Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just Asking...

WHICH television newsman is said to be having an affair with his female executive producer? She's getting a divorce, but it's still a bit sticky . . . WHICH gay Broadway director made the most of it when one of his principal actors left the show? He picked a handsome young replacement who's been seen having dinner with the older man . . . WHICH television actress has more to deal with than her recent divorce? Spies have spotted her leaving AA meetings in Hollywood.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Looks Like We made It

My fellow bloggers and chief fashion consultants, Heather and Jessica - aka the Go Fug Yourself Girls, recently uploaded a post that warmed my cold, black heart.

It turns out that one of the campaigns I've been working on has gotten into their heads to the point where they happily referred to the fact that, "the hideously, brain-searingly, stabby-makingly awful ##### ad with that Five For Fighting song is seasonal and should therefore go off the air soon."

I have arrived. *bliss*

Metropolitan Diary

As I have mentioned before, I am in LOVE with the Metropolitan Diary column in the New York Times. It is one of the things I like most about Mondays - along with new episodes of Gossip Girl and The Hills.

Last week was a tough one for me, following the announcement of Obama's choice of Rick Warren to participate in the inauguration. The entry below, from today's Met Diary, helped me to recapture some of the hope I had lost. The power to make things happen lies with the people. It's an important lesson - especially at this time of year.

Dear Diary:

Date: Wednesday after Election Day.

Time: Evening rush.

Place: 33rd Street Station

Cast: Two senior citizens and a crowd of passengers on the No. 6 Lexington Avenue local.

My friend and I were trying to head uptown on the subway. The platform was so crowded that we could not board the first train to enter the station. We waited for another train, and I managed to wiggle my way in.

My friend was still on the platform, so I shouted, “Please move into the center of the car!”

A passenger replied, “We can’t; it’s crowded.”

Then another passenger said, “Yes we can!”

Suddenly the car was filled with shouts, “Yes we can!”

Everyone moved farther in and my friend was able to join me on the train.

Sue Falk

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holding Out For A Hero...

There are many families struggling this year. Record lay offs, a weak economy and foreclosures have all contributed to the diminishment of the dollar.

This holiday season, you have a unique opportunity to make the dollar mighty once more, by helping the families of those who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please take a moment to visit this site and donate what you can: your dollar can change someones world.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I am incredibly annoyed with our President-elect and his choice of bible thumping bigot Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Below is an email I sent this morning to his transition team:

It is ironic that this ground breaking election, which inspired so many, also saw the passing of Proposition 8 in California. It is sad that citizens were stripped of the rights that the state supreme court had acknowledged they deserved.

It is appalling to me that you would invite a man, who was instrumental in ensuring that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Californians were deprived of that right, to deliver the inaugural invocation.

In your acceptance speech, you were the first President-elect to call out the LGBT community as being a strong presence in this country, and a vital part of the progressive wave that carried you to the oval office. Now I see that was just rhetoric on your part.

Shame on you. Shame on all of you. You have confirmed everything myself, and many other progressives, feared. When it comes to changing America, you are no friend of ours. But rest assured, we already know the answer to this question: Can we achieve equality for all Americans? Yes, we can.

I hope you enjoy the spectacle from the sidelines.

Sad Songs Say So Much

I love, love, LOVE sad songs. I don't know why they appeal to me so much but there's something about a particularly tortured song that just makes so... happy.

Here is a list of the top 100 most depressing Christmas songs. I'm glad to see that most of my favorites made the list, though they missed the Bright Eyes cover of "Blue Christmas." Check out the entire list and let me know if you have a super sad holiday song that didn't make the cut.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It seems a certain Vanderbilt was spotted shopping for sweaters in the company of a fetching young french person. Here's the report from the New York Post's SIGHTINGS:

ANDERSON Cooper in black jeans and black leather jacket shopping for cashmere sweaters at Barneys Co-op with a young Frenchman.

Ca c'est interessant, non?

Just Asking...

WHICH Olympic champion smoked pot for the first time recently at a Michigan hotel? The stoned athlete broke the TVs in his room, but later bought exact replicas so he could replace them before anybody at the hotel was the wiser . . . WHICH lifestyle diva used a hand model for close-up shots in her latest book? She deemed her own hands too wrinkled . . . WHICH still-sexy actress, who has a daughter now getting ingenue roles, is facing reality? She finally had her first face-lift last week.

Mama, Can You Hear Me?

Joey B and I sat through a deliciously horrendous hour of television last night. A (so far) very watchable shitheap called "Mama's Boy" that premiered immediately following the finale of The Fattest People (aka The Biggest Loser).

The show, helmed by renowned Mama's boy (ahem, ahem) Ryan Seacrest, has a pretty basic premise. Three coddled (though adorable) Mama's boy are invited to mingle with 32 single women - of various ages, educations and ethnicities - in a Santa Barbara ocean side mansion. All in a quest to find love.

The catch is that their over-protective Mothers move in as well and, from the looks of the previews, run some pretty serious interference. In particular, the mother of the DELECTABLE hockey player, Jojo (Khalood Bojanowski, aka Mrs. B) ranted about how she doesn't want a Jewish girl, an Asian girl, a black girl or a big butt girl for here baby. You can count on this woman being vilified in the blogosphere for the remainder of the shows run. A leak, a few weeks ago, showed her freaking out when she saw (from a helicopter, mind you) her son kissing an African American woman. She actually threatened to crush her son's balls and then attempted to smash the windows due to her rage. She's pretty vile.

Joey B and I have decided that the Uber Jewish Mother, Esther (mother of Commercial Real Estate Salesman, Robert) , is totally our favorite but I've warned him that, while all smiles and giggles now, she may turn out to be a beast as the show progresses. Lorraine, mother to Michael (Fireman and EMT - he's the most "All American" looking) is the most personable but, when looking at the season previews, looks like she's hell bent on preventing her son from hooking up with a girl that she doesn't approve of.

I'm intrigued so far, though I did hide my head under a blanket during Mrs. B's racist rant, so there's a possibility that the "uncomfortability" factor may force me to stop watching. I have to admit I'm equally uneasy with how doting these mothers are (Mrs. B seems like she actually wants to jump her son's bones) and how willing these sons are to be coddled by them (though the most independent, my beloved Jojo, is the youngest contestant but also the only one who doesn't live at home). Boundaries, people. BOUNDARIES!

Thank God my mother is nothing like these women. And if yours is... my deepest sympathies.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Pimpin'

Tis the season to be creative, and for one kid sister, that meant auctioning off dates with her older (and very adorable) twin brothers.

Because of her Muscular Dystrophy, she can't mow the lawn or babysit like other girls her age, so she got creative and busted out her candy (pimp) cane. See the whole story below.

(I apologize for the crappiness of the CNN video player)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Taking the Funny Too Far???

This past Saturday, Joey B, his friend Michelle and I watched Saturday Night Live - one of my very favorite pass times - following a day of shopping and a lovely dinner at Pequod's with Jason Fab.

I have always been a fan of edgy humor, and have been known to toe the line on many occasions but when Fred Armisen appeared as NY Gov Patterson on Weekend Update, I actually gasped.

It is one thing to make fun of the Governor for his, very well publicized, over the top confessions (regarding his past cocaine use and extramarital affairs) on taking office, following the sex scandal that ended the political career of his predecessor, Gov Spitzer -but they went much further than that. Whether they intended to or not, much of their mockery centered on the impression that due to his disability (the Governor is blind) he is a bumbling idiot. Time and again they made fun of the fact that he couldn't see by having Armisen hold up signs upside down and wander into camera, following his official segment.

The reality is that only 37% of persons with disabilities in the country are employed and they earn, on average, far less than individuals without disabilities who have the same level of education. As of now, the producers for SNL have no comment, but I think I can anticipate their rationale. They would say that, by making fun of Gov Patterson, they are treating him as they would anyone else. I will admit, there is some truth in this. I am not offended by the fact that they mocked him, but by how they chose to mock him. This particular skit, at least for me, reflected a sad time (not too long ago) when being different was, in and of itself, considered funny. I'd have hoped we'd grown since then, but maybe I'm just naive. I'll ask Amos and Andy - they'll set me right, I reckon.

Take a look and let me know what you think:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Organ Failure

This particular movie has been on my radar for some time. When I first read about it, I thought it would be awful, but, now that I've seen the latest trailer, I think it might be awful in a good way.

I have a deep and abiding love for B movies, and making a rock opera about a "repo-man" who reclaims your organs if you can't pay for them. It sounds like it may be wonderfully bad. I resisted Sin City up until some friends dragged me to see it, so it just goes to show - you can't judge a comic book movie by it's cover.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Best Viral Videos of 2008

Wonda Sykes: Don't Hate, Eat Pork & Beans

The ever adorable, and recently out (publicly), Wanda Sykes stops in at the Tonight show yesterday to discuss Prop 8 and "Day without a Gay".

Just Asking...

WHICH actress who plays a teen on a hit TV show incorrectly insists she's a size zero? Employees at a clothing line have to remove all the bigger-size labels from garments they send her to her to keep her happily deluded . . . WHICH handsome TV host is thought by patrons of at least one gay bar to be in the closet? As the stud discusses dating women, they hoot and holler, and hurl insults at the screen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Crumpet Cravings

All of this talk about Christmas has gotten me all fired up. I have begun, in vain I know, to once again scour the city of Chicago in my vain attempt to find one grocery store, bakery or even tea room, that sell crumpets.

I have loved crumpets my entire life. They are my absolute favorite thing to have for breakfast on a cold winter's day, or even as a nice snack in the evenings. In the Motherland (aka Canada) they are readily available in any grocery store (at least in English speaking Canada - finding them in Quebec is more of a challenge).

It is driving me crazy, to the point where I just sent a pleading email to the family begging them to ship me a few packages ASAP. If I didn't know better, I would swear I was pregnant!

UPDATE: Crisis averted, my friend and colleague Kerri just informed me that they have crumpets at Trader Joe's. It's a good day!

All I Want for Christmas...

As I get older, I become increasingly immune to all holidays, but the December holidays most of all. I no longer get excited at the prospect of my brother Ian's surprisingly delicious chicken-free matzo ball soup (prepared for the first night of Hanukkah) nor the wonderful stockings full of treats and (always) a single Chinese orange that greet me every Christmas morning. I don't want to sound like a Grinch, I enjoy them, but I just don't seem capable of recapturing the magic of the season that I enjoyed as a child.

My parents were always able to create the most incredible Christmases for us. Our father, especially, would ply us with gifts presented by Issac (more on him later) as well as the characters he created to entertain us on our frequent boat trips and visits to the cottage (like the Hay Monster). This particular traight was definitely inherited by me, whose own sense of humor runs to giving friends, "Congratulations on your First Communion" cards on their birthdays.

Now, Issac is a tricky one. He is a beloved member of the family who just happens to be a monkey puppet. He has hosted every childhood Christmas I can recall. As a morning MC he is replete with funny comments and all around good cheer - the only drawback is that, due to shyness, he will only whisper into my father's ear, leaving us to enjoy his bon mots second-hand.

When Drew, Ian and myself were young, my father would employ us to help him wrap our mothers gifts in "disguises" in order to prevent her from guessing what they really were. A particularly memorable wrapping job, for our first Christmas at Spirit Rock, looked exactly like a living Christmas tree, enbalmed in brightly colored paper, (though for the life of me I can't remember what was actually inside).

This year, we are lucky enough to have Ian home from the UK for the holidays although Andrew and his wife will not be making an appearance. Drew, due to travel restrictions imposed on service members prior to shipping out to Afghanistan, will be celebrating Christmas at home in Alberta.

I sometimes wonder if we will ever, again, have a Christmas like the ones of my youth - with the whole family gathered happily under one roof. I guess it goes without saying what I'm wishing for.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Day without a Gay, USA

Tomorrow is national Day without a Gay, a protest designed to illustrate to the population at large the many contributions made to this country by the LGBT community. All folks of the gay persuasion are being asked to call in sick (if possible) and not contribute to the economy in any way. There are also rallies scheduled all across the US, including one at Chicago City Hall tomorrow morning at 11am, encouraging the state to support equal marriage for all Illinois residents.

Sadly, I will not be able to take the day off but I have (fingers crossed) cleared my schedule in order to attend the rally tomorrow morning with Joey B. Please do what you can, equality is not a privilege.

For more information click here.

There Goes The Neighborhood!

I have often prided myself, since moving into the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood of Chicago, that I live right down the street from the Governor. Following today's arrest, I can assure you that I will never mention it again.

It is so depressing, in a year when Chicago has been thrust onto the global stage, thanks to Obama's historic Presidential win, to have to suffer the black eye of business as usual Chicago politics. Notoriously, Chicago is a city of back door deals and there are many, many examples throughout the city's history of politicians (on both sides of the aisle) whose greed have been their downfall.

I hope now, finally, we can begin to create a new kind of politics in Chicago. It is time to remind all of our representatives that they are public servants - especially those who operate as influence peddlers and palm greasers. Now is the time to shed the corruption of the past and build a bridge to the future. The world is watching.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Out of The Hills, and into The City

Here is the latest trailer for the Whitney Port vehicle, "The City".

Joey B and I discussed, last week, the fact that they seem to be making Whitney seem much "dumber", in terms of her choices, than she was in The Hills. I guess that's part of helming your own semi-scripted show on MTV. Good luck, Whitney. You couldn't pay me enough to hang out with Olivia Palermo. Yawn, yawn, yawn.


I was torn, last season, between Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle. With my divided loyalty of Candace Bushnell and Michael Patrick King, I didn't know who I wanted to succeed. Cashmere had quite possibly my favorite character last season - Juliet Draper (as played stupendously by Miranda Otto) but the rest of the show fell flat (and the clothes kind of sucked). Jungle, on the other hand, had a better cast overall and I fell in love with all three protagonists (it took me a while to get past the late 90210 taint attached to Lindsay Price, but I got there). Ultimately, their trials and tribulations were much more titillating. I didn't shed a tear when Cashmere got stained, shrunk and destroyed.

I had been looking forward to Lipstick's return when suddenly I read, in The Times, that the show had been canceled. I, honestly, had no idea that it was even back on the air. When I looked into it, it turns out that the network had done NOTHING to promote the new season and had also bounced the show all over the schedule. I was not happy.

But soon, a reprieve. Myself, like many other fans, upon hearing of the show's demise (and thereby learning that it was back on) flocked to NBC.com and watched the season's episodes so far and set the TiVo to record the upcoming episode, thus creating an impressive bump in the ratings measured outside of the standard Neilson.

Now Lipstick Jungle has a chance to carry on. While the network hasn't ordered any new episodes, they are watching to see how the remaining original 16 do in the ratings. If you're already a fan, I encourage you to try and recruit some friends to tune in and, if you're not already into the show, please check it out. Let's make sure the network knows they have a little something special on their teeth.

Prop 8: The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Anonymous Quotes III

God, what is that guys name? It's like one of the Winnie the Pooh characters but it starts with an "L"... Liglet? No wait, Lior!

Ian's CRA-ZA-ZY Hair

Ian has gone on some sort of hair strike - out of boredom or general ennui, I'm not really sure. Either way, this is what his hair looks like, currently.

He informs me that he just isn't sure what to do with it so he's just letting it go. As a result, I am soliciting anyone and EVERYONE to please send me suggestions on what you think Ian should do with his 'do. Hurry... a coif is a terrible thing to waste.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wish I'd thought of it...

I was excited, and a little disappointed when I saw a headline proclaiming, "The Lamest Blogs on the Web". I was excited because, of course, I wanted to know who had gotten called out but then disappointed to discover that the writer of this article lacks a sense of humor, irony and satire (despite acknowledging within the article that he "recognizes" that "world's lamest blog" is supposed to be satirical - he still criticizes its content).

He also get's all grammar nazi on Rosie O'Donnell. I think this dude, who is writing for PC world, needs to spend a little more time with a Mac.

Anyway, he does manage to score a couple of funny points - take that, Kim Kardashian. In my opinion (and in my ongoing quest to set off a web war) I think the lamest blog on the planet is written by a once-fat former meth addicted Florida bitch who has a penchant for posting his P33N pics on gay cruise sites and outing people... Let's call him Smerez Smilton.

What blogs do you think are lame - this one is already a given. Comment below. Happy Tuesday, Kids.

Disco is all the Rage

As I do every year, I spent my birthday weekend in Buffalo NY, attending the World's Largest Disco. This year, despite a huge rise in ticket cost (it's for charity, what are you gonna do?) the event was still sold out by the first week in September.

The best part of this year's disco, is that they shifted the event hours form 8-12 to 9-1. This allowed us additional time to get ready, and take a billion pictures in the hotel before we took the shuttle to the convention center. Ianovich, though he flew in from the UK to attend, was suffering from Jet Lag and slept through the entire event.

This year sold out faster than it ever has before and, as a result, I was left without tickets for myself and Joey B. Thankfully, the fabulous Natalie Ventresca had an extra for me but I had to buy Joey B's ticket on stubhub.com - for twice the face value. The kicker is that I forgot the ticket in Chicago so I MAY have had to trade a certain amount of money PERHAPS in exchange for another ticket the day of the event with a man who could POSSIBLY be considered a scalper. If I had done such a thing, I may have felt doubly stupid because the man might have charged me only half of what the aforementioned website charged.

The night was, as always, incredibly fun and the fast bar service and additional washrooms just added to the really positive vibe. This year's guests were four of the Brady children; Greg, Peter, Bobby and Cindy, respectively. They taught everyone how to do a dance from their variety show days. There was also a group of Village People who led everyone from the stage when they played YMCA - the cowboy was DREAMY.

The only (mild) downer for me was around midnight, they showed a slide show presentation showing the children of who attend Camp Good Days (the chosen cancer charity for this year's event) set to a very sad song. Suddenly, all these people around us were crying.

My friend Anne, whose personal pet peeve, is people who dress from the wrong era at themed events, ranted every time she saw a girl in gogo boots. As a result of these hilarious tirades, I offered Anne a chance to guest blog and very soon you will all learn the error of your ways - not that any Rage Reader would ever dress inappropriately!

Due to the crazy snow storm yesterday here in Chicago, I have not been able to upload my photos from the event, but here are some shots by Chris Brown. I Hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking a little break from the blog at the end of the week as I fly to Buffalo for the World's largest Disco. In anticipation, here's a little Thanksgiving cheer from the New Yorker. Enjoy!

The Turkey Wish

After Thanksgiving dinner when I was a kid, my dad would make me pull the wishbone apart with him to see who would win the “Turkey Wish.” I always thought it was kind of stupid, but my dad took this tradition really seriously. Here’s how it went:

1988: I win. I wish for a pony. Dad says I can’t wish for that because it’s too expensive. I wish for a dog instead.

1989: I win again. Dad yells a word I’ve only heard in R-rated movies and then hits his hand down on the table, hard. I wish for a Nintendo.

1990: Dad wins. He is really happy. He kisses my mom on the mouth and yells “Now who’s the loser?”

1991: I win. Dad locks himself in the bathroom. There’s a loud crashing sound like a pane of glass shattering. I wish for us never to play Turkey Wish again.

1992: Dad says my previous wish doesn’t count and makes me play. He wins. He wishes for a new son who isn’t “such a failure at everything he sets his hand to.”

1993: I win. Dad moves to Wisconsin.

1994: Thanksgiving morning, 5 A.M. The phone rings. It is my dad pretending to be an old lady. It is a bad impression. He asks if any one remembers the tradition of the Turkey Wish. I can hear him sobbing softly in the background. He makes up some excuse about needing to go put on his “old lady dress” and hangs up. The next week I receive an envelope in the mail with twenty broken wish bones soaked in tears.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous Quotes II

Having to talk to your 96 year old great-grandmother is a lot like talking to a junkie who's just shot up. There's lots of mumbling and nodding off.

What the Hills is Going on???

Last night's episode of The Hills was like a bad high school flashback. Audrina heard a random rumor from a nebulous character named "Dino" and proceeded to alienate her best friend and her boyfriend as she spun out of control. I have had to experience the same sort of situations repeatedly in the past, and watched it with a mixture of horror and hilarity. Of course, I was 16 at the time.

What is it about the ladies of the Hills that have landed them in some sort of prolonged adolescence? The saddest part is that, despite the many, MANY, protestations from both of the accused that they had not, as the rumor insisted, "Hooked up" Audrina just kept asking over and over again. It was like she wanted to believe the worst about them. The confrontation culminated in Lauren telling Audrina that she was worse than Heidi, because she had made this mess all on her own. Ouch!

The previews from next week's episode show an unapologetic Audrina looking surprised that her sister thinks she should tell Lauren she's sorry. Let's hope that the Britney Spears crazy room is still decorated and operational - looks like it may be needed soon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hold on to your Hills

The preview for tonight's episode of the Hills looks CRAZY. It all starts when a rumor on the internet claims that Lauren has "hooked up" with Audrina's boyfriend Justin Bobby. The intro clip (see below) has a series of serious confrontations and a lot of tears. Lauren actually tells Audrina that she's worse than Heidi. Madness.

Needless to say, you all know what I'll be doing tonight. A full run-down tomorrow, I promise.

In the Velvet

Joey B and I caught a matinee of "Wicked" yesterday at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Chicago. I have seen the show a couple of times before but, as always, was blown away by the unique take and new life that every subsequent cast brings. Joey B had never seen the show and was impressed by the score, the superb acting and the wonderful set.

As I have mentioned before, I attended a Performing Arts high school and had the distinct honor of staging our high school productions in the World Famous Shaw Festival's Royal George Theatre. I have loved the stage for as long as I can remember but, due to stage fright that I developed about 8 years ago, I have not been on one in some time.

Last night, following the show the cast entreated the audience to provide donation to Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS by dropping whatever one could spare into the silver buckets being held by cast members in the lobby. They also mentioned that there was a raffle (at $20 a ticket) to win a chance to perform for one night along with the cast on stage. The odds are 1 in 500 - cross your fingers.

Theater for me has always elicited a very visceral reaction. I have, many times, found myself welling up as the lights dim and the orchestra strikes up the few opening bars. Yesterday was no exception. As a caveat, I should mention that my house warming/birthday party was this past Saturday night and I have been known for years to cry easily when suffering from the "Booze Blues". But in the theater, this is never the real reason.

In the fall of 2003 my Mother purchased tickets for myself, my younger brother Ian, my older brother Andrew and his wife Sheelagh to see an evening performance of "The Lion King" in Toronto on a Wednesday night. I was working at a job that I didn't really enjoy and was very, very resistant to working an entire day and then driving, in rush hour traffic, all the way to Toronto for a show. I was short tempered, irritable and (in case you haven't already guessed) not much fun to be around for the drive up.

When we arrived I kept up a steady stream of comments about the parking lot attendant, pedi-cabs, our fellow theater-goers and a number of other topics - I am amazed that my brother didn't see fit to drown me in the nearest puddle as we walked along King Street to the theatre.

We settled into our (very nice) seats and I was obstinately prepared to thoroughly detest the show (being a purist, I thought that no good could come of a musical based on a cartoon). Then the lights went down and actors, in the wonderful costumes created by Julie Tamour, began to pour through the audience toward the stage and I was overwhelmed with emotion - tears pouring down my cheeks. I was suddenly so happy. I was exactly where I should have been on that dark, damp October night. I was in the velvet and everything was right with the world.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

DTV... blah, blah, blah

Is everyone else as sick as I am of hearing about how in February broadcast TV is going to become DTV and if you don't get a digital converter box... blah, blah, blah.
At first I thought, "Great, they're making a real effort to let the public know" and now I'm thinking, "Who the F is the dumbass who still has no idea about DTV and is forcing me to sit through these GD PSAs???" They are beyond irritating and they're on every channel, including PBS! It's like being forced to watch an ad campaign that really annoys you (*cough* *cough* Wendy's men with red pigtails - I'm looking at you) except that it's everywhere. Throw in 30 minute informational programming about DTV in sub-prime time and I am about to swear off TV altogether.

Why don't I bother with cable again? I wish I knew...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cartoon Madness

In the list of topics my brother provided me with yesterday, to ensure prompt blogging, he mentioned cartoons that make one nostalgic. In particular, he mentioned Eek the Cat - a show I did not remember until a quick search on YouTube brought it all flashing back. The morbidly obese pink girlfriend, the penchant for unlucky situations, that usually left him burned, blown up or otherwise severely injured. Aah, FOX.

As a result, I have dug up some of the fabulous cartoons I loved as a kid. Some of them may be very Canadia-centric, but I loved them. They include; The amorphous Barbapapas (for the record, the show had an English theme as well - I just preferred the French), Dr Snuggles (an inventor who travels the stars in a homemade rocket and the Silver Hawks (from the creator of Thunder Cats).

What cartoons are you nostalgic for? Drop a few lines in the comment sections and let the world know!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Get to Bailing

I, personally, drive a Japanese car. There are many reasons for this, the foremost being that the vehicles built by GM, Chrysler and Ford do not meet with my standards on gas mileage or safety. That being said, I think that we HAVE to bail out the big three.

American made cars have a much smaller global market because these companies have pumped millions of dollars into lobbying Washington to block foreign competition and maintain the status quo instead of being the visionary, innovative companies they once were, but the past couple of years have seen some dramatic changes. I am actually excited for the Chevy Volt to come into the market and have watched with interest as American car manufacturers have begun planning to convert their more popular models into hybrids. The companies themselves, while they must shoulder most of the blame, were not in it alone. Consumers who demanded bigger and badder SUVs and large trucks must also assume some of the blame for the current crises.

The fact of the matter is that, with the bailout money, we can see a new dawn in the American automotive landscape. I think that, as a proviso of the bailout, the current managers and CEOs should be replaced with managers with a track record of innovation. But I must be clear - now is not to time to throw out the baby with the bathwater, nor should we plunge millions of Canadians and Americans out of work by forcing the big three into bankruptcy. The industry needs a financial band aid if it is going to heal. I encourage congress to get out the First Aid kit.

Quotes are all the Rage - I

In an effort to force me to update the blog every day my brother sent me a list of possible topics. The one I thought I'd begin with is our beloved wall of quotes.

Before moving to Chicago, I lived in the "guest house" at my parent's place. One of the highlights of my time in the "pebble" - so named because of it's relative cosiness - was a lerge sheet of paper Ian and I pasted over the French doors that led into the house. On this wall, over the years, we wrote funny quotes that we had heard in our favorite TV shows, movies or while out with friends and family.

The sheet is not stowed away in a bedroom closet, so I am working from memory, but I thought I would reproduce some of my favorites here for your amusement. Also, I will be posting random quotes under this headline every month so please, if you hear anything that tickles your fancy, send it my way.

Bart, you're getting vomit on my prince!

Brown sweaters are for Nancy Boys.

In the library, people have SEX in the bathrooms.

I don't date. I'm too niche.

When he tried to stick his toe in my ass, I knew it was time to get out of the hot tub.

He was five feet of crazy and three inches of nuts.

(said of a boy with large protruding ears) Look, you can see his love handles.

(said of an Indian drag queen) She's off to bend it like Beckham

Update: I just read this quote and had to share it. It's about Tyra Banks (snaps to the Go Fug Yourself Girls) - She is amazing. And crazy. She is cramazing.

Note: While I recognize that some quotes may offend, they are meant to be taken lightly and in good fun.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

I have loved this rendition, by Greg Laswell, of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" since it was featured in an episode of The Hills. It always amazes me when an artists original take complete changes the tone of a song.

The video is un peu cheesy (I would have used a montage of homeless street kids) but even I can't deny that it's evocative. See what you think.

Anderson Cooper: 360° of Rage

I have had an ongoing beef for years with Dan Savage. It all springs from a series of articles he wrote during the late 90s that I found distasteful and set off a decade long debate between Liv and myself. To be honest, Liv and I have nothing but decade long debates - the most prominent being whether individuals with "new" or "old" money are ruder. Guess which side of that coin I'm on.

Anyway, the fallout continues in the Proposition 8 debacle in California and Anderson Cooper recently welcomed Dan Savage and Tony Perkins (not the actor from Psycho) to debate the pros and cons. I have to say that it is comforting to have Savage on my side. His parting shot is particularly worthy. Let us all say, Amen!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Modeling Debut...Gah!!

As a freelance writer and, self-proclaimed international cultural attache, I have had my photo in many publications over the years. Some on contributors pages, some involving inebriated friends at random events and fundraisers, but I have recently added another notch to my belt - Dog product model.

Ok, it is actually my super star dog, Soleil, who is the star of this particular show but imagine my surprise, on viewing the results of her latest shoot on barkerandmeowsky.com to learn that I myself am featured in the photos. I just wish I had taken the time to shave... or lose 10 pounds. I do, however, take comfort in the fact that Soleil is so cute that most people won't even notice me. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

ABC can suck it!

I love to watch shows online. It is embarrassing to admit, but I don't have cable. I keep meaning to get it hooked up, but with everything I love being available online, it just doesn't make much sense. That being said, I have a long standing hate on for the ABC full episode player.

It is choppy, slow and incredibly frustrating - to make matters worse, they are constantly "updating" it to make it even more cumbersome. Today I just finally had enough!

Why don't they just get it right first, and then tinker with it? I work crazy hours and often don't get to see Ugly Betty on Thursday nights, so I try to catch up on it when I can during the weekend or following week. It has gotten so frustrating that I've stopped watching altogether because the story moves so quickly from week to week.

I don't understand why it's so hard! NBC has an amazing player. For that matter, so does MTV. ABC brass, take note, when the ads you inject into the online shows are flawless, while the content skips like a broken record - you need to (to borrow a line from my favorite SNL Weekend Update Analyst), "FIX IT!"

I'll be waiting.

And the Comments Rage On

This is an email conversation between myself and my brother Ianovitch regarding my sort-of-friend and Tonight Show celebrity Ross Mathews:

Ian: poor ross <at his wits end , he is!

Paul: I am watching now. I'll let you know what I think.

Paul: Poor Ross. That is the real down-side of being a public figure. What sucks is how hard it is to prosecute cyber-harassment. The man is entitled to his opinion, but when he breaks the rules of the blog and/or sends threats to an individual there needs to a quick, precise method to intervene.

It is so sad, in this day and age, to see someone being so bold in putting their bigotry out there. I'm afraid that the passing of Prop 8 (not to mention the measures passed in Arizona and Arkansas) has made these people feel justified in their bigotry and homophobia. It's so sad to think that we've taken one step forward in terms of racism and two steps back in terms of homophobia.

This may sound weird from someone whose blog is purported to be all about Rage, but this is a space for taking the piss out of advertising and pop culture, not a place to attack anyone. And it's very tongue in cheek. Sometimes the anonymity of the internet can bring out the dark side in certain people and they say things they would never dare in real life. This to me seems cowardly. My parents always used to say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Wise advice... maybe we should all try a little harder.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Holidays from Rage-A-Holic

Everyone could use a little extra bread in their pockets, and I have an inside scoop for you. If you visit www.facebook.com/sears and become a fan, you will get a free gift card.

The number is limited, so go soon and pick up a little something for someone you love at Sears.

Just Asking...

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is the New York Post's seminal column, Page Six. Alongside all the delicious dish, they run blind items under the heading "Just Asking". It was a blind item about a politician who was spending a lot of time in New York that first busted John Edwards for his ongoing affair, and ruined his chances, not only for the Presidency, but also for a cabinet post. Who cheats on his terminally Ill wife?

But I digress, I have decided - having called the Edwards report - to create a just asking pool. Check out today's column (below) and let me know who you think they're talking about? I'll make a note of it and, down the line if it turns out you're right, I'll give you a cyber shout out. Who knows, there may even be prizes involved. So hit me with your best shot:


WHICH wife of a top Lehman executive went on a $132,000 shopping spree at the Americana Manhasset Mall the day after her hubby filed for bankruptcy? . . . WHICH skirt-chasing Euro-billionaire tried to share the bathroom at Rose Bar with a young businesswoman who rejected his offer to perform a disgusting act? . . . WHICH hot downtown eatery employs a manager who's notorious for hiring and promoting women she can sleep with, despite the fact she's "married" to another woman?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's official - I've seen everything

Joey B and I are up very early this morning because we are shopping for furniture today - my new place is a little sparse at the moment. In lieu of springing into action we got roped into watching a nature show. During a commercial break I was astounded to see a dog wearing a slutty outfit, raising it's derriere towards the camera. I immediately turned to Joey B and said, "I have to blog about this!"

Yes, Ragers, we are now about to be inundated with small toy dogs wearing Eurotrash outfits, replete with lots of "bling" a la "bratz" phenom. These little creatures are from a toy company called, "Tini Puppini". (Click here to see the official website).

In doing a little research, I get the sense that these skanky dogs are going to be the "gotta have it" item for the holiday season. You've been warned.

As many of you know, I have no compunctions about dressing up dogs in coats, Halloween costumes, etc. My own dog, Soleil, is featured prominently as a model for barker & meowsky and has even had her modeling photos appear on Martha Stewart, but I have to say this is entirely different. These toys have all the patent panting horniness of Heidi Montag or Tila Tequila - why not buy little Suzie a "Betty Blowjob" action figure, (Now with crack pipe and spitting action - Order now!).

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but when did a painted up tart (even a furry one) become the perfect toy for a child? Take my advice, if you see this dog just keep walking. That bitch hangs out at the free clinic.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Palin: I'm Sorry

It has been 2 days since the people of America voted overwhelmingly for change and so, it was about time for those who had supported McCain's candidacy to start laying blame. First and foremost, FOX News.

All I can say is that the "Straight Talk Express" was a bus, and now they are throwing Governor Palin under it.

This seems incerdibly sexist to me. What do you think? Comment below.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I am working on a holiday campaign about the power of individuals to, not only give gifts to their loved ones, but also to grant their wishes. Part of this campaign has involved soliciting peoples "Wishtories" (a hybrid of Wish Story + History). The touching stories have moved me and have inspired me to share with you a woman who took the time to write to a young boy who dreamed of being a writer.

As a child I attended a french school by the name of École St Antoine in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I was a rambunctious and (to be completely honest) hyper-active child but, put a book in my hands, and I would sit quietly for hours - engrossed. I had an inate sense of the order of words. I remember, when first learning about the many rhyming schemes in poetry how something just clicked - it all made sense to me.

Throughout my years at St Antoine my essays, stories and poetry were occasionally recognized with prizes and I, a ham to the core, would often be called upon to read at assemblies in front of the school and once, as the winner of a province wide poetry contest, at an educators convention in Toronto. I remember that I wore my favorite yellow cable knit sweater (it was the eighties!) and that I wasn't even nervous. A photo, snapped of me that day as I read, still resides in my parents study. Years later, when I began experiencing stage fright, I looked back in amazement at this young boy who stood alone on a stage, in front of a darkened crowd, in a massive auditorium, and spoke the words with a confidence - almost a nonchalance - that I would never be able to recreate. My confidence came from a certainty that this is what I was meant to do. I knew for certain that this was my path because a very kind woman, a writer that I came to respect and admire, had told me that it was possible, maybe even probable. That woman was Jocelyne Villeneuve.

When I was in the fourth grade (Grade 4 for Canadian readers) I told my teacher, Madame Naccarato, that I wanted to be a writer. She, in turn, told me of her cousin - who was a writer and poet - and suggested that, if I wanted, I could write a letter to find out more about writing, and she would pass it along. This small suggestion made all the difference. Shortly thereafter, having delivered my first letter for Jocelyne, I began a correspondence that lasted for years. Jocelyne encouraged me to imagine, she encouraged me to try many different styles until I found my voice but, most of all, she always spoke to me as an equal.

It wasn't until my adolescence that I learned of her debilitating illness, nor the car accident that had left her bound to a wheelchair in 1967. It wasn't until my adulthood I learned of her passion for haiku, nor that she was, in many ways, its most prominent Canadian champion. It was difficult for me to align the woman of my adulthood with the correspondence of my youth. Her letters were so positive, her poems so transcendent - I had no idea of the difficulties she had experienced because she had not made them important. That was my greatest lesson.

The world lost Jocelyne 10 years ago but I had lost her about 5 before that. Wrapped up in my life, like any teenager, I lost touch with her. Even years after we had stopped exchanging letters, I would still get a Christmas card from her every December. I was lucky to have known her and am heart sick that I never got the chance to thank her properly for everything that she had given to me. So, thank you Jocelyne, for reaching out to a child you never met, and changing his life.

Haiku for Jocelyne - 11/04/08
Autumn day, so warm
that I leave my coat at home
and walk in the leaves

Jocelyne Villeneuve



Perhaps better known for her writing of French-language stories, poetry and journalism, Jocelyne Villeneuve was nonetheless no stranger to publishing in English. She lived in Sudbury, where she was a champion of Franco-Ontarian culture. Wheel-chair confined as a result of illness and a car accident in 1967, the former librarian worked for many years as a freelance writer.

CLICK HERE to browse Jocelyne Villeneuve's work.

Notice biographique: Jocelyne Villeneuve (1941-1998) est née à Val d’Or, Québec et a vécu en Ontario de 1953 jusqu’à sa mort. Elle a poursuivi ses études primaires à l’École Saint-Jean et son secondaire au Collège Notre-Dame à Sudbury. Elle a aussi étudié à l’Université Laurentienne et à l’Université d’Ottawa. Elle détient deux baccalauréats de l’Université Laurentienne, l’un en économie (1962) et l’autre avec spécialisation en littérature française (1973). En 1964, elle a obtenu un baccalauréat en bibliothéconomie de l’Université d’Ottawa.

En 1964, elle a travaillé comme bibliothécaire et chef de département au service des acquisitions de la bibliothèque à l’Université Laurentienne. À la suite d’un accident de voiture en 1967 et aussi dû à des problèmes de santé, elle opte pour la littérature et le métier d’écrivaine. Des gestes seront posés a paru aux Éditions Prise de Parole en 1977, ceci représente un premier roman de la plume de cette auteur franco-ontarienne qui a vu publier un bon nombre de ses articles et poèmes, contes et nouvelles. Un recueil de contes pour enfants intitulé Contes des quatre saisons a paru aux Éditions Héritage (1978), ainsi qu’un recueil de contes pour adultes intitulé Le Coffre (1979) aux Éditions Prise de Parole. La version française de deux légendes, Nanna Bijou: Le géant endormi (1983) et La Princesse à la mante verte (1983). La version anglaise de Nanna Bijou: The Sleeping Giant a paru chez Penumbra Press. Deux recueils de poésie ont aussi paru aux Éditions Naaman: La saison des papillons (1980) et Feuilles volantes (1985). Le livre Ménagerie (1985) qui a paru aux Éditions des plaines du Manitoba, sa neuvième publication littéraire rassemble cinq contes mettant en vedette des animaux. De plus, “Les feux Saint-Elme” a paru dans Rauque (Revue de création) en 1985. Un récit poétique Terre des Songes (1986) et Le geai bleu et le papillon (1992) ont paru chez les Éditions du Vermillion. En 1987, Contes de Noël est publié par les Éditions des Plaines et en 1988 Greenmantle a paru chez Penumbra Press, ainsi que Marigolds in Snow (1993).

Jocelyne Villeneuve est décédée le 8 mai 1998, à Sudbury.

Reader Rage

I have just gotten a "Trans-Atlantic Smack Down" from my brother about the infrequency of my postings. I plead no contest because, despite the fact that I just moved into a new place, and am working long, long hours, it's not as though I never have time to jot down a few lines.

I am trying to find a way to work the blogging into my daily life, and Joey B and I came up with a greatly monthly column idea over the weekend... but more on that later.

Stay tuned for a posting later on today about someone who helped to inspire me. It's a posting I've been working on for a while. To Ianovich, and all readers, I apologize for my wayward ways. I assure you that I will do my best to post a little something every day. Remember, rage is always a click away.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Punched Up Pumpkin

I opened my email this morning to discover this lovely little gem courtesy of Liv. Hope it makes your Monday better.

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain Backer Attacked? I don't think so

Has anyone else been following the story about the McCain volunteer who claims she was attached and had a "B" carved into her face by an Obama supporter who noticed she had a "McCain/Palin" bumper sticker on her car?

TMZ.com has been all over the story, and I have to say (somewhat proudly) that I was skeptical from the start. First off, the woman claimed that she didn't go to the hospital following the attack because "She'd get around to it in a day or two", secondly, when reviewing the tape at the ATM machine where she claimed she was attacked, the police determined that she wasn't there at all. Thirdly (and most obviously) the "B" carved into her cheek is BACKWARDS which is most likely the result of someone doing it herself using a mirror (think Mean Girls).

I don't know why, but I am always surprised by the depths that people will go to to get attention and/or malign a politician and/or his supporters. Get this woman off the streets and into the care of a psychiatrist - she obviously needs help. I mean, on top of filing a false police report, she's planning on voting for John McCain. Enough said.

UPDATE: CNN has confirmed that she made the whole thing up. Click here for the story.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apparently, I Super Suck

I received this movie from MoveOn.org this morning. I think it's pretty clever. I, as a citizen of the great Northern Motherland, am not eligible to vote in the upcoming election, so I think the chances of an elderly woman on the street calling me a bleepity bleep bleeper are pretty slim (by the way, the second thing she calls me - rhymes with mock pucker - is pretty offensive to 'Mos. I'm giving MoveOn a pass, but really guys... come on!). Still, elections in this country have been won and lost on a single vote. Please do your part to keep me from being the pariah of America.

Thank you,

Paul Semper, Rage-A-Mus Prime

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The View From Here II

Here we go kids:

The View From Here

I don't get much of a chance to watch The View these days, due to my cra-za-zy work schedule, but I have been hearing that the disagreements are getting more and more heated. Last Thursday, Joy Behar jumped out of her seat and threatened to leave the stage - she eventually sat down but fanned herself with the "Hot Topics" segment cards and kept muttering half scentences in Whoopi's direction... delicious!

I got an email from a Rage Reader (aka, a Rager) about today's hot topics segment in which Elizabeth Hasselbeck, during a confrontation with Ms Behar, encourages her to, "Keep drinking the Obama Kool-Aid." Yikes. I will do my best to track down a clip for you kids and post it as soon as possible. Here's to hump day!

UPDATE: My brother Ian just sent me the clip I referenced above. Enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Levi Stubbs' Tears...

I was very, very sad to read, a few moments ago, that Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Four Tops and a giant of Motown, has passed away.

I will admit that I, like many people my age, came to know his voice long before I ever learned who he was, in the likeness of Audrey II in the film, "Little Shop of Horrors." I remember watching the man eating plant devour the citizens of Skid Row with a mixture of horror and excitement pumped up by the incredible soundtrack. Even as an adult, I am blown away by the depth of humor and pathos Stubbs was able to evoke - the many winks and nods his voice conveyed.

In my teenage years I came to appreciate the music of the Four Tops and Aretha Franklin, along with the Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth and Nirvana. As I learned of, and listened to, the musicians who had inspired the bands to whom I was so devoted I began to understand the connections that run straight from Leadbelly to Kurt Cobain with a stop in Detroit along the way.

There is a wonderful song by Billy Bragg called Levi Stubbs' Tears about surviving abuse and loneliness. While listening to my iPod at work, every once in a while, the song will catch me off guard and force me to pay attention. Today, especially, it is strangely comforting to hear someone singing, "when the world falls apart some things stay in place/ Levi Stubbs' tears roll down his face." One thing is for certain, the world will never be the same.

Levi Stubbs’ Tears

With the money from her accident
She bought herself a mobile home
So at least she could get some enjoyment
Out of being alone
No one could say that she was left up on the shelf
It’s you and me against the world kid she mumbled to herself

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi stubbs’ tears run down his face

She ran away from home in her mother’s best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort who only laughs at his own jokes
The sort that war takes away
There wasn’t a war but he left anyway

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi stubbs’ tears run down his face

Norman Whitfield and Barratt Strong
Are here to make everything right that’s wrong
Holland and Holland and Lamont Dozier too
Are here to make it all okay with you

One dark night he came home from the sea
And put a hole in her body where no hole should be
It hurt her more to see him walking out the door
And though they stitched her back together they left
her heart in pieces on the Floor

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the four tops tape and puts it back in it’s case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs’ tears...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Thinking Man

Joey B is so enamored with this video that he actually emailed it to me specifically so I would post it. Put your thinking caps on and enjoy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

North Korea a Terrorist Nation? That is so last week!

Let the record show that diplomacy can actually... hold your breath... achieve the desired result.

The former, as of last week, "Axis of Evil" nation had ramped up their nuclear (that's nukular in red states) proliferation project due to the large amount of sand kicked into their faces by the current administration. It was one stain too many, apparently, on the Asshole-in-Chief's record so he decided to use... diplomacy. I'm sure Condi had to spell it for him.

What a difference a week makes. Suddenly, North Korea is not a terrorist nation and their nuclear program had gone the way of the Dodo. McCain take note. There's a way to handle rogue nations in the world. It's effective and rarely costs lives. Give Condi a call, or better yet Obama, they'll walk you through it.

Deconstructing the Bradley Effect

I am soooo tired of hearing about the "danger" of the Bradley effect in the upcoming election.

It astounds me that, every time Obama is leading by a comfortable margin in the polls (whether in the primary versus Clinton, or currently) all of a sudden I have to read ad nauseum about the potential downfall the Senator may experience come election day.

First of all, it seems incredible to me that the first reaction, when discussing this infamous California election, is to blame the inherent racism of American society. Why would people who voted for a white Republican candidate lie and say that they had, in fact, voted for his African American Democratic opponent? Does this strike anyone else as odd? The polls leading up to election day predicted Bradley's victory as well. Consider that, according to Wikipedia, on election day, "previously (undecided) voters had voted for Deukmejian in statistically anomalous numbers." Does this strike anyone else as extremely odd?

I am no conspiracy theorist, but hasn't anyone thought that maybe the Republican machine swung into action and guaranteed the election for their boy? Fixed elections in America, and specifically in California, are not without precedent.

I don't make this point as an attempt to pretend that there isn't a race problem in America, but to instead illuminate that this "effect" may actually just have been an example of politics as usual. Only in America.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Schleping is all the Rage

Voting is the single most important part of any democracy. The second most important is trying to get other people to vote the same way as you. Now, you may not be able to get Crazybeth Hasselbeck to tone down her political arguments (that only dogs can hear) but you may be able to influence certain people in your life. People who maybe live in Florida? People who can't help giving you kisses because how can you resist when someone is "sitting, looking so perfect mit a punim like that". Here's Sarah Silverman to explain:

This is literally hilarious... Literally.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Dear Gov Wink,

I was not fooled for one second by your manic folksiness and arrogant (was it an attempt at joviality?) pronouncement that you were only going to answer the questions you wanted to at last night's debate. Here's the only problem, you really didn't answer any at all. You spouted opinions written by a team of republican talking-point monkeys with a emptiness behind your eyes not seen since Cindy McCain's "painkiller period".

It's bad enough that we have had to endure a President who is nothing more than a puppet for Darth Cheney, now you, and McCain for that matter, have sold your souls to Karl Rove's apprentice. Are you really that ambitious?

Here's the problem with that spectacle last night, though you were able to, adequately, answer the questions by essentially not answering them (but in carefully prepared talking points) you were not actually present at the debate. When Senator Biden was talking about sitting up at night not knowing whether his young son would see the morning you responded with a comment about how John McCain is a maverick. What the eff does that have to do with anything?

Take my advice, go back to Alaska. Travel. See the world and it's people. Learn legitimately about the subjects that you spoke of last night. You've already proven you're a quick study, now take the time to form an opinion. Of your own.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Voting is all the Rage

Please, please, please, please vote!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bitches with Badges

While Vix was staying with us over the summer, I was able to introduce her to some of my very favorite pop delicacies including; Wipeout, 1970s Disney Movies and, the creme de la creme, Cagney & Lacey. The uber-feminist shenanigans of Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey are absolute gold, as is watching them bust New York scum while wearing knee high high-heeled boots. One of my favorite "sports", while watching C&L is scanning the background for the occasional palm tree. Delicious.

Anyway, I recently discovered an interview that Graham Norton did with the former stars, promoting the release of Season 1 on DVD. It is in 5 segments and it is so delightful, and funny, that I had to post them here in their entirety. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Great Gorge Adventure

The Niagara Gorge is one of the most beautiful, and over-looked, aspects of the Niagara region. The gorge was created by the progress of Niagara falls as it literally cut this huge canyon out of stone at a very rapid pace (geologically speaking). Each step downstream takes you 100 years into the past.

As I mention briefly in the clips below, I spent a lot of time in the gorge as an adolescent. We used to camp on the shore of the Niagara Whirlpool. These wilderness adventures had less to do with taking in the vista and more to do with under-age drinking and carrying on. C'est la vie.

I tried to cut these scenes into a more comprehensive film but the resulting epic was too large to post onto Youtube. As a result I have picked the best clips and have pasted them below.

Before we get started, let me address the soon to be obvious elephant in the gorge (as it were) - my hair. Please forgive me if I decline to discuss how my hair became that shocking Blorange color, and merely reassure you that it was fixed shortly thereafter. Done and done. Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Zen in Niagara

The first thing I do, whenever I return home to Niagara, is take a long bath. This serves to wash the plane smell off of me and there's nothing quite as satisfying as sinking into a hot, steaming tub. Even in July.

The next thing I do, most of the year, is head out to sit by the pond next to the patio in my parents' backyard. There is something about the lilies, goldfish and birds chirping that re-energizes me. I love it. Here is a quick film I made of the many, many frogs hanging out in the pond (there are actually many more in the movie than I even realized while filming) and then a quick interaction with nature Ian and I had in Niagara Falls later on in the afternoon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thank You for Being a Friend

Like many 'mos, the Golden Girls played a large part in my formative years. There was something so inspiring about four older women - who by all accounts were no longer relevant in society (and certainly not in Hollywood) - who were ballsy, brash and completely comfortable in their own skin.

The boys and I used to play Golden Girl trivia during the long drive to and from Toronto. My favorite question, "What was Dorothy's nickname in high school?" (If you know the answer, enter it in the comment section below). While Dorothy was always my favorite character, it was her interactions with her mother, Sofia, (played by the incomparable Estelle Getty) that left me laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks.

Miss Getty passed away this morning at her home in California. She had been suffering from dementia for the past few years which made it impossible to join her cast mates in appearances like this year's TV Land awards. I am just so grateful that she has left behind a legacy of laughter. After all, what is more divine?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Bitch is Back!!!

The new spin-off of Beverly Hills 90210, "90210" should have all of the things I love in a TV show. Fashion, melodrama and a decent soundtrack but, after seeing the leaked pitch reel online, I think I may not be able to stomach it.

First off, the clothes are approaching California cliche - they look like the cast-offs from the OC season 2 wrap party and the actors have absolutely nothing interesting to say about their characters. All in all, I would say that the show warrants a pass - and yet today... something changed my mind.

According to the AP, Shannen Doherty is going to be reprising her role as Brenda Walsh over multiple episodes when 90210 premieres September 2nd on the CW. Apparently, Brenda is now a very famous director who is going to be overseeing a high school play at her old alma mater and... I can WAIT! I love me some Shannen D. I loved her in the original - "Never talk to me again!" - , I loved her on Charmed, I even watched her show (on Lifetime? Oxygen?) where she helped people break up with their loser partners. Full disclosure - I think she's Divine.

The new cast has already stirred the pot (with CW producers rubbing their hands together with conspiratorial glee) speculating that Shannen and Jennie Garth (also reprising her role) will have some sort of on-set smack down like they did back in the old days. I seriously doubt that it could happen, because I believe deeply that Shannen has grown as a person and would never behave that way, and also because - let's face it - Ms. Doherty could use the gig.

If you're planning on giving the new show a pass - I don't blame you - but rest assured, I will take a bullet for the team, watch the premiere and report back. I am the first to admit that a little Shannen goes a long way, but I totally up for the ride.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Irony is All The Rage

By now I'm sure you've all heard about the flap regarding the cover of this week's New Yorker magazine. It features a satirical (take note of the word, satirical) image of Senator Obama, and his charming wife, Michelle, in the oval office dressed in Muslim gear and as a para-military assassin, respectively. To their right, in the fireplace, burns an American flag. They are smiling at each other while doing the infamous fist bump.

To my eyes, this satirical cover is no more, or less, offensive them the one, a few months ago, of Obama and Clinton (in bed together) both reaching for the phone as it rings at 3am. The New Yorker has always had a penchant for poking fun at the hypocrisy of politics and the media and, in this case, did a remarkably good job of it.

Since Obama became the presumptive Democratic party nominee the right wing of the Republican party and their media partners (FOX News, The New York Post, talk radio, et al) have moved very quickly to create a sense of unease amongst the working class about Senator Obama and his wife. Everything from relentlessly parsing Mrs. Obama's comment that for the first time in her adult life she is really proud of her country to using the Senator's full name - Barrack Hussein Obama - whenever possible, to FOX News commentators discussing whether or not the fist bump is a terrorist signal - I am not making this up.

The fact that anyone takes the rantings of the uber conservative talking heads seriously is absurd to me, but such is the state of American politics that there is a small, but rabid, faction of the population that takes it very, very seriously. It is the very absurdity of the right wing that prompted this cover.

What I find truly insane is that the Obama camp have reacted with pompous political outrage. First off, if they hadn't led such credence to the "offensive" cover it would have simply disappeared - instead they chose to fan the flames. This "controversy" offered Senator Obama the perfect opportunity to address the cover, and the ridiculous rumors which prompted it. Why his campaign manager chose to go on the offensive while Senator Obama himself, refused to comment at all seems rather odd to me.

Following a week in which Obama allowed his children to be interviewed by Access Hollywood, and then made the rounds of the morning talk shows to lament the decision and assure the media that they would have no further access to his children - as though the original interview hadn't been orchestrated by his campaign, with his blessing, makes me wonder who is actually steering this ship.

As this campaign advances there is a greater sense that the Illinois Senator is remarkable thin-skinned, especially as he takes every opportunity lately to respond to any slight - large or small - real or imagined - levied against him. There is a real danger, if he does not pick and choose his battles, that he will continue to be pulled into these media inventions masquerading as "controversies" and the right wing will have gotten exactly what they want - the opportunity to set the tone of the campaign and the very real possibility of painting Barrack Obama as an angry black man.

My advice to Senator Obama and his campaign generals would be to pick their battles carefully, and consider every possible outcome. Fighting a war on too many fronts is a losing proposition - just ask Geroge W. Bush.