Archives for category: The Weal


By James Pavel


‘Killing them Softly’

·         The most disorganized bank robbery in history. Could you imagine going into such a crime without ever discussing the ins and outs before hand? My adrenaline was thrusting through the ceiling, but I can’t imagine the internal struggle going on between these two knuckleheads.

·         Brad Pitt at his most intimidating.

·         The film takes a useless detour with James Gandolfini ranting about hookers and booze.

·         The moment Brad Pitt’s character enters the movie, it loses almost all excitement. While the bank robbery scene is pure excitement and the bind that Marky (Ray Liotta) finds himself in, introduces a highly-intriguing plot, it is all lost upon the introduction of Pitt’s character.  

·         The final scene delivers the greatest line – ‘America is not a country. It is just a business. Now pay me.’ Potentially everything wrong with America, all in one paragraph delivered by Pitt.


‘Fight Club’

·         Fight Club remains the character Brad Pitt seems forever linked to. When we reflect on his career, it may remain as his signature work.

·         After a third watch, the film finally makes complete sense. Try it.

·         This desire to fight random strangers is clearly a plot reaching for a higher idea. So why were men in the late 90s so desperate to feel something? The film tackles materialism, the greatest internal and societal war that men appeared to contend with. Now 18 years in our rearview mirror, it is astonishing to see that we have appeared to have traded in our materialism ideals for narcissism. Status symbols and name brands have been slightly blurred while the way one is perceived by others online has taken greater prominence. Material items can easily be forged in today’s online world. What is important in today’s world is the appearance of materialism and not necessarily actually owning a Mercedes Benz or dressing like the Queen of England every day. What would Tyler Durden have to say about 2017? It seems that we need a Fight Club more than ever. To truly feel, to truly connect is lost on today’s world – nothing could solve that faster than a punch to the ribs.

·         The fact that Tyler Durden is as cool as he is remembered is a remarkable feat – He wore absurd red sunglasses, tops intended for hookers and slept and bathed in an abandoned dungeon. 


’12 Monkeys’

·         Pitt displays his greatest range at this point. As a result, he won a golden globe award for best supporting actor.

·         By the end of this journey of Brad Pitt films, this will contend for the title of his greatest film.

·         Pitt at his ugliest. Cross-eyed, witch-haired and sufficiently bat-shit loco.


‘Spy Game’

·         Pitt was two weeks away from graduating from Journalism college, before dropping out. With that in mind, his role in ‘Spy Game’ seemed to come naturally to him.

·         The flash-backs make the entire movie. A viewer will wish that the movie focused more on the spy’s past together as opposed to the present-day circumstance Pitt’s character finds himself in.

·         It’s possible that the film began Pitt’s fascination with spies as he will go on to play a spy in at least two more films. ‘Spy Game’ is likely the greatest of the Pitt/Spy genre.

To be continued..


The Weal
By Séamus Smyth

Would it be fair to say that one’s own mortality is never analyzed more closely than after the death of a loved one?

The SAIT Begin Tower is filled with drunken shenanigans, popcorn Fridays and the occasional student meltdown. But the death of resident Cody Gorlick made those delinquencies seem trivial as the loss of a fellow student forced each to contemplate when death will come knockin’ on their door.

ACAD digital media student Noor Sayadi was seven-years old when she came to the conclusion that her grandfather had gone on a trip and would never return. It was of course her first experience with death, but would certainly not be the last.

In the summer of 2008, one of her best friends died in a mysterious car accident in her home of Abu Dhabi.

“His future was going to be amazing; he could have been a doctor,” Sayadi explained.

It left a painful void in her group of friends who, only a short time after, would all go their separate ways to attend college. The sting did not abate until six months later when her group of friends flew home to spend time together over Christmas holidays.

“It is still a bit difficult to process. I sort of think he is in another part of the world —do I think I will see him again? Yes. That makes it a bit easier doesn’t it?”

Relations coach and mentor Nelson Kaisowatum explained that people tend to isolate themselves especially in a tight community like a dorm.

“Everyone’s reaction is so different. Some shrug their shoulders, some are shocked by the news,” said Kaisowatum, Owner/Proprietor at RELATE Coaching and Mentoring.

He said the key to tackling the insurgent, unrelenting pain of loss is to talk about it and to force those involved to cope together rather than individually.

“You have never seen more people concerned about their own mortality as at a funeral; tremendous vulnerability there,” Kaisowatum said.

SAIT petroleum engineering student Magd Elheliani can feel death breathing over his shoulder and is determined to not that let it take him just yet.

At only 22, his close friend is battling cancer. Elheliani and his friend both smoke cigarettes regularly.

“I have many dreams that I need to achieve. One day I will die and all my dreams will go away so I think, ‘OK I need to quit and I need to do many things so I can accomplish everything,’” he said.

Elheliani lives in the tower and wasn’t sure what to make of the death of Gorlick. Besides the urge to eliminate his smoking habit in hopes of delaying the grasp of the grim reaper, he said that he feels it’s better not to worry about one’s inevitable death.

“It is much better to not think about it. Just live your life and be happy,” he recommended. “Death is something that everyone thinks about. Maybe some people think positive and maybe some people think negatively, but if I just live my life just figure out what will happen all I can hope for after death is that something good will happen to me.”

In memory of Gorlick, SAIT residents gathered to sign a hockey jersey of his in the SAIT basement this past month and continue to mourn his death to this day.

Student Development and Counselling services can provide help and support SAIT students.

Students can call 403.284.7023 to make an appointment, or drop by MA205 in Heritage Hall.

By Séamus Smyth

What is the only good thing about Edmonton? Calgary Trail.

I have heard this quip a half a dozen times from excessively proud Calgarians who love to remind anybody visiting from three hours north just how greener the grass really is in cow town.

The worst part is that unfortunately for us northern folk, these pretentious southerners have every right to feel this way. Calgary’s proximity to the mountains makes it the envy of not just Edmonton but every major city in Canada (with the exception of Vancouver). Calgary’s downtown core make Edmonton’s look like an abandoned chicken coop and their weather is usually slightly, but noticeably warmer.

However, the recent news of a downtown arena finally being approved for construction in Alberta’s capital city has the Chinook winds reeking of envy.

Edmonton will soon be home to an advanced, state of the art, multi-faceted facility smack dab in the middle of its downtown. Calgarians have been pining for something similar, yet for once Edmonton has taken the Alberta ram by the horns and is leading the revamped-facility charge.

Although a new arena would certainly alter Calgary and make it an even more enviable city, the benefits it delivers Edmonton are overwhelming.

Firstly, the downtown complex will leave builders no choice but to demolish the behemoth parking lots, the vacant former mom and pop shops and hopefully eliminate the excessive drunken rift raft. Calgarians contend with its fair share of homelessness, but nowhere near the legions of piss heads roaming around Edmonton like thirsty vampires.

Secondly, it converts Edmonton’s downtown from a mosaic of out of date architecture and beat-up bars, to a central foyer; what Calgary’s downtown has provided for ages. Edmontonians, similar to every other city dweller, want an excuse to visit their downtown and boy will they have one now. This facility will not only be the home of the resurgent Oilers, but will host concerts, house pubs and restaurants and will become a global-leader in architecture. The idea of a sparkling new rink being built just in time for the upcoming Edmonton Oiler Stanley Cup haul has myself and fellow Edmontonians gleaming with a rare optimism.

Thirdly and most importantly, Edmonton will have one up on arch-nemesis Calgary. E-town has been Calgary’s favourite piñata anytime the toast of the country’s wealthiest province is debated, and it’s overdue that Edmonton begins to claw back.

Calgarians will now visit Edmonton and talk about how much dirtier and colder it is, but then, somewhat apprehensively whisper, “But that new arena is sure something.” Calgary will still have plenty of ammo and comedic material to turn to, but you know what my favourite provincial joke has always been?

What’s the difference between Calgary and a bra? A bra has 2 cups.
Now there’s one that never gets old.


By Séamus Smyth
Staff Writer
The SAIT workout facility is superb, said with a slow roll of the eyes. Sure, the lockers squeak with cries to be properly lubricated and they look like they were previously used as storage compartments in WWII but that’s no big deal. Just make sure you don’t attempt to use the facility anywhere between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. because the lineup is worse than the C-train’s during rush hour. Try to get your swell on either before 7 a.m. or sometime after 10 p.m.; that’s a reasonable request right?

Trust me, there is no better workout facility than the one SAIT provides. But if you want to work out your core or utilize the medicine balls provided, make sure you do so outside of the gym beside the vending machines because there is no way you will have enough space to properly operate otherwise. I know it would make sense to just proceed into the basketball courts section, but that area is booked solid throughout the year with the Trojan athletic squads and various intramurals.

Now I know the traditional gym usually provides enough treadmills for everyone, but I am going to have to recommend you go for a brisk jog around the building instead, because you might not have access to the treadmill until a few hours before midnight. I know it’s winter, but treadmills are seriously overrated. Just purchase one of those fur trader toques, an underarmour suit and enjoy the beautiful SAIT outdoors instead of pining for a warm, convenient, technologically-advanced treadmill.

For all those serious weightlifters, I’m talking the dudes grabbing the dumb-bells that equal the weight of a baby ox, make sure you pick the right time to put the weights away because there are a number of obstacles to watch out for. Firstly, the space is extremely compact so you will likely have to dodge a few equally burly humans along the way to distributing the weights back to their home. Secondly, because there are only five to six benches for one to use, you may have to walk about 20 feet carrying one of those behemoth weights that I know are incredibly dangerous, but no one has been hurt…yet.

Thirdly, there will likely be a number of confused men and women staring at the weights for an inordinate period of time. How come? Oh this is because almost half of the weights are missing the numbers that identify how much they weigh. So the odd time you may pick up a blank weight that you assume is 20 lbs. when it is truly 40 lbs. You can’t beat putting your body through a misleading exercise routine right?

Anyway, I have to get in line for the incline bench machine, so I look forward to seeing you all at the wonderful SAIT workout facility located in the dungeon of the SAIT athletic department.


Sait residence winter formal dance


By Séamus Smyth
Staff Writer

Ladies, break out the stilettos and gentlemen dust off your Dad’s suit jacket because SAIT residence is holding their first ever Winter formal dance Feb. 11 just a few days before Valentine’s making it the perfect chance to impress someone just in time for the lovers’ holiday.

The event is seen by SAIT residence organizers as a great opportunity for the dorm-room community to socialize and get to know one another.

Resident staff said that if the event is a success, they hope it can occur yearly.

Yet many students were quick to cite excuses for not being able to attend, from the feeble, “I don’t know anybody” to the reasonable, “I’m married.” As well, a close source to SAIT management said the tickets have been selling at a less than stellar pace.

However, this has not deterred all students from showing their excitement for the upcoming party.

“I think it’s pretty cool that they are hosting a formal,” said first-year business administration student Elizabeth Salfi. “I have never been one for dances but given the opportunity I would love to go. It lets you meet new people and get to know them.

“It’s not like a high school dance because in high school, generally, you know everyone. The formal here is meeting all new people minus a few from classes and roommates.”

Salfi’s excitement was echoed by broadcasting systems technology student Ali Kahn.

“There is always a good girl-to-guy ratio, especially for slow dances,” he laughed.

The baby-blue invitation posted on the door of every residency stated that a dress code will be in effect and alcohol will not be permitted. I repeat, alcohol will not be permitted.

The event takes place at the SAIT MacDonald Hall, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Kelsey Morrison A.Crossett photo
By Séamus Smyth
Staff Writer

In Regina, Sask., it’s going to snow later this afternoon with an intense low pressure moving in from Alaska tomorrow that will likely drop the temperature to -13 degrees. At least that’s what Global Regina’s weather woman and SAIT graduate Kelsey Morrison told us when the Weal interviewed her last week.

Morrison, 24, took control over the Regina skies late last year after being offered the full-time position in December. This primetime move comes only months after graduating from SAIT. “It’s hard to believe that I have landed a career where it doesn’t feel like work; it is so rewarding,” said the former broadcasting student as she prepared for the nightly broadcast.

She says the weather portion of the news is actually one of the few aspects that’s not scripted, and that when the camera is pointed in her direction it’s a blend of improvisation, wit and a grasp of how heavy of a jacket one should be sporting the next time one ventures outdoors.

“It can be intimidating. It’s hard because you have to be engaging and still knowledgeable,” she said. Although Morrison admits she does catch the odd case of the nerves before a show, performing in front of others is a skill she’s been perfecting her entire life from dabbling in acting and the theatre before pursuing broadcasting.

What makes being a weather specialist ideal for her is that science has always been one of the more fascinating subjects she’s encountered. This fact, along with an acute curiosity about basically everything, is how she explained her rapid rise to a prominent position.

Upon graduation, she began an internship at Chat TV located in Medicine Hat. Morrison made a number of contacts who saw her potential, and assured her that a massive opportunity may be opening up soon. Sure enough, Global Regina came calling, in dire need of a temporary replacement. Yet, her tireless work ethic made her a staple rather than a temporary solution and she, in turn, embraced the gig because the weather section allowed her to show off her personality while still being informative.

A typical day at the office for the recently engaged, former-Calgarian begins at 2 p.m. She will shoot a quick weather promo, foreshadowing what one can expect for the prime-time broadcast. She will then begin analyzing weather patterns and constructing a diagram for her filmed presentation. Once she is content with her predictions, it’s time for her to sit in the makeup chair. Although many may assume that television personalities cake on the blush and cover up, Morrison said with the prevalence of high-definition television, makeup is kept to a minimum.

Once Morrison has her game face, she’s fitted with her ear piece on to ensure she can hear from the powers that be in Vancouver. Amazingly, the only visuals actually present on the set in Regina are the desks. Everything else is completely virtual, meaning that Morrison is actually performing her routine in front of a green screen.

She will appear twice on each broadcast, running at 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., for two minutes and then an extended analysis for two minutes and forty five seconds.

Although Morrison is on cloud nine when describing her good fortune, she says it’s been hard to leave behind the city she grew up in, especially since she’s planning on walking down the aisle in the near future. “I left behind my family and my fiancée; planning a wedding is tough in a different city. I have learned quickly that you realize who is important to you and who supports you when you leave,” she said.

When asked about her experience at SAIT, she said it was more than just a program that helped her understand how to take her natural communication skills to a new level.

“I learned more about myself than I thought I would at SAIT. It taught me how to persevere. It was not just learning about academics; it actually made me a stronger person.”

The Weal

By Séamus Smyth

Celebrities supposedly cutting off their oxygen to increase stimulation; CSI episodes where couples dress up in mascot costumes before having intercourse; and Japanese cartoon characters undressing one another online.

The list of objects and ideas that sexually stimulate individuals – known as sexual fetishes – seem to be almost as popular as sex itself these days.

But did this sudden influx of wild sexual behaviour just appear out of nowhere?

Not exactly, says relationship counselor and sex therapist Mary-Jean Malyszka.

“I think that with the Internet it has made what other people are doing and what ideas they are experimenting with accessible to others. The whole cross-infusion of ideas and possibilities through the ‘net has made it appear that it is an explosion.

“My guess is that compared to maybe 50 years ago, yes, there is a lot more prevalence. But it certainly has existed for centuries,” said Malyszka.

Before enrolling in the business administration program at SAIT, Michelle Wasilewski worked as a Passion Parties’ consultant, selling sex toys and sexual aides at home parties. She agrees with Malyszka that fetishes have existed for a substantial period of time, but people have only recently become comfortable with discussing their unique, sometimes downright off-the-wall, sexual pleasures.

“People aren’t as embarrassed by them since I think there is a better public understanding,” said Wasilewski.

She has heard about a wide array of sexual desires, cock rings, butt plugs and the infamous dildo are easily the most sought-after by customers.

Wasilewski said that as a purveyor of sexual aides, she often acted as a stand-in counselor/mediator between adventurous couples trying to determine the best way to spice up their sexual relationships.

“I think a healthy sex life is important in any relationship. Being open to your sexuality and being comfortable to try something new is awesome,” she said.

However, Wasilewski said not all fetishes that involve more than one person will appeal to everyone and that it’s best to remain sensitive to a partner’s desires and boundaries.

“I just think you should be prepared for different things because, if not, you might not like how things go and that isn’t fun for anyone.”

Malyszka offered her advice on how one should approach a partner about embarking on a new, risqué approach to sex.

“Definitely being present to what is considered safe both emotionally and physically and having that negotiated with their partner.

“That being said, some people choose to walk the fine line of safety and that is what gets them off. So having a really good discussion about where that line is drawn is important,” she explained.

Although having a foreign object inserted into every orifice can have humiliating – or at least uncomfortable – consequences, Wasilewski said she’s seen plenty of relationships take a turn for the better because of the introduction of a sexual device or toy.

She relayed a tale of a couple she met while working for Passion Parties that had been contemplating divorce and were desperate for anything to improve the situation.

“I suggested the ‘Dark Knight’ cock ring that was black and spiky and basically everything else that men like. They bought this and a couple of other items to allow for more intimacy to occur,” she said.

Three months later, she received a small gift in the mail from the couple who claimed their relationship was now better than ever.
While Wasilewski clearly sees the sexual fetish movement increasing its profile, Malyska takes it one step further.

“Fetishes are part of our culture. They can be mild to extreme. It is a matter of the human connection. It’s about maintaining that core connection – that is how it works or it doesn’t work.”

James Pavel

The act of manwhorism dates back to the beginning of time. Kings having more wives than fingers and proud soldiers inserting their member in anything with two feet and a heart beat has unfortunately been common routine for ages according to history books.

Back in the chauvinistic hay-day, men were under the assumption that they had the right to roll in the hay with whomever they chose, no questions asked. This behaviour was further glorified in the ‘90s with the ubiquity of the term “player.”

Banging broads for sport was a status symbol for males. Yet women who attempted to mimic the promiscuous behaviour of their male counterparts were almost always labelled sluts, tramps and yes, whores.

It could be argued that no one was guiltier of promoting this shameless sexual-body count than hip-hop music. Rappers proudly dancing with dozens of half-naked women and lyrics that contained the slogan “playa’ for life,” helped push the ideology full steam ahead.

This obvious sexism and hypocrisy has seemed to finally become not just obvious to women, but to the world at large over the past few years.

Any man operating under the egotistical belief that sexual partners are as interchangeable as characters in Mortal Kombat are no longer knighted with praise.

They have finally earned the right to be stamped with a disclaimer proclaiming that this one individual is prone to whoring their male genitalia at all hours of the day.

Yes, while many of these afore mentioned, sexually spoiled rappers really were bangin’ a hoochie every night, many also had children with a number of different women (see Eazy-E) founding the brilliant, English internal-rhyme gem, “baby-mama drama.”

The fantasy of having intercourse with a different Victoria’s Secret angel every time the sun sets is tough to resist for any heterosexual male, but just like everything else that seems too good to be true, this concept is no different.

Multiple sexual partners in a short span of time can equal complicated issues not just for the individual, but also for all parties involved.

Storks do not deliver newborn children and these mammals really do, in fact, enter the world through a woman’s vagina. This should immediately signal to a man that he should ponder aloud any potential repercussions before engaging in sexual behaviour with a complete stranger.

Yet, the biggest blow to the player turned man-whore legacy is the unfortunate prevalence of sexually transmitted infections. If you can’t remember the name of the woman you slept with, it is no longer just irresponsible, it is downright dangerous.

Being labeled a man-whore implies that one is untrustworthy, is dispassionate towards making sweet love and might be hosting a party of troublesome issues in not only his trousers but also his heart.

The term “whore” is now an all-encompassing one, assuring any female and now male willing to yank off their belt at the drop of a hat are in the same exclusive club.

Female whores now have some much-needed company as self-proclaimed “players” are now earning the discredit to their name that they have been living up to for years.

So to all those tired of hearing males tally up their sexual conquests like counting their shots after an 18-hole golf game, long live the term: man-whore.

Originally written October 31, 2011
By Séamus Smyth

Halloween has evolved from a children’s candy wonderland to an adult sex-fest filled with lust, exposed busts and men behaving like mutts.

Depending on your age, you’re either ecstatic or frustrated or completely indifferent to Halloween’s revamped image. The demographic that has truly benefited from this evolving pseudo-holiday are those, ranging from 18-35.

This outrageous day of scandalously clad women getting obscenely drunk until unholy hours of the night, it has placed a responsibility on the male populace that many have succeeded at, while others have predictably plundered.

This burden, this weight on the proverbial shoulders, is of course the quest to be as original as possible with one’s yearly outfit.

Oh how as a youth, it was so mindlessly simple. Throw on a moronic mask, a white sheet with holes poked out for vision perhaps, or for those true enthusiasts, facepaint featuring dollar store blood dripping down one’s candy-drenched lips.

Yet here in 2011, Halloween demands ingenuity. To show up dressed as a ghost or vampire oozes of procrastination, lack of imagination and worst of all, no game.

The horde of imitators is vast each year, which is why it’s essential that one seeks to stand out from the disorganized men who fail to capture the imagination of their peers.

Do you really want to be greeted by fellow Heath-Ledger style Jokers (damn it, Heath. I miss you) and discuss the exhausting process of transforming one’s face into that of a scarred lunatic? Or are you eagerly anticipating playing with the braids of the dozens of fellow pirates this Oct. 31 because you all decided to avoid the plank of the unknown and dress up as Captain Jack “asexual” Sparrow for the third straight year?

Think back to your favourite cartoon character or a television hero that you once obsessed over emulating as this could easily be your gateway to an unprecedented sense of individuality.

So begin some serious brainstorming and aim to stand out; I guaran-damn-tee it will make it a Oct.29-31 to remember.

By Séamus Smyth

It looked like a lineup to meet Santa Claus in the Heart building this past week but it was actually SAIT students waiting to purchase art at the annual poster sale.

The sale featured the typical iconic James Dean images, the half-naked sleeping beauties and the classical shots of downtown Paris, all demonstrating that the powerful poster has not lost any of its muscle over the years.

The trite but valid statement, “a picture is worth a 1,000 words,” appears to have not been lost on the SAIT student body as hundreds patiently analyzed each image.

Similar to adorning a Winnipeg Jets hat or an Iron Maiden t-shirt, the poster makes an immediate statement without uttering a syllable. It allows one to illustrate his or her allegiances in a cost-effective manner and without having permanent ink pierced into their flesh.

One’s poster collection and tastes usually evolve over the years and likely serves as a tool to demonstrate maturity. There is no better example of this poster/age correlation than if one were to examine the walls of a typical, young boy. Theoren Fleury and Michael Jordan posters were likely mainstays for Calgary youngsters until they reached their teens during the 90’s.

Of course the minute sex, drugs and rock n’ roll were introduced to a once clean-cut mentality, Theo and MJ are juxtaposed with scandalously clad women and Corona beer images. These man-cave paintings remain for an eternity and often bring company with them. At some point, Tupac, Scarface and Blink 182 join the party and suddenly this high school student’s wall is a conglomeration of potentially bad influences and questionable values.

But, a few years after they’ve finished screaming Alice Cooper’s “School’s out Forever,” a monumental wind begins blowing at the corners of these wary pieces of cheap art.

Scarface suddenly looks haggard and he doesn’t smile the way he used to; It begins to feel like Blink 182 broke up a millennia ago and haven’t been the same since; and Theoren Fleury? Who was that again?

Plus, there is a lovely lady/girlfriend on her way over to do a room inspection and these once proud visuals now seem like the equivalent of wearing Spider-man underwear or needing to be burped after dinner.

And so the poster situation demands a makeover; Pac’ is asked to rest in peace and black-and-white clad Elvis Presley and Martin Luther King Jr. are quickly introduced. Suddenly a beautiful landscape shot of New York looks as though it could really accent this young man’s bedroom.

Abstract paintings follow and soon he is relieved of decorating duties because the lady at the door is much more than just a pretty face. And so the poster cycle continues on as boys and men, and those in between, discover their identity through still images that will likely remain with them forever.

Yes, if there weren’t other resources available, the poster would certainly be the measuring stick for a boy’s anticipated entrance into manhood.