So as you likely know by now, it’s been a bad week here in my homeland.

I’m not the sort of person who is prone to fear or panic, so unless something like this happens in a circle I run in, I’m not going to play victim. This is the world we live in, and the die we have cast. You can either take a deep breath and move forward, or live your live huddled in a dark room twitch at every little sound outside of the front door.

I will say this though…

Moments like this – or the Boston Marathon bombing last year – really make me wary of social media.

For starters, in moments like this, information is key…and disinformation is dangerous. So watching rumours spread like wildfire yesterday about what was and wasn’t happening was off-putting at best, and downright sickening at worst. So many people feel some sort of need to repeat information – to retweet it, to upvote it, to repost it on Facebook. Does it matter if it’s accurate? What if you were one of the people in Rideau Hall yesterday…or one of your family members was there? How much fear would it put into you if you glanced at your electronic gizmo and saw stories about a shooter being on the grounds?

I also wonder why people feel the need to post the developing news story on their feeds with a comment of “OMG!” or “Tragic :( ” It’s as if we aren’t a part of it if we don’t put our own half-assed stamp on it. Does that make it more genuine? Does that make it feel like it happened to us? Why don’t people write things like “Prayers going out to Ottawa”? It’s just as simple, and perhaps more on-point. Nope – we need to spread the news – or the rumours – just in case everybody else on social media that day doesn’t already know.

It needs to stop. It’s not about us. Even if we think we’re helping, or expressing our grief, commenting on a relevant topic, it gets lost in a cacophony of noise of everybody else trying to help and expressing grief.

My heart does go out to Ottawa. It goes out to the friends and family of Cpl. Natahn Cirillo, who didn’t deserve to die. It goes out to Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a hero who while he should be proud, could likely have trouble ahead in dealing with the stress of what he’s done. It goes out to the parents of the man who did this – a man I don’t feel like honouring by naming. They have lost a son who thought he was doing something righteous, and as sickeningly wrong as he is, no parents should have to endure what they are likely about to endure.

Finally it goes out to anybody living in Ottawa, or whose friends or family were affected. It’s not the sort of place that has had to worry about threats to their safety through the years, so the shock must have been immense…but I gotta believe they have the strength to show the world what they – and this country – are made of.

If my writing this days later instead of as-it-happens makes me less relevant, so be it.


For your listening, viewing, and reading fulfilment, I give you…


If there’s one thing that saddens me about the state of moviegoing in the Caribbean, it’s that it prevents us from getting more episodes of TUMP where the boys discuss new releases. This week though, they got their ducks in a row to talk GONE GIRL. The results are suitably awesome.

The links are early this week thanks to a review of BIRDMAN coming tomorrow. So has a pretty awesome video on some of the things she loved about the movie – definitely worth a watch.

Speaking of BIRDMAN, I realized today that it’s been age since I watched 21 GRAMS (despite owning it). Natalie counts it as one of her favorite films, so if I needed any more reason to revisit it, her post on it has just gone and given it to me.

I tend not to link to the grown-ups table all that often in these round-ups…mostly because I don’t really think they need what piddling traffic I send their way…but this afternoon I read a really great piece by Alison Willmore about the portrayal of critics in movies. Go give it a look and ask yourself where you stand on the topic.

Stevee Taylor celebrated something of a dubious fifth blog-a-versary this week. Go give a look at her reflections on the last five years, and wish her well.

If anybody is doing some early Christmas shopping and wondering what to get me, I’d love a copy of Mondo’s LOOPER soundtrack. The album was just one of the things Marc Ciafardini discussed with composer Nathan Johnson during an interview this week at GST.

Over at Twitch, Matthew Brown wonders just what the fallout will be from all of this mega-franchising that Hollywood is trying to do. As usual, the man’s got sot some sharp words on the topic.


As for the Tweet of The Week, Matt Zoller Seitz hits on a growing trend that has really been sticking in my craw as time has gone on…