Six At Night

1. OBAMA ROCKS THE UN: At home, he's starting to seem a little gutless. But his speech at the UN -- which called for more cooperation between nations -- was a big hit. (Guardian)

2. CANADA SAYS NO TO LIMITS ON BANKERS' BONUSES: While the G20 nations are working out ways to limit executive bonuses in the banking sector, it looks like Finance Minister Flaherty is prepping to break ranks and leave bonuses in Canada's banking sector untouched. (Progressive Economics Forum)

3. YOUR STUFF IS SAFER... YOU? NOT SO MUCH: Crime stats in Regina from January to August show property crime has gone down a fair bit over last year, but crimes against people are up a smidge. (Leader Post)

4. CANADA BOYCOTTS IRANIAN SPEECH: The Canadian delegation to the UN participated in a walk out of a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (CBC)

5. UNION DENIES HELLS ANGELS LINK: The head of a Quebec construction union denies allegations the Hells Angels bike gang were involved in his election. (CBC)

6. UWE BOLL FILM MAY NOT SUCK: His movies are so utterly horrid -- and not in that funny-good-bad way -- I find it somehow newsworthy that an early review of Uwe Boll's film Rampage is a good review. A very good review. (film.com)

Pick of the Day: Blow Your House In

I interviewed Australian artist Vernon Ah Kee when he was in town for a month-long residency at the MacKenzie Gallery in early September. As I noted in an article that ran in our Sept. 10 issue, I got a quick look at the central portrait, but didn't see any of the 50 other smaller-scale drawings that he was doing for this exhibition -- which is on display at the gallery until Jan. 3.

For generations of Canadians in search of adventure, Australia has been the destination of choice. Exotic, yet civilized. Friendly, prosperous, and sub-tropical, just like us (except for the sub-tropical part). And to top it all off, we share a common heritage as part of the British Commonwealth.

But while similarities exist between Canada and Australia, we are not identical. In its region, Australia is a dominant power. Canada, meanwhile, shares a border with you know who. Indeed, in conversations I've had with people familiar with Australia and its much smaller neighbour New Zealand, the comparison's been made that as New Zealand is to Australia, Canada is to the U.S. Which maybe helps explain some of what Ah Kee and I talked about.

As brutally as Canada has treated its First Nations and Metis people since colonization began in the 17th century, he said, we're regular Ghandis compared to the Aussies and their treatment of aboriginal people. In this show, Ah Kee doesn't huff and puff, but he does present dozens of drawings and text works that challenge the oh-so-comfy perception that most Canadians have of Australia -- and of themselves in relation to aboriginal people here, for that matter.

Definitely worth a look. And today would be as good a day as any.