Archive for December, 2010

The Culture of the Resolution

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I’ve changed the name of this blog once and considering my lack of allegiance or faithfulness to anything, it’s not so unfathomable that I might easily change it again.

I’m thinking of something like “East L.A. Curmudgeon” or “Curmudgeon-in-Training.” Who the hell knows.

I have this image of a curmudgeon as an ornery and humorless old man slow to embrace or impart light-hearted goodwill. There he sits in this cloistered musky room, surrounded by coats of dust and a drab sense of ill-humored existence. Fending off the younger generations who lack seriousness and continually elicit his harsh judgments. If you go the official route and check Mrs. Merriam’s take, you’ll find this:

Wow, that archaic “miser” usage is new to me.
A big affirmative to that!
And I fulfill definition number 2’s criteria, though I’d like to think I’m not quite “old” yet. My mind is preceding my body to that race.

My burgeoning curmudgeon-ness is rooted in a severe distaste for most people and their predictable daily nonsense of existence. And as I get older, their existence seems to sickeningly take on the pallor of oppressive and revolting mediocrity. I think it’s natural for us, as human, to overlay our social intolerances over the entirety of mankind’s cumulative personality and to attribute all offensive behavior to a “modern” sensibility, when in fact that shit was probably just as annoying when I was young. But of course, being that I was young I was most likely happily engaged in the same petty proliferation of bullshit and thus not bothered by it. As you get older, you get bothered. You attribute all cultural ills to modernity, which is really just a code for “young.”

I think those ungraciously aging of my generation are exposed to a whole new brand of cultural exposure as a result of the internet. We are able to witness the prattle of imbecilic chatter stride shamelessly across our screens on Facebook and Twitter and Myspace and every other social networking/dating site we dare to log in to, and most of this shit an affront to intelligence and good taste. The curmudgeon is devoutly serious. Flatly joyless. His intolerance is aggressively expressed reticence with a dose of timidity thrown in for good measure. In his distaste there is perhaps a sense of resentment or bitterness. I believe the curmudgeon’s genesis is rooted in an alienated childhood of rejection. Perhaps in early adulthood the early curmudgeon assumes the facade of normal society member by virtue of youth’s bristling virility. As age creeps up and relinquishment of the idleness of youth overtakes the maturing man, that old sense of alienation returns but cloaked behind the curtain of self-righteous withdrawal and arrogance. Curmudgeons are living out the continuation of a dejected youth.

And the worst time of year for me, as a fledgling curmudgeon, are the holidays. The holidays bore me. They annoy and test my patience with people.
The holidays were designed with the unqualified intent to completely break the back (and psyche) of curmudgeons everywhere.

The holidays with their incessant flippant tone of happiness and optimism and faux well-wished assertions. Such a barrage of seasonal bullshit!

1) That fucking Rose Parade. What an annoying display of old California style blue-blood debutante garbage. Even the rare minority member of the precious Rose Court wears the stain of tokenism. Nope, the only valid contestants are the white chicks whose families span back eras into SWPL Pasadena pre-history. Well-bred and well-moneyed, and now their precious little girls reap the nationally televised attention whore benefit of this stupid-ass parade built on the backs of thorny rose bushes and mentally enslaved workers seeking to build the best float ever. Fucking floats gliding by while the crowds press in madly to get a look at…a motorized rose bush. WTF? I don’t get it. Not only does the crowd scream in indescribable excitement, they do so in the most inclement weather ever (for SoCal). For you foreigners, Pasadena directly faces the northern mountains and is at an elevation much higher than most coastal Los Angeles and it is cold as hell there most December 31st’s. So it figures this is the perfect location for a bunch of nomadic souls to flock to while leaving behind the wonderful warmth of an adobe so they can sit on a sidewalk wrapped in scarves, jackets, mittens and boots, in order to watch this procession of colorful crap.

This is tonight’s weather forecast. Makes you want to rush out here and join the hordes, doesn’t it? (Yellow highlight is my own to accentuate the weather. I’m helpful that way…)

I’m disappointed there is no rain in the forecast at parade time. Major damnit. People root for football teams on New Year’s Day; I root for rain.

2) The endless barrage of mindless greetings.
Happy!
Merry!
Have a great!
Have a wonderful!
Have a prosperous!

If you ever, for whatever deranged reason, forget the time of year, you won’t have to wait long to be reminded because eventually, in the next 45 seconds, someone will scream or write this shit in your ear or your wall and you’ll think, “Oh, yeah! It’s Christmas!” A unforgiving parade (worse than the Rose one) of platitudes and hollow encouragements. Occasionally I hear the sporadic sincere and heart-felt greeting. Then I’m touched. I will not shrug it off as I would a wife’s or girlfriend’s substanceless order. But 97% of the shit that gets recited and barked out at this time of year carries all the sincerity of a greeting card pulled from a stack of 30 you bought in a pack on sale at CVS. Fucking holiday robots. Most aggravating is when this type of dynamic plays itself out in the realm of religiosity and other forms of Christian devotion. People who haven’t gone to church since Easter, never pray, never lift a fucking finger to do anything remotely saintly throughout the year, suddenly become virulent dogmatic charlatans in December while displaying frantic masks of religious fervor and recite Christian niceties until they need to be euthanized for everyone’s sake. It’s the robotic and reflexive holiday cheer that drives me crazy.

3) Speaking of reflexive behavior. Another holiday loser tradition that makes me want to scrape my eyeballs out of their sockets is the Culture of Resolutions. Every year it happens. 365 days have slipped by before people start realizing in a last-minute flash of glory that they have not been living up to the standards society dictates are proper or healthy and in a flourish or demented morality and discipline, they decide to right their personal Titanic by making personal contracts spelling out their new life path. They make all manner of promises about what they will give up or what new habit they will embark on. A resolution is just a promise to the self. Inevitably, New Year’s resolutions involve a change for the better. They are trite and doomed to failure. The fat chick who says she will eat less, the functional alcoholic who resolves to drink less or the materialistic creep who resolves to donate more…all a bunch of useless and futile dead ends. Health clubs recruit new customers for annual contracts because this the time people are morally at their weakest. They have spent too much money and eaten too much food over the holidays and their fat-assed empty wallets cushion the seat as they wallow in self-pity. Midnight looms and things will now change because they endeavor to say so…but nothing ever changes. I don’t understand why change must be announced at the beginning of a new calendar year. Is January 1 more special than August 14? Why can’t you make an August 14 resolution?

It’s this hollow self-obsessed display of change that I despise and the drive which possesses people to profess the nonsense loudly. As if the public utterance of such bullshit will lend it more gravity and significance when in reality it will die the same death all personal goals made behind the futility and dark secrecy of our own minds. It’s a crass display of egotism to announce in the public square that you will lose weight when in fact you have no intention of it. This is social and mental anesthesia. Making these overstated and raucous goals merely quiets the dysphoric chaos of an unhealthy mind but nothing will be done because there is no resolve. The reason we set artificial starting lines is to distract us from the goal because we are truly incapable of starting many personal treks independently of our environment. Which would not be so bad because this is what people do and it’s what I expect. No, I’m disgusted by the New Year’s tradition of making a public, Facebookian fuss about the adventure and involving everybody who in turn, feel they must pitch in the obligatory words of encouragement which we all know won’t matter one bit because that Resolution will be smashed to smithereens in the matter of a couple of months.

But there is always next year.

Globalism’s sad love story

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It’s a tried and true romantic formula.
The young girl and boy fall in love. Perhaps they are poor or struggling. Time passes and the boy becomes complacent and passive in his hamster lot while the girl transforms into a socially and materialistically ambitious creature. She befriends a wide range of people and her life expands while the boy’s remains the same. Or retracts. Her world broadens. She is not the person she was one year ago; but the boy is. She tells him sadly, just before she leaves for the last time, “I’ve outgrown you.”

A sad tear-jerking state of affairs, indeed. But this old saga reminds me of a similar chain of estranged events that the American working middle-class finds themselves mired in over the last few decades. In our case, the blossoming girl who deserted us for golden pastures is American business. American business of yore, she loved us and we loved her in return. Our world was all we knew and it was a world that only spanned the Pacific to the Atlantic shores. Our dreams were small, our demands, simple. We sought peace of mind and stability and our aspirations were contained by a geographical state of mind. As the world shrunk, technology made it possible for us to intermingle halfway around the globe with others, and our dreams changed. Our shores could not contain our souls, but nevertheless our dreams and scope of reality remained limited by the two shores. However, the girl, the big business bitch, ventured beyond the oceans. She discovered other lands and cultures, and they satisfied her selfish lust equally well, if not more so.

She prospered because she could spread at will and leech profit from anywhere, but individually we are fixed beings, planted in one spot and globalism does not befit the physically insulated individual.

One of the key points from the MSNBC article linked, “Many U.S. Companies Are Hiring…Overseas,” was made in this paragraph:

A key factor behind this runaway international growth is the rise of the middle class in these emerging countries. By 2015, for the first time, the number of consumers in Asia’s middle class will equal those in Europe and North America combined.

Why yes, the middle class steadily grows in fledgling shitholes while our own, having been denied the fruits of its own labors by the burgeoning global corporatocracy, continues to shrivel. Globalism garners the world population into a singular mammoth work force which the multinationals can feed from like vultures. These former cesspools of geographical humanity, possessed of the worst standards of living and expectations ever, had everything to gain by joining the march to the rise of a new global middle class. They have nowhere to go but up. Meanwhile, the middle classes from areas that once enjoyed prosperity and comfort for most of the 20th Century, were called upon (ha, no, it’s more like “drafted”) by the corporate global forces to begin chipping in and sacrificing its well-being so poverty-stricken workers in other parts of the world might lift themselves up by their Incorporated bootstraps in the ostensible hopes of raising the human race and of course, providing an ever ballooning customer base for the global racketeers. Global business interests have inflicted upon Americans the greatest disguised social welfare program of all time. The middle class essence of our country has been gutted and distilled into a paper thin layer of prosperity coated across the globe and which, from the perspective of struggling economies, is the beacon of hope and wealth. India and other Asian countries find a swelling middle class growing in their bosom, and its genetic roots are born from American involuntary sacrifice.

In the article you will find that in spite of its misleading damning headline, it does not damn corporate globalism one bit. In fact, repeated references and case citations kindly make a case for globalism by pointing out the unmistakable reasons for business to take advantage of a global work force and customer base. The article even seems to insinuate we are fools for questioning the propriety of established corporate global motives. Not only do they illustrate reasons the girl has outgrown us, they demonstrate that there is no honor…in honor. Of Coca Cola, the article says, “…CEO Muhtar Kent often points out that a billion consumers will enter the middle class during the coming decade, mostly in Africa, China and India. He is aggressively targeting those markets.” Why of course, who can blame him? Who can blame him for taking the American capitalist ideal of unleashed growth, of bigger, bigger, bigger, while wielding it voraciously to hammer our national integrity to pieces. And the article concludes with an observation by Jeffrey Sachs, a “globalization expert and economist at Columbia University.” Sachs says, “We are not fulfilling the educational needs of our young people. In a globalized world, there are serious consequences to that.” That’s right, not only has the global corporatocracy made sure the global market drains all lifeblood from the American worker, it’s the American worker’s fault to begin with because we are scholastic failures. Judging by the human detritus issuing forth from MBA programs, I actually have a hard time arguing this point.

The battle is irreversible.
We are too far gone and too many institutions and power brokers are so deeply entrenched in this profit-producing monster that the only thing that might possibly disrupt their tenacious hold on the profit orgy they currently suck dry is a global catastrophe of cosmic scope.

Riots in the streets will be pounded down. Public opinion will be swayed and diverted by expert marketing campaigns of official and unofficial natures. The MSM, television, Hollywood, are all under the tutelage and control of the global oligarchs. Realizing their market is composed primarily of dull-minded sheep who are easily soothed and silenced by new phones and larger televisions and faster cars, they quiet potential fleets of detractors by feeding them the consumerist tit to put them out for the night. Meanwhile, they continue raping the aspirations of a sapped American middle class. How can this fight be won? In the “olden days,” it was a magnificent struggle merely to overcome a nation’s ruling class, a localized economic reign…but how do we possibly overthrow a global force which milks the adulation and gratitude from the entire global population? Once the downtrodden have been fed morsels of American prosperity, human nature dictates they will want more, and more. When the American middle class is at long last tapped out, then what, who next?

The auspicious doom of the short man

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Something Chateau wrote yesterday caught my eye. Or my attention. Anything that deals with the subject of height often climbs my attention ladder. Height is very important to me, especially in this parcel of blogland that seems to hybridize the uncannily ruthless facets of evolution and PUA-tistry. In Chateau’s post, he made a rare allusion to random assorted links…a “linkfest” of sorts. Concerning one link, he wrote:

It’s been asked why every man isn’t tall if women have such a strong preference for tall men. I propose that there is a check on runaway sexual selection for male height — namely, clumsiness.

He links to two music videos by “OK Go” with some cheesy choreography by the 4 band members, seemingly lifted out of the faux-hipster crowd over on lane 17. One of the members is noticeably shorter than the others but appears to have the best footwork compared to his taller cohorts.

I can’t speak to the clumsy quotient, but the question Chateau’s reader posed has frequently skittered across my thinking surface before. The reason the subject of height strangles so much of my attention is because I’m short. I’m 5’6″. Pretty short. But look, height is one of many detrimental factors which, superficially, discount men from the mating game, but which still don’t prevent them from surmounting the mating barriers in excessive numbers. The soul of woman is capricious and twisted; against the vast multitude of the sum of global femininity, the evolutionary male standard or ideal will find a difficult footing, for women, unleashed, are prone to mate with anything, at least once. Of course, over time you will still find that the general evolutionary gathering of the female race would eventually assert itself into an approximate genotype of the typical male. Besides height, you then wonder why other factors haven’t been bred out of men since we know what women “like:” why are there ugly men, why are there fat men, bald men, poor men, pale men, and of course, short men. If the female evolutionary prerogative is indeed in force, why aren’t these less desirable traits purged form the male human race?

Speaking solely about the issue of height, I am convinced women’s preference for height plays itself out as a relatively modern social construct. Prehistorically speaking, you wonder what advantages height might have afforded primitive man. The taller man can reach fruit and nests. He can run faster but when you’re talking about 4-legged prey, even the fastest human sprinter in the world pales by comparison. On the negative side, taller men have more dermal surface area which may act as a physiological disadvantage in very hot or very cold weather, and long limbs are mechanically unstable and prone to injury. Taller males are capable of greater strength but lack the agility of their shorter counterparts. Who knows.

The point I meant to make regarding Chateau’s rheotrical question still lingers.
If the female instinctively favors the taller male, why are do short males exist?

The presence of short males (especiallly the pathologically short) are an indicator and symptom of the general trend of the female’s character imperfections, as well. One of the hallmark traits of a mentally healthy person is the ability to synchronize his behavior and actions with his primal drives. Once you divert from the evolutionary path, the mental hangups begin. Once we become too “human” we begin to lose the foundational markers of our inner animal self. Mental imbalance follows.

Why are there short men? Why are there ugly women?

Speaking of height requirements and shit like that, I’m reminded of an Asian chick I befriended back in 1995ish. She was Chinese and a looker. She liked clubs and drinking and Venice Beach. We hit it off. I was such a wuss, but still, I would have done anything in all my impeccably helpless manner for this Princess. I knew so little. I sucked. She kept me on the phone until 4 in the morning. I sent her gifts even though I never got so much as a blow job. We had great times. And she always made it a point to express her fondness for tall guys. She absolutely demanded that her man be tall. I was so clueless, I took her at her word. I accepted her rule and just assumed I was out of the running. Disqualified due to shortness! I threw in the towel long before I entered the ring. She wanted a tall man. I was not tall, therefore she did not want me. In the meantime, we went out often, drinking, dancing, hanging out, eating. She liked chess. This was in the days before everyone had cellphones so she talked her way into visiting me at my apartment in Hollywood in order to “check my cellphone” out. Cause she was thinking of buying one. She wanted to test mine. She sat on one of my high bar chairs in her mini-skirt. We had gone to eat Thai. She was looking at my phone, I hovered over her, we were laughing and I made her giggle. She had been giggling since dinner. When I sat down at the dinner table, her eyes settled into that sexual complacency. Her thighs, nice and tan, within arm’s reach. But a thought hovered in the back of my immature mind. She wanted a tall man! I was not. So I chickened out. Months later, she talked her way into coming over for a personal chess tournie in my same Hollywood apartment. We played on the carpet. We played and I wanted to fucking Castle her ass. She laid on the floor, ready to be checkmated. But she wanted a tall man. So I concentrated on the game. This was a woman who never stopped talking about her love of tall men who nevertheless insisted on exposing herself to my “shortness.” If I had had any game whatsoever, I could have had her. And I underwhelmed her requirements by at least 6 inches.

Physically unblessed men and women have proven, physiologically, to represent biological and evolutionary kisses of death for their respective genders. Yet they prosper. Humanity will always deviate from its evolutionary beacon and genetic flaws and irregularities. It will always find refuge in our lineage.

Roadblocks of ignorance

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

There is no competing with the apathetic call of the lazily ignorant.

If you have the slightest bit of curiosity about why people act like they do or why reality unfolds as it does, if you possess curiosity that might lead you to ask the inopportune “why,” be prepared to be alone.

The drawback of blogging and reading other blogs is that you fall into this masturbatory trap where all your most piercing, complex questions are greeted by a modicum of warranted attention. However, the real world ain’t like the blogosphere. It can be a trying lesson to encounter. One must learn to shift gears when living that thing called “real life” after immersing themselves in this community for a while. Don’t bring that analytical blogosphere mentality with you and attempt to entertain others with your accustomed pensive bullshit and expect a thoughtful consideration that you might otherwise receive in cyberland. Sadly, most people I know don’t give a crap about my crap and curiosity is one of the most endangered of higher human intellectual traits in society at large. If you bring a prying and inquisitive curiosity that cuts like a knife solely within the confines of this slice of the blog culture to the world at large, it’s best to expect that its edge will be blunted and dulled by the rough mentality of mass culture.

The other day I accidentally brought along my blog mentality to a real world situation and realized just how incompatible this cyberlife is with the ignorant and uncurious blindness of everyday life.

I was sitting around with a couple of women. Let’s not get any more specific for I need to protect certain facets and identities in my life or risk raining wrath down on certain tense and unfriendly situations. Let’s just say I was sitting around talking with a couple of chicks. One of them is your typical attention whore slash ghetto broad whose life has been colored behind the incurious fence of a self-involved life spent languishing in the personal squallor of bad choices and the devouring pit of horrendously undisciplined motives. In other words, she has always chosen the path of least resistance, the easy way out. Lazy. Intellectually, physically, emotionally. We got to talking about a common acquaintance who has been difficult to bear lately for a variety of reasons. This acquaintance is one of those types of exhausting people who’s never satisfied or willing to leave some auspicious things be. This person inevitably responds to all manners of sincere conscientiousness with half-hearted pleas of thanklessness cloaked behind further questions or quips that barely recognize the aforementioned sacrifice or fulfillment of duty. You know…nothing is ever good enough. That script. Anyways, this mutal acquaintance has been making life hell for my little ghetto friend who has begun spewing venom and awesome amounts of feminine vitriol. I, being the analytical (to a fault) nerd, try to dissect everything dispassionately and scientifically. I don’t allow my emotions to run rampant. And I fail to realize this is not the Way of man. So while this chick I was speaking to easily and effortlessly unleashes anger and blind judgement without an ounce of curiosity to temper her derision, I can’t help but lapse into a logical deconstruction of our mutual acquaintance’s behavior.

“I wonder why she’s like that,” I wondered. “I wonder if she was raised in a home where she learned this behavior. I bet her parents never expressed thanks or pride in her accomplishments…” I found myself fully involved in this stream of psychological dissection. I was utterly lost in my investigative train of thought and not prepared to deal with a “lesser” mind…

“I’ll tell you what, she’a a bitch, that’s all,” said the woman in a dismissive tone.
She discounted and reduced my ponderous examination with the swift and causal disregard of the unthinking and incurious. To not think is to not care.

Too late, I had committed myself to my thoughts.
I find I’m always too late to recognize these roadblocks of emotional ignorance.

Hollow Christmas offerings

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

I once saw a small stage play in Los Feliz based on the dissolute life of Dylan Thomas. I forget the name of the play but I was affected by the production and the immediacy of the small auditorium-sized playhouse venue. The vivid nature of the poet’s tortured existence and death were close enough to touch. The play ended with Thomas’ death, naturally, but the Christmas theme permeated the play. The final scene was ushered out by my favorite Christmas dirge, “Little Drummer Boy.” Funny that I always liked the song but it wasn’t until I saw the play that I carefully listened to the lyrics and was able to appreciate its message, which in the play, embodied the soul of a lonely, soul-stricken poet with nothing to offer but his words and art. The lonely path of every monomaniacal artist.

I saw the play alone. I don’t recall being drunk, but it was the ideal play by which to get loaded. As the final Christmas carol faded into the stage’s darkening finale, a shiver ran up my spine as I listed to the lyrics. Yes, even I, the atheist heathen that I am, was touched by the Christian sentiment. The shiver ran up my spine because I was flooded by memories of many a childhood Christmas spent in front of the television soaking in the the holiday spirit as I watched the story of the Little Drummer boy who brought his injured lamb to the Baby Jesus in the hopes of a miraculously feat of healing. In return, the boy beseeches the Jesus for help in exchange for his song since he professes to have nothing of material value to offer. I was always struck by the song’s anti-materialistic humility. I bought the VHS tape and replayed it often. Listening to the song as it accompanied the dramatic portrayal of Dylan Thomas’ poetically tragic life, I was touched by the proposition that many of us have only our souls to offer. How much are those worth?

This is the song that reduces my hardened heart to a soft warm pile of mush every Christmas. I’ve never liked upbeat Christmas crap like “Deck the Halls” or “Feliz Navidad”…I can’t stand those. In fact, they make me ill! They do nothing to convey what I imagine Christmas should truly represent. The story of the Little Drummer Boy encapsulates all that Christmas means to me.

It might be easy for me to spout some hollow bullshit that people utter mindlessly this time of year…”this is what Christmas is all about” as if stating some mysterious kernel of wisdom that no one has considered. This is what Christmas is all about! You know…about being poor and singing to Jesus and hoping he can heal your injured lamb.

It’s all BS. I’ll tell you what Christmas is all about.
Christmas is not about touching displays of humanity. It’s not about the spiritual.
Courtesy of Facebook, it’s about this:

That’s right. It’s about Tiffany. It’s about overpriced, pretentious garbage.

Christmas is pop culture on steroids. Christmas is about gifts and reprehensibly immature consumerism. Christmas is about last-minute shopping and zombie hordes looking for sales. Christmas is swarms of faux pious souls who decide to worship one day out of the year; Christmas is about lights and trees and Santa Claus and all that frenzied soulless commercialization.

That’s what the hell Christmas is.

There is nothing religious about this day; the only worship involved is the worship of the 4th Quarter’s profit margin and the ever persistent clamor of society’s default manner of appraising Christmas season’s sales as an overall indicator the economy’s health. Did we spend more or less this year? Christmas is black Friday and free shipping and lines.

Christmas my ass.

After the annual morning trek to my parent’s house to gobble down a couple of tamales for breakfast, I headed back home and endeavored what to do this fine Christmas day.

Idea!

It’s Christmas, I thought, surely the movie theater would be empty. I drove my son to a theater nearby and noticed that quite a few people were lined up to catch the mid-afternoon performances. Dismayed to note that my idea wasn’t quite so unique, I bought a couple of tickets for “Black Swan” for $19.00. How the times have changed. Before the movie, we endured the predictable and wearisome stream of trailers. A couple seemed memorable, one, not so much…

First was a trailer for “Rabbit Hole,” a promising cerebral tear-jerker with Nicole Kidman as a grieving mother of a young boy who is killed in an accident. Obviously, with such light-hearted subject matter, the temptation is for the director to milk the tear ducts with an abundance of lazy sentimentality. I could be wrong, and trailers are designed to give us the wrong impression, but this movie still looks like a promising and thoughtful examination of a very painful subject.

And if this movie is a tear jerker, next up on the trailer march was a preposterous-looking piece of chick-flick crap that looks like another in the long series of moronic cinematic offerings seemingly spawned from the distended guts of the equally moronic “Friends” NBC television series. This movie, “No Strings Attached,” looks like a complete piece of emasculated entertainment, Beta schmucks included.

The final trailer, “The Tree of Life,” was easily the most mysterious offering. Starring Brad Pitt, the story line, as suggested by the vague trailer, is difficult to ascertain and seems to involve the element of fatherhood and some young boys. Don’t know quite what to make of it, but I’m interested!

And the feature, the afternoon’s headline, “Black Swan.” I loved the movie. I told my son that this was one of those rare movies which keeps me so spellbound that I barely move at all in that span of time between the opening and closing credits. “Black Swan” ingeniously weaves the classic “White Swan” tale through the faltering sanity of Natalie Portman’s character and plays off the intricacies of the fictional story against the backdrop of the real life events of the movie. It’s hard to go wrong with movies about descent into madness! That is the way I look at it. And for all you saps who are tired of getting no or innaccurate results from Googling “Natalie Portman lesbian love,” your luck is finally about to change.