It was pointed out to me recently that in the sunlight of the #metoo campaign that has been sweeping the world in recent months (whether intended or just accidentally misinterpreted) the lyrics of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” come across as more than a little old fashioned and a bit casual about implied assault.
I can finally read all the reviews. I’ve been carefully avoiding too many spoilers for the last couple weeks waiting for a chance to check out the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
On a whim we cashed in my points and picked up a trio of tickets for a show earlier this evening. Now, I’m stuffed full of popcorn and crashed on the couch re-watching Episode IV because, with a skeptical nine-year-old as a date we had to come home and immediately prove that whatever the heck she just watched was a direct prequel to that nearly-forty-year-old flick I’ve watched more times than I can count… but to her is just another one of dad’s weird movies.
As for Rogue One, I’ll leave it at that because any review I write will just be a rehash of a thousand that probably already exist, or completely pointless as I try to avoid spoiling it for the two of you who haven’t seen it yet.
This past weekend, when my mother-in-law invited us to drive down to Red Deer for dinner and then to go check out Star Wars I kinda assumed we’d be going to the theatre to see the recently released Rouge One. Instead, I found myself driven out to the countryside to stand in the dark and cold looking at ice sculptures of various Star Wars characters.
And they didn’t even have any apple cider left!
Actually, I’m kidding. We drove south to pay our respects to the mother-in-law for her recent birthday, spend most of the afternoon fixing their woefully borked computer, and then after supper, just before hitting the highway back to home, swinging by the (actually pretty well done) annual ice display at Parkland Garden Center just east of the city.
The part about the apple cider is true tho.
I gave Claire a peek behind the curtain of the geek culture in which she has been dabbling — nay, immersing herself — lately.
It’s no secret that the girl is big-time into gaming. She’s virtually an expert in Minecraft, can name at least fifty Pokemon by sight, and has become a devotee of the laundry list of YouTubers whom she follows with religious-like devotion through the television screen.
She’s a blossoming geek, to be sure. (Much to her dad’s delight!) So I rolled up my sleeves and did the necessary dad-duty, and took her to a nerd convention over the weekend.
Animethon 23 was hosted in town at a local college campus, thousands of cos-playing animation and video game fans descending upon the downtown core to buy, sell, parade, pose and share their love of anime-inspired art.
We were lined up to register and some guy approached me, asked if we were going to buy tickets, and then handed me his pass. No, he didn’t steal it: he was done. No, he didn’t want any money for it: just show your kid some cool stuff. Free entry! Well… free-ish. I was a little more generous than I might have been when we hit the vendor stalls because I hadn’t actually paid the admission price. By the end of our adventure Claire had scored some Pokemon merch, and we bought a couple Miyazaki-film-inspired art prints from a local artist. It all came out in the wash, I suppose.
Over the four hours Claire ogled the hoards of fantastic costumes. She thumbed through racks of toys and be-logoed clothing. She pointed and pawed. She admired rows of artists selling their work. She struggled to pick a single thing to buy from the hundreds that she wanted. She got into her geeky groove… and it was pretty cool.
Photo of the Day Theme
A saturated symmetrical photo of a toy.
Ok, I admit. These photos are getting a little weird.
Rate this Photo
But I mean, c’mon! A saturated symmetrical photo of a toy? Really? In that vein I think I got pretty darn close… though Claire was quick to point all the bits and pieces on my LEGO model that didn’t fit her strict definition of symmetry.
I was actually more interested in playing with the shadow. It was a little complex, if only because the light source I had at my disposal was a little harsh for this purpose. I needed a direct, bright light to create the shadow, but the LEGO bits are high gloss and tricky under those conditions.
It’s a small thing, but realizing Claire has watched The Force Awakens THREE times since Tuesday all at once amazed & concerned me… and also made me one proud papa.
I feel like I need to mention that one of the (very few) positive side effects of being mildly (but not quite destructively) sick for most of January was that it gave me an excuse to sit prone in front of the television most evenings (all in the name of cooperating with the mucous-based intelligence that had taken over 47% of my cranium). As a result, I was able to find the many, many, many hours necessary to finish binge-watching all nine seasons of The Office, front to back, fully and completely, concluding last night with the finale. There is something to be said about enjoying a show over the span of nine years, letting it quietly become part of the background noise of your life, growing and changing with characters and watching their story play out in a believable timeframe. There is also something to be said about watching (about) 75 hours of that same show compressed into the timeframe of about 7 weeks and let those same characters become your only source of passive entertainment, filling your mind, heart, and dreams, and causing you to view the world through their perspective. Whatever can be said about that is probably not very positive, though. Now, can anyone recommend a good detox program(me)?
A lot of people have been posting Star Wars speculation in anticipation of the upcoming new movie: I should really just stay off YouTube for a couple weeks.
After eight decades, apparently the Happy Birthday song is now in the public domain. It’s only a coincidence that this happened on Claire’s birthday. Really.
Oh, look… June! And there was something I was forgetting… ah, right: those thirty posts I write every year in June. That again. For the fifth year in a row I’m back to a month of daily blogging: each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be about something that I’ve:
Call it getting older, or whatever, but there was something that resonated with me in that recent so-called scandal that erupted over some comments made by actor Simon Pegg recently about the dumbing down of culture.
In an interview that was published a couple weeks ago he was quoted as saying “Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilised by our own taste.”
Which of course made the internet explode for a few hours. Nerd rage. Love it. Hate it. Just don’t try to explain it.
But you know what? I kinda have to agree with Pegg. And in a well-written blog post Pegg fleshes out a neatly reasoned article about how our unquenchable group thirst for the rejuvination of the shiny objects of our pop-culture childhood has made art into a kind of late-80s-style glowing smear of dumb.
Yet after a while, as guilty as I am as the rest of us of clawing to recapture those long lost moments of my life, I’ve started to hear the hollow echo of it all a little bit more clearly. It’s the culture equivalent of a bag of Doritos: and I’ve pretty much given up eating that crap, too.
I’m a fan and I’ll long be one. And for the record, only a true fan would call out the drivel and decline of something he loved. So, I don’t find Pegg’s commentary pretentious: it is call for a maturing of taste at a buffet filled with little more than doughnuts and gummy bears. It’s a loss of that youthyness, and a seeking of something richer and more filling.
I’ll keep looking. I’ll tell you if I find it.