Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Occasional Rant - Entering Gutfeld's Activity Pit

I still believe that Greg Gutfeld is one of the funniest white guys alive.

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

I would've told Greg Gutfeld to SMMFD,
but I decided to do this instead...

There are many ways to say "F--- You" to someone.

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.

Respect.

Jacques Dray
Dartmouth, NS, Canada


And you wonder why some conservatives hate Fox News?

Meh. NEXT...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Eventually, "reality"© shows will look like this...

...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...