The Casablanca Conspiracy
Written By: Ash Catcher
I am going to switch things up around this week. Today I felt compelled to mention one of my favorite comfort movies, Casablanca. Now I get that it is old, I get that it is sexist, and I get all those little quips and one liners about detesting the French. I have watched this movie maybe about 50 times. All of these times were different. I have never seen this movie with the same person twice. I have seen this movie about 100 different ways. All from on a tiny portable DVD player when I was in college sick with mono, a laptop, even someone a few years back surprised me with a movie night and brought over their projector. I still absolutely still need to see this movie in a Drive-In still, but that is for another day I am sure of it.
When I was a kid I used movies, and films a lot to escape reality. I would write movie scripts at the age of 8. By 9 or 10 I was directing small plays in the basement of my friends houses in New Jersey. I moved around quite a bit as a kid, and even more so as an adult. Watching movies gave me that feeling of moving- or being transported somewhere else- if only for an hour or two from the comforts of my mostly temporary homes. There is still something super comforting to this day just popping on a movie and attempting to turn off my brain for an allotted time. Watching Casablanca for the first time in my critical viewing class in high school was pretty pivotal.
I am not sure if it was the on screen chemistry of Humphrey Bogart, and Ingrid Bergman that did it for me, because if it is one thing that is realistic about romance to me personally it's the dismissiveness and the unrequited love that was perfectly portrayed on screen. That hits home for me, relatable and I am always here for it. In a war torn country on the run of course the Universe will lead you back to that one chapter of your story that you seemed to "Dog Eared" and always seem to want to go back to. Was this age old timeless love story finished before the beginning credits even began? Is it pending?
I am by no means romantic, if you hug me for too long I'll probably have a slight panic attack. I show very little words of affirmation when dealing with relationships- both friendly and romantic. I am a big gift giver apparently. Lately I have only been able to offer people a few things, most of that being my time. Very rarely do I have the free time to sit down and dedicate time to a movie- but I always seem to make an exception for this one.
This is the movie I can most likely quote best, it is quick, and satirical and oddly enough holds my interest all the way through. What I really like to do is watch other people watch this movie for the first time. Often they will check out, or have issues following along with the story- it's really not that hard to follow. I personally think it would have been more shocking and progressive if Ilsa ended up with both Victor, and Rick. Like that door in the Titanic movie you bet that little plane could safely hold one other person. Scoot over.
This movie got me hooked on swing music, obsessed with crafting the perfect gin martini, and wanting to normalize the oddly weird non descriptive age gap between the two leading actors. When further looked into, I could denote a few underlying themes to this movie were love and sacrifice. I believe they do indeed go hand in hand with some things and while it's not the healthiest of a relationship between Bogart and Bergman they have since been seen in other movies together- I like to think they are all somehow connected and build off one another. Just in a different timeline.
All in all, most audience members will debate that this movie is just propaganda and sure it can be if you allow it. I also like the fact that its satirical nature seems to be almost undetected by the average movie watcher. I have people debate with me that this movie is... just okay. Everyone gets an opinion for sure, but half the time I am observing other people watching this movie I can tell they just miss the overall theme of it. It is more than a political allegory of World War Two, this movie needs to be watched a few times just to get everything out of this. I mean you could go as far as to say you can play it again Sam....
I'll leave you with that cringy & corny one off. See ya next Wednesday!
Ash Wednesday! Academona
Written by: Ash Catcher
Woke up around 1 am my back wet with blood of the crying eyes and tears from the children that have part.
This one felt so real I woke up in haste
The classroom once alive all a buzz.
Now all filled with lifeless bodies and sobs.
I was seeing pictures of the past
Then I saw red
Grabbed my phone and my bag and laid down on the ground.
The blood splattered all over my face.
The kids body parts all over the place.
I am sick to my stomach that is thankfully still intact
Just like on orientation day;
I looked to my right and I looked to my left.
Not a soul was left standing
I grabbed a few things and left.
Do you take the stairs?
(You could use the exercise)
It's faster I can barely hear myself think
Over the constant sound of the bullets hitting the class room floor in unison. It's mostly clatters and clinks.
That hit the floor.
Just like the kids.
I just wanted to teach.
This shit is so cringe.
I am not what to believe in.
Some days I feel like I am teaching little demons.
So I decided to take the stairs and come what may.
I've been wanting to end things for awhile why delay.
These people's ideas of teaching are so versatile and screwed.
The system was beyond broken back in my day.
How do you fix something that has been weaken and paraded on political display.
I am so desensitized to this bull shit, barely anything can faze me these days.
But I'll be damned that even if in my dreams are soaked with this senselessness classisim Cabernet.
My brains been on the warpath lately.
Thinking of getting another certaifcarion after this event, wish they would teach more people about safety.
But no way had I imagined I would have to use what I know.
Like how to pack a bullet wound in a 3rd graders leg is something I never would have known what to have done.
It's hard to teach kids when they resemble Swiss cheese.
You shouldn't have to risk your health and life (savings) just to get your highschool degree.
For a little context:
I have taught at a high school for the past 6 months ( it's a night program, teaching adults that are working towards their highschool education degree) while it is hands down one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had and continue to work at it is also terrible to see the decline of education in my city.
How students treat their education, each other, and staff have been so negative it is impossible for teachers to be both present in the classroom, and to be some sort of psydo psychologist. I've learned so much from my students, not just about teaching but also so many life skills. To the students that have prioritized their education and have stuck with my class the entire semester, module, whatever you want to call it dispite interruptions from your students, family, and even yourselves at times, hats off to you guys I am so excited for you and some of the new jobs. I'll see you in the hallways that hopefully a bit more brighter this upcoming semester with more students.
Just don't forget your super cool art teacher!
Ash Wednesday! Hola Azul
Written By: Ash Catcher
There are some classical and traditional things. (That I like)
Somethings you would have not guessed about me like for 10 years I summered in Colorado Springs.
Or that I exclusively only wear french perfume.
If you ask me real nicely I'll allow you into the back rooms.
Under the grounds of the airport I have frequented the most.
Stands a blue horse that if boiled down to it would make an impressive amount of coppery glucose.
And I am not really sure if you knew this or not.
But if you sell enough of yourself you may just make it into one of those California back lots.
An on running joke, or is it a conspiracy.
Whatever it is, I am sure you lack the authority.
But should you find yourself alone in the woods, especially a national park.
You'll most likely hear something scream, and something will grab you in the dark.
You will not understand, not at first, but slowly and surely you will start to rule out ghosts.
There is much more out there, I am not sorry to say but it has a bit to do with some ancestral oaths.
I think I have cracked it with the Hollywood elite.
because when it comes down to it there are a number of things.
Like why do they all seem to be in like 42401398129 places at once.
And what is with this aging backwards stuff?
And all the missing people, ( all those missing kids) getting fooled into getting college degrees.
Apparently I have no such business discussing these things.
I am sure we all believe what we see on that beautiful glowing nuclear television thing.
I'll leave you with this and then I shall go: Birds are not real there is no such thing as a left wing or a right wing.
( It is all a lie, it is all fake, made up for the entertainment of the wealthiest plasticy fakes)
Ash Wednesday! Spread Thin
Written By: Ash Catcher
I am not being transparent with you
Because I've been and become a fucking Translucent mess.
Working way too many late nights.
I am just trying to do my best.
I am overwhelmed and tired.
I am over committed and I just want to cry.
But I am so dehydrated and I can't stomach this anymore.
The only privacy I have is at work. You don't respect me or my closed door.
I am tired of being yelled at that I have nothing I can control.
The only way to make you stop yelling is to start recording.
You look fucking idiotic when you tell me you're sorry.
Coming back after your one sided shrilling monologue.
I have to be honest with you, I fucking hate you.
I don't give a shit how you want to come off to the world.
You are one weak mother fucker if you yell at woman and girls.
What you keep doing is abusive, your apologies don't mean shit and haven't for years.
You're no better than that douche bag that calls me every other few weeks.
'I am sorry...." You begin to mutter.
But I've already dissociated and dissolved.
Wish I could numb myself to fucking oblivion.
This sibling shit is so old, it's like I am Israeli and you're Palestinian.
We never got along, and I know we were both mistakes.
But I don't think I can talk to you anymore, we need to take a break.
I am not sure if you get this or not but with you I don't feel safe.
Do you know how exhausting it is to know you cannot just leave and escape.
I don't think you ever see the sacrifices I've made for you. How much I protected you from when your were young.
You may got a few black belts on me, but you know I will always cut you down to size with my tongue.
Talk shit all you want about me, you are a lot more like him than mom.
Fuck your entitlements, you threaten me, or my son again I'll napalm you like Vietnam.
Spending all my money on a place I never want to be.
Fucking go live with your freeloader boyfriend, I never signed on to live with three.
And pay attention because I am only going to say thos once.
The day you raise your voice again to me I'll make you irrelevant like Kristen Dunst.
Spread to thin, but you're so ugly from within.
That toxic masculinity, that isn't even biological possible for you to possess, ugh where do I begin?
I am not sure who you think you are, or who you pretend to be.
But Ill tell you this I am counting down the days where I don't have to deal with your mood swings and your bullshit.
Ash Wednesday! Red Alert
Written By: Ash Catcher
Happy Wednesday! If you are anything like me you have been to an interview or two that seems really good on paper, but when it comes time to actually do the damn thing, the whole thing just seems like Really too good to be true.... "I cannot believe this shit, I have to do 2 people's jobs for how much...?" You're supposed to act impressed, they hire you on the spot, and when the offer letter graces your spam folder, you put your damn foot down, and not in your mouth and say: "Thanks, but no thanks." Here are some code reds that i run into in almost every interview:
1. Listen for the key terms:
" We are like a family here." - Translation: We have absolutely NO boundaries, I will send you an email at 10 pm after I have had a few beers after work, I expect you to answer promptly.
"We wear a lot of hats here." - Translation: You will BE expected to work multiple peoples jobs daily, and we shall compensate you by paying you the bare minimum, those benefits we advertised in the job description, you'll be eligible for those after 90 days of employment- that does not include weekends, that is 90 working days- we will promptly let you go due to " budget issues." 89 days into your position. It would be nice if you could train your replacement so we do not have to.
"We are all about that hustle, and grind. We strongly encourage promoting our office culture." -Translation: We do not give a shit about work life balance, and our office culture includes strictly beginning to drink irresponsibly at 3pm. Fuck your "Hour Lunch Break." Take lunch at your desk between meetings.
"We like things a certain way here." -Translation: We will micromanage the ever loving fuck out of you, you will conform and obide by our standards, or you can find a job somewhere else. Assimilate or starve.
"We are looking for a self motivated individual." - Translation: We have absolutely no onboarding process, good luck figuring shit out for yourself. You dumb fuck, we got you.
2. Vague Job Descriptions: Let me start off by saying the job description is only to get yourself hooked into this mediocre job description. The responsibilities of this job are not clearly defined: Is this a social media position? Is this a sales position, do you expect me to manage your social media, and create content- that is two different positions. This is only a taste of the company's dysfunction. WHY am I advocating for myself before I am even hired?!
3. Unprofessional behaviour: Negative or inappropriate behavior, directed towards current, or former employees is completely uncalled for. I would personally reevaluate before you agree to work for someone who will just end up speaking ill of you when you leave. I always like to ask people doing the interview why the previous employee quit this position- also be sure to ask what their general expectations are for this role and if they will be willing to work with you to achieve these goals.
4. Poor Communication: Ignoring a company's poor communication during an interview can bite you in the ass later. There is nothing more frustrating than having to fail to meet crucial deadlines due to someone's negligence to communicate it's important. Learn to talk dumb dumb. Also if they are a NO SHOW for your in person interview, FUCKIN RUN! The Hiring process should be painless.
5. High Turnover Rate: You apply to enough jobs and you see the ones that keep popping up- those are the problem children, ditch those. It's a toxic work environment, piss poor working conditions, or maybe I don't know they don't change the filter in the staff refrigerator. You are worth more than that.
Those are my top 5, hope you keep that in mind when you have a freakin panic attack in your car on your 15 minute break, or have a public freakout stay snazzy. See ya next Wednesday.