Words I’ll Probably Never Use In Conversation

1. hubris
Definition: exaggerated pride or self-confidence
Why I Won’t Use It: Chronically uncertain of the pronunciation.
What I’ll Say Instead: “balls”

2. lugubrious
Definition: exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful
Why I Won’t Use It: Can never remember what the hell it means; it’s too hard to say.
What I’ll Say Instead: “overly bummed out”

3. parsimonious
Definition: frugal to the point of stinginess
Why I Won’t Use It: What’s the definition again? I forgot.
What I’ll Say Instead: “stingy”

4. hoary
Definition: ancient; extremely old
Why I Won’t Use It: Fear people will think I am saying “whore-y”
What I’ll Say Instead: “really old”

5. bilious
Definition: of or relating to bile, of or indicative of a peevish ill-natured disposition, sickeningly unpleasant
Why I Won’t Use It: I can’t stop thinking it is a pretty word used to describe clouds.
What I’ll Say Instead: “icky”

6. surreptitious
Definition: done, made, or acquired by stealth
Why I Won’t Use It: Too many syllables.
What I’ll Say Instead: “sneaky”

7. pugnacious
Definition: having a quarrelsome or combative nature
Why I Won’t Use It: No real reason.
What I’ll Say Instead: “always looking for a goddamn fight”

8. perspicacious
Definition: of acute mental vision or discernment
Why I Won’t Use It: That’s what it means? Really? And how many syllables? Four? Are you serious?
What I’ll Say Instead: “totally on the ball”

9. chicanery
Definition: deception by artful subterfuge or sophistry
Why I Won’t Use It: Who am I, some muckracking author from the 30’s?
What I’ll Say Instead: “a ripoff”

10. dilettante
Definition: an admirer or lover of the arts, a person having a superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge
Why I Won’t Use It: Too close to debutante
What I’ll Say Instead: “arty art person”

I’d Like The Freedom To Be Occasionally Offensive

Doing this blog thing, it’s stirred up the creative juices for me a little.

I’ve got some ideas that I’d like to share, but some of these ideas are a tad on the offensive side of the spectrum. Well, perhaps more than a tad.

I consider myself an okay-kinda-guy who is pretty sensitive to others’ feelings and all, but I do have a misanthropic muscle or two that must get exercised from time to time.

I’ve got an amusing idea for a little photo-story using stills from the 9/11 movie United 93, as well as a great “dreadful reimagining” of a beloved children’s story, which makes The Velveteen Cockroach look like, well, The Velveteen Rabbit.

I have told the plot of my take on the children’s story to several people, who agreed it was a clever, humorous idea, but said it would probably be a bad idea to post it — it was just too damned offensive, or could be perceived in such a way.

But I haveta, I haveta, I tell ya.

Here’s how I think I can post these offensive things with a relatively clean conscience.

1. Mark the post as containing potentially “toxic” content.
2. Don’t actually include the offensive content in the blog post, but rather a pointer to another page that contains it.
3. The page containing the actual offensive content will require a User ID and password to access it.
4. Give the User ID and password in the blog post, and indicate it’s reader beware.

Does this sound like I am covering all my bases?

I’m not asking for permission to post offensive content, merely asking if this is a reasonable way of posting it.

The Matrix Reloaded Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded sucked.

Let me back up.

My wife and I had our first kids, twins, in January of 2003. It was completely overwhelming, which probably does not come as a surprise.

I love going out to see movies, but the birth of our children put that pastime on hold.

The company I work for sent me to Sun Microsystems’ JavaOne Conference in May, 2003, in San Francisco. So, I reluctantly got on a plane and headed for California, temporarily leaving my family behind, as I grappled with semi-cutting-edge computer programming concepts, eating out, going to Amoeba Records on Haight Street, riding a rented bike across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, etc. Y’know. Work stuff.

One of the things I made sure I did while I was out there was see a movie. The Matrix Reloaded seemed as good a choice as any. Whoa! The cinema near my hotel had an IMAX theater! I had never been to an IMAX movie! It’s like a movie but bigger!

Now, I’m not a scientist of any kind, but based on the limited empirical evidence I have collected, if you see a sucky movie in a theater, it will exponentially suck on an IMAX screen.

I was so pissed off after seeing The Matrix Reloaded that I seriously thought about writing an entire script to replace the godawful story I had just witnessed. Now, I like the first Matrix just fine — it was a pretty good film, not the best I have ever seen, but passable. I just want you to know this so this rewriting idea of mine isn’t construed as any kind of fan fiction. Corrective fiction is probably a more appropriate term.

The bile in my heart eventually subsided, as did my desire to write a whole goddamned script.

Instead of a full script, I’m just going to give you the bare minimum of the plot for my better idea.

Mistakes/Problems in the movie as it is

Problems In The Real World
I thought one of the bigger mistakes of The Matrix Reloaded is that you start out already in the last human city, Zion, something that was only mentioned in the first movie. The filmmakers wasted some suspense they could have generated in a journey to get to the city. And in the opening scenes of this piece o’ crap, you’re in stupid Zion having your time wasted getting introduced to all these lame-ass secondary characters that no one gives a damn about.

Problems In The Matrix
At the end of the first Matrix, Neo can fly. So, he’s pretty much Superman at the opening of Reloaded. Superman is the one of the more boring things in pop culture, being virtually indestructible and all.

My Better Idea

In my idea for The Matrix Reloaded, there will be two parallel story arcs, one in the real world and one in the Matrix.

Story Arc In The Real World
The story arc in the real world consists of Neo’s ship and crew attempting to reach Zion. Neo’s crew are the only humans you see during the majority of the film. NO JADA PINKETT-SMITH.

Now, in my idea, Zion isn’t so easy to reach. Maybe its location changes from time-to-time — maybe it’s a somewhat mobile city to fool the machines. How does Neo’s crew locate Zion? Through a series of clues placed within the Matrix. Which brings us to….

Story Arc In The Matrix
It’s a scavenger hunt in the Matrix for these clues. I’m not sure how I would work the scavenger hunt, but it couldn’t be much worse than what was happening in the Matrix in the sucky original version of Reloaded.

And here’s another thing. The opening scene of my version of the movie would have Neo flying. All of the sudden, some sort of visual distortion or blip would occur, and Neo plummets to the ground. The machines are adjusting the physical laws of the Matrix to combat Neo’s mastery over it.

During the course of the film, the physical laws in the Matrix get reloaded from time to time, and Neo and his crew have to adjust to the changes in order to survive. This reloading could escalate as the film progresses, and result in more and more drastic physical disruptions — changes in gravity, physics, etc. It would be kind of cool that all people oblivious to the fact they are in the Matrix would be affected by the changes in physical laws, but would be unaware something was amiss.

This reloading of physical laws also gets rid of the problem of Neo being Superman — he’s now more vulnerable.

This stuff happening in the Matrix allows me to even keep the original sequel’s title, as the Matrix *is* being reloaded in order to thwart Neo’s’ powers.

The Ending
I haven’t fully fleshed out the ending of my version, but I have a pretty good idea as to how it would play out. Just as Neo and his crew are trying to figure out where Zion is, the machines are also trying to ascertain its location in order to destroy it.

When Neo gets the final clue and reaches Zion, the machines are, through his efforts, also tipped off to the location of Zion. The last line of the movie — “They’re coming.”

Which brings us to the third movie, which I may or may not indulge/bore you with in a subsequent post.