The Tragically Hip: Canadian
“New Orleans Is Sinking”; ‘Up To Here(1989)
(6pm) BBC: World News
1) Serbia Didn’t Do It: According to the BBC “Bosnian Muslim leaders have voiced disappointment” after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in a 13-2 decision ruled that the slaughter of 8,000 boys and men in Srebrenica was genocide, but Belgrade (re: Serbia) was not directly responsible. People get disappointed when there are no cookies left in the jar. I personally get disappointed when there’s no Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper left at the convenience store. There was a genocide, in Europe — who kind of promised that kind of thing would never happen again — and the ICJ rules that the state which sponsored the genocide is not guilty of said genocide. The State, they said, is not responsible for the States decision to commit genocide. Oh, genocide did take place, they gave the victims that much. And the State of Serbia did sponsor and support the Bosnian Army in their genocidal ways and dead people are still being found in mass graves all over Bosnia and, yes, there were mass expulsions, mass killings and mass rape, and… okay, Serbia did nothing to actually, you know, stop the rapes, killings and expulsions it explicitly knew were occurring under it’s command, but in no way can the Serbian State be held accountable because… ahem. I don’t know, maybe nobody needs that kind of hassle. The ICJ, in its ruling, did say “Serbia and Montenegro had violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by not preventing or punishing the perpetrators of the genocide”. Oh. Well, there you go. Between 1992 and 1995 at least 100,000 people were killed in another European war that, once again, Europe was unable and seemingly unwilling to stop. Then American, British and Canadian troops felt compelled to step in — again (third time’s the charm) — to stop Europeans from killing each other because those civil wars were spreading right across the Balkans. The ICJ decision basically means that, unlike the last time, no State will be held to account this time for the industrial slaughter of citizens because of their ethnicity and/or religion. This genocide will be laid solely at the feet of individuals like Slobodan Milosevic, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. I don’t think these were the lessons Europe was supposed to have learned from Auschwitz. You’ve come a long way, baby.
2) Iran’s Probably Doing It: Large caches of weapons and explosives are turning up in Iraq with Iranian markings and serial numbers on them. Kuwait is taking delivery of newer and better American Patriot Missile platforms. American refueling planes, those giant flying gas stations, are being redeployed to the region. The US Marine Corps has deployed several ships of heavily armed men and women to the general location. A second American Aircraft Carrier Battle Group has officially entered the region and has announced that if anyone, anyone at all, even looked at them funny they would retaliate with a whole lot of overwhelming force. The announcement was then repeated several times at varying volumes in Perisan. The second Battle Group is considered to be, on it’s own, one of the top six most powerful Navy’s on Earth. The other five being Britain and the other four American Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups. America now has more nuclear megatonnes within five minutes of downtown Tehran than Europe has rusting in their collective bunkers. Tony Snow, the White House spokesperson, said “we prefer to avoid military confrontation, but the United States in unwilling to live with a nuclear Iran.” Hans Blix, some old guy, was then quoted as saying “that may be the plan, but plans can change overnight.” This is Kissinger diplomacy. Without the hammer the incentives mean nothing. Personally I think if the Iranian leadership believes the Americans are bluffing there will be several new, and very bright, holes in the Persian sky next year aboot this time. But I think they’ve gotten the message. From here on it’s aboot negotiating a face-saving deal of some kind.
3) Iraqi VP Almost Gets Done In : Five people were killed when a bomb detonated inside the Public Works Ministry in Baghdad. Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi and the Minister of Public Works, Riad Ghraib, were slightly wounded. According to the BBC “police are investigating how explosives were smuggled into the building.” My guess is through the front door in large sacks marked “Danger: Explosives”.
(6.30pm) ABC World News With Charles Gibson
1) al-Qaida Might Do It Again: American VP Dick Cheney was in Pakistan today (Monday), apparently Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s strategy of allowing al-Qaida to run the northern third of his country may not be turning the terrorist organization into upstanding world citizens after all. Apparently both British and American intelligence services have tied the recent plots to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean and maybe blow up a few subway cars in Britain to people in North Waziristan. A spokesperson for Musharraf said after the meeting that everything was fine and that there was nothing to see here. ABC reported that the “meetings got rather heated” and involved a top official from the CIA and a very detailed powerpoint presentation involving lots of surveillance photos of North Waziristan. In a weird coincidence the American Vice President was also fairly close to an explosion a little later in the day while he was in Afghanistan when a bomb went off outside the Bagram airbase where he was staying.
2) Iraqi Militants Almost Do It: More aboot the Iraqi VP almost getting himself blowed up. ABC reports that ten people died in the attack. They also reported that the draft legislation is ready regarding the division of “oil wealth” to the peoples of Iraq. Some provisions were included to appease the Sunni’s in Central Iraq.
3) Al Gore Actually Didn’t Do It: It was a pop culture love fest as the Oscar’s, according to Leo DiCaprio, “went green”… apparently traveling a few miles in an hybrid car made of plastic which is made from oil, and printing irrelevant material on recycled paper is Hollywood’s idea of saving the environment. When something so shallow, so devoid of worth as “Celebrity” stands up and preaches from Babylon aboot anything we should take a step back, congratulate them all on their ability to memorize complete sentences, then put them back into their gilded cage for another year. Which is what has happened. Gore actually didn’t win the Academy Award. The Award went to filmmaker Davis Guggenheim. Gore just got up on stage and started talking. So this is twice he hasn’t won something but left Hollywood convinced he won both times. If he’s not installed again as President in 2008 look for Gore not to win the Nobel Prize and for Hollywood to celebrate his victory.
(10pm) CBC: The National With Peter Mansbridge:
1) Jesus Tomb: The only thing the CBC loves more than pumping up weak stories into outright scandals aboot Canadian governments is trying to convince people that the Christian Church is being “fundamentally shaken to its foundations” every time a new movie comes out. “Last Temptation Of Christ” was supposed to turn Christians into right-thinking citizens… or something. “Dogma” was a threat to Catholic beliefs because… I don’t know, maybe because Ben Affleck was in it. Then “The Da Vinci Code” was going to expose the Opus Dei as a bunch of child eaters. If you’ve got a movie project based on slim to none evidence that Jesus was a gay-porn star who may, or may not, have sucked coke off of Judas’ engorged penis, the CBC will give you five minutes and Neil MacDonald will be only too happy to do the standup. This time it’s a “made for television documentary” aboot two limestone boxes the filmmakers believe once contained the remains of Jesus and Mary Magdalene during a news conference Monday at the New York Public Library. It’s called “The Lost Tomb of Christ”… I’m sure it’ll be in focus.
2) Canadian Citizenship Screwup: Okay… before 1947 there were no “Canadian Citizens”. We were “British Subjects”. So before 1947 there were no Canadians. But as of 1947 we’ve had our own Citizenship Act. Now… apparently, during the switch over, some people got lost in the Never Never Land of Canadian beaurocracy and they lost their citizenship because they didn’t fill out the right form. But no one told them they lost their citizenship, so they’ve been living and having children in Canada who then grew up not knowing either they weren’t citizens or that their parents weren’t citizens. They’re being called (as far as I can tell, only by the CBC) “The Lost Canadians”. The Canadian Government is holding hearings where one woman called herself a “tenth generation Canadian” but not a citizen. After applying for passports people were receiving letters telling them they had lost their citizenship when they reached their 24th birthday. The Economist Magazine ran an editorial called “Lost In Kafkaland. There are fewer than a thousand of these cases and the current Minister of Immigration says she’s working through each case as quickly as possible.
3) Judicial Selection Process Changed: And a chance to attack the government. Whoever was setting up the editorial lineup at the CBC must have been sweating through their underwear tonight. The CBC is a “public broadcaster” which receives around $1B/year from government subsidies, and they take every opportunity given to them to prove they’re not part of the government. Occasionally they do good reporting on stuff the government of the day fucks up on, but mostly it’s hype. The Conservative Government wants to put judges on the bench that reflect their philosophies regarding crime and punishment. Every Canadian government has done this since our country was created. Our judges are selected by Provincial committee’s, these selections are then offered up to the Prime Minister and, without consultation, he gets to pick whomever he wants. Instead of maybe bringing up this little piece of non-democratic Parliamentary procedure as something that needs changing, the CBC is going after Prime Minister Stephen Harper because he wants to put a law enforcement official (a cop) on each of the Provincial committees. That’s Billion, with a B.
(11pm) CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson:
1) The Jesus Box: The movie, “The Lost Tomb of Christ”, was produced by Titanic director, and Canadian, James Cameron and Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici. They claim to have found ten “ossuary’s”, or burial boxes, in Jerusalem which contain the skeletal remains of Jesus, his wife, Mary Magdalene, and their child. They have a few “scholars” and “experts” willing to stand up and be quoted.” The person who actually found the ossuary’s several years ago says that he thinks the filmmakers are full of dog crap. A professor of Religious Studies says all this Jesus-alternate universe stuff comes from a dissatisfaction with the original Jesus-narrative. But, he said, believing there’s truth in movies like this one and “DaVinci Code” is irresponsible and intellectually naive.
2) Hijab Banned From Soccer Field: An 11-year old girl was kicked off the soccer pitch at a tournament in Laval, Quebec, for refusing to remove her hijab. She had already played in two games without incident, but as she ran out for the third the referee kicked her out. The coach of her Ontario-based team consulted with his players and the decision was made to forfeit he rest of the tournament. Five other Ontario-based teams quickly followed. The girl says she still loves soccer, and wears a red hijab because that’s the ream colour. The tournament organizers backed the refs decision saying it was a safety issue and that the hijab could get caught on another player and cause choking or some such total bigoted bullshit. Women are playing soccer in Iran, Pakistan and in the West Bank wearing the hijab and no one has died from having a loose hijab. But this is Quebec, and in Quebec religion is treated in a manner very similar to Europe. The belief is, Quebec is a secular society having tossed Catholicism into the trash back in the 60’s, therefore everyone must give up their religious accoutrement. At least that’s what I thought until they said the ref’s a Muslim as well. And now I don’t know what the fuck to think because the reporter just dropped that bomb right at the end and threw it back to Lloyd at the news desk who… went onto the next story, which was:
3) Canada Puts $200M Into Afghanistan: The Canadian Government will be paying the salaries of Afghan teachers, police officers and increasing the number of road and school building projects over the next ten years. “Afghan’s”, someone said, “need to see short term, immediate gains to their lives so they can believe in their new[ish] government.” PM Stephen Harper said the money will go towards consolidating the security gains Canadian troops have made in Afghanistan. The opposition party’s in Canada’s Parliament automatically reacted by calling the new money an “admission on the government’s part that it’s strategy in Afghanistan is a failure.” The three Canadian opposition parties favour either 1) an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan or 2) troops should leave sooner. Both options would never result in a return of the Taliban because the Taliban would be forced to negotiate with the three Canadian opposition parties because that would be the moral thing to do.
3b) UK Puts New Troops Into Afghanistan: France and Germany have troops in Afghanistan, making coffee and cleaning up after meals. So Canada, Denmark, the Americans and the British are doing the actual fighting and dying. In order to make up for the fact France and Germany would get crushed by a soccer team of Ontario-based 11-year old girls, the United Kingdom has to send in another 1400 troops and Canada, already stretched, is being asked to send in another 100. France and Germany have done more damage to this planet, they have killed, slaughtered and fucked over more civilizations, than anyone else on this planet and they are deliberately sitting inside their bases in the suburbs of Kabul watching as Canadians, Americans, Danes, Brits and — even more importantly — Afghans get killed and injured every other freaking day… I could go on but my tooth hurts and I’m jacked up on Extra-Strength Tylenol. The good news is I could be in love. But the EZ To Swallow Extra Strength Tylenol could be messing with my mental reasoning, so it could still be a Deep Affection.
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I’m Canadian, it’s what we do. Off the ice.