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Friday, October 31, 2008

Graphic Hoff-el

Entry #6 is from Alex, who has shrewdly combined the Being David Hasselhoff Contest with BedJump.com.





Yes, he took off his shirt. This is going to be tough to beat. Alex is from Fort Simpson and has an awesome blog. Check him out. I mean, uh, check his blog out.

What've YOU got? I bet you've got something awesome. Send it to me: dryas at theedge dot ca. Or, if you've got a blog, post it and send me the link.

Previously on the Being David Hasselhoff Contest:
Cayley's Dog is David Hasselwoof
Sally's Top Ten Reasons Why David Hasselhoff Rules
Michael Is David Hasselhoff
Zach Supports David Hasselhoff For Vice President
Steve Is David Hasselhoff
Being David Hasselhoff

Being David Hasselwoof

The Being David Hasselhoff Contest has jumped the species barrier. Entry #5 is from Cayley.

OH… it’s “Being David Hasselhoff” – I thought the contest was “eating David Hasselhoff”.


My, my. Eating David Hasselhoff would be an entirely different sort of contest. I'm not sure what sort of blog you guys think this is.

I do know that you want to prove that you are David Hasselhoff, though. Send your proof directly to me: dryas at theedge dot ca. Or post it on your own blog and send me the link.

Previously on the Being David Hasselhoff Contest:
Sally's Top Ten Reasons Why David Hasselhoff Rules
Michael Is David Hasselhoff
Zach Supports David Hasselhoff For Vice President
Steve Is David Hasselhoff
Being David Hasselhoff

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Really, why stop at ten?

Entry #4 in the Being David Hasselhoff Contest comes from Sally.

Top 10 Reasons Why David Hasselhoff Rules (in no particular order):

1. The raw sexiness.

2. The tight pants.

3. Love of animals.


4. His unabashed love of fur, PETA be damned.
5. His love of nature.


6. Mullet perm.
7. His music.


8. Speedos.
9. His love of hamburgers.


10. His ability to rock an eyepatch.

I am impressed at her restraint. The natural tendency is to go on and on about the reasons David Hasselhoff is a god among men. Sally, on the other hand, knows how to highlight the most important points. Everyone, go check out her very cool blog right now.

Do you think you can do better? You're going to have to prove it. There are prizes at stake. The winner will be able to write whatever he or she wants on my blog. The runner-up will get a stormtrooper helmet. I know, the excitement is almost too much, but you'll have to be creative. You can do this. I know you can.

Previously on the Being David Hasselhoff Contest:
Michael Is David Hasselhoff
Zach Supports David Hasselhoff For Vice President
Steve Is David Hasselhoff
Being David Hasselhoff

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The children are the future

You can really tell that an idea is catching on when the younger folks decide they want to participate. Or, in this case, when they INSIST on being allowed to participate. Entry #3 in the Being David Hasselhoff Contest is from Michael.

I'm not really sure what to say about this. Instead, I will share a moment from behind the scenes:

Steve: Do you have a cross necklace?
Michael: A what?
Steve: A T?
Michael: No, I don't have a T. But I think I saw a T in one of those old books. (Rummages through prayer books on the shelf.)

Send your entries to me: dryas at theedge dot ca. Or post them to your own blog and send me the link. Your participation is key. I know you want to do it.

First prize is the ability to take over my blog for the ENTIRE DAY. Second prize is a stormtrooper helmet. Yes. That's how classy this contest is.

Previously on the Being David Hasselhoff Contest:
Zach Supports David Hasselhoff For Vice President

Steve Is David Hasselhoff
Being David Hasselhoff

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Change you can believe in

Entry #2 in the Being David Hasselhoff Contest is from Zach, who has given up on the two-party system:

American politics has failed to pique my interest as of late. what with

working all the time, whining constantly about getting blisters on my
palm (no, not from that) and suppressing the desire to throw dollops of
cheese whiz at Jack Layton from afar, American Politics hasn’t really
been on my mind as of late. Heck, it’s just too uninteresting to me.
So far as I see it, no matter which ticket is elected, (McPalin or
Obidna) not much in the US of A will change. Either way, I see
government intervention and the loss of liberty as being the common
theme for them. The nation just isn’t on a path of real change…unless
there’s a massive upset and I think I just saw the possibility coming.

Feast your eyes…on THIS!



oh...GOD YES!

Now I know what you’re thinking. I mean, if you can think clearly in

the middle of instant orgasm, you must be thinking “why wasn’t this
suggested earlier?” Obviously, this is the ticket of change. Shatner
has waaaay more intergalactic foreign relations experience than any of
the current presidential candidates and so could easily negotiate peace
or trade deals with far off planets. Since other leaders of nations
often act like they’re living on another world and have no idea what
their voters want, this should work out very well. Failing that, the
Hoff could easily infiltrate the rank and file of any government by
ripping off his shirt and instantly command the loyalty of all female
staffers and homosexuals.

Shatner’s military service aboard the Enterprise makes him well suited

for the role of commander in chief as well. Just look at this list of
awards and honours.

Palm Leaf of Axanar Peace Mission

Grankite Order of Tactics (Class of Excellence)

Prentares Ribbon of Commendation (Classes First and Second)

Starfleet Medal of Honor

Starfleet Silver Palm (with cluster)

Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry

Karagite Order of Heroism


Yah…that’s right.


Perhaps the only draw back will be the 12 hour long, melodramatic

presidential addresses. “My fellow….residents of…(look into second
camera) thisgreatland!”

Also the whole bit about him being a Canadian…well come on. get over it

Americans. I think you can make an exception for a kick butt ticket
like this.


I could not agree more. Everyone, check out Zach's blog right now. He's one of the Saskbloggers: oddly enough, I read more blogs from Saskatchewan than any of the other provinces. Clearly, it is because of their immense talent and stunningly good taste.

Do you think you can do better?

You do?

Well, there's only one way to know for sure. You're going to have to prove it to us. E-mail your entry to dryas at theedge dot ca, post it in the comment box, or publish it to your own blog and send me the link. You know you want to. Besides, there are prizes at stake.

Previously on the Being David Hasselhoff Contest:
Steve Is David Hasselhoff
Being David Hasselhoff

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crazy...crazy for feelin'...

Entry #1 in the Being David Hasselhoff Contest is from Steve:

The resemblance is uncanny.

Think you can do better? Prove it! You can submit as many entries as you want in any medium. Get them together quickly and send them to me:

  • E-mail them to me: dryas (at) theedge (dot) ca.
  • Post them on your own blog and send me the link.
  • Post them in the comments box.
Back to the Being David Hasselhoff contest.

Being David Hasselhoff

The Being David Hasselhoff Contest starts RIGHT NOW. I am actively soliciting entries. I want you to prove that you are David Hasselhoff. You can do it in any medium: I have many readers who are professional writers or photographers, including at least one poet. Last time, a music teacher ran away with first prize after shooting her own music video. I also received original songs, personal stories, photographs and a re-creation of the Hoff's most famous video (this entry took second place)

Your creativity always impresses me. I can't wait to see what you come up with this time. There are a few ways to submit entries:

  • E-mail them to me: dryas (at) theedge (dot) ca.
  • Post them on your own blog and send me the link.
  • Post them in the comments box.
First prize is space on this blog. Think of the fame! Second prize is a stormtrooper helmet. All participants will get link love. For inspiration, check out the list of finalists from last time.

And of course, I'll get you started.




UPDATED: Entries as of today:
Amy Reports On David Hasselhoff
Jen Is David Hasselhoff
Curtis Complains About David Hasselhoff
Anonymous Is David Hasselhoff
Karan Taps The Potential Of David Hasselhoff, Common Man
Shawn Reveals Ten Things About David Hasselhoff
Alex Jumps On Beds With David Hasselhoff
Cayley's Dog Is David Hasselwoof
Sally's Top Ten Reasons Why David Hasselhoff Rules
Michael Is David Hasselhoff
Zach Supports David Hasselhoff For Vice President
Steve Is David Hasselhoff

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Congratulations, Capitalist

She is amazing. I can't wait to meet her.

Hey, does Miss Hunter Mabel remind you guys of anyone else?
She's PERFECT. And the timing couldn't be better.

Congratulations, Nate and Michelle. We love you.

Round 2 of the Being David Hasselhoff Contest...


...will begin tomorrow.

OH YES I DID.

First prize: You get to take over my blog for the WHOLE DAY. Yes. You can even write all about how much you think I suck. (I bet THAT will get some creative juices flowing.)

Second prize: A life-sized stormtrooper helmet. Think how impressed your friends will be when you show up at the next block party wearing it!

If you have a blog, you get link love when you submit your entry.

Tomorrow I'll put up a post announcing the start of the contest. While you're waiting, check out the entries that were submitted last time. The same rules will apply: Send me proof that you are David Hasselhoff. I'll review the entries and choose a winner and a runner-up. Both will get tremendous bragging rights as well as fame.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sarah Palin, Scientist



I've been pretty frustrated with the talk about the "wasteful" scientific spending through the earmark system. I'm no fan of earmarks, but the examples this idiot and my buddy John McCain have been using don't strike me as necessarily wasteful.

Research on fruit flies! Yes, what a waste! Genetic research should be done on HUMANS, not on animals. Maybe this particular study shouldn't be a national priority if there are other things that are more important -- I honestly don't know which one Ms. Palin is mocking -- but how else are we going to learn about genetic disorders? You can't say you want more treatments and tests for these disorders, while cutting funding for the research that would make them possible.

I also love the way she slips and reminds everyone of the Alaskan bridge earmark while railing against the earmark system.

I am embarrassed as a small-c conservative, an American, a woman and a human being.

Being David Hasselhoff, Round 2?




Yes, the rumours are true. I am planning to run another Being David Hasselhoff contest. A year later, the contest page is still the most-visited page on this entire blog. Clearly, this is something the masses are calling for.

I am looking for appropriate prizes. So far, I have secured a stormtrooper helmet. Yes, from Star Wars. Like David's career, it is only an approximation of the real thing, but I think that's the way it should be.

I am also looking for the perfect photo to re-create. As regular readers know, I would not ask anything of you that I would not ask of myself. If I'm asking you to be David Hasselhoff, I owe it to you to be David Hasselhoff.

Any suggestions?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Even more fun

What first-time visitors to my other blog are looking for:

i don't care what you say (over and over)
I am angry at my children
celebrity endorsement from god (and) god of winner
atheists are stupid
what to do without god
wash my hands in innocence (LOTS of people are looking for this)
massah and meribah
the land will vomit them out (I use this phrase sarcastically, but it pops up in my stats often enough that I have to assume that some people do not)
screw you guys (another favourite)
fertility is a gift (and) "i want lots of babies" (and) why wasn't birth control allowed (and) is birth control enough? (and) do dermatologists ask for proof of birth control
it is very hard to be me
when are things going to change god
warning in case of rapture this vehicle will be unmanned

What a cheerful group they are.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What new readers are looking for

palin interview (and) if mccain palin elected move to canada (and) palin's daughter licks brother's hair (and) liveblogging rnc (and dozens of variations on these general themes)

seal hunting

funny that a comment like that (This is very popular) (and) narrow maritime border (and) palin speaks in complete sentences wows crowd (etc.)

leah mclaren vapid (and) I hate Sarah Hampson

domestic discipline weight loss (AUGH!) (and) sadistic switch (yikes) (and) crotchless bloomers (and) wifes who need discipline (AAAAAHHHH!!!)

i am canadian and i hate americans

how to refresh gas mask (This is from Israel)

stevie nicks evil spirit (and) damn your love damn your lies (and) in the stillness of remembering (and) take no prisoners only kill (I get this a lot) (etc., etc.)

"how to leak information"

rude things employees think of there employer

david hasselhoff contest (and) hoffettes (and) david hasselhoff greeting cards (and) hoff target cards (and) hasselhoff shar pei (etc., etc.)

amber macarthur nipples (WHO IS THIS PERSON AND WHY DOES HE KEEP SEARCHING FOR THIS EVERY WEEK?)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Geez.

Anonymous jerks invaded one of my favourite northern blogs this week. I have a bit of a soft spot for Townie Bastard, considering that we have almost identical career arcs. He made the mistake of commenting on the nastiness we're seeing in the American election. Apparently someone wanted to make it clear that the nastiness can be extended to people who aren't involved with politics and just happen to have personal blogs.

It is probably my background as a reporter, but I do not like anonymous Internet assholes. I am convinced that if you want to be taken seriously, you should post under your own name or under a handle you use consistently. (Like "Torq", AKA Philosopher King.) I allow anonymous jerks to post here because I believe that it is the best way to show the rest of my readers what idiots they actually are. If they were at all interested in having a conversation with people who simply disagree with them, they would be more open about who they really are.

The funniest thing is that people aren't actually anonymous in the north. This place is too small to allow for true anonymity. By trying to hide, they only look more pathetic. I do occasionally get anonymous drive-by insults from people like the PETA wackos, but they are complete morons who usually can't string a sentence together. (This is still my favourite reader-submitted complaint of all time.)

I'm glad I read blogs written by people who feel the same way I do. I want to read those nasty anonymous comments. They almost always reinforce my belief that the blogger was right in the first place.

"Disgusting."

Reader-submitted: Check this out. This is but one example of how the corporate owners of the media are influencing what used to be independent newsrooms and editorial staffs. The networks are even worse.

Interesting. Very interesting. I wasn't aware that it was even possible for a newspaper to endorse two opposing candidates.

Not all newspapers endorse candidates: some believe that it compromises their reporters. I understand this perspective, and in organizations that don't have a really good "wall" between news and editorial, this might be the best move. I haven't written much about the economics of newspaper publishing, but the Cole's Notes version would be that some newspapers simply don't have the resources to separate their news sections from their editorial sections. (Yes, news and editorial should be separate!)

This is not the same as publishing opposing views in the op-ed section. Newspapers should publish a wide range of opinions, and they should have columnists of all political backgrounds. A really good newspaper will have an ombudsman and allow its staff to publicly criticise its editorial decisions. They are certainly not required to do this, but that's part of having a free press. Journalism is a public service.

Endorsements are different. An endorsement, like any editorial, is supposed to be the official position of the newspaper's editorial board (not its news division). I'm not sure how a paper could endorse opposing candidates and expect readers not to be confused. Dissenting editorials are a contradiction in terms.

The Times has a confidential source who claims that the dissenting editorial was the result of pressure from the publisher.

I know that many of my readers don't hold journalism as near to their hearts as I do, and probably don't see the problem here. Yes, freedom of the press is limited to those who own them. But the normal practice is for publishers to remove themselves from news and editorial decisions. The newsroom needs to be independent.

In most newspapers, the editor and publisher are different people. This is important. The editor ensures journalistic integrity, while the publisher takes care of the business end. It's a bad idea for the editor to get involved with advertising, and it's an even worse idea for the publisher to make editorial decisions. Journalism that is motivated by business interests is not public service at all.

A better way to handle this would have been to have one formal endorsement with a number of well-written columns endorsing the other candidate. Ideally, the paper would have these, anyway, so it's not like this should be a stretch.

Thanks for sending this link.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More from Michael



My mom has a movie that is a concert!

The story of a movie is called the plot. And this plot is about a girl who likes to be fancy, a boy who likes to play the guitar, and an old guy who plays the drums and looks like my poppy. And there is another guy who plays the drums but is not the best drummer in the world.

My grampy used to be in a band and play the guitar like the boy in the movie. But this boy can play his guitar just by hitting it! And I thought he was gonna smash his guitar but he didn't.

I am going to talk to my music teacher so I can learn how to play an instrument and be in a band like the one in the movie. I think that would be good. My favourite guy is the drummer. I like to watch him play the drums. And I think he is the best drummer in the world even though the main movie is about the girl.

My mom says you have to practise for an hour every day to be in a band. That is a lot. But I think I would like it.

I think the girl is young. Not like the old guy who plays the drums. And I think the guy who plays guitar is old, too. The girl is young and she plays the tambourine. She likes to dress up in capes and dance around and it looks like she has wings.

Love, Michael

Heh.



I think this sums up about half of my blog.

Monday, October 20, 2008

You have no secrets

Reader-submitted question: Do tell what tracker you use! I've always wondered how you could "tell" what people visited your site when how and why.....Share your secrets, oh wise one.

I use a couple of tracking sites, but the one I use most often is Sitemeter.

The software tells me a lot. For example, you might be someone like this:
This person from Toronto has come to my site through Google Blog Search, and she's looking for information about herself. If I mention her name, she'll be back. And none of us need that, do we? I think we can all agree that we don't need any more lousy grammar, swearing or incoherent threats. Let's just ignore her.

The software isn't perfect. It can estimate the length of time you spend on my site, but it always under-estimates that time. That's because it uses link clicks to know that you're still there. If you don't click any links, it thinks you stayed for 0 seconds, even if you looked at the page for an hour. It can't tell if you get my posts through an RSS reader, although I have a separate tracker for that and know I have a few dozen subscribers. It doesn't count people who read my posts at NWT Blogs, either. I'm not sure how many people visit that site or subscribe to that feed.

I really like to look at my stats. They tell me what people are looking for and what they like to read once they're here. The Being David Hasselhoff contest consistently gets traffic. (Yes, I'll do another one in a few months.) Lately, I have had a lot of interest in my posts about the American election. The Fleetwood Mac fetishists are always around, too. This information helps me to write things you will want to read.

Over time, I recognise IP addresses. For example, I can tell when someone from CBC visits, but I can't tell which location the person's in: all CBC-ers have the same IP address and are logged as being from Toronto. Before I figured this out, I thought I had a stalker in the Toronto Broadcasting Centre. (Hmmm. Maybe I do.)

This person from Spain came by the other day and discovered a photo of David Hasselhoff sans underwear:
I can't blame him for staring at the image, reloading the page over and over for five minutes. Who wouldn't?

A reader e-mailed me last week, concerned that I would think she was a loser because she accidentally left my site open while she did the laundry. Please let me reassure you that I don't think any less of people who stay on my blog for long periods of time. Heck, I usually have it open in a tab. I only mock the people who show up and do a ton of searches for words related to themselves. (Egomaniac alert!)

Yes, I can see you when you do this, and I can tell that it's you.

Stats are very useful, but I also use feedback from readers to decide what to write about. I love comments, and some readers choose to e-mail me or call instead of leaving comments. You guys are amazing people, and you have made this blog what it is today.

Thanks for your question.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I feel sorry for Joe the Plumber

Yes, even though his name's not Joe and he's not a plumber.

All the guy did was ask a candidate a question. He overstated his case because he wanted to make the candidate squirm. This much is obvious.

The next thing he knows, he's a media sensation. Reporters are vetting him! They're digging into his tax records and checking on his licenses. The guy has basically had his reputation dragged through the mud.

Come on, now! As Jon Stewart pointed out, he's done more interviews than Sarah Palin has. He's just a regular guy who asked a question, and he doesn't deserve the scrutiny of the national media. The networks need to leave him alone. We're getting sidetracked from the main issue. Joe the Plumber is just a distraction.

Really, he should pay his taxes, though. And he shouldn't be doing work he's not licensed to do.

Palin on SNL







Yeah, I know what you sick people come here for.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reader-submitted video



Someone left me this video yesterday. I wish he or she hadn't done it anonymously: I almost deleted the comment because I was at work and couldn't check to see what the video was.

I think John McCain was pretty funny. Whoever wrote this should write more of McCain's speeches. Palin's, too.

Here's the other half. Obama made me laugh, but he should have practised the speech. His delivery is a little stilted in a few places.

The media elite...



...never ask these questions. I don't understand why comedians are doing the best interviews in this campaign. We are leaving it up to Joy Behar and Dave Letterman to question the candidates, and we should all be embarrassed.

I still think John McCain is a likable guy, but this is probably because I think he's lying about the things I find objectionable. I really don't think he believes these things: I've watched him for years and I don't think he has changed his mind so drastically in such a short period of time. I've watched him explain complicated issues, so I can't take him seriously when he says that everything I need to know can be summed up in a few words.

I know you're all anxious to see Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live tonight, but while you're waiting, here is the senator's full appearance on the Late Show. There is a short ad at the beginning.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A message from Michael



Dear everyone,

I hope John McCain doesn't see this.

You should vote for Barack Obama. I watched the debate with my mom and he is better. And I just like him. Boo on John McCain. I think he might even be older than my grampy.

I called my grampy to tell him to vote for Barack Obama, but he was asleep, so I told my grammy to tell my grampy to vote for him. I really think he should be the president. I wish kids got to vote, because if we did, I would vote for Barack Obama. And did you know that he has two children? They are so lucky.

I told my grampy that I would go and visit him on Christmas if he votes for Barack Obama. That is even though I wanted to visit Daniel on Christmas.

I need to call more people and tell them to vote for him. Hang in there, Obama.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The stages of voting for Barack Obama

YAY! John McCain is back in the race! I am thrilled. I felt robbed in 2000.

His campaign's not doing so well. WHAT. EVER. I don't care. McCain rocks. He lost in 2000, and I still think he's great.

He's back in it! Awesome.

Hmmm. Does it seem like he's not quite the same guy I supported in 2000? Anyone else feeling it? No?

I sort of like Obama, too. I really want someone with integrity to be the president. That's important to me. I'll just wait and see what happens.

He's going to be the Republican nominee! WOOT! How do I register? I've never voted before! I feel sort of giddy and night-before-Christmas-y!

I REGISTERED! I DID IT!

OK, is anyone else thinking that McCain is really NOT the same guy I liked so much for all those years? No, seriously. He seems different. Like he's a bit of a jerk. More like the guy who's in power now. I don't like that.

Wow, it really will be Obama. This is going to be tough. I'm not sure I know who I prefer. I mean, I've spent all these years waiting for John McCain to be president because I really believed he was a man of integrity. But I think Obama might actually be the best candidate. I'm pretty sure I'm not a Democrat. What do I do now?

Joe Biden. Interesting choice. I think McCain makes a good point about Hillary. If so many people wanted her to be president, maybe she would have been a good VP. I think he's telling us he's going to pick Romney. Or Rudy. Rudy would be an interesting choice. Or maybe Huckabee. I like Huckabee. I don't want him to be in charge of anything, but he's a good-natured guy who always makes me smile. Heck, what do I know? He was a governor for years. He's got a ton of experience and he probably would be good. Or Romney. Or Rudy. I wonder which one McCain will pick. I don't think he'll actually pick Lieberman.

The DNC is boring. Yawn. Do we actually want to pretend that we don't know what's going to happen? Blah blah blah. I'm not watching this crap.

Who the f*ck is Sarah Palin? The governor of Alaska? Uh...hmmm. I need more information. I've never heard of this woman.

I don't like this "hottest governor from the coolest state" crap the RNC is pushing on us. Women are tough and smart. It's about our qualifications, it's not about how hot we are. Sexist jerks.

WOMEN are wearing those "hottest governor" T-shirts now. Gross. And the lipstick thing is just stupid. We need ideas, not lipstick. Morons. We women are our own worst enemies.

One of these days, I'm sure Sarah Palin will tell us what she thinks about the world. Right?

Hmmm. She's not talking to the media. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to find out anything about her unless she starts doing interviews. Does she have a blog? Meghan McCain has a blog.

Ah, she's only doing interviews with people she thinks will go easy on her. I don't like that. She should be talking to every reporter she meets.

She can't speak in sentences?

She says she has foreign-policy experience because Alaska is near Russia?

She can't name any newspapers or magazines?

Where the HELL is John McCain??? Why isn't he talking to the media?

She can't answer questions in a debate?

She's blaming the media for all of her problems and demanding deference from them?

Why, look! It's my ballot!

Uhhh...



Right. All non-Christians are praying that Barack Obama will be elected. That's why it's important for the REAL God to step in right away and fix the election. God's reputation is on the line.

People are saying that all of these prayers are pre-approved, but I have a hard time believing that any political leader would approve this garbage. In fact, I can hardly believe any Christian would approve this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reflecting Canada to Canadians

Tonight, I am handing my blog over to the CBC's national election team.

HI! Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the national election. We are your number-one source for analysis.

But not yet! There won't be any results yet! Nosiree!

Instead, let's look at Twitter!

Ah, I see here that someone has twittered, uh, tweeted, uh, twitted about the election! "ZOMG the Tories are goin DOWN." And here's another one: "Cant wait for the Libs to be out." Real talk from real people. You know, WE'RE on Twitter, too!

It's still too early for us to actually tell you anything, so let's head over to our panel of thoughtful analysts. That's what you come here for.

BORING GUY #1: I predict a Conservative minority.

BORING GUY #2: I predict a Conservative minority.

BORING GUY #3: I predict a Conservative minority.

Wow, those were refreshing perspectives. We still can't give you any results, so let's check out our Facebook page!

Ah, someone has posted on our wall! "Thanks CBC for covering this election so well." Boy, we really appreciate your support. You can go to our Facebook page and become a fan of CBC. You've heard about Facebook, right? Remember, we're there! We are NOT out of touch!

And now let's get back to the twits! Reading these disjointed sentences is real journalism for the 21st century. "Dont count the greens out yet its May Day!" "Screw the election I'm getting a beer." "How come nobody on Twitter supports the NDP?"

Hey, why are you changing the channel?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Just curious to know..."


Reader-submitted question: ...if you are also eligible to vote in the upcoming Canadian election.

No, I'm not eligible to vote in Canada. I hope you guys all voted, though.

I am not a Canadian citizen. I was born in Maine and moved to Montreal in the 1980s. My parents did all of the paperwork for me and my brothers. They decided that we would all retain our American citizenship and be Canadian permanent residents.

Throughout the nineties, I sometimes thought about getting dual citizenship, but whenever I called the American government to ask about it, I was told that it wasn't allowed. Since then, I have learned that the Canadian government will accept me as a dual citizen. My (admittedly crude) understanding is that the American government would consider me an American, and the Canadian government would consider me both American and Canadian.

It appears to be just a matter of doing the paperwork and taking a test, but I haven't bothered. Yes, go ahead and lecture me. I know, I know. I have all of the rights a Canadian citizen would have, except that I can't vote. If I was excited enough about one of the candidates, I might fill out the paperwork, but I'm just not.

I am allowed to vote in Maine or to get an absentee ballot from the Dexter town office using my last American address. That's what I did. In fact, I voted for the ticket that I think will be best for both the US and Canada, so in a sense, I was looking out for both countries with my vote.

Thanks for your question. I'm now bracing myself for the complaints that I am a traitor who couldn't be bothered to fill out the form that would make me a Canadian.

Canadians: Stop reading my blog. Go and vote.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hello, John.


I'm very flattered. Really, I am.

I look forward to getting the real John McCain back after this election. I wish that none of this had happened. You would never have sold out this way. You would never have told those lies. You would never have dispatched people to attack magazines for NOT manipulating images of candidates.

You're above all of this. The Republican machine is disgusting, and I'm sorry you got caught up in it. In a month, this will all be over. I look forward to watching you work with President Obama. I think you'll do great things together.

Maverick, maverick, maverick

Reader-submitted question: Wondering what you make of this article?

Well, I think it's good that Rolling Stone is doing in-depth political stories. They've endorsed Barack Obama, so I'm not surprised that they're critical of McCain.

This story's pretty harsh. Harsh is not necessarily bad if it's deserved, but I honestly don't know if this level of criticism is fair.

I do not agree with attacks on regular folks, but politicians deserve a different level of scrutiny than the rest of us. In fact, if this story was about anyone who is not running for the top job in the government, it would probably be over the line. In the past few weeks, we've heard stories from Alaska that would never, ever have been national news if Sarah Palin wasn't in the position she's in now. I think most journalists would agree that candidates need to be thoroughly scrutinised: the rules aren't the same as those that govern reporting on average Joes, city councillors or the small-business owner across the street. Sometimes harsh coverage is needed.

The question for me is not whether it's too mean, but whether the information is correct and leads fairly to the conclusions the reporter has drawn.

I agree with some things in the story. McCain does seem to have become the sort of politician he ran against in 2000. It took me months to accept this: I didn't want to believe it. I bet he is a bit of a jerk sometimes. (I can be, too.) I know he has a temper.

The reporter dwells on McCain's experience as a prisoner of war, suggesting that the real story is not nearly as honourable as some would have us believe. I'm sure that McCain wasn't an unusual POW. I bet he really was just one of 600 in the camp. But that's what I already thought. Nobody's claiming that he single-handedly rescued everyone in the camp.

And another thing: POWs who give up information are not traitors. I can't blame McCain for telling his captors that his father was an admiral. In the same situation, any of us would probably have said the same thing. People who are tortured are usually willing to say anything to make the torture stop. Nobody blamed William Sampson for giving a false confession. I probably wouldn't have lasted an hour under the same circumstances.

It seems like almost everyone who was quoted for this story dislikes Mr. McCain. This is not an automatic indication that the story is flawed, but it does raise some flags. People seem to either love it or hate it, which makes me think it's probably unfair. I don't have enough background to know that for sure, though. The people who hate it don't seem to be debunking the main points; they seem to be upset that Rolling Stone published the story at all.

I bet my readers will have opinions about the story. Thanks for your question.

Welcome, Fleetwood Mac fans

I read Heroes Are Hard To Find, too, and I appreciate the link.

This blog is not entirely about Fleetwood Mac, but I do write about them from time to time. Those posts are available here. You are more than welcome to stick around. The link for my RSS feed is over on the right.

Yes, I had the Stevie Nicks song in mind when I picked out the name for this website.

UPDATED: I also read Lindsey Buckingham (the website, not the man). Thanks for the link.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yes, I was outspoken.

Rosanne Cash for VP.

Coming together in a bipartisan spirit



Reader-submitted question: Megan, have you seen this skit from SNL? You've got to check it out soon because it keeps getting pulled.

I did not realise it until today, but apparently the Republicans have whipped themselves up into a lather about this SNL sketch featuring Kristen Wiig (Nancy Pelosi), Jason Sudeikis (George W. Bush) and Fred Armisen (Barney Frank). They call it "The Banned SNL Skit".

This sketch is not actually "banned". By this, I mean that it aired on television a few days ago and is currently prominently featured on the Saturday Night Live website's archive of recent videos. I watched it when it aired last weekend. That's Anne Hathaway as the woman who can't have children without getting stretch marks.

I was intrigued by the idea that the clip has been "banned", presumably because it makes fun of Nancy Pelosi and states that the Democrats deserve some of the blame for the financial meltdown. From what I can tell, the Republicans are furious because YouTube has been taking down this clip whenever people upload it. Just more proof that the elite media is against them!

It's sort of funny to watch. From Canada.

I'm sure the video has been pulled from YouTube, because NBC has been a total jerk about all NBC clips on YouTube, including SNL sketches. They have succeeded in getting all NBC material pulled from the site as soon as it is identified. Comedy Central's lawyers have done the same thing: just try searching for Jon Stewart clips. The big media companies don't want you to find their stuff on YouTube or even on a personal blog; they want you to find it on their own sites. If they find out you're doing this, you'll get a nasty letter from their lawyers. You can embed their videos from THEIR site, like I've done here. They get mad if you copy their content to your own server.

I think they're being jerks, but it is their property. They have a copyright in this material. They want you to go to their site to watch it. Yes, grumble, grumble.

This goes for ALL of NBC's clips. This one's no different. SNL makes fun of Nancy Pelosi all the time.

I do notice a small edit to this video, but I'm not sure why it was made. Near the end of the video, Darrell Hammond plays a guy who sold his portfolio for $24 billion. There used to be a super that said something like "These people should be shot" as he bragged about his investments. Ninety seconds from the end, you can hear the laughter from the live audience as this text was put on the screen, but it's gone from this video. I don't know why it was taken off, but I'm guessing that the NBC censors insisted on removing it.

UPDATED: There is another edit to the video, and I don't know why it was made, either. As he left, Hammond's character said this:
"Thank you, Congressman Frank, as well as many Republicans, for helping block congressional oversight of our corrupt activities."

This has been removed from the video on NBC's site. Is Hammond playing a real person? Someone who might have threatened to sue NBC for libel?

UPDATED AGAIN: Because I'm totally serious when I say that I like John McCain:

I think I might wander underground


A number of readers contacted me about Lindsey Buckingham's appearance on Q the other day. If you missed it, you can still listen to the podcast. The show starts off with a discussion of John Lennon's legacy: if that bores you, you can skip to about the one-third point in the show.

I wouldn't normally link to anything Jian Ghomeshi is involved with, but I'll make an exception because it's Lindsey. I know my readers want me to put aside that sort of partisan politics and work with people on all sides. It's all about Lindsey's album sales, right?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"We are all wondering what women think is wrong with their breasts."

Reader-submitted: I thought you were going to rave about Russell Smith's column on women's bras.

Well...

I actually do agree with him about padded bras.

Never say that I am unwilling to admit that I agree with someone.

I thought Russell was going to play with double entendres when he started his column with a reference to defined cleavage and men swelling. Sadly, he missed an opportunity. Or maybe the Paper of Record isn't gutsy enough to really have fun with a column like this. It's hard to know which.

Too bad.

"I think I've been slow to understand your question."



The election's in a few days, and Canadians are buzzing about this video. Stephane Dion is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Conservatives say it shows that Mr. Dion is not ready to lead. Liberals say it shows that Mr. Dion, who has hearing problems and was working in his second language, did not understand a question that was a bit harder to understand than it needed to be.

The question, as asked by Steve Murphy: If you were prime minister now, what would you have done that Mr. Harper has not done?

This is your standard "what would you have done about this problem?" sort of question, although my version of the question is definitely simpler than the way Mr. Murphy phrased it. The leader of any national party should be able to answer this. Mr. Dion did answer, but as you can see from the video, he had several false starts.

I am interested in this video for what it says about journalism ethics. (Yes, I've been writing about this topic a lot lately. I'll move on to something else eventually, I promise.)

This is called a "do-over". In taped TV and radio interviews, it's common to ask questions a second time if the person asks to start over. There are no real rules about when this is appropriate, but in general, it is done if the person does not understand the question or catches himself in an error that was only a slip of the tongue. ("Did I just say there are fifty dogs at the shelter? That was wrong. There are only fifteen dogs at the shelter. Can we start that again?") There is an agreement between the interviewer and the interviewee that the flubbed bit will be edited out of the final product.

In this case, the CTV team agreed to start again. Not just once but several times. Then the producer decided to break the agreement with Mr. Dion.

It could be argued that one do-over would have been overlooked, but that in this case, it was news that the candidate asked for so many do-overs. I think that's why CTV did this.

But still, this is a clear example of a network breaking its word. Interviewers need to be above that. If Mr. Murphy and his co-workers felt they were taking part in an interview that itself was news because of the way it was conducted, they should never have agreed to edit those parts out.

Journalism relies on trust. The public must be able to have faith in the news media, but trust is earned, not given away. If the reporter agrees to edit certain things out, he has to do that. If one do-over is permitted but three are not, the reporter has an obligation to say so: he can't make any agreements that would lead the interviewee to believe otherwise. CTV screwed this one up from the start.

I honestly don't know what this video says about Mr. Dion's ability to lead, but I do know what it says about CTV.

Elsewhere on the Interweb:
Geoff Meeker
Offal News

I really do like John McCain



Ignore the editorializing on this video. Just watch Mr. McCain.

I was reading about this trend in the elite media the other day. I am really glad I live in Canada.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I can't help myself. I love Betty White.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The normal flaws

Today's episode of Little Miss Know-it-All: I SHOULDN'T LOOK THE WAY I REALLY LOOK IN PICTURES! PHOTOJOURNALISTS SHOULD PRESENT AN INCORRECT IMAGE OF ME! YES, THEY SHOULD! YES, THEY SHOULD!

Before I start, I am going to acknowledge that I do not have nearly as much experience in photojournalism as some of my readers. I know that some of you are professional photographers, and I invite your responses. I personally have no more hands-on experience than anyone else who has worked as a reporter at a weekly newspaper, although I did take classes in photojournalism in j-school. I would not want to give anyone the impression that I have a lot of experience in this field.

Our friends at Fox News are very, very upset about this Newsweek cover. They think it makes Ms. Palin look terrible.


Yeah, I was confused, too. Ms. Palin is a former beauty queen; although I've been clear about the way I feel about her, I can't deny that she is attractive.

Apparently Fox News and the Republicans are furious, because this photo was not retouched.

Yeah, I'm still confused, too. The picture looks really nice to me. I don't see a need to retouch it. And even if it was a bad photo, retouching is against photojournalism ethics.

This clip has to be seen to be believed, but in case you're at work, here are some of the points the reporter (!!!) made:

  • You can't actually see the problems on TV, so you'll have to trust her. (Actually, you shouldn't trust her. I've posted the photo, so you can see it for yourself.)
  • Barack Obama was on Newsweek's cover and they literally put a halo on him. (No, they didn't. The image is backlit. You can see it clearly in this clip.)
  • Any respectable magazine should be retouching its photos. THAT'S WHAT MAGAZINES DO. (Uh...not news magazines, dummy. You must be thinking of Cosmo.)
  • Barack Obama looks perfect on ALL magazine covers! (Really? Are those wrinkles? Does he have a wart?)
  • The article is really mean, but does offer a counter-point from Karl Rove. (I can't tell. Is this supposed to be a positive thing?)
This photo is obviously a clear slap in the face. Women are ugly in close-up shots, and everyone knows that! This photo highlights every imperfection. Any woman would be shocked and horrified. Meanwhile, Barack Obama is hot, hot, hot on all of the magazine covers. It's just not fair. What we need is MORE manipulation in the media so that people don't look the way they actually look.

I keep thinking that this is a joke, but apparently it's all real. I'll go really slowly, because, after all, it IS Fox News:

Ms. Palin is beautiful.

This photo is really nice.

Retouching news photos is unethical.

Photo editing is an art. Editors choose photos to tell a story, and some minor manipulation is allowed. For example, a photo can be cropped or blown up. It can be published in black & white instead of full colour. Some publications allow photos to be flipped; others do not. Combining or retouching photos is a definite no-no. Photo illustrations have to be clearly labelled. The fundamental principle is that news photos should accurately reflect a moment, even if they were taken in a photo shoot, like this one obviously was.

Photo editors also have a lot of freedom in selecting images: they are in no way required to choose photos that are flattering, although most try not to publish pictures that are ugly. This particular photo looks like it's from the same set as the cover shot from a few weeks ago:
This cover shot was also very nice, and I didn't hear any screaming about it. But then, that was before Ms. Palin showed herself to be one of the stupidest people I've ever seen in national politics.

Normally we don't see our female politicians as pin-up models who need every "flaw" to be airbrushed away, but apparently that's how Fox News and this disgusting Republican strategist see Ms. Palin. She's a celebrity who should be looked at, not listened to. It's an insult to publish photos of her unless they've been retouched.

I suspect that if Ms. Palin was capable of stringing a sentence together, nobody would care how pretty she is.

(H/T to Bloggasm.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years."

Reader-submitted question: Why do I just feel like slapping you till you answer a question in a informative manner?

First, I would like to thank Megan for allowing me this privilege of writing on this blog. It really is a joy to be able to work with someone on the other side of the aisle, which is something I have a long history of and that I think is really essential to our success as a country and as a nation. This great nation that I am so proud of and that I thank God every day that I am a part of it and a real leader who has the confidence and the readiness. That man is John McCain.

I am so glad that you asked me that question. Because, of course, there are people all over this great land who are asking questions and we need to support that, really that inquisitiveness and questioning that is so critical.

I have the experience that is needed to answer your question. And I've proved it many times. Just the other day I was reading my Starbucks cup for advice, and that's yet another way that I am the real deal. Other people are just seeing which way the wind blows. I am the only candidate who looks to caffeinated beverages and lattes and also coffees and other hot beverages and cold ones also to decide how to take this campaign. That's that maverick spirit.

You know what I like most about blogging and writing on the Internet and other forms of online communication also? I think it's important to talk to you without anyone else around. Not having anyone interrupt me to ask what I mean, but just to talk to a voter like you or a person who's thinking about voting without a filter and that is our biggest problem, my biggest problem, although I don't have a problem, it's been created by the media elite. Now I know what you're thinking, that anyone can read the Internet and even comment on it, and yeah, but here with my computer it's just me. And it FEELS real. And I have the confidence in that, and I know it in my gut that it's true, because I don't have years of experience like other people that I've been watching on TV since I was like in second grade. I know that this great country wants someone who knows what the Internet is, and that is why I have worked so hard to answer your question here on the computer and then post it to the Internet so you can read it on your computer or your Blackberry or your portable reading device also. That has to be taken into consideration.

Thank you for your question, and God bless America.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

As I watch the debate

Reader-submitted question: Here's the real question: Are you still going to vote McCain?







The apocalypse

Last week I was distracted by attacks on my personal and professional integrity, so I did not write about a pressing journalism issue that needs to be covered. I apologise and will get back to my normal blogging.

Today's episode of Little Miss Know-it-All: Holy crap, I agree with Russell Smith.

As loyal viewers of Fox News know, the Canadian government launched a shameful attack on Sarah Palin a few weeks ago. The ultra-left-wing Conservative government funds a state broadcaster called the CBC. (In an oh-so-liberal attempt to fool voters, the extreme liberals rebranded their party as "Conservative". Typical leftists.) The CBC speaks for the government. And that's why it's extremely offensive that they published a column that was very critical of Ms. Palin. How dare they?

Okay, here's what actually happened.

Heather Mallick is a Canadian columnist. She did indeed write a column that was very critical of Ms. Palin. It was over-the-top offensive, in fact. Some of it was clearly supposed to be funny, but other parts were completely inexcusable.

Ms. Mallick is not a CBC employee; she is a freelancer. This column was posted to CBC.ca, as have other columns she has written. Fox News went nuts, and its viewers sent hate mail to Ms. Mallick and the CBC.

The CBC stood behind Ms. Mallick at first, saying that she is an opinion columnist and her job is to express her opinions.

The ombudsman received over 300 complaints, and decided to investigate. He found that there were problems with the column, because it presumed to offer facts that could not be substantiated. "Facts" like these: Republican men are sexual inadequates! Ms. Palin's supporters are white trash!

The CBC caved. They apologised and retracted the column.

You may already see the problem with this. Ms. Mallick didn't actually mean that Republican men are sexual inadequates: it wasn't presented as a fact at all. Of course she had no substantiation for this. She was making a joke. A rude joke, to be sure, but a joke. I'm pretty sure that men don't have secret meetings in which they promise to be irresponsible with their semen, either.

OK, on to Russell Smith.

As long-time readers know, I have often criticised Russell for being self-important and long-winded. He, in turn, has criticised me for being a bitter, sad lady. However, today I actually agree with him. It's important to get this on the record, because he Googles himself constantly and will want this for his scrapbook.

Russell rightly points out that it is rare for a news organisation not to back a columnist after a controversy, and that many columnists receive hate mail. He also points out that anyone who disagreed with Ms. Mallick was given a public forum to do so. And he is correct to mention that the column was no ruder than things that have been said about Hillary Clinton.

Russell then suggests that the retraction is a sign of something far more troubling: the possibility that our national broadcaster will include more right-wing opinion pieces simply because of the hate mail from another country.

Seriously, go over and read Russell's column. It's a good one.

The CBC should definitely be including right-wing views, and not just on CBC.ca. Our national broadcaster has a mandate to reflect Canada to Canadians. Professional journalists are responsible for making sure that happens. When they screw up, they need to admit it and take steps to keep the problem from happening again.

The problem here wasn't a lack of conservative voices on CBC.ca. It was with the editing of the original column. The column was indeed "viciously personal, grossly hyperbolic and intensely partisan."

Viciously personal is not OK -- this is the reason I objected to the statements she made. I do not like it when people take nasty, personal potshots at individuals. In this case, Ms. Mallick went completely beyond anything I'm able to support by attacking the personal appearances of the Palin children. Not cool.

Grossly hyperbolic can sometimes be OK. It depends on the context. I'm grossly hyperbolic when I write as Uriel. Ms. Mallick has made a living on gross hyperbole. It's not as if the CBC didn't know this when they started to publish her columns.

Intensely partisan is totally fine as long as it is balanced with dissenting opinions. It seems to me that CBC is already doing this, but perhaps I'm missing something.

The vicious personal stuff could have been edited out. Calling Bristol "pramface" added nothing to the argument. The "porn actress" comment was completely un-called-for. I actually like to read about candidates' fashion and style choices (Robin Givhan is my favourite fashion writer), but that was not the point of this column. It didn't belong there and should have been edited out. I wish the CBC had seen this.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Live from Japan



From Lindsey Buckingham's open shirt to Stevie Nicks's sulky, off-tempo tambourine banging, this has never seemed more appropriate.

Hey, do you know my friend Mack the Hack? You don't? Yes, you do.

Because you asked

Reader-submitted complaint: You blog at work.

No, I don't. This is a personal blog. It's all about me. I maintain it on my own time, using a computer that I own, and I write about my own personal opinions and experiences. I write about work all day long, into the night and half of the weekend, and I honestly have no interest in blogging about it when I finally get home.

(SPECIAL NOTE TO READERS WHO HAPPEN TO BE MY BOSS: Sorry, but it's true.)

I don't personally do it, but I am not opposed to blogging at work as long as people get their work done. I'm not even opposed to blogging about what happens on the job, within reason. In fact, some of my favourite northern bloggers often mention their 9-5 lives. I'm glad that they love their work so much that they want to share those experiences with the world. I love my job just as much as they do, but I set up this blog so I would be able to write about the other things that interest me. I write about work for hours every day. This space is mine.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you what I do in my office that has any relation to this blog.

I read comments and sometimes respond to them. Comments to this blog come in on an RSS feed, so I get an automatic notification when someone leaves me a message. I usually read comments within a few hours of the time you leave them, but sometimes I don't get around to checking the feed because I'm too busy. I'm not ignoring you; I'm just distracted because work is my priority while I'm at work. Sometimes I'm at work on weekends or into the evening: again, I'm not ignoring you, I'm just too busy to respond right away.

I read blogs on my RSS feed and add them to my sidebar. I usually refresh the list with new posts about once a day. Again, sometimes I don't get to this.

I sometimes get ideas for new posts. In the first year or so, I used to save ideas in Blogger: I'd open a new post, write a sentence or two to remind me what I wanted to write about, and save it as a draft. I later realised that when I did this, my posts were published with a time stamp showing the time I started the draft (11:03 a.m. and so on). I stopped doing this because I figured that eventually someone would accuse me of blogging at work. Now that I think about it, I could have used the "post options" menu to change the time stamp. I really should go back to doing this. It was a good system.

I check my site meter. If you're on my site, I know who you are, where you came from and what you did. To pick an example at random, you might obsessively reload my site all day and do searches for words related to yourself. I know you did this. Or you might decide to read every post I've ever written. I know you did this, too. I can even tell if you're at work when you did it. Really, you shouldn't spend hours looking at my blog while you're at work, but that's between you and your boss.

No, I don't blog at the office. It usually takes about an hour to do one of my longer posts; although I sometimes have lulls in my work, I almost never have an entire hour with nothing to do. If I did have that much free time, I probably wouldn't sit in my office, I'd eat a sandwich and read the Paper of Record.

Thanks for your complaint.