if i have absolutely no filter, it wouldn’t be good. we can be as blunt as we want really, but a little filter is always helpful to achieve a functional truce between people. the following are some examples of what i think as a knee-jerk reaction when i hear people say stuff, and the actions i may take after the thought goes through a filter. as you’ll quickly see, a little filter goes a long way.
“one pocket is my game.”
gut instinct: no. one pocket is the game you prefer to play because you have no stroke and can’t run out consistently, and this game ensures that you’ll have at least one turn at the table most of the time.
filtered action: smile and nod.
“i can’t seem to dial my aim in no matter where i look at the ball.”
gut instinct: your stroke is crooked and your neck is craned at an extremely uncomfortable angle. your eyeballs are not even in the equation.
filtered action: poker face.
“i’m a pretty good shot.”
gut instinct: no you’re not.
filtered action: blank expression.
“you should’ve banked it this way.”
gut instinct: you don’t even know enough to see what i was trying to do, do you?
filtered action: look around absentmindedly.
“i got robbed on that shot.”
gut instinct: no, you shot it bad.
filtered action: discreet cough.
“i have the worst luck on the table.”
gut instinct: you have the worst skills on the table.
filtered action: an imperceptible nod.
“i can’t get draw with a hard tip.”
gut instinct: your stroke sucks.
filtered action: stare straight ahead with a blank expression.
complete stranger: “what kinda cue you shoot with?”
gut instinct: tryin’ to figure out if you can rob me or somethin’?
filtered action: “a no-name sneaky hardly worthy of attention.”
“you should be ranked higher.”
gut instinct: you should be ranked out of humanity.
filtered action: go back to the shot.
“how come you don’t play tournaments?”
gut instinct: cuz i’m too lazy.
filtered action: “cuz i’m too lazy.”
i better stop before i hurt myself. btw, there are people way more blunt and brutal than me, and they’ll actually say it. so before you make a fool of yourself, think about what random comments you’ll say to others so you don’t look like a complete idiot. and yes, i speak from experience.
♦ ♦ ♦
spoiler alert: the following contains spoilers to the movie “conviction”. if you haven’t seen the movie yet and want to watch for yourself, stop reading here.
recently i watched a movie called conviction, starring hilary swank and sam rockwell. here’s a trailer.
the movie is inspired by the real-life story of kenneth “kenny” waters and betty anne waters. kenneth waters, a man from ayers, massachusetts, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1983. betty anne waters, sister of kenny, spent the next 18 years to free her brother, including getting a law degree so she could work on the case herself. being a single mother of two kids (the movie had hinted that her efforts to free her brother had cost her the marriage), she worked at a bar to support herself on top of going to law school full time. while in school, she began writing to the innocence project asking for their help, and barry scheck, the attorney from the project, agreed to to work with her. all these responsibilities exerted considerable strain on her life, but with the help of her good friend abra rice (played by minnie driver), ms. waters eventually passed the bar exam to become an attorney. through her studies, she became aware of dna testing and was able to locate old evidence from her brother’s case. the dna tests, together with the efforts of scheck, waters, and rice, eventually exonerated her brother of the crime. kenny waters, having spent 18 years in jail, was finally freed in 2001.
although the plot was very straightforward and predictable, the acting was quite good. i thought the movie was intriguing, so i googled a bit to find some more information about the case. i found an interview of betty anne waters that shed some additional information not in the movie. according to ms. waters, kenny died a mere six months after his release, a heartbreaking demise since mr. waters barely got to enjoy his freedom. also, according to the movie, one of the arresting officers was a woman named nancy taylor, who had coerced witnesses to testify against mr. waters and lied about the evidence in the case. based on the interview however, taylor was never a police officer; she was a dispatcher and the secretary to the ayers’ chief of police. ms. waters stated that taylor had badly wanted to become police, and proving that kenny waters was the murderer was one way of showing everyone she was capable.
despite the fact that the guilty parties who wronged kenny waters were never punished, the central theme of the movie was about love. betty anne waters’ love for her brother was so unshakable that she basically sacrificed her life to free her brother. when everything was stacked against her brother, she believed in him and never considered the notion that her brother could be a murderer. i personally think the siblings’ bond is the best part about the film. anyway, the movie makes for a decent rental, and a good flick to watch with your loved ones.