Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Coven of Sisters | Akelarre (2020)

A Spellbinding Tale of Feminine Power and Resilience

In a cinematic landscape often dominated by male-centric narratives, "Coven of Sisters" emerges as a captivating gem, bringing forth an enchanting blend of historical drama and witchcraft. Directed by Pablo Agüero, this Spanish period film transports viewers to 17th-century witch-hunting Basque Country, unveiling a compelling story of sisterhood, rebellion, and the enduring strength of women. Beneath its bewitching surface, "Coven of Sisters" weaves a tapestry of deeper meanings, exploring themes of patriarchy, religious oppression, and the unyielding spirit of feminism.

The film unfolds during the Spanish Inquisition, a period of widespread religious persecution and moral dogma. In this dark era, a group of young women—led by the fiercely determined Ana (Amaia Aberasturi)—find solace and empowerment within a secret coven, defying societal expectations and the ruthless hand of the Inquisition. As their clandestine gatherings become riskier, tension builds, culminating in a gripping tale of survival, sacrifice, and female solidarity.

Amaia Aberasturi delivers a captivating performance as Ana, skillfully portraying the internal turmoil of a woman torn between tradition and her desire for liberation. The ensemble cast shines brightly, with each actress bringing depth and nuance to her respective character, ensuring that the emotional core of the film remains consistently engaging. 

Director Pablo Agüero's masterful direction captures the essence of the era with exquisite attention to detail, from the meticulous production design to the hauntingly beautiful cinematography. Agüero successfully immerses the audience in the bleak and oppressive world of the Inquisition, while also infusing the story with moments of enchantment and magic.

Beneath its surface narrative, "Coven of Sisters" delves into profound themes that resonate long after the credits roll. The film explores the subjugation of women by a patriarchal society, highlighting the dangers they faced when stepping outside the prescribed roles assigned to them. By depicting the power dynamics between the male-dominated religious institutions and the defiant coven, the film effectively exposes the ways in which women's agency was suppressed in the name of morality and control.

Moreover, "Coven of Sisters" examines the strength and resilience of women in the face of oppression. The coven serves as a metaphor for the unbreakable bond of sisterhood and the transformative power that arises when women come together to resist societal constraints. The film portrays the pursuit of individual freedom and self-expression as an act of rebellion against an unjust system, inspiring viewers to question their own societal limitations.

Overall, "Coven of Sisters" is a mesmerizing cinematic experience that combines a gripping historical narrative with elements of magic and feminine power. Through its captivating performances, skillful direction, and exploration of deeper themes, the film stands as a poignant testament to the strength and resilience of women throughout history. 

As viewers embark on this haunting journey with the characters, they are left with a renewed appreciation for the fight against oppression and a profound understanding of the indomitable spirit of sisterhood.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Sea Fever 2019 - Film Review

Mid Sea Quarantine Horror Drama

Sea Fever had been on my watch list for almost over a year, tempted by rave reviews that my movie critic friends had shared on the Movie Bloggers Network community. However, much to my sheer disappointment, I found Sea Fever sorely lacking in the Horror department, even though it cleverly sets up a very intriguing premise. 

Close to 30 minutes and to the chagrin of my patience, it turns from a potential monster at sea horror extravaganza into a quarantine human drama about a virulent parasitic infection. Maybe that's why it has resonated so well in these CoronaVirus times and garnered the praise. 

Even then, I hoped Sea Fever would still turn into an exciting Cabin Fever/The Thing kind of macabre horror, but it is more content settling into a morose pace as the characters predictably start dying one by one. Instead of salvaging any bloody redemption for horror or sci-fi fans alike, even the inevitable climax is a wasted opportunity. 

It’s not that Sea Fever is a bad movie. It’s not. The lead stars do a fine job especially Hermoine Corfield, Connie Nielsen & the Swedish - Iranian actor Ardalan Esmaili who I also loved in 2017’s The Charmer. Dougray Scott's role is wasted though, with not much screen presence. The agoraphobic ambiance of the fishing trawler, the desperate vulnerability of the middle-class fishing crew, and the stoic persona of the lead heroine all add up to the movie's strengths. 

It indeed also makes for a fine mid-sea drama thriller but it just didn’t cut enough for me to rank it as one of the best horrors of the year, as many claim it to be. To be fair, and still give the benefit of the doubt, I think this was due to a paucity of the budget rather than ideas that shaped this movie.

Watch it for the hype, not for any Horror!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

American Beauty 1999 - Movie Review

A beautiful Kaleidoscope of American Suburbia

I saw this award-winning gem directed by Sam Mendes (his directorial debut)  just when it released in September 1999 with absolutely no idea of what it was. It was one of those drama movies that start at the end, telling you that somebody is going to die, and then makes you wait to find out how it happens. Towards the finish, three possibilities are waved in front of you, but then the plot twists to something else. And that's what makes it a fascinating watch.

By now, most of you would have seen American Beauty already. A story of dysfunctional families in white middle-class suburbia: the main characters are the Burnham couple (Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening) who don't seem to copulate or even communicate anymore, but still share a bedroom. They have a highly insecure teenage daughter, played with aplomb by Thora Birch who believes she is an ugly misfit. Next door there are the Fitts: a right-wing militaristic father (Chris Cooper) and an emotionally dead mother (Allison Janey), whose son Ricky (Wes Bentley) has been in a mental hospital.

Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, the father doomed to die with such finesse, that it rightfully earned him a Best Actor award at the Oscars. One day he sees the boy next door calmy quit his job as a waiter, so he too quits his joyless job as a writer for a magazine. He starts buying marijuana from the boy next door, horrifying his straight real estate agent wife, who is obsessed with success (or the image of it). Annette Bening shows some restraint with the over-the-top character. 

Lester also becomes infatuated with his daughter's cheerleader friend (Mena Suvari), who is beautiful, but also vain, shallow and dishonest. Somebody like that can't be a real friend, so let's call them companions. Thus Lester alienates his daughter even more. The daughter becomes involved with Ricky the weirdo next door, and Mrs. Burnham starts having meetings with another real estate agent, so you have a soap opera, where any of them might have a motive for smiting poor old Lester. 

The most fascinating character is Ricky Fitts, the teenage neighbor. He looks like a bible salesman but sells drugs. He has no fear of anything, and sees beauty where others can't, videotaping everything around him. It is he and the Lolita cheerleader who give Lester lust for life again. His wife's answer to the emptiness of her life is to become more successful. She isn't going to admit what the real problem is. 

American Beauty pokes a burnt stick in the eye of the American way of life, anything from guns and fast food to drugs and materialism. Only religion seems missing from this. It feels like a major studio tried to make a commercial arthouse movie, and it actually succeeded.

American Beauty won five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Spacey), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. American Beauty also won six of the 14 awards for which it was nominated at the
British Academy Film Awards: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress (Bening), Best Cinematography, Best Film Music and Best Editing. The Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning soundtrack score by Thomas Newman is worth highlighting too as it sets the mood for this great watch.

This scene is a highlight!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Wonder Women Puberty Awakenings

How Old TV shows spark the 
incendiary first fires of teen sexuality

I noticed a petite beautiful brunette while riding the Metro today. It happens. Normally, I look over, I say to myself, "that's one hot mama," and I go back to reading the overrated novel for which I overpaid at the second-hand book shop. I consistently overpay. Okay, but I don't say ' hot mama'. 

But today, I had no book, and I was especially unable to accept any passing thought at face value. So I thought to myself, "Why do I find this woman attractive?" That, of course, can be answered in no one simple discourse, due to a wide array of possible influences - the physical, the psychological, the sociological, and so forth. But I realized that this lovely lady, who had so efficiently grabbed my attention from the sweet and naughty sound of her thighs gently skidding against the vinyl Metro seat, was especially alluring to me because of one thing - her resemblance to Erin Grey (Katherine "Kate" Summers Stratton), of the 80s situational comedy sitcom Silver Spoons fame. 

Then it hit me. Many of the incendiary sparks that kindled the first fires of my teen sexuality came from a single origin - watching re-runs of old television sitcoms with my aunt who had a peculiar penchant for watching these old shows. I suppose this should come as no surprise to a cable slave with a media-infested mind like myself, but pinpointing the various sources of my libidinous teen development proved both entertaining and enlightening. What's even more funnier is that most of these starlets are now grandmas. And let's be clear, I have no granny fetish! Anyway, the following involves a high degree of self-disclosure, but I will progress nonetheless, in chronological order.  

Maria from Sesame Street: Sonia Manzano, this Latin-American beauty captured my youthful schoolkid heart when it still could cry for a misunderstood woolly mammoth and the departing of an elderly shop keeper. With her bright smile and willingness to teach, she made me toddle back to the tube again and again. Sonia, now 70 played Maria on Sesame Street from 1971 until her departure in 2015. 

Wilma from The Flintstones: The brained beauty from the second-greatest TV cartoon of all time. Wilma’s intelligence and no-nonsense attitude, tempered by a sweetness lost on today's women, all packaged with a shock of red hair and a body that won't quit made me wonder why Fred would ever try to fool her, and why he and Barney spent so much time together with a fine piece like that at home. When she and Betty got together to make dino-cookies, I wished I was a rolling pin.

Wonder Woman: No not Gal Gadot, but Lynda Carter from the American live-action television series of the 70s. What can I say, Miss World USA Lynda Carter made me feel funny in a way for which I had no label until after puberty. It's a good thing she never threw the lasso of truth around me because I definitely would have ended up telling her how great her amazon woman tits were. Lynda is 68 now!

Vicki from The Love Boat: I believe she was the second entertainment director for the Spelling cruise, but blonde beauty Jill Whelan as Vicki Stubing, the daughter of Captain Stubing in the 70s hit cruise ship television series The Love Boat made love exciting and new for me when it truly was. I came aboard 9:00 PM every Saturday for carrom board and costume parties and Vicki. Jill is 53 now.

Daisy Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard: I know this is an obvious one, but for noobs, Catherine Bach, played the famous role in the late 70s – early 80s American television series The Dukes of Hazzard. After watching it, you can probably understand why hillbillies have a reputation for incest. If those shorts were any higher, I wouldn't have needed the sex education classes that were to follow in later years. I think she inspired my first little bitty teen erections. Catherine is 66 now.

Catwoman: Not Halle Berry but Julie Newmar, from the Batman TV series of the 1960s. Catwoman was more than just Meeooowww. helping me make the first associations between women and felines. A purrrfect template for the beginning of my understanding of female sexuality. She's hot, she's naughty, and she always takes Batman's bat-belt away. Holy hormones, Batman. Julie is 86 now.

Nellie Ruth "Nell" Harper from Gimme a Break: Don't laugh, Nell was a whole lotta woman, and boy, could she snare a man. Playing the motherly Black housekeeper for a widowed police chief and his three daughters in the 80s show, she showed me what a REAL woman wants - and she didn't take no guff from nobody. And I'm not alone - Joey Lawrence got his start as a leading man on that show- and look what a stud he turned out to be. Nell Carter passed away in 2003 aged 54.

Lauren from Family Ties: Before she became actually famous in Friends, Courtney Cox already inspired at least one 12 year old to make Friends. I made a new friend - she may just have been the first subject of my masturbatory fantasies. Incidentally, this hit 80s series in which she played 
Alex Keaton's Girlfriend, also featured Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Joseph Garden Levitt & Christina Applegate. Courtney is 56 now.

Wanda from Doogie Howser M.D: Even though still in my early teens, Wanda Plenn, the girlfriend (played by Lisa Dean Ryan) of the eponymous character in the early 90s series Doogie Howser, M.D. made me want to quit junior high and take up medical school. If I were Doogie, I'd have brought all kinds of medical equipment home for that little vixen. And you know Vinny watched them get down from his little window entrance all the time. I think Doogie liked it. Also, I believe Wanda to be the precursor to the later Neve Campbell craze. Lisa is 48 now.

Darlene Merriman from Head of the Class: Never saw anyone in high school that looked like Robin Givens, I'll tell you that but she was always nice to Arvid and Dennis. I still can't believe an honors student like her would go and ruin my fantasy world and marry Mike Tyson. I could talk your ear off about that...Perhaps the luscious redhead Simone played by the beautiful Khrystyne Haje is still available. btw, Robin is 55 now.

I think I started getting laid soon after that, but that wasn't really the case. However, I believe that any other TV women I found attractive after that were probably some conglomeration of what qualities this group brought to the table. If only I learned back then that if you're bored with a real woman, you can't just change the channel. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

From Beyond 1986 Movie Review

Macabre 80s Cult Campy Horror!

In 1986, the famed team of Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna that brought the 1985 Horror hit ”Re-Animator” returned for another bizarre sci-fi horror shocker, ”From Beyond” based on one more H.P. Lovecraft story and starring Jeffrey Combs again. 

This one is about a Resonator, a futuristic machine that's a two-way window to the soul and allows you to see entities from another dimension;  but they can see you too, and they're hungry unleashing all manner of evil creatures and enabling individuals to indulge their most sinister desires and depraved fantasies. This film lacked some of the ghoulish original humor of Re-Animator, but its script is better thought-out, and there are lots of scary, campy moments and spectacularly gruesome special effects.

23 years later, an indie filmmaker Blair Erickson released ”Banshee Chapter” in 2013 starring Ted Levine and Katia Winter, rebooting the original story. Both movies are a good quarantine watch but ”From Beyond” takes the prize for being more interesting and more satisfying.
A cult classic of menacing design and blood-curdling execution, From Beyond is a perverse head-trip of horror.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

River's Edge 1986 - Movie Review

Probably the Darkest Teen Movie of its time

Inspired by the sensational real-life murder of 14 year old Marcy Renee Conrad on November 3, 1981, in Milpitas, California by Anthony Jacques Broussard, a then 16-year-old high school student, this controversial crime drama is a grim watch about dissociated youth and the moral malaise that affects society. Ironically, even after 34 years, River's Edge has not lost its social relevance.

Remember "Stand by Me", the Rob Reiner directed, Oscar-nominated 1986 adventure drama? A young little Jerry O'Connell asks River Phoenix and his other buddies: "You guys want to go see a dead body?" In "River's Edge", Samson Tollet, "John" (Daniel Roebuck)  to his white trash posse, kills his girlfriend and leads his friends to see her nude corpse, on the river's edge. "Dude! I saw it! I poked at it with a stick." Of course, John has a motive for his crime. "Why did you kill her?" "She was talking shit.", he says nonchalantly.

If "Stand by Me" based on the Stephen King novella was a sweet coming of age cinema, "River's Edge" coincidentally also released in 1986, is like its strung-out somber antidote version; a social drama and a dark satire all wrapped up in a horrific teen movie camouflage. 
John's friends, led by Layne (Crispin Glover) decide to cover up the murder for him. But Layne is the only one really committed to the plan. He buries the dead girl and nobody helps, not even John. "I'll be expecting a sixer for this," says Layne, dumping the body in the river. "You'd think I'd at least rate a Michelob," says Layne, when John gives him a sixer of Bud.

One gets to gawk at the Pre-"Speed" teaming of Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper too. Keanu, a relatively unknown star then plays Matt, the burn-out with a conscience and Hopper plays Feck, a nutso shut-in with a stash of premium weed, which he gladly gives to Layne and his friends whenever they visit, as long as they talk nice to his inflatable girlfriend, Ellie. Feck had a real girlfriend once, but he had to kill her. So he and John have something in common. 

Their psycho bonding time goes like this! "I killed a girl once, put a gun to the back of her head, blew her brains out the front. I loved her." Feck "I strangled mine." John "Did you love her?" Feck "She was all right." John 

Matt's little brother Tim (Joshua John Miller) is the evilest kid since The Omen's Damien. He drowns his little sister's doll. When Matt beats him up, he hatches a plan to kill Matt and tells his Asian punk friend, "Go get your nunchucks and your dad's car!" Watch your back, Matt! Eventually, somebody narcs to the cops. Furious, Layne drives around in his jacked-up VW Bug trying to figure out a plan. Meanwhile, Matt gets together with Layne's girlfriend, played by Ione Skye. He also has a big fight with his mother's boyfriend, who lives with the family. "You just stay around here to fuck my mother and eat our food. Mother Fucker! Food Eater!" 

The alienated kids spend a lot of time wondering why they don't feel worse about their dead friend. Maybe it's because they're jealous of her? Maybe it's our morally bankrupt society? Maybe it's just ennui? "Sometimes I think it would be a lot easier being dead." "That's bullshit. You couldn't get stoned anymore."

Film Critic Emanuel Levy wrote that River's Edge "addresses the alienation and moral vacancy among American kids growing up in a drug-oriented, valueless culture. River's Edge has the disturbing quality of a collective fear - the cherished, eagerly awaited adolescence is presented as confusing and vacuous. Unlike most 1980s teenage sex comedies, this film doesn't glamorize youth, instead depicting it as a bleak, aimless coming of age, a time of boredom, stupor, and waste." However, Levy writes that the film does share in common with its peers the manner in which it presents adult figures, as "irresponsible and indifferent".

Watch this movie for a much more insightful look at 80's disconnected youth. The added bonus is Keanu Reeves and the Heavy Metal soundtrack (if you are a Metal fan) featuring the likes of Slayer and Agent Orange. And in case you were curious, Anthony Jacques Broussard, the original murderer now 55, is still in prison.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dead Man 1995 - Movie Review

Revisiting the underrated surreal Western

Jim Jarmusch called his 1995 Johnny Depp starrer ”Dead Man” a psychedelic western. Believe the famed independent filmmaker, ’Dead Man’ is indeed a brooding post-modern western or as a film critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum called it, a trippy authentic ”Acid Western”.

Johnny Depp shines in this hypnotic movie that seems even more trippy to watch it again. Billy Bob Thornton, Iggy Pop, Alfred Molina, Crispin Glover, John Hurt, Lance Henriksen, Gabriel Byrne, Gary Farmer and Robert Mitchum add to the star quality while Neil Young amplifies the surreal weirdness with his guitar-driven soundtrack. Even though this strange movie flopped on release, it divided critics and has now become a cult Western. 

I personally like it because of Johnny Depp, the character of Nobody, and William Blake's poetry: 
'Oh why was I born with a different face 
Why was I not born like the rest of my race? 
When I look, each one starts 
When I speak I offend 
Then I'm silent and passive 
and lose every friend.' 

Watch it. The film is also achingly beautifully shot by acclaimed Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller in crisp black and white, which adds to the minimalist gritty feel.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Its the Last December of this Decade

I Know Things that Google Doesn't

Every December brings dread and uncertainty. Even though its the busiest time for me work-wise, its also the time when Murphy's law takes an entirely new dimension in my life. No matter how much I plan and prepare for the worst, I get bogged down with problems of all kinds - work, family, health, weather, money and even matters of the heart and mind. Sometimes, I feel like a victorious but battered Hercules by the time the New Year dawns.

This December is singularly unique. It's the last December of this decade. Did you even think about it? And this got me thinking about the last 10 years of my life. My age especially. I am into prime adulthood now, and while I've been blessed with good genes and a youthful appearance (I think), I have done my share of coping with aging and all those weighty issues that come up in the process. Like watching my body change and trying to hold back the visual signs with lazy exercise and bad diets. Suddenly, you start noticing everyone around you is fitter and younger than you. And damn, those awful grey hairs. 

I discovered grey hairs when I wasn't even 30 yet. I don't think I need to expand on the horror of making that discovery, now do I?  So, after I mentally sobbed for a while, ate a dozen jelly beans, and wondered if I were going to have to start dying my hairs, I just calmly plucked those grey ones right out and decided not to worry about it. That was many years ago but now, it's an impractical solution unless I intend to go bald in a painful way. 

This winter, my thirty-something friend's 26 years old pretty cousin came to stay with her. A model in the making, she seemed obsessed with her body. While anyone would admire her young, gazelle-like body, shapely limbs, and svelte hour-glass figure, we would listen to her bemoan the agonies of her new adulthood. She would rue her back was too broad, her legs too short, her teeth too big, her ass too flat. We assured her that she looked lovely and she was simply overreacting but to no avail. 

Then, my friend and I jointly recalled how utterly confusing it was to navigate the new and harsh realities of adulthood, and we instantly knew there's no way we can alleviate her cousin's pain. She's going to have to go through what I call the "horrible 20's" and figure it out for herself. 

I've come to understand that twenty-something adversity, as annoying as this may sound, is actually good for us. It's how we deal with it that determines our future character. I can only hope she has the resources and the dexterity to come through it all and end up in a good place - physically, mentally and sexually.

Speaking of sex, adulthood has its remarkable charms too. Not to sound too self-flattering, the 30s can also be adventurous. How else would you define being pursued by young women in their 20's and 30's? While I've long ridiculed the shallow puerile carnal fantasies of virile young women connecting with an older "wise man", I sometimes have found myself drawn to these younger women's zest for life and impressed with their intellect, warmth, and ambition.

My friends envy me, especially those younger than me but no matter, how you look at it, there's a stark reality to it. After a couple of days, weeks or months, uncustomarily filled with various encounters with these young women, you are inevitably, again reminded of the dark painful issues that make their existence known, and the often mediocre sex that fills the 20's and the boasted quantity of sex rather than quality. With a few exceptions, of course!

Maybe now when I feel impatient with the baggage that the term "wise man" brings relevance to my life, it'll be tempered with knowing that those young women are no less burdened themselves. Rather, they're simply in the stage of cultivating that baggage, and a whole lot more confused about it too!

So what does all this mean to me (and maybe to you too)? It means that I have a new appreciation of the innate balance of life and where I've arrived at this current age. When my jealous young friends of the google generation express their bemusement over me getting hit on by more women than they get, I console them that I can but never regain the beauty of youth that they enjoy now. Black hair for example.

There's still a silver lining and a distinct advantage that I don't tell them. That I now have a richer kind of life experience, knowledge and wisdom they don't and cannot possibly yet possess. If their envy is indeed true, my desirability probably comes from the confidence I exude. And isn't it nice to know that they also have to earn it? That they have to do the hard work of self-challenge, self-growth, and persistent optimism that this kind of desirability requires. And also be prepared to weather the adversarial surprises adult life is certain to throw their way too?

So, this December, I feel less dread and actually positive. Maybe, it means that I am better equipped with more awareness and insights I have earned this decade. Maybe these nuggets of sagacity borne of life and observation have made me more adept in navigating the uncertainties of adult life, my migraines and a tiny bit closer to welcoming the new year with grace and acceptance. Maybe one day I'll even be able to hear the term "wise man" without cynicism -and then again, maybe not!! So, do a little introspection and make this last December, worth enough to remember. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

But Why?

Searching for answers for questions that have no answers 

My aunt died. She was just 57 years old. She was asthmatic but definitely hale and healthy. An active lady devoted to charity and social causes or engrossed with her grandchildren. The day before she suddenly died, she spoke to me over the phone. To me, she sounded fit and happy and yet, the next unfortunate morning, I get to know she's dead. She was gone, rather inexplicably. 

And this week, a 'talented' friend of mine who lives in Seattle lost his job. Again. This was his third attempt at full-time employment since January. His wife deserted him last year and filed for a successful divorce. Poor chap, he can't even afford the alimony. If you ask me, he is really a "nice guy" deserving of a great job and a good wife or at least a girlfriend, but he ain't lucky. 

Constant unfortunate episodes like these, including my own personal misfortunes, makes me often wonder why do these bad things happen? Many folks think I am lucky and I shouldn't be greedy for more. Maybe I am but I still don’t really understand the concept of luck and how much is dished out to whom and why? If you believe in god and fate, you also believe that a person’s life is already planned out and everything happens for a reason. God's reason, apparently or blame it on the stars, your parents, your ex or your last life... How convenient?

I don't get it. I don’t understand how or why certain people are lucky than others and how some are also more extra happy than others. And why some people seem forsaken all the time, wallowing in perpetual suffering all through their sad lives. And why some die so soon while others live as if forever. It's truly illogical. 

I know that no one has a perfect life, and bad things happen to everyone, but something that seems bad and terrible to one person could just be all right to another. One person's job loss opens up a new opportunity for another. Even your ex, the person who caused you so much sadness will paradoxically bring so much joy to his or her new suitor. Or one woman could have a bad boyfriend or a bad husband problem but another woman, typically single though actively looking would probably think, "she’s lucky to even have a boyfriend", and the awful problem for the other woman would seem so completely trivial for her. Strangely right?

Or think why are some people blessed with awesome lives, while others experience one bad turn after another? Some say, "God doesn’t give you more than you can handle." I don’t really believe in God but the statement makes me question why do some people have to be constantly pushed to the edge and struggle hard to where they are or will be pushed over the cliff? 

Take the case of a poor kid I know who died last month. Why did that 13-year-old boy have to die of cancer? Why did his life have to be so short? Why was this kid born into poverty, struggled to escape, but never quite made it? I don’t understand. Throughout the 13 years of this kid’s life, was it always set up that he would die, and everything he would achieve and all his dreams were meant to disappear? Like, he was always going to die at 13 and it was going to happen no matter what. Unlucky 13? 

Maybe everything does happen for a reason, but I am constantly pondering and seeking answers as to why they still happen? Especially, why so many people, particularly kids and young adults who die too young, It's almost like the daily news. 

Today, I read about a 20 something black artist who died of a drug overdose. Whether it was intentional or accidental, no one will ever know but everyone will still make their own conclusions. Racial prejudice will do its part while some will find a noble purpose because it can make people rethink about drugs, and then hopefully change them for good. That could save a person’s life. But if you knew the person who died, you would constantly ask yourself, “Why her? Why did she have to die? Was that a planned out suicide or was that an unexpected move? 

Misery and pain can make make a person stronger, but other times it will only end up driving them into a deep abyss. Face it, some of us have pretty decent lives. Pretty happy, and sometimes pretty damn good. But many others live a shitty and painful life that never really breaks its vicious cycle, and with a sudden good moment, they die or they suffer into sad obscurity. I wonder if it’s all in their cards. 

Why do some people live that way, while others live pretty happily? Why can’t some people ever really be happy, and why do so many people experience so much pain and so much grief? Why the heartbreak? Why divorce? Why suicide? Why die? Why the problems that keep the unfortunate souls up at night? The whys' are endles...

No matter how bad one's situation is, or how shitty your life really is, there is always someone worse off than you, and why does it have to be that way? Is their miserable existence our consolation? To compare and feel better? I don't know. It's already more than a week since my aunt died. Life goes on but I still have so many questions that will never be answered. Why? Just why?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Writing about my Writers Block

The Hiatus is over, I think!

Maybe it’s the result of my ongoing cruise vacation. My impromptu hiatus is over, well, kind of... because finally after 3 long months, I feel the bad vibe of not being able to write is gone. Really gone, I mean and the credit (again) in addition to my cruise, largely goes to my dedicated readers. 

It's a sweet insight because, unknown to me, my blog (in spite of my sheer negligence) has become something of a staple reading routine to many, and the proof is the countless letters I continue to receive that still surprise and pleasantly overwhelm, especially when I take long breaks.

So, I wanted to sincerely thank all you kind folks out there who have ever been here - whether it was once or a bunch of times especially those who email me often or leave supportive messages om my Facebook page and Twitter inbox. You people really help me in so many ways more than some of you will ever know. Thank you.

Needless to say, this blog has been a personal endeavor and I have come a long way in my own healing and rediscovery, nurturing this blog. A blog where I could really be honest, could honestly write from the heart and also get honest feedback... but this has also been the blog that has made me feel so gutless at times that (sometimes) I keep all references to *me* out of things while reading blogs of other brave men and women out there who were willing to own their problems. 

Maybe, this confession of my recent inability to write is a proactive step in the “write” direction. My next step is to prioritize this blog in my always bizarre scheme of things and attempt to write regularly. At least once a week. 

I also promise that this blog will continue to be its own animal, propagating its stance of complete openness to all expression of my ideas, be them controversial or mundane and of course, personal bits of me and you will find a whole lot more of that as well. So thank you again for all the love you send. In the meantime, if there’s something I should know or something you want to ask? Let me hear it. It's the least I can do to thank you.

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