If it needed to be more explicit: Infinity War spoilers to follow

I intend to spend this entry talking about Infinity War, so here’s a little disclaimer that this will likely be laden with spoilers from the very first sentence.

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I liked it. Turns out going in with low expectations was everything I needed to craft a perfectly enjoyable film experience. I turned off my brain, filled a drink with some godawful sugary concoction (I think it utilised vanilla cream soda, vanilla cherry Mr Pibb and Minute Maid limeade or something) and watched cotton candy superhero fantasies play out on the big screen. There were fight scenes, I laughed a bunch of times and the vfx were as good as a many million dollar picture with thousands of animators could be. I even feel like my list of what didn’t work so well was overshadowed by what did. The Marvel formula was successfully parlayed into something that not only met my expectations, but did one of those cute lil heel things over that bar. Good job Marvel, you ol’ billion dollar corporate entity you.

Let’s start off cold. What did I not like? Realistically most of my narrative issues were an occupational hazard of stuffing 80 characters into a film. There was never gonna be time for actual character development or progression. The framework was sort of banking on the goodwill of you having watched the previous 17 films and taken CliffsNotes. It pretty much spent the whole time racing from action to action and smoothing transitions over with quippy exposition. I think the notion was that the crowd would swoon so hard from seeing Iron Man and Dr. Strange compare metaphorical dick sizes that all would be forgiven. In this way, I guess it was almost exactly like a large scale comic crossover. This was probably more my fault than theirs. To Marvel’s credit I think they chose the right characters to give screen time, leaving the less interesting ones (Cap/Bucky, etc) as dynamic set dressing with a line or two.

One of the hard sells in a story like this, which is basically a soap opera with more punching, is creating affecting character deaths. Let’s be frank, Marvel can’t kill off half of its characters, because their overlords Disney would have something to say about them destroying billions upon billions of future franchise revenue. This makes Thanos’ final act something of an empty event. Sure, it was a nice touch killing all the music and allowing all these characters moments of pathos (a fragile teenage Peter Parker crying to Stark that he didn’t want to die was pretty effective). On the other hand, since there’s no way the characters can be dead for sure, it rings a little hollow. The “actual” deaths of Loki and Gamora are similarly suspect. Loki is a demigod with reality warping powers. Peter Quill is half Celestial and his arc in the last film will likely involve bringing Gamora back from the dead to kill Thanos. Just spit balling here.

Also it can’t just be me. Did they use the trope of “give me the McGuffin or [your loved one] dies” several times? Loki/Thor, Gamora/Nebula, Star-Lord/Gamora (ish), Scarlett Witch/Vision (ish), Thanos/Gamora (ish) and Strange/Stark (ish. Obviously dependent on Strange’s long game plan). It’s a time honoured trope, but kind of loses its efficacy when they use it a bunch in the same film. I dunno. The structure made it kind of hard to feel like there were stakes. It was the first part of a multi-film project, right? There was no way Thanos wouldn’t get/use the gauntlet. Isn’t that baked into Save the Cat? Things have to get bad, then really bad, then catastrophic, then worse before they get better.

As with every other villain (I think of Killmonger in particular). There’s a part of their values that kind of makes sense. Thanos is right, overpopulation is a real issue in many places. Thing is, they’re always sorta half-baked. Do all planets/countries suffer from overpopulation? Wouldn’t the issues creep back up over time? Is this a mass cull every few millennia or so kinda deal? Are there species/organisms that benefit from the overpopulation and would die out without being at that critical mass?

Stray observations: Didn’t Wanda Maximoff have a Russian accent in the previous films? When did Banner change from being an intelligent scientist to the group’s embarrassing dad? The Thor/Rocket eye thing was kind of cute and morbid, but was it explained anywhere that it was a working robot eye or something? Thor just plopped the eye into its socket and it was functional. I guess this is my inability to suspend disbelief over a demigod who shoots lightning giving himself a new eye. Maybe that’s on me. Did Bucky really do anything in the film other than shoot a gun?

So many thoughts, so little time. Which I guess could’ve been the alternate name for the movie. It was a mere two and a half hours after all.

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Can I get away with calling it Panthastic just this once?

So how long did we realistically think I’d wait to talk about Black Panther? Without exaggeration, it’s one of the most exciting films Marvel has put out in years. Of course I want to deep dive in. Spoilers will abound. With that note, I’ll give you some space to check out just in case.

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Are we alone now? Good. Wasn’t that a bloody fun film? A plethora of excellent performances, a great soundtrack, cool visuals and a nice departure from the formula we’ve become so accustomed to. Where should I start?

Let’s start with what you see onscreen. The colour palette was hands down fucking gorgeous. So much rich purple and gold. Hell, everything was vibrant as hell, but I specifically noticed the repeated use of purple and gold as a thematic element. Why? Purple and gold are traditionally royal colours. Not only that, they pair so goddamn well with black. The production design of this film looked sick and the palette was a big part of that. You think it was just incidental that T’Challa’s force feedback effect coruscated with purple? It’s a multi-hundred million dollar film. Nothing’s incidental. Throughout this film they drew with bold, flashy colours and it really helped lift it from drab overly self-serious shit like Civil War (I guess I’m especially down on Civil War because I re-watched it the other night. Way to spend an entire film to justify one airport fight scene). The film oozed style throughout and the fact that I’ve dumped 100+ words on joyously ranting about purple and gold speaks truth to how evocative it was.

Next, Wakanda looked like a dream. Choosing to begin the film in Oakland really paid out once we arrived in Wakanda. The dichotomy between the Oakland projects and lavish futurism of Wakanda really spoke to Killmonger’s central plight. I wanted to pause the film to drool over the architecture. The Afrofuturism fusion of traditional African style and motifs with sci-fi form was awesome. The concepts drawn not only in the buildings, but abundant technologies was dazzling and provided constant eye candy. Costuming isn’t something I normally pay much attention to (excepting maybe Phantom Thread as of late), but it was impossible to ignore. Everything oozed style and panache, likely drawing on ethnic influences that are way beyond my reach. If I enjoyed it this much, I can only imagine how much it’d resonate with someone who grew up with a culturally aligned background. So fucking cool.

Look, I could spend the whole time talking just about its audible and visual splendour, but this was a movie not an art exhibit. Let’s talk characters. Let’s talk the fact that we had a huge mainstream film in 2018 that managed to sideline its white actors into marginal roles. Fuck yeah. Serkis was a gratuitous cartoon villain and it was nice that they used Freeman as a proxy for a know-it-all white audience member. The restraint showed in not making him a total caricature was remarkable.

With them out of the fucking way, wasn’t the rest of the cast fucking great? Bold characters who lived and breathed without becoming walking tropes. T’Challa was a splendid depiction of a good male role model. Humble and soft-spoken, but confident and self-assured. Sensitive and loving, but uncompromising in principles. So often comic book heroes are these Marlboro Man cocksure embodiments of walking testosterone with a plastic smile. Amongst these dopey hero fantasies, T’Challa stands tall and proud. The best part too is that he’s fallible and knows it. His own rigidity works against him in the film’s central ideological conflict. In his desire to be a good and noble king, he has to face the fact that in order to do the best for his kingdom he has to break from tradition and face change. It’s not the newest notion in the world, but they sure represented it well.

This is going long, so I’m not gonna get to talk about the whole cast here (which sucks. So many well-defined characters. Does this film have more competent, formidable and balanced female leads than all the previous Marvel films combined?). I do want to talk about Killmonger. This is what we want from a villain. From the same well as Magneto comes an antagonist with a meaningful ideological struggle. His father killed, banned from his homeland, brought up to see nothing but systematic abuse and degradation. It’s a solid background for an imminently sympathetic, tragic anti-hero. Michael B. Jordan sold this role so well that it’s hard to look at him as a true villain. He had good points. His methodology may not have been 100% on the money, but you can’t fault his motivation. Plus he was fun as hell to see onscreen. Please Marvel, give us villains we can root for. If you want there to be conflict in your films, make us question our protagonists. Let this be a solid sign of things to come.

Anyway, as you can tell, I loved the film. The action scenes were a blast. It was dynamically shot and narratively enticing. The pacing made sense. It was great to get rooted in the cultural tapestry surrounding our hero before plunging into the wider story arcs. The casino heist was great not only as a way to give us a black James Bond (please sir, can we have another?), but it was a riot to strap in and enjoy the ride. The central conflict was both personal and drew well into wider global ramifications. The cast was stellar and the production design was outstanding. With that, I’d give the film a solid 8.5 out of 10.

Where did it fall down? Like most big blockbuster films, it took clumsy and unearned narrative steps to vault towards its conclusion. Of course we had to have a large, expensive looking battle, so after all the groundwork was carefully laid, we got there tout-de-suite. I know Wakanda was isolationist, but are we to believe that after the time spent to establish T’Challa as a considerate and thoughtful character he’d make colossal sweeping snap judgements that could destabilise his country overnight? They’re supposed to be a socially progressive and advanced nation, yet there’s no part of their government that respects due process? That wouldn’t look at Killmonger and think well, you do have the right to live here and have been unfairly dealt with so maybe let’s try easing you into society before making rash decisions? I mean, just ’cause this dude makes a challenge, there’s no reason why it has to happen right away. They even say “oh, it’ll take ages to prepare all this” and he’s like “nah, do it now” so they’re all “okay”.

Also they’ve spent time setting up Killmonger as this master spy, slowly and systematically taking apart governments from the inside. Then when he turns up in Wakanda they throw all of that aside in favour of “but I want it” and T’Challa’s like “okay.” They do so much good work in setting up this villain, but then also don’t do enough to buffer his motivations with realistic social change. He’s so into helping out struggling communities and dealing with inequality, just think how much more effective this could’ve been if they’d shown one 20 second montage of him helping out in the community, to show a deeply balanced villain. Instead he’s just like “well I kill people, so let’s just kill the rest of the world. Then there’ll be no more inequality.” So much wonderful subtlety thrown out the window.

Then once the battle occurs, this wonderful and advanced society immediately flips on its head and thinks “well this new guy won the battle. I guess we’ll just do whatever he says”. So without internal conflict or anguish they start following his plans? They set up T’Challa and W’Kabi as being close friends with an emotional connection, then W’Kabi so willingly tosses away all of that in an instant? They’re willing to turn on the rest of their country on a whim with no ideological misgivings? I know we want to see rhinos in battle, but for fuck’s sake it has to be earned. I know it’s a blockbuster, but that’s no reason not to demand more from our films. Of the 200 million or whatever spent on this film, how much was spent on the script? THESE ARE FIXABLE ISSUES, PEOPLE.

All of which is to say, I had a fantastic time. I thought the movie was excellent. The ending was great and felt immensely satisfying. It was wonderful to be plunged into this piece of the MCU which, for the most part, stayed the fuck away from the tiresome and grotesque franchise building. It felt self-contained and this only strengthened the film. It’s okay to be critical of things you love and want more from material that delivered. Nothing is perfect, but Black Panther is testament to the fact that they’re getting better. Now with its financial dominance inarguably proven, can Hollywood stop bullshitting through its mouth that the market doesn’t want more minority super heroes?

I wouldn’t say no to a Lego Death Star either.

Black Panther time. Soon, I guess. I think. The woman behind the counter suggested I arrive early if I wanted a good seat. Roughly an hour early, was her bet. So I’m sitting here 70 minutes before start time (or rather, when the trailers begin) and I’m already seeing others who’re obviously here for the same film. It’s crazy. The movie is cleaning up and I’m finding it really hard not to buy into the hype. So many Marvel films lately have been neat, but still not straying too far from the formula. Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok. You’ve been virtually guaranteed an enjoyable enough movie experience, but as with most big blockbusters they’ve been lacking in character development or clever plotting. Am I asking for too much from a comic book film?

Clearly the answer is no, because I just re-watched Spider Man: Homecoming last night. It wasn’t my first time, but I feel like that says something in itself. When it was first announced, I marvelled (pun not intended) at how unnecessary it all seemed. We already had six Spider Man films over the past 15 years. Did we need one more just so Sony could hold onto the rights? Then I read some of the names they were getting for background characters. Hannibal Buress, Donald Glover, Martin Starr. I saw a couple of clips with the stars of the film: Tom Holland and Zendaya. They were young and charming. They seemed like they’d sell a fun script with charisma. Michael Keaton was cast and I wondered if they’d be able to make The Vulture into a legit villain instead of a scrawny old dude in a green fluffy turtleneckThen I watched Captain America: Civil War. Civil War was a generic, mediocre superhero film, but this incarnation of Spidey was lively, endearing and stole the show. I thought the way he played off Stark was fantastic and got me jazzed for Homecoming. I was excited, hoping this film could deliver on more than just a big dumb blockbuster.

Watching it again last night reminded me just how solid it was. First off, they know we’ve seen the origin story played out too many times, so they straight up skip it. Secondly, Peter Parker is actually a teenager and Tom Holland is suitably aged. It makes the high school scenario seem more authentic. School stuff comes into play in ways it didn’t in other films. All of which serves to place Spider Man as a kid, dealing with things that’re far beyond him. The writers have the tact to leave out the Great Responsibility speech, but retain its ethos. Rather than simple quips, this film has jokes. REAL JOKES. It’s funny and its cast handles the humour remarkably. The action is fast paced and while there’s a ton of CGI, it looks great. The interplay between Spidey and Stark technology adds a bunch to the film. Seeing him deal with the advanced suit and it’s plethora of options is neat. The suit’s voice Karen becomes a great character in herself. The cast is effortlessly diverse and doesn’t pat itself on the back for it. Characters span cultures, but never mention it. In real life, why would they? That’s just how society is, why not reflect it onscreen?

Keaton manages to make The Vulture not only fearsome, but gives gravity to his performance. There’s more nuance than just a villain for villainy’s sake. The character motivations make sense (up to a certain point) and it’s easy to see where hubris overtakes him. In a genre that boils down to big splashy fight scenes, a sympathetic villain makes a world of difference in adding real conflict. It’s nice seeing side characters being effective without feeling like it’s a token addition. Jacob Batalon is outstanding as Peter’s best friend Ned. He’s competent and intelligent while still not losing the charm of being an excitable kid. He’s equally excited to find out about the Spider Man ordeal as he is for his Lego Death Star. While young and sexy Aunt May sounded like a shitty idea when I first heard it, Marisa Tomei sells it. She’s a loveable character and her performance brings a lot of heart to a script that’s already bursting with it.

In short, the film is exciting. It’s a joy to watch. It’s easy to sit back and get lost in, without being put off by a ton of glaring tonal errors and convenient plot contrivances. If Black Panther manages to stick the landing as well as I think it might, it’s gonna be one of my new top entries in the MCU.

Adventageous for some, mayhaps.

You know what’s always great? Discount candy! Especially here in North America, where capitalistic excess is the spirit of the season and holiday candy supply drastically outpaces demand. Because of this, the supermarket opposite work was selling advent calendars for 24 cents each. Naturally I did what any responsible adult would do and bought 15 of them for my adult co-workers. What could make their day better than being given Paw Patrol or Disney Princess calendars? They even came with colouring segments on the back! My grand gesture cost me less than I’d spend on a coffee and lifted the spirits of 14 others. It was a pretty choice exchange and one I’d happily make at any time. Every now and again, capitalism can be pretty damn fantastic.

Then again, net neutrality was repealed today in America, so maybe I shouldn’t speak too soon. I don’t know enough to make an informed, well researched post, but I know it’s not gonna lead to anything positive for consumers. The tl;dr is that in the U.S. depending on your habits, you’re soon likely going to have to pay more for the luxury of surfing the web as we do now. Internet service providers are going to be able to restrict speeds to certain websites, based on whatever package their customer has purchased. Do you primarily use the internet for social media? Cool, get the social media package. But what if you want to play games online too? Well you’ll have to get the gaming bundle as well. Streaming Netflix? That’ll be a different package too. Of course they’re going to sell it as a benefit. There’s a slim chance that for you, it may be. More likely though you’ll have to pay more to use the internet as you currently do. It’s bad news and is most likely the result of powerful lobbying groups slipping fat stacks of cash into the back pockets of the politicians involved in making this happen. Here in Canada we’re safe for the moment. Trudeau himself has come out as saying it’s a threat to personal freedoms. We’ve got no reason to be smug or complacent though. Never underestimate the desire of big business to place profits over people.

Oh also in big capitalistic moves, Disney bought a ton of Fox properties today for $52B. That’s a whole lot of schmeckles. In the short term, it’s gonna make a lot of comic fans very happy. Fox owns X-Men, which means that now Disney does too. This means they can stop clumsily pretending that mutants don’t exist in their Marvel priorities. Yay. So it’s all good, right? I’m a lot less optimistic. Fox didn’t only own the X-Men, it owned a ton of adult entertainment (not porn, but probably not far off either). Disney is famously litigious and tight about what kind of material makes it into Disney owned properties. In a perfect world, Disney lets FX and FXX keep running as they always have. They continue producing creative and risky television that pushes the boundaries in wonderful ways. This seems likely for the short term at least. I wonder though. Logan was one of my favourite films this year. It was an emotionally cathartic farewell to a longtime fan favourite character. It was heavy, violent and wholly inappropriate for kids. How would Disney feel about killing off a cash cow? Or the lack of marketable action figures from such a film? Will we ever see another “Logan” under Disney’s Marvel? What about the Netflix properties? The Defenders stable? Will Disney continue to fund adult targeted original content? There’s hope that maybe with the acquisition of Hulu that they could continue where Netflix left off. Or possibly Netflix negotiates some kind of deal where they can keep keeping on. Once again, not hugely hopeful.

Oh well, at least I can console myself with cheap candy.

Let’s call it PUP-y love.

It’s been a long workday and I’ve got very little gas left in my brain. Let’s find out what it wants to talk about today.

I’ve never been hugely into punk. Even in my teens I veered hard into metal territory and didn’t look back until I hit age 20. Emo surged into popularity during my time in high school and by association, punk lost its lustre. The closest I came to punk fandom would’ve been my appreciation for Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come and anything by At The Drive In. If there’s any point to my preamble it’s this; I’m no authority on punk music.

That being said, yesterday I finally listened to PUP’s The Dream is Over and it has to be the finest punk album I’ve heard in years. Toronto hometown heroes kicked the shit out of their sophomore slump. Discounting the fact that it’s the only punk album I’ve heard in years, I’m still of the opinion that it’s a remarkable showcase of what the genre embodies. It’s punchy and energetic. The riffs are explosive and the growls are backed by short sharp harmonies. The lyrics are wry and aggressive, cheekiness to the core. The whole album clocks in at 30 minutes and, in my experience prompts an instant replay. I’ve listened about 12 times since yesterday morning. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long and I’m gutted as shit that, seeing as they’re Toronto locals, I’ve missed so many live performances over the years.

Once again, I’m taking a weird unearned amount of glee at hearing that another DCEU film is an expensive, bloated, tedious poorly directed piece of shit. Justice League sounds like its tagline should be “Better than Suicide Squad at least.” I’ll call my reaction exactly what it is: A holdover from the 90s where fandom came with this bizarre sense of tribalism attached. I was always a Marvel kid and now as an adult, it feels like my faith was justified. I can’t speak for my ardent defence of the Sega Saturn though. Surely I should want everyone to get great superhero films that showcase all the wonderful facets of their favourite childhood characters. Really though, I’m a petty, snide asshole who’s still rooting for the downfall of DC comics. Boring heroes who’re for the most part too pious for my tastes.

It’s like dumping on the newest DCEU film has become a sport and the winners are the readers.

From The AV Club:
“Don’t let the slick, well-chosen production stills fool you: This is for the most part a cramped and cheaply ugly movie, with crappy special effects. The nicest thing that can be said is that the producers have made it impossible for viewers to tell what is and isn’t a reshoot; a significant part of the movie is set in cramped, windowless rooms or in front of obvious green screens.”

From Variety, on Whedon’s late game additions:
“Whedon’s humor is grafted on in too-obvious ways; it sticks out incongruously amid all the stilted mechanics of this alarmingly basic movie. All these Whedonisms have the opposite of the intended effect. They give off a strenuous hum, the desperate sound of a turd polished in vain.”

From The Hollywood Reporter:
“Fatigue, repetition and a laborious approach to exposition are the keynotes of this affair, which is also notable for how Ben Affleck, donning the bat suit for the second time, looks like he’d rather be almost anywhere else but here”

Metacritic has it at a 51%, which is actually remarkably respectable for DC’s hit rate. I was probably never gonna see it anyway, I’m really only here for the reviews.

Anyway, I’m out. See you tomorrow, same Bat Channel.

If that wasn’t enough there’s a rain room. A RAIN ROOM.

What an unmitigated joy to have a day off. My girlfriend and I decided to do a couple of errandy things before heading to the AGO’s exhibit on Guillermo del Toro, “At Home with Monsters”. It was amazing. Styled after his country house/workspace, it showcased models, props, art and inspiration to his expansive work. I went in expecting Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Crimson Peak and Pacific Rim. I hadn’t realised how far beyond that his cinematography ran.

The neat thing about hosting this kind of exhibit at an art gallery was how impeccably staged it was. There was so much goddamn material that instead of little placards, much of the time pieces just had little numbers next to them. Small racks on the wall held lists with all the information of their creators, etc. It was a neat way to leave as much space as possible for the work to speak for itself. There was a great cluster of early Disney work. Concepts sketches and the like. I had no idea Disney so commonly used a combination of chalk and pastels to such stellar effect. The pieces from Sleeping Beauty were particularly impressive.

Of course, a big part of del Toro’s appeal is his beautifully macabre monster designs. The big ones were all present. From Hellboy 2‘s Angel of Death, to Pan’s Labyrinth‘s Pale Man and Pan himself. All rendered in stunning realism. It mentioned how one of del Toro’s design inspiratioons is to shift placement of the eyes. By doing this, he says, it immediately creates a sense of foreboding that tracks back to childhood. Eyes are so often how we learn to connect to others. We read expression and intent from them. Once they’re moved, it subverts our expectations and leaves us unsettled. So take the Pale Man with his palm embedded eyes or the Angel of Death’s eyes lining its wings (apparently inspired by biblical designs). Their sockets aren’t so much barren as absent. The skin is either flat or replaced by a flat plate of bone. Oh, bone. Bone was another thing I noticed in the same vein. As humans we innately expect our skeletons to be on the inside. If they’re not, something’s gone wrong big time. In many of del Toro’s designs you might see a spine pressed right to the skin or even protruding. Or forearms so skinny that the bone pokes through. Once again it’s subverting our assumptions to create unease.

I thought the figure of Pan was especially rad. I saw the movie 11 years ago, so I didn’t have a strong imprint of what it looked like in my brain. It has this sublime asymmetry and fusion of both plant and animal. Its flesh alternates between soft skin and firm bark. Long red tresses flow from its head, but where natural body hair would be it often sprouts moss instead. One of its feet is composed of jagged wood, while the other is a large hoof. It once again hosts an exposed spine, but of intertwining vines. It’s hella cool.

The exhibit also spanned his love of pop culture, Gothic literature and horror films. It was awesome to see someone who, from a young age, continually ran after their passions. Guillermo seems to hold this ardent desire to bring to life the world he found through fiction. It was cool to see, for instance, that he’d been trying to bring Hellboy to the screen for years. Blade 2 was a job taken in order to inch closer towards it. By doing a studio film (still with his own flair, by the looks of it. I’ve never seen it), his agent assured him that studios would be more likely to open their pockets for his passion projects. As the years have attested, it worked.

I know this sounds like a massive ad, but if you’re in Toronto please check the exhibit out. My girlfriend hadn’t seen much of his stuff and loved it as much as I did. There’s so much to take in. We spent about two and a half hours there, but could’ve easily done a lot more if we weren’t already pretty exhausted. If you’re a fan of his work or just want to see dark and pretty things, it runs for aaaages. You’ve got no good excuse not to give it AGO.

I’ll slice you in a minute, random office sociopath. Wait, is that a firing offence? Or a social good?

It snowed this morning. The rest of the day has been bright, with mild clouds. I don’t understand this country. Maybe I was never meant to. Maybe this reality is a simulation and someone’s messing with the Danger Room controls. If sentinels descend and begin rounding up the mutants, it’ll either be a sign that something’s off or that all of my dreams are about to come true. Then again, I don’t know if I’ve ever really imagined being a helpless normie in any superhero stories that were to come true. Is that emblematic of privilege? Or the way that these stories are designed? That naturally since you identify with the empowered central characters, you feel like you’re inhabiting that role? You wouldn’t imagine yourself as your normal self, because what would be the point of your normal self being in that universe?

I’ve been wearing my newest pair of pants this week. I had a gap in my wardrobe that required something burgandy-ish to go with my assorted plain coloured shirts. Having previously experimented with jeans, I bought a pair closer in line with trousers. They’re soft, which is nice, but by fair the most pleasing feature is the zipper. It’s unusually long. I don’t know why it has such an impact when I’m zipping them back up, but it’s hugely noticeable. More leverage and easier to grip without fumbling. It couldn’t be more than 5mm larger than a normal zipper, but so far it’s elevating these pants from tolerable to enjoyable.

I was pretty stoked to walk into the work kitchen to see pizza on the counter. While it was no gin tasting like yesterday, free pizza still has abundant charms. There’s an armistice zone where up-for-grabs food goes to linger. Reaching the box, however, I found it to be empty. What kind of sociopath does that? Look, if I see an empty box in the garbage, I think oh, that would’ve been yummy. Maybe I’ll stow that thought in my brain for some other time when I’m considering snackage. However, the concept of having taken part in its deliciousness never really crossed my mind. When an empty box is there, for an all too brief moment my brain gets flooded with hope. The trials of my monotonous trudge through quotidian existence fade as my vision haloes around this pending treat. To discover that someone has not only dashed my hopes, but desecrated the corpse of said dashed hopes by ensnaring them in some inhumane trap feels like a brutal betrayal. IF YOU TAKE THE LAST SLICE/PIECE/ONE, THROW THE BOX OUT. Monsters.

Ugh, I’m too disgusted to go on. Fuck this noise, I’m off to get my own pizza.