That's the spirit of the whole thing, isn't it? A place to discuss whatever is on your mind - ask questions when you have them, propose theories or explain thoughts when they come to you. An open place for conversation among many diverse individuals.


If you would like to join our community, please leave a comment, and we will be sure to add you as an author. You're also welcome to join the conversation on Twitter, just search 'weekendphilosophers'. All questions can be directed to

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quick Thoughts

"Understanding the Universe is something we, as intelligent beings, feel the need to accomplish" - that's actually more of a paraphrasing than a direct quote, but you get the idea. Discuss.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow - discuss.

The inevitable Christmas Creep saw Christmas Music spread to retailers and those quick to jump the gun radio stations to launch about two weeks ago - thoughts? I mean, discuss.

Alright - I'm out. Sorry, I'm lame. Happy Thanksgiving to my American participants, drive safe. Ta.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Lot's of Defects"

Continuing with my pop culture themes here - let's discuss some great TV shows.  Now, I don't just want a list of shows that you like or that are good, I want actual shows that are truly greats in your mind.  My own basic criteria is going to be 10 great episodes.  Some shows have great moments, or great characters, and there's some shows (Family Guy, looking at you) that I watch somewhat religiously and wouldn't consider it great in any regards.  I would like some classic shows as well and while I don't expect 10 great episodes with those, but at least some arguments for them (and feel free to refute any nominees, for sure...this is a discussion).

I'd like to start with a more modern selection and go ahead and say, Psych:
While only 39 episodes have been aired thus far, I'm more than willing to bet I could come up with more than 10 great ones.  As with any show, they've had some duds...but they hit far more than they miss and that's worth a lot in my mind.

Spellingg Bee, 9 Lives, Cloudy...Chance of Murder, Poker?  I Barely Know Her, Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast, American Duos, Murder?...Murder? ...Anyone? ...Bueller?, The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable, Disco Didn't Die (It was Murdered!), Talk Derby to Me

Season 2 is horribly underrepresented there, and it wasn't really a down year, it was an overall solid season but it never really stepped out of its safety zone either which is why they didn't get those great episodes.

Quick Synopsis:
Shawn, who has honed his observational skills thanks to his former police officer father, fakes psychic abilities for the local police department when they incorrectly suspect him for providing accurate tips on a burgulary.  (sound familiar - like the Mentalist, well this came first and is much funnier...being a comedy and all).  He works with his best friend and pharmaceutical salesman, Gus.  His father, with a complicated relationship, still helps with cases either intentionally or not so much.  At the department, he works with Lassie, the head detective who seems to loathe Shawn as much as he appreciates his help and Juliet, with whom there is slight romantic tension going on (in real life, the actors are dating - also, she played Brad's girlfriend on Home Improvement...not imperitive to this discussion, but a good point of discussion regardless).

Enjoy - more next time.  Ta.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Once I wanted to be the Greatest..."

Already, I think I'm going to flush out my idea that I proposed last night a bit. First and foremost, I am not encouraging people to give up inventing - I'm not saying that every story, character or concept has been so fully explored in the arts that attempting to do so would be utterly futile and be a waste of time. I'm just encouraging innovation. I think too often in society, as of late, it is being implied that in order to be truly creative one must do something truly unique - why? Isn't exploring different aspects of those great characters than we are already familiar with just as creative, if not more so? And yes - there will be people who hate this idea...people who expect the familiar and I understand that, it's safe and it's reassuring to think that no matter what happens in the world, James Bond will always be this stylish Lothario who always manages to do what's right...but I look at it and say - what's wrong with a gritty, more honest and human Bond? Someone who occasionally lets his emotions get the best of him (from what I'm hearing of the latest Bond, this is the most common criticism). There is no replacing those great screen characters of the past...but why not have someone repaint Darth Vader for us? His character was sprouted from a concept and he's one of the all-time greatest villains, without question, but we only get those facets that George Lucas wants us to see...there could be a lot more that we're missing, that someone else can bring out that wasn't there before. This is a slippery slope though because if we start making fan fic films an everyone gets into the mix...well, then the product will just become watered down and instead of flushing out the characters, we'll instead hallow them out and leave nothing but empty shells where they used to be. If done right, and in moderation, we can greatly enhance any movie - any character.

Watch the two Willy Wonka films. Admire Gene Wilder's maniacal control over what appears to be an insane alternative watch as Johnny Depp becomes the same character, but instead of control - just appears to be a crazy person, completely out of touch with reality.

All this being said...I think I should note that Hollywood needs to stop with the remakes already. Okay, okay - I know what you're thinking...isn't that what I'm proposing? Yes and no...I want the source of these films to be the story and the characters, not the original films. Just bringing in a different mood or tone to a film can greatly alter its perceived message and in comparing these films - wonderful honest discussion that speaks not only to our pop preferences, but also who we are as characters. Do I relate more to Tim Burton's or Chris Nolan's Batman? The gritty every man or the fantastical superhero?

Then there's projects like O Brother Where Art Thou? where a story like the Odysey can be reimagined in such a way that it hardly resembles its former self, but the same characters put in a different time and place, but with similar obstacles for our protagonist to overcome.  Another example is Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, which kept the the dialog but placed it in a time to which everyone can relate.  Cruel Intentions saw Les Liaisons dangereuses take place on the Upper East Side, when it originally exposed the French Artisocracy of its perversions.  I think it's time to admit that the plot driven storyline has almost run its course and more and more we will see character of dialog driven films that promote themselves not on the unexpected plot twists or gotcha moments but rather, force us to think and glide along in the world that the movies put us in.  At least, that's my hope.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Hi! Are you a fairy?

Is Hollywood in a creative slump? No. The problem is, the creative parts are being watered down by all the crap that they think we want...or maybe we do want it, I don't know. I've always wondered if they make it because we watch it or if we watch it because they make it. Anyways, that's a discussion for another day - I have an idea. Well, I'd like to promote a philosophy I suppose.

I'd like to see a little diversity sprouting from the same story lines. I'll explain.

I think my primary concept behind this is coming from Christmas Music. I know, I just lost you. I like Christmas Music...for like a month a year, but it drives an important point. Ever hear "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"? Of course you have, it's a popular song that time of year (in case you're wondering, I don't start listening to Christmas Music until Thanksgiving). So anyways - I have heard some great versions of that song...I mean, have you ever listened to the lyrics? Sure you can sing with an upbeat, optimistic tone...or you could take it with a somber, nostalgic tone thinking of Christmases past. Think of other Christmas songs - different versions bring out different aspects of the song...different strengths and different moods.

Let me continue on my thought process here. I would like to see Tim Burton direct the Harry Potter movies. I'd like to see Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) do the Lord of the Rings trilogy (given he's doing the Hobbit...and the Hobbit 2), but still. I'd like to see Michel Gondry do The Golden Compass and the rest of the His Dark Materials series (without restrictions from production companies). Tim Burton is already doing Alice in Wonderland, M. Night Shyamalan is doing Avatar (the Last Airbender), etc...but I want to see more of it.

Alright - I need some opinions, I need some thoughts, I want some feedback on this thought. Ta.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hey everybody - what's going on?

So as promised, I figured I'd do a little post-election run down on my thoughts.

I'm not going to start with the main event, I'll start with the local stuff and move on from there.

Here in Michigan, we had a familiar proposition (as's been on the past three elections), Proposition 1 - medical marijuana. As always, I've voted 'no' on this and let me explain why...this is a cop-out. I would like to see marijuana legalized and taxed like cigarettes. I enjoy taxing the hell out of people doing damage willingly to their bodies (go ahead, tax alcohol...I'll pay it). Giving people this is just an argument to be used in later years like, "we already gave you hippies medical marijuana, what else could you possibly want with it?" and other awkward questions politicians seem completely oblivious too, although I know they haven't lived perfect lives so they shouldn't be. ANYWAYS, it passed and good for it. I'm doubtful marijuana will ever be legal in any other form, so we'll see where it goes from here I guess. I don't feel strongly enough against it that I'm upset, it was just my opinion.

Next was Proposition 2, which I was quite happy finally passed. This was regarding stem cell research and at the risk of sounding somewhat uninformed, I'm quite optimistic of the medical breakthroughs that can be achieved thanks to this type of research.

Here in Kalamazoo we had a familiar Public Transportation Millage which was shot down...again. For like six extra cents of taxes a year, people here in town could greatly improve our public transportation system which is pretty crappy at the moment. We could do better, we should do better, but apparently - we're too cheap of a town.

All the other major elections (Senate, House, etc...) were won by the usual suspects who have either been there too long (Upton - great guy, doing a good job, but he's been in office FOREVER) or are now official out-of-touch with the local area (Levin). Good job incumbents, you didn't lose.

Now moving on to the big picture...the presidential election. I voted Obama and I guess you could say I won. Walking into the voting station, I wasn't 100% sold on who I was voting for...I eventually looked at the top ten issues and compared ideologies head-to-head and Obama won 6-3-1 (energy was a tie and I wasn't very enthusiastic about either answer). Even so, I was hesitant of buying into the hype...questioning my own thoughts, wondering if I'd been brainwashed by a very, very charismatic politician. Not that there's anything wrong with a little charisma, but it tends to hide small character flaws that could become painfully evident while in office. Here's hoping. I am glad that Obama won for many reasons though, and me voting for him isn't one of them (although it feels good to vote for a winner for once).

1) He's not John Kerry. No offense to John Kerry, but could he have been more vanilla of a's like the democrats chose the one politician who couldn't beat one of the most disrespected presidents of the modern era. I think Hillary should have made her move here, and I'm sure in hindsight she would agree at this point. I wasn't 100% sold on Hillary this time around as winning the election seemed more important to her know...being president and while I commend her drive and...let's go with attitude...she stacked a few cards against herself as well as going up against, well, as I mentioned before - a criminally charismatic individual.

2) The peacemaker in - other nations not only a) commend us on our election of Obama, but b) his intent to make peace with the world. The past 8 years, America has had it's fighting face on and while there is certainly a time for that...if you greet people at the door with a growling dog, they aren't going to be very fond of coming over if you know what I mean. There is no question that terrorism is an international problem that not only threatens the US, but every other westernized nation and this means we need to have lots of friends...we can't do it alone, this isn't the early 1900s when isolationism is the best protection, we are in the 21st century and we have emerged as an international melting pot of nations, so we all need to work together to be successful.

3) There is also the issue of race. First, I thought little of his race prior to election as he was a candidate with ideas and concepts of the direction our nation should take. The fact that he was even half-black never occurred to me as a selling point, or a deterrent, although I was confident that in some regards it would work as a deterrent to some which made me a tad anxious...still does given his election. However, after all was said and done, it's easy for us to look back and say - we've made good progress. I make no statements of racism being dead here in the states and honestly, I'd love to see the day it finally does happen...I just don't see it as a possibility...that being said, this is a huge step in the right direction. Enough of our nation doesn't see race (at least that's my hope) that Obama was able to be elected and even more good news - he's already at work. Wait, that's 4.

4) Obama is already at work! Most president elects disappear from the spotlight until January 20th when they take office...not Obama. On Thursday he was being debriefed on various need-to-know things and meeting with his various committees to start discussing plans so he can hit the ground running once he is officially in office. Honestly, after all the campaigning he did, I'd take a day or two off, but I'm lazy and you see how my brain works, so good for him. It does concern me a bit the way our campaign system works (as in...for two years Obama was campaigning instead of working as a congressmen), but that's for another post I think.

Finally, I'd like to end on this note - what becomes of Sarah Palin? This is an interesting case because we have to look at why she was chosen...1) she's about as right-wing as they come, which is good because McCain is pretty middle of the ground. 2) she was not well known and therefore, malleable, although they clearly underestimated her personality and didn't consider that in their decision. 3) She's got looks and is charismatic too, the perfect competition for Obama...had she been better prepared for the campaign trail, they might have pulled it off. That being said - in four years, who knows, she could be a serious force in the political ring very soon. Yes, her first meeting with the nation wasn't an impressive one, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have a future in the national ring. I'll be honest, I don't remember most of the past losing VP candidates and while she's a bit more memorable than most, she's got that going for her...drift into the forgotten and then come back made-over and ready to kick ass. Personally, I hate her if for nothing else than shooting animals from a helicopter...I'm not a hunter by any means, but I doubt most hunters would approve of this as most I've known enjoy the slow days in the woods more than anything actually regarding the hunt vs. beast, it has it's appeal - man + helicopter vs. beast is just lame. Just my opinion.

Until next time my friends...and feel free to drop me a line with some of your opinions, you know I'm open to hearing them. Ta.

Monday, November 10, 2008

If you Steal my Sunshine...

Good news everybody!  Well, we'll get to that in a second, let's start with an apology because've all gone on a back burner as I worked through the stresses of work and school and life in general and while I've been able to form ideas for posting...I haven't had time to pull out fully formed ideas, let alone something I could type up in complete sentences.  That being said...I've now lost my job, so expect to see a lot more of me.  I'm obviously looking for employment, spending more time with the dogs, working on the house (painting, cleaning, organizing), but I'll also be able to post more which is a good thing.  Right now I'm going to walk the dogs, but my next topic will be the election and everything that went along with it.  Ta.