The cutest member of the Magic Mike crew, English actor Alex Pettfyer, turns 24 today. He is our Pic of the Week. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
Last night I saw Noah, the new film based upon the Biblical legend of a man, touched by God, who builds an ark, inhabits it with his family and two of every species, and survives a great flood while residing within its walls. The flood is God's punishment upon mankind for it's sinful ways, and wipes out everyone except for Noah and his family. That, at least, is how the film portrays things. Depending on your Biblical interpretation, there may have been a few more human survivors of the flood. Or perhaps not.
Regardless of the details (and, really, the details change like shifting sands when it comes to Biblical interpretations and adaptations), Noah is a fairly engrossing movie, if somewhat hampered -- plot-wise -- by its source material and the director/co-writer's version of the legend. Darren Aronofsky, an atheist, has attempted to provide the film with a mash-up of Creationism and Evolution, a situation which muddies the waters of reason even further. Indeed, I went into Noah as an unbeliever, wanting to view it strictly as a fantasy akin to Lord of the Rings. Alas, the bizarre nature of the original story and the ham-fisted screenplay made it difficult to appreciate even on that level.
One of the reasons I'm not religious is due to having too many unanswered questions from Biblical text. True, the heart of my failure as an acolyte of any religious deity is a distinct inability of faith. Perhaps this will change over time, perhaps not. It is, however, the reason I came away from Noah with an overall sense of unease and, of course, unanswered questions. Maybe it's just not the story/movie for me? Let's take a look at some of the things that stood out, and maybe the answer will become clearer?
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I was having dinner with my mom t'other night, and she related a story about how, on a first date, a woman's bare posterior had become frozen to a car, and the guy she was on a date with had to pee on her in order to get her unstuck. This was, apparently, sent to my mom by a friend via e-mail, in which it was described as having been a segment on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It all sounded a bit made-up to me and, after checking around, I learned that it was, indeed, untrue.
This sort of thing happens all the time. Well-meaning people hear (or read) of a funny incident, and pass it along so that others might have a chuckle. They don't really doubt its veracity, and so there is often no intent to deceive. I've witnessed this scenario play-out on social media sites, most notably on Facebook. They will become memes that people share, and can take the form of either supposedly true stories (that are not, in fact, true), or quotes that are attributed to various famous people, when in fact someone made them up (or they're attributed to the wrong famous people).
Then, of course, there's author James Frey, made famous by being featured on Oprah's Book Club for writing a memoir (also known as 'non-fiction'), inspiring many people with its harrowing passages, only to have it later discovered that the work was fiction. Made up. Not true. False. Oprah was understandably upset, but what boggled my mind more than anything about the situation was how a debate occurred between some as to whether or not it mattered that Frey's memoir was untrue.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Today would have been your 69th birthday.
I've thought about how to acknowledge your birthday anniversary. Taking a page from Chaz Ebert, who wrote a letter to her deceased husband Roger about the most recent Academy Awards, I thought I'd write a letter to you. Granted, it's a bit odd, but then that's not always a bad thing.
So, it's coming up on seventeen years since you died from cancer. I've often wondered what the intervening period of time would have been like had you lived. Unfortunately, we didn't have the closest father-son relationship in the world, so if that had continued, perhaps life wouldn't have been all that different. I tend to hope, of course -- in that fantasy world that only the dead can inhabit in the minds of the living -- that we would have grown closer, healed any rifts between us, and enjoyed a stronger relationship.
Your children -- including Dillon, who hadn't yet turned 3 when you died -- are all grown now. You have grandchildren. You are no doubt missed, in some capacity or other, by all of them. Whenever there's a Gladney family get-together, I feel your absence. There's a similar look among the Gladney men. When I look at my uncles, it's like you're kind of there, but not really.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, is dead.
To say that Fred Phelps dabbled in hate is akin to saying how a dog is pretty fierce with a bone. The main object of the man's hatred were people like myself: gay people. I'm not sure why. He and his church used the cloak of religion, but there was obviously something else going on there. A few months ago, Phelps was excommunicated from Westboro Baptist, leading some to speculate the reason why. Was he secretly gay? Did he have a change of heart regarding his treatment of people during his 84-year-long life?
Who knows? Honestly, as someone who never knew the man, the reasons for Phelps' excommunication matters not to me. So why am I taking the time write about him? Because, just this once, I'm going to acknowledge his existence, since he chose to acknowledge mine (and others), even if it was in a vile and contemptible way.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Every year, the late, great film critic Roger Ebert used to hold a contest called Outgess Ebert. In it, he would guess who would win the various categories of the year's Academy Award nominees, and would challenge his readership to submit their predictions, to see if they could "outguess" him. While I don't have the desire to hold a contest, nor am I the movie guru that Ebert was, I thought it would be fun to put my picks out there, and see how it goes.
The 86th Annual Academy Awards air tonight on ABC, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Following are my predictions on who will win what and, in a few cases, why. Here goes!