Monthly Look Ahead: May 2021

May! Warm weather! And a bunch of other things! Would you believe there’s more than three bullets on this Monthly Look Ahead? Exciting. And if you also have a mildly exciting month coming, feel free to make your own MLA post!

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  • Legends Of Tomorrow, the best show from the Arrowverse, is finally back on the 2nd. I love these characters and the goofy plots.
  • If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me mention it, but there’s another mother duck nesting on our property this spring! (Or perhaps it’s the same duck, but we can’t be sure). We’re keeping very close watch on her, and if all goes well, the eggs are due to hatch sometime in the first week of May. On that note, I did a huge blog post about that process last year; are you guys interested in another one about this year’s events even if there won’t be a ton of new info? Here’s a poll to gauge interest.
  • I’m still co-running virtual quidditch almost every night. We’ve done 5 tournaments, but as we approach our 1-year, we’ve decided to shake things up a do an Olympics-style event that starts this month, and I’m super excited for that to begin because I know it’s going to be so fun and a fresh change of play.
  • Curling is still on TV! While a lot of events this spring took place in Calgary, the Mixed Doubles tournament at the end of the month is in Scotland. I’m excited to watch and cheer for Canada, and I like watching Mixed as the games are shorter and more action-packed.
    Kerri Einarson/Brad Gushue.
  • There’s no official date, but to celebrate Pokemon’s 25th anniversary, they’ve gotten some singers to ‘collab’ and do little mini Pokemon concerts throughout the year. Post Malone performed in February, and Katy Perry is up next, but as I said, there’s no date yet. They’ve just been teasing things recently. I like a lot of Katy’s old music and I was a huge Pokemon fan as a kid, so I’m interested to see her perform, so hopefully that will happen this month.
  • Will there be TV Upfronts this month? Who knows. I want to see some fun TV trailers as there were none out in May last year. Filming has gone on as far as I know so I’m hopeful.

May-be other fun things will pop up as the month goes on, but for now that’s what I’ve got going on.

That’s all for now!

 

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Adam Levine Is Right About Bands

This post topic is like two months old, so sorry if you’re reading this and getting old news vibes. But I remember seeing this online discourse when it happened and thinking it was interesting but only now am I thinking about it enough to make it a blog post.

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So way back in early March, Adam Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5 and previous coach of The Voice (and also one of the stars of my favourite movie Begin Again, but that’s not important, I just wanted y’all to know) did an interview where he says that bands are a dying breed. It was in a podcast interview but his quotes are:

“It’s funny, when the first Maroon 5 album came out there were still other bands. I feel like there aren’t any bands anymore,” he said. “That’s the thing that makes me kind of sad, is that there were just bands. There’s no bands anymore, and I feel like they’re a dying breed. And so I kind of, in a weird way, as far as I mean, there still are plenty of bands, and maybe they’re not in the limelight quite as much, or in the pop limelight, but I wish there could be more of those around.”

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 get clowned on a lot online, and this comment was no exception. Twitter had a lot to say.

But here’s the thing: he’s right. Bands are not nearly as prevalent as they once were, and I think he of all people is allowed to speak on this given that he is in a band currently. He knows what it’s like.

he's not wrong gif.

Take a look at the top artists of 2020. How many of them are bands? 14 of them include more than one person (3 of them are duos), and of those 14, 6 are groups whose heydays were decades ago (eg. Fleetwood Mac, U2, Queen…). Compare that to the list in 2010, where there are 21, and none of them were from decades past. Billboard does not have data from 2000, but I’d imagine the number is higher than 14.

Another thing that was brought up a lot in this online discussion was K-pop, which is a hugely successful area of music in the last few years, and places like Twitter are heavily populated with passionate fans of this genre. One of the biggest groups is BTS, which ranks 18 on the 2020 list. Here’s the thing about BTS: they’re a group, yes, but they’re not a band. At least, not in the traditional sense. If the likes of NSYNC and One Direction can’t be called bands, neither can all these K-pop groups. They’re boybands for the same reason, which is that they don’t play instruments. This isn’t my definition, this is the classic line separating these types of groups. One is not less than the other and does not define talent or value, it’s just something to note in the context of a discussion on bands.

Something To Think About GIF.

With all this said, even if we include boybands and whatnot, Adam Levine is right to say that mainstream media does not focus on bands as much. Heck, most of the time we even hear about bands/groups is when someone leaves to go solo. He even acknowledged that there are still bands out there, they just simply aren’t as popular or valued as they might have been a decade or two ago. I just don’t know if that’s the fault of the industry and record labels or the consumers (or both, perhaps).

A lot of the tweets I saw from bands being like “Hi, we still exist, Adam!” or from people sharing images of their favourite bands were of bands I’ve never heard of, and that’s not just because I don’t have a good grasp of mainstream music.

Anyway, Adam Levine is right, and I can’t believe people got so mad about his correct statement.

I Said What I Needed To Say GIF.

If anyone wants to know, Neon Trees is my favourite still active and together band. I’d love to know yours in the comments below.

 

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Online Privacy: To Care Or Not To Care

At work once we were talking about online privacy and trust. It shouldn’t be a surprise that if you’re on the internet, you’ve agreed to give some large companies continuous info about you, whether you know it or not.

As a person in marketing, I know that this data is what is used to market things to people, so I can’t be totally against it, but it’s still kind of scary to think about how many strangers or unauthorized companies can know far too much about you, even if you are a safe, responsible person online.

that's just a little bit creepy gif.

There’s the argument that since we’re using Facebook and Gmail and stuff like that for free, our data is allowed to be collected (and used for marketing) as a trade-off, and while I guess that makes sense, it’s still kind of gross. Especially because that privacy doesn’t kick in once you do pay for an upgraded account or something. And with more and more companies just monopolizing everything like Amazon does for example, I think some have way too much info. If they get hacked, you could be screwed.

It’s about sacrifice and what you’re comfortable with, I guess. As a young person very connected and reliant on the internet, I’ve kind of made peace with the fact that my data is taken and out there. It’s just kind of how it is, and I don’t care enough to fight it. My boss, when we were talking about this, was like “every app you have is tracking you!” and he’s right, but like, okay, I hope Mario Kart and McDonalds enjoy me. I want those apps because they’re fun/easy/useful/whatever, and I don’t care if they know my general location or age.

i don't care right now gif.

Not that I ever really use my browser history, but I like having it, so I stick with Chrome as a browser though I know that some Google rivals like Duck Duck Go don’t save that stuff in the name of privacy. I guess it’s unfortunate that I have to choose to give Google my whole self in order to use a fairly basic feature, but that’s what the internet has come to.

On the flip side, my I-don’t-care attitude has limits. I have a little webcam cover on my laptop that I can slide over the lens. I keep it covered unless I’m using the camera, though I don’t really have anything to hide. If someone hacked my webcam, they’d see me lipsyncing to songs overenthusiastically or frowning at my screen because I think I have a slight resting frown face when I focus on things. I don’t really care if anyone sees that in general, but no one should. The fact of the matter is humanity and computers and whatnot can not be trusted, so my little webcam cover must protect me, and that’s an extra step I’m willing to take to make that happen. For the same reason, I don’t like Alexa or any of those in-home assistant robots. I don’t trust them. It’s too much.

I Don't Trust You gif.

It’s worth it to think about your comfort levels and the things you can do to protect yourself or fight back through alternative apps/software that don’t read/steal your data if you want (because there are genuinely good companies and systems out there if you look for them!), but at the end of the day, if you’re online, you’re probably being tracked to some extent, and that’ll probably never change. And as long as we don’t reach creepy robot wars or Alexa takeovers or something, it’s probably fine and just another example of some predatory, money-hungry businesses being the worst.

If it makes you feel any better, though WordPress at large probably does track stuff, the only info on you that I can see as this blog owner is what countries visit the site and what posts get views. It’s thrilling data.

 

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Don’t Make Director’s Cuts A Thing

I was very surprised when a Synder cut of the 2018 DC movie Justice League was announced. While I didn’t hate the first version, I knew it could have been better, and this Snyder cut promised to do it all and more. But then I watched all four hours of it, and while it was more, I don’t think I can say it was all that. Between the weird colouring, the 20 minute dream sequence, the dumb timeline-messing save, and the random villagers singing, this version of the movie really made some wild choices that I’m glad the studio or apparent trash human Joss Whedon decided to remove years ago.

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Me watching that dream sequence

The Snyder cut obviously took advantage of the at-home delivery by making it six parts over four hours, which is fine, but I think that a) you therefore can’t compare it to other movies because you got two more hours to tell a more fleshed out story and b) even if you edited it down to a reasonable movie length, this version wasn’t that much better. Parts of it sure were, like the explanation of the cubes or Cyborg’s story, but as a whole, I was disappointed. I kind of expected this to be like The Best Movie because it was hyped up to be Authenticly Snyder’s Untold Story and Undoing How Awful Joss Was, but I guess that’s on me for having a high standard. It was better, but it wasn’t worth the years of campaigning.

And that’s why I’m very wary of this new hype train of other directors cuts that may or may not exist. I know some of it is just memeing like this TikTok, but still. I’ve seen far too many headlines saying that there are hours more footage of some movie no one wants to see more of or that studios are considering doing more director’s cuts of other things or that fans are campaigning for other ones. It’s probably not true, but just in case, here’s my official statement: no thanks.

that's a real quick no. gif.

I won’t pretend to know how much involvement movie studios have in final plot or editing, but based on my limited knowledge and my eyes during Snyder Cut, I can’t imagine that this is a useful direction (pun intended) for the film industry. If a studio can’t deliver me the absolute best version of a movie the first time, then they gotta live with that shame and possible financial loss. You can’t just keep pumping out different versions to appease people. As they say, that’s show biz. Justice League may have been a special case because of the crisis in Snyder’s life during original filming, forcing Whedon has to take over, but for other movies that didn’t have something similar going on, I just feel like there’s no excuse.

And who is this even for? The fans? I have trouble believing that, because I feel like if fan satisfaction were the ultimate goal, they wouldn’t have given us garbage to begin with. Is it for the directors? Giving them their moment to shine? Unlikely. So I guess this just smells like a big ol’ cash grab.

Am I Wrong GIF.

The only version of a director’s cut I’m not opposed to is what Lord Of The Rings did. They had the extra stuff as an optional bonus DVD feature that didn’t negate the regular normal-length theatrical release. If studios want to give us that (though without DVDs, it’s just bonus content on streaming services), then sure. Whatever.

Director’s cut? More like cut that nonsense out before it starts please.

Thoughts? Did you enjoy the Snyder cut of Justice League? Is there a movie you want a director’s cut of?

 

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This Blog Is 6 Years Old!

I don’t really celebrate my blog’s anniversary (blogiversary, as some call it) aside from maybe a sappy tweet on the day, if I can remember (and usually I don’t). But this time I figured I would. Six isn’t even a fun milestone to celebrate, but so what? We still celebrate all human birthdays and anniversaries. I’m really proud of my blog, so today you get this post from me.

Though technically my blog turns six tomorrow. But I was due for a post today.

celebrate gif.

Last year when I was job hunting, my blog would come up a lot in interviews, not just because it’s a hobby but because I work in marketing/content creation, so it’s useful to talk about. One thing I always stressed when mentioning it was that I’ve done at least one post every single week. And when you think about it, that’s wild. Like, I’m so proud of that. For six years, throughout school, jobs, holidays, sicknesses, whatever else, I’ve still managed to get a post out each week, and I never had to resort to a really, really short one or resharing an old one to get by (though I’ve come close a few times!).

In the pandemic and during my time unemployed, still having a blog to maintain was great as a constant thing. It forced me to still do something ‘productive’ and allowed me to connect with people beyond my small real-life circle.

I’m also so proud of my attitude towards my blog. It’s healthy. Perhaps my most healthy hobby, actually. I’m realistic with my posts, my interactions, my goals, and I for the most part don’t get hung up on stats or other people’s successes. I know exactly where I stand. I think it’s so easy in the blogosphere to lose sight of why you started blogging or fall into some unhealthy mindsets, so I’m glad I’ve been able to kind of stay on my own path and do what makes me happy.

Animated gif in collection by elle sutton on We Heart It

I’ve been able to write about so much and it’s been really cool to know that people enjoy it despite the randomness and will go out of their way to leave comments or tell me how much they like my posts. I don’t take that for granted at all.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say today. Yay me. Yay coolbeans. Yay you for reading!

 

That’s all for now!

 

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