Friday, June 17, 2011

Really Good Movie Review: X-Men First Class

Kevin Bacon was behind the Cuban Missile Crisis. Knew it.

Also Magneto is foxy. Also James McAvoy.

Also Michael from Roswell was in it for like 4 seconds. Also the Mormon doctor from House.

Thank you for joining us for this edition of Really Good Movie Reviews.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Popular Things to Hate

There are some things that have become popular to hate, therefore I have decided that I like. I enjoy defending things that people enjoy attacking, whether or not I have an opinion about them initially... my super hero defense instict kicks in and I decide that I like them just because no one else does.

See... I believe in balance in all things. I feel like if 99% of the universe has decided to hate a thing, I need to like it, just to help tip the scales back to some kind of 50/50 situation. Because there's nothing I love more than disagreement. Not argument, per se, but when people disagree, I feel that the world can keep moving and changing and getting better. It's when everyone is unanimous on something that I start getting nervous and become the deviant that shakes things up.

This doesn't apply when I really do care about something that everyone likes. Or if I really don't like something that people find generally offensive. It's when I don't particularly care or when I'm sitting on the fence that I decide to deviate. Here are some examples.

Friday by Rebecca Black:
First of all... who cares? There isn't really a second of all...

Story time. Recently I was at a music club watching a sketch comedy group. They played songs between the sketches and one of the songs they decided to play was Friday. Some obnoxious girl yelled out "Kill me!!" That just seemed unnecessary. It got under my skin a little bit. If R.B.'s not hurting anyone with her inane song about her excitement for the weekend, why do we need to get nasty...? I guess "kill me" girl failed to notice that when Ms Black went into the "Partying Partying" part, everyone in the club yelled "Yeah!" At the appropriate time. It's fun. It's silly. Don't hate.

I will go to bat for Twilight every time. People love to hate things. Twilight is an easy target. You can whine to me about how the writing is whatever whatever and the love story portrayed is unrealistic whatever whatever and there are too many shirtless boys (I don't think anyone says that actually...), but I stand by my previous thoughts. If someone had worked hard to make a thing that people enjoy and it's not hurting anyone, don't hate. You don't have to love Twilight, but leave the people that do alone. And bring on the shirtless men.

Here's an example of the opposite thing. Because there were armies of people who flipped out over this movie, I decided to not love it. Mostly I don't have any strong feelings about it and I want to tip those scales. But I do love Leo.

Stuff I like that everyone else liked includes, among others: How to Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter and grilled cheese sandwiches.

SIDE NOTE: I can only really think of one movie that I hated. It was The Green Hornet and I personally disliked it because I found it morally offensive and disrespectful to it's audience. If you lah-oved it, by all means enjoy. But I will not watch it with you.

I just started typing as sentence that started like this "So maybe this means..." but then I couldn't think of an ending because I don't have any idea what this means. I'm a social deviant when it comes to movies and books that I don't have strong feelings toward. I guess.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Time I Had a Secret Enemy

One time I was in college.

While in college, I was required to take a "Writing about the Arts and Humanities" class. (Did I capitalize enough things in the title of that class? Probably not.) It was a dumb class, but it was required and who am I to stand in the way of academic increase?


On the first day of class, I sat down in the small classroom, identified a few people that I knew ("Hey!" "Oh, hey dude!" "Look at us, in a class.") then was introduced to my teacher, Sister Miller. Sister Miller was fine. I had no thoughts about her. She was an English teacher. I think she had curly hair. The end.

But I guess it was in that moment that she pinned me to be her nemesis.

Throughout the class, our interactions were quite limited. She assigned papers, I wrote the papers and turned them in, she would grade them and give them back. It was very standard. My writing wasn't awesome, but it wasn't terrible. I was the same "pretty much OK" student that I'd always been. As far as I knew, I was the same as all the other students in the class.

No reason to have a personal hatred toward me, right? Well... there were a few times that I remember, now that I think about it...

One day we were talking about argument, I guess and she was having everyone go around and say a statement that followed this pattern: "Although _________, however __________." Something about that format seemed off to me. I raised my hand.

Sister Miller: Yes, Asia?
Asia: Isn't it redundant to say both "although" and "however"? It should just be one or the other... right?
Sister Miller: I have a personal and intense hatred for all that you stand for.

OK she didn't say that... I don't remember what she said. But doesn't it seem weird for a college English professor to be teaching basic grammatical errors to her class...?

Anyway. The end of the class was approaching and we were supposed to break into groups and write a huge research paper on something related to our field. I told my group we could just turn in a research paper I had written in a previous semester for my film history class, which we did. It got a good grade and Sister Miller was none the wiser.

But on the last day of Writing about the Arts and Humanities, something strange happened. She was passing papers back to all the groups ("Cook? Here you go." "Davis? Here you are." "Brewer? Nice work!"). She walked by my desk and slyly set something on it that was not my final essay. It was a folded piece of notebook paper. I looked around, seeing if anyone else had received such a note. Nope. I opened it and read it.

It was kind of a mock-apology for "wasting my time" in her class. She said that if I wanted to be in an honors class, I should have just taken one and she was sorry if I felt that her class was a bust.


I didn't even think she knew my name. I was a completely anonymous student in the class. I definitely wasn't the most obnoxious and I definitely wasn't the student who cared least for the course. Yeah, it was dumb, but it was a GE... and I wasn't outwardly rude or sassy ever. She must have been receiving little cues from me all semester. Cues I wasn't intentionally sending, mind you. Little looks or questions that she built up in her mind as conniving and disrespectful.

When I got home, I opened an email to her. It looked like this:

Sister Miller,

I appreciate you taking the time to write me your sincere note, however I am confused about what made you feel the need to write it. I hope I haven't been terribly flippant about attendance or assignments. I know I haven't been the best student, but by no means do I regret taking the class. I admit that I took the class because it is a requirement for graduation, but I don't feel like it was a waste of time or effort. I'm very sorry to have made you feel this way. Thank you for your dedication to the course. Is there anything I can do for you?

Her response was weird:

No, not a thing.  I guess this is a question I should have been asking you earlier in the semester!  But you came to class and will pass--so it's all good.
Have a lovely day.
Sister Miller

What the H?

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