Archive for August, 2007

Scary scenarios (1): a potential fifth column?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

(Canscene) — The recent speculations that Canada’s Atomic Energy Corporation Limited might be handed on a platter to General Electric, a U.S.– controlled company, is further disturbing evidence of important Canadian business resources being gobbled up by foreign corporations.

In the event of power one day falling into the hands of a government even farther to the right than the Bush administration, the U.S. controlled branch operations in Canada would provide a ready-made “fifth column” of support for what would be an inevitable push to make Canada the 51st state:

(Note) For three years during the Spanish Civil War, Madrid was under siege by Generalissimo Franco’s fascist rebels. A Franco general had boasted that as well as four military columns advancing on Madrid, there was a fifth column of fascist supporters inside the city.

Scary scenarios (2) the Armageddon syndrome

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007


(Canscene) — Christian fundamentalists stick by the Bible’s every word, even the hallucinatory Book of Revelations, which predicts that before the second coming of Jesus Christ the world will be consumed by Armageddon, a battle between the forces of good and evil.

It follows then that to get their pie in the sky they’re willing to see mass destruction on an unprecedented global scale. One might cast a jaundiced eye on belief in such prophecies but the scary part is that interpreters of the so-called revelation have always placed the battle in the Middle East.

Beware the self-fulfilling prophecy!

TIFF: the 2007 Canadian films

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

(Canscene) — So many years, so many worthy Canadian films that have received little acclaim or distribution beyond the screenings at Toronto International Film, festivals. What’s in store for Canadian films at Festival 2007, opening September 11?

One recalls Falling Angels, Ararat, Rhinoceros Eyes, Stardom, to name just a few that came and went quickly on sceens across Canada. Plus the hordes of fine Quebec films — outside their province of origin.

It is to the credit of festival co-directors Piers Handling and Noah Cowan and the TIFF board that they persist in bringing us a large proportion of productions with Canadian origins.

This year’s selections bring fresh hope for a real breakthrough and are linked to creative names like Denys Arcand, Francois Girard, David Cronenberg, Guy Maddin, Robert Lantos, Jeremy Podeswa and Clement Virgo, all of whom have scored kudos at previous TIFFs.

Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg at the TIFF press conference.

We’ll watch with interest the way in which Lantos and Podeswa have accepted the challenge of adapting festival opener Fugitive Pieces, from the stunning, poetic novel by Ann Michaels and how Cronenberg, reunited with his History of Violence star Viggo Mortensen serves up what promises to be a new twist to to an old genre in the thriller Eastern Promises.

Here’s the official TIFF release
Canadian programming at the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival highlights the best of our national cinema, bringing the country’s finest films and filmmakers to the attention of local, national and international audiences. This year, Canada First! opens with Martin Gero’s funny, sexy comedy YOUNG PEOPLE F*CING, and continues its celebration of emerging talent with eight feature films. Ticket Passes and Packages now on sale. For more information, please visit or call 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM. (more…)

An important new book on a hot subject

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

(Canscene) In the midst of the debate on Canadian multiculturalism and whither it’s bound comes a timely book from Wilfrid Laurier University Press.


A “must” read
It’s Uneasy Partners, and I’m not going to review it here in the conventional way. I’m just going to tell you that if you have a genuine interest in the future of Canada this book is essential reading. It’s a searching examination of Canadian multiculturalism. Note, “Canadian” rather than the sloppily dubbed multicuturalism now under fire in so many other countries. (more…)

The reach of ethnic media

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

(Canscene) –July, 2007 and the 46th Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition came and went, as always a great draw and bigger than ever in the number of works displayed.

Once again it reminded me of the potential of our ethnic media, at the time of the first exhibitions largely confined to perhaps 75 to 100 European-language newspapers and a handful of radio broadcasts on English and French language radio stations. Multicultural/multilingual stations had not yet arrived. (more…)

Judging the humble sausage

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

(Canscene) — My passion for sausage began in 1947, when after years of deprivaion and the horrors of the soya-link monstrosity I rrived in Canada to find real sausage again. In succeeding years as other variies joined the familar English “banger,” I learned to cheer for chorizo, drool over debreczeny and salivate at the sight of salsiccie (hot or sweet). I know I am not alone.

But has anyone noticed how tough the skins of sausages have recently become? In fact they’re so unpleasantly chewy that I find myself scraping out the innards and discarding he skin. At a recent gathering, I learned I was not alone. But no one of us could find an answer to this.

The old proverb “never judge a sausage by its skin” seems truer than ever today.