Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Snapshot for the Middle of September

A dog working at an archery shop 😂

Currently Reading:

A Kiss in Lavender by Laura Florand: New Laura Florand book! Pretty exciting.

Sir Philip's Folly by Marion Chesney: Still working my way through the Poor Relations series.


guardians of the galaxy vol 2
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, starring Chris Pratt and a bunch of other people

The most oedipal movie I've seen recently, possibly ever.

Tbh I didn't want to watch this at all, because I thought the first Guardians was insaaaaaaanely boring. But my mom wanted to watch it, so I settled in for a long nap. The script of Vol. 2 is just as bad as Vol. 1, but is slightly elevated by the presence of several fantastic actors who manage to make the dialog sound much better than it actually is. It does feel like it goes on for about four hours, but I stayed awake through the whole thing, there was one really hilarious scene, and the music leaned more toward roots rock than insipid disco pop. So, while I doubt I'll ever be a fan of this franchise, Vol. 2 was an improvement over its predecessor.

the rundown
The Rundown, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott

I honestly don't remember The Rock ever looking as young as he does in this movie. Baby face! Anyway, you can tell the script was written by men because there are a ton of penis and peeing jokes. Like, SO MANY. What is it with guys and peeing? Despite that, it was actually a pretty decent, entertaining buddy comedy. You've got your MacGuffin, baddy bad guys on the trail, the Amazon jungle, an admirably tough token female character. I'm not going to run out and buy the DVD or anything, but it was fun while it lasted.

This month in heidenkindom:

September's been a real bitch so far. I would say I can't wait for the month to be over, but the next month is October, which is even worse. I hate fall.

So yeah. Not really feeling the positivity at the moment. A lot of my writing gigs have dried up and I haven't had the time to hustle for new ones, but maybe this is a sign I need to refocus on writing fiction again.


Lost in the Amazon

Last week, after watching The Lost City of Z, I tracked down Lost in the Amazon, an episode of Secrets of the Dead that tells the true story of Percy Fawcett. I particularly enjoyed it because it explained everything in the movie that didn't make sense. There was no city in the movie because Percy never found a lost city (well, he did, but didn't know... more on that later). And his motivations for looking for said city were paper-thin because the movie skipped over his true motivations entirely!

Percy WAS a famous and very skilled explorer, but he didn't set out to look for a lost city in the Amazon until his last trip, and it wasn't because he spotted a statue in the forest or heard stories about El Dorado from natives.

Percy was a theosophist and follower of Madame Blavatsky, who believed there were seven secret cities across the globe, inhabited by peoples with a higher consciousness and understanding of god/spiritual principles/what have you (picture Kamar-Taj from Doctor Strange). The discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911, as well as early Spanish colonial tales of a great city built by "pale-skinned natives," convinced Percy one of Blavatsky's lost spiritual cities could be found in the Amazon. Somewhere.

But why drag his son Jack and Jack's childhood BFF, Raleigh Rimell, along with him on this wild goose chase, when both 21-y-os were inexperienced and ill-prepared for jungle exploration? That story's even weirder. Before Jack was born, when Percy was stationed in Sri Lanka, two Buddhist monks came to him and predicted his first-born son would be a great spiritual leader. They gave him several signs so he would know they spoke the truth. I forget what the signs were, but suffice it to say Percy was convinced Jack was destined to be the next Nagarjuna.

Once he got the idea of a spiritual lost city of the Amazon into his head, Percy decided his purpose in life was to find this theoretical city for his son so that Jack could learn spiritual principles from the masters and fulfil his destiny. Of course, it's kind of hard to fulfil your destiny when you're dead.

As for Percy actually finding a lost city that's been recently rediscovered, that's strictly true, but much more complicated than the movie implied. Thanks to deforestation, a massive abandoned city has been uncovered in the Amazon, but it isn't the city of Percy's imagination. Since stone is hard to come by in the Amazon, the city was built out of earth and wood, which was quickly reclaimed by nature once deserted. Because map-maker Percy kept meticulous latitude and longitude notations of his journeys, archaeologists know for a fact that he camped smack-dab in the middle of one of the massive earthen mounds in the newly uncovered site. But as the area was covered by trees and vegetation at the time, there's no way Percy would have known he had, in fact, stumbled across a lost city.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me on this journey of discovery.

the more you wish you didn't know

Hope you all have a good week and enjoy the rest of the month!

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