Thursday, September 27, 2007

Memo to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas...

...When you fuck with a classic, like replacing guns with walkie-talkies, turning an unfinished opus by Stanley Kubrick into a sappy, sentimental kitzsch-fest, making Greedo shoot first or making Darth Vader C-3P0's builder, or making another Indiana Jones movie, you know what happens?

KARMA, bitches!

Therefore, here follows the spoilers about Indiana Jones IV that they don't want you to read:

Director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas made the entire cast and crew of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" sign nondisclosure agreements. But Tyler Nelson - cast as a "dancing Russian soldier" - gave an interview to his hometown newspaper, the Edmond Sun in Oklahoma, in which he revealed that:

* Indy, played once again by Harrison Ford, and the Soviet army are both searching for a priceless skull made of crystal in the jungles of South America.

* The Russians take Indy hostage and then blackmail him by threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son, Marion Ravenwood, portrayed by Karen Allen. Cast as the son is Shia LaBeouf.

* Cate Blanchett plays an evil Russian who grills Indy. "I saw Harrison Ford strapped to a chair and being interrogated," Nelson told the paper.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Unreasonable accommodations…

So today, September 20th is “in the city without a car” day, meaning that the downtown core was closed to vehicle traffic…which itself therefore means that the city of Montreal is doing what it does best: putting on a grandiose and poorly thought-out gesture that in the long run does more harm than good.

Organizers will talk about the reduced carbon footprint that the “day” (actually from 9:30 to 3:30) will have, but in truth the downtown core between De Maisonneuve and Dorchester (renamed after the separatist traitor to Canada to Rene Levesque) and from McGill to St Urbain will be the only area closed to traffic. Cars will actually be diverted to the surrounding streets.

This means an increase of traffic on those surrounding streets, major traffic slowdowns, more cars idling and producing exhaust as they inch along towards their destination. This actually means an overall INCREASE in the carbon footprint put out by the city today.

Likewise, by “encouraging” people to leave their cars at home, all the city is doing is forcing more people into an already overcrowded, overworked public transit system. There are already not enough busses on the road or trains on the metro line. Any morning the busses are packed beyond standing room, oftentimes not even making their stops because they’re too full to take on passengers. The metro system is just as overtaxed, overcrowded and unreliable. Add to that the fact that McGill Metro is falling apart, the transit workers driving the busses, metros and working the ticket windows are disgruntled and performing union-mandated pressure tactics because they aren’t happy at the obscenely ridiculous deal they’re getting from the STM and what you get is an absolute nightmare of a day.

Generally, this stupid project will do nothing more than inconvenience everyone and produce even more greenhouse emissions than it’s supposed to reduce.

That’s rant number one.

Rant number two is about the ongoing commission here in Queerbeck about “reasonable accommodation”.

The backstory behind this is that there is a racist little town in this racist little province that sent a letter to Muslim immigrants telling them they weren’t allowed to behead their women in Quebec. This touched off a huge controversy and debate about the level of ignorance and bigotry in Quebec, and what is considered reasonable accommodation in the province; IE should observant Muslim women be allowed to weir the veil, etc.

The thing is there is no reasonable accommodation in Quebec, because it is ingrained in the mentality of the French majority in this province that they are an endangered species. They are especially intolerant of the English speaking community in Quebec, particularly Jews and any English immigrants. Anything foreign in this province is seen as a threat; veiled Muslim women, turban-wearing Sikh men, Buddhists in traditional robes. Anything non-French is decried…not a day goes by when I don’t see “Quebec En Francais” stickers plastering walls, mail boxes, phone booths and any other available surface. This morning as I walked to the bus stop I counted several examples of crudely-drawn anti-Semitic, anti-Black, anti-Immigrant hate literature jammed into billboards and taped onto junction boxes.

This is not a province of diversity or tolerance. Recently, former premier, avowed separatist and unabashed racist Bernard Landry boasted that Quebec was not and never would be multicultural.

There is an ongoing effort of ethnic cleansing by attrition in the province…English place names are erased by the Orwellian “Commission de la Toponymie”; English schools are being systematically closed; Jewish synagogues and cemeteries are constantly vandalized and English-speaking citizens are continually harassed and berated for daring to speak English in public. There is a culture of bigotry, racism and xenophobia in this province…the commission on reasonable accommodation is nothing more than lip-service, a false and outright insincere attempt to make “les autres” feel at home in a province where the only thing that matters is being White and speaking French.

If Quebec cannot even accept its English speaking citizens, who have been here for hundreds of years and whose history is as rich and as old as the French history, what hope do minority immigrants from other countries have of ever feeling at home in this province?

Monday, September 10, 2007

A long-awaited update...'s been forever since I've filed an update...sorry.

However, last month we landed the opportunity to move out of our rattrap shithole and into a fairly decent if in need of paint and renovating appartment much more conveniently located (between a taxi stand and a bus stop, on a corner with windows on three of the four sides) place. Such being the case, most of August was spent cleaning, painting, de-stuccoing and cleaning and painting and tiling and grouting and bitching and moaning and packing and moving.

Then, when we moved, we had to deal with the consequences of having hired the incompetant thugs of Demenagement Alain Tremblay, a company that I suggest you avoid hiring, ever, under any circumstances. If you live in Rosemont, Hochelaga Maisonneuve, the Plateau Mont Royal or any of the surrounding neighbourhoods, you've seen their big blue box trucks, advertizing $30 an hour moves, any time, any where. Needless to say that once you hire them they charge more than $30 an hour and aren't anywhere near the professionals you might expect. In fact, besides being rude, vulgar, lazy and belligerent, they ripped our sofa, smashed some dishes, scratched our new floors and damaged the computer, necessitating a rather hefty bill for both a new monitor to replace the scrapped one and a new graphics card, to suppor the new monitor. Needless to say we're trying to get money back for our troubles, but I suspect that it's likely to go to court before we see a dime.

So now we're moved, but unfortunately not yet unpacked. The unpacking has begun, but as I'm also working a new job (No longer enslaved to Starbuck's Quebec franchise, owned and operated by the fairly un-friendly-to-their-employees Cafe Vision/ Cafe Elite Corporation which allows me better hours and pays significantly more than the pittance i was getting at Park and Laurier's Starbucks location) I've not had as much chance to do my share of the unpacking, so it goes slowly. I've got ten of roughly twenty book boxes for the office library unpacked, the kitchen's set up and the living room's well on its way to completion, though.

I've sold a couple more copies of The Unearthing, still hoping to sell more, and other than my work with Confront Magazine, I've unfortunately not had time to do much writing. I've reviewed a lot of stuff I've written and have decided I'm going to completely re-start The Aeons War, which is the third volume of The Macrocosm, the series of which Unearthing is volume one; this is owing to the fact that I'm just not happy with the direction what I've thusfar committed to paper has progressed. As I write by hand, unfortunately, this will entail a lot more work. I'll soon be working on the rewrite of Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind, chapters of which can be found at Phyte Magazine.

I'm also having some ideas about a story I wrote and published for the Jumpgate Web Portal a few years ago. The story in question was called Crossroads and for some reason it's started whispering in my ear some seven years after I wrote it. This happens sometimes in the night, as I lay down to sleep. You'll hear more about it, I'm sure as it grows more insistent. You might be able to find it, or portions of it, ins some Internet Archive somewhere...if you look hard enough.

...Yes, Tom, you and Angel both have been at me to revive this one for a long time...However, the story may be significantly different from what you remember.

So that's it for now...I promise a new post a lot sooner than the last one...still, I'm disappointed that fellatio in beer adverts garnered so little a response. Is anybody bloody reading this blog?