Canadian Rockies

Continuing to go through old pictures – I took these in Banff maybe eight or nine years ago, and I’m still amazed at how beautiful it was. It was even more spectacular in person, but I’m impressed by how easy it was to take a good picture. You could point your camera in any direction and click – it was so picturesque that pretty much every shot came out reasonably nicely.

I really would love to go back some time. I was planning on going hiking with some friends this summer, but seeing as I’m interning, I don’t have the time. Sometimes, I agree with the principle that there is too much to see in the world to go to the same place twice. Then I see places like this and I change my mind.

Safari

I was looking through old pictures of mine, and I remembered – Tanzania is possibly the most gorgeous place on the planet.

My parents, sister, and I went a couple years ago, and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. There were so many animals and so much to see. It was incredible.

Holy Shit, We’re Actually Getting a Wonder Woman Movie In Less Than A Week

diana tank.jpgIt still somehow feels surreal to me that in just a few days, Wonder Woman is coming out. I don’t know why – I had tickets to a prescreening on Wednesday that I couldn’t go to. Surely it should have sunk in by now. But it hasn’t. It doesn’t feel quite real.

She had a TV show in the seventies. Since then, there have been countless Batman, Superman, and Spiderman adaptations. We’ve gotten some new characters getting their chance to be seen, especially lately, but we’re finally getting it. Wonder Woman, the most iconic female superhero in the world, on the big screen. She’s about to be in her own solo movie. It’s so unbelievably exciting.

Every trailer, every poster, every TV spot – it’s just increasing my hype levels so much, and yet I still can’t believe how close it is. I have my tickets. I’m going on both Thursday and Friday night, and I’m probably going to be in tears the entire time. This is so overwhelming, and I can’t wait.

Adaptations, Source Material, and Viewer Satisfaction: My Complicated Feelings About the X-Men Movies

The X-Men movie franchise has existed for most of my life. I’ve grown up watching these movies, I have a lot of appreciation for them and looking back on them very fondly, and I think it’s important that we credit them for reviving comic book movies and allowing them to be big budget successes. And yet, when I think about them critically and objectively, I find it very hard to give a simple answer to the question, “Are the X-Men movies any good?”

Part of that, of course, goes back to the fact that they’re adaptations of comic books. The X-Men have existed for decades. There are a lot of different versions of the characters, and everyone has a different way of interpreting them. It’s impossible to please everyone. But in addition to that, there were a lot of other issues that made them a poor and unsatisfactory adaptation, at least to me. Some of the dialogue, in the original trilogy especially, is stilted. The costume design was boring. A lot of parts felt forced. There were a lot of plotholes.

What I’ve always found the most important part of the X-Men is that they’re a team. They’re a close knit family, bound together, and determined to protect both their kind and a world that hates and fears them. The movies rejected that notion. Instead of showing them as a team, they focused on Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto and sacrificed everyone else in the process.

hated having to watch everyone else’s important storylines just given to Logan. He essentially took Scott’s place as the main hero and romantic lead during the Dark Phoenix arc when Scott was unceremoniously killed off by Jean in the first half hour of the movie. He took Kitty’s place in Days of Future Past, resulting in Kitty getting a new power that made absolutely no sense and pretty much just sitting still for the entire movie. Logan may not have been the main character of Days of Future Past – that distinction goes to Charles – but he was the heart and the character whose perspective the story was told from. It apparently wasn’t enough that Logan got three solo movies while no one else even got one – he had to get all of everyone’s storylines as well. The X-Men movies weren’t about the X-Men, they were just Wolverine and Friends.

I appreciate the changes made to Xavier’s character. The movies made him more of a hero. In the comics, he was deeply manipulative, essentially a trainer for child soldiers, and did very little to actually further the mutant cause while still being hailed as the best of them. Here, he’s legitimately heroic. I love manipulative characters that are willing to use other people as pawns to achieve their goals, but the narrative has to point that out, not gloss over it to pretend those characters are perfect heroes. Would it have been cool to see comics Xavier, with attention being drawn to his myriad of character flaws? Sure. But I’m totally fine with the version of the character that’s far less flawed and is doing the best he can to create a better world.

A lot of the performances were fabulous. Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan – they managed to demonstrate to the audience that their characters had a long history and a complicated relationship without ever needing flashbacks or a lot of expository dialogue. For all my issues with Logan’s character, I’ll still admit that Hugh Jackman is a great actor. But a lot of the actors were also wasted – James Marsden and Famke Janssen come to mind.

My favourite X-Man has always been Scott. I’ve talked about that before. The adult version of the character has never really had a solo title, but he’s been absolutely crucial to the X-Men as a team – he’s essentially the main character of the entire X-Men mythos. More than Xavier. More than Magneto. That’s how important he is. But if your X-Men knowledge comes from the films and not the comics, you end up seeing Logan as the main character, Logan as the hero and team leader, not Scott, because in the movies, he doesn’t get to do anything. He’s an adaptational wimp that never gets to be a leader or use his brilliant tactical skills and ability to beat people up with his eyes closed. He never gets to be seen as the important pillar of the school, the teacher. There’s less focus on his relationship with his love interest than there is on Logan’s relationship with her. He doesn’t even get to grieve for his fiancée’s death. James Marsden was an excellent casting choice, but he was cast to the side.

Famke Janssen is a superb actress that completely owned her role, but she got very little to work with. The Dark Phoenix saga from the comics is highly acclaimed. It was a beautifully done story, and it was about Jean loving the world, her family, Scott. It was about her choosing death over hurting them. But The Last Stand took away her choices and her agency. It didn’t pay any attention to Jean and who she was, just what she was to Logan.

Somehow, the films made the Jean Logan relationship, something I hate in the comics, an even worse concept. The directors, writers, whoever – they tried to make the audience take Logan’s creepy obsession with Jean seriously, make us view it as a tragic, romantic love story, but he knew her for a week. He knew nothing about her as a person. He thought she was hot and had an image of what she was like and decided he was somehow in love with her, but he didn’t know her. She was engaged to Scott the whole time, and the two of them were in a long term, happy relationship! Logan’s behaviour was borderline harassment at best that we were supposed to believe was love.

I’ve seen most people agree that The Last Stand wasn’t a good movie, that the first two were much better. I think it could have been great, and that in fact, a lot of the action sequences were well done, but a lot of the rest of it fell flat. X-Men United was really good, and I wanted the follow-up movie to deal with the events that happened. The story I wanted was one of grief and pushing through it. I wanted Scott missing Jean, who was his best friend and teammate in addition to being his girlfriend, but working through his grief because his team and the school still needed him. Instead, his adoptive father asked someone else to take over the school instead of bothering to talk to him about his loss and how to start moving on; he got killed off half an hour into the movie; and no one really even mourned his death.

The filmmakers tried to cram too much into the movie and didn’t do justice to any of it. The concept and morality of a cure would have been a great story to go into. The repulsiveness of the idea of suggesting that a natural part of a segment of the population is a disease to be cured and that something is wrong with that segment of the population. The reminder that it’s a complex issue and that some mutants might want to take it. The weaponization of the cure and forcible administration. I would have loved to see Scott returning from wallowing in his grief to his calm, rational, strategic self to try to deal with this. It could have been the start of a real friendship and trust being forged with Logan. It could have been a solid story that was a great character study as well as an action movie. But they killed Scott and also crammed in the Dark Phoenix arc.

The Dark Phoenix as well could have been a great movie. I’ve heard they’re going to make another one about it, but I can’t be very excited for that, because a) Jean has been involved in far more stories than just the Dark Phoenix and deserves so much better and b) it’ll probably be with Sophie Turner and not Janssen, which disappoints me for a lot of reasons that I won’t go into now. But it, as it was portrayed in The Last Stand, wasn’t really a Dark Phoenix story. It wasn’t about Jean. It was pretty much about her choosing to follow Erik instead of Charles and giving Logan something to angst over. It could have been spectacular. But it wasn’t. The entire movie just left me cold and disappointed.

When we look at the second trilogy, the alternate timeline one, my conflicting feelings deepen. Because First Class was a story about Erik and Days of Future Past was a story about Charles, and I thought both were very interesting movies with a lot of heart. But as an X-Men fan, it felt like a slap in the face for a movie to be called First Class and not include the original X-Men. Scott, Jean, Bobby, Warren – none of them was anywhere in sight. Hank was there, sure, but the rest of those characters? Nowhere. They even decided to stick Scott’s traditionally younger brother on the team in Scott’s place. Very few of those new characters were well developed. They killed off Darwin, their only black character, despite the fact that that makes no sense with his power and that his power would have made much more sense as the lynch pin of the next movie than Raven’s.

Days of Future Past was probably my favourite movie on the franchise as a whole, and that’s only partially because of how it completely undid The Last Stand and brought Scott and Jean back to life. As a movie, I think it was the best one by quite a large margin. It wasn’t necessarily a great adaptation, but it was an exceptional movie. It was a movie about found families and fighting through hard times. It was a movie about doing the right thing. It demonstrated the Erik-Charles dynamic beautifully, showing that they both have very different perspectives that stem from their personal experiences and that are both understandable. It showed how necessary and important the school is. And above all, it ended well. It ended happily and it gave them all a second chance. There were a few plot holes and continuity issues, but on the whole, I can’t really complain about Days of Future Past.

Apocalypse was much more divisive than either First Class or Days of Future Past, but while I had my issues with it, issues that were deeper than mine with Future Past, there were actually a lot of things that I appreciated a lot. The most important of them was that Logan showed up for a couple minutes, then left, and that was it. He didn’t hog the spotlight in this one. We got teenage Scott and Jean and Kurt, which was lovely – finally, some other characters got some screen time – but deeply flawed, as the interpretation of Scott was so different from the classic version of him, he felt like a totally different character that just happened to have the same name. It didn’t really focus on a specific character, so it felt more like an X-Men ensemble movie at long last, even if a lot of the characters were underused and Mystique got more screentime than she probably should have.

But even beyond too much focus on a few characters, and a lack of care being put into the details, and my frustration with them as adaptations, my main problem with the movies is how exhausting they are. There hasn’t been a real happy ending since the very first one. When you’re telling a story about a persecuted minority, of course you need to go into the struggles the people belonging to said minority face. But having all of mutantkind wiped out twice, and not facing the societal and political challenges instead of the dramatics since 2006?

I don’t have a problem with emotional weight and bittersweet endings. It’s why I love the DCEU – the movies might be too heavy for me to watch all the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. It just means that sometimes when I’m exhausted and need something light to cheer me up, I’m going to turn on Legally Blonde instead.

So much of the franchise is excellent and enjoyable and generally well done, but there are still so many flaws that are more and more noticeable with every rewatch, it gets very frustrating and exhausting.

All of my issues with the franchise culminated with Logan. While I enjoyed watching it, after I was done, I was so tired. I was sick of Logan as a character. I was sick of never getting to see other mutants or the X-Men as a team. I was sick of the characters never getting a lasting victory or moving forward in a meaningful way.

Logan was the end of an era. It was the last movie with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine. It was the last movie with Patrick Stewart playing Professor X. By extension, it’s very probably the last movie with any of the original actors. I’d be delighted to be wrong about that, but I very much doubt we’ll ever again see Marsden Scott, Janssen Jean, or Berry Ororo. Logan was the end of that era, and I think that while the movie may stand well on its own, isolated from the rest of the franchise, it was a weak, unsatisfactory ending.

Zack Snyder and Comicbook Fan Entitlement

Zack Snyder has always been a controversial director to say the least. I personally adore his work, but a very vocal aspect of the audience detests everything he’s ever made, and oftentimes, the line between what’s fair game – film related opinions and criticism that isn’t “this is stupid and terrible and people who enjoy it are dumb fanboys” – and what’s just mean spirited personal attacks. Not liking a movie is one thing. Treating a director like garbage over it is an entirely different issue.

Some of the responses to his announcement that he’s stepping down from Justice League to be with his family as they recover from his daughter’s death have been absolutely repulsive. There are people that have taken the opportunity to reiterate the fact that they hate his movies. People that have delighted in the fact that he’s not going to be finishing the last bit of the movie that remains to be done and celebrated his departure, even though he’s mourning a tragic loss. There have even been people making jokes about how his movies were the reason for his daughter’s suicide. It’s horrific. A young woman died. He lost his child. This is so much more important than a movie.

Something I’ve noticed is that a huge number of people felt the need to show sympathy for Snyder by prefacing their statement with something along the lines of, “I don’t like his movies, but…” It’s so unnecessary! It’s so uncalled for!

Comicbook fans have gotten so, so entitled. Of course not all of them – all of us – but a not insignificant part. These people refuse to let a movie be for someone else. They refuse to accept that someone else’s perception of seventy year old characters can be just as valid as their own. And so instead of accepting that, accepting that Snyder’s version isn’t for them, they claim that he’s wrong and his work is awful and attack him for “ruining” their childhood favourites, so much so that Snyder felt he had to divulge something this incredibly personal because people on the Internet would start pushing narratives if he didn’t explain.

But superhero comics have been going on for decades. Through comics and television and film, through every sort of medium imaginable, they’ve become an essential part of pop culture. I started reading comics when I was six, but even before that, even before I saw any DC movie, I knew about Batman and Robin being partners. About Superman loving Lois Lane. These characters are a part of our public consciousness. They belong to all of us, and there’s not just one way they have to be.

In addition to the attacks on Snyder and the refusal to express condolences without adding on that they don’t like his movies, there’s another subset of people out there that I find just as abhorrent at the moment, and those are the ones worrying about the movie and complaining about Joss Whedon, saying he’s going to ruin it. A man lost his daughter and stepped away to grieve. Justice League is just a movie. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, too, and I’m still excited to see it, but it’s just a movie. It’s nothing compared to a human life.

But aside from all of this, there has also been an outpouring of support for him and his family, both from fans and people decent enough to not bring up the fact that they don’t like his vision while expressing condolences. It’s a reminder that even when there are people out there that don’t care about others and treating people with respect and kindness, there are still decent people out there. It’s a reminder that men are still good. Thank you, Mr. Snyder. Best wishes.

Summertime

Last week, I finished my finals, so I’m officially halfway through my engineering degree!  Today was my first day at my internship, which I’m incredibly excited about. I’m going to be working in electrical applications at Nexteer Automotive. I haven’t been given a specific assignment yet, but I look forward to learning more and seeing what there is to work on.

In other news, I can’t go to the Wonder Woman prescreening on Wednesday that’s literally fifteen minutes from my house, because I’m an hour and a half away for the summer, and I won’t be able to drive back in time to make it. That’s disappointing, but I have tickets to opening night, and I can’t wait to see it.

Scott Summers: Best Character Marvel Has Ever Produced

When it comes to superheroes, I’m mainly a DC fan. That being said, I love the X-Men. And I love their leader, Cyclops, the most. Which is what makes it so frustrating that he’s made the designated villain again and again, when he just does what’s right, what’s necessary to ensure the survival of mutantkind.

People claim he became a criminal, a terrorist, an extremist, a general, but he’s not any of those things. In most of the ways that matter, he continued to follow Xavier’s dream more than anyone else. Protect those that hate and fear them. It’s an iconic line about what it means to be an X-Man. And Scott does just that. He trains his students to use their powers and to fight, because that’s what they need to do to survive – it’s what the X-Men have always been about. That doesn’t mean he’s leading an army. It just means he’s not going to sit back and let people kill them.

The most ridiculous thing to me was Death of X. Marvel spent a year leading up to it, a year of trying to make people wonder, what did he do?! And what did he do, to merit being called a criminal and a mass murderer and equated to Hitler? To supposedly be the reason that no one trusted the X-Men or wanted their help anymore?

He…stopped the Terrigen cloud from being dangerous to mutants. Wait, what? That’s it? Yeah. And the Inhumans killed him for that. And then none of that even happened because it turned out Emma did all of that, but the world thinks Scott did.

So let’s say he did. He stopped his people from being gassed to death. What the hell, Marvel. He did that, and you’re calling him Hitler? Yeah, that’s literally the opposite. It’s especially bad because they acknowledge it – they have Magneto, a Jewish character, say that his people will not be gassed to death.

I love the X-Men with all my heart, but they’ve always been a somewhat problematic, flawed allegory for prejudice. And that’s partially because for most of their history, even as some of the non-Xavier aligned characters were portrayed in a somewhat sympathetic light, it was Xavier that was always depicted as the ultimate good guy, despite the fact that his message was in a lot of ways a, “don’t rock the boat, be patient, be nice to your oppressors, not all humans” thing. And that was kind of okay before Scott started stepping up to lead mutantkind, because the opposing view was Magneto, who went beyond fighting to protect mutants and into the land of mass murder of everyone that opposed him. But that’s not what Scott did, and he was treated as a supervillain.

The second Scott started actually making steps to achieving Xavier’s dream, beyond just words, by fighting for what was right, by fighting back instead of trying to demonstrate that mutants aren’t dangerous by letting humans hurt and kill them, people accused him of being a villain and straying from Xavier’s dream

The Avengers have a history of treating the X-Men and mutants in general terribly. They never help the mutants when they need help; they never take responsibility for their own actions while at the same time insisting that Scott needs to be brought to justice; they create most of their problems themselves while the X-Men have to clean up after everyone, not just themselves. One of my favourite panels was when Scott told Captain America to go to hell. It was ridiculously satisfying to see that hypocrisy finally called out.

I hate it when fans call Scott boring, because I don’t see that at all. He’s deeply disciplined. He’s responsible and principled. He’s filled with self doubt, and as Emma said, he hates himself so much he doesn’t understand why anyone else wouldn’t. He’s far from perfect – he can be ruthless and manipulative, but he’s also a decent guy that’s trying really hard to do the right thing when there are no right options. He’s a more nuanced character than anyone else in the Marvel universe.

I like Wolverine, but when it comes down to it, Wolverine is not now nor will he ever be the X-Men. That’s Scott. He’s their face and their spirit and he has fought for them for so long. It’s time he got some more credit for that.

Superhero Movies and Lifelong Favourites

On Thursday afternoon, I was in class, taking a quantum physics quiz. I had an hour long gap between the end of that quiz and the start of a robotics meeting. I checked my phone once I got out of class and found out we’re getting a Nightwing movie. Needless to say, I freaked out.

adore Nightwing with all my heart. The first comic I ever read was about him. He was the reason I got into comics at all. It was through him that I discovered the rest of the Batfamily. I’ve been wanting a movie about him for years. And I also love the DC Extended Universe. I used to claim that I’d go see every single Batman movie in theatres until one was done right. And Zack Snyder brought me that Batman in Batman v Superman, a Batman that’s unbelievably accurate to the character I love from the comics. This Bruce is obsessive and driven and paranoid, while still being dedicating to protecting the world and the city he loves. Snyder brought me a Clark Kent that’s more than just unrelenting optimism and cheerfulness and a caricature of a person – he brought me the story of an immigrant that’s never known another home. A person that’s forced to confront a world that he loves that’s afraid of him. A man that’s not an god, nor a devil, just a guy trying to do the right thing. Someone that’s flawed, deeply human, and fundamentally good. Someone that just loves his mom and his girlfriend and believes in using his powers to help people.

And all of that? That’s why the idea of a Nightwing movie terrifies me just as much as it excites me.

I love the DCEU. I love the representation of the iconic characters we’ve gotten so far. I love that we’re getting a Wonder Woman movie in June that looks incredible. I’m super excited to see Justice League. All the announced movies make my inner nerd scream.

I love Dick Grayson. He’s a character that’s been called the heart of the DC Universe. He’s topped lists of comicbook readers’ favourite heroes before – above Batman, above Superman. I’m so excited to see him in the DCEU, finally getting the treatment that he as an iconic character deserves.

But there is so much that could go wrong.

One of the difficulties in making a DC movie is that all of the characters are so iconic. Everyone has a set image of who they are, even if it’s not always accurate to what’s there in the comics. Even if what’s there in the comics has changed a lot over the years and in the hands of different writers. It makes it hard to try something new and unexpected – people are going to object and scream about it not being their version of the character.

Dick is an incredible character. He was the original sidekick, and he became his own hero. Even became Batman. He’s Batman’s most trusted ally. He’s Bruce’s oldest son. He’s the lynchpin of the DC Universe. All the other Robins came about as an attempt to fill the void he left. Bruce has described him as the only thing he’s ever done right. He’s so much more than just Batman’s sidekick, than just lighthearted comic relief. He’s a full fledged character in his own right.

If this movie doesn’t encompass all of that, it’ll break my heart.

I haven’t seen Lego Batman, and the director of that is supposedly going to direct this. I would trust Zack Snyder with it completely, but I’m so nervous at my favourite character being put into the hands of someone who hasn’t done anything else like this before.

But I’m still going to be there opening night. Don’t let us down, Chris McKay!

Extremism and Resistance

Donald Trump is an abhorrent excuse for a human being. He’s impulsive, easy to manipulate, and dangerous. His actions and policies will be bad for the country. That being said, his level of extremism has given us one good thing – it’s galvanized people to push back and become much more aware.

Over the past few decades, the United States has become increasingly conservative. It’s always been a country that considers non-American lives unimportant. It’s a country of great wealth and enormous inequality. A country that’s spent a huge part of its existence involved in wars around the world. A country where PoC, immigrants, and women have had their rights under constant attack. And yet nothing has caused as many people to unite against something as this election has. The reason for that may be distasteful, but it’s still clear – it’s because Trump is an unpresidential, deplorable caricature. It has even more to do with who he is than it does with what he’s doing.

In a way, it’s a good thing. Had any other person been elected, the complacency of the general populace would have continued. There would be far fewer calls to Congresspeople and Senators. The number and value of donations to various non profits that do incredible work would be much lower. There would be significantly less of a push for the Democratic Party to take a stand beyond a safe middle ground.

Right now, people are engaged. People are angry, and rightly so. People want to see this country move in a positive direction, and are ready to resist the attempts and tearing down every inch of progress that’s been made over the years. It’s essential that we don’t waste that.

Politicization of Morality

I am not a Republican. I am ideologically liberal. I am not a Trump supporter. I didn’t vote for him, and I find the overwhelming majority of his views, positions, and actions abhorrent. But I’m not a Democrat, either, and a lot of what I’ve seen over the course of the past few weeks, months, has made me wonder about the state of our ethics in this country.

Perhaps this is a cynical perspective on life, but right now, I can’t help but wonder if the main, if not the only, reason for the outcry of opposition and protest we’re seeing right now is that Trump presents himself like a cartoon villain. He’s so easy to mock, and he’s so easy to object to him, that people do it now because it’s so clear, and not so much because they really care about the issues they profess to.

Obama’s drone strikes, mass deportations, expansion of the surveillance state, extra-judicial killings of American citizens – these things all absolutely merited a response. They were all undeniably unethical. But he was presidential and articulate and capable of expressing compassion and most importantly, a Democrat, so Democrats – the people that are supposed to care about these issues – didn’t criticize him even close to enough. The ACLU challenged him multiple times, but the contrast between how much attention/money they’re getting right now and how much they got during the Obama administration is extremely stark. Of course the attention and donations are good things – they’re doing very valuable work – but it seems to add up to people willing to ignore unethical governmental actions and civil rights violations until they’re so blatant it’s impossible to pretend they aren’t there.

The US has a long history of causing instability throughout the world, then avoiding accepting any responsibility for it. This includes both Democratic and Republican administrations. On non-domestic issues, the Democrats really don’t have much of a leg to stand on. But partisanship in this country has gotten out of control. It goes beyond politicians from one party opposing actions, bills, nominees from the other for no reason other than that it’s something coming from the other party. It’s at the point where criticizing a member of one’s own party is considered an attack on unity, traitorous, a sign that you’re siding with the other.

Something that comes to mind right now is the accusations that flew around a while ago toward people like Glenn Greenwald and Shaun King – that they were “Kremlin stooges” for things like criticizing members of the Democratic Party and pointing out that it’s probably not a good idea to repeat information disseminated by the CIA uncritically. They don’t support the Democrats unquestioningly, so they’re clearly responsible for the Trump victory. One or the other. It can’t possibly be neither. All of this has resulted in a situation where I can’t trust any politician to stand up for what’s right. It seems that to most, morality only matters when the immoral action is coming from the opposing party, because party loyalty comes first.

I’ve seen similar issues when it comes to Canadian politics. I tend to support the NDP over the Liberals, but I was still very happy when the Liberals won a majority in 2015, because it meant an end to the near decade of conservatism. I frequently object to the actions of the LPC, but whenever I do that, people tell me I should be happier that the Conservatives aren’t still in power because Trudeau is much better than Harper. Is that true? In some ways, sure. In a lot of other ways, not so much.

I’m not saying it’s bad to protest Trump. Of course I’m not. I think it’s absolutely right to. But I think it’s also important to consider why the public outcry is nowhere near the level we’re seeing when it comes to anyone else.