Highschoolers in Toronto Round II

I’m officially a jaded city-dwelling university student. The longer I live here and the older I get the more high school students and non-Torontonians seem to stick out. And nothing proves you’re bitter more than when people’s enjoyment of things you don’t even notice anymore becomes irritating.

A couple months ago I was in Kensington looking for hipster sunglasses to wear to the Scotty Dynamo show when I saw a bunch of high schoolers there on a field trip. I must have been wandering around for close to a couple hours, and not once did I see them step away from one of the shitty stalls with the piles of colored wayfarers. Zero exploration. Not even to a smoke shop, which I would think would be pretty fascinating for a suburban teenager, I mean I remember walking around Queen Street when I was sixteen and being freaked out by Friendly Stranger (and moreso The Condom Shack.) They didn’t even go to another plastic Taiwanese sunglass shack, the existence of the one shack was enough to amuse them for 2 whole hours.

Today watched a bunch of high school scenesters (can you be a scenester past 18 anyway?) freak out over the fact you can legally cross at Yonge & Dundas diagonally. I mean it, it was like Craig Owens floated down from the sky and offered to autograph their neon Nike high tops. They were that amused. They were standing in the middle of the intersection dancing around, so overcome with joy that they all forgot they were standing on a road and 30 seconds later were in front of several lanes of oncoming traffic.

The Reason I love George Stroumboulopoulos

I was watching Jay Leno the other night and it really made me realize just how good George Stroumboulopoulos is at his job. Granted, Jay Leno will never be known as a good interviewer, nor does he host the same kind of program, but he couldn’t even keep up with Megan Fox. She says something about how she started modeling when she was fourteen or fifteen, and Leno’s next question is “so when did you start modeling?” Sweet Jesus Leno, what are they paying you for? Can you at least stay present? After that incident, all I notice is how detached every other interviewer is. I used to hate the set of The Hour and how Strombo would always lean towards his guest to the point where when they cut to the guest’s response, the corner of his head would be in the frame. I found it gimmicky, like they were visually saying look at what an effort Strombo is making to connect with his guest, but now it doesn’t seem so irritating, because weird posture or not, at least he’s ENGAGED. He is PAYING ATTENTION and asking RELEVANT QUESTIONS. Granted the testament to his skill is how easy he makes it look, but shouldn’t those two things be the bare minimum for someone who gets paid to interview someone else?

The problem is no one’s allowed to have opinions anymore. The media is just one big circle jerk, the shows need celebrities, and the celebrities need the shows, but they aren’t going to go on the shows if they aren’t going to come out looking good. So no one is allowed to ask anything but the most benign questions, because God forbid someone who is being payed millions of dollars to do something, have to justify why they’re there and someone else is not.

Obviously celebrities/politicians/whatever and the press have conflicting objectives, but that’s just the nature of things. I remember watching an episode of Disband where they school Dean Lickyer (I think) on the media, telling them the success of the interview is based on how many times they can drop their album release date in the span of five minutes. The same thing happens at the White House, the press corps literally has a meeting every morning and defines the key issue of the day, then tries to push that issue as hard as physically possible while avoiding the others. The difference is the news media will pry as hard as they can, while Sarah Taylor just stands there in leggings.

Its a damn shame, because the whole reason I used to watch Much over MTV (US) and television in general, is because I wanted to know other peoples opinions. I liked certain hosts and liked hearing what they had to say, even if I didn’t always agree with them. I mean even if George Stroumboulopoulos wasn’t explicitly bashing Good Charlotte, you knew he had an opinion. Today with music journalism you might as well just subscribe to an RSS feed and be done with it, because everything is just the same sanitized press release.


OK so we’ve been having problems with our fucktard neighbours pretty much since we’ve moved in. They play music RIDICULOUSLY FUCKING LOUD ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Monday at 3PM, Tuesday at 4AM, it doesn’t matter. We routinely call the police on them, because in some grand fuck up of logic, despite the fact we share a wall, we have different landlords. Their landlord doesn’t give a fuck about them annoying us, because we’re not his problem. Thus we have few options left.

OK so its Monday at 10PM, and they’re playing electro at floor shakingly loud levels. They’ve been playing music irritatingly loud all day, I’m going INSANE because I’ve been subject to this every day for 3 months, so I force Jessica to change out of her fucking pajamas (which is a cardinal sin, I am sure of it) and come with me to tell them to shut the fuck up. We’ve done it before, usually this scrawny stoner who NO LIE, looks like a cross between Steve Buscemi and a goat opens the door, and they turn it down. They forget 2 hours later, but at least for the moment, we get some relief.

Jessica and I knock, waiting for Steve Buscemi and a cloud of marijuana smoke to emerge, but out steps a metro-sexual Asian in a black button up holding a martini glass.


Kate: Hey can you turn it down?
Not Steve Buscemi: Yeah, you guys can hear it all throughout your house, eh?
K: Yeah you guys were annoying the shit out of me before you turned it up, we can hear it on every floor of our house now.
NSB: Yeah you guys are the ones who call the cops on us every week, right?
K: You deserve it
NSB: Well I’ve never got a warning
K: WE’VE COME OVER HERE A MILLION TIMES (Note: we have, obviously, and we’ve left them notes, and I would consider calling the police multiple times a pretty clear message)
NSB: We’ll we hold meetings here every Monday, and after parties afterward (Note II: didn’t know douchebags knew how to congregate besides over a few Jager bombs at the Brunny)
K: Well I live here every fucking day
NSB: Well we have musicians and producers living here (Note III: and by musicians and producers he means people who have a Mac and the pre-installed copy of GarageBand) (Note IV: JK! They’re too poor for Macs! They have their giant 1980s piece of shit of a PC propped up in their window!)
K: Then go rent some fucking studio space!
NSB: You know its not that easy. You know we picked this place because we knew we would be surrounded by college students who wouldn’t care about the noise. I don’t think we’ve met by the way, my name is Conor (holding out douchebag paw)


So before I just thought we had stoner douchebags who loved electro living next to us. Pain in the ass, drunk, step stool stealing (yes they stole it right off our deck) douchebags, but now I realize the situation is so much more dire. We have wannabe socialite, product of the MisShapes culture, “I-have-iTunes-and-a-set-of-speakers-thus-I-am-a-DJ,” douchebags. These are literally the scum of the earth to me. People who feel such a sense of entitlement and lack such a work ethic that they feel just because they want to be it, they are it. That they can walk around like fucking celebrities based on the fact they feel they deserve to be. That they can play music at fucking club-level loud, because they are artistes, and this is their Factory, NAY, their Haus of GaGa, and God damn any of the little people who get in their way.

My God, I wish you were all there to experience that because there are no words to adequately describe it. The level of condescension was absolutely mind-blowing. I literally rolled around on our floor I was so baffled. Hi, my name is Conor, I don’t think we’ve met. We’ll you know, we have musicians and producers living in here. We chose this place because College students wouldn’t mind the noise. We’ll sorry to bust open your stereotype of what a college student is like and expose you to reality Conor. That some of us might have more in mind for our lives than hosting martini parties with a Eurotrash soundtrack (my God you’re so worldly) for people who are either a) too stupid to realize what an idiot you are, or b) so fame crazed they think you or one of your RYERSON GRADUATE STUDENT friends has enough talent to make it and hopefully take one of them along for the ride. What is the world coming to.

I feel like David Lynch is scripting my life right now. That was so surreal. Where’s the bitch with the eye patch.

Guy LaFleur

I just got back from watching The Rocket in Quebec Cinema. Well we have fourteen minutes left, but I can’t imagine it will redeem itself in that little time, so let’s just continue.

I was cringing throughout the past two hours.

Yes. Quebec loves the Habs and Toronto loves the Leafs and if my experience watching the season opener, where the (alcohol fueled) shit-talking escalated to physical violence, was an indicator of anything, these opinions are held very strongly.

The film was made in Quebec. Obviously its going to be imbued with some nationalist sentiment. I can even see why they’d want to use the Canadiens struggle in an English speaking league as an allegory for Quebec’s oppression by Anglo Canada (honestly I think its more Anglo business owners, not Anglo Canada, but whatever.) But for the love of God the duality was taken to a ridiculous level. I’m sure you can make the case that Richard’s Quebecois identity made him a better hockey player (how coming from a poor Quebec town made him hard working, whatever) but he was not a good hockey player because he’s from Quebec. I mean dear God, look at half the NHL.

What’s more is the filmmakers depicted him as just so damn melancholy throughout the film. I mean sweet Jesus, Charles Binamé, are you really saying you believe Maurice Richard was just so depressed about being kept down by whitey that he couldn’t even crack a smile when he broke Malone’s record? Because that’s what happened in the film. I mean they broke the relationship between Anglophones and Francophones into causality. There were so many scenes that went like this:

Random English-speaking hockey player: You damn dirty Frenchman!

A player would refer to him as “pea soup” and Richard would suddenly gain the power of 10,000 men. No doubt Maurice Richard’s crusade to change the league was positive, but to make it seem like everything bad that was happening to him was solely because he was from Quebec, and that none of the discrimination was happening to anyone else, is ridiculous. Honestly, the way I see it, is just like public figures give away any ability to sue for libel, you’ve got to figure getting chirped, and that someone might go after race as part of that overall chirping strategy, is part of the game. I guess what bothered me is not so much that he fought against racism (I mean honestly, who the fuck is pro-racism?) but that he expressed such shock every time someone made a racist comment. Like who the fuck are you? Have you never played sports before?

Then there’s this whole thing where Richard gives an interview in English and his English is bad, and the paper calls him stupid. As if this doesn’t happen to every non-English speaker in a public position. Alex Ovechkin looks positively retarded in every interview he gives. Maybe this is because of his lack of English fluency, maybe its not (I mean Sidney Crosby doesn’t seem any more intelligent,) I don’t know. You want to give an interview in French, fine. One of the characters says it himself! “If they talk to us in English, we respond in English.” Then why not stop. I’m Anglo-Canadian, you want to have them dub that shit, fine by me. Give me some subtitles, I don’t care. Just stop acting like its somehow an act to keep the French down, and start blaming the networks, or yourselves, or the whole lazy non-reading North American culture.

Or at least don’t reveal your own hypocrisy. In one scene Richard writes an article disparaging the league’s commissioner in French. Cut to the commissioner holding up the paper yelling “Damnit! Get me someone who reads French!” like an idiot. How can you mock Anglophones for not being able to speak French, then turn around and say our inability to speak English should have absolutely no effect on your perception of us whatsoever?

Ugh. I mean obviously its hard for me, coming from a position where I’ve never seen Quebeckers being treated as second-class citizens and where everyone I knows feelings towards Quebec have at worst, been neutral, its hard to grasp what the gravity of the situation must have been at the time, but my GOD, reducing Quebec’s entire struggle to the binary between French and English, and Anglo-North America and Quebec, and the extent to which Binamé sought to make that relationship clear, was fucking ridiculous.