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Missed Practice–but went to Court & Eros

Fell off the WoYoPracMo but I have (fairly) good excuses this time.

1) Have been sitting in court in support of an old friend–can’t write more about that right now. Next week will be easier because a roster has been drawn up & we’ll take turns being there–funny how after more than 20 years of little or no contact it is still old classmates you feel the strongest bond with/obligation to. What about all the other people we’ve gotten to know along the way?

2) Went to see ‘Help Me Eros’ or Bang Bang Wo Aishen with Felix. Again an old friend I haven’t seen for a long long time.

This seems to be a time for catching up with people I knew in what now seems a previous life.

With (1) I had thought I would be the only one there but then Vas came in… & then Michele & then next day Mish (T), Sandy & Jennie showed up & that’s when Mish worked out a roster to make sure there would be someone there every day. We’re not doing anything except sitting. At least I’m not–of course I’m sending crushing thoughts in the Evil Sister’s direction but haven’t seen any results yet. Took 2 days ‘leave’ for that last week & next week will be taking another 2.
It was interesting seeing them all again.

& I got my first meat-eater comment this year (yes, made it to July!) when at lunch I ordered the mushroom pasta (off the vegetarian menu) & Jennie snided “So–do you explode if you eat meat?” I just said ‘No’ but told the Beaver later & he said I should have answered “No, do you?” hehe–now I’m hoping to get asked again!

(2) was good seeing Felix again. And I got a copy of his latest book ‘broken by the rain’. I’ll write more about that when I’ve gone through it more thoroughly, but for now, just an excerpt from the title poem: broken by the rain

I am broken by the rain,
leaves telling on the fall,
poems I have missed
when I refused to rise up
to the dreaming in their call.

I know that feeling too. Sometimes when ‘inspiration’ & potential are at their richest point I just want to soak it all in, be in the moment & not do anything as effort-full as write though knowing full well I will not remember.
So is it better to diminish the moment by trying to express/capture it–or to lose it altogether by not trying?

And the film. I don’t know what I think of it yet. Yes, I was very impressed–this is the first film for Lee Kang Sheng as director. He also wrote it (I think–there’s not much script) & stars in it as ‘Ah Jie’ the guy who has lost all his $$ in the stock market… & in the course of the movie drifts through sexual encounters, sexual fantasies, sad-funny attempts to get a few dollars for his designer lamp (rejected), his brand-name wallet, his plasma tv… while living off pot noodles, calling a suicide helpline & lovingly tending his pot (as in marijuana, not terracotta) plants.

Okay, I’m biased (against) because I really really really hated loathed detested was sickened & disgusted by the opening scene where a tv chef scales, guts, cooks & serves a live fish. The poor fish is thumping & flapping as he jokes & seizes it to scrape scales off, almost escapes, gets grabbed again etc. The chef still jokes as, ready to be eaten with sauce on, the fish’s mouth is still opening & closing. It is a mark of a good dish, he says, the fish is still alive. What do you think it is saying? The interviewer asks. Maybe it is saying ‘please please help me’ & they mocking toast each other & the fish.

Yes, I know this is a striking metaphor–the fish was prob intended to represent Ah Jie being stripped of his external protection ($, status, respectability) & left gaping & wanting to die.
But the fish was not acting & its death throes were not funny.

And the rest of Ah Jie’s limp aimless meanderings through the film did not match the opening fish-killing scene.

I liked the film as I came out of it. But looking back… I would not watch it again. I would not support anyone else going to watch it.

I would like to scrape the skin off the director–okay, I’m not a killer–I would like to scrape the skin off his legs & crotch, say, castrate him (hey, that’s kinder than de-gutting him, right?) & fry him up in oil, dollop sauce on him and then–only then–would I toast this film.

There were nice moments.
I liked the Jane Liao as Chiyi–who is Ah Jie’s helpline buddy. Except he visualises her as skinny & sexy, like the betel nut girls he chats up & has sex with. And when they talk online, she is happy for a moment when he calls her ‘pretty’ but then asks ‘who is the fat girl next to you?’ Of course Chiyi is the ‘fat girl’ herself & of course she lies about it. Chiyi is also married to the disgusting tv chef who is revealed as gay & she so craves contact that she gets into a bath tub full of eels. The eels reminded me of my fat little earthworms actually. I think the scene was supposed to disgust people but I would rather play with eels than eat them, so…

And I liked the scene of running after the lottery van hoping his numbers would come out. And the suicide attempt–except his gas cannister is empty. And Shin (played by Yin Shin, the betel nut girl he picks up/sleeps with/fights with) returning to her home… in a betel nut plantation where she works at harvesting the same betel nuts she was selling along with her body on the streets.

I also hated Chiyi’s chef husband breaking open an ostrich egg to cook it… an ostrich foetus, I should say. But I didn’t hate it as much as the live fish torture.

If I hadn’t been with Felix I would have walked out during the first scene. On one hand I’m glad I saw the whole show. On the other hand, I would say–don’t give this guy your money so he thinks torturing live creatures on screen works.

If you must watch his sex scenes or want to buy into his ignorant assumption that all gay men = transvestites then try to get hold of a pirated copy.

(Okay the betel nut girls & their outfits were really pretty awesome. Really. But for that–go to Taiwan. Or to YouTube. Don’t support this slow-torture-of-live-fish director)

ps Sorry, can’t resist. Watch out, all clients/potential clients of Mrs May B. Y. Oh, of May Oh & Wee… if the lady isn’t suffering from drastic & selective amnesia she just perjured herself in High Court!


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