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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Welcome back, everyone.

We have three new ones this weekend, and two of those are solidly in the horror genre.  It seems this Fall in really gearing itself toward the horror fan.  But, then again, we are entering the month of October.

So, let’s take a look and see what is creeping up in the dark this week…

“The Social Network”

Trailer

Synopsis: “The Social Network” explores the moment at which Facebook, the most revolutionary social phenomena of the new century, was invented — through the warring perspectives of the super-smart young men who each claimed to be there at its inception. The result is a drama rife with both creation and destruction; one that audaciously avoids a singular POV, but instead, by tracking dueling narratives, mirrors the clashing truths and constantly morphing social relationships that define our time. Drawn from multiple sources, the film captures the visceral thrill of the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making — and the way it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I admit, I am a Facebook user.  The site allows me to keep up with friends and family that are all over the country at this point.  And, like any major cultural phenomenon, there is bound to be an intriguing tale of how it came to be the huge influence it is from humble beginnings.  Thus, this could certainly be a very interesting examination of one of the more pervasive elements of current culture.  The film has a better than normal chance to be engaging, as well.  The selection of David Fincher (“Seven” & “The Strange Case of Benjamin Button”) as director gives the film some immediate credibility.  I also like the casting of Jesse Eisenberg (“Zombieland” & “The Emperor’s Club”) as Mark Zuckerberg.  This one definitely has potential to be good, but it could easily slide into shrillness and pettiness if not handled properly.

“Let Me In”

Trailer

Synopsis: Twelve-year old Owen is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents. Achingly lonely, Owen spends his days plotting revenge on his middle school tormentors and his evenings spying on the other inhabitants of his apartment complex. His only friend is his new neighbor Abby, an eerily self-possessed young girl who lives next door with her silent father. A frail, troubled child about Owens’s age, Recognizing a fellow outcast, Owen opens up to her and before long, the two form a unique bond. When Abby’s father disappears, the terrified girl is left to fend for herself. Still, she rebuffs Owen’s efforts to help her, leading the imaginative Owen to suspect she’s hiding an unthinkable secret.

MovieDruid’s Comments: This looks like an interesting horror/thriller.  The cast seems pretty solid with Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”) and Chloe Moretz (“Kick Ass”) in the two young roles supported by Elias Koteas (“Fallen” & “Shooter”) and Richard Jenkins (“The Kingdom” & “North Country”).  Overall, the film looks pretty solid, but I do have concerns in the director, Matt Reeves, whose sole feature directing credit prior to this one was “Cloverfield.”  I would consider this one definitely worth a look, but go in without over-hyped expectations.

Case 39″ – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: Devoted family services specialist Emily Jenkins has seen it all – lies, neglect, abuse – domestic horrors of every type. That is, until she takes on Case 39: the case of 10-year-old Lillith Sullivan, whose eerie, secretive family leaves Emily shaken and disturbed. When Lillith’s parents attempt to harm their only child in a late-night ritual, Emily intervenes. Heartbroken by Lillith’s loneliness and innocence, Emily decides to do something she has never allowed herself to do in the past: get personally involved. Hoping to do the right thing for the withdrawn girl, Emily offers Lillith a caring, happy home until she can find an adoptive family. That’s when the real terror begins.

MovieDruid’s Comments: This one snagged my attention from the first I heard of it.  The premise, while not entirely unique, gives some new twists to some old school horror staples.  That, combined with a visual style that appears to be well imagined and frenetically paced, should make for a solid horror film.  The director, Christian Alvart (“Pandorum”) has a resume that is a little thin to really get a good grip on.  Whether he’s up to the difficult task of making a horror film that genuinely entertains without becoming derivative or resorting to the cheap scares is yet to be seen for sure.  He does have a solid leading lady in Renee Zellweger (“Chicago” & “Bridget Jones’ Diary”) and a young star in Jodelle Ferland (“Eclipse” & “Silent Hill”) who is no stranger to working on a horror project.


Yesterday I was perusing the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress and came across this blog post.  It was an interesting read and got me thinking a bit.  You see, I had heard another story regarding fairy tales recently.  It seems that someone I have worked with at a local community theater got a job with a local public school district as librarian for one of their elementary schools.  When she asked the kids about fairy tales they had no clue as to what she was talking about.

What gives?

I know there have been outcries over the decades against the Brothers Grimm.  Various groups have decried them for everything from violence to paganism.  But, come on.  These are just stories that instill the basic values that I think the bulk of us can agree on.  These are not tales woven in myriad shades of gray that confuse issues and would be easily misinterpreted.  Any character exhibiting the bad behavior these tales are condemned for receives their comeuppance and everyone else gets on with their lives.

Simple, reasonable stuff.

My concern is that the lack of fairy tales will begin to erode some of the basic cultural understandings that those of us raised on “Hansel & Gretel” and Jack in all his forms take for granted.  Fairy tales are a communal thing.  They have become such a part of our culture and society that we don’t even have to think about them anymore.  What happens to the cultural IQ of a generation raised without exposure to these basic, universal stories?

My fear is that the decline of fairy tales is really just a symptom of a larger problem.  Are we seeing the beginning of the decline of literature as an important facet of society?  Have we stopped reading stories to our kids at bedtime?  Are our kids not discovering the joys of escaping to another world through the wonder of the printed word?

I have met people over the course of my life who feel that the printed word, as a whole, has begun to become irrelevant.  They claim that technology and the rise of television and cinema have made the printed word obsolete.  Letting alone the fact that great literature, past and present, gives the fodder for most of that television and cinema, consider this.

There are many books out there that will never be successfully transferred to any other media.  The beauty of the written word is its ability to express emotions and describe anything in ways that cannot be reproduced visually.  The written word challenges us, hones our ever-important imagination, and teaches us the single most important skill we can ever learn.

It teaches us to think.

Politics, it seems, is becoming less and less of a taboo here at the Jungle Gym.  I generally have tried to avoid them, but sometimes there is something out there that just has to be addressed.  Some of you might wonder why I even care about this story, after all it is regarding a Congressional district in Central Florida not Central Pennsylvania.  But, I believe that with something this egregious all of us should care.

I speak of the race between Democratic incumbent Alan Grayson and his Republican opponent Daniel Webster for the Congressional seat in Florida’s 8th District.  I don’t know much about either man.  One side will tell you that Grayson is the devil incarnate, a man of little to no character willing to do anything and everything to win and increase his power.  The other side will tell you Webster is an extreme fundamentalist who won’t stop until we all live under his fundamentalist philosophy.

Where either stands on any given issue (something which seems to be less and less important these days) I have no idea.  But, despite that I know, without a doubt that Grayson would never get my vote for crossing guard, let alone a Congressional seat.  And before you go off half cocked, this has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with character.

Grayson’s campaign recently released this attack ad:

Shocking right?  How could anyone in modern America truly preach the submissive card for women?  This man has got to be the most radical Christian fundamentalist ever to walk the face of the Earth.  We can’t have a wacko like that in Congress.

Well, there’s a small problem here.  All of these comments are taken out of context.  Who cares, you say?  Politicians take things out of context all the time?  He still said the things?  Well, there’s out of context and there’s out of context.  Here is the original footage that was edited for the ad.

Pretty striking, eh?  It’s amazing what editing out just a few words can do to the meaning of a sentence.  And how did Mr. Grayson react when called taking his opponent out of context?  According to MyFoxOrlando.com (full article here) it was thus:

“That’s completely not true,” Grayson said. “He said what he said and he’s been trying to run from his record now, now that it’s been exposed.”

“It’s not that I’m taking his words out of context,” he added. “It’s that he’s so embarrassed by his positions he won’t defend them.”

Later Grayson added.
“It’s a 30 minute speech,” he said. “And a 30 second ad of course we had to compress it in order to be able to convey it.”

As for his comparison of Webster to the Taliban, Grayson refused to back down.

“The Taliban are radical fundamentalists who want to impose their views on everyone else through the law,” he said. ” Daniel Webster and the sect he belongs to the IBLP are radical fundamentalists who want to impose their views on the rest of us through the law.”

“What’s the difference?”

Pardon me if I offend, but, what a scumbag.  If you have to resort to trickery and deceit to win an election what is that victory truly worth?  I have a message for you, Florida.  If you re-elect a man of such low moral fiber you deserve what you get.  Webster may not be the answer to the proper representation of your district.  I couldn’t say.  But, I can tell you I wouldn’t want to be represented by someone like Grayson.

There are two questions you can ask your friends to weed out who are your real friends and who are just part of your orbit and/or crowd.

#1) Can I get a ride to and/or from the airport?

and

#2) Can you help me move?

These are age-old conundrums that have remained a solid litmus test for years.  The reason?

Well, for one, no one likes going to the airport unless it is to depart on some well-deserved vacation of their own.  The idea of fighting the deadly breed of traffic that only occurs in airport terminals is enough to make most of consider making that twelve-hour drive instead when we travel ourselves.  But, to brave the airport, a region of time/space where there are no rules except the cruel anarchy of civilization gone horribly wrong, and not have drinks with little umbrellas waiting at the other end is a supreme sacrifice of both time and sanity.

As for moving, here we enter a wholly different realm.  When someone asks you to help them move there is always one of a few reactions.  First, there is the immediate creation of excuses as to why you are not available to do so.  This reaction shows the immediate fear of the moving experience usually engendered in someone who has undergone it with unusual frequency for whatever reasons.  The second is the pause.  The pause occurs as one looks around themselves and imagines the Herculean effort it would take to take all the possessions currently surrounding them, pack them, load them, unload them elsewhere, and then unpack.  This contemplation usually results in either a very unenthusiastic “yes” or a hesitant inquiry as to when laced with hope they are busy.  The third, and at times most unusual, answer is the immediate, and unqualified, offer to assist.

Interestingly, my wife and I were put to both these tests in a single weekend.  A friend of ours was returning to the airport after a business trip and the following day a friend was moving.  Both of these people rise well above being simply in my orbit.  They are treasured friends who I feel truly privileged to have in my life.  They are also people who I know would be there for me in a heart beat. There was no hesitation in either answer.  I simply took care of my friends as I knew they would take care of me. And looking back, it is good to know that in all the turmoil, chaos, and confusion in my life these days that I have places where I truly belong.  And that feeling is one I cannot repay no matter what is asked of me.

So to all who are friends, all who are family, all who have made me who I am now and always, thanks again for a place to feel safe to be me.

I am a sports fan.  And, I have been known to get a little wound up about my teams from time to time.  But, I must say there are certain teams out there that just have fan bases whose obnoxious behavior is so legendary it just makes one shake their head.

I’m looking at you Dallas Cowboys.

Of course, some of the most ridiculous fan behavior comes during college football season.  Something about the combination of alumni loyalty, student zeal, and copious amounts of alcohol makes for some very interesting behavior on Saturday afternoons.   Now, having lived for quite a while in central Pennsylvania I have developed a certain affinity for Penn State by the simple osmosis of living here.  I have no direct connection to the school, but it’s hard not to join in on their enthusiasm when the whole region turns blue and white on Saturdays.

As a tangential fan of he Nittany Lions I have, by extension, grown a certain level of ire for Ohio State.  And, I have found that, in many cases, their fans often fall into the category mentioned above.  Those OSU guys are awfully uppity for a team whose mascot is essentially a nut.

Thus I found myself laughing when I read this story about an attack bu Ohio U’s mascot on Ohio State’s.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not advocating violence in the world of sports mascots.  But, anyone who finds OSU annoying has got to think this is a little funny.

And you have to admire the guy’s dedication.  The tries out for mascot, this plan already in mind.  Then ends up dropping out of Ohio to go to a different school, and yet continues to do duties as Ohio’s mascot for no other reason than to get a shot at Brutus Buckeye.  This means, of course, that the OSU mascot got jumped by an Ohio mascot that was not even an Ohio student, he was just a guy with a grudge in a bobcat outfit.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

(By the way, Congrats to the Jungle Gym on reaching post 250!!)

Hello, all.

This week we see some interesting options hit the theaters.  The studios seem to be giving s a title or two that I would have expected to be saved for the Holidays, but the old rules seem to have been tossed out a year or two ago.

Old faces and new tech dominate this week, so, let’s take a look…

You Again

Trailer

Synopsis: Successful PR pro Marni heads home for her older brother’s wedding and discovers that he’s marrying her high school arch nemesis, who’s conveniently forgotten their problematic past. Then the bride’s jet-setting aunt bursts in and Marni’s not-so-jet-setting mom comes face to face with her own high school rival. The claws come out and old wounds are opened in this crazy comedy that proves that not all rivalries are forever.

MovieDruid’s Comments: On the surface this looks like a film that will take one trick and drive it into the ground.  It’s hard to believe that angsty rivalry memories can drive an entire film, even a comedy, without much beyond to support it.  Normally, that would be the end of that, case closed.  But this one has an ace in the hole in the form of a talented cast.  Could this be carried off by Sigourney Weaver (“Ghostbusters” & “Avatar”), Jamie Lee Curtis (“A Fish Called Wanda” & “Trading Places”), Kristen Bell (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” & “Get Him to the Greek”), and Odette Yustman (“Cloverfield” & “The Unborn”)?  Perhaps.  Of course adding a dash of the inimitable Betty White (“Lake Placid” & “The Proposal”) and Kristin Chenoweth (who created the role of Glinda in the musical “Wicked”) doesn;t hurt either.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Trailer

Synopsis: Soren, a young owl, is enthralled by his father’s epic stories of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. When Soren and his older brother Kludd fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones, Soren makes a daring escape with the help of other brave young owls. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Tree, home of the legendary Guardians — Soren’s only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms.

MovieDruid’s Comments: Hollywood has always found tales worthy of telling in the pages of youth fiction, but of late they really seem to be zeroing in and taking a closer look.  Harry Potter was just the beginning of a trend that has brought Cirque du Freak, Percy Jackson, and now Legend of the Guardians to the big screen.  I think it’s about time.  The stories in these young adult series are well-crafted and complex, set in compelling worlds with enough well designed lore to give them some real heft.  Legend of the Guardians looks to be another solid entry in the race for the most successful post-Potter franchise.  Perhaps the most interesting thing here is the selection of Zack Snyder (“Watchmen” & “300”) as the director.  He has a demonstrated gift for both epic tales and stylized looks.  We’ll have to see how that translates into the animated world.

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: Gordon Gekko, fresh from prison, re-emerges into a much harsher financial world than the one he left. He now has to play catch-up and redefine himself in a different era. He has to become relevant again. But a young, idealistic investment banker learns the hard way that Gekko is still a major manipulator and if there’s one place where you can redefine yourself, one place where your relevance is a deal away, it’s Wall Street.

MovieDruid’s Comments: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”  One of the most iconic lines (ranked 57 by AFI) in all of movie history.  It defined one of the most iconic characters, Gordon Gekko.  If you have not seen the original “Wall Street” you have missed one of the best films made in its era.  So, when Oliver Stone decides to direct a sequel 23 years after his original you have to wonder why.  But, really, the timing is perfect.  We have witnessed where the Gekko-like mentality of greed led us and are suffering through the aftermath.  What better environment to release Gekko into and see what he can do?  But beyond Michael Douglas reprising his role we also have Shia LeBeof (“Disturbia” & “Eagle Eye”), Josh Brolin (“American Gangster” & “No Country for Old Men”), Carey Mulligan (“Brothers” & “Public Enemies”), and, a personal favorite, Frank Langella (“Dave” & “Frost/Nixon”).  Sometimes a sequel is all about timing.  Did “Wall Street” need a sequel?  No.  But, here we seem to have a worthy one released into the right environment, and there’s something to be said for that.

Well, I’m back.  My sincerest apologies for my absence.  Monday saw me having technical issues with my connectivity that had me arguing with my provider and yesterday saw me spending the day preparing for an interview this morning which lasted ten minutes before I was told I was overqualified and they were sorry for wasting my time.

Joy upon joy, for sure.

However, rather than dwelling upon these things I have other issues I wish to discuss.  Namely, human shallowness and narcissism,

The other day my wife sent me this article.  As an animal lover, and a staunch supporter of the rights of our less talkative brethren on this planet, one would think I would be overjoyed by this development.  And, yes, it does make me happy that steps are being taken in the right direction on these issues.  However, I find it difficult to applaud L’Oreal for these steps.  They have consistently been among the worst offenders in animal testing and are making this move not because of any real change in attitude, but because of regulations in the EU.

Animal testing in general in a terrible thing.  I can understand a certain level of the activity in some medical research, but there has to be limits and rules.  And there are many rules in place.  Not enough, by my estimation, but they are there.  However, the testing that is done for cosmetics purposes, frankly, makes me ill.

And it is all in the name of narcissism when you get down to it.

We, as a species, make so many snap judgments about one another based on nothing but appearances.  The problem is that once that first impression is imprinted it is often hard to overcome, no matter how wrong it truly is.  And so, we carefully set our masks in place each day to make sure that the right impression is communicated.

All of that make-up, all of those layers of trendy or professional clothing, everything about what we present to the world is a carefully choreographed charade.

I left my house this morning wearing a black pinstripe suit.  That’s not me, that’s who I wanted to be seen as.  Everyone plays the game sometimes, no matter how much we profess otherwise.  We all put on airs and don our masks, whether from time to time or every day.  It is simply part of the human experience.  I understand that.  I know it is not going to change.  But, why should animals suffer and die so that we can have that perfect shade of eyeshadow?

Why is more misery be brought into this world simply to allow us to be pretty?  Is there not enough pain and death already?

Yesterday I was listening to a local talk show as I drove to pick my lovely wife up from work.  The discussion that was taking place was heated, with the guest continually attempting to paint the host’s views in a negative manner.  The problem was that anyone that was actually listening to the show knew that what the host was saying and what they were being accused of saying were different as night and day.

That’s when I realized I was, once again, listening to zealot radio.

This, unfortunately, is becoming the norm in today’s media.  Objectivity flew the coop years ago in most “news” outlets, but it is being replaced by a shrillness and unbending dedication that is a little scary.  Don’t get me wrong, I respect someone who has a passion about an issue, even when I disagree with them.  Anyone who has a deep-seated belief on any topic and is willing to stand up and fight for that belief is worthy of praise.  But there is a fine line about the passionate advocate and the zealot.

An advocate is able to have a reasonable debate.  They are willing to listen to the point of view of the opposing camp and respond to it with intelligent, insightful rebuttal.  The zealot listens, but doesn’t hear.  They are listen for certain words they key in on to formulate their next withering attack.  They are the epitome of unreasonable.

The truth of the matter is that most issues are not as black and white as some people would like us to believe.  I can agree with you on points one through nine of your ten-point platform while disagreeing with point ten.  And, if I can provide a clear, concise, logical reason for that disagreement I would expect that we could discuss the issue reasonably and logically.  If I present you with a viewpoint counter to your own in a calm and logical manner and you cannot reciprocate, who is the unreasonable one in our discussion?

Are there black and white issues out there?  Absolutely.  And I believe, as Toby Keith put it, “there’s no right way to do the wrong thing.”  But, to approach every issue as a I’m right/you’re wrong scenario is to live in a world without any dimension or depth.  The gray areas in some issues are what give the world that dimension and depth.

And, there may be many right ways to do the right thing.  Just because we disagree doesn’t devalue my opinion, or yours.

Welcome back, everyone.

Now  that we are a couple of weeks post-Labor Day the doldrum period should be kicking in pretty intensely.  But, despite a few mediocre weeks, we bounce back a bit this week with a few solid releases.  Hopefully they live up to their hype.

Let’s take a look…

“Alpha and Omega”

Trailer

Synopsis: What makes for the ultimate road trip? Hitchhiking, truck stops, angry bears, prickly porcupines and a golfing goose with a duck caddy. Just ask Kate and Humphrey, two wolves who are trying to get home after being taken by park rangers and shipped halfway across the country. Humphrey is an Omega wolf, whose days are about quick wit, snappy one-liners and hanging with his motley crew of fun-loving wolves and video-gaming squirrels. Kate is an Alpha: duty, discipline and sleek Lara Croft eye-popping moves fuel her fire. Humphrey’s motto — make ‘em laugh. Kate’s motto — I’m the boss. Back home rival wolf packs are on the march and conflict is brewing. Only Kate and Humphrey can restore the peace. But first, they have to survive each other.

MovieDruid’s Comments: It’s been a while since a family friendly film was released so in many ways this is a welcome film.  The premise is nothing terribly new, but the filmmakers seem to have put enough of a different twist into it that it won’t feel like the same old, same old.  They even have a pretty solid voice cast with Justin Long (“Jeepers Creepers” & “Waiting”), Hayden Panettiere (“Dinosaur” & “Remember the Titans”), Christina Ricci (“Black Snake Moan” & “The Addams Family”), and Dennis Hopper (“Speed” & “Blue Velvet”).  My biggest concern is the 3D release.  I just hope they didn’t make the movie around the 3D, but instead used it to enhance a good movie.  This one does seem to have some promise.

“Easy A”

Trailer

Synopsis: After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne’s in “The Scarlet Letter,” which she is currently studying in school – until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

MovieDruid’s Comments: As teen comedies go, I have to say this one has a very different approach.  I have to say that they have definitely managed to come up with a story that seems pretty original.  The idea of taking The Scarlet Letter and turning it on its head with a few modern era twists is a fascinating one.  However, this is still a teen comedy and, thus, has a certain quality handicap from the outset.  Whether or not this one turns out t be a winner or loser lies solely in the performances of the young cast.

“The Town”

Trailer

Synopsis: Doug MacRay is an unrepentant criminal, the de facto leader of a group of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves in stealing what they want and getting out clean. With no real attachments, Doug never has to fear losing anyone close to him. But, that all changed on the gang’s latest job, when they briefly took a hostage — bank manager, Claire Keesey. They let her go unharmed, but sometime later she meets an unassuming and rather charming man named Doug… not realizing that he is the same man who only days earlier had terrorized her. The instant attraction between them gradually turns into a passionate romance that threatens to take them both down a dangerous, and potentially deadly, path.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I have often been known to be highly critical of Ben Affleck.  He has, in many cases (see “Daredevil” & “Gigli”), proven to be a performer of very little real talent.  But he can surprise you.  I know he surprised me with the job he did as director of “Gone Baby Gone.”  And, thus, having him behind the camera on this one feels like an asset.  He also has proven to be pretty solid carrying off the role of a Boston bad boy (see “Good Will Hunting” which he also co-wrote).  Again, now he feels like an asset.  Add to that a supporting cast that includes Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker” & “North Country”), Rebecca Hall (“Frost/Nixon” & “The Prestige”), and Pete Postlethwaite (“Dragonheart” & “The Usual Suspects”) and you have the formula for a solid drama in the vein of films like “The Departed” and “Mystic River.”

“Devil” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: A group of people are trapped in an elevator, and one of them is the devil.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan.  I know his work is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have enjoyed his work from the start.  This one, despite the advertising, is not entirely his work.  The story was created by him, but the screenplay and directorial duties were handled by others.  You know what?  After seeing the trailers I find I don’t care.  This looks like one of the creepiest movies to come out in a long time.  The simple premise is rife with possibilities for a good horror flick, and everything points to this being exactly that.  That, combined with the concept of the confined space (I am a little claustrophobic to begin with and this one and the upcoming “Buried” seem to play on that concept hard), makes this one look like a film that will leave us guessing because of its originality.  A fine thing for a horror movie.

One of my biggest weaknesses in this world is Coca-Cola.  I am a self-admitted Coke junkie.  I have Coca-Cola bear ornaments for my Christmas tree.  Catching a flash of red with the Coca-Cola script out of the corner of my eye is guaranteed to draw my attention.

Hello, my name is Matthew and I’m an addict.  I took a swig 5 minutes ago and am carrying a bottle of Coke in my hand right now.  Kinda sad, I know.

Such is life.

What I, like other aficionados of Coke I know, will tell you is that there is a definite difference.  Most fountain Coke is crap because the restaurants refuse to keep the mix correct.  Coke out of plastic bottles is a mixed bag.  It’s always good, but there are times when you hit a particularly good batch and have to truly savor it.  But, the absolute best Coca-Cola is out of the classic glass bottle.

Unfortunately, these, while not extinct, have become increasingly difficult to find and expensive over the years.  Gone are the days of my youth when you would pick up a six-pack of bottles at the grocery store and return them for a deposit at the beginning of the next week’s shopping trip.  I miss those days.

But, my wife and I made a discovery a few weeks ago.  We were making the rounds at the local Costco, trolling for samples and such, when we spotted the stacks of plastic sealed trays of Coca-Cola.  In bottles.  GLASS bottles.  I admit, I was mesmerized and probably approached the display in a zombie-like state of transcendence.  But, upon examination I noticed much of the labeling on said package was in…Spanish?

I was understandably confused for a moment.  But, then the treasure I had found truly sunk in.  This, my friends, was Mexican Coca-Cola.  Now, this may sound like a downgrade to some of you, but bear with me.  Not only was this liquid crack bottled in the classic glass bottles of my youth, but check the ingredients.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.  What was that second ingredient?  SUGAR! Well, then where is the high fructose corn syrup?  Really?  Not there?

::Happy Dance::

Real sugar.  Glass Bottles.  Viva la Damn Mexico!

So, we drove away from Costco poorer in funds, but richer in bubbly goodness.  As we did my wife made an interesting point.  We had just paid what was really a premium price for a product made by an American company that was either exported from here and then re-imported or, more likely, made overseas and imported into the States.  When I looked at it like that I had a moment of buyer’s remorse.  A moment that quickly disappeared the second I had my first sip of perfectly chilled, glass-bottled, sugar sweetened Coca-Cola.

Enjoy Coca-Cola, indeed!

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