Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thumbs Down: New Moon

Holy, that was awful.

Which, I suppose, was kinda the point: your average thinking person does not show up to Twilight in search for philosophy, poignancy, or provocation. The whole theatre shows up to erupt in laughter every time the werewolf kid takes his shirt off, because that's the raison d'etre for the whole thing.

This point, however, has seemingly escaped a gazillion ladies who live, breathe and die Twilight, in a weirdly obsessive way that had previously been reserved for boy groups. For the most part, this is totally acceptable and tolerable for the young, but when older folk enter the foray of crazy, then some questions have to be asked.

Ashley R, if you're worried about how devastated your daughter be about People's overlook of Mopeface Killah for Sexiest Man Alive, then you will have infinitely larger problems when your daughter announces her plans to buy a bunch of cardigans and shack up with a million cats a short few years from now. Megan, I can't even begin to state how fucked you are.

And Mopeface Killah, talking under your breath and acting with a stick up your ass for two hours ain't gonna win you that Johnny Depp Award. At least your little girlfriend knew enough to listen to the Runaways.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thumbs Down: Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen,

You've apparently used this image of the PM in your Christmas promo material because yr CEO Jr. means to"celebrate the Canadian political landscape", and not as an endorsement or a slag on our current King Canada.

If what you really intended was to remind us how MOR our fair nation is (and, correspondingly, your store), or if you somehow forgot that any press, good or bad, for a politician is predominantly a good thing for that particular shill, fair enough. Otherwise, I'm shopping at Holt's.

Black Friday Shopping Reminders

With less than 2 days remaining until the big post Thanksgiving shopping season kickoff known as Black Friday, let's try to remember a few things this year:

1) Be Thankful - It's easy to get caught up in the consumerism that has become the Thanksgiving holiday. Perhaps worry less about getting the cheapest deal on a LED TV and be thankful that you can't count your kid's ribs.

2) Spend Wisely - In a year of continued economic turmoil, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and layoffs, let's remember that what got us into this mess was our inability to spend and manage our use of credit wisely.

3) Be Patient - Anybody remember the people getting trampled, injured, and killed at Walmart stores in 2008? Let's not do that again.

Otherwise, have fun, be safe, and enjoy the holiday shopping!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thumbs Down (Nostalgia Edition): that Girl Who is Getting Fucked By a Douchebag

Girl that was in my Immigrant Lit class almost ten years ago that looked like Molly Ringwald with a snaggletooth,

I know it's a bit late, but when you're telling us in class that your boyfriend is all 'post-modern' because his thought patterns are non-linear, that's just a dumb-ass way of acknowledging that you're dating an idiot that can't finish complete thoughts. Would've warned you, but you seemed all in love and shit.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thumbs Down: Elizabeth Lambert


You got caught on video pulling an opponent by her ponytail down to the pitch, among other things worthy of yellow, red, white, blue, rainbow cards. In the grand scheme of professional soccer, probably not unheard of. But playing the gender card? Just fucking own it already.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thumbs Down: Lady that Just Won't Shut Up at the Dinner Demo

Lady that brought her vegetarian son, who apparently eats bacon and poultry,

When we shelled out to have a nice dinner cooked by Pino Posteraro at a dinner demonstration, I expect a certain amount of respect, shock and awe for the chef, like Chinese moms do when friggin' Lang Lang does a piano recital or gay dudes with Lady Gaga.

When dude talks about how Heston Blumenthal invited him to do a sous vide demo, I don't want to hear about how you've never seen induction cookers before. When dude talks about how he cooked the first carnivorous meal that Michael Stipe has had in 25 years, I do NOT want to hear how fussy your vegetarian son is about what he eats (I have no idea how bacon fits into vegetarianism, but kudos, lady's son, for convincing your mom that your fussiness is some noble achievement). When you see a plate full of food that most people can only afford once a year, if even that, I expect you to gorge yourself and SHUT THE FUCK UP. Thanks.

Thumbs Down: China, sigh.

Bejeezus, China:

I try. I try to defend you, give you a fair shake, explain to people that it's just growing pains. For a billion people to suddenly propel from extreme poverty to co-signing the world's economy in a couple of decades gave you a sharp learning curve, sure. But there's a few things that won't excuse.

Like your treatment of Lou Jing, a mixed race girl born and bred in Shanghai, who has never lived outside of the country, and who has never thought of herself as anything other than Chinese. She joins what I'm assuming to be a nationally aired talent show named, of all things, Go! Oriental Angel, makes it through to the top 30, and the nation goes nuts in beating her down. To the point where Jing actually said "If you beat me to death, I wouldn't take part in that competition again." All the ching-chong jokes your Asian brethren have to endure on this side of the water don't excuse that in the least.

If you're going to have us accept you as our economic overlords, this ain't the way to go. Have you seen that awful V remake? Even the aliens knew to lure us with sugar, pixie-cut hot leader and all. Help a brother out and tone down the crazy for awhile. Lord knows you ain't making it easy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All Thumbs UP: Reverend Ron

Reverend Ron, RIP.

Thumbs Down: Main Street, Vancouver

Main Street,

When the local paper runs a shopping guide titled "Why my Main Street is a Temple-Priestess Experience," your days are OVER.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thumbs Down: the Absolut Vancouver contest...and critics thereof


I don't mind much that you're The Corporation and spreading your dirty, dirty, deliciously alcoholic money on some Vancouver arts sponsorship. When the people we vote can't see the value in facilitating at least some level of arts funding, then someone's got to step up.

In fact, I've got a real problem with people like this dude from the Belkin bitching and moaning about how all that shimmering, glowing, clear as hell with no hangover money is a huge marketing exercise looking to corrupt the youth artists of today. As Mr. Watson puts it, "If you don't have places where young artists can try something out without there being a market pressure, sooner or later you won't have an art culture in your area," but if you don't have places where young artists CAN FIGURE THAT SHIT OUT AND EXPLOIT THE HELL OUT OF IT then we've got bigger problems, because then we've basically got a bunch of nitwits that end up in performance art, or a community that has no faith in the young whatsosever.

However, what's up with the five finalists? The last thing the world needs is another goddamn architect trying to peddle some mobile art gallery shit, because that day ended with the mobile Chanel exhibit and does not need retreading where I walk my dog. I can't even begin to tell you how unworkable glass structures out in Cracktown would be, or how amazingly lazy that one entry is where the guy is basically proposing to take pictures of all other artwork in town (if that's what you want, there's a slew of Japanese tourists that can facilitate it for no money whatsoever). That leaves us with a fucked up cartoon guy and a freebie art show. Guess who I'm voting for?

Thumbs Down: Globe and Mail

Hey, G&M!

Let's put it like this: we know the print age is dying and you're no exception. Symptomatic of that is the fact that I read your content online now, instead of messing with ink stains on my grubby hands. But are things so dire that you've foregone any sort of quality control?

Today's story on the disappearance of a fellow Canadian in Hong Kong is a case in point. She's vanished from HK and been missing for a year, and things are (were) all abuzz o'er in the colony because people do NOT go missing there (well, at least not non-Chinese people). So I'll give you leeway on telling us that psychics have been weighing in with their two cents.

But when you start drawing parallels to crime fiction Nine Dragons, that's when the wheels stumble off this rickshaw. If that's any legit comparison, I also hear that there are elaborate death matches staged annually by this old guy with makeshift Wolverine claws, because Enter the Dragon told me so, and Bruce Lee ain't lying to no one.

So, G&M, step the game up a fucking notch, because the last thing I want to read is the National Post.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thumbs Down: Blogger nonsense


When I visit, it sure seems to me like that URL is up for grabs. But you're telling me it ain't when I wanted to claim it. Thanks: I guess I'll just be known as a cranky motherfucker in perpetuity.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thumbs Down: Whoever painted this

To the Artist,
This creepy Big-Eyed Britney ruffle ass shit is worth a thousand words, all bad.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thumbs Down: Weezer's Raditude


When you choose album cover art like this, you are raising expectations PLENTY HIGH. I would've loved this record if I hadn't discovered fucking or acne medication, but here we are.

All Thumbs Down: Katy Perry, Host of the 2009 MTV Europe Awards

Holy shit, Katy Perry,

Just cut that mugging shit out. You may look an awful lot like Zooey Deschanel, but you ain't, largely because she knows how to deliver a punchline. I know MTV Europe's even more scatterfucked than regular MTV, and the people seemingly even more nonsensical and intolerable, but you've gone way over the fucking top on this one. I hated MTV before, I hate MTV Europe even more now.

Thumbs Down: The Vancouver "Contemporary" Correspondent for Holt Renfrew

Weird young lady that looks like old Heather Locklear on a plastic surgery jag, which doesn't make much sense considering you're at least a few decades younger than how you look,

I can't cop to being a huge fashion maven, but I did see your bit on Urban Rush, a show in which is a topic unto itself, and: really?

I get that Holt, ye ol' grand dame of Canadian fine-living, wants to spend some of that hard earned cash on updating its image and re-assuring the rest of us that, yes, the children are the future (particularly those with money to burn). But I want that glitz a la Blair Waldorf, or at least a fucking Olson twin, and not some girl that can't even pronounce Sevigny correctly.

I'm the last person on Earth that should comment on whether the layered look is in or not (seems like it is every winter season, which seems shockingly practical), but even I can tell when shit is thrown together haphazardly, and your styling job basically looks as though the young contempo department threw up on the models (and, to be honest, that dude in the motorcycle jacket looks like he should be in some Adam Lambert gangbang fantasy). It doesn't help that you didn't even take the pricetag off the bowtie in that Britboy look you slapped together.

If this whole contemporary correspondent experiment is just some marketing exercise of an aging company with demographics to conquer, than I suppose I shouldn't care (the fact that I'm even writing about this is probably a sign that the stunt is working). The ol' brass must be thrilled that they have this blog thing on their website (the Youtube embed must really be blowing their minds), like that grandma on Arrested Development was thrilled she adopted a little Korean boy that lived in the walls. But jeezus: can you at least pretend to care when you're flogging the thing on tv? Because, unless you do, I can't be bothered to either.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All Thumbs Down: Archinect Cooper Union blogger

Oh, you adorable little grad student,

In your Archinect blog post on Crocs, you wrote:

"Oh yeah, Crocs! Lately, I have been super interested (almost obsessed) with Crocs. I started talking about them in Prof. Turnbull’s seminar class and have been using them as a window of interpretation into our culture and how they relate to our floor surfaces and spaces."

This happened, I suppose, because you are a douchebag. If design will save us all, who will save us from the designers? I'm thinking mass suicide - pass the kool-aid.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thumbs Down: Vancouver View magazine, Nov/Dec 09 issue

Vancouver View,

I'm a bit reluctant to give you the full thumbs down, because, quite honestly, it's not like I expect a lot from you. Basically, someone drops off a million free copies of your magazine at our building, we laugh at the C/D list celebrity you put on the cover, and if we pick it up accidentally, it goes into recycling. Giving you the thumbs down is like making fun of the disadvantaged.

But for the current issue, you've put famed chef Daniel Boulud on the cover, so this glutton has got to check it out. And I actually got somewhat excited to see that your writer had a face-to-face interview with the man.

To read what was basically a cut and paste job from the DB Bistro/Lumiere press release, though, was more than disappointing. Locally-sourced product, we're-not-the-old-Lumiere disclaimers, I-love-this-town pat answers: I could've read that on the DB website. Not a lot of people get to meet Boulud in person, and you've let that opportunity go to waste. I'm half-guessing that you ran the piece just to get comps at the restaurant, especially considering Boulud arrived in town more than a year ago and is hardly new news.

The rest of the magazine is just as pitiful. Your story on Vancouver's "Hollywood North" can basically be summed up in a couple of premises: (i) weak Canadian dollar good, (ii) tax incentives good, (iii) the magic of Vancouver is its peoples, by gum!

Dumbing columns down beyond the standard Maxim sidebar is one thing, but making them utterly boring is another. It's to be expected, I guess, when your music picks for the next couple months are Josh Groban and Il Divo. You could've saved the thing by at least making it look nice, but it looks like your main fashion spread was shot on a cellphone (and not in a good way).

So, I don't feel bad about giving you the thumbs down. It's not like picking on a fat kid, it's like picking on rich fat kids that are rubbing their (published) indifference in my face, particularly while slimmer, better, prettier magazines fail (RIP, Gourmet!). Stick with the local almost-celebs so I can continue ignoring you in peace.

Thumbs Down: Me, for not watching Mad Men

Am I the only one that hasn't seen a single episode of this show?

Also: I should probably schedule in an episode of the Sopranos and the Wire while I'm at it. Sad, but true.