"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A new spiritual hero of the moment

Dr. Strangelove has long been one of my favorite films and I always like Sterling Hayden as Gen. Jack T. Ripper, but there was a lot more to Hayden than I ever suspected.

Driftglass posted a few bit of an amazing conversation between Tom Snyder and Sterling Hayden and it piqued my interest in a guy I've always thought was a good actor. I looked into his biography and damn, what an interesting guy. He ran away to the sea at 15, sailed and eventually skippered square-riggers and eventually ended up in Hollywood before the war, joined the marines and ended up running guns into Yugoslavia with the OSS in the war, joined and quit the commmunist party, named names for McCarthy and considers it the most shameful thing he ever did, became both a writer and fan of marijuana late in life. Say what you like about him, the guy was definitely an original. Having listened to these interviews, I now have a fantasy of traveling across the United States in Hayden's train car with him, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, Ruth Gordon, Ingrid Bergman, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Thomas Pynchon, Hunter Thompson and a couple of cases of good scotch.

Check out the first series of interviews on the Tomorrow Show here, the second one here and the third one here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not for sissies

Everyone likes to think that their favorite sport is the most demanding and produces the best athletes, but for the ultimate combination of physical conditioning, strength, skill and courage, I challenge anyone to top the hockey player.
Sure, soccer players can run full tilt for 90 minutes and need great skill to handle the ball. Yes, football linebackers are strong as bulls and can sprint like a deer. I know, I know -- hitting a curve ball is one of the most difficult things there is. NHL goalies do their best to hit a fast curveball with their bodies about 30 times a game. And while they may be in good shape, I have no time for the boohooing and theatrics of soccer players who bump into each other, or occasionally collide mid-air. And don't talk to me about the long term wear and tear on the bodies of the armoured behemoths in the front lines of the NFL, how often to they get hit with a stick by someone going in excess of 30 kph?. You want tough? Meet the Montreal Canadiens' Travis Moen.

Moen took a skate blade in the face on Monday night, resulting in between 40 and 50 stitches, but, as the Montreal Gazette tells us: "Moen had hoped to play in Wednesday’s game in Buffalo, but doctors didn’t want his injury subjected to the altitude pressures of flying. It was just the sixth game the durable forward had missed in his past 320 in Montreal, San Jose and Anaheim."

As Moen himself said in the article (emphasis mine): “I was unlucky to get hit, but lucky that it missed the eye – fortunate enough that nothing serious happened. I was fortunate that (the skate) missed my eye and I just got some stitches. I’m definitely happy that was the outcome.”

Rugby players take a pounding. Marathon runners have incredible endurance. Driving Nascar or Formula  One cars means knowing that if someone else makes a mistake you could end up trapped in a pile of burning, twisted metal. I acknowledge all that. I'll go one better and specify that all athletic endevours carry some risk of catastrophic injury- think of Joe Thiesman getting his leg snapped or Jessica Dube nearly getting her nose cut off in a figure skating accident. But name me one other sport where getting 50 stitches in the face is just another day at the office.
Moen is fully expected to be back on the ice tonight.

In the words of Warren Zevon: "Take care of your teeth, that might work for you, but what's a Canadian farm boy to do?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Glass houses, petards and Brownshirt Annie


"Free speech in Canada leaves much to be desired" Ann Coulter after event cancellation

Shorter Ann Coulter: "boo hoo, Canadians are mean and stupid and won't let me talk shit to them, that's why I'm glad there's a National Post."


"They're always accusing us of repressing their speech," she said. "I say let's do it. Let's repress them."
She later added, "Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment."

(Hat tip to Dr. Dawg)

While I think pulling a fire alarm for any reason other than a fire is criminal, what Coulter does is not so far from shouting "fire" in crowded theatre.  What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, Ann, turnabout being fair play and all that. And you guys, please stop staring at her Adam's apple! (warning: Links something that is so very, very wrong and NSFW)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Censorship or the Free Market speaking?

As much as I dislike Ann Coulter, I do respect her right to say just about any stupid thing that comes into the space between her ears. I don't think the University of Ottawa should have invited her in the first place, but I'm not sure how I feel about her speech having to be cancelled due to "security concerns."
I'd rather have seen her be allowed to speak, and then roundly booed and mocked by those in attendance.
One thing is for certain though, and that is that she, and Ezra Levant and the rest of the para-fascist shriekosphere will be milking this for all it is worth.

Run over by the Mack truck of history

I'm puzzled as to how Canadian Immigration Authorities can justify allowing a hatemonger like Ann Coulter into the country while barring British MP George Galloway, scholar and former radical  William Ayers and trying to keep out journalists who might say mean things about the big burning stick festival in Vancouver.

But then, I suppose such people are not going to bring teh laffs like Brownshirt Annie:

During the Q & A a 17 year old female Muslim student quoted Ann Coulter's statement encouraging 1) the US to invade the Islamic nations, kill their leaders and convert their citizens to Christianity; and 2) for Muslims to be banned from airplanes, and that if they need to fly they should take their magic carpets. The girl asked if 1) she should be forced to convert, and 2) given that she doesn't have a magic carpet, what should she do if she needs to fly somewhere. Coulter didn't much address the first question, but addressed the second one by telling her to take a camel! (not that camels fly but, you get the drift).

Laugh? Ha, I almost started!

Stay KKKlassy conservatives!

Ann was introduced in London by fellow wingnut trougher and longtime media whore Ezra Levant. And apparently Kathy "12 feet of nasty packed in a five foot box" Shaidle was also there to try to claw her way onto the gravy train and spreading her usual sunshine.

What these half-bright hate peddlars and their "moran" fans fail to realize is that history has completely passed them by. They and their morally and intellectually bankrupt ideology are flavor-of-the-moment relics from the last decade and anyone with any sense at all has long since moved on. All their outrageous statements and publicity stunts aimed at getting them back in the limelight will fail, because after 20 years of their screaming "wolf" and predicting doom if they weren't given the keys to the kingdom even conservatives are now realizing they've been had.

And speaking of cheap and obvious publicity stunts, apparently Coulter is planning to launch a complaint with the Human Rights Commission over a letter she received prior to speaking at the Univeristy of Ottawa.

"...a senior University of Ottawa administrator has warned her to use "restraint, respect and consideration" when speaking at the school.
Francois Houle, vice-president academic and provost, advised Coulter, who holds a law degree, to review Canada's hate speech and defamation laws before giving her talk at the university.
In an e-mail sent to Coulter on Friday, a copy of which has been obtained by the National Post, Houle wrote: "Our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or "free speech") in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States. I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here."

He continued: "Promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges."

After also mentioning defamation law, the provost wrote: "I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind."
Shorter: "We both know you like to shoot your mouth off and we have laws against hate speech up here, and every liberal in the country will be waiting to pounce, so please don't drag the univerisity into a lawsuit by saying something actionable, mmmkay?"

And Coulter's response?

"Now that the provost has instructed me on the criminal speech laws he apparently believes I have a proclivity (to break), despite knowing nothing about my speech, I see that he is guilty of promoting hatred against an identifiable group: conservatives," Coulter wrote in an e-mail to the Ottawa Citizen Monday...

Shorter: "You Canuckistani socialists aren't the boss of me! I'll say whatever hateful thing I want!"

Obviously, Ezra has had a word with Ann about the publicity value to be had in getting to speak in front of the Human Rights Commission, no matter how obviously stupid your case, something he has considerable experience with.

Seriously, there ought to some kind of fine levied for wasting the commission's time with this kind of bullshit.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More movie goodness

This week's feature by the Glorious People's Cinema Project in Second Life
Music from 6 pm, movie from about 7 pm SLT/Pacific Daylight Savings time

One for all, and all for one

If you look up "swashbucker" in an online dictionary, this is the movie they should link to. Queens, kings, cardinals, rogues, duels, damsels in distress, derring-do, intrigue, action, comedy - Michael York, Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Christopher Frickin' Lee as the greatest bad guy ever, Raquel Welch and Faye Dunaway at the peak of their gorgeousness --Spike Milligan for cryin' out loud --  and a screenplay by George MacDonald Fraser of "Flashman" fame. All directed by Richard "Hard Day's Night, Help, How I Won The War, Robin & Marian, Superman" Lester. It's possible that this is not the greatest movie ever made, but what more could you possibly ask for?

And the Alexandre Dumas catchphrase that sums up my philosophy of friendship and civic duty and probably got me started down the path to being the proud commie pinko I am today.

For the impatient, the fight with the Cardinal's Guards about 13 minutes in is the something I could watch again and again and again, and have.

Press play, press pause and then go make yourself some popcorn while the buffer fills.

and the second half - The Four Musketeers.

and there goes your Sunday afternoon. You're welcome.