Ooo, red. Sexy tempting fiery Ferrari red. Red. Red ink. I like red. I just discovered text coloring on my blog. Red is for fucking, right? Let me cum on your red hair. Oh my, what filth that comes from my red lips. Oh red, you that ryhmes with Ted and head as in giving head. I can't stop talking and typing your letters - r....e.....d. Der backwards is red. When you toss and turn and the mercernaries of insomnia attack, red flashes before you. Red, as you know, is the color of that fag the devil and those genetically inferiour communists. Red, red, RED. My blood that runs trough my body and veins is red. Red is the last color, in an everlasting bond, a victim and killer sees. It's synonymous with malaria too. Some like a crystal blue sky. Not me. I want it red. Like my eyes after I vomit for five hours puking out all sorts of neat red things. Ever see a woman with red lipstick or a red dress or red boots or shoes? Instant access to the huggable and fuckable legion. You think I am vulgar? So I'm flawed. Don't tell me people who wear red are unaware of such imaginations they foster! Red, ironically, means stop at a traffic signal. Red knows no boundaries fools! Red is vintage. It's decadent and sophisticated. It's warm. Rouge, rosso, red is about beauty. Red, so much to say and speak about but I must go now. I like you, in all your virtue and vice, red. Save me.


Larry King Interviews The Commentator

Larry King: "Good evening, we have a special guest tonight who comes all the way from Canada. Is it"?

Commentator: "Actually, I'm from a tiny little Kingdom called Quebec. Parle moi en ma langue maudit tabernak"!

King: "It says here on your profile that you're a friendly misanthropist. Isn't this a contradiction in terms"?

Commentator: "They told me you were swift in those suspenders but I didn't think you'd be this nippy. Yes, it's a contradiction. You see, I'm not terribly fond of people in general but I'm also quite friendly".

King: "So, you're socially but awkwardly well-adjusted"?

Commentator: "Why do you sit like that"?

King "Like what"?

Commentator: "All slanted. Do you go see a chiropractor? Why do young beautiful women always go after ugly octogenerians? It can't all be about prestige? Damn that troublesome Helen of Troy. Men are always going to war over stupid dingbat Victoria Secret girls".

King: "I'm not sure I follow".

Commentator: "That's because your reflexes have slowed. I'm not sure you're even awake. You actually allow a guy who pushes a skeleton around malls to manipulate your neck and spine"?

King: "Your blog is quite interesting. You have many opinions on many topics".

Commentator: "Except about the box industry. I have no opinion on them. I was thinking about writing a blog describing how useless many interviewers are. Even now you're not challenging me. Stop stating the obvious Dr. Phil. I can see the marionette strings from here".

King: "Are you degrading the journalism profession before 27 million Americans"?

Commentator: "There are 450 000 Canadians watching too. Let's not forget them. Hello to everyone in Saskatchewan! That name sounds like a monster in the woods or a cousin to a wookie. Are we cheap seal fur to you? As for humiliating your profession - you're doing fine by yourself. Who was that coont that interviewed Hussein? Great job on that file. Gag..."

King: "Well, did we not make him a monster"?

Commentator: "I think you're a monster. Look at my maple leaf tattoo".

King: "Nice...um, butt. Are you a patriot"?

Commentator: "There are no patriots in Canada. Nah, the tattoo is for Maple Leaf foods. I love their grain-fed chicken line. Dijon and herbs...."

King: "Those poor chickens. Do you not feel a little guilty"?

Commentator: "Larry, get a grip. It's a fucken' chicken. Can you tell if it's sad or angry? Like cows, they serve no practical purpose but to feed us. Besides, what would we do with all those sauces if we all became vegetarians? I worry about the sauce industry. Who speaks for them? Maybe Foghorn Leghorn".

King: "They don't need us. They are faceless corporations programming us to consume".

Commentator: "Ah bullshit, King. You have no problem cashing your big fat cheque right? We create the demand. Why are you barefoot? You remind me of Kent Brockman".

King: "Tell our audience a little about Cain-ada".

Commentator: "What's Cain-ada? Oh, you mean Ca-na-duh, eh"?

King: "Big country".

Commentator: "Too big. The caribou nation is mounting a revolution to claim the original Hudson's Bay territory. Everyone wants a piece of the action".

King: "Wealthy and compassionate".

Commentator: "Great googa mooga, shooga wooga"!

Please note: The writer is running out of ideas and is uncertain on how to end this plane wreck.

King: "Hmmm. Interesting. You say you hate people".

Commentator 'I did not say that. I said I am not fond of them. I hate you for misquoting me. For a guy who depends on the sharp wit of the word you sure think and act like a baboon".

King: "Let's take some calls. Jody in Baltimore. Go ahead..."

Caller: "Larry, never mind".

King 'Next caller. Habby al-Yemenattila. You're on Larry King Live"!

Caller: "The Commentator works for the CIA. His comments will create many,many,many,many bin Ladens".

Commentator: "Arthur is that you"?

King: "I once interviewed Burt Lancaster..."

Commentator: "Lancaster! Great balls slurper".

King: "And Liz Taylor."

Commentator: Taylor! Great balls slurper".

King: "Anyway..."

Commentator: "Larry, could you stop pretending? Just stop. Really, who are you fooling? Those cheap retro lights in the background are burning me. I should have brought suntan lotion".

King: "I think this is all we have time for. Stay tuned for Martha Stewart and her lemons"!

Commentator: "Yeah, her tits did taste a little sour".

King: "Listen you little twirp. I have had just about enou...."

Commentator: "That's it Larry. You want to remove those glasses for pseudo-intellectual effect".

King: "Cut this bastard cocksucker off".

Commentator: "Buy my t-shirts..."!

The end.


Punk Rock Contradictions

There are many ambiguous contradictions in humanity. There are too many variables to neatly pack into a single explanation or ideology. The human body itself remains a vast internal universe barely understood. If we can't comprehend ourselves internally how can we possibly expect to deal with ourselves externally?

How we behave is a source of many debates among various branches of science and philosophy. Many great minds have offered interesting opinions and theories yet we as a species remain a mystery. Some think this is just fine and others, such as scientists, will never cease, rightfully, to seek for answers. All philosophy is a reaction to things we do not know. Because humans are so diverse in their make-up, it is only natural we were bound to come up with many forms of ideologies and institutions (from the simple to the complex from the kooky to the legitimate).

It's what makes us advance and progress.

So, with this in mind, it always astounds me how people can be so self-righteous in their beliefs. They talk, write and sing as if they and they alone have the answers. Some may not be so arrogant but still feel their way is closer to the truth. Whatever and however one defines 'truth'.

Everyone has a 'take' on politics and history. Sports writers, celebrity talk show hosts, the local cross walk guard, vagabonds, whatever. All feel confident enough to make their thoughts known however idiotic it may sound. That is not to say some of it is not thoughtful. We would not want to censor anybody but when someone begins to quote Chomsky, Moore or some religious fundamentalist things can get, well, slightly askew.

Punk rock represents one of those bizarre human contradictions.

Life is not fair. It is often unequal and unjust. As such, the people who feel left out demand and begin to search for answers. Punk was a music movement that shattered any conventional taboos or stereo-types we may have held. All of a sudden bands like the New York Dolls were cross-dressing in the early 70s and Lou Reed was writing about gay hustlers in their respective social commentaries. Later, in the late 70s, punk began to refine its intellectualism, mixed in with some reggae, and turned its attention to politics and economics.

Many punk architects were intelligent poets and thinkers. They questioned all sorts of things about the flaws in humanity. They had their visions and beliefs as to why this was so. But like everything else, as they grow old, they grow wise and begin to realize that, well, their political and economic beliefs were either unworkable and just plain a tad to idealistic. Didn't Johnny Rotten recently dismiss socialism, so prevalent in punk, as foolish?

While the Sex Pistols and The Clash were genuine punkers, they remained largely on the outskirts of the mainstream. During the 80s, influential underground acts with polished socialist commentaries like The Minutemen were laying down the bricks for punk's foundation in the next decade.

By the time Nirvana came around under the guise of grunge in the 90s, punk was now mainstream. And with it came a lot of dough. One of the grievances, out of many, was the need for 'wealth distribution'. This is such a general term it is no wonder they could never offer a realistic way to achieve this (if it was at all possible which I don't think. The cold hard fact is that as long as their are lazy or dim witted people around, some will always trail. Socialism wants to even out the playing field by taking from the successful and giving it to the sloth. People who work don't like to be made fools of).

Of course, our whole ethos now is to lower the standards as much as possible, create an egalitarian world and pander to the lowest common denominator. We have empowered the lesser minds and decided to anti-trust the hell out of our creams of the crop. At some point, if it hasn't already, this will be detrimental to us. In a way, Burke's conservative assertion that democracy is limited in that you can't let the common man rule has some merit.

There is no doubt we need to govern against the excesses of our vices. The problem is that too often, the people who seek to protect us only serve to consolidate their own power base. Sure, unions, as an example, act and exist to protect their workers in principle, but in practice it's just another power grab. They function no different than their opponents at the table. When they don't get the vote they want from their members,they use any means necessary to get the result they seek....just like a politician.

The real travesty is that they hold many of their own back. While they fill their coffers they act anti-democratic. Of course, the same can be said of the corporation itself as Bakan argues in 'The Corporation'. While I disagree with what I interpret as pessimism in the institution, he does make valid points about the corporations Jeckyll and Hyde personality and how this can be detrimental to society at large.

Today, to get back on track, punks are rich millionaire socialists. Millionaire athletes, for their part, have no businsss holding out or banding into unions under the code banner 'associations.'

A friend of mine earns $150 000 a year. He worships and romanticizes men like Che (Crazy Ernie) without realizing that these are the same 'revolutionaries' who would take it all away from them. If they are afraid of Bush, imagine the treatment they'd receive in, say, oh I don't know, China or Cuba?

They claim freedom is being censored yet all we hear is their message. More importantly, we pay THEM to tell us about social injustice. While they talk a nice story, they pad their bank accounts. Then they wonder why no one listens to them. They have no credibility at the core and end of it all.

They hold and cling on to (as they have to) to oudtted political ideals. Green Day's 'American Idiot' track is a prime example of a cynical youth movement to afraid to be wrong or made fools of. They may not want to be an American idiot but the 'wealth distribution' they seek has been funneled into their pockets.

The famous ' widening gap' theory has proven to be elusive. While the West continues on its own questionable path of over consumption that may or may not prove damaging to our environment, the fact remains that many poorer countries are better off than they were prior, for example, to organizations like the IMF, World Bank and WTO. These organizations may be evil incarnate to the seed eater but what is the alternative? Prior to this, what was the recourse for poor nations? We had to start somewhere. No?

Activism has brought us here and now they seek to destroy it because they fear a 5000 year old concept like 'globalization?' If trade practices are to improve it won't happen by throwing rocks at world leaders. Pressure needs to be increased on the tyrannies who have the final say on their own peoples in the emerging world.

Much of what we have created has been achieved over time through trial and error. Thus far, this is the best we've got. We continue to explore ourselves as we move forward. Some of us are more ahead than others in our stage of enlightenment. We can't force poor countries where education remains inadequate to think like us. We need to engage them and figure out a way to narrow the gap of knowledge before we seek to narrow the gap in wages. In other words, getting to know ourselves internally and spiritually remains a work in progress.

I don't know if there will be a quantum leap into another dimension but I do know we need to destroy the culture of mediocrity. Start with all these superficial movements that only serve to hold back some at the expense of others.


Max: The Unemployed Insomniac

I haven't felt like writing much lately. Why is that whenever I see a person that resembles an Arab I immediately think they are experts in 'conspiracy theories'? They always feel so god dang persecuted. They even come here to escape the madness from whence they come and still find it in them to take us to court. To them, the West is a gigantic field day. 'Look, these morons uphold a piece of paper. Let's milk it. Let them bleed for us. Cut their hands if they ask for protection and freedom in our homeland!' Sweet deal for them.

I think kids today are our future. And from what I can discern, it don't look too good. I was driving and came up to a road where some skanky 14 year-old girls were playing basketball equipped, if you can believe it, with a pink basketball and net. Anyway, one of the little bitches did not budge thus forcing me to go around her! Once upon a time I remember my friends and I MOVING HOCKEY NETS to let cars pass since they had the right of way. We understood that technically we weren't allowed to play on the street so we didn't ruffle any feathers. With today's kids they hold you with contempt and arrogance. I should have pasted my windshiled with that cocky little....insert any word here.

I went bowling at 3am. Fricken fucking fricken bowling. If only mother knew. Everyone looks like Shane MacGowan at this time of night in this type of establishment. Except for this fellow insomniac chick I met. There's something sexy in broads who have the confidence in hitting an alley at this time of night. So it wasn't a complete loss. We ended up in a local 24 hr. deli until 6am. While most normal, stable and sane working stiffs were getting ready to clog traffic, we were heading back to our respective places to try and sleep. Suckers. They have it backwards.

Lately I have been bumping intoguys I grew up with in my old neighbourhood. Don't know what it is but it doesn't matter who it is (we all had different groups) we instantly share a bond. There was something special about our old 'hood. French or English. It doesn't matter. Nor does it matter what you have accomplished. You could be a mobster, lawyer and doctor the three of you will remember the days you played baseball together. In my case, it's getting a little creepy. No sooner than I think of one of them, I either meet them or someone close to them soon after. It's happened four times thus far. What do they call that? ESPN or something? ESP, I know, fuck off. The best example of this new found freakiness was when I was walking around Paris with my cousin. I don't know why I was thinking about it but I was. I wondered how cool it would be to meet someone from the 'hood in the hustle and bustle of Paris. BANG! It happens. I'll leave it at that.

Hmmm, Robert Crumb or Sir Thomas Mallory? Decisions, decisions....


Just Go Away

With the Nationals playing their first home opener, it is time for American writers to finally cork it. Montreal baseball fans have gone through enough. In the bizarre and twisted saga known as the Expos, the ultimate finale was death without dignity. The demise of the Expos is incredibly surreal. Now, as if this wasn't enough, American journalists are gleefully kicking a former partner while it's down.

The way the media in major U.S. media outlets have dealt with and portrayed this city and its fans has been nothing short of shocking in its apathy and sheer idiocy. What bemoans most fans is how little respect and courtesy they have been accorded.

Three decades of of blood, sweat and tears have been invested in Nos Amours and baseball execs and journalists have shown no class towards Montreal baseball fans. All scored cheap points when things were not so good here. They talk as if they didn't even bother to examine the situation and circumstances surrounding the Expos. It is not necessary to point out all the unfair jabs thrown towards this city by smart-alec radio hosts and other assortment of so-called baseball experts and fans. Yet, I can't help but mention a few.

Montreal is a city with a baseball heritage that stretches back 100 years. It was home to Jackie Robinson, where he was treated with respect as any human being demands.

Later, the city was justifiably accorded a MLB team and instantly the Expos were a hit. Jarry Park was a special place during a remarkable time in this city. Jarry was our Polo Grounds. The Expos eventually moved into the Big O but this did not remove the fascination Montrealers had with the Expos. It was home to hard luck competitive teams with colorful and talented players often overlooked by mainstream American outlets. Montreal had a great thing going. I know I was there.

Our summers were filled with baseball broadcasts in two languages by commentators who were every bit as good as any on the continent. Baseball was a part of the sports fabric and culture of this Province. The myth of Montreal being a one sport town was evident during those years. I know I was there and saw the diamonds packed. Val-de-ri, Val-de ra....still have no clue what the hell this means but man was it fun to chant when the Expos were clubbing the Mets or Phillies.

What about the attendance? The jokes thrown about are given by short sighted morons who only choose to understand snap shot history. Overall, our attendance figures, even with the mid-90s factored in, left us right about in the middle of the pack. Imagine fricken that.

I compare how MLB handled the Expos to a a parent abandoning a child in need. Montrealers, without a doubt, must accept some blame for the demise of Nos Amours, starting with the incompetent owners, but this does not excuse the behaviour of MLB.

Does Bud Selig et al (and I mean just about everyone over at ESPN and SI) REALIZE HOW MUCH LOVE,TIME AND MONEY Montrealers expunged into their ball team? Shouldn't this be discounted in the negative rhetoric about the Expos? I don't think it was too much to ask for them to measure their words and show some class.

Montreal lost its team. Washington, a failed baseball town, is now being treated as though it was natural choice all along. The fact that the Expos are being erased as but a mere hiccup was the last straw. MLB thinks they gained much but they last much more.

What makes a sport transcend itself is its soul. Its soul is an amalgamation of the energies given to it by its fans. The Expos were a part of this process.

I don't know if an outdoor downtown stadium would have saved this team. Though the idea of baseball in the heart of one of the coolest cities with an established baseball fan base in North America deserved serious support. Alas, everything was stacked against it - the business community and fans alike.

AN anti-business climate in the local media, pathetic squabbling Keystone owners and apathetic American journalists make a terrible recipe for creating an atmosphere for 81-game support.

One last note about the fans. They are not absolved in any of this. The last Expos home game was a narcissistic affair. 30 000 fans showed up with the lame 'Loria and Selig Sucks' signs yet I did not see anybody with a 'Montreal Fans' suck signs. Yes, the fans have had to deal with much (1994 murdered baseball in this town) but the fact is that the fans had a chance to support the club when it was in trouble. There were some Expo clubs that deserved it. But we turned our backs on them. End of story. We too should look in the mirror.

The Expos lived on their soul and history in the end. The mere fact that we drew a few thousand fans was a gigantic testament of our dedication to the Expos. If we were an American town, we would have been portrayed as an underdog. A feisty town that stood for something. In 1994, we saw the writing on the wall and baseball ignored us. So we turned our backs too. I will continue to enjoy baseball for its own sake. It does not begin and end with MLB for me. Here's to all of you who kicked us while we're down...use your imagination here.

With this I close by saying that the old saying 'if you don't have anything good to say don't say anything at all' is appropriate advice to anybody who can't shut it. Leave the Expos be and let us grieve in our own way.

Just go away and let us be.

Comment on Pop Society

"....I don't care who you are, where you've from or where you've been, what you are just as long as you love me..." So goes the lyrics (or to the affect of) of a pathetic love song from one of them tastelessly manufactured 'boy bands'.

How silly. What if the girl you love has a deranged past? Maybe she did porn. Lotsa of it. While educators, to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS are asking you to choose your partners carefully by asking questions, this song is telling you to act like a heathen and a hedonist. What if she is a mole for a terrorist group? You should care. Or at the very least, inquire about it.

Then they wonder naively "why and how could she do this to me?" when things don't turn out so good. Yeah well, you shoulda checked in to find out that she was emotionally unstable to begin with. Like one of the lines in the old Warren Zevon song 'Lawyers, Gun and Money' says "Well I went home with a waitress the way I always do. How was I supposed to know she was with the Russians too...?"

That's the point. You should always be on your toes. Dummy. Because, like an irresponsible boob, you end up asking, in different forms, variations and capacities, dad to send, well, lawyers, guns and money.


New Writer for The Commentator!

Every once in a while, The Commentator likes to invite someone to write on his blog. Today, in what I hope will turn into a regular contribution, I introduce Billy Lee Evermore. Please, we look forward to your comments!

my tinkins

by billy lee evermore

ain'ts nuttin' like huntin' fir dinna in mi bak yard. Allso to-tay, me an annie lee bagged us a cupple ov birdies, pijjuns i tink, to eet. boy, r de yung'uns gunna like dis. also we wents to walmart and saw kolured pipple. all dose leftie commies. brandine wend owt an gots 'erself a pipe. she says it can cum in handee an be used for plesures. also i dunno wats left of dis gret americin town. wat also wit all dem chinks niggers jewries arown. also menchen dem catolic irish scum an dago i-talians an faggits. also dat garbij a-rab mooslem trash also. we reddy fir dem if dey pose trubble. i cants wate to git bak to my tidins an go kiss dem gurlies off de side ov de rode. dey lookin' fir sum guud luvin' also. jesse an bo hav dere milisha meetin toonite also. we gonnuh git dem yankees 1 day. marks dese wirds. writin is fir sissies dis dont do a god dang guud also. my teet r yello.

Hope you enjoyed this unedited version of his thoughts! Welcome aboard Billy Lee with your unique perspectives on life.

The Vast Center-Wing Conspiracy

I picked up a book called 'The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy' by Byron York who writes for the 'National Review'.

From my perspective (before, during and after the elections), the biggest problem with the Democrats was twofold. One, it wallowed in a culture of self-defeatism and two they simply nominated the wrong candidate to take on Bush. It was clear that the Republicans were organized and unified while the Democrats operated like a Middle-Eastern caucus. That is, it was fractured in its many factions and no middle voice was around to bring it together into a cohesive unit. Or, if you prefer, it resembled the frat house on 'Animal House'.

What took the right 50 years to build the left is trying to do in but a mere few years which explains why they sounded so out of tune with anything remotely sane and sober. There seems to be a prevailing attitude in leftist circles that they have to trade punches with the hyperbole's that come from the right. If this is so, then what we have are two sides that shout without accomplishing much. Assume the left does succeed in winning in 2008, do the ends justify the means? Will they not be cut from the same cloth as the people they seek to defeat?

Looking beyond this, however, they do bring with them some issues that Americans will need to confront in the upcoming years. For example, the use of private security firms can indeed threaten democracy. And yes, companies like Haliburton do benefit from it. Nonetheless, while the left portrays this as a vast conspiracy, the problem is in fact wider in scope as many Western companies engage with PSF's these days. Never mind that no laws have been broken.

There is a left-wing movement and this can't be anything but healthy for American democracy. The last thing Americans need to do is suppress it. Only good can come from this. Democrats need to look less at Bush and concentrate on what they need to do. They need to resonate with moderate minds. They would benefit, however, by doing this slowly and legitimately. There's no need to resort to hyperbolic shrills. Sending defective nano-robotic celebrity spokespeople is not a solution but part of the problem.

But that's just me.

Coincidentally, Canada as a nation needs to focus less on pointing out American blemishes and comparing themselves to America and focus more on what we need to do to improve our struggling democracy.

While I mostly (if not always) disagree with men like Soros, Pedesta, Franken, Moveon.org, The Left Coast and other assortments of modern leftism, to much concentration of power on side of the ideological coin is not necessarily always good. While it may bring more stability in governance it discourages (if not censor outright) freedom of speech and expression. They will discover that things are not as simplistic as they painted in their failed attempts to defeat Bush.

People will disagree. But the real winner is democracy. Canada could learn a thing or two on this front from its cousin. It helps to keep things balanced. Perhaps one day we will be more balanced and speak of only a center-wing conspiracy.

Aw shucks, who am I kidding?


Max: I am Not a Role Model for the Unemployed

My brother-in-law asked me if my nephew could take me to show and tell. The future of the world if we let this species grow and lead to societal collapse. I told him I was busy playing play station. I can just picture me in front of the future. "What do you have to do to be unemployed?" "Well, good question. First you need the right conditions. A mediocre society with a nanny-state is a good start. Then, you go to University where you learn to believe you're too smart for everybody. Then, you begin too realize you're not that smart and begin to take jobs that are outside your field. Then, you become jaded and disillusioned like an Arab. Then, you begin to come up with all sorts of excuses and then...." By the way, that's not me I'm describing.

I bought a pair of jeans today. Nothing like a pair of new denim slacks. It makes you feel renewed and desireable. Until you wear them a couple of times and then they become like you're wearing GWG's late at night in the subway. GWG's, I remember when Wayne Gretzky endorsed them. Anyway, they are my jeans and no one can ever take them away from me.

Some smart-alec moronic jackass who injests or smokes toxic wheat asked me if I am aim to be another 'American Splendour' type. I told him, in front of his dumb-looking wife (who was definitely worth considering if you know what I mean) to take his hand and gently apply it on his tiny little pipi and pinch hard. I am nothing like that guy. For starters, I think he's from Cleveland....yeesh.

Never fails. Whenever I'm in line at a cash it never ever never goes smoothly. The person in front of me ALWAYS has a question that ultimately leads to the cashier leaving her post for a few minutes. What can possibly be so complex about a can of beans? The 'Problem Factor' always seems to follow the same circle of people. When I was a teller way, way back, it was always the same dang clients with problems. Makes you wonder about them. If it's not lost cheques, it's their printing book and so on. Dumbasses all of them. I remember one time when a client came in asking to cash a cheque that was 2 years old. We told him that cheques were valid for six months. Never mind that he was holding up the line but answered "Oh. Ok. Can you still do it?" Actually, come to think of it. My next segment will be devoted to all stories I encountered as a teller. Some were keepers. STAY TUNED.

I saw a buddy of mine today. He carries so many degrees it's enough to puke. Anyway, we recalled a time when we worked the midnight shift at Toys 'R' Us. For University BOYS it was a dream. Guys, it was everything you could imagine and then some. We regret never getting some girls in there. Bah. One time, we went into the huge Barbie display and decided to either lower their tops or lift their skirts. In some boxes we put Ken in a position as if he was eating Barbie. Literally, we spent an hour doing this. The whole process had us giggling. The University system was not in good hands. When we showed my other buddies (we were four boyhood friends) we could not stop laughing. When the manager saw this he, at first laughed, and then flipped. Our penalty, after we fixed the display, was to stay an extra hour. Which meant until 10am. In other words, guys dressed for the midnight shift (and boy were we dressed like we did not belong among any society past or present) roamed the store floor amongst the customers. Turns out the big boys from head office flew in for a surprise visit. My friend came running like a madman, slipping and sliding with his tuque half off like he belonged in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', screaming in front of clients 'The fricken BARBIES!?!?" We ran to the display but it was too late. No one has a sense of humour anymore.

I'm tired. It was another sleepless night. I simply could not find anything to do. It was painful ths time. I did not feel like hitting the streets like Travis Bick. So, I watched three straight episodes of The A-Team. Now that's good viewing. I also wathched an episode of Magnum. It's 2005 by the way. You know, what I don't get is the following scene. Rick runs onto the street with a semi-automatic machine gun, remember he is a CIVILIAN, shoots and KILLS someone (to save Higgins) and everyone acts like he has nothing to worry about. Shouldn't he like, run? Yeah, he saved someone but what is he doing running several blocks with a violent weapon? Try that on the politically correct loser crowd these days. Them and thier naive views on guns. These are the sorta things that keep me up at night. Maybe I'll call a chat line next time and see what that's like. "Hello, I'm Art Vandelay and I'm an architecht..."


The Gomery Inquiry

There is no other way to describe this scandal but as a national shame. It is all too easy to scoff it off by assuaging this fact by concluding all politicians are corrupt and that corruption is the norm rather than the exception. Indeed, corruption is as natural to humanity as is integrity.

Corruption tends to exist in places where lack of government transparency, high concentration of power and large amounts of public capital are involved in large projects. It also feeds off a credulous public and where an 'old boys' network exists. Certainly, Canada does meet the above criteria. Canada is a country built on patronage and nepotism.

On the other hand, Canada is far from being a Middle-East kleptocracy where honesty in governance is not even a word.

Corruption is a parasitical vice that enjoys non-democratic societies where the rule of law is absent. Canada is a stable, advanced and civilized democracy with a functioning political culture. Nonetheless, it is something that needs to be curtailed. The general public, like crime, will usually tolerate acceptable levels of corruption. Left unchecked, corruption can undermine the political process as well as affect the economy. It basically is regressive though profitable for the few. The rest of society is stuck paying for it - because nothing in life comes for free.

When examining or discussing corruption it becomes apparent how subjective and elusive a vice it really is. Transparency International is an organization that aims to fight corruption on a global scale and publishes the 'Corruption Perception Index'. In this list, which is highly debated for its subjective nature, Canada ranked 12th in 2004. By comparison the United States ranked 17th.

Another report called the 'International Global Corruption Barometer' reveals that most people conducted, one global trend is clear - that people are increasingly holding political parties, transmitters of democratic ideals, accountable and are increasingly demanding that parties regain the public trust. Governments need to become more accountable and heed the wishes of their constituents.

The purpose here is not to discuss the human condition regarding corruption. The point is to remind that in the end, the Liberal Party of Canada betrayed its citizens. On the other hand, we willingly turned a blind eye to an affair that was decorated with familiar political briberies and mob ties.

They did not use private funds to create this scheme but public funds. They used our money, through high taxes, to financially better themselves and those around them. All at OUR expense. This should not be met with a shrug but outrage. $250 million wasted. Just like that. Money that could have been allocated elsewhere. Places that are in dire need of funding. Think health care, education, the military and athletics. How about the growing concern of autism where families are increasingly asking the government to help them out?

The Gomery inquiry has also let out apologists and virtuous pagans who will espouse their virtues at the expense of the scandal. Separatists will rationalize this as just yet another example of Ontario based corruption.

While the Parti Quebecois pointed out that the scandal was hatched in Ottawa, they won't say that the players were Quebecers. To listen to them sing the tune of the gentile incorruptible alouette has no merit. Quebec wrote the book on corruption. Anybody with an honest and remedial knowledge of Montreal history will acknowledge this to be a reality of affairs.

Typical political games.

Still, they should be careful trying to paint themselves as the democratic underdog and virtuous 'petit peuple'. Being within Canada gives them some cover and leverage whenever something like this happens. It's the perfect recipe for finger pointing. Leave Confederation and have real brut power where your actions are scrutinized and you'll be exposed as no different than the enemy you chose to degrade.

As for the Liberals themselves, they are doing what is all the rage these days. That is, they are playing the victim. Accountability is a precious commodity that is dwindling. The Liberals need to recognize that they annoy decent citizens when they fail to simply take full responsibility without any buts or ifs. Prime Minister Paul Martin deserves credit for calling the inquiry but he needs to go further. He needs to lead. He needs to establish trust and credibility. No doubt, this is what the Liberals will do and I fear this may just be enough to get them back into power. Power they abused and do not deserve any longer.

In a land rich in mineral deposits and ironies as well as oil patches and contradictions the Gomery inquiry does one thing: it knocks Canada off its Ivory Tower. We should use this to strengthen the values we claim to have and enforce them. Rather than smugly point out the blemishes of other nations, we should take this chance to better ours.

Canadians should stop depending on government and begin to depend on themselves a little.

Canadian Coalition for Democracies Article

Here's an article that may be of interest to some. The CCD is a grass roots reaction to the direction the Liberals have taken democracy in this country during their reign.



Mellencamp: A Permanent Soundtrack

John Cougar Mellencamp: A Permanent Soundtrack

When I was 10 years old, my mother gave me $2 to buy my first record. It was 1982 and it was a coming of age of sorts. I immediately asked my sister, 8 years my senior, which artist I should buy and she, with much disinterest I might add as she read a book, suggested 'Hurts so Good.' The rest is history. I became a music fan that day.

Since then my interest in musical genres is wide in scope. I've come a long way since my innocent and ignorant years. My journey has taken me from rock to jazz in all its forms, blues and gospel in all their own styles, classical musical in all its rich complex history, bluegrass, country, folk, punk, metal, new wave, indie rock and all the in-between genres like naive rock and minimalist funk. Watching all these forms cross one another throughout music history has been an interesting hobby that has rarely left me dissatisfied. Musicians are always testing new grounds and I welcome this. Of course, I do have my personal favorites too numerous to mention here.

John Cougar Mellencamp, however, stands out for a couple of reasons. I became, in spirit, his de facto spokesperson in Montreal. I still own every single one of my 45s. Another reason was because, gulp, I got my first kiss from an older gal while listening to 'Lonely 'ol Night'. I was 13 she was a 14 year-old French-Italian-Canadian. Growl.

Yet another reason came about during his 'Lonesome Jubilee' tour in 1987. I was 15 years old. My cousin managed to remarkably get us (my brother and two buddies) front row seats. During the night, Mellencamp's wife at the time noticed that my brother and I knew every word to every song. At one point, one of his roadies passed by and picked up my 12 year-old brother and hurled him on stage. There he was, scrawny little kid performing 'Pink Houses' alongside John Cougar fricken Mellencamp before 20 000 fans'.

The night reached its zenith when we got to briefly meet Mellencamp. We took pictures and exchanged addresses. True to their heartland America word they sent us the pictures with a note. Needless to say, at such a young age the whole episode left an impression. When you're young, it is much easier to have a musician have an impact on you as your experiences are obviously limited. In this light, rock stars seemed so gigantic in their cool progressiveness.

As you grow, you move on, see different things. Date different funky and eccentric girls. Time and ho you allot it becomes constrained. I would go weeks without listening to a Mellencamp song as I was busy reading or listening to a new singer or band. I took every chance to expand my repertoire and knowledge. But Mellencamp never strayed too far off. I still get the same rush as I always have listening to "Pink Houses" or "Minutes to Memories."

Many people I know are well aware of my history with Mellencamp and so they ask, which album do consider to be his best? Or yet, I prefer? I can't speak for him, though I know he has gone on record saying he felt that the excessively melancholy 'Human Wheels' was his best record and that 'Big Daddy' was under appreciated. Both were fine albums. I know critics bashed 'Dance Naked' but I felt that was undeserved. In any event, it boils down to two albums 'Scarecrow' and 'Lonsome Jubilee'.

I'm not sure when the comparisons to Springsteen came about though I would have to surmise and guess it was around 'Scarecrow' in 1985. Mellencamp does not possess the poetic abilities of Springsteen, but he manages nevertheless to get his story across quite poignantly and with substance.

Arguably his best two works, Mellencamp explored the same issues Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan and Springsteen wrote about. Namely, through his blue-collar image, the crumbling American dream, working class challenges, social inequities, lost innocence, growing up, dead-end life and the plight of farmers. Come to think of it the implied yeomen virtue in all their music would make Thomas Jefferson proud. I've seen blogs chastise Mellencamp (and Springsteen for that matter) for his political positions. One does not have to agree with him. However, once should never question his patriotism and love for America. His music is crystal clear about this. It's just that it's not blind.

I have always flip-flopped between the two albums. I like them both equally. Musically and lyrically, one would have to conclude that 'Lonesome Jubilee was his best. He was one of the first musicians in the mainstream to use traditional instruments 'played without politeness' as he put it. The themes explored were wide in scope and everyone, once they reach that reflective age, will make 'Cherry Bomb' their own personal anthems.

Indeed, '17 has turned 35.' Time flies. It's amazing that I can put on a Cougar tune and still feel the shivers as I did the first time I ever put the needle to my first 45. Music is funny that way. It just knows how to hit the right inner chords.

Hey John, if you're reading this, thanks.


Glory True

Giddily I hop and skip. It's a glorious day. Even though it is raining Ty tells us on the short-wave Command-B-Censure radio it's beautiful outside. Who are we to argue?

I pass by a beggar. I feel dizzy. Why are there beggars? One of Ty's peaceful representatives comes to help me along. I am told it was nothing and that the Tyism is fair and just.

Later, on this glorious day, Ty speak to us from his desk to tell us about the big, bad enemies at the gate. They want to steal our share of the sun and blue sky. Soot covers their skin and we must never let them in. I turn and find one of their magazines being sold. Once again I shake my head. Something is not right. The magazine was an illusion. Yes, that's it.

Further along the road, a magician is playing card tricks. A bear speaks to me. A caribou is running against the herd. Nothing seems real. Why is everything in constant perpetual uniformity? People speak but are not saying anything. What is happening to my glorious day?

I go to ask for protection but the lady at the counter says there is no help available. Why is it raining? Because it's glorious someone tells me. What does that mean?

I look to Ty for guidance, but he is nowhere to be found. Nowhereman is he? He only appears to think me up. Anti-illusion serum is offered. But I run away.

Suddenly I'm in a hallway. Ty! I shall find him here. Lord, the rhetoric and beauty of these walls. They overwhelm. I cry and sing for my glorious day. I slowly walk, unsure and fearful of a truth I may encounter. Men are sweeping everywhere. Red layers and layers and layers and layers that seem endless hold me back. Papers are shuffled back and forth. Diplomas are hanging with broken frames on the walls. It's a real kaleidoscope of pure nonsense. Heads are down. People show no imagined soul. Nothing seems to move forward. Stacks of misplaced money are piled. Why is there a tailor making pockets nearby?

I look outside as the day gets darker. No one is wearing pants. There are many doors with titles. None are actual. I find a door that opens. I look in. It is Ty.

H-he's is a cardboard? He stares back blankly. His eyes. Those eyes! These eyes! Empty. Once filled. The howls are loud. They are laughing at me. Who is the fool? I have found the heart of mediocrity and peace of mind. I close the door.

I feel free. Free to lead myself. I make my way out. I have to tell my friends. I must convince them.

After all, it is a glorious day.

Tsk, tsk, tsk: The Adscam scandal

Normally, all this tiring hoopla wouldn't sweep me up, but there's an interesting tale and lesson about Canada's recently advertised public vices. The more we stress our virtues, it seems, the more our vices show.

Corruption has always been a part of Canada - Quebec has had its disproportionate fair share. Call it a character flaw.

The Gomery Commission is fast becoming THE inquiry of our times poised to expose Canada's rot once and for all. The sooner we do this, the quicker we can (I hope) emerge from our delusions and the faster we can actually fix and build a stronger Canada.

With Jean Brault taking the stand, much will be revealed. Not that it would matter to some Canadians as they would probably still vote the bums back in (Canadians have become way too indifferent to Canadian democratic principles. By packaging their political duty into a "nothing will change" attitude, Canadians, in effect, have abandoned their believe that they can be part of the democratic process), are banned from hearing his testimony.

Naturally, we have to get our freedom cues from American sources - American blogs that is. I still talk to people, if you can believe after all this, who continues to triumphantly bash the Yankees without blushing.

The lesson, and this is just an instinctive observation based on my studies and readings of Canadian affairs, is that Canada unwittingly, rhetorically and distastefully took advantage of 9/11 to glamourize its supposed better values. It was the perfect springboard to stroke our own fragile egos at the expense of a friend.

As for anti-Americanism. Here's a story I read in today's National Post. A goalie in Manitoba quit his hockey team because of death threats he received from a gang of bored boobs who smoked toxic wheat and took one too many high sticks to the head. The threat goes something along the lines of "you (expletive) American. Get out of here or we'll kill you."

You can dismiss this an isolated case and perhaps it is. You can also rationalize the behaviour by saying these kids have bigger issues than being anti-American. But what it does reveal is that anti-Americanism does have, however insignificant, a negative effect.

This is why, when you read things like this, people like Carolyn Parrish is irresponsible jack asses that should not be representing this country. It's not an exercise in freedom of speech but in stupidity. I'm sure the good people of Winnipeg will make this one right. I wishfully hope.


Thought of the Day

Successful millionaires that benefit from freedom who wear Che t-shirts or are part of a union live life in a perpetual state of oxymoronic absurdity.

Max: Without a Paid Job. Now Just a Statistic

So, here's the thing. My luck is terrible. Just terrible. Terrible. I'm one of those guys that goes to a counter, any counter, and the salesman says "Ooo, cheez, we just sold our last one to that guy. Sorry" or "Sorry, hon, we just ran out of filet mignon in dijon mustard sauce a few seconds ago." Maybe if you would have been here sooner....Story of my life. My timing sensibilities are completely out of whack with the universe. Everywhere I go it's "we just filled the position" and "we would have loved to publish your stuff but just hired someone. They are shittier but we're committed." No one is committed to dear old Max. No one owes me nothing but a break would be nice. They say you make your own luck. How the fuck do you do that?

I was at Zeller's, Target, Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire whatever. I'm not sure. I was in those places, by the way I love corporations, if anything because it pisses off Marxist-Leninist professors and their patchy bearded, sandal wearing good for nothing patsy students. Anyway, I was buying packs of Swiffer. I sank. I walked along the long, long store promenade bamboozled by the utter desperate reality of my life. No job and armed with Swiffer's. "What the fuck is this? This is not a life!" I murmured...I think loudly. Some welfare moron at the cash was asking the cashier to verify the price of every fucken item he was buying. He and his putz son and ugly wife were pinching all the wrong parts of my skin. They were discussing which items to keep and put back. Right there! Of course, none of us have the guts to say anything as the line is getting longer and, naturally, one cashier. Finally, something twitched inside of me. It was when the idiot wanted to pay part of the bill with a certificate from 1998. More time wasted. With my Swiffer in hand I pound the counter without saying anything. I reached the cashier with a disturbed grin lost in my absurdist state.

That was it. Maybe I lost my nerves seeing that I have not slept in five days. That will be the subject of my next note.