Sunday, July 30, 2006
Why does hollywood keep doing this? Is there a reason for the weekly release summer nonsense run forcing us to scour local cinemas out of our way, to creep through on-ramp after on-ramp to that one movieplex in the middle of nowhere (read: Pointe Claire) because the only good movie coming out this summer is playing there?
I admit, I was looking forward to it. I shivered with anticipation. I stupidly figured that since the other teen-movie blockbuster hitting the theatres at the moment is that John Tucker Must Die thing, this would have the similar overtones of woman hilariously tormenting evil ex-boyfriend who was mean to her. There’s nothing wrong with that type of fantasy now and then, and if it includes Uma Thurman flying around in a leather jumpsuit, all the better.
I should not have been surprised. The story was lame, shallow and beyond stereotypical. I’m not bothering with a spoiler warning; no giveaway can make this any more disappointing.
This hometown girl suffering through the torment of puberty runs amiss of a meteor that gives her superpowers. But girls can’t handle their own strength, as we all know, and need the soothing, firm hand of a strong man who loves them to regulate their wildly raging impulses. The girl gets a whiff of popularity and blows off her nerdy but devoted friend who then has no choice but to become an evil mastermind.
Time passes. Oh does it pass. Get some popcorn. You’ll be here a while.
The girl all grown up is now a superhero in New York City, assistant curator by day. She is neurotic, controlling, jealous and at one point after she has opened up her secret identity to her new good-guy boyfriend, needs to be convinced to save the city from impending doom. She takes a fuck hissy fit and needs her baby-faced boy-toy to insist that she save the fuck city.
He dumps her because she is so crazy and she pulls a Fatal Attraction destructathon a-la-superpissed. At one point she throws a shark through a plate glass window (ultimately the reason I wanted to see the flick) and I found myself sympathizing with the poor defenseless shark ripped rudely from the safe waters of the deep and thrashing around on the floor of a new york apartment gasping for air and snapping at everything in it’s path. In the end, the supervillan admits that he loves her and Luke Wilson gets his own other non-crazy superhero girlfriend and the two men end up holding their girlfriends’ purses while they fly off to do battle with injustice, which actually wasn’t that bad to look at.
Why was that my movie? Why wasn’t it a mean, self-centered, irresponsible prick who had it coming? It didn’t need to be a movie suggesting that all men are like that, but we’ve all met pricks in our time and what better way to spend a summer afternoon than to sit in a darkened theatre fantasizing about a superhero making their lives crap? Instead, this is a guy movie. For all the men out there who ever went out with a total head case only this time she can fly. I don’t mind that per se, but I’ve seen enough of them. And this was advertised to me! They made me want to see it based on the premise that I would see a jerk get some comeuppance. The people at Paramount and 20th Century Fox convinced me it was something I wanted to see. They were wrong, and I wonder if a movie will ever be well-advertised enough, but still bad enough, to incite a class action suit against them for fraudulent business practices? I can tell from the ads I don’t want to see You, Me and Dupree and so I won’t and save myself the boredom and inevitable upset from it.
As it is, ladies I will say, don’t bother. Luke Wilson is a good guy no matter what you see him in. Get a copy of Old School, that was way funnier. And Uma’s a gamble depending on the director. Go see The Devil Wears Prada. I never thought I would say this, but its way more entertaining, and the bitchy female hero is satisfying in a much better way.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
It seems that’s all that was needed however. This morning Israeli tanks rolled over the border of Lebanon and began preparations for what appears to be an unwelcome stayover. Pundits on the ground, generals in several nations, the FBI, the UN, all are batting around WWIII as though somehow it is something to look forward to. Is it the idea perhaps that by simply saying the words, the rest of the world will mobilize immediately in response to some unconscious trigger? WWI was escalated far too quickly for exactly that reason, and so many nations became involved so quickly, the immediate entanglement left no-one with the option to back down or not see it through. It was pointless on all fronts, baseless and without reason. WWII was entirely the opposite. No-one wanted a piece of Germany and all of its woes, and by the time anyone noticed what was going on it was almost too late. On this side of the pond there was huge debate as to whether or not to even dip our toes in after the first Germanic fiasco. We held referendums on a draft, finally had chit chats about our constitution and laid the groundwork in Quebec for the FLQ. Our neighbor continued to consider the situation from a remove until finally they were given no choice by Japan, the last country with any forces to muster to get involved.
So what is the impetus now? A decades long conflict will not be solved by the continued involvement of developed countries with little or no comprehension or respect for the dispute. The hostages were the catalyst this time, but that is unfortunately nothing new. This has happened before and as unconscionable as it is, for another World War, something far weirder must take place. Something far off our radar in a nation no-one saw coming will have to happen. It will be at first a dismissive event. We will not imagine that it has something to do with us, like a country’s reaction to traumatic depression, or a well-bred duke laid low and wasted. Something may happen in North Korea, but it won’t be an attack on us. It might be something completely different. Whatever it will be, a continuation of well documented, well funded religious stalemate will not incite the entire developed world to stop and join the fun.
Our description of these events as WWIII is unreasonable and frankly insulting to the people who have lived with this their entire lives. Beirut has been a war zone off and on forever, and Israel has been uneasy with its neighbors since it came to be. Such cavalier bandying of this title makes me wonder exactly what else is going on that we are not supposed to be paying attention to. Iraq continues sideways and soon may slide directly off the planet in centrifugal disgust. No discussion is being had on the weapons they found, simply “yeah, we were right. Move on.” I had to listen to two years of a stain on a dress. I am not moving on from decommissioned weapons anytime soon. North Korea continues its testing process and wildly praises itself for continued success. When they fire on Jakarta, we’ll know something’s up. Our security agencies get cozier and cozier with those of our neighbors every day, CIA planes land in our country transporting what? Prisoners on the way to Cuba? Maybe it’s just preemptive stockpiling of beer kegs for the victory party. Our officials barter with a Turkish broker to get boats to evacuees, and Stephen gives George just the purtiest cufflinks y’all ever saw. Our troops in Afghanistan wonder publicly what they are doing there, and watch any good works undone once they leave. Continued is our question of are we safe, but our usual conversation over sovereignty is lost this time. We are not discussing how much to participate, we are not mentioning how regular these disputes arise, we are not paying attention to our further entrenchment in US foreign policy and no mention has been made on our news channels of a necessary Canadian force.
This is not world war three. This is unfortunate, tragic escalation of an argument that began long before we took any notice. It is unfair to treat it as something it isn’t; it is imprudent to allow a militia to believe they have the pull to begin a world war, that will only encourage them. It is improper to use these events to prevent discussion on other more immediate topics. This whole thing, as so many other things in my life at the moment, is unacceptable.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
So the great terror in the deeps of the sea is Davy Jones, three-tentacled-obsession with his gigantic organ. A huge rachet hammer he has to plunge into the water and summon his Kraken. Again with the giant octopuses. Davy was a jolly barman who would lock people in his barrels and throw them off the side of his boat. A jovial satan with smoke from his nostrils and horns on, well, his head at least.
Nemo tricked his crew into signing on forever and refused to land but aided every so often the landlocked subteranean canine. Ahab didn’t bother fooling anyone and just kept his eyes on the prize, both hands firmly gripping his sturdy, long harpoon. Would the Flying Dutchman have more quickly caught up with Cthulu? Or would the white whale have taunted even them and turned up it’s blowhole? The use of the East India Trading Company only adds to the story that these surface sea-miners skip and drag along the tension of the water and occasionally beach themselves for the fun of the hunt, those nautical cartographers who fill in the blanks with assumed possession. How similar to the erratic and narrow land accumulations performed by their stronglegged counterparts. How simple to trick each other into deals with the devil of the deep while behind their backs the varying treasures are carried off by the even simpler-minded. These self-obsessed sailors with narrow views of organs and tunnels, small holes and keys, chests and covenants and the chase. These mild male miners who chase each other across the dense, tense water. This story based on a ride, based on a story, imagined by a deadman. Disney, Verne, Melville, truly these seamen are the great master-baiters.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Calm tears fall from a face resigned as the formica countertop. Sissy hums softly as she arranges pieces on a large roasting platter. “Mummu said there’d be days like this, Mummu said Mummu said…” The top is mostly done; eyes skewered on toothpicks sit in stretched skinholes; there is a scent of bread baking, yeasty, female. She stitches slowly to avoid another accident; the first time she sewed her fingers to his heart. Ice clinks in a metal shaker full of blood and ambrosia. Her apron says kiss the cook with a winking eye embroidered on it. This time will be different she promised herself. Sissy finally knew the truth; with them Set and bent on his destruction, he couldn’t stay. But she would keep the garnish, they would never find this piece. At times it twitched insider her, almost as high as horns but not quite. Her bloodied hands reach in, open, pour a thick dollop of her own oils into the shaker, mix and and spritz, mix and spritz. His glazed body easily annointed as she could now turn separate bits under her hands. She had given the caterer specific directions. A box, a ramp, a van. She smoothes his hair. She says goodbye. As the van advances down the gangplank, Os dismembered rises, turnes to Sissy. “It’s best this way babe. I’ll watch your back from here.” They kiss goodbye; his lips are still raw and not quite set back in his skin. She blesses him silently and watches as he walks unsteadily away, her great wings expanding as she soares homeward. The rushing wind dries the tears and sweat on her face. Her small revenge still hidden from the party guests. The priests will never know the eunuch’s grace. Back at the butcherblock island, smirking as she works, the kitchen is cleaned and a box prepared for her trophy. It seemed small in the space provided as do so many things. Her counter cleaned, she moves to the garden and observes the Setting sun. Enraged he falls screaming and beating his fists on the ground. Sissy shakes her head; she ought to spank him, but somehow she didn’t think he’d get the message. Men.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
“you made me sleep in a Jeva you sonofabitch” I thought, but I could only aspirate the instruction to get me to the emergency fishbowl. Once there I started an oxygen treatment. Lying back I could feel flat sheets abraid my dorsal fin. I wished my toes were dipping in lakewater like his were at the time. Pure O bubbles through liquid salbutamol into my lungs and my wings fold back into my skin so I can rest. It takes about fifteen minutes and then if you get another one, which I did, you have to wait in between them. Sal makes you really hyper and wildly increases your blood pressure. You heart races and you get all red, you can’t focus and you keep blinking. There’s probably a market for it as the emotional equivalent of viagra. It was an exhausting plastic mask brought on by a man’s inconsideration, so to me it was just like falling in love.
The build up of pressure in your head when you fight to breathe is immense. Every time they end I’m convinced my eyes will fall out of their sockets exhausted and dry. My neck tendons stretch and a part of me is convinced every time that gills are coming, I just need the right hormone.
Got into emergency all tingly early Monday morning. It was quiet and white with instruments when the light hum of fluorescent lighting was overruled by a loudish face mask fan. Air bubbled up through the liquid sal at the bottom feed line and elastic left a mark around my face. Shaky hands removed it and I left with the jitters but able to breathe. Got back to grandma’s with sleepy eyes and some pills that make yer skin crackle when you take them. missed ya, thought of how much I would prefer to breathe fresh lake air than dusty second floor fumes. Better later in the a.m. when tea and sleepy sunrise lit our breakfast table. More pills and inhalations lungs all calm now. Stayed sleepy till I got home and lizards looked as if to say, oh…it’s you. Snuggled Lewis in my comfy bed and slept much better back at home, no dust no cat no plans but coffee set on automatic so it wakes in the morning with acrid reassurance. Breathed easy this am and now home beckons once again…
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
In the weeks just before the election was called:
So, the confidence vote is over and from now until the 24th, Steven Harper will continue to go on and on about winning the battle but losing the war etc. etc. and won’t be able to stop blustering about Opposition days. Sadly for him, the conservative leadership will have no choice but to haul him out to Nunavut where he can have a 6-month long quiet discussion about what a leader has to do. First thing: run the party. He will not be the leader for long and it will become even more obvious when on the 24th he will announce that for some bullshit “the country doesn’t need another election right now, for the good of the party etc” that he will in fact not be bringing forth a motion to topple the government like he’s been promising because he simply won’t have the votes even within his own party. No-one wants to be remembered as supporting the sinking Titanic, and his failure is bordering on those epic proportions. Now of course, this will completely alienate the bloc from the cons and not until PET rises from the dead will those two parties get together. Duceppe is all on his own again in the very peculiar position of having the majority in the province with the most seats and votes and an incredible wealth financially, but whose culture and ethics are completely lost on the entire rest of the country who therefore will not cooperate in their motions and filibuster out of sheer culture shock when critical moves are made. He’s adrift once again and now even less likely to find or trust allies on the hill. Not to mention that in a bizarre election settlement, the Bloc won and Duceppe is in Parliament representing the Quebec people, but the Premier of the province is Liberal Jean Charest. Gilles is alone among jackals and will play very shrewdly in the next few years.
Harper’s out and more than likely the next Liberal candidate will be John Manley. Stronach and Parrish will each run and divide the women’s votes allowing the most forgettable leader of the Canadian Military to gain the leadership of what is left of the liberal party. Harper won’t be heard from for quite some time, but once the new leader of the cons (Klein by a landslide) comes into power, Stronach will cross back over and Mackay will probably leave the house completely. The man can barely walk as it is.
It’s kind of sad in a way due to the fact that Parrish is exactly the type of candidate we actually need in the Liberal party. She’s strong, has a clear platform, isn’t afraid to say what she means, but is willing to take it back later like only the best parliamentary minds can, and she too has been mistreated by the Martin government. She could even win, but likely her four years would be spent answering the following questions: are you Kim Campbell? How are you different than Kim Campbell? How are you different than Sheila Copps? Elsie Wayne and Belinda? She is no Margaret Thatcher and she would never achieve anything during the entire period of her primeministership. The sad truth is that the only way the next prime minister ends up a woman is if Belinda crosses earlier than I think she will and allows herself to be a puppet for the Kleins who will take the entire cabinet and ambassadorships, thusly rendering the office of PM more truly impotent than previously expected. I doubt this will happen due simply to my acknowledgment of how disgusted the average person is with the liberal party in general.
Due to this inevitable liberal sink, the only play I can see in 08 is the following: The cons return to reality after this botched attempt at governing, they get off the morality ticket (at least publicly) and Harper commences a 20-30 month-long chat with his former political science professor in Tuktuyaktuk. They look closely at who they have with more experience, charisma and actual success in one of these campaign-agenda-getting-done-what-we-wanted-to thingies. They look towards those conservatives who have won in the past, such people as Brian Mulroney who ran on the free-trade ticket and then retired to fully support Ben in his role on Canadian Idol. People like Joe Clark who left us reeling in the wake of a cacophonous election only to realize that what we got was the last man standing. The quietest, meekest, weakest, saddest excuse for a PM in the history of our country. They look and look in order to find where they could possibly have gone wrong in the last decade and they hit upon the one person who has any credentials, charisma or standing in BOTH parties (the pc’s and the former alliance). They see someone with experience governing, long-term relationships with other leaders both within and without Canada and they FINALLY get the drift and look for someone who could just possibly win an election against a life-long liberal. Someone who could meet them on their own ground and not fly off on some sick moral tangent that loses the support of the centre majority of the country. Someone who in fact, knows how to win.
It can only be Ralph Klein. He is the only person in his own party who has never wavered on his issues, has stood firm in his beliefs despite opposition, has continually made his province rich and debt free and has continually won his elections. He can talk the economic talk and he more than anyone around Parliament Hill has pull in Washington. He has a long personal history, a body of opinions and knows a little bit more about how to govern than any of the last yahoos in the running on the Con ticket. Throughout the periods of Stockwell, Steven and (another s-name con), he went about his business running and winning and governing and then doing it all again. Setting himself up for just this moment when the liberals are scrambling for support anywhere and the last two leaders were French-Canadian and knew PET personally, worked for him. That kind of charisma sets historical precedence and anyone going up against anyone who was around for that knew it was political suicide. There’s no-one left on their side with that kind of standing. The party is out of heavyweights, so Klein is gearing up.
But there’s more to it than that. It is something beyond my own paranoia that has convinced me it will happen. It is some kind of kabalistic surety that has gripped my spine and shaken it saying, “TRUE”. You see, in the last few years, two major political leaders have been accosted by publicly minded upset citizens with pies. Both occasions sparked the type of national security question that could only happen here, where the RCMP come under scrutiny for allowing it to happen, but since no-one was shot, the whole thing is fairly light-hearted. One was our prime minister, Jean Cretien at the time, who took it all in stride and only mildly spanked the RCMP for allowing it to happen in the first place. But boys will be boys and ho ho ho, isn’t our great country founded on the freedom to dissent. Banana cream is enjoyed by all and the business of the nation continues. The other was Ralph Klein, who whined and blustered more heartily than any shit-crusted cow being led lowing to a slaughtering line. His reaction was fierce and impotent. He raged and gaped like a fish out of water until the humour left it, and in its place was a sad, angry old man in the helpless throes of spurned revenge.
This coincidence mainly is what drives me to fear rightly (no pun intended) that the next man at the reins of the parliamentary pig-run will be the same man who herded Alberta into the money-barrel in the first place with no regard for the intellect or quality of life of the people there. There are school fees, tuitions if you will, for primary school. The oil money lubricates the most pressing social issue, drunk driving and the Calgary stampede will madden even those most debauched cynics among us.
What terrifies me is that in a certain context he may in fact be the one that is needed right now. Sad but true. SAD…but fucking true. You see, the next American president will definitely be a republican who won’t be able to possibly sink lower than Dubya short of actually bombing himself. I’m banking on Jeb Bush myself, so the next Canadian Prime Minister is going to need to be someone who can deal with someone like that. Someone who can follow the hog to the slop trough. The two liberals who have dealt most keenly with American Republicans were both in positions to wheedle and then come back home and do whatever we wanted anyway. I strongly respect that, but sadly under those conditions our cattle were herded away from the border as fast as they could stumble in the cud and shit fields, our hydroelectric power is being donated to the great states who seem to need it but can’t quite grasp paying for it and apparently soon, the clean water from Canadian mountain springs will be fast-tracked to Vegas to make sure the fountains keep flowing, through a pipe made of softwood lumber. This suggests to me that since we know we won’t be engaging in the “war” in Iraq that gets stranger by the day, and we apparently don’t understand that having the commodity to sell can be seen as, oh I don’t know…leverage? It pains me to admit this, but a Klein-led PC base could get the job done, and he is the only one who would have enough charisma and cohones to actually go our biggest trade partner and say, “hey you fuckers, open the cattle pens, lift the tariffs on our softwood lumber and then we’ll think about discussing missile defense.”
Harper wouldn’t get out of the lobby. His natural ennui and total incomprehension of the job of a political leader, good or bad, is exemplified by his momentous blundered attempt to unite the right in Canada. Bluntly put, as was his campaign, he thinks he is an American republican, and not a Canadian conservative. Economic conservatives are the bulk of the party in this country. They are concerned about spending and the effect of fiscal mismanagement on the services we expect and rely on here. They tend to be open-minded and like the majority of Liberals, they veer towards the middle. The moral issue does concern them, but not to the extent of debilitating social programs and re-directing tax money based on it. I suspect that like most of us as well, they pretty much wanted him to shut up when they heard Harper speak at…well, anytime really.
The full extent of his misguided coup didn’t dawn on him until even the pollsters had given up. He was up against the ruling party with the man who got us out of the Mulroney deficit at the helm. When it came to it, they had the middle of the roaders regardless of party by that point. But little stevie made it worse. He went against the former leader of his own party by breaking a promise not to try to merge the Alliance and the Conservative parties. Given that he had provided written assurances not to do this to his predecessor, and given his own lack of experience in leading a party to anything, let alone a parliamentary run, most sound-minded conservatives ran to the Liberals in defense with a soupcon of spite. I remember hearing a pollster sitting with Peter Mansbridge that night saying, “well you know, people are allowed to change their minds…we didn’t know!” To which I said (loudly to the television in the vague hope they could hear me from my living room in Montreal) what do you mean? You’re a pollster you idiot! Even I can see what happened and it’s your job to know these things!
Here’s the sick play I see:
The Liberals are running like hell for NDP support. This means that they still push their own agenda, but Layton can stonewall for one or two huge issues over the board. There’s not a chance in hell that Martin will try to court Harper, so if Layton plays his cards right, we might see an end to corporate tax cuts. This would be smart move by the Liberals to own the sponsorship responsibility and at the same time steal the thunder of the neo-cons who can’t get off the economic\morality ticket, despite the fact that their policies would indeed bankrupt us even faster than the NDP. I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. I’m rooting for a Liberal\NDP middle finger towards Harper with no election, but if an election should occur, I will deliberately spoil my ballot because they count these things and I want to make the point.
Let’s say Martin and Layton can’t be happy together, then the election is called and the Liberals barely, narrowly win again. Not by redemption, only because the opposition vote is so divided between the bloc, the cons and the deeps. So the following election cycle comes around by which time the conservatives realize that Harper can’t beat a donkey with a stick, let alone the former finance minister under Chrétien. They call out to the conservatives who are still voting liberal due to the HUGE blunder by Harper to merge the PC’s and the Alliance with a clarion call to elect a new leader with more personality (not hard) and more credentials. While the Liberals continue to reel in the wake of the election so narrowly won and only due to the division against them, Martin steps down knowing full well he could never win again and would ruin the campaign of the next Liberal Candidate by participating in any way. The only Liberal leader with enough charisma and experience to make an attempt is Sheila Copps, who will allow personal disputes to come between her and the candidacy, so the next guy is little more than a lobotomized Joe Clark…it could just be John Manley. With a renewed sense of purpose, the Cons run a vicious campaign not seen since Mulroney and BLAM! ….the next prime minister of our fair country is none other than Ralph Klein.
As a corollary, I would kill myself. No-one could possibly blame me.
I was wrong. Eloquent, but wrong. In the weeks of the campaigns just after Stronach defected:
So Stronach’s now a liberal, thereby actually lowering the standards of political groups everywhere to even below that of the current conservative party. She won’t make it again since she was elected as a conservative and voters don’t tend to stick with you once you’ve jumped ship. On the other hand, once Harper leaves, it is more than likely she will return to her official capacity of trying to make conservatives look sympathetic to women.
The house is now divided 151 to 152 and the speaker is a Liberal. He only votes in the event of a tie. Oh what I would give for Svend to be back in the house right now! He would ruin the day of everyone in this friggin mess for weeks and come out shining and cleanJ
The Cons are beginning to realize that Harper won’t ever show the type of standing needed to overturn a small, imbalanced tricycle let alone an entire government. Sadly the Liberals are not taking the high road. Martin is sitting like a fat smug toad enjoying the discomfort of his opponent rather than moving along with the business at hand. The party will win this one, but he won’t. And you know who I think will be next. (shudder)
Let’s just see if they have the wherewithall to even hold the vote tomorrow since two of the conservative house members are going to vote for and not against it.
Sigh, it’s days like this that I wish I could take the day off and go watch question period.
Alright fine. That was wrong too. But I had people believing!:
FINALLY THE MONKEYS ARE DANCING IN LINE!!!!!!!!!!!
They called his bluff! The Liberals went with the end to corporate tax cuts deal which save the country money, gives Layton fiscal credibility and steals the thunder from the sponsorship scandal by showing that it won’t happen again and here’s how! Martin called Harpers bluff and if lil Stevie has any political instincts (I have yet to see any evidence thus far) he will back down and hide under the “the country doesn’t need another election, we need to move forward blah blah blah”. If he has NO political instincts, my bet is down, he’ll come gunning for Martin, lose and have to be secretly shipped to Nunavut where the conservative leadership can have a quiet word with him for 20 to 30 years.
I love it when political leaders do what I want! Playing deus ex machina with government is possibly my favourite hobby, particularly when it means the end of dough-faced blustering morons like stevie-peevey-you’re-gonna-leavie!
I was WAY off on that one. I was sure of it, but mostly I guess it was wishful thinking. They're good friends now, G.W. and Steve. Here's where we're at as of yesterday in my fishbowl.:"They came from different worlds, but understood each other deep down. They had each failed at everything they ever tried for except this. Their love was not understood or even stood for by those around them, but against all odds, one good-old-boy took an iceback into his heart. The moving story of irrational camaraderie against all sense, reason and interest of the people they led. George and Stephen are GeoSteph."
it just makes you want to cry doesn't it? can't you just see the brokeback mountain jokes coming? "oh Stephen", says George, "What do all those huge hydrolic pumps remind you of?"
When I find a way to score "GeoSteph and the amazing technicolour gas pump" I'll get some music on this sucker.