Thursday, February 02, 2017

I’ve done a horrible thing to my daughter

It all started with the best of intentions.

I didn’t mean to cause any harm.

In retrospect, I blame my daughter and her oh so “innocent” questions. “Where did you hear that song Daddy?”, she asked. Innocent indeed!

I had made her a sandwich with the crusts cut off and she had said, “that’s the way I like it!”, to which I replied: “that’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh!”. If none of that made any sense to you, check with your parents. If they don’t understand, check with your grandparents.

And then she asked the fateful question, “Where did you hear that song Daddy?” As if she wouldn’t be familiar with a forty year-old pop song.

Without thinking I went onto Youtube and introduced her to disco.

Related video

Monday, April 18, 2016

I can't do this any more

Not this, of course. I could do this on a strictly irregular, inconsistent basis for an indefinite period of time.

What I can't do any longer is, well, it's a bit hard to explain.

I love movies (yes, and tea, and cars and chocolate, can you stay on topic? It's so annoying when you go off on these asides that take us off into the swirling miasma in the outer reaches of your mind), sorry, what was I saying?

Oh, yes, I can't watch movies or television where young children are in peril.

Hmmm, perhaps that was easier to say than I originally thought.

Of course, it doesn't take a rocket psychologist to connect the dots between my young daughter and a young child on screen.

The issue about issue (did you see what I did there?), became an issue (okay, now I’m just messing with you) watching the movie Looper.

I had looked forward to seeing the movie, I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, and, despite the claims of the Vulcan Science Directorate, I like time travel movies.

I was okay with the movie, and would still recommend it, but my discomfort watching young Pierce Gagnon (pictured above) [see, I really do know the appropriate use of parentheses] {dammit, now I’ve contradicted my original point} as Cid, was unexpected.

Not to give anything away, but in Looper Cid is a troubled child, and the question of his survival is pivotal to the plot.

I’ve heard of dramatic changes in the nature of an artist’s output after falling in love, or having children. I blame both for Stevie Wonder’s decline after his magnum opus Songs in the Key of Life, and I’m pointing my finger at you Isn’t She Lovely. She might be lovely, but then came Ebony and Ivory and that set race relations back so far we now have to contend with Donald Trump.

While doing promotion for the 2005 movie War of the Worlds, interviewer Thomas Chau of questioned Steven Spielberg, contrasting the parental responses of Tom Cruise as Ray Ferrier and Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary in 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Spielberg explained “Today, I would never have the guy leaving his family and going on the mother ship. I would have the guy doing everything he could to protect his children, so in a sense, War of the Worlds does reflect my own maturity, in my own life, growing up and now having seven children.”

To be fair, though, War of the Worlds really sucked.

I also know a few people who are sensitive to what they view, a friend could not watch the movie Saving Private Ryan after hearing about the opening sequence on Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion.

Such things had never previously bothered me, but I knew, when I heard the story of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian boy who drowned off the coast of Turkey, that I could never look at the picture.

I respect the journalist who captured the image at the editor’s decision to publish it, but I couldn’t view it.

This was not an effect I expected of having a child. I assumed I’d gain weight, hitch up my pants and yell at people on my lawn.

I didn’t expect the compassion I have for my child to extend in anything other than a theoretical way to any other child.

So, after all this, what I’m trying to tell you is that I can’t watch the movie The Room.

Related Links
Cinema Confidential [Via Internet Archive]

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tea complexity

I like tea.

Since I've started drinking tea without milk or sugar, I've become particular (some might say OCD, but those people don't care what kind of warm brownish liquid they pour into their mouths, now do they) about how my cup is brewed. I used to insist it had to be steeped for at least five minutes, but now I just pour my cup as soon as the tea bag gets wet.

My late grandmother used to drink her tea black and I couldn't understand why she was so fussy about how long it was steeped.

Now I do.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Scandal status: CONFIRMED

I hope you will excuse my hiatus, but it has been absolutely necessary to take time away from this blog to conduct my extensive investigation.
Glenn Greenwald would be proud.

(Or perhaps profoundly ashamed to be mentioned in this blog. [I imagine him getting a chill as I write this with his partner becoming worried looking at his ashen face asking, “What’s the matter?” and, slowly, taking time to recover his composure Greenwald replies: “There’s been a disturbance in the Force.” {Perhaps this has amused me more than you.}]}

My hiatus has taken me to the far reaches of the earth, from the heights of the Himalayas, to the depths of the Marianas Trench, I even mistakenly ended up at an Olive Garden.

Finally, after exhaustively confirming and reconfirming sources, leads and Snapchat videos I can reveal the singular greatest scandal of our time.

Greater than the scandal about the integrity of journalism within the gaming industry, because, let’s face it, there’s no actual scandal.

You will be shocked, shocked I tell you to find out that…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Apples vs Oranges

Just so you know, even when I'm not blogging, I'm thinking of blogging.

To wit, I had done research on the confusing expression "you can't compare apples to oranges" in the months prior to the last post.

I'm awesome!

Related Links
The Annals of Improbable Research
The British Medical Journal
CBC Radio: The Debaters (requires Flash)
The Economist
StudyMode: Apples and Oranges - a Comparative Essay
StudyMode: Apples Versus Oranges
Video Unrelated in Any Way to the Content Above

Friday, April 17, 2015


Martian sunset: Spirit at Gusev crater
I’m working on a manifesto (or “vision and mission” statement, if you want something a little less militant) for this blog inspired by the Jalopnik Awesomeness Manifesto by Ray Wert, formerly the Editor in Chief of Jalopnik.

At the time Wert wrote the manifesto in July 2010, I had been reading Jalopnik for about four, maybe five years, and what I had found intriguing about Jalopnik was its mix of love for quirky cars not just the fastest or flashiest cars, articles highlighting unusual aspects of car culture, and the surprisingly intelligent comments section (Reductio ad Hitlerum didn’t apply, the comments usually got better the longer they went [That statement is accurate no matter how you understand it]) which could include quotes from anything from South Park to Shakespeare within the same comment thread.

When Wert published the manifesto the tone at Jalopnik had changed, some of their most popular writers had left, and the quality of the content had declined as they pursued a more mainstream audience (Whoo-hoo! An eight way comparison of mid-sized sedans with six cylinder engines and automatic transmissions, bring it on! [Oh, wait, that was Road & Track, and that's when I stopped reading it]).

Sunday, April 05, 2015

My triumphant return to blogging

Shanidar Cave, taken during the summer of 2005
Usually, for me, September is a time for renewal and transformation.

It’s not hard to imagine why, twelve years of school with a couple of relapses will do that to you.

This Easter, however, I’m particularly moved by transformation, which I suppose is why I’m planning to come back to blogging regularly.

I had mentioned previously advice compelling bloggers not to remark on long intervals between posts, and that, to me, it seemed like good advice.

However, like so much good advice I’ve been given, which I also thought sounded reasonable, I’ve ignored it.