Archives: “the boob tube”

Words and phrases possibly used by local weathermen while describing the effects of the first major winter storm on Toronto

  1. “slammed”
  2. “blanketed”
  3. “pummelled”
  4. “dropped the weather bomb on”
  5. “slapped silly”
  6. “body slammed like a little baby”
  7. “took out back to the shed and made a woman out of”
  8. “beat the pretension out of”
  9. “squatted over and squeezed a load on top of”
  10. “turned grown adults into whiny little children”
  11. “converted normally bad drivers into barrelling lethal weapons”

Guess which ones are real and which ones are made up. The answers may (or may not) surprise you.

You Light Up My Life

microphone.gifSo I finally sat down and watched American Idol with Renée for the first time (yes, I've managed to resist until now). Normally, I'm filled with an almost overwhelming urge to scream obscenities and throw remotes whenever reality TV shows come on, but there's something strangely refreshing about this particular show.

I guess it's because it's so darn nostalgic. I mean, no one is openly stabbing each other in the back (or plotting to). No one is forming alliances with the other singers, or trying to show why they're the biggest ho in the room (ElimiDate, I'm looking in your skanky direction). No one is trying to show how many African manure maggots they can devour in fifteen minutes, or how many eligible bachelors they can mindfuck before the next commercial break.

Compared to all of these other shows, American Idol is so wholesome. Just a bunch of people singing their little hearts out, and people cheering their favourites each week. It's like Solid Gold wrapped in Star Search (but not the crapulent Arsenio Hall disaster); I keep expecting Marilyn McCoo to come out at any second wearing those bright gold lamée pants and that 24-karat smile, flanked by the Solid Gold Dancers, writhing away.

With all of the insane reality going on in the world, I actually can see why people are craving something fly-away fluffy and escapist like this. It's still totally idiotic, but at least this time I can see why people are enjoying it so much.

So, if American Idol is massively popular, and if they are raking in the advertising dollars from the seemingly unending (and unabashed) product placements that appear on the show, and if millions of people watch and call in and participate each week, will someone please tell me why is it that they can't afford to buy the rights to some goddamn decent music?

I mean, Peaches and Herb's Reunited? Don McLean's Vincent? Over the Rainbow?! Sweet bejesus, strike me deaf and dumb now.

(Oh, and Ruben is so obviously going to win. That other guy is just a young Barry Manilow, and we all know what happens to Barry Manilow lookalikes.)

Retching in their general direction / being selfish

1. Walking into the living room as Renée was channel-surfing.

2. Thinking that some hapless studio technician had accidentally put in a soap opera tape instead of ER.

3. Realizing that no, this was another one of those goddamn reality TV shows.

4. Throwing the remote at the TV while screaming fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou loudly and most insistently as we barrelled headlong in the handbasket of hell, accompanied by the foul nihilism of The Bachelor.

5. Stomping out, bellowing angrily as the television filled the living room with desperate eyes, egomaniacal male swagger, and the sounds of a once hallowed institution whimpering as it is kicked to the curb yet again.

Okay, so now I'm going to be selfish for a moment.

The chair that my ass currently sits on needs to be replaced. It's an okay looking wooden kitchen chair, with a rather smushed pillow placed on it in a useless attempt at increasing its comfort level. It causes great pain to me when I sit in front of it and work all day. Chinese people aren't know for their big, cushiony bottoms, you know.

What I want is the chair I used to sit in when I worked at Sympatico-Lycos. You got it, my butt used to grace the contours of the Mercedes of office furniture, an Aeron chair. And I want one.

Of The Chaircourse, I've got Aeron chair fantasies, but live in a crappy, hard wooden chair reality. A guy I work with gave me an idea, though. He used to work for one of the gigantic monsters of the dot-com world, and he told me that when they did slash and burn layoffs, they just packed truckloads of office furniture and computer equipment and threw it all away. Dumped it at the dump. He got a 22" studio display for something like 400 bucks, the bastard.

So, I'm thinking that there's gotta be some way I can take advantage of the probably high number of orphaned Aeron chairs out there. But, being in Canada I'm sure there's not as plentiful a-pickin's as in the U.S. Anyone want to help me realize my dream and help me find, er, affordable housing?

I sit a size "B". My butt will thank you profusely.


(A bit of a caveat: this entry talks a lot about Canadian stuff that may be of little or no interest to some of the BeatnikPad's international visitors. Apologies.)

I watched the second half of a rather fascinating documentary this weekend on the CBC. The CBC's documentary program Rough Cuts broadcast "X-Change", which followed the experiences of two young men who "trade places".

The Poutinecatch (for there always is one) is that one of the men is a young, brash Albertan, who from what I could tell was a fairly heavy right-winger, and deeply anglophone and not ashamed of it. The other was a hardcore separatist from Montreal, Quebec, who speaks both officlal languages but believes that Anglo Canada is "suffocating his culture"; he believes Quebec should vote "Oui" and separate from Canada. The Albertan went to Montreal for a couple of weeks, the Quebecker to Alberta.

It made for some really interesting dynamics as the two men got used to their new environments, while at the same time attempted to assert their own polarized viewpoints. The Quebecker seemed to be a genuinely friendly guy, who repeated said, "It's not like I / we hate Canadians: we just want to protect our culture. Assimilation into an English culture is killing our language, and putting our unique culture into jeopardy."

The backbacon guy from Alberta, on the other hand, was too young, not very well-informed, and just too damn arrogant. He opens the show with the quote, "I speak English. I live in an English country. I figure [in Montreal] that'll be good enough." His friends weren't very sympathetic, either: "Fuck them," one said during an interview at a party, "no one cares about them right now, anyway."

Another telling scene from the other perspective was when the Albertan was speaking English to an older woman while in a very pro-French Montreal neighbourhood. A man screams out at the woman en français, "Stop speaking that fucking language in my neighbourhood!"

Now, I may be a bit biased because I do have a bit of an obsession not only with French, but with all languages... but I'm completely lost on why some Canadians fight the concept of bilingualism tooth and nail. Why is it such a huge deal to learn another language? The last time I checked we were still claiming to be a bilingual country, and to have two official languages; why hasn't the government made a bigger attempt to encourage both languages throughout the country?

I do believe that French (and all world languages, to some extent) is faced with a challenge to remain "pure" in an increasingly Anglicized world - I noted with some irony that even the separatist's French was peppered with Anglicisms - but I don't believe Quebec should leave Canada, and I have some issues with the sometimes seemingly racist overtones of the separatist movement. Still, I'm totally perplexed and digusted by the reverse: a country that only playacts at being bilingual, but which provides little or no acceptance and education in both of the official languages.


Raw fish, literature, and singing Frenchmen

I won't even attempt to encapsulate last evening's events: Renée has it pretty well covered. As I'm trying to drum up interest in her new site, head on over to schubert's Nose while I sit here patiently and whip up some more Christmassy BeatnikPad decorations.

All done? I will add that I'm stupid for sushi and goobbled up all of the rolls, sashimi and monkfish liver in front of me like a true gluttonous idiot. I passed on the complimentary fish head, however; one does have to have their fishy limits. Your food should never have the eyes to look at you.

I've updated The Great Perusal 2001 with a contribution from Swede Nicklas Andersson. Take a peek at his choices for the ten best reads of 2001, and then add your picks to the list. Good books deserved to be shared.

Just indulging in a lazy, couch-riding, television-staring Friday evening, something I don't feel one bit guilty about.

» Raw fish, literature, and singing Frenchmen continues...

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