January 26, 2009

In the news: Batman, Blow outs, and TAs

Apparently people are upset that The Dark Knight didn't get nominated for Best Picture. I don't know about that one... I saw Dark Knight and I enjoyed it and thought it was a good movie. But did I think it deserved to be nominated for Best Picture? Did I think it was a special film? I think getting a nomination for Heath Ledger, that was deserved. Dark Knight was a very good action film, easily the best Batman film to date, and thoroughly entertaining. But Best Picture? C'mon.

About the only argument I can give for Dark Knight, is that since getting hitched I haven't really been too active in trying to catch all the nominated films like in previous years (sorry KL). So maybe it's been a weak year for films and therefore, maybe it DID deserve to be nominated. But if I were to put it up with previous years where I did watch most of the nominated films, there is no way Dark Knight gets nominated.

I have however, found time to watch Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I enjoyed both movies. In terms of the Button film, I wonder if I could have had a little more respect for the film if I hadn't already seen Forrest Gump (and considered it to be one of my all-time favorite movies). It's hard not to compare movies like that. I would imagine that being an Academy Award judge could be very difficult after you've seen as many movies as they have, and being that so many films are similar, how do you make an objective opinion? As much as I enjoy watching movies, that doesn't sound like a very easy job to me. Btw, I loved Slumdog Millionaire.

I read this article last week about a girl's highschool basketball game, where one team absolutely destroyed another team 100-0. Even if you ignore the fact that the losing team was comprised of students from a school of students with learning disabilities, you can't not wonder how it came to that score. I mean, if you're up 30-0, wouldn't you let up at that point? Scoring 100 points in no easy task, even most college basketball games end up with teams scoring somewhere between 60-80 points. What made this story worse was that the winning school was a Christian academy. Apparently the coach refused to apologize for allowing the game to get out of hand the way it did, and he was fired as a result. The school said this in a statement: "It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition."

I'm guessing that statement would fall on deaf ears in the CCSA.

Another bit of news I found interesting was the York TA Strike. And by interesting, what I really mean is "stupid". Keep in mind that I have very little understanding of this situation so take whatever I say here with a grain of salt. I read this article about how this guy was making just $14,000 per year and the author made it a point that this is well below the poverty line. As well, the person talks about how he is supported by his parents, and that they own a store and are struggling too, so that makes it difficult for the family.

Don't get me wrong.. I get that this is a tough economy. But aren't we talking about a part-time job here? Can you really be complaining about being under the poverty line when you're not making a full effort to make money? I mean I can totally feel for a person working 60-70 hours per week doing various jobs to feed their family. But aren't we talking about a bunch of grad students who are basically working part time to pay for their tuition? At the end of the day, staying in school is a choice. If you can't afford it, why not quit your job and join the workforce like the rest of us?

And how is it that we're always hearing about strikes at York University and not at other schools? Are they being paid significantly less than TAs from other schools? What is the average salary of a unionized TA? Google says approximately $20-24 per hour. What is that, like 15 hours per week? Below the poverty line my ass. No one is forcing you to get another degree.

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