Consuming content so you don't have too...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Yesterday, April 20th, marked the ten year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton Colorado. I had just turned nine years old when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdedered twelve students and a teacher, and truth be told it barely even registered with me. All I remember is every adult influence in my life shaking their heads and wondering where the kids went wrong. Every once and a while Columbine was mentioned in school, always as a cautionary example of why alienation of peers breeds homicidal hatred. It was in my senior year when an essay on the shooting manifested itself into obsession. Perhaps it was the cookie cutter suburbs eerily reminescent of my own, or the paralells between my school and theirs but the events at Columbine struck a cord deep within. The more I learnt about the shooting the more the event resonated with me. I devoured every possible detail; the town history, the shooter's IM logs, journal entries, and even school projects. Every time I was closing in on a definative motive a new piece of evidence called my entire theory into question.
Most will recall that every media outlet imagineable was flush with theories and explanations about the shooting. Whether it was bullying, rock and roll, or the media everyone got pulled into the witch hunt. Parent's across the continent found themselves under a giant magnifying glass. "But that's ok though right? I mean the kids were nazi's, goths, outcasts, my kids arent like that. They wouldn't do that right?"

Very early on I learnt that to even catch a glimpse of what really happened I would have to disregard almost everything CNN spoon fed the nation. The kid's weren't goth's, neo-Nazi's or a member of the media wrought "Trench coat mafia." In fact after month's of research the one thing I did learn is that there are no easy answers. Eric dated girls and got good marks, Dylan was seen as kind and painfully shy. At time's Eric struck me as a man hemmoraging anger and hate from every pore of his body, but there were moments where I caught a glimpse of a thoughtful intelligent young man. Of course Dylan too harbored his share of resentment towards the world, but reading his thoughts and poems about love and lonliness doesn't exactly mesh with his media persona. Do not misconstrue this as me sympathizing with the killers, but it certainly makes it more difficult to condemn them. It is far to easy to chalk up their actions to bullying or insanity when in reality we will never truly understand them. Any definative answer died at 12:08 pm on the 20th of April 1999. Do I regret this morbid fascination with Columbine? Certainly not. I feel its taught me to question everything, and its really raised alarm bells about the media. We watch the ten o'clock news every night whole heartedly anticipating that what we are told is the truth. In my oppinion truth does not exist, just conflicting oppinions. Don't accept the 'truth', take the time to form your own oppinion.

I would like to dedicate this post to the thirteen victims at Columbine, and anybody else affected by the tragedy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Growing up in the burbs

Earlier today myself and Nnam were talking and our discussion eventually landed on what it was like growing up in the suburbs. If one was to take a cross section of the kids I grew up with, myself included, its pretty clear that we were raised with the silver spoon in our mouths. My family wasn't rich, but I had everything I ever wanted or needed handed to me. Many would consider these handouts a privelidge or advantage in life but I have to call that into question. No matter how much we like to sugar coat our species, humans are animals. Therefore scientifically speaking our main drives in life consist of eating sleeping and screwing. Personally I disagree with boiling everything down to a simple scientific formula, life is too vast and random for that, but we cannot allow existensial matters to mask our primal instincts.

So isn't being given every advantage in life counter intuitive to nature? Living in an affluent middle class suburb pretty much muffles our primal drives for survival. I personally compare a family home in the suburbs as a giant safety net. Most middle class kids these days take their first foray into the "real world" knowing that if they fail they can retreat to the comfort of a cozy bungalow and a steaming plate of mom's pasta.

Now to say that I understand the mindset of those less fortunate would be totally ignorant of me. I'm purely speculating here but it seems to me that those who grew up in third world countries or lower class America have a drive that just isn't there with my friends and I. They aren't guranteed a secure future so they must fight for one. To compare myself with a nineteen year old third world immigrant is like comparing a mountain lion with the family cat. He is a hunter and success is his prey; I am a shell of my species conditioned to be complacent through a lifetime of handouts.

I am fully aware that this is going to come across another whiney rich kid's speel about how tough it is growing up in the 'burbs but before you pass judgement allow yourself to question the effect the suburbs has had on today's youth culture. Maybe there is a silver lining to the recession.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


First episode of the forecast...


Monday, April 6, 2009

The Merit of University

So basically just to fill you guys in, I just graduated high school this past year and was slated to study political science at Ottawa University. To say the experience was a disaster is an understatement :P. Essentially I ended up crashing and burning, and by early October I found myself out of school and work. After a brief stint of earning some money playing poker online I elected to return to my minimum wage job I had during high school and bide my time. Almost six months later and I'm in pretty much the same boat.

As depressing as my current situation may sound I've actually found it to be incredibly beneficial. I've taken the time to step back and take a long critical look at the man that I'm becoming. The truth is the reason I dropped out of University stem's from my deep rooted fear of failure. My entire life I've avoided disapointing myself and others by throwing in the towl before I fall short. I took the coward's way out, plain and simple. Admitting a fundamental weakness in my character wasn't easy, but in retrospect I'm glad that I've been honest with myself. I feel like in order to make a truly positive impact on the world I must first find an inner harmony, and shedding self delusion is the first step.

If this sounds like some new age granola bull shit I have to apologize, but its a little tricky vocalizing the essence of the thought. I wanted to avoid using this cliche, but I am in desperate need of some soul searching. That is why on May 1st of this year I will be embarking on a cross country back packing trip. I do not know how long I will be gone, or if I will take a second shot at University this coming fall. What I do know is that during the summer months this great nation will be my classroom and I look forward to learning from the experience. Abandoning all of the comforts of the suburbs is terrifying, but I once heard an interesting quote which I feel applies to my situation. "Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within than a man with a secure future." I don't think I've ever really tuned in to my adventurous spirit within so I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one :). I'll be blogging whenever I can about my preparations leading up to the trip, and I'll see what I can do while I'm actually on the road.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Adventureland Review

Going into this film I braced myself for Superbad’esque antics playing out in an 80’s era theme park, I mean that’s what the commercial said right? The first fifteen minutes of the film can only be compared to the feeling one gets when witnessing a truly awful comedian fizzle on stage. The material was there; Eisenberg as the Michael Cera stand in, Frigo as the slapstick catalyst, and of course "Adventureland" as the land of boundless comedic opportunity but the delivery simple wasn’t funny. If your settling in for a negative review you couldn't be more wrong. It was charming, refreshing, pure, sincere and incredibly realistic. Too truly enjoy this film, one must be prepared to shed any preconceived notions based on the advertisements. I can only describe the commercials as false advertising. This is not a comedy in the conventional sense; although it does have its share of chuckle worthy moments. The more I watched this movie the more I felt for the characters. Eisenberg, who at first struck me as a Cera stand in truly found his niche as the movie progressed and I left the theatre wondering where life would take him. Martin Starr also crafted a truly unique and dense character who one couldn’t help but sincerely care about by the time the credits rolled. The most pleasant surprise in this film had to have been Kristen Stewart. Fresh off her one dimensional angst’ ridden portrayal of Bella in Twilight to say my expectations for her were low is an understatement. What she delivered was something special. I was totally drawn in by her unique magnetism, and as Eisenberg fell for her I was wisped away for the ride.

Each supporting character was so real, so raw, so and so believable that I couldn't help but lose myself in this film. You didn’t watch it, you lived it. Mottola fearlessly stripped away every Hollywood cliché, every opportunity for a far fetched slapstick shtick (and there were many) and what remained was something unique and compelling. At the end of the film there is no life altering resolution, no monumental truth or message, Eisenberg is just as confused and directionless but he has now learned to appreciate and revel in the randomness of life. By the very same token, to truly appreciate this movie one must learn to revel in the random and disjointed realism of the dialogue and plot and appreciate it for its beauty and honesty. This movie beats with a pulse of its own, you just have to be willing to feel it.