Thursday, May 22, 2003

Yesterday afternoon, my aeroplane arrived in sunny, sunny Oakland. My oldest sister Amy (who is graciously letting me live with her for an entire month) picked me up at the airport. Since I've gotten here, outside of talking with (and eating with) Amy and her boyfriend Scott, I've been sleeping absurd amounts. I stayed up all nite before my flight, so I think I'm making up for it.

Tonight, Scott and I are going to "Haptic Refractions: A Cameraless Evening" at Cinematheque, the experimental film showcase place I am interning at for the month. This will be a good opportunity for me to meet with the Office Manager Steve and the Curator Irina (who were the two people I communicated with to get the internship). Plus, I'll get to see what sort of work is presented at Cinematheque. I'm looking forward to the evening.

And oh yeah... I forgot to mention something I witnessed during my short time in LeMars, Iowa.

On Sunday (the night I got back from Iowa City), my parents, my niece Alexis, and I went out to the County Fairgrounds to go to the travelling Vietnam Memorial wall. It's like the wall in D.C. - except it's smaller, but still large enough to read the names. When I got there, I thought about how there's probably a lot of people who have come to this memorial and... yes, cried. And I thought how silly that is. I mean, it's not even the real memorial. It's an imitation of the memorial. It frustrated me to think that people would get emotional over something second-rate. Like somebody enjoying an abridged version of a book. And on top of that, even the wall in D.C. is just a representation. It's just a bunch of names. It's so far off from the actual dead. So, in actuality, the thing in LeMars was a copy of a copy.

And on top of that, I looked over at this mother taking a picture of her son in front of the wall. That's fine and all, but the thing was: she was taking the picture behind his shoulder, so she could get this really artistic-looking photo where there's depth of field and his reflection in the wall. And the kid was trying to look cool with sunglasses on and his ballcap on backwards. And I'm thinking, "You know, if this wall is so special on its own... why do you need to take such crass steps to make it seem nice?" I was getting pretty cynical and angry and frustrated and whatnot.

Then, a few minutes later, I was reading information about the wall and surprisingly, they did a really good job at not covering up the dissent that was around the Vietnam War. I figured that since this was brought to LeMars by the American Legion, they'd try to "patriotic" it up for the masses. And so I started to read about the dissent and the protests and I read about the Kent State massacre and then... yeah, I started to cry. Reading about the protests made me think about how my generation (or even myself for that matter) are rarely passionate about something - certainly not passionate enough to die. Instead of trying to improve things, I just go to memorials and get angry at people who actually care.

Also, I saw "X-Men 2!" It rocked!

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