Canada vs the US Part IV

November 12, 2009

Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Today’s battle: Nickelback vs. Creed

It would be all to easy to let this comparison degenerate into an inarticulate rant about the general state of music, how quality has steadily declined since MTV stopped showing videos and how the industry stifles any originality whatsoever. 

Because it would be easy, that’s what I’m going to do.  Consistent with the music of Nickelback and Creed there will not be one shred of originality or creativity within this entire comparison.  I’m banging this thing out by the numbers and I barely care about the results.  Queue power chord.

Lead Singers
Chad Kroeger and Scott Stapp are two human beings who were born of women and age in a linear fashion in the sense that they get older consistent with the forward progression of time.

Both play an instrument called a guitar which produces sound by means of vibrating a steel string over a gaping hole in a piece of wood.  They both play this instrument at a higher skill level than say, a five year old with no hands and no access to a guitar.

Both claim to write music inasmuch that several notes (recognized by humans as a combination of pitch, tone and velocity) are played in succession to achieve a result.

They’re both kind of douchebags that no real person who ever would want to spend time with.

Only one effectively converts oxygen to carbon dioxide, the other kind of struggles.

Winner: Nickelback

Hobbies
Typically humans divide their activities into different subject areas.  Broadly these would be work, hobbies and other.  Oddly, activities like “watching TV” which can take up to as much as 15% of your time is never classified as a hobby. 

Regardless, as having “hobbies” is considered to be a fairly routine part of day to day life, it is assumed both Chad Kroeger and Scott Stapp have hobbies and maybe they enjoy them. 

Winner: Creed

Music
Both bands have achieved some degree of success in playing multiple instruments simultaneously while one or more members of the band uses their own vocal chords to augment regular speech by the use of tonality and rhythm.  This provides a counter-melody to the noises coming out of the various pieces of equipment.  Very often, the member of the band singing will string together several words in the attempt to form a coherent narrative that would stir emotion in the listener.  Very often, they will fail.

Creed is notable for imitating certain types of bands while Nickelback has been observed to imitate different bands that are basically all the same band.

Both bands are reported to have drums although I have not confirmed this.

Humans have collectively bought 35 million shiny pieces of circular plastic containing compressed data which, when used correctly with a type of electronic device, will replicate the noise generated by both bands.  Apparently this is something done for enjoyment by some humans, presumably those with only a passing knowledge of what music actually is.  For example, it has been theorized that if a person has only been exposed to three bands (Nickelback, Creed and 50 Cent) then it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they would consider Nickelback and Creed to be within acceptable auditory thresholds.

Winner: Nickelback

Critical Reception
There are a group of people who are paid money to listen to things done by people like this and then write about what they thought about it and then they also tell other people if they should enjoy it.

These people, generally, do not care for either Nickelback or Creed. 

Winner: Nickelback

Well that certainly was blandly inoffensive and certainly didn’t push the comedy envelope at all.  I guess if you had to pick a winner between these two bands, you’d have to go with Nickelback.  As always, these rankings are scientific and not subject to argument.


New details about Cheney torture plot

May 4, 2009

From Cnn:

New information has unsurfaced which could further incriminate the Bush administration in the ongoing torture investigations.  Following his promise to bring transparency and accountability to the White House, President Obama has released more classified memos which go into greater detail around Dick Cheney’s secret torture agenda and the lengths the US government went to with programs designed to secure US boarders.  Specifically, reporters have now learned about something dubbed the “Weapon X” initiative – a highly secret government training program which was executed in the early days following the 9/11 attacks. 

The Weapon X program was apparently designed to create a breed of “super soldiers” in the war against terrorism, although the specifics of how this would be accomplished was never made clear in the memo.  Indeed, even if one super solider was successfully created and killed a terrorist every single hour for one full year,  that would only eliminate 25% of the problem. 

 

Well, this all seems in order

Well, this all seems in order

Lt. William Stryker, the mastermind behind the controversial initiative, spoke at a brief press conference today:
“On the question of so-called torture, we don’t do torture.  We never have. It’s not something that this administration subscribes to.  Again, we proceeded very cautiously.  We checked. We had the Justice Department issue the requisite opinions in order to know where the bright lines were that you could not cross.  And they were very clear.  Injecting 200 pounds of superheated liquid metal of unknown origin into an already mentally unstable superhuman with the sole purpose of turning him into a indestructible killing machine is not torture.

The professionals involved in that program were very, very cautious, very careful — wouldn’t do anything without making certain it was authorized and that it was legal.  And any suggestion to the contrary is just wrong.  Did it produce the desired results?  I think it did.  And although we cannot pinpoint with any certainty the exact whereabouts of Weapon X and it’s a given that were he ever to have access to any of us, he would kill us all without remorse or pity, I still believe we made the right choice.

I think, for example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the number three man in al Qaeda, the man who planned the attacks of 9/11, provided us with a wealth of information.  There was a period of time there, three or four years ago, when about half of everything we knew about al Qaeda came from that one source.  Granted, the majority of that information came from a telepath who can turn her skin into diamond, so really, that’s not one for Weapon X.  But we got what we wanted, hah?  So, it’s been a remarkably successful effort. I think the results speak for themselves. 

And I think those who allege that we’ve been involved in torture, or that somehow we violated the Constitution or laws with the Weapon X program, simply don’t know what they’re talking about.  Also, the experiments were done in Canada with a Canadian, so honestly.  Who cares?  It’s about time they got some skin in the game”

Canadian officials did not specifically comment on the program which went on right under their noses, however they did remark that it happened somewhere in the Rockies in Northern Vancouver and pointed out they have no clue what kind of shit goes on up there. 

The public remains divided on this issue with 60% supporting light to medium torture if it’s done by Kiefer Sutherland or someone who looks like Kiefer Sutherland.  45% also believe it’s fully justified if “there’s no time, damnit!” or “that’s my daughter!  Don’t tell me about protocol!”

On the question of performing painful medical experiments of suspect morality on a minority group with a .005% success rate, and no clearly articulated goals beyond “stopping all evil” 87% of Republicans are in full support.


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Texas is the new Quebec

April 24, 2009

Quebec sides with Texas

In a surprise move, Quebec Premier Jean Charest with support from federal Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe came out yesterday in support of efforts within Texas to leave the US.

At an impromptu press conference Charest said “Je suis énorme deuchebag qui veut voir mon pays détruit. J’en déteste la vie et tout. Je suis un énorme hypocrite qui veut voir toute la vie détruite. Sucez mes boules, chacun”.

We don’t know what any of that means, but we assume it translates to “Go Texas”.

Quebec has a long history of threatening to leave Canada, which has helped shape their identity as a province of whining asshats who on the one hand benefit from proportionally, more government assistance than any other province, while still affording them the freedom to chip away at the unity of Canada, one piece at a time.
Texas finds themselves in good company, although Texas Gov. Rick Perry was startled to find out that his state was now essentially the French of the US.

“Wait, what”? He said after hearing the news. “I don’t want to be French, how am I French?” before promptly throwing his ten gallon beret on the ground in disgust.

After having the obvious parallels explained to him, he shrugged and continued his battle to destroy the US.
“Listen, I love my country.” He said. “That’s why I want to see it destroyed.” Seeing no apparent contradictions in this exercise in mental gymnastics, he blithely continued “Under Barak Obama, the US is quickly turning into a socialist nation. After all, just look at the bailout package which is largely a continuation of the exact same bailout started by Bush which I had absolutely no issues with at the time. I mean, can you believe this guy”?

When it was pointed out that if Texas seceded, they would likely lose the $6 billion military industry that drives a portion of their economy and it would be a near certainty that Republicans would never again win in any US national election, he laughed and rubbed his hands together. “Oui!” he started “Uh, that is, I mean yes”.

Pressed for comment, US President Barak Obama stated “As the US looks to Canada for guidance on many aspects such as universal healthcare and a rock solid banking infrastructure, we cannot truly succeed until we have a group of Frenchmen living right within our borders. Thankfully, Texas has taken up that mantle and is now the Quebec of the US. God bless America”


Billy Bob Thornton trampoline meltdown

April 14, 2009

(transcript of Interview with Billy Bob Thornton and Brent Neville – DJ for 102.9 Q zone out of Manitoba for the Trampoline Hour – the only news show for trampoline enthusiasts)

Brent: And we’re back. We’re talking to Billy Bob Thornton, the front man for the country-rock fusion quartet the Boxmasters. Having totally failed to conquer one industry, he’s back pursuing his second love – trampolining. Billy Bob, welcome to the show. It’s a great pleasure to talk to you.

Billy Bob : grunts

Brent: Let’s cut right to the chase. Which trampoline has inspired you the most through your career?

Billy Bob: I don’t… I don’t understand what you mean.

Brent: Well, was it JumpSport? HopSpring? FunBounce? BigLeap? SpringJump? BounceLeap? BigSport? AllyJump?

Billy Bob: I really don’t understand the question.

Brent: O..kay. Um. Which trampoline are you using right now? Like in your own home, what do you bounce on?

Billy Bob: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Brent: Okay well like me personally, I’m no professional, but I start off in the morning with a SoftBounce system to warm up. Later, I’ll move on to my 10×17 2 spring Econo-Bounce model, and when I really get into the groove I like to get things hopping with my Staged Variable Power Bounce.

Billy Bob: Meh

Brent: …

Billy Bob:

Brent: Um. Okay. Um. Alright. Can you talk about-

Billy Bob: Would you ask Von Boxmeyer if this was his second love?

Brent: What?

Billy Bob: If you had the world-renowned Trampoline Enthusiast Van Boxmeyer on the show, would you ask him if this was his second love?

Brent: Well have you – I mean, are you referring to my introduction when I referred to this as your second passion?

Billy Bob: That’s exactly what I’m referring to. I thought we weren’t going to mention my laughable singing career. I thought we weren’t going to talk about that .

Brent: I never received any specific instructions –

Billy Bob: I gave specific instructions to your producer not to talk about my joke of a failed music career. I just came on to talk about trampolining. You wouldn’t ask Van Boxmeyer if this was his hobby.

Brent: I’m just trying to provide context –

Billy Bob: You wouldn’t ask

Brent: I’m trying to provide context about how you’re such a huge musical joke and that’s the reason we’re even having you on a radio show about Trampolining. I’m happy to talk only trampolining with you. I’m happy to.

Billy Bob: This is bull is the thing.

Brent: Listen, we got off on the wrong foot. Can we call a truce? We’ll stick to talking about trampolines.

Billy Bob: Fine.

Brent: Okay. Now when you’re doing double bounces –

Billy Bob: Canadian audiences are garbage for trampolining too

Brent: Pardon? Hmm? It’s kind of a solo thing you know

Billy Bob: I’m up there and I’m used to trampolining in front of pretty rowdy crowds, my two cats and whatever strung out coked-up Thai hooker I’ve brought home that night. I mean they’re throwing things, Canadians are all mashed potatoes and no gravy.

Brent: Don’t you mean all steak and no sizzle?

Billy Bob:

Brent: Okay, I understand you’re going to put on a little demonstration for us, so our listeners can listen to you trampoline?

Billy Bob: No, I don’t haul around my trampoline at 6:00am in the morning. I’m just going to air-trampoline for 6 minutes.

Brent: Oh god

(six minutes of dead radio air time follow, intermittently interrupted by Billy Bob grunting and straining. In the background you can hear Brent swearing softly)

Brent: Okay, we’re out of time. Billy Bob, thanks for taking the time to… what? Be on the show I guess? I’m mostly sorry you couldn’t be here today.


Canada vs. the US Part III

March 6, 2009

Part 2
Part 1

Today’s battle: Pink vs. Alanis Morissette

As I haven’t written about female singers before, I want to make sure everything is on the up and up.  I’ve asked my wife to proofread this entire post to ensure that I am not being sexist. It’s important to judge women by the quality of their music and not by how often they flash their boobs on stage, Courtney Love style (WifeNote – This isn’t exactly sexist so much as it is generally insulting. Just saying)

Great commentary!  Let’s get to it!

Pink vs. Alanis

Wikipedia Says:
ha ha ha I will crash and hang your browser!  DLL conflict!

I say
Whether you like Alanis or not, you can’t emphasize strongly enough the importance of Jagged Little Pill.   It sold something like 20 million copies worldwide and demonstrated that chicks (WifeNote – don’t call them chicks) can rock, especially if they’re singing about blowjobs (WifeNote – gross)

Comparing Pink to Alanis is kind of tricky then, because Pink probably wouldn’t have a career without Alanis.  Doesn’t this by default mean Alanis is better?  But to accept that logic, I would have to say that Attack of the Clones is better than Revenge of the Sith because one paved the way for the other.  But really, both are terrible.   (WifeNote – Just going to jump in here.  That is not really a valid comparison.  It barely makes sense)

Pink is a decent artist that originally got put into the Britney / Christina category when really she’s more a Chrissie Hynes kind of gal.   (WifeNote – Sorry, I can’t stop myself.  Don’t compare Pink to Chrissie Hynes.  It’s ridiculous.  Were you drunk when you wrote this?) (TheRogNote – A little!  Also, stick to sexism comments, and don’t tell me how to live) (WifeNote – Somebody should)  (TheRogNote – Okay!  Back to it then!)

Further handicapping any comparison is the fact that I’ve never listened to a Pink CD all the way through, nor have I listened to any Alanis beyond Jagged Little Pill.  This won’t stop me though.  I’m going right to the rankings.

Scoring Categories

Number of CD’s
Pink – Five
Alanis – Seven, but two were before Jagged Little Pill so don’t count.  I’m calling this one even at five a piece

Winner – Tie

Ability to Rock out

I saw Alanis live once and she was pretty dull.  I’m convinced she was drunk  and even a surprise visit by Prince couldn’t save the performance (WifeNote – That wasn’t Alanis, that was Cheryl Crow.  You’re remembering it wrong) (TheRogNote – I’m pretty sure I know the difference between Cheryl Crow and Alanis) (WifeNote – No, it was at Lillithfair.  It was Cheryl Crow.  And she was drunk.  Just score this one for Pink)

Winner – Pink

Hypothetical ability to give monster suckjob (WifeNote – Okay, I’m stepping in right here.  This is definately sexist.  This has nothing to do with their musical ability and is irrelevant to the conversation.  Also, Alanis would win because of her monster horse mouth)

Winner – Alanis

Did they date Ryan Reynolds?
Alanis – Sure fucking did.  Awesome.  If Alanis were here right now, I’d high five her.  You know who Pink dated?  Corey Hart.

jc_coreyhart

On the other hand, not too bad.  He wears his sunglasses, inexplicably, at a time when they’re the most ineffective – night.  That takes balls.   Why not just write a song called “I wear my sunscreen indoors” or “I wear my underwear in the shower”.   I’m sure those were going to be the followups.
(WifeNote – Okay dummy.  A) This entire category is sexist.  B) Pink is married to CARY Hart the BMX rider.   Not COREY Hart the laughable Canadian singer.  C) Ryan Reynolds dumped Alanis’s ass for Scarlett Johansson.  You really need to get Wikipedia working again before you keep writing these dumb comparisons)

Winner – Alanis

Now that we’ve done the detailed run down, the overall winner is… Alanis Morissette.

Hmm.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  I mean, I don’t really like her music.  I link Pink’s a lot better.  It’s just U and Ur Hand!  Yeah, sing it Pink!  Sing to me about how I can’t score you and I’m going to make love to my own hand in failure at the end of the night!  Nice.

Sadly, I can’t argue with science, and these rankings are so knee-deep in science they look the underground Halogen Collider look like little Billy Mathersons bullshit homemade go kart.  (WifeNote – ???).   Another one is on the books.


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
Myth! 
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
Fact:
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.
Myth?
 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
Fact
: 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.


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.