Posted 2 months ago


Spending one’s day off sprawled on the floor with a just-scouted super-crisp Meggendorfer reproduction pop-up book is, I know, a very specific expression of delayed adulthood. 

Posted 3 months ago


Actually my current favourite horror film right now, directed by Canadian indie legend Bob Clark. Currently also the first film to scare me since Ju-On: The Grudge

Posted 3 months ago




"Community has pulled off one the most patient easter egg: in one episode of each of the first three seasons, the word "Beetlejuice" was used off-handedly in a joke. If you’ve seen the movie Beetlejuice, the titular mischievous ghost would appear in the world of the living if anyone said his name three times. So, sure enough, on the third mention by a Community character, this guy appears in the background for exactly two seconds. They patiently waited three years to reach that punchline."

That is pretty wonderful.


How in the fuck do you cancel this?

(Source: depression-and-movies)

Posted 3 months ago


DIRECTOR’S CORNER: How to report on homelessness

By Sean Condon

Earlier this month, I did a presentation at the annual Canadian Association of Journalists conference about how the media should be covering homelessness. My main point was that although often well intentioned, the media relies on formulaic stereotypes when covering homelessness and rarely gives homeless individuals a voice. Unfortunately, a lot of coverage does more harm than good.

Before hitting the streets, I wish reporters would work to gain a better understanding of who homeless people are and why they don’t have housing. For starters, most homeless people actually sleep under a roof. According to “The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013” report, at least 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night, but another 50,000 sleep in cars, couch surfing or live in unstable housing—a group often referred to as the “hidden homeless”.

Most news reporters also use a white, middle-aged man who lives outside as the typical homeless person in their stories. But we know from research that middle-aged men, while the most prominent group, make up less than half of all homeless people. We’re seeing higher rates of First Nations, youth and seniors without homes and we need these voices better reflected in coverage.

When the media does cover homelessness, they don’t give much space to homeless people. The story might start with a few quotes or pictures of a homeless person, but once they’ve given their sad story, the reporter moves onto homeless advocates, government officials or neighbourhood residents.

Barbara Schneider, a communications professor at the University of Calgary, monitored theVancouver SunCalgary Herald, and The Globe and Mail for a year and found that when these papers did cover homelessness, people who were homeless were only quoted 16.6 per cent of the time. Homeless “experts” were quoted 73.6 per cent of the time, while “citizens” were quoted 9.9 per cent of the time.

Homeless people are used for “colour,” but aren’t allowed to talk about possible solutions, give broader opinions beyond their own experience or be seen as members of our communities. As Schneider argues, this reinforces a sense of “otherness” that the public has about homeless people.

“Journalists may believe that in ‘telling someone’s story’ they can generate sympathy and promote more positive public perceptions of homeless people. However, sympathy and charity are in themselves ‘othering’, as it is only ‘we’, domiciled people, who can offer ‘them’, homeless people, sympathy and charity, not the other way around.”

While researching this presentation, I talked with Megaphone vendors who are homeless or who have experienced homelessness. Mostly, they were cynical about the media’s coverage.

If we are going to solve homelessness, we need to listen to those who are homeless themselves. We don’t need to patronize by speaking for them. Rather, we should stand with them and let their rich and important voices speak for themselves.

Megaphone Magazine

Posted 3 months ago

Finally beginning my graphic novel. via Instagram


Finally beginning my graphic novel. via Instagram

Posted 3 months ago
Posted 4 months ago
Posted 5 months ago



“With a bit of luck, his life was ruined forever. Always thinking that just behind some narrow door in all his favorite bars, men in red woolen shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he’ll never know.”
—Hunter S. Thompson

What is the promise of Las Vegas? What are people looking for in…

In keeping with the style of writing that has come to represent Americans in Vegas!

Posted 5 months ago

Gonna clean up this town. (At beach clean up)

Posted 5 months ago






On The Rapture of Dancing Alive

(or: I Finally Watched That Future Islands Performance and I Feel Changed)

Doing work on my couch last night, I ended up on Letterman, watching the end of an interview—Nick Offerman—and then the musical performance of the night, some band Letterman was cracking jokes about before they’d even started. The Strypes. I think I remember Letterman saying something about ‘mom picking you all up’ after the show, which was funny, because look at them. He also made a joke about taking them to play laser tag after the show, which, ha.

But it reminded me that there was this Letterman performance that everyone was talking about a few weeks ago I had yet to watch, this Future Islands thing. I didn’t know exactly what it was that everyone freaked out about, I just remember there being that typical morning-after Internet peak-chatter level of talk, the kind I’ve made a habit of avoiding instinctually. Because when you work in Internet, that inescapably loud and concentrated volume of talk about That One Thing, at least for me, strips some of the joy out of it.

So, right then, I finally watched it.

0:30 (as performance starts): Okay, this sounds very 2006. This all looks very 2006.

0:32: At least that lead singer is moving. Decent two-step. 

[BAD MID-AUGHTS VIBE INTERLUDE: For anyone even remotely paying attention to rock from 2005 onward, the name of the band—Future Islands—sounded gratingly familiar. There were (or still are?) The Futureheads, Islands, and a Jimmy Eat World album called Futures that I’d never listened to. Also: Future (rapper). Everything about it seemed so typical I was pretty convinced that whatever I was missing out on was some sort of schtick, like some band shooting themselves out of cannon. Which, I mean, I love the Arcade Fire, but look at them: In 2014, they’re demanding their fans dress up in costume to their shows. It’s fair skepticism, is the point.]

0:41: Okay, kind of into this post-Morrisey post-synagogue thing and there’s an expressive eyebrow, and is that the thing?

0:45: Wait what’d he just do with his legs.

0:49: Where did his head go what was that, do that ag

0:54: He’s slowing down, maybe that was just a Thing. And he’s touching his chest, is this vamping? Is that what he’s doing? Maybe he’s actually feeling i

1:00: He’s doing the leg thing again and moving his head what even is that? It’s amazing. Okay, I get this, guy has moves. 

1:04: What did he just do with his voice? Wh—Did he grind the note?

1:14: Holy shit he just dropped it to the ground. How did he do that? Where did he learn that mo

1:17: He did the thing with his voice again I swear to god I heard it he’s actually doing that right?

1:29: Oh my god his hand is in a fist and he’s looking out into the audience like the answer is there and they’re all the answer this is really something.

1:33: WHOA did not see that coming, the punching through the air and following through with his entire body on a note, which kind of looks like a combination golf swing/victory fist pump but he gets it, I get it, I get wanting to do that at a chorus, that which is the physical iteration of that particular guitar crescendo. 

1:37: His hand in the air, holy shit, there are performances of Les Miz that are less theatrical.

1:43: And now he’s washing away the light with his hands and he totally grinded that note in his throat, okay, okay, I think I get this now, he’s secretly got a great voice and great moves, this is very solid.

1:52: The camera just went tight on his face and wow this guy is really, truly selling what’s happening here. 

[LARRY SANDERS INTERLUDE: If you’ve ever watched The Larry Sanders Show, you know that the musical performance is usually when Garry Shandling either gets screamed at by Rip Torn about some crazy backstage nonsense or he’s hitting on a celebrity guest. For the most part Larry Sanders doesn’t care much for his musical guests, and I imagine, night in and night out, this is how Letterman feels about his musical guests: A lot of monotony. He’s really seen it all before. And I imagine him talking to a producer or somesuch as the band is on. Remember: Letterman really loves acts that put their all into it, and say what you will about the Foo Fighters—and there’s plenty to—you can’t say Dave Grohl doesn’t know how to put on a performance, which is why they’re one of Letterman’s favorite acts to have on Late Show. So I imagine this is around the point Letterman looks over his producer’s shoulder, and goes: ‘Hey, wait: Who the hell are these guys?’]

2:07: Ohmygod he’s pounding his chest so hard the mic just picked it up this is amazing bordering on uncomfortable.

2:24: Yes! People do change! They gain one piece but they lose one too! You are making so much sense I am completely on board with this now, this is just, everything, church

2:27: They just went tight on the rest of the band and they’re the most innocuous looking people ever, the bassist looks like whatshername from Chelsey Lately, which I guess is sm

2:30: WAIT WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT he just grabbed at his shirt and made that noise from his throat again! That was real! And he’s curling his lip into a sneer and BAM he’s back into the moves

2:41: He just did it again I’m so not making this up

2:53: Is he crying? This is all so much but also there will never be enough of it.

2:58: BOOM and he launches into the chorus again and he’s pounding his chest and the mic is picking it up and somewhere Meatloaf just jumped out of his Lay-Z-Boy screaming at the TV like “GO MOTHERFUCKER GO GO GO”

3:14: I am sold, I completely get this, I am watching this again as soon as it’s over because why wouldn’t anyone want to feel anything this much? This is what Joseph Campbell called, when asked about the meaning of life by Bill Moyers, “the rapture of being alive,” and 


3:34: And now he’s dancing again and staring out into the audience but dancing harder than he’s danced this entire time and maybe in his entire life, he is dancing with purpose, like he’s going to generate energy or lifeforce by doing so and don’t be over and

3:35: It’s over. It’s all over.

- - -

And this is the point where Letterman comes out and screams: “BUDDY! COME ON! How about that? I’ll take all of that you got!” And Letterman knows what you just saw because he just saw it, and he is equally enraptured himself. Any band who goes on Letterman for the next month, at least—like the one that was on last night—has been completely screwed to hell by this one.

There are so many reasons why this is great, but the three that stuck with me this morning on the way to work were:

1. If you’ve ever danced in the bathroom—and I’ll readily cop to doing so, mostly in high school, before heading out to a party or a date, usually to something as desperate and pathetic, like The Cure’s “Close To Me”—your moves probably somewhat resembled an incredibly watered-down iteration of this. These aren’t bad unkfunky whiteboy moves, either: Dude has rhythm. He’s dancing along with the bassline, and he’s actually moving his feet and hips. 

2. It’s really easy to be cynical about anything so sincere, especially since this lacks the kitsch textures of twee (see: Anderson, Wes) or polished veneer of pop. It’s confusing in the same way Meatloaf and Morrissey are confusing, in that there may be intent and awareness, there may be that allusion to death metal, but where those things normally serve to let an audience know that the artist is in on the joke, here it’s simply disarming: the acknowledgement that they have you, they’ve got you, you’re done for and now they can do whatever they please with you, like tear at their chest and plead and cry and scare the shit out of you. 

3. Back to dancing in your bathroom: It was so much fun, and in retrospect, expressed so much, and this maybe made you (and definitely made me) recall in a very real way the energy of that stupid fun in a way you (or I) haven’t felt in a while. But more than that, it’s that this band—which has apparently been at it for 11 years now—finally got their shot. They got a spot on Letterman. And whether this is exactly what this guy does every night at his shows, or not, the bottom line is that he went with it, went for it, he didn’t water down a single thing about what got him to this moment. In fact, he doubled down on it. And the rest of the band played their part, too: They know how to make music, and not complicated music, and probably could’ve thrown themselves into it, too, but that would’ve betrayed what they knew they had to do. They had their one chance in life to make this kind of impact, and they did. And that’s really kind of amazing. Who won’t take all of that?

I too skipped out on Future Islands fever a few weeks ago. This post got me to repeatedly watch and believe the hype.

This is a really great moment-by-moment emotional breakdown but, also, some good insights at the end too

Round two of week long listen starts now.


Thanks for the PBP…made it all worth it.