THE AVERAGE AMERICAN MALE

Since I’m on a bit of a viral video kick recently, I thought I’d post some links here to some promotional videos posted on YouTube about a book I just finished reading – The Average American Male, by Chad Kultgen. Strombo did an interview with Kultgen a little while back; it’s a book that’s really causing a stir in publishing circles for its, um, brutal honesty. It’s pretty hilarious in some parts, incredibly sad in others. It’s also assured to offend a lot of people.

The videos are most definitely rated PG-13.

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PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES

The last week and a half has been pretty crazy. I’m still not entirely sold I want to see the third film in the Pirates/Captain Jack series, but I hope to.

I got back from Orlando last Tuesday. We put out the issue on Wednesday and then I went to the Global Investigative Journalism Conference here in Toronto this past week from Thursday to yesterday. It was one of the best conferences I’ve attended in quite some time. Some of Canada’s best journalists were on hand; the computer-assisted reporting workshops were terrific.

More to come…

IN ORLANDO

I’m not posting all that often recently because I’ve been super-busy, but also because I’m in the U.S. at the moment on business. Will post again soon.

Also, small disclaimer: the video on Fox News’ Republican Presidential debate may have been edited by a supporter of Ron Paul, which automatically lends it a wee bit of partisan B.S. Still, even if you ignore that fact, Fox’s, um, “coverage” of the event is still just a bit, well, unfair (Mr. Mayor? Hate to tell you Sean Hannity, but that whole America’s Mayor bit is self-serving pap to Rudy).

Finally, could Don DeLillo be one of the greatest authors in American history? His new book, Falling Man, is the kind of book most writers can only wish they wrote. Pure brilliance.

A MOST DISTURBING VIDEO

I’ve written on the bottomless capacity for farce that is Fox News before. But this is arguably the greatest piece of evidence yet of Fox News’ endless ability to manipulate and distort reality for Americans.

It has to be seen to be believed. It’s the first Republican presidential candidates’ debate. Even without the F/X, it’s very disturbing.

Oh, and if you’re thinking you could tolerate a Rudy Giuliani presidency – here’s an article to make you think twice.

MICHAEL MOORE’S MANTRA

News has come down that Michael Moore is in some trouble with the Department of Homeland Security regarding a trip to Cuba where he took September 11th workers for health care treatment. It’s all part of his June release Sicko, which takes direct aim at the U.S. health care system.

Have to wonder: does the Department of Homeland Security realize how much publicity they’re giving to Moore with this? It’s been nearly three and a half years since Fahrenheit 9/11 and he’s already getting Sicko to be presented at Cannes. Unlike 9/11, this film could really hit close to home for a lot of Americans, especially when it comes to the general pervasive crappiness of the U.S. health care system (i.e. hello Medicaid, 40 million uninsured Americans and money-hungry HMOs!).

I’m becoming more and more of mixed sentiment when it comes to Moore now. Sure, he’s manipulative as all get out and highly selective in his use of the facts to support his arguments, but really, how many other mass market dissenters are there in the U.S. (much less media-savvy ones). For dissent (or even opposition) in the U.S. to exist, do those presenting alternate points of view have to resort now to turning ideology into infotainment? Seems like the documentary boom of the past six years is really only a cover for entertainment-as-fact. Moore’s merely at the vanguard of it.

FUTURE DANCE

You know what the funny thing is about being 29? How everything feels kind of like you’re on the edge of something and you’re not sure what that is. It’s like driving a car exceedingly fast with the head lights turned off late at night on a rural road – it seems like freedom but it’s actually just an illusion, covering up for something really stupid.

This is the age when you realize both the good and bad aspects of Not Being Young Anymore. You’re both excited and really scared by this fact.

Yeah, I know. I’ve been told I think too much about this stuff.

I’ve recently received word that my high school graduating class will be having their – gulp – 10-year anniversary reunion sometime this year (I don’t plan on going to it – too recent to have a more nuanced perspective on it and also you’ve still got no excuses to forget people’s names, ha!).

You know what I was doing 10 years ago this month? Finishing O.A.C. classes while balancing a part-time job, some clubs at school and a volunteer job with the Town of Markham. I had no idea if I was going to Queen’s or not at that point, but university offers were gradually rolling in. Things were surprisingly clear, the future was just that – the future.

Stupid future – it’s not around the corner anymore. It’s here now. So, here’s the plan.

1) Go do more travelling in the next five years. Must. Do. More. Travelling.

2) Finish the Humber part-time program in the next five years.

There’s some others I want to list here, but really, I’m not saying what they are. You need some incentives to keep coming back, yes?