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June 18th, 2012

musings on prometheus

in general, prometheus was a disappointment.  it wasn’t a bad movie, but it could have been so much more.  there were numerous plot holes, character development was poor, and concept execution was barely executed at all.  besides an interesting core concept, dazzling visuals, and thought-provoking unanswered questions, the movie does not shine alongside its glorious alien quadrilogy counterparts (yes, even alien resurrection).

in many ways, prometheus was a confusing mess.  to me, the most confusing aspect of prometheus was the black liquid.  while it is clear that the substance was engineered as a weapon against the human race, what is not clear is how this black liquid is connected to the xenomorphs of the other alien films.  the more i think about it, the more it seems the engineers did not truly understand the black liquid and the various outcomes of its use.  i’m guessing that xenomorphs were created accidentally.  i have a few questions about this mysterious substance.

- in the opening scene, a humanoid creature with white skin stands next to a waterfall (dettifoss, iceland) and peers up at a huge flying saucer.  he drinks something and we see him disintegrate, even down to his DNA.  he falls into the water and we see the molecules of his disintegrated DNA recombine into some kind of new DNA.  is this the birth of a new species?  is this supposed to be earth?  is it some other planet?  what is this thing that he drinks?  is it the same black liquid that we see later on LV-223?  there is no obvious connection between this scene and the rest of the film.

- david the android slips the black liquid into charles holloway’s drink.  The next morning holloway notices a tiny creature moving in his right eye.  later, he becomes ill in the pyramid and goes through a painful, quick, and somewhat grotesque transformation.  meredith vickers refuses him entry back into the prometheus spaceship, threatening to burn him alive with a flamethrower.  holloway insists that vickers kill him, and as he approaches prometheus, vickers is “forced” to burn him to death.  what was holloway transforming into?  was anything gestating inside of him?  what was the thing inside of his eye?  why did holloway insist on being killed?  did he somehow know that his transformation was dangerous to the others?

- the previous evening holloway and elizabeth shaw have sex.  soon after holloway is killed, shaw discovers that she is pregnant.  she is incredulous, as it is implied that she is barren.  a scan of her abdomen shows that the “fetus” is already three months old and that it is not human.  (how does anyone know this thing is three months old if no one has ever seen one before?)  shaw removes the fetus herself in a horrific and graphic scene in which we see that the fetus is some sort of tentacled alien that looks nothing like the alien “xenomorph” from the other four alien films.  we can assume that the black liquid affected holloway’s sperm almost immediately, in addition to creating the thing in his eye and changing his physical appearance.  so what was the intended effect of the black liquid on humans?  was it to change them morphologically into something else?  was it to turn a human in an incubator for another alien?  was it to hi-jack the human reproductive system for the creation of alien creatures?  was the black liquid a multi-purpose weapon?  it seems quite possible that the engineers did not fully understand the effects of the black liquid.

- lost in the pyramid tunnels, milburn, the staff biologist, and fifield, the staff geologist, find themselves in a room with a giant stone head, surrounded by pods containing the black liquid.  david, shaw, and holloway have already explored this room, without incident.  now, the floor of the room is covered with dark liquid, as the pods — previously clean and apparently dormant — have now begun to profusely “leak” their contents.  milburn and fifield notice movement in the black liquid on the floor, and a white, snake-like creature surfaces.  it pauses for a few moments before it attacks milburn’s arm, penetrates his suit, and forces its way down milburn’s throat.  fifield cuts into the snake alien as he tries to remove it from milburn’s arm.  the blood sprays onto fifield and burns his suit, which is an obvious connection to the xenomorphs in the alien series.  fifield falls face first into the black liquid, which appears to melt his helmet, causing it to collapse onto his face.  fifield falls to the floor and writhes in agony.  later, the crew discover milburn’s body with the snake alien still inside.  since the crew do not attempt to bring him back to prometheus for medical attention, one can assume he is indeed dead.  fifield later appears in front of prometheus with his helmet broken and his face transformed.  he begins killing the members of the prometheus crew until he himself is killed.  so what the hell?  what was the snake alien?  where did it come from?  is it somehow related to the black liquid?  is the snake alien a primordial xenomorph?  did it enter milburn to merely kill him or was it supposed to lay an egg inside of milburn, like a facehugger?  and was holloway transforming into what fifield became?  is that why holloway insisted on getting killed?  did he know that the black liquid would turn him against the crew?

- at the end of the movie, the alien removed from shaw overcomes the surviving engineer and “impregnates” him with an alien that later bursts out of the engineer’s chest.  it appears to be the first xenomorph.  so it seems that the black liquid changes a human into a killing machine, but also alters a human’s sperm, resulting in a strange alien “baby” via shaw.  is this how the xenomorph came about?  was it accidental?  it appears that the black liquid was the engineers’ bioweapon, and that the xenomorph resulted because of an unforeseen chain of events.  so where do the xenomorph eggs seen in alien come from?  is there a connection between the ship leaving LV-223 (with shaw and david) and the derelict ship that crashed on LV-426, which contained the thousands of xenomorph eggs?  is the first xenomorph left behind on LV-223 to be forever forgotten or is there some kind of connection between this first xenomorph and the eggs on the derelict and the dead space jockey with the gaping chest hole on LV-426?  a prometheus sequel may provide more answers (or more confusion).

by Patrick | Posted in musings | No Comments » |
May 27th, 2012

creative careers for introverts and intuitives

“While difficult for other types to fathom, some INJs feel so foreign to the world that action seems surreal.”

- personality junkie

by Patrick | Posted in links, musings, photography | No Comments » |
May 26th, 2012

accomplishment of the day: learned how to tie a bow tie

by Patrick | Posted in musings | No Comments » |
May 7th, 2012

net art blogger application

i was forwarded an open call from art fag city for submissions.  among other things, art fag city was on the lookout for a net art blogger, someone who could make “grand pronouncements about the state of the internet”.  i was encouraged to apply, because duh i am the internet.  here is what i wrote.  keep in mind they never wrote me back.  still, it was fun to apply.  thanks, XXXXX!  also, here are some images that i think are better than most of the crap hanging in museums.

Art Fag City,

So as not to waste your time, I’ll say this up front: I detest art writing.  I am an art outsider: I work during the day as a materials engineer for a satellite manufacturer, which is to say I am not well-versed in the practice of art discourse.  Therefore, I will not be writing any serious articles about the state of art as it relates to the internet.

I spend my free time photographing and thinking about images, in particular those that can be consumed ad nauseum via the internet.  It is through the internet that I regularly share via social media and my own blog things that I think are weird, funny, strange, beautiful, provocative—worthy of consideration as “net art”.  I also love anything incredibly stupid, including, but not limited to: google searches like this, extremely bad 3D animations that are obliquely related to pizzas, and stuff like this, because everyone hates cute children.  There is so much more that I can share with you if we get to talking.

My approach to the position would be curatorial.  I’d present images, webpages, videos, with just a sprinkle of commentary, if any.  High culture or low culture, it doesn’t matter.  My feelings on commentary are aligned with those of William Eggleston: “Whatever it is about pictures, photographs, it’s just about impossible to follow up with words. They don’t have anything to do with each other.”  Similarly, I believe that the internet should be taken at face value, for the most part.

If it helps my chances any, my friend, XXXXX XXXXXX, director of the XXXXX XXXXXXXX Gallery in Los Angeles, forwarded me your call for submissions and added “I’m still not sure whether you invented the internet or not, but you definitely keep it going…”.

If you are interested in writing samples, I like to write about my dreams from time to time: http://blog.pattamanuch.com/category/dreams/

by Patrick | Posted in musings, random | No Comments » |
May 5th, 2012

Montage

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I had four oyster shooters and the red beans and rice with andouille sausage. Dad had the jambalaya with blackened catfish. We sat next to a couple on their first date, and they were excruciatingly awkward. After they finished dinner the guy suggested driving to the mall where they could walk around inside. And these were adults.

My leftovers were fashioned into a squirrel!

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by Patrick | Posted in musings, travels | No Comments » |
May 3rd, 2012

by Patrick | Posted in musings | No Comments » |
February 27th, 2012

fear of flying

you know what’s crazy?  one: the need to control things that are out of your control.  it’s a compulsion that makes you feel powerless and unnecessarily frays the nerves.  it makes the world into a place full of forces and people that you grow to distrust, because they work against your influence as they naturally should, since they are not you.

i was sitting in the denver airport yesterday afternoon waiting for my flight back to LA.  i was talking with my dad on the phone.  one thing he said to me: “patrick, the more you try, the harder it is.”  then he talked at length about changing the oil in his van, which is one of my dad’s greatest pleasures in life.  eventually, i boarded my plane.  normally, i am obsessed with looking out the window during takeoff and especially landing.  i am famously agitated by the slightest turbulence, believing irrationally that planes are made with legos and elmer’s glue, and that sudden gusts of wind carry the destructive will of a god.

this time, i closed my eyes.  i let the pilot and the plane be.  when the plane was in descent, and just before it touched the ground, i kept my eyes on the exit sign hanging from the ceiling of the aircraft.  for 100 miles, as we slowly descended through the clouds in to the LA basin,  i did not look out any of the windows.  it was simultaneously terrifying and liberating.  mostly liberating.  a lifetime of lacking faith can get old.

by Patrick | Posted in musings | No Comments » |
January 19th, 2012

the importance of eye contact

while walking down the street,  i noticed a small dog staring at me through the windshield of a parked car.  the dog was sitting on the armrest, its ears and posture perked up with alertness.  i walked up to the car and the dog scampered down from the armrest and stood on the passenger seat, pressing its paws against the window.  i was expecting this little dog to begin barking furiously, as if to say “hey!  hey hey hey!  hey hey hey hey!  hey!”  but instead, the dog remained motionless, and for a few moments we simply looked at each other.

this silent exchange filled me with great joy.

by Patrick | Posted in musings | No Comments » |
September 13th, 2011

when i go running

i think of murakami.

by Patrick | Posted in links, musings | No Comments » |
September 8th, 2011

i remember a long time ago watching the science show NOVA. in one episode, dudley moore explained the difference between subjective and objective time. he was sitting in front of a piano. with his left hand he calmly played a steady bass arpeggio, while with his right he would improvise, playing slow and fast notes according to his feeling. objective time, he explained, was represented by his left hand, and subjective by the right. i couldn’t find the clip, which is a shame because it’s so great, so here’s one of him playing a song called “just in time”.

by Patrick | Posted in music, musings, video | No Comments » |













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