in radiation alteration, as shown in a season six montage before the montage about Andie’s career in international espionage. Before high school, The Capeside Six were entered into a secret government program called Project Alpha Race. They were subjected to acute radiation and came out with genius-level intelligence, model-level bone structure, and mid-twenties-level aging.
So, there you have it. Dawson’s Creek in a nutshell. Notice I didn’t go for the obvious Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes joke regarding the episode title. Anyway, I hope you learned something. Happy Dawson’s Cweek!
You’re about to put your mind under some serious cognitive stress. This is bench-pressing way more than you should be, or finishing your casual morning jog with a two mile sprint. I don’t run though, so I don’t know if two miles is impressive- I don’t think I’ve ever bench-pressed anything, either.
You’re going to need a new plan of attack.
Try to tackle two works of fiction, high fantasy, nonfiction, biography, maybe you’re trying to move through a lengthy series while still whittling at your extensive to-read list, whatever your reasons for wanting to pick another one up, reading has a few fundamental reasons-for-being. I think one of the most forbearing reasons we read is to learn. Use these books to learn something. Use these books to learn several things at once. Think of it like a full schedule in school, in which you’re exposed to many subjects throughout your day or week- though you’re not only picking the subject matter, but the pace, the classroom location, and how often you have to show up.
Don’t apologize to a book
What I mean by that is don’t feel obligated. You aren’t married to one novel. So if you suddenly felt like after six or seven hundred pages of a particularly lengthy read you’re falling out of focus, start something else, something shorter or of a drastically different genre, something more exciting. What originally drew me to pick another book was that I was reading a series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy to be specific, and it was just getting really long. As gripping as Tolkien can absolutely be and is for so much of his work, I hit a deep corner of Two Towers where I was losing focus. So I started reading a book of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories called Tales of the Jazz Age, and after a few days I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the last few chapters of Frodo and Sam crossing into Mordor.
I compared it to school earlier- if we took one class at a time this degree would take way longer than four years.
Don’t use bookmarks
A bookmark is like autopilot, or cruise control. It is leading you straight ahead without remorse for whatever you absorbed last time you read. Set that little piece of laminated paper aside. It will pay off for you to take a second to remember what you last read, really focus on what book you’re reading, and recapture where you were the last time you picked this one up. If you’re forcing yourself to remember what book it is you’re reading, it will momentarily push the others aside, if you do this every time you read a different book, you can achieve total emersion as you move forward.
This isn’t for everyone. You just might not be the type of reader that wants to split their focus between stories. Its not a point of pride, the number of books you can read at once. Starting eight books in one month means nothing if you’re not learning anything, not enjoying yourself, not absorbing the material. Starting another book can be used as a tool to better appreciate a certain work, or compare authors- you may find yourself wondering how one author would work a situation from another author’s book. Also for relatively new readers, starting a few at a time can help develop your interests. You’ll know which one you keep coming back to. Try it for yourself; see if its something you’re in to. It helped me get through some really lengthy reads, and definitely helped me put off a bunch of schoolwork. Time management is another beast entirely, and I tend not to worry about it. The value I see in reading is the exploration, and if mankind only ever stayed on one continent, the world would be a very different place.