Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not for them to decide

The other day I had this scene pop into my head, and just the memory of it really moved me. I wouldn't be surprised if it came down to this speech as the deciding factor that makes "The Fellowship of the Ring" my favorite of the 'Rings' movies.
But that aside, Isn't it a really poignant speech? Touching on the the issue of mercy and pity, it really hits me in regards to when Gandalf says "Do not be be eager to deal out death and judgment, even the very wise cannot see all ends". How many times can we all testify to catching ourselves being exactly that... too eager to deal out judgment on others... the moral check in this speech is a powerful one I think... even when it comes from a wizard.

But the really hard hitting line is the one that defined the first film... and quickly became one of my favorite quotes of all time
"So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide, all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us"
Gandalf then goes on to say that there are other forces in this world besides the will of evil... and continues on about destiny to a certain extent.
"And that is an encouraging thought"

I don't know, I'm not going to dissect the whole dialogue because I'm sure it means different things to different people.... But I just wanted to share that movie moment with everyone again, because the theme and message behind it hits me pretty hard.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cony Genocide?

For those of you who live in Kelowna, I'm sure you are well aware of this (apparently) life altering situation, in which threats are being made to authorities over the resolution.... It is a situation that so dearly struck chords and pulled the hearts of the public that any sort of related news continues to make the front page, and every development of the story keeps the people of Kelowna riveted to the news, constantly raising controversy due to, what some people see as, the sickest most brutal event that could ever be conceived...

I'm talking, of course, about rabbits.

Now for any readers unaware of the situation, it's quite simple. Kelowna's downtown area is full of Rabbits, and they run around everywhere, they eat plans, burrow in city lawns, and run around on the street. Cute, no? Nonetheless, they are considered a pest, and the City of Kelowna has decided to pay a particular business to cull the rabbits. This raised such an uproar from the public that more money was then spent to try to find particular humane ways to deal with them, such as relocations and such (with some people ridiculously suggested neutering the population so that they couldn't expand anymore... obviously not realizing the ridiculous cost and absurd difficulty of such an operation...) etc etc.

So thats the situation.... "why write about this Jon? What's struck a chord and/or irritated you enough you enough to bring this current event to our attention?". Well, dear reader, todays front page of the Daily Courier is why. Headline "Alert Security Guard halts attack on Rabbits". Now, the subject matter isn't what irritates me, stopping punk teens beating on animals is a good thing, no doubt about that. It's what is said by those interviewed.... and I believe it's the biggest problem with the whole culling controversy as well.

People keep referring to those things as "Bunnies". Thats it, and thats what gets me... you see, since this whole thing has come to attention, even facebook groups have started up "Save the Bunnies", not "save the rabbits" but "save the Bunnies". It's this immediate "cutesifying" (My word, feel free to use it) of these animals that all of a sudden makes it seem like a state sanctioned genocide to deal with their overpopulation problem. Whats worse, is that people have even begun to personify each "Bunny", giving everyone the impression that we are killing Peter Rabbit.... In the (entirely justifiable, don't get me wrong) article in todays paper, this was said...
"One of them threw [a spear like stick] and hit one of the bunnies. The Bunnies were all running - they didn't know which way to go"
... Now again, I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm criticizing the article's subject matter.... But
"...they didn't know which way to go".... well of course..... I mean, someone was chasing them, so they ran, I'm sure we've all chased a wild animal before, be it a quail or a chipmunk.... and they run, out of instinct.... this quote shows the personification of these animals in the same sense as if we could interview the rabbit "Yes chuck.... I was so scared... I looked left and right, but they were all around me! My life flashed before my eyes, but boy am I glad that I'm safe"..

Now, I know this post makes it sound like I'm saying "Why do people care about the 'bunnies'" But I'm not, hurting animals malicously is obviously wrong, but what I notice in regards to these events is the term "bunny" makes them sympathetic creatures! I mean, we'll hire exterminators in a second to get rid of a rat infestation.... heck, we'll set mouse traps ourselves to kill off some mice... but when it comes to bunnies! oh no! not the Bunnies! Save the Bunnies... the Bunnies will be scared! The Bunnies deserve their homes....
Notice the sympathy you feel reading that? Bet you think I'm a jerk...

"Farmer Smith has finally saved his crops from this years infestation of Mice, Crows, Rabbits and Weasels"

"Farmer Jack has finally saved his crops from this years infestation of Mousies, Birds, Bunnies and other furry friends"

Wow....Farmer Jack is a cold hearted meanie... So does anyone see where I'm coming from?? This post wasn't very well structured, so I don't know if my point got across.... or if I have a bunch of angry readers thinking I condone rabbit beating.... bunny beating? But I just wanted to vent a little about my irritation with the personification and "Cutesifying" of the "scared bunnies"... just because of the term Bunny....
If there was a rat problem in Kelowna, and an exterminator came with poison gas to paralyze and kill all of them.... there still wouldn't be nearly as much commotion over it as there is now with the quick shooting (by high powered air rifles) of some of the "bunnies".
What's in a name?

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Milestone

It's been a while,
it's been too long

But finally I feel like I'm in the right mindset to write a blog. You see, I was waiting until I felt it was a right time.... this is a milestone after all. So I waited... and thats not to say that I didn't feel like I had some things to write about... I'm always filled with little things I could rant about... for example I could go on about something ridiculous like a movie on Pirates or Transforming robots... or I could write praise over particular movies about Jokers and Bats... but number 100 being entirely dedicated to that seemed.... well empty still.

However, I feel now I've reached the right point. Perhaps it's because my mind is in a place where I'm torn between happy and sad, or perhaps it's because there have been a few events in this past little while that to me are huge... or perhaps it's the music I'm listening to making me feel nostalgic or just ponderous... who knows... none the less, here's an update!

Well in the past few months I've been involved with Kelowna Actors Studio in their production of "Singin' in the Rain" which has been a blast, the shows ran all last month with closing night being just last night. Standing ovations almost every night, and the cast was amazing. It was a really funny experience... I don't know what it is but I wish I could watch myself and my own transformation when meeting new people. I remember when I first went to the rehearsals I was sheepish and shy for the most part, I didn't know who these people were, and I didn't know how to act. Now with the show done, I've realized that these people became some of my core friends for the most part as I spent most of my time this summer with them working towards this show. Now it's over, and I realize I probably won't see many of these people again for a year or more... and I'll miss that, I'll miss the familiarity that comes with memorized lines... haha, really I think I've ust become unfamiliar with living through a full week without my actions scripted out... yikes!
That being said, the bittersweet ending of the show does have the advantage of giving my some time back.... what I'll do with this time well who knows.... likely I'll do my best to spend time with those who I haven't been able to spend much time with this summer. (That being said, I'd like to publically thank Michelle for her patience and encouragement during the duration of the show, rehearsals through to "Hell week", through to closing night, thank you!).
But back to how I'll spend the free time? Well.... I'll no doubt be seeing The Dark Knight a few more times.... heh.

This past year.... what with school, plays, work, and all sorts of comings and goings.... boy, I must say I didn't expect the way it's all turned out. I feel while writing this blog, that 50 ago I would not have been able to predict the mindset, experience and emotions that this current incarnation of myself encompasses. That being said, would I consider myself a new person? haha the last few weeks have been filled with these sorts of questions for me... I mean, my physical make up is entirely different down to the molecular level, my experiences and memories have expanded and are different, what remains constant about "me"? My hair is even short now! haha Who could have predicted that. Boy, even my reflection through me off for a while there.

Enough Philosophy for this blog though, wasn't Heath Ledger remarkable in the Dark Knight? Wow, Iconic, and chilling. It really hits me with how much of a loss it is to lose such a talented actor. My favorite scene with the Joker is a tough one to pinpoint... I kind of wander back and forth between the entire collection of one liners which are just fantastically delivered... to moments that truly frightened me such as that execution video...

"he shows us we don't have to be afraid of scum like you"
"oh yes you do Bryan... yes you do. Look at me.... LOOK AT ME!"


In other news... The future is still uncertain, and boy oh boy do I let myself stress about it still. The shows were amazing to take my mind off of them, with those, plus WSI courses, plus work (oh glorious graveyard), plus volunteering hours and then my odd leisure pastimes haha such as swimming across the lake... well, my body reached an exhaustion point. I am well aware that there are many of you out there that are even busier than I was, and I do not envy you... I reached a point where waking up in the morning I wasn't sure my legs wouldn't buckle underneath me haha pfft, I'm a wimp.

I feel I should make a reference to my time in Australia in this blog... seeing as the majority of this milestone achievement was compiled during my time there. Well.... to speak to that "Jon" back then.... haha I don't know what to say... I think one of these days I'm going to read back through my blogs, and then perhaps my hard journal (which I haven't picked up in months... a year perhaps? woah) and try to put myself back in that place... what a trip will that be! To clearly remember the things that were current events for me back then, and then try to look forward towards todays current events. It'd be interesting I think, and so, I shall do it.

What do I look forward to from now though? Who knows... maybe if I get busy I can be writing my 200th come this time next year.... what will I be "looking back on"? hmm... well, I know I can look forward to this upcoming semester of required courses I want nothing more than to NOT take, bio, stats, geo? Fantastic... Also, I can look forward to my upcoming roles with the Studio... That will be fun, and hopefully a nice reunion with many of my Singin' in the Rain friends. I'm also looking forward to the fall at the moment.... not because I want summer to end, but earlier today (and at the moment for that matter) I was listening to a CD that I fell in love with last fall, and drinking tea, again, a fall thing for the most part. It took me back, and just filled me with an.... anticipation that this fall could be similar to that of this past one... all my hopes are that thats a good thing! (for those who may wonder, the CD is "The Shepard's Dog" by 'Iron and Wine').

So far this summer has been amazing.
So far this Year has been amazing.

But to end this Milestone blog, although the update itself wasn't anything too amazing, I would like to thank you. The reader. Many of you, or both of you, or just you singular haha have been following it for a while, some even since it's "debut" and for that I thank you so much. You've been a part of my life in that sense, as I narrate you through my comings and goings, and you deserve a pat on the back for having the patience to keep coming back. (Especially those with the patience to wait for, come back and read this 100 post haha). Although they won't read it, I'd also like to thank those who came to my blog during my time in Perth, some just once, some leaving comments, and some passing it on to my family that they had been following it. Hahah I hope someday I can once again lead a life that is exciting enough to draw such readers, but until that day I thank you for sticking with me.
Thank you.

Now I need to do something worthy of post 101.

- Jonathan Arkle