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"The D is silent."

I've been loking forward to the trailer for Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino's latest flick, since I heard the title and that it was a Western. We got a glimpse of spaghetti western influence on Tarantino in Kill Bill, Vol. 2, but a full on Western? Count me in. If you haven't seen the trailer, which I'm surprised at if you're reading this, or you've only seen it 11 times, it's below.


This psychs me up for the movie, but doesn't do nearly the job that the Inglourious Basterds teaser did years ago. Maybe it's because there's no main character with a mysterious scar on his neck like Brad Pitt, or maybe it's because this trailer has no Nazis. Although there is one character that peaks my interest, and that is M.C. Gainey's character. In the trailer, he appears to be shot while having pages of The Bible pinned to him. I'm assuming it's The Bible, but whether it is or not, the fact that pages are pinned to his clothes are very interesting. Plus, there's the brief glimpse of Don Johnson as the Colonel Sanders-looking man. I read that people who saw scenes with him, said he was great. 

The scene I know I'm already looking forward to is the Saloon scene where Christoph Waltz makes his pitch to Jamie Foxx. It seems to be just the two of them in the bar. It makes me think of the Superman/Clark Kent speech in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 and the Waltz-stolen scene at the opening of Inglourious Basterds

We also get a nice look at the character Leonardo DiCaprio will be playing. Very interesting character and I love that he was introduced with a spaghetti western-style jarring zoom. The character looks "fun." After seeing DiCaprio in a string of serious roles (The Departed, Shutter Island, Inception) I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do in this role.

My absolute favorite shot though is the spray of blood across the cotton. The trailer for the most part isn't the hyper-violence you would expect from Tarantino, but this shot reminds us that it will be there. And I can't fucking wait.


A Video Game I Play, Mostly For Story

This year I've been half-heartedly watching the E3 coverage. I used to follow it a lot closer when I had more time for video games. But that's a topic for another day.

One of the series I do keep up with is Assassin's Creed and the E3 trailer for the latest in the series looks awesome.


Looks are the only the reason I still play this game. It tells a great story and that's what keeps me coming back to it. The first game had mediocre gameplay, but the story was so fresh and original that I wanted to see more. Especially, after finding out that the second in the series would take place in the Renaissance instead of The Crusades. And I'm psyched that Assassin's Creed 3 takes another jump to the American Revolution.

For anyone who doesn't know the story, the basics involve the war between Assassins and Templars which has been going on for hundreds of years. It starts in modern day though with a man named Desmond who goes into a machine that goes through his genetic memory to get the secrets of his ancestor assassins which could potentially save the world. And from there, there's little I can say without prefacing with the word "Spoiler." Trust me though that it's a great story if you just accept the idea of "genetic memory."

It's a series filled with conspiracy, different locations spanning different times, and interesting characters. Gameplay is also much improved from the first one. Incorporating parkour without making it obvious that you're doing parkour for the sake of the game. But it's really the story, the characters, and the mystery that keeps me coming back.

I also like that these guys are smart enough to keep the games coming quickly enough so that we don't lose focus on such a complex story. (Unlike the great, but spread out Metal Gear Solid series.)

I just realized that there are more videos online. I'll be unreachable for a while. Somebody get my Drool Guard...


The Gap in the Generation Gap

I’ve always been told that a generation is about 30 years. But a while ago I was talking to my brother and a slip of the tongue got me thinking that that may be wrong. My brother is 12 years older than me. Not a huge difference, one would think within the same generation based on what I’ve always been told. But what I said to him was “my generation.” Not “our generation,” but “my generation.” Why did I do that?

I did a little research and people note that there’s a difference between familial generations and cultural generations. For a long time they overlapped, so a generation was just a generation of about 25-30 years regardless of familial or cultural. That’s how I learned the word. But it seems to me that the distinction is becoming important. Familial generations are still about 30 years, but culturally, I’d say we’re at about 15 years and it’s shrinking fast.

Our culture is increasingly based on pop culture (TV, movies, music, books,) technology and social dynamics. Mainly as a result of the internet, those fields are changing faster than before. I remember when the iPod first came out, my high school yearbook called it a fad. Now it’s completely revolutionized music. Facebook was launched at my college and we all signed up for it, but then stopped paying attention to it for a year. Now it’s constantly in the news. Things that start out one way can completely change the landscape of culture within a couple years.

Then when that culture changes enough, it’s essentially a new generation being raised with different technology, different ideas, and different ways of interacting. My nephew is about 15 years younger than me and I would consider him a different generation. My niece is about 10 years younger than him. And I’d be willing to be that when she was a bit older (she’s only 18 months right now) that she’s potentially a different generation from my nephew.

There’s some overlap between the cultural generations, but there are definitely differences being built quicker than before. Maybe there aren’t the big cultural gaps we saw previously, but I think we’re going to start seeing cultural generations form quicker. So to my brother I apologize for imply he might be old, but it’s really not my fault. That’s just the generation I’m in.


Marina Keegan: "The Opposite of Loneliness"

I feel like I'm late on this wonderful essay. Maybe I'm not, but either way, I have the feeling Marina wouldn't want me to feel that way. So I won't.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, Marina Keegan wrote a beautiful essay reflecting on her time at Yale and what lays ahead of her. A week ago, she was killed in a car accident. Maybe the tragedy adds strength to her words. But the words are strong enough on their own. It's a fantastic piece of writing that's smart, funny, and sincere all at the same time. I can't help but feel that given more time, Marina would have been a voice of her generation and a voice that many generations could relate to. 

Read the full essay here: 

Here are two excerpts that resonated with me:

"We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement."


"Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck."

Hopefully you've reached many, the way you've reached me. Thank you for the gift, Marina.


Overplayed: Songs I'm Done Hearing

I'm not saying these songs are bad - even though a couple of them are - they've just become overplayed. Everyone plays them. All the time. I'm sick of hearing them. I'm done.

"Stairway to Heaven," Led Zeppelin - I love Led Zeppelin. I hate that this song is played somewhere on the radio once every 15 minutes.

"Hotel California," The Eagles - I know a lot of people seem to like this song. I don't.

"Good Riddance," Green Day - I think everyone of my generation had this as the background music to any end-of-the-year video/photo montage.

"Imagine," John Lennon - Not only has it been overplayed, but the meaning is constantly being stretched to fit every situation.

"I Don't Want to Miss A Thing," Aerosmith - I'll never get sick of Aerosmith and Run DMC doing "Walk This Way," but this is an over-rated song for a terrible movie that was played too much to promote a movie his daughter was in.

"The Reason," Hoobastank - This is an awful song that should not have been played ever. Yet, I still hear it today.

Any song by Adele - Yea, she's got a good voice, but I don't need to hear it all the time.

"Jar of Hearts," Christina Perri - This song is depressing as hell. When I worked retail, it played a minimum of 3 times a day. That made it more depressing.

"She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," Kenny Chesney - Maybe I haven't heard this one as much as the others, but it's still been far too many times for me.