The movie is not quite about AIDS, the much it is about coldness and meaninglessness. I reached the multiplex some 10 minutes after the movie had begun, but the drift of story and the direction is too easy to grasp, and yet so abominable. Matthew is an electrician. The recklessness in his life has a reason… he has learned to care for none as a gesture in return to his upbringing. By the end, he does talk about his memories of being a kid, of having a father… of being taken care of. Then all those experiences which began as a thrill in the evenings and pretended as sense of freedom slyly and slowly had become addictions and only way to keep the brain from wondering what went wrong, why his life was the way it was. He became so mellow with being that insanely drunk guy in the blinding mist of cocaine and screams, moans of whores and random girls. Movie does not have any noticeable music… I can imagine the horror of musicians though. He’s not a bad guy at all… it’s just who he is—callous and kind of rejecting and condescending. But somehow this is how men seem to be normal where he lives. Then one day while trying to save a guy from being amputated at the rail-yard where he works, he gets shocked and passes out. He wakes up in a local hospital and blood-tests turn out to bear a news, a dead-end to his horror—they confirm that he is HIV positive. Was it whores, was it queers, was it recklessness…?
So, he’s admitted and right next to his bed is this biological boy who feels like a girl—Jared. Matthew is homophobic not by heart but by trend. His homophobia is like their love for MTv top 40. But Jared is a very loving girl inside a guy’s body. They play cards and Matthew(character’s name Ron) loses. He is there after having tried to lose the sight of this HIV+ thing too in cocaine, liquor and whores. But he had to, for probably first time, accept that this one is different…. A drug company comes up with a new drug AZT which is up for a test for 1 year and having done a lot of research on his part, Ron tries to get his hand on AZT by bribing a mexican ward-boy. He was given only 30 days of life according to Doctors when first diagnosed positive for the virus. On 30th day, he goes to Mexico and gets those drugs which are legal everywhere else except in US[FDA just won’t approve of ‘em for some unspecified reasons which make it seem like a programmed fork of drug companies]. He lives to see the 32st day. He keeps on getting those drugs and succeeds in convincing the custom department that it all is for his personal use. All along, he has to experience rejection from his friends who have begun to believe that probably Ron has been sleeping with homosexual guys[71% of international HIV + cases were associated with gay sex relations]. It was shattering, but Ron had already grown up in Antarctica of human compassion—Dallas, Texas.
He has now realized that men and women are quite desperate and unwilling to die of AIDS. So, he begin to sell his stock of drugs and FDA’s legal means are actually after him in order to curb it… although they fail to intimidate him[he’s already dying, remember?]. Since it is illegal to sell unapproved drugs, he sells membership of this club called Dallas Buyers’ Club with which these drugs are complimentary. He makes a lot of cash. He also has to discover that he has Dementia. Matthew’s enactment of Dementia is beyond words. The man does not know to budge. Not even once he is screaming that he does not want to die. He moves to Jared’s place and makes him his business partner for he’s a queer and brings a lot many HIV+ clients to Ron. He also begins to like him as a person, makes homophobic people respect him too. For a while, they feel the rush of success of idea, the money, the friendship… each day they wake up living and breathing and feeling okay is more than a gift and they live it up.
Jennifer is also a doctor and she is someone who does not see HIV+ positive people, or any patient for that matter, as a raw material for their bread and butter. She loves Jared for his lovable character and warmth. Matthew keeps confiscating, kind of smuggling drugs to US and people keep living one more day. Some rich ones offer him places to carry on his arrangement when FDA butts in and closes down their work at Jared’s place. He dates Jennifer. Jared reminds him to take flowers along for the lady when she first agrees to see him. He goes to support groups and spreads a word about his club. The hospitals keep losing business, AZT is notorious for untested behaviours and in a way being poisonous. The drug companies somehow get FDA close the club down and Matthew has to live a while without even the medicine for Dementia while he is in a court case. The judge acknowledges that FDA is being a bully, but finds himself helpless ‘cause there is no law favour of people against FDA either.
There still is no music in the background… no score… one has to feel it, the hollowness and accept it.
Jennifer gets that nothing is being done by FDA and the hospital and AZT is $10,000 upon getting approved even without the studies being published. She helps Matthew get the drugs he trusts and testifies and hence is fired by the hospital. All along his trip to Japan and fading out there on a drug, Jared finds that his time is over… he yelps that he does not want to die. But, finally he is admitted and is put on morphine and sleeps to death, eventually. When Matthew returns, his is informed that Jared has passed on… he is shattered… and it is quite awful. He goes to Jennifer’s place and it is like everything usual, except the sex in the end is replaced with a hug as Ron has AIDS.
Matthew dies 7 years after being diagnosed HIV+. He lived the most after the news of HIV+ blood in his veins.
The fact that movie bears all along the reel time is that there is loneliness… no matter how much sweetness Hollywood and POP songs and Ads and sitcoms and popular fiction and all coat the reality with, there are guys who go to bed alone wondering what went wrong and how feeling sad for oneself is gay[IT’S NOT]. And this is what the film is about, the coldness because we expect a happy end, a lovely glossy life like walmart outlets and richness. People try to find passion, they trick themselves into thinking that probably if they get rich, their lives will get better… they try to escape accepting that it is all fucking illusion. It’s just love which men seek to give and feel. Jared happens to play this thing in his character… and he did a splendid job.
Didn’t sleep whole friday night, reach a friend’s place and smoked up till 2 PM. Then left for mountains. Reached around midnight and since had no ID on me, had to go hopping the hotels until one found me innocent enough. The hotel room was good. Rolled few fairies there and smoked ‘em up. History Channel was airing how sex changed the world series. Also, watched a BBC World documentary on Tea. Then there was this Leonardo movie in which he lives on a paradise kinda land and the female boss, the rules maker fucks him like a bitch. Then I passed out. I woke up around 7 and called up room service to get something to eat. Then I went to river Ganga, Rishikesh, around 8.30 AM and mahn… the water was so cold! I just was numb and only thing I could think about was more water. It was like once the water made me numb, I needed to keep numb… as it was quite windy around. After that when I came out and dried myself and draped in a cloth, I found that my body was radiating much more heat than it usually does when I am inside a blanket. It was lovely! Then I came to Mussoorie and it was such lovely day! I had lovely coffee, sketch Audrey and had shrimp in Malaysian noodles. Then I took up window room and smoked up a couple of fairies more. I watched TV for a while, studied a bit, thought about girls and finally passed out.
I then woke up around 11 in night and smoked up again. My room-service got me something to it. It was such a close call as everyone was just about to go to bed. Then I had something, smoked up, watched the movie shooter. Then I just stared outside the window and the mountain edge sparkling with streetlights on empty streets. It was lovely.
Lately, I had been reading the book The Great Arc about the survey of India done by William Lambton and Colonel Everest. In Mussoorie, there is a Survey of India office. It was so cozily placed in the mellow beautiful spot. It had The Great Arc house, the officers’ guest house. Then I saw some adolescent guys trying to set up one of their friends with a local girl. A local guy told me that there had been snowfall in nearby town and that I should go see it. I had taken a cold water bath in the morning again and I was so tempted to go. But, instead, I came back to Delhi, to the office. I had to take espresso shots though to stay up.
It was a very very beautiful outing. I understood how I no longer fear the chill, nor do I confuse wish to feel free with the fact of being free. I was completely consumed by antique shops and I loved the old old books!
Few days back I felt that I need to know myself from experiences which do not involve anyone but me for what I know of myself from association with people is just a point, an element in the continuous set called my physical life. This led me to wish to experience something, anything. I went upstairs when it was 4.30 AM or so and around 4 degree Celsius, stripped down and just lay there on the terrace. It had me feeling something, but also had me thinking that I must go to a mountain river and take a dip. I am lucky to be living in India and to be earning more than enough. Today I am going to Rishikesh and going to dip myself entirely in river Ganga.
Since I have whole weekend to my disposal, I am going to go to Mussoorie too. This is a resistance to a suppressing cold. And this is an experience. I am going to be smoking up and be alone. And every time I would have something to tell someone, I would know that right there is what keeps me restricted and limited to this cage of association, relationships and all that. I happen to believe that alone time is a necessity for my relationships to be free from a wish to be free, entirely living the existence and the fact of association then….
I have been told that I have a low self-esteem.
Originally posted on A Holistic Journey:
Just when I started this series, a friend sent me an enlightening, provocative New York Magazine article on how praising kids for being smart often backfires and ends up straitjacketing them to fear of failure. It spoke to me not only as a parent of a boy fairly fresh on the path of formal education, but as the studious girl whose achievements were marked by a curious mix of confidence and anxiety. The ten-year string of studies on the effects of praise spearheaded by psychologist Carol Dweck at Columbia (now at Stanford) University also shed light on the aspects of overachieving I have been exploring with you: persistence, assurance, motivation, talent. I will extract the key points on “the inverse power of praise,” and while I usually don’t refer readers to anything but short articles or video, this one‘s well worth the time if you can manage.
A sizable portion of gifted students, the very ones who grew up hearing they are smart, apparently lack confidence and will keep to the safer road of doable tasks rather than set out for the hill that promises challenge.
According to a survey conducted by Columbia University, 85 percent of American parents think it’s important to tell their kids that they’re smart…The constant praise is meant to be an angel on the shoulder, ensuring that children do not sell their talents short. But recent landmark studies make the case that labeling kids just this way might actually cause them to underperform.
Originally posted on Neurotic Owl:
Although really, if you’re reading this, I think the chances are excellent that you’re listening to ‘Welcome to Nightvale’, because apparently EVERYbody is.
Anyway, don’t be confused by the neutral stance and slightly terrified face; that’s totally how Neurotic Owl worships. Next he’s taking his cat to the dog park, as soon as he can get her to stop hovering.