Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Oprah

Yes, Barak Obama will probably be the next president of the United States. His candidacy marks a progressive twist in American elections, however, a few things trouble me mightily.
Firstly, does anyone else realize that Oprah Winfrey has selected who will be the next president? Before she gave him the "Winfrey Bump" he was way behind Clinton. Should we allow an uneducated billionaire to choose our president? Um, I think that happened before and it did not work out so well. I am not saying Barack will not bring changes and be a good choice, I am merely pointing out the disturbing fact of how much power Oprah has. Why? Can anyone tell me why she is so powerful?
Secondly, I liked Obama's speech, but I cannot really listen to the guy without getting a small chuckle. He sounds like the Rock. Try and deny it, but he does. The way he was talking I expected him to break out, "And come November 4th, I'm going open up a can of whup-ass on John McCain. Then I'll whup the whole damn republican party! Hell, I'll take them right now!" When he was calling McCain out for debates I half expected him to rip off his shirt jump and step into the ring pounding a couple of chairs on the mat.
Thirdly, despite Oprah's endorsement, I hope Obama wins. We need change and he may be the person to do it. To get there will be a long, brutal battle and I hope he is ready to succeed.

Things I liked This Summer?
1) The Celtics won!
2) The Olympics - man, you figure you'll just watch for 20 minutes but watching volleyball (go beach!) is so intensely awesome you cannot stop.
3) Hackey sack - not just for hippies anymore!
4) Fruit - I love the summer season of fruit, it is so delicious! Mmm, berries and peaches and nectarines and strawberries and blueberries and at reasonable prices!
5) USC dominating Virginia - Mark Sanchez played wonderfully and Joe McKnight looks a lot like a young Reggie Bush. Love watching this team play well.
6) Book (s) of the week-
Harry Potter 1 through 7 - I swore up and down a few years ago I would never read them. I never saw the movies or read the books until 3 weeks ago. I finished all 7 in that time. JK Rowling deserves all the accolades for getting kids to read and her plots are wonderful. They are by no means the best books of all time, but they are entertaining. Anything that gets kids to read is okay by me.

Things I intensely Disliked this Summer
1) That we all seem to have forgotten about Kobe Bryant and what he did.
2) Did China win the Olympics Russian Boycott style? Were there athletes properly vetted? Nice to see China trading with Dominican for passports.
3) The Republican Party - Sarah Pallin, well played to get back into the race. Hopefully, in our society today, the issues around her will not factor in. However, it said the daughter will marry the guy who knocked her up, is that just so her mother has a better shot in November? If so, that is awful, simply awful.
4) No sun in the last two weeks! C'mon!
5) Canadian elections - no one is paying attention and that is never good, but as I've said before, our politics just are not that interesting. At least it will bring about the end of ineffective liberal leader Stephan Dion. New blood is desperately needed.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Should Canadians Get the Vote?

Should Canadians get the chance to elect the US President? I think so. Seems a little far fetched since we're not citizens of our Southern neighbor and really just play little do-gooder brother to them (as opposed to wayward sister Mexico). But think about it; the race impacts and intrests Canadians so much more than our own politics.
Right now, the liberals are running scared and doing everything but serving Stephen Harper warm milk and cookies before they tuck him in at night to avoid an election. It has become pretty clear and straightforward in Canadian politics: they are incredibly boring. Stephan Dion is a complete washout, Jack Layton has no party to carry him to the top and Mr. Harper is little more than a stock conservative politician rolled off the assembly line somewhere.
But...US poliitics! I mean, come on! Rick Mercer had it right, he said this could be the best election ever, and voter turnout thus far has confirmed it. Hell, even though the Republicans have set the country back to the near stone age, you cannot possibly hate a guy who did more in Vietnam than Rambo. Let's face it; the candidates are original, the race intense and the mudslinging just beginning. The last election was a dud, people didn't really vote and they just went for Bush because they figured he couldn't really do much more damage in another 4 years...
Canadian politicians also never shoot their friend's in the face or get caught in "seemingly innocent foot-tappingly good gay sex scandals". So we up North have to do something before the youth of the country lose all intrest in politics. No one cares anymore, and they figure with a minority government one party is as good as the next. We have come to live for the US Presidential race, and with that whole NAFTA thing we should get a chance to have our say.
So band together North Americans and give us a chance to vote for a woman, the black Kennedy or a guy who spent more time in a bamboo cage than the average Chinese panda. And hey, if our dollar keeps rising maybe Americans will get a chance to vote anyone other than Stephan Dion for Prime Minister.

The Nouns I intensely Disliked this Week
1) Kobe Bryant - No matter what you do, who you pretend to be, or who your marketing people imagine you as, deep down we all know the truth and what you are.
2) The Red Wings - C'mon Pens, you're going to have to win every game left in the series. Malkin has to appear soon or it's over.
3) Cyclists - I appreciate that you are saving the planet one ride at a time, but could you please do it in your own lane and not the middle of mine?
4) Ashlee Simp...Wentz - Glad to see you weren't pregnant before the wedding. When that baby comes out six months from now it will probably be a little small though.
5) Bronchitis - Really, really sucks.

Things I liked this Week
1) The Library - You mean I can have this book for three weeks? For free?
2) The Celtics - Nice to see Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett make it. There aren't two other guys who have put in more time with junk teams who deserve it more. Keep going boys, win one and go out on top.
3) The Youth of America - They're voting, finally realizing they cannot sleep through another election.
4) Long Weekends - Let's have a few more! They are great for the worker and for the employers since productivity goes up.
5) John McCain - I am a liberal by politic but he's gearing up for a knockdown fight he cannot possibly win. Right where he wants to be.
6) GQ and ESPN: THE MAGAZINE - Nice to see magazines that are still writing articles. Thanks for keeping your readers semi-literate. GQ in particular the article "No Man Left Behind" is one of the finest magazine articles I have ever read this side of Gary Smith.
7) Book of the Week - "The Killing of the Tinkers" by Ken Bruen
If you've never read Bruen you are missing out on the darkest, most shocking and innovative series on the crime circut. He writes about a PI in Galway Ireland and his books are funny, heartbreaking and original. He says more about character than anyone else in half the words. Truly a must read author.

NEXT WEEK: The 10 Books I would take to a deserted island / Can America survive the current biotechnology scare...TO BE CONTINUED

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Open Letter to People Magazine

Dear Editors, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of People Magazine:
I have finished flipping through your current "100 Most Beautiful People in the World" Issue and found myself completely disheartened for several reasons.
Firstly, you have expanded beyond your old tried and true format of "The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World". Why so many more people? Are we more beautiful as a society? Why add 50 more people? That's like supersizing without even asking people, quality is always better than quantity.
Secondly, where are you coming up with this new expanded list? Most of the names have appeared multiple times before, and many are getting sort of redundant. Yes, we get it, Brad Pitt may possibly be a good-looking dude. That may be a given. Ditto for Ashton Kutcher, Halle Berry, Tom Cruise, Matthew Mccounghey, Mel Gibson, George Clooney, Julia Robert, Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon...etc. The list goes on and on. Maybe you could try spicing it up with some new People...from around the world. How novel! As it stands now, you have shown the 100 Most Beautiful People in the American Entertainment Industry. You used to include more people, always a few outside the box. Now, you play it really, really safe. I mean, come on, what is a Most Beautiful list without Prince William! You have trapped yourself into really lazy borders and it's hurting the list overall. Find some great-looking people outside the "biz", they are there, believe me; it's a big world.
Thirdly, your new additions to the list are highly suspect. Miley Cyrus? Are you kidding us? She might be an incredibly popular, marketing, bizarrely money-making teen but she is no beauty. Leave her on the cover of your "Richest Kids" issue and let it go. She looks like the sort of girl you see as a friend of your younger sibling. Just average. She may be cute, but she's no stunner and belongs nowhere on your list. Again, think outside the tiny box you have contained youself in.
Fourthly, what happened to actually writing an article about the people you profile in the magazine. I guess, because you now have 50 more beautiful people it is difficult to write that many stories but perhaps your writers could do a little more legwork than a couple quick sentences. In the past, when you worked hard at your list, there were blurbs and paragraphs on everyone, and they contained some ego-inflating quotes from friend, lovers and costars. That is no more and it really is a shame. The entire magazine industry has changed and I for one do not like it. Where has the text gone? It has been replaced by easy to read text boxes that summerize the article in a few words. Weak. We as a society should become more literate not less. Magazines have become little more than picture books you can give any three-year old. You cannot compact great writing into three sentances, you need more to have a great story. By adding more pictures, you. People Magazine are singlehandedly dumbing America down. Congrats. You even added a heavily airbrushed "Without Makeup" section. For shame. Don't even get me started on the Sexiest Man issue! Where is the Sexiest Woman issue?
Finally, once again I was totally ignored and wrongly left off the list. A grevious error I hope to see corrected in next year's issue....Please?
Thank you for your time!

NOUNS I INTENSELY DISLIKE THIS WEEK (because hate is such a strong word...)

1) Eli Manning - I get it, you won the Superbowl, congrats, but did you really have to go to Disneyland for a photo op? Aren't we past this? You didn't even really deserve to win the game, really, really did not. You'll continue to remain at the top of my list Eli, just because.
2) People who carry vendetta's against spoiled celebrities they have not, nor will ever meet.
3) The Detroit Red Wings and San Antonio Spurs - Why are these two franchises still winning? Apparently deals they made with Satan have yet to expire.
4) The Canucks slow handling of the Allain Vingeaut situation - Give him the cash or cut him loose! And for crying out loud stick Trevor Linden in a cushy front office post already, the guy deserves it. And let's get an offensive coach: Is Pat Quinn available?
5) The Braves road record...yikes.
6) Miley Cyrus - Can someone please explain what I am missing here? How does someone with no talent have so much cash and so much clout?


1) Maui - Most beautiful spot in the world, hands down.
2) Pittsburgh Penguins - Nice to see a franchise right itself through smart drafting and a little luck. This is a team to watch for the next few years if they can keep that nucleas together. Are you paying attention Mike Gillis?
3) BOOK(S) of the Week - Heated contest, actually read 4 books on vacation this week, the standouts:
a) NEXT by Michael Crichton - A page turner for sure, funny and terrifying. We have turned a very twisty scientific corridor here people.
b) CALIFORNIA GIRL by T. Jefferson Parker - Great story, strong characters and epic in scope, nice twist at the end. Everything a good mystery should be. Deft portrayl of California in the 60's. Edgar Award winner and a stunningly good mystery.
5) Starbucks in the USA - Better than in Canada...no explaination.
6) BBQ's - Summer will soon be upon us. Come on climate change and be good for something for once and do us a favor weather wise. A nice long, hot summer would be brilliant.