I WANT TO EAT A NUT OF LAERMA!
Saturday, February 21, 2004
I was just listening to a rebroadcast of an hour of The Tommy Schnurmacher Show, because I was surprised to hear Tommy mention my mother as one of the callers waiting on the line. (Hmm... my mother always sounds more British on the radio than the way I hear her in person.)
I didn't know about this: A North Korean man is fighting to stay in Canada. If Song Dae Ri returns to North Korea, he will surely be executed for "treason", just as his wife, whom was tricked into returning to North Korea two years ago, was executed, leaving six-year old Ching-Il an orphan just because Immigration and Refugee Board bureaucrat Bonnie Milliner thinks that the guy is not worthy of the protection of the Canadian government because "he was a high ranking member of the North Korean government and was complicit in crimes against humanity". He was a trade representative in a country where everyone works for the government, and Canada's War Crimes Board says that he is not a "person of interest".
Yes, as my mother and some other guy just before her pointed out, if Americans want to extradite a murderer who's hiding in Canada, Canada wouldn't hand him over until they'd be 100% sure that he wouldn't be executed, because Canadian politicians hate the death penalty when it's implemented by Americans, but if the death penalty is implemented by North Koreans against a guy whose only crime was trying to import some wheat off the books to feed his starving countrymen in that glorious "worker's paradise", just as they executed his wife and his father, and just as they would execute his 6-year old son if Canada hadn't already stated that he could stay, Ottawa bureaucrats can look the other way.
Please contact deputy prime minister Anne McLellan (postage-free) at:
12304 - 107 Avenue NW
T5M 1Z1, Canada
Telephone: (780) 495-3122
Facsimile: (780) 495-2598 Ottawa Hill Office
306 Justice Building
House of Commons
K1A 0A6, Canada
Telephone: (613) 992-4524
Facsimile: (613) 943-0044
Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
340 Laurier Avenue W.
Sir Wilfred Laurier Building, 13th Floor
K1A 0P8, Canada
Facsimile: (613) 952-2240
E-Mail Anne: McLellan.A@parl.gc.ca
Disappointing but predictable. Using my Bell ExpressVu satellite TV serivce, I tuned to the NBC station out of Boston on Thursday nigth (early Friday morning) at 3:30 a.m. to see the rebroadcast of last Thursday's Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the one with the infamous (but really funny) Triumph the Insult Comic Dog sketch, but, mysteriously, it wasn't being shown; instead we got a rebroadcast of the same epsiode which aired three hours earlier. (And, to anyone whom knows Bell ExpressVu, no, they didn't replace it themselves with a channel showing the west coast signal... it was about a minute ahead of the west coast signal.) Yep, because pussy separatist politicians and their federalist appeasers overreact to a silly rubber dog puppet, the only place we'll ever be able to see that sketch again (and it's no longer on the CBC ZeD site, so you'll have to try a file-sharing service like WinMX).
By the way, I found this other Montreal-based blog, called "All AgitProp, All the Time" by Paul Jané, which is what my blog would be like if I had more server space and better HTML skills and was more consistent with my posting and more focused and didn't talk about entertainment stuff (of the sort that interests me) as often. And it's one thing for a British-born Anglophone of mixed British, Polish, Jewish and maybe a tiny trace of Mongolian (from the hordes... heh heh, Genghis is my granddaddy!) descent whom, frankly, doesn't speak French as well as he should (though I do shop at Renaud-Bray for French-translated manga... that's got to get me some language brownie points) not to be offended, however, this guy's obviously at least part French-Canadian, and he's more gung ho in defending Triumph than I am!
From his first post:
"O'Brien's team were also shown replacing street signs in the province with those that read "Quebecqueer Street" and "Rue des Pussies."
*Snort* Well, considering the amount of time that the French have spent replacing English street signs, it seems as though there's a precedent there...
Alexa McDonough, a legislator for the left-leaning New Democrats, described the program as "racist filth" and "utterly vile" and demanded the government seek the return of the C$1 million subsidy.
Well, I happen to think that it's "utterly vile" that there still are suckers out there willing to vote for the
Ba'ath Party of CanadaNDP, but you don't see me sitting here and complaining about it all the time, now do you?
"There may be those who would say, 'Isn't this interfering with freedom of expression?' It's not interfering to say we will not publicly fund this kind of vile, vicious hatemongering," McDonough told reporters.
Oh yeah, ever since the show aired, there have been massive pogroms of French Canadians, and they have started to be herded off into concentration camps. In fact, I have been so riled by all this "vicious hatemongering" that I plan on going out and taking shots at Quebeckistanis for fun later on today.
[The above is sarcasm; spare me the hate mail. - Ed.]"
From his second post, Fisking Josh Freed's column:
"The show featured a puppet called Triumph the Insult Dog...
Or, as he likes to be called, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog...
...which wandered around Quebec City's winter carnival, sporting a French beret. It stopped Quebecers in the street and said stuff like: "So you're French and Canadian, yes? So you're obnoxious and dull?"
Also: "You're in North America. ... Learn the language!"
To quote Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now: the horror.
Thanks for the insults, Conan. Somehow you forgot to step on Quebec's flag or make any frog jokes.
Oh, just you wait until network sweeps season, Josh; then, the real fun begins.
I guess your show's "comedy" writers weren't up to date on their stereotypes.
OK, amuse me: how many of you have seen one of those Triumph sketches and not laughed your arses off at some point? If comedy can't be funny when it's slightly hurtful, we'd better hurry up and declare Don Rickles (Denis Leary, and a whole other bunch of people) persona non grata before the next Just for Laughs festival rolls into town."
In his third entry, about Bill Brownstein's column, he somehow manages to call Jack Todd, "Jack
"Some of us in these parts are still sporting our facial visors to avoid getting all the excrement in our mugs Conan and his equally barbarian cohorts kicked up during their ill-conceived visit to Quebec City.
I know, our feelings as Quebeckistanis are all so very hurt, in fact, I cried myself to sleep last night because of Don Cherry and Conan O'Brien's hurtful statements.
Does everyone in this province have scary insecurities? Am I living in some sort of kindergarten for the mentally disadvantaged?"
Martin Patriquin in Hour also is making some sense:
"Then again, it's tough to understand why a seemingly levelheaded group of people would get mad at a cigar-chomping rubber puppet, but it happened. The Triumph the Insult Comic Dog sketch took said puppet to Quebec City, and made fun of French Canadians. Something about their stupidity, dullness and their smelly crotches.
It was funny, for the same reason Rick Mercer is (usually) funny, when the sardonic Newfie pokes fun at Americans. In exploiting their victims' ignorance - or, in the case of the French Canadians on Conan's show, their inability to speak English - they are showing how self-important and, yes, ignorant they are themselves.
Nevertheless, the one-two punch, the quick and painful accident of Cherry and Triumph together, has become political fodder. It's a perfect, pop-culture veneer for the recent Auditor-General report - that $100-million Ontario MP Joe Comuzzi has already put down as an example of Quebec's corrupt political culture. The kerfuffle has given instant credibility to the Montreal chapter of the Société St-Jean-Baptiste, itself a casualty of the improved French-English relations in this province. SSJB president Jean Dorion said the following, presumably with a straight face: "It's wrong to spread the worst possible ethnic prejudices about Quebecers, which already exist in Canada."
(Two words, Jean: Elvis Gratton. Two more: Les Bougon. How about these two: Les Boys.)"
Actually, I haven't seen it, and it's one of those shows that would be in such heavy joual (the Quebec street dialect) that I would quite honestly need subtitles to understand it (and I can understand shows from France in French just fine), but, since poverty industry activists are up in arms about Les Bougon presenting cheating welfare leeches as the parasites they are, welfare being a huge sacred cow to Quebec leftists, I can give Les Bougon my full endorsement. (I guess Les Bougon is roughly the French-Canadian equivalent of the English-Canadian adult comedy cartoon series Kevin Spencer, though the father, Percy Spencer, doesn't come up with nearly as creative schemes to rip the government off as the patriarch in Les Bougon comes up with. Hmm... come to think of it, I don't ever remember any dependency-perpetuating poverty industry activists whining about Kevin Spencer, but Kevin Spencer, which is on the Comedy Network, is much more obscure in the English-Canadian market than Les Bougon is in the French-Canadian market.) Elvis Gratton is absolute garbage; pure-separatist propaganda, presenting Federalist French-Canadians as being absolute buffoons, from separatist propaganda-churning (and stomache-churning) director Pierre Falardeau, whom appears at the end of Elvis Gratton II: Miracle à Memphis as himself openly mocking Telefilm Canada for funding his film. (I'm about 5 years late, but, still, hey, Pierre Falardeau, fuck you! And not only should Telefilm Canada not contribute a single penny to your Agit-Prop dreck in the future, the Canadian government should send in the military to take all the money back which they wasted funding you.) The Les Boys films are just non-political hockey comedies, like Slapshot, in French.
Sorry for the lack of updates this week, but I had several mid-terms. Don't let anyone tell you that cramming doesn't work. All you need is to find the right reference materials... I never thought I could slog through The Republic, but I found this page by Alex Wilson, and I got the whole gist of it in half-an-hour.
Anyhow, remember my root canal last spring? A filling fell out of my tooth (the second molar from the back on the bottom left) at some point in the autumn of 2002, possibly this one evening that I had something mysterious in my throat making me cough and choke a bit, and the pulp got infected and I had to get a root canal on May 28th, which wasn't exactly a lot of fun. And then, the weekend after, I was chewing on a sour Skittle and forgot not to chew on the tooth which was really just a 4-sided facade at that pont, and one side cracked and I had to go to the dentist and get it removed. Well, on Thursday evening, I was eating some... sorry to all Jewish readers... pork "crackling" and the facade of the tooth on the inner side of my jaw fractured, and it hurt like Hell. I had to drink two strong beers, a La Fin du Monde and a Trois Pistoles and use a Zilactin "Toothache Swab" to numb me up, and I removed most of the rest of the tooth by jiggling it around a lot until it cracked. At least it doesn't hurt now, but it's still sad that part of me died. Gotta get a bridge now, but I think that's cheaper than getting a crown.
Monday, February 16, 2004
Ooh... Anime On DVD is reporting that Central Park Media/U.S. Manga Corpswill be releasing a new, deluxe DVD version of my all-time favourite anime film, Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer, the second Urusei Yatsura film and the only Urusei Yatsura film not distributed in North America by AnimEigo.
Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer is set for a spring 2004 re-release. This *MAY* be the release that mirrors the Japanese one from last year that took was remastered in anamorphic widescreen (from full frame). The listing DOES say it includes a directors commentary, which was also on the Japanese release, so it's highly likely that this will mirror that edition
So, since there's no way in Hell I won't buy this thing, Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer will join the exclusive club, which also includes Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Airplane! and Wayne's World, of films which I've bought or received as presents three times in various video formats. (I have the LaserDisc and the first DVD version of Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer; for reference, I have the VHS tape and the standard edition and "Ultimate Edition" versions of Terminator 2, and I may get the Extreme Edition because of the James Cameron commentary track; I have the VHS tape, LD, and DVD of Wayne's World; and I have the VHS tape and two DVD copies of the Airplane!, because of a birthday or Christmas mistake, though I donated one copy to one of my brothers.)
The Central Park Media "Collector's Series" disks, of which I also have Project A-Ko (which I discussed a little bit last spring) and Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie/Adolescence of Utena, would be considered a bit light on the extras if we were comparing them to a Disney "Platinum Edition" release, but, by "anime in North America" standards, these disks are packed, with "making of" videos, and, the most important extra of all, commentary tracks, and just to hear (and read the subtitles) the commentary track by Mamoru Oshii, Shigeru Chiba, Junji Nishimura and Noriaki Ikeda talking about what went through their minds when they were making this will be incredible. And, for the first time, we get the widescreen version (which I hope is the original aspect ratio and wasn't matted), and, hopefully, the full closing credits sequence (as it appears on the LaserDisc but not the old DVD) will be restored. My pipe dream is that CPM will include a CD soundtrack like they did with Project A-ko, but the Project A-Ko CD was just a repackaging of something they sold separately before.
I wonder if the bonus items will feature a section about the deleted, only partially-animated scene that was one of the many dreamworlds which was one big homage to the works of Leiji Matsumoto (Captain Harlock, Space Battleship Yamato a.k.a. Star Blazers, Galaxy Express 999, Daft Punk's Interstella 5555... hmmm, the Leijiverse site seems to be down), with Ataru as a Tetsuro-like character? I remember reading a page about that scene once, but I can't find it anywhere... I hope that my memories of seeing that page aren't one of Mujaki's tricks! ;-)
You can read my ancient Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer review at AnimeOnDVD.com here. Yeah, that was back when I still put wussy spoiler warnings on reviews...
Damian Penny's "Daimnation" covered the overreaction, and I like this reply:
Incidentally, for anyone that thinks all Francophone kids in this province grow up to be fluently billingual, come to the Faubourg De L'Île shopping centre here in Pincourt, which is still ostensibly an officially "bilingual" town, and ask a random teenager a simple question in English. Some speak English well in spite of the crappy amount of hours of English language instruction they get at French language public schools, probably from watching a lot of English-language TV and movies, since, under Bill 101, Francophone students and most immigrants don't have the option of going to English-language public schools, but all too many cannot answer really simple questions, like, say, asking for directions to get to the Couche-Tard depanneur (convenience store), just south of the shopping centre on Cardinal Leger boulevard.
Damian Penny also makes a good point about Alexa McDonough's outrage in this entry:
Terrorists murder 3,000 people on 9/11, and the New Democrats ask for calm and say we have to understand the "root causes". But a puppet insulting Quebeckers? Unleash the dogs of war!
No pun intended.
Actually, I agree that the government shouldn't be using taxpayers' money for an American talk show, especially one as lucrative as Late Night With Conan O'Brien. In fact, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was complaining about it earlier this week, when we Canadians were still swooning over the fact that a U.S. television star actually noticed us. Seems like McDonough and other outraged critics aren't against subsidizing the program in principle, but just against doing so for something they personally find offensive."
I personally didn't have a problem with them spending a million dollars to get Late Night up here for a week, even though, if I lived in Ideologically-Pure Free Market Paradise-Land, it would be unacceptable on general principle, but, since we live in Canada in the real world, better to spend that million on a show seen by millions around the world (including outside North America) and which will hopefully pay for itself in the long term through increased tourism, than, say, another Pierre Felardeau separatist propaganda film (oh, wait... the Canadian government gives him millions to produce his filth, not just a million).
But, yeah, so the NDP only reacts to unneccesary expenditures when they're poltically incorrect. You know if $1 million had gone to a documentary about the lack of wheelchair ramps at the organic vegan cafeteria at the Haida Nation GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transsexual) Friendship Centre (I don't know if such a thing exists, this is just a hypothetical example), if the NDP complained at all, it would be that the documentary makers didn't get a big enough grant for a documentary only three Canadians whom aren't CBC employees would ever watch.
Ah, fortunately, Damian points out that there is a place where we can see the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in Quebec video and it's on the website for the CBC programme Zed, which also hosts that Ohgr "Majik" video with the George Bush puppet and the inept lighting (note to people coming here from that Skinny Puppy board... my big complaint was about the lighting; I was only reporting what the PABAAH guy said, I couldn't see a fricking thing for most of the video myself, just dark blurs.).
And, oh, so Triumph's a rip-off of Ed the Sock, eh, Sari? Well, Ed the Sock's a rip-off of Ralph the Happy Contest Goose. It's the same as with Kimba the White Lion vs. The Lion King; people can similarities make too much hay about characters in the same medium whom use the same general personality archetypes (though I'm not sure how serious she is about this... I don't think Ed gets too much exposure south of the border).
Sunday, February 15, 2004
So, remember last week how, in last week's installment of SomethingAwful.com's "Weekend Web" (seventh post from top), I was surprised to see this post from the AnimeSuki.com board by occasional AnimeNewsNetwork.com forum poster Asaqe (also known as gyrobot depending on the board), a high school kid whom does not like the changes children's television syndicator 4Kids Entertainment makes to the Japanese children's cartoon Yu-Gi-Oh to make it suitable for American television, changes necessary to keep certain parents from complaining to and boycotting the products of the advertisers, and whom made us ANN forum posters aware of his dislike of the company repeatedly, in posts high in terms of inflammatory anti-4Kids revolutionary rhetoric and low in terms of basic grammatical, orthographic, and punctuation ability.
Anyhow, after I noticed that this particular post was in "The Weekend Web", I searched on Google for other boards that Asaqe posts on and found that it was AnimeSuki.com and I found the exact post and I replied to it (as Tenchi from ANN), indicating how impressed I was that he had managed to make "The Weekend Web", celebrating the most ignoble achievements in the field of Internet forum posting, but I added that I was surprised that they didn't post one of his more outrageous DBZOA.net forum posts (as gyrobot), like the one about how he wants to burn down 4Kids by posing as a janitor and putting flammable liquids in their furnace or how he thinks that a couple of kids burning their Yu-Gi-Oh junk would be of the same historical significance as the Boston Tea Party.
So, AnimeSuki.com forum poster Tabiree (whom, I presume, was the one whom sent the initial post to SomethingAwful.com) took notice of the two DBZOA.net forum posts I mentioned and informed me that those two posts were "Quoted and Submitted" to SA. Sho'nuff, this weekend's installment of "The Weekend Web" has the post about blowing up 4Kids (6th post down on that page, or 7th post down if you count the one which has two posts combined as two posts). The weird thing is, Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez bunched that post together with a lot of nutty ones about time travel. I guess that's because the kid wrote that "BAM 4kids is history", history having to do with time, and that "The Weekend Web" has already focused specifically on bad anime forums several times recently (here, here, and here).