(Tuesday August 30, 2005 performance - Panasonic Theatre)
I don’t even remember when I first heard of the Blue Man Group, but we’re probably verging on a decade of at least passing familiarity with them and their percussive pvc tubing sounds. The occasional Tonight Show appearance, their Intel advertisement spots, and the purchase of their first studio recording (”Audio”) all served to increase my appetite for things Blue Man, and yet I’d never been to a live performance, and despite my previous experiences with them, I just wasn’t fully prepared for the evening that transpired.
The Panasonic Theatre on Yonge has an industrial facade which carries through its interior, empty warehouse like lobby. Having just downed a pint of sangria at dinner I headed downstairs to the facilities where a BMG created “bathroom song” played on a continuous loop (”Baaaathroooom. Baaaathroooom. Throooough theee loooobbyyyyy Baaaathrooom”) which made for a unique visit on its own.
The theatre is dark with most surfaces painted black with deep blue highlights, dull chrome sound buffers texturing the wall, and the chairs an innocuous grey tone, again maintaining that industrial feel. The theatre was relatively full when I got my seat, two rows in front of me (and the entire first five rows) were garbed in thin, clear plastic ponchos. Ponchos at any performance are always a sign of a good time.
The stage set up had lots of pvc piping, a number of strange items which were surely to be used as props in one respect or another, three large grey panels with what looked like classic Sim City cityscapes projected onto them and giving the overall effect of a Fritz Lang film.
Even with the excessive con-going this weekend I still managed to file in a few entries for this week’s Thor’s Comic Column, which I think is our most loadedest column ever…possibly.
First I start with that review of what’s perhaps the best book of the year - “Smoke” - that I’ve been putting off (which my review reflects in detail), and then follow that up with a review of “A History Of Violence” (now a Cronenberg film coming soon to a theatre near you, hopefully) for our newly named “Trade Winds” section (fmrly. “Trade Center”).
In our “Rack Raid” I praise the Black Panther even though it’s all Marvel-summer-crossover-like, and I kind of give my iffyness on the latest ish of Phil Jimenez’s “Otherworld”… oh, and then I got a preview look of “Beowulf” #4 which I picked up at the Speakeasy booth at the con.
Also appearing this week… the new “Daredevil” arch takes off, “The Black Heart Irregulars” intrigues me, “Supernatural Law” keeps on truckin’, a “Spike” (from Buffy) one-shot gets a nod, and the new Warren Ellis series, “Jack Cross”, arrives on the stands.
Russell is a little undecided in his Trade Winds review of the newly completed “Solstice” by “Sandman Mystery Theatre” and “House of Secrets” writer Steve Seagle. It’s definitely an oddly paced book, but once you settle into the rhythm of it (or absense of rhythm) it’s actually quite a nice piece of work. It’s a good review, but I liked the book a lot more methinks.
And finally, our Rack Raid is rounded out by looks at “Adventures of Superman” #643, “Fantastic Four” #530, “The Walking Dead” #21, “Hellblazer” #211, “Battle Pope” #2, “Teen Titans” #27 (oh gawd, Liefeld), and “Wolverine” #31.
All told 18 reviews spanning, more than two dozen books. Crazy town.
“Monkey in a Wagon vs Lemur on a Big Wheel”. Fer real
(Bailey the cat helped me with this title)
The streetcar driver on my way home today sounded very much like a Dalek when he spoke.
With each stop I kept expecting him to say “Exterminate! EX-terr-MI-nAAATE!”
The closest he came was “DO-ver-COOOOURT”
while doing the dishes
I cut my finger
on a fork!
Not a stab
but a slash.
From a fork.
And I checked
it’s not even sharp
These are the kinds of things that happen to me.
comic booky mold spore-ous
Hepa filter overdrive as mold spores flutter out of the $0.50 bin comics I bought at the Canadian Comic/Sci-Fi/Horror/Anime/Gaming Expo and into the air. Those $0.50 bin books is raunchy.
They currently reside in the freezer as apparently a good freezun will help kill the mold and freshen their breath… or at least kill the stank.
We all love monkeys, no? Some of us more than others though.
This weekend I purchased three monkey related items at the Geeky McGeekerson Convention…
the first is this handsome Brak product featuring Brak with one of Brak’s clever Brakizzums: “NEVER TRUST A MONKEY” it proclaims in a striking grafitti-esque stencil design in a soft cyan ond a mottled chocolate brown cotton tee.
And it looks good on me.
Cuz I like brown.
So it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t actually look good on me.
So yeah, “never trust a monkey”…words to live by my friend, because, man, those monkeys will steal your banana, your hat, or your tunafish sandwich if you give them half a chance…
The second item on display is the new comic book from the Alias Comics Publishing group entitled “Monkey In A Wagon vs. Lemur on a Big Wheel” (or as I think it’s more colloquially known “Monkey versus Lemur”). I mean, with that title alone, this should be one of the hottest selling comics of all time. I havn’t sat down and read it yet but I will be reviewing it for the next Thor’s Comic Column (which means the one after the one that will appear sometime today, tomorrow or Wednesday).
This is the black and white representation similar to the cover image for Monkey vs. Lemur, and it looks just as AWESOM-O (ever since watching that South Park episode yesterday on TiVo, I’ve been using AWESOM-O non-stop… am I *that* impressionable? Yes, yes I am. I’ve already used it four times today in different communications… thankfully none of them as yet have been work related)
And finally, the third, and perhaps most glorious score, was this boffo bizarre comic book found in the aforementioned mold-plagued $0.50 bin…
Jesus, Super Heroes Battle Super Gorillas? If only it didn’t smell so pungently like vinegar, I would sit down and read it instead of stuffing it in the freezer for 24 hours.
I wonder what other people have to say about this book, because it’s madass crazy. (Oh, yes… Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew] has done a write-up of it for his cool Comic Book Resources column, Oddball Comics. He’ll tell you all about it so I don’t have to. Thanks Scott!)
Other Nerdy Nerdlinger stuff from the Expo
I felt incredibly bad for dear Margot Kidder who just wasn’t getting the fan love like Kevin Sorbo or that dude who played Tuvok on onea them “Star Trek” shows… what’s worse is no-nothing voice-actors for some random anime stuff were getting almost more love than Elija Wood, Adam Baldwin or one of those “Buffy”/”Smallville” actress-type women.
Yes I felt bad, and my sincere appreciation for Margot’s phenomenal work on the recent “Robson Arms” series still wasn’t enough for me to go and engage her… it probably would have cost me $40 anyway, which was better spent on smelly freezer comics I say.
I picked up a few indie things from their creators at the con, but I didn’t get anything signed because I don’t really see the point, overall. I’ve been trying to minimize my hero worship and see people on a human level. Which is awesome since that’s how I approached “Nil” and “Rex Libris” creator James Turner who turned out to be a really great guy and gave me some most incredibly awesome pins he made which I’ve proudly got on display on various bags and passed the remaining out to friends.
I remember getting very excited about getting Neil Gaiman’s autograph a few years ago, but now I’m not really sure what the big deal is, and I’m not sure I totally understand the whole “signing” thing anymore. *Meshrug*
Perhaps it will return to me one day.
Actually, I did get one thing signed… a copy of the first DVD set of Red Vs. Blue web cartoons which I didn’t really want signed but the guys kind of automatically opened the packaging and signed it anyway. Ah, ‘tever.
I met a seller who has made some decent quality DVDs of the classic Canadian low-budget kids-com The Hilarious House of Frightenstein. As well, they assembled together a fine collection of the best quality Barbapapa episodes that ran on TVO. They also apparently have the complete Dr. Snuggles, which they didn’t have enough time to prepare for the show.
If you’re in desperate need of these *coughbootlegscough*, let me know and I can pass along his email.
There are some TV shows which are just so good you know they can’t last. Shows that are so different, so unique and creative that you know the masses aren’t ready for it yet. You know they won’t get it right away, and you like it too much for it to succeed. “Profit”, for me, was one of many shows like that. Back in 1996 when it first aired on Fox, I couldn’t believe it, here was a guy - the central character, the protagonist - working for a big corporation and he manipulates, cheats, lies, charms and basically does anything he can to suit his ultimate goal. He’s like Lex Luthor or Dr. Doom, he’s a villain, but he’s an incredibly smart and pleasant villain that you wind up getting sucked up into his plans, and though you fell that people like that shouldn’t exist, and if they do they should be found out and put in prison, you desperately hope he succeeds, just so you can see what he does next.
With the use of voice overs Profit reveals to the audience his plans and his insight on the other players, and we witness how they move about, amidst the manipulation and manipulating, watching as things go either as planned or (usually) completely awry. In this respect the creators of the show liken “Profit” to “Richard III” in which the hero is the villain who you want to succeed.
In every respect, no one is who they seem on “Profit”, and you can never be sure what role they are playing, what angle they are taking and what their true motivations are, what’s more, you’re never truly sure if someone’s going to make it through an episode with their job, their freedom or their life.
d, w: Jordan Roberts
Okay, the fact that Michael Caine is playing Christopher Walken’s father alone should be enough to get people excited, I shouldn’t need to sell it any more than that. Sure Caine’s wacky unhealthy old man kicks off in the first 20 minutes but those scenes with Caine, Walken, Josh Lucas and young talent Jonah Bobo are grin inducing on the mere presence of the actors together, nevermind the delightfully oddball interaction between them.
The film is one of those father-son movies, where the men who are men often have trouble really expressing themselves, but are always searching for opportunities to show affection without ever just showing affection. It’s fairly routine in that respect, but there are some neat idiosycrasies which help the journey of bonding.
So a very lovely and kind person at the Humane Society has written me back and given me a sad and yet lovely update on the hobo kitten I dubbed Paws.
I have located the cat in the main clinic and unfortunately the injured leg had to be amputated. The leg was broken, there was swelling and infection, so the best way to ensure the infection did not spread and make the cat more ill, was to amputate. The cat is doing very well though and is recovery with daily care.
So Paws lives, less one paw, and is in full recoup mode at the moment. I’m not sure when the little one will be up for adoption but when he is I’ll let everyone know. I mean, how cool would having a three legged cat be? You’d be the best James Bond villain ever. Especially if you were missing a leg as well.
d: Mike Nichols
w: Patrick Marber
There’s something about Closer which I really didn’t like, and I’m still trying to figure it out. Is my dislike of the film the intended reaction director Mike Nichols was going for or is there something about the film that just isn’t working properly. Is it so well made that I’m responding to it accurately, or is a key component missing that makes the Jenga tower topple down?
I mean, can you really ever like a film about a quartet of adulterers?
Closer is slightly disarming (a term Jude Law uses for Natalie Portman in the film), dealing frankly and achingly with the characters and their relationships with one another. Law is Dan, who meets Alice (Portman) on the streets of London after she gets hit by a cabbie. It’s a meet-cute which seems out of place so immediately in the film. Dan is an obituary writer (and an untalented author), and Alice is an American girl fresh off the boat, a stripper in a former life, and many other things unsaid. Then the movie jumps ahead a few months, where Dan is getting photographed for a bookjacket by Anna, as played by Julia Roberts.
This week marks our first MAJOR change over at Thor’s Comic Column, as we’ve added a new section dubbed “Rack Raid” which will allow us to cover more books in less words. It will also allow us to not just cover first issues and new storylines, but allow us to follow up on our initial reviews.
With this plus our regular Trade Center (perhaps being renamed “Trade Winds”?) and our weekly long-form reviews we’re really getting a unique weekly read going.
This week was a massive week, with me covering Hell, Michigan (a new series by one of my favourites, Dan Jolley… too bad the art is horrid), Of Bitter Souls #1 (a new Speakeasy title with art by legendary Batman artist Norm Brefogle), and Rex Libris #1 (by Nil creator James Turner).
In the Trade Center, I tackle the mammoth Runaways vol. 1 collection, as well as the Loeb/Sale 1991 series Challengers of the Unknown Must Die.
And in the Rack Raid, I do some quick stabbing of |Rann-Thanagar War #4, Seven Soldiers: Klarion #3, and City Of Heroes #4.
The other lads chip in too (it’s not just my show over there):
- Batman: Journey Into Night #1 (full review)
- The King (Trade Center)
- The Ride TPB (Trade Center)
- Green Lantern #3 (Rack Raid)
- Detective Comics #810 (Rack Raid)
- The Goon #13 (Rack Raid)
- Godland #2 (Rack Raid)
So yes, we’re covering more books in less space. We rock.
The Toronto Comic-Book/Sci-Fi/Anime/Horror expo starts now. Well, almost now. Well, soon.
And I’ve commited myself to spending all weekend stooped in geekifiedness. I’m not really sure if there’s actually three days worth of engagement going on at this year’s con, but with some friends in from out of town, and an almost full Go Team Action Bloggers breakfast card for tomorrow (bright and early, 8am), it’ll be a good geekend I’m sure.
Although I havn’t really planned anything, I’ll be networking (maybe), doing interviews (maybe), reporting (maybe) and just geeking out (maybe).
the freakgirl is getting married this weekend. GO JOANY!
Server outage yesterday. Hair pulling, screaming, swearing and guinea piggy sqealing abounded about the household last night but ultimately Emma got the server fuctioning again, so here we are.
While I was outside barbecuing last night (chicken stuffed with basil, parmesean, butter and garlic, and glazed with lemon butter) our neighbour let me know that her husband and daughter had captured Paws and took him to the Humane Society.
I’ve written them to find out if they could rescue Paws of if they needed to shuffle him off to kitty Valhalla.
(update: they couldn’t provide me with any info, except to say my neighbour would have to call in to request any info about kitty… something about privacy laws… or something)
Meanwhile, if you have space in your heart and home, the Toronto Humane Society has some little ones that need a place to stay.
These are the hobo kitties (otherwise known as stray cats) that live in out back yard. We first came across them in late May, hanging around a neighbour’s front porch, there were four of them at the time. A few days later, they came and visited in the back yard, but they were down one, unknown whether one died or was taken in by someone.
The one on the left I call “Paws”, the one in the middle is “Nose”, and the one on the right is “Mittens” (because he has extra toes, like my friend Ryan’s cat, Whisper, so his paws look like oven mitts).
This is the kitties’ filthy hooer of a mommy, whom I call “Mommy”. Mommy also has oven mitts. This is referred to as polydactylism (and no, that’s not a flying dinosaur). Polydactyl cats are also called Hemingway cats because Hemingway was off his nut.
Unfortunately, today I came across Paws hobbling around, mewing away, he back leg broken, bone protruding, possibly (probably) infected. Resilient though, Paws is, and he won’t let me catch him (at least I think Paws is male), he’s still pretty spry. I called the city’s animal control (416-338-PAWS, ironically enough) and they said they couldn’t come and get the cat until we had them penned. Myself and my neighbours have been chasing the poor kitten off and on all day. While I’ve fed Mittens and Nose, Paws is even more wary of us because of his condition and won’t come and eat.
Our neighbour is waiting outside for Paws to come out from behind his shed, but I fear the little one won’t make it through the night. I’m not sure how he broke his leg, but I think the new dog next door (new neighbours or visitors?) had something to do with it.
Animal control did do a drop by, but we couldn’t find Paws at that point. The lady said she’d like to take the other kittens in to be spayed and/or neutered and put up for adoption, but she fears that the cats may get over agitated and have to be put down. She wasn’t sure what might happen to Paws if we do catch him, if they’re lucky they’ll be able to mend him, but the longer we go the more likely they’ll need to amputate or perhaps put him down.
It’s all very sad. If we do catch Paws, and they do manage to save him, I’ll let everyone know, because he’s going to need a good home (unfortunately, with Bailey’s probably infectious-though-dormant condition, we can’t take him in ourselves, or else we would have taken all of them in already).
I fear the worst as it’s been three hours since we last saw Paws (he went in behind the neighbours shed), and we havn’t heard a cry or anything from him in that time. Mommy is resting on the other neighbour’s kid’s playcentre, while Nose and Mittens are having a ball on the giant sandpile (they’re building a new patio/basement entrance next door, so there’s a big empty pit and a big pile of dirt next to it.)
I’m feeling pretty shitty right now, because if I had been a little more careful I could have caught Paws… it’s not my fault, yet I still feel like it is.
Update: 8:40 pm
The cats were migrating from one neighbour’s yard to another, when I spied Paws poking his head out from under the fence. Still skittish, he stepped away from me before I even got close. I grabbed some treats and tempted Mittens and Nose, and as soon as Paws saw they had something to eat, he hobbled closer.
And when he was eating, I grabbed him. Unfortunately I wasn’t prepared for him to fight back so hard and he put up a mean struggle. I had the forethought to put some gloves on but he managed to get a back claw into my arm. He began to wail and growl that kittyfight growl, and I was moving, but I wasn’t sure where I was moving to. I didn’t have a pen set up for him and the neighbours were far inside. Then I felt something hit my leg.
Did I walk into a chair?
Nope, Mommy was making a go for me, hissing away (I’m glad I had shoes on, but I still managed to scare her off), but Paws managed to bounce out of my grip and bolted, into a corner. He wasn’t moving.
Perfect. I placed a board in his way so he couldn’t leave from where he got in.
I grabbed Bailey’s cage, filled it full of odoriforous kitty treats, and placed it as close to the cornered kitty cat as I could. He was surrounded by cinder blocks and a fence, all five feet high so he wasn’t going anywhere. I needed to make sure he couldn’t hop over the cage so I stacked a few gardening pots on top. Now I had to get him out of the corner. Bamboo sticks from the garden weren’t provoking him out of the corner at all.. I needed something bigger. I grabbed a spade but was worried I’d hurt him more, so I grabbed a corn broom.. .hmm, gentle and noisy. It worked…
He went to the cage, looked and even stepped inside, when he noticed there was no way out, he began to back out. I tried to use the broom to push him in, but I wasn’t quick enough. In the darkness I didn’t notice that the one side I had wedged him in with had a gap just big enough for kitty to escape, and I wasn’t quick enough to block him off at the pass. He got away.
Outsmarted by a wounded kitten. Ouch. That bruises the pride.
Paws made it to the other side of an open pit, a sand pile too difficult for me to cross in the dark.
I made the effort, the little bastard resisted. I’m done for the evening. It’s too dark for me to operate otherwise.
Final thought: kitty catching, unless it’s a fatass, is not a one-person operation.
This is going to be ripping through the blogosphere right about … 40 minutes ago…
Vice magazine has put together a charity compilation (for UNICEF) making fun of that old Band-Aid song “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, with the feature hit “Do They Know It’s Hallowe’en”… you can preview now, but on October 11, out comes the single featuring a veritable who’s who of indie land:
do they know it’s hallowe’en?
preview the spooky charity single here
The holy crap list of voices:
ARCADE FIRE’S WIN & REGINE
DESSERT’S LIANE BALABAN
ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK
LES SAVY FAV’S SYD BUTLER
NARDWUAR THE HUMAN SERVIETTE
POSTAL SERVICE’S JIMMY TAMBORELLO
REDD KROSS’ STEVE MCDONALD
R.E.M’S JOEY WARONKER
RILO KILEY’S JENNY & BLAKE
SLOAN’S CHRIS MURPHY
SMOOSH’S ASYA & CHLOE
SONIC YOUTH’S THURSTON MOORE
SPARKS’ RUSSELL MAEL
SUM 41′S STEVO
THAT DOG’S ANNA WARONKER
WOLF PARADE’S DAN & SPENCER
YEAH YEAH YEAH’S KAREN O
I always forget just how good (and diverse) a singer David Cross can be (he gets a little Three Times One Minus One on us at the end there). Can’t wait for the rock-on behind-the-scenes jam video.
I’m buying it on CD and Vinyl, for a good cause.
w, d: Alex Gibney
This film is one of those you laugh at consistently throughout with the benefit of hindsight. Well, maybe not laugh. Balk, perhaps. While jumping around from different sources (interviews, senate hearings, articles, audio tapes, company promotional videos, year-end broadcasts) from different eras, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” constructs a timeline for the rise and fall of what was at one time America’s 7th most powerful company, based on the book by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind.
I work for a company that produces financial risk software. I’m not much of a head about these things so I can’t give you much details aside from saying our software helps major financial institutions and large corporations analyze and understand risk as it relates to their business. Enron, I don’t believe, was ever a client of our company, and what’s more, I doubt Enron would have ever used an enterprise risk management solution. Instead, what Enron did was create earnings basically out of thin air. This isn’t just “cooking the books” or playing with numbers; instead, through a shady accounting system called “mark to market” approved by their auditing firm, Enron was allowed to recognize future revenues now, and really without any sort of rationale, documentation, or trend mapping. Say they started up a venture that they predicted over the next ten years would earn a total of $120 million. Well, through “mark to market” they could recognize that entire amount without it ever coming to fruition.
Roget Ebert.com runs down some of Eberts most painful movie experiences.
Make a checklist. How many have you seen?(Me: 15) And how many of those do you agree are bad films.(14/15)
d: Paul Provenza & Penn Jillette
A man walks into an agent’s office, sits down and says “have I got an act for you”.
The agent sits back and listens to the man describe the most sick and depraved things he’s ever heard, never mind witnessed.
After the man finishes the agent says “that’s horrible, what’s the act called?:
And the man says: “The Aristocrats”
Yeah, it’s not a funny joke. It’s old-timey Vaudeville in nature and it hasn’t aged well, and yet it lives on in the back rooms of comedy clubs and theaters and after-hours joints all over the world (or at least America and the UK). The Aristocrats is a joke told by comedians, to other comedians, almost as a right of passage, sometimes as competition, and always as tradition.
Yes, it’s gross, twisted, degrading, offensive and as many other adjectives that are synonimous with “objectionable”, but that’s part of its fun. It’s a joke where the punchline is known the minute you begin telling it, so it no longer holds humour in the punchline, instead, it’s the wild journey that takes you there - and the intention behind the journey - that makes you laugh. It’s not necessarily what’s being said, but how it’s being said, or why it’s being said. The comedians telling the joke aren’t advocating anything they’re just adding their own stamp to an institution, a legacy. It doesn’t matter if you’re Carrot Top or Robin Williams, you get an audience with your peers regardless.
w,d: Craig Brewer
For a time rap and hip-hop were like the new punk, a medium of rebellion, a medium with a message. In overly simplified terms, the punk sound (d)evolved into the mainstream “heavy metal” forms of Motley Crue and Iron Maiden, music about sex and exces. Similarly, rap has (d)evolved into a more popular form currently taking the name crunk, glorifying sex and violence and pretty much losing all trace of any message or storytelling.
I grew up a rap fanatic, but by 1994 my favourite medium began to change, the focus moved away from integrity and into gangsta thug playa-ville. I still find genuine artists, but rarely in the mainstream. It’s hard to remember that amidst all the thumps, catcalls and club anthems there are some true artists working within the popular sound, people trying to create something of meaning, get their voice heard, and have their say.
“Hustle and Flow” presents the story of a man trying to find his voice, and in the process change the direction of his life. DJay (Terrence Dashon Howard) is a pimp and “gateway” dealer tired of playing the game. He has three women under his service, and while he doesn’t treat them like gold, he does treat them with more respect and tenderness than the average stereotype pimp would. They’re his family, and the only ones that listen to what he has to say.
The CBC Lockout is getting big-time international coverage (from Variety to the London Free Press to the Bankok Post… just do a Google news search for CBC Lockout)… I guess it’s a fairly unprecedented thing for a major international news broadcaster who now can’t even cover their own story.
The radio service has been reduced to playing maudlin, unoffensive adult contemporary music, I havn’t turned on the TV set yet, and various CBC webpages have the following message:
CBC is currently experiencing a labour disruption, which means some of the information we normally offer you is unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
In 30 seconds, you will be automatically redirected to the CBC.ca homepage.
Of course the Negotiations page(management propeganda page) is being kept up-to-date.
Firday’s Metro Morning had a nicely balanced interview with the heads of each of the opposing sides. While each had a valid claim, each also had a bit of b.s. spewing forth from their mouth. I’d have to say that management’s desire for more temporary and contract workers seems to be a ploy to pay out less in benefits and reduce the number of pensions. But then again, having radio or television personalities/reporters/journalists on staff isn’t the brightest of ideas either. Personalities should only be personalities when the people want to see/hear them, the CBC should have flexibility to pay people who are doing good for the company and not renew contracts for those they feel are underperforming. Meanwhile, replacing IT staff and specialized staff with temporary workers is an asenine idea. You need people who know the technology, know the equipment, know the business, know the people, and you need to keep those people around. You spend a lot more money regularly training new employees each time you lose one than paying into benefits or whatever. If anything, if upper management want more contracts, upper management should be on contract.
Essentially, the employees should allow contracts, but restrict the positions in which contracted employees can be hired, and limit the duration a person in certain positions can be on contract before they are required to go full time. Meanwhile, the management should cut their own damn salaries and perqs and benefits if they want to save money, and reduce some of the beureaucratic positions which just waste everyone’s time. There’s also things like “Promo Girl”… do you really need a $XXX.00/hr person on contract to do frickin’ bumpers? Surely you could pay someone on staff to do that. I don’t care how cute she is, it is radio afterall.
Meanwhile, I don’t get my morning dose of news and talk radio, and I don’t have my barometer (the Voice of the Current) to tell me when it’s time to get my lazy arse out of bed.
It’s not often over at the comic column that I do the mainstream stuff while the other lads focus more on the alternative side of things, but I’m mightily impressed by this turnabout, and very proud.
Mainstream implies superheroes, not just the big two of DC and Marvel, otherwise the books I covered weren’t mainstream at all. “Hero Squared” from Boom Studios (nee Atomika), and Speakeasy Comics’ “Hero@Large” (the former I love because it brought me more Keith Giffen goodness, the latter I loved pretty much only for its cover). Interestingly enough, it was Speakeasy that published the comic book Atomika which required Boom Studios to change its name… I think. Not researched, just a stab at scandal. Atomika has since left Speakeasy to self-publish.
Other reviewstuffs from the cohorts this week included the latest “Captain America” (it sounds like it’s an excellent run by Ed Brubaker but, as a Canadian, I just find it hard to be interested in such a patriotic archetype). Our man Russell gets excited that Brubaker is also taking on Daredevil, but wisely exposes our readership to less tight-covered from the Bru, the “At The Seams” trade. We continue our extensive coverage of zombie themed comics with Jim Mahfood’s adaptation of “When Zombies Attack”, while Rob alerts us to Ted Nomura’s timely, fascinating and important “Hiroshima: The Atomic Holocaust”. The Wintermen, a new Wildstorm title, took me three days to read all the way through but I loved it. It’s 32 pages (for the price of your average 22-pager) of ex-superhero Russian cop spy-smashing wrecked personal relationship goodness (fans of Queen and Country should love it). And then there’s the Ultimates Annual #1 which sounds like status quo.
If you don’t read comics, at least read the reviews, cheapskate.
Random stuffs, nothing important:
- 3 of my 5 favourite obscure tv shows are finally coming to DVD:
American Gothic; The Flash; and Space: Above and Beyond (a Best Buy US exclusive, out on Sept. 6).
I still await word on Vengeance Unlimited and GvsE.
- Picked up A Right To Be Hostile, which I think is the second Boondocks Treasury, and reading these newspaper strips back-to-back like this, I’d say it’s one of the most consistantly laugh-out-loud hilarious daily comics ever. Seriously, it ranks right up there with the Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes (perhaps even better… blasphemy, I know). The 4 years and 800 strips contained in the book is certainly enough to help gauge that, plus I’ve been enjoying the dailies off and on for the past two years. It commonly satirizes politics, race relations and pop culture, often pushing all the right buttons.
The Boondocks is actually coming to television on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim linup in October 2nd. It’ll air in Canada… eventually… hopefully.
- Speaking of Adult Swim, their website’s game page has some fun recreational time wasters, the best of which is the Mooninite Marauders, based on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force characters, and updating the classic Space Invaders style shoot’emup game. Total funky.
- We’ve got the best neighbours. In return for looking after their garden (which pretty much involved just watching it get rained on) they brought back some freshly picked northern Ontario wild blueberries and garden raspberries. If you’ve never had wild northern blueberries then you don’t know what you’re missing, and I’d forgotten. Dayam.
- I’m having a bad case of writer’s block today… mostly due to low motivation. Think I should eat some more blueberries (although blueberries are a diarrhetic in copious doses, so maybe not)
Conservative radio host Chris Dickson took the time out to respond to my previous post about some spirited youth who decided it would be fun to “desecrate” some dead presidents graves (he called me, indirectly, a Marxist/Lenninist, although I’m nothing of the sort… I refuse to be so narrowly categorized). I mean, I’m Canadian and agnostic so there’s a reason I don’t really care. Once you’re dead, that life is gone/moved one and the only harm that can befall you is really a psychological one in the minds of others still alive.
If Reagan and Nixon retain some sort of positive symbolism to some people that aren’t their family members, that’s pretty scary. Their political terms, as GW’s is now, havn’t leaft much of a positive legacy for their country, its people and, in the larger scope, the planet. It’s not conservaitsm that really gets me, but prescribing and upholding capitalism above all else. A free-market society where almost every single action is best made for the almighty dollar isn’t bloody healthy, especially for the ecology, and just because George Bush refuses to see that damage to our environment doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
I should rather say that it’s institutionalized capitalism that the current Bush government is trying to retain. It’s the “old money” that Bush and Co. want to keep alive, because if they were truly interested in the free-market, they would level the playing field so that new technologies (like harvesting solar energies and wind power) and old resources (like hemp) would be allowed to compete fairly against the pulp and paper and big oil industries.
It’s a different rant which I’ll just touch on now, but it seems like Bush and his spoiled brat rich-boys club’s agenda is to reinstate a sort-of feudal system wherein the rich are the rulers (not a lot of poor people in politics are there), the poor are subservient, and the radio and television pundits that support them are the court jesters willing to make a mockery of themselves just for a sampling of the good life.
Anyway, I popped over to Dickson’s blog and read his posts about the grave “desecrations”. A man named “Bruce Woodhull” wrote in his response to the article, which, in so many words, implied the pranksters should be killed (his exact words were ” In other countries he would be shot or beheaded.”)
What interested me more was this comment:
“Isn’t it sad that these two young Americans are probably close in age; yet one enlisted in the military after 911, saying he felt it was his duty to do so.”
To me what’s sad is the fact that this guy’s kid bought into the idea that the “War on Terror” was an actual war in the conventional sense. Terrorists aren’t an invading army that can be easily opposed or forced back. They’re small groups of people scattered around the globe that have, for one reason or another, a beef with some part of the world… whether it’s Israeli terrorist bombing the Palestinians (or vice versa) or Muslim radicals bombing a subway train, or some Ameircan born whackos trying to take down American government buildings.
These are not people an army of armed soldiers can fight, these are people that can only be fought using intelligence, and not just in the “CIA” meaning of the word. Intelligence also means investigating the root issue that is causing people to fall in with what essentially are cult-like sects… what are the problems in their society that are driving them to such extremes and how can they be fixed? Guns and violence and military might aren’t the answer. Of course, when you live in a society when your political documents have an archaic hierarchy of what’s important, and gun culture is second on the list, I can see why so many feel that a bullet is always the correct response.