Baywatch – Review

Perhaps it began with Starsky and Hutch? It was certainly perfected by 21 Jump Street. Parody-esque reboots of vintage TV shows have been peppered through recent film history. They’re fun, they’re dumb, and they’re a good Sunday afternoon watch. Baywatch pretty much fits the bill, there.

Taking the reins from the untouchable David Hasslehoff, Dwayne Johnson steps into the shoes of Mitch Buchanan in this self-aware summer romp. The very first noticeable part of Baywatch is the objectification – I know, I promise I’ll be a beach about this real quick and then the review gets more upbeat.

At first, the lingering face-free shots of bikini clad women in the same Hollywood cookie-cutter shape was eye-rolling. However, I’ll be the first to cry hypocrite – because the objectification didn’t just stop at the ladies and I’m not going to sit here and pretend Matt Brody (Zac Efron) climbing an…

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Dear Brian

Dear Brian

If you’re standing here, it’s because I am. If you breathe, it’s because I breathe too. Your dependence on me is exhausting yet, it feels like I depend on you.

When instability overwhelms and overpowers my frail silhouette. And yet.

When you’re gone I’m a mountain, a rock, I am the wave. When you’re gone I can part tides and make strides and utter sentences to inspire, and break free from the me that becomes the liar of weaknesses of needless needs and open wounds; that all at once yearns to be free, yet congeals to the confines of distorted memories when I made a mistake and you remind me. And yet.

Surfacing in my periphery I feel you ebb. Closer to my route. That I’ve carefully carved away from you. And yet I’m hooked. I rely on you, your name shapes my mouth in vowels and consonants trialled before you arrive, your faceless embodiment a poltergeist in my own mind. Brian, you are safety and yet throw me across train tracks in endless visions; and yet.

Perhaps you will end me as I try to end you. Star crossed lovers both of whom I cannot be. And yet.

I need your stick man legacy, the puppetry and you move me as I’m meant to be. I give up. I retreat. And let you steer a while. While I find my feet, and you pull the rug from under me leaving me with nothing but these clichés. And yet.

And yet. Somehow I stay, fighting to remain, fighting my beliefs, they are stronger than you. I am stronger than you. I existed long before you, I am flesh and blood and bone and heart and words and the real memories, not the visions that you sent to me.

And yet. 

Pareidolia: NaPoWriMo

So my Twitter pal Rachel has informed me that this month is National Poetry Writing Month. She’s doing a poem a day and hers are all going to be excellent I don’t doubt – you can find them here. I don’t usually do poetry. Blogs, articles, fiction – generally prose, that’s my bag. But I’ve been having a weird few days mental health wise and before I carry on with my own April project (using Camp NaNoWriMo to complete the first draft of my novel) I thought I’d give it a crack. I don’t normally do poems, but…here is a poem.

 

Pareidolia

It was a joke.
I made a joke.
I didn’t mean it, so laugh.

I’m laughing; so much my eyes sting,
I’m laughing in my gut,
I’m laughing until it hurts
Because it does hurt
I can feel it.
At my joke.

Have you ever seen a puppet?
A jester, or a clown?
Fooling around?
With a hand shove up its backside,
Nothing inside.
Not really.

Faces painted on inanimate things,
We search for them, too,
We’re trained to,
Patterns they say; but I see faces,
Faces on things that don’t feel,
Don’t laugh,
Not at my joke.
And it was a joke.
So laugh.

Faces are painted on me,
Laughing.
I put them there myself.
At my joke.

And it was a joke.
When I danced at the platform edge,
It was a joke when I said what I said
I wouldn’t have jumped, don’t be concerned.
It was a joke.

I made a joke.
I didn’t mean it, so laugh.

 

 

(The general idea is that it becomes more sinister on a second read through, so if you’d like to read it twice…please do!)

Mountbatten: An Excerpt

Chapter Two

Good lord, Weeks skin is greasy. Is it sweat, or grease? I dont know; it looks like itd be slippery to touch. Doesnt he wash himself? Eugh

“Sir?”

“Weeks,”

“You’ve got two minutes, sir.”

“Yes, right. Good.”

Mountbatten straightened his tie and smiled comfortably into the camera lights. The air was thick with sweat and artificial heat, grumbling with the mumblings of journalists and politicians, the rustling of paper, and the buzz of anticipation.

Carl Weeks, Mountbatten’s right-hand man, had been promised the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the election of Mountbatten as Prime Minister. He was a slight man, with a grey comb over that aged him far past his 42 years.

A sudden thought caught Mountbatten off-guard, and his heart stopped for a second. Patting his chest, he felt for the small egg-shaped lump and found it where he’d left it, in his inside jacket pocket. His pulse slowed back to normal and he stepped forward at Weeks’ nod.

“Good Morning. Thank you all for coming.” Several of the audience blushed at his smile – he was handsome, it was fair to say. A strong jaw and full head of chocolate brown hair, with just a sprinkling of grey on the sides, he could even be forgiven his poor choice in facial hair – a thick, Tom Selleck-esque moustache.

“We’ve had a great campaign so far, and the support that the country has shown us has been tremendous. I, personally, can’t thank you enough for your kind words and solidarity as I pledge to make this country truly great again.” The reporters and the camera operators alike were grinning, some even subconsciously giving a small nod of encouragement.

“I know that, in recent years, smear campaigns have been held against my opponents on both sides, and I believe that this is a testament to the country’s disillusionment with politics. Neither of the main two parties in the outdated two party system were giving the whole country what they wanted, nor what they needed – and the opinion polls show that the Friend of Everyone party is exactly what this country needs.”

Pause for effect are they going to applaud? They should, that was fucking inspiring.

“We believe in the greater good – and the greatest good, is the British public. The British public who present themselves, and carry themselves with the self-respect and dignity that shapes a nation, and who they are as individuals. Until the majority of you as citizens are happy with the way the country is run, the country is being run incorrectly. So when you go in to that voting booth on Thursday – remember FOE. The only party that cares about you, and the only party that cares about the greater good. To the greater good!” Mountbatten flashed another smile as his voice raised an imaginary toast to the public. The reporters roared and a couple of lights shook with the movement of the room.

Fucking nailed it. I am so fucking brilliant. 

Weeks breathed a sigh of relief at the side smirk on his boss’ face, and then started as his charming blue eyes caught his own. Mountbatten raised an eyebrow to which Weeks nodded fervently and held up two fingers – “two minutes” he mouthed.

“We have a couple of minutes, if there are any questions?” One woman squeaked as her hand shot in to the air.

“Yes?”

“Michelle Truman, Daily Mail -“

“Good morning, Michelle, how are you?”

Michelle nearly dropped her pen as she flustered.

“I’m – thankyou, good, I was – I’m just wondering – are you excited about the move to number ten? The figures certainly look in your favour!” she trembled, rustling the pages of her notebook.

Mountbatten laughed a big, booming laugh that echoed from the marble walls.

“Let’s just see what happens on Thursday,” he said, with a wink that almost caused the journalist to stop breathing. She fell back on her seat with a giddy thud.

Mountbatten stood outside the London hotel, waiting for his driver to pull up. Weeks was weighed down with his bags and enormous leather Filofax, standing nearly a foot shorter than the party leader. The car pulled up and, after a few moments of standing still, Mountbatten looked down his nose.

“Weeks?”

“Oh, sir, sorry, sir, yes,” he grabbed the handle and opened the car door, dropping his organiser and all of the papers it contained on the damp pavement. Mountbatten ignored the fuss and slid on to the leather seat.

After Weeks had gathered his belongings and deposited Mountbatten’s bags in the boot of the car, he climbed in the other side, cringing slightly as Mountbatten checked his watch impatiently.

“Back to the office, driver, I have a lot to do.” He clipped.

“Sir? I thought we were done for the day?”

“You’re done for the day; I have to round some things up.” Best compliment the weasel, he looks like hes about to pass out. “Good work today, Weeks. I think we’re well on the way!” he grinned, slipping back into his press conference projection.

“Thank you, sir!” Weeks lit up, reaching for a handshake. He quickly retrieved his digits as Mountbatten recoiled slightly.  “The opinion polls are looking in our favour, sir. Certainly in our favour.”

When he nods, I can see his bare scalp. Its like peeking through a little head curtain. I bet its greasy under there, too. 

“It’s not over until I’m in that building, Weeks. That’s when the fun really begins,” Mountbatten grinned once more, absentmindedly fingering the lump in his jacket pocket. Weeks nodded silently for the rest of the journey.