June 2nd, 2011

I Couldn't . . .

Society Functions and Fight Clubs

The ducks are back in frenzy mode. They get like this when none of the males are around--I don't know where the boys go or why, but the ladies seem to lose all inhibitions without them around. It's like a fantasy sorority pillow fight. Except with ducks.

In class a few weeks ago, I was talking to what I might call a typical American anime fan--someone whose exposure is limited to Bleach, Cowboy Bebop, maybe FLCL. What's available on Adult Swim, basically. I set about telling her what's actually current in the anime/manga world and I also told her about the demographics--so much of the anime that's mainly enjoyed by adults in the US is in fact shonen, anime made for young teenage boys. Much of the anime marketed to girls in the US is actually also shonen, or seinen (like Ah My Goddess or Azumanga Daioh). The anime and manga made for women, josei, is rarely brought here because it doesn't fit into the traditional conceptions of American demographics--because josei often tends to be sexually frank, lowbrow slapstick with female characters.

I went with my sister to see Bridesmaids last night, a movie which seemed downright josei to me. It's not as dumb as josei often is, though. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph are believable and very charming as close friends, their comic timing helping the characters to stay with the audience's line of thought. The theatre my sister and I saw the movie at is one that tends to have a lot of loud, young people who think nothing of talking throughout an entire movie, in this case mostly women who sounded liked they'd smuggled in more than a little vodka. But this was the perfect movie for that kind of audience--it manages to stay ahead of the audience's high gross-out threshold with scenes like a group of women suddenly falling prey to graphic food sickness in the middle of a bridal shop with wall to wall white carpeting. And the film doesn't assume that gross-out humour precludes the presence of intelligence, and the lead, Annie, has an arc of self-destruction that's only absurd in the way of tragic inevitability. Of course the electric gate of her fuckbuddy's house would open as she's straddling it to quietly climb over. Of course Maya Rudolph's new perfect best friend Helen upstages her at every turn. Of course the bridal shower Helen throws looks like it's held in a manor house where waiters wait along the car path to hand out pink lemonade, and of course Annie doesn't have a cup holder. Of course disaster falls upon Annie in both large and small ways.

The ending goes to a sort of obligatory, feel good place, and not all of the jokes connect, but overall, a good film.

Twitter Sonnet #268

Ingested toy slime leaves frowns on the court.
Oblong green and bruised orbs grab Idaho.
Fire ants war always with the ice sort.
Time and space have lied to the last hobo.
Sweetened soy milk tastes like white cake frosting.
Extra lives cost far too many rupees.
Sitting still is giving me a pasting.
Feel bad I'd no bread for my duck groupies.
Friendly letters are now graded in red.
Movies last beyond my dehydration.
Convening cats must leave so much unsaid.
Fingers are bloodless this generation.
Contaminating cups spoil their pop.
Plump wombs of fruit flavour naturally drop.

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