Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gay Bashing~ A Coward's Evil Act

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Margie

The "Christians" that I refer to are those who thump the Good Book while doing God's job of judging. (...Judge not lest ye yourself be judged...)Is the gay lifestyle wrong in God's eyes? I am not sure and even if it is that still does not give me the power to judge. I try to do as Christ commanded when He spoke of God's Law- the greatest of these is LOVE!! So it is with all this and my heart and soul in mind that I write the following.I know that for many people any discussion in regards to the gay community/lifestyle is either uncomfortable, does not concern them (*sigh*), or causes a self righteous tirade of "Christianisms."Gay bashing in my mind are the most evil and insidious crimes perpetrated by cowards.There is nothing Christian or justified in groups of cowards (very rare is it just one attacker) ganging up on one human being and beating and torturing them to death because of who they love.To hear people say "They choose to be gay." is the most moronic, sad and uneducated statement I have ever heard. Please tell me why any person would choose a lifestyle that could put them in mortal danger; that holds them up to ridicule by society and "loving Christians"; and that puts at risk the one love that should be able to always count on- their family?I am going to end this blog by reprinting an email I received as a result of my going to Matthew Shepard's web site. I warn you all it is very graphic and if you can read it through to the end and not be affected, then maybe you should have a very long look into your spiritual mirror. I know that when I read this email I was filled with revulsion very quickly followed by righteous anger. I may not attend an organized church but I have a very strong belief and trust in God and the God I know is beyond heart broken when He sees one of His children treated far worse than some would treat a mad animal.July 3rd, 2006, Jackie D.Garvin, a 29 year old trans gender male, was beaten to death (Inkster, MI.). It is estimated that he was taken in the late hours of July 2 nd and beaten through the night, Jackie died the morning of July 3rd. Jackie was not fortunate enough to die with family or friend's, he (she) died alone. He suffered from hemorrhaged organs and his brain hemorrhaging, crushed feet, every bone in his face was broke/crushed, every tooth beaten out of his mouth, his body was cut from head to toe, his throat had been slit twice (cutting his vocal cords), tied to his car and dragged till his kneecaps were ripped from his body and finally, Jackie suffered two massive heart attacks in which the second was fatal. I want to say this in closing, regarding that fatal night for my Jackie... As Jackie was being drug from the back of his very own car, he thought not of himself nor did he just give up on life or family. Jackie obviously knew he was going to die but, he selflessly took his last moments and last bit of strength to write, "I love you", on the back of his car.... That is the most profound kind of love.... Jackie loved us with every once of his (her) being.Thank You, for hearing me...for hearing us.

A few things I'm tired of

Just chiming in to say that I'm tired of corporations. I'll even leave out all of the stuff about being nasty to employees, destroying the planet, playing dictator to developing nations by bribing local officials to get favorable laws. I'll set that aside for now.

I'm tired of people trying to sell me stuff. I'm tired of commercials, I'm tired of junk mail and tele-marketers and spam. It seems like every time I turn around someone is trying to sell me something that I have absolutely no interest in. Even explaining that I have no interest only seems to increase their motivation to sell - as if it was an indication that they were close to a sale.

I'm tired of calling tech support or customer service only to be put on hold (where a machine tries to upsell me on services I'm already buying) and then learning, after several sessions on hold and a lengthy and aggravating conversation that I know way the hell more than the poor schmoe I'm talking to because the company I'm calling doesn't believe in actually training people.

I'm tired of corporate policies that basically read "F*ck You" or, more specifically:

Rule 1:
Never do anything that would inconvenience the company, cost the company a thin dime, or be at all helpful to the consumer.

Rule 2:
"Never admit to wrong doing by the company, even if it is a simple matter and obviously our fault."

Rule 3:
"Never offer any useful advice or assistance to the customer."

Rule 4:
"Explain to the customer that whatever went wrong is obviously their fault, or possibly a third parties fault. Offer to fix it for money"

Rule 5:
"Remind the customer that they are very important to us."

Rule 6:
"Remind the customer that we are the best company in our industry."

Rule 7:
"See if you can't sell them something else, or at least get some personal information that we can sell to other companies."

Perhaps, just perhaps, some of these organizations wouldn't have to be as worried about profits if they stopped treating their employees as a nuisance to be endured and their customers like they were doing us a favor by agreeing to do business with us and actually thought about taking some pride in the products they sell?

I won't mention any companies specifically, by name, but I'm guessing that as you read this some names popped into your head.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Defending The Title. And The Rhythm And Verse

CBC radio has launched the 2007 Poetry Face-Off tournament.

70 poets will go at it in 14 cities, with the winners being showcased during April's National Poetry Month.

There is a lot of talent in this competition. I'm personally looking forward to the Face-off in Ottawa; John Akpata, DJ Morales (Vocab), Q the Romantic Revolutionary, etc.

For more information, check out the official site.

In other news, I heard that Deal or No Deal: Canada is being filmed at the CBC broadcast centre in Toronto. So, one network (Global Television) is using another network's studios for their program. Isn't that ironic? Don't you think?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Need A Good Laugh?

There is a weekend long improv competition with various teams at the University of Toronto, this Saturday and Sunday.

The fun starts on Saturday at 7:30 at Hart House.

Admission is $2.

Come cheer on the performers. Also, the voting is audience-driven, so they could really use your support!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Changes To CBC Radio

Every decision will always have its pros and cons.

Yesterday, the CBC announced changes to their three English radio services. There were a number of changes. Two of which, I would like to write about.

1. The Cancellation of Freestyle

Freestyle will be taken off the air in mid March and will be replaced with a new arts-based program, hosted by Jian Gheomeshi. This is really no surprise. Freestyle was a good show; but, it wasn't a great show. I feel the program's downfall was that it tried so hard to sound "off the cuff." However, anyone who listened to the program, could tell the dialogue was heavily scripted.

There is a saying: "Great radio is something scripted, that's made to sound spontaneous." The quote represents a fine art that is very hard to master. Freestyle made a good effort. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. The conversations were grammatically correct and flowed too well, to be unscripted.

2. Radio 3 strictly on satellite

Radio 3 will no longer broadcast their weekend shows on Radio Two. The service will only be available on their Sirius channel and through a podcast. To me, that is a real shame. I don't own a satellite radio. I also only have basic-lite Sympatico service. So the Radio 3 website and the 30-60 minute podcast, will not be friendly with my bandwidth. Alright, I am being selfish; its just that I really enjoyed the content.

Here is what I feel the CBC is thinking with this decision: The majority of those who are 18-35 years old are consuming more of Radio 3's content, then of Radio One or Two. The 18-35 group is also into new forms of media. It's likely that they will be listening to satellite radio and downloading podcasts more then any other demographic. It just makes sense to put the content and the content providers together. It's a way to satisfy the group's demand in a form that is more favoured.

I guess I have to start looking into getting a satellite radio. Or, I could listen to more campus stations.


Cheap Plug: Check out Episode 25 of The Audio Circus

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Battle Of The Titans: Corporate Mascot Mayhem!

The following 2-on-1 match, is scheduled for one fall.

Introducing first, from a wetland in Algonquin Park, weighing in at a combined weight of 120 pounds: FRANK AND GORDON!

And their opponent, from a wealthy suburban neighborhood, weighing in at 148 pounds: THE CANADIAN TIRE GUY!

Sorry Frank and Gordon, my money is on CTG. Sure, the beavers are cute, cuddly, have cool gadgets, and strong enough teeth to chew someone's foot off; but CTG is always ready for a fight, following a stop at Canadian Tire. He has the new Motormaster Smelter; great for making your own metallic based weapon. And, there's Bauer's latest line of boxing gloves; vicious enough to disfigure someone's face, while the micro-fabric padding gently caresses your hand in such a way, that you don't feel any feedback from the punch. As always, he isn't sharing his new toys with his neighbors. This one's a no-brainer. Dominating opponents starts at Canadian Tire.

But that's just my opinion. Who wins the match. Vote now!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Message is not Dead

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Margie

The Message is not Dead

He walked upon a lonely road, that many walked before
Their spirits walked beside him, so each step was right and sure.
He never spoke with hatred for he wisely understood
Only words of peace and love, could bring about real good.
He knew as those before him, we're all meant to live as one
That until we live as brothers, there's no peace that can be won.
He was cut down far too early, because of what he said
Even though they killed the messenger, the message is not dead.

Rev. King we were and are honoured by your presence.
Margie (Saulnier) Fortune
Jan. 15, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Digging the Quarry of Music

Originally Posted to "Roar of the Beaver" by Quarry Records

Mining through the abyss of music to find that "diamond in the rough" is something I have always loved to do. I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I would be listening to bands that I liked and then they would explode onto the radio and Much Music and it didn't even occur to me at the time that I had been listening to something that most people didn't recognise.
I went to film school and lost touch with my first love of music and it took a truly ludicrous 3 years struggling in the film and tv world in Toronto before a move back to my native Maritimes brought me back to the world I loved (in more ways than one). My musical re-education began with the help of a DJ friend in Moncton who opened my ears back up with local bands like In-Flight Safety, and Mardeen; international indie gems like Belle & Sebastian, and the Perishers; and the then almost unheard of Canadian bands like Stars and Arcade Fire. Moving back to Toronto was more about being in a place where I could see any current touring band. Large and small, most bands hit the city eventually. And my appetite for live shows was voracious. I also came back with a serious disillusionment with the current "popular" music scene. I have always hated most radio music and I found a whole new world of "indie" bands that were paving their own way through the Canadian and World music scenes and it is in the many clubs and venues in the city that my musical re-education continued. I met a PR student called Heather who's real love was photography and music. It isn't easy to find like minded indie music freaks who you can talk music about and be speaking to them and not at them. She had her ear to the ground and and her finger on the pulse of the Canadian music scene.
But I wanted more. I wanted to be part of it, I wanted to contribute. I wanted to help bring all the great Canadian talent out there to the world. I wanted to give all the bands I liked a chance to be heard, not necessarily make them fortunes, but let them make a living doing what they love and eventually make a living doing what I love. So she and I decided to start a netlabel without really knowing what that entailed. Even the name Quarry Records stemmed from a pipe dream I had had when I was in High School. With Heather's background and mine combined we took the many musician friends and the few contacts we had in the music industry and decided to give it a shot. We are still in our infancy, making contacts and learning as we go, but hey, that is what the indie music scene is all about right? Making friends and making music and learning as you go along.
I hope this blog can be a place where we can share any success we may have and find out how to turn our failures into opportunities by getting advice from fellow Miners in the Music Pit.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Robert Newman History of oil

I recently found this performance online and it has quickly become my new favorite. I watch it regularly, not just because it is informative but because it is a breath of fresh air in a sea of stagnant performance approaches. I am a performance poet and I have been largely uninspired by the works I have seen of late, what with gimmicky "slam " poets and overly earnest performance artists there has been little by way of engaging, funny and educational works in the public sphere...or at least my sphere. Not since Spalding Grey's - Swimming To Cambodia have I seen a poignant and relevant political statement that was as engaging and entertianing as it was informative and relevant. That is until i found this! So enjoy.

Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years - but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, the places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion. This innovative history programme is based around Robert Newman's stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand. Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world's oil supplies are finally exhausted.

9/11 Mysteries (Full Length, High Quality)

Hey all! So this is a video about 9/11 that is neither current or hugely surprising, though I think it is amazingly well done and informative and does confirm many of my underlying suspicions about the collapse of the towers...

anyhoo. check it out!

This is a brand new public domain 9/11 Truth documentary about the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center complex. It's excellent. Pass this link on!

World Trade Center WTC twin dowers controlled demoltion thermate thermite explosions 9/11 911 9-11 september 11 11th truth conspiracy theory theories theorist george bush dick cheney donald rumsfeld paul wolfowitz doctring PNAC project for a new american century NORAD FAA FBI CIA NSA cutter charges molton steel WTC7 building 7 larry silverstein pull it BYU physics professor steven jones loose change alex jones NIST pentagon flight 77 missile flight 93 shanksville PA lets let's roll put options gold emma e. booker elementary jersey girls

Robert Newman History of oil

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Rachel Flood

I recently found this performance online and it has quickly become my new favorite. I watch it regularly, not just because it is informative but because it is a breath of fresh air in a sea of stagnant performance approaches. I am a performance poet and I have been largely uninspired by the works I have seen of late, what with gimmicky "slam " poets and overly earnest performance artists there has been little by way of engaging, funny and educational works in the public sphere...or at least my sphere. Not since Spalding Grey's - Swimming To Cambodia have I seen a poignant and relevant political statement that was as engaging and entertianing as it was informative and relevant. That is until i found this! So enjoy.

Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years - but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, the places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion. This innovative history programme is based around Robert Newman's stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand. Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world's oil supplies are finally exhausted.

9/11 Mysteries (Full Length, High Quality)

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Rachel Flood

Hey all! So this is a video about 9/11 that is neither current or hugely surprising, though I think it is amazingly well done and informative and does confirm many of my underlying suspicions about the collapse of the towers...

anyhoo. check it out!

This is a brand new public domain 9/11 Truth documentary about the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center complex. It's excellent. Pass this link on!

World Trade Center WTC twin dowers controlled demoltion thermate thermite explosions 9/11 911 9-11 september 11 11th truth conspiracy theory theories theorist george bush dick cheney donald rumsfeld paul wolfowitz doctring PNAC project for a new american century NORAD FAA FBI CIA NSA cutter charges molton steel WTC7 building 7 larry silverstein pull it BYU physics professor steven jones loose change alex jones NIST pentagon flight 77 missile flight 93 shanksville PA lets let's roll put options gold emma e. booker elementary jersey girls

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Boring-Sex Maniac, & More Self-Realization

[Alas, the introduction post. If I am too abrasive, please take into account that I'm hardly serious. Well, except about feathers. What the dick is with those things? If god-willing you don't hate me by the end of this, I'd love to have you read my blog. Thanks for letting me join your blogmunity!]

I will not wear red, strappy, feathered panties. It is for this reason that I believe I am a square. It may also be the reason I have preferred to shop with men. Men don't pick up a pair of feathered panties and take them seriously. At least not the ones I befriend. I cannot answer the question "Oooh! Isn't this hot?!" to a pair of dangly pom-pom elasticked underoos without having a one-person laugh-riot in a girlfriend's face. I will never wear horrendous, ugly undies if they aren't some sort of Halloween costume. I have a feeling I am wrong for this. The lingerie factories of the world unite to eliminate frigid prudes like me. I have dreamed that I drowned in a sea of see-through-fronted thongs and boyshorts from Garage with clever words and phrases printed on the backsides. This is how I envision my certain demise.

I really do like sex though. Of course I do. I'm alive, aren't I?
Just a total panty-square. Not yet a grandma, but god damn.

Incorporate practicality in your sexiness, people! Wear gold high heels to bed, if you really must. That's as far as I'm going!

Tea is too watery. I prefer coffee. I am taking vitamins called "Ultra Mega". You can't argue with that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thoughts on "Little Mosque"

I admit it, I bought into the hype.

Maybe it was the name or the fact that it was covered by the New York Times and CNN. Nevertheless, I was in front of the television to watch the premier of Little Mosque on the Prairie. It's hard to form an opinion on the show after just one episode. However, I've decided to share my thoughts on the show, and then compare them after watching a few more episodes.

The best way I could describe the program is Corner Gas meets King Of The Hill. C.G. in the sense of location and supporting characters; and K.O.T.H in the sense of the emphasis on stereotypes. There are two groups of characters; the Muslim population and the rest of the town of Mercy's citizens. Both groups can then be subdivided into two smaller groups: Those who think sensibly and those who think insensibly.

With the Muslims, you have those who think in a progressive way. This would include Amaar, the new Iman, and Rayyan, the daughter of Yassir. You also have Muslim characters who think in a very strong Conservative and traditional way such as Baber, the old Iman, and Fatima. The Conservative Muslims are the ones who refuse to let any type of Western influence into their life. Case in point, Baber's sermon when he exclaims, "How can the Desperate Housewives be desperate when they are only fulfilling their womanly duty?"

Then, there are the town's folk. Most of whom are paranoid and somewhat ignorant. This includes everyone from the Mayor to the local radio talk show host. Ironically, the only person who is actually open and respectful to the Muslims, is the town's Priest. There are also characters who have a presence in all the groups. Most notable of this is Yassir and his non-Muslim wife, Sarah.

The foundation of the program is having these groups and their respective sub-groups, clash with each other. The results of the clash can vary. Sometimes you'll be laughing (i.e.: cucumber sandwiches vs. goat curry); and other times, you feel very uncomfortable (i.e.: everything said by the talk show host).

Does Little Mosque live up to the hype? Again, only the first episode has aired. However, it did reach my expectations. Is it funny? You will certainly get a few good laughs. Personally, I was hoping for humour that was smart and bold (such as Arrested Development and The Newsroom). Instead, I would describe the humour as "safe." Is it the best Canadian sitcom? That remains to be seen.

I'll certainly be watching the next episode.

What are your thoughts on the show? Feel free to post them.

-Cheap plug time: Check out Episode 24 of The Audio Circus-

Search me, baby

Ahhh... International travel in the new climate of distrust and anti-community.

I recently returned from a trip overseas to England. I was there, not on business, or specifically to holiday, but rather to see my partner in context of his home nation. Before I dive too deeply into this, I have to remind myself to stay on topic. As a foreigner in a land that tricks you into thinking you aren't so foreign by virtue of sharing a language and perhaps just a few customs, I have much to say about everything I saw there. This blog, instead of a commentary about my experience in that beautiful nation, is more about the means to get there and back. Yes, the travel portion itself. You will read about my journey there, very little about my stay, and then my journey back.

Being a mother of two, and the host of an early family Christmas, I packed early. I had bought a bright orange-red case in the fall and was proud that I paid little for it. I packed it carefully, managing both a half litre of Maple Syrup and a large Tetra Pack of seasonally flavoured soy beverage also carefully balled up in several plastic bags. The case weighed 45lbs; just 5 lbs less than the limit. I was impressed with how much I fit into that case. I left a day before the flight, staying over night at my sister's place in Guelph. She drove me on Christmas day, arriving 2.5 hours early for my flight. It seemed excessively early to me, but it was a free ride.

I breezed through security with very few problems. I am exactly the stereotype of someone who is expect to not be considered a threat. The security people were kind, and even jovial with me. I patiently waited for my flight to Chicago. Yes... a connection to Manchester through Chicago, from Toronto.

My first flight was uneventful. It was overcast so I couldn't even see any land, or water. I guess the one glorious thing was having the window row entirely to myself.

Chicago O'Hare was big. I breezed through customs and then was faced by every multi-national food chain that exists. I was hungry, and more importantly, thirsty. I settled for a bottle of water from Starbucks, as it was the only food chain there that also had vegan options. When faced with nothing but evil, it is sometimes necessary to form a strange moral code.

I got on my next flight, and we were making great time. About half way through it, I started to feel very ill. I never get airsick, and my children appeared to have Norwalk Virus before I left (everyone they came close to became very ill, some even dehydrated enough to be hospitalised) and I had brought it with me onto the plane. I spend the rest of the time being very sick, and even passing out at one point during a quick rush to the bathroom. I have never passed out before, and it was both humiliating and scary.

I arrived in Manchester, and breezed through customs. I must have looked like I had been trampled and felt that way too. I met my partner, trembling and feeling raw. He escorted me to our ride, provided by one of his friends, and I made the journey through the Pennine Mountains.
I remember nothing of the mountains, other than how treeless everything was. Apparently, I called them "bald".

We arrived in Sheffield, and I opened my case to find a notice that it had been searched. My careful packing looked like it has been subjected to a tornado. My carefully wrapped liquids were sitting precariously out of their plastic somewhere in the middle of all of my clothes. I was just happy that the Maple Syrup hadn't been disturbed more. (Imagine the dry-cleaning bill of several wool sweaters covered in that sticky stuff.)

I felt violated and unimpressed, but not at all surprised that my case had been gone through. I just accepted this as the way it is now. Accepted? Really?

When I was getting ready to leave, I remembered this little incident and decided to play it up while packing.

Amongst the souvenirs I had purchased were two pairs of frilly knickers. One had braces for stockings, and the other were just *ahem* frilly knickers. I had also purchased a pewter bowl, some scarves from the local football clubs, and a few t-shirts.

In the case, I placed all the metal, and strange objects on the very bottom. Next went in the jeans, sweaters, skirts, socks, cotton underwear (you know, the sensible stuff...). On top of that went my tights, stockings, lingerie, and frilly knickers (tee hee!!!). The very top was occupied by my dirty laundry.

I guess I figured that if I was to be searched anyways, I may as well be "out" with the most important, most thrilling stuff first.

In Manchester, my carry-on was searched four times and I was patted down twice, the last time being right at the door of the plane. That was humiliating. The one thing that I found ironic is that all of the security devices used looked something like a Grade Nine science project device. Almost laughably original Star Trek in kitsch value.

Customs in O'Hare was its usual friendly presence. "What are you bringing in to MY country?" the guard demanded. (Hah!!! stereotypical American Takes On The World Toute Seule attitude - hey, it works in Hollywood.)

Even more uneventful flight, but surreal after traveling for 13 hours already.

Baggage claim nuisance at Toronto Pearson Airport, and surly customs people. Nothing remarkable there.

Sure enough, I arrive home and open my case to find it in complete disarray with accompanying note stating that I had been searched. This time, they had even zipped open the back lining of the case.

I guess I must have looked really suspicious. I think it was the knickers.

Smash the Mac

I found a good documentary on google but the damned thing does not want to embed here for me. Here's the link. 90 minutes of your time. It's an inspirational story that lacks both canadian content and the CBC as well.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Demise of the Parody

Upon viewing the trailer for the upcoming film ‘Epic Movie’, I began to think about parody in films and I have found myself saddened that this is what it has come too.
In the past we had Mel Brooks, who could parody a genre or even one specific film with light hearted stupidity yet could genuinely be making a point if you read between the lines, it had the occasional gross out humor or sex joke but it was done well and never too much. Movies like ‘Blazing Saddles’, ‘Spaceballs’, and ‘Young Frankenstein’ are iconic in their own bizarre way, they have their own cult following and for good reason.
Now we come to present times, movies like ‘Date Movie’ and the ‘Scary Movie’ series have taken over and have developed cult followings of their own. These films rely primarily on fart and sex jokes, as well it seems on rapper Lil Jon who has a cameo in most of these films, although they do have the occasional amusing moment.
Don’t get me wrong, offensive or gross humor does not bother me but when all the 2 of the 6 writers of ‘Scary Movie’ do is create the grossest jokes possible, find actresses who are willing to take off their clothes and THEN create a thin plot with gaping plotholes in it so much so that it is obvious they do not care about it because it might take away from Carmen Electra’s boobs.
Upon viewing the ‘Epic Movie’ trailer all I could think of was ‘Date Movie’, it has been happening increasingly more that they are tailoring these movies towards 14 year old boys. ‘Date Movie’ could have been brilliant, many people who are older could have appreciated this because every one of us has had to sit through some atrocious Meg Ryan/ Freddie Prinze Jr. film, but instead they chose to tailor it to teenagers. Not all of us know or care about Lil Jon or a 50 Cent song, or a cat with diarrhea but we would care about a good satire, and ‘Epic Movie’ is doing the same thing now. I love fantasy films, I’m addicted and all I saw from this trailer was them throwing together a bunch of dirty jokes about the most popular films of the year (most of them were not even fantasy) and calling it a parody of an Epic film.
I wish we could see an intelligent, well written satire like the parodies of old with a few sick jokes thrown in there, but with a point hidden beneath it all. Is that to much to ask for? Can I not see Lil Jon and Carmen Electra? Can I instead see someone with wonderful comedic timing?
I guess the 2 of the 6 writers from ‘Scary Movie’ don’t agree.

What is everyone reading?

I read a lot, it seems though at times, no one I know reads anymore. Right now I am reading, Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier, he also wrote Cold Mountain. I like it thus far. This past year I bought another copy of my favourite book, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, this is the most poetic, inspiration story I have ever read. Along with Thirteen Moons, I am still working on Bill Clinton's My Life, lots of words, and facts, in Mr. Clinton's book. Also I am a few chapters into Robert Morgan's Gap Creek. Last year I finished Rohinton Ministry's A Fine Balance and Such A Long Journey. Andre Alexis's Childhood. Carol Shields Unless, a book questioning goodness. The mystically interesting The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Plus many more that are not coming to mind at the moment. Anyway, I am always looking for a good read. Send me some suggestions. I often try to finish a couple of books a month. I think we as a society should be making our children read more.

Ramble on

It's Time They Walk the Walk

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Margie

While I was a worker in health care we went into bargaining only to hear the same tired old statement "Sorry, there is no money for you this time." We went six years just fighting tooth and nail to hold on to what we had and in the last year I was able to work,we LOST money, benefits and positions; yet, in this 9 year period government instituted the practise of paying the CEO's commensurate with the private sector complete with gold plated benefits package. To add insult to injury, the Premier and the elected voted themselves the "standard" raise along complete with gold plated benefits; the latter was given to people with little or no experience and not even showing IF they could do the job.
To date Canadian private sector CEO's cleared the tidy sum of $70,000 by the time we were watching the 6pm news on Jan 2, 2007 with the highest paid getting a cool $570,000!
Add to the above a Prime Minister who thinks anything American is all but straight from God Himself, has adopted the made in the USA idea of security budgeting or as I refer to it- WAR budgeting. Harper has ear marked billions of dollars for military purposes and has even gone so far as to taking steps to pay one billion for a plane without putting it out to bids. If we are to believe the Spaniards, this plane is not even suited to Canadian needs- but somehow I do not find that at all surprising.
So, can you see where I am going with this? Day in and day out we are told by government ; "We cannot afford health care; we cannot afford dignified and loving care for those who fought for and who built this country ; we cannot afford to eradicate the suffering of the battered and abused, the poor and the homeless; we cannot afford to ensure our future by seeing to it that our youth are fed a healthy diet and receive a good and full education."
At the same time private sector CEO's say to the employees who come to them for a raise or improvement in benefits; "Sorry no can do; if we gave you more money then our services or products would lose their competitiveness in today's markets."
To be fair, all levels of government and the private sector CEO's are telling the truth (for once!). They in many ways cannot afford to pay workers more money and give them better benefits because, governments are mismanaging OUR tax dollars (while ensuring they get more then their fair share from the trough )and the private sector they are putting it all in THEIR pockets!
Now the big question; what are we going to do with this knowledge? We have gone far past the day of holding the feet of gluttons to the fire BUT it is not too late.
We should be contacting the offices of every and ALL of the elected that we can find; there must be a review of CEO's salaries and how they are being taxed. Can you imagine what FAIR taxation would do for this country?
There is no person who has education and capabilities that warrant such obscene salaries and benefits in the private sector, thus the government has to be told that the practise of paying commensurate wages to government CEO's must cease!
Each politician likes to tell us that their mandate is to work for all citizens; well they talk the talk so now it is time for them to walk the walk!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Secret Desires. Forbidden Magic. Intriguing Mystery. Limitless Passion.

Does anyone happen to watch the program, Passions?

I managed to catch the last segment of the Dec. 26th episode. To put it simply, it was insane. You had three scenes, each providing a different genre. Instead of changing an emotional tone through a nice flow, this program changes it's tone drastically and without any warning. Here's what happened:

Scene one. Louis, a local police officer, is consoling a female cadet who is in the hospital after being attacked and raped. The cadet was starting to have flashbacks and was bawling into Louis' chest. She begged him to not ask anymore questions about the incident. Louis promises he will find the men that attacked the cadet, who he is also in love with. A very dramatic scene.

Scene two. Two women are trying to kill a witch named Tabatha. There's a huge chase, but in the end, Tabatha ties up her attackers and banishes them to a dark spiritual world. The scene is right out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon; full of sound effects, fumbles and a mangled up pecan pie. A very comedic scene. In fact, it was a farce.

Scene three. The body of a murdered transvestite is discovered inside a wedding cake, as the newly married couple cuts the cake in front of all their guests. A scene with suspense and mystery. The best line came from the bride who exclaimed, "Oh my God! There's a dead transvestite in my wedding cake!"

I bet you wouldn't see something like that on The O.C.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Another View of the Mosque

Hi, guys. Here's my first post on this blog, and it's fraught with trouble.

I won't do a whole lot of introduction of me here - there's a fair amount of that on my blog for my podcast. Okay, that plug's out of the way. :-) It looks like my first couple posts will be about tv, because in my day job, I get to see some Canadian television before you do.

Unfortunately, though, the first show I'm discussing has not only been written about here, but written about by our Fearless Leader and my podcast landlord - and I have to sort of dispute him on what he said. Eek.

Yes, kids, it's time for yet another bit of business about Little Mosque on the Prairie. And in a way, that's sort of the point.

So Justin was miffed that The National did a story about this new CBC-TV series, labeling it as shameless marketing disguised as journalism. What news was it exactly, he wondered. For him, the whole thing smacked of the World Series on FOX ("hey, isn't that the cast of Ally McBeal in the front row?").

Here's my perspective. Let's go back a couple weeks to when I was at the family home in Ohio for the Christmas season. I'm channel-surfing the folks' digital cable when I run across CNN Headline News and that tool Glenn Beck, but the graphic under his mug is about some new sitcom about Muslims. Wha-? Like the one I'm working on? The Canadian one? Yep, he's talking to Zarqa Nawaz, the creator and co-writer of the show.

Okay, never mind this Beck guy was being his lunkheaded self, being all scared of Muslims and the notion of making fun of them and trivializing the threat of terror. My first thought (after "wtf?") was whether the series had been picked up by some station in the U.S. Why would I think this? Because by and large, the American media doesn't give a crap about any television shows any other countries make unless they're shown in the U.S., and I don't think border towns count.

But it didn't stop with Headline News (and btw, what the hell are actual shows doing on that channel anyway? Isn't it supposed to be just headlines? Doesn't CNN have another channel for non-headline stuff, namely, CNN?). As many of us know by now, there was a piece on Little Mosque in the New York Times, among other U.S. media outlets. Oh, and how do we know this? Because the Canadian media gets all fluttery when the U.S. media pays the slightest attention to something we do. (In a way, that's kind of what I'm doing here. Yay, I'm acting like a Canadian!)

Okay, so why is the U.S. media paying attention to Little Mosque on the Prairie if it doesn't air there? I guess it's because it's a comedy about Muslims living among non-Muslims, and Americans still have a hard time having "Muslims" and "comedy" in the same sentence. But they still wouldn't care except for the fact they still tend to identify Muslims as "those people who killed so many of us in 9/11, and may try to kill us again - gasp!". You see, it seems the U.S. media can only talk about stuff that directly affects their country. Though of course, the first important element has to be some possibility of conflict or controversy.

All this is a fantastically roundabout way of answering Justin's implied question of why The National would treat Little Mosque as a news story. I think it's mainly because the NY Times treated it as a news story. That might be more of a cause for concern than the CBC shamelessly plugging anything - something they're pretty crappy at doing on any other day.

(Oh yeah, I just remembered something. Remember the big doc miniseries China Rises on the CBC earlier in 2006? That was the first of a series of proposed co-productions with...the Times and its Discovery Times Channel! Hmmm...)

Beyond all of this muck, I'm actually most concerned that the CBC is going to screw things up on Little Mosque's scheduling: debuting it after Rick Mercer, but then repeating it on Wednesday, and then having it on twice a week, 8:30pm Monday and 8pm Wednesday (eastern). It's like CBC can't decide whether to confuse the viewers or shove the show down their throats, so they're trying both.

And I'm concerned about this because of one little thing that always gets lost in all the media about Little Mosque on the Prairie: it's a nice, funny little show. Go watch it. If you can.

How not to build buzz

Originally posted on Circles Around the Square


The National is sometimes criticized for doing little or no arts and entertainment or sports news. This criticism doesn't come from me, I like the National that way - 60 minutes of important national and international news largely without fluff. If you want sports news there are 24 hour networks devoted to just that. If you want arts and entertainment news there are several entire programs (on TV and radio) devoted to that. So, for a show that doesn't really do arts and entertainment news, it was surprising to say the least to see a lengthy 'story' about Little Mosque on the Prairie.

This is, if you will, anti-buzz. It is one of the more cynical forms of advertising - advertising pretending to be news. Plays like this do not build buzz - quite the opposite, it is more like anti-buzz. The audience, or most of it, sees right through this and many, like myself, are insulted by it. It makes people less likely to talk about it to their friends (the kind of thing that builds legitimate buzz) because it makes them feel like they are only participating in a marketing ploy. I know that the CBC badly needs a prime time hit, but I had thought and hoped that the CBC was above something like this.

Running ads for your own programs (or for your advertisers products) in the middle of a newscast and pretending that the 'buzz around Little Mosque on the Prairie' is actually national news skirts the edges of journalistic credibility. It is plays like this that helped turn CNN from a fairly accurate and reliable news source into the sensationalized semi-tabloid that it is today. CBC has it's ups and downs. It has successful and less successful programming. Curling, the Olympics and the CFL may come and go. But, beyond hockey, the one thing that virtually all Canadians (and many around the world) agree on is that CBC News is one of the last remaining reliable, credible, and journalistically ethical news sources remaining on television. That credibility should not, and must not be for sale; not even for the price of a prime time hit.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shiny Happy People

It took me a while to get to this point. Been busy for a while with the distraction of grad school and the holidays. Welcome to the new year, a fresh start as they say. Funny that we need a start date of renewal just because things didn't go the way they ought to in the last while. Why January 1st, why not your birthday or a significent moment where things started to go the right way. How we reslove to be different people when it's an altered state of believing that we need to change (yep, I choose to jog and have been for 6 years because I'm one of those people who like to have an active lifestyle and I technically quit smoking once because I stopped talking to my only source of nicotine). We want to make things better for oursleves because we choose to, I chose not to go high calorie during the holidays cause I wasn't hungry. But I'm not what they say am I consumerist or disatisfied, I'm simply don't understand people and why the need for change once January 1st rolls around.
By the way, I go on the basics of when the NHL season starts, it's like school, start to finish and you take a couple of months to access what has occured. You know, to better your playoff chances. I feel like making the playoffs this year, can't say much about the Leafs for sure (sorry, I'm a Montrealer, it's all I've got).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I Have no Room

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Margie

I have no room for hate
it will corrode the love that is me.
I have no room for intolerance
it will create a wall between me and friends I have yet to meet.
I have no room for self righteousness
it will blind me to the needy and suffering.
I have no room for harshness
it will close the ears of those around me.
I have no room for impatience
it will cause me to miss a teachable moment.
I have only room for love compassion and a teachable spirit
that is the only way I can hope to effect good and positive change.
It is then that I maybe humbled and blessed to save even one life.
@ Margie Fortune January 01, 2007


GMO foods, another issue that we just can't ingnore for long but seem to be doing a good job at ignoring for now. Here is a scary documentary that was sent to me today. I wory about our future!

Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year is Coming

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Margie

So here we are, all set to move into a brand new year. It awaits so clean and unblemished and it holds the hopes and dreams for all people. This coming year also will arrive with my prayers for so many people.
For the abused women who have had all esteem beaten out of them, I pray that into your life will come that one piece of knowledge or that one individual that will spark the courage that hides within your deepest core, so that you will flee to safety and finally be able to go on to live life to your incredible potential.
For each and every child who is being abused, I pray that their abusers have a bazillion watt halogen light shone upon them, so that all the world will see them for the cruel and perverted individuals they are and so that each child can be lovingly taken to a safe place to heal; that they be given their birth right of being able to grow in a love filled, secure environment where they will have every opportunity to develop their incredible potential.
For the children who go hungry everyday; let there be food. Let the world leaders stop the corruption within themselves and within the ranks so that aid sent to areas of devastation goes directly to the people who are suffering. (It has been 2 years since that horrific tsunami and yet a very small per cent of donations especially the cash has yet to be dispersed.)With the vast riches in this world there is absolutely no excuse for any person, let alone a child, to go hungry.
For the homeless; let there always be secure, warm, and dry shelter for each person, who for whatever the reason, finds themselves "living" on the streets.
For the elderly and the disabled; compassionate respect. May wherever you are housed, be secure and may you be surrounded by only that people who will treat you with love and dignity.
For all the troops who are courageously facing death, may our leaders hearts be touched by the Father Himself, so that the common sense decision be made- there can be no peace as a result of war. Then our sons and daughters can be brought home to the loving arms of their families. And until that day comes I fervently pray that God will wrap the troops and families within His protective and loving arms, showing all the world the greatness that is Him.
For all the missing children, no matter what their age; may you find your way back home to those who die a million deaths each nano second that you are gone. May peace and happiness be yours in the coming year.
Finally to all my friends and yet to be friends; I hope for the gift of empathy which will enrich your spirit with more compassion and love than you ever thought possible. It is then you can show that love to all people. It is then you will be fulfilling the prayer "What I desire for me, I desire for all."
For all who believe in the power of prayer, may you receive answers to your prayers along with the strength to accept the Almighty's wisdom.
For those who do not pray, I trust that you channel good and loving thoughts for all people.
We are all on the same ship, sailing in the one sea, let us make it the best cruise ever.
I love you all!