Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rant. Sorry. Whatever.

Dear Little Sisters,

1. No, I am not being mean when I think your discomfort is funny, or when I do things "just to make you mad." Because I'm not trying to make you mad. I'm trying to see if you've fucking grown up at all, or if you're still offended by bullshit comments and light mockery. You're both in your twenties, and you're damn sensitive. I'm trying to find out if you've finally learned to stop taking everything so seriously.

2. I don't think I'm better than either of you. In fact, I know you're better than me. By the time I'm forty, I totally want to be fourteen-year-old Yellavitch. Fourteen-year-old Yellavitch was hilarious and fearless and unembarrassed and self-aware of her naivety, and smiled often. What happened in the past seven years that made you so coiled and defensive and angry? I'm fascinated. I care. Stop being a stupid bitch and getting angry at me for giving a shit about you.

3. Chill out. Yes, you're being a stupid bitch. Let's talk about this.

4. You both insult me constantly. Half of the sentences you say to me begin with, "No offense, sister, but you [are not a shining example of success--are never on time--drink too much--will talk to anyone and it's creepy--spend money unwisely on stupid things like traveling--don't exactly have the most reliable friends and therefore you are not a good judge of character--don't care about anything--aren't wearing bra--are a walking joke--will never be taken seriously--should never be a mom--don't know everything--etc.]." I don't argue with you on these points, because you're entitled to say whatever you want to say. That, and sometimes I find them hilarious. Sure, you hurt my feelings too, and I usually just laugh it off. But I hear you, and I understand you, and I'm pretty sure I comprehend your words on a far more intimate level than you anticipate.

6. I don't think you should respond to a question or comment the same way I respond, because you are not me. Duh. But instead of going all fucking crazy banshee when I ask you your top ten favorite movies, maybe you could just have a conversation with me. It is not offensive to be interested in your likes and dislikes.

7. Of course I'm judging you. Sisters, every person you encounter judges you, this is inevitable. They judge the way you walk, the sound your feet make, if they like your belt or your hair. They judge your mood by the expression on your face. They make decisions about your worth when they don't even intend to do so. Every. Single. Person. They judge you by choosing to ignore your presence, by oggling your rack, by turning the other way, by making eye contact and smiling.

8. The difference between me and you is that sometimes, I choose to judge people by speaking to them and making a decision. You judge people by pretending they don't exist. Seriously, by choosing to remain strangers with a person, you imply that someone is not worth knowing. This is not rude, it's just the way it is. Everyone does it. Sometimes, not all the time, I choose to make an attempt at friendship. So...yes. I'm the person that talks to people riding the elevator, in line for a roller coaster, sitting at the bar.

9. What better way to find out about someone than learning what they love? Um, I'm sorry, but people are defined by their interests and their actions. Those are the closest things outsiders have to reading minds.

10. So, yes, asking people their top ten favorite movies is important. It's very important, and I don't want you telling me otherwise, because the fact of the matter is you don't fucking know everything. The order you list them is essential, even though I made a point of annoucing its irrelevance. If you think order matters, you'll try harder to do it right. Loving things isn't about being right.

Your development in linking one movie to the next is significant. Your explanations between titles is imperative to your thought process. It's mesmerizing watching people churn and burn and glow over discussing something they love.

Yes, it must be limited to ten, because constrictions push your internal discussion and reaction outward and amp up the interesting. I understand that people are allowed to watch more than ten movies. I've seen well over three thousand, according to Netflix. That's six months of my life. I worked at a video store and didn't have cable. Yes, I understand that one cannot be defined by a mere ten things, I'm not fucking retarded. But that doesn't mean it's not interesting, it doesn't mean you can't learn something about a person from it.

See, that's what you don't understand: this isn't life or death. They don't have to be your top ten for the rest of your goddamn life. It's about me witnessing your personal connectional hurricane and learning about you.

Take away social pretension about trying to impress someone with your elite knowledge, these aren't the best movies, they are your movies. Just name ten movies you love, and then I know the narrative style that speaks to you, I know what jokes resonate, I know what excites you, and what you're afraid of, how you define yourself, how you see other people, how you want to be seen. And if you're trying to be impressive and elite, I'll know that too.

Stop taking shit so seriously and just play.




Anonymous said...

siblings are good at pushing our buttons. in fact, they're better than anyone else. because they install them when we're growing up...

Anonymous said...

I have two sisters too...we have good years and bad years.

I love playing the favorite movie list game too. But when people go all Fellini on me I check out. You're right...the question is favorite, not best. That's why corn like The American President and The Birdcage are on my list, right up there with To Kill a Mockingbird and North by Northwest.

renalfailure said...

I'm an only child. I have only myself to argue with.

Thanatos said...

Sounds a lot like how my mum and her sis feel about each other. Guess things won't change even when you're 50.

Anonymous said...

Alright, I'll give it some thought . . . and I won't sneak in to look at my collection.

[pause for contemplation, at least three minutes or so . . . ]

1. Magnolia
2. Field of Dreams
3. The Matrix
4. Amores Perros
5. Little Miss Sunshine
6. Unbreakable
7. Jesus Camp
8. Falling Down
9. Bridge to Terabithia
10. The Truman Show

As of this moment, there's my list.

Now that wasn't so hard . . .

A Free Man said...

Any sentence that starts with 'no offense' is going to be offensive. Just like when somebody says "with all due respect" they mean that you are due absolutely no fucking respect.

My sister and I don't get along at all. Never really have. Right now I'm hella pissed that she's fucking up our family and I kind of want to kick her ass and make her get her shit together and if I thought that would work, I would definitely do it.

Meagan said...


1. Three Muskateers, the cheesy Disney one with a hot Chris O'donnel
2. Sin City
3. Shreck 1,2 or 3. Interchangible.
4. Mirrormask
5. Minority Report, even though it stars Tom Cruise
6. Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust
7. Stardust
8. Coraline. Should prob be higher but I just thought of it and I'm too lazy to cut and paste.
9. Hedwig and the Angry Inch just because Oh My God, WTF?
10. Shawn of the Dead. Was going to say 28 days Later but changed my mind at the last second.

Mongolian Girl said...

Am I supposed to be listing my 10 favorite movies right now? I hope not, because that would leave me feeling seriously offended.
Just kidding.
I wish someone would write a letter like that to me.

Anonymous said...

Your sisters know the NAME of your blog don't they?

The world is divided into two types of people. There's us (The Listmakers), and there's the other kind.....

PS: my word verification today is "pockesse"

How cute is that?

Sid said...

Here's a list of my 3 favourite movies (I couldn't think of ten at the spur of the moment):
1) Braveheart
2) City of Angels
3) Gladiator
What do these movies have in common? The male lead always dies in the end. Great/epic love story.

What's yours Rassles?

Anonymous said...

Movies are like books, but without the imagination, right?

Red said...

My baby brother (I'm the oldest with two younger brothers) used to say stuff that would hurt like nothing else. I loved him so much that he could. Now that we're both grownups he usually doesn't, for which I'm thankful.

As for top ten, erudite, schmerudite. _The Philadelphia Story_ and _Casablanca_ would both make my list, (people don't give _Casablanca_ credit for how damn funny it is) but so would _The Cutting Edge_.

Rassles said...

Daisyfae: I like that. It pisses me off, but I like it.

Franklin: Exactly. You don't just pop in La Dolce Vita because you're in the mood for "whatever." Unless you speak Italian, maybe. I do like Amarcord a lot, but maybe enough to sneak in like, my top fifty. Also, work it.

RF: That explains the half-cyborg cat.

Thanny: I know, I know. They never will.

Brian: Oh, I can't watch Amores Perros. I can stomach just about anything other than sad dogs. Torturing children, brain eating, bathing in blood, whatever, just don't hurt that poor little doggy. But good list.

Freeman: I hear ya, blood. About seventy-five percent of the time, I want nothing more than to beat the crap out of both of them, just out of spite.

Meagan: I love Stardust. It's just so wonderful.

Mongo: Go ahead and list 'em. Even though half the fun of doing a top ten is sitting at the bar and arguing over whether or not Shawshenk Redemption is better than Adventures in Babysitting.

Nurse: My sisters know nothing about my blog, except that it exists, and they make fun of me for it all the time.

Sid: Diner, Die Hard, Princess Bride, Big Lebowski, Paper Moon, Philadelphia Story, Goonies, Empire Strikes Back, LA Confidential, The Good the Bad and the Ugly. I seriously could do a hundred without blinking.

Gullybogan: Less imagination on the part of the viewer, yes. But just as much imagination to create, if not more.

Red: It really, really, really doesn't get much better than Philadelphia Story. I would put that up against every single romantic comedy made since then and mathematically PROVE it's a better movie, and anyone who disagrees is an idiot.

formerly fun said...

wish I had a sister to yell at me, sigh.

Erin said...

Sounds like it's time for a jalapeno pepper-eating contest.

SOO glad I am the only girl in my family. I'd be super competitive with any sisters.

"Vagiuma." Seriously, do you pick your own word verifications?

- A Free Man - Another put-off? Addressing someone as "sir," "miss" or "ma'am" in any confrontation.

Blues said...

I have major points of conflict with my sisters on movies. Because to me, like you, movies are of major importance. They aren't just a way to pass the time. We don't see eye to eye on movies which means we don't see eye to eye on a million other things.

I don't want to list mine, you'll think I'm a nerd.

Just kidding. P.S. Order is not important, I'm just naming them as they occur to me and i wish I could pick ten for every genre:

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. Lolita
3. Citizen Kane
4. The Big Lebowski
5. Pulp Fiction
6. Billy Elliot
7. Children of Men
8. Matrix (only the first, fuck the rest)
9. Happiness
10. Oldboy

There are a million runner ups, Cheekofgod's # 4 and 10 being a couple of them.

MoLinder said...

dude - what's the deal with your sisters? you can learn so much from someone when they name their top ten.

1. the usual suspects
2. office space
3. the shawshank redemption
4. the goonies
5. the princess bride
6. tremors (fantastic!)
7. the godfather (I or II - ahh, hot al pacino)
8. star wars
9. kill bill (I and II - they were supposed to be one movie)
10. die hard
these are in no particular order except for #1.

Lurk said...

I have been a lurker on your blog for a while now - wearing a long muddy coat, scouring through the archives and cowering behind a rectangular screen.


Just that lurker sounds all lurker-ish.

My point is, the point is, point being, i think, have a feeling, you must really really like Big Fish.
The tim burton one.

do you?

Schmee said...

I have honestly been contemplating my top 10 movies since that night at muffy's when we were discussing them. I think I'm going to try and do a final list right now...obviously subject to change in the future. Oh and I am definitely the same exact way with dog movies...I refuse to watch turner and hooch ever again.

1. The Princess Bride
2. Juno
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (I'm so mad Blues mentioned this one before me...I. LOVE. IT.)
4. Big Fish
5. Say Anything...
6. Almost Famous
7. Love Actually
8. American Beauty
9. The Wedding Singer
10.She's the Man

Damn that's hard! I was seriously debating between about 5 differnt movies for my number 10...

Blues said...

Shit, I forgot about The Princess Bride.

Come on, Rassles, out with 'em.

Rassles said...

FF: You say that now. Just wait until she overreacts about something fluff.


Blues: See, both of my sisters are movie-obsessed, just like me. But to them, choosing favorites is a ludicrous concept, because favorite movies leads to favorite people, and we should value one person over another and fucking blah blah blah. I don't know. They're mean.

MoL: You changed them from the last time, because you totally had South Park, Lord of the Rings, and I THINK Pride and Prejudice on there.

Lurk: I do LOVE Big Fish, but it's not in my top ten. Top thirty, more like.

Schmee: I am so glad you finally decided.

Blues: I totally listed them already. Up there. Totally and completely, list? Done and doner. And Oldboy is. the. shit.

Oh well. Here it is again, in no particular order, or perhaps an order which is particular in its own right:

Die Hard
Princess Bride
Big Lebowski
Paper Moon
Philadelphia Story
Star Wars (I'm picking Empire, because I think I watch that one the most.)
LA Confidential
The Good the Bad and the Ugly

No explanations. No alternates. Alternates are cheating. Substitutions, yes...but don't be tricky about it. You can't be all like, "Oh, yeah, I originally had Royal Tennenbaums and I swapped it for Brazil because blah fucking blah" because then it's like you're TRICKING US INTO SPILLING YOUR TOP ELEVEN, and that's fucking cheating.

Blues said...

But it's just so hard to pick ten. I need ten for every category, and a few runner ups allowed in each one.

Rassles said...

Stop whining! There's no whining in list making!

Rassles said...

AND I'm in fucking SHOCK that you didn't put Rubin and Ed in there.

Me said...

I just want to say you totally nailed my movie list. There isn't one thing you said that wasn't 100% correct. I bow down to your psychic-intuitive powers. I should give you a top 10 book list and see if you come up with anything else. :D

The Daily Rant said...

I'm here via Highway Hags (love them!) and I love this post. Since I haven't read any of your other posts (YET)may I ask - is this post directed to your ACTUAL sisters? Because if so, I'd love to steal it and word for word send it to a couple of members of my family. Sounds like I might have a clone of your sisters right in my very midst. Great post. Now I have to go contemplate my Top 10. Can't wait to read the rest of your blog!

Blues said...

Ruben and Ed is already on my list Weirdest Shit Ever, and I can't be transfering things from one list to another constantly.

Rassles said...

Foxglove: I really am psychic. That's what the psychics tell me, at least. I am also an interdimensional traveler and very important to the world. It's like this running joke, that people keep on telling me bullshit like that. I don't believe it.

Rant: Oh yes. Real, living, smart, bitchy sisters, who are even bigger know-it-alls than I am.

Blues: Ah HAH.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

Your sisters remind me of the Flap character in Terms of Endearment. Too fucking into their own lives and their own selfish bougouis (boozshwah?I can't spell.) bullshit to see what matters most around them. And kind of early 80s hippy yuppy. Total blah.
I love you most for the [...] part in #4.

Gypsy said...

There's something about girls of a certain age -- and I was one once -- where everything is all, I don't know, judge-y. It's like we haven't yet figured ourselves out but we think we have and we think we know it all and we think everyone else is weird or different or better or stupid. We have so much to prove.

Or something.

Ok, off the cuff, top 10, not thinking about it:

1. Dr. No
2. Coal Miner's Daughter
3. Urban Cowboy
4. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
5. Fame
6. Sixteen Candles
7. Cinema Paradiso
8. Tommy Boy
9. Gone With the Wind
10. The Commitments

JMH said...

Sorry. Loss sucks. But I didn't comment on this yet. So I can make a list.

1) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
2) The Big Lebowski
3) Caddyshack
4) Being John Malkovich
5) Something directed by Pedro Almodovar
6) Zoolander
7) South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
8) It's A Wonderful Life
9) Con Air
10) Goonies

Granted, it's Sunday at almost 2 in the morning, so this list is subject to revision, as is every list.