What’s in a name?

December 17, 2008

Welcome to the Canadian Child Screening Test!  Rest assured that the government has no desire to interfere with your constitutional* right to have children!  We just want to provide assistance to some families who’s ability to.. um… “effectively” raise children may be compromised by the fact that they’re horrible, unfit people who should be shot***.
By answering the following questions that appear on the screen, you will be granted your eligibility license to procreate!  It’s all automatic and it just takes 5 minutes!  Please note that certain answers will result in a weird humming noise and an unearthly green glow within the licensing booth.  DON’T WORRY!  This is perfectly normal.  You are not, repeat, NOT being bombarded with a highly radioactive gamma ray that will render you totally sterile.  Ha ha!  There will also be cake at the end of the test.****
Please answer the following questions *HONESTLY*.  No cheating!
A) Have you ever:
( ) Watched an “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader” marathon?
( ) Said “Get er done” but you weren’t being ironic?
( ) Laughed at the comedy of Dane Cook?
( ) None of the above
B) Do you think that the KKK was:
( ) Misunderstood?
( ) Ahead of their time?
( ) On to something?
( ) Awful.  Simply awful
C) Have you ever voted:
( ) Bloc
D) Have you ever considered doing the following with your children?
( ) Intentionally trying to raise them to be deaf?
( ) Abandoning them in stairwells?
( ) Leaving them in the car with the window slightly unrolled while you go shopping?
( ) Naming them Adolph Hitler Campbell?

 Thanks for participating, and rest assured that your answers will result in a stronger, better Canada.
* Note – not actually in the constitution.  Also, Canada doesn’t have a constitution.  We have a Bill of Rights**
** Note – not actually in the Bill of Rights.
*** Probably not you!
**** In the event that you do see the green light, you may notice your hair falling out and you may begin to pass unusual amounts of blood within your stool.  Rest assured that this is totally unrelated to anything we’ve done.  DON’T SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP!


Home run

December 13, 2008

One of the more challenging roles for a serious actor is to play a character who is handicapped.  How do you realistically portray the lifelong struggle and quiet bravery that can often accompany a limiting physical disability?  While it can be one of the more difficult roles, it can also be the most rewarding.

On the flip side, you can star in a football movie.  Talent required?  None.  There have been a lot of actors who have tried on the role, these are the top 11 fictional quarterbacks of all time.  As is the case with any list that I produce, this is based on science and are quantified rankings.  This is non-debatable.

#11 Any Given Sunday – Jamie Foxx

Pictured - historically inaccurate mustache

Pictured – historically inaccurate mustache

I also didn’t buy that he came in for like a game and a half and all of a sudden was on the cover of every magazine.  Or wait… did I miss the subtext?  Were they so astounded that a QB could be successful and have a mustache?  Because that makes sense.  Shit, that was pretty subtle though.
Realism Factor: 4 / 10

#10 That one episode of the Simpsons where Bart is in a football league- Nelson

Ha ha indeed, non-football Nelson

Ha ha indeed, non-football Nelson

Nelson is probably humanity’s finest quarterback.  He has an arm like a rocket, he can run the ball, he can block for himself, and apparently he can run fast enough to receive his own passes.  He doesn’t rely on the razzle dazzle, he’s very much an old school player who moves the ball by sheer force of will.  The rest of the team is really just there to pour Gatorade on him after he wins the game.

Having said that, he loses a ton of points for being a cartoon and also I think they make reference to him being a smoker.  QB’s do not smoke.
Realism Factor: 5 / 10

#9 Something about Mary – Brett Favre

I can't believe he lost to this guy

I can’t believe he lost to this guy

I just didn’t buy him as a quarterback in this movie, mostly because he did very little quarterbacking.  While I can see him nailing Cameron Diaz, I can’t see him losing her to Ben Stiller.  He looked awkward out there, and it came across on screen.  If you put him in a real game, he’d probably be killed inside of the first 4 plays.  They should have gotten Vin Diesel.
Realism factor: 6/10

#8 Friday Night Lights, movie or TV show – ??

I refuse to search imdb for you, mystery quarterback

I refuse to search imdb for you, mystery quarterback

I saw the movie and barely remember it, something about one of the guys wanting his fathers respect and then he found his ring.  I never saw the TV show.  Regardless, whoever played this quarterback I think did a good job because I imagine that QB’s are always trying to earn their fathers respect and probably have trouble keeping track of their rings because you can’t wear a ring and throw a football at the same time.
Realism Factor: 6.5 / 10

#7 Keanu Reeves in the Replacements

You're saying I can throw footballs?

You’re saying I can throw footballs?

This one is difficult for me as I loves me some Keanu.  I think he’s a brilliant, expressive actor who brings layers of complexity to any role he’s in.  I’m also the only human on earth who feels this way. You know when you were a kid you had those moments where you’d look around and say “am I the only one who’s not a robot”?  and then you’d try to catch people turning into robots when you’re not looking?  Like you’d look away and then turn around really fast, and go “AH HA!” hoping to catch people in robot form?  But you never could?  That’s what it feels like to actually enjoy the acting of Keanu Reeves.

Am I the only one who did this?

Anyway – I can’t remember this movie very well, but in general Keanu is quite athletic and has a good QB build.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#6 Necessary Roughness – Scott Bakula

I totally forgot Sinbad was in this

I totally forgot Sinbad was in this

The first time I wrote this, I typed “Scott Baio” so I’m subtracting a ton of points for that.  I only buy Scott Baio as Chachi and Bob Loblaw, not as a QB.  To a much lesser extent I slightly buy him as Charles in charge of my days and my nights.  Scott Bakula has the same problem.  If he’s not quantum leaping into bodies, I don’t want to know about it.

As I recall this story (poorly!) it might have been the most unrealistic football movie ever made.  I think it also ripped off the plot from Major League pretty significantly.  Wasn’t there some scene where a Hawaiian guy ninja kicked a defenseman in the face?  Do they even let Hawaiian’s play football?  After some consideration though, I’m giving this some added points because I think I love this movie even though I don’t really remember watching it.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#5 Everybody’s all American – Dennis Quaid.

Probably a better pitcher

Probably a better pitcher

In your face Jamie Foxx!  Dennis Quaid is back baby, apparently in a romantic movie about football.  Wait, what?  Yeesh, I’m sure glad I never saw this.  For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to assume Dennis Quaid played the exact same character as he did in The Rookie, which was awesome.  He threw the shit out of that baseball and he was a pretty good math teacher!
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#4 The Longest Yard (the new version) – Adam Sandler

Did somebody call for a rapist?

Did somebody call for a rapist?

I know, I should be using the original movie.  But I never saw it!  I tried to watch it, but could only get about 12 minutes in.  Burt Reynolds.  I don’t know man.  He just looks like a rapist.

I liked Adam Sandler as a quarterback, I really bought it.  You know that scene where he’s playing basketball and he keeps getting fouled, but he doesn’t call the foul and he’s all tough?  I could see a QB doing that.  I think he was also tired and world-weary which is how I picture a lot of QB’s to be who have been arrested and sent to jail.
Realism Factor: 8.5/10

#3 Best little whorehouse in Texas – ???

Not sure why Google returned this picture, but awesome

Not sure why Google returned this picture, but awesome

We know very little about the actor who played the quarterback in this movie.  I’m almost positive he is never mentioned by name.  We certainly never see him play football.  What we do know about him (whoever he is) is that he is quite an exceptional dancer, he has a great singing voice and he loves fucking shit-ugly hookers.
Realism Factor: 8.5 / 10

#2 Varsity Blues – James Van Der Beek

Dawson - totally not wanting your life

Dawson – totally not wanting your life

QB’s never want anyone’s life.
Realism Factor: 9.5/10

#1 The Last Boy Scout – Damon Wayans

This should get my career back on track

This should get my career back on track

This is another case where we don’t actually see the actor play any football so it’s tough to judge.  In fact, the only time we see him even throw a ball is when he’s trying to stop rape, or fight crime atop horseback, which aren’t exactly typical circumstances an average QB would find themselves in (except in razzle-dazzle horseback rape plays, or I-11 out of the shotgun).

Nonetheless, he certainly does fit the archetype mold for a QB – a disgraced drug addict who mortgaged his own future by selling out to the mob only to redeem himself by teaming up with a drunken, self-hating private detective in a failing marriage and then go on to stop a sniper by throwing him into a helicopter.

Make sense to me.
Realism Factor: 10/ 10

That’s a half truth!

December 12, 2008

Canada is a complex country which is often misunderstood by its neighbors.  We’re like the quiet kid in the corner who eats glue yet has a strong national infrastructure.  

In conjunction with my buddy at middle of nowhere  I’ve taken a crack at debunking some of the more common myths about Canada.

Myth or Fact?  Everyone in Canada knows everyone in Canada
This is only Partially True.
Canada is a massive country, the 2nd largest on the planet behind Russia, and this is even after it’s been proven that communism doesn’t work. In your face, Zombie Stalin.  Accordingly, it is very difficult to know every single person in the Country.  Even though our per capita population is only 135 people per 100 square miles, it takes a lot of legwork to meet everyone.  Having said that, yes, I do know who Dave from Timmins is.  He’s doing okay, he was recently arrested for gross debauchery.
One thread that joins Canada together is Gord Downie.  Everyone knows who he is.  If you’re not from Canada, you have no idea who I’m talking about, but I can assure you that regardless of who you talk to from Canada, they will know who he is.  Some will have strong opinions on him, some will not care, but he is easily the single largest unifying force in the country today, next to our near universal hatred of Quebec

Myth or fact?  Tom Thomson was murdered
My wife wanted me to investigate this

Apparently there is a great deal of controversy around Tom Thomson’s death.  Consider:
 – The official cause of his death was drowning – even though he possessed a set of subcutaneous gills
 – He had fishing line wrapped around his legs – even though he needed those very legs to walk and swim
 – There was no alcohol in his system – even though he was a filthy, violent drunk
 – He had not painted the circumstances of his death – even though every single one of his paintings accurately predicted future events.
 – He was not a member of a group of seven – causing thousands of kids to blow that question in their grade 7 final art exam

I think the evidence here is pretty conclusive.  Three Pistols is an excellent song.

Myth or Fact?   Most Canadians can’t speak “American English” and can’t communicate with Americans.
 This is a myth people have about us?  I’m surprised, or as we say here when we’re surprised “Thar hardshucked me floimsy whittle shane bay!”

While Canada does have many regional dialects, there is near universal overlap between our version of English and that used South of the border.  Although as we say here in Manitoba, it’s not all “Flames and Skaggles”.  There are some terms that do not mesh between the two countries.  For example:

We say: 5th Grade
They say: Grade five
We say: Pencil Crayons
They say: Colored pencils
We say: Gimme a 2-4 of that sweet, sweet racist Coors Light.
They say: My beer is disgusting, and I will only purchase it a 6 pack at a time.  Four six-packs please, kind sir.
We say: $1.40 a liter for gas?  That’s crazy!
They say: $2.59 a gallon for gas?  That’s crazy!
We say: More vinegar for my fries please!
They say: In that I’ve never heard of putting vinegar on your fries, please hand me more Ketchup
We say: Kraft Dinner
They say: Mr. Noodles
So as you see, with the exception of these specific differences, there is really no difference between our languages.  Or as we say in Newfoundland “Whale Oil Beef Hucked”

Myth or fact?   Everyone in Canada loves hockey
: God, I’m so so so sick of hockey

Did you know that the hockey season is roughly 83 weeks long?  I’m not even sure I’m kidding.  There is nothing I hate more than this dumb sport that I barely passively interact with.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve had any contact with hockey in the past 18 months.  I’m certain I don’t have one friend who follows the sport on purpose.  I saw a game live once, I was in a box seat, it was cool.

Anyway, you know what Canada really loves?  The Backstreet Boys.  They sell tons of CD’s up here, they’re like the German David Hasslehoff.

Michaelle Jean’s facebook page

December 4, 2008

+ Michaelle has butterflies in her stomach..
+ Adrienne Clarkson wrote on Michaelle’s wall:
                     LOL! Good luck Jeany!
+ Jean-Daniel tagged Michaelle in 5 photos. Tagged in “Good times in Europe!”

+ Michaelle joined the group “Arcane Canadian Parliamentary Nuances explained”
+ Michaelle is now friends with Stephen Harper
+ Michaelle is now friends with Stephane Dion
+ Michaelle has refused a friend request from Jack Layton
+ Elizabeth May wrote on Michaelle’s wall.
              I’m barely relevant! LOL

Dec 2
+ Michaelle wishes she was not Governor General…
+ Stephen Harper has sent Michaelle a gift! One beer!
+ Michaelle has left the group “Leave Britney alone!”
+ Jack Layton wrote on Michalle’s wall:
              Duceppe, wtf? ROTFL!

Dec 1
+ Michaelle is angry she had to cut her Europe trip short…
+ Gilles Duceppe wrote on Michaelle’s wall:
             Pourquoi avez-vous un chapeau dans votre bouche? Je veux ce qui est pire  pour tout le monde
+ Michaelle hates Canada so much right now….

Nov 30
+ Michaelle says what the f*ck is a coalition??? LOL

Obama visits Canada

December 3, 2008

<Feb 15, 2009 Int: Air Force One.  Barak Obama is discussing his trip to Canada with his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel>

Obama: Okay, a trip to Canada.  Who are we meeting with here, who’s the guy?  Hooper?

Emanuel: Harper, but no-

Obama: Mr. Hooper?

Emanuel: No, that’s Sesame Street, the name is Steven Harper. 

Obama: Hooper.

Emanuel: Doesn’t matter.  He’s not the Prime Minister anymore.

Obama: What, really?  Didn’t I just talk to him like 3 months ago?

Emanuel: You did, but he’s since been succeeded by a coalition government consisting of his political opponents.

Obama: <pause> Come again?

Emanuel: <reading from file> 7 weeks after Harper was legally elected to a minority government, the opposition parties requested that the Governor General support and approve a “Coalition government” consisting of leadership from the Liberals, the NDP or “New Democratic Movement” and a fringe local separatist movement called “The Bloc”.  They were enraged that the 2009 economic recovery plan slashed party funding from taxpayers.

Obama: <long pause>  Not one word of that made any sense.

Emanuel: Apparently within the Canadian parliamentary system, if the opposition parties are unhappy with what the Prime Minster is doing, they can call a vote of “no confidence” and have him replaced with a Prime Minister of their own choosing.  In this case, they’ve chosen a man named “Stephan Dion” who was the recently disgraced leader of the Liberals who had lost all support within his own party and was about to be replaced in May.

Obama: Come on.

Emanuel: <reading> This is what it says.

Obama: <looking around> I appreciate this would be an enormous breach of protocol, but.. am I on Candid Camera for some reason?  Is this a joke?

Emanuel: No, it’s apparently true.  Every bizarre, incomprehensible word.

Obama: We’re still flying to Canada right?  This isn’t Mexico?

Emanuel: <shaking head> Makes no sense to me either. 

Obama:  Okay, so you said this thing is supported by a group called the “Bloc”.  Never heard of them, what are they, left?

Emanuel: They’re a political party who’s sole purpose is to ensure that Quebec can separate from Canada and become it’s own country, thereby dooming both areas to misery and destruction.

Obama: Why on Earth are they involved?

Emanuel: Well, despite only ever winning 8% of the popular vote, they represent 16% of the power in Canada, proportionally.  Because the Liberals and NDP together won’t have a majority in the parliament, they require assistance from this group to ensure their coalition stays in power until 2010.

Obama: Honestly Rahm, cut this shit.  This is serious, I have to meet with these people soon, start telling me the truth.

Emanuel: This is real!  This is what this country has done.  It’s fucked, I know, but it’s the truth.  They have installed a coalition government that no one voted for, consisting of three different political parties with no strong ideological overlap, led by a man who is disgraced within his own party, supported by a movement that wants to see Canada destroyed.

Obama: <15 minute pause.  Emanuel starts to think Obama has fallen asleep> And the Canadian people stood for this?

Emanuel: They’re Canadians!  They stand for anything.

Obama: <sitting back down>  You know, I just had a great idea.

Emanuel: Are you going –

Obama: I’m just going to snowball here –

Emanuel: I think we’re thinking the same –

Obama: Let me just throw this out –

Both: ANNEX CANADA!!  <both laughing>

Obama: Shit, I don’t even want the country, but if they’re willing to put up with this garbage, I’m pretty sure I could pull it off.

Emanuel: What are they going to do?  Throw “loonies” at you?

Obama: <still laughing> What the fuck is a Loonie?  Some kind of Canadian weapon?

<later that year, Obama is giving a speech with Stephan Dion, who looks stunned>

Obama: .. and so it is this day, July 15, 2009 that Canada finally joins the great union of these United States.  Except Quebec, because fuck them.  Our new, largest State will be called Toronto and the state governor will be that fantastic woman Elizabeth May.  I’d like to thank Stephan Dion for his hard working in making this happen, and rest assured he will have a place in my cabinet.  As my bartender!
<crowd laughs>
He’s barely qualified for that, am I right?  What a douchebag.

Nick and Brian to form coalition

December 2, 2008

In a stunning move, Brian Litrell and Nick Carter formed an alliance on Monday to try to wrest control of the Backstreet Boys from the groups leader, Kevin Richardson. 

The debate started last Monday when Kevin released his economic plan to address slumping CD sales – namely a move towards “Soft Pop”.  Canadians reacted with stunned disbelief to the news.

“I just think it’s a waste of time,” said one man as he walked downtown.  “How is this any different than more of the same?  Their new CD is okay.  It’s no Backstreet’s back, but I don’t think it’s that bad”.

Another woman said “Given the current economic uncertainty within the music industry, a shakeup won’t help.  There’s too much turmoil in the market.  I think, this time, things just need to calm down.  Also, a Kevin leadership gave us I want it that way and As long as you love me.  What has Nick ever given us?  Oh yeah, that garbage solo CD.”

Monday’s showdown took place as sales of Backstreet Boys albums in Canada suffered its biggest one-day drop, selling only 16 CDs, three of which were replacements due to overuse.  Radio talk shows were quickly inundated with angry callers.

“It was crazy” said one host.  “Usually we only do 15, 20 minutes to an issue, but we were using up whole shows just talking about this.  There’s a lot of resentment and this has obviously only going to hurt the fans.”

The callers almost unanimously slammed Brian and Nick for “trying to overthrow the group and seize power,” the host said.

He added that many were also upset by the inclusion of the AJ in the plans, who agreed to prop up any leadership.  “AJ is a separatist who has been trying to go solo for years” said one angry caller.  “How can you trust him with this kind of authority?”

Many others reacted with anger towards Kevin.

“Kevin is in the minority, but he’s been pushing through his agenda for years like he’s the majority.” said music critic Howard Stonk.  “He’s arrogant and he doesn’t talk to the press.  He’s been cutting revenues and refuses to invest back in the band.  Howie has desparately needed pec implants for a number of years, but it just wasn’t meant to be under a Kevin rule”.

However, even among those who supported a coalition takeover, many were not enthralled by the prospect of Brian as the group leader.  “He’s basically incompetent and hated by most of Candians.” said Stonk.  “He was actually about to be replaced from the group altogether in May and now he’s talking about coming the leader?  Seems hypocrytical to me.”

He would prefer to see the status quo.

Local man Steve Biggs says “What the f*ck are you even talking about?”.  Moving on, we spoke to a different local man.

“Anything that stops them from releasing another CD.” he said.  “Anything is better than that.  A coalition is probably cheaper anyway,” he said. “So that’s better given the fiscal scenario.”

The news of the possibility of a new group leader and band direction stunned some.

“I just read it on the screen in the elevator,”one man in Bankers Hall said. “I can’t believe it. I just bought their new CD like 7 weeks ago…It’s crazy.”