It’s been a long day, and I’m tired. Two big assignments to complete this weekend. I spliced my first film today in Film Materials and Processes and I need more practice (bloody air bubbles). The splicing assignment is due in a week’s time. The History of Film midterm essay is due a couple of days after that. Crunch time has arrived.
Oh, and work. Can’t forget about that. I should go to bed so I can get up and do that. To bed!
Samantha and I tuned in to the first Trump/Clinton debate tonight. For the past year I’ve looked around at all the debates and rallies and news coverage, and like a lot of others I’ve felt like I’m living in a world that’s been telling the same bad joke for far too long. Things are really bad right now. I’ve largely detached myself from the news since school began, in part because I was going to be too busy to totally obsess over things the way I usually do when I’m on the couch with a moment to myself, but also because that obsession has done bad things to my mood in general. There are times when I become so depressed at the state of things, shaped by chaotic headline after chaotic headline, that I can’t work or go outside or generally function.
For me, Trump has become a sort of figurehead for all of that, a living expression of a weird sickness that’s infecting things. I feel 100% better when I don’t expose myself to the sickness. That doesn’t make it go away, of course; I’m not denying that things continue to be bad when I separate myself from them. But reading and watching all of this happen from day to day does me no favours. I know I can be a productive person and live a life that’s of some value to myself and others. But I can’t believe that when I feel infected.
I’m betting Clinton trounces Trump and Americans eventually take a good look around and wonder what the hell they were thinking, how the hell they let things get to this point. They’re already asking those questions. But they don’t yet seem to be fully acknowledging how the media have intensified this beast, have fed it with people’s fear and pain and helplessness to the point where it’s become this bloated, deformed representation of life in the modern age.
I want to believe things aren’t getting increasingly worse, that the way things are is the way they’ve been for a while, that we’re simply getting a better look at things now and realizing how terrifying they truly can get. It’s only when we can admit the terrifying monstrosity to ourselves that we can finally stop denying its existence and work together to defeat it. I guess we’ll see if that’s possible come November.
Samantha and I met up with Craig and Cat today and checked out Word on the Street over at Harbourfront Centre. I didn’t end up picking anything up, but Samantha made out like a bandit at the Spacing table, picking up some Toronto-centric magnets and a tote bag. After grabbing coffees at Starbucks to keep ourselves going, we did some wandering. George Elliott Clarke was taking part in a panel on the grounds, and Craig and I stood watching for a while. The four of us ultimately transited over to C’est What? for a beer. It was nice seeing the place again, as it had been a few years. We talked about our teeth and what it takes to move from place to place without getting in trouble and Twin Peaks. We parted ways and Samantha and I headed home. One pizza later, we’re sitting on the couch, watching some professional wrestling. Roman Reigns is trying to beat Rusev for his United States championship at Clash of Champions. He will probably be successful, depsite the crowd booing the shit out of him.
A nice day, and a nice break from all things schoolwork. Nice to reconnect with friends and remind myself I have a life outside the library.
I headed over to Robarts today to analyze a History of Film reading i have to summarize in class next week, all about how Murnau’s “Sunrise” opened in New York as part of a triple bill with Fox Movietones of the Vatican Choir and Mussolini that ended up overshadowing it. Pretty interesting stuff. Afterwards I went to the TIFF Film Reference Library and went through any and all information I could find on “Ladies of the Mob,” William Wellman, and Clara Bow. It turned out most of the relevant books were available at Ryerson, so I swung by the library afterwards and checked them out. Also finished a Cataloguing and Registration Methods response, plus a bit of work-type work and lots of walking, so a pretty productive day overall.
When I got home, Samantha and I built a fort in our living room and talked about our days. We tried to watch “Love is Strange” on Netflix, but the Internet kept crapping out. Did some cleaning instead.
A bit of a lazy, rainy day. Samantha and I went to the Ryerson bookstore and bought sweaters to show our school spirit. Photographic evidence to come, I’m sure. There was a grad staff and student mixer scheduled at TIFF today, but I was feeling overwhelmed and skipped out. I did a reading and a bit of work, but wasn’t feeling up to much else other than napping. The recuperation did me some good. Samantha and I ate dinner and more candy and watched Jesus Camp on Netflix.
Our class took a field trip to the TIFF Film Reference Library. We were given a tour of the vault and reference room, and shown one of the film production files they had on hand, which contained a selection of material from DeMille’s original Ten Commandments. I’m going to go back on Saturday to do some research on my Ladies of the Mob paper. I’m trying to keep on top of work and readings, though I’m starting to see where scheduling will get tricky. I’ve managed to position my due dates pretty consistently, so there shouldn’t be too many cases where I’m trying to complete more than one big project at a time. I have the impression that spare moments are going to become increasingly few and far between as the semester goes on.
Slowly starting to get to know my coursemates, Isaac and Blanche in particular. Everyone seems decent at the very least. I’m sure by the end of things we’ll all know far too much about one another. It’s starting to become easier to speak our minds in class and really delve down into what we want out of all this. There was a bit more talk about internships today, and what might and might not be possible, and so many things still seem to be up in the air. I think it’s going to take a great deal of research and a great deal of push when the time comes.
Samantha (and her new amazing septum piercing!) bought a bunch of Halloween candy today, so we spent the evening chipping away at that and watching an old-ish documentary on American cinema. We’re going to be seeing Hannah Georgas play at the Mod Club in December – I scored the tickets today. It’s been a long time coming for me, personally. I’m a huge fan, but she’s always played shows when I’ve been out of town, or opened on a bill with a headliner I don’t care for. Really looking forward to it.
I get fired up too easily in Early Film and its Preservation. The arguments and conversations I have with the prof are always focused on the material and never personal, but I still end up feeling funny about it afterward. I’m convinced it has to do with my age. At some point after finishing grad school the last time and living out in the Real World, I settled into the impression that I know a lot of things. In class, the panic that I don’t actually know a lot of things can set in as I try to access that old undergraduate version of myself that was wide-eyed and interested in material that changed his life. I love talking about it, and want to keep doing so, but I also feel like I need to watch myself and not come off like an entitled dickhead.
The second-year students gave their post-internship presentations tonight. About five film students did internships, at distribution companies and museums, all in Toronto. There were some interesting and passionate points made, but also a lot of frustration. It seems tricky to get somewhere where people will respect your expertise while also letting you try valuable new things. Why did everyone stay in Toronto? That question is nagging at me, and I’m sure it will be answered before long. I want to say I’m not going to settle when it comes to the direction I head in. So I’m just going to say it: I’m not going to settle.