Thursday, November 27, 2014

Catching Kayla

Tom Rinaldi tells the remarkable story of Kayla Montgomery -- who, despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has become one of the best young distance runners in the country.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Glenn Campbell's Final Song

Country legend Glenn Campbell, 78, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. His final song, "I’m Not Going To Miss You," tells the story of his career as his memory is fading away. The video is so touching and honest as it shows home video footage and the doctors explaining the diagnosis on brain scans. His music has spread over 5 decades and though his memory is fading, his music will not.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Awesome Treet Skiing

RIP dude

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Changing Shifts At Lighthouse in Storm

La Jument is a lighthouse located in the Northwestern part of France on the coastline of Brittany. While the lighthouse no longer has a keeper, people are still required to go to the top of the lighthouse to perform maintenance. During a storm, the task is legitimately horrifying.

The workers travel about 20 feet up in the air while other men on the boat belay them as they try to properly position themselves to land on the deck.

Watch this video Rui Santos posted on YouTube of a shift change in the middle of a storm

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Amazing jam session - Three random guys sing together

Description from Jaime Tatos Maldonado's video on Facebook; 'I was walking to kroger and saw this guy playing a song. It sounded good so I decided to record it. By the end of the song three guys started jamming. This truly is music in its simplest form. It really reminds of the Austin days. Enjoy'. Edit: I do not own the video, all rights to Mr Maldonado and the musicians.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Badass of the Week: Leo Major

During his adventures ripping the hedgerows of Normandy into sawdust, Leo Majors became not just the only Canuck to receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal (the second-highest award for bravery offered by the Royal government) twice, but the only person from any Commonwealth country to win it for actions in two separate wars.

Of course, being a total head-smashing badass isn't just about kicking in teeth, confiscating enemy ballsacks, and then standing there while some high-ranking self-important douchebag pins a small chunk of tin on your chest. Much like many of the bizarre contests that we are watching on television during this Olympic cylce with equal parts respect and WTF confusion, there are style points involved, and holy shitballs did Private Leo Major of the Chaudiere Regiment of the Canadian Army bring his A-game to Europe back when Hitler needed a good bit of iron-fisted cock-punching justice.

Major kicked things off by landing on Normandy along with the rest of the Canadian military, and I'd wager that anybody who's ever played any of the ten billion World War II-themed video games on the market today can tell you that running across a beach while Nazis shoot machine guns at your face is no picnic. Well not only did Majors miraculously manage to somehow not die nose-down in the surf, but on his first day in the lovely French countryside he went out and single-handedly captured one of these bad boys:

I don't need to say that he captured a real one, and not a plastic model, right?

Leo Major, a scout and sniper by trade, charged out in broad daylight, popped an entire squad of Nazis, stole their ride, and then impressed all his superiors when they discovered that the jacked truck was loaded up with communications gear that would prove invaluable in terms of intercepting and deciphering German messages during the Normandy Campaign. For those of you out there who aren't experts in military tactics and strategy, being able to know what your enemy is going to do before he does it is kind of a good thing if you enjoy not losing wars, and that's a benefit that the Allies had in no small part to Leo Major's raging iron ballsack.

Helping out the intel cause one bullet at a time was great and all, so about a week later Major went out and pissed off a squad of battle-hardened badass SS soldiers. Sure, the SS were the most elite force the Nazis could field, but Major still smoked all eight of them. Unfortunately right as the last guy was getting ready to eat it he chucked a phosphorous grenade that blew up in Leo's face, covering him with a very unpleasant coating of burning-hot liquid. Major lost all vision in his right eye, but when the Allied docs told him to pack up and head home, this German-smiting asskicker demanded to stay on the front. He argued, in true badass fashion, that as long as he had one eye to look into the scope of his rifle he was still capable of serving his country. From that point on, Leo Major went into battle with an eyepatch on his right eye, which is a detail that is so awesome I think I may have just crapped. Oh, and just in case Nazi-killing pirate snipers still aren't tough enough for you somehow, Major also refused evacuation a few years later when his APC drove over a landmine and he broke his back in a couple places. Even something as ridiculous as a fractured spine didn't stop this maniac from finishing out the war, going out to fight in another one, and winning bravery medals in both.

Artist's interpretation

Major's first larger-than-life action came during the Battle of the Scheldt in the Netherlands in late 1944. Major and his best friend (a lumberjack named Willy, because when you're a hardcore Canadian you're more or less obligated to be best friends with a lumberjack commando) went out to scout a town and figure out what the hell happened to a company of Canadian infantry that had failed to return from a reconnaissance mission. Major went into the town, discovered that the company had been captured, and then single-handedly captured the entire enemy garrison by running up and down guard posts jamming his rifle in peoples' faces and screaming at them. He returned to the Allied camp with 93 German prisoners in tow. Because this was so insane, the British high command offered him a Distinguished Conduct Medal, but Leo told them to get bent and shove the medal up their asses. In Major's opinion, Allied High Command General Bernard Montgomery was such an incompetent dickbrain that he wasn't qualified to be giving medals out to anyone, and any award issued by him was about as worthless as he was. Try to keep in mind, now, that this is a Private talking about the most senior officer in his army. Say what you'd like about maintaining respect for the chain of command, but this takes some giant balls.

Luckily for Democracy, the Canadian high command didn't see fit to reprimand this guy for his not so subtle diss of Monty, and their decision ended up paying off in one of the most balls-out one-man battles ever fought – the single-handed capture of the Dutch town of Zwolle by Private Leo Major and his implacable rage.

One quiet night in 1945 Major and his buddy were sent out to do some recon in the Nazi-occupied town of Zwolle, report back on enemy numbers, and maybe establish contact with the Dutch resistance. Sadly, not long into the mission, Willy the Lumberjack was cheap-shotted and killed by a German machine gun. This set off one of the most epic blood rages ever recorded. Leo Major completely flipped his shit, strapped three machine guns onto his back, grabbed a huge sack of hand grenades, and charged into the quiet town with his guns and weapons blazing. Leo ran around like a berserker madman, creating such a clusterfuck of explosions, fires, and dead bodies that the German garrison was convinced that they were fighting a vastly superior force. During his mad rampage of Nazi destruction, this one-eyed juggernaut kicked in the door of an SS officer's club, kiled four high-ranking enemy commanders in a firefight, and then went and ran out and burned down the local headquarters of the Gestapo. By the time the sun rose on Zwolle the next morning, the entire German garrison had evacuated and the town was returned to Dutch control. To this day Leo Major is still remembered as the sole savior of Zwolle, an honor that kind of blows my mind a little.

Major would deservedly receive his first DCM for the insanity at Zwolle, but the second one would come a decade later and halfway around the world, during the fighting in the Korean conflict. Major, who by this time had graciously been promoted to Corporal, was sent to infiltrate a key hill that had just been captured from the Americans by a huge force of nearly forty thousand Chinese soldiers. Major snuck in with 19 other French Canadian hardasses, set up fortifications, and – for whatever reason – decided to open fire on the Chinese. In a massive battle that lasted for three days and nights, Leo Major and his 20-man platoon somehow captured the hill and held off desperate counterattacks by two full divisions of the Chinese army. Major was right in the middle of the whole thing, pumping up his men and calling mortar fire down mere feet from his position to ensure maximum detonation of his enemies. That's some stone-cold shit right there, but at this point we know it to be par for the course for this guy.

Leo Major died in 2008, but nowadays he is fondly remembered as a hero to Canadians, Dutch, and pretty much anybody who's a fan of guys in eyepatches that kick their enemies in the groin as hard as possible whenever the opportunity presents itself. His old unit now offers a yearly award in his name to the toughest company in the regiment, and the people of Zwolle continue to teach him in their public school curriculum. There's also a constellation named after him, but there's a slight chance that may have been around first.

"I fought the war with only one eye, and I did pretty good."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Coffee Chart


Sunday, April 6, 2014

When a Homeless Man Walked Onto a Music Video, No One Expected Him to Join In Without Missing a Beat


Christian musician Carlos Whittaker was in Atlanta to work on a music video for his song “God of Second Chances,” when a homeless man walked onto the set in the middle of filming.

Before Carlos or the crew had a chance to react, the man, whom they later learned was named Danny, knelt down and began crying. Carlos kept singing, and soon enough Danny joined in. Both his voice and his character were absolutely beautiful.

Even though he looked for him often, Carlos never saw Danny again. Last year, he wrote about the experience:

Whether Danny was an angel or simply a person who felt moved to sing that day, he is a reminder that a person’s character isn’t always what it seems on the outside. And in a world that is so quick to judge and name-call based on preconceptions and stereotypes, that is a very important thing to remember.
Read more from Carlos Whittaker in his book Moment Maker: You Can Live Your Life or It Will Live You.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hugh Jackman Sings "Wolverine: The Musical"

Neil Patrick Harris And Jason Segel Sing An Epic Les Misérables Duet

On the "How I Met Your Mother" episode of "Inside The Actors Studio", an audience member asked Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel to sing "Confrontation" from "Les Miserables... and that's legen... wait for it... dary!

Sir Anthony Hopkins' Waltz

Academy Award-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins was a musician before he got into acting. 50 years ago he wrote a waltz but was too afraid to ever hear it play. Dutch violinist André Rieu performs it for the very first time. Watch Hopkins' reaction.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Matching Shoes

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bizarre Kiddie Cartoon Conspiracy Theories

Source & More

Rugrats - Dead Baby Theory

We all know Angelica is a little nutty, but the Rugrats theory takes it to a whole new level. Get this — “The Rugrats really were a figment of Angelica’s imagination. Chuckie died a long time ago along with this mother; that’s why Chaz is a nervous wreck all the time. Tommy was a stillborn; that’s why Stu is constantly in the basement making toys for the son who never had a chance to live. The DeVilles had an abortion. Angelica couldn’t figure whether it would be a boy or a girl, thus creating the twins.” Okay, well that potentially explains why Angelica can speak to both the adults and the babies, but we’re still not entirely convinced. What about Susie?! 

Spongebob Squarepants - Nuclear Druggies

We’re bringing you two theories for SpongeBob Squarepants; the Nuclear Testing Theory and the Drug Theory. Like most things on the Internet, our first SpongeBob theory is from Reddit — “The existence of Spongebob and his strange friends is the result of radiation from nuclear arms testing that was performed on the Bikini Atoll in the late ’40s and early ’50s. Since they live under the atoll, the town is known as ‘Bikini Bottom’.” Out of all these theories, this one makes the most sense. After all, the show was created by a former marine biologist.

Next up, we have a theory that “SpongeBob SquarePants is all about drugs,” appropriately offered by a user on “SpongeBob SquarePants is on meth amphetamines. He’s always really, really happy, energetic, and occasionally paranoid. If he ever is in a bad mood, it’s the result of a major crash. He goes from really happy to really sad or really angry. There’s no middle ground. Patrick Star is a stoner. He laughs at stupid things and eats all the time. He must go through, like, a pound of weed a week. Squidward Tenticle is on heroin. He’s always down and he yells at SpongeBob for being hyped up and energetic. Mr. Krab is on coke. He’s really uppity and he’s always concerned about money — coke is expensive. Sandy Cheeks is just an alcoholic. She ruins every episode she’s in because she’s always drinking.”

Hey Arnold! Grandparents Theory

We don’t believe this one, mostly because there were episodes with photos and flashbacks to Arnold’s parents, but there’s a big Hey Arnold! theory that Arnold’s wacky grandparents are, in fact, his real parents, and his “football head” is the result of a deformity — “Arnold Chiari syndrome.”

Scooby-Doo Post-Depression Theory

Here’s another fun one from Reddit — “The original Scooby-Doo series is set after a horrible economic depression. Everything is abandoned and falling apart, and all of the villains are people who would normally be respected (professors, museum curators, celebrities) who have fallen into hard times just like everyone else.”

The Flintstones Post-Apocalyptic Theory

Cracked lends us an interesting theory on The Flintstones, which explains the family’s Christmas celebrations and modern technology in what we believed to be B.C. “Remember, The Flintstones originally aired from 1960 to 1966, at the height of the Cold War. What if a nuclear showdown between the Soviets and Americans was what blew Bedrock to kingdom come? What if the Flintstones are us in the future, clinging to the best of our past as we rebuild? The familiar technology, entertainment and religion are all that remain from the fractured memories of a shattered history that never was.”

Powerpuff Girls Multiple Personality Theory

Here’s another intense one from a Soompi user — “The three Girls — Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup — are all fractions of one host personality, whose name is unknown to the audience, but for convenience’s sake we will call her Brenda. The cause for the development of Multiple-Personality Disorder in Brenda originates from bullying in early childhood by her older brother, whose actual character is unknown to the audience, but is manifested in Brenda’s hallucinations as Mojo Jojo, the Girls’ greatest nemesis.” Thoughts? Click the link for the author’s extended explanation.

Ed, Edd n Eddy Purgatory Theory

This theory originated with a long post on 4chan, but it essentially implies that Ed, Edd n Eddy‘s cul-de-sac is cursed, and its former residents died before they grew up and are therefore stuck at the cul-de-sac on another plane, much like purgatory

Garfield Hallucination Theory

Here’s one that gives us chills — the theory that Jon and Odie don’t exist. “Garfield is actually dying of starvation and just imagining Jon and Odie. There was a reference to this in a Halloween-themed comic. Garfield woke up in a condemned and abandoned house. He calls out for Odie and Jon, but there is no answer. He then wills the illusion back on himself, and continues his delusions about his ‘family’.” Check out this creepy comic

Courage the Cowardly Dog Nowhere Theory

This Courage the Cowardly Dog theory could be real, right? “Courage is actually a normal dog and he sees the world through a dog’s eyes. All the villains in the show are just normal people, but to a little dog they seem scary. They don’t actually live in the middle of Nowhere, but since his owners are too old to take him outside for walks, he only knows what’s around his immediate property, and everything beyond that is nothing because he’s never seen it.”

Dexter’s Lab Theory

How could a kid have a laboratory in his house, you ask? One theory insists that he didn’t — it was all in his head. As a socially awkward introvert, Dexter relied heavily on his imagination. His “rivals” were his few friends with similarly huge imaginations, and when they played together, the usual fantastical Dexter’s Lab shenanigans would ensue. Dexter’s big imagination also explains his bizarre accent.

Donald Duck has PTSD


From The Journal of Cartoon Overanalyzations comes this diagnosis for Donald Duck’s erratic behavior (though not for his epidemic of pantslessness): he has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, induced when he was a paratrooper in WWII. As the theorist notes, he seems to have fairly regular flashbacks, difficulty responding normally to social stimuli, and “persistent symptoms of increased arousal (e.g. difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger and hypervigilance)” — not to mention a total disinterest in talking about his wartime experiences.

The Smurfs are white supremacists/Nazis/anti-Semites

Er, blue supremacists? Either way, many have noted that the Smurfs wear pointed white hats, except for their leader, who wears a pointed red hat — much like the fashion decisions of the KKK. There’s also the related fact that the big villain, Gargamel, is a money-loving, large-nosed, dark haired fellow. His cat even has a bona fide Jewish name, Azrael — which is also the name of the angel of death in Jewish tradition. There’s also this. And that’s not even all the Smurf conspiracy theories — check out a roundup of a few more here.

The Care Bears is “Voodoo masquerading as children’s entertainment”

According to at least one writer, The Care Bears is the absolute height of Voodoo infiltration in children’s entertainment:

Start with the name first. Who can deny the similarity between the name Care Bears and Carefours, the district of Port au Prince which is the heart of the Voodoo world? Can the cloud city of Care-a-Lot be anything but an idealized ‘holy city’ of the Lwa – a divine reflection of Carefours? Then consider some of the terminology. The Care Bears constantly want to ‘Share until you care’, just as the Lwa want to share the bodies of their worshipers. The Care Bears are constantly trying to be children’s ‘friends’, just as the Voodoo Lwa are often referred to by their followers as ‘friendly spirits’ or just ‘friends’.
Plus, the cuddly insignias (er, “arcane symbols”) on the Care Bears’ tummies line up rather nicely with the symbols of the Voodoo gods. Hide your children! (Note: the source article is tagged “Humor and Satire,” so it’s possible the writer doesn’t really believe this stuff — but it was too good a theory not to share)

Aladdin‘s Genie and the salesman are the same person


Remember the frame narrative at the beginning of Aladdin? Well, some enterprising viewers on Reddit have noticed some alarming similarities between the salesman, trying to pawn off what we soon discover is actually the Genie’s lamp (or an identical one), and the Genie himself. Firstly, they’re both voiced by Robin Williams. Secondly, they both wear (or “wear”) blue with a red sash at the waist. They have the same facial hair — bushy eyebrows and a beard that ends in a little curl. But the clincher is this: they’re the only two characters in the film that have only four fingers. So the Genie got free and decided to sell trinkets? It’s not totally impossible. But as one Redditor says, “Go deeper, the Genie is the merchant, trying to sell himself.” Whoa.

Aladdin is set in the future

Here’s another popular theory for you Aladdin fans. The Genie says he’s been locked in his lamp for 10,000 years, right? He also tells Aladdin his clothes are “so third century.” Which, as many smart-aleck commenters have pointed out, would set the action of the movie in at least 10,300. So that explains all the flying carpets and magic — just future tech made rare in a post-apocalyptic, semi-Arabic world.

Dr. Claw is the real Inspector Gadget

According to this popular fan theory, related by Cracked, the reason we never see Dr. Claw’s face is that he is — gasp — actually the real, or at least the original, Inspector Gadget! That is, according to this theory, which states that the Inspector Gadget we know and love is a robotic recreation of the man Dr. Claw once was, a normal human detective who suffered a terrible accident.

That’s where his conveniently smart niece comes in: Penny, in her grief, recreated her uncle as a crime-fighting robot … ignoring that the real man wasn’t dead, only disfigured and insane. This would also explain why nothing ever happens to Penny, even though Claw’s cronies seem to catch her every episode: She always finds a way to ruin Claw’s plans because she’s the only thing he still cares for. And hey, remember the part at the end of the opening theme where Gadget turns Claw’s chair around and there’s a bomb in it? A bomb that then explodes in Gadget’s face? Perhaps this was meant to be symbolic. Perhaps there’s no Claw, just Gadget. 

Tom and Jerry is Nazi propaganda

Well, this can’t be true, but somebody believes it, so it counts as a theory. Jim McLennan writes:

As well as being the most Oscar-winning duo in history, Tom and Jerry were also more-or-less the opposing sides in World War II: Tommies, the British soldiers, and Jerries, the Germans… I think it’s safe to assume, especially in the context of a series which began right around the time of the Battle of Britain, that the choice of these names was no accident, especially since it precedes the American entry into World War II. They are also markedly different to the meaningless names selected for other MGM cartoon characters around that time e.g. Sniffles, Droopy, etc… Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this theory is that Jerry is the good guy, the peace-loving victim of Tom’s evil schemes, but who usually wins due to his superior intelligence. Read in a wartime context, the suggestion that violence isn’t a solution goes beyond the subversive and borders on outright sedition. An alternative explanation that Jerry = GI is no more loyal, since it suggests the two Allied sides were fighting each other. In either case, it’s certainly worth noting that MGM were conspicuous by their absence in the field of animated Allied propaganda: even at the height of the war, Tom and Jerry was a series almost entirely free of political commentary.

Charlie Brown is dying of cancer


Oof. This one hurts. According to at least one theorist, “My personal explanation for why Charlie Brown in Peanuts is bald is he’s dying of cancer and dreaming up everything. In the strip nothing ever works out for him and his life is a disaster, but he’s simply channeling his sadness into his dreams.”

Pokemon‘s Ash is actually in a coma

For almost every unrealistic kids’ cartoon out there (read: all of them), there’s a theorist explaining how the main character is actually insane/in a coma/dead and that’s why the world he “inhabits” is so bonkers. It’s pretty self explanatory — but this theorist really goes above and beyond.

The kids from The Magic Schoolbus grow up to be the kids from Captain Planet.

Well, just look at them. No random group of young people is so pointedly multiracial. Originally spotted by Jamie Steinheimer, this more in-depth explanation comes from Geekosystem:

Gaia pulled a Jacob (see: LOST), kidnapping a bunch of children and relocating them to an island where she brainwashed them into thinking they were in “school” and she was their teacher, Miss Frizzle. In reality this was an indoctrination camp where she created the perfect pollution fighters by instilling a love of science and ecology into them at a young age.

Not all the kids made the cut. Phoebe resisted the brainwashing, unable to forget her previous life and constantly making references to her “old school.” It was a pathetic cry for help, and an attempt to hold onto her lest shred of sanity. Ralphie fell under Janet’s spell and the two escaped the island, only to be driven mad by their memories. Eventually, they turned to a life of crime becoming Hoggish Greedly and Dr. Blight respectively. The mysterious time-dialating effects of Gaia’s island accounts for their discrepancies in age. Keesha’s current whereabouts are unknown.

When her “class” had matured sufficiently, Frizzle/Gaia wiped their memories and sent them out as an eco-friendly sleeper cell until she had need of them. Years later, she gave them the power rings, and sent them off on an ecologically toyetic series of adventures.

WALL-E is a cannibal robot who destroyed Earth
Sweet and cuddly robot in a post-apocalyptic setting or merciless scavenger molding the new world to his liking? According to one Reddit user, definitely the latter:

The Earth recovery act was going perfectly fine until one WALL-E unit went rogue. This particular unit wasn’t very good at its job, often refusing to crush particular object. Instead it wanted to keep these trinkets as treasures. However all the other units were still indiscriminately compacting everything, including trinkets this particular WALL-E wanted. So this rogue unit began destroying all the other units and cannibalizing their parts. It continued its senseless cannibalism until there weren’t enough WALL-E units left to combat the growing problems of Earth. Its continued cannibalism allow this rogue unit to continue operating long past is original operational life span, continuing to function for over 700 years. Alone, he can now selective pull out and protect his trinkets while still compacting all the rest of the earths junk.

In the movie we see tons of mindless parts cannibalism preformed by our protagonist. He takes the trends off of a fallen comrade without a second thought. He hoards the parts of his dead brothers in his trailer along with all his precious trinkets that he had to protect from all the other WALL-E units. The reason why there is still so much trash on earth despite 700 years of compacting is because all the other compactors were killed early on and thus for 700 years only 1 unit has been working on the trash instead of a whole plant worth of units.

The fairies in The Fairly Oddparents are metaphors for anti-depressants
From left: Cosmo, Timmy and Wanda © Nickelodeon

According to a theory that comes, yet again, courtesy of Reddit, Timmy’s fairy godparents are simply metaphors for Zoloft and Prozac — they’re there to help him through his problems, but only until he doesn’t need them anymore. Plus, not only did they start showing up at the same time as his problems, but there are some serious side effects every time he abuses their “magic.”

Or maybe they’re just imagined by a sexually abused little boy

Here’s another theory: “The Fairly Oddparents is about a kid playing pretend with his fish. His godparents died in a car crash when he was younger; since they were the only adults who ever understood him, he finds comfort in imagining that they are there to watch over him, since his parents obviously don’t care. His babysitter slaps him around but he isn’t brave enough to tell on her. The granted wishes are all in his imagination, hence why they never have any lasting consequences. Mr. Crocker has made sexual advances on young Timmy for years, hence the delusion that he is desperate to steal Timmy’s ‘fairies,’ which represent his innocence, joy, hope, and good wishes for the future.” Now that is bleak.

Totoro is the Angel of Death

Because everyone who sees him dies in short order. And then there’s this fishy thing about the sisters having no shadows… Read the whole breakdown here.

Toy Story 3 is a Holocaust allegory

Jordan Hoffman at Ugo has made some highly disturbing observations about the latest installment in everyone’s favorite franchise — namely, that it’s a direct allegory to the Holocaust, with the toys as the Jews. It starts when Andy leaves for college:

These toys are left behind, just as host nations left behind the Jews as the Third Reich conquered Europe.

Woody holds a meeting, where the assembled toy family discusses possible outcomes for their new position in the world. Change a few words and it is the same exact scene at the train station from Roman Polanski’s award winning Holocaust drama The Pianist.

No, we won’t just be abandoned. Surely we can be useful to them somehow. Yes, we’ve lost friends (Bo Peep), but surely that can’t happen to us.

Buzz Lightyear stands forward and suggests sanctuary IN AN ATTIC. Are you kidding me?

The cattle car comes for the toys in the form of a horrible garbage bag – but they don’t go straight to extermination. They find themselves alive and at Sunnyside where they are put “to work.” (Consider this, then, Dachau instead of Treblinka.)

Once there, they meet the toy version of Sonderkommando, toys who live the stay fed and well-sheltered (like Ken in his dream house) while leading other toys to a certain death. Newcomers are bashed and abused in the “Caterpillar Room” by non-age appropriate children until they resemble Muselmann and are eventually thrown into the trash chute.

The trash chute leads to a systematic sorting of metal (e.g. any last valuables) until, eventually, the fiery crematoria.

Our heroes get saved at the last minute, of course, and they find themselves a new homeland. It is a place where many of their kind already live and have an established foothold, and it would appear that security, finally, is at hand if they are vigilant.

And in case your mind isn’t blown enough, the same writer can also give you the rundown on Toy Story 3 as a Marxist text, as an Existentialist text or as a panoply of World Religions.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Crazy Climbers

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