Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The New Year is upon us, and it is customary here at Hype Central to make an amusing and entertaining list of predictions. This year, however, in the spirit of "Change" that has been the credo of so many misguided North Americans as of late (ugh, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little), I shall make a list of rants that may appear to have no purpose, yet when viewed collectively by future generations, will contain within them a wisdom that defined us in deep and profound ways. So here we go...
Thoughts on the past year and the year to come:
A - Being a child born well into the Age of Reason, I don't easily fall victim to claims of malevolent auras pervading the atmosphere - that was until I read of a near-fatal airborne bovine catastrophe in Turkey. Reports are that diners at a swanky restaurant in Istanbul were nearly flattened into their karniyarik after a cow crashed through the roof of the establishment. Miraculously, no one was injured, but the cow was quite dead. Whether the cow was already on the roof at the time of the incident - and just how it got there in the first place - remains a mystery. Curiously, this appears to be a occurrence that happens with some regularity.
B - Why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobody's business but the Turks.
C - President Elect Obama will discover early in his Presidency that the war in Iraq is slightly more complex than pulling out large number of troops at will and declaring; "You sunk my battleship!"
D - Despite the continual flood of email, subpoenas, and cease and desist letters, Wolfe Blitzer will eventually see the wisdom of auctioning one of his kidneys on Ebay! in my mad "kidney for profit" scheme.
E - Israel will continue to bomb the living be-jeepers out of those who claim that Jews are descended from demons and rats, and will no longer allow radicals who have no interest in peace attack and murder their citizens. The world will continue to blame the Jews for the current situation, and international support will be sympathetic towards Islamic terrorists who wish to annihilate the Israelites. Gee! When has that happened before?
F - The Straight Hype will continue to be an unwavering and unconditional ally of Israel.
G - Best Movies of 2008 -
1 - Gone Baby Gone - A thought provoking and gripping thriller by Ben Affleck (yes, Ben Affleck) whose amazing ensemble cast and gritty reality make up for the film's less then credible ending.
2 - In Bruges - A witty and smart dark comedy starring a newly sober Colin Farrell. A true gem.
3 - Valkyrie - By god, Tom Cruise did it! Over budget and late on delivery, this movie packs a punch, despite lacking badly needed character development.
4 - Persepolis - A funny, warm, yet unflinching look at the horrors of living under the rule of Islamic extremism.
5 - Reservation Road - A little known movie and a personal favourite. Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo are riveting. A must see.
6 - John Adams - Though this is technically an HBO mini-series, it is the finest piece of work I have ever seen. It proudly boasts a stunning cast, an amazing score, and stunning cinematography. Based David McCullough's award winning book, it is probably the most accurate and entertaining look at the Revolutionary period seen through the eyes of John Adams. This was also the lovely miss Claire's favourite oeuvre of the year.
7 - Honourable mentions - Though I was less than impressed with these two offerings, my associate editor, the lovely miss Claire (and almost everyone else) nominates both the "Dark Night" and "Iron Man" as superb examples of comic book adventures brought to the screen. Heath Ledger was electrifying as the Joker, and Robert Downey Jr. was superb as Iron Man (I agree with the latter two statements, but come on! Tony Stark performing open heart surgery in a cave in Afghanistan? This would be less irritating to me if the director wouldn't have continued to blather on about the film's "realism").
H - I really try to be nice. I conscientiously read all of my emails and respond to all questions and comments in a timely and courteous manner. My readers are important to me. They are the lifeblood of this organ. Without you, the Hype would be just another dot-com cargo cult in the wasteland of cyberspace. But somewhere, in between your family outing to the monster truck pull and your appearance on Judge Judy, you email the site and pollute my inbox with the noisy static that crams up the inner workings of your brain. Admittedly, I am a bit of an intellectual tricotteuse. It's one thing to give bitch slaps to liberals, paleo-liberals, and rabid Jacobites, but some of you people somehow manage to fall outside of the ice-cold grip of stereotype. You are the people who think music hit it's apex when Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded "Sweet home Alabama", the kind of folks who declare they'll never visit "Effigy" because it seems someone's always getting hung there. You know who you are. You buy generic soda pop and own a copy of "Wrestlemania III". You think Western Civilization reached an all-new cultural plateau when Garth Brooks broke the mold by tearing down the walls between country and rock, spawning the insipid "Country Rock" genre. I guess we should thank you for demonstrating the perils of alcohol and free Internet access at public libraries.
I - Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" was the most thought provoking, meticulously researched and important books of 2008. It turns 50 years of conventional wisdom on it's head with it's humorous but not overly scathing indictment of the Left's cherished beliefs.
J - Most important of all is that I got engaged to the lovely miss Claire this year. My life is truly blessed.
Happy New Year from the Hype.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
The funny thing about progressives - as Jonah Goldberg points out in his book, Liberal Fascism - is that they are incapable of coming to terms with the sins of their past, or speaking out against the extreme elements of their movement that alienate them from the rest of thinking, breathing, carbon-based life forms. As Islamic extremists continue to bomb churches, trains, subways, cafes, and even their own Mosques, the progressive elites in this country continue to serve as useful apologists for these monsters, while heaping piles on abuse of President Bush who in their minds is “the real terrorist.” Sigh. While the conservative movement intelligently parsed all the nuances of the Iraq war – even luminaries like the venerable William F Buckley Jr opposed it – no self respecting, right-minded thinker, regardless of how they felt, was so daft as to ever blame the United States - or President Bush - for monstrosities committed in the name of Islam.
Anyway, I’m being a curmudgeon on Christmas, but that’s a sacred and honored tradition here at the Hype (Hey! Did you Know that Microsoft spell checks Kwanzaa?).
Christmas is a sacred and wondrous time for me. I have never lost that child-like magic of watching the snow fall and bluster in the wind, the smoke curling from chimneys as you look out the window watching the array of colored lights adorn the neighborhood houses. I love decorating the tree, going to Midnight Mass, and having a big meal with friends and family. The spirit of giving and forgiveness, and everyone is able to forget - if only for a little while - the troubles and challenges of life.
Of course, Christmas isn’t happy for everyone. There are those suffering from illness, alcoholism and drug addiction, and those who have been forgotten by friends and relatives. Let us help and keep all in our hearts during this time, and always. May God bless you and your family over the holiday season and have kindness in your heart for all – even liberals…if you can manage. I realize that’s a tall order.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
I am about to enter into the sacred bond that John Adams once referred to as "the tyranny of the petticoat," although I've never seen the lovely miss Claire wear a petticoat. Maybe she's saving it for a second trip to colonial Williamsburg to wear during a July 4th costume celebration.
Oh yeah...I should also mention she's not a tyrant nor prone to tyrannical outbursts - even while editing, which is a rare feat for editors as a species.
I'm getting married to the lovely Miss Claire on Sept. 18th at the beautiful St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church. She said yes a few days ago and now we are on a collision course toward matrimonial madness. I should admit to this one caveat - I was married before, but it didn't quite take. There are many reasons for this, the primary being that I was always kind, respectful and nice, and she, um, wasn't. Anyway, that's the past. I've been divorced for over 7 years, and my marriage was annulled by the church, so I can re-marry with a Catholic Mass. Getting an annulment was a lot easier than I thought - First, it wasn't expensive; Second, it was quick; Lastly, Tomás de Torquemada wasn't as tough as they make him out to be. I was on the rack for 15 minutes and the guy falls asleep.
I couldn't be happier. We both share a love for American Revolutionary history, National Review, American Politics, lasagna, President John Adams, a belief that toast will one day rise again as the afternoon snack of choice, and of course, each other.
I won't agitate your gag reflex with tales of our mutual love and respect, but I will confess I am the happiest man on the planet. Even happier than that guy who died last year after a truck filled with Twinkies overturned and unloaded their contents, crushing him to death with their sweet, sweet spongy goodness.
Hope you all had a good weekend. The wedding is going to be a small private family affair so you may want to spare yourself (as well as me) the awkwardness of asking if you're invited. But I luvs you all anyway.
Enjoy some Great Big Sea as we head into the week
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Well, I'm at your service. A writer is like a literary prostitute of sorts. You want me to write the first chapter of War and Peace on my belly with blueberry syrup? I'll do it, providing someone has a crumpled up 20 dollar bill to give me for my troubles.
I'm returning to work on December 19th, which is just about right for me. I was starting to get cabin fever from being cooped up in my apartment. One week, I was so overcome with boredom, I began to think I was some deranged version of Gandalf from Lord Of The Rings, and stood in my open apartment door in a tattered bathrobe wielding a golf club yelling "You shall not pass!" to passing strangers. No one took much notice. I live on Main street, and that kind of stuff is pretty much par for the course.
I am presently at my folks in Bathurst relaxing and enjoying life. I miss the lovely miss Claire but I'll be back in Moncton tomorrow.
Planning a trip to Boston in for February with my brother, Claire's sister and their respective partners. Hope to head out to Braintree to check out Peacefield, President John Adams's old haunt. It's one of the Founding Father's residences we haven't yet seen.
Big announcement to make soon, so stay on your toes, like a midget at a urinal.
Take care, my loyal and trusted readers...and those of you who can't be trusted as well.
Here's a little a treat for you!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
How do they contain themselves? "They" being the Sunday morning pundits who are helping the progressives try and hammer a brittle nail into conservatism's coffin. The truth is that conservatism didn't die on the November 4th, and President-elect Obama's fortunes are not - as we discussed in the last post - a result of the rise of the so-called "moderate" cabal of the American populace. It's a cheap slight of hand parlour trick the media is so good at - creating an issue that didn't exist to begin with and making you think it was there all along. On November 5th, the big question on every news anchor's lips was "What does the Republican party have to do to reach out to moderate voters?" Did you catch that? You might have missed it if you blinked. My question is simple - who decided that the Republican party needs to change their strategy to reach out to moderate voters, or if these so called "moderates" (i.e. liberals) even require reaching out to in the first place? Was there a debate before the debate that even clarified what a "moderate" voter is?
Initiatives to ban gay marriage were on the ballot in 30 states, and these initiatives passed in every one of them. If, as my friend Jonah Goldberg pointed out, white liberals see gay marriage legislation as the single most important civil rights issue of their generation, then it seems that progressive Democrats are in a lot more trouble than the conservative base of the Republican party. The ban on gay marriage even passed in California, which is the Mecca of all things ridiculously liberal.
This is not a trivial matter and conservatives should take heart that the core convictions of Hispanic, African American, and blue collar voters remain steadfastly socially conservative.
I must admit that it would be intellectually dishonest of me to say that many in the conservative movement do not share this opinion - it was even the central theme of the recent Republican Governor's conference. Many prominent Conservatives such as Ross Douthat and Chris Buckley feel that Conservatives should concede that the great welfare state is here to stay, and the movement should work within these parameters to try and shape public policy to reward those -such as in the case of welfare - who are trying to return to work and be less gracious toward those who are using the social safety net as a hammock. Even Rush Limbaugh conceded this almost two decades ago in The Way Things Ought To Be. I say this is conceding defeat, when the opposing army is oblivious to the weakness of their position.
Conservatives, as Goldberg said, should strive to be happy warriors, throwing everything in the conservative arsenal at the Democratic party, and continue not only to be anti-left, but also anti-state.
In the winter of 1777, as Washington's Continental army froze at Valley Forge, soldiers starving and barefooted in the snow, it would have been easy to concede that the end was near. It wasn't until Washington realized that the reason his army was starving in the breadbasket of the nation was because farmers were selling their Summer harvest to the British army stationed in Philadelphia, who payed for food in Sterling pounds, instead of selling their goods to the Army, who were paying the farmers in worthless Continental currency.
Conservatives and the Republican party may be at their own Valley Forge at the moment. We all need to see through the snow and press on undaunted for the glory of the cause.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"keep them in perpetual childhood. . . . For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of poverty and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?"
As the voting tallies begin to be broken down, dissected and disseminated by beltway bean counters with giant computer-ma-jiggies, some curious data is rising to the surface confirming my previous assertion that many "new voter" demographic groups show a strange disconnect between who they voted for and what they actually believe in. National Review's Johah Goldberg points out a few telling trends;
"Something interesting happened on Election Day that didn’t get much attention. Bans on gay marriage were on ballots in several states, and they all won. In fact, gay marriage bans have ultimately passed in all 30 of the states in which they were on the ballot.
The ban in California was particularly intriguing. Proposition 8 would have failed in the Golden State if it were up to white voters, who opposed it by a 51-49 ratio. What carried it over the top was enormous support from black voters, with about 70 percent of them backing it. Hispanics also supported the ban by significant, though smaller, margins. In Florida, where a similar ban required a 60 percent margin, Amendment 2 just barely passed, getting 60 percent of the white vote. The cushion came from blacks, who voted 71 percent in favor, and Latinos, who voted 64 percent in favor.
In other words, Obama had some major un-progressive coattails. The tidal wave of black and Hispanic voters who came out to support Obama voted in enormous numbers against what most white liberals consider to be the foremost civil rights issue of the day.
Put aside the substance of the gay marriage debate; what’s fascinating is how these returns expose the underlying weakness, or at least vulnerability, of progressivism."
The media has been prattling on about how the GOP has to do some ideological soul searching, implying that the defeat of Republicans was somehow a repudiation of conservatism and a vote of approval for the progressives. As the data pours in, it is clear it was not. Speaker Nancy Pelosi learned that the hard way two years ago.
Anyway, 1st citizen Obama is ready to take center stage - let our long national nightmare begin.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
"If you wait until the last minute to figure out whom to vote for; if you can't tell the differences between the parties and their candidates (and you're not politically exotic — i.e., an anarchist or a libertarian); if you think voting is like a Chinese menu where you can pick a little from here and a little from there; then the odds are you don't know very much about the political system. You may be a brilliant neurosurgeon, but I know interns who are sharper than you about politics."
He makes a striking point. A lot of my friends have said they were big McCain fans, but have changed their minds recently for a laundry list of reasons I cannot even begin to comprehend. These are two candidates with dramatically different world views. If you are suddenly switching sides and going over to the "The One", it means you've had a life changing epiphany - like a life-long Muslim becoming a Catholic. If a Muslim were to become a Christian, it would mean he came to a realization that all the cherished beliefs he held all his life were wrong. A devout Muslim wouldn't convert because he thinks the local parish priest is "cool" and he believes his Mullah just doesn't seem to be "feeling" the Koran lately. Sadly, it seems some believe that it's just that easy. If that's the case, then you just don't get it and have a simpleton's understanding of politics.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Mr. Chicago has gone from one extreme to the other. He began by inviting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to hot cocoa and s'mores to see if he can lay off all that silliness about how "Jews are descended from rats and apes and must be wiped off the face of the earth" - even Hillary Clinton was gob smacked by such naiveté. Since then, Obama has tweaked and fine tuned his position to a new tougher stance - He would still meet any rogue nation but only to tell them that he was not very pleased at all, and may even throw in a few "tsk tsk's" for good measure. The smugness of Senator Obama is at times head spinning. Ramesh Ponnuru, writing in National Review, noted that "Obama gives the impression that their is no problem his glibness cannot solve."
Senator's Obama jumbled answers and weakness in foreign policy led him to choose Senator Joe (lunch bucket) Biden as a running mate. Biden chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and would seem at first glance to be a smart choice. Biden, however, seems to be no better grounded in his foreign policy positions than Senator Obama.
Joe Biden On Iraq.
Joe Biden 1991 - Joe Biden votes against authorization of the Gulf War and speaks passionately against the invasion from the senate floor.
Joe Biden 1993 - Joe Biden supports President Clinton's cruise missile attack on Iraq.
Joe Biden 1998 - Senator Biden states; "Saddam Hussein's ability to produce the most deadly weapons known to mankind...left unchecked, Saddam Hussein would in short order be in a position to threaten and blackmail our regional allies, and troops, and, indeed, our nation".
Joe Biden 2001 - "If we wait for the danger from Saddam to come clear it could be to late."
Joe Biden 2002 - "I do not believe this is a rush to war. I believe it is a march to peace and security."
Joe Biden 2003 - "The choice between war and peace is Saddam's. The choice between relevance and irrelevance is the U.N. Security Council's."
Joe Biden 2004 - "We have been led into the war by a manipulation of intelligence".
Joe Biden 2005 - “I’ve been calling for more troops for over two years, along with John McCain and others subsequent to my saying that."
Joe Biden 2006 - "No number of troops can solve the jihadist movement."
Joe Biden 2006 - "Withdrawing troops would be a huge mistake."
Joe Biden 2007 - "My impression is Obama thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany”.
Joe Biden 2008 -"Whether or not the surge worked is almost irrelevant now. We could tamp this down immediately, shut it down and end all violence "
Hmmm. So this is the decisive foreign policy heft Obama is adding to the ticket? As Wimpy once said; "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
During the Democratic primary debates, Biden bragged about how he and Senator McCain had supported the surge, and revealed in interviews he would gladly run as John McCain's Vice President. I had to bite my lip out of politeness recently when an acquaintance of mine said that he was supporting McCain but switched to Obama after Senator McCain modified his views on immigration. He could not stand the hypocrisy which, oddly enough, seems to be the most venial sin politicians can commit in the eyes of the media. Well, Obama/Biden are just a paragon of consistency, aren't they?
Lots more on deck, as I tackle the myth of the youth vote, and the bizarre fascination that the media has with probably the dumbest voting block politicians have to contend with - the so called "Swing Voters".
Have a great weekend, and enjoy a brilliant song by Hans Zimmer, from a less than spectacular movie.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The most curious (and annoying) whining is coming from Quebec, which was handily won by the separatist Bloc Quebecois. Many feel that Harper lost a chance at a majority government in the French province over his stands on the young offender's act and funding for the arts. Let me lay out some facts.
A - Prime Minister Harper feels that 15 year olds who rape and murder people should face prosecution in the adult criminal justice system. The people of Quebec feel we should give young sociopaths milk shakes and hugs.
B - Prime Minister Harper feels that during a time of economic restraint, the funding of crappy Quebec sitcoms is not a priority, especially given his already too generous offer of 45 million dollars in funding. Quebecers feel that the Canadian tax payers should gladly foot the bill for an art industry that mocks Canadian values, traditional values, and even common decency. No one is giving me money to blog; Get a job to support your "passion". At any expense, Quebec artists should cheer up. Listening to them on talk radio today, some have actually called Harper's lack of more robust funding for the arts the "beginning of the Apocalypse". See, now you're all "suffering artists". He did you a favour.
In other news - Senator McCain needs to come out swinging tonight. Senator Obama is vulnerable on many issues, notably the ACORN voter registration scandal, and his ties to Fannie, Freddie, Tony Rezko, and Bill Ayers. The Obama camp has run a disgusting, underhanded campaign, filled with vile personal attacks on both Senator McCain and Governor Palin. It's time to hit and hit hard. Obama stumbles and stutters when caught off guard, and despite what pundits say, people DO respond better to negative campaigning.
John McCain is a man of honour, and his personal code of ethics makes it very difficult for him to take off the gloves. But as James Bowman reminds us in his brilliant book "Honour A History", honour is also about saving face, and Obama's shameful attacks are an affront to Senator McCain's - and Governor Palin's - honour. Time to fight back, Senator. The mood at rallies are showing an angry conservative base waiting to be energized. Time to feed us some red meat.
As for me, I'm on the mend and hope to be back at work by early December, which means I'll be free on Halloween night to egg houses and toilet paper trees. Hope you'll join me.
Enjoy the "video du jour". Change by Tracy Chapman
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Putting dollars, cents, and guys with sticky keyboards aside, a much more irritating trend was emerging on the Internet. It was certainly less disturbing then wondering why your husband always shut down all his browsers every time you entered the room, but it was every bit as annoying - Social networking.
I've written about this before, and I have acquiesced to the caveat that we must give a piece of our soul to the great cyber gods. My once booming website has since become humble blog, which demands constant updating because of the rapid-fire pace of social networking sites and blogs in general. As you know, if you're a fan of constant updating, I may not be your man. Bookmark the site and visit, say, once a week. At least you get quality for your time...Well, depending on whether or not you abide by good taste and proper sleeping habits. Speaking of which, there is Facebook.
If the Internet is cyber-crack for the masses, Facebook is cyber-crack laced with meth. Facebook allows you to see what others have posted, and when and how often they've posted. Judging by a few quick scans, some of my friends don't sleep or go to work. I glanced at a friend's listings, and they posted or sent something out about every 1 to 2 hours for almost 3 days straight. You have to wonder what the hell is going on with someone when you see a post dated 3:31AM saying "Peggy Sue is wondering where everyone is". Here's a hint: Probably sleeping, Peggy. That would be a reasonable guess.
Another amusing thing are the ratings, or rankings, or whatever the heck they're called. Apparently, out of my group of friends, I'm consistently rated "Top Scientist". Really? I have to use my fingers to count. My parents did most of the work on my science projects in junior high, and when they didn't, I would just wrap a bunch of oranges in tin foil and stand in front of the class proclaiming "BEHOLD THE MIGHTY PLANETS", then sit down.
Remember 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon? I was never a fan, but I loved the concept, because it brought back the old fashioned parlour game where people would have to sit together, face to face, and socialize. If you've spent anytime on Facebook, people invite each other to cyber paint ball games and mafia wars, where they've conveniently taken out all the bother of human interaction. When people are out in public, I notice that manners are eroding, and am frequently shocked to see someone pick something up at a convenience store or coffee shop without making the slightest acknowledgement that there is a real person serving them. They simply mutter their orders and don't say another word or make eye contact. I know the coin flips the other way as well, but believe me, the reason the kids behind the counter don't talk to you much at late night burger joints is because most of them are higher than moon bats.
Now - Shut off your computers and go do something really crazy. Make a meal together with your significant other while playing some Brett Dennon, sit down, and....have a conversation.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
When I was returning some movies about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, I realized I was looking awful because I'm on lots of very strong medication for my heart and blood pressure and hadn't left the house very often. Thinking I needed to make some explanation for my appearance, I looked up at the poor clerk and said "I'm off work because the doctor says I'm sick". Now, if that clumsily worded excuse wasn't bad enough to freak out the video store dude, I realize he was not looking at me, but at the video cover that depicts a Jewish resistance fighter with one fist thrust in the air, and the other holding a rather imposing looking rifle. Now, I'm guessing at this point he thinks I've gone over the edge and one day am going to smash through the front door of his store with a star of David on my chest and a double barrel shot gun. To make matters worse, I simply left the store without waiting for a response from him, or clarification on my part about what "sick" meant. I imagine the guy now goes through his days white-knuckling it and jumping a mile every time he hears the door open.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Let us begin.
2 - Sarah Palin is the best thing McCain could have done for himself, and the apoplectic response from the left wing bloggers - instantly parroted by the media - have finally awoken the sleeping giant of conservatives, Christian conservatives, and right of center moderates who were going to sleep through this election. This attractive and articulate lady, who last night spoke so touchingly about raising a child with down syndrome, no doubt picked up a large swath of the soccer mom vote as well. Obama, who has sucked up every minute of press attention for the last seven months, is now out of the spotlight. Sarah Palin is tough and smart, and is exactly what McCain needed. A race that once was in doubt now seems to be within reach of John McCain. It is going to be such a sweet sight to watch the podheads over at moveon.org and Code Pink when they hear the words "President Elect, John McCain". These bastards cheered and made the most horrific slanderous comments when the father of modern conservatism, William F Buckley Jr., died. I will spare them no quarter when we send their self appointed messiah packing.
4 - I was sorely disappointed by "The Dark Night", though I had high expectations for the film. Heath Ledger was truly amazing, but everything else was just standard popcorn fare. I'll watch it again when the DVD comes out, but I doubt I'll be any more impressed than the first time I saw it.
5 - It makes me sad that Spanish and French films are usually better then most of the stuff spit out of Hollywood's pretentious slop bucket. Example - In Luc Besson's Angel-A, the movie's main character goes to a local Paris police station trying to get himself arrested in an attempt to hide from some nasty loan sharks coming to collect from him. He is refused, and in a fit of frustration exclaims, "I'm an Arab with no papers! What's the problem?"
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The pumpkin reached it's full fruition in late September, so it was with some puzzlement that my family saw him sawing a massive hole in the top of the pumpkin and shoveling its guts out before October had even arrived. As the week pressed on, he sawed and chiseled at the thing until he had managed to carve an imposing looking Jack-O-Lantern. He put it on his front yard and lit it with all sorts of mega wattage lights that could have provided sufficient illumination for a Rolling Stones concert. He lit it for a few days, and people drove by and oohed and aahed, but then he abruptly pulled the plug on Mr. Pumpkin until the big night. Unfortunately, by Halloween, when he lit the thing, it looked the melting face of that guy at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The left eye had rotted away into the nose portion, and the mouth was barely discernible. It looked like a massive tumor was on display on his front lawn. Those who waited with smaller, less imposing pumpkins stole the show. All my neighbor could do was lock himself in his house, drown himself in peach schnapps, and wonder how such a wondrous pumpkin could have turned into such a disaster.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Then 20 years ago, a plump, cigar chomping man who was completely unapologetic about his conservatism arrived on the scene. It started with the radio show, then a short lived TV show, and then, of course, the book that changed everything...The Way Things Ought To Be. The book was revolutionary in the sense that it challenged all the iron clad assertions of the left in language that was accessible to anyone without being dumbed down. The book provided ammunition for the long suffering conservative middle class who had lacked the language and time to fight the good fight on the verbal front. The book was an immediate #1 best seller, and tore down the left's sacred cows of environmentalism, animal rights, socialism, and political correctness. Suddenly smug liberals spouting on about the ever looming environmental crisis if we didn't mend our gluttonous Western ways were smacked in the face with the question;
"Really? Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines spewed forth more than a thousand times the amount of ozone-depleting chemicals in one eruption than all the fluorocarbons manufactured by wicked, diabolical and insensitive corporations in history.... Mankind can't possibly equal the output of even one eruption from Pinatubo, much less 4 billion years' worth of them, so how can we destroy ozone?"
As William F Buckley wrote, it was "...a jolt of champagne!", and liberals were absolutely apoplectic. President Bill Clinton threw a famous temper tantrum over Limbaugh's almost daily beratement of him, and Congress even went so far as to try to muzzle him by passing an ominous sounding bill called the "fairness doctrine". All failed, and for almost 2 decades the left has tried to emulate Limbaugh's success, but have never even come close.
As a young conservative, I knew in my heart my cherished beliefs were right, but with the steady wave of liberal messages cunningly slithering their way into popular culture, it was easy to begin to assume that things like environmentalism were just readily accepted facts, instead of scare mongering being pandered about by agenda-driven special interests groups. Rush tore the roof off the liberal hen house, and things were never the same again.
I have to admit that I haven't listened to Rush in years, though I do read the occasional transcripts from his show. Limbaugh provided me with the foundation to move on to a meatier, more intellectual style of conservatism. I moved on to James Bowman, read National Review with a renewed vigour, discovered Mark Steyn and Jonah Goldberg, and gained an assurance about my ideals and beliefs that grew in the fertile soil of Rush Limbaugh's radio show and books.
Congratulations on 20 years of excellence in broadcasting, Rush. You changed things forever, and may you continue to do so for another 20 years.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Bus buddies are people who lack basic social skills who sit next to you on a bus, plane, train, or shuttle. They - like people who overshare the details of their usightly skin conditions - also lack something that I call the verbal filter. The verbal filter is that little stop sign we all possess that prevents us from making inappropriate comments during day to day conversation.
Example: Say you're in the middle of a job interview, and your potential employer asks you what negative qualities you posses. Now, maybe you like to start off your morning downing jello shooters and mowing your lawn in the nude. For most of us, our personal filter would clamp our tongue shut before we volunteered that information and were promptly escorted from the building by security. Some people don't have - or choose not to use - their own personal information filter.
Bus buddies are the dread of every frequent flyer, and I seem to attract them the way Barney Frank attracts muscle bound Italian boys.
Claire and I flew on a major American airline carrier - I lose the term "airline" loosely because it seemed more like a school bus with wings. Claire was seated to the right of me, and my bus buddy was waiting to pounce on the left. Something creeped me out about the guy, and the moment I made eye contact, I found out why. For the next 3 hours he shot questions at me like he was skeet shooting at a clay pigeon - "Whatchya reading?", "What's it about?", "Where did you get your tattoo?", "Did you see the new Batman movie?", "Do you wish you had a motorcycle like Batman?"
I am a patient person, but I felt like weeping.
Anyway, I should take a breather to re-examine the old gratitude meter. I got to go to Miami and spend time in paradise with the lovely miss Claire and her folks. It can get hectic out there. Always take a moment during the day to think of your kids, or your loved ones, and realize just how lucky you are.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Well, not exactly silence. Not the type of silence you get from your wife when she finds out you came home so drunk you wrote your name in piss on the new white shag carpeting. Not that of silence. Instead, I got agreement (which to me is a political type of pseudo-silence). I would casually bring up the article in conversation and instead getting of Jap-slapped, I got suggestions of other things I should have added to the list....and these people aren't exactly card carrying members of the vast right wing conspiracy. Most of them are liberal with some libertarian leanings who feel that our judiciary and busy body bureaucrats are overstepping their grounds. I was rather relieved there are more people out there who seem to realize that the jack-booted thought police are running amuck on freight train heading toward a personal opinion near you.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
There are many things I love about my country. I'm grateful that we've finally elected a solid conservative government (note the small "c") who realize the importance of lowering the tax burden on middle class Canadians and corporations, re-vitalizing our long neglected military, mending fences with our American neighbours, and affirming with a clear voice our unwavering commitment to the security of Israel from Islamic extremists like Hamas. The late Liberal government refused to label Hamas a terrorist group until they had blown up enough children to make even John Wayne Gacy squeamish - well, if the great state of Illinois hadn't given him the juice back in '94. The bravery of our soldiers in Afghanistan makes my heart swell with pride, and I believe that we have just about the friendliest folks on the planet. Yet, despite all of this, there are troubling trends occurring in my country. Trends that cause me to pause, finding myself contemplating the impossible: I don't want to be Canadian anymore.
1- The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal: Recently, Dean Steacy, the principal "anti-hate" investigator of the Human Rights Tribunal, said the following; "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value." Our Government is eroding our right to express individual opinion - I don't want to be Canadian anymore.
2- The Alberta Human Rights Commission: The Commission recently ruled that Pastor Stephan Boissoin could no longer speak about certain of his views at the pulpit, privately, or even in a personal email. His crime? Writing a letter to the editor of his local paper that offended someone he didn't even know - I don't want to be Canadian anymore.
3 - Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court: Justice Tessier allowed a 12 year old to sue her father after he decided to not to allow her to participate in a school trip as punishment for continuing to visit an internet dating site on which she was posting pictures of herself. Justice Tessier ruled that the father had no right to discipline his daughter and forced him to allow her to go on the trip in her written decision. Our government and our courts are now infringing on parental rights - I don't want to be Canadian anymore.
4 - Blame America First: In a recent CanWest News Services poll, over 40% of Canadians described Americans as "evil". In Quebec, the number clocked in at an astounding 64%. I have to admit this causes no small amount of cognitive dissonance considering most Canadians blather on about how tolerant we are. After 9/11, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien had the audacity to imply that the 3000 people who were butchered by the Taliban had it coming - I don't want to be Canadian anymore.
5 - The Persecution of Mark Steyn: McLean's magazine recently printed an exerpt from Mark Steyn's brilliant book "America Alone", in which he warns of the rising number of honor killings occurring in our own country and the United states by radical Islamic extremists. Enter stage left - The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Mark Steyn is now being dragged before the committee for offending the sensibilities of a few people who seem to think that killing your daughter for wearing make-up is just fine and dandy. This may lead Mr. Steyn's illuminating and humorous book being banned in Canada. We are now becoming a country that is stripping away freedom of the press and banning books - I don't want to be Canadian anymore.
I can only imagine the can of worms I have opened with this column. I can already see my inbox dripping with outrage and maple syrup. If we don't wake up to what's happening in our own back yard, you may no longer have the privilege of writing in to tell me what a royal ass muncher you think I am. But that's ok...If you're really upset, you can always send a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. They'll shut me down in no time.
In the end, it's of little consecquence. If Obama is elected President, the cradle of liberty will be little more than a carbon copy of our fascist government, and then I'll have no place left to move to anyway.
Anyway, while you're lowering your blood pressure, enjoy the latest from the beautiful Regina Spector, singing The Call.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
1 - I sincerely apologize to those who where checking the site regularly for pictures of Claire and I standing with silly grins in front of all of your marvellous and iconic landmarks, but we'll have those for you soon. No one likes to look at other people's vacation pictures anyway. Isn't that on the list of people's top ten pet peeves? Right up there with people who display wood carvings of Dale Earnhardt in their living room, and people who start off letters to the editor with the preface "I don't usually write letters to the editor, but...".
2 - Anyway, lots of things have happened on the political landscape while we were away. It looks like Jonah Goldberg's allusion to smiley faced fascism may be coming to America sooner than you think - and it's name is Barack Obama. If the pixie dust hasn't cleared from your eyes yet, and you've yet to see that Obama's promise of "change" is really just re-hashed 1960's radicalism, you need a bitch slap. And then there's the litany of criminals, eugenics spouting anti-Semitic pastors, and murdering ex-terrorists that Obama has to distance himself from everyday. These were all his dearest friends and closest associates until very recently. All hold radical views, his wife being among the list. We all have a nut or two in our intimate group we call friends; However, few of us have such low moral standards as to call anti-Semites, segregationists, con-artists, and murders best buddies. We'll get to that a little later on this week.
3 - I will write about the trip. The kindness and hospitality of Americans is something that I will forever remember - the quaint little diners and corner stores run by Koreans and other immigrants, with beautiful oriental streamers hanging from the walls, all adorned with American flags at the tail end, signs next to the menus that proclaimed "support our troops", and men and woman so proud that they had sliced out a little piece of America for themselves, that were grateful for every day; The desk where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence; The love and reverence of the people restoring President Madison's home. All are a testament to the beauty and freedom that is America and the American people.
4 - Looks like the New Brunswick Liberal party is finally getting something right, if they are to be believed. Finance minister Victor Boudraeu is talking about lowering the corporate income tax rate to anywhere from 13% to 5%. Such a move - inspired no doubt by consultations with Frank McKenna - would be a boon to the economy and much needed dose of common sense in an otherwise directionless and incompetent administration. Don't hold your breath.
5 - CNN rarely astounds me, but today, during a round table with Wolfe Blitzer about whether or not John McCain's war experience and subsequent captivity as a POW was an asset to the McCain camp over the war on terror, CNN's resident drunken glue sniffer, Jack Cafferty, had the following to say; "Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?" The arrogance and pettiness of this statement is astounding. John McCain is a decorated Vietnam veteran who spent 5 and half years in Vietnam POW camp, refusing to go - despite several opportunities - until every other man in his unit was let go first. Jack Cafferty's claim to fame is leaving the scene of an accident after hitting a cyclist with his car. Now that's courage. To quote Tucker Carlson, Mr Cafferty, you are a drunk and a retard and you'd probably be a wife beater if you had better aim.