Thursday, May 31, 2007

From: Snook (The Elder) at Home

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

As we approach the anniversary of the passing of my dear old friend John Parry--who was inexplicably shrunken to the size of a mouse in the summer of 2005, and who spent what was to be the final year of his life here, in the relative security of Casa Snook--I find myself given over to fond reminiscences of the time we spent together.

I found the following in my diary, dated November 3rd, 2005. (And I'll ask that you refrain from judgement of me in the matter of my parenthetical musings about the Buckley's Mixture bottle. You must remember that I could not have known at the time that a second spell of what was likely the same illness would indeed take our Little John from us, and only a matter of months later. I am filled with shame at the thought of even suggesting so undignified a commemoration of my friend; I could never do such a thing. You'll recall, rather, that we flushed him down the toilet.)

John reappears today, much to our relief, and brought with him not only the late autumn cold of which I am so fond, but a chill of his own. Yet another nuisance and I’m not at all pleased.

How the hell does one nurse an ailing mouse?! I told him that I didn't think mice could even get colds, but he just squeaked away in protest to the effect that he wasn't a mouse, that I wasn't funny, but that I was various other, unmentionable things.

At first I considered filling him up with Buckley’s Mixture, as I’ll do to myself when I’m in similar shape. But I very nearly got him stuck in the bottle. (Which, incidentally, he would have fit very neatly into. Indeed, it occurred to me--and I told him so--that if this illness proved too much for him, I should have his corpse pickled in a dark brown Buckley’s bottle and keep it upon my study desk for inspiration. He laughed, but without mirth I’m sorry to say. Poor little critter.) Anyway, Lenore pointed out that this was probably unwise in any event, given that the medicine in question was concocted proportionate to the needs of men of proper size. Of course, she whispered this to me, and I tactfully reiterated it to John myself:

“This magical potion," I said, "only works for giants, Jack. Anyone from the land of the munchkins, such as yourself, who sips of this bottle will turn to stone!”

This scared him so much that his thimble helmet rattled upon his head as he shook, and he clutched his sword (a thumbtack christened “Catsbane”) the tighter.

Salad days.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Jordan Michael Smith: Look Mom! No Brains!

Jordan Michael Smith believes that something along the lines of the gay equivalent of a race riot is in order because two homosexual men were murdered in Halifax recently.

It seems to me that Mr. Smith has only been able to work himself up into this lather of adolescent peek by completely ignoring three rather important and glaringly evident points.
  1. In addition to Messrs. Knott and Brewster, Glen Douglas Race is also suspected in the murder of a third man, Darcy Manor. Darcy Manor, notably, was not gay. (Nowhere does his name appear in JMS's column.)
  2. There has been absolutely nothing to suggest that Glen Douglas Race is not, himself, gay.
  3. Two years ago Glen Douglas Race was clinically diagnosed as a psychotic!!!
Now, while it may well be that Mr. Race did not murder the indisputably straight Mr. Manor (unlikely), and while it may be proven that Mr. Race is not, himself, gay (as likely as not); that he is a psychotic immediately and conspicuously elevates his case well-beyond the garden variety of anti-gay violence. Indeed, it seems to me that the victims' sexual orientations are about as relevant to this matter as were the voices giving the orders in Mr. Race's addled head. So, quite relevant, yes, but in no way reflective of all the rest of us sane people, Jordan! As with all murders, these were tragic and terrible--but symptomatic only of one man's confirmed insanity. To suggest otherwise defies imagination, common sense, good judgement, tact ... everything!

But who hasn't come to expect this sort of dreck from your average Sun columnist?

What really bakes my biscuit is how, apropos of absolutely nothing, Jordan Michael Smith then proceeds to blame "religion" for Mr. Race's crimes. He says:
Some of it surely has to do with religion. Despite not being highly church-going, Canadians are uncomfortable with acts their faith leaders tell them are immoral.
That's so stupid, Jordan, I'm embarrassed printing it on my site. I mean, apart from its making no sense in and of itself, what, pray, is informing this idea of yours that non-churchgoing Canadians "are uncomfortable with acts their faith leaders tell them are immoral"? What study draws that laughably absurd conclusion? (And could you tell me please: what religion does Mr. Race profess again?)

Straw-men are useful things, Jordan--if totally unethical ones--but you'll notice that even straw has some substance to it. What you offer is gas, pure and simple. It's embarrassing.
I think religions will evolve with this. Religious tenants have been evoked to justify slavery, racism, sexism, and, um, suicide bombing.
Hmm. Religious tenants. I'll confess that this is a group I'm unfamiliar with. You didn't mean religious tenets, did you? Those generally are invoked, by the way. Still, "as anybody familiar with the history of the Catholic Church" will tell you, you don't need to be familiar with the history of the Catholic Church to have a basic understanding of the English language--so I assume I'm the one that's missing something here.

... It seems to me that the only way to explain the hiring of Jordan Michael Smith as a columnist is if that fateful act was carried out by the same person who edits his copy.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Miller/McGuinty: A Complex Solution for a Simple Problem

A fascinating contrast here.

In response to the most recent evidence provided Canadians of serious societal decline--namely: the murder of a 15 year old boy in the hallways of his Toronto school--Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor David Miller condemn as responsible 1) the handgun that was employed by the murderer, and 2) the United States. They recommend that the one be banned, and--a little more cryptically--that the other "take steps." What precisely those steps might be isn't elaborated beyond this, but I suspect something along the lines of just the one: that the U.S. should quietly accept responsibility for (as Chris Selley points out) the murder of a Canadian boy, in a Canadian school, by (odds are) another Canadian boy.

Au contraire:

In response to the accumulation of evidence provided the citizens of France since November 2005 of serious societal decline, President Nicholas Sarkozy condemns as responsible--get this--the French themselves! Now this is a novelty, isn't it? Imagine suggesting that a country is responsible for the things that happen within its own borders! That its citizens take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions! Scandalous!

To elaborate: Monsieur Sarkozy apparently believes that neither gasoline nor matches are the determining factors in, say, a nationwide blight of car burnings. Rather, he's under this weird impression that a preponderance of bad behaviour has something to do with the fact that good behaviour isn't being encouraged or even taught. (For those who don't know our other official language see here).

Now don't get me wrong: getting a bunch of kids in the habit of vouvoient-ing their teachers rather than tutoient-ing them is, no doubt, about as useful to the task of re-civilizing a country as an elastoplast is in treating first degree burns. But, still. It seems to me that this is a far cry from turning your back on a murdered child to, first, curse the Svengali-like powers of persuasion of an inanimate object, then, wave your limp-wristed fists at a border.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oh Warren! You Sad, Spiteful Little Turd, You!

Okay. So Warren Kinsella is a no-talent hack, that somehow managed to make a big name for himself (by Canadian standards, that is) about fifteen years ago. As the big name now fades (again, by Canadian standards; so as the nothingness is ever so gradually drizzled into the void), and the little man is left only with himself for company, the scramble begins.

Why is nobody interested in my opinions? Don't they know that I'm the Prince of Darkness of Canadian Politics? I've been telling them that for years now! Are they deaf?! I strangled Adolf Hitler with a guitar string, for God's sake, simultaneously inspiring the invention of punk rock! I conned a majority of Canadians into taking their marching orders from a retarded man for ten fucking years!!! Hell, just the other day I made love to Justin Trudeau--and it was heterosexual love! Explain that, you bunch of pillow-biting nancy boys! I move in mysterious ways, My wonders to perform--are you people fucking blind?!

Eventually Warren settles and realizes that the reason he is being ignored has nothing to do with the fact that he is a crazy, talentless idiot. He blogs the following (no permalink, obviously):

May 22, 2007 - A couple folks have asked me why I don't ever show up in this.

Just a hunch, but I'd say it's not unrelated to this.

Adam's certainly hired some interesting people!

Yes! That's it! It's because some nobody (albeit, a nobody with more ability in one of his butt zits than could be produced by an entire generation of Kinsellas) happened fleetingly to observe that he, Warren, needs to be brought "down a peg. Or fifty." ... 'Snothing to do with the fact that his column doesn't offer much more by way of insight or coherence than can be gleaned from the bunghole of a weasel. No!

In any case: the conspiracy continues apace, Warren! Don't you think it's time that you revealed to everyone that you're really Jesus?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Christina Blizzard: Not Thinking, So You Don't Have To

Christina Blizzard believes that Dalton McGuinty is to be praised for going against type and not being "wishy-washy" on the "controversial issue" of abortion.

Somehow it never occurred to Christina Blizzard that the only way for a consummate wishy-washer like Dalton McGuinty to disguise his wishy-washery is by taking hard stands on non-issues ... That is, if the book hadn't been closed on abortion ages ago, Dalton McGuinty wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot public opinion poll. So the real story, then, is how abortion ceased, entirely, to be an "issue" in spite of its remaining so "controversial".

What competent journalist wouldn't recognize this?

... Dare we plunge further into this Blizzard of blissful unknowing? What the hell!
  • Christina Blizzard believes that because Dalton McGuinty is one of ten children born to Catholic parents, and because his wife teaches at a Catholic school, that "it would be hard to find a more devout family."
  • Christina Blizzard believes that any "people from different backgrounds, different faiths, different cultures, different traditions" to Roman Catholicism endorse, at the religious, cultural or traditional level, abortion.
  • Christina Blizzard believes that "it is, frankly, shocking, the Pope would make such a provocative statement in this day and age [i.e. that Catholic politicians cease, of themselves, to be Catholics when they sanction abortion]." That is, she believes it shocking that the Pope should prescribe that Roman Catholics follow Roman Catholic doctrine. (And, I hasten to add, face ZERO earthly consequences if they don't.)
  • Christina Blizzard wonders (my emphasis): "What's next? Will the Pope also excommunicate Catholic politicians in jurisdictions that allow gay marriage?"
  • Christina Blizzard even goes so far as to ask "What place does a medieval organization like the Vatican have in a modern multicultural society?" as though she were the first to dare to do so, and as though prominent elements in every conceivable society in every conceivable era for the last two thousand years hadn't asked the same question with regard to their own preferred behaviours, and made far, far more coherent arguments when they did. (Needless to say, never managing to put so much as a dent in the institution.)
Christina Blizzard is, I'm afraid, as ignorant as she is untalented.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Warning: Culture May Not Protect You From The Inevitability of Death

This is what happens when you give a bunch of philistines the key to the paint box:
Along with violence, depictions of sex, adult language and other content considerations, ratings organizations will examine new releases to determine if they glamorize smoking or if it is pervasive through the films, even among adults.


Of the policy, [Christopher] Buckley wrote by e-mail: "I can only hope this means that the MPAA will strip such films as 'Casablanca,' 'To Have and Have Not' and 'Sunset Boulevard' of their G-ratings and re-label them for what they were: insidious works of pro-smoking propaganda that led to millions of uncounted deaths. Bravo."

Well, it looks like the Motion Picture Association of America has finally settled the debate as to whether art imitates life or vice versa. A quarter of the American population (a fifth of the Canadian) are, apparently, shills. Simple dimple.

Bravo, indeed! And I trust, as consistency requires, that this move will find itself echoed throughout the entire arts community ... I never much liked Carmen myself, and look forward very much to future of its productions being given an NC-17 rating or, better yet, its being rewritten from scratch.

How's this sound:

Voyez-les! Regards impudents,
mines coquettes!
Fumant toutes, du bout des dents,

By way of celebrating this progressive and health-promoting step forward, I thought I might spend the afternoon meditating upon the pristine virtues of anal intercourse. Who's with me?!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's simple. Give the man his hat, and show him the door.

This has actually gone to court?!
The government's practice of requiring new Canadian citizens to swear an oath to an 'offshore queen,' even if they do it with just 'a wink and a nod,' may well violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, an Ontario judge said yesterday.[*]


Charles Roach, 73, who was born a British subject in Trinidad and Tobago and is now a permanent Canadian resident ... argues that the mandatory oath violates the Charter's freedom of conscience provision.

Um, there's a pretty obvious problem with this, isn't there? I mean a really, staggeringly, blatantly, ball-bashingly obvious problem with this.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy, right? So the Queen is the Canadian head of state, right? It is, then, upon her office that the rule of law stands and from which it extends, right? And the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is contingent upon, first and foremost, a recognition of the "supremacy of God and the rule of law." Right?


So how does Mr. Roach and his crack team of lawyers figure that he is entitled to Charter Rights without accepting their conditions? That is: how does Mr. Roach figure that he is protected by rights that, of their very essence, he rejects?

I mean, isn't this like asking your waitress for a bowl of cereal without the imposition of the grain, please!? ... In fact, sorry, that's not quite right. Isn't it like asking for a bowl of cereal--without the imposition of the grain please!--while standing outside of the diner?

At best it seems to me that this is not a problem that a Canadian court of law is within its jurisdiction to resolve. (At worst, obviously, one assumes there's some cause for a possible countersuit here. But whatever.) In the meantime the matter's a simple one: Mr. Roach really doesn't want to be a Canadian. So he isn't one. Fait accompli.

Oh, and if I can just be allowed to point out the, again, agonizingly obvious problem with Mr. Roach's own distillation of the matter (namely):
I feel that we [blacks] were colonized as a people by the British throne, and we were enslaved as a people by the British throne and, to me, taking an oath to the monarch of Great Britain, without any disrespect to the Queen herself as a person, is like asking a Holocaust survivor to take an oath to a descendant of Hitler.
Interesting analogy, Chuck. But a shamefully false one. (Honestly: shame!) Firstly: it wouldn't be "like asking a Holocaust survivor" so much as it would be like asking the descendant of a Holocaust survivor "to take an oath to a descendant of Hitler." You were never a slave after all, fella. Secondly: so what' s wrong with that? I mean, yeah sure, if this imagined descendant of Hitler maintained his ancestor's nasty views, than your point might have some merit. But if he rejected them? ... This is a strange society you envision where the sins of the father are visited upon the son. Indeed, where they are visited upon the son's son, and upon the son's son's son, and upon the son's son's son's--etc.

This is a kind of discrimination, isn't it? A kind of hate speech? Oh, never mind!


* Has anyone informed Joseph Brean that 'a wink and a nod' is not 'a wink and a nod' if you say it? Or is Mr. Brean--naughty Mr. Brean--under the impression that he's having a little wink and a nod with us? Oh, I get it. Aren't we clever little iconoclasts!