Sunday, September 27, 2009
You seem to forget that the unwashed hippy radicals of the 60s and 70s have grown up to become the Establishment that they once loathed.
You seem to forget that the counterculture and its fallout have gone mainstream.
You also seem to forget that the more things change, the more everything stays the same. People are still killing each other over deceased gods and ideologies, all for the sake of power and ephemeral immortality.
And now U.S. president (and crowned Mortal Messiah) Barack Obama is doing the seemingly unthinkable act of turning his country into... CANADA?
With all respect, Mr. Obama, you just can't do that. Seriously.
First of all, you may have a huge honking tax base, but none of the shit that you want comes cheap.
Canada's social welfare system may be better than yours, but like any others it is flawed with susceptibility to fraud and mismanagement. We just simply refined it via decades of trial and error. And lots of money.
Which is why half of all our paycheques go to the Crown.
Which is why virtually everything comes with a sales tax.
Which is why we're so hard pressed to get the infrastructure into shape every year because a good chunk of cash is used to subsidise everything from food to pharmaceuticals.
Which is why we're all scratching our heads when stimulus packages go to big corporations rather than our pockets.
So why go through the trouble of pleasing every man, woman, child, chihuahua, anaconda without doing a little more research?
Why make all your speeches sound like strings of expendable fell-good slogans?
Most of all. why waste taxpayers' and advertisers' dollars on all those television appearances? You're neither Jay Leno, Denis Leary nor LL Cool J.
America is very set in it's ways. If you want profound change, you have to let the people know that you have the balls and the knowledge to make it happen. Otherwise you'll be stuck with an upset, confused and frustrated electorate.
The reason why you won the Presidency is not because you were good, had better ideas or were Black. It's because your opponent had less balls and intelligence than you.
People forgot how to lead. There is no-one to provide a template for it. All the people who knew how to inspire and guide and win are either dead or vegetating from Alzheimer's. That's the problem.
If you fail your people, if you fail to show and support one vision with resolve and wisdom, then you will have failed yourself, your party and those who truly want to lead and prevail.
In other words, Barack, don't try to be Canadian. That's our job.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sometimes the truth does hurt when a performer speaks about the state of the art.
Charles Thompson, a.k.a. Frank Black (alias Black Francis), leader of the Pixies, states the following:
"(Record labels) are more concerned with their own survival than they are with the distribution of music and, of course, the irony of that is that if they would just concern themselves more with the distribution of music, a lot of their problems would solve themselves, I think."
Given the current trends involving the increasingly easy availability of computer technology, internet bandwidth and talent, the record companies and mainstream terrestrial radio stations are in danger of becoming irrelevant unless they recognise these changes.
In other words, anyone can be a star. The 15-minutes-of-fame can now be perpetuated and distributed amongst those who possess these technologies. Regardless of payoff, those who succeed may one day override the limits placed by traditional media. Forget “American Idol”: check YouTube or MySpace instead.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
But all of them miss the point.
This country started out as a cash cow for the ancient tribal empires until more people moved in and slowly displaced the First Nations who were there since Day One.
We did have a bloody history. We had slavery. We had our spats with the ingrates to the South. Had we been more tenacious, the Alamo would be flying the Maple Leaf (or maybe the Fleur-de-lys).
But we prefer our wide open spaces, the freedom to roam and the ability to invent - and re-invent - ourselves.
Sadly, I would hear people take pride in what we're not, as in "We're not as cold-hearted as Americans" or "We have a better health system, not like the Americans". Because for the most part, we have descended from Americans - United Empire Loyalists who believed that Mad King George had the better idea than George Washington or Ben Franklin.
But let's not nitpick over technicalities. Canada is still a young nation... in fact, more of a concept rather than a nation. Canadian is a state of mind, rather than a nationality. The land, like its contemporary society, is a mosaic. Each province and territory is a nation in its own right. We work, create, procreate and sometimes deviate in our own way.
But most of all, we live.
We are humans living in a land that that was cultivated by the First Peoples and bound by Celtic ferocity and tenacity, Gallic pride and joie-de-vivre, Anglo-Saxon resolve and good old American know-how.
Collectively, we can be the mouse that roars, the gentle giant, the silent beacon of hope.
Yet we are not perfect. Our medicare costs money. Some people carry ancient grudges and use our freedom to stoke their fires. And our politicians try to be everything to everyone, satisfying no-one.
But as long as the human species remains flawed and the polar icecaps keep melting, I am and shall always be a Canadian.
I'd like to hear one of our celebrities come up with something better.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Then, Michael Jackson. King of Pop.
Back in the day, I wanted to father Farrah' s children.
I wanted to be part of the Jackson Five.
I can't say more.
I was at work when Farrah passed on.
I was chilling at a bar when I heard that Michael gave up the mortal coil.
Farrah's death was imminent. Michael's death wasn't.
When you grow up witnessing the evolution and decline of idols, it's impossible to envision the end. That's what made this Thursday so shocking.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sometimes it's a short break.
Sometimes it's a bit longer.
Either way, I've become a victim of life and therefore need to work things out offline.
Which is why I'm gradually slowing down my blog output (both written and visual) for now.
I still have issues but I'm doing okay.
Some issues need more concentration and focus than others.
Some involve avoiding the net altogether.
So I'm taking a break. I'm getting older and need to recharge.
That doesn't mean that I'm quitting. I'll drop by to shoot the breeze and chase down the occasional windmill like an aging Don Quixote, yet drop the words like a raging Don King.
There is never an end, just a "See Ya".
In the meantime, just live.
Monday, May 25, 2009
What I didn't expect was the following:
- The failure to get a majority in the last election.
Whoever ran their campaign was either asleep, complacent or hopelessly dumb. Never did I see an ad that said what the Conservative Party of Canada could do for this country. Hell, none of the other parties ran similar ads. Only the New Democrats had some sense of providing a platform, but most Canadians who previously experienced provincial NDP rule knew better than to vote for more taxes and Federally-sanctioned political correctness.
It appears in order to win an election in the 21st century©, the political ads should be saying variations of "You suck", "Suck it", "STFU" or "ESAD" to their respective rivals. "Promises be damned: I'm-a pwn yo' ass!"
The Conservatives simply got a second chance at power because the fibbing Liberal alternative was unacceptable at the time. After all, who wanted to be ruled by Céline Dion? The problem was, and is, that the Conservatives are giving Canadians no other good reason why they should deserve another mandate, other than the fact that we have been free from any attacks by Islamofascist militias, and that Québec is still part of Confederation (all for the sake of telling the Yankx - "Here's why we're not you").
Maybe Hell is starting to get a cold front. Maybe we might get a Prime Minister named Jack.
Maybe I should get to the next point;
- Kanada's Kandahar Kuagmire. (Unfortunate choice of lettering, but who am I to impress?)
Right about now my brothers and sisters are in one of the most dangerous places in Central Asia. We may be doing right, getting right and making right, but something is wrong.
We're simply not getting the love.
To be fair, this mission was a holdover from the previous Liberal Chretien/Martin (WHO? LOL!) regime. We wanted to show the world what we could to against terrorists, fanatics and the corrupt cesspools that spawned them. After jumping in wearing forest-green combats (imagine a dab of relish on hummus - YUCK!), we got our act together, got proper camo, had our highs and lows, made a few people happy...
And still... NOTHING WAS DONE!
Material, logistical and political shortfalls notwithstanding, with a little help from our friends the Canucks did the job right. It's just that a) the impotent Afghan "government" couldn't get its act together enough to catch up and step up to alleviate the workload unertaken by an already overworked Canadian Forces (+ "allies") presence; b) our "allies" (read: "NATO") promised more personnel, yet all the countries, save the UK and the Netherlands, were reluctant to give a hand.
At least, for once, we should get some of our new partners from the former Warsaw Pact to help us out. Not only would it make life easier for the World's Hardest Working Armed Forces, but also it could give our Forces a chance to take some much r'n'r'n'r'n'r (rest, recreation, recovery, re-arming), because in spite of being a big country, we have a small population.
Small population equals small tax base.
Small tax base equals relatively small military.
It doesn't take an economist or a general, let alone a DND official, to figure that out.
Too bad it had to take several rotations and over 100 lives for the government to say "Time-out".
Not really anyone's fault, except for those who we tried to help, and whose help we needed WAY BACK WHEN.
As for the third point;
- Too hostile - too friendly. But nothing in between.
Back in the day when we were living in a Trudeaucracy under the annointed Jean Chretien, we told W in no uncertain terms that we would not take part in Iraq nor the missile shield programon the grounds that we want everyone to like us.
Then when Steve-O came to power, it was huggy huggy kiss kiss kiss. Still no Iraq, "but we're sticking with you, W." It may not have been a bad thing but by then people realised that the US Military was doing the "War by Playstation" shtick - by ousting tyrant Saddam Hussein, the US may have won the war but they are now trying to win the peace, piece-by-piece. But that analysis is best left with someone more qualified in doing theoretical autopsies.
When the Great White Hope Barack Obama came to power and visited Canada, guess what happened?
Huggy huggy kiss kiss kiss.
I don't mind having having great relations with our neighbours to the South - we got stuff, they got cash, more money and jobs for us, eh? - there there should always be a time for Canadian politicians to say "We like you, but not in that way."
In other words, being honest can hurt. Having an honest friend can be very painful, but you have a better chance at survival than having a dishonest sycophant.
Not to be outdone;
- The justice system still sucks!
What's up with "time served"?
You know - the "two-fer-one" deals made to the condemned once they're sentenced.
Case in point: some kid who got himself entangled with a Toronto-based Islamofascist cell was sentenced to over 2 years at Club Fed.
Then he got released.
Because he already spent that same amount of time in remand.
Go figure. If you do the crime, then you should do the time. No ifs, ands or buts. You got remand? Boo-hoo-hoo - that's your problem.
That's the point of punishment: you knock enough sense into someone who did the offence so that person doesn't do it again.
But we are a society that cares for the poor misbegotten individuals caught up in a world of larceny and vice, hoping that these wretched weeds bloom into the beautiful, fragrant flowers to which they were meant to be.
Sadly, reality states that once someone is in that life, it's a long hard road to recovery.
The power, the thrill, the danger - that's why some people become gangsters.
Forget poverty, racism, class-ism, ageism. Desperate people are everywhere, at times susceptible to the bug of evil. That is why there is a justice system.
Of course, we did vote in a party dedicated to restoring some proper law and order.
So where is it? We're still waiting. Hello?
And why is the Bloc still around in Parliament? Just wondering.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Sure... I've been lying low with life, work, taxes, bills and the like.
And sadly enough, I've haven't been writing and filming too much these days.
It's either spring fever or swine flu. Given the fact that I'm immunized for neither one, it's a tough call, eh?
But here goes what anything goes in this mess of a world...
- You wouldn't wish THAT on your worst enemy, unless that enemy was a meth fiend.
Back in the day, Henry Lee Summer had this hit called "I Wish I Had a Girl (Who Walked Like That)" that was played incessantly in bars and on rock radio.
I thought that he would be a flash in the pan, a one-trick one-hit wonder.
I didn't expect this to happen to him, though.
I never liked his music anyway, but this is pretty damn sad. He had a promising career, money, fame, limoes and all the booze his liver could handle.
But as one addict pointed out to me a few years ago in Victoria, BC, "Blow may be bad, but crystal is a whore."
I hope Henry Lee can pick up the pieces, quickly enough. Compared to the crap currently heard on "hit" radio, his one-hit had class.
Consider this as a wake-up call for all the one-hit ponies who believe in their own invincibility - you are NEVER invincible; you are NEVER untouchable; you are NEVER immune to addiction.
Moving right along...
- Swine Flu Apocalypse! Head to the hills: the Day of Judgment is nigh!
Stay home, take fluids if sick.
In the end, it will all pass.
- Windows 7: what Vista should have been.
(And why you should AND shouldn't download the Release Candidate.)
For the past 4 months I've been beta-testing Windows 7 and at this point I'm resigned to the fact that this is a better Windows operating system than the overworked, overburdened Vista platform.
It does have the flash of Vista, but it doesn't tax your system, especially after you sign in and realize that the damn thing is still loading apps left, right and centre.
In fact, when I received the email from MS announcing the release of the Win 7 RC, I was more than willing to replace my Vista Basic (a better version than the bloated Home "Premium" edition, in my opinion).
But here's the dilemma - I'm running a dual-core Celeron with 2 Gigs of RAM and an overclocked GeForce 9600 video card. I have partitioned the 320-Gig internal drive 3-ways: one for Vista (loaded on someone else's XP installation - long story); one for Win 7 Beta (Release 7000); one for programs and games. I've downloaded the 32-bit version of the RC and burned it onto a DVD. This one would take up 16 Gigs of space, making it almost a full OS release in its own right.
I'd really love to do the whole makeover of my system, creating a mini Win 7 powerhouse, except for the fact that I will have to do it without a net, since unlike the Beta, there will be virtually no support. This means that a) I would be taking a great leap of faith on something that is actually the Son of Vista©; and b) if this blows up, I'd be screwed!
My suggestion for all you who are considering taking similar leaps of faith is this: think very carefully. And as soon as you are ready to let the RC take over, pray. A lot. Often.
Because, for every promise, there shall always be a little disappointment, even if this version of the Win 7 may be the best thing since sliced bread or grocery-store roast chicken.
So far, my Win 7 beta hasn't disappointed me.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Just click on this link…
Some say that this may generate a buzz.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
The Occasional Rant - Millions of Dollars Spent, Hundreds of Lives Sacrificed, and This Is the M-F’ing Thanks We Get?
Sung to the tune of "Oh, Canada"...
Our home in ‘ghanistan.
True patriot love,
We spread throughout the land.
But with aching hearts we see the rise
Of some obscenity.
From far and wide, oh Canada
Feels pretty damn betrayed!
Thanks, Hamid Karzai, for making idiots out of martyrs and good Samaritans.
Legalising “marital rape” is sick, obscene and must be repealed NOW!
Compared to this, the diss from Greg Gutfeld and Doug Benson (cut these shmoes some slacl, eh?) means nothing!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Today, he apologised for his misbehaviour on Red Eye.
Sadly, Doug Benson was unable to appear at a gig in Edmonton due to the shitstorm caused by Gutfeld's commentary.
We're talking death threats, babies. Not catcalls or simple confrontation.
In this case, on behalf of the silent, sane majority of Canadians, I apologise to Benson for this debacle.
Also, I joined Gutfeld's activity pit. If you're a damned Tory/libertarian pigdog like me, you should jump in.
In the meantime, I wrote something here...
I am one of those people who wrote to Red Eye taking exception to Greg's comments. I know that he was making light of how small is our military - Canada's population is roughly 1/10th of the US, FYI - but the timing couldn't have been worse.
The problem is... WE HAVE A SMALL MILITARY!
If we had your technology, your numbers and your budget, then we would definitely shrug it off. But as you all know, this is not the case.
A small lesson: Canada has a long military tradition dating back to colonial times when the French and English were battling it out over resources and a few acres of ice. As part of the British Empire, Canadians went to British wars, including the War of 1812, the Boer War and WW I, where thry distiguished themselves at places such as Ypres, Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. During WW II we had the 3rd largest navy, participated in the ill-fated defence of Hong Kong, trained many Commonwealth pilots and liberated Holland. During the Korean war, a Canadian regiment received a presidential citation for its heroics at the battle of Kapyong. All this in spite of a small population.
However, the short-sightedness of various politicians resulted in cutbacks in budget and eventually personnel. In 1968, the three services - the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force - became unified as the Canadian Armed Forces: one budget, one command, one uniform. For a while, everyone had to wear the same generic green uniform and carry army ranks...
You can all Google the rest. Let's just say that some of the thinking at the time was so progressive and smug it would make the French seem butch in comparison.
Greg, Bill et al should at least give us Canucks some credit - we are currently punching well above our weight in Kandahar. We're taking our lumps, shedding our blood and hitting where it can really hurt the most. If the timing were different, we all would've said "Oh fuck off, Gutfeld" and then carried on.
But as I've said before, we don't have a huge population, and our military is incapable of replaying the 1814 White House visit. So 116 dead in Afghanistan is a big freaking deal to us. Since some of us get Fox News on cable and tune in to Red Eye, we can tolerate - Hell, even appreciate - Greg's soph-moronic take on current affairs. It's just that around the time he recorded his comments, 4 of our soldiers got killed by IEDs. And since NATO/the coalition has been waffling on support for the Kandahar mission, plus the selfish agendas of the local warlords, even the lion needs a rest.
Enough bloviating from me. I know that Greg and co, will understand that he has lots of fans up here, and he'll have to make at least some amends, regardless of size.
After that, we can all carry on carrying-on.
Monday, March 23, 2009
This is one of them.
Hello Greg, Bill, et al...
First off: I used to watch your show, which was in my opinion very funny. Of course, I couldn't afford to stay up late or take an hour off my life watching a group of talking heads carrying on like a booze-soaked house-party. But I digress.
You may not realise this, but Canada has roughly 1/10th the population of the United States, hence the relatively small military that you see today.
Previous Liberal governments made it even smaller and at this time the current Conservative government is struggling to rebuild it.
You probably didn't know that at one time, Canada had the 3rd largest navy during WW2. (ref: http://www.civilization.ca/cwm/explore/military-history-research-centre/democracy-at-war/canadawar/democracy-at-war-royal-canadian-navy-rcn-canada-and-the-war)
You probably didn't even know that Canadians had made sacrifices liberating Holland and holding back enemies during the Korean War. (ref: http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/korean_war/topics/112)
Right about now, 116 of my brothers and sisters have given their lives in the name of freedom and social justice in Afghanistan. (ref: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2009/03/20/8829441-cp.html) At the same time, resources have been stretched due to low manpower, the cost of fuel and equipment - the same problems that plague any operational military force. Yet when the Federal government had asked all the other members of the coalition operating there to help out, they received little support. Thus you have our head of the Army, Gen. Leslie, telling one of your Senate subcommittees that our soldiers needed at least a little break from the war.
And let's not get started on the local rulers: each one has an agenda that more likely doesn't include liberal democracy.
I know that you were trying to make light of a situation by implying that the meanest sons-of-bitches were softies at heart. But you did it wrong, and the timing couldn't have been any worse.
(I doubt that you actually air this show live at 3 a.m. - if you had recorded it in the daytime before the 4 soldiers got killed, I forgive you. Once. Never again.)
I hope you appreciate the sacrifices we Canadians made for YOUR freedom.
Yes, our previous government policies and the demeanor of some of our more liberal citizens may make the French seem butch in comparison, but as someone who has served in the military, a sacrifice is never taken lightly. And as much as we love to joke with each other about our shortcomings and psychoses, there are time at which we have to step back, take a deep breath and stand down.
You may have realised that you have created a storm among those Canadians who stand by their troops and the cause. If you still have problems understanding this, why not spend a week with our brothers and sisters in Kandahar, working through diesel fumes and dust, going out on patrols not knowing if IEDs may be lurking in any given stretch of road and know what trouble we have to face in order to complete a mission.
And if you ask politely, we might get together and sing "Kumbaya" before retiring for the night.
Don't ever let it happen again.
Dartmouth, NS, Canada
And you wonder why some conservatives hate Fox News?
Friday, March 06, 2009
...inside a swank Montreal restaurant-turned TV studio, 30 performers selected from bars across Quebec squared off head to head - and pole to pole - for provincial striptease supremacy...
Cue the music, the drama and catfights. Welcome to "Pole Position Quebec", where the winner will get to give it up for paying patrons south of the Can-US border. And giving them a little rise in an area south of their own respective borders.
My take on "reality"© programmes is quite simple: most of them are geared to appeal to the Schadenfreude that each of us harbour, whether they may be obsessive singing competitors, morbidly obese people, clueless trust-fund hussies or substance-fuelled skanks vying for the affections of faded Z-list musicians.
In short, "reality"© shows are legalised, above-ground ready-for-prime-time porn: sometimes titllating, sometimes repulsive yet ultimately addictive.
Could these shows collectively be the sign of the Apocalypse? While some shows like A&E's "Intervention" - a show to which I personally relate - and Animal Planet's "Crocodile Hunter" have a conderable amount of relevancy and educational content, the rest such as "The Bachelor", "Rock of Love" and even "American Idol" grate at the average person's basest intelligence.
The made-in-Québec special will pit the stripper-ellas of the belle province against each other in an effort to get a lucrative contract Stateside (and hopefully not to blow it all on meth).
Thankfully, this "reality"© special will be shown on pay-per-view here in Canada, but don't be surprised if some Stateside smartass comes up with an "American Pornstar" to rival the "Idol" franchise.
I sure can't wait for that. NEXT...
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
The first decade of the 21st century. Almost done.
So what have we learned so far, kids?
- Ideological fanaticism is bad;
- Religious fanaticism is bad;
- Mixing the top two items can create one hell of a mess;
- There will always be people who claim to be more "chosen" than others in spite of evidence that points to the contrary;
- Pounding chests and rattling sabres will always tip off your enemies;
- Never assume that your "backward" enemies would never attempt to pull off another great act of infamy;
- Regardless of stance, not being able to deliver is much worse than not being able to do anything;
- The lowest common denominator will always go lower;
- Expediency is not resolve - there is no such thing as a "feel-good" victory: just a weary satisfaction that something was done;
- War is hell;
- Peace had been given many chances. Unfortunately, some dumb human will screw it up for the rest of us dumb humans;
- Saying "no to drugs" means nothing: if you have a problem with immediate gratification, anything is a drug;
- It's hard to be sincere if everyone seems to be lying;
- "American Idol" is killing pop music, not MySpace or mp3's
- Is it just me, or is the glut of "reality" shows a sign of a decaying civilization, especially the ones on VH1?
- Speaking of which... does anyone really give a fuck who Brett Michaels fucks in "Rock of Love"? I sure as hell don't!
- Will Barack Obama really save the United States, or will it be the United States saving itself in spite of itself?
- Liberals will always claim that they can save the world, no matter how faulty their claims can be;
- Conservatives will always claim that they can save the world, no matter how faulty their claims can be;
- Come to think of it, whatever happened to "power to the people"? Have all those idealists, dreamers and schemers from the "Summer of Love" contracted Alzheimers? Have all the flower-children gone grey and cynical and ever more skeptical of a hazy, uncertain future?
- Kids are being more corrupted than ever. Back in the day, people from my generation never had a culture delivered on a silver platter - if we had to meet someone, we'd go out and meet that person. Now it seems that the kids would rather rofl while some n00b gets pwned on YouTube/MySpace/Facebook/etc...
We grown-ups may have succeeded in dehumanizing youth, reducing them to snarky little automaton versions of what we would've wanted to be when we were their age - bulletproof, future-proof, blameless, shameless and brainless.
- One day, sometime next year, we might say to these kids while sifting through the rubble left by war, fiscal stupity, environmental mismanagement, cultural mental regression, social/political/spiritual pettiness and overall collective apathy:
THIS IS OUR MESS: IT'S NOW YOURS TO CLEAN UP.
Then again... I may be wrong all along.
I thought that this century would be a combination of the Jetsons tossed in with a little Haight-Ashbury for some progressively good measure.
But we're Humans, aren't we?
And so far we have the potential to kill each other into extinction. Right?
People will always complain about the environment and how we're killing it, and yet many of us are killing ourselves with the pettiest of issues such as class, race, religion, politics, gender and orientation.
Each one of us seem to be carrying out one form of personal jihad just to cope with a world left by those who came and conquered before.
This year will neither be any better or any worse that the last. It will be - as it was in the past, as it will be in the future - what we make of it.
For better and for worse.
Have a fine 009!