STEVEN SPIELBERG? TOM HANKS? WHERE ARE YOU GUYS THIS WEEKEND?
CERTAINLY NOT IN MONTREAL!
Well, I *wanted* to see The Terminal
this weekend, since it's actually one of the two summer movies I'm anticipating the most (the other being Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
with Will Ferrell), but it's not playing in Montreal this weekend
, for some reason.
I remember that I had to wait a couple of weeks after its American release to see The Royal Tenenbaums
, my favourite film from the past decade or so, but Disney/Touchstone only ever gave that one a limited-wide release, so the North American "roll out" for that one was gradual, over the course of several weeks in December of 2001 and January of 2002. That's par for the course. And I won't speak of the horrors of waiting and waiting for anime films to make it to Montreal, if they get released here at all (unless, of course, I'm lucky enough to see them before the rest of the continent at the Fantasia festival
This one is different. According to Box Office Mojo, The Terminal is playing on 2811 screens in the United States and Canada
, which is quite a large wide release, at least for the sort of film that doesn't show up in the form of artwork on the side of cups at McDonald's or Burger King, so why Dreamworks
isn't opening a fricking Steven Spielberg film starring Tom Hanks here at the same time as everywhere else is beyond me. Unless it's something to do with the French dub not being ready in time, but I remember a handful of instances of the English version of a film playing before a French dub was available, like the aforementioned Royal Tenenbaums
I guess I'll have to see it next weekend, then. It's not like there's any chance I'll be watching Fahrenheit 9/11
WEIRD SEARCH REQUESTS
Erm... as much as I give my location as "Montreal" on message boards for simplicity's sake... umm... how should I put it? Pincourt never merged with Montreal, therefore there is no demerger vote here. The City of Montreal ends, for now, at Sainte Anne de Bellevue, some 3 km away from Pincourt. There was talk of a merger a couple of years back between Pincourt, Terrasse-Vaudreuil, and Notre Dame de L'Île Perrot, one which was endorsed by the mayors of the three municipalites because it wasn't with the town of Île Perrot, which was, apparently, a financial basket case at the time, but nothing ever came out of that.
"stephen harper" superhero
I've gotten several search requests like that over the past couple of days, and I was skeptical that they all wanted to read my amazing, completely intentionally lame, satire wherein I discussed Stephen Harper's policy regarding the CRTC vis-à-vis the absence of Cartoon Network on my television
, and I briefly made him "Super Stephen Harper Man", a "cool superhero with the blue C on his chest". What they are probably looking for was the thing mentioned by Andy Riga in the Montreal Gazette's online E-File feature
, following the election campaign. Some Public Affairs student at Carleton University in Ottawa named Olivier Ballou evidently likes both Stephen Harper and the Photoshop "Cutout" filter
as much as I do, made this comic-book style Flash animation with Harperman taking on a corrupt, superpowered Paul Martin and his thugs at the Canada Steamship Lines docks
, and you have to help out Harper by voting for him (which I do, but I'm in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges riding, which Robert Ramage probably won't take). By the way, good luck on being a Harper fan at Carleton, or is Carleton not quite as bad as I hear?
"product placement" within japanese animated tv series
You get some, with the most obvious examples being that cartoons like Pokémon
are vehicles through which to sell games and toys, and Bandai wanted Cowboy Bebop
to be set in space to sell spaceship models. On Kodomo no Omocha
), they have Sana use some sort of gadget which, by some astounding coincidence, the sponsor of the show actually put in stores around the same time each episode aired. The most blatant example of product placement in anime was at the height of Pioneer Animation, circa 1995, which was a branch of the Pioneer electronics company producing animated shows like Tenchi Muyo
, El Hazard
, Battle Athletess
, and Armitage III
to be sold on the still-glorious CAV LaserDisc format (and spin-off shows got television airings first) before the market for LaserDiscs flatlined because of DVDs and the entire animation division, which had become less of a animation producer and more of a label through which other companies sold their cartoons, even in Japan, got spun off into a separate company called Geneon. Pioneer Electronics items would very often find their way on to the shows, especially on Tenchi Muyo
and associated spin-off series, and the second Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki!
OVA (Original Video Animation = direct-to-video animation) series had the infamous-but-infectious-nevertheless opening song "Boku wa Motto Pioneer" ("I'm a Pioneer") sung by Chisa Yokoyama (the voice of Sasami), which had the name of the company worked into the title and the chorus of the song, which gets played over and over if you listen to the extended version on CD.
Other times you see actual logos in anime, like all the labels like "Canon" on Kaneda's bike in Akira
or giant Marlboro logos on Times Square billboards in one of the non-Miyazaki Lupin III
films (forget which one) or the kid working at McDonald's in Megazone 23
, I don't think they had actually gotten permission to use those logos, they just use them for added realism. And added realism is why I not only do not have any sort of problem with the concept of product placement in cartoons, TVs and movies in general, but I actually hate seeing fake brand names except when absolutely necessary (i.e. the film is about a fake brand, or a brand is used in a negative way) as I feel fake brands, or cans marked simply "Cola", or televisions with black tape over the logo, take you out of the movie. I'm going to see The Terminal
, the Steven Spielberg film starring Tom Hanks over the weekend, and, apparently, Viktor, the Tom Hanks character, an immigrant from a country which ceased to exist stuck in an American airport because his passport was no longer valid, eats at a lot of fully-branded fast food concessions, which James Berardinelli decries as blatant product placement
, to which I reply "Well, the guy's living in an airport... where the fuck else is he going to eat?" Real airports have lots and lots of fast food concessions, and they're almost always internationally-known brands like Burger King, Sbarro, and Starbucks, since those brands inspire trust, and, no matter where you're eating in the world, you know exactly what to expect, and you know the food will be a certain quality, which is often better than anything you can get locally if you're in an airport in a third world country, and these franchises have cleanliness as part of their corporate image, and their airport concessions especially have to be showcases of that since, even if only a certain percentage of people passing by are going to eat there, a lot of people will nevertheless glance at the counter and the eating area as they walk by and, if it looks filthy, it reflects poorly on the brand. And most airports have shopping areas with brands like Borders (or W.H. Smith in the United Kingdom or Canada, though Heathrow's Terminal 4 also has a Books Etc. location for more serious booklovers), Sunglasses Hut, and, in some airports, even stores like Gap and Banana Republic. If you want to make a realistic movie about an airport, that would entail showing a lot of brands and advertisements, since that's what you encounter in real life, and having Tom Hanks eating at DcMonald's (real creative name, I know) would not be realistic, as there is no such fast-food franchise as DcMonald's and seeing such a fake brand would take you out of the movie.
This wasn't technically a search request, but... holy shit! This morning, someone from NBC checked out the first time I talked about Late Night With Conan O'Brien's "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" segment in May
, when I was talking about Pierre visiting the set of Stargate SG-1
in Vancouver. I'm not jumping to any conclusions... it's almost certainly not Conan, and, while I'm sure at least one or two of the many, many "Pierre Bernard" hits I get would have been from Pierre Bernard himself seeing what people are saying about the segment, I would have thought he'd be doing that from home. So, assuming it's some NBC suit reading this, since I have your attention... umm... bring back Knight Rider
Another one that will be of great interest... to about three people:
adv films sailor moon third season uncut information
Wrong company. ADV Films
briefly produced subtitled, uncut boxsets of the first two seasons of Sailor Moon
before their license to do so lapsed, and Toei seems uninterested in renewing it. Geneon, formerly Pioneer
, sold the third season, Sailor Moon S
, and fourth season, Sailor Moon Super S
, and, now, not only are all the individual volumes of both, with six to seven episodes each, being resold for just $19.99 U.S. Suggested Retail Price under Geneon's Signature series label, but lower-priced Thinpak box sets of Sailor Moon S
and Sailor Moon Super S
, at a price point of $99.99 U.S. S.R.P. But get them soon, because Geneon's license with Toei for Sailor Moon
also lapses at the end of the year, and that one isn't being renewed later. Information about Toei's future Sailor Moon
release plans for North America is not known, nor is whether or not they'll, at long last, let us see Sailor Stars
, the final season.
By the way, speaking of Geneon's Signature Series, and reading the same questions and complaints on message boards everywhere is getting tiresome, STOP FUCKING COMPLAINING ABOUT THE RED STRIP!
IT'S ONLY TO DISTINGUISH THE LOWER-PRICED GENEON DVD RE-RELEASES FROM THE ORIGINAL FULL-PRICED PIONEER DVD RELEASES, FOR THOSE STORES THAT MIGHT STILL HAVE UNSOLD OLD DISKS ON THEIR SHELVES. I DON'T THINK THE RED STRIP DETRACTS TOO MUCH FROM THE COVER ART AS IT'S ONLY THE TOP EIGHTH OF THE FRONT COVER, AND, IF IT BOTHERS YOU THAT MUCH, JUST DOWNLOAD A SCAN OF THE OLD COVERS FROM ANIME NATION
AND PRINT IT OUT DVD-COVER-SIZED. EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT THE SIGNATURE SERIES DVD RE-RELEASES IS IDENTICAL TO THE ORIGINAL RELEASE
, ASIDE FROM THE PIONEER RE-BRANDING AS GENEON. YOU HAVE THE SUBTITLED, INTACT VERSION OF SAILOR MOON
FOR A LOW PRICE, SO COMPLAINING ABOUT A SMALL RED STRIP IS ONE OF THE LAMEST ANIME-RELATED THINGS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT EVER. SHEESH!
"CUE THE KLAUS NOMI" UPDATE (THE CANADIAN GAY SURVEY)
According to Statistics Canada's first survey on the subject, only around 1% of Canadians admit to being gay or lesbian, and less than 1% more admit being bisexual.
From "StatsCan figures on sexual orientation in dispute" by Greg Bonnell, the National Post, Wednesday, June 16th, 2004
"For the first time in its history, Statistics Canada has released a survey on the sexual orientation of Canadians, but some members of the gay community contend the numbers are dramatically lower than the truth.
Figures from the Canadian Community Health Survey released Tuesday said that one per cent of Canadians identified themselves as homosexual, while 0.7 per cent said they were bisexual.
Along gender lines, the survey found that 1.3 per cent of men considered themselves homosexual compared to 0.7 per cent of women. Some 0.9 per cent of women said they were bisexual, compared to 0.6 of men.
Quebec reported the highest number of homosexuals or bisexuals at 2.3 per cent of the population. British Columbia followed at 1.9 per cent, New Brunswick with 1.6 per cent and Ontario at 1.5 per cent.
Statistics Canada cautioned that the New Brunswick figure should be interpreted with caution, given the low number of respondents. That held true for the Manitoba (1.5), Newfoundland and Labrador (1.3), Alberta and Saskatchewan (1.2), and Nova Scotia (1.1).
Figures were not given for P.E.I. or the territories for the same reason.
Two per cent of the 18-34 age group self-reported as being either homosexual or bisexual, followed by 1.9 per cent of those 35-44 and 1.2 per cent of people ages 45-59."
And which completely representative average members of the "gay community" are the ones getting all bitchy, disputing the statistics? Oh, activists from gay lobby groups.
(From "Gay advocates slam survey", by Michelle Mark, Calgary Sun, June 16th, 2004
"'Those figures reflect those who are openly gay and willing to report it to Statistics Canada,' said Stephen Lock, regional director for the national gay lobby group EGALE Canada who added 1% is extremely low.
He believes the number of gays and lesbians is actually closer to 10%.
'They're never going to get anywhere near an accurate figure of lesbians and gay men in this country -- at least not in the foreseeable future -- because the vast majority are still closeted to various levels.'"
Ah, Kinsey's 10% figure, depending on who you believe, and it's hard to find anything that attempts to be objective when it comes to homosexuality (most sources I could find are either from gay advocacy groups or religious groups), is either completely discredited (because his sample was mostly prisoners and sex offenders) or misquoted (he concluded that 10% of adult white men had some same-sex sexual relations for a period of three years or more, but that only about 4% of men were exclusively gay).
Here's some more comments from a syndicated CanWest article by Sharon Kirkey that I'm typing out by hand from the Montreal Gazette
because it's not available online:
"Canada's first-ever survey on sexual orientation is unreliable and risks being used as ammunition against gays and lesbians, gay rights groups are warning.
But others say the new data show Canada's gay and lesbian population has been overestimated.
[Wayne] Harrison [executive director of gay lobby group PFLAG Canada] said he fears the survey question could lead to more discrimination against homosexuals.
"The idea that homosexuality is a choice that can be cured is a big myth. There are a lot of fundementalist religions who use that information and are lobbying the government today strongly against same-sex marriage on the basis that that myth is a fact."
"If they start to see numbers in the small percentages the may say: 'Well, it was 10 per cent, but nine percent obviously were cured or chose a different lifestyle.'""
My honest opinion? Now that there's a more realistic measurement of the amount of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, it will lead to greater
acceptance, or, at the very least, tolerance of the gay lifestyle. How is that possible? Because the activists were using the magic number of "ten percent" as one of the tenets of gay activism, and a whole lot of people just knew instinctively that that number was ridiculously high. Anyone with an anti-gay soapbox who wanted to knock down the gay "agenda" a notch or two could just point to the "ten percent" figure and the disputes over Kinsey's research and any gay rights organization who repeated the "ten percent" figure would have anything worthwhile they might have to say dismissed as "propaganda" (in the prejorative sense) simply by association.
Are gays, lesbians, and bisexuals under-represented in this survey? Without a doubt there were some people out there who were contacted and lied and said they're straight. Until very recently, if I had been contacted, I wouldn't have told them I was bisexual to some degree. I do not, however, think the margin of error was eight or nine percent. I could easily accept a "fudge factor" (no pun intended) of one percent, which would bring the total up to about three percent of the population, which sounds about right.
As a social constructionist
on the issue of the origins of homosexuality, which means I think homosexuality and bisexuality are a complex, individualized, psychological phenomenon (not usually a conscious choice, as some people like to mischaracterize the constructionist position) based on influences too complex and varied to codify rather than physiological or genetic factors, I fully admit, and know from experience, that sexual orientation isn't always seemingly set in stone and does fluctuate over the course of one's lifetime, for whatever reason, and, yes, I do think some people would be able to change their orientation to some degree with personalized treatment and sufficient willpower, however, I would never support changing one's orientation by force; I only support the concept of treatment if the person is totally willing. So, if most people accept the 2-3% figure, I do not see the spectre of forced conversions.
Also, my constructionist views mean that, ultimately, "gay", "lesbian", and "bisexual" are just labels people, at some point on the bisexuality continuum, apply to themselves, especially those of us who are fluid. As such, I think, ultimately, fudge figures are all we are ever going to get, since I think you can ask the exact same group of people to identify their orientation at certain fixed intervals of time, say, once every five years, and you'll never get numbers that quite match up to each other.
Do I think that, now there's some sort of offical number, Canadian activist groups will drop the ten percent myth and hitch their wagons to three percent? Nice idea, but not bloody likely, at least not for the gay lobby groups that play on identity politics, the politics of envy, divisiveness, and victimization. I think, when such groups play the ten percent card, it helps to perpetuate the stereotype that gay lobby groups are out to "recruit" new members, especially children, since, in the minds of some people, how else are "they" going to bring up the numbers to the ten percent quota "they" fetishize? I think the constant repetition of the ten percent myth does far more damage to the credibility of the gay "agenda" than any moron with a "God Hates Fags" placard could ever hope to achieve. In the future, whether or not a gay lobby group keeps on repeating the ten percent myth like dogma will greatly influence my decision as to whether or not I should take them at all seriously.
I think it's a great thing that this survey can give us a rough idea of the total gay, lesbian, and bisexual population, which would be roughly 750 000 to one million Canadians, but I fear too many gay lobby groups will still be seeking another two million Canadian gay, lesbian, and bisexuals who don't actually exist but who the activist fringe still believe are hiding in the closet, somewhere between Sulley and Boo
I NEED MONEY...
...so I should click on banner ads that promise me $1000 U.S. for answering a simple pop-culture related question. I just need to answer one question correctly a week, and I'd be making a comfortable $52 000 U.S. a year! Or I'll add those banner ads to my blog! Maybe I'll do both!
over at the Rotten Tomatoes forum
started a thread called "Which One is Simon?"
about this insipid banner ad
which challenges you to tell apart the crappy caricature of Pop Idol
and American Idol
judge (and co-creator) Simon Cowell from the crappy caricature of Paula Abdul and the crappy caricature of Randy Jackson. (Hint: Simon Cowell is the one who is not female or black, though they're all drawn in shades of brown for some reason. Additional hint: Simon Cowell is the one in the centre, or, for those of you Americans reading this, "center".) If you get it right, you get a thousand dollars! (Okay, they don't quite claim that, they have the weasel words "for your chance at" in there.)
I took that banner ad and made it better, because, if you're going to give away a cool grand to every hick who clicks on that wanting to get rich quick, at least make them think a little.
OMG!!!111 KAWAII LOL KEKEKEKEKE ^_^
This is old news for some of you, but I missed it the first time around.
I'm not a subscriber to the Something Awful forums
, since it's fee-based and I'm cheap, but Ikari
over at the F*ckin' Otaku! forum
linked to this long scan of a Something Awful spoof "otaku" post
, and it is just the thing I've been looking for when I need something amusing to link to whenever I see one of the near-daily threads over at the Anime Nation forum which start out like, "Oh no! My [parents, relative, friend, classmates, or, worst of all, girlfriend] isn't/aren't interested in anime and/or tell[s] me that anime are just dumb cartoons. Which anime should I force them to watch to make them a fan?"
, as though there's something wrong with other people not appreciating your niche interest, and as though making them watch anime won't just make them think of you as even more of a fanboy than they think of you being now. And, if a girlfriend is involved, then:
girlfriend > (x 100) anime
Anyway, just to quote Belldandy
, who is a male poster even if the anime character is female (okay, just like how I'm Kiyone in several places)
"I am what you would call an otaku. For those of you who are not in with Japanese culture, an otaku is a lover of anime*! I am proud to be an otaku and it is my mission in life to convert everyone! You could say I am an Otaking! SUGOI!
For some strange reason, kids in my high school think anime is "gay". What stupidheads haha, it's just because they are too dumb to understand the genius behind anime. One time I showed this REALLY COOL scene from Evangelion in my class when we had to do a presentation. They totally didn't get it, it made me look REALLY SMART AND COOL."
Nothing turns me off a thread more than someone bringing up the old, pretentious, canard "you don't like it because you don't understand it", with the worst offender I've talked to directly being a fan of the film Jin-Roh
, which I just found boring
, even when compared to other intellectual, talking-heads, type anime, and I did not find it to be remotely as "deep" as people claimed. You find the exact same canard over at the Rotten Tomatoes forum too, with the most common film in dispute being Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey
, it's not limited to anime.
By the way, for the asterix in the excerpt, their footnote is:
*An Otaku is not really a lover of anime, it's a crazed person or a psychopath who is so infatuated with one thing [that] he makes it his life. Otakus suck almost as much as furries.
SOME FRENCH QUEBECERS ARE WISENING UP!
I wasn't watching the Federal Leadership Debate
- It was in French and, while I read a lot of French-translated Japanese manga comics, usually, if I'm watching French-language television, it's just because I think there's a reasonably good chance I'm going to see nudity on a particular programme or in a particular movie. There's a 0% chance of that happening in a debate.
- I think debates are a overrated, boring waste of time, especially as a decided voter, and I agree with Andrew Coyne that the media is far too concerned with "knock-out blows" and "usuable clips" stemming from such debates.
- I was concerned with far more important matters... continuing to write my review of volume 5 of Super GALS!, which, just like my awe-inspiring review of Super GALS! volume four, is going to be a long one. ;)
However, I found this CTV article about a poll of 488 Francophone Quebec voters
, and, while 57% thinks that Treason Party (a.k.a. the Bloc Quebecois) leader Gilles Duceppe won the debate...
"Tracing viewers' instant reaction to the French-language leaders' debate, an Ipsos-Reid poll found a clear winner: Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe.
Based on a sample of 488 Quebec Francophone voters who answered an internet questionnaire as the debate was being waged Monday night, Ipsos-Reid reports that 57 per cent of respondents said Duceppe was, in their view, the overall winner of the debate.
Trailing far behind in second place was Liberal Leader Paul Martin with only 16 per cent support. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Jack Layton registered nine and eight per cent, respectively.
According to Ipsos-Reid pollster Darrell Bricker, the numbers weren't unexpected.
"It was Duceppe's to lose tonight and he didn't," Bricker told CTV.ca."
...there was some encouraging news for Quebec fans of Stephen Harper like myself.
"When asked, forgetting for a minute about the federal parties and what they stand for, and forgetting about which party you might be supporting, which of the federal party leaders do you think would make the best Prime Minister of Canada, 27 per cent said Martin.
Duceppe claimed 23 per cent, while 21 per cent chose Harper. Layton was close behind with 19 per cent support."
Much closer for all four major parties; while 21% of respondents thinking that Stephen Harper would make the best prime minister isn't that great, considering what the poll numbers would have been like just a couple of months ago, I think Harper's made huge gains.
In conclusion, from these poll numbers, I'd say that nine percent of Francophone Quebecers kick total ass, whilst twenty-one percent of Francophone Quebecers kick some smaller degree of ass, and might be bendable so that they too will, one day, kick total ass.
MY TAKE ON THE LIBERAL CAMPAIGN COMMERCIALS
(Originally posted in the Anime Nation off-topic forum
Stephen Harper would have sent our troops to Iraq.
So? I agree with the War on Terror and I think they should've been sent too.
He'd spend billions on tanks and aircraft carriers...
...weakening our gun laws...
...and scrap the Kyoto Accord.
Which is an unworkable mess.
He'd sacrifice Canadian-style healthcare...
Which ensures that everyone gets equally crappy services and making the rich spend their health care money outside of Canada (money that would otherwise be spent within Canada in a pragmatic two-tier system).
...for U.S.-style tax cuts.
Yes, he'd let us keep more of our money.
He won't protect a woman's right to choose...
So what? I'm pro-life on abortion (aside from extreme cases).
...and is prepared to work with the Bloc Quebecois.
Well, I don't like the ethnocentric, English-hating, "treason party" either, but you got to form alliances on an issue-by-issue basis. It's not like Harper is going to work towards breaking up the country.
Stephen Harper says when he's through with Canada, you won't recognize it.
You know what? He's right.
I like the look of Harper's Canada more and more.
On June 28th,
Choose your Canada.
Well, considering I voted Libertarian in 1993, Reform in 1997, and Canadian Alliance in 2000, I know whose Canada I'm choosing.
Also, Stephen Harper wants to scrap the CRTC and introduce an "open market" with the United States for satellite services
, which, for anime fans in Canada, would be a very good thing. Imagine being able to watch Cartoon Network legally (without an old-fashioned C-Band satellite dish, I mean).
THE TRUTH ABOUT KIDS THAT SMOKE...
(Excerpted from "Young smokers say they're poor students" from CBC News, Monday, June 14th, 2004
"OTTAWA - Elementary school students who smoke are more likely to report doing poorly in school, but the number of young people using cigarettes is dropping quickly, Statistics Canada reported Monday.
The Youth Smoking Survey looked at the results of interviews conducted with students from Grade 5 to Grade 9 in 2002.
It found that only 12 per cent of current smokers rated themselves as doing better than average in school, compared with 40 per cent of students who never tried smoking.
On the other hand, 28 per cent of current smokers considered themselves to be below-average students. Only six per cent of those who never smoked saw themselves as performing below average."
Can't these statistics be spun another way? Maybe all it says is that more young smokers (a.k.a. "the cool kids") are honest in their self-appraisal than are the young non-smokers (a.k.a. "the keeners")! I mean, statistically, it only stands to reason that roughly fifty percent minus one of any given population would be "below average" at whatever they're measuring, right? (Well, assuming there aren't a handful of kids at the far end of either extreme who would throw the average off significantly.) So, just because only six percent of the non-smokers think of themselves as "below average", it doesn't mean that only six percent of non-smokers are actually "below average".
Come to Marlboro Country, where all the honest kids are!
If you're coming here from the GenVid's Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon page board
, I'm afraid no more live-action Sailor Moon
episode nitpicking reviews are coming anytime soon. In April, after a major disaster involving my BIOS, I had to reformat my hard drive and lost every episode I had except for the first three. Yeah, I should really burn to CD more often.
ABOUT FUCKING TIME SOMEONE "GUTTED" THE CRTC...
While I was, without a doubt, going to vote Conservative anyway, Jesse Betteridge
alerted me to something cool about the Conservative position. Of course, it's a little-known Conservative position that has only come to light through the Liberal Party's campaign fearmongering, but it's a position that, now that I know about it, makes me like the Conservatives more and more.
(Excerpted from the article "Canada's heritage is at risk, Liberals warn" by Drew Fagan, from the Globe and Mail, Monday, June 14th, 2004
"A Conservative government would eviscerate Canadian culture by ending its fundamental protections and leaving control of the airwaves to the likes of global media baron Rupert Murdoch, the Liberal Party charges.
Seeking to rally nationalist support behind the party's fight to hang on to power, Heritage Minister Hélène Scherrer is expected to accuse the Conservatives today of scheming to sell out the country's identity by chopping such institutions as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Canada Council.
"We believe that the risks to this country are real and serious," Ms. Scherrer says in a speech to be given today at the 25th annual Banff Television Festival, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail.
"In the area of culture, and I measure my words, it is madness. It is neo-conservative ideology run amok."
The Conservative's election platform says little about culture, but its candidate handbook specifies support for "restructuring" of the CRTC, which regulates such rules as Canadian-content quotas on television and radio. The handbook also advocates an "open market" with the United States for satellite services."
The Conservatives want to gut the CRTC and want to bring in an "open market with the United States for satellite services"? BRING IT ON, BABY!
To put my own personal situation simply: I wanna watch Cartoon Network. They have a lot of good cartoons I wanna watch, mainly from Japan, that I can't watch on YTV
. But the bad bureaucrat men at the CRTC
won't let me watch Cartoon Network. The cool superhero with the blue C on his chest, Super Stephen Harper Man, will come and smash the bad men, and use his amazing legislation heat ray vision to dissolve the CRTC and then I can watch all the channels I wanna watch (without a big-ass C-Band satellite dish or an illegal "grey market" DirecTV subscription) and not some inferior versions of the channels watered down with "Canadian Content".
The Liberals, and the other parties, won't protect my right to choose... the channels I want to watch. But, in the funny world of Canadian political campaign jargon, "freedom of choice" is only a good thing when it's a euphenism for slaughtering the unborn in the womb. (Sorry, I don't talk about abortion much, but I'm not hiding my pro-life views.) When it comes to deregulating broadcasting, "freedom of choice" is verboten. Cultural protectionism of the sort advocated by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
is the enemy of freedom of choice in a different area, and I'm glad that one Canadian politician finally has enough balls to stand up for the consumer's freedom to choose.
Yes, if we had freedom of channel choice in this country, we would indeed be opening the doors to the likes of Rupert Murdoch to make a buck in this country, but, I'm a capitalist. I don't see that as a bad thing. Doesn't cultural protectionism just further enrichen the likes of CanWest Global, BCE (which owns CTV and many cable channels), and Corus, who are just as corporate as the big bad evil greedy American media conglomerates?
And, the thing is, not all of the imaginative creative minds Canada produces migrate south like, say, James Cameron and Ren and Stimpy
creator John Kricfalusi did. Even in a completely open media market, I would still choose to watch Untalkative Bunny
, created by Graham Palk. I don't watch it because it's "CanCon", I watch it because it's a fine programme on its own merits. I will not, however, watch a lot of the mediocre crap that Canadian channels produce; shows that would rigtftully get cancelled quickly in a free market but which last for seasons and seasons simply to meet the "CanCon" quota. "CanCon" is largely synonymous with "mediocre crap" because of the quota, and the few truly great Canadian shows like Untalkative Bunny
are somewhat tarnished by association.
Realistically, I doubt getting rid of the foul CRTC will be an easy struggle. Stephen Harper won't be able to just sign some paper the day he's elected, if he's elected, to dissolve the CRTC, regardless of what he promises during the campaign, since the CRTC would not go without a fight, and it has plenty of political allies. But electing Stephen Harper would be a big first step for all "Friends of Canadian Individuals' Freedom to Choose What Channels We Want to Watch".
FECKING HELL! ENGLAND LOST! AND SCHUMACHER WON, BUT THAT'S AS PREDICTABLE AS SUPERMAN WINNING! (VARIOUS SUNDRIES)
Unlike last year, I didn't sleep in so late that I missed watching the Canadian Grand Prix, whichFerrari's Michael Schumacher won
, as usual, though he started in sixth place and was trailing behind his brother, Ralf, for the longest time, but Michael knows better than any other Formula One driver ever how to win races and wisely decided upon a two pit-stop strategy when everyone else was using three. I'm not going to bash Schumacher for being the best at what he does; next time, everyone else should take only two pit-stops. I miss going to the Canadian Grand Prix in person, though; I did in 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002, and there is just something about the engine whine that you can feel in your bones that you can't get from the television, and it's a great place to take pictures. You can see some of my race-related photos here
, and here
Ralf was on the podium in second place, but, apparently, the Williams teams been using illegal air ducts on their brakes
, so Jeremy Button gets the third place points. (Does Jeremy Button get to spray champagne by himself, since he wasn't at the ceremony?)
Not that I'm all that much of a soccer fan, though I have a couple of jerseys (a white England one and an Arsenal one from 2000 with the (Sega) Dreamcast logo), but, since the "telly" was already on TSN, I watched most of the England-France Euro 2004 "football" match in Portugal. England was leading 1-0 for the longest time, so I went upstairs to get myself a Pepsi and, of course, Zidane scores two for France to win the match
... meh, it's just a stupid game of kickball for Europeans. Hank Hill was right
HANK: Bobby, I never thought I'd need to tell you this, but I would be a bad parent if I didn't. Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking.
BOBBY: Why do you have to hate what you don't understand?
HANK: I don't hate you, Bobby.
BOBBY: I meant soccer.
HANK: Oh. Oh, yeah, I hate soccer. Yes.
As expected, my entry on the "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" segment regarding Robotech on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Friday night
proved to be quite popular, getting linked to on a couple of anime boards, and it's not even me doing the linking. Quite frankly, "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" is the best thing that has ever happened to this blog, since it's a recurring bit, not just a news story that generates a lot of interest for a day or two and then fizzles out, and most of the other mentions of "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" were mentioning it because he was talking about their fandom, while I've been talking about it, regardless of whether or not I'm actually interested in the subject, because I like the general concept of the bit: a guy speaking passionately, if somewhat awkwardly, about something pertaining to one of his geeky interest which bothers him, even if he is fully aware that only a small-to-miniscule percentage of the viewing audience will even know what he's talking about, let alone care, about his pet peeve. In other words, the "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" bit is just like most blog entries, except he's been given a soapbox on national and international television with which to express himself. Damn lucky guy. NBC should really give the "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" segment its own subpage on the main Late Night with Conan O'Brien website
, since it's almost embarrassing for me being one of the top search results for that bit.
A different Steve, Steve Yun of Harmony Gold, who* runs the official ROBOTECH.com site
, wrote his own "open" tongue-in-cheek response to Pierre Bernard's Robotech complaint
, complete with an intentionally difficult to understand diagram of the various DVD releases, though he does link to Robotech.com DVD Guide
. I still think my advice was better and clearer to understand, and, since I'm not with Harmony Gold, I could mention the subtitled versions of the component shows from AnimEigo and ADV Films. And, by the way, other Steve, I'm not going to link to Pierre Bernard's site but his address isn't that difficult to find.
Speaking of "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage", regarding my own "Recliner of Rage" rip-off comment about the Pincourt branch of Blockbuster Video's renting out of volumes of You're Under Arrest that they acquired at the same time at two different rates
, I do have an update on that. On Wednesday night, I rented one of the "2-Night Rental" volumes, except I got it for the whole week. Either the "2-Night Rental" insert on the outside of the case was put there in error, or they read my complaint in the blog.
On Friday, I bought volume 5 of Super GALS!
and I'm already writing a review of it. I'm putting in a lot of detail, just like I did in my review of volume four of Super GALS!
, though there's a bit less for me to chew on this time around, so I may then edit into a shorter, less-detailed review and submit it to Anime News Network
and then put the stuff they obviously wouldn't let me put in a review because it's too tangential (not too in-jokey, like my old AnimeOnDVD.com reviews, just tangential but still "on topic") in my Rotten Tomatoes Journal
Also on Friday, I picked up the second volume of the terrific seinen
manga Planetes by Makoto Yukimura
, and now that I've read a volume and a little bit of this one, I can say my description of "Patlabor
in space" was dead on, at least for the manga. The manga is just "hard" sci-fi drama with a comic edge about a group of people with different backgrounds and personalities and motivations working together in space, cleaning space junk from orbit so that it won't pierce spaceships like bullets, and living on the moon and sometimes visiting Earth. The anime version apparently adds a love angle not really in the manga, but I've only seen part of an episode which had serious video problems, so I wouldn't know. I still can't find the English version in Montreal, so I bought the second volume in French, from Panini Comics
, which has a nice, thick, dust cover and all the colour pages left in colour, but it's more expensive than the Tokyopop version. Also, I bought it at the Renaud-Bray
on Sainte-Catherine's between Bishop and Mackay, a block east of Guy, and I was a little disappointed to discover that the store now closes at six on Saturdays and isn't open until midnight, like before. I guess Saturday evenings just weren't proving to be profitable for them, but browsing manga is one less thing you can do on Saturday nights in downtown Montreal if you're not into clubbing. :(
I have some election stuff that I've half-written, and I want to write something about the Montreal demerger referenda, but... eh... the temptation to write about Ran Kotobuki and company is just too strong to resist today.
* There, I used "who", not "whom". Happy?