After reading about a man who competes in an Ironman contest with his disabled son, 17 year old Julien (Fabien Heraud), who has cerebral palsy, hopes he can convince his father, Paul (Jacques Gamblin), a former triathlete, to do the same, in The Finishers, trailer, the latest feature of French director Nils Tavernier (“Aurore”).
At first the aloof Paul, who has never been especially close to Julien, and has struggled to find purpose since retiring as an athlete, thinks the notion absurd. Julien’s mother, Claire (Alexandra Lamy), is also opposed, thinking the undertaking to be far too dangerous. Little by little though, Julien brings both of them around to the idea.
Based in part on actual events, “The Finishers” is a touching, uplifting, story of overcoming obstacles both physical and psychological. The hardships confronted by Paul and Julien as they train, and then compete, are all too palpable. There are a couple of loose ends, and scenes that stretch credibility, but these can mostly be overlooked.
After days at elementary school, I came home to immersive tutorials on skeptical thought and secular history lessons of the universe, one dinner table conversation at a time. My parents would patiently entertain an endless series of “why?” questions, never meeting a single one with a “because I said so” or “that’s just how it is.” Each query was met with a thoughtful, and honest, response – even the ones for which there are no answers.
You’re probably skim reading these very words as your eyes quickly scan through what’s on offer here today. That’s ok, I don’t mind, that why’s I try to be as succinct as possible. Besides, I’m just happy you’re here in the first place.
Online content and information has made skim-readers out of us all, but here’s the problem, we’re taking this ability to seek out key words and essential tidbits of data, and applying it to reading situations where we need to actually read, as in absorb, each and every word, to the point we’re no longer taking in as much as we used to:
Humans, they warn, seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online. This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia. “I worry that the superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing,” said Maryanne Wolf, a Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and the author of “Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.”
More than a decade after an affair with an older, married man, actor and school teacher Ellen – or Nelly – Ternan (Felicity Jones), still finds herself haunted by the relationship. Given her adulterous lover was renown English author Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) however, her disposition is possibly understandable.
While the liaison resulted in the demise of Dickens’ marriage to wife Catherine (Joanna Scanlan), divorce, particularly among the well known, was virtually unheard of. Subsequently Dickens strived to keep the relationship with Nelly away from the public eye, even though the couple went on to live together until his death.
Acknowledging the Victorian age secrecy surrounding such relationships, The Invisible Woman, trailer, also directed by Fiennes (“Coriolanus”), however almost deprives what is a love story of affection and warmth, to the point it’s difficult to understand how the two are even together, this despite stellar acting by Jones and Scanlan.
Ok, we’ve just gone up over post number ten thousand here at disassociated. Flick back a few entries and you’ll see it there, slightly, er, riddlicious and cryptic as it is. Some websites have muses, and disassociated is no exception, and to say that probably best sums up public/published post ten thousand.
Staying with the numbers though, by my approximate calculations, post ten thousand equates to about one million words, going on an average of one hundred words per entry, given their varied length, ranging from maybe twenty words for some, to over a thousand for others.
If medium size novels are about one hundred thousand words in length, then that means I’ve already written a couple of books. I’ve given that idea thought, but why write a book when I can publish here? Besides, I think more people have read disassociated than ever would any book I were to write.
There’s any number of names that be applied to what I do at disassociated. Blog would be the first that comes to mind, online journal might be another. There’s been a couple of more colourful suggestions as well. I’ve always liked the term “self publishing” though. That’s what I’ve seen having any sort of personal web presence as being.
It’s apt for other reasons also, the main one being disassociated has not always been a blog style publication. When it first came to be, in 1997, I was keen on becoming a web designer, so my own website seemed like an obvious perquisite. It was more portfolio then, in its own way, though I was keeping an online journalat times.
If it could be said, back in the 1990s, that people didn’t wholly know what websites were, or what they could become, that would surely apply here. Certainly though disassociated has opened plenty of doors, including landing web design work back in the day, thanks by the way to the aforementioned muse, and the writing roles I have today.
Here’s to the power of self publishing. And here’s to whatever happens next. I don’t know if I’ll make it out to twenty thousand posts, or eleven thousand for that matter, but I’m hoping to keep at it, even if my paid work activities keep me further away from here than I would like.
And of course disassociated would be nothing without readers, and muses, so thank you for being along for the ride. I hope it’s been as enjoyable to you as it has to me.
Shamelessness Phase: Take the album out again for a good listen, wonder why you don’t listen to it more often. You relive old memories of five years ago. When the album is over, you file the CD back into the closet and don’t touch it again for years, maybe a decade.
If, no pun intended, you put your mind to it, you too can partake of an out of body experience. The first thing to do though is establish where your inner-self, your consciousness, or your essence, is located in your body. Most people go for the brain, and that may well be the case, but you have to be sure before continuing…
Lie on the floor and close your eyes. Try to do so where it’s quiet, so you are not distracted by sound, either. While you are lying on the ground, let your mind wander to different parts of your body: Focus on the way the floor feels against the back of your neck, against your shoulders, against your backside. Rub your hands against the floor, and feel the texture. While you are focused on the way things feel, all of your attention is focused on a part of your body other than your head. Keep your attention completely focused on the sensation that you are getting from your hands, and that becomes your world. The center of your awareness will travel to the part of your body that you are focused on.
If you’re reading this right now, disassociated has just ticked through a rather pivotal milestone – well I think so anyway – and given the… significance of the moment I’m taking the next four days off. Actually that’s more on account of the Easter long weekend, but regardless, I’ll be back on Tuesday to say more about it.
Certain fine dining establishments are taking customer service, and attention to detail, to a new level. Having taken a booking, staff then turn to search engines to see what they can learn about their customers, all in the name of personalising, or enhancing, the dining experience:
If, for example, Roller discovers it’s a couple’s anniversary, he’ll then try to figure out which anniversary. If it’s a birthday, he’ll welcome a guest, as they walk in the door, with a “Happy Birthday.” (Or, if it seems to Roller that a guest prefers to keep a low profile, “I’ll let them introduce themselves to me,” he says.) Even small details are useful: “If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together.” Same goes for guests who own jazz clubs, who can be paired with a sommelier that happens to be into jazz. In other words, before customers even step through the door, the restaurant’s staff has a pretty good idea of the things it can do to specifically blow their minds.