Bush Lite and First Impressions

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I’m going to try and update this thing more often. I feel like I’ve been silent for too long and that some things have gone down recently that just cannot get brushed aside.

Today I want to talk about the terrorist plot on our nations capital. I have to say that the thought of armed men storming the parliament building, taking hostages and beheading Stephen Harper is beyond belief. Shock would hardly cover the emotion that would surely rise up in myself. Yet, something seems off with this story.

Some commentators have already pointed out how this is turning into a spectacular show-trial and quite possibly will reduce the chance of these men getting a fair trial. Are they guilty? I don’t know and I think it’s up to the court to decide that. But by parading these guys around with SWAT team and snipers at every turn as if at any moment a full battalion of insurgents were going to show up gives the impression that these are more than just a bunch of deranged young adults and instead an organized and credible threat against our nation. Let’s remember that they were caught before the execution of their plan by tracking a large purchase of fertilizer. If intelligent people were in charge of this operation, you would think that they would have bought in smaller quantities from unconnected sources… I also found it funny that the picture the press has used in the story on CNN shows nothing more than a gun, a multi-meter, and a soldering iron. Wow. So every registered firearm owning electrical engineer in Canada is potentially a terrorist? Yikes. This is a strange new world we live in. You’d think that if this was a fully planned and imminent threat they would have some scarier stuff to show in that picture… like… a bomb?

But I digress. My point is that there seems to be a new playbook being used with the media as of late and it reeks of Karl Rove. I’m not saying he’s the puppet-master of the Harper government (but it wouldn’t surprise me), I’m just saying that the conservatives may have picked up a few tips from their brethren south of the border.

For one, Harper stated that “we are a target, because of who we are and how we live, our society, our diversity and our values — values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law.” This sounded so familiar that I had to go look up where I had last heard this. Bush said it back in 2001: “They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” That always rang hallow with me then and it does so today as well. You know, maybe they hate us because we are bombing them, blowing up their cities, and killing innocent civilians? No, it’s just cause we can choose to go to MicDick’s and have cheeseburgers and watch MTV. That REALLY gets them all burned up inside.

But is that little, insignificant quote just an over reaction on my part? Maybe. But yet, something still seems different about how our Canadian officials are acting lately. Not many people noticed (or cared) but the National Post ran a story last month about Iran and how the country was planning to force Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinctive clothing to distinguish themselves from Muslims. The story ran with a picture from 1944 which showed a Hungarian couple wearing yellow stars that the Nazis forced Jews to sew onto their clothes. They even had an online poll with the question, “Is Iran turning into the new Nazi Germany?”

The problem with this assertion is that the original focus of the story turned out to not be true which was admitted by the editor-in-chief, Douglas Kelly, quickly after it was published. He said that, “[the paper apologizes] for the mistake and for the consternation it has caused not just National Post readers, but the broader public who read the story.”

But the funny thing was how this story was used later in the day (before the retraction) by Mr. Harper when he said that Iran “is very capable of this kind of action,” adding, “It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the Earth would want to do anything that could remind people of Nazi Germany.”

It seems that the Harper government is trying to get Canadians on board with a potential military action against Iran… just like our friends to the south are doing already to their population. Of course, a spokesman for Mr. Harper added later that his statement was prefaced by, “If this is true…” but we all know that public opinion doesn’t care about whether it’s true or not.

It’s all about first impressions.

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Firewall

You might remember that last summer I posted about starring… well, appearing, in the new Harrison Ford movie Firewall. Well, last night I had the… priviledge?… no, ability to see the flick early as part of a preview promotion at Metropolis.

The movie in general wasn’t all bad. The first 30 minutes were actually above average for your standard run of the mill thriller. What they did really well was making the plot rather plausible for a change. Most of the actions taken by the bad guys are explained and make sense. Note, I did say most… not all.

The scene that featured me was much too short to really make me feel like I was really in the movie. No, there was a blurry guy in a red shirt rocking out with a guitar that looked like me, but it wouldn’t inspire anyone to say, “Hey! Weren’t you in the movie?” even though I was at the premiere wearing the same outfit.

SPOILER ALERT!!!! Please do not keep reading if you plan on seeing the flick.

You should know from the trailer that Harrison Ford plays a security engineer guy for a major bank that is forced to work around his own security measures when Paul Bettany holds Ford’s family hostage. The part that had me interested was how they kind of ripped off the first season episodes of 24 where Jack Bauer was in the exact same situation as both were wired up with cameras and microphones and are being watched at all times. Where this falls apart is when the bad guys choose to only do this for one day. The next day, oh, well, we trust Harrison now, so we won’t do that whole deal again.

Now, most people know that to have wireless access, you need to be in range of a wireless router or access point. Sadly, the writers of this movie didn’t know, as Harrison Ford is able to connect to the net under a bridge and Paul is able to check his Swiss bank account from the side of the road on a remote mountain pass.

But my biggest gripe with this movie was the number of groaner moments in the final 20 minutes. Sometimes movies have moments when you say to yourself, “Man, that was SUCH an AWESOME TWIST!” This movie didn’t have that kind of moment. It had one of those, “No… no… no we are… no… you didn’t just say… OMG… SHOOT ME!” What was this moment? Well, as the bad guys are running off to their base with his family, Ford stops to log into his online PetFinder service that tracks a GPS locator in their dog’s collar. Oh yeah, that’s right. The dog was taken with the family… because… well, he’s just sooooo cute! Sigh.

After that it was all downhill.

But I was in it! SO IT WAS AWESOME! 🙂

Let’s just say I plan to rent it and rip ONE CHAPTER… and that’s all I could probably watch ever again.

My New Pad

It’s been a long time since the last post, but that was mostly due to me packing up and moving to my new place… not to mention an increased drive by Jo to get wedding stuff done early! 🙂

So here are some snapshots of the new pad!

So we still have some work to do obviously. We need to get a nice dining table and a matching love seat to go with our nice Ikea couch Jo had. We are also still in the process of de-boxifying the apartment, as can be seen in the bedroom picture. The nice part is that those are all empty boxes, so it’s just a matter of folding them up and storing them back at Jo’s mom’s place or throwing them away. Our storage area is housing the final boxes with stuff in them, but I’m not sure if I’m gonna keep most of that stuff anyways.

Anyways, I’m suffering from a brutal cold today so I’m going to post this and go back to resting.

Cheers

A Daily Show Update

Some of you may wonder why Monday night’s episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart was a repeat. As was mentioned on Tuesday night’s taping, the death of a young staffer who worked on the show was the cause. In honor of the young man, Tuesday night’s “Moment of Zen” appeared to be a favorite clip of the 23 year old receptionist who committed suicide last weekend. A somber Stewart introduced the clip and the show’s credits ran without any music.

On a lighter note, Jon will receive the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Honorary All-America Award for 2005 in January of next year. The NSCAA Honorary All-America award is presented to those who have brought particular distinction to the sport of soccer through their efforts within and beyond the boundaries of the sport.

More can be read on this here.

The Day the Whole World Went Away – Deconstructed

This is very neat to listen to. I guess these were posted during the time NIN was working on the Fragile and posted these as teasers to their old website. Click on the numbers to hear the loops. Each number adds another layer to the sound or changes the ordering of the mix. There are other loops for other songs too, but this one was really neat. Check out the rest at the NIN Hotline Archive. They are the colored boxes under Sound Loops.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

I found it again, and everyone must experience this at least once… I practically peed my pants when they did this on Family Guy last month.

An Overdue Update

Due to the craziness of school and my studying for exams, I had planned to put this off for yet another week… but I have realized that this isn’t truly fair to those of you who I don’t see very often. As such, here is the latest news in the world of Mike.

I got engaged.

Yes, that’s right. Mr. Professional Single got himself a woman. On top of that, she even said yes. Stunning.

I’ve had many requests as to how this all went down, but I’m growing tired of explaining so here is all I’m going to give out.

Josee and I went out for dinner at Chambar down on Beatty Street and had an amazing dinner with some superb wine and excellent service. Following a mind-blowing desert feast, we travelled over to Jericho beach which was so fogged in that we couldn’t see our car from the park… and also couldn’t see the water at all! We walked through the eerie fog until we heard the water lapping up onto the beach. With fog all around and the sound of the waves crashing, I pulled out my iPod and we danced on the beach to Sarah McLachlan’s Dirty Little Secret. When it ended, Death Cab for Cutie’s Brothers in Different Beds came on, which is one of our favorite songs. During the intro, I proposed, and we hugged and danced through the song.

There you go! The rest of the evening (and days to follow) were spent going from family member to family member telling them the good news.

The date is currently set for August 26th, 2006. Oh, what fun planning a wedding is!

Well, not exactly. I still have a beef with the fact that every single shade of green has a specific name chosen by Martha Stewart. Sigh.