Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Manitoba Links Weekly: Inaugural Edition (ManLinkWeek 1)

Part of Winnipeg's appeal to me -- and it's likely that I'm at least partially mythologizing this, but humour me -- part of the charm of Winnipeg is its stubborn, scrappy DIY ethic.

It makes perfect sense, given our isolation, that the city and its people developed a mentality of screw-you self-sufficiency; most other similar-sized cities can look to larger nearby urban centres for additional amenities, but when our closest outposts of civilization were six to eight hours away by car or a few days away by horse, folks here kind of figured that they'd be better off setting up what they needed themselves. Universities and trade schools, music labels, transport networks, museums, construction companies, ballet academies, whatever; when something isn't around, and there's no equivalent nearby, we're the sorts of folk who just start doing it ourselves and intend to figure it out as we go along.

These natural urges have been dulled and domesticated somewhat in recent decades by improvements in transportation, by the rise of information technology, and by our gleeful provincial suckling of transfer payments, but even mostly dormant the instinct remains. Want something? Put it together! Bam, problem solved.

Such is the case with this post, today. I'd been thinking recently that it'd be fun to have a regular collection of interesting Winnipeg- and Manitoba-related links -- like these with additional commentary and explanation, like these but locally themed. I thought "Man, someone should do that", and then shortly afterward thought "Oh wait, yeah, I could do that". And here we are!

I figure this'll be a fun experiment as a weekly feature, although I'll then have to figure out what day of the week it works best on. Tuesdays, maybe? Monday would probably be ideal if it weren't already Winnipeg Cat Reader Submissions day, because I'm self-aware enough to know I can't compete with my own cat for reader attention. (Have I already done 87 weeks of that? Wow, where does the time go.) Wednesday could work if it weren't overlapping with Winnipeg Internet Pundits, which provides all its links up-front to begin with and is better for having clever and reasonable people on the show to counterbalance my tomfoolery. Thursday and Friday are less desirable because nobody wants to commit too thoroughly to reading when the weekend is so tantalizingly close, and general blog readership across the board just plummets straight off a cliff on Saturday and Sunday. So, y'know what, let's say Tuesdays for now.

This segment isn't necessarily restricted to blog entries, to intra-Perimeter content, or to the previous week exclusively; there are a lot of awesome local things on the internet from days of yore, so really my modus operandi here is "this is interesting and I hope more people see it". I'm... I'm really not very complicated.

But enough talk! Have at you!

[the-watchmen.com: Silent Radar Redux, September 2011 (via scruffy the yak)]
The CBC Hockey Night in Canada video editors are incredible wizards, so their use of The Watchmen's "Any Day Now" to herald the Jets' return made my heart grow three sizes that day. (This is still amazing to watch, incidentally.) The Watchmen coincidentally played the Horseshoe Tavern last month, recorded the performance, and subsequently released that recording for free on their website -- and as far as I'm concerned, if you can't enjoy a free hour-and-a-half live album from The Watchmen, we can't be friends any more.

Although I have to confess from a personal standpoint that "Run and Hide" without "Cracked" immediately preceding it just feels... improper, somehow.

[State of the City: Round Three on Crime in Winnipeg, With Pins]
Watching Kelcey versus Grande unfold has been borderline cringeworthy, Stefano Grande serving as the Andy Roddick to Brian Kelcey's Roger Federer, but the fun sidestory here is Kelcey being the Enzo Matrix to Marty Gold's helpful Binomes. "We are helping! We are helping!"

[AutoMattic Transmission: Awkward Phone Call - Content Warning]
"You might want to do something about that" is about as fine a bit of understatement as anyone could offer, given the circumstances. Red River's CreComm program, if nothing else, opens students up to new situations.

[Progressive Winnipeg: Take me to your...uh...leader?]
This article was covered in tremendous detail on today's WIPs (see, this is why I shouldn't be doing these on Wednesdays), but I'll admit to being as guilty as anybody else of offering little enthusiasm for prospective up-and-coming political leaders. Potential solutions, however, elude my grasp; what can leadership hopefuls do to convince the media and the public that theirs is a brand worth following, and how does anybody break through the glass ceiling of boreless political viability? Well, I mean, if we knew that, nobody would be stuck with dudes like Bob Rae.

[West End Dumplings: Brandon's water tower, transit fares and other council bits]
The East End water tower lives! I'm a sucker for free-standing historical artifacts, grain elevators and water towers and whatnot, so I'm glad to hear that Brandon's City Council has reneged on its demolition decision. I don't know what it is about water towers, but I love 'em; I can't picture Winnipeg Beach or Virden without one, and if either of those ever fall down I intend to be distraught for a good couple of weeks.

[winnipegcity.com: Harvey Smith ~ Winnipeg MB City Councillor for Daniel Mcintyre]
"Mr. Smith looks dreamily across the fluorescent-lit drabness of the city hall cafeteria. 'I guess I like beauty more than anything else. I love hoarfrost on the trees. I like nice things. I love the feel of brick and the smell of flowers. I just don't like ugliness'. And off he trundles, his vivid green tie a splash under the white beard, rumpled cardigan flapping."
what is this, i don't even

[Winnipeg Sun: Rapper busted after bizarre plane brawl]
I say this very rarely -- very, very rarely -- but the absolute undisputed highlight of this story is its comments section. And how do you turn the usually-terrible user comments section of a news story into a cornucopia of accidental comedy? You write a crime story about a local rapper and then the rapper shows up in it to defend himself at length. If you read one news site comments thread this year -- and that's probably a good upper limit, if you value your faith in humanity -- please, please, read this one.

Thank you for reading Manitoba Links Weekly! Watch this space!

4 comments:

The Great Canadian Talk Show said...

You'll have to explain that to me as it is outside my cultural frame of reference. But thanks I think.

Train Geek said...

That last link about the rapper was a hoot. So many people try to defend their actions on the Internet and come off looking the worse for it.

Brian said...

Er, yeah - I'd heard of Federer, unsurprisingly, but I still had to look up Roddick, Enzo and Binomes.

The first words I saw on the latter were, "Binomes are small mechanical people..."

James Hope Howard said...

How does nobody get--ahhhh, never mind. I'll tone down my wasted childhood for next week's set.