6.04.2009

David Carradine Found Dead

Somebody killed Bill. Actor David Carradine (Kill Bill) was found dead in his hotel room in Thailand were he was shooting a movie (Globe & Mail). There seems to be conflicting reports on what exactly happened - apparently it wasn't a suicide it was an accident - maybe, maybe a kinky accident. But the fact remains that he will be missed.

One of Carradine's first big roles was playing a TV version of my namesake Shane.



But of course David Carradine will always be remembered for Kung Fu. Playing a role that was originally written for Bruce Lee. But I can't find a really good Kung Fu clip. But after Lee died Carradine starred in Lee's unfinished movie The Silent Flute aka The Circle of Iron which was just released on Blu-ray. And I found a trailer for it.

New Dog!




You can tell it's the day the magazine's out; there's been all kinds of long, thoughtful posts from Dog Bloggers who feel a little more peppy now that the June 4 issue's Deadline Of Damocles isn't hanging over their heads. Speaking of the June 4 issue, it's being distributed through Regina right now. Here's an overview.

GENERAL FOOLS' FESTIVAL Regina's long-running improv team celebrates its 12th anniversary with this four-troupe laugh carnival. Stephen LaRose talks to the fools and their friends in funny.

THE NDP'S NEXT TOP POLI Stephen LaRose breaks down the race for Saskatchewan's second most popular provincial political party, and it is a Serious and Important Piece Of Journalism That You Should Read. Also, Rosie tells you how high you should rank candidate Yens Pederson in your hockey pool.

THE SCHNITZ MEETS THE FAN Stephen LaRose, AKA Rosie, AKA Baron Von Rosenstein, AKA He-Who-Wrote-This-Whole-Issue, do takes a trip through memory lane back to Regina's classic live music venue on the eve of D.O.A.'s return and the revival of vintage Queen City punk legend.

ALSO! NewsQuirks by Stephen LaRose, opinion by Stephen LaRose, fashion by Stephen LaRose, Queen City Confidential by Stephen LaRose, listings by Stephen LaRose, Ask Greg by Stephen LaRose, Gwynne Dyer and David Suzuki by Stephen LaRose, and much, much more, all by Stephen LaRose. You've been warned.
UPDATE: And stuff on the "condo situation", by Paul Dechene. Because apparently people are wondering about that.

More on the great selloff

While Whitworth can work himself into a pig-biting mad frenzy regarding the Cons’ mulling of selling the CBC, I have to take that with a grain of salt. Given that Jim Flaherty’s handling of Finance has been so beyond-the-pale lunatic that Harper would have been better off turning over the whole department over to Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys and his economic stimulus plans (YouTube -- NSFW), it’s not surprising that the Tories would be willing to sell the silverware in order to pay the bills. They already did. (prairie dog).

The problem with turning over the government to people who don’t really believe that government should work is that they run the show in a way that confirms their hypothesis, like a little kid that won’t eat his supper because “I HATE IT!” even though he has never eaten a mouthful in his life. Mr. Flaherty’s $57 billion deficit – which the TD Bank economists are saying will expand to $157 billion in five years (National Post) without, you know, cuts in federal spending (how about closing some tax loopholes or raising taxes on people who don’t pay them?)

The deal is, however, that right wing governments actually like deficits. It gives them the excuse to cut programs they don’t like but are politically popular – daycare programs, medicare, the CBC – under the guise of a ‘financial emergency,’ even though their own spending habits did more to create the deficit than circumstance. Ever notice getting out of Afghanistan – where we’ve spent more than $15 billion on the past six years (not to mention the lives of more than 100 soldiers) and got sweet effin’ all out of it – is never on the agenda? Nobody calls sending our army to fight – and lose – a war they can’t win financially unworkable.

But we won’t have to worry for two reasons. It’s more than likely that we’re going to have a federal election (my bet is by Thanksgiving) as the Liberals under Iggy re-amass their financial warchest and watch the Cons self destruct. These Grits will sweep Atlantic Canada, get about 25 seats in Qu├ębec, and win a bunch of three-way races in southern Ontario to win the next election with about 175 seats. So, Harper won’t have time to sell off the CBC even if he wanted to.

Secondly, the CBC has already emasculated itself. As Mitch the Alphabet Boy (University of Regina) has told me, politicians appoint their friends to power. And a broadcasting corporation whose first role isn’t to make money is no friend to those who are rich and powerful. That’s why the CBC board, over the years, has installed a management system that has reduced the CBC to little more than a taxpayer-funded support system for Hockey Night in Canada. The 2005 Canadian Media Guild lockout was done during the summer, in an attempt to starve union members back to the bargaining table by the time the season began in October – and the CBC management wrote off coverage of Regina’s Canada Summer Games and Alberta’s and Saskatchewan’s centenary celebrations in its cynicism.

Similarly, the CBC crowed about its great ratings this spring, when they were listed in metropolitan areas. At the same time, they sought to cut services in Northern Saskatchewan., northern Manitoba, and northern Ontario. Why? Simple. Around the same time, the Cons’ culture minister – now there’s a contradiction in terms – suggested the possibility of selling advertising on CBC Radio broadcasts.

Then again, it would be stupid for the CBC to get into the advertising sales business – or for the Cons to sell off the CBC in a media market where CTV is begging the CRTC for the right to have cable subscribers pay an extra $15 a month for local television stations, and Canwest Global is so broke that even its creditors don’t want to foreclose because they can’t see any future for the company either. (Planet S) Then again, what do ostensibly pro-business governments know about the business world? From experience, I would say they don’t know the first thing about running a business. That’s their excuse for getting out of broadcasting – I would suggest just as equally a valid case – if not more valid—could be made that these political parties should get out of the business of government.

EDIT: for some reason, blogger didn't record my url links. I've reinserted them.

THE ARCHITECTS ARE HERE

I have always said that when the College buildings go, so do I. One sniff of a wrecking ball and I am out of here and never coming back. I mean it.

It was distressing to hear almost the same thing coming from Dakota McFadzean at last night’s Regina Public School Board meeting during his presentation about the coming demise of Scott Collegiate. I didn’t know that Regina’s continual self-destruction depressed other people to the point they start thinking of packing up and moving on, but of course I can't be the only one. Each building that is destroyed is one closer to the limit of what I can stand, not just for the architecture itself, but for the unthinking motivation behind it.

One of the statements that seemed to stick in the Scott supporters' craw yesterday was RBE member Russ Marchuk’s pithy statement “If the horse dies, get off,” in reference to Scott’s supposed failure to support its students architecturally.

I can’t help but think about the hundreds of slum houses around the Scott facility – each a tiny marvel of architecture in its day – that have been used to pump money out of North Central residents and into slumlords’ pockets for decades, with the complicity – if not the outright blessing – of policy makers in every level of government.

Who knew it was all architecture’s fault? Thank goodness the architects are going to come and fix it for us. So glad that's sorted.

Maybe we needed to have the dead horse image planted in our heads whether we want to see it or not. If that’s how the school board sees its buildings, we’re better off knowing.

How do we communicate back to our representatives that the horse isn’t a building, a learning model, or even a school board, but the city itself? Who sees us as we step off and walk away?

NB: One of my recent favorite books is Michael Winter’s The Architects Are Here. The title of the book is fictional shorthand for a kind of impersonal, lurking force of doom, like accidents, distruction, and poverty.