Review: Blinded by the Light (2019)

A reel of movie film
In Blinded by the Light, the first advice of dad for his son’s entry to a new school is “Stay away from the girls.” Javed, played by Viveik Karla, is a teenager in Luton, Great Britain whose parents emigrated from Pakistan. He longs to escape the nowhere town and hopes college will lead to a career as a writer. He has been an avid writer with years of journals lined up in his room. School can become his road to escape.

Javed’s longtime friend, Matt, played by Dean-Charles Chapman, is a musician whom Javed helps by writing lyrics. Matt’s frustrated with the political stock of Javed’s songs: they’re not performable. He still holds out hope for Javed’s lyrics getting better.

Javed’s father, played by Kulvinder Ghir, is an immigrant from Pakistan. He is the center of the household and manages the household’s money. The traditional role of the father is a struggle for Javed’s father when circumstances change. Unlike in Fiddler on the Roof, the family is not torn apart by events beyond their control. However, events beyond their control such as the recession under Margaret Thatcher still make them stretch and evolve.

Javed meets Roops at school. Roops, played by Aaron Phagura, gives Javed some Bruce Springsteen cassettes. The songs revolutionize Javed’s attitude and fill him with power. He feels that the music speaks directly to him. Springsteen puts words to his feelings and cinematically, the words are visually swirling around Javed as he listens.

Central to the progression of Javed as a writer is his teacher Ms. Clay, played by Hayley Atwell. She scolds him for not sharing with the world the raw emotion in his writing when he discards his poems. He follows her inspiration and writes in the school paper and then a local newspaper. Javed’s cultural background and knowledge of Urdu allow him to write a powerful story about the community’s mosque.

While the movie isn’t exactly a musical, music has a central place to the story. The movie is full of the angst and joy of youth. Javed and Roops go to New Jersey after he wins a writing contest. During the trip, the friends make a pilgrimage to visit Bruce Springsteen’s hometown sites.

One of the struggles that Javed’s family faces is the hostility of some people in their community toward Pakistani immigrants. Javed’s family faces those indignities with grace and do not become bitter when life becomes more difficult.

Blinded by the Light is an melange of conflicting cultures. The Pakistani community, the people hostile to them, students at the high school, and Javed’s friends all mix together into a scene of hope that is inspired by Bruce.

Left handed

Green coffee cup
A couple of months ago, I started doing journaling with my left hand. Before bed, I would write one page with my right hand and the reverse with my left. I’m not ambidextrous. I was wondering whether it would access a different part of my brain. I can’t prove that one way or the other. However, because it made me write more slowly, it made changes, if only because of that.

Last week, I got the clever idea of writing the journaling alternating hands. Write one word with the right, the next with the left, then with the right and so on. This style I can definitely tell that it’s different.

I have more of an idea of the whole sentence and things tend to flow together better. I also used the technique to write a poem and it came out so that it didn’t need so much editing. (Often when I write a poem, I take a long time editing and reediting which is tedious.

My left hand isn’t as legible as my right, although it’s getting better. My right hand’s writing isn’t that legible to begin with. lol

Clutter on the disks


I have a lot of clutter on my disks. I keep projects around “just in case.” One thought was “Maybe I’ll go back some day.” As I migrated from computer to computer, the files kept multiplying… one copy on the old computer and a companion on the new. As partitions got full, files moved from one to the next, making new copies to add to the clutter. The debris of unfinished projects are everywhere.

This summer I took all of my old drives that were still readable and loaded them into the main computer, allowing even more clutter to spin silently. It’s amazing how small drives were 10 – 15 years ago. I even discovered that I have files of my floppy discs from the pre-Windows computer era.

To help with the declutter project, I wrote a utility that visits all of the files on the computer and records their name, size and where they’re located. I used the logs from that tool to find all of my “NewPoetry” folders. (NewPoetry holds copies of my poetry since 2010 and I really only want the most recent edit.) Now I only have one NewPoetry!

I am searching for an old project takes my poetry and formats them as a website. I haven’t used that tool for several years. I hope that the HTML formatted files can be a companion to http://blog.wwayneb.com blog where I published many of my poems

The world is big, but it isn’t so big that we can’t hurt it

A green thought bubble
I’m binding my poetry into books. I’ve got two books so far of 300 poems. My books of the next 300 will be done soon. I’m working all day tomorrow, so it’ll have to wait until I get home. I love my velobind machine.

I had forgotten that back in 2011, when I would write a poem, I might write a one page meditation about the poem.

Reading them again is like meeting myself a second time. Some feelings are the same, some are less familiar.

One quote I found:

“The world is big, but it isn’t so big that we can’t hurt it.”

All of the shouting about climate change misses the point. We’re hurting our planet. The exact mechanism doesn’t really matter.

Animals are suffering. Plants are suffering. The oceans are suffering. The land is suffering. The air is suffering. People are suffering.

The planet is suffering and we’re to blame.