Here’s the thing I don’t like about the later Woody Allen films which he doesn’t star in himself: all of his male leads assuming they’re playing the Woody Allen Character and as such are constantly doing either bad Woody Allen impressions, or worse Woody Allen impressions. In fact, this is part of what makes his latest films so good - nobody’s doing Woody Allen (except for Woody Allen, and even he’s not as good at it anymore).
Don’t get me wrong, Kenneth Branagh does a very good Woody Allen impression, after all he’s Kenneth Branagh. But there-in, as the Bard tells us, lies the rub: he’s Kenneth Branagh. Not Woody Allen. If the Woody Allen character is spun from Woody himself (which he actually very much denies usually) then the actor should be doing themselves as the character not a Woody Allen impression. Again, it’s not that Branagh’s isn’t good — in many respects its too good. It’s uncanny at moments. But he’s Kenneth Branagh. Not Woody Allen.
And oh yeah, the film was kinda boring. Though I did like the overall mesage - midlife crises only make your life worse not better.
Also, weird to see a character named Robin in a Woody film.
I’ve been posting a lot about Michael Jackson lately, and I’m going to try and curb that — thinking of starting a blog for JUST Michael Jackson stuff to cut down on all the Jackson related postings here — so I feel its good to post something totally non Jackson related. Yes that’s right, this rant is not going to be about Michael Jackson or related to him in any way.
No, instead I want to rant about something I overheard at work the other day. For those of you who don’t know, or don’t remember, I have a second job editing online commercials for a company based in KW. It’s a fantastic job and I absolutely love it. I also really like the people I’m working with. While it was weird at first, being one of the few non-conestoga students working there, it got easier and now we’re all buddy-buddy laughy-laughy.
But something I heard the other day really bugged me. I’m not going to name names or anything (and let me stress I have nothing against those involved, in fact I like ‘em a lot!) but let me give you the basic rundown. One of my co-workers, who had graduated, was giving tips to another co-worker, who was still a student, about what to study over the next few years to ensure he was getting ahead. In the process he mentioned that while at school he became really great at editing and After Effects and realized that’s really what he wanted to do - motion graphics and animation. He became so good in fact that people came to him a lot to ask questions. He then said, “and at first I would always help. But after a while I realized that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea because I might be helping to give them skills that will make them better and put them in a position to get a job over me, so eventually I just stopped helping people. And that bugged me cause I’m, like, a really helpful guy, but I didn’t want to, like you know, create competition”.
And that really bugged me.
I mean,I get it. It’s sound logic: if you help someone get good, so that they’re on a level playing field in that area, and then you were to say both apply for the same job, they might get the job because they are as good as you in one area and perhaps better in other areas as well. Thus, by not helping them you ensure that you remain the best, and in a good position for work.
Now, again, I want to stress that I don’t think any less of this guy. He’s really nice, very smart, and extremely talented. I just don’t agree with that mentality. And I don’t want to be *that guy* who argues “oh thats the difference between college and university: at college they stress skills and getting a job, where as at university they nurture education and learning and it’s all about knowledge” especially because I know of kids like this (let’s call them knowledge hoarders) in my classes at univerity, but also because deep down we all know it’s bull, because I know I certainly want a university degree so I can get a good job, not because I value all the “learning” I’ll be doing over the four years I’m there (not that I haven’t enjoyed some of the stuff I learned…).
But here’s the thing: I’m a firm believer in sharing of knowledge. When I was younger I bought into that logic - don’t share your skills because someone might get better than you. But now I realize that nobody could possibly know everything, and everyone has knowledge someone else doesn’t. I also understand that when it comes to stuff like this it’s better to combine skill sets to achieve the best work possible, than to do everything yourself, take all the credit and churn out a piece of lesser quality. Collaboration is an incredible thing, and all great work is a collaboration. Everything from the music we listen to, to the movies we watch, to even the blogging software Im using right now.
That isn’t to say there aren’t people out there who can do lots and don’t need help. But you can bet your bottom dollar that (tomorrow there’ll be sun…) those people are happy to share their skills and talent. And of course everyone knows that people remember when you help. So even if that logic of “they might get the job over me” runs true, who’s to say they won’t remember you and bring you in as a consultant, or help you get a job too later down the road?
So is this what our world is coming to? Will that be the hallmark of our generation? Are we all becoming a group of people so affraid about our future and “careers” that we hoard our knowledge so that we can be “the best” even long before we even really have to worry about jobs and careers? Will grade 8 students not help their neighbour with their math homework cause it might mean they’ll get a better job than them in the future? I sincerely hope this doesn’t end up being the case.
Of course the ultimate irony is that all these people who think that way became good at what they do because of people who were willing to share their knowledge; be it teachers, tutorial writers, blog posters, forum members, or just plain old friends…
So people: stop hoarding your knowledge. Information wants to be free. Don’t think that by sharing your knowledge you’re “putting yourself out of a job”. ‘Cause the fact is, if you really are that good you’ll get the job, and if you don’t there were probably other mitigating factors at play.
“Got the Hots” Michael Jackson (rare unfinished track from 1982)
Michael wrote this amazing track with Quincy Jones for Thriller, but it was never mastered for release. It did, however, make it on the Thriller 25th Anniversary Japanese edition. I think you’ll agree that the B-section with the harmony is so damn sexy.
Been listening nonstop since I grabbed it from this treasure trove of unreleased tracks because it passes the MJ test: Can I stop myself from involuntarily snapping my head laterally while angrily biting my lower lip? No, I cannot (not that I’d want to).
While its not the best unreleased Jackson track (Streetwalker and We’ve Had Enough probably take that cake) it’s pretty rockin’. Just one of many I’m sure we’re about to hear!
Singer and songwriter James Ingram wrote one of Michael Jackson’s most famous and enduring songs, P-Y-T (Pretty Young Thing), for the “Thriller” album. Ingram reflects on what it was like to work with the “King of Pop” and how the experience shaped him as a musician.
Ingram also sings a section… man that dude has quite the voice. Note to self: download more James Ingram!
This song leaked last summer. It’s quite nice, for an Akon track (of course my Michael bias seeps through no doubt). However its made all the more poignent by the recent events. You should listen anyways.