Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Miles Away" by Madonna

At this moment I am the closest I'm probably ever going to get to Madonna; for the first time ever she's deigned to play our little town, in a venue I can see from my front window. These are truly exciting times in which we are living... Whatever the reason she's had for overlooking us in the past, Madonna's blonde ambition has finally brought her to Lotus Land, with the commensurate level of wigging out by the local media; for that very reason, I haven't gone overboard marking the event at the Pop Culture Institute.

In the past Madonna always said the reason she avoided the Pacific Northwest because the humidity played havoc with her vocal chords; obviously, all those years living in England have been a great help to her and her moisture-sensitive throat.

Miles Away is, of course, Madonna's break-up song, its lyrics positively redolent of her years with Guy Ritchie; the third and current single, taken from her 2008 album Hard Candy, no doubt takes on added poignance as the Sticky & Sweet Tour continues its money-making juggernaut around the world.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Year Of Hits


Can it really be a year since I first installed this little honey of a widget? Well, I guess since it reset, it must be so. I can't tell you how many times in the last twelve months I've clicked through and stared at this map, watching as my intrepid little words started working their way around the world. For those who don't know, each red dot represents a hit; the bigger the dot the more hits from that locale. These represent 20,580 visits to the Pop Culture Institute.

Watching those red dots bloom has been very entertaining. They first appeared (predictably) in the area around Vancouver-Seattle, then in New York City and London - to my complete and utter bliss; things more or less spread outwards from those points, with some surprising turns of event along the way - like all the hits from the Persian Gulf region! I was a bit shocked to see so many hits from South America, so I guess it's time to let go of my preconceptions about my fellow hemisphereans; for some reason, I also figured I'd get more hits from Africa, so go figure on that one as well...

Now that I think about it, that map also fits in perfectly with the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox; only I hope my words can be just as infectious as they spread around the world, without killing hundreds of millions of people in the process. Hey, a boy can dream, can't he?
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Queen Visits Google

The video kind of says it all, but I figured I haven't been too great with the current affairs lately, so when something historic came along (baited with royalty, and so guaranteed to get my attention) I figured I should post it. Thank you to Mr. Gagne for sending me a reminder link.

You can be like me and subscribe to YouTube's Royal Channel here.

The video the Queen uploaded during her visit is below, some great old footage of a buffet lunch given by the Queen for returning Olympic champions in 1968; later that evening, Her Majesty hosted a similar banquet for this year's returning Olympians.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy National Coming Out Day

I can scarcely believe it was two years ago when I first published a piece in which I came out - not as gay, which, let's face it, would be too obvious even for me - but as a spinster. That announcement caused quite a little brouhaha among my friends, but only because they're lovely people who refuse to see me for what I am, which is a spinster.

I am taking this opportunity to reiterate my previous claim; even though in the past twelve months I did have a brief fling with a wildly inappropriate person - making me more or less the quintessential dater - that affair did nothing to change my mind with regards to this status. Despite all the flirting I do on Facebook, I'm only teasing when I do that; if just about any of those guys came near me in life I'd run from them like it was an Olympic event.

Unfortunately, for all the positive it's given me, my life in Vancouver has permanently ruined me when it comes to dating and all that. I doubt that even moving would fix the problem now. Some things, once they're broken, cannot be fixed - and this is one of them.

On the occasion of National Coming Out Day 2008 I'd like to add to my previous declaration the word 'workaholic', making me a 'workaholic spinster' in the mould of Miss Jane Hathaway. The gay men of Vancouver will no doubt be crushed that they'll never get the chance to reject me again, but I know I'll rest easier not having to be called Gramps or Fatso by men older and fatter than me at Bear Night.

In a way, it's them I feel sorry for... I'm a pretty great boyfriend, all things considered; in fact, in certain circles I could even be considered a catch, especially if I put a little more work into it. Alas, I was just never able to meet the standard of perfection gay men (especially the ones in Vancouver) seem to be looking for. Oh well... As they say, 'You win some, you lose some.'

Unless, of course, you don't win any. They don't say what to do in that case.
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Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy World Mental Health Day

This World Mental Health Day it's important to keep in mind that mental illness is reaching epidemic proportions in Asia. The suicide rate in Korea, for instance, is skyrocketing; already in Japan there are suicide clubs, wherein Japanese youths meet each other online to lend support to each other in their time of crisis. Police there are becoming accustomed to finding hired vans filled with young people who've all asphyxiated themselves with carbon monoxide.

This kind of scenario is bound to increase as the world gets more complicated, diets change, work becomes more sedentary, and an ageing population puts greater and greater strain on its children and grandchildren.

Wherever it strikes, mental illness is the most misunderstood category of disease; even worse that sexually transmitted infection, I would guess. Alongside ignorance is its trusty sidekick, denial, which tries to act like there is no problem. Complicating matters even further are drugs, designed to help with the problem of mental illness (especially serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SRIs), which often do more harm than good; one major side-effect of Prozac is suicidal tendencies, especially in teenagers.

The solution, typically, is as complex as the problem. There will never be one cure for bipolar disorder, for instance, that works for everyone - no matter how hard doctors try to cram us all into the same box, all people are different, and the variables are far too numerous. Still, it's no reason to despair.

If you or someone you know has or thinks they have a mental illness, it's worth your while to investigate all the options - including counselling, exercise, diet, and medication - until you find the combination that works best for that individual.

[S O U R C E]
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Monday, October 06, 2008

Cross-Promotion: Bear Schmear!

Way, way, WAY back in the mists of time - oh, a good six months ago or more now - I stopped commenting on Joe.My.God, owing to the fact that one of my typically sensitive and/or amusing (albeit well-thought-out) comments* elicited an entirely uncalled-for and utterly hateful screed from a well-respected regular commenter called Freddy in P'Town. It was not the first time, evil knows, but I decided it would be the last. At the time I recalled watching one of my commenters, Tank, dissipating his considerable talent over there by grappling with an oodle of petty minded skanks to the exclusion of his own blog**; I did not want that to happen to me, and have since made a clean break.

Well, it's pretty obvious that I was never gonna be the kind of A-Gay that gets either Joe or his readers all wet in the drawers anyway - the only porn star I look like is Ron Jeremy - so it was no big loss to me; I'm of better use to Joe as a foe than a friend anyway, so that's what I'll be. Since his route to fame and fortune is antithetical to me - anathema, even - I'm just waiting for the ideal moment to enjoin that battle.

In the meantime, it wasn't a total loss; out of that experience I seem to have gotten a new reader, who goes by the name Richey Rich there, and who publishes a blog out of the Los Angeles area called Bear Schmear!. Recently - ie: today - I was in another of my funks, P'd-O about some imagined slight or other*** (I am notoriously thin-skinned for such a mouthy bitch) when what should I find over there, under the delicious title Brain Candy****, but a lovely glowing tribute!

Talk about making my day! So, in aid of New Media camaraderie, I would do as my friend has done and encourage my readers to check out Bear Schmear!; things have recently been tough for Rich - not only did he unearth some homophobic porn in his parent's house during a recent visit but a good friend of his passed away as well. Since parental bigotry and dead friends are two issues I know something about my heart really went out to him, despite the fact that he's a friend I haven't met yet.

Thanks for the kind words Rich, and know that every good deed will be rewarded - at least if I have anything to say about it.


*Well... Technically I said that Michelle Obama reminded me of Omarosa. But I digress...
**After all, as fun as it is fighting a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent at first, after awhile my old compassion kicks in, and I find myself feeling bad for the guy just wasting his time with an idiot.
***Or maybe it was low blood sugar.
****The same title as
The Kids in the Hall's debut movie - one of my all-time faves!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"I Am Excited" by Charlie McDonnell

Today YouTube personality Charlie McDonnell turns eighteen, which means today I can begin perving on him in a legal manner; his Youtube channel charlieissocoollike has over 85,000 subscribers and his 88 videos have been viewed more than 2 million times since April 2007. Already, he's been featured on The View; as a result more than 1.5 million people watched his breakthrough video How To Be English.

McDonnell has pledged to shave off all his hair for charity on his 18th birthday, in aid of Cancer Research UK, which ought to blunt the perving a bit for a couple of months, at least until it starts to grow back...
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