Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Steven Seagal... you badass

"You could say that I became an advisor to several CIA agents in the field and through my friends in the CIA, met many powerful people and did special works and special favors."

According to Vanity Fair, his first wife stated flatly, "He was never in the CIA."

And then there was the mob fiasco...

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Better the Devil we Know, Then the One we Don’t

With the election of Dalton McGuinty, some of us on the left thought the tide of neo-conservatism may have finally been dealt its first big blow. The man seemed to hold promise. From Wawa to Wainfleet, we heard about the urban agenda, a portion of the gas tax for municipalities, a halt to development on the Oak Ridges moraine… my those were heady days a mere three months ago.

Today we hear about unforeseen deficits, ‘restraint’ and ‘determining core businesses’. Sound familiar? Think 1995 and the beginning of the Common Sense Revolution. At least Harris laid out his plans for all to see. In 1995, Ontarians swallowed whole the competitive behaviour and individualistic responsibility mantra of the Conservatives and got exactly what they voted for. Welfare cuts, boot camps and freeing the market from the chains of big, bloated government. Teachers, nurses and even water inspectors were vilified as costly dinosaurs holding back the market. After the deep recession of the early 1990s, people were more interested in wealth accumulation than things as trivial as social justice, equality and democratic values.

Flash forward eight years and the masses were tiring of neo-conservatism. The deficit had been slain, taxes were lower and the world was rosy again… except at Queen‘s Park. Budget cuts were undermining public services and standards in the eyes of the public. The public held the Conservatives directly responsible for Walkerton and Aylmer.

Just then, along came Dalton McGuinty (or Norman Bates as we at the Lounge prefer to call him -ed.) with his rosy picture of the future. Claims of restored health funding here, comprehensive planning and arts expenditures permeated the media despite claims of a deficit of $5 billion from his own party.

So they won and guess what… a $5.6 billion deficit. Choose change... change the same.

The election of Harris brought about a barrage of numbers to justify his claims and to denigrate the NDP. Well folks, all those numbers are back. Terms such as ’restraint’, ’restructuring’, ’devolution’ and ’privatization’ are back in vogue and are neatly tied into other… better… terms such as ’fiscal responsibility’ and ’prudent financial management practices’. Did the liberals really think there was a surplus? Or was this just a veiled attempt continue unabated the implementation of the neo-liberal agenda of ‘less government‘? Is the public sector doomed to an endless crisis?

We may have hated him, but at least Harris was an honest devil. With McGuinty, who really knows what tomorrow will bring? Can we really be surprised anymore.

The transition of power has passed seamlessly. Adam Smith would be proud.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Friday night with Jacky Jacuizz - Velvet Lounge Story #1

Ain't a damn thing in this fine world a Russo couldn't teach me, and that includes my old CS Professor Eugene Zima. Here's a man wise beyond his years, and yet so scatterbrained it was hard for him to get through a class. He told us about his days at the Moscow State University (that's his residence room, upper middle-right), and his study of a ternary logic circuit. You see, computers are founded on 1 and 0 corresponding to the flip and flop of an electric signal, but someone up there at MSU felt like making it flip-flap-flop, corresponding somehow to 1, 0, and -1. And he spent a lecture showing us how it worked, the first lecture of the semester in fact, replete with slides and overhead projectors. He held our undivided attention for a full hour. But Zima never tested us on ternary logic, and the subject was never approached again. That lecture ended abruptly with Zima turning the lights off and on as if to say "time to go". My guess is he'd told us too much.

Lectures later he told us about trying to earn a Ph.D from his undergrad alma mater. On top of his thesis on Symbolic Computation, he was also obligated to write a 100-page screed on a topic of great ideological significance in his homeland, Leninism. While spending more time on the latter than the former, he didn't really see the point of devoting such a pressing effort to an outmoded political system. At first I agreed with him. But as he described those late nights in front of a cold typewriter I could tell he took the discomfort as something of a history lesson, a haunting reminder from his nation's past. Zima was Russian in every regard: intense, smart, a bit brusque, never too far from a cigarette, and carrying some vague, palpable allegiance to the Hammer & Sickle. He seemed ethereally smarter than us. But somehow he made light of it. These stories were a shrug to him, an interconnected yarn from his past. "Doesn't matter," he'd say.

Zima's best lesson to me was when I walked into the men's room on the ground floor of the Davis Centre and found myself at a stall next to him. I had to fight the urge to do a double-take, because as best I could tell he was clearly urinating while reading a newspaper -- with both hands. That's right, no captain steering the ship. He was hands-free pissing, Kevin. And this was a marathon; when I left he was still going. It was easy to see the benefits of this modus operandi: ekeing out a wineskin's worth of urine while reading the stock prices certainly gives the brain something to do. Such efficiency is unmistakably Red.

So hug a Russian today.

And in light of Eugene Zima's country's own Vodka, I ask you, Is a trip to the good Doctor ever not in order?

I should hope not. Also, see Martintrospection.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Ode to our local curmudgeons.

Our motto here at the Velvet Lounge is "Only the best local news fit to print". Lying well below the radar of the monolithic Canadian media machine, the Lounge offers an opportunity to examine some of the lighter and more serious aspects of popular and political culture today.

Sometimes however, the establishment fights back.

In other news...
Ousted deputy mayor Case Ootes mused that Mr. Miller's open door will close once "all those yahoos... pee all over his plants."

The next three years are going to be great!

Monday, December 15, 2003

Genesis 8:5

Whether reading a thesis on consumer trends, a great writing blog, page of dirty deeds, or another venue of smut, be sure to do so whilst going bareback!

Makes me wanna plotz, I tell yuz.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

I serve Citizens, not customers... and other slogans of the impending paradigm shift.

Knee deep in the works of Denhardt, Shields and Gaebler, my mind started to wander. Now this wasn't any usual writer's block, this was something more, and I needed something fast. So I turned to the definitive source on nutrient management as a source of inspiration. As usual, Wayne had all the answers.

And Copernicus said to Newton... "How do you like them apples?!?!?"

Friday, December 12, 2003

The coincidences are just too numerous to name...

From listening to music at work to fighting the man, the workplace has become the latest place to revolutionize society.

Solidarity Forever! (Remember to vote!)

"Piper Media, Pritch speaking"

I believe a jaunt into the territory of fictitious companies could be worth a try. As for names, let's see. Gay-Z Technologies? Leaves me cold. Moffat Light Industries? Nah, tries too hard. Tillsonburg Electronics? I forsee lawsuits. In any case, I'm onto something here...

What the hell is this???

"Roxy got to be the first female ever to get fucked by robot!" Indeed. But who really keeps statistics of such things???

Dear Editor, I never thought I'd be writing this, but...

During particularly laborious workdays I like to wander out on the Lounge. After sliding the door closed behind me, I'll sit on one of the wooden chairs, or walk to the railing and survey the neighbourhood. I'll see the bagpipe man practicing, or the teenage girls two houses over who sing songs from the Fame soundtrack, or Pritchard skinning and eating a stray cat.

Occasionally I'll contemplate sending a letter to Jean Chrétien.

Would you believe that Christopher Alexander gets no love? Nor does Jane Jacobs, probably cause she loves that writhing pit of bacchanalia known as T-dot.

C'mon Kev, let's play King Pedro with our new cards.

Dirtier than Kent's mouth during an NBA Jam defeat...

It seems that 'Nigger Jim Bridge' and other similar feats of engineering are causing quite a stir in rural Florida.

"Martin Luther King.... at Communist School!"

So it seems the truth about "Martin Luther King, Jr." is a little more sultry and nefarious than one could ever have imagined. Wow, I'm left puzzled by the fact that these people even exist. Perhaps we all just need a little more of this.

(Mr. Pants, we expect nothing less than you to be 'screeched in', had your name added to the list of honorary newfoundlanders and recieved the official certifcate no later than Monday. -ed.)

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Blogger Trivia...

What do savory Bovril, a pacemaker and the MacPherson gas mask have in common? Why they were all invented in Canada!

But that's bullshit in relation to the Scots!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Holy Christ! says Vitale

In lieu of discussing Kevin steering his Blackhawks (with all-star J.R.) into the jaws of defeat at the hands of the ribald juggernaut Yake -- indeed, in lieu of churlish comments about Kent and the 64-15 affair, I will touch briefly on the Sega Genesis.

What a goddamed fine console, my friends. Anyone who disagrees is a fly-bitten coxcomb and a swag-bellied applejohn, and that's all that need be said re: the Sega Genesis!

As for Blanka, his story is long and tragic.
"Blanka's story begins when he was a young boy by the name of Jimmy, who was the only survivor of a plane crash in the Amazon jungle. As is typical of stories of this type, young Jimmy was adopted by a female jaguar. She taught the young human how to survive in the jungle. Jimmy meanwhile, pushed aside all memories of his previous life, and renamed himself 'Blanka' in imitation of the cough of the jaguar."


A little time in the jacuizz with a cosmic bowl of Angelina is a tonic for the soul, but if Kevin knew what's best he'd work the stove next week. Now go watch people search for smut, you reprobates.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppp!

Well, I was searching for some sites concerning photography and I came across this. Which led me to the best super mario 3 player ever, directing bad '60s documentaries, building small recording studios from scratch,"getting his buck" and some finical, dewse-a-vill churl.

C'mon.... give me five minutes of your time!

Friday, December 05, 2003

As Nicholas seems preoccupied with a certain superfriend...

I suppose it's up to me to carry the torch here in the Velvet Lounge.

Ever wonder about Moldova? With an economy that contracted more than 40% in the 1990s, 'official' unemployment hovering over 10% and mass daily protests which have lasted more than two years, the troubles of tiny Moldova have been blatantly muffled by western news agencies. This tiny romanian-speaking nation on the brink of anarchy, faces certain economic collapse and absorption into the reemerging russian sphere of influence.

With crumbling political, economic and social structures, locals have turned to other methods of income "Over 60% of the tens of thousands of girls now believed to be in sexual slavery come from Moldova."

Feel free to indulge yourself in this captivating and somewhat... disturbed nation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The Protestant Boys shall carry the day...

Orangism in Canada! Fun for the whole family! Or is it??? The ultimate benign organization (they sell insurance for god sake!)... and its blasted arch nemisis. (Who thinks up these names?)

Nonetheless, the officialdom has handed down some simple rules on how to deal with these bloody juvenile infidels, and has created a body to implement the grand solution...
"Knights of Columbus have a proud heritage. The qualified Catholic man can share in that heritage and build for an even greater future by affiliating himself with this forceful, effective body"

Monday, December 01, 2003

Hair Bands and Hot Pants Oh My!!!

With hits like 'Shot through the Heart' and 'We Built this City', what's really NOT to love about the 80's??? From hotpants to excessive greed, pop culture took on a whole new form.