Archive of ‘Thinking’ category

Cast Away!

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UPDATE (Feb. 11): After some re­flec­tion and in­put from friends, I’ve changed my choice of Tina Fey to Tatiana Maslany for the role of Robyn Doolittle. As much as I love Fey, she is con­sid­er­ably older than Doolittle. And Maslany does kick ass on Orphan Black.

The film rights to Robyn Doolittle’s ex­posé of Rob Ford, Crazy Town, were snapped up re­cently, prompt­ing a guess­ing game on so­cial me­dia as to who would be cast in the adap­ta­tion. As I read the book I’m start­ing to as­sem­ble my own dream cast for the soon-to-be CBC minis­eries, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, spon­sored by Iceberg Vodka, Steak Queen and cocaine.

Rob Ford: This guy - Larry Joe Campbell

Doug Ford: If we can’t get Chris Farley to play RoFo, we can at least get his brother, Kevin, to play Dougie.

Mama Ford: Elaine Stritch

Kathy Ford: Kathy Kinney (Mimi) from The Drew Carey Show

Randy Ford: Gary Busey

Renata Ford: A non-speaking, non­de­script back­ground extra

Doug Ford, Sr.: Gordon Pinsent

Sandro Lisi: Jeremy Piven

Chief Bill Blair: John Lithgow

Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux: Nick Offerman

Robyn Doolittle: Tina Fey Tatiana Maslany

Daniel Dale: Daniel Brühl

Nick Kouvalis: John Oates from Hall and Oates

Mark Towhey: Toby Jones

Frances Nunziata: Elizabeth Peña

Denzil Minnan-Wong: David Wain

Norm Kelly: Dean Stockwell

Dennis Morris (Ford’s Hotmail lawyer): Ed Asner

Mohamed Farah: Barkhad Abdi

Fabio Basso: John Travolta

Dave Price: Danny McBride

George Mammolitti: Vincent D’Onofrio

Jerry Agyemang: Morris Chestnut

John Tory: Stephen Colbert

Conrad Black: Michael Gambon

Don Cherry: Don Rickles

And Sam Elliott as The Narrator

Who would you cast?


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Happy Holidays (War is Over)

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My Facebook feed has been taken over by “War on Christmas” posts. Apparently, some peo­ple be­lieve there is a move­ment afoot by uniden­ti­fied forces to abol­ish Christmas. I don’t re­ally un­der­stand what this “war” means ex­actly, but from what I can gather from these mis­sives, Christmas is un­der at­tack and the only de­fense is to say “Merry Christmas” three times while tap­ping your boots to­gether. I think. It’s re­ally not that clear.)

My cold med­ica­tion is mak­ing me en­vi­sion what a war on Christmas would ac­tu­ally entail:

1. Someone wishes you “Happy Holidays”.

2. Get ir­ra­tionally up­set at the au­dac­ity of that re­tail clerk who failed to as­sume you’re a Christian.

3. Go on­line to find a photo of Santa or Jesus (or Santa with Jesus!). Use your Photoshop skills to af­fix a ral­ly­ing cry of “It’s not Happy Holidays it’s Merry Christmas! Share if you agree!” over the photo. Tip: Use large fonts and nu­mer­ous ex­pla­na­tion marks to re­ally show the world how an­gry you are. OR find an­other person’s post and share it.

4. Put on your flak hel­met and cel­e­brate the birth of baby Santa in your home/bunker. Come out in time for the in­evitable “War on Easter”.

This “war on Christmas” non­sense con­fuses me be­cause JUST TAKELOOK AROUND YOU. Christmas is freak­ing EVERYWHERE! If there is in­deed a war, the other side is los­ing. Big time.

I can’t walk into a store with­out be­ing as­saulted with Christmas car­ols blast­ing over the PA sys­tem. And it’s the same songs over and over. (How about adding “Back Door Santa” to the mix?) There’s even a ra­dio sta­tion that has gone full-on Christmas. (I feel so sorry for those dee­jays.) And every artist you can think of has put out a Christmas al­bum, even Bob Dylan. Bob! Effing! Dylan! put out a Christmas al­bum. (I think it’s a Christmas al­bum. I can’t un­der­stand a word that comes out of that man’s mouth, but the CD cover says it’s a Christmas al­bum, so I’ll leave it at that.)

And there are Christmas trees every­where. EVERYWHERE. There’s one in my condo lobby. There’s one at my of­fice. There’s one out­side of City Hall. I’m pretty sure one has some­how made its way up my arse (which would maybe ex­plain my prickly mood). And lights! Pretty, blink­ing lights, strung up every­where, suck­ing up electricity.

I miss my favourite TV shows. They all go on hia­tus and are re­placed with Christmas spe­cials. After re­peated view­ings (and a few glasses of wine) they all kind of blend into one an­other – a snow­man comes alive and is vis­ited by three ghosts who ar­rive on a sleigh led by a red-nosed rein­deer, pah-rum-pah-pah-pah.

And then there’s this: NO ONE IS PREVENTING YOU FROM CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS.

You can chop down a tree, drag its corpse into your home and fes­toon it with gar­ish trin­kets and sil­ver tas­sels. You can plop a na­tiv­ity scene on your front lawn with a big old baby Jesus smack dab in the mid­dle of it. You can also go to mass and cel­e­brate the birth of your Christ, singing hal­lelu­jah at the top of your lungs.

You can choose from hun­dreds of cards that say “Merry Christmas” to send to all your friends and fam­ily. (And here’s an­other friendly tip: Get some cards that are blank in­side and write “Merry Christmas” many times, in dif­fer­ent type­faces, colours…even glit­ter! Or, bet­ter yet, buy a card where you can record your voice, so when the re­cip­i­ent of said card opens it up you can scare them into a heart at­tack with a loud and proud “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”)

Happy Holidays” has be­come de rigueur this time of year. Because of the great cul­tural mo­saic that is Toronto, there are many Canadians who do not tick the box next to Christian on their cen­sus sheets. That’s how it is. You can­not be­moan that fact while you or­der Ethiopian food and buy chicken tikka masala at your gro­cery store. You do not get to take ad­van­tage of the mul­ti­cul­tural smörgås­bord that is Toronto with­out re­spect­ing the fact that some cul­tures do not cel­e­brate the birth of baby Jesus.

Happy Holidays” is not a bad thing to say. It is all-inclusive, wel­com­ing of all cul­tures and tra­di­tions. “Happy Holidays” can mean “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hannukah” or “Happy Kwanza”. It can also mean “Happy New Year”, “Happy Boxing Day” or “Happy Winter Solstice”. (For athe­ists, it could mean “Happy Nationally Mandated Days Off!”) It’s very Canadian.

So why does it mat­ter so much to some peo­ple? I could of­fer a lengthy dis­course on pos­si­ble xeno­pho­bia and na­tion­al­ism, but I lack the en­ergy or men­tal ca­pac­ity to do so right now. Instead, I’ll just go and stare at all the pretty lights.

Happy Holidays!


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The OMG Diet: WTF?

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I’m break­ing my self-imposed but en­tirely un­in­ten­tional blog­ging hia­tus to com­ment on this OMG Diet. I will prob­a­bly start blog­ging again be­cause as I get older, the more things piss me off. Instead of be­lea­guer­ing my boyfriend with my rants (and be­cause Twitter only al­lows for short an­gry mis­sives), I’ll pour out my rage here.

To re­cap: Some douchey per­sonal trainer, who has no med­ical or sci­en­tific back­ground, wrote a book called Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends. In it, he gives some stu­pid tips to lose weight, like blow­ing bal­loons, tak­ing cold baths and skip­ping break­fast. Seriously. Not mak­ing this shit up.

The sad part is, pub­lish­ers are beat­ing down his door to pub­lish this tripe be­cause — fuck you, young girls and com­mon sense — this will make them a ton of money. Because there are peo­ple who want to lose a lot of weight in as lit­tle time as pos­si­ble and with min­i­mal ef­fort, and they are des­per­ate to try any­thing — ex­cept, you know, eat­ing bet­ter and ex­er­cis­ing — and will buy this book. They will buy it, and they will try to ad­here to its crazy method­ol­ogy, like chug­ging black cof­fee and shun­ning broc­coli (se­ri­ously?). They will then tire of it be­cause tak­ing cold baths is not plea­sur­able and smooth­ies are very de­li­cious. They will con­sign the book to the cob­webby bot­tom shelf of their book­case, nes­tled be­tween other stu­pid books about the Atkins diet and the mas­ter cleanse. But it doesn’t mat­ter, you see, be­cause the au­thor and his skeezy pub­lish­ers will have taken their money. Suckers!

Perhaps I’m be­ing harsh on the guy. After all, for as long as woman have been shamed by the la­dy­mags for their thighs and eat­ing and what­not, there have been weight-loss books. Lots and lots of weight-loss books. For every “How to get a flat stom­ach in 6 days to get a man in bed” Cosmo ar­ti­cle, there is a fad diet that makes you drink your own pee or give up air. The au­thor, who goes by the alias of Venice Fulton (I’ve rolled my eyes back into my head so se­verely they’re stuck that way and I’m now typ­ing blindly), is just the lat­est in a long line of mod­ern snake-oil sales­man who claims to have the so­lu­tion to quick and easy weight loss.

Here’s why the OMG Diet makes me ROTFCMAO (rolling on the floor curs­ing my ass off, in Internet-speak — be­cause every­body likes acronyms!):

(more…)


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Banalogy

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ba·nal: / beyn–nahl / ad­jec­tive
1. de­void of fresh­ness or orig­i­nal­ity; hack­neyed; trite

a·nal·o·gy: /uh–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. a sim­i­lar­ity be­tween like fea­tures of two things, on which a com­par­i­son may be based 2. sim­i­lar­ity or comparability

ba­nal­ogy: / beyn–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. A hack­neyed and stu­pid com­par­i­son made be­tween two things that bear ab­solutely no sim­i­lar­ity or com­pa­ra­bil­ity to each other 2. A word I just made up

In an up­com­ing in­ter­view in Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp com­pares photo shoots to rape:

“Well, you just feel like you’re be­ing raped some­how. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird — just weird, man.”

Really.

While I un­der­stand the point Depp is try­ing to make, he could have used an­other word — “vi­o­lated”­, for example.

Is it just me or are peo­ple in­creas­ingly us­ing the word “raped” as an anal­ogy to de­scribe feel­ings of frus­tra­tion and an­noy­ance? For ex­am­ple, I once heard some­one say they were “raped” by their cell­phone provider. Really? Getting overcharge­d on your phone bill is anal­o­gous to a vi­o­lent sex­ual assault?

REALLY?

I can’t imag­ine the psychologi­cal, emo­tional and phys­i­cal tur­moil that a rape vic­tim goes through. Rape is a tool used to wield power, dom­i­nance and fear over a per­son. It is meant to di­min­ish a person’s dig­nity and self-worth, to re­duce them to some­thing less than hu­man. To have the word “rape” used in such a way as Depp has takes away its im­pact and its brutality, and trivialize­s the experience­s of those who have been vic­tim­ized by it.

Before you use the word “rape” to de­scribe some­thing you’ve gone through, ask your­self this: would a vic­tim of rape de­scribe her or his ex­pe­ri­ence in the same way? Would they say some­thing like, “As my vagina was be­ing torn apart, I thought, ‘Now I know how Johnny Depp feels be­ing in a photo shoot.’”? Or, “Getting punched in the face felt like get­ting hit with data roam­ing charges.”?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

UPDATE: Shortly af­ter I hit the “Publish” but­ton, I saw this:

Hank Williams Jr. pulled from ESPN af­ter com­par­ing Obama to Hitler

Wow.


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