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Archive for January, 2009

Words

January 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Unlike the French language, which has a committee of protectorates that decide which new words are included in the dictionary, the English language continues to evolve based solely on common usage.  While this approach does seem to adhere to common sense, it has one glaring flaw.  Common usage and correct usage are often two completely different things.  As an teacher of the language, I recognise that considering one’s self as one of the few remaining bastions of the language is not a view that every body shares. But seriously, we all have to draw the line of tolerance somewhere.

Perhaps my most hated of words, due to the fact that it is emblematic of an increasingly illiterate and illogical population, is IRREGARDLESS. It does appear in the dictionary*, but take a moment and think about it.  We all understand the way responsible and irresponsible correspond; likewise the way thoughtful and thoughtless relate.  This blemish on the language, however, takes things to a whole new level.

Remember kids, double negatives just don’t not make any sense! 

*Note: in the hard copy English Dictionary that I own the
definition of Irregardless actually reads See Regardless

Wholesome Children’s Entertainment

January 30, 2009 2 comments

Nowadays kids are bombarded with violent video games and gruesome images. It makes me long for good old fashioned wholesome children’s shows:

http://www.youtube.com/v/d8RJerMS40c&hl=en&fs=1

Zeus

January 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Zeus. (From MySpace)

**Author: Mandeep–Originally posted on Mourningbell.com*


Live. Local. avaiLable.

Zeus is a Toronto band recently assembled and quite talented. Their MySpace page highlights some of their work, as it does many bands. What is particularly interesting on this page is the live feed that you can get of their jam space–video and sound.  Just tuning in I was treated to an impromptu jam that sounded simply fantastic.  Seems like the future of music….and perhaps voyeurism.  But think if you could catch live feeds of the Beatles working out their songs?

Categories: EnterTAINTment, Music, Toronto

King Biscuit Time

January 28, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s no secret that I’m an obsessive Stephen Mason fan. Obsessive. Mason’s first project, the now defunct Beta Band combined acoustic guitars, electric guitars, unwieldy synth lines, electronic sounds, a strange hybrid of drum machines and acoustic percussion, and surreal, often unintelligible, lyrics into beautiful rock music madness.

One of my favourite live experiences to this day is seeing them perform “Inner Meet Me” at the Phoenix – where I was convinced (partly due to intoxication) that the (literally) ground shaking bass line would cause my ribcage to implode.

The Beta Band, sadly, very sadly, dissolved. Most of the guys reformed to become The Aliens (awesome, but not Beta Band awesome). Mason reverted to his solo project, King Biscuit Time. An EP and LP later, Mason promises more new material in 2009. As a teaser, you can (and should) buy his newest track, “I Let Her In” via TenTracks – where you grab it on a 10-track compilation disc for 1 pound (that’s about a buck seventy five Canadian). The video above, “I Walk the Earth,” is off the No Style EP.

Categories: Music

Ceasefire

January 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Israeli and Hamas have now declared a ceasefire.  Israeli did so after, apparently, meeting its military objectives.  It seems a bit disingenuous to me, to have Israeli attack and retract as they please – knowing full well they hold supreme logistical advantage.  It’s like play fighting… go in at eradicate them already (tongue firmly in cheek).

In the wake of the devastation, amid reports of intentional civilian deaths, and the use of phosphorus, and bombing the UN building (essentially, everything the US mainstream press failed to report) I saw this report on BBC News last night.  The moment the father, who had already lost two kids in the past days, discovered that his missing daughter was alive but unlikely to walk again, was a powerful moment.  If anyone can the video of the report, they’d be well advised.  And maybe it was because I was two beers in, or that the workday had drained me, but as I fought back the emotions, that father didn’t look Arab or Jew or me, he just looked like a man who had been defeated by circumstances outside of this control.  Why is no one really talking about the actual human element on of this situation?

To conclude on a more idealistic, less sappy note, Muammar Qaddafi, of all people, has an alternative resolution to the Palestinian conflict.  Worth a read.  No less feasible than any other option on the table, or not on the table, as it were.

Categories: Opinions

Inauguration

January 20, 2009 1 comment

Just saw Obama’s (predictably articulate and compelling) inauguration speech.  Three quick things off the top of my head:

  • When speaking about people of all faiths in America, he also included “non-believers”… amazing
  • He explicitly called all countries friends of the United States
  • He spoke firmly about responsibility of the citizenry and this theme was present throughout the speech

What a change.

Categories: Opinions

Cerebral Recipes [02]

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

**Author: Mandeep–Originally posted on Mourningbell.com**


Recipe for an (un)dreary Monday morning commute (now in playlist form!)

M.I.A. – Paper Planes
Animal Collective – Leaf House
Mark Ronson – L.S.F.
Klaxons – Golden Skans
Deerhunter – Nothing Ever Happened
King Biscuit Time – Izzum
Ratatat – Falcon Jab
ESG – UFO
The Kooks – Stormy Weather
Soulwax – Krack
Les Savy Fav – The Sweat Descends
Fucked Up – No Epiphany

Categories: Cerebral Recipes, Music
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