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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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REVIEW: Rogue One Is the Best Kind of Outlier

Jyn Erso, the hero we deserve.

While the return of the Star Wars franchise in the form of The Force Awakens was wholeheartedly welcomed, Chapter VII raised a few red flags. The similitudes with A New Hope were numerous and conspicuous, enough to encourage the perception that the new trilogy may end up being a remix of the original one.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story benefits from this brewing problem by delivering the most original tale of the Rebellion since Jedi. Sure, the structure is videogame-like and the plot contrivances can be more exasperating than exciting, but the characters are edgier and their interactions are a lot spikier than what we have become used to. Continue reading “REVIEW: Rogue One Is the Best Kind of Outlier”

Sunday Matinee: The Asphalt Jungle

Doc Erwin Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe) has just gotten out of prison and already has a master plan for his next heist. Doc goes sees bookie Cobby (Marc Lawrence) and Cobby introduces Doc to high priced lawyer Alonzo Emmerich (Louis Calhern) who has been dabbling in other activities on the side.

Doc needs some money in advance, $50,000 to be precise to hire three men to help pull off a million dollar jewelry heist. Emmerich agrees to give Doc the money for a piece of the action but instead of using a fence for the jewels Emmerich insists on cutting out the middle man and letting him fence the loot.
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Sunday Matinee: Dreamscape

sunday-matineeDennis Quaid is Alex Gardner, a man with with psychic abilities that he mostly uses for gambling. He’s in debt so when a couple of guys in suits show up he gladly goes with them instead of the thugs that have chasing him.

The men are sent by his old mentor Doctor Paul Novotny (Max von Sydow). Novotny is part of a top secret government project where they use psychics to go into people’s dreams. Originally the project was to help people but the head of the department, Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer) seems to have evil schemes and Novotny wants Gardner’s help.
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