The Movies You Absolutely HAVE To Go Into Spoiler-free (Cross Talk Ep. 28)

There are so many ways in which movies can be spoiled for us in this day in age – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, and on, and on, and on… Not to mention humans. Humans still are incredibly good at ruining the best of cinema within a matter of sentences. It doesn’t matter if you are watching The Walking Dead or just saw Thor: Ragnarok, it’s a minefield out there creative cuties.

Some people think that etiquette for spoilers lasts within the first hours of a release, others think it is primarily subject to the timeline of digital download and home release, while others come up with deadlines of years and even more arbitrary considerations like when a franchise final closes up.

The truth is, there is no right or wrong here, but Shirley you cannot think that spoiling a movie for someone is going to work out and not expect some hurt feelings and consequences?

And dammit I will call you Shirley if you spoil The Last Jedi for me!

Threads and forums usually make it easy, the subject line will usually exclaim – SPOILERS AHEAD. And still others have rules about what can be said within hallowed digital halls. The challenge really comes from social media, because we can’t draw a policy down for an individual.

People are going to post and share whatever they feel like, as long as it isn’t immoral and illegal, that is.

But with any luck, your humble hosts on Cross Talk are going to give some examples of films that should never be spoiled, films that often are spoiled to this day, and the major repercussions of doing that to your brethren. Hint: it’s nothing good. Because the thing is, dear readers, there are schedules out there, and you can rest assured in the knowledge that you are beholden to the same social etiquette as others are.

If you spoil something, be prepared to have the same happen to you in kind. And I do not write this with malice in my heart, in fact, I wouldn’t wish a spoiler upon my worst enemy. Some movies deserve to be spoiler-free. And yes, I know I’ve mentioned that twice now…

You should just watch the video and see what I mean for yourself. Caution though, there aren’t any spoilers ahead!

All said-and-done, that was episode twenty-eight of Cross Talk! I can now admit that we will probably never be rid of spoilers on the internet. But thankfully, with some consideration, and an evolution of social intelligence, there will become a proper statue of limitations on information sharing – when it comes to pop culture, that is.

And the fact remains, while I haven’t explicitly pointed it out above, film criticism really is a dish best served as a dessert after a meal. You can’t expect to eat your dessert first, now can you? A teenager might defy the odds and have pumpkin pie for dinner, but we all know that they either come around or face dietary issues as they age. And that’s just dark.

Now we want to know what you think! And if you liked this video, please share, comment, and subscribe! I’m out of theories for the day, but this has been Cross Talk and timotheories will be back tomorrow with something melodic.

Tim!

Turn It Down Already! (The Essence of Listening Skills)

I’ve struggled to accept this fact for almost the whole of my life, but for the most part, we are bad listeners. Communication problems are often at the heart of the issues most of us deal with – at the office, in the car with the kids, over dinner with our spouse, and pretty much everywhere we go.

Listening skills should NOT be a latent talent that only a few of us possess, something that is mocked or worse, both of those things. We need beacons of light to demonstrate the awesome prowess of listening, and I know examples exist – I’m looking at you Steven Universe, and your genius creators for one!

Why You Are A Bad Listener

I’m not going to pretend to know what makes people into bad listeners, but I can tell you that there are behaviours out there, which I am just as guilty of as the next person, that contribute to bad listening, and even moreso, bad communication. I’ve gone over the basics of communication already, and I’ve even dedicated some efforts to addressing the ever-so-subtle interpersonal communication, but stopping behaviours can be just as important as starting up new ones, dear readers.

Have you considered that you think of yourself too much, for starters? We all do it, we think of how information is going to impact us, but when you only focus on your own challenges, it just won’t jive in good listening. On top of that, your mind can wander from one topic to the next if you don’t concentrate, and when you do focus on what’s being said, you risk getting caught up in the topic, and completely missing the point at hand. Also, being distracted by other things can make it worse – deadlines, illness, problems in other life arenas all vie for your attention. You need to do yourself a favour and put a pint in it until the chat is over.

And we haven’t even considered how nurture, in the eternal struggle between nature, screwed the pooch on your listening training growing up. What, you say? There was training on listening skills? Well not exactly, etiquette isn’t a universal truth shared with all students.

Of course if someone decides to start cutting you down, you might get defensive, and that’s when you fail to hear what has been shared. On the opposite side of the equation are the helpers who assess a problem, and attempt to fix, without an invitation. And so Mr. Fix-it stops properly listening.

The Types of Listening Skills

Now that you’ve gotten a good dose of where we fail to listen, I think it might be a good time to address what kinds of listening you will need to apply to improve your social standing.

Critical – this for is when you need to evaluate information and either formulate a solution, an opinion or make a decision.

Appreciative – listening for the sake of personal growth and enjoyment. Movies, music and theatre all come to mind.

Discriminative – you need to determinate a dialect, members in a group, if a conversation is amicable or turning violent and a host of other nonverbal cues related to someones feelings.

Relationship – listening to understand someone, whether they need to vent or not, you have to show your support by retaining the details and feeling what they feel.

Comprehensive – focus on the speaker and the message they are sharing, in order to take direction and then apply it to your own role.

How To Become An Artful Listener

Ultimately, if you want to become an excellent listener you are going to have to learn how to be present. This is not a metaphor for becoming a present, but it is a gift nonetheless.

Forbes wrote a great article on the 10 key steps to skillful listening, and the brilliant thing about this post is that while you may need to practice one or all of these steps to get better, you can totally fake it till you make it, because so many of us are terrible at listening already.

But what are the steps you ask?

  1. Face the speaker and maintain eye contact
  2. Be attentive, but relaxed
  3. Keep an open mind
  4. Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying
  5. Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions”
  6. Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions
  7. Ask questions only to ensure understanding
  8. Try to fell what the speaker is feeling
  9. Give the speaker regular feedback
  10. Pay attention to what isn’t said – to nonverbal cues

You’ll notice that these steps all relate to the previous symptoms of bad listening AND simultaneously recognize the 5 types of listening skills we need to employ. On top of that, the author suggests that at the end of your conversation, to summarize any actionables and agreements that were made.

It might not feel comfortable at first, but over time it will become second nature to you. And lastly, while I didn’t spell it out above,you need to create a receptive environment for listening – turn off all the digital distractions and refrain from bad habits like yawning, frowning or fidgeting.

theories Summarized

Silence might be golden, but it is not guarantee of authenticity. Fool’s gold can look just as valuable to the untrained eye. The skilled person takes on listening as an active skill which will always need to exercised to maintain your health and wealth. It shouldn’t be a mere theory that there is gold in them hills, let’s get out there and level the playing field folks!

And that’s all the wisdom I’ll dole out today.

Tim!

Be Formless. Shapeless. Like Water (Brendon Greene musician interview preview)

Bruce Lee is one of those iconic figures that so many people seem to be inspired by.  Especially people who want to make a motivational point for others. To be fair, he did accomplish a great many different things in his rather short life in order to earn that title. And he IS damn quotable.

Credited with changing how Asian people were viewed in American cinema was a big one, but that is just one of his many incredible feats, not to mention setting world records in martial arts, founding the martial art of Jeet Kune Do, and becoming a pop culture focal point of the 20th century.

Bruce Lee was multi-talented too – an actor, director, martial artist, instructor, and philosopher.

One of the reasons why people are so easily and regularly inspired by Bruce Lee (I suspect anyway), is because of his philosophical views on life. I am sure you’ve heard your share of Bruce Lee quotes in your lifetime, even if you didn’t know it yet. Take this gem for instance.

This is one of my favourites, but there are hundreds of them out there. I’ll tell you too, people love to make posters out of Bruce Lee quotes too.

Now you’re probably wondering why I’m even writing about Bruce Lee, because this looks like an artist interview post. And yeah, you’d be right if you are thinking that. It just so happens though, that this martial arts icon has inspired a new friend of mine too. And how.

Brendon Greene is a very interesting fellow. His life has been rife with challenges, or opportunities as I’m sure he would call them. From those opportunities, Brendon has figured out what his purpose in life is. Which is why he decided a very short time ago, after running to office in the Green Party, to open his own record label – Conscious Collective. Brendon regularly teaches musicians how to get started, produce an album, and distribute it too. Plus he loves to manage new talent and make beautiful music, to boot.

Today I give you a sneak peek of an interview I had with him recently on his role as a mentor for younger musicians, and how Conscious Collective is community oriented. This preview asks the question about who a burgeoning musician should work with, and what kinds of content they should consume.

And Brendon delivers.

 

theories Summarized

I hope this interview preview was useful creative cuties. Brendon has a lot more to say too, but you’ll just have to come back in a week if you want to hear the rest of his story. I promise it will be just as entertaining as this clip, if not moreso.

With a ton more heart and pop culture references, this is an interview that prefaces a new series I’ll be producing with Brendon too! But more on that later. I’m out of theories for now, and I need to get some shut eye.

Tim!

Vacation, Recreation, Sensation (Penticton BC)

Timely posts are some of my favourites to share with you, dear readers. They are short and sweet, they let you know what is going on in my personal life, where my head is at, so to speak, and some of the challenges I am facing.

Because I never want you to think I am some self-proclaimed guru with no sense of reality, standing on a perch from on high, a false messiah if you will. I am a regular guy, with a day job, a girlfriend, and my own set of weird personal relationships. Art is one my first true loves, but as I age and live my life, I struggle with my own motivational challenges sometimes, and my personal health doesn’t seem to go my way very often, despite efforts I make regularly to eat well and exercise.

No matter what the challenge, I remind myself constantly of this one fact.

I’m going to share a favourite quote of mine from Marcus Aurelius to give you some insight –

Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.

This manifesto reminds me that life is difficult, but we all are mutually in it together, though we might each see through a lenses obscured. And now to explain why there are not going to be an timotheories videos or post next week friends.

I am going on vacation for a week, starting this Saturday and carrying through to next Saturday I’m going to check out all of Penticton, British Columbia with my lovely girlfriend Mysticque. I’m taking this time to bond with her alone, something we have not done yet together, because she has a son from a former relationship, and we only get to see each other every other week. Some people might not like or want to accommodate a situation like that, but she is so worth it.

But regardless of my awesome relationship, people have been frustrating me lately, and even though Marcus Aurelius reminds me constantly that I need to be vigilant and empathetic, I need a break. To a place that gives me peace and calms my mind down. We all have those places, the mountains have always been that for me though. Thus I’m off to see Penticton, drink some wine, enjoy fresh air, and relax for five days, without technology.

A retreat from modern distractions.

We all need these refreshers creative cuties, never apologize for taking time for yourself to practice self-care. Discipline and hustle are fundamental to your personal growth, but unfortunately no one can manage everything at once and grow simultaneously. This is one of those time where I will practice excellent self-care and come back renewed. And I’m ever so thankful for Mysticque for taking this time with me, and doing 85% of the planning. I love her, and you will too, because the rest of July will be awesome.

And so I’m out of theories for a few days. Enjoy your week folks, and I will see you on Sunday the 23rd with preview interview.

Tim!

Hearing Aid (timotheories presents: Sound Culture)

One of my favourite pastimes is listening to music. I like to have an album going on repeat in my car while I drive on my commute, when I’m running around town, and when I feel like taking a late night drive.

It gives me focus, makes me stronger. And I can drive faster.

Okay maybe that last part isn’t true. But certain music can definitely help with bolstering your mood and work performance. I written about the subject of music listening before, and it’s one of the main reasons I share album reviews with you creative cuties on the weekly. I’m providing a service to get you the tunes which will help inspire your creative passion projects.

That, and sometimes it’s just nice to have suggestions hand delivered to you.

I confide in musical experts all the time. Some of my favourites are The Needle Drop, Spectrum Pulse, and ARTV. And Spectrum Pulse and ARTV are known to collaborate on the regular.

Quick, Somebody Get A Guitar!

I recently started releasing a weekly video series called Watch Culture, where I share movie recommendations with you. Featuring a revolving door of familiar timotheories faces, these are short videos which give you examples of shows and films in the annals of history that deserve your attention, no matter how old you are.

It’s been a fun project so far, and I’ve learned a lot in giving my thoughts on pop culture in a short format. But seeing as how this is the year of campfire stories, I will continue to expand the social circle and branch out into other areas of the arts.

It makes perfect sense to add album recommendations to the rotation because I have a lot to sense about music too, dear readers. So I’m pre-emptively introducing a new series to you – Sound Culture.

The show where I, and sometimes guests, but mostly featuring one very special musician named Brendon Greene, will give you recommendations based on albums we think you should buy, stream, and listen to. We’ll ensure each month features albums from different eras, genres, and artists – I think you’ll enjoy what we have to say about albums that are either freshly pressed and or classics in their own right.

And besides, every campfire needs an acoustic guitar sessions or three.

theories Summarized

Time to get to stepping folks, I promised myself I wouldn’t share too much of this new endeavour, lest I reveal what’s coming up in future weeks and totally destroy the element of surprise! I’m out of theories for now, but please come back tomorrow and I’ll give you my thoughts on the new Calvin Harris album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.

Tim!