Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Politics Hates the Internet: Stephen Harper is a Phony

Check out this video from 2003 of current Prime Ministerial candidate Stephen Harper regurgitating nearly the exact same speech that then Prime Minister of Australia John Howard gave 2 days prior.

I wonder where these two li'l Amerifans got the copy for their political marketing to make a case for a hurried and unnecessary war. Well, Howard got run out of office in 2007 by Australians - and Canadians should do the same with Harper. Despite the act he's putting on during the last 20 days, Stephen Harper is not your friend, and he is does not represent the values of Canadians.

Sorry for the influx of politically-themed posts on popgunning these days. I'm trying to resist, but there's just so much absurdity infused into both the Canadian and American elections. As it happens the internet has the most adept tools for rooting out and highlighting all this insanity. I promise I'll at least try to balance them out with 2x as many fun posts about movies and such.

One last thing...Stephen Harper shakes his son's hand when he drops him off at school.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Poor John McCain: He's Not A President

Poor ol' Johnny. He doesn't know how to run a campaign, and he's increasingly showing it.

I predict a frazzled and unprepared McCain tonight who is decidedly crushed by Obama.

If McCain doesn't lose this election, it will be no fault of his own.

Let's play him one of his favourite songs. A classic tune, and appropriately, a bit of funeral march:

And yes, Obama picking Nina Simone's Sinnerman as one of his Top10 songs is the coolest thing a politician will ever do.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Canadian Game Shows: The True North Strong And Cheap

[contestants on Canadian game shows] “always seemed to have moles and goiters and were filmed with cameras that were won in games of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Fidel Castro.” - Douglas Coupland
Yes, they were definitely made on the cheap, featured homely contestants, and starred lame hosts, but Canadian Game Shows of the 70s, 80s, and even 90s had a charm and watchability unmatched by glitzy American shows of today and yesteryear.

Decide for yourself. Check out these videos of my favourite shows:

Just Like Mom:

Bumper Stumpers:


There's one I can't remember though. It featured a panel of "celebrities" who are handed an object and each offer their interpretation of what it actually is, then the contestants have to guess whose story is the truth. I think it aired around the mid-80s. It's maybe the best of them all - or perhaps the worst. Anybody know it?

One thing's for sure. The prizes on Canadian shows couldn't hold a candle to their American counterparts. It was always a set of luggage or maybe a train trip to Ottawa, or check out the fancy prizes "Guess What" offers up in the beginning of this clip.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Perfunctory Movie Review: Ghost Town - Actually Not That Bad

Yeah, after seeing the trailer, me and you both thought that Ghost Town was the new Ghost Dad.

Well, I saw it, and we were wrong.

Ghost Town
is the new Heart & Souls. Check out a scene from Robert Downey Jr.'s pre-redeem movie past:

Yup, Ghost Town made me crack up and tear up more than Heart & Souls and Field of Dreams put together. Ricky Gervais is hilarious as always and it's a simple and nicely directed picture. Best feel good movie since The Dream Team.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Best Song Ever of the Week: Why?

WHY? - The Hollows [click for MP3] from the album Alopecia. Kaleidoscopic folk rap for nerds and music nerds alike.

This song just kills it. Perfect fall listening. Right up there with the best work of TV on the Radio and Menomena.

"Oh no, those Gypsies probably got knives."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Style Over Substance: Mad Men Wins an Emmy

So yeah, Mad Men won Emmys for Best Drama Series and Best Writing for a Drama Series last night. Not that these kind of awards necessarily signify any measure of actual 'bestness', but it confirms that Mad Men is becoming one of those shows that "you have to watch". I don't know about that.

Yes, it's okay not to like this show.

Sure, Mad Men has a place in this new golden age of TV drama, but I think the praise the show is receiving of late is a bit confused.

There is a definite allure to the show, but the more I watch, the more it seems like all gesture and posture, but no significance. Maybe that's what happens when set and costume design take the forefront ahead of characters and story.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great characters in the show (Don Draper and Peggy Olson for example). But the show relies on suggestion and subtelty to the point where ambiguity becomes meaninglessness. Sometimes haunting stares and vague (a/imm)moralisms aren't enough to forge characters and stories that an audience can connect with or get lost in - rather than just admire or pity.

Worsening this effect, the sheer number of characters further dilutes storylines and creates another (unintended) layer of ambiguity - and that much ambiguity, that's not narrative tension, that's surplus.

There's a lot of other flaws to Mad Men, but I'll let you revel in the rest. Just remember though, you don't "have to watch." It's not that we're not "getting it" - sometimes there's just nothing to get.

Plus, Revolutionary Road is coming out soon and it looks like it might better satisfy our hunger for some mid-20thC soul crushing blues. Directed by Jarhead's Sam Mendes (his other movie doesn't exist in my world). Starring Kate and Leo. Yes, that Kate and Leo!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lebron James Loses at HORSE to Some Guy

David Kalb, a warehouse worker from California, won a contest to compete against Lebron James in a game of H-O-R-S-E:

Another example of Lebron James's overratedness.

via Neatorama via Muttpop.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Eglinton West Catches Obama Fever

Captured by a wily cell phone photographer in Little Jamaica in Toronto, Ontario.

By all means, if you're in the neighbourhood visit OBAMA rket for some Caribbean groceries or some African movies.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The "Rick Roll" Finally Finds Its Purpose

rickrolling, the annoying little internet psych has reached the pinnacle.

if this had actually happened, i might not mind so much when Barack loses the election.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


100 Free Online Ivy League University Courses

Amazing Cakes

I remember I was lucky enough to get a Get Along Gang cake for my 5th birthday... but cake making has come along way since the eighties:

Super Mario Kart Cake [flickr set]

Muppet Show Cake [flickr set]

I should also take this opportunity to big up a hilarious blog called Cake Wrecks, that features all sorts of cake designs gone horribly wrong. Here's one of my favourites - someone had a very disappointing Olympic party....

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

James Franco as Allen Ginsberg

Looks like there's an Allen Ginsberg biopic in the works and Pineapple Express star James Franco is set to play the famous poet. The movie is titled Howl and it will revolve around the obscenity trial that his famous poem sparked in 1957.

This is a huge coup for Franco, and it seems like he'll be working with a pretty decent team. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Gus Van Sant will serve as executive producer, and Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedberg the filmmakers behind the superb documentary The Celluloid Closet [link to trailer] will be directing.

An excerpt from "Howl":
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz...
And speaking of period biopics of homosexuals that involve James Franco and Gus Van Sant, the trailer for Milk is online. Watch it here, and look out for the scene I saw them shoot in San Francisco.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Turmeric: The Super Spice

I cut my finger last night. The perfect opportunity to test the healing properties of Turmeric. Yes, TuRmeric. Not Trumeric or Tumeric, as it is often mislabeled.

Part of the Saffron family and containing the magic ingredient Curcumin, Turmeric is reputed to stave off Alzheimer's disease, as well as having anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It is also used as an antiseptic.

Johnson & Johnson company even markets a Turmeric Band-Aid in India (see ad storyboard here).

Anyhow, I sprinkled some turmeric on my finger and strapped on a regular ol' North American Band-Aid. Abra Cadabra, this morning my cut is mostly healed. On the negative side, I have a yellow finger.

As the New York Times and Yahoo! Health have already advised, get on the Turmeric bandwagon and sprinkle some in your curries, stir-fry, or even pasta sauce. It's not overpowering taste-wise, but it just might overpower bad health. Low risk, high reward.

Go Turmeric!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sorry about a week without posts