Wednesday, October 31, 2007

QUEEN'S NEPHEW IN GAY SEX BLACKMAIL SHOCKER

The British media, bound as it is by some of the toughest anti-libel rules in all of the the civilized world, has been unable to print the name of the Queen's relative who has recently found himself being blackmailed; all they could say is that the victim is the Queen's relative and not someone on the Civil List.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketNaturally, my hopes were pinned on the Earl of Wessex at first, on account of what a ponce he's always been. When I heard though, that the relative was close to the Queen but carried out no official duties I found myself with a real head-scratcher. The Queen's close family is vast, and since they're English they all seem a little bit gay.

So I pondered and I pondered and I pondered some more, and gotten all the way down Her Majesty's family tree as far as the Earl of Harewood, when I figured I'd better investigate further before I burst a blood vessel in my eye; after about three minutes I hit Google for the answer, and had my answer in three seconds.

Good old Google; it knows all, it tells all.

David Armstrong-Jones, the only son of Princess Margaret (now known as Viscount Linley), is the victim; since there's been no hint of a scandal - let alone no hint of gay - about him ever, this was quite a shock. More shocking still: the two blackmailers aren't some oiks from down the pub either, but described as socialites. Well, they're social climbers at least, which is near enough the same thing these days.

Now the fact that a British upper-class twit does cocaine ought to be no shock to anyone (and, since they've been educated at public school, neither should they be any strangers to man-on-man fellatio), but I'm having trouble integrating this knowledge. Admittedly, he is a furniture designer, which is more of a gray area than an outright gay area, but still...

I'm tempted to believe the story is false; whether or not it is, blackmail is a serious crime, and Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan should consider themselves lucky their heads are not up on pikes outside the Tower of London today.

[S O U R C E]
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

King Visits Queen

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah was greeted by some of that famous British hospitality when he arrived in the UK Monday; he was jeered by crowds along the processional route, and many of those - including the leader and members of the Liberal-Democrats - invited to a banquet in his honour on Tuesday boycotted in protest. Given the appalling display of bad manners (and not just in this instance) it's no wonder Muslim countries are reticent when it comes to working with the West.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAdmittedly, the chilly reception isn't surprising, considering the role his country is reputed to play in the training and finance of terrorism (and al-Qaeda in particular); additionally, Saudi Arabia has an appalling record on issues like human rights. Still, it's highly unlikely that any of that will be remedied by rudeness, either.

Fortunately, the 82 year-old sovereign has greeted far worse dictators far more graciously during her tenure in Buckingham Palace; Her Majesty's legendary aplomb was out in full force, as it was when she greeted the Nicolae Ceau┼čescu and his wife in June 1978.

"The relationship between our two kingdoms is one of mutual benefit, learning and understanding. So, King Abdullah, custodian of the two holy mosques, I warmly welcome you to this country," she said in a speech at the banquet.

While in London, King Abdullah will also be meeting with the Prince of Wales regarding The Prince's Trust and with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

[S O U R C E]
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"It's Still Rock and Roll To Me" by Billy Joel



The crowd at GM Place Tuesday night spanned three generations - I saw kids under ten and a few my parent's age - and they filled nearly every seat; in the course of ninety minutes they went from sedate to screaming as Billy Joel and his band unrolled a string of hits spanning more than 20 years, from 1971's Cold Spring Harbour to 1993's River of Dreams.

Coming off a six-month break in the midst of a two-year world tour, there were few glitches (a couple of missed lighting cues) but otherwise much strong musicianship in the tight set. It being near Hallowe'en, Joel treated us to a few bars of Alfred Hitchcock's theme - Charles Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette - and the first two verses of Monster Mash!

There was another a surprise number as well; in the midst of the concert Joel donned a guitar and announced that one of his long-time roadies was going to come out and perform a "sacred song". The apathy generated by that announcement was such that I think I even heard a few people boo. Then out walked a frankly scary looking gentleman - seriously, like an extra on The Sopranos - who proceeded to tear the roof down with a rousing rendition of AC/DC's Highway to Hell, to tumultuous applause and sustained audience participation.

A three-song encore closed the night; after the second - and my personal favourite, Only The Good Die Young - Joel made to leave the stage without playing the one we'd waited all evening to hear. As he stepped away from the piano the booing started; stepping toward to piano the cheering started, and on it went for about thirty seconds - back, boo, forth, cheer - until at last he sat down, donned his harmonica strap, and played that familiar opening refrain...

Singing along with a crowd of more than 20,000 to Piano Man I was struck by just why it is musicians put up with years of touring, lousy gigs, and disrupted family life; simply put, it's the adulation stupid. To sit onstage like that and hear a crowd that size singing your song back at you must be the greatest feeling there is for an artist.

Much thanks to my friend Leanne Padgett for the company, Orca Bay Entertainment for the venue, and Billy Joel for a lifetime of entertainment.
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5.6 Quake Rocks San Francisco

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An earthquake rumbled through the San Francisco Bay area - including San Jose and Oakland - Tuesday evening at 8:04 PM local time; tremors could be felt as far away as Palo Alto.

The United States Geological Survey confirmed that the quake was located 5 miles northeast of San Francisco's Alum Bay neighbourhood, in the vicinity of South Bay, approximately 5.7 miles deep.

Although rated at 5.6 on the Richter Scale, it was enough to give people a fright; only minor damage is being reported, though, and so far there are no reported injuries or deaths.

[S O U R C E]
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Monday, October 29, 2007

"You're Only Human (Second Wind)" by Billy Joel



For a while after this video was released in 1986 it was a terrific solace to me. Those final years of high school really took their toll, and many were the times I wanted to find myself a bridge and be done with it. Fortunately, I was living in Saskatchewan at the time - the highest point in the province is about ten feet, so the worst I could have done was broken my legs.

Plus, the guy Billy Joel saves is hella cute... Come to think of it, that was around the time that it occurred to me if I were to kill myself I'd never get any more of that sweet, sweet eye candy. Hey, whatever works, I say.

You can bet that when this song comes up in his set list (did I mention I got free tickets to see Billy Joel at GM Place on Tuesday?) I'll be singing along.
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"We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel



This is easily the most pop culture of Billy Joel's videos, making it the ideal fit for inclusion here at the Pop Culture Institute.

Did I mention I got free tickets to see his concert tomorrow at GM Place in Vancouver? True, the seats are in the nosebleed section, but then it's not like he's John Mayer, so I don't need to see him.
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"Allentown" by Billy Joel



No it's not his birthday or anything; it's just that tomorrow I get to go see Billy Joel in concert at Vancouver's General Motors Place, and I'm starting to get psyched. Partly because I've never been to GM Place (hey, it's only been there 12 years), but mainly because I've always been a huge fan of Billy Joel.

A talented singer-songwriter and incisive social critic, he's also a homely guy who married a top model, which gives me yet another reason to admire him.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wow. Just Wow.

At the risk of driving lots of traffic to a site I find odious, I discovered this British site while commenting at Joe.My.God. and just had to share it with you.

Enter if you dare the dark heart of hatred, where no one knows the phrase "Judge not lest ye be judged" and "Love thy neighbour" just isn't gonna happen...

[S O U R C E]
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nancy Cartwright on Australia's "Sunrise"



Birthday wishes to Nancy Cartwright - the voice of Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz and Ralph Wiggum; watch as she cheerfully answers the same eight questions everyone asks her, only this time in Australian. Delight as the voices you've come to know and love emanate from a tiny blonde woman.

The Simpsons Movie has been announced for DVD release on December 18th, 2007*.

*This date is subject to change, and may not be released on this date where you are, so if it isn't don't have a cow, man!
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Condi Admits Arar Foul-Up

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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (shown here demonstrating how far the Bush Administration will go to protect civil liberties) has admitted that the United States government mishandled the case of Canadian Maher Arar.

For those not familiar with the case, Arar was detained by US officials on September 26th, 2002, and interrogated about his alleged links to al-Qaeda while in transit through New York's JFK airport when returning home to Montreal from a family vacation in Tunisia. While in US custody he was repeatedly refused access to counsel; he was also refused his right to choose his country of removal, as guaranteed to him under international law. Twelve days later, on October 7th, he was chained, shackled and flown to Syria, where he was held in a tiny "grave-like" cell for ten months and ten days and tortured into making a false confession before he was finally moved to a better cell in a different prison before finally being returned to Canada.

Both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the FBI knew he was not a terrorist, yet sent him to Syria knowing he would be tortured, possibly hoping he would be killed. Though he has been cleared of all charges by the governments of Canada and Syria, this is the first indication from the US government that their handling of him was a mistake.

All I can think is, the Republicans must be getting desperate to win the next election; unsure how to beat a Clinton-Obama ticket, it looks like their new-and-improved "Kinder, Gentler" pet Condi could kill two tokens with one stone.

[S O U R C E]
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Feeling Like Death: A Case of Serendipity

Warning to Mr. Gagne:
This Post Contains Grossness.
Do Not Read Further.
You Have Been Warned.


Well, I don't know what I did, but today I feel like death. I'd say I was sick as a dog, except that I've never seen a dog as sick as me. Most dogs, when they're sick, mope around a bit, barf a couple of times, and soon they're right back at it humping things, wagging their tails, and generally being adorable.

Well, I don't need to barf, even though the stomach ailment I've come to call Bloatbelly is at it again, and I am keenly watching the toilet bowl for traces of blood, internal organs, or alien fetus - anything that might explain how I could feel like crap when I clearly have none left.

Normally I wouldn't be so blunt, except that I know no one is reading but Mr. Gagne. My regular readership has dwindled from a staggering all-time high of four to just one, which is the only other thing bothering me at the moment. Plagued as I am with self-doubt, I've put all my eggs in one basket self-esteem-wise and again come up empty. I might as well go back to Internet dating and operating the name-calling booth at the local bear bar.

Still, I persist... Why? Why not?

Even though I have next to no readers, I realize that my subject matter is pretty wide-ranging. I do occasionally still get strangers wandering in and reading a page or two, amounting to a few minutes each. I enjoy playing Social Studies by tracking their stats and seeing which posts get the most hits and planning future posts from that. I even enjoyed that time last week when for four days my blog had been flagged as inappropriate (likely due to the presence of a post about Kristen Bjorn, the gay porn king).

I look at it the way those World of Warcraft addicts must view their pastime - as a kind of vast video game. This is World of Blogcraft. I'm always checking out other blogs for ideas, and blogs about blogging for new ways to entice readers, breaking whatever rules I can (like writing posts about blogging, for instance), and otherwise enjoying the therapeutic benefits of confessing my innermost thoughts to the entire world, or at least those four or five a day who might stumble across what I'm doing.

How appropriate, also, that on the day I feel most like Death there are not one, not two, but seven notable historical deaths to choose from to report today, ranging from a Queen consort of England to an American gangster, a World War II traitor to a famed astronomer, a suave leading man and two civil rights pioneers. Among the birthdays there are an actor, a fashion designer, and a famed G-man.

All in all, just another day as usual here at the Pop Culture Institute.
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Monday, October 22, 2007

One Wonders: Dumbledore's Unrequited Love

Last Friday evening - October 19th - while appearing at Carnegie Hall, J. K. Rowling, the super-wealthy authoress of the Harry Potter series, revealed to audience members that Albus Dumbledore, the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was, in fact, gay. Fans also learned that he had had an unrequited love for one of the series' bad guys, Gellert Grindelwald, which was, in Rowling's words "his great tragedy."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWhile right-wing Christians are flipping out about the likelihood of literature transforming kids not only into witches, but gay witches - if only it were that easy - and certain gay rights activists are criticizing Rowling for not outing Dumbledore sooner, I would like to ask a different question:

As the Potter story has unfolded, we have seen Albus Dumbledore unfold from a kindly figure of authority to a person of truly saintly stature. Was it his unrequited love, or more specifically, recovery from that experience which led him to develop such strong, almost unassailable character?

Like most of us, I have experienced the torture of unrequited love. I met my first love when I was 9 and he was 10; I came out to him at 16 and he didn't return the favor. Instead, he remained in the closet until well into his 20s.

I chart my own journey of self-actualization to that one lightning bolt moment when I realized that much of my character developed in reaction to this all-consuming love for someone who didn't love me back. At the moment I started loving myself all the old pain went away. After all, if I loved myself, how could I resent the forces that shaped me?

I'm still far from being a saint, but I do love myself at last. I also realize how much more I could have accomplished in my first 30 years if I had loved myself all along.

Anyone else had any experiences parallel or contrary?

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

RIP Joey Bishop

We all knew it would happen one day; that day is here...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe final member of the Rat Pack is gone to that great Nightclub in the Sky, where the drinks aren't watered, the broads are all game, and every night is opening night.

Joey Bishop wasn't the best-known member of the Rat Pack, especially not these days - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. all beat him out on that account - but he was at least tied with Peter Lawford for the least known, and where Lawford was just an actor, Bishop was an all-around entertainer. He also gave Regis Philbin his big break, just FYI.

Joey Bishop died at his home in Newport Beach, California; he was 89.

[S O U R C E]
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rick Mercer Visits 24 Sussex Drive



Although I cannot whole-heartedly support any attempt to make Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper seem human, I must admit that as the leader of a minority government he's certainly learned how to play nice.

Here he shows birthday boy Rick Mercer just how he handles the press...
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Monday, October 15, 2007

Carson-Era Comedy: Larry Miller



Ah... Those were the days. It used to be an illicit treat to stay up and watch The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, which I did faithfully throughout the last three years of high school.

Carson's commitment to providing exposure to the best stand-up talent in the country has made stars of men like Larry Miller, who's forged himself quite a tidy little career in the movies, often playing cranky or embittered men who wield their smidgen of power like a weapon of mass destruction.
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

YouTube Hat Trick: "Lady Bump" by Kath & Kim



Australian culture at its foinest. Too right!
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

1510: A Year in Review

The year 1510 was the most boring year in history, pop culture-wise.

Nothing happened, a bunch of people nobody ever heard of were born, and the only event of note is the death of the painter Sandro Botticelli.

Until I tagged it, the year 1510 never featured once in approximately 287 POPnews posts, so you know what a dull year that was. True, England was basking in the glow of its young King, the "fairest Prince in Christendom" as the then 19 year-old Henry VIII was known before syphilis and carbs got the better of him.

Sheesh...
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Mini-Milestone: 1510

When I was just starting out these milestone posts were like the finish lines in a race; I'd set one for myself up ahead, then reward myself for getting there. Truth be told, having run and won many such races now, I'm almost glad to be done with them.

The main problem is what to say. Not that I'm ever at much of a loss for words, but the last thing I want to do is fish for compliments, and the usual task to be accomplished in the earlier milestone posts was to tease any potential readers into either staying tuned for further developments or else to leave a three word comment by way of congratulations.

Well, my regular readers still number fewer than 10, and they're well aware of what's in store by now, and if I get ten comments a week it's a miracle (not that I don't crave each and every one of them).

Well, there are just a few milestones left now. The next four mini-milestones will come at numbers 1666, 1777, 1888, and 1969; the next major milestones are New Year's Day (number 2008) and January 26th (my second anniversary). Thereafter, they'll come at successive thousand marks, each January 26th, and whenever else it seems like a good idea (10,000 hits on the counter, for instance).

1666, 1777, and 1888 are just interesting years, numerically; I would have done 1999 too, but coming as it does just a day or two before The Big One I thought instead I'd use the year I was born. Plus, it'll be a good warm up for 2009, when I celebrate turning 40 with a year-long series of specially themed posts from that pivotal year in pop culture and history.

Because yes, I am planning that far ahead already. As you may have guessed by now, I am in this for the long haul.

One important thing to note: since the last mini-milestone - all the way back at #1357, as long ago as September 25th - the Pop Culture Institute has gained its first correspondent: Seumas Gagne. Thanks again for signing on Mr. Gagne; we all look forward to hearing from you next.

Also of note: I got a hit and a page view from Iran (including 2:24 of reading) which, when I first saw it, gave me a bit of a cold chill all over; then, just a couple of days later, someone at Orca Bay (the company that owns the Vancouver Canucks) looked at 12 of my pages over a period of one hour forty-eight minutes, which is my longest visit to date. In both cases, thank you for that.
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Kristen Bjorn: The Merchant of Penis

Amazingly, gay porn auteur Kristen Bjorn (born this day as Robert Russell in London) turns 50 today.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketFor many - myself included - Bjorn's works are considered the gold standard of their type, featuring exotic locales and hot, healthy looking men, so unlike the California porn of 'roid queens and meth addicts.

The famously elusive Bjorn began his career as a model, before realizing the real money was in production. Over the past twenty years he's made 34 full-length all-male features in such places as Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Hungary. One of them, 1992's Montreal Men, features an appearance by none other than erstwhile Marine and Conservative lapdog Matt Sanchez.

Check out the Kristen Bjorn website for all the latest...
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

One Wonders: Was San Marino Founded By Gays?

Reading POPnews certainly can take a person down some interesting roads, can't it?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI was just doing some catching up after a busy weekend of teaching Anglicans to drink to excess, sing boisterously, and dance, when I read the blurb on POPnews for October 8th about the adoption of the constitution of San Marino in 1600. Having never heard of the country, I hopped over to Wikipedia using the link thoughtfully provided by the Boss.

Among other interesting facts and figures, I noted that the country was founded by Marinus of Rab and his "lifelong friend," Leo. Hmmm. If I read that in today's paper, I would see it as a code word for same-sex partner.

Wouldn't it be fun to discover that there was a country with great scenery, democracy, awesome wine and cheese, adorable military uniforms, where the head of state is a duo referred to as the Captains Regent, that had been founded by…oh. Oh my. That does seem to add up, doesn't it?

Anyone else think that maybe Marinus and Leo were more than friends? Anyone from San Marino care to confirm or complain?

A couple of other things of note: Marinus and Leo founded San Marino to escape persecution from the Church, and once they had done they lived the life of hermits. I think both impulses are understandable, homosexually speaking. ~ The "Boss"
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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Life In The Bigotsphere

For years bigots of every kind were able to hide behind stoic expressions and dead eyes, unless induced to reveal their true feelings either by journalistic bullying or the quick, easy cash provided by The Jerry Springer Show. This may have created the false impression through the 80s and 90s that society had, at long last, transcended all the worst of its isms: racism.

Then along came the Internet, a seemingly anonymous playground where those poor bigots could let their lies out to, well there's no other way to put it, play. One minute, the world is a utopian place free from prejudice the next minute it's boiling over with hatred. What to do, what to do...

I know, blame the Internet!

Even a reactionary like me can see the inherent specious reasoning in this line of "logic". In a world devoid of personal responsibility, blaming the Internet for bigotry is like blaming their robes for the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, or Auschwitz for the Holocaust. The Internet is merely a tool employed by bigots - as it can and must be employed by the enlightened as a bulwark against intolerance. After all, you don't ban lighters because they're used to light crosses.

Emotions run high where bigotry is concerned, as they should; when it comes to discrimination, apathy is no one's friend. It takes no more than an eyebrow raised at the wrong time to make me scream homophobia, because I know that particular ism has nowadays become so sly as to appear invisible. While this kind of stance runs the risk of alienating more people than it attracts, I'm willing to take that risk. Having been treated savagely every day of my life since the first day of fourth grade - usually by strangers who dress their hypocrisy in cleric's robes or lab coats - I have had enough.

Because of this, I think I understand what the Jena 6 are going through, as well as the young men in Virginia. Obviously raised in a culture of vengeance, suffering from the hopelessness that often attends oppression, it's easy to take your feelings out on the wrong person. Rather than transcending the violence visited upon them they descend to the level of their attackers. The bullied inevitably become bullies, which may in fact be what happened to the white teenagers who would dare imply lynching at the site of their schoolyard hangout.

The place where bigotry flowers most freely these days is in the comments section of innumerable blogs as well as on YouTube. Yet in the interest of free speech and open debate, I'd rather it was expressed there than left to fester inside the heads of those whose ignorance seems otherwise impenetrable. If leaving a few loathsome words in the comments section of someone's blog delays (or even replaces) a physical attack, that is what I call progress.

Agonizingly slow, subject to far too many setbacks, often tenuous - but progress nonetheless.
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"Jena" by John Mellencamp



John Mellencamp has waded into the most loathsome case of racial discrimination since... Well, since the last one, frankly. Not exactly the best way to spend your birthday; unless, like Mellencamp, you are a gifted songwriter and passionate activist.

On the bright side, the mayor of Jena, Louisiana, has condemned the song, which means Mellencamp must be on to something. Whatever your views on the Jena 6, it was white students who hung those nooses.

Now word has come of another wilding, in which six or seven black teenagers beat a 13-year-old white boy without provocation, this time in Norfolk, Virginia. That beating, unlike the one thought to be retaliation for the Jena nooses, was caught on video; the person doing the taping, rather than helping the victim, can be heard to laugh at his misfortune throughout, which points to a promising career as a paparazzo.

Isn't it time we stopped thinking about things in terms of "race" but rather in terms of "species", or has the human species made that impossible for itself with all this nonsense talk about race?
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

NC Newspaper Outs 40 Men, Kills 1

In a sad - if predictable - turn of events, one of the 40 men arrested and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct in a Johnson (ahem) City, Tennessee, park has already committed suicide. Jerry McCloud, 55, dealt with the shame of having his closet door blown off by the police and the press by blowing his own head off at home.

With any luck, and maybe a little prompting, LGBT rights activists in the US will gain perspective from this tragedy and use it to get focus back on ENDA (trans inclusive version) if that's still possible.

[SOURCE]
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A Happy Day

Well, as the headline states, it is indeed a happy day here at the Pop Culture Institute, as today marks the debut of our newest staff member, Seumas Gagne.

Seumas is already well-known for the level of commentary he provides which, during some pretty dark days, was all that kept this enterprise afloat. Additionally, he's provided me with oodles of moral support through the years.

Seumas will be writing - well, whatever he wants, frankly. However, his strengths lie with current events and since I am bogging down in writing historically based posts at the moment his presence here is bound to lend some balance to the proceedings.
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Majority Of Monarchs Favour Dropping Canada

Word from Buckingham Palace this morning that when news of a recent poll showing that 53% of Canadians favour dropping the monarchy was revealed to the Queen of Canada she called up her new buddy George.

Here now is the transcript of that conversation.

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(sound of telephone ringing)

W: Yup.

ER II: Oh, hullo George.

W: Hey, Queenie! How's it hanging?

ER II: We don't do that here George; here we make people go on Big Brother until they die of humiliation.

W: Oh yeah, I forgot. Hey, by the way, sorry again for ripping up your roses when we visited...

ER II: We planted new ones, and they're beautiful.

W: ...and ripping up the rugs, drilling through your walls, oh, and punching the hole in that painting...

ER II: Rugs can be repaired, holes can be filled, and it turns out the painting wasn't a Rubens at all, which we would never have known if your Secret Service hadn't been playing baseball indoors.

W: ...and that slip about your age when you were here?

ER II: Oh, I've forgotten all about that. Besides, today I feel nearly three hundred years old.

W: Problems, Queenie?

ER II: (sigh) Yes. I'm afraid Canada doesn't want me anymore.

W: You mean...?

ER II: Yes George.

W: Cool! Now I get to try out the new Invade-a-tron 3000 the Pentagon developed.

ER II: Happy Christmas, George.
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Spice Girls Tickets Sell Out In 38 Seconds

Which is nine seconds faster than Posh, Baby, Scary, Ginger and Sporty themselves sold out when they formed the group.

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20,000 tickets went on sale for their single London show December 15th at the O2 Arena in Greenwich and were snapped up faster than you can say "zig-ah zig-ah". Not bad for singers who don't write lyrics or play instruments and yet somehow also employ back-up singers.

Their "Mutton Dressed As Lamb" Tour is expected to be the most talked-about event of the year on blogs that aren't this one.

[S O U R C E]
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Majority Of Canadians Favour Dropping Monarchy

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Which is fine, since I'm most comfortable as a minority anyway.

The real problem, of course, is that most Canadians have no sense of their history or place in the world. This is a matter of rapidly diminishing importance to me, as if I have anything to do with it, I will be living the second half of my life in the UK anyway.

[S O U R C E]
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Big News Day

At the risk of prejudicing the poll results at right, I think my personal favourite posts are POPnews. I like them because they contain a lot of information, and since the way I've designed them they're meant to anchor each day's posts, their very cruciality demands my admiration. To my mind they're so important that even on days when I post nothing else, I post POPnews, even if I must eschew sleep, nourishment, or common sense to do so.

In many ways, POPnews is what this blog is all about; a distillation of the bewildering amount of information available on the Internet into a refreshing, intoxicating cocktail of history, culture, and humanity. Social studies on steroids I like to call it, although Mr. Gagne's term is understandably both pithier and wittier; he calls it oldscasting.

Obviously, if one is going to attempt to dominate media, one needs a news department; not even Rupert Murdoch has been able to entirely do away with the news, although he has managed to adulterate it to such an extent as to render it simultaneously omnipresent and ineffective. However, as our staff consists of me either creating or compiling it all, and now Mr. Gagne as the new Chief of Commentary (aka Head Cheerleader), I have to do what's likely to keep my inner magpie engaged. Seeing as how I have always felt a long view gives the best perspective, I have decided to view the news through an historical lens.

I prefer to have seven items in each post, but anywhere between five and nine is tolerable. Nothing ruins my day like when I have to post three - in other words, a slow news day. (And yes, I'm afraid I am slightly precious when it comes to the odd numbers.) Today, though, I have the other problem.

Try as I might, having completed my preliminary research, I've been unable to whittle POPnews for October 1st down to less than 21 entries. Even if a couple of them are wrong (which often happens, as my principal source is Wikipedia, which has more conflicts than Central Africa) and I'm able to move a couple of them off as videos, this will still represent the longest POPnews ever, the previous record-holder being 13.

However painful, though, growth is good. So, having procrastinated enough with the writing of this essay, it's time to get to it.

Enjoy!
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