At The Movies

28/08/2016

The Mechanic 2

Action-packed, an adrenaline rush from start to finish, with possibilities for another sequel…

 
Ben-Hur

Contrary to critics reporting, which makes me wonder with what kind of mindset they view most films, this is quite a revelation when it comes to a ‘remake’.
It is hopeful in its overall premise, according to my interpretation, rather humane and optimistic in its unfolding, in spite of having religious underpinnings.
I wonder if the media-burial is intended to maintain the earlier divisive standard that has been a mainstay over the decades, and still being cultivated in our political system.
If your mindset prefers the black ‘n white / good ‘n evil sanitized scenario, without forgiveness and evolution of the human spirit; then, this is not your kind of story.
I contend that our eyes and mind barely overlaps in comprehension; but, suffice to say, I find this is a most comprehensive interpretation which is not afraid to show this story as a compilation-of-humanity as we were and still are. Make no mistake, you will be challenged.

 

 

Sausage Party

If irreverence is a part of your staple, and you’re not easily offended; then, this is your kind of movie, animation or otherwise.
It pushes the envelope like no other I’ve seen. Even A Million Ways to Die in The West does not come close to how this pushes the envelope!
You take a psychological risk by choosing to see this film; and, that is all I am going to say about this film.  You have been warned!!!

 

 

8. The CNE Upgraded

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Book Covers

26/08/2016

“You’ve got to accent the positive, eliminate the negative”, as the song chimes. In keeping with my practice of not judging books/people by their variety-of-covers/appearance, I often sit and ponder at what lies beneath these covers. Each one a charming effort to make light of living this Life.

 

I begin with a series of observations, diverging from my other contemplation named, ‘By The Numbers’. I cannot determine the numbers or duration of what is to follow, at this juncture; suffice to say, I’ll be giving it the ole college try.

 

Running on Empty ~ the beginning

Similar to many, I arrived in the late-nineteen forties without awareness of the space/ time continuum I was to inhabit, not to mention its multi-layered imports. The ones who awaited my entry had already accepted their struggles and contended to facilitate my becoming regardless of their unprepared for what was to follow me through Life. At least, that’s what my current mindset has determined.

What they didn’t know, as well as subsequent others regardless of socio-economic and education constructs, was that the Times were a-changing without due regard by all the Earth’s inhabitants. I was to grow into this being subject to their biases, family-friends and unknown others’. We were/are all deigned to do the best we can, with what we know and don’t know in oh, so many cases, as I’ve seen.

In the beginning, there were projected anxieties of which the promoters were unaware. Being the ‘blank’ slate and unfiltered recipient, on which to write, I absorbed whatever came my way with only primary caregivers standards as buffer. That is, until I was able to discern what was or was not noteworthy for acceptance/use as I traverse this timeline/dimension, such as it was/is/has been.

First, there were their happy relief of my acceptable physical appearance, then the numerous other relief contents for my ability of processing input relative to living among them. There were no concerns for ‘what’ I wanted, biased by their lack-of-knowledge of my capabilities. They had no model construct of any such notion of their own, and neither did I, until this 21st century. Therefore, what was to follow; and for the multitude of arrivals, before and after my entry, could not be determined in spite of their beliefs. What was to become of me, or anyone for that matter, was a conundrum.

To their credit, albeit unintended, I was spared the usual biases that came with a specific cultural atmosphere content and values. Fortunately, this allowed me to remain free of biases unbeknownst to all, even me until recently. In the discovery of this, I was able to explain to my-self all ‘the great escapes’ and successful adventures experienced thus far.

Sometimes, being too busy to focus time ‘n energies unto an unknown entity, like a child, isn’t necessarily a negative thing. Conditions of the time/place continuum can give that entity a better chance for survival, more so than if time and energies were spent in the indoctrination process.

 

 

5. About 1yr Later

 

I was one such ‘lucky’ case, whether or not the oversight was intentional for whatever reason(s)/purpose(s). What I do intuit, and with some spotted memories, was that I was showered with stimuli from which I accumulated enough to take me from one moment into the next. Somewhere/somehow I came through decades without knowing, or being aware, that there was far more from which I could benefit in growing through my early years. Such were the discrepancies that the world has only recently chosen to attend. Today it’s called equity-to-access/support/opportunity. Still, it is but a concept overall, and a reality in selected spaces.

I keep my counsel when I overhear the certitude of ‘knowing’ by others, and their disciples, who determinedly promote their guru’s ideals. Is it any wonder conflicts erupt, in the extreme giving rise to world wars, including global conflicts. It appears the biases shared/forced onto others are very similar to the ‘entry level’ experience. We are not so different after all, superficially speaking. It’s the assumption of likeness and difference that elicits opposition throughout lifetimes.

I was mindless, in spite of topics in seminars and workshops touting scripted processes for goings on in a person’s life. This was due to the fact I was allowed to develop intuitive filtering of all whom I encountered, although I wasn’t aware I had this ability and it was operational for my survival. This skill inadvertently allowed me to be in the moment with people, unaware that this was a much sought after skill-set, today. I am only now coming to terms with it, not yet fully aware of its intimations.

From what I am aware, I came by this ability to engage with others naturally and, through circumstance, developed-explored this ability unaware that there were other ways to communicate/interact. Of course, this has led to many misgivings and exchanges where disconnects prevailed. These disconnections are rampant and have become the regular operating systems of our contemporary societies, since the beginning of the Cold War era (referencing the McCarthy discourses).

Unfortunately/Sadly, in spite of knowing these erroneous precepts/constructs, and their affectations, the prevailing structure is the systematization of current standard keeping the status quo entrenched in their positions fearing the loss of acquired ground. It is a losing battle/war. Best bet, choose the battles spiralling and hope for the best, if/when a war ensues. But, I digress…

My initial point is the wherefore and purposes of imprinting upon entry for surviving this Life. Look around, how do you see what you’re seeing and what you’ve seen?

Odds for – Odds against…

 

Upon consideration, from my adolescent years through into my ‘now’, I’ve been given the wherewithal to contemplate for my edification. Not that much has come from it by way of societal aggrandizement; nevertheless, I make do moving on in comprehension.

 

The world at-large is unaware of my comings and goings, as I am of any other individual discounted as family, friends and/or associate. Even the people passing bye on the streets I meander are seen yet unseen, ofttimes dismissed so as not to clutter the visual memory bank. Still, we impact on each other’s lives beyond the six-degrees of separation, often going unaware to conscious minds. Our impact upon one another being in the realm of the ‘Butterfly Effect’.

 

Dismissing the thought of it by choice does not eliminated its actuality. Contemplating the wherefores and/or how-come is daunting, giving migraines to anyone foraging that domain for any length of time. I attempt it, nonetheless, and find I’m most often out on a limb and alone.

 

Well, here comes another one…

 

To my mind, I find myself here by Chance not knowing where I’m going and for what purpose save the ones I happen upon, or those thrust upon me by Chance/Design. Even my current location in this time and space continuum are unplanned; thus, actuated according to the ebb and flow of social conventions I happen to comprehend, in part; enough for survival and management of personal affairs.

Which, begets the question, “How many of us are here in similar situations?” Entertain the question rhetorically or otherwise, but it’s one of which I’m aware in this ‘Butterfly Effect’ construct.

 

 

1a. James Early Phase '49

 

 

We come and we go; from whence come we and to where goeth we, are but intimations.

Interestingly, we bring others into this frame of reference, by choice or by chance giving credence to this doing from the conjecture that it’s for the ‘survival of our specie’. From where did this credo originate? It’s one on a long list of beliefs repeated not investigated albeit defended to the death throughout human existence.

 

Not that I have any contest to these claims, just that I find them curious when I happen upon them whether thrust upon me in debate or overheard in passing. Fact of the matter is, we’re here making the best of it for as long as allowed, in spite of the effects of the chemically imbalanced by those round about us.

 

 

2. Early Walking phase

 

 

Curiously, there’s the buying into the ‘Competition’ over ‘Co-Operation/Collaboration’ construct, believing that the struggle has to be, needs to be, against instead of with one another in order to have/make the world better. Again, how come? Certainly there’s the excuse of ‘survival of the fittest’ which has its detractors; not as much as its promotors.

 

The interpretation of effort-as-struggle is longstanding and requires modifying, after rethinking in light of our evolution as a specie, at best. From where I stand, which changes with the tides and in keeping with introspections, growth involves not throwing out the babies with the bathwater! I find myself struggling against a riptide of social behaviours in order to stay afloat, just to get to safety. Looking around and observing our history, no one appears to be keeping track to see if we’re on-track and heading in a truly beneficial direction!

 

It occurs to me there are more people in my dilemma than acknowledged, recognized, where it concerns what I initially stated as ‘comings and goings’. Are we simply making-shit-up as we go/grow along, getting away with it so long as enough people are too afraid to question the wherefore, what for and how come to determine our ‘true’ purpose?

 

 

52a. In the Way

 

 

As we each run out of Time, panic ought not to be the undercurrent motivating our doings! All the marvellous things counter-balanced by the disastrous fallouts are nought but a spiral partnership circling the bowl, each of us positioned by fear camouflaged by our affordable imaginings; and, as you know, some of us are unable to afford much while we traverse this mortal coil.

 

So, until more of us come to our senses to surpass the tipping point toward Life-Affirming-Behaviours instead of lip-service, I continue through as I’m certain others do occupying their time with whatever comes, as desired, by design-and/or-forced upon them.

When we speak of personal safety, do we consider workplace as well as recreational space? There are a plethora of examples, often gone unnoticed due to media-hype affecting our attention-span conditioned gradually over the decades.

 

Here’s one I discovered upon reading The Toronto Star, recently:

Samsung employees dying in South Korea were denied information to determine what extenuating factors such as environmental exposures, chemical or otherwise, may have contributed to their illness (Leukaemia), etc.

The reason for refusing an investigation?  It was determined to do so would reveal what they consider a ‘Trade Secret’!

Corporate interests over human well-being…

 

 

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Now, onto an area we are more at liberty-to-manage, sort of…

 

Sleep-Depravation

It has been reported that kids require more sleep than adults, which stands to reason. These strategies are offered to deal/manage the getting of more sleep:

  1. Start prioritizing sleep
  2. Have a bedtime routine
  3. Turn-off the Tech
  4. Check for sleep-disorder (I suggest sleep positioning, especially head/neck)

Ongoing…

  • 33%  to  45%  of children from age 5 to 17, on average, have trouble falling asleep
  • 36% of age 14 to 17sometimes find it difficult to stay awake during the day
  • 31% of school age kids and 26% of adolescents in Canada are sleep-deprived
  • 43% of 16/17yr olds aren’t getting enough sleep on weekdays

Of course in our hurried modern society of getting head, the race begins earlier and earlier which see contributing factors mount through their growing years.

 

Source:  2016 Participation Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

 

Here you have it, a little something for those who’re willing to contemplate Life Flow as we evolve in what we deem civilization. The choice, as always, is yours…

 

BY THE NUMBERS?

16/08/2016

Our lives are inundated by numbers before our first breath and left to those remaining after we pass on. So much so, our eyes glaze over and only a few manage to stay lucid during certain periods of onslaught and have recall to make connections in their coming and going. Below are a selection of numbers that affect our lives and, of this I’m certain, pass unnoticed and disconnected on their passage through our experiences. Consider…

 

 

10. New Toronto '15

 

HENNESSY’S INDEX   ~   A number is never just a number

Summer 2015 ~ The Long Shadow of Mike Harris

 

$19 billion: Estimated annual cumulated impact of the Harris era tax cuts on Ontario’s fiscal capacity by 2013-14.

$14 billion: Estimated amount of cumulated provincial debt by the end of 2000-2001 that resulted from the Harris Government’s decision to borrow money to fund its mid-1990s tax cuts.

$3.5 billion: Estimated spending cuts to public programs, services, and public works during the first three years of the Harris Government.

$1.2 billion: Amount of real, per capita spending on elementary and secondary education that got cut by 1999.

-$2 billion: How much the Harris government cut spending on health care in its first term (when inflation and population growth are taken into account).

20%: How much public sector spending shrunk as a share of the total Ontario economy between 1995-96 and 1999-2000.

48%: Percentage of provincial grants to Ontario municipalities that the Harris government cut – $658 million in spending cuts in the first two years of its time in office.

$395 million: How much additional annual transit cuts that municipal governments faced by 1999 after the Harris government downloaded public transit.

$890 million: That’s how much additional annual social housing costs that municipal governments faced by 1999 after the Harris download.

Research provided by the Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives

(www.policyalternatives.ca/ontario)

 

Now, these numbers may mean something to you who’re reading this, if you’re able to reference where we are as a society in our fiscal challenges as they relate to what was believed to be a Common Sense Revolution 20 years ago.

Of course, with a slight case of memory-loss, it was re-branded as the call for Stopping the Gravy Train and was received unanimously by those with self-centred belief in tax-cuts, once again!

It appears catering to individual greed still commands mindlessness and blindness to the bigger societal picture where long-term needs are concerned. ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’

Highway Protest draw Historic Parallels

 

“If your goal is to clear slums, the best way to get bang for your buck was use the highway as a slum clearance instrument.” ~  Nathan Connoly (Historian)

 

Highways

… speed whites to/from suburbs into downtown job areas, leapfrogging minority communities along the way, and sit still serves this function today.

 

… not designed for, nor to serve low-income communities already close-to-downtown.

 

… dubbed, “white man’s roads through black man’s homes”.

 

… results: feeds frustration of communities segregated, separates from schools-parks-0r-prompt ambulance access. (police?)

 

Zipping along highways, people have little thought of history assigned to “entire block(s) of housing” that had-to-go for the access!         ~     Emily Badger   The Washington Post

 

 

Moving Along

Moving Along Highway Access Route

 

 

 

Third Union Station   1927

 

There almost never was  to be be the current Union Station as plans were afoot in 1967 to develop the area/space into hotelconvention centrehousing/office towers, but the Plan was eventually shut-down by the Province!

 

Like NY, Penn Station, what do you think of plans re-imagining the train-station with an amusement park, with scenic ride as in this artist illustration suggests?

 

 

6b. Union Stn. Possibility?

Union Station Amusement Ride?

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