Friday, July 30, 2004

Michael Moore vs. Bill O'Reilly: Whoever Wins, We Lose

As anyone who knows me is aware, I am very opinionated. And I love a good debate.

As far as good debates go, this one is very interesting

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Return of the Blog (AKA Revenge of the Blog)

It's been a while since I've posted here. Like a lot of other "bloggers" I got burnt out, but I'm not out of the game. In fact, I'm back with a new look and something to say. The recent "fiasco" at Blockbuster, as well as Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and a short jaunt to Edmonton for the weekend, has left me with little time to share on here. But that doesn't mean that nothing is going on in my world. In fact, quite a lot has happened.

Star Wars Episode III has a name! Revenge of the Sith. And I like it! This one feels right straight out of the gate. And with the final battle of the Clone Wars, the return of Darth Vader and Kashyyyk (that means Wookies!!) this is my most anticipated film right now.

Check out the T-shirt I've already ordered.

I have a new job. Yes. Already. Less than two weeks after I submitted my formal resignation from Blockbuster, I've already signed on with another heartless corporation in order to feed my souless desire for wealth and consumption. As of today, I have conditionally accepted a position at Sport Chek Midtown Plaza, as a Hard Goods Sales Associate. Basically, that means I'll be the guy to go to if you need skates, hockey equipment, golf clubs, etc. It sounds like it will be and ok job and the people there are pretty positive. So that's a plus. The thing to remember is that this is "just" a job, and not to put my entire life into it.

"I gots ta get paid!" - Mookie, Do the Right Thing

I love comic books. Wow, what a revelation. All I know is that this summer I realized how much I love those things. They're not just children's material (in fact, stuff like Mark Millar's Wanted, are far from it); it's a legitimate art form. For those of you who are tired of the superhero stuff I recommend Y: The Last Man, Conan, Gotham Central, or The Goon. And if you love superheroes, like I do, Astonishing X-Men, Superman, or any of the Spider-man titles right now, are wonderful reads. My mutual love of film and literature has got me thinking that comic books are a beautiful hybrid between the two. In fact what the classes I'm registered in this fall, I'm thinking that I may take a crack at creating my own title.

As for those classes I'm registered in, well here's the list:

English 401 Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Literature: The Vikings
English 413 19th Century British Literature
English 387 English Satire
Art 112 Fundamentals in Drawing

Should be a good year, as it's my last at the University of Saskatchewan. Hopefully I'll find a graduate school for the year after. Anyone who knows of some good post-graduate English departments, drop me a word at the e-mail link provided, as I'm still looking.

I'm looking to be a little more consistant with my postings, so hopefully I'll post some more tomorrow. There's always lots to say, but never the time to say it. Sometimes I just feel like talking movies and music. Sometimes a more profound or personal anecdote will do. But one thing about being a philosopher is, it's terminal.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The BIG News; or, "You're not your job"

Well, now that it's official, I guess i can let the cat out of the bag (whatever the hell that means, though I guess if you're obssesive on those matters you can check it out here) and tell you what the big news I alluded to earlier is.

Yesterday I quit my job at Blockbuster. I know, it's shocking isn't it. Anders, the guy whose very name in these parts is synonymous wiht movies, won't be working at a video store after the end of the week. Crazy, isn't it. Basically, after nine months of bitchin' and complainin' about Jason Hobbis, he finally made a move that got me angry enough to quit (that move being the firing of one Ryan Gullen, who you can read here).

One would think that it would be easy to quit a job like this one. A job that has given me so much grief, from management, from infringement on my time, from just plain ol' stress, but it was actually a hard decision to make. A part of me loved that job, and loved being a video store clerk. It's pretty much the ideal college job for me, and I had made it a part of my identity. It was a part of who I am. "I'm Anders, and I work at Blockbuster." Kind of pathetic actually.

Really, though, this mentality is prevalent in our culture. People define themselves, not by who they really are, but by what they do. "I'm Joe, and I'm a doctor." Or, "I'm Kathy, and I sell Mary Kay shit that nobody needs." So much of people's identities are tied up in what they do. So as hard as it is to give up the free rentals, and the good times I had with some of the staff there, this is perhaps a more important decision than I originally gave credit. It's about defining myself not by what I do, but by who I am.

"You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis." - Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Rounders and Grinders

Yeah, so it seems that poker has become the new obsession among my circle of friends. A couple of them, specifically Ryan Fisher and Stephen Koo, are pretty hardcore, and pretty damn good a the game. I've been doing decent for the last month, winning consistantly (until last night), and probably pulling in close to $40 in winnings in the last month alone.

So last night we had our weekly poker game, for the fifth consecutive week, and it was pretty good. I lost big, putting all in on a Full House (10s over 6s) that I was sure on, only to lost to Koo who got four of a kind. Outta no where! Damned wild cards! Anyway, the point is that I've discovered how great a game poker can be. Equal parts, bluffing, skill, and luck, week after week one discovers new elements of the game and new things about your fellow players. All in all, it's fun. Makes me want to check out the film Rounders again.

Went down to the Yard & Flagon pub last night for a couple of Coronas on the deck. Good times, good weather. Went by Lydia's to see Aiden, Ryan and Ewan, but there was a cover for $4, which is too much for quick drop in, but I left greetings with Michael Scoles (whose foot is still broken).

As some of you made have gathered, if you read The New Ryan Blog, crazy shit is going down at Blockbuster, and my man Ryan has unfortunately taken the brunt of it. Nothing that I'm prepared to devulge on my end of things, yet, but stay tuned for BIG news in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Ninth Gate

Last night me, Anton, Michael Scoles (hope your foot heals quick buddy), and Ewan all watched The Ninth Gate by Roman Polanski and starring Johnny Depp. It's definitely an interesting film. It involves a rare book collector hunting down a book that was supposedly written by Lucifer himself. It's a different take on the supernatural thriller, with a slow steady pace.

However, we all found the movie a little confusing and most of us had agreed that the woman/witch was actually the devil, however, I came across this post on that gives an interesting and more compelling theory:

1. Balkin committed all of the murders (Except the first murder. Corso's partner was killed by the "albino"; you could see his feet in the window right before the witch chased him off.) to get the etchings from all three books; this is obvious because at the end of the film Balkin has all nine etchings by "LCF" in his possession from all three books.

2. Johnny Depp was Lucifer LOST in the human realm; you can see this for several reasons. One, the nature of the keys, the purpose of these etchings created by LCF at an earlier time are to act as a sort of 'popcorn' trail from the earthy realm back to his own realm and are the keys to the ninth gate, or the realm of Lucifer. All of the events represented in each key (etching) was happening in real life to Corso (Depp). The woman helping him was the witch...early on in film in the lecture scene Balkin makes reference to "helpers" of Lucifer should he (Lucifer) become entangled in the human realm (and need help returning to his realm).

These helpers were witches that Lucifer would endow with certain gifts (power and youth; remember the helping-woman's physical strength, and how she was growing younger at times during the sex scene at the end.).

Corso also had the marks of the beast (fleshy weaknesses) in the scriptural sense, these were his addictions, alcohol and cigarettes, fornicating (sex outside of wedlock) and his unscrupulous business dealings, and he did not have any close personal relationships (aside from his business partner who was in his life to locate buyers to help him (Corso) make money) but lived for money.

Visually and characther-wise there were some additional clues to Corso's true identity as well, he was unkempt, wore a goat-tee beard and also seemed indifferent and aloof. Another clue was the fact that Corso was able to make the witch bleed, she took the blood and made three bars on his forehead, in the modern myth, this marking of three or of three sixes on the forehead is the mark of the beast.

Now, if you pay really close attention to what Balkin is saying in his lecture in the first part of the film then you will be able to figure all of this out. At the end of the film Corso is returning to his realm, opened only after he has experienced the ninth key. The woman in the ninth-key-etching is in fact the same woman helping him.

And in the ninth etching/key she is riding a three-headed beast (the symbol for Lucifer after his fall from grace) in the nude, this is a representation of the sex scene in which Corso is in the place of the three-headed beast therefore Corso is Lucifer. However, even in the etching, the beast is locked out of the castle, his realm, the ninth gate, and it is the witch who holds the book in one had and points the way towards the gate with her other hand. At then end of the film after the witch has recieved more power (youth via sex with Lucifer/Corso, also another popular imagery whereby witches gain power from Lucifer) she then points the way for Corso/Lucifer to find entry into his realm by leaving a copy of the fake etching on the car window with the name of the location of the real etching written across it. This chain of events fufills the requirments of the covenent between Lucifer and his witch-helper depicted in the last key.

This film is an allegory of the story of Lucifer, who, after his fall from grace, becomes so embroiled in fleshy, earthly, i.e."beastly" pleasures that he forgets where he comes from or how to return home. Satan and the devil are not and never were Lucifer, and vice versa. You will also notice that Satan and the devil are not mentioned in the film. Lucifer is a modern embellishment created circa 539 a.d. by Emperor Justinian I, The Justinian Code, in Constantinople...whereby the systematic interpolation of certain scriptures into new teachings (burning in hell, etc.) designed to scare/intimidate folks into paying their taxes (tithing) was undertaken.

This film was not meant to be obvious, but rather esoteric and subtly symbolic, so if you keep this in mind and pay close attention the film will make sense.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Give Him A Mask And He Will Tell You The Truth

It's been a few days since my last post. I'm starting to have trouble posting everyday, but the discipline is good for me, even if I miss a day every so often.

So I have now seen Spider-man 2 twice, and each time it was wonderful. Probably the most fun I've had at the movies all year. The second time all the things I thought I loved about the film the first time were confirmed and things that might have seemed odd are less so. I'm convinced that this film is the greatest comic book movie of all time now. And easily one of the best films I've seen all year, bar none. Not the best "comic film" or best "popcorn flick", but best film. Period. The acting, the writing, and everything just comes together so well.

Played poker last night. That's the fourth week in a row, and three out of the four times I've walked away with more money than I came with. Only five dollars last night, but still. I'm getting better and better, and able to bluff and bet more effectively now. Ryan Fisher pulled a Royal Flush last night, and I couldn't believe it! I'd never seen one played in a game yet. Crazy.

Luke is in town. It's been good seeing him and hanging out. We defintely have a lot in common and he brings an extra enthusiasm and energy when we all hang out. It should be a fun summer. Lots of Xbox , movies, comic books and golf.

Watched Wonder Boys again last night, because Luke and Danny hadn't seen it. One of the best purchases I've made in the last little while. Such an enjoyable film, well acted, well written, funny and thought provoking. Also notable that it's the second film I've watched in as many days that was based on a story by Michael Chabon (the Pulitzer Prize winner, whose novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, is quite good so far), and starring Tobey Maguire. The other one is, of course, Spider-man 2.

"Now, that is a big trunk. It holds a tuba, a suitcase, a dead dog, and a garment bag almost perfectly." - James Leer, Wonder Boys

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Not just the title to a really great Ryan Adams song (god, I'm turning into Ewan! No seriously, I'm turning into a huge fan of the guy. The soundtrack to my summer.), but also the amount of stuff I want to post but probably won't. However, it's 2:30 AM and I need to get to sleep soon.

SPIDER-MAN 2 ROCKS! I absolutely loved it. It's been a long time since I've been that involved in a movie. All the hype is well deserved and as a long time comicbook reader, this is probably my favorite super-hero film ever. I'll try to get a full review up soon, but sufface to say I'm probably going to see it again on Friday. Not only is it amazing superhero stuff, but the characters work so well, I could watch a movie just about Peter Parker, maybe even more so. So well realized. Thank you Sam Raimi for making my month.

Blockbuster is going to be a drag in the morning. Seriously, I think this recent trouble is just a sign for me to move on. Two years is a long time for this kind of job. But hopefully tomorrow will be a great Canada Day in the evening. Despite my rants about politics and everything, I do love this country and am so blessed to be born here.