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March 26, 2004

Albertatrossatized

My issue with Alberta is not with Albertans! Albertans are groovy. But if I bought a house and formed a bond - however tenuous - with those in my wee village, and we all survived in hunger through many perilous winters, before I, one day, while digging around in my backyard, discovered a fortune hidden away in the tundra, wouldn't I be an asshat if I started claiming I'd a right to a firewall, my own private hospital, and, um, tax-evasion too? If I said to fuck with helping frenchy down the way - who could only make a living at fishing for 4 months of the year - and, come to think of it, to fuck with everyone for trying to leech off me, because my cutting edge ideas about every-man-for-himself make the most sense for me, well then... Wouldn't it be right to say my greed was playing some role in our village's demise?

Doubtless, I'm a sucker for over-simplification - much to my detriment - but this renegade-province-routine has me spooked.

Maybe - hopefully - I'm being an ignorant alarmist. I just don't get it. Ralph klein is supposed to be so hep to religion, hence his vomity stance on marriage, etc.. But if he truly believes in God - which is to say, if he's yet to be touched by those-spiritually-menacing-radicals of the 18th century (I know I know, I could have gone back way earlier), which is to say, if he still holds that God is a malicious prick on a cloud somewhere - wouldn't logic follow he'd be a little wary after what happened to the last guy who tried to dismantle our country?

I don't mean to kick a man with flesh-eating-disease or anything.

I'm only sayin.

Posted by at 04:51 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Grey Album

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Because it's Friday & we must dance!

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March 25, 2004

Red Berries

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Who cares about red berries?

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13

This movie was written by a 13 year old. It has the worst sound-track I've heard in recent memory. The writer stars in it. She has the aura of someone acting in an autobiographical feature about how brilliant and misunderstood she is. Critics might have saved me money & time had they at least intimated 13 plays out like an after-school special, instead of concentrating so exclusively on the talent of the dramatist. Sure, she's talented. And her screenplay's pretty good. But seriously, why hesitate to add, "for a 13 year old"?

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March 24, 2004

Barney (On The Road)

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March 23, 2004

Curb Your 'Tude

Cha.

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Stockwell Day files lawsuit against Bow Wow

Another high-quality article from tv. (This one's like three months old by now, but in truth, they're all timeless).

Former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day has filed a $200,000 lawsuit in Florida federal court alleging that popular rapper Bow Wow stole his idea for a night club in South Beach, Miami. Day claims he approached the rapper to head a development team last summer, but that Bow Wow is now pursuing the idea without him. He is seeking damages for trademark infringement and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

I came to Bow Wow about opening a hip hop club where all of the floors, walls, ceilings and furniture would be made of fractals, Day said, and he flat out stole the idea, name and everything. Fractals are geometric shapes constructed of infinitely repeating self-similar patterns. The more closely they are examined, the more complex they reveal themselves to be.

Bow Wow acknowledged that he is developing a fractal nightclub, but insisted the idea is his.

I had a dream a while ago that I shot a pterodactyl in the back, and when I tried pulling out its spine, I found a million little pterodactyls swimming inside. When I shot them up, a million more teeny pterodactyls came screaming out. I woke up and thought, Ima open a club called Fractal Pterodactyl, the sixteen year old star told Bloomberg News.

Ive always thought fractals were real beguiling, know what Im saying? he added. The idea that each part can contain the whole blows my mind, and I try to infuse that aesthetic into all my rhymes. You better aks somebody.

In a statement through his attorney, Day said: Bow Wow is demonstrating an outrageous disregard for trademark law. He needs to be taught that when he steals someones ideas, it can really hurt their feelings. Fractal Pterodactyl was my idea, and Im going to prove it in court.

However, in an interview on Canada AM Wednesday morning, Day had a more conciliatory tone.

If Bow Wow lets me join the development team so I can at least offer some input, I would be willing to drop the lawsuit. If hed just give me a chance, I have a lot of ideas I know can help him - like the club could include a 60-room hotel up top, in case people want to do the wild thang, or whatever. Or, wait, what about carving the fractals in the bathrooms out of Italian marble?

Or how about this, how about playing fractal music in the club? Do you think thats possible? he asked host Beverly Thomson.

Asked whether he believes the case will be settled before construction of the club is completed, Day said, I guess well have to wait and see how stubborn he is. Its all up to Bow Wow at this point.

Posted by at 11:28 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

CRAP

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I would have liked it if Tony Clement won, because making fun of Alberta is akin to picking on a 9 year old, but from day one - given the magnitude of his lead - this was Harper's race to lose. And even tho he repeatedly lost it, perhaps because he was our country's most boringest candidate, he won handily.

So, Alberta bashing it is then. To get the ball rolling on this, I've decided to post some nude photos of Stephen Harper.

My suspicion is they'll be hugely damaging.

Posted by at 11:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

My Your Blues Rant

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Your Blues makes it clear Dan Bejar is the rulingest voice in music today. Anyone who cares to debate this should know in advance that I'm highly inflexible on this point.

Instead of writing about why he's great, I figured out a few songs. At least, I think I did (I'll welcome corrections):

F G
oh notorious lightning yes i had to ride you
Am Em
and trash the crystal jets they kept in storage inside you
F C Em
i was told never to question it now i'm facing 20 years
Am Dm F
for every night i tried to ingest the snow so lightly (huh)
C
You simply couldn't put down the black book
Em
You dreamt the dreams of the self-taught man
Am
You warned the ladies not to be corrupted by their looks
F C
but your voice comes out soft and slanted
F Em
and your living off what the government granted you:
Dm
amnesty from the true thing now saundra slowly remove the ring and watch
F G
notorious lightning surround you
"

C/Am
i lay myself down to observe your gilded jeans hit the ground & have not grown from this worship.
C/Am
i lay myself down to surrender, watch the trust funds gorge us again and have not grown from this worship
C
so great pretender pull a face lets see the best forlorn you know
Am
just don't sing barricades in the morning it's been 3 days in a row
F C
and it never comes off like you planned it
F Em
something once was delivered, then you banned it
Dm
but oh there is a key to this thing
G
notorious lightning

Then there's all this fancy key-board stuff and other lyrics which I've seen fit to edit, followed by:

F/Am
and someone's gotta fall before someone goes free!
(the Am might be a C, who can tell? Ted?)

I've been singing this in my gramma's basement for days now. I highly recommend y'all do the same.

Also - he continued - I think I figured out What Road?:

c am f g
once i was made beautiful in the light of an hour
c am f g
but this year I'm just a meal laid out for august to devour
f g c am
so quick let's go it's time for a ride the future's yours no wait i lied
c am f g
it's not yours - it is a replica of scattered ash and the road the rain's on

f/c
what road?

c am f g
able willing ready fuck the spiral jetty tonight i would love being high
c am f g
til i stare at the sky designed to come down on everyone at once
f g c am
so quick let's go it's time for the ride the future's yours no wait I lied
c am f g
it's not yours it's a replica of scattered ash and the road the rain's on

f/c
what road?

c am f g
i've been working on some open-ended shit
c am f g
i was looking for an in and that was it
c am f g
back at the recital signs remain vital a statue of stone which rejects its own pulse
c am f g
your heart's fair your heart's square your heart's not even there - wasted surely on the girls from point saint
c am f g
claire there is a light and it goes out
c em f g ` f g
a touch a classicism in the night your backlash was right where i wanted you
f g (c)
yes that's right i wanted you too

Every review I've read says how this closing line is a reference to the critics hissy-fit when This Night was released. I don't think this, and wouldn't have thought this, but maybe they're right. People did really miss the boat on that album in a rather embarrassing type-way. This Night was a masterpiece and critics who shat on it are retarded. It had Goddess of Drought on it, for Christ's sake. It had The Night Moves on it! It had Trembling Peacock, Crystal Country and The Chosen Few, which - if I understand correctly - is one of the finest songs Bejar ever wrote, plus it had Here Comes The Night on it. It had the line, "you shouldn't hurt the ones you love unless you really want to". Ok already, it may not have been Streethawk, and it wasn't Yur Blues but please. What are people comparing him to? Does he have to make every album Abbey Road-good to avoid "critical" backlash? I actually had to read some doorknob talking about how Bejar "shat his pants at his coming out party" when he made This Night. You know who else shat their pants at their coming out party, dingus, aside from every artist you champion? Maybe pick on someone who isn't the lyricist of our time instead of carrying on under the pretense that you wouldn't have booed Dylan off stage for going electric, when apparently you can't grasp This Night for the love of Allah.

And another thing: Anyone who says "Now, finally, the bandname begins to make sense," about Bejar's sixth album should retire. The name meant everything to anyone with ears on City of Daughters.

Retire!

Posted by at 10:38 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Some Things My Aunt Told Me

I didn't have a camera when I lived in B.C., or want one, particularly, but occasionally I'd see people who had them-- Emily Carr arteests, I imagined-- lingering over emaciated teenage prostitutes as they lay dormant on the pavement. The arteests were, and continue to be, to me - in some ineffababble way - more unsettling than the site of the junkies themselves. I'd say they were callous, in their galleries, by their gritty black & whites, but what's worse, really: documenting the crisis afflicting a heroin port-city, a mecca of death, or cruising by such - as they're called in Disney-Land - "photo-opportunities" - on one's way out for a night of red-hot music/foose-ball?

My Aunt Mary, who lives in those parts, often said photography was dying. To her, that bleak image of junkie on cement just didn't cut it. It was losing the war against cliche. She'd lament how photographers were "taking pictures of pictures," and that this was all people were seeing: pictures, instead of what they held. Arguments like this are trendy enough I spose. The landscape-painting is dying. Rock music is dying. Jazz is dying. The novel is dying. The art of travel-brochure writing is dying. The brash pronouncement about how something is dying is dying. It's all true enough, of course.

Mary moved to an island years ago. She's as furious and dismayed an American as you're likely to find. She had a kid come from the projects of Chicago - one she didn't need to see a photo of to care about - stay with her for a few months, never learn to read or concentrate, then go back to from where he came, leaving the two of them more deflated and depressed than when he arrived. I don't know why I mention this, exactly.

Last I saw her, she vented about people who smoke in movies, saying they should be forced to give public service announcements about the stupidity of their smoking (which could perhaps air during the credits of their vehicles,) and that their pay-cheques - or at least a portion of them - should go toward Cancer research, if they really have to manage their image that way. It's children who go to see these movies - stars know it - know they're influential, know their fans are too young to grasp mortality, yet still, they insist on smoking. So that, some-fucked-up-how, in her view, a smoking movie-star will do more to cause Cancer than any gritty urban photo ever could to keep kids off smack.

What? Huh? I don't - when I think about it - know what to make of all I attribute to her, other than that it's interesting anyone thinks such things at all. What an age that we have time for such thoughts when a few centuries ago - in Canada anyway - all we thought of was caribou.

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This is a picture of a picture, for sure. I took it a little over a week ago when I was out in the country. I liked taking it. It speaks, i guess, of the solitude of the Canadian winter, etc., and might - were it in a calendar or something - create awareness about the month of March blowing big-time - albeit in a tranquil enough sort of way. Is it ok? At least I'm not ripping off Diane Arbus over here, ok? At least I'm going for more of a low-brow Robert Bateman type thing, ok? What, you gotta problem, punk?

Posted by at 09:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Eternal Sunshine

I remember after Adaptation came out there was this ludicrous backlash.

It was as if everyone, at once, got cool, and started saying: "Well, it's ok, but it's no Ali: Fear Eats The Soul or nuthin'." It irritated the shit out of me. I mean, to follow this straw line of reason: Ali is a masterpiece by a genius at the top of his game. Adaptation is nutritious bubblegum at best. But the thing about such an argument is, most people, if they came across Ali, would change the channel during the first scene, the one in the bar where the young Arab stud meets the old German lady and they hit it off. Nowadays, people simply wouldn't care. So, really, Ali, brilliant as it is, fails to register. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, on the other hand, is infinitely right for the time. I'm just not prepared to hear people shoot it down for lack of dimension given that The Passion is number one at the box office. Sunshine is also no Ali, but it's nothing if it isn't healthy. And more to the point: it's appeal is broad. Everyone knows some quirky girl with blue hair, and they all want to see where a film is headed when she meets an introvert on a train. Take me! the audiences scream, and they're totally rewarded for going there.

The casting of Tom Wilkinson as Howard was supremo. He was the father in In The Bedroom, a film where the most awful thing in the world happens directly to him, so it made great, continuative, sense to see him as the inventor of memory-erasure. I was glad to see Mark Ruffalo return from his awesome debut in You Can Count On Me, because I feared Jane Campion has extinguished his career. I'll admit I hated seeing Elijah Wood, because I've absolutely had it with Hobbits, but I felt this peculiar bit of emotional perversity [I know he's a cool, accomplished, great enough young man] worked to the film's advantage. By the end, due to Elijah's arch, which pertains to his utter lack of substance, and to how he has everything like way way way too easy, I was down-right happy he'd been cast.

All the people are talking about who is better at adapting Charlie Kauffman: Jonze or Gondry, Gondry or Jones. To me, it doesn't matter. I liked Human Nature (Gondry) more than Malkovich (Jonze), and Eternal Sunshine (Gondry) more than Adaptation (Jonze). But I liked Adaptation more than Human Nature, and I'm sure I'll like whatever Kauffman writes next, which Jonze, if the pattern continues, will direct, more than Eternal Sunshine. Thing of it is, Kauffman's figured a way to make the subject of human identity palatable for people and he gets better with every script-play. So - if you ask me - people should just be grateful and leave it at that.

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March 22, 2004

German Consulate

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March 21, 2004

Corn

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Love That Dog!

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March 19, 2004

Barney (With Tracks)

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March 18, 2004

Barney (The Fighter)

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March 17, 2004

Barney (In Barn)

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March 16, 2004

Barney (with Barn)

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March 15, 2004

Barney

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March 12, 2004

KING

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My New Place

I'm moving into a new place at Queen and Bathurst. Very cheap rent and I live with two girls.

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I'm pretty excited about the antics that will ensue.

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March 09, 2004

Hanging-Men

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Posted by at 10:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

acation

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i'm gonna take the remains of March and be with the woman who has me tangled up in phone cords walking into walls falling over myself dumbly.

back in april or something.

Posted by at 03:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cabbagetown

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I live in Cabbagetown this month.

It's gentrified and weird. I was a child here once. Now all the home owners look like highschool students to me. How did everyone get so rich so fast and so young?

Nevermind.

I love the houses.

Posted by at 03:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A2948

I hate to kick a man when she's down, and I know it's been front page news for months, but this Stevie Cameron story is not something anyone I know reads or cares or thinks about, and I wonder why.

Or maybe I don't. After all, We live in a country united by our undying hatred for all things Lyin' Brian and our conception of him as a crooked, corrupt thief (which Cameron dutifully laid out for us) has had it's immortality directly threatened in recent months. To believe Cameron wasn't opportunistic in this is to believe kittens in burlap sacks will float indefinitely when tossed into pickerel ponds, but that's somehow beside the real point, which is that we hate L.B. even when he didn't do the things we hate him for.

I remember a flim festival interview a few years back, when the great Canada-championer Michael Moore remarked how unfortunate it was Ben shared a last name with that "terrible former prime minister of the country". Mulroney gently told Moore he was the prime minister's son, which prompted an apology. Ben then said, "It's ok - I get that sometimes" but I bet he gets it all the time. Mulroney himself began a speech with an anecdote about how he was on the bus when the woman beside him volunteered how sorry she felt for him. When he asked her why, she said "because you look just like Brian Mulroney". You can think about it at your own peril. Were most of us to, say, find ourselves in L.B.'s shoes for so much as a millisecondo we'd shoot ourselves in the head on the spot. Yet our former PM's persevered and not without reason, or so it's starting to seem, as - and excuse me for saying this out loud - he didn't lie.

He's hated for a lot of things: Meech Lake, an initiative which shouldn't have generated hatred, and which didn't make it through anyway - unfortunately for us - is, curiously, chief among them. The GST, which, depending on who you ask, might not be the bastion of fascistic evil it once seemed, (and may even be something close to pragmatic.) The Big One, Free Trade, has many of the elite lawyers in the U.S. furiously banging heads, claiming they were had, because they were the ones with the bargaining power (being the most powerful force in human history and everything) and we were the ones who walked away laughing. This is according to them, and you can't trust them, of course. And NAFTA might well be a disaster for us. Perhaps we should have continued to be bullied about without even trying to impose stipulations: this was certainly John Turner's plan, but I don't know how workable it was. Mulroney also had his heart in the right place on apartheid, controversially enough.

Personally, I sympathize deeply with those who regard "trade" as "doomed", but I feel history indicates otherwise. Regardless of your feeling tho, recall Mulroney ran an election on the issue. He said a vote for him was a vote for Free Trade and won a landslide. It was Chretien who ran on the promise to undo NAFTA and then did nothing until it was time to go out in style, therefore it's Chretien we can rightfully call a liar. And yet, he's known as the little man from Shawinigated community.

From what I've gathered, Cameron's husband, some very respectable Geeves, wanted a job posting that he felt qualified for, and that the PC government refused him. Rumour has it (how dare I?!) Stevie was indignant on her hubby's behalf and On The Take was her best effort to bring down the man who dared not hire her spouse. I actually paid for and read that book, and while I don't doubt Cameron believed she was hot on the trail of the truth, she did come up empty, and it didn't prevent her from becoming a millionaire and household name over night. It gave her all the credence a journalist could hope for and it was a story she created by feeding BS to the RCMP and leading them on a 4.8 million dollar excursion into nowhere's-ville. I hate to state the obvious, but [delivered in shrill Annex-activist tone] that's tax payer's money! Chretien was only too happy to provide it, of course, because he hated L.B. as much as the rest of us. It seems a paltry sum now, but keep in mind had Mulroney been found to have squandered anything close to that amount for his own opportunistic purposes, he would have been hanged publicly. He practically was hanged publicly and no one gave a shit. Had anyone made such an unsupportable assertion in order to besmirch the good name of, say, Pierre Elliot Christ, well, they too would have been hanged, while being whipped mercilessly by their pirouetting executioner.

It's pretty nuts Stevie spent the last few months saying she would never have been a numbered informant in a million years because it would have compromised her integrity and ruined her credibility. She said this enough times that the presiding judge started wondering aloud why in hell she was permitted to fib in national newspapers and on national radio and remain protected-- this woman who had made herself rich via something that bordered on slander. At which time Cameron back-pedalled saying she didn't realize she was numbered, as she never told the RCMP anything that wasn't public knowledge. It's a curious thing: call up the Mounties and ask them for numbered-informant-status on the basis you have public knowledge to offer them, and somehow, they're never interested.

I suppose it's sad: Cameron's illustrated she's capable of bald face lies just like the politicians she scorned in spite of their unproven (& unprovable) guilt. She's tarnished, if not ruined, her own credibility, which is too bad for both her and us, as she was a guru to a burgeoning generation of young journalists just as surely as that Lyin' guy was their Supreme Doofus in Command.

Mulroney - and let me make myself very clear on this - was tough to stomach: pompous and arrogant and obnoxious as hell. He is, in our hearts, inextricably tied to the downward spiral of globalization, and rightly so. But he wasn't a lying thief, and he's damn close to Jesus next to those heading the Canadian Alliance at the moment. What they want to do with health-care, abortion and the death penalty, their ideas about being friendly to big business, Stephen Harper's respect for the subcontinental inuit, Belinda Stronach's first semester of university, Tony Mike-Harris Clement. Or, just for fun, the scandals of the Liberal Party : are these not undeniable evidence of irredeemable corruption?

Anyway, we basically have no one to vote for.

My best guess is Lyin' Cameron doesn't have the same ring to it, and Stevie will eventually find herself back in the Winwood again. Mulroney, who is already gleeful over the prospect of his impending redemption, will forever remain the most lyingest guy in our country - however unfairly - mostly due to his own self-righteous glee over the prospect of impending redemption.

Nothing much will change.

The tragedy, according to virtually everyone, is that Stevie Cameron is a sweet woman. I wish to God all this had happened to someone else, like, say, Margaret Wente, for instance. But as it is, this whole ordeal has caused that most prolific wind-bag of our country to start making something close to sense.

To me, this is the most shocking development of all.

Posted by at 11:10 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 07, 2004

Confessions of a Hurtful, Unfunny Comedian

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This guy - named Nick-can't-remember-his-last-name - is all about being so unfunnily unfunny that he's unfunny. Rightly - if somewhat obviously - I suspected he was doing it on purpose, a sort of Andy Kauffman sans the originality-and-wit part. Get it?

Backstage, a voice pleaded: "Someone go help that guy, he's getting raped."

I know: If he's soo lame, why am I writing about him?

I have a reason.

Honest!

After I caught his act, I was telling my friend about how remarkable it was - considering the tension Nick generated - there was not even a temporary foray into the remotely humorous. The Cape Fear episode of The Simpsons where Side-Show Bob steps on the rake and by the sixth time you've stopped laughing and by the 15th you're laughing again? He was the sixth rake the whole time. I was so agitated I feared I might be hit by something unexpected, and forced to give up a laugh, and was somehow relieved when the obviousness of his wit and the lameness of his targets carried through to the end. To Toronto's credit, he generated no booing, hissing, cheering, jeering, heckling, moaning, groaning or airy silence either-- just blank, if tired, indifference. (Although there were 3 Avril Lavigne fans who tittered a few times. [I'm not kidding.])

Straining to recall his jokes for my pal, I remembered one single line involving Joan Rivers having AIDS. He said - and I might be paraphrasing a little but - "I always thought Joan Rivers had AIDS until I found out you could be extremely ugly and not have AIDS" and the thing about this was, as I relayed it to my friend, I started laughing. To be sure, I was not laughing at his joke, which only made me want to give him pain/substance/pause-for-something-approximating-reflection in the form of a bowl of peanuts to the head, (were it not so blatantly apparent this was what he wanted most); nor was I laughing at how bad his joke was, as he seemed to anticipate the heppers of our cool-guy downtown-scene might. No, I was laughing at exactly how I felt giving voice to his sentiment some 3 days after the fact.

Why did I even do this? And why am I writing about him a week later?

Partially, it's a testament to his obfuscated genius, I'm sure. The layers of reflexivity in the re-telling alone were fascinatingly manifold. As the giggles took hold, in spite of my better effort to suppress the grossenating power of their taboo, I thought again of how one too many layers of irony destroys the potency of a joke that another layer recovers. I wondered - briefly - if I'd have to give it to this Nick guy after all, before deducing I didn't. At least, I don't think I do - yet. But I don't know: I'm constantly stunned by blogging. I learn the same lesson over and over, which is, if you don't have anything radiant to say, don't say anything at all. The ego of the self-googler - like the ego of the interweeb itself - is as fragile as a deer that's been shot in the stomach. It's all manly-man bravado tempered with peculiarly insecure attempts at jabbery, and I include myself in this, of course. Still, if there's someone out there who doesn't have anything nice to say wishing AIDS upon people, should I really be worried he's capable of googling his self, sans last-name, and posting fragile, disheartened, guilt-inducing remarks in my comments?

Somehow, I don't think so.

So, in summary, I'd like to apologize to The Organ and Glass Tiger once again. I spelled it "Glass Tigger" out of respect for you, guys, cause I really didn't want you to find it. I am sorry about my negativity - and I don't know where it comes from, though I suspect it has something to do with how I breathe and see and hear and stuff.

As for you, Nick, I have it on good word you're actually a really sweet guy, so you're not about to bait me into telling you to put some nasty phrase (like "your act needs work") in your pipe and shove it up your over-sized unexplored, much as I'd like to. Whether this is ultimately to your credit or mine is, of course, an open question.

Like I said to my pal, it's confusing as hell.

Posted by at 03:04 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

March 04, 2004

Straight2Hell

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Can anyone tell me what the hell this says?

Anyone out there speak "graffiti"?

Posted by at 04:49 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

Alfonso c'est tres Innocent!

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Ok, ok, so I'm not an Ottawonian insider, but I just have to say it:

Clearly, clearly, Alfonso's innocent.

I mean, look at that fucking smile.

Could you imagine someone with a smile like that lining his pockets with money he didn't earn?

Could you imagine such a thing?!

Posted by at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

balintzsako

Cool azz shite for those fortunate enough to be "bored at work" (and near a computer).

thank you, e san.

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high park llamas

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