Category Archives: The Randoms

We’re All Better For Having Known Him

As the devastating news of Matthew Besner’s passing takes over the media waves throughout the country, one can’t help but reflect on the overwhelming amount of heavy hearts that fill this city and community.

My brief personal connection to Matthew stems from Herzliah High School, besides other connections to his siblings. He was a few years older than me and one of the most enjoyable basketball coaches that I ever had.

The community really pulled together. There has been a true outpour of support for the situation that will definitely need to carry over into support for the family.

My heart lies heavy as my deepest condolences goes out to his entire family and wealth of friends. We’re all better for having known him.

— For another incredble post on Matthew Besner, visit A Bit Off the Top

Back…

So I’m back from a summer away with mediocre internet access. I tried to post a few times, but my thin patience gave out on me. I’m not going to stay long; I’ll post something with a little more substance in the very near future, or I’ll just rant about something like the fact that I wish I were still in school. But for now, here’s this. I was discussing with someone recently how a good actor can really fool you into believing their accents. For example, Hugh Laurie who plays Dr. Gregory House on the television program House, is actually a British actor. His American accent is impeccable. To counter that statement, I recently watched The Men Who Stare at Goats, where Ewan McGregor plays an American journalist. I’m saying that he’s a bad actor, but his Scottish accent does shine through at times. It doesn’t really sound like he’s from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Here’s Hugh Laurie’s audition for House. Watch how he just flips the switch and changes his accent.

I take pictures too…

Besides the fact that I’m a recent journalism school graduate, I consider myself someone who hopes to work in some form of media job. I don’t believe that “media” is easily defined nor do I really know what the future holds for me, so I tend to go back and forth with an inner-dialogue about what I should and what I shouldn’t post on this blog. There are many things that I’ve though of or done that I feel like talking about, but I guess I deem it better to keep it away from here.

All I want to share in this post, are some photos that I’ve take over the years. I’ll post some more soon, in another blog down the road… but here’s the first bunch.

The Dead Sea in Israel from atop Masada (May 2005)

Cap D'Ail, in the south of France, on my way to Monaco (May 2007)

Along with some enjoyable photos, many of which are full of sexual innuendos, I managed to snap this shot of the Leaning Tower in Pisa Italy (May 2007)

A Portuguese Man o' War washed up on the beach in Varadero, Cuba (December 2009))

A glimpse from the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris France. The view's a lot different from up there. (April 2007)

Journalism school graduate

I sincerely had an enjoyable time for the majority of my 4 years studying journalism at Concordia University. Most of my professors were extremely informative while others gave the right feedback and knew when to speak up. Some spoke way too much, while one in particular implanted a natural impulse that every time I hear mention of grad school I get a kind of nauseous/sick/pukey feeling in my stomach (it only lasts a few seconds). Some professors had the practical experience, but didn’t really know how to teach a class (I had a soft spot for that guy). Regardless, I think I’ve learned a lot over university career even if I could name a few unnecessary (required) classes that I took.

This post isn’t to put don’t Concordia Journalism, because I think it’s a good program and I feel kind of privileged for having gone there. I want to show this short clip produced by Charlie Brooker from his television programme (why not? It’s from the UK.) Newswipe with Charlie Brooker. It’s a satirical news review program about the inner workings of news media and a general commentary on the news. It’s actually brilliant and for anyone a little sick of that way current events are handled in popular media, Charlie Brooker is for you. This short segment from the show can concisely explain how to produce a television news segment. I might not have gone to journalism school if I saw this 4 years ago (kidding… kinda).

The continuing saga of Team Coco / Bitter old me…

Before I begin this rant I have to make it very clear that I’ve always been a Conan O’Brien supporter. I loved In the Year 2000, Arnold interviewsthe Masturbating Bear, Pierre Bernard’s Recliner of Rage and If they Mated, to name a few. I truly enjoyed watching Late Night and honestly never really watched The Tonight Show, so I wasn’t really excited when it was announced that Conan would be taking Leno’s spot at 11:35. I just personally watch television a little later and never really caught The Tonight Show, regardless of whether or not I enjoyed Jay Leno (which I didn’t and still don’t). I know it’s a dream of many if not all comedians to host The Tonight Show, but I didn’t see Conan’s comedy working in an earlier time slot with an older crowd. I know everything at this point is in retrospect, so I won’t say I told you so – because I only said it to a select few people when it was announced several years ago.

Fact is, I’m not here to talk about Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show/Jay Leno. I want to discuss Conan’s current situation and how he has built a money making empire. After being upset for Conan and mad at Jay Leno, immediately following the announcement that he’d be leaving NBC, I think I came to my senses. O’Brien walked away with $45 million and embarked on “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.”

From teamcoco.com

The tour, which Conan is current on, sees him stop in some major US cities like San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Uncasville and Upper Darby. The tour also stops in 3 major Canadian cities – obviously Toronto, Vancouver and Enoch (a resort/casino on a native reserve in Alberta). Tickets for the tour range from about $58-$105 Canadian.

Now, I understand that Conan went on tour with his comedy/musical extravaganza because he was feeling the inch and needed something to do when this ended on a sour note with NBC, but I personally don’t deem it necessary to drive to New York or Toronto, spend a bunch of money and see a bitter multi-millionaire take everyone down with him. Yeah, I’m a little bitter. Things ended with NBC on a sour note, but take it easy. I know I’m going a little all over the place here with my argument, but hear me out. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the fact that Conan isn’t coming to Montreal on his tour (if he did, I might have went), but if this tour is his way to give back to the fans that have supported him and Team Coco over the past years he should be stopping in ever city with an audience and a reasonable population. Including stops in Canada and stops in cities like Upper Darby. Take a look for yourself… he skips over a bunch of states and what I would consider a bunch of major cities http://teamcoco.com/dates

I realize that it’s not easy booking a tour and traveling the country with a bunch of different people and things, but frankly, he had nothing else to do. He was legally prohibited from being on television, right? So be a sport and give back to ALL your fans. I hereby state that I WILL NOT WATCH CONAN O’BRIEN when his TBS show starts in November. That’s not being bitter, I just don’t have access to TBS, so I won’t be able to watch Conan being funny on television once again. So now I can’t pay to see him do his thing unless I want to travel and I won’t be able to see him for free because I don’t have TBS. Incredible!

That’s the last thing, he’s going to be on TBS starting in November. He’ll have a show at 11pm, bumping George Lopez from that spot to midnight (don’t worry, there’s no controversy there – George called up Conan and asked him to join the lineup). I’m sure it’ll be a great show and I do wish him the best of luck as he continue to build a cult following as well as a Coco empire. I’m sure he”ll need it. I mean he’ll end up with a ridiculous amount of money, but his last late night show didn’t work out so well for him. Stay tuned!

I honestly just wish he was still on NBC at 12:35am. Those were the days!!

Tiger, Earl and the commercial heard around the world

On the day the follows Phil Mickelson‘s wonderful and emotion win at Augusta, my thoughts are still with Tiger Woods. Tiger had a tremendous comeback to the PGA, finishing five strokes back of Phil. I was also surprised with how well KJ Choi performed, being paired up with Tiger for the entire tournament and having an abnormal amount of media coverage. Regardless of the Masters, I wanted to discuss Tiger Woods and his most recent Nike commercial that tries to steer him away from the infidelity controversy that his followed him over the past six months. The ad features a rather still shot of Tiger sporting a couple Nike swooshes, while the voice of his late father Earl narrates his words of wisdom directed towards his son. Before I continue, here’s the commercial…

Earl Woods says, “Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I wanna find out what your feelings are…and did you learn anything?”

I don’t necessarily have any major issues with the commercial, but fact of the matter is, I can’t be the only one who’s a little creeped out by it. Tiger’s late father basically puts a spin on the situation and asks his son if he was able to learn anything from his (14?) mistakes. I believe that people should be forgiven for their mistakes and I honestly feel that people can change when faced with self-inflicted adversity. Tiger, however, didn’t cheat on his wife once or even a handful of times, he slept around more than a dozen times. He clearly needed to be caught in order to learn his lesson and understand that nobody is invincible. He would have continued living his secret life if his life and reputation weren’t in the balance. I just don’t believe that Nike or Tiger should have dragged his father into the picture. Regardless and Earl Woods’ reputation when it comes to infidelity, nobody knows whether or not Earl would have participated in the Nike ad if he were alive. Although what Tiger’s father says in the commercial metaphorically addresses the situation, it can’t directly address the controversy because Earl died before this all came to light. All I’m trying to say is that, Tiger and Nike used Earl Woods to benefit them without thinking about how it could have an effect on Earl’s legacy. I’m sure he would have been supportive of his son, but I don’t know if he would have publicly been the voice of reason begging for the public’s forgiveness.

I think it’s a nice commercial, but a very questionable move on the behaves of Tiger and Nike. It’ll be an ad for the ages, that will be spoken about for years to come, but if Tiger messes around again I think he takes his dad’s reputation and legacy down with him. Maybe dragging his father into it will allow him to realize that his action affect a whole range of people and not only himself…. Example OneExample TwoExample Three… to name a few.

Forever a Lost Boy

Today we mourn the passing of Canadian teen idol Corey Haim, who died less than twelve hours ago in Burbank, at the age of 38. I’m not quite sure why I felt compelled to post something about Haim’s passing. I respected him as an actor and enjoyed his work, although when I saw most of his films it was many years after they were made and many years after I would consider him “active.”

I could go on for ages discussing celebrities who have gone before their time, but everyone knows how unfortunate it is to lose talented people in the prime of of their career. People such as Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, James Dean and even Michael Jackson (who I wouldn’t consider a elderly man and frankly, was probably way past his prime when he past away). Their deaths are magnified because of their celebrity status, but without going into stats and figures, many more regular people die every day from accidents, illness, drug overdoses and suicide. I don’t necessarily know that if Michael Jackson or Anna Nicole Smith were alive and producing the news after their deaths (in a hypothetical world, of course), that they would have decided that they were the most important, newsworthy story for the span of several weeks. I can accept the Haiti disaster taking over the airwaves for months, but Anna Nicole Smith’s death? I watch the news to get NEW information, not the same recycled garbage over and over again.

Okay I’m sorry about that rant, I’ll discuss my disgust with CNN at another eventual point.

Haim will be remember as a true talent talent who was taken from the world way too early in life. For such a young man he had an incredible amount of success and a young actor and unfortunate downfalls with several stints in rehab and extreme hardship for many years. The exact cause of death is still unknown and I am in no position to speculate whatsoever.

I’m not trying to write an obituary for Corey Haim, simply mentioning the passing of a Canadian talent who deserves mentioning.