Friday, March 30, 2007

British Soldiers in Iran: A few thoughts

Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines'

Let me start this out by saying that I have nothing but sympathy for the British Sailors in Iran and their Families. They should, most certainly, be released. I do not know whether they were in Iranian waters or not, but they certainly do not seem to have intended to be in Iranian waters.

With that said given all of the Tension between Iran and 'the West' recently

  • U.S. Preparing To Attack Iran - Says Russian Intelligence

  • Online comment: Heading for war with Iran?

  • The Pentagon Preps for Iran

  • Iran's military plans for invasion by U.S.


  • it is certainly understandable if the Irianians are a bit paranoid these days. Also, if Blair says that these sailors were not supposed to be in Iran, I believe him, but if he says that there have been no Coalition missions inside Iran, even for reconnoissance, that I would find doubtful.

  • Subverting Iran - Washington’s Covert War Inside Iran

  • Washington's Covert War inside Iran

  • US special forces 'inside Iran'

  • Report: U.S. Sponsoring Kurdish Guerilla Attacks Inside Iran


  • Given all of this, you would think that US and UK forces who do not intend to be inside Iran would take extra precautions to stay well clear of it. This is especially true because, since 9/11 the US and it's allies have operated well outside the Geneva Convention and the rule of International Law.

  • CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

  • Secret world of US jails

  • The children of Guantanamo Bay

  • Missing Iranian defence expert may have been kidnapped by West

  • Germany weighs war crimes case against Rumsfeld

  • Alleged CIA Kidnapping Casts Shadow Over US-Italian Relations

  • OUTSOURCING TORTURE
    The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.

  • Iraq: U.S. Prisoner Abuse Sparks Concerns Over War Crimes

  • Greeks accuse Blair of war crimes in Iraq

  • Blair 'war crimes' case launched

  • US acknowledges torture at Guantanamo; in Iraq, Afghanistan - UN


  • Despite all of this the Iranians seem, by all accounts, to be treating the prisoners reasonably well. At the very least they do not appear to have been injured or tortured.

    Whether or not anyone wants to say the word, Iran and the US (and by association Britain) are in a state of war. This though is the particularly fragile part of that state of war where the shooting hasn't actually begun. Everyone, I think, needs to pull back from the brink a bit and take a deep breath. If this is going to be resolved by negotiation rather than weapons, the rhetoric needs to climb down a notch.

    Should Iran have nuclear weapons? Of course not. No one should. Perhaps they should start negotiating around that idea.

    the Horseshoe on Saturday

    Originally Posted to Roar of the Beaver


    If you happen to be in Toronto this Saturday, I'll be at the Horseshoe to see one of my favorite local bands the Outfit (see video below) along with the Exchanges, the iSpies, and Dirty 30. Everything starts at 9:30 - come on out.




    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    Get Your Act Together

    The Oakham Amateur Campus Theatre (OACT) presents: Get Your Act Together - A Festival of Short Plays.

    Come out and see a hilarious evening of plays for only $5.00!

    When: Thursday March 29th, 7:00 PM
    Friday March 30th, 7:00 PM
    Saturday March 31, 2:00 PM

    Location: Student Campus Centre, Room 115, Ryerson University, 55 Gould Street, Toronto.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Movies I'd Like To See Pt. 1

    "Paradise By the Dashboard Lights: the Meatloaf Story" Starring Jack Black Directed by Kevin Smith ... anyone else?

    When Will we Hold Government Accountable ?

    Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines' by Margie

    It seems since the Mulroney/Wilson duo we have been on a greased spiral downwards.
    Foreign "investment" has come to mean- let rich business come to Canada and buy out our factories, mills, etc. Then they scrape every last asset out of their purchase and truck the money out of here to safe tax havens paying minimal or no tax. In their wake they leave unemployed who for the greater percent have very few options for re- employment except minimum wage which cannot even care for a single persons needs let alone a family.
    This also began the process of the agenda for privatizing social services especially, health care and education. Had these services been managed properly all along it would not be in the massive horror that we see today.
    The horrendous mismanagement of tax dollars over the past 30 years borders on criminal! We have had a steady line of elected "leaders" queuing every member up to go to the trough and they each come back with lucre dripping from their chins. In the meantime the hungry children in this country now surpass 300,000; we have working persons who are homeless; elderly and disabled live with the barest of necessities if they have them at all and now with massive cuts to the status of women I fear more will be forced to stay in violent homes until somebody dies, not too mention that the children of these parents become well schooled in violence in their home.
    Government is supposed to be "For the people BY the people" So I am wondering; when are the people going to raise their voice and say "ENOUGH"! When are WE going to put their feet to the fire and say."If you will not work FOR me then you are gone!"

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Dancing With The Stars, Eh?

    The second episode of Dancing With the Stars is on ABC and CTV tonight. Tomorrow night, someone gets eliminated!
    Personally, I find this latest batch of "stars" a bit of a letdown from last season. There's really no one here I find worth rooting for! We don't have a geriatric-type like Jerry Springer (John Ratzenberger is younger and wants to win as opposed to Jerry's mantra of "get me off this show"). No "studs" for the ladies like Mario and that Blossom kid. Hell, I can't even get behind waiting for Heather Mills' prostetic leg to pop off and hit Tom Bergeron square in the nuts! Now THAT would be America's Funniest Video!
    Instead, I sit here, wondering who we would enlist if there ever was a Canadian version of this show. This is what I picture in my mind's eye...

    - Luba Goy doing the tango
    - Gordon Pinsent doing the two-step
    - Steve Smith (Red Green) doing the fox trot
    - Brent Butt doing the waltz
    - Lisa LaFlemme doing the samba

    You know, another round of Deal or No Deal Canada is beginning to sound better and better....

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Next On CBC Radio One..........Q

    Inside The CBC is reporting that the new weekday afternoon arts program will be called, Q.

    That's right, the show is named after one letter.

    Q will be hosted by Jian Ghomeshi and replaces Freestyle. As far as I know, it will hit the airwaves on April 2nd.

    You're probably wondering what the "Q" stands for? No one is entirely sure. Some suggested that is stands for question. Personally, I thought someone was paying homage to the James Bond character. However, with all the money and creative minds that are working on this show, you'd figure they'd come up with a name that shows some effort and interest. You'd figure they could come up with something better then just "Q." Seriously, what the heck was the reason behind it? Is this some attempt at post modernism? A cruel inside joke? A way to show how artistic the show is going to be?

    Now, if there's a logical reason as to why the show is called "Q," I will write another post and apologize.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    The Giant Blue Cult with A Smiley Mascot....

    Everyday, well almost everyday, I wake up and get ready for work. Sometimes I work early mornings, sometimes I work late evenings but the routine is always the same. I throw my feet over the side of my bed and quickly search for a pair of clean socks (my apartment is as cold as a morgue) and then I make my way to the bathroom for my daily rituals of hygiene. Once, I get that out the of the way, I come back to my room and search for some form of clean clothes in the giant pile at the end of the bed, work appropriate of course. I take my seven minute walk to the giant grey building with the blue and red stripes and when I get there, the doors open gracefully accepting me with a warm embrace. Everyday, I insert the combination to my locker and I pull out the blue vest donned with the ‘Our People Make the Difference’ slogan. Do they really make a difference though? Because most of the people I work with haven’t the slightest clue as to what’s going on. I slowly shuffle my feet to receiving where the morning meeting will take place and all the cult like behaviors will ensue. Firstly, they discuss the sales making sure to include as many plural nouns at every possible turn of a sentence.
    “Yesterday, WE made 117,918 dollars in sales. Today OUR projected profit is 119,000. OUR top departments were as follows. Ok, let’s start OUR stretches.’ See, the idea is to include you in every prospective way because this is the first step to corporate brainwashing. The implication is that you won’t see it coming. You start to feel like part of the group, accepted, important perhaps even cherished. Who doesn’t want a little of that in their life? It’s, in fact, quite parallel to high school politics in that aspect. Then, then they make you chant about how great it all is. When you first are forced into this choir of apathetic voices and ridiculous words, you feel stupid. But, as time passes, all of a sudden you’re clapping a little bit louder than the day before, you’re enthusiastically chirping out that W-A-L… And then before you had time to walk to your assigned department, it’s happened. You’re in a cult that makes you wear a blue vest that asks “How can I help you?” (Though you really intend to help as little people as possible) Hell, they mine as well pass you the cup of fruit juice laced with poison cause you’ve basically sold your soul to the devil except this particular satanic figure has a giant round yellow face and a smiley that peers past you. So next time that you manage to land that job in retail or fashion, or even the fast food industry, take a hard look at what you’re really getting into and then ask yourself, “Will I sell myself to giant commercial whore for the sake of my menial and near task less job?

    the Hype

    When I named this blog 'Hype' it was because it seemed to describe what I saw in popular culture. More and more pop culture, seems to be about fame itself and not about any kind of talent. More about self-promotion and marketing than about being good at anything. I cannot, try though I might, figure out the culture of celebrity. The only thing I can assume is that it is some kind of replacement for religion. I don't know why some people who are famous, are famous. For example, I have yet to see a shred of talent from Lindey Lohan, Katie Holmes or Nicole Richey, I know that Paris Hilton is famous for being very rich and that's about it. Tom Cruise has been in a great many movies, but has anyone else noticed that he only seems to be a 'good actor' when he's playing conceited, self absorbed assholes? What makes anyone think that's acting?

    Beyond that, even if someone does have talent - I don't care where they eat dinner, who they sleep with or marry, if they have a drinking problem and go into rehab, good for them but it's really none of my business. I care about the work they do and whether or not it's good and that's about all. If they lead a particularly interesting life then maybe, just maybe, I'll read their biography someday.

    It also seems absurd to me that all these Americans who are famous for being famous get so much media attention in Canada. Canada has produced many excellent bands in recent years, at least three of them: Broken Social Scene (Toronto), Arcade Fire (Montreal) and the New Pornographers (Vancouver) are recognized internationally as being among the acts that will define this decade. But, If you put all of the Canadian press that all three of them have generated in a pile I'm sure it would be dwarfed by the Canadian press received by Brittany Spears (who is neither Talented, nor Canadian.)

    Now I'm sure that media people in the country will tell you that that's what people want to see. I hope they're wrong, but in any case - it's why sites like this one, and all of the blogs and podcasts and indie media around Canada need to exist. Whether Spears gets attention because it's what people want, because it's simply easier to produce or whatever else the reason may be there have to be alternatives to the trivial, mind numbing, IQ dropping, hyper commercialized, cult of the talentless celebrity that seems to be absorbing the airwaves.

    The only theory, by the way, that I have come up with to explain people's facination with the intimate personal details of the lives of celebrities that they don't know and will never meet is that it is some kind of substitute for religion. If that theory turns out to be correct then please people, pick better gods.

    Millions of Iraqi refugees need world's help: UN

    Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines'

    About 4 million Iraqis have been displaced by the US Invasion and the resulting civil war. This is, I think something that Canada and Europe should lend a hand in. Canada and most of Europe tried to talk the US out of this war and did not participate in it and we all know that this should ultimately be the responsibility of the US and it's 'coalition of the willing.' We also know though that the U.S. will not accept any responsibility for the damage it caused, the lives it ruined or the country it has nearly destroyed.



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    Monday, March 19, 2007

    More Obscure Canadian Celebrities

    I started this back in January. Now, it's time to grow.

    The list so far:

    - Peter North
    - Kenny MacLean
    - Kate McGarrigle
    - Michael Ontkean
    - Jackson Davies

    New members:

    - Holly Larocque

    - Al Connelly

    - Jeff Hyslop

    - Frenchy Martin

    - Nicole Lyn

    My dream is to compile as many names as we can. Let's keep it going!

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Sirius-ly Canadian?

    I have had a subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio for a couple of months now (thanks again for the Christmas present, Tina!). I love the ability to choose what I want to hear, I love the selection of music Sirius offers, as well as the sports and other programming they have (gotta love Howard Stern!). I even listen to it at work via the Internet.

    If there is one complaint I have, it's that the Canadian music channels are NOT available on the Internet streaming service. I would probably listen to Iceberg 95 all day if I could, but according to an e-mail I received from Customer Service, that is currently not in the plans. *sigh!*

    If you have a Sirius radio, I would suggest to you to go to http://www.siriuscanada.ca and e-mail Customer Service. Maybe the more people they hear from, the more they might consider this. After all, I may enjoy listening at work, but I'm definitely not getting my Canadian content (other than the odd BNL played on the Super Shuffle channel)!

    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Danger Everywhere You Look

    Originally Posted to 'the Fake Headlines'

    Since 9/11 the US is, understandably, a little more paraoid than usual. But recently I have noticed, when I read or watch US news reports that words like 'Al Queda' and 'Osama', 'Afghanistan and Iraq' are mentioned less and less. Still there seem to be alot of 'Threats to National Security' - So, I did a google search to see what kind of threats to National security they were worried about. In the first 10 pages of the google search these are some of the things I found.

    note: While 'terrorism' in general made the list, 'Al Queda', 'the Taliban', and 'Osama Bin Laden' did not.

    Clear and Present Dangers to U.S. National Security (I guess)

    Government Debt
    Peer to Peer File Sharing
    Windows XP
    Furby
    Pentagon Evangelism
    Oil
    Unions
    Gangs
    Linux
    Climate Change
    Drugs
    Drug Cartels
    Piracy
    Wind
    Republican control of Congress
    Mountain Lions
    Google Earth
    Overclassification
    Infectious Disease
    Natural Disasters
    Identity Theft
    Illegal Immigration
    Sun Microsystems
    Terrorism - it took me awhile to find one of these, for awhile I didn't think it would make the list
    Cindy Sheehan
    Grad Students
    Arlen Specter
    Boobies
    Golf balls
    Cyber Terrorism
    Oprah Winfrey
    the sale of Unocal
    Government Inaction
    Payday Loans
    Bird Flu
    Bill Clinton
    Hillary Clinton
    Canadian coins

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    I'm ok, you're ... well I'm ok


    Here's an idea from Vancouver aimed at making our cities a little friendlier. The OK social button is worn to tell people "people that you're not only great to talk to, but you like the idea of a warmer and more open city. It's an icon to let people know that it's OK if they actually try and speak with you.That's all there is to it."

    Kind of a real life version of MySpace's "Add Me" button. The Vancouver chapter is up and running, and there is one starting up in Toronto. Visit the Ok Social website for more info.

    While you're at it, add one to your website with the code below. The internet could stand to be a little friendlier as well.



    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    maybe not the best damn thing

    Researching a project for work (seriously!), I found myself going to Avril Lavigne's myspace page.

    I'd already heard the new single, and I kinda got the idea, though it does sound like the greatest Skye Sweetnam song ever. For no good reason, I've been trying to give this girl (Avril) some slack, because she's from Napanee and seemed to start that whole pop-grrl thing, and a hot guy I like thinks she's great in part because she works with Butch Walker, who is pretty excellent. The business of being at Cannes and New York Fashion Week attempting to be glamorous and whatever raised a tiny red flag, but I got past it...mainly because who gives a crap. But she seems to be in a fairly precarious position in terms of her creative life - is she past it? will she change? will she change back? Is this her Under Rug Swept moment, when we all just start to not pay attention?

    So back to the myspace page. Of course, down by the top friends, there's a player for the video of the single, so I let 'er rip. I can get through the whole Mariah-Carey-playing-two-girls-who-want-the-same-guy thing.

    But then...there's dancing. With actual dancers with "choreography".

    That's when I closed the myspace and started waiting for the night she plays Casino Rama.

    Still there is some good news. iTunes has that single with the chorus sung in EIGHT DIFFERENT LANGUAGES! You wanna hear her yelling about not liking some guy's girlfriend in Portugese and Mandarin? Of course you do! Check out the list here, and get ready for when she sings every bloody one of them in Monaco on the World Music Awards show. Yes, I'm reckoning that's before the Casino Rama gig.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    01.20.09

    What will happen on January 20th, 2009?

    Is it:

    a. A party for George Burns' 113th birthday
    b. The NHL All-Star game
    c. George W. Bush's last day in office
    d. The Royal Rumble
    e. Another Federal Election

    If your answer is "C," congratulations! You are correct.

    January 20th, 2009, will mark the day when Bush hands over power to the new President. In honour of this occasion, there is a website counting down the days, second by second.

    I give you bushslastday.com

    The website describes itself as a "wake up call for those of us that are frustrated with President Bush and his administration." It provides a critique on Bush's term in office. But more importantly, the site has a store where you can buy all types of products, that bare the slogan, "01.20.09 - Bush's Last Day." Some of these products also come with an actual countdown clock.

    No doubt, a perfect gift for all your left wing friends and family members.