Sunday, October 24, 2004

Chinese Marching Into The Ocean.

Of interest to at least two or three of the five people who read this thing, here's an mp3 from Dan Beckner of Wolf Parade's old band, Atlas Strategic. (Daddy's Hands comparisons are not appreciated, thank you.) It's from their Global Symphonic debut, "Rapture Ye Minions" and isn't found on the "That's Familiar" EP.

Atlas Strategic - Jeered By Minor Demons

Last night Michelle and I took some time out of our busy schedule of guzzling booze and shoving American teenagers around on Ste-Catherine to catch "I Heart Huckabees". Keenly aware of just how awful this film was going to be, I (for one) left the film at least mildly amused. The film was terrible, parts of it even worse than I could have expected (peppered, context-less references to Kafka and Magritte, a loopy-doopy animistic philosophy erroneously defined as "existentialist"?), but there were a couple of things to be said in its favour - firstly, Jude Law and Naomi Watts' (no relation, thank you) performances were equally astonishing and amusing, much more so than Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin, who, though seeming to be having fun with the, err, material, didn't interest me. Naomi Watts' character, a spokeswoman for the Huckabees line of big-box department stores, is especially great in one scene where, after a life-changing epiphany, she dons a bonnet and some baggy overalls and films an ennui-filled commercial for the corporation. And outside of that? Some brief moments of physical comedy, and thank fucking God that this was not another "soundtrack film", in the vein of Rushmore, Lost In Translation, and The Royal Tennanbaums. (I'm sure Napoleon Dynamite is similarly afflicted, but I'm not planning on seeing that anytime soon - probably just a remake of The Adventures of Sebastian Cole?). The Shania Twain cameo was putrid, on her part, though there seemed to be a slight skewering of her throughout the film, identifying her with a fanbase comprised of clueless parents and dimwitted office yokels.

Essentially, the film would have been better served by a once-over by the two people the director was trying to ape - Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufmann... The skewering of the suburban minister's family, while a wee bit obvious of a target (cmon, SUVs?), was dead-on.

On our way back from the theatre (incidentally, the AMC Forum - my first time inside that building - what kind of monstrosity is that? The carpet? The grotesque hockey fan in the old forum seats? The crowd of people dancing to Lou Bega's "Mambo Number 5"?) I spotted my first piece of evidence that there actually exist real people who will be voting for George W. Bush. Sure, we're told the race is close and what not, but I think it's simply that the media wants to be perceived as journalistically objective that we're told this incumbent is doing so well, I mean, there couldn't be that many people on this planet that admire this man, right? Right? Err. Anyway, a late model luxury automobile with New Hampshire plates and a black and white Bush-Cheney 04 bumper sticker and a shrinkwrapped book on Christian living under the back window (shrinkwrapped book?!?!?!)... Michelle hypothesized that they were up here getting their flu shots, but I'm thinking that this was something a little more domestic - like a police plant to catch vandals - I mean, something that absurdly offensive on Ave. du Parc? And a shrinkwrapped book?

This weekend's Globe and Mail China special is astonishing - great articles by Jann Wong, Ian Brown and the rest of the staff. I even read the business section. I can recall in my childhood some friend of the family and member of the fundamentalist church I attended telling me that China was a force soon to be aligned with the AntiChrist, and that the Chinese would soon walk into the ocean, one after another, to cross it and invade North America. There seem to be some logistical problems with that, of course, but hey, when you're a member of a church that denies a metaphorical reading of the Bible in favour of a literal, well, all is possible! The Chinese walk into ocean is the beginning of a great joke that's yet to be written.

And finally, the only decent thing to come out of Calgary in, uhh, forever... Equal parts of the Rye Coalition and Six Finger Satellite, it's Fake Cops!

Fake Cops - Sir, You're Not Blowing


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