There's this show called 'More to Love' that started this week and it's pretty much an obesity-themed version of The Bachelor. If that wasn't enough of a downer, this one little thing ups the creepy quotient:
Luke Conley, the ''prize" whose affections the single women contestants are vying for, is the spitting image of a young Larry Flynt ... including voice and mannerisms and, er ... from the content of the first episode, appetites.
But one difference .... Larry Flynt would have seen the humour in a woman describing her career as "rocket scientist". Luke didn't.
My friend Mark sent me a link to his website -- MarkFavro.com -- where he's uploaded loads of music and videos, including lots of stuff from our high school days. I haven't seen these in decades ...
I grew up as a space nerd in a little farm town, but in the 11th grade I was lucky to go off to art school at Beal in London where a bunch of my classmates were the kids of the artists of the London Ontario art scene, including Aiden Urquhart who is working as an artist.
Wow, it's just like the movie, 'Fame' (l to r) Shawn Bristow, Mark Favro, Galen Curnoe, Jay Santiago ... and some guy named Steve, standing outside the high school editing suite where Mark was assembling this.
Hockey was the main recreational activity in the town where I grew up and even though I was forced to play, I hated that stupid game. Dancing was banned in our town by John Lithgow, so sometimes I would have to find an empty barn where I'd turn on my music and just dance. I also just wanted to make super 8 movies and later, VHS videos with the gang on my street. And we did. But, being isolated in a small town, we didn't know any other kids who made movies.
(above) Libby is my Girl, with Mark as Mr. Luba. One of their bean-related Lubatunes videos was banned by the cable access show in London because the cable people thought that 'beans' was slang for 'drugs'.
At art school, once I got to know Mark, I learned that he and the Curnoes and their friends also had been making Super 8 flicks since the Triassic. We started trading flicks and tapes and it was like discovering some weird parallel universe.
Some of the filmmaking conventions were similar ... like the old 'scratching lasers on the film' trick. But there were lots of surprises ... those guys were crazy. Their physical stunts and pratfalls were as reckless as today's youtube stunts. In their films from when they were kids, they would stage fight scenes and fill everyone's mouths with water so that when someone was punched, a huge spray of water would come out as in Raging Bull. In one video, they actually used fireworks for laser guns.
The best thing about their high school videos was Mark and Galen's crazy physical comedy and stunts. Galen was nine feet tall and Mark was only six inches from head to toe, so they played that up in everything, like in this one:
Mark has some newer stuff, too, like this video of Shawn getting kicked out of some art exhibit for passing out. In our grade 12 English class, Shawn once re-enacted a Vietnam veteran's LSD-fueled war flashback for a class presentation. He just got up in front of the class and started freaking out and screaming about 'Charlie':
Check out some of the videos ... the 80s wasn't all Cyndi Lauper and Maxi Priest. I've borrowed my parents' machine for converting VHS tapes to computer files, so watch out ...
My parents' dog passed away on the weekend at the age of 12. Here's Lexie through the years that went by way too quickly ...
The young & crazy years.
She's not as noble as she looks ... she just really loves rowboat rides.
Zack shows up. When Lexie first met Zack, she immediately took him to the washroom and taught him how to drink out of the toilet.
Waiting for the canoe. And waiting. And waiting. For, you see, the canoe is dog paradise.
Happy swimming. Being a Lab, Lexie loved to swim and she floated even when she didn't paddle her legs. She liked to make bubbles while swimming and try to eat them. Lexie would also gather stones from the bottom of the lake. She'd roll them along the bottom from deep areas to shallower water and then she'd sticker her head under and pick them up and bring them to shore.
Sometimes on our canoe trips, Lexie and Zack would spot a tree stump sticking out of the water and they would think that it was ... something ... and start freaking out and barking at it. So we'd paddle up to it and they'd see that it was just a stump.
Tri-dog adventure dog-sitting. Lexie wouldn't go up the stairs for the first two days of the visit, so I had to carry her. She weighed three thousand pounds. After wrecking my back, I learned that if I put a leash on her and just held the leash, she'd follow the lead up the stairs, no lifting required.
Another visit. Merv's dog, Owen, was Lexie's best friend.
Dripping on Amber.
Goin' in for the smooch.
Lexie had one last trip to the lake in June for one last big, happy swim.
They decided to remake 'V' and the trailer looks like garbage. Even the fx are terrible. It looks like it's part of the current trend of sci-fi remakes done by people who confuse sci-fi with fantasy. The Bionic Woman remake and the Knight Rider remake were both shows that fit into this emerging genre of failure.
These shows are annoying and drive away viewers because they take themselves really seriously ... even though they're really dumb. If the disease had a name, it would be 'Phantom Menace Self-Inflation Syndrome'. Original Star Wars was light, dumb fun ... prequel Star Wars was heavy, humourless stupidity. And original Knight Rider was a completely ridiculous show -- heck, they paired up Hasselhoff with Dr. Craig! -- but it knew it was cheese and played it up.
I meet a lot of people who work in the arts who seem to think that the internet stopped evolving back in 2002. There's one convention still commonly used by Canadian culture sites (I'm not naming names) that drives me nuts ... and thanks to this page, now there's a handy flowchart to help people decide whether or not they need a Flash intro:
GUNS is coming to CBC on the Labour Day weekend! Here's the trailer:
The story: Guns follows a pair of Toronto detectives leading an investigation centering on a twenty-three year old gun trafficker, Bobby Duguid (Gregory Smith). Detective Rick Merriweather (Shawn Doyle) and Detective Constable Ford Sanders (Lyriq Bent) are two dedicated officers from the Weapons Enforcement Unit who struggle to balance family life with an investigation growing in complexity and danger.
When I started working on Leslie, My Name is Evil I didn't even notice that Gregory Smith, who plays the nerdy Perry in the movie, is the same actor who plays the badass son in GUNS. Talk about 'range' ...
Anyhow, here's the key art I did for the series a long time ago:
I read the article and thought to myself, "Antonia is so outspoken and sarcastic! Maybe she should be more careful." In the Olden Times, before the rise of the internets, I would have been content to leave it at that. Instead, fifteen seconds after getting online, I had more context than I needed, including this:
Although he isn't gay, Farber marched in the parade wearing a t-shirt that read, "Nobody knows I'm gay."
There's even a PHOTO! Then I went and read the full comment thread on Antonia's post (go see for yourself) and found that instead of failing to "abide by the professional and journalistic standards the Star has long strived to uphold", Antonia was there in the thick of her comments section moderating a really tough thread. She was actually doing her job and was smacked down for it as the rabble.ca writer pointed out:
How disappointing to see the Star scapegoat one of its own columnists in order to appease a political lobby organization.
Update:Jen Gerson weighs in: You say potato. I say potatoe. You see “valid concerns.” I see a cheap, pot-shot ploy to discredit an avowed and vocal critic of the CJC.
And the vaguely (un)defined “standards of fairness, accuracy and civility,” are weirdly reminiscent of the media laws being put in place in my current country of residence.
If I ever return to Canada, I’m glad to know my time living as a journalist in an Islamic theocracy won’t have gone to waste.
Despite the fact that Mr Farber was the first to misidentify himself as gay, the newspaper's ombudswoman devotes an entire column to a characteristically pompous media-ethics snoozefest denouncing the offending columnist for being "tasteless" and getting the paper's apparently brain-dead publisher (my old boss at The Chicago Sun-Times) to do a lot of plonking pro-forma huffing about how the item "fell short of the Star's standards of accuracy, fairness and civility", and reassuring readers that in future systems will be put in place to ensure that the paper is even more unreadable ...whoops, sorry, I mean, systems will be put in place to ensure that non-gays claiming to be gay are not taken at their word without having their gay status confirmed by gay-accredited orientation-checkers.
Might as well keep updating: More. And a funny one: Y'know, I honestly shudder to think of what pogge and mahigan and Tim would do to me if I ever patted them on the head for their "gusto in embracing the tools of new media." The person who wrote that feather-brained sentence is stuck in some alternate universe in which bloggers are still teenagers in their jammies typing away in their mothers' basements.
Monday: another one, another point: Perhaps the saddest thing about this chilling, over the top attack on journalistic autonomy and free expression is the fact that Zerbisias has been spanked–publicly–for violating an as-yet unwritten policy. Vague exhortations regarding ‘civility’ come across as fawning overcompensation; English is simply trying too damn hard to be seen as doing something, and, as noted by Gerson, ends up looking foolish in the process–especially when one considers Farber’s provocative reputation and contentious history with Zerbisias (another memo for English: if you can’t separate legitimate reader concerns from blatant concern trolling you have no business being a public editor).
Investing in an intercity high-speed transportation system is the right choice. Every country in the G8 except ours has figured this out and has invested in HSR as a component of a multi-model system. Corridors such as Calgary-Edmonton and Quebec City-Windsor are home to more than 50 per cent of Canadians and their population density equals, if not surpasses, that that of some European and Asian countries where HSR has become the norm.
Some things are just baffling ...for example, why would anyone want to see the movie Repo: The Genetic Opera performed with a shadow cast? Of all the event notices that come through facebook, this is the one that floored me the most. Repo is not just a bad movie ... it's freakin' unwatchable.
I know, I watched it and my eyes started to bleed lard from the boredom.
I hoped I'd stumbled on a new cult classic -- or even non-classic -- but the experience ended up being the same as when I rented Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter. The Jesus flick turned out to be someone's dull home movie put together by people who'd never heard of the word "SCREENPLAY". Repo has a "script" and "effects" and "music" ... but the leaden tone that makes the film about as much fun as drinking cement. Imagine The Rocky Horror Picture Show performed and scored by the leaders of North Korea. Even the surprise of seeing an acquaintance get murdered before the opening credits didn't help. Everyone I know gets murdered before the opening credits ...
Anyhow, go figure. If you're going to shadow a bad flick, why would you pick this over AVP: Requiem?