Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Douchebag of the Year

Breaking Down/Dawn

Tribute to Freddie Mercury

This was originally uploaded in late November.

You Are All Diseased

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December's Morons of the Month

Stay tuned for the 2011 Douchebag of the Year, to be awarded on New Year's Eve.

  • Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina for giving his friend/chief of staff a $30,000 pay raise, and lying about whose idea it was.
  • Lowe's Hardware Stores for caving in to the a Florida hate group, that threatened them for advertising on the TLC show "All American Muslims".
  • The US Congress (and Barack Obama) for seriously toying with the idea of expanded police powers (basically Patriot Act PLUS).
  • Fox News for saying that the new Muppets movie, is teaching kids to embrace communism. Seriously.
  • Ann Coulter and Jeremy Clarkson for calling for union strikers and Occupy protesters to be shot.
  • Charles McVety (and other "family values" assholes) for continuing to call for queer kids to be bullied at school, even if it means those kids take their own lives -- basically, a quiet way of calling for genocide.
  • Conservative MP Jim Hillyer for miming shooting at the opposition, when voting to axe the gun registry.
  • British PM David Cameron for sabotaging the European economy, by vetoing a treaty that was going to fix it.
  • The Harper Government for doing what no other nation in the WORLD has done -- pulled out of the Kyoto Accord.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November's Morons of the Month

Please note: because of the Douchebag of the Year being announced next month, this will be the final 2011 "Moron" segment that covers an entire calendar month.

  • Pennsylvania State University's Football Staff for apparently covering up severe child molestation, for several years, only for it to come out this month.

  • Various Christian conservative groups (the most recent being the Hamilton Family Action Council) for crying that promoting tolerance of queer youth is a form of suppression, yet themselves promoting the kind of bigotry and violence that drives such youth to suicide.

  • Mariah Yeater for falsely claiming (according to her friends and family) that pop singer Justin Bieber is the father of her baby, and demanding a DNA test in court.

  • Herman Cain, his wife, and his fans for claiming that the sexual harassment claims against him are all false... even though there's no dispute that he paid multiple settlements to the women he allegedly preyed on.

  • Republican Wingnuts for celebrating Halloween, with a graphic poster of a zombified Barack Obama, with a bullet wound in his head (particularly because similarly tasteless images probably sparked the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her supporters).

  • The State of Michigan's Republican Government for legalizing any bullying/violence that is excused by the perpetrator's religion, which effectively legalizes the bullying of gay/Muslim/Jewish/atheist/pagan schoolchildren, and possibly legalizes religious terrorist groups.

  • Stephen Harper's supporters for continuing to excuse a government that was convicted of election fraud, this month, and quietly admitted that it won't be able to keep its budget promises.

  • Kim Kardashian for her crass dumping of husband Kris Humphries, barely two months after marrying him in an overblown ceremony that was broadcast for reality TV.

  • The Duggar Family for keeping up their dangerous and disturbing circus-freak act, by having their 20th child.

  • The State of California for continuing to slap Lindsay Lohan on the wrist... with a feather boa.

  • Google/YouTube for "upgrading" the site to such an extent that no one without Chrome can upload a video, or leave messages anymore.

  • Comic book artist Frank Miller -- himself barely employed, anymore -- for comparing the Occupy movement to RAPISTS. And if you're wondering, some of his more famous work, has actually attacked corrupt policemen, politicians, and the super-rich, so this is hypocritical in truly epic ways.

  • Various conservative nutjobs who see nothing wrong with unarmed and occasionally frail Occupy protesters being pepper-sprayed and beaten by the cops, for no reason, yet refer to the movement itself as a bunch of criminals.

  • The City of Halifax for forcibly evicting the local Occupy camp, during Remembrance Day ceremonies that commend the people who DIED to preserve our freedom of speech.

  • Governor Mitt Romney for deliberately and shamelessly lying about Barack Obama in his latest campaign ad, by attributing to him a bad economic quote that actually came from John McCain.

  • Every last person who made the "Twilight" books and films, and is obsessively devoted to it for creating, distributing, buying, and worshipping a sub-standard, morally appalling series that promotes sociopathic attitudes towards relationships, and glorifies teenage girls being sexually, emotionally, and physically abused by older and stronger men.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October's Morons of the Month

This is not to be confused with the Douchebag of the Year finalists.

  • The Harper Conservative Government for continuing to waste money and time on gaudy business cards, fighter planes that in addition to being junk, can't even communicate in their destined deployment area of the Arctic, and ramming a tough-on-crime agenda despite mounting evidence that CRIME IS AT AN ALL-TIME LOW (as well as once again interfering in a private-sector labour strike, despite thumping their chests about liberals doing the same thing [or less]). Furthermore, they claim to be tough on crime, yet refused to arrest ADMITTED WAR CRIMINAL George W. Bush.

  • Herman Cain/The Tea Party/Fox News for blaming the unemployed for somehow not finding work, when corporate swine like Cain, News Corp. and the Koch brothers ARE NOT HIRING.

  • Ontario Teacher/former watchdog Jacques Tremblay for co-writing and distributing a softcore porn novel, starring and aimed at high school students.

  • Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak for disintegrating his election chances with a racist, homophobic, and utterly clueless campaign.

  • Ayatollah Charles McVety (as well as the American/Florida Family Association) for taking out print and video ads that basically ENCOURAGE BULLYING OF QUEER YOUTH, when suicides in that demographic are on the rise.

  • Don Cherry for bashing ex-NHL enforcers, for saying that hockey violence should be curbed, after multiple enforcers died during the summer, from various drug and mental health problems.

  • The Family Research Council -- a Christian organization -- for praying against the Occupy movement. Apparently they skipped that section in The Book of Mark, when Jesus said His followers need to give up their possessions and help the poor.

  • Kentucky Commissioner Steve Frank (and many other conservative Americans) for musing about "going Taliban" on the Occupy protesters.

  • The creators of the The Thing [2011] for completely lying to the public, about whether or not their movie is a remake rather than a prequel.

  • Harold Camping and his followers for once again getting it wrong, about the end of the world coming (for those of you who missed it, it was supposed to be last Friday).

  • The Oakland Police Department (and others in America) for brutalizing and illegally arresting PEACEFUL PROTESTERS in the Occupy movement... even going so far as to CRITICALLY WOUND an Iraq veteran, by shooting a tear gas grenade at him, at point-blank range.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for getting into a hissy fit over a well-known Canadian comedienne appearing on his driveway to do an ambush skit. Specifically, he waddled inside his house, made a series of profane 911 calls, and then lied to the public about what exactly happened (and even after the routine was aired, exposing his lies, has yet to own up to them). This has become such an embarrassment that he was just declared Keith Olbermann's Worst Person of the World, on the American Current TV channel.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Christian Right vs. Occupy Wall Street

I just read something that I could help but find hilarious. One of the smaller right-wing Christian groups in the States, in one of their recent meetings, had this to say about the ever-growing protests against Wall Street:

The sixties-style tent city protest, which seemed to fizzle after its September 17 launch, now has momentum and is expanding to cities across the nation, including Washington, D.C. Organizers of the movement (e.g. ACORN, labor unions, and other far-left leaders and groups) have been given new life by the sycophant liberal media, Hollywood celebrities and leading Democrats in Washington, including President Obama. Six arrests were made when one hundred demonstrators conducted an illegal demonstration inside a Senate office building (see Gullible, Who’s Behind it?, Official Website, Senate Building).

  • May God prevent these radical organizers from stirring revolution and distracting voters from the elections and keeping watch on our elected leaders (Num 16:1-14; Is 1:4-6; Pr 12:11-12; Mt 26:41; Eph 4:28; 1 Tim 6:3-10; Heb 13:5-6).

Now, leaving aside for a moment that Jesus Himself was a revolutionary -- unless you think that there was nothing radical about forming a group that was very much against the established government -- here's what I said to the group in an e-mail response:

Jesus made it very clear, that Christians are supposed to help the poor at all costs. Lest you think that this is some liberal revisionism of The Gospels, I refer you to the incident in the Book of Mark, where Jesus Himself FLAT OUT SAYS that if you aren't willing to give up your possessions to help the poor, then YOU ARE NOT REALLY FOLLOWING HIM.

So why then, is your group praying for the FAILURE of the Occupy Wall Street movement? Would you care to show me exactly where ANYONE says in The Bible that the rich shall have total dominion over the land, and that the poor are to be treated with contempt?

Remember this, thou hypocrites, the next time you say with a straight face that it's liberals and heathens that are perverting Christianity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sour Grapes

For better or worse, one of Canada's most vulgar visible icons, is hockey lover Don Cherry. As most of us know, he is the long-time co-host of CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada", and known as much for his humongous mouth as for wearing outfits that can be used as test patterns. He's gotten into hot water over the years for racist and homophobic remarks, as well as emceeing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's inauguration with a vow to stomp out "left-wing pinkos" (ie. anyone with a brain and basic manners). A full list of his controversies can be found here.

Anyway, he's gotten into some shit again, for going after some recently retired NHL players who -- like many others -- have said that fighting in hockey should be abolished. Specifically, when former enforcers Chris Nilan, Jim Thomson and Stu Grimson spoke out against the increasingly violent turn in Canada's national sport... he called them "pukes", "hypocrites" and "turncoats".

Now leaving aside that I never understood why a game whose object is to shoot a piece of rubber into a net, needs regular brawls, this was the most stupid and callous thing that Cherry could have ever said. In the last couple of years we've seen more and more incidents of truly good players (including national hero Sidney Crosby) being sidelined -- potentially for good -- by repeated and vicious blows to the head, often coming totally out of nowhere, and with enough force that without helmets they would probably have been killed instantly. The carnage has gotten so out of hand that this past summer saw no less than three NHL enforcers die in their twenties, two by their own hands.

Simply put, not only is the game getting a lot rougher than it ever should have been, but it is literally ruining -- and ending -- lives that have barely even started. And for pointing out the obvious -- that this cannot and should not go on -- one of Canada's leading voices in hockey is dragging through the mud, people who've actually been in the trenches. That's akin to calling a World War II veteran a traitor, if he says that war is often an exercise in getting a lot of people killed for stupid reasons.

And before anyone counters this by pointing out that Cherry used to play and coach hockey himself, SPARE ME. The last time he ever put on a pair of skates was in 1972, and the last time he coached was sometime in the eighties. If hockey's gotten a lot meaner in the last two or three years, then it's DEFINITELY gotten meaner in the last thirty as well. Simply put, the guy's hands-on experience with the game, is severely out of date.

Finally... if he's going to slam people who actually get paid to smash people's brains in, for having a change of heart, what exactly does Cherry propose to do instead? If he loves turning hockey into gladitorial combat, then let's see him get on the ice himself, putting his life on the line for a glorified game of ping pong. Considering that he's 77 years old, and clearly not in peak shape anymore, it would be interesting to see how well he can take these sort of hits. He could even put it on his next "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em" video... if he has the intestinal fortitude.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Canada's Cards of Patriotism

You've got to love how the Harper Conservatives got elected by bitching about big government, and yet are acting more and more like Big Brother all the time. Yes, even more than when they tried to censor our movies for secret reasons, started censoring the press, fired people for disagreeing with them, trying to steal a ballot box, and spying on/arresting/assaulting people for protesting Dear Leader.

Some of the latest stupidity is that they're trying to enshrine in our laws, the right to fly a Canadian flag... um, is this really needed? Can someone honestly show me an example of a person being ordered to not fly the Maple Leaf? No, it doesn't count if someone's flying it upside down. Of course, this doesn't stop G20 commandant turned Conservative puppet Julian Fantino from insisting that it's a freedom being threatened by those pesky pinkos that the far-right sees in their bowls of soup.

But the reason this is especially dumb, is that Foreign Affairs Pitbull John Baird -- I'm not kidding, this guy looks like he has rabies, doesn't he? -- recently got caught ordering gold-embossed business cards, that don't mention Canada at all. I'll repeat that: a minister from the very nationalistic Canadian government, has a business card that has no reference to the country that he works for. I'll remind you, this is from the same government that refers to itself as either the Harper Government or the Conservative government, and very rarely as the Canadian government.

So nevermind that this is also the government suddenly obsessed with making us look and sound like we're still a British colony, now the government that accuses everyone else of being unpatriotic pork-barrellers, is itself unpatriotic and pork-barelling. Then again, there could be another reason that the CRAP government wants to take us back to pre-Confederation times: that was roughly the last time that any Conservative cabinet was good for the economy. Enough said.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vote, Ontario!

Making the latest Halloween special

This past Saturday, my friends and I combined my two favourite and most popular past-times: movie-making, and Bored on the Corner. As long-time followers know, it's a tradition of mines to make a special, and not at all serious episode of BotC to celebrate the spookiest day of the year, and this year was not only no exception, but it was EPIC.

While we shot the whole thing within a few blocks, because of some scheduling issues we took 11 hours to shoot the entire special (which will be online by the middle of October, hopefully). Myself and one-time replacement host Eric Johnson appear briefly (as does Eric's girlfriend), but much of the episode rides on my friends Keith and Colin (who just appeared in my short film Fight or Flight). Keith previously appeared in last year's Halloween special, but this is Colin's first appearance in anything to do with "Bored on the Corner".

Without giving very much away, it is a very off-kilter look at how the three of us talk about and watch various horror movies, as well as some satire about recent political/public boneheadery that has been in the news lately. It's also the triumphant return of The Advertisement Enforcer.

There was a lot of action and mayhem to be had, with some colourful behind-the-scenes stories to be told... but I'll talk about it more at a later date. All I will say right now is that the shoot went great (even if it was long and occasionally tedious as hell), the new way we decided to work was a fairly successful experiment, and I can't wait to see how Eric puts it together (which is another first for me; normally I edit everything I direct).

Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September's Morons of the Month

  • George Lucas for taking his sabotage of the Star Wars movies to such ridiculous lengths that the Blu-Ray versions of the classic films, look more and more like parodies of the Special Edition... made by a kid with Photoshop and Windows Movie Maker.
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Brother/Councillor Doug Ford for illustrating how well they can unite the city... but getting every last person in town enraged about their idea to turn prime waterfront land into a cheap casino resort, exclusively for the rich.
  • Various Republicans/Tea Party Terrorists for shouting that a seriously ill person in America, unable to afford health insurance, should be left to die, and the so-called moderate majority of them doing NOTHING to challenge it. I'm not even exaggerating -- it was all caught on CNN during a Republican candidates debate. (and anyone who says that it was only a handful of people in the crowd shouting that... take a look at 99% of the comments on blogs and YouTube from Teabaggers and you'll find either the exact same words or the attitude behind them, being preserved in stone)
  • Emperor Stephen Harper for not only trying to ram a really questionable "tough on crime" bill through Parliament, when our crime rates are at 40 year lows, but for marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11, by declaring Muslims to be the biggest threat to Canada. Well, more accurately, he said "Islamacism" is the biggest threat... but when A NATIONAL LEADER is using the tortured language of a white supremacist after a couple of beers, it's no wonder our global image is down the tubes.
  • York University Student Sarah Grunfeld for falsely accusing her professor of making an anti-Semitic remark (nearly getting him fired), and refusing to recognize she'd made a mistake.
  • Certain web site administrators (who will remain nameless) for dealing with racist users breaking the rules... by threatening to suspend the people that report them.
  • The State of Georgia, its parole board, the US Supreme Court, and various conservative monsters for allowing and supporting the execution of convicted cop killer Troy Davis, despite there being not a shred of solid evidence that he'd killed anyone.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Georgia vs. Troy Davis (and Justice)

So at 7 pm tonight, barring some attack of sense, the State of Georgia is going to execute convicted cop killer Troy Davis.

Despite most of the witnesses RECANTING their testimony.

And no murder weapon being found.

And there being no real evidence that Davis did anything wrong.

But plenty of evidence of racism in the police and DA's office.

...And of course, who is cheering for this, but the same holier-than-thou conservatives that claim to be pro-life, devoutly Christian, and very much against invasive government (unless they're trying to kill a black man, apparently). And lest anyone think I'm just another "bleeding heart" liberal playing the race card, take a look at execution statistics in America; not only are there many cases of innocent men being put on Death Row, but the vast majority of the people being sentenced to death, are black -- even when the crimes that sent them there are no worse than those of many white people who are spared the needle.

But I digress -- it looks a hell of a lot like the State of Georgia is out to get a conveniently present black man, for the murder of a cop. Even if these "fire and brimstone" assholes don't care that they are probably killing yet another innocent person, they should definitely care that they are effectively letting a real killer get away!

So much for being "tough on crime".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hamilton Police Being Sued

I can't say I'm shocked, but yet another black Hamilton man is suing the police for not doing their jobs. As you can see in this article, Robert Junor was attacked a couple of years ago by a guy who screamed and spat at him over his skin colour (and allegedly tried to use a bolt cutter on him, too). The lunatic who went after him, did get put away for it, but it wouldn't have happened if the Hamilton police had any say in it.

For some reason, despite there being physical evidence of an assault, the officers that initially took Junor's report, refused to do anything about it. They actually told him to PRIVATELY file charges.

I'm not sure you understand the concept, officers!

The officers who made this bone-headed move are currently suspended and being tried for negligence. Mr. Junor is suing, claiming racial prejudice. To be honest, I really don't think race has anything to do with it. That may sound weird, when talking about a police force that was recently in court for arresting a black man for the crime of a white man, or beating up a defenseless Asian refugee for no particular reason, but there is a method to my madness.

About a year and a half ago, a girl that I went to grade school with, called my house trying to get me to wire her some money. She got my mom instead (I was out at the time), and claimed that her boyfriend had beaten her up, and needed money right away to get herself and her kids from Alberta back to Hamilton. My mom wired her $50, and when I managed to get this woman on the phone again she said she would pay us back in a couple of days.

Suffice it to say, she never did. The phone number she gave us, was soon disconnected as well, and she didn't return any e-mails I left on Facebook.

I soon discovered that she'd done this exact same thing to many of our mutual friends. Western Union said that my mom and I needed to take this to the police fraud unit... and they wouldn't even look at it. I'll acknowledge that a lot of hearsay and e-mails is hardly iron-clad proof, but you'd think that would at least be enough for them to take over and start digging. Maybe if my mom was 80 and in a nursing home it would have been taken a bit more seriously, I don't know.

If it had even occurred to me to get the desk officer's name/badge number and talk to a supervisor, I would have. Not because I particularly care about the $50, but because this bozo was being shown evidence of a crime wave, and did nothing about it. Sadly, we've also seen this attitude when reporting drivers that nearly ran us over in crosswalks on the job.

Back when I was protesting the G20 incident, I was asked by some sheep what I would want to happen if someone was assaulting me or killing my relatives -- wouldn't I be calling the cops? Well, here's the thing: I don't even know if the cops would do anything about it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stephen Harper marks 9/11 with racism

Emperor Harper has once again done something disgusting. With the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks coming up, he has said in a CBC interview that the greatest threat to Canada is NOT the recession, or hatred, or oppressive government... but "Islamacism".

Of course, this is being gobbled up by the white supremacists on countless blogs and news sites, as they once again call for all Muslims to be wiped out of the world at large (or at least kicked out of North America, regardless of whether or not they've actually done anything wrong).

It's for reasons like this, that I'm seriously reluctant to mark 9/11 directly, on Bored on the Corner -- while the loss of life from the attacks themselves was certainly tragic, I'm much more upset by how a large number of us have used that as an excuse to wage war against anyone and anything that is not conservative, white, and Christian. 9/11 was more than just the statistically worst terrorist attack in North America. It was the rallying cry for a new breed of right-wingers to dominate our politics, and bring back a sheer hatred that blends the worst elements of McCarthyism and -- yes, I'm going there -- Nazism.

9/11 gave birth to a world where even supposedly enlightened Western states endorsed torturing random brown people, or locking up their countrymen for having a mind of their own. It gave birth to a world, where simply taking a photograph within a mile of an airport, is enough to have you branded as a terrorist. It gave birth to a world where we largely ignored the people who were really responsible for that mass murder, and instead paint bullseyes on Canadians and Europeans if they happen to tolerate Muslims and gay people.

It gave birth to a world where we were supposedly fighting radical Muslims to preserve our freedoms... yet we are accepting of radical Christians taking away our freedoms anyway.

Stephen Harper's stupid and horrible remarks are not the first instance of this, but they are the best example we've seen of it from a world leader. The fact that a lot of people are cheering him on, is what really makes me grieve.

In the worst corner of Hell, Osama bin Laden is laughing at us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some Republicans Love Dumb Laws

Did you know that in Florida, it's illegal for unmarried couples to live together? I didn't, until just a few minutes ago. Apparently it's punishable by a $500 fine, and up to 60 days in jail.

As you can imagine, a law that outdated, ridiculous and likely unconstitutional isn't enforced anymore. In fact, I just read a posting from someone claiming to be a Florida police officer, who says that his partner was laughed at by their supervisor, for trying to uphold it.

To give the Republicans some credit -- for once -- one of their Florida lawmakers is attempting to repeal it. Not surprisingly, he's running into opposition from Focus On The Family, Governor Rick Scott, and Rep. Dennis Baxley (the latter of whom, are also Republicans).

Rep. Baxley in particular -- former senior member of the Christian Coalition -- is quoted as saying “I’m not ready to give up on monogamy and a cultural statement that marriage still matters”.

This is a statement being made a lot, but I'm saying it anyway... for a party that claims to hate intrusive government and love the Constitution, it seems that many Republicans sure love to invade the private lives of American citizens.

That's to say nothing of how absurd it is to claim that this -- like, say, gay and interracial marriage -- is a threat to marriage as a whole. Most couples that live together, do so as a prelude to getting married (seriously, just how ignorant is the Christian Right?). Even the ones that don't eventually marry, are usually no less monogamous than the ones that do (and frankly, when conservatives speak out about the spousal abuse and infidelity in their traditionally married homes, then they may get on a high horse about the rest of us).

If Republicans really respect American values -- including FREEDOM -- then they need to prove it by either backing off of laws like these, or quitting office. The American way of life, does not allow for the kind of perversion that they wish to impose.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August's Morons of the Month

First a correction: Last month, I mistakenly identified Toronto Councillor Doug Ford (the brother of Mayor Rob Ford) as the Deputy Mayor. In actuality, he's just a close cohort.


  • The Republicans/Tea Party for blaming Barack Obama for America's band-aid solution to the debt ceiling crisis, when the right wing went out of their way to obstruct Obama's more constructive plan, OUT OF SPITE.

  • Toronto Councillor George Mammoliti for vowing publicly to hunt down all "communists" in the city. Yes, I'm serious.

  • London Police for allegedly shooting dead an unarmed man, planting evidence to claim that he had shot at them first, regularly harassing and abusing coloured people and the lower class, and then wondering why the city rioted.

  • London Anarchists for hijacking a major protest and using it as an excuse to burn everything to the ground, just for kicks.

  • Michelle Bachmann for proclaiming that women must submit to their husbands (and people wonder why I compare the Christian Right to the Taliban), and being such an idiot that she thought that August 16 was Elvis' birthday... when it was actually the day that he died. (I'm not an expert on American pop culture either, but if I were running for president... I would look this shit up!!!)

  • Hollywood for continuing its mission to remake every single film ever made... by announcing a remake of Dirty Dancing. This is particularly dumb when you consider that this is less than ten years after the sequel Havana Nights came out, which was almost a remake anyway.

  • Christie Blatchford, The National Post, Michael Coren, and various conservative trolls for waiting mere hours after the cancer death of NDP/Opposition Leader Jack Layton, before calling him a manipulative opportunist, communist, and pedophile (even with no proof of any of those things), and attacking his family and supporters for having the nerve to grieve for a man who had just died on that morning.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Conservatives vs. Decency

As all Canadians know by now, Opposition Leader Jack Layton passed away on Monday, after a long fight with cancer. We can debate forever about the man and his politics, but the fact is he was a very effective leader, genuinely stood up for every Canadian, and is probably the most inspiring politician that the country has seen in some time. However, simply respecting this fact, seems to be very hard for some of his critics.

National Post writer Christie Blatchford decided to print a column in yesterday's paper, slamming Layton's deathbed inspirational letter to Canadians as a cynical political ploy. Yes, you read that right. According to her, telling people to be nice to one another, is evil and manipulative, even when it's one of the last things you ever do. Furthermore, she whined and complained about how Layton's death was all over the news... less than a day after Layton had died, when it really WAS news.

Very classy, Christie.

But the sick thing is, that's about as tasteful as the criticism I've seen, gets. If you go to any open comment board on the Internet, that refers in any way to Jack Layton's death, you will find a lot of comments like "good riddance, now we won't have to pay his pension", or "now Stephen Harper can get things done". There are also remarks accusing Layton of being a pedophile, with no evidence at all to back it up. Just how low people are willing to go, to criticize a prominent left-wing leader, seems to depend on whether or not they have to post comments with their real names.

You know, I never thought that I'd be caught dead, defending Stephen Harper on a moral issue, but even he had the class to show some respect to Jack Layton's family and what they've gone through. Yet his followers -- the same kind of people who claim that gay people and atheists are inherently evil -- can't even wait for Layton to be buried, before going to the bathroom on his grave. It reminds me of an obscure children's movie, called "Alaska"; one scene features a polar bear cub being teased by poachers with the skin of his dead mother, which he still licks affectionately.

It does not -- and should not -- matter if you are liberal, conservative, or social democrat. It should not matter if you are religious or not. If you have been raised with ANY moral standards at all, you know that there are certain things that you just don't do. One of them, is attacking a dead man and his family, barely 24 hours after he passed away. Another, is attacking other people for simply being in grief. Presumably none of these ghoulish, sleazy troublemakers would want anyone attacking them and their loved ones after a death in their families, so what makes them think it's okay to kick others while they're down? Furthermore, while it takes very little courage to attack people who are emotionally wounded or physically unable to fight back, I wonder if these scumbags -- including Ms. Blatchford -- would have the guts to hold up signs with their vile views, at Layton's funeral, where they will be seen by Layton's family, friends, and supporters. I suspect not.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rest in Peace, Jack Layton

I just heard this morning, that longtime NDP Leader Jack Layton passed away today, after a wrenching fight with cancer. This was the fight that, in more ways than one, cut short his time as the first leader of the New Democratic Party to be elected Leader of the Opposition in Canada.

While I am not an NDP supporter, and occasionally had my issues with Jack Layton as a politician, there's no disputing that a man who turned the NDP from obscurity to the largest single opposition party in Canadian history, had his talent as a leader. Whatever your political stripe, this man should have struck you as a passionate leader, and a true Canadian in every sense of the word.

Rest in Peace, Jack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

City of Toronto vs. Left-wing "whiners"

So an outspoken conservative Toronto councillor has said to the media, that he screens "communists" from his Facebook page. George Mammoliti -- who lost the mayoral race last year, to fellow right-wing blowhard Rob Ford -- says he is sick and tired of left-wing "whining". I wrote a version of the following in to The Toronto Star (which reported his rant) and to Mr. Mammoliti himself.

Councillor Mammoliti,

There are many things wrong with your deranged diatribe against left-wingers and imaginary communists in Toronto. First of all, do you even know what a communist is? I've seen many hardline conservatives think that anyone vaguely compassionate or pro-worker is a communist, so I seriously question your grasp of the word. Second of all, contrary to conservative hate-mongering, many left-wing people are hard-working, informed people, not looking for handouts at all. They just want to help people who can't help themselves, which many would argue is our moral obligation as a society.

Third of all, what is the your definition of "whining"? Does it happen to be, criticizing conservative policies, or reporting on the plight of our unemployed? By that logic, any political participation at all, is whining. Finally, in case you has failed to notice, the majority of Toronto citizens are left-wing; therefore you are basically telling the majority of citizens to shut up and stay home. If one of Toronto's councillors has such distaste for the people he is supposed to represent, then he can leave. As a hard-working moderate, I would be more than happy to do the job for you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Debt Crisis "Resolved"

Well it's official. With mere hours to spare, the debt ceiling compromise bill passed by Congress last night and this morning, got signed by President Barack Obama. It's definitely a good thing that this thing got settled, rather than letting America default on its loans, collapsing the country's economy and probably devastating most of the world as well.

But you know that I wouldn't be writing a Bored on the Corner article on it, if I didn't have some problems with it.

The particulars of this are over my head, but I'm very skeptical that this deal has done any real long term good, because it looks like the majority of the plan was to scrap trillions of dollars worth of social spending, over the next decade or two. Lots of truly innovative plans were touted, but every single one of them was shot down, usually by the conservatives in control of the House of Representatives. Particularly against meaningful action, were the Tea Party lunatics, who seem to think that defaulting on your loans is just a myth. It would be interesting to hear what their working-class constituents have to say about that, given how many people have been bankrupted in the last few years.

In my view, the most sane approach to this, would have been a mix of all of the major proposals. It goes without saying that spending needed to be clawed back, but my first target would have been the military (especially since the US has wasted tons of money on foreign wars that it has no business sticking its nose into -- Libya being a prime and contentious example, right now). Once America's troops are back on domestic soil, then we could talk about further cuts to other programs (though I wonder if any would be necessary, after a reduction that big).

It would also be utterly stupid to not address income, namely by taxing the super-rich. Now, I can already sense the conservatives reading this, itching to call me a communist (at which point I'll ask that you read this), so let me explain the point. The absolute richest people in America, make BILLIONS of dollars a year, regardless of the economy; so first of all, they have plenty of cash to spare, and I'm not convinced they'll miss a few million bucks. Second of all, while they are pocketing this insane amount of money, these same billionaires are very often cutting front-line employees; this is not only grossly unfair, but it further endangers the economy because companies need average-grossing customers, to sell anything. Finally, there are companies in the US -- like General Electric and ExxonMobil -- that pay NO INCOME TAXES WHATSOEVER, and yet are still moving jobs overseas! So excuse me if I don't feel a ton of fucking sympathy for these leeches -- especially when the people supporting them, are so cold-blooded that they would just as soon run over the homeless, as help them get decent housing.

Finally, on top of all of this, the debt ceiling did need to be raised. I know it sounds stupid to basically raise the credit limit of an entity that's trillions of dollars in debt, but to be honest with you America is so far gone that solutions are needed that cover all of the bases -- that includes giving it some room to work. So that's probably the only part of this deal that I did like (but again, I'm not convinced the signed deal has done a great deal of good over the long term).

Unless America is willing to make some major leadership decisions -- like rethinking its global actions, and representing the people instead of the corporations -- then all that this will do is delay the inevitable. Sadly, delaying the inevitable seems to be just fine to most of those suit-clad, middle-aged, wealthy sycophants in Washington.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July's Morons of the Month

There were some big winners this month, but let's start with a fairly local pest...

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Councillor/Deputy Mayor Doug Ford, for not only being exposed as totally out of it when they claimed there was a lot of wasteful spending at the City of Toronto (turns out there isn't), but being so bound and determined to balance the books that they are cutting services and increasing taxes, despite promising not to in last year's election. Of particular stupidity here -- besides an incident where the Mayor flipped off a mother and child, when they pointed out he shouldn't be driving while using a cell phone -- are proposed user fees for walking through parks (I'm totally serious), and closing several of Toronto's libraries despite them signing out millions of items in the last year alone. Those supporting the latter, claim that they no longer serve a purpose that can't be met by the private sector, evidently unaware that there are a lot of poor people in Toronto!

  • The Democratic and Republican Parties, for continuing to bash their heads against the wall, instead of doing ANYTHING about the fact that the American government is about to owe more than its allowed amount of money. This particularly goes to various conservatives who are totally against the super-rich paying their fair share of taxes (despite the obvious need to generate income... and the fact that even companies that pay no income taxes at all, are moving American jobs overseas), and to the Tea Party lunatics who actually insist that defaulting on debt IS A MYTH. Um... how about they ask the MANY unemployed Americans that they claim to represent?

  • Sun Media, for backing out of the Ontario Press Council, because they think that the regulatory board is "too politically correct". Since a recent smear attack/interview on little-watched Sun News has set a record for the number of complaints lodged with Canada's version of the FCC, I can only guess that "politically correct" is now being used to describe "telling the truth" and "not kicking someone below the belt".

Now, onto the meat and potatoes.

  • Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, and News Corporation, for their part in the now-infamous British phone hacking scandal. Not only have the far-right tabloid wranglers been accused of (and often charged with) hacking the voice mails of celebrities, but they've apparently tampered with the voice mails of several British politicians (and leaking whatever they hear about, like what then-PM Gordon Brown's son was sick with), eavesdropped on the Royal Family, hacked the phones of dead soldiers and terrorist victims, and erased voice mails belonging to at least one murdered schoolgirl, whose killer remains at large. In other words, they have been accused of MAJOR felonies -- often with the assistance of British leaders and policemen, incidentally (the scandal has cost at least two top cops their jobs, and shaken the Prime Minister's Office). Not only that, but Murdoch's staff and their supporters claim that this has been MADE UP, and they did nothing wrong!

  • The (hopefully few) supporters of Norway terrorist Anders Brevik, for openly praising the actions of a man who killed MANY children, but often trying to blame it on Brevik's victims. I personally have seen countless far-right pundits blame the mass murder on Muslims and liberals (who were the intended targets), which is akin to blaming the Jews for the Holocaust. Particularly disgusting was Glenn Beck stating on his radio show, that the children at the camp run by Norway's Labour Party -- a party founded to fight the Nazis, incidentally -- IS JUST LIKE THE HITLER YOUTH. Real classy, asshole.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Right Wing's Reaction to Norway

While most of us have been civilized enough to be disgusted by last week's terrorist attack in Norway -- and the chilling manifesto that the killer has been allowed to put on the public, though it -- there is also a not-insignificant amount hardline conservatives who reject all suggestion that he did anything wrong.

For instance, Open Diary user Watcher of Freedom (one of many conservatives who already post tons of Anti-Muslim articles) actually made a comment that the shooting will be used as a propaganda tool for liberals. On Yahoo News alone, there are TONS of users who blame the murdered children for this attack, and are calling this sick fucker a world-wide hero!




...Let me explain this to you.

The Norway bomber/shooter murdered over seventy people -- including kids at a day camp -- just because they don't hate Muslims. He -- and those who support him -- want to spark a revolution against Muslims, who have immigrated to the West; a final solution, if you will. Some of them -- including the shooter -- have gone so far as to create a militia, to accomplish this. Hell, the shooter -- who openly admits to what he did, but sees nothing wrong with mass murder, by the way -- actually wrote a 1,500 page manifesto about why Muslims and the people who accept them, should be wiped out!

And yet -- according to far-right wing nutbars and their apologists -- it's not THESE PEOPLE who are like the Nazis, but people who are non-violent, care about the people around them, and don't think that the greatest threat to any nation is that there are more brown people living in it than there were twenty years ago.

I'm just going to come out and say this: if you don't see why this is utterly absurd and appalling, don't get within three feet of me.

Because that's how far I can punch.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thinking of Norway

As we all know by now, Norway was bombed and shot up yesterday, in related attacks that have so far killed over 90 people (as of this writing). At this time, a suspect is in custody, who is known to have had extreme right-wing views... and contrary to what Sun News and the various Murdoch propaganda machines have claimed, this man is NOT a Muslim, but a Norwegian-born Christian.

I'm honestly not sure what to feel more appalled by; the loss of life on its own, or the fact that various conservative bigots are STILL blaming this on Muslims and liberals.

I hesitated to put this article up so soon after the attack, but this really has to be said: THAT IS ONE OF THE STUPIDEST THINGS I'VE EVER READ. There is ironclad proof that a man who allegedly spent hours murdering indiscriminate innocents -- including children -- is a conservative extremist, with an axe to grind against Muslims. Yet rather than actually obey basic sense, these assholes ONCE AGAIN give in to base instincts and sheer hatred, and BLAME ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES.

In fact if you read the comments to this article, you will find a user named "Viktor" (and others) saying that the kids got what they deserved, because they were non-white and in a left-wing event.

...I have no further words for that -- at least, none that wouldn't make me fall prey to the same blind hate that these people thrive on.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News Corp. Whistleblower is Dead

So if you haven't heard, Sean Hoare -- the former News of the World reporter who blew the whistle on the Rupert Murdoch tabloid hacking cell phones -- has been found dead in his home. The police -- fresh off of losing two top officers to the scandal, and being investigated for corruption -- say that the death is "unexplained", yet somehow not suspicious.

Well gee... Mr. Hoare had evidence that a major media company, several British policemen, and probably some politicians, were breaking the law in truly reprehensible ways. It has already shut down one newspaper, cost many people their jobs, and gotten a dozen or so powerful people arrested. This scandal has even touched the Prime Minister's office to such a degree, that David Cameron is facing calls for his resignation. That's not even getting into the damage this could do state-side to Fox News, given that there are allegations of 9/11 victims/survivors having their voicemails tampered with as well. And now the man responsible for all of that, has died under mysterious circumstances, and the police are showing no interest in finding out how and why he died.

Does anyone still think I'm just being paranoid?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Noise of the World

Retirement or not, I really have to comment on the sizable dent put in Rupert Murdoch's empire of sleaze and propaganda. The owner of Fox News has had to shut down his UK tabloid "News of the World" in total disgrace, after it became public that several of its employees hacked the voicemails of not only celebrities and royalty, but dead British soldiers and victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks. Not only that, but they've allegedly deleted voicemails belonging to murdered schoolgirls -- including girls whose killers have yet to be caught.

Now, for those of us who actually have moral compasses, it goes without saying that this is beyond disgusting. Whether you're liberal, conservative, or anything in between, this should seriously sicken you -- and for the most part, that has been the reaction. Even if Murdoch is tap-dancing his way out of personal responsibility, he does seem to recognize that this looks bad (hence why the paper has shut down, after 160+ years). However, Murdoch's most rabid supporters -- especially Faux Noise fans -- don't agree.

While they are in the minority -- and doing nothing to change anyone's minds -- I am nonetheless seeing neo-cons whining about some kind of liberal conspiracy, or an attack on free speech, or even claiming that this scandal was completely made up. They usually say something rather pathetic to make these points like "here are the liberal loonies, at it again..." -- proving that not only are the most die-hard right-wingers sociopathically immoral, but have roughly the same intelligence and class as a schoolyard bully.

Let me explain a few things:

  1. Not only has the British Conservative government called an inquiry into this (albeit reluctantly), not only has News of the World voluntarily shut down, but several of its former and present staff have been arrested. Therefore, this is not a fake issue.

  2. NOTW's staff have been accused of not only sabotaging the investigations of murdered children but effectively robbing the graves of the very people that you conservatives deify to make it look like you have souls (ie. dead soldiers and terrorist victims). You don't need to be a liberal to be infuriated by that -- you need to have not only a respect for the law, but BASIC HUMAN DECENCY.

  3. This is not about free speech. Even in democratic nations, YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO BE RESPONSIBLE for what you say. Even in the notoriously lenient America, you can be arrested for making threats, you can be sued for lying about people in public (not that those things matter to Fox News fans) and YOU WILL DEFINITELY BE ARRESTED FOR SPYING ON PEOPLE AND MESSING WITH MURDER PROBES.

Any of those things should be blatantly obvious to anyone with the kind of morals and respect for law and order that conservatives accuse the rest of the world of lacking, yet -- not surprisingly -- they are the only ones who not only don't get it, but are celebrating it. That alone, tells you why people are increasingly fed-up with today's right wing.

That's it for me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June's Morons of the Month

Oh, here we go...

  • Vancouver Canucks fans (and various troublemakers) for reacting to the Stanley Cup loss by -- once again -- starting a riot. *sighs*
  • The Canadian Stephen Harper Conservative Government for 1) being the only major nation to NOT ban the export of asbestos (even though Canada is ridding it from all of our buildings, including where Emperor Harper lives and works). 2) Shrugging off a police investigation into shady spending from his government, as a Liberal whine-fest (um, these are the same guys who hammered Paul Martin and Jean Chretien over AdScam). 3) Continuing to flip off the Canadian people, whom they assaulted and oppressed at G20 last year.
  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, the Police Service, Ontario Regent Dalton McGuinty, and their apologists for continuing to claim they did NOTHING wrong, despite ever more clear evidence of them assaulting and jailing -- without lawyers -- over a thousand Canadians at G20, who broke no laws. This includes the Nazi-like arrest, stripping, beating, and caging of a man who simply made a smart-assed remark about the summit.
  • Sarah Palin for her completely dumb-assed grasp of history... and her followers, for refusing to read a fucking book on Paul Revere.
  • Facebook for their upcoming -- and universally LOATHED -- auto-photo tag feature. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE THESE GUYS BEEN FLAGGED ABOUT PRIVACY?? Why aren't they getting the message??

Friday, June 24, 2011

Canadian Corruption

Wow, what a week!

A lot of shit has hit the fan over the G8/G20 issue alone; not only is the RCMP investigating the questionable spending (for whatever that's going to be worth), but the Toronto Police Service and Canada's attorney general have been hit with MULTIPLE lawsuits over their treatment of innocents. Specifically, the young woman who was threatened with arrest by "Officer Bubbles" (real name, Adam Josephs) is suing, as well as a man who had nothing to do with the protests but was jailed, stripped, beaten, and denied a lawyer, seemingly just for making a flippant remark about the summit.

Not only that, but newly-released documents show that -- as many had suspected -- the protests were infiltrated by various police agencies. One has to wonder if any of these agencies were involved in the only real protester violence, that weekend: the Black Bloc riot that the police were ORDERED to let happen, by persons unknown.

One also has to wonder about Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who was quoted in every newspaper today, as claiming that his cops were unprepared for the number of people. BULLSHIT! There were AT LEAST twice as many cops there as protesters, and they certainly looked like a well-oiled machine when it came to sweeping up and pounding people who were just standing in the street!

On another note... after a year's delay, some of the Afghan detainee documents were released. However, very little in the way of new information was made public, because the Harper Conservatives single-handedly declared the issue to be over. Mind you, what WAS made public is that Stephen Harper and his cabinet were made aware, that prisoners captured by Canadian soldiers were indeed being tortured when transferred to Afghan authorities. Whether or not Harper did anything to stop the abuse, is unclear. However, he certainly has gone out of his way to make sure this issue is not discussed or investigated.

Now, I'm not a legal expert, but I'm pretty sure that when you condone or assist in a war crime, that makes you an accessory. Even if no one in Canada can or will take Harper to task over this, the International Criminal Courts ARE looking into this. I hope forward to seeing what they have to say.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Harper's G8/G20 spending "revealed"

So now we get to see the G8/G20 report, that a lot of Canadians wished could have been released during the election.

As you might know, Parliament approved about $1.1 billion for the joint summits (which, incidentally, is a worldwide record). This was supposedly for security and infrastructure investments. However, not only was the majority of the money spent on things that have NOT been accounted for, but about half wasn't spent AT ALL.

In other words, the Harper Conservatives funneled hundreds of millions of tax dollars, and just let it vanish., I believe that's called FRAUD!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sarah Palin's History Lesson

So if you haven't heard, apparently Sarah Palin claims to know more about American history than the actual people who wrote history books, and the people who spent years at university to learn how to properly understand it... or for that matter, anyone who can actually read the English language.

We all know about Paul Revere, right? He was a hero of the American revolution, famous for warning his comrades that the colonial British troops were coming to arrest them? You know, that thing called The Midnight Ride (though some of the details were embellished as it became legend). I'm Canadian and even I know about that -- so would any grade-schooler in the states, I hope (despite the best efforts of Texas).

Well, according to Failin' Palin, this is not true. Behold the following video -- recorded in Boston, no less.

Wow, I bet that went over real well.

But wait -- THERE'S MORE!

Apparently, Palin's gestapo zealots supporters in the Teabaggers Tea Party Terrorist Group Patriots have taken to tampering with Wikipedia, to change their Paul Revere article to reflect Palin's claim. Not surprisingly, the editors took exception to brand-new claims that Revere was effectively a traitor, and on top of that tried to protect rights in a Constitution that didn't exist yet. Especially when those claims are only substantiated by someone who honestly thinks that Africa is a country.

So let me get this straight... when moderates and liberals who are educated and sensible enough to pass a basic I.Q. test, simply repeat the exact text of a historical document, that is considered eeebil sochulist revishunism. However, when a clearly idiotic lunatic and her personal militia just pull random statements out of their asses, we're expected to bow down to them?

And conservatives wonder why the rest of us think they're idiots??

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stop Harper

A bit of a kerfuffle was made this week, over Emperor Harper's first throne speech, since being rewarded for contempt of Parliament with absolute power. Not so much over the speech itself -- though I personally am bothered by his promise to set up a Religion office, and scrap an effective gun registry, as well as bemused by his latest faulty economic promises. The controversy is over a Parliamentary page named Bridgette De Pape, holding a sign that said "STOP HARPER", right where Harper and other political big-whigs (and the media) could see it.

The 21 year old woman was quickly removed and fired for the stunt -- which is appropriate punishment -- but I still applaud this young lady for having the guts to take such a direct and public stand. We have seen many times over, that Harper and his supporters view the 75% of Canadians who didn't vote Conservative as a virus to be wiped out. I personally have seen HarperCons talk about killing every last one of us, and have been threatened and stalked over my statements. In this last election alone, we saw the Conservatives spy on and assault people who had any history at all with another political movement, and try to actually remove a ballot box (I'll remind you that this is the only party to my knowledge, to be charged with cheating in at least one election). Then there's that whole issue of who cut the brake lines of Liberal supporters in the 2008 election...

Sure enough, Harper has some supporters who feel that making disgusting put downs is the appropriate way to handle someone exercising their freedom of speech.

Check out this comment.

And this one.

This one too.

These are the kind of people that Canada just allowed to dominate us. Thanks a lot.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May's Morons of the Month

  • Stephen Harper's supporters (including the 40% of Canadians who didn't vote) for not only accepting Harper's corrupt, incompetent, criminal, and possibly treasonous behaviour, but PROMOTING HIM FOR IT (he now has absolute power over Canada). Not only that, but they've taken to harassing people like me for pointing out the stupidity of this -- including phoning me at home!
  • (and we won't even get into Harper's appointment of DEFEATED Conservative candidates to the Senate, or appointing one of the largest cabinets in Canadian history, or making an unelected Senator one of our rotating Deputy PMs...)

  • Various left-wing nutjobs for not only insisting that Osama Bin Laden isn't dead (seemingly just for the sake of it), but for calling him a hero -- no joke -- and for actually THREATENING ME because I point out that Bin Laden himself called himself a mass murderer (then there's the random and totally unprovoked calls that I'm an idiot and a troll, because I disagreed with some of the loonier things that the Zeitgiest movement stands for).
  • The Ontario Provincial Police/Toronto Police Service for continuing to accept blatant law-breaking from the boys in blue (specifically, defaming Jack Layton with a dubious claim that he visited a massage parlour and received services -- with notes that were illegally obtained -- and then continuing to cover up for the G20 gestapo officers who beat up unarmed protesters).
  • Hamilton Police Officer Oliver Mann, who --with his partner -- arrested Michael Dixon for robbing a jewelry store (and defending it even after losing a lawsuit over it this month), despite Dixon looking NOTHING like the robber, and having an alibi that multiple witnesses were willing to confirm... if Mann and his partner had bothered to look into it, especially when asked by the Crown.
  • Evangelical nutcase Harold Camping and his followers, for their now-infamous prediction that the world was going to end last weekend... and continuing that act ever when proven wrong (again), and even after bilking many out of their life savings.
  • Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu (and the Zionist lobby), for getting in a snit with Barack Obama over his request that they give back land that was basically stolen from the Palestinians, in 1967.
  • Sarah Palin, for crediting Bin Laden's death to George W. Bush -- who had NOTHING to do with it -- and totally ignoring Obama's hand in it.
  • The Tea Party for continuing to claim that Obama is a Muslim infiltrator (see Birther recognition last month), even after he CLEARLY KILLED MANY MUSLIM TERRORISTS.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Earthquake" (film review)

"Earthquake" (movie review)
Saturday, May 21, 2011

In honour of today supposedly being the day of the rapture, it seemed appropriate to talk a little about this old disaster movie that I saw a few days ago: 1974's Earthquake.

It was made in the heyday of 70s catastrophe flicks, like Airport, The Poseidon Adventure, and The Towering Inferno, but if you haven't heard of it, you're not alone. Despite the movie being a hit at the box office, winning Oscars for its effects, and being the first movie to use the short-live Sensurround system (more on that later), and boasting a cast of screen legends (like Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner), even in the early 90s you were hard pressed to find it in any video store or on TV. In fact, the Universal Theme Park ride based on Earthquake is the only attraction there, to my knowledge, to have been renamed because no one knew about the movie that inspired it!

The plot is very simple: in Los Angeles, we follow a football player-turned-engineer (Heston), his estranged wife (Gardner), his actress mistress (Genevive Bujold), his father-in-law and boss (Lorne Green), as well as a disillusioned cop (George Kennedy), a daredevil (Richard Roundtree), his mechanic's sister (Victoria Principal), and an unhinged national guardsman (Marjoe Gortner) as they go about their lives amid strong tremors. However, the tremors -- getting stronger and more frequent all the time -- turn out to be the appetizer for The Big One; a cataclysmic earthquake that reduces L.A. to wreckage, and abandons its citizens to chaos. And things go downhill from there...

There's really not much to artistically say about this movie, but it is reasonably suspenseful and the characters engaging (if dangerously close to soap-opera territory). Marjoe Gortner in particular deserves praise for his psychotic yet believable soldier character. The really big problem with the earlier dramatic scenes is that they literally serve no purpose at all, except to make you care about the characters.

Simply put, this movie is pretty much a visual effects reel with some acting in it -- and oddly, a lot less irritating than the Michael Bay/Roland Emmerich movies that make at least a minimal effort to balance the formula out more. As far as the effects go, they were definitely stunning for the movie's time, but they are a bit dated today. Apparently, model effects weren't quite finessed in the early 70s -- I vividly remember a remake of the Big Quake sequence being created in the early 90s for the Universal Florida ride, and being very convincing even today. Probably the only difference was in camera technology and some materials, but it makes all the difference in the world.

In regards to the Sensurround that I mentioned -- which, by the way, is a feature on some DVD releases of Earthquake -- it's basically a subwoofer on steroids. As a gimmick for the film's theatrical release, Universal had theatres install these large speakers in the floors, and programmed the soundtrack to play sub-sonic vibrations through them, for the quake scenes. They didn't really make any extra noise, but they made you feel like the room was shaking apart.

The problem was, sometimes it really was -- there were numerous reports of theatre walls and ceilings cracking, and businesses next to theatres having their merchandise break when it fell off of shelves. As multiplexes became more common, this system was even more irritating than it seemed to be worth, so only four or five movies altogether were released in Sensurround.

Anyway, if you're interested in pure mayhem and melodrama, I very much recommend checking this movie out... though you may have to hunt for it on YouTube.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Harper Conservatives vs. Canadian Women

Remember how Stephen Harper promised that his government would never re-open the issue of abortion in Canada? Don't be so certain of that.

While Harper's supporters would like us to forget it, his core base includes the so-called Christian Right (ie. groups like Focus on the Family, the Canadian Family Action Coalition, the Institute for Marriage and the Family, and the other politely-labeled hate groups). And that core base turned out in Ottawa today, to demand that Emperor Harper ban abortion. It's even being Tweeted, that about 65 Conservative Meat Puppets will table a private member's bill to do just that (which is an extremely sleazy way for Harper to claim that he personally never re-opened this Pandora's Box).

Now, before we get into this rant, let me make something clear. I personally am very dodgy about abortion; I have a very big problem with it being treated like just another kind of birth control, and I have no sympathy for women who get them simply because they couldn't be bothered to make sure their partners wore rubbers. However, I have an even bigger problem with any group -- or government -- telling a group of complete strangers that they have no right to control their own bodies (especially in a case like rape or incest).

Am I the only one to find it a little odd, that the same people who claim to hate big and intrusive government, want to intrude on a woman's private parts? And that they claim to not want to control people's lives, but that is EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO?

Of course, there's also that tiny little issue of how these groups claim to be "pro-life", yet they often hate public health care, hate welfare, hate day care, hate public schools, hate gun control, and are totally fine with pre-emptive wars and the death penalty (and often act like vegetarians are freaks of nature). George Carlin put it a hell of a lot better than I ever could, but it is pretty obvious that these zealots don't really give a shit about preserving life.

Finally, I know that social conservatives hate facts (as well as a lot of other things), but here are some big ones they need to respect: the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that forbidding a woman from getting an abortion is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Whatever else your thoughts are on abortion, it's easy to see why: telling someone that they have no ownership of their own body, is essentially slavery. Furthermore, the majority of Canadians are pro-choice. By trying to force this agenda on us, you are directly saying that the voices of the majority do not matter -- I know that you don't think that this is important, but it would cost Harper big time in the next election (if he decides to allow one).

Oh, and while we're speaking of holes in your philosophy, can you please try to remember "judge not lest ye be judged", "forgive thy enemies", and "render unto Caesar, that which is Casesar's"? Thank you.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Harper's Intimidation Has Begun

Well I knew years ago, that Harper's supporters were going to get nasty if he ever won a majority. Why wouldn't they? He can do whatever he wants, and all of his history says he's going to do whatever he can to wipe out disagreement, by force. (if you don't think that's so, take a look at how he treated outsiders during the election, or how he treated peaceful protesters at the G20 summit last year)

The morning that I found out that Harper got the majority, I wrote in to every Canadian newspaper that I could, with the following letter (which got printed in at least two papers):

"What is the matter with this country?? I hate to sound like a sore loser, but this honestly makes no sense to me -- how is it that the only Prime Minister to be found in contempt ANYWHERE, who is wasting our money in record levels, who attacks dissent all the time, and acts as if democracy is a dirty rumour, actually got elected to a majority government? It's not like his corruption was hard to spot!"

Well, within hours of its first printing, some yahoo phoned my house. He identified himself as "John Stephens" and then stopped talking (apparently thinking that that name means something to me). He then said I made a lot of wild statements (even though everything in that letter is substantiated), and said I sounded like Jack Layton -- I thanked him for the compliment.

He tried to get me to meet him for coffee, but since I'm not in the habit of meeting total strangers who stalk me in the phone book because they have an issue with me attacking a crooked Prime Minister, I said no. I lost all patience with him though, when he actually tried to excuse Harper's behaviour by claiming that Harper's had a minority since 2000. I screamed at him that not only was JEAN CHRETIEN in power in 2000, but Harper wasn't even in federal politics at the time. Frankly, so much of what this guy was pulling was bad enough, but you've got to have a ton of nerve to stalk and patronize me, when YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE FACTS.

Over the last few days, some of Harper's meaner YouTube fans have left comments on the "Bored on the Corner" vid where I announced Harper's majority (I flagged the worst of them, but you can try to look for them here). Basically they were calling me a loser and a communist and a hippie and a welfare bum, etc. etc. (pretty weird conclusions to draw from what I actually said in the video, but anyway...) I think my favourite was from the user "welovesarahpalin" who accused me of having bitter hatred for conservatives and Christians, when on other videos he/she (and others) literally called for the severed head of a CBC journalist who got threatened at a Harper rally, for asking a hard question.

(this is also someone who claims that conservatives aren't racists and bigots... I replied with a link to a video of a Harper MP attacking gay people)

Not surprisingly, they then left comments on my YouTube channel -- once again -- ASSUMING that I'm unemployed, that I'm a welfare bum, that I'm lazy, that I'm a communist etc. and that EVERY LIBERAL/NDP SUPPORTER IS LIKE THAT (even though I've met NONE who are like that). I was told that if I fit any of those criteria, I should just die.

It won't fucking happen!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April's Morons of the Month

With the election dominating Canadian news this past month, I'm going to just get this out of the way...

Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party, for (among other things) their repeated attacks on Canadian voters. This is not merely rhetoric -- for those who don't know, the ReformaTories have taken to spying on people who are pre-registered for his campaign stops, and having the RCMP (illegally) eject them for anything in their Facebook histories that doesn't totally fit the Conservative line. The offending criteria include having casually posed for pictures with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff (and presumably other opposition leaders/candidates), having attended other parties' rallies in the last few years, and even having been in environmental groups.

In addition to this, their candidate in Guelph (Marty Burke) apparently had his communications director (and University of Guelph majordomo) Michael Sona disrupt a legitimate advance poll and allegedly try to STEAL A BALLOT BOX, all because they discovered that someone at Elections Canada had jumped the gun and held the poll without getting full authorization first. (see story) To date, no charges have been laid in the incident -- and no evidence has surfaced to support Conservative claims of partisan materials being circulated at the poll. Of course, Guelph Campus Conservatives initially boasted about this incident, until Elections Canada ruled that the poll was operated properly and thus the votes all counted. At that point -- particularly after Harper claimed to support EC's ruling -- any and all comments GCC's members made on Facebook against the poll, disappeared.

None of this, by the way, touches on the many cases of vandalism against Liberal and NDP supporters... or how the Conservatives very rarely attend all-candidates events (like electoral debates)... or how Stephen Harper has the nerve to continue claiming that Canadians don't care about this election, or the record-making contempt ruling, even after Canadians tuned in to the leaders' debates and attended advance polls IN RECORD NUMBERS.

Still on the subject of the election, Sun News (aka "Fox News North"), for proving less than 12 hours into its broadcasting career that it is a Harper propaganda station that doesn't give a damn about really reporting news. For example, on the first day of its rather pathetic programming, pundit Charles Adler claimed repeatedly on his show that the Harper government was overthrown over its budget... Even though the budget never made it to a vote, and everyone paying any attention to the election at all knows that Harper was overthrown over contempt.

Then there was their overtly ripe smear attack on rising-star Jack Layton of the NDP. Two days ago, Sun Media exclusively "broke" a story from an anonymous ex-cop claiming that Jack Layton was found naked in a Toronto massage parlour, in the late 1990s. Since nothing in this story suggest that Layton was arrested -- or even did anything illegal -- the cop in question sat on this "story" for the eight years that Layton was leader of the NDP, and only decided to come out with it on an extremely biased tabloid channel in the final days of an election that Layton could very well win... well, even Conservative supporters agree that this smells fishy (Harper's cult, on the other hand, just takes this as gospel).

Incidentally, since this information was leaked without the permission of the Toronto Police, they are having the OPP investigate it -- and Layton has implied that he may take legal action of his own, once the election is over.

Donald Trump -- trying to be the Republican candidate for President, next year -- for reviving the Birther nonsense over Barack Obama's birth certificate. Keep in mind, that even GLENN BECK thinks that this is a stupid obsession. Anyway, when Obama's long-form birth record was released -- which would be totally unnecessary for any other president -- adding to the long list of documents explicitly proving that he was born in Hawaii, Trump took credit for its release... and then went after Obama's schooling, for some reason.

Rumours that Trump then demanded proof that Hawaii is a state, cannot be confirmed -- which I hope is a good sign -- but for looking like a complete racist idiot, he's been attacked by both sides of the political spectrum. When even staunch Republicans are embarrassed by this guy, I hope it's safe to say that his presidential aspirations are dead.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Harper's thugs slander Jack Layton

In case there was any doubt, that Sun Media is nothing more than a Canadian attempt at emulating Faux News, they've done this.

Apparently, sometime in the late nineties, NDP Leader Jack Layton -- on a huge wave of popular support, right now -- is said to have visited a rub-and-tug parlour. This is according to a supposed ex-cop, who is not identified in the article.

Now, it doesn't take a genius to smell something fishy here. Less than 48 hours before an election that Layton is expected to do very well in, an extremely biased tabloid paper -- one favouring the current corrupt Prime Minister -- JUST NOW leaks a very damaging story, with little to no proof. Even Conservative supporters have commented on the page, that this is more than a bit convenient.

I've written to the "reporter" in question, and the Sun's editor-in-chief, asking them to either prove the allegations or immediately retract it. If they don't, I intend on taking it to the Ontario Press Council.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jack Layton and the NDP, the Rising Stars

According to many recent polls, the New Democratic Party is overtaking the Liberals for second place, in this election. I'm the first to acknowledge that polls should not be treated as absolutes -- after all, they did predict a majority government for Kim Campbell, whose PC party was all but wiped out a few weeks later. However, this is very intriguing news, to say the least.

While I have questioned Jack Layton's judgment lately, I have to admit, it may be paying off here. He's also dogged enough, and distinct enough from Michael Ignatieff (and Stephen Harper) to potentially make life very difficult for Harper if the Conservatives do win another minority. However, if Harper manages to get a majority, then all of this is moot; for all intents and purposes, the ReformaTories will have absolute power, and I don't doubt for a minute that they would use it to crush the opposition into dust.

Then again, this might be academic in a whole other way: one of the reasons polls are flawed, is because they rarely sample young voters in a significant way -- and as we've seen lately, they are VERY interested in this election. I firmly believe that after Stephen Harper's attacks on student voters, he has kicked up a hornet's nest that will hand his head to him on a platter.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Autopsy on the First PM debate

The Canadian federal election, had its English-language leaders' debate, last night. According to those who actually WATCHED the thing, Harper was calm but also visibly irritated at even being there (plus making some other remarks I will destroy in a minute), Ignatieff said the right things but was quite bland, Duceppe took up space, and Layton seemed more focused on attacking Ignatieff than Harper (even if he did make some good zingers at Harper's expense too).

I'm going to comment more on Layton in the next Bored on the Corner episode, but what was the point of using a MADE UP statistic about Ignatieff's attendance in Parliament? First of all, Ignatieff -- while still more absent than the other leaders, which is a big problem -- is there quite a bit more than the 30% that Layton is claiming. Second, why was Layton even attacking Ignatieff in the first place? I apologize in advance, for making my next video redundant, but ISN'T LAYTON TRYING TO BE THE PRIME MINISTER? What's the point of going after THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION? Not only is this a total waste of time, but you can make a really good argument that Layton just stole enough votes from the Liberals, to put Harper back in power on May 2nd!

Which leads me to Harper's continued asshattery... During the debate, he had the nerve to flat out DEMAND that Canadians give the Conservatives, a majority government.

Um, why?

After five years of messing up Canada's finances, doing nothing about the economy, of disrespecting Canada's institutions, of vilifying even common Canadian voters if they give a thought to the "wrong" party, lying to the public, obstructing the public, wasting BILLIONS of our dollars on totally useless projects, and quite literally breaking the law on several occasions... you have the SHEER GALL to point a gun to our heads and order us to give you even more power??

By the way, if you're wondering, the consequence that Harper is threatening, is yet another election, in a short amount of time. Leaving aside for a minute, that this is coming from a guy who's been in CONSTANT election mode, since becoming the Leader of the Opposition (and is single-handedly to blame for the constant elections, due to his corrupt behaviour)... Harper's threat won't necessarily come true. In a Parliamentary democracy, if a freshly-elected government, doesn't have the confidence of the house, the Governor General can and very often will just ask the opposition to form the new government instead. And while it's true that our current GG (David Johnson) was appointed by Harper, he is also a constitutional expert who has already refuted Harper's claims that coalitions are illegal and undemocratic.

So in conclusion... if Stephen Harper wants a majority from Canadians, he needs to earn it; Michael Ignatieff needs to learn how to think on his feet and be engaging on live television; and Jack Layton needs to remember what the hell is most important to Canadians (and what side he's really supposed to be on).

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stephen Harper is a Tool

I know that's not my wittiest title -- or description of Stephen Harper -- but in this case I think it's very apt.

Yesterday, Stephen Harper decided to schmaltz up his pathetic election campaign, by singing "Imagine" with the girl who went viral for singing "Born This Way" (and got Tweeted by Lady Gaga, etc.). As if it wasn't already lame -- and hypocritical -- that a lifeless, pro-corporate, war-mongering Christian fundamentalist, is claiming to be a fan of innovative, non-materialist, peace-promoting non-Christians like The Beatles... Harper also claims to be a fan of Lady Gaga.

Now, at best this already looks like a very cheap and blatant ploy to con young voters -- ironically, one of the only things that Harper IS transparent about. But Harper's statements make it clear that he's -- once again -- lying through his teeth. For example...

" I hear Mrs. Gaga’s words – ‘Just dance, gonna be okay/da-da, doo-doo/Dance, dance, dance, just dance’"



"“Bad Romance”: “Makes me think of the spectre of a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition. Have I mentioned lately how bad that romance would be for Canada? Because it would be a bad romance for Canada. FYI.”

Oh for fuck's sake he's STILL on about that? Even after that blew up in his face? And the far-right says LIBERALS are stupid!

"Don’t really understand the meaning of this song, but the wonderful refrain — ‘Can’t read my/Can’t read my/No, he can’t read my poker face’ — speaks to me, deeply."

Ummm... I'm being Punk'd here, aren't I? Seriously??

Ok, Tiny Stephen, if you're reading this... the song is about being bisexual. I'm not kidding around -- Gaga herself has said that this is about trying to hide that she's attracted to women. So not only does this show that Harper has NO IDEA what he's talking about, but the irony is that he and his party are notorious homophobes, and Harper claims to love a song that is celebrating being anything BUT straight.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March's Morons of the Month

Good God, so many to choose from... Let's start with someone who I didn't write about already, this month.

And of course...

Keep it up, Harpo -- put your head in the noose, please.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fallout of Stephen Harper's Contempt Ruling

As we all know by now -- or at least, those of us who follow Canadian news -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been found in contempt of Parliament, by a committee (this won't be made formal until sometime tomorrow). Specifically, he's been cited for tolerating Bev Oda's forgery and lying, and for hiding the costs of the Conservative "tough on crime" agenda for ages.

But -- of course -- Harper's colleagues and supporters are defiant about it. Rather than do the ethical thing and own up to rather obvious blunders, they're attacking the opposition (see the comments in the linked articles), vilifying the committee (because it was made up mostly by opposition members), saying that Harper is STILL better than the alternatives, and -- wait for it -- attacking Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's family for "not being real immigrants" and supposedly bringing about the Iron Curtain.

*sighs* Let's get this over with...

  1. Harper has been RATHER OBVIOUSLY lying to the public, been a total control freak, disrupted Parliament, and even broken the law. To look at all he's done and try to claim otherwise, is like trying to tell me -- with a straight face -- that The Queen isn't an old woman.
  2. I know that neo-cons aren't big on things like FACTS AND LOGIC, but the Liberal party is CENTRE-RIGHT (as any look at their policies makes very clear). As for the belly-aching about coalitions (are you fucking kidding me?), not only are they legal and effective in parliamentary democracies (and EXPECTED in minority governments), but Harper himself formed a coalition with those same "socialists and traitors" that his drones put on the same level as terrorists.
  3. So the committee was made up mostly by the opposition -- the opposition makes up the majority in Parliament (another thing that the far-right can't accept). OF COURSE they would take up a lot of committee space. That's how our democracy works.
  4. Furthermore, this begs the question: do Conservatives really think that they should be allowed to investigate themselves? These guys claim to be tough on crime, but from the way they're acting right now, you'd think they'd be fine with Paul Bernardo being the judge in his own murder trial.
  5. I don't pretend to have confidence in Michael Ignatieff or NDP Leader Jack Layton, but when Harper is THE ONLY PRIME MINISTER IN CANADIAN HISTORY TO BE CHARGED WITH CONTEMPT, it's pretty hard to imagine anyone being WORSE than him -- especially when you add his ridiculous financial incompetence to the equation (like the billion dollars wasted on G20 -- more than any world leader has spent on it -- the corporate tax cuts that NEVER stimulate the economy, the billions of dollars spent on the useless CF-35s, spending millions to scrap a census that even most conservatives say we need, etc.).
  6. Do I REALLY need to say something about how stupid and disgusting -- and possibly defamatory -- it is to attack the family of your main opponent? Especially with something as idiotic as saying they're not "real immigrants"? What in the holy mother of fuck does that even MEAN?
  7. And incidentally -- making racist and threatening remarks (eg. wanting to bomb all Liberals and NDPers), is EXACTLY WHY HARPER WILL NEVER WIN A MAJORITY. It's also why people think that you're, well, a bunch of fascist, bigoted, psychopaths.