Friends of mine

So I had these three friends I grew up with. They were older than me but they were the coolest, nicest, most fun people ever. I spent everyday with them and we had such fun together. My family all loved them too so I never had any problem with spending so much time with them. We all got a little older and I made other friends but those three were always there when I needed them and I couldn’t have asked for a better trio.

When I was a teenager at school they suddenly made another friend and brought him into the group. I actually quite liked him. He had a different sense of humour and wasn’t as much fun but was nice enough and we got along, he also had this really annoying welt that everyone else focused on but I could ignore it. No one really got on with him apart from my other three buddies so I felt defensive. We still get on actually. Over the next couple of years two other guys entered our little circle and again they weren’t as much fun and we didn’t have as much in common but my original three mates made a great deal of effort with them so I happily went along with it and made friends with them too.

Then a weird thing happened: They all got surgery done. It was strange. It actually made them look good though, I mean they were only 30 but still they were all suddenly a lot better looking. I didn’t mind. So long as they were happy. Then they started introducing a load of new kids. These I liked less. They were yappy and annoying and wore garish clothes. Again I could accept this, so long as I got to hang out with my old pals and I did. Trouble was they were starting to look a little jaded and flabby.

We started seeing less of each other but we still met up. I introduced a few girlfriends to them and they seemed to have a good time with them too and I was so pleased. They were my best friends, it meant a lot that the people I loved love them too. Trouble was quite a few friends of mine were pointing out how irritating their new ‘family’ members were and how greedy and unpleasant their Dad was. Sadly this was all true and getting harder to ignore but I could deal with it. My friends hadn’t changed.

But they had. Slowly, subtly they’d all been having more and more surgery. Little nips and tucks here and there until they looked nothing like they did when we were kids and the shitty, childish, garish behaviour of those kids they were hanging around with was rubbing off on them. And they were having more and more of these friends round. I could barely talk to them without the others nipping round my feet and ruining our time together. It was heartbreaking. I was watching these three guys who I had loved so much, who had given me so much, taught me so much, who had always been there for me just starting to rot before my very eyes. The irony was they were trying not to age with all their surgery and the new gaggle of youthful friends hanging around them.

I see them sometimes, not very often though. We’re polite and remember the old days but it isn’t the same. All the fun and excitement is gone and they’re covered in the muck stains and general filth from the others. Their Dad has particularly slid into decline. He has that vacant stare and the cold stench of death about him these days. He used to be awesome too, really bright and full of joy and excitement. He just doesn’t seem to care anymore. It’s so sad.

So I decided, not so long ago, they weren’t going to be my friends anymore. I was going to stop defending them and didn’t want to see them anymore. If I see them I will be polite and respectful but I refuse to indulge them anymore. I’m just tired. Everyone fighting over them, everyone saying how horrible they’ve become, everyone acting like it was all there was to life. I was one of them. They were a formative part of my life and I will always look back fondly on our time as best friends but all good things must come to an end and these poor guys haven’t had any effect on my life in years. It really makes me sad, I loved who they were but can’t condone what they’re doing with their lives as pretty much everyone else has, either directly or indirectly. They either fawned over them and treated them like the BEST guys ever or spat insults at them for all they’ve done wrong. I’m just sad. I wish it hadn’t all gone wrong for them but I can’t keep forgiving them when they continue doing these horrible things to others and themselves.

I just heard social services kicked in the door and have taken them all away to get cleaned and are putting another younger guy into the mix and sure enough everyone round here is going nuts in the hope our old friends will clean up and get sober, ditch the horrible younger kids and get some new life in them. I personally don’t care anymore. Too much water has passed under that bridge and no matter how fresh or dynamic this other guy is, it won’t bring my three best friends back. Not the way they were.

Oh yeah I think I heard the social services were DRESSED AS MICKEY FUCKING MOUSE.


So in short, I gave up on Star Wars a long time ago. Sure it was funny when the fan boys (of which I included myself) went nuts when Phantom Menace came out and went ‘Tim Bisley’ on Lucas’ ass but I never got that. What did you expect? It was never going to live up to any expectations. I was willing to accept the 3 new episodes but now I’m just bored of it. I’m just tired of the arguments and want it to just go away. Whoopie, Disney have bought them and are going to add YET A-FUCKING-NOTHER  episode to the canon. Hooray. They aren’t suddenly going to redact the last 20 years of fucking around Lucas did are they? They’re not going to RetCon all that ancillary bullshit out of existence are they? No. They’re not. They’re going to market it even more and flog even more tat. To be honest, I’m pretty sure they will do a good film (if that is their intention) but I don’t care. I won’t go and see it. Hope you make a lot of money Disney.

As to Lucas, fuck that guy. Well done on making your billions into multi-billions. For someone who attests to creative endeavour and freedom of the auteur, etc he is one shameless fucking whore. People are saying how good it is that LucasFilm is out and about including Skywalker Sound, ILM etc. So what?! They’ve been available for hire for years. THX was sold years ago. And let’s be honest what the hell have LucasFilm themselves actually done besides Star Wars and Indiana Jones? Willow, Howard the Duck and Labyrinth. Oh and whatever the hell this Red Tails bullshit is that’s coming out. Whoopee fucking doo. What a remarkable input to the cinematic canon. I agree, the original Star Wars were an incredible landmark in cinema and changed its course but I’m sorry I don’t go with the totally empty ‘If that is their one legacy then that is enough’ argument because it has pretty successfully castrated itself as a studio over the last 20 years and its fans are now relying on one of the greatest and best cinema studios in history to reinvigorate its woefully flagging franchises. Disney probably will accomplish that because Disney constantly reinvent itself and never rests on its laurels and constantly develops and grows, something LucasFilm should have learned from over the last 30 years.

So No, I couldn’t care less about Disney buying LucasFilm or its franchises. Good luck to poor Disney who now have to waste time, money and effort into breathing new life into  something that doesn’t deserve it when its energies as a studio could be better served making more original and utterly brilliant fare like Toy Story 3, Princess and the Frog and Wreck It Ralph.

My name is Leo Cookman and I was a Star Wars fan. I’m not anymore. It’s a long road to recovery but I think I’m ready to let them go now. For all the Empire Strikes Back I’ll miss, I accept that in favour of no more Jar Jar or Hayden Christensen.

Those 3 Indiana Jones  movies are still favourites though. … Sorry? NO! THERE ARE ONLY THREE! THREE GODDAMMIT!

Prior to Precipitation of Pretension, a Preemptive Post.

I am called pretentious. Far too much. And it annoys me. If I was actually being pretentious then fair enough, I could take it on the chin but I don’t think people know what the word really means and merely level the insult at me prematurely, if not entirely incorrectly. Oxford dictionary defines pretension as;

pretentious: adjective

attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed : a pretentious literary device.

In summation this literally means ‘to pretend’. Now when people call me pretentious it is normally because I am reading/writing poetry, listening to Jazz music, watching a foreign film or going to a gallery/art exhibit. I am not PRETENDING to like these things, I actually like them, nor affecting greater culture, nor am I trying to impress anyone, I normally do these things alone or in the privacy of my own home and don’t tell anyone because otherwise I’ll be called pretentious. If you’re going to insult me FINE but at least do it correctly for crying out loud. ‘Know-it-all’; Yes. ‘Snob’; very likely. ‘Old Man’; fair enough. ‘Smart-arse’; Not really but okay. ‘Ponce’; No (same as pretentious really). ‘Holier-than-thou’; I don’t think I am but I could understand if you did say that. ‘Arrogant, abusive, waste-of-space’; You are my ex-Girlfriend and shouldn’t be reading this blog anyway. But for christ sake I AM NOT PRETENTIOUS you ignorant ‘tards. I am not pretending to be smarter or showing off by reading poetry or liking Jazz or looking at Art, these things are horribly un-cool and have made me no smarter. I never went to University and have failed every exam I have ever taken. Not only that, as most people know, I also like Star Wars, Chocolate Buttons, Warner Brothers Cartoons, children’s Books, IMAX films and McFly.

People mistake the word pretentious for ‘Joe Cool’ or, more often than not, a derogatory term for being ‘Smart’. The people who call me it do so because I like things they don’t like that are seen as intellectual or ‘higher-culture’. Personally I think it is a sad indictment of our times that some of the things I like are viewed in this way. I am not sneering or looking down on anyone I am enjoying some things I really love on my own, in my own way and I rarely try to inflict them on other people.

Until now…

In the coming week I shall be doing something that will cause everyone to call me pretentious so this is a preemptive post to show I have at least tried to address this matter. I state now I am not doing it to “affect greater importance, talent or culture” or just faking it to look cool or intelligent which is what pretentious means, I am doing it because I want to and I actually enjoy it.

I very much doubt this will have any effect but at least I tried. Speak to you soon.