Making friends

Poetry

So you’re on a night out and things are going swimmingly.
But something splits your thoughts like divorce.
And so you’re ill at ease.
Are these people really your friends?
Or just here to witness your social life implode and slowly descend?
Cos nights alone at home got you here.
And now you’re just making amends.
And yeah, maybe fair enough and it’s all too little too late.
But you’re a problem solver.
Experienced now, you’re wiser and older.
No way will you let life dictate your slide from grace like a fallen soldier.
Cos now’s the time for that plan for battle.
Put together all casual like you’re planning your travel.
Cos you’re gonna nail this friend game with moves utter genius.
No chance you’ll be an outcast.
Doomed to insanity like mad King Oedipus.
If there’s anything that an old legend like that teaches us.
You just need stay calm and ensure your next moves are subtle and devious.
But there’s a fair chance people will say you were a sociopath.
Ego inflated… pure calculated doing the math.
Cos sometimes you stumble.
And get left thinking you’ll never get through this intact.
Stuck making small talk in some bar.
Proudly reciting dubious facts. 
Or like you’ve met your girlfriend’s family.
And you’re hyper aware of impressing her dad.
But maybe this is just a phase? 
And you’re trying it out and testing this fad.
Cos as you lay down the law and keep score you can’t help a smile. 
Then slowly you return to arresting the damned. 

I am the one who boasts

Poetry

Anything you can do I can do better.
It’s time you learnt I’m a bona-fide trendsetter.
While we’re sharing I’m gonna boast in party situations I’m the world’s best host.
Hell… I’m a social butterfly.
People flock to me as I dance and flutter by.
No word of a lie it’s true, the fact that I’m best is far beyond you.

But out there, people cause trouble.
Looking for a weakness to burst your bubble.
You want a single shot, they want doubles.
You apply the brakes as they up the stakes.
They’re out there, showing they’re best.
But they’ve always got issues to get off their chest.
You gotta sack ’em off… that’s what I say.
Put ’em in the dirt and leave them where they lay.
You don’t need them bringing you down.

Mentally agile I’m a brutal intellectual.
Your IQ is nothing if not ineffectual.
Pound for pound I’m the champ with anecdotes.
You the smart Alec but as usual you choke.
For if you can’t beat the problem then let it be broke.

In the world of business I’m a CEO.
You should see me in meetings when I’m in full flow.
People hang on my word, my God it’s absurd.
But they’re my soldiers, my little herd.
Now budgets and spreadsheets, that’s my thing.
I make those cells dance and the numbers sing.
To negotiate you’d better step to the plate.
There’s no time to hate if you think it’s same-same.
You’d better up your skills and bring your A-game.
If not you’ll fall fast and flat on your ass.
Which I find is when I call time when faced with a mind like mine.

When it comes to family I’m the world’s best dad.
Honestly though, it drives my wife mad, with desire of course.
For our fires burn bright and we’ll never get divorced.
But back on the market I’m a swinging bachelor.
I ratchet up the pressure on the single fellas.
‘How do we bag a bride?’ they cry, ‘Please tell us!’
Instead I smile, look away and stay silent.
I’ll take that to the grave, don’t make me get violent.

And so.. To sign off, a confession.
Consider this a humility lesson.
None of what I’ve said has a grain of truth.
From middle age back to my bad boy youth.
But then again, you knew that didn’t you?
I used to think that you never had a clue.
I used to think that you liked to play it smooth.
I used to think that you’d push it for the sake of it.
Piling on the pressure just to make it fit.
I’d be out there giving it large.
Yet all along, you were in charge.
But like a vapid spectre, an empty ghost.
I still remain, the one who boasts.

FOMO (Fear of missing out)

Poetry

Saturday night by the by, sitting alone checking your phone with no reply.
You check again and moan and sigh.
It’s your own fault really. You didn’t make plans, you never do.
When the weekend comes around you’re the one that’ll lose.

You could be a rebel and go out on your own, sod your phone you don’t need to be alone, stuck with the incessant drone of the TV.
You need to say to yourself, ‘Somewhere out there there’s a night that needs me.’

But you’re torn. Staying in is easy.

If you go out you’ll have to put on a face and be bright and breezy.
And unless you find some place super cool you know the music will be cheesy.
Surrounded by stuck-up girls and horny wankers and gold-digging chicks trying to bag a banker, you’re a little lost. To your bitter cost you learn you must choose your crowd carefully.
You need somewhere vibrant, interesting and different, with people that are carefree.
It’s such a challenge.
Go too far one way and you’ll be knee-deep in hipsters, unable to manage.

It’s like anything though. If you don’t go you’ll never know.
One of these days you’ll learn to deal with the rudeboys and hoes.
You’ll take them in your stride.
Your ability to rise above it all is like a badge of honour, one you wear with pride.

Yet even on a night out where you’re having a blast there’s a siren call in the back of your mind, like an echo from a distant past.
You should have stayed home.
Was it really that bad being alone?
The enemy, at the end of the day, was that stupid connected device you call your phone.

Like a pocket Jezebel it calls to you and wants you to go out and raise hell.
Playing on your fear of missing out it knows you’ll crack.
But you can’t turn it off or look away, it’s like a car crash and as addictive as smack.

So at the end of this rant is there a moral to this tale?
Is there a way to banish the fear or are you too far gone beyond the pale?
Only you can answer that.
One thing you should know though, whatever you do next Saturday night be at peace with your choice or the fear will consume you, trapping you in a tomb that leaves you in a blue mood.

Andrew Chronicle film

Chronicle – the ‘found footage’ superhero film

Film

chronicle film posterI recently saw a film that had been on my watch list for a while, Chronicle. A new twist on the increasingly crowded superhero genre.

When writer Max Landis (son of the legendary Director John Landis) and first-time Director Josh Trank pitched this to the studio, they described it as ‘Blair Witch meets Carrie’, which isn’t too far off the mark. It’s as much about the dynamic between three lads as it is about superpowers.

The setup
The story follows three students: unpopular Andrew, his cousin Matt, and popular Steve, the latter running for high school president. To boost his popularity, Matt suggests Andrew comes to a rave one night. He gets kicked out for trying to film a guy’s girlfriend and, sitting outside the rave, Steve approaches him saying he’s found something in the woods with Matt. They find a hole in the ground and head into it to investigate. Something happens in the hole and all three gain powers of telekenesis. Initially they use their powers for mischief and, later on, to boost Andrew’s popularity. Eventually things begin to spiral out of control as Andrew starts to use his for darker purposes.

I’ve probably provided more detail than is necessary. I was less aware of the story myself. All I knew was that it was about a group of lads that gain powers and use them to mess around and things go awry. Beyond that it was a discovery. Sometimes it’s great to approach a film like that. Sometimes it pays to know a little more about the story.

Andrew Chronicle filmIn this case, for those of you that haven’t seen or heard of the film, a bit of detail might help set the scene and encourage you to go out and get it on DVD. And you should, for it’s well worth it. Particularly Andrew’s character arc, described in an article as ‘chanelling Dicaprio’s character in “The Basketball Diaries“‘. He’s initially timid and shy, yet the most naturally gifted when using his new found powers with finesse.

If this was Star Wars he’d be Anakin. Essentially good, yet suppressing a dark nature. He begins to embrace the dark side, naming himself an ‘apex predator’, with his friends relatively powerless to stop him. The films builds to an epic climax that, in the ‘found footage’ style, is completely gripping and exhilarating. Check out the trailer…

Likely, credible sequel?
This film performed exceptionally well on a small budget, so naturally there’ll be a sequel. Which form it takes is another question. Josh Trank has other films in the pipeline, and it’s not confirmed the three leads will return.

There’s a few ways the story could go, whichever way it does, it will be face a tough test in terms of originality and overcoming expectation. The dreaded ‘second album’ that musicians face is the same problem the writers will have to overcome. Let’s hope they do, because Chronicle was a bit of a revelation.