The Upside Down

There are spoilers for the Netflix show “Stranger Things” in this post.

Be warned: this post is my own wonky interpretation of the show, based entirely on my subjective viewing of the show.

I am not arguing that what I am about to write is what the show is “really about” or that this interpretation will even enhance your viewing of the show in any meaningful way.

But anyways, here goes:

The world of “Stranger Things” is immersed in nostalgia. Everywhere, the viewer sees nostalgic images, hears nostalgic music, and is presented with scenes and plot devices that are themselves nostalgic, in that they mimic scenes from blockbuster movies like the original “Jurassic Park” (raptors = demidogs) or “The Exorcist” (when Will is possessed by The Mind Flayer) or many other such scenes.

To say that the show “Stranger Things” is immersed in nostalgia is an understatement.

But there is one recurring part of the show that is not nostalgic, that does not evoke warm, fuzzy feelings: “The Upside Down.”

The Upside Down is a parallel dimension where faceless monsters prowl around, looking for prey. The Upside Down is also inhabited (and possibly created) by a shadowy monster called The Mind Flayer who appears in visions over the sky of the town.

The Upside Down is just like Hawkins, Indiana (the show’s fictional middle class, midwestern setting), in that landmarks from Hawkins appear in The Upside Down, but they are all dilapidated, covered with dust, broken down and so on.

Here is my interpretation of what I have written about so far:

Hawkins, Indiana (as well as the California town in Season 4), as mentioned, is immersed in nostalgia.

When the various characters in the show enter The Upside Down, they are leaving this nostalgic bubble that they exist in.

Similarly, when viewers finish watching an episode of “Stranger Things,” they are leaving the nostalgic bubble that the show creates for them.

Before I continue, I want to make clear that I am a huge fan of the show. I am not trying to denigrate the show or its viewership by pointing this stuff out, I am just offering my wonky interpretation of the show.

Here it is, for real this time:

“The Mind Flayer,” the dark entity that kidnaps and later possesses Will Byers, is itself representative of the nostalgia that the show is immersed in.

And when characters from the show go into The Upside Down, they are leaving the nostalgic bubble and entering the world of the present day, in which all of the nostalgic elements of Hawkins, Indiana are long dead and gone.

(Madonna’s “This Used To Be My Playground” plays softly, inside your head.)

Nostalgia, in addition to giving us the warm and fuzzies, can also become an incredibly destructive force in our lives. When we as humans indulge in nostalgia, we deceive ourselves into thinking that “the good old days” – whenever they were for us as individuals – were actually better than the present day.

Here’s another spoiler for you: the good old days weren’t as idyllic as you remember them. Bad things happened then, too. People weren’t any more or less “good” back then, whenever “back then” was for you.

To be clear, hopefully: remembering “the good old days” can be a very positive thing, for a million different reasons.

But at the same time, it can very easily become a trap, in that it makes the present day seem like The Upside Down, where everything is old and used up and dilapidated.

If a person spends all their time immersed in nostalgia, it becomes more and more difficult to appreciate the positive aspects of life in the present day.

And this perspective-skewing (and highly addictive) manifestation of nostalgic thinking is what The Mind Flayer represents.

Think about it: in Season 2, as Will and his friends go trick or treating in their matching Ghostbusters outfits, with all kinds of nostalgic images and sounds bombarding the viewer, Will goes into a trance and finds himself in The Upside Down.

All the nostalgic Halloween-themed stuff is gone, and Will is left alone with the massive Mind Flayer, who is towering above him in the sky, with its various limbs dug into the ground.

Later, Will sees The Mind Flayer again and is possessed by it. And the way in which he is possessed is key: The Mind Flayer becomes a cloud of dust (or something) and enters Will through his eyes, ears, mouth, and nose.

Think about how we experience nostalgia: when we see something that reminds us of childhood, we feel warm and fuzzy. When we hear a song from years ago, memories can be triggered. When we taste or smell food we haven’t eaten in decades, our minds can involuntarily drift away to another time and place.

And no matter how great our lives are in the present day, when we awake from these momentary lapses into nostalgia, we as humans have the tendency to tell ourselves that “back then” was better than now, when that quite simply is not the case, in any meaningful sense.

Of course there are exceptions. For some people, the past may have been more pleasant.

But even then, too much nostalgia can make the present day seem worse than it is. What was can (and often does) blind us to what is.

And this negative aspect of nostalgia is what The Mind Flayer represents, in my interpretation.

In season 2, as mentioned, The Mind Flayer possesses Will Byers by turning into a cloud of dust (or smoke, or something like that) and going into his sense organs.

After the possession is over, in Season 3, Will’s friends have girlfriends, and they don’t want to play Dungeons and Dragons with him any more.

There is a painfully emotional scene in Season 3 where Will dresses up in his Will The Wise dungeon master outfit, and tries to get Mike and Lucas to engage in his Dungeons and Dragons campaign, one which he spent a lot of time preparing for them.

But Mike and Lucas are more concerned about a recent fight with their girlfriends. They mock Will’s game, and Will leaves.

Mike follows Will outside, and asks him, did you really think we would never get girlfriends and just play games for the rest of our lives?

And Will – who was possessed by The Mind Flayer, representing negative, backward-looking aspects of nostalgia – answers “Yeah, I guess I did.”

Watch the show if you haven’t, it’s pretty awesome. It’s a nostalgic thrill ride that will press psychological buttons you forgot you had.

But don’t get so involved in it that everything outside of your TV starts looking like The Upside Down.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

SPOILER ALERT: THAT’S NOT NEO

Merry Christmas! Just wanted to say that to everyone, and also to share something I found interesting about the new Matrix movie:

You may or may not know this, but a few years ago, “redpilled” (a Matrix reference) was being used by online misogynists to indicate that they had figured out the “truth” about women.

9/11 truthers were “redpilled” when they decided to believe “inside job” theories, Flat Earthers might consider themselves “redpilled” when they start believing the Earth is flat, etc. And people who don’t believe those things are “bluepilled.”

This refers to a scene in the first Matrix movie, where Neo is told to choose between a red pill and a blue pill. If he takes the blue pill, nothing in his life will change, but if he takes the red pill, he will “wake up” from the simulated reality of the Matrix and see the real world for the first time. Of course, Neo takes the red pill in the first Matrix movie, and that’s where the internet got the “redpilled/bluepilled” thing.

Sorry for explaining what you probably already know, ha ha. But anyway, circa 2016 or so, online misogynists, pick up artists, etc. were using “redpilled” to indicate to each other that they “knew the truth” about women, this “truth” being bullshit like “all women are manipulative,” “Feminism castrates men,” etc.

At least one of the Wachowskis commented on that, I am pretty sure. And that community may have stopped using “redpilled” but who knows. I think the term has migrated back to non-misogynistic conspiracy theorists, but at one point it was being used by misogynists all the time. 

Anyway, getting to the point, early in the new Matrix movie, Keanu Reeves’ character is shown at least a few times as someone other than Keanu Reeves. A white haired bald man is shown as Keanu Reeves’ reflection at least once, when his character leaps off a roof in a flashback, it’s clearly not Keanu Reeves leaping off the roof, etc. 

This is explained away with convoluted nonsense in the film, as one might expect. And this “Keanu Reeves might not actually be Neo in this film” element is never explained or explored beyond showing a different person in the mirror a few times. 

I apologize if you haven’t watched it yet, but as you may have read or otherwise heard already, “rescuing Trinity” is the main plot point of the second half of the film. “Neo” wakes up again about halfway through and is told Trinity has been captured by the machines again, and is in one of those pod things.

I need to back up here: Carrie-Anne Moss appears in the first half of the film. But she isn’t “Trinity,” her name is “Tiffany” and she’s married to “Chad.”

“Chad” has been used on the internet a lot, to refer to some woman’s handsome boyfriend or husband. The same people who said “redpilled” to refer to becoming misogynist pickup artists would use “Chad” as an attempt at an insult, to the husbands, boyfriends, etc. of women they wanted to date. 

It’s often in the context of delusional “if she only knew the real me, she would dump Chad” fantasies.

And I apologize if I am spoiling anything, but in the new Matrix movie, Keanu Reeves’ character (ostensibly Neo, but with a different reflection at times) only knows Carrie-Anne Moss’s character because he has seen her in a coffee shop. 

Keanu Reeves’ character is basically stalking her character in the movie. But it’s presented as if he is “rescuing” her from a delusion where she loves her husband and children, a delusion where she doesn’t fully remember being Trinity. Keanu’s character also knows where she works, and he goes and visits her – uninvited – at her work in the movie. 

There are probably other instances of this sort of thing that I missed, but in short, Keanu Reeves’ character behaves like a “redpilled” misogynist stalker creep in the movie. And as you know, in the first movie, Neo takes the red pill and unwittingly started the whole “redpilled” internet thing. 

What I am saying is this: in the new Matrix movie, Keanu Reeves does not portray “Neo” at all, Keanu Reeves portrays someone else entirely, a “redpilled” stalker who has delusional fantasies about how he is a superhero and the woman he is stalking is secretly in love with him. 

The entire movie (including “Analyst” scenes with Neil Patrick Harris) is a fantasy concocted by Keanu Reeves’ character, a fantasy that internally justifies his stalking of Carrie-Anne Moss’s character in the film. 

“The Analyst” is not actually the entity running the Matrix, “The Analyst” is just an analyst, and when he attempts to break through all of Keanu’s character’s delusions, the character mentally transforms the analyst into a nemesis and incorporates him into the fantasy. Which of course, the fantasy ends with “The Analyst” being defeated and “Trinity” remembering who she is. 

Which would be just another dumb Hollywood ending, were it not for the fact that the “not Keanu” reflection stops appearing (and stops being mentioned) after Keanu’s character starts immersing himself in “Matrix” fantasies more fully.

At the end (SPOILER ALERT), Keanu Reeves’ character can’t fly because he isn’t actually Neo. At the end, he tries to fly, in order to escape police pursuit, but he can’t do it.

Trinity – the focal point of his fantasy, a wholly imaginary version of Tiffany – *can* fly, and she holds his hand and carries him through the sky, away from the police who are pursuing him.

Which Tiffany or Chad (or one of their children) may have called the police on Keanu Reeves’ character when he showed up uninvited at Tiffany’s workplace.

In short: Keanu Reeves’ character (I refuse to call him “Neo” because I don’t think he’s actually Neo) uses his fantasy version of Tiffany to escape from reality.

This angle may have been totally accidental, nonetheless, I find it interesting.

Anyways, just wanted to share that. Merry Christmas!

…and how much is the prophet shaping the future to fit the prophecy?

Prediction: within a month of this film (which looks badass) being released, there will be scads of blog posts and articles from people who watch this and then read the book, where they will discover that wherever the word “crusade” was used in this movie, the word “jihad” was used in the book.

The two words mean basically the same thing: “holy war.” It’s just that historically, holy wars associated with Christianity have been called “crusades” and holy wars associated with Islam have been called “jihad”.

I get why this change was made: to avoid association with terrorists who consider themselves jihadists.

But what’s gonna end up happening, I bet, is that there’s gonna be a lot more attention paid to the nomenclature used for holy wars in the Dune universe than there would have been if they’d just kept calling it “jihad.”

Which is probably good for marketing… no such thing as bad publicity and all.

Spoiler Alert (I Guess)

You know that song at the end of “Breaking Bad,” the one that plays while Walt’s lying on the ground at the end?

That’s by a group called Badfinger, and oddly enough, their real-world experience in the music industry was quite similar to what happened to Walt in the Breaking Bad backstory:

Walt was in some chemistry startup called “Gray Matter” with a couple of his friends from college (grad school?), a man and a woman, and it’s never really made clear what happened exactly, but Walt was romantically involved with the woman, who ended up hooking up with the other dude, and Walt accepted a buyout of I think $5k or something like that…

And then Gray Matter took off, and the other 2 became billionaires off of the company Walt helped found, while Walt struggled to make ends meet as a chemistry teacher.

I don’t know if this played into the song choice at the end… but Badfinger had a similar experience in the music industry. Long story short, they had hit records and made millions of dollars for record company crooks, meanwhile they were living on 7 pounds 10 a week (guessing that’s about $25-$30 American nowadays; not much money at all) and having to borrow shoes for gigs.

By the way, I watched that documentary after seeing the episode of Peep Show where Sophie Breaks up with Jeff, and Jeff comes over to get his stuff, and Sophie and Mark see Jeff crying in Sophie’s room, listening to the Badfinger song “Without You” as performed by Harry Nilsson.

This is the song, I couldn’t find a clip of Jeff crying:

…which is a shame, because it’s an hilarious scene. Which might sound strange if you aren’t familiar with Peep Show.

You… aren’t familiar with Peep Show? 😐

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MORE X-FILES NONSENSE

I dunno why, but the song “Bleeding Love” popped into my head yesterday, so I found the chords on the internet and figured out the vocal melody.

And I thought it would be cool if I played it while video-ing my TV as I was watching Season 8, Episode 2 of “The X-Files,” an episode I had never seen before.

And the part of the vocal melody that corresponds to “you cut me open and I/keep bleeding, I keep keep bleeding love” ended up coming at just the right time.

I didn’t plan it that way, it just came out that way.

THE DOGGETT AND PONY SHOW

Alright, so I’ve been watching/re-watching “The X-Files” on Hulu off and on for the past few months.

“Watching/re-watching” because I think I had seen roughly half of the episodes already… maybe more like a third of them.

In case you don’t know, “The X-Files” consists of basically 2 types of episodes. One type of episode is “Monster Of The Week”. In these episodes, Mulder and Scully investigate some weird creature, or ghost, or alien, or whatever, and the story is resolved (more or less) in that self-contained episode. “Self-contained” because in the next episode, they would be going after some other monster, and the previous episode’s monster (or whatever) wouldn’t be mentioned.

Some of the more memorable “monsters of the week” came back from time to time, but most of them were one-offs.

That’s one type of X-Files episode. The other type are called “mytharc” episodes.

“Mytharc” is a term the show’s staff actually used (if Google is to be believed, “TRUST NO ONE” 🙂 ), and the word is a combination of “mythology” and “story arc.”

Which means, these episodes aren’t self-contained, they’re one long story. The X-Files mytharc was about the government covering up alien abductions, Mulder and Scully’s backstories, and so on.

As an aside, several years ago I got bored and decided to watch all the mytharc episodes up to I think season 5… because that’s all the seasons the local video rental place (since closed) had to rent.

I remember reading back then that many hardcore X-Files fans preferred “monster of the week” episodes. Regarding that, I can say with 100% certainty that if you only watch the mytharc episodes, you miss out on a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of what makes the X-Files a great show.

Actually my personal favorite X-Files episode – “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”; the episode where Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek make appearances as Men In Black – isn’t considered a mytharc episode, at least it wasn’t the last time I checked.

I am digressing like hell here, but if you’ve tried to get into The X-Files and couldn’t, watch that episode. Season 3, episode 20… it is (in my opinion) the quintessential X-Files episode. I didn’t really get the humor in the series until I saw that episode, and anyways it’s a good episode. 🙂

But getting back to the point, there are recurring characters in mytharc episodes, and one of them is the strong-jawed fellow you see in the picture.

alien_bounty_hunter

Well, it’s the same actor at least… there are several of these guys in the show. They are shape-shifting alien bounty hunters (the picture below is what they look like by default, I guess), and the only way to kill them is to stab (or shoot) them in the back of the neck. The dagger thing in the second pic is their weapon of choice, and they use it to kill various aliens disguised as humans, as well as probably a few humans, I honestly don’t remember. But anyways, when you stab (or shoot) one of these guys in the back of the neck, green stuff starts bubbling out, and they melt into a pile of green goop, basically.

x-files2

Early in the series, when these guys (or other aliens like them) get killed, the green goop is accompanied by a toxic gas that kills humans.
But later…

I am currently watching Season 8 for the first time. And in episode 2, Scully kills one of these guys by shooting him in the back of the neck. In the scene, she is down on the floor after a struggle, and she fires a single shot that pierces his neck, he falls to the floor a few feet away from her, and he turns into a pile of green goop, as expected.

But… there’s no poison gas. And my question to any other X-Files fans who may be on my friends list is… where’s the poison gas?

I have looked online for an explanation of this, but all I can find regarding season 8 are general reviews that talk about how bad it is. “Doggett and pony show” and whatnot. But nobody explained why Scully didn’t even bother to hold her breath when the toxic green goop started bubbling out of the alien’s neck when she shot him.

Maybe I missed something in an earlier episode that explained that (I did fall asleep watching some episodes, and sometimes I was half-watching, half-doing other stuff)… or maybe it was just lazy screenwriting.

Does anybody know?

YOUR THAI BRIDE IS NOT THE PROBLEM, YOU CLOYING, MELLIFLUOUS WANK

So I still haven’t finished my “Twin Peaks” blog post (and no, I’m not bothering with a hyperlink, it should be easy for you to find if you want to read it), and in lieu of finishing that right now, I am going to write another “Movies/TV” post about a short documentary I watched last night on Hulu.

How I ended up subscribing to Hulu is its own (boring) blog post; suffice it to say the local cable provider cut Comedy Central from its lineup a couple years back, and I have been suffering South Park withdrawals ever since.

When I find myself with nothing else to do, I sometimes get online and binge-watch South Park. Other times, I just hit the “watch a random episode” button at southpark.cc.com and see what pops up.

Anyways, last night, I was on the South Park website, perusing seasons I have not seen every episode of, and I noticed that a great many episodes were only available on Hulu, and that I had to pay $7.99 a month to see them. And long story short, after determining that every episode of The X-Files is also available on Hulu for 8 bucks a month, well, I went ahead and Paypal-ed my way right on through.

(I opted against the $11.99 a month deal that eliminated all ads, because four bucks is four bucks, and sometimes those ads are kinda entertaining, plus they give you a chance to go grab a Coke or a beer or what have you.)

Hulu also claimed to have a whole bunch of awesome movies, so I began perusing them. I didn’t see much of anything I wanted to watch, but I am sort of a snob when it comes to movies and I have never pretended otherwise. I am probably the least fun person in the world to go to the movies with, as I think I have mentioned here on this blog before, and anyways none of the movies caught my attention. I figured “hey, I can watch South Park and X-Files for 8 bucks a month and cancel whenever, so I’m happy.”

Still, having all those movies and TV shows available to me, regardless of the fact that 99% of them didn’t appeal to me, well, it inspired my wanderlust, at least within the confines of Hulu.com. I mean I didn’t actually get up off my fat ass and “wander” anywhere; I just felt compelled to explore my options.

So I moved on to the “documentary” section. And again, meh, but again, unlimited South Park and X-Files for 8 bucks, so no big deal.

And nestled in between a bunch of crap UFO documentaries and assorted documentaries that looked fake as all hell…

I found an hour-long documentary called “My Thai Bride” that looked mildly interesting, if only for the fact that it seemed to be based on real life, as opposed to Bigfoot or some crap.

Here’s the imdb page for it. I don’t feel like typing out <a href… and all that crap on the “text” page just to create a link nobody’s going to click anyway, so anyways here it is, take it or leave it:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2090573/

This movie is about a British fellow named Ted. Ted used to make a living by traveling from Britain to Thailand, buying a bunch of cheap but well-made knockoff clothing, then taking it back to Britain to sell at inflated prices.

That this practice is probably illegal (or at least would be here in the USA, if he were selling, say, fake Polo shirts as if they were legit Polo shirts or something, copyright infringement and whatnot) was never mentioned.

Nonetheless, this is how Ted made his living, and more power to him, I say.

Ted had been married and divorced in Britain. And he lamented that in Britain, he had a hard time meeting women, because women wanted younger men with money and blah blah blah cry me a river. Nonetheless, I won’t deny that I sympathized with Ted at this point in the film. I mean, yeah, it gets tougher to meet women who want to date you the older you get, but whatever, Ted, suck it up.

And to Ted’s credit, well, he kinda did… in a way.

He talked about how in Thailand, there were tons of beautiful women everywhere who wanted to hang out with him. He held no illusions about these women — “bar girls” — I mean he knew that they (at least most of them) only wanted him for his money, and so on and so forth.

But I mean think about a guy like Ted (look at his picture): he’s not all that handsome, he’s not some sort of hotshot businessman… but in Thailand, women were just hanging all over him.

And yeah, sure, “gross, that’s gross, Ted’s gross, and Michael, you’re gross for sympathizing with that gross, gross man,” but anyways the “cloying, mellifluous wank” mentioned in the title of this post is Ted himself, so I’m gonna give him what he’s got coming here in a minute.

Here’s another link about this movie, by the way: http://www.mythaibridefilm.com/story/

Anyways, Ted meets a bar girl named Tip, and he finds that he likes her. Like he really likes her, like as a person, not just as a “bar girl” or “prostitute” or whatever.

And if you thought I was going to give Ted a hard time about this part of the story, well, no, no I wasn’t. Bar girls and prostitutes and sex workers of all types are people, too, and I have no issue whatsoever with Ted or any other person falling in love with one of them. Put simply it isn’t my business who anybody falls in love with, and love is love is love is love and so on.

(And you’ve seen “Pretty Woman,” damn you, don’t act like you haven’t. 🙂 )

Ted and Tip started hanging around a lot, and they more or less moved in together. Ted talked about how he would leave money lying out in the room when he would leave, and when he came back it would still be there. Which given the circumstances, well, I guess that showed him that Tip liked him  too, maybe.

Anyways, after knowing each other about a month, Ted and Tip got married.

Before I go on, I need to back up and talk about Tip a little. I don’t remember specifics, but Tip grew up dirt poor. And she had worked in factories for next to nothing, and she had a child to support, and the only way she had to make any money was to move to Bangkok and be a bar girl.

So she tells about that, and friends she met who helped her out, and all of them didn’t make any bones about why they were bar girls: they needed money, foreign men had money, and they could make a lot of money being nice to foreign men.

Which, yes, I agree, it’s terrible that they don’t have any other way to make a living. Yes, everything about the whole situation is gross and awful and terrible… but if I were a pretty young Thai woman with absolutely no other way to make a living, well, I’d probably put on some tight pants and go flirt with foreigners, too.

I’m not judging Tip or any of the Thai bar girls featured in the film. Please don’t think I am. In fact, from where I was sitting — right here where I am now typing, actually, right here on my fat ass in front of my computer — Tip was by far the most sympathetic character in the film.

So Ted and Tip got married. And since Tip seemed to be better at managing money than Ted, and since he felt like he could trust her with his money, he ended up letting her manage his money.

She made pretty good use of his money, I’d say: they moved to the village in northern Thailand where she grew up and built a pig farm. Good, practical use: a pig farm could provide them with enough money to live and with food to eat. If we’re talking about using funds accrued from hawking knockoff Polo shirts and whatnot, well, “steady stream of income and sustenance that doesn’t require international travel or violating any copyright laws” sounds pretty gosh-darn sensible.

But Ted didn’t see it like that. And before I really give Ted the business, I will also say that the film featured a few other foreign (read: “white”) dudes who had been in Thailand for quite a long time. These fellows also had homes in Thailand and (presumably) Thai wives, and they noted that lots of people (read: “white men”) moved to Thailand with what seemed like a lot of money, and they lived like kings… until the money ran out.

One of these fellows said his house in Thailand cost about $20 grand to build, but it would be worth about $300 grand in the US or anywhere in the west.

Another fellow (or maybe the same fellow, I don’t remember) said that it was impossible for a foreigner to own land in Thailand, so everything was always in the wife’s name, in cases where white dudes marry Thai women and build houses over there and whatnot.

A local myth or legend of some kind was also mentioned: this legend was about a beautiful queen who ruled over part of Thailand, and anyways an invading group of male soldiers came into her kingdom, intending to rape and pillage and take the place over.

This queen instructed her female subjects to throw a big party for the invaders, to offer them wine and food and what have you, and to make them feel at home and welcome, and whatever the proper name is for the feeling lonely men get when women hang all over them.

So, that’s what the women in the kingdom (“queendom”?) did… and after all the invading soldiers were asleep, worn out from the wine, food, and what have you…

The women killed every blasted one of them. With their own swords. While they slept.

And that legend or myth or whatever was brought up as a parallel to the whole “bar girl” situation, I think. The bar girls were who were telling about the legend.

And yeah, I am sure there are true stories of lonely white dudes getting legitimately ripped off and screwed over by Thai women…

But I don’t really think our Ted is one of those fellows.

I sincerely think Ted is a cloying, mellifluous wank who didn’t realize how good he had it, honestly.

Toward the end of the film, Ted tells about how Tip just wouldn’t pay him any attention, leading up to when he decided to leave her.

Ted tells, in his cloying li’ul accent, how towards the end of their marriage, Tip would get up at like six in the morning every day to go feed the pigs.

Tip would spend all day tending to pigs, doing chores, running the farm…

…meanwhile Ted’s “laid about,” not doing anything…

…and toward the end of their marriage — if you can believe it, folks — Tip was so busy feeding pigs and cleaning the house and doing farm chores that she didn’t even have time to bring poor Ted a beer.

Poor Ted! His wife’s up at six, busy all day running the farm…

And Ted had to get up off his fat arse and get his own beer, when he sat around the house all day doing *literally* nothing whatsoever.

Ted gives this as a reason why he had to leave Tip.

No, I’m not joking.

The film goes back and forth between Ted’s point of view and Tip’s, and Tip mentions that all of her family and neighbors had begun to wonder why Ted didn’t help her with anything whatsoever, or even work at all…

Meanwhile Ted’s talking about how Tip became “distant” from him, because she was worried too much about running the farm!

So anyways, this film was interesting to watch, but the whole “my Thai wife stole my money and ruined my life” angle Ted tries to foist on everyone is bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.

You didn’t want to be a pig farmer, Ted?

WHY’D YOU BUILD A PIG FARM?

You wanted a wife, instead of patronizing every bar girl that’s nice to you?

WHY’D YOU TREAT YOUR WIFE LIKE A SERVANT?

I have to admit, being that I have lived most of my life in rural Arkansas, the idea of running a pig farm (or any type of farm) with a wife holds a certain amount of appeal for me. It’s honest work, you’re outside a lot, you’re not sitting on your ever-widening ass typing on a computer…

And it might not appeal to everyone. And it honestly might not appeal to me, after a week or two.

But I like to think I would have sorted all of that out before I built my own pig farm, if you understand what I mean.

Ted ended up having to bum money from Tip to get a ticket back to Britain.

And he’s supposed to be who I, the viewer, sympathize with in this film.

RIGHT.