July 16, 2011 - July 31, 2011

The Droz Report #7

The brothers Ford reveal the naked neocon truth

July 29 2011, OTTAWA —It sounds like a skit from a Marx Brothers movie. On the one hand, the Mayor of Canada's largest city is said to have given the finger to a six year-old girl and her mother while at the wheel of his van and while talking on his cellphone; and on the other, the Mayor's brother (and also a City Councilor) falsely claims there are more libraries than Tim Horton's coffee shops in his part of the city and tells Canada's leading novelist to butt out of municipal politics unless she gets elected to city council. Yes it's farce, but it's also deadly serious politics, that reveals volumes about neo-conservative attitudes and the triumphalist agenda the radical right-wing. Read the full story here.

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Despite all the foregoing, sometimes mockery is the right approach, and so it is a privilege and a pleasure to present a visual response to the Brothers Ford.

   
 

Cartoon by Sidra Mahmood, OneSeventyFive.com.

 

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"My leg! My leg!"

July 26, 2011, OTTAWA — A blog entry, in which I report on a sports injury suffered on Sunday, and worry about the fate of Livejournal.com.

The full entry is here.

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How can a country lose a war without anybody noticing?

July 24, 2011, OTTAWA — The brilliant blogger Sabotabby notes that Canada has just lost a war. "The empire is naked, again. We (Canada, that is), got our asses handed to us in Afghanistan by a bunch of dudes who live in caves." In case you missed it, we helped to invade a country half-way around the world, we lost the war, and nobody here is paying much attention at all.

I think we ought to consider making it a rule that, if you can lose a war without most of your citizens even being aware of it, you had no business fighting it in the first place.

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Torchwood: Miracle Day - Dead of Night Introduction

July 24, 2011, OTTAWA — Miracle Day's third episode marks another step on the road towards a fully-engaging story, but still with some mis-steps, awkward steps and hints of dumbing-down for the new (yes, American) audience along the way.

Despite those cavils, a lot more seemed to happen in "Dead of Night" than in both of its predecessors put together, an important thing for a program that is trying to do triple duty as a mystery, a science fiction thriller and a social satire.

Unfortunately, too much of what happens feels as if it was inserted according to Russell T Davies initial plans, rather than growing organically out of the characters and the action.

For thoughts on the good and the bad, the Bechdel Test and the long-awaited man-sex, click here (possibly not safe for work).

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Rendition: Delayed

July 18, 2011, OTTAWA — Turns out I was anticipating the second episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day a little more than I thought I would.

I awoke to a dead computer on Saturday morning, with a full day already scheduled with Raven. I struggled with the recalcitrant beast's BIOS (the computer, people! The computer's BIOS!) until it was time to step out into the real world.

By the time we had returned from a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint and my very happy introduction to Malaysian cuisine (if you're looking for curry in Ottawa, the Nyonya Curry Chicken at Pedas in Chinatown is very good. But I digress), we were a little sunburnt and a little more worn out by a 10 kilometre stroll on a blistering day. (It's true: the lives Raven and I lead do not resemble a Torchwood storyline in the slightest.)

Nevertheless, I finally managed to finally get the machine to boot from a live Ubuntu CD and then, to diagnose and repair itself. But by then it was too late to watch anything. Quite a lot my surprise, I realized that, in my secret heart of hearts, I had been more frustrated by the delay in watching the second instalment of Torchwood: Miracle Day, than I had been anxiety-ridden by the prospect of getting professional help in repairing a dead computer.

Well, I've seen "Rendition" now, so that, among my life's stressors, is in the past. And so, after a decidedly mixed series opener, where are we at?

This reviewer, at least, is happier about the state of the Whoniverse this week than he was last week. For my full review, with fewer spoilers than usual, click here for Thugs On a Plane.

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The contentedness of the weekend warrior

July 17, 2011, OTTAWA —

  • Temperature (as of 1700 hrs, game's end): 34 C

  • Feels like: 41 C

  • UV Index: Bloody high

  • Left knee: Skinned, a little bloody

  • Right knee: Skinned, dripping blood

  • Time on field: Probably 40-45 minutes

  • Years on this Earth more than next eldest team-mate: I'd guess 15, but I'll say 10, to be safe

  • Joy felt upon leaving the field, defeated: Bloody marvellous

  • Taste of chilled beer upon return home: Like god's own ambrosia, brothers and sisters. I haven't hurt as much as I have this summer (what with the running, the tennis and the badminton on top of the sunday soccer/football matches) in many years, yet I haven't felt as good in even more.

Have I mentioned lately how pleased I am that I stopped smoking? Well, I should, because I know I wouldn't have been able to keep up if I was still sparking up those death-sticks.

I don't think my pants are any looser (more's the pity), but I sure as hell feel better than I have in a very long time, even — maybe especially — where it hurts.

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