Friday, March 27, 2009

What Matt Taibbi said on the Rachel Maddow show last night was absolutely right - if a corporation is too big to fail, then it's too big. Banks should have stayed as banks, instead of allowing them to branch out into insurance and investments and god knows what else. The banks in my country, Canada, are no exception, but the reason they're not in trouble is that they are far more conservative about the risks they take. No 50 year, 'zero money down' mortgages, no gambling on the successes and failures of other banks. Canada's housing market bubble was a lot smaller than America's bubble, too, in large part because people with a $40000 income weren't able to buy houses worth a half million.

Obama's not helping the situation, though, by surrounding himself with the same fuckwits that got us into this mess in the first place. The difference between an economist and 'you and me' is the economist has fancy lingo to explain why he doesn't know anything. Economists are like psychiatrists, politicians, and pundits - they all completely fail to justify the expectations we place on them. There have been economists for decades, and yet we still have recessions. There have been psychiatrists for decades, and yet we seem to have more mental problems than ever (and more pills to 'solve' these problems). There have been politicians... well, you see where I'm going with this. That's not to say that all economists are idiots; the valuable ones are those that have dropped the veil of arrogance to pursue their curiosities.

Look, wealth is hoarded by the wealthy. The rest of us get the kitchen table scraps. It has been so for centuries, and it ain't changing anytime soon. What we have to do is continue fighting for the things that matter, and hope that the majority of us aren't too distracted by the things that don't.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fox News mocks Canadian military

As Canadians mourn the loss of four more fallen soldiers in Afghanistan, a videotaped segment of an American TV talk show where panelists mock Canadian soldiers as slackers is making the rounds on the Internet.

The five-minute segment, which aired recently on Fox News late-night program Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld and later posted on, features American panelists suggesting Canadian soldiers need time off for "manicures and pedicures."

Because to Fox News, 'Support the Troops' means Support American Troops, while everyone else's troops can go fuck themselves. I know it makes me glad to think of all the Canadians that fought and died in Afghanistan so that their efforts can be mocked by right-wing assholes who sit safely in comfortable chairs half a world away. You know what, America? Fuck you. It's time we left anyway. If this is how you treat your friends, well, how many friends do you have left?

I don't want Obama or anyone else demanding an apology from Fox News because, quite frankly, a forced apology is as meaningless as a conservative's compassion. And besides, given how America tends to get all caught up in herself, I doubt she even notices our outrage. So, again, fuck you, America. Oh, and you suck at baseball too. Ha!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Problem With 'Heroes'

Well, there's no one single problem with the show, obviously; I'm just adding to the chorus of complaints, but I think there is something specific that could easily be changed which would turn things around.

Nathan Petrelli has the ability to fly. And he is one morose motherfucker. Now, honestly, would those two facts really go together? If you could fly, wouldn't you be skipping through the air like a giddy schoolgirl? Instead he treats his power like a disease, a crippled limb that he will use if he has to, but prefers to otherwise ignore it. I call bullshit on that. None of the good guys seem to like having their powers. Well, Hiro did, but they took away his power, didn't they? Meanwhile, all the bad guys seem to love having powers. So it seems like the writers are using this character shorthand where if you have fun with your power, you must be bad. I think they're misinterpreting the moral of Spiderman - with great power comes great responsibility. The show seems to feel this means the good guys have to be serious all the time. Uh, no. You can enjoy a power without being reckless or irresponsible.

Because we don't have the sense that the good guys like having their powers, that makes it rather hard to root for them, because we can't identify with that attitude. It would be awesome to read minds or fly or have super strength or run fast or whatever. Where's the wonder? Where's the joy? The first season had plenty of that. The first season also happened to be the best season so far. Coincidence?

Here's what I think the show needs to do to get back on track and fulfill the promise of that first season.

- Resolve this boring 'hunt the heroes' plotline quickly - I mean, the show is 'Heroes', not '24'.

- Get back to basics - who are these people, and what does having these powers mean to them and to those around them? Until the heroes understand who they are and what their places in the world are, they're going to continue running around aimlessly from one crisis to the next.

- Organize the heroes in a meaningful way - the first two seasons revolved around the company and collecting 'heroes' in order to contain them. What needs to happen now is for the heroes to get organized. There's a reason why the Avengers and the Justice League were formed, why the X-Men were a team - so you wouldn't be a freak alone. Mr. Bennet can be the leader and public face of the organization - oh, and that leads me to the next point...

- Out these heroes already. Give 'em secret identities of course, but it's past time that the world knew there were heroes. It's stretching the bounds of credulity to think that the world doesn't already know about it.

- Along with organizing the heroes comes the idea of training them so they won't be helpless in certain situations where their powers aren't helpful. Claire can heal herself, so why hasn't she been trained in weapons and martial arts yet? Her character is begging for a bad-ass makeover, and the best defense is a good offense, so why wait? Same goes for the rest of them - Parkman in particular could stand to lose a few pounds anyway...

The show can be saved - I think the writers just need to acknowledge that they're essentially doing The X-Men for television, and take the best aspects of the comics for the show. Oh, and while superhero costumes may be necessary, don't forget the lesson of the Incredibles - no capes.