J.D. Salinger 1919-2010

Deux Ex Malcontent says it better than I could. (Deux Ex Malcontent)

Six Before Bartime

1 SUPREME COURT ON KHADR CASE: TRY IT AGAIN AND GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME, YOU IDIOTS Canada's Supreme Court says it won't force Stephen Harper's government to repatriate Canadian citizen and former child soldier Omar Khadr, who's been in a U.S. gulag for seven years now. At least, they won't order the government to bring him home YET. The ruling is essentially "have another look at this, douchebags, and get it right this time." Not as good as ordering our "thinks it's above the law" government to bring him home now but not a bad ruling. (Globe And Mail)

2 HARPER APPOINTS FIVE TO SENATE, WILL PUSH TOUGH ON CRIME AGENDA Read more here. (CBC). Funny thing about the tough on crime agenda--the Tories cancelled the national daycare program which undoubtedly would've given Canadian kids a stronger foundation to be successful adults. But that's the tory way, right? Hang the kids out to dry and if they get in trouble later lock 'em up. Just calling it like it is.

3 WAR CRIMINAL TESTIFIES Tony Blair led Britain into an illegal war on false pretences; today he testified before the country's fifth inquiry into the Iraq war. Sounds like he was a dick, as usual. You can't legally invade a country just because you don't like the dictaor running it. (Guardian)

4 GUILTY IN 37 MINUTES The piece of fascist crap who killed abortion doctor George Tiller is guilty, guilty, guilty.Where's the bible passage that says you can shoot doctors again? Or was that in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

5 NEW MORNING AFTER PILL WORKS FOR MORE MORNINGS AFTER Yup, true. But what would Jesus think about this one? The Bible is so vague on modern pharmacology. It's almost like it's completely useless scientifically. Plus, doesn't Jesus have a conflict of interest about unplanned pregnancies? (Yahoo)

6 BEWARE THE BEAST THAT WALKS LIKE A MAN and I thought we had a bright moon last night. Apparently, it gets worse. Anyone wanna loan me a gun and a handful of silver bullets?(Yahoo)

Theatre Review

I'm tempted to joke that this play's title is actually longer than the play itself. That's not necessarily a bad thing. "Brevity is the soul of wit" is how Shakespeare put it in Hamlet. But, in truth, The Unforeseen Journey of Nathaniel Dunbar and Other Tales of Whimsical Sadness (which plays at the Globe Theatre as part of its Sandbox Series until Feb. 6) is a little slight. The creation of local jazz musicians Melanie Hankewich and Jeremy Sauer (pictured, who have performed for years in the city as the Continos), the work blends film and music to tell a tale of courtship between the title character and a woman named Eleanor.

Helping set the stage for this ethereal musical is Jayden Pfeiffer who, in the guise of an early 20th century vaudeville impressario in a silent short, provides the wittiest introduction I've ever seen at the Globe to welcome the audience, thank sponsors and funders, and remind everyone to make sure they shut their bloody cell phones off.

Joined by Elizabeth Curry on bass and Jody Mario on drums, Hankewich and Sauer, who perform at various times on ukelele and piano/accordian respectively, present a string of romance-tinged jazz ballads, interspersed with silent film shorts, to advance the narrative. Through the shorts, we're introduced to Nathaniel Dunbar (played by Devon Floyd). Infatuated with a lass named Eleanor (played by Judy Wensel, and whom sharp-eyed Reginans will recognize lives at the Williamson on Lorne and 15th Ave), he sets off to court her.
On the way, he stops off to buy a balloon bouquet. When he reaches Eleanor's door, he rings the bell, but before she can answer he's swept away by a sudden gust of wind. Yeah, I thought instantly of Up too. Which was unfortunate, as the allusion to the popular Pixar animated feature was almost certainly unintended.
I don't want to reveal any more of what, as I've already noted, is a somewhat skimpy plot. But I will add that the musical was enhanced by a couple of neat segments involving interplay between the performers and film, and an extension of the film action out into the audience.

Overall, Nathan Dunbar is an interesting experiment in musical theatre. It didn't quite reach it's full potential, I don't think. But it was a worthwhile effort. So check it out if you get the chance, and find out if Nathan and Eleanor find true love, or if fate, and other vagaries of life, intervene to thwart their happiness.

Friday Afternoon Kitty: BABIES!!!

Brought to you by prairie dog, your lactation station.








New Dog!

The January 28 prairie dog is out and looking fiiiiine. In this issue: interviews with Jack Layton (politician!), Wendel Clark (hockey god!), Attack In Black (musicians!) and the Continos (local theatre heroes!). Plus there's film and CD reviews, News Quirks, a recap of the anti-pro-rogue rally, the ever-popular Street Wear column, A Gywnne Dyer story that'll make you want to grab a polar bear and drown yourself, and assorted merry odds, ends and delights sprinkled throughout. It's a good little mag, this prairie dog--locally-owned, honest, kinda charming in a clumsy, nerdy way. You should pick up a copy. It's free at 400 locations city-wide, give or take a Saskatchewan Party government-run casino, bus depot or SLB outlet (or seven).

Endgame For FNUC

Yesterday Rob Norris announced that the Saskatchewan government would suspend FNUC'S funding if there wasn't changes made right now, if not sooner, to FNUC's board of governors and management structure (CBC Saskatchewan). FNUC's board of governors pretty much told them to get lost at the Jan. 27 board meeting. (Leader-Post)

Now, the federal government will go along with whatever Rob Norris proposes to do about FNUC, including withholding up to $12 million in total from the two governments (globeandmail.com). Here's something nobody on any side of the Saskatchewan political spectrum would every imagine hearing from a prairie dog reporter: Rob Norris is doing the right thing. It's going to take gonads of titanium to battle the FSIN, but he's willing to do it.

Pick of the Day: Billy the Kid

I don't know how much overlap there is between this blog and the print version of prairie dog with readers. But I did a preview of this gig for our Jan. 28 issue which hit the streets yesterday. It was kind of a last-minute rush job after some promised copy on another band didn't arrive in time so I didn't have a chance to line-up an interview with Billy the Kid (pictured).

I pulled some bio-stuff off the web that said the Vancouver-based artist was born Kristen Amber Pettinger (she celebrates her birthday Feb. 1, as a matter of fact) and that she'd had a troubled childhood with time spent as a runaway and in foster care.

If I'd spoken with her, I almost assuredly would've asked her at some point to talk about her stage name. Was it something someone hung on her, or did she adopt it on her own, and in either case what was the intent behind it.

Outlaw is the most obvious connotation. Or at the very least a scrappy survivor with a flare for the dramatic. Maybe even a bit of a folk hero. Anyway, that opportunity never arose.

In the last week, Billy the Kid has played Edmonton, Swift Current, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and now Regina. That's a fair bit of driving, in pretty brutal weather. Touring in support of her 2008 solo CD The Lost Cause, she's plays O'Hanlon's Pub tonight on a bill with the local instrumental trio the Lazy MKs.

Other gigs tonight include Geoff Berner and Rae Spoon at the Club, Thornley at the Drink Nightclub, and in a real blast from the past, Kick-Axe and Queen City Kids are rocking Casino Regina.

Here's the video for Billy the Kid's 2009 song "These City Lights" (YouTube)