A Little Less Conversation to a Little Less Conservation

My dad told me when he was younger television stations were only allowed to show Elvis from the waist up on account of his provocative hip thrusting. Now given the amount of profanity we are subject to on today’s television, I absolutely love the fact that back then the country’s biggest concern was Elvis the Pelvis. If they could see how far we’ve come now! Somehow in the course of a few decades we have managed to almost completely desensitize ourselves from “explicit” content. Just an observation.

What really intrigues me though is how the decrease in censorship is now reaching children’s movies. PG-13 movies today are now legally allowed to use one F-bomb. When did that happen? Pirates of the Caribbean is rated PG-13 and I first saw that movie when I was 11. I thought it was almost earth shattering when Orlando and Keira kissed because she was probably going to drop dead from cooties. Could you imagine if Jack had won a fight against all of Port Royal and yelled “F*** you I’m a pirate!” My world would have ended.

Now anyone who knows me well enough knows that I have since grown up quite a lot and today have no qualms with colorful language. In my mind curse words are just that, words. I genuinely believe that they are, like all other words, just a collection of sounds that we as a society have decided mean something and to a certain extent I don’t understand how some words were deemed “bad words” never to be used by anyone for fear of a sinful death. It is all a matter of perspective. But it took me a little bit of growing up to come to these conclusions and if I had been 11, I probably would have had some sort of a fit. Yet it is fascinating to watch as these expletives make their way into all forms of our culture and now into the minds of younger audience.

I wonder what Elvis would say if he could see where we are at today. He’d probably be ‘All Shook Up.’ (It’s the little things in life) 

The Moral of the Story: Go See The Fifth Estate!

I saw The Fifth Estate today. When I got home I did a little researching and apparently critics have become married to the idea that the film is no good and is not worth the time it would take to see. This in turn inspired me to write this post to combat all the negativity and hopefully negate the idea that this movie is not worth your time. Hopefully, my views as an average person and not a paid movie critic will shine through. (**Note- There aren’t any spoilers, so after you read this and decide to go see the movie know that it won’t be ruined)

Anyway, the moral of this is: go see The Fifth Estate!

For anyone potentially reading this and thinking what the heck is The Fifth Estate – The Fifth Estate is DreamWorks newest biopic that tells the story of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his companion Daniel Berg. The film takes viewers through the organization’s inception and on through the beyond controversial leak of confidential U.S. documents in 2010. (Well that is the most basic summary of it anyway)

Now that we are all caught up, I want to start by saying when this controversy happened I was a junior in High School who was more wrapped up wondering if she would get asked to the Homecoming dance than worrying about little things like breaking national news. Yet today I have grown into a person who has become so fascinated by communication of information in this world, that they want to base the rest of their life and career around it. If you share that perspective you will like this movie as much as I do.

That being said it is important to note that this film beautifully illustrates the evolution of communication in a way that is not only intelligently delivered, but also thought provoking.

Moving right along, it seems that the biggest problems critics are having with this cinematic beauty is its refusal to tear apart and condemn the life and actions of computer programmer turned journalist, Julian Assange. However, therein lies the best part about it! While many may see this as a lack of depth on director Bill Condon’s part, it actually proves just the opposite. They fail to see that the point of the movie is not to be a biography on the life of Julian Assange, but rather to eloquently address the events and lives that were affected by him, by showing the progression of communication in the 21st century.  Ironically Assange himself is often condemned for publishing content that negatively affected people’s lives, which seems to be is all critics want to see. The movie was not created to ruin his life, only to spark a debate on the ethical ideals it is representing.

This brings me nicely to Benedict Cumberbatch. Wow. This man is one of the most underappreciated actors ever. Underappreciated as he may be, there are few in the world that are as phenomenal at what they do as him. His portrayal of Assange himself was not only spot on, but conveyed him in a truly dimensional manner that only Benedict could have delivered. He meticulously works not to vilify or condemn a man who is easily condemnable in the eyes of many people. Instead, he presents Assange as a human being and not the information anarchist people often assume him to be. In the future when you see Benedict Cumberbatch’s name attached to a movie know that it will be something of quality.

When the movie ended and the theatre lights came dimly back on we all just sat in our chairs unmoving. I could almost hear everyone’s minds whirring and trying to process what they had just seen. I have never been to a movie before in my life where everyone sat there in awe when it ended, unsure if they should clap or stand or speak. It was wonderful.

In a world where films are churned out by the hundreds with the sole purpose of grossing millions of dollars and attracting people to the box office with meaningless explosions and love stories, this movie stands alone in the fact that it is one of the only things out right now that will truly inspire you to think about the way the world works around you.

Side note to all you movie critics- I love David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin just as much as the rest of you! Their focused and insightful production was cinema gold and worth every nomination in my opinion. But how can you let such a basic comparison blur the deeper meanings of this movie?!

So go see it. Be a free thinker and don’t be bullied by the negativity of critics. It’s worth it, I promise!

Guess Who’s Back?!

Guess who’s back? Back again. Shady’s back! Tell a friend

Just kidding there’s no Shady here…just me!

So I had a cool life experience and I thought I would share it as the perfect way to rekindle the love affair that I have with this blog. One of those moments where a ton of small things happen to cause one moment that allows you to be in just the right place at the right time.

 Usually when I walk to class I put in the headphones and book it across campus. However, last week I had a quiz and in an effort to get a little last minute studying in, I put up my tunes and busted out my note cards. The other weird thing about that day was the time I left my apartment. I usually give myself a good half hour to make it to class in the mornings, but on this particular day I woke up late and ended up leaving ten minutes later than usual.

Anyway, that morning I took off with my note cards and headed to class. Then something I will probably never forget happened. A guy in an army uniform was crossing the street toward me and this girl walking the other direction stopped him in the middle of the pavement. She shook his hand and told him how grateful she was for his service and that she appreciated all that he did for herself and for our country. Then we all went our separate ways.

Now it’s not like I witnessed some huge event that changed my life forever, but for some reason that was such a great moment; one that I consider myself lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time to see.

It really did make me stop and think though. Other than restoring my faith in humanity, it sort of reality checked me. It brought to light the fact that there are bigger things in life than all the petty drama we deal with from day-to-day. It also made me realize how important it is to take a step back and examine life from other perspectives every once in a while.

Man, I got all serious on you there for a second. Bet you weren’t expecting me to drop a knowledge bomb like that?! But seriously something to think about.

In a conclusive attempt to lighten the mood now and come full circle please enjoy this mind blowing picture of Eminem eating M&Ms with other Eminems!

I Detest Honking

There are few things less stressful than traffic. Really though, almost nothing is more of a day ruiner. It doesn’t  matter if you are starting your day off in a horrible traffic jam or ending it after a long day of work when you hit that rush hour traffic. No one likes it. How does it get worse you might wonder? Well for example when one moment you are having a perfectly pleasant time jamming out to your new Relient K CD and the next thing you know some jerk is honking exasperatedly behind you. Now, the only thing you can think of is how annoyed you are by such a rude person and all of the sudden you are fuming and your formerly pleasant moment has been shattered forever. That’s how. Sorry if running this red light to cut off a slew of fast moving death machines doesn’t make you happy. Sorry if it doesn’t fit into your schedule for me to die brutally in a horrific accident just so you can get to Taco Bell two minutes before you would have otherwise. If I want to take an extra millisecond to look both ways before turning you can deal with it! I am carrying some precious cargo and would like to ensure its safety. When did it become a motivational technique to emit harsh and loud sounds at people to get them to do what you want? All honking ever does is piss everyone off and induce extreme road rage. Grrrr and if you do this, you know who you are, think about how angry it makes you and think about that the next time you feel the need to blare your horn at some poor person who is just trying to follow the rules of the road. Honestly it makes a bad situation for worse, so don’t be that person because if you are then you are super annoying and I hope your car gets towed.

Now in an effort to not end today with such negativity here is a picture of a puppy 😉

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Boys: A Private Lesson

Yo fellas, serious question.

No really, as a female who is just curious answer me this:

Why do male singers feel the need to grab their nether regions when they are singing a song. I think it’s worth mentioning to male singers everywhere that they either have a good voice or they don’t, and that they don’t have to go to such extreme measures to get out those high notes! It’s not like that’s where your hand naturally falls when you are standing up either. Like you have to do some reaching. Now I’m all for exercising and I know yoga is supposed to do wonders for your health, but that seems a little extreme if you ask me. And if it is where your hand naturally falls, you might want to think of a new placement that doesn’t show the entire world the habits of your free time. Personally, I’ve noticed rappers are exceptionally guilty of the sing n’ grab.  Today it seems to be a quite progressive concept that pants are fashionable the lower they sag, so maybe they are simply trying to hold up their pants? Maybe they just have a painful UTI? Maybe they do it in a non-conformist “Stick-it to-the-man” sort of way. Ironic that they all do it now…. Maybe they just really have to pee, which would also explain why they talk so fast in their songs so they can finish quickly and dash to the restroom. Snap I think I just cracked the great mystery behind male rappers. They all need a wee. BOOM.

Real Talk: From One West To Another

So I wasn’t going to write anything today, but as all great writers are forced to do, I must  go where the story takes me as it is my doodie to report the news in a prompt and non-biased way for you the reader.

HAH what a joke. That sentence is more full of crap then Lou Ferrigno’s toilet. What I really want to talk about today is Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s new baby. I actually wasn’t going to post anything today, but the opportunity was just to great to pass up on this one!

In case you haven’t heard about Kimyes new baby girl because you inevitably have a life they have chosen to go in a new direction, well two actually. Their daughter’s name is *drum roll* #bigreveal……………………………………………………………………………………………. North West.

Oh where to begin. I should start by saying I feel like I have an abnormally large amount of authority on this subject because MY LAST NAME IS WEST! I have an entire family, generations of it actually, filled with sisters and girl cousins, and aunts and grandmothers and so on. All girls, no directions. In addition to feeling like I  have a greater say in this, I also feel kind of personally attacked. Like my entire name has been besmirched. It’s not even as if North is a common girl name in the first place. I can understand something like Summer or April, but you can’t just make every random word a name. (Thinking of you Mrs. Paltrow) Also, dumb name aside, whats up with her killing her families ‘K’ name tradition. First she takes down my family, then she ruins the traditions of her own? I think at this point it is also worth mentioning that this poor little girl doesn’t have a middle name so there isn’t even a tiny space of hope there to split up her name. A magazine I read said they interviewed an allusive source “close to the couple”, if  that’s not vague, who said they will call her “Nori” for short. 1. That’s not short for anything and 2. If your kid is going to immediately go by a nick name then just name them that in the first place (unless you are keeping a family name, which she is not).

On behalf of West’s everywhere I am thoroughly disappointed.

Summer Blockbuster Update

(Upon re-reading this I noticed that it is kind of long and potentially boring. So just go into it expecting my opinions, however lengthy they may be, because that is the reason I started this blog. To have a place to put all my ranty opinions and if you don’t like it then cool stop reading but ima do what I do)

I have officially seen 5 of the movies on my highly anticipated summer blockbuster list. So I should probably add some more because there is a good chunk of summer left, but here are some thoughts on the ones that have come out thus far:

  1. Star Trek: Into Darkness– I’ve already spent a massive amount of time singing my praises for this movie, but if you don’t know it is simply awesome so go see it.
  2. The Hangover Part III– I was kind of really let down by this movie. Don’t let that discourage you from seeing it, but know that if you do intend to go you should definitely take a big group with you. Movies are always funnier with big groups of people. Personally I thought it was super boring.
  3. Now You See Me– I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! It got absolutely terrible reviews which I frankly don’t understand. Movies about magic always have to be careful anyway, because the inevitable big reveal at the end of film will either make the movie or break it *cough The Illusionist*. However, as far as this one was concerned I really liked it and I thought the all-star cast was something to be reckoned with. The one comment I have if you’ve seen it, is the plot twist at the end. While admirably unexpected, for me it shattered the illusion of the movie a little because it took away many of the fundamental character interactions and relationships for anyone who ever wants to re-watch it. (I really liked the idea of them outsmarting the dumb detective). Still it was lovely as always to see Jesse taking on a role very unlike the ones he has become known for, Dave setting himself apart from the shadow of his older brother, and Morgan Freeman well is Morgan Freeman.
  4. The Internship– I am absolutely in love with this movie. It also got abysmal reviews, but personally I thought it was nice to have a fresh comedy that was PG-13 and could be funny without being flat out explicit as is the norm for comedies today. For my own peace of mind I want to rebut the most common criticisms people seem to be having about this movie. One-Vince and Owen have lost their chemistry since their Wedding Crasher days. This is false. Though it is a different type of humor portrayed, their chemistry is at its best and lends itself to the natural humor of the movie. Two- It is just one big campaign for Google. Um Duh. That is literally the point of the movie, and it would not be as impactful or relatable to the audience if it had been anything else. Vince Vaugn also wrote this movie which is something not many actors could do. Yes it’s not rated R for a change what a shocker for a comedy in this day and age I know! But everyone needs to calm it down and enjoy it for the light hearted, refreshingly family friendly movie that it is.
  5. This Is The End– In a complete 180 from The Internship, this movie is your typical raunchy comedy. That being said if you like that kind of movie and don’t get uncomfortable easily then there are plenty of laughs to be had here. I’m still not sure if I liked it or not, but for all its misgivings it made me really happy. The ending in particular had me rolling on the ground in a giddy sort of happiness. Plus there is something to be said for the uniqueness of this particular movie, with everyone portraying themselves, and if you are willing to roll with the ludicrously created story line it is pretty hilarious. 

The Scariest Thing About Growing Up

Although I have been reminiscing about the past quite a bit recently, I think it is also fair to say that there is one thing about my childhood, and the overall 90s experience, that was completely horrible. It should never have been allowed to exist in the first place and has left trauma in its wake for children everywhere.

The number one worst thing about the 90s, and possibly the worst idea in the entire world, were Furbys.

Oh my gosh I can’t think of a more terrifying thing for anyone, let alone a child, to be forced to play with. Like most innocent children growing up in the 90s I had a Furby and it was definitely alive. I used to lock it in the bottom of my closet at night and hide under the covers until it would stop making horrifying noises and talking to me. True story.

I just cannot fathom why this was popular.

More to the point, in case you didn’t know, last year Hasboro re-released the Furby doll to be sold in stores nationwide. More importantly still is the new phrase they are using to sell the demonic toys. In stores everywhere pick up a Furby “a mind of its own.” A MIND OF ITS OWN?! THAT IS THE PROBLEM. You were supposed to come up with a smarter selling tactic, not a reason to burn your product into non-existence! Furbys are like the beginning of every horror movie ever. You start out all happy with a new friend and end up with everyone in the theatre screaming at you to stop being an idiot. Your toys are not supposed to be alive. They just aren’t. But really one word: Chuckie.

Man who knew I had so much pent up childhood trauma about a satanic doll. It’s a good thing I never overreact.

Image terrifying.

I’m Not Trying To Cause A Big Sensation (Talking About My Generation)

Being home makes me feel nostalgic.

However, I very often find myself wishing that I could have grown up in a different generation. Not because I hate the world or anything like that, but simply because the 70s and 80s were just cool. The styles, the music, and the general way of life must have been something to see.

I was digging through some of my old stuff the other day and found my old Hit Clip. Now apart from still playing a solid minute of “Who Let The Dogs Out?” it made me realize the 90s were pretty cool too, and that is a time I did live through. Though it doesn’t seem that long ago, I am finding myself 20 years down the road thinking about how different of a time it was back then. I can’t even remember what life was like before I could just Google every little thing that poped into my mind, but Google wasn’t even created until the late 90s. Not to mention there was no Facebook or anything else when we were kids, well younger kids. It is crazy how fast social media has taken over the world, but I digress.

The point I am trying to make is that it was awesome being a 90s kid! I miss the days where I could come home in my overalls, check if my Tamagotchi was still alive, watch the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and eat a push pop while I shamelessly jammed out to the latest N*SYNC hit on my Hit Clip. Then I would cuddle up under my covers with my Beanie Babies and dive into a Goosebumps Book or when I got a little older Harry Potter. (We are the Harry Potter generation like what is better than that?! There was nothing like going to a book store at midnight to get the latest Harry Potter book only to rush home and disregarding all sleeping, eating, and human contact for a few days until you finished it only to begin re-reading the entire series)

So no matter how much I wish I could go back and see all four of the Beatles or say ‘groovy’ in normal conversation or just sit on the hood of a car and listen to Journey records after school, I am really glad that I got to grow up in the 90s. Like every decade before it, it had a life of its own and there was simply nothing like it!

The Best Part Of Our Childhood- In 3 Minutes

Watch this is you want to relive your childhood in the best way possible!

Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship…well you know

Well summer is officially here! Since finals I have been in a perpetual state of moving so I finally found some free time to go see Star Trek: Into Darkness (uhh twice) and after the second time I just want to talk about it so duh what better place to do that than here?! So prepare for all my random thoughts to tumble out in this post…

First of all if you haven’t seen Star Trek: Into Darkness you should go. Right now. I’ll Wait.

It is the perfect blend of unfailing action, beyond fantastic music, a villain with the gift to make anything sound hair raisingly sinister and an interesting story line. On top of which non-trekkies will understand what is happening just fine, but there are still subtle jokes to be found for those of us who grew up with our fathers quoting the show as it played on TV every night. Live long and prosper Leonard! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll want to see it again! Well you probably won’t cry but point made. (Sidenote: Benedict Cumberbatch is phenomenal and if the movie was him running around alone on Kronos I’d still go see it! But it was nice to see him kicking butt and being a good ‘ol fashion baddie)

Moving me to my next point. Anyone who can accurately claim their title as a Whovian would have noticed that Mickey was the man who made a deal with Benedict Cumberbatch’s character at the beginning of the film. Little Mickey! Playing a grown man. In addition to the personal little reunion moment I had after seeing him, it made me start thinking how weird it is to begin the transition of actors you know playing kids in films, to them playing parents. Maybe it is just undeniable proof that we are growing up, but it is still incredibly strange. For instance, a generation ago Tom Cruise was a little kid who got left at home and danced around in his underwear with prostitutes while his parents went away for the weekend. Now he is trying to save Dakota Fanning from an alien invasion, playing drunken washed up rock idols, and trying to save the world with Morgan Freeman.

There was once a time when the biggest problem in Matt Damon’s life was that he was so smart he needed Ben Affleck and Robin Williams to help him get into college. Now he is off buying zoos with Scarlett Johansson. I don’t like it. I need everyone to stay the way they are. I’m not even really sure where I was going with that. Just something I was thinking about.

West out.

(seriously go see it.)

Keep Calm And Learn Your History!

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So I know we are at the tail end of the whole “Keep Calm and Carry On” trend. For a while there it seemed like we were being told to chill the heck out and carry on doing any random thing people could think of.  What happened then to make me bring it up you ask? Well I saw the sign, as I have grown quite accustomed to seeing, somewhere and it occurred to me that most of the people that have jumped on the Keep Calm bandwagon probably don’t even know what it is or where it came from.

You’re about to find out.

First, you should know that this phrase originated in the UK. In late 1939, after the start of World War II, the British Government created a United Kingdom governmental department known as the Ministry of Information . The Ministry of Information was created to handle the publicity and propaganda of the war. They were assigned the task of creating morale boosting posters to put up all over the country to keep people’s spirits up in a time of war. The ministry created two posters, and a third one that was to be used in the event of a German invasion into Britain.

This third poster was required by the government to be a bold eye-catching color, and feature the famed crown of the then king George VI. Thus the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster was invented. Well we all know, or you do now, that the invasion never happened and the poster was never released to the public. So it would seem no one would ever have their morale boosted by this catchy slogan.

Well we know better don’t we.  Almost 60 years after the conclusion of the war, someone randomly came across the old posters somewhere (wow could that be any vaguer? Whatever, it don’t matter!) and bam we have a new topic trending on twitter.

So next time you see a care free Keep Calm and ______ [insert various random phrase here] you will know where it came from and you can tell all the ignorant people how you know the truth. And how the truth will set you free. And then you can bite your thumb at them and walk away exasperatedly. Well, you can if you’re a Montague, but it might be safer and more 21st century to say MMMMM Betta Not and take the Pitch Perfect moral high ground.