Rebuttal of Simon Sinek

So a few weeks ago I saw a really interesting video which I’m going to link to here.

Needless to say Simon is a great speaker and I think he touches on some great observations however, he runs into the “old man telling off the young bucks” problem that many people outside the millennial lifestyle just don’t understand.

This most recent video by Simon Sinek has gone extremely viral so it’s only fitting that people would respond however, here is an article that I thought addressed a lot of his thoughts and gives some nice facts as well but I’d just like to talk about my own personal experiences of “being talked down to”.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-simon-sinek-wrong-millennials-gabrielle-bosch%C3%A9?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like

It was in 2015 in-between jobs and smaller gigs and I was literally trying anyway and anything to get a job in the field that I’d got my degree in. So I attempted to do a shotgunning effect and just send out my resumes and call around to as many places as I possibly and humanely could in a single day. Needless to say it actually worked better than expected and got me some pull over jobs till I got a full-time position through a creative workers agency.

However, during this period as I was scrambling around I had some VERY interesting conversations and more importantly an interview that would change my conceptions of specifically how I was viewed but also how millennials were viewed in the workplace by a lot of people.

So one particular place I went to interview was a company called ENVOY. They’re what I’d like to call a full service marketing agency or a company based around providing branding, ads, tv commercials, and plenty of other things to help companies sell their product. Their a business to business seller to put plainly. I sent them a resume and called them up about the potential for an interview for a jr design position or an internship (not gonna lie yeah I was pretty desperate).

Contrary to the “I’m sorry but we don’t have anything open” I was treated to a very nice conversation with the receptionist who said that they would be willing to see me at an appointed time. I was so surprised and elated that I just said yes and moved everything else to make it work. It was around 10 or 9 in the morning and I made sure that I was dressed in the proper clothing and completely ready for the meeting.

I showed up a little bit early because … that’s just what you do (buffer time space people it’s a thing) and waited. When I was finally ushered into a meeting it was unlike anything that I’d seen. In walked a man (who shall remain unnamed) in a black shirt, shorts, and in socks with flip flops. His face looked like he’d just smashed about 5 beers and was about to fall asleep which made me guess he probably had stayed up either all night on a project or that he’d had one hell of a party the night before. We start talking and introduced myself. While were talking the guy all of a sudden interrupts and says, “listen I’ve got to get some coffee I’ll be right back” which I don’t detest to since he probably needed that coffee pretty bad.

About 10 minutes later he returns and we resume our conversation. Most of our conversation that we had was pretty good albeit stunted because he was still half awake. Then I got a question that I thought I’d never get out of a interview for a position.

“So what do you think about Millenials?”
“Millenials? That’s kind of a broad spectrum could you maybe be more specific?”
“I don’t know just millennials … I mean what do you think about em?”

At this point I’m assuming he’s discussing millennials in the workplace so I just say how I felt about em. That their inexperienced but that like any generation they varied and the ones that had been successfully typically had done so by blood sweat and tears. They had energy and a really aggressive attitude in some cases because of their youth but lacked the knowledge to see potholes coming in the road or leadership experience because while you have some of that the older you get the better and more experienced you become so to speak.

Now, while I’d been in college a good deal of my friends had been engineers who’d worked their butts off to get good jobs after college and that didn’t seem too far off from my own experience until I got my own first job which was amazing in many ways.

So my views of millennials that I’d seen in the workplace was that many of the ones I’d seen were similar to my friends. Hard working grunts … just starting at the bottom of the ladder, but proficient and with enough energy to really dig deep if they needed to to get jobs or projects done.

This question seemed strange to me however, so I asked him a follow up question of what he thought of millennials and his response was one that I’ll never forget.

“Well I think that they’re generally speaking arrogant, entitled, and lazy.” He then went on a diatribe for the next 3-5 minutes about everything that he hated about Millennials and more importantly why they typically didn’t hire them at their workplace. At this point I was kind of worried already about the interview (which I quickly realized this wasn’t but whatever) and at this point I kind of figured that there was really no chance at this place. I was like the genie in Aladdin in bee form … crashing to the earth with flaming realization.

Once his spiel about how bad Millennials were, which wasn’t that different from Sinek’s by the way, came to a close he discussed how that if I was interested I could maybe be a squire of sorts and just observe and watch and then maybe after a few months they’d decide whether to have me on full-time or part ways. The pay wasn’t good as I calculated it out or simply non-existent but I knew the company was great and also that I had a chance to learn which I always enjoyed and to get “better”. So I emailed them but was still apprehensive of the prospect of working at a place that really didn’t seem all that friendly to millennials or would just treat me like I was just there to “get a trophy”.

So I kept calling around and I got a small time temporary offer from another company instead with better pay and I’d be doing stuff directly in my line of work. Needless to say as I looked back at my email and saw that after a week it hadn’t been answered I decided that it wasn’t worth it to take a squire job when I could get in the trenches and with better pay and also be treated like an employee, not a millennial no-nothing. I easily could have called them back and tried to get more details but if the guy didn’t respond in a few days, and hadn’t responded in a week, he probably wouldn’t respond ever.

What’s sad about this whole ordeal though is that I wonder how many other times things like this have happened. Contrary to what that man said Millennials are not lazy.

https://mic.com/articles/162881/study-shows-millennials-aren-t-lazy-and-entitled-in-fact-it-s-quite-the-opposite#.1KFJAPU60

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/08/new-study-finds-millennials-aren-t-lazy-they-re-workaholics/

Of course non-of this is helped by the fact that older people aren’t retiring making getting a job even harder.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-13/-i-ll-never-retire-americans-break-record-for-working-past-65

Neither are they any more narcissistic as I can tell than those that came before nor are they anymore necessarily arrogant than a lot of the people that came before them as well.

But see here is the problem. Even though you have companies that are literally sprouting up overnight from start ups by 20 year olds in places like Silicon Valley this older generation I think sometimes does the opposite of seeing the “forest for the trees”.

Instead they are unable to see the trees through the forest and judge people on a case by case basis. There is often a problem with this and it came out fully in this election where people openly disavowed others for the sake of death by association.

What Sinek and others fail to see is individuals in each case. Such as is his complete diatribe against using phones and social media. Don’t get me wrong there are huge issues with it, but just because we check our phones frequently doesn’t mean that were obsessed … it just means were bathing in information and a digital landscape we’ve grown up with.

I had a hilarious conversation with my Dad over Christmas while we were at Union Square in San Francisco. He kept asking me why I kept checking my phone to which I replied, “because I want to be courteous to others and make sure I respond to them in a timely manner and also so I can stay informed on current news since I get plush notifications whenever something major happens or someone contacts me whether it be business related or not”. At this point my Dad responded, ” man … they’ve got you good, your notifications are like little bread crumbs they keep feeding you hahaha,”. I laughed because in part it was half-true.

Maybe my generation is just following breadcrumbs, but who says that is a bad thing. Hansel and Gretel used breadcrumbs to escape the forest and find their way home. Perhaps something great and good could come of our breadcrumbs as well.

 

Advertisements

ALL HAIL SUPREME LEADER TRUMP! (just kidding)

“So coming from the United States of Donald Trump … Tomorrow after the election day all those who during the campaign were deemed as misfits unfit for civic life and essential to the state WILL be summarily rounded up and shot, or deported back to their home countries. All political enemies will be annihilated and all Muslims will be banned from this country FOREVER!”

From the way people have been on social media this above was what you might think people were seeing on the news over the last 24 hours.

It’s caused riots and multitudes of facebook posts deeming that were a “disgrace” and “half the country is misogynist, racist, ist anything!! AAAAHHRrealsjdfkasjdf!! # not my president”. It’s the END OF THE WORLD PEOPLE … the cubs won the world series, Donald Trump got elected president, and Miyazaki is coming out of retirement again. That and also we have wireless headphones … with wires.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/12/airpod-strap/

The only problem is … it’s completely overbloated and I’d just like to clear the room and maybe give a little bit of insight into the issue and more importantly some “general” perspective to the matter that hopefully will just calm EVERYONE down so we can soberly access what the heck just happened.

1. Half the country … is NOT racist. OK

I’ll say it here and I’ll say it again. Hillary … was not a very strong candidate. (I mean common people she lost to a dude who ran the apprentice and whose orange hair and spray on tan could have made me look presidential). But worst of all she was a known factor going into this election and this was known for most of the country. The biggest tell though that race and other matters had little to do with this election was generally speaking that both candidates were generally speaking NOT liked. They had the highest dislike polls of any two presidential candidates I can remember going well over the 50 percent mark for both.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/08/nbc-news-exit-poll-two-unpopular-candidates.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/09/why-did-people-vote-for-donald-trump-us-voters-explain

People have been displaying this win for Donald as a RESURGENCE or a victory. Actually it’s more like a Pyrrhic Victory. He barely won by the hair on his chiny chin chin people but because of the electoral college he virtually crushed Clinton by almost 50 points. That’s because a couple small victories led to a much LARGER victory overall.

Most people I know who were conservatives who voted for trump hated the man’s guts but they would not bring themselves to vote for Clinton. American’s as a rule hate tyrants and more importantly hate people who seem to be “above the law” and have too much power. Never mind the fact that Clinton was using her powerbase built up over the last 15 years by the Clinton foundation to essentially do both those things. I mean I can’t for the life of me think of a similar situation in history where a Man was elected president and then roughly about 20 years later … HIS WIFE gets elected. It goes against the grain of history and also the typical back and forth every 8 years of politics in the US.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this as well such as the man denouncing Hillary at an Amy
Schumer concert. More importantly I think there was a lot in play and the guys here at this channel explain it pretty clearly (Colin specifically).

https://www.twitch.tv/kindafunnygames/v/100051522

Video actually starts at about 6 minutes.

2. Trump himself isn’t a racist.
Now as for Donald Trump being racist. He does have support from racists which is true … but he himself is not so. He’s a populist through and through and operates on the maxim, ” an enemy of my enemy is a friend” so to speak at all costs. While I personally didn’t vote for the guy (I’m in California like my vote matters) I could see why people though across the country could put someone like this forward. Not to mention immigrant … and muslim is not a race people. If you think that all illegal immigrants come from mexico or all muslims come from the middle east I think you might want to look in the mirror.

As for Hillary she did have some shady connections and particularly had been taking Saudi money into the Clinton Foundation which is pretty odd considering that Saudi Arabia is vehemently anti-gay (they throw them off rooftops on occasion), anti-women (women have to be accompanied by a man if they want to go anywhere), and also vehemently anti-transgender which directly goes against what Clinton has been espousing. Similar to others this raised a ton of red flags when she’s accepting millions from these people how could that not be dissimilar to the same problems associate with Trump and racism.

3. The media (you done messed up AARON!!)
This election is going to go down in history as a turning point for media, news ingestion, and more importantly the veritable effect of large scale propaganda by the established media (tv, newspapers, large scale news sites) versus the people generated media or independent media sources.

I kid you not this is historic people and for more reason than one which is that contrary to popular opinion the media really showed it had a blind spot in this election and now that it’s bleeding out … everyone knows … and the sharks smell blood. People just don’t trust the media folks and with good reason I mean just check out these numbers.

http://www.dailywire.com/news/9967/how-much-does-media-cover-trump-vs-wikileaks-hank-berrien

And the same thing happened with the super hot leaks from veritas combined with other smaller internet videos showing violence from both sides negating the narrative that “trump is such and such”. But more importantly if you are a businessman it more or less confirms the fact that viewership of television IS falling and has been by 50% since 2000. More importantly this win is a YUGE slap in the face to a lot of people who feel they are just OUT of touch potentially with a lot of the country that voted the way it did.

The traditional bases are losing to less non-traditional sources like websites, reddit, image sharing, and facebook sharing. Instead of it being as it was once in the past a giant one way street the news market has turned into a veritable agora with different smells, directions, bents, and biases which I believe actually has strengthed viewership education as people are reading MULTIPLE sources versus just a few centralized places such as a newspaper or television show. Which leads me into probably my favorite aspect of this entire election.

4. Dank memes melt steel beams OR Harambe 2016 OR The great meme wars 2016

If there was one incredibly positive thing about the next 4 years people is that we’re gonna get the dankest memes that’s been this side of America since the creation of memehood and internets has happened. This past year could be summarized by this one meme.

c77

As the internet has become the go to for information memes have become an incredible weapon in the war of politics unlike the world has EVER seen guys. And it’s only the beginning.

I first began the realize the power of memes after Harambe and how quickly that turned around. The Lion that was killed was turned into a messiah and that train didn’t end for a good number of months however with Harambe it was different. Not only did memes from the larger fanbase of trolls and people completely turn the Harambe narrative on it’s head … it turned it into a joke. Harambe now is like the calling card of anyone against political correctness.

Not to mention the lack of usage of TRULY predictable but non-scientific predictor. I found a few of these fascinating and sure enough trump won this year so the Halloween masks … are a pretty good bet.

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1856094,00.html

5. Political Correctness has reached it’s Teutoburg Forest.

This is one that’s a little more on the serious side of things and I gotta say it’s been brutal. For the last few years political correctness (buzzword I know) has sort of been coming to a pushing point until this year it came into a fully fledged fighting force known as “people having enough shit” so to speak.

Within the years of Obama people have seen elected officials use safe spaces, rape allegations, racism allegations, and general narrative allegations against numerous numbers of people and over maybe the last year or so I predicted that this push back my come in the form of something political. American’s HATE to be told what to do (or at least a very large portion of them do) so it comes as no surprise that when harsh speech codes are enforced, or calls for misogyny to end in all video games even though most of the people who buy and play games are men(Anita Sarkessian), or you get people who want women in Battlefield 1 (it’s WWI people come on) that some sort of push back wouldn’t come. There are a lot of cases like this such as the cake fiascoes about weddings going on around different states and then of course the lack of ability to actually talk about something like banning people coming from potential terrorist havens which quickly turned into “BAN ALL MUSLIMS” which it wasn’t. That and the “check your privilege” combined with the “appropriation” criers has caused a very large push back and a sort of call to arms amongst different internet groups of a sort of “common” enemy of the “SJW’s” or Social Justice Warriors.  Boy did one side clearly come out on top of all of this (hint … not the SJW’s).

When the Roman’s pushed too hard into Germany and past the Rhine they were betrayed and then eventually absolutely massacred by the German’s at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Augustus Caesar would never have his Legions cross the Rhine into Germany during his lifetime or for that matter ever again. The Barbarians and the wilderness pushed back

In many ways this feels similar. For years people were putting up with codes, and codes, and laws and more laws and in many ways Hillary as a lawyer symbolized that and what Donald Trump symbolized was antithesis. Say anything and everything without control of your mouth so to speak. A person not beheld to any rules but their own. The world’s biggest F U to the United States government in every possible way.

One website like the one below is almost entirely dedicated for being able to spew off this stuff.

http://boards.4chan.org/pol/

So what is going to happen now? Well most likely we’ll see rollback in a way or 2 before it pushes back again and people want to become decent again so to speak.

People think it’s going to get better? Please we just elected Trump. It’s gonna get a lot darker before we get to the dawn just saying.

Prognostication and Closing thoughts

Ok so now on a more serious note I’d just like to talk a bit about what we do. We’ll for starters not a whole lot can be done on either side. If you are for him most likely you’ll only get partials of what he promised and if you are against him you can’t really stop him.

But just know this that regardless it probably is not going to be as bad or as good as you think it’s gonna be. We tend to REALLY over-exaggerate things a lot and as a result we really couldn’t say much when someone as bad as Trump did come along. We can’t call Trump HITLER after you just called Romney, McCain, and Bush Hitler because they’re not even close. If you always cry wolf … eventually people just don’t care and in parts that’s partially what’s happened since the announcement he won. If you are sad that he won by all means please mourn. I know, I’ve been on the losing end of 2 elections where my man didn’t win and now 1 where I didn’t vote either (this one). It sucks because just like losing the superbowl you invest a lot of time and effort into it if you do care.

However, that doesn’t give you an excuse to riot or better yet even protest and especially protest against the things you’re protesting against (electoral college). To a lot of people it just makes you look like sore losers … (its churlish and insubordinate). For all terms and purposes people … HE IS your president just like Barrack was my President for 8 years even though I really didn’t have much love for the dude. Yet, at least the Tea Party waited till about maybe a year and a half or 2 years of his shenanigans and the passing of Obamacare before they decided that they were gonna try to do something major about it and in the end they weren’t violent at all really. Whereas these past few days I’ve kind of been wondering “Why?” because at the end of the day all you’re doing is feeding more into the problem and adding fuel to the fire.

If you are friends with people on either side of the debate PLEASE don’t unfriend them. Hear them out or better yet exchange ideas. Part of the major problem we are facing right now is that one half of the country doesn’t know what the other half is doing or what they care about and really fight for etc. But if we share ideas then it can go a long way towards that understanding and building RIGHT relationships that allow for civic minded living that works. Throughout this entire time I’ve enjoyed the cool civic and lively discussions among friends like Jonathan, David, Zach, Jon, Mike, and Jason and just being able to share all the wonderful discussions and also ideas. Keeping it cordial is hard guys but we at least gotta try and trust me it’s way better. To date I haven’t unfriended anyone yet (not sure about the other way though). For example, I tell friends about books they can read if they’d like to get my viewpoints on stuff a little better like “Conflict of Visions” by Thomas Sowell (great book btw) and vice versa.

Lastly, but not least, there is a reason on a deep level why we’ve got Trump that I haven’t discussed yet and that is because it’s the most important reason. Ultimately, when the dust settles the main idea around Trump winning is our country and it’s loss of objective morals. See 10 – 20 and even 5 years ago Trump would NEVER have won, not in a long shot. This election was sort of like the perfect storm that was brewing for years only to give birth something far worse and a projection for either the wonderful good or the terrible things to come.

See, when you tell a country that there are no objective truths and that “everyone must work out for themselves is true” and our general standards of virtue are pushed and pulled eventually we find no reason to band together to strike down EITHER candidate who had major flaws in both departments. Calling someone greedy makes no difference. Hearing a guy talk in a lewd manner about women makes no difference and might even win popularity. When there is no central objective moral value all that’s left is opinions and who can voice them the strongest. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Unless we return to some level of objective moral values (preferably Biblical based) this country won’t last much longer. A country can only bleed so long before it faints and thusly dies.

In Hillary’s case it was selfishness, greed, and more importantly her Machiavellian attitude towards the entire process that did her in. For trump it was his pride, sexual gratuity, and lack of self-control that nearly did him in as well. Still, at the end of the day we have to ask ourselves how did we really only get to pick these two? IF you are looking for a culprit people, the buck won’t stop very far. Indeed after searching everywhere else you’ll finally realize this simple truth … you need only look in the mirror. We elected this guy … not some other group of people in Kazakhstan or Taiwan. Americans did … and that’s something we have to bear.

And here’s for a hilarious video so you can leave on a light note.

https://youtu.be/I0tE6T-ecmg

Enjoy …

Cost of Veteranship

So just thought I’d write something as far as veterans day goes and you guys can tell me your thoughts on them in the comments below.

My thoughts on veterans day …

Well a the military kinds of runs in our families blood so to speak … especially on my fathers side. For many people in the US the military touches at least our immediate, extended, or non-biological family so to speak. There are countless times when I’ve been getting to know someone and then all of a sudden, “ohh hey jeff there … yeah he used to be in the army/navy/coastguard”.

My great grandfather on my dad’s side was in the navy I believe. His son in law (my grandfather married to my grandmother) eventually joined the airforce and was in it for pretty much most of his adult life too.

15078515_10154749109129974_1392881895278296247_n

grandpa Anderson

15027770_10154749108384974_8850288808322577677_n

my grandpa Anderson again

15056282_10154749109304974_4473805489721347860_n

my grandpa Wassell

15032098_10154749108394974_9139448348003710120_n

a quite burly beard … this was when he served in Antarctica

Then there was my dad, he ended up joining the coastguard. When I was growing up I’m almost certain that he wanted me to be a fighter pilot because we’d constantly watch shows about history, warfare, but most importantly watch shows about planes. There was a show on discover channel that my grandpa (mom’s side) had recorded called “wings” and it was essentially several hours worth of different planes and the wars they were in.

 

15027948_10154749116344974_6267937865109443673_n

my dad

15036490_10154749115839974_1025546383127466700_n

he was a Skorsky mechanic

14976898_10154749116279974_6953981111045156005_o

15036487_10154749115834974_5939102624106676252_n

more cool shots

One was “Wings: Over the gulf” another “Wings over the Luftwaffe” and of course just regular wings which focused on different airplanes. Needless to say I KNEW about planes growing up.

Most of them never were in any real combat though except for my grandpa Vince (mom’s side).

0003693764-01-1_20101001

He was a paratrooper and was in Bastogne and the Ardenne during the battle of the bulge. Needless to say … it was bad and many of the things that happened to him he kept with him for a long time. Combat had changed him dramatically in some ways. He didn’t open up about his experiences to our family until he was in his 60’s or 70’s which was incredible. Looking back you’d probably be able to say he had most likely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD midly.

So needless to say military is in my family (as are many other American families due to WWII).

But it took me a long time to understand potentially the cost of something like that and I didn’t realize it till much later. So let me tell you about a friend of ours who was quite the soldier. He shall remain unnamed for specific reasons but I’ll tell you a little about him because he’s part of this whole story. For this story lets just call him Jeff. At westpoint jeff was one of the top of his class and a real great soldier. After he got out he was put in command of a lot of guys was deployed overseas and saw a good deal of combat. Then he happened to become friends with my father and so I’d see Jeff occasionally whenever we’d meet up. Probably one of the most affable, nicest, warm-hearted dudes I’ve ever met in my life and he seemed like every moment he was living he lived like it was his last day on earth. He exuded joy.

So on one occasion we got together for a men’s night with My dad, Me, Jeff, another relative, and my brother and we decided to watch a war film. It was the move, “The Great Raid”, about the raid to free American POW’s at Cabanatuan in the Philippines. Looking back now it probably was not a smart decision to watch this film and yet also a valuable lesson was learned. I’d seen it before and I enjoyed the film of course but while we were watching and near the credits I managed to peak over a look at Jeff and realized something, he was crying. Not just softly crying, but sobbing and as the credits rolled he started to mumble a little bit. He quickly recovered of course but here I was young Brogan and I’d never seen a man cry before like that. But not just any man but probably one of the manliest men that I’ve ever had the honor of meeting.

In that moment I realized just how deep his wounds had gone, just how injured he was, and what cost he’d given up. While his body was there the war had taken it’s toll on his soul. Most of us always think of the physical sacrifice and the courage and the freedoms sacrificed by our veterans to protect us but like Shia Labouf in Fury when our soldiers say, “here am I send me” it means more than just flesh and blood … it means sacrificing deeply a part of the soul, a part of themselves.

Don’t forget that this veterans day and remember the sacrifice that they’ve given. It’s easy to look at the casualties of war and look at the numbers … but when you go to Arlington or Fort Bonifacio and you see the headstones and think of them as people the sacrifice becomes realized.

Lets live on in the name of their sacrifice, lets live on in the name of what our veterans have sacrificed.

9/11 My experience

So since everyone is sharing interesting stories about 9/11 I thought that I could share maybe a little bit of my own experience while I was there … post the terrorist strike.

Well to start off my family has always had the travel bug for a very long time. But the summer of 1997 we decided to take a trip across America and one place that we stopped was New York since my Aunt lived close in Connecticut. It was the first time that I’d ever been on a train. The first time into Grand Central Station. The First time seeing the Statue of Liberty. But one thing that I remember was that my Dad had his video camera and spent a lot of it filming different experiences as we went around. In the case of this trip looking back later he had video of the Twin Towers as we took our boat across to Liberty Island which was incredible. I’m only very young in the video but even then I remember looking up and seeing these monolithic structures towering over the city.

Fast forward to when I was a little bit older in 2002. Our family was visiting our Aunt again in Connecticut however, this time it was different. There was still the fun and the joy of going to FAO Schwarz and seeing what as a kid was a heaven of toys, but primarily we went to see a lot of the destruction which that summer was only several months removed from the catastrophe. I’d watched on TV in the Philippines when the entire event unfolded and remember huddling in the evening watching as planes wrought destruction upon New York and Washington. But it was removed, distant as if looking through a straw at some event.

When we got to New York the straw was gone. I still remember that as we walked, as all good New Yorkers do, closer and closer to ground zero the signs of the surrounding buildings and of the density of sheet rock dust covering them continued to increase. Then I saw it, two massive 4-8 story holes in the ground. They’d been excavating for some time so it was mostly clear but I couldn’t help but remember as a kid, “that’s where those two giant buildings were,”. Nearby also covered in sheet rock dust was the first fire fighter response station. Every person in the station had died. There was no sign saying they were dead but just from the number of pictures and wreaths and condolences I knew it was very likely they hadn’t survived. They would have been the first respondents and they would have been the furthest into the building when the floors began to collapse meaning very likely that they all died.

Then we visited a Church that was nearby. The sun was going down and arrayed in a hues of orange and red were hundreds upon hundreds of memorabilia, condolences, pictures and letters just by the thousands. All of it just taped, strung, or attached to the grated fences surrounding the chapel and that’s when it hit me. Those 3,000 people that died that day weren’t just a number, they were people, real people with feelings, emotions, likes, and desires.

They weren’t a statistic, they were John, Mary, David, Caroline, Jesse, Ruth and a myriad of other names that were taken that fateful day. It completely changed how I viewed suffering on grand scales and since then it has helped me to empathize with the plight of people suffering in a greater way. It’s easy to forget suffering when it’s made impersonal and reduced to number and diminished. It’s impossible to look away from suffering when you embody and empathize with the people and the persons on a deeply close emotional level.

Suicide Squad – Review

#SKWAD #suicide #purplelamborghini #ok #letsgetdowntobiz

In the weeks leading up to the release of this film there was significantly more ads and significant marketing materials put forward to the public. And I mean across the board the build up was strong. You had social media going bazzonkers with the hashtags, the mini brightly colored trailers, and of course the plethora of music videos of tied in soundtrack originals. Rightly so this movie deserves the $135 million dollars it made opening weekend because whoever orchestrated the marketing campaign for this movie was a genius. It’s one of the rare cases where (besides star wars) the marketing almost sells the movie itself and in many ways that may have led people to over hype this film.

I’m not gonna lie if you jumped on the hype train for this film about the SUICIDE SQUAD then I’m gonna have to bring you back down to earth on expectations no doubt. However, that’s a good thing because you gotta have realistic expectations for this film.

I knew before it was released that most likely it would be a more character introspective piece looking at the other side of the equation of crime when someone “fought the law and the law won” so to speak. That’s David Ayers for you people and if you know his previous movies that’s sort of how they play out as well (Fury, Training Day). This movie is primarily well built character driven drama and exposition with some peppered in action sequences. However, in many ways that helps it and in other ways it hurts it as some of the action sequences could have been worked out a little better (although that might be just because I’m always thinking of how to make action sequences or just make existing ones better in my head).

Still the movie is a worthy addition to the DC film slate and definitely something you’ll want to see if you are interesting in that particular slate of films. It’s built for comic book fans as stated by Angry Joe and it’s got a heck of a lot of really hilarious dialogue to go with it too. So just would like to make that clear before you read any further.

So lets go into the breakdown.

Production wise this movie again has it in spades for the most part. As I think I’ve stated before previously I don’t ever give negative scores to films which production value wise are well done. For the most part this film fulfills that “well done” category. The sets are all incredibly well dressed especially in their destroyed manner which helps build up that this is an enemy that the Suicide Squad aren’t really “supposed” to handle this particular situation. That said true to the “character focus” this movie has some superb costumes across the board especially the Joker’s various different “gangsta” outfits that show up which are quite awesome. A lot of the lighting on different scenes is set up well especially the scenes in which the different characters are introduced which features a few flash backs and build ups. As an motion graphics dude I especially love the different graphics used to overlay ontop of their character bios. All of those are super colorful and over the top which builds the movie well. One scene with the Joker and Harley is particularly interesting (hint it includes vats). However, one area the production value absolutely hits it is in the different uses of the music at different scenes. Standin in the rain, Gangsta, You don’t own me, Dirty Deeds, and of course Heathens all are awesome songs matched well. Some don’t hit well but otherwise the added songs work well. (Side-note: I didn’t enjoy enchantresses reformed version … just weird and with the voice but that’s more preference.)

Where the movie REALLY fails sound wise is in the atrocious Ian Price soundtrack. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as bad a soundtrack from this guy yet and man does it really fail until the 3rd act of the film. It mixes fake violins with other digital sounds which really irked me. (NOTE to studios if you are gonna use orchestral music AT LEAST make it using an actual orchestra).

Action wise it’s not SUPER heavy on action but when it is on screen it’s pretty good. I think my expectations of action in movies have been ruined since I saw Mad Max and Man of Steel however, there are only a few cases when it gets a little weird. Specifically speaking the first section of the finale felt a little weird. It had the classic case of CGI thing fights other CGI thing but not necessarily super well done. However, it only lasted for a little while until we got to the raining fight scene which was pretty well done overall so you don’t wince for too long. However, I feel it could have maybe used 1 more fight scene just to flesh things out a little more.

Acting is where this movie really shines though and man can these people act. At this point I think it’s beginning to show for the 2 universes (Marvel and DC) that Marvel and DC take different approaches to their actors however, in this case it pays off for DC with using well known additions. Robbie’s Harley is well fleshed out and has some of the best scenes in the movie. She has good chemistry with Deadshot and Joker and it’s nice seeing a character that I used to only watch on TV in animated form come to life finally. Another main focus of the film and huge standout is Will Smith’s deadshot. His deadpan delivery is pretty great along with some of his hilarious lines regarding Phil Jackson. Viola Davis as Waller is also good and Croc acts as a nice comedic breaker in scenes with great one liners. In fact this movie even managed to make me enjoy Jai Courtney. Incredible. However, if there was one character I really didn’t care about it was Karen’s character Katana who had what I felt was forced exposition and then of course really weird scenes that I felt just didn’t need to be there.

However, where this movie really takes a dip is with it’s structure and it’s story which for all intents and purposes are rather bland. I mean then again most stories are all pretty much the same so it wasn’t surprising that this film featured a generalized story-line. However, it could have been edited and put together in a far more interesting way. If you are going to throw out a villain that’s a throwaway villain then don’t put a lot of extra time into making us care about the villain. In all honesty there could have been some cooler ways to have ended the movie in that regard. However, you GOT to make sure that when you do have your villain’s and heroes on stage either you make the dialogue interesting or you cut short the exposition like in incredibles to break the monotony OR you avoid any exposition altogether by just having them fight.

Even if you disagree with the film I loved that BvS did all the enemy exposition before the final fight between Batman and Superman. It was all dealt with previously and was quickly escalated into a brawl which is how those situations should be staged. What would have been hilarious would to have Captain Boomerang while speaking to the “final boss” and is talking just tell them to “Shut the Fuck up already and get on with it”. It would have fit under the 1 fuck rule for PG – 13 and would have been hilarious.

Overall then Suicide Squad is good. In fact it got a lot better on my 2nd viewing of the film which surprised me. I thought it might get worse however, it actually made more sense and some scenes got a lot better.

(Note: I’m thinking about seeing it in 3D simply because all of the awesome motion graphics and cool colored effects in the film potentially.)

Final Verdict?

7.5/10

For a flawed but fully fun and funny film.

The Art of Enjoyability Pertaining to Art

While it isn’t something that I think most people would like to discuss or even think about one area I think many people tend to turn a blind eye to is enjoyment. Specifically, in art, I’d like to dive into the idea that enjoyment isn’t some sort of mysterious thing out in the aether that is unattainable.

Enjoyment is attainable … but only in moments and in brevity.

However, one thing I’d like to discuss is this attitude of complete apathy that you may not find any enjoyment and as a result reject it. In my own experiences this is a very dangerous position to take but more importantly the person at a loss isn’t the creator of the art but rather only you.

That and combined with this continued view of overcritical analysis and logic being forced upon movies (and other art forms) and it starts to become more and more clear hopefully what I’m talking about.

A few posts ago I talked shortly about how I keep seeing reviews of films and more importantly of just art in general where people instead of trying to understand the art (or where it is coming from) try to destroy, put down, over criticize, and essentially put down art continually. I keep seeing these haughty one-liners, overly sarcastic and simplified responses (that aren’t actually responses) but rather regularized overtures told again and again until it is accepted as the norm.

It’s like I keep seeing over and over again “If you tell a big lie loud enough and long enough … people will believe you”. Overall it’s something I feel is a travesty and seems to have taken specifically a hold onto general views of art. We don’t want to actually dive into the art we are watching, playing, or experiencing but rather simply take what we see at face value according to the views and connotations that we hold.

I’ll a relate an experience that I had over this past weekend. As of course it was 4th of July and everyone was in appearance for our family gathering. Of course meetings of the sort aren’t without their trifles and ample rubbings up against each other. However, it was a good meeting overall and very amicable. Yet, there was a few conversations that caught my attention, particularly those relating to views of movies and our different experiences with those movies.

I’m not sure when it happened when we were having this conversation but I began to realize many of the points that my fellow siblings were making were based around commonly held beliefs from popular online media like “honest trailers” or “cinema sins” or “how it should have ended”.

What do all of those media producers have in common you might ask? They all sacrifice the creations or the art that other people have potentially slaved over and simplifies them down to simple quips and sarcastic cheesy (BUT FUNNY) one-liners and tags. All the while they profit and grow at the creators expense.

Now I’m not saying satire has no place or that there isn’t a reason to have it but it just seems to be that this brutal satire and sort of overly logical and critical approach to judging movies and moreover art is having an affect on the perception of films. It’s not enough to make an outstanding film like “Interstellar” when the movie can just be tagged down to oversimplified views like honest trailers does often. They don’t see the level of detail and care used to craft a moving, wrought, and beautiful film but rather only, “Lincoln Lawyer crying”.

Like I’ve mentioned I’ve always loved those channels but now I’m getting to the point where I’m asking myself if it is necessary to continue being so critical and to enjoy their critiques at such a frequency. It’s why I’ve started watching Channels like “Cinema Wins” which documents when movies do well as a sort of poultice to this wound I keep making.

We need to look at the good with the bad and not just the bad. Otherwise we’ll just become disenfranchised people never able to enjoy a single piece of art put our way.

However, I’m willing to share a secret that gives me a great deal of satisfaction for whenever I watch movies and play videogames or enjoy any kind of art really.

1. I don’t hype up or put down a movie or art piece. In fact I try as much as possible to go into every movie with a sort of wiped palate or a clean slate. From there I simply try approach the movie as is. Of course this isn’t always the case but even when I watch films I typically withhold judgement till the end of the film. There are only rare occasions where I let something grating simply affect my judgement. Walking out of films simply because, ” I don’t like them ” is a ridiculous reason. Maybe instead you should ask WHY you don’t like them or WHY this situation doesn’t sit well with you.

2. For spoilers I welcome them. For me it’s not always exactly what happens in the story but rather how it happens or is executed that makes me more interested. For example, most videogames and movies follow very simple Cinderella “rags to riches and success” story arcs throughout their narratives. However, what changes them inexplicably is their style, execution, and the worlds in which they are placed. Case in point Star Wars: The Force Awakens to which I predicted almost 90% of the possible storyline just from watching the trailers. Did that affect my enjoyment of the movie? Not in the slightest and in fact foreshadowing and foreknowledge of events to happen is often a boon to build anticipation and not a negative aspect.

3. Try to understand your material you are watching. I watch a very wide breadth of film and movies and in my collection of games I play one would consider me an indie gamer or a “purist” of sorts. There isn’t any musical genre I say no to and there isn’t any videogame experience I wouldn’t immediately write off. Let me explain with a story about my own views of art. For years I thought that modern art was atrocious and rightly so I recognized that it wasn’t human but more abstract. It didn’t represent the world and views that I knew and I feel I got some of that view from my father who also didn’t enjoy it. However, as I started to learn more about art and it’s history and development of something like Modern Art I began to realize that it wasn’t the style or methodologies that I disliked about Modern Art but rather the messages being conveyed through them. Today I am a big fan of Modern Art but with hopefully some measure of taste and knowing that the style is predicated upon breaking down of forms to base elements and imagery. Another case of this is when people say they can’t stand certain elements or feeling a certain way in film. Have you ever thought that maybe directors, creators, and makers have purposely designed to make you feel frightened, scared, happy, or fraught? For example, Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings purposely had his eyebrows shaved so as to increase the level of uneasiness around his character or sometimes movies use low pitched frequencies that naturally will increase stress or anxiety.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%ADma_Wormtongue

http://www.strangerdimensions.com/2013/06/21/infrasound-the-fear-frequency/

4. The last criterion, which will help you gain an appreciable attitude to almost any art and hold tight to enjoyment of it across the board, are ideas and execution. No two points are more necessary for critiquing art than these. For example if there is a movie that has ideas which are conveyed in a good manner then I won’t necessarily fault it as much if the execution is not up to par. However, if the execution and production values are off the charts but the ideas aren’t necessarily what I think would have made a good movie or are good ideas I will focus on the good in that. When both of these meet and are both good that is when great movies or amazing movies are born. So keep a look out for these things.

Anyways hope that my words were insightful or helpful in any way possible. Keep watching, keep making, and don’t stop enjoying art.

Captain America: Civil War – Review

So finally after some time I’ve mustered up the effort to talk about a tragic past time of America. The Civil War.

Quick spoilers I HAD NO clue that the North was going to win. I mean Lee was cutting down blue coats left and right and then out of nowhere Sherman showed up and started burning everything down to the ground. It was crazy.

Just Kidding

Alright so in all seriousness though I really enjoyed this movie and all of it’s habitats. However, part of me felt as though this could have been Marvel’s coup-de-grace so to speak. It had all the hallmarks of the previous movies and did attempt to take it to a different place. For a change Marvel tried to elevate it’s typical fanfare of movie to another level.

Yet, also it misses out on a lot of opportunities and in many cases, for fans of the original “Civil War” comic, it really dropped the ball and in other areas flat out failed.

It’s rightly deserved of it’s praise … however, it’s praise is still too heavily warranted. THIS is a Marvel movie in a string of Marvel movies and as such should be taken to a higher standard or at least attempt to push the envelope a little further than it had in the past simply for the fact that … we’ve been here done that before … been here … done that before sort of thing.

So lets go over the aspects of the film though.

Production wise this movie was alright. I’m still not super impressed with the lighting by the Russo Brothers. I mean It’s almost as if they’re trying to get the award for “worst lighting with a movie budget over 200 Million dollars” or something. Just generally overall bad. Nearing the end of the film it does recover though and because of that it allows the movie to shine through at least in some minor aspects. The explosions set pieces are nice and I’d say even some of the action scenes are well choreographed. However, as a whole some of it felt a little cheesy and rushed.

Action wise this is where the problem I feel start to promulgate. I’ve never been a huge fan of the choppy action sequences shooting and here it really makes the movie seem like it’s more of the same. If you were expecting some well choreographed fight scenes think again. They felt forced at times and just in general were a little lousy compared to winter soldier. However, once the super fighting starts between the super pals things get a lot better … specifically more towards the end of the film and from the airport scene onward …. which for all intents and purposes it’s pretty dang awesome. However, It also as most Marvel movies go, feels too brisk. Marvel needs to go back into these films and add some more slo-mo or chances for the action to have a sort of rhythm or balance action wise that seems missing. There was too much dialogue and too little real interesting fighting.

Acting within these films at this point almost seems easy for most the cast. They know their characters and people know them. They know what they will and will not do. Which is why while some of the characters’ choices felt incredibly out of character for what’s been built up within the Marvel Universe … it was passable considering that for the most part it was exceptionally well acted. For example some characters like Tony and Vision while acted well felt as though their actions did not fit with what had previously been exhibited.

Where the movie as a whole I think really falls apart is rather within the story. It’s way too over the top in some areas and in other parts far too cliched, disconnected, or just generally breaks it’s own rules that Marvel has built up. For example, the person most behind the Sokovia Accord’s is, you guessed it … Tony, the guy who gave the middle finger to the government over his entire life mostly. Not to mention he also seemingly grows a conscience when he typically has exhibited little to none throughout the Marvel Universe. That I find is suspect. The person who complains about Collateral the most, Vision, does some of the worst collateral damage throughout the movie. It leaves you with feeling as though the film has wonderful pieces all there but the pieces don’t interlock well. Take for example the fact that most of the film it is a movie primarily about whether to trust the Avengers (who have been shown to be apt) or to trust the government (which was secretly hydra at one point). That to me seems like a no brainer and it’s nice that this movie is still Cap centric story since Chris Evan is still the best actor of the bunch. However, when the movie then divulges into a “lets save bucky” movie it quickly begins to lose it’s spark and as a whole starts to see it’s seams peak out narrative wise.

Don’t get me wrong, there are no “glaring holes” in this film. But there isn’t whole lot to be jumping up and down for either. Spoilers aside I’ll definitely say that as a whole this film really missed out on some key pieces that I wish had been incorporated from the comics. The fact alone that some major points are different is something I think that really lowers it’s score in my opinion.

Not to mention fear of sounding Christianize. This movie had one quote within it about “planting yourself like a tree” which when given sounds great within the film. However, it’s missing the second half from the comic which is “by the river of truth”. Sounds a little odd right or maybe Christian right? That’s because it is … specifically speaking from Jeremiah 17:8 which says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. 8“For he will be like a treeplanted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a yearof drought Nor cease to yield fruit. 9“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”

Incredible how this connects to the original comic and to Captain America. However, the Russo Brothers instead opt to give us a “watered down” version of the story to us and completely loses the point of the narrative and the quote. In all honesty I view it as them not wanting to sound too “Christian” and as a result that severely angered me that they didn’t have the moxy to be willing to actually quote the original comic when given the chance.

The movie is good and if you’ve enjoyed previous Marvel things it’s going to be more of the same and still probably good for the most part.

Whether that’s what you want or not is up to you but I’ll let you decide.

As a whole though this movie is a solid …

7.5 – 7.8 / 10