Thursday, July 29, 2010

Double Standards In Our Home And Native Land

Toronto Argonauts offensive tackle - and offensive douchebag - Rob Murphy was fined by the CFL for comments he made on Twitter during the team's train ride to Montréal, such as :
"At train station ... Pumped to be smelling foreigners this early in the A.M. They smell less offensive this way....little known fact,"
"Ok...the novelty of riding on a train thru Ontario and "Frenchland" has worn out....get me off this damn thing!!!!"
Now... read the ''comments'' section of the link I posted...

So far, all are up in flames about his comments on ''foreigners'', none about ''Frenchland''. Like it's ok to hate on ''The French'', despite us being the country's fucking founders and it being one of the two official languages.

Oh, and we're getting pretty fucking tired of being called ''The French'', too, seeing as we're pretty much nothing like people from France, in the same way North American speakers of English are nothing like the Brits and aren't called ''The English''. The last time I went to Calgary or Detroit for tea is probably the more recent than the last time I wore a beret and striped shirt to mime all day, dine on frog legs and steal your girlfriend. Well, maybe not that last part, but it's hard to shake off everything that's in your DNA.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Teenagers And Sex (And Teachers And Lawyers)

Ok, we've heard the story a million times: a teacher has sex with a student, goes to jail. More and more, the teacher is female and the student is male. You can see pictures of many of them here; most are good-looking, one was even married to the school's principal (and it seems the student forced himself onto her, but she's the one who did jail time, proving it's about time we have a second look at how these 'child molestation' laws are written in the first place).

The most recent case is Melinda Dennehy, a former New Hampshire high school teacher who didn't sleep with a kid, but emailed him nude pictures, some even ''with her genitals exposed''... oh my!

There's an older column from a place I'd never heard of before called Associated Content, in which Sylvia Cochran writes:
Prior to joining the ranks of bad teachers, Melinda Dennehy stands accused of sending an x-rated photo of herself to a child. She is now on leave with pay. With pay?
There are so many things wrong with those two sentences, and most of them are in its writer's mindset. First off, where is it said in ''woman sends picture to kid'' that the person isn't good at their job? Is a driver a bad driver when he has an accident? Would that mean drivers who haven't been in any are de facto good? And then when someone is ''accused'' (yes, I know, she pleaded guilty today, but this article is dated from March) of something, their whole livelihood is taken away? What if she hadn't pleaded guilty? Or what if it was a plea bargain, and she chose that (a misdemeanor, by the way, sending pictures) instead of something else because fuckers in the media have already made her to be a monster in that case and her name has been smeared as a teacher anyway?

In this case, she sent a kid nude pics. The kid then proceeded to send them to his friends (who seemed to like them), and they made the rounds. The kid should not walk away from this scott-free: he was a minor, in possession of porn, and distributing said porn to other minors. Isn't that an offense - or two - too?

This whole case is fucked, and it was allowed to go to court, with at least one lawyer on each side, a judge, and police showing evidence.

Meanwhile, hard drugs are rampant in the streets, bankers are stealing billions of dollars from their customers, multinational companies are ruining our water supplies inland (i.e. what we need to live) and killing everything in the ocean, and kids are dying in wars overseas where half the people they themselves shoot at are civilians they can't tell apart from the bad guys.

Surely the U.S. Supreme Court decision to reverse the Chicago gun ban will strike balance in the world - oh, wait, cops keep dying in Chicago since May.

All of this makes me lean towards a simpler world - make everything legal, except 'harming others' and 'stealing'. Let the rest sort itself out. Boy, am I glad I was 20 by the time I started fucking my teachers. Although I did lose my virginity at 15, with a chick who was 19. I should report her.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shyny Diemindz, UN & The Lindbergh Line @ Barfly, July 24th, 2010

Saturday night at Barfly usually spells ''winter'' and ''waiting for the Habs game to finish before the music starts'', but not this time. It was hot inside and out, the drinks were flowing, and the sounds were astounding.

First off, The Lindbergh Line were playing their first show ever. I'd heard of them a few months back, as I was courting their drummer, Denise Williams, to play in my band (and still am), and she mentioned they were writing and recording songs, then sent me their MySpace link when they were up. I liked the material instantly and couldn't wait to see them live - and I was not disappointed. Karl LeBlanc (bass) stood out as a pillar of energy and professionalism - all business - and Williams incorporated tribal-esque beats in songs that seemed to hit like waves, at times starting slow, but building up into a frenzy of sound that made it hard to believe they could be emanating from the frail body of Debbie Harry lookalike Myriam Chebat (vocals and guitar). It was a terrific show, and whether you missed it or just want to see it again, I'll be playing with them on August 3rd at Bar St-Laurent 2, on a bill with Dance Movie.

Next up was UN, a two-girl attack of dance-pop the likes of which was very trendy for the past 5 years (reminiscent of Green Go, a bit). UN consists of Kara Keith on synths and vocals, and Jen Reimer on drums; Keith reminds me of Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls) in that she was disguised and brought a theatricality to her performance unlike most of the other performers that night, but unlike Palmer, who sometimes breaks character to poke fun at her own songs - even in the middle of them - Keith took herself and her performance very seriously, to the point of correcting Reimer's tempo and re-starting songs if they weren't to her liking. Reimer, however, had a hypnotic effect on me: her square, repetitive, Meg White-esque beats got me into the songs, despite them not being in my usual 'style'. But I can understand if I wasn't their target audience, who I would dub The Patrol - they were dancing like nothing else mattered and seemed to have the time of their lives. Good on them.

And finally, the final treat of the evening, Shyny Diemindz. By the time Will Austin (vocals, guitar), Allan Lento (bass, vocals) and Jackie Gallant (drums) took to the stage, the bar smelled like old man's sweat - and there was no way it was going to get cleaner. Lento sang a song with only two lines, but both hard hitting ('I said no / but my sister said yes') and an amazing hook, while Austin sang the rest, including a cover of Surfin' Bird he swears wasn't inspired by a conversation we had about it on a message board a week prior. If you're unfamiliar with Austin's vocal style, I'd describe it as ''balls-out''. It can be at times high-pitched and plaintive, but even when it is, it's less Bob Dylan and more Stiv Bators. And when it isn't high-pitched, it's a growl straight from his bowels, as if Lemmy Kilmeister was throwing up a moose he'd eaten alive just to put more BBQ sauce on it and re-ingurgitate it. It's not for everyone, but if it's for you, it's just what the doctor ordered.

Consequences Will Never Be The Same: A Timeline

Oh how quickly it became a hit! I think Jessica Leonhardt (a.k.a. Jessica Slaughter, or kerligirl13 to her internet 'fans') has just been a victim of the fastest-ever bullying campaign to grow to global proportions. And even though she is but a tween, appearing on national TV (and, apparently, lying on it) has made her name a permanent fixture on the ''scarred for life with the internet to prove it'' list, just like the dumbest criminals.

But first things first: in case you don't know, here's a sarcastic look at the whole story (the quotes are real), which, basically, is that lil' Jess, who turns 12 today, was posting as a 16-year old emo/scene slut, even at times showing some underage boobage (no, I haven't seen them, and I don't care to) and repeatedly saying how perfect she is, in a language Lil' Wayne would understand.

That sparked ''haters'' to gang up on her and cyber-bully her, which, in turn, got her crying to dad - who happens to be highly quotable. It gets better here. Dad, or Gene Leonhardt as he is known until he gets his family new identities, could probably use dentures. In any event, he has been remixed.

Even her favourite band, whose name they share with a Michael Jackson record so I won't name them here, got in on the fun. They are terrible actors who don't even learn their lines. John Mayer thinks it's funny.

Man, I hope this emo-story is a hoax, and I hope it goes away. Except for the remix, that's fucking excellent.

And now back to news about Mel Gibson beating his wife, enough to leave a small bruise. It's bad enough that he's alleged to be a wife-beater, and that he'd beaten her while she was holding their child in her arms - but he's a weak one at that? Robert Blake would have taken her fucking eye out - or shot her. Pussy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Video Of The Week: Pearl Jam

The most perceptive ones among you will notice this is the second time Pearl Jam has made the Video Of The Week segment, the first time being for (perhaps) my favourite video ever, Do The Evolution.

This time around, Pearl Jam, ever timely in their ''political'' messages, takes a song about one of their favourite subjects (water, oceans, waves, see: Oceans, Given To Fly, Big Wave, Last Exit), adds beautiful imagery of the ocean, and ends it not just with a message to preserve them - but an actual call for help with images of the ever-current BP oil spill.

And it's a catchy tune, called Amongst The Waves, off Backspacer, their terrific 2009 record. If the image doesn't appear completely below, click here.

(Great) Bands I Keep Forgetting About

When people ask me about my favourite bands, the top-5 are always quick to come out: Cream, Pearl Jam, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and The White Stripes.

Then there's the next group, those I love but don't have a near-perfect batting average in my books: Smashing Pumpkins, Renaud, Jean Leloup, Elvis Costello, EMF, Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses and Jane's Addiction. The Red Hot Chili Peppers used to be in that group, but Stadium Arcadium took them off, single-handedly. Well, double-handedly. I could live with half their output being vaguely reminiscent of Give It Away and the other half being attempts at re-capturing the grace (and cash-making ability) of Under The Bridge, but I just never thought they'd be so blatant about it. Blatant, obvious, and - worst of all - boring.

But there's a whole other category of acts that exists in my mind - and maybe in yours, too: bands I fucking love so much... but just keep forgetting about. Cake, Soul Coughing, Jamiroquai, R.E.M., The Doors, Sublime, Cypress Hill, and Rage Against the Machine... all acts I've probably been ''inspired by'' (or, in all honesty, probably ''ripped off'') more often than bands in my top-5.

Weird, isn't it?

I came about this reflection today, while I was watching some Dread Zeppelin videos on YouTube... of all things.

Tim Burton: Fall From Grace

Tim Burton hasn't made a good movie in a long time: Alice In Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride... and very few people liked Charlie And The Chocolate Factory as much as I did (no, it's not really for kids), or even Planet Of The Apes, for that matter, which means Big Fish is the only good thing he's made in the past decade.

Then again, it may be his best film ever. Was it his last, final bit of inspiration? It could very well be, considering his next project looks like it's going to be a remake of his 1984 short, Frankenweenie...

Or maybe his reputation got to his hair. After all, his output from the 90s is as impressive as anything anyone else could come up with, starting with 1989's Batman, then Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! and Sleepy Hollow.

Whatever the case, let's hope he wakes up soon, 'cause he's an original voice in Hollywood, one that should not be silenced - and one that gives Johnny Depp too much work for all of it to be crap - it'd be a waste of Depp's talent as well.