August 26, 2019

The dating world is challenging enough for people of all ages.  Finding the “right” person is fraught with all sorts of challenges.   Personality, physically, age, stage in life, economically, socially, etc etc.   It’s a wonder, really, that anyone ever finds anybody at all.   The odds just seem so far against it.   The 2016 TIFF and Toronto based film Below Her Mouth, adds the complexity of whether the person you are attracted to is also gay like yourself.  In this case, it is a lesbian relationship, but it really doesn’t matter.   The lesbian aspect matters when the facts about the production and writing and directing are brought in with the all-female director, writers and others.   At the time at TIFF this was a bigger deal, as not many female directors were out there, and literally no one was telling the lesbian story from a female point of view.    The story is simple with a young woman, played by a Swedish model turned actor, who is not engaged with the women she meets and has sex.   The opening sequence will show that directly.   She later meets a woman in a local bar by happenstance who turns her head and heart around.   The object of her affection is engaged to a man, and was cajoled into attending this lesbian bar just to “get a drink”.   The two begin a torrid affair.   There isn’t a lot of dialogue, and when there is the Swedish actor can be difficult to understand as she mumbles.  Her amour is better at enunciating and being convincing.   There is sex in this film.   Netflix should really have more films like it.   It doesn’t always have to be PG.  For me, I think the interesting aspect was showing how difficult this dating world can be, and especially with the added dimension of same-sex.   The underlying message is a positive one of being true to yourself.   Further that you can’t live your life for other people.   We all only have this one chance, and we might as well be happy doing it.   So I liked this more than the mediocre reviews that I saw about it at the time.   In brings together thoughts and ideas that I understand and at the same time don’t have to deal with on a daily basis.  I am pleased to Toronto featured prominently and not portraying other US cities like Boston, or Pittsburgh or Chicago.   I also think that we as Canadians are more receptive to these issues these days than our friends to the South.  So even though the film makers likely wanted to avoid me as the viewer, thinking it was all about voyeaurism and seeing ladies taking their clothes off, I likely got the message and the point that these aren’t easy times and that being in this position for someone who self-professes that they had no choice, that I have more sympathy than I did before.

Netflix is also showing a documentary now about Bill Nye: Science Guy from 2017.   Initially I thought when I saw this “how can we have a documentary about Bill Nye?  How many segments of his show can we actually see?”   I was a Sesame Street and Commander Tom kid growing up (older I was Carl Sagan and Cosmos), but my kids saw Bill Nye regularly.  He was (and is) good.   He was a quirky, funny guy who taught a lesson while keeping things fun, explaining scientific concepts to a young audience, and for many young people, Bill IS their Science guy.   He is an icon.  He won numerous Emmy Awards.   Then he kind of disappeared with the show (1993-1998).   So what has Bill been up to for the next 20 years of his life?  Well, he debated a Creationist which was seen on CNN for 2:45 minutes in February 2014.  I leave it to you to decide upon viewing who was more convincing in the argument.    He also has become a voice for Human Impact Towards Global Warming, and further the head of an organization looking to live Carl Sagan’s vision of space craft that are solar powered and can travel the galaxy.   The latter couple items I was not aware of.   Nye finds today’s society distressing and disturbing as we have become a people of Anti-Science.   It is his goal to follow his own father’s creed that “leave the world better than you found it”, and I think if you watch this you will see that he has.  Nye is not a professor.  He is an engineer by trade.  But he is well schooled (went to Cornell University) and he has filled a void in teaching young people.   The look on his face as he watches dinosaurs being shown in a display with human beings around is priceless.   This isn’t as informative, nor interesting as Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbour, but it is still worth a viewing.

I finished Season 2 of Mind Hunter and enjoyed this second year, and there will be a third.   The story mainly focuses on the Atlanta killings between 1979 to 1981.  In total there were at least 28 teens and adolescents murdered.    There were political tensions at the time as Atlanta was not what it is today, but a city looking to grow and become a centre for business and growth.  These killings didn’t help the cause.   We follow the two agents and the third female doctor.  All reprise their roles and are uniformly excellent.   They have the task in better understanding behavioural science and more importantly with respect to serial killers.   They interview those in jail who are alive, and try to better understand the mindset.   They build profiles and then look to utilize these in solving current killings of the day.   In this season, they manage to have a meeting with Charles Manson, who is quite remarkable in his stature and uncanny look of the real Manson.  There are legal hurdles and challenges that can frustrate and anger the viewer along with the political aspects addressed earlier.  If you think about how these mothers in Atlanta react, you can see how totally frustrated and annoyed that any parent could ever be.   In the end, did I like it?  Very much.  This is very good TV.   Did I like the result of the cases themselves?   Let’s just say that sometimes the end justifies the means; the murders of young people stopped in Atlanta.   Wayne Williams maintains his innocense and clearly understands the legal process, almost as well as Ted Bundy who represented themselves.   These cases always seem to push the envelope for what people can bear when it comes to the rights of the accused, and the evidence that ties a person to gruesome acts.    In addition we see the human toll on those involved in trying to solve these cases and time and effort required to put together a triable case.   Enjoy.

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