Art and Entertainment

“Air this thin turns anyone into a mystic” – so starts Steven Heighton’s beautiful new novel, Every Lost Country. The book begins on a climbing expedition near the mountainous border between Tibet and Nepal, where altitude dulls the mind and “slurs the border between abstractions—right and wrong—or apparent opposites—dead and alive, past and present, you and him.”

Liam Monahan

I was always into art as a kid and wanted to be a tattoo artist when I grew up. I started spray painting when I was about 12 years old, at first illegally on walls and trains around the town I grew up in Ocean Grove Victoria, Australia until I was approached by the city council. They decided to employ a team of artists to spray giant murals on walls around the city to brighten up the town and put a stop to graffiti. As we were respected artists the walls stayed untouched.

It’s not very often you have a job that you look forward to every day and can also take with you all over the world.

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I remember the first Arcade Fire song I ever heard. I was living Calgary and had just turned on the tube to unwind after a day under fluorescent lights. “Rebellion” from the album Funeral was playing on Much Music. Yes, music videos were still a popular medium at the time. The persistent beat and haunting melody drew me in, and I couldn’t tear myself from the colourful march of people and array of instruments this seven-piece band plays in the video. “Rebellion” played in my head endlessly until I finally succumbed and purchased the CD.

Superheroes play an important role in American society. Where other cultures tell stories about gods and demi-gods (Gilgamesh, Hercules, Thor, etc.), Americans weave tales about Superman, Batman and the Hulk. These characters are (not withstanding the fact that they exist in a black and white, quasi biblical universe) part of a secular pantheon, one which is worshipped by many in the US and Canada whether they believe in God or not.

As we head into the new school year, I thought I’d recommend a funny novel. Funny’s good. Nothing wrong with funny. Or, as Jessica Grant’s protagonist would say, I would not say no to funny.

I guess my journey into cake decorating began from a desire to make my friend’s birthdays special by baking them a cake. I couldn’t remember the last time I had received one for my birthday and the memory of such a gift inspired me to reintroduce this custom amongst my friends. At first I was making fairly straight forward cakes and decorating them with fancy writing or candy, but after a while, I started to get more excited by the challenge of more difficult 3D designs.

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It’s safe to say that all bands want an appreciative audience. Depending on the mood that they are delivering, they are looking for anything from polite applause in between songs to hoots and hollers throughout the show.

Hollywood has a long tradition of making films about outsiders, people who, for one reason or another, don’t meld properly with mainstream society. From Rebel Without a Cause (1955) to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), from Clerks (1994) to Up in the Air (2009), American filmmakers have specialized in making slightly cynical films about alienation. Garden State was made in that grand tradition.

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Photo by Kirsty Morris, FAR