31 Days of Horror: Deep Red

It's time for a little Giallo. Giallo is a genre of Italian horror crime / murder thrillers, predominantly from the 1960's to the 1980's although there are still attempts being made to make them today. Dario Argento was the master of this genre at one time and the 1975 Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) is his best film. Sure his supernatural witch movie Suspiria gets a lot of praise but after watching it a few times, I think it's highly overrated.

The movie starts with a psychic woman (Macha Meril) giving a conference on her abilities. While trying to demonstrate her abilities, she shouts out that someone in the theatre is a murderer and will kill again. Later on at night - David Hemmings is walking along with his friend down a street and happens to witness the medium getting killed in her apartment. He rushes into her apartment and misses the killer but the killer sees him. Thus a game of cat and mouse begins as Hemmings tries to find the killer before the killer finds him.

The film is filled with Argento's trademarks - extremely gory and innovative deaths, a music score from Italian rock band Goblin and brilliant cinematography. It's a shame that Argento's current films (The Card Player, Mother of Tears) are no where near as good as this movie is. Apparently Argento plans to remake this movie in 3D - I hope that's just a bad internet rumour.

The American Dream

Right. The American Dream has been demonized, says John Thain, former head of Merrill Lynch.

Umm, now, as a Canuck, perhaps I'm wrong about this, but I always thought the American Dream was where anyone could have a good idea, work hard, act ethically and become a success. Guess I was all wrong about that.

Apparently the American Dream is really about moving up the banking oligarchy, coming damned close to bankrupting your own country, going on the hook for up to $17 TRILLION WITH A 'T" taxpayer dollars, then bitching that the plebes aren't treating you with due deference because they're a tad pissed about the whole thing.

Holy crap. These people haven't learned a damn thing. I've been more than a bit bearish on the States over the past few years, but I was hoping against hope they'd keep it between the ditches and figure it out like they always have before.

But if they can't bring people like this to heel, it's official. They've jumped the shark.

Six in the Morning

1. CANWEST GETS PROTECTION FOR POST AND GLOBAL: A judge has granted Canwest protection for the Global and National Post portions of its media empire as the company struggles to restructure its $3.9 billion debt. (CBC)

2. SPAMMERS TRY TO WATERDOWN ANTI-SPAM LAW: Lobbyists for on-line marketers -- the spam lobby, that is -- are urging Ottawa to include loopholes in their tough anti-spam laws that're working their way to the House of Commons. How're they doing this? I'm guessing lots and lots of emails and phonecalls to MPs. (Globe and Mail)

3. SASKPOWER TO HIKE RATES: SaskPower warns it'll have to hike rates in order to pay for new capacity to cope with Saskatchewan's growing population, and because they have to work to curb carbon emissions, and because they have to replace a lot of aging infrastructure. When can we expect the hikes? At some point over the next 20 years. Thanks for the heads up, guys. I'll put it in my calendar. Oh, and don't think for one second this announcement has anything to do with warming us up to the idea of building a nuclear reactor in the province. I'm sure that has nothing to do with it. (Leader Post)

4. HUGE DINO PRINTS FOUND IN FRANCE: Paleontologists in eastern France report they've uncovered some of the largest sauropod prints ever. (Globe and Mail)

5. U.S. TO DERAIL CLIMATE TALKS: The US is threatening to derail climate change talks in Copenhagen (Phew! Saves Canada the trouble) because it (the US) doesn't want the Kyoto Protocol targets included in the new agreement. China is not pleased. This bickering goes on as big corporations like Apple are pulling out of the US Chamber of Commerce in protest of that organization's lobbying to undermine climate legislation in the States. (Guardian)

6. UPPER CLASS TWIT: Today's the day Christopher Walter, the Viscount of Monkton, presents his screed against science, Apocalypse Cancelled, at the University of Regina. Now, I could go off on a profanity-fueled rage about how every single thing the man has to say on the subject of climate change is likely fraudulent (check this link out too). Or I could note that, yes, he was an advisor to Margaret Thatcher but not, as far as I can tell, a science advisor despite what the organizers of this lecture claim because, you see, he isn't a scientist -- he's a part time "journalist" which means he's about as qualified to speak on the subject as I am (meaning: he isn't), the only difference being, I won't charge you $60 to listen to my incoherent babbling. Or I could demonstrate what a pathetic little toad he is by writing about his attempts to pass himself off as a member of the British House of Lords (he isn't) and as a winner of the Nobel Prize (he didn't). Or I could relate an amusing anecdote about the Viscount in which he invents and markets a puzzle so complex (he claims) that he offers a million pounds to the person who can solve it....... which an unemployed mathematician does just over a year after the puzzle is released and then the Viscount can't pay out the prize money. Or I could mention that he's written that all AIDS sufferers should be quarantined. I could do all those things. Or I could just direct your attention to the photo of the Viscount that accompanies this item and then to this Monty Python sketch and leave it at that....

Pick of the Day: Apocalypse Cancelled

I alluded to this talk in my Pick of the Day post for Sept. 22. The guy's actual name is Lord Christopher Monckton. In his publicity photo, he looks like the classic British upper-class twit, complete with pursed lips and tweedy aura. He's one of the world's leading climate change deniers who skilfully uses the language of science and pseudo-facts gathered from here and there to advance his cause. Here's a site that debunks his "arguments" (Deltoid)

At our story meeting Sept. 23, the idea of "pieing" him was actually floated. That's not really our style. It's probably not yours either. But hopefully members of Regina's green community will make their presence felt at his talk (which is being held today at the Delta Hotel at 11:45 a.m.). Heck, kill two birds with one stone (if you'll pardon the environmentally unfriendly analogy) and send the sponsor the Frontier Centre for Public Policy a message too.

Alternately, Monckton is scheduled to debate University of Regina Poli-Sci professor Jeremy Rayner at the Recital Hall (Rm. 214), College Ave. Campus, between 2-3:30 p.m.