Chaos in Print

Six years ago, it was a very exciting time. University was finished. A new Star Wars movie was premiering in theatres. I was 21, and ready to conquer the world. Without a doubt, university was 4-year high. For some odd reason, the campus really took to my little college radio show. People started to think that what I had to say just might be worth listening to. I had things that I’d never experienced before: popularity, a circle of friends, name recognition. Truly, it was a golden era.

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Melon Soda

Chaos in Print
T’was a long time ago, longer now than it seems
In a place that perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams

The other day, I went by the Asian supermarket in West Edmonton Mall and I treated myself to a bottle of melon soda. I got hooked on this stuff when I was in Japan. It’s a soft drink, a deep green in colour, and it tastes like a honeydew melon. Or a cantaloupe. A melon of some kind, hence the name. I cracked open the bottle and took a whiff. Perhaps what I’ve missed the most was the smell. It smells sticky-sweet, but in an artificial way. It smells smooth and plastic. The odour brings to mind a strange mixture of chemicals that no one in their right mind would take into their body. But it is a sweet scent nonetheless, one that simply demands you drink it. And that’s exactly what I did, and the flavour brought back a flood of memories of hanging out with my coworkers after work in a Kumagaya Italian restaurant.


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Movie Review – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode III:  Revenge of the Sith

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDirmand, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Oz and lots of computer animated others.

Oh, what a long and crazy six years it’s been!  In 1999, we all gathered round to watch the most anticipated film of all time; a film that could never live up to the hype around it, Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  3 years ago, the lines formed once again for Episode II:  Attack of the Clones.  People found it to be mildly enjoyable and vast improvement over #1.  And now, this year, the trilogy comes to a close with the Revenge of the Sith.  Was it worth the wait and last two films?

So…the galaxy’s all torn apart by this huge war, right?  After a major victory in which the kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine (McDirmand) is rescued, focus turns to ending the war by bringing in most evil general, General Greivous.  Our dynamic duo is split up, as Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) is sent out to bring in Grievous, and Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) remains on Coruscant to continue spying on Palpatine.  Throw into this that Anakin’s secret wife Padme (Portman) is knocked up, and Anakin is haunted by nightmares of her impending death.  A galaxy torn apart by war…fear over losing a loved one…it’s a ripe situation for a young man to be seduced by the Dark Side.  Before you know it, that evil Palpatine reveals his true colours, and he goes about converting young Anakin into Darth Vader.  It’s not long before brother is pitted against brother in a battle…to the death.

Wow.  Wowie wow.  This is a great movie.  Seriously, this has all the images we’ve been waiting for since Phantom Menace, especially Darth Vader’s first steps.  There’s some great special effects, too, from the spectacular opening battle to Obi-Wan riding around on a giant gecko.  But, all that aside, this film trumps the past two in one big way:  this is the first time I actually felt an emotional connection to the characters.  You just want to scream at Anakin as he begins his fall.  You weep when people start dying.  Granted, the ending is very, very depressing, but it is one with the echo of a new hope.  And now, we get lives.

4 Nibs

A Page of Random Sentences

Chaos in Print

The crappiest new TV show is American Dad.

Ya know, as much as I’ve studied physics, I still don’t get how the sky is blue.

I’m sorry, but the show was about Mulder. When David Duchovney started grumbling about leaving the show, they should have pulled the plug.

I think it would be a really good idea if I stopped spending what little money I have on Star Wars action figures and started spending it on shirts.

My favourite sarcastic compliment has to be “You will be remembered forever in the Hall of Valour.”

What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…don’t hurt me…no more.

I think it’s OK to skip a week rather than coming with crap at the last minute.

Someday, I’ll be rich and famous and I’ll buy my own train. No one buys their own train. They’re all preoccupied with jets.

I mean, I’m unemployed right now. I can write something in the mid-afternoon instead of watching all those Star Trek reruns on Space.

Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. It’s my bible.

Scarecrow is the villain in the new Batman movie. Finally!

I can’t believe Dynamation went out of business. They’re the company that made animatronic dinosaurs for museums.

Pokémon 8 hits Japanese theatres this summer. Finally!

It takes effort to write something good. I’ve known that for six years, but I still don’t practice it.

Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be.

I mean, seriously, would the world stop turning if I took a week off?

The walls aren’t closing in.

My slippers are furry.

Bed time.

The Formula

Chaos in Print

OK, so here’s the deal. I’ve been slacking off for the past few days and I’ve got nothing. So, instead of doing something very half-assed and writing a half-assed column, I’ve decided to do something much more productive. I’m going to teach you how to write your own column! See, the thing is, all my columns follow a formula. It’s a formula that I first uncovered way back in grade 8, and it led me to ace Language Arts, high school English, and every English class I took in university. Yes, it is just that easy. Just follow this simple formula, and you can entertain your friends and family with your dazzling wit and superb writing skills. It goes a little something like this:

1) In your introductory paragraph, talk about one of your favourite TV shows or movies or comic books. A very, very common one for me since junior high was the most recent episode of Star Trek.

2) For here, you segue into a brief summation of a personal anecdote from your life.

3) Now, most of my personal anecdotes lead to some form of angst in my life. Spend a paragraph whining about what’s bugging you now.

4) Writing helps you work through it. Once you’ve got that paragraph on paper, spend another paragraph sharing the life lesson you’ve learned from your angst.

5) Take that life lesson, and apply it to that TV show you saw last night, making one last comparison between your life and your hero’s.

Now, I said that this was the formula that helped me kick ass in so many English classes. If you want to use this for class, just make these simple substitutions:

“Brief summation of a personal anecdote from your life” becomes “brief summary of the plot of the novel/short story/play/poem you had to read.”

“Angst in your life” becomes “the angst of the main character.”

“the life lesson” becomes “the theme of the work.”

It’s just that easy. Feel free to expand upon this formula all you want. Just never forget the central concept. Teachers love comparisons. As long as you can draw a comparison between an abstract concept and the everyday life, you seem smarter than you really are.

So, go write your own column! I hope to read it on your website.