‘I’m not racist, but . . .’ is probably one of the most dangerous opening lines to ever start a blog. Unfortunately it usually it prefaces a diatribe of racist arseholery, whereby said person goes on to tell everyone exactly why everyone thought they were in the first place. “I’m not a cannibal, but there was this time I ran out of Cornflakes and had to eat my next-door neighbour”
And so it’s with a heavy heart that I confess to thinking that Black Panther isn’t very good. Is it ok to not like a movie simply because it isn’t very good? Well, I would think so, but in the days of ultra-offence by anything, I thought I’d write about. I mean, I really wanted to like it, and perhaps it’s the expectations that ‘this was the best marvel movie ever!’ that eventually let it down. It did call into question my penchant for other Marvel Movies - are any of them actually very good? I enjoyed many of them yet that doesn’t make them good movies, on a side-note, John Wick is such a movie. It’s not that great, but fantastic fun! For every Avenger movie where my expectations were extremely low yet the film turned out to be thoroughly entertaining, there are two Spiderman’s and a Thor movie to balance out the crapola. And as for Captain America, that first instalment was utterly atrocious, which probably pushes the franchise into debt.
So what am I saying then, that I feel I need to defend myself because I didn’t like Black Panther and the world has come to a point where you can’t even say you don’t like a film because you’re worried for a racist backlash? Well, yeah, actually <Cue – And that’s wrong with the world, people like you, Reed . . .> It’s the same reason that if a child runs up to me with all giggles and smiles, I’ll turn tale and run the other direction, simply because it only takes one adult to say ‘hey, what are you doing with my kid?’ to be exiled from the human race.
Black Panther - Needed a Montage
Back to the film. The political messaging was excellent - anything that gives colonialists a bit of a kicking deserves some praise, as too is helping the human race as a whole rather than being so self-serving. And yet I found the supporting cast (actually only the General and the Princess) better than the main protagonist and antagonist: essentially those leading chaps were just dullards. I like my final fight scenes, the build-up, the war of words, the snatching victory from the grasp of defeat, and that’s where this movie failed to deliver once again. This one felt like Rocky 3 but without the Training Montage, and who doesn’t like a montage?
In contrast, The Shape of Water, was an excellent movie which I liked a lot. And I’m not saying I was easily impressed by dancing-alien-fishy-underwater-god type things that can’t speak, but . . .
Wow. Simply, wow. This was my first DJI experience, and the entire thing was absolutely seamless from start to finish, with an excellent app and an incredible drone that stayed the course during high winds with barely a flitter on the camera. Really incredible. And I didn't crash. Win!!
Will write more soon!
As my impending travels get nearer, the final purchases are coming into play, which is so exciting I’m a kid at Kwanza. I may even pee. First up is a personal alarm <not exactly on every child’s list for Santa, is it? – Ed> which also triggers upon movement so if you can finally hear your bag disappearing around the corner. I’d love to tell you how loud this little device is but all my screwdrivers are in a vehicle floating 5000 miles away in the Pacific, so . . . yeah. A tiny Rode microphone too has been purchased too so I begin my vlogging experience, along with the piece de résistance: a Mavic Air drone.
As regular readers will tell you (hi mum!), I had a drone before. I wouldn’t say it ended in disaster, but let’s just say that obstacle avoidance technology wasn’t around then, and the rest writes itself.
In the Mavic Air, DJI, aka the Drone Elves of Rivendell, have brought out a 12-megapixel RAW shooting, 100mbps video wonder-fairy with obstacle avoidance technology at the front and back, which means whichever way it goes, it should end up with the same result (avoidance, hopefully!). It also comes equipped with a sexy looking carry-bag, hub battery charger, 3 batteries, spare propellers, 8Gb built-in memory and a supercool folding remote. There is a cost of course, but when you think about it, who needs two kidneys anyway, am I right? And my first born was also going to be just testing the waters, so really, I’ve lost nothing.
If all that lovely tech wasn’t enough, the whole package has Apple-esque engineering, which to me is the benchmark of cool. Years ago, when iTunes consistently ruined playlists and deleted contacts, I built a good amount of loathing against that company, but their design is flawless. If you have ever played with AirPods, you’ll know what I mean: it’s simply one of those products where nerves in your fingers instantly trigger your vocal chords to audibly opine ‘ohh…that is nice, isn’t it?’.
Clearly DJI have been avid readers of my blog, as they have finally come to the party with a folding drone that is impossibly tiny. It’s smaller than your hand and weighs less than half a kilo. When I first opened the box, I expected the controller to be in this tiny zipped package, not the actual drone. Incredible. Basically, it’s hotter than Jennifer Lawrence’s underpants in a sauna.
So Reed, what is like to fly? The simple answer is that I have no idea. I’ve had it for 24 hours and I’m absolutely scared shitless. My heart won’t take another crash. But I will go out today and report back. Let’s hope for a different result than last time.
Bet it’s crowded though, eh? You're an idiot. It's the one thing that everyone knows about Australia other than it's hot - its spacious! Terra Australis is roughly the same size of the contiguous United States of America (sans Alaska, Hawaii and other territories) but with roughly 280 less million people. Per square mile the mighty USA has 103 people. In comparison, Australia has 8. This means the country is blessed with clean-air and huge swathes of countryside/scrub land that are easy to access. Not so much escape from if you’re clawed to death by a drop bear, but meh!
What about earnings? The minimum wage here is a staggeringly high at $18.29 per hour. Yes, it makes a lot of companies uncompetitive, but it’s great for the worker. And that worker can party late into the night, come home on public transport (yeah it’s not great, but it works at least 80% of the time!) with crime being very low, and gun crime being almost irrelevant. Unemployment rates are also better than even France and Canada.
Are there any down sides, because I’m packing my bags!? Well, yes. I think it’s something unique to patrotism that whilst waterfalls of praise are fine, identifying any improvements is tantamount to heresy.
You’re going to tell me about the bloody wildlife aren’t you? I frikin knew it! Bags are going back in the cupboard. . . are there spiders in my cupboard? Kerrrrrist! I will tell you about the wildlife, but not yet. Life here is very easy. Australia is so far removed from the rest of the world, it’s almost forgotten about, and the feeling is utterly reciprocal. The world could be raging with a zombie apocalypse (Brexit, Trump, Kanye West . . . bloody may as well be raging already!) and Australia would barely take a moment before opening another cold beer. It’s more than just being geographically removed: it’s emotionally and intellectually as well. A conservative government just brought in gay-marriage, for example (at a cost of $120-pissing-million, but still).
Well that doesn’t sound too bad? Does it? It doesn’t, but it’s hard to explain. What’s your favour meal? Lasagne? Wagyu Steak? Sounds great, right? What if you could get your favourite meal every day, forever. It’s kind of like that. It’s an island paradise where you come to not only retire after years of working servitude, but retire from the world. So if you can brave the spiders, snakes, scorpions and sharks (all beginning with s…how odd!) come hither! Just remember to leave the world at the door because it’s not needed.
Come to Australia, retire from life? That’s about the size of it.
Writing and writing...