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06.11.09

chat


I HAVE NEGLECTED THIS BLOG LATELY, but like anyone who's ever been a student will speedily protest, I have an excuse. We've bought a house, and with precious little budget available for much more than moving, there's been work to do, painting and renovating and wielding power tools, and no man can resist the siren song of Home Depot.

The moving truck comes next week, and once I've put my desk back together, I'm hoping to get back on track, but in the meantime there's this feature in eye weekly about Toronto's lack of a city museum, and my posts at blogTO. I'd love to be able to link to my columns in The Interim, but they don't seem to be online yet.

I'll be taking a break from patching, priming and painting by appearing on Michael Coren's show tonight as part of the semi-regular "kulchur" panel, where we're supposed to be talking about Jon & Kate, David Letterman and Sarah Palin, Katie Couric and Sarah Palin, Jon Voight, Madonna (again), Gordon Ramsay and Slumdog Millionaire's child stars.

It's been a month and a half since I last guested on the show, and Mississauga Matt was nice enough to upload the episode onto YouTube, in several parts. Watching myself is a subtle form of torture, but I've gone over the show again, doubtless out of some weird mixture of perversity and ego.



I would have liked it if Michael had wanted to talk about Shakespeare, but he didn't, though I'm not sure I had much to say beyond expressing my (pretentious, yes sure) fondness for Kurosawa's movie version of Macbeth. It's been less than two months, and I can't believe that Susan Boyle's moment seems to have come and gone in a blaze of backlash and burnout, poor woman. I can't believe Russell's such a snob about musicals - I'd hate to have to go through life living with such a general aversion.



Carrie Prejean's moment seems to have passed just as quickly, though a whiff of half-life remains, and will as long as she can be used by either side of the gay marriage issue. Russell seemed a bit smug to me delivering his line on her relationship with Michael Phelps - I bet he'd rehearsed that one in front of the bathroom mirror. (Don't laugh too hard - you'll find yourself doing the same thing if you're a chat show guest more than once, trust me.) Todd Babiak seems to have been a bit confused about the whole red state/blue state thing, which still didn't play the least part in Michael's rebuttal to him.

I'm glad I was able to get my love of Disney out there, though I could have made my case a bit stronger, I think.

My face looks fat. I hate my face.



Catherine isn't the first earnest mother I've heard profess her dislike of princess culture, and she won't be the last, but I can take some small comfort in the certain knowledge that no creative discouragement will divert that runaway train. We're apparently going to be talking about Madonna's child-collecting hobby again on tonight's show; I hope that I can come up with something more eloquent than my seconding of Russell here.

I disagree with Michael on Madonna - she is a has-been, but the culture recycles itself so relentlessly that she always manages to churn back through the machinery with depressing regularity. It was bad enough when Sonic Youth gave her underground appeal back in the '80s; I'd have been suicidal if you'd told me that she'd still be around in 20 years.



Sometimes it seems that I've been bashing the CBC for years, but comparing it to the BBC as Todd Babiak did is a stretch - the comparison is inapt, and there's nothing here, in demographics or culture or history or context or bureaucratic structure, that could hope to put them on the same footing. Michael didn't agree with me about the essential cruelty of good comedy, but admitted that his favorite comedy is cruel, which I'll take as a point for me nonetheless.



Russell pulled out the old liberal trope that conservatives are angry, which is especially rich as the angriest people I've ever known were leftists, when they weren't wrapped up in their anxiety, neuroses and depression - myself included. The anecdote about kids wandering the streets howling at people to turn off their lights during Earth Hour was true, but it says a lot more about my neighbourhood - or rather the one we're leaving, which never felt like a better move than it did at that moment.

It's interesting that neither Catherine nor Russell ended up observing Earth Hour despite their best intentions, which is a telling indication of how dull the sheen has gotten on that little social and cultural bauble.

Jackie Chan is a nice man. I stand by that statement.

And my face is still fat.

Tune in tonight if you want to see more of my fat face - and my new bifocals, partially paid for by your generous donations to this site, I must add. I'll leave you with this photo of me, wielding my new reciprocating saw as I take down a (rather flimsy) wall in our new house, the removal of which probably added $5,000 to the resale value of the place. Tearing out the kitchen on the second floor probably added another couple of grand, though we're probably stuck with the vintage '70s kitchen for a couple of years, during which time the look will probably go in and out of fashion again. And please pray for hot weather - my wife's relying on the tomato plants in our Victory Garden to see us through the winter.


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© 2009 rick mcginnis all rights reserved
WHO

i'm a dad in my forties with two daughters. i've worked as a photographer, journalist and, recently, tv columnist. currently a member of the growing workforce awaiting new employment opportunities. church-going catholic.

punk rock was my crucible, lodestone and avalon.

i look nothing like william powell.

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