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Friday, May 24, 2002

Episode II

It was a big day in Sydney yesterday. We had a good amount of the raining, we saw Star Wars Episode II, and I got a phone-call from HQ in the states letting me know that I need to start looking for a new job (it's not as bad as it sounds, but we'll get to that).

Star Wars Episode II if you haven't seen it is probably only worth seeing if you've seen all the others first (and maybe fairly recently). It's a very corny movie with some broad acting/writing, but an aid to George Lucas has been quoted as saying there's no room for cynicism in Star Wars (meaning the entire saga). But I'm not sure I totally understand this as Harrison Ford's character "Han Solo" was founded on being cynical and sarcastic. I think I understand where George is coming from with regards to these later (earlier?) episodes. It's become a cultural icon - a living myth of our people, any people who see it and take it in. So, at this point I think George is feeling a lot of pressure to make something profound and formative - but he may be failing himself by making the movie take itself too seriously.

As you'd expect the visuals in this movie were great. I won't say much except you should keep an eye out for the martial arts movie inspired fight scenes and the Godzilla inspired zoom effects in the big battle scenes. Other than that it was very Star Wars'esq.

I was pretty unimpressed with the crowd we saw the movie with. While some of the acting and writing was worth laughing at, I think the level of GenX was way too high to receive the movie with child's eyes (recommended). It seemed like they were required to laugh at the "sensitive" parts (even during a death scene where it was pretty much implied that the woman had probably been gang raped for about a month). Ya, the death was a little corny, but come on. I'm not sure how much of this attitude is unique to Australia (we saw the movie near Coogee so there were bound to be a lot of backpackers in the crowd), but it was pretty obvious that the "I believe in Democracy" lines were taken as American, and summarily laughed at - which probably wouldn't happen right now (post 9-11) in the US.

It was good to see the movie (as someone who knows who all the characters are and where they end up in "Jedi"), but I wish I'd seen it the first week it was out (with diehard fans) or with a family crowd (little kids and adults that behave).

Big news for me from the head office yesterday. For those who don't know what I do, I've written up a 2000 word essay describing my job and how I got here. I'm not going to post it though because I should be doing something else in a couple months. I'm not sure what yet, but certain organizational changes have made my current position somewhat obsolete.

Usually when someone's position is made obsolete it makes that person "redundant" and they get laid off. That doesn't seem to be what's happening with me though. Not yet anyway. I've been told that there are several positions waiting for me in a few different parts of the organization - and that I need to figure out what's going to work best for me. It's more like an unrequested internal transfer. We don't have a lot of information yet. I've applied for one job here - the others may or may not necessitate a move (US?) - much remains to be seen.

It's not the best time to be getting this information (what is?). We'd expected to be in Aus for another two years. Things don't always go as expected, live with it - right? I just hope this story unfolds with a minimum of Kafka-like bureaucracy and Fellini-like madness. Maybe if I got George Lucas to direct my life ...

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