Thursday, January 7, 2016


Facebook is a grand website to visit if you enjoy racking your brain to think of an original and non-obnoxious way to say "Happy Birthday!"

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Toronto Dominion Over All

So the not-so-self-aware folks at TD Economics came up with a new labour market indicator and the headline they chose to introduce it with is, "ONE INDICATOR TO RULE THEM ALL." That's right. They went with a metaphor using Tolkien's evil ring that corrupts even the purest of hearts. In this analogy (of their choosing!), they are Sauron and the labour market indicator possesses a hidden malevolent power to enable their control over (Middle) Earth.

This is terrible branding on their part. Monolithic institutions operating in big towers and with wide-ranging influence should not be quoting imperious necromancers to introduce a new product they are intent on everyone adopting.

I call upon the Frodo of our time to destory this foul statistic and banish its evil designs from our realm.

But as long as one of the world's most powerful banks is being oblivious to their imposing stature and to literary allusions, they might as well go whole hog. I propose TD Collections Services should reference Shylock from The Merchant of Venice. Their new product should carry the headline, "The adjustable-rate mortgage payment which we demand is dearly bought; 'tis ours and we shall have it."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Studly Cool Words

"Oh yeah? You wanna act out? Well I got a little flare for the damn attic myself." - me, before I shoot a flare at the roof of a building I am arguing with a melodramatic neighbour about.

Note that this works even better when spoken aloud because the distinct spellings of the homophone flare/flair would be obscured in such a situation.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The First Two Hipsters 1 Minute After The Big Bang

Florissa Fairweather-Van Vleet: I dunno, I just feel like the whole cosmological principle of large-scale homogeneity is too normative, you know? I mean, why can't we just be our own singularities if some of us feel like that on the inside? ... [plaintively] Jaydennnn, are you even listening to me? I'm trying to tell you about my myriad lived experiences.

Jayden Tuckerston-Marlborough: Wait, sorry, what? I was listening to some Arcade Fire tracks on my (ostentatiously huge) headphones but yeah, pretty lame how we are the only two white people in the universe right now. It just seems like, where's the diversity, you know? Let's find some Afro-American guys who will sell us weed.

Florissa: Dammit, Jayden! You're not even trying to connect with me chakras! Why do you think I got this orca tattoo on my left thigh? You make me feel like such a whale sometimes!

Jayden: Ok, God, fine. We can just watch Bob's Burgers or whatever on Netflix if you want, fine. We should still get some weed before our Gender Studies class though.

Florissa: Ahhhhh, thanks Jayden. Sometimes it's like you're the only one in this universe who can understand me.

Jayden: Love ya too, babe. *Puts headphones back on* Hey, these headphones aren't even plugged in! Yo, Florissa, I think that maybe that music I was hearing is just the random burbling background noise of the Big Bang's proto-verse repeating itself over and over, but I totally admit it does sound a tad like some of Win's newer stuff.

Florissa: Um, no offense, but isn't it, like, a bit presumptuous to say you can really objectively observe the Big Bang. I just feel like Steady State Theory makes a bit more sense to me than what's happening right now 'cause of postmodern cultural relativism and something I read in an old National Geographic once when I was at my aunt's cottage for Midsummer's Day in Östersund.

Jayden: *having wandered off 50 words ago, smokes a little weed and gets so paranoid about how it will affect his brain when he is writing his art history midterm 13.8 billion years from now that he runs into a black hole to hide*

Florissa: *tumblrs gif of Jayden slipping beyond the event horizon then searches for Pabst Blue Ribbon on Alta Vista*

Jayden: *manages to radiate pompous, venal ignorance throughout the universe despite being trapped by in a gravity well*

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « black hole meme »

Friday, March 13, 2015

On the March! (Break)

A lot of people think that March Break is just the high school version of reading week but it actually goes back much further to ancient times when Roman soldiers enjoyed a four-week furlough during the summer campaign season. Important officials would gather in the capital during this time to discuss the issues of the day, which is why General Julius Caesar was in town on the Ides of March when he was assassinated by his fellow Senators.

Over time, the months shifted on the calendar: September, October, November, and December -- so named because they originally were the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth months -- became months 9 through 12 and March was moved from the middle of the summer to earlier in the year to make room for July and August (named after Julius and Augustus Caesar).

The four-week furlough for non-essential military personnel became associated with the Roman god of war Ares (who became known as Mars going forward) because it was spun by Roman aristocrats as a tribute to the state's warriors and not just a cost-cutting measure to reduce Rome's ballooning military budget. In this regard, March Break can be seen as an antecedent to contemporary holidays like Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and Remembrance Day. Folks were more into military glory back then so things got blown out into almost a full month.

Like Saturnalia and other pagan traditions, March Break (or 'Mars Brecht' as it was traditionally known) was eventually co-opted as a Christian holiday, becoming an important part of the agrarian calendar to ensure all hands were available for the spring planting season. Since then the capital-industrialist powers-that-be have whittled the break down to a vestigial week, which is all that remains of a once proud tradition of honouring veterans.

St. Patrick's Day, however, has nothing to do with March. So stop making the month about drinking and the colour green.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Real men have the letter "r" in their name

When did this:

Liam     Jayden     Aiden     Mason

Become more attractive than this:

Elmer     Willard     Fred     Harold

When did this:

Ava     Isabella     Lily     Sophia

Become more beautiful than this:

Gertrude     Mildred     Opal     Beulah

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An exhaustive list of things that bother me about a news article covering Canadian content requirements for pornographic television stations

Here's a bunch of things I hate about this story:
  1. The image the National Post chose to accompany the story is vaguely sexual but beyond that has no real relationship to the subject matter of the article. In fact, I'm pretty sure that it is a premature ejaculation stock photo.
    The CRTC may want to check this couple's passports.
    If I had to guess what the National Post is going for with this image I would say that the unimpressed woman symbolizes the ever-watchful nanny state that wants to control what your every-man on the right there does in the privacy of his own bed?
  2. The caption that the National Post wrote to go with the photo makes no sense either. "The CRTC may want to check this couple's passports." What?!? That makes no sense. I can't even begin to guess what the author was going for there. Why passports? Why would the CRTC investigate individuals and not regulate telecommunications? What could this couple stand accused of doing? Is lying in bed not at least 35% Canadian?
  3. The Canadian government acts like there is an abstract concept called "Canadian culture" that somehow matters to humanity and must be nurtured.
  4. The Canadian government thinks it has any active role to play in defining its citizens' culture(s). We can take care of that on our own, thanks. No need to muck up an organic process.
  5. The Canadian government's belief that pornography can be distinctly Canadian, let alone needs to be.
  6. Canada forces its channels to air Canadian content 35% of the time at the expense of viewers and mostly for the benefit of major Canadian production companies, a.k.a. corporations. Because it's not how good a show is that matters, it's that it's not American.
  7. CanCon rules still exist in the internet era when borders matter so incredibly little to how media is produced and consumed.
  8. The Canadian government expends any resources at all on "problems" like where video and audio content comes from and what counts as sufficiently "Canadian" while its responsibilities for things like the poor, health care, and the judicial system could use some extra cash and attention.
  9. The Canadian government thinks forcing Canadian viewers and Canadian channels to buy and consume more content produced in Canada than would otherwise make the grade is a good way of building a robust pornography production industry. I guess the government's reasoning is, "Sure, it's not good enough for the rest of the world's economy (approximate GDP $75 trillion) but we'll make up for that by giving the Canadian economy (approximate GDP $1.8 trillion) no choice but to subsidize it." That makes no sense. Any good Canadian pornography can make large profits internationally. Any bad Canadian pornography will show up exclusively on Northern Peaks.
  10. The CRTC is very diligent when it comes to enforcing CanCon rules against obscure pornography channels. They track things right down to the minute. Meanwhile, plenty of Canadians are cheating on their taxes and drivers can stop on busy roads with impunity as long as they turn their emergency flashers on because the CRA and the police can't enforce fundamental standards of fairness that actually affect the quality of Canadian lives. How much you are allowed to exceed the posted speed limit before you get pulled over is a matter of police officer discretion but the CanCon rules for Skinemax are so sacrosanct that they must be enforced according to the precise letter of the law. Speeding vs Canadian Erotica: One of them kills, the other one matters.
  11. The CRTC also strives to enforce the spirit of the law as well. It chastised one channel for dumping its "Canadian" programming outside of prime viewing hours.
  12. NAFTA doesn't prohibit CanCon even though it is blatant trade protectionism. 
  13. Online porn is not subject to CanCon rules but porn you watch on television is even though the CRTC has some jurisdiction over online video. Why regulate one but not the other? What good does it do to require Canadian channels to buy Canadian pornography when most of pornography's value is derived from the internet that you are ignoring?
  14. Everyone agrees that violence against women is terrible and you can argue that pornography contributes to the problem (or is a form or prostitution which is still illegal) but the government requires that it be produced in Canada.
  15. The CRTC is also reprimanding porn for not being close-captioned. Think about that for a second. Porn. Close-captioned. Because there haven't been enough jokes about how superfluous pornography's plots are and how people don't read Playboy for the articles.
  16. The bizarre claim by an interviewee that making video games and making pornography are similar processes. Here's the quote:

    Porn production is flourishing in Quebec, with Montreal headquarters to such industry heavyweight as Brazzers and Mile High Media. Industry boosters claim the city’s production of X-rated videos is rivaled only by Los Angeles and Amsterdam.

    "We have the big game companies here. We have a lot of well-known computer-graphics generators here. It just stands to reason that some of that would derive into the adult expansions,” Michael Plant, a Quebec City-based adult-entertainment entrepreneur, told The Canadian Press in 2008.

    I think this man is vastly overstating the degree to which computer graphics (or more precisely, "computer-graphics generators," by which I assume he means computers) are a necessary part of pornography. Besides, the skill sets used to make video games and porn are very different. If you randomly chose a sample of video game programmers and 3-D artists then put them next to a randomly chosen group of porn stars, I'm pretty sure you'd be able to tell the difference.
  17. The article's author chose that quote despite it being 6 years old. He must have been desperate for filler when he threw it in there, which raises the question: why not leave it out?
  18. Actually, now that I've read that quote more closely a few times, I think the problem is that the interviewee is being quoted out of context. I'm guessing that he was talking about making pornographic video games and not pornography simpliciter but the preceding paragraph combined with the ambiguity of the term "adult expansions" makes him look like an idiot. Good job, National Post.
Things that I like about the story:
  1. This one line: 
Channel Zero replied, “We currently do not air any programming that would require Audio Description.”