Saturday, July 15, 2006
I must sue SOMEBODY - right?
Especially since the damn pills are surely NOT a dime per dozen...
Friday, July 14, 2006
Hence, another tune is needed for the next two weeks.
Hard to top -no pun intended- the last one; Gnarls and his crazyness!
I thought of following up on the theme of my last post here - with either Bon Jovi's BAD MEDECINE... Or The Strokes' YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE (even though, the truth is that YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE - like the classic Nancy Sinatra song for the similarly titled James Bond film said so well... Although I would say it just a wee bit differently - like, we live once "for ourselves" and once not for our dreams but for our souls - and that one lasts much longer! Forever, if you're not all that much of a sin-collecting scoundrel! But that is another story...)
In the end though, I turned towards originality and the underground almost - for, once again, an under-publicized, under-rated act!
And I can't go wrong with this - not when the track rhymes with Luminous!
Hurray, hence, for... Glorious!
This "Captain" comes with not just one but two Tennilles (!) and even some additional instrumental back-up - once again a sound choice of mine!
Enjoy - for the next two weeks, at least!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
MUSIC-HALL - a 2002 mini-series offering from la Société Radio-Canada (offerings like this should officially be returnable gifts - at the sender's expense!)
The true star of this one is Michèle-Barbara Pelletier, one of a new generation of Quebec actresses (along with Isabel Richer and Celine Bonnier, most notably) who could have international careers... but probably won't because of their knack to speak French the way they do (joual québécois, which is quebec slang) and their inability to speak English without a thick accent too. Nonetheless, they have that star-quality to be huge - if only in Quebec!
Virtually all of these talents have, in fact, been seen in international productions - only, in very smallish roles. Even Véronique Cloutier, who gets top billing here despite it being her first and nearly only time acting really (unless one counts her apologetic speeches during the scandalous revelations about her pedophilic father, talent agent Guy Cloutier as "performances" as well...) - even "Vero" had previously been seen in a very small role in "Frankenstein And Me", a forgettable piece of children's fare that was nothing more than a cheap American production shot on Canadian soil to save on production costs... Vero played a vampire in that one. Here, in Music-Hall, she is just as believable as a full-of-herself little witch as she can be in real life, I'm sure... Likewise, in her only other credited role, she was insufferable in "Les Dangereux"... None of her roles though are "engaging" in the least - she does not lend it enough credibility or passion in order for the viewer or (few) moviegoers to either like her character or even despise it. She has kept to being a game show host and radio host too since these disasters... Oh, and she has kept her dad's company afloat while he served time in prison.
Patrick Huard really lets loose here - in one of his "carte blanche" roles, he sets out to prove that he can play "something else". One can only be mildly convinced since he usually is "nuts" in his numerous talk-show appearances - so what is really new here? The extreme edgy side? The violence? Not enough...
Serge Postigo seems to be playing the same role over and over again - as he's done on countless "téléromans" on Quebec television (mostly for the SRC - the French equivalent of the CBC)
Claude Blanchard is actually likeable here - as a sort of gruffy big bear with some heart somewhere in there would be...
Annie Dufresne is some sort of a performer too - and some sort of an actress as well. One cannot readily tell... She comes off as the bimbo of service here, nothing more though...
Julien Poulin, most famous for portraying the buffoonesque "Elvis Gratton" in two films (or wastes of celluloid - depends on one's tastes, really) mercifully DOES NOT sing in this one (oops - does this count as a "spoiler", tell me?!?)
Notable also is the appearance of the ravishing Bet E, in this thing - Bet E. is a real-life singer and was singing fado as a part of a very successful duo soon thereafter (Bet E. & Stef)
She eclipsed my very own cousin São as such - shooting a few video-clips for her music (while my cuz never did) and touring the province of Quebec (the alleged "Belle Province") far more extensively than São did too. Inexplicably though, Bet E. and Stef have since split up as a performing act...
If I may remain "personal" a bit further more here - I would be remiss if I did not mention the cameo appearance of a most unlikely individual in this production, although he appeared in a non-speaking role and was roughed up for his troubles too! He is not an actor - not even a regular "extra", and yet he got the "supreme honor" of getting beaten up on camera by usually-stand-up-comic Patrick Huard!
His name appears in the credits of the one episode where he appears and gets his beating, but nowhere else, quite understandably. The name is Marsolais and, knowing the individual as I do, I can attest that he was well cast here. His bit part is that of... a simpleton actually. He could not even reply to Huard's rather unintelligible lingo - and then he's thrown like a rag doll down the stairs, rammed into a wall, kicked around... all the while crying like a girl. He should know what pain is like because he is a DOCTOR! A short four years after shooting this scene (surely some form of nepotism got him the "coveted role" - coveted it is if one is into s&m that is!) DR. Marsolais would have much more to say - TO ME - but he would STILL come out on the losing end of the exchange as I won two consecutive debates over him... The subject of those debates was MY FATHER'S LIFE. DR. Marsolais had put him on a respirator - AT MY INSISTENCE - but wanted me to make the decision to "unplug" him asap... I admit that, more than once, I imagined myself doing to him what Patrick Huard did to him here... Eventually, it was ANOTHER doctor who tricked me into letting father go - but I stand with a 2-0 record versus Marsolais. Huard is 1-0. Marsolais is quite a wuss, I say! Hence, of all the "actors" here, his short-lived onscreen performance is the most believable for he is basically playing HIMSELF! As I played myself to the hilt too, in my one memorable VIDEOCLIP appearance, years before... ;)
Ahh - douce jalousie... eh?
It is ironic how things happen - insomnia, after my father's untimely death, leads me to watch cable TV when I wouldn't normally be watching... I catch then, one after the other, a documentary on CANAL VIE filmed in the same hospital where dad passed away. It is about a 95 year-old woman who was kept on the respirator for MONTHS. My dad was younger than that and yet Marsolais and company were on his case in order to unhook him in LESS THAN A WEEK.
And then I catch this - MUSIC-HALL, on Bravo - complete with English subtitles (in order to preserve the original bad French dialogue?!?). I had not BOTHERED with this mini-series the first dozen repeats or so - but now, I stayed with it, for the music. And I immediately recognize Marsolais sitting at a table at a cabaret... Needless to say, I enjoyed thoroughly what happened next!
Music-Hall is full of clichés about show business and about the pitfalls of RUNNING a business... Add to that clichés about artists' vanity, attitudes and tendencies for self-destruction - AND the bad acting - and one gets fed up real quick. It was NOT just because the last few episodes had been pre-empted on their original airdates that viewership was actually DOWN for the climactic episodes (something totally unheard of in mini-series lore!)
It was because NOBODY CARED ABOUT ANY OF THESE CHARACTERS! Least of all the supposed heroine portrayed so uninterestingly by Veronique Cloutier (she is also the sister-in-law of hockey player José Théodore - for how much longer, that we do not know! For he was seen hanging out with Paris Hilton... Better that than doing what Guy did, but... The link to a goalie is omitted on her IMDB page here, so I thought I'd add this too in my review... sorry, "comment"!)
I can't believe they didn't have a role for Élise Guilbeault or Sylvie Drapeau in this one... One can only be glad they did not find a part for Sarah-Jeanne Salvy though - enough nepotism as it is going on around here! Not just Guy Cloutier (still as white as snow in 2002) pulling strings for his daughter, but really Fabienne Larouche giving out roles to her "favorites" - or pulling those strings so they'd get them. Fabienne Larouche is like a mixture of Anne Rice and Judith Krantz - but with much less at her disposal to really flesh it all out. Michèle-Barbara Pelletier may have given the character written for her some "life", somehow - but usually, Larouche does not get so lucky and her characters' lack of depth shows badly, for no thespian on Earth could do much with so little...
One final note about the presence of Murray Head here. It brings to mind that horrid film that the late Richard Harris came to Canada to do one time. The great Oliver Reed did that as well. These Englishmen who, just for the MONEY, will associate themselves with Canadian "arts" fund programs - lending these productions the credibility they lack and desperately require if the end product can be "exportable" in any shape or form (despite, again, the horrible Quebec slang!)
At least no one got to LISTEN to DR. MARSOLAIS speak said slang, since he had a non-speaking part - for, to know that this guy is really a doctor and that he speaks that way is quite the dishonor for the whole "Belle Province" and Canadian Winter Wonderland overall!
Audiences were lucky in THAT small way, at least - unlike me, who had to listen to the not-so good doctor's arguments at length, and in person, during the most stressful of times...
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
For the Sleepwalkers
Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible
arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.
I love the way that sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,
palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.
And always they wake up as themselves again.
That's why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.
Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music
of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our hearts are thick black fists
flying back to the glove of our chests.
We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.
We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-
walkers who rise out of their calm beds
and walk through the skin of another life.
We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness
and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.
~ Edward Hirsch ~
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Second thing that crossed my mind was this: will high-priced physicians really take Hippocrates' Oath that much to heart and give their patients the means to AVOID THEM... and avoid paying exhorbitant prices for their medical expertise?
I guess so... No less than 450 doctors -some very famous, such as Deepak Chopra, and some ridiculously famous, such as Joyce Brothers- are a part of this "team" - heralded the "world's greatest medical team" as one would expect! This link will give you all the vital information you need - and all the reasons why you should get this book too! These books, I should say, for if you don't keep the big one, there's still the smaller one at no cost at all! Indeed, there is a free trial offer and, if we return the big one, we get to keep the second one - free! As free as shipping and handling FOR BOTH BOOKS can be, that is! One has the distinct impression that these good doctors inspired themselves of the LXG example/experiment and decided to form their own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... of Medecine! They made a special exception for the occasion too - they bridged the gap between mainstream medecine and alternative medecine, uniting everyone's efforts for the greater good of mankind - for every patient with health insurance, at any rate! Hurray for these valiant heroes! I stand mildly impressed indeed...
Questions that arose next in my luminous head included: just how "alternative" are the alternative medecine reps that we are talking about here? Were the 300 or so names omitted from the "visible list" of contributors those of witch-doctors, shamans, curandeiros, herbalists, curadors, healers, spiritists, channelers, druids, mages, houngans, bocurs and the like?!? The people has a right to and needs to know these things! Before they go ahead and order these things, that is...!
Also- why isn't the PREMIERE author of such books -in my humble estimation- Dr. Bernie Siegel, not on this "dream team" - but merely tacked on as a promotional tool for such a cure-all book? On the televised infomercial, in fact, which I caught near the end of its limited allotted time (and they make sure we know their air-time is short too, making mention of it numerous times all throughout the thing, as I found out the second time I caught it, in its entirety!) I found Dr. Siegel's words to be the most interesting of all to hear! He said, and I paraphrase again for such is my habit, "medical school taught me how to treat the illness. It did not teach me how to treat the patient"! WOW - finally the truth about that comes out in the open, from the mouth of a doc himself! You know, I suspected that for the longest time now... Got my suspicions confirmed in-between March 22nd and March 28th of this year too...
Now, I am not saying these two books are scams - at all. Don't let my sardonic tone fool you, folks! I am convinced there are good doctors out there who will give you helpful tips now and then on how to improve your health and well-being FREE OF CHARGE! The do-it-yourself concept is a proven formula and besides, docs and quacks alike will never suffer from lack of a customer-base, for disease is running rampant as ever and it will simply never stop being that way until... Kingdom Come! However, what brought me to even WRITE about this at all was the second time I caught the infomercial... The claim, made in the opening minutes of the thing, that this big red book contains methods, techniques or whatever it is that helped a man not only save his father's life but nullify the effects of a STROKE that his dad had just suffered... IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? AND NOW I HEAR ABOUT IT - AFTER ALL I WENT THROUGH? IT WAS THE MOST HORRIBLE MOMENT OF MY LIFE TO SEE MY FATHER TREMBLE IN MY ARMS FROM THE AFTER-EFFECTS OR AFTERSHOCK OF A STROKE - THE STROKE THAT HE HAD JUST SUFFERED AND THAT WOULD BE HIS DEATH. I FELT TOTALLY POWERLESS TO DO A THING - AND THE MEDICAL STAFF TOLD ME THERE WAS NOTHING TO DO. THEY THEMSELVES COULD NOT DO A THING. AND NOW THIS BOOK COMES ALONG - THIS INFOMERCIAL COMES TO MY ATTENTION - NOW OF ALL TIMES - MONTHS TOO LATE - AND IT MAKES SUCH CLAIMS?!?
It must be for mild - VERY mild strokes - that these "techniques" work in minimizing the effects of the stroke so stupendously well...
I would be remiss if I did not mention that, while I typed up these lines, yet another "ssssecret" was offered to me, via e-mail this time... This link was sent to me with more of the same promises (although with a different aim this time) - however, since I have enough material for "inbox indiscretions" as it is, I thought I'd throw this one in here instead...! It is a video presentation and I say "watch it at your own risk" - and only if you have half-an-hour to kill too! The narration brought to mind a name from the not-so memorable past for me, right off the bat - "Ed Wood"!
As for the bulk of these "health secrets" here - they can only prolong the path to the inevitable... But do nothing more for you. Nothing more and, hopefully, nothing less. If anyone of you gives the book a try, will you only let me know...? ;)
Monday, July 10, 2006
A true believer is someone like ME - who admits to being only a reflection of His Light - God's Wisdom! It Is His Wisdom, not mine! Once more, I rest my case.
Now, the atheist that is burning my... ah, beads? It is this guy in San Diego who, for 17 long years, had nothing better to do than pursue a hopeless and senseless litigation case against the city objecting to the presence of the 43-foot-high cross that sits atop Mount Soledad...! That is not the worse part though; the worse part is that a federal judge -probably out of exasperation with the neverending case- finally found that, in his warped estimation and view of the "law", the cross did violate the constitutional separation of church and state, and so the old coot ordered it removed! It has been stopped again, luckily, thanks to the ever-reliable resort to that legal passe-partout called "the appeal" (and several of them were placed, both on the federal level as in state court) but still I am appalled by the whole stinking affair. The mere fact that the cross offends the esthetic sense of an atheist started all of this. And now, after seventeen long years, he finally figures out a way to justify his wishes by pinning it as anti-constitutional... SEVENTEEN YEARS he could have spent trying to solve the atheist's Riddle instead (as if he stands a chance). SEVENTEEN YEARS! WOW - that boggles the mind. All the money and time squandered on this "case" - and the conclusion seems to be that being anti-Christ is preferable to being anti-constitutional!!
You can shove your constitution where the sun does not and NEVER WILL shine - atheistic bozo! And your favorite judge can do likewise - heck, shove the book that you usually throw at INNOCENTS in there too, while you're at it! Say - when both of you CROAK, no crosses for you, eh? No tombstones either... there are no atheistic cemeteries that I know of (last I checked, there are Jewish cemeteries; Protestant cemeteries; Catholic cemeteries, etc... But I've never heard of atheistic cemeteries!)
Hence, I will suggest, to your liquidator, just digging a little hole at the foot of Mount Soledad (which seems to originate from the word "soledão" which means loneliness - so you will be lonely there; so what? That's the price to pay for being so original...!) and stashing your ashes there... Letting the doggie-doggie cover it up for you, do a little poo-poo on top (in lieu of a tombstone...) and so on...
If that doesn't work for you, San Diego Atheist, then make your funeral arrangements so that your earthly remains are thrown in the trash - WHERE THEY LIKELY BELONG! You believe in nothing and found no WORTHY CAUSE to defend in SEVENTEEN LONG YEARS... You made not this world a better place AT ALL! I categorize you thus as "type-2 scum" (type-1 is worse - FAR worse... believe me on that! I saw them in action...) and so I feel confident that you belong in the trash bin.
Bon Voyage now!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
It is never too late to make amends though and do the right thing! :)
Hence, let's go over their "cases" (as the Vatican would say...) - TODAY!
July 3rd was Saint Thomas' day - don't say that you will only believe it if you see it marked on the calendar now, please!
The 4th of July was actually the feast day remembering St. Elizabeth of Portugal (although it should be July 8th...? All these feast days and holidays that have different dates depending on the data source - sheesh! Yet another bad thing that stemmed from the splitting up of the Church into many churches... But I digress!)
Elizabeth of Portugal is the niece (grand-niece to be specific) of another saint named Elizabeth - St Elizabeth of Hungary. Note though that the name "Elizabeth" is known as "Isabel" in Portugal (even Queen Elizabeth II of England -yes, Charles' mom and Camilla's mother-in-law now - ugh!) is still referred to as "queen Isabel" in Portugal today! Now however I beg you all to focus on the saintly life of the Queen Elizabeth of the 1300s in Portugal - and forget about the contemporary one! The latter one was never known as a "peacemaker" - and barely an ambassador. The queen of Portugal was head and shoulders above her indeed and here is the evidence, straight from the Catholic Encyclopedia -
Queen (sometimes known as the PEACEMAKER); born in 1271; died in 1336. She was named after her great-aunt, the great Elizabeth of Hungary, but is known in Portuguese history by the Spanish form of that name, Isabel. The daughter of Pedro III, King of Aragon, and Constantia, grandchild of Emperor Frederick II, she was educated very piously, and led a life of strict regularity and self-denial from her childhood: she said the full Divine Office daily, fasted and did other penances, and gave up amusement. Elizabeth was married very early to Diniz (Denis), King of Portugal, a poet, and known as Ré Lavrador, or the working king , from his hard work in is country's service. His morals, however, were extremely bad, and the court to which his young wife was brought consequently most corrupt. Nevertheless, Elizabeth quietly pursued the regular religious practices of her maidenhood, whilst doing her best to win her husband's affections by gentleness and extraordinary forbearance. She was devoted to the poor and sick, and gave every moment she could spare to helping them, even pressing her court ladies into their service. Naturally, such a life was a reproach to many around her, and caused ill will in some quarters. A popular story is told of how her husband's jealousy was roused by an evil-speaking page; of how he condemned the queen's supposed guilty accomplice to a cruel death; and was finally convinced of her innocence by the strange accidental substitution of her accuser for the intended victim.
Diniz does not appear to have reformed in morals till late in life, when we are told that the saint won him to repentance by her prayers and unfailing sweetness. They had two children, a daughter Constantia and a son Affonso. The latter so greatly resented the favours shown to the king's illegitimate sons that he rebelled, and in 1323 war was declared between him and his father. St. Elizabeth, however, rode in person between the opposing armies, and so reconciled her husband and son. Diniz died in 1325, his son succeeding him as Affonso IV. St. Elizabeth then retired to a convent of Poor Clares which she had founded at Coimbra, where she took the Franciscan Tertiary habit, wishing to devote the rest of her life to the poor and sick in obscurity. But she was called forth to act once more as peacemaker. In 1336 Affonso IV marched his troops against the King of Castile, to whom he had married his daughter Maria, and who had neglected and ill-treated her. In spite of age and weakness, the holy queen dowager insisted on hurrying to Estremoz, where the two king's armies were drawn up. She again stopped the fighting and caused terms of peace to be arranged. But the exertion brought on her final illness; and as soon as her mission was fulfilled she died of a fever, full of heavenly joy, and exhorting her son to the love of holiness and peace. St. Elizabeth was buried at Coimbra, and miracles followed her death. She was canonized by Urban VIII in 1625, and her feast is kept on 8 July.
And onwards to July 6th - the feast day of Saint Maria Goretti. Her story is another remarquable path indeed, all the more so for it was so short; Born on October 16th, 1890 at Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy - the beautiful, pious farm girl, one of six children of Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini. In 1896 the family moved to Ferriere di Conca. Soon after, Maria's father died of malaria, and the family was forced to move onto the Serenelli farm to survive.
In 1902 at age twelve, Maria was attacked by 19-year-old farm-hand Alessandro Serenelli. He tried to rape the girl who fought, yelled that it was a sin, and that he would go to hell. He tried to choke her into submission, then stabbed her fourteen times. She survived in hospital for two days, forgave her attacker, asked God's forgiveness of him, and died holding a crucifix and medal of Our Lady. Counted as a martyr.
While in prison for his crime, Alessandro had a vision of Maria. He saw a garden where a young girl, dressed in white, gathered lilies. She smiled, came near him, and encouraged him to accept an armful of the lilies. As he took them, each lily transformed into a still white flame. Maria then disappeared. This vision of Maria led to Alessandro's conversion, and he later testified at her cause for beatification.
Maria Goretti is, veritably, as angel-like as anyone born of woman can possibly be!
Labels: Saints And Angels