A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

a wild sheep chase

 

Close to the end, my reaction at one sentence in this book was “What? What the fuck?!” It was so weird and unexpected; I love it.

Reading this will make you feel as though you’re observing someone else’s dream or even experiencing it yourself. However mundane some stuff are, Murakami managed to write about them interestingly. Often, you’ll think it’s such a serious book, and then Murakami would just drop a little humour here and there nonchalantly; they actually made me laugh.

Finishing the book is like waking up from a dream. “What does the whole thing mean?” you’d find yourself asking. And then you google “meaning behind A Wild Sheep Chase”, read a New York Times 1989 review of the book, google “Murakami’s interview on A Wild Sheep Chase”, find nothing, and still continue thinking about the book, and continue with your “A Wild Sheep Chase” chase for meaning behind it.

Favourite quotes:

“I still love you. But I guess that’s not the point now, is it? I know that well enough myself.”

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“So why’d you get divorced?’

“Personal reasons.”

“I know that,” he said. “Never heard of a divorce for other than personal reasons.”

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We can, if we so choose, wander aimlessly over the continent of the arbitrary.”

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“Whether you take a doughnut hole as blank space or as an entity unto itself is a purely metaphysical question and does not affect the taste of the doughnut one bit.”

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That’s only the dark side of things. Good things happen too, good people can make things worthwhile.

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“I was always the one who waited, until I got tired of waiting, and in the end I didn’t care.”

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Speaking frankly and speaking the truth are two different things entirely. Honesty is to truth as prow is to stern. Honesty appears first and truth appears last.

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World itself is so mediocre that you are mediocre as such.

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Body cells replace themselves every month. Even at this very moment. . . Most everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories.

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I swear, in the kingdom of generalities, you could be imperius rex.”

The Things You Notice On Second Watching Of The Amazing Spider-Man (1)

“Did you notice something odd in that scene where a guy was being bullied to eat vegetables?”

“Remind me of the scene.”

Flash bullies a guy into eating vegetables

Flash bullies a guy into eating vegetables

“Guy being held by the bully Flash. Peter tells Flash to put the guy down. Flash beats up Peter. Gwen talks to Flash, which makes him leave.”

“…”

“After watching it, I told Joanna ‘You know what’s weird? Why didn’t Gwen intervene when the other guy was being bullied? Why did she just help when it’s already Peter being beaten up?’”

“…”

The Gwen philosophy: It's okay to hold someone up-side-down and force-feed him vegetables, but it's not okay to beat someone, especially if that someone is Peter Parker, man.

The Gwen philosophy: It’s okay to hold someone up-side-down and force-feed him vegetables, but it’s not okay to beat someone, especially if that someone is Peter Parker.

“She was obviously sitting at a place where she could hear the ‘Eat it! Eat it!’ shouting. Peter saw her before he heard the fiasco.”

“…”

“So after that, in the classroom scene, you’ll find it hypocritical of Gwen to tell Peter that ‘What you did there was nice’ because she obviously didn’t do anything herself until Peter helped.”

“She must fear Flash and once Peter stepped in, like a hero, she then got her confidence too.”

“What? Like hell. She DOESN’T fear Flash. You saw how she talked to him. She obviously has him under her control. She knows Flash fancies her and that he’ll do anything to please her.”

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Why Dr. Connors Was Running After The Indian Guy

“When I watched again yesterday I understood the plot more. I didn’t catch some details before so I just assumed Dr. Connors wanted to kill that Indian guy.”

Rajit Ratha The Indian Guy

Rajit Ratha The Indian Guy

“He did though. And the movie deleted the scene where he does. So in the final cut, the black guy just disappears. Lame.”

“Well his initial plan wasn’t to kill the guy, right? He was running after the Indian guy to actually stop him from giving the chemical to Norman Osborn. So really he was trying to help.”

Deleted Scene in which Lizard kills Indian Man.

Deleted Scene in which Lizard kills Indian Man.

“He was? I thought he wanted to kill the fucker for making himself become a lizard. If he wanted to stop the thing being given to Norman then he wouldn’t have killed him in that deleted scene because by that stage in the movie the Lizard was going to try to turn everyone into lizards anyway.”

“Yep he was! When Dr. Connors tested it on himself, it worked but then he was feeling something bad was happening to him. So he called the Indian guy’s office. But the assistant said Indian guy is already heading to hospital where Osborn is. And he was like, no, no, he can’t. (because the Indian guy took one of the chemicals and was about to try it to Osborn to save him from dying). But then Dr. Connors turned to full pledged lizard and his emotion was affected too. So he wanted to kill the guy for being mean to him early on.”

“Yeah that’s what happened. And from that point onwards he went into GRRM mode and just wanted to kill and transform. It was a poorly written script. I think that’s because of the conversion of it from Spider-Man 4 to reboot.”

“Yeah it was eh. Because it wasn’t that understandable at first watching.”

“But there were so many loose ends, such as uncle Ben’s killer suddenly being ignored, the black guy just disappearing, etc.”

“Okay well that killer of Uncle Ben being ignored happened because Peter learnt that revenge isn’t that nice during that dinner with Gwen’s family. The police dad was like, you know I think Spider-Man is just a guy looking for revenge and that hit the nerve because it’s right. At the same time Spidey realised that yea, that’s wrong. And that he should use his powers for more important things.”

“I’ll have to rewatch. Peter just seemed to stop his search once the Lizard appeared.”

“Yea, that too. The existence of Lizard made him realise there are more important things than revenge. and that people need him.”

“…”

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The Real Reason Why Gwen’s Dad Is Mad At Spider-Man

“Oh and this time I understood why Gwen’s dad is mad at Spidey.”

“Because Spidey is a vigilante.”

“My initial understanding before was just because he’s a vigilante but actually the main reason is Spider-man fucked up the police’ plan to catch a group of criminals using the car thief, who Spidey webbed to the wall. That’s why the whole police are mad at him. And that makes more sense than the usual ‘He’s not a police, he shouldn’t catch criminals’.”

Webbed Alleged Car Thief

Webbed Alleged Car Thief Who Was Actually A Spy For The Police

“They should have made Peter’s decision to stop revenge clearer. Wasn’t a good decision to follow up the dinner with a love scene with Gwen. It clouds anti-revenge.

“Yea they should have eh. But it’s fun to understand things at second watching”

“…”

“I think that whole catching-the-people-who-run-the-operation would have been clearer if they included shots of the police planning on how to catch the syndicate, while the Police Dad (George Stacy) was explaining it to Spidey. I can imagine a Hot Fuzz-like fast showing of a scene. Would have been cooler! Because it’s so easy not to notice what the police dad was saying about it. Their dialogue wasn’t exactly memorable.

“Yeah, a montage would have been useful.”

“The audience would even find it funnier that Spider-Man thought he was being good and catching a car thief when actually he’s fucking up a police plan.”

“…”

The Real Criminal But Doesn't Dress Like One

The Real Criminal But Doesn’t Dress Like One

“Also, if you watch again, you’ll notice the car owner that just got out of it (just before the car thief gets in) acts like he’s a criminal although doesn’t dress like one. Obviously Spider-Man with his high sense of fashion, didn’t think he was a bad guy. He also didn’t think it was necessary to give him a fashion advice such as ‘You know in the future, if you’re going to steal cars, don’t dress like a car thief, man.’”

The Amazing Spider-Man, Literally Brilliant Electro, and Sexy Harry Osborn

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Poster

“Dude, don’t cry; you’re wearing mascara. You don’t want to look like yet another Spider-Man villain after all these fuckers,” I told myself as Spider-Man 2 nears its end.

If you haven’t seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2, go watch it. The plot and the whole sci-fi look and feel of the film will get you hooked. For those who can’t control their tear ducts, bringing a box of tissue is highly recommended.

electro

Spider-Man was still hilarious when dealing with small-time villains, a characteristic that the Spider-Man in the past trilogy didn’t have. And Electro–good godzilla–the poor man’s story was awesome. Jamie Foxx’s acting was brilliant.

There are some specific cool scenes that I’d like to talk about but I don’t want to spoil others who haven’t seen the movie yet. I’ll give you this hint: cool Spider-Man web shot!

Blue eyes aren't obvious here but there's his cuteness.

Blue eyes aren’t obvious here but there’s his cuteness.

It’s also worth-mentioning that the movie is filled with ridiculously beautiful people. Spider-Man himself, Gwen Stacy, and now Harry Osborn. His blue eyes, lips, adam’s apple, and nerdy haircut… Seriously, are we ever going to get an ugly Green Goblin actor? First James Franco and now this Dane DeHaan? (We’re not counting Green Goblin’s father in the first trilogy for obvious reasons, but if you find him attractive, uhm okay?)

“Judging your taste in men now, you must have a thing for goblins,” Angus noted.

“Don’t let the goblins in Harry Potter’s world hear you,” I replied. “I don’t want them to get the wrong idea.”

And yes, Griphook, no matter how attracted I am to goblins, I’m sorry but I’m only interested in Gringotts’ treasures and not in you.

George R.R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview

From this I learnt that

1. GRRM is the real-life Daenarys. He grew up poor but he knew their family wasn’t always poor and he often looked at a house that was once theirs.

2. We should thank his writer friend Phyllis Eisenstein. Without her, GoT will never have dragons.

3. GRRM is amazingly intelligent. He loves asking deep questions that are worth thinking about.

4. GRRM believes a good act doesn’t cancel out a bad one and vice versa. He thinks you cant make Woodrow Wilson, the racist USA ex-president who tried to end war, a hero or a villain. “He was both. And we’re all both.”

5. “Mortality is the inescapable truth of all life …and of all stories, too.” Valar morghulis.

Gone Book

We perused each shelf at the National Book Store for a Gillian Flynn novel but we didn’t find any, so we proceeded talking to one of their sales ladies.

Me: Excuse me. Meron po kayong ‘Gone Girl‘?

Sales Lady: Wala e. Movie ba yun?

Joanna: Opo.

Sales Lady: Kaya pala ang daming naghahanap. Pangatlo na kayo today.

And I can’t blame them, Sales Lady. I showed ‘Gone Girl’ teaser to my sister yesterday, pausing here and there as I tell her how well-written and interesting the novel is (“Never mind the girly YA-ish title.”) and how brilliant the movie’s director is (David Fincher! Yes, that David Fincher who directed ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, and ‘Fight Club’). She liked it a lot that she begged me to lend her money for the book.

Alas, according to the saleslady at the second branch we visited, the book is out of stock and there are only few copies at some (far far away) branches.

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Because some of my friends don’t speak Filipino and Google translate’s translations are horribly ridiculous, here’s a rough translation of the conversation with book store sales lady:

Me: Excuse me. Do you have ‘Gone Girl’?

Sales Lady: No, we don’t. Is that a movie?

Joanna: Yes.

Sales Lady: So that’s why many are looking for it. You’re the third person today.

Was Joffrey Poisoned Using Sansa’s Necklace Gem?

After watching The Purple Wedding, I was disappointed they didn’t include Sansa’s hairnet in the show. Those who have read the books know that Sansa’s hairnet is an important part of The Purple Wedding. Its black amethyst could have (or not) been the source of poison put into Joffrey’s wine.

However, the hairnet was actually changed into necklace. In the show, Ser Dontos (a.k.a Ser Fool) gave her the necklace. (She wasn’t asked to wear it at the wedding day though, as opposed to the book.)

I rewatched the scene in which Lady Olenna talks to Sansa and noticed that Lady Olenna actually touched Sansa’s necklace. After it, a shot of the necklace was shown, its one gem missing. I am not sure if it’s really missing or if that’s just a style of the necklace since we didn’t get to see the necklace in full view before Lady Olenna touched it.

Sansa's missing necklace gem

Sansa’s missing necklace gem is poison!

I am also not sure if Lady Olenna just touched the gem or actually took it. Her hand is so quick she could be a magician.