Radiogurl a la Carte

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005
No Bones About It

This entry will be something of a departure, so kindly indulge me.

While I never advertised the fact, I am a reviewer on Orion Reviews. Time constraints have now all but closed down the reviews, sad to say. Still and all, I am proud of those we completed. We acknowledged our own prejudices (our fearless leader even chose the pseudonym "selfbiased" in a nod to the truth that there is no such thing as truly impartial.) At the same time, we strove for honest, courteous reviews that offered praise where warranted and constructive criticism when appropriate.

My affiliation as a reviewer came after I received my own review. I assure you, I didn't get a perfect score. I didn't even come close. But I was impressed with the observations and the overall maturity with which the reviews were conducted.

Now, the flip side of the coin. I clicked on a link to another diary today - Curiouoso. That particular gentleman uses his diary to vent, to convey what happened during his day - in short, as a diary. We all peform variations on the same theme.

If you'll notice, he linked to a Diaryland site that reviewed his diary; an unsolicited review, mind you, and one that served no purpose whatsoever except to wound. The "review" site calls itself the Internet Police, though you have to go by the label atop your Internet browser window to glean as much. I personally think the more accurate title would be "Internet Gestapo." If the attached photographs are to be believed, the writers are physically-attractive young women. The word that comes to my mind begins with a "C". No, not that "C" word. No, the one that strikes me is "cheerleaders." The stereotypical ones, not the mostly genuine young men and women who performs cheers at school sporting events.

I'm talking about the mean-spirited caricatures, the two-dimensional presentations of young women who exist solely to torment those less attractive, whose self-righteous distortion of the truth causes irreparable psychological harm to other people. Sadder still, some of the targets for their emotional foils are unarmed and are themselves equally, if not more, beautiful than the assailants.

This threesome chooses to ignore anything about content, whining (and yes, whining is the right word in this context) only about templates. They truly judge the book by its cover, and what's more, they don't bother making even that criticism in any way constructive. They allow nothing that falls outside their own narrow views of beauty, complaining about the aforementioned diary solely because they didn't like one color. Curiouoso HAS no true template, merely a solid chartreuse background.

And here's the kicker, the reason I find this pseudo-review site doubly deplorable: there is no feedback option. The notes are turned off and there's no comments link or email link. These young women can dish it out liberally, but have absolutely no intention of taking responsibility for their words.

There is never justification for such pettiness. This mentality demeans all concerned. I am not saying that you have to like everyone, nor that you don't have the right to say you dislike or even hate something; but keep it within context and make it worth the trouble. I hate this site, but not because of something so shallow as its design. It's that the design has more depth than its writers.

That said, back to your regularly-scheduled diary.

I broke down and went to the movies yesterday after all. The Corpse Bride was playing, and I adore Tim Burton's work. All I could think of, as I sat devouring the music and images, was, "YES! This is what an animated movie is supposed to be!" Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was worth seeing (another glimpse into the warped mind of Tim Burton) but this is superior in so very many ways. The music is reminescent of Disney at its heydey; the animation is extraordinary; and the tale itself is wonderfully macabre, a perfect balance of wicked humor and dead-on (pun intended) potshots at social mores. I've seen reviews that call for an Oscar and some calling it a masterpiece. After watching it, I can see why.

How ironic that a movie about the dead has so much heart beating all the way through it.

Now that I finally have a DVD player at home, I am going to begin building a collection of favorite movies. I've already got Mrs. Winterborne on order. (Yes, my all-time favorite movie is a sappy romantic comedy with Brendan Fraser. So sue me.) I will definitely be adding Corpse Bride to my list of must-have films, when it eventually comes out on DVD.

I suppose I should sign off and pretend to do something constructive today. If nothing else, I need to run to the grocery store and pick up a few things. I'm back on Atkins, determined to do it right this time. I lost about seventy pounds on the first attempt, and while I've gained back some weight, I haven't gained back anywhere near what I lost, despite eating entirely too much fast food over the past few months. I just have to pay attention and keep my focus on getting into the clothing size I actually want to wear. I can do it. I will do it.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )