Sunday, February 28, 2010

Golden Finish

I don't remember the last time I yelled and cheered and gasped and my TV.... ever...

Amazing hockey game..... Amazing! What a perfect finish to some amazing Olympic games


Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes


I could never be anything but Canadian.... so proud. So so so so proud.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Watching the Olympics

I have the sneaking suspicion that the person in charge of setting camera angles at the crowd intentionally holds the shot on spectators until they notice that they are on the "big screen", for the sole reason that they get a little kick out of quickly cutting away then the people get excited that they were on TV.

I know I would. The cameraman giveth, and the cameraman taketh away.

Olympics this month have been amazing, quite the experience having them happen in your "backyard". It's disappointing that Kelowna didn't quite pick up on the same degree of Olympic spirit as Vancouver, but I guess that was to be expected. But I am happy that I was able to get down and experience the atmosphere in the "heart" of it all.

Go Canada Go! 10 Golds at this moment, awesome

I also realise that I could post more often if I don't feel like I need to write an essay every single time. Bring on more short posts!

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Look at her stupid face"

I'm a big, big fan of this TV show called "Supernatural", and just wanted to express how pumped I am about last night episode. Best of the new year by far, pushing the story along as we met the next horseman "Famine". Just when you thought the show couldn't introduce a more evil, creepy character... you meet Famine.

(On the note of TV, House was also a really good episode this week, I actually felt tense while watching it, and LOST is just... well it's LOST... perfect.) And those are my opinions on "my shows".

In other news, heading down to the Olympics today with Nicole. Going with some of our cousins to Ski Jumping in Whistler and Moguls on Cyprus. Apparently forecast calls for rain all weekend, which is a bummer, not for us so much as for the whole Olympic opening.

Westbank and Kelowna are covered in fog, which is perfect. It's nice to have weather you enjoy, good start to reading break.

Also, I really really want a cat... a Siamese cat to be precise. I've been advertising this for some while now, but started to forget about it as other endeavors in life overtook frivilous "cat" thoughts.
Now, as some people know, I'm a staunch follower of Ricky Gervais. I think the man is the funniest person on the planet, and as a result I am addicted to his audiobooks, tv shows, movies, and naturally his blog.
Now, I bring this up because over the last few weeks I've been thinking about getting this cat again, because I want to name it "Socrates" (despite the fact that my sister says "people will call it 'socks'". I will forbid this. "Socks" is an awful name for a cat, Socrates is wise and a reminder to pursue wisdom above all else. "Socks", yech.)
Anyways, this has been going through my head quite a bit over the last month ever since I started reading "Dialouge Socrates" in my Plato class, and then the other day Ricky Gervais (see, there was a point to bringing him up) posts a picture of his cat on his blog, turns out he has a siamese...

Picture: (by itself in case this blog is being read in the future... oooh)

Adorable. I was sold in a second. (Also, I think Ricky's lead up was hilarious: "Look at her stupid face" haha). Anyhow, this is my statement that frivolous "Cat thoughts" are back on the table, and I will begin my quest again to try to find a Siamese kitten somewhere in BC interior or lower mainland perhaps...

Friday, February 05, 2010

People are avatarded

Saw Avatar the other night, meh. It was good, but I definitely don't think it deserves to be breaking all these records... Good summer blockbuster, but most successful movie of all time? What kind of deals at the crossroads has James Cameron been making...?

I thought this article on it was great, it's a bit long, but suffer through it... makes some awesome pointed near the end.

Stop pining for life on Pandora and come back to planet Earth ...
Boris Johnson - The Telegraph

Dear oh dear – as if there weren't enough reasons for feeling low. Here we are in the middle of January with the Labour Party still in power, taxes about to go through the roof, the weather still miserable – and across the world people have apparently discovered a new and bizarre reason for being down in the dumps. It's this film called Avatar, which I went to see at the weekend and which I would say delivers virtually everything a film-goer could possibly desire.

Just as the 3D, sci-fi epic teeters on the brink of becoming the biggest-grossing film of all time, some people are complaining of a terrible side-effect. It's making them depressed, they say. It's turning them as blue as the funny, helmet-nosed aliens that have enchanted us all.

It's not that they get depressed while watching it – far from it. They are in transports of delight. The trouble begins when the credits roll and the lights go on. They take off their 3D specs and they look at themselves and their pallid lives, and it hits them in a terrible black wave that they will never get to the idyllic planet Pandora and its 1,000ft trees and beautiful illuminated spaghetti leaves. They will never have the acute physical sensation that they are really riding on the back of a giant orange pterodactyl or amorously entwined with a lissom, blue, 12ft alien, complete with prehensile tail. They walk out of the cinema and they see the vomit-splashed pavements and the hamburger wrappers and all the detritus of the consumer society, and they think, get me back to James Cameron's world of the floating green mountains and the cuddlesome, hammerhead rhinos!

The film has only been out for about a month, and already there are internet discussion groups on how to cope with post-Avatar gloom, and as the British election campaign gets underway, one can imagine that the hunger for escape will intensify. Across the world, it seems, audiences are looking at the pristine planet of the blue-nosed tribe and something is touching them deep in the human core. They hear the tribal chanting, they see the semi-naked Na'vi, and they yearn for the simplicity and goodness of a lost Eden.

What is the lesson of Avatar? they ask themselves when they are back on the dank and be-merded streets of Earth. It is all about the folly of mankind, the greed that impels us to try to gratify our wants with a system of capitalist exploitation. They think of the Na'vi – the happy, chanting tribes of woad-daubing natives, and how their misfortune was to locate their sacred glade atop a colossal deposit of a mineral called unobtanium. They remember how the brutal American mercenaries decided to clear them out "with shock and awe", and how their missiles slammed into the sacred tree and brought it crashing down with much loss of blue-skinned life. And then they think of Iraq, and the way the brutal and mercenary Americans blundered in to a place they didn't understand, with similar consequences.

The Na'vi had unobtanium; the Iraqis had oil – and the tragedy of both peoples was that they found themselves standing between the Americans and their lust to consume. In their agony, and in their frustration with the world as it really is, some of the post-Avatar gloom merchants are starting to come up with some radical solutions. There is already a group of Na'vi sympathisers in Florida who are proposing quite seriously to set up a Pandora-style community, complete with Eywa. You haven't heard of Eywa? You will. It is the blue-nose religion, a version of James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis that postulates a kind of electro-spiritual link between every organism, so that we are hooked up to the trees and the trees are hooked up to each other in a huge dendrological internet.

I prophesy that in 10 years' time the UK census will show more adherents of Eywa than there are of Jedi, and that is saying something. With James Cameron poised to do at least two sequels to Avatar, and with the frenzy likely to grow, it is time, surely, to put the whole thing into perspective.

I want to reassure all those who yearn for the life of Pandora: before they start sharpening their arrows and girding their loin-cloths and preparing their vats of blue paint, they should remember that there is nothing remotely new about the plot or politics of Avatar. Never mind Iraq: this is the founding and programmatic story of America – of the man with a gun coming up against the noble and athletic savage armed with stone-age weapons. This is not just the story of Pocahontas or Dances With Wolves.

Avatar is rooted in just about every film Hollywood made about cowboys and Indians. And that is why all those who think this is an anti-American film are also laughably mistaken. Why is Avatar being cheered by audiences of rednecks in Kentucky? Because it is the all-American movie – and not just because the white, American hero is given a messiah role among the blue-noses.

It is a feature of powerful military empires that they like to romanticise their victims and luxuriate guiltily in the pathos of their suffering. Think of the Roman crowds pleading for the lives of captured barbarians in the amphitheatre. Think of the statue of The Dying Gaul. The eco-conscience of Avatar is an example of how a dominant consumerist society is able to exhibit its better nature, to parade its guilt, to feel good about feeling bad.

And I can't believe that many of these gloomy post-Avatar Westerners, when they really think about it, would want to up sticks to Pandora and take part in Na'vi society, with its obstinate illiteracy, undemocratic adherence to a monarchy based on male primogeniture and complete absence of restaurants. The final irony, of course, is that this entrancing vision of prelapsarian innocence is the product of the most ruthless and sophisticated money-machine the world has ever seen. With a budget of $237 million and with takings already at £1 billion, this exquisite capitalist guilt trip represents one of the great triumphs of capitalism.

-- Eh? eh? Not bad.