Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The Church of Pascal's Wager suspects it's going to lose the bet:
The Anglican Church of Canada is inviting corporate sponsorship of its national convention this year, selling space for brand logos on delegate documents, advertising signs in its meeting spaces and a private lunch for executives with the church’s senior archbishop.


By most indices the Anglican Church is struggling – declining faster than any other Christian denomination in Canada, according to a recent report from its Diocese of British Columbia, closing decades-old parishes for want of money and “moved to the far margins of public life.”


Mr. Carrière [the Anglicans’ national director of communications and information resources] said that, ideally, the church is looking for commercial sponsorships from firms with which it does business, such as insurance companies.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In the best of all possible worlds

Jay Stone writes an unbelievably lazy piece in the Post's "Arts" section today:
In the new movie Kick-Ass, a young actor named Chloe Moretz, who is 13, dresses up as a superheroine named Hit-Girl and shocks a roomful of adults with her martial-arts chops and, more to the point, by using the last bastion of obscenity, the c-word.

Why that word became the final unutterable profanity is a question for gender-studies classes, if not Sigmund Freud, but the scene has turned Moretz into something of the star of the moment. (For the record, it appears that her mother, who was on the set at the time, suggested she say it.) It has resulted, oddly, in only mild protests, which tells us something about the level of public discourse these days, and lots about the way we have come to view young people.
And how is it, then, that we have come to view young people, Pangloss Jay?

Why, as "human beings" at last! As opposed, that is, to the "barely watchable" historical performances of such "abused" child actors as Judy Garland and Shirley Temple; the Oh Goshs on their lips the obvious evidence of their cinematic slavery, just as the cunts on young Ms Moretz's are the evidence of her emancipation.

And how did we come to this wonderful pass, Jay?
Younger people [in earlier films] became human beings only at the extremes of behaviour. In 1976, 14-year-old Jodie Foster played a hooker in Taxi Driver. In 1978, 12-year-old Brooke Shields appeared naked in Louis Malle's Pretty Baby, a drama set in a bordello. Pretty Baby was banned in some parts of Canada, but by then, the change was on the way.
Ah, I see. Through the explicit sexualization of children. That's your angle. Well, that makes a little more sense. Because, you know, I was thinking there were a whole lot of films made before 1976 that didn't have either Judy Garland or Shirley Temple in them that could be pretty brutal--or, sorry, that gave "pre-pubescent performers" a "real life". Hell, even that bit in It's a Wonderful Life where young George Bailey gets his head beaten off by poor old Mr Gower ... That's pretty rough for a kid, eh? But maybe that's just me. How about then, oh I don't know, Blackboard Jungle? Or, hey, how about Lolita or Au Hazard Balthazar--just the sort of thing you're looking for there, daddy-o.

But, I take your point. No 13 year old girls in knee socks and mini-kilts,* brandishing small arms (w/silencer) and saying "cunt". "Real life" stuff like that. Yeah, that's true.

Still, it would've been nice if Jay had given his article a little, 'ow you say, focus by discussing where he thinks all this transgression will lead. Like--even if he was just to shoot such an absurd notion down--some discussion of the idea that when there are no more of the little taboos for adolescents to concern themselves with, they tend to find other, less innocent ones; or just a little acknowledgment maybe of what many have observed about this sort of transgression-for-transgression's-sake stuff: that all such 'progress' has a nasty habit of leading us away from the simple truth that there is nothing new under the sun; that perhaps we've been in this place before, and there was a reason why we left it.


*Interesting cropping, you'll notice, of the above photo at the Post's site.

Friday, April 09, 2010

What's he(mg) listening to?

England on the cusp of its own undoing ...

The Jesus and Mary Chain:

The Stone Roses:

The Happy Mondays:

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

That popping sound?

Two sources:

1) The corks from champagne bottles in every office of 'Big Tobacco' the world over.

2) The heads of thousands of anti-tobacco lobbyists.

Gentlemen, you may smoke.

Smoking kills.

But a new screening technique can predict about three-quarters of the smokers who will eventually develop lethal lung cancers, authors of a groundbreaking study say.

What’s more, the biochemical signatures captured by the diagnostic screen in most cancer-prone smokers could be blocked by a new drug that could prevent the disease from progressing, according to the study released Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Why Christopher Hitchens won't return his calls

Hey, Paul Schneidereit, does the Chronicle Herald really pay you to think this way?
When you believe, absolutely, that God is on your side, and those who criticize you are inspired by the devil, your capacity to rationalize is nearly unlimited.
(Find me the thinking Catholic, Paul, that thinks either of these things and I will eat a pair of your underpants.)

And does the Chronicle Herald really pay you to write this way?
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church, especially the Vatican, represents a closed society whose leaders are accorded tremendous power and prestige. Like all such similar structures in human history, many of those on the inside intent on climbing the ladder to success are willing to protect their positions — and those of their colleagues — from external threats.
Dude: your understanding of this issue is as convoluted as your use of metaphor, as inept as your syntax. Moreover, you really should know that the audience you think you're appealing to has a big, big problem with appearing to be on the same side as idiots. If you're feeling as strongly about the matter as all this jabber vaguely indicates, I suggest--strongly--that you avoid any further discussion of it.