The inestimable James Walcott

Another person who's scribblings I one day hope to approach in terms of "word stylishness":

In or out of mating season, John Bolton in full swollen umbrage is never an edifying spectacle... We Americans are now accustomed to the likes of Bolton in full coconut-heaving mode but the Brits have been less exposed to neoconservatism in the malignant raw, and Matthew Carr's review of Bolton's recent perf[ormance] on the Today show read like a report filed from behind a one-way mirror at a psychiatric clinic:

He almost approaches the literary level of a Russell Brand!

Aside from the quotes James ('James' is how I prefer to refer to him, in my own mind. It sounds classy!) provides, here is an exemplary zinger from the article he was writing about:
Only last week Bolton was interviewed by John Humphrys on the Today programme.
Listening to that conversation was a grim experience that was not unlike being trapped with the Kevin Spacey serial killer character from Seven.


Acknowledging one of the Great Satan's unsung heroes

Even though he has a boring nom de plume, unlike, say, myself, Jon Swift should be honoured for his contribution towards regularly cheering me up. Through Bloglines, I can track 'Jon Swift' (that is how I think of him) as he wrestles with the troubles of the world.

He is as 'dry' as they come. So dry that there is a bonus: after reading a dryly amusing post, one is drawn irresistibly to the post's comments, a significant proportion of which show that the commenters didn't 'get' that he is kidding.

Take his Canadians: the Other Illegal Immigrants post. The post that started it all, at least for me.

In part:
No one knows how many illegal immigrants from Canada currently reside in the United States. And it is extremely difficult to find out since Canadians, unlike Mexicans, look and speak just like normal Americans. The fact that they are able to blend in so easily makes them, in my mind, even more threatening to our way of life than immigrants from other countries. Some of you might not even realize that Canada is an entirely separate country. Some of your neighbors and co-workers may be Canadian and you might have no idea. Aside from overuse of the word "eh?" and excessive drinking of Molson, many Canadians (at least the English-speaking ones) seem just like us on the outside.

The effect of Canadians on our economy is devastating. Unlike Mexicans, Canadians take jobs from Americans that Americans actually want.

The comments range from acknowledging his wittiness to plaintive whinging about anti-Canadianism. A number of them make me embarrassed to be one!

As an unrepentant believer in Big Government, one of my fondest hopes has always been that Canada would start requiring exit permits for Canadians, rejecting the bigger idiots so they don't get out to embarrass us internationally.

However, with the advent of the internets, any drooling moron can disseminate his or her ravings to an international audience, rendering the concerns behind my proposed 'exit-visa' effectively obsolete.

Imagine my delight when I saw through bloglines that Jon Swift had 16 postings available. Usually, he does a post or two a week, mostly because he puts a lots of work into them, unlike the usual sort of 5-a-day bloggers who just quote another blogger, add a 'witty' remark, and post it.

It turns out Jon didn't have a mental breakdown (my first fear, given the tragic meltdown of Rev. Mykeru), he must have been polishing some of his old posts, which bloglines interprets as a new post, for some reason (blogger doesn't).

Anyhoo, some great old posts to read (alert: JS is very verbose, you have been warned):

The new old ones I hadn't read:
Guantanamo: Kafkaesque, in a Good Way
Ann Coulter Tackles the Menace of Widows and Grieving Mothers
50 More Conservative Rock Songs
My Battle With CFS
No Amnesty for Old People
Let's Not Nuke Iran-Yet
Jill Carroll vs. the Blogosphere
Everyone Hates the Christians

All of them are old, but they are all worth a read!

This brings up a point about blogger/blogspot: the archiving of content is very user unfriendly. Visitors should be able to browse archives by title, not just by date of publication.

I assume that is what they are aiming for with their recent addition of labels, but it is still far from being usable.


Ponce Alert!

I have tried to remain silent on this issue, but today's "Ask Mr. Smith" column by the Globe and Mail's resident bon viveur Russell Smith has finally forced me to comment.

From the Saturday edition, on the subject of fragrances for men:

A subtle scent on a well-dressed man is a sign, particularly to sensually aware women, that this guy is making an effort. It shows that he is trying to please. And it shows that he is sensually aware himself.

Personally, I love scents. I find them expressions of personality and of desire. I think anyone who's opposed to lovely smells is a little uptight.

Uptight, maybe, but all I know is that when I get on an elevator at 09h00 Monday morning, hung-over, the last thing I want to endure is inhaling the sensually enhanced manhood of anyone, let alone Russell Smith, Esq.

Who can take fashion advice seriously from a guy that has bangs? He hasn't updated his homepage, so you, the internet public, cannot experience Russell Smith's bangs.

Those bangs might be de rigeur on the Left Bank, but here in T.O. they make Russell look like a brain-damaged homosexual (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Which is odd, because Word on the Street is that he is a flagrant heterosexual.

Lock up your daughters! A funny-looking guy with bangs and an ascot is sensually querying them about cheese! And probably acting insouciant!

I am so strident on this point (the Bangs issue) that I am considering going to a Kinko's and scanning the Russell Smith byline photo from the Globe. So I can show you what I am talking about. I care that much!


You think I exaggerate? I finally found one, not the masterpiece on display in the Globe, but it gives you an idea of what I am talking about.


LOST is ending?

No fear, LOST's due date might be past my own. According to the Malaysia Star,

ABC has confirmed that mystery drama Lost will be concluded in 2010, after three more 16-episode seasons.

So there you have it. ABC good, HBO bad.

HBO gave Deadwood, my favourite TV series ever, a measly six hour miniseries to finish its story, while ABC has given LOST, certainly entertaining (but inaccessible to new viewers), another 48 episodes (unheard of!) to fiddle around with, apparently regardless of LOST's ever diminishing ratings.

At this rate, by 2010, the only viewers LOST will still have will be me and my Mom (should we still be extant). And we don't watch it on TV, anyway. When we get together, we watch the show on the internets.

Maybe the writers will actually be able to wrap some things up! In the 48 episodes they have left, they had better come up with something.


Is it just me?

Or do French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy and Kevin McDonald from Kids in the Hall look almost identical?

When I see a photo of Sarkozy, I cannot picture the Kid in the Hall mentally at the same time. Hence, my photoshop effort gracing the top of this post. It's for the sake of my own sanity!

They have the same lined forehead, the same heavily-lidded, sad brown eyes, the same thin-lipped smirk of a mouth, the waggly eyebrows, a drooping nose, even the same low-set ears. The only difference I can see is that Sarkozy has a Widow's peak and McDonald doesn't.

If I was Kevin McDonald, I would start working on my Sarkozy impersonation. Those guys' terms are eight years or something, so there is no doubt work is going to become available.

FYI back in the 80s I used to have the same problem differentiating between Winnie Mandela and Rita Marley.

And possibly others. I am pretty sure there were others...