P.C.Pop with Pablo

WHERE DO WE LIVE? — I want MORE

In Movies, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Uncategorized on January 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm

I Want MORE — Critically Claimed Movies & the Ocassional Woody & Spike Film


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In the ongoing series – Where Do We Live? – I am baffled by our local movie theater company/monopoly (Goodrich Quality Theaters). My latest frustrations – during the week of the announcement of the Oscar nominations – are as follows:


BIRDMAN – from even before it was released the Oscar buzz surrounding this movie was pretty loud. I posted my

birdmanposterfrustration on the Goodrich Facebook page — and the reply was basically, “we applied for a copy of the film and didn’t get it and now it’s too late, oh well.” To this date Birdman has not screened in any theater in Lafayette/West Lafayette. Michael Keaton won the Golden Globe — and is a front runner for the Oscar — and still no Birdman in my town. This is unbelievable.


TOP MOVIES of 2014 — Critics around the world have published the top movies of the year — and a majority of them never ever were screened here. It is an absolute cultural void. BTW — most of the “worst” movies of 2014 landed here (Tranformers: Age of Extinction, for one). To name a few of the BEST of 2014 we missed:

  • BIRDMAN
  • Under the Skin
  • Whiplash
  • Ida
  • Nightcrawler
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Force Majeure
  • Snowpiercer
  • Life Itself
  • Gloria
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
  • Starred Up
  • Elaine Stritch: Shoot Mearticle-2586316-1C7B738700000578-459_634x881
  • The Babadook
  • Pride
  • The Overnighters

OSCAR NOMINATED MOVIES — While the rest of the world rushes to the theaters to see all of the movies recently nominated for an Oscar – we can’t — because THEY AREN’T HERE!! Some are but most aren’t. Here are the movies, I wish came to my town:

  • BIRDMAN
  • Wild
  • Still Alice
  • Two Days, One Night
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash
  • Nightcrawlers
  • Ida
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Lastly, not to put too fine a point on it…

WOODY ALLEN & SPIKE LEE — I know this might sound selfish or at the very least “specific” — but I expect to seespikewoody the newest Woody Allen and Spike Lee films at my local movie theater. For my entire life — until I moved here — I made a point of seeing all Woody Allen and Spike Lee movies on the first night of their release — opening night, if you will. Goodrich has denied me this pleasure — and to make it worse — Woody & Spike’s movies typically don’t ever screen here — ever. BLUE JASMINE, Woody Allen’s most recent critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated movie starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, & Sally Hawkins — NEVER ever screened here. Suffice it to say — we didn’t get his latest MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT either. And I’m ashamed to say — we didn’t even bother asking about. We are getting too tired.

Spike Lee has a new one out this weekend — DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS. And guess what — it ain’t here and probably won’t ever be screened here. Please, for heavens sake — give us some Woody Allen and Spike Lee.


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Indianapolis is 60+ miles south of us and not a convenient excursion when you have two teenage kids — one who doesn’t like movies and the other that enjoys anything superhero. I just can’t believe that this community with a major university with over 40,000 students cannot sustain at least one screen for what used to be called “art house movies” — let alone Oscar nominated movies.

Why is there no market for culture? Why is this town in a cultural void? If I am right (which I am sure some of your screaming right now) — then why don’t you demand better?


I am greedy and selfish to want MORE? Is there hope? Where the heck do we live, people??


Anno Nuovo – Vita Nuova

In Family, health, New Year, wellness on January 3, 2015 at 5:19 pm

happy-new-year-2015

I have great hope for 2015 — to be the best year in ages.

Starting the year with strong connections to family, a small group of friends I can trust, work that fulfills me, children who make me proud (and make me laugh), a partner whose got my back (and makes me laugh), the wisdom to remember the past for what it teaches and the precious memories it has created, the courage to face the future without anxiety, love to share, patience to “let it go,” and the good sense to live for today and be present in the moment — and appreciate (thank God) all of the treasures I have (and perhaps don’t deserve).

Praying for peace, justice, joy, and good health — for all.

Anno nuovo vita nuova!

Father’s Day – I (still) Ain’t That Guy!

In father's day, fatherhood, Malavenda, Men, Pablo Malavenda, parenting on June 14, 2014 at 11:34 pm

happyFathersDay2014

You’re family’s weird — we overheard our son’s best friend say to him on speaker phone. What do you mean? Max asked. Well, his friend said, your dad is baking for church and your mom is outside cutting the lawn. Max then replied — yeah, my family breaks all the stereotypes.

Only two days ago, when I was explaining to a friend that I was having the hardest time finding anyone to fix the concrete steps at my church — she  replied — just do it yourself. My response was — you obviously don’t know me. I am handy around the house and all — but install a set of concrete steps — are you kidding?

Then there is the media and memes and greeting cards — I ain’t that guy!!

Greeting cards in general reinforce many negative stereotypes about men, women, and several other historically oppressed peoples. We may have come a long way from the racial and ethnic stereotypes in mainstream cards but problems still exist. As a feminist and a father of a daughter, I am aware of the role of women and girls in greeting cards as well as the images, colors, and characters used for girls versus boys. It starts with from conception with Baby Congratulations cards and continues on through Father’s Day and Mother’s Day cards, Anniversary cards, and general Birthday cards. Our best friend and his wife just welcomed a new baby girl, and we could only find a Minnie Mouse congratulations card – no Mickey – and of course it was pink. (There was a Mickey Mouse card but it was for a new born boy and it was blue).

Personally, there are two times a year I dread going shopping for greeting cards. One is my wedding anniversary and the other is for Mother’s Day. I also get frustrated during Father’s Day by all of the marketing and sales. It’s a great time to buy power tools, a lawn mower, a grill, golf clubs, hunting gear – because it is all on sale – for Fathers – but I Ain’t That Guy. My frustration stems from the fact that I was raised as a progressive, Mediterranean-American male – who does NOT fit any of the stereotypes of the typical man as defined by the greeting card industry or by any marketing that is gender-based.

Standing in the card store in front of the rack filled with greeting cards, I momentarily feel inadequate, left out, odd, and less than a man. I don’t golf, fish, drink beer, or demand dinner when I get home from a long day in the office. I DO cook and bake well; I work around the house; I respect my life partner (and still love her a lot); I love being a dad; I do laundry, iron, and put away clothes; I fill and empty the sink and dishwasher; I dress myself and do it pretty well; and I put the toilet seat back down. Eventually I realize that I am very, very OK with NOT being the “guy” in the Father’s Day, Mother’s Day or Wedding Anniversary cards. After a few minutes of browsing cards in our local greeting card store and online, I noticed some themes.


The message I saw is that Real Fathers:

  • Eat Beef not veggies
  • Don’t Cook – unless it is an Outdoor Grill or Deep Fried Turkey
  • Sit in Recliners
  • Sleep in Hammocks
  • Try to get out of doing Chores
  • Golf
  • Fish
  • Drink Beer
  • Leave the toilet seat up
  • Won’t Change a Diaper
  • Can’t Dress Themselves
  • Aren’t Romantic
  • Don’t Bake – unless you count pancakes from a mix
  • Demand Dinner after a long, hard day at work
  • Are Lazy, unorganized
  • Love cars (over human life partners)
  • Burp, Fart, Spend a lot of time in the bathroom, Snore
  • Lounge in underwear
  • Have bad tempers – Yell at their wives
  • Are not affectionate — don’t kiss, hold hands, hug
  • Love Bacon
  • Leer at young women in bikinis
  • Have a mustache
  • Need more tools
  • Smoke a pipe
  • Shoot guns
  • Insult their wives – joke about their weight, hair, looks, gray hair, cooking, etc.
  • Are mostly white, stupid, and straight

1963ish1 (2)My male role models in my family were studs – but they were respectful of their partners; they were romantic; could cook and did often; and dressed very well. They hugged and kissed their kids every day, said I love you to their wives, and went shopping, did laundry, and made dinner. Of course roles in relationships were different in the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s – but I am a combination of their great traits and the expectations of modern times. Why then do the greeting card writers and marketing gurus still perpetuate these archaic, primitive, unenlightened behaviors featuring beer loving, Neanderthals, sloths, chauvinists who can’t cook and prefer hunting and fishing and golfing more than being with their family?

So what’s up? I doubt if the only Father who doesn’t fit their mold is me. I am sure there are other Fathers, perhaps the majority of Fathers, who can’t relate to the males depicted in these greeting cards. In such a competitive, commercial, and capitalistic industry – if it didn’t sell, they wouldn’t keep making them. So, who are these guys? – And who’s buying these cards? Are we just so lazy that we can do nothing more than laugh at the negative stereotypes of Dads? – No matter how offensive it is to both men and women. Are we not protesting enough to see a more aggressive movement to influence change with the current messages in greeting cards – and the negative stereotypes that they are reinforcing? Or it is that I – once again – am the only one who cares? (Probably not.)

So, now I must go and bake for the church brunch, hug my wife, do the laundry, drive my son to cross country practice, call my mom, text my wife that “she’s beautiful and I miss her,” sew my daughter’s shirt, tutor my kids in math, go grocery shopping, and get dinner ready for the family.

This is what this Father is doing – so, call us weird — but there are NO complaints here — because I’ve got the BEST job in the entire world!


 

Read more stories about growing up in my family and our traditions, check out these PC Pop posts:


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