Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may be feeling a bit of a late-night TV hangover after his encounter with Jimmy Kimmel, but the slapstick fun continues in his hilarious new cartoon series!
Ford Nayshun follows the hi jinx of Rob and his protective big brother, Councilor Doug Ford as they try to manage running North America's fourth largest city.
From dealing with snooping reporters eager to his expose their nasty habits, to butting heads with other politicians looking to steal the Mayor's coveted throne, tune in for whacky adventures of Rob and Doug in Ford Nayshun!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Here's a typical news story we see from time to time. This one pops up every twelve months or so but the underlying themes have become an archetype of North American news cycles. Take a gander and you'll see the three points made in this video are as follows:
1. Television today promotes the idea of fame more than in the past.
2. Kids using the phone to text etc are under-developing parts of the brain for empathy.
3. Kids don't daydream anymore.
I characterize this fluff piece as the tired, decades old troupe of "kids today." You can find pieces like this every ten to fifteen years depending on whatever new piece of technology is emerging. For example, To Catch a Predator was built on the idea that internet chat rooms are deadly places where children keep secrets from their parents and meet perverts online. Before that, it was beware the perils of letting your child have a telephone in their bedroom. Before that it was television, and comic books, those talkin' pictures, etc.
This is the greatest fucking thing ever put on video tape.
Speaking to the first point (TV today promotes fame), it's interesting that the reporters select a few examples of television from days gone by such as Any Griffith, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days and contrast them with today's American Idol, Hannah Montana etc. Now I can just as easily make the same cherry picking example in reverse: The Gong Show, American Bandstand, Ed Sullivan Show, were these not shows that promoted becoming famous or served as launch pads for stardom?
How about examples of today's programming that have values other than fame: How I met Your Mother about a man's quest to start a family, his search aided by his close and supportive friends. Or Big Bang Theory about a group of social misfits who develop their friendships and look for love. And of course Community, again the same stuff about friendship, celebrating diversity, weirdness and what makes you unique.
|Things never change- before American Idol there was American Bandstand. Same shit, different day.|
As to the second point, that kids have a dangerously under developing sense empathy - with the exception of psychopaths and people who have damaged their frontal cortex, we have numerous times demonstrated that even babies have empathy. What are these kids using social media for? To communicate with their friends primarily, to commiserate, congratulate, etc.
Which leads into the third point, kids don't day dream -- well, half of what they do on social media is try to make each other laugh with memes and pics and all that jazz. Yes, the average kid may want to be famous, as did your grandparents who admired the "the champion boxer, the fastest runner" to pull a line from Patton -- but their mostly looking for the grass roots fame built on the validation and feedback from their social circles. And the child interviewed in the news piece above says she doesn't have time to day dream and cites what reason? "I'm too busy with scheduled activities like sports." These kids aren't scheduling themselves -- their parents push them into soccer and dance and all assortment of structured activity. The one good thing about those activities is they do recognize the pain in their friends, emotional from teasing or loosing a game and physical from getting hit in the head with a soccer ball.
There is still bullying as their always has been, and it now uses the new technology as well. On the personal level every case is a tragedy and I was very frustrated and saddened about events like Retheah Parsons and Amanda Todd and I discussed that in a post here. But, I maintain that the same kids bullying today that always have been - the kids who get home from school and have a bottle thrown at their head.
The real problems, as always, remain cycles of violence paid forward. So take a deep breath and ignore this long broken record, along with the story about videogames turning kids into murderers and the dangers of Elvis Presley's hips.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
We've all been caught red handed passing notes back and forth to our grade school infatuations. Did you know that this tradition dates back to the earliest civilizations? Not only that, passing quickly scribbled, clandestine love notes is a tradition that transcends cultures, languages and even social class.
|Anthony and Cleopatra were so filthy, you can translate here if you really must.|
From the ancient empires of Egypt and Rome, folks have thrilled in leaving secret messages for the objects of their affection. Some lovers made bold gestures to get attention, like the Taj Mahal, while others rejoiced in nervously scribbling and passing along their feelings during psych lectures and math classes.
Neither peasant, nor poet can stay themselves from being drawn into a sordid correspondence. All other meaningful tasks fall away as one's focus sharpens on the torrent task before one's eyes.
|From Literary Legend Lewis Carroll to one "Alice."|
Oh the thrill is so irristable, it matters not whether you are the author or the recipient of such a giddy little piece of news. How indescribable is the welling up of excitement when you put pen to paper, chisel to stone, or crushed berry pigment to cave wall. The charge of making brief contact with your beloved during the hand off, followed by the divine agony of anticipation as you wait for the reply.
And you, the receiver of such news, oh how you are nearly overwhelmed by the rush of terror and delight as you peel open the folded pronouncement of love. You can scarcely draw a straight line as you attempt to pencil a terse yet powerful reply that will either make all off your suitor's dreams come true or dash them against the rocks of rejection.
|Among the doodles that got him flunked out of art school.|
These days we move ever further away from the romance of courtship. The dance seems to have slowed from an enticing waltz, to a single loud knocking of the boots. Gone are the canvases, the sandstone, and the parchment as in their place the glowing screen of a more modern tablet strips away the pageantry down to its naked objective.
Where once we performed ceremonious tasks, expended gregarious amounts of energy on displays of prowess, now in mere seconds with a flick of the finger, you can make a fuck date while taking a shit at the mall. Alas, it's my curse to be such an old romantic...
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Every urban dweller has their encounters one time or another with the ubiquitous cockroach (or cock-A-roach, to use the proper Tony Montana pronunciation). There are few life forms on this planet with the reputation for resilience as the household cockroach. It's a well-earned reputation for an insect that has been with us from the earliest mud-huts to the most modern skyscrapers and as anyone who's left the kitchen a mess one night will attest, they're damn hard to get rid off indeed.
That's why I've developed a strategy for dealing with the hoards of insects that's inspired by park rangers and wildlife advocates. The best way to combat roaches, is to think of them as little tiny house-bears invading your permanent campsite.
That's a stupid analogy, I imagine some of you saying to yourselves. As this helpful info graphic shows, there seem to be zero shared traits between the species, BUT they do happen to have one thing important in common. Bears, like roaches, love leftovers.
Yogi bear plotted like al Qaeda to get his paws on some pic-a-nik baskets, and just like roaches, bear folk can smell your foodstuffs from miles away and often travel in groups, striking at nightfall.
So how best to combat these curious beats whom we've displaced and from which we now demand protection? Not by banging pots and pans, since roaches don't care, and def not by trying to kill them all (you kill one bear and Change.org will have your face plastered on several petitions against cruelty to animals).
You just apply the classic camping tips to your kitchen. Never leave food lying out in the open where house-bears can smell it, always double bag and dispose of your food scraps as soon as your finished, and always clean up after yourself by leaving a sterile cooking surface/campsite.
Follow these simple rules and I can assure you that you'll notice a dramatic decrease in noisy guests poking around your house at night. Though some may be tiny, others may have six legs, there's nothing more annoying that having a group of house-bears overstay their welcome. Unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing...
Saturday, January 25, 2014
|Now THAT's ironic.|
So now that the Biebs has been caught red handed in the wrong, can we please begin the task of moving forward without him. I mean, it'd be nice if he used this as an example to be a role model and told his fans, "I fucked up and now I need to make things right #newleaf." But that's not likely, and I 'd even say far too much to expect of someone upon whom the world has never placed any demands of accountability.
Failing that, hopefully his legions of fans, the incorrigible Beliebers, will erupt into in-fighting and chaos, eventually tearing themselves apart and moving on to another obsession, leaving their idol in the dustbin of pop culture history.
In the style of Michael Jackson's last trial, the pop star hopped up on top of an SUV to wave to his fans who'd gathered to support him, the evidence of his shit-baggery not withstanding. To be fair, Michael Jackson was facing accusations, presumed innocent until found guilty, whereas the Biebs was caught red-bloody-handed street racing while drunk behind the wheel.
Of course you can always count on your dad to defend you:
We are the Biebers, you will be assimilated, resistance is futile. Watch this and then kill yourself:
Listening to the exhaustive coverage of the Bieb's arrest got me thinking. Last November, with the death of Paul Walker, the Twitterverse erupted in an epidemic of improper use of the concept of irony. Although his death was not ironic, rather an example of tragic coincidence, it does become ironic by comparison to Bieber's predicament.
Here's true irony for you: Paul Walker, star of a film franchise about street racing, dies in a car crash as a passenger while NOT street racing -- no evidence of alcohol or drugs. By comparison, the Biebs gets arrested after walking away unharmed from street racing while drunk and high.
I just pray they don't revoke his visa and deport him back to my country...