Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lana Del Rey Vs Courtney Love

It started with this, a pretty bad live cover of Nirvana's masterpiece Heart-Shaped Box by fame-starved Lana Del Rey:

Then the internet erupted and, as masses tend to do, decided the piece of crap was marvelous. It was not. The crowd went nuts because it recognized the song, not because she made it better or anything.

The only one who seems to have some clarity on the subject is Courney Love when she took to Twitter, but like all things Courtney, it quickly went downhill:

Now, there might be something to be said about picturing Del Rey locked inside Love's ''heart-shaped box... for... weeks'', but I'm sure Kurt Cobain wrote that literally, as in ''it's such a big fucking cave I can't find my way out'' kind of thing.

In any event, I'm glad Courtney's taking the song back from that hack Del Rey. She's bat-shit crazy (well, they probably both are), borderline talentless (again...)... ah, fuck it: only Dave Grohl should sing it now.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dumbest Prank Of The Week

Could be considered funny, but it's fecal matter - shit! - that's being poured on people, including babies. It's just wrong! And unsanitary.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

R.I.P. Sally Ride

Sally Ride, the first woman in space, died yesterday of pancreatic cancer.

Mitt Romney had this to say about her, to try to gain capital on her demise:
Today, America lost one of its greatest pioneers. The first American woman in space, Sally Ride inspired millions of Americans with her determination to break the mold of her time. She was a profile in courage, and while she will be missed, her accomplishments will never be forgotten.
The thing is, she ''broke the mold of her time'' in more ways than just jumping a shuttle and flying above the planet: she was also in a same-sex relationship, and her partner of 27 years Tam O'Shaughnessy will not be allowed to receive any federal benefit because, well, they are of the same sex.

I think it's safe to say that when you've co-authored 4 books, lived together and been a couple for 27 years, it's a stable relationship...

At least one blog took offense:
Memo to Mr. Romney: If you don’t support our most fundamental relationships — if, in fact, you dedicate a significant amount of your political career to undermining those relationships, and make political hash out of marginalizing us and playing on people’s fears and hatred of us — you don’t get to speak about us with sentimental gushing after we’re dead.

Second memo to Mr. Romney: Fuck you.
I agree wholeheartedly.

Now, since she decided to keep her sexual orientation on the down-low, can't we all just let her go away in peace?

Today's Sign Of Our Civilization's Decadence

I'm not stupid; I know media organizations are way, way past ''trying to provide accurate, objective information'' as the Fourth Estate - the one designed to protect and inform the people about and from sources, mostly the government and the outside world.

But to actively demand the death of a person kind of crosses so many lines it makes me sick:

So far, the suspect is an alleged mass murderer. A trial will likely find him guilty, and the jury will probably think so even before the trial begins. These things happen. (They're wrong in theory, but with the prevalence of news sources and their choice of hiring commentators rather than journalists have led to this type of situation.)

But to ask for someone's death before even a single shred of evidence is put forth in what we, as a civilization, have agreed hundreds of years ago was the proper medium to do so is disgusting.

Not to mention that civilized countries no longer have the death penalty as an option, as the U.S. is the sole G-7 representative to have it, and the other countries where it is prevalent are China, Iran, North Korea, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lybia, Syria, Bangladesh, Somalia, and Sudan. Countries the Western World sees as being governed by ruthless tyrants, some of which have been deposed, most of which are at war with their people.

The way I see it, if we're going to live in a world where we have the right to bear arms and an armed shooter kills a bunch of people in public, the only ones who are allowed to ''put him to sleep forever'' are people who were there and make that call. Anything beyond that is unacceptable.

If you're going to bitch about the State's right to tax your fucking ass, you'd better do everything you can to ensure it doesn't have the right to kill you; you'd just be asking for trouble...

Video Of The Week: Technical Kidman

I've been onto these guys since booking one of their first shows for my yearly festival, UnPop Montréal, but Technical Kidman are now a whole different beast than they were three years ago.

Gone are the forays into slow, melodic layered rock that spawned mid-2000s-era Radiohead comparisons, and in come pulse-pounding beats that channel tribal music but with added synths and bass just seems like ''futuristic in the way we thought futuristic was going to be in 1996''. Meaning we're here now, and we're hearing just that. It leaves an impression of ''this can't be happening'' in the back of your head as you're coerced into dancing by the hypnotic beat.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Thing With Mitt Romney

Earlier this week, Jon Stewart said smart things about Mitt Romney on The Daily Show. Because Viacom are being jerks, it's difficult to find clips of it online - and the rights to the show differ from country to country, so I'd probably have to find 6 or 7 videos anyway, but have instead affixed it on an image:

I'd like to add this: Romney's running for President of the United States. Chief of the country with the biggest influence on Democracy on earth. As President, one of the things he'd have to decide on is how to spend his people's money - what services to provide, what benefits to give, who to subsidize, what wars to wage.

This money comes from taxes.

Romney (and folks like him) paid 15% in taxes last year, yet is worth roughly about half a billion dollars. His money is and always has been held in tax shelters (previously Switzerland, now the Bahamas and Caiman Islands).

How can he be an authority on - and have authority with - his people's money when he, himself, barely contributes to the pot?

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. As an elected official, he's allowed free health care, paid for by seemingly everybody in the country except himself.

That's what's offensive. Not the ''fact that he's rich'' - everyone deserves a fair shot at life. It's what you do during it that matters, and what he's done is hide his away from the greater good and try to manipulate everyone else's. It's unfait, it's wrong, and above all, it's unfit of a Presidency.

The Dark Night

You've probably heard about the shooting at the premiere for The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado.

And you've probably heard about one of the victims being Jessica Ghawi (a.k.a. Jessica Redfield), a young woman who had escaped harm in a recent Toronto shooting. Maybe you've even read her blog entry about the Toronto incident.

As could easily have been predicted, the story reopened the debate on the necessity of gun ownership, the risks, etc. And that's fine.

I just want to point out that this tragedy, this useless death, wasn't about just one victim. The others are just as important, died at the same place for the same stupid lack of reason.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex With Minors

I can't help but feel this whole thing is greatly exaggerated, that the lady interviewed in this video is over-reacting way too much, and that the only concern I have with a 32-year old woman fucking a 14-year old boy is where they do it - and a public restroom is not the place for it. Perhaps she was just begging to get caught.

Or just stupid.

In any event, in my country, for most of my life, the age of consent was 14. It was raised to 16 recently, but as a former 14-year old, I remember sex was probably always on my mind and, luckily, proper sex education made it so that when I actually got the chance to partake in the activity a year later, I was kind of prepared for everything except how it would feel. We had condoms, she was older, experienced and on the pill, and it took place in the safety of my parents' home.

And kids today are doing it way younger than we ever did, so that kid was probably already no longer ''innocent''.

It's a far fucking cry from a guy roaming around an elementary school with fucking candy is what I'm saying.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is John McCain Becoming Human Again?

John McCain used to the the Right's Conscience, the guy who embodied cautious responsibility in management, preferred smaller government, and fought for ''freedom'' and ''individual liberties''. With a military background (and former POW star-status), he was pretty much what Republicans are trying to make us believe Ronald Reagan was.

Then he lost the GOP nomination to George W. Bush, whose cronies destroyed his public personae as a means to show him ''how to play the game''. In the 8 years of the Bush Administration, the U.S. (and Republicans, mostly) became a caricature of its former self, with talking points turning to extremes more and more every day - and baseless insults to put down the opposition became the norm.

That's when a Democrat comes up with an idea - even if it was proposed by a Republican first - it'll inevitably be taxed as ''communist/socialist'' and irresponsible. The only things politicians should advocate is lower taxes, tax cuts for the rich, war and other types of death (no to killing future babies, yes to killing as many adults as we can), less laws (but, ironically, stronger penalties to those who commit crimes).

And, above all, ''less - smaller - government''. Yet no Tea Party-related cronies are willing to sacrifice their own healthcare-provided jobs to make a point and/or get the ball rolling. No, in Congress and the House - strength is in numbers. Duh.

In any event, McCain has not only been a shadow of his former self, he's also gone against just about everything he's ever stood for (''no wall to separate us from Mexico'' / ''build the damn fence''), a position most thought would end with the ''Sarah Palin as running mate'' debacle, but he continued in his Senate race two years later. Jon Stewart had a great bit about that, look it up.

But now, he's standing up Palin 2.0 - Michele Bachmann - on the Senate floor. Now, we're still a far cry from the reasonable guy of yore, the score's still 45-3 and he has a long way to go before making amends for his temporary fit of being delusional, but he hasn't given up quite yet. Let's see where this goes.

Video Of The Week: Aerosmith

Aerosmith were in town last weekend. I didn't go, a bit because I'm not too big a fan (I despise everything they made post-1995, for one), it was actually held in a suburb and also because there's a chance I wouldn't have been able to afford it.

By many accounts, they did their best despite having become a caricature of themselves, and rocked out to their 1970s material first and foremost, forgoing their recent decade of ballads and ill-advised attempts at ''blues''.

But between their 1977 heyday and their second golden age (87-89), most people forget the era where Steven Tyler wore eyeliner and Joe Perry wasn't even in the band anymore...

This piece of cheese is here to remind them of those times, and I chose a video with ''special effects'', too, to show that the Alicia Silverstone era wasn't the only one in which Steven Tyler and the boys dabbled with technology...

In all honesty, the guitar riff wasn't too bad, but the lyrics reek of cheese and the ''rock-and-roll'' song structure kind of makes me gag. And the production renders the whole thing Poison-like. And they were also in town a few days ago, with Def Leppard.

Maybe I'm dead, and this is Purgatory.

How Marketing Consultants Get Fired

Shell, the international oil-guzzling money-making corporation and polluter, had a flash of genius: ''let's ask people on the internet to provide us with slogans because the ad agencies we use overcharge and, well, come up with crap''.

How could that go wrong?

The internet can't be that full of trolls, tech-savvy teens, protesters and 99%-ers, can it?

Guess again. The site is here, and they're doing their best to remove unwanted content as it comes, but too many are coming in and a few are still up.

I downloaded a few of my favourite ones, although some were taken away:

Hard to believe someone isn't going to lose their job(s) over this. Then again, it's not like a whole bunch of peoples' opinions on the subject will change: those against Shell won't become more against them, and those ''for'' excessive drilling haven't been moved the other way by the ecological disasters so far. And economists like the money that comes out of buying and selling petroleum, as do politicians, who get paid by the oil companies to watch an industry that was ethical enough 100 years ago kill off dozens of animal species and start wars all over the planet...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hey, It's ''That Guy''

We've all done it while watching a movie - ''Hey, it's that guy, I love him''! I studied in film (3 goddamn degrees from 4 different schools!) and sometimes can't remember some of the best supporting actors' names...

Lucky for us, someone at BuzzFeed made a list (you know how lists go, they're imperfect by nature) of the 25 best ''that guy'' actors...

Some freakiness is contained, as there are lookalikes in the bunch (24 and 25, 18 and 19 with maybe 16 although he looks more like 6, 7 usually plays roles meant for Andy Garcia.. you get the idea), and I'd say I'd take Tom Wilkinson out of the list because when you're nominated for Oscars, you're no longer a nobody.

Then again, I'd take Mark Pellegrino off the list because he's too much of a nobody. I've seen a lot of his work and have never noticed him. Ok, fine, The Big Lebowski, but he's the 55th most memorable thing in there, and it's mainly the ''suit'' he's wearing and the way he's running...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yesterday's Poutine

If you know me a little bit, you know I have habits. Like watching hockey games, drinking beer, cooking, collecting cards and autographs.

If you've been around me for the past 3-to-5 years or so, you'd know I'd gained a lot of weight (100 pounds) in the few years prior and decided to control the situation by eating just one poutine per week, and it was to be on Tuesdays because that's when the La Belle Province next to my workplace had a special I liked: the city's best poutine (two layers of curdled cheese, cayenne pepper in their sauce, amazing fries), a burger and a drink for $6 - can't beat that.

It was my Tuesday Poutine ritual, usually at lunch time.

But the place closed down two years ago, because the owner got caught cheating on his taxes.

Tuesdays, however, remained my Poutine Day. And yesterday, I went to Poutineville for some high-class junk, and here's what I ordered:

Aside - or rather, on top - of the usual fries, cheese and gravy, were generous portions of ground beef (hamburger meat), bacon, and hot dog wieners. The best $15 poutine I've ever had, though a bit on the salty side, but nothing a beer (Cheval Blanc, Blanche) couldn't wash down.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Sign Of The Times

I talk a lot about how Montréal's changing, how every week a store closes, every month some low-rent housing is torn down to make room for condos that look like they're made of plastic.

It's like that all over, in all places where it was good to live, in an attempt to take every last penny out of whoever still pines for a taste of The Life.

Jeremiah's Vanishing New York puts it in perspective today with a comparison from 1984, thanks to the Woody Allen film Broadway Danny Rose:

Zombie Apocalypse Sign Of The Day

You know what? there are far too many Zombie/cannibalism stories in the news these days, and I seem to come across all of them - about a dozen so far.

This time, at a Sacramento motel...

Then again...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Video Of The (Upcoming) Week: Albert

Albert is 6 years old - don't get me started on child stars and how fucked up they become - check Macaulay Culkin (USA) and Jordy (France) for proof - and, at age six, is already a playa. He hangs around in pools surrounded by bikini-clad chicks shaking their asses and wants them to ''Booty Pop'' their way into his cheesy YouTube videos. He is well on his way to Bang Bros and Bang Bus...

And his life will probably end up ruined because he'll never escape the public personae he displayed before even finishing first grade.

Oh, and he's from South Florida and claims to be ''the baddest boy in town'', which probably explains why the chicks ditched the legal-age rappers to play in this toad's pond and hang at his (literally) crib.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Dangers Of Being Teachers

A teacher who survived a shoot-out a week ago was stabbed in her home.

Her husband, who teaches at the same school, found her body.

After the recent strings of zombie-attacks (at last count, 9 in the last month), we're down to same-victim violence attacks.

All things odds should be working against. So either buy a lottery ticket, or this impending Apocalypse shit that worried George W. Bush so much is on its way.

On Government Funding One Side Of The Bullshit

This is why they separated Church and fucking State in the first place: because of stupid partisan assholes who want freebies so much they can't see past their own schemes:

Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, says she had no idea that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s overhaul of the state’s educational system might mean taxpayer support of Muslim schools.
“I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools,” the District 64 Representative said Monday.
The Friendly Atheist pretty much says everything I could write about this, especially in his conclusion:
Rep. Hodges made the mistake of saying out loud what most conservative Christians only say to themselves to private: When they say they want “religious freedom,” they’re only referring to their own faith. Everyone else can fend for themselves.
But I'd like to add this:

Separation of Church and State is but one of the fail-safe ideas protecting the modern democracy. It is made to ensure that those in power keep preserving the interests of The People above all else, whether the elected officials do it out of evilness or stupidity.

Every time one of them overreaches the boundaries for his side's personal gain, for lobbies or self, to favour one kind of folk over another, they will always open the door to abuse on the other side. ALWAYS. Just because you don't feel like others could doesn't mean a fresh set of eyes won't see opportunities.

That's why quickly-spun-together, half-assed emergency laws should never pass. We have an example here in Montréal, a law written just after 9/11 about ''making believe a terror act is happening'', that the ministers who passed it at the time said was subject to ''common sense'' in its application, is being used for the first time ever, on four teenagers who allegedly released ''smoke bombs'' in the subway that were dissipated in less than a minute.

It's also why the conspiracy theorists and fear freaks go out of their minds when the government starts acting ''like fascists'' and restrict free speech, or sustain the right to imprisonment without the right to a lawyer or trial and start their ''Hitler'' comparisons: because 30, 50, or 100 years ago, society decided even one step in that direction should never be allowed, and yet loking back, we're more than halfway there.

''But we would NEVER''.

Uh huh.

One way to ensure that, is to just... NEVER go in that direction. Keep our safeguards in place. Treat everyone equally. Protect the innocent, the majority. Take care of the poor and unlucky.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Explosion Day In San Diego

Twenty minutes of fireworks explode in... 20 seconds, because of simple miscommunication.

Gotta love humanity!

This was at the San Diego 2012 Independence Day celebrations... Happy Fireworks!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Video Of The Week: Outernational

Again, a repeat artist in this feature: Outernational, once more featuring Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot).

This time, for their flagship song, We Are All Illegals / Todos Somos Illegales, where they asked fans to send in footage of them singing, miming or acting out to the song's lyrics, a concept Cake has also explored of late but makes for fun, entertaining and cheap film making. And that's good for everybody, and helps level the playing field.

Ain't No Thang But A... Pussy Ring?

Montréal singer Grimes co-launched a new set of rings with sculptor Morgan Black, in the shape of... vaginas.

In the vein of ''what will people do to get others to talk about them?'', but also fitting in this ''women can't say the word vagina anymore'' era...

Even my friend Nick from Pop Montreal got one: