The Marvel that is L'Office de la Langue Francaise'

Did you know that here in the the Province of Quebec there exists (and I am not making any of this up) a small bandit bureaucracy called L'Office de la langue Francaise? Quebec is filled with contradictions and this is one of them as the operate in a democracy in a spiritually anti-democratic manner.

What the hell is this you ask? Well, they are self-appointed protectors of a threatened species known as the Quebecois (whom if you remove their tuques and accents could swear they are Americans). They are funded, I think, by the government, and they basically hound and harass hard working, taxpaying, peaceful citizens that actually contribute to the society at large who happen to have some English words on their shops.

You see, English is a cancer to Quebec nationalists who liken themselves to Catalonians and other 'oppressed' peoples. These wimps move about like dirty little wretched dwarfs armed with government legislation and rulers (as in centimetre rulers. They use this to measure the size of English lettering) passing out fines. Believe it or not, if one chooses to ignore this they can find themselves in jail for having an English sign. Spanish is ok. But spit on English.

I remember, on a side note, when Quebec 'thinkers' and 'intellectuals' swooned over the introduction of an archaic nationalist law that eroded individual liberties for all under the guise of protecting the will of the majority. I was a young lad and could not help but see skeletons cheer, in their ignorant magnificence - a law that smelled like it belonged in an era long since passed. From that point on my perception of Quebec politics as being out of step and regressive never changed. Its behaviour continues to baffle albeit in more refined tones. Quebec is not an innovator in philosophical existence. It is a model on what can go wrong.

There's a gradual process of weeding out any remnants of the English fact in Quebec. For this they applaud. They have done all their justifying for such causes. They will get their province. But at what cost? For an oppressed people they sure know how to dump a load of it on others. Are they any better than their former English masters?

To be fair, I am not painting all Quebecers this way. This is an attack an our political and intellectual masters who lag behind the true will of this population. They are closer to '1984' than they think.

Overwhelmingly, most level-headed Quebecers would be aghast at such an organization behaving this way in their names. Alas, the joke may be on the nationalists as a new breed of Quebecers usher in. Confident, bold and intelligent, they may yet prove to be, ironically, the anvil that crushes the 19th century romantic dinosaurs known as L'Office de la langue Francaise.

Perhaps one day we will read about them and say 'how could we have let such a group exist? Were we that petty and insecure?"


Canada in The Inferno: A Nation of Nowheremen

Nobody likes a fence sitter. Think about how frustrating it is to deal with such a person. Indecisiveness without merit or base is immoral. Playing the role of a virtuous society without committing to its advancement in any meaningful manner is virtue without hope or integrity. Being such a person leaves itself vulnerable to virtuous paganism. We all know that Dante had a place in hell for such citizens.

Canada has become such a person. Its incomprehensible decision to opt out and give up its seat, hence its sovereignty, in anti-missile defense for political expediency has exposed the core skeleton frame of this utterly hollow land. It's not necessarily that they decided against it but rather in how they handled the whole issue. Nor is this restricted to the hellish halls of Parliament, but it finds expression within the walls of modern academia who mistake double-governance (in much the same spirit of double-speak) for prudent defense of Canadian values and interests.

Canadians who support such a ghastly form of phantom leadership can not be blamed since they have been lulled into a world of abominable incompetence. There are no great statesmen in Canada and it looks like there never will be. Canadians have struck a comfort zone with the heinous corruption of modern Liberal polity. In other words, they have accepted that this is as good as it gets. Parochialism has entrenched itself for good within all corners of this land.

Canadians continue to dance and frolic like naked natives leaving romantic footprints in the sand. Perhaps it is time for the United States, for Canada's own good, to simply leave Canada to its own devices? To actually go out and earn back its place among the great nations? That thinking itself as a major player and acting like one are two different things? One thing we are predisposed to remind ourselves of is the great national myth, among many, that we are a peace-loving nation and that this single elusive and unmanageable value is enough to send goodwill messages to madmen and rogue states. As if to say, no doubt, that America is not. That somehow America, in simply defending itself, is inviting, in all its pseudo-liberal nonsense, an attack.

This is not the act of a paranoid and war-like hegemon. Instead, this decision is rooted in prudent and pragmatic, if not sober, realities. America's interest, by virtue of its similar culture to ours, ends up being ours anyway. We tend to bicker about the pointless details that help us to feel better about our precarious self-esteem. The difference between Canada and the U.S. is that America is a global super power that takes this responsibility seriously. Whenever Canada fails to appreciate this fact, it should come as no surprise to thin-skinned Canadians that Americans will humour us. On many fronts Canada has the benefit of being under the radar screen of evil madness. We should be thankful. Up to a point. Canada, its delusional outlook notwithstanding, is under threat whether it chooses to acknowledge this or not. Instead, like spoiled ungrateful teenagers, we spite our parents knowing all along that we are wrong. Teenagers of this sort only tend to grow up when something terrible or embarrassing happens to them.

Finding a thread as to why Canadians engage in hopeless anti-American rhetoric is easy. We have a weak sense of who we are and this becomes apparent when we try and project a view of ourselves that is simply not real. Either Canadians believe there is a terrorist threat or they do not. Most acknowledge its existence but completely misunderstand its nature. To simply say that engaging in a defense pact does not solve the problem of terrorism is besides the point. The United States, not without fact or base, see a global imminent possibility of a missile threat. America's concern is security and to smugly dismiss this as an over reaction is a gross example of utter ignorance. Canada, as mentioned, has the pleasure of being inconsequential. This allows us to pretend and go on playing with our dolls.

Of course, if and when a missile is hurled at Canada, the Canadian government will react like a deer about to be hit by a Mac truck. Imagine, for instance, if Canada had been invaded by the Soviets during the Cold War? The howls demanding that Americans defend us would have been deafening.

Some may think that such a decision, even without explanation, is the right choice. How? Explain how this posture is even remotely beneficial to Canadian interests? One professor from UBC, in refined tones, smugly remarked that the Americans have incredible economic interests here so their anger will be mitigated against such a reality. Say what? His economic math is in dire need of a new lesson.

America can afford a complete shut down of its borders.....to the world. It is our un-diversified and cumbersome economic base that is dangerously tied into the U.S. economy. It is this kind of thinking that concerns me most. We have accepted that it is ok for Canada to say one thing for public consumption so as not to arouse infantile anti-Americanism and do quite another behind the scenes. Where is the honor in this?

Is this a Canadian value at work? Even Pierre Elliott Trudeau invoked the WAR MEASURES ACT when he felt Canada was under threat. This is what leaders do. They act even when the decision is bound to be unpopular. Statesmanship is an outward reflection of a society's collective attitudes, beliefs and values. Canada, by absolving itself of some of the most crucial issues in a post 9/11 global system, projects itself like a thief who shiftily looks around as he escapes. Once he is free he stands erect and claims his place among civil society.

Canadians, it seems, have carefully constructed a world of neat justifications for its banal and hypocritical behaviour. Eternal grafters have all eaten away at the core and soul of this once promising land. Canada sits nowhere but on a fence with its knees, quivering slaves to the omnipotent vote. Which leads me to the following question - What good is a democratic vote when its moral compass has been all but raped of its integrity?


Max: Watching 15 cm of Snow Fall Unemployed

There is surely something magical and mystical about snow. Onto itself one snowflake doesn't look like much. Yet, when it accumulates it gathers so much power it's a natural wonder. Like water....

When will we rid ourselves of the criminal, spineless and immoral leaders Canada produces? Ah, not before we rid ourselves of a neat moral diversion! Over to you Bush....

Still waiting for those headlines to come out and say 'What happened to all the money for Tsunami victims?" Then Barbara Walters will interview some little South Pacific guy in his Chateau about the corruption scandal. In turn, we will all wonder in amazement how terrible people can be. Something like that anyway.

Ever notice how much slower the 12 articles or less lines are in a grocery store? I saw an old man drop a cake in the bakery section. He picked it up and............waited for the right moment........TO PUT IT BACK WHENCE HE GOT IT! Now to some, he was a defenseless little old man whom we should feel sorry for. After I got past laughing at him I guess, yeah, poor guy. But when he pulled that stunt he was no different than the rest of us as far as I am concerned. He deserved a beating for what he did. HE WAS GOING TO LET SOMEONE ELSE BUY AND EAT IT! I did what any person with a mild amount of decency would and took it and gave it to the bakers who were watching the whole thing. They thanked me.

Blast from the past: Why did the CFL have two out of its nine clubs named the 'Roughriders'? Were Canadians confused? Bi-zarre.

Does saying the word 'nigger' in the 20s have the same negative connatation it has today? How relevant are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and to a lesser extent Spike Lee?

Saw, for some reason after taking a rest from reading 'Don Quixote', Sean Penn wagging his little finger last night at Chris Rock at the Oscars. Doesn't he have to go visit Iran or something so they can practice their deception skills on him? I guess you can fool an actor all of the time after all. I also fell on some girl named Beyonce singing, in way over her head, in French. It was atrocious. Stick to gyrating hoppy (loved that pet) music or whatever it is they call it today....Oh yeah, they call it rhythm and blues. Ha!

Today, I passed by a Quebec nationalist building paying tribute to 'Les Patriotes' and the rebellion of 1837. A rebellion led by an Anglo with an army that included several nationalities. It was less a nationalist movement than it was a rebellion against the oppressive nature of Royal government.

I couldn't help but think about this Province's sometimes exaggerated history. Reminds me of the episode on The Simpsons when Lisa exposes the myth and lies behind the founder of Springfield, Jebediah Springfield. Everything about this history feels so fabricated. Like it was built on the shoulders of thin-skinned academics and ethnic elitists who go into a fit of rage whenever someone dares question this Province's sometimes dubious past. Quebec nationalists basically think their shit don't stink. They hilariously consider themselves above both the white-bread Canadians and 'ignorant' Americans. They are always quick to point out the corruption of both, yet it is this Province that wrote the book on hedonistic corruption. So tired I am of this utterly stupid Canadian debate about Quebec in a post 9/11 world. La, la, la. Dring,dring,dring. Quebec has wondrous potential and does have an interesting history. But it falls by the wayside with the existence of the anti-democratic 'L'office de la langue Francaise'. An outfit whose behaviour adds up to nothing more than public harrassment. But hey, the government tolerates these assholes. That's what happens when you think you are the 'White Niggers of America'. You begin to justify your actions as being just, given this pathetic outlook.

Ever wonder how you would react if Jesus appeared out of the blue in your room as you sleep? Would you freak out? "I don't care who the f you are?!?! You're in my house dripping blood!" Or something like that. God bless him.

Max: My Unemployed Nightmares

Finally, I tell it.

The sky is ha azy orange. Form, defined by trees, shrubs and oil drills pumping (for some reason) along a gravel road, are mere black shadows. Lightning present itself in total silence in what seems to be a Southern sky. Styx, one of the rivers of the underworld, is carrying its dead souls. The black and orange contrast fills my heart with dread and fear. I walk around and see nothing. I feel no pulse I hear no wind. Time is still. Just the sound of God is around me. I look around. Suddenly, a man's silhouette appears. I look down and see he is holding a sling blade in one hand and a head, dripping with red blood, in another. Earlier, I HAD heard the screams of a young girl. Just as the face is about to be revealed I awaken.....shaken.

The Perpendicular George W. Bush

It may just be a personal axiom of mine, but whenever someone attacks somebody else's intelligence and morality, I usually view the person doing the attacking with suspicion. People are so busy blah, blah, bli-ing Bush they have lost all sense of perspective. Green Day's fear of being an 'American idiot' reveals a reoccurring pattern in American history - the constant internal shortchanging of itself. Yet, America always stands firm and on top in spite of pop culture fears. In my opinion, the bigger picture aims of the Bush administration are worthy and deserve some serious pondering.

Ever notice how the truth is often scoffed if not scorned at? The funny thing about the truth is that even when it comes to be realized as self-evident people rarely acknowledged when they once opposed it. Of course, at this point, someone is bound to suggest that truth mean different things to different people. Without getting into Socrates let us assume that certain truths are, shall we say, obvious?

This is the feeling I get about George W. Bush. Who is closer to the truth when it comes to Iraq? His message on foreign policy is actually nothing new. Much has been said of the neo-conservative influence on Bush. The neo-con doctrine seemed to to touch a nerve with his nationalist outlook. But there is another aspect that may be neglected: Bush's attempt to reach out to Wilsonian principles.

Woodrow Wilson (that raving racist liberal) once attempted to convince an old, weary and cynical Europe that it was time to integrate moral imperatives within political frameworks. With the collapse of the Treaty of Westphalia's and its tenets that defend balance of power politics, American politicians and thinkers questioned realpolitik (as it was known). Wilson was laughed off the stage like a cheap vaudeville act. Europeans, not surprisingly, dismissed him as a naive American as their own experience with democracy was limited if not inferiour to the American model.

Fast forward to the present time. How far off is Bush from Wilson's idealism? Is there a parallel to be made between the two? 9/11 offered another go at instilling moral edicts in the political process. Would the reaction had been the same if Bill Clinton sent the Americans into Iraq? Of course, someone could easily say Clinton would not have done it. We'll never know.

The Romans used to say, "...if you want peace, prepare for war." Post 9/11 was a declaration of war on a perceived evil empire. There is nothing neither debatable nor complicated in this. What is complicated are the reasons for this and the stage selected. The only problem is we still don't know if Iraq was really involved given the murderers came from Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Almost immediately our minds were filled with theories about its occurrence. As usual, the interpretations are based strictly from a narrow postmodern perspective. Relativism has distorted our moral and intellectual compass.

America, I have always maintained, is an ever-changing society that is agile and innovative. Hence, its power base is not just concrete but abstract. America is a different kind of empire that can, theoretically, last forever.

There seems to be a discrepancy between the world's idealistic rhetoric (like Canada for instance) and what they are prepared to do for it. The world lags behind the principles of the American Constitution - one of mankind's greatest documents. Part of the problem, one can argue, is that America has set its standards too high. That human nature can not possibly meet them.

Once again, modern liberal thought reveals its arrogance when it chastises America for coming up short of its ideals. Bush, with the exception of a few, is also perpendicular to accepted and antiquated intellectual elitism. This bugs the hell out of the tweed club. I have yet to see the theocracy so feared take root. Hyperboles are not very becoming but it's all the left seems to have left.

This is not to say that Americans should export its value abroad blindly. Nor am I remotely suggesting people not be critical.

It just needs to be a little more cautious and tactful about it. It is incumbent upon them that they act responsibly and morally. They need not trump it with less chest thumping. .

Canada declines Missile Defense plan

Once upon a time, Canada was slated to be the natural successor of Great Britain to lead the Commonwealth. Early in the 20th century Canada had much going for it. All of a sudden this came to a screeching halt.

Today, Canada is as credible as phrenology. This country has declined to take part in the missile defense plan with the United States. No doubt, short sighted Canadian nationalists will claim victory for the defense of Canadian 'values' as we did not give into American hegemony. Whatever these 'values' entail.

Guess what? The U.S. will still go through with it. All we have done is, ironically, sacrifice Canadian sovereignty as we will have no say in its future in any meaningful manner. Someone should tell the Liberals to not follow polls. Imagine that, the Liberals sided, for political expediency, with the Blockheads and the NDP.

What's even more annoying is that the PM (Prime Meatball) and his Mini-Meatballs expect, EXPECT, to be consulted and briefed by the Americans on any decisions to be made. Let's see, they decline to take part in an exercise that would grant them this privilege but still want the privilege on the cheap? What the hell is going on in Ottawa?

As for Harper, he lost all credibility for not defending vehemently enough the decision. He yapped about its importance and then fell silence when it came down to fighting for it. Their job was to EXPLAIN this to the already delusional Canadian people who still live in a pre 9/11 world. Cripes, we're already part of NORAD!


Max: Stories from the Unemployed Pit

I was in an elevator today. You can tell much about modern society by just observing what happens in an elevator. It used to be the people coming OUT of the elevator had the right of way. This is no longer the etiquette. Today, the people coming in barrel past you as you walk out. It's sickening. I want to open their mouths and spit down their mouths when they do those things.

Another thing that aggravates me is when there is no one else in the elevator and you think it's clear sailing to get to your floor. Until someone's arm separates the closing doors or someone comes dashing in. I always pretend to reach for the 'open door' button and make a gesture like I tried when they actually miss coming in. I'm a jerk? Maybe. But you know what happens to people who offer kind gestures in elevators. That person gets off the floor before you thus extending your ride AND 6 other people ALWAYS follow the person you so kindly let in. AND THEY ARE ALL GETTING OFF BEFORE YOU. Next thing you know you are set back 3 minutes and feel you came off a ride at an amusement park. So fuck social kindness in elevators. Not on my time......Unless, of course, the person coming in is a babe.

I bought 'American Idiot' last week. It's an impressive album. The first song is filled with the usual baby-la-la
I'm-anti-anything-that-makes-no-sense-to-me-especially-Dubya fatalist and their cynical poetry. What is it with people and their fears of being made to look like a fool? Another piece of relativism and post-modern lyrical art...Still, with all the junk the record industry hurls at us, as a music enthusiast I appreciate the effort. Great albums are a rare breed these days.

I find myself dropping in and out of mainstream life conciousness. This whole routine, life, is beginning to get on my nerves. Sometimes I feel like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon to escape.

I still haven't forgotten about why I think I'm unemployable. Just need to find the right time for this.


Max: More Unemployed Musings'N Rants

Remember Jeebies? I said I would reveal a little about him every once in a while. Too much of him can prove to be exhausting. I was thinking about some of the stupidest things he's ever done. For instance, he once said, with a firm matter of fact raised voice, in a movie line 'cock stuck alert!' as he, well, wiggled and jiggled for effect. I was with a blind date. I'm not sure why he was there. Another time, since we're on the subject, a high school teacher was having a hard time containing his class ( we were all ADD back then). Jeebies, stood up and walked up to
the teacher and told him he could help. The teacher had no time to even answer and Jeebies whipped out his petsel and began banging it on the desk shouting "Order in the class room! Order in the class room! This is not Chinatown!" Until recently I always wondered what he meant by that. Turns out 'Chinatown' was his favorite movie. He figured he would add some twist to his already surreal act of justice...he was 16.

The problem with history is that everyone claims to understand it. The reality is that very few understand it. I have no problem when people read fictional stuff like the 'Da Vinci Code' (which by the way is a poorer version of the original 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail'). I begin to get irritated when they sit at a table in casual conversation and try to pass this stuff as historical fact or having a 'different opinion'. This disturbs me. People seem to have trouble telling the difference between history and fact. Of course, everything is under attack these days. History is readily dismissed by those who have an intellectual revisionist agenda. But I won't go there. Suffice to say that this nouveau-breed of historical academics are poisoning true free thought. It's easy to superimpose our present world view (and what we know now) on the past. Needless to say, against this backdrop humans look pretty bad....especially Western history which is not painted very well among these pseudo-thinkers.

What's with all these celebrity bird brains - actually I should amend this. A bird's brain is more complex than we think. A bird has more intelligence than most too-smart-for-this-world celebs. Anyway, watching white trash (and sometimes black trash ghetto) search for meaning in what is obviously, millions notwithstanding, an empty existence, in the Middle East and other ancient religious experiences leaves me extremely unimpressed. Very few of them observed religious moral codes back home, (of course Christianity may as well be paganism with today's bunch of narcissists.) as they made millions acting like nympho-androids. These cookie cutter talented freaks mask their 'art' in carefully choreographed shows. It's like when someone puts cologne on when they haven't showered. Or dress and drown rotten steak with Heinz 57 sauce. Celebrities, who are created by society much like corporations, are a monster that is out of control. They are beginning to flex their muscles as they creep and crawl into various facets of our lives from fashion to politics. They are multi-branching their mini-empires. Leftist lunatic intellects should ponder upon the consequences of this mess. Let me see if I get this straight. Celebs, value their fame because it makes them wealthy. Yet, they want privacy whenever they go somewhere. It's like unionized millionaire athletes. To me, this is an oxymoron. If this is what they want then they have to be prepared tp leave all their fortune behind. They want the best of ALL worlds. Flocking on a pilgrimage to Mecca ain't gonna solve your sad problems. Kicking the coke habit starts from within.

So that people realize I actually contribute to society on some level, I plan to start a charity and business venture soon. There is a story as to how I came to be here. I know, it's a couple of blogs now I say I will tell this story but I will.


Great European Soccer Clubs and Leagues

The following stats and comments are for European soccer clubs.

Before I go on, let's salute the great South American clubs from Argentina (the continents most accomplished league, as shown by the Copa Libertadores. It also has won more Copa America's than any South American country), Brazil (the world's most trophied World Cup nation and the embodiment of improvised soccer) and Uruguay (home to one of the world's greatest soccer club in Penarol). Some of the great clubs from that continent include: Boca Juniors, River Plate, Santos, Flamengo, Fluminense (though they never won a major South American trophy), Colo Colo from Chile, Independiente and of course Penarol. To name a few obvious ones. Indeed, South American clubs hold an overall advantage against their European counterparts in World Club action.

That said, as I mentioned, this little exercise is for European clubs. We always debate who was the 'greatest' club or 'greatest' league. Much of it is based on subjective arguments. I'm not much interested in such debates if there isn't a certain amount of objectivity involved. In any event, this is not meant to try and rank any league or clubs. The following is a list of clubs from predominantly the top leagues in Europe (Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Portugal and Holland). Scotland, France and Belgium are also mentioned. In any event, you can see for yourself the pattern that emerges and can pretty much deduce who are the top clubs and leagues in Europe by this information and statistics. Though they don't tell the whole picture (I would like to soon post a list of head to head records for these clubs) but they are revealing in the end.

Interpret this as you would like.

CL (Champions League); FC (Fairs Cup); UC (UEFA Cup); CWC (Cup Winners Cup); SC (Super Cup); WC (World Championships)

Honourable Club: one that met some of the following criteria: Never won CL but still found success in other major tournaments (ie Valencia, Anderlecht, Parma etc.). Teams that dominate or have found success in their respective domestic league (ie Rangers).

Italian Clubs overall:
CL: 11-14; FC: 1-2; UC: 9-6; CWC: 7-4; SC: 9-3; WC: 7-5
Total: 43-34 (.560%)

Selected Clubs:

AC Milan: 17 domestic league titles
CL: 7-4; CWC: 2-1; SC: 5-2; WC: 3-4
Total: 17-11 (.607%)

Juventus: 27
CL: 2-5; FC: 0-2; UC: 3-1; CWC: 1-0; SC: 2-0; WC: 2-1
Total: 10-9 (.526%)

Internazionale Milano: 13
CL: 2-2; UC: 3-1: WC 2-0
Total: 7-3 (.700%)

Honourable Club: Parma UC: 2-0; CWC 1-1; SC 1-0 - Total 4-1
* Parma never won Scudetto in Serie A.

Other important major tournaments Italy participated in:

Mitropa Cup (1927-1991): Overall record 11-9 in finals (Milan 1-0)
Latin Cup (1949-1957): Overall record 2-1 (Milan 2-1)

Italy leads all leagues with 43 trophies for tournaments selected. Total increases to 55 when Mitropa and Latin Cup included. Italian clubs have reached the finals in 8 tournaments an impressive 98 times since 1927 for a record of 55-43 (.561%). Milan's totals increase to 18-11 (.621%) making it the most trophied club in Europe one ahead of Real Madrid. However, Real did not participate in Mitropa. Latin Cup was restricted to only Spain, Portugal, France and Italy and so I have decided not to include them in the overall total. It was, nonetheless an important tourney and deserved mention.

Spanish clubs overall:
CL: 11-10; FC: 6-3; UC: 5-4; CWC: 7-7; SC: 6-7; WC: 4-4
Total: 39-36 (.520%)

Selected Clubs:

Real Madrid: 29 domestic league titles
CL: 9-3; UC: 2-0; CWC: 0-2; SC: 1-2; WC: 3-2
Total: 15-9 (.625%)

Barcelona: 16
CL: 2-3; FC: 3-1; CWC: 4-2; SC:2-3; WC 0-2
Total: 11-11 (.500%)

Honourable Club: Valencia: 6
EC: 0-2; FC: 2-1; UC: 1-0; CWC:1-0; SC: 2-1
Total: 5-4 (.556%)
*Some may think that Atletico Madrid (and now Sevilla) should be here but Valencia's 5 trophies trumps AM's 2.

Spain was 4-1 in Latin Cup finals. Thus bumping their record to 39-32 (.549). Spanish clubs have proven their greatness as they reached the finals 71 times. Real Madrid was 2-0 and brings their overall total to 17-9 (.654%). Barcelona moves to 13-11 (.545%) when the Latin Cup is added. In terms of total trophies Spain is second only to Italy. Nonetheless, Spain is home to the legendary Real Madrid. Real's historical pedigree can not be denied. Though its recent nomination as being the century's greatest club has more to do with subjective posturing than it does statistically. If we were to measure it strictly on subjective terms, then yes Real played some of the most beautiful football - especially during DiStefano's and Puska's reign. Madrid has a wonderful CL's record. Both Barcelona and Valencia, for their part, have witnessed disappointments at the CL's level.

English clubs overall:
CL: 10-4; FC: 4-4; UC: 6-4; CWC: 8-5; SC: 7-5; WC: 1-6
Total: 36-28 (.563%)

Liverpool: 18 domestic titles
CL: 5-2; UC: 3-0; CWC: 1-0; SC: 3-2; WC: 0-3
Total: 12-7 (.632%)

Manchester United: 16
CL: 2-0; CWC: 1-0; SC: 1-1; WC: 1-1
Total: 5-2 (.714%)

There's a bunch of honourable mentions from England. I suppose one can settle on Arsenal because after the two aforementioned, they have won the most domestic Premiership titles. However, despite their overall 2-5 record, they have never won Champions League . Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa have each won CL titles but have known little success since their triumphs. Overall, solid winning percentages for English clubs.

Which leads me to my next comment. There is no league in the world that is more storied than England's. No less than thirteen clubs have won trophies for the Premiership. Compare this with Germany's and Italy's 9 and Spain's 5 and an argument can be made of the depth of the English league. Indeed, their 58 league final appearances could have been higher had it not been for the ban on English clubs in the 90s. Looking at their numbers, a couple of things stand out: Their fantastic CL's record and atrocious WC record.

Other Leagues:

At this point, I will go ahead and mention the Scottish and French leagues. Scotland has an overall record of 4-7. It is clear that Scotland is dominated by two fierce arch-rivals Celtic (38) and Rangers (50) who have won 88 league titles between them. For a tiny league with a limited talent pool it is nonetheless impressive to have won a CL's. Celtic, in fact, have reached the finals on two occasions for a 1-1 record. They are 1-3 overall. Rangers for their part are also 1-3 in tournament play but their successes were in the CWC. Strangely, neither of these clubs have won the most tournaments. Aberdeen, which has won the third most league titles with 4, has won 2 (CWC; SC) to lead all Scottish clubs.

All this adds up, surprisingly enough, to a better record than the French league. France has always been somewhat of enigma and disappointment. While Spain is a perennial under-achiever at the national club level, France has at least smelled success at the World Cup. Not since the days of Stade de Reims, has French soccer at the league level seen such success. With Monaco as a finalist in the CL's in 2004, where they lost to FC Porto, France has seen its clubs compete and threaten alongside the great power leagues. Maybe we will see an improvement on their dismal 2-12 overall record. France is led mainly by Marseille and Paris St-Germain. Lyons and Monaco are making a pitch and may further deepen the resurgence in the upcoming years.

German clubs overall:
CL: 6-7; UC: 6-7; CWC; 4-4; SC 0-7; WC; 3-2
Total: 19-27 (.413%)

Bayern Munich: 18 domestic league titles
CL: 4-3; UC: 1-0; CWC: 1-0; SC: 0-3; WC: 2-0
Total: 8-6 (.571%)

Hamburg: 6
CL: 1-1; UC: 0-1: CWC; 1-1: SC: 0-2; WC: 0-1
Total: 2-6 (.250%)

Borussia Dortmund: 6
CL: 1-0; UC: 0-2; CWC: 1-0; SC: 0-1; WC: 1-0
Total: 3-3 (.500%)

The Bundesliga's overall record is not one we would normally associate with Germany's reputation for success on the national level. Indeed, Germany's record among European national sides is unmatched. Though the Azzurri and their fans can argue they have known some successes themselves and in particular against German sides. In any event, one can't blame Bayern Munich, one of the world's great soccer clubs, for Bundesliga's lukerwarm record. Recently, Borussia Dortmund have risen to challenge. Germany's performance at the Super Cup hasn't been strong. Still, 46 appearances in finals is a number worthy of praise.

Dutch clubs overall:
CL: 6-2; UC: 4-2; CWC: 1-1; SC: 3-3; WC: 3-1
Total: 17-9 (.654%)

Ajax: 29 domestic league titles
CL: 4-2; UC: 1-0; CWC: 1-1; SC: 3-1; WC: 2-0
Total 11-4 (.733%)

Feyenoord: 14
CL: 1-0; UC: 2-0; SC: 0-1; WC: 1-0
Total: 4-1 (.800%)

PSV Eindhoven: 17
CL: 1-0; UC: 1-0; SC: 0-1; WC 0-1
Total: 2-2 (.500%)

So much for the reputation the Dutch have for being careful. The masters and inventors of 'total' football, which is anything but careful, have also been extremely efficient and opportunistic with their chances. The Dutch league is essentially led by three squads in tournaments and all three have won the CL's. Holland's winning percentage in finals is outstanding. Ajax is the clear leader. PSV still deals with financial weakness and this makes them the perennial number 3 squad.

Forgotten in all this is Belgium. While their clubs have never won a CL's, it can be argued they have known more tournament success than French clubs. Belgium's record is 7-8 overall and the bulk of this comes from one club: Anderlecht which has 27 domestic league titles to its name only Brugge rivals them with 12: UC 1-1; CWC: 2-2; SC: 2-0 for an overall 5-3 (.625%) record. With one CL Anderlecht is one step removed from joining the ranks of the great clubs. Right now, Anderlecht is close.

Portuguese clubs overall:
CL: 4-5; UC: 1-2; CWC: 1-1; SC: 1-2; WC: 2-2.
Total: 9-12 (.429%)

Porto: 19 domestic lead titles
CL: 2-2; UC: 1-0; CWC 0-1; SC: 1-2; WC: 2-0
Total: 6-3 (.667%)

Benfica: 27
CL: 2-5; UC: 0-1; WC: 0-2
Total: 2-8 (.200%) (3-9 when Latin Cup added).

Portugal is literally ruled by three clubs. The two previously mentioned and Sporting Lisbon (Benfica's bitter rival) who have won 18 domestic titles. That is, until recently, when Boavista won a title in 2001. Like all countries who suffered the displeasure of having a dictatorship, sports programs are sometimes cut back. For a small country like Portugal this can prove overwhelming. Portugal has always produced great player's and stars, yet they have qualified precious few times for the World Cup. All this is changed now. Expect to see Portuguese clubs perform well on a regular basis.

I'd like to add a last honourable mention: An interesting league and country to watch in the upcoming months or years is Greece. Was the Euro a harbinger of things to come? Their clubs, led Panathinaikos and Olimpiakos, have never won a major title but have performed well over the years. Time will tell.

One parting shot: some clubs perform better at the domestic level and others in club tournaments. For example, in Italy, while Juve dominates the Scudetto, AC Milan have had the edge in tournaments. Same picture with Porto and Benfica.

As for other clubs not mentioned: Steaua Bucuresti, Crvena Zvezda, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Dynamo Kiev, Moscow Dynamo, Red Star Belgrade, FK Austria, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Zaragoza, Aberdeen, Mechelen, Lazio, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Torino, Leeds United, Borussia Monchengladbach, Goteburg and Galatasaray have all tasted success on some level.

With the information above one can discern quite confidently who are Europe's great clubs and leagues irrespective of 'style' and other subjective notions. From this point forward we can even rank them if we so choose. Maybe I'll try this next time.

Note: Tournaments last updated Oct. 2007. Domestic titles not updated.


Max: The Untold Unemployed Stories

Maybe I'm unemployable. One can suppose that I confirm the natural rate of unemployment. Economists define this as the implied present structure of the economy. I interpret this as that there's just so many jobs out there and let's face it some of us out there simply can't function in the 'present structure'.

Today I ventured onto a blizzard in which 20 centimetres of fricken snow fell. I had to go buy fruit. I'm still having trouble with the D chord on my guitar. I also got to thinking about the Mach 3 from Gillette. How much can we take? I mean, Mach 4? 5? Pretty soon the Machs will take the first layer of skin off to ensure that close shave.

Not too long ago privy was I to something irritating. It was a commercial for the Juno Awards (for you Americans out there it's an award ceremony for Canadian musicians equivalent to the Grammy's....I think. Never watched it). While showing jazz musician Diana Krall, it asked us to join them in celebrating Canadian music. I immediately said to myself "now that's a bit misleading." Shouldn't they ask us to come join them in celebrating Canadian MUSICIANS? Saying 'Canadian music' would suggest that jazz is Canadian which it isn't. In fact, what form of music is indigenous to Canada? On a not too far off related matter, I hate the CRTC with all my tissue, fibre and weak ligaments. Just wanted to slip this in.

My insomnia is fertile ground for nightmares. Let me explain. You see, sometimes I fall asleep at, say, 6am and fall asleep for an hour. In that hour, I am subjected to some utterly disturbing images that would make that pussy cat Wes Craven tremble and feel so benevolent. Over the years I may have had at least 20 of these evil images. A few stand out. I would like to share them with you in my Bela Lugosi segment. Actually, I'll make this for another time.

This thing started about how I am unemployable. Maybe I'll also make that the subject of my next note.

Human Nature

I think it was Hobbes who wondered if 'humans are inherently good with some bad tendencies or are they bad with some good tendencies?" Is the political arena a good place to comment about human nature? Is politics the place to catch humans in their natural state? The further you are away from the politics the less blemished we seem to be. The closer we get to that vortex the more our shortcomings are revealed. Once we fall into it, we become something we never thought we could be. It's where all of humanities demands and hopes are converged. We go in for the good and end up discovering that the bad is all too real and spend our lives containing it.


Early Canadian Film Pioneers in Hollywood

For Canada, Hollywood represents both a curse and blessing for its culture. It is a blessing, it can offer exposure for Canadian culture abroad. It can also be a curse. Hollywood decides which images of Canada it will portray. It is a curse because it can be argued that Hollywood is the one symbol that threatens culture according to cultural protectionists around the world. While this may be true for Canada, the fact is that it has been a blessing for Canada's impressive talent that has found expression in the United States. Without a star system equivalent to Hollywood, Canadians naturally found themselves leaving the nest to be with the best. The only region in Canada that has a vibrant star system that has beneficial to its culture is Quebec.

From the onset, Canadians have been key players in Hollywood, which back in the early 20th century was a rather unremarkable place settled by film pioneers. Oddly, despite the nationalist cries, Canada's culture often intertwined with America's. Indeed, Canadians themselves were helping to create the pop culture so popular in Canada that was, if you can follow, dismissed as American cultural hegemony. In a sense, Canada is an integral part of the film industry that helped perpetuate the stereo types we see about Canadian symbols.

This remains true until this day. Often enough, it is not uncommon for someone to say, "...that actor or director is Canadian? I didn't know...." This is understandable for two reasons. First, how does one distinguish between an American and a Canadian? Second, branding Canadian exports of any kind was and still is not Canada's greatest strength. Some of the most popular programming including game shows, sitcoms and dramas in American television and film history usually had a Canadian flavor attached to it.

This fact of great contribution was not without its costs. Preserving and enhancing the Canadian identity has always obsessed nationalists in this country. They were fighting an impossible battle from the day the BNA Act was signed. Canadian business and political interests rarely defended Canadian cultural interests as witnessed during the early years of film development in Canada. Ordinary Canadians were not absolved of this either as they made it clear where their cultural allegiances were as revealed by their appetite for, as an example, American magazines which all but killed the indigenous Canadian industry trying to emerge. It's been a struggle ever since then.

Despite this, Canadians can take heart in their accomplishments in Hollywood. If they are surprised by what seems to be a disproportionate amount of Canadian content on TV and film screens these days they will be pleasantly notified that this is not a recent phenomena but one that has its roots in early Hollywood.

Canadians have been a part of the Hollywood machine forever. This is not meant to be a biographical description of each person but what is hoped is that someone reading this takes note and perhaps is sufficiently interested enough to learn more about some of these figures. What is aimed is to provide readers with an overview of a forgotten and grossly under appreciated portion of our cultural heritage that happens to fall under the category of 'Hollywood'. Here's a precious few list of people who helped to make Hollywood the cultural film Mecca that it is today.

Al Christie, Charles Christie, Marie Dressler, Raymond Massey, Louis B. Mayer, Mary Pickford, Jack Pickford, Marie Prevost, Walter Huston, Florence Lawrence, Mack Sennett, Sam De Grasse, Joe De Grasse, Fifi D'Orsay, Allan Dwan, Del Lord, Ruby Keeler, Norma Shearer, Douglas Shearer, Jay Silverheels, Nell Shipman, Jack Warner and Fay Wray.

As a Trivial Pursuit (invented by Canadians no less) triviality, Canadian actresses dominated the box office in the late 20's and mid 30s. As a result three Canadians won the Academy Award for Best Actress three years in a row. They were Mary Pickford in 1929 in 'Coquette', Norma Shearer in 1930 for 'The Divorcee' and Marie Dressler in 1931 in 'Min and Bll'.

Perhaps Canada's national identity remains as elusive and fragmented as ever but together these people had a marvelous and undeniable Canadian impact on the motion picture industry in America. None of these people ever lost the love for their birthplace. This pride was echoed several decades later by Phil Esposito when he poured his emotions to the Canadian people following a devastating loss to the Soviets in 1972. He explained that while many of his teammates worked and played in the United States, they came to play for Canada because of the love they had for their country. I suppose this is how most Canadians feel when they are abroad offering their unique services. We salute them here.

Max: Final Week-end Post

I went to buy some basil this morning. Nothing smells better than onions, garlic and basil cooking together in a pot. They should make a cologne.

I regret the state of Italian cuisine in popular culture. It's one thing to have the arrogant French (a fine culinary society) smugly look down on Italian food (even the dagos taught the French how to cook) but quite another to have it demeaned by the lowest common denominator.

Much of the scrap we see is not Italian food at all but some cheapened version of it. What the fuck is 'Parmesan'? Apparently it's to match the unsophisticated palates of food retarded folk. Italian food is a marvel. Its simplicity is rooted in regional inventions. Its careful balance of ingredients is a marvel of perfection only matched by a Da Vinci painting in his mastery and understanding of the body and its relationship with nature. Italian cuisine is refined to the point it is overlooked, ignored or missed by even people who should know better. It's not just about spaghetti. Anywhatever, as I was sniffing and choosing the perfect basil plant I saw a girl whom I sorta dated but heartbroken by.

I thought I was over her. Guess not. I wanted to both stab her in the eye with a carrot and make love to her on the bed of spinach. It's crazy. Maybe it's lust and not love. Maybe it's both. I think she has kids by now. I'm sure she does. We dated in junior high school 22 years ago. I really should move on, I know. But she started all this. I remember when her friend Rita came up to me, a popular cool kid, to tell me that Gianna was crazy about me. Gianna wasn't one of the more popular girls because her beauty was understated and thus unappreciated. But me, I had the eye.

She was not much into the greedy 80s scene - where 70s punk met 80s new wave dress codes. Some of it was hideous. Needless to say, all the people who dressed according to trends were 'in'. I was cut more from the Petty/Springsteen/Mellencamp cloth. I'm not sure what style she was. A little boring and nerdy but that was just fine by me.

We never could get the relationship going. She was afraid of her father finding out. She never had a boyfriend up to that point in her innocent life and before long the bitch who caused me so much grief just plump decided it wasn't worth the risk. I tried to make her my Rosalita and dreamed I could escape with her to San Diego. Never happened. She later discarded me mercilessly. Despite this, it takes much to damage my ego. Still, those sweet summer nights when we talked at the park were precious and free. Some things stay with you forever even if they did not end up the way you wanted them to. No matter how many chicks'n broads I date since that time, the scar left on me from those days seems always fresh. I was a Vietnam vet in matters of young teen age love. My buddy thinks she owes me a night of passionate sex.

As for the encounter, I used the aisles as camouflage and headed for the cash. There was no need, I suppose, to talk to her.


Questions Posed to me Every Now and Then

People always ask me (among a litany of other things) "...say, Red, what do YOU think about gay marriages, global-warming, Al-Queda, and Muslims praying in your supposed secular schools but Christians being chastised for doing so in their own schools?" I tell 'em "Run for the hills!" And if you're not around any hills run for the nearest valley. And if your town has no hills or valleys then run for the nearest, well, you get the picture. Progress ain't progress if it comes in an unnatural, altered state. We want to do the right thing so badly it's hurting us.

Max: Week-end Edition

I was reading the news today. I'm a bit of a history and political junkie. One article went out of its way to remind us that the world still hates America as revealed in a recent poll. Fuck polls.

To steal a term from today's fatalist hipster - whatever. I'm sick and tired of reading about what Hinjee Rubarb, Al-Barfkatouk and Sven Gorby think about the USA. I love it when they lecture Americans about their own history. After all, in case you haven't noticed, Americans are soooo dumb. They need a good dose of Canadian hoserism in them. Yet, yet it's the Jean-Pierre Vichy's of this world who clamour to America's shores. "Death to Amerika! Psst. Do you know anyone who can get me a visa into America?" For now, America remains Rome and will so for quite some time. They're so far ahead on some many fronts the truth of this fact would spook the world.

I went to a well-ness center. I figured that it can help to mentally set me straight. I took in a massage to alleviate muscle and tendon pain in my chest area suffered during a tennis match.

Now, I'm not much into the Buddha-Middle-way-Ganesha--Dharma-Mokhsa-Karma-Yoga-Gandhi-George Harrison thing but I'm always open to new things. I hoped for some nam bread but was told it was not that kind of place. So I asked for an espresso. None was forthcoming.

Oh my lord, the freaks in that place. It was like a Doug Henning festival. Everybody was smiling and friendly. It was creepy. All these people were missing were clown costumes and meat cleavers. Needless to say, things didn't start off too hot for this hedonite.

I finally get into the massage room and I meet with an obviously so gay guy. I'm cool with it. It just gets weird when they start rubbing all those oils on you so that their hands can glide all over your body like your some cheap skank. Add to that racket known as "calming" music (sounds of the forests Part II: Coyotes prey on gophers) and you can't help, especially if your are utterly immature as I am, but giggle. How the fuck are 'sounds of the forest' supposed to calm me? All I could think about is Teutonic barbarians fighting Roman soldiers in Germany in the 2nd century.

Later, some annoying Gianni-Tesh-like (or whatever the fuck is his name) sounds began to complement ocean waves hitting the beach. I'm gonna do my own recordings- woodpeckers working on a tree; seagulls eating baby turtles, dolphins penetrating a shark's head and eating it from within.

As I sat flat on my face staring into the ground watching this guy's ugly toes all I could think about was Iggy Pop. I was a neurotic mess. I kept thinking about needing to reorganize my pantry. It's crazy. He kept telling me to relax. Sure thing, Doug. Sure fucking thing.


Max: Unemployed Cheerful Blues

There's more about the blues than just despair. I detect some hope in it too. Its whole ethos, in its original form, was based on making the best out of a bad situation. Thus revealing the power of the human spirit. In my situation, if I really want to get depressed, I'll pop some George Jones and Johnny Cash. Those guys were dark. One of the most eerie songs (among many) I have heard, Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit' ranks up there.

Today I went to deposit a government check (nothing to do with unemployment or welfare) and had a hard time finding the 'deposit' button since I rarely use it. It seems my brain has been sufficiently trained to signal to my hand where the 'withdrawal' button is. It's a habit and reaction now. It was nice to put something in bank account for a change. Actually, the ATM was a snarly sarcastic one. Along with my transaction print came a note suggesting I put more in.

Darn those Middle East departments. All those oil profits yet they are poorer than they were in the 1950s. Surely something is wrong internally. No? How much can you twist and pimp the American/Jewish pig line? Nothing bemuses me more when they get together to try and intellectualize, through a thin veil of sophistimicated academia, in trying to 'define' terrorism. Imagine that. In this search, they will, no doubt, find a way to justify murder and the perverse sin known as suicide bombing. Murder is murder. C'est simple.

Governments are both a necessity and evil for humans. For some reasons we need it. Post-modern rhetoric seems to resent and question the state these days. Yet, humans need government to keep them in check or else...Leviathan, my friend, Leviathan. Thomas Hobbes was on to something. Nonetheless, this has not stopped humans in devising a shrewd monster to circumnavigate the power of government via the corporation. Now we have two human induced institutions conspiring to control us. Buy my taxes!

Other than that, I moved about, like a surreal painter, trying to find meaning in something with no particular aim. It felt good for some reason. No job, no clear path, no stability. Yet, it feels good not to be stuck behind a desk all day.


Max: Still Unemployed

Not that I'm out there looking for work. I see myself slowly falling into the world of doughnut shop carni. Never a time goes by when I don't want to pull into a Dunkin' or a Horton's for a muffin. The attraction is real. It pulls me like the current in the ocean floor. Sometimes, when I get up in the morning, and I go through the paralytic process of grooming myself to be presentable to an uncaring world is damn near depressing. Today I did my thing (the usual additions of brushing my teeth, flossing, taking a shower, shaving etc.) and sighed after each one. God, there HAS to be more than this. Right? What is the whole point of these exercises? For an incredible nano-second, I saw myself in a different dimension.

Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the greatest men in world history, said something to the effect of 'let no man who understands math read my work...' Geez, that's cold. I consistently failed at math all my life. Am I breaking some Templar Knight code if I read his stuff? Will they come in and whisk me away from my purposeless life? I just hope they do it when I'm doing nothing. Nothing could be worse than to be kidnapped while you shit. Could you imagine the discomfort? Or if they kill you while you are in the act of self-hedonism. "We found him in a 70s's style Montreal Canadiens t-shirt and nothing else....he seemed to be in the middle of....". Not a legacy to leave behind.

Kyoto an achievement as great as the CPR?

With the Kyoto Accord finally in effect, a Liberal Cabinet minister, those wonderful purveyors of the national conscience, was moved to compare its arrival with the Canadian Pacific Railway project. It apparently will be a project that will bind all Canadians. So typical of dysfunctional history illiterates. Today, anyone can make a historical parallel (Bush is Hitler) and claim it to be true. In today's post-modern relativism, how can one debunk this?

What a surveying project that linked the nation (British Columbia would only join Confederation on the condition that the railway be built) coast to coast has to do with a controversial accord that could cost this country millions (ironically in the West where the energy economy could be significantly negatively impacted) thus fragmenting it further is beyond me. The whole political and economic circumstances and dynamics surrounding the building of the CPR (including immigrant labourers meeting their deaths, negotiations with the Indians including Chief Crowfoot, American industrial magnates like Van Horne who took part and of course scandals not just with MacDonald's Conservatives but with the Liberals led by Mackenzie) is a legend in itself. A true Canadian saga.

It can be argued that without the CPR, there is no Canada. Without the Kyoto, on the other hand, we can all reclaim some sense of reality and still be a country. Seems to me that this minister is guilty of hyperbolic historical myth-making. I think it's safe to assume that Kyoto will not even come close to what the CPR meant and has meant in defining the Canadian identity.

*Meanwhile, two most successful scientific nations in the 20th century - The United States and Russia - much to the derision of people, oppose Kyoto. Hmmm.


A Montreal Expos Moment

"......Dawson to the wall.....GONE!" 1981 still haunts me. I still remember vividly the love affair with Nos Amours.

I also wanted to honour the 1994 team. Fate and destiny conspired against them.

What more can be said?

An Ode to Farewellness

So long world. We may as well put an end to it now. What's the point? Maybe the sowers of discord have been right all along. Who knows? They have convinced that this time they are right about the end of the world being near. All diseases are conspiring to overwhelm us for our hedonistic indulgences!

The sword of a substance breaks records. Millionaire monstrosities behaving like minimum waged third world labourers. Thus, ending a season of fun for those who pay them. The state of a beastly pop culture that pimps to the lowest common denominator has become all too widespread and unhinged. The battle of the baby boomers doom and gloom is at our feet. It's them against? Democracy needs to be saved from the grips of lies. And why oh why must I witness sex sleaze profiteers talk with a conscience?

Why do I need to read Dante when all advertisers want to give power to the hack that considers history's derision? Why should I pay the price for another person's ignorance? Why should matters of good taste and fine art making be put on the back burner for the person who seeks only immediate self-gratification? That only sees worth in the aesthetic? 'Wow, did you see that movie? What broads, cool killing and swearing. Great flick, you must go see it!"

Why does it seem that only the opinionated have a medium to which they can spew their crud? Everywhere I turn we are apparently in dire circumstances. Everything is inverted. Everyone oversteps their sphere of expertise and boundaries. Sports writers pretending to be history teachers. Engineers are option traders. Common folk are foreign policy experts. We abhor our own traditions and praise all others.

So, with this good-bye, world. I retire to the slumbers of my private world. But first, I need to go and take advantage of swell deals at The Bay. 40% off!


Max: The Lousy Diaries of the UnempLoyed Guy

I keep sending articles out to various publications. I'm not sure I can handle any more rejections. As you can tell I have decided to become a writer. They should have a Canadian or American Idol for writing. I would send in my essays and then the world would love me. Keep plugging away they tell me. I'd like to plug something else.

Diaries of Max the Unemployed Guy

Welcome to the fucking fictitious life of Max the unemployed guy.

Hello. My name is Max and I am unemployed. I'm not lazy or anything - just a little off.

I resigned from my recent job as it was grossly and spiritually bankrupt. Well, that and because the stingy bastard wouldn't pay me. Everybody said I was brave but I know behind my back they think I'm bound for failure. I can't seem to fit into any construct humans have formed for themselves, be it school, social clubs or corporations. Needless to say, this has made advancing and excelling within those confines damn near impossible. This sucks because I have a lot to offer but can't find the proper vehicle (or people) in which to display this.

I wanted to be a cigar roller growing up. I should have pursued that dream.

I definitely have no luck. My sense of timing is off. I seem to march to another beat. People are always telling me how refreshingly bizarre I am. That's nice but being bizarre does not provide a steady income. Anyway, I have decided to bare my life on a daily basis with all from now on. Call me the Anne Frank for the unemployed and unemployable. That said, I remain positive. I know I am strong and talented. Now if someone would just listen to me.

Today I went to get a blood test. I have to wait seven to ten days for the results. Man, fasting for 12 hours was not easy. My arm hurts today. Ever notice how you tend to pick your nose more when you are home? The blood test went pretty fast and this threw me off guard as I was expecting at least a 1 hour wait. Then, I went home to rest as I wasn't feeling too good. After that, I went to buy some broccoli slaw. I listened to some music and played with my guitar for 20 minutes. I only know 3 notes. I plan to get real good. I stared out the window for about 12 minutes. I plan to look for work soon. Ooo, Magnum P.I is on. Bye for now.

Calls for Iraqi Withdrawal Premature

Since the controversial invasion and subsequent toppling of Saddam Hussein by the United States, free elections have been held in the ancient land of Iraq.

Among the many goals of the U.S., was regime change and democratization in a region that had no practical or spiritual experience with what is principally a Western doctrine. That does not mean that the Middle East can not learn its principles. If Asia was capable of doing it so can the Middle East. Indeed, democracy is a habit in the West. Lest we forget, until the birth of the United States, democracy was an ideal not practiced. Europe too was filled with dictatorial and aristocratic institutions. The enshrinement of the Constitution was the amalgamation of centuries of war and philosophical evolution begun first in Ancient Greece and well into Medieval Europe. Much of the concepts we take for granted that have made us who we are today started that far back. The United States itself prior to 1776 had to wrestle with lawlessness in some form. It took centuries to gradually build up to the essence of democracy and it is still evolving.

Ironically, our own citizens, in almost cynical fashion, question the legitimacy of Western principles and its application by the very same freedoms they have been accorded. They seem to not take into consideration, in their steadfast derision of the Bush doctrine, the people who plan to benefit from the freedoms they themselves enjoy. Fixated they remain on the reasons and alleged lies for going to war in the first place.

Such is what is facing the Iraqi people. They needed to be freed from Hussein in order to finally grab the reigns of their own destiny. It is pointless to cry to the wind about who did it and for what reasons. They have their freedom now. What will become of it depends largely on their capacity to behave in civil discourse to one another. They themselves will determine if Iraq remains one nation or will be divided along religious and cultural lines.

Yet, despite the obvious long and arduous road ahead for an incredibly important region where religion remains a part of political life, books are still being printed that reveal the narrow-scoped visions some authors (among others) continue to hold. Taking a simplistic approach by reducing this highly complex geo-politcal paradigm with vast historical sensibilities to one particular issue (ie oil or vengeance) is not only short of being able to grasp what confronts the region but is intellectually self-serving in that it does not help the Iraqi people.

Some politicians and academics alike are asking for a prescribed date for the removal of American troops. Some Arabs humiliated that the U.S, in all its manifestations, are a little too excited to ask the Americans to leave. They are not ready for such a withdrawal. How can we put a ceiling through drop-dead dates on such an experiment?

There is no base of institutions by which the Iraqi's can rely on to take control of things yet. It remains a highly explosive and precarious situation and asking the U.S to leave is not only premature but downright irresponsible to the country of Iraq. Iraq needs to be stabilized. It needs a minimal base to begin what we had the luxury of having for centuries. They need to begin meaningful and enlightened dialogue and debate, free from the fanatical element, amongst each other that can spill over to neighbouring countries. This is the spread, I trust, the Americans are wishing for. If Iraq stays the course its reward will be priceless.

America has had to contend with a poor public relations record in the perception of the world. Part of the problem is its careful worries of how it is perceived globally. To the rest of the world America is an empire. To some Americans, the United States is not an empire. This discrepancy is part of the reason why Americans are unpopular in the courses of action they choose.

Another issue is awesome and fearsome might notwithstanding, America is not skillful in the art of nation building. It is something, as Afghanistan is showing, they are learning on the fly. While things seem hopeless in this region, there are many positive signs that we are selecting to ignore. It's a place that deserves a fair shot and America is the only major power capable of making it happen. To stop this experiment for geo-political gains by other countries at the expense of Iraq and Afghanistan would be unfortunate. The will is there, the question is do we have the fortitude to see it through.

In a place where civilization was born and advanced, they have paid a price for internal strife that has stricken them for so long. Perhaps, we can witness the re-birth of a country before our eyes. Iraq can take a true leadership role for a pan-Arab revival that will usher back their nations into the community of civil nations. There is nothing more the world would like to see.

Ban Animal Crackers!

I'm beginning a movement to try and ban 'Animal Crackers'. I believe, backed up by scientific evidence (ok, it's not quite evident yet but I do have a few disaffected and spot light seeking scientists on board), that these snacks actually teach our children to be voracious consumers of violence towards animals. Some studies suggest that when children bite the head off of a giraffe cracker are prone to the same thing at a zoo. From there they can graduate to cannibalism. We all know serial killers began their long murderous lust by practicing on helpless animals. Please help me to prevent this! Please, sign my petition. When I get around to it.


Imagined Adventures in Ikea

I was shopping at Ikea the other day. That's what the unemployed do. They seek refuge in the Swedish meatball special at a neutral location. Get it? Neutral. Sweden? Godless, horny, Lutheran Sweden.

Never mind. As I weaved in and out of the aisles jumping in and out of beds, rearranging furniture and wacking off in the bathroom displays, I had a brisk urge to knock stuff out of people's carriages and ram them from behind with my own carriage. Good times, good times.

Alas, it was not to be. Gwenna, my wife, discouraged the idea. Calling it utterly disturbing and infantile. She's so conservative. She changed, man. It was about being anti-establishment once. Now, she's nothing but a puppet of the regime of good ethics and etiquette.

Lamenting Lost Music and Art and their Paradoxes

The state of music today, while diverse in its genres, leaves many of us wanting. We lament the passing of the album as an artistic journey where no fillers are tolerated. What are today's equivalences to 'Pet Sounds' and 'Rubber Soul'?

When I read about contemporary albums being tagged as landmarks, I have a hard time figuring out if this is a hyperbole because we have nothing else, or if I'm just plain out of touch with the music of today. My music collection does include modern critically acclaimed bands and I have given a chance to some fabulously popular bands. Yet, none move me like Bo Diddley. Indeed, nothing can move you like a Chuck Berry tune in the car. And I'm 33! To some, that makes me an unhip-hop dinosaur.

While I may not connect to some bands, I can appreciate and understand when they take the concept of the album seriously, and anybody spending $18 on a cd of this type is bound to derive some satisfaction out of it. Most of the bands out there are just cookie-cutter bands coasting along in pseudo-mode getting their chick-love and money to do so. They make outrageous music with obscene videos to go with it and voila! The voice of a generation. The lasting power is questionable. Some break the mold with Green Day's interesting 'American Idiot' though they are filled with the same lame leftist lyrics. It's ok, at least they tried.

I'm not much into the fatalist rebels and their cynical cries, but hey, that's me. Yeah, yeah Colin Farrell, you're "bad." It's so, so, well, boring.

Lame music award shows never disappoint in displaying pure garbage on the stage. To me, how I determine whether I pay attention to something is purely subjective; if it taps into a mysterious feeling and stirs it then I listen. It's full proof. I want fully integrated music with thoughtful lyrics and compositions and arrangements. With today's music, that feeling is all too rare. It does come (music is a personal journey just like selecting a fine wine) once in a while, but not enough. Then again, they all can't be musical works of art.

That doesn't mean the purveyors of rock manure are not talented. Far from it. They are. It's just that that the industry does not allow for any latitude and instead sell an attitude. The rise of Indie rock is not a coincidence but a reaction to this mess. For music lovers we are forced underground to seek and discover great bands and musicians who are out of the vice-grips of the perpetual sex and violence selling machine. Just like we do in search of a decent film.

Today's state of music can be compared to present-day professional hockey. No one would debate the fact that today's hockey players are superiour to past athletes as they are stronger, faster and generally more talented. Yet, one can't help but get the feeling that hockey has lost its soul. Something is missing. Of course, fabulous salaries are only part of the problem as they become mini-business enterprises onto themselves. Today's hockey players are more than capable of providing superb majestic entertainment. But like their musical counterparts, they operate in a system that discourages it. Their masters have a blueprint for them to follow and if they want to get paid they must follow and conform.

We can also compare the music industry to the paradox of corporations. Today's corporations aim to be more socially responsible. There is a new generation of CEO's that take this issue seriously. However, corporations exist to provide maximum profits to its shareholders. Thus, an immediate conflict of interest arises (like the caring mobster on a soap opera). If being socially responsible affects the bottom line, the CEO has no choice but to disregard it. Though this conflict is increasingly under fire as citizens are beginning to demand that corporations add a moral imperative to their bottom line.

In music, from my observations, we often hear about the caring side of famous musicians. Many take part in various charities, like corporations do, and offer all sorts of cliches about self-worth and the shallowness of the business to which they operate in. Yet, they remain in it. Why? It's their self-interest they are looking out for. They will talk of honour so long as it won't jeopardize their fan-base who have the power to affect their bottom line. Like corporations, they mean well - up to a point. Or else business suffers. Here too citizens and consumers are starting to push back. The problem is that so much of the violence and sex espoused by liberal artists is gratuitous.

The everyone-is-doing-'it' (whether it's drugs or sex)-therefore-you-can-not-defeat-a-vice-so-what's-the-big-deal philosophical line is not acceptable anymore. Besides, this world view confuses me. People go after the corps for being immoral yet they refuse to deal with human vices in any meaningful way.

Just like many people are suspicious of well-intentioned motives of the corporation, I am moved to be suspicious when an entertainer who made a career of selling sex proclaims they are suddenly spiritually guided by the Kabbalah. Maybe their body of work has been less than satisfying to them internally? Rap singers say they reflect the urban ghetto without thought to offering solutions to the nightmare they depict. Some may even exaggerate it. Why? Ka-ching!

It's tough on us out there. It's difficult to figure out what is artistically sincere. In the political realm, liberalism has been hijacked by faux-liberal. Conservatism has been stigmatized by the actions of neo-cons and the religious right. Fundamentalists on both sides seek to impose their world view. It's a similar case with music. It's been hijacked by a creepy culture of know-nothings who know how to churn a buck.

Don't get me wrong. I bleed free enterprise. It would just be nice to see some quality come back into the equation for all the money Ashlee Simpson-types make. Everywhere I turn I am blasted with so many flimsy intellectual debates, music wallowing in mediocrity and athlete disaffection. Guess who and what suffers?


Another Face of Italian Genius

A few years ago, I was sharing an espresso with a local restaurateur. The subject of our discussion was his ten thousand-dollar coffee machine from Italy. Curiously, the direction of the conversation brought us to a side of Italy rarely talked about - its industrial face.

Words like industry are not normally associated with how we perceive Italy. Indeed, to offer a bold statement, by some estimates 60 per cent of the Western world's treasures are to be found within Italy's borders. Another estimate claims that Italy exports 45 per cent of the world's luxury items. These are astounding figures. Then again, to anybody who has been to Italy, these figures are not surprising.

This 'geographic expression', as it was once called, is essentially one giant museum of fine living. By now, many of us are familiar with much of what Italy is famous for - from the fine arts of film, fashion, architecture and music to its highly regarded and world renowned culinary heritage with espresso, wine, cheese and gelato. Their sports culture, littered with international successes, should not be underestimated either.

However, their industrial accomplishments do not get as much attention: The artful ability to create works of art from cold, uninspiring elements of the post-industrial age - metal and steel. Italy is not only a purveyor of 'la dolce vita' or the finer, sweeter things in life, but is equally an innovator in the harder, sharper elements of it.

Italy brought its industrial and manufacturing base to new heights during the 20th century. By applying creative and elegant design to industrial machinery - like the coffee machine that sparked this article for example - mainly in the cities of Torino and Milano, Italy quickly distinguished itself in the post-war years as a dominant global trendsetter in industrial and manufacturing design.

Today, Italy ranks 7th in the world in industrial and manufacturing output. It is a nation that conceives performance in both man and machine. The Futurist Art movement is a marvelous example of this.

For those bemoaning today's global, mechanized cookie-cutter approach to manufacturing, look no farther than Italy; it is home to hundreds, if not thousands of companies, family dynasties and small shops devoted to the craftsmanship of the forgotten art of small details.

Metal? Steel? These are not things we usually associate with Italy. When we think about Italy it immediately conjures up romantic and picturesque images of Capri or world class ski resorts. Steel, and its efficient application of it, normally brings to mind other economic powers like Germany, Britain, France, Japan and the United States. Italy? Really?

Really. It is a side of Italy I personally never paid close attention to and was slow to realize. Buoyed by innovative and avant-garde engineers that perfected Italian industrial design, some of the most famous names in Italy are manufacturing legends. They include Piaggio (makers of the iconic Vespa scooters) in airplane building, Beretta in fine pistol manufacturing, Ducati and Aprilia (owned by Piaggio) in motorcycling and Campagnolo, Bianchi and Columbus Steel in bicycle manufacturing.

Of course, high performance sports cars are synonymous with Italy's fascination with speed. Needless to say, Italy has earned a racy reputation with the likes of Alfa Romero, Maserati and Ferrari to name a few manufacturers.

Design does not begin and end with form in Italy. In car manufacturing, for example, it includes all the tiny pieces of metal that create the whole machine-cranks and blocks, hydraulic lifters, cam shafts, bearing caps, breaks and gear boxes and countless other pieces. These are definitely not your run-of-the-mill machine-shop components that make a car go- they are works of high quality art that complement the design geniuses of Pininfarina, Zagato and Michelotti.

Nor does it end with moveable objects with an engine. One would think that manufacturing bicycles does not demand technical innovation, but do not tell that to cycling-mad Italy. Primary materials in aerodynamic bicycle manufacturing include carbon fibre, titanium, exotic steel and aluminum alloys.

Lastly (and worth mentioning), in the land where the Etruscans, Romans and Renaissance Humanists were born, Italy was among the first European nations to offer their engineering know-how in space exploration through the Italian Space Agency. Together with NASA, the Italian Space Agency takes part in various development projects. The ultimate recognition of Italy's presence in the post-industrial age.

After enjoying a fine Italian lunch, when asked what sets Italians apart from most cultures, the French-Canadian restaurateur I was sharing an afternoon with told me in this casual but intriguing conversation, that Italians do not just make espresso. They make the machine to perfect it. They also make the knives and metalwork to cut their culinary creations and they produce the machines to perfect the shoe. They are, in today's global economy, fully integrated artists.

An appropriate analogy would be in film. A director's artistic vision imprints his or her distinctive style on the story. The great Italian director, Federico Fellini, left his fingerprint on every film he made that broke with classical styles during that period. In a way, Italy's great industrial designers have left a legacy reminiscent of Fellini. In this light, perhaps those figures mentioned and their achievements on the onset are not that surprising.

Perhaps a detailed book about this subject should be considered?


The Shortcomings in Ranking Canadian Greatness

Recently, Canadians, of which 140 000 actually participated, were engaged in a soulful debate in search of the greatest Canadian. The whole harmless affair was an exercise in navel-gazing nationalism and ended unresolved, leaving a big hole in our hearts just like a Tim Horton doughnut. While we should not read too much into the results, it nonetheless brought to the forefront some obvious realities about Canada.

Of course, any rankings of this sort are bound to be affected by the era we live in, and by what the issues of the day are. The results are further hampered by Canada's regional fragmented nature and its belief that it is under constant siege from both external and internal forces. In a way, Canada represents a paradox- a society that has no history in its memory but yet yearns for one in practice.

So how did we arrive at Tommy Douglas as the greatest Canadian? Well, for starters, it does have something to do with this group of huts' recent obsession regarding health care. If Canada was, ironically, a patient in its own system, we would be diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Another possible reason is that Canadians have a shocking disinterest in their history, and this explains, in part, why there is a discrepancy in how they view themselves and how they actually project themselves on the world stage. How committed to our half-hearted nationalism are we? Take NFL and CFL football, as an example, when considering Canada's attachment to its cultural institutions. Ask yourself if the NFL expanded into, say, Toronto, what would happen to the Argonauts? Would they survive? Probably not. Torontonians would drop the Argos in a flat sec. The same would apply to all cities that have a CFL franchise.

Canadians, a rather strong and independent bunch though we are, also suffer from acute insecurity disorder. We never seem prepared when confronted with critical issues that defined an era and different generations. The most recent example was the new world order 9/11 ushered in. Here, Canadians revealed another unflattering trait so inconsistent with our experience - delusion.

Canadian leaders failed to grasp the enormity of 9/11 and haven't been able to define a distinct Canadian platform on the international stage. That is because we have been, among other things, busy engaging in infantile anti-American rhetoric -the leitmotif of Canadian discourse these days- instead of critically assessing new geo-politcal paradigms essential in projecting so-called core Canadian values- whatever they may be. During that time, Canadians were treated to a showcase of indifference and comical buffoonery by officials (save a pragmatic few), that would make the director of La Comedia dell'Arte proud.

So, given our volunteered weak knowledge of our heritage, it is not surprising that Canadians have a misplaced, if not outdated pride that is still anchored in moments like the War of 1812, Vimy Ridge and Expo 67. Indeed, we still hang on to a time when this country meant something to itself and the international stage during the Lester B. Pearson era. Sadly, we have utterly failed in upholding any traditions of Canadiana we created for posterity, however small.

Which brings me back to the list. In typical Canadian fashion, we failed to consider a Canadian who had global impact. Instead we opted to remain provincial in our outlook. His noble and compassionate intentions to pioneer Medicare here notwithstanding, Tommy Douglas did not introduce something that had any impact on the world stage. Indeed, Europe had universal public health care well before Canada. No matter, none of us seems to be able to pay for it anyway.

Now consider those who did have a global impact that were ranked far below Douglas: Sir Frederick Banting, Sir Sandford Fleming, Marshall McLuhan, Terry Fox, Wayne Gretzky, John Connon, Sir William Osler, Henry Woodward, Mack Sennett, Louis B. Mayer, Mary Pickford, and Shuster and Siegel, to name but a few. Can anyone really with a straight face, believe Tommy Douglas should come ahead of any these people?

In addition to this, some of the rankings were just plain bizarre. In what country on the planet would Rene Levesque, nationalist Quebec's spiritual resident Catalonian, dedicated to slicing the country in half, be ranked 69th? He came, by the way, way ahead of Sam Steele who was ranked a laughable 99th. Other gems include Louis Riel coming in 11th spot. For his part, Riel outranked the likes of Neil Young in 14th, Pierre Berton in 31st and Glenn Gould in a ridiculous 55th ranking. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a pirouetting romantic leader who accelerated the erosion of our individual liberties, was rewarded with third spot ahead of Lester B. Pearson - arguably this country's greatest Prime Minister.

In any event, these names pale in comparison to, among others, Ed Belfour and Henry Morgentaller.

As usual, Canadians, with our once-a-year interest in our heritage, missed the mark and left us with yet another thing to debate about. As if we do not already have enough to deal with. Maybe it is time to set aside the pseudo-nationalist agenda in search of a Canada that has long gone. Maybe it is time to actually grow up and move on.

Who knows? Maybe along the way we will finally feel comfortable in our own skin for the right reasons. Only then, perhaps, will innocuous lists such as these be truly representative of our shared historical experience.


The Diner of Insomnia

My orbs are tired, man. But there's no use in staying in. The Diner calls for me. I hear the sullen sounds of the streets. I'm not surprised to ever happen on a sundry of personalities at this time of night.

A parliament of human owls has descended on this famous night diner. No one really knows each other. Talking is rare. Only to ask for a cigarette or give an order do our voices fill the room.

I sit at a counter with strangers. The counter is the perfect cover. All these minds....lost....why are we here at this moment? She calls herself Minnie Minerva and she's cute. I've been coming in here for months and I found out last night what her name was.

"Who's that?" I ask.

She rolls her eyes and giggles. "Him?"

"Watch him."

The man is dressed in professional attire and places a briefcase on the table and begins to lay out some papers. He shuffles them around and glances at his watch.

I am distracted by the television for a few moments.

Then, I hear him call out to Minnie. "Please hold all my calls" he tells her.

Hold my calls? I wonder to myself.

"Will do, Charles," she answers.

I look at her confused.

She smiles.

A picture of a family suddenly appears. He lays down a phone...with no phone line.

I'm beginning to understand.

Minnie comes over and leans on the counter and says, "It takes all kinds."

I look back at the man.

"See that couple over there?"

"The old couple?" I ask.

"They come in every night at midnight. They order the same thing each time - bagels. He takes blueberry jam while she opts for cream cheese. After the finish eating they doze off sitting up for exactly 3o minutes. At which point I have their dessert ready."

"How come I never noticed them?"

"Because you weren't paying attention. You're so absorbed in your thoughts that all you see are shadows."

The place empties out a little. We say nothing.

Until she breaks the silence. "You know, tramps like us...."

I stare out into the darkened serenity of the night. The street lights reflect from the wet ground. "My piano is out of tune and this cat is hungry," I tell her.

She knows me somehow. "Let it ride its course. Dipsa's are unseen until it is too late. The trick is to avoid its bite," she tells me.

I have no clue what she means.

I ask for the Diner Special.


Championships By City

The following are the number of championships won by North American cities -non-exhaustive. Canadian totals include the CFL. For U.S. football clubs totals include titles from various leagues prior to amalgamation into the present day NFL. Minimum 15 titles was arbitrarily chosen. However, I decided to include some select cities below that mark. For baseball, I have not included League Champions. Though I feel they are just as important I have decided to leave them out. I may add them somewhere down the line. I would not mind as it will add one total to Montreal with the Expos of '81. It will also inflate some numbers for cities like Atlanta given the run the Braves have had in the 90s.

Cities that have at least one of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and CFL made the cut. Last, this is a list by city and not franchise. For example, Detroit has 3 NBA titles won while in Detroit but the Pistons franchise has 5 pro titles which include 2 NBL's which do not count.

MLS added as of Oct. 2007.


New York Mets 2
New York Giants 5
New York Yankees 26
Brooklyn Dodgers 1

New York Jets 1 (Super Bowl); 1 (AFL)
New York Giants 6 (2 Super Bowls; 4 NFL Titles)

New York Knicks 2
New York Nets 2 (ABA)

New York Rangers 4
New York Islanders 4


Boston Red Sox 7
Boston Braves 1

Football: New England Patriots 3
Basketball: Boston Celtics 14
Hockey: Boston Bruins 5


Chicago White Sox 3
Chicago Cubs 2

Chicago Staleys 1 (NFL)
Chicago Cardinals 1 (NFL)
Chicago Bears 9 (1 Super Bowl: 8 NFL)

Chicago Bulls 6
Chicago Gears 1 (NBL)

Hockey: Chicago Black Hawks 3

Soccer MLS: 1 Chicago Fire.


Baseball: Detroit Tigers 4
Football: Detroit Lions 4 (NFL)
Basketball: Detroit Pistons 3
Hockey: Detroit Red Wings 10


Baseball: LA Dodgers 5

LA Raiders 1 (Super Bowl)
LA Rams 1 (NFL)

Basketball: LA Lakers 9
Soccer MLS: LA Galaxy 2


Philadelphia A's 5
Philadelphia Phillies 1

Philadelphia Eagles 3 (NFL)

Philadelphia Warriors 2
Philadelphia 76ers 2

Hockey: Philadelphia Flyers 2



Baseball: Toronto Blue Jays 2

Football (CFL): Toronto Argonauts 15 (7 other titles for Toronto under different names including Argonauts*)

Hockey: Toronto Maple Leafs 13 (includes Arenas and St.Pats)


Football: Montreal Alouettes 5 (2 other titles)

Montreal Maroons 2
Montreal Canadiens 24

* Does not include 13 titles by the city of Montreal (AAA,Victorias, Shamrocks, Wanderers) from 1893 until 1917. In 1918 NHL was officially formed.


Football: Edmonton Eskimos 13
Hockey: Edmonton Oilers 5

Other cities: Min. 4 titles.

It was only fitting to mention the following:

Football: Green Bay Packers 14 (3 Super Bowl; 11 NFL)

Baseball: Cleveland Indians 2

Cleveland Browns 8 (4 NFL; 4 AAFC)
Cleveland Rams 1 (NFL)
Cleveland Bulldogs 1 (NFL)

Baseball: Pittsburgh Pirates 5
Football: Pittsburgh Steelers 5
Hockey; Pittsburgh Penguins 2

Baseball: St.Louis Cardinals 10
Football: St.Louis Rams 1 (Super Bowl)
Basketball: St.Louis Hawks 1

Minnesota/Minneapolis 9:
Basketball:Lakers 5 (NBA) 1(NBL) Football:Vikings 1 (NFL) Baseball: Twins 2

Winnipeg 9:
Football: Blue Bombers 9 (CFL)

Oakland 9:
Basketball: Warriors 1 (NBA) Oaks1(ABA)Football:Raiders (2 SB;1AFL)Baseball:A's 4

Washington 7:
Basketball: Bullets 1 Football: Redskins 5 (3 Super Bowls; 2 NFL) Baseball: Senators 1

Dallas 7:
Football: Cowboys 5 (Super Bowls) Texans 1 (AFL) Hockey: Stars 1

Baltimore 7:
Basketball: Bullets 1/Football: Ravens 1 (SB) Colts 1(SB) Stallions 1 (CFL) Baseball: Orioles 3

Hamilton 7:
Football: Tiger-Cats 7 (CFL)

Calgary 6 :
Football: Stampeders 5 (CFL) Hockey: Flames 1

Miami 6:

Football: Dolphins 3 Super Bowls, Heat 1 NBA, Marlins 2 MLB

San Francisco 5:
Football: 49ers 5 (Super Bowls)

Cincinnati 5:
Baseball: Reds 5

Denver 4:
Football: Broncos 2 (Super Bowls) Hockey: Avalanche 2

San Antonio 4:

Basketball: Spurs 4 NBA

*Please note that CFL totals include titles prior to CFL officially forming in 1954. Up until that point Canadian teams played for the Grey Cup.

*Hockey totals do not include WHA.

*NFL football total include all leagues prior to modern NFL set-up. Thus, NFL champions for the period 1920-33 are given credit. As are the AAFC, NFL and AFL.

*For basketball all are NBA titles unless specified otherwise. NBL, ABA etc.

*For hockey all are Stanley Cup titles. Since there was no other trophy it was not necessary to specify next to number of titles won for respective cities. Same for baseball and World Series champions.

There you have it. Last updated Oct. 2007.


You Can't Beat the Ketchup

The ritual of exchanging dollars for goods and services can be an engaging, if not expensive, process. If one cares (and many dimwitted sloths do not), focusing on the tiny elemental things can prove to be entertaining. In this case, the tiny elemental thing I am referring to is the art of looking into people's carriages and their choices of food in a grocery store.

Often I find myself doing this. Of course, their reactions are also an exquisite experience to enjoy. They look upon you like the Yellow Dwarf. It is quite, how shall I put it, delightful. Besides, it should be me staring back in horror after noticing the utter junk and scrap people consume.

This, however, is not the purpose of this note. It was to reveal something I observed.

I watched an Asian couple feeding their little toddler ketchup. No french (or freedom) fries, no hot dog (pronounced hut dug here in Montreal), no nothing. Just ketchup. The kid was loving it. If she was any older she would have smeared it all over her body smothering herself in this fabulous tasting antioxidant tomato paste. Though, her love of ketchup is not that surprising given that Asians have had their variation of it for centuries. Still.

Ironically, Italians did not invent ketchup. Many cultures had a hand in it. Of course, like many things, ketchup (aka catsup, cackchop, kitsip and in its original form ketsiap) has a long red coloured history that pre-dates Heinz and his version introduced in 1876. But it is his (he was of German background) recipe that has remained and is associated with the legend that is the modern ketchup.

Why do these notes go longer than they have to? Anyway, it never ceases to amaze me how not even the power of a proud culinary society could deny their children the omnipotent ketchup. Everything about North American culture attracts everyone. But culture is sometimes no match for marketing and advertising masters.

This was just an observation of a snapshot into another family's life in a grocery store. You could have easily replaced that Asian couple with a European, Native, anything. My conclusion during this rather pointless exercise? You just can't beat the ketchup when you come to our shores.