Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Time My Dad Met Douglas Coupland, an essay by James Michael Turner

This essay will recount a story that my father told me only a few times while I was growing up, but nonetheless was important to my family’s history. I remember it very well. There is some foul language, but it is important to me to keep the integrity of the story intact by including it.

Let me preface this story by telling you a bit about Douglas Coupland. He is a rather famous Canadian author whose titles number in the dozens- which is a lot for books. One of my favourite books of his, jPod, was actually made into a television series, though it did not garner much critical acclaim; in my opinion, it did not do the book justice, but that’s neither here nor there. His books are known to be profound and heart wrenching while being blackly funny, making them poignant representations of real life with a degree of the phenomenal that the reader never questions. He also makes fine art, with many different pieces on display, including one memorial to the war of 1812 in downtown Toronto. Despite how profound he may seem, one does not always believe that the author him or herself is as deep as their body of work implies.

My father would normally make up some context for why the two met where they did, saying that he was simply visiting an old teenage hang-out, or attempting to be one with nature. But as I got older, I found out the real reason he was sitting at the edge of a cliff in British Columbia on a windy day over tumultuous waters. My father was going to commit suicide.  My mother was the one who told me the truth about why he was there, and insisted that my father was a different person then; he was hopeless and depressed, with what he felt were no career prospects and a wife who was too good for him. Some people would take these aspects and use them as inspirations, launching themselves into their new life filled with job applications, night classes, and possibly, just possibly, an attempt at making one’s personal psyche better to better achieve happiness. My father struggled with depression, though, and preferred the euphoria he found at the bottom of a bottle. This was simply how he dealt with his feelings before he met Douglas Coupland, and to quote Jesus Christ Superstar, “If your slate is clean then you can throw stones”.

The day my father was to make his suicide attempt the weather reports called for high waves and thunderstorms. His plan, he told my mother who later told me, was to dive from the 200 meter cliff onto the rocks below and hopefully bash his head open; if he did not land the right way for his skull to crack open, he would surely drown in the unsteady waters. He used to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings before he met my mother, and some of the other people he had met at the meetings had tried to kill themselves, but their methods seemed like madness; either too painful or possible failures. When my father was a teenager, he would cliff dive with his friends, so he may have rationalized in his mind this spectacular scheme by noting that the final dive would remind him of his youth, letting him die on a joyful, nostalgic tone. But there was always something underneath this reasoning that made it clear there was more to this choice in method, but when my mother would ask, he would only say that he “thought it was the easiest and least painful of all the methods [he] could think of”.

He drove north out of Vancouver, where he and my mother were living, in his old ’57 Chevy that his father had given him and parked it in a small clearing where people once seemed to park cars, but had not for a while. He walked from his car to the cliff and sat with his feet dangling off the edge, staring out at the ocean with a completely blank head. In a heartbeat, though, he would always say, his blank mind became as tumultuous as the water beneath his feet, pushing and pulling him in one direction that screamed ‘jump’, and the other direction that screamed ‘don’t’. When telling me this story he did not include the part about pushing and pulling, just that his mind was blank. As I said before, I did not know my father was going to commit suicide at some point in this story until I was older, but my mother, when I was old enough, was my resource for the details of this story. I may have asked my father about it once or twice, and though it had been at least ten years since it happened, he still seemed slightly embarrassed about it, though I assured him I was not judging him; I understand that it would have been difficult for him to really open up to me about it, which was why I would sometimes go to my mother for information. As I write this, though, I have a much better source for this story and context on my father. But the dialogue that occurred between Douglas and my father is somewhat lost in time; only the two of them remember exactly what was said, and even they are not infallible.

My father sat there for what seemed like hours, and it was during one of these moment-hours that Douglas Coupland, like a woodland nymph, stepped out of the forest behind my father. My father had heard something through the trees and instinctively turned around, and saw, none other than, renowned author Douglas Coupland.  My dad would joke that he hoped the noise was a thing of beauty, like a bobcat or a deer, but it was instead Douglas Coupland in a rain poncho and hiking gear. The rain was not there yet, but it was coming- my dad said he could feel it in the air like you could feel heat a foot away from a bonfire. Some people may have been more eloquent upon seeing someone who was somewhat famous, but my father was not eloquent under pressure, and the first words that came out of his mouth were something like: “What they fuck are you doing here, Douglas Coupland?” to which Douglas Coupland, an astute surveyor of human emotion and action, replied, “Well, not what the fuck you’re doing here,” and walked up to my father.

“You know who I am, apparently, but I don’t know you and I insist on knowing,” the author stated, putting his hand out to my now standing father, “before you die. Anyone with a ’57 Bel-Air in that condition deserves respect.” My father shook Douglas’ hand and introduced himself as Mike Turner after quickly debating lying about his name. My father then said that anyone who could name a Chevy by the year, even if they were just guessing, which he did not say to Douglas but assumed he was, deserved just as much respect. My father would tell me that he felt Douglas would know if Mike Turner was not my father’s name.

“How do you know what I’m doing here?” my father queried. After a few short moments, Douglas motioned to the edge of the cliff so they could sit down. My father was wary at first, but trying to diffuse the tension the ever tactful Douglas Coupland declared, “you were just sitting there, dummy, what makes now so different? You think I’m going to push you or something?” My father was taken aback by how brash the author was, but then shrugged it off and sat down. Though the two had just met, he would say authoritatively, he instantly knew he could trust Douglas, and was sure that Douglas felt the same way. Apparently interrupting a suicide really brings people together.

“How do I know what you’re doing on this cliff on probably the most dangerous day to be sitting on this cliff?” Douglas said this in such a way that it seemed to my father that he was hypothesizing in the same way a scientist might, “well, it kind of just radiates from someone like you- but that’s probably not exactly true. I guess I saw it in you because I’ve seen it before and I know what to look for. Also, what else would someone be doing on a day like this, and also here?” He said this with a sort of sarcastic air, and let the sarcasm bleed into his next statement which was, “So, why do you think you should die? Keep in mind, I may use this for a novel later so be completely honest; ‘life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind could invent’ and all that.”

My father was a little annoyed at this point because he realized that he really just wanted to kill himself, and Douglas Coupland was forcing him to actually speak his actions aloud. Anyone who has ever wanted to do something knows that speaking about that action aloud is powerful, and can deter or encourage one to pursue this action. My father knew that telling Douglas exactly why he was attempting suicide would most likely deter him from wanting to kill himself. My father did tell him why he was fixing to jump off the cliff, despite the fact that he felt like he was being whiny. In the child-friendly version of this story, my father would omit this part of the story completely, but since I know it now, I will include it. It adds another layer to the story, I feel.

The words poured out of my father in quick succession. “My wife is too good for me. I have a dead end job. I feel like I lost my talent for writing years ago. I blame myself for my father’s death. I can’t-“ Douglas interrupted my father who was flailing.

“Okay, okay. Let’s go through everything, one at a time, and see if we can’t work this out. I know you probably have a lot to say so we should probably start discussing.” This was the third time my father was surprised by Douglas, and certainly not the last time. They began to talk and talked away the better part of the afternoon. It wasn’t completely one-sided with Douglas contributing with his own life experiences like any good artist. Douglas gave my father a sense of security that only comes when people share life experiences- there’s something about conversing with a stranger that allows a person to open up more than if they knew each other, which I’ve always found strange but somewhat comforting. My father felt as though his struggle was not one that had to be faced alone, and this was invaluable.

After talking about their lives and problems, the two began to talk about life and its problems. This is where my father would jump to after the two actually met. My father would tell me something different at this point every time. One time the conversation was about how cooking was a metaphor for life, another conversation was about books that the two liked that weren’t Douglas Coupland’s. But my favourite conversation, at least as I grew older, was their conversation about God, and that’s the one I will recount here.

“Well, Mike, we’re around the same age, and so I want to ask you something: Do you believe in God?” Douglas looked at my father intensely, making him feel like he couldn’t lie. My father replied that he did not, and followed one wave from the horizon to the rocks below. In his periphery he saw Douglas nodding.

“What about you?” My father asked, trying not to seem rude. Douglas clearly had an opinion and my father was actually interested in what he had to say.

“It’s curious. I feel as though our generation is the first generation to truly live without God and yet the generation that needs God the most. We have no great war- at least, not one worth fighting- and in our country we have no major natural disasters like in other countries. How can we be expected to believe in God when God seems like a convention of the simple minded? Perhaps, though,” Douglas posited, picking up little rocks from the ground and launching them into the sea, “you wouldn’t be trying to kill yourself if you believed in God. Suicide is a deadly sin in Christianity, of course, but also because you may be more secure with yourself and have a larger community to rely on, not just strangers in forests. Have you tried therapy?” He stopped launching rocks as he ran out of rocks in his general vicinity.

My father took in what he was saying, but decided to answer the question before proceeding with the conversation. “I tried therapy, but I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I suppose I just couldn’t open up. It was also after a… spectacular, if I can use that word, incident in which I had to do therapy, so… I guess I wasn’t really into it from the beginning. No one wants to do things people make them do, right?” My father said this as he watched the ripples in the water dissipate around the spots where Douglas had thrown rocks.

“You probably had a bad shrink; they aren’t all aces. I had a friend whose therapist she would refer to by his first name because he made her feel as though she shouldn’t be ashamed to go to therapy,” it was at this point that my father watched Douglas Coupland dig into his jacket pocket and pull out a joint as well as a match, which he lit against a rock and sparked his joint. “Puff puff, pass, man,” Douglas warned, exhaling. Needless to say I only learned about the marijuana smoking later. Douglas passed the marijuana to my father, who hadn’t smoked for several years, who proceeded to badly inhale which elicited a coughing fit. Douglas just put on a small smile.

“We would all be better off with God, or with some sort of belief in God, and yet there is extreme difficulty and pain, I would say, in such a belief. Imagine what God’s existence would signify- namely a loss of control, even if destiny and God are not mutually inclusive,” my father passed back the joint and as Douglas inhaled he chimed in “which is odd, considering we as a generation tend to outsource our production.” Douglas nodded and held onto the joint for a minute, letting it burn in his hand. “God makes it impossible to really make any mistakes. I knew a guy- actually, the girl who had a great therapist’s boyfriend- who adamantly objected to Christian teaching because it allowed for anyone to enter heaven as long as they were repentant, and some people, he would say, probably didn’t deserve forgiveness. Child rapists, war lords, et al. But to really answer your question, I don’t necessarily believe in God, but there is a certain philosophy that I appreciate and in some ways adhere to.”

Whenever I think of my life and God’s place in it I think of this same philosophy. It is actually a wager proposed by Blaise Pascal, a prominent mathematician from the 17th century. I did research on this wager after my father told me about it and I was old enough to use a computer, which made me very prepared for the philosophy course I took this year. The wager is divided into four parts, and can be found anywhere on the internet, but I will include it here for some measure of continuity and to simplify it in a way.

 

Option 1: God exists; you live as if God exists. You win the ultimate prize- that is, going to heaven.

Option 2: God exists; you live as if God does not exist. You lose- you go to Hell, or whatever you believe the negative afterlife is.

Option 3: God does not exist; you live as if God exists. No harm, no foul. You, presumably, lived your life as a good person, so you benefit from that.

Option 4: God does not exist; you live as if God does not exist. Again, no harm, no foul, because there is no negative to your afterlife.

This wager is interesting because it yields no right answers. What I feel is the ideal is to live as though God does exist- that is, be a good person- and perhaps you will benefit later. If you do not benefit in the end, then you probably encountered some sort of good karma that benefitted you in your life; but then again, perhaps not. Either way, bad choices can be made up for more often than not, by which I mean that I believe karma does exist. My father believed that good yields good, and he passed his belief onto me; we are usually very critical of our parents’ beliefs, no matter how much we love them, and I continue to examine this belief and find little to no fault in it. Cause and effect, as it were.

After this conversation, and before, the two talked of many other things that my father only remembered in increments. Whatever he remembered I eventually learned, but, as I said, there are only tidbits of information remaining. The phrases and short dialogues he remembered were always fascinating to me, and I loved hearing the story for the prospect of hearing new words of wisdom. But I digress in order to explain how I met Douglas Coupland.

The two had finished smoking their joint and inhaled, in the literal and exaggerated sense of the word, several cigarettes, presumably to cover up the smell. They watched the waves for a few minutes before Douglas turned to my father and said this:

“I have a plan, Mike. I’m going to refer you to my therapist, who just happens to be covered by our province’s wonderful healthcare system,” my father always quoted him a way that can only be described as ‘snarky’. “I really think you should go see him. He’s great- Bruce. Quite a nice guy. But there is another thing that I think would be quite an interesting undertaking for the two of us.” My father’s first thought, he never told me but told others, was, ‘is Douglas Coupland gay? Because I’m totally okay with that, but it seems very off brand’, and his second thought was ‘Jesus Christ, when was the last time I smoked this much? I should lie the fuck down’. But instead of speaking either of these thoughts aloud he simply said, “What?” and then Douglas began to suggest something my father definitely was not expecting.

“I’m going to call you every week, same Bat time, same Bat channel, whatever we decide is the best, and you’re going to tell me everything. I feel very invested in your future, Mike, and I want to make sure you don’t kill yourself. You can tell me anything- what you did that day, or that same day ten years ago; where you were when Elvis died, what your childhood was like. I want to know everything. I want your life story- I know it sounds sort of “sell me your soul”-ish, but really I kind of have a bit of writer’s block, you know? It’s always good to have extra inspiration. Also it will probably be therapeutic for you- probably.” Never the one to miss an opportunity, Coupland probably saw this as a chance to write a real life story and somewhat embellish it while maintaining the, well, reality of it. My father, after thinking about it for a minute, agreed to it, unable to say no. Though at face-value it seemed as though Douglas only wanted to make money off of my father’s life story, my father sensed that there was more to this than it seemed. The two continued to talk until about 3 am, when they parted ways. They decided that Douglas would call my father at 6 pm every Tuesday, the two exchanging numbers. Although my father did not think Douglas would call him every week, he knew he was better for believing that someone cared enough to do so.

I suppose the first time I met Douglas, then, was on my 6th birthday. I know I had met him at least a dozen times before, but that’s my earliest memory of him. He told me I could call him Doug or Dougie, whatever my mouth could formulate, until I was 12, because after that it would have to be Douglas. But, my six-year-old mouth couldn’t properly articulate Doug or Dougie, so for about six years I called him ‘Doggie’ or ‘Dog’, but he never seemed to mind until I turned 12 and tried to call him Doggie as a joke. My father and he talked every Tuesday for about 20 years, but there was never explicitly a book made. My mother feels as though the book All Families are Psychotic is loosely based off my father’s life- loosely, very loosely. If you have read the book, maybe you understand why my father was depressed and drank. After I was born, three years into their talks, my father beat his depression and finished his college degree that he initially started, making him a Certified Public Accountant. There are pictures on the walls of my home of his graduation, and me as a little baby in my mother’s arms. I think I was proud of him, even then. My father always had a penchant for math, and though Douglas offered to refer him to some of his friends, my father always refused, preferring not to get mixed up in the seedy underbelly of West Coast writers; Douglas maintained that writers usually got paid under the table anyway.

My father’s story is a pretty sensational one. I used to question its validity until I was old enough to realise that he really was talking to someone on the phone every Tuesday. He is someone I really admire because of all he has accomplished and overcome, and it is difficult to imagine my father as the depressed and heartbroken man he was before I was born. I suppose part of that is because of Douglas, but most of it has to do with my father, who is, in a word, my hero. Maybe Douglas came into my father’s life at the right time, the perfect moment in between death and life when my father realized he could either fish or cut bait, as some people say. I used to think that Douglas saved my father’s life, but I’m not so sure anymore. Maybe he just reminded my father that there is more than one reason to live, and more than one reason to die, but dwelling on the reasons only wastes time. Douglas always told me to end an essay with a good quote, but my parents always agreed that was played out-here’s a quote, anyway, said by famous thespian Orson Welles: “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

Fin

following is a note written by the author of the essay to his teacher. 

Dear Ms. Volchuck

I first want to apologize for not being in class. I sincerely enjoy Writer’s Craft and it is one of the classes I’ve missed the most in my time away from school. I am sure that Mrs. Callum has explained my situation to you, but I just briefly wanted to explain exactly why I haven’t been in class and was unable to write the intended final paper.

As you may have discerned from reading this essay, my father drank for more than half of his life, and last August he contracted liver cancer. It wasn’t just the drinking, but it didn’t help, of course. Although chemotherapy was helping for a while, two months ago it stopped making a difference, and my father took a turn for the worse. The week he died he was in a coma, but the week before that, with the seemingly large amount of clarity only the dying have, he told us that we should take away his life support if he was comatose for any longer than four days. We fought him on it, but in vain, because he was a stubborn man and refused to change his mind. That was the single most difficult day of my life, and I am currently in therapy trying to cope with his death.

Mrs. Callum told me that when she asked you what I should write about, you said to write about the most pivotal moment in my life. Writing about my father’s death would not only have been too difficult at this time, but I also do not know what kind of effect it will really have on me. But this story, about my father meeting Douglas Coupland- maybe you can understand why I consider that story more important to my personal narrative than something that happened in my own life time. Without this story, I probably wouldn’t be who I am today, and my father wouldn’t have been who he was. Death is usually the turning point in a story, as I’ve learned in your class, but this wasn’t necessarily my denouement.

My father taught me that anything can be overcome, whether it is a difficult piece in band or depression. I appreciate everything he taught me. He was an amazing father, and did the best he could. We didn’t see eye to eye every moment we had together, and it is only now I realise that I should have listened more and talked less, but it doesn’t matter now. Before he died, we got to have a talk about our past and my future. I loved my father, and his loss is felt.

The best metaphor I can find for life is that it is like a cigarette. It burns slowly when you’re letting it sit, but when you’re actually enjoying it, it burns so quickly. I don’t smoke, of course, I’m only 17, but I think the point is clear. Time flies.

Thank you, again, for the opportunity to make up the final project. I hope you enjoy this essay, Ms. Volchuck.

Sincerely,

James Michael Turner

P.S. Douglas actually recorded everything my father told him during their phone calls and compiled the stories into a book for me. Memories are fallible, of course, but recorders help. This story was included in the anthology and was what I used as a source, for the most part. I know I’m supposed to source my work, but I didn’t know if the anthology was an interview or just a book- it was all very informal. I hope this is enough.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Jared Leto’s Joker Photo is Not That Bad

I am, admittedly, a Batman purist. I for the most part boycotted Nolan’s films, not enjoying the trailers- but I did watch The Dark Knight because of my deep, deep, deep love for the Joker.

As a kid, my dad was very much into the Batman animated series, which means I was very much into the Batman animated series (Bruce Timm, thanks). That series is amazing- the animation and character development is perfect. Actually, if you look at it, it is seriously fantastic, being a perfect amalgam of funny and serious and cartoon-y. If you didn’t know, Mark Hamill does the voice of the Joker in the cartoon (Luke Skywalker, yes) and it is phenomenal; his voice is maniacal and distressing and emotes perfectly how insane the Joker is. And the colours- the classic green and purple. Jack Nicholson was the real Joker, and Mark Hamill was the cartoon Joker, and that’s just how it was.

Here’s the photo in case you haven’t seen it:

Embedded image permalink

Now, let’s make this into list format!!!

5. The Tattoos

These seem to be everyone’s biggest complaints on the internet. Mostly, everyone seems to feel like the ‘Ha Ha Ha’ tatts are lame, and the ‘damaged’ tattoo is too contrived. Okay, yes, the ‘damaged’ on the forehead is pretty lame; but I would love to see a one-shot where Harley is sitting on his lap and giving him that tattoo, with blood dripping down his face, and Harley being reluctant to do so because she doesn’t want to hurt him. The ‘ha’s are a little easier to defend; they are so uneven it makes me think he might have done them himself, but then they would probably be the opposite way, right? Yeah, probably. So maybe they’re not all great.
But those tattoos aside, the smile tattoo on his arm and the one that seems similar on his hand is actually pretty sweet. The idea that he’s always smiling somehow is pretty cool, in my opinion. They have the same colouration as his own smile, and I enjoy that kind of consistency. They actual Joker tattoo and the cards actually make sense as far as tattoos go- like, if you called yourself, like, Sailor Moon, you might have a moon tattoo on your forehead…

  I’m an asshole, I know.

I see those tattoos like my own- I have a quote from a children’s book I love on my ankle, and I’m actually getting a moon on my chest next year. He calls himself the Joker, so of course he’d get tattoos reminiscent of that.

So maybe the tattoos aren’t so bad? Some of them? I mean, he definitely won’t be shirtless the whole film, so you’ll be able to dismiss at least some of them.

4. Colouration

Again, I am a purist- I really liked Heath Ledger as the Joker, despite the fact that he did not fall into a vat of acid; he was not really the pale and vibrant Joker that I know. That being said, I am excited to see that for Suicide Squad they’re sticking to the original colour scheme. Maybe he didn’t fall into a vat of acid, but there’s a purple glove, green hair, and pale skin. Awesome. I wonder if we’ll see some orange like the animated series, too.

Also, notice the makeup around the eyes. Not only does he not have eyebrows, but look at how vein-y and scarred he looks. It’s cool to see that they really did try to take it back to the old style. Coupled with the insane pose, it really does remind me of Mark Hamill. Anyone who loves the Joker should be happy to see that the colours are the same.

3. But think about this photo for a second

So, let’s look at the actual tweet here:

tweet

“kind of small, I know. It’s not that important, baby, size doesn’t matter right?”

Okay, so here’s the caption:

“The Suicide Squad wishes you a Happy Anniversary Mr. J!

So, this photo is probably just a promotional photo. This movie comes out over a year from now, and I would not be surprised if this was a brilliant attempt to workshop the character’s look a little more. Adding up filming and post, it will probably take less than a year to shoot the film (it doesn’t seem to have the same scale as Man of Steel, which took almost two years to finish), and even if they started shooting tomorrow, there would probably still be time to change some of the costuming if they really wanted to.

Also, it was the 75th anniversary of the Joker on the 25th, making it seem as though this was a photo specifically for the anniversary. It’s clearly not a shot from the film, and almost too reminiscent of The Killing Joke to be from the film. It’s on a white background, it can’t seriously be from the film (I’m talking to you David Ayer). Although there is another picture that is meant to remind observers of The Killing Joke, but holy fuck, there’s at least 20 years worth of Suicide Squad material, why would they make Killing Joke into a movie and call it Suicide Squad? I mean, Warner Brothers is not known for being super aware, but they can’t be that dumb. My vote is that all the references are meant as a homage rather than the actual interpretation.

2. What You Should Actually Be Worried About

Seriously, as a comic book fan, or even just a fan of the Joker/Bats, there’s a bigger problem going into this film than the costuming:

The fucking origin stories.

Don’t tell me you’re absolutely sure what they’re going to do with the storyline. If you are, please, for the love of God send me a link so I can stop worrying. The way Nolan et al did the Heath Ledger origin was brilliant, absolutely fantastic, but that doesn’t work for every story. They’re clearly trying to make this Joker into something that resembles the original drawings, making it seem as though they would do the vat of acid origin. But, then again, this photo, though we can’t assure its presence in the film, clearly indicates a more modern interpretation of this iconic character. So, the way I see it, there are three options:

  1. They’re going to do the acid story, and it won’t work with the story;
  2. They’ll do something different and fanpeople will hate it;
  3. We’ll only get implications of the story and we won’t know for sure, but hopefully it won’t be the same as Nolan’s.

The last one is the only option that actually seems okay. I don’t know how well the acid origin will work with a modern take, considering audiences are smarter than they were in 1989 and 1951. Hopefully they’ll throw some Red Hood in there just for fun, but I’m doubting it. They’ll probably just imply an origin, or not mention it at all, expecting audiences to know. Which, wouldn’t be bad considering no one wants a film with an hour or even a half hour of origin, especially for a character this well known. This is a far bigger problem, but because all we can see right now is this costume, no one wants to discuss what the actual problems may be with this film. I will admit that the costuming is really important, but a bad or good costume can be overlooked by good writing and good directing. David Ayer isn’t so bad; he seems to specialize in Hollywood films, ie, The Fast and the Furious and Training Day, making me anxious about how this will turn out. His films average roughly a 7 rating on IMDb, which is about as much as Man of Steel. So, what can we expect? Someone hurry and leak the screenplay!

On another note- you should be worried about his voice. Mark Hamill does the best rendition, and after all the bitching on the internet over Christian Bale’s Batman voice, why is this not more of a problem? There needs to be a maniacal undertone to the vocalization, and I’m really worried that it’s not going to be up to snuff. Don’t let me down Jared.

1. What This Whole Thing Really Means

So, this is the first photo we’re getting of a beloved, complex, and overall fantastic character. This may seem painfully optimistic, but honestly, I’m excited. To go into this film with expectations is a mistake, and you should know better, superhero film fan.

This film means the beginning of, hopefully, a new era for DC films. Listen: The Dark Knight was an anomaly, hardly indicative of the over 500 issues of Batman out there right now, especially from the Silver or Gold ages. I’m not saying it was bad, but it was a one-off, in a similar way that Killing Joke is a one-off. People who liked TDK et al shouldn’t expect Warner Bros to recreate the same magic. So, maybe this film marks the beginning of a new age. Hopefully we’ll start to see films that are, like Man of Steel indicative of the type of society we would be if Superman or Batman or the Joker existed. Dear God, could you imagine if in the next few years DC actually posed Marvel some competition at the box office? There’s a reason why people love the Marvel universe and dismiss DC’s- Marvel films are made by fans, and DC’s are made by businessmen.

The moral of this article is stop bitching about this photo, because it probably won’t be in the film. Jared Leto will probably look quite different when he’s wearing clothes, 1, and 2, actually on a set. I have faith in this film, and I promise I’ll post a review as soon as I get to see it- not like I’ll be seeing it before August 2016. The Joker is my favourite comic book villain, and seeing him get a movie to himself makes me happy no matter what. There’s no way the average internet fanperson knows the more important aspects of this film, like the story or the other characters appearing- and if you or someone you know does, I can’t stress how badly I want a link, please!

Let me know what you think about this photo in the comments below. 

And if you’re going to shit all over this article without any reasoning, think twice. You won’t feel better, I promise. 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cool Photo Post Day!

image

My cool photo post for today comes from the amazing Tapas Easwar! Check out his other photos here. He called this photo ‘with roots above, and branches below‘ after an album by the band The Devil Wears Prada. Apparently, that was the first thing that came to mind after he took the photo. He’s a really amazing person, and he takes amazing photos, too. What more could you ask for?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Room, Magically Transformed

This is amazing, and totally serves as a make-up for not posting a cool photo last week!

Flavorwire

Korean artist Jee Young Lee eschews Photoshop. Through painstaking attention to detail, she transforms her tiny 3.6 x 4.1 x 2.4-meter studio into surreal, fantastical settings. The sometimes-unsettling scenes from Body of Work take inspiration from Korean fairy tales and Lee’s personal life, ranging from a literal interpretation of a common Korean expression to an industrial take on her neighborhood in Seoul. But her work, which we spotted on BOOOOOOOM!, still seems a little unbelievable, even when you know she’s spent weeks or months on each set. The results are breathtaking.

View original post 27 more words

“For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are.”
Lloyd AlexanderThe Castle of Llyr

This quote is from the book, The Castle of Llyr and said by Dallben, the kindly old wizard (as is implied by the books) who the main protagonist of the series (the Chronicles of Prydain) lives with. This is one of my favourite quotes ever, and I’m going to get it tattooed on me sometime soon.

Taran and the Princess Eilonwy in the 1984 Disney Feature, The Black Cauldron

This quote, to me, means that we have to overcome whatever we face. This quote is spoken to Taran, the main protagonist, who is an Assistant Pig-Keeper. When Dallben says this to Taran in the book, he is reminding Taran that even though he is but an Assistant Pig-Keeper, he has the ability to be more than that. Dallben is also saying that just because one is labelled as one thing, that should not limit the abilities one has. Taran has so much potential, and Dallben sees that, but Taran doesn’t.

If I’m not wrong, this quote is said near the middle of the book, or near the end. I could be completely wrong. But what I’m getting at is that in the next book, Taran Wanderer, Taran goes off in search for his father, or his family, but mostly himself. He encounters some difficult situations, and thinks he has found his father at one point, but his dreams are dashed. He learns a valuable lesson at that point- that just because he is fatherless, does not mean he is witless or anything less than anyone else.

Taran, I think, is my favourite literary character. I’ve read a lot of books, and he is still my favourite. I think there’s something intensely noble, loyal, childish and mature about him. Maybe I see a lot of myself in Taran- in the way he starts off the series being so sure, bordering on foolhardy, and how at the end, he becomes a great leader, willing to listen and learn from others. I just hope my story ends off as well as his does.

Here’s a picture from the internet of the poster I bought this summer; it was one of the official ones given to a Toronto movie theatre to post when the movie was in theatres!

The Black Cauldron

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Update-ing

Hey, readers.
So, as many of you wont know, it was my birthday last week. March 14th- Pi(e) Day, as some people call it. I like being born on a memorable day. And I also like being born close to St. Patrick’s Day- two birds, one stone.
So, I got a tattoo. I mean, even that as an act of rebellion is becoming so popularized I probably just did it because I felt like it. I got a quote that I’ve mentioned before on this blog, here. I even said that I would get it tattooed some time soon on that post- funny, huh? Anyway, I actually have a funny coincidence that I’d like to share with all of you who may read this.

I got my tattoo on the 17th of March, commonly known as St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a day when people drink green beer and pretend they’re Irish.

The quote I got, in case you didn’t read my other post, is “For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are.” from the book The Castle of Llyr from the series the Chronicles of Prydain (read the article for the links to those, har-har). The quote was said by Dallben, who is the kindly old wizard in the book series, and also the protector of Hen Wen, an oracular pig, owned by one of the other inhabitants of Caer Dallben, Coll. Taran is an Assistant Pig-Keeper, and Dallben is, as implied by the story, Head Pig Keeper.

I was in religion class, and my teacher is a Deacon. A Deacon, boys and girls, is similar to a priest, only one can be married etc. I asked my Deacon-Religion teacher if we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because St. Patrick ran all of the Pagans out of Ireland and all the Pagans wore dreadlocks and that’s why they called them snakes (someone told me, I was wondering if it was true, shut up), and he proceeded to read us what the church says about St. Patrick. Apparently, he was sold into the slave trade, and made a swineherd.

Well, colour me green and cover me in feathers.

Turns out I got a quote said by a pig keeper on the feast day of a former swineherd.

Ain’t life just grand?

Tagged , , , , ,

02.18.13

Currently, things are going rather sadly.
On Saturday night I played a show during a snow storm. It was an interesting experience, really. It kind of showed me a lot of things.
Firstly, I got there at 6, despite the ridiculous amounts of snow. I was there before the promoter and the tech, because sound check is always at 6 and I like being on time. I got there, and I only did my soundcheck at 8 o’clock, a half hour before I went on. Why? Because bands take precedence over people who get there first. I became cynical about that night from that point forward and perhaps that’s why my performance wasn’t on par with what I feel it should have been. It took me maybe four to six minutes (maybe ten, tops) to do my soundcheck. But, of course, I still didn’t soundcheck for two hours after I got there. On time. Then, when I go on to play, one of the other bands who was there were talking during my whole set. It wasn’t as if I couldn’t hear them while I performed- they were obvious. And that aggravated me to no end, because when I talk during a set, the band is never just an acoustic- they are loud and definitely not paying attention to me. But even then, I try to keep my talking to a minimum because it is rude to just talk and talk and talk while someone is expressing themselves- expressing their deepest feelings and putting them out there for all to see, because, make no mistake, that is exactly what musicians do. Good musicians anyway. Anyone whose written a song before knows how difficult it is put a feeling into words, make it sound good, and then give it to people to listen to and… and they talk. They don’t listen to you. It’s like screaming and having no one hear. I’m an acoustic act, I don’t play loudly because it’s virtually impossible to play as loudly as a band when you’re one person. The band that played after the band that was talking during my set… they didn’t even mention me. They mentioned the band who played after me, even said that they should do something together, but it was like I didn’t exist. It was like I wasn’t even there- like I hadn’t been the one who was there on time and ready to play all the songs I knew just to give people a show.
Don’t think lowly of me, dear reader. I’m not a spoiled brat who gets angry whenever people don’t listen to her. I’m used to people talking during my set. I usually do not give a damn, at all. But it’s never bands- never musicians. They always stay quiet, because the people you’re watching might do something you never thought to do. Maybe this is karma- maybe the time I made fun of that one lead singer really fucked me this time, or maybe it was a culmination of all the shitty things I’ve done in the last while- but I’ve never felt this dejected in my whole life.
I was offered to do a show on April 6th, and I’m very close to turning it down. I know this is one of those points in life that I’ll need to make a decision, and this will dictate how I feel for the rest of my life when it comes to performing. Maybe I’ll be offered another show after this one, but that’s not the point. I know that if I turn this show down, it’ll never be the same. I know I’ll never play the same, write the same or be the same. I know that the career I’ve always hoped for in music, way deep down, is dependent on my doing this show. But I just can’t bring myself to say yes yet.
I feel as though anything I write, for the rest of my life, will not be good enough. Malcolm Gladwell said in his book Outliers that to be really really good at something, you need to practice that specific thing for at least 10,000 hours. How do I ever expect to do something for 10,000 hours, number one, and how do I just assume that 10,000 hours will be what I need to be fantastic? I can’t just expect that to be the answer. I’ve written songs that I love, that I want people to like and sing along to and connect my feelings to their own. I want so badly for people to hear my music and love it. I don’t know if that can ever happen if I can’t hold ten people’s attention for a half hour.
Sometimes, I watch Neil Gaiman’s address to the graduating class of an art university from last year, and it makes me cry because I feel as though I’ll never get there. I’ve read a comic by one of my favourite people in the world, Gavin, where he takes a quote by Ira Glass and illustrates it, and it makes so much sense to me. Sometimes I read it and I get it, you know, and it makes me feel good. But I can’t take either of those two things seriously. They’re not inspiring me, today.
I hate having to write this. I hate having to write down how I feel to feel better, but I guess I just have to do this if it helps. But I just can’t understand why this is happening, or how I can get better- how I can not care about what other people think.
I don’t want pity, reader. I don’t want comments saying, ‘it’s okay, you’re fantastic, don’t worry!’ I don’t want anything. I just want people who are feeling this way to read this and say to themselves, ‘this is normal, then? these feelings of inadequacy, where nothing I ever do will be good enough, they’re okay, I’m not alone, then?’ that’s what I want. Because that’s all I ever wanted. To know that on this pale blue dot, someone else understands perfectly how I feel.
That’s all, reader. I know that I have to do this show. I know that I’m going to. But it’s so hard to bring myself to do it. If you’re feeling this way, too, watch the address, read some Zen Pencils and try not to cry yourself to sleep. That’s the only advice I can give.
Thanks, reader. See you later.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27.01.12

Life is medium right now, friends. And I’ll tell you why.
The good and the bad are about the same right now, so therefore life is medium.
What is this ‘good and bad’ you speak of, you may ask. Well, okay here goes.

The Good

1) I’ve been invited to play with a band! I’m excited because they’re great people, and they’re great musicians. I’ve always wanted to play with a band, but I never have, so it’ll be an interesting experience to play with a fuller sound. We’re getting together a couple weeks from now to try some stuff.
2) I’ve realised that I have about 17 songs in my repertoire right now- some of which I still need to finish. It’s nice to know that I have something to do, and I have music that I can work on. You know?
3) In February, I have a  Semi-Formal to go to. I love my dress, my shoes are beautiful, and I’m bringing a fantastic friend with me, as well as being with fantastic friends.
4a) My birthday is in March, and as well as getting a prom dress for, well, prom, I’m getting my first tattoo on my birthday. It means a lot to me, and I’m so happy that I’ve been lucky enough to have my mom on board with it.
4b) Also in March, there’s a Gala that I’m attending, which is the bomb. I’m excited for that.
5) I have a show in February, and apparently a magazine is coming and they’re going to be doing an interview with all of the bands playing. It’ll be super cool to do that because I love spewing random information about myself!

The Bad
1) Exams. They’re this week. I’m kind of studying, but I’m also not really studying because, for some reason, I hate studying. But I’m really trying. Also, there’s a ton of pressure on me to do well, because of my family and my future.
2) University PSEs and Supplementary, as well as Acceptance letters. I’ve got a PSE to submit by mid February, and I’m totally nervous about it.

Some would say the bad does not outweigh the good, but I’m not so sure- these exams and PSEs will dictate the rest of my life. Damn.

Sorry for the unnecessary post! 🙂

Thanks for reading. 🙂

//

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18/1/13

I’m writing this post from school. I’m on my lunch hanging out in our school’s student council’s office/classroom, and listening to Los Campesinos! with my friends. This is empowering. I’ll be posting a tutorial soon on how to make shoes sparkle-y. I won’t be doing that often because most of my craft activities I get from other websites; but if everything goes right, these shoes will have removable sparkle sections. Strange, right? No clue what I mean? It’s okay, you will.
Another update: I’m thinking of making a page in conjunction to my article, My Three Bs, called My Three As. This article would include my three favourite bands/artists who begin with the letter A. Not sure if I should do this, but I might.
My exams are coming up. Also coming up, my school’s semi-formal. I’m starting to feel old, realising that I’ll be graduating soon. To leave high school is a strange thought to me. You get so much more time to build up to the transition into high school, but barely any time to build up the transition into University. I have supplementaries due that can only be 90 characters, and 300 word essays to write. Not to mention applying for scholarships. I wrote a piece earlier called University Applications and Sailor Moon, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I wish I could just apply and wait for acceptance instead of putting my whole high school experience on paper, virtual or otherwise.
So, that’s everything I’m going through now. It’s a little daunting, so if you have any advice, that’d be great. 🙂

Thanks for reading. You’re fantastic.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Twitter

Sometimes, well, usually, I forget that my tweets also go to this blog, and I wonder if people think I’m some weirdo because they only see half the conversation. Also, it’s funny because I tweet about some of the random-est things, like Stargate: Atlantis episodes being on Space. My sincerest apologies.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,