Tag Archives: clerks

Game of Thrones: Is this real or is this just fantasy?

You know what, Game of Thrones fans shouldn’t complain so much. The show is about life and actually deals everyone the hand that they deserve at some point during the show. Sure, death is cruel and all, but so is life.

I admit to be in the habit of escaping my daily life by playing video games and rolling the scifi shows. I also read books, which sometimes heavily disappoint me when the protagonist doesn’t get the girl (like in the Mountain Ararat by Kemal) or when reality seems better than a story (Gordie Howe vs. pretty all books with a bit of realism in them). I shuddered when Ned Stark lost his head (yeah, I know that given he was played by Sean Bean it was a bit of a give away) and was stunned when Roose Bolton killed Catelyn Stark, Robb Stark and his attractive, young and pregnant wife… When Jon Snow drew his last breath I just sighed…

source: hollywoodreporter.com And yes, this one put the most satanic smile on my face.
George R.R. Martin is not killing of characters for reasons of cruelty, he is writing a bit of fantasy that comes closer to reality than most stuff you probably have read over the years. In a way he’s pulling of the biggest history rip-off in years, like demonstrated in this Huff Post article. You don’t necesarily need to look for these literal equivalents, a brief browse through classic history will soon help you get the picture of the bloody, debauched and brutal universe that you find in the series. Everyone dies, like in the histories of Plutarch of the Roman Empire. Seriously, find me one person in there that died peacefully in his sleep instead of the brutal shit like being devoured by worms from within (like Sulla). Or just killing people at random (again, like Sulla and pretty much every other person in power ever) Yeah, reality is more brutal I suppose.

Source: izquotes.com Like this couldn’t be Cersei Lannisters words?

I’ve always been a sucker for the unlikely victories, acts of bravery and clear divide between good and evil, but that’s not the history of true historians like Plutarch, Tacitus or current day ones (though they sometimes are a bit too Hegelian). That sort of fantasy is the realm of the likes of Geoffrey of Monmouth, who wrote an epic history of England, which made virtually no sense and was filled with all those things that you’d find in a classic fantasy story.

Do you remember that scene from Clerks, where they discuss Star Wars? Dante answers Randall that his favorite film is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, because it’s realistic with all the crap happening to the rebels.

Empire” had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader’s his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that’s what life is, a series of down endings. All “Jedi” had was a bunch of Muppets. – Dante in Clerks


Everything goes wrong and the oppressing empire wins. Now, that makes a lot of sense. Reality is what we have and maybe even fantasy is trying to help us deal with it. Think about it, how big is the chance that the evil, omnipotent empire builds a planet-destroying supermachine, that has one little hole and one dude manages to blow it up? Zero, which is the more realistic take on a nuclear threat if you ask me.

Ned Stark may be an upfront and noble guy, but he’s also dead. That’s how politics worked back in the day and still do in a more public shaming way. Life is harsh and so are the seven kingdoms. It’s much easier to relate to fantasy with a sense of reality, for that very reason I think.

source: imoviequotes.com

This is also why I think Harry Potter sucks in many ways…

The Reading of Books #10

A new selection of books I’ve read, with work from Haldor Laxness, Kevin Smith,  Thich Nhat Hanh and Chris Hardwick.

Haldor Laxness – Iceland’s Bell

“Have you ever seen Iceland rise from the sea?” Asks the protagonist of the Icelandic people Arnas Arnaeus at some point in this book. That sentence stuck with me in this novel by Nobel price winner Haldor Laxness about the impoverished people in Iceland during the Danish reign. The book consists out of three parts, of which the second and third are the more serious ones. The first part mainly features Jón Hreggvidson, a farmer who happens to be at the wrong places all the time and instead of getting his head lobt of ends up travelling all the way to Danmark to plea for his case.

The other character is a noble lady from Iceland who is instrumental in the continued existance of Jón Hreggvidson and embodies a different Iceland. She and Arnaeus have a bond, a romance that is like the fleeting romance Iceland has with its liberty. It never truly comes to pass in the book but always seems near. There’s a lot of black and bleak humor in the book, specially on the account of the Icelandic population, personified in crook and fool Hreggvidson, who the reader cannot but love, regardless of all his foolish behaviours and constant reciting of the same ballad. It’s a book that instills a love and sympathy for that strange island. Well worth reading, specially thanks to its complex symbolism and folk like telling style.

Chris Hardwick – The Nerdist Way

source: goodreads.com

I started on ‘The Nerdist Way’, because I felt particularly in need of something to help me elevate my spirits. Originally I expected to find a fun book about the life of Chris Hardwick, but it turned out to be a very well intended self-help book for people with the same sort of obsessive syndroms and social awkwardness as him. Something I can relate to, but also filled with that particular humor, filled with self-deflating jokes. I was impressed by the upbeat nature and strenght of the book, which is an honest attempt to make a difference and really help people.

At various points Hardwick admits he is not a professional and suggests seeking professional help if you as a reader deal with specific problems. He talks about an attitude in life, a generally healthy lifestyle and even gives advice when it comes to excersising. The book outlines an alternative for those of us that have caught the nerd syndrome of sticking to the indoors. This book can really give you some motivation to make some changes and thus be living your life to the fullest. Chris Hardwick is an inspirational figure, not just in what he does, but also where he comes from. His punchline for this book seems to be: “I’ve been at my worst and now at my best, so I just want to try and share this so aothers can learn from it.” It really works because of that sheer honesty.
Thich Nhat Hanh – Living Buddha, Living Christ 

In this book the Vietnamese monk is attempting to define the underlying similarities between most big religious movements in the world. It’s a praise worthy attempt, because Thich Nhat Hanh seems to be spot on with a lot of things. He succesfully peels of the layers of dogmatism and classic indoctrination to reach the essential meaning of religious movements. He lists similarities between the Buddha and Christ, leaving out a lof of the fundamentelist motives inherent to various religions In that way, he sincerely opens up the dialogue with an open mind.

The author also describes the dismayed responses he has gotten over time, but points out that as religions learn from eachother, they can also remain relevant. This touches upon an issue that pretty much every major religion seems to face in recent times: loss of touch with the followers. Speaking from my own knowledge, I see that less and less people are visiting church. Some people rejoice over this, but I see it as a spiritual bankrupcy and I’m fairly sure that we’ll start seeing that some time in the future. I feel happy that books like this excist, offering a third way of finding a spirituality through the things that you find appealing in various religions, atleast I think Thich Nhat Hanh grants us that liberty, as long as we do it sincerely and respectfully.

Kevin Smith – Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

Source: Goodreads.com

So I continued with this biographical book by Kevin Smith. Smith is one of my favorite directors, whose films I think I’ve all watched. Red State is the last in line and Im planning to watch this very soon.  In this book Smith talks about his life and whatever stuff happened to him in the  same way his characters talk in the early films. So yeah, there’s a lot of metaphors involving dick jokes and such, but one needs to get over that to find the gold underneath, which is various life lessons and hilarious anecdotes about a lot of weird stuff and the film industry.

There’s also going to be a lot of Clerks being mentioned. I feel a bit of embarrasment now and then about the direct words used by Smith, but that just says more about me. I recommend this book for the simple reason that it is hilarious and cathartic. Im pretty sure that Kevin Smith has faced enough tribulations in his own way. Sure, there’ s that whole different level where it takes place, in Hollywood and all. Still, this is transferrable to real life and sure as hell we all need some advice from a fat man who did good.

Oh, there’s also bits about Jay & Silent Bob, Dogma, Clerks, Chasing Amy, Jersey Girl, Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis.