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Best Of Food & Drink 2017: Woo!

Daily AggregationGooooood eveniiinnng! We’re getting this in a little after sunset, which went down (get it?) at 5:56, according to my trusty iPhone. Current temperature is -12, and it’s supposed to drop to -18 tonight. We’ve been screwing around with this thing’s logo lately. I like Designer Paul’s new one.

1. IT WAS GROUNDHOG DAY Climate change ruins everything.

2. MOURNING THE DEAD Huge turnout at the funeral for the victims of a far-right gun nut terrorist in Quebec.

3. SPEAKING OF GUN NUTS Kevin O’Leary needs to work on his timing. Or maybe he has, and he’s sending a dog-whistle message to Conservative racists?

4. TRUDEAU BREAKS A PROMISE No electoral reform for you! Really not sure most Canadians want voting reform so I doubt it’ll hurt him politically. Nevertheless, feel free to call your MP, or maybe just Ralph Goodale, since he’s the ultra-Liberal in this province. Goodale’s Ottawa office’s number is 613-947-1153, and his constituency office is 585-2202. Or if you’d rather just read something snarky to help you fume, check out this Andrew Coyne column.

5. SASK VOTER TURNOUT SUCKS People are really disengaged from politics. Of course, you already knew that from all the Facebook whiners complaining about too many political posts.

6. FIGHTING FOR LIFE Ignite The Life tackles the Indigenous youth suicide crisis in a two-day Saskatoon conference. More here.

7. BEST OF FOOD & DRINK 2017 We’re having some trouble agreeing on what we call this thing—Best Of Saskatoon: Food & Drink? Best Of Food Saskatoon?—but regardless: our beloved restaurant scene reader poll is back with way more categories than last year’s version. The write-in round is now open! This is your annual chance to rain some positive public attention on your favourite local (and where appropriate, chain) restaurants. Check it out!

And now here’s your Trump report. Bleccchh.

T1. TRUMP DUMPS ON A CONSERVATIVE ALLY Given how shitty, anti-environmental and generally racist conservative Australian politicians are, I can’t muster outrage when Donald Trump treats the leader of an allied like crap. That said, turning close friends into enemies is not a recipe for political success. THAT said, Trump probably just boosted the approval ratings of an anti-immigrant world leader, and you have to wonder, just a little bit, if that wasn’t part of the plan. My nickel’s on poor impulse control and ego-driven chaos, but ya never know. What do you guys think?

T2. WAIT, DID TRUMP THREATEN TO INVADE MEXICO? What a reckless buffoon.

T3. OH, AND HE’S BAITING IRAN Moron.

T4. AND HIS TRASH TALKING SCHWARZENEGGER Dimwit.

T5. REUTERS TO REPORTERS: TRUMP’S AN AUTHORITARIAN The news outlet briefs reporters on how to cover the Ugnaught-In-Chief.

T6. DIVORCED, MOLEST-Y CHEATER FINDS JESUS? A super-duper profane president wants to help all the lovely “Christian” churches who attack the poor, vulnerable and oft-discriminated against become even more openly political. Learn more about the Johnson Amendment—which Trump wants to “destroy”—here. I look forward to the Satanic Temple’s inevitable mischievous political jujitsu.

T7. TRUMP THREATENS TO REVOKE BERKELEY UNIVERSITY’S FUNDING AFTER A FAR-RIGHT SPEAKER’S CAMPUS TALK WAS CANCELLED This alleged defence of free speech from the guy who signs gag orders on scientists.

T8. SPEAKING OF CENSORING SCIENTISTS Remember Stephen Harper? He pioneered it. Expect Trump will do the same things, but at higher intensity.

Sunday Matinee: The Narrow Margin

Continuing January’s movies on train theme (which wasn’t original planned it just sort of happened) today’s Sunday Matinee is the excellent 1952 crime thriller/film noir The Narrow Margin.

Det. Sgt. Walter Brown (Charles McGraw) is assigned to escort a late mob boss’ wife by train from Chicago to L.A. so she can testify to the Grand Jury in a case. The widow Mrs. Frankie Neall (Marie Windsor) is attacked before they get to the train and Brown’s partner is killed. The hitman Densel (Peter Virgo) escapes. Brown is ticked but continues with the job. On the train he meets the lovely Ann Sinclair (Jacqueline White) and her son. Meanwhile two more assassins have boarded the train and looking to finish the job.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: The Narrow Margin”

Sadako v Kayako: It’s Not Easy Being a Ghoul

It’s ghost versus ghoul in this Japanese monster mash.

Given the outcome of other “versus” films (Freddy vs Jason, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), the idea of pitting two icons of Japanese horror felt equal parts enticing and worrisome. Sadako from The Ring and Kayako from The Grudge are physically similar, not particularly expressive and don’t seem to share the same universe: One is a ghost, the other is a ghoul. Nuances, people.

Sadako v Kayako pulls it off. Instead of concentrating on the black haired spooks, the film uses two naïve school girls as audience’s surrogates. One of them watches the fateful Ring tape that all but guarantees her death, a mishap that sends the pair on a quest that gets the other J-Horror mainstay involved. The film has a sense of humor about itself (the idea of someone still using VHS tapes gets a lot of tracking, same as the uselessness of the experts who claim to know how the gruesome twosome operates), but remains firmly within the genre’s realm. Continue reading “Sadako v Kayako: It’s Not Easy Being a Ghoul”

Mary Tyler Moore > Donald #@& Trump

Bada boom, Saskatoon! Word on the street is it’s -10 with a minus-19 windchill. You’re high today, I mean your high today is hypothesized to be -5 with a low tonight of -7. That’s not too bad! More weather stuff here. Your sunrise was at 8:55 and your sunset is 5:44. So we lost Mary Tyler Moore yesterday. She was a big deal. You can read more here, here, here, here, here and here. I was a kid when her show was on the air and it was good for my child-brain to have TV that depicted smart, independent women. Wikipedia has a page on her production company, which put out a lot of great shows including one of my all-time favourites, WKRP In Cincinnati. Rest in peace, hero.

1. SAVE CANADIAN MEDIA! A government report recommends lots of things, including a $100 million Journalism and Democracy fund. A.) Yeah, you think? You think maybe there’s no democracy without professional media to keep the public informed? B.) Sounds like groundwork for a slush fund to billionaires who can’t run newspapers, as opposed to funding for journalists and, ahem, SMALL MEDIA OUTLETS THAT HAVE NO STAFF AND WOULD LOVE TO HIRE SOME OF THEIR UNDERPAID FREELANCERS.

2. TWO CANADIANS SUPPOSEDLY RUN 200 COMPANIES Good CBC story.

3. POTASH PLLLLLBBBBBBBBBBTH PotashCorp made $1.23 billion in 2015. Last year it only made $336 million. Ruh-roh! There go the royalties!

4. LIBERAL FRAUDSTER SENTENCED TO PRISON Jacques Corriveau pocketed $7 million in kickbacks from the sponsorship scandal. He’s been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Aww but it’s not fair, he’s ollld, give him a break. Related note: how many of you would trade 10 years in minimum security prison for a million bucks? Thought so.

5. FAST FOOD NATION McDonald’s and A&W launch all-day breakfasts across Canada next month. I’m dooooomed. #McMuffinsAreMyKryptonite

6. YES HE CAM! Probably my favourite player on the Columbus Blue Jackets has been added to the NHL All-Star Game, hooray wait you don’t care

And here’s today’s Trump Dump:

T1. AMERICAN CITIES ARE MAAAD Trump threatened them with funding cuts, now they’re pissed. Trump may learn that enemies are a lot of work. Wonder how much of the U.S. GDP is going to go to lawyers under these Republicans? One half of the country is going to be suing each other while the other half is going to be rioting. What a waste of human time, effort and potential.

T2. MEXICO IS MAAAD No, the country is not going to pay for Trump’s stupid wall. Trump, an idiot, is predictably acting like a child. Mexico’s president, also predictably, just cancelled his U.S. visit.

T3. ONE REPUBLICAN STUDENT ORGANIZATION IMPLICITLY THREATENS PROTESTERS WITH VIOLENCE “If you keep prodding the right you may be unpleasantly surprised what the outcome will be,” say dipshits on the College Republicans at the University of Washington Facebook page. This nonsense after a protester was shot at their idiot event with gay white supremicist (!!!) Milo Yannipoulos. Seems to me universities should disband groups that make threats and get people shot, but America! Fuck yeah! I guess.

T4. CHELSEA MANNING IS A “TRAITOR” Whatever, anyone Trump doesn’t like is going to be a traitor.

Yes It Is! No It Isn’t!


Happy afta-nooon, Saska-tooon! Sunrise was 8:57, sunset is 5:42 and we’re looking at -9 today going down to -12 tonight. Right now it’s -12 with a -18 windchill. More here. Hey, here’s something interesting: Seventy years ago today, famous gangster Al Capone died after being weakened by a stroke, pneumonia and a heart attack. Ol’ Scarface was messed up from syphilis, too. Capone was 48 but now he’s just dead, dead, dead. You, on the other hand, are alive. Hooray!

1. THE JUSTIN COMETH Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will merge his radiant glory with this fine town today, and here is a link to a news story about that, and here’s another and another. And here’s a report on his last stop, where he was asked questions by some douche in a MAGA hat.

2. ANOTHER HOT ONE The numbers are in and 2016 was, unsurprisingly, the hottest year on record. This is the third year in a row we’ve set a planetary temperature record. This is not normal. Too bad everyone who’s trying to raise the alarm and save civilization has to waste energy fighting Trump on everything now, I guess.

3. FOXES AND HENHOUSES The Saskatchewan government has the wrong ministry inspecting pipelines.

4. SUICIDE PREVENTION PLAN An anonymous donor steps up as Canada keeps shitting the bed on the Indigenous suicide crisis.

5. MEN WHO HATE WOMEN Only scumbags post nude photos of ex-girlfriends online without their permission.

6. HATRED IS A CONSERVATIVE VALUE Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is getting hammered by threats and abuse online. Awful.

And now, here’s a Trump round-up. Yeah, there’s so much crap I have to do a special Trump round-up. Thanks America. And check out the Guardian cartoon by Martin Rowson.

T1. THAT STUPID WALL Trump’s gonna build it! It’s not gonna work! And Mexico’s not gonna pay for it!

T2. JUST GIVE FRANCE THE STATUE BACK Trump restricts immigration and refugees.

T3. TRUMP GOES AFTER MAKE-BELIEVE VOTER FRAUD There must be voter fraud. How else to explain most Americans voting for Hillary Clinton?

T4. MAKE TORTURE GREAT AGAIN Trumps lays groundwork that could bring it back, yippee.

T5. MAYBE TRUMP CAN HAVE JOURNALISTS TORTURED WHILE HE’S AT IT Six journalists covering Trump protests have been charged with rioting.

T6. KEYSTONE XL IS BACK Trump uses his magic president powers to resurrect the controversial pipeline. The protests have started.

T7. IN A STUDY ON POLITICAL BIAS, TRUMP VOTERS LIED MORE THAN CLINTON VOTERS Interesting and unsurprising.

T8. IN A CLUTCH, CALL THE DUTCH That Netherlands steps up to save women from Trump’s cuts to women’s health funding.

T9. IMPEACH THE MOTHERFUCKER ALREADY ITMFA T-shirts, buttons and hats are now available! Proceeds go to Planned Parenthood and other organizations in the Trump resistance.

HOW TO WIN AN ARGUMENT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE WRONG Do you reject the scientific consensus on climate change but you’re not sure how to argue with people who know more than you? Relax, and let Monty Python show you how a series of contradictions can derail discussion and make people stop saying things you don’t like! Perfect for oil stooge politicians, dipshit rednecks and talk radio jerks.

 

Sunday Matinee: Train To Busan

I’m always interested in seeing other countries and cultures take on more American pop culture. The current zombie genre was first started way back with George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead but it seen spread to other countries. Train to Busan is a South Korean horror/thriller from animation director Sang-ho Yeon.

This is Sang-ho Yeon’s first live action movie, his previous two were both animated features the excellent King of Pigs and The Fake.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Train To Busan”

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.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: William Peter Blatty”

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.