Bark & Grill: History

I’ll admit it: I think there’s validity to the Mandela Effect. The whole idea is outlandish until we start seeing some examples. Then it begins to feel as though either it’s real or we’ve gone nuts.

How does déjà vu fit into the Mandela Effect? Well, if there is a way to manipulate history, there may also be a way to alter history, what if we’re living in the history that the future is manipulating?

Think about it: we could be sitting at a pub, like the squirrels in the comic, and something occurs. Then, that same moment is replayed so that something changes ever so slightly, possibly nearby. Those sensitive to such a rift may notice it, albeit in a strange and inexplicable way.

The next time I have déjà vu, I’m going to say to the void, “Ah, I see what you did there!”

Bark & Grill: Eye

When This is Spinal Tap came out back in 1984, it was either the first mocumentary or at least the first mocumentary to be widely recognized. Since then, we’ve seen a multitude of such creations; most notably, The Office.

This begs the question: Has the mockumentary format been overdone? Is it a genre unto itself or a novelty?

Part of the reason I ask is that, as a novelty, it is kitschy and fun. As a genre, it can be potentially confusing. How far can a filmmaker push the limits of mocumentary before it becomes misconstrued as a legitimate documentary?

Documentaries themselves have ventured past merely documenting and into the the realm of propaganda. Impressionable minds who believe documentary filmmakers are unbiased and objective are susceptible to drinking whatever Kool-Aid that is set in front of them.

I guess the question is: What happens when the mockumentary filmmaker turns it up to eleven?

Bark & Grill: Tunnel

My dad gave me an idea about the “light at the end of the tunnel.” It wasn’t quite this gag, though, but I’ll give him credit.

My dad works as a supervisor to big development projects. While making his rounds one day, he struck up a conversation with one of the contractors. It went along these lines:

My dad: “How’s it going?”

Contractor: “Great! We’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

My dad: “Well, let’s hope that light isn’t the headlight on an oncoming train.”

My dad has got a great sense of humor.

Bark & Grill: Fake News

What is fake news other than yellow journalism?

Yellow journalism seems to have seen a giant uptick with the advent of the Internet – click bait and what not. But there is something insidious behind it all. Click bait, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily bad as it’s nothing more than clever copywriting. What I’m talking about is a shift in the consumer rather than the producer.

Along with yellow journalism, we, as a culture, have also lost sight of caveat emptor. Caveat emptor is the sworn enemy of yellow journalism (along with con men and their ilk). It appears to me that far too many of us have been guilty of trading caveat emptor for hook-line-and-sinker, at least on some occasion.

Yellow journalism/fake news will always be present as long as we have media and news outlets. It is unwise to hope that it can be eliminated. Yet we, as consumers, can choose to be responsible for digging deeper and not allowing emotion or self-righteous inclinations to get in the way.

Sure, that sounds a bit preachy, but we would love for those on the other side of the divide – be it religious, political, or otherwise – to be equally cautious, assuming we are cautious ourselves.

Bark & Grill: Pug & Puck

The closest I’ve ever been to a hockey game was playing the bubble-top game at the pizzeria or watching The Mighty Ducks. The latter has a pretty wide gap in the critics-to-audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (I loved it!).

I grew up in a small desert town in New Mexico. Needless to say, there isn’t a lot of ice which makes it difficult to just go out on any given winter day and play ice hockey. I heard that Charles Schultz loved paying ice hockey with friends as a kid and when he moved to California, he built an ice hockey rink so that the kids there could have the same experience. What a great dude!