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In Defense of Batman V Superman: How Warner Bros. Marketing Team Will Cost the Company Billions

This past weekend, the movie going public showed up in droves to witness Warner Bros. latest instalment in their long-gestating Justice League franchise. The studio had made every effort to market the superhero epic as a cage match, of sorts, between Henry Cavill’s Superman and JLo’s ex-boyfriend’s Dark Knight.

As I always do before heading to the theatre, I checked RottenTomatoes to see what audiences and critics alike thought about the blockbuster. With a mere 29% of critics approving the film, a score only marginally better than 2011’s Green Lantern (26%) and far worse than director Zack Snyder’s prequel to BVS, 2013’s Man of Steel (56%), it was obvious the film was missing something.

So, I put on my 3D glasses and went looking for it.

2 hours and 33 minutes later, I deposited the gimmicky spectacles into the recycling bin and made my way toward the theatre’s exit, contemplating what I’d just witnessed.

To my surprise—and my friends, who know me as a ruthless film critic (I thought Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: Winter Soldier were average films)—my opinion on the superhero showdown went against the grain.

In short: I loved it.

I was a huge fan of Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation of Watchmen, a graphic novel that—like Dawn of Justice—dealt with mankind’s encounter with “The Superman.” While Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel is set in the modern day, Billy Crudup’s Doctor Manhattan encounters his own God Complex in an alternate Cold War era timeline—one in which the United States wins the Vietnamese war.

Much like how JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot served as an audition tape for Star War VII, Snyder’s Watchmen adaptation was used to convince Warner Bros. execs the 300 director could capture the dark and ominous tone of the DC universe on-screen.

Enter Batman V Superman, a film that’s being ripped apart by critics and fans alike. Granted, the film suffers from pacing issues and the jury is out on whethe Jesse Eisenberg’s take on super-villain Lex Luthor can endure for the series’ duration, but there’s something to be said about the uniform hatred among critics that goes beyond what Snyder and co. put on the screen.

Now, I’m not saying BVS is a perfect film, BY ANY MEANS, but I’m convinced the flick’s poor critical reception is the fault of several key factors, which I’ve outlined below.

1) The Film’s Marketing Team Needs to be Fired.

I’m only kidding, I’d never wish unemployment on anyone, but the constant barrage of YouTube trailers that began in summer 2015 GAVE THE ENTIRE FILM AWAY.

Instead of surprising audiences with the news that series’ baddy Doomsday would appear on-screen for the first time ever, Warner Bros. had to ruin the fun in featuring the character in a 2-minute spot.

This decision let audiences know a few things:

  1. The studio wasn’t confident in the film, and felt the need to give away MAJOR PLOT POINTS to print ticket stubs.
  2. The Batman/Superman showdown isn’t the film’s focus. Warner Bros. showed their hand here, letting everyone know the Batman V Superman title was chosen SPECIFICALLY for financial reasons.
  3. It indicated the film was trying to accomplish too much. From serving as a Man of Steel sequel, to launching a new Batman, to setting up the Justice League, to introducing Eisenberg’s Luthor—fans quickly realized the studio was forcing Snyder to bite off more than he could chew.

The bottom line: THE FILM IS CALLED BATMAN V SUPERMAN, AUDIENCES DON’T NEED TO BE SHOWN WHAT THEY’RE IN FOR.

Since this film has been pegged as the springboard for Warner Bros. DC cinematic universe, the negative response among both critics and fans will potentially cost the company billions down the road.

Granted, the film broke box office records over the Easter weekend, but it will be hard-pressed to sustain such glowing numbers with the negative critical response. This will hurt their revenue down the road, when origin films featuring AquamanWonder WomanThe Flash and Cyborg are released.

2) People hate change.

When describing Ben Affleck’s Batman to a friend that hadn’t seen the film (largely because of the garbage reviews), he shuttered when I revealed this Bruce Wayne is a murderer.

“But…Batman doesn’t kill.”

Personally, I couldn’t care less is Batman kills or not. Christopher Nolan’s take on the Caped Crusader let the law choose who lives and dies, while Snyder’s older, more seasoned vigilante kills without mercy.

In my opinion, the universe DC is setting up is MUCH, MUCH DARKER than anything Marvel or Nolan approached, which warrants Bruce’s violent behaviour.

I welcome the change, considering this Bruce Wayne lives in a world where humanity is constantly on the brink of extinction. ‘Bats’ is dealing with more than thugs and henchmen here, he’s tasked with defending his world from forces beyond our understanding.

3) Moviegoers want DC to copy Marvel.

This one bothers me. I love me some Marvel. Iron Man and the Hulk are two of my favourite on-screen characters of all time, and Disney deserves all the credit in the world for achieving what they have. Their colourful, hopeful take on the Marvel Universe has worked wonders for them at the box office, spelling nothing but gold.

But…that’s not DC. The world of Gotham and Metropolis are historically dark, and consistently deal with narratives heavy on drama. Dawn of Justice captures that tone, which heavily contrasts the comedy fuelled hijinks of February’s biggest success, Deadpool. While that franchise is owned by FOX, the direction they took in the Ryan Reynolds vehicle was undoubtedly influenced by the folks at Disney.

I get it, people go to the theatre to forget about their problems, but Warner Bros. would be facing a much worse (hard to imagine, I know) critical hell storm if they copied Disney’s fool-proof superhero patent.

 

Personally, I couldn’t care less about Warner Bros. bottom line. If the movie loses money, my life doesn’t change. I’m not telling you to see this film to support Ben Affleck’s alimony payments, or Henry Cavill’s protein addiction.

All I’m saying: NEVER let anyone else form your opinion. Do that yourself. 

 

How does an author’s first novel get financed?

I’ve decided to follow my heart and write a novel. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine, and I have an original concept that I’m trying to develop a story around.

Only problem: I need money to live. Recently, I quit my job—no sob story here…it wasn’t for me. This experience made me realize that I might not be meant for traditional jobs. I’m garbage at trades, am sick of customer service, I don’t wanna weasel my way up a corporate hierarchy, and I don’t have the genes to make money off my looks.

My question is this: How does an author’s first novel get financed? Creating this world is easily the most demanding thing I’ve EVER undertaken. Obviously, I’m not the first person who’s been in this position.

Money would be needed to feed me, pay for focus groups, editors, concept artists, and other expenses.

If anyone has any advice, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

No Competition for EA Sports

I have to confess to something: I’m the victim of a vicious addiction. I’m forced to satisfy this craving every night in the comfort of my own home, with my arms outstretched and my mind awash with euphoria.

There’s nothing like loosening your grip on reality, is there?

Of course, I’m talking about my beloved Xbox 360. Specifically, an EA Sports title has grabbed my attention for the past 15 years.

With NHL 16‘s release last week, I’ve been forced to sit on the sidelines and watch my buddies, all clad in their next-gen gaming apparel, turn on their Xbox One‘s and PlayStation 4‘s and run the world’s most sophisticated hockey simulator on their big-screen TV’s.

And none of them will give me a turn.

Not one.

It’s just like daycare at Ms. Jefferson’s house in grade 1 ALL OVER AGAIN. 

I know what you’re thinking: “Gee, buddy, why don’t you go on down to that there electronics store and pick yourself up one of them video gamin’ gizmos.”

Thanks for your opinion, my good-natured, apparently Southern friend.

But this predicament carries some weight beyond my desire to not spend 4 or 500 dollars at Best Buy or EB Games. Mine is a story of principle, an attempt to prove to the man that I’m not just another member of the Sheeple herd (People + Sheep = Sheeple). 

While I’m a hockey fan (I also love Fifa and NBA games), I think that sporting fans from all walks of life can relate to my plight. And here it is: I won’t buy a next generation console, or the latest instalment in the NHL video game series, because I don’t think corporations like MicrosoftSony, or EA Sports have done enough to earn my money. 

Heresy, you say? Sacrilege, you declare? A witch hunt, you propose?

We live in a society that’s OBSESSED with materialism. Look at the drones lining up outside of the Apple store for the latest iPhone. Also, consider that when you wear an article of clothing with a corporation’s name on it, know that you’re paying to advertise SOMEONE ELSE’S product. 

As the late George Carlin put it: “you’re actively participating in your own degradation.”

Now, I love me some good corporation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t approve of the hell hole that my computer was created in somewhere overseas. But I do love me some brand names and the quality products that I can buy at reasonable(?) prices. Which brings me to EA and my hesitation in buying NHL 16: there’s no competition for that video game series. Which means there’s no reason to innovate their on-screen product…which holds the entire gaming industry back from it’s true potential. 

Let’s go back to high school for a moment. Say you liked this girl, Alice Shortskirt (Last name’s of European heritage, I dunno). Anyway, this other guy also liked Alice, but he only admired her from a distance and never mustered up the courage to talk to her.

Meanwhile, you’re beside that pretty lady doing everything you can to be with her. Since Johnny Nospeak isn’t offering you any competition whatsoever, you don’t have to improve your strategy when trying to court Alice. The bottom line: all industries need competition for real progress to be made. Monopolies kill innovation.

Now reframe this argument and cast me, the gamer, in the role of Alice Shortskirt. Who’s the stud that won’t stop hitting on me…the ONLY stud that won’t stop hitting on me? The answer: EA Sports.

You heard it first…I’m stuck in an unhealthy and boring relationship PURELY due to a lack of suitors.

Grand Theft Auto V, come here…mend my heart.

(Insert witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)

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Same Old Controversy: American Gun Control

In case nothing jumped off the page while you were scanning Google News today, there was another mass shooting in the U.S. This time in Oregon, a state known for it’s liberal tendencies.

I know, nothing new or interesting here. Shootings in America have become so commonplace, so old hat, so expected, they’re receiving the same media treatment experienced by every space mission after 1969. 

“Pfft, another re-run?”

The Columbine shooting ushered in a new era in American history—one that would be defined by questions, and virtually no answers. Whether it be CNNMSNBCBBC News or even the pseudo-news outlet of Fox News, the reports are essentially the same.

America will wake up to another series of ‘concerned’ panelists that are asked another series of questions on any one of the country’s major broadcasting networks. These academics, public figures and pro/anti gun activists will attempt to answer both the psychological and social factors that played into this particular shooting…and the only beneficiary will be the network directors who praise The Lord Above for a great news day.

But this isn’t a discussion about religion. Let’s praise Chris Mintz for his bravery and get on with the discussion.

After listening to President Obama’s response to the Oregon shootings, the obvious frustration repeatedly experienced by the White House is becoming increasingly potent. I’m not one to buy into Presidential addresses—as politicians are actors being fed lines by a team of highly skilled crisis managers—but I admire Barack’s attempt to leave a legacy with this climactic speech.

You can watch it here.

Instead of accusing the shooter, Obama states that current gun laws were responsible for this recent tragedy. Essentially, the commander-in-chief spent these 12 minutes criticizing the Congressional gridlock that prohibits any meaningful change in American gun legislation.

After the Newton shooting in late 2012, a massive push for banning guns altogether in the U.S. was reignited after years of dormancy. At the time, I admired the movement’s idealism but disagreed with its effectiveness.

My argument: banning guns in the US would create a massive weapons industry black market. In essence: there’d be no good guys with guns to cancel out the bad ones.

But the 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook might’ve proved me wrong.

Which brings us back to the Oregon shooting.

  • I agree that Americans MUST be screened extensively before purchasing a weapon.
  • I believe the Federal government CAN improve the situation through meaningful legislative change.
  • I DON’T believe that more guns are the answer.
  • High-calibre assault weapons SHOULD NOT be available to the public.
  • And, no. Violent video games aren’t responsible.

But what can be done today to improve this situation?

A huge segment of America defies anyone that threatens to strip them of the right to bare arms. There’s a North-South split on this issue that harkens whispers of the American Revolution. The South LOVES their guns more than life itself (sorry for the generalization but it’s not a stretch), and a large portion of the North struggles to believe that an America without guns is safe for their children.

And for good reason.

Regardless, America’s leaders will get back to a more pressing issue after the dust clears later this week: oil wars half a world away.

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(Insert witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)

How the Film Industry Murdered Originality

If the impending fall television season has taught me anything, it’s that people will watch ANYTHING. From The CW’s “Supergirl,” which looks like a sad attempt at meshing the popularity of superhero films with “The Devil Wears Prada,” to “Heroes Reborn,” NBC‘s attempt at recapturing the short-lived success of 2004’s Hayden Panettiere vehicle of the same name—Hollywood seems focused on staying away from the concept of ‘originality’ altogether.

Maybe the handful of shifts I worked as a Production Assistant on various Hallmark Channel sets made a cynic out of me. Standing off camera, making sure passerby wouldn’t walk into the shot of two cookie-cutter love interests finally embracing after 90 minutes of horse-wrangling and American pie makin’, I went home everyday with a sour taste in my mouth.

No matter how you spin it: producers have become increasingly unimaginative, using nothing more than search engine and focus group data to fill air-time.

“My 11-year-old son tells me the youths really like superheroes. Why don’t we make a teen drama about that fast guy?”

Enter: The Flash.

“My research suggests vampires are popular. Also, abs.”

Enter: The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, The Originals, and Penny Dreadful.

“Apparently stay-at-home-moms really love watching rich bitches duke it out.”

Enter: The Housewives of Every Geographical Region and Demographic Imaginable.

I get it, a ton of people watch these shows because they contain what the masses want. I’m not saying they’re all bad; I just think those fortunate enough to sit at Hollywood’s power centre should try and inject some creativity into the programs they green light.

Granted, it’s tougher to pitch an original script than to convince Mr. Moneybags that reviving a tried-and-tested franchise won’t reap X amount of viewers on a nightly basis.

Keep in mind, my favourite shows are Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and an army of comedy gems that wreak of sarcasm and references. Not everyone gets that, and that’s okay.

I understand that most people work their 8-10 hours a day, tend to their litter of children, and sit down for 1-2 hours a night and watch shows that are pretty clear about what they offer. Pretty easy to see why sports are SO DAMN POPULAR.

You’re not likely to see anything new, but that’s part of the appeal—isn’t it?

Maybe that’s Hollywood’s current motto: give the people what they expect. In an era where originality is always put through the shredder, maybe the writing’s on the wall that film is as good as it’ll ever get.

TV’s recent ‘golden era’ might suggest otherwise. While networks like HBO and Netflix allow writers to flesh out their characters in greater detail than any type of media (forget books…gross) has ever been able to accomplish, there’s 10 recycled pieces of garbage for every attempt at something worth watching.

Excuse me—forgot to record The Big Bang Theory. I hear the laugh track is 12 times more infectious this season.

Gotta love technology.

(Insert witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)

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Colbert’s Trump interview proves “The Late Show” is TV’s most impactful program

Today, the world woke up to a few videos of Donald Trump’s meet n’ greet with the Great Stephen Colbert. The event was nothing short of monumental, as the right-wing billionaire was given a chance to discuss some pressing issues with a primarily liberal audience.

You can watch snippets of the interview from Colbert’s YouTube Channel.

And who better to engage the former Apprentice star than a man who sarcastically embodied a stereotypical conservative for 10 years on Comedy Central?

But—to the surprise of many—interviewing “The Donald” wasn’t Colbert’s most enlightening or entertaining segment to date. Don’t get me wrong; the exchange was beautifully scripted and showed both parties in their best light. Although, I don’t think Colbert’s capable of an off night.

While ratings for this particular episode were the show’s highest to date, interviews with political figures like Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz were just as engaging.

Perhaps more importantly is The Late Show‘s ability to do what American politics hasn’t for a millennia: create an objective dialogue between members of both the political left AND right. 

Consider Colbert’s interview with Republican party hopeful Ted Cruz. A well-known critic of gay marriage, the senator was challenged by a meticulously well-read host on the subject. As the crowd began to boo the conservative politician, Colbert stopped them.

“Guys, he’s my guest. However you feel, please don’t boo him.” You can watch the moment here at :30.

Putting aside the unparalleled degree of class that Colbert used to diffuse the situation, let’s acknowledge how groundbreaking the moment was.

In a nutshell, it encouraged democracy’s primary tenet: to give every voice a chance to be heard.

Nowadays, both the liberal left and conservative right have been caught in an argument with no structure. As a liberal, I’m encouraged to open my mouth and close my ears whenever the concept of denying universal marriage rights is tabled. I emphatically believe that gay rights are a non-issue, that everyone deserves the right to happiness, but I’m extremely encouraged by Colbert’s ability to force a liberal audience to HEAR the beliefs of someone they don’t agree with.

The same can be said about his interview with Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders. A self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie’s platform is to give America back to the 99%. Instead of stoking Bernie’s fire and declaring his support, Colbert threw incredibly tough questions at the 74-year-old.

Before a commercial break, Colbert said “we’ve gotta get some messages right now from GIANT corporations who pay our bills.” This was a realistic approach to Sanders’ policy, which attempts to get big money out of politics.

Whether it be Elon Musk, Ted Cruz, or even Donald Trump, Colbert is proving to be America’s greatest interviewer. With a ruthless combination of objectivity, class and skepticism, Letterman’s replacement will have an enormous impact on the 2016 U.S. Election.

After all, he’s doing what American politics and media en large is failing to do: facilitate a reasoned discussion between advocates of two political viewpoints that couldn’t be farther apart.

Let’s hope American Congress tries to follow suit.

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(Insert witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)

New Report Suggests Hangovers Aren’t a Myth

You know that friend who claims they’ve never had a hangover? You know—the same guy who keeps on about his immunity to pain, his inability to be rejected by women, and how all is co-workers JUST LOVE HIM?

We all have friends that are chronic liars. And for a time, many thought I belonged to this group.

That’s because—up until quite recently—I’d never experienced a REAL hangover. I figured that dreary, light-headed sensation following me around for about fifteen minutes after waking from a night of drinking was this fabled “hangover” that scientists still can’t kill. That any of my friends who claimed to be having “The most vicious hangover of my life” just weren’t able to endure pain without bitching about it.

Then…I turned 20.

I went to school on an island that separated me and my childhood home by 6 hours. This included an hour-and-a-half ferry ride.

This particular year—as Thanksgiving weekend approached—I was scheduled to be home on Saturday morning.

So, naturally, I went to a house party the night before. It was a pretty great excuse to poison our livers: we wouldn’t see each other for three WHOLE nights. We had to make up for the time we were about to lose.

It’s called being proactive.

And don’t worry, my strategy for getting home was sound: I planned on sleeping through the entire 9am ferry ride. Traveling’s easy when you’re tired enough to sleep, right?

After a few Keith’s, followed by some Corona‘s, with a touch of Polar Ice here, and a healthy dose of fun-coloured liquids there…I woke up to my phone’s alarm.

bill

7:15? Where am I? Why can I hear my heart? Where’d Jessica Alba go? What. Is. Love?

No room had ever looked as unfamiliar as mine did that morning. I tried to sit up.

Only now, years later, can I come to terms with the fact that my dorm wasn’t haunted. That I wasn’t hit in the forehead with a brass pole by the floor’s poltergeist.

My body had filed for adulthood that night. My application was processed and accepted that morning. 

mr bean

With a gallon of water, two gallons of green tea, my overnight gear—and maybe one remaining litre of bodily fluids—I boarded the 1 hour 30 minute bus ride to the ferry terminal.

Without a doubt, the worst part (of my life) was the ferry ride. Keep in mind this was a B.C. ferry. These bad boys have no place to lay down, are equipped with impressively uncomfortable “chairs” and consistently rock back and forth.

Just like a regular water vessel.

Sunglasses on, hoody drawn, mouth slacked, I couldn’t read, sit, stand or dry heave for too long without Miss Frizzle and her class learning about bad choices by shrinking down and testing miniature jack hammers on my cranium.

I never trusted that lady. You don’t make a school bus “magic” for a group of grade schoolers without visiting your local drug lord/pharmacist first.

(Insert witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)

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Fat Cats and Fatter Donations

Today, P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens donated $10 million (?!) to the Montreal children’s hospital. Make no mistake, that’s a substantial contribution from a hockey player. (Yes, I understand that it’d be more of a commitment for a forklift driver)

If, say, a baseball or basketball player were to make an equivalent donation to their respective local children’s hospital—we’d all be offering nothing more than a polite golf clap.

clap

Those guys make BANK. And they deserve it…not everyone’s born with the ability to be REALLY TALL or the courage to inject enough anabolic steroids to hit a baseball REALLY FAR. They don’t fear the needle—and the MLB pays them handsomely for their bravery.

The point is: Subban should be commended for his enormous contribution. The guy barely clears $10 million a year from his contract and endorsements, so this donation actually does makes a dent in his pocket book.

But I’d like to explore the charitable tendencies of the world’s wealthiest people…the fattest cats…the Mark-iest Zuckerbergs…the Bill-iest Gates.

zucks

Without further ado: here’s the top 5 wealthiest philanthropists in the world—courtesy of that Google site:

  1. Bill and Melinda Gates—who’ve given over $30.5 billion in charitable contributions over the course of their lives. Hooray. Our heroes.
  2. Warren Buffet—the humble billionaire gave $2.63 billion (to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, no less) to charity in 2013. Not bad for a guy who still lives in the same Omaha, Nebraska house he owned before he struck it OH MY GOD HE’S WEALTHY!!!-rich.
  3. Leonard Lauder—the cosmetics-industry titan gave $1.1 billion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art a couple years back. He singlehandedly kept paintbrushes on canvases for another 10 years.
  4. Mark Zuckerberg—Jesse Eisenberg’s muse has (only) given away $1.5 billion to charity thus far. That’s not bad, considering he’s only been a billionaire for as long as Justin Bieber took up residence in every prepubescent girl’s heart.
  5. George Soros—the Hungarian business magnate has long been an advocate of democracy in Eastern Europe, and his charitable contributions reflect that. Despite the many conspiracy theories surrounding him (some believe he caused the Asian financial crisis in the mid 2000’s) the guy’s a giver.

A shortlist; bazillionaires who need to step up their gift game:

trump

  1. Hugo Slim—he’s the richest guy on the planet. Why isn’t he on the above list?
  2. Donald Trump—I know, I know, easy target.
  3. Elon Musk—Where’s our flying cars, Elon? STEP YOUR GAME UP.
  4. Kim Jong-un—If Dennis Rodman can’t show this man the wisdom of giving…I’m afraid nobody can.
  5. The Koch Brothers—If I don’t show up to work next week, you’ll know who’s responsible.

If The Wolf of Wall Street taught us anything, it’s that Leo can play a sociopath with apparent ease. It also taught us that being rich and giving to others doesn’t make you a good person.

If any wealthy benefactors want to test that theory out—I accept all forms of payment.

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(Insert witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)

Awkward Moments: That’s Not My Name

“Yeah, Gray…Like the colour.”

I say this at least once EVERY DAY. No, I’m not exaggerating. I deal with the public on a daily basis and am frequently introduced to kindly patrons wanting to exchange names.

This is Canada and people are friendly. It gets awkward.

“No, not Greg. Gray. Nope, Gary has two syllables. It’s pronounced Ggggg-rrrr-eeeeeeeh. Dre? Do I look like a doctor? Do I look musically talented? No? Cool! 

“THE NAME’S GRAY!

panda

I work with more than a handful of people who are convinced my name’s Ray. A number of factors have allowed this to happen:

  1. Having a single-syllable, non-conventional name can be a challenge. The human ear has a tough time registering the word “Gray,” mainly because it’s spoken quickly and sounds identical to ten other words if you don’t listen very carefully.
  2. I’m of the belief that once a co-worker is convinced your name is something it’s not, you just have to deal with it. Correcting their mistake—no matter how lightly you try and pull it off—will result in immediate awkwardness and can jeopardize your working relationship.
  3. Sometimes I feel shy and don’t want a mini-confrontation with someone I’d like to impress…Or someone I don’t really care to impress. Basically anyone that resembles—or actually is—human.

Now, I understand that it could be worse. Some people are born with tongue-twister names that basically act as social force fields. Imagine being a salesman with a name like Ekmedeme or Kryzyzweske. No, I didn’t just spew some random gibberish at you, a quick Google search just confirmed that both those names actually exist—and the people attached to those names live somewhere in North America!

skylar

Yup, life could be worse. But God gave some of us easily mistaken names for a reason. 

They were:

  1. To test our confidence.
  2. To hone our social skills.
  3. To make us capable of navigating through the most awkward of moments.
  4. To give us something to cringe about at random times throughout the day. Like showers, the drive home from work, or when you’ve finally mustered the courage to ask out Stacey from accounting.

That ponytail though…

One would think that a name with four letters wouldn’t produce such confusion. I mean, “Gray” is a pretty straightforward word to pronounce that was recently popularized by some book where a guy convinces a girl to sign a sex contract.

Boy, do I love being associated with 50 Shades of Mommy Porn.

But that’s not the point. The point of this entry is to acknowledge that life is chalk full of awkward social encounters. Your job as Human Unit: #12341324122341 is not to avoid these moments. It’s to confront them with a confidence befitting one of Santa’s elves and wrap it up before any long-term damage is done.

By the way, if anyone comes up with a foolproof strategy to respectfully correct someone who’s butchering the way your name’s supposed to be pronounced, let me know.

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(Insert witty and equally thought-provoking sign off here)

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