We all need a place, and for me it’s the beach.
Where I live the ocean is usually placid. Waves lick the shores gently most days, swelling only a few inches before they break. When they crash it’s like a whisper, as though the ocean is eroding the land through relaxing massage. Sure, there are stormy days too, when the sea breathes and heaves in pulsing drama, and the waves get big enough that you can sense them pulverizing the helpless granite cliff-sides.
But most days it’s pretty serene.
These are rocky beaches, here, with pebbles of granite, quartz, and basalt as deep as you could dig. The sand, such as it is, is merely part of the continuum of desolation that the ocean and the rain and the wind collectively wreak upon the earth. The life cycle of the very planet is in evidence on these shores, but all the while the sea whispers, “shhh,” as the waves lap in, and then rattle back out to the Strait through the pebbles they’ve shifted by rolling softly in.
There are little crabs and birds; sometimes seals or eagles, porpoises or dolphins; sometimes orca; once I saw a grey. If you crane over the rock outcrops bright purple starfish cling where the water rushes in and out too fast for even the barnacles to stick. All this is what I want you to see when I say the word ‘beach.’
Today I went to the beach because it was clear and mild out but not because I felt like I needed to. I didn’t know I felt gnarled because it happens so gradually and maintains itself so steadily that it just becomes part of the way we are. But the beach can level you, as it will level the rock. The ocean will shift your sand, expose your boulders, and start in on washing all of that grit out to sea. It will do it on a gentle day. It will do it on an angry day. It will do it relentlessly.
I began on the beach with my hands in my pockets, a grown up with grown up concerns. But soon enough I was marvelling at the water. I was rerouting a stream as it coursed through the pebbles toward the waves. I dug with the heel of my shoe like I used to do in rainy playgrounds when I was seven years old. I dammed it with dirt and rocks, and dug canals with a stick and watched the river wash the sediment into the undulation of the waves. I hunted for sea glass. I scanned the horizon for whales.
I left the beach centred. The water and sand had done what they do, and smoothed the furrow in my granite brow.
It’s been 2 days since the attacks in Paris and I haven’t said anything. I haven’t changed my icon to the French flag. I haven’t hashtagged a social media prayer and fired it across the Atlantic. I’m not sure I should say anything.
We just celebrated Remembrance Day not so long ago, on November 11th. We fell dutifully silent at eleven am and spent two minutes reflecting on those Canadians who’ve lost their lives in the service of ensuring our freedom, particularly those who fell in the Great War. A very small moment, but an important one nonetheless.
Hey, pop quiz: Which war was the Great War? You ought to know this if you don’t. Small hint: It was also called the war to end all wars. Big hint: it ended on November 11th, ninety seven years ago. Answer: It was World War 1. And yet how many have died in war, and who continue to do so to this day? I don’t even want to google the answer to that one, for fear I’ll explode.
World War One was brutal and devastating. It was thought, rather naively in hindsight, that surely after the human race had borne witness to its horror, there could never be another soul who would want to plunge us into such tragedy ever again. And yet we do. Over and over and over and over. Hitler, Hussein, Bush/Quayle, Bush/Cheney, Pol Pot, the LRA, Al Qaida, Marcos, Pinochet, and many many others of many other nationalities and political stripes have made the choice to plunge us headlong into violence in the hope of… what? An economic edge? Racism? Rebellion?
I suppose any of these motivations are valid ones for war. What I question is the validity of war itself. Now I know what some of you are thinking: what happened in Paris wasn’t war, it was terrorism.
Was what happened in Baghdad beginning on March 21, 2003 war or terrorism? I think that depends on what side of the fence your feet are planted. War if you’re a westerner, but terrorism if you’re an Iraqi.
I say all this not to cause outrage in my readers, nor to create political divisions. I’d be as critical of leftists resorting to the same lies and violence as Bush/Cheney. Mao was guilty, too, after all. Violence is the issue here, not politics, so calm your hot head (if you have one right now), and let’s move forward. The point:
For the perpetrators of violence – whether they be presidents or suicide bombers – for them, it’s almost always war. Violence as a tool for a larger cause (however just), is war and terrorism. I’m sick as hell of people calling them different things. The War on Terror, ought to be more accurately called a War on War. The absurdity of it is more clear if you think of it that way. We’re going to get boots on the ground and bombs in the air to fight people that resort to getting boots on the ground and bombs in the air.
Now you may be thinking, “but you have to fight fire with fire.”
Another completely stupid phrase. If you fight fire with fire, you get a bigger fire. Period.
We are one people. I’m sick to death of fighting fire with fire. We have done it throughout human history. It doesn’t work, obviously, and the only way to stop is to just… stop. Stop it.
I used to have survivor guilt. I used to feel embarrassed to still be living with the knowledge that someone undeserving had been murdered in terror. Not anymore. Now I just feel defeated. But there’s a new deeper feeling: anger.
Paris made me angry. But so did Newtown. And Beirut. And Iraq. And New York. And every other time ever that an innocent life was taken in the name of religion, race, economics, freedom, or whatever other bullshit gets stuffed down our throats so that those with power can line their pockets with missile defence money and post-war security patrol contracts. It used feel like a vague and disputable anger. But now it’s a raw and pure.
So I won’t say anything about Paris, because talking about Paris lends validity to the murderers. Murderers deserve no such thing as validity, or notoriety. Paris was attacked by “some dicks” and her people shall respond by drinking, laughing, cooking beautiful food, and living aloud through the grief. We should all do the same, for every injustice, rather than colouring our Facebook profiles and pretending that doing so is meaningful to anyone but yourself.
This blog was going to be all about how I failed to write all week. How I failed to eat well. How I just failed. I should feel guilty, but I don’t. I go into next week with fury. If some misled dicks who think they’re at war can kill and hurt so many in my favourite city in the world, nearly a century after the war to end all wars, then it can kill or hurt any of us, anywhere. I have decided to speak up and speak out in favour of global disarmament, and criticize violence wherever it rears itself. Fuck you, violence; Fuck you. You’re done.
I ask you, humans: are we really still angry toddlers? Or is it time for us to grow into human adults? You ought to know better, war mongers. You ought to know better, presidents and kings. You ought to know better, extremists, gunmen, racists. Shame on you, you spoiled, shitty children.
Ok, so we didn’t win a million dollars, but we came close! Still: what’s next?
I haven’t heard yet from our production team what their plans for Alien Abduction are now that the coveted prize has gone elsewhere, which I realize leaves me sort of casting about for something to do. I, like all of us, was sort of counting on winning it; I’d subconsciously reserved my September to shoot the darn thing, and now my month is wide open and I’m not sure I’ve got anything to do.
I have an exciting slate of travel lined up for the summer, and I suppose one should focus on that. Columbus, Houston, Seattle, Stuttgart, Paris, and London, all before the end of August. Gah, when I write it like that it’s very exciting indeed! Still: one likes to come home to something to do.
I suppose I ought to take my time and travel to reflect upon what I want to create. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Cinecoup process, it’s to return to my roots as a creator. I miss the rush that generating film at an independent level gives me. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it. And I have scripts in my desk drawer I could shoot where I wouldn’t have to paint myself blue or wear a funny hat (though I might just to feel comfortable).
Well, rant over. I’m mostly writing this because I’m at the airport with naught better to do while I wait for the first of many flights to come.
Also, PS: a lady just sat down fifty feet from me. I can smell her perfume. It’s cloying. She is on my flight. Worse than crying baby. May have to wear nose-plugs.
This message is for all – and I mean ALL – of you.
For the last six months or so I’ve been loading my Social Media feeds with news of a certain project, which I’m aware may not hold immediate interest for everyone.
C’est la vie. I’m not over-the-moon about everything other people are doing either. It’s normal.
If you’ve somehow managed to miss it, it’s called Alien Abduction, and it’s a trailer for an as-yet-unproduced feature film. At the time of this writing, it’s competing with 10 other trailers for One Million Dollars, which is a lot – enough to get a movie shot here in Canada, for suresies.
***Point of Order: You can still help us win this million by going to cinecoup and completing fan missions to earn up to sixty votes you can then spend on our movie: VOTE HERE***
The vote closes tomorrow (Sunday June 2) in the evening. So go now, then come back and find out why you should keep reading this.
1. THANK YOU for voting.
I know you get asked by the Internet to go here and do this and watch the other and most of it sucks and here I am asking you to do exactly that for me. Well, from my heart to yours: Thank you. You’re a gem!
2. THANK YOU for supporting a thing that may not be why you liked my Twitter and what-have-you to begin with.
For instance, I’m aware that a lot – like A LOT – of you are here because of My Little Pony. Me as a red workhorse may not seem to have much to do with me as a dorky blue alien (it does, though – more than you might think!), but you came along for this kooky ride anyway, and I sure do appreciate it. Eeyup!
3. If you didn’t vote; if your reaction to all the Alien Abduction posts is akin to “sheesh, not THIS again” I owe you a thank you, too! So THANK YOU!
I know you’re here for reasons and this wasn’t one of them. I’m extremely grateful to you for sticking with me despite the barrage of blue-alien promotion. I appreciate your steadfast trust that this too shall pass, and that something more your speed will pop down the pipe soon. (It will. Promise.) And if you can see your way to voting despite that, well then thank you all the more. But I get it. No worries. It’s all back to normal in a couple of days.
4. If you don’t fit in to one of these categories, well, heck. THANK YOU anyway, just for being you.
Alien Abduction is a labour of love, and wouldn’t be happening at all if it weren’t for the faith and dedication of a small (but truly international) group of people. From the Grangers who wrote and directed, to Kaleena the producer, to the other actors (except Patrick, who’s needy; If I thank him once, I’ll have to thank him every day for a year), to the crew, the editors, the audiences, and the fans. Without all of these elements working in harmony the thing would have ground to a halt ages ago.
Lastly I want to thank Cinecoup, not just because of the tremendous opportunity they’ve provided to filmmakers across this country, but because I want acting jobs in the future and I’m pretty sure they’re going to take over the world.
So. If you skipped to the end, I pretty much just said thank you to everyone on the planet. The kicker? I meant it. You are the glue. Without you my macaroni art is just some kid’s crappy lunch. Thanks for sticking with me. I’m looking forward to our next adventure together.
So I started using Vine, like, two days ago. I think I may have a career as a filmmaker because I can’t seem to stop making weirdo seven second short films. Here are some of my faves. Don’t forget to turn the sound on (some of my finest voice work ever in these babies – though Big Mac’s voice seems to have changed…).
It was a week of interviews, and here they all are!
The Grangers and I spoke to Derpy Hooves News:
I went solo on the Dennis Daniel show:
And Patrick Gilmore and I did a Reddit AmA:
And fun was had by all except for the one guy who called me names and who I therefore promptly reported as abusive. Let me know if they’ve descended post-chat and I’ll clear them out of there.
Well Jiminy Cricket!
I’ll be doing a big ol’ Ask Me Anything over on the Reddit this Saturday at 3pm Pacific.
More exciting still, Patrick Gilmore of SGU will be doing it with me! So now’s your chance to ask all your Stargate/My Little Pony/miscellaneous questions and get the answers you’ve always wanted! (well not NOW, but Saturday the 27th of April, 2013 at 3pm Pacific (that’s 6 Eastern, 11pm Greenwich, and Sunday morning at 9am (I think) if you’re in Sydney – maybe if you’re in Sydney you should double check my math because I would if I were you).
WHY are we doing this?
Well Patrick and I are both in a trailer for a new movie called Alien Abduction. We both want to be in the ACTUAL movie called Alien Abduction but we haven’t shot it yet because we don’t have the money. Thankfully we’re in a contest at Cinna Coo dot see eh wherein if we win we get a million dollars (which in the world of Canadian movie making is a LOT)!
How can you help?
Well all we ask is that when you visit us on Saturday at Reddit.com, you also visit cinecoup at the link above and vote as often as the site will let you (up to fifty times, I think it is now). And the best bit is: You don’t even have to be Canadian to vote! Ok that’s not “the best” – being Canadian is totally wicked but– well– you know what I’m saying.
So to recap:
1. Reddit. Saturday. 3pm Pacific. Peter New & Patrick Gilmore AmA.
2. Cinecoup.ca. Alien Abduction. Vote. (you don’t *have* to vote to ask a question, but it’d be real sporting of you.)
See you Saturday!
These Rednecks Have:
So as you may or may not know, I’m involved in a project called Alien Abduction which is currently in competition to win a million smackers to put towards shooting.
We made a trailer which is pretty funny, and then some support vids that are pretty entertaining too. Next week the contest culls its top 40 entries down to 15!
To make that huge cut, we need votes (during the upcoming voting period) and hits (that’s you clicking on all our stuff).
At the end of this here link RIGHT HERE (click me), you’ll find more info, as well as our latest mission video in which I say nothing you haven’t heard me say as Big Macintosh. Please click, and remember to find your way back next week and vote for us (you can vote up to 35 times or so!).
Also: here’s a picture of me and Andrew Francis which is not actually a picture of me and Andrew Francis.
I’m pretty sure, actually that Michelle Creber is off to my left and I’m eyeing her because if I don’t she’ll throw crumpled paper at my head.
So I guess last night the Twitterverse asploded! Or my little corner of it did. Someponies decided to have a photoshop battle using me as their subject. I compiled the results (all the ones I saw, anyhoo) and put them together here. Do me a solid: Tweet me your favourite three!
PS: I’ve tried to include them in the order they happened.
1. The What the Hell is On You, Man?
2. The Wall-Eyed Wizard
3. The Secret Agent
4. The Tara Strong Cosplay
5. The Tara and Twilie Cosplay
6. The Angry Cat
7. The This Is Me In Grade Nine
8. The One Where The Queen Is Not Amused
9. The Kawaii One
10. The Circle of Life
11. The Great News Everyone
12. The One About Being in a Box
13. The Things Have Always Been This Way, Haven’t They?
14. The That Other Canadian Celebrity
15. The Tiny Head Big Everything
16. The Van Gogh
17. The Swami River
18. The Don’t Look At Me Without My Make-Up
19. The Movie Star
Those last two courtesy of Steffan Andrews who secretly photoshops me all the time because it inspires him. He’s got a whole shrine. These three gifs also came in:
20. The …Wait For It
21. The I Swear Officer They Were The Over-The-Counter Kind
22. The Gangnam Style Plus
Welp. There they all are, all in one place. I hope you enjoyed this in all its total, utter wrongness, as I have.