Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I'm currently rebuilding my template. This one is xhtml 1.0 so it should be interesting. In the meantime nothing will be as it seems. If it were a tv show it would be the twilight zone. Please recommend this post

Monday, August 29, 2005

Random Observations About Oliver Stone's Alexander

1. Alexander's father Philip of Macedonia was played by Val Kilmer. Val frikkin Kilmer. I did'nt recognize him with the scruffy beard, the prosthetic mangled left eye, and the ridiculous Irish accent. Yes, in order to play an ancient Macedonian king it was necessary to cultivate that Irish accent. I think he just felt out of place. Almost all the actors in this movie had Irish or Scots accents. It does'nt really bother me if actors speak in their natural tone in a movie about the ancient world, but an American faking an Irish accent kind of made me laugh.

2. Angelina Jolie played Alexander's mother Olympias. Nobody told her that the other actors were just using their natural accents so she put on this thick Greek/Russian accent. It was so ridiculous I literally fell on the floor laughing clutching my gut. I had to go take a break. It was a cross between Ariana Huffington, Eva Gabor, and Natasha from Rocky and Bulwinkle. There was probably some joke between her and Val O'Kilmer. At least she did'nt wear an eye patch.

3. Some guy playing one of Alexander's generals had a fairly pronounced Scottish accent. It must have rubbed him the wrong way to be playing in a movie about Alexander the Great because the Scots harbour a belief that they are the only ones who have ever conquered the world. Anyway, this guy kept saying by Zeus!. I wonder if even Macedonians or Greeks ever said by Zeus!. I think they said by Zeus! in that cartoon about Hercules.

4. The soundtrack by Vangelis was horrible, even by Vangelis standards. It was loud and screechy and gave me a headache. What would happen if you left the music out and just let the scene and the dialogue carry things? Oh, sorry I forgot, the main star is Colin Farrell. Picture this, after Oliver Stone yells cut on the 49th take: Yeah Colin, a word please, yeah, it is'nt quite working. You see Colin, there's going to be a lot of electronic junk music in the background and I'm just concerned you're going to get out-acted by it.

5. The soundtrack (again). It reminded me of John Cleese in Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch when he shoots the Bazouki player.

6. Colin Farrell. Simpson's Comic Book guy voice: Worst actor ever. There are several sub-plots going on where Alexander's soldiers plot mutiny and assassination. One begins to see the rationale.

7. I think Oliver Stone was trying to be clever and create an allegory about current American delusions of Imperialism. It does'nt really work very well that way. For one thing you can hardly compare Alexander the Great to President Bush. Alexander was considered highly educated, relative to his time and peers. Alexander led his army into battle and risked his life. For another thing, Alexander was fairly successful at conquering his enemies. He was a good conqueror. Nobody knows how to conquer anymore.

8. The movie does capture the endless bragging of the Imperialist. Alexander is always going off on demagogic rants about how they are going to build a great world and how all the other cultures are inferior and how they desperately need the Empire's know how, values, religion, and so on. Sound familiar?

9. Now I'm not saying you should not watch this movie. Watch it. Make up your own mind. Far be it from me to tell you what to do after watching a movie about global domination. No really, don't listen to me.

I'm exhausted now. My fingernails all turned purple. Now to start working on my next movie review. Your going to love that one.

PS This post really got mangled in the blogspot meatgrinder. I may have to make further corrections. Please recommend this post

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sunday Lazy Bitching

Yesterday (Sunday) was one of the warmest days I can remember this summer. There was zero wind which is unusual for Calgary, and not a cloud in the sky. By 3pm I was sacked, drained by the heat. I could'nt even pass gas. I tried to do some reading out on the patio but quickly got fried. Since I can't relax at all anymore I stared up for a while at the huge Oak tree that lives on my front lawn. I know it sounds candy-assy but I love that tree. I'm guessing it is 30 or 40 years old. It was probably there when they first developed this area. Thanks for not chainsawing it. When that wore thin I wandered aimlessly around the house looking for things to throw out. Rat packing never disappoints.

By around 11 the people next door started full tilt into their party which relocated from their Condo out onto the green space between the buildings. They were probably university students throwing off steam on their last free weekend. Every once in a while someone would walk out there and tell them to stfu, but it did'nt really help. I suppose I could have been angry too but I was'nt sleeping anytime soon, and besides, there is so much hatred in the world, I can hardly begrudge some friends to have some fun together on a warm summer night. Ten years from now they'll all probably have kids and live in the suburbs, be miserable, and they'll be voting for the latest incarnation of the anti-Canadian western alienation movement. But tonight they're just wild noisy self-absorbed drunks.

Around this time the wind really picked up and I sat around outside listening to Oak tree take its usual wind beating. I was so restless I decided to go for an almost frozen churned up soft drink and headed out to a convenience outlet that was at least 30 km away. While driving over the 85th street bridge, the bridge whose walkway collapsed because of an engineering error, I noticed that the almost full moon was hanging in the east over the Bow river and lighting it up. I almost crashed that was such a site. Unexpected beauty. You can almost always find it but never if you're looking for it. (Lets have a Haiku contest -ed) The Bow is shallow in most places, clear and moves quickly so the moon's light bounced around like crazy. The North Saskatchewan in Edmonton is slow, brown(from silt and mud, not poop), and turgid. Still, the Edmonton river valley is pretty in its own way.

In the convenience store there was a little girl no more than 10 or 11 by herself, wandering around the chip section talking to her father on a cell phone. This struck me as odd since it was around 1am. Her main questioning, repeatedly, seemed to be about dad's sobriety. Its been my belief for a while now that if you have to ask the same question 10 times in a row drunkeness could in fact be a factor. (Some akward wording there. -ed) Outside the Freaky-Mart there was a gang of at least 20 young people. I don't know how old they were. Just sitting around on the pavement. Almost every day I feel deep regret about not having children of my own, but then there are moments when I wonder exactly how I would feel about my busty 16 year old daughter sitting on the pavement outside a Freaky-Mart at 1am wearing a much too small halter top. I don't think I'd do well with that.

By the time 3am rolled around I was still wired and pissed because I had a ton of things to do monday morning and a work project to get finished. I alternated between reading a stupid book and rolling around in the dark. The one thing I absolutely hate the most is not sleeping. It drives me nuts which unfortunately is a stimulant. I fell asleep just in time for the asshole neighbour above me to begin his 6:30 am ritual of waking everyone up within 300 meters. Thus begins another day of functioning on a few hours sleep. I wish every day could be Sunday. Please recommend this post

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Photo Album 1

The first time is saw this picture was in one of the engineering buildings at the University of Alberta. They had it blown up on the main wall as you entered the building. I suppose it was a reminder to the engineering students that they better pay attention in all those math classes. I've never been able to find any info at all on this accident. (Sorry about the bitsmutshing in the middle of the picture. FTP did that. )

I hate it when I go to a web site and a script breaks and pukes all over the screen. And I just don't think I could vote for someone who leaves their website like this.

I think we know who the moran is. And I think we know who he voted for.

I had the strangest conversation with Judge Roberts this morning. Did you know he did pro bono work on a major gay rights case before the Supreme Court. I think we could be putting a damn Liberal on the Supreme Court. Oh, don't worry Master, I already put a big gay spell on the entire religious right.

Hello,hello...fuck you...fuck you too...oh fuck you too little girl...fuck you all...hello...fuck you...did I already say fuck you to you under my breath? Oh dear then fuck you again. hello....

Alfred Hitchcock's the Birds was the first movie that really scared the crap out of me. In this scene Tippi Hedren's character is lounging around stylishly shortly before getting attacked by psychotic birds. Her character was very forward and aggressive in the way she advanced on the male character played by Rod Taylor. I often wondered what Hitchcock was trying to say by mixing the mayhem of the crazy birds with this overtly feminist character. Ouch! Damn I just go my eye pecked out by a magpie. *spurt* *spurt*. Gotta run. Please recommend this post

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Alberta Dictionary - Part 1

The war on language continues. I'm glad we have something like the Urban Dictionary to help keep the language in the hands of sensible people. (While your over there be sure to vote on this definition.) I started thinking about the smears going around about the new Governor General and the general crap that keeps floating around about Western Alienation and Alberta Seperation. I decided that bunk is an underused word. Like all good words it needs to be combined with other words. Thus I offer the following bunk lexicon. All of these will surely end up in my ongoing Alberta Dictionary project.

A place you go in your head to create or digest bunk

A Quebecer that pushes bunk (le front de bunquiste de Quebec)

Government by bullshit, e.g., Klein Conservatives

A high ranking female socialite adept at public bunk.

Revisionist cultural history of the 1960's.

Two streams of bunk hook up in an unpredictable way to produce a third more viral stream.

Bunk that has no moral values.

Unusually pungent bunk heard on calgary radio in the evenings

Various streams of bunk artificially nailed together to create something kind of ugly and self-loathing.

Drug induced bunk.

How do you want to be lied to today?

bunking off
An old phrase for skipping school. Who knew? Verbs followed by the word off should be avoided.

Bunk you can take pride in calling your own because it was completely written by you an no one else.

Low level propaganda spreaders. The foot soldiers of bunk.

The ability to move objects with bullshit.

Bunk that lands you in a quagmire. see WMD.

A place where bunk is easily aggregated and consumed

The downward spiral of bunk. According to the first law of bunkodynamics, bunk is never lost it just changes form.

1. Creating bunk for your own consumption, in your room alone late at night, with Toby Keith playing. 2. A senior bunk artist.

Someone who steals someone else's bunk. See Corbellabunk.

Slang; 1. a bunk adept; 2. a pal who helps with your bunk.

1. The sore you get after coming in contact with infectious bunk. 2. A fallacious reason for not serving in a war you cried and bitched for.

1. Old people's crap. 2. Hiding a falsehood with crankiness.

A major fiasco that is caused by undetected bunk. See "insurgent".

A deceptive strategy based on bunk. See Western Alienation. Please recommend this post

Monday, August 08, 2005

Weird Alberta Premier Facts

There have been only 12 premiers in Alberta's 100 year history, thus an Alberta premiers serves on average 8.3 years.

Only four parties have held power: Liberals, United Farmers, Social Credit, Progressive Conservative.

Each party elected exactly 3 premiers in a row.

Even John Brownlee (1925-1934) served an above average 9 years in spite of impregnating his young secretary. (Beneath the High Level bridge, according to popular legend)

Richard Reid (1934-1935) was the shortest serving Premier at one year. He took over from John Brownlee just before an election, when Brownlee was forced to resign because of the above mentioned scandal. The UFA was totally wiped out in the next election because they had a right-left split in the party and the Social Credit movement had reached critical mass. Ernest Manning was the longest serving Premier (1943-1968).

Don Getty only served 7 years. Should he be considered an under-achiever?

If the Progressive Conservatives win the next election with a new leader they'll break the 3 leader dynasty rule and ruin the symmetry of the pattern. (Add that to all the other things they've ruined.)

The next premier will also be the 13th Premier of the Province. That can't be a good sign.

Two Alberta Premiers, Lougheed and Getty, played professional football for the Edmonton Eskimos. Don Getty was a far better football player than Lougheed, but a much worse Premier.

I think Alberta politics is somewhat unique in the way major political movements sweep into power then get swept out every 25 or 30 years. I'd be much happier if the current Government had a reasonable chance of being removed from office in any given election. Please recommend this post

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Phrases that really bug me

1. I have to tell you...

No you don't. You could just shut up. This is one of Paul Martin's favourites preambles to some earth shattering observation.

2. To be completely frank...

You can't be Frank, Frank is Frank. And you better not be in Earnest because the Bishop will find out.

3. More about that later...

Oh, I can hardly wait. I bet you'll have a bunch of commercials in between.

4. Any sentence ending in "period".

This usually means the speaker is lying, as in: "I have never used steroids. Period..", as in Rafael Palmeiro testifying under oath before the United States Congress.

5. And I was like...and she was like

Thats so old. So 12. Valley girls used to be interesting. Now they're just weiners.

6. These are memories we'll have forever...

I already have too many of those. Can't we drop some memories for a change. Can Scientology help with this?

7. Any smear that uses the adjectives radical, elite.

Consider this exchange between George Stephanopoulos and Senator Rick Santorum, regarding his new book in which he smears feminism and women who have jobs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about something else in the book, radical feminists. A second quote from the book, you say, Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders' war on the traditional family and radical feminism's mysogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.

Let's get specific here. Name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, you know, you have - you go back to, what's her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I'm trying to remember - I can't remember the woman's name. It's terrible. Anyway...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it's kind of an important point. Because you paint this broad brush: radical feminists, village elders. Name one.

SANTORUM: There's lots of - no, there's lot's of - well, Gloria Steinem. There's one. I mean, there's lots of writings out there...

STEPHANOPOULOS: She's been on a crusade against stay-at-home moms?

SANTORUM: There's lots of writings out there, and there is an opinion by the elite in this country across academia, across the media, that stay-at-home motherhood is not adequately affirmed and respected by our society.

What or who exactly is he talking about? Gloria Steinem University Professors and the media are all ganging up and forcing women to work outside the home? You hear this kind of smear all the time and it never makes any sense.

Or consider this dim-wittery from the Vancouver Sun, which is one of the worst papers in the Country:

Ranged against the Canadian champions of economic conservatism are most of the social sciences and humanities professoriat of the country's public university system, much of the media, particularly the CBC, and an intellectual establishment whose current favoured sons and daughters include John Ralston Saul, Mark Kingwell, Naomi Klein and Michael Adams. What they have in common is their construction of an idea of Canada on the basis of anti-Americanism. This is a very old and very Canadian enterprise.

He does'nt specifically use the word elite(s) but you get the picture. John Ralston Saul, Naomi Klein, the CBC, etc are all ganging up to ruin Canada for Conservativism through anti-Americanism. That is a rather broad slur and can hardly be taken seriously because it is so weird. Don't they teach people how to write anymore. How can you get a job at a newspaper writing junk like that. Is he (Stephen Brooks) mad because some people have a point of view he does'nt like? These kind of writers almost always end up pushing some kind of McCarthyism.

8. I have no idea...

The questions was not whether you had an idea or not (we already know you do not) the questions was how the steroids got into your sample, or, how long you will be screwing around in Iraq.

9. I know deep in my heart that I have never done anything like that.

Deep in my heart meet the evidence. You two have some things to work out so we'll just leave you alone for a while. In the meantime what are we supposed to do with this video clip of you getting spanked by a man in a clown outfit? You're sick man, just sick.

10. Its ok, we can just restore the backups...

Anytime you here this, run. Game over. Start sending out resumes.

11. Speaking the truth to power

I don't know why, but I hate this phrase. It sounds so pretentious. How about just speaking the truth. Sometimes we can dilute the meaning by overdecorating the language. Anyway, usually power does not listen.

12. Your call is important to us.

I feel so much better. Something can be important and ignored at the same time. Thank you for calling Telus. We're very busy right now Union busting and knocking heads around. Someone will be with you shortly. It could be a know-nothing member of our middle management bloat. Whatever.
Please recommend this post

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Senate Appointments

Larry Campbell. With his coroner background they can use him to figure out which Senators have passed on. He also has some experience dealing with crack-heads which should help. Maybe CTV will make another TV show about a crusading (unelected) senator who heroically works among the dead and crack-heads, while in his spare time taking a close second look at proposed legislation, and also fighting for a EEE Senate (Calgary Edition only). That idea has some merit. Get me Don McKellar on the phone.

Hugh Segal. I thought he died. It must be getting awfully hard to find any Red Tories still standing. God's Own Circus (Canada) will be infuriated with this appointment.

The remaining three I've never heard of. They probably did something far-reaching and fantastic for Liberal® Inc. and did'nt get caught.

Everytime I hear the word Senate I hear creepy echos of Preston Manning talking about refooooorming the Senate. Then I get a pop-up image in my head of an angry and hateful Burt Brown. I could do with some Scientology style mental scrubbing. Sign me up.

Meanwhile deep in a bunker at the Calgary Sun, accompanied by his faithful dog Pierre, Link Byfield is pounding on his '69 Smith-Corona, constructing his next vitriol laced diatribe about...oh that I think about it, its not that important.

What a country, what a country. Please recommend this post