Weekly Reckoning: Reckon To The Max Edition

weekly-reckoningThis week, there’s no stopping the Weekly Reckoning. It’s totally extreme. It’s taking reckoning TO THE LIMIT.

YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING, FOLKS. LET’S RECKON THIS STUFF OUT.

1. LET’S PRIDE. Saskatchewan flies the pride flag. Way to go. Regina is still not flying the pride flag, because why respect and support human rights unless absolutely given no other choice? This has been written about already on the Dog Blog, but it bears repeating. Oh, and that Leader-Post  currently stands at 84 per cent bigot.

2. COME BACK TO THE iOS, FLAPPY BIRD, FLAPPY BIRD. Flappy Bird, the mobile game that no one can stop playing, is no longer available on Google Play or Apple’s app store. The success of the game has ruined creator Dong Nguyen’s life. So there you go. Sometimes even $50,000 per day in ad revenue isn’t worth it.

3. LET’S PRIDE SOME MORE. There are six out LGBT athletes participating at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, and one of them just won gold. Congratulations, Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands.

3. DANISH CHILDREN TREATED TO LIVE GIRAFFE EXECUTION, DISSECTION. I’m not kidding. This weekend the Copenhagen Zoo killed and dissected Marius, a healthy two-year-old male giraffe, in front of a live audience. The zoo carried out the act in order to prevent inbreeding (apparently Marius’ genes are overrepresented in the captive giraffe population), despite a petition and offers from other zoos to shelter the genetically unremarkable animal. The dissected carcass was then fed to lions – again, in front of an audience. The article contains some fairly graphic images.

THE LAST BEST WORD (SO FAR) ON THE NEAR-FUTURE DYSTOPIAN HELLHOLE KNOWN TO THE WORLD OF SOCHI. See if you can figure out whether these images are Sochi hotel rooms or contemporary art installations (It’s actually not too difficult to figure out which is which, especially since the bizarre hotel pics have been circulating for a few days now, but it’s fun to think of Sochi as a gigantic Russian art piece work that people ended up inhabiting because it was no worse than anywhere else in Russia).

 

Or They Could Have Called Whitworth …

Someone in the Defense ministry has got a make work project.

OTTAWA – Defence researchers spent almost $14,000 on a survey that asked whether superheroes can leap over skyscrapers.

The study for the research arm of National Defence also asked 150 people online whether superheroes can fly through the air; see through walls; hear whispers from miles away; become invisible; and walk through walls.

The oddball questions were part of a short study completed in October to help the Canadian Forces “win the hearts and minds” of the local populations it faces when deployed overseas, such as recently in Afghanistan.

I think I’m going to lie down for a while.

I Can’t Wait To See What They’ll Do For Next Year’s “Red Issue”

Skymag white issueWe got the new issue of Sky — “Saskatchewan’s magazine for living well” — in the mail this week and, um. Is it just me* or is this combination of cover text and photo a little, erm, insensitive?

I’m sure Sky meant well, and it’s clear from the feature that they admire football legend George Reed. And it’s certainly acceptable to write about colour in a fashion magazine and, I guess, have an annual white issue in winter.

But you can’t put a black couple on the cover of your “white issue” and think it means nothing.** There’s still racism and xenophobia in our culture, and not being aware of it is not the same as being unaffected by it. Did Sky approach Reed and his wife, Angie, and announce they’re going to be the white issue’s cover stars? I’m guessing they didn’t.

Then again, Reed’s lived in Saskatchewan a long time. Maybe nothing surprises him anymore.

I mean, even the publisher’s note is titled, “The Colour Of The Sky In My World”.

That colour is really, reeeeally white.

*It’s not just me. **Unless you’re a lot smarter. Vice could probably pull off something interesting.

If Rob Ford Was Your Brother, You’d Drink, Too

Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford, the brother of cat eating cunning linguist crack smoking drunken Stuporman Mayor Rob Ford, was interviewed just now on CNN. You can see what appears to be a bottle of Grey Goose vodka under his desk.

For reasons best explained by the idiots at WordPress, I can’t directly post the photo the way I could on Facebook. Here’s the link.

In the interest of public security, for the love of God, everyone, we want a safe Regina during the Grey Cup, so cheer your hardest for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday.

Whataya Know? A Hummer Even A Prairie Dog Writer Can Afford

Whatever people have said about the Hummer as a vehicle or as a status symbol, there may be a real good reason to buy this one:

 

Alright so here’s the deal, i am selling my 2005 Hummer for parts or repair, its been deemed a total loss through sgi and is repairable. I made the bright decision to get all pissed up one night with some broads down in swift current, it was a night fueled by alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs (LSD). I ended up hitting a meridian while i was swerving for “panda bears” which than sent me flying into a parked vehicle. Cops showed up and had me in cuffs instantly, at this point i was naked with blue and red face painting on along with two other females in the vehicle (they too were naked) No injuries thank god but i had blown 4 times the legal limit. Of course i do not have any insurance to fix this “once beautiful ride” I am making the adult decision to cut my losses and use this money to pay for my rehabilitation center for drugs and alcohol abuse down in beautiful British Columbia.

You’re No Rock N Roll Fun: New Regulations Hurt Clubs And Venues

UPDATE: Whitworth here. There’s now a petition on Change.org.  Back to Amber’s original post…

*

So, my ‘Facebook feed’ exploded with rage today after this article in the Calgary Herald shed light on some super un-cool employment regulations that went into effect on July 31st which would make it pretty much unfeasible for small venues and clubs to bring in out-of-country bands. Venues now have to pay an application of $250 for each touring member in a band, including managers and the like, on top of the $150 work permit that also needs to be secured for each individual.

Spencer Brown who books for the Palomino Smokehouse in Calgary explained it thusly:

“If I have a one four-member American band at the Palomino, I’m looking at $1,700 Canadian just to get them on the bill — and that’s on top of paying out a sound tech, paying for posters, gear rental, paying the other bands, staffing,” Brown says, explaining there have been tweaks to the LMO in the past, but nothing this drastic or, in his eyes, damaging.

“Concert promotion at this level is, in itself, a high-risk occupation. So this has just put it through the roof. There’s no way to start already $1,700 in the hole and break even. It’s impossible.”

Brown goes on to call the new regulations “anti arts and culture” and “anti small business”. Minister of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism Jason Kenney says that the decision was made after advance consultation with stakeholders across the country. Read the rest of the article here. 

City Of Regina Rescinds White Power Holiday

I bet you didn’t even know we had a white power holiday. Well, we did! October 14-20, European History Month. A month to celebrate Europeans! Real Europeans. You know.

It is both the bad news and the good news at the same time that city officials also didn’t know we had a white supremacist holiday week. And it is decidedly good news that, now that they’ve found out, they’ve committed to cancelling it. But there are two things I want to draw attention to in CKOM’s story!

They Mayor’s office, assuming it was meant to celebrate the contributions of European civilizations to Canada, granted the request.

“I thought this was very much an innocuous request to have a proclamation,” Fougere explained in an interview Tuesday.

The request was made by the Nationalist Party Of Canada. What the Mayor didn’t realize, at least not until News Talk Radio informed him, is that the Nationalist Party is a white supremacy group.

Okay, first, it actually explains how this holiday came into being that nobody at City Hall connected the white supremacist movement to a group calling itself The Nationalist Party. I don’t even know how to joke about that! The premise is the punchline. Also:

“We were hoodwinked on that one,” Fougere admitted.

And apparently nobody’s told the mayor that, you know, probably don’t invoke the mental imagery of hoods when referring to white supremacists.

All racist-ribbing aside, it’s obviously good that the city’s going ahead and rescinding the proclamation, and though Fougere told CKOM he’s taking full responsibility for it, that’s probably an unnecessary gesture. Unless a greasy-haired, pale (and probably non-Aryan) man pressed the request directly into Fougere’s hand from his own clammy, creepily agile hand directly preceding a council meeting, a few people at City Hall had to totally blank on what “European History Month” means.

You Serve Your Master Well, Mark Elford

Since the days of Diefenbaker, the Conservative Party in Saskatchewan has produced a near inexhaustible supply of flat-earthers, mugwumps, fighting clowns and the type who think The Flintstones is a documentary. We should note that Mark Elford, chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, has apparently begun his campaign to have Stephen Harper appoint him to the Senate by calling two of Canada’s foremost literary icons ‘crackpots.’

Because that tactic works so well for the Ford family in Toronto.

God, I’m so ashamed to be from Saskatchewan

Homicide May Be Linked To Rob Ford Video… Or Not (Probably Not) (Actually, There Is No Homicide) (Updated)

The Globe and Mail just posted a word salad that seems to suggest that a staffer in Rob Ford’s office was interviewed by police about something to do with a tip about a murder of someone that may or may not have been somehow connected to a video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. And that tip may have involved another Rob Ford staffer. Or not.

As for what that tip might have consisted of was lost in a jumble of pronouns and run-on sentences.

All we can say for certain at this point is that the words “police,” “investigation” and “homicide” are now linked to the Rob Ford crack video controversy. We also know that Mayor Rob Ford has declared on his weekly radio show that no video exists.

On a completely unrelated note, here is a Mitchell and Web sketch that I really, really like but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with this or any Rob Ford related news.

UPDATE: According to much clearer writing in the Toronto Star, the Rob Ford staffer was interviewed by homicide detectives but not about a homicide. And, apparently, there was a shooting in an apartment next to where the Star reporters watched the Rob Ford crack smoking video but the shooting victim was not killed and the interview with a Ford staffer happened before this shooting incident.

To sum up, there is at present no reason to think that any actual homicide is linked to the Rob Ford video scandal. And as for this Mitchell and Webb video, it has, as I already said, absolutely nothing to do with that Rob Ford video scandal nor the fact that Rob Ford denies the existence of any video.

Meanwhile In Toronto, (gives up)

Last week Rob Ford’s chief of staff was fired by the mayor. Today, the mayor’s press secretary and deputy press secretary have also tendered their resignations. Ford has put a football coach in his office as a ‘special assistant.’ And the mayor’s office is also questioned about a dead drug dealer.

A lot of stuff going on for someone who says a video of him smoking crack doesn’t exist and his brother wasn’t a drug dealer.

I think this is how the Rob Ford Era at Toronto City Hall will end.

The Difference Between ‘Political Spin’ And ‘Alternate Universe’

With all due respect to Saskboy, the result of the Labrador by-election wasn’t newsworthy in itself. Incumbent governments traditionally fare poorly in by-elections, and the riding in question is a traditional Liberal stronghold, going to the Conservatives twice – in 1968 and 2010. If the Liberals didn’t win a traditionally Liberal riding, that would have been news. So, I was about to say something along the lines of “… nice, kids, call me when a Liberal wins in Alberta,” when …

(Conservative incumbent Peter) Penashue said he is not sure which issues cost him the job, although he blamed CBC News reports on his spending for having “defined me very negatively.” He was referring to a series of CBC News reports on his campaign spending since last summer.

“I tried to change that but the damage had already been done. I could say, you know there was that issue, that issue. People make up their minds and people make up their choices.”

Oh, really?

Gee, Peter, why single out the CBC when every other news organization in Newfoundland and Labrador was saying the same thing?

And here’s a head scratcher … the Liberals LOST the by-election, says Harper’s spokesperson.

“As we know, majority governments do not usually win byelections. In fact, Liberals have won the riding of Labrador in every election in history except for two, so we are not surprised with these results,” Fred DeLorey, the party’s director of communications said in a statement.

“What is surprising is the collapse of the Liberal support during this byelection. When this byelection was called the Liberals had a 43-point lead in the polls,” DeLory wrote.

“Since electing Justin Trudeau as leader and having him personally campaign there, they have dropped 20 points in Labrador. That’s a significant drop in only a few weeks,” he said.

“Labradorians were able to see firsthand how Justin Trudeau is in over his head.”

Christ on a crutch, Comical Ali’s got a job with Harper!

It’s not so much that the Cons lost the riding, but it’s their reaction to such a loss which indicates that Canada’s going to be in for at least two more ugly years of federal politics. Instead of learning anything from the loss, the Cons have doubled down on the stupid and mean, as if they have no other setting on the program which gives them the ability to impersonate human emotions.

Canada. Governed by 12-year-old schoolyard bullies who are in over their heads.

Rosie’s Six In The A.M. Features An Outraged Stephen Colbert, Collapsing Journalism (in More Ways Than One) And A Guy On a Buffalo

6-in-the-morning1 BENGOUGH? BENGOUGH. It’s cattle and Conservative country, where the townsfolk traditionally run people like me out of their sight. But the Gateway Music Festival has attracted Steve Earle and Corb Lund, for starters … holy moly, it appears they have a pretty good lineup.

2 LET IT SNOW (NOT) … I don’t think I’ll be singing that song to my former bosses in Melville, after the former home of Community Publishing (Prairie Dog used to get printed there long ago, but the printing presses shut down in 2008 and most of the printing now gets done in Estevan). The weight of this year’s snow pack caved in the roof yesterday.

3 NATURE OF THE BUSINESS Let’s face it, Melville isn’t the only place where the roof is falling in on the newspaper industry. The Boston Globe’s publisher recently told a conference that his newspaper used to make from $160 to $180 million on classified advertising alone. That’s gone, and thanks to Internet sites such as Monster.com, it ain’t comin’ back.

4 IN OTHER NEWS, MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WONDERS WHERE I GOT THE BLING FOR BUYING HAIR CARE PRODUCTS AT DOLLAR TREE The author of the book Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, won the Internet a couple of days ago when he wrote in GQ that in order to deal with his sexual dysfunction, he went out and bought clothes. A lot of clothes. A lot of very, very strange clothes unless he’s trying to a second career as a bouncer at a leather bar … “eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves.” Buzz is in rehab now, for a mild bipolar disorder. (You mean, somebody can work in journalism and make enough money to afford all that? Who knew?)

5 SAD NEWS I attended the University of Regina in the early 1980s, and shared a Logic 100 class with about 100 others, including Ron Lancaster Jr. The son of Ron Lancaster, and a pretty good CFL coach in his own right, passed away yesterday in his Hamilton apartment at the age of 50.

6 DEFENSE OF GAY MARRIAGE ACT Stephen Colbert launches a freakout after Papa Bear (Bill O’Rielly) goes to play for the other team. In other news, the lawsuits regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 9 (and how the Supreme Court is probably going to throw them both out) is succinctly and entertainingly explained here. And for the bigots in the crowd … were these quotes made by people opposed to gay marriage or those opposed to inter-racial marriage? And could you tell the difference?
HE’S MAKING IT UP AS HE GOES ALONG Let me get this straight. Brad Wall cuts the Saskatchewan Film and Video Tax Credit, saying that it’s propping up an economically unsustainable industry. Then he tells everybody opposing the decision — even the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce — to go pound sand. Then he says the government has studies that show it’s unsustainable. The studies don’t appear to exist, because his government never asked for studies about the film/video tax credit: they only asked for spin doctors to rationalize that decision AFTER the government made the decision. Christ on a crutch, if Wall was any denser we could use him as a sandbag.

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN PART ONE: The greatest song in the world …

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN PART TWO: In honour of the Saskatchewan film industry, here’s R.E.M. covering Richard Thompson.

Regina Really Is Just One Big Parking Lot

I often hear people remark on the dearth of parking in downtown Regina and, frankly, they usually sound pretty desperate. They say things like: “There’s not enough parking!”, “We need more parking!”, and “I can’t find a parking spot anywhere!”

Well, apparently some of these eloquent individuals have taken matters into their own hands. They’ve taken a fresh look at City Square and have come to the logical conclusion that this public space can also double as a convenient, centrally located spot to park one’s automobile. I took these pics (as proof!) on Friday evening as a friend and I passed through the square en route to a real parking lot. Why didn’t these guerilla parkers do the same? Probably because they wanted to illustrate for us a central issue around parking in Regina: Everyone wants a spot, but no one wants to pay. But, as so many of us have found out over the years, when it comes to parking in the Queen City, one way or the other, someone always pays.

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No, Seriously: Harper’s Ex-Chief Of Staff Defended Watching Child Porn. Yes He Did.

Rosie mentioned it in his post this morning. I thought he’d cracked because this is too bizarre to be real. But it is! It IS true!

And, and, holy shit! Tom Flanagan’s on the mailing list of the North American Man Boy Love Association! (And that’s a real thing! I thought NAMBLA was a South Park joke!)

It looks like my old student paper, The Manitoban, is at the root of this, getting Flanagan to hint at his, um, bold views on kiddie porn back in 2009. Money quote:

Before making his comments about context in the media during his first lecture, Flanagan digressed for a moment and spoke about the misinterpretation of the beliefs of lawyers, due to the people they defend in court. Flanagan cited the example of Stockwell Day suggesting that a lawyer by the name of Lorne Goddard, who had defended a client accused of possessing child pornography, believed the same thing as their client — “that the lawyer himself believed that it was OK to have child pornography.” Flanagan then continued, saying “But that’s actually another interesting debate or seminar: what’s wrong with child pornography — in the sense that it’s just pictures? But I’m not here to debate that today.”

Good for them! Proud to have once tarnished that noble fishwrapper with my idiocies.

More on this story here and here and here. Wonder if any search warrants will be issued for Flanagan’s personal computers.

Life Is Full Of Unsolved Mysteries

I’ll probably edit next issue’s Bonus Column (“Because you can never have too many columns!”) today. This one’s got kind of a paranormal TV show feel so I Googled some videos to get in the mood, and I found this excellent thing. Highlight: “Perhaps the answer will come someday soon when the skies open up over another small community and the blobs once again fall to earth.”

Enjoy!

Powerless

So the west side of 18th and 19th block Scarth St. have no power. Here’s the scene from the ally behind O’Hanlon’s. Yes, that IS steam rising from charred, black ground. Hmm! Well, I’m sure if everything wasn’t fine someone would tell me about it.

UPDATE: Turns out I’m not lazy/incompetent enough to NOT call SaskPower, dammit. So I did. Nice media lady Heather says the power outage was the result of a transformer blowing. Power was shut down by SaskPower for the safety of workers (and I presume everyone in general). Power is apparently back in some places, although I just checked with Special Agent Norton at the O’Hanlon’s bureau and all is dark and sad there. The pub is now closed but its humans hopes to reopen at 9:00.

As of right now, SaskPower and SaskEnergy are looking for the cause of the problem. Heather couldn’t give me a timeline for the full restoration of power. Speculation: no “on” switches will be flipped until they figure out what, exactly, so artfully scorched the back of the Canada Life building.

More photos after the jump.

Continue reading “Powerless”

Introducing… The Creative Industries Agency!

This story is developing (in that I don’t have absolutely all the information yet), but the Saskatchewan Government has announced the Creative Industries Agency – meant as a salve to those who make their living through the arts, and what I guess is supposed to be a bandage over the gaping wound inflicted on the local film industry following the axing of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit last year.

In a nutshell, there’s less money to support all the “creative industries” in the province than there used to be to support SaskFilm alone.

Updates and reaction to follow.