Friday, February 26, 2010

Bones, Vegan and The Grotesque Spectacle


Our friend Tricia has a cousin who designs Vegan clothing and one of her designs from Vaute Couture was featured two weeks ago on one of my very favourite tv shows Bones. The photo above is the coat worn in the episode that aired a couple weeks ago. We eat vegan about %50 of our meals. Maybe more. We eat vegetarian about %85 of our meals. Vegan has to be one of the most challenging ways to prepare food. It's right up there with French cooking and raw foods. And then mix in avoiding wheat or starches and it gets pretty crazy challenging. What does Michael Pollan suggest? "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." I've always been a little bit fascinated with vegan clothing. It's easy to forget that even if we avoid eating animals or we try to eat only animals that have a good life...what happens to animals who make us wool or leather? Totalitarian farming can be just as cruel on sheep that live but are shorn for wool, prematurely or living in cramped genetically altered lives.

I've only started watching the wonderful tv show Bones about 6 months ago. I kept having people tell me I would really love the program but didn't get a chance to watch all the previous seasons. (actually, a friend told me that my lack of tact and obsession with farming and human behaviour was as annoying as the lead female character...so I had to check her out. I laugh every time she puts her foot in her mouth with a theory about culture...it is familiar ha ha) Recently I've caught up to the entrire series through reruns and I am addicted!

The characters are really terrific and inventively written. Sometimes the sight gags are so funny I guffaw all by myself. (ever noticed how we laugh louder when we share jokes?) But there I am laughing like a fool watching this show.

Bones is immediately recogniizable as following in the tradition in literature and storytelling of the grotesque. Writers like H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Shakespeare, the Bible, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and Fannery O'Connor all fit into this tradition. Most episodes of Bones begin with a grizzly set of skeleton parts. Sometimes I have to cover my eyes even though I know it's make-up and plastic and plaster and resin. The actress who stars as a forensic anthropologist is a vegan in real life and that is a totally charming inside joke. Each one of the characters has slowly emerging personalities and each person on the show really delivers. There is Dr. Jack Hodgins who is beyond rich and the set decoration on his living space is right out of the basement of Citizen Kane. Angela, the resident artist in the crime fighting crew is a sex crazed artsy fartsy urban chick. The sexual and romantic tension between the two gorgeous leads in this show is a little bit like The Odd Couple meets Moonlighting. I am nuts for the lead guy who is a total man's man type, army vet who is squeamish...squeals like a girl sometimes at corpses and blood.The program is excellent just for it's use of camp, set direction (the building they do detective forensics in is awesome!) humour, style and stories...but it's really excellent with it's development of the characters. These are deep, funny, emotional characters who are exposed little by little and a lot by a lot each episode.

The music for the show is awesome...with opening theme performed by none other than the delicious Crystal Method

Soundtrack:

"Bones Theme" — Crystal Method
"Angel" — SinĂ©ad O'Connor
"Running Up That Hill" — Placebo
"It Means Nothing" — Stereophonics
"Gone" — Thirteen Senses
"Black Star" — Eliza Lumley
"Feel It Now" — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
"Fountain" — Sara Lov
"Something" — Cary Brothers
"Tears and Laughter" — Tall Tree 6Ft. Man
"Bring On The Wonder featuring Sarah McLachlan" — Susan Enan featuring Sarah McLachlan
"Dirty Little Secret (Thievery Corporation Remix)" - Sarah McLachlan
"Bones Theme (DJ Corporate Remix)" - Crystal Method

In literature, a character or location that is irregular, extravagant or fantastic in form. When used as a device, the purpose is often in the style of expressionism, making the grotesque a parody of human qualities or a distorted reflection of a familiar place.

In literature, when grotesque characters can sometimes more worthy than conventional ones, the intention is usually to point out that we judge by appearances, instead of looking for the personality beneath. This is a common device of fairytales, as in ‘Beauty and the Beast’.


The word grotesque comes from the same Latin root as "Grotto", meaning a small cave or hollow. The original meaning was restricted to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art rediscovered and then copied in Rome in the 15th century. The "caves" were in fact rooms and corridors of the Domus Aurea, the unfinished palace complex started by Nero after the great fire from AD 64, which had become overgrown and buried, until they were broken into again, mostly from above.
In modern English, grotesque has come to be used as a general adjective for the strange, fantastic, ugly, incongruous, unpleasant, or bizarre, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as Halloween masks. More specifically, the grotesque forms on Gothic buildings, when not used as drain-spouts, should not be called gargoyles, but rather referred to simply as grotesques, or chimeras.
From Wiki.

An article on our buddies cousin, the vegan designer can be found here...at Time Out Chicago

Oh I know this post is already ridonkulously long...but here is a quick little recipe I'm going to make for a party tomorrow:

Cheesy Vegan Bruschetta

large tomato
1/2 cup brewer's yeast
2 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tesp tamari
2 tsps dijon mustard

I've got some wheat-free vegan "bread' for the bruschetta. And making some crackers...

Crackers

2 cups spelt flour (actually, I picked up almond and rice flour instead...couldn't find spelt)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teasp baking soda
1/2 tsp unbuffered vitamin C chrysals
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup water

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Whale: 3, Humans: 1,000s



My sister called me from Vancouver today and we landed up talking about the "serial killer whale" , Tilly, who as of yesterday has killed three people. My sister and I grew up off Vancouver Island where it was common for us to see whales beside us in the wild when we were out fishing or on the ferries or kayaking. Whale sightings are as familiar to me as seeing the rabbits and raccoons in downtown Chicago. I even went to many of the whale displays in aquariums growing up. So...as soon as my sister brought up the recent captive killer whale killing I said "whale 3". (her husband in the background was quite flabbergasted by my flippant taking the whales side). Sorry.

The last time I went to a "whale show" was in the late 90's at the aquarium shown in the video above. I went with my friend Suz who grew up in Montreal and had never seen a whale. We got our tickets for the last show of the day and as we sat in the audience the whale refused to play fetch or work the pool, instead yelling for fish at one of the feeding gates. I thought they should just let the whale eat. The whale asking for food was pretty cool in and of itself. What a voice! As a matter of fact, the trainers announced that they let the whale decide if they want to play for the audience or not. Usually a whale will perform a couple of shows but by the end of the day they want to pack it in. Gee, it sounded very similar to how most of us feel after a hard day at work. When you pay the massive entry fee for the Vancouver Aquarium, the ticket seller makes sure a visitor knows there is no promise of a whale performance. They actually stopped calling it performance a long time ago. So we watched the whale ask for food for about 20 minutes and then left. As we were leaving outside the aquarium there was a family of five talking to the aqaurium manager asking for their money back. The manager was trying to explain that they don't believe in forcing the whales to perform or work...they set up games and sometimes the whales play and sometimes they don't. The family wanted their money back. The manager said it was not returnable and they make sure visitors don't expect a show. The family continued to complain. The manager said, we can't force the whales to perform, they are animals. The family said "but we're animals too!".

Suz and I laughed about that all day. "But we're animals too!"...like that should give them the right to get their money back? Actually, we've laughed about it all the time for the last ten years. The Vancouver Aquarium no longer has killer whales in capitivity and is just housing the Beluga whales they've had and phased out performances.

Poor Tilly the killer whale. I don't blame him for taking a bite out of our asses. Whale:3.





Added:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Funny Diets


I've got a few of these issues of Vogue books. I get them at garage sales and Vogue used to issue these beauty books every couple of years and they have some very useful stuff in them. Like, how to make your own soap, or yoga exercises.They also have some funny stuff in them. The other night I read out loud to Stagg and our friend Tricia some of the crazy diets in this old 70's publication. We were howling with laughter.


WINE AND EGGS/ 3 days/ loss: 5lbs (2.5kg)

Breakfast:

1 egg, hard-boiled
1 glass white wine (dry preferably Chablis)
Black coffee

Lunch:

2 eggs, hard-boiled is best, but poached if necessary
2 glasses white wine
Black coffee

Dinner:

5oz. (150g.) steak, grilled with black pepper, lemon juice
Remainder of white wine (one bottle per day allowed)
Black coffee.

I love this idea for a diet. I'm sure the wine takes away "the edge" of feeling hungry and the black coffee tries to keep you uplifted for a day job. I had to scan one of the pages from this book...below "Steak and Wine" Diet...because I figure no one will believe me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grab Your Winter Coat Marge, We're Off To Canada's Warmest City!

Everything you want to know about life is always answered on The Simpsons.



Last Sunday The Simpson's writers out did themselves with an episode all about the winter Olympics. In above clip Homer pretty much represents how a lot of folks perceive the winter Olympics...they didn't even know there was any. Marge and Homer land up loving to compete in curling and go to Vancouver to showcase couples mixed curling events. Every inch of cartoon cell is hilarious. A few days ago here, I was wondering why CTV and NBC would show three times the fellow who lost his life on the luge and this episode answers that question. Because "we're vampires who suck at the shattered dreams of others." I keep thinking of that dialogue every time the coverage shows replays of crashes and face plants of skiers.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Double McTwist


Watching the winter olympics is making me miss Vancouver, snowboarding and skiing. I can't imagine why winter olympics are less popular than summer games because to me it's way more exciting. I love the uniforms for many of the competitions but the best is Burton designed USA snowboard team made to look like flannel shirts and old jeans. (Stagg has a Burton coat we found at a garage sale he wears busking). Below is the amazing Shaun White...even though I was rooting for Canada...White is a heavenly guy to watch. His Double McTwist last night and wild stunts were just amazing.


The Japanese snowboarding uniform was my second favourite. It's as if it's a watercolour and seems to be daisies and diamonds. It's just so flowery I like it.



I love the Canadian speed skating teams uniform too. I felt so bad for Jeremy Wotherspoon not having medals at the Olympics. He's had a strange set of things happen to him whenever he's competed...but damn he looked cool!

Women's Downhill was just amazing and scary last night. I was sweating and nervous the whole time watching the women skiing so stunningly!!! Um, why the hell is it called "ladies downhill" though? Ergh...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

David Simons Is Back With New Orleans!!!

Check out this promo for new show by David Simons (The Wire)

About New Orleans in 2005...called Treme...

Click Here...

And here is the Wiki page on the show. April 11!! Check out the cast. Sweet!

On To The Next One


I love this song and video. It's so beautiful. I liked it so much I have tried to find out who the director is and it's credited as Sam Brown....from Rolling Stone

Images delivered in the “Next One” clip include a man evoking The Dark Knight’s Joker, demonic-looking bull horns, expensive sneakers overflowing with white paint, a black-crystal skull smothered in black paint, an homage to the Jennifer’s Body movie poster, basketballs on fire, the song’s producer Swizz Beatz and more. If Cremaster artist Matthew Barney was credited with envisioning “Next One,” we wouldn’t be surprised, but several reports name artist Sam Brown as the video’s director.

A comment by director Sam Brown about the video and it's images:

There’s been a lot of talk about Jay’s video containing Freemason imagery such as the horned animal head, an eagle and skull. What are your thoughts about such talk and why do you think music fans are so quick to believe a conspiracy narrative?
"I’m aware of the stir the video has caused and what people are saying. I think when you’re dealing in abstract imagery people are going to want to draw lines between things and make sense of it. However, I’ve always felt that the viewing public was, in general, extremely visually literate. They don’t always want or need things to be spelt out for them. One of the great things about music videos are they can be enjoyed purely visually—it doesn’t need to mean anything or make any sense. Conspiracy theory is another thing entirely, and seems to me to be about projecting pre-existing beliefs and desperately looking for things that confirm them. There is imagery in this video that is drawn from all over the place. None of it is owned by any one culture or belief system. You can connect anything if you try hard enough, and make it mean anything you want it to."
So what was the overall direction Jay was looking for?
"He gave me a very loose brief, and made it clear that we should be progressive with the video. All the imagery was thought up by me and was a response to the track itself. For those interested, the idea is actually about a funeral for old imagery and ideas, hence all the gothic and oppressive stuff. I was also trying to contradict the excess of hip-hop videos by making something brutally simple and claustrophobic."
From Global Grind

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Okay, Are You Sitting Down?

I've been job hunting. No, really. I've gotten a couple of contracts and odd jobs but I'm also looking for a bartending shift here and there and just all kinds of other ideas. I also have a little work here and there on local independent film sets. Very fun! Boy, though...can you ever see how depressed the economy is when you go job-hunting. Chicago is losing businesses and business left right and all around. Some people say the unemployment is two digits, others try to say it's not that bad. We'll see. I'm on my way down to the Viagra Triangle today. My resume is weird because I have a Canadian page, but the first page is volunteer work and references I have from here. Again, we'll see.

:)

Hope you have a great day! Later...

How To Be A Mayor


Toronto could take a lesson in leadership and priorities by the humbling story of Braddock Pennsylvania. Inked Magazine has an excellent article on their Mayor John Fetterman who works in a town with no money, no resources and a great attitude. Toronto has everything a city needs yet is immaturely bickering over public transit, taxes and whether to privatize infrastructure. All Toronto's Mayor candidates need to get real.

Related Links:

1) Bio from Wiki
2) Fetterman on Colbert

Monday, February 15, 2010

One Day A Week


Of course the trade off is that the more food we produce (even if it's vegetarian), the more people eat, and then human population grows. The best birth control in the world is quality of life. The more education options, the more comfortable living conditions, the less people reproduce. So not only do we have the option to eat vegetarian once a week...to help with over-population we need to consider how can struggling communities have a better quality of life. But I thought this was a great video, I hope someone makes one for North America, although the stats are similar.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Harper: Lest We Forget

What a very strange sensation to watch the Olympics in a foreign country.

I was absolutely crazy about the opening ceremonies in Vancouver on Friday night. But...they started out sketchy here in the States...Right before the opening ceremonies NBC dedicated the opening of the program to Nodar Kumaritashvili who lost his life on the luge. Although the newscasters warned viewers some of us might be upset by the upcoming scenes, I still never expected to see this fellow die right before the opening ceremony. How terribly sad for his family and for many of us watching this footage. I have mixed feelings. I was more surprised that here was a video being shown (3 times!) and yet the the complete set of media in U.S. will not publish war footage from Iraq or the returning lost soldiers coffins. What kind of logic is this. I believe in full disclosure. I believe Iraq and Afghanistan war should be televised. I believe the soldiers we've lost should be honoured on their return home even if it's in caskets. The only reason I can could see for justifying why CTV and NBC would release the video, during the opening ceremonies, was for full disclosure to help people understand what happened to this poor young brave fellow and not start rumours about drugs, substance abuse or juicing. The development of this luge track needs accountability.

But what kind of journalists would show this footage and not report and film the Afghanistan war? I just don't get it.

But on a lighter note, I repeat , it was very strange to watch this opening ceremony outside of my country. (okay, I'm a person with two countries, but you get my drift). I don't have any coverage on Canadian news sources here in Chicago. I guess if we had satelite I could CBC or CTV, but on our cable no Canadian networks. Hockey is strange for me to watch but hearing the perspective on Canada from Matt Lauer/NBC was pretty cute and pretty funny. At one point he says, Canadians are the friendliest and nicest people and I laughed. I had just said moments earlier to my friend Tricia as the camera highlighted Prime Minister Stephen Harper "What a fuckwad". I was like, "Oops, well, we're friendly and nice, but we don't have any respect for politicians and we'll stand up for ethics". I was laughing, even if we sound rude doing so. I don't know, the commentary on Canadina national identity was pretty funny and it kept on giving.

The "live" singing performances were a disappointment for me...except for K.D. Lang. She kicked ass. I thought Nelly Furtato and Bryan Adams were so milquetoast and not only did they lipsync they missed their cues. If they were going to lipsync why not fake a really good song with a pulse? K.D. Lang was fantastic (and if she was moving her lips to the song I couldn't tell) though and she owns Hallelujah. Sarah McLacklin was not bad, seemed to be lipsyncing as well though.

The fiddlers were absolutely awesome. Brock Jellison and Ashley MacIsaac killed the segment and made Canada look kewl. Wonderful.Love their clothes, their style, dancing and music! I loved everything about the show directed by Austrailian David Atkins who has directed several opening ceremonies for sporting events. Obviously I loved all of the First Nations content and dancing and presence. Way to go, and probably a credit to the director being from Australia where their sensitivity to First Nations has been a lesson to Canada. I even thought it was cute there was flub at the end. So Canadian!

But back to Harper...my skin crawls when I see him. And I was so repulsed seeing him represent us at the games. What a loser. Why? First, he needs to be charged with breaking the Geneva Convention (by turning over prisoners of war to occupational forces practicing torture) And...lots of other reasons...


Straight Goods News reviewed recent Human Resources and Skills Development Canada grants and found a remarkable pattern in the list of HRSD grants over $25,000. Beginning in 2008, faith-based organizations began receiving large numbers of HRSD grants, mostly for local youth employment programs.



Feminist scholar Sylvia Bashevkin notes that a number of decisions including the Conservatives' gutting of the court challenges programme - which subsidised the funding of legal challenges of onerous laws and regulations by disadvantaged groups, including the poor, women and minorities - is a sign that the religious right has considerable influence in Ottawa.

From here "Harper Courts Right Wing, But Quietly"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wow



In a discussion at a Goodreads bookclub a friend posted this link. It's from Antonioni's The Passenger and I had to post it here it is so mindblowing. I haven't seen this movie in years, but I'm going to get it from the library (!) in a few days. I used to be quite mad about Antonioini: Blow Up and Zabrinski Point were such treats to see in a movie theatre when I was first exploring movies. There was a time when "everybody" in North America watched international films. A movie theatre owner used to be able to amke a living by showing these international movies several nights a week. It's so strange to think of that nowadays.

You can see the influence of Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock so magnificently.

Today Stagg and I are watching the Japanese film Women Of The Night directed by Kenji Mizoguchi in 1948.

Do you go to see international films or rent them?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Labyrinth With No Center

Jorge Luis Borges called Citizen Kane a labyrinth with no center.

We are planning a "double feature" party this weekend with a couple of friends. We're going to watch Citizen Kane and F For Fake both directed by Orson Welles. Kane is Wellle's first movie and Fake is his last movie. I wanted to find some stuff written about the movies and I was able to find Pauline Kael's intense essay called Raising Kane online. Kael's essay is probably the most famous piece of movie criticism ever written. (The second might be the expose of Bonfire of the Vanities production?)

The first time I saw Citizen Kane was in a film class structured like a literary criticism course and I had no idea what Citizen Kane was about, I hadn't even heard of it before. The professor guided us with the topic of "unreliable narrator" a term I also had never heard of before. Sometime later I bought a cool book with the shooting script of the movie. This book also had the 70 page essay by pauline Kael and it was a revelation of reading and criticism to me at the time. Kael made a fantastic set of arguments that the movies greatness was precisely due to it's so-called flaws and banal styles and "theatrical flamboyance".


"Apparently, the easiest thing for people to do when they recognize that something is a work of art is to trot out the proper schoolbook terms for works of art, and there are articles on Citizen Kane that call it a tragedy in fugal form and articles that explain that the hero of Citizen Kane is time—time being a proper sort of modern hero for an important picture. But to use the conventional schoolbook explanations for greatness, and pretend that it’s profound, is to miss what makes it such an American triumph—that it manages to create something aesthetically exciting and durable out of the playfulness of American muckraking satire. Kane is closer to comedy than to tragedy, though so overwrought in style as to be almost a Gothic comedy. What might possibly be considered tragic in it has such a Daddy Warbucks quality that if it’s tragic at all it’s comic-strip tragic. The mystery in Kane is largely fake, and the Gothic-thriller atmosphere and the Rosebud gimmickry (though fun) are such obvious penny-dreadful popular theatrics that they’re not so very different from the fake mysteries that Hearst’s American Weekly used to whip up—the haunted castles and the curses fulfilled. Citizen Kane is a “popular” masterpiece—not in terms of actual popularity but in terms of its conceptions and the way it gets its laughs and makes its points." from Pauline Kael

I also found a terrific obituary/article about Kael in Slate Magazine...

Pauline Kael..."offers some clues about why these touches leave current audiences so cool. If you'd been lucky enough to ask Kael, she'd probably have told you a bit impatiently that the film prompts that reaction because it's meant to. In its grinning cynicism, in its distrust of sweeping narratives told in the 80-point type of tabloid headlines, Citizen Kane mocks the very idea of an audience feeling warm and fuzzy about a movie character—or indeed any kind of larger-than-life figure, whether he's on celluloid or newsprint."

..."easily the most exhaustive, piece of criticism Kael ever wrote. "Raising Kane" appeared in The New Yorker 30 years ago, sprawling across a total of 68 pages in consecutive issues of the magazine. The essay celebrated and dissected Orson Welles' film debut Citizen Kane, which was itself 30 years old in 1971.

As it happens, Kael's death and that double anniversary coincide with the release of a commemorative edition of the film on DVD. Citizen Kane will be the first building block in the collection of any self-respecting film buff, of course. But watching it on DVD re-raises a lingering if heretical question: Why does the film so often ranked as the greatest ever made strike so many viewers as cold, as oddly soulless? It's easy to appreciate or admire Citizen Kane but hard to revel in it. Put another way: It's just about the last movie you'd want to watch on a rainy night.

In many ways Citizen Kane would seem tailor-made for contemporary sensibilities—at least as those sensibilities existed before Sept. 11. In a languorous voice-over commentary on the new DVD (Roger Ebert provides another, somewhat less breathy one), Peter Bogdanovich says Citizen Kane was 40 years ahead of its time when it appeared in 1941. I'd say 50 or 55 years is more like it. If the movie was forward-looking in terms of narrative structure and shot-making, it was even more so in its supreme self-awareness. It anticipates the age of irony in the way it keeps emotion at arm's length and tends to be more clever than wise. The newspaper headlines Welles uses to such great effect in the film put words in jocular quotation marks (KANE MARRIES 'SINGER') more typical of the late 1990s than the early '40s." from Slate Magazine: "Rosebud Remix".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let It




Not much stopped us from getting outside today, not even 12 hours of snowing. We went out to do our taxes, grocery shop and then in the evening to local pub. Let it snow.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Library Card

That's right. I got a Chicago library card today. I'm so excited. I ordered up a couple of books. I took out two dvds, one Felini's Amarcord and Orson Welles F For Fake in the Criterion Collection. Sweet.

Best Ad, Censored...



What a fantastic game yesterday...meanwhile...The best commercial for the Superbowl wasn't shown. Yesterdays ads were boring and derivitive. I suppose it must be the depression the States is in , I don't know...two years ina row with poor commercials, no imagination. A couple were ok, Jay Leno was a nice touch but riffed on earlier ad format/plot. but ok.

The best Superbowl ad was the one above which was rejected by CBS, story here...thanks Pop Culture Dish, I laughed so hard when I saw this ad on your blog...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

What I'm Listening To...

Our friend Four Dinners at his radio show Drunk Punk at:

http://www.scooter-forums.com/

I love hearing his show on Saturdays. It makes things feel like Four Dinners is just down the street...

He's playing a terrific variety of music this evening (afternoon here)

Bacon Explosion


This might be the funniest recipe I've ever seen...I love the weaving of the bacon...Bacon Explosion "The bbq sausage recipe of all recipes".







Friday, February 05, 2010

Mr. Cosmo, R.I.P.

The original Sex And the City girl was Helen Gurley Brown and her Mr. Big was David Brown her husband. I heard he passed away a few days ago and was reminded that he originated the use of juicy captions and headlines on the front of Cosmopolitan magazine. The story goes Helen Gurley Brown who was the editor of Cosmo would get him to write wild cover captions based on the articles inside. I remember at some point in high school someone had brought in a bunch of Cosmo magazines, for art class or writing class. I don't remember exactly but I do remember I got my hands on them. I thought it was the greatest thing since comic books. I suppose Cosmo magazine was some kind of bridge for me expanding youthful reading from Sci-fi and comic books to magazines. I loved the shiny pages with all kinds of crazy articles on how to fix up an apartment or cinch an oversized t-shirt so it would be sexier. Articles with household hints like "How To Make a side table from a cardboard box, a toaster, a magnet and a scarf!" or "How to break through the glass ceiling with a stilleto!" or "Snazz up a room by painting it bubble gum pink!" I believe all of these kinds of cutting edge articles had exclamation points. I had the overwhelming introduction that getting one's own apartment was the single most sensational activity one could accomplish. A concept that empowered young people as they prepared to move out of the family home or go off to college. And of course. Sex. Sex everything. "How to make love like a butterfly" and if that didn't work "How to surprise your man with a secret technique from the Egyptian book of the Dead". Exclamation point.

David Brown was also a movie producer making The Sugarland Express with Speilberg and then hiring him to direct Jaws. He also produced A Few Good Men on Broadway, discovering Aaron Sorkin. He produced The Sting, Angela's Ashes and Road To Perdition. But I will always remember him as the fellow who got me interested in topics beyond Conan The Barbarian and Silver Surfer. Cosmo mag was all about the swagger and I'm sure millions of young people got a lot of their sex ed from it's pages, with it's emphasis on female orgasm. Props! And besides...to this day, I can make a mean coffee table with a stack of magazines, some magnets, glue and a toaster. I might even paint a wall bubble gum pink for old times sake. Exclamation point.

The Avett Brothers, Again...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Whoosh thisweekwentbyfast....

So fast no time to blog. Last night I got to be be a Lesbian Wife and Mother. My friend J and I are doing a cooking demonstration this week at a community centre for LBGT in association with a huge trendy grocery store. So last night after school we took her and her two kids grocery shopping for all the food we need with a nice juicy budget to feed about 20 people. We each had a shopping cart, one with a one year old and one with a three year old. We immediately started a riff that we were on Top Chef but with kids and what would we do? Use part of our budget to get a clerk to watch the kids? Well we did it with the kids and we had a blast. After we bought 8 of the hugest two-inch grass fed steaks blowing a large part of our budget which included vegan sugar (regular sugar is sometimes cut with bones so it stays separated in grains) I said, "gee, the butchers must be in shock seeing lesbians buy so much meat, yet with vegan sugar" My friend said usually when she is out with her straight friends and the kids they get frustrated because all the guys think they are gay and it busts their image. Meanwhile I totally got into it. Her kids are delightful and I'm so glad to have such a fun and funny friend. We looking forward to our cooking demonstration tonight. Should be a blast.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Aaarggghhh:Censorship...ergh...Motherfuckers!


I was really excited to see Canadian performer Drake hit the Grammy stage last night with Eminem and Lil' Wayne. I mean...my god, what a potential spectacle ...I was so excited. Three powerhouses I was anticipating. And Travis Barker playing drums!

The censorship was so ridiculous. At one point about a minute into Lil' Wayne's singing the network just turned off the sound for 5 seconds, then another 4 seconds. That is a long time for dead air. I was hoping to find it uncensored today. All three singers were censored. I just don't get why art should be allowed to be censored. I mean really, if you even watch this video, and are like me, well you'll just have to laugh. Last night, Stagg and I just threw up our hands and looked at each other "What the fuck?" (it was a fun show otherwise and I was really happy for Drake! Come a long way from DeGrassi, little brother)

FUBAR


Oh shit.

You see the problem really stems from people have such different needs to get by in their daily life.

A lot of the challenges Toronto faces are because of the way certain neighbourhoods were designed. The design controls the mindsets of the residents.

So far...the residents of certain neighbourhoods are not free-thinkers. They are under the mind-control of their street designs.

When a certain bunch of assholes decided to make Toronto a "megacity" ..they wouldn't accept that people who live in urban designed areas have very different sensibilities and needs from those who live in suburban designed areas.

Toronto has a mayoral election coming up and unfortunately it will be two different cultures trying to hash out the votes. So far there are three main guys in the running to become mayor. Two of them are suburban sensitive, therefore they are going to try and run their campaign on the selfish interests of car drivers. (now listen before you start crying, I like to drive cars too. But you shouldn't vote with your car. You should vote with a community sense. No. I'm serious. Don't vote like a selfish bastard. Vote like a citizen: for your whole city. You know, "The common good"). One of the other potential candidates is coming from a urban-sensitive mindset.

Even though a bunch of assholes tried to forcefeed a "megacity"on suburban Toronto...the suburban folks don't actually live within the same designs and patterns as the people in the old city limits. It's so cliche but the issues really do come down to apples and oranges. Suburban structured streets have emphasis on cars. Fair enough. But it's not common sense to try to apply that sensibility to an urban structured area.

It's as if the people who live within the former city limits or "old Toronto" are speaking a completely different language than those who live in the former outer limits of the city(Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York...see map above). Nothing changed about the design of the suburbs. They are still suburban streets with no corner stores, or coffee shops and storefronts. They are still stretched out streets with wide open unpopulated areas where crime can flourish. And"old Toronto" is still an urban design. The needs of "old Toronto" haven't changed.

You don't even need a car if you live in "old Toronto". The best thing for people who live in "old Toronto" is spending as much design and funding for public transit.

Of course those people who own cars and insist on driving them everywhere don't want and always complain about public transit. We all get that. They shouldn't have to care about public transit. We all get that.

What Toronto would really benefit from is accepting that two mayors would make more sense. One for "old Toronto" and one for "old suburbs". Oh wait...right, that's exactly how it was before assholes decided to make it "megacity".

It's not even the guys running for mayors fault that they sound like jerks. And they do sound like jerks. They can't help it...they are trying to win cheap. Instead of actually accepting what the challenges are to the city of Toronto, they are going to try to cash in by appealing to the suburbs (yes the areas outside of "old toronto" that everyone pretends is just like the downtown)


The thing is...at least a couple of the mayoral candidates will be trying to lay blame on public transit and run their campaign against public transit. This is very cheap, counter-productive reasoning only aimed at winning an election. The suburbs are going to elect one of these backward thinking guys.

I suppose it doesn't matter because what really happens with humans is that we function as a swarm. The swarm follows natural selection and urban centers are the best form of survival for our dominant economy. The swarm ultimately chooses urban design. More and more of the swarm will move into "old Toronto" as it is too expensive and dangerous to live in the "suburbs". Humans don't have to legislate survival and cost-effective moves like we will see as people move to "old Toronto". It won't matter what the mayor candidates say about public transit. We will spend more and make it more fantastic as more and more people move downtown to survive. We don't need mayors for that.


Toronto has the opportunity to keep preparing for the future by spending lots of money on public transit right now. Or Toronto can wait...until the swarm moves downtown again...and then play catch-up.

Gee, it really sucks watching a good city act like an idiot.