Modern film-goers are often found to be of the opinion that black and white movies are “boring” for reasons that I cannot fathom. Perhaps they require color and bright flashing lights and cgi effects to keep their attention. Maybe they accidentally caught a drama from the 1940s when they were young children, at an age when ANY drama will seem dull and agonizingly slow. The people who feel this way, and there are a dismayingly large amount of them, can’t begin to imagine how boring and terrible silent films must be. No color AND no sound?? Actually, these people probably dismiss the idea of ever watching a silent movie so quickly that they don’t even form an actual opinion on the matter. If you are one of these people, then please read on. I hope to open your rapidly moving eyes and special little minds to a few gems.
Truthfully, the silent era created great masterpieces in comedy, action/adventure, drama, mystery, tragedy, and so on. Many of these movies are so entertaining based on the incredible stunt work alone that you forget that movie-making was in its infancy and there would not be a dependable computer involved in the process for almost a hundred years in some instances. Yes, the make up was thick. Yes, they did over-act in a strange manner, but these people were used to stage acting in front of live audiences and Vaudeville, and old acting habits were probably difficult to overcome. If you give them a chance, you can see past the old-timey fashions and unusual activities and casual instances of appalling racism to see that these people are still people, and just like movie stars should be — most of them are quite easy on the eye. They might be older than your great-grandparents on the timeline, but if you can suspend your beliefs on matters of actual age vs movie age, or if you can even imagine yourself to be alive in those 1920s and seeing these films as they were released in the cinema — you might find it a more welcoming experience than you would have otherwise.
But I am not here to explain to you the entire history of the silent screen. No. It is Halloween time, friends. And you all love scary movies. Lucky for you, the silent films did their part in creating some of the creepiest imagery of all time. There is a lack of bared bosoms and painfully realistic gore, but they did quite fine with what they DID show, and also with what they only implied. Also PS the film quality makes everything kind of spooky and horrifying on top of everything else. So stand by, Sneer Friends, while I watch a few select films one by one — most for the first time ever — and become increasingly scared because I am a wimp.
As funny as death is, it also has a serious side. It isn’t ONLY fun and games; you owe it to yourself and others to plan for it and treat it as the solemn event that it deserves. I can think of nothing worse than to find out that you do leave a ghost, and that ghost is embarrassed by a lackluster death and shortly-after events. Eternal damnation has many faces.
Many questions arise when one is faced with the great beyond. Where will I be buried? Will my no-good wife and ingrate children have enough money to squander on shit? Will I die while masturbating? As an expert, I will provide you with a few responsible steps to consider when preparing for death.
As a writer, you may hit a point in your career where you’d like to torpedo your reputation and the goodwill that readers have toward you. I’m not going to lie to you: it may be tough. There may be fans who stand by you in spite of anything you could say or do, personally or professionally. Those are the earmarks of true stardom. I’ve got some strategies that you might want to employ and techniques that suit them.
We are all of us adults here on this site, writers and readers, well-wishers and detractors. This naturally means that we are all well-acquainted with that sluggish beast known as Procrastination. Society views Procrastination as a blight, a rotten spot on anyone’s character. Procrastination is a heavy shame and people want it stamped out. But this is a new day, a new era. Like other old prejudices, the irrational hatred for slacking around still lurks around, but we can’t really be surprised by it. I mean, after all, old-fashioned race-ism still lingers around and that malarkey is so outdated, I mean really.
But I am here to explain how all the haters are hating a painful misconception! AS USUAL.
That’s right. Anyone can make procrastination WORK. You can still be productive while procrastinating, you just need to open your mind and get over the fact that you might not be succeeding in producing the finished product you might have NEEDED to finish. But I think maybe we should reconsider this current lifestyle of “deadlines” and “you have to complete this specific thing I paid you to complete.” It’s all so narrow-minded, and I can’t support that foolish mindset. This is not an article about what I do and do not support though. Oh wait, yes it is. Because:
I Support Making Procrastination Work for YOU
The Victorians are all too often written off as being an uptight bunch of moral nutjobs who lived in an age to which we must never, ever return. That is basically true. There is a whole lot of stuff that was common in the years between 1837 and 1901 that we would be better off without, forever. A whole lot of stuff. But there is one thing that should make a bold return, and that is “Victorian Parlor Games.”
Even though most of the population of the Victorian Age was impoverished and working eighteen hours a day, the middle class formed and luxurious free time started to become available to people outside of the wealthy idle elite. Back then, there weren’t televisions, video games, and apps to waste all of your time with of course, so they had to devise games to play in gentle social settings. They were still joyless and genteel, so they couldn’t just gather and get blasted on booze or the devil weed. Let’s just say that they did their best.
You can do your own research (I love it when you do your own research), or I guess you can just follow this single link I am willing to supply for you, to see for yourself just how they used to do it. Most games seemed to center around getting light-headed or not-laughing. Sometimes those two things would be combined, if they were feeling really full of jolly-beans!
Some day, you may find yourself without electricity. It seems to be a more and more common scenario, as natural disasters are ramping up in devastation, and our infrastructure steadily disintegrates. In some places, even a moderate rainfall could leave you without television channels and with an internet that is so slow that it is worse than not having a connection at all! So, I advise you to print out this article for reference on such times, because you won’t want to use your precious battery all up.
Too often I find myself searching for a cult to join and finding only religious ones, or creepy death cults, or what could turn out to be a highly illegal sex cult. Much like shopping for trouser-pants, it’s so hard to find a perfect fit! But what is a cult? Why, it’s anything you want it to be, baybee, and therein lies the appeal.
You hear about cults a lot in the news, from time to time, and it’s everyone’s dream to be on the front page at some point. Stop waiting for Fate to strike, and instead take Destiny into your own hands. Attract people to you, make them chant and obey you, dress them however you like, and pick a snazzy name. It’s as easy as that! Enjoy the thrills of having a mass of people flock to you and believe you to be the answer to all of life’s troubles. Who needs a significant other when you can have a modest assemblage of worshipers?
Get a haircut, ya dang hippie! Really though. Hair keeps growing every single day and it doesn’t even stop after you’re dead, according to popular trivia that might or might not be true. While Amandoll keeps her hair short because she can’t stand the touch of loose hair on her neck, I sometimes can go months, years without bothering. I’m not growing it out for a wig or anything, I just have better things to do.
Every once in a while, however, I reach a point where it’s just gotta go. Or I suddenly have hair motivation and am able to get to a pair of scissors before it fades away again and I become distracted by all of the more interesting things in life, which is apparently almost everything else. I’m even writing this article instead of getting the haircut that I need! Oh well!
Happy birthday, David Attenborough! And happy David Attenborough’s Birthday to all of you out there in Sneeryland. I am sure you all know of this legend, this gift to the world, and have watched all five million documentaries he has been a part of. An inspiration both far and wide, his love of travel and dedication to studying and sharing knowledge about animals and the natural world is a glorious thing to behold, and characteristics we would all do well to embrace, ourselves. Each and every one of us.
Below, you will find a coloring page that shows just a few of the animals he has seen with his own eyes: tortoise, various birds of paradise, zedbra, bat, sugarglider, gerenuk, tree frog, red panda, sifaka lemur, marmoset, monarch butterfly. And one he hasn’t seen alive: the trilobite. Also, behind them all in pieces are forest, desert, tundra, grassland, and marine ecosystems. I tell you this because it might be hard to tell, and might help you in your coloring efforts. This drawing is a loving, yet meager attempt to show just a little of what he has seen, this great man who is very probably the most-traveled human being to ever exist.
I always like to consider myself as “timeless.” I am Amanda Wood no matter what decade or location I am in, and that’s fine by me! Sometimes, though, I do feel like I might be very “90s” about things. It was the ten year span that I was an impressionable teen, so it makes sense that it would leave its stain on me for the rest of my life. And really, with hindsight making things clearer, it is probably a symptom of the ’90s to feel as though you were alone, or in any way apart from the others. A generation of alienated youths probably didn’t have a solid cohort base. I know buzzfeed makes a lot of lists that only ’90s Kids Would Understand, but I often wonder which of us would even bother making that kind of thing?
As an old person now, I derive a little satisfaction seeing that my classmates don’t really want to bother setting up class reunions. We kept the friends we wanted to keep. No one really wants to put forth that kind of effort, anyway. None of us really wants to awkwardly see how much we’ve aged or discuss shattered dreams or whatever. It’s nice. Thanks, class of ’98. I probably like you all better because it turns out we were all as antisocial as I thought only I was! Bonding from afar.
With that in mind, I always planned to preface this article with a disclaimer saying that my impression of the ’90s is probably extremely personal and just one tiny rare facet that is nothing like anyone else’s experience. But, no. I had a teen time probably like everyone else’s, at least in rural Ohio. I’ve heard it suggested that rural Ohio is kind of surprisingly horrible in many ways, so maybe the rest of you dear readers had some sort of decade of playing in flower fields and volunteering your time to good causes. Well la dee da, sunshine. Good for you.
Get up and go! It’s time to give a shit. Now that warmer weather is approaching (in the US at least), let’s take a brisk walk to our closest library and put in the smallest effort to preserve probably one of the best things in your town! One of the best things in the world, really, when it comes to public institutions.
So many libraries are not just places to check out books, but they also provide research information, computers and the internet, music and movies, art, children’s reading time and activities, adult classes and lectures, and even just a comfortable place for solitude. Not all of them will have all of those features, but they’ll all have books and they’ll all have librarians.
When I was a kid it was my favorite place to go. I’d beg my mom to take me, which she would dread because I’d spend so much time there, searching through the books. And then I’d check out so many that both mom and the librarian would chuckle at my little stack, bigger than my always-tiny presence. But we all knew I’d be back the very next week. Since I haven’t done that in years, I’m going to join y’all on this library journey set forth below. Pick any or all activity and get on your way to your closest or favorite branch.