Thursday, February 22, 2007

My art kicks ass!

I knew this morning that Doc was ready to rip apart the work I had done painting with my behind. Doc, Woody and Randall have been non-believers in my work from day one, and they were counting on failure when it came to the various pieces I brought in today.

But one look at these future historic paintings and everything changed. I was not mocked, I was not criticized, and I somehow managed to receive a grudging approval from the boys. I was not lauded as the revolutionary artist that I believe myself to be, but quasi-respect is really all I could expect from the Troglodyte, anti-art sect in which I work.

But if my works could even "sort of" impress those guys, then I should have no problem convincing the art community in Ottawa that there is an important new voice on the scene. Parkdale Gallery, look out! March 5th-12th is a week that is taking on more and more importance in the annals of historic Ottawa.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I'm in trouble again...

I enjoy my movies. I enjoy reviewing those movies. Much as I enjoy music, and calling that as I see it. But I have received a fair amount of flak (not just from the boss - from PEOPLE as well!) over my latest review, of The Break-Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan. That movie sucked. It was boring as hell. I suggested that this was perhaps because Jennifer Aniston was boring as hell. And I further suggested that U2 was equally boring. As a band.

Cue the backlash. Apparently, U2 is not only the greatest band in the history of the world, but in some cases there were those who suggested that Bono was in fact the second most important human being ever to be born. After Jesus. Or Buddha. Or Haile Selassie. Or Tom Cruise. Or Gandhi. No one was very specific.

Although I recognize the fact that U2 are excellent musicians and songwriters, and in point of fact I think their songs are, for the most part, very good, I can't listen to two U2 songs in a row, or I may fall asleep. Are they as boring as Coldplay? No. (Come to think of it, I should have said Coldplay. Jennifer Aniston is without question the Coldplay of movies.) But they are more boring than Nickelback.

That may not technically be true. But when Nickelback is on, and I can't do anything about it, (ie: I'm in a record store, or in some jerk's car) I can't function until the song is off. I can't think about anything else, I can't hold a conversation, I am consumed with my hatred of Nickelback. This makes them less boring than U2, because U2 can easily be ignored. Nickelback will never put me to sleep. They will put me into a rage. Nickelback is the Fran Drescher of music. She sucks, but when she's around, you can't ignore her.

So...for those of you who may be listening to cynical cinema, and might take exception to a band that I happen to either mildly dislike or hate with the white-hot fire of a thousand suns, here is a short list of bands that suck, and that I might mock. If this will enrage you, send me an email, and I will make fun of you. The list;

Nickelback
Our Lady Peace
Toto
Rush
Styx
REM
Celine Dion
Loverboy
Foghat
Nazareth
Depeche Mode
Duran Duran
Poison
Motley Crue
Justin Timberlake
The Spice Girls
Yngwie Malmsteen
Hoobastank
P. Diddy
Jennifer Lopez
Trooper

Keep in mind, these are just bands that suck. There are others that mildly irritate me in certain ways, that I might touch on as well. Van Halen, AC/DC, U2, John Lennon. Don't misconstrue my contempt for certain things. For the most part, I respect and even like these artists a little. But something about them is obnoxious - Van Halen is too high on themselves, AC/DC have only written six songs in their lives, but they have put them out two hundred times each, U2 are politically obnoxious, and John Lennon, despite his brilliance, is the most pretentious artist in history.

Go ahead, complain now, because all these artists will soon be coming to cynical cinema!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ready to get my butt in gear.

I have fulfilled my commission, and painted 5 masterworks of posterior artistry. Parkdale Gallery, March 5th, is going to be the site of one of the most revolutionary exhibits in the art world of Ottawa, and perhaps the world.

I'm not one to toot my own horn, of course, but my butt-paintings are stunningly brilliant. I was so pleased with my abilities on Sunday evening that I celebrated in a big way. First of all, I stopped drinking beer, which I had been doing all day, and I put on some tunes. I stood in my basement, listening to the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing Sibelius' Finlandia, while I really took in the enormity of what I had just accomplished.

For art critics and people with just a passing interest alike, I think the Parkdale Gallery exhibit will be a must-see, whether you love art or not. I think twenty years from now, it will be one of those events where people will want to say "I was there". Much like the moon landing, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and Paul Henderson's goal, this is an event in cultural history that is not to be missed. See you all there!

Successful weekend.

Great weekend all around - Friday night I went by the "Marathon of Notes" event at the University of Ottawa to drop off a bit of cash for leukemia research and watch a show. I saw the University of Ottawa Percussion Ensemble play, and they are terrific. Mrs. Miskell told me that when Allan went to Ottawa U, that was one of the things he loved doing the most while he was there.

By the end of the 24 hours, Caitlin Cope and the rest of the organizers had managed to raise about $3,500.00 for leukemia research, and had put together a wonderful event.

Then Saturday I went up to Mount Pakenham for the big snowboarding competition. I arrived early, got signed up, and took some last minute lessons courtesy of Jeremy, the owner of Riders Village. By the time I went down the bunny hill three times, I felt far more comfortable, and ready to tackle the competition head on.

We had worked out a bit of a gag, because my friends at Spectrum Sound and Vision were filming the whole thing, and we thought it would look great on camera if the stretcher came to take me off the hill. Of course, I was going to fall quite a bit, and we decided that if the first fall didn't kill me, I'd pretend that the second fall did.

As it turns out, I was not hurt, but I was still incapable of getting up after the second fall. You see, I needed to get to the starting gate by a certain time, and I was late. I had taken the chairlift up, and on the way down I missed the turn and ended up at the bottom of the mountain without ever getting to the judge's table.

So instead of trying again, I walked up the hill. I could at least see the starting area from the bottom, and I figured it would be easier than taking the lift again and maybe missing again. But by the time I had trekked up the hill for 20 minutes and got to the table, it was time for me to start. They rushed me up to the starting gate, which meant that I had to jog the last hundred yards up the mountain to the starting gate.

By the time I got there, I couldn't even speak, I was so out of breath. They were nice enough to let a couple of riders go ahead of me to give me a slight chance to catch my breath. But then it was down the hill! Go! Go! And off I went. The lessons paid off, in the sense that I didn't embarass myself by falling down before I even got to the first jump. I was even able to hit the jump the way I wanted to.

For a moment, I thought I could make it. This was maybe the fifth time in my life I had actually gone down a hill on a snowboard, and I was thinking "how will I land this?" as I hit the jump. And I really believed that I could figure it out in the air. It turns out I couldn't, and I had a highlight-reel spill down the hill. I managed to get up almost right away, unharmed, and headed straight for the second jump. Of course I had very little speed this time, and I just fell over the jump. But, out of breath and incapable of moving my limbs any more, it was time for the stretcher to take me down the hill.

Our little "gag" may have worked too well. I went inside to see Mara, from the Children's Wish Foundation, to see how their silent auction was going. She was stunned to see me, having been informed that I had some kind of spinal injury and was likely on my way to the hospital right now. She questioned me insistently, making 100 percent sure I wasn't broken and that my assertions that my bones were fine weren't just some kind of false bravado, a brave face so she wouldn't think I was a sissy.

Of course, that was part of it - I had an enormous crush on Mara in high school, and she was way out of my league then. In point of fact, she still is, what with being married and all. So I didn't tell her how sore I really was. But as it turns out, I was not sore at all from the falls I took, it was from all that damn walking up and doen the mountain. At least the Children's Wish Foundation made some money. And I learned something.

Take the chairlift.

Can you petition to have someone killed?

If I could choose between having cancer eradicated, and having Tyra Banks eradicated, I would really have to think about it. And I might not choose cancer. I know, I know, I can go do something else, change the channel, blow up my TV, whatever. But even with the TV going in the background today as I did some work on the computer at home, Tyra got through.

This is Black History Month. To celebrate Black History Month, the Tyra Banks show honoured a trailblazer in the history of African-American rights and empowerment in America. Tyra Banks. That's right, there's Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Jackie Robinson and Tyra Banks.

What did Tyra Banks do to become an icon of African-American female empowerment? Wore a bathing suit. She was the very first black woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Which might actually have some weight behind it in a small way. IF it wasn't being celebrated on HER OWN show!

This is why Tyra is the worst person on TV. Even Montel Williams wouldn't lay claim to breaking new ground for African-Americans. I think. I have managed to avoid his show for about three years now. But last I saw it, he would honour OTHERS during Black History Month, and never made a statement like "I was the first black man to act smarmy and insincere on TV! I'm a trailblazer!"

Oprah, sure. Sidney Poitier, most definitely. Lewis Farrakhan...probably not...but aren't there other people more deserving of praise than yourself? Get over yourself, Tyra Banks. I choose cancer over you.