A School in Ontario Staged a Fake Massacre for a Police Training Exercise
Journalism students at Sheridan College, near Toronto, were ordered to take down video and photos (which you can see in the gallery above) of a mock school shooting that have ruffled some feathers with the school’s faculty and administration.
On November 25, the college hosted a training exercise for the Halton Regional Police Department. Students from the school’s musical theatre program acted as if they had been shot dead, complete with fake wounds and blood.
The scenario took place with two shooters played by plainclothes cops. About 100 students and staff participated in the event, with 15 playing dead and a further 10 playing wounded.
How to Structure Your Life: A Review of Corey Feldman’s Biography, ‘Coreyography’
I think I can learn a lot from Corey Feldman’s autobiography, Coreyography. He was a child star in the 80s who was pushed into acting by his parents. His mother was a former Playboy bunny at one of the clubs, and his father was a struggling musician. Once Corey started booking commercials at age three, he became the family’s breadwinner; with that came a host of unfair responsibilities for the young Corey, which seems to have warped his perspective on his place in the world and his relationship to filmmaking; it must be hard to shake that feeling importance. He was, like all child actors, working in a professional environment filled with and designed for adults—having to play child characters but performing a job that required the stamina and perspective of the adults who worked alongside him.
Because he was the major earner for his family, the pressure for him to continue working was extraordinarly—abusively—high: he was beaten with belts and wooden dowels if he didn’t perform well in school (bad grades would prevent him from getting a work permit), if he ate too much (his mom had an obsession with his weight), or if he didn’t book jobs or had problems on the set. As a child, Corey was in some of the most important movies of the 80s, Stand by Me,The Goonies, The Lost Boys (the first of the contemporary teenage vampire projects—decades before Twilight). And he was part of the pop phenomenon “the Two Coreys,” alongside Corey Haim, and was a close friend to Michael Jackson; Corey was at the center of most of the popular youth projects and events of the era. By tracking his story, one gets to a peak behind the scenes of many of the projects that shaped the culture of my generation.
In a world of ever-increasing cynicism, LeVar Burton continues to influence a better tomorrow. Born during the height of the civil rights movement, he pretty much seemed destined to make a positive difference from the time he was a teenager. At 19 years old, LeVar made a powerful television debut in the mini-series adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which helped cultivate a new understanding of the condition of the American slave.
In addition to his career as an actor, LeVar has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to fostering a love of reading in children as the host of Reading Rainbow. “Being the son of a school teacher,” he says, “I was raised with the notion you are what you read as much as what you eat.”
I recently sat with LeVar in his office—surrounded by healing crystals, sage, and his shiny gold Emmy—to discuss his career, Google Glass versus Geordi LaForge’s “Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement,” and if he ever feels like being an asshole.
VICE: You made your television debut in 1977 in the role of Kunta Kinte, a young man unwillingly brought to America, who—despite serving many years as a slave—never lost the connection to his African heritage. How did you prepare for such a weighted role? LeVar Burton: I was a college student at the time, studying theater at the University of Southern California. In terms of my readiness as an actor, I was already living the actor’s life, busy dedicating myself to studying this craft. When I read Kunta for the first time, I knew who this kid was. I knew the innocence and the rage. I have no other way of explaining it: I felt like I’d been preparing to play Kunta my whole life.
Roots was a huge success. Today it remains the third highest-rated mini-series of all time. How did this affect you personally? It was overwhelming to be a part of a piece of entertainment that holds that much power.Roots was weird for me specifically, because it was personal as well as public. With its success, my whole world shifted—I went from being a theater student to the cover of TV Guide. The reason it continues to have tremendous impact on the nation is that it speaks to the hearts of people who value the concept of freedom. Kunta represents the indomitability of the human spirit, and the idea that we are all born free no matter what the circumstance. So yeah, those aren’t the kind of shoes you fit into perfectly at 19 years old. You grow into them. It’s taken me my entire career to tap into the riches of that experience.
Why did it take a television mini-series to help create a better understanding of slavery in America? It’s the power of moving pictures when they are combined with sound! Human beings are predisposed to gather the full spectrum of information in a shared experience. It gets our attention, and the information easily penetrates the deepest levels of our consciousness. The experience of watching Roots on television helped people develop empathy towards the condition of the slave. It was an awareness our country needed for genuine healing to take place.
James Franco on Brand-Funded Films and the Trailer for ‘La Passione’
I have been working on some projects with Agyness Deyn for a while. We had previously collaborated on a shoot for Elle where she and Natalia Bonifacci had dressed up like James Dean and Sal Mineo and we shot them around the pool at the Chateau Marmont. Another time I went with Agyness and a group of friends to Magic Mountain. We pulled numbers out of a hat before every ride to pair up. The idea was to make out with our partners and film it. Shortly after that trip, Aggy told me she wanted to do something with me based on Theodor Dreyer’s Joan of Arc.
At the time I was shooting Oz in Detroit, where I would be for the next six months. While I was there, Aggy and I developed the Joan of Arc idea and settled on a modern-day mash-up, Dreyer-style (silent, tons of close-ups, etc.). We decided that the majestic and widely photographed turn-of-the century Michigan Central Station—now abandoned and covered in graffiti—would be the perfect setting. But we couldn’t make the dates work for Aggy. Instead we ended up shooting a crazy version of Othello in the train station. In our version it is Emilia who is the mastermind behind Othello’s—and Iago’s and Desdemona’s— downfall; she is Othello’s lover and uses her husband’s jealousy to take down the Moor et al.
If you read that and thought, Why yes, I do want to perform in porn, this is for you. If not, please feel free to read along for potential entertainment value. Or, put the computer down, and go do whatever it is that people do on Fridays.
For those of you still interested, the first step to performing is deciding what kind of porn you want to do. See, porn isn’t just people with big boobs and giant schlongs in silly setups involving offices and pizza deliverymen. It also isn’t just people who are accepting of all body types/sexual orientations and strive to be as ethical as possible. Nor is it all high-gloss features, intense BDSM scenes, or content made by supposed amateurs. Before I started working in hardcore porn, I thought it was all like John Stagliano’s The Fashionistas. Stagliano shoots a very different sort of product than Digital Playground does, and while my decision to sign with DP worked out very well for me, I did spend the first few movies confused by the differences. If there is an idea in your head of the kind of porn you want to do, examine it and figure out specifically what excites or inspires you. Use it to get a more clear idea of your motivations and the level of involvement you want to have in the adult industry.
Once you’ve narrowed down what kind of scenes you want to do and what kind of performer you want to be, I recommend taking a minute to rethink the decision of actually doing it. Especially if you’re just looking to live out one specific fantasy, make quick cash, or have a few months of adventure, consider whether the porn industry is the right choice for you. Unless the whole of civilization as we know it is destroyed, any nude or sexually explicit images will remain available on the internet in some way forever. Decide whether the chance to have sex with that one particular performer or have that professionally videotaped gang bang is worth the potential that every single person you know now or ever will know in the future will see it. Your parents will find out. Your employers will find out. Your friends, acquaintances, and the people you have romantic relationships with will find out. I call this Murphy’s Law of Scandalous Behavior. If you are unable to come to terms with this, you should probably refrain from engaging in sexual activities in public or on camera… including sending racy cell phone pictures (even via Snapchat.)
Sometime in 1987 the talk amongst the lunch tables at my junior high school was, “Who is the cool new-wave chick inStar Trek: The Next Generation?” At the time we had a lot of interesting women to look up to in music, but this one was living in a future where a woman could be the head of security on a starship. The character was named Tasha Yar, and her backstory was even more inspiring. She was an orphan who had to scavenge for the bare necessities of life, escaped rape gangs, overcame a drug addiction, and through her bravery and determination made her way into a high-profile job aboard the Starship Enterprise. For a bunch of teenage girls facing an uncertain future ourselves, she was the ultimate heroine. Until she was killed by Armus, a malevolent life form made from the byproduct of human negativity and evil. Tragically, our heroine had becomea memory contained in a hologram.
But Denise Crosby, the actor who made Tasha Yar legendary, lives on and continues to appear in films and on television as heroines in all sorts of universes. I met her recently at a Star Trek convention, where I saw her walking down the hallway with a small group of admirers. My opening line was one of pure fandom: “You’re awesome!” Surprisingly, we hit it off like old friends, discovering we grew up in the same neighborhood and had a deep affection for anything Fiorucci. As we spoke, the fandom subsided, and I became very much inspired by her legacy. A month later I found myself in her backyard discussing her career over coffee and cookies.
VICE: Being the granddaughter of Bing Crosby and the daughter of Dennis, you were born into the entertainment industry. Was there ever a time when you thought you would not go into showbiz? Denise: Absolutely. In my youth I had that rebel spirit in me that didn’t want to do anything people assumed I would do. Instead I would purposefully go out and do the opposite. I moved away from home and out of Los Angeles as soon as I could. I loved journalism and wanted to be like Christiane Amanpour or Diane Sawyer. I knew I wanted to be on camera, but I wanted to do investigative reporting or work in the field, so I studied journalism and drama at a college in Santa Cruz. On a fluke I auditioned and got the part in the spring production of the school play, which put me in touch with a part of myself that I enjoyed but wasn’t ready to embrace. I took a year off and bummed around the world, scored a few modeling jobs in London and Paris. Eventually I came back home to my parents’ place in Los Angeles, and it was there that I was contacted by a casting agent who had seen some pictures of me in Playboy.
I’ve seen the Playboy photographs! They are incredible. I don’t think I have ever seen a Playboy model with a punk-rock hairstyle! It’s true, and no one has looked like that since. What happened was I originally did some test shots with a photographer who had me dressed up like Little Bo Peep. I had ruffles and bows and I thought to myself, This is a mistake—this is not me, and I never want to be this. On an off day I went down to Vidal Sassoon on Rodeo Drive and said, “Cut all of my hair off.” I had shoulder length hair at the time, so the stylist said, “Are you sure?” And I said, “Just give me a short, short cut. Buzz it off.”
The next day I showed up to continue the photo shoot, and the photographer flipped out! He pulled me into the photo editor’s office to show her what I had done. They just thought Hefner would never go for it. But another photographer named Phillip Dixon was in the office and interrupted: “I like the way she looks, it’s very modern. Let me do some test shots.” So they gave him a chance, and it was the tests with Phillip that wound up going to print. Playboy is kind of what started my acting career. Thankfully I did it on my own terms, not Little Bo Peep with her boobs showing.
About a year ago I wrote a thing about how Johnny Depp just might be the lamest guy on Earth.
For some reason, a lot of people remember that post, and it’s frequently brought up to me by fucking geniuses who say things like “Uhhhh, so you think Johnny Depp is the lamest guy on Earth? What about Kim Jong-un? What about the Dark Knight shooter?”
OBVIOUSLY, I did not mean Johnny Depp is LITERALLY the worst person on Earth. Just because he wears dumb hats and is in shitty movies and is, generally, just an all-around unbearably smug turd, I know that doesn’t mean he is worse than a dictator or mass murderer. I am not retarded. CLEARLY, if we’re looking at and considering every single person in the entire world and being completely and totally literal, Steven Seagal comes out the worst.
Here are the most terrible things I can think of about him.
HE MAKES INSANE MUSIC
I often worry, when I embed videos on this site, that people reading it might not watch them because they’re at work or deaf or whatever, so just in case: this video is a dancehall song that Steven Seagal made, and it contains the following lyrics:
"Me want tha poonani"
"Nice itel breeze, we jammin’"
"That would be phat"
Also, his last album was called “Songs From the Crystal Cave,” which sounds like something they would play in Urban Outfitters.
HE’S A COMPULSIVE LIAR
Over the years, Steven has claimed that he:
- Helped train CIA operatives and did “special favors” for them (his ex wife says, “Not at all. He was never in the CIA.”)
- Is called in to help authenticate antique swords by auction houses as he is one of the world’s “foremost experts on swords” (again, lol)
- Was a student of the founder of Akido, Morihei Ueshiba (who died in 1968, meaning Steven would have had to have been a teenager living alone in Japan for that to have happened)
- Speaks four languages fluently (I’m unable to find any evidence of him speaking anything other than English made entirely of lies)
HE POOPED HIMSELF
In a 2002 profile in Vanity Fair, martial artist Gene LeBell claimed he choked out Steven during an Aikido exhibition, causing Seagal to poop in his pants. Steven denies it ever happened. But he also said he was a multilingual, Yakuza fighting, CIA assassin. So, ya know…
THESE ARE THINGS HE’S ACTUALLY SAID
- “I’m a very funny guy, if you’ll forgive me for saying so. When I did The Glimmer Man with Keenan Ivory Wayans, he and I were talking about who was funniest, and… I kicked his ass every day.” (source)
- “I was born very different, clairvoyant and a healer.” (source)
I recently moved from London to Los Angeles. Despite the fact that LA is the undisputed worst place in the entire world, I’ve been trying super hard to like it. Mainly because I like being that guy who likes the thing everyone else hates just to annoy people (which reminds me, people I know in real life: I never really liked Skrillex or Twilight. You should’ve seen your faces though).
Liking LA also seems to be “a thing” lately. I’ve seen a bunch of articles about it, like this one by Joseph Gordon Levitt that people keep sending me. In it, he talks about how LA is superior to New York because you can sing in the car when you’re stuck in traffic, and also he once saw the movie Swingers here.
Anyway, below are the main things that have been annoying me since moving to LA.
THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE
In London, the worst that can happen while you’re out walking around is maybe stepping in a puddle or gettinghappy slapped. Here, I have to worry about drive-bys and forest fires and mountain lions and “The Big One” and rattlesnakes and brain-eating parasites and home invasions and fucking TSUNAMIS! Why did someone think it would be a good idea to build a city here?
IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A NORMAL NIGHT OUT
In London, or New York, or Paris, or any other city on Earth, going out means either walking/taking public transportation to a bar or club, then maybe walking to another place after that, then taking a cab home. This becomes problematic in Los Angeles, because public transportation does not exist. And I’m pretty sure cabs don’t exist, either. This means everyone drinks and drives, and I’m not sure if you’ve seen those ads about it on TV, but drinking and driving is really, really, really not OK. Then, you have to find somewhere to park or pay a bunch of money to valet, and then line up to get in, and then before you know it you just paid $30 to get into a “yoga rave” that’s ten minutes from ending, you’ve forgotten where you parked and, oh shit, you got a ticket. Fun times.
THERE IS HIPPIE BULLSHIT ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE
Every time I think I’ve met a normal person, I find out they’re extremely into some kind of new-age nonsense. Did you know that Mercury is in retrograde right now? Me too, and I really, really shouldn’t know that.