April 2012

Miss Travel's logo

Take a look this ad for Miss Travel, a service that lets beautiful people see the world for free as the travelling companions of their customers — “doctors, lawyers, bankers, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs and millionaires who are looking to travel with an attractive person like you”:

I love that they use the catchphrase “life is short”, which is also used by the marital infidelity dating site Ashley Madison.

It reminds me of an updated version of this ad for the Velvet Jones School of Technology:

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The State Home for Manic Pixie Dream Girls

by Joey deVilla on April 25, 2012

Manic Pixie Dream Girl wearing a crown of straws and paper cutout starsWhen you’re with a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, it’s starts off wonderfully, as if you’re living in a romantic Zooey Deschanel romantic comedy:

“Everything seemed so perfect at first. She was cute, but lots of quirky and awkward…on our first date, she said she wanted pancakes for dinner. So adorable. We danced in the rain to the music in our hearts…I felt alive!”

“But then after a few months, I started to realize she was eating pancakes for every meal. She can’t feed herself. She can’t pay bills. She just wonders at the marvel of every moment. Every moment! We got married in a fuckin’ bouncy castle!”

I’ve dated a Manic Pixie Dream Girl or two and had a disastrous non-date with one last year. While fun, they’re not very good long-term prospects. Not if you want to stay sane, anyway.

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Still from "Jackin' Off to Yo' facebook Pics"

Oh. My. God. This guy — KillaKarisma — totally outdoes Friday and Hot Problems with his hilarious disturbing R. Kelly-esque booty groove ballad called Jackin’ Off to Yo’ Facebook pics.

The video is below. The audio is most certainly not safe for work, but it’s hilarious. I still can’t stop laughing.

I am so learning this on accordion.

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We’ve All Been Here

by Joey deVilla on April 24, 2012

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Yesterday’s provincial election in Alberta was probably the most exciting one in some time; it’s the first one in decades where the winner wasn’t a foregone conclusion. The upstart Wildrose Party promised change and were looking to the winners in this election, but in the end, the Progressive Conservatives, who’ve been in power for over 40 years and it shows in some pretty bad ways, won a majority with 62 seats. The Wild Rubes are now the official opposition with 18 seats; the NDP and Liberals can easily fit into a minivan with their respective 4 and 3 seats.

A popular hypothesis is the sizeable pool of undecided voters in Alberta chose to go with the devil they knew. What didn’t help were what the National Post calls “Bozo eruptions” by a couple of the Wildrose candidates. There was the discovery of a blog entry made last year by Allan Hunsperger, a pastor, that gays and lesbians would burn in the lake of fire. More damning was Ron Leech’s statement that his being white was an advantage because as the default, he could speak for everyone instead of just for his own tribe:

I think as a Caucasian, I have an advantage. When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslim leader speaks, they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a Caucasian, I believe that I can speak to all the community.

Here’s a page with an audio recording of the interview of this statement. Leech’s friends have stepped forward and explained that he misspoke that one time and that what he really meant was that his being white would not be a disadvantage while running for a seat in the Calgary-Greenway riding, a district with a lot of nonwhite voters. You’re taking that one thing he said that one time out of context, they said.

Out of context. Misspoke. Got it. Everybody gets a warning for a first offence, right?

So here’s Leech, saying it again, even more emphatically:

Here’s the transcript:

Ron Leech: I believe as a Caucasian I have an advantage that for the Punjabi community I am able to speak for the whole community and to lift the community up in our region. I believe I have a voice and I believe the community has my ear and I want the community to know that I am attentive to their needs; I’ve been studying about their culture, about their religion, so I can better understanding of their special needs but I recognize that there are many needs in this community, in the Punjabi community and I believe I can help those needs. And I believe that when I come to our community here, I’m very concerned that the Punjabi community have not been esteemed — lifted up. When a Punjabi leader speakes for the Punjabi, the Punjabi are listening. But when a Caucasian speaks on their behalf, everybody is listening.

Anchor Jaggi Dhaliwal: I agree. I totally agree with that.

Ron Leech: You can vote for someone who is your own ethnicity and you can support them and they will help you as much as they can. But I believe if a Punjabi leader speaks in the political arena, he speaks for the Punjabi people. But if a Caucasian speaks on behalf of the Punjabi community, my role will be to lift the Punjabi community…

Plenty of context there.

So that’s twice Leech has said it on the record, and a decade’s worth of experience as a spokesperson tells me that he’s said it at least once more — just listen to the way he says it; it’s not just a passing notion.

Is it impossible for a non-Caucasian to speak for communities of different backgrounds? I don’t think so; I’ve been doing it within the tech community for years, on behalf of people born here and abroad, from all manner of cultures and races, and from both the open and proprietary software worlds. (The field still skews heavily male, but we’re working on that.)

Want proof? Here you go:

Yours Truly with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer…

…and with Richard Stallman, the anti-Ballmer.
(Note how Stallman plays with his hair when talking to me. He wants me.)

The bit about “lifting up” the Punjabi community is another “tell”. As a friend of mine quipped on Facebook, pity the White Man for the burden he must bear.

As for Jaggi: the only way you could be more of a doormat would be if you wore a T-shirt that said “Welcome”.

Unfortunately for the Punjabi community, Leech didn’t win the riding in last night’s elections. He lost to Manmeet Bhullar, the Progressive Conservative incumbent. Lacking the Caucasian Advantage, anything he does or says will be immaterial, and Calgary’s Punjabi community is going to miss its lift.

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An Interesting Deterrent

by Joey deVilla on April 23, 2012

Moosejaw.com truck with the warning "Driver carries less that $50 in cash and is fully naked".

It’s more likely a way to promote Moosejaw’s image as a funny bunch of people from whom you’d like to buy stuff than an actual deterrent for thieves or truck hijackers.

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Okay, Mother Nature. That’s Not Funny.

by Joey deVilla on April 23, 2012

Weather forecast: Average high temperatures of 4 degrees C, average lows of -3.

Especially after those summer-like temperatures from late last month.

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