My Complex Feelings on Johnny Depp

On Halloween night, I decided to watch some movies. I started with What We Do in the Shadows (please, please please watch this if you haven’t, you will not regret it), Coraline and Sleepy Hollow. I had never seen Sleepy Hollow, but I read the original story in my American Literature class and when Halloween came, thought it would be fun to watch. I went into the movie knowing that Johnny Depp played Ichabod Crane and felt a little weird about watching it for that reason. But it’s a very popular adaptation of Irving’s story and I know it’s a good movie. Here’s the problem: it’s a lot easier to remember how bad someone is and why you refuse to support their art (I had to pay $4 to watch Sleepy Hollow on YouTube) when you’re not watching them act excellently.

An additional issue is that Depp as Ichabod Crane is sort of similar to Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (and Willy Wonka, but we won’t talk about that). They are very different in many ways, obviously, but their personalities are sort of similar. Both are in charge of something and attempt to act like they know what is going on, but clearly, they both bullshit their way through a solving a murder and being captain of a ship, respectively. This makes it even harder to reject Johnny Depp completely, because I loved Pirates of the Caribbean as a kid, and watching Sleepy Hollow made me nostalgic. It also made me remember that even though Depp is a huge asshole, he’s a very talented actor. This is sort of a hard pill to swallow, because it would be so much easier for me to not care about him if when I watched his movies as a kid I didn’t like him, or if his portrayal of Ichabod Crane was really bad. But it’s very good.

The news about Johnny Depp abusing his wife and being an alcoholic is old news by now, but I’m bringing it up now because Depp is in The Crimes of Grindlewald. It comes out tomorrow, and ever since seeing the first movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) I have felt conflicted about whether or not I should watch it. I didn’t know Depp was in the first movie but felt angry after seeing him in it. When I saw the first one, I felt angry that Depp even got more work after that, but of course, I wasn’t surprised. Men in Hollywood are redeemed quickly, often with little impact on their careers. This is improving, thankfully.

On the other hand, the world of Harry Potter has been a part of my life since 3rd grade. I really think it shaped who I am as a person and has remained something I hold very close to my heart. With that being said, I would have a hard time not watching anything Harry Potter related that comes out. (Except The Cursed Child, which I never want to see. But that rant is for another time…) Although I am disappointed in the casting (particularly in J.K Rowling supporting it), I would have a hard time not seeing The Crimes of Grindlewald. Seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them made me so happy and nostalgic, despite my feelings about Depp. Ultimately, I think my love of Harry Potter might win this. And I feel guilty about that. Really guilty.

I think the example of Johnny Depp brings up bigger, general questions about forgiving or not forgiving people (in this case men) in Hollywood and what repercussions those actions should have on their careers. These issues are very complex and not all cases are the same. Additionally, not everyone will have the same standards for when to forgive and when not to. As exemplified in this post, other reasons or biases might convince you to just consume what you want, even if you aren’t sure how to feel.

What are your opinions on this issue?


Thank you for reading! ❤

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My Month in Music – October

Albums:

New:

IMG_3074Six Feet Under All the Same – Semler (2018)

This album is really good (and it was released on Halloween which fits perfectly). I love the quality of her voice and the sound of each song. The album is cohesive, but there is also a good diversity of sound. Semler sings about everything from heartbreak to murder to falling in love with a vampire, so there’s a lot of different topics covered. I certainly can’t say that for most albums I listen to. I’m glad to have more music to listen to around Halloween!

Some of my favorite songs (this is most of the album… there are only 7 songs. I’m bad at picking favorites):

Old:

  • Harry Potter Soundtracks

Still how I am making it through very boring reading for class. And interesting reading (but it’s still really long, so I need something to keep me reading for a long time). This will probably be the same for a long time. I just really still love Harry Potter, so this way I can involve it in my life all the time. Also, to anyone that wants to make fun of me, yes I know I am 18, judge me all you want, I will never be shamed for my love of Harry Potter. 💛⚡️📚


Songs:

New:

Old:


Thanks for reading!💀❤️

Book Review: Dirty Blonde

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Found on Google Images

Title: Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love

Author: Courtney Love

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary: “A multi-textual memoir chronicling the life of one of our most potent pop icons.

Groundbreaking rock musician. Award-winning actress. Perceptive songwriter and author. Mother. Wife of a rock god. Fashionista and trendsetter. Provocateur. In each and every one of these roles Courtney Love has demonstrated a wholehearted commitment to her art, and an intense drive and a lust for life that have made her a star and a celebrity icon — but have also led her into some unwise, uncharted, and even dangerous territory. Simultaneously candid and enigmatic, Love has a mordant wit and vivid intelligence matched in intensity only by the extraordinary life she has led, from a bleak early childhood through great fame and terrible heartbreak to the present day. By turns exhilarating and unsettling, this is a story told for the first time in Dirty Blonde.

Composed of an astonishing and eclectic collection of deeply personal artifacts including personal letters, childhood records, poetry, diary entries, song lyrics, fanzines, show flyers, other original writings, and never-before-seen photographs, Dirty Blonde leads us through the unimaginable highs and the despairing lows of one of the most compelling and creative figures in the world of popular culture. Through these diaries we see Love’s accomplishments, her mistakes, her history, and her bright future in a whole new light. From her upbringing in Oregon through her years living in Japan, New Zealand, and London, from her career highs with Hole and as a Hollywood leading lady to her personal heartbreak and struggle, Dirty Blonde is Love laid bare — a wholly fascinating portrait of a fierce and insightful woman with an unblinking worldview and a determination to express herself no matter the cost.”

My Thoughts:

Dirty Blonde is a very honest look at Courtney Love’s life. I don’t necessarily think it gives a clear life story, but it showcases thoughts and ideas she did not intend to share with the world initially. It also shows thoughts she had when she was far from being the Courtney Love most people recognize.

(This one)

Readers can learn more about Love as a child, where she was in juvie and got reports such as: “…she has consistently done well academically. The previous school quarter which ended in November saw Courtney make honor roll status. Behaviorwise, Courtney has had significant problems…” I felt like through reading this book, I could better see who she is and why she is that way. Seeing her writing as a child shows these things clearly and demonstrates she has always been very talented as a writer. There are so many great examples, but I pulled a few from different years of her life here:

“what’s left that isn’t swept by the Rages of Apathy? why do i always crave change? when will it settle?”

Or this, which she wrote at 9 (ish)

“there’s got to be something to this

cold haunted gloom

where everythings misty and grey

where I’m being pulled away

by the angels of time

the sparkles of life”

And an example when she was much older:

“they think were stupid swooning bitches

they think were 28 day bloody witches

they want to burn me at the stake

and put a knife right through my heart

and turn the weak of us against

the strong

and turn woman into girls

and make the worst of us into predators

its a bloody mans private world”

Dirty Blonde hides very little in that Love shares diary entries about her husbands’ death, letters she wrote to people, ideas for songs and poetry and more. This feels very familiar, as Love has always seemed to rip her heart out of her chest and put it on display for everyone to see. Her performances are full of emotion, whatever emotions those are. This book felt very fitting in that it had the same quality, of Love bearing her soul for everyone, not caring if it makes people uncomfortable.

The only issue I had with Dirty Blonde is that Love does not have the best handwriting, which made it hard to read sometimes. This is not a fault of anyone really, except Love I guess. I have messy handwriting too that I occasionally can’t even read, though, so I can’t really fault her for it.

Fans of Courtney Love would really enjoy reading this book and understanding Miss World a bit better. ❤


Playlist:

For this playlist, I tried to do two things: to showcase at least 1 song from each stage of Courtney Love’s career and to pick some lesser known songs.

  1. Babydoll
  2. Dicknail
  3. Beautiful Son
  4. Mono
  5. She Walks on Me
  6. Boys on the Radio
  7. Honey
  8. Northern Star
  9. Miss Narcissist
  10. I Think That I Would Die

You can listen to the playlist here. Click on (almost every) song to see a live performance 🙂 Say what you will about Courtney Love, she can put on a damn good show.


Thanks for reading!🎀

My Month in Music – September

Albums:

New:

Audioslave – Audioslave (2002)

Aaaaaaaand we’re back to me listening to old albums for the first time. Talking about Bloom last month was the first time I actually talked about a new album. Anyway, onto this excellent album. I loved it! After listening to all 3 Audioslave albums, I think this one is my favorite. I like the mix of songs like Cochise and Gasoline, which are really loud, with songs like I Am the Highway and Like A Stone. It shows the range of what they were able to do as a band as well as what Chris Cornell was able to do with his voice.

Some of my favorite songs (because listing around 8 songs is a bit much):

Out of Exile – Audioslave (2005)

I really like this one too! Not quite as much as Audioslave, but it also has many good songs on it. Again, I like the mix of louder and softer songs, because it showcases Cornell’s amazing vocal ability. Some of it’s great for dancing around to, while Be Yourself is a simple but good affirmation of self and Dandelion makes my heart melt. (Cornell wrote it for his daughter before she was born and it has the line “Little dandelion, let your heart keep time” I mean…)

Some of my favorite songs:

(I couldn’t find any more gifs :/)

Revelations – Audioslave (2006)

This album is great too! (This is getting repetitive…blame Audioslave for being so good). Basically, the same as I said with the other two: good mix of loud and softer songs (but Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden is one of my favorite albums, so this is in no way a requirement I have for rock albums). Overall, all 3 of these albums are great and what I spent most of September listening to.

Some of my favorite songs:

Old:

I talked about it last month but listened to it a lot at the beginning of September too.

  • Harry Potter soundtracks

A.K.A how I get all my reading done for class and can actually stay focused on it. (I love my classes, but Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is reallllly boring).


Songs:

New:


Thanks for reading! 🤘🏻🔥

Thank You for the Music

A few nights ago, I listened to Audioslave’s self-titled album for the first time. (I’m not sure why I hadn’t done that yet, it’s amazing!) A few songs in, I felt like I had been punched in the gut and had a distinct feeling of emptiness. Some of my favorite musicians and bands are people who, unfortunately, died before their time. This means that sometimes at random times, it hits me that the person I’m hearing is gone. It seems strange to mourn for a person you never knew, even if it is common in our culture. Sometimes I listen to Nirvana or Soundgarden and feel great, but other times I hear Lithium and my heart sinks into my stomach. The thing is, I never met Kurt Cobain (that would have been literally impossible) or Chris Cornell, but while I didn’t know them as people, I feel like I knew their souls through listening to their music.

While I always consciously know that Cobain, Cornell, and so many other artists are gone, I don’t always remember that when I’m headbanging to Badmotorfinger in my room (for example). I don’t believe in spirits or angels or anything like that, but there is a sense while jumping up and down in my room alone that Chris Cornell is there somewhere. I don’t know where, but he’s somewhere in that room with me. When I lay in bed crying, Nirvana’s Unplugged is a warmer comfort than my blankets. It’s strange to feel such a strong, tangible connection to a person that is dead. I listened to Cochise just five minutes ago, but that person that makes me feel so much in my soul isn’t on Earth anymore?

I sometimes see people making fun of other people for feeling so sad when a musician they loved died and it makes me angry. While they didn’t have a relationship with that musician, no one else knows the relationship that person had with the music. People can feel like an artist or band saved them from killing or hurting themselves or got them through a really hard time in their lives. (Or made the first month of college a little less lonely in my case).

Thank you to Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell in particular. You are deeply missed by me and so many other people.


Thank you for reading ❤

TBR List for the Rest of 2018

On my old blog, I used to talk a lot more about what was on my TBR (To Be Read) list. I haven’t posted about it on this blog though, mostly because I started to find them stressful instead of fun. But now that I have a fairly obtainable one for the rest of the year, I thought I would share it. So here it is, what I hope to read before the year ends:

  • It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson
  • Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love by Courtney Love
  • Prince: Chapter and Verse – A Life in Photographs by Mobeen Azhar
  • The Riot Grrrl Collection by Lisa Darms
  • Philippa Gregory novels about the Tudor Court:
    • Three Sisters, Three Queens
    • The Other Boleyn Girl
    • The Boleyn Inheritance
    • The Taming of the Queen

I am currently reading Dirty Blonde and enjoying it a lot 🙂


Thank you for reading!📚📖

Book Review: I Hate Myselfie

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Found on Google Images

Title: I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays

Author: Shane Dawson

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary: “From his first vlog back in 2008, to his full-length film directorial debut, Not Cool, Shane Dawson has been an open book when it comes to documenting his life. But behind the music video spoofs, TMI love-life details, and outrageous commentary on everything the celebrity and internet world has to dish out is a guy who grew up in a financially challenged but loving home in Long Beach, California, and who suffered all the teasing and social limitations that arise when you’re a morbidly obese kid with a pretty face, your mom is your best friend, and you can’t get a date to save your life. In I Hate Myselfie, Shane steps away from his larger-than-life internet persona and takes us deep into the experiences of an eccentric and introverted kid, who, by observing the strange world around him, developed a talent that would inspire millions of fans. Intelligent, hilarious and heartbreaking, and raw, I Hate Myselfie is a collection of eighteen personal essays about how messy life can get when you’re growing up and how rewarding it can feel when the cleanup is (pretty much) done.”

My Thoughts:

I Hate Myselfie is a quick and super funny read. I flew through it, each essay being short and very entertaining. When I say this book is funny, I mean from the very first page…like the dedication page:

“This book is dedicated to my hilarious and caring mother. Thank you for giving me so much unconditional love and fuck you for giving me your fat arms and wonky eye.”

And it never stopped making me laugh after that page. The jokes just kept coming, which felt very similar to how his videos are. I have watched Shane since probably around 2015 (maybe 2014) and the humor felt very Shane. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this book, which is always a good sign. Here are a few places I did:

“Either way, I had maple syrup running through my veins, and not just because I used to drink Aunt Jemima out of the bottle.”

and…

“…at the time I was pretty religious and the thought of having sex before marriage made my guilty Christian penis crawl back up inside my guilty Christian body.”

When I said I never stopped laughing, that may have been a little untrue. I found a few of his jokes offensive, but I am sort of used to that with Shane. He tells out-there jokes that sometimes just go too far for me. Like rape jokes are just not funny ever. He is making jokes about things he himself went through and pulling from his own experiences, but that doesn’t mean I’m okay with all of his humor. Sidenote: his humor has changed some since he wrote I Hate Myselfie and his content is quite different so I can see newer fans of Shane (and the squad) not liking this book.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it might annoy some people: I Hate Myselfie is probably not the most accurate memoir in the world. All I mean by this is Shane is a comedian and in his effort to write a hilarious book, he exaggerated some things. Some of the conversations between people are too perfect to have really happened that way and some things are probably described as worse than they really were. I didn’t really mind, as it made the book entertaining. However, I know I saw some reviews on Goodreads saying that this made them feel like they were still only seeing Internet Shane and not the real Shane they were promised. I’m not sure that’s entirely fair, because although maybe more so than others, this book does what any memoir does: exaggerates situations to make them more entertaining for people to read.

Even though some parts were exaggerated, Shane always brought the story to a very real and honest place. This was often at the end, but also throughout. These sections made the book feel authentic and like the reader was seeing a different side to Shane. While honest and serious moments are now common in Shane’s videos, that hasn’t been always part of his content. Here are some examples of the more serious side to this book:

“…I made a pact with myself that I would never stoop as low as anyone who was bullying me. The feeling I got from knowing I hurt this asshole’s heart was even worse than the feeling I got when he and his friends had called me a fat robot animal.”

Or this extremely cheesy tidbit:

“And to this day we are still kissing each other with the same amount of passion. It’s been more than three years, and I still feel like there’s more to unwrap. Every day I get a glimpse of what’s inside. I hope it never ends.”

Lastly, Shane had fans of his draw a picture to go with each chapter and put a short blurb about the artist. It’s a cool way to include subscribers in his book. I know he also did this in his second book, It Gets Worse (which I will be reading soon).

Overall, I think people who follow Shane would really like this book as well as people who don’t. (However, subscribers might enjoy it a bit more). It was fun, funny and honest and I’m excited to read It Gets Worse.


Thank you for reading! 🐷👑

My Month in Music – August

Albums:

New:

IMG_2849Bloom – Troye Sivan (2018)

Sometimes new music for me isn’t an album from 20 years ago! It’s actually new! What a concept! I have followed Troye’s career since probably 2014 and he makes consistently amazing music. Bloom is no different. Every song on this album is so good! While it’s very different from Blue Neighbourhood, he certainly has a distinct sound (that I love). He has such a beautiful voice that works so well on the fun pop side of the album and the sadder songs like The Good Side and Postcard. It’s hard for me to pick just a few songs, but here are some of my favorite songs from this album:


Songs:

New:


Thanks for reading! 🌺

Book Review: The Merciless 4

IMG_2814
Found on Google Images

Title: The Merciless 4: Last Rites

Author: Danielle Vega

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary: “The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard’s wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She’s trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley’s captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her–drive the devil away and cleanse her soul–but the cuts are deep, the pain is agonizing.

When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, she never expected to be fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway.

But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to upend her life all over again. As she’s forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her.”

My Thoughts:

Here are the links to my reviews for the other books in the series:

  1. The Merciless
  2. The Merciless 2: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores
  3. The Merciless 3: Origins of Evil

Onto the review!

I was pulled into this book right from the start. It starts with Berkley counting down how much longer she has to spend in the mental institution she’s in. It was intriguing to start with a totally new character, but see an old character, Sofia, in a new setting. Vega does a good job of describing the setting early on, which makes the institution come to life. Something else that is cool about The Merciless 4 is the way it’s written. It jumps between Berkley in the institution and in Italy, which allows the book to move along quickly in both plots.

Speaking of the plot, like I said with The Merciless 3, the plot is better built than the first two. It is more interesting and feels like there is a plot outside of the gore. The friendships (while not as developed as in the third book) are fairly interesting. Berkley and Sofia’s relationship changed over time and was fun to see develop. The readers know more about Sofia than Berkley does, which is a cool dynamic for a book like this. One thing I noticed in the first and last book of the series is the shitty friends. Sofia and Berkley both make friends with horrible people! I’ve had toxic friendships before, but (not even including the gory stuff) they are on another level of terrible people. I don’t understand how they really thought those people were their best friends??!

This isn’t important, but Berkley, Mara and Harper all get into NYU and are super chill about it?! That is a hard college to get into and they all seemed like it wasn’t that hard to get into or something? (I just checked and their acceptance rate is less than 20% this year).

giphy

Something I didn’t love about The Merciless 4 was the setting. This series is supposed to be set in the present, but most mental institutions like the one Vega described have been shut down. Vega described a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest situation, but those have been shut down with good reason. (Examples of why can be seen in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).

Additionally, the fact that everyone inside the institution is supposed to be crazy is a little bit of a problem for me. I understand that this is a horror novel and so that works with the plot, but regardless, authors need to be careful with their portrayal of mental illnesses. Sofia is crazy and that’s fine. She’s evil and murdered someone, so her being insane is part of the plot. (She’s not even necessarily human, because she’s possessed by the devil). Berkley tries to say she’s different, that everyone else is crazy, but in reality, they are probably in similar situations to her or have mental illnesses. To portray everyone as crazy when they aren’t supposed to be crazy or evil like Sofia is a little problematic.

As I have said with every book in the series, Vega’s descriptions are what really makes the books so good. There were a few lines I almost didn’t want to read because they were gross. But so good. For example…

“Blood runs down my arms and legs in ribbons.”

Lastly, the ending to this book was perfect! It completed the series in a very satisfying way, which is hard to do. I definitely enjoyed this series a lot, though it had some pretty major faults.


Playlist:

Every time I make a playlist for a Merciless book, they get less and less cohesive as I try to use different songs (and end up with many of the same ones). But here goes…

  1. Evil In the Night – Adam Lambert
  2. No Wrong No Right – Soundgarden
  3. Broomstick – L7
  4. Eating Simon – Hands Off Gretel
  5. Voodoo – Adam Lambert
  6. Enter Sandman – Metallica
  7. Devil in Me – Halsey
  8. Ghost – Michael Jackson
  9. Gasoline – Halsey
  10. Basket Case – Green Day (with the music video, this seems very fitting)

You can listen to the whole playlist here.


Thank you for reading! 🖤☠️🔪

Book Review: The Raft

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Found on Google Images

Title: The Raft

Author: S.A. Bodeen

My Rating: ★★★

Summary: “Robie lives with her family on the Midway Atoll, a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific. After visiting her aunt on Hawaii, Robie is left to return home alone. Catching a cargo flight at the last minute, all systems are go until the plane hits nasty weather. And then the plane goes down.

And suddenly…Robie’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max, the only other survivor, pulls her onto a raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way. Survival has never been so dizzying, so frightening. And one question remains – how long can they survive?”

My Thoughts:

First of all, getting stranded on a raft in the ocean is sort of one of my biggest fears (it’s mostly irrational though, so that helps me feel better). I don’t usually think about it, but I do fly at least once a year and I hate sharks and the idea of being stranded, especially from a plane crash.

Onto my actual thoughts about the book: the beginning was a little slow for me. I felt a little disconnected at the start, a little bored. This was a problem for me at different points in the book, partly because of the book’s lack of emotion. Bodeen explained how Robie felt, but not in a way I could feel. For example, she would say Robie was sobbing, but there wouldn’t be a more indepth description of her emotions. This meant I had trouble empathizing with her.

At a few points throughout the book, I felt like there was too much detail. Robie, having grown up around scientists, knows a lot about birds and fish. Sometimes, Bodeen gave too much information that felt irrelevant to the actual story. This made those sections sort of boring. Other parts that felt a little disconnected were the parts of Robie’s life that had nothing to do with being stranded. When Bodeen tried to discuss other parts of Robie’s life, it felt kind of random and unnecessary.

Overall, there were some parts that bored me, but there were exciting and suspenseful parts that kept me reading until the end.


Thanks for reading ❤