Only Tyrants Ban Journalists From Press Conferences

U.S. politics continues spinning out of control. From The New York Times:

Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.

Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.

Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions.

“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”

It’s pretty simple: Trump’s administration bars media outlets because media outlets expose their lies and self-interest. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans have been radicalized by right-wing propaganda posing as news (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson) and nonsense-spouting opportunists (Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, and, back in the day, Glenn Beck).

Politicians and leaders who attack science, journalism, women’s rights, the poor and minorities are the bad guys. Don’t be on the same team as the bad guys.

REVIEW: A Man Called Ove Is the Hidden Gem of the Oscar Race

In this year’s Best Foreign Language Film’s Oscar race, Toni Erdmann has the critics’ love and The Salesman locks up the controversy factor.

A Man Called Ove is more low-key than its peers, but it’s a better movie that’s worth of your attention.

(Oddly, it also got a second nomination: Best Make Up.)

The Ove in question (Rolf Lassgård, Wallander) is a cantankerous man on the verge of becoming a sexagenarian. Deemed redundant by the factory he has worked at his entire life and without his wife, Ove doesn’t have a good reason to go on.

But just as he’s adjusting the noose around his neck, a noisy Persian-Swedish family moves in next door. If there’s something stronger than Ove’s death wish, it’s the need to tell people off (think of a darker Curb Your Enthusiasm). Soon, the situation becomes a loop and every time Ove is close to meet his maker, we get a flashback that helps us understand the grumpy old man. Let’s just say he has been dealt a number of rotten hands through the years.

Besides lots of black humor, A Man Called Ove is a fun character study that shows the power of community and the benefits of diversity. The film may not be as cutting as the competition, but for sure is timely. Four planets.

A Man Called Ove opens today at the Roxy.

DA: Spirited Away

Daily Aggregation1. CHARLIE ANGUS THROWS HIS HAT IN THE RING Well, there’s the next federal NDP leader.

2. AMERICAN BACKLASH As President Trump continues his imbecile jamboree, the heat turns up on the U.S. Republicans who hopped on his bigly bandwagon.

3. DEADLY NERVE GAS! A genuine WMD was used to kill North Korean Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il’s half brother.

4. MAN CHARGED FOR WEED DEALING A good reminder not to speed. Also this is dumb. Legalize it, tax it and use the money to fix Brad Wall’s dumb budget problems. In other pot news, the White House is opposed to recreational marijuana and is planning to be an ass about it. Which I assume means siccing the pro-KGB FBI on people of colour who use pot.

5. ISRAEL DENIES VISAS TO HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS Ugh. At least they didn’t shoot them.

6. JAY AND DAN! JAY AND DAN! Will the sports broadcast legends return to TSN? Officer Bobrovsky awaits an announcement.

MIAZAKI CAN’T STAY RETIRED The world’s greatest animator is going to make another movie. It’s supposed to be out before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. You’ve seen Spirited Away, right?

DA: Get Out

Daily AggregationGreetings Saskatoon friends! How are you? It’s -4 on a day that, for a change, won’t see plus temperatures. Sun came up at 8:02 a.m. and she’s gonna set at 6:35 tonight. Here’s some news and stuff.

1. ANOTHER REASON TO NOT SCREW WITH SASKTEL We know it’s likely that any privatization of SaskTel would lead to higher phone bills, lost jobs and permanent loss of government revenue. Add pension problems to that list.

2. TIME TO UPDATE BIKE BYLAWS They’re way out of date, say cyclists.

3. EX-SOLDIERS OF ODIN CO-LEADER BUSTED FOR GUNS Astounding news that no one could’ve seen coming.

4. STANDING ROCK’S GRIM TALLY “At least 1,000 Standing Rock protesters, according to camp medics, have been treated for chemical poisoning, hypothermia, rubber-bullet and “nonlethal” beanbag wounds, and many more serious injuries, all as a direct result of violence from militarized police, who sometimes arrive by the hundreds.” Story here.

5. MARCH OF THE EXOPLANETS NASA found seven more of them, all earth-sized, with three of them in the Goldilocks zone (not too hot, not too cold) for life. Cool.

6. CAN WE NOT MAKE IT LEGAL FOR U.S. CUSTOMS TO DETAIN CANADIANS IN CANADA, MR. TRUDEAU? Seems like a big leap past reasonable “pre-clearance” to me.

7. TRUMP SIGNALS THAT DISCRIMINATING AGAINST TRANS PEOPLE IS OKAY U.S. President Bigotface removes protections for trans students, which will make it easier for repugnant bigots to be shitty to them.

8. CONSERVATIVES OPPRESSING CLIMATE SCIENTISTS Gross. When your friends and relatives trash-talk scientists, make sure you stand up for these heroes of civilization.

9. MASS EXTINCTION: NOT AS UNBELIEVABLY TERRIBLE AS BELIEVED? Life on earth might recover faster than thought after mass extinction events, which by the way we’re currently in and it’s all human-caused (hooray?).

GET OUT Jordan “Key and Peele” Peele made a horror movie and it’s getting great reviews. You might want to check it out this weekend. Here’s a trailer:

DA: Snakey Pals

Daily AggregationHi Saskatoon! It’s an even zero degrees on a cloudy day that’s going to get cooler. The sun’s been up since 8:04 and it’ll stay up until 6:34 this evening. Here’s what’s going on with stuff!

1. TENSION AT STANDING ROCK Dakota Access Pipeline protesters have been ordered to leave today.

2. NASA’S GOT SOMETHING TO SAY TODAY The U.S. space agency has a big press conference today. Have they discovered markers of life on an exoplanet? Or maybe they’ve just got some cool but not earth-shaking science news they’re puffing up into something more compelling than it is to convince President Bigly and the Congress From Buttland to leave their budget alone.

3. DOG KENNEL CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENCE You’ve probably been trying to forget about the Saskatoon kennel where 14 dogs died of dehydration and heat stroke. Me too, but there’s a new development.

4. GOODBYE BONANZA One of Saskatchewan’s last Bonanza restaurants was destroyed in a fire in Saskatoon.

5. THE WALL IS STALLED A month into his presidency, Trump’s stupid thing is tangled up in bureaucracy. Meanwhile, a desperate, man killed himself after his third deportation. Expect more of this as the mean-spirited demagogue turns up the heat on more human beings.

6. BURGER JOINTS SHOULD FEED THEIR STAFF A Vancouver employee fired after a misunderstanding gets a deserved settlement.

7. LEGALIZE EVERYTHING We should consider it.

8. DIRTY, ROTTEN THIEVES STEAL VENOMOUS SNAKES and a cute, pregnant albino boa constrictor. Also, to quibble with the article slightly, no one gets killed by boa constrictors (which are illegal pets here but shouldn’t be), though I guess it’s theoretically remotely possible. It’s less likely than being killed by a pet cat, I can guarantee that. But there’s no way a “200 centimetre” boa is going to hurt anything bigger than a small rabbit.

Here’s a video of a cute snake!

DA: Archer: Dreamland

Daily AggregationGreetings Saskatoon! Sunrise was at 8:09 a.m. this morning while sunset is coming your way at 6:32 for 10 hours and 23 minutes of daylight. Wise owls living in the oldest oak trees have forecast a high today of plus two and foreseen a low of minus six. Here’s what’s up.

1. CRAP WATER FOR FIRST NATIONS Canada needs to do better than this.

2. SASKTEL KEEPS YOUR PHONE PRICES LOW Conversely, prices will go up if we sell it.

3. “WALLIDAYS”, HAHAHA Murray Mandryk picks apart the premier’s plan which now has a good nickname.


5. THE PM HEARTS PIPELINES Monkey Beach author Eden Robinson calls out Justin Trudeau for not facing Vancouver’s pipeline wrath.

6. VANCOUVER AQUARIUM: STILL WITH THE BELUGAS Sounds like West Coast Canadians will get another decade of captive cetaceans, despite the mysterious deaths of two whales last year and ongoing criticisms that whales, dolphins and other large, intelligent sea mammals shouldn’t be in captivity, period.



9. YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH RACISM AND TRANSPHOBIA BUT PEDOPHILIA IS STILL TABOO Horrible human Milo Yiannopoulos lost a book deal and has been kicked out of a conservative conference after flippantly suggesting it’s healthy for 13-year-old boys to have relationships with men. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Dan Savage has a column on this here.

10. TODAY IN TRUMPLAND President Bigly problematically bashes the media, might appoint a climate change skeptic as his science advisor, and seems to have helped protect America from British teachers. Fortunately there’s a browser extension that replaces photos of Trump with pictures of kittens. I just tried it out. Works all right!

ARCHER: DREAMLAND Holy shitsnacks!

Sunday Matinee: When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s Hammer Studios found success with a steady stream of cavewoman movies. Starting with One Million Years B.C. in 1966 Hammer followed it up with the weaker Prehistoric Women which had a blondes versus brunettes plot. The third film they made was 1970’s When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.

Directed by Hammer veteran Val Guest (The Quatermass Xperiment) and with the Oscar nominated stop motion effects by the underrated Jim Danforth this is another of Hollywood’s anachronistical movies where dinosaurs and humans live together at the same time.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth”

Sunday Matinee: Deluge

Today’s Sunday Matinee is a apocalyptic disaster film from 1933 Deluge. The movie was a modest hit when it was released but it after it’s special effects footage was reused in a couple of Republic serials the movie became one of the unfortunate lost films. In 1981 an Italian dubbed version was found and that is how it’s been viewed since until now.

Kino Lorber is releasing a brand new 2K restored print on Blu-ray February 21. This new print was discovered in the archives of the Centre National du Cinéma et de L’Image Animée in France. The print was restored and the movie was given a limited theatrical release (as usual no where near here) and now folks can finally see the movie the way it was originally 84 years ago.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Deluge”

Guest Rant: Knowledge Is Power

Planet S readers love to rant. This arrived today in my inbox, and I was amused so I thought I’d share. Bonus: Colleen will be at Words for a Freezing Moon: An Indigenous Storytelling Gathering tonight. It’s at 7:00 at Station 20 West. Sounds cool! Check it out.


P.O.T.U.S.: Does it stand for Please Overturn Trump’s Untrue Statements? by Colleen Charlette

I’d like to bring foremost in your mind the old adage: knowledge is power. In the very recent Pre-Trump Presidency Past, a new cycle emerged in our social-political stratosphere called “fake news”. This is some weird twist of the newly-clothed emperor telling the common people that we are the ones without clothing.

Back in my day, fake news was simply termed “B.S.” and promptly dismissed. The current White House spin mills are generating a stream of fake news (a.k.a. B.S.) on taxpayers’ dimes.

Is “fake news” political correctness’ toxic love-child?

Back to the tried-and-true adage, “Knowledge is power.” The Trump presidency is seemingly disempowering the common people’s knowledge base. Lies dis-empower. Never mind the cost of the time on everyone’s clocks that we cannot afford to waste. The price on human evolution that will inevitably exacted is frightening and increasing as each hour passes. Scientists and researchers are rushing to fortify documents in cyberspace so years of their hard work, data collection, evidence and factual proof will not be eradicated. While the ISIL terrorists are demolishing centuries—old architecture, the current American president is virtually burning libraries. These virtual libraries are former sanctums and forums of truth, proof and respect where confidence and hope reside and flourish.

The fabric of society will end up looking like ‘late-stage Jenga’ if this trend continues.

It’s only the ninth of February and “Mockupy America” has only been at it since the Jan. 20. It’s only been 21 days. Let’s challenge corruption, and not disguise it as disruption. Let’s support open, honest dialogue without fear of unreasonable reprisal. Let’s spend our words wisely.

And let’s keep in mind all of the blood, sweat and tears that have been sacrificed for democracy.

DA: Batnana!

Daily AggregationHappy afternoon, Saskatoon! it’s -12 with a -19 windchill and a snowy low of -13 tonight. Sunrise was 8:30, sunset is 6:09. News!

1. TRUDEAU MEETS TRUMP Poor Justin. I’d suggest buttering up President Margarine and saving stuff like trade and immigration bans for meetings with politicians and bureaucrats whoaren’t deranged wannabe strongmen.

2. CITIES VS. THE PROVINCE Saskatchewan’s Urban municipalities have questions for Premier Impending Austerity.

3. DON’T FRICKIN’ SELL SASKTEL Our conservative premier is talking about selling off a valuable publicly owned Saskatchewan asset again. When Manitoba’s conservatives privatized MTS it wiped out jobs, made CEOS richer, raised everyone’s phone bills and cost the province money, so hopefully nobody will fall for this “good deal” nonsense.


5. THE GREEN AND WHITE STAND ACCUSED! Did the Roughriders hold a workout with a player whose rights are held by Hamilton? They say nope.

6. SASK DESIGNER WINS PRIZE FOR BUTTHOLE BOOK COVER There’s nothing I don’t like about this. Congrats to Duncan Campbell of the University Of Regina Press.

7. TODAY IN TRUMPTOWN Sessions confirmed, Conway counseled, Donald bashes a nuke treaty with Russia and also vows a dated crackdown on crime probably because he thinks it’s still 1980 when he wasn’t .

8. VIDEO: “CUTE BAT EATS A BANANA” Story checks out.