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.