Posted in writing

Lights, Cameras, Movies

Over at In the Seats, I took at look at two films screening at the Canadian Film Fest this week. The first is Michelle Ouellet’s drama Prodigals which focuses on a man confronting his past when he returns to home for a murder trial. The other is Jeremy LaLonde’s The Go-Getters, a comedy about an […]

via Canadian Film Fest 2018: Prodigals, The Go-Getters — Cinema Axis

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Posted in 80's, music

The 80’s Revisited

I always knew it would happen one day.  Or at least hoped.  The day my child said she wished she had been around in the 80’s so she could’ve experienced the music.

My thirteen-year-old recently came across the Jennifer Garner flick “13 Going on 30” on Netflix and was immediately taken in by the 80’s theme of the film.  Especially the music.  “Head Over Heels”, “Jessie’s Girl” and particularly “Thriller”.

“Why couldn’t I have been around in the 80’s?” she whined.

“Just because you weren’t doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy that music now,” I reminded her.

The other day we were returning from running errands and sat in the car listening to the last strains of Wham!’s  “Careless Whisper”.

“I love this song,” she said.  “Who sings it?”

“George Michael,” I told her.

“Who?”

“Wham!  George Michael.  You know, ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’.  You know that song,” I reminded her.

“Oh yeah.”

We continued talking about Wham! and 80’s music as we entered the house.  I relayed my teen love for Duran Duran to her.

“You know, the group who sings ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’.”

“Oh, yeah.  I like that song.”

“Yeah.  You know what the lead singer’s name is?”

“What?”

“Simon.  Want to know what his last name is?”

“What?”

“LeBon.”

She laughed.  “What a funny name!”

I smiled.  “Yeah, that’s what the rest of the band thought too when they first met him.”

I went on to tell her how there were three members in the band with the last name of Taylor but they weren’t related.

“Really?  How can they not be related?”  my daughter asked.

“Because in England the surname Taylor is like the surname Smith in America.”

She also thought it was cool that John’s real name was Nigel, because that’s the first name of one of The Muppets.  Which is another thing from the 80’s that she loves.

But that’s another 80’s story for another time.

Posted in nostalgia

Growing Up A Toys “R” Us Kid

After 70 years Toys “R” Us is getting ready to close their doors forever.

I grew up a Toys “R” Us kid.  My daughter grew up a Toys “R” Us kid.  What other store exists where you can go and walk among zillions of toys and have fun?  Toys “R” Us was it.

It’s the only place I could find The Muppets figurines my daughter loves.  I even found Muppets pins.  I scored some major toy bargains from Toys “R” Us over the years.  A Loopz game for five bucks one Black Friday.  And a Barbie Dream House several years ago for $99.00!  Coupons and reward points helped.  That was Toys “R” Us.

Now with the liquidation pending I will once again venture out to what was once the world’s biggest toy store and see what final bargains I may be able to snag.  This time for my five-year-old niece.

And who could ever forget the theme song?

 

Posted in writing

Hollywood’s Biggest Night

I’m not a big fan of the Oscars.  I don’t think I’ve ever watched one award show.  However, I am a big fan of movies.  For all my life they’ve made me laugh, cry, scream, even shake my head.  They have entertained me.  Isn’t that the point of going to the movies?  To hopefully be entertained?

This is Hollywood’s biggest night.  So many worked hard for weeks, months, years to earn their chance at entertainment’s highest award.  Anyone outside of Hollywood has no inkling about the ins and outs of making movies.  So don’t act like you do.

If you’ve ever watched a movie of any kind and enjoyed it, don’t be knocking the people behind the creativity.  If you feel you could’ve done a better job, then do it.

If you feel that the Oscars are nothing but a bunch of Hollywood rich brats who are going to lecture you, nobody is telling you to watch it.  So don’t.

Posted in Things that make you say "hmm...", Things that piss me off

Much More Than Words

I can see how owning a gun can make some people feel safe.  I mean, it is a device used to kill.  Sure some people just like to show off their guns.  They never use them.  They store them in their locked closets (if they’re responsible) or leave them in their night table drawer (if they’re irresponsible).  They may take them out on occasion to shine them up, maybe show them off to their friends.  Maybe play Russian Roulette with it.  Maybe try to impress their kid and their kid’s friends with it.  Maybe one day the kid will find it and shoot themselves.  And I know there are some who actually do use guns for hunting or sporting.

The recent Parkland school shooting and constant calls for gun reform/control got me thinking about the Second Amendment and what it means.  I figured since so many gun enthusiasts live and die by this very statement, maybe it should be analyzed to better understand it.  So that’s what I did.

The Second Amendment reads:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.

I may be missing it, but I don’t see anywhere in these 27 words where it says it’s okay for individuals to own assault rifles and use them to kill innocent people.

These 27 words were written long before our time.  Many people have taken it upon themselves to interpret these 27 words to mean whatever they want them to mean or feel they should mean.

So, what do these 27 words really mean?

In turning to my handy-dandy Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “regulated” can mean:

  • to govern or direct according to rule
  • to bring under the control of law or constituted authority
  • to make regulations for or concerning
  • to bring order, method, or uniformity to
  • to fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of

Using the word “well” before “regulated” could mean that the regulation would be carefully considered and formed.

The “regulated” that they are referring to is a “Militia”, which is, by definition:

  • a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
  • a body of citizens organized for military service
  • the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

I’d like to point out that in all those definitions, “militia” has something to do with the “military”.

“being necessary”:  basically, absolutely necessary

“to the security”:  basically, to the freedom from fear, freedom from fear or anxiety

“of a free State”:  this could mean one of many things:

  • a mode or condition of being (being in a free state);
  • a body of persons constituting a special class in a society; a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially : one that is sovereign
  • the political organization of such a body of people
  • the operations or concerns of the government of a country
  • one of the constituent units of a nation having a federal government
  • The United States of America
  • a government or politically organized society having a particular character

Next up:

“the right of the people” – “right”:

  •  being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper
  • conforming to facts or truth

“people” – this one word, I think, is what is most interpreted or misinterpreted.  When the Second Amendment was written and they used the word “people”, who, exactly, were they referring to?  If we go by definition, “people” means:  human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest.  Were they actually referring to “the militia” when saying “people”? Interpretation could’ve changed so much if, instead of “people” they simply wrote in “the militia” again.

“keep”

  •  to retain in one’s possession or power
  •  to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing
  •  to have in control

“bear” – usually a brown, furry animal; for this statement:  to carry

“arms”  – those appendages hanging from your shoulders; for this statement:  weapons and ammunition

“infringed” – to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another

Considering the Second Amendment was written in 1791, not too long after America fought for independence, I can understand the statement “a well regulated militia”.  They were very used to militias at this time.  The militia, or military, was, after all, formed for protection.  That’s why they wrote the next phrase “being necessary to the security of a free State”.  But this is referring back to “the militia”.  I really think they (the militia) are “the people” being referred to in this statement.  If it was meant to refer to “everyone” why not use the word “individuals”?  After all, “people” can mean men, women and children.  Would the Founding Fathers have given guns to babies?

The word “infringed” intrigues me:  “…to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.  Yes, the right to own and carry a gun shall not be infringed.  The definition of “infringed” mentions violating the law or the rights of another.  To “not be infringed”, as defined by the Second Amendment, wouldn’t that mean to not violate the law or the rights of another?  Especially the rights of another, since not everybody obeys the law?

It’s time that America gets their heads out of their asses.  If other civilized countries can, why can’t we?  Because we’re money hungry and in bed with the NRA?  For many of us, more than likely.

With each new mass shooting, whether it be at a school, church, concert, nightclub, etc., we must ask ourselves:  what’s it going to take to say enough is enough?  It may take a “militia” to storm Capitol Hill, breaking their security system and gun down Congress to make them wake up.

Even then I’m not sure that would work.