Archive for the 'Pop Culture and Media' Category


Are All These Gold Coins Worth All this Suffering?

Mario stopped to consider what had just occurred. He breathed in. Ever so slowly, he looked down towards his feet. He stopped. He looked up. He breathed in. Goddamn it, it was true. It was for real, now.

He was standing in a pile of brains and entrails.

It wasn’t the fact that the dog had come towards him—he’d seen dogs before; he had petted dogs before. It wasn’t the strange appearance of the animal: short, brown, fungus shaped, and walking in such a way that only two legs were visible. It wasn’t even the smell—Mario was from New Jersey. There was something strange about the way it moved…almost as if it had no conscience—no purpose—other than to walk eternally and aimlessly in a straight line.

The creature appeared to be unaware of Mario’s presence, but, try as he might, Mario found himself unable to circumvent it to the left or the right. Well, Mario thought, the animal’s going to see me here and move along. The creature continued to approach him, looking distantly away from him yet shuffling directly toward his proximity. Mario jumped several times, hoping to get the creature’s attention, or to at least startle it away, but the creature’s ghostly stare continued unfazed—it was still approaching.

It became quite clear to Mario that this creature was not natural. It was no dog, either, as its flesh appeared to be iridescent, with an almost gelatinous glaze. Mario began to feel disgust and hatred toward the animal—he wished that it would simply go away and no longer block his path, but the more Mario moved, the more squarely in front of him the animal appeared to be. Shit, Mario thought. Here it is now…Christ…directly in front…closing in…just feet away.

And Mario leapt into the air. Continue reading ‘Are All These Gold Coins Worth All this Suffering?’


Oscars Series Finale

This past Sunday, Hollywood’s best and brightest gathered at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood to say goodbye to a tradition spanning seventy-nine years—The Academy Awards. Hearts swelled as stars and special guests braced themselves for what would be one of television’s most surprising series finales.

Oscar Statuette“After so many years on the air, so many cast changes, and so many twists and surprises, we really just wanted to go out on a happy note,” said Academy President and Executive Producer of the series Sid Gaines. “There were a lot of rumours circulating of course: that Jack Nicholson would finally kick the smack and tie the knot with Suzie Branson, that terrorists would attack, that Oscar would actually turn out to have been black the whole time…but in the end, we thought, enough surprises.”

In the last few minutes of the episode, audiences beamed as one of the show’s most beloved and long-running characters was presented with the top honour. Martin Scorsese, a beloved cast member on the show for over thirty years, had always been seen as the edgier, somewhat violent brother with a heart of gold. To see him finally come full circle overjoyed viewers across the globe—and inspired the series creators to end the show.

“There’s really nothing else for us to show,”commented Gaines. “Without rehashing old plotlines… or bringing Billy Crystal back on the show…I think we’re done.”

From its season premiere on May 16th, 1929, to its highly anticipated finale on Sunday, ‘The Oscars’, as the series is affectionately known, brought viewers all across the globe into a world of suspense and raw entertainment. While the first season began with a pilot of little more than fifteen minutes, it boasted such stars as Charlie Chaplin and Janet Gaynor. However, despite its promise, the pilot episode attracted weak rating—only 250 people watched.

The show soon spruced up its colors by adding such frivolities as aSid Gaines “red carpet” that the show’s stars could walk in on, and musical performances—which would eventually become staples of the series.

Despite a history of overwhelmingly positive review, however, there are those who feel the show jumped the shark long ago, when actress Marisa Tomei was given Best Supporting Actress in what many saw as a gimmick to “sex up” the proceedings.

“We’re not proud of everything we’ve done during our long run,” recalls Sid Gaines, “but fuck you. Yeah, you heard me.”


Quick Update

Since the last post was a bit too tragic to actually approach with my usual irreverence, I thought the least I could do is add an update to the story. According to this article, the morning radio show that conceived the deadly water-drinking contest was completely shut down, and ten staff, including the three morning hosts were fired.

They have since gone on to create three nationally syndicated on-air contests: “Make Yourself Bleed; Win Tickets to Creed”,  “Smoke Until You Vomit”, and “Have Unprotected Sex with this Hooker, Win a Trip to Hawaii.”


Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Pee.

A Wii Risk

A mother’s love runs pretty deep. Hey, if you swung a stick around an average city street, you would probably have no trouble hitting a mother who admits she would die to protect her kids.

But to protect them from boredom? In Sacramento, California, a woman has done just that. In an attempt to win a Nintendo Wii for her three kids, Jennifer Strange, 28, participated in a radio contest hosted by 107.9 “The End” called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”. Essentially, the goal was to drink as much water as you could without urinating. Little did she know, her stint on “The End” would literally be the end for her. The poor woman died of water intoxication after arriving home. Check out the CNN article here.

And I’m sure she never thought she she would die from something as seemingly innocent as drinking too much water. Apparently, though, you can die from drinking 1.8 litres of water (just under half a gallon) in one sitting; less if you have a very low-sodium diet.

Once, near the end of high school, a few friends and I had gotten together to study for a math exam. Needless to say, not much studying ended up getting done, but my friend Jon and I did manage to see how many glasses of water we could drink. I remember there was half an Aquafina water-cooler jog, and the two of us finished it with one glass after another.

Man, we were pissing literally every two minutes, and that urine was crystal clear. But we were peeing. Keeping that water in, like Ms. Strange would have to have done for the contest, would only lower and lower her blood sodium level, until her cells absorbed too much water in order to equalize the pressure, and swelled, perhaps even rupturing.

Man, that radio station is in some serious trouble, and I hope they give that poor family the Nintendo—it’s the least they could do.


Seven Metres of Sorrow

It’s fantastic to me when advertisers make blanket statements…on one hand, I despise it, while, on the other, it can really brighten one’s day. A perfect example is “Life should taste as good as Swiss Chalet” (implying that your entire life and everything in it is still not as pleasurable as one meal at the aforementioned restaurant). I personally hate the slogan, but love that someone approved it.

This morning, one took me by a pleasant surprise on my drive to work. I was listening to 101.5 the FOX, a U.S. classic rock radio station whose waves make it over the border to Ottawa. In fact, their station’s tagline is “Broadcasting in North America’s greatest cities: Ottawa, Cornwall, Brockville, Massena, Potsdam.”

And if we have time, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles.

Anyway, the station actually boasts a pretty good morning show, where the hosts really focus on hard comedy (including a lot of stand-ups as guests), as opposed to most morning show hosts, who normally just fake-laugh and try to sound excited when whimsically musing about whatever news stories are interesting or whatever the hell happened on reality TV last night.

Despite the pretty decent morning show, the ads are just as reprehensible as on any other station. Used car dealerships, Mohawk casinos, a variety of “roadhouses”, and any of a number of other parasitic establishments that crowd the U.S.-Canada border like maggots in the ocular cavity of a dead horse.

DepressionAnd then on an ad just as bad as all the others, it came. I honestly can’t remember what specifically it was for, just that it was some product or service (located in Massena, NY) intended to relieve bowel pain. But the line, delivered by a really hammy, deeply-sympathetic male voice : “Gastrointestinal pain takes the joy out of life” was beyond compare. So broad, so far-reaching, so overdone—it’s brilliant.

We’ve all had aches and pains, some in our heads, some in our backs, some, yes, some in our bowels. Though, I, personally, have never felt suicidal after a particularly spicy or filling meal, I suppose there could be people who, when that old intestinal rumbling comes, instead of running for the toilet, run for the edge of very tall building. You know, lying next to your digestive system on the sidewalk probably would take your mind off the pain…

I wonder if that helps the Massena company’s sales?


Tropical Storm Ernesto Soaks Cuba

Today, Cuba was raked by the heavy tropical storm Ernesto, which scrubbed the island clean with winds of over 40mph. Recently having come down from hurricane status, most likely soothed by the island’s calm rhythms and joie-de-vivre, Ernesto is scheduled to upgrade itself in time to punish Florida–Category One style.

A Faint Odour of Insight took to the streets in Cuba, letting the Cubanos tell us how they manage to stay dry during hurricane season.

Young Cuban Man Still Showing Emotional Scars

Handsome Cuban Girl

Cuban Old Woman

Cuban Old Man

Cuban Man


Klose, But No Cigar

Sad German BoyAAAAAAAAAAAA-stonishing!!

Not this time, Germany. Not. This. Time. I’m still absolutely reeling from what just happened in Dortmund.

As the precious face of this saddened German child can attest, Germany stops here. Honestly, I never expected it myself. As fiercely excited as I am to see Italy win their games win skill instead of sweat-enducing dramatics, nothing could have prepared me for two glorious last minute goals, with literally just seconds away from facing Germany in shoot-outs (an eventuality in which they would have been seriously mismatched by fate, if history has shown us anything.)

Yes, Klose, as the tournament’s leading scorer, was unable to strike his powerhouse team past Buffon today in Germany. But what a match.

You don’t understand what it’s like to be an Italian fan; the perverse ballet between love and hate, retching and rejoicing. Hatred from all sides; no one who is not of Italian original would ever offer a kind word. Being proudly Italian is a curse, especially when infused with newfound pride after a trip to the homeland like I had been. Finally, oh, God, finally, these last few games we can begin to see them at their full potential, as a powerhouse themselves.

I don’t know what will happen on Sunday against either Portugal or France, but I know I’ll be there (well,Italy! not there, but there in spirit). I’ll be there hoping to God that, now that they’re closer than they’ve been in twelve years to the cup, they won’t get a Roma Tomato stuck in their collective tailpipe.

Thank you FIFA, for showing a poor, sports-hating boy like me, (don’t even mention american footbal, baseball, or hockey to me, I DON’T CARE) what a wonderful place the world can be.


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