Haiti Fundraiser

It seems that conditions in Haiti are destined to get worse before they get better. This morning, there was a 6.1 aftershock that further rattled survivors and caused additional damage to the country's infrastructure. Across Canada, a variety of fundraisers are being held to provide disaster relief. Regina is no exception. Next Tuesday (Jan. 26) at Alfredo's on Eastgate from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., says owner Reza Shirazi, burgers will be sold for $5 each with all proceeds going to the Red Cross to help the people of Haiti. Also, here's a link to a page CBC has set up to help Canadians donate to relief efforts in Haiti.

Six In The Morning

Back after an inexcusable two-day absence! Time to get an intern, I think. But for now: onwards!

1WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH AMERICANS? As expected, Massachusetts voters hand Ted Kennedy's seat to a Republican who wants to kill health care. The Dems have now lost their 60-seat super majority. There are no words to describe how stupid this all is. But I'll try. First: you'd have to run a malicious, developmentally-delayed woodchuck to lose that seat. Apparently the Democrats did. Nice going, Dems. Second: after eight years of Bush and Cheney, there is no way, no waaay, that any sane person should vote for a Republican candidate federally. We all know that the Democrats are a compromised party with problems big enough to shut it down without anyone shedding a tear. But the Republicans? Two bogus wars and contempt for civil rights, the poor, the middle class, the enivironment, reality in general, yadda yadda yadda (see also: spying, torture, treason, hatred, abortion, gays, immigrants). They are VANDALS.

Here's the Washington Post on this fiasco.

Massachusetts, you are a TERRIBLE PERSON.

2 LINK'S OFF THE HOOK Remenber Waterhengate and the NDP leadrship vote scandal? Lingenfelter has been cleared of shenanigans. (CBC)

3 HAITI: STILL A DISASTER How bad is it? Here's the money quote: doctors they have to "buy their own saws to carry out amputations." Oh, and there's been another earthquake. Maybe it's time to take pull resources out of Afghanistan and help a country that wants and needs our help, eh? (Guardian)

4 WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLIMATE SCIENTISTS AND LIARS? One group admits it when they're wrong about something. Hint: not the climate liars. (Guardian)

5 NEW YORK TIMES WILL CHARGE FOR ONLINE ACCESS IN 2011Yeah, good luck with that. (New York Times)

6 IT'S NOT AGAINST THE LAW, IT'S JUST A RATTY LITTLE LOOPHOLE Conservatives score a win in court over Elections Canada's charges of spending monkeyshines. But even though he sided with the Conservatives, the judge says existing election spending rules have problems: "...this is a debatable issue, which is better left for public commentary and debate by all interested persons outside the courts.” (Globe And Mail).

And lets wrap up with more on Massachusetts, courtesy John Stewart and The Daily Show. No embed for the show in Canada, so you'll just have to click on the link. (The Comedy Network)

Pick of the Day: Guns 'n Roses

Of all the decades I've lived in so far I hate the '80s most. I was too young to really be part of the '60s counterculture scene, but I was definitely aware of it. I knew who the Beatles were, I watched Laugh In and the Banana Splits (Dog Blog). I remember when Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated within a month or so of each other, and Vietnam.

I didn't mind the first six or so years of the '70s. The '60s were kind of still happening then -- Nixon got impeached, the Vietnam War ended. But then disco arrived. That culture (or at least the white, straight homogenized version of it starring John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney and Deney Terrio, with a supporting cast of millions) wasn't really my style. I was into punk a bit, which helped, but I still felt pretty disconnected.

Then came the '80s. I don't really do materialism, so for me, they were a fucking waste. Politically, you had Reagan, Thatcher and Mulroney in power. And Devine was premier here. The Me Decade. Greed is Good. Evil Empire. Trickle Down. You Don't Say 'Whoa' in the Middle of a Mud Hole. The whole culture just saddened and sickened me.

Professional wrestling exploded in popularity. As did porn. And sports, big-time. The whole notion of spectacle. Excess. The '90s, conversely, were "lean and mean". I wasn't crazy about the mean part, which was mostly forced on us by all the raping and pillaging that occured in the '80s. But the lean part suited my personality to a T. I'm not a surface kind of guy. I don't like extraneous stuff. I like things stripped down, not polished and glammed up. Fresh. Raw. Authentic. That's what speaks to me. And the '90s were a decade of great growth for me.

The '00s are probably not yet far enough distant for me to assess them. There's been some promising stuff happen (or, at least, that's been proposed and has a reasonable chance of happening). But a lot of bad shit has happened too. That's similar to the '80s, but I'm better equipped to deal with it now. So, overall, the '80s are the decade I've hated the most.

If you've read Emily Zimmerman's excellent cover story in the Jan. 14 prairie dog you'll know that in the next eight days Regina is being visited by two bands which both rocketed to fame in the '80s. It's not fair to say that Guns 'n Roses (which plays Brandt Centre tonight) and Motley Crue (which hit Brandt Jan. 28) epitomize the '80s, but through their music and off-stage antics they definitely embody the ethos of the time.

As I write this, I'm actually still considering going to Guns 'n Roses. Motely Crue, though, outside of "Kick-Start My Heart", just doesn't do anything for me. To get the G 'n R crowd limbered up for tonight, here's video of the band from the '90s doing "Sweet Child o' Mine" (YouTube)

And if you're in the mood for something a little less raunchy tonight, but still in a musical vein, as part of Philosophy Cafe at Connaught Library at 7:30 p.m., U of R prof Bela Szabados will discuss Philosophy at the Music Hall.