Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Now Tobin is out too

Doesn't anyone want to run (other than run away) in the Liberal leadership race? Now Brian Tobin has said he won't run either. John Manley won't run, neither will Frank McKenna. Mmmm, at this rate, it will be between Belinda Stronach and Scott Brison. Now that would be interesting if Scott Brison won. A gay leader in opposition against an ultra-conservative, "traditional values" government. I don't think the country is ready for that yet, to be honest. Give everyone a few more years, maybe. In the meantime, the Liberal leadership race is getting more interesting because of who is not running, rather than who is. Everyone is jumping ship and there isn't even a captain to go down with it.

Weather test

Okay, Environment Canada is calling for a bit of snow. Not a heavy snowfall, so they have released some lame thing called a "snowfall warning". They have been so hit and miss lately with their forecasts, it will be interesting to see what happens. I'm guessing we'll have a tremendous storm or, more likely, lots of rain or even sun. We'll see.

I'm Rita hayworth?!

Because I am busy working on a couple of things and because I couldn't resist (I adore classic movies, mostly the ones with cool, strong, female leads like Bacall and Hepburn). I'm happy with being Hayworth, though.

Rita Hayworth
Your inner classic movie diva is:

Rita
Hayworth



A talented dancer and one of the most popular
pin-up girls of the 1940s, Rita's exterior
was ultra-sexy and projected desirability, as
best seen in her film, "Gilda". But
deep down she was very shy and modest, quite
unlike her screen image.

"Every man I knew went to bed with
Gilda... and woke up with me."

--Rita Hayworth

What classic movie diva are you?
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Friday, January 27, 2006

Moore Wins Regional Commonwealth Prize

Congratulations to Lisa Moore. She won the Commonwealth Prize for the region of Canada/Carribean. This means she will go on to compete for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. The judges said they liked the novel's "adroit narrative tension, as well as its metafictional humour". Now, I don't know what any of that means except I guess they liked it a lot and good on her.

Frey incurs the wrath of Oprah

A tiny bit (a very, very tiny bit) of me felt sorry for James Frey yesterday, as he sat on Oprah’s couch and she pummeled him with questions on a live show. It was such a somber thing. She didn’t even let the audience go all crazy—screaming and crying to be in her presence—just politely asked them to please sit. She then apologized for defending Frey on Larry King and went on to ask him pointed questions about the truth (or lack thereof) contained in his book, peppered between pronouncements of how disappointed and embarrassed she was about the whole fiasco, and groans of disgust from the audience. Then James got a bit of a reprieve when Oprah went after the publisher, demanding to know why they didn’t do fact-checking, all while James sat there looking like a deer in the headlights (or as Anderson Cooper said later on CNN, “a cornered rat”).

I kept waiting for her to ask him about the train wreck where two girls had died and which James said he was blamed for by the townsfolk and even questioned by the police about it (na ah). The Smoking Gun exposed this as a complete lie (see the bottom of page 5 and on into page 6 of the Smoking Gun report) and it may have been the most disturbing of them all. Still, she got him to admit that he spent a few hours, not three months in jail, that he may have had novacaine while getting his root canal (he says he received none but any addictions counselor can tell you that wouldn’t happen), and that his girlfriend, Lilly did not hang herself (after a lot of questions from Oprah, he said Lilly cut her wrists but I found him unbelievable in saying it). At the end, Oprah said that at least he had told the truth on the show and that this could be a new start for him. See, I don’t think that’s true at all. The “truth”s he told were dragged out of him by Oprah and even then he half-heartedly would answer them or would say things like “I don’t remember” and use clarifiers like “essentially” or “basically”. I don’t believe a thing he says and I didn’t believe it when I was trying to read the book. I got a part of the way through and couldn’t believe a thing in it. I have a lot of experience in addictions and none of what he was saying sounded the least bit believable. I think there was something that came out of Oprah’s show yesterday and it was the directive to publishers to at least do a little fact checking on anything they tout as memoir or bio or whatever. Anyone could have found out what the Smoking Gun did but no one tried.

I will give Frey credit for having the guts to show up there at all. I spent the whole hour thinking "why is he there?" I would not have done it.

I’m so glad I don’t have a memoir I’m trying to get published right now. I’m thinking they’ll be a hard sell in the near future.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Close the "Hatch"

Richard Hatch, the original Survivor has been found guilty of tax evasion. What a sadass, not to pay the taxes after striking it rich for being a dickhead. He was also accused of spending the money he raised for his charity, Horizon Bound, on himself but was aquitted. Not only did he not pay taxes on the million he won on the show, he also didn't pay taxes on his salary for a radio show he worked on (a whopping $327,000!) and on rent income he received. In what seemed to be a last ditch effor to get off with it, Hatch said that he had caught other contestants cheating (by having people bring food to them) and threatened to expose the truth but the show's producers said they would pay his taxes if he hushed up. SO he just assumed his taxes had been paid. Guess the jury didn't buy that. Especially since he also skipped paying taxes on those other incomes.

Wann bet Richard (who spent a lot of time in the buff on Survivor) won't be walking around naked in jail?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Surprise, surprise

There was no rush to turn on the radio this morning. Most mornings, I can't wait to hear the dulcet tones of Jeff Gilhooly on Radio One, telling me interesting stories from the area. This morning, though, I knew it would be a rehash of the election and that people might actually use three words I never want to hear together (and will try to avoid using myself)--the word "Prime" followed by the word "Minister" then the word "Harper". Shudder.

It was the best outcome I could have hoped for. It was a Conservative victory but at least a minority government. And there were some surprises:

- The Liberals won a lot more seats than most expected. I half expected the decimation of them a la the PCs post Mulroney (I know Kim Campbell was the PM when they went down in flames but I'll always believe it was a Mulroney backlash--Kim didn't have time to piss us off) according to the pundits. The fact that they got so many seats is a good sign that they could pull themselves together once they clean up their stinky act.

- Martin didn't miss a beat before quitting as leader of the party. I think it was the only logical move since Martin had the stench of scandalized Liberals all over him but I figured he'd give the leader of the opposition position a bit of a go first. Now the Liberals are forced to try to keep the Harper government in power while they find a new leader.

- The NDP did better than expected. The strategic voting must not have happened as much as anticipated and people must have "loaned" them their votes as Jack Layton requested. Good on them.

-The Conservatives got seats in Quebec. Mon Dieu!

-The Bloc lost seats and, presumably strength, in Quebec. Since the Bloc had conservative origins, it seems that people may be looking to the other conservatives and backing away from a regional party. That could bode very interesting in the future.

-I found myself turning from CBC (I love CBC) to CTV more often than I thought, both because of extra local coverage from NTV (I do NOT like NTV but I'll give them that) and the panel on CTV which was much more interesting than the dullards on CBC. I found myself listening to Brian Tobin most of all. He fascinates me. He is Bill Clintonesque--full of charisma and a consummate bullshitter politician. On the other hand, Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar and Mr. Tobin, not so much. But mostly I listened for the hints of his leadership aspirations. I didn't hear any but I was flicking back and forth to several channels plus the radio. Still, he was interesting to watch and I have no doubt he'll be throwing his hat, and patented elbow-grabbing-handshake, in the ring.

Other things were not surprising. The conservatives won. Fabian Manning took the seat of Avalon from the Liberals. A well-respected man running in a constituency disappointed in their Liberal representative. No shocker there and congrats to Mr. Manning. St. John’s and area remained Tory blue. The west stayed Conservative. Rex Murphy was once again relegated to read emails on the coverage. Some things will never change.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Literally fun

Oooh, I just found a blog about the misuse of the word "literally". I just submitted my favourite to them. It was on a local newscast (not CBC) where one of the reporters was standing on a wharf in rural Newfoundland. People were joyously celebrating the fact that a boat and crew they had thought had been lost, had instead been found and everyone was safe. The reporter said "People are literally jumping out of their skin here..." Ewwww, imagine the pictures of that. I laugh every time I think of it.

Get out and do it

Everyone in Canada, over the age of 18, should do it today. You should do it for the people who fought and died to keep democracy safe so you can do it; if you are a woman, you should do it because people had to struggle damned hard to get us the right to do it (less than a hundred years ago); if you are an aboriginal, you should do it because again people had to fight for your right to do it (less than fifty years ago); and you should do it because people are struggling all over the world for the right to do it. Somewhere, today, someone wishes he/she could have the right, someone will die for the right to do what you may take for granted. So, for the love of God, people, as pissed off as you may be with the politicians, as sick of the process as you may be, today take the time to VOTE.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Newfoundland Writers Nominated for Commonwealth Writers Prize

I heard on CBC radio yesterday morning that out of six Canadian books short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, two are from Newfoundland. Lisa Moore’s Alligator and Donna Morrissey’s Sylvanus Now were both short-listed from the Carribean and Canada region (together because who doesn’t automatically think of Canada when they think Caribbean). Congrats indeed. I wanted to post a link to some news article about this but despite trying since yesterday have found none. Even the website for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize says, as of this posting. Shortlist to be announced soon.

While I’m on books and writing, Paul Butler has a contest on the go for the best Newfoundland and Labrador book. You can check it out on his website. I only saw one mention of either of the books nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize there though. Sylvanus Now got a nod from someone and Morrissey's other novel, Kit's Law, was mentioned several times as well.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Another political rant (damn it, I’ll stop after next week-maybe)

Now, you know I don’t want the Conservatives to win on Monday. At the very least, I could tolerate them with a minority. Still, the Liberals are making it awfully hard. I must admit that there was a lot of swearing going on at my TV last night (under my breath , of course, don’t want the little guy repeating that to Nan and Pop) when Paul Martin stood up at a rally in Newfoundland to say he was proud of the Atlantic Accord (picture a finger stuck in my mouth in a gesture like I’m going to throw up).

He said he was proud because “… the people of Newfoundland and Labrador want to control their own destiny, and that a substantial part of that is the Atlantic Accord, and that I played a role in that." Um, okay, I can’t deny that you played a role in it, if you mean the role of having to be coerced and dragged kicking and screaming to give us what we wanted. If you mean that we learned to “control our own destiny” by contacting you by the thousands via email, phone, fax, letter and a website developed exactly for that purpose. If you mean that our premier had to get snotty and take down the Canadian flags because he would not accept your paltry original offer, then yes sir, you sure had a part in it.

But then you have the Conservatives and now even one of the remaining Progressive Conservatives has made a fauz pas when Peter MacKay told Alexa McDonough that she should “stick to your knitting” on live radio. Tsk, tsk, Peter. That was a silly thing to do. We look to you as one of the rational, nonfanatical, open-minded people in the party. I wish I could have seen Peter MacKay’s face the instant after he said that. Too bad it wasn’t on TV. Pretty sure Peter would have has his own hand clamped over his mouth with an “oh, shit” look on his face. Time to go back to the potato patch a la your post-Belinda-break-up, Peter, and look all sad and remorseful. But I won’t hold a simple slip of the tongue against you. I don’t think you meant it that way. I think you were just goofin' around. Besides, I have other stuff to hold against you like bringing the Reform party into an unholy alliance with the PCs and that after your handshake and promise not to do so. See, now that is worth holding against you.

Prof offers grade to not attend class

Where the hell was this guy when I was going to university?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mr. Brightside

Love the song and it sums up the year quite nicely, thank you.

Your 2005 Song Is

Mr. Brightside by The Killers

"It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss"

Let's just say you're happy to be done with 2005!


from Craig

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Flies have longer attention spans

What has happened to our attention spans? Everyone knows you have to hook someone in the first paragraph of a book, the first scene in a movie or they'll go elsewhere. We don't have time to watch the news or surf the net to read our favourite sites or blogs so we subscribe to RSS, able to give us what we want, when we want it and as compressed as they can make it. Special versions of TV shows like Lost are coming to a cellphone near you and other short video clips for your cellphone abound.

Now viewers can watch a new "micro-series" on CBS. The Courier, a drama about a man trying to rescue his kidnapped wife, will be seen during breaks in a show (you know, the place where commercials usually go) and will offer people more hints about it on the Internet and via, you guessed it, cellphones. The first episode will run for 60 seconds with 40 seconds spots thereafter. Now, I'm not one to complain about missing commercials but when the hell am I supposed to pee?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Minority report (hopefully)

Okay, I never thought I'd say this but I am hoping for a minority government. I don't really want this to be a political blog. Ed and Liam and a few others have that covered but, as I've said before, it scares the bejeezus out of me that this time next week, Stephen Harper will probably be Prime Minister. I mean these are still, with the exception of the Newfoundland Conservatives and a few others, the same Reform or Alliance party that most Newfoundlanders would never have dreamed of voting for. If you don't remember why that was, check out Rick Mercer's blog (Conservative Cabinet Revealed and Conservative Cabinet Update) and read up on some of the stuff that the members of the Reform Alliance Conservative Party are after saying and doing. Their own words say it better than I can.

But I understand why people want to vote against the Liberals. Their promises are almost funny with them saying what the Liberals "will do" when in power. Duh, um, you've been in power for the past 13 years. This should be about what you've done but since that includes various frauds and possible criminal activities, you can't really stand on that record, can you? So, what of the NDP? I don't know why but they don't seem to get any inroads around here. I know I'd vote for Peg Norman if I was in her riding but I ain't. My choices are Norman Doyle, a man against a lot of my values, and who I haven't seen or heard from in this election, and two men I've never heard of--Paul Antle for the Liberals and Mike Kehoe for the NDP. Oh and there may be a Green Party candidate too but I don't know (for Stephen Eli Harris who reads this and adds to my comments, sorry but that ship sailed for me when Jim Harris came out against the seal hunt).

So all I'm asking for is a minority. Give the Liberals some time to get rid of the crud in their party including their tainted leader then we'll all try again. My husband keeps telling me I shouldn't be so scared of the Conservatives forming the government and says "how bad can it be?". Finding that out is what makes me very afraid and I hope he doesn't have to eat his words one day (and you know I will be there to say "I told you so").

Golden Globe followup

The Golden Globes
Yawn. oh, is it over? Maybe it's me. The last couple of years, awards shows have just not held the same level of excitement for me. Still, I do love the Globes so I thought maybe it would be fun and there were a few great moments, mostly in speeches. Like when Steve Carell read a thank you speech which he said was written for him by his wife and he thanked her over and over in it; when Geena Davis made up a whole story about a little girl telling her she wanted to be President someday becuase of Ms. Davis then admitting that it was all made up; when Mary Louise Parker won against all the Desperate Housewives (after Chris Rock insulted her show with a very stupid joke); I was pleased when Felicity huffman won, and Canadian Sandra Oh's win was great. But, there were no standout moments. maybe it's because I hadn't seen one of the movies nominated for outstanding movie. Maybe the Globes are really trying to be more like the Oscars--all respectable and boring--but they were disappointing to me last night. Plus everyone looked great, although I did notice that all of the guys seems to have that messy hair look that just came out looking unkempt and there seemed to be a noticeable lack of breast support for some women who obviously could have used it.

I think the most interesting thing about the evening was E's preshow (showed on Star network here in Canada). It was like watching a car accident. I couldn't keep my eyes off it. Isaac Mizrahi asked women about their underwear, opened their purses and rifled through them, felt Scarlett Johannsen's boobs, looked down Terri Hatcher's dress, told Charlize Theron that her hair looked like she just gotten out of bed, and even asked Eva Longoria about how (or if) she waxes her pubic hair. Ewwww.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Golden Globes tonight

Get the popcorn out because tonight is the Golden Globes. Oh, I know that they're only decided by an obscure group of 90 people and that the way it works out, someone could win with only 19 votes from the Foreign Press Association but where else can you see Robin Williams ham it up while waiting for Christine Lahti to come out of the bathroom to accept an award or see Jack Nicholson bend over and literally talk out of his ass? It's not about the awards. It's about the speeches and the screw-ups, all made better by the fact that the audience members are drinking and they loosen up. It is a little tiny bit fun because of the fashion but only when they are extremely bad. I'll never wear anything that Nicole Kidman or Gwyneth Paltrow wear but I can make fun of the people who look like crap. And I will...

Save the library mail rate

The Library Mail Rate has been in existence since 1939 and allows very low rates to mail shipments of books between libraries. This is very important, especially to rural libraries. Canada Post may cut out this vital service to our libraries and start charging a regular commercial rate to ship books between libraries. "Mailing costs could increase by 1400% or more if commercial rates were applied. Libraries would have to either absorb the cost, reduce services, or establish user fees"(source). If you would like to speak out against this please go to the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries page and use the email address there to voice your concern.

I really need help

For the love of God, someone stop me. It's two of these lameass quizzes this morning

HASH(0x8c776d8)

What type of Car wreck are you?

You're a multi-car pile-up.
Not only is your own car totalled, but everyone on the highway is honking and cursing at you for causing such a massive accident. But hey, at least you'll be on the local news tonight when they detail todays traffic news.
brought to you by Quizilla


You're Jack Burton.
The Pork Chop Express.


Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
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Friday, January 13, 2006

Teachers muzzled

Been a bit late with this one but sometimes I like to mull. Earlier this week I would have come here typing a big rant about the teachers disciplined for speaking out against their school board at a public meeting. I would have stomped and raved about freedom of speech. I still think that the only way anyone can make things better is if people are allowed to speak freely about the problems that exist. I still think that a publicly funded institution that we pay for to teach our kids should be able to be improved by open discussions about where things can be improved. Still, my husband has tempered my fervour on this. He, after listening to my ranting, and in his annoyingly logical and even-tempered way, quietly said "well, if I said anything in public or anywhere else about my employer, I'd be fired". And he's right. He works in private enterprise and if he mispoke about management or the company itself, his ass would be grass so fast we wouldn't know what hit us.

And I've worked in government before and other large institutions. I have sat in staff meetings where we bit our tongues about things that really piss us off and while we pretended that everything was okay for fear of reprisal (and, to be truthful, because we knew complaining wouldn't do a damned thing except get us in trouble). Every time you speak about an employer or a workplace, you have to be on guard and make sure you are diplomatic and don't cross any lines.

That includes blogs, by the way. Lots of people get fired and disciplined for talking about employers on their blogs. There is a term for it. If you are fired because of your job, you have been dooced. This was coined by Heather Armstrong who was fired from her web design job because of comments on her blog. Her employer found them "objectionable and negative". So be careful out there.

I'm not sure what those teachers said exactly to be disciplined but I hope it was worth the trouble to get it off their chests. In a perfect world, they should have been able to speak freely about their concerns but this is the real world and in the real world, you play the game, smile, often bite your tongue, couch unkind things in nice language to make it palatable and maybe write a (relatively) anonymous blog. Sure b'y, that's what I do.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why not call it a novel

(With thanks to Nancy)

It seems that James Frey was not so truthful in his "memoir" A Million Little Pieces. I've mentioned him before and rereading the Salon article I referred to in that post is almost hilarious now. The whole "I don't give a fuck what you think about me" thing James had going on is in stark contrast to the whiny defensive in the Larry King video from Larry's show last night.

But I wonder why, if it is not factual, did he call it a memoir? I'll not mull over too much about the difference between biography and memoir but if you're going to really go out of whack with the facts, why not call it a novel. Hell, call it an autobiographical novel (makes as much sense as "creative nonfiction" which seems to be so popular these days). You can still tell the horrific story of your addiction and recovery (although that's where he rings untrue to me at times and I know whereof I speak), just change the genre. Oh, I know it got rejected as a fictional piece so he says he edited out the fictional parts and sent it to publishers as a memoir. Sounds like he should have edited a lot more.

Can you survive the 70s

John Gushue points to a quiz about if you could survive in the 70s. Mine says:

"You enjoy the best of the 1970s and 2000s. Bell bottom trousers and make-up on men hold no fear for you, but you do like a bit of 21st century minimalism and the luxury of new technology."

That really is me. Finally a quiz got me right. You can try it here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

West Wing Digression

I watched the West Wing Sunday night. Martin Sheen came on at the start of it and explained that the best tribute they could give to the late John Spencer (AKA Leo McGarry), who died of a heart attack in December, was to show the latest episodes of the West Wing in which Spencer plays a huge role. I don’t like watching the recently dead on TV. It always seems so poignant. The long dead, I can handle--Cary Grant or even a young Katherine Hepburn who I saw grow old and accepted her passing--but someone who died so suddenly and so recently, well, that is hard. I still can’t watch Law and Order episodes with Jerry Orbach in them. As if The West Wing was not sad enough, horrible irony ran throughout the episode such as when the character of Leo explained he was very lucky to have survived a heart attack and that for most people who have a heart attack, “the first symptom is death”. Now that, Ms. Morissette, not a black fly in your chardonnay, is ironic.

The show continued to slump in the ratings, coming out 63rd for the week. I know the show lost its brilliance when Aaron Sorkin left them but it is still far ahead of lots of other shows doing better in the ratings. Commander In Chief is doing very well but the episodes I have watched show it to be patriotic pap dumbed down for the public. And they eat it up. Why watch something that challenges your brain like West Wing when you can get the Dummies version in Commander in Chief? Why watch something completely brilliant like the hilarious (I never watch an episode without laughing roaring out loud at least once) Scrubs (who managed to move up to 60th place in the ratings) when you can watch Dancing with the Stars (13th place—yes, I am serious)? These ratings are all American numbers, by the way but they decide on the vast majority of TV shows we watch, like it or not. Anyway, I angrily digress. RIP Mr. Spencer.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Which awful album cover are you?

Lame, foolish. No, I'm not talking about my album cover, just the fact that I do these quizzes. Still, sometimes you just gotta know and I had to know what album cover I would be.
Debastatin' Stan
Which Awful Album Cover Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Yahoooooo

Finally, something can reduce your chance of cancer that is not green or tastes yucky. Finally, after the revelation a good while ago that red wine is a plus for your heart, something I like is good for me. Can I live on red wine and coffee alone? Nah, but it is kind of nice when something you enjoy turns out to be a positive thing. Now, if someone would only do that study to show that potato chips are good for you, I’ll be happy.

Is there any hope?

London’s Sunday Times tried a little test (more about it here too). They typed up the first chapter of two Booker prize-winning novels, including one written by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and sent them off to agents and publishers. Out of 21 submissions, only one received a bite. Everyone else rejected them outright. Rejection letters spoke of a lack of enthusiasm for the works. Having received a rejection letter or two in my time, I wonder if there is any hope at all for new writers. This test has been tried before. When writer Chuck Ross typed up National Book Award winner Steps by Jerzy Kosinski, it got rejected by every publisher it was submitted to, including the one that originally published Kosinski’s novel. Stephen King got rejected lots of times, so did J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Yann Martel's Life Of Pi was rejected by numerous publishers. It all seems kind of hopeless for writers starting out. Ah well, the more rejections, the better the story once I win the Giller and the GG and the Winterset and, what the heck, the Nobel Prize. Sure, b’y.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hatching my blog and dispatching my opinion

Hatching, Matching and Dispatching had its series premiere last night and I think I liked it more than I did when they aired the pilot. There have been some changes, though. Mary Walsh’s matriarchal character is no longer named Mamesanne but is now Mamie Lou. Not sure why that happened. Not like Mamie Lou rolls off the tongue. Why do we seem to have to try so hard to have “Newfoundland names” like Phonse and Cyril and unique names like Mamie Lou or Odelette (from Rabbittown)? The daughter, Darlene, is extra crazy now, complete with biting her mother and dancing with a fridge. I liked it better when she was a little subtler. Joel Hynes’s character of Nick is no longer just a necrophiliac (who couldn’t “get it up” any other way in the pilot). He is now a sex addict, taking to humping his girlfriend Darlene’s leg until the skin is raw. Shaun Majumder’s Cyril seems to have a South Park Kenny thing going on, appearing to die at the end of the pilot then seeming to do the same twice in last night’s episode. I like that and look forward to more accidents for Cyril. This sounds very over the top as I write it but I like it and I laughed at it and that is more than I can say for any of the other comedy pilots CBC aired this week. I say bring on more.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Pat Robertson=wackadoo

After calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, then praying to make room for more conservatives in the supreme court (made possible by liberal judges dying), Robertson now says God smote Ariel Sharon.

Ummm. Nuff said.

Be afraid

Okay, I am afraid. I think the Conservatives are, with a couple of exceptions,
nothing but prettied up reformers. Peter McKay was a pretty good guy but he lied in order to get to be the leader of the PCs. Then there was his pathetic display as the dumped boyfriend, in a potato patch wearing rubber boots and petting his puppy dog. Talk about losing respect for someone. I think that some of the Conservatives are quite radical right-wingers and I think the conservative vision of our country is pretty much the exact opposite of mine. I am a “small l” liberal. I am for gay marriage and equal rights for everyone. I’m even okay with the legalization of marijuana. The first thing I did when Jean Chretian announced that we weren’t going into the Iraq debacle was to email him with my sincere gratitude. I’m pretty sure Mr. Harper would have had us over there in a flash. And I think public health care is a necessity. So, I am pretty nervous about new polls showing the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals.

But I am not surprised. This government has to be the most corrupt I’ve seen in my lifetime. I cringe at all the news of investigations, inquiries, fraud and possible insider trading. My only hope is that the Conservatives only get a minority which would last about five minutes, I think, with the Libs and NDP ganging up against them. Maybe Martin would then resign and allow some fresh, untainted with the stink of this government, leader to emerge. Hmmm. Did anyone say Captain Canada? Nah, he's spending all that time with what seems like thirty odd jobs his family.

Jon Stewart gets the Oscars

Or rather the Oscars get Jon Stewart. Yes, the brilliant guy will be hosting this year. I am a bit of an awards show junkie (except music award shows--can't handle them). I even like watching the Gillers except I couldn't this year since we have no CTV here and CTV carried it. Anyway, I think the Academy Awards are usually the most profoundly dull of the lot, with the Golden Globes, coming up really soon, being the most fun. Maybe if people were allowed to drink at the Academy Awards, it would be fun too. I am actually looking forward to the Oscars being presented this year now that I now the irrevrant, sharp, intelligent banter of Jon Stewart will be anchoring the show.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rabbittown Follow-up

I watched Rabbittown. Then I waited for the big hullabaloo like the one that followed Hatching, Matching and Dispatching. Nothing. Nada. Not a peep from the Open Line (not that I heard, anyway but it was only on in the background as I went about my life) but comes along my fav—Radio Noon’s Soapbox and the wonderful Anne Budgell. Ahhhh.. Finally. Someone called about Rabbittown. The caller loved it. Anne liked some parts and worried about others. Anne encouraged people to call with their opinions. I awaited the onslaught—people upset about characters sniffing from plastic bags in back alleys, viewers angry about stripping to good old Newfoundland music—but nothing. Not one more call.

Note to Mary Walsh: If you want to launch a controversial series, do so during an election.

As for the show itself, it was okay. I wanted to love it and while the acting was great (Adriana Maggs and Andy Jones were particularly good), the story itself left me wondering where the comedy was. I didn’t laugh once, although Andy made me smile a couple of times. But it is a pilot and sometimes a pilot is too full of stuff we have to learn about characters. It ended with us knowing everything we need to know for what I think would be a great series. Sure b’y, it’s just my opinion.

Stealing Wishes

Well, not stealing so much as borrowing with full credit. I am taking this from the wonderful Craig Welsh who borrowed it from the phenomenal Neil Gaiman but it is such a fantastic wish that I wanted to add it here. It is truly what I wish for everyone (well, maybe not everyone, maybe there are one or two people who I wish pimples and painful--but not necessrily fatal--venereal disease):

May your 2006 be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in 2006, you surprise yourself.

FUBAR

Papers, and by extension in this day of the electronic media, the web pages of those papers, report the good news that the miners in West Virginia have been rescued. The good old Google News still shows the Globe and Mail web page that says "12 miners found alive", the San Jose Mercury News says "Miners found alive". Many more web pages still spread the false news, somehow relayed to relieved families only to devastate them hours later with the truth: all except one of the 13 miners in an explosion died. One can only imagine what those families felt. From the depths of doubt and despair that their family members may have died, to the ecstasy and relief of finding out they were alive to the cruelty and devastation of learning the truth. Their pain is unimaginable and their bitterness must be huge. I suppose lawyers are swarming for the eventual lawsuits and we know the media have inundated the small town where it happened. My heart goes out to the families.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rabittown

Rabbittown, the new NL series from Adriana Maggs and Sherry White airs tonight. I can't wait. I rewatched Hatching Matching and Dispatching the other night and liked it even more than last time. With H,M, and D regulars like Sherry White and Joel Hynes in it, not to mention the genius of Andy Jones, Rabbittown should be a fun watch.

I am also looking forward to the open lines tomorrow and CBC Radio Noon's sopabox since I'm sure lots of people will be calling in to complain like they did with Hatching. Upstrapless viewers seem fine if funny, irrevrant, satirical shows are shown locally. Their concerns come from a national audience seeing it. They worry that Canada will think that all Newfoundlanders are like the characters on the show. Well, some of us are. I know someone like almost every character on Hatching and I bet I will find the same with Rabbittown. That doesn't mean everyone in Newfoundland is like it. No one in NY goes ballistic when Law and Order shows a homeless person or a corrupt politician or a gang member or some sick serial murder. NYers don't go, "oh my God, now they'll think we're all murderers". It was the same with The Shipping News a few years back. One child molester from Newfoundland in it and people complained "oh, they showed Newfoundlanders as child molesters". Grow up. Newfoundlanders are complex people just like everywhere else. We are lawyers, teachers, students, street people, publishers, actors, mechanics, singers, alcoholics, accountants, plumbers, drug addicts, housewives, social workers, geniuses, idiots, the average, the ignorant, the open minded and everything else. Some have thick accents and some hardly any at all. We are people and we are all individuals. No one tv show or movie or book or news story can pigeonhole us as a group. Let's just have fun with it and be glad that young, local talent are making their own way and doing what they want to do where they want to do.

I'll be back tomorrow to let you know how Rabbittown was, in my opinion.

HST -- Harmonized Stunned Tax

So, CBC is reporting that sealers suddenly have to cough up HST on the sale of their seal pelts, retroactively. Okay, it is one thing to expect the sale for new pelts, another again to expect sealers to pay up for years past when there is no way they can recoup it from their customers and pass it on in the way of higher prices. It seems that the sealers were always supposed to pay the tax but they didn't realize it. The question is how did the feds fail to notice that the sealers were not paying until now? It goes back several years, according to the CBC. How long does it take someone to figure out that no HST is coming from the sealers? Also, where was the FFAW in all of this? Didn't they ever realize the sealers were supposed to pay HST?

Whatever the reasons and whoever missed the boat on this, it seems pretty stupid for them to all of a sudden ask for big money from sealers, many of them probably already hurting from a pretty lackluster season in sealing, fishing and crab. I think the fishers should get a break on this one, at least retroactively. Sure b'y, it's only fair.