Issuu on Google+

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.


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LETTER

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

3


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CONTENTS

13 “

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.


DEPARTMENTS

1

POLYPITCH: A LETTER Polypitch is from me to you, a reoccurring letter from the editor of Polymath Magazine. Welcome, allow me to introduce myself...

29

POLYDATA: AN INFOGRAPHIC Polydata is a conglomeration of stats, data, or how-to’s in our monthly infographic.

13

POLYCAST: AN INTERVIEW Polycast is a hybrid of print publication meets podcast. This month, we talk to visual journalist Spencer Chumbley.

25

POLYPROSE: A STORY Polyprose features segments from our favorite creative writers. This month, we give you Dead Yellow.

9

Childhood has become an endangered concept. This article discusses the evolution of childhood.

PACIFIC RIM

FEATURES

EXTINCTION OF CHILDHOOD

19

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?

5

9 5


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.

7


JAN 2014

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

/

POLYMATH.COM


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

9


CHILDHOOD

11


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,

JAN 2014

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.

/

POLYMATH.COM


E

X

T C

I T

I

O

N N

of CHILDHOOD

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

education system.

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.

13


P

POLYCAST


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

15


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

government, etc.

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

unprecedented opportunities.

more of this on your own television soon.

JAN 2014

/

POLYMATH.COM

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

YouTube.com/show/FL

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

@AJFaultlines

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

Follow Spencer:

you’re golden.

to be. I am in a great position right

SpencerChumbley.tumblr.com

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

SpencerChumbley.com

facet of the community in Milwaukee.

chance to make my own impact soon.

P

17


AVAILABLE ONLINE AT PLOOM.COM


PACIFIC RIM

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

21


FIRST OPINION:

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

JAN 2014

/

POLYMATH.COM

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.

23


JAN 2014

/

POLYMATH.COM


SECOND OPINION:

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

25


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.


P

POLYPROSE

The year is 2060. The United States was on the brink of

JANUARY 2014

civil war. The Confederacy had seceded from the Union,

POLYPROSE

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.

27


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

the fire.

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

JAN 2014

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

/

POLYMATH.COM


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

yellow hell.

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.

www.deadyellow.com

“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

@deadyellow

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.

P

@boydanaaa @handsomehansem

29


P

POLYDATA

1,000

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

500

in Pacific Heights. Twitter’s IPO pop has

has grown over the years and how the

TWITTER EMPLOYEES (2008-2012)

MEDIA

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.

O

social media giant.

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

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.

P

200


On the cover:

NIKON D300S Photographer Eric Pelve “Nikon D300S” March 2010 in Ukraine, with a Nikon D700


MIAD CD4_13 Polymath