I don’t like wading into political debates. Granted, I do enjoy politics and follow them closely, but debates are not friendly to me. No matter how well prepared I am; no matter how many statistics I have in my corner backing me up, my opponent always seems to have just that much more in his/her corner, and it’s not long before I’m left gasping for breath. My opponent walks away, assured of his/her victory, and I’m left there questioning my own beliefs. But, there’s something going on right now that I feel I just have to contribute my own two cents. That’s the upcoming $400 “prosperity bonus” going to every Albertan.
Continue reading Free Money
The 1990s will most likely be remembered as an influential decade in movies. This was where we had the rise of the independents. Miramax suddenly became one of the hottest studios in Hollywood, bringing a multitude of smaller, indie films to the mainstream. Thanks to this rise, we got a mind-blowing twist ending with The Crying Game. Quentin Tarintino re-wrote the crime thriller with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Robert Rodriguez amazed us with his low-budget El Mariachi. The decade opened with Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather films, predicting that, “very soon, the greatest movie in the world will be made by a little girl using nothing but her father’s video camera.” Coppola was almost proved right near the end of the decade with the massive success of The Blair Witch Project. These indie directors, dubbed “artisans” by most because of how they wrote, directed, edited, gave themselves small roles, and baked cookies for the crew, seemed to signal the next wave in Hollywood. And, out of it all, arose the cult following around a director named Kevin Smith.
Continue reading 37
I’ve been debating recently as to the future of this column. I feel as though it has stagnated. I feel as though I need to take it in a new direction. After a lengthy discussion with my best friend, he felt that I should spend less time recounting adventures in my life and more time on analysis. So, that’s what I’ve resolved to do. I’m going to press forward, pose the questions that no one dare ask, and attempt to come to a resolution. For example, why do people in the animation industry hate Family Guy so much?
Continue reading Lucky There’s a Family Guy
Time manifests itself in many ways. We see it in the clock on the wall. We see it the rise of the sun, and in the change of the seasons. But no where is its manifestation more pronounced than in how we age. We grow taller. We gain wrinkles. We grow hair in places that we never expected to grow hair. At times, it can make us feel rather desperate and alone, but then we look around at those that we’ve known for significant parts of our lives, and we see that we are not alone. Our friends, too, grow and change. But perhaps the best part about aging is how it affects the memory. Given enough time, things that seemed incredibly important in the moment have lost their significance. Arguments are forgotten, and friendships are renewed.
Continue reading A Rather Different Set of Friends
There was absolutely nothing on TV the other night, so I sat down and popped Jersey Girl in the DVD player. I like Kevin Smith films and, despite its flaws, I still find Jersey Girl to be an enjoyable film. In case you’ve never seen it (which is likely), let me give you the Coles Notes. Ben Affleck is a successful publicist. He meets, falls in love with, gets married to, and knocks up Jennifer Lopez. J-Lo dies in childbirth, leaving Affleck to play the role of single father bereft with grief. He tries to deal with his grief by ignoring his infant daughter and burying himself in work, but that ultimately gets him fired. At this point he decides to turn his life around and become a dedicated father. Don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled the film. This all happens in the first 15 minutes.
Continue reading Who I Am, How I Came to Be
So there’s this movie out right now called The 40-Year Old Virgin. And yes, I have heard the jokes. “Hey Mark, is that your life story?” And I respond, “No! It’s not going to be my life story for 12 more years.” Now, while I have not seen the movie yet, I have read a certain character train of the titular character that I identify with. Seems that the 40-year old virgin is on a quest to create the perfect egg salad sandwich, and he spends most of his time looking for ingredients rather than looking for sexual gratification. And I can’t help but realize that I, too, am on a similar quest. Only, instead of the perfect egg salad sandwich, I seek to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
Continue reading Grilled Cheese
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short existence, it’s that I am not destined to be happy. I gave up on setting goals a long time ago, having realized that I’ll always, always find a way to choke at the finish line. I still work hard, giving 110% to every task I do, even though I know it’s pointless. Hard work means nothing when your rival is much more personable or is on a first-name basis with the boss. The methods I’ve been taught to follow are not the methods that the world runs on.
Continue reading The Best Things In Life
I feel so dead inside.
I go to Future Shop. I stand among the shelves. I look them over, one by one. I flip through the multitude of discs, but it always comes back to the same thing.
I just don’t want any DVDs.
Continue reading Empty Feeling
‘Having’ is not so pleasing a thing as ‘wanting.’ It is not logical, but it is often true. – Commander Spock
Here I sit, in my room, surrounded by my vast action figure collection. I often laugh and dream of having my own house someday, and dedicating one room to this collection. It may seem a little haphazard and disorganized, with no connecting themes, but there is a theme to it all. It’s a theme I put in place when I bought my first-ever action figure. It’s the prime directive of my collection, as it were.
Continue reading The Collector
It is not a tragedy. It’s a cleverly disguised opportunity. – Arzon of the Spectral Knights
Whenever God closes a door, he opens a window, my mother is fond of saying. I’ve always found that to be an excessively cheery view of life, but it does have its merits. For example, you might be heading out to the movies one night to see the latest summer blockbuster. By the time you get to the theatre, though, you find the movie is sold out. Naturally, at first, you’ll be all upset and angry, but then, look at the opportunities! There are other good movies playing…many good restaurants are still open…something better may come along. And that’s exactly how the people of Wabamun are looking at their current situation.
Continue reading Blessing in Disguise