Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ode to the PaperClip

Things have changed a fair bit since I was a child, and I can usually accept this. One change however, saddens me. The paper clip guy from Microsoft Word. He was the bees knees, making every document special. All he ever wanted to do was help – “I see you’re making a letter, would you like a hand with that?”. I would spend hours in  school as a kid, “working” and just chat to him, change him, drag him around. He never moaned. He was the perfect virtual buddy. How does society reward this helpful behaviour? We cast him out to be seen no more. “I see you’re trying to erase my existence, would you like a hand with that?”.

He even changed his appearance to be more visually pleasing, don’t like paper clips? He’s a dog. Or a cat. Or a robot. Always smiling and always helpful. To me, this could go bigger than just a paperclips time coming to an end. This could signify the way society works now, too proud to ask for help, irritated by those caring enough to offer it and generally in a downward spiral. Or this could be a load of psycho-babble nonsense, take it as you will.

So the next time you see a child opening Word, tell them about the Paper clip. Spread the word of his heroic deeds and share his teachings with the new generation.


Batman Hipster

Now by no means do I think of myself as a hipster. I don’t complain about somebody liking a band after they make it big and I do not set trends with my hairstyle or clothing. Quite honestly I always found it confusing that people would be annoyed that their favourite small time band manages to make it big, become “Mainstream” and gain new fans. Surely people know that being as big as possible is a common goal set by artists.

That’s why I am confused by feelings and thoughts I have been having for a few years now. Allow me to explain.

As many young boys do, I loved superheroes as a kid. Whether it be Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, The Caped Crusader of Gotham – Batman, or The Man of Steel himself, Superman. I couldn’t get enough. As a kid, this knowledge was common. However, as I grew, debates with friends over who would win in a certain fight, became more intense. Reasoning evolved, they turned technical. Small discrepancies were examined and every claim refuted. This, helped along by having an older brother just as obsessed with them as I was/am and I have arrived here.  A 20 year old who still thinks to himself “If I could be any Superhero, then who…?”. Don’t get me wrong, i’m glad, and i’m sure i’m not the only one. I know i’m not.

Back to the point, for the past three quarters of my life, I’ve loved superheros. It’s fair to say I know a lot about them. I have come to terms and love the fact that i’m a geek. So when I see somebody I know for a fact doesn’t care about it say something like “I’m so excited for the Batman film, i’m such a geek!”, it makes me kind of mad. I’m all for people beginning to like it, but don’t act like you really care. Don’t act like you have been a fan through the comics, cartoons, books and terrible films. Be honest, now that everyone wants to get in on it, you’re trying to act like you are an old-hand on the super scene. However, the truth is, you jumped on the batman bandwagon and are now trying to act like an all time geek, because it’s popular to be one now. The downside to the plan is, one day when you bring up a superhero in conversation, you may get asked a seemingly simple question. This is when your meager knowledge will fail you, and you shall be outcast from such meetings forever more! Or so i hope.

This is why i have decided to make many small posts, each on a different superhero. I can’t get rid of these fake fans, but i can at least make sure they know enough to pass as a real one.

(Back to an earlier point, if I could be any super, I would choose The Flash or The Hulk. Being the best at one thing is the way forward, the only choice is, fastest or strongest.)


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Rise of The Planet of The Apes.

I may be late to this particular talk, but, well I don’t care. I have recently watched the masterpiece that is “Rise of The Planet of The Apes” and I am well and truly amazed. This film has everything, a magnificent story line that really pulls you in and makes you care, whether you are an animal lover or not. For those of you not familiar with this franchise, it is confusing as hell to try fit into those that have come before, it seems to be a remake of  “Conquest of The Planet of The Apes”. The basic story line of this latest film is about a chimpanzee who gains superior intelligence due to a scientific experiment.

The acting in this film was generally good, there weren’t any weak areas, and it felt real which I suppose is the hallmark of good acting. The stand-out scene for me was when the “apes” first begin their rise, throwing off the shackles placed on them by humanity. Our favourite chimpanzee, lovingly called “Ceaser” refuses to go back to his cage when ordered to by the less than friendly worker played by Tom Felton ( Draco Malfoy) who is fond of wielding a taser. A fight ensues during which Ceaser grabs the man’s arm, causing him to shout “Take your stinking paw off me, you damn dirty ape”. The response from Ceaser roars through the room. “NO”. I had goose bumps, this all happens so fast, and it’s so iconic, beautifully shot and set that you can’t really sum it up.  “Take your stinking paw off me, you damn dirty ape” – and Ceaser rises up, the camera under him – brilliantly placed, Ceaser The Chimpanzee, all powerful, all mighty, holding his enemy down, the music builds his face swells in anger, and it hits you – “NO!”. One word and it is the most powerful thing spoken in the film. Ceaser’ first word, his sign of the end of the oppression. It represents so much and it really shows. Even the Gorilla watching from his cage, looks utterly bewildered by the one word.

So to conclude, Watch It!

And Smile!