My Darling Clementine

If I was to mention the words two-fisted, rough-riding and shoot-em up, along with "Reckless, Riotous Frontier Adventure!" The words My Darling Clementine don't exactly spring to mind.

There was time when I hated John Ford films. Being raised on Sergio Leone Westerns - I just couldn't get into Ford's movies. When I saw The Searchers for the first time - I hated it. Dull, slow moving and racist were my first impressions of the film. The next Ford film I saw, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, didn't change my opinion much.

Fast forward a few years and I ended up re-watching The Searchers. And my opinion has been completely reversed. Here was a movie that was beautifully shot, brilliantly staged and extremely entertaining. As for the racist part, it occurred to me that it was more that John Wayne's character was racist and not necessarily the film. Certainly Jeffrey (the original Captain Pike) Hunter's character wasn't racist. Next thing I know I'm watching a ton of John Ford films which brings me to My Darling Clementine. Despite the wussy title, this film is Ford's take on that oft told tale of the west, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. And it is a two-fisted, rough-riding, shoot-em up "Reckless, Riotous Frontier Adventure!" and damn entertaining movie.

This was the fourth film to tell the tale of that legendary gunfight. The first three Frontier Marshall (1934 &1939) and Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die took extreme liberties with the story. Heck the first Frontier Marshall has it Michael Wyatt instead of Wyatt Earp. Ford had known Wyatt Earp and based the gunfight on what Earp had told him. The rest of the movie is typical Hollywood invention.

The story takes place the year after the actual gunfight took place. Wyatt (Henry Fonda) Earp and his three brothers are taking a herd of cattle to California. They stop near the town of Tombstone, Arizona by way of Monument Valley. When Wyatt and his brothers go into town, their brother James is murdered and their cattle rustled. They decide to stay in Tombstone and find their brother's killer. There Wyatt meets Doc Holliday (Victor Mature) and both men find themselves in love with the same woman. A woman named Clementine (thus the title of the film). They also team up to fight the greatest evil ever to grace the screen, Walter Brennan as Old Man Clanton. A man so evil, he is not only murderer and rustler, he also whips his own sons for not killing Wyatt. "When ya pull a gun, kill a man." It's hard to believe that this is the same actor that played that lovable crazy old coot Stumpy in Rio Bravo.

It might be historically inaccurate but the film is Ford at his entertaining best and although I've yet to revisit The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, I'm amazed at how much I keep enjoying his movies. But what is with the wussy title?

I Love My Job

This is a photo of a press kit that arrived today. Yes, that is a 750 ml bottle of rum. Yes, I am going to drink it. (Our publisher might think HE'S going to drink it but the press kit was clearly addressed to ME.)

"The Original Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum 92 Proof" is, according to the press materials, "a cult classic in the U.S. and the U.K."

It's "arrival has been long awaited in Canada."

"The drink brings with it the kind of devout following legends are made of," says the hyperbole-free press release. "fans worldwide raise a glass to Jerry on MySpace, Facebook, blogs, and in bars and backyards everywhere."

Well, if it's on MyFace AND Spacebook, I guess it must be good. You can read more Sailor Jerry propaganda here.

Why am I losing respect for cops and the justice system?

Let me count the ways...

Twenty-one lousy days! And some sort of conditional suspended sentence at that? Are you friggin' serious?

If I went on this sort of a rampage, they'd be piping the sunshine in to me for many a long day, I feel quite certain of that. But apparently this asshat of a cop gets some sort of a special deal?

Let's recap, shall we?

He downs a couple dozen drinks. Commandeers a car, while lying about being a Vancouver cop. Threatens to "destroy" the driver -- who has since died, though the circumstances of that death are never explained in the article -- though based on this asshole's conduct I'm more than prepared to believe he killed the poor son of a bitch to keep him quiet.

Then he instructs the driver to take him to another nightclub, where he meets two other cops -- one of which is a "use of force" instructor at the local police academy, for the love of friggin' Mike.

Too drunk to control himself, he gets into a fight with a hapless friggin' newspaper seller that doesn't snap to quite quickly enough for this little nascent brownshirt -- so he and said instructor assault the newsie so savagely his doctor still won't clear him to drive months later? An assault, I should add, that a number of bystanders said was racially motivated?

And when the real on duty police show up, what do these three pricks do? Try to pin it on the victim, naturally.

Thus confirming what I've always known. That when it's called a police state, it's NEVER a good thing. Why didn't they just taser him already? Dead men don't talk, after all.

These pricks should remember that their ability to police ALWAYS depends on their perceived legitimacy.

The second the citizens they're purporting to defend start to believe they're just being preyed on... well, then it's a whole new violent bloody mess of a ball game.

After all, when they kick out your front door, how you gonna go? With your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun?

Shatner Does Palin

I interrupt my writing retreat to bring you the following poetic gem.

Reposted from the Tonight Show.

If Rex Murphy lived in Vancouver …

Would he be denying the existence of global warming? Just wondering. (msnbc.com)

Six in the Morning

1. BC UTILITIES COMMISSION SAYS BURN MORE GAS: The BC government's plan to cultivate green energy in the province has been thwarted by a ruling from the BC Utilities Commission. The Commission claims it isn't in energy consumers' best interests for there to be so much invested in alternative energy. This is a serious blow to the government's greenhouse gas reduction program. Some environmentalists are scratching their heads at the Utilities Commission's recommendation to keep Burrard Thermal -- a natural gas fueled power plant -- outputting 5,000 GWh instead of reducing it to the 3,000 GWh the Campbell government was aiming for. Meanwhile, stock prices for Canadian green energy companies tanked after the Commission's report was released. (Globe and Mail)

2. DOUBTS ABOUT REGINA DOME: The Executive Director of the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon has some questions about dome plans in Regina. He says that he can see a need for a new sports complex here to replace Mosaic but wonders if the domed facility currently being pondered will actually attract any new business to the province. (Leader Post)

3. SUIT AGAINST SCHOOL BOARD EXPANDS: A Regina lawyer is expanding a lawsuit against the Regina Public School Board into a class action suit. The clients he is representing are protesting fees levied by Regina schools which provincial legislation says the schools should provide free of charge. Sounds like they've a case... I don't really know. And, yeah, if you're a low income family having your kid's school ask for an additional $400 a year is a big problem. But at the same time, when you think of all the pressure to keep property and provincial taxes low, could extra school fees be a case of parents reaping what they sow? (Leader Post)

4. MICROSOFT AND YAHOO STRIKE DEAL: Two companies I couldn't care less about reached a "search advertising" agreement. The deal, between the maker of an operating system I don't trust and will never use again and the company behind a search site so irrelevant even I never visit it, is expected to generate $500million in revenue for the companies. Whoop-di-doo. (Guardian)

5. CANADIAN PONZI SCHEME GUY BANKRUPT: Earl Jone's company was declared bankrupt by a Quebec court. (CBC)

6. O'REILLY NOT SO GOOD AT THE MATH: Video of Bill O'Reilly saying US has worse life expectancy than Canada because it has 10 times as many people. Ha ha. (Media Matters)