Subtle Influences of Asian Culture

Posted by – August 17, 2009

Hi Folks,

I’ve recently become enamored with the ancient Asian game Go, and it got me thinking to how Chinese culture may influence western culture, now that they dominate us economically. How could we background these influences by showing instead of saying. For example, perhaps Anton and Toth could be playing Go in their make-shift home at night, or when they go to trade in the webbing they caught for water, Harry might initially be sitting down with a friend playing Go before he gets up and does the water trade with them. Maybe there’s a Go club or Go games at the bar the business folks play in Serena’s scenes. That said, I’d like to offer my services as a Go consultant to the movie. (I just watched A Beautiful Mind, because I knew it had Go scenes, and I found it disenchanting to see how they got some elements about it wrong). Go’s influence on western culture today, limited as it is, is mainly from Japan and Korea, but it was invented in China and is still immensely popular there (as evidenced by the included image). In Korea, they have TV channels dedicated to Go (the way here we have Golf TV channels).

About ten years ago I spent some time in India volunteering, and one piece of clothing I brought back that has stayed with me since is a “lungi”. It’s a sarong that either middle and upper class men wore in place of pajamas, or as very casual house clothes, or that lower class men could wear at any time. Indian locals would get a kick of seeing me, a wealthy westerner, ignorantly wearing a lungi around the town. I still wear one today (and in fact, only recently bought a pair of regular pajama pants at the urging of my son, who I guess wanted me to be more “normal”, or at least more like himself). They’re very comfortable (and cheap and simple to make). Perhaps Oscar could wear one when hanging casually around his home (i.e. drinking beer in the evening). I thought I had a good image of me wearing a lungi, but I can’t find it. Included is an Indian man wearing a lungi down, and a westerner wearing a lungi up (a common way to wear it, especially in hot weather).


Tofino International Film Festival – Call for submissions

Posted by – August 10, 2009

Perhaps of interest to some..

Call for submissions: 12th Annual Tofino International Film Festival

The Tofino International Film Festival is a non-profit festival dedicated to bringing the best in all types of film to the West Coast of Canada. We are currently accepting screeners for review by our jury in anticipation of our October 22-26 screening dates.

While we are small, we are building a reputation as a destination festival for directors and actors alike as we try to broaden our program by bringing out those related to the films. Although we can’t offer the glamour of Sundance, we can promise discovering one of the most beautiful spots in the world and its celebrated culture.

For representatives of the films chosen we offer transportation to Tofino, accommodation at one of the local resorts and a small stipend to help defray the cost of food. As previously mentioned we also do our utmost to make sure you’ll see the best that the coast has to offer. We guarantee an experience you’ll never forget.

For more information and a link to last year’s lineup please visit our website at

To submit a film for consideration please send a screener to:

Kimberly Johnston
PO Box 815
Tofino BC
V0R 2Z0

Screeners will only be viewed by the TFF jury.

For any further inquiries please contact us at

Locations Locations Locations

Posted by – July 12, 2009

I was talking to a Dad at my son’s school. He’s a professional Toronto scout for movies, so I hit him up for location ideas. He seemed to be fond of construction sites, but I think they denote progress, what with constuction going on, which this world isn’t about. He suggested new condo sales offices for futuristic looking buildings. He also told me about, a database of locations around the city. Perhaps out of our budget though. It’s at

A friend and I made a day of it and traveled around the city taking photos of suggested sites, and found sites of our own we thought were neat.

Here’s some photos… More

Whine about Time

Posted by – January 3, 2009

I notice everything around here shows up in GMT.

Brave New Politics

Posted by – January 3, 2009

Ordinary Politicians

This idea of political reform occasionally comes to me, and last night I was thinking it might make for good sci-fi. It’s at a time in the future where technology allows for voting to happen on the fly. There’s no more routine elections, but rather everyone has the opportunity to vote on every policy in the government (through the Internet). But like today, people are busy, working, raising kids, going out, and also like today, it’s just too much effort to stay engaged in politics. So a person can give another (a friend, or someone’s values they share) the ability to vote for them (i.e. by proxy). Some people actively collect votes, and then they in turn can give the votes they’ve collected to more prominent people, and in turn, they can pass their votes on…etc

So what happens is, you have the guy in your office always trying to convince you to swing your vote over to them. He collects 80 votes from co-workers, friends, family, and puts them behind a well known local activist, who has accumulated a few thousand votes. The local activist might use their big vote count to vote directly on policy or they may put them behind an even bigger politician.

Anyone can switch their vote at anytime — they can take it back, or put it behind another. Also policies could end up switching back and forth… for example, let’s say 49% of the votes are going towards abolishing meat as a food, and then after some grassroots campaigning, it passes the 50% mark, all of a sudden meat production stops and everyone is forced to eat vegetarian. An underground meat market develops. But then it swings back, and more people support meat as food.

Perhaps there’s no central head, political parties, or hierarchy, and the only power held is how many votes a person has behind them.

It’s a world where anyone can be a politician, there’s way more politicians, a lot of people are trying to gather votes, and it’s considered much more democratic.

Then we could take all the follies of this system and play them up. i.e. it’s kind of like government by polls, except real power transfers as soon as a vote is changed; majority has power over the minority; it’s unpredictable – many policies may be in constant flux.

The system was brought on by a collapse in the current political system, but now, because of it, the world is much worse. Everyone’s stuck in it, and because of this new system, it’s impossible to reform it again. Finally, there’s an underground movement trying to over through it.