Righteous Choices

When this blog was new to me, I occasionally wrote movie reviews. After a while, I simply lost interest in such thing. I watch a lot of movies. If I wrote detailed reviews for all of them, I’d never have time to do anything else and prefer to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it.

Rating and liking and commenting about movies is way less time consuming and I think paints a grander picture of the types of things I am interested about and enjoy. If I don’t like something, I can just give it one star and forget about it. Easy peesy and simple. The more I watch and rate, the more “friends” can understand what aspects of films I like and look for, and what films I don’t like. We all have friends or family members whose taste in films and shows we know and can use that information to judge whether we are also going to like or hate.

Rating and sharing opinion through social sites like Facebook is a vast improvement over asking people at the local video rental store. I don’t know how many time I’ve heard idiotic things like “they say the ‘F-word’ a lot”. They’re basically saying, if this word or action offends you, better not watch it.

I live in community that is so obsessed with being offended, that they have forgotten, or chose to ignore, that it is their choice to be offended. Think about it; everything you see or hear presents you with a simple question, “how do you choose to respond”. Each response is either positive or negative. Positive to elicit a favorable feeling in yourself and negative to elicit unfavorable feelings in yourself. And it is no great leap in logic to align positive and negative with good and bad or righteous and evil.

Stop choosing to be offended, it will only elicit negative feelings within you.

Way To The Gated Wall

For those people who know me, it has come as a surprise that I joined Facebook last Friday. Many of you seem to recall that I once said, ‘I would never be on Facebook’, and that was sort-of true.

I have had a world wide web presence since 1998. At one point, my website, Waldo’s Web, was posted at three mirror sites. I have always considered myself an open book. Where all the popular websites did require an account to host profiles, and webpages, they were always open and accessible to the entire internet audience. I love that; no limit as to who could view what I uploaded.

And then came Facebook. A gated community. In order to view content uploaded to that service, you had to join. That concept clashed with my internet lifestyle, so, even though popularity was increasing, I was resisting. I told everyone, that as long as Facebook was a gated community, I would never join. And, I wouldn’t, but that was only one out of two reasons it was a safe bet you’d never see me on Facebook.

As you all know, Facebook was started at a college for college students. But, what most of you do not know, is that the terms of service (T.O.S.) document that many of you blindly accepted in those first several years, clearly required all members to be a student currently enrolled in a college.

The first road block for me came down a couple years ago. Perhaps an increase of celebrity and business pages had something to do with Facebook starting to allow visitors off of Facebook to access those pages. Maybe advertising had something to do; I just don’t know, and at the time I didn’t care, because the T.O.S. still limited members to college students.

I know, because I read all the T.O.S.’s. In the case of Facebook, I read it about every two years or so. Now, to be fair, the student requirement felt to me like it was only there because it had never been removed. What I mean by that, is that I had the impression, it was a forgotten clause in a document that was not formally written or assessed as a whole. That T.O.S. read like an impromptu document with clauses tossed in it later as situations deemed them necessary. In other words, I think they (those people who were maintaining the T.O.S.) were just thinking, “well, that happened, so better address that issue”, no one was thinking, “okay, Facebook has grown beyond college students, so we don’t need that clause any more”.

Well, last Friday, I thought to myself about how long it had been since I checked on the T.O.S., and decided to check again at that time. What I found, was a completely different set of terms, a document crafted out of grace and significant forethought into what Facebook has evolved to.

So, I’ve joined Facebook.

And in related news, I have reformatted the look of this blog. After joining Facebook, I wanted to incorporate it into my intenet lifestyle, and I could only do that by shedding the nine year old template I was using. If anyone out there has a new “Scribe” template, compatible with the new Blogger and modern social integration, let me know.

The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl

Picked up last months Seventeen magazine as I ALWAYS do if I find one of my favorite young women actors on the cover-Chloe Grace Moretz, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, AnnaSophia Robb, and so on. This month, it was Chloe Grace Moretz again and after her article, which was typical Hollywood teenager B.S., was an article on young women doing “pretty amazing” things.

Enter Paige McKenzie.

Nick named Sunshine in childhood by an aunt, she decided she wanted to be a star, but didn’t want to move to Hollywood to do it, so she became a YouTube star. She was sixteen when she started by researching the most searched for term on YouTube. As it turned out, ghost was the second most searched word, and “Ghost: The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl” was born. At least, according to Seventeen magazine. The ever unreliable Wikipedia has vastly contracting information, stating that The Haunting of Sunshine Girl was instead created by some unknown guy named Nick Hagen and one of the costars of the show, Mercedes Rose, who it is rumored is actually Paige’s real life mother.

Over the past week or two, I have been binge watching the show in my spare time.

First, I’d like to say that this show suffers from the same cliche film-making that became widely popular thanks to the horrid “Blair Witch Project” and, more recent, the popular “Paranormal Activity” films. That is to say, disgraceful handheld cinematography known as shaky camera. I hate that amateurish look and feel and despise just how cliche it is today, thanks a lot “Blair Witch Project” creators, and may you rot in HELL for all eternity.

That being said, or written as the case is, I do find the technique acceptable on YouTube, and consider it fitting for content created by an inexperienced sixteen year old girl.

I hate seeing big blockbuster budget movies with bad acting. If you’re getting paid to act, then do a good job. But, low budget television programs can be lax on the acting as long it’s fun to watch. I loved “Hey Dude”, “Saved By The Bell”, and the more recent “iCarly”, “Hanna Montana”, and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”. So even though the acting sucks, and I mean really really sucks, on “The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl”, it is entertaining and fun, I love the energy, and camera tricks, so I put up with the bad acting, and enjoy the show.

Paige herself, is quite cute and adorable, and I consider it irresistible for a heterosexual male to develop some sort of crush on her. I also found it hard not to relate to Sunshine. On the personal level, she struck me, from the very beginning, as the female version of me when I was her age. But when I was that age, YouTube, of course, did not exist. Options for my generation were limited to Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and that was too difficult and unpredictable for amateurs, and teenage productions had no chance of getting broadcast. Anyway, I’m pretty glad she has the opportunity she has in this modern age.

The story has no real discernable arc to it, and established facts are often forgot about. I am reminded of the television show “Lost”, in that respect. I watched “Lost” late in it’s life, like season 5 or whatever, (there are blog posts about it here and here) and therefore was able to binge watch all the old episodes. It was somewhat entertaining, but not enough to warrant watching the latest episodes when I got all caught up; there was simply no reason to anticipate another episode justifying a weeklong wait. All because of the lack of a singular coherent story arc. I get the impression each episode of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is written on whim under the premise, ‘what can we do next?’ approach, rather than establishing a complete story first, and releasing a single scene every release day. Paige, and her team would benefit greatly from watching old serials from the pre-television days.

I am all caught up on Sunshine’s show, but unlike “Lost”, I will continue to watch, even though last week she killed off one of the fun and favorite characters.

I have subscribed to her channel, and even joined Facebook just to vote on her entry into The ABC’s Of Death 2 contest. I figured, if I can help her with her dream in such a small and easy way, why not do that? Youtube is making a lot of stars, and some of them actually deserve it, Paige McKenzie is one of those. Seasons 1-6 can be found here and seasons 7-10 (current) here.