why-so-sad

Opinion
By James Pavel

-This is rare, but the author (Jason Porter) looks exactly the way I pictured the narrator. I found this somehow comforting (p.s. I am not sad).

-Do you wonder if people find you attractive? “Stop staring in the mirror and do some pushups,” was one of my favourite answers.

-What does it feel like to get out of bed in the morning? I can’t imagine how gloomy some of the responses could be to this. I generally feel like I could continue sleeping for about another 10 hours. But the guilt of a potential sleep-in rapidly seeps in and I come to life. It’s amazing how difficult getting up seems until you are up. Then that’s it. The idea of jumping back into bed doesn’t even arise. The second I am on my feet, is the second my day turns productive.

-I admired the following idea: The tines of the rake are the different paths available to us in the future.” This satisfies the two predominant theories about the future. Yes, our future is pre-determined (by the direction of the tines) yet we have the ability to determine what tine we follow. Essentially, destiny is calling you, but destiny has finite options.

-The following is one of the most hilariously cynical answers I’ve read: Is today worse than yesterday? Yes, because one of those two I still have to live through.  I might be the kind of guy that laughs at a funeral.

-Although I enjoyed this book, mostly for placing a much needed refreshing spin on a dreary subject, but I partially disagree with one of the central themes of the book. One of the overall thesis’s is that we have never been worse off as a society because nobody bothers to ask or understand how they themselves or anyone else is doing. We live in a world where we have almost everything we ever dreamed of as a society. And yet here we are sulking in the corner like we haven’t gotten our way. Are we the depressed generation? Or are we the spoiled-rotten generation that are inept at sacrifice and are nothing more than professional pity-party throwers?

-Do you think people will remember you after you die? I think I’ll die after people remember me. The perfect rebuttal. Do you believe in God? I think God is a placeholder for the anxiety created by unsatisfying answers to unanswerable questions. Is this the first commandment of atheism? What an incredible response.

justin-timberlake-2013_2014_istanbul_diamond_tour_best_songs

Opinion
By James Pavel

5. Not such a Bad Thing

Leave it to JT to recognize that instead of saturating the radio with a lethargic EDM fist-pumper, he releases a throwback to the N Sync*/BSB domination days, where falling in love to pop songs happened every music video. He hasn’t forgotten his roots, except maybe the macaroni curls and full-piece denim suits. He is a mainstay on late night television and sometimes stars in the year’s biggest films but this hasn’t stopped him from writing songs about everyday implications that Not Such a Bad Thing discusses.

4. Love Stoned/I Think That She Knows

LoveStoned served as space-age lust for millennials and generation-Xers. The opening four minutes is future-fabulous, but it’s the final two minutes that unwind into something as revealing as a sudden black hole. “I think that she knows,” is always supposed to be bad, but really it is marvelous news, as it allows the chance for something to happen that wasn’t previously possible.

3. Mirrors

Audiences have listened for decades about what he desired, what he craved, and what he lusted over. Mirrors is a parade dedicated solely to Jessica Biel with Justin clinking his glass to make his grandest toast to his most precious feat. The chorus is less a poppy hook and more modern-day wedding vowels, which would be a tiring ordeal for fans if it wasn’t anybody besides JT. Timberlake is simply one of the most likable entertainers in history. He can act, he can dance, he can obviously sing, and he can marry women that look like Jessica Biel.

2. Sexy Back

It didn’t sound like Timberlake. We initially refused to believe he could conceive something so radical sounding. And yet, the radio host did not lie. Timberlake had brought back what we didn’t know had gone missing, and if you didn’t like him before, you did the moment you walked into the club Friday night. It was aggressive and naughty, but not soulless or exploitive. JT made a song that no one has dared to make before or after and it remains a staple of modern-day dance-club mayhem.

1. Cry me a River

To make a villain likable, you must find a way for the audience to empathize. Men were reluctant to accept Timberlake had talent, even despite their girlfriends and crushes relentless claims that a new King of Pop was performing right before us. His first solo single, The Way I love You, was swanky, but it still didn’t exactly force dudes to allow room for a new king on the throne of Michael Jackson. But when he sat us down through a rain storm and told us how Britney Spears, our collective love interest, had cheated him, we began to finally listen. The hypnotic Timbaland beat-box beat paired with Justin’s cryptic accusations, made the old-idiom, cry me a river, a revived chant for those cheating lovers spewing crocodile tears.

Usher laid claim to the throne early on, but couldn’t help be seduced by the easy money that dance music offered. JT always refused. He has always seemed to search for a way to push music to previous unknown realms, while maintaining a chokehold on pop culture’s pulse.

hoffman 4

Popcorn Banter10 thoughts on A Most Wanted Man

Opinion
By James Pavel

1. A Most Wanted Man is basically about an elongated, potentially corrupt, charity donation.

2.The final, audible word that Philip Seymour-Hoffman utters is a booming F-bomb in the conclusion of A Most Wanted Man, which turns out, is his last word ever recorded of him playing a starring role. If only we could all ask for such a memorable, everlasting quotable.

3. Unfortunately, this movie will be rapidly forgotten. What will not however is that Hoffman coined the brilliant term “sharted.” For full definition, please see Along Came Polly.

4. The lines and wrinkles on the face of Willem Dafoe should be studied by engineering and art students for their exquisite symmetry and pronounced depth.

5. It appears Hoffman agreed to do this movie on two terms a) He was permitted to relentlessly chain smoke throughout the entire movie and b) he could inhale a quarter glass of scotch every second scene.

6. The final development of A Most Wanted Man is Hoffman in a state of sour hopelessness. He is beat-purple from screaming and he is walking aimlessly with a defeated stare under grey and hazy skies. It’s awful to think, but it may be possible that he dwelled in a similar cast of clouds shortly before his death.

7. I completely believed Rachel McAdams as a German social worker.

8. Hoffman is one of the greatest actors of the past decade and it is a remarkable feat. He isn’t a dashing, leading man, or a box-office king. He was an unattractive, overweight man with a ghostly, unmemorable face. He has starred in uneventful and terribly overrated movies, such as his final project (A Wanted Man,) and definitely, The Master. And yet every performance was shockingly great. Every role felt like his defining role. He could characterize a movie with a single scene.

9. He was what the majority of us men will eventually look like. He was wonderfully average, dangerously talented, and beautifully ugly.

10. Hoffman looked like a man who enjoyed a good laugh and an even better drink. RIP.

sin city

Opinion
By James Pavel

1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has temporarily taken over from Ryan Gosling as the most badass actor of the moment.

2. Eva Green is naked the entire movie and I refuse to pretend that this isn’t awesome.

3. This film does what other superhero movies are afraid of attempting, which is transforming a movie into a comic book instead of a comic book into a movie. It is why Sin City is so ascetically pleasing and is a source of non-stop excitement, despite zero plot development.

4. She’s so “Eva Green.” That is exactly how to describe a woman that isn’t necessarily hot, but is astonishingly sexy.

5. If you are going to feature Bruce Willis in any capacity, give him the screen time he deserves.

6. Jessica Alba’s role is greater than the sum of her entire professional career. It isn’t that Sin City is that remarkable, it’s just that her past career choices are that unremarkable.

7. Josh Brolin might be one of the top three leading men in Hollywood.

8. An additional villain as twisted and spooky as Elijah Wood in the original film would have served this sequel well.

9. Besides Charlie Sheen and maybe George Clooney, no actor seems more enthusiastic about playing a version of themselves more than Mickey Rourke. You desire a drug-fuelled, heavy-drinking’ bruiser that loves to reminisce about the long-ago glory days? Sign him up.

10. Powers Booth, the man that plays Senator Roark, is frightening and menacing in all the right ways. He reminds me of The Jungle Book’s “Shere Con.” He is exactly the way a villain is supposed to be; Heartless and a little bit disgusting.

 

Jennifer-Lawrence

Opinion
By James Pavel

The personal photos of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence have been purged for the world to gawk at and it demonstrates the disgusting way pornography has infiltrated our minds and behaviours. 

The primary and obvious issue of the leaked images is that it appears that it was relatively elementary for this computer-hacking monster to access these vulnerable and “private” pictures, despite the cloud technology’s security platform.

 But now that the world has behaved like a giant peeping Tom and viewed these stolen properties –  What does one come to understand of these images and what is the effect?

 I have not seen every photo nor do I intend on. But I have seen a handful. And what is plainly obvious, is that the hackers found exactly what they were looking for – porn.

 These are not just whimsical, topless photos taken at some private beach in the Virgin Islands; these are poses generally found on pornographic websites.

 Apparently, celebrated actresses and famous, super-model women are mimicking these provocative and hasty looks, despite their chance to be photographed in whatever they choose on any given day. 

 It provides a bedroom full of irony, considering porn stars are mostly aspiring actresses gone astray, and yet now the upper tier of female celebrity are doing their best version of Jenna Jameson.

 The world has become a pornographic stage with consumers no longer just limited to Playboy Magazine subscriptions, but now host men and women who are aggressively delivering pornographic images and videos of any human, regardless of the consequences.

 These pornographic predators hacked the cell phones and emails of celebrities hoping to find racy, inappropriate photos that no one would believe that these women would capture themselves doing.

 Websites containing the links have been bombarded with visits because our sex-tech conquests are predatory. Many undoubtedly fantasized about Jennifer Lawrence naked, especially after watching say, American Hustle or Silver Linings Playbook.

 But you didn’t need to see it; nor do you deserve to see it.

 This obsessive sense of sexual entitlement didn’t exist until the explosion of internet pornography. Suddenly the bodies of celebrity are ours to seek and to judge, the good and the bad. If Jennifer Lawrence suddenly put on 50 pounds, we would for some unGodly reason believe that we had the right to see her inflated stomach and heavy thighs. Of course this is not the sort of content that was leaked. They are personal photos, that were intended for one viewer and one viewer only and now the opposite has occurred.

 There are arguments made that pornography is actually empowering to women, despite females rarely being seen in a domineering role. The idea that pornography is positive, particularly for women, is bogus. If you believe that a naked woman hosed down in semen by seven different men or a woman being gagged and practically begging for mercy is at all a form of feminism, a century of therapy would not be capable of quelling your delusions.

 It is Jennifer Lawrence that will likely take the largest hit to her stock value. The sweet alluring face of The Hunger Games is now going to have images and videos assembled beside the likes of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.

Kardashian, the most famous woman in the world, could be defined by many adjectives, but one that is undebatable is, porn star. Paris Hilton held a similar position of supremacy through identical means, and it makes one wonder – is being desired as a sexual conquest the most sought-after position for a modern-day famous woman?

If female actresses and models now aspire to be looked upon with the same raw sexual vigor as a Jenna Jameson or Amy Reid, it is a concerning trend.

leo-dicaprio

Opinion
By James Pavel

I’m awfully fragile right now;  But I will do my best to transcribe what happened. 

Remember that actor I used to rave about? the ‘king of the world’ guy? – he just tossed me to the side like a Blackberry Curve this week and I am still trying to recover emotionally. 

He showed up in my home province unannounced, in one of his gas-inhaling private jets and immediately began stomping his muddy boots all over the place, screaming about how the Alberta oil and gas industry needs to come to a screeching halt. 

This is the actor that convinced a generation of boys and girls to visit Thailand and find themselves while simultaneously converting it into a western-fornicating, utopia. He’s Jay Gatsby. He’s the Aviator. He’s the coolest, model-plowing, wolf-howling, motherfucker on the planet. And yet, that doesn’t seem to matter right now. 

With him visiting, I was thinking it was going to be a weekend of scanning the voluptuous Rocky Mountains, a picnic at one of Banff’s glorious national parks and maybe even floating down the city of Calgary’s Elbow River – boy, was I off the mark.

 He completely sideswiped me. He continued banging on about the way me and my friends make a living around here. He said we should be ashamed of ourselves for the way we are irresponsibly purging from the Earth and destroying nature. 

You see Leo didn’t come to see me or any of his other adoring fans. He came to scrutinize the oil and gas sector and marvel at how supposedly awful we have treated the land we live on. 

As he roared at me that our relationship would never be the same, I sobbed like a child burying his first pet gerbil. I asked “But Leo, why didn’t you unleash this speech in Nigeria or Saudi Arabia?” 

Surely, they are are both oil-producing nations that rely heavily on the consumption of oil for profit too. 

Oh wait I remembered, he probably didn’t go there because those countries would never allow him film a millisecond of footage of their oil industry. You see, it’s way easier to come to Canada, a free country, and go on uneducated tirades about one of the world’s most vital industries without the fear of being imprisoned or worse. Must just be a coincidence.

Also kind of crazy, that James Cameron and Neil Young both gave the same guilt-riddled speech over the past few years and yet none of them, Wolf of Wall Street included, have actually provided any viable alternatives or solutions. 

I told Leo through my blubbering that it was strange that he chose Alberta to sever our bro-mance, considering that this province has the most stringent standards for oil and gas in the world and that we are regularly looking for methods to ensure even tidier and more environmentally-friendly tactics. 

Never mind that, he balked. “But, but Leo,” I managed to utter. 

“Remember during the World Cup of Soccer in Brazil when you arrived on one of the world’s most luxurious yachts and partied with some of the most beautiful creatures ever conceived? Well, that actually wouldn’t have been possible with turbines or windmill energy. That yacht actually ran off of this ‘dirty oil’ you are currently dismissing.”

He shot me an incredulous look, as if I was a character swinging an axe at him from The Gangs of New York film. I began to think that Leo was being duped into thinking he was playing a heroic character in a fantasy movie where oil isn’t necessary and the world can just get by on unicorn kisses and leprechaun dust. 

He abruptly brushed my comments off like a half-assed script emailed to him by Michael Bay. 

I decided I wasn’t going to let Leo get the last word. 

“You know Leo,” I practically screamed, “we are aware that oil and gas is not the ideal method of producing energy. But it remains the most effective, the most desirable and far and away the most successful way of running a vehicle or producing some of the world’s most important products.” 

We can’t wait for a cleaner source of energy to arrive either. But until that miracle resource arrives, we are going to work like hell to make this oil and gas as beneficial to as many nations as possible. We don’t like oil spills either, because just like you, we love the outdoors too. Hiking, biking, running – there’s more to us than just hockey and snow-mobiles. 

Listen Hollywood, we are all ears. But the whole wind turbines, nuclear energy movement? It’s proven to be a major bust. So if you are going to criticize, you better begin to bring some exceptional ideas to the Canadian table. 

I hope this is just a tiff between us Leo, I really do. But until then, maybe you are right. Maybe a break-up is the best thing for both of us. 

pitchfork

 

Opinion
By James Pavel

  • Why not just wait until December before unveiling such a (potentially) influential list? You know, when half the decade is actually over?
  • If this list is to be received as scripture, then Kanye West is the greatest and most celebrated rapper in hip-hop history.
  • Pitchfork is remarkable at ignoring albums that are actually culturally relevant. Sure, Deerhunter’s Halcyon is a decent release, but at what point was it ever more recognizable and relatable than Arcade Fire’s Reflektor album? Arcade Fire is the only band in the world where it isn’t insane to mark them as modern-day legends and yet their most recent work is slotted in the 88th position on this list, as if they are some brigade of high-school drop outs still perfecting their instruments.
  • They can argue this point, but Pitchfork is a pseudo-underground site for hipsters and closet hipsters. How can they possibly not crown “The Suburbs” as the greatest album since 2010? It’s the first time in eons where the coolest album of the year was actually recognized as the album of the year at the Grammys. The Grammys remains the highest honour, and it’s a shame Pitchfork can’t at least allow this victory to take significance in the realm of consideration.
  • Number five is a brave and just placement of Beach House’s Teenage Dream. This might be the strongest female vocalist-driven album of the past ten years, never mind since 2010.
  • Pitchfork constantly over-compensate for their strange obsession with terrible new-wave screamo by awkwardly and confusingly awarding hip-hop with the highest accolades (#1 and #2 albums of the decade..thus far
  • Love the inclusion of Vampire Weekend’s Contra
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