Monday, March 31, 2008
The photograph was snapped by veteran photographer Annie Leibovitz, who is known for borrowing imagery from old iconic films.
Could it be that Leibovizt was "using one of the world's most famous black men to portray a ferocious gorilla carrying off a white woman", as one blogger puts it. Or nothing more then a photograph of two people on top of their respective (and unrelated) fields.
Last night a fireworks malfunction at WWE's Wrestlemania sent hot ambers into the packed crowd, injuring at least 40 people. The accident occurred near the finale of the event, held at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
This is further proof of the socioeconomic divide facing America today. If you're wealthy enough to attend a "real" sport's main event, such as the NFL's Super Bowl, a malfunction means seeing Janet Jackson's bare breast. However, if you live in a trailer and save up all year to see steroid-enhanced actors fondling one another in a ring, a malfunction equates to second degree burns and uncompensated medical bills.
Although sports isn't necessarily our forte here, the NCAA tournament certainly calls for drastic measures. And, yes, there are some potent political lessons to be learned here on the part of the Democrats. This is a sporting event that manages to take 64 groups of young black and white men, usher them throughout the country with a stressful schedule and still determine a winner in a month. Still beats a year and a half, no?
Both presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, earlier this month released their picks for the tournament. While they may not agree on various policy issues, especially the future course of action in Iraq, they do concur that the University of North Carolina will win the championship.
First, Obama picked three of the the four finalists, missing only Memphis, who he believed would fall to Pittsburgh in the regional semi-finals. In Obama’s defence, however, he is still campaigning. If he were to have picked against Pittsburgh there may have been grave repercussions in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. With 158 delegates at stake on April 22 and another 115 up for grabs on May 6 in North Carolina, Obama’s bracket is a nice combination of common sense...and gutless politicking. Take your pick.
McCain’s blunder was much worse. He also picked three of the four finalists, but thought the University of North Carolina would beat Connecticut in the final. UConn, however, ended up pulling a Rudy Giuliani and lost in the first round to San Diego. McCain’s Elite Eight picks, of which he picked only 4 correctly, was heavy with schools from red states: two schools from North Carolina, two from Tennessee, and then Texas and Kansas rounding it out. Of of the two exceptions, afore-mentioned UConn was likely a thank-you to Senator Joe Lieberman; Georgetown, the other blue standing out in the group, payed homage to top aide Mark Salter’s Alma matter.
Hilary Clinton, on the other hand, deferred her NCAA picks to her husband, who subsequently decided to pass. Ominous foreshadowing perhaps?
After 60 games, Obama has correctly picked the winners of 38 games while McCain has chosen correctly 36 times. Overall, this equates to 63.3% accuracy versus a still-impressive 60%.
Ultimately, what this all means is, yes, politics and Bracketology are both crap shoots. The moral of the story - with all four number one seeds now going to the final four - is that most likely Abigail from the mailroom is going to win your office pool. And Obama and McCain will now fire the guys who were tasked with making them look "hip" via basketball picks.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
"That they are bringing operatives into that region for training, operatives that ... wouldn't attract your attention if they were going through the customs line at Dulles with you when you're coming back from overseas," Hayden said.
To combat this chilling trend the Department of Homeland Security has immediately changed the protocol at its land, air and sea borders. Now posted at all U.S. Customs facilities is an updated, hypothetical profile of the "new" Al-Qaeda operative. Customs agents - while also attempting to curb the smuggling of child pornography - will be able to quickly reference this picture when determining a person's admissibility for entry:
A simpler time and place treated skits with blackface and simulated homosexual acts with reverence; they were even embraced. Frank Sinatra's legacy reminds us of this golden age.
While far-off this period in entertainment history may seem, apparently present day North Dakota is providing the backdrop for a racist renaissance.
Students at North Dakota State University recently put on a skit where a white student, in blackface, played the role of Barack Obama. In the same sketch two other students, wearing cowboy hats, reenacted a scene from Hollywood's endearing tale of two friends' gay love on the range, Brokeback Mountain.
After a predictable public outcry, the classic “ignorant hick defence” was employed. A school spokesman said the students involved were from rural North Dakota communities offering little diversity.
And the worst part? The show wasn’t even funny. Josh Reimnitz, the NDSU student body president, said "I didn't know what the point was of the entire skit.”
Our worst fears have finally been realized: one of the Democratic Presidential nominees is now riding the short school bus.
With the ever-popular duo of Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod* looking on, Saturday saw Barack Obama deliver yet another powerful, inspiring speech. “My attitude is Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants," Obama said.
Congratulations DNC, months of drawn-out bickering, racial tensions and hilarious black liberation theology Youtube videos have denigrated into little more than political ParticipACTION.
Now, the prevailing question deals with whether the New York State Governorship is merely another participant ribbon. Giuliani's "special" too, though...
* The affable stars of Body Break were not actually in attendance
It's remarkable how this world can unequivocally endorse one thing for being "cute," and yet harshly condemn something similar the same day. For instance, when a lovesick swan mates with an inanimate object it's deemed sweet, romantic and endearing by all observers. However, when a man engages in such behaviour it is pursued as a felony sex crime by local authorities
Canada's culture is most often defined by its capacity to be distinctly un-American. For instance, we put Canadian flags on our backpacks to inform the World of our "neighbour to the north" (note the u) status. In fact, we publicly fund horrible commercials to inform us of just how different we really are.
But, honestly, when you put Hockey, bad French, cold winters, sweet Native reserves, the Tragically Hip and the CBC aside, Canada is simply America. "No!" yells a tuque-wearing Canuck over the roar of his Canadian Tire snow blower. We're totally different! Our values are different! We think differently!
It is this awkward, unrelenting pursuit of highlighting uniqueness (or lack thereof) leaving us prone to cultural masochism. We end up hurting ourselves with extraneous efforts to show off a difference that is never there. It's a "look at me" attitude taken too far - essentially, we're the Jamie Lynne Spears of the G8.
Take, for example, the countless "Canadian editions" of popular television shows. Included in this list are Canada's Next Top Model, Canadian Idol, and Deal or No Deal Canada. Sure, it's cute when Sweden and Japan try, but there's something undeniably amiss when Canada attempts to emulate American pop culture. It's as if William Hung were to think he's ACTUALLY on par with Ricky.
The worst example of such Canadian cultural posturing (with self-deprecating results) is the current "Toronto 18" terrorism trial.
Allegedly, in 2005 near Gravenhurst, Ontario 18 young Muslims took part in a terrorist 'training camp.' There they "wore hooded camouflage and participated in various military-style exercises including marching, obstacle course training and firearms training." During down time they "viewed videos of an extremist and violent nature." Residents of the neighbouring community have been skeptical of these claims, however, saying the town is so tight-knit they would have noticed 18 camouflaged men (let alone visible minorities) doing calisthenics. They would have stuck out like a leprechaun in the ghetto.
Transcripts of the car rides back from the camp, near a Native reserve, reveal plots to overthrow the "new Rome," behead politicians and then 'kill everybody.' Sounding more like Question Period than jihadist, one of the plotters - in referring to the former Prime Minister - said they should go to Ottawa and kill "Paul um what's his name – Paul loser" (Harper was actually in power at the time).
But other than the big talk, what actually makes this case any more than a bunch of guys who really need to get out of Brampton on the weekends, a meagre combination of Brownies and Scouts (too much?)? Honestly, it sounds more like a bout of sexual frustration fueled by childhoods chalk full of Bollywood films, obligatory Diwali gatherings and Kraft Dinner envy. It's a tough childhood when your white friends have t.v. dinners to your Lamb Dhansak.
So now, armed with rap music, unassuming parents and the Koran apparently they were ready to take on the world. Or not.
It was revealed by an RCMP informant's report that "this hapless F-Troop, who ventured into the deathly cold of winter without a proper tent ... was reduced to sleeping in the vehicles at night to prevent freezing to death." The 18 young men would go "trooping off to the Tim Hortons multiple times a day for coffee and use of the bathroom."
In concluding, these guys were obviously hacks, not anything close to 'terrorists.' They talked big, but were wholly incapable of orchestrating plans. Canada can perpetuate a false front in the name of global security, but ultimately it won't hold up in the courts.
This was politicking when the case first emerged, and it still is. Perhaps it would be better for Canada to be self-effacing, realizing that fake publicity is worse than none at all (see: Canada's Next Great Prime Minister). Simply painful.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Former Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has spoken out against the prospect of Internet voting in elections. His justification is rather fair and, if anything, accurate. Understandably, he believes that the Internet attracts people who watch "pornography while sipping a bottle of beer." Clearly, these are not the type of people you want participating in democracy.
If only someone would push this sort of agenda in the US. What’s that now? You say that Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan have 92 combined Electoral College votes….
No word if Jaroslaw's cousin Ted was a supporter of this policy...
Friday, March 28, 2008
The road has been long and windy, the bathroom breaks numerous. The maps have proven increasingly futile. When you begin to think, “I might be lost,” you most likely are.
Meanwhile, the kids are growing restless in the backseat. They start arguing about who gets the last juice box, and then who uses the blanket. Next comes a competition of who can stay up later. This denigrates into bickering over marginally different health care and economic ideologies, parlaying each others' “facts” and “experiences,” and finally who has the cooler Tamagotchi.
At last, from the front seat:
“You two need to settle down. If you both don’t stop it right now, I'll turn this car around, and we'll drive all the way back to Denver.”
Just hype? Posturing? Empty threats?
Perhaps Howard Dean has been sitting on John Edwards' thoughts that “all this bickering will not get one child health care.”
Playing the role of the Democratic patriarch, Dean came out and said “the candidates have got to understand that they have an obligation to our country to unify. Somebody is going to lose this race with 49.8 percent of the vote and that person has got to pull their supporters in behind the nominee."
Yes, but is there crying in
No, I want this dream matchup so that, maybe, footage of this "joke" will resurface.
To recap, in 1998 - during the heated midst of the Lewinsky scandal - McCain tossed out this little ditty:
- "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?"
- "Because her father is Janet Reno."
Thursday, March 27, 2008
In the biggest twist of them all, it turns out Ms. Jolie recently adopted three babies who were illegitimately fathered by Obama during his 2006 cross-Africa tour.
A brief chronology of Rob Ford is as follows:
2000 - Elected as councillor representing Etobicoke North Ward 2
2002 - Repeatedly calls a fellow Etobicoke councillor "Gino Boy" in a heated budget discussion (granted, he had a point - it is, of course, Etobicoke)
2003 - Calls the same "Gino Boy" a "snake and a weasal," aka. a Liberal
2005 - Says to a homeless protester, "I'm working, go get a job"
2005 - In regard to AIDS funding, quoted as saying "AIDS is very preventable," adding "if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn't get AIDS probably, that's bottom line." After a firestorm erupted, instead of retracting his remarks he continued with: "how are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men."
2006 - Apologizes after being removed from a Toronto Maple Leafs game "for having one too many beers." Allegedly his drunken behaviour was not appreciated by nearby fans, who were being verbally accosted by the councillor.
2007 - Rejects funding for bicycle lanes, saying "I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day."
2008 - Enrages the South Asian Community with his commentary on "Oriental work ethic." He said "those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out ... that's why they're successful in life. ... I'm telling you, Oriental people, they're slowly taking over, because there's no excuses for them. They're hard, hard workers." Go to Spadina on a Sunday to see proof of Ford's remarks.
March 26, 2008 - Arrested for an undisclosed domestic incident. He has been charged with assault and threatening death.
This man is a Conservative legend. He personifies the political spirit of Canada, its cultural mosaic and perpetually left-leaning aspirations.
His continual fall from grace gives us all hope under the harsh light of the public eye (other than the whole spousal abuse thing).
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
It was revealed today that two Bulgarian sisters were being exploited by an Italian circus near Naples. They had been forced to swim with piranhas and stand in a cage of snakes without their consent. Truly death defying, even for trained performers.
However upsetting this is, let us speak to the concept of utilitarianism. Every concept ultimately has its goods and bads, its ups and downs - but, what is the sum? People must have been getting one of the most amazing shows in the world! Piranhas, Snakes AND risotto?!? I'd pay millions to watch such a spectacle.
The question is: why on earth weren't these poor women making the amount they deserved? In a country where mullets are fashionable, the government falls yearly and high fashion meets socialism this question is predictably unanswerable.
Anyway, I don't have much time to write tonight, but seriously, look at this story!!
I would have written many pages if I could have.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
So I was on the sidewalk today, scurrying to the subway alongside my pals Sinbad and Sheryl Crow, when I heard a load POP POP! "Did someone just open a can of soda?" I thought. No, as a bullet whizzed by my ear, we're under sniper fire!! Jesus Christ, what have I got myself into?!
So next thing I knew, I was running to the High Park underground base, the Globe and Mail whizzing in a cool breeze under my flailing arms. 'Lots of Eastern Europeans in this region, granted, but this is fucking Bosnia!' I mused to myself, sprinting faster than an Albanian in Belgrade.
I finally made it, the glass shattering from shrapnel in my midst. My coffee nearly spilled as I barrel-rolled to safety, down the steep steps into the waiting arms of a TTC soldier. They ushered me inside, behind the bullet-proof ticket window.
I took a sip of coffee, scoured the business headlines, and shook my head. Wiping the gun powder off my sleeve, my eyes were beady, cold steel. The Bear Stearns deal just went up 5-fold. "Those fucking terrorists can't mess with MY day," I chuckled, blood running down my glistening forehead.
This never happened. I did sub-par work all day, and now I'm tired and ashamed. But to read more harrowing tales of exaggeration, this time by Mrs. Clinton, click here. She is, mind you, "only human."
Monday, March 24, 2008
For starters, Tibet has been protesting like it's studying democratic reform in 1989. Their global gang have been backing them fully, pounding on embassy doors in full monk garb. This ain't Halloween Mao, we're kicken asses in Lhasa! Pow! As for Kosovo, they just inked a fresh arms trade deal with the United States, immediately upping their weapons supplies from none to some. They even brought their own backup, President Bush entering the scrap with a quick swipe from his irony sword. Take that Dayton Agreement! Indonesia, however, was rather subdued throughout the battle, its shaky peace deal and puritanical Islamic beliefs taking the bite out of the dog. Not to be forgotten, Basque's ETA came out of the bar swinging, prompting fears of future terrorist plots on Spanish tourist destinations. Thwack! Finally, Quebec was handily subdued, its population rapidly aging and bloated off Pepsi. Urrrp!
Thank you for voting. Despite the one-sidedness of the results, your participation proved that Mr. Seagal can still bust up any unauthorized political rally he chooses....with the power of rock and roll music!
Much has been said in the news about the upcoming parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe. But, come on now, really? Remember, this is Robert Mugabe's country, so relativism reigns.
For example, early reports claim that over three million extra ballots have already been printed for March 29's nation-wide vote. Yet, after crunching the numbers I see absolutely no problem with this. In fact, it makes perfect fiscal sense.
In a country with an inflation rate estimated at over 150,000% those pre-printed ballots will only be worth one-half a 2005 rigged election vote by Wednesday. And by Saturday - if you even bother to partake in the election - your ballot will be worth one-third a vote in a Rhodesian election, circa 1975.
If only Canada had as many enticing political options in its elections.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
- As a sign of strenthening inter-faith ties, the Pope baptized Italy's most prominent Muslim, Magdi Allam. The writer and oft-controversial critic of extremist Islam said his baptism was a life-defining experience, and that "the miracle of the resurrection of Christ reverberated in my soul." As the water was sprinkled over his head it is rumoured that piercing cries of "Indfidels!!!" could be heard echoing from a remote cave near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
- The Pope then spoke to the Middle East. He espoused Christ's teachings, praying for peace to overcome ongoing violence and unrest. On Iraq his message was particularly poignant, given that the prayer hasn't changed in over 5 years now. Regarding the "holy land," the Pope was mute on the fact that since 1947 God still hasn't got back to us with an answer.
- Papal kudos were given to Canada's very own Jeffrey Buttle, the recent winner of the Men's figure skating World Championships in Sweden. Rumoured to be an avid fan of the sport - because he can totally relate to the attire - the Pope offered sincere congratulations, yet with a caveat. With a smile reminding us that he was, after all, in the Hitler Youth, the Pope acknowledged that Buttle's on-ice accomplishments inspired us all, but that he'll still eternally burn in hell.
- Benedict XVI finally addressed Africa, focusing on Darfur and Somalia (though not Kenya, the Central African Republic or Zimbabwe, of course). He again prayed for peace, shedding light on the redemption felt by millions after converting to Christianity. His overarching, entirely pragmatic appeal to the helpless millions in Africa: find peace in your war-torn, AIDS-ravaged and fiercely tribalistic societies (much the end result of European colonialism), by embracing church-sponsored, anti-poverty initiatives while abstaining from any pre-martital sex. And don't use condoms.
- The service then ended, St. Peter's Basilica a breathtaking canvass behind the throngs departing en mass. Though the rain was still coming down in sheets, most churchgoers were in good spirits, sporting hearty smiles.
Sinning, of course, commences again Monday.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
P. S. Is it not weird that the reporter decided to use Estonia as an example of the sales breadth the company's getting?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
1) Peter MacKay, the Stanley Cup, Jim Cuddy and Bob Probert (among other Canadian B-listers) went to Afghanistan so the troops could watch a photo op session under the guise of a sandswept ball hockey game. As a symbolic, cultural gesture the referees officiated the game under Sharia law. Obviously not accepting this Canadian olive branch, the Taliban continued repressing women and hockey players.
2) Homeless terrorists have unfettered access to classified national defence documents, including blueprints thrown into Ottawa's dumpsters. Apparently the designs, strangely reminiscent of Tim Horton's drive thru plans, are easiest to read with fingerless gloves. (P.S. is it not an ironic twist that the trial of three army reservists accused of killing a homeless man began this week in Toronto? Coincidence? I think not.)
3) Four illegal immigrants who hid on a transatlantic vessel, easily evaded port "security" and then took a cab to a VIA station en route to Montreal were eventually caught only because the ticket salesman thought it odd they were frantically trying to pay in Euros. He called the RCMP and CBSA to no avail, although eventually the group was apprehended by the Mounties. Later, a clarifying statement on behalf of the RCMP actually blamed the clerk. They said even though he had tried to do the right thing "he called the wrong number." They then tasered him and put it on Youtube.
4) When addressing the adequacy of Canada's recently-purchased naval submarines, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said that they were of "great value." By this, MacKay was likely referring to the HMCS Chicoutimi's deadly 2004 fire, or that only one out of the four vessels purchased will be operational well into 2009. I guess it's like that old set of fine china you keep in the cabinet to say you have, but never dare use.
5) Stockwell Day is the Public Safety Minister. Nothing spells public security like an anti-abortionist homophobe revamping our national police force! Ever been to a shotgun wedding?
This interview speaks to many culturally pressing issues, but DMX's insights - 10 years after the release of his earth-shattering debut album, It's Dark and Hell is Hot - on the Democratic primary race are the most fascinating.
An excerpt follows:
Interviewer: Are you following the presidential race?
DMX: Not at all.
Interviewer: You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
DMX: His name is Barack?!
Interviewer: Barack Obama, yeah.
DMX: What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?
Shame on an Earl Simmons.
Note: The picture in this post was done beyond hastily.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
She called up her local Walmart to complain, but was treated rudely - so she called up the local news channel to bring attention to the horribly offensive issue.
Check out the local news station's coverage of the story here.
Whats the big deal? They have to learn somehow.
First up: Converse Shoes - Connectivity Campaign
Converse will be releasing a line of shoes in honour of the late musician, who was wearing his own ratty pair when he committed suicide in April 1994. The new shoes are distressed, designed with notable lyrics and patterned with sketches taken from his notebooks.
The new shoes are a part of Converse' Connectivity campaign which also uses the likeness of other iconic figures, that although dead, surely wouldn't mind participating. I've heard that Sid Vicious and Hunter S. Thompson were real team players.
Doc Martens: Made to last...
Last Spring, Doc Martens released images of several iconic musicians wearing their boots in heaven - implying the boots were "made to last". Also appearing in the ads are Joe Strummer, Joey Ramone and Sid Vicious.
How calm the creative waters must be in the shoes industry, that companies would not only procure the image of a famed "outsider", but do it at the same time as another brand. Personally, I think this is all bullshit - everyone knows Birkenstocks are standard issue in Heaven. (On a side note, good to see Sid there).
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
If only China didn't speculate on our natural resources while manufacturing nearly all of our cheap consumer goods, tainted dog foods and poisonous baby toys Tibet could be next, right?
Pundits, anticipating a Liberal win, blamed utter boredom and grief over the bleeding death of ABBA's former drummer, Ola Brunkert, for the surprising results. It is felt that both factors also resulted in the extremely diminished final voter turnout of 25 per cent.
In his particularly incendiary acceptance speech Clarke gave a sarcastic thank-you to supporters and opponents alike for "taking a chance on me." However, the rhinestone-studded pants, he later conceded, "were a little too Alberta."
Monday, March 17, 2008
Vote freely and fairly, like in Iran.
So, now it appears the Democrats are not only fighting a guerrilla war with Al-Qaeda, but Al Sharpton as well.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
"I tried to distract the bear with lights and music because I heard bears are afraid of that," Mr Kiseloski told his local newspaper.
"So I bought a generator, lit up the area and put on songs.”
Unfortunately for Kiseloski (and Macedonian taxpayers), the bear continued to steal honey. The beekeeper then resorted to the next logical step, pressing criminal charges.
After being found guilty, the court ordered the state to pay 140,000 denars on behalf of the bear for damage caused to the beehives.
Although the bear showed up to court, he had to be forcibly removed after flashing gang signs and repeatedly exposing himself to the audience in the courtroom.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Here's further proof that Canadian politics, for brief instances, can be thoroughly entertaining. As a side note, I think the guy with the Turban sits in the front row at Raptors home games, but I'll check on that.
Please tell your friends and family about this unwarranted financial indiscretion. Visit the site often.
Friday, March 14, 2008
If the proposal is carried out, immigrants attempting to illegally enter the U.S. would have to contend with two levees made from excavated soil and a 20 m. wide, 3m. deep channel extending down the middle of a 120 m. wide wetland area.
Supporters of the plan point to the moat's potential environmental benefits and crime-reduction capacity as its key selling features. Its ingenuity, relative to the fencing alternative, is also a major bonus.
Yet, does anyone at the Yuma City Hall remember Cuba? Are there not some lessons to be learned here about Hispanic immigrants, imposed water barriers and the results?
People build fucking rafts! Hillary Clinton will probably win a mail-in ballot soon because of them.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tony Blair, it has just been announced, will head up an international task force charged with securing a global deal on climate change that is suitable to both the US and China, the world's two largest polluters.
This role will be held in conjunction with the former U.K. Prime Minister's post as Envoy to the Middle East for the U.N., EU, United States and Russia, as well as his recently confirmed teaching job at Yale (where his son, coincidentally enough, is on a full scholarship).
In any available spare time, Blair said, he will continue working on a time machine to change that whole Iraq thing.
No, this is not a joke.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Forget the hypocrisy involved and just go with it, duuuude.
These were cries we could all rally around as young people, right? The current Canadian version, however, is increasingly discordant and meaningless.
As a purported supporter of the federal Liberal party I simply can not smoke a metaphorical joint to this theme song any longer. Always plodding along left of centre, the party's mere existence now appears steeped in proving as much. It's as if a man who really wants a truck buys a compact car to merely show off that he isn't poorly endowed. There are better ways: just take your pants off.
Show some guts and make a decision based on merit, not image, political expedience or salience.
I only envision a Liberal caucus meeting as Woodstock footage on loop. Dion hammers the tubla to a steady beat while wide-eyed friends throw leftist redundancies through the mounting haze. With Hendrix blaring in the background...
War? Oppose it!
Taxes? Raise them again!
Families? Support them!
Education? Devise disingenuous tax shelters for the rich and force an election on the issue!
Publicly funded government inquires? Hold them on anything possible!
Quebec? Support secessionist , leftist parties if it counters the Conservatives!
The political left has a purpose, and a good one at that. But by sticking to cliched mantras this country's historically dynamic brand of socialism goes nowhere fast. Like the aimless hippies before them, the Liberals are becoming a staid group of anti-everythings, direction-less opportunists hard-pressed to take a stance. The party is too high to figure out who's even in charge (though, granted, it is hard with the accents).
The NDP, our revamped marxists, are no better - they jump on the convenience bandwagon like fringe Communist parties of the 60's laying claim to social reform they had little to do with.
But Layton does look good in green. And sitting next to Lou Dobbs I vaguely envisioned a cigar in his mouth.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
As the 'church' statistically becomes irrelevant, profound social liberalism (or a mosque, temple or L Ron Hubbard-penned science fiction novel) has gradually taken its place. From the 60's onward, progressive alternatives have gradually filled the influence vacuum. Children have since been growing up faster, harder and more willing to experiment, free from the confines of institutionalized dogma and frocked fear-mongering. Large swaths of time, particularly Sunday mornings, have been increasingly open for youth to explore. Philandering and pot smoking, or so I hear, have largely ensued.
Compared with 50 years ago the youth - me included - were, and still are, wildly out of control. Ideas are flowing; both information and filth are profoundly, excitingly accessible to impressionable minds. The altar boy has thus emphatically dropped the scriptures for BET, although my last post proves this is certainly not a bad thing (if you work as a Congressional Page this is especially true, but again, that's beside the point).
Back to today's revelation, though. My colleague passingly spoke of a fashion designer who creates not only lingerie, but "wedding night lingerie." I was shocked. Wedding night lingerie? Do you simply throw it out afterward? Might one get it starched like flowers and put into a scrap book? Burn it ritualistically? Smell it when times get rough five years and three kids down the road? Remember the good times at the airport Hyatt, hunny? I guess it makes a convoluted sense.
Given the near-universality of premarital sex in Western society, is the significance of the wedding night being drastically depleted? And if not depleted, is the emphasis not in the least way altered? The 1920's are obviously over - no one really misses being labelled a Bolshevik and no one actually understood Ulysses anyhow. But today people have sex for years, engaging in common law relationships long before taking the nuptial leap. Said plunge is often a formality with no identifiable lifestyle change; seems almost like an inevitable letdown in a sad way, does it not?
So, is there really the market for "wedding night lingerie" any more? And, beside, would those lucky few abstinence adherents really be the type to buy vinyl underwear in the first place? Who, exactly, are they pandering to? Monika could already very well sue for copyright infringement.
I leave you with those questions.
For now, though, I look back fondly to the time of hand-holding, drive-in movies and 'waiting.' The days when wedding night lingerie was akin to the wedding dress itself, original and denotative, not merely a new coat of paint on the old wagon.
Oh, to live in the age of our grandparents, or Kuwait. The puritan ideal of one's wedding night being symbolic of emotional AND physical advancement is certainly endearing. In any era.
A $500 pair of single-use underwear and a lifetime condemnation of missionary sex is less appealing, mind you. So take your pick.
Middle-aged, rich, white American men are in cahoots. Places where hob-nobbery is oft undertaken are packed nightly with furrowed brows and crease lines. Concerned whispers in dark country club hallways indicate this mounting aura of unease. Why? Observers beg to know.
Well, the stock market has gone from record, oil war-backed highs to abysmal, debt-infused lows. Ironically, the chap who pumps the gas into your SUV can't help but tell you to sell your asset-backed commercial paper before your portfolio takes a hit. Meanwhile, the Iraq and Afghanistan 'insurgencies' - to everyones' utter astonishment - have intensified, only solidifying equally bleak prognoses. The Led Zeppelin reunion tour was only one concert, with no American date. Africa and Bono still exist. Viagara apparently works well, though for far too long. More recently, the Democratic nomination pits an African American man (middle name: Hussein, no less) against a universal health care-advocating WOMAN. To top it all off, one witnesses the man who was supposed to be at the helm releasing endless Powerpoint presentations and DVDs in the name of crackpot science.
So, yes Al, our world IS melting.
Yet these problems, insurmountable as they may seem, are not what is fazing the world's decision makers. It's far more complex. It's - mind the pretension in the word choice - surreptitious, in a way. Here's the real issue:
Rich, white, socially-conservative American men can no longer get away with avoiding their Latin lessons. Facta Non Verba. Deeds not Words. This is a familiar adage from preschool, mother's chastising or (if so unfortunate) Sunday School. We all grew up with the concept of sticking to what you say. Don't back down.
Thus, talking about moral values and propogating partisan evangelical faith throughout America is one thing: a start. Judiciously pursuing 'sinners' in the public courts, media and Congress, a step further. But, to have those very crusaders turn around and be caught soliciting minors, random male strangers and, most recently, prostitutes is downright hypocrisy.
More importantly, however, it's hilarious. It lets us wake up in the morning next to a melted tub of ice cream, an empty bottle of red wine and some random barfly, only to laugh it off. While searching for a wallet we'll never find, it's foils like these that can still let us smile.
The falls from grace of Mark Foley, Larry Craig and (today) Elliot Spitzer are utterly vindicating for the everyman. Willy Loman would be howling from the grave if he were a real person, and not a tragic literary figure relegated to our under-funded public education system. But I digress...
The House of Representatives' chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children is found emailing young pages, eliciting illicit responses. Brilliant! Republican Senior Senator Craig playing footsie in the men's room with an undercover police officer. Bravo! Mr. Spetzer - the magisterial gunslinger of the Big Apple, Harvard Law graduate, Attorney General extraordinaire, Gambino-hunter, hard-nosed social crusader, etc., etc. - exposed in a FBI-wiretapped, elaborate prostitution ring. To be fair, he only purchased a 4-star call-girl: he is, of course, a married man.
Icing on the cake good sir!
In these truly hard times, economic and otherwise, I beg our high-profile, hypocritical politicians to keep it coming. Say one thing, then immediately think of the polar opposite and please do it.
Oh, and let it get out into the papers immediately. Just keep making us smile.
This is the first post to a blog I only trust may flourish at your fingertips. It will burn bright, flicker and one day die, sending sarcastic plumes billowing into the night sky. The likes of Larry Craig, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson will drift, forever immortalized by a cooling breeze. But like an Indian funeral, no one will cry at the pyre (and no one will wear gold or be sent to ashrams). So, let us start this sarcasm off by celebrating a budding life.
Regarding content, a left-leaning fire this publication will prove; however, I assure that the shifting winds of good sense and open-mindedness will forever fill the sails. If an issue demands pragmatism, so be it. Besides, editorial partisanship went out with Fox News and the CMAJ - a sense of humour is our new caucus. This blog is Barack Obama with actual credentials.
Like a California wildfire consensus on topics will shift without warning, sending illegal immigrants and Hollywood Republicans scrabbling, somehow in the same direction. A witty pun forces me to add that these postings will solidify ties as opposed to building fences. Laugh if you must.
When it's all over this blog will collectively amount to another banal drip in the blogosphere's meaningless bucket - a collection of cultural observations, inside political jokes, sarcastic economic insight and celebrity mockery of the most grandiose proportions. What you can expect is a tongue-in-cheek, elbow-your-kid-brother, slap-your-grandmother's fragile knees commentary. The things you wish were parenthesized in the papers: the spin. Albeit cliche, this will be real, endlessly raw and purposefully not PC.
Everything written here - when standing at your work water cooler, sitting at the lunch table or driving the family auto - will prove more handy than capped. A daily gift to you.
Every class hour, free minute or random second this blog will be updated. It will be current, forever unpredictable and - I hope - inherently cutting.
Enjoy, tell friends and comment freely.
Gord and Danielle.