Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tough-guy George

I was YouTubing yesterday and as usual I looked up anything to do with Henry Rollins because you never know, something new might come up and he always has something to say. There was a video he made of a speaking tour show in Israel and the clip is called "Ember Of Rage" (and can be seen at ). He talks about meeting a wounded US soldier. A young man who had a traumatic head wound and who had had 40% of his brain removed.

It got me to thinking (and not for the first time) about all the young soldiers who have been catastrophically wounded since the Iraq war started. Young men and women who's lives have been changed forever by being put in harms way by pampered rich men who have never in their lives seen a gun fired in anger. I don't care if these people volunteered for the armed services. This is an honourable and brave thing to do and was most likely done with the belief that they would not be sent to fight in a vanity war by little men who had not had the nerve to fight for their country themselves. Besides, nobody had ever volunteered to be burned beyond recognition, to lose and arm or a leg, or to have 40% of their brain removed (and what an un-Christian thought it would be to say something creepy like, "those are the risks").

President George W Bush saying, "Bring it on." Could there be anything more nauseating? And while he is enjoying a White House meal served on fine china, young Americans are being wounded and dying in a needless war. Good one, George, but I'm curious. George, as a good Christian, how do you sleep at night?

Anyway... Humouroceros

Tough-guy George

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2010 Olympic mascots

So the Olympic mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia have been introduced to the public and gosh but isn't it an exciting time to be alive. Three little fellows, representing the diversity of this province we call British Columbia. Cartoons of First Nation style characters, drawn in the style of a Japanese bubble-gum wrapper, and if that's not diversity I don't know what is. I am forced to admit though that I don't think that these cute little guys truly represent just what the Olympics is going to mean to our province. Now I know it's too late but I have cobbled together the following picture, and I hope that the Vancouver Olympic Committee will consider making a new character and adding it as a side-kick or something. As you can see it is money being burned. Millions and millions of dollars just going up in smoke. I figure that the guy roaming the streets wearing this could be surrounded by weeping children, representing a future of debt lasting generations. I don't know how this sort of costume could be made but there are smarter people than me out there and I have faith that they can figure it out.
Anyway... Humouroceros

Friday, November 23, 2007


I remember years ago seeing on the news this story about how some places, in order to kid glove some kids self-esteem, would make sure that there were no losers in "sports" events. If you goofed around on the field, you got a trophy. If you didn't know your right from your left, you got a trophy. Basiclly, as long as you showed up, you got a trophy (and it wouldn't even surprise me to find out that even the kids who didn't show up got a trophy because you don't want to leave anybody out now, do you?) No effort required.

How nice. As I understand it the purpose was to show kids that we are all winners, and gosh, isn't that sunny day nice. Well that's all fine but I suspect that all those trophies have been tossed by now because not one of them had any real value. Nobody had to earn them. They were paid for, not won. I guess it's an okay philosophy for three-year-olds, but it doesn't hold water much past that.

I was just imagining these kids all these years later and somehow one of them has made it to the Olympics. Here's the 100-yard dash and our self-esteem-full hero is pulling cartwheels and jerking around while the real athletes are racing down the track. And then he complains because he should get to stand on the podium and receive a pretty medal like the other guys do. Then he has a total melt-down in front of the world's media. Now that's not a pretty picture no matter what kind of camera you use.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Monday, November 19, 2007

They use computers, don't they?

I've been ordering things online for a while now, and everything has gone just fine. Things I order (books, CDs, DVDs) have all arrived as described and in a timely manner. I think the longest I have had to wait is about three weeks, which is fine. Last July (July 27, 2007, actually) I ordered a DVD set of a TV series I watched way back in the 70s (the 1970s) called UFO. It's a live action series by the same people who did The Thunderbirds, and although it may be a little cheezy it is still just good, clean fun. But I digress.

When I ordered, the web-site, which I have ordered from before and since with no problems, said that it would be five to six weeks before shipping. Okay, I figured, that's a bit of a wait, but not too bad. After a six week wait I got an e-mail from the company saying there was a problem with the order and it would not ship for another four weeks or so. That was fine, I was in no particular hurry. But just to be a wiener I went back to the site and checked, and the UFO megaseries was still there, with a five to six week shipping date on it. Curious.

In October, after the four week wait, I got another e-mail saying that the series wasn't available but that I would be notified when it became available. Then I began to wonder. What happened between my initial order in July and October? I had assumed at the time that the five to six week wait until shipping was because the site I ordered from was ordering from another site, and the time was the combination of both of their shipping times. When it finally came up as unavailable I wondered if any of these people use computers in their business's. Locally there are a couple of stores that before I go to buy something specific I can go to the company web-site, use the store locater to find the local store and then check to see if they have what I want in stock. Canadian Tire has an excellent system and so does Chapters/Indigo. But for an online store not to know what they have available is really weird.

Anyway... Humouroceros

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Prince Greedhead

Everybody’s favourite squiggle, also known as the mega-huge rock and roller, Prince, has gone howling off the deep-end and issued a song calling down the wrath of all that’s holy on, get this, his fans. It would appear that years of make-up, odd clothes and exotic hair gels have finally taken their toll and Mister Prince has completely snapped his rubber-band.

As I understand it, Squiggle has taken offence that his fans are posting photos, lyrics and/or bits of his music online. Unlike a “normal” celebrity who would have been pleased that folks like his art. His first blast was at a young mom from Pennsylvania who had posted a video of her 18-month old son dancing. This criminal master-mind almost got away with it except for the hawk-eared Prince who noticed while watching the video that if you listened very carefully, turned up the volume real loud and filtered out the child’s laughter and the static, you could make out Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy” playing on the radio in the background. Ha! Busted! Immediately he notified the media and sent off an e-mail to the criminal ordering her to get the video off the ‘net forthwith, which she did. Unfortunately the media reported the story and the video which had had only a dozen or so views suddenly had over 200,000 views before it was pulled. And then, adding insult to injury, this hardened Pennsylvanian crime-lord put the video back up and filed suit against Prince and Universal Music, saying (and these are my words not hers) that Prince is a jerk and a dick. Unbelievable.

Prince took the low-road and lawyered up, filing a cease-and-desist against his fans. His team of legal-beagles have gone after certain web-sites, ordering them to take down photos and lyrics, and demanding information on, “susbstantive details of the means by which you propose to compensate our clients [Paisley Park Entertainment Group, NPG Records, and AEG] for damages.” I’m guessing that the “damages” are that these people buy Prince’s CDs, DVDs, and attend his concerts.

Well I have to admit that it is at about this point that had I actually ever been a fan of Prince, in whatever phase he was in, that I would have taken all my Prince CDs, scratched pentagrams into them and sent them to his record company wrapped in a used diaper. But that’s me. Prince’s actual fans are made of sterner stuff.

What they did was they got together and formed a group called Prince Fans United to try to convince the little fellah to allow the people who support him, who buy his music and who attend his concerts, to display his like-ness and quote his lyrics on their web-sites. The P-man, who is apparently not used to not getting his way in all things, responded to his fans by recording and posting on-line a song called PFUnk (get it?), which at one go both shows how clever he is and insults his fans. Of course it also shows that the legal hi-jinks are not, as claimed by some, a ruse by the record companies to make him look bad but are, in fact, his idea. Brilliant.

Traditionally it has been the record companies themselves that go after the fans, accusing them of “ripping off the artists” by downloading music from the Internet, and when it comes to ripping off the fans the record companies don’t like competition. In fact the record companies (represented by the Recording Industry Association of America, AKA: the RIAA) have taken to suing university students in the States, probably because those guys are just top-heavy with extra money. Of course before they get to court, the RIAA offers a one-time out-of-court settlement to the students where they can pay a very reasonable tens of thousands of dollars settlement, or else the RIAA will sue them into the stone-age. Of course these people are criminals so they do not deserve any sympathy at all. So there. But these are the sorts of behaviour that one would expect from a company, not from the artist him/herself.

And that’s the weird part for me. To hear about an artist going after his own fans. It’s sort of like a racecar driver pouring sugar into his own gas-tank just before a race. I have to assume that Prince knows what he is doing though.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Prince's new symbol (a suggestion)

Monday, November 05, 2007

A vast wasteland

I heard on the radio today that the writers in Hollywood have gone on strike. The announcer said that if the strike were to last then TV would become a vast wasteland of reality television. Funny, I thought it already was.

Anyway... Humouroceros