Thursday, March 31, 2005

Doon, doo doo, doot doo do dee do, doot doo do, Angela Jones!

Damn you Joe Meek! Now I have the chorus from Angela Jones by Michael Cox going through my head. Great song, but imagine the above over a bed of strings and percussion that sounds like an old coffee percolator.
The gospel according to reality TV

I roll my eyes when my colleagues at work avidly discuss reality shows, but apparently you can have an interesting moral discussion based on last night's Amazing Race episode.
The gospel according to reality TV

I roll my eyes when my colleagues at work avidly discuss reality shows, but apparently you can have an interesting moral discussion based on last night's Amazing Race episode.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

For what it is worth, I'm not the "B.C.Lions Hatman" that seems to follow Jordan Bateman around, mentioned in the previous post. Aside from almost never wearing hats, I would like to retain some shred of dignity should I ever run into Mr. Bateman again.
The man with the 1985 B.C. Lions hat runs into the "tramps" leaving the scene of the Kennedy assasination

Jordan Bateman continues to be amazed that there is a man, frequenting the coffee shop where Mr. Bateman likes to hang out, who wears a hat commemorating the B.C. Lions' 1985 Grey Cup win.

No amazement from me. I have one of those hats myself, which I picked up while thrifting a few months back. I'm not a hat person, so I never wear it. But, it is something neat to have, if you are a Lions fan. Perhaps "B.C. Lions Hatman" has owned the hat for just a few months for the same reason, aside from covering his head. If you need to wear a "gimmie cap", why not wear something different?

I'd thought that maybe Mr. Bateman was pining to have one of those Lions caps himself. But, I have decided to keep mine, so I can't help him there.

Perhaps we should be grateful that Mr. Bateman doesn't use Photoshop on his website. If that were the case, we might see a photo captioned "Look, here is B.C. Lions Hatman standing beside Zapruder and peeking into the grassy knoll!" :)

Monday, March 28, 2005

At least the Prince of Darkness is hiring :)

Thanks to the fabulous Charles Stough, an update of sorts to this earlier tongue-in-cheek post of mine:

Doug Marlette repels readers who call him a tool of
Satan, he told the November-December [2003]edition of Columbia Journalism
Review. He tells them "That's impossible. I couldn't be a tool of Satan.
The Charlotte Observer's personnel department tests for that sort of
thing. They try to screen for tools of Satan. Knight Ridder human
resources has a strict policy against hiring tools of Satan."
What got him the hate mail this time was a cartoon of a terrorist at
the wheel of a truck carrying a nuke and the caption, "What would
Mohammed drive?"
(Explainer to distant readers: Ecologists opposed to driving
fuel-guzzling sport utility vehicles buy ads saying "What would Jesus

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Aimee Semple McAntichrist and the lumber baron

It's one of those things that made me go "hmmm".

I like reading about church history, particularly about the charismatic wing of Protestant Christianity. Unlike many, however, I do not swoon at the mere mention of alleged miracles, so several books that take a critical look at the excesses of some ministers sit in my shelves.

After reading Daniel Epstein's interesting book on the 1920s faith healer Aimee Semple McPherson, I have been looking for inexpensive copies of other works by and about her.

While browsing, I found a fictional book that was classified as being about McPherson. Ten dollars later, a copy of the 1933 novel A Woman On The Beast, by a Helen Simpson, came my way in the mail from an antiquarian bookseller in Victoria B.C.. Flipping to the last section of the book, I realized why McPherson was probably not pleased to hear of the book's release. In the novel, a malevolent old book-burning shrew of a preacher named Emma Sopwith conquers Australia and, in bringing the whole planet under her sway, brings on the end of the world as described in Revelations. Unusually, for a book of this sort, Satan wins and conquers God.

The book itself may not be worth a mention. The bookplate that I found inside the front cover of the book is. (If only I could post a photo.)

The bookplate reads that the book was once the property of a H.R. MacMillan. The name is unusual enough that I wonder if the novel used to belong to British Columbia lumber baron H.R.MacMillan, who ran MacMillan-Bloedel, the dominant logging company in British Columbia for many years. Mr. MacMillan, who was also the first chief forester of B.C., lived in Victoria (where my new-to-me book came from) for many years. For more information on Mr. MacMillan, here is a brief blurb about a biography on him.

If the lumber baron did own my book, it raises some thoughts in my mind. Did he avidly read the Christian end-of-the world fiction of his day, which would be at odds with the image of a serious and thoughtful businessman? (Imagine Donald Trump reading the Left Behind series of novels.)

Simpson's novel leans heavily on the idea that very evil and intolerant things are often done in the name of God, an idea that is often critical of Christianity. If the famous H.R.MacMillan owned my book, it's interesting to consider whether a prominent B.C. businessman for many years shared the values espoused in the book. Thinking that Christianity was as much an evil influence on society as it was an influence for good, would have been a very freethinking attitude in the often conservative British Columbia social elite of the 1930s and 1940s

This might be intriguing....unless it was Mr. MacMillan's wife who read the book on holidays, in the same careless way that one would read Bridget Jones Diary today. In which case, this is a silly post indeed. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Full Metal Byfield!

While reading this interesting online interview of actor R. Lee Ermey, best known as the drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket, I noticed that in the photo at the top of the article he somewhat resembles my old boss Ted Byfield.
"Two And A Half Men (Ch 9)
The only way I can watch this is to imagine Charlie Sheen picking up hookers in the shorts and socks they make his character wear."

Blogger Shelly On The Telly, who writes for an Australian newspaper, lists her five least favourite TV shows here.
A happy post

I'll probably only be putting 10 guys out to work today, and I had to get up at 4:30 AM to do it. It's cold and rainy outside. I'm sniffly and headachy from all the dust mites I stirred up from cleaning yesterday...that is, if I don't have a cold.

Oh well, things will certainly look up later.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Punisher vs. Gordon Campbell

Remember that police mug shot from when Gordon Campbell was caught driving drunk in Hawaii? Well, now it is being used on a Marvel Comics T-shirt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

For all your superhero needs

The first issue of Action Comics, featuring the debut of Superman, may be read online here.

Monday, March 21, 2005

"We're sorry. Your call cannot be completed as dialed..."

Blogger Andrea, after attending a teaching on prayer in which the session leader says that sometimes God speaks to him by using the lyrics of songs going through his head, wonders what it means when you have Madonna's Material Girl going through your head.

For what it is worth, I think that God has sometimes spoken to me through song lyrics. But, I would be also be really confused if I kept on hearing the Theme From Gilligan's Island, for example.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Garbonzas for democracy

Paul Tuns wonders why lots of the pro-democracy demonstrators in Lebanon seemed to have "enormous talents", to borrow a phrase from Joe Bob Briggs.

I can tell him why. Most photogs covering the Middle East are guys!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

"The musicians are great. Unfortunately, the singer is not... you might also have noticed that I didn't put him into the musician category....."

Sam At Large on the sad part about playing in a cover band.
The Lord told him to spend thousands on hotel rooms?

Those interested in the latest allegations in the Benny Hinn scandals will find this page from the always excellent Apologetics Index to be a great starting point.

I was amused to see that, at one ministry's somewhat heated online forum discussion of Mr. Hinn, one post began "Why can't we be friends. Why can't we be friends. Why can't we be friends." After the 1970s song. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Who am I, Pepe Le Peu?

Got another one of those mystery e-mails on my Hotmail account. This time, it's an ad for a telephone chat line for singles in France.

It's one of those "What th' ?" moments.
To err is human, to forgive divine

Some hilarity over at, at my expense.

I misread that eBay auction item, and thought that Jordan Bateman was taking his daughter to lunch with the winner of the fundraiser for that blog. Actually, it's his semi-anonymous blogging buddy Sam Politics who will be at lunch too.

In newspaper parlance, Rick's Miscellany regrets the error.

Alas, I still can make good use of editors!

[Tom Servo voice: "Still??!?"]

I do not believe in rewriting the past, so I am leaving the blooper as it was posted.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Lies, damned lies and Michael Moore

An online point by point refutation of the false claims in the film Fahrenheit 911.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I have an epitaph for my tombstone

My current job involves signing in and signing out workers, so I think that...

"Sign out, please"

...which I must say at least 100 times per day, would be appropriate for my graveside marker.

It's no "On the whole, I would rather be in Philadelphia," but it'll do for now.
I was Satan's copy boy!

If the subject of a news story that you have written later clearly implies that the articles in question were part of Satan's plans to destroy him, should you:

a) repent


b) commend yourself for doing a good job?

"The truth will set you free."

My apologies for the obtuse post. Let's just say for now that I am debating whether to roll out my rhetorical siege guns.
Blogger with the most bravery for today

I think this poster is giving the faintest of possible hints in his post introduction for Friday:

All right. If you're not watching The Contender, you're a moron....

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Funeral music

You may remember that Kevin Michael Grace has asked for suggestions of songs to be played at one's funeral:

I've invented a new game, which I'll share with you. I call it Memento Mori, and I suppose it's a variation of Desert Island Discs. "If you could choose one piece of music to be played at your funeral, what would it be?" Again, I'm not interested in "appropriate responses"; I want to expose character. (But you could recast this game into a two-parter as well.) If you'd like the funeral march from Eroica to send you off, that's fine. If you'd prefer "Hey Ya!", "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," "Misty Mountain Hop" or "Hippy Hippy Shake," that's fine too. I make no moral judgements.

Upon further reflection, I am thinking that this is kind of a hard choice to make.

I've always been fond of Amazing Grace, even after I learned that I was not actually descended from John Newton, the slaveholder-turned hymn writer, who wrote the song. The message of the lyrics is very poignant, and true in my case.

(Family scuttlebutt aside, it turns out that I have an Anglican minister amongst my mother's ancestors. The same the-truth-will-out process happened regarding my grandfather whom, it turns out, did not play for the Glasgow Celtic youth team. Rather, he suited up for a British Army team in post World War One Iraq.)

A modern worship song that I quite like is I Could Sing Of His Love Forever by Delirious.

Those would be my real choices.

But, I think that Kevin might have fun suggesting a song for me. I invite him to go ahead and do so, shouild he feel inclined.

The problem with a lot of secular music, when playing a game of this kind, is that the lyrics don't match the sort of statements that one would want to make about one's life. (Although there is occasionally an eerie coincidence. Buddy Holly had just released "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" shortly before his death.)

That said, I have a suggestion for someone with a dry sense of humour and more sang froid than I have. I know what song I would not dare to pick to be played at my own memorial service. It comes from a Joe Meek compilation that I recently bought for myself. (Joe Meek, you may recall, was the very quirkily brilliant British musical producer of the 1960s. You have probably heard of Telstar, the famous instrumental that he wrote and produced. Aside from his music, I find Meek's own story--for one, Meek was convinced that the late Buddy Holly was giving him hints from the afterlife for good songs via a ouija board--to be amusingly intriguing.)

The song, which for some reason failed to enter the British charts in 1961, is 'Til the Following Night by the "classic British loon" Screaming Lord Sutch.

It opens with unearthly moans and screams, rattling chains and creaking doors. Lord Sutch then sings these lyrics to a thumping beat:

When the shades of night are falling/
And the moon is shining bright/
In the center of the graveyard/
In the middle of the night/
I get out of my big black coffin 'til the following night

No don't play that at your funeral. It wouldn't go over well :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Go Thou and blog likewise

One blogger, placing the word "blog" in some New Testament admonitions for Biblical conduct, has come up with some Biblical advice for bloggers.

Food for thought, there.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

(Dr. Evil from Austin Powers voice) And the bidding starts at one MILLLLLLIIIOOOONNN dollars

Blogger Jordan Bateman is holding an eBay auction. The prize? Lunch with him and his toddler son, and you get to post to

The bids have hit $31!

Monday, March 07, 2005

When herring fart, tonight on Fox!

My alma mater is in the news for some scientific research. Ben Wilson, a researcher at the University of B.C.'s Bamfield Marine Science Centre has won an Ig Nobel prize for his accidental discovery that herring eject air from their swimbladder in a way that sounds like er, um, passing wind.

(if you want to hear for yourself, check out this New Scientist story from shortly after the discovery, complete with wav file.

"It turns out that a fish ejecting air from the swimbladder via a tube near the anus, to the world's press at least, is near enough a [four letter slang word] and therefore hot news," Wilson tells the latest issue of Trek, UBC's alumni magazine, "They slavered down the phone like starved dogs."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Fullfilling the conservatism Five Year Plan!

My friend Chris likes Although I think The Shotgun is better, you may wish to check the former out.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The sounds of your life

Kevin Michael Grace has come up with an interesting, and perhaps revealing, parlour game:

I've invented a new game, which I'll share with you. I call it Memento Mori, and I suppose it's a variation of Desert Island Discs. "If you could choose one piece of music to be played at your funeral, what would it be?" Again, I'm not interested in "appropriate responses"; I want to expose character. (But you could recast this game into a two-parter as well.) If you'd like the funeral march from Eroica to send you off, that's fine. If you'd prefer "Hey Ya!", "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," "Misty Mountain Hop" or "Hippy Hippy Shake," that's fine too. I make no moral judgements.

He promises to post responses from those that he knows, either in person, or from their writing.

I'll need to think about this, which is hard to do this early on Saturday morning. I'll post something later.

By the way, I wouldn't pick "I Want To Be Sedated" as a waggish choice for Kevin. I think that weisenheimer picks for KMG would include some of the works of Edith Piaf, perhaps the most depressing popular singer ever. I don't think he will be picking "Don't Worry, Be Happy" :)

Friday, March 04, 2005

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

No jabronis allowed

Jordan Bateman mentions WrestleCrap, a site devoted to the "very worst in pro wrestling".

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Journalistic hounds of Heaven

Kathy Shaidle writes that exposes of sneaky evangelists like the one that the CBC will be rebroadcasting about Benny Hinn on Wednesday don't seem to do any good, according to her research.

It seemed to work out that way in my own particular experience, but hopefully she will give us more details on that theory of hers.