The Cure For Toxic Masculinity In Movies (Cross Talk EP 32)

Let’s talk about toxic masculinity and how it is still a dominant force in our art, and in our lives dear readers.

Whether you choose to believe me or not, I know that even within the past twenty years, there has been a very minimal shift in how we deal with the masculine identity. Negative stereotypes abound, comedies fall into the same patterns of sexualizing women and simplifying men, and most dramas won’t touch certain topics, unless it means showing a complete breakdown of man out of touch with his inner strength.

It’s impossible for a man to be vulnerable, soft, passive and equal to a woman. At least, thats what the patriarchal model would expect us to believe.

It’s bad all around, because woman aren’t given equal footing, deal with a constant threat of rape, battery, and death, and to a much lesser extent men suffer from mental health issues, all stemming from millennia of oppression. And that’s an oversimplification. But we didn’t make this Cross Talk episode to do an after school special and wrap a nice bow on the issue – we wanted to open it up, and use specific films to identify how attitudes permeate, using film as case studies.

Which is why Chris, Mike, and I decided to do our part and talk about this issue, and how it has effected us personally. Full disclosure, we openly admit that we are imperfect, not experts, and guilty of ignorant behaviour. But by bringing up the issue of why toxic masculinity shows up in movies, and showing you specific instances of how it takes over, we’re hoping to become better advocates for obliterating objectification for women, for humanity and fostering a better sense of community.

Chasing Amy, (500) Days of Summer, Moonlight. These movies are prime examples of the dangers of continuing to assume gender roles, when more and more evidence that persistence (“it’s all in the chase”) is actually the worst. I sincerely hope you get riled up watching this episode, because I really want this generation to change our habits, and we need to stop glossing over major problems.

This is the thirty second episode of Cross Talk.

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In case you haven’t figured it out from that discussion, while I think the cure for toxic masculinity hasn’t been found yet, I’m confident that raising awareness about toxic behaviour is integral to solving the  global epidemic. We can’t progress in society if we aren’t challenging the status quo, and art is merely a tool to be used for the good or the bad. So let’s please promote good examples of masculine behaviour and make speak out against bad art.

One final theory – you should totally like the video if you enjoyed it, leave a comment if you have some thoughts, and subscribe if you want to see more from us! Your support let’s us know what we are doing right.

And tomorrow I’ll have an album review about sheep dogs.

Tim!

When The Student Is Ready (Matthew Ankerstein influencer interview preview)

Matthew Ankerstein is not your typical Edmontonian. He didn’t grow up believing that that things would be handed to him. Even though his family had a farm, and he was involved in minor league hockey, he wanted to make a difference in the business world and connect with more people.

If you visit his website (http://beeinfluenced.com/), you’ll quickly learn that he loves to read and learn new things. I’m paraphrasing a bit here, but in his own words, he states that a major influence in this way of thinking came from seeing his father balancing the business books – he thought to himself, I can figure out a way to do this myself, and so he went after a post-secondary education, but he also started to hit the books in his spare time too. Reading books from successful leaders like Warren Buffet, M. J. DeMarco, and Dale Carnegie, he quickly learned that he loved business and seeing businesses grow.

In his time at post-secondary he worked hard to make friends in the technology sector and in computer programming. The combination of this experience lead him to develop the Bee Influenced brand.

What started as a website for a school project, quickly evolved into a startup business about startup businesses… It’s a weekly blog that teaches individuals how best to build and market their online businesses. One element of particular interest on his website is the podcast that features entrepreneurs who have built successful companies.

Matthew takes their ideas and experiences and explains the strategies these people use in their own businesses. Which made me theorize that he probably knows a thing or two about recognizing authentic leaders from the phonies. In this preview question, I ask Matt how you can find these kinds of business teachers in life, and what to do when you run across a charlatan.

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If you’re like me, and you love learning new things, but can’t make sense of world of online marketing, life coaches, influencers, and all of the social media… then I think I’ve found the creative interview for you! Come back in a week for the full interview and all of the great discussions Matt and I had about growing your business, especially in times of adversity. He’s really got some good theories, and I can’t wait to share them. 

Tim!

T-Minus 287 Days OR 6888 Hours OR 413291 Minutes OR 24797452 Seconds (Weddings)

At the time of writing this post it is less then ten months until I get married to my fiancee Mysticque Moore. I’m living in that space between potential and reality, what will be and what already is, and for the first time in my life, I’m not really wondering about how things are going to play out.

I know it will be a good day. We’re going to have a practical wedding.

A beautiful and blushing wedding. A beloved wedding. A unique and individual wedding. A story book wedding. A traditional wedding. A masculine wedding. A feminine wedding. An authentic wedding. A glamorous wedding. A momentous wedding. A lovely wedding. A rock ‘n roll wedding. An intimate wedding.

But most importantly, it will be our wedding. And whether all of that hyperbole comes true or not, I wouldn’t want to have anyone else by my side.

You see, dear readers, movies and television make wedding planning seem entirely more hectic and also less hectic then it actually is. Whatever the hell that means. And no, wedding planning, like anything else in life, is not a series of moments strung together in a magical way and which leave you feeling glossy all over. Wedding planning is work and it takes time, but it’s also wonderfully straightforward. Every time you complete one task, there is yet another one to work on. At first this bothered me, but I had an epiphany the other day.

Because I’m working house renos, revitalizing my team at work, and investing more time into timotheories, I’m just busier then I have been in the past. Being tired isn’t an excuse to be in a bad mood though, so whatever I can do to stay positive is essential.

Earlier that day, I was feeling fairly tired. Especially after work; but I was also excited to see Miguel and Mysticque. So I headed right over to her house, and then I quickly found out that she had a hard day too, and was tired as well. On top of that, Miguel wasn’t feeling very good about some classmates and he was restless. We had dinner and sat down for some family time, but because they were both on edge, and I was tired, it didn’t take much for frustrations to come out.

I’ll admit that I was part of the problem, but the bigger lesson I learnt was that much like wedding planning, life is nowhere near as hectic nor as simple as entertainers make it out to be. I should always strive to do what I can, but more importantly I can control my attitude, I cannot control others. Wedding planning is just a lot more decisions being made at a higher pace then normal life, once it’s over, if you look back on it, it’s better to have fond memories then bad ones.

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And so I leave you with this theory creative cuties. Treat your daily life exactly like planning a wedding, make decisions, plan the best you can, expect things won’t go according to plan, and most importantly enjoy yourself during the process.

Because once that time has past, you’ll be left with two realities. Either you look back fondly on the planning or with regret about how you behaved during the process. That, and your partner wants you to enjoy yourself too.

Tim!

Hello! People OK!… Separating The Art from the Celebrity (Cross Talk Ep. 31)

Did you hear about what Olivia Munn and Chris Pratt? They might be dating now, and you better believer that Anna Faris is pissed off!

Celebrity gossip, and more importantly, celebrity meltdowns seem to be a fairly commonplace event, don’t they, dear readers? I do my best not to get too involved in celebrity news and hype, but it’s kind of everywhere, and almost impossible to avoid if you have any interest in staying on top of albums, movies or news related to those forms of art. And when you are a cultivator of the arts, like good ol’ timotheories, even more so.

But this is not a rant post. Let’s  make that clear.

For whatever reason, the performing arts seem to draw a lot more attention and drama then say, being a sculptor or a painter. Though I have my suspicions that it’s not simply a black and white matter of these people searching for publicity or having deep-seated psychological issues which haven’t been dealt with yet (I guess those two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive either). The truth is, people are far more complicated then we could assess, and when we focus in on an individual the task becomes impossible. And so trying to simplify someone into their actions is a difficult affair.

Regardless of those considerations, we still have to consume this art and decide if it has merit. As the old adage goes, even doing nothing is making a choice.

This can be a difficult assignment given what I just mentioned on the behaviourisms of celebrities. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, and murder… Which of these proclivities are acceptable and which of them prevent you from enjoying a comedy that OJ Simpson featured in? Can you separate the artist from their art? And does it matter if Shia Lebouf likes to wear paper bags and nude leotards?

That’s the topic of today on Cross Talk – Where Chris and I attempt with a level of sincerity to tackle the topic and figure out if liking Charlie Sheen is still okay or if he’s on the same level as Mel Gibson.

Hit the link below or head over to my YouTube channel to see for yourself.

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We might not have answered that question perfectly, but I for one am still having a hard time watching Mel Gibson and Johnny Depp without seeing their character flaws, regardless of how good they are at directing films or acting in them. But what do you think? And are there better examples out there of celebrities behaving badly that we need to address?

Like the video if you enjoyed, leave a comment if you have some thoughts, and subscribe if you want to see more from us. And come back tomorrow for an album review.

Tim!

Guess Who Got Engaged? (Engagement)

Once upon a time, I took a beautiful and interesting woman out on a first date. Very close to the time that Donald Trump got elected president of the United States of America. I’ll never forget that night, not because that major event happened, but because it was an incredible first date, and led me on a path that I was not expecting.

The path where I met my former girlfriend, current fiancée, and future wife. But while some of you might disagree with me on the timing of this current step, the engagement actually started at the beginning and not in the midst of our relationship.

One of the textbook definitions of engagement is an arrangement to meet or be present at a specified time and place. Mysticque and I agreed to meet each other for a first date, and we both showed up at the cafe. But more importantly we were both emotionally involved in the date.

I asked her questions, a lot of them, and she answered the questions to the best of her ability. We talked, a lot. For about two hours, before I decided to move the date to the next location. She reciprocated and followed me to the UofA campus, even though she was unsure of what to expect, and as she later told me, was nervous about walking in the dark with a stranger down a creepy path (actually a well lit path, but near a parking lot and steel sculpture garden, so I can see what she means).

Then we stopped at the Arts and Business Quad on top of the hill overlooking the manmade ponds and pathways. I had brought a bottle of Bodacious blended red wine, two glasses, and a blanket. It was intentional, I love romance, and I wanted to do something romantic. Mysticque reciprocated once more. We talked for another hour or so.

Then we got up, and I kissed her.

She wasn’t ready to go home just yet, so I took her for frozen yogurt at Menchies, and we played many rounds of Connect 4. She won a lot of them. But I reciprocated.

Then I walked her back to her car, and we kissed one more time. I later found out that she told many people about this wonderful date, and how I had managed to make her life feel like the movies. That was the point I knew I would probably fall in love with her and marry her. She constantly reminds me that I still make her feel this way every day. It’s a mutual reciprocation.

Engagement with anything comes down to showing up, being present and being who you are. Mysticque and I met way back in juniour high, and had the fortune to reconnect later in life when we were both ready to engage in a healthy relationship. Part of me wishes I had saved the story she wrote about our first date, but I do have a copy of what she wrote when I proposed to her, and she accepted. I think it demonstrates the importance of authentic, personal interactions when you make creative things. People appreciate creativity, but it’s not until you put yourself out there that you risk failure and eventually success.

Thursday (November 9th, 2017) marked a significant and special day in our lives. The evening started with Tim recreating of our first date filled with all the same locations, cheesy lines, and romance. During our date, Tim deviated and brought me down to the Old Arts building and showed me a canvas with a projected movie on it. This movie (lovingly made by Tim) captured whale love songs, 27 romantic love scenes, and brief explanation of Tim’s love. Moments thereafter he proposed to me and our close family & friends were there all along watching and capturing our special day! Later in the evening Tim surprised me for a second time with more family and friends waiting back at his house. It was truly the most amazing proposal. On the weekend Tim re-proposed to me with Miguel and made the experience even more special. Thank you to all our family and friends who helped Tim with his elaborate plans and being part of our lives. And thank you to my fiancee who has made my life better than the movies.

I wouldn’t have been able to create something like this on my own. It required effort, communication, and asking for support from others. I’ve always found that family and friends show up because you show up, people can sense when your heart isn’t into it. I hope one day that I can create something as beautiful as the love I have for Mysticque, and I cannot believe I was able to capture a significant moment in our he(art). What an engagement. And it was reciprocated.

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It might not always seem like your life is headed in a positive direction dear readers, but I shared this story not to brag about how lucky I’ve been, but to emphasize for you the importance of engagement. Love takes practice, failure, and a willingness to put yourself out there… just like making art. But at some point you are going to realize your purpose in life, and you’ll make something really special to reflect that.

And THAT is a theory I’ll take to the bank.

Tim!