I don’t watch movies often, but I had just finished my last semester of undergrad and I decided I needed to lock the door, turn off the lights, and throw my brain in the garbage bin for a while. So I picked out the newest Netflix release starring Zac Efron and Lily Collins.
Except I couldn’t turn my brain off. I was analyzing and commenting on the whole movie, mainly that the movie felt weird but I couldn’t figure out why. The cinematography? Writing? Story? Story. I don’t know, it felt weirdly pro-Ted Bundy and it made me uncomfortable.
But I think my problem was that I had the privilege of dramatic irony. I knew the ending already because I knew about Ted Bundy before hand, but the characters in the movie didn’t. Therefore, I had to be with them and move through their chronology.
And that’s when the movie started making sense. The movie was weirdly pro-Ted because people were pro-Ted. He was charming. Folks adored him, even if the following night he would kidnap, rape, and murder young women. He had such an air around him that you almost didn’t want to believe it. And it doesn’t help that Zac Efron is Zac Efron and looks like Ted Bundy but better.
Which is why I’m bothering to write this review (Is it a review? It’s just my thoughts on the movie but whatever). The pro-Ted angle mixed with the horrible crimes he committed makes the movie dynamic, which is why it stuck with me. When more of Ted’s crimes come to light, the simulacra of Ted starts to fail. When he finally admits what he did at the end, writing down what happen to the girl’s head on the prison visiting window, you break with Lily Colin’s character. You’re meant to empathize with her. You’re meant to be right there along with her.
It’s an interesting take on an old story that I’m sure will be twisted in some way. People love things that go against our morals (a positive-ish spin on a serial killer story), and so this movie presents us with a disturbing question: would we defend someone as horrible as Ted Bundy merely because we liked him? Many people would say says. Who would we hurt to further protect him? Well, lots of people. Probably women.
Ted, then, if we were to look at this story purely as a text, thus represents normalcy, hegemony. He’s the white patriarchal id who could get away with the shit that he did for as long as he did, and then he had people in his corner defending him because he’s Ted Bundy. I don’t think his story would have been the same if he were black or female, and so white maleness is central to Ted Bundy’s crimes.
Listen, I know. It’s the same critique on something that’s going to continue to exist. White masculinity has hacked itself through America’s fine, fleshy neck for its own enjoyment in terms of cultural colonization, ecological domination, and protection in past and current legislation. America’s been built on the wants of white dudes who expect to get away with their shit and have other people defend their wants. But I think to distill this concept down to one person, Ted Bundy, who does horrible crimes for his own pleasure and flees the justice system for as long as he does reminds us that he is possible because of the system we live in. Especially if we empathized with Ted Bundy, we’re forced to look at how we interact with that same system too.
The more I think about this movie, the more I like it. Yes it’s an old tale but it very much applies to modern times. Who gets away with shit. Who has the hack saw. Who gets hacked. And who gets away with shit. Really makes you think.
Oh I didn’t know airports did writing retreats.
They don’t. I’m making one.
Yeah so I was in Mexico and I missed my flight because I’m a DUMBASS and just completely lost my immigration slip. So I had to get a new one, struggling through broken Spanish with the immigration attendant, before finally getting one. It was too late.
Yeah and then I was supposed to go from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta but I missed my Atlanta flight because my arrival time for my second flight was after my departure time for my third.
Hmm. Still sounds like you’re a dumbass.
Sounds like you’re correct.
So this is a writing retreat.
Yep. My next flight isn’t until 1pm tomorrow so I’m about to get lit in this Ft. Lauderdale airport all night.
And you’re calling it a writing retreat.
To make the most out of a situation, yes. And to hide my shame at being a poor planner and overall negligent person (a “schmatka” as my Bulgarian family would say)
So what does this airport writing retreat entail?
Just writing until I pass out in my seat.
Oh nice I love doing that.
Yeah it’s pretty fun.
But when you’re conscious what will you do?
Well I’m going to try to spruce up this website — and by spruce up, I mean make it as terrible and bad as I want it. Because I have my personal website (which is has the domain of a name I don’t prefer to go by anymore) that was supposed to be my blogs and stuff, my personal writing, etc, but then I also made that my freelance portal and my business portal and it put too much pressure on my writing to be “good.” So I stopped writing for it period. But I think that if I have this place to post literally whatever I want with no fear of looking bad, I can actually write more and grow more.
Oh that’s cool.
But aren’t you also into comics and stuff?
Yeah I’m gonna post more comics on here too cause I really write drawing them and want to get better at that too. I’m just here to experiment and not worry if I look stupid.
Are you really afraid of looking stupid?
Yes and no. I feel like I’ve looked stupid all my life (My brain never worked like everyone else’s brains) so I have an incredibly high tolerance to looking stupid. Embarrassment too, but that’s a different story. It’s just that I don’t want to look stupid in front of people who could hire me, ya feel?
Ya money is super good. So you were essentially limiting yourself before you had this website.
Yes. And I could say I’m a published author whenever I throw my crap up online.
Oh nice we love loopholes.
Do you have any goals for what this site should become?
Honestly, I don’t. More populated with things I made would be nice. But otherwise, I’m content with having a corner of the internet that’s just mine and has the stuff I’ve creating. I think it would be neat to watch myself grow as an author, writer, comics artist, whatever. It’s like an online scrapbook of my growth.
That’s a great way to look at it.
So this writing retreat…
It’s a retreat away from my normal routine back home, so I guess that’s something. I have yet to ease back into complacency, and I’ve always felt more creative and writerly in that liminal moment.
What’s a liminal moment?
I think of them as the tiny moments in which your senses feel heightened again and you remember you’re alive. For me, it usually happens when I’m alone. It happens when I stare at myself in a bathroom at a single stall bathroom in a club, the music bleeding through the walls, the sounds of people dancing and laughing from outside the cement (Athenites I’m thinking of Church and only Church). I am still and the rest of my surroundings are not. From that stillness comes a special recognition that I am alive, that life is moving around me but I can take a moment to feel around the space, the second of time I’m inhabiting before it inevitably slips away.
Oh okay I think I get it.
It’s one of my favorite feelings.
Alright well I guess I’ll let ya go. How much have you written on this retreat?
So far: 1,397 words.
Thank you! This was fun, I hope to do this again 🙂
I bought this domain for 2 USD.
Let’s get lit.
I’m here for personal shitposts and releasing my id onto the internet (idternet amirite??)