Pet Sematary

I have finally become upset over a Stephen King novel. And it’s probably not for any reasons that people normally get upset over them.

I discovered myself increasingly uncomfortable about a third of the way in, when the cat dies and the father decides to bring the cat back. The thing that bothered me? The way he and everybody else treated the cat. The way they ignored it, called it names, stopped referring to it as a he and started calling it it.

It’s not like the cat made the decision to come back to life. It’s not as if it dragged itself up to the super secret special burial ground, dug it’s own hole and plopped in. It’s unfair to treat the cat as some kind of horrible abomination because something was done to it that it had no choice in.

I can see now why in the movie they change the entire emotional makeup of the animal. Making it into some demonic bastard instead of just dumber and ungraceful. Because if they had portrayed the cat the same way as it was in the book, I think a lot of people would have been monumentally unhappy with the treatment it received. It’s one thing to kick a cat and throw things at it when it’s hissing at you and trying to claw you every time you pass by. Quite another when it’s just sitting there being mildly creepy in your general direction.

Now, it’s not like I’m a PETA member, over here. I do love animals, I think they’re awesome. I have my own and they’re spoiled rotten. The Queen’s family isn’t pampered as much as my animals are. But I’ll also eat them, and I’ll also wear them. So don’t get your defenses up and come babbling at me that I only care because it’s a cat.

No, I believe in fair treatment for all our undead brethren. Unless, of course, they decide to mob together and shamble toward me demanding to eat me while I live. Then I’m going to have to take them out. But if they’re just going about their unlives, not hurting anybody, just trying to get along, we shouldn’t treat them poorly. Especially when they’re that way BECAUSE WE DID IT TO THEM.

Bastards.

What did he think, really, what did he think was going to happen when he brought the cat back to life? That it was going to be a normal, living, breathing animal? That it was going to retain all the signs of what it is that makes alive things alive? I say the prick got what he deserved.

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Differences

I recently got Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, because I haven’t ever read it. I’ve watched the movie quite a bit. It is, in fact, still one of my favorites. So I thought it was about time to read the book and discover the source of my joy.

The book is really good, don’t get me wrong. It hasn’t changed my opinion of the movie, either, don’t worry. I’m just a little confused on how things became so glaringly different between the two. They’re like two entirely different species of animal. I’d be comfortable in saying that one of them is a bird and the other a mammal of some sort.

I really wasn’t expecting to get an entirely different story. I really really wasn’t. I was excited to see how they got more into depth with certain things, and thought maybe one or two things might be replaced. But the whole freaking story? Damn.

I can’t even tell people to just treat it as two different entities, because it is two different entities and there’s no real way to compare them. I can’t really sit down and make a list of the similarities and differences because… well… it just doesn’t work.

Like I said before, though, I don’t hate either work. I very much enjoyed the book. I love the movie. I’m just a little startled.

S, Darko

This movie is just as bad as I thought it was going to be when I first found out about it.

At least I got to watch Ed Westwick prance around dressed as a greaser. Sadly, this is the only redeeming part.

To clear up misunderstandings I had previously: Frank is not the same Frank. Yet for some reason, the image of Donnie’s Frank in his Halloween costume, the freaky rabbit, is Sam’s “Dream face”. This brings me right back to the idea that Frank was Donnie’s catalyst and shouldn’t make an appearance in this film at all. I still stand by that.

The guy actually named Frank in this movie is a mechanic and has nothing to do with anything.

Not that any part of this movie made any actual sense. It sort of felt like the writer and/or director of S. Darko didn’t actually understand Donnie Darko, and just took imagery that seemed cool and shoved it into this movie. The entire concept is off.

I hated it. I hated it the whole time. Don’t watch this movie. Run from it. Run screaming. If somebody says you should watch it, punch them in the face and then run. Or set their copy on fire. Either one is fine with me.

I Am Sam – Request

Horrible.

Not in the “this was badly made and I hated it” way. But the “I started crying ten minutes in and I didn’t stop the whole damned time” way.

I don’t think I can ever watch this movie again, even though I know it turns out with a good ending. It’s just so heartbreaking and sad. It’s definitely on my list of movies (along with Boys Don’t Cry) that I’m glad I watched, and I thought it was a really good movie, but it’s just never happening again. Ever.

And really, that’s all I can say about it. This movie broke my heart.

King’s Books

Carrie*
‘Salem’s Lot*
The Shining*
Rage
Night Shift
The Stand
The Long Walk
The Dead Zone
Firestarter
Roadwork
Cujo
The Running Man
Creepshow
Different Seasons
Christine
Pet Sematary
Cycle of the Werewolf
The Talisman
Thinner
Skeleton Crew
It
Eyes of the Dragon
Misery
The Tommyknockers
The Dark Half
The Stand
Four Past Midnight
Needful Things
Gerald’s Game
Delores Claiborne
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Insomnia
Rose Madder
The Green Mile
Desperation
The Regulators
Six Stories
Bag of Bones
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (Popup)
Hearts In Atlantis
Dreamcatcher
Black House
Everything’s Eventual*
From A Buick 8
Cell
Lisey’s Story
Blaze
The Mist
Duma Key
Just After Sunset
Ur
Under The Dome
Blockade Billy
Full Dark, No Stars

– I guess I have a lot more to read than I thought I did. This list doesn’t even include the Dark Tower series (cause I tend to think of that on it’s own for some reason).

* I own it, I just have to read it.

Cell – King (and kind of Lisey’s Story)

I just don’t know what to say. I don’t. I’m not quite as angry about this book as I was when I read Lisey’s Story. But I’m still pissed off. This was… it was so bad. It was like King just wanted to, or had to, write something to put out and didn’t have any real solid ideas.

I mean, granted, this book has a lot more going for it than Lisey’s Story did, but really that’s not saying much. Since that book was a COMPLETE WASTE OF MY TIME.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I won’t lie. I did like them. I did like the general idea of the book, as well. The end of the world brought about by cell phones. It’s a pretty solid idea. The problem is, the idea behind the idea wasn’t fleshed out. At all. It almost seemed as if King was avoiding anything to do with the background because he didn’t know himself what was going on. There was so much missing. And so much other stuff thrown in randomly that wasn’t followed up on.

But again, Lisey’s Story was lacking even that much. Lisey’s Story is apparently what happens when King has to take a giant shit and uses a notebook to do it on. It’s not the first book I’ve ever been angry at, but it was the first of his, and I had hoped it would be the last. It wasn’t.

Though, maybe I can use the fact that Cell and Lisey’s Story were written back to back as some sort of an excuse for King. Because I really dislike hating anything he’s written, especially now when I’ve made my way through so many other books and I adore them. It’s not easy to hate something a writer you love has written. It’s quite difficult, actually. You want to love everything. You want everything to be good. It’s just heartbreaking when everything’s not good and you end up loathing a piece. Or two, in my case.

Despite loving the characters in Cell, the main character, Clay, leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. The things he does at the very end don’t fit his personality at all. They don’t fit what he’s evolved into during the course of the book. He just goes off on this wild tangent. Several things are wrong with the ending, several, but mostly it’s what Clay does and what he doesn’t do. And who he decides to leave behind. I’m sorry, but Clay is not that big of a fucking idiot, and I don’t honestly believe in my heart that he would have done what he did. I don’t give a shit if it’s written that way, it’s not him.

The book is pretty bad from the get go, however. Which is something I noticed because despite how hard I tried to keep myself involved, parts of the book itself were pushing me back into reality. Not in any thoughtful way, either. In a very abrupt and unfriendly way. It was really hard to keep reading this book, but I have to always finish. I’ve never started a book that I didn’t finish. I just can’t do it. I have to know the end, even if I hate the rest of what’s gone on, the characters, the story – whatever.

Which is PRECISELY why I sat through reading all of goddamned Lisey’s Story when I hated her, and her stupid thought process and her stupid weak and pathetic unwillingness to live her motherfucking life. Despite the fact that I detested where the story went and how long it took to get there, I read the whole thing. Even though I felt that it was some of the worst writing I’d encountered from such a lauded author, I finished the stupid book.

After I was done reading it, I sold Lisey’s Story to a used book store for significantly under a quarter. I believe that Cell will follow the same path. I, the queen of keeping books for future re-reading, want this book the hell out of my house. I never want to see it’s idiot cover again.

Surrogates – Yet another badly recieved robot future movie

I have a theory.

The theory is this: This generation grew up watching things like Small Wonder and Star Trek (where we saw Data) and various other things that implanted in our brains that the future was in androids, robots, cyborgs and the like. We have felt for the longest time that these things would be wonderful, they would be fabulous, and nothing would go wrong.

Despite the many books on the subject, we as a generation (and those that come after us), do not want to see the potential ills of relying on these things too much. That they might be evil, or we might be making the wrong choice. That we could possibly lose ourselves as humans to the machines.

I encountered this similar distaste for the humans in Wall-e. Probably for similar reasons. In that movie, we are given ever convenience, and we become fat, weak and small boned. Incapable of carrying ourselves on our own two feet. Reliant on machines to do everything for us. Everything. Including brushing our teeth.

The electronic age has brought in many fancy and fascinating things. Ten years ago, who would have thought that our cell phones could do all they do now? Who would have really given pause to the idea of reading books on eReaders on a regular basis, and that they would be available to Every Man? We have these fantastic computers and MP3 players and we don’t even give it a moments thought. The majority of the world is now run by computers. Many human fail safes have been pushed aside because for some reason we think that computers are infallible. We blame every mistake on human error.

Well, yes. But who made the machines? Who fixes the machines? Who keeps them clean and upgrades them and spills their coffee on them in the morning? The backup plan for important files is no longer to have a hard copy. It is to rely on other machines to keep track of them. Online storage spaces. External hard drives. And what if those all fail?

It leads me to think that this world is not ready to see the potential problems with putting all our eggs in the electronics basket. Just consider a moment everything that you own, how much you rely on it, and how much you take it for granted. Just… a moment. Look around. Think. I’m sure you’ll find at least one thing there that if it failed, really failed, you’d be fucked. Because you weren’t thinking, and now it’s dead and everything that was on it is gone. Maybe it’s not a huge thing, just music files. Just computer games. But how pissed would you be?

I, Robot didn’t do well. The robots in that eventually turn on us. They gain too much intelligence and refuse to be our slaves anymore. I feel that people don’t want to believe that can happen. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if my computer called me an asshole in ten minutes. I might shit myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

A.I. didn’t do well. In that, we watch a couples’ life fall apart. They turn to a machine to fill their void. And what do they do when the void is lifted? They abandon the machine. Again, people don’t want to consider this possibility. Yet we do it all the time. What do you do when your old computer bites it? When it becomes old tech? You toss it, without thinking. You get your files and send the poor little thing away without a second thought. You’ve gotten what you need out of it, what does it matter? It’s only a machine, after all. Is it?

Surrogates didn’t do well. In this, we just give up on being human completely. We put ourselves into fake bodies and do things that we wouldn’t be able to do in our flesh because our flesh is breakable. They get shot on purpose, jump off bridges. Have unprotected sex. The world is a pseudo-utopia. We think everything is perfect. Except for that one small contingent that is convinced that walking around all the time in an artificial exoskeleton is an abomination. Then they turn out to be right. Thinking, feeling, being is more important than perfection. Which is another thing that humans rail against. Perfection is all. We strive to be perfect, or what our society deems is perfect at the time. Look at the fashions today, look at the hair, the models. Look at what it all used to be. It’s never the same. Nothing is ever perfect. The most beautiful things are the things that are flawed. But humans can’t have that.

I believe that it makes people truly uncomfortable to give thought to the fact that perhaps our answer isn’t robots. Robots are cool, I’m totally not going to argue. Probably, if they manage to do it before I die, I’ll stick my brain into a robot body. But not until this fleshy mess is finished with. I want to see the world with real eyes. Smell the world, no matter how much it stinks in places, with an actual sense of smell, hear the world with ears and not aural preceptors.

But hey, that’s me.

I personally enjoyed all three movies. But my brain is wired to look for whatever can possibly go wrong with any given thing. I’m a generally negative person in that way. Everything that can go wrong, will. At one point or another, there will be total system failure. Be it biological or otherwise, eventually everything will fall apart. It’s just how the world works. It’s just how everything is made. A fact of life. Not trying to be depressing here. Just the facts, ma’am. I certainly don’t expect others to see things the same way I do, I’m not one to try to convince others to see things from my point of view. I’ll state my case and if it’s acceptable to others, fine, if not, fine.

Then again, I’m ready for the zombie apocalypse.