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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.


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.


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.



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

James Pavel


5. Younger Us – Japandroids

Japandroids dump out their disposable camera pictures and reminisce out loud about how fun being free of responsibility really was. It would have sounded like a drunken heart-to-heart in your high school buddy’s garage if it wasn’t for the up-tempo, heart-convulsing guitars shattering through this teenage dream. They don’t write off the trials and tribulations of adulthood, but it may make those who know their best days are behind them plead for a time machine.

4. Young – Keeney Chesney

Chesney demonstrates an uncanny ability to capture the weekend lives of millions of youth with probably one of the best modern country songs of the past 20 years. It’s not all guts and glory, as he alludes to the awkwardness that certainly played a major role in everyone’s younger days to a certain erection-concealing degree. But the typical bad attitudes, the…

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Originally written in August 2012. Even more relevant now.

James Pavel


By James Pavel

It’s difficult to pay attention to the 2012 presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney when there is literally a serious shooting in the United States of America once a week. A country that doubles and usually triples other first-world countries in death by bullets is on a horrifying new rampage of death and yet not a word has been uttered about pushing for stricter gun laws in the country.

Three people killed yesterday at Texas A&M University. Darius Kennedy gunned down in the middle of the afternoon in New York’s Times Square three days ago. Six people shot dead at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee last week. James Holmes shoots and kills 12 people and injures 58 people on July 20 in a Colorado movie theatre.

What exactly is the United States waiting for? This is a state of emergency. This is the time…

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By James Pavel

It serves as another excuse for English instructors to take a gluttonous pull from a cheap bottle of wine, but besides the spotty English, the Toronto Raptors “We the North” marketing campaign has created a glowing aura surrounding the only Canadian NBA team.

The Raptors succumbed to the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs this past week and the playoff participation was the primary reason the Raptors were abuzz across Canada. But secondly, would be the aforementioned ambitious hash tags and advertisements that finally embrace the seclusion the Raptors exist in.

For too long, the Raps have been alienated by their distance. The only squad playing under the reign of Stephen Harper, they haven’t had an appealing identity since the day Vince Carter exiled himself back down south.

The “We the North” ploy is successful because it embraces the Canadian elements. Toronto is not Florida nor is it California. It’s a land where if you want to play ball 12 months a year, you better come equipped with multiple pairs of long johns. The winter night is pitch-black by 6 p.m. so you better adapt those daggers to flood lights and burning fire.

“We the North” is about Toronto but even more about Canada. It’s a long over-due battle cry from a country that despite its underwhelming population is pumping out world-class ballers.

The intense commercials also make a number of references to arguably the most electrifying television show on TV at the moment, “Game of Thrones.” The North, the wolves, the enchanting epic quality of it all makes one want to practically suit up for Khalessi and begin slaughtering the Lannisters (I wish.)

The Raptors have the most relevant rapper at courtside almost every game and now one of the hottest marketing mantras in sports. They have finally found an identity outside of their on-court strategies and it’s a development that should continue to foster even more basketball fans across the great white north.

James Pavel

By James Pavel 

5. I love the Dough – Notorious B.I.G feat. Jay-Z

Nobody ever was able to quite sweep the carpet under Biggie’s giant weight, but Jigga proved to be Smalls’ equal on this money-saluting swinger. Hova’s bank account was still treated as a celebration at this point in his career, as opposed to the 2013 Hova who sneezes into hundred dollar bills.

 4. One Minute Man (remix)  – Missy Elliot feat. Ludacris & Jay-Z

Missy broke ground with this sexually explicit assault on all males who can’t contain their load for an adequate period of time. It’s likely her peak, probably Ludacris’ too,with yet this was just another ridiculously crazy verse from Hova. “Get yo independent ass out of here, question?” was a brilliant shot at his future wife Beyonce’s main crew, Destiny’s Child. It’s chauvinistic Jigga at his cheekiest, a song that likely doesn’t garner…

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By James Pavel 

 I blame it on Game of Thrones. Ever since I completed season three of this HBO masterpiece, my expectations for mid-evil, soldier/knight productions is sky-high. And due to this elevated sense of what holds an audiences breath when watching warriors do battle, this sequel dies an unworthy death. 

 What remains one of the most intriguing aspects of the 300 premise is the background of the GodKing, Xerxes. We do learn how he became Zeus-like, but then he is again left on the sidelines of a film that could desperately have used his seemingly impenetrable abilities. 

 It isn’t that Artemisia, played by Eva Green, isn’t captivating. It’s that her vengeance against Greece is  a trite storyline, despite its merit, and she is a character that although appears strong, is clearly beatable despite the odds. 

 When someone pays $15-$20 to see a film in 3-D, they expect everything. If 300 wants to leave out the most intriguing character, Xerxes, for a delayed installment then convert the show into a mini-series, not a full-length film. The movie obviously left the plot open for yet another unnecessary installment, a disappointing method to garner more undeserving cash from an audience that was once thrilled with the original and what we thought only installment, the first 300

 What remains the strongest aspect of the 300 idea is that an incredibly small fleet of Spartans went to battle against an entire army. The second movie is so dry on fresh ideas that one of their sub-plots completely replicates one of the original story lines. A father and son go to battle together, making one another glow with pride. One of them fall during battle, putting the survivor into a violent rage and motivating him to slaughter at an even more violent rate than before.

 The movie is average because the first one was extraordinary.

It’s another example of a production team failing to recognize that this film did not require a sequel. We will now suffer through yet another 300 film nobody asked for, and squabble about how nothing will ever touch the first edition. 

James Pavel

By James Pavel

The sickening pollution of the English language continues as the term “irregardless” has been granted access into the once prestigious Oxford English Dictionary.

After years of polite interruptions to inform one that he or she has misspoke, apparently the linguistic hierarchies have surrendered to the ignorance of society and have allowed this hybrid of two separate terms to gain legitimacy.

The term “irregardless” is the fusion of the words “regardless” and “disregard.” To refresh everyone’s memory, “regardless” is defined as “having or showing no regard,” while “disregard” is to “neglect.” Essentially, the two terms are synonyms, therefore not only is the term “irregardless” alien to the English language(until now), but it is also a trite redundancy.

It is shameful and appalling that the English language has again suffered a tremendous defeat at the hands of the lazy and the illiterate. While television and the Internet have…

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