Archive for category Editorial

Another story must begin. An Editorial.

On October 5, the New York Times published an investigation revealing sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein dating back to 1990. Multiple female actresses such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan went on record regarding the allegations. On October 8, he was fired from his own company.

This was followed by the New Yorker on October 10, with another investigation revealing multiple accusations of more sexual harassment and rape. On the same date, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie also came out with accounts of sexual harassment by Mr. Weinstein. No charges have been filed. But police in London and New York are investigating some of the accusations.

The so-called casting couch has been a tale as old as Hollywood, but the effects of this later iteration are reaching far and wide to even hit here in Quebec, Canada.

On October 18, La Presse denounced counts of sexual misconduct by radio host and producer Eric Salvail by 11 victims both male and female.

On October 19, Le Devoir published accounts by nine women in the entertainment industry of sexual harassment and assault perpetrated by Gilbert Rozon, president and founder of the Just For Laughs festival. He was also the commissioner for the Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary. Le Devoir reached Mr. Rozon for comment days in advance, but he preferred to wait for the article to come out. The day before the publication, he announced he was quitting all his public positions through a Facebook post.

It’s an old story, but is it over? No. Hollywood’s old institutions are now taking action, but there seems to be a stronger focus from them to separate and sever ties with Harvey Weinstein than anything else. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences expelled him on October 14 but keeps Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson and Bill Cosby in its ranks.

For a new story to be told, not only are victims supposed to come forward but the institutions must recognized they’ve got to actively prevent this toxic macho chauvinistic behaviour.

For the nice guys out there, remember that being nice to a woman entitles you to nothing. You’re supposed to be nice, end of story. Being nice is not an exchange coin to trade for favors.

It also befall on us men to call it out and stomp it out. Silence and fear of reprisal not only kept victims from speaking out, it kept friends and employees surrounding Weinstein from warning and denouncing these abuses. For men, it’s not enough not to never participate in toxic male behavior. We need to call it out where we see it.

That means that to finish this sordid tale, everything needs to come out. We can no longer remain silent about the powerful figures we know that abuse the power they have. Once this is a story that no longer happens, then we can stop telling it.

That will do for now.

(Sources: New York TimesNew YorkerLa PresseLe Devoir)

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Series Issues: Penny Dreadful 2×1 – Fresh Hell

(Source: Showtime)

(Source: Showtime)

Spoilers might come to light.

It’s very hard for me to critical of a series that is so carefully planned. Penny Dreadful 2×1: Fresh Hell starts us on a new road of beautiful nightmares. I don’t think I’m going to surprise anybody at this point by revealing what Ethan Chandler has yet to discover about himself, but that being said let’s go with subtlety at this point. Ethan wakes up at Mariner’s Inn amongst dead bodies, ravaged by claw and fang.

Vanessa Ives is still trying to avoid evil itself. As of now she has more unwanted company. She’s attracted the attention of what can only be described as a coven of witches. We’re talking the non-human devil worshipping kind. Again, this show is about nightmares. Miss Ives doesn’t know it yet, but Evelyn Poole (the former Madame Kali from season one) is on to her. It seems Evelyn might be the leader of said coven herself.

The new threat makes their appearance in a brutal attack on the carriage that takes Miss Ives and Mr. Chandler through London. Ethan pushed them away but the new supernatural creatures keep coming until Vanessa hisses something back at them that they seem to understand and they scamper off. Later in the safety of Sir Malcolm Murray’s home, Miss Ives can’t remember what she said.

Dr. Victor Frankenstein has seem to found a shaky truce with Caliban. The idea being that they’ll keep Brona’s corpse ready for the next storm, whence Victor will actually revive her. Yes, I saw Victor creepily feeling up the body and I know the hint of necrophilia will make people vomit. That being said, we’re not dealing with angels here. I really hope there’s a redemption road for Victor, even if the entire internet has already written him off the show.

Sir Malcolm Murray and his estranged wife Gladys have a cold reunion at Mina’s tomb. Does the name Harker mean we can expect Jonathan Harker to appear? Nothing is certain except the disdain that Sir Murray receives from his wife. When Malcolm suggests he might move back home, Gladys relegates him back to London without blinking. “We have no more children for you to save,” Gladys tells her former husband. “Or kill.”

Caliban looks for a job. He finds one at a wax museum owned by the Putney family. The owner is putting on a new scene, the massacre at Mariner’s Inn. The owners’ daughter, Lavinia is blind. She feels his face to recognize him. Unfortunately, that seems like she’s Caliban’s next obsession..

Back at Victor’s the storm rages. Dr. Frankenstein and Caliban run around flipping switches and toggling toggles as the lightning is brought down into the lab. Brona lives once more, but who is she now?

Evelyn Poole, who we already have seen taking a bath in blood and cutting one of her witches’ throat after failing to kill Vanessa, prays to her master as she promises to deliver Miss Ives. Meanwhile, in Vanessa’s room, she cuts herself and draws in the floor using her blood as she prays and counter-spells whatever curse Evelyn is using against her. We don’t get to know the winner of this curse-pray duel, but behind Vanessa the three remaining witches appear in their monster form, albeit briefly.

Highs/Lows

  • I have the feeling the whole Victor admiring Brona moment was just creepy-ness amped to the max just to stir the viewer, but we’ll see. I do hope for a redemption moment for him. Failing that, a glorious death. I still think there is potential to the character – although that doesn’t mean necessarily as a hero.
  • I know there’s fans who have written off Victor as too creepy to remain on the show. Evelyn Poole just bathed in blood. That was a chilling scene. But I guess, not as creepy. Again, Victor is not a good guy and I am not condoning his actions. But as a surgeon, he sees dead bodies all the time. I don’t think medical students would be creeped out.
  • Yes, there’s a lot of nudity in this one. There’s none that is supposed to be enticing. Mostly it comes out as raw and unforgiving.
  • Evelyn Poole is being set up as the big bad, and particularly Miss Ives’ nemesis this season. What exactly do this coven wants is still to be revealed.
  • Eva Green once more is the lead role here and the main character as Vanessa Ives.
  • Caliban’s moment with Lavinia Putney is supposed to be endearing. Unfortunately, we already know what happens to the girls that Caliban ends up falling for.
  • Dani Sapani as Sembene remains severely underused.

Post-Mortem Editorial: Let’s address the whole “Was Victor feeling Brona up?” thing. This was a comment I posted on The Mary Sue.

Victor is a surgeon. He’s done horrible things already such as dismembering corpses. Doctors, medical students and people who work at the morgue usually end up losing that fear/respect for dead bodies. Victor is also very repressed, obviously a sociopath and lives in Victorian times.

I’m not excusing the character, but although you could accuse him of necrophilia, I really hope that’s not where the show is going. Victor is not a good guy. But he’s also a very repressed man that doesn’t hang around women much. He is fascinated by anatomy? Yes. He’s put corpses back together, but never female. He probably has seen a few naked female corpses but never had revived. Is he admiring a creation that he himself has not put together? I don’t mean to absolve him here, he remains at fault. I’m saying he wasn’t a teenager copping a feel. He was a sociopath with a God complex looking at the work of his competitor. Or perhaps you’re all right and he’ll fall in love with a corpse.

Victor has already done unforgivable things. He’s a necessary evil used by Sir Murray for a good cause. There are no knights in shining armor in this lot but I’ll agree he’s almost beyond redemption.

That will do for now.

(Source: Showtime)

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Geek Zen: My travel media and me. An Editorial.

Book

Classic media reader

Every now and then, I run into the old-fashioned idea that easy access to technology promotes isolation. Every other week, someone decides to make a post on how we’re losing our social skills due to technology. We are to blame. Let’s stop blaming technology. We look for comfort. We look for ways to escape boredom. What we do is consume media, may it be through newspapers, books, radio, TV or nowadays laptops, tablets and cellphones. Congratulations if you are creative enough to produce some media yourself as well.

We have a relationship with our media. Since I was a kid, my family used to listen to The Beatles during road trips. During my holiday break, my sister explained how she couldn’t stand listening to my playlist of The Beatles because I had foolishly put it in alphabetical order on a playlist in my phone. The way she was used to listening to it was in the order of the album. I re-sorted my playlist and I have to accept that it sounds “right”. That’s what was missing. It’s nostalgia to its fullest.

When I travel, I need a lot of media with me. Some of it is new, some of it I have as “comfort media” – the songs and the movies that I can safely go to for entertainment when I’m really in need of brain candy. Say for instance, I get stuck in an airport for a 10 hour layover. That’s the time to enjoy an entire season of Mythbusters, the entire run of Sherlock or my favorite episodes of Doctor Who. Sometimes I just want to close my eyes and only have audio. The comedy albums of Mitch Hedberg work great in such a case. You can even read a book. That’s still media and the printing press was still technology just so you know.

Does it isolate me from the world? Yes. And no. Lots of people bond through the media they know. But at the same time, travel can suck when you’re stuck in a small seat in coach trying to zone out so you don’t hear the screaming baby a couple of rows behind you. Isolation is required when the environment is obnoxious and irrelevant. Isolation is not required in the middle of a family meeting, so you do have to be responsible about when and where to play with your phone. I will accept young kids are not the wisest about choosing those situations, but grownups should know better.

It’s really all about time management. Long stretches of a road are incredibly boring without your favorite playlist. Layovers without an entire season of your favorite show will last forever. You don’t get to play Angry Birds at your aunt’s funeral even if you were not close with her. That’s something you’d have to tell a nine-year-old, but if you are an adult then it’s not your phone that is to blame. It’s you.

I don’t demonize technology. It allows me to access my media while I’m on the go. My media and me have a bond. It saves me from long hours of waiting, commuting, traveling and just sitting in a room. It’s organized just the way I want it. If you’re not mature enough to know when to pay attention and when to zone out, then I guess someone has to be the responsible adult and take technology from you. Don’t come preaching the evils of technology to me.

That will do for now.

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