Saturday, June 27, 2009

No academic ties

Ah, the great sprawling novels we would create. But we need to eat. Switching from literature to academe. But academe can be a snake pit. The competition is so intense because the stakes are so low. Not the great novel, no. Job security, tenure. People who imagine themselves talented had to leave academe. Go elsewhere. Atmosphere too poisoned with yahoos, frauds, idiots most of them; the teachers without degrees. But several degrees of student manipulation!

The able soon eased out of the college. Slimy adacemics, or at least academic manques here. No other intent but to keep the job. No novel, no thesis (this was a community college after all)--only the unfit survive, for work experience trumped the PhD, and former factory bullies rise to the top. Like in the Canadian Broadccasting corportation. The people at the top have no broadcasting training whatsoever...But can they manipulate and bully. Drive out the really creative people. Give you program series like Little Mosque on the Prairie. Banish first-rate satire on Canada like The Royal Canadian Air Farce. Dumb everybody down.
Small wonder that some announcers, driven to drink, will have a slip of the tongue one day and announce, "This is the Canadian Broadcorping Castration."

I got to the college (I think) honestly. I had worked in the journalistic vinyards. I had no PhD, but close, as my published novel was part of the key to academe. And I was working on the PhD.
But enter the plumbers and the manipulators.
If you can't do anything else, teach, goes the maxim.
These bozos couldn't even teach so in the classic Peter Principle, they were promoted to administrate. Those who can't teach--administrate.
But still, the remustered factory hands. Bullies rise to the top. Always. No matter where.
Fuzzy-eared creative types must suffer what they must.
The rumustered clods, Bulls in the china shop of academe. Manipulate students. Even sexually-- Little suckers get in the way of empire building.

Plato's academy had the motto: Those ignorant of mathematics should not enter here.
Well, many of these dweebs couldn't even spell, let alone add.
Unlike a university, a community college has no standards, not for teachers, and seemingly less for students.
Thank God the community colleges in Canada, some of them, have become degree-granting institutions.. Hopefully there is improvement in the quality of teachers and, most importantly, the students.
You can be only as good as the master, but if he is a grade ten dropout who somehow weaseled his way into the CBC, was found out--and ended teaching communications at a community college-well, all the worse for you. You'll spend three years learning abuut the volume control panel, becaue the teacher is not up to his job and focuses instead, on ephemera. And half the time, he's trying to get into your pants. Not survival of the fittest, oh no. Survival of the fittingest.
When a pervert meets a pervert comin' through the rye, looking for the student who himself is about to go odd. And sometimes causing a suicide. And what does it all have to do with education? Chiggered if I know. "It don't amount to a hill of beans," explains the yokel teacher.
Farmers and factory hands at the helm. Can't add, can't spell. But can they cast a spell on the poor, insecure and weak student, usually a late bloomer and, with maniacs at the helm, perhaps as in high school, nipped in the bud again.
The taxpayers don't know. Three years of wasting time learning the control panel of a broadcasing studio. No emphasis on the actor's discipline known as Speech, elocution, delivery, confidence.
How is a manipulative grade ten dropout teacher going to instill confidence?
Ah, bend over, kid.
Thankfully, the computer and the internet arrived. Too dumb to handle even the simplest intellecual tasks, the bad teachers have had to go elsewhere. Stupidity had been hunted out into the light.
Such had been the way of the Ontario community college...At least over here in King City, where the institution became quickly known as the King Zoo, abounding in fools and knaves for teachers, frustrating gifted student, who dropped out by the dozens. Teacher reduced to three students out of 24," but bigod, I've got tenure."
We untenured profs did what we could, but by the time we got a student published and in the media, it seemed almost too late. The maniac animals had risen to the top of the KIng Zoo.
Primates. Administrators."I've got tenure and you ain't...And we both started out at the same time. Take that!"
Ah, yes reformed plumber and now barrack room lawyer. You finally upgraded your paperwork. You had to.
But you've pissed off a professional and now you can take this.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Black Icon II

(From my novel, The Black Icon:
The house still stands, seventy years later, Standard one-storey, square, nearly windowless Ruthenian structure of plastered white adobe and a roof that had been thatch, but now in rot.
Nobody lives there anymore. but the house stands by the creek that used to flood and had often threatened the very edifice itsel.It had taken so long for my young father to build. For a near stripling of a lad, he would show 'em.. And he did. There it stood on its slight rise over the creek. It did not have tile or a tin roof, the very model of wealth in Ukraine; a peasant house, but not bad for just turned twenty and newly married.
"Marry Dmytro, for he has golden hands." Well, didn't he?
But a great war came and the machine gun and cannon shells would whoosh into the house. But the walls were thick. Though the roof burned, the house would not crumble or burn. It was made of clay brick.

We had to abandon the house for the real fear of Communism.
My uncle went back recently to roport that the house still stood, empty "for they all had gone to Canada."
Nobody lives there save for an old hobo lady who begged she not be reported.
Would I dare to go back?

(Submitted to Jo's blog last week)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Now that I've finally been asked to rock'n'roll,I can't walk

I remember my father ouside The Wal*Mart parking lot, his his old friend Marishka with him and me slightly behind. It is a bright, shiny day. But father now has difficulty in walking. He is casting a long, distended shadow. He is holding a typed letter which he examines, through his Wal-Mart glasses, every so often, shaking his head

"So now it comes, Marishka. Money and an apology from the German Democratic Republic for all those years spent as a slave laborer..compensation. Money at last, now that t I can hardly walk.

Says Marishka,
"You have worlked long and hard, Michael. It is your reward at last for all those lost years. . You deserve it."

I add, "You deserve it Dad."

"Don't rush up against me like that Ivan."
He pauses as if for breath.
"Easy Ivan. Just let me lead, you follow. One step a a time. Day is long. You'll see."

Day is indeed long. And I long ago got my "letter of compensation".
But I can't do hills now.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elvis Costello rocks again--as TV host

(Left): Julian Schnabel.

Look out, cloying Conan, uber-hip Letterman and bubbly Jimmy Fallon.
There's a not-so-new kid on the block and he makes you all seem like gossipy, Britney-struck idiots.
His name is, of course, Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello first made his mark in the 1970s with songs of acidic wit and melodic sneer. But he could also play tthe guitar. He became a frequent guest of Saturday Night Live and I myself wondered how anybody who looked so
dweeby, proboscis-nosed and hairy could be so good.
But he had something. Like Borges to literature, he seemed to have the key to rock'n'roll and he could actually do it
Elvis Costelleo!
In the language of another time, I did not beware of Wops bearing gifts. This Elvis was the real deal. No Carl Perkins after Elvis. This was a new Elvis. Elvis Costello, and his musical heart seemed to belong to Dada. He could not only ape the great rock'n'rollers he could actually do it straight when in the mood.
"There was no provable reason to think that it would succeed," Costello said to writer Jim Boucher on "Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...," . "I had some experience doing this sort of thing, a talk show that is, but, really, you never know if it's going to actually work out until you go and do it in front of an audience and a camera."
Well, it worked out in spades.
The music talk show shuns the gossip, with guests such as the Police, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Costello's wife (Diana Krall) and co-producer (Elton John).
Jimmy Reed is a frequent guest--walking on The Wild Side, I suppose-- but it gets a little too wild when Reed's pal film maker comes on the show. The man is something of a turn off, a plug-ugly. Says one reviewer, "I can't stand the sight of Julian Schnabel, let alone hearing him speak. Hearing that asshole speak, would have brought forth such physical illness so as to render yourself unable to recall any of the otherwise fine program in any meaningful way. Although this Pompous Ass has made some fine films, he should not be encouraged in any instance to speak publicly, interact with real humans or come out into the light at any time. Although I love a lot of Lou`s work, I am not surprised the two are such friends."

Well, here and there a guest from Hades, I suppose. That, or the worst-mannered guest I'd ever watched. He seems to have spat at Elvis Costello, but that is a part of the show that gives it bite.
When you want to throw a shoe at a guest, epecially Julian Schnabel,you know Spectacle has drawing power...Enough to draw you to wanting to kill Shchnabel or some other egregious guest, like sometime even the great JImmy Reed... Altogether too New York hip! Heaven held Elvis if he ever invites Jerry Steinberg--I hate the man. So hip that he's hokey.
In any event, Spectacle is well worth watching. Usually at ten p.m. EST, on Fridays (cable).
The guy's a genius.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tire marks on forehead mean loss of face--Globe and Mail caption winner!

The last time I had a mental block over a novel, I decided to work with my hands for therapy...and it seemed to work.
I got a job in an auto parts company...and suddenly, it seemed I had met all the horses' asses that had been addling me all my life...all over again. The punk foremn who said he would kick my face in if I "fucked up again", the resident genius puzzle solver for the New York times whle himself pushing a broom, the bossy welfare chick who finally got a job and got to be a kind of straw boss trying to boss me around, the reformed biker trying now just to hang onto his mortgage in toubled times; hey, a job is a job.
Now back in the work force, I realized I had been missing something. Missing having to work for somebody else and having people shit on you. Bottom of the pecking order again..Boy, did I need that.

But the masochism was starting to pay off. I suddenly went on a publishing streak in the periodicals and magazines. The more people shat on me, the more productive I somehow became. Yeah, yeah, I know....My favourite novel,--Venus Wore Furs, by Leopold von-Sacher Masoch.
Masoch! Yeah.
Anyway, bottom of the pecking order, shat upon by those higher ups, I had to make amends. I had to win at something, and win so resoundingly that they would know for sure that they were blind, lazy, stupid, and that I was an enemy not to be stalked ightly.

Well, old Herodotus said never be petty. But damn..
I had to make amends.
So I looked for things in the media having to do with the automobile industry that would somehow elevate me back to fame at least in my immediate bailiwick, the tire storage area, and, well, "God is good!"
I found a contest I could enter that had to do with tires.
Yep, there it was in the Globe and Mail, some poor Chinaman with skidmarks on his face.They wanted a caption.
Hah. Does a cat have a tail?
I used to be champion caption writer for the Sunday Sun.
So I sent them something. You can see it above.
Ah pettiness, thy name is Ivan.
Hey, it got me taken out for dinner by the boss.
Local hero-- very feral.
Also should have had my name changed to Will Bragg.
Vanity, vanity, everything is vanity, says the preacher.
My wife once took my named, anagrammed it and came out with Vain Porkchop.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Another publishing success by the "Quarks", fellow travellers of this blog. LOCO WEED TALES FROM OKLAHOMA by E. A. Monroe

Doug T drove a beat up piece of shit orange z-back sports car that’d logged a lot of miles driving back and forth from Anadarko, Oklahoma to Salt Lake City. Doug was a Chinese language major at Brigham Young University and his family was one of Anadarko’s founding families. His father’s family originally came from Cornwall and settled in the South, but I’m not sure about the entirety of Doug’s family genealogy other than they came from Cornwall, fought for the South during the Civil War, were Mormons and were one of Anadarko’s founding families.

Anyway, Doug T and I had both gone to Anadarko Senior High and graduated together in the same class but we’d never hung out together during high school. Doug was into journalism and I was into art and drama. We knew each other the way most kids know each other in a small town, but my folks were Baptists living on one side of town and his folks were Mormon living on the other side of town and big in the local Mormon community.

Doug and I didn’t hang out in the same social circles during high school, but we had friends in common. Doug was one of my guitar-playing boyfriend’s best friend and that’s really how we got to hanging out together that summer while my boyfriend was off living in Weatherford and touring and gigging with his band Judd. Doug and I often drove to whatever town Judd was playing in on the weekends.

Sometimes, we’d swing over to Weatherford and pick up my boyfriend and then we’d cruise to Oklahoma City and visit all the local museums. Our favorite showplace housed an extensive Chinese art collection and Doug would saunter around the glass encased exhibits and read all the Chinese inscriptions and characters because he really excelled in translating and reading the Chinese language, and also because the boyfriend and I wanted to know if the English translations were written correctly on the display cards. We were damn impressed with Doug’s Chinese reading skills.

My dad was a prominent physician and chief of staff at the local hospital. The coolest thing about my dad was the marijuana license that hung upon the wall of his office right alongside his University of Oklahoma medical license. He also knew the latest pot-smoking lingo and would ask us kids if we knew what “toke” meant. He’d also lived in India and trekked through Burma. Amphetamines, speed, was more his thing though. I knew that because all the amphetamines in the medicine closest were kept in a box that had his name clearly written on it.

Oh yeah, the doctor’s home housed a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals in the “medicine closet.” Of course, we took the assorted drugs in the medicine closet for granted just like you’d take for granted the towels in the towel closet or the sheets in the linen closet or the plates and cups in the cupboard.

Anyway, every town and county in Oklahoma has its local pot patch where locoweed grows wild and every growing season the local sheriff and his deputies and a few state DEA officers show up for the benefit of the TV news and the story’s smoking all over the broadcast airwaves of torching the latest discovered patch of locoweed and how the sheriff saved the local teenage population from the evil corruption of drugs.

Anadarko’s patch, our favorite patch, was known as the New Hope Baptist Church locoweed patch and Doug just happened to know where it was located, just as he knew all the nefarious hang outs and people around town (founding fathers, remember).

So, sometimes we’d drive out several miles south of town and sneak through the woods to the locoweed patch and harvest a few plants before Sheriff Taylor and his crew decided it was once again time to show up and torch the wild growth and do their charitable good deed for the local citizens of our community.

Locoweed pretty much grows wild in Oklahoma — some of the finest shit in the world whether wild or cultivated. So anyway, Doug decided that summer he’d transplant some of the New Hope Baptist locoweed over to his grandpa’s farm north of town and me, being the naïve idiot that I’ve always been said, “Sure, let’s do it.” I mean we didn’t have anything better to do, right?

Doug and I headed out in his orange sports car to the New Hope patch, along with a couple of buckets and a shovel tossed into the back of his heap, and we dug up as many plants as we could, as fast as we could, and loaded them into the hatch back of Doug’s car. We hauled ass over to his grandpa’s farm all the time peering back in the rear and side view mirrors or over our shoulders for any flashing lights or sirens because who knew who might be keeping vigilance on the New Hope locoweed patch.

The whole time I was imagining the local newspaper headlines — Prominent Doctor’s Daughter and Founding Father’s Son Busted!

My dad would blow a gasket and ground me for a year. But, I’d learned early on how to fly under the parental radar and had excelled at it throughout high school. All the same, occasionally I’d still say or do something stupid, like stay out too late on a school night, and get myself grounded for six months, which usually only lasted for about a week before I’d be back out cruising the boulevard with my friends, drag racing at Old Town in my 68 Mustang named Dangerous Dan, or hanging out at the Pow Wow Drive In and going to the Saturday night teen hops.

Only this time, if busted, I doubted Sheriff Taylor would simply subject me to his usual blackmail of threatening to tell my parents on me like he did that time when I let his sophomore son get drunk. I was actually being a good friend Samaritan by not letting Sheriff Taylor’s son drive drunk that night, too, but the skunk still ratted me out.

Getting on with it, Doug and I traipsed across his grandpa’s wheat fields to get to the river where we transplanted Doug’s future locoweed crop. Afterwards, we hiked back to his car where he’d left it parked on the country road just outside the gate to his grandpa’s farm.

As we were sitting there recuperating from our gardening activities, a dusty blue car came along and pulled over to park beside us.

Vanessa V. and two of her Comanche friends that we’d gone to school with were out driving around, happened to recognize Doug’s beat up for shit orange sports car and the two of us sitting there, and decided to join us and cram into the back seat.

“What are you guys doing way out here?” V asked first thing. She and her two friends were giving Doug and me the hairy eyeball and she expected an explanation out of us, too.

I imagined Vanessa V and her two Comanche friends were thinking Doug and I were parked on the side of a country road for the reason anyone goes parking on a country road — to make out. Only it’s broad daylight, the middle of the afternoon, and not nighttime when most hormone fueled make-out sessions take place. We hadn’t exactly planned a cover story of why we were parked out there on that country road in the middle of nowhere.

Doug and I are just sitting there too exhausted from our farming/transplanting activities, and that Doug is certainly one industrious gardener. Mostly, we’re still sitting in his car waiting to see if his grandpa or the sheriff might come along and still bust us while we’re trying our hardest to look like we’re up to nothing.

But, we both caught the suspicious looks V and her two friends kept passing around while they’re sizing us up, and I’m sure Doug and I pretty much looked like we’re smirking about a secret. Doug and V are long time friends and they’d dated off and on during high school and it’s not like the idea of making out had even crossed our thoughts, at least not mine because I had a boyfriend and Doug only cared about transplanting his locoweed crop on his grandpa’s farm, learning Chinese, and going back to Brigham Young University that fall for his junior year. He had grand plans for getting himself kicked out over BYU’s discrimination policies. Discrimination was the one thing Doug abhorred more than anything else.

So, finally after the triple x inquisition from V and her friends, Doug trusts V enough to tell her that we’ve been planting locoweed down by the river on his grandpa’s farm. That’s why we’re sweaty and grubby, plus the dirty buckets and shovel in the back of his car pretty much confirms the truth of our story. It's not the romantic liaison that V and her friends suspected and it’s not any kind of tribal mafia burial or something like that.

V nods her head and says, “Cool.”

V’s two Comanche friends chuckle at our story. “You guys want to smoke some peyote?”

Doug and I grin at each other.

Because Comanches having peyote is legal in Oklahoma. It’s part of their tribal “religious” thing. And well, after all, Doug’s a Mormon and my folks are Southern Baptist and we can’t get any more hellfire and brimstone religious than that.

Oh, and by the way, after returning to BYU, Doug did manage to get himself kicked out of the university for being too “radical” and later on achieved one of his dream goals. He became a Master Gardener.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Warning; This blog was written on a fulll moon while I was trying to tie my nuts to the shower rod.

Tempting the fates.

I am well into becoming a coot, and so far, I haven't yet got those designer diseases all those around me seem to have, HIV, Chlamydia, about seventeen types of cancer, Alzhemers, AIDS.

What's wrong with me?
All the papers and airwaves are full of these maladies that so feed the Medical-Industrial Complex. I should at least have erectile dysfunction, turn gay, hang myself by the nuts on some chower curtain rod.
All I got is insanity.
The insane live long and prosper?
Well, I have not prospered, but each day seems to be an exercise in hiding ones nuttiness.
"Why?" asked the psychiatric nurse told to take my creative writing course by her doctor and mine. "He's pretty shaky. We'd better keep an eye on him. Take his course."
"Why hide your nuttiness she called from the back of the class after I said you've got to at least act normal. "Otherwise people won't talk to you."
As she sat down, I caught her hands outstrecthed, picking stars.out of the air.
I almost had the recurring fantasy of crawling into my safe, secure stawberry vagina from which I cold sometimes raise a periscope while not compromising my safety and security.

My nurse stood up again,and announced 'a propos of nothing, "Women have a right to full sexual gratification."

"I'm doing the best I can," I quip, thinking of the six lovers I had had in as many years--which probably had landed me in the jigsaw assembly plant in the first place.

Buck-up, F*ck-up!

Can I help it? Women lead me by the nose,-- or the other appendage.. Men don't f8ck women. Women f8ck men. For this insight I went mad?
Ever since a child, girls would, for some reason, spread-eagle themselves in front of me and it seemed to carry into my adulthood and teaching later--"it's not what you are saying. It's your body language. I could tell you were a horny bastard from the word go."
Probably my innate helplessness. What am I going to do with this? Well.

A contemmpraty of mine once wrote a novel about it, GOLDENROD. Midas with a penis.
Well, I must have had mhy own novel in mind, CANADIAN GIGOLO.
I as sure Richard was probably Geared and I could show him a thing or two.
Nah. It was Midlife crisis, getting all the girls you never got in high school while under the greasy hood of some '57 Chev. Thank God I was socially awkward, and like all male idiots, having a mechanical bent. I would have populated much our lunchbocket Hamilton, Ontario.
Also thank God I was mad. "Who'd want to go out with that crazy bastard?" He pours ketchup into his chicken soup...wants to make it more like borscht. Garlic-snapper. Ukie.

"It's not us women, " an intelligent blonde had said in class.
"Men have these weird midlfe crises. They destroy themselves and their families."

And yet at forty, do you have to run the beat the devil, the IV stand, the bedpan?
Run for your life and score as many of the enemy as you can.
Ah, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater.
Ate pumpkin and something ate my brain.
Breakdown or breakthrough?
Today, I like to think I'm wise....But my penis droops and my body won't do half of what I tell it to do.
Lying in my rubber room. Immobile.
Says an orderly: "
See? This is the guy who had been telling us for years what to think."
He of the perfect pshysical health and schizoghrenia.

I think I hard finally picked up a new designer disease at the time.
David Carradine Syndrome.
But they took away the rope.

Do all marathon lovers eventually go mad?
Incredible lightness of being.
Till they come and take you away.
Not in the majority.
They're coming to take me away, away.
But I don't have cancer.
And I'm not on crack. I generally remember things.
Just for a while there, even go after the crack of dawn.
Or Don.
And I'm beginning to worry about that.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

What happens when your blog is translated into Russian by some Russian cat

О, лошади стояли вокруг, с ног на землю"

Droll blog. Чудной блог.

Like many another borderline alcoholic, I am trying to use the hooch as a reward. Подобно многим другим пограничным алкогольных, я пытаюсь использовать hooch в качестве награды. Don't get up to a drink. Не вставай с напитком. Get up to a poem, or at least a beginning of a novel. Вставай на поэму, или, по крайней мере на начало романа. Never mind the alchol bites. Никогда виду алкоголь укусов. Produce. Продукты. Produce anything. Что-либо. Then, at least you will have an excuse for your afternoon imbibling. Тогда, по крайней мере, у вас будет повод для вашего дневного imbibling. You can use the drinking as a reward. Вы можете использовать в качестве питьевой вознаграждение.

Ah, nice if it could come that way. Ах, хорошо, если он может прийти туда.

Harkens back to old Ezra Pound, who was not a drunk, but a madman who certainly had come to my impasse.: Harkens вернуться к старой Эзра Паунд, кто не был пьян, но сумасшедший, который, несомненно, пришел к моей тупик.:

For years he strove to resuscitate the dead art В течение многих лет он стремится оживить мертвых искусства
Wrong from the start. Неправильно с самого начала.

Hah. HAH.
The dead art. Мертвые искусства.
The dead art. Мертвые искусства.

Must resuscitate the dead art Необходимо оживить мертвых искусства
Ah, who the hell are you, Art? Ах, черт, кто ты, Искусство?
Gave my life for art. Выступил моя жизнь в искусстве.
Laboured mightily, and seemingly produced a mouse. Трудился мощно, и, казалось бы, выпустила мышь.

Ah, there are palliatives. Ах, Есть полумеры.
Forty- ouncer of rum in the cupboard. Сорок ouncer рома в шкафу.

And yet, that's the reward, not the means. И тем не менее, это вознаграждение, а не средство.

Gotta try, gotta try. Gotta попробуйте, надо попробовать.

Let's see. Давайте посмотрим. Another lead about the wigged-out professor. Другим ведущим о wigged из профессор.

Let's see now: Посмотрим теперь:

Something is happening to Professor Ilya Kovalenko. То, что происходит с Профессор Илья Коваленко.
It is happening Ilya Kovalenko, is happening, as he had always dreaded, happening to him in public, before students, yes, a public breakdown. Это происходит Илья Коваленко, что происходит, поскольку он всегда ужасной, происходит с ним на публике, перед студентами, да, общественное разбивка.
Yes, a crack-up on this glorious, but unnaturallly chilly high- level Mexican campus, with its stone arches and porticos among the flowering Bogainvillea and cultivated prickly pears, a jewel in the blue hills of Guanajuato, the cooling paradise of his new life. Да, трещины деятельность на этом славном, но unnaturallly чили высокого уровня мексиканский городок, с его каменными арками и портиками среди цветущих Bogainvillea и культивируемым колючие груши, драгоценность в синих холмов Guanajuato, охлаждение рай его новой жизни .
Cooling indeed. Охлаждение действительно. For he had just received a "Dear Ilya" from his Он только что получил "Дорогой Илья" от его


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Taking out my frustrations on TV Ontario

I have not had a good weekend.

Very nearly stomped and robbed at a bus stop, refused to be allowed a techie's help at the Newmarket Public Library-(just by an underling, not a supervisor)--"It's our system. We can't fine-tune your system."--and this terrible stomach ache after a lunch at, call it Le Roi de Burger.

So I am trying to relax by watching Educational television for Ontario, TVO,and building up a mad-on even at this bland offering, while shotgunning particles of misplaced schizoprhenia at educational television which, I think needs a good crack in the head anyway.

So I dig up an old blog, where I rail against TVO:

Reduced some years ago to being laid off at the college and drinking beer while watching TVO, I notice a stream of academics, usually American, on BIG IDEAS prattling the same luddite sermon that would make poor Marshall McLuhan roll over in his grave. Yes, yes, we have all lost our child-like sense of wonder. There are no more pockets of angels. The machine has taken over, etc., etc.
Lately though, Big Ideas has spiffied up, thanks to one Andrew Moodie, whom I was once lucky enough to meet.
There are contests for best univeristy or college lecturer and these have been quite interesting, watching the best mortarboarded flim-flammers in action.
Still, it's TVO. Twitty Television Overoad.
Nobody comes to watch it with me anymore...the times I am forced to watch it in a universe of infomercials.

I have one friend left, who happens to be the local chief of police. (I am still working on a case with him, though I fear he has lost his faith in me as local crime writer Eves Lavigne, or for that matter, Avril Lavigne).

"Armand," I say, "All academics are slime."

"You used to be an academic," the Chief quips.


What is it with TVO? Over million dollars a year, English and French transmissions (or emissions as the French charmingly call them)--to hear ranting poseurs reading from the same sermon- writer (the late Jacques Ellul?); moth-eaten Anglophone jazz musicians boring us to death with their stale Cole Porter --and totally unsuccessful at rendering us unhip and incompetent. Only Paula Todd used to be in here to raise an, ahem, hope or two. While obviously smart, the woman was drop-dead gorgeous and her pal the Elephant Man was at least worth his keep as an interviewer. Trouble is, the elephant man eventually eased Paula out. Oh dog-in-the manger. Bad Steve. Now there is no more Studio 2 at TVO; there is only something called THE AGENDA...Whose agenda? Steve's? Now it's now all the Wines, and Steins and the Lipshitzes, with occasionally one frightened disoriented Arab. Millions of our forcibly extracted money to watch the tao of Steve.
Well, he does not do a bad job, he and his talking heads, but I must say I miss Paula. Paule was beautiful. Steve is, unfortunately, plain.

Here and there, a real star shows up. It's enough, I suppose, to make a greatly gifted diva like Jann Arden wail hauntingly, like a lonely frightened angel. Ths is what academics can't do. They can only footnote. Not a creativew bone in their bodies, at least the ones I see on TVO. They are like ike movie critics, They know how it's sung, but they can't do it themselves, and when they can't they blame it on the internet.

Television That Matters. TVO.

"Makes you think."...Makes you numb.

No. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all, with the same loops of 1951-era moth-eaten movies, that shin-plaster Film 101, dreadful British detective yarns that I'm sure even Yorkshire rejects--and Yorkshire has taste-- and the same old chesnut American classics. . Is there no talent in Canada? Why only foreign movie content for Television Onario?
Americans and Brits have no trouble Crackng TVO.
But god help you if you're a Canadian and have an opinon or a film to offer.
Steve seems to say, "We don't want you to come in here and just shoot your mouth off. Or bring in a film.
"You've got to be somebody.".
Well, Steve, we have made you into a somebody. On our dime, forcibly extracted from us.
And TVO is boring!

Well, TVO. How boring is it?
You've got to ask somebody.

Hiss, boo, rant!
I'm gonna kill somebody.