Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Love And Bombs On The High Sea

Egomaniacal Director Plots Adaptation Of Inane Television Show, Basks In Himself

Los Angeles (AP) It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that an egomaniac in want of attention will call a press conference. At least that's how Jane Austen might write her introduction these days. A fitting way for this reporter to introduce a story of an egomaniac at work promoting himself. After the recent unpleasantness of his former editor being committed to an insane asylum after years of deranged behaviour and threats, this reporter was pleased to get a new editor who's entirely pleasant. Even to the point of giving this reporter a twist on a regular assignment: full permission to ridicule the subject as needed. Thanks to the new editor (editor: you're welcome)

And so it was recently that this reporter arrived at the LA headquarters of Digital Domain, home base of the biggest ego in Hollywood- which is saying something. Michael Bay, the explosion prone director of such mindless dreck as Pearl Harbor, the Transformers franchise, and much more, has had in recent years a growing backlog of projects he keeps meaning to get to. Such is the case with his newest project.

This reporter joined a handful of actual reporters- all still masked- and a horde of entertainment reporters- all unmasked- in the auditorium at the studio. A podium had been set up on stage. Along with a mirror. The entertainment reporters were gushing about what was to be announced. This reporter wondered if he could call in a favour from a cranky Mountie. 

At length, a woman strode out on the stage and called for attention. "Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the greatest director of our time and any other time.... Michael Bay!" The entertainment reporters broke out into applause. Real reporters began rolling their eyes (editor: for good reason; Michael Bay is a wanker). Has this reporter mentioned how grateful he is for the new editor?

Bay came out on stage, waving and grinning like an idiot, looking his usual self. Dishevelled hair, stubble, casual clothing. He walked up to the podium, winked at his reflection in the mirror, and began to speak to the crowd. "Thank you! Thanks for coming out! It's wonderful to see you all here today. You know, it's been awhile since we've had one of these." Not long enough, this reporter thought to himself. "But here we are, getting our way through this whole pandemic thing. Sorry for the no room for social distancing thing, but hey... people love seeing me. So I'm sure it'll all be fine. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. The big announcement."

He paused a moment before continuing. "You know, I think a lot about the masterpieces I've made and the things I still have to do. I've given the world my spin on World War Two and asteroids and giant robots and all that. Now I want to move in a new direction. Something that you might not expect out of me."

He smiled as he looked out at the audience, totally oblivious to the contempt on the faces of real reporters. "I thought about a television series. Not doing a television series, but adapting one. Bringing it to the big screen for a three hour extravaganza of fun, Aerosmith tunes, bikini clad women, and explosions. Because you've got to have explosions. What kind of movie is it when there aren't explosions?"

He paused once more before continuing. "And so it is, ladies and gentlemen, that I will be adapting for the big screen... The Love Boat."

Entertainment reporters broke out into applause. Real reporters rolled their eyes and sighed. Bay remained utterly oblivious to their disdain, laughing and basking in the esteem of the entertainment reporters. The television series had followed a number of crew members on a cruise ship helping various guest stars each week with their romantic foibles, back in the 1970s and 1980s. It was a light hearted but utterly tedious show with faded stars in the guest roles each week, following a tired formula (editor: I agree with you; who was calling for a reboot of that dreck?)

And so this reporter sighed, expecting the worst. Because even more obnoxious than a retread of a 70s television show is a hack of a director like Michael Bay directing it. Of course he would announce his usual crew of nitwits as the main characters, but what washed up contemporary actors would fill out the list of passengers on this cruise ship to movie going hell? And how many Michael Bay techniques would we be seeing? Because he had already mentioned explosions.

"Thank you! Thank you! Oh, what a wonderful response!" Bay said, pleased by the cheers of the entertainment reporters. 

"Are you insane?" this reporter inquired. (editor: spoiler note- he is).

"Why does everyone keep asking that?" Bay asked, oblivious to the contempt from the actual reporters. "Now of course we have to tell the story of passengers finding romance as they meet on this great cruise ship off the West Coast. But there has to be more. Because I'm Michael Bay, the greatest film director ever, and I know what the audience wants. Which is why my plot will shift as the heroic crew tangles with a villain hidden among the passengers. A mad bomber out to make a whole lot of trouble. I mean, I did mention explosions, after all."

"Are you aware the bomber on a ship thing has been done before? It was called Speed 2, and it was a sequel no one was asking for," this reporter pointed out.

"I've never heard of it." Bay shrugged, smiled like an idiot before carrying on. "And we'll have high drama, great action, amazing explosions, and life and death stakes. And explosions. So without further ado, let's start introducing you to our stellar cast. Playing the leading role of Captain Stubing, he's one of my favourite actors and one of yours... Mr. Nicolas Cage!"

Cage came out on stage, carrying a bottle of aged whiskey and lighting a cigar with a hundred dollar bill. Obviously his previous brushes with near bankruptcy have not taught him anything. He looked as bizarre as usual, which is saying something. "Hey there!" he called out to the crowd. "Great to be here. And it'll be great playing this role. Did I mention I always wanted to be an admiral?"

He joined Bay, who gave him a fist bump. "And two of my other favourite actors playing key roles in this film. He'll be playing Doc, and she'll be playing Julie... let's give it up for Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox!" 

The two stepped out on stage; she was wearing a low cut black dress and gave the entertainment reporters a view of her proverbial assets. He was waving like an idiot, and started talking in the third person like he usually does. "Shia approves of all this applause!" he told the entertainment reporters. "Shia loves to bask in the love! It is good for Shia!" This reporter wondered if Shia LaBeouf understood how much of a dumbass he came across as. 

Fox and Labeouf joined Bay and Cage, and Bay smiled like the dolt that he is. "I've got plenty more casting to come. After all, we've got our villain to cast. I tried calling Jon Voight, my go-to guy on these things, but he's too busy curled up in a fetal position and muttering his undying loyalty to some guy named Trump. So we'll have to find someone else who can emphasize crazy like no one else can. I'd go with Samuel L. Jackson, but he told me to go **** myself. I don't know why... I mean, I'm a perfectly respectable person."

"It just means Sam has standards," this reporter suggested. 

True to form, Bay didn't understand that he was being insulted. "It can't be that."

He smiled again. "At any rate, lots of things for us to do and lots to get ready for. So get yourself ready for an extravaganza of fun on the open seas with five star service, sunbathing, and explosions. It's The Love Boat, Michael Bay style, and it's coming to your theatres before you know it. As soon as I've got all the other stuff I'm working on done. Genius takes time, you know..."

"You're not a genius," this reporter called out.

Bay laughed. "You kidder!" With that, Bay and his cast left the stage. Entertainment reporters were gushing. Real reporters shook their heads and took their leave. In an ideal world, Michael Bay would be thrown off a cruise ship. In the middle of the Bermuda Triangle (editor: covered in barbecue sauce and tossed in with hungry sharks).

This reporter likes his new editor.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Covid-19 And The Deathly Hallows

Covid Pandemic Lessening; Unfortunately Stupid People Survived

AP (New York). Across the world, vaccinations continue in earnest to bring the Covid pandemic to an end. Some countries are doing very well in the vaccination process. Others have substantial numbers of their populations that are skeptical of vaccinations. The crisis isn't quite over, but it does feel like there's light at the end of the tunnel. 

Quarantine. Social distancing. Lockdown. Masks. Work from home. Essential workers only. Day drinking. All of those have been common terms in the past year plus as the world has struggled, fumbled, and otherwise made its way through a pandemic. This reporter, deemed essential, has nonetheless largely worked away from the office, which hasn't really changed from before, given that this reporter has a cranky editor who's so volatile that this reporter has a restraining order against him (editor: shut up!)

Great change has happened in society in the past year and a half. Social withdrawal into so called bubbles. Isolation at home and the realization that you hate your family. Masking everywhere if you need to shop. Barbershops and hairstylists closed for months at a time. Pets wondering why you're home all the time. Dogs exhausted by being taken out for far too many walks. An increase in anxiety and depression among people who never had issues with either. At-home schooling for kids deprived of school and now being taught by parents trying to do their own work from school. As a side note, in twenty years we'll have a generation of politicians who, for a year or two, were largely taught by day drinkers (editor: are you suggesting my kids are being taught by a day drinker?)

Sports were shut down entirely for a time. Sports channels started broadcasting old sports games for a time. After all, there's only so many times you can repeat 50 Greatest Catches or 100 Biggest Screw Ups. Nonetheless it was weird watching games played before you were born. Some sports started coming back sooner than others, but with no fans in the stands. Gradually some sports started allowing fans in the stands, with social distancing. Others held out. Masks were seen everywhere. 

The world looked on as a former American president who did nothing but exasperate the problem in his own country by downplaying the problem and then offering up idiotic 'cures' was voted out of office. And yet in the United States there continue to be states where there is a lagging resistance to being vaccinated, and a wealth of stupid conspiracy theories about vaccines (editor: they're not all stupid!). This reporter would like to point out that his editor is insane (editor: shut up!)

The entertainment industry has had to adjust too. Productions were shut down early on, with an inability to broadcast new material. Late night comedy and daytime talk shows had to adjust to doing remote in-home episodes. Scripted dramas and comedies were off the table for a time being, as were films, until very slowly companies started figuring out ways to film in a socially distanced way, with stringent Covid-19 testing. And of course there's already been Covid-19 as a movie, with the hapless nitwit Michael Bay releasing a found footage style film (editor: Michael Bay is a genius! Shut up!).

Theatres have been opened and closed. Streaming has been a big thing for any new content coming along. Scripted shows have returned to the air. Daytime soaps, which were shut down for a time, have returned. One producer has even decided to incorporate Coronavirus into their series- though not in the way you might expect. "Aside from just having characters do the hand sterilize thing on camera that we're all doing anyway, nobody wants to see a character die of Corona on screen," Days Of Our Lives producer Katie Carlson admitted. "No, a soap opera death needs to be either tragic or something we can explain away if we decide to bring the character back. But what we're going to be doing different. A nod towards Coronavirus in a subtle way. We well be introducing the previously unknown daughter of a major character. Think Joan Collins in Dynasty... the character you'd love to hate. Not just the bad girl, but completely irredeemable. And her name will be Corona."

This reporter would like to point out that daytime soaps are just plain weird. The brewers of Corona beer haven't made any plans to change the name of their beer either (editor: what is it with you and beer? I have already said I'm not a day drinker!) This reporter would like to state that the issue about Corona beer is relevant to the article and that it is the editor constantly bringing up the issue of his drinking. This reporter would also like to remind the editor that the editor's chronic alcoholism is not just confined to daytime drinking. (editor: shut up!)

Vaccinations continue to proceed. Some have already had a double dose of them. Others refuse. Experts advise that Covid may be here to stay, and that vaccinations may end up becoming an annual thing, like the flu shot. This reporter has heard that his editor subscribes to conspiracy theories, which this reporter feels is quite irresponsible (editor: I swear to God, I will hunt you down, restraining order or not, and inject you with a doctored form of Covid-19 that will have you dying inside of two minutes).

This reporter would like to point out that once again his cranky editor has threatened his life and limb, and that this is not professional behaviour. (editor in chief: the editor for this reporter has been relieved of duties and sent to a place with padded walls. Apologies to this reporter for the harassment.) This reporter thanks the editor in chief, and closes with this: we're close to the end, people, but that doesn't mean it's over. Continue to follow health guidelines, get your vaccinations, and let's get through this together.

Oh, and to my now committed editor: enjoy your time at the Bedlam Asylum.

Monday, July 12, 2021

A Rich Widow Of A Dead General

And so it is that they turn up. I speak of course of the inevitable presence of that foul, wretched, reprehensible species known as the internet scammer. The waste of oxygen that can't take a hint and just drop dead. They infest our posts with their crap, only to have it deleted. They send us random emails (along with the same email to hundreds of thousands of other email addresses) promising untold riches if we just help them with their resident cause/ moving of money. Such as the following, which ended up sent to my partner in crime Norma. It bore all the tell tale signs of homo sapiens spammeritis irritatingus.



My name is Gil Williams, an Attorney/International Relations Consultant, I want to know if you will support my client to invest in your country and get rewarded financially without leaving or affecting your present job. I represent Mrs. Kim Kyong-hui, wife of Jang Song-thaek, Jang Song-thaek was Kim Jong-un's uncle and the Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea until his execution in 2013. Mrs. Kim Kyong-hui thaek here in after shall be referred to as my client and it is on her instruction that I am doing all that i am doing now. She is looking for a foreign individual or a corporation that can profitably invest US$150 Million on Real Estates outside Hong Kong. Mrs. Kim Kyong-hui is willing to reward you with 10% for your partnership role when fund successful transfer in your account. Write back for more information.


Gil Williams

Where to begin? Well, at the end. I've removed the email address from the end, since it was a link. But the name was a completely different one from Gil Williams. It was Rick Yearltonnesen, which totally sounds like a real name. I mean that. And its country code? Ru. Which is Russia. Which is a huge red flag. Because nothing good is being done in Russia these days.

That's right, Vladimir, you poison-happy psychotic, I'm referring to you.

So our scamming scammer gives us some of the usual tell tales of an internet scammer. Introducing himself with a very English sort of name (though when's the last time you heard someone named Gil?) He claims to have two different roles, as an attorney and "International Relations Consultant." That's usually how it starts. You know, for an attorney with an English name, he doesn't have a strong grasp of sentence structure or how the English language works. Because while there aren't the usual glaring spelling mistakes, we do see sentences that should be punctuated differently, capitalized words that don't need it, and the sort of phrasing that comes from not speaking English as your primary language. 

So he claims to be representing the widow of a dead North Korean general who was executed back in 2013. I'll admit, the first one that came to mind was the guy Little Kimmy (Kim Jong Un to his non existent friends, Dear Leader to the millions of people who have to say that) had executed by anti-air gun back in the day. No, it's not that guy. The real General Jang was executed by a mere firing squad. Thanks to his nephew by marriage, the cranky short guy with the bad hair cut who has a habit of killing relatives he doesn't like. Watch out the rest of the family, because Little Kimmy hates everyone, including himself.

So Gil (can I call you Gil) wants me to help his client invest in my country. Really. Well, first, I'd have to double check, but I'm pretty sure my country has a whole lot of sanctions in place generally meaning no business at all with North Korea. So that's a no go, even if this were real, which it's not. Second, she's claiming that her late dearly departed husband squirreled away 150 million dollars and she wants to invest it on real estate outside of Hong Kong. Really. 

150 million dollars.

In a country as utterly poverty ridden as North Korea.

Oh, sure. And all I have to do for ten percent of that is answer that email address, get hold of Gil (and the gang of Russian arms dealers behind this scam) and send off... oh, all my banking information as a measure of trust. What's the worst that can possibly happen?

It astounds me that there are people this dumb out there who'll believe this crap, but there have to be, otherwise why do it? But I've seen too much of it, and I never buy it. 

Wherever they are in Mother Russia, what they actually deserve is a Little Kimmy Special. Execution by anti-air gun. Come on, Little Kimmy, they're using your aunt's name against you. Are you going to let that stand?

Little Kimmy? Don't tell me you're crying because I called you Little Kimmy.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

George Washington Yelled Here

 And it is the Fourth of July. Happy Independence Day to you ungrateful colonials. I can't let the occasion pass by without an image blog.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Canadian Mythology

Canada Day is upon us. To my fellow Canadians, a Happy Canada Day. I have an image blog for the occasion. To those beyond our borders, I say this: it does not snow all year in Canada.

We get above freezing temperatures for one half of an afternoon in July.