And ... Action!

I'm not vouching for the authenticity of this video clip showing outtakes from a recent Public Service Announcement that former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did to appeal to Americans for aid for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, but it doesn't seem out of character. (Break)

The real brave ones

In an earlier post, I congratulated Rob Norris (Government of Saskatchewan) for being willing to bring down the million-pound $hithammer onto First Nations University of Canada's administration and board of governors, who are operating in the netherworld between malevolence and delusion (Leader-Post).

But however Norris looks in this -- and I say he looks pretty good -- it's nothing compared to the bravery the student council at FNUC's Regina campus have exhibited (their facebook page). When some students protested the university takeover in Saskatoon in the summer of 2005, they were told in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS by FSIN staff that if they continued to speak out against the FSIN takeover, there would be repercussions -- their parents or siblings could lose their jobs at the band, band-run schools or band-run businesses, they could lose their housing or welfare, that sort of thing.

By speaking out against the maze of stupidity and bull$shit erected by the FSIN chiefs in order to justify attaching FNUC to their patronage train, the students are putting their careers on the line. They are challenging the power the chiefs have. Pray to God that they win: the chiefs have made a hash of things so badly, and they cannot be relied on to make the changes that FNUC needs in order to survive.

Jack Layton Steers West: The Complete Interview

In the latest issue, we interviewed Jack Layton about the NDP's prospects in an upcoming election and what it's like to have to work across the aisle from one of Canada's least loved PMs.

Our discussion went quite long so we had to trim a lot to get it to fit into the paper. Here are some highlights from the stuff that was left on the cutting-room floor....

"I remember going to Paul Martin when he was in government and I first met with him and said, 'Hey, we can work together. You haven’t got a majority, we’re perfectly happy to work together on some collaborative issues.' We never heard back from them. We kept trying to get proposals through. We weren’t getting a darn thing. And it was coming back from the Tsunami, when we got over to see that disaster, I said, 'You know, how come you haven’t worked with us, it’s been nine months.' He said to me, 'You’re two votes short.'"

"[We're] laying out an alternative vision for how we start coming out of this recession having learned something, which is that the deregulation, the unleashing of unrestrained greed as the modus operandi of the entire economic system didn’t work and we don’t want to go back to that. Let’s start thinking about some of the things we need to do, and can do, and should do together, through the institutions that we have in common. Namely, the government institutions. And it’s fantastic to see this grass roots response to the shutting down of parliament because people are essentially saying when they’re responding in that way, 'We believe in our government, our government institutions, our democratic institutions. And we don’t like when you disrespect them.'"

"I’d invite you to talk to Dick Proctor at some point about his theories about the federal NDP in Saskatchewan because his theory is essentially that when we’re in government, particularly the longer we’re in government in Saskatchewan, the more of a challenge it is for us to elect federal MPs. It’s a bit of a voting behaviour that the poli-sci profs have been talking about for years that people will offset one party at one level with another at another level. You vote one way at the provincial level, then another at the federal."

"We’re on the have-province side. But what we’re seeing is a lot of people in Saskatchewan being left behind in the boom. Therefore, this is a time for the kind of social interventions to make sure that everybody gets to have some share of what’s going on with the economy. And that’s what the NDP speaks to and works for."

And, like a DVD bonus feature to accompany the latest issue, here's the complete and (mostly) unedited transcript of our discussion with Jack Layton.

Deadline Extended

I've been informed by organizers of the 2010 Regina Fringe Festival that the deadline for entries has been extended until February 20. If you're interested in presenting work at the festival, check out this link to a post I did on the festival earlier this month. (DogBlob)

Saturday Morning Cartoon

Editor Steve's been worrying about werewolves lately and the moon is full so today's cartoon is a werewolf cartoon called Fangface.

It aired in 1978 on ABC and was produced by Ruby-Spears Productions who also made such cartoons as The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show, Dink, the Little Dinosaur, Thundarr the Barbarian, Goldie Gold and Action Jack, Mr. T, Rubik the Amazing Cube, Turbo Teen, the 1983 version of Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Centurions, the 1988 Superman series, and the American Mega Man series.

The plot was another Scooby Doo rip-off where a group of teens drive around and solve mysteries. Of course one of the group turns into a werewolf when ever he sees a full moon - be it the real moon or just a picture of the moon.

It was later combined with The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show and a baby werewolf named Fangpuss was added to the cast for no real reason.

Pick of the Day: Anti-Christ

I didn't see The Exorcist in the theatre when it came out in 1973 (I was too young), but I remember reading media reports that talked about people throwing up in the aisles because of all the graphic violence and devilish horror. As Jorge notes in his Jan. 28 prairie dog review of this Lars von Trier-directed movie in which Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg star as a couple coping with the tragic accidental death of their young daughter, this movie (which plays at the RPL tonight at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 p.m.) is pretty damn graphic too.

"Torture-porn" is how some critics have described it. So be forewarned. This is not an easy movie to watch. But it is a movie. It's not real life. Like what's going on in Afghanistan. Or Haiti. Or Iran. Or countless other places around the world where heartbreak and misery are infinitely more common than happiness and contentment.

Here's the trailer. (YouTube)

If you don't think your stomach's up to it, earlier in the day there's the second annual Pet Expo at Conexus Arts Centre where all sorts of products and services geared toward our furry, and even not so furry, friends will be on display. Also, this evening at the Italian Club, there's Taste of Cathedral -- an annual fundraiser featuring food and music to help support the Cathedral Village Arts Festival, which will be held this year May 17-23.