The thing about marriage equality…

Australia is currently in the process of undertaking a postal plebiscite (a non-compulsory, non-binding postal vote) for marriage equality. The vote asks the simple question – do you support marriage equality? Yes or No. As feared and sadly expected, the process has brought out the worst in people on both sides of the argument because like is so common in modern-day politics, people are quicker to draw up battle-lines and aggressively argue their position. But with marriage equality – it’s not so simple. With marriage equality, everyone has an opinion, but with an issue as large and as affecting as this, one has to wonder whether everyone’s right to have an opinion is in fact valid.

I say this as we’re talking about something that literally doesn’t affect a large number of the population. If you’re from the older generation when things were just plain and simple different – if Bill and Ted down the road decide to get married because they love each other, how does that affect you? The short answer is: it doesn’t.

My 96 year old grandmother who passed away last year said something to my wife which surprised us. She commented how prior to meeting my homosexual brother in-law, she’d never met a gay person prior. She then went on to describe him as one of the most wonderful people she’d met and how it had really changed her view.

I appreciate that not everyone has to support marriage equality, but i suspect a lot of people who proudly say they are against it would change their tunes if they were like my grandmother and actually met one, or had any form of relationship with someone from the LGBTQI community other than seeing them on TV – or that gay guy at work, etc.

I am firmly in the yes camp but I am also strongly against this vote going to the populace. I don’t think whether I support it or not has any bearing on whether this should even be a thing in our country. If two people of the same sex love each other, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to marry. It’s that simple.

And so this is where I question whether any individual’s opinion matters. These laws affect a ridiculous number of people in our society – people who cant help being the way they are. Nobody is choosing to be gay as some kind of weird sexual perversion, it’s the way they are. Human’s have been this way for as long as human’s have been a thing, the only difference being that for much of that time, they’ve had to hide it. With an issue this large and this affecting, this is where the government should have stepped in and legislated, not by opening the door to every random’s personal two cents, a huge portion of which are completely uninformed to begin with.

Australia is so behind the 8-ball it’s not funny.

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Kong: Skull Island – Pointless Chinese cast member # 2

Hi Tian Jing – why are you in this movie?

If there’s one thing that’s really starting to shit me in modern movies it’s this new trend of Chinese funded movies that are inserting Chinese cast into the movies for NO FUCKING REASON!

It’s offensively stupid. In the two cases I’ve seen it, there’s been two female Chinese characters inserted for what I assume is a reason to market the movie to Chinese audiences on the Mainland. In both instances, the characters were just plain pathetic and really shouldn’t have been there. I could simply just ignore them, but the blatant insertion for localisation irks me and it’s a trend that I hope dies in the ass, asap.

In the first instance, we have Angela Baby in Independence Day Resurgence. Now don’t get me wrong, this was a shit movie whichever way you looked at it, but Angel Baby’s presence was nothing short of laughable.

Early into the movie she appears as one of a squadron of pilots, and that’s basically about it. She disembarks from a fighter plane, removes her helmet and tosses her long hair about her shoulders, looking all doe-eyed. From this moment forward she barely said two words, and became the automatic, unspeaking, love-interest of the nerdy pilot.

Case number # 2 is Tian Jing in Kong: Skull island. I heard good things about Tian Jing in the recent Great Wall movie, another movie I thought was poor. I was unimpressed with her there as along with the white-washed cast, she was clearly only included due to her limited English ability. Her actual acting ability left a LOT to be desired.

In Kong, I don’t think they even said her name. In addition to John Goodman and his African-american counterpart, she randomly showed up as the third member of their team en route to the island. I laughed when I saw her as when I saw Tencent Media in the opening credits, I was willing to bet money there’d be a Chinese actor/actress in the movie and boom, Tian Jing it is.

The thing here is – practically every other character, even the minor ones, were there for a reason and had lines. Tian Jing had barely 5, and they consisted of poignant things such as, “How big?” “He said we should leave at dawn. It’s dawn.” And that’s about it.

You just know that in China, her name will be prominent on the billboards – as if they’re stupid and this kind of bait and switch works on them. The sad thing is, it probably does.

I have no issues with Chinese cast. As someone who watches a lot of Chinese movies, I welcome it. But these inclusions as a human version of product placement can GET FUCKED. Seriously. #endrant

On the good side, I skimmed the cast for Wonder Woman – Tencent Media’s second movie endeavour and by the looks of it there’s no product placement Chinese.

The Great Wall of Shame

negw9ufktc3ijn_2_aAs someone who has a passion – if not outright envy for Asian history and culture, I’m always absorbing any new books/movies/tv shows set there. When a movie like the Great Wall comes along, naturally it blips on my radar, but like many others, at first I thought – hey this looks pretty cool, and then warrior Matt Damon appears. Ugh.

There’s nothing I dislike more than a movie set somewhere in Asia – usually China or Japan, by a western director like Michael Bay, where every Asian stereotype suddenly appears on screen – usually your panda’s in Japan, ninja’s in China type deal. I am a stickler for authenticity – even in movies with a clearly fantastical theme, and very little tolerance for stereotypical shit – or worse, western world crap forced into an asian movie.

The Great Wall is such a movie – but the strange thing here is its directed by Zhang Yimou! A big fat wtf right there. If I squinted at the screen it could have been a standard Michael Bay affair, and to be honest, despite not outright hating the movie, it was no worse than the Transformers movies. It was very much the western popcorn blockbuster and this strikes me as odd coming from the guy who directed such masterpieces as Hero, The House of Flying Daggers and the Curse of the Golden Flower.

Zhang’s movies are often stunningly beautiful, particularly in regards to the way he uses colour. Now the Great Wall was at times very easy on the eye, but that was not enough to carry it. On practically every level it was a crap movie and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless you’re watching it drunk, love Michael Bay’s backlog or just plain enjoy bad movies.

Now in fairness, I had no interest in watching Great Wall as I expected it to be something along these lines. Having recently returned from Beijing – specifically visiting the Great Wall a second time (the first time 9 years ago), I was actually in the mood for something that perhaps showed the wall in all its former glory. As I climbed to the wall and walked along it, I often wondered how magnificent it would have looked when covered in ancient Chinese soldiers, standing vigilant against the Mongol hordes somewhere in the north. That and I loved Zhang Yimou’s movies. So I thought I would give it a crack regardless.

First and foremost, the real showstopper was Matt Damon being the hero. I had read that his presence on the wall was completely justified and I suppose when you think about it – it’s not a lot different from Marco Polo being in the court of Kublai Khan – European traders did go to China. But it was absolutely unnecessary. It easily could have been a Chinese hero – and hell, it should have been, it would have removed the completely pissweak English elements that ran through it.

But worse, Matt arrived with Pedro Pascal of Game of Thrones fame. Now I really like Pascal – he was pretty good in Game of Thrones, but is bloody awesome in Narcos. But here? It’s almost laughable just how bad this character is implemented – the whole subplot involving him and even moreso, Willam Dafoe – a trader whose been kept prisoner in the wall to protect its secrets for 25 years, is beyond bad. There’s just absolutely no reason for this plot, and when Pascal and Dafoe make a great escape and one is promptly killed, the other promptly recaptured, only to be released again later on is just pointless.

Only adding salt to this gaping wound is the fact that Matt Damon speaks in some weird monotone voice that is completely what the fuck. I quite like Matt Damon as an actor, but his voice in this just boggles the mind. About the only explanation I can make is he’s trying to sound European – but he sure as hell doesn’t I’ll tell you that much.

From the Chinese side we have the awesome Andy Lau in the role of Strategist Wang and is completely wasted. The main Chinese presence is a female actor named Tian Jing playing the role of Commander Lin Mae. I am not familiar with her at all, but she struck me as those asian actor’s who keep showing up in western blockbusters, picked only because they can speak English. It sure as hell wasn’t for her acting ability at any rate as she had the emotional range of a muffin. The bigger problem here though was that the Commander was basically anything but. Even when elevated to General, this character was only there to empower Matt Damon – and in the last few scenes, I was actually relieved didn’t move in to kiss him, but still watched him with those big eyes from the wall as he rode away. Blargh!

The commander was the head of a group of women warriors whose name escapes me, who dressed all in blue, launch themselves down off the wall at the great horde of low-budget animated green beasts who are the movies core problem. I’m not actually sure if she attacked with her fellows, but the rest of the time she spent it either looking like someone with authority, or looking at Matt Damon with doe eyes – oh in between translating their English into Chinese for the rest of the cast. Had English just been outright dumped from the movie, it would have been an improvement.

The odd thing about this weak Commander is that many fictional Chinese period movies have very strong female characters – Zhang Zimou’s own movies featuring many of these. One of the things I love about the Wu Xia genre as a whole is that sex rarely matters, the women are more often than not as badass if not moreso than the men. To see this kind of ineffective, doe-eyed princess type character in a Chinese movie, there to be saved by a whitie – and Matt Damon no less, it literally doesn’t get any worse. The *only* saving grace is that it’s been done by a Chinese director – but one whose filmography really contradicts this piece of garbage.

The whole plot of the movie consists of two key elements – stopping the innumerable beasts known as the Tao Tie which attack every 60 years if you’re Chinese, or stealing Chinese black powder and escaping back to Europe if you’re roundeye. Given Matt Damon was the hero – and his selfish plight changed from stealing and escaping to helping the Chinese, I’m not actually sure why the black powder was relevant. It showed up at several key moments and was used to kill the queen Tao Tie, but that didn’t have to hinge upon a bunch of carefactor zero white characters being front and centre to literally thousands of Chinese.

In fact, given how much medieval technology the Chinese have installed into the wall, how many soldiers they have, the quality of their equipment, the precision orders delivered by drums and flags etc – cranes, harnessed warriors, massive fireballs, catapults, automatic arrow firing towers – you name it, somehow they cant cope with the enemy  – it’s the two whities who do. In fact, it’s not long before mighty Matt Damon, an archer better than Robin Hood, concocts a plan to put one of the beasties to sleep and test whether it can be subdued with a magnet stone – something the Chinese have never seen before – ignoring the fact that in the real world the Chinese had been making magnet based compasses for thousands of years prior (but hey this is fantasy) – and soon after teaching them to harpoon baddies whale-style, it’s none other than Matt Damon himself whose scampering down a chain to the foot of the wall to deal with these enemies himself – joined only by Pedro Pascal. In short – it’s fucking ridiculous.

Now none of this would be surprising if this was a Michael Bay movie set in China – other than hordes of authentic Chinese ninja that’d be pouring down from the walls – but this was a movie directed by Zhang Yimou!! I honestly cant understand it. Does not compute. My only guess here is he’s purposely set out to create a western blockbuster set in Asia, with all its badness intact. If that’s what’s happening here, then he’s over-achieved.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, the characters and plot are utter shit. About the only place the movie does achieve are the visuals, but even this is only 50% of the time. There are elements of the Great Wall that look great – when you’re in close and its full of warriors. In true Zhang Yimou style, the soldiers are divided into three types – archers, the wall dancing spear women, and…the black ones with the shields whose role I can just assume is melee infantry. These three distinct types have their own armour and specifically, colours. When you have the red, black and blue armoured soldier en masse it does appear impressive. There was also a solid Chinese aesthetic through all of this – from the drums used to deliver orders, the various and ingenius military defences installed into the wall, even the way the blue warrior women were launched from the wall via giant crane arms. It was visually impressive.

But then it panned back from the wall and it appeared the work of a student digital artist, or scenes from a video game in the 90’s. Just bad basically. The same problem affected the Tao Tie who just looked low budget and copy and paste jobs across the board. This same low budget appearance seemed to affect the desert, which just didn’t look right – ending up in the Chinese capital which wasn’t Beijing, or Nanjing, or Xi’an – but some fictional capital which appeared to have its own Forbidden City type setup regardless.

The Great Wall was just a bad movie. Not terrible, but it was bad. Yimou if you’re reading this, I’m disappointed. I’m going to watch the House of Flying Daggers to cleanse myself.

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back – a long overdue review.

Stephen Chow’s Journey to the West – Conquering the Demons was hands down one of the best takes on the classic Journey to the West story that I’ve ever seen. It was the perfect blend of Stephen Chow originality, infused with wonderful (and often piss funny) character moments that is Chow’s hallmark. I am particularly fond of the way Chow casts characters (often re-occurring through his various movies) who are just everyday folk. Key characters could literally have been plucked from a street food vendor and thrust onto the screen. When I saw that number two was not being directed by Chow and instead Tsui Hark (most notable for his action movies) I was concerned – but less so realizing Stephen Chow was on as producer. But this second movie while reasonable, fell way short of what made the first movie so good.

The movie released during Chinese New Year and came as a surprise for me as I hadn’t realized it was coming out so sudden. Once again I went along solo, and once again I was the only non-Asian in the cinema. It’s definitely a novelty I think to have that feeling of being in the minority race – but in your home town!

The movie itself was an entirely new cast, none of which I was familiar with. The only castings that really mattered to me were that of the Tang Monk and Sun Wukong – the nefarious monkey king. Sadly, both of these were inferior to the first movie. I read that Kris Wu who plays the Tang monk was a well known singer/performer and I get the feeling he’s been cast more for that reason than his ability to play the role. Whereas Wukong’s Kenny Lin I have only seen once before in the Young Detective Dee movie – and he’s not really someone known to me. Both Pigsy and Sandy were forgettable – Sandy in particular spending the majority of the movie in CGI fish form which was bizarre to say the least.

I will say now that the movie was not terrible – far from it. I enjoyed some of the character interplays – particularly between Tang and Wukong – but at the same time, there was this serious bromance going on between them which was just didn’t feel right. I felt like the Monkey King 2 did a much better job of exploring this often tenuous relationship.

The story itself like Pigsy and Sandy – was forgettable and not worth relating. If anything, the movie was similar to the book Monkey by Wu Ch’eng-En. This story followed the Monkey King from birth to his infamous havoc in heaven, right the way through to accompanying the monk to India to retrieve the scriptures. Along the way there were several side-adventures where the group would solve a problem by killing a local demon – and this movie felt like one of those side adventures. But unlike the book which was a complete tale – the movie felt like it had little purpose and effectively left off where it began, in the middle of a journey. This is all well and good for those familiar with the story, but to anyone else it would seem pointless.

And worse, these side adventures bordered on meh. They had several funny moments in which Stephen Chow’s comedy could be felt, but the effects were the quality of a 90’s video game, culminating in an epic battle with clone buddhas’s that just couldn’t match the epic conclusion of the first movie where the real Buddha intervened in a most awesome way.

Would I recommend the movie? Only to fans of the Journey to the West story but to all others – go watch the Monkey King 2 instead, a surprisingly good movie.

The real shame here is the cast from the first movie were awesome. As I said earlier, they were far from your ordinary choices, particularly Bo Huang whose Monkey King absolutely nailed it (although the animated monkey version was perhaps a tad too feral). But the path the monk took, supported by the awesome Qi Shu – well I’m disappointed. Regardless, I still have my fingers crossed there is a third and it’s once again helmed by Stephen Chow.

2.5 holy scriptures

NaNoWriMo: How I wrote over 50,000 words

To be completely honest here – I am more than a little chuffed with myself. One week out from NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month for the uninformed) and completely on a whim, I decided to participate in the challenge. That challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I am ecstatic to report that I succeeded in this challenge, and this post is to tell you exactly how I did it. My final tally was 50,314 words.

My greatest problem with writing for the longest time has been actually writing. Yes I’ve written a short story or two – but I’ve then fallen into the trap of editing them until oblivion. I think about writing all day and all night but I can’t actually make myself write. How the hell can I call myself a writer if I can’t do the most obvious part – the writing?

Having hoovered up every writing resource under the sun, from plotting to character development and everything in between, by far the most challenging part of writing is just sitting down, bum on seat, and making words appear on the screen. No Reddit posts, no blogs – just fiction!

So what was different this month? I don’t really know! But this is what I did:

  • What was I going to write? I have been thinking about an idea for a novel for a long time now – at least 1-2 years. I’ve given this considerable thought, including the setting, characters and the basic plot. I’d written a few thousand words into the first chapter but that was about it. Going into NaNoWriMo I decided to write this novel and progress from start to finish – rather than writing just any old crap. I wrote a basic outline of the key points and there ended up being 14 of them. This took the story to around the halfway mark, but I figured if each of them had around 3-4000 words (which is what my average short stories tend to be) I would have enough – or at least by the time I’d written all 14 points, I’d have a better idea of where to go next.
  • My philosophy: Ok this one sounds a little wanky but there’s some important things that I like to remind myself when setting out on such a massive task. Specifically – a quote and a concept.

journey-of-a-thousand-miles-lao-tzu-single-step 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzu

I found myself coming to this quote time and time again when studying Mandarin Chinese. In the beginning it seemed an insurmountable task to learn that particular language, and while it still seems so 7-8 years later, the only way to learn it is one step at a time. The same is true of writing a novel – a ridiculously massive undertaking when you consider it as a whole, but as soon as you write that first page, and then another, and another – suddenly you’re well on your way. It’s important not to let yourself lose sight of this idea or you’ll quickly watch your motivation to continue plummet.

My second inspiration comes from watching artists paint. Have you ever watched someone paint an oil painting? They don’t paint the perfect house then the perfect door, besides the perfect tree in the perfect garden – they slop down big slabs of colour to vaguely illustrate where these details will eventually be. Then they slowly build upon these slabs with basic detail, which is built up and up and up until it begins to resemble the finished subject. But then they take it so much further again. Watch this video as an example.

The basic image is built up and up – the detail layered in on top of the sketch.

Drafting a novel is exactly the same concept – your first draft while potentially horrible, is only the starting point. Each time it’s re-drafted the writing gets better and better, the characters grow and take on lives of their own. But without that first draft beneath it, unless you’re some kind of freakish word wizard, you’re not going to get there. And as a friend often says, “You can’t edit a blank page.”

  • 1600 words per day target: With NaNo specifically, you need to write 1600 words per day (actually it’s like 1612). With this goal in mind and using the NaNoWrimo dashboard counter to collate them – I started to bleed onto the page.
  • Story milestones: And this was the key for me– as I sat down to write I knew that however bad, I simply had to get to those story milestones I have previously written down – the 14 points of outline. The dialogue was terrible, the characters were flat and lacking their own voices, but I forced myself to keep writing until I reached those milestones. The first few thousand words were easier as I knew where I was going, but soon I was into brand new territory and having to make the story up as I went. Having a mini-goal at the end of every section was ridiculously helpful – that and knowing I could go back and fix those earlier words when I begin the redrafting process.
  • Don’t get bogged down in detail: Anytime I reached a name of a place/character/concept that I couldn’t think of straight away, I put in a placeholder type comment along with a square bracket]. This would be easily located down the track and would prevent me from bringing up Google and starting to research something – however basic. Research is essential in a novel but has the distinct habit of getting in the way of actually writing.
  • Ignore consistency (for now..): At several points I had realizations that certain events needed to be foreshadowed earlier, or certain characters needed to already be at a certain point of change and again would need earlier re-writing. Rather than going back and changing those things in this draft it’s important just to carry on. One character of mine picked up 20 years of age, another suddenly had abilities he didn’t have previously. I just wrote like that was the new norm, conscious that these too could be fixed later on.
  • Find that right time to write: Writers often talk about finding the right time of the day to write and by god is this true. A friend of mine recommends getting up an hour earlier before work and well I’ll admit, I’m not that hardcore yet but I did realize during this process that there were times that were unbearably difficult to write. For me – I had to start during the day, the earlier the better, and finish at night. I would often start during my lunch break at work and get as many words down as possible and then finish when I got home from work or early evening after dinner. IF – and this happened a few times, if I got to 9pm or so and then started writing? Sweet Jesus that was difficult! By that time of night, after a long day of work and various other family related issues, I simply did NOT have the mental capacity to write new words. I would sit there looking at the keyboard and force myself to type, updating my word count every few minutes, 100 by 100 excruciating words until I got to 1600. By comparison, if I got 7-800 under my belt, knowing I only had another 6-7-800 to finish at night was considerably easier.
  • Edit the last page and continue: Knowing I have a tendency to re-write indefinitely, I didn’t allow myself to re-read anything I had written previously other than the last page. I would then begin to re-write/edit this last page and continue on into the next section. Not only did I often pick up a lot more words from fleshing out this last part of the writing, but my mind would return to that place in the story and it was a lot easier to begin again. I found this particularly useful.
  • Know what you’re writing next! I found a fantastic piece of writing advice along the way- actually a quote from Ernest Hemmingway:

Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next

This was fantastic – even if I finished the night on a chapter but only a few sentences into the next one. It was important that I knew where the next one was going as I would think about it in that time before I started (often at work or when out and about).

  • Pace yourself: And finally, this one applies specifically to NaNoWrimo – pace yourself! There are people out there who write a few hundred thousand words during the same time many of us struggle to hit a mere 50,000 and good on them – but the challenge is designed not as a ‘see how many words you can humanly squeeze out of your head’ but for people such as me who are having trouble writing. It’s about establishing a regular writing routine rather than just writing the word cats 50,000 times! If you feel you can blast the daily 1600 out of the water and finish halfway through the month then great – but don’t burn yourself out! There’s a reason why you cant claim the win until the 20th of the month – it’s designed to get you writing ALL month. It’s a mighty challenge, but make the most out of it.

And finally – here’s my NaNoWrimo baby below – damned if I am not proud of him/her! My plan now is to hang onto that momentum. I’ve had a few writing free days since finishing on Monday 28th November but now it’s time to get back on the horse and keep writing! I banged out 1800ish words yesterday but realistically, my daily goal will be around the 800-1000 mark. Whether I can hold onto that momentum going forward – well time will tell!

nanowrimo

Did you participate in NaNo too? How did you go? Do you have any of your own advice to share?

Sanada Ten Braves movie review

One of the highlights of my movie-going year is the Japanese Film Festival that plays in Melbourne, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It always has a diverse mix of movies and while the quality can be pot-luck, there are always a few gems in there. This year I saw two movies, The Magnificent Nine and Sanada Ten Braves, the latter of which I’ll talk about today.

I’ll say straight up, this movie was quirky. It was like a cross between a typical samurai period movie and the anime series Naruto. It had this bizarre almost playful sense of humour throughout and right from the start I was expecting it to be crap – but I have to say overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Japanese love to propose ‘what if?’ scenarios to their period movies. I’ve seen many movies and drama series that have turned history on its head, exploring often ambiguous themes from slightly different angles. For example one tele-movie had the infamous Oda Nobunaga as a woman – and rather than being assassinated by Akechi MItsuhide – ran off in love with him!

This movie focuses on the famous general Sanada Yukimura – noted for his amazing defence of Osaka castle against the overwhelming forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The Sanada clan – former Takeda retainers, were not powerful but were particularly crafty and known to have many ties with ninja. Through skilful negotiation and subterfuge, they managed to avoid getting crushed when literally trapped between the vastly more powerful Hojo, Uesugi, Tokugawa and even the Oda.

This movie has Yukimura as a coward whose entire life was a lie. All the great battles in which he was famed – he wasn’t responsible, it was his ten ninja retainers known as the Sanada Ten Braves. The reoccurring them is about lies – in that, if a lie is believable enough to everyone else then that lie becomes genuine. So essentially the question is – can General Sanada become a genuine hero?

The movie opens with an introduction to the first 9 of the braves and is done in a quite effective anime. The tone for the rest of the movie is established when a message pops up on screen, “This is not an anime, the actual movie will start shortly!”

The ten braves were over the top ninja’s and warriors – literally as if they were plucked from the ninja anime Naruto. As is often the case, translating these kinds of characters to reality often looks like bad cosplay – and in the case of Kirigakure Saizo (also a famous figure from Japanese history / mixed media) – he has that long sweeping forlock and slightly feminine cast which is so popular. Actually he reminded me of Miyamoto Musashi’s flamboyant rival Kojiro Sasuke.

But these characters were fun! There were some genuinely funny moments throughout but what sealed the deal for me was the combat, beyond the ninja combat high-wire type fighting, there was some seriously enjoyable and large scale feudal Japanese combat as Tokugawa Ieyasu launched his massive army against the defences of Osaka – primarily the fortress manned by the Sanada where Yukimura made his name, known as the Sanada Maru.

After the final conflict was resolved, there was a scene in a storehouse that caught me by surprise – it was just the perfect ending, followed by a slightly slapstick epilogue type scene and this bizarre hand drawn series of comics detailing how the surviving members went on to form a performing troupe.

It was bizarre as hell but highly enjoyable and in parts, surprisingly emotional. Highly recommended but don’t go into it with any expectations.

The thing about Trump…

nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runners

I can understand how so many down-trodden American’s are looking to Trump as a saviour of sorts. Someone different. Someone from way left of field, not cut from the same mould as the politicians; who in their eyes, have failed them.

In many respects, I feel the same about the Australian government. I feel measures of frustration and infuration when I read about them. The constant bickering and inaction. The backwards thinking in regards to critical issues such as climate control, the disgraceful handling of asylum seekers and marriage equality. In short, our government sucks, whichever side of the fence you fall on.

I keep thinking it needs reform. Core structural issues that affect the country shouldn’t be mnaged by these incompetent fools who are assigned to a particular portfolio (often beyond their area of expertise) but something along the lines of Singapore – where an independant body of experts handle these things beyond the infuriating political body.

I can see then, where someone like Trump who is so far removed from the a-typical middle-aged white guy could have appeal. The key difference however, is this kind of person needs to have those left of field trait, but also be armed with the facts.

Having just watched the debate between Clinton and Trump I was not surprised in the least at the result. It was like watching a child debate a parent. There was no contest. The sheer fact that everything Trump says is either completely devoid of detail or directly contradicting (or denying) things he’s said on record in the past is telling. Clinton on the other hand answered everything with the cool, calm and collected head of someone not only prepared, but someone who knew what they were talking about.

IF Trump argued against her, backed by fact and knowledge, rather than the blathering babble of someone clearly out of their depth, then something akin to a landslide might occur. As it stands, Trump to his supporters is a clear indication of what the people want. They want something different – and I dont think that’s too unreasonable at all as I’d like the same in Australia. But when that something different is a dodgy, shit-talking, sexist, racist and questionably successful business-man like Trump however – until someone with integrity, passion for real change and armed with the facts comes along, we’re stuck with the same middle-aged white politicians who created this problem.