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silly little country

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Home November 2010
November 2010

Justin Trudeau Actually Impresses Me!

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And positively.  It shows he actually has a skill!  I have long wondered.


Advance to 1:50 or so in this and watch.

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Rea the article at Macleans

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 16:18

Ashbridge's Bay, November 29, 2010

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Fall colours are solidly in place with the melting of the snow of a couple of days ago.

The winter birds are in place - Oldsquaws are back, and some other funny-looking little divers, and Chickadees, joining the overwinterers, mostly Swans, Canada Geese, Mallards (though I saw so many of them today that I am sure many I saw are migrating), Cormorants, Ring-billed Gulls. (Lots of ther species overwinter in the city, but I tend not to see them at the Bay; a good example would be the House Sparrows.)
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:46

40 Years of Boredom and Duty

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... just isn't possible for me.

A great line from Downton Abbey (a Brit series I was turned to by Norm).

It really is excellent, in a sort of Mad Men style soap opera form, an Upstairs Downstairs for the 2010s.  The women characters (and corresponding actresses) are for me the highlights.  I have long loved Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith and they get to carry on a wonderful running spat.  Elizabeth McGovern, back when she was active in US movie-making, was one of my favorites.  Now I find she has moved to England and she has a great role in this as the American wife whose estate is likely to get badly mis-targeted by an 'entail'.

I as previously unaware of Michelle Dockery (though I should probably remember her from Red Riding 1974) but she is wonderful as Lady Mary, the daughter whose marriage is being discussed in the subkject line of the post, and she is the character speaking about it.

None of this should suggest any deficiencies on the male side but the show really does so far revolve around the female characters (including, as I have posted on before, a maid who wants to advance to become a secretary).

It is a fine piece of work.  It astonishes me today how high the quality of TV drama is, in every country I see it.  Well, at least the stuff I see, and there is far more high-quality work than I have time for.  What a great world.  (I suspect Palestinian TV might be soemwhat deficient, but I really do not know.)

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:46

A Terrible Beauty is Born

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As happens every year:

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:46

Distracting the Vicious Morons

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It appears the FBI has found another Islamist twitbrain eager to blow up infidels.

It's good these folk seem in general to be so stupid, like the Toronto 18.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. Friday just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would set off the blast but instead brought federal agents and police swooping down on him.

Yelling "Allahu Akbar!" -- Arabic for "God is great!" -- Mohamud tried to kick agents and police after he was taken into custody, according to prosecutors.

"The threat was very real," said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. "Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale,"

The Portland Pioneer Courthouse Square is about one of the most benign gathering spots I can imagine, and I spent some time there in June, so I tend to take this story a bit personally, as I did the Toronto 18 one.  And for those with a charming notion of 15-year-old boys note what our little Mohamed said:

"Since I was 15 I thought about all this;" and "It's gonna be a fireworks show ... a spectacular show."
What a despicable little creep.  Rather like one of Canada's own!
I hope CSIS are as good as waylaying these little monsters as the FBI seems to be.  OTOH the FBI did not get the Times Square idiot, and fortunately he was just stupid.  In fact it seems natural to me that stupidity would correspond to Islamist views, and that likely protects us more than anything.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:47

Hey Maybe I Will Start Watching Channel 15

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Which, from this article, it appears will be the location of the SunTV network on Toronto Cable.

I'll credit the CRTC with not listening to our leftie loonies and making a very sensible statement:

In its statement, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission reiterated "the importance of maintaining and enhancing the plurality of editorial voices in local and national markets and ensuring that Canadians are exposed to an appropriate plurality of those voices."

"The licensing of additional competitive mainstream national news services is one means of achieving this objective," the CRTC statement added.


On the other hand it's a sad (well, silly) little country that has a CRTC making such decisions.

The comments to the article above feature many amusing exploding lefty heads.  Sorry little people indeed.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:47

Soulpepper's 2011 Season

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It's now up on their website and it makes me wonder what I will want to see.  I basically sat out 2010 as it had no appeal for me.

2011 is VERY confusing, featuring so many re-treads. 

Now 'Oleanna' is not a Soulpepper re-tread.  I saw it at Canadian Stage with R. H. Thomson and Kristen Thomson.  Soulpepper plans to feature Diego Matamoros and Sarah Wilson; this strikes me as really interesting.  Matamoros is magnificent at playing incompetents and cuckolds, and so should be utterly different from Thomson.  Sarah Wilson has been wonderful and also seductive in all her roles I have seen, quite different again from the other Thomson.  I am tempted.

'The Fantasticks' I have yet to see.  My readers know I occasionally post Jerry Orbach's YouTube singing of 'Try to Remember'.  I won't burden you again.

But then we weirdly get 'The Time of Your Life' and also 'Our Town', and apparently with much the same casting, though I do not see Ms. McIsaac in the latter.  I highly recommend both, but am unsure I need to repeat the experiemce. 

And ' Billy Bishop Goes to War', while it IS great, is still featuring John Gray and Eric Peterson!  Ageless, I guess.

Further re-treads are 'The Glass Menagerie' and 'The Odd Couple'.

This seems to me incredibly unlike their first year, when they did 'Don Carlos'.  Talk about gutsy and challenging.  What happened?

For daring it seems now there is only Opera Atelier in Toronto.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:47

Hooray Again Again for Canada!

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Paul Mirengoff takes note.

The U.S. should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Canada in boycotting Durban III. But unfortunately, our president drank for years at the same well that underlies the Durban phenomenon and its obsessive animus towards Israel.

Obama presents a truly unattractive picture. He really loves his tyrants. 

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:47

Yup - It is Truly a Silly Little Country

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Bureaucrats decide to force a TV station to show more music videos than it thinks sensible.

I endorse utterly the very simple statement:

To put that differently, YouTube has made MuchMusic's former business model untenable, and it's looking to further re-brand itself to "better position the service to adapt to the business realities of audience fragmentation and evolving technologies."

There is pretty obvious regulatory capture going on here as the CRTC, supposedly uin place to help us viewers, struggles to protect the interests of the businesses it regulates.  Sick, and unpleasant.  The good thing is that the Internet has more or less pushed these clowns into irrelevance; the bad thing is they know it and will fight like crazy to regulate the Internet too.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:47

Hooray Again for Canada!

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The government is becoming clearer and clearer.

Canada will not attend a United Nations conference on racism next year, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Thursday.

“Our government has lost faith in the Durban process,” Kenney told a news conference. “Canada will not participate in this charade. We will not lend our good name to this Durban hatefest.

“Canada is clearly committed to the fight against racism, but the Durban process commemorates an agenda that actually promotes racism rather than combats it.”

Excellent clarity, Messrs Kenney and Harper.  The UN has so many activities that are worthless or counterproductive; it is excellent that we start withdrawing from the useless bits.

h/t Kate

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 10:47

Hooray Again for Canada!

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Our current government is getting more and more explicit.

Canada will not attend a United Nations conference on racism next year, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Thursday.

“Our government has lost faith in the Durban process,” Kenney told a news conference. “Canada will not participate in this charade. We will not lend our good name to this Durban hatefest.

“Canada is clearly committed to the fight against racism, but the Durban process commemorates an agenda that actually promotes racism rather than combats it.”

Many of the various UN processes have become pretty much utterly useless, and there is no reason to feel bad about bowing out of this one.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 12:38

Just for the Halibut

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Yeah it's a stupid joke, but apparently a favorite in Alaska, and Sarah Palin's Alaska, second episode, clearly got a rise out of a lot of people.

And it made me squirm, watching mom and daughter club halibut, but this is a ridiculous position for someone who happily eats halibut flesh.  It has to get to the table somehow, so I am paying people to do what Sarah Palin was showing us is a key piece of the Alaskan economy and lifestyle.

And I suspect she wants me to squirm.  We cityboys like to pretend to a certain innocence, and this series of hers is a challenge.

I will keep watching the series; it is nice to see her kids standing up to her, and Todd's silent eloquence is fun to watch.  Bristol telling her to shut up was the highlight of this episode.  And carping about Mom's hair!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 12:38

Sarah Palin's Alaska

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I do wonder if the combination of the second episode of her TLC series and Bristol's participation in the final of DWTS will mark the peak of her stunning ability to gather attention.  Even TMZ are on her case!

The group adds, "Most disturbing is the way she seems to enjoy causing suffering to other beings. When they laugh about the beating heart that Bristol holds in her hand, their complete insensitivity to the animal kingdom becomes clear."

I will confess I felt very squeamish watching the halibut fishing episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska.  I saw none of what the group describes in Palin mother and daughter.  But I eat halibut, so I at least consider myself to be paying people to club and murder the fish in question.  That I do not club and murder them myself is hardly excusing me from responsibility.  In a way I respect Palin for involving herself and her daughter directly in this operation; and she makes it clear in the show that she considers all this 'work' and a valuable lesson for Bristol, and Bristol seems to agree.  It is a very interesting and tricky strategy.  I suspect there are many people without my finer sensibilities who also respect her choices in showing how livings are made in her Alaska.

I am enjoying the series overall, and especially like seeing the ability of the kids to strike back at such a mother - Bristol telling Mom to stop talking at one point, and making fun of her hair.  These are two very different people.

However, I am fearful that the next episode will be even more gut-wrenching.  And I think Sarah Palin likes wrenching the guts of us weak-kneed city boys.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 12:39

On Beauty

E-mail Print PDF account from an "expert on barnacles and worms and pigeon-breeding."

A very nice Ted talk, and it does much to convince me of the fundamental importance of beauty in our lives, and the stunning universality of our tastes.


I am inclined to think a little less adaptationally and believe there is just some goofy arbitrariness about it all, but I do think it is stuck in us.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 12:38

DWTS - Season 11 Finale

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Justice was done, and Jennifer Grey did deserve to win as the best dancer, and I think also as a really likeable character, though let us face it, where nepotism enters the game, she had the lead. It was an amazing season, and the finale showed much of why that was the case. The dance pairings were very good. Derek Hough's utter athleticism was a great match for Jennifer Grey. Mark Ballas seemed amazing at drawing Bristol Palin out over the weeks. Lacey Schwimmer (who has my favorite body of all the women professionals) turned Kyle Massey into a great dancer. He was clearly an instinctive performer. The challenges were rather different, as both Massey and Grey were professional performers (and Grey, for heaven's sake, a DANCER!). Of the three finalists, I cared most for Palin, who came a long way in a few months. But I have not seen a final of this series that involved people so appealing. Thanks, ABC! It has been a grand run this year!


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November 24 2010