The Big City

A small town boy

I am undeniably a “small town boy.” I grew up in a rural county just outside of Windsor, Ontario. My home town had a population density of around 60 people per square kilometre. For comparison’s sake Toronto’s population density is 945.4 people per square kilometre. Yesterday I was on an adventure in Toronto and it took no time at all for me to realize how much of a small town mindset I had (not in a bad way).

Trains and farm fields; my home
Toronto has an entire underground marketplace, my town has a sewer
 

Populations were a little different

While writing this article I googled Toronto’s population and it was around 6 million. 

My obligatory tourist picture

I then tried to find the population of the town I grew up in. Google didn’t have this information, but did offer me the fact that the community of 17 towns (of which mine was one) had a combined population of 36,000. Thanks Google.

Apparently in Toronto you can buy giant hotdogs from carts
It tasted better than I expected
 

I have since moved from that little town into Windsor, with a massive population of 210,000 (still a fraction of Toronto).

Windsor, we have farms, factories, and Detroit

What I noticed about Toronto

It seemed like everyone was in a hurry. I realize even by small town standards I’m pretty laid back. As someone coming from a town where everyone knows one another, Toronto was an odd, yet fun experience. I ran into some street performers who were a little more relaxed. 

Not street performers
Even the construction looked kind of cool
 

Met a magician named Steve, nice guy, great “stage presence,” but simple sleights. I bumped into him while playing around with some cards and practicing a few of my moves. He did his routine for everyone and we talked a bit afterwards. Even though he was “laid back” by Toronto standards he was still a far cry from the pace I was used to. People were mesmerized by his act (especially kids, teens, and people in their 20’s) and it made me realize how much people are seeking an escape from the craziness.

The most buildings I’ve ever seen

The great escapism

It seems no matter where you go people are looking for some form of mental escape. Nobody is happy being stressed out and everyone wants something to pull them out of the 9-5 grind.

I got lost inside Toronto Union Station. That place is a maze, had to fight a Minotaur to get to my train.

Movies, magic, books, and video games all do that. I love brining a bit of magic into people’s lives to remind them how full of wonder the world can be. 

Movie advertisements everywhere…almost like people desire a form of escape

I also hope that you get some form of enjoyment from reading my blog or trying to figure out that puzzle I left in some earlier entries. This post took a different turn from where I had intended on going.

The only time I had a place all to myself on the trip, and it was a hall

I was going to tell jokes about being a young man seeing buildings for the first time (based on the pictures I was taking).

My first buildings
Like I said, I was very much a tourist
 

Anyway, have an awesome day and remember “there’s more to life than grinding away on what you think is important.”

Audition Travelling

The train to Toronto

I’m just about to jump on a train (actually I’m going to board it in the proper manner). This is the first time I’ve ever taken a train. Normally I just drive my car up to Toronto, but today I was feeling a little more adventurous. Plus I didn’t feel like driving for 4 hours each way. I can sleep, run lines, and practice magic on a train, but if I were to do those things while driving my car apparently I’d be “endangering others.” So far VIA has been awesome; however, I am slightly worried by the fact that they check your ticket after the train starts moving. What do they do to the people who don’t have tickets? “Tuck and roll grandma, it’s gonna be a rough landing.”

***warning you will be exposed to bad train puns in this article, but I’ll try to stay on track***

Train puns
‘Train’ing myself to overcome

Something to overcome

I’m heading to Toronto for an audition. I had submitted a self-tape for a tv show and was just offered a callback. Acting is one of my passions in life, so I jump at every opportunity I get to act. To be honest I just love attention, pretty sure I’d die if I had to go an hour without people noticing my crazy antics. I was actually a bit nervous this time, which is extremely odd for me. I even at one point considered not going. I love everything about this role and really didn’t have any logical response for why I wouldn’t go. So what was holding me back?

All the train puns
I won’t be derailed

Anxiety: a sneaky but dangerous foe 

I suppose anxiety for whatever reason was trying to get in my way. We all deal with different amounts of anxiety when put in unfamiliar situations. It’s only by pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones that we truly grow. After buying my ticket and deciding to make an entire day out of the trip I became excited again. I’ve been running my lines and realize how silly that little bit of anxiety was. Something great may come from this, or it may not. Either way I overcame the little wall that popped up. The same applies to your life and the little barriers that try to prevent you from doing what you love.

The adventure plan

I’m planning on doing a whole bunch of magic tricks. I also want to talk to as many strangers as I can and just bring a little unexpected cheer to their lives. Who knows where it may take me? You never know exactly what journey lies before you.

I’ll post an update of my adventure when I get home.

Thor Ragnarok Epic Reveal

Thor Ragnarok Meme

Thor Ragnarok Meme
He’s a friend from work.

Possibly my shortest post

All I really wanted this entry to be was this meme I put together. So with that I say goodbye (also go check out Thor Ragnarok when it comes out). Loving the idea (as of now) that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is using World War Hulk.

Scamming the Scammers

Totally inspired by James Veitch

Hey everyone a while back I started replying to scam emailers in the most hilarious ways I could imagine. Today I received an email from the “Apple Store” unfortunately the email address was a string of odd numbers and letters. Just a tad suspicious (or 1000% suspicious). “Apple” was apparently asking me to download a link to a receipt and then open it in my browser to confirm a $30 purchase of a “Space Qube.”  Now I was excited as could be about the arrival of the “Space Qube” I hadn’t ordered so my only question was, “perfect what colour are you sending me?” I’m eagerly awaiting their response in order to correct whatever colour they say. Turns out Space Qube is an app not an actual cube…darn.

It’s not an actual cube?

The bigger picture

I’ve grown fond of these types of interactions. Magic is one of my hobbies so I’ve had to learn to deceive people in a fun way. That’s how I look at these email scammers, except I can be a little more cut-throat. They are scamming people so I may as well waste their time. It is a solid reminder that you can turn anything into a fun adventure.

Previous scam emails

I’m excited to share my previous scam emails with you. I’ll add it in a blog entry soon. Nothing beats having a scammer refer to all finances as “golden cards” because “the CIA is on to you.”

Why United Airlines Was Right

This post is definitely not satire </sarcasm>

So I’m probably the most able person to defend the actions of United Airlines. The reason for this is I have literally zero knowledge about the incident. I haven’t seen the footage, but have seen enough memes to form an opinion on the matter.

Yes...they were horribly horribly wrong
Was United Airlines really wrong?

***whispered while momentarily breaking character*** (yes, they were horribly, horribly wrong)

Maritime law means everything and anything is allowed to prevent a mutany

First of all, they were in the sky so maritime law applies. Don’t question this previous statement. Now many of you might say “but Shane, the airplane was on the ground.” I laugh at your logic, hahahaha.

Basic human rights in all forms

Secondly, human rights apply to everyone despite what some of you may think. This man had the right to buy an airline ticket and board the plane. He also had the right to be brutally beaten and dragged off the plane in a horrible way. For those of you saying this shouldn’t have happened you are stepping on his rights to let people violently attack him.

An elaborate rouse

It was all an act. If you look closely you can see that the “blood” on his face is actually strawberry jam. The staff unwillingly helped this so-called doctor carry out his dramatized performance even though it broke their hearts to do so. It was all part of this “doctor’s” plan to give validity to call in sick the next day.

The final message

In closing, if you want to be allowed your basic human rights to receive a beating you never asked for after paying your hard earned money on a ticket you never intended on using because you wanted to stage an elaborate rouse then you should be allowed to do so.
(Also, I am in no way making fun of the victim of this incident. This post is brimming with sarcasm in order to point out how ridiculously insane and horrible the actions of United Airlines and the authorities were)

Definitely Not A Secret Organization

Definitely not a massive secret puzzle

Hey everyone, so just in case anyone was wondering there is nothing related to secret organizations on this page. Though if there was something about secret organizations here on Read N’ Butter it would probably have all kinds of hidden links and clues and a complete story line to follow. Yup, you definitely shouldn’t go searching for posts about that and following clues, because you will be sorely disappointed. I am definitely not interested in secrets or puzzles, even though I worked at an escape room. So ya, there is no secrets at all on this page.

Checkmate
A puzzle perhaps?

Back on track

Read N’ Butter is now returning to it’s regularly scheduled programming. What is Read N’ Butter’s regular format? Good question friend. Here at Read N’ Butter I like to talk about stories, movies, and life in general from a different and highly optimistic view. I also try to saturate my posts with as much satire as possible. If you haven’t noticed this by now it’s probably because your sarcasm lock key is off. I’ll give you a minute to press it.

*****Sarcasm Key Activated*****

Ya good job totally pressing that real key on your keyboard. A sarcasm key is definitely a thing.

*****Sarcasm Key Deactivated*****

Honestly, hope you guys have an amazing day. Looking forward to writing more crazy stories and going on adventures with you. Take care and all the best!

*****Sarcasm Key Activated*****

And definitely DO NOT go looking for any secrets on previous posts. There is nothing there for you to find.

Time Is Running Out

...as of some one gently rapping.
Suddenly there came a tapping…

What to Look For

I apologize for the hurried nature of this post. There are issues I must attend to in the days coming. This post is simply a foreshadowing, a warning sign; I have much information to share. Your first clue to follow comes on the wings of the raven. Let these words echo in your mind and do not forget them.

A mama bear leads the way
The bears know…

 

“The raven will lead you to the bears.”

The Raven

These words aren’t of importance today, but it will become clear in the days to come. Stay safe and always remember, we have your back.

The Time Has Come

Sometimes only a joker knows the truth

Truth Revealed

I owe all of you an apology. I’m afraid this “personal blog” has been a front for something bigger. I received the message today that it is time to share with the world what transpires behind closed doors. Many of you are skeptically aware of “secret organizations” but also brush them off as fantasy. Logically these organizations make sense, they are nothing more than communities of like minded individuals with a specific goal. People assume they don’t exist as it makes it easier to carry out daily life in a carefree manner. I am part of one of these organizations, and we feel now is the time to come out of the shadows and shed light on current situations.

The Illusionists

The Illusionists have been around for centuries and, much like our name implies, have been hidden in plain sight. There is little rhyme or rhythm to the identities we take on, but those identities are an integral part of accomplishing our goal. We have been jesters, outlaws, politicians, but those are just the costumes we wear to further our mission.

Our Mission

We live by a simple code. “Deception to end all deception.” We employ our abilities to shed light on those who steal from the poor. Though it pains us to do so, at times we must remove tyrants from power in less than civil ways. Whenever a person goes rogue, rises to power, or puts others at risk, we must act. The long version made short is simply, “we have your back.”

One well placed ace can change everything

The Trick

You have been fooled. The world is not as stable as it seems, and an imminent end is within sight. Many people have heard of the Illuminati or the Stone Masons, but the number of powerful organizations has grown immensely. None of these organizations want you to know what is really happening; chaotic people are impossible to control.

The Prestige

The Illusionists took a step no one expected us to. The organization from the shadows stepped into the light. If we are to save this world, now is the time. Don’t panic, but look to the sky and once more know “we have your back.”

The Reveal

Now is not the time to reveal everything happening. You will know more as the days progress. To be blunt we hope you never learn of what “could have” come to be. If the world continues on its merry way, spinning through space and time, then know we have succeeded.

Masquerade

An Introductory Statement About This Poem

Every once in a blue moon I am going to harass you with one of my poems. This is one of those occasions. Masquerade is a poem I wrote about a year ago. I’m by no means a professional writer and it could even be argued that I am barely literate. Every once in a while I feel the need to write poetry and “masquerade” embodies much of my inner voice. I truly hope you enjoy reading it.

Masquerade

Pass through the masquerade,
Or fall to idols, which suffocate,
And watch the world fade.

Mourn not for those who strayed,
Run now, lest it be too late,
Pass through the masquerade.

With uncertainty join the charade,
Empty your soul and fill your plate,
And watch the world fade.

A war worth fighting; in blood is paid,
Cling to hope; refuse to hate,
Pass through the masquerade.

Burn as brimstone; a defiant crusade,
Or let apathy stand at the gate,
And watch the world fade.

Carve through life; a well-honed blade,
Take up arms; wash clean the slate,
Pass through the masquerade,
And watch the world fade.

Gaston: The Hero France Needed, But Not The One It Deserved

Gaston The Hero

I just saw Beauty and the Beast and going into it I had heard many people demonize Gaston. I had even heard people say that he was arguably the worst of all Disney villains. Those people are wrong, closed minded, and unable to see the truth. Now before you begin steaming at the ears and foaming at the mouth please hear me out and read this post to the end. This post will also contain spoilers, you have been warned.

Gaston Back From War
A War Hero

Gaston’s Backstory

The movie made it clear that Gaston was a war hero. Let’s just soak that in for a moment. He spent his entire life since childhood training to be the best physically and then uses that training to serve his country. So we have a handsome, strong young man serving his country in a war. He fought hard and even made a close friend whom he kept close after everything had settled (more on Lefou later).

How Society Treated Gaston

Gaston was hailed a hero and society built up his ego due to this and completely neglected the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he was clearly suffering from (more on this later). Gaston wanted to live a normal civilian life, but was having a hard time readjusting as many soldiers do. He dreamed of having a wife, a home, a family (wow he was truly a monster).

What Society Saw
The Product of Society

Gaston Was Not A Womanizer

Gaston could have had any of the beautiful women that were throwing themselves at him, but he wanted someone with dignity and wit. He loved the idea that Belle was educated, unlike society who greatly frowned upon her education. Gaston was also aware that when Belle’s aging father passed away, she would be tossed to the curb. When Belle was teaching a young girl to read everyone ostracized her, everyone except Gaston. Gaston desired a wife with a brain, not one of the mindless crowd throwing themselves at him. He was rough around the corners, war will do that to a soldier, but he deeply respected and admired Belle. Am I saying Belle was bad for turning him down? Of course not (more on that later as well).

Gaston Was A True Friend

I mentioned Lefou earlier and now it’s time to talk about him. Gaston was likely aware that Lefou was gay, but that didn’t bother him in the least. If you don’t believe that Gaston knew Lefou was gay, it’s proven when they are singing and Lefou says “too far?” Gaston replies “yes,” and then they dial things back down. Gaston also pretended that Lefou was interested in women for Lefou’s safety. Can you imagine what a civilization that despises women learning would do to a gay man? Gaston refused to let anyone see Lefou in a light other than a friend and a good man.

Gaston Cared About Lefou
He Loved His Friends

Gaston Wasn’t Swayed By The Masses

Maurice comes back home after being imprisoned by a half man half beast. He tells the story of what happened and how this beast was now holding Belle against her will. Everyone laughs and belittles Maurice, except for Gaston. Gaston uses his position to stop everyone from belittling this man. He realizes that something has happened to Belle and Maurice is hallucinating in order to cope. Obviously there is no such thing as “beast-men,” but the panic of Belle being in danger has led Maurice to believe this is true.

He The Only Person To Help

Gaston spends many days (more than 5 as stated in the movie) helping Maurice look for Belle. He is also worried that Belle may have frostbite or been attacked by wolves, but is hopeful she ran away on an adventure and is safely back home. Maurice pushes the “black magic” story and even talks about a tree that has magically healed. His delusions pushed Gaston into a terrible PTSD war flashback. He ties up Maurice and leaves him for the wolves (which they had not encountered at all). Gaston is aware of Maurice’s ingenuity and knows he will find a way to freedom (this part may be a bit of a stretch).

Gaston Tries To Get Maurice Help

When Gaston returns home, Maurice has already turned everyone against him. Gaston is deeply worried about Maurice’s mental state and has to think on the fly. The man has been speaking of magical trees and beasts, and Belle could very well be dead by now. Gaston is left with little option, but to have Maurice taken for psychiatric help.

Gaston Is Aware Of Stockholm Syndrome

Belle returns and affirms her father’s claims that a beast exists. She shows them a magic mirror and the existence of the beast (that alone would be terrifying). She then states “he’s not bad,” but gives no further explanation. Gaston is already aware of Maurice’s story of the beast taking Belle prisoner and now has evidence of it’s existence. Belle never gives a good reason as to why this terrifying discovery of magic and related beast are actually good. Gaston would have undoubtedly seen war prisoners start to identify with their captors. He wouldn’t know it was called Stockholm Syndrome, but he would know that Belle was identifying with a captor.

He cared deeply for Belle
He Would Die To Save Belle

Gaston Leads The Charge

So a terrifying creature born of magic has kidnapped a girl. Stories are conflicting and Gaston’s war training kicks in. This creature is dangerous and he needs to put an end to it. He has no idea about the enchantress, or who the beast was before, and had just recently found out about the existence of magic. Gaston takes the entire town, except for one man he leaves to watch over Belle and Maurice. This was done on purpose. With only the one man watching those two they should have been safe. Gaston knew they weren’t lying about the beast and needed to keep them away so they wouldn’t get hurt.

Who Is The Villain Then?

Isn’t it obvious? It’s society. The society was so stuck in it’s ways that a woman who read was a monster. Neither Belle nor Gaston agreed with the way things were going, but society loved Gaston and despised Belle. Gaston was a war hero with PTSD and wasn’t helped. Belle was oppressed by her culture. The beast was manipulated by his father. All of these characters were victims. If society helped Gaston integrate back into civilian life he would be happily married, not to Belle, but I’m sure he would have found a special someone. Then if Belle was allowed to be herself, she would be able to live out her dreams. If the prince had people around him to help deal with an abusive father he wouldn’t face the fate he did.

Society failed all of them
The Real Beast Was Society

Gaston Wasn’t Bad Society Failed Him

Gaston lived a life of servitude, and like many veterans returned home to a world much different from what he knew. He didn’t need constant praise, he needed to be reintroduced into life. If people actually listened to him they would know what he sought, a normal life. It bothers me that so many people make Gaston out to be this terrible villain, so much worse than all the others. The man fought, protected, and served his country at great expense to his own life. If you want to make anyone out to be a villain it should be the cultural system that took advantage of all three main characters.

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