Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Birthday Dan Aykroyd

He burst into the public consciousness in October 1975 as one of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players on Lorne Michaels' brainchild Saturday Night Live; so momentous and memorable was Dan Aykroyd's work as part of that ensemble over the next five years that a decidedly spotty subsequent career has scarcely blemished his sterling reputation...

PhotobucketAykroyd's talents as a writer, performer, singer (ably demonstrated as part of The Blues Brothers alongside John Belushi) and especially as an impressionist* made him a standout in a cast of standouts; no less an esteemed personage than Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame, once said that Aykroyd's ability to write and act out characters flawlessly made him the only member of the SNL cast capable of having been a Python. High praise indeed...

The highlights of Aykroyd's post-SNL career include The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Dragnet (which featured his spot-on Jack Webb impersonation), and Driving Miss Daisy; the widest possible variety of Dan Aykroyd's talents, though, can best be viewed on Saturday Night Live, the first five seasons of which are now available on DVD**.

Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and Tom Snyder among the best of them.
**And aren't those three of the sweetest words in the English language?

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"Monster" by Fred Schneider

We have our birthday boy Fred Schneider to thank for this lovable bit of kitsch; featuring his bandmates Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson from The B-52's and the late, great Keith Haring. Plus Claymation!

Monster first appeared on Schneider's 1984 debut solo album Fred Schneider & the Shake Society, which was re-released in 1991.
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In Memoriam: Princess Diana

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I was there at Expo '86 in Vancouver the day she so famously fainted. I saw the sleeve of her red coat and the tilt of her matching hat through glass, and as her car sped past me away from the Saskatchewan pavilion I knelt, but her eyes were as usual averted.

Three seconds at most under a gray sky, the most commonplace of events rendered magical by the presence of a real live angel...

Today, of course, would have been her birthday but for the tragic accident that took her too soon - the ideal time to reminisce about the miracle that brought her into our lives at all.
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Happy Birthday Pamela Anderson

Not only did I buy both Stripperella and Stacked on DVD, I also watched them until I'd memorized them; likewise the now-legendary Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson, which is easily one of the funniest things I've ever seen, and whose insistent barrage of profanity-laden insults I have since frequently co-opted for my personal use - but only against those who really had it coming to them...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I don't know why I'm so obsessed with her; maybe it's because I wasn't allowed to have Barbies when I was a kid. But what I do know is, some people are born to be naked and she's one of them; Bravo Pam, I say, for not being afraid to make a big tit of yourself, especially given what made you so big in the first place.

I'm convinced that if she'd stayed in Ladysmith she'd have lived the same life she does now, just on a smaller scale; being traded like hockey cards between tattooed jerks with big dicks, making amateur porn, and generally bringing light into any dark corners she finds. Instead, fame found her and she gets to do those things for the edification and delight of all of us. It's impossible to hate anyone who's kind to animals, but even Saint Francis of Assisi would have bitch-slapped such high-profile douchebags as Tommy Lee, Kid Rock, and Rick Salomon; this woman not only had the compassion to take them in she even had sex with them. She makes me proud to be Canadian.

O Pamela we stand on guard for thee...

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Happy Canada Day | Bonne Fete du Canada

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On this day in 1867 the British colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick joined together with the Province of Canada in an effort to form an even more perfect union - in the British style - than the failed experiment to the south, which derailed early on with all kinds of wacko ideas about 'no taxation without representation' and such clearly unworkable concepts as 'all men are created equal'. I mean, what were they thinking?

That the tiny country created by legislation on that day would one day span North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic - 'from sea to sea to sea' as we are so fond of smugly uttering - would one day evolve into a place simultaneously as dull as bourgeois dishwater and yet be such a threat to its nearest neighbour to earn itself the epithet 'Soviet Canuckistan' would have scarcely seemed possible to the dour frock-coated fathers of our Confederation.
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POPnews - July 1st

[Today, in honour of Canada Day, an all-Canadian POPnews...]

1867 - Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia formed the Canadian Confederation when the British North America Act (1867) took effect.

1873 - Prince Edward Island joined the Canadian Confederation.

1878 - Canada joined the Universal Postal Union.

1881 - The world's first international telephone call took place between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, and Calais, Maine, apparently.

1885 - The United States terminated its reciprocity and fishery agreement with Canada, apparently.

1890 - Canada and Bermuda were linked via telegraph cable, apparently.

1933 - The Parliament of Canada suspended Chinese immigration, apparently.

1935 - RCMP and police in Regina, Saskatchewan, clashed with the unemployed during the On-to-Ottawa-Trek; despite involving upwards of 2,000 people the ensuing Regina Riot amazingly only killed one police officer and one protester, who died later in hospital.

1958 - CBC-TV began broadcasting coast-to-coast-to-coast via microwave, apparently.

1966 - The first transmission of colour television was sent from Toronto, apparently.

1980 - O Canada became Canada's official national anthem.
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