Tuesday, January 31, 2006

our nominees in the "they wuz robbed" category are...

Actor in a leading role: Eric Bana, Munich
Actress in a leading role: Dame Judi Dench, Ladies in Lavender
Foreign language film: C.R.A.Z.Y. (Canada)
Music (song): "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" by Emmylou Harris (thanks to Jason for pointing out my glaring omission)

I know, I know. Dench got a nomination for Mrs. Henderson Presents. And let's face it: she can belch and get an Oscar nod. But her performance as the sweetly tortured Ursula in this under-the-radar film deserves recognition.

I've got Oscar fever!

Friday, January 27, 2006

...and it begins

The people of Canada have become so liberal and hedonistic that the public ethic in the country immediately could not be reversed. But with leadership, it may well be possible to change the public ethic.
So says Free Congress Foundation chairmam Paul Weyrich, according to a story in The Globe and Mail today. Weyrich wants prime-minister-designate Stephen Harper to rid Canada of "cultural Marxism."

Keep it coming, cobags. Harper's minority government will fall right before your eyes...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

a new kind of frigidity for Canada

Did anyone else see the pictures of Stephen Harper, our prime-minister-designate, seeing his two young children off to school? He shook their hands.

Perhaps Harper is different when there aren't news crews in the vicinity. I certainly hope so; otherwise, if that's his level of parenting warmth, those kids are going to need a whole lot of therapy when they get older.

PS - I can't wait to see what my conservative parents think of the fact that Harper's wife goes by her maiden surname and not Harper. For years, my mom & dad (especially my dad) just reviled former tory prime minister Joe Clark for having a wife (Maureen McTeer) who dared keep her own name.

Monday, January 23, 2006

great... just great...


Meet the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada. CBC News is projecting a minority government for Stephen Harper. I'm with Fat Robot on this one...

Oh well. I don't even have a boyfriend, so I shouldn't be too upset when Harper proposes a parliamentary free vote on same sex marriage, and then works to restore the "traditional" definition of marriage. Silly faggot... weddings are for hets!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

conundrum

There's a federal election in Canada tomorrow, and I'm still undecided. My choice to repeat my previous federal and provincial voting pattern (for the Green Party) was thrown into uncertainty by a snipe from my mother. She called a vote for the greens a waste of taxpayers' money. At first, I filed that one in the same spot as her equation of the Green Party to communism (I'm not kidding), but then I started thinking of Italy: dozens of political parties and elections every few months. Maybe Canada doesn't need another player in the political scene.

(In Canada, if a political party gets a certain percentage of the vote, they qualify for funding from the federal government.)

If there's something that this enormous and thinly-populated nation doesn't need, it's more fragmentation. If the NDP has never achieved power at the federal level, what hope does the Green Party have? Once the greens achieve a certain size, it's conceivable they could be swallowed up in a merger with the NDP, anyway.

And then there's my riding: Toronto Centre. A fortress of Liberal Party power. My MP is the minister of defense, and although I've always liked him, I've never voted for him. In this election, however, I think he deserves my vote. Bill Graham's support of Canada's same sex marriage legislation is something I, as a gay man, have to pay attention to. Perhaps if I had grown up knowing the option of marriage (and the associated civil rights afforded by it) was available, I wouldn't have developed (and spent years working through) the issues of self-loathing and shame I felt as a closeted homosexual teenager.

My brother thinks I should vote NDP because the leader, Jack Layton, "looks like a gay 70's porn star..." What a cheeky monkey! But my brother just doesn't want me to vote Liberal...

I've never voted NDP before, and I might consider it--had I not been harassed by one of their campaign workers during the last election. He tried to force his way into my apartment building behind me. (This is one of my pet peeves.) I turned to him and asked what he thought he was doing. He said, "under Canadian election law, I have a right to enter the building." I told him to go back to the intercom board and continue buzzing his list of supporters until he found one that would let him in. I then used my height and build to my advantage: I pulled the door shut behind me, forcefully. Fuck you, Michael Shapcott campaign worker. Go trespass somewhere else.

And then there's the Conservative party. The local candidate's third listed core principle: "The family unit is the building block of society as we know it." Forgive me if my past experience with those who espouse such values has left me guarded and cautious. Interestingly enough, in the week since I've visited this candidate's website, he has inserted "sexual orientation" into his second listed value, which posits that all people should be treated as equal under the law. It's like he finally realized that one of North America's largest gay and lesbian communities lies in the centre of the riding he's after.

His blog claims that he's in favour of same sex marriage, and that the gay rights group EGALE has given him a grade of A- . This is true--but EGALE also gives the Conservative party a grade of F.

I can't believe I'm in that most central-Canadian of places: holding my nose and voting Liberal. Fuck.

Friday, January 20, 2006

mobile when you're immobile

I've been wanting to post an entry about the upcoming federal election, but I'm too tired to get my thoughts together. I'll share this instead: of all the peculiar ways and places people use (and annoy others) with their cellular telephones, why, oh why, does anyone think it's acceptable to talk whilst sitting on the toilet in a public bathroom? Like the person on the other end won't be able to figure out where you are when a toilet flushes!

Gross me dead!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

bite me, 36




I'm getting ready. I went to ~H20+ and bought their Aquafirm replenishing night cream. I'm Melanie Griffith: "Don't act your age. Defy it."

Monday, January 16, 2006

cinq choses au sujet de moi-même

Troy over at Republic of Dogs tagged me with this meme on January 11th: The Random Five Things About Me You Never Knew, But I Want You To Know, But I Don't Want You To Learn Them In My Own Original Words, But In The Words I've Stolen From Others


1. Click here to hear 'badmood-18'


2. "Mloyd was truly in his element while gay camping at TRC in Washington State. The atmosphere was Martha Stewart by day, sex party by night." - Paul


3.












4. "I'm simply suggesting we all try to enjoy one another without having to assign blame." - Meryl Streep as Suzanne Vale in Postcards from the Edge


5.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Constant Gardener Trust

After Country Boys ended lastnight, I kept PBS on for the Tavis Smiley show. Rachel Weisz (the second guest) talked about filming The Constant Gardener in Kenya. Weisz--charming and eloquent, as always--pointed out that the film company wanted to leave a positive and lasting impression in the communities where filming was done, and so a charitable organization was set up. The Constant Gardener Trust has already built a bridge, toilet/shower blocks, and potable water facilities in Kibera (a slum within Nairobi); a school and other projects are ongoing in Loiyangalani (north of the city). The trust is working with local groups to pour the location fees right back into the communities that moviegoers might have assumed were sets.

I was impressed. Today, I purchased the DVD of the movie. I rarely buy DVDs, but I felt this one deserved my money. I also made a donation to The Constant Gardener Trust.

So, we were all confronted by very extreme poverty, by abject poverty. And at first, we all thought what could we do, what could we do? It's so terrible. And you realize that if a little group of people get together and start a little organization, you can do small things to help. So, in a way, the lesson to me was that it's better to do something small than to do nothing. - Rachel Weisz, January 11 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Kentucky Fried PBS

I am deeply engrossed in David Sutherland's Country Boys, a six-hour documentary on Frontline this week. The third and final instalment airs tonight.

My favourite press review of the documentary is from Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times:
It's a long and at times slow film that some viewers will undoubtedly find tedious and frustrating, though I would count its length and pace among its virtues. … [B]y taking its time, it sensitizes you to nuance, until the smallest most awkward stabs at connection or expression become terribly moving. …

If there is a message to extract, it might be that every kid needs a sympathetic adult in his life, but I think that's almost an incidental point. I'm not sure Sutherland has a point, beyond awakening a feeling of common humanity in his viewers, and I can't image a better one. Insofar as any edited work can be executed nonjudgmentally, this comes close to that ideal. It's a rare thing on television, such passionate dispassion -- but then, it's a rare thing anywhere.

There is also an excellent backgrounder on the pbs website about poverty in America.

Monday, January 09, 2006

so long, Zidovudine... hello, Tenofovir...

February 1997 - January 2006

I knew I had licked you when I could chase you with a Mike's Hard Lemonade... and when I didn't require Gravol twice a day...

I'll miss your likeness to Tylenol when I enter the United States of America...

Speaking of Tylenol, I have a headache. Is that you, Tenofovir?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

the deed is done


I saw Brokeback Mountain tonight, finally. With Jason. Bit the bullet, if you'll pardon the western pun. I am alive, although currently intoxicated... we went for a few "decompression" drinks afterward, including "Horny Cowboy" shots and--after three or four pints each of Stella--a couple of long-necked Buds in honour of Jack and Ennis.

It's a stunningly beautiful movie. Yes, Heath Ledger will receive a best actor nomination for his performance. Yes, Jake Gyllenhaal's eyes are an impossible shade of blue against the backdrop of his denim shirt. Michelle Williams, Ang Lee's genius, yadda yadda yadda...

I knew this film was coming, and I tried to prepare: I read the short story by Annie Proulx; I watched the trailer online in September and cried (and vowed to be either 30 pounds lighter or one boyfriend heavier by the release date); I resigned myself to seeing it single and with a belly. It still managed to surprise me, though. Not just the cinematography (my God, Canada is beautiful) or the music (Jason and I wanted to buy Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris drinks tonight), but in particular the performance of a stalwart mainstay of Canadian theatre and film: Roberta Maxwell. Her nuanced, spare portrayal of Jack Twist's mother--and the screenplay's ever-so-slight elaboration from her scenes in the short story--made me realize that, in the end, everyone knows. Parents, children, friends... you can't hide who you are from the people in your life. My parents know, on some level, that I'm a poof. I'm going to have to talk to them about it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

no more walls



I've been organizing photographs from my 2002 trip to Europe, and thought I'd scan and post this close up I took of the Berlin Wall. It's from the East Side Gallery, a large outdoor gallery of murals painted on remnants of the wall by artists from all over the world. I felt soothed by the colours in this small section, yet haunted by the overall image. The piece is "Coming Through the Wall" by Kani Alavi.

Here's hoping that in 2006, the world will tear down more walls than it puts up. (Except for the East Side Gallery. I hope it stands for a long time to come.)