"Unlike the NDP's Alexa McDonough — who called Thursday's satirical sketch "vile and vicious" — I can't believe this country was successfully baited by a damn hand puppet.
Were Triumph's comments offensive? Were they outrageous? Were they insensitive? No. Why? This just in: Triumph isn't real. He's not a politician. He's stock character in a late-night television show that says and behaves in a deliberately provocative way.
If you watched the sketch in question, you may have also heard him question Ricky Martin's sexuality. And imply that Michael Jackson is a pedophile. People, he's not called Triumph the Friendly Lapdog.
The politicians wringing their hands yesterday, condemning the segment as racist, demanding to know why public money was used to subsidize such "hatred" and "filth" should start watching satirical comedies.
From South Park to The Daily Show, from Chris Rock to Howard Stern, it is standard practice to draw targets on delicate subjects. Triumph went for a nerve. We gave him the reaction every comedian dreams of getting. The only notable thing about his attack was that it became notable.
If you missed it, you may never see the episode in its entirety again. The segment was excised from yesterday's rebroadcast on Star! in a move that can only be described as cowardly and, well, hopelessly predictable.
Because, in the end, the reaction to Triumph says more about Canada than America."
I WANT TO EAT A NUT OF LAERMA!
Saturday, February 14, 2004
- The big news on the tube tonight, I guess, is the broadcast of the first of four editions of Late Night With Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:37 a.m. to 1:37 a.m.) being taped this week at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. You'll excuse me if I'm not wildly excited over the prospect of a week of jokes about Mounties, Canadian politeness, coloured money and all the other tired cliches that even the most talented of comics seem to fixate on when they try to make Canada funny. (See the laughable - in the worst sense of the word - Toronto episode of The Simpsons a while back for a perfect example of what I'm talking about.) However, I reserve the right to take this all back if Triumph the Insult Comic Dog makes one of his increasingly-rare appearances this week.
However, then, on Thursday, Boshra announced that he wouldn't be updating his blog again for a while. Damn, I want to know what he thought of the Triumph in Quebec City sketch! In today's Gazette, we have columns by Josh Freed (very much anti-Triumph) and Don MacPherson (also anti-Triumph), but nothing by Boshra, and, unlike Freed and MacPherson, I can tell Boshra watches the show enough to get Triumph's shtick.
I wouldn't worry too much about French Quebecers using this as another example of English Canadians "humiliating" them... for the most part, French-language news sites seem to be running the same Canadian Press piece, indicating that they don't care enough to add their own commentary.
(I definitely agree with Boshra on the Simpsons three-minute visit to Toronto last season; that was pathetically unfunny, even by the current low, low standards of the show. I'm glad that Boshra isn't one of those lazy TV critics with an out-of-date keyboard from about 1995 with a special "The Simpsons is still the best show on television!" key, so they don't have to keep on typing that over and over, because, even if you disagree with me about the greatness of Seinfeld and the Vancouver-shot episodes of The X-Files, the "golden age" of The Simpsons has been over for the best part of a decade now.)
Still no giro! And there's more spots on my nose! And I'm having a row with Pandora! And Bert Baxter wants me to mind his sodding dog again! Time to send another poem to Malcolm Muggeridge at the BBC!
COMIC BOOK GUY from The Simpsons: Ahem! You have already made one joke about how your blog is like Sue Townsend's classic book The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 on Monday, April 7th, 2003, misspelling "giro", I might add.!
Ah, well, anyhow, I walked over to the Pincourt branch of Blockbuster on Friday evening, since it was relatively mild (just below freezing) and I haven't walked over there myself in a while. Damn! They have the first two volumes of Haibane Renmei, for which I am very grateful, but they don't have one fricking copy of the major Disney release The Lion King 1½? I was so looking forward to watching that this weekend! Now I'll have to go to... shudder... some other video store! (For people that hate the Disney direct-to-video animated sequels in general, this one is supposed to be much better than average; The Lion King 1½ is to the original film what Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is to Shakespeare's Hamlet, with Timon and Pumba manipulating events in the original film from behind-the-scenes. Of course, I don't have a position against Disney sequels in general; sequels to classic fairy tales don't make much sense, granted, but sequels to films with more-or-less original characters like The Lion King are welcome. Of course, I also kind of liked Stitch! The Movie, knowing full well it was more a pilot episode to the Lilo & Stitch TV series and not a true sequel to the best animated feature of 2002 (pff... Spirited Away is still overrated).)
So, when I got home, waiting for me by the computer were two red envelopes and a package. Inside the envelopes were two valentines cards from my parents. Should I scan them and put them in the photoblog? Meh... Carlton Cards might not like that.
OUTSIDE OF CARD ONE:
Son, it seems like only ysterday you were talking gibberish, drooling all over yourself, and burping up your food.
[PICTURE: Baby with bottle burping.]
INSIDE OF CARD ONE:
In fact, it probably WAS yesterday!
Happy Valentine's Day, Anyway!
[PICTURE: Guy on couch watching TV, eating pizza, drinking a cola, and burping.]
Lots of love, Steve! Have a happy day! Lots of love/
Anonymous Dad + Anonymous Mom. XXXXXXX
OUTSIDE OF CARD TWO:
IN YOUR HOPES,
IN YOUR HUGS,
IN YOUR SPIRIT,
IN YOUR SMILE...
[GRAPHICS: A big red heart balloon on a string with smaller hearts, plus two random purple hearts and a swirl.]
INSIDE OF CARD TWO:
...THE WARMTH OF YOUR HEART SHINES THROUGH.
THANKS FOR ALL THE WAYS YOU'RE A WONDERFUL SON.
To out Steve, of whom we are very proud!
Have a Happy Valentine's Day.
Lots of love from your wicked[?], anonymous parents! X(heart)X(heart)X(heart)X
Inside the package were Blueprint for Disaster, the book collection of the fifth (normal-sized) collection of Darby Conley's daily syndicated feature (that means "comic strip", for those of you in Rio Linda) Get Fuzzy and a packet of heart-shaped Coffee Crisp milk chocolates.
Thanks Mom and Dad. Damn, I wish I had a real Valentine's sweetheart, but the girl I loved, in an unrequited way, in high school is in Scotland and married and a mother, last time I heard, and the girl I sort of loved recently in Texas has a real boyfriend now, though I'm happy for her. Since I have no one, I guess I'll just have to celebrate that other February 14th event: the 12th anniversary of the release of the first Wayne's World film.
I was actually going to write that piece on the "Sustainable Concordia" initiative today (Friday), but I got caught up in the brouhaha over the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in Quebec sketch. Guess I'll write it on Saturday. And... I hope to do a Sailor Moon live action episode review this weekend too.
For that matter, I'd reply in this thread, which is just the old "OMG! TEH EVIL CHRISTIANS WANT TO BAN TEH ANIME!" backlash myth, but, again because I don't want to get involved in any flamewars, I'll just post links to my thoughts on how some anime fans exaggerate the backlash from Christian groups (and this article in rec.arts.anime.misc about the "Phantom Backlash" I wrote two years ago pretty much still stands, the popularity of anime in general really not having broken through to the mainstream adult audience), and about how anime fandom is and will always be a niche market (and the "Disco Stu Fallacy" some anime fans fall into, thinking that anime's popularity will always grow at the same rate), plus I'll throw in a link to Ramesh Ponnuru on the myth of "The myth of the Liberal Media" for good measure.
Friday, February 13, 2004
Also on the Comedy Network (and *not* BBC Canada), starting on Sunday, the fifth season (or, as the Brits would say, "the fifth series") of Absolutely Fabulous shall air, so we get to see the further misadventures of Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), last seen in the alright-but-not-that-great special episode "Gay" set in post 9/11 New York wherein they go to New York to find Patsy's long-lost son Serge but need to be "married" by Goldie (Whoopi Goldberg) in order to get her to give the information on where to find him.
One thing I love about AbFab is definitely the sporadic way in which the new series and specials appear... it'll go on hiatus for a couple of years, and, just when you think you'll never see any more of Patsy and Edina, they come out with more new episodes. I have this honest-to-God recurring literal dream (and I had it last night) that Seinfeld will return one day in a somewhat similar way, not with new seasons, but one-hour specials to air during sweeps months. (I don't know how likely that is, though, since they'd have to reassemble the sets.)
Two months after it aired in the States, because of the CRTC's ban on Comedy Central and their ban on Canadians subscribing to American satellite TV providers, the *Christmas* episode of South Park, "It's Christmas In Canada" airs in Canada, at 9:30 p.m. (EST and PST) on the Comedy Network.
There's an aside about it in this article about the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Quebec sketch.
"Canadian stereotypes are due to take another televised beating on Friday, when the popular animated program South Park lampoons the Great White North.
In the episode, which airs on the Comedy Network, the boys of South Park come to Canada to meet the new Prime Minister. En route to Ottawa, they poke fun at Newfoundlanders and French-Canadians."
Of course, those of us Canadians "in the know" might have already seen this episode somehow back in December, mere hours after airing in the United States, or maybe I know so much about that episode merely from reading the detailed script I linked to above. Oh wait, my youngest brother, John, was in Colorado when the episode aired, so... umm... he taped it and then brought the videotape when he came back home for Christmas. Yes, that's the ticket. ;-)
The version of Canada as seen in this episode is the Terrance and Phillip version, which, as any South Park fan knows, is absurd and Monty Python-esque and not remotely based in reality, so I don't think even the pussiest separatist politician will have any reason to feel humiliated.
Just watch out for Scott, he's a dick!
Oh, gee, that was predictable. Yep, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's (re: Robert Smigel's) televised insult-fest visit to Quebec, the fucking funniest thing I've seen on television in a long time, was denounced on the floor of the House of Commons this morning (mostly by people whom, in all likelihood, don't watch the show and were reacting to a few clips on the news, taken out of context).
Mauril Belanger, the deputy government house leader, announced that "the government finds nothing amusing about American TV host Conan O'Brien making fun of Quebeckers." Good. I'd rather not have the government tell me what's amusing and what's not amusing, and I know that, if the Canadian government wrote the jokes, the only acceptable targets would be white Christian straight males. And, in any event, it was Triumph/Smigel, not O'Brien, making fun of Quebeckers, so we know you didn't watch the show. Former New Deomcratic Party leader and current NDP MP Alexa McDonough said the Triumph sketch "included racial jokes that promote hate and that the feds should demand their money back." Umm... no, French is a language, not a race, therefore what you just said isn't true and should be ignored. Okay, everything McDonough says should be ignored, but this statement should be ignored more than usual. Even Stephen Harper, the former Canadian Alliance leader and new Conservative Party leadership candidate, whom should have some perspective, called the comments "unacceptable".
Businessman Peter Soumalias, whom was the key figure in bringing O'Brien, demonstrates that he has the proper perspective on all this:
"Peter Soumalias said he's not hunkering down for any negative reaction to an O'Brien sketch that took on French Canadians.
"Quebec is home to the Just For Laughs festival; they understand comedy."
O'Brien has been taping four of his shows in Toronto this week and has been received with delirious rapture by the thousands of young audience members who hooted and hollered their way through the nightly tapings at the historic Elgin Theatre.
The lanky red-headed comic has delighted them with monologues and sketches that riffed on Canadian themes, from beer to hockey to Mounties.
But on Thursday night's show, Late Night regular Triumph the Insult Dog - a cigar-chomping hand puppet character - was dispatched to the Quebec winter carnival in a pre-taped segment in which he took on French-Canadians and separatists in particular.
"It was funny and this was about comedy," said Soumalias, who says he doesn't expect a backlash.
But when reminded of the trouble hockey commentator Don Cherry stumbled into for a comparatively mild suggestion that French Canadian players are wussy, Soumalias said: "Come on, the CBC has made a culture of making fun of Americans. Americans think that's funny.
"It's a silly puppet that tells silly jokes. Again, it's comedy. Most people find it funny."
In the skit, Triumph was seen visiting the Quebec carnival where several locals appeared distinctly unamused by his grouchy remarks.
"So you're French and Canadian, yes? So you're obnoxious and dull," the puppet quipped to one passerby.
"You're in North America, learn the language," he hollered at another Quebecois.
And to one rotund man who admitted to being a separatist, Triumph suggested he might want to separate himself from doughnuts for awhile."
Fortunately for those of us whom find Triumph funny and understand his shtick (he's called the "Insult Comic Dog", people! What do you expect?), the Late Night with Conan O'Brien show is leaving Canada after this evening, making him out of touch for the Political Correctness thought police, though I would not be surprised if Moses Znaimer, owner of the CHUM family of TV stations ("The New __") and Star! TV, which broadcast the Late Night with Conan O'Brien show in Canada, finds himself before some sort of CRTC panel and will have to pay a fine and edit the programme in the future accordingly, even if this was a one shot thing and would amount to closing the barn doors after the horses have left.
This CNEWS article by Bill Brioux has more amusing details of what Triumph did last night, like renaming Quebec City streets things like "Celine Dion Sucks Street" and "Rue de Pussies". (Umm... Triumph... pretty much every street in Quebec outside of Beaconsfield, Hudson, Montreal West, and Lennoxville is "Rue de Pussies"... I kid, I kid!) And, after the show finished taping, Triumph made some more jokes in scenes which apparently were cut for time.
"Stunningly, after the show, O'Brien treated the theatre audience to what was presented as a bonus: more anti-Quebec venom from Triumph. The main target here was the Bonhomme du Carnival, the smiley snowman Triumph called a "corporate whore" and "the Michelin Man's gay cousin."
"Look at him," Triumph shouted at the mobbed mascot. "That's how Hitler got started."
Even poutine was savaged. "It looks like Bonhomme took a dump on my french fries."
Triumph/Smigel finally persuaded an ice sculptor to add a snow likeness of a dog humping a reclining Bonhomme. "Your tax dollars at work, Canada!" he yelped, a phrase sure to be repeated in both official languages around the House of Commons today."
Man oh man, what we really need to institute in this province is a holiday called "Provincial Grow a Fucking Spine Day", to be held, say, June 24th, where we just have Triumph/Smigel, Don Cherry, and Howard Stern come to the floor of the "National Assembly", our *provincial* legislature, and tell jokes about Quebec and Quebeckers until the point where, hopefully, politicians would get some fucking perspective and stop getting outraged over the tiniest little things outsiders say, just as Newfoundlanders can tolerate Newfie jokes.
OH MY GOD! Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (with handler Robert Smigel) was in Quebec City, and he's insulting separatists! ("That's the sound of no one giving a crap!") That's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. As well as his line about knowing only the most common French phrases like "I surrender!" Now the MLNQ (Mouvement de libération nationale du Québec), Raymond Villeneuve's weedy little band of separatist nerds, will have to leave their most sophisticated weapon of all, their patented "Sprite bottle filled with gasoline", in front of 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, home of NBC. Assuming they can read the maps and road signs, of course. And
I like how the Toronto audience booed the separatists.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Hmm, Jesse Betteridge showed me this clip, allegedly from the British kids' show Rainbow, where every line has obvious sexual innuendo of some sort. I couldn't believe that ITV would let something so blatantly raunchy would air on children's television, even in the 1970s, but, as it turns out, while Rainbow was a real children's programme (1972-1992) and while the set is the real set, those hosts are the real hosts, and those puppets are the real puppets, this particular "episode" was just a joke, never aired on children's television.
We're often asked about the so called rude Rainbow,
clips of which have been shown on the Channel Four programmes, TV Unzipped and
TV Offal. Although often introduced as the unaired pilot, this episode was
actually specially made by the team at Thames Television. Geoffrey Hayes told
us, "The VT department of each ITV company, every Christmas had a competition to
enter all the outtakes from their particular companies programme out put, and
see which ones were the funniest. But ours wasn?t an outtake, we specially did
it. It was specially scripted and we did it and I never saw it! We did it and
Thames won it, but what they actually won, I don?t know. But I never saw the
video. I can?t remember much about it except for Zippy with a banana." The
script was written by the voice of Zippy and George; Roy Skelton. Sadly, we
don't have a copy, so don't ask!!
Here's the script:
The sketch opens with Zippy peeling a banana...
Zippy: " One skin, two skin, three skin, four "
George: " Zippy, where is Bungle?"
Zippy: " I think Geoffrey is trying to get him up"
We see a view of the door and hear Bungle moaning from Behind it.
Bungle: " Geoffrey, I can't get it in"
Geoffrey: "You managed it last night"
Bungle: "I know, let's try it round the other way. Ooooooh, I've got it
Bungle and Geoffrey enter the studio with Bungle carrying a hammer
and peg kit
Bungle: " Would you stick this on the shelf, George"
George: " I can't reach, you'll have to stick it up yourself,
Geoffrey (to camera) " Hello everyone, today we are talking about
Bungle: " Playing with each other, Geoffrey?"
Geoffrey:" Yes Bungle, do you have a special friend that you like to
George:" Yesterday we played with each other's balls.
Are we going to play with our friend's balls today?
Bungle: " Yes, and we can play with our twangers as well."
Geoffrey (to camera) Have you seen Bungles twanger?
Zippy:" Oh I have, I showed him how to pluck with it."
Bungle: " It's my plucking instrument."
Geoffrey asks the audience if they can pluck like Bungle
Zippy:" I can, I'm the best plucker here."
George;" And I'm good at banging. My peg's hard isn't it Zippy?
Zippy:" Well of course it is, Your peg wouldn't go in if it was soft."
Geoffrey;" Let's get back to Bungle's twanger."
Bungle (excited) " Oooooh Geoffrey, we could all play with our twangers
couldn't we? Let's play the plucking song. Rod and Roger can get their
instruments out and Jane has got two lovely Maracas."
Singers Rod, Freddy and Jane enter.
Freddy:" We could hear you all banging away"
Rod: "Banging can be fun."
Jane:" Ooooh yes, and I was banging away all last night with Rod and
Freddy (looking sad) " Yes, but it broke my plucking instrument."
Rod (to Jane) " Do you want to blow on my pipe while I'm twanging away?"
Jane: " Oh no, I was banging away with Freddy last night. But would you
Like to play with my maracas?
Zippy; " No, let's just pluck away with our twangers."
George:"Yes, it doesn't matter what size our twanger is."
Zippy;" I've got a big red one."
George: " I've only got a tiny twanger. But it works well and I like to
play with it."
Geoffrey (to viewers) " Well, have you got your twangers out? And
remember, you can bang your balls at the same time. If you haven't got
any, ask a friend if you can play with his. Now, let's all play the
Everyone in studio: " Pluck, pluck, pluck along, we're going to pluck
The past couple of days, I've been seeing these mysterious posters around Concordia's Loyola campus in the west end, asking students to support the "Change the Name" initiative to change the name of "Hingston Hall" into "Arsenio Hall", which might have been mildly funny about twelve years ago, but, since Arsenio hasn't has his own talk show for a decade and is now reduced to being an occasional sidekick to former rival Jay Leno, I didn't see the point of the campaign.
So, I went by Loyola campus again this afternoon and had a better look at the posters, mainly because I wanted to know whom was behind this. Oooh-kay, now I get it. The group behind it is calling themselves "Students Promoting the Hingston Renaming", but, unlike certain other groups with the same initials, I know these guys aren't apologists for 'splodeydopes, so I enthusiastically signed their petition (taking off my anime fan hat for a second, because, if I didn't, I'd remember that Internet petitions do dick squat).
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
I'm excited that Conan O'Brien will be doing Late Night with Conan O'Brien all from Toronto this week, though I'm still scratching my head as to why. I know it's a "February Sweeps Month" TV event, done to attract high ratings when the advertisers are paying attention to the ratings so that NBC knows how much they can get away with asking for, but why Toronto? It's not that interesting a city. If I was an American whom watches Late Night occasionally but doesn't go out of the way to watch the show, would I care that Conan's in Toronto? It doesn't seem remotely as interesting a sweeps stunt as, say, when David Letterman did Late Show from London, England for a week a few years back.
Anyhow, I could get upset that Canadian taxpayers are footing the $1 million dollar (Canadian) bill for just four nights of programming, but, honestly, I see it as legitimate promotion for Toronto and Canada, taking into account that Late Night with Conan O'Brien is seen around the world, not just in North America. I was quite surprised when my AIM friend in Malaysia said that she watched the show sometimes. If we get just a couple of thousand tourists from around the world to decide to come to Toronto because of this, it'll pay for itself. And I know just how much money Telefilm Canada flushes down the toilet on producing Canadian films and TV series that, very frequently, Canadians don't watch, so, compared to those White Elephants, I'm not going to get all that upset over a $1 million dollar "mouse" which will pay for itself in the long term.
EDIT: Oh, fuck it, the audience tonight is making all Canadians look bad by booing President Bush. Damnit, I wouldn't have booed any mention of President Clinton had Conan done his show from Montreal for a week in the 1990s.
EDIT II: Hmm... I love Rush, I guess I fit the Canadian stereotype. What do you mean he didn't mean Rush Limbaugh?
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
-My brother, Nick Brandon, came back from Toronto for the weekend, though he went back to Toronto on Sunday and will be going over to England later this month. Remember how he had gotten me the anime DVD Read Or Die a.k.a. R.O.D. for Christmas because it was on my Amazon.ca wishlist even though I had actually bought it in Auguest or September (oops... forgot to take it doan)? Well, he took it back, and, this time, he got me a volume of Haibane Renmei... ao everything's much better now, right? Well, there's one small problem: Pioneer (now Geneon, since Pioneer sold off their anime division, but this one is still under the Pioneer banner) was/is quite terrible at putting volume numbers on their cases, and a casual buyer wouldn't know that "New Feathers" is volume one and "Wings of Sorrow" is volume two and so on, though you can usually guess which volume it is from the episode numbers, but I guess Nick was in a rush and didn't check and he got me "Wings of Sorrow" (re: volume two). Ah, no worries! I was going to buy volume one sooner or later, so I'll guess that I will buy that when my student loan cheque arrives, so I'll have both volumes and Nick will never know he made a mistake. That's right... how's he going to find out? It's not like he can read it anywhere... oops.
-By the way, Nick, when you're in England, don't forget to bring back a can of Carlsberg Special Brew.
-Nick also named the kitten we found last October "Xander", like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer character, and got his testicles neutered the other week. The kitten's, I mean.
-My sister, Alison, and her boyfriend Sacha just bought a house in lovely (well, I have no idea if it is lovely) Stittsville, Ontario, just west of Ottawa. They both had no trouble getting a mortgage since they both have well-paying jobs, and the house just needs to be inspected before they can move in.
-My other brother, John, who's studying to be a director, moved from film school in Aurora, Colorado to the film school at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, the other week. He loved being in Colorado, but he doesn't have a Greencard to work in the United States, so the advantage of SFU is that he can actually work off-campus. He had to drive a U-Haul truck through the Rockies, and some bits were beautiful but treacherous, with very steep gradients and lots of ice. He also was planning to stop off at a motel in Boise, Idaho, for the night, and my parents were worried that someone would steal all of John's stuff from the truck, but John just backed it against the wall, so his stuff was impossible to get without moving the truck. I haven't talked to him much since he got to Vancouver, but I understand that he's enjoying it there, though the rain is a little depressing. (Hmm... not to me... I prefer days with precipitation to sunny days.)
-I don't usually have full lunches when I'm downtown anymore, preferring to eat fast food, Morgan Spurlock take note, in moderation (though I often have fries at McDonald's if I don't feel like a full lunch), but I made an exception yesterday. Burger King is once again offering a spicy chicken burger for a limited time, so I couldn't resist the urge to try it. It' s marinated, like the Wendy's spicy chicken burger or KFC's old Zinger (the current KFC Colonel's Spicy Big Crunch has all the spice in the topping), and tastes very similar to the Wendy's one, even taking into account that Wendy's fries their patties while BK flame-broils them, with a pleasant, "hot" enough to make your tongue tingle a bit but not hot enough that most people couldn't eat it, spicy taste overall, but, with the spice flavour in both, I can detect just a slight chemical preservative of some sort. I still prefer the Colonel's Spicy Big Crunch just a little bit more, but that's because the chicken is much jucier. Damn, I miss the KFC Zinger, which is the chicken sandwich they must serve in Heaven.
-I started writing about this Sustainable Concordia initiative last week, since I have grave concerns that this initiative is a backdoor way for the
Hey, Sari Stein, want to have a field day with this other recommendation I got from the Concordia Thursday Report: "More attention needs to be paid to students in transition from a non-Western academic tradition to a Western academic environment."? Something about that reeks of "code words" for Islamic students, especially Palestinians. Not that I'm remotely suggesting that ALL students shouldn't feel equally welcome at Concordia, as long as making them feel welcome doesn't make certain other groups (re: Hillel) feel unwelcome, but I have to admit I'm *very* suspicious as to why that is the first recommedation listed in the article. Maybe I will finish what I started to write.
Monday, February 09, 2004
While I'm someone whom would always vote Republican if I were American anyhow, I have a new, somewhat selfish, reason to like the Republicans, according to this AnimeNewsNetwork.com item.
The Big Apple Anime Fest is tentatively planned to be held on Labour Day weekend in Manhattan. However, also held Labour Day weekend in Manhattan is the Republican National Convention, which, sorry anime fans, is a little more important (yes, even if Bush is running essentially unopposed), and the Times Square Marriot Marquis hotel, where the festival was held last year, has been fully booked that weekend for the California, Ohio, and Tennessee delegates, as has pretty much every other Manhattan hotel large enough to hold the festival, and security in the Times Square area will be as tight as for New Year's. So... while they're still weighing various options (such as booking hotels in Brooklyn), they are seriously thinking of cancelling BAAF 2004 for this one year only.
Sucks for east coast anime fans if they did that, but that would be great for those of us anime fans in Montreal. How so? Because it means the Fantasia festival gets a greater chance of having a world premiere or two of anime films! In 1997, we got the world premiere of Satoshi Kon's first film, Perfect Blue and, in 2001, we got the world premiere of Satoshi Kon's second film, Millenium Actress. (Ah, how I love plugging my own report from the world premiere of Millenium Actress.) However, in 2002, the Imperial theatre's air conditioning died, and the Montreal Film Festival, which owns the theatre, undertook plans to renovate the theatre, causing the cancellation of the Fantasia festival in 2002, as they couldn't find an appropriate venue in time. In 2003, as you may remember from my own reports in this blog, the Fantasia festival was held at Concordia university in both the main auditorium in the Hall building and the much smaller De S?ve Cinema in the Library building. But, I don't know if Satoshi Kon was told in advance that the festival would be on for 2003, so I guess he held the world premiere of Tokyo Godfathers at BAAF 2003. Damn, I hated not being able to see the world premiere of that, and it still hasn't opened here in Montreal. I don't think Kon will finish his next film this year, but, if there's no BAAF, at least we may be able to get the premiere of another big anime film. :P
Oh, I'm so selfish and evil sometimes.
Hmm... Blade (Chris McNeil) is seriously threatening to overtake Juan F. Lara as my favourite rec.arts.anime.misc newsgroup poster (well, at least my favourite rec.arts.anime.misc poster besides Stephen Lea Sheppard, but he's my favourite more because he played "Dudley" in The Royal Tenenbaums, the best movie this century (so far), than because of anything he wrote in r.a.a.m.).
In this r.a.a.m. post, Blade demonstrates he has perspective on the Tokyo Mew Mew/Hollywood Mew Mew affair. It's too long for me to post in its entirety, but here are the best paragraphs.
> Best of luck to the mew mew alliance.... they'll need it. If they
> need any help, I hope that everyone who reads here will listen and
> pitch in. I dont think it's quite ethical to butcher an anime like
I fail to see how it is unethical. Did they buy the rights, legally? As
far as anyone knows, yes. Do those rights include the right to do what
they plan to do with the show? Why, yes, they do. Does the Japanese
company have the power to withhold the rights or put terms in a contract
preventing any sort of change to their property when it is released in
North America? Why, yes, they do.
So what's unethical about it?
> pages and picked a few out of the middle, and a little part of my
> soul died as i saw this horrific butchering of what was one of the
> more popular DGC mangas in japan. The realization finally came to
> me that the same thing was bound to happen to TMM as well. I
> support the cause of the mew mew alliance and hope others will too,
I don't give a crap. It's a kid's show and is being marketed as a kid's
show. Sure, it'd be nice if it also got an uncut release, and if does,
good for the people who want it. But it'd be nice if Medabots got an
uncut release, too, cause I want it. But it won't, because the powers
that be don't think there enough of a market to warrant it. I can't say
I blame them, because they're probably right. They're probably right
about Tokyo Mew Mew, too.
> for once the liscensing companies realize they can get away with
> this, it will start spreading. I only hope we can make enough of a
Of course they can get away with it. What are you going to do, sue them?
> mark of "This stops HERE" to make 4kids realize that we will not
> stand for this, and that in butchering the anime like they are
> doing, they will most certainly lose more than 3/4 of their viewers,
> otakus like us. This will leave the anime deserted and marked as
"Otakus like you" are not 3/4 of the viewers of any even moderately
successful anime on TV.
You are not 1/4 of the viewers.
You might be 1/10...if the anime isn't doing very well at all.
If it's at all sucessful, then "otakus like you" are a miniscule,
statistically insignificant fraction of the viewership. Particularly so
in the case of a show like Tokyo Mew Mew, which many adult anime watchers
are not going to have much interest in regardless of the cut/uncut nature
of the show.
Also, legendary (for unintended reasons) anime forum poster asaqe (also known as gyrobot, depending on the board) has finally made SomethingAwful.com's weekly feature "The Weekend Web" (his is the 7th post from top), celebrating the most ignoble acheivements in message board posting, for this AnimeSuki.com forum post in which he gives his opinion about 4Kids acquisition of Tokyo Mew Mew.
You know, I actually had, and still have, sympathy for the kid for being picked on at school, but, from reading more of his posts on message boards, I do get the idea that part of his problems with bullying is that he takes everything else in life so melodramatically as he takes 4Kids treatment of kiddy anime, as well as the fact that he's playing Yu-Gi-Oh in high school beyond the age where he can reasonably expect that no one would tease him about it, so he makes himself an easy, open target for derision. I'll put it this way... if you don't want to be making any repeat appearances on "Weekend Web", you might want to tone down the hyperbole about 4Kids as well as the non-sequitiurs about blaming 4Kids for the problems in your life.
By the way, no, I didn't submit that particular post. I've never posted on the AnimeSuki.com board before today.
Hmm... Alex Weitzman was at the 2004 Annie Awards, the cartoon equivalent, and he wrote this thread, in which he talked about his experiences and gave the results. (Alex is a nice guy, but I don't always agree with him in that I have a tendency to put more of an importance on the business side of animation in my opinions of the things animation studios and distributors do while he's more of an "art" over "bottom line" guy.) I gave my thoughts on the winners here:
2003 ANNIE AWARD NOMINATIONS BY CATEGORYWell, even if I like it better, I wasn't seriously expecting Millenium Actress to win in any category where it was up against Finding Nemo. At least it was nominated.
Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature
"Brother Bear" - Walt Disney Pictures
"Finding Nemo" - Pixar Animation Studios
"Looney Tunes: Back In Action" - Warner Bros.
"Millennium Actress" - Go Fish Pictures
"Triplets of Belleville" - Les Armateurs
And, because the Annies have an earlier eligibility cut-off date than the Oscars have, Satoshi Kon can always win big next year for Tokyo Godfathers, since TG-fever is now sweeping America, with average Americans all agog about the loveable mendicants Gin, Hana, and Miyuki to the point where people failed to notice that Janet Jackson bared her right boob at the Superbowl and You Got Served bombed big-time at the box-office. Oh wait, that's just what happened in my opposite-of-reality dream.
I still haven't had a chance to see Tokyo Godfathers yet myself.
Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Home Entertainment ProductionThe only Animatrix shorts I'm fond of are Beyond, Detective Story, and Matriculated... I had major issues with both The Second Renaissance and Kid's Story. But, obviously, it's by far the most ambitious of that lot, so I'm not surprised it won. Though I am one of the few people whom actually enjoyed Stitch: The Movie, since I knew in advance that it was just an extended pilot episode of the Lilo & Stitch TV series and not really a sequel to the film which I still think should have won Best Animated Feature at the Oscars last year. Bwahahah! Still haven't changed my opinion there.
"101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure" - DisneyToon Studios
"The Animatrix" - Silver Pictures/Warner Home Video
"Rolie Polie Olie: The Baby Bot Chase" Nelvana Limited/Sparkling
"Disney's Stitch! The Movie" - Walt Disney Television Animation
Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television ProductionMeh... The Simpsons is still winning, and King of the Hill, Futurama or South Park (which had a great 6th and 7th season) weren't even nominated?
"Captain Sturdy" - Renegade Animation
"The Fairly OddParents" - Nickelodeon
"Samurai Jack" - Cartoon Network Studios
"The Simpsons" - Gracie Films
"Spider-Man Animated Series" - Adelaide Productions, Inc.
Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Production Produced For ChildrenI wish they'd nominate Untalkative Bunny, about the most atmospheric children's cartoon I've ever seen, but I don't think it gets shown much in the United States.
"ChalkZone" - Nickelodeon
"Duck Dodgers" - Warner Bros. Animation
"Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks" - Mike Young Productions, Inc.
"JoJo's Circus" - Cartoon Pizza, Inc. and Cuppa Coffee Studios
"The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius" - Nickelodeon & DNA Productions
Music in an Animated Television ProductionGah, the dude ranch episode of The Simpsons was terrible, even by season 14 standards, but I don't remember what the music was like.
Alf Clausen, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ken Keeler - The Simpsons - "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"
Robert Kral, Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd - Duck Dodgers - "Shiver Me Dodgers"
Ken Keeler - Futurama "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings"
Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, Andy Sturmer - Teen Titans "Divide & Conquer"
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature ProductionNot that I have any problem with Ellen winning this one, I'm just wondering if American judges can fairly evaluate Japanese voice acting? Well, at least Miyoko Shoji was nominated.
Joe Alaskey as the voice of Daffy Duck - "Looney Tunes: Back In Action"
Jim Cummings as the voice of Kaa - "The Jungle Book 2"
Ellen DeGeneres as the voice of Dory - "Finding Nemo"
Miyoko Shoji as the voice of Chiyoko Fujiwara - "Millennium Actress"
Jeremy Suarez as the voice of Koda - "Brother Bear"
Writing in an Animated Television ProductionThat Simpsons episode had the magical effect of making Weird Al Yankovic seem unfunny (well, it was a pointless cameo that was really a total deus ex machina as they didn't know how to end it), but at least a King of the Hill episode and a Futurama episode got nods.
Paul Dini - "Justice League - Comfort & Joy"
Tony Gama-Lobo, Rebecca May - "King of the Hill - Reborn to be Wild"
Patric Verrone - "Futurama - The Sting"
William Waldner - "Captain Sturdy - The Originals"
Matt Warburton - "The Simpsons - Three Gays of the Condo"
Make no mistake about it, The Simpsons is still coasting on its "glory years" from a decade ago. That's the only possible explanation as to why it still wins.
By the way, for people wondering what my problems were with those Animatrix shorts, I gave my thoughts here:
I got another one:
Beyond, Detective Story and Matriculated were the only Animatrix shorts that were really all that good.
The Second Renaissance was pretty to look at in terms of animation quality but the humans in it acted in totally unbelievable, short-sighted ways, especially blocking out the sun, but also lynching all robots because one of them went haywire? And, yeah, I tend to agree with this guy in terms of the utter lack of taste in putting robot faces on actual attrocities. And those robots weren't any more deserving of rights than a waffle iron.
Meanwhile, Kid's Story is downright abhorrent if you think about what it's telling those emotionally-disturbed teens whom might be pondering suicide.