When I Left You, I Was But The Learner, Now I Am The Master (Cross Talk Ep. 16)

 

The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master.

– Darth Vader

Of all the choices I could make to start this post off right, this is easily one of my favourite quotes from Star Wars because it demonstrates rather visibly resolution, the progression towards an end. Plus, it helps tie in A New Hope directly with my third favourite Star Wars film, Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Each of us moves through life encountering teachers, those who already have key abilities of intelligence, judgment and experience, realized as wisdom.

Darth Vader roughly translates to Dark Father. At least that’s the popular statement. An excellent coincidence that George Lucas used to his advantage when building the lore of Star Wars for us young fans.

But that’s what great storytellers do, they build into the mythos they’ve created and simultaneously strengthen the chronology with each addition to the franchise. Thus making those initial choices seem intentional and enmeshed with later stories. The value of of prequels and sequels is that they enrich an already great story. When the content lines up, exploration of themes is worthwhile.

So while Darth Vader is correct to say that he is now a master of the force, Obi-Wan is also correct in saying that he has only mastered the dark side of the force as a Sith. And when you watch Revenge of the Sith, you can see how handily Obi-Wan beat Anakin, how he admonished him for taking a risk and getting cut down, but only because Obi-Wan had wisdom which Anakin did not.

Because Obi-Wan knew better.

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When you begin the process of watching films, one of the biggest lessons you can learn is that there are levels of emotion which you can experience. Through repeated viewings, with different genres, and by having shared experiences. A popular one that is a perfect example of this is a parent watching one of their favourite movies with their child. You witness their emotions as they experience similar feelings that you had the first time you enjoyed that art, and then you gain the enjoyment of sharing that art with them, plus another bond you now have available in relating to your child.

That now shared, Chris and I have spent a lot of time discussing the inherent value of film before, but today we run through some real-world examples of the merits of this medium and why the more time you spend with it, the more likely you are to build social relationships, enhance your passion, step outside of your comfort zone, and learn about humanity. The highs and lows of the hobby, and the maturation the love is real my friends – wisdom to be gleaned from watching film.

This is episode sixteen of Cross Talk, produced by my friend and yours, Andre Lindo. I hope that you enjoy this episode as much as we enjoyed creating it. Cross Talk is a passion project, and this exemplifies that passion very well!

Yet another theory knocked right out of the park, and I’m spent. This is atypical of our normal Cross Talk videos, but I really do  hope you enjoyed this episode creative cuties, and that you have a wonderful week. Check back-in for a review of the new AFI album.

Otherwise, please comment, subscribe, and share this video with friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!

The Second Coming… Of The Blockbuster (Cross Talk Ep. 10)

The term globalization has been around forever, but for one reason or another we didn’t really pay attention to it, at least in my humble opinion, until telecommunications began flattening the world with the popularity of the Internet. And this flattening of course was physically helped by companies all over the world investing in laying fiber optic cables seemingly everywhere.

World historians have been writing and lecturing about globalization for much longer than that time period, if we’re going to be really honest. When countries began sending explorers around the world, like Christopher Columbus in the 15th century, that was probably the first major event that helped flatten the world.

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So as countries are able to share content and ideas more cheaply, the trajectory of creative endeavours continues to be shaped, but in a somewhat unknown and rather sublime way. Let me use a metaphor to explain what I’m eluding to more clearly. If in the past local markets were like rain falling upon a field, then we no longer rely on local markets only, and instead global markets move like tornadoes through a county.

It’s a global phenomenon which dictates how our world changes going forward.

But what the heck does that have to do with films timotheories?

Good point dear readers, I would have to admit that I don’t know exactly what it has to do with the future of films, but Chris and I, as well as a few critics we trust on these matters, are starting to see trends emerge with films, and we believe that the global film market is having a major impact on the types of films which are released based on box office earnings. Effectively, the global film market has a greater hold on the film calendar then ever before.

Episode 10 of Cross Talk is all about considering that maybe the reason why we continue to see bad movies being made is that in fact North American markets are not the only piece of the pie any more… And quality may be taking a backseat to blockbuster entertainment.

I’m out of theories for now, but please check back tomorrow for an album review that makes me sad, Every Time I Die. It’s a fun album, well, actually it might not be a fun album, depending on your perspective. Please comment, subscribe, and share this with friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!

Who Ya Gonna Call? (Cross Talk Ep. 3)

Spring is officially here dear readers! And that means it’s time for change, warmth, and appreciation. The circle of life, in all of it’s perfection. Death and rebirth.

If you want another less literal example, in the form of a metaphor, it’s like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

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Frankly, it just feels good to step out of your home after a long winter; to remove those extra layers, and start spending time in nature – Maybe with a cool drink? Watching new life form from old, colour stem from the bland. Activity starts to peak all around and we get excited for the future.

How convenient then that this month’s Cross Talk episode is all about remakes in film. That’s right, we’re going to explore the depths of the film industry and discuss the supposed epidemic of movie remakes, how valuable they are, and whether or not Hollywood should give up the goose and get back to creativity.

As often is the case with assumption, there is a general sense from movie goers, that studios will cash in on successful franchises more often then they will venture outside and make a bet on a dark horse. That and the assumption that the general populace hates remakes.

Which is why Chris and I have decided to embrace the season and the hot topic of remakes with our atypical blend of humour, passion, and comfortability. We will ease you right in, much like a newborn, inviting you into the blossoming garden.

Okay, we’re sick of the spring metaophors timotheories!

All right, I can take a hint! I’ll dial it back. But not before I make a quick phone call to a beloved franchise that is about to hit *69 on everyone’s landline. #yeahiwentthere

Sure, Spider-man’s new costume is #hype right now, but what about the new Ghostbusters trailer, holy Moses that is getting a ton of internet hate. Especially as it relates to straw-men of gender and race. You’ll want to watch this episode for our thoughts on that pop culture gem alone.

I’ve included a direct link to the full video for you here, but as always the real action is just below for your convenience. If you want to jump right into the Ghostbusters debate, look for the 12:30 mark, otherwise, please sit back and enjoy Episode 3 of Cross Talk!

I’m out of theories for now, but please check back tomorrow for an untitled and unmastered album review. Something completely original, in other words. Please comment, subscribe and share this with you friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!

Ice, Ice, Baby (Ice Castles, Hawrelak Park)

It always feels so damn cold this time of year! I blame it on the lack of feasible options of things to do in winter.

Stupid Edmonton and the weather.

Whoa, wait up a second timotheories! You told us weeks ago that there is lots to do in Edmonton in the winter because we are a festival city. That our mindset is often our biggest problem and that it’s all about getting out there and trying new things especially things which don’t fit into our comfort zones.

Oh right, I forgot about that for a minute there. Must’ve had brain freeze or something.

Well I’m glad you are keeping me accountable dear readers. I don’t know who else would otherwise. And if that was the case, this blog would slip into anarchy. And we’d see burnt out cars or worse. Though the warmth might actually be worth it…

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No! I’m just kidding. Let’s refocus.

I definitely don’t want to read in the papers that several of you decided to take lighter fluid and set a bunch of property on fire to simultaneously keep you warm and entertain yourselves.That would be terrible.

Instead, I want you to get outside and explore our river valley and our parks this winter season. With just 10 weeks or less of winter to get through, we aren’t going to be able to enjoy this opportunity for much longer. Especially because February is the month of “love” or “love hatred”, mardi gras, and groundhogs. Then we move into March which ushers in green beer, Easter, spring, and madness.

So January really is the best time to try something new and exciting.

Okay we’re convinced timotheories, what should we do this January that is so timely and appropriate for you to bring up today?

Have you heard of the company Ice Castles before? Well, Ice Castles is a Utah based “entertainment” company that has a very niche purpose. That’s right, you guessed it, they build large scale ice castle sculptures by hand and give you the opportunity to walk, squeeze, slide, and crawl through them.

I haven’t actually been yet myself, but this is the very first time they’ve come to Edmonton. The company has been constructing these ice castles since 2009 in many of the colder states of the United States. And even better, we are the first Canadian city to get the opportunity to experience this amazing structure. Apparently it had been drawing crowds since before it even opened at the end of December.

If you want to visit the Ice Castles you’ll have to buy your tickets before the end of March (weather permitting), and they definitely do sell out each day, sometimes a week or two in advance. I’ve personally got tickets for this Friday night and I can’t wait to take my girlfriend to go see it. If you’re interested in checking it out, the Ice Castles are open at Hawrelak Park between 3-9PM Monday-Thursday (except Tuesdays), 3-10PM Fridays, noon-10PM Saturdays, and noon-8PM Sundays.

 

I was fortunate to find out about this from friends and my good friend Douglas from How-To-Douglas finally reminded me enough times that I made the commitment to check this thing out.

Earlier in the year, just before New Years Eve, I made a promise to my girlfriend that I would take her out every Friday night for food and some sort of activity, and the one caveat is that we do something NEW once a month.

Well, Ice Castles is that thing for the month of January. And I’ll do what I can to let you guys know if it was worth it when Friday is all said and done.

And that’s all the theories I’ve got for Timely Thursday my friends. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll check you back on Sunday evening something rather stimulating.

Tim!

 

Excuses Are Like Buts (The No Excuse List)

Anybody around here ever play video games with friends?

No! That pastime is still for dorks timotheories! And dorks don’t have friends! So go play your dorky game by yourself! Dork!

Ouch.

Well I hate to break it to you, mean text-based figment of my imagination, but video games represent a pretty substantial portion of the entertainment industry, heck, it’s grown to the point where it’s a bigger deal than film in terms of revenue.

The worldwide game industry has grown by almost 10x what it was worth between 1990 (4.7 billion) and 2007 (44.9 billion). And if we look now at how much video games have made between 2007 and 2015 (115.1 billion) it’s grown by another 2.5x.

Which is why I’m going to write about levelling up in today’s Wisdom Wednesday post, dear readers.That’s right! Well it’s not why, but it’s a good lead up to the concept. And so I’m excited to tell you that it is possible for you to become a better version of yourself and it won’t have to cost you 6 millions of dollars.

For the uninitiated, I will explain what levelling up entails.

The concept of experience or experience points, is used in role-playing games (also games with RPG elements) to illicit a feeling of character growth, similar to what happens in life as you attain mastery of a complex skill. The idea goes that people tend to get better/stronger at whatever they do the more they do it. Experience points are accumulated until you have a certain amount, which then is represented by a higher level of skillfulness.

Most games start their characters off at a low level, in particular, the main character(s), and sometimes (read: often) slightly stronger characters are introduced along the way. These new characters appear to be amazing, but are only cool until something bigger and badder comes along.

Let me further illustrate my point with a popular manga series which demonstrates this thoroughly. While not a video game itself, though there have been games made based on it, the Dragon Ball (Z) (GT) (S) franchise encapsulates this idea incredibly well. Goku is a Super Saiyan now so he could beat Frieza? Well let’s make Gohan a 2nd level Super Saiyan to defeat that even more important bad guy Cell that Goku cannot beat.

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And that’s not really the point I wanted to make. But you’re hooked now, so you’ll love this next part.

I love learning and I am always looking for ways to learn more, faster. Do you feel the same way folks? Well I like to think of learning as levelling up. Or was it the other way around?

However, two of the major issues I face with this lifestyle choice and attitude to keep improving is both the cost and time involved.

For instance, I want to learn to speak French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, German, and Hebrew, but taking classes or buying language learning software can add up pretty quick! And that’s just one of my interests! We haven’t even scratched the surface of academics, programming, musical instruments, and DIY projects.

Oh sheesh y’all.

But luckily for us, the internet is a wonderful place, and as always on Wisdom Wednesdays, I am here to impart some knowledge and get you the content you can use to make your life just a little bit more productive. Or maybe reproductive if that’s something you are working on and these other things are taking up too much of your time.

The No Excuse List is self-tagged as “the best place on the web to learn anything, free.” You can learn all about academics, art, computer programming, cooking, access eBooks, HowTo’s and DIY, languages, music, and other topics.

And. it. is. all. free. So stop with the excuses.

I’m telling you about this now so that you can form some good habits well in advance of the holiday season and not participate in the New Years Resolution bandwagon. This is a useful resource and I want you to appreciate it properly. Because we all know that the January plan almost never works out for anybody. Take advantage of this directory and finally learn how to cook mexican food properly, build a liquor cabinet, program a countdown clock for the next James Bond movie and/or new J.K. Rowling movie, or discover 50+ other free online resources.

What do you want to learn friends? Did you find something on the list yet? Leave some comments! Maybe you can tell me what I should learn next?

Tim!