This week on Positive Cynicism host Chad Smart is joined by hockeytransplant.com blogger Mike DeKalb as they discuss NHL All Star Weekend 2017. From NHL Fan Fair to the All Star game and everything in between, Chad and Mike break down all the All Star events and give their opinions on what worked and what could use some improvements for future All Star weekends. Off the ice experiences consisted of hunting NHL mascots and celebrity encounters with Star Trek: The Next Generation whipping boy Wil Wheaton and former WWE Champion CM Punk. After expounding on all things NHL All Star the episode concludes with the Random Question of the Week.
So I’m going to start this post by commenting on the curious circumstances of Anton Yelchin’s (Star Trek, Charlie Bartlett, Odd Thomas) tragic death yesterday.
The man died pinned between his vehicle and the brick mailbox post/security gate. It appears he went to put the vehicle in Park, only to miss the notch, getting out of the vehicle and going to the mailbox/gate area. The vehicle (a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee) rolled down the steep incline, pinning Yelchin, and ultimately killing him via blunt traumatic asphyxia.
Outside of drowning and being burned alive, I can’t imagine a death that could be much more suffering than that, anything where you’re in pain and gasping for breath.
I don’t put the circumstances of his death on the backburner to minimize them. This was a tragedy. A tragedy for his family and friends who feel his loss the most. A tragedy for his fans, who may not have known him personally, but had respect and admiration for the man’s work.
I am in that latter category. I am a fan of Anton Yelchin.
While he may best be known for his role as Pavel Andreievich Chekov (or just Chekov, for short) in the rebooted Star Trek franchise – the third film, Star Trek Beyond, of which will be released later this year – Yelchin had an impressive resume and worked alongside some of Hollywood’s best and brightest. In fact, dare I say, he was among the underrated elite.
I think I first ran across Yelchin when he played a too-smart-for-his-own-good high school student in 2009’s Charlie Bartlett. This was three years after Iron Man and, quite frankly, I was interested in seeing Robert Downey Jr. outside of the suit. If you haven’t watched it, I really can’t recommend it enough. This “kid” turned in a dynamite performance as a high schooler who has spent enough time in therapy that he starts holding therapy sessions for his classmates – and prescribing them medication. Like I said – he’s too smart for his own good. Plenty of laughs and plenty of heart that helps encompass that teenage zeitgeist of rebelling against authority.
With an IMDb list of credits that dates back to a 2000 appearance on ER, The Practice, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Criminal Minds, as well as big screen projects like Alpha Dog, Terminator Salvation, and The Smurfs, Yelchin was a versatile and capable talent.
I STRONGLY (how’s that for emphasis) recommend you seek out Odd Thomas.
Based on the novel by Dean Koontz, the movie is available on Netflix. It’s absolutely worth a watch. And Anton is spectacular in the movie. A relatively light-hearted guy who can foresee the arrival of evil, violent death.
As it sits, we don’t know all of the exact details about the death of Anton Yelchin. Unless he has surveillance set up at his home, we possibly never will. But I do know that the future of Hollywood is a little less bright with his passing.
Anton Yelchin, dead at the young age of 27. Rest in Peace.
I admit as I write this that I don’t know which direction this post will take. But it’s Tuesday, and I’ll be dipped if I don’t bring you a new Tough Call post.
The problem is that even now, I don’t think this one is a tough call at all.
I did something this past weekend that I can’t remember doing in recent memory. I intentionally skipped a televised game of my favorite college football team. Now, I’ve missed games in the past. And I’ve recorded them and watched them later. And I did that as well this past Saturday.
The difference between this game and all of those previously is that it was completely my choice how I spent my Saturday afternoon. At other times, I had commitments that I had agreed to before I knew of the starting time. This time, I was asked to go golfing – with my dad. And I readily and enthusiastically agreed.
Here’s the thing. My dad isn’t old. I anticipate (as well as hope and pray) that I get another thirty or so years with him. I hope he gets to see his grandchildren for many years, and if fate is kind, his grandchildren’s children.
So why does nine holes of golf seem so important?
Long story short? I didn’t spend as much time with him as I could or should have growing up. Am I playing catch-up, or trying to make up for lost time? Probably.
I’m not going to say I was a perfect kid. I wasn’t. I was a smart ass. Some days, I was a dumb ass. And I was lazy. I would rather sit on the couch and watch movies or play video games than pretty much anything. I could have learned so much, but I was too busy doing nothing at all.
So when my dad asked if I wanted to go golfing, there was only one answer for me. Nothing beat nine holes with him, drinking a few beers, smoking a cigar, talking about the current events in sports, family, etc. It was something I never knew I was missing until I took advantage of the opportunity to be a participant. It’s not that we didn’t have anything in common, it’s that I didn’t really know how to talk to him when I was younger, a teen. He was always the authoritative figure. Having grown, I am now able to see him on more equal terms (not completely, the man is still my hero and everything I aspire to be in a father).
As the day draws closer to my being a father, well, I don’t think I have a better role model than my own dad. He let me make my own choices as far as hobbies and interests. He was my coach as well as my dad. And I got to play catch with him, shoot hoops, etc.
I don’t write any of this to brag. I know not everyone had similar experiences. Rather, I write this as a reminder to myself to be that same kind of father to my children.
I will let my child(ren) choose between Marvel and DC, between Star Wars and Star Trek. Even let them choose their own favorite Doctor. But I hope they learn from the mistakes I made as a youngster.
I hope they choose to spend some time with their old man.
So this week’s #ToughCallTuesday isn’t tough at all.
I’ll always choose family. I’ll always put my kids first. They won’t always get everything they want. But they will never be in need. And “like my father before me,” they’ll get a dad who comes home from work and says “let’s play catch” or “let’s read a book.”