The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century Joey deVilla's Personal Blog Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:28:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Rob Ford piece that the National Post wishes you’d forget [Updated, with the original article text!] Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:30:04 +0000

Update, October 20, 2014 at 3:07 p.m.: A couple of commenters have pointed me to the text of the deleted Post article, along with the Facebook promo they forgot to delete. It’s at the end of this post.

national post suggests rob ford was set up

Click the image to see this page on the Wayback Machine.

While cleaning out my bookmarks, I stumbled across a link to a National Post article titled Is the alleged Rob Ford crack video evidence of a set up? It’s from May 23, 2013, back when Gawker had broken the story and it was revealed that the Toronto Star had been conducting a long investigation into the same issue. well before Toronto’s Peter Griffin-esque mayor fessed up on TV. The teaser for the article still appears on the Wayback Machine’s archive of the National Post’s front page for that date, but when you try to read the article in question, you get this:

national post 404

Click the image to see the actual web page.

The article was written by staunch Ford supporter and Financial Post editor Terence Corcoran, who remained a true believer even after all hell broke loose in November. Written in question form, the headline allows the Post and Corcoran to back their boy and seed some doubt while giving them the cover of saying “Hey, we’re just asking a question!

The story’s since been yanked, probably in the hopes that you don’t remember it was ever written. However, there are some “We love Rob Ford!” pieces that the Post can’t remove without bringing unwanted attention, including this classic:

national post endorses rob ford

Click the image to read the original article.

Update 1: The text of the deleted article

A couple of readers have pointed out to me that thanks to a “splog” — that’s a spam blog, which automatically swipes other blogs’ content and republishes it in order to get advertising bucks — the Post’s article lives on, although without permission or attribution. The splog in question is AR24News, and I’ve posted a screenshot of the article below:

ar24 news

Click the image to read the article on its source page.

Here’s the text of the article, which I’m preserving for the historical record:

Is The Alleged Rob Ford Crack Video Evidence Of A Set Up?

The swarming of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is entirely understandable; the mayor, caught on video allegedly smoking crack, has a lot to clear up. But there are as many unanswered questions on the other side of this bizarre international confluence of drug dealers, politics, comedy shows, news media and blogging low-lifes such as Questions about the video, the role of newspapers, organized crime, crowdsourcing social media, and the implausibility of a shock-blog like gawker raising $200,000 in ransom money that will have to be run through a money laundering operation to reach the drug dealers.

The ethics of it all are murky enough. Globe and Mail columnist Lysiane Gagnon called it “a lynching” and former Toronto Star editor and journalism chair John Miller pretty much accused his former employer of breach of ethical and journalistic conduct. But media ethics are the least of the problems looming over this phantasmagoria of improbable events.

Some of the questions are kind of obvious. Here are a few, in no significant order:

Who are these men?

Let’s start with the still photo that we’ve all seen of Mr. Ford in grey sweater allegedly taken—according to gawker—“while Ford was going to the [Toronto] neighbourhood to purchase and smoke crack cocaine.” Far too little has been made of the fact one of the men in the picture is Anthony Smith, a 21-year-old who was murdered outside a Toronto night club last March. Who killed Mr. Smith? Might the other two gentlemen in the photo, their faces judiciously blurred as if protecting the innocent children of a family crime, have any link to or knowledge of the murder? Or what about the third person involved here, the taker of the picture?

Who is the “organizer in the Somali community” that the Toronto Star reporters say orchestrated their meeting with the drug dealer who says he took the video?

The Toronto Star reporters said last Saturday they continued to have contact with the Somali community organizer. They must know his name. They sat in his car (did they get the plate number?) while he drove them to the meeting with the drug dealer outside a high-rise complex where drugs are trafficked near Dixon Rd. and Kipling Ave.

The dealer is said to be the cinematographer who shot the video of the mayor smoking crack. This man should now be traceable through the Star’s community organizer contact. Are the Star’s reporters co-operating with police to track down a known criminal? Shouldn’t they be?

Is this whole exercise in media extortion possibly a crime in itself?

There are indications this is a set-up from the get-go. The video is said to show Mr. Ford sitting alone in a white shirt, smoking a crack pipe. Both the Star and gawker versions are stunning similar, almost as if one had copied parts of the other’s reports. An off-camera voice is said to be “goading” the mayor into unseemly political banter. Who’s in the background, baiting Mr. Ford to say outrageous things about Justin and/or Pierre Trudeau?

Anyways, if it is a set up, who set it up? Who directed the cinematographer-drug dealer, who by description in the Star is a nervous street guy rather than a drug boss? Someone with media savvy, it seems, although not savvy enough to know that Canadian media do not pay big bucks, British style, for incriminating videos of celebrities and politicians. Still, it looks very much like a form of extortion and/or blackmail, the video held for ransom to the highest bidder, with the media acting as go-between.Where’s the video now?

I would speculate that the odds are high that it will cease to exist, if it has not already been destroyed. The owners/dealers obviously wanted a secret cash payment that would allow them to disappear while the video was released by the media. With the gawker leak (possibly much to the shock of the drug dealers), the video is now a hot property, possibly too hot to trade without getting caught up in a legal and possibly criminal process.

A major risk comes in getting the cash. Most unreal here is the’s so-called crowdsourcing of $200,000. It’s a great publicity stunt, but how would the money ever be assembled and then transferred to a criminal organization such as the Somali drug dealers? Moving that kind of cash from an identifiable source (gawker or anyone else) to a crime group would be impossible without triggering a money-laundering trail. An above board transfer would require HST tracking, among other things, and would be open to banking and police pursuit.

The video peddlers may find this too much heat to bear. The original plan has backfired. Gawker also claimed that the dealer said he supplies “a lot of prominent people in Toronto [who] purchase and enjoy crack and powder cocaine.” If I were this dealer, I would leave town fast. Let’s get out of here, kill the video, and move on before the police and others move in on us.

That’s where I think this story is going next. Rob Ford may be doomed as a result of the video. But so should the media and drug dealers who perpetrated the events of the last week.

Update 2: The Facebook post the Post forgot to delete

national post facebook promo

Click the image to read the Facebook post.

That’s right, in their efforts to put this piece into the Memory Hole, the history editors at the Post forgot remove the Facebook post promoting the article. A reader found it for me, and I’m sharing it with you.

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This rejected New Yorker cartoon might just be the best New Yorker cartoon of all time Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:44:26 +0000

i have an enormous favor to ask you

This rejected New Yorker comic comes from The Best of the Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for The New Yorker, and it would’ve been one of their most-recirculated had it been approved — maybe even bigger than this one.

If you don’t get the joke, ask anyone who has a dog. And in case you were wondering, the proper response for such a question — unless you’ve got some really relaxed boundaries (and hey, more power to you) — is “I’m your friend, but I’m not that friend.”

Thanks to Inside Hook for the find!

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Hormonal teenage dude “does unmentionables” to a stuffed animal in a Walmart, and yes, it happened in Florida Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:17:26 +0000

florida kmart plushie

Gives the expression “I have to see a man about a horse” a whole ‘nother meaning.
Click the photo to read the story on The Smoking Gun.

As if being a 19-year-old guy with hormones coursing through your veins wasn’t a rough enough ride, there’s also the fact that in Florida, no idea is a bad one. Pair these two together, and you get Sean Johnson. The Smoking Gun summarizes what he did at a Walmart in Brooksville, Florida (located about 50 miles/80 kilometres north of Tampa):

According to a police report, Sean Johnson, 19, “selected a brown, tan, and red stuffed horse from the clearance shelf in the garden department.” He then went to the comforter aisle in the housewares section, “proceeded to pull out his genitals,” and“proceeded to hump the stuffed horse utilizing short fast movements.” The lewd act was captured by surveillance cameras.

After Johnson “achieved an orgasm and ejaculated on the stuffed horse’s chest area,” he placed the “soiled stuffed horse on top of a bed in a bag (comforter set) contaminating that property also.”

Johnson very quickly left the store after the act was completed, but was later arrested by Brooksville police. In a statement that was poorly written in every sense of the phrase, Johnson admitted that he “did unmentionables to a stuffed animal”:


Click the statement to see it at full size.

After posting a $1,500 bond, he was released from custody. To the Walmart branch’s credit, the stuffed horse and any merchandise that came into contact with it has been taken off the shelves and deemed unsuitable for sale.

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Florida governor Rick Scott throws hissy fit at gubernatorial debate over an electric fan Thu, 16 Oct 2014 18:16:02 +0000

florida governor debate

definitely florida

If Florida is America’s wackiest state, it stands to reason that its governor should be a standard-bearer for wackiness. Florida’s current governor, Rick Scott, certainly didn’t let us down in that department during last night’s gubernatorial debate with challenger Charlie Crist. He refused to come onstage in the beginning because Charlie Crist’s podium had an electric fan in it, and said that Crist was breaking the rule that bans the use of electronic devices in the debate.

Here are the opening minutes of the debate that almost didn’t take place:

Rick Scott finally came out, and in a strange fit of anti-logic, said that he refused to go onstage because he’d heard that Charlie Crist wasn’t going to show up — in spite of the fact that Crist had been onstage for several minutes, waiting:

The spirit and the letter of the electronics rule

The purpose of the ban on electronic devices during the debate is likely to prevent participants from receiving coaching during the debate. That makes sense. If we use the spirit of the rule, the use of an electric fan to keep cool (it was 90 degrees F/32 degrees C that day) is not a violation.

It’s likely that people on Scott’s team will resort to arguing the letter of the rule, and if they do, they’ll lose. The ban is on electronic devices, and there’s a difference between electric and electronic. These are electric appliances…

electric appliances

…and these are electronic appliances:

electronic appliances

The simplest way to make the electric/electronic distinction is:

  • Electric devices use electricity to transmit, manipulate, and convert power. They use electrical energy and convert it into usable light, heat, and mechanical energy.
  • Electronic devices use electricity to transmit, manipulate, and convert information. They use electrical energy in the service of transmitting and receiving information in analog or digital form, as visual, audio, or numerical data.

An electric fan — and yes, it’s an electric fan — is decidedly not an electronic device.

Oddly enough, the rule banning electronics has a very notable exception — each participant in the debate is required to use the electronic aid pictured below:


After this debate, I wouldn’t be surprised if this image kept popping up all over the place:

im a fan of charlie crist

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On vacation Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:24:52 +0000

smartphone vacation

I’m taking a week off work and blogging, and The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century will be back to regular articles on Monday, October 20th.

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The heart vs. the head Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:38:51 +0000

This Awkward Yeti comic is one you can file under “It’s funny because it’s true”:

awkward yeti babysitter

Click the comic to see it on its original page.

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“Safety Dance” and “Let It Go”, heavy metal style Fri, 10 Oct 2014 16:52:59 +0000

safety dance guitarist

Why doesn’t this have a million views yet? How can you not love a totally shredding metal version of Men Without Hats’ Safety Dance?

Her’s the original, in case you need a refresher:

And finally, if you want to teach your kids to headbang, here’s the guy’s wonderful metallized cover of Let It Go from Frozen:

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The “If you’re going through Hell, keep going” playlist Thu, 09 Oct 2014 13:52:36 +0000

A number of my friends are going through some challenging times. I know what that’s like, and for their benefit, I’d like to share this “bummed out” playlist that got me through the end of 2010 and start of 2011, when I was going through what I call “The Great Reset”.

OK Go’s This Too Shall Pass

Every “bummed out” playlist needs at least one song with this message. The Sufi poets were the first to come up with this gem, and it’s been used time and time again, by Solomon, Edward Fitzgerald, Abraham Lincoln, and alt-rock band OK Go. Their song was so nice, they made a video for it twice — once with a Rube Goldberg machine

…and once as a marching band with a brass section in Ghillie suits:

Digital Leather’s Blackness

If the Bloodhound Gang decided to write more serious songs, they might end up sounding like this. For some perverse reason, I like the verse with these two lines, one after the other: “I’ve got courage in my heart / Love is a feeling like warm black leather”.

Broken Bells’ The High Road

“‘Cause they know and so do I / The high road is hard to find…”

The Black Keys’ Next Girl

The chorus is a promise I made to myself when I was in the hospital.

Retro Trip

I added some tunes that I used to have on my “bummed out” playlist from early 1991, because there’s comfort in the familiar. My problems then seem so minor compared to early 2011.

The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Snakedriver

Yeah, it’s three-chord rock and roll, but it’s great three-chord rock and roll.

Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears

Ozzy was a real mess at this point, and this song was him letting it all out.

Faith No More’s Midlife Crisis

One of their best tracks. Did anyone see them when they played that roller rink in Mississauga in ’90? Now that was a show.

MC 900 Ft Jesus and DJ Zero’s Straight to Heaven

A great track off a great and underappreciated album, Hell with the Lid Off. They played at Alfie’s Pub at Crazy Go Nuts University, and DJ Jerome even let DJ Zero do a session after the show, which was stunning.

KMFDM’s Godlike

During my time as a DJ at Clark Hall Pub, this industrial dance single became a sort of pub anthem. Here’s a version they did live in 2004…

And here’s the studio version.

KMFDM’s Stray Bullet

You want angry? You got angry.

Nine Inch Nails’ Down in It

I like the rawness of this demo version — next to it, the version on Pretty Hate Machine feels overproduced.

Washed Out’s Eyes Be Closed

After all that angst, something a little more chill.

The New Pornographers’ The Laws Have Changed

You’re playing a new game, with new rules. Hence this song:

Classfied’s That Ain’t Classy

And while times may be rough, that’s no reason not to take the high road. Since I’ve already got a song called “The High Road” on this list, here’s an equally fitting tune:

Cee-Lo’s Fuck You

This was gaining momentum on the charts at the time, and if it weren’t for the lyrics about being broke (I was working at Microsoft at the time, and my bank account was super-flush), it would fit perfectly. I’m going with the full-on F-word version, not that “Eff You” or “Forget You” nonsense.

The Streets’ Going Through Hell

My personal anthem whenever I didn’t feel like getting out of bed at the time. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog,” as they say.

Digitalism’s Forrest Gump

And once I got out of bed, this musical biscuit from a German electronic duo in conjunction with the lyrics guy from The Strokes got me to full speed:

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It’s a trap! Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:22:25 +0000

it's a trap

Don’t do it, officer!

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Why Canada’s gerbil-like prime minister’s re-election strategy will work Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:56:51 +0000

prime minister gerbil

Faced with their growing unpopularity, Canadian Prime Minister, Control Freak in Chief, and seller-out of Canada’s sovereignty to Chinese oil interests Stephen Harper and his party, the Conservatives, are pinning their re-election hopes on a “give cash back to voters” strategy.

The bad news is that it’ll work, for the same reasons as those observed by Rick Mercer about Rob Ford’s fan base:

“We would rather have a guy on crack than a mayor who will raise our taxes. We don’t care if he drives his Escalade drunk through the city; we care that he wants to privatize garbage collection. We will vote for a gerbil if we get a dollar back.

In case you missed it, here’s the Rick’s Rant on Ford Nation:

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High-larious video: “If buying condoms was like buying birth control” Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:26:47 +0000

buying condoms

He should be happy that he doesn’t work at Hobby Lobby.

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How much damage Calvin from “Calvin and Hobbes” did, and a new scientific journal called PNIS that covers hard and soft topics Tue, 07 Oct 2014 13:17:21 +0000

calvin and hobbes

How much damage did Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes do to his parents’ house and possessions over the comic strip’s ten-year span? According to this recent paper published in the Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science (PNIS), just under $16,000 in repair and replacement costs, based on present-day prices. The accumulated costs are displayed in the graph below, where you can see that most of them were incurred in the strip’s first year:

the cost of a calvin

Click the graph to see it at full size.

If the paper’s writing style or the acronym of the publication — PNIS — got your “science senses” tingling, give yourself a pat on the back. PNIS is a humor publication in the guise of a scientific journal in the same way The Onion takes on the form of a newspaper. According to their About & FAQ page, PNIS articles fall into one of three categories:

  • HARD, short for Honest And Reliable Data: “…the serious PNIS sub-journal. Papers published in HARD use actual data that were collected in some way by the authors (for example, data collected from an Internet resource (and properly cited, of course), or data from an experiment conducted by the authors).”
  • SOFD, short for Satirical Or Fake Data: “Papers published in SOFD use data that are fabricated by the authors for some purpose (for example, fake data from a fake experiment).”
  • Editorials: “…papers that generally do not have any associated experiments (real or fake) or hypotheses (real or fake). Mostly, their content is about science itself (and science-writing in particular).”

My inner 14-year-old was pleased to see this graph charting the projected readerships for HARD PNIS and SOFD PNIS in their introductory editorial:

hard vs sofd pnis

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The current top contender for my Halloween costume this year: “I’m not a state; I’M A MONSTER!” Mon, 06 Oct 2014 20:13:49 +0000

lisa simpson floreda costume

Click the photo to see the source.

To celebrate the first Halloween in my new home, I can’t think of a more appropriate costume than the one pictured above. In case you don’t get the reference, it’s from the Simpsons episode where Marge, deep in the throes of a gambling addiction, forgets to make a costume for Lisa’s state pageant where she’s supposed to be Florida. Homer ends up making the costume pictured above, and when Lisa tries it on, she says “I’m not a state; I’m a monster!“.

Here’s another example:

lisa simpson floreda costume 2

Click the photo to see the source.

Where in Tampa can I get this kind of foam?

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Rejected wedding theme #7: The ceremonial grinding of the chastity belt Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:12:06 +0000

grinding away the bridal chastity belt

Found via Vault45. Click the photo to see the source.

I’m sure that the photo above depicts a performance art piece than the bride addressing her guests at the reception, but this being Florida (where no idea is a bad one), it wouldn’t be completely out of place.

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This bookshelf is a warning sign Sun, 05 Oct 2014 14:11:16 +0000

this bookshelf is a warning sign

Found on Imgur. Click the photo to see the original.

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Slice of Life: Making dinner Fri, 03 Oct 2014 19:37:21 +0000

kitchen window view

This was the view from my kitchen window on Wednesday. For those of you who don’t recognize the vegetable I’m holding, that’s a patty-pan squash.

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Rejected wedding theme #6: “Release the chickens!” Fri, 03 Oct 2014 16:38:24 +0000

In some cultures including the Philippines, you’ll see the bride and groom release a pair of doves at the end of the wedding ceremony, as a way of marking that special moment. It makes for great photos:

wedding dove release

Of course, many couples want to put their own unique stamp on the ceremony, and sometimes you get this:

wedding chicken fling 2

Click the photo to see the source.

Pictured above are Molly “The Chick” Evans and his was Michael “Chick Magnet” Malone. According to this web page, they got their nicknames from their love of eating chicken, but for some reason decided to give it up and symbolically commemorate their new chicken-free live by hurling raw chickens at the end of their ceremony. I hope they remembered to wash their hands afterwards.

Apparently, Molly and Michael were not the only ones to do this. Here’s a recent picture from AcidCow:

wedding chicken fling

Click the photo to see the source.

I don’t think I’ll be able to talk The Future Missus into this one, considering the resulting mess and the fact we’re having a beach wedding.

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Breakfast in America Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:53:54 +0000 posted this image on their Facebook account recently:

american breakfast

A quick search found this response posted to the often-batshit-crazy conservative site, and hey, I found it funny:

american breakfast 2

And finally, a little more searching led to this depiction of a nice surf-and-turf dinner, ‘Murican style:

american dinner

Click the photo to see it at full size.

If you want to see the American divide over guns, take a look at the competing Urban Dictionary entries for the term “ammosexual”. Probably better than looking at the photo below:


And since it’s Throwback Thursday and we’re talking about breakfast in America, how ’bout some Breakfast in America?

Thanks to Mitch Garvis for the find!

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So much “’Murica” in a single headline Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:51:08 +0000

chuck e. cheese shooting

The headline is “Chuck E. Cheese shooting appears to be gang-related”.  It took place in Pico Rivera (in the Los Angeles area), and according to witnesses, it’s started when two men got into an argument.

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How is Ayn Rand still a thing? Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:23:58 +0000

Ayn Rand is big with teenagers because her writing resonates with their rebellion, with businesspeople because she’s largely about greed, and with techies because she appeals to their revenge fantasies.

As a teenager, I had a brief Ayn Rand phase for about six months (I’ll admit it, revenge fantasies), but between the empty philosophy, leaden writing, heroes who in other novels would be villains, and a fan base of made up of some of the worst people I’m aware of, my fandom turned out to be rather short-lived. Many high-schoolers go through the same phase, although she’s been enjoying a renaissance of those whose livelihoods rest on making the real world like high school but with more money: namely CEOs and Republicans.

Being a techie and living in America, some of the people I know and love are big fans of Ms. Rand, and I try to keep my fun-poking of them to a minimum. But I do poke fun at them, and by doing so on this blog, have managed to make money from it, and when they complain, I tell them to “go start your own damn wildly popular blog and espouse your own views, you bargain basement Wesley Mouches!”.

ayn rand how is she still a thing

Click the photo to see the video.

All this is prologue to an amusing short featuring on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver who asks: How is Ayn Rand still a thing?

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