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Young Geoffrey

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The Queen Street Review [Aug. 20th, 2004|08:55 pm]
Young Geoffrey
[music |The Pogues: Rum, Sodomy & the Lash]

The Weekly World News Ain't What It Used to Be


"Saddam Sex-Change Shocker"

"Pope Has Super Powers! (Holy Father has X-ray vision, shoots fire bolts and has the strength of ten men!"

"Hot stuff! Couple Bursts Into Flames in the Sack!"

(Not to mention: "Kitty From Hell")

All grist for an average issue of the Weekly World News, the August 16, 2004 issue of which Laura and I opted to purchase on a whim while grocery shopping during our trip to Sudbury. After all, who could possibly resist a picture of a jailed Saddam Hussein, decked out in blonde wig and thigh-hugging dress while the sub-head claims "our" tax dollars are paying for the upcoming operation?

Over the years, I've probably bought a half-dozen issues of this rag, usually when stoned - or looking forward to that state of mind. I've never taken it seriously, but part of the pleasure of reading it included wondering about those people who - one assumed - did. We wondered: Just who are the slack-jawed yokels who think the Weekly World News is a real newspaper, daring to print the news the maintream journals are too whipped to publish?

And so, it was with great some sadness, that I noticed the new indicia:

"Weekly World News is a satirical weekly publication published 52 times a year ..."

Shit. Admitting that it's "satire" takes all the fun out of it - "Sewer to Hell: Manhole emits shrieks of the damned" is not nearly so funny once you admit its a joke.

Globe and Mail? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Globe and Mail!


For reasons of which I won't bother to bore you, Laura left a bag here the other day. I brought it to work with me, so she could pick it up.

Why are you telling me this? I hear you, my Gentle (if impatient) Readers wonder.

Well, Sweet Laura's bag contained what I thought was a Shameful Secret - nothing less than a Toronto Star, crumpled and clearly read. What madness, I wondered, had taken the helm of my darling's brain?

Naturally, I confronted her, accusing her of reading the vile rag.

Did she wilt? Not Laura. Nor did she flinch.

"Why don't you read it," she suggested. "Then we can talk."

Well, being a fair-minded man, I condescended to my young love's suggestion.

And ...

I wonder:



  • Has the Star improved in recent years?

  • Has the Globe deteriorated more than I'd thought since the advent of the National Post brought about the Age of the Columnist>


Long story short - based on that one front-section, the Star isn't a bad paper. It probably contained more news than the same day's Globe and, if it didn't harbor quite so many Big Words, it's columnists had a wider range of views and at least as sophisticated a set of opinions as "Canada's National Newspaper."

It irks me, but I fear I must give the Star another chance. And admit yet again that being older does not necessitate being smarter or, even, more knowledgeable.

Music: Straight Outta (the) 80s


Back in 1987, the same year I drove my 1971 Volkswagen minibus down to San Francisco for an Anarchist Gathering (and the same year I walked out on the Rolling Stones, not to mention, coincidentally, the year of my sweetheart's birth - my Christ! If that doesn't make me feel the gap, I don't know what will), my companion for the trip, son of a politician and nascent musician who was remaking himself as "cool" (ask me some other time - I watched him practice the body-language), which included his enthusiasm for rap - especially N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton.

Shit, that record was a revelation to me - transmogrifying what I had thought was essentially the novelty-music of Grandmaster Flash, of break-dancing and whatever else Much Music was passing down to us dilletantes as "black" culture into what seemed to me (a) a genuine voice from the ghetto and (b) one hell of a good record.

Angry; violent; self-affirming; sexist; nihilistic - it seemed to encompass every adolescent emotion and a whole lot else besides.

Still, not entirely my cup of tea. I didn't hear the record for the next 15 or so years; occasionally, I'd refer to it, or quote a line or to - "I said 'Fuck you, bitch!' and kept goin'"; "Fuck - fuck - fuck tha po-lice", etc.

Well, coming home from Sudbury, having finished loading the rental car down with goodies from the Dufferin Mall's No Frills, I stopped in at HMV and - to my amazement - found the CD in stock.

Bought it.

And, tonight, finally listened to it.

Lyrically, it holds up pretty well. Maybe it does musically, too.

But even someone as out of it as this bluegrass-lovin' white boy knows that Straight Outta Compton sounds fucking </i>tame</i> compared to the hiphop coming out nowadays. It was like listening to the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks after spending an evening at a thrash-metal show at the Reverb.

Weird ...

What Sort of Man Reads Playboy


Speaking of going back in time, I did something else I haven't done since the 80s - bout an issue of Playboy.

It was almost as embarassing to buy as my first time (well, not quite: my humiliation was reminiscent of that long-gone day, but not nearly so intense), back in 1979, when the issue with the John Lennon interview came out, only days before the poor, brilliant bastard was gunned down.

But I digress.

During my adolescence, when my political thinking was heavily influenced by the feminism of the time, Playboy was an examplar - if a tame one - of all that was wrong with sexist North American society and culture. A tool for the degradation of women, for training men to think of women as sex-objects.

(Looking at a newstand now, I am proud that by 1984 or 1985, I was openly suggesting that Elle and (especially) Cosmopolitan - aimed as they were at women - might be a more pernicious weapon against egalitarianism than any number of stroke-books. But I digress - again.)

I bought the damned thing because the September issue has an interview with the boys behind Google - I am enough of a geek to be interested, and to remember that Playboy's interviews used to be substantial pieces of journalism indeed.

Truth is, that was 3 days ago, and I have yet to read the interview.

I've given the magzine a quick go-thrugh and note that it has far few adds than I remember; that the Playmate of the month has much smaller tits; and that the rest of it seems almost as unchanged as the last issue of Mad Magazine I happened across, an octogenerian hipster wondering what "sketchy" means.

And that's about it, folks. I'm half-drunk, I want a smoke and I'm really jonesin' for the Simpsons - which just happens to start in about 4 minutes. Time to put this post to bed.
linkReply

Comments:
From: patriarch420
2004-08-20 07:28 pm (UTC)
*squeaks* eep! yay! im right about the star!! wohoooo!! ((relishing in victory is -hella- sweet. especially when it's not everyday that i get to proove you wrong on some things.)) I still prefer the Globe editorials though (one example being Rex Murphy) Have a good night sweet-pea, and thanks for lunch ;) good job on getting some writing done, too.... now to vacuum. Go, scoot! Get cleanin' wench!! xoxo much love, -Laura-
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-21 05:54 am (UTC)
All right, all right, sweet one - relishing your victory is all well and good, but show a little grace, will you?

(Lunch made me very happy indeed; even a half-hour of your presence is both an aphrodisiac and a euphoric to me.)
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From: patriarch420
2004-08-20 07:38 pm (UTC)
ARGH! I kicked the internet cable thing loose so my 2nd comment got deleted..but the gist of it was that it was an anarchist *convention* ...now, let everyone recognize the irony in this for a moment... ok, good. now lets all point and laugh :) ---- also, i have a strange respect for playboy/the porn industry in general. its the ultimate example of capitalism...its men selling women's bodies to other men. Brilliant, really. --you spelt "bought" wrong (you spelt it bout when referring to PlayBoy, whether that was intentional or not im not sure)) Ok, I'm actually done now. ((and i wanna see the mag next time i come over!! i dont think ive actually browsed through a PlayBoy mag before... )) Sleep sweet.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-21 06:17 am (UTC)
I am Bitterly Disappointed (bitterly, I tells ya) to find that you, of all people, have sunk to such depths in order to have some fun at my expense.

Anarchy is not chaos, people!

An Anarchist society would be one of a group of political systems (that is, like "democracy", there are any number of variations on the theme) that are organized according to the principles that (a) government should interfere in the lives of individuals only when necessary and, especially, (b) that government should be organized at the lowest possible level; in other words, if the city can better provide a public service, the Federal government shouldn't be involved.

Ahem.

i have a strange respect for playboy/the porn industry in general. its the ultimate example of capitalism...its men selling women's bodies to other men. Brilliant, really.

"its [sic] men selling women's bodies to other men."

Very nicely put; we'll make a feminist out of you yet. And of course you can browse through it when you come over. Together, we can enjoy a chuckle at its jokes, then you can mix me a martini.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-21 06:28 am (UTC)
Speaking of anarchy, if anyone is interested in learning something about how it works in the real world, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia is an excellent place to start.
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From: patriarch420
2004-08-21 09:30 am (UTC)
hah. will do ;)
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[User Picture]From: kakodaimon
2004-08-20 10:08 pm (UTC)
I once knew a bishop who swore to me that the Pope stored a rocketlauncher in his hat. I hounded him all day, demanding "Really? No, really?" (I was a kid then), and he would always smile and confirm it.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-21 06:24 am (UTC)
That's nothin'. When I was 9 I knew a teacher who told her entire class (including, yes, my self) that "Man killed off the dinosaurs."

It was a Catholic school, y'see, and (I imagine) that was an attempt to "explain" such things as school-bus sized animals that had been dug up over the previous hundred years.

What were you doing hanging out with a bishop all day for anyway?
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[User Picture]From: kakodaimon
2004-08-30 12:12 am (UTC)
Ow.

As for what I was doing with a bishop, I was raised Catholic. My current religious status is a guilty no-comment.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-30 05:33 pm (UTC)
(Now you just know I've gone off to your info-page in hopes of uncovering more clues, don't you?)
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-21 06:27 am (UTC)
Wow, you're more interesting than most men while half-drunk! :)

Now that's the sort of comment I like to wake up to.

As for the WWN's "photo-illustrations", my guess is they decided that part of its kitsch appeal is having photos that are obviously fake.
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[User Picture]From: amaaanda
2004-08-21 12:10 pm (UTC)
My favourite story by far in the WWN was the one about the rising trend of homosexual dogs. They featured a big photo of a bulldog dressed in a doggie evening gown with a feather boa and everything. I happened to be working the midnight shift that night, so I had the page open for all my late-night customers to see. Funny shit.

And I must agree that you are one of the more entertaining drunk-posters around. Keep up the good work.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-23 02:18 am (UTC)
Which reminds me of the rash of reports we've had in the legitimate media over the last year or so about real homosexual animals, such as <a href="http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2002/03/08/gay_penguins/> gay penguins</a>. Anyway, thanks - I'll try to maintain the quality of my drunken posts. (Now, if I can only work on the quality of my sober posts ...)
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[User Picture]From: girsharmony
2004-08-21 09:33 pm (UTC)

hi

i noticed i'm on your friedns list...
that's cool, but i was wondering... do i know you?
have we met? where? when? who are you?
such an enigma...
:D
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-08-23 02:26 am (UTC)

Re: hi

I'm glad its cool.

So far as I know, you don't know me; we probably haven't met (though it's a big world and stranger things have happened.

As others in this thread have nodded, I have a tendency to post following the consumption of a pint or two - not usually while fully hammed, but on the way there. Similarly, I tend to add interesting-looking journals while in that state of "mind", often without the good manners of a "How do you do?"

In other words, I stumbled across your journal - either in a discussion group or via a random search - and added you for reasons which I am no longer able to specify.

As for who I am (besides long-winded), that is still up for debate. My girlfriend thinks I am Napoleon in rags, but I prefer to imagine myself as Winston Churchill on a svelte day.
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From: patriarch420
2004-08-25 02:35 pm (UTC)
****My girlfriend thinks I am Napoleon in rags, but I prefer to imagine myself as Winston Churchill on a svelte day.**** - I just read that! That's hilarious! - xoxo hope you had a nice day *kiss kiss*
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