Here it is, kids, the first 5×5 of 2014!
This series exists to shine a positive light across the sprawling darkness that often threatens to overwhelm us, especially in the virtual domain. Who better then to help dispel the shadows of negativity than one who deals in entertainment for a living?
Sure, one could argue that the world of entertainment has been overrun with haters and maniacal celebrities, but these souls are but a handful of rotten apples compared to the whole orchard.
Okay, that metaphor was a little weak; time to move on.
Our guest this week is a fellow resident of my hometown – and so I couldn’t be happier to have him here for that reason alone – who has made a name for himself as an entertainment reporter in the hamlet of Niagara. People turn to his work when they need their spirits lifted. His word is law. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
He is John Law. As a devoted worshiper of all things pop culture, I envy John’s position at The Niagara Falls Review and all that it allows him access to. Tom Green. Adam West. Lou Ferrigno. William Shatner. John gets to close enough to feel their awesome nerdrific power up close – and he gets paid a few bucks (though not nearly enough, in my opinion), to do it.
How cool is that?
To the hard-working citizens of Niagara, he is the entire cast of ET Canada, TMZ, Jon Stewart and Conan O”Brien rolled into one.
He is down-to-earth.You’ll notice the pic below is a little small. There are two reasons for that:
- Even after years of blogging, I still suck at WordPress page manipulation.
- John Law isn’t ion the professional media biz for the glory. He’s in it for the bread and the birds.
(Incidentally, only the hardcore movie buffs among you will get that reference, but that’s okay. That’s why God invented Google.)
He is a fellow comic book fan. He is generous with his time and above all, forgiving – though the less said about that, the better – and it’s his turn at bat, so here we go…
1) You spend your days covering the wild and wooly world of pop culture, but if you could have any dream job in the world, what would it be?
As a kid, I’d have answered ‘Writing about movies,’ which I did to an extent. As an adult, I realize I should have actually tried MAKING movies. The years of sacrifice and commitment can scare a lot of people off, and it could all be for nothing, but it’s one shot I regret never taking. It’s why I love interviewing Niagara filmmakers like James Cameron and April Mullen, because they went out and did it.
2) The ugly sweater holiday craze: quirky, kooky fun or an epidemic of Biblical proportions?
It’s gone commercial! Now they make ugly sweaters on purpose, whereas before you knew someone put a lot of heart and soul into their sweater-making, oblivious to how gaudy and shame-inducing it was. The best ugly sweaters were those gems from the ’70s and ’80s before it became a craze – those things were a hideous work of art. The best bad sweaters are ones that were meant to be good but went tragically wrong.
3) I know you share my love for comics, superhero movies and all things geek. In your opinion, what’s the best thing about being a nerd?
The thing I’ve never understood is how things ‘nerds’ like are supposedly ‘uncool.’ You mean, like The Dark Knight? Like Aliens? Like Terminator 2? Ya, those movies were so dorky, only geeks could enjoy them.
Before everyone watched The Walking Dead, it was a comic for ‘nerds.’ People make fun of nerds like they’re out of touch, yet they’re lining up to see The Hobbit or Man of Steel on opening weekend with the rest of them. So, I guess the best thing about being a nerd is that we were right all along.
(Best answer ever! Kevin Smith couldn’t have said it better himself.)
4) Please finish this sentence: The greatest moment of my career so far has been…
Yikes … too many to pick an obvious one. Talking to so many artists and singers and filmmakers I grew up loving is one collective highlight. These are people who molded my love of pop culture, and I have them to myself for 20 minutes or so, asking things I’ve always wanted to ask them.
The thing about being an entertainment writer is that you usually have a lifelong love of all things entertainment. To me, talking to people Aretha Franklin, James Cameron, Ringo Starr, Jeff Bridges, Joey Ramone and literally hundreds of others is cool beyond belief.
One really satisfying thing, though, has been watching Niagara Falls’ own Joel Zimmerman – Deadmau5 – become an international superstar. My first interview with him was nearly ten years ago in a bar on Main St. when few people knew who he was. About five years later, he was playing to 20,000 people at the Rogers Centre.
5) Our hometown takes an unnecessary beating at times; what do you love most about Niagara Falls?
I love the fact I can drive five minutes from my home and see what people fly thousands of miles across the world to see. I love driving the Niagara Parkway in the fall.
I love the energy during the summer. I love the Falls themselves, even as everything around them tries distracting you. We have something so many other cities covet – a world-renowned attraction – and we lose sight of that sometimes.
Yes, I realize this pic is surely sending a chill down your spine, but it was too cool – pun intended – to resist. Here’s a shot of the Niagara Parkway, boys and girls.
Well, our time together has come to an end once more, folks. My thanks to the incomparable John Law for being both entertaining – yes, I went there – and generous with his valuable time.
See you in the lobby, kids…