By Joel Wass
Last Friday, Joel Wass found 11 posters advertising the release of the film Saved! on DVD posted inside his Kerr Hall East classroom. As a result, the normally mild-mannered Eyeopener editor-in-chief tore down the posters. Following the incident, Wass decided to write the film’s star, Macaulay Culkin to explain his actions.
Dear Mack, I’m not sure if you prefer Macaulay, but ‘Mack’ is how you’re referred to in my old issues of Tiger Beat.
First off, I want to congratulate you on the success of your latest flick Saved!. Sure, I haven’t seen the film, but Rolling Stone gave it a respectable three stars and Premiere magazine referred to it as “brilliant.”
All that despite the fact Mandy Moore is one of your co-stars. I bet the critical aclaim was satisfying after the numerous box office bombs during the latter part of your childhood career.
I mean, The Good Son was God-awful and I don’t think I have enough space to rip apart the apalling blunder, The Pagemaster. As gleeful as I am about your acting career, part two, I’m writing you today to come clean about something that’s been bothering me.
I ripped down 11-count’em, 11-posters that were on display in my university classroom advertising your movie. In all likelihood, you’re not the one responsible for the posters being up, but because I have such great respect for your acting ability-your lip-synching was so convincing that for years I thought you were actually rapping in Michael Jackson’s Black or White video-I thought you deserved an explanation for why I did what I did.
You see, Mack, aggressive corporate advertising is a major issue on our campus, particularly this year. Ryerson is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, seemingly the only place in Canada where there are more billboards than you have brothers (how many siblings do you actually have?).
And when you walk into our school you can’t go down the hallways without having to buy a Dexit card (read more here and here), throw a Ralph Lauren Frisbee and sign up for a third credit card. Hell, even this fine paper is made-up of roughly 30 per cent advertising. Which reminds me, please feel free to spend your millions – that is if you didn’t lose it all in your divorce settlement with your teenage ex-wife – on any and all Eyeopener advertisers.
Of course, advertising serves a purpose-how else would we know that Barq’s has bite or that the best way to win is by just doing it? But advertising in the classroom is where I draw the line. And Mack, I’m not alone on this one. Ryerson sociology professor Jean Golden told me: “I think corporate advertising is inappropriate anywhere on campus, especially in the classroom” and that “there’s no place for [movie posters in classrooms], unless they are serving some sort of educational purpose.”
Sorry Mack, just because your past movies taught children how to single- handedly fend off two would-be burglars with a toaster and a bag of marbles, they have no educational value.
Actually, gaining more education might be a better endeavour for you than restarting your acting career. And you could do it right here at Ryerson. Sure, you wouldn’t necessarily become the next Richie Rich with your degree, but at the very least you’d be able to speak candidly about the Red River Rebellion, act-utilitarianism and, if you volunteer at The Eyeopener, the inner-politics of Ryerson’s student council at your next Hollywood schmooze-fest.
Sure, Maclean’s has never given our professors even a three-star rating, but there are some quality instructors here that can, at the very least, act as mentors to you.
And let’s face it, you haven’t had many strong role models in your life to date. You had neglectful parents in Home Alone, you spent too much time alone at Michael Jackson’s home, your on-screen father in Getting Even With Dad was a criminal and your real-life father is an ex-con.
So come aboard the Rye High train Mack, we’d love to have you here, just remember, even if you enroll at Ryerson, you can’t put your movie posters in the classroom.
PS: Here’s one last pitch for you to come to Ryerson. Rumour has it our upcoming graduation ceremonies are being held at The Zanzibar, an ideal location for a Party Monster.