Killer Instinct (Brad Fehr interview preview)

Human beings are unique from animals in that we have the ability to voice our opinions and change the world around us. We can create and we can destroy, we alter the world with the objects we use on a continuous basis.

From computers, to clothing, to houses, to vehicles, to entertainment, we really do alter reality in a different way then our fellow creatures of the world.


We think with such a greater capacity and so we can make decisions which are a lot more complex than flight or fight. In fact, some of us spend so much time with our own thoughts and ideas, that we live lives of reclusion.


You see I have this theory that the reason why we struggle with these distinctions is because of the ability of our minds to process information rapidly and use for different reasons than simply food, shelter and procreation. It can be very difficult to deal with, that option to live a life of immediacy versus consideration. And what the heck are we supposed to do about intent?

But intuition is not the enemy, dear readers. It can be very useful, especially for creative types. In fact, I’m going to give you something to ponder over with today’s post. An opportunity to think about intuition in a new way.

And thankfully I’ve made friends with a gentleman who happens to have a background in both philosophy and fine art. His name is Brad Fehr and he’ll be lucky number 10 for the timotheories interviews series that has been gaining so much traction. I’m really excited to share that full length interview with you, but as we’ve all become accustomed to, I wanted to ask a hard question of Brad first, so that we could sink into the theme of intuition before the full length interview hits the streets.


And so I am overjoyed to give you folks a test shot of episode 10 of timotheories interviews!

As already eluded to above, Brad is an up-and-coming visual artist with a penchant for painting and videography. Below is the preview clip from our interview!

I’m ridiculously excited to share this preview from the Brad Fehr interview and you will see the final result next week, but for now, enjoy our brief interlude and the rest of your Sunday. Think on your life and wonder about the mysteries of the universe. And if you’re in Edmonton, maybe take some time and visit K-Days before it disappears for another year.

I’m out of theories for now, dear readers! Have a fantastic night, and I’ll see you tomorrow with something to that you could love and hate.


The Name Game (K-Days)

Come on everybody, I say now, let’s play a game. I betcha I can make a rhyme out of anybody’s name. K-Days!

K-Days, K-Days bo B-Days Bonana fanna fo F-Days
Fee fy mo M-Days K-Days!

Well actually it doesn’t really work there, because it’s a truncated word, but it was still a fun exercise in naming.

And speaking of naming, let’s talk about K-Days dear readers. K-Days is an annual event spanning back as far as 1879 and with a fairly cool history to boot. It has also been called Capital Ex (from 2006-2012), Klondike Days (1962-2005) and The Exhibition (1869-1963) throughout various stages of it’s history. Though I do distinctly remember my parents and grandparents refer to it as the Ex well after the name changed to Klondike Days during the 90’s.

K-Days originally started as a fair for agriculture, and slowly added in a parade, then a community driven parade, even being moved to Northlands during WWI from it’s original location at Fort Edmonton. At a certain point the event turned into a carnival as well, and when it was re-skinned as Klondike Days, people would dress up in period based Klondike Gold Rush costumes. By the early 2000’s people had lost most of their interest in the Klondike theme, and thus the name was changed to Capital Ex. Though Edmontonians weren’t especially interested in the name change, and we saw attendance dip consistently until the rebrand to K-Days.

K-Days is quite an event – it features rides, food vendors, games, live music on two separate stages, street performers, merchandise inside the Northlands building, exhibitions which are usually themed around pop culture or environmental issues. All in all, there is something there for everyone.

But what I think is the most profound component of this festival is the cheap gate admission ($17 for an adult). It lets you in to see some great musical acts. For instance, you already missed X Ambassadors, Matthew Good, Moist, The Trews, Coleman Hell, and Tim Hicks. But you should know that Tom Cochrane is playing tonight, Monster Truck is playing tomorrow night, and then Simple Plan and Finger Eleven close out the weekend.

All in all, if you haven’t been yet, it should be a fantastic opportunity to soak in some local culture and especially if you’ve already taken the time to check out Taste of Edmonton and all of the food and ambience associated with that downtown festival.

With that said, I’m out of theories for now friends, I hope you have an excellent weekend and I’ll catch you on Sunday with something stimulating.


Grow Up And Blow Away (Your Image)

Growing up is hard to do.

Or to if I were to rip it off of a writer like E. E. Cummings, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. Which is why Peter Pan never did it, why Peter Pan syndrome is real, and it’s also why we don’t all get there.


Also, I’ve never been a large fan of this above meme, but you know what? This seems like an appropriate time to use it, after all, marketing is about communicating a message, and so I’m making a solid point with a message about dummies using a baby to be funny.

Real mature dummies. Way to devalue the importance of marketing.

Hold on a tick, timotheories, are you saying what we think you’re saying?

That’s right, we’re onto post number four in the Importance of Marketing series!

As I’ve already done a few times before, I should start us on the right track by clarifying what an image means in this instance. It could be a representation of the external, whether the form taken is that of a person or a thing. It could also be a metaphor. In most cases it usually means a physical likeness, which can be best demonstrated with a photograph, painting or sculpture.

But what about a mental representation? An idea? a conception? Especially given the weird quality that computers have which allow them to produce an image themselves. And thusly we arrive dear readers. I’m referring to your online image.

An online image is that which houses all of the internet related information available to the public about you, and it can be very unflattering. Your online image is a summation of characteristics and interactions you have with other members of the internet. Most of the interaction happens on forums, content channels, and digital vending machines, but regardless of what you do with your time online, each website builds a profile of who you are and what you do.

Which is why you should learn some basic online hygiene in order to take that road. Yes, I could teach you about branding related image elements, like your logo, mailing list, etc. But upon more reflection, it occurred to me that we can all benefit from the below first, and build up to that level of attention.

So here it is, a short(er) list of things you should do.

  1. Regularly track your Google search results. Are you competing with someone else for  name attention? What kinds of URL results come up when someone searches for you and are the results consistent with the image you want to have? Is someone else with the same name in the top results? If you set Google alerts, you can run interference on both positive and negative feedback whenever someone has something to say about you.
  2. Buy all of the necessary social media names associated with your brand. For example, I have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter locked up. Your personal URL needs to be in sync with your brand too, so look into that as well. Domain names are relatively inexpensive to acquire, and the internet is the future after all, so make a commitment now. And then make your email signature align – add all of the links.
  3. Participate in the above mentioned online social and business related groups. That also includes LinkedIn, Google+, and other ones like ZoomInfo. Your goal is to structure your profiles, replies, and posts so that you can attract your target demographic and send a professional message about your expertise. By connecting with those who already do what you want to do or are on their way too, you’ll gain access to job openings, freelance opportunities, and networking events.
  4. Blogging. I blog because I love it, but Google and other search engines love blogs too. The content is regularly updated, and as you participate in the culture, which means guest posting, commenting on other blogs with your handle, and sharing useful information. And reference other relevant blogs when you can because the community commitment makes all the difference. Of course, if you can fit your blog into a full-meal-deal website that showcases your career, achievements, and portfolio, all the better.
  5. Share your expertise. That means participating in professional associations that have physical and online forums, and take advantage of their networking opportunities. If you go to Yahoo!, Google Groups, LinkedIn, Reddit or WikiAnswers, you’ll find lots of people that’ll appreciate your help. You should also write reviews of relevant books for online publishers like Amazon and Indigo. And of course don’t forget to link it to your personal brand.

But what do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you still never wanna grow up? I know it’s scary out there, but I have a theory that if you follow the above you’ll get where you need to go on your marketing journey. I’m out of theories for now friends, but I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.


Boys and Bikinis, Girls and Surfboards (The Lobster review)

Common to absurdist thought are elements of satire, agnosticism, and nihilism.

The art form rose up in the late nineteenth century, with philosopher types like Franz Kafka, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Kurt Vonnegut leading the way.

Now if you are looking for some more memorable and mainstream examples of absurdist thought via film, then I’ll happily include some.

Wet Hot American Summer, Eraserhead, The Big Lebowski, all of the different Alice in Wonderland iterations, most Monty Python works, and Woody Allen movies are all great for a short list to help frame the conversation of today’s review.




The Lobster (2016)

Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, Ben Wishaw, John C. Reilly, Lea Seydoux, Angeliki Papoulia, Ashley Jensen
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
*technically released on blu-ray August 2, 2016
******* 7/10


IMDB: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%, Audience Score 69%
The Guardian: ***/*****

Yorgos Lanthimos is a Greek film and theatre director. Known for his experimental projects, Lanthimos has directed five feature length films to date. And so we arrive at The Lobster.

The Lobster is a an absurdist drama with some comedy, set in a universe where single people have 45 days to find a romantic partner or be turned into an animal of their choosing.

Lanthimos does a fantastic job of setting us up within this universe almost immediately. David (Colin Farrell) is a newly-single man that has been dumped by his wife for another man. He is sent to a hotel with other single people to find a partner within a 45 day period. David brings his brother, who has been turned into a dog, with him. As he is checked in, the hotel clerk asks him questions about his history of sexual partners and explains the rules of the hotel.

He makes quick friends with a man with a lisp (John C. Reilly) and a man with a limp (Ben Wishaw), and we learn that the limping man gained his limp because his mother was turned into a wolf and he entered the zoo she lived in to visit but was mauled by other wolves. We also learn that partners must have a distinct trait in common, so the limping man eventually fakes a nosebleed condition so that he can partner up with a woman that regularly bleeds (Jessica Barden).

David decides to pursue the most cruel woman (Angeliki Papoulia) in the place, the one who regular tranquilizes the most single people who have escaped and hide in the forest. As a consequence another woman who loves biscuits (Ashley Jensen), decides to kill herself and David feigns cold aloofness though he is definitely disturbed. The cruel woman agrees he is a match after testing him, but ultimately he fails a second test when she kicks his dog brother to death and David cries.

As a consequence, David is turned in by the cruel woman and will be turned into a lobster for lying, but he escapes and instead turns the cruel woman into an animal which is never revealed to us.

Once in the forest, David stumbles upon the group of loners, headed by a female leader (Lea Seydoux). The loners also have a seriously odd set of rules, and they won’t let people couple up at all. Of course, this is where David meets the short sighted woman (Rachel Weisz) and starts to fall in love.

But I won’t reveal any more, because I think you should watch the movie to enjoy it proper.

ProsLanthimos has raised a scathing review of both coupling up and those who live a single life. It refuses to tell you what you should do, but expects you to feel uncomfortable about societal expectations on both ends.

Cons: The ultimate bleakness of the movie is difficult to stomach at first, and admittedly it falls a little flat on the comedy in it’s resolution.

Runtime1 hour 59 minutes

Points of InterestThe movie is filmed almost entirely with natural light and without make-up. Colin Farrell gained 40 pounds to portray David.

Overall, The Lobster is an excellent conceptual commentary, and it does a great job in the first two thirds to communicate it’s message of the absolutes of coupling vs singledom. For instance, the acknowledgement that faking character traits is wrong, and that masturbation can limit our sex drive to pursue a match is biologically a problem, do a great job of addressing the fallacies of the topic. But when we get to the forest, we aren’t offered humorous anecdotes as much as bitter stoicism.

It’s an interesting movie, but not fully cooked. I might recommend some salad to get a complete meal.

Now before I close out this post, I should make it clear while this movie isn’t perfect, Yorgos Lanthimos is in good company with hi oeuvre of work, and The Lobster is a fine example of his development and his ability to address that which many of us would rather ignore – either by going it alone or following the norm. But that’s just a theory.


Get Off My Lawn, Ya Punk! (Good Charlotte, Youth Authority review)

There is this fantastic track by NOFX called Mattersville. That they are in my top five punk bands of all time should have no bearing on this. Now you should know, when this song was first released in the early oughts, it made me nostalgic for my youth while I was still in my formative under grad years.

In the song NOFX sings about getting old and living in a gated community for punk rockers which are over the hill. Members of US Bombs and Die Hunns, Soda, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and AFI are referenced.

But that is one of the qualities of punk rock, it can be both subversive and a hype machine of it’s own culture. I wonder what 4th generation punk bands will be singing about when they start to reach that age?




Good Charlotte – Youth Authority
released July 15, 2016
******* 7/10


Good Charlotte is a five-piece American pop punk band that has been active for 19 years. They formed in 1995 but took a break between 2013-2015. Led by twins Joel and Benji Madden, who both supply vocals, Benji taking lead guitar, Paul Thomas on bass, Bill Martin on rhythm guitar and keyboards, and Dean Butterworth on drums (since 2005), the band has now released six studio length albums and two compilation albums.

I have always been a die-hard fan of their early work – their self-titled album, The Young and the Hopeless, and The Chronicles of Life and Death. I kind of intentionally missed the last two efforts because like many people, I was growing tired of what I was hearing from these guys in the late oughts.

Fortunately for me and everyone who likes pop punk, after taking a break, Youth Authority appears to be a return to form for Good Charlotte, who have never really been a cool kid band. Or to put it another way, they’ve finally committed to not be concerned about making music that can sit atop of a top 40 chart. Unlike say Marianas Trench.

But I think that’s a good thing.

Where they shine best is in being silly, sweet, and suburbia subversive. After all, the Madden brothers had a dad step out on them when they were young and their mother dealt with all kinds of health problems.

It’s a difficult thing for pop punk bands to overcome middle age and still sound like something a teenager could listen to, but like The Descendants, NOFX, Blink 182, Green Day, and The Offspring have all done before them, Good Charlotte is easing rather comfortably into that beer belly and easy chair motif. Now worthy of cult status and a loyal fan base.

I’m not the first reviewer to say this, but the challenging parts of the album often come in the slower lyrics, but because of the emotional pull these guys have, you can easily forgive it.

Some of my favourite tracks include Life Changes, 40. oz Dream, Reason to Stay, and War. But the real gem on this record comes in the form of The Outfield. It’s an autobiographical account of where they’ve been both before success and after their blockbuster album The Young and The Hopeless. It even features a lyric which quite literally mentions that fact.

And like NOFX and other punk bands like Bowling For Soup have done before, Good Charlotte is happy to reference the past in a constructive way.

Good Charlotte don’t need to prove themselves to us anymore, so maybe they really do have youth authority.




I don’t expect Good Charlotte to become a stereotype of aging cynicism any time soon, but dammit if it isn’t interesting to watch go through these life changes. Song lyric pun intended. If you like crappy punk rock, don’t listen to Youth Authority. But that’s just a theory.