I'm onto you, Hollywood.
OR: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz's Maternity style!!!!1

I just got finished watching the delightful indie (if not indie-styled) film "Away We Go" starring former SNLer and Rental Maya Rudolf, playing a 30-something expectant mother. Opposite her is the guy who plays the "Tim" Character on the US version of the Office ("Jim"), John Krasinski as her quirky (but not in an trite indie film kind of way) but overall likable boyfriend. It was very capably written by Dave Eggers of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" fame (who also co-wrote the upcoming pant-crappingly awesome looking "Where the wild things Are") and his wife.

I found the film really enjoyable. Both leads give strong performances, and smaller standout roles from Alison Janney and Maggie Gyllenhaal are particularly well done. It was able to hit that hard to reach balance, like Juno before it, between being laugh out loud funny but also really touching and sweet.

But it got me to thinking...many of my favorite films of the past few years, from the aforementioned Juno to Knocked Up (the "36 Chambers" of Apatow films) and now this one all seem to have a common theme: Fashionable young go-getters getting accidentally pregnant and keeping the child.

Does Hollywood secretly fear that there aren't enough young hipsters breeding? Do indie film makers fear that if they're not diligent, in a single generation their genre's entire demographic could be wiped out? Was Mike Judge's fabulous "Idiocracy" sabotaged by Hollywood for hitting this concept too on the nose? Is there a conspiracy to make Pregnancy hip? Will Urban outfitters soon sprout maternity departments?

Well, hate to let you down, secret shadowy Hollywood overlords, but I know one person your little plot will not be working on: Me.

I'm not going to be the second lead character who hears of his entire life being flushed down a toilet and reacts quirkily, or with hilarious flippantness. I've learned a lot from movies; I never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and I never turn around to look when things explode behind me, but this is where I draw the line. My foot is down. I absolutely refuse. Sure, it may look like one of life's madcap adventures in the movies, but in real life it sounds downright horrifying to me.

If a some sort of supernatural magic entity, like a Genie, or Cris Angel (that douche) came to me and said I had a choice between being told that I'm responsible for a baby, OR that 1 random night in the next calender month, my house would be violently invaded, you know what I would do? I'd go out the next day and buy a high quality baseball bat, and a couple feet of barbed wire. I'd wrap the barbed wire around the tip of the bat, keep it close by. Then, I would sleep soundly for the next 30 days with the calming reassurance that within a month everything will be back to normal.

Here's an artists rendering:

You heard it here first: 2 minutes of frightened bat assault far outweighs raising a child.


Just something I heard recently...
OR: Prove that this isn't factual.

Hey, did any of you heard that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990?
Apparently Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990.

I mean, OK, I guess it's just a rumor that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990, but Glenn Beck has yet to come out and prove to the world that he didn't rape and murder a girl in 1990, so I'm inclined to believe that Glenn Beck, did indeed rape and murder a girl in 1990.

More as this develops...


For YOU! OR: humbled, but back intact.

In a fairly recent episode of SMODcast, Kevin Smith and guest host Macolm Ingram, a local Torontonain film maker and bear, were dicussing Malcolm's disapproval of the "Biforcated cock community" (Kevin's words) and what Kevin percieved as in-fighting, from one sexual minority towards another. Malcolm argued that it was like NAMBLA wanting to march in the gay pride parade-He didn't want them waving his flag, for him to be under their umbrella. An understandable argument, and one that was one of my first thoughts when approaching the Metro Toronto Convention centre, for this years Comic Con Fan Expo. Just as not all sexual fetishes are equal, neither are all nerds, and the more fuzzy bear ears and make-up I saw, the less felt comfortable being under that umbrella.

I've been going to the comic con for years. Back when it actually WAS called the Toronto Comic Con. Then HobbyStar marketing, the event organizers, decided quite literally to put all their eggs in one basket, combining the Comic, Gaming, Horror, Sci-Fi and (*sigh*) Manga events into one, and rechristening it the "Fan Expo". It brings out a lot more people, and it means you can catch a glimpse of the Soup Nazi charging money for autographs on your way to the bathroom. Some of the costumes are pretty cool, but for every hot girl dressed as Supergirl, or shockingly accurate Ghostbuster you see, theres about 20 pale basement dwellers dressed as obscure final fantasy characters. By entering the convention floor, Hobbystar has basically entered you into an enviroment where you and this guy are peers. Contemporaries. Ugh.

But, apart from the occasional bout of self righteousness, having to say "paaaaaar-don me" as you inch past someone with a gigantic cardboard n' tinfoil sword, and having to deal with comic book guys*, the convention is a good time for a guy like me. Free junk, cheap(er) comics, earthy aromas, what's not to like?

Oh, and I almost got into an altercation with 80s Wrestler "The Iron Sheik".

The Comic Con/Fan expo has this weird effect, where even if you've been there for 3 hours, you'll still turn around a corner and see an entire row that you missed. One such turn, landed me 2 feet away the aforementioned Hulk Hogan rival and symbol of 1980s Iranophobia, Mr. Sheik. Sitting next to him was fellow 80s wrestler, Elvis look-alike and challenging video game character, the "Honky Tonk Man". Taken aback, I continued to walk past both gentlemen, before turning around to snap a candid photo of the two doing their thing. A souvenir of my chance encounter. It was at this point that several shouting men descended upon me. Evidently, taking a photo was not a good idea. Before I knew it 3 guys had circled me. One guy would shout something and the Another guy would repeat what the first guy shouted. It was like if Chuck D. and Flavor Flav were circus carnies.

"Get a Picture!"
"Let me take your bag"
"He's a Legend!"

They were grabbing at my bag and nudging me in the direction of Iron Sheik. Iron Sheik, who had been mid-pitch to someone else at the time ("You want picture with me and that fucking gay faggot Hulk Hogan?"), stopped his pitch and looked at me menacingly. Honky Tonk Man, taking a cue from Sheik, did the same. So now I'm 2 feet away from a couple of 80s wrestlers giving me the stare-down with 3 of their handlers poking and prodding me into taking a $25 photo.
"uh, no, no thank you, sorry, no thanks, sorry, I'm set thanks, no thanks" and I got the fuck out of there. I mean, it's not to say that I thought that Iron Sheik was going to get me in the Camel Clutch and make me humble, but I've never been one for hard sell situations, and this was about as hard sell as it comes.

Remember that scene in "The Wrestler" where Randy "The Ram" Robinson is working a small town wrestling convention in a school gym, and there's barely anyone there? Just a bunch of injured old wrestlers selling DVDs and 8x10s? It was really sad wasn't it? That memorable scene is now the African child with bugs on his face of the wrestling community. "These men took slams for years...for YOU, and now you can pay them back right now!" I heard one of the shouters say to the crowd. It's funny, because I didn't realize I currently owed a debt to professional wrestlers. I was under the impression they were doing it of their own accord and were making at-worst a comfortable living in their day. Had I known the couple hours of wrestling I was able to sneak past my parents would come back as money owed, 20 years later at a place I went to buy comic books, I wouldn't have tuned in.
What's next? "Patrick Duffy publicly humiliated himself pretending to be sexually attracted to Suzanne Somers for YOU!! Pay him back!!" while I'm at the Post Office?
Granted, the fact that I attempted to take a free picture of the pair means I clearly had a perverse interest, but I don't think vague interest should equal monetary obligation.

* By "Comic book guys" I don't mean the noble comic enthusiast/collector/etc. I'm of course referring to the admittedly dying breed that is the comic book retail guys, as perfectly encompassed on The Simpsons. The kind of greedy, mean spirited businessmen that can convince themselves that any single issue of a modern comic is worth over a hundred dollars, and that charging US cover price is a limited time convention deal-of-the-century. May they one day be crushed under the weight of their chromium halo-foil variant covers and Magic: The Gathering cards.