Friday, August 11, 2006

Ode to Culture

I've been feeling pretty good the last couple of days.

For, I guess a few weeks, I succumbed to the temptation of binging on WoW again. (Substantial-but-not-fulfilling-entertainment at its best.) My tauren druid is nearly Level 55. Ever since I got this laptop on Tuesday though, I haven't been online once, (or done anything on my other computer for that matter besides listening to music). That's been a good development.


It seemed appropriate somehow.

When you're not completely enthralled with your digital character it's a lot easier to get around to doing things you can actually feel good about.

Take yesterday. By the end of the day I felt like I'd paid my dues to culture. (And when I say culture, I'm correlating it in my mind with something more along the lines of "trendy/hipster lifestyle".) I woke up at a reasonable hour and booted up my MacBook and read some Google News articles while tuned in to an iTunes radio station - an indie rock station which was playing some tunes by Canada's current sensation Broken Social Scene. Then I started browsing the iTunes store and looked at Audio Books. I took a mental note of some I was interested in. Later I headed over to the local plaza to get a passport-style photo taken of me for my university I.D. While waiting 40 minutes for my picture to be prepared I poppped into the video store and rented Cache, a semi-artistic French film that I'd seen the trailer for online. Then I poked around in the bookstore and, on a whim, decided to buy a book I'd just seen and read reviews for on the iTunes store. I can't remember the last time I bought a book like that. I used to read a lot of books as a kid - I want to get into it again.
So I picked up my photo and mailed it off in Shoppers' Drug Mart. While I was in there I bought some new sunglasses. Then I walked home accompanied by the melodies of one of my favourite Canadian bands - Sloan. When I got home I read my book, (which is great, by the way) and then had a driving lesson in the evening. Afterward I went and hung out at Rockwell's until midnight.

It may seem odd, (and probably terribly annoying) that I just bothered to describe, in detail, a random and uninteresting day in my life. What's striking to me is the contrast between that day and several other days I've had that consisted mostly of playing and had absolutely no substance to them. It may not mean anything to anyone else, but it means something to me.

Oh, and for the record, I didn't enjoy the movie Cache. Not saying it's a bad film or anything, but I wasn't paying enough attention to give an intelligent overview of its pros and cons; it just didn't hold my interest. What I'll say is that it had a whiff of this feeling that I get all the time when I watch European films; this feeling that, as contradictory as it sounds, I can only call hopeful melancholy. It's one of those movies that ends happily enough, but still leaves you feeling sad for some reason.

Anyway, I have a feeling this post is sounding a lot more mopey than I intended it to. The truth is, I'm in a good mood. My dad is back from a short business trip in Montreal and I went into work today with him. Got home, slept, and then went out with Luke and Rockwell. We grabbed dinner at Harvey's and then went to see World Trade Center.

Let me say that I loved this movie. Noted as Oliver Stone's least eyebrow-raising piece to date, this is just a classic, heart-wrenching and emotional film. I predict that it lacks the uniqueness that makes other films go down in history for being one of the greats, which is too bad, because I haven't seen a movie that made me feel the way World Trade Center did in a long time. I highly reccomend this one if you liked the way you felt when you watched Remember the Titans, Armageddon, and Angels in the Outfield, to name a few. It's not for everyone. My friend Luke didn't like it - he said it was too cheesy. It isn't. What he meant was it was too emotional and mushy for his taste - and that makes sense. This one tugs at your heartstrings and is, as Roeper commented in his review, free of any political commentary. Anything like that would mar its purity as a piece about love, courage, integrity, and pride in one's country. I applaud Stone for doing this - it's probably the best tribute the people involved could have asked for, and I'm glad they got it.

Oh, just a sidenote: WTC is heavy on the closeups, so you get a good look at everyone's face. At first, I thought Maria Bello had the most stunningly beautiful blue eyes I'd ever seen. But I googled her just now and she's got brown eyes in all the pictures I've seen, so I guess she was wearing contacts. People around me were muttering, "No way those are real." Ah well.

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