R.I.P John Hughes

The man behind Ferris Bueller's Day Off has died of a heart attack (Telegraph). He was 59.

Like a lot of you I'm sure, John Hughes touched my life through his films. He made gentle, well-crafted and entertaining movies about families and growing up (and sex!) and all that stuff. He wrote and directed The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Uncle Buck and the aforementioned mega-classic Ferris Bueller--and a ton of other treasures (which depending on your taste may or may not include Home Alone). You can see a full resume here on the Internet Movie Database.

My top John Hughes' movie moment is the Chicago Art Institute montage in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In the scene, the three friends--Ferris (Matthew Broderick), Sloan (Mia Sara) and Cameron (Alan Ruck)--wander the museum while skipping school and dramatically/ridiculously ponder famous paintings.

Then, Ferris and Sloan sneak off to cuddle before a beautiful Marc Chagall work. And the repressed, lonely, and crazily virginal and frustrated Cameron plants himself in front of the epic Georges-Pierre Seurat pointillist painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte-1884".

Lost, helpless and probably half out of his mind with jealously for Ferris' relationship with his girlfriend Sloan, Cameron stares and stares and stares at Seurat's great work, looking closer and closer until he can't see anything but the dotted dabs of paint that make up a child's face.

Such are the hazards of looking at things too closely--you miss the bigger picture. Cameron is real subject of the film, the character who truly has changed by movie's end.

I'm pretty sure this scene was the reason I went to Chicago for the first time in 1992--to stare at famous dots and divine the secrets of life.

I probably learned about as much from the experience as Cameron did.

Rest in peace, Mr. Hughes.

Yikes, These People are Mean

The Leader-Post's editorial -- oh, hell the whole paper -- was pretty good today.

The editorial -- dressed up with a nice picture of a beggar in Dublin (photo courtesy of the Washington Post because our panhandlers look too scruffy) -- dissed a U of R report on panhandling, saying that 'citizens' have rights too. Oooookay.

The editorial notes that the analysis in the report "hinges on the assumption that panhandlers are in fact poor" as opposed to "freelance hustlers who may not be averse to using physical size or aggressiveness to intimidate others into money, less out of social compassion than out of fear.”

Hmmm. A means test for beggars (why not call them by their correct name?)

I can think of a few politicians and power brokers -- sorry, 'citizens' -- I’d like to test for sincerity, (Brad “No really, I just need one little reactor for isotopes… Can you help me out man?" Wall comes to mind, not to mention whoever wrote that editorial).

Hobo symbol courtesy Wesley Fryer (Flickr)

Folk Festival Countdown: Ghost Bees

Most of us don’t have spooky aunties who sing songs about monsters and memories and spells and lost love, but I think we all have a pretty good idea what those kind of aunties would be like: they’d be like Romy and Sari Lightman.

The Lightmans are twin sisters from Nova Scotia who sing nostalgically eerie tunes under the name Ghost Bees. Ghost Bee’s spooky folk would make a great accompaniment to the work of Roald Dahl or Edward Gorey (or if you want to get arty-historical, Odilon Redon). This is music best heard at a gently-haunted Renaissance fair by a crashing seashore. But it’ll also be pretty good Saturday night at 6:30, when the Bees play a teaser set at the Folk Festival.

(The Bees also play Saturday afternoon; check your Folk Fest guide for times and stage details.)

Rah Rah Is Playing Outside My Window Right Now

It's live music lunch time here on the Fredericks of Hillywood pedestrian mall (Scarth Street). Rah Rah's pretty good. Here's a video swiped from the yootubes.

A Comic About Overpopulation

Here's this week's Tom The Dancing Bug, an award-winning weekly comic that's usually political and funny. Today it's political and depressing. The strip draws attention to the world's worst environmental problem--yes, worse than climate change. Pretty much nails our situation. (Salon)

To paraphrase third-way politicians, we need to be tough on global warming, and tough on the causes of global warming.

Salon has a few really good cartoons, by the way. Check out last week's This Modern World. It's funny because it's true.

Guess that's one way to silence your critics ...

I just wonder how long it's going to be until the Republicans call on Blackwater, or XE as they're now known, to overthrow the government of he United States. And what would the Pentagon do in such a crisis?

Read and watch this (The Disaffected Liberal via Countdown with Keith Olberman). And put money on the U.S. going into a civil war within 10 years.

Six In The Morning

1 R.I.P. DONALD MARSHALL One of Canada's most famous wrongly-convicted individuals passes away at 55. (Globe And Mail)

2 AEROSMITH STILL A GO Sorry Rosie--Steven Tyler and the gang are still going to play Regina. (Leader-Post)

3 BALSILLIE'S NHL BID BACK FROM THE GRAVE And it's looking for braaaaaaaaaaaaaaains. Or at least Hamilton. (Toronto Star)

4 HACKERS TRASH TWITTER Denial of service attacks disrupt tweeting worldwide while Facebook investigates suspicious problems. (Washington Post/Associated Press)

5 AT THE VERY LEAST IT WAS A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE A young female protestor who might have been pregnant might have suffered a miscarriage thanks to police brutality at this year's G20 event in London. (Telegraph)

6 DON'T EAT THE BROWN M&MS Ever hear the story about Van Halen demanding bowls of M&Ms with the brown ones removed? Turns out it's not an urban legend, it's a true story--but the truth behind the weird, diva-like demand is fascinating. (Boingboing)

Craig Ferguson Has it all figured out

Courtesy the Canadian Cynic.

I don't know who's more right in this, Ferguson, or the CC commentator TiGuy, but I want to play with the adults, and I feel very lonely because there doesn't seem to be too many adults to play with any more.

Taylor Field's Aerosmith show in jeopardy

Steven Tyler broke his wrist falling off the stage during a show in South Dakota Wednesday night. (HuffPo). No official word, but I would bet that the Aerosmith show at Taylor Field will be toast, not that the scalpers would mind. The show's not sold out and scalpers have thousands of tickets on their hands, apparently. I'm sure they'd be happy to take a refund.

And for the record, I don't have tickets, never sought tickets, and I wouldn't go to see Aerosmith -- even in their prime -- if you gave me a free ticket and limo service right to a front row seat.

UPDATED: Sorry scalpers--the show must go on, according to CJME's website. (CJME)