Friday, December 24, 2004
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: SOME CHRISTMAS HISTORY
Sufficed to say, I was a tad disappointed.
Hey, I'm not traditionalist. I revel in the "A Christmas Story" images of presents under the tree and the Santa Claus Parade as much as anyone. But the 2nd most symbolic Christmas image was designed by a cola company? That's commercialzation to the extreme. Which is saddening.
So, I decided to put on my detective hat and see what the deal was. I am pleased to report that Anwar's report is false. According to Snopes.com, the modern image of Santa (sleigh, B&E through the chimney, jelly-like belly) was not created by a cola company, but rather described in a poem by Clement Clarke Moore and illustrated by Harper's Weekly artist Thomas Nast.
As for Coke's involvement, here's what Snopes has to say:
"At the beginning of the 1930s, the burgeoning Coca-Cola company was still looking for ways to increase sales of their product during winter, then a slow time of year for the soft drink market. They turned to a talented commercial illustrator named Haddon Sundblom, who created a series of memorable drawings that associated the figure of a larger than life, red-and-white garbed Santa Claus with Coca-Cola. Coke's annual advertisements — featuring Sundblom-drawn Santas holding bottles of Coca-Cola, drinking Coca-Cola, receiving Coca-Cola as gifts, and especially enjoying Coca-Cola — became a perennial Christmastime feature which helped spur Coca-Cola sales throughout the winter (and produced the bonus effect of appealing quite strongly to children, an important segment of the soft drink market)."
So, I'm relieved to hear that a mulitnational conglomerate only exploited a traditional image, but didn't created it. A few other interesting things that I found out about Santa:
- Santa, one of the most generous figures in modern folklore is actually Dutch--the cheapest buggers on earth! (right, wifey?).
- "T'was the Night before Christmas" actually had a much more dry legal document-type literary title: "An Account of a Visit From St. Nicolas".
- Rudolph, the nasally enhanced reindeer, WAS actually created as a promotion. The Montgomery Ward group of department stores in the States used the stroy of rudolph as a gimmick to sell colouring books.
Well, don't say CH doesn't give you something to ponder over the Christmas Season.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: GUESS HE DOESN'T GIVE A BUCK
Well, if you're Young Buck, member of 50 Cent's "G-Unit" crew, you stab someone at an awards show!
Yes, it seems our friend didn't think anything of stabbing a fellow Vibe Award attendee during a brawl, despite the fact that it was being taped for TV. Not suprisingly, cops used the footage to determine who the perp was and Young Buck was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and faces 8 years.
He has also been charged with felony stupidity in the first degree.
ON THE 1s AND 2S: HIP-HOP TERMINOLOGY
2. Being a pimp. "Mackin' is a game and everybody's playing it" -- Ice Cube (Who's the mack )
3. The Mack, an early 70's Blacksploitation film shot in Oakland, CA.
4. Ladies Man "I love the ladies and they love me right back, now who's the Mack" -- Ice T. (??? [??]).
5. To steal.
6. To have sex. "You know, I was all getting my macks on with her"
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: DARK CLOUDS IN THE EAST
"Russia's steady drift toward authoritarian rule under President Vladimir Putin saw increased Kremlin control of national television content and growing influence over radio and print media; the use and manipulation -- bordering on outright control -- of 'alternative' political parties with leaders linked to the country's security services; growing encroachments against local government; and elections that were neither free nor fair."
Russia is the ONLY country who has been downgraded in terms of freedom within the report.
Think democracy and freedom cannot be taken away? Talk to the citizens of Russia.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"--Thomas Jefferson
Monday, December 20, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: MOST ACCURATE WEBSITE EVER
What does it say at the bottom?
"Supported by the Government of Ontario"
Who says there's no truth in advertising?
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2--KELLY IS HIRED! APPARENTLY.
Isn't that a girl's name?
I have a confession. I missed the finale. I know, I know, a lot of people have schedules that conflict with shows and they miss them. So, they tape them, which is what I did.
But the worst part? I still haven't watched it.
Well, I watched a bit of it. I rewound the tape by about 40 minutes when I got home late Thursday night and watched the Boardroom. So I went to bed knowing who was the newest "Apprentice". I figure better to find out that way then in the media the next day.
But, I haven't watched anything else since then. Know why? The horrible reviews the show got from literally EVERYONE I know who watches the show. They all said the first hour was recap, the next half hour was the actual task, then the Boardroom, then about an hour of just plain garbage.
Doesn't exactly make you want to rush home and watch it. Which is probably why I haven't. And that says a lot, considering its the only show I watch religiously (all the others I watch secularly). The finale reflects much of the content of the 2nd season: drawn out, predictable and self-promoting.
I think I might be more interested if next season isn't like an infomercial for Trump and the corporate sponsors of NBC. And if I never hear Trump saying that a particular product/company/executive/celebrity is "The Number One __________ in the country", then I'll be a happy guy.
One last thought about the show: I am certain that a number of my friends, colleagues and business associates could mop up on The Apprentice. Numerous times during both season, I was truck by the ineptitude of the "star candidates". These people beat out 1M applicants? Maybe its the bias from my political involvement, but I see much of the work as being centred around organization and people management--something political hacks excel in!
Too bad Canadians can't compete. We'd give them a run for their money.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: SAME SEX--THE WEST WEIGHS IN
"While contemporary Canadian courts, largely Liberal-appointed, are obliged by the Charter to make Charter compatibility the principal criterion for judging every law and public policy, federal and provincial legislators have the right (and obligation) to take a broader and deeper approach, as the Charter itself acknowledges. At the insistence of the premiers, it contains the "notwithstanding clause" that allows Parliament and the legislatures, if they so choose, to base certain laws and policies on principles and values other than those enshrined in the Charter. If Canadians want their legislators to base the definition of marriage on something broader and deeper than Charter conformity, they should urge MPs and MLAs to do so."
But its sad to see King Ralph once again trying to prove that he's the real leader of Conservatives in Canada.
A disturbing pattern of undercutting his Federal counterparts. He did it in the federal election, and he's doing it again.
Guess he's decided to pee outside the tent.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: OUT OF THE MOUTH OF TRUDEAU LIBERALS....
"This nation used to be a player. We had significant numbers of well-trained, well-equipped troops, and our voice was heard in Washington, in NATO and at the United Nations. Today, however, we are beholden to others — to the United States for the defence and security of North America, to other members of the UN for peacemaking and, if NATO thinks of us at all, it is only a diplomatic courtesy. We simply do not matter very much militarily or, as a result, diplomatically."
Danson goes on to conclude:
"To handle these tasks, Canada will need a well-trained, well-equipped Canadian Forces, regular and reserve. We will need to spend substantially more money on defence than we do now, and it will greatly facilitate matters with our friends abroad if a parliamentary consensus were reached on such spending. Our military needs budget certainty for at least the next decade, and our allies need to know they can rely on us in a pinch.
This new funding should create a brigade of 5,000 men and women, ready for deployment at home and abroad. This is not a "peacekeeping brigade"; this is a real brigade trained for war. A war-trained soldier can do peacekeeping well, and everything up to and including fighting in a full-scale war. A peacekeeping gendarme in a blue beret, however, can only do peacekeeping. A small military like ours needs to maximize its capabilities."
POLITICS AS USUAL: NAVAL GAZING WITH THE STARS!
Gives some specific instances where you must be asking the campaign teams: "What were you thinking?"
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: BODYCHECKS AND BALANCES
Take that, NHLPA!
If the salary cap is good enough for the NFL and NBA, then what is the hockey players' union waiting for? Bettman and the owners are right to reject the offer.
For the health of the NHL: Cap' em!
And for those of you who are worried their won't be a season, Daimen Cox over at the Star gives us a little history lesson:
"In general, ignore all the hysteria and doomsday scenarios you may hear today. The truth is that the entire process is, in fact, quite on schedule.
That doesn't mean there will be a deal. But it's important to remember the last NHL lockout ended with a deal on Jan. 12, 1995, which then allowed for a 48-game season to be played.
Four weeks before the final agreement, talks were going nowhere, with the owners insisting on a luxury tax and the players vowing never to accept one.
That means there's probably a month or more left in the current process before anything gets cancelled."
Friday, December 10, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: SAME-SEX, DIFFERENT DEBATE
Firstly, I should state that, frankly, I'm not sure how I feel about same-sex marriage in general. On the one hand, I have always been a "live and let live" kind of person, especially when it comes to people's personal lives. People are free to make choices they want--that's what a democracy is all about. Secondly, SSM isn't exactly high on my radar screen. It falls somewhere in between refurbishing the Parliament buildings and ensuring our trade relations with Scandanavia are as beneficial to Canada as possible. Once we get our taxes, military spending, reputation on the global stage, economy, government waste, infrastructure investment, environmental concerns and democratic institutions all worked out, maybe then we should turn our attentions to gays marrying each other. But that's just me.
On the other hand, I recognize that there are others out there on both sides of the issue who feel this is of fundamental subject--either as a human rights issue or the protection of a religious institution. As a married fellow myself, I obviously take marriage very seriously. My bigger concern was not with a civic document stating that a couple is married as defined by the law, but rather how this law would affect religious institutions. Observers are right--this case is about rights; but not just those of same sex couples. Its also about the rights of religious institutions not being forced to do something counter to their own, deeply-held beliefs.
Which brings me to the Court's decision. One thing I really don't like is "judge-made law", where an unelected, appointed group of 9 has a more profound effect on Canadians than the democratically elected legislative body does. To me, activist judges almost spit in the face of Parliament and its supposed supremacy for making decisions in this country. In many ways, its anti-democratic.
Which is why I love this ruling.
It puts the decision right back in hands of Parliament (and especially PM Martin)--where it belongs. By refusing to answer the question of whether it is "constitutionally acceptable" not to impose same sex marriage, it doesn't give Martin the opportunity to weasel out of taking a stand one way or the other and living with the consequences. Good on the Court. They effectively said "Yes, you can do this. If you want". That's what, in my view, the Supreme Court is for. To interpret, not to decide. Now Martin must must discuss the issue on merit, not complain that he was "forced" to do it, which I'm sure would have been his preference.
I also really like this ruling because the Court said it was NOT okay to impose this law on religious institutions, which I am fundamentally opposed to. Just because, as a non-religious fellow, don't really see SSM as a big no-no from a moral point of view, doesn't mean that other, more religious people, churches and institutions don't. And that's legitimate. Who am I to challenge what is the "word of God" in another person's eyes? That is the core of religious freedom. And it is sacrosanct. In fact, the law should be strengthened to ensure SSM will NEVER be imposed on those whose religions forbid it. If you're a gay couple and you want to get married and your particular religion is against SSM, that's too bad. Book the chamber at City Hall.
The third issue I'd like to address is when this issue comes to the House. I vehemently believe it should be a free vote. If the PM wants this thing, he needs to work for it. No reprisals. No undue pressure. If an MP represents a riding that is largely against SSM, he/she should vote accordingly. And that MP should not then lose their Committee seat or whatever scraps they've been given. That's democracy. And because this is a fundamental issue for many Canandians, no Parliamentarian should hide from the issue either. No "I can't make the vote" or "I was pressured by my Party". Make a decision. Vote on it. Live with it. That's what you're there to do.
I won't stand here and tell you what to think about SSM. That's up to you. What I will say is that regardless of your position on the issue, at least Canadians, through their Parliamentary representatives, will have a say on this decision. And it will not be crammed down the throats of those who do not beleive it is right.
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2--MEA CULPA, SHE'S A IDIOT
Alright, so my track record hasn't been stellar over the last few weeks. First, I said the "troika" of Ivana, Kevin and Kelly would be the final three. Ivana got waxed and I was proven wrong (although I did get the other two). Then, I said it would be Whoopie and Sweaty in the finale. Kevin was tossed and I once again had egg on my face. Sandy was gone, which I predicted, but she did (if only for about 2 minutes) outlast Kevin, which was actually a surprise.
So now that's out of the way, let's get down to business. After "gruelling" interviews with top executives--I'm sure they were told to be horrible to the final four--Kevin and Sandy got tossed beofre the half hour was up. Then, the final two, Kelly and (I actually still can't believe it) Jennifer, were told they would be running parallel charity events for a financial company: one a basketball tournament the other a polo match. As expected, each leader was given a team of rejects from the season to "help" (We all remember Omorosa's contribution to Kwame's loss).
So we've seen how things are shaping up, so here are my thoughts:
- Making the "employees" drive behind the Maybac-driven "bosses" was awesome. Nothing like stark hierarchy to foster bitterness and loathing.
- Raj, Elizabeth and John spening their time racing each other on the polo field like a bunch of kids is a strong indication that maybe they aren't quite cut out for the world of high-powered businesses and real estate.
- Jennifer handing off dealing directly with the NBA is a HUGE mistake. George is already on it.
- I won't be hiring Chris as my mover anytime soon. I like his "just stuff/kick/cram the boxes into the elevator" technique.
- Wee Stacey gets kicked in the head again, being picked last for the teams.
- They are clearly setting the audience up for a Kelly win, which makes me wonder if he'll lose.
- If that's true, and Jennifer wins, then the Big D really does have another boss--and it ain't his fiance.
- I want one of them to crash and burn. That would be the best ending, where its just a car accident. That would really show how they handle themselves.
- Kevin shouldn't of been fired. That whole "too much education" thing is crap. He was a solid operator.
- On the other side, Jen getting to the finale shows the ultimate triumph of style (good looks, rehearsed "how to get ahead in business" talking points) or substance (solid perfromance, good management skills).
- Kell-y! Kell-y! Kell-y!
As another bonus, here's an article on the weirdest moments of the season.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
ON THE 1S AND 2S: HIP-HOP TERMINOLOGY
1. Sort of high-five type of handshake. "Gimme a dap, I'll give you one back" -- Ice T. (Ziplock )
2. Dignity and Pride, old slang (think 70's here).
POLITICS AS USUAL: GROANER OF THE YEAR
My god. McGuinty as the greatest communicator he's every worked for? Wow.
He says he wishes the election was held today. So do I.
Since he's copyrighted all content and shoots out lawsuits at the drop of a hat, you'll have to settle for the link.
B! TALK DAILY: METAL DOESN'T KILL PEOPLE, PSYCHOTIC GUNMEN KILL PEOPLE
POLITICS AS USUAL: YOU KNOW YOU'RE TURNING INTO A MODERATE WHEN...
"Stephen Harper seems to be recasting the party in the image of Brian Mulroney, Mr. Clark and Robert Stanfield. The old Reformers, happily drafted, have been shafted. The new party's about as radical as tea and crumpets.
It's been a telling few months. Mr. Harper signs on to the Liberals' statist health-care package. Mr. Harper is mushing around the middle, just like the Grits, on missile defence. The Liberals trot out a semi-socialist national daycare program. The Conservative leader can't get worked up about it.
With his soft-power strategy, he lacks a bold set of policies to differentiate himself from the Grits. That's a problem. But not much of one. When the Tories won in 1957, 1979 and 1984, their platforms hardly featured radical change.
The bigger problem is to be seen by voters as a threat to the existing order. Mr. Harper needn't worry about that. The way he's been sounding this year, he'd be comfortable on Paul Martin's front bench."
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: MY EX-GIRLFRIEND'S NUMBER IS.....
Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address.
Many of them live in your own state and most don't give a (expletive)!
So, Ms. Beyer, the next time a telemarketer calls and you don't want to be bothered, a simple "not interested" will do.
Your son or daughter or next-door neighbor's daughter could very well be a telemarketer. A handicapped, wheelchair-bound person could be a telemarketer. A biker or ex-con is more likely to be a telemarketer. You really, really shouldn't (expletive) with them!
As they say in the telemarketing industry, "Have a good day Ms. Beyer!"
POLITCS AS USUAL: DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT INDEED
"There appears to be no room in this party for outspoken libertarians who would like to abolish the Senate and cut government funding to the CBC. Once a parliamentary secretary in Paul Martin's first Cabinet, Mr. Gallaway is likely to find his dance card as dusty as that of Carolyn Parrish in the coming months."
Sad. I think PM Martin's failure to even come close to matching the expectations he had when he took office will do much more damage to Canada then his policies.
Cynicism breeds apathy.
Apathy breeds disengagement.
Disengagement breeds a lack of accountability.
A lack of accountablity is the last thing thsi government needs. If Canadians just don't care about what goes on in Ottawa we're all is a lot of trouble.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
NEW POLL: WHO WILL WIN THE APPRENTICE 2?
POLITICS AS USUAL: ME, FIGHT? NO THANKS. I'M A SOLDIER
Yo, Joe! Get your ass out there!
The story of army deserter Jeremy Hinzman is one that I've watched with a mix of interest and disbelief. On the even of his unit being deployed in Iraq, he went AWOL and fled to Canada with his wife and son. Now he's making a refugee claim to stay in Canada beause he fear prosecution if he is sent back to the U.S.
Firstly, I should say that being a solider is not a fun or pretty job--no question about it. It can put you in situations where there is a good chance you could get hurt or killed.
But that might be why they give you your very own gun, helmet and send you to dangerous hotspots with thousands of your closest colleagues. I'm wondering what Jeremy was thinking when he signed up to be in the Army: "Full college education? Training? Seeing other countries? And I don't really have to do anything? Sweet."
I know that many Army recruiters go to some of the poorest areas to find likely candidates to join up. And I know they do emphasize the training/education/decent pay part, and de-emphasize the whole killing/dying/getting shot part. But come on. Anyone with half a brain--and I'll include Mr. Hinzman in that lot for argument's sake--must have had some clue that there was a risk that they might be deployed into a war zone.
At 26, he's a big boy. He knows the consequences. I'm sure he was well informed of the penalty of disobeying the deployment order. And if he really believes he's right, then he should return to the States and face those consequences, not hide in Canada.
I'm not the person to tell anyone they should or should not fight a war. But they need to take some personal responsibility for their actions. Mr. Hinzman's claim should be thrown out, he and his family should be deported (they can apply as landed immigrants same as everyone else) and he should stand trial for a court martial in a military court of justice.
POLITICS AS USUAL: DO EVERYTHING HE SAYS
The Democrats need to embrace Hollywood.
If fact, I think they should become even MORE liberal in their polices.
Show 'em how pompous and disconnected they can be!
Monday, December 06, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: YOU CALL THIS LUCKY?
POLITICS AS USUAL: AW, YOU'RE BREAKING MY HEART...
The release of the "Memogate" report (and the subsequent fallout) is due shortly.
Lots of wetting of pants.
That's a shame.
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: MAYBE NEXT YEAR
If it wasn't for that obscene bet on the outcome of those Ukraine elections. I was told it was a lock.....
POLITICS AS USUAL: TIME TO WALK THE WALK
Or how about not punishing MP Roger Gallaway and his colleagues is they vote against the government?
C'mon Paul, show us that "leadership" thing everyone seems to claim you have. I've seen no evidence of it thus far.
Friday, December 03, 2004
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2: STRIPPED OF ALL HER DIGNITY
Ivana get naked!
I guess that's what they call "naked ambition". Shall I go on? Firstly, I need to admit that I was wrong. Sandy was not next, but I'm sure she would have been if she ended up in the Boardroom. On a related note, I was also wrong that Ivana Humpalot would be in the final three. Fine, fine fine. So I was wrong. I still have said from the beginning that it will be the two K's: Kelly and Kevin (or as I call them, Whoopie ansd Sweaty).
So, the task this time was to not only sell a new chocolate bar, but make it as well. I would have been horrible at this task, as I would have given a whole new meaning to "eating into the profits". Nevertheless, both Apex (K's and I) and Mosaic (The Blonde Ambition Twins) did a comparable job making the chocolate (about 300 bars per team). It was damn funny to watch Jen wipe out on the floor.
I know, I'm cruel that way.
Anyway, they "hit the streets" to sell their wares, with the Olsen twins dressing up in duel slutterific attire to sell their $5 DOLLAR bars to the drooling men (idiots!). Team bland (I mean Apex) was doing the ol' product-related-hat-and-t-shirt combo. At least for now. When it looked like Mosaic was actually moving product at a higher price, PM Ivana decided to do something "drastic". And by drastic, she meant really stupid, tawdry and demeaning.
Ivana offer to sell guys on the street a candy bar for $20. If they would agree to the price, she would throw in a "dropping of the skirt" so they could take a peek at her gams (amongst other things). Apex lost. The Big D lost it. And Ivana is no more.
- I have a new-found respect/fear for Carolyn. The way she set up Ivana was brilliant. Kevin looked a little shaky in the boardroom becuase he was selling the candy bars for only $1. But Carolyn changed the focus to their track records as PM (Ivana's was 0-2, Kevin's was 2-0 and Kelly's was 3-0). All of a suddent the conversation is about win/loss records. Brilliant.
- She also summarized the point perfectl to the Big D. When asked about Ivana she retorted: "You want a stripper running your company"? DT obviously liked that line, as he used it when he fired Ivana.
- Watching Ivana get totally frustrated in the boardroom was awesome. You could tell she hit a point where she was totally over her head and just couldn't defend herself anymore.
- What's with the Troika being totally taken off their game by the Olsen twins? They were running along smoothly and once they say them shaking their moneymakers, they almost completely shut down.
- I have less respect for guys in general after this. A $5 candy bar? I don't care if you're naked--I ain't bying it, blondie! C'mon guys, show some self respect. Don't be so easily humiliated!
- The NBC website says next week the two final candidates are revealed. Told you that another double firing was in the cards.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: A DARK DAY FOR THE FAMILY
Getting my mail last night, I received a householder mailer from my Member of Parliament. I almost dropped it when I realized that I am now being represented by none other than:
(I wondered why my wife and I got such a good deal on the ol' homestead)
B! TALK DAILY: SLOW NEWS DAY, CLEARLY....
Keeping up with the Reynoldses?
Saw an interview with Diane Sawyer, The View co-host Star Reynolds (nee: Jones) and her shiny new husband. It was all about their recent wedding and honeymoon.
Who gives a rat's ass about this story? Is she that much of a "celebrity"? She stumps for Payless shoes, for god's sake. And she gets a prime-time interview with Sawyer?
POLITICS AS USUAL: _OLLYWOOD _YPOCRACY
Read it HERE.
B! TALK DAILY: THE APPRENTICE 2---RE-CAPPING US AT THE KNEES
Trump with one of his many properties
What would a modern day TV series be without the "recap" episode? Here I was, all psyched up to watch a new episode (on a Wendesday night?), but instead I got a quick summary of what's happened thus far.
While some of my fellow fans admitted that they changed he channel shortly after realizing what the deal was, I continued to watch. Most of the material was new footage and it provided some interesting insight into what has been going on within the show. It also had some commentary by "the fired" which was also insightful.
- I can see why the women fight so much. There is much more backbiting (hmmmmm...interesting thought) and scheming than you originally see. One gal will confide a nasty tidbit about a colleague in confidence to her team-mate, only to have that team-mate bring it up at the "team meeting", causing much embarrasment.
- The men just hammered Pamela when she was the losing PM. Right when they all got back to the suite, the guys just went to work on the ladies: "You've got a deadly spider in your midst" says Raj. And it worked--she got waxed.
- Elizabeth finally admitted that she let her emotions take control. Man, she cried at the drop of a hat. In a bout of self analysis, she states that she usually does that in her daily life. I'm suprised she lasted as long as she did.
- The Big D really showed who he liked and who he didn't. He gave comments about each candidate he fired. I thought he would rattle off his usual platitudes: "I'm sure they'll go far, I really liked them, yadda yadda". Nope. He called wee Stacy "incredibly annoying", Jennifer C "rude and obnoxious" and Elizabeth a "terrible leader".
- I'm convinced it'll be "The Troika" in the final 3. I think Jen and Sandy are on borrowed time.
New episode tonight.
By the way--West Wing is turning into a really great show. If it unfolds the way think I think it will, the rest of the season is going to be awesome.
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