Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Post In Which Michael Appleby Contemplates The Necessity To Vote In Federal Elections

For those of you who aren't aware of this, Canada is in the grips of not only Christmas fever, but also Federal Election Fever. It's some sort of double whammy because, on one hand, we can't stop shopping, and on the other hand, we can't stop listening to politicians. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It was pretty much bound to happen. I saw this coming the last time we had a federal election. Paul Martin was burdened right from the start with the whole sponsorship scandal that plagued Jean Chretien's liberals during the last administration. It didn't take a fucking rocket scientist to see that only having a minority government would lead to a vote of non-confidence sooner or later. Things are just playing out like you would expect them to.

But what bugs the shit out of me during any federal election are the damn ad campaigns these would-be leaders flood the airwaves with. Holy shit!

So far my pick for the worst ad of the bunch is Stephen Harper's ad that's designed to depict him as a leader who plans on being tough on crime. Why do I hate the fucking ad so much? For starters it has him on some sort of talk show set, sitting behind a desk, but nowhere in the whole ad is this talk show premise even developed. All it has is some bitter old woman complaining about crime in a prepared video statement, Stephen Harper watching said video with the talk show host, and then saying that he's going to be tough on crime. News flash Stephen: there isn't a candidate in the whole damn election who's going to promise to be soft on crime! Fuck! Thanks for the update Stephen, you took valuable ad space that could have been used for scantily clad women selling me beer to tell me that some bitter old hag's wish for a leader who is tough on crime could come true if the country elects you.

And I'm sure the bitter old woman isn't a hag, but come on! Can't you get Stephen Harper to come up with something more substantial than, "I will be tough on crime." Yawn! That's an angry yawn, Mr. Harper!

So Michael, I guess that means you're a Paul Martin guy, huh?

Fuck no! There's a reason why he got the vote of non-confidence against him. He really hasn't been a good leader for this country. He hasn't been the worst, but just far from being good. I will say that of the major leaders so far I am leaning most toward voting for the Liberals if only because Paul Martin's ads haven't sucked as much donkey cock as his opponents. Whoever wins this election will likely face a vote of non-confidence in the near future and we will, once again, be holding another federal election in which a stalemate will be declared.

Have you seen the polls, Canada? Fuck, not one guy can get a definitive lead! Why is that? Can't we get one guy to run whom we like enough as a group to give him a good solid lead. This going to the voting stations every year is bullshit and it's enough to make a guy not want to vote anymore.

One thing that I do love about this election, though, is how all the candidates seem to have this, "It's us against them," attitude. "Them" referring to the United States. Why do I love it? Well, nobody is really that stupid, are they? Yeah, some of American policy has been bad for the world and for Canada, but it's so hip to be anti-American right now in Canadian politics that I love watching the potential Prime Ministers go through all the rigamarole of thumping their chests and saying "I hate GWB this. I hate GWB that. Softwood lumber demands need to be met!" But you know what? Secretly they all kiss America's ass because they are THE superpower.

So what's the point of this post? I suppose I just wanted to vent about the state of Canadian federal politics. I hate being up in the air on whether or not I want to vote. I don't really like any of the candidates and I'm almost 100% positive that whoever wins is going to win a minority government, which puts us right back to where we'll be in January. Sometimes democracy is a bitch! Fuck!

Also I really, really hate that Stephen Harper ad. I feel dumber each time I see it. I don't see how making a promise like that could possibly help him get voters. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that if a candidate made all the ludicrous promises like "going softer on crime," "hurting the economy," or "establishing Canada as a military nation," I would more likely vote for that candidate because he clearly has a twisted sense of humor.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Classic Michael Appleby

Sorry States
She tells me that she wants to come over to sleep. Just let her grab her toothbrush and she will be right over. And I am immediately concerned about the state of my place. It’s too messy. It’s too much of a mess. There are socks and jeans, old t-shirts, and boxer shorts strewn all over the floor. A haphazard congregation of empty bottles. Dust that has settled enough to develop its own layer of dust. Then there is me who has not shaved in three days. There is me who has been lounging around in a bathrobe all day. There is me who is messy hair, pizza breath, and needing to exfoliate.

This is why the mother’s proverb suggests to always wear clean underwear.

Jesus, how long could it take her to grab her toothbrush? How long will it take for her to drive here? There just isn’t enough time for proper preparation and yet my whole life seems to have been the endless prep work to accommodate this woman, this feminine presence.

Dilemma: Do I ready myself with a quick shower, a shave, brush of teeth, combing the hair, slapping on some cologne? Or do I ready this hovel and make it woman-worthy, comfortable and tidy, or as close to it as I can; wash the windows, pick up the clothes, actually wipe away some of the dust from my life?

By time she arrives neither this house nor I is presentable. Address and addressee are complete messes that mirror each other.

And upon apologizing for our sorry states I am quickly rebuked:

“I don’t date your house or the hair on your head. Your pell-mell pantry is not what I lose myself in. It’s not the excess of posters, piles of books, or blemished skin that could make me weep.

It’s you.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Gimme Food, Gimme Fire"

Reposted from the Raving Poets message board. Mike Gravel let's us know...

The Raving Poets: Gimme Food, Gimme Fire.

A Raving Poets Food Drive for the Edmonton Food Bank. (

Wednesday, December 14, 2005.
Yianni's Taverna, 10444 - 82 Avenue, Edmonton. 8:00pm.

This is our last show of the year. The Food Bank needs everyone's help at this time of year ( year-round for that matter). Come on down for some great fellowshipping, some amazing verse, and some Christmas goodwill.

This event will be a twenty-reader open mic as always. Everyone attending the event is encouraged to bring a donation. Any poet wishing to read that evening MUST bring a donation for the Food Bank. That's mandatory. No donation, no chance to read. And don't be a skinflint either. A $10.00 minimum donation (in either food or cash) is suggested. A single box of Kraft Dinner or two cans of beans is simply not acceptable. Cash donations will be accepted in lieu of a food donation.

See y'all down there!

The Most Important Picture Of All

Thank you, Trudy, once again. You were a great hostess and you must be a hell of a housekeeper if you had to contend with this mess.

Recovering From The Weekend

It's Tuesday already and I still feel like I'm recovering from the weekend. My friends and I had our annual Christmas dinner/party this past weekend at Trudy's house in safe, comfortable St. Albert. But just for that one night I think that our party made it that much more dangerous. Let's see some of the pictures. I had about 78 pictures on my digital camera by the end of the night and there are maybe four of them that I remember taking. There are also some pictures of us dropping trow and mooning for the camera which I've tastefully excised from the pictures here as that was a lot of pasty white ass to take in in one sitting. Here are some of the better pictures...

Jordan and Lori showing off Lori's winnings from the mini poker tournament that we had.

Ian is drunk and apparently maniacally so.

Darcy and Jay pose together. Darcy needs to work on his rock and roll look, though.

Jordan and our lovely hostess for the evening Trudy.

Lori and Brandon giving their reviews.

Playing Shrek Operation for drinks? Has that ever been a good idea?

Nadine is the night's first casualty after failing to successfully remove Shrek's tibia. Weak. I may not have graduated medical school, but I could at least remove a tibia from an ogre.

Jordan removes a tibia while Cory and Jay look on. See, Nadine? Was that so hard?

Yours truly takes another crack at removing a tibia. Why so many tibias you ask? Because Shrek has 17 of them because he's an ogre. Duh. Oh crap I hit the side. Now it's time for another shot. I guess Nadine was right. This does get kind of hard after you've been drinking for a while.

So after all the drinking game madness and poker many of us just passed out and slept over at Trudy's. Ah Christmas, it's a most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Why are the box office revenues getting smaller?" asks one asshat. Part III: The Third One

Since I'm on a bit of a roll with my ranting about what's going on with North American cinema (I almost feel dirty calling it cinema sometimes with all the fecal matter that a lot of the major studios expect us to embrace), I thought that I would conform with Hollywood on this one and complete a "trilogy."

Click here.

If you just read that article I linked to you're probably shaking your head like I'm still doing. In fact, I've been shaking my head in disbelief for the entire two days since I read it for the first time. People have been stopping me to ask me what's wrong:

Michael, man, what's bumming you out? You're body language is scaring me. What could be so bad? cigarettes in Casino Royale........bad

That's right. James Bond is not going to be smoking in the upcoming Casino Royale. And the reason for changing the famous spy to a non-smoker? Smoking sets a bad example for kids.

I'll let that sink in.

Smoking, not such a good example for impressionable youth. We can't have kids going around smoking cigarettes and ruining their lungs. That's bad. Violence? Nothing wrong with violence and international espionage.

Holy shit! You're going to excise smoking so that kids don't get any bad ideas, but you'll keep violence in there because there's nothing wrong with that. Are you batshit crazy or just regular crazy? Seriously.

If you want to make a movie that is kid-safe, fine, so be it. But if you're going to do it, do it right. Fuck.

And get this. One scene in Casino Royale will revolve around James Bond's genitals being beaten with a carpet-beater. So you can have genital torture scenes in a movie, but you can't have smoking? There goes your credibility out the window right there. I know that after I just finish torturing my genitals for a while there's nothing more satisfying than a cigarette. If James Bond doesn't light one up I'm going to be forced to hurl my popcorn at the projection booth and scream, "Fuck you, Hollywood! No cigarettes after wang flogging? That's bullshit, you fuckers!"

I suppose I should take solace in the fact that althought a generation of kids will grow up thinking that taking the genitals to task with torture is acceptable behaviour at least they'll have a lot of lung capacity for prolonged beatings thanks to the fact that they never took up smoking.