A Deadly Wandering

A Deadly Wandering’s greatest strength is its level of detail. Matt Richtel gives the reader incredibly intricate descriptions of characters, events, and statistics.

Richtel provides a particularly vivid depiction of Reggie Shaw’s bedroom on page 13.

“He lived in the room he’d once shared with his older brother Nick. It was all boy; Chicago Cubs wallpaper covered the bottom third of the wall. There was a poster of his favourite basketball player, Reggie Miller, but the star’s bio was covered up by a picture of Jesus, looking serene, wearing a white shirt with a red robe over it.”

This passage is excellent because Richtel goes beyond merely mentioning some facts about Shaw’s room. By giving such a detailed description of Reggie’s room, Richtel paints a picture of Reggie’s character—that of a sweet young boy. Shaw’s religiousness is expertly highlighted by Richtel, as his account of the boy’s Jesus picture shows that while Reggie loves sports, his faith matters most to him.

Richtel also writes in this colourful style when he presents research. He uses both quotes from researchers and his own words to describe science. His description on page 119 is one such example of Richtel’s devotion to detailed research.

“Use of electrodes also allowed researchers to measure the time that it takes the brain to reallocate resources when attention shifts. Say someone saw a flash of light. About one hundred milliseconds after the introduction of this new visual simulation, the person showed changes at the neurological level.”

Here, Richtel describes the specific details of the science (one hundred milliseconds), the method of research (electrodes), and a clear, tangible action to demonstrate to a layman (flashing light). He does these things while making it part of a cohesive whole that combines important information with a strong narrative.

Richtel’s diverse methods of presenting information is very inviting to readers because it provides facts without making A Deadly Wandering feel as if it is a dense read, like that of a textbook.

The author’s attention to detail comes at a cost to the reader as well. His descriptive writing style greatly hinders the pace of the book, as his focus veers from one subject to another. Richtel shows this excessive writing tendency on page 101.

“‘ANNE TREISMAN IS BRILLIANT,’ says Dr. Gazzaley. ‘She was a pioneer.’

Dr. Gazzaley sits at Maverick’s, an upscale eatery serving American comfort food. The restaurant is a one-minute walk from the Gazzloft, so close that Maverick’s lets Dr. Gazzaley and his girlfriend, Jo, take home the plates when they order out.”

Richtel writes this passage with such great detail that it could make the reader think that the info being provided is important. It adds some character development to Dr. Gazzaley but this description of Maverick’s distracts the reader from Anne Treisman’s story and research.

Richtel doesn’t mention her until the next page. Unfortunately, he does not immediately describe Treisman’s research. He provides some back-story to Anne instead before describing her work.

The good thing about Richtel’s distractions from the main narrative of the story is that these writings show the author’s great level of devotion to character development, history, and scene description.

The meandering journey that A Deadly Wandering takes to tell a story of a fatal car accident is mostly enhanced by this uneven writing style. Richtel’s unconventional book helps the reader discover information about things like tragedy, texting, attention, and history that would have been left unsolved if Richtel decided to stick to conventional, straightforward storytelling.

Richtel’s willingness to explore topics beyond the main focus of the book and relate them to Reggie Shaw’s tragic car crash makes A Deadly Wandering a compelling read. The book’s numerous story angles, and Richtel’s thorough research make it one of the most informative and challenging reads I’ve ever faced.

Red River College Magazine Trade Fair April 13th at Noon

Yep, you heard right. It’s 2017 and a group of youngins have decided to use our vast knowledge of social media and tech to make a goddamn magazine. It’s on business, no less.IMG_5213

Forge Forward focuses on entrepreneurship in Manitoba. Our stories feature the people and trends that are driving economic growth in Manitoba.

So, get your lazy ass down to Red River College’s Roblin Centre at 160 Princess Street in Winnipeg on April 13th at noon if you want to read from a whole slew of students, who’ve written about a whole slew of topics. That’s right, there’ll be slews of everything. Slews of prizes, slews of booths, slews of magazines, hell, maybe even a whole slew of food.

Hello Bill Burr- A Fan Letter to an Angry Man

Hello Bill Burr,

You’re the primary reason why I speak my mind on anything. I don’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks and I’m always willing to let people have it.

Like you, I’m miserable beyond my years, which is why nothing makes me happier than when people cry about Trump, Brady, or anything really. You are excellent at putting whiny little bitches in their rightful places.

Anyway, lets cut to the chase.

With all that big comedy cash you make nowadays, have you finally bought a cruise ship for sinking yet? There are some people I know who should definitely board one of them.

Despite living in one of the world’s most sparsely populated lands, Canada, I feel that the world could do without half our population. There are people, other than Canadians, who are deserving of building with our lumber, pouring our syrup on their pancakes, and drinking our rye. Most Canadians don’t cut it. These undesirables can board the Titanic 2.0. However, they should probably sink in a more efficient manner than death-by-iceberg.

Just a thought.

Oh, and on a more pleasant note, congratulations on the birth of your new daughter. But don’t let it turn you “sawft.”

I’m sorry for the spelling of the last word in that last sentence. It’s meant to emphasize a Boston accent but it might just emphasize that I’m a douchebag. It might actually be a New York thing. Fuck if I know. I’m just a Canadian.

Finally, thank you for sharing your misery through comedy and, most of all, thank you for not bullshitting. You’re clearly a man who thinks independently without being a pretentious twat who thinks he knows everything.

Regards,

Brent

Mr. Show

The hidden gem of all sketch comedy is Mr. Show with Bob and David. This show is better than any sketch comedy on TV today because it never forgets that the main point of comedy is to be funny. SNL tries too hard to make a point these days and preachy comedy can only be good if the message is superseded by the comedy. This usually isn’t the case.

So, here are a couple of sketches from the short lived Mr. Show that demonstrate why its hosts, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk would find success later in their careers.There performances and the writing of the show are sheer genius. The sketches were original, mostly one-offs, and the premises were so damn ridiculous.

First, here is the sketch that got me into the show. It’s such a ruthless portrayal of corporate ethics and folksy small time business owners that I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I saw it. But this message is secondary as it’s so incredibly funny.

That’s the Fairsley difference.

Here’s another great sketch that predicts a future of advertising where swearing is the norm.

 

Hicks…The Other Bill

I’ve been kissing Bill Burr’s ass in the previous posts and I can’t say I’m really sorry for it. The guy is a top notch comedian and deserves all the praise he gets. He’s a bad ass everyman who doesn’t cower to political correctness like a sad guilt ridden piece of shit like some other comedians (i.e Louis C.K).

However, I can’t give Burr all the credit for being an anti-establishment comedic genius.

I’ve got to remind people of Bill Hicks too.

Now, Bill Hicks has dropped off my radar a bit over the years as I followed more humorous comedians such as Norma Macdonald and Mitch Hedberg but I never forget the guy.

And just because I’m saying he’s less humorous, doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s funny. He was a very funny comedian but tended to be serious about his jokes. He seemed to focus on his message more often than being funny, or at least he seemed to do this in his act.

Hicks is what you might you might have called a social commentator if you’re a cliche, pretentious twat if you think that everyone who says something is fighting for some noble cause. I’d say he was a left-wing outsider who loved shitting over everything the people he hated valued. Unlike today’s lefist comedians, he was an independent thinker, a chain-smoking badass who shit on Top 40 pop garbage, Bush the First, religious nuts, and any backwards hillbilly or corporatist he could think of.

Here he is at his asshole-ish best.

 

 

Bill Burr: Walk Your Way Out- Review

Bill Burr’s new special, Walk Your Way Out is a lot like his previous specials, in the sense that he goes over many of the same topics and repeats some of the same jokes. What changes with this special, is Burr now has a political side.

While he has always criticized Hillary Clinton for being a corrupt phone, his message  changes in his new Netflix Special. Without being a sanctimonious blowhard, Burr manages to successfully criticize Trump and his supporters for racist tendencies.

But a problem with this special is that it still treads too much over old territory. There are not enough new jokes or new topics discussed by Burr. He discusses many of the same old problems he has and tells many of the same jokes about women and being a psycho. They’re still funny, but not as funny as when they were fresh.

It’s worth a watch but you should be in no rush to watch it. It’s not Burr at the top of his game by any stretch.

Bill Burr: Walk Your Way Out

Bill Burr is the best thing going in standup comedy today.

He’s got the righteously misanthropic rhetoric of Bill Hicks, without the tendency to go off on tangents that aren’t funny. He’s got the casual, self-deprecating reflectiveness of Louis CK, without the weak-ass, white guilt, Hillary-pandering persona.

Bill Burr is the world’s funniest everyman.

He’s an over-the-top sports fan, but hates macho idiots. He despises idiots, yet mocks snobby elitists. He’s willing to dabble into conspiracy theories without ever taking himself to seriously. He loves his wife, but calls her out for her insufferable nagging, etc. In a way, Burr is an oddly balanced comedian. And now he’s a father.

So, congratulations are in order for my favourite tirade enthusiast on finally growing his balls enough to take the plunge and have a child.

Now that my ass kissing is out of the way, I will patiently wait until his new Netflix special comes out on Netflix.