Monday, July 31, 2006

Mel's Mug Shot

Hmm. I guess this proves that one can be a drunken, deranged 50-year-old anti-Semite and still look pretty good. Glad to see that the Biblical beard is gone.

You know whose opinion I'd love to hear on this scandal? Pope Benedict. I bet I can summarize his thoughts in one word: Schadenfreude

Ribery Stays with Marseille

The nerve!

I'll never get to watch him because I don't have access to any French Soccer Network!

Apparently nobody in the football world takes MY feelings or needs into consideration.

I am officially in a snit. Hmph!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

My Latest War Analysis

Israel can't win, and I think they realize it. Their goal of destroying Hezbollah was too ambitious. I just saw a headline in the Jerusalem Post that the army needs 10 to 14 more days to complete its mission. If they think they will be done with it in 2 weeks, then clearly they have changed their objectives 'cause everybody knows they cannot finish off Hezbollah in that time. If ever.

I guess the new goal is creating a buffer zone, or pushing the enemy back far enough to make their rockets useless? That's the most they can achieve, I'm guessing.

So if the pattern is this:
1) Hezbollah launches rockets from within populated areas, inviting retaliation
2) Israeli army retaliates, killing innocent civilians in the process
3) Israeli government apologizes
Repeat Steps 1 through 3.

Nothing is achieved, except Hezbollah gets more support, while world opinion sinks Israel even lower. What a waste of time. And lives.

Mmmm, Celebrity Gossip

When the world is filled with doom and gloom and tragedy, there are four words always guaranteed to cheer me up: Mel Gibson, Drunken Tirade.

Due to some lapse in judgement, I skipped this story when I first saw the headlines. I saw Mel Gibson Arrest for DUI, and I remembered that yeah, Mel had or has had a drinking problem forever, so he fell off the wagon. Big deal. It just didn't strike me as interesting.

But tonight on CBC they got into the details of Mel's abusive, anti-Semitic rantings, and I thought wow, how could I have missed this.

Not to worry. I'm sure Mel's dad, that noted holocaust denier, will clear this all up.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Steve's Office Replied

Please know that your e-mail message has been received in the Prime Minister'sOffice and that your comments have been noted. Our office always welcomes hearing from correspondents and being made aware of their views.
Thank you for writing.
Sachez que le Cabinet du Premier ministre a bien reçu votre courriel et que nousavons pris bonne note de vos commentaires. Nous aimons être bien informés del'opinion des correspondants.
Je vous remercie d'avoir écrit au Premier ministre.

So personal, so intimate! I expect to see a change in his attitude very soon.

Italia !

I've got an airline ticket in my hot little hands.
I have succumbed to the siren call of the Azzurri.
Nine weeks from today, I am on that plane headed to Florence.
I'm going for one week, but maybe I'll never come back....(more likely, I will indeed come back, just 10 pounds heavier.)
Mamma mia!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

On Writing the Prime Minister

You know, it works.

The only other time I wrote the PM, it was to complain about his decision to bar the media from broadcasting the arrival of the coffins of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Well, 50,000 people sent letters to the Prime Minister about that issue, and right now, as I type this, I am watching Live on CBC Newsworld, broadcast coast-to-coast, the repatriation of the two coffins of the soldiers killed last Saturday.

This proves that Steve will back down if enough people complain. So, I'm going to continue complaining.

Tour de France, Part Deux

I'm starting the rumour that Oscar Pereiro's parents spent 3 days in church praying non-stop and God rewarded them. It could happen.

I'm guessing that religious party in Pennsylvania got even more quiet today. Even the sarsparilla dried up.

Steve! He made me do it again

He MADE me write him another e-mail. Here's my e-mail to the Prime Minister's office.

"I was disturbed by yesterday’s comments by the Prime Minister which implied that UN observers killed by Israeli bombing were somehow responsible for their own deaths by remaining in the line of fire.

The UN’s role is precisely to be near the source of a conflict to work as unbiased witnesses to it. How else can an observer observe if he or she is not on site?

UN facilities are clearly marked, and if reports from the field are accurate, the Israeli forces were asked several times to avoid the UN site. I realize the Prime Minister cannot be held responsible for the negligent actions of the Israeli military, but implying that the victims are to blame because they remained at their posts and did their jobs as international civil servants is just too much.

I am concerned that the Prime Minster’s pro-Israeli bias is clouding his judgement.

Thank you for your attention."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

On a lighter note

If someone says “Jewish” and “male”, who pops into my mind first:

Woody Allen
Bob Dylan
Ben Stiller

You see where I’m headed with this, right? Runts!

So how come the Israeli army turns out to be so hot-looking? From the generals on down the line, the IDF are uniformly (!) rugged, handsome and manly. Where do they get these guys? This is military eye candy.

I wonder if the IDF has its own soccer team? What would they look like? Thud.

(Sorry, flipped over backwards in my chair. Ow. That hurt.)

In my next life, I want to come back as an Israeli army recruiter.

So, Who's a Killing Machine?

What’s going on here?

I’m reading different stories that describe Hezbollah as disciplined, tenacious, determined, tough, etc. And about how they have put up far more resistance than Israel expected. What are they? A militia of Supermen? The Islamic Borg?

Who is being served by this narrative? This reminds me of back in the months right after 9/11 when Al Qaeda were all devilishly clever highly-trained tough guys. If I recall correctly they were disciplined, tenacious, etc., too. And we were all told to be scared of them. Then Richard Reid and Zaccarias Moussaoui showed up and suddenly Al Q didn’t seem all that bright anymore. But we had been trained to be scared.

So SuperHezbollah is now fighting away in the desert like something out of a David Lean epic. Let us all be in awe of this fighting machine; that way we will be supportive and understanding of the even more severe action Israel will need to take to conquer this beast. The West will understand perfectly well that Israel has to hit harder and harder and wider and more unrelentingly because, lookit, they are up against 3000 of the toughest most disciplined killing machines on earth. CNN said so!

Go ahead, Israel, hit harder. No time to talk about cease fire.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The War

CNN reported tonight that it is estimated that Hezbollah has a total of 3000 fighters in its militia. Huh? Is that all? If you had asked me how many of them I thought there were I would've guessed 10 times that number.

This makes Israel's bombing even harder to understand. How can dropping 500-lb bombs and all those rockets accurately target 3000 guys over a pretty wide area. It seems so random. No wonder there are so many innocent bystanders getting hammered. This makes no sense to me. Wouldn't a ground assault be better? One that swarms in and engages these 3000 guys face to face and then captures as many as possible, without hitting civilians in their homes? If you want to destroy Hezbollah, hey, I have no gripe there. Go ahead engage, kill and/or capture actual Hezbollah guys, but not anybody else.

The Israelis want Kofi Annan to apologize for his statement. Give him a break. The man is pissed off. I can't believe they are asking for an apology. That's chutzpah, baby. They are totally on the offense about this. Yes, they are apologizing and regretting their mistake, but man, who do they think is going to back them on this? Short answer: nobody. I won't be surprised if even Bush avoids touching this one.

It's hard to keep bragging about pinpoint precision when you hit a clearly marked UN outpost that you've been asked to stay clear of. Maybe the Israelis can blame their stinky American-made weapons?

Watching TV

Don't watch much teevee these days other than news, but I am enjoying Hell's Kitchen again. I assume the appeal of this show is the same for everyone: the hysterical rantings of Gordon Ramsay. How loud can he shriek? How profane can he be? God, I'd hate to work for him.

This week's highlight: "When you cook something in a non-stick pan, it doesn't stick. That's why it's called F**KING NON-STIIIICK!!!"

Onto CNN. I figured out why CNN keeps Paula Zahn on the network. Clearly they don't have to pay her. Her salary is covered by the Israeli govt. Appalingly biased woman.

I like the queen bee, Christiane Amanpour. She used to bug me, but the more I watch her the more seriously I take her. I saw her on Charlie Rose's show last week, where she could talk for longer than a 3-minute segment and she was interesting.

I can't watch any story about Israel without thinking of Joe Schlesinger. He said: "Jews are news". And that always pops into my head.

But the thing that is keeping me tuned to CNN on a daily basis? The steady, unfolding deterioration of John Roberts' hair. The perfectly coiffed silver helmet of JD's first days is long gone and now he has war-torn bed head. I wanna see how bad he can look. The worse his hair looks, the more cred I will allot him.

He'll need to take lessons from uber-smooth-Euro Alessio Vinci, who keeps looking fresh and seductive, despite endless boring duty at the port of Larnaca where basically nothing much is happening anymore. Time to send Alessio to a hot spot, where he can continue to look smooth and seductive in far worse conditions. I stay tuned.

The Good News keeps on comin'

"AFGHANISTAN’S notorious Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which was set up by the Taliban to enforce bans on women doing anything from working to wearing nail varnish or laughing out loud, is to be re-created by the government in Kabul.

President Hamid Karzai’s cabinet has approved the proposal to re-establish the department, and the measure will go to Afghanistan’s parliament when it reconvenes later this summer. The conservative complexion of the assembly makes it likely to be passed."

Hamid's our man. What would we do without him?

I hope somebody raises this issue with Steve in Question Period.

No laughing out loud? I mean, jeeeez.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Meet Mr. Tamura

He’s the Executive Koala!

He thought he was a murderer but everything turned out okay in the end. Hurray!

Thank god for Japanese cinema. There’s nothing else like it on earth.

Sorry, but the site’s all in Japanese:

More Great News!

It’s all good news these days. All over the world. Wheee.

“A nuclear monitoring institute in the United States has published satellite images of what it says is a new nuclear reactor being built in Pakistan.

The Institute for Science and International Security (Isis) said that it could produce enough plutonium to make 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year.

…Pakistan is unhappy about Washington's recent agreement to share civilian nuclear technology with India.”

Oh stop! Is Pakistan upset, really? Just because Bush is all cozy with India and giving them some sweet deal on nukes? Forget about the geopolitics of the entire rest of the planet. Just dealing with Pakistan is enough to keep any administration busy 24/7. The double-dealing. The scheming. The intrigue. The spying. There’s no end to it.

But, really, what's 40 to 50 nukes a year between friends.

God's Own Tour de France

Last night I saw the parents of the Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, interviewed.

First of all, who names their kid Floyd? Unless his father’s name is also Floyd. But I just checked. His father’s name is Paul. So why Floyd? Why? So we go from a “Lance”, which is the quintessential make-out-king name, to “Floyd”. Floyd, who has a bad hip. The Tour de France really lost its sexiness factor this year, eh?

But back to Paul and Arlene, the parents. They taped the race and watched it later because they didn’t want to miss church. Your son is in the frickin’ final day of the Tour de France and you tape it? I can’t speak for God (unlike, apparently, a lot of other people these days) but I’d like to think he’d cut you some slack on this if you stayed home to watch the race live. Maybe?

Third thing, the mother said that the victory was owed to God. Just once, I want to see the parents of the 2nd or 3rd place finisher ask: Why did God give my son the finger? I guess Oscar Pereiro’s parents aren’t religious enough. Heathens.

Here’s a mouth-watering headline:

“Landis' Pennsylvania hometown celebrates religiously”

I dare you to think of a party that sounds less fun.

Whoa, go easy on the sarsaparilla there, Paul.

Apparently Floyd left the Mennonite fold a long time ago, and he’s been pedalling away from it as fast as he can ever since. But they love him anyway. That’s nice.

My profound war analysis

“Mideast diplomats were pressing Syria to stop backing Hezbollah as the guerrillas fired more deadly rockets onto Israel's third-largest city Sunday.” (Associated Press, Monday.)

“The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.” (NY Times, Friday)

Stop wriggling and sit still so I can whack you with my bigger and better hammer.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Downtown over the weekend, I noticed several cars with Lebanese flags on them. Whether it's for World Cup or war, it's fun to put a little flag on your car! The day I see a Hezbollah flag on a car, I'll know this trend has really arrived.

Haven't more people been killed in Iraq in the past week than in Lebanon and Israel? I believe so. But the media don't cover it. I get the feeling they were just so sick and tired of reporting from Iraq that they are thrilled to report on different bombing and killing.

The death toll from the Indonesian tsunami is now over 660. Does anybody hear anything about this?

Two more Canadians killed in Afghanistan over the weekend. Sigh.

It was such a beautiful (and peaceful) Sunday here today. Seems so unfair to the rest of the world. What did we do to deserve this? Life on earth is a lottery. You win by being born in the right place. We won by being born in the West. So why don't I feel better about this?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Zizou Update

So in place of a 3-match ban which would be quite a useless punishment to give to a retired player, Zidane has agreed to do some community service.

Fifa said: "Zinedine Zidane has agreed to do community service work with children and youngsters."

Zizou, friend to small children everywhere.

I'm sure every day of his community service will be well documented by the French media and will appear in the pages of Paris-Match. And everyone will love him again.

All's well that end's well....

unless you are Materazzi (boo, hiss) who will miss the first two Euro 2008 qualifiers, one of which is against, natch, France. Now that hurts.

Euro 2008 is a mere two years away. Neato.

Steve to the Rescue !

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper surprised his staff and further complicated the Canadian evacuation from Lebanon Wednesday with a sudden decision to detour his jet to Cyprus and personally rescue about 100 Canadian evacuees."

So what to think of this? First, yes, it is definitely a political stunt. But is it necessarily bad, or is he helping by doing this. I think he acknowledged that it was just a drop in the bucket, given the number of people who want to come home from Lebanon. But it's better than nothing, right? Better than flying home with a plane full of advisors and journalists. But did flying to Cyprus create more problems than it solved? That's where all sides will spin this to their own advantage. I don't know yet.

I heard that John Howard phoned Steve and asked him if Canadian ships could collect some stray Australians in Beirut, and Steve said yes. We are such pals to the Aussies, aren't we? John and Steve, closer than ever.

Meanwhile, the poll numbers on support for our Afghan mission are sinking. Steve will have to deal with that when he gets home and hangs up his superman cape.

UPDATE: The National just reported that the ship was very late and Steve-o ended up sitting 24 hours in his plane waiting for them. May I quote Nelson from the Simpsons? HAH HAH!

Kitlers !

Thanks to an e-mail from The Man, I am posting a link to this great site that delightfully combines two of my obsessions: kitty cats and Hitler! I love this site.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Maureen Dowd on Bush, Frat Boy

"No matter what the trappings or the ceremonies require of the leader of the free world, he brings the same DKE bearing and cadences, the same insouciance and smart-alecky attitude, the same simplistic approach — swearing, swaggering, talking to Tony Blair with his mouth full of buttered roll, and giving a startled Angela Merkel an impromptu shoulder rub. He can make even a global summit meeting seem like a kegger.

Catching W. off-guard, the really weird thing is his sense of victimization. He’s strangely resentful about the actual core of his job. Even after the debacles of Iraq and Katrina, he continues to treat the presidency as a colossal interference with his desire to mountain bike and clear brush.

In snippets of overheard conversation, Mr. Bush says he has not bothered to prepare any closing remarks and grouses about having to listen to other world leaders talk too long. What did he think being president was about?"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

W strikes again

I just saw the video of Bush giving Angela Merkel a little squeeze on the shoulders. Ick!
He's that guy at the office, isn't he? The one who can't go by a female colleague without a "funny" little pawing. Is he completely out of touch with protocol? I guess there wasn't any big red warning in his protocol briefing that said DO NOT TWEAK THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR. He is such an alpha male bully.

Imagine if Clinton had touched a female world leader like that. We'd never hear the end of it.

Merkel looked pretty uncomfortable. But I have to hand it to her. She didn't stand up and punch him in the nose. Perhaps she HAD been properly briefed not to slug the American President when he touched her inappropriately.

Ok, I was wrong yesterday. He is a dimwit. And I should be worried about it.

I predict this will be Bush's last international trip. It's not safe to let him loose on the world.

I wonder who was most jealous? Laura, Condi or yo Blair?

Tsunami Update

There are now over 300 dead in the Indonesian tsunami, but we still don't have time to worry about that because we are waiting for cruise ships (!) to rescue Westerners from Lebanon. That takes up all our news time.

I know I am a very grim skunk indeed, but wouldn't a cruise ship full of Americans fleeing Lebanon present a nearly irresistible target for, oh I dunno, an Iranian-made missile? How much protection are these cruise ships going to get. I don't think I'd wanna be on one.

Oh, and didn't over 50 people die in a bomb blast in Baghdad yesterday? Remember Baghdad? There's been some trouble there recently. I've just about forgotten it. Is the war still on?

And over in Asia, Kim Jong Il pouts, ignored.

I wonder what Zidane's doing today. I miss him and his little news story.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm breathing easier

And to think I used to worry because I thought Bush was an uninformed dimwit. Today he said: "Russia's big and so is China". Phew. He does know the world.

I'm sleepin' easy tonight.

Today in Tsunami News

A tsunami killed 80 people in Indonesia.

The rest of the world says: we don't have time to think about this. We're busy!

I have bad news overload.

(At least Oprah isn't gay! Thanks CNN.)

Today in Afghan News

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan officials said Monday that Taliban forces have taken over two towns in the southern part of the country, while coalition troops said they were investigating whether the insurgents had indeed seized control.

With all the international troops in the country can someone explain how on earth the Taliban can possibly be getting stronger? At what point do we decide we've got the wrong strategy.

We can open a Tim Horton's in Afghanistan but we can't stop a supposedly beaten force from rising up again. What's wrong with us?

In Today's News...

Well, thanks “Steve”. There will be ships to evacuate Canadians from Lebanon by mid-week. Thanks a lot. That’s a big help to the 7 Canadians killed yesterday. Exactly how late are we in closing the barn door? Four little kids from Montreal, for heaven’s sake. How wrong is that. Their father is a pharmacist for Jean Coutu. You can’t get more Quebecois than that. I don’t care where their family is originally from.

Is Steve still voicing our “unequivocal support for Israel”? Why is Canada so strongly in the Israeli camp? What’s our connection? Yes, there are a lot of Jews in Canada, and there are a lot of Arabs too. Lebanese in particular in Montreal. We have lots of them. Lots of Montreal Jews too. You know, we probably have a few Montreal Jewish Lebanese or would they be Montreal Lebanese Jews? Yep, I'm sure we have some of them.

Where does defence end and offence begin?

I couldn’t agree more with the idea that every country has a right to defend itself. Who wouldn’t agree with this? Nobody in their right mind would say to any State that they should just put up and shut up and be assaulted. But what is a “measured response”? What is reasonable and what is over the top? Please don't tell me that the deaths of 4 toddlers from Montreal are "regrettable". I can't stand to hear that word any more. And forget about the phrase "collateral damage". That one makes me ill.

Cease fire now, please.

Arguing on behalf of the obvious. That reminds me that yesterday, outside Concordia, I saw some people on a 3-day hunger strike in support of political prisoners in Iran. Why bother? Is anyone in Montreal against the political prisoners held in Iran? No. We all know it is wrong to jail people for political opinions, don’t we? If you are on a hunger strike, isn’t it to make someone in authority change the rules? Ahmadinejad and Khameini don’t care about a couple of guys on the corner of Guy and de Maisonneuve. Don’t waste your energy.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I Give Up the Fight, Adieu CZT

Went to an insanely ridiculous 1970's low-budget Turkish action cop movie today. It is called 3 Mighty Men and is the pinnacle of absurdity. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Highly recommended.

At one point, one of our 3 Mighty Men heroes is kung fu battling one of the Bad Guys and what does he do? You guessed it. Head-butts him in the abdomen. A guy in the row ahead of me shouted Zizou!

Sigh. How long can this possibly go on?

So I get home from the movie, having bought The Globe & Mail en route, and there's Ian Brown writing quite amusingly about...Zizou and Camus. One quote: "Zidane has made France the centre of the world's attention in the aftermath of the World Cup. He has stolen the undeserving Italian team's time in the global limelight." Except for the undeserving Italian part, I agree with that statement.

But Italy deserved to win. Especially Cannavaro.

A couple of interesting things in today's Globe:
A profile of Mumbai. That city is beyond my imagination. I'd love to see it, but I don't know if I could survive it.
A story about how the Italian mafia had a friend in Berlusconi. hmm.
A feature on buckle bunnies, who are women who haunt the Calgary Stampede trying to land a "real" cowboy. heh. Apparently "real" cowboys are getting rarer and rarer. I guess that's why we've replaced them with firemen in our fantasies, eh?

I have a sudden urge to watch The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

In Domestic News

When your house is a one-holer like mine, is there anything more stressful than a malfunctioning toilet? On a weekend? During the peak vacation season?

I'm not much of a plumber and most of my testing involves flushing the toilet and then staring at the rising water level and praying like crazy that it doesn't overflow. I did this a good dozen times throughout the day. I also used the plunger once, to no noticeable benefit. And bailed the water out once, also didn't seem to do any good. I have no idea what blocked it and caused it to run so sluggishly and have the water level rise so hair-raisingly high, but on last flush it seems to have righted itself. Water level was back to normal.

Life is just one irritant after another.

Whoops, I'm falling off the no-Zidane wagon

But only to quote a couple of paragraphs from philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy on Zizou. I love this bit:

"The man's insurrection against the saint. A refusal of the halo that had been put on his head and that he then, quite logically, pulverized with a head-butt, as though saying: I am a living being not a fetish; a man of flesh and blood and passion, not this idiotic empty hologram, this guru, this universal psychoanalyst, natural child of Abbé Pierre and Sister Emanuelle, which soccer-mania was trying to turn me into.

It was as though he were repeating, in parody, the title of one of the very great books of the last century, before the triumph of this liturgy of the body, performance and commodity: Ecce Homo, This is a Man. Yes, a man, a true man, not one of these absurd monsters or synthetic stars who are made by the money of brand names in combination with the sighs of the globalized crowd."

(In the past two days, I've realized that it's a lot more fun to obsess endlessly about Zidane than it is to try to understand the Middle East. I may continue to use Zidane Therapy to avoid utter despair at the state of the world.) (My blog, my therapy.)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

You don't know from Funky

I saw a Japanese movie called Funky Forest last night. My brain is still reeling. I liked it a lot. I have nary the words to describe it so I'll just copy this little snippet from another site.

"A talented cast led by Tadanobu Asano provides a certain gravity to such far-out sequences as the girl in the after school club whose 'sport' involves using a badminton racquet to swat at the milk squirted towards her by a shy fellow with foot-long nipples, after which he starts pulling bloodsucking creatures out of his pants and tossing them at her.

The preceding sequence is not the strangest part of the movie - it isn't even the strangest part of that particular short."

And yes it is as fun as it sounds.

I wanna know how they pitched the script.

Red Buttons dies, age 87

And he never got a dinner.

Today in Thailand...

BANGKOK. - Leaders of a campaign to oust Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra decided not to resume street protests until revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej has recovered from a cracked rib.

I repeat

Thailand. Where the film makers are zany, and the political opposition is way too reverential.

Up next: Royal gout stalls revolution.
Or: Protests derailed by stubbed kingly toe.

Now I'm Done

Why Zinedine Zidane is my Ideal Man.

1. He is modest.
2. He is soft spoken.
3. He is the best in the world at his job.
4. He dresses great. (Refer to for the jeans from heaven.)
4 a). He wears his jacket over-the-shoulder. That is soooo frickin' continental I can't stand it.
4 b). He's foreign.
5. He's a leader.
6. If you disrespect his mother and his sister, he will knock you flat on your ass.
7. And he won't apologize because you, pal, are wrong.
8. But he will apologize to the small children.
(That one is so sticky sweet, I'd check my glucose level if I were you.)
9. He has a shy smile.
9+. And nice eyes.
9++. And a great name.
10. He's straight out of Camus.

Ok. I'm going CZT now.

Him Again

Just picked up today's Gazette. Guess whose picture is above the fold?

I've got one more Zidane post in me and then I'm going CZT.*

*Cold Zizou Turkey.

Yes, it did in fact rain blood in the end

Saw a good Korean movie called Blood Rain.

I’d venture to call it Shakespearean in scope. There’s a long, long trail of murther, bloody murther, which all starts because some aristocrats fear a merchant is getting too high and mighty for his societal rank.

As I watched it, I thought this cries out for a Western remake. But I don’t think the class thing would work in the USA, maybe a good British version would be possible though.

Get Frank out of France

Why hasn’t somebody made an offer to Ribery yet? Enough of this rumour and speculation! Make an offer. But not Real Madrid. I want him in the English Premiership where I will have a chance to see a few matches. Come on, Arsenal, open your wallets. Make me happy.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's Zizou's World, I just live in it

Went to a Korean film tonight called The Art of Fighting. In one scene, the ultrahip "teacher" played by the ultracool Baek Yoon-sik, tells his student he should learn to use the "head butt" on his enemies.

The woman behind me happily says ZIDANE!

I can't escape him.

Later the student uses the infamous effective head butt, and the audience laughed in a way that had nothing to do with the movie.

Pretty good movie overall.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jeopardy: Hot Weather Edition

Answer: A complete idiot.

Question: Who would go outdoors and work in the garden for two hours when the humidity rating is plus 32 Celsius?

But, but, I was in the shade!
I'm still an idiot.

An anecdote about the heat and humidity.

There's a guy who runs down my street every day. I call him The Japanese Running Man, although I have no proof that he is indeed Japanese. But he's a serious runner. No jogger he. And my neighbour tells me he in fact runs twice a day. He's an inspiration. He doesn't trot along looking at the houses, he motors. I admire his dedication.

So this morning at around 8, I'm in the kitchen, making coffee, and I look out the window and who do I see but The Japanese Running Man....and he's walking! He's walking! How wise, I thought.

But that's how humid and uncomfortable it was this morning.

Okay, so I lied, go ahead head-butt me

I know I said no more World Cup-related blogging, but now that Italian lip readers have entered into this theatre of the absurd, I feel justified in continuing to follow the Zidane story.

Aside: didn’t the French team look purty when they met with Blaque Jacques Chirac yesterday? Even Ribery looked presentable. Zidane’s little wave to the crowd was positively sheepish. It took a whole 24 hours for the French peuple to forgive their hero. Good enough. Glad that is settled.

Now what did Materazzi say? A variety of things, depending on which Italian lip reader you want to believe. I just really, really don’t want this to be about religion. Not now, not in Europe. Please no. If he said that Zidane’s family were traitors to Algeria, that ain’t too good either.

Now what is Zidane’s dumb brother doing commenting from Algeria, when he says he hasn’t actually spoken to him? Stop speculating, dumb brother of Zidane.

I guess Zizou better make a public statement sooner rather than later, or else the rumours will cause more damage than the incident itself.

Also, more and more people seem to be confessing that, like me, they were really wowed by that head butt. Is there something wrong with being equal parts horrified and impressed? It's kinda like a mini 9/11. (But NOT in a terrorist way!!)

In Italian news, Cannavaro looks positively radiant in every photo where he’s holding up the Cup. Sweet thing.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Back to reality...

The Russian govt says it killed the Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev. Apparently it's true this time, but I'd like to see a tally of the number of times they have claimed that they got him. It was one of my favourite news-related running jokes.

So long Shamil. Nobody will miss you....if you're actually dead.

Final World Cup Post

Start Ribery does not = win game. Every streak has to end.

Zidane won the Golden Ball award. Let me say this as a treu bleu Zizou fan, Cannavaro got had. Fabio should've won that award. He played every minute of every game and provided leadership and solid play throughout. He deserved to win, maybe his low profile worked against him, but he was the player of the tournament. In my unbiased opinion.

As for the Zidane thing. I still don't get it. If (or when) he chooses to explain his behaviour, anything short of a genuine bona fide French existential moment of crisis of Sartrian proportions will not satisfy me. That is, on the intellectual side; on the emotional side, I've already forgiven him.

So soccer is over. Apres la Mondiale, le deluge?

Happily I have Asian movies to fill the void for the next two weeks. It's that time again for me. Summer = Asian movie overload. Saturday I saw a lite Korean comedy and last night was a neat and colorful funky Thai number. (Although I confess I couldn't get my mind off Zidane.) Today I've got on my agenda a Chinese period piece comedy and a Korean murder mystery.

And I have the week off from work.
And the weather is beautiful.
La vie est belle.

I'm never going to get over it

How could it happen? I'm still stunned.

They cut off Camoranesi's pony tail.

And just when I was getting into it.

Life is one cruel joke.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Yep, and the Cup's not bad either.


I’m numb.

I’ve been numb since the 110th minute. I’m not sure what I witnessed. What was that?

All through the match, there was something wrong with Zidane. Right from the first half when he took his "cheeky" penalty kick. I kept running that over in my mind. I thought, what a risky, crazy way to take that penalty. What if he had missed and France had lost 1-0? Then Zidane would have been single-handedly responsible for his team’s loss. The cheeky penalty is our first clue. There’s a twisted take on heroism at work here. It’s like he decided he was the leader and his shoulders were broad enough to bear the entire loss and shame and everything the World Cup entails. It would be his responsibility and nobody else’s.

And then the beautiful missed header. If he wasn’t going to be the hero, he would be the goat.

And then he pulled the inexplicable "Figo" in the 110th minute. Like he wanted to be single-handedly responsible for the team’s loss. For the whole nation’s loss. There’s a logic in that lapse of discipline, I’m convinced. He sensed, he knew, they weren’t going to win, so he decided to shoulder it all alone.

Can any other player be blamed for the loss? Well there’s poor David Trezeguet. He made Domenech look like a genius for not playing him. But there’s nobody else. Not even Barthez. All Italy’s kicks were good. All the focus was, is and will be on Zidane. Some kind of mystical self-sacrifice went on today. At least that’s what I see in my numbness.

Blogging on the beautiful victorious Azzurris will follow. Only not yet.

Le Grand Jour

Is it a month already? How time flies!

I still have no preference. If I wanted to be assured of a good night's sleep tonight, I'd have to go for France. If the Italians win, the honking and shouting and partying will go on all night. sigh.

On the other hand, everybody's talking about Zidane's final moment, but he and his fellow vieux have already won a World Cup. So how come little del Piero can't win him a World Cup too. He needs the drama.

But if Italy win, will Totti suck his thumb again? I could live without that frankly.

Ribery, who, let's face it, I discovered long before the international press jumped on the bandwagon, is young. He'll get another chance.

But Cannavaro won't and my Helm-sized crush on him is clouding my judgement.

Henry hasn't lived up to what I expected to see from him. If he does, i.e. if he can manage to stay on-side, he will score and France will win.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

In Today's News

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a cordial, buddy-buddy meeting with Birthday Boy Bush at the White House. You know if the news is going to be about two like-minded men being all friendly and cozy, I really don't want to think about Stevie Wonder and George W.

If you want to talk about inspiring leaders meeting in a globally signficant highly-charged environment, this is more my speed:

George Bush is 60 today

Let's all sing:

Happy Birthday to you
Ha....ppy Birth...d

hello, hello. Is anybody out there? I can't hear you singing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vive la France again

Start Ribery = Oh, you know the rest. Even when he doesn't do that much.

Another reason to like Thierry Henry: He belts out his national anthem with gusto.
I have a problem with players who don't sing the anthem. Especially among the French. Yes, I am looking at you Zizou and Ribery. You guys have La Marseillaise. Jeez, that's not some boring unsingable dirge. It's a great tune. Chantez, les boys.

Although the announcers seemed to think that Henry was clearly fouled, it didn't look that serious to me. Is Thierry a bit of an actor?

Zizou didn't even look at the goal before kicking for the penalty. That was a tad intimdating, I'd imagine. ZZ wasn't dominant today, but he did all he had to do.

I've never before seen a goal keeper come forward on offense in the closing moments. Kinda like pulling the goalie in hockey! Neat.

John Helmism of the match: "Le Diver."
John Helmism No. 2 of the match: "Barthez is having one of his eccentric moments."

Why does Barthez play like he does? Is he trying to induce heart attacks? Does he think this is amusing? I go grey(er) watching that man.

I really expected Maniche to score at some point. He has great aim. And I don't care how much they boo Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he's a good, exciting player.

Figo's shaved off his manly chest hair! Boo, hiss. Oh well, it'll grow back (she said hopefully).

An Italy v France final? Who'd've thunk it possible? I have no preference. There are guys on each team who I'll be happy to see win the Cup.

A Good Trend

"I don't miss my floppy hair."
"Neither do I."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Victorious Azzurris

Definition of futility: Trying to get from my office to my house, on the day of an Italia match, without knowing the result. By the time my bus got passed by the 7th car full of flag-waving, horn-honking Italian nut jobs, I began to strongly suspect that Italy might have won the big game. No fool I.

So I knew they'd won, but I didn't know how they did it. Wow. Now that's dramatic.

You don't have to believe me, but I tell you when they FINALLY put del Piero in at the bitter end of the match, I KNEW he would be instrumental in scoring the winning goal. I just knew it. That's what wiley veterans are for. But central to two goals? Well, that was a pleasant surprise.

I kept thinking Andrea "Behold my bouncy Prell hair" Pirlo would do something, and he did too.

Gary Bloom has a man-sized man-crush on Fabio Cannavaro. So do I.

Why bring on a "colour commentator" today? And such a useless one at that. Unnecessary.

I'm growing fond of Mauro Camoranesi's shogun ponytail. How does it not get loose and fall out over 90 minutes? That's some knot!

Monday, July 03, 2006

France or Portugal?

I dunno who to pick. This is really tough. Because France have already won the World Cup, I'm tempted to root a little harder for Portugal. Reading various web sites and blogs, I also see how thoroughly hated the Portuguese are by just about everybody. This appeals to my contrarian side.

An Italy - Portugal final would be a spectacle of diving and crying. Operatic indeed.

Zidane has already done enough for his country. Everyone worships him and he will retire much beloved. And he looks like he's had a great time so far. Good enough.

And Figo. Of course. I would like to see him go out a winner. Although give that Portugal hasn't made the semi-finals in 40 years, he already is a winner. But I'd like to see him in the finals.

But yesterday, while driving, I found myself humming La Marseillaise. Subconsciously perhaps I am in the French camp? This is a can't lose/can't win situation.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Operatic, leggy Thierry

This photo shows Henry's best and worst attributes at the same time.

World Cup Round-Up

Oh my, where to begin? How about Italy shellacking Ukraine 3-0?

Okay, I now know exactly how to use that new expression I just learned. Like so: Did you see Cannavaro get whacked in the lunch box? Yowza. That had to hurt. When I saw him on the ground on his back with his legs in the air, doing the dead bug, I had to feel for the guy. But he survived, with a wee smile on his face. He will live forever in the highlight reels.

And Luca Toni finally found the net. Great stuff.

I never believed the Azzurris would make it this far. I’m astounded. Delighted, but amazed. Me of little faith. Can they beat Germany? What the heck? Why not?

Beautiful Portuguese over England in penalties. What can I say?

Rooney is young and stupid. He must be forgiven for this, for now anyway. He’ll learn.

If Frank Lampard goes back to England and is not shot/stabbed/strangled by a deranged distraught fan, he should consider himself lucky. I fear for his life.

In the pathos department, two things: 1) Rio Ferdinand’s heaving shoulders and sobbing made me feel terrible. I like it when men cry for joy at World Cup, not when they cry in disappointment. Leave that to the fans. 2) The resignation in Gary Bloom’s voice when he said: “England, as usual, lose on the penalty shootout”. As usual.

Cristiano Ronaldo is an arrogant little punk, isn’t he?

And then there’s Luis. A leader among his men. Whatta guy. Even though he shouldn’t even have been playing. I still lurve him.

Lastly: France 1 - Brasil 0

Start Ribery = Win Game. Ho hum. This is almost getting boring. Almost. Vas y le petit Franck!

John Helm has a massive man-crush on Zinedine Zidane. But is it the footwork or the baldness that so endears Zizou to him? Will we ever know? In Helm’s defense, Zidane was magical today. I loved every second he had the ball.

Ronaldinho continues to leave me unimpressed. Much ado about nuthin’.

Now about Thierry Henry. Are we sure he isn’t Italian? He’s got the theatrics downpat. I don’t know if I can stand to watch another game with a dozen or so incidents of his throwing-his-hands-to-his-face routine like Scarlett O’Hara. Is he planning an acting career post-football? He doesn’t have to rehearse now. Nice goal, though, finally. Finally. This sounds like I don’t like him, but in fact he is the winner of my Best Legs contest. Great gams. Very impressive indeed.

Happy Canada Day Everybody!

My phone line went down on Thursday so I was without phone or Internet since Thursday night. But in 3 hours of time-and-a-half work on Canada Day, the Bell technician replaced my outdoor wiring (no charge to me) and now I am back. Thank goodness. It was really weird being out of touch.