Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I'm feeling rather poorly at the moment.
And very poor in general.

Argh, just wrote cheques totalling more than 2 months' salary in the space of 30 minutes today. It's for something important, of course, but seeing my bank balance take a big dip is always traumatic for me. And that's when I start thinking about buying a fistful of Big Sweep tickets. Hmm, birthday coming up. Maybe I'll get lucky. :P

Still sleep-deprived, but thankfully, am in resus, which can be pretty good compared to the NS-boy-URTI-MC-seeker consult population. Resorting to eyeballing music scores in between cases, since I have little to no time for actual piano-practising. A bit odd, but beats doing medical reports. :) ( Our department secretary's gonna kill me for this. :))

Okay, a l, this one's for you. :D

Eye For A Guy

I watched this last night, and you're absolutely correct about it being hilarious. But it isn't good hilarious. More like sad hilarious. Local ( and very weak ) copycat of The Bachelorette, but with much less attractive and much less likeable characters.

The New Paper review wasn't kidding when it said the guys go all out to "sell themselves". From the word go, they have no qualms about sharing their "plus points" -- "I'm a flirt!" exclaims one ( followed by a big satisfied grin ), "I'm very charming... and humble!" state another, then there's the "I worked in Australia for 2 years and left with 130 phone numbers in my little black book!" ( I think he mentioned how many girlfriends he had as well, but I was too busy gagging to hear him clearly. ) Yeah, they're all Great Guys -- in their minds, that is.

Looks-wise, ummmmm... not the pick of the crop, IMHO, but what do you expect from a show like this? A few are pretty wimpy, but Edgar, whom I found quite handsome ( though weird -- more on that later ) ended up getting kicked out together with a skinny Malay fellow ( who broke down in tears, imagine that ). Among those remaining, I think Sivert's quite pleasant ( though I'd like to know why his parents decided to torment him with a name like that ). The rest are mostly bland, but maybe more personality will emerge in the later installments. I hope .

The female object of desire is none other than Rachel, aka recently crowned bikini babe for FHM magazine. Nice bod, no question. Long waist-length hair (men love that ), bright smile. Then, she speaks. *shudder* Whiny voice, tends to drawl, tinged with a Singlish accent, loves to repeat words like "so sweeeeeet" in a drawly, whiny Singaporean twang. Wah lau eh, cannot take it!

Weirdo moments plentiful.

Edgar, the good-looker with an American accent and tight abs, suddenly launches into an account of how he frequented gay bars and participated in S&M activities overseas. Uncomfortable silence all around, but he's blissfully unaware. Blah blah blah, he drones on, thinking he's impressing everyone with his "wisdom and experience". At the end, when Rachel ditches him, he even sings her a Colin Ray love song. Off-key. Gag moment #2. :P

Then, there was the Malay guy ( ?Wayne ). Am pretty sure he got the boot as well. He chose to do a "Toilet Frog" ditty, which he claims is a children's favourite. On what planet, I wonder. "Mm-mm-mm" ( or was it more "nngh-nngh-nngh"? ) he sang, sticking out his tongue, rolling his eyes about, later even doing some suggestive squatting motions. Rachel looks dumbfounded -- the only time her vacant expression changes, for your info -- and I know he's a goner. Ow, my sides still hurt from all that laughing. :D

Then there're the Caveman Antics. Tonnes of territorial marking, but without the peeing. Adam, aka 130-phone-numbers-guy, stalks Rachel like a patient vulture. Then, when a couple of wimpy males stay back to chat with her while the hunky ones strip down to their trunks, some of the disgruntled proceed to envelope the scrawny in bear hugs so they'll get drenched and be forced to leave to dry up or change.

Of course, Sensitive New Age Guy Behaviour was also aplenty. Gifts of flowers, poems, a scrapbook with kiddish drawings -- yeah, these'll DEFINITELY have a woman swooning.

The defining moment?
When Edgar finds out he didn't make the cut, and we switch to a separate interview with Rachel. "I actually met him at a club about a year ago, where he passed me his number on a coaster and asked me to call him. I just didn't have a very good impression of him." I kinda feel sorry for poor Edgar in a way. Getting rejected by the same girl twice, on national TV -- that has GOT to hurt.

More TV show reviews.

The Laramie Project

This screened on HBO last night, and should have repeats later this month. I highly, highly recommend this.

Laramie is a sleepy town in Wyoming, Texas, but also where the University of Wyoming is located. Quiet place, gorgeous skies, vast areas of lush farmland. Then, in October 1998, Matthew Shepard, an openly gay 21-year-old university student, left a bar with 2 young locals, and was found the next morning bound to a fence in the middle of nowhere, covered with blood from head to toe, and near death.
Huge uproar all over America and the world. Reporters descend on the town in huge numbers, some branding Laramie residents as manic homophobes and the community a hotbed of hate crimes.

This HBO original movie details the journey made by 5 film students as they interviewed dozens of people close to the case, in their quest to produce a documentary that would accurately depict this sensational event. Visits were made in the midst of the media frenzy, rather than retrospective in nature, so the story plays out as the events unfold.

In a nutshell, I think it's as compelling and well-made as "And The Band Played On" ( an excellent film about the AIDS epidemic when it first broke in the early '80s ). And like its illustrious counterpart, "The Laramie Project" boasts lots of cameos and famous faces, examples of whom include Janeane Garofalo, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Christine Ricci and Joshua Jackson. The script is superb and manages to remain passively detached, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions. And yet, intense emotion permeates throughout, be it shock, disgust, pity, anger or immense pain and loss. I found myself crying many times during its 90-minute run.

I vividly recall reading about Matthew's brutal murder in Time magazine years ago. Watching this movie brought a flood of memories. I remember thinking Laramie was against gays -- how else could we explain a crime as horrific as this? The magazine didn't really give the town residents much leeway, hence resulting in a rather biased report. But the film illustrates otherwise. The policewoman who was first to arrive at the scene wept when she saw Matt's badly battered body. He was popular at university, his sexuality ( and that of an openly lesbian lecturer ) widely known and accepted on campus. No-one condoned the killers' actions. In fact, when fellow residents were called for jury duty, many answered "Yes" when asked if they supported the death penalty.

One subplot I found extremely compelling involves the previously mentioned policewoman. In one poignant scene, she stands shell-shocked after receiving a phone call from the hospital where Matt is warded, comatose and on supportive ventilation due to massive brain haemorrhaging.
"They did some blood tests. Matthew Shepard is HIV-positive and they think I've been exposed."
She then describes how, when she found him that morning, he was caked in blood from head to toe, and how "the only place that didn't have any blood on it was his face", where his tears had left tracks. She "didn't think", and struggled to untie him so she could "get him off that fence". In the process, his blood was smeared on her hands -- hands which had a number of superficial cuts previously sustained through various manual chores.
"But we don't blame Matthew," her mother tells an interviewer. They can only hope and pray that a course of AZT will prevent her from contracting the disease.

The last 10 minutes of the movie are also the saddest. Asked by one of the killers' defence attorneys to help plead for leniency ( in this case, asking the judge for life without parole instead of execution ), Matthew's father makes a tearful statement in court. Snippets of what I can recall offhand:
"Matthew officially died on October 12th, but in truth, he died that night ( Oct 9 ), on that fence. Everyone thinks he died alone, but he didn't. He had the beautiful night sky... the smell of the pine trees... and he had God. He entered this life premature, and he left it premature." He breaks down near the end, his face contorted with pain and anguish. Yet in his next breath, he pleads for leniency, and asks the judge to spare his son's murderer's life. Based on a true story, and as stated during the opening credits, the screenplay mirrors transcripts of multiple interviews and court sessions. No over-dramatization or tweaking of the script here. I was riveted.

I thought Matthew Shepard's picture would appear once the closing credits rolled, but I was wrong. I still remember his face well -- boyishly handsome, beautiful smile, kind eyes. He looked like a choir boy, and was often described as "tiny". He also had great hopes for the future, and wanted to make a difference in what he called his "part of the world". To see such a young life end so tragically, and for such meaningless reasons, is heartbreaking. But the greatest tragedy is how so many other lives were destroyed as well, and how a once peaceful town is now forever scarred.

And in other news, it's now 9:30pm, and resus is hell. Haven't touched my music scores once. Whoopee.

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