Monday, December 31, 2012

Video Of The Week: The Breeders

It's hard to know exactly what to make of The Breeders: Pixies side-project (leader/singer/guitarist/songwriter Kim Deal was the Pixies' bass player and her twin Kelley Deal was almost their drummer), twin sisters' excuse to take drugs (Kelley went to rehab for heroin in 1995; Kim went to rehab in 2002, mostly for alcohol, but she also had drug issues), or one-hit wonders with other interesting - albeit less catchy - tracks?

 The term ''breeders'' comes from the gay community: it is how they refer to heterosexuals; this has led to a wide acceptance of the band in their circles. Kim Deal is often said to be ''a straight man and lesbian woman's ideal girl'', although personally, I find Kelley to have aged much better.

In any event, Last Splash may have been their big hit record, but I'll always remember purchasing Pod, their first, in a bargain bin at a record store in 1993, at a mom-and-pop record store somewhere in Connecticut, near a rest stop where we stopped for some Burger King (I asked for "ham-boogers and French flies"... I thought I was hilarious, the cashier didn't care for my brand of 14-year old comedy) on the way back from winning a hockey tournament in Boston.

This song, Divine Hammer - which refers either to heroin or a wonderful penis - was the third single from Last Splash, and its video was co-directed by Spike Jonze, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, and transgressive filmmaker Richard Kern.



Kim Deal also tried to start a movement with All Wave, a means of returning music recording back to a time without computers, auto-tune, and all that digital crap. She even got a logo made for it, which I'll have to put on one of my releases someday:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Another List

I may not always agree with legendary gay rights activist/columnist Richard Burnett - we've had our moments of heated debates on Facebook this year, particularly - but his choices for best/hottest Montrealers of 2012 contains so many right choices that I'm left to accept even conceited hotheads Justin Trudeau and Xavier Dolan as ''hot''...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Tops Of 2012

Top 15 Songs:

15. HIT ME, Mystikal
14. I BELONG IN YOUR AMRS, Chairlift
13. FINE LINES, The Guest Bedroom
12. SPRAWL II (MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS), Arcade Fire*
11. TRY, P!nk
10. SIXTEEN SALTINES, Jack White
9. DISPARATE YOUTH, Santigold
8. WE ARE ALL ILLEGALS/TODO SOMOS ILLEGAL, Outernational
7. SAPOUD, Anticipateurs
6. OBLIVION, Grimes
5. COMEBACK KID, Sleigh Bells
4. NIGGAS IN PARIS, Jay-Z & Kanye West (Watch The Throne)*
3. HELL BROKE LUCE, Tom Waits*
2. FREEDOM AT 21, Jack White
1. DEATH TO MY HOMETOWN, Bruce Springsteen

Honorable mentions: CLEANING OUT MY CLOSET by Angel Haze, DOOM AND GLOOM by The Rolling Stones, SUPERMOON MADE ME WANT TO PEE by The Flaming Lips, BREATHING UNDERWATER by Metric, THE SEER, by Swans, LAURA, by Bat For Lashes

*albums released in 2011, but singles released in 2012

Top 15 Albums:

15. SYNTHETICAL, Metric
14. YELLOW & GREEN, Baroness
13. INTERSTELLAR, Frankie Rose
12. TEMPEST, Bob Dylan
11. HANDWRITTEN, The Gaslight Anthem
10. CRASHING DISEASES AND INCURABLE AIRPLANES, USA Out Of Vietnam
9. I BET ON SKY, Dinosaur Jr.
8. R.A.P. MUSIC, Killer Mike
7. VISIONS, Grimes
6. SUN, Cat Power
5. THE HAUNTED MAN, Bat For Lashes
4. REIGN OF TERROR, Sleigh Bells
3. OLD IDEAS, Leonard Cohen
2. BLUNDERBUSS, Jack White
1. ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND!, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Honorable mentions: A SLEEP AND A FORGETTING by Islands, SWEETHEART, SWEET LIGHT by Spiritualized, LOST SONGS by ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, THE ODDS by The Evens, VICIOUS LIES AND DANGEROUS RUMORS by Big Boi, SILVER AGE by Bob Mould

Video Of The Week: The Ramones

The Ramones. They dressed like ''rockers'' (blue jeans, black leather jackets, Beatles-esque haircuts of varying lengths), shared a fictitious last name inspired by one of John Lennon's alternate names when checking into hotels, and sang songs that lasted less than 3 minutes.

They are widely regarded as having kick-started the punk rock movement, both in the U.S. as part of the New York City scene (cemented by their many appearances at C.B.G.B.'s) and U.K. (their first tour is said to have inspired acts such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash to take up instruments, as well as U2) and, between 1974 and 1996, performed 2263 shows, had 5 drummers to play on their 14 studio albums, and influenced hundreds of bands.

They also sang a Christmas song, which I'm offering you this week.


Life Lessons #12 & 35



Everyone you know will let you down.

Family - siblings, parents, children. Relatives. By not showing up, by fighting over feeble matters, by looking after themselves.

Friends - best or otherwise - or mere acquaintances, by missing your birthday, neglecting to keep in touch, generally not caring about your well-being beyond the ''how's it going? Hope you're doing well!'' portion of communication.

Your spouse, through lies, things untold, cheating on you with an old, bald, toothless guy or worse - a Bruno Mars-looking motherfucker you always think of when a shitty song plays on the radio or TV (or a Madonna lookalike for girls, which encompasses all of these adjectives).

Strangers will let you down.

Sports teams, athletes, entertainers. Idols.

Politicians pretty much get paid for letting you down.

Things will let you down, too: your car, your TV, public transit, piping systems, air conditioners, your computer, your phone.

What's important, what matters most, is how you're going to deal with it, the amount of bullshit you're willing to put up from each of those sources before you snap and kick them to the curb, always keeping in mind we only have one life, we never know when it's going to end for any of us (unless someone takes matters into their own hands), and it's best to be with people you love/enjoy/appreciate than with people you hate - or alone.

It's normal not to have the same level of tolerance to the bullshit for everyone: I'll forgive my brother or woman (not that I would 'own' the woman, just the one I'd be with at the time) a lot more crap than I would someone I see once a year or less.

But you can't hold a grudge with someone for a long time if it's for something stupid (say, someone didn't return a book you lent them), you have to pick your battles. Especially for one that threatens to have you never see that person again.

On the other hand, life isn't a fucking slogan, either. Sayings like this one piss me off to the extreme (as Vanilla Ice would say):


Because people can let you down even if you don't ''put yourself in that position'', even if you have no fucking expectations towards them, just because they're fucking human beings and that's what we do - we think of #1, or we don't think at all. It's the nature of the beast.

I know, the Holidays are a time to celebrate, be festive, happy, but it's also a time where those who don't have the means to share and spend time with others become sadder and more depressed than ever; the poor remain poor, the needy are still in need. And the betrayed remain stabbed in the back. I'm just thinking of them today.

If It Brings Attention To The Subject...



Sure, being a ''nude blogger'' is a gimmick, particularly if one mostly blogs about a deeply Conservative country on the brink of moving even more to the right. And when said blogger takes the nudity to the streets to protest (albeit in the relatively safe environment of Stockholm, near the Egyptian embassy, rather than in Egypt itself), even those who had no idea she existed will at least be curious.

''She'' is Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, and she shares the fear of many rights activists, Christian organizations and liberals' opinions that the Muslim Brotherhood's planned use of the "principles of Islamic law" to be the basis of national law will lead to a form of Sharia Law.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Proving The NRA Wrong

Why teachers shouldn't have guns, and why even having armed policemen in schools isn't the answer:



This guy is a DEA agent, not some beat cop who'll never get to draw his weapon in 25 years of service working for the city; this guy is a fully-qualified field agent who goes after drug dealers on a daily basis.

Snopes verified that the story is real.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Video Of The (Past) Week: Jay-Z

During my time in the hospital at the beginning of the month, the only entertainment I had was the music in my smart phone and a few books friends brought me, and while there was little opportunity to sleep, the clock in front of my eyes was showing me every single second that was passing by, which almost drove me insane.

Needless to say, my go-to move was to put on my headphones, close my eyes, and escape to the sounds of the 1000+ songs in my phone, five of which were by Jay-Z; I was never a huge ''Jayhova'' fan, but for two weeks, I didn't skip his songs even once, and this one, with its sample of The Jackson 5's I Want You Back and the laid-back production of Kanye West (yes, I said it!) was often found to be repeated.

Watch for cameos by Nelly, EveDestiny's Child (I guess he had an eye on Beyoncé early on!), Outkast, LL Cool J and Kanye West, and enjoy the sight of Jay-Z in New York Knicks apparel, which you'll never see again now that he owns the Brooklyn Nets!


Today's Sign Of Our Civilization's Imminent Demise

An all-male court in Iowa - its Supreme Court, no less - ruled that an employer (read: ''man'') can fire an employee (read: ''woman'') for being ''irresistible''. Not just that - it was a unanimous, 7-0 decision.

Key highlights from the article:
Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.
and
"These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don't think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses' sexual desires," said (victim Melissa Nelson's) attorney Paige Fiedler. "If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it."
Nelson, 32, worked for Knight for 10 years, and he considered her a stellar worker. But in the final months of her employment, he complained that her tight clothing was distracting, once telling her that if his pants were bulging that was a sign her clothes were too revealing, according to the opinion.
He also once allegedly remarked about her infrequent sex life by saying, "that's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."
That's right - he can say things that are close to sexual harassment, which she has to endure, but she can't keep her job because she's too sexy.

How did we go from the 1990s where things were looking up for common sense and liberties to a bizarro-1950s of extra-puritanism, new racism, the rise of religious zealots, tons of guns and daily shootings?

I mean, I know the answer. Watch and listen to Dennis Miller before, say, the year 2000, and then look for something post 9/11 - two completely different guys. Many Americans changed on that day, their fear and anger turning them into cro-mags and uneducated retrogrades. Not all, but the percentage of rednecks went from 10% to something close to 47% of the country. Which can only mean one thing: the terrorists have, indeed, won.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Sad-Off

Samuel L. Jackson and Anne Hathaway (with a cameo from The Daily Show's Jessica Williams) discuss how sad their upcoming movies are and, in the process,find common ground and some kind of Holiday Spirit.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Danger Lurks In Montréal

Don't leave your babies unattended to in Montréal parks, they might get snatched... by golden eagles!



EDIT: Ok, so it's a fake. Still, well made, and quite entertaining!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gun Ads

This senseless violence. Constant.

And the debates, which used to be solely about ''gun control'', for or against, the rest of the world failing to understand the United States were born out of gunfire and it would be damn near impossible to take them away, paranoid as people can get.

And now the new debate on mental health and health care.

It's all good, but it misses some points.

In the culture of violence we're living in, in the instant celebrity world we're in, there remain to this day automatic weapon ads in ''normal'' men's magazines and other places, and this website has tracked a lot of them down. Wow. Here's (an old) one:

''Accidental discharge impossible''; heck, I can't even say that about my own body these days, seeing as I have uncontrollable diarrhea every time I move a muscle located between my knees and throat...

Landfill Harmonic

Here's a truly inspiring story about recycling - not just stuff, but souls.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Video Of The Week: Counting Crows

To say I was never a Counting Crows fan is an understatement; at best, I dislike some of their songs, hate the rest. I'm not particularly fond of this one - A Long December - either, although having singer Adam Duritz' then-girlfriend Courteney Cox play in it (in a rare dramatic role) is a plus.

But the lyrics are a fair reflection of my month so far, as I spent the first 12 days of December (and the last two of November) in the hospital, clinging onto my very life for the first half, as a first-diagnosed/third-in-total acute pancreatitis mixed with undiagnosed and out-of-control diabetes threatened to destroy the rest of my insides while they, themselves, were keeping me dehydrated, weak, in pain even morphine couldn't calm, and unable to recover through enough food intake (the IV was insufficient for my physical mass) or sleep; however, with a tremendous team of nurses and caretakers working around-the-clock to try to bring my condition from ''critical'' to ''stable'', which came last Friday, December 7th, I pulled through with accolades (one doctor said I was ''as strong as a horse'' with that being the only reason I made it through), excitement, relief, and - at least one doctor admitted - shock and disbelief.

I don't ever want to put my mother through this again.

All in all, it marked a full calendar year of things turning to shit for me, which is where some words from this song started to make (too much) sense:

A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin'
Now the days go by so fast (...)
The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl (...)
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her
And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
I don't know if next year will be better than the last. I can't. No one can. But I can hope. And I can tell myself life doesn't always have to be about hitting rock bottom.

I'm not out of the woods yet; my pancreas will never heal back, my diabetes is permanent (and not yet under control), I don't have the physical strength to walk more than 50 feet without feeling lightheaded or flat-out fall to the ground as I did today, in public, in front of 20-or-so people in shock. But there are things I can do, and things I still have left to say and write about.

As long as I'm still around, I'll keep expressing myself the one way I know how - through words, be they in songs, on paper or online. I ain't dead yet.

Oh, and neither are the Counting Crows, by the way, still touring though they've seen a number of line-up changed through the years.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Video Of The Week: The Rolling Stones

 So the ''best'' rock band of all time turns 50 this year, and is currently in the midst of a 5-concert series of overpriced shows to make another few million bucks in celebration. But The Rolling Stones have always been about making money - and occasionally taking too many drugs and sleeping with too many women and/or men - so we can't really hold that against them, now, can we?

My friend musician Patrick Hutchinson has a saying that the Stones are the world's greatest cover band of all time, and with their versions of classic blues pieces like Little Red Rooster and other pop staples such as Money (That's What I Want) do prove his point. Another great cover of theirs is their long-awaited (it came in 1995 on the Stripped record, after all) take on Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, with the almost-stop-motion video directed by Michel Gondry and starring Patricia Arquette.

I won't lie - I did get this song back in my head following Steven Tyler's comments about Bob Dylan via Nicki Minaj, but a good song remains a good song, and Gondry's visuals are always pleasant to watch.


Nicki Minaj Vs Steven Tyler: Battle Of The Dolls



It now seems that Steven Tyler was fired from American Idol, rather than his desire to get back to Aerosmith. He and Jennifer Lopez were replaced with Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj on the self-deflating show that no longer produces top sellers, and now he's saying what I always thought was true of these shows, namely that if Bob Dylan would have applied to such a show in the 1960s, they would have turned one of the best songwriters of all time down because his voice isn't powerful and radio-friendly.

Except Tyler said it specifically about Minaj, and she responded by calling him ''racist''. And now Twitter is aflame.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Trick's Daddy



I don't know what I find odder in this USA Today story (from a while back) - that NFL football player Bryant McKinnie ran a $375K tab at a strip club, or that said strip club belongs to rapper Trick Daddy's... daddy. Or that it'll likely end up in court.

It used to be in sports that NBA players were the bad boys, sleeping with tons of women in different cities, smoking weed, taking cocaine, some of them catching HIV, others getting sued for rape. But 80-game seasons require something to change one's mind...

But football players took it up a notch, what with their huge salaries for 16 games of work and a growing feeling of entitlement turned into sexcapade boat trips with hookers and strippers (in which McKinnie was involved, come to think of it...), domestic violence, armed robbery, shooting oneself in the leg while carrying a gun in their trousers, and so much more.

And somehow, knowing at least one rapper was raised with money coming from women getting paid to follow orders and remove clothing makes a little more sense. As Jay-Z and DMX said, for some of them, it's ''Money Cash, Hoes''...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Chris Brown's Punk Fail

Chris Brown decided to be cool and dress up as a street punk, sporting a leather jacket with the markings of seminal bands he's never heard of, such as Corrosion Of Conformity, Suicidal Tendencies, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.), Cro-Mags, The Exploited and the like:


Instead, the wife-beating R&B star ended up looking like a brat, which led to Municipal Waste posting a diss on their Twitter page...

Monastiraki Makes Martha Stewart Top-10 List

Our kind friends and sometimes poster designers Billy Mavreas and Emilie O'Brien at Monastiraki have made Martha Stewart Living's top-10 list of things to see/do/eat in Montréal!

Although I disagree with some of their over-the-top statements (''Move over, poutine!'', for one), it's still pretty freaking cool.

Not all things in life are dark, brutal, twisted, and full of bullshit.

Then again, Martha Stewart is a convicted felon...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Video Of The Week: Pink

Almost a year after last featuring her, and in light of her recent performance of this song last Sunday at the American Music Awards, it's about time to showcase P!nk again.

 When she first came out with Can't Take Me Home in 2000, she seemed like any other R&B singer, singing angry love songs with the twist that her videos were fun to watch, as she was quirky and didn't mind laughing at herself, making funny faces.

 When the Moulin Rouge soundtrack came out, though, and with it the mega-hit Lady Marmelade combining P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim and Mýa all wearing skimpy clothes in the video, all four vocalists and song producer Missy Elliott all rocketed to (bigger) fame, and at about that time, P!nk's vocal prowess came to shine more.

Over time, with an abundance of tours and videos, she also developed a talent for dancing, which hit its apex in this video, for the song Try, directed by Floria Sigismondi, who has worked with The Cure, Muse, Christina Aguilera and many Jack White projects. It featured Broadway dancer Colt Prattes and is somewhat of an aggressive ballet, inspired by the Parisian street performances known as the Apache dance. The song was originally recorded by GoNorthToGoSouth.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When Bigots Are Criminals

After my post earlier this week about Republican candidate Eric Bodenweister's indictment on 113 counts of sexual crimes came this story, about Christian/anti-gay lawyer/activist Lisa Biron: a member of the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund, which has filed numerous lawsuits in opposition to LGBT rights nationwide, she has been arrested on multiple felony charges related to child pornography.


In fact, what she was in possession of was evidence of a sexual encounter she had with a female minor, which she took to Canada to film and fuck. So, all told, here's what happened:
FBI agents swiftly arrested Lisa Biron yesterday morning as she awaited a hearing on child pornography charges at Manchester’s district court. About 9 a.m. FBI agents entered the courtroom, told Biron to leave her belongings and took her into an adjoining conference room where she remained for several minutes before coming out in handcuffs.
Outside, Biron ducked her head below the backseat window of a white vehicle as it was driven away from the courthouse.
A few hours later in U.S. District Court in Concord, Biron, who is associated with a national coalition of Christian lawyers, was formally told of the federal charges against her: transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, possession of child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation of children.
So I guess in her opinion - a ''respectable'' one since she's a lawyer and all - same-sex sex is wrong, unless it's done with a minor, in which case I assume it's just ''experimenting''. I'm sure her God would agree, since he's the same one who is prayed to from pedophile priests and Republicans...

These people have no clue are the reason why folks no longer believe in the Institutions, public office, or anyone with power and/or authority. Their so-called morals shame them, and in turn, they try to ruin life for everyone else by trying to ban everything. That, and they keep putting themselves in positions of authority to gain access to their victims. Here's another charge that should be brought against people like that: being fucking assholes, worth three years in prison to be added to the rest of their sentence.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How Drunk Is ''Superdrunk''?

Apparently, it's having blood-alcohol content twice the legal amount, which is what Detroit Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan had in his system... while driving.

Here's what the police report had to say:
Sheahan, 20, was arrested and charged with driving with a blood-alcohol content of .17 or higher and providing false information after he was stopped going the wrong way on Ottawa Avenue, near Pearl Street, shortly before midnight on Monday, Oct. 29, according to Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Allen Noles.
There's something poetic about having the words ''wrong way'' and ''Ottawa'' in the same sentence, though.


When Republicans Are Criminals



This one predates the (U.S.) election by a few days, and I just hadn't gotten around to it - I'm pretty late on a lot of things I've wanted to share/do/work on.

It's about a candidate for senate who had a hard stance on homosexuality, and as is often the case when those bastards try to regulate stuff that should be of no concern to others, he turned out to actually be worse than what he was against - he didn't just enjoy the company of males, he liked them underage, which I think is the only illegal/sinful thing in that sentence. Oh, and he wasn't just indicted on one count, either... 113.
It has been reported by delawareonline.com that Eric Bodenweister's indictment included 74 counts of unlawful sexual contact, a felony in the second degree. Also attached were 39 first-degree felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Yeah. Hypocrisy at its worst. Plus, his name sounds like a bad beer that claims it's the King Of Beers - another case of lies and hypocrisy. Should have seen that one coming...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Video Of The Week: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

A little over 4 years ago, I treated myself to a very good Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds show at one of my favourite venues, Metropolis (in Montréal). Nick Cave's music has been a staple of most of my playlists (first on cassettes, then CDs, now in mp3 players) since the mid-nineties, as I got into him and his songwriting style in my teens; I'm not sure I would have liked his earlier band The Birthday Party when they were active and I was very young, but I do listen to them now as well.

Many of the things he touches turn to gold, although some of his artsier endeavours such as 2004's double-album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus seem a bit too gimmicky for me, and I don't turn to them unless I feel I specifically want to, unlike, say, this week's featured song, Red Right Hand, which I randomly insert in all of my playlists.

It's a song that's been overused, particularly in film (he could probably retire on the strength of this song's royalties alone), the version most people have heard in the movie Hellboy was actually performed by Pete Yorn; if you like cheese and odd covers, you might also enjoy Frank Bennett's version from Five O'Clock Shadow, which also contains a ridiculously overblown version of Pearl Jam's Betterman.

Without further ado...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Video Of The (Past) Week: Megadeth

Sure, Dave Mustaine used to be such a bad alcoholic that he was kicked out of Metallica. But Megadeth did things that were so much better than Metallica: Countdown To Extinction, in my opinion, tops the Black Album.

And sure, Mustaine supported Mitt Romney in the recent election. I don't know what to say about that, I never thought Mustaine was that much of a redneck, and definitely not stupid like Ted Nugent. Live and learn, I guess.

In any event, many of Mustaine's songs were politically-charged, usually standing up for the proverbial ''little guy'', usually critical or war, government overreach (oh, wait...), most of the time as a riff-machine worthy of Jack White.

In any event, even if you are a fan of small government, there was no excuse whatsoever to vote for Romney, the two-faced pathological liar who would sell his mother (to China, probably) for office. Being a partisan of one political party does not excuse voting for whatever face they choose to run; voting blindly is dangerous, and can alter one country's history irrevocably (see: Canada 2011, Germany 1933, Rome 50 B.C.).

Still, Symphony Of Destruction is an amazing fucking song, at the perfect level of heaviness, good enough to get your head bobbing even if you dislike loud music. But at a level where it's still acceptable to call it ''music''.


Remembrance Day

November is a month in which we remember
Mankind's penchant for armed conflict and slaughter

From Guy Fawkes in London to WW2 trenches
To current-day Holy Wars that boggle the senses

You can't blame the soldiers who are merely doing their jobs
But you sure as fuck can blame governments who rule like they're gods
Sending young men to die for oil and territory
With the only reward of medals and glory
In exchange for lost limbs and lost lives of their comrades
In the name of NATO or other such NORADs



Yeah. Fuck Flanders Fields.

One quote I really like about wars is this one:
I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.  
~George McGovern

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Celebrity Non-News

Never in my work experience have I been asked the question: ''Your work has been uneven of late, could it be because of who you've been fucking?''

Christian Ponder, quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, was asked that exact question - minus the harsh term for fornication - because, as someone who performs 16 times a year in front of a TV audience, he is deemed a celebrity, and so is his girlfriend, College football reporter Samantha Steele.

Yes, College ball. As in ''kids'', not ''professionals''.

Jesus Christ.

With all the natural disasters and ''news'' like this, I'm surprised glad Mitt Romney wasn't elected, as it would have been a sure sign that the world is ending.

The only thing newsworthy about this whole thing is the guy's moniker, which sounds like his parents were questioning their religious beliefs when they were naming him.

------------------

In other celeb news, Selena Gomez dumped Justin Bieber. Young girls and old men rejoice.

One of these fine ladies is Selena Gomez

Friday, November 9, 2012

Live-Blogging A Triple-Tooth Extraction



It's been a surreal week so far, with only one day of work, a death in the extended family, and an appointment to extract teeth - I didn't know until the last minute if it'd consist of one, two or three leaving my mouth. Turns out I went for three, all top-left, all in the back (starting with the molar, we're letting my wisdom tooth grow).

My appointment was originally for 7:30 PM on Thursday, but they called me on Tuesday to postpone it to 8PM. Here's how it went:

5:15 PM - They call me, asking me to come in earlier. They offer 6:30 PM, but that's too early and there's no way I'd be able to make it in time; we settle for 7 PM.

5:45 PM - I leave the house. I know for a fact that I won't be able to eat for 24 or 48 hours after the act, so I stop by McDonald's for a quick, unsatisfying bite. I take a third-pound angus burger, but forgo taking the trio (drink and fries) for the extra $3 because it's a rip-off. And I don't feel like spending over $10 on a McD's meal.

6 PM - I get on the subway.

6:20 PM - off the subway, wait for the bus, that's 20 minutes away.

6:25 PM - I get thirsty and start looking for a convenience store, but there are none in sight. I settle for a bowling alley, and buy a $3 (can't make that shit up) small bottle of 7Up. Should have taken the fucking meal, I would have had more to drink...

7 PM - I get to the dentist's.

7:05 PM - I'm sitting in the chair, getting my shots of anesthetic.

9 PM - I'm done. A quick stop at a pharmacy for painkillers (percocet!) and my dad drives me home.

9:10 PM - I take my meds and watch TV.

MIDNIGHT (Friday morning) - I start feeling pressure on my teeth - a bit in the hole where my old teeth used to be, kind of the same pain as the toothaches I used to have - but I also feel something in my front teeth, I guess she was pressing against them for leverage in taking the other ones out, but now those were annoying me. I guess the anesthetic has worn off.

3 AM - Time for bed.

6 AM - An incredible thirst comes over me, so I get up to chug a liter of mineral water. Then back to bed. Can't sleep. Fuck.

9 AM - Pill time. I get up, with just a minimal amount of pain in my face, less than a toothache, more like the pain you get when you have a small cavity. This could be less bad than I'd heard. Back to bed for what should be a couple of hours. Waking up at noon would make sense.

3 PM - Drowsy, but feel I should get up, if only to take my anti-inflammatory meds. Decide to order wonton soup to go along with it. Great fucking idea, I rule. Let's watch La Galère with the Former Lady Of The House.

4 PM - I've had enough of that show, would rather play Civilization.

6 PM - Feel drowsy again, I'll nap a while.

9 PM - Up in time for meds and supper. I'll have garlic-and-herbs pasta (I'm tired of tomato-based sauces for the time being). Will watch Family Guy (Season 10).

11 PM - tired, off to bed.

3 AM (Saturday Morning) - Jesus Christ. The place where my teeth used to be hurts, similar to a tooth ache, except without the physical presence. Is it all in my mind? Also, the left side of my face has swelled and feels the same as having an abscess, except I don't have one, I'd feel it with my tongue, and I don't. On the plus side, it's time for my meds.

3:30 AM - Can't fall back asleep, although the pain has subsided a bit. It's definitely tolerable, in any case, so I guess I'll play Civilization until I can go back to sleep.

9 AM - Shit, time for more meds. I guess I should try to get back to bed.

2 PM - Woke up drowsy, but it'd be a shame to waste the whole day in bed, so  I'll get up. I'll make myself some shitty McCain tiny pizzas for lunch, they'll be ready for meds-time (3PM). I guess I should clean up a bit, too. I'll start with vacuuming the hall and living room.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Romitt Wouldn't Concede To Votebama

Almost 1AM. That's how late Mitt Romney held onto his illusions this morning, refusing to concede his defeat. It had been more than an hour since most media outlets had given Ohio to President Barack Obama, and almost two hours since Jon Stewart had declared Obama winner of the elections.

For a while, Romney led the popular vote but trailed the electoral College by a landslide; things went back to normal around midnight, with the President maintaining a fair advantage of electoral votes, but also winning the actual vote count, avoiding a repeat of (what History remembers of) the 2000 election.

In a predictable yet ironic twist, we now find ourselves exactly where we were before: same President and VP, the House to Republicans, the Senate to Democrats. However, perhaps the House will actually stop cock-blocking Obama now that their strategy of ''our job is to avoid a second Obama term'' has failed massively, and maybe they can ratify a few of his plans to get Americans back on the job market, which they were saying was their priority, although their actions proved otherwise.

Now that that's done, here's a cat being coy about trying to suffocate a child (or just being stubborn):


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why Registering With One Party Makes No Sense To Me

In the United States, elections are pretty much a two-party system in which electors usually side with either Party, for better or worse, for most of their lives. As such, they are offered to register which party affiliation they favour, and lists are made available to those who may need it. In some cases, an opponent will use unfair tactics to suppress his opponents' voters, such as this instance where Arizona Republican candidate Jeff Flake (yep, he was that flaky, can't make that shit up) used robocalls to send Democrat voters in the wrong voting place.

In Canada - and particularly in Québec - we have a multiple-party system, which enables most citizens to actually vote for the candidate they feel will best represent them; the party with the most winners is in power, and usually the balance of power is held by more than one opposition party, resulting in the country not veering too far from the center, and where compromise and negotiations usually prevail over dictatorial tactics.

Except, of course, with Stephen Harper, who merged first two, then three parties to form a bigger one who would stand a chance to grab power if they took electoral positions away from the main cities (Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver) and added more in rural regions in the West. Which they did. And it worked. And now he's muting all opposition parties and even his own Parliament to become, all told, a King.

But Kings die and/or get their heads chopped off, so while he's redefining Canada as a war-waging country in the service of England, lowering our tolerance level for gays and women, and reducing the percentage of French-speaking neighbourhoods through targeted immigration in effect hiding what could become ethnic cleansing, his time will be limited by Nature, and his wrongs will be reverted. Over decades, sure, as Americans are learning (there is no way a Barack Obama can repair the damage a George W. Bush has inflicted in the same amount of time; it takes a second to destroy a house by launching a missile in it, hours to do it by fire, yet weeks or months to rebuild a new one).

Anyhow, the point is this: your opinions may change over time, or maybe they won't. But those of your elected officials can, too: just look at how many times John Kerry changed his mind, John McCain too, and that's saying nothing of Mitt Romney doing so in the same fucking day, let alone throughout the years.

Registering with a Party paints you in a corner, and opens you up to the malfeasance of bad people, which there seems to be a shitload more of every day. Not only are you better off keeping some cards up your sleeve and keeping your hand secret (I've started playing poker again, yes), but it's also best to keep an open mind and see if there isn't a better option out there.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chris Christie's Boss

Now that the photo ops have given way to relief efforts by out-of-energy first responders that are no longer photogenic enough to be on the evening news, politicians have gone back to giving speeches on podiums with as many people behind them as there were in front.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talked about the issues - housing for the homeless, talking to Bruce Springsteen:

New York News | NYC Breaking News

I know firsthand that in times of crisis, sometimes a small break with things or people you love - or both - rejuvenates you more and better than a full night's sleep, but I just think these things are taken care of in private, not for the press; I also think the mood shifted a little too quickly, that now that Christie knows he's a hero (and a shoe-in for the 2014 nomination unless he fucks up in a major way), he has less to do, and is content with ''leading''. I hope I'm wrong, but I rarely am.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Daylight Savings Time

Set your clock back. Go back to sleep.


Count the sheep, and make sure tomorrow's flock has the same number. You've gained time to make sure it works out.

Tomorrow's still just Sunday, though, so even if you fuck up, you'll have the whole day to get acquainted with your new surroundings,  your work week shouldn't be affected by any of this, if it even exists.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Video Of The Week: The Strokes

It's time for The Strokes, again, because it's been so long. Part of that is because their last record dates from over a year ago, but songs such as this one still find their way into my Ipod. As a matter of fact, as a single artist entry, only Queens Of The Stone Age is on there more often, although Jack White as an individual, with all his projects, takes up the most actual room.

In any event, this is old-time quality rock'n'roll, in a video directed by Samuel Bayer. I even purchased the single to this song, because it included a not-so-good cover version of Marvin Gaye's Mercy, Mercy Me, featuring QOTSA's Josh Homme and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.


R.I.P. Pascual Perez



In the midst of racism in the news, conspiracy theorist Tila Tequila, the American elections, and the continuing saga of corruption in Québec politics, one subject fell through the cracks: the death (murder) of Pascual Perez, one of my favourite Montréal Expos pitchers.

The former All-Star was found dead at his Dominican Republic home:
Some of the reported details of Perez's death are gruesome, but they also have yet to be confirmed. One report says robbers waited for Perez, a terminally-ill kidney patient with five children, to receive his $2,000 major league pension check before surprising him at his home.
I couldn't describe him better than this if I tried to:
A brother to Melido Perez and Carlos Perez, both of whom also had substantial major league careers, Pascual Perez could follow a 95 mph fastball with a sleepy eephus pitch — just for fun. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 162 pounds, Perez was all arms and legs on the mound with a Jheri- curl mullet hairdo on top.
His rainbow pitch was a marvel to witness. It flew 15 feet in the air and looked like an easy, Little League pitch that was certain to get knocked outside the park - except it never was.

He, like many Expos, had a pretty bad cocaine problem, twice going into rehab in his three-season stint in Montréal. His brother Carlos also played here, and Éric Gagné mentioned him in his autobiography, saying ''he always had two things on him: a million dollars in cash, and a loaded gun''. Freak family, but beautiful to watch play.

In (Actual) Racist News

Ok, ok. So merely a few hours ago, I posted about Tyler Bozak's ''blackface'' Halloween costume and wasn't too offended about it because Canadian history doesn't include minstrel shows, and it was clearly a tribute (whether it's to Michael Jackson or Rockwell is a whole other story), etc.

And then comes the story out of a hick town in Ontario where a fucking idiot dressed up for a Royal Legion party (Canada's answer to ''Veterans' clubs'') as a KKK member, holding a man in blackface on a makeshift leash...


And some reports indicate the fucking thing won a prize.

See? That's offensive.

It's an insult to every black man who was ever killed by those bastards; it's an insult to every slave who has ever ''belonged'' to someone else, whose wife was raped by their ''Master'', whose children wouldn't be ''theirs'' but instead just another member of someone else's ''workforce''; it soils 200 years of social advancement; it soils the reputations of War veterans everywhere who fought and perhaps gave life and/or limbs for their countrymen, regardless of creed, colour, religion, language, race, or gender.

And what did the asshole - Blair Crowley - have to say for himself?
I'm not prejudiced. It was a Halloween costume, it was a joke," said Crowley, adding that his best friend is black. "I apologize if I offended anybody."
His best friend is black. Huh. Go figure. I wonder how long that friendship will last.

I would suggest he dress up as a member of the KKK again, go to his black friend's house in that disguise, with a rope around his fucking neck, and tie himself up to the friend's porch for a month, as winter approaches, with nothing but stale water and dry bread to eat. Hat off, so everyone can see his fucking face.

News From Tila Tequila



Remember Tila Tequila?

The former MySpace click champion (and subsequently Reality TV ''star'') has taken to blogging, and has clearly lost her mind:
I DECLARE A WAR BUT NO SOLDIERS, JUST ME, THE PEOPLE, AND ALL OF YOU SO CALLED ILLUMINATI, ELITIST COWARDS! I HAVE ALL YOUR SECRETS, I AM MUCH WISER THAN I WAS BACK THEN WHEN YOU F-CKED ME OVER SO BAD I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO JUST DIE FROM ALL THE PAIN YOU ORCHESTRATED AND INFLICTED UPON MY SOUL! MY TILA ARMY AND THE WORLD AT LARGE HAS YOU WAAAAAAAAY OUT NUMBERED!!
SHOULD I TELL THEM ABOUT THE SUPER HUMANS THAT EXIST AND ALL OF THOSE EXPERIMENTS YOU DO ON THEM TO USE THEIR POWERS FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT?  SHOULD I TELL THEM THAT IS WHY SO MANY “MISSING CHILDREN” POP UP EACH YEAR BECAUSE YOU SADISTIC F-CKS WERE THE ONES BEHIND IT??! AGAIN, THERE ARE STILL PLENTY OF US OUT HERE WITH SUPER POWERS AND I WILL GATHER THEM ALL TOGETHER AND YOU EVIL PRICKS ARE ALL GOING DOWN!!!
SO WHAT IF YOU ARE ALIEN HYBRID? THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU OWN US!
SHALL I TELL THE PEOPLE ABOUT THE ENTIRE CITY INSIDE THE HOLLOW EARTH??? SHALL I TELL THE PEOPLE THAT YOU CAME HERE AND LEFT YOUR OWN PLANET TO INFILTRATE OURS AND NOW SOME OF YOU STILL CURRENTLY RESIDE ON THE MOON!
And if you thought that was bad:
(...) Aside from that, I was also indeed “JOAN OF ARC” in another one of my past lives!!!!!  It makes so much sense now!  I mean, Joan of Arc and myself share incredibly similar things!
Uh, yeah. Please... go on...
Everything I talk about now, it is only and always in the 5th dimension frequency!  For instance I cannot relate to anything here on Earth anymore.  Everything I speak of is always in a very spiritual manner and My “HUMAN 3rd dimension body” is CONSTANTLY disappearing and reappearing all the time now!
I WILL be disappearing soon in the new Kingdom of God in the 5th Dimension back to my true light soul once again, and I shall be disappearing VERY SOON!  The only reason why I am still here, when indeed I have already given my certificate to Enter the new Kingdom of God, but I choose to stay here just for a little longer because it would hurt me deeply (just because I have been granted access to the 5th Dimension and given my “GALACTIC CARD” to travel to all 12 dimensions) doesn’t mean I can just leave you guys here and forget about you!  I told you this once before and I shall say it again, “I HAVE NEVER LEFT YOU NOR WILL I EVER LEAVE YOU!”
That's the stuff!

Some other titles of her recent posts include ''The Government Are Cloning Humans and Themselves! ZOMBIES ARE REAL!'', which includes the amazing quote:
The human race is possessed by demons. (...) These beings are mentally sick, upside down and follow a perverse goal of death instead of life.
George W. Bush died in 1987 and was carried on through secret laboratories (Area 51 etc.) as a zombie henceforth.
Well, it takes one to know one. Not the zombie thing, the mentally sick part.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

P.K. Subban And The Weather

Everyone in Montréal - except for hockey journalists - loves P.K. Subban (he's already one of my favourite Habs, along with Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov). The camera love him even more - and he loves it back.

A recent example of this was last Tuesday, when he presented the weather for CTV News:


Tyler Bozak's Blackface

The internets are going nuts about the Toronto Maple Leafs' Tyler Bozak's Halloween costume, which is supposed to be Michael Jackson:


They cry ''racism'' about the blackface. I won't get into - for the hundredth time - how, in Canada, we don't share that history. Instead, I'll just point out that for a rich hockey player, the suit sucks, and he looks a lot less like Wacko Jacko than he does his cousin, Rockwell:


The Burger King

If you know me personally, you probably know I've been a huge Wayne Gretzky fan for... my whole life.

As a child, I'd beg my parents to let me watch a single period of his games, which came so late in my time zone (Eastern) that they played after my hometown Montréal Canadiens' games, oftentimes ending at 10PM, way past my curfew. Needless to say, when I was be able to see him play, it was special for more than one reason, usually a special event, usually during the Holidays.

For Christmas, I'd ask my parents for Gretzky jerseys - first with the Edmonton Oilers, from ages 4 to 12 (every time I'd outgrow one), then with the Los Angeles Kings, for the first half of the nineties, which were my high school years. Then I moved out and was on my own to provide jerseys for myself, and could only afford a Gretzky three years ago - a beautiful Oilers one, in blue.

The one jersey I never got, though, was the ''Burger King'' Kings one, and to this day I can't find one anywhere. Lucky for me, though, McFarlane Toys made 250 of them, usually selling for $100-400 apiece:


Now you know what to get me for Christmas.

I thank you in advance.

It's Movember


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chris Christie: When Republicans Do Their Jobs Instead Of Merely Obstructing The System



This was Day 3 of the fallout from Hurricane Sandy, in what, for the Mitt Romney camp, has now become Hurricane Chris Christie. Indeed, Romney's opponent for the Republican nomination has been praising President Barack Obama for three days straight in regards to his help in providing relief for New Jersey, where Christie serves as governor.

Quotes such as these abound:
It's really important to have the President of the United States here.


In the meantime, Romney has to live up to his past statements about wanting to dismantle FEMA (the federal relief-effort program) and replacing it with State-run programs instead or, as he would prefer, the private sector (i.e. companies such as Halliburton), who would no doubt overcharge and leave many poor people hanging.

The problem with that line of thinking is trusting the ''humanity'' of corporations to do good, when all they are mandated to care about is their bottom line; an additional one would be to take the risk that not all states view prevention funds as an investment rather than an expenditure, and would likely kick it to the curb; or one state would provide better relief than its neighbour and compensation problems would inevitably occur for folks living at one state's border, particularly if they work in the other one.

Another question I asked myself was: now that Christie, a huge Obama critic and obstructor, has seen what The President can do when you work with him rather than against - he is, after all, the President who has tried the hardest to negotiate with his adversaries in a half century - will it incite other Republican superstars to tone down their rhetoric or - gasp! - start working for the American people?

Time will tell, but I'm liking this development.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Relationships

It starts with wisdom about relationships and ends in bittersweetness, as most things do.

My friend Yan's at it again, writing a heartfelt open letter to the void that is human existence. You can't ever go back, get back what you had, because the only constant is change, and you can't unsee what you've seen, unhear what you've heard, unsay what was said, unscrew who was fucked.

There is only, always, moving on. From things, but also from nothings.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Video Of The Week: KMFDM

KMFDM started out in Germany, in 1984, mostly as a performance arts project because the term ''industrial music'' didn't exist yet; as a matter of fact, to this day, they still consider their sound as "The Ultra-Heavy Beat".

Extensive touring, meeting other bands and a bunch of label executives eventually led them to settle in Chicago with other like-minded musicians  such as Ministry, Pig, Front 242, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Revolting Cocks. Musicians from all of these bands would often collaborate amongst themselves, much to the dismay of their respective labels, who had to legally authorize such ''transfers'' and ''guest appearances''...

I, for one, was introduced to the band via the TV show Beavis & Butt-head in the summer of 1994, which I mostly spent in Florida (we didn't get MTV in Montréal at the time), via this video, from the Angst album, A Drug Against War. I was immediately blown away by the animation, 60s-comics, art deco, japanimation all rolled into one, with guns and scantily-clad women.

I was also surprised that nthe band would reference their name constantly, even more so than rappers, throughout the song. When I came back to Montréal, I made it my mission to own all their CDs - full-lengths and singles. Eventually, when I landed my dream job at the used record-andbook shop L'Échange, I managed to complete the collection, learning these were staples of the band - all of their releases featured the same artwork as that video, and all of the songs named them constantly. Over time it became a bit of a drag - and deterrent - but in this song, I still feel like it works.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zombie Shoes

Many of us know girls with an insatiable appetite for shoes.

With shoes like these, some guys will also be into it. I guess. Probably.


I know I couldn't wear those at my weight range, I'd probably chip every tooth on there...

I do like that some of those are gold teeth, though. Sign of the times...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Video Of The Week: Living Colour

New York funk/jazz/metal outfit Living Colour were a big part of my youth, right up there with Guns N' Roses; records like Vivid (1988), Time's Up (1990) and Stain remain part of my playlist to this day, albeit no longer in full.

But it's not one of their originals I want to focus on today; instead, it's a cover of Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love, from the True Lies soundtrack, one of the best guitar riffs ever written, played by one of the greatest guitarists ever (Eric Clapton), from what I believe is the very first ''perfect'' rock record, Disraeli Gears (1967).

Ironically, it was written after Clapton and co-writer Jack Bruce (also Cream's bassist and lead singer) saw a Jimi Hendrix concert, and it quickly became a live staple of Hendrix' set, as he was a huge Cream fan himself.

And so it is covered here, by guys who belong in the same category of virtuosos, going full circle if it hadn't already.


Ann Coulter: Foot In Mouth Disease, Part 98

I don't know if Ann Coulter says stupid things just to get the Left riled up and the Right to defend her (and move them even more to the right...), but in a year, she can easily say 300 noteworthy idiocies - and get paid to tell them, be it on Fox News or in conferences.

Thi time, she took to Twitter to spew easy hatred on homosexuals in ''reaction'' to last week's ''Coming Out Day''...


Could she be any more of a cliché? Or a dick?

Plus, you know how often hard-line Conservatives usually end up getting caught as the one thing they were trying hardest to eradicate...?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Binders Full Of Women

I'm sure Ann Romney must facepalm herself at least ten times a day, unless she's just enraged at how dumb her husband is.

At least his recent quip about ''binders full of women'' has created so much rage that many websites came a-birthing, including this photoblog.

Here's a hit (hopefully you get the Big Lebowski reference):


At least he sounds like the real Mitt Romney again... speaking of which...


Monday, October 15, 2012

Sick Toys

Freakland is selling Cannibal Holocaust figurines!


There are only 4 left, at 50 euros apiece (very steep in my opinion).

But we are talking about a movie so shocking that even today, it is mostly just available in edited (censored) versions...

Holy Discontent, Batman!

40+ years in, and it still hasn't kicked in...



The ad features Batman (not Adam West), Robin (Burt Ward), and Batgirl (Yvonne Craig).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Video Of The (Past) Week: Pearl Jam

Off their eponymous (a.k.a. ''Avocado'') record comes this very good rock song called Life Wasted, by Pearl Jam, directed by Fernando Apodaca, based on facial casts which ended up being part of the album's artwork. The riff is loosely reminiscent of The Ramones' Rockaway Beach, which is fitting considering its lyrics came about to singer Eddie Vedder while driving home from (his friend) Johnny Ramone's funeral.

The video was actually released with a license to be shared, copied, and distributed, the first time a major-label-distributed song (although owned independently by the band's Monkeywrench Records).


Friday, October 12, 2012

Biden His Time

Here's how Joe Biden reacted to Paul Ryan's lies, half-truths, and nonsense...



As for the debate itself, the guy (Biden) may be a serial gaffer, but he has a way of being able to express his convictions and explain them plainly that is, mostly, impressive. Sure, the media love a politician who talks so much he'll massacre the language and invent unclear metaphors (à la George W. Bush and Jean Chrétien), but the ideas behind the sentences still make sense most of the time.

I can see Democrats wishing there were two more VP debates rather than Obama-Romney duels...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Don't Do Drugs (Athletes Edition)



I've been sitting on this ''news story'' for two weeks or so and am unsure where I stand on it...

Former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Éric Gagné released a tell-all book where he admits (for the second time) using HGH (Human-Growth Hormones) during the last few (injury-prone) years of his career, claims 80% of his Dodgers teammates also did, and says he used the drugs to come back from injuries faster, hinting that he was clean when he saved 84 straight games  over the course of two seasons, one of which he won a Cy Young award as best pitcher for.

It looks an awful lot like ''I wasn't the most guilty'' and smells a bit like ''I may be hiding some other shit so I don't get sued for money I've spent a long time ago''. And it leaves a taste of ''I have a legacy to protect'', too.

The guy who was nicknamed ''Game Over'' says:
It was sufficient to ruin my health, tarnish my reputation and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career
No shit, Sherlock.

But the effects of HGH (and steroids, which I suspected him of taking in the first place when he  would tear muscle after muscle, year after year) were already well-known at the time, so it was a conscious decision of ''high reward in the present, high risk for my health soon enough, and permanent damage later''. The guy's just about my age, from Montréal like myself. He's lived through the Ben Johnson Olympic doping scandal of 1988, he knew many variations of them were illegal - but they were permitted in baseball; he also knew they weren't in many other sports, including hockey, which he is a fan of.

So I don't really care that he chose to put those poisons in his body. I drink alcohol, aspartame-infused diet drinks, sugar-filled energy drinks, eat microwaved processed foods, etc. Those are choices, to a certain extent, of poisons to consume.

I just don't like the bullshit, and despise the justifications. Just like cycling, where the main excuse for decades was ''if my competitors are juicing, I'd be doing myself a disservice to not do so too'', becoming part of the problem, instead of deciding to live comfortably and finishing in respectable positions and doing so ''au naturel'' and setting the example for doing things correctly.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Debatable

Many people have declared Mitt Romney the clear winner of Wednesday's debate, and many progressives were disappointed at Barack Obama for not having attacked Romney on any topic - be it the ''47%'' debacle, his constant flip-flopping and outright lies, the rampant mischievousness of the Republican camp in general, health care, the economy and economics and general, as well as numbers in general. The New Yorker even released its next cover, referring back to the Republican Convention and Clint Eastwood's speech:


My take is simple: there was a reason why the Obama camp repeated all week that Romney was such a ''master debater'', and it is because they let him win. Obama had no reason whatsoever to answer to everything Romney put forth, and not just because more than half of it was lies.

Obama's lead was more than 5 points, and in some polls, close to the 10-point mark, at 55% versus 45%. A difference of merely 5 more - half the undecided voters left - would make it a 20-point margin (+5 on one side and -5 on the other makes a 10-point difference, simple math).

At 20 points, the risk for Obama's supporters to want to stay home thinking ''he's got this'' and of Romney's supporters going all-out to ''make every vote count'', resulting in an improbable Democrat defeat was too great, and with the PBS crowd (where this debate took place) already being set on voting for the Democrats and, thus, not likely to switch either way with the result, Obama just read his notes, said what he had to say as he would in any press conference, and didn't bother with Romney at all. Had he been a batter in a baseball game, he would have walked three times, not even swinging at strikes, giving him an impressive 1.000 on-base percentage, but a boring 0-for-0 at bat, and a .000 batting average.

When the debates turn to CNN and Fox News, you'll see him as he usually is: strong, decisive, adept, alert, funny, and perhaps even sarcastic.

Proof of that exists not just in every speech Obama's ever given and every debate he's ever participated in, but also in an address he gave yesterday in Denver, the same city that hosted the debate:



Let him be. He knows what he's doing. We are, after all, talking about the best American orator not named Bill Clinton or Samuel L. Jackson.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Video Of The Week: Jack White

In honor of this week's superb performance by Jack White, I've decided to feature his solo album in this segment again, this time in a video directed by AG Rojas.

For the longest time, music videos didn't have to make sense. The directors had no clue what they were filming and it was mostly an editing job that put the whole thing together and viewers would frame up a story in their minds. Until, say, the mid nineties, where everybody wanted to make the next November Rain (and most failed).

This video falls into that category.

At times like a modern version of the 1995 film Kids, it follows dangerous actions undertaken by kids and teens as they break shit in abandoned buildings, tie people up, light cars on fire, fight, and sure, even dance.



It's not the best song of the record by any stretch of the imagination, but it sums it up pretty well.

Jack White @ L'Olympia, October 2, 2012

Yes, in Montréal, a $59 ticket actually costs $79.

It was my fourth time seeing a Jack White project live, after the White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, and like every other time, I came out fully satisfied.

The energetic frontman once again proved to be a generous performer, but also a tremendous band leader. It's one thing to be in synch with one drummer, a co-songwriter, or to be the guy holding the beat down, but it's a whole other to lead a full band into a setlist-free 90-minute show, and dictating when the violin, organ or banjo solo will occur, and for how long.


As expected, his greatest rapport came with drummer Daru Jones, who added fluidity to Meg White's parts on the many White Stripes songs performed that night, even White's biggest hit, Seven Nation Army.





White travels with two bands this time around, deciding on the morning of which one (or at times both) will accompany him onstage, and The Buzzards (Los Buzzardos), the all-male counterparts to the all-female The Peacocks, were the chosen ones on this night; they are, at heart, a soul/r'n'b band, with a definite rock edge. If there was a band you could see baking Al Green for a Queens Of The  Stone Age crowd, it'd be them.


Throughout the evening, White ended up playing 8 White Stripes numbers, 2 Raconteurs songs, I Cut Like A Buffalo from The Dead Weather, 3 covers (Hank Williams' You Know That I Know, Robert Johnson' Stop Breaking Down, and a bit of Dick Dale's Nitro) and 6 songs off his recent solo outing, for a total of 19 discernible tracks of aural pleasure.


Oddly, he seemed less inclined to go on never-ending solos, perhaps because he didn't want to outshine his band, but after seeing him with his previous acts, always taking center stage, I kind of expected him to continue in that vein with his name being alone on the marquee. Whether he was just not in the mood for showboating or is just more humble with his top-notch backing band, or perhaps because he was using a Fender telecaster guitar rather than his usually strident low-budget Italian six-strings, he concentrated on performing it raw, which was just fine with the typical Montréal crowd - loud, happy, into it. It even led to a few impromptu sing-alongs, which White seemed to enjoy.



The sound was both pretty good (you could decipher every instrument in the band) and average (some of the vocals were hard to hear if you didn't know the songs well, as was pointed out in a few reviews I read), but it's a damn rock show, not an album, so I was more than ok with it.



It was loud, but you could taste the blues, you could hear the country, you could touch the folk and you could definitely see the rock.

And I thought I saw Brendan Benson as the go-to backing vocalist, guitarist, tambourine man and small string instrument player:


If it is him, I'm a tad disappointed that they didn't play Steady As She Goes, but if your lone gripe is about the one song in a 200-plus catalog that wasn't there, you're kind of missing the point.