Wednesday, December 02, 2009

James Howard Clears Out November, Part I

Is it seriously December? It can't be December, that's ridiculous. It was minus one yesterday! And there's barely even snow on the ground; hell, it's only snowed twice so far all season, and only half of one snowfall stuck!

Fine, fine. Let's go on the assumption that it's December. Since it's been about a week again since I last dropped in, let's just hammer away at some backlog today; better start clearing out the In bin if we're going to get a fresh start to the next decade.

Is it seriously going to be 2010 next month? fffffffffffffffFFFFFFFF--


Peace, order, and Uptown Magazine!

The most recent edition has a column I wrote about the scourge of divisive identity politics, which of course I had to be careful with. My status as a pan-Canadian mutt with ancestors from five or six different places aside, I'm quite visibly a big ol' white guy, and as such should be considered suspicious at all times. Still, though; just once in my lifetime I'd like to see somebody try to establish a national identity based around something, rather than insisting that everyone can just do whatever as long as they aren't acting too overtly American about it. (That's always been kind of a weird idea -- the seemingly prevalent perspective that every other culture is perfectly acceptable except for the one we live right next to.)

What should be more definitive for a ______-Canadian, the "Canadian" part or the "______" part? And would we know "Canadian" if we saw it?

I'll tell you right now, I know awesome when I see it. (Boom! Segue!) I took in last week's Priestess concert at the Pyramid, as I'd mentioned in my last post, and basically if you were thinking about going to this show but didn't you are dumb. YOU ARE A DUMB. How dare you.

The show wasn't without its snags, mind you; the "doors at 8:00" proclamation on the ticket ended up being "doors at 8:50 because we're taking an extra hour doing the soundcheck, so how about thirty of you stand in the little front lobby for a while". Then of course there were a couple opening bands to get through, and neither of them were really that great -- although one of the two bands, Trigger Effect, did feature a frontman who looked like alternate-universe Tall Seth Green and talked exclusively in this hilariously great Jim Thome voice.

Actual quotes from his stage banter, written as delivered:


Fortunately(?) there were free copies of the previous Sunday's On7 lying around, so I did get a crossword puzzle done if nothing else. (It's still not a very good paper; I have included a page from that issue below, as you will see shortly.) But as as far as the main event went, well boy lemme tell ya, now that was an experience that would have been a steal at twice the price.

Do you know many certified, accredited professional librarians who go barrelling into the mosh pit at heavy metal shows? Well, you know at least one! I was right in the thick of it bouncin' folks around and carrying bodysurfers, sometimes almost singlehandedly so they wouldn't crash and die, and if you heard the siren call of Priestess live in concert I'm sure you too would have done the very same. It's an instinctive thing, I believe.

So let me assure you if you did not attend that the band is just as awesome live as you would expect from their recordings. I left the show very much satisfied -- and a bit roughed up, but that's to be expected. (And reeking of weed, but that's also to be expected; it isn't a big venue, so the place was pretty well a hotbox by the end of their first song. Concerts in Winnipeg, my friend!)

Speaking of awesome, and speaking of Canadian -- man I'm good at segues -- this past Sunday was the night of the 97th Grey Cup, which I had the good fortune of watching with some Riders fans and would therefore rate as as easily one of the funniest in recent memory. Absolutely one-hundred-per-cent true anecdote: the guy sitting next to me was wearing a John Deere hat, 'for luck', and he whipped that green sucker right across the room when the Too Many Men infraction handed Montreal the game and the championship.

I, on the other hand, with no loyalties except to my own entertainment, literally just could not stop laughing as everything went south in Riderville. I pretty much lost it when the production truck cut to shots of this one executive guy up in the press boxes, who threw his headwear off and grabbed his head and just started crying, and I remained entertained pretty well through the entire post-game ceremonies that played to the absolute god damn silence of fourty thousand gobsmacked green attendees. And Damon Duval, the little weaselly guy in the sissy balaclava who got to be the hero after kicking seven-yard punts the whole day, thanking "The Man Upstairs" for bringing the Alouettes to victory? GOLD.

Ahhhhhhh, oh man, thirteen guys on the field. That's tremendous.

But don't get too boastful, fellow Winnipeggers! It's important to exercise restraint and taste when dealing with sensitive matters like football and, er, simple arithmetic. Much as we'd like to make fun of our provincial next-door neighbours -- and as much as I intend to make fun of them anyway -- it isn't like our football team is going to win a Grey Cup any time soon, and by "any time soon" I mean "in the next decade". (Scoff if you want, but I'm totally calling it. Come back in 2020, you'll know I was right.)

And we should be sympathetic for their inability to count thirteen people, because c'mon -- thirteen's a pretty big number! Can you count to thirteen? You probably can't! Thirteen's hard, man! Even our finest and most reputable local newspaper can't count that high.

Winnipeg Free Press, you know I love you, but... why do those words sound familiar? Huh. Winnipeg Free Press, you know I love you, but if you were going to name your Sunday paper "On7" you really should have made sure that somebody on staff could count to seven first.

There's... there's really nothing I can add to that. Wow, guys. Wow.

We'll leave it there for now, because wow, but I've still got more backlog from the past week to round out before we're done. (I'm once again resorting to burning my valuable lunch break on typing this, to give you some idea of what my schedule's looked like lately.) So tune in next time -- hopefully tomorrow, but we'll see what shakes down -- for more locally themed fun with graffiti, civic promotional efforts, the Free Press, and... staples?

1 comment:

Grant Hamilton said...

Man, there's something about "glass houses" but I laughed SO hard at the On7 page.

Also, Trigger Effect sounds awesome.