Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

The Sun family of newspapers have always been a joke.

60% advertisements, 15% “News”, 15% Sports, and 10% conservative apologetics (or histrionics, depending on the day).

Throw in a daily dose of pathetic semi-nudity and you’ve got a newspaper aimed firmly at the lowest common denominator.

It’s been a very long time since I willingly cracked the grimy pages of Canada’s least enjoyable/reputable publication, but today my wife felt the need to share a political cartoon she’d found on their website. She did so because she felt, as I do, that the Sun has now gone too far. They have crossed the line from terrible tabloid to propaganda dispenser for the Conservative Party of Canada.

This  is what landed in my inbox this morning; courtesy of the Edmonton Sun.

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I’m a Canadian.

We’re a quiet bunch; prone to enjoying hockey, drinking stronger beer than our friends south of the border, and lovers of fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy.

We also, apparently, have an inferiority complex when it comes to being evil dirt bags, because we’ve decided to pass our very own version of SOPA up here.

Only better*

Meet Bill-C11. Formerly Bill C-32. (I think they thought if they made the number lower people would care less about it?)

Or as we call it up here; Her Royal Majesty V, Zzzzzzz

We like our politics dry up here.

But, as innocuous as it sounds, C-11 does a whole lot that SOPA did with a few extra twists you might not find in the Wikipedia write-up.

Like your PVR? You can’t keep it under C-11.

Like ripping CDs to your iPod? Say bye-bye.

Hey, do you want to be able to unlock your $500 smartphone and take it to a provider less dedicated to violating your wallet? That won’t be allowed either.

Did you get accused of internet piracy but no evidence has been presented and a trial date hasn’t even been set? Under C-11 your ISP will now be forced to terminate your internet access.

And people say that governments can’t be bought.

We’re not going to get Google or Wikipedia to go dark up here. We don’t have as robust a tech industry to act as a public counterbalance to entertainment industry interests. We have a Prime Minister (that’s  French for Dear Leader under the current regime) who doesn’t give a suckling goat what the people think about his policies.

But we do have a lot more recourse in our political system to make politicians pay than our Yankee brethren do. (Yes I know I just insulted everyone south of the Mason Dixon line. I’m sorry. You trying caring about foreign geographical terminology when every person you’ve ever met from a particular country still thinks it’s the height of hilarity to ask if you live in an igloo.) We have things like votes of no confidence that can really bugger up a sitting House member’s day.

So, if you’re Canadian, or you’re friends with a Canadian, or you just really like bacon, click the link at the bottom of this article and share it with as many people as you can.

We can’t afford to lose on this one, Canada.

Besides…

Winners Go Home And Fuck The Prom Queen

-Sean Connery

And he would know.

*And by better, I mean shockingly, horrifyingly worse.

http://www.ccer.ca/canadian-copyright-reform/canadian-copyright-reform-back-with-vengeance/

There’s not much time left people.  Get active.

Updated 10:10 PM Mountain Time

For those who are complaining that C-11 as written isn’t SOPA-like enough to warrant this comparison, please read http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6257/125/ before commenting. Things have changed drastically with respect to this bill in the last week; the really ugly stuff (which has been publicly discussed by members of the C-11 committee.) is in the unpublished modifications in the wake of SOPA’s defeat stateside.

More herehere and here.

Updated January 28, 2012

A reader has submitted an excellent form letter to send to your MP concerning C-11 and asked that I post it for the use of anyone who’d like to email their MP directly. Here’s the link.

Updated January 29. 2012

Due to a complete disintegration of decorum and civility, commenting on this post will now be moderated.

Updated January 30, 2012 @ 8:25 PM

This is a terrific and easy to understand breakdown of why I and so many other people have massive issues with C-11. And kids, it cites and explains the bill sections, so if you’re going to hop up and down and talk about awesome this bill is, be prepared to present an explanation for these sections.


With great power comes great responsibility-Spiderman (Or Possibly Stan Lee)

You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain-Harvey Dent

Today, I evangelized for Google.

I don’t approve, in general, of selling products for companies for free. I’ve made a career out of doing the opposite, in fact. But today, without even thinking about the fact that I wasn’t getting paid, I did the following:

  1. I posted multiple links on my soon (within the next few hours) to be defunct Facebook page to my Google+ account, and encouraged all of my friends to join, as they will no longer be able to interact with me on their favorite social network.
  2. I walked a friend through the features and benefits of Google Docs over Microsoft Office and converted him to its use.
  3. I walked a complete stranger through the same process; even going so far as to create a shared doc so she could see the value of the collaboration tools.
  4. I talked to no fewer than four people, in real life, about the advantages (when they finally arrive in Canada) of buying a Chromebook.

This was all in the span of about 9 hours.

I’m passionate about what Google is doing; with social, with the cloud, and with productivity in general. I think that this whole concept of everything being rolled into a browser, making work, life, and everything in between utterly seamless and essentially without thought, is the natural maturation of the Internet. I believe in these concepts so strongly that I will soon be making some very large bets regarding them, at possible detriment to my financial security. (more on this later) (more…)

Print is dying.

We’ve all seen headlines screaming that message. (There’s irony in those two sentences. Real irony, not the Alanis Morissette kind.)

Such and such magazine’s subscriptions are plummeting. It’s horrible; they’re a cultural institution; society is crumbling. Etc.

Newspaper X is resurrecting itself as a tablet app. Newspaper X only sold 8 installations of its app and is now sharing afterlife space with Hansen and the political career of Ross Perot.

I’ve seen articles in favor of revamping long form journalism as a digest service. I’ve seen articles calling for its destruction in the face of the rapidly diminishing attention span of a populace that no longer cares about writing as art. I’ve seen micro-theses written on the self-indulgent notion that there will always be a place for print and that traditional news channels simply have to weather the storm.

The truth is, no one knows what’s going to happen. But things are certainly going to change. (more…)

When I was a kid my grandfather frustrated the hell out of me. Anytime I said anything with any conviction he would pause, grin and reply, “Where is it written?” I loathed that phrase and the message that came with it; nothing I had to say had any weight unless it was backed up, in triplicate, and possibly had the stamp of God placed upon it.

What he really meant, of course, was that nothing is certain, any idea should be challenged and that just saying something doesn’t make it true. I have learned over the years that this applies more to the “facts” presented to us by the media in all its forms than to any other source of knowledge presented within, oh, the last 1200 years or so.

At first it was just Fox “News.” It was easy to bash Fox; Rupert Murdoch is clearly the devil, all of their talking heads are incoherent babblers who are steeped in evil like bad tea. It was easy to blame them for facilitating the greatest criminal act in American politics in the history of ever.

But then I started really reading. Everything. I treated the internet like an all you can eat buffet and, as I fed, I realized that almost everything I was eating was junk food.

Our brains have gotten fat. And our diet is going to be The National Enquirer.

I’ll get back to that. (more…)

We no longer need dictionaries.

And since I, at age 11, sat down one week and tried to read one because a)I was socially ostracized because I read books and b)I hadn’t read one yet, this makes me mad.

No, this isn’t going to be about the rise of text speak, although I personally think that anyone who uses that crap should have their cellphone taken away from them and then be subsequently bludgeoned to death with their keyboard

What this is actually about, is how the laziness with which we use language is starting to cover all manner of sins and is ultimately dumbing us down to a point where, very soon, we’ll need to travel back in time to about 10000 BC to find a decent conversation.

There are three phrases that came up in the last 24 hours that I want to talk about (and since this is my blog, I damn well get to talk about whatever I want.)

1)The economic downturn
2)Not guilty by reason of insanity
3)Dr. Phil

So. (more…)

Grrrr.

Not two days have gone by. Two lousy, stinking, itty bitty days since I railed against the injustice of an entertainment industry populated exclusively by talentless hacks who delight in raping the cinematic clouds of nostalgia that permeate the memories of my childhood. And in that time, my enemies (k,maybe not my enemies since they don’t actually know who I am and are therefore probably not doing this to me specifically. But still. Grr, aargh)have launched a return salvo against me.

Based on the success of the Friday the 13th opening weekend (and to all of you who went to see it, I will find you, and I will scream impotently at you. Grr, aargh. If you can’t tell, I’m super stoked that Joss Whedon has a new show on the air. :D)the PsT.B.(Powers that Be) in Studio Land greenlighted three fabulous new and shiny remakes today.

Grrr Fucking Aargh.

Crap Watch is not going to be in the vein of my usual rants; rather, as cinematic muggings occur, I’ll tabulate them here and tell you why I think they’re a bad fucking idea. So without further ado; I give you Crap Watch’s first list:

DA DA DA

1)The Neverending Story: It ended.

I read this book when I was in Grade 4, 3 years after I’d seen the movie, and let me tell you, it was my first experience finding out how vast the difference between literature and the novels based on said literature usually was. But both media had similarities; the primary one being that “The Neverending Story” fucking very well did end. And I was pissed. I always hated when movies or books were over; I knew it meant it was time to return to the real world, which, even at 9 sucked severe balls for me. Remember any popular kids who read books in elementary school? Yeah, me neither. But here, I thought, finally was (based on the bloody misleading title) something that wouldn’t lift me into the clouds only to dump me, two hours later and heartbroken, into the waiting arms (fists) of The Nefarious Jared. (Side note, I ran into T.N. Jared a few years ago. Nice guy, bald; fat, and lisping, but not at all nefarious seeming.) But it ended, illusions were shattered, Jared noogied, and I learned the valuable lesson that titles don’t mean shit. (Flowers in the Attic? Not, as it turns out, about gardening in poor lighting conditions. Guh.)

A couple of years later, there was a sequel (starring the soon to be famous and soon after that, dead, Jonathan Brandis) and then another sequel, and then an ill advised attempt at a T.V. show, and then, finally, it was over.

I loved the story of Bastian, the plucky young bullied boy who wins the geek lottery and gets whisked off to fantasy land to save the day and get the girl and ride on the back of a giant Luck Dog…er Dragon, I really did.

When I was five.

It doesn’t need updating, it doesn’t have some new current context that will allow it to say fresh and exciting things, it just needs to die. Please. For the love of Atreyu, just let it die.

Wait, read that above description again. Minus the fluffy dragon, doesn’t that sound a lot like The Forbidden Kingdom? And really, if you think about, Jet Li was sort of the Luck Dragon in that movie. SEE! SEE! It’s already been remade and it did shit at the box office.

Moving on.

2)Total Recall: I don’t know. If this is a vehicle to get Arnie out of politics and back into the movies where he belongs, I’m all for it. First, I’m not ready for an Austrian President; I grew up on horror stories of the last time an Austrian ran anything that wasn’t Austria. Second, I miss Arnie. So, for him, I would give this a pass. But, if it’s not, please please please, Studio Execs, listen to me carefully.

YOU CANNOT FUCKING REMAKE A MOVIE WHOSE ENTIRE APPEAL IS BASED ON PLOT TWISTS, MYSTERIES AND GUESSING GAMES WHEN MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO SAW IT THE FIRST TIME ARE STILL LIVING AND ALZHEIMER’S FREE.

If the point of the pointless remake is to capitalize on the nostalgia of the built in audience, you don’t make movies that they’re definitely going to pass on, on the grounds that they already know exactly what’s going to happen. We all still fucking remember that Marshall Bell had that weird psychic puppet buried in his chest. IT’S NOT GOING TO SURPRISE US, SO WE’RE NOT GOING TO PAY TO SEE IT FOR MORE THAN TRIPLE THE COST OF THE FIRST TIME!

Asshats. Sigh

And finally:

3)Arthur: No, not a movie about King Arthur. Even though we’ve already seen a bozillion of those, I will still pay to watch everyone that get’s released. As long as Kiera Knightely plays Guinevere. Forever. No, this was Arthur, starring Dudley Moore. I can’t bear to tell you this myself, so here’s the synopsis, courtesy of IMDB:

“Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan. He does not love Susan, but she will make something of him the family expects. Arthur proposes but then meets a girl with no money who he could easily fall in love with.”

Does that sound like something that should be remade?

This turd sat in our Beta collection for a decade and I never got all the way through it. And just so you understand, when I was a kid I loved EVERY movie. All of them. I sat through Fantasia for fucks sake. I watched Twelve Angry Men in black and white when I was ten and didn’t hate it. I watched Crocodile Dundee II, 16 times. This movie I couldn’t get through once.

I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, but when Arthur is your pitch for a $20 million remake project, maybe it’s time to cut off your own balls and stuff them in your mouth.

Or, like the sub-title of this piece says, I’d be more than happy to come down there and do it for you.

Until next time Crap Watchers.

Unless they announce a remake of Romancing the Stone. If that happens I’ll just douse myself in gasoline and take my chances in a godless universe. I can’t handle anymore Michael Douglas or Danny DeVito in this lifetime.

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Of adaptations and remakes and reboots and sequels.

Ghostbusters 3.

In a world where it seems like everyone is losing their jobs, where Republicans are concerned about the debt being left to future generations (and if that’s not a sign of the Apocalypse I don’t know what is) and there are still people claiming that global warming is a hoax, I want to talk about Ghostbusters 3.

The thing is, it’s precisely because western civilization is spontaneously combusting that’s it’s important we have this conversation. So, sit down, pull up a chair, close your yap and listen to your Grandpa Jules. He’s about to wax philosophically about the days of yore. (more…)

As promised, zero religious content in this post 😀 (probably)

I hate the elderly. Generally. I’m not talking about the very very old, they’re kind of cute, in a way too tall toddler way. I’m talking more about the 60-70 crowd. The ones who think they know everything because they were alive when racism was still kinda cool.

To clarify, I really hate everyone. I’m a 30 year old white male; that makes me, just by breathing, the very antithesis of the politically correct movement. Rather than fight it, I embrace my unwanted, genetically stereotyped, attitude of death and, instead of pointing it any specific ethnic group (like so many of my sheet wearing brethren of the deep south who don’t realize that, as well as wearing white after labor day, they’ve accidentally adopted a horribly unsupportable life philosophy)I just kind of beam it over everyone and everything.

But now, especially, I’m beaming fiery death at you, Boomers. (more…)

THIS WILL BE A LOOOONG POST.

Oy.

Oy. Freakin’. Vey.

And le sigh.

Here’s the article that’s sparked today’s plaintive cry for reason:
http://www.secularstudents.org/node/1933

Read it, don’t read it, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve caught on to the theme of the last month’s worth of entries, you can probably guess what the subject of the offending article will orbit around.

I’m really getting tired of writing about religion, the religious, and all things affected by the aforementioned. I am going to do my very best to make this the last piece on this subject for awhile because I’m starting to bore myself and I fucking love me. The reason I’m talking about this one last time is that the above article allows me to unify my loathing for most of the things I’ve discussed on this blog, namely; Fox, religious zealotry, censorship, and Fox.

So, if you didn’t read the article linked to up top, here are the Cliff’s Notes. Myspace deleted the Atheist and Agnostic group, the world’s largest collection of organized atheists (35000 strong. Remember that number, it’s going to be important later.) Not only did they delete this group but, when they finally, grudgingly reinstated it, they’d banned most of the more prolific contributors and deleted the profile of the group’s founder. For the cheap seats, Myspace, who are owned by the Murdoch Corporation, who also own Fox News (whom I love so very very much, see references in earlier posts) engaged in blatant censorship and suppression of thought (the digital equivalent of book burning)and then, when the uproar was too loud to ignore, still lashed out and spanked the filthy heathens for daring to talk to one another.

A moment of silent reflection for the glory and genius of the Reichspace.

I should mention that this piece of news is just over a year old, I just found it because, unlike discrimination levied against every other group of minorities, nobody really gives enough of a crap about us pesky malcontents to really mention it when we get downtrodden.

I’m not going to rant. (not yet)

I’m going to tell you a story. It’s called;

IN THE HOUSE OF HUGE (more…)