Blog Archives - THE CATASTROPHIZER
 
Picture
Rob Ford on the left; Frank Di Giorgio on the right. And in the middle, the Consul General of Italy, who is probably a very nice man.
So obviously today's news featured a BOMBSHELL announcement. No, not that one about Rob Ford and how he's (a) a crack smoker, (b) a racist, (c) a homophobe, (d) a liar, and (e) the occasional employer of an occasional driver who perhaps came by his interest in extortion honestly by way of his experiences with drug trafficking and death-threat-issuing. 

No—the bombshell announcement came courtesy of Frank Di Giorgio (Ward 12, York South-Weston): he stated that he is standing by his crack-smoking, racist, homophobic, lying, occasional-driver/ frequent-criminal–employing mayor. He told Katie Simpson of CP24 that he does not think the mayor should step down, and that he hopes councillors can focus on business as usual—tomorrow, for example, there's the matter of the new waste-management budget, and Di Giorgio hopes that all that mayoral crack-smoking and possible extortion involvement doesn't divert any attention away from that. 

LET US MAINTAIN OUR SENSE OF PROPORTION. As Di Giorgio said when asked about the mayor's crack-smoking, "Maybe he doesn't do it every day." Can we not manage to schedule important city business for the days the mayor is NOT SMOKING CRACK?  Can we not make some allowances for a mayor who only smokes crack ONCE IN A WHILE? Do we really need a mayor who smokes NO CRACK AT ALL? 

I am so glad that even if those Pollyannas who demand mayors not EVER be high on crack triumph and Rob Ford leaves office, there will still be a voice of reason at city hall.


 
There is going to be a Murder, She Wrote reboot

If I had my own internet, there would certainly have been talk about Affleck-Batman, but that talk would now, obviously, be eclipsed by talk about Spencer-Fletcher. 

Most people are focusing on the fact that this reboot demonstrates that NBC is the network version of the saddest, most desperate, most unimaginative person who has ever existed.

Few people are discussing the fact that this re-envisioning of the long-running HIT SERIES might as well just be called Sort of Like Castle: With Octavia Spencer Instead of Nathan Fillion for all the resemblance it bears to the original. This isn't being discussed much (or at least not with much intensity) because the original show was not very good and most of the people who really liked it are now long dead—but damn it, I have proved on a mystifyingly regular basis that I love it deeply (it has its own category in this blog), and I would argue that even the most terrible shows are about things and have actors in them and so can be disrespected when networks remake them and change them so that they become unrecognizable.

If there's one thing everyone knows about Murder, She Wrote, it's that J.B. Fletcher was old, and old people liked her (that might actually be two things). Angela Lansbury was 59 when she took on the role in 1984. And J.B. Fletcher was a retired school-teacher and widow who expected to sink into quiet obscurity in Cabot Cove, Maine, but instead became a famous mystery author and international super-sleuth. It's the whole point of the show: this woman is (a) old, (b) a widow, and (c) living in Maine (although in later seasons she does keep an apartment in New York). She has already lived a whole life, and she never expected to have a whole other life. I would be willing to wager that old people liked this show not only because Lansbury was also old, but also because it suggested it's possible to have a second good and fulfilling life after your first one has ended.

I have absolutely nothing against Octavia Spencer, except for the fact that casting her as J.B. Fletcher is like casting Matt Damon as Matlock (Spencer and Damon are the same age). I also have nothing against hospital administrators (that's apparently what the new J.B. is going to be), but Jessica DID NOT HAVE A JOB ANYMORE, BECAUSE SHE WAS SO OLD. I still haven't heard anything about where this will be set—but if she's now young and a hospital administrator, I'm betting she won't be busy being both of those things in some small town in Maine. So if this show is about the crime-solving adventures of a young-ish hospital administrator/self-published author in some big city somewhere, it could really be called almost anything else. It could be called Remington Steele, for God's sake.

Oh, wait. NBC couldn't call it Remington Steele—BECAUSE NBC IS ALREADY REMAKING THAT SHOW, TOO.

 


UPDATED YET AGAIN!

I am completely obsessed with Ted Cruz. Not because of what he is (which is batshit crazy) or what he does (all of which is batshit crazy). And not because he is a strange, awful man who is always getting up to large, awful things. No—I am obsessed with Ted Cruz because I know he looks like someone or something, but I cannot figure out which someone or something he looks like. 

So I turned to the internet, because I figured the internet had probably already done some hard thinking about who or what Cruz looks like. And I was right. It offered the following possibilities:


1) Joe McCarthy
2) Quentin Tarantino
3) Bill Murray
4) Punch
But not one of those was quite right. So to this Very Important List, I added the following:

5) Phil Hartman AS Bill McNeil (the photo comparison isn't great, but there was an eyebrowed smarminess in Bill McNeil that I also see in Cruz)
6) Eric Bana (I feel I might have a hitherto unacknowledged animus against Eric Bana)
7. One of the creepy puppets from Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood (interestingly enough, this puppet is also said to resemble Quentin Tarantino, who is, of course, #2 on this list)
STILL, not one of these is exactly right.

It's someone smug and puffy and disingenuous looking—someone who might have appeared wearing eye makeup and looking intensely up at the ceiling in a headshot from the 1940s. I googled "sad-eyed, old-timey comedian," but the search came back only with photos of (a) Charlie Chaplin, (b) babies, (c) underdressed celebrities, and (d) people holding banjoes. 

Or maybe it's something bulbous and squinty moulded out of glistening beige plastic.

Regardless, he's kind of Canadian, so I'm pretty happy and proud.


Reader input begins now.

8) Downton Abbey's Bates (courtesy of Tim D.)

Although I now think he might also look like O'Brien.
9) Modern-day Boy George (courtesy of Sean B.)

There's certainly a resemblance. Also, this gave me a chance to use my favourite photo of Ted Cruz of all time again.

If I had Photoshop, I'd probably give that photo a fedora and some blue eye-makeup. Of course, if I had Photoshop, I'd probably give a whole lot of photos fedoras and blue eye-makeup.

10. Richard III (courtesy of Neil M.; originally from Private Eye)

Someone give Ted Cruz a crown. And a hunch. And a Marc Bolan haircut.
 
There are some weeks that are really sucky. Not tragic, or disastrous, or genuinely traumatizing or sympathy-deserving—just sucky. But SO SUCKY that it's hard not to be consumed by suck and to want to talk to people about that while ignoring the fact that everything you are saying is appallingly tedious.

First, my computer died. It faltered; it faded; I frantically scoured message boards for mentions of ever more obscure and random combinations of keys I could hold down at the same time on my keyboard; I erased and reinstalled the operating system. After I did that last thing, it worked for another 12 hours before collapsing even more dramatically and conclusively.

I took it to the store. The hard-drive had been "compromised." The battery had also been "compromised." So, after various complications and a number of days, they replaced both. And I reminded myself that I had good and reliable back-ups of all of my data, and that nothing ever goes wrong with that kind of thing.

And then something went wrong, and the back-ups weren't entirely accessible, and I had to move little files one by one over the course of many hours and scour my apartment for those software installation CDs I KNEW I'd put in a box with all those adaptors I still have for devices I no longer own.

And then my only remaining sharp knife snapped in two when I was trying to cut a slice of comfort Cheddar. 

And then I turned around to gaze out my window in a meditative fashion, and noticed some strange, dark, giant, cobwebby things hanging from the ceiling of my balcony. "What could those be?" I wondered. "I am willing to bet they are something delightful." And I drew closer and discovered that (1) a spider had been engaged in constructing a massive series of webs out there, and (2) thousands and thousands and thousands of tiny flies had rushed over to kills themselves in it. Hanging from the ceiling of my balcony were thousands and thousands and thousands of dead flies.

After disposing of them and indulging in some small noises of distress, I washed my hands in the bathroom and thought something extremely dramatic and self-indulgent like "My God, everything is turning to shit." And AT THAT VERY MOMENT, my towel rack fell off the wall.

At that point, I retreated to the couch and did what I always do when I'm feeling discouraged (keep company with some Bridge Mixture). And my trusty cat, George, who enjoys sitting on my computer and staring at me, came over to my computer and sat on it— and in doing so, not only opened iTunes, but also pressed play on the first song in my library, which is, obviously, Aimee Mann's "One (is the Loneliest Number)."

And that brought about the magical suck-to-farce transformation, and so I did   what I always do when I'm overwhelmed by no longer feeling discouraged —keep company with some Bridge Mixture.