Certainly you’ve heard of 13 Reasons Why, the Netflix teen drama everyone, it seems, is talking about. I’ve watched the first three episodes of it, and I’m not impressed. Allow me to tell you the reasons why (see what I did there?).
Ten minutes. I can’t wait.
Angie’s fingers shook, taking her three tries to hit send on the text. She hid the phone between her thighs again and gestured the next customer forward.
“I just need to go to my safety deposit box,” he said.
Angie wiped a few beads of sweat away. “ID, please.”
The name on the license he slid over the counter said Albert Ross Blanchard but the picture didn’t match the one in front of her. He was thinner, and certainly didn’t look 5’7”. She glanced at him, the photo, him, the photo. There was no way this could pass—
Her cell phone vibrated between her thigh and the chair.
“Did you, um, lose weight recently, sir?”
Brown eyes stared at her over the teller desk. The ID said blue. After a few long seconds, a slow smile spread across his face. “Sure did!” He patted his torso cheerfully. “One hundred pounds!” He leaned in and winked. “And I’ve kept it off for nearly three months now.”
She nods. “This way sir.”
As they left the lobby, she heard the bell above the door ring.
Angie ushers Blanchard into the safe deposit room ahead of her, stealing the moment to check her phone.
Almost time :)
She tucked the phone away again and stepped through the door. Blanchard stood in the center of the room, facing the opposite wall.
“OK, sir, do you have your key?” she asks.
Blanchard turns around, gun in hand.
“Sorry, darling,” he says.
Angie hears the gunshots behind her in the lobby, the sounds of people shouting in terror. She stares at the man in horror as he raises it.
He squeezes the trigger and her left shoulder explodes in agony. She sinks down against the wall, clutching her arm.
“So sorry, darling,” he mutters as he walks by her.
It hurts like hell, but she’ll survive.
Just as planned.
My (perceived) job doing this blog is not to reiterate the most famous poems an author has, which is why I’m not talking about “Still I Rise” or “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” as great as those poems are. Instead, how about “Preacher, Don’t Send Me“:
(And here is Jammie Jones reading it)
The big theme of this poem is that heaven is hopefully not like earth. It makes sense, from one point of view, as Angelou had a difficult life; and, anyway, what is the
Preacher, don’t send me
when I die
to some big ghetto
in the sky
where rats eat cats
of the leopard type
and Sunday brunch
is grits and tripe.
I’ve known those rats
I’ve seen them kill
and grits I’ve had
would make a hill,
or maybe a mountain,
so what I need
from you on Sunday
is a different creed.
Preacher, please don’t
streets of gold
and milk for free.
I stopped all milk
at four years old
and once I’m dead
I won’t need gold.
I’d call a place
where families are loyal
and strangers are nice,
where the music is jazz
and the season is fall.
Promise me that
or nothing at all.
Life can be difficult, and it doesn’t seem fantastic to do the same things in heaven that we do on earth (or vie for the same things). Instead, her paradise looks much like a perfect world, where there is no strife, good music, and nice weather. Sounds good to me.
So, not only is this a new song, but it’s a new artist! Rag’n’Bone Man’s hit “Human” has gotten him on Billboard’s Top Mainstream Rock at number 36 (not bad for just making it on the chart last week!). To me, the song seems a little more “soul” than rock, but who am I to argue with Billboard’s classifications?*
Maybe I’m foolish, maybe I’m blind
Thinking I can see through this and see what’s behind
Got no way to prove it so maybe I’m blind
But I’m only human after all, I’m only human after all
Don’t put your blame on me
Take a look in the mirror and what do you see
Do you see it clearer or are you deceived in what you believe
So, the song strikes me as religious in nature. Metaphorical blindness is a pretty common motif in Christianity, and the speaker doesn’t want to be blamed because he’s “only human.” The ending line, “are you deceived in what you believe” also smacks of a religious idea, in that a person may be deceived by other beliefs.
Some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I’m only human after all, I’m only human after all
This pulls away from the religious themes; the speaker views himself as a person who tries to solve the problems of other people. The “I’m only human” refrain takes on a different meaning in this context, as he feels unable to solve the real problems. He doesn’t want to let anyone down.
Don’t ask my opinion, don’t ask me to lie
Then beg for forgiveness for making you cry, making you cry
Cause I’m only human after all, I’m only human after all
Don’t put your blame on me, don’t put the blame on me
The song points back to a specific person now, and the speaker points toward an instance where he tries to solve a problem and causes more.
The line-by-line readings are all over the place, but the main idea centers on the speaker’s desire to have less responsibility for others. He’s only human, after all.
Writers: Jamie Hartman & Rory Graham
Label: Sony, Columbia
Producer: Two Inch Punch.
Image Source Credit By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52153072
*the answer is, yes I can& will. I mean, “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots? Handclap? Lil Wayne?? How is that rock?
Schindler’s List (1993) was added to Netflix yesterday as part of the April lineup. I’ve never watched this film, widely considered a cinematic masterpiece, and now is a good as time as ever. This movie has a run time of 197 minutes, so it’s going to be a long one.
The first interesting thing is the switch back to black and white. The opening scene is in color, but then it disappears as we are transported into Nazi Germany. The Nazis, as they terrorize Jews, speak in German, even though the film is in English. It’s a subtle twist that works to dehumanize Nazis, especially as they murder without cause. Continue reading
(This is a poem about reading poetry. Sometimes, we just need to sit back and read for pleasure)
There are two ways to do everything.
Sure, sometimes there’s three or four, Continue reading
Robert Olen Butler published a book of flash fictions called Severance in 2006. The stories focus on the suspected “minute and a half of consciousness” after one’s head is severed from the body. Yep. Good stuff.
The newest Adele single is “Water Under the Bridge” off the album 25 released in 2015.
It follows other pop songs in that critical post-love, pre-breakup time (Think P!nk and Nate Reuss’s “Just Give Me A Reason“). It’s filled with indecision and and angst about the future of their relationship, and whether the person she is talking to wants continue their relationship. Continue reading
What a wonderful life it must be to write oneself into a corner, and get yourself out of that corner by creating a crossover event with no other purpose than getting out of that corner.
That’s not a criticism; it’s just hilarious. I haven’t seen Supergirl or this season of The Flash, but you don’t need backstory to get it. There’s an alien and he likes to make people dream really strange dreams, and our heroes get stuck. Watch it here, at CW TV.
The day my mom died, I had crawled into bed at 2 am. I had been drinking, and drinking always leads to crying, for me, so when my phone rang my face was swollen and my head hurt. I tried to turn the ringer off but succeeded in knocking it off the bedside table.
Forget it, I thought to myself, seconds before my boyfriend kicked me—not hard or anything, just enough to make me grab it.
It was my mom—well it wasn’t, obviously—so I picked it up and snapped,
“Is this Dinah Blackwell?” a man’s voice asked—definitely not her latest boyfriend’s.
I sat up. “Yes?”
My boyfriend grunted, and a hand reached out and pushed me. I scrambled out of his bed and into the hallway, heart beating fast. Hopefully he’d go back to sleep in a moment.
As I shut the door, the man on my mom’s phone finally said, “I am Officer Ryan Kane. Can you please come to the precinct as soon as possible?”
“Why are you on my mom’s phone?” I demanded in a whisper.
“Miss Blackwell, please come—”
“Is my mom OK?”
My heart was pounding in my chest, and I felt three beats go by before he said, “Alex, I’m sorry. I need you to come to the precinct.”
I guess I told him I’d be there, but I don’t remember it. I dressed quietly, stopped at a gas station for an Excedrin and a bottle of water.
My hands were shaking as I pulled into the precinct parking lot, and I double parked. There wasn’t time for that, though, and I just ran inside.
“Miss Blackwell?” A cop asked.
I nodded. He ushered me into a cushy room, completely unlike the interrogation rooms on TV. I guess that meant I wasn’t a suspect in her death.
Officer Kane came in and introduced himself. He droned on for a while before finally saying, “Your mother…”
“There was an electrical fire. She passed away.”
“Jesus. I kept telling her she needed to get that wiring checked out and she never would! And now…” I choked back on the tears.
He gave me a small half smile, trying at sympathy. He wasn’t very good at it. “I’m very sorry Miss Blackwell.”
I shook my head. My mom was dead. Everything felt like it was crashing around my head.
“You said her house had some wiring problems?”
“Yes…” But her she had gotten it checked out. She was going to sell.
“Well, I’ll pass that to the fire marshal. Sounds like it rules out foul play.”
“OK…” But I’d complained about it so many times. And I hadn’t told my boyfriend she was selling…
“Is there anything you need to tell me?”
We’d been so careful, deleting everything, messaging through apps that auto-deleted.
I shook my head. “No.”