Author Archives: Taylor Woodward

Which Dystopian Societies Taylor Admires Most

Recently, at the behest of my girlfriend and the rest of society, I saw the current cinematic attraction The Hunger Games. After the film I had a number of questions, comments, criticisms and critiques. All of which, once enunciated , were instantaneously countered with a resounding, “You NEED to read the book!!!” Well too bad, society. As an American I’m upholding my God-Given Constitutional Right to never read ever. Not EVER. Also if you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting, I was busy.

Anyways, the post-apocalyptic dystopia “Panem”, as presented in the film seemed a little lac-“But you didn’t rreeead the booo I GET IT. As I was saying, all-in-all the future didn’t really seem as bleak/soul-crushingly empty as it could have for the citizens of Districts 1 through 12..13? 14?? So you’re a little hungry, each year you lose a couple of teenagers, and alright there’s a pinch of total government control over your lives? #nbd I proudly present a short list of films and novels containing my personal favorite/ most admirable dystopian societies.

Logan’s Run – Directed by Michael Anderson, 1976

Why? City run by maniacal computer overlord, everybody dies at 30 to avoid “overpopulation”/human uprising, 1970’s visions of the future #hilarious, and this robot that tries to freeze people/is a refrigerator.

Children of Men – Directed byAlfonso Cuaron, 2006

Why? This director found a way to take the crushing sadness of real-world British socialism and go even further. No need for Hunger Games when teenagers no longer exist, is there? Despite all of the important religious symbolism and social commentary that I missed while Clive Owen was staring into my eyes, this movie was intense. I believe it’s safe to say that this film proved, beyond any doubt, that the children are our future.

Equilibrium – Directed by Kurt Wimmer, 2002

Why? Do you like art? How about feelings? Too damn bad, go back to Amherst. In the meantime, someone in this glorious dystopia decided it would be a good idea to give Batman (played by Christian Bale) a magic pistol that never runs out of bullets…I hope he doesn’t start to sympathize with the resista-THE END. Also starring Taye Diggs.

Running Man – Directed by Paul Michael Glaser, 1987

Why? Just read the first sentence of the plot description from Wikipedia: “By 2017, the global economy has collapsed and American society has become a totalitarian police state,censoring all cultural activity. The government pacifies the populace by broadcasting a number of game shows in which convicted criminals fight for their lives.” Are you terrified yet? How could this be the future of America? What government leader would use its people’s fascination with entertainment to distract them from enormous debt, a failing economy, growing police control and overcrowded prisons?!? My god…

Fahrenheit 451 – Written by Ray Bradbury, 1953

Why? Oscar Wilde once said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” Well Oscar Wilde was a communist. Taylor B. Woodward once said, “As an American I’m upholding my God-Given Constitutional Right to never read ever. Not EVER.”  Taylor Woodward was born out of a giant egg found in a nest at the top of a massive sequoia, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In this horrifyingly clairvoyant depiction of mankind’s growing obsession with alternative forms of media and entertainment, the true horror lies in the glaring similarities between Fahrenheit 451‘s dystopian nightmare, and our own decaying society.

I weep silently knowing that Ray Bradbury has lived long enough (91 years old) to see the dawn of e-books, 72 inch televisions, and programming such as: 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, The Jersey Shore, I Used to be Fat, Every show on MTV, 19 Kids and Counting, Cake Boss, Extreme Couponing, Long Island Medium, Mamas Boys of the Bronx, Say Yes to the Dress, Dance Moms, Toddlers in Tiaras, Pawn Stars, Full Metal Jousting, Swamp People, Big Shrimpin’, Hairy Bikers, and Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. I’d go on but my rage levels are soaring, instead I’ll leave you with another quote.

“We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now…” – Ray Bradbury, prophetic author & humanity’s last hope

1984 – Written by George “The Orwell” Orwell, 1949

Why? Spending the next week writing would barely be enough time to explain all the ways in which 1984 is magnificent. So I’ll just say this:

In 326 pages George Orwell presents a hellish nightmarescape devoid of reason and thought in which an eerie calm surrounds the soulless, faceless masses, eyes unblinking in a synchronized march towards a future without change or hope. Pulling us helplessly into an overcast realm of gloom in which a careless glance, or slightest hesitation means death, or worse. George Orwell stabs the reader in the heart with the cold, raw reality of our own emotions and self-doubts, breaking us down from the inside outward, until finally unleashing a conclusion so devastatingly unforgiving that we are forced into the most powerful crygasm of our entire lives.

The End.

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The Many Faces of Gator: Part 2 of 3

by Taylor

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Part 2 of my ongoing Faces of Gator series contains some of the greatest leading roles and most memorable cameos of Gator’s distinguished career. Well, that’s going to do it for all of us here at Channel 4 News, you stay classy San Diego. I’m Ron Burgundy?

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The Many Faces of Gator: Part 1 of 3

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By Taylor

I present Part 1 of what will be a small tribute to one of the greatest actors, nay, greatest people of the modern age. Will Ferrell’s on screen theatrics have captured the hearts of a nation, and his moving performances have caused us all to look more deeply into our own lives, examining the human condition while calling into the question the troublesome duality of man. Mr. Ferrell continues to hold the mirror of truth up to society, analyzing the great American experiment on his unending search for meaning and enlightenment.

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Movie Review – “The Artist”

By Taylor

Being burdened, as I am, with the unquenchable desire to procrastinate, I have watched an unholy multitude of movies in my life. So when I noticed that this film, The Artist, had won its fair share of awards in Cannes and, more recently, at the Golden Globes…I figured it would be worth a watch. It’s difficult nowadays, as we are constantly barraged with trailers and interviews and other shit, to approach a movie knowing nothing. Yet somehow I began this film with less knowledge than [GOP Candidate] has about [topical social issue].

The film starts, cue opening credits, ‘starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo’. My eye twitches. Dear God, they’re French. Now readers there are really only three things I satirically hate in this world; one of them is French people, and the other two are France. “Oh…It’s a French film..”, I thought to myself, and swallowing my pride I kept watching, determined to conquer whatever Francophile perversions lay in wait for me.

Hollywood, 1926, the rise of the motion picture industry in America. The opening scene depicts a lavish theater overflowing with movie-goers of the day. On screen the silent picture shows a daring hero escaping a Russian prison, the crowd stares in awe as a Russian soldier falls out a first floor window; literally the greatest special effect they’ve ever seen. The film ends, audience erupts in applause, yet they make no sound. My life flashes before my eyes as I realize that The Artist is a silent film. A silent French film.

Hours later a bald eagle sheds a single tear onto my forehead and I awake laying on my kitchen floor, having been revived from a fatal brain aneurysm. Much like Gandalf I had been sent back from the beyond with a single purpose, to finish this film. Roughly an hour and a half later, my task was complete. Time for some real talk: for all my outrageous predilections for making fun of French things, The Artist was honestly not bad.

The story focuses on the rise and subsequent fall of George Valentin, Hollywood’s silent film superstar. He loves the audience, the fame, himself, and his trusty canine companion Jack. At the height of his Ryan Gosling-level domination of early Hollywood, he meets a young nothing of a woman named Peppy. She eventually lands a small role as an extra, and per usual her career takes off. At the same moment George’s career runs into a hiccup when someone decides, “Hey, let’s add sounds?” The man made famous by silent films quickly writes off the new “talkies” as a passing trend. Thus his ignorance and pride cast him into a downward spiral involving alcohol, divorce, and the stock market crash in 1929.

What The Artist does well:

The film’s lack of dialogue is obviously uncommon, yet after suffering through New Years Eve, I am well aware of just how absolutely God-awful, I mean seriously, horrifyingly terrible, bad dialogue can be, and this silent film was refreshing in that regard. The original score was great; the images and corresponding music blended in such a way that modern films rarely achieve. Plus the depiction of the beginnings of Hollywood and celebrity life in the late 20’s were pretty accurate. I would know, I took “History of the 1920’s” in college #liberalarts. Overall The Artist takes what was a simpler time for movies and creates a simple, uncomplicated, enjoyable film that stands out alongside the general onslaught of crap Hollywood produces today.

What The Artist does poorly:

The movie relies somewhat heavily on overused “set pieces”, and by that I mean: man saved by a dog, emotional hospital visit, drunken man realizes himself to be root of own unhappiness (proceeds to drink more), woman drives poorly through traffic on a frantic errand. Also, without giving away too much if anyone is actually going to watch this movie, the ending sort of takes an uncomfortable jolt from a dramatic scene into a strange dance number. But most importantly, and this is a “spoiler”, but in said dramatic scene George’s handgun seemingly misfires, ricochets, and KILLS HIS DOG. And they just cut away to the dancing, just like that. No mention of poor Jack’s fate. I don’t know why I expected anything more from the French…

Final Score…

*All jokes aside the French are a wonderful and vibrant people, it’s just that I had a bad experience in Paris with a gypsy when I was five. (true story)

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New York City in 1938

By Taylor

Always at the forefront of internet happenings, my mother sent me this video earlier today. At first I was hesitant to watch, as her emails primarily consist of thinly-veiled attempts to convince me to move back home and accept my fate working at the Sbarro in Terminal B of the Boston Logan Intl Airport. However, this video was fairly interesting.

Highlights

  • “Orientals”
  • “Colored population”
  • beautiful Jersey shore”
  • a collectively glossy-eyed nation attempting to ignore the increasingly radical policies of the Nazi Party and the impending threat of WWII
  • a narrator whose voice I firmly believe must have been used in literally every radio  and television broadcast until 1960
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