Posted in Movies, Uncategorized

BRAVE

brave1Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is different from the average Disney Princess. She’s strong, independent, and doesn’t need a man to define her. She’s not stick insect thin, her hair is frizzy, she doesn’t worry about her clothes, she wants to compete, she’s confident, and secure in who she is.

Not that Disney didn’t try to alter Pixar’s vision of Merida. They were going to thin her out, smooth out her hair, and round out her eyes (the better to spot your Prince, I guess).
Thankfully A Mighty Girl http://www.amightygirl.com/, a website dedicated to empowering girls filed a petition with Disney that said keep her as she is – imperfectly perfect.
The world doesn’t need another blatantly sexist marketing depiction of women. Aren’t there more than enough?

This isn’t about feminism because I really don’t consider myself one, this is more about equality in roles, jobs, life, and the future.

I always think of Joss Whedon‘s answer, when asked by a reporter why he writes so many strong female characters. “Because you’re still asking me that question.”  
Says it all.

What is this fascination with encouraging girls and women to be a Princess?

Fine for Halloween or dress up, but why not look for more than an antiquated and archetypal figure whose only role was to marry a Prince and in fairy tales, live happily ever after.

Why not encourage girlbrave2s to be more: a doctor, lawyer, athlete, researcher, scientist, teacher, politician, writer, computer programmer, explorer, photographer, military personnel, activist, dentist, miner, astronaut, police officer, nurse, clerk, accountant, chef, nuclear physicist, CEO, journalist, postal worker, diplomat, Mom, President, Prime Minister, artist, entertainer, etc. Or all of the above?

Why not encourage girls to be something that doesn’t revolve around jewels and gowns?

This movie is rife with themes ranging from communication issues, prejudice, pride, strength, standing up for what you believe in, love, hope, and acceptance.

Watching this you felt there was some chance for cartoons and people to break free of the stereotypes and brainwashing.

But it turns out it’s not a whole new world, and many still prefer for their Fairy Godmother to transform them into a Princess so they can find their Prince.

I just hope they make sure they love who they are and add the Prince, not need him for definition.

Thebrave4 depiction of Scotland in pseudo Medieval times was gorgeous. Funny, silly, but with a lot of great messages.

The cast was fantastic.

Thank you Pixar, for being Brave.

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Posted in Televison

PINKY & THE BRAIN

Subtle, silly, witty, snort-your-beverage-of-choice-up-your-nose-genius.

The theme song will be in my head forever. Although I was never quite sure which one was the genius and which one was insane. Each night they tried to take over the world and failed, but kept trying. Quite a lesson in perseverance.

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This sadly only ran for 65 episodes (and I have them all!!!), but it will run through our hearts and brains forever, leaving tiny little paw prints that leave tiny little ouchies…
This isn’t a show of half measures, people either love it or hate it or possibly just miss out on its brilliance altogether.

anima5My fav lines were always when Brain (voiced by the astonishing Maurice LaMarche) would say, “Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?”

Pinky (voiced by the talented Rob Paulsen) would usually have some bizarre answer like:

“I think so, Brain, but…but burlap chafes me so.” or

“I think so, Brain, but this time, you put the trousers on the chimp.” or

“I think so Brain, but pants with horizontal stripes make me look chubby.” or

“I think so, but what if the chicken won’t wear the nylons?”  Or

“I think so, Brain, but if they called them ‘Sad Meals’, kids wouldn’t buy them.” or

“Well, I think so, hiccup, but Kevin Costner with an English accent?”

“I think so, Brain, but me and Pippi Longstocking… I mean, what would the children look like?” or

“Well, I think so, Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn, and nobody cares, why does he keep doing it?”

And it’s all funnier in his Cockney accent and throw in a:  narf, zort, poit, and a troz and you’ve got yourself a lot of laughs.

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Posted in Televison, Uncategorized

THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW

Still one of the funniest shows ever to grace the small screen.

Went with the Wind still cracks me up; a classic. Loved As the Stomach Turns.

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Never did get the Tarzan call though. And never thought Mama’s Family was even slightly funny.carol5

Some of the best moments were the cast’s inability to keep a straight face, especially Harvey Korman. There was so much ad-libbing you could just see some cast and guests trying to keep up. I’m giggling thinking of Tim Conway as the old man.

Amazing guest stars over the years, so funny to see Steve Martin and Betty White together.

Also,

Madeline Kahn, Shirley McLaine, Vincent Prince,

James Stewart, Bob Newhart, Roddy MacDowall,

Jerry Lewis, Rich Little, Paul Lynde, Ricardo Montalban,

Debbie Reynolds, George Carlin, Shirley Jones,

Jonathan Winters, The Smothers Brothers, Sonny & Cher,

Barbara Eden, Leonard Nimoy, Robin Williams, Alan Alda, carol4

Dick Van Dyke, Buddy Ebsen, Rock Hudson, Janet Jackson,

Kenneth Mars, Wayne Rogers, Telly Savalas, Phil Silvers, Maggie Smith, 

Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers, Sammy Davis Jr., Don Adams and so many more.

Posted in Canada, Environment, Political, Uncategorized

Random Acts of Kindness

kind11Cold weather inspires a lot of grumbling, whining, and sometimes, random acts of kindness.

In Ottawa and various places where it’s cold, statues started sporting scarves, hats, coats, etc. Attached where notes explaining they weren’t Lost, people could take them to keep warm. This is a lovely random act of kindness.

kind1In the gloom and doom of news we can think there isn’t a lot of kindness left in the world. There is. Although some alleged acts of kindness are for publicity, attention or validation.

A few months ago people were allegedly spending thousands of dollars to buy strangers coffee. Really? People who can afford to buy coffee got free coffee. Sure it got Tim Hortons a lot of publicity. Sadly, there were probably some people who believed it and also followed the trend.

Random Acts of Kindness are about doing nice things for someone who are in need.  A gesture, or some help, giving of your time or yourself, to support people, not corporations.

If you had $500 to give to charitable pursuits why not help someone in need?  If buying people coffee can make their day, imagine what that money could mean to someone with an actual problem?  Thousands of dollars given to a corporate giant who has a poor employee history, hires temporary foreign workers, and causes endless traffic problems, gee, that’s a good idea.  That money could have changed lives, not just given news coverage.

Help in ways that count.  What’s next, buying 500 people a 99-cent app for their smart phones, or Frappucinos, or  free month of Netflix?  Ever thought of paying it forward by helping those in need?  Altruism is amazing, if well-placed.

We seem to have a difficult time telling the difference between wants and needs.

  • You need water; you want coffee.kind10Need shelter; want a 4000 sq foot house.

  • Need food;want to eat at restaurants several times per week.

  • Need air to breathe;want to over-consume fossil fuels.

  • Need medicine to get better; want pills to fix everything.

  • Need clothes; want fast fashion made by basically slave labour under horrible conditions.

  • Need leaders; want lying politicians who govern in their own special interests as long as they tell you pretty lies.

  • Need communication; want endless versions of smartphones and tablets made by slave labour under horrible conditions.

These are all distractions. Don’t look behind the curtain of a news story to see the who’s manipulating reality.

There are more and more people in need, real need, not just needing a caffeine fix.

kind3This seems more about the drama than the do-good.
Kind of like putting stuffed animals and flowers at the sites of tragic events or in Memoriam.

If you really want to honour those who have passed away donate money to help others.

Give those teddy bears to children who are ill, neglected, abused, suffering, and/or sad.
Give those flowers to your elderly neighbour, seniors’ home, etc.

Use some critical thinking. Life is not a reality show.

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

The Breakfast Club

80s36I guess you could read all sorts of profound messages into The Breakfast Club, such as:

  • If people from various cliques were forced to spend time with each other they’d see what they have in common and empathize with each other or they’ll get along for that day without their respective peers around, but when they’re back with their cliques, things would be the same.

  • Teens from various groups can bond over their mutual contempt for parents, authoritarian figures, really, most adults. So I guess for that moment in time they get each other and see they’re not that different, at least in this. It would be interesting to see The Breakfast Club 20 years later when they are the adults they disdained.

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  • How teens feel pressure from adults as well as peers and the subsequent forms of rebellion.

  • Vernon doesn’t really enjoy being an authoritarian. He clearly doesn’t have the resources to properly work with the students on a productive level. He resorts to bullying which is what educational professionals are trying to stop.

  • One day can change your life.

  • Or you could see The Breakfast Club as a bunch of kids bored in detention, smoking marijuana who talked the nerd into doing their essays for them.

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This film did change the way teens were marketed.  It’s also one of the movies that makes some people believe they’d like their life to be an 80s movie.

Mostly it just gave us great lines like:

Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?

Mess with the bull, young man.  You get the horns!

And my personal fav, Screws fall out all the time, the world’s an imperfect place.

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Of course this movie wouldn’t exist today. The Athlete, The Basket Case, The Princess, The Criminal and The Brain would all be on the cell phones all day and would never be bored enough to interact.

Posted in Movies, Uncategorized

FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF

80s46Anyone?… Anyone? Bueller?… Bueller?

I doubt there are many people who haven’t seen this film at least once, if not many times, even if it’s just for curiosity. Whether young or old, FBDO holds mysteries to the Universe or absolutely nothing but a lot of laughter.

80s4I always felt FBDO was about freedom, not wanting to be put in a box or labelled. It was about feeling you could be who you really were. There are always going to be people who want to quell that independence. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it, just be aware.

This was the most teen and least teen movie ever made. It roared through heights of maturity and smashed through walls of formative angst in a 1961 Ferrari GT California blaze. Oh yeah…

Sure, Ferris was a self-absorbed man-child, but he got something right, you can’t live for everyone else.80s45I always figured John Hughes didn’t like adults very much. His versions of them in his movies are mostly: puerile, prosaic, obtuse, petty, neglectful, and/or even vindictive…and worst of all, mostly irrelevant. Not very flattering.

It’s a tonic to make you feel happy and alive, to remind you to stop and enjoy life…

It gave us the line:  I weep for the future, which I still use to this day.

80s42And Charlie Sheen‘s performance is brilliant. His best ever; ummm, take that as you will. No problem whatsoever!

Anyone remember the short-lived and ill-conceived NBC prequel TV series around 1990 entitled: Ferris Bueller? Anyone?…Anyone?…It starred Charlie Schlatter, Jennifer Aniston, and Ami Dolenz. Nevermind, it’s best if you don’t.

80s44Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?…

Posted in Environment, Family, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Clerks

clerks1This film could have easily been stupid and insulting to everyone who works in retail or service jobs, instead we observed the wonder of Kevin Smith. 20 years ago Smith gave us his vision of serving for a living. I’m sure it was an eye-opener for some. Packed with crude humour, there was also a lot of heart and soul, and even pain presented.

Shot for under $30,000 (funds raised by Smith selling a large part of extensive comic book collection) this back and white classic highlighted the problems of the working poor, the underemployed, and the working bored.

It may have made some understand just because someone is serving you really doesn’t mean they like you, they may even hate you. The American and Canadian dream isn’t what we thought it was, we’re just not ready to admit it yet.

Crass and inane, Clerks resonated because so many could see themselves. You have to laugh, otherwise, the alternatives are bleak.

clerks2The rich spend so much time brainwashing people into believing the poorer people are the problem in their countries. Obviously if you have any ability for rational thought you can see through that cloud of lies. They try to convince people the poor want their entitlements, when clearly, it’s the rich who expect them.

The biggest welfare drain on our countries are Wall Street and Congress; Bay Street and The Senate.

Extending tax breaks are great for the rich, but extending any kind of break for anyone else will destroy the very fabric of your country.

The myth that the poor and disabled are the problem was conceived and perpetuated by the rich to focus the middle class rage on someone other than the rich. It’s a litany of lies spun from a giant web of crazy.clerks4

Realistically, wouldn’t you want to make employment more appealing instead of just making unemployment less appealing? Truth is, most everyone wants to work a good paying job with benefits…but those are few and far between. Of course, people hate low-paying jobs with little or no benefits and sometimes even those are scarce. The facts just don’t add up.

It’s convenient to be able to blame the poor, the unemployed and the disabled for all the woes of a country because the truth is hard to swallow – the rich and powerful are in control and you have no control.

Easier to blame vulnerable people with no defenses than go up against the rich and powerful.

So much easier to pick on the poor, the sick, the uneducated, the hungry, than stand up to rich, powerful, educated, ruthless people.

I’m sure there are lovely rich people just as there are horrible poor people, but to simply, nothing is that black and white, right? Sorry for any issues with generalization.

The rich are happy the Occupy and Idle No More movements remain unfocused, because throughout history once the peasants become focused, well, that spells big trouble for the rich.

offendedSo on this 20th anniversary year of Clerks we should raise our empty glass to those who protect and serve here and away; to those who try to keep us healthy; those who try to keep our crumbling infrastructures in place; those who serve us in restaurants, stores, theaters, government offices, and everywhere.

The boots of the rich must stay licked clean so they can see their pampered faces in them. Cheers!