SPENCER CHUMBLEY Visual Journalist / documentary film series
EXTINCTION Childhood / endangered concept
PACIFIC RIM Del Toro / love letter to nerdom
TWITTER Twitter / the next music curator
WRITERS Samantha Biallas Hansem Castillo Hayley Eichenbaum Dana Heitman Shane Math Minnie Marche Michael Nelson Jillian Turbessi
PHOTOGRAPHERS Cover photo: Eric Pelve Spencer Chumbley Kevin Dooley Brianne O’Brien
ILLUSTRATORS Benjamin Ramos Lance Young
Please note, Polymath urges a collaborative creative experience for readers and contributors alike. Most of our written content is the brain-child of two or more writers from our pool of talented contributors to your left. Content written in this format will be indicated by ‘s. If there are two or more authors, the number of ‘s will reflect this, sometimes appearing in multiple colors in the right hand corner of the page or under the article title. We decided to keep our content authors anonymous, in order to erase any bias or allegiance of your experience. Thank you for participating in our unique deliverance. Enjoy.
POLYMATH A PERSON WHOSE EXPERTISE SPANS A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SUBJECT AREAS; SUCH A PERSON IS KNOWN TO DRAW ON COMPLEX BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE TO SOLVE SPECIFIC PROBLEMS.
Popular culture can be an aggressive expression of our existence and is one of the most widely criticized - dare I say it - art forms. At Polymath, we believe pop culture is thee complex body of knowledge used to solve problems and navigate our social networks. As pop culture evolves, we must reevaluate our personal niche. How are we exposed to new information and how can we all collaborate? As media hungry millennials, you and I are the experts, single-handedly shaping world culture. We are the Polymath. Our plan is to break the rules, violate conventions of traditional magazine design, content, and accessibility. In the months ahead, Polymath intends to reimagine what you expect from magazine exposure. We will explore new features, deliver new reader experiences, and create multi-media hybrids. This is going to be fun.
JILLIAN M. TURBESSI EDITOR-IN-CHEIF
Maybe it is not Hollywood’s responsibility, but it is a responsibility of the press to have some sort of input and honesty.
THIS IS A PERFECT POINT TO WHY JOURNALISM IS STILL VERY RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT, BECAUSE THE CONVERSATION WE ARE HAVING NEEDS TO OCCUR.
POLYPITCH: A LETTER Polypitch is from me to you, a reoccurring letter from the editor of Polymath Magazine. Welcome, allow me to introduce myself...
POLYDATA: AN INFOGRAPHIC Polydata is a conglomeration of stats, data, or how-toâ€™s in our monthly infographic.
POLYCAST: AN INTERVIEW Polycast is a hybrid of print publication meets podcast. This month, we talk to visual journalist Spencer Chumbley.
POLYPROSE: A STORY Polyprose features segments from our favorite creative writers. This month, we give you Dead Yellow.
Childhood has become an endangered concept. This article discusses the evolution of childhood.
EXTINCTION OF CHILDHOOD
Director Guillermo del Toro is truly at the helm of a cult classic, Pacific Rim. Do we smell a sequel?
TWITTER: NEXT MEDIA CURATOR? Does Twitter have the capacity to be a social media giant as well as become our next music curator?
I’ve been a longtime proponent of
For the proud consumer, there’s Foursquare. Pinterest has captured the imaginations
social networking. Friendster, Myspace,
of crafters and DIY-enthusiasts. Those still interested in turning even the most
Livejournal, Friends or Enemies
innocuous post about your new puppy into a no holds barred, death threat inducing
(Anyone else recall Pete Wentz’s short-
political diatribe still have Facebook. Everyone is now free to log in to whichever
lived foray into social networking?),
community best suits their interests and personalities.
Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Last.
For my purposes, I’m a ‘Twitter guy’.
fm, Myspace 2.0, Tumblr, Myspace 3.0, Path… The list goes on. The idea of a
At some point along the way, Twitter slowly evolved from the world’s leading deliverer
digital space in which to create content,
of shinfo into the practical hivemind it is today. Can anyone even fathom Anonymous’
share ideas, hypothesize about theories,
actions with OpBART, Occupy Wall Street, or the Arab Spring without second by
and bullshit over current events, with
second crowdsourced information? I’m willing to bet those whose lives were forever
not only personal friends and family,
altered by movements like it cannot. As Twitter became instrumental in circumventing
but the world at large, is something I’ve
militaristic dictators and giving voice to the voiceless, it also found its footing with
long been fascinated with. I’ve enjoyed
those less politically motivated. I’m now guaranteed to never miss a single moment
some more than others. I’ve barely left
of a Green Bay Packer game during Sundays in the fall, for instance. An important
my mark on Foursquare, for instance,
Presidential speech? At times I can follow it word for word, 140 characters at a time.
but have amassed somewhere around
Thankfully, we eventually all learned to keep film, television, book, or video game
25.1k tweets since joining Twitter nearly
spoilers to a minimum, but you bet your ass I know exactly what time Mad Men or
five years ago. We are now at a place in
Game of Thrones starts on Sunday nights without even checking the time. Whereas
society where the term social network
Facebook and other networks always felt somewhat disjointed and clumsy, Twitter
means internet and each is perfectly
seems to be becoming more and more symbiotic. Most of the fun I had on election
suited, custom, to your personality.
night was following the country’s analysis, updates, and reactions via Twitter.
It has become apparent that those in
Heatseekers Charts for the Internet
charge of this nexus of data (Currently,
generation), the listening trends of your
CEO Dick Costolo and his team) are
social circle (Twitter pulls #NowPlaying
privy to this notion too. That’s what
trends from people you follow), the
makes Twitter’s next venture into
aggregate mentions of musicians’
curating our arts and entertainment
or artists’ Twitter handles overall, or
such a fascinating concept. Twitter
suggested bands/musicians for you
Music launched this past month to
based on any of the above metrics. It’s
much fanfare and intrigue, and after
a Swiss watch as far as engineering
playing with the newest service offered
and software development goes, and
by Costolo and crew for a few weeks,
the user interface is one of the best in
I’m starting to become a believer
the App Store right now. Each page is
in the idea that crowdsourcing can
laid out in a grid, vaguely resembling
change the way we take in not only
the album view option in iTunes. As of
our news and information, but our arts
today, there are four tabs to browse:
and entertainment as well. Google
Popular (‘New music trending on
has been preaching from the pulpit
Twitter’), Emerging (‘Hidden talent
of big data for years now, with hopes
found in Tweets’), Suggested (‘Artists
it can lead to anything from the cure
you might like’), and #NowPlaying
for diseases to tracking flu trends and
(‘Tweeted by people you follow’). Once
epidemics. Twitter has taken this idea
on a desired page, one simply taps the
full circle, utilizing it’s data mining and
image of an artist or band and one of
veritable array of user information at
three things will happen: For Spotify
its disposal to curate music. The way
or Rdio subscribers, #music will begin
#music (the official app name) works
playing a track from the artist in app,
is by pulling data from users tweets,
and if you wish to see more about the
either by means of an artist’s follower
band or their discography, you open
counts climbing (think of a Billboard
their Spotify or Rdio profile and explore
further. If you don’t subscribe to either
offering more of the typical alternative
service, #music will default to playing a
singer-songwriter or boring up-
preview of the artist from iTunes.
and-coming punk band than I
Being a long-time Last.fm user, the concept of pseudo-crowdsourcing data to find more bands I might enjoy is not at all foreign to me. That being the case, I was unsure of exactly what #music could offer me that Last.fm hadn’t already been offering me for years. I’ve come to the following conclusions:
could swallow. This is no longer the case. On several occasions, I’d sit down for a writing session or throw on some headphones while doing random busywork around the apartment and just let the Emerging or Suggested #music pages play through. I was genuinely shocked at how many times I’d have to stop
1. Sample size matters.
what I was doing to look down at
Last.fm has been the network I’ve
my iOS device to see who was
spent the longest amount of time involved in aside from Twitter, and it was immediately apparent that the sheer amount of data that Twitter is able to pull from dwarfs Last.fm’s (Latest estimates indicate Twitter has 500 million registered users; Last. fm, 48 million). While one can make the argument Last.fm may know my music preferences more thoroughly, discovering new and interesting artists is the name of the game here. I’ve found that Last.fm tends to offer me new artists and bands that tend to be incredibly derivative of what I’m already into. I have yet to run into this issue with Twitter, as with more diversity in their data, they are able to recommend bands that I’ve not only never heard of, but never would have even considered giving a listen to.
2. The service works. As an avid music fan, and audio engineer in a past life, I tend to take music pretty seriously. It’s a big passion of mine. I attend shows regularly and always keep ‘an ear to the ground’ for the next band or artist to sink into. The well of Last. fm had been drying up as of late,
playing. Being a Spotify subscriber made the experience of finding their discography seamless. Just a quick tap of ‘Add to playlist’ and I had numerous new records to take in. It’s a great thing.
“ SIMILAR SERVICES
FOR TV AND MOVIES WITH INDUSTRY INSIDERS. So where will Twitter go from here? Already in development are similar services for TV and Movies, with industry insiders following the reaction of #music with bated breath. In some ways, the fate of an app like #movies or #tv rides on the success of #music. Should users be unwilling or slow to adopt the service, Twitter may put further development and work on parallel mediums on hold. That would be a shame, of course. Let’s see just how honed we can let this hivemind get. This really could be the start of something worthy of headlines in years to come. P
Childhood is becoming and endangered concept. Over the last
putting an emphasis on the idea that children are special
century it can be seen that the behavior, language, attitudes,
beings; children require protection, nurturing, schooling, and
and desires, even physical appearance of adults and children
freedom from adult secrets.
is becoming increasingly indistinguishable. It’s imperative to clarify the journey that childhood has taken throughout the
After the Romans, however, it appears that all delineations of
course of history. What defines the parameters of childhood,
childhood begin to deteriorate. This deterioration was due,
or rather, what does it mean to be an adult? When and where
to a noticeable decline in literacy levels. After the collapse of
do these two worlds intersect? Answering these questions, the importance of preserving the realm of childhood becomes evident. Little is known about the attitudes toward children in antiquity. The Greeks offered foreshadowing of the idea. They were ambivalent,
the Roman Empire followed by
It is evident that new media has the ability to uproot childhood... There is a phenomena revolving around the adultified child and the childified adult.
Europe’s descent into the Dark and Middle Ages, a disregard for education develops. The disappearance of literacy can be attributed to several phenomena. During this point in time, styles of writing and the letters of the alphabet multiplied, the shapes
perhaps even confused about the concept. Despite this
becoming complicated and obscured. Consequently, the
obscurity, they were unswervingly passionate about education.
readers’ capacity to interpret disappeared and a condition
Romans borrowed the Greek notion of schooling and went
called craft literacy took over. Craft literacy describes a
on to develop an awareness of childhood that surpassed
particular circumstance where the art of reading is restricted
the Greek idea. The Roman rhetorician Quintilian played a
to a few who form a privileged class. Its counter-condition is
substantial role in the defining of childhood. He spent time
social literacy, a state where most people can and do read.
An influential figure in the
unformed person who through
segregate its audience. In essence,
development of childhood was the
literacy, education, reason, self-
electric media cannot withhold
Genevan philosopher Jean-
control, and shame may be made
any secrets, and, without secrets
Jacques Rousseau. He expressed
into a civilized adult. For those who
there is no childhood. Suddenly the
that the psychology of a child
followed this concept, education was
mysteries of sexuality and violence
was fundamentally different from
viewed as an addition to self-quality.
are accessible to everyone, and
that of adults. In a view
as a result, the innocence
that differed from Locke,
of childhood dissolves.
Rousseau suggested that a child’s intellectual
It is evident that new
and emotional life can be
media has the ability to
deadened by self-control
uproot childhood through
and shame; childhood
its form and context. It can
is the stage of life when
be seen in the merging of
man most closely relates
taste and style of children
to the ‘state of nature.’
and adults. As electric
According to Rousseau the
media moves literacy to
candor, understanding, curiosity,
On the other end of the spectrum
the periphery of culture, different
and spontaneity of a child can be
was the Romantic perception
attitude and character traits come
suppressed by structure and the
of childhood, also known as the
to be valued and a new definition
Rousseauian belief. This stance
of adulthood emerges—or rather,
viewed education as a deduction
a hybridization of the two realms
The invention of the printing press in
of self quality— a way to suffocate
occurs. In modern culture, there is
the 15th century brought upon a shift
the creativity of childhood. A strong
a phenomena revolving around the
in paradigms. It created a new
example of the Romantic conception
‘adultified child’ and the ‘childified
definition of adulthood based on
of childhood is Mark Twain’s The
adult’. Children are increasingly
reading competence and, as a result,
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
anxious to grow up while adults are
a new ideation of childhood based on
increasingly hesitant to grow up.
reading incompetence. Additionally,
The News Industry took off, coupled
This confusion threatens our culture,
the growth of commerce and of the
with a wave of invention, and
as the whimsies of childhood are
age of exploration generated a need
information was transformed from a
wasted and the responsibilities of
for printed materials. The printing
personal possession to a commodity
adulthood are neglected.
press had generated a knowledge
of worldwide value. Sound familiar?
explosion, and craft literacy evolves
The camera, telephone, film, radio,
Childhood, as a whole entity,
into social literacy. To be a fully
and television not only transformed
demonstrates that the survival of
functioning adult required one to go
the world of information but the
childhood depends on the survival
beyond custom and memory into
world of children as well. These
of literacy, education, protective
worlds not previously contemplated.
electronic and graphic revolutions
laws, and adult compassion and
Literate Man had been established.
represented a powerful assault on
obligation. When any one of these
language and literacy. For example,
components is taken out, the entire
Locke and Rousseau shaped
television tends to make the rigors
realm of childhood is threatened.
childhood in New World. The
of literate education irrelevant; it
It will be forever prevalent that it is
Protestant conception of childhood,
requires no instruction to grasp its
important to preserve this realm in
known as the Lockean belief,
form; it does not make complex
order to ensure a progressive, safe,
maintained that the child is an
demands on the mind; it does not
and secure future.
FAULT LINES AL JAZEERA IS A BROADCASTER WHO TAKES YOU BEYOND THE HEADLINES & HOLDS THE MIGHTY TO ACCOUNT TO EXAMINE THE US’ ROLE IN THE WORLD.
We have Spencer Chumbley of Al
That is what I love about JSC there is
Jazeera’s (or JSC, Jazeera Satellite
basically no limits. Even with NPR or
Channel) Fault Lines with us tonight.
BBC it seems like there are issues they
This is a timely interview considering
tend to ignore. JSC is the only unbiased
many of the current events that
news source that is growing.
Spencer has been involved in. So let’s start out by telling people a little but
To get it all out in the open, we are
about Fault Lines and what you do?
technically funded by Qatar, so that is where a lot of the money is coming from.
Fault Lines (FL) is a 25 minute long-form
NPR or BBC have a bigger budget while
documentary show that focuses on
other news agencies rely more on a
United States and its role in the world.
more corporate model.
That does not limit us only to domestic politics, but how the United States
You see a lot of new energy, a lot of
interacts with the rest of the world in
young energy, from JSC. Some people
foreign-policy debates. You will see
would probably debate we are biased.
our focus on places from Chicago to
I would like to think that we are pretty
Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia;
straight and even. I am very aware of
anywhere there is a story happening.
how much research goes into the FL
But there always has to be kind of a US
films. It can take up to three or four
focused line in the story.
months to produce 1 of our 25 minute documentaries. We work very hard to
It is a correspondent driven show, so
cover all angles of the story, I can testify.
you always have a journalist on camera leading you through. It is particularly
I feel like every major news source,
edgy and I think it is quite interesting.
especially the ones that run off
I am really happy to be working on the
of a corporate model, there is an
show right now.
entertainment interest at mind
Also they have a mentality to not stir
We are not as timely as maybe a
the pot on certain issues, and do not
breaking news story would be, but we
take any critical stance on the US
going to a lot more depth with those
issues. The 24 hour news cycle picks up on the breaking news but this is an
Yes, CNN and all of these organizations
opportunity to look deeper.
have completely slashed their investigative journalism unit.
Along with that same vein, JSC was one of the first organizations I could
With the corporate model there is no
rely on to post an unbiased account of
way to avoid that. They are completely
the Occupy movement on my Twitter
beholden to whoever will pay money to
feed almost daily. Every day, JSC
keep their media item afloat.
had something outside of the bullshit tagline everyone else was running with.
You said it takes 3-4 months to make an episode of FL. If you are covering
Mainstream media really missed the train
information that is very dire, are
on that one. They were very late to start
there ways that you are getting the
reporting that seriously while a lot of
information out? Is JSC reporting?
other news agencies, including JSC, had been taking it seriously since the very
The focus of FL is long-form
beginning. They were late to the story
documentary, so some of these stories
and they were rejected because of it.
we cover are under-reported stories
radio. Everything has been becoming
that have been simmering. Not to be
This is a perfect point to why journalism
more and more concentrated, more
cliche, but we want to give a voice to the
is still very relevant and important,
niche, and more personalized.
voiceless. There are situations where we
because the conversation we are
are thrown into a state of fear; it might
having needs to occur. Maybe it is not
Not to mention the fact that we are in
turn into breaking news that would need
Hollywood’s responsibility, but it is a
instant gratification generation, we are
to be exposed. After, we will come back
responsibility of the press to have some
the internet generation.
to things that had piqued in the news
sort of input and honesty.
and flesh out what really happened.
You have the ability to shape your I noticed that JSC goes out of their way
social bubble, and your intake of
to get the story right. Everything is not
information, to an unbridled level. It
as it seems, here is why; it feels like
is exciting to know, if you dedicate
that’s almost a motto there?
a little of your free time to learn or create something new, you have totally
It definitely is and hopefully you will see
more of this on your own television soon.
JSC acquired Current TV so that means
We are living proof of that. We all have
you are going to see us in about 50
different obligations but we make time
million American homes on an actual TV.
to do this, right here, every week. And
I’m not surprised! There has been a
Spencer, you are great example of that.
natural trend in all of media ever since
You have taken the initiative to build
“Met Casualty” December 1, 2010 Trafalgar Square, London A Metropolitan Police Officer holds his face after it was burned by a demonstrator’s firework that was thrown at police in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Nikon D7000
your own communities, teach yourself
Even though we live in an amazingly
Communication Design, and teach
tight-knit community, you need to be
Spencer Chumbley is a visual journalist
yourself how to professionally shoot
recognized externally before people in
from Milwaukee currently based in the
video or photo. You are one of those
your hometown pay attention.
Greater Chicago area. His work has
people who is always moving forward; you are never complacent.
been published by TIME, Al Jazeera Regardless who is paying attention, it
English, BBC Radio, and more.
is important to do what you love, and I appreciate that! The media has really
do it regardless; that changes your
He was most recently a fellow at Al
democratized things, but with a little bit
entire reality. All of us are practicing
Jazeera English’s documentary film
of know-how and crowdsourcing from
what we’re drawn to and passionate
series, Fault Lines.
friends you can set mics up around the
about in leiu of any sort of capitalistic
table and you are creating your own
goal. That drive is honest.
Watch Fault Line, full HD episodes:
podcast. And that is only the beginning
when you consider future advances in
That drive has to apply to all things.
technologies and communications. All it
Knowing that you are putting enough
Follow on Twitter:
really takes is dedication and thick skin
hours in, that success will increase
because if you can make it to past the
exponentially personally and
first six months of people criticizing you,
professionally. I am where I would like
to be. I am in a great position right
now, working under extremely talented
Portfolio can be viewed at
I always thought that was an interesting
people at FL and JSC and I will have the
facet of the community in Milwaukee.
chance to make my own impact soon.
AVAILABLE ONLINE AT PLOOM.COM
DEL TORO DEL TORO AND ANDCO. CO. AT THE HELM OF A COLOSSAL AT THE HELM OF A COLOSSAL ROCK ‘EM SOCK ‘EM ROCK SOCK ‘EM I LLU STR‘EM ATE D BY B E N R AM OS
I missed out on the whole Mech vs.
called Kaiju have invaded the Earth via a
Monster craze that every guy my age
portal in the Pacific Ocean. Humans have
seems to harbor a giddy excitement
managed to hold their own by setting
towards. In middle school I watched 3 or
aside their differences and creating
4 episodes of Gundam Wing on Cartoon
towering mechs known as Jaegers,
Network. Other than that, I don’t really
but the Kaiju are getting stronger and
give a shit about the concept at all. It’s
adapting to the battlefield. By the time
only because of my own schoolboy
we are brought into the story proper,
crush on writer/director (and human
there are only 4 Jaegers remaining in the
teddy bear) Guillermo Del Toro that I
world, and the Jaeger program itself is
was excited about Pacific Rim, and it’s
effectively shut down.
also solely because of Del Toro that the film works so well. As far as Summer
There’s some heavy lore going on in
blockbusters go, you can usually
the Pacific Rim universe, and that’s
expect heavy CGI and long lulls (or
where Del Toro is always at his best. If
Shia LaBeouf) between action scenes,
you’ve seen the Hellboy movies, you’ll
because you really can’t expect a movie
know to expect a few metric shit-tons
about massive fighting robots to have a
of incredible monster designs and
coherent story. But hey, good news: you
completely thought out histories and
can, and Pacific Rim does.
behaviors. Each Kaiju has its own arsenal of abilities and strategies when facing
The movie takes place in a desperate
Jaegers, which gives every showdown
future where interdimensional monsters
a unique feel and always keeps things
“PACIFIC RIM WAS HIS LOVE LETTER TO A LIFETIME OF NERD OBSESSIONS, AND I FELT LIKE I WAS A PART OF IT.”
fresh. The single most interesting part
body parts. The details will definitely
rarely do: let slide an issue that would
of this world - and the one thing I feel
take you places, babe. Watch out.
normally be a huge problem for any other movie. There’s a strange charm to
should have been explored just a bit more - is the neural link that allows the
The story itself wouldn’t have been
Del Toro’s films that allow for less than
Jaeger pilots to control their machines.
much to talk about if the action scenes
stellar acting. Del Toro approaches his
A Jaeger pilot needs the right partner -
themselves weren’t shot in ways that
films with a genuine sense of excitement.
one that is perfectly matched to share
(surprise!) actually allow the audience
Pacific Rim was his love letter to a
a neural link that allows access to one
to see what’s happening. This was
lifetime of nerdy obsessions, and I felt
another’s brain functions, memories,
one of the issues that plagued the
like I was a part of it.
feelings, everything. Nothing is off limits
Transformers series, which is really the
between the two, and this makes for a
closest comparison I can think of right
Movies this enjoyable are rarely seen
surprisingly deep connection right off the
now. Unlike that unwanted hobo-child
anymore, and the fact that it’s an original
bat. Side characters are given B-stories
of a film, Pacific Rim wants you to see
creation makes it more worthy of praise.
that are actually critical to the plot, even
every detail of the enormous battles Del
The only other movie I can think of that
if the characters themselves are over-
Toro & Co. have clearly spent incredibly
elicits this level of pure joy for me is
the-top and meant more for comedic
amounts of time and effort working on.
Starship Troopers, where acting also takes a backseat to the sheer spectacle
relief. I loved seeing Charlie Day in a role that embraces his goofy persona
You’ll be seeing inside the Jaegers quite
of it all. I plan on watching Pacific Rim
but doesn’t force him into the role of
a bit too, and that’s great if you can
in theatres a few more times before
the brainless dunce. Also, Ron Perlman
ignore the sometimes suspect acting
its run ends. If you haven’t seen it yet,
is back (as you should have expected)
by Charlie Hunnam who plays the lead
do yourself a huge favor and do so in
and as sleazy as ever, hamming it up as
character, Raleigh Beckett. This is the
IMAX 3D. You’ll remember why you love
a black market gangster dealing in Kaiju
part where I’m going to do something I
movies in the first place.
How did I not draw the Starship Troopers
right along at rapid clip, with each new
parallel on my own? It seems so obvious
scene or vista unfurling an absolute feast
now in retrospect. I absolutely love both of
for the eyes. The visual effects on display
the films for a lot of the same reasons, so
are second to none, and with a production
I’m going to agree with you on that. It’s pure,
budget of 190 million U.S. dollars, they had
bonafide, undiluted fun.
damn well better be.
After my initial viewing of the film, two things
While the story offers few real surprises, the
cycled through my mind: 1. The conspiracy
deep and expansive lore that Del Toro and
involving the Ectoplasm that Slimer from
crew were able to create and implement
the Ghostbusters films is made of and the
into the film certainly make up for any
Kaiju’s blood being one in the same is real,
lacking twists and turns in the narrative. The
and 2. The grandiose nature of the seminal
only notch against the film is in terms of
PlayStation 2 game Shadow of the Colossus
it’s occasionally stiff and - at times - campy
affected director Guillermo Del Toro so
acting. Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnan
deeply that he finally penned his own similar
stars as the film’s lead and does at the
fiction in homage of it.
very least a n OK job as Raleigh Becket, a washed up ex-jaeger pilot with a heart of gold. I’m still unable to work out if I’ve
“DEL TORO APPROACHES HIS FILMS WITH A GENUINE SENSE OF EXCITEMENT.”
grown accustomed to Hunnan’s tendency to telegraph his lines on Sons of Anarchy, or if I simply liked the movie too much otherwise to really care. Whatever the answer actually is, it shouldn’t keep any otherwise interested party from seeing the feature. The ensemble cast (including Idris Elba, Charlie Day [!], and Ron Perlman) delivers a fun and modern
‘World building’ is the name of the game
take on a genre/tone combination that
with Del Toro films (Pan’s Labyrinth, the
seems relatively easy to fuck up.
Hellboy series), and Pacific Rim is no exception. The pseudo-dystopia he has
Pacific Rim wasn’t a project I followed
brought to life here is as believable as any
closely through production, nor was it a film
universe revolving around giant, humanoid
I was expecting to top the season’s rival
mechas controlled by two humans via
blockbusters outright, but Pacific Rim turned
a ‘neural bridge’ could be. The pseudo-
out to be the most fun I had at the cinema
dystopia distinction is important: Del Toro
all summer. So much so I went back and
is careful to never cross into the cynical,
returned for seconds. P
dark undertones that so many summer blockbusters are wont to do. The color palettes utilized in many of the huge, city-leveling kaiju versus jaeger battles never leave the viewer with a sense of hopelessness or utter despair; In fact, there’s almost no time for the viewer to consider such questions. The pacing hums
OK, TRY IT NOW!
YOU HAVE POWER TO DO MORE
Good health starts with a happier, healthier mind. Treating others as you would like to be treated is not just a childhood expression; it is a reminder to do more. Welcome a neighbor, help a friend, thank a stranger.
The year is 2060. The United States was on the brink of
civil war. The Confederacy had seceded from the Union,
sparking riots and violent uprisings across the country. In the beginning, Project Nullify was a godsend. Now, those infected must live with an insatiable hunger.
CHAPTER 4 Lee counts the bodies around the fire
was the only thing we had going for
seen in the last six months. The bad
and chambers a bullet. I momentarily
us. I shrug at Lee, who immediately
news is if you touch the only living
ponder if we should draw them over
pushes me out of the way and mutters,
creature I’ve seen in six months, he’ll
one by one and start the killing that way,
‘Fantastic’ and makes his way towards
kill you. It gets worse when you learn
or simply confront the group head on
D-man isn’t into guns. No, he’s more of
and unleash Lee’s blood lust.
a pound nails into the end of a Louisville “Everybody be cool and I solemnly swear
Slugger and learn what hue of grey your
Before I can even finish weighing the
to end all of your lives as humanely as
brain is. I’m telling you: Anger issues.”
pros and cons, Aames does something
possible,” Lee says, walking, gunraised
he hasn’t done since we found him.
to the fireside onlookers.
“Meeeeeow! Rrreow! Meow!” I am so
Something immediately strikes me as off about the fireside yellows. Usually Lee’s
shocked at the volume and pitch of his
“My name is Lee. My associate behind
disturbing blend of bravado and
voice that I can barely attempt to muzzle
me, the perma-frazzled looking moron
grandstanding gets the party started
him before the cat is — son of
with a kitten strapped to his chest?
right quick, but these yellows seem stuck
a bitch — out of the bag. The entire
That’s Drake. Don’t let his girlish figure
in their seats, not speaking a word.
group around the fire turns towards
and feline companion fool you. He’s
the sound of Aames’ mighty meow. It’s
got anger issues, and from what I can
My mind races. Aames. Why did he
looking like this furry little bastard is
tell they’re pretty deeply seeded. And
choose now to make his voice heard?
going to prove Lee correct in less than
you’re definitely wondering about the
The only time we heard him utter so
three hours time. I had almost forgotten
kitten. That’s kind of a good news, bad
much as a sound was when we found
what it was like to be so wrong about
news situation. The good news is that he
him. Next to the fire I see an unopened
something. The element of surprise
rescued the only living creature I’ve
can of beans. Odd. I look at one of the
girls next to the fire. I gaze into her
on account of, ‘Shut the fuck up and
eyes. I don’t see a void; I see fear.
start telling me why you’re here’. I
I look back at the unopened can of
decide that I should do the talking.
beans. I look at Aames. The restraint
Lee doesn’t know how to apologize
in not eating every morsel available.
and I don’t want to be killed in this barren greenery by a black guy in a
The comfort Aames felt in making
his voice heard. The fear this girl is wearing all over her face.
“We came here to try to find a long term solution to the food shortage,
Oh, shit. As the missing piece of the
just like you guys. We thought for sure
puzzle snaps into place, I look over to
you were all yellows. Lee was just
Lee who is still berating these people
trying to be proactive...
with baseless shit talk and thinly veiled threats. He puts the barrel of his gun to the back of the girl’s head. “Lee! Stop! You need to stop!”
...NOBODY IS KILLING ANYBODY HERE, ALRIGHT? LET’S ALL RELAX FOR A SECOND. SAME TEAM.” “Usually members of the same team
I shout, jumping at him as he prepares
don’t start the game by tellin’ each
to needlessly end the girl’s life. We
other they gon’ kill one another
engage in the world’s shittiest tango
humanely. I think you motherfuckas
over possession of the gun until we
owe Ellie here an’ apology.”
hear what turns out to be a pumpaction shotgun, pumping and acting
The man teaching us our p’s and q’s is
very shotgunny. Calmly, the largest
big; at least 6’3”, black skinned, barrel
male amongst them tells us to put our
chested, and currently showcasing an
hands up and to drop the weapon.
inability to bullshit.
“First that fucking cat blows our cover,
“I’m sorry, Ellie. I thought you were
then you blow our only way out of
someone else,” Lee insincerely guts.
this mess alive? If we weren’t already dead men, I’d kill you myself,” he said.
“Now that we’re all friends, how about you lower that hand canon?”
Dead Yellow is an ongoing episodic
“These people aren’t sick, Lee! Did
novella released in 25 page
you even look before you pulled
“When I’m good an’ ready. We ain’t
a gun? She’s sitting next to an
fuckin’ there yet, Lee. What you boys
unopened can of beans for Christ’s
know about Amenábar Syndrome?”
Read DEAD YELLOW:
sake. Look around.”
the man asks.
“Maybe she just hadn’t gotten around
I give the man holding a shotgun
Follow on Twitter:
to eating it yet.” Lee scoffs with a
a thousand yard stare. ‘Amenábar
twinge of embarrassment. I try to
Syndrome’ isn’t a topic I ever planned
punch Lee but our match is canceled
on discussing again post Year Zero.
installments to Amazon’s Kindle.
GIANT If you were holding Twitter stock yesterday, congrats. You can now afford an extra bedroom in your house the world losing its collective marbles. Let’s take a look at how the company
in Pacific Heights. Twitter’s IPO pop has
has grown over the years and how the
TWITTER EMPLOYEES (2008-2012)
users interact, then and now, with this
Shares opened at $45.10 on their first day, well above the $26 price set by the microblogging outfit and its bankers.
social media giant.
BREAKDOWN In the first few minutes of trading, more than 11 million TWTR shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, evidence of strong demand for the highest-profile internet offering since Facebook debuted a year and a half ago. Twitter and its bankers saw evidence of this market enthusiasm in the days leading up to today’s initial public offering, hiking the estimated price range and closing the book early.
On the cover:
NIKON D300S Photographer Eric Pelve “Nikon D300S” March 2010 in Ukraine, with a Nikon D700
Published on Dec 7, 2013