Post-apocalyptic fantasy picks

Graphic by Joel McCarthy

Who would you choose to survive with you when it’s all over?

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. Sept 23, 2014

It’s moments before the end of the world and you have a shelter large enough to fit five people. That means now is the time to draft your top picks. These elite individuals will help you survive on a planet that is no longer safe for humans or celebrities. Zombies, earthquakes, and rival survivors are coming for you, so you better make the right choice. Here are mine:

Brad Pitt: If you don’t take Brad Pitt right away, lord knows your competitors will. Don’t wait! Draft Pitt as early as possible. Not only is he the perfect specimen of a Caucasian male, he also proves to be a game changer in post-apocalyptic scenarios (source: World War Z). There are two rules when the world ends. Number one: you don’t talk about Fight Club. Number two: you draft Brad Pitt first!

Jennifer Lawrence: Why is Jennifer Lawrence my second pick? She’s not only a radiant superstar, but she’s also a super survivor. We saw her survive the Hunger Games. We saw her survive a leaked-photo controversy. We saw her survive her climb up the Dolby Theatre stage to retrieve her Academy award. Moreover, Lawrence is totally a perfect candidate for any post-apocalyptic reproduction initiatives.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: In modern times, Arnold is arguably the most successful human being in the world. He’s a bodybuilder; he’s a politician. He has several memorable catchphrases; he has an illegitimate family. There isn’t anything the Terminator hasn’t done and there isn’t anything he can’t do—except for enunciating words properly. I’ll grab Arnold as early as possible, because if you don’t, you can say: “hasta la vista, baby” to your chances of surviving.

Les Stroud (Survivorman): I know you might go camping occasionally and think of yourself as a Wildman, but let’s be honest, sooner or later you’ll need some help. Picking Les Stroud will not only guarantee a good honest living off of natural resources, you’ll also have terrific home video of your post-apocalyptic experience, which you can then share with your grandchildren and in-laws during family dinners and holidays.

Seth Rogen: Think of the most ideal person to be with during the end of the world, and Seth Rogen will naturally come to mind. Not only will he give you are reason to live with his mirth-filled, bellowing laughter, he’ll also transcend composure with his stoner demeanour. Just ask Jay Baruchel who he wants to listen to Backstreet Boys in heaven with, and you’ll know that everybody—including Baruchel—wants it to be Seth Rogen. So don’t hesitate, he might not seem to be a priority pick, but believe me, he is.

And for the Wild Card, I choose Will Smith. Although he was disappointing in the ominously titled M. Night Shyamalan movie After Earth, he is still a formidable choice because of two things: his resiliency in I Am Legend and his drive in The Pursuit of Happyness. Plus it’s totally a race, equality thing. You don’t want to live in a weird secular world, right?

Well those were my top five picks and one wild card to survive with me in the post-apocalyptic world. Sorry if you’re not included. Remember, it’s every man for himself, and every man needs a Seth Rogen, so good luck! Meet you at Terminus.

Celebrities’ nude photo leak arouses many questions

Opinions_Nude-photos

Why I still lack sympathy for leaked nude photos

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published by The Other Press. Sept. 9, 2014

There was a time when sharing intimate images through digital devices was a big no-no. Sure, it might have been a passionate gesture, but such exchanges have always opened the door for betrayal, whether the subject of the picture wanted to be a pornographic exhibit or not. The scandal earlier this month surrounding Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and other female celebrities was a clear example that the cultural paradigm has changed. The onus is no longer placed on those taking the pictures, rather on those eager to hack networks and go through extreme measures to uncover them—and those who view the pictures afterward.

The plea now is for the whole Internet community to restrain from clicking on any link that showcases pornographic images that were posted without consent. While some might choose to boycott those click-baits and smutty online channels, most have already entered keywords into the search engine in hopes of discovering those leaked images. The same way society has deemed it okay to take exposed pictures of oneself or another with little to no consequence, people are also allowed to Google something with little to no consequence. The line—although drawn—is still faint and often-ignored.

Having nude pictures of yourself floating around on the Internet is humiliating, no doubt. And hacking into personal accounts is a breach of privacy, which is a crime. Not wanting to victim-blame or anything like that, but if you don’t want naked pictures of yourself on the Internet, perhaps it’s best to just refrain from sending those images initially. Don’t post naked pictures of yourself; that was what I was taught at the dawn of the computer age. What has changed? Why are we lowering the bar for ourselves? Why are we placing the blame on technology such as iCloud and people such as hackers? After all, hackers have always been around, just like muggers, thieves, and other criminals.

The Internet is more than a public place to visit now. The Internet is our photo albums, our personal documents, and even our safety deposit boxes. The Internet is how we communicate to our employers, our families, and our loved ones. But we must remember, no matter how zealous we become and how tender the moment is, the Internet is still a public place.

Telling hackers to stay out of our personal account is like telling the mugger with a knife aimed at my gut to not rob me. We cannot convince those people. The fact that they have gone to such extreme lengths to uncover private, and sometimes deleted, pictures of celebrities is proof that they are out for more than a casual tug. No angry tweet or Facebook post will convince them that what they are doing is wrong.

So what are we share-happy people going to do? Live in constant fear that our private images will end up on a Tumblr feed? Well, at the moment is sure seems like it. All it takes is one share, one drag and drop, or one forwarded message and your intimate image is some stranger’s desktop wallpaper.

We know the boundaries of the Internet, yet we still dare to cross them. That is why I have no sympathy for those who take nude pictures of themselves. I also don’t have any sympathy for hackers either, because if you take risks, you’d better handle the consequences yourself.