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Sunday Matinee: William Peter Blatty

Writer William Peter Blatty passed away on January 12 this year at the age of 89. Blatty’s biggest acclaim was his novel and the subsequent movie adaptation The Exorcist.

Before Blatty became successful with The Exorcist he started out writing comedic novels John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1963),I, Billy Shakespeare (1965) and Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane (1966). Blatty also starting writing screenplays. His first The Man from the Diners’ Club starred Danny Kaye would lead him to working with writer/director Blake Edwards.
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Daily Aggregation: Too Much Trump

Happy afternoon, Saskatoon! It’s -27 with a windchill of -34. The low tonight is gonna be -32. Sunset is at 5:18, and if you were wondering, sunrise was at 9:12. Suddenly I see why half our staff is on vacation.

 

1. THE VIEW IN SASKATOON Police need help after the year’s first murder, Saskatoon firefighters are going to carry the antidote to fentanyl, tuition is going up at the University of Saskatchewan and it’s a bad day to be literally allergic to cold weather.

2. GOVERNMENT PRIVATIZES 250 JOBS Desperate times call for screwing over unionized workers, according to the Brad Wall government. Oh well, what’s the big deal? It’s just 250 people who will order less food from local restaurants and shop less at local businesses.

3. THE BIG PRESCRIPTION PRESCRIPTION DRUG RIP-OFF Pharmaceutical companies persuade doctors to prescribe expensive drugs over cheaper alternatives and it costs Canada $3 billion a year, says The Fifth Estate.

4. GET IT TOGETHER, GRITS High-profile Liberals tweeted links to non-partisan government job ads, which is cool. Unfortunately some of the tweets had Liberal logos. Bad. The government is not a political party. Gotta keep that shit separate.

5. OPPOSITION PARTIES WANT A PER-VOTE SUBSIDY BACK So do I. Who would you rather have pay for our democracy (and yes, it does have to be paid for): rich people and businesses or everyone who votes, equally? “It was the fairest of all the ways in which political parties received public support,” says Elizabeth May. Still think getting rid of the per-vote subsidy was one of Harper’s more evil maneuvers.

6. NEED FOR WEED An armed forces vet is worried about federal plans to cut back the amount of prescription marijuana he and others will be reimbursed for.

7. TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMPY TRUMP-TRUMP From Rob Ford’s whining to Stephen Harper’s calculated clampdowns, politicians with things to hide have been undermining the press more and more this young century. Donald Trump, who’s been bashing the media since this fiasco started, just took this nakedly self-serving strategy to a new level by having his staffers cheer him on at the first press conference he’s held in, apparently, six months. It’s ridiculous, inappropriate and dangerous. The Guardian’s Richard Wolfe says this is the beginning of a “shambolic presidency”. The Toronto Stars’ Daniel Dale, who probably thought he was done with this kind of whackjob egomaniac after Rob Ford, has a wrap-up. Best sentence: “It is not clear how well Trump’s scorched-earth transition is working for him.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post, New York Times and other news outlets are following the developing, what, scandal? Crisis? Disaster? A Globe And Mail editorial calls it “the sum of all fears”, after the Tom Clancy book that took its title from a Winston Churchill quote. Finally (because I don’t have all day to rorage for links), we don’t know how much impact Russia really had on the U.S. election, but it seems plausible and maybe likely that Clinton would’ve won if FBI director James Comey hadn’t brought up the Clinton e-mails days before the election. The Justice Department is now investigating. Commentary here.

8. OBAMACARE DEATH WATCH Ugh. Republicans consistently hold the flagrantly immoral position that only Americans who can afford it should get health care. They sabotaged the Clinton health care plan in the ’90s and now they’re going to kill Obama’s health plan. Somebody better mobilize those 20 million people who could lose their insurance.

#Trump #GoldenShowers

WTF.

The former British intelligence officer who gathered the material about Mr. Trump is considered a competent and reliable operative with extensive experience in Russia, American officials said. But he passed on what he heard from Russian informants and others, and what they told him has not yet been vetted by American intelligence.

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over the real estate magnate.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

More here and here and here. Buzzfeed shared the actual report here.

Those sex videos apparently contain prostitutes, who Trump hired to pee in front of him [sound of Internet exploding].

The report’s details are unverified and maybe unverifiable, un-sourced and totally sketchy so who knows if this is real. Certainly falls within the parameters of “stuff I could’ve imagined but am glad I didn’t.” I hope the Trump-haters will be appropriately skeptical, because as much as we all might enjoy the U.S. intelligence community taking down Trump, a coup is still a coup. (I can’t believe I’m writing about a possible coup this early in 2017).

Is this guy even going to make it to the swearing-in ceremony?

Daily Aggregation: Ssssssssss!

Happy afternoon, Saskatoon! Cold enough for you? As of 1:02 it’s -25 and after a forecast high of -24 it’s gonna get nastier, with a low tonight of -29. The sun came up today at 9:13 but that was a long time ago, so let’s talk about how it’s going to set at 5:15 p.m. That’s just over four hours from when I’m typing this. Bleeeeugh!!!

1. THE TRUDEAU SHUFFLE Cabinet shuffle today. Chrystia Freedland is going to be minister of foreign affairs. Freedland is only the second to hold this post — Progressive Conservative Barbara McDougall was the Secretary of State for External Affairs (as it used to be called) from 1991-1993.

2. ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES AT NIAGARA FALLS MARINELAND The park’s accused of mistreating elk and deer.

3. GAS LEAK DOES NOT CAUSE EXPLOSION Good news, everybody!

4. REMEMBER THAT TIME? When there was a blizzard?

5. WHEN A TREE FALLS The iconic, 150-foot-tall tunnel tree nicknamed the Pioneer Cabin has fallen. It might have been 1,000 years old.

6. SO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME The Obama administration is working on police reform in Chicago and Baltimore, two cities with forces that have been especially racist and violent.

7. CANADIAN APPAREL Looks like Montreal-based Gilden is buying the bankrupt American Apparel brand. What they’re not presumably buying is the company’s commitment to North American manufacturing, fair wages, and LGBT and immigration activism. AA had its problems (expunged founder Dov Charney masturbated in front of journalists and has been accused of sexual harrasment) but in the cesspool of the clothing industry they did more than a few things right. Better than Gildan, anyway.

8. THE JOURNALIST WHO BROKE THE BIGGEST STORY OF THE 20TH CENTURY HAS DIED British reporter Clare Hollingworth has passed away at 105. In 1939 she was the first to report Germany’s invasion of Poland, which started the Second World War.

Company mascot Leonard and sidekick.

9. MIKE PENCE HAS AN UNEXPECTED REDEEMING QUALITY Awful U.S. vice president-elect Mike Pence has been a born-again moralizing manure mound for years as a fiscal conservative with a shit record on women’s and LGBTQ rights. He’s an awful person and the world would be a better place without him on it. That said, it’s possibly a bad idea to totally reject the humanity of enemies so I’m gonna celebrate Pence’s one redeeming quality: his family likes pets. They have two cats, a rabbit named “Marlon Bundo” and a, yes, yes, snake. It’s named Sapphira but I haven’t been able to find out what kind of snake it is because reporters don’t ask tough questions anymore. Unfortunately Sapphira is staying at the family’s Mississippi home, so no slithering Second Pets at Number One Observatory Circle, at least for now.

Daily-ish News: Festival Of Links

Welcome to Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Today’s high is -18 and we’ve got a low of -23, with a windchill of -33. Tomorrow will be colder. The sun rose at 8:56 and sets at 5:15. How was your holiday break? Mine was lovely, thanks. Had some drama with a snooty dog but it was funny, so that’s okay. Here’s a round up of some news that’s a-newsing, brought to you by New Year’s resolutions, good intentions and sad delusions.

1. EITHER 7,900 OR 10,300 JOBS GO “POOF” Saskatchewan’s economy had a rough 2016. Not sure how rough, because I don’t get the apparent contradiction in job numbers in this story. Maybe 10,300 is the December number, and 7,900 is the total for the year? Anyway the public sector is bailing out the economy so I’m sure it won’t get way worse in 2017.

2. SUSPICIOUS = POC According to the Halifax police, the Halifax police stop three times as many black people as they do white people. “It seems like it’s a tax and I keep having to pay,” says one black guy who gets stopped three times a year for being black.

3. TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME You might be suffering from it if you despise Donald Trump, according to some rando right-wing fuckwit with a column.

4. TRUMP IS A LYING JACKASS SYNDROME There is only one person in the world infected with this and his name is Donald Trump.

5. U.S. PLANS TO SAVE POLAR BEARS ARE GARBAGE, SAYS SCIENTIST Details here. I’ll miss polar bears when they go extinct in 20 years.

6. LINDY WEST LEAVES TWITTER Okay this is from last week, but it’s a big deal. It can be tough to define the line between free speech and harassment, but more and more professional writers are opting out of accepting feedback thanks to rampant abuse. It’s frustrating. Here’s another piece on this.

Sunday Matinee: The Bullet Train

This might sound familiar. Tetsuo Okita (Ken Takakura) is desperate for money and has teamed up with an activist Masaru Koga (Kei Yamamoto) and a former employee and has planted a bomb on a bullet train that will go off if the train slows down below 80 km/h.

The Bullet Train was made in 1975 and yes has a plot that “inspired” the 1994 movie Speed or as Homer Simpson called it “the bus that couldn’t slow down”.
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Sunday Matinee: The Quiet Earth

Happy New Year and welcome to the first Sunday Matinee of 2017. Let’s start the year off with the end of the world.

Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) wakes up to find that he can’t get any radio signals. Zac was working on a special energy project and soon discovers that there’s wreckage everywhere but there doesn’t seem to be any bodies. In fact there isn’t anybody around except him. Something has gone horribly wrong. Zac discovers that the second the project went online everyone on Earth has vanished except him.
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John Gormley To Global News: “What Do You Have Against White People?”

John Gormley, yesterday:

Ooh! I can answer the question! Global doesn’t have anything against white people. Global ran Andrew Russell’s story about the make-up of Trump’s cabinet (which is, factually, mostly white, male, and rich, which, also factually, isn’t demographically representative of the country he was (technically) elected to lead) because it’s news.

And that homogeneous make-up is, arguably, a problem — because a room full of white, rich dudes is saddled with a narrow range of life experiences informing their public policy. They won’t have experienced racism, sexism or poverty, and as a result they’re much less likely to understand ordinary people’s real, lived experiences.

So the make-up of Trump’s cabinet is absolutely a legitimate topic for a Global news story — especially after all the racist (“Mexican rapists”) and sexist (“Blood coming out of her wherever”) things Trump has said.

It sure as hell isn’t racist against white people, as Gormley implies.

That said: to me, if anything in Global’s tag line is conspicuous, it’s that it doesn’t mention how rich Trump’s cabinet is. But we’ll let that pass because Russell’s actual Global article sure does:

The 17 people Trump has so far selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have a combined wealth of $9.5 billion including DeVos – whose net worth is estimated at roughly $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.

I wish John Gormley worried more about narrow-minded, self-interested business elites being handed the keys to the U.S. government by a horrible, horrible man, and less about imaginary racism against white people.

Sunday Matinee: Lost Horizon

One of the 25 films that were added to the National Film Registry this year is Frank Capra’s 1937 movie Lost Horizon. Lost Horizon was based on a novel by James Hilton. It’s starts in China in 1935 where a revolution is taking place. Robert Conway (Ronald Colman) is a diplomat who tries to save 90 British citizens from the revolution. He then flees on the last plane with his George (John Howard), paleontologist Alexander Lovett (Edward Everett Horton), industrialist Henry Barnard (Thomas Mitchell) and the sickly Gloria Stone (Isabel Jewell). Their plane is hijacked and then crashes in the Himalayan Mountains.

From there the group discover a hidden city in the mountains called Shanghai-La. It’s a beautiful place and it seems to make the dying Gloria better. Robert meets the lovely Sondra (Jane Wyatt) and his brother meets the equally lovely Maria (Margo). It’s revealed that the city is over two hundred years old and was founded by Belgian priest named Father Perrault. It’s also revealed that the group have been kidnapped and brought to the city. George is furious. When Robert and George confront their guide he takes Robert to see the High Lama (Sam Jaffe).
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