Friday night I followed the cardinal rule of the friendless loser:

Thou shalt accept every invitation given unto thee.

I went with one of the girls from my orientation group to the Hare Krishna Festival at the yoga center. $5 Indian food. Okay, I’m in.

Pre-dinner, of course, there was a bit of show. First half was the mandatory “explain our religion and why it is good” portion–it largely concerned how everyone in the world is going to die and you’d better just get used to it and the only reason we fear death is because we are horrible, greedy creatures (gross vs. subtle bodies an’ that). The second half was a 20 minute dance-a-thon. To the “Hare Krishna” chant (if you don’t know the words, it’s “Hare Krishna” and “Hare Rama” over and over, several hundred times). With a serious load of jumping in the air dancing.

Basically, the first half was like this:

Whereas the second half was more like this:

Or the dancing at the end of The Wicker Man. Except…y’know. Vegan-friendly.

I tried to go along with their spirited hopping, but the closest I can possibly get to dancing is an insane, bastardized version of throwing shapes:

(And you thought it wasn’t possible to bastardize throwing shapes. It’s a very subtle artform.)

My general technique in these sorts of functions is to find the other disgruntled-looking non-enthusiast(s) and make sarcastic comments to them for a while.

These people did not exist. It was nothing but grinning faces bobbing up and down and shouting “Hare Hare” at the top of their lungs, occasionally smiling at me after accidentally hopping into me.

And then dinner came. It wouldn’t be a hippie free-for-all if you weren’t stuck sitting next to a stranger making polite conversation. My table buddy, named Miranda, was a museum studies major who wanted a run down of the best museums of Texas. Though she didn’t seem to like the idea of Texas on the whole.

Afterwards I was convinced to see District 9.

If you haven’t heard about District 9, it’s set in the future, and an enthusiastic but poor crab-like alien who loves his freedom chooses to express his feeling by devouring a flag meant to represent the unity of Earth. He is then hunted down and must get his compatriots from his home planet to help him fight back (with the help of a Satanic polygamist veteran lawyer).

Okay, maybe that’s the plot of an episode of Futurama. But the actual film plot (aliens who only want their freedom are treated as if they are violent, must fight back with the aid of a human guy) seems eerily similar to me (on the surface level at least).

Plus the aliens even sort of look a little bit like a real-life version of Zoidberg:

Casual hello, its me Zoidberg, act natural.

Casual hello, it's me Zoidberg, act natural.

I don’t think it was as amazing as everyone else seems to. Good, sure, but uneven to say the least. And (for me, a rusty-hearted robot) not very emotionally resonant when it was trying to be.

But it DID have my all-time favorite action movie trope (except for Jason Statham. At this point he’s a trope): the suddenly cut off important phone call causing the protagonist to, in a fit of frustration, grip his or her cellphone and look away in defeat.

You know, this:

Friend date had to cancel this weekend. But don’t worry, the very small mistake of posting a platonic personal ad is snow balling. It should be a doozy soon enough.

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