At Sush’s prompting, I’m squeezing in time to do this blog post. I’ve been so insanely busy that everything has fallen by the wayside. (Aside: does one do anything to the “wayside” other than to fall by it?) I find myself in Montreal, attending a conference of medical sociologists. Montreal is a good opportunity to reconnect with some semblance of humanism. It seems everywhere I look, there are over-coiffed young couples smooching on the street. I like it. Occasionally it’s nice to have an innocent break from hardcore porn.
Got some odds and ends for you today. First, resident Deonandia villain Darth Vadum sends us the following image stolen from Youtube of Max Raabe. According to the Dark Lord, Raabe has “stolen my smirk”. What think ye?
Next up is a bit of self-pluggery. My latest MicroSoft column is up, and you can read it here.
Next, DR sends us this very entertaining video of Arthur Benjamin, the “mathemagician”.
For you alternative energy enthusiasts, Dawn sends us this video of a dude attempting to use his electronics in the woods.
Meanwhile, my favourite Youtube video series is back for another season. Here are the pertinent links:
Speaking of homemade videos, JJ sends us this hilarious Hillary Clinton short film:
And speaking of Hillary, are you as tired as I am of the way American cable news covers this pre-election election? It’s like a sporting event and not a public policy event. Teams of dour-faced reporters, eager to congratulate themselves on their gravity, line up to discuss –not the issues facing the nation– but the “game play” of the competitors. How many times have I heard an anchor turn to an analyst as ask him to predict what Hillary or Obama is going to say in their next endless address.
Instead of telling us what they’re going to say, how about telling us what it all means for the country and the world? It’s entirely content-free coverage that belies media’s lazy comfort with sports metaphors and manufactured competition. One day soon we will have slow-motion replays of candidate’s rhetoric, complete with analysts’ chalk drawings of who spewed what where and why.
Why does all this happen? Because, frankly, there is pretty much zero difference between all the candidates, Republican or Democrat. That’s true in Canada, as well. As a result, there are no substantive issues to dissect. We exacerbate the minute differences between supposed left and supposed right because that’s what’s expected of the sports metaphor. But in truth, all candidates are playing the same game, the same way, with the same rhetoric and the same policies.
Will an American President disavow capitalism? Economic expansion as the only way to produce wealth? The independence of the federal reserve as a monolithic rate-setting institution? Will he even reject the tired lingo and fashion choices?
There is no real choice in the modern Western democracy. All options arise from the same pool of identically educated individuals with pretty much the same experiential base, the same values, the same goals and the same view of the world, their country, economics and philosophy.
And thus, nothing is going to change.
On that lovely note, I leave you with this review of Toronto Noir in Eye Weekly.