Painting The Balanced Picture

Chaos in Print

As I write this, the provincial election has only 3 days left to it. In this morning’s Edmonton Journal, there was a letter sounding off on the Liberal’s “negative ad campaign.” For those out of province, this dispute tends to revolve around one TV ad. In the ad, the Liberals point out the astronomical donations that power companies and healthcare companies have made to the Tories, and then follow that up with the record profits that these power and healthcare companies are now making. These statistics play out over images of money changing hands and glasses being clinked, giving the image of shady backroom dealings. My big question is, how is this negative?

The statistics are true. No one is denying that. It’s that image of the backroom deal that’s making people nervous. If the statistics were just presented to us point blank, people may have made that connection on their own. The Liberals certainly did, and they produced an ad showing that. They are helping to paint the balanced picture. So what if the presentation borders on negative? Painting the balanced picture is about presenting the good with the bad. As for the Tories going on the defensive and decrying this “negative” ad, why do they have to counter-attack it like they are? Maybe, because, the truth hurts?

In the interests of painting the balanced picture, let’s look around at this whole campaign that’s been going on. There have been a lot of negative ads, but not from the Liberals. By far, the most negative have been the NDP. In their ads, they proclaim that the Tories are evil and that the Liberals are just Tories of a different color. They don’t present their party’s platform at all. They attack everyone. “King Ralph” and “Princess Nancy.” I haven’t heard in any of their ads how they are going to change things for the better. Just “Liberals bad, Tories worse, NDP good.” All I can say is, how does the NDP think that they can be a better opposition? The Tory government can invoke closure and ram through legislation just as easily on the NPD as they are on the Liberals. And all Raj Pannu can do is stage another media event where he sends Klein an angry letter. That’s all they’ve become: attackers.

Now, this is where things get tricky. Yes, the Tories have not run any negative ads. They’re running on “Ralph’s record.” Their TV spots feature (obviously phony) person-on-the-street interviews proclaiming how everything is wonderful in the province, followed by Ralph Klein coming on and proclaiming “more of the same.” It’s the Tory supporters who are running the negative ads. The Alberta Citizen’s Coalition has been running a series of negative radio spots proclaiming that a Liberal government would be an invitation for the federal government to come in and, in essence, rape and pillage us. “Don’t vote Liberal. Vote for Alberta!” their ads proclaim. The company I work for, Westfair Foods, ran a full-page ad in the province’s largest newspapers proclaiming how rosy everything has been for their company under the Klein administration. All I can say is, these seem to be those “special interests” that Klein says he doesn’t cater to. Of course Westfair Foods (parent corp. of Superstore) likes Klein. He privatized the liquor stores! In every Superstore parking lot, there’s a “Real Canadian Liquorstore.” How do we know that, in exchange for this ad, Klein isn’t rewarding them with some more liquor licenses, or a promise to keep the minimum wage down? And then the “coalition.” They are also the ones who proposed a firewall be set up to keep Ottawa out of our province. Klein said that, while the firewall is a bit extreme, some of their proposals are worth looking in to. Perhaps, in exchange for their support, Klein will be appointing them to certain positions. Who knows? As much as you’d like to say it doesn’t happen, ruling parties have a history of rewarding their supporters, and the supporters have a history of keeping a government they can influence in power.

Now, as I’m sure you are all aware, I have not been neutral in this election. My mother has been running Liberal. This is the first time I have had a personal stake in an election this big. And, some of the more cold-hearted among you may even be saying, “Of course you find nothing wrong with the Liberal’s negative ads. You ran that vote no campaign against Brad Goertz. YOU’RE THE KING OF NEGATIVE ADS, MARK!” This all boils down to what Brad Goertz told me during that vote no campaign all those years ago. “You’re not painting the balanced picture, Mark.” I’d always counter with, “You’re not painting the balanced picture, either Brad. You’re glossing over your mistakes and presenting yourself as a rosy individual. Together, we present the balanced picture.” Of course, Brad didn’t believe that. He showing himself to be an upstanding citizen was “a balance picture,” and me pointing out that he wasn’t so upstanding was “mudslinging.” Again, I have to ask, how was what I did negative? Yes, he was suspended twice from his position as editor of the school paper. He almost enjoyed admitting that. Yes, in his second issue, he essentially told his detractors to “fuck off,” showing us how he deals with opposition. He said those words. I pulled those quotes straight from his article. How was it negative? Maybe, because, the truth hurts?

Brad always fell back on the defense of “This doesn’t happen in the real world, Mark.” (Of course, in the real world, Brad would’ve gotten in by acclimation and there wouldn’t have been a yes/no vote, but that’s a separate issue.) I wonder if Brad’s been following this election, and if he’s been seeing the parallels I’ve seen. As always, Brad’s problem is he’s too much of an idealist. Painting a balanced picture is not about you and your supporters talking about how great you and your policies are. To truly be balanced, you have to point out the flaws in your policies; the flaws in your character. But, you can’t do that. It could cost you votes. So, it’s your opponents, your opposition, who point them out. Together, you form the balanced picture. That is the real world.

People like to believe in a world of extremes. This is hot, that is cold. This is good, that is evil. This is black, that is white. The sad truth is, though, there are a billion shades of grey. People like to paint themselves as black, but they never show us their white. They never show us the shade of grey they are. And when their whiteness is pointed out, what do they say? “Quit being so negative.” The Liberals have pointed out the white sides of the Tories. The NDP have pointed out the white sides of both. And each are saying, “It’s a negative campaign. It’s mudslinging. It’s wrong.”

Balanced pictures are not all black. They’re not all white. They’re grey. Either embrace it, or wait for others to point it out.

…And It’s Ending One Minute At A Time

Chaos in Print

Now that I have this DVD player, L has loaned me her copy of Fight Club. Since she doesn’t have a DVD player, she figures I’ll get more use out of it. There’s this one scene that seems to have additional resonance for me lately. For a homework assignment, Tyler Durden and our hero abduct this convenience store clerk. Tyler puts the gun to this clerk’s head and demands his wallet. As Tyler rifles through the guy’s wallet, he stumbles upon an old student ID card. Tyler then begins interrogating this clerk, and learns that the clerk was once taking biology in university, with the dream of becoming a veterinarian. Tyler then puts the gun down and tells the clerk that if he’s not back on his way to becoming a vet in six weeks, Tyler will hunt him down and kill him. And the clerk takes off into the night.

Why does this scene haunt me so? Well, at work, we’ve just begun bringing out the Easter candy. I face those chocolate bunnies with a certain sense of dread. For you see, I began working for Extra Foods just a few short weeks before Easter 2000. As the chocolate bunnies march forth, they bring with them my one year anniversary of being a bagger. For a job that was going to be temporary, it sure got permanent. And this is why the scene haunts me. If Tyler were to come in the store some night and put a gun to my head, and begins interrogating me about my hopes and dreams, what would I tell him?

The sad truth is, I have nothing to say. On my journey of self-discovery, I am in the exact same place that I was a year ago. No plans, no ambitions, nothing. I’m just living from moment to moment, paycheck to paycheck. And while that life has appeal to some, it’s nothing until you have to live it. I look around at my friends. They’ve returned to school. They are pursuing the educations required to fulfil their dreams. They’ve got plans. I don’t. And, nature abhors a vacuum, so the subtle pushes are beginning.

I have a few friends telling my that my future lies in education. “There’s going to be huge teacher shortage in the next year or so, Mark,” they tell me. “With your physics and math degrees, you’d make a great science teacher.” And then I give the reply that offends them. I do not want to be a teacher. Too many people have gotten into teaching for all the wrong reasons. They prove the old adage, “Those who can’t, teach.” They think that it will be a simple 9 to 5 job, where all they have to do is show up in the morning, regurgitate a lesson plan, then go home. They burn out after one or two years because they discover that the students aren’t cooperating with that plan. To be a good teacher, you can’t just spew facts at the kids and hope that some sticks. You’ve got to engage them. Challenge them. Make them want to come to school. The average teacher being thrust on to the job market has no concept of this. Teaching is either in your heart or not, and just too many people don’t have it in the hearts. I am one of those who doesn’t. And how do my friends find this reply offensive? Well, I have had a few who turned to me and said, “Well, I’m going to be teaching next year.” Then I hope to God they have it in their hearts.

And then there are the “linear thinkers.” Those who look at your education and say, “Degrees in this are only job for jobs like that.” At the mention of a physics degree, they tend to say, “Well, that’s not to different from engineering. Get your engineering ticket and go work in the oilfields!” I find it ironic that, in the current provincial election, the Liberals are accusing the government of being a one-trick pony, over-exploiting the oilfields, and yet my mother’s Liberal supporters are telling me that the oilfields are the place to work. And then, I find myself throwing at them the statistics that have been thrown to me: “Physics is one of the most general degrees you can get, with applications everywhere. Some are even starting to say it’s as good as an MBA.” But they don’t hear that. They just hear physics=engineer=job in oil patch. Whatever happened to thinking outside the box?

So, then I need something to resist this subtle pushes. Attempt to be the immovable object, as it were. I have taken to responding with, “Well, I always liked broadcasting, heck, having done the radio show at college and all, so I’m looking into taking broadcasting at NAIT this fall.” Which is partly true. I’ve got the website bookmarked, and I’ve been skimming it. But still, there is that doubt in my mind. Is this really what I want to do? There was a time when I really enjoyed physics and math, too, but now you can’t get me to open a textbook. I just grew sick of it. How do I know I won’t grow equally sick of broadcasting?

But there is one thing that is painfully obvious: I need a plan. Some of the latest statistics say that you need to know what you want to do with your life by the ninth grade. The ninth grade was the one where my plans started to fall apart; the ones where the dreams ended and I started thinking, “OK, it’s time to take this future thing seriously.” And it’s a decision making process I have yet to complete. But then, how vital is it to have a plan? Statistics also say that I will change careers at least three times in my lifetime. What’s the point of obsessing over a plan now if all I’m going to do is scrap it in three years time?

The point is I don’t have to be thinking big picture. I don’t have to have my life planned out through to retirement. I just need a goal. I need something that I can work towards, and if it involves building a brighter, stronger future, then more power to it. So what should my goal be? That one requires very little thought. At work, I was recently shorted 10 hours on my paycheck. When I work extra hours, the Regional Manager accuses me of being lazy. And a black bow tie is not a black tie, according to management in Edmonton. When I look at my other job prospects in and around Entwistle, I find more minimum wage jobs managed by slave drivers, and numerous oil patch jobs. My goal is clear: Get the hell out of Entwistle.

But then the question is, what do I do outside of Entwistle? Well, perhaps there is some merit in that going to NAIT. I mean, I did enjoy doing the radio show. Why else did I keep doing it week after week even when no one was listening? There was love there; there was commitment. But then, the question is, do I have what it takes to make it in the real world? It’s one thing to do a goofy little show to make my friends laugh, but can I appeal to more than 12 people? Too many questions, just too many questions….

The gun is to my head. Tyler is cocking it. He’s asking the questions. I stammer for a response. My hopes. My dreams. Do I really have them? Or should I cave to peer pressure? Go teach a classroom full of students to be just like me? Sling wrenches on an oil rig? Gamble all on an uncertain future in show business? I don’t know. He wants an answer. I can’t give him one. He pulls the trigger. “Life is just a series of down endings.” — Dante Hicks.

Midnight Ramblings XV

Chaos in Print

NOTE: A special Midnight Ramblings! A long-favorite part of correspondence with Neelix is my casting choices for movies that will never get made. This ramblings is completely dedicated to that!

Hey Neelix!

So, I’ve been watching Ghostbusters obsessively on DVD. This leads me to wonder about that movie we all longed for that would never get made, Ghostbusters 3. It’s sort of been accepted that the premise of a third Ghostbusters film would be one or two members of the original team training a next generation of Ghostbusters to do battle with the spooks on the streets of New York. So, I’ve been wondering, who would be the best choices for this next generation of Ghostbusters? Back in about 1995 or so, Dan Aykroyd said that he’d like to see Chris Farley and Will Smith be Ghostbusters. Well, Farley is no longer with us and Smith is too big a star. Who we gonna call?

Firstly, it’s been accepted that Bill Murray would not be back. We need someone with that same kind of sarcastic wit that Murray brought to the role of Peter Venkman. As I look across the entertainment landscape, I find only one comedian with the same vein of sarcasm: David Spade. Like Murray, he’s a former Saturday Night Live member, and he’s currently getting rave reviews for his role on the sitcom Just Shoot Me. Just watch one episode of his show, and you’ll see that he’s got the stuff to be the next Bill Murray. And besides, can’t you just see him whining, “He slimed me?”

The character of Egon was described by some as “a post-modern Mr. Spock,” so we’ll need someone who can bring that deadpan seriousness to the business of Ghostbusting. The actor I have in mind already has lots of experience dealing with the paranormal in a straight-faced way. Yes, I’m talking about former X-Files star David Duchovney. With his few comedic episodes of X-Files, he’s shown us that he can do comedy. In fact, right now he’s doing a sci-fi comedy called Evolution, which is being directed by Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. Reitman has already gone on record as saying, “David has tremendous, untapped comic potential.” I think he’s our next Egon.

On a side note, let me talk about Evolution. When Men In Black first came out, it was described as “Ghostbusters meets X-Files.” Well, I’ve been reading up on Evolution, and to me it’s starting to sound like “Men In Black from the director of Ghostbusters and starring the guy from X-Files.” But still, ya gotta love the movie poster: a three-eyed happy face with the simple tag line “Have a nice end of the world.” Summer 2001.

Back to our Ghostbusters. We need a third member on our team. In the original, Venkman was described as the mouth, Egon the brains, and Ray the heart. We need our heart. I don’t know why, but it’s really important to me that this role be filled by a woman. Maybe because on the Ghostbusters cartoon Janine suited up a few times and wielded a proton pack. So, who do we get? I’m looking at Saturday Night Live star Molly Shannon. She has portrayed a wide variety of characters on her SNL days, and I’m sure that she can bring the same kind of passion for the paranormal to the part that Dan Aykroyd brought to Ray Stantz. She’s perfect.

But now, who should be our returning Ghostbusters? That’s easy: Ray and Egon. As previously mentioned, they were described as being the heart and brains of the original team. Nothing can live without the heart and brain. And besides, a third film has always been Dan Aykroyd’s pet project. It would be a crime not to have him back!

And I think I’ve also got a plot figured out. It could start with the original team’s last mission. When it ends with one HUGE near-death experience, the team decides that they’re getting too old for this shit. Peter and Winston decide to flat out retire, while Ray and Egon decide to keep the business going. This is their passion, after all. So, they revise the concept of the Ghostbusters. They’ll stay at the firehouse and run the labs, but they’ll need some new “field agents” to go out on calls and be their eyes and ears in the field. They put out the call, and get our new team. Of course, we’ll have our comedic segments throughout the training of our new Ghostbusters, ending in their first call. We find that Ray and Egon stay back in the firehouse, and they keep in touch with the new crew through those nifty headset-deals. The traditional Ghostbusters formula kicks in, as our new ‘busters begin piecing together that this new spirit uprising is part of some Gozer/Vigo mega-spook getting ready to end the world. And then, at the film’s climax, when our heroes are being overpowered, Ray and Egon decide to suit up and go help their new team. (By doing this, I’m trying to recreate the coolness of that Batman Beyond episode where Bruce Wayne is forced to don the mask one last time to bail out the new Batman.) The spook is destroyed, the day is saved, New York embraces these new Ghostbusters, and Ray and Egon decide that maybe they’re not too old for this after all. I tell you, I have a hit here.

But still, I guess we’ll have to do something with that logo. My concept for a Ghostbusters 3 logo would be to do what they did with the Starfleet logo for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Just update and streamline it a little, so it’ll look fresh and new, but people will look at it and still go, “Hey! Ghostbusters!” And we’ll need some hot young techno/pop act to cover the theme song. My God, I should work in the movies.

Oh, and I would like to continue one of the in-jokes started on the cartoon Ghostbusters Extreme. As you may recall, the one book that the Ghostbusters always called upon to identify ghosts was Tobin’s Spirit Guide. Well, in Ghostbusters Extreme, the one book they used was Egon’s work in progress, Spengler’s Spirit Guide. We’ll see who picks up on it.

Of course, though, this is just my fan-boy musings. File this with the live action G.I. Joe, starring Mel Gibson as Hawk, Jet Li as Snake Eyes, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Scarlet. Put it next to my Masters of the Universe remake with Kevin Sorbo as Prince Adam/He-Man. Read it with Jem starring Jenna Elfman as Jerrica Benton/Jem, Courtney Love as Pizzaz, and Ricky Martin as Rio. A boy can dream, can’t he?


The Gift

Chaos in Print

I was watching a report on The Fifth Estate recently. They were talking to MENSA members from across the world. More specifically, they were talking to the smartest man in the U.S.A., with an I.Q. in the 200’s. What do you think a man with this kind of intelligence does for a living? Is he a doctor? Does he work for NASA? Is he in a government think tank somewhere, trying to solve the world’s problems? None of the above. He doesn’t have the education. He’s a high school drop-out. He’s about 6’5″, and prefers to put his size to use. He’s a bouncer at a road house. But this got me thinking. What does it really mean to be smart?

I was labeled with one of the most terrifying labels you could put on a child: “gifted.” I guess a label like that wouldn’t be so bad, if it weren’t for the fact that our school system treats gifted children like the mentally handicapped. We are singled out, placed in “special” classes and given a “special” curriculum. I guess, then, I was lucky. Being the only one with that brand at my school, no one had any idea what should be done with me. So, I was made to plod along with the rest of my classmates, following the regular curriculum. You’d think that would normalize things, but it didn’t. When you score 85% on a test with nary an effort, that tends to single you out without the benefit of a special class. But, as I soon discovered, the special classes were to come in high school.

I’m sure by now you are sick of how I refer to high school as hell, but let me revisit this once again. Again, I was having an average of around 83% with hardly an effort. But this time, it was in the hard courses. Math 30. English 30. Chem 30. Essentially, all courses ending with the number “30.” Seba Beach was a school where a 30 course only had about 4 or 5 students, and the 33 courses were overflowing. Hell, I was the only Physics 30 student, so was I forced to take it through correspondence. Seba, in my time, was a school that favoured physical pleasures over intellectual capabilities. An Australian exchange student once remarked to me, “I’ve never seen a school where people brag about how many beers they had before coming to their first class.” Seba had excellent extracurricular activities in the form of the basketball and volleyball teams, but no form of activity to further the mind. And, with my mother being on the school board, I’ve seen the statistics showing failing student after failing student, except for the years that I was there to pull the average up. Those years have been branded “anomalous.” Hell, when I made the honour roll in grade 10, I had to fight to get my plaque because it had been so long since Seba had a grade 10 student make the honour roll, that they didn’t bother checking that year. I went on to university and got two degrees. My classmates took their high school diplomas to see what kind of job they could get with just that. And now, they make $30/h slinging wrenches on oil rigs, and I bag their groceries.

What ever happened to my so-called gift? It dried up halfway through university. My average in freshman was 8.4 (out of nine). My graduating average was 6.8. Just a slow, steady decline from gifted to average. And that 6.8 didn’t come easily. I started working for it, although not as hard as I should have. Did the gift really dry up, or did I not look after it like I should have? The work got harder, but my study techniques and work habits generally remained the same. My mother theorizes that my age finally caught up with my I.Q., but I have trouble accepting that. Would all that labeling have been applied to something that would be outgrown?

Ultimately, what did this label get me? A childhood of heartache, a box full of certificates and plaques, and two useless degrees. I’m sure that the label of “gifted” brings more pain to a person looking back on his/her childhood like no other. When you were young, with tears in your eyes because people thought you were “different,” parents and teachers would cheer you up with stories of being given that gift for a reason and visions of better things in store for you than those who neglect their studies. So, with renewed vigor you’d go back to your textbooks. And now, you’re full grown. No greatness. No higher purpose. Just a menial, low-paying job. But hey, you’re gifted.

Maybe my old classmates had it right back then. Get hammered before class. Nothing else mattered, just having fun. Who wants to sit in some dumb math class? I’m never going to have to use conics in my daily life. May as well head down to the beach and get a burger. And I will admit, that is a bit of a philosophy I adopted in my final year at university. Will a potential employer really care that my average was only 6.8? They’ll just care that I’ve got my degree. So what’s the point of labeling a kid as “gifted” if it’s not going to matter in the real world? I may not have agreed with a lot of what my high school compatriots did, but they did have one philosophy right.

They may have been failing. They may have been too drunk for their classes. They may have had no hope at all for a bright future. But they were happy. And as I look back, the primary question becomes was I happy? Yes, there was a smile on my face every time I got another honor roll certificate, and I enjoyed my 15 seconds of fame in front of the school. And while most of my fellow high schoolers were having their parties in the hallways, I wouldn’t trade my time in the science lab for anything. [See, my science teacher trusted me enough to let me conduct my own experiments during lunch hours.] And true, my average was 6.8, but you can’t ignore that the studies always came before my favourite part of university: my radio show. So, yes, I was happy.

I once read somewhere that the only things you could truly be gifted in where math and music. Some even argued that it was the same gift because math and music have certain intrinsic similarities and use the same part of the brain. Was I really gifted to begin with, then? True, I did do well in math, but as my English teacher pointed out, I seemed to be gifted in everything. Was it really a gift? Or just blind luck? Does it matter? I’m happy. It all goes back to the smartest man in America; that bouncer. With his I.Q. he could easily join up with any research team. But he’s happy being a bouncer. I’ve never had my I.Q. tested. Am I truly gifted, as those teachers diagnosed, or just average? I guess ignorance truly is bliss. In the end, being gifted means nothing. Being happy with yourself is everything.

Movie Review – Pokémon 3: The Movie

Pokémon 3: The Movie

Directed by Kunohiko Yuyama; English translation directed by Michael Haigney.

Starring the voices of Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart, Addie Blaustein, and Phillip Bartlett.

I can tell the Pokémon fad is dying from two things that happened to me when I saw Pokémon 3. Firstly, I got the free Pokémon card they were giving out with admission. When I saw the first two (reviews here and here) they had already ran out. Secondly, on a weekday afternoon, if you go to see a top-10 animated movie, you expect to run into a lot of moms taking their under-5’s to a movie. Well, guess what? I had a whole theater at Silver City to myself. A very strange experience, but one making me feel very free to cheer loudly at the good parts.

As with our previous pokémovies, this was a double feature. Firstly, it kicks off with the short film Pikachu and Pichu. This follows Pikachu’s day of adventure in a big city as he meets up with a couple of Pichus (those are baby Pikachus for those out of the loop). Think Ferris Bueler’s Day Off with Pikachu instead of Matthew Broderick. Then, our main feature, Spell of the Unown. It starts when we are introduced to Molly. Molly’s father is renowned pokémon researcher who is investigating a thought-to-be-mythical breed of pokémon called Unown. When Molly’s father mysteriously disappears, the Unown adopt Molly and whip up another mythological pokémon, Entei, to be her new father. A side-effect of the Unown’s wish-granting power is turning the surroundings into a crystal wasteland. It’s not long before our heroes, Ash, Misty, Brock, and Pikachu come across the town of Greenfield, which is about to be absorbed by this crystal wasteland. Did I mention that Ash’s mother, Professor Oak and Molly’s father happen to be life-long friends? So, when Professor Oak shows up with Ash’s mother to investigate these strange occurrences, Molly soon has another wish for Entei and the Unown to grant: a mother. So, Entei abducts the closest mother available: Ash’s mom. When this happens, Ash can sit by no longer, and he and his friends embark on a trek through the crystal wasteland to save Molly and Ash’s mom! It will mean voyaging through Molly’s dreamland, and even battling Entei himself. Will they succeed in their quest?

I do believe this was the best Pokemon movie to date! Firstly, Pikachu and Pichu has to be the funniest of all the Pokemon short films. It’s even got this great jazz soundtrack, a lot like the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Spell Of The Unown is truly the most action-packed of the films. Once Ash and pals start their quest, it just becomes pokémon battle after battle! Even the venerable comic relief of Team Rocket is reduced to nothing more than cameos so the focus can be on the action. And, as with The Movie 2000 a lot has happend in the pokémon universe since the last film, so cameos from characters who have since left the show are welcome surprises. Sure, it lacked originality. One scene did remind me a bit of Star Trek: First Contact, there was a subtle homage to Princess Mononoke, and I do believe the ending borrowed from The Care Bears Movie! I’m still curious, though, about the rumors of the original ending. Online rumor persists that the original Japanese ending featured the death of Pikachu(!), followed by his rebirth as Pichu. Either the editors did a really good job, or that’s an urban myth, because nothing felt missing and the ending wasn’t abrupt as some critics have said. But I digress. Pokemon fans should run out and see this because, if my day at Silver City was any indication, this is probably the last one. If you’re not a fan, well then, I’ll know why you weren’t there that Wednesday afternoon.

3 Nibs (although its somewhat biased)