Tuesday, March 29, 2011


When I was young, we used to watch movies on these things called VHS's. They were kind of like blu-rays and DVDs, but they were these big clunky black plastic boxes with some black tape inside on two reels. A machine would read the tape while it spun from one reel to the other. Weird, right?

Anyways, my parents had this VHS of some cartoon shorts from this little known place called the National Film Board of Canada, or the NFB for short. The VHS included all these cool cartoons like my personal favourite, "The Cat Came Back". You can watch it here. The comments are actually pretty funny, too.

After doing some online searching of the film board, I came across this video from 1971.

This animated short by Norman McLaren features synchronization of image and sound in the truest sense of the word. To make this film, McLaren employed novel optical techniques to compose the piano rhythms of the sound track, which he then moved, in multicolor, onto the picture area of the screen so that, in effect, you see what you hear.
This short, like the others on the site, features work made completely by Canadians. Some are acted in real life, some are animated, and all are awesome. Norman McLaren was here able to create the perfect marriage of sight and sound, and it is very interesting to watch the evolution of rhythm while we hear it. Personally, coming from a drumming state of mind, I am a rhythm fiend as well as an amateur art buff and find this short to be very informative by way of explaining the intricacies of rhythm to the visual mind.

My parents have instilled in me the importance of supporting Canadian made...everything, and so I can really appreciate that we as Canadians have much talent and success under our belt, especially by way of film. The NFB supports these Canuck filmmakers in various ways, as does the Canadian government who funds some of the NFB's endeavors.

If you want to find out more about Norman McLaren and his part in the NFB, start by watching his most famous film, Neighbours.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Juno Block Party

Upon reading the Toronto Star a few days ago, I happened upon an insert displaying the various events being held around the city in celebration of the 40th Juno Awards this year, hosted once again by our glamourous, if a tad snooty, city.

Most of the concerts and gigs were taking place in seedy bars, often late into the night, some 19+ and all costing some sort of cover charge. Much as I do enjoy some of the showcased bands, I concluded that watching the awards themselves would just have to do for this year.

Just as I was about to recycle the paper along with its bright Juno companion insert, I noticed that there was to be a free concert outdoors on Thursday March 24th at Metro Square. I thought that this would be an interesting way to see some great Canadian music, and noticed that City and Colour would be headlining, along with my favourite rapper, Shad. I have seen City and Colour twice before, at the Rogers Picnic in the summer of 2008 and again last summer at the Molson Amphitheatre, both outdoor venues if you will note. He is a marvellous live musician, never disappointing in comparison to my horrible headphones, and a delight stage presence to experience. Shad, I had seen once before in January of 2009 at Nathan Phillips Square as part of the WinterCity festival, and I didn't want to break my tradition of being his outdoor-Toronto-free-numbingly-cold concert groupie.

And so off I went, bus to subway to our most honourable PATH system, up through Metro Hall, and into a swarm of a crowd, ten minutes after the show was scheduled to begin. There were a lot of booths around the stage, selling various foods and Juno merchandise, which was also peddled by the MC of the night, Andréanne Sasseville.

We wedged our way into the crowd apologetically (as my fellow concert companion stated to be very "Canadian" of us) and waited apprehensively for Shad to make his way to the stage.

The specimen pushes its way into the crowd, but apologizes while doing so. It makes polite chitchat with other patrons, so as to further itself into the crowd even more. The specimen does not care for the well-being or viewing capacity of those around it, but is somewhat appreciated all the same.
Annoyance factor: 20%

All three of us were there to see him, and we were not disappointed by his surplus of charisma and energy. We seemed to be the only ones, though, because everyone was either too cold to appreciate his music or didn't think much of him.

The specimen has made its way to the concert solely to see the headlining act, and although it knows full well that it could have attended the show at a later time in the evening, it asserts its usually large stature into the middle-somewhat-front of the crowd early on in the show and stands aloof with a look of disinterest in its eye. This look does not leave the specimen's eye when the headliner appears onstage, but the specimen does appear slightly less aloof as it sings along to well-known songs when it thinks no one is looking at it.
Annoyance factor: 85%

The person standing beside me would not stop smoking cigarettes through what came to be almost the entire show, and the wind was blowing right at me. Since when did people forget that if you must inhale gross things during a concert, you're supposed to tilt your head back and blow the smoke up into the air, not directly into the face of an unassuming girl trying to enjoy the show?

This specimen is a slightly rare breed, only being found at outdoor shows. The specimen is addicted to nicotine and cannot spend the better part of an hour without its fix. It is very disrespectful to those around it, and reflects all dirty looks and rude comments directed at it like a funhouse mirror. 
Annoyance factor: 35%

As I motioned towards this human chimney to my friends, we started to laugh, as did the girls behind us. We shared some snide comments about the offenders with them, and started to chat about the show and other things. The girls were also on the shorter side, so we did our best to make appropriate space between our shoulders for them to see.

The specimen initiates contact through a positive or accidental way (such as stepping on one's foot), followed by chitchat discussing opinion of the talent/appearance/relevancy of the performing act. If the specimen's opinions are interesting or mirror one's own opinions, concert friendship is achieved. The specimen will now have one's back if "sh*t were to go down", and will protect one from any and all heavy crowd surfers, where applicable.
Friendliness factor: 75%

We moved forward in the rush between Shad and the second act, Hannah Georgas. One of my friends is not as assertive as my other friend and myself, and so she was pushed a little behind the two of us, but still in sight. Luckily, the man sandwiched between us allowed her to go in front of him, for which she was grateful and I was surprised.

This is also a rare specimen, the polite concert goer. The specimen's mother raised it with strong morals, and it knows when it can do something nice for those around it who are in need. It gains as much enjoyment from ensuring the enjoyment of others as it does from the show itself.
Friendliness factor: 60%

Hannah Georgas was allotted much more time than was ever necessary. I had not taken the time to listen to her songs at home before I went to the show, so that may have accounted for my mild dislike of her slow and repetitive songs, but it seemed that the rest of the crowd was much less forgiving than myself. No one clapped and there was dead silence between the songs, and she seemed to go on forever. By the end, people began to boo at her to get off the stage. They may have disliked her music, or they may have been cold, or they may have just had a really big crush on Dallas Green, or maybe it was a mixture of all of those things, but I think the crowd was much meaner than it needed to be.

The specimen takes concerts very seriously and generally has high expectations of life. It has little to no shame and will make catcalls if it feels they are necessary. The specimen has no patience for underground, little-known, or indie performers, and will not hesitate to shatter their self-esteem into tiny little pieces.
Annoyance factor: 50%

We moved close and closer to the stage throughout, so that by the time City and Colour came onstage we were about four heads from the front. Not shabby, considering we arrived 10 minutes after the show began, to a crowd full of people. Simply trying to pass the time that Hannah Georgas was taking up with her...performance, we started to feel the cold more and more. My friend had the stroke of genius thought that we should take advantage of the excess of tall people in the crowd and crouch down so that our heads were at their chest level. A mere 10 inches lower to the ground added about 10 degrees to the atmosphere, and we made jokes until Dallas Green chose to drag his arse onstage.

Finally, at last, it was time for City and Colour. He played an amazing show, and it was time for the entire crowd, friend or foe, to unify and belt out the popular songs along with Dallas. I don't think he minded much. Everyone was having a really good time (on our side of the crowd, anyway), until he abruptly stopped playing in the middle of a song. He motioned for his band to stop as well, and stared out into something on the far side of the crowd that we couldn't see. Then, he said, rather sternly, into his microphone, "STOP F***ING FIGHTING! THIS ISN'T A SLAYER CONCERT!" And we just about died laughing. As per my friend, if City and Colour is staring you down through his hipster spectacles with a look of vague anger in his smouldering eyes, you had better stop what you're doing to piss him off and stop it right quick. He just kept staring, and apparently the people who were fighting did not move (they were probably mesmerized by the amazingness of the event occurring) and he told them that he was not going to finish the song until they left the crowd. At this, the entire body of people started to chant, "LEAVE-THE-CROWD! LEAVE-THE-CROWD!" You just know, when the crowd turns against you, there is no hope. They left, and he played his last song with a little more intensity than I can recall from last summer.

This specimen feels the need to become incredibly inebriated either before or during each and every concert it attends. It cares little for the talent and love of music usually found in the average concert goer, and simply attends these concerts as a change of scenery instead of getting wasted at home. More often than not, the specimen will make a spectacle of itself by either starting a fight, passing out, making rude remarks, or other unwelcome behaviour.
Annoyance factor: 95%

All in all, as any concert is, this show was all about the Canadian music, and it delivered quite well for a free show. I can say that the three of us enjoyed ourselves very much, and watched the Junos from the safety and warmth of my house, where we allowed ourselves to be as annoying and crazy as we could be.

I leave you with one of my favourite songs by Shad. He is one of those gems in the rough who can actually rap (well!) about things that matter like civil wars, sexism, and a clever take on living at home well into your thirties.

"He held a tough job down, held my mother's hand; 
handed down proud roots from my motherland"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Justice Is Served (With A Glass Of Milk)

You know what I just do not understand? Why there is all this hate in the world about those little 10 second milk commercials.

They are so funny! Maybe this is just my kind of humour. Don't get me wrong, I understand why some people are annoyed by them (or I like to think that I do); they are very fast-paced and they have some pretty loud sounds like screaming or roaring, and that same repetitive cowbell and moo sound at the end. They are so fast-paced, in fact, that they go by in less time than is allotted for some minds to process what they are depicting. To be honest, I find them stimulating like a brain puzzle, and it is a fun challenge to use the small amount of time to figure out what sort of super-power is being given to unsuspecting people through their consumption of milk.

Not only that, but the way that the commercials themselves are made (using shadow puppets, collage, claymation, etc) in various ways is very inventive. It kind of reminds me of the PS3 game Little Big Planet, in its use of different materials and media to create a fun, playful environment.

And then of course, there is the message behind the commercials themselves. We all need to drink more milk, didn't you watch closely enough? While milk may not give you the ability to turn yourself into an exoskeleton or blow birthday cake frosting onto your poor mother's face, it does have a lot of nutritional value that, I know firsthand, teenagers such as myself are not taking advantage of.

According to The Devils Den, these commercials have been running since early 2008. Perhaps the mere fact that they have been playing for so long is a testament to their originality and cleverness. I for one remember commercials that were well constructed and planned, and were actually interesting to watch. Commercials these days are either boring and repetitive, or they suck out the good ideas of others until they are reduced to nothing. It's nice to see a change in the endless cycle of car adverts and over-the-counter drug warnings.

These commercials were produced by Head Gear Animation for the Dairy Farmers of Canada, a national policy and organization which lobbies and promotes Canada's 12,965 dairy farms. The DFC attempts to create a world with a place for the Canadian dairy industry today, and in the future. With those sights in mind, it only follows that their target audience should be those people who may not be benefitting as much as they should from dairy products. I speak, of course, of children and teenagers, who are swayed by programming into making their choices. If they can be swayed by movie theater advertisements into drinking Coca-Cola, similar movie theater advertisements can create a foil of Coca-Cola if they advertise nutritional and healthy products.

Not only are these advertisements well put together and a joy to watch, but they contain a very important and positive message meant for the youth of today. When you've emptied your glass of the two and a half minutes at the top of the post, you can watch a whole slew of the commercials here.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Perhaps a trend in television commercials? I was watching the tube the other day and that silly little Premium Plus commercial came on. You know the one I mean.

I remember seeing this commercial maybe a year ago when it first came out, and I really liked it then. The fact that it is still being circuited now is fine with me, I guess, since it's not incredibly annoying as most commercials these days are.

A mash-up of two great songs, and colour theory to boot! I love the blandness and simplicity of the commercial, until Mr. Premium Plus shows up and the drab colour becomes wondrous and exciting! Although I will admit that when I first saw the commercial, I thought that it was advertising Campbell's Soup. But this is coming from the person who will only eat Premium Plus crackers with Campbell's Soup and vice versa. They just don't go with anything else. And their packaging colour is basically the same thing. Although, speaking of the Premium Plus red, the shade on the box was certainly not the shade of the end of the commercial (0:24). The colour in the video is a much richer burgundy, a little more stylish nowadays than the red on the box, which leans a little closer to its yellow component.

But what I find most interesting about the commercial is the fact that after I saw it, so many other advertisements (both television and otherwise) have been using those splash effects to sell their products. A weird phenomenon. What is it about splashing that we love ever so? I know that when I see something spill onto the floor, I feel a pang of anxiety. It must be due to the fact that I will probably be the one cleaning it up, but what about when glasses of milk or bowls of random soup spill on television? I cringe and feel a very unpleasant sensation, as though I am under the impression that I will have to clean that mess up as well.

It's kind of like commercials for bathroom cleaners or Windex or Tide. They show the before, the dirt, the mess, and I think OH MY GOSH SOMEONE BETTER CLEAN THAT UP I DO NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL. And then a sponge is swiped over the soap scum or what have you, and there is a spotless line of clean cutting through the dirt. At this point I feel such an extreme relief wash over me that I must be insane.

Other commercials which I have noted to make a splash (yes, I am very punny):

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Facebook Un-friends

Something that I think about from time to time, facebook deletion. There are ethics about these things, you know. A Netiquette as it were. On the one hand, my email inbox is full to bursting with comment and status notifications of people I don't even know, and on the other hand I have to use facebook in order to keep in touch with people I can't see in person for various reasons.

And then there are the middlefolk, those random people that I met a couple of times and have a couple of things in common with but if we were never that close, facebook probably isn't going to get us any closer. Grounds for facebook deletion? These are the hard-hitting questions, people.

As we all were at one point or another (don't deny, I am including you), I used to be a little obsessed with my friend count. When I reached 700 (a large number in those days, children), that was when I realized that that little blue Tahoma number on the left side of my profile was not a direct reflection of how awesome I was. By any means. And so I looked at a random sampling of my friends, and I thought to myself, who the heck is this person? And this one? Well, we have a mutual friend so maybe that will be a hint. Who is the mutual friend? I don't even know who this is!

That was when I began to delete my facebook friends. I began in a light-handed way, deleting people that I didn't even like. Easy enough. And after I did that, I went back to the beginning and deleted everyone that I knew I would never ask the question, "What's new with you?" in real life. After that, I became more and more heavy-handed until I was down to 250 odd friends. Thats a 66.67% cut, for all you mathematicians.

Occasionally, some of those people added me back to facebook as though the deletion never happened in the first place, and I began to second-guess myself. If this person took the time to notice that I deleted them from facebook, then perhaps they care more about me than I thought, and I should give them another chance, right? Or, maybe they realized that something (my deleting them) is stopping them from stalking my profile. In which case, I certainly don't want to hand the rights to my social life back over to them, now do I?

Everyone that I try to discuss this with thinks I think too much into things, or I am too harsh on people. But I guess the basic sheared-down question is, is what do you personally use facebook for? Once you know the answer to that question, you'll know what kind of friend base you want to collect there. For example,

Case A) The Close-minder
  • Friend Count: <50
  • keeps profile completely private to everyone except their friends
  • uses facebook as a way to keep in touch with good friends and family
  • usually over the age of 30

Case B) The Test Driver
  • Friend Count: 200>600
  • adds everyone they meet and accepts all friend requests
  • stalks profiles of all new friends and decides on a case-by-case basis whether they will be deleted or kept
  • uses facebook as a way to get to know others by stalking their profiles

Case C) The Trigger-Happy
  • Friend Count: >1,000
  • adds any and all people they have ever seen or heard of, including all their friends' friends
  • will do anything to have the highest friend count of everyone they know
  • generally will not respond to any communication made to them through facebook
I tend to find myself somewhere between A and B, so I try to be more on the selective side of adding new friends. I don't need to have every single person I have ever met on facebook, but it is convenient to have a medium such as the website with which to communicate with friends that I cannot connect to by other means.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Are you genre-obsessed? I definitely am. I hate those genre names that are so general that they tell you nothing about what the music sounds like. For example, what exactly is "alternative" music? Alternative to what? Or what about "easy listening"? Isn't every kind of music easy listening to someone? These genre names make no sense, which is why I do my research on the music I listen to. I usually use music blogs to find out what new genres are becoming popular, and which genres fit which bands. Not only does it help me to organize my music, but the genre names much better reflect the music itself and are much more colourful and specific than "alternative" or "rock".

Lesson One, children. CHILLWAVE.

STOP! Before you read the rest of the post, write down what the word "chillwave" means to you. If you were to describe a piece of music that way, how would it sound? Maybe do some doodles in the margins or something, get creative!

Okay, now that you've made your prediction based on 100% speculation, I'm going to dig deep in to the recesses of music knowledge shared among the interwebs and we will find out together just how accurate your prediction was.


The way I found out about chillwave was through a specific band. You may remember that I mentioned Twin Sister a while back, and I loved their sound so much that I did some sifting to find out what the genre of their music was called. The iTunes store calls their music the dreaded "alternative" (altogether now..."TO WHAT?"), and the ID3 tags call it "indie pop" which is not a bad choice to be honest. It's a good starting point, but I personally feel that their sound isn't so much indie pop as it is something more, kind of calming and weird, but a good weird. Indie pop is a little more upbeat than this, so I began my search. According to the band's myspace page, they are "experimental / pop". Both of these, as you can probably guess, are too general for me. It doesn't give a feel of the actual sounds they produce.

In my searching for a genre that I felt did their music justice, I found another band which was being compared to them. It is called Toro Y Moi and you can find more about him on his website. In an interview on clashmusic.com, he stated,
"I didn’t want people to get too familiar and for them to think Toro Y Moi is an electronic musician then for them to be surprised when I do something else, so I mix it up. I'm more interested in the end sound than how I record it. If that sound is 'Chillwave' then I'm cool with that. I see how people relate the name to the music.”
So apparently, some artists don't intend their music to be genre-lized at all. I understand where that comes from, like how people don't like to be pigeon-holed or labelled. Maybe that's why some genres are so general, so that artists don't feel trapped within a bunch of pre-set expectations of how their music is "supposed" to sound.

I will defend myself to some extent by offering that no matter how expansive and genre-transcending your music is, it can't be labelled "alternative". That just makes no sense. I can assure you, if a company named their breakfast cereal or shoe design "alternative", we'd all be scratching our heads in confusion. Panic and chaos would surely follow.

Upon further definition of chillwave, I found that there is some drama going on around this "so-called buzzword". Ever since it was invented by blogger Hipster Runoff, it seems to have taken a rollercoaster ride up, down and around in a debate over whether the term is
a) relevant/correct
b) offensive to artists who do not want to be pigeon-holed
c) still relevant now (5 seconds later)
d) over used
e) too mainstream to be considered relevant
f) so irrelevant that it is again relevant

Oh my word, I just wanted to find a better genre name for my music than "alternative"! Now I know better than to do any research about my music. (Just kidding, definitely do research on your favourite music in order to enjoy it all the more!)

Okay, we definitely need a wrap up here. Do genres help you decipher and pick through music to find what you want to listen to? Do you think that human genres (labels) are any worse/better than music genres? Do genres trap artists into doing the same things over and over? Would you get rid of them completely if you had the chance? Do you understand more of what "chillwave" means (to you and to the world)? Were your predictions of the genre correct?

Mine weren't. Sorry I inflicted this drama on you, readers.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The New Barbie Doll

After having been let down by Barbie, I have gone looking for a new role model in the form of my very own dolly...

Well, not really. I was in a toy store looking for just the right My Little Pony playset (IT WAS A GIFT, OK) when I came across these dolls.

They're called Monster High dolls, and they're based off of real (fictional) monsters from pop culture! They're also really cool looking (I love how they're similar to Barbie dolls but also freaky and twisted) and the packaging for their boxes and attention to detail is amazing.
Each doll comes in its own unique box, complete with accessories, a pet that goes with their theme, and a diary (which looks like it actually has stuff written in it but who knows). This is my favourite one by far. She's based on the Creature from the Black Lagoon and she wears fishnets! Ahahah. She carries around a fishbowl with her pet Pirahna in it, which she disguises as a purse so she can take it to class with her. She is actually so awesome.
The website itself has a lot of content, most likely to better market the dolls. I was able to create my own student I.D. (with my very own Monster name! note the initials) and they even gave me a class schedule based on a personality quiz I took. 

You can visit the website (which provided me with a whole 15 or so minutes of entertainment!) here.

Okay, now seriously. As for the actual truth behind these dolls. I absolutely love the idea of a doll based off of the original movie monsters, who promote the importance of accepting and cherishing differences in ourselves and others, but other than that, there is still a definite Barbie undertone here. They dress very provocatively for high school students and are all super skinny and tall. Now I know that Frankenstein was tall, but his daughter can't have been that skinny. And what about you, daughter of the Mummy? If your profile is correct and you are indeed 5,842 years old, shouldn't you have some wrinkles by now? I don't think moisturizer made that face.

As with all other Barbie products (which you can link to at the bottom of every page), the website is very interactive and certainly fun for younger kids if I found it to be fun, but there are links everywhere to online stores which sell the products. On top of that, there are certain web games which can only be unlocked using product codes found inside boxes of the toys themselves. It made me feel a little like a patsy as I moved around the website, noticing that some of the really cool content was unavailable to me unless I went out and bought the product.

The games that were available to play were not all that educational considering these dolls are all supposed to be based in a high school. There is a soccer game, which for some reason they all chose to play wearing high heels, and the only game I played through, Ghoul Juice, promised me a recipe at the end of the game. The recipe, as seen above, consists of little more than sugar and water. Couldn't they have come up with something a little more nutritious? It's not like the companies that make sugar and water are paying them to promote this unhealthy drink!

On the whole, these dolls are probably better for your children than an actual Barbie with all of her countless accessories and perfect blonde hair, but the margin is slimmer than I originally thought.

Well, it just goes to show, don't judge the monster doll by its packaging.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Jumbotron in Smallville

I have lived in a semi-quiet suburban neighbourhood in Richmond Hill for just over eleven years now, and I can say with some level of confidence that there have been some major changes since I moved in. I am speaking specifically of the slow but sure commercialization of all four corners of the nearest major intersection to where I live, Rutherford Road and Bathurst Street.

When I moved in, the intersection contained a quaint little plaza on the northeast corner where we would sometimes get our bread at the family-owned bakery, some untamed (and rather nice) trees on the southeast corner, and a sheep farm on the southwest corner.

The most interesting and arguably most important corner, though, was the northwest. Shy-low farms, purveyor of farm-grown foods and our halloween pumpkins every year until they closed in the middle of the 2000's. I remember visiting on many a happy occasion in my childhood, especially the huge Styrofoam pumpkin they displayed right at the corner, and the old streetcar they displayed behind the storefront.
According to the Transit Toronto website,
What could be more ignominious than being abandoned? How about, abandoned twice? That's the fate of TTC PCC 4716 (ex-Birmingham 816). The streetcar was sold complete, trucks and all, and moved to the north side of Dundas Street just west of Yonge during the late evening of July 15, 1973. Unoriginally, it was named Desire, was painted a brilliant red and opened as a boutique. On July 27, 1977 it was removed in preparation for the construction of the Atrium on Bay, and stored at an unknown location in Markham until 1981. Then it was sold again and moved to a lot at Birchmount and Steeles. In 1982, it was sold again and moved to a lot run by the owners of Shy-Low Farms on the west side of Warden Avenue just north of Steeles where it was used as a residence and office. It was repainted, poorly, in pseudo TTC colors but whether in 1981 or 1982 is unknown. The final journey took it to Bathurst and Rutherford in Thornhill (same ownership) in May, 1987 where it sits to this day.
As we all know, it obviously does not sit there to this day but I will take this time to point out that the farm vacated the corner about two years before the plaza construction began. So that is not to say that it was forced to move because of these big box stores, but it is sad when these lovely little places to buy our fresh and non-mass marketed produce disappear.

As for the sheep farm on the southwest corner, it has since become a plaza slightly larger than the northeast one, containing among other stores a Sobeys, a TD Bank, and a Tim Hortons (a necessity at every major intersection, naturally).

Back to the main topic of this discussion, the northwest corner. The farm of my childhood has now become a large expanse of stores, most notably the enormous Longo's (with underground parking of course), the Duff's Wings, a Second Cup and an Aroma Coffee. You may think, why would there be a need for two coffee shops on the same corner? Well, I certainly agree, and I go on further to remind you of the aforementioned Tim Horton's across the street, as well as the Starbucks Coffee inside the Longo's! Excessive? I leave that up to you. Just keep in mind that there is now a DaisyMart currently making the move into the northeast plaza, which will be serving Country Style coffee.

Furthermore, there is also an RBC Bank on this corner, and a new Scotiabank and gas station on the northweast corner. Five coffee shops, Four Middle-Eastern restaurants, Three banks, two supermarkets, and a partridge in a pair tree. At this point, it would only be natural to include a Jumbotron for further advertising of these stores. As though anyone who would pass through the intersection enough in a week to enter into these plazas wouldn't already know about the new stores staring them in the face, to a point where someone decided they needed a Jumbotron to make it annoyingly obvious.

I guess that the main problem I have with all of this is the fact that the people who make these decisions are only thinking about the bottom line and just how much their pockets can hold before they split apart at the seams. For example, I noticed that the What A Bagel restaurant is on the roll of advertisements that the Jumbotron cycles through. I could be wrong, but wouldn't the clientele of such a restaurant (especially in such a neighbourhood) already know about the products they have? And wouldn't they be the kind of clientele who would find a Jumbotron incredibly annoying? And wouldn't they be the kind of clientele who would boycott an establishment for such a reason as disgustingly grandiose advertising?

Not to mention all of these points, but what about the fact that a Jumbotron is very distracting right in the middle of an intersection and could cause accidents? I know from experience that rush hour is a very busy time there, and the added disruption of a huge light-up screen wouldn't exactly help the situation.

In a neighbourhood that used to be so quiet and family-oriented, it certainly hasn't taken very long for commercialism to seep in through the cracks and take over an intersection. I wonder if anyone passing through the whole of it was under the impression that this was the urban center of a bustling metropolis. It certainly looks that way to me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Amazing video

Watch this video. I dare you.

Wasn't that amazing? It's crazy to think about what technical innovation has done for film. The shadows and effects make it look so real, I actually started to think about what might cause such a phenomenon one day...maybe 12/12/12? If this were the end of the world, I certainly wouldn't be as upset as if it were caused by some lame virus outbreak or natural disaster or something. Nope, in my books, crazy pixel monster is A.O.K. for global domination.

0:18 - Hurr durr...just throwing out my old television. But wait, it wants REVENGE.
0:27 - Mom! Look in the sky! It's a big pinata!
0:44 -Why, Space Invaders, why? We could have been friends!
0:52 - Reasons why not to take a taxi in New York: 1) The fares are too expensive. 2) Shown Here.
1:00 - On second thought, don't ride the subway either. Apparently Pac Man has a taste for subway stations.
1:05 - This will teach you to play Tetris during work time! (Where is the MIDI Nutcracker music? D:)
1:25 - Pong - turned evil due to neglect. When was the last time you played? Hmm? HMM?
1:35 - Donkey Kong watched too many King Kong movies. Don't jump! Just come down and we'll talk about it!
1:42 - Frogger crossing the street is more dangerous than your grandma with cataracts and a walker full of prune juice.
1:45 - Indiana can't outrun that big ol' bomb.
2:10 - Well, who liked being spherical anyways? Cubes are where it's at now. Right?
2:20 - The credits roll, and credits blink in the lower left corner like an old arcade game. Get it? Credits? Haha.

Now, if you'll allow some deeper thought, what do you think of the negative effects of the topics raised in the video? For example, the beginning shows a couple of sad-looking bags of garbage, and a man throwing away an old tube T.V. With the shift to flat screen televisions, what has happened to all of those old electronics? Would you consider yourself wasteful when it comes to a decision between keeping the model you have now or switching to the new and improved one? (Hint: iPods.)

Next time you're playing your gaming console, watching T.V., talking on your phone or using your computer, just remember: do you own your electronics, or is that just what they'd have you believe? Why do you think they always shine that eerie red light when they're turned off? Maybe they're using that light to watch you! *Insert dramatic music here*