You say go slow, I fall behind The second hand unwinds
Been playing this song on a loop recently. I love it.
More often than I should, I talk about what growing up is like. It is full of painful, slow realizations, filling your heart and soul. Killing you one moment at a time. Never easy, not always right. But a process we have to learn to live with.
Sometimes I replay the Disney songs I have loved and grown up on. Pop music from the 90’s was my favourite kind and I never grew out of it. In some ways, my music taste still resembles that of a teenage girl. I am sorry, but I will never grow up and get over my Disney heroines and their shows: Lizzie McGuire, Wizards of Waverly Place, Sonny with a Chance.
I am sorry but I will never stop swooning over the teenage, prince-sy movies. Think A Cinderella Story. When Austin Ames finally decides he wants to be a writer and runs through the crowded stadium, right to Hilary Duff and kisses her and it starts to rain and the song May Angels lead you in plays in the background, I sigh happily.
It is hard to stop being that hopeless about the concept of love. Love ain’t that fairy tale but the glitzy world of movies and songs makes it swell into something else all together.
Stories and magic is born in the heart and growing up is partly about realizing some of them and letting the useless, pointless, laughable ones turn to dust.
So there you go, let your kids dream away and watch the fairy tale stuff of movies and television. Let them have their day in the sun. 🙂
Seriously. You’re telling me that Oliver Saxon is Vogel’s long-lost, psychopath son who is suddenly BACK in Miami on an apparent murdering spree?
I mean, you really expect me to buy that after seven seasons of watching Dexter, when you introduce a new guy and then murder the girl he dates, I wouldn’t even suspect that he isn’t as innocent as you make him appear for two episodes?
And that the moment the police get on his trail, he clears out of his rented apartment, leaving a trash can full of his stuff conveniently outside his door for Dexter to find, with an envelope reading OLIVER SAXON, and then he just waltzs back in to meet his mama and then he moves in with her after nearly thirty years of her not even knowing that he’s alive?
And that Miami Metro does not find it suspicious that Cassie dates someone for two weeks and then ends up dead. They just let that person move around freely, without investigating, for starters, how long he has been employed at the place where he says he works
And also, you’re telling me Dexter has suddenly, for no reason, on the impulse of one moment, decided to get back together with his ex-girlfriend-cum-poisoning-husband-killer who has murdered every man she has ever been with? And not only is he back with her, he is also going to (yes, hold on to your seats), move to ARGENTINA with her and uproot his four year old son?
That’s good TV. I applaud you, writers of Dexter. You’re pulling the strings in such magnificent directions that you’ve surely ATTAINED your objective now. You’ve got me WISHING for Dexter to end as soon as possible.
With THREE episodes to go, you would expect a chilling sense of anticipation, of building suspense and excitement from a main-stream show that’s been on air for seven and a half years, stars a great actor as its protagonist (antagonist?) and has had some amazing story lines (think the Ice Truck Killer and Trinity). But no.
What’s happening instead is a disarrayed, hastily put-together, very predicable and cliche, flaccid, loophole-filled limp to the finish. By this point, unless the writers of Dexter have something PHENOMENAL up their sleeve- and by phenomenal, I mean, blow-my-mind-stop-my-heart-move-my-soul spectacular- Dexter is going to be a DISAPPOINTMENT.
A showdown with Vogel’s son involving a cross-fire with a few deaths thrown in for good measure will just not be good enough. If this show ends with Dexter dead, Jaime Batista and Vogel killed in the cross-fire, Debra back in Miami Metro and Quinn and Debra walking into the sunset with Harrison in toe OR with a close-in on Harrison taking up from where Dexter leaves off after Dexter and Hannah are killed in a trailer and Harrison is made to watch, my eyes will BLEED.
I’m done putting Dexter theories out into the universe now. If something twists and turns, let me know okay? Otherwise I’ll just be back next week with more rantings about how bad Dexter has become.
PS: I feel like I didn’t even cover half the things bothering me about Dexter right now but never mind that!
Every time a rape makes it to the national headlines, something inside me turns hollow and depressed.
This time it’s a photojournalist working for a lifestyle magazine in an abandoned mill in Mumbai. She was with a male colleague. The worst part is she was JUST DOING HER JOB.
I find it hard to believe, each and every time, that there is living proof that we’re living in a country where men will take the liberty to invade a woman in such a manner and not think twice about it. It kills me that we live in a country where the suggested measures that men think women should take include statements like not venturing outdoors late at night without YOUR FAMILY. And of course if you’re in a bar or dressed in a skirt you’re obviously asking for it. Apparently, even the little children who get raped are somehow asking for it.
Well you know what, MAYBE we’re not okay with it not being okay for us to step out at any time of the day or night, like men can. Maybe we’re not okay at not being allowed to do our own WORK. Maybe you need to understand that a country where the women are asked to compromise so many small things that men can take for granted CANNOT exactly expect to prosper; has no right to prosper in fact.
There is a lot of cultural outrage about the steps that have been taken to protect women’s rights in the workplace, in education, for medical benefits etc. Some things are and will remain unfair and work only because they create a very healthy vote bank for the politicians. But the reason some of these things are STILL so important is because they are NECESSARY to protect the lives, the dignity and the very concept of womanhood. Because if you say ‘Men and women are equal now’, you only need to look around you to see how wrong this statement is.
Outrageous street fashion, pop culture and a rebellious night life may adorn Western countries. There ARE things we look at that make us shake our head in derision and go, ‘Well at least THIS doesn’t happen in India.’ But if you stop to really think about it, a woman in USA can step outside in a miniskirt, go have drinks, even be promiscuous if she wants to. Our personal life choices aside, at least she knows that no matter how she defines herself, men won’t suddenly pound on her like animals, rape her and leave and when she will report it the police and politicians will respond by labeling her as ‘asking for it.’
So tell me, which is worse? The freedom to take your life choices in your own hands, no matter how wrong they may seem, or being RAPED for (and also in spite) that freedom and those choices?
Aping the west, what does that mean? A part of what is seen here as ‘aping the west’ is targeted on women. Well you know what, breaking through the bonds of a patriarchal society should be the real meaning behind aping the west. It may be radical, it may seem somewhat disorienting, but it is necessary. And it IS possible to adopt this in a manner that makes it OUR own, so that we take in the good and leave out the bad.
I am somewhat tired of reading and writing and seeing posts on what I see as the rape culture of this country. Only a fraction of the total rapes that occur in India actually grab the public attention. That does not make the others any less gruesome. It just means that sometimes, some cases make us open out in a spitball of fury, outrage, anger and frustration.
But no matter how much I hate it, how much I WRITE and however much distress I feel within me, there isn’t anything I can do. It seems as if no amount of media outrage, threats, punishment, sentences or court cases are enough to make beasts like these STOP their horrendous acts.
You know where this leaves me? It leaves me mistrustful, doubting every man I see, every man who may say hello or smile or pick up and hand me something I drop. Every man on the street, in a bus, at a mall, at the beach, in a train, at a restaurant, in a hotel, at a shop, in a park, at a cafe, at a petrol pump.
And when THIS is the way women can’t help but look at all men, then all men, especially the good ones will start to feel a building resentment towards women. This leads to mutual hatred and disrespect. Which further AMPLIFIES that sense of desperate bestiality inside men such as these. Which further encourages the rape culture. I do not see an end to this cycle. Do you?
So there you go, those are my nominees! And to wrap this up, here’s 7 things about me (don’t know whether or not they’re interesting):
1) I hardly ever confront people when I am upset or disappointed or angry. I just keep it inside me until it goes away and then I look normal. It’s not healthy , I know but that’s what I do!
2) I LOVE to eat. I am crazy for good food and find it hard to believe that there are people in this world who find eating a big chore and wish they could live on just a liquid diet instead. I mean, hello? Do you even HAVE taste buds?
3) I sing in private. In the shower, in my room, to my computer. I think I’m okay at it but am too afraid to do it in front of people and feel that I will fail miserably if I tried.
4) Continuing with the musical note, I learnt how to play the keyboard when I was small but I gave up midway because I just used to be the kind of kid who didn’t like venturing out of the house too much. But later on I picked up from where I left off and self-taught myself how to play out tunes that I really like. I still do that. I bought a guitar for my twentieth birthday but haven’t had a chance to learn it yet.
5) I love following good YouTubers and some of my favourites are NigaHiga, Superwoman, PsychoSaprano and Miranda Sings, Mr Arturo Trejo, Walk of the Earth, Boyce Avenue and Veronica Ballestrini. I waste too much time following them really, but I find them inspiring!
6) I am HORRIBLE at dancing. When I was young, we used to have compulsory dance lessons at school and our teacher used to organise us in rows according to our ‘talent’. I was always in the very last row. I was bad to begin with, and you can imagine what a boost this gave to my dance-confidence. I haven’t danced since. Living where I do and being a girl, dancing is supposed to be something I SHOULD do.
7) I’ve been writing since forever. I started coming up with stories before I could even write. Back then my dad used to write them down for me and I would just speak. He still has those with him somewhere. And I also have some of the first things I wrote when I just learnt how to write.
It was hard to imagine, that night when we sat alone on an empty park bench, that being free like the wind could ever feel so constrictive. That this ardent desire to communicate could someday overwhelm and take over the need to be apart. That taking on new challenges could actually break us. That being miserable would spin not from inaction but from constant, unchanging pressures of trying to adjust to something that made no sense whatsoever, something unwilling to compromise, something that clung to our necks until we stopped breathing and then some more.
But the weirdness erupted from a different note, years later, when we were past the age where we could sit around on a park bench and joke about the funny things we’d done. When we could talk about a time in which that could feel like too much, too soon and too ugly. Because after seeing so many horrors since then, what we had left behind felt like it had a poetic charm to it. Like it was all sepia, songs and dreaming.
I remembered the night I had first met you. Not every day could be that special. Not everyday is about innocuous glances, everlasting smiles and an instant connection across a room full of the sharpest, wittiest, intellectually challenging people I was ever likely to meet. But you stood out. Maybe because you seemed so nineteenth-century, standing there in coattails as if you didn’t care. Like the world was a stage indeed and you; you had been brought into it to make a mockery of it. You stood with your head angled against the ostentatious glare that came from overly-decorated chandeliers. You stood with a slight upward-turned smile on your face. As though it didn’t matter what they thought. As though you knew I would seek you out.
And I did. I couldn’t have helped it; I wouldn’t even have known.
We were like two lovers swimming in a pool of wine, dancing just beyond the spiralling reaches of the moonlight. In you, I saw the adventure I sought from life. Never a dull moment, never fading to just black and white. Like spilling of the colours of a rainbow, mixed wth the intricate excitement of anticipating what was next, I let you guide me.
And when it got too much, you just let me dance away on my own.
But years later when we met, the first question on my lips was, ‘When did we go from being complete strangers to being two people who complete each other so well that even if all these years could stretch out and try to strangle what we’ve built, it would only feel as though I’d been away from you for not more than a day?’
And in the whispered sighs and declarations that followed, I saw clearly the first time under the bridge, with moonlight highlighting my tresses and bouncing off your grey-black sweater, you had leaned forward and told me, ‘Everything you see from this point forth will be a dream. It will be breathtaking, spectacular. It will be so crazy that you will have to believe it to be true because something so phenomenal cannot possibly be imagined, it can only be lived. And whether or not I am in it, you will find that the remnants of that dream will stay with you forever. Whether or not you choose to believe in a fairy-tale, you will find that that fairy-tale will live inside you forever. No matter how old you grow, this sensation will never leave you. This tingling, this longing to create, to feel, to live, to breathe, to be bathed in something so much bigger than just you or me or us that it will feel like divinity itself has come down to grace you with its presence. It will feel as though the Gods of Heaven and Hell are cheering you on. It will feel as if you control every bit of movement and action of the universe.’
And when you disappeared, it did.
And when you came back, I knew. There was brilliance shining in your eyes and its reflection was making me brighter.
So I’m taking this prompt and writing a little romantic fiction. It’s something I haven’t done in a really long time.
You had chosen that moment to walk right into my life. I don’t know why you came when you did but I was just glad you did.
I felt like putty in your hands, my entire being was melting into something I hadn’t thought it possibly could.
I was living in the twenty first century, right? I was a smart, independent, intelligent woman. I had dreams and aspirations and ambition. I wouldn’t let just anybody walk over me.
But that was the problem. You weren’t just anybody. You were a storm. You came as if you belong, you came as if you owned me and I didn’t think I had a choice. If I’d felt I did, I wouldn’t have let you take over everything. There was a burning desire underneath the surface of my skin as I turned to face you in the still realization of that moment when it hit me: that this was the purest form of happiness there could ever be.
Underneath the layers guarding my body, there were sensations I would never have considered possible, moving rhythmically with the pounding of my heart. Like the beats of a musical symphony, my heart fluttered with irregular patterns.
There were only murky, lingering shadows beyond us; nothing else mattered. Never had other people and things ever mentioned so little because leaving my everything bare in front of you like that felt like an act of spirituality. And beyond that, there was a beast threatening to break free and if I let it, it would tear me into a billion pieces. But none of it would matter even then because if death could be exotic, this would be the only way to embrace it.
And that’s when I understood. If I could turn like this, if this was what I became around you, it only meant one thing. You were my full moon.
Other people cannot do the growing up for you. You’re all alone. You have to understand for yourself that the things your parents keep repeating in your ears until you get frustrated. But nothing would make sense to you unless you adopt it for your own, unless you live it, experience and take a few falls and dust your clothes clean and maybe get a bandage or two for your wounds. There might be some scars but you’ll be better off, in the end, with all the lessons. So what is it about growing up that makes it such a big deal after all?
Flickering Dreams and Fading Imagination
When I was little I had a whole bunch of imaginary friends. There were these two little men, one good and the other bad, who were like my personal angel and devil, much before I knew how stereotyped something like that actually was.
I also had a lady friend who had a big hat on and she sold flowers. You know how many children she had? Enough that if she set them down in a queue, they would cover the whole of earth and then keep standing all the way to Saturn’s rings and once there, they would stand on the rings as well.
I guess I always knew my imaginary friends were unreal. But that didn’t make them any less fun to be with.
I also had this other habit. I would take ANYTHING inanimate: glasses, my sketch pens or just numbers and letters and allot them personalities. They would then be characters in a story I would play out in my head. The best thing about this imaginative play time was that even if I was stuck at a boring place without my coloring books or Barbies, I could always find a way to get through it!
The list of make-belief and role-playing games I indulged in is unbelievably long. Perhaps that’s what got me interested in writing in the first place or maybe its the other way around.
The truth is as you grow, things change. Santa Claus and the Truth Fairy aren’t real. Storks don’t drop babies down chimneys.
But also, dreams flicker and change and grow. My brother once wanted to be a dump truck driver because he loved the trucks. I wanted to be a construction worker building a huge skyscraper because the thought of being at that height gave me a scary tingling sensation in my belly. As of now, my brother wants to be a scientist. He is nine. Dreams are still subject to change. But I am twenty one. I need to have fixed goals and aims now. I cannot afford to let my dreams flicker anymore.
Do Away with the Childishness
The best of us are still tempted, at times, to climb onto places or run around like idiots. Or do something childish in some way. I think the reason many adults like getting drunk is because they can no longer be a kid in public unless they have alcohol in their system. While that is kind of sad, if you really think about it, its nobody’s fault.
As adults, we are expected to hide our emotions. We can’t cry at the drop of the hat anymore. We can’t shout out loud in public or tug at ourselves or run around with nothing on! Children are carefree and adults miss that.
And yet, when it comes to things where people really ought to grow up and act like mature adults, they don’t. If only more people were allowed to let out the child inside them, I think we would have fewer fights and bullying and suicides and depression and things of that sort.
Forgiving, forgetting and moving on
Oh if only I could be a child and let change wash over me! As people grow, they become rigid in their ways, fixed in their identity and in their perception of the world around them as well as their understanding of how the world sees them. Thus we are defined for life and very few people can ever rid themselves of this once it starts to set in. Its like the wet cement quote. Children can be moulded but adults cannot.
Children get angry easily but they get over it just as easily. A child doesn’t care about how you look as long as you love him and take care of him. You won’t be judged. That’s why they make everyone smile. Their happiness is real and all-consuming.
I’ve always had a fondness for children and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to witness my brother’s growing up process this way, because I was already eleven when he came along.
I believe you
Trust and faith. As adults we struggle to attain these things and its obvious why.
The longer we stay open in a world that’s cruel and ready to consume us, the more we are prone to hurt.
Many of us learn this lesson the hard way, though a few others catch on early. But all of us do end up becoming suspicious in the end. Which I think is one of the saddest things in the world because I always believe that deep inside, many nice people let hurt, grief and hatred consume them just because they are afraid that opening up will be disastrous. But so much ugliness can be avoided if these things did not consume us so.
I love looking at kids, no matter where I go. Sometimes I smile at them and they smile back, sometimes they just ignore me (which is probably a good thing, they SHOULD learn to be suspicious of strangers because there are plenty of Big Bad Wolves out there) but most of them are sort of oblivious and they go on playing in their own little world which is the most beautiful thing ever. Like the girl on the swing, they have plenty to think about. A lot of it may seem silly or childish to us but hey, what do we know?
Children have untapped energy, the ability to pass on happiness and love and the purity to not realize their value. But there is no evil in a child.
It is sad then, that all children must grow up. This picture just makes me feel a certain loss. I see my childhood in a flash and understand how painful growing up really is, how lonely and unromantic. How unlike everything we imagine it to be when we’re little. But grow up we must.
The last two episodes have gained momentum. We went from suspecting Zach to finding out that he was just a pawn in this game of cat and mouse and the Brain Surgeon story isn’t up yet.
In an unusual move, the writers of Dexter changed the pattern and revived a broken link which everyone had presumed they had killed off, especially considering last season. The Brain Surgeon tie-up, in retrospection, hadn’t made a lot of sense. I had been disappointed and unconvinced by the way that whole thing had ended but it had never struck me to give the story another shot. In fact, I realize now that I had been underestimating the writing abilities of Dexter’s creators, thinking they were playing at the surface alone. But there’s more to it than meets the eye.
I was just beginning to enjoy the Dexter-Zach bonding scenes. Zach didn’t seem quite so creepy to me, once they cleared up that he hadn’t murdered Cassie. He merely seemed how I’d imagined Dexter to be when he was younger. He seemed eager and ready to please Dexter and pick up tips from him. So his death was not without a little surprise to me.
The question now is; what’s playing? Who is the brain surgeon and why? It seems highly unlikely that a new character is going to enter the mix now, with four episodes to go. So that leaves us to analyze the characters we already have.
I am FINALLY placing my bets on Quinn. Like I said before, I’ve always found Quinn to have a lot of unexplored depths. But I think there’s finally more for him to do here than just hang around in the background and then stay back to sweep the floor. We do, after all, know that Quinn has had some dirty cop secrets before. Could it be possible at all that he has some even darker ones up his sleeve? Because if we start to think about who killed Cassie so far INSIDE her own apartment, well it most certainly seems to point to Quinn as the most likely candidate. With the lieutenant job no longer in the line, he could easily have decided to continue keeping tail. He does have a knack for going where he shouldn’t and maybe he kept following Zach around. Maybe he FINALLY stopped being dense and collected all those bits and pieces that have been lying right in front of him all this while? Maybe he is finally on to Dexter.
That seems to be the most exciting approach I can think of to end this series. But Quinn cannot exactly be the brain surgeon. For one, he doesn’t know Vogel and has never been treated by her. For another, why would he suddenly decide to turn into a serial killer? There is no justification for that. So if the bludgeoning killer and the brain surgeon are not the same person I cannot think of anyone more interesting than Quinn to be the bludgeon killer. It would be sort of disappointing if Cassie’s boyfriend is the one doing it because that wouldn’t be as exciting.
But I also have some suspect on Jaime. I want her to have a stronger part to play as well. Which just makes me question many of the things she does, though I really like her character so far.
As for Vogel, she is obviously not who she seems to be. I haven’t liked her presence in Dexter’s life since the very start. What is she up to? Why has she carved her way through Dexter’s defenses and planted herself so close to everyone Dexter has ever cared about? Is she the brain surgeon? That does not sound very likely or appealing to me. Is she assisting the brain surgeon? Maybe.
Another theory I can extend is that Vogel is somehow working with Batista or someone who suspects Dexter? Batista did find LaGuerta’s warrants on Dexter and Debra. What if he pieced every bit of it together, right from the Doakes part to LaGuerta to Debra? What if he realized that anybody who has ever tried to be straightforward about their investigation towards Dexter has ended up dead? So, to protect himself and his sister, maybe Angel decided to be indirect about his investigation of Dexter. Vogel comes into the picture because she initially came to Miami under the pretext of helping the police out. What if that wasn’t the pretext but the truth and gaining Dexter’s trust was part of her plan all along? Could that somehow, be the undoing of Dexter Morgan?
But who is the brain surgeon? This question is killing me right now. I don’t think I can wait a whole other week to find out or at least have some clue. I cannot think of anyone who would have enough background and no loopholes to justify them being the brain surgeon. There’s Elway; he seems darker and there is obviously more to him than we’ve been let on to. He’s been very much interested in Debra. Perhaps the reasons for that are manifold. To be honest, he seems the only likely character. We were told a little bit about his past from what he explained in a candid scene with Debra. Its obvious he has had some hard moments down the road. Perhaps he got messed up enough to seek medical help under Vogel? The background story about his dad seems to have enough weightage for that.
Moving on, Hannah bores me. Her love story with Dexter never appealed to me. I don’t think anything could, after Rita. I liked Cassie because she reminded me of Rita, since she was normal. I was warming up to her but they had to kill her tragically as well. Oh well. People might find Hannah appropriate for Dexter but I don’t. I accept her as a part of Dexter’s surroundings now but I am still on Debra’s side regarding all this. Debra might have backed down for Dexter’s sake but I can’t help but question Hannah’s motives. Are they really as simple to read as all that? Is the only purpose in her having come back is to show how Dexter is going to lose everyone he’s loved? Or is she more than that? Is she still on a murdering rampage of sorts? Has she graduated from just being a poisons-person?
Debra didn’t do much in this episode except just back down when she saw Dexter with Hannah and Zach. In the end, she made her decision. She wants back into Miami Metro. This news at least made me happy. If Debra is coming back for FOUR episodes, that OBVIOUSLY means there is a bigger motive there than just setting the scene for the future, because there is no future left beyond these four episodes. She is obviously back for a specific reason, for the plot.
Questions, questions. This month’s worth of episodes are hopefully going to answer them all, in what I hope is a grandiose fashion. Until next time.
Moment worthy of notice: Vogel saying most things good or bad in the world, spin off only from a sense of boredom. Well Vogel seems to be playing a nice game of chess, wouldn’t you think? Why can Dexter not see it?
George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).
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