Saturday, October 11, 2003

Don't buy those brownshirts just yet 

The government has backed down on the Georgia Straightgate. Apparently the Straight is a newspaper after all. The reaction to this whole fiasco has been basically the opposite of what one would expect. The corporate-media columnist takes the Straight's side, while the rest of Vancouver's independent press plays the world's smallest violin. Vancouver Scrum has some good roundup and analysis. He points out that the Straight is not the only paper attacking the Liberals:

Dan McLeod was loudly alleging in this week's Straight that the BC "Liberal" government is conspiring to shut the paper down for its consistent opposition to the government. He backed down some yesterday, saying instead that, "I don't have proof, but I can feel it in my bones that this is political"at a press conference yesterday.

(Ed's note: Hey Danny! Most of the college papers haven't been kind to El Gordo; neither has that other Vancouver weekly to which I contribute. The government hasn't been after all those other papers critical of Campbell -- maybe because we run a hell of a lot more content relative to advertising? In any case, the Straight has NOT been the only paper that regularly takes the editorial boots the the Campbell government. Got it?)

I think McLeod was talking about papers that people read. And that are longer than ten pages. Speaking of Terminal City, their fisking of the Straight's Q and A's is pretty funny. Though there is something about small publishers dissing slightly bigger publishers that smacks of player hating. My own college paper also sympathizes with the government, while saying the taxes are wrong: While the Straight should take this as a sign that their content needs to change, the government should be more reasonable and take the Straight for what it really is: a vital part of Vancouver's entertainment scene and an important editorial voice.
Personally, I don't think the BC government should be in the media criticism business. And the Straight is right on the legal issue; if TV listings and sports scores are editorial content, the Straight's entertainment listings (by far the best in the city) certainly should also be considered editorial. A little sympathy from the rest of the free press would be nice. I admit McLeod's Nixon comparisons were a little much. But if it shuts down, wouldn't everyone feel super-rotten?
I've always really liked the Straight, much to the surprise of various friends and acquaintances. Thursday bus rides are not complete without it. It introduced me (at a formative age) to the whole concept of prose writing about movies and music. Without it, I would not be the disgrace to humanity that I am today. The Political Connections column, which exposes something bad Gordo does every week, is a great service to the public. Amazingly, it hasn't repeated itself yet. But even a fan like me admits most of its content is not exactly essential reading.
So why is it that it's the only big paper in Vancouver that publishes articles critical of the premier? Why doesn't the mainstream media accurately reflect Vancouver's political leanings?

Friday, October 10, 2003

8 inches or a footlong? 

The New Republic debates how long Ariel Sharon's penis is. With charts.
You know, usually when people have a debate, they are supposed to have differing opinions about the issue (this was also a problem with the Democratic primary debate I just watched). But when the leftier one says things like "Yes, the withdrawal from Lebanon was a momentous blunder", then we don't have a debate on our hands. We have a circle jerk. And who wants to read about a circle jerk?
By the way, advocating that Israel invade Lebanon again is totally the dumbest idea ever. It's like advocating that America should have another go at Vietnam.

Gordo's solution to BC deficit 

Collect more money from media outlets that criticize his government, of course. And if they can't pay, they get shut down. No, really. I'm not one to throw the word 'fascist' around lightly (though I am quite liberal with far more offensive words. This blog needs a swearjar). But if the jackboot fits...
Read all about it, from the straight (The Straight could raise the million by selling their URL to a gay porn site, methinks) and from the media outlet that contributes large sums to Gordon Campbell. Hey CanWest, way to publish an article where your own preferential treatment is the issue without mentioning yourself. Really displays some integrity.
Dan McLeod, publisher of the Georgia Straight (he shares a name with a friend of mine, incidentally), has been pretty hard hit by this attack. He's already lost the use of his thesaurus:
"What's happening to us is not just a bizarre misuse of power," McLeod says. "It's a wacko misuse of power."
You hate to see that happen to a guy.
To tell you the truth, I'm a little too ferklempt about this to comment thoughtfully. This is so fucking insane I don't know where to start. When the shellshock wears off, I'll come back to the story. Just go read about it.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Critical acumen from the mouth of babes 

"I have a lot of the Archie comics," said Aaron Kaplan, age 12. "They aren't funny, but they are fun to read." Graham Vunderink, also 12, added, "I like Jughead best, he eats a lot." At that, Aaron nodded, saying, "And he has the best hair."

Dr. Kaplan isolates, then problematizes, the central paradox of the Archie Oeuvre.

I got a letter! 

You wrote:
"Israel, apparently upset at how calm the Middle East was getting, decided to bomb Syria. I thought this was going to start WW3, but the Syrians pussied out and just called for a UN resolution condeming Israel. This escalation could bring the amount of UN resolutions Israel is currently ignoring to 1467. "

You neglected to mention that the day before the bombing of an (empty) terrorist training camp, a suicide bomber killed 19 people on a Shabbat afternoon in Haifa (my birthplace btw). Hardly a 'calm' middle east.

A faithful reader

Hey Dad, it's called irony. Try some.


The kind people who manufactured my modem have sent me a new one. Like some movie character promised, I am back. A lot of interesting things have happened in the world while I stopped blogging. Let's recap:
-Someone in the Bush administration decided to reveal the name and occupation of a CIA agent to get back at her husband, who said Bush was talking shit when he said there were WMD in Iraq. Ironically, the agent was working on WMD, so Bush's actions have made more it likely that terrorists now have WMD. Read all about it here, starting at Sep. 26.
-There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It's now official. Saddam probably got rid of them just to make Bush look bad.
-Jean-Claude Van Damme was elected the Governor of California for some reason.
-A guy that likes to eat young cats and hails from Mars was elected Premier of Ontario.
-Israel, apparently upset at how calm the Middle East was getting, decided to bomb Syria. I thought this was going to start WW3, but the Syrians pussied out and just called for a UN resolution condeming Israel. This escalation could
bring the amount of UN resolutions Israel is currently ignoring to 1467.
-Yasser Arafat found a new PM to do his evil bidding. He's OK, I guess, but my heart belongs to Abu Mazen.
-Locally, a Vancouver cop admitted to lying in court during a job interview with another police department. He did not get the job. He also admitted to stealing evidence, and said he overheard other cops talikng about using inappropraite force. Our ex-cop mayor doesn't think this warrants an outside investigation of police. Asshole.
-The bow-tied Jew that owns our media has died. Among his many accomplishments are taking a very good newspaper and running it into the ground. Dude, he published Anne Coulter! Saying that the US never toppled Allende! Sadly, he died before realizing his life dream, a Human Rights Museum. Sounds like a cool idea, but if Asper ran the museum anything like he ran CanWest, I doubt the many human rights abuses by the country Asper shares a name with would get much attention in the museum. But hey, RIP. Media moguls rock, no matter how wrong they might be.
-Ghostface Killa is still writing beautiful poetry.
-The media has invented a name for a musical genre that is even dumber than 'electroclash'. Good work. I really need to mock that article in depth, but let me note that the really awesome new genre is country-rap (way better than rap-metal). There may only be a single song in this genre (Bubba Sparxxx' Comin' Round; best song of the year, by far), which demonstrates what Timbaland thinks country music is. If I haven't said before, let me note for the record that Timbaland may be the greatest person alive.
-Missy Elliot released the song of the year (no contest), Pass the Dutch. "I'm under attack like my name was Saddam." That Tim Mosley guy, y'know.
-On the personal front, loss of the internet has plunged me into a torrent of productivity. That won't last now. I have written many little papers, a few of which are fairly amusing. Perhaps I will post them. Soon.

That's basically it. Some things might be confused, since I've been relying on CNN for my information. But the internet will cure that. The internet is never wrong about anything.

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