Runaway Future

29.12.2007

They’re coming whether we like it or not

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 15:51

The Guardian Angels that is.

Mayor Kelly and Police Chief Beazley have both stated that they cannot support the upcoming Halifax Chapter of the Guardian Angels. But that’s not stopping the roll out for the boys in shiny red jackets and berets. According to Angels founder, Curtis Sliwa, plans are still proceeding to start having people on the streets in the spring. Just what exactly they’ll be doing and how they’ll be doing it remains unclear.

Sadly, in Sliwa’s reply to this news, he just goes to show how out of touch and uninformed he is with the situation here in Halifax. Bringing up the near infamous 30-man Royal Rumble brawl outside the Dome on Christmas Eve, somehow Sliwa thinks his knuckleheads in their shiny jackets would have prevented people from drinking too much, or would have prevented the Dome’s bouncers from being unable to handle the situation or would have prevented the need for the police to step in.

Throwing additional fuel on the fire, no matter what colour jacket they wear isn’t a solution. This is a situation that will only get more interesting as it continues to develop.

19.12.2007

it’s all about the music, man!

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 20:06

It’s just been announced that Ozzy Osbourne is doing another show in Halifax on January 28th. This is after his January 26th show sold out in less then an hour.

When you boil it down, Ozzy has done an amazing job marketing himself. Obviously, he’s got the hardcore fans from his days with Black Sabbath and his solo work. But at the same time, he’s been humanized by the reality show “The Osbournes”. The show would hit a completely different audience from the usual metal fans and no doubt, fans of the show would be tempted to check out his music and go see him live. The success of the show has no doubt enabled him to be a bigger star to a wider group of people then the merit of his music would alone.

. . .

Keeping on the musical note, the Celine Dion fiasco is something that’s been extensively talked about and that I neglected to comment on at the time. There’s not much more left to say except for this:

  • Celine is booked to play an outdoor concert in Quebec the day before she was booked for Halifax. Apparently she signed on for the Quebec show after the Halifax show was announced. There is only one other time on her schedule she plays a show in two different locations over the course of two nights is September 12th and 13th. On the 12th, she’s in Newark, New Jersey and on the 13th, she’s in Uniondale, New York. Now I’m no geographer, but those places at a helluva lot closer together then Quebec and Halifax. Of course her grandfather father husband says they’re professionals, but it makes you wonder.
  • Usually, Events Halifax/Halifax Regional Municipality will do market research about bands and acts, such as consulting local people “in the scene” and so on. According to Stephen Cooke, the entertainment reporter of the Chronicle Herald, he wasn’t consulted. Apparently someone with EH/HRM thought that Celine was such a hit and would go over so well, they didn’t even need to check to make sure everyone else thought so.

And yet, still in the end, it’s somehow the fault of the citizens of Halifax. Somehow we’re the ones holding the city back because we’re not balls crazy that Celine has decided to visit our one-horse town.

She was here not too long ago and played the Metro Centre. Somehow that means she can be the headliner for a venue quite a bit larger then the Metro Centre? I mean, I respect her as an artist and all. She obviously has her fanbase and a rather enviable number of album sales. But after being teased with names like the Eagles and U2, the populace is supposed to be excited about Celine? Gimme a break.

. . .

Speaking of immaturity amongst artists and so-called professionals, there seems to be an equal amount of crap being spewed about the show announced after Celine’s kerfluffle.

Harold MacKay, the promoter behind the Keith Urban show has raised a bit of hell after the Chronicle Herald published an editorial cartoon depicting a DJ raffling off tickets to a ‘good concert’ (in another town, mind you!) for anyone who could name one of Keith Urban’s songs.

Anyway, MacKay went as far as threatening to not purchase anymore advertising in the Herald to promote the event (a move that I would assume would hurt MacKay’s efforts as much as it would be money out of the Herald’s pockets).

To their credit, the Herald hasn’t completely stood behind the cartoon, stating that it was the opinion of the artist and not the official view of the paper. It’s a fine line of freedom (I believe that’s what their disclaimer on the opinion page also states), but it no doubt allows for more freedom in publishing then the suits would normally allow.

But seriously, that’s insane. If the paper can’t publish an opinion for fear of backlash, either to their bottom line or the city as a whole, then what’s the good?

17.12.2007

yellow jackets and red berets

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 13:03

A post by Matt Good yesterday caught my eye. In it, he describes private security guards in yellow jackets patrolling his neighbourhood to prevent crime. Hired on by the local business association. He’s quick to note that:

They have absolutely no legal authority, cannot lawfully touch another person, ask them questions, ask them for identification, or ask them to ‘move along’ when on public property.

Other people commenting mentioned that the city of Vancouver is trying to clean itself up in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Games.

The reason it caught my eye is because here on the East Coast, we have our own chuckleheads coming in with shiny jackets and funny hats. It’s worth noting that they’re coming without the endorsement of the Mayor or the Chief of Police. And although people like Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and Halifax Counselor Linda Mosher keep saying that the residents of Halifax want the Angels in town, I’ve heard nothing but apprehension from anyone I’ve talked to about it, a list that ranges from cab drivers, to old people in my elevator, to friends to co-workers. This apprehension on how it will all work out and how the Angels will in fact operate is an opinion shared by the Mayor and the Police, but instead of addressing these concerns, it’s full steam ahead for the Angels, come hell or high water.

It’s also worth noting that other then being “around” and reporting suspicious or dangerous activity, there’s little the group can legally do. Just like the yellow jackets in Vancouver, these red berets walk a fine line, something that might be more trouble then it is worth. Police Chief Beazley is concerned that there will be physical confrontations and other problems involving the Angels, problems that will add to an already taxing workload for existing police officers.

Of course, if the police were doing the job adequately in the first place, we wouldn’t be at this juncture in the road to begin with.

tube socks and tin foil

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 0:56

Sitting watching the end of Traffic on Bravo, this is a culmination of a number of things that I’ve been wanting to mention.

Winter’s come early it seems. According to the news, it’s going to be the coldest winter since 1994. It’s certainly started early enough, with the ground being white since the end of November and the temperature being solidly in the negatives since then as well. Even right now, there’s a storm blowing in, the power is flickering and I’m hoping that I get a three day weekend.

The same time, it feels like Christmas has come early too. I know, it’s foolish to say that now as it’s only a week away, but seriously, they had the Christmas parade…sorry, the Parade of Lights in the middle of November! I know it’s a great chance to jump start the holiday gift-buying season. Hell, I’m quite sure the whole thing is put on by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, but it just seems so early and forced.

Somewhere in the past few weeks, I caught myself watching a documentary on Victoria Beckham. The whole thing focused on how ridiculous she was, with the weight loss and the fake breasts and the lack of singing talent and the big sunglasses and the whole shebang. Curiously, the documentary was followed by a reality TV show on Victoria Beckham moving to LA. In it, she struck me as being a truly “real” person, focused on her family (all of her tattoos have to do with her kids) and not really understanding the attention she gets. It was an interesting look, the public and private personas of people.

The Peel Pub closed down. Allegedly the staff showed up on Monday two weeks ago to locked doors and no idea what was happening. I went there for lunch a bit, but in the end, it was in direct competition with the Oasis and I’d rather see the Oasis prosper then the Peel Pub. Super Video and the thrift clothing store beside it also closed down.

I never completed my NaNoWriMo story. In fact, I wrote on the first day, about 850 words and then got to about 1200 over the course of November. Far short of the 50 000 goal, but in the end, that’s alright. I thought I’d handle this failure a bit differently, but it’s not really a failure. What I needed from NaNoWriMo wasn’t a novel, it wasn’t slaving over a keyboard with a plot I didn’t like with characters who were shallow. All I wanted, all I needed from the experience was the motivation, the kick in the pants. And I got it. I did roughly 9 interviews over the last six weeks and I’ve got enough content to fill out a good three additional articles for HF in addition to the two I’ve already done for HF and the two I’ve already done for FC. Finally, I feel like I’m making use of the access and position that I’m in.

Interesting: Superstore is advertising their President’s Choice brand as being so good, “it’s worth switching super markets for.” Perhaps an indication of them not getting as many shoppers as desired? At the same time, Sobeys is marketing themselves as being “just food” as a swipe towards the ever greying line between places like Superstore and places like Wal-Mart.

I’ve said this before, but the first week of December is particularly solemn. Lennon’s death, Dimebag’s death, the Halifax Explosion, the Montreal massacre. Yoko Ono has this Imagine Peace website set up to commiserate John’s death as a base point for action and positivity. She wrote a letter to him, 27 years after he died, although on the same page, there’s this big video that takes forever to load. So be warned.

Interesting: On Fox Rochester, they have the holiday messages from soldiers abroad. Instead of saying they are stationed in Iraq or Kuwait (it’s displayed on the screen), to a man, they all say they are stationed in South-West Asia. It’s all the same, but one has to wonder if someone decided that the words Iraq or Middle East were too polarizing.

I took a cab home one night and as I normally do, I tried to do a little small-talk, the usual how is your night going, are you busy, stuff like that. The cabbie didn’t really say much and he didn’t seem up for talking. Then all of the sudden, he just starting spouting off. It seems that Halifax Regional Police is doing spot-checks this time of year, checking for drunk drivers and the like. The cabbie’s problem with this: they only do it Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. By his witness, they didn’t have any of these things set up on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Now, what nights of the week do you think people are going to be more likely to drink and maybe consider getting behind the wheel?

Like last year, coming near the year end, I have so much that I want to write about. I also have three articles to do for HF and a bunch of other stuff that I want to wrap up before 2008 could officially come to a start. So, hopefully there’s no work tomorrow.

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