Tag Archives: featured

“THE RUM DIARY”, A REAR-VIEW!

31 Oct

Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, and Amber Jenkins. Directed by Bruce Robinson.

Late at night, after putting the kids to sleep, and after a day full of Sponge Bob, ICarly, and the likes, is when my wife and me usually get our only quite and grown up T.V. Time. It was during one of those late nights, when we saw the trailer of the new movie ” The Rum Diary“. The trailer shows a snippet of a scene where Johnny Depp is sitting on top of Michael Rispoli while driving a small blue car. The car, a 1959 Fiat 500, was stripped of its front seats, earlier in the movie by a mob of angry Puerto Ricans, which is why the two had to resort to the ridiculous arrangement of sitting on top of one another in order to be able to drive it. The car was also suffering from an axle problem, which resulted in the funny humping movement that was going on at the time. Though it was funny, but the humor in the trailer was not enough to explain why both my wife and me, frantically jumped of the couch while simultaneously stating: ” we have to see this movie”. That, I give credit for, to Johnny Depp and his incredible ability to create one hell of a loyal fan base. I can assure you, from my conversations with a lot of friends and acquaintances, that a big percentage of viewers who saw the ” The Rum Diary” did so because of Johnny Depp. I guess that’s why they pay him the big bucks. The movie was shot in a very beautiful place, and the cinematography by Darius Wolski, was incredible as usual. The dialogue and script were also amazing. The film was full of those quick and witty lines that were both, outrageously daring, and at times shockingly funny. The casting by Denise Chamian, produced a true dream cast of MVPs, a fact that gave us a chance to witness acting at its best.

As a Johnny Depp loyalist, I really tried to come up with all sorts of excuses and explanations to why I felt like I was watching an episode of some series on HBO, and a pretty incoherent and incomplete one at that, but I just wasn’t able to. So, Mr. Depp I do apologize, but this wasn’t a good movie. If I was to put it into an example, it was like taking a room and painting it a beautiful color, then furnishing it with, a beautiful twisted metal bed, a couple of Victorian lamps, two authentic Spanish night stands, a five thousand dollar stainless steel fridge, a French patio set, and an incredible leather living room set, all within one room. A bunch of beautiful pieces that are incoherent and meaningless. It felt like standing in the cash register line of a grocery store, while listening to a conversation between the couple in front of you, till they reach their turn, leaving you with an incomplete part of whatever they were talking about. If this movie was intended to tell me a story, it really did not. If it was meant to inform me of a certain message, it was message-less. If it was intended to entertain me and make me laugh, it did so when I first heard the obnoxiously funny NEW YORK-ish lines, which soon became very repetitious. When my nine year old son was exploring his funny side, he made a joke that made us all laugh, and then kept repeating it over and over again. He soon realized that it was getting old, so he switched some of the characters involved and some of the words, in the hopes of reviving our dying response. It was still the same joke. A knock knock joke is a knock knock joke whether you say knock knock or you just tell me that some one was knocking a door.

Amber Jenkins, was beautiful, but more beautiful was the great job done by the makeup artists of the movie. Her make up made her skin look so flawless against that red lipstick that if she stood still for a couple of minutes you would have mistaken her for a real life size plastic doll. I think miss Jenkins did a good job, but the challenge was not acting, it was finding a reason for her role to be a part of this movie at all.

Mr. Depp, this movie was not a movie you go to the theaters to watch, but rather one that while sitting on the couch with your wife, lazing around, not really paying much attention to what’s on T.V., and possibly had been making out a few minutes ago while the kids are upstairs sleeping, it comes on and you realize after a while that you have actually watched the whole thing.

On a positive note, the title,” The Rum Diary”, was very much on point and reflective of the main theme of the movie, drinking. Johnny Depp as Mr. Kemp, and his buddy Michael Rispoli as Mr. Sala, literally drank the movie away from beginning to end, in rum. There was so much rum drinking; that in fact the funniest and most interesting act in the movie was that of Moburg, a continuously drunk and obnoxious character played brilliantly by the talented Giovanni Ribisi.

Mr. Depp, I LOVE YOU, and not that I think that you would ever read this review, but if you did, please don’t be upset. Please understand that I loved your acting and your interaction with your buddy stars, yet I was disappointed in the MOVIE as a whole. I do have to say that we the viewers, are uncomfortable when faced with a new kind of movie that does not adhere to our own definition of what a movie is or should be. We feel that movies should have a beginning, a dramatic peak or struggle, and a happy or sad ending. We watch characters that we can associate with, but only dream of living their adventures. ” The Rum Diary” gave us nothing to follow or be mesmerized by, and maybe it was not intended to do so. Maybe it was intended to give us a view of a short period of someone’s real life, and maybe real life is incoherent and at times incomplete. Maybe real life is too boring, and maybe that’s exactly why we go to the movies. Mr. Depp, if this dinky blog ever makes it to you, and if you didn’t get upset at this review that sounds more like a REAR-VIEW of your movie, maybe you would post a comment to help a Johnny Depp loyalist like me, make sense of it all…just maybe!

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GOD DOES EXIST…TRUST ME; JUST TAKE HIS OR HER WORD FOR IT!

23 Oct

For those of you who are religious, those who are believers, and those who are church, mosque, and temple goers, please don’t be fast at judging what I’m about to say. I am a believer too…just please hear me out.

When I was probably thirteen years old, I told my parents that God does not exist, and frankly, that didn’t go so well. Now I realize that if I had explained what I meant before laying such a heavy statement on them, it might have saved me from the storm of rage and disappointment that came my way. One thing for sure, I was not trying to say that I didn’t believe in God, but merely that the statement “God exists” is simply incorrect. If you are angry at this point, I ask you to please just bear with me and allow me to explain!

What is a God?

I am not talking about God as in the Greek mythology type of God, you know, like Poseidon the god of the sea, or Ares the god of war, but about God as the concept of a creator of everything, the ultimate reason behind every reason, a supreme being.

If this God is the creator, then he or she created everything, in fact created the act of creation itself. To be truly supreme, God, has to be above all creation, and has ultimate control over it.

One thing shared by all of God’s creation, is the concept of existence. Heaven, hell, angels, the universe, ideas, principles, good, evil, people, spirit, and anything else, all need the concept of existence in order to exist. Some do as flesh and blood, some as spirits, some as concepts and thoughts, and some as principles, everyone and everything exists even if in various forms and states. The concept of existence was not there till God created it, and as such God was there before it.

Our brains, are created to operate within the logic they were created in, one plus one is two, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and so on and so forth…

Whatever form of existence we can ever be capable of understanding is one that abides by such logic.

Faith is something we feel and our inspired by, and sometimes makes us believe in things that are metaphysical and cannot be explained by our mechanical logic. However, feelings, inspiration, and belief, are all part of our reality. Reality, once again, is another one of those concepts created for our world, one that we as creations abide by.

Imagine our world, this creation of God, as a domain that is confined within the walls of existence, logic, and reality. God is above all of that, and these walls do not confine him or her, neither does he or she abide by any such concepts.

There is nothing true or correct about our explaining of God’s existence. Our feelings and belief in God do not explain God’s existence, for they are part of our reality, which he or she does not abide by. Our logic, by its nature, makes us seek a reason for we are here, hence our search for a God, however, logic cannot explain God’s existence, because God created it and is above it.

That’s why, and based on what we know about existence, God does not exist. Saying that God exists, is untrue and incorrect, and is just a way for us to reference our belief in the concept of a God, an entity that is greater than ourselves, a reason behind every other reason. Follow my line of thinking here for a second: you say God exists, God created the act of existence and what ever form of it you are capable of imagining, so what was God before he created that concept, that word, existence? did he not exist? well if you believe in God, then for sure he did, but what ever form, way, or concept that can be used to explain his existence, is not something that anyone can ever understand. it’s not even a matter of being smart or having faith, it’s simply impossible because the brains, spirits, feelings, and heart that we use in trying to feel, love, or understand God are all part of our world that is beneath him or her.

Whenever you explain something you conquer it, because your explanation rises above it. Therefore, and since we can never rise above what created us, we can never understand God, neither can we ever explain his existence or anything else about him or her. If you believe in any religion, and believe it to be truly God sent, it’s best that you read what it says about God’s existence. I believe, since we will never be able to figure God out, as we are not equipped for it, I think it’s best that we just take his or her word for it.

And yes, I know, what a screwed up in the head thirteen year old kid I was, to be thinking about this…right!

SO COMPLEX, IT’S SIMPLE!

20 Oct

Simplicity is the outcome of utmost complexity. We all come to earth as babies, simple beings. As we go through life, we become more and more complex. We experience physical changes, interact with other people, and discover the world around us. Education, love, friendship, parents, children, sadness, happiness, are just parts of what we go through along the way. We develop wants not just needs, we develop relationships with friends and lovers not just caregivers, we develop opinions not just reactions, and we set out to discover the world instead of being subjected to it.

A real life example would be in the way we form our relationships. In the early stages of childhood, our relationships are limited to caregivers, protectors, and entertainers. Our interaction with them is also limited to happiness or sadness, and what feels good or bad. As we get older, our relationships involve more vocabulary, such as control, love, respect, trust, hate, connect, fun, inspire, etc…. During this period of trial and error, life becomes very complicated as we experiment with love, friendship, and identity. Out of this chaos, and only if we have been learning from our experiences, a simple form does emerge, a clearer self, one that has a better understanding of the world and how it reacts to it. Our relationships become more specific, our friends are split into best friends or acquaintances, and our lovers become soul mates.

In geometry a straight line is the simplest of shapes, yet this simple and straight form is nothing less than the result of complexity at its highest levels. Life starts like the smooth surface of a straight line, pure and simple. It gets corrupted by the complex shapes that life throws at it, complex shapes that keep coming together only to form that straight, smooth, and simple surface once again.

The more we accumulate of life’s experiences, the more we understand life and how we react to it. Those of us who stop at various points of their lives to reflect on how they’re evolving, and what lessons they’ve learned, are more capable of filling up the gaps in their life line, and as such, simplify their lives as they go. We grow older and older, and once again we become like babies, simple beings. We look for needs not wants, seek caregivers not just lovers, and receive whatever the world throws our way instead of trying to explore anymore of it. At this point, we are evolved beings that have seen life, have narrowed it down to its most basic realities, and are at peace with it and themselves. We, would have been through it all, and completely understand that life is so complex, it’s simple.

Good luck!

HARD TO BELIEVE

15 Oct

So, here’s how it goes…

A creator that has no creator, exists in no place or time, can do anything he or she wants, an almighty we have never seen yet we feel and believe in, for some unknown reason created EXISTENCE. He or she started by making an infinite universe. A light year is the distance light covers in one year, and in just one second, light goes around earth and back 7.5 times. It takes a hundred thousand of those light years to cross our galaxy alone, and our universe has hundreds of billions of those galaxies… I know, pretty freaken infinite, right! God or whatever you call him, the creator, made Heaven, a place where you can live eternally in lush gardens and flowing rivers, and where all your dreams come true. He or she then made angels, incredible beings that are purely there to worship God, and made a couple of humans, Adam and Eve. One of the angels went bad and became the devil, which lead to the creation of Hell, a place where everything is burning and….. Just really bad. Eve tempted Adam to eat some forbidden apple, oh yes did I forget to mention that God left Adam and Eve in Heaven and asked them to enjoy everything except this one freaken apple (no clue why), and they were banished to earth, where they are to start a whole race of humans.

Now, on earth, these guys having nothing else to do, just started going at it like maniacs, and here we are… Oh no, that’s not all….

As they populated a whole planet, these two very busy and very tired individuals (I mean what a libido) realized that they were not the only beings sent down here, but God has also sent that bad angel, the devil. Yes, earth really was the detention spot of existence.

So, here we are, humans, we live on this tiny minute planet that almost does not exist when compared to the vastness of space, we are constantly tempted by evil (the devil) and good (God). We come as babies, helpless and dependent on others, we grow up and go through school, playing sports, falling in love, heart breaks, sadness, happiness, friendship, work, career, marriage, having kids, and eventually getting old and back to being helpless and dependent on others once more. Some people are born into wealth and their parents rent cruise ships for them to have a birthday party and some work on the cruise ships to put food on the table for their families. One million kids died in the former republic of Congo from preventative diseases like the typical ear infections babies get, because they could not afford the 15 cents per child, needed to buy antibiotics, while P. Diddy bought his son a $360000.00 Maybach for his 16th birthday (nothing wrong with that, just worth mentioning).

Most of us believe in the same God but have different names for him or her, and even though we all agree that God is good, somehow we always end up using our belief to hate, judge, fight, and discriminate against one another. We have religions that all say the same thing, don’t kill, don’t, steel, don’t hate, but we translated that to WAR. Our wars have also been about money, which is a piece of paper that we assigned a value to. We are so advanced we have sent robots to the Mars, but some of us, humans, still discriminate based on color, gender, and sexual orientation, oh and women are not allowed to drive on Mars…sorry…. I mean in Saudi Arabia…oooops.

Any way, after that we die… Yes I know you hate that word, nevertheless, it will happen. Every body dies, and goes back to God who will judge you based on your actions… All of what we have done, good and bad gets weighed, and based on the results you get to move to your next, more permanent residence. By the way, God supposedly knows the future and he already knew what each of us is going to do on this earth before he or she is even born, so why this whole judgment day thing? Anyway…

If you have more good than bad, you go to heaven and live there forever, and yes you are supposed to be as happy as can be, because of the lush gardens and stuff, and all your dreams that will come true.

If you were a jerk and your bad weighs more than your good, well, you get to burn in Hell forever…. Literally…. I mean it!

We have no idea why some kids are depressed over loosing their hair due to chemo while others are depressed because their hair is not quit like Justin Biebers’ or Hannah Montana‘s.

Somehow we are able to make sense of all of this madness. To us this is just life, and we try to hold on to it so dearly.

My question is, why is Santa clause, the Easter bunny, or the tooth fairy, so hard to believe in?

If you stop for a second and think about all the crazy, unexplainable, weird, and completely illogical aspects of this life that we live and believe in, a fat guy in a red suit flying around on a reindeer to give toys to kids, doesn’t sound that fictional. Compared to life, it actually sounds pretty reasonable and nice.

My brothers and sisters we live in a place where for Hell there is a Heaven for night there is a day, for light there is darkness, and for good there is evil, a place where for every positive there is a negative…. Doesn’t a plus and a minus add up to zero, and that’s just it…. may be this whole thing is just too crazy to be real. Maybe LIFE  just adds up to a big fat nothing… or is that hard to believe?        (+)  + (-) = 0

NOT FAIR, NOT RIGHT, NOT LOGICAL,…..RAPE

28 Sep plant an idea

I imagine that from the title you already realize that this is one of my RANTS. It is very hard for me to witness something not fair, not right, not logical, and not say anything about it. It is also very hard for me not to admit that the more I think about the two genders the more I realize how us MEN have really abused our position in life.

One topic that has been bothering me recently is that of RAPE.

What would you do if one day, while at a coffee shop, a van pulls up next to where you are sitting, and in a “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE” style, four beautiful women emerge, forcefully kidnap you, drive you to a safe house, and rape you for hours before releasing you ?

This was the question I asked ten guys. the responses were …. well you judge.

“Get on the phone and call all my friends”, “Ask them for their phone number”, “Offer to pay for the van rental next time”, “Would be incredible as long as I was able to keep up with all four”, etc…..

Even though ten men are by no way a good representation of the all men, and even though I hate generalizations myself, yet believe me such a scenario would be a dream come true for most men.

When I tried to ask that question to ten women, in some cases I wasn’t even allowed to continue the question, some were really offended at how horrible of a question this was, one cried, and most expressed utter disgust and fear at the idea.

Yes, to any woman, rape is probably the closest experience to death, in fact many would wish for death instead.

All of this leads to my question:” How fair, how RIGHT, and how logical is it that a male gets to judge a rapist, when a male cannot fully comprehend the crime of RAPE?

Men have no clue as to the relationship between a woman and her body. A woman’s body reacts to her emotions, while a man’s body reacts in a much more mechanical and chemical way. Women’s feelings, emotions, and body act as one unit in responding to stimulation, while a man’s body reacts to stimulation independent of his feelings and emotions which can only act as enhancers when present. Simply, women are in control of their bodies while men are, to a certain extent, controlled by them. That is why, even though a man might know how bad RAPE is, but he might never fully understand the effects of such a crime on a woman. That is why RAPE, to one gender, is a death sentence, yet to the other it could be something to brag about. Steeling is bad, but shop lifting is not as bad as robbing a bank, and if you don’t know which steeling did the thief commit, you are in no position to pass a fair judgement on him or her.

I do apologize for generalizing so much, and I do hope that you know I don’t mean to picture men as mechanical feelingless beasts, however, I do know that the way we relate to our bodies is much more primitive and mechanical than women do. I also know that if laws pertaining to RAPE were not mostly written and enforced by men, RAPE would not have been as prevalent as it is today…… we know it’s really really bad, but not how bad it really is.

RAPE is not fair, not right, not logical, and neither is allowing a gender that does not fully comprehend it, to deal with it.

YOU

21 Sep

   You, me, and probably most others, must have been asked at a staff meeting, a class, or even a group get together, to stand up and introduce yourself. Would you please tell us about yourself? Please tell us who you are.

Now just like the rest of us, you stood up, if courteous enough, and said:” my name is X,  I come from Y, and I have done Z. Of course paying attention to your selection method of information that pertains to that specific gathering, be it a class, or a job, or whatever else that you were attending at the time.

My question is, have you attended one of those meetings with yourself. A meeting where you would be the one asking, who am I? such an introduction of who you are to yourself would be far more important than doing so in front of anyone else. In fact, if you can’t answer that question, or have not answered that question clearly to your own self, no matter how good of a conversationist you could be, you will not deliver a true and honest answer. An answer that would truly describe to others, important others or not, who you really are.

There are few aspects that pertain to our human existence as people living a life with a past, present and future desires. Aspects that we collect over time through experiencing life, and some that we hold so dear to us, that end up as methods we use to identify who we are: favorite foods, favorite activities, talent, history, likes and dislikes, characteristics, social status. Some are more solid than others such as gender, or ethnicity. Incase you had one of those ” I object” moments, yes even gender and ethnicities are aspects that we collect, formulate, or are channeled into over time.

Let’s place all of what I mentioned above into a category I like to call the collectibles, and the reason I do so is because I’m about to strip you of all of what is not really you, or yours.

You are not a male or a female, as both are descriptions that society has come to a collective conscious decision to what they really mean or stand for. Maybe biologically, but that does not have to be you. Don’t forget your body is just the result of a genetic roll of dice that makes it male, female, tall, short, black, or white.

You like Chinese food because of a lucky break Chinese food got some where along your life line. Chinese food was simply at the right time and place when you had it, only to be followed by a precise chemical reaction strong enough to place this experience among your favorite foods. Same goes to the sport you picked up, and the the talents you developed. Your mannerism, your dress code, style, and behavior, are all nothing but either the result of a precise set of circumstances that you have experienced at very important periods of your development, or winning characteristics that made it to the top of the food chain in your psychological jungle at some point in time.

I imagine that it’s pretty easy at this point to deduce my thoughts on all of what you have been through or have achieved in life so far. None of it is who you are. I want to strip you down to you.

Pardon me if I haven’t been clear when I asked, who are you?

The YOU I speak of is you at the purest level. The you that is left when you, are stripped of all the so called COLLECTIBLES. What is left then? What YOU, remains then? If any.

Well, I think plenty …….

If you are able to get down to such naked level of you, well you’re battle would have just started.

You know what, why do you like Chinese food?

Why are you patient or impatient?

What happens if you never picked up basketball or knitting?

What if you are not a shy person or have never really been?

Would you still be YOU?

What would happen if you questioned the most reliable things you know of yourself?

You would never sky dive, you don’t dance, you would never approach a person you are attracted to and ask him or her out, and you most certainly would never go skinny dipping. Well this week, do all of the above. Give that YOU, that you think you know, a jolt of of emotions you have not experienced yet. Get out of your comfort zone. Confront your obnoxious boss and tell him off, because even though you are not a confrontational person, you might be.

Are you uncomfortable yet?

Revolt against the YOU that has been so far the result of your life and what it has brought you. Give birth to a free YOU that is unidentifiable to any, unrecognizable by any, a YOU that, only you can tell is there.

That’s exactly it ….. That is the YOU I am talking about. The feeling you are experiencing right about now… This new feeling of ….. Well… YOU.

You are now naked and striped down to the bone, a person without wants, desires, favorites, likes, dislikes, and gender, a person without a name that your mom and dad felt goes beautifully with your last name when you were born.

If you are able to feel a YOU at this point, then you have won that battle.

Winning the war would be to start there, and only then start attaching these collectibles that you so mistakenly though were representative of who you are.

If you do so honestly and boldly, I can guarantee you a YOU that is really representative of who you are.

Don’t forget that if you were abandoned in a jungle and raised by wolfs like Mogly from ” The Jungle Book” you would have probably thought that you too were a wolf, and that’s ok if that’s what YOU, really feels like.

Good luck!

A World Within Another

27 Aug My IPAD Art

A world within another.
A thought for which you don’t bother,
Think it, nor speculate,
Which world do you populate?

Are they all part of yours?
Or did you walk in through their doors
Maybe we are all just a part,
Of some one else’s hanging art,

Finding out would be a defining moment,
Of this predesigned life’s enrollment,

But you do not think it nor speculate,
Which world do you populate?

The Biggest Scam Of The Past Centuries

27 Aug HEARTS

Yes …believe it …small rodents were able to survive natures havoc when big and angry dinosaurs were not able to.
Nature’s process of selection and elimination has chosen small mammals over the big and mighty dinosaurs for survival. In the same fashion, life’s process of selection and elimination has been playing a big role in the lives of human beings.
At one point in time, when body size and muscle mass played a big role in the everyday lives of the primitive humans, men gained the edge. Life in caves, demanded physical strength, the ability to hunt, fight, and defend. The importance of such genetic characteristics that put men in power way way back in the day has been dwindling, yet men are still riding that ship that has long sailed.
When was the last time have you or me walked to a job interview and were asked to see how big your triceps are, or how fast can you run.
In today’s world, sensitivity, attention to details, emotional openness, and multitasking are the characteristics that might land you a good job or allow you to run a company more efficiently.
Not only that, but are all characteristics that come naturally to women, while men struggle to attain.
We, men, as hard as it is to admit, are still holding on to power on the basis of ancient advantages that the world no longer needs. A fact evident even in the most successful of us. The now a days image of successful men, is a smoother, sharper, more sensitive man, and not the HULK.
If women were to wake up to the fact of their superiority, sooner than later we will be forming masculinizim groups and demanding more equality for men.
It’s actually pretty crazy that this has not happened yet. When are women going to realize that they are the iPad 2’s of the world and men are the iPad 1?
When are they going to catch us in our lies and realize that, no the iPad 1 does not rule anymore as cool as it might have been when it first came out.
Yet, please understand that loosing that position of power is also a natural thing. When a gender gets to be in control and gain the edge, the need for evolving becomes less and less, as they are already were they want to be. Yet at the same time, women kept evolving at a much faster rate than us, I mean after all they are the ones that had to deal with all the obstacles we have put in their way. That’s how one becomes better not by being in power but by having the need to overcome hardship
As such, I do have one advice for my beloved women: if you were to ever to become aware of the biggest scam of the past centuries, that men are in charge, and assimilate your true and well deserved position in this new world, please don’t use your advantage as us men did, i.e. to put others down. Truth is if we only acted on such advice, both genders would have complemented and completed each other, forming a much better world, but we didn’t.
I do apologize to all my fellow men … But I see this to be only the truth that has not caught up with us yet…. hey don’t be upset at me …I’m part of this too u know.
Thanks for reading.

Karim Maksoud