I forgot to say... in regards to tolerance of homosexuality (and other such things), I think Mr. Garrison in the South Park
episode "Death Camp of Tolerance"
got it exactly right (and this episode is about the best animated satire I have ever seen, miles above any satirical point the Simpsons
has ever made in my opinion):
Mr. Garrison: [frustrated and finally letting loose] God-damnit, don't you people get it?! I'm trying to get fired here! [the applause dies down]
Man 3: [softly] Oh, that's courageous.
Mr. Garrison: Look, this kind of behavior should not be acceptable from a teacher!
Mr. Slave: Yeah, Jesus Christ.
Man 6: But the mu-se-um tells us to be to-le-rant
Man 3: [stands up and raises his arms] Yes. The mu-se-um.
Man 7: [stands up and raises his arms] The mu-se-um tells us.
Mr. Garrison: Tolerant, but not stupid! Look, just because you have to tolerate something doesn't mean you have to approve of it! If you had to like it, it'd be called the Museum of Acceptance! [the audience looks on] "Tolerate" means you're just putting up with it! You tolerate a crying child sitting next to you on the airplane or, or you tolerate a bad cold. It can still piss you off! Jesus Tapdancing Christ!
Randy: He's right. Our boys didn't hate homosexuals, they just hated the way this asshole was acting.
Gerald: We'ge gotta get our boys back! [gets up and rushes out]
I wonder if there's any way one can see this episode if one hasn't seen it already?
(It's season 6, episode 614, by the way...)
HOORAY TO ELSIE WAYNE!
Hooray to Conservative MP (and Deputy Leader) Elsie Wayne for having the courage to take a politically incorrect stance on gay marriage
and hooray to her for not apologizing. I don't necessarily agree with everything she has to say on the issue, but someone not supporting gay marriage or thinking homosexuality isn't natural doesn't offend me in the slightest; at worst, I agree to disagree.On the other hand, the tactics of the pink triangle gestapo
to intimidate and silence anyone who disagrees with them on any issue related to homosexuality offends me plenty. As someone with a gay relative (and someone whose own sexuality is fairly fluid upon occasion), I certainly hate gay bashing (though I don't think it should be on the books as such; assault is assault, and one's motivations should not be a factor... assaulting a straight person should be considered no better or worse) but I also hate the term "homophobe", because I know the term "homophobe" is just a label used to tar-and-feather anyone that disagrees with a gay activist on anything. For example, I don't believe mayors should be sent to
"sensitivity training" for refusing to proclaim Gay Pride Day/Week
... if refusing to proclaim Gay Pride activities offends people that much, well, there are these little things called "elections" every couple of years by which you can get people in power more closely algined with your views (assuming there is a critical mass of voters who agree with you). I don't think that sort of things should be resolved before
"Human Rights Tribunals". On the issue of homosexuality in general, I think searching for a "single cause theory" is kind of a red herring. I fully believe some people were born that way and other people became that way because of various environmental or emotional influences, or possibly just beccause of circumstance, and I think gay people, if they want to be straight, should be free to seek psychological and/or spiritual help, and some may be "cured" (or "changed", if you prefer), others not (probably depending on how much their orientation is "fixed" instead of "fluid"), but the ones that aren't or are for a while and then go back to being gay don't disprove the experiences of the ones that do change. The other week, I found this nice little essay about how homosexuality varies from individual to individual
written by someone who seems to have ths same view I do on the issue. Anyhow, all I can say is that I wish more Canadian politicians would have the courage to say things that aren't poltically correct, because, whether or not I agree is irrelevant, I just like sincerity.
YOKOHAMA MONTREAL KAIDASHI KIKOU
(Montreal Shopping Log.)
Today (Wednesday) I went downtown, for the first time in a couple of weeks, actually. I still hadn't bought anything with my Easter money, and I also wanted to get the copy of Golden Sun: The Lost Age
for the Gameboy Advanced that I had preordered at Compucentre in February, but whch still wans't in the last time I checked (April 15th, I think). I got the game first, and then resumed my hunt for either All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku
or the first volume of Fruits Basket
(both anime DVDs), but couldn't find either. I did, however, get the 4th volume of the Fruits Basket
manga (Japanese comics) in French (because they don't publish that one in English yet, though they probably will, since the anime version of it seems to be very popular) from Chapters, and then I went back to Metro Video and decided to purchase the remastered DVD of one of my all-time favourite anime films, Project A-ko
. While I was there, I decided to ask if I could special order the All-Purpose Cutural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku
(the main character is a plucky female android with a cat's brain), but they checked Amazon.ca and that particular DVD can only be imported from the United States... feh, lately, I've preferred buying anime DVDs locally since the Canadian dollar's so low, though it did finally pass the 70 cent ($U.S.) mark for the first time in a couple of years last week, so maybe it owuldn't be so bad.
Damn, I love Project A-ko
, the antethesis of the sort of anime films that get the most of the attention from critics these days. Nothing "artsy" and no pretentious, preachy subtexts whatsoever (beyond "are they or aren't they all lesbians"?)... just straight fun with a super-strong schoolgirl and robots and spaceships and jumping from missile to missile and panties and nipple tweaking. It was done in 1986 and I first saw it in 1994; I've seen dozens of other anime films since then, but I'd still only put a few higher, since I value "fun" as much as "art", and this is one of the purest "fun" anime films ever animated. (I really don't like thinking of anything I like as "art" actually, since I find "art" to be one of the most overused words.) Plus, a nice bonus with the remastered "Collector's Edition" is that you get the soundtrack CD (domestic version) free inside the case, and I paid less than $30 Canadian total for that. The CD includes the three songs from the film, completely in English (as they were even in the original Japanese version), and, apparently, from what I've read, one of the singers was also the woman who performed the songs on Jem and the Holograms
which I watched every afternoon on WVNY-22 from Burlington VT, and, yes, they do sound the same
but that show was for girls so I never watched it and couldn't tell you how the songs compared..I listened to "Dance Away" over and over while I was walking around town. I had a KFC Spicy Big Crunch (or "PFK Super-Croque �pic�e", if you're reading this, Manathern...) and walked to my apartment to pay the rent cheque (I'm not there much anymore, but we have to keep paying the rent until August...).
I saw X2: X-Men United
at the Paramount and it was very good, and I'll do a full review of it tomorrow. I sat right in the front row (as I am wont to do, because I like the effect when a film occupies my entire range of vision), and I was especially proud of my sharp eyes, because I noticed a tiny little detail which would seem to be a hint as to what to expect in the next sequel (besides the obvious one involving Jean Grey)... since I was so close to the screen, I could see all sorts of tiny little details, and I noticed that several of the president's aides and Secret Service bodyguards were wearing thick, Mason-esque (or "Stonecutters-esque" for you Simpsons
fans) "secret society" sorts of rings, and I do believe I spotted a pitchfork or a trident, though it was only on the screen for a fraction of a second, so it's a little difficult to tell, so I'm guessing the Hellfire Society will play at least a supporting role in the next one. Even the Marvel fans I was talking to at RottenTomatoes.com seemed to have missed that "easter egg".
After I got home (by bus, because the movie didn't end until 9:15 p.m., just as the last commuter train is pulling out of Windsor
(I refuse to call it "Lucien L'Allier") terminal by the Bell Centre (formerly "Molson Centre") NHL arena), I found my Game Boy Advance and did the password transfer thing so that all my items and "djinns" and money and levels from the first Golden Sun
could be transferred to the new game. Except, the password was 6 fricking pages/260 characters long, so I spent the best part of an hour writing it down and then putitng it into the new game. But it did work for me. There's a much easier way to do it... a direct eletronic transfer using the wire, but I don't have 2 Game Boy Advances and my brother's one is in Toronto...
I don't want to put a page counter on this blog, because, frankly, I don't want to know how unpopular I am, and, also, I don't want other people to know how unpopular I am. But, I gotta admit, I am sometimes curious to know what sort of search terms people use on Google to find this page, so maybe I will add some sort of statistic counting thing, but I won't look at the numbers, just the referrers. However, with PicoSearch, I can find out what terms people were searching for within this page, and, now there's several searches that weren't just me either testing it or searching for something I wrote before.
Well, I'll put three here:
1) "rush limbaugh funny anti-war protest pictures"
Hey, welcome to this site all Dittoheads!
2) "boondocks pics"
Well, I did write about Aaron McGruder's Boondocks
comic strip, I think twice (and I think I was rather diplomatic too, since I disagree with his politics most of the time), but, no, you won't find pics on this blog, since I'm too cheap to pay BlogSpot to host pictures.
*shudders thinking that the guy was searching for yaoi (gay anime/manga) artwork of Huey x Cesar or, worse, Huey x Riley*
And the weird one:
3) "tom roder suicide"
I had to do a Google search to figure out this one for myself, but I'm guessing the guy tried that query at Google first
and found this page, because I talked about, in order, how the Boondocks
storyline with Tom
's wife kicking him out of the house dragged out for way too long, the "Idiotarian" Ulla Roder
who attacked the British fighter jet with a hammer, and the guy that committed suicide
jumping off the Golden Gate bridge after making an anti-war statement. Next time, try putting "Tom Roder" in quotations, so you don't find every page with "Tom" and "Roder" on it.
Also, whem I'm searching Google to read things people write in blogs, rather than going directly to the page, I often check out the "cache" since it has the words highlighted.
Oh, and, by the way, I am feeling a bit better about the personal situation involving a friend that I can't really talk about here. And I heard from my sister in Ottawa that the Becket Players were amused by my comment that everyone in Montreal should come and have a good time at their show
except if "you're a copyright lawyer involved in any way with the movie or music recording industries." I think I shall go downtown tomorrow and watch X2: X-Men United
, so expect a shodilly-written, spoiler-ridden review of it here within the next few days.
BUT HOW MANY CANADIANS READ NATIONAL REVIEW?
Of course, I actually have a subscription to the print version (nicknamed "NRODT": National Review On Dead Trees
), and love reading the online version
too, but I wonder how many other Canadians read it? Probably more than I think. Over the past couple of days, there have been a couple of items of interest specifically to Canadians.
First of all, something seems to be quite amiss at the National Post
, the Canadian newspaper that is actually to the right of most conservative American newspapers. A lot of columnists seem to be jumping ship as of late. I wasn't that concerned with Patricia Pearson's leaving a few weeks back, allegedly because the editors were forcing her to keep her mouth shut about certain of her political stances (as Mark Steyn pointed out, the very liberal Mark Kingwell seems to be free to speak his mind on things), but, on Saturday, David Frum, the Canadian pundit who served a stint as a speechwriter in the White House (and who is also the son of Barbara Frum, who was one of Canada's most liberal journalists in the 1980s on CBC's The Journal
, though, sadly, she died from cancer in the early 90s... in this case, the apple fell far from the tree), suddenly resigned, and he wrote about why he did so in this post in his online diary at National Review Online
. The paper was started in 1998 by Hollinger newspaper baron Conrad Black, whom, if you took media studies classes** in the 1990s, was the root of all evil, but, about 2 years back, Black sold the paper to Izzy Asper, head of Canadian media conglomerate CanWest/Global, and, suddenly, even a lot of liberal university professors changed their opinions and now Asper was much worse than Black. Frum alleges that Asper is much more friendly to the governing Liberal Party, shutting down the newspaper's investigation of Prime Minister Chr�tien's alleged financial improprieties in handing out sweet loans to personal friends and such. But, once Frum returned from his tour-of-duty as a Bush speechwriter (including during the 9/11 attacks), he still returned to the National Post
since the original editors, Ken Whyte and managing editor Martin Newland, were still there. But, last week, Asper fired Whyte and Newland, not even letting them get their personal items until Sunday, and only with guards watching them, just because the paper was still losing money. The new editor, Matthew Fraser, didn't even see fit to thank Whyte and Newland in his front cover piece announcing the change in leadership, and Frum saw this as the last straw and resigned. I'm glad I can still read Frum's diary at NRO
and his column on the last page of NRODT, but I'll miss his insight into Canadian matters in the National Post
. Now, if fellow National Review
and National Review
contributor Mark Steyn leaves the Post
(and I haven't heard anything liek that yet, but who knows), I don't know if I'd bother reading it anymore.
Also of interest to Canadians, last Friday, Neil Seeman, director of the Fraser Institute's Canadian Statistical Assessment Service
, had a piece on NRO about how wrongheaded the World Health Orgainization's travel advisory against Toronto because of SARS fears was
. As a Montrealer, I'm no great fan of Toronto, but, still, I don't think it was fair that the city was made into a "scrape goath"
. (My little in-joke again.)
(Incidentally, about SARS, my brother went to Hong Kong in February and then volunteered for a while at the Toronto hospital where the SARS patients were kept, and he's fine. He's even getting paid to screen people for SARS now. I'm willing to bet this disease only affects people with already severely compromised immune systems.)
**Note to right-wing students: Unless you absolutely have to for your programme, don't
take college or university "media studies" classes, unless you are much more cogent, articulate and charismatic at debating people than I am, since these classes invariably look at the "corporate" media from a far-far-left/Chomskyite/Marxist viewpoint (to the exclusion of all other viewpoints, unless you introduce those viewpoints yourselves). And I'm speaking from experience taking these classes at 3 different Montreal campuses.
OH, AND BY THE WAY, IN BOOK 7, WE'LL FIND OUT VOLDEMORT WAS TAKING ORDERS DIRECTLY FROM DUMBLEDORE...
Well, I'm making that up (though I wouldn't be that
surprised), but, anyhow, it's not something current, but one of my pet peeves are "spoiler warnings", or, rather, excessive spoiler warnings, especially if you're reading some sort of series/movie-specific forum or webpage or thread on a general movie/TV forum where you can fully expect to see some, if not, all surprises revealed. Even in reviews, I don't think anything aside from, maybe, stunning plot twists should be marked with spoiler warnings, because, if it matters that much that you go into a movie completely "fresh" then you already know that you want to see it and don't need to read what the nice critic thought of it. In short, I think at least a good 75% of spoiler warnings are simply put there for morons without any sense of discernment that, frankly, should be spoiled if they go somewhere where they can reasonably expect to see spoilers; the Internet equivalent of "Not to be taken internally/Do not drink." labels on the side of paint cans. My own spoiler warning policy is to mark once and only once and not include redundant "spoiler space" and only mark major twists, not minor stuff or "basic premise"-type stuff (i.e. identifying that Alpha's an android in Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
... she says herself in the fricking opening) and then I only mark spoilers for things that are relatively "fresh", by which I mean when I can't yet be reasonably sure that the vast majority of people reading that have seen something and would be interested in seeing it. Once a movie's been out on video a year or two or once an episode of a TV show is in reruns in North America... still haven't seen it yet and are annoyed that I reveal something? T.S....
I just bring this up because I was doing a Google search for people that agree with me, and found this excellent "editorial" on the subject by some fan-fiction author called Mary Jean Holmes
... good read and I completely agree. Come to think of it, why put "spoiler warnings" at all in fan-fics? Presumably, if one would care to read, say, a yaoi slash fan fic featuring Yuki and Kyou (not into yaoi in general, yet, somehow, I find that combo very appealing), one would already be at least partially familiar with Fruits Basket
. I say don't read fan-fics until you reach the point where you know everything there is to know about a particular series, or don't care about reading spoilers.
Of course, needless to say, I'm someone who enjoys reading spoilers
... I'm not going to pay $8 Canadian (since I usually go to matinees... mroe than that if I go in the evening) just to find out some gimmicky plot twist... I care about the storytelling or characters or humor or the effects, not much about being surprised. Knowing the main spoiler in advance sometimes enhances my enjoyment of a film, like, for example, Vanilla Sky
, if I'm looking for all the clues that lead up to the ending that I would miss otherwise.
STANDING UP FOR THE BIG GUY
In Saturday's edition of the Montreal Gazette
, in the business section, there's a story about class-action lawsuits
, and the example they use is a case involving Blockbuster Video. The lawfirm Kugler Klandestin filed a lwasuit against Blockbuster in March on behalf of 493 000 Blockbuster members in the province of Quebec regarding the "exorbitant and unlawful" late fees that Blockbuster charges (a little over $5 Canadain for a new release). Now, I understand that people everywhere get pissed off over Blockbuster's late fees and have been for a while, but, as a Blockbuster renter that quite often pays late fees, I can say the lawsuit doesn't speak for me, for the following reasons:
a) When you rent a video from Blockbuster, they tell you when it's due back, so, if you don't bring it back by the appointed time, it's your fault really, not Blockbuster's.
b) The late fees are supposed to be an incentive for you to bring back the DVD or video or video game on time, and a penalty if you don't.
c) Compared to most of the video chains and mon-and-pop video locations, around here at least, Blockbuster's a lot more reasonable when it comes to the alloted time with which you are supposed to return even the newest of releases. All other stores seem to insist that you return your new release by some point in the evening of the next day, usually between 6 to 8 p.m.. However, not only does Blockbuster give you officially until midnight the next day to return your item, in actuality, if you return your video before 10 a.m., when most Blockbusters open, the day after the day after you rented it, you won't pay a late fee.
d) I don't know about elsewhere in the world, but here in Quebec, Canada, for the new releases, the late fee is pretty much exactly what you'd pay if you went back to the store and decided to rent it agai.
e) Sometimes, after I rent a DVD, I just don't feel like returning it on time for many different reasons. In doing so, I know I'll have to pay a late fee, but, sometimes, between "late fee" and "inconvenience", I'll take the late fee.
f) DOn't like paying late fees at all? Try Netflix or pay-per-view or "video on demand"
But, I know, it's much easier to blame a big "eeeeevil" coportation than it is to admit that, yes, getting into situations where you would have to pay a late fee is your fault.