Friday, June 26, 2009

MOre links for you

Just one today, since Jeff Goldblum did not die yesterday, enjoy this:


Be sure to turn up the sound before clicking.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You know what I miss

caribou fajitas at the Kamotiq. RIP Kamotiq.


The well connected PEI businessman who I accused of using "slave labour" to get the lowest bid for food at the BIG ASS COUNTRY ROCK OUT THAT HAPPENS AT THE SAME TIME AS A FORMER BEATLE IN HALIFAX (I bet that wouldn't fit on the poster) has "clarified" his position.

This here blog thing is always ready to provide another point of view, provided I don't disagree with it ;) Here is what he had to say in the local paper:

Everyone serving food are paid employees, our staff,” he said. “That’s always been the case. We always pay our staff. That’s been the case for 28 years.”
Murphy said the volunteer work being done is associated with Oak Acres Children’s Foundation, the charity selected to be the recipient of the profits brought in through sales at the beverage tent.
The Oak Acres camp near Murray River is a registered charity which operates six camping sessions per summer for children who are selected to attend by the province’s guidance counsellors.
Approximately 480 children are able to enjoy the camp each year at no cost.
Murphy added that all the volunteers recruited will be working in the beverage tent on behalf of the charity.
“That’s the only volunteer element with the festival,” Murphy said. “That message didn’t get out for some reason.”

The entire story is here.

Misinterpreted the ad.... funny, when David Letterman had a joke "misinterpreted" last week, he pointed out that is his responsability, you should be able to know what it means when you hear it. Same thing goes with an ad.

Here is what the paper said:

When the ad appeared in The Guardian, it made no mention of the charity nor explained the reasons behind the request for volunteers. The ad resulted in a number of critical comments, including the P.E.I. Federation of Labour which questioned using free labour for a private business.

The businessman in question has a long history of supporting charitable causes. I actually do believe him when he says that was his intent all along. HIs employee saying on local CBC that

"We're in business to make money," Wright told CBC News. "We put our best foot forward to try and get this contract."

"We're providing food for the bands and the acts, so … they may get to rub elbows with Reba McEntire or some of the other acts."

makes me wonder if I am being too generous, but, I have learned doing this job over time that often, things aren't as evil as you may think. Many alleged cover-ups and the like are the fabrication of active imaginations. I just don't know in this case. I do know that the guy has donated a shitload of cash to charities over time. That buys you a little slack, as previously explained in this here blog as the Chris Bosh rule.
The entire damn thing is still crooked, but the "slave labour" is not what I thought.

However, for his spokespeople to say that people volunteering in the booze tent have a chance to meet a celebrity is complete bullshit. Yeah, Reba hangs out in the beer tent.... sure.....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Links, and why they are here

I have removed the "tags" section from the sidebar because it was going on for too long and I rarely use the same tag twice, making it huge. Plus, there is a trick going on here.

I watched a documentary about Google, and learned that one of the major factors in Google's secret formula for ranking websites is links. The more links you have out there to your stuff, the higher it is ranked on Google.

So, linking to a site is just like voting for it.

That is why the links section of this blog is getting so damn long, there are lots of things I would love to vote for. Here is a selection of the few things I have linked to in the past week or so:

24b/6: One bored Australian with a cutting sense of humour and a desire to turn mundane things into his own personal attack on the world.

Crying While Eating: Just what it bills, people crying while eating, and explaining what they are crying about and what they are eating.

Encyclopedia Dramatica: These guys a razor sharp and vicious, so I'll use their own description, out of fear "The mission of the Encyclopedia Dramatica is to "spread the lulz". In other words, we exist to provide a place to catalog episodes of parody, humor and satire located on the internet, along with all associated language, individuals and media."

One Post Wonder:: Blogs that only lasted one post.

If you blog, and find something you think is deserving of recognition, for goodness sake, LINK to it. It is a vote on Google, and you can actively support whatever you want to support. In my case, it is Jesus VS Nazis, maybe you like other stuff..... just support what you appreciate.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is it a stage, a temporary stage, or a bunch of fences?

From the CBC Charlottetown comments page:

"PEI is more currupt than Mexico and Quebec put together."

That bit of inspired prose is from the comments section of this story.... but that is more of the sequel, I'll work up to it.

Last year, the Alanis Morissette concert ended up with less attendance than hoped. That company received around $400,000 from the provincial government, according to various media reports. The company changed ownership just before the show.

[Brief aside: anyone who knows me away from this here blog knows I know the person who originally held the company. That person is smart enough to not talk to a reporter about his business, which works out nice for both of us. I don't work there, I don't need to know. This entire screed is based on information found in the public prints.].

The Tourism Minister had to defend the investment, which, according to what I saw and watched, did not go so well:

From "Tourism minister grilled on losses from show" [by Teresa Wright... by the way, if I ever meet NJN Network, I'll tell him to wait a minute so I can go home and put on MY red raincoat and heels, so I could tell him to step off nice and proper].

From that story, you can find out that the Minister changed course a few times, including not releasing the original business plan, and saying that her department never asked the Liberal connected company that took over to take over.

Previously, she said she would provide the plan, and said that they asked that company to take over.

Enter "The Chair of the Island’s Tourism Advisory Council". A quick look at Open Corporations -- before it was shut down -- shows that person's connections very clearly, including financial partnerships with the promoter who took over the Alanis show.

The Chair is the same Chair whose board recommended this Cavendish Country Hoe Down. The chair's restaurants are now asking people to work for them for free at the concert.

That festival will be well backed. I have no problem with the Chair putting in a bid, if you eliminated everyone with a chance of receiving financial benefit from planning processes, those would be some empty meetings.

Thing is, if their low bid includes slave labour, shouldn't that raise a red flag?

Now we get to the point of this entire post. That $900,000 isn't for a stage. It is for a temporary stage and to upgrade facilities around the concert area. $900,000 -- matched by the promoters -- for a temporary stage, for a concert that already received $200,000 from the province. The promoters said they didn't need the $200,000.

Just a few weeks ago, this stage was being called permanent by the Tourism Minister. Now it is temporary, and almost $1 million of taxpayer dollars are going into a stage on private property.

From the original story is this nugget "No taxpayer money will be handed over until organizers prove the work has been done."

My question, what constitutes the work being done. I would have to assume that it means that a permanent stage is there.... not a fence to make sure the promoters don't get ripped off.

I know that McIntyre and McGraw are a huge deal to some folks. I also know that AC/DC, Paul McCartney, Kiss and Bon Jovi are playing the Maritimes this summer.

The promoters are predicting "tens of thousands" of people to come to Cavendish for the concert. I hope they are right. I think they are wrong.

I'll end with some things to ponder:

-- What determines success in Cavendish? 10,000 people? Tens of Thousands? Or setting up private promoters -- approved by a committee chaired by someone connected with the party in power and who stands to benefit financially -- to repeat this idea year after year?

-- What determines the work being complete on the stage? Is it temporary or permanent? Will they still get their money for a temporary stage?

-- How is it that the Tourism Minister can change her stance to suit circumstances (at least three times in this blog post alone) and not be challenged on it?

-- The explanation from the DM over at Tourism for the Alanis investment was "Our position has been going into it, and the rationale around supporting an event like a fall music festival, was to shore up the fall season." This one doesn't support that goal. What is their goal with this investment?

-- Finally, I wonder what will be the response on PEI if the Big Country Show doesn't do as well as hoped? Can we expect the personal venom I witnessed as a result of the Alanis show? Will we see the Tourism Minister go before a committee and try to put forward another changed position? Higher stakes and more money should equal more public outrage if things don't go well. My sneaking suspicion is that since it is country music, Islanders will just shut up and take it, but we will have to see. What I do know is that the fervor that surrounded the Alanis concert, if multiplied by dollars spent, would be huge.

What I learned with my small experience putting on musical events is that it is too damn risky for me to risk my future on. The Minister may be learning that lesson for herself, on the people's dime.

What I have learned as a journalist is that this entire Cavendish Festival needs to be Accesed to Information until it bleeds paper. There is a much bigger story going on.

It reeks of patronage, half-assed planning, and outright lies. What it needs is a blinding light of public interest until the truth comes out, whatever that may be.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What I will be doing in September

From The Cavern Club to the roof of the studio, with stops in Shea Stadium and the Ed Sullivan show.

And it looks like they have two mics for the Lennon/McCartney sing along stuff....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kanye West Loves Fur

I ripped this off from Perez, but it is too good not to share. YOu know Pink, the singer. She was at a fashion show with Kanye West, and posted this on her blog:

"Kanye West is the person pissing me off right now. I was at Stella McCartney's Paris fashion show with the vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Paul McCartney and Kanye West. The entire time Kanye is going, 'They need more fur in this show'. He just wouldn't shut up about how he loved fur. I mean, he's saying this to me, the PETA guy and Paul McCartney! I was just so grossed out by him. I'm like, 'You're an idiot!' There are so many people who I think are a waste of skin and he's up there. I should wear him. Go on, donate yourself Kanye. People can wear your fur."

I recall a full length seal skin overcoat from the GN collection that can only be described as pimpalicious. Kanye, I bet they would lend it to you....

Pushing fur at Paul McCartney..... they could make you an honourary Citizen of Nunavut Mr West.

At least you get a few links:

You Could Be My Black Kate Moss Tonight

You Know YOu Can't Roll Without Caesar (watch this one all the way through, most creative video I've seen in a dog's age)

And who could ever forget this, look at poor Mike Meyers and how awkward he looks:

On our show, we had the National Spokesperson for PETA out of DC on for an interview. Our anchor started asking her how can people afford to eat without seal considering that you can pay $20 for orange juice in Rankin Inlet.

And once she dug in, she didn't let go. The PETA talking head got so frustrated that she said:

"If they can afford ATV's and handguns to shoot seals, then they can afford......"

Ever see someone shoot a seal with a handgun? Me neither. It was good TV