The Harvest 3.5/5 STARS

Yes, yes, I’ve got a movie review for you!  I’m a sucker for dark movies, but I thought this one–The Harvest–was worth recommending.  As someone who has trouble sitting through long movies, I found The Harvest(1hr 44min) very watchable.  From start to finish, the pacing was perfect.  I’d like to add that this movie deals with the death of one’s child, among other sensitive topics, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to that.  Even I was on edge, mouth twisted in disgust when things really started to get creepy.

A sickly boy(Charlie Tahan) is isolated from the outside and other children, “to keep his strength.”  His abusive mother(Samantha Morton) is a doctor, and mild father(Michael Shannon) a nurse.  When mounting evidence shows that the mother doesn’t truly care about the boy’s longevity, only the neighbor girl(Natasha Calis) can shine light on this dark family.  All of the characters in The Harvest are believable, with familiar dynamics that hearken to real life.  For example: the mother puts the father down by reminding him he’s just a nurse, and she an MD.  The father, conversely, resents her status as a doctor.

The movie opens with a pleasant scene: kids are playing baseball, parents yelling encouragements from the bleachers.  One kid, Bobby, is hit with the ball and flops to the ground, unresponsive.  Adults crowd around him, but you can hear a woman calling: “Please, let me through… I’m his mom. Let me through.”  Bobby is taken to hospital and saved.  His mother, relieved, thanks the doctor with a hug.  This seemingly inconsequential scene will not make sense until the very end of the movie.  Actually, I went back and watched the opening again because I had nearly forgotten it as it seemed totally unrelated.  Folks, I was wrong.  Go back and watch the beginning again if you need to: it really frames the message of the movie.


Sidenote: The Harvest is available on Canadian Netflix.

 

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Trout + Fur = Hilarious Taxidermy

I love cryptozoology. I just found out about this creature called the Fur-bearing Trout via Wikipedia.  Probably the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fur-bearing_trout

The Great Canadian Potato (Am I a Food Genius?)

I just took a baked potato out of the fridge, split it and half, and poured maple syrup on it.  Starchy and sweet, it’s a delicious oddity.  I call it: The Great Canadian Potato.

The Great Canadian Potato

Ingredients:

  • 1 Potato
  • Some maple syrup
  • Bacon bits(?)

Instructions:

  Take a baked potato and cut it in half.  You can either serve it warm or serve it chilled.  Pour maple syrup on top. Add any other condiments on top, I think some bacon bits would be great.  And there you have it: The Great Canadian Potato!

Peering Through a Canadian Perspective

The Gravedigger’s Art:  https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Gravedigger_s_Art.html?id=qd8ymAEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Front Cover

This is a really great book of poems by a Canadian, Owen Hughes.  I picked it up out of curiosity and enjoyed it very much.  If you know the author, please let me know, I can’t find this guy anywhere online and would like to know if he has written anything else and where his career has gone.  Seriously, Owen Hughes, let’s get in touch!

The Mask You Live In 4/5 STARS

When men complain about the pressure to be tall and muscular, they’re right.  They’re absolutely right that they’re expected to be physically imposing.  At it’s worst, they’re expected to assert their power through violence.  And, underneath the posturing, they are forced to hide their feelings.

The Mask You Live In, available on Canadian Netflix, lays all of the ways we set boys up for failure out in the open.  Most of us are desensitized to the messages beaten into us, that we become blind.  Not just physically, but psychologically, by the way we talk, what we watch, and who we idolize.

A few criticisms I’d make is that it’s alluded that boys watching “bondage porn” are somehow more toxically masculine.  While porn is a problem in the ways it portrays sex, I don’t really agree with the insinuated evil of kink/BDSM.  I’d like to add that different ways of having sex are fine as long as they are consensual.  I wish they had had a sex educator in the documentary explain this point…

Overall, I agreed with the film’s main ideas.  It covered the causes and effects of Toxic Masculinity and the Demonization of Femininity.  The Mask You Live In made me very emotional in spots: I teared up, and I’m not one to cry during movies.  Most of the time, I was just nodding my head.

“Water Damage Restoration” Was Not What I Was Looking For

Did you know: ottawagoth.ca is a website for a company that cleans up wet homes.  It is not a website about goths.  I’m super disappointed.  Additionally, did you know there’s a Goth Avenue in Ottawa?  Spooky!  And I found this dead blog of a young man recounting his experiences of being goth in the 90s, in Ottawa.

“I hate the 95. The bus drivers are always so rude, the people are always the weirdest you can find, and this bus, more than any other in Ottawa had people who don’t understand bus etiquette.
But for $1.75 at the time, we could go to the market.”

goth-ottawa.blogspot.ca

Feel free to contact me if I’ve mentioned your website!

Interesting Experiences in The City

A stranger at the bus stop yesterday politely came up to me and said I had, “really cool makeup, man.”  This really brightened my afternoon when I just wanted to go home and sleep.  This is in contrast to being catcalled a week or so ago.  Some faith in my fellow metropolitans has been restored.

(That was the first and only time I’ve been catcIMG_1723alled, I now reconsider wearing skirts when I’m going out as they seem to make some straight men see me in a whole different light.  Now I just dress like a like a spooky androgyne–not your sex object now, huh?)

Innes Road Injustice

Mutiur Rehman believes he’s Jesus, and that he is Tupac‘s prodigy.  Yes, that Tupac, the deceased rapper we’re all familiar with.  Before you laugh, consider this: how long can you be alone, before you start to hallucinate?

According to accounts from Rehman’s family members, it took him about a year to start hearing things.  In total, he spent 18 months in solitude against his will.

This all happened at the infamous Innes Road jail in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  This jail has been under scrutiny for its inhumane treatment of inmates; including locking them in shower rooms, overcrowding, and its use of solitary confinement.

Now, Mutiur Rehman has received a diagnosis of schizophrenia, an illness that can be exacerbated by stress.  His mother and father believe the stress and loneliness of being in prison for two years caused him to hear voices.

It’s irrelevant why Rehman was in the Innes Road jail, and what he did or didn’t do.  Inmates aren’t monsters or demons deserving of punishment: they are human beings.  Fundamentally,  people do not deserve abuse.

 

To help you understand Schizophrenia a bit better, I have added some videos to this post:

Feedback Made to !ndigo About Dan Savage

Update: !ndigo responded within 24 hours.  Before registering my complaint, I scoured their website for any content guidelines: I found nothing.  !ndigo’s customer service response via email was very helpful, however:

“Stocking a certain book does not mean that we condone or promote its point of view, but having said that, there are three types of books that we will never sell:

 

  1. books/magazines that instruct how to build weapons of mass destruction
  2. child pornography
  3.   written material which has as its sole intent inciting people toward the annihilation of a particular group in society

 

Thank you again for your time and commitment to this, while I can appreciate your concerns regarding Mr. Savage the book does not violate our current guidelines regarding books we will not sell.”

And you know what? I totally agree with these guidelines.  I just wish they were available on their website, or, if they already are, the guidelines should be easier to find.


 

Remember when I wrote this? I registered my complaint via Indigo’s online feedback form.  I eagerly await their reply!Chapters Indigo Biphobia