Thursday, 15 September 2011

Phil Ochs, Frakking and Daniel Ellsberg

In Victoria, a nice gem is Movie Monday, where a movie is shown in the theatre at the Eric Martin Institute. Often there is a mental health aspect and after each movie, a discussion is held. Last Monday, the 2011-2012 season began with There But For Fortune, a doc on the prolilific political folk singer of the eary 60s to the mid70s, Phil Ochs. As one who discovered Phil Ochs in the pages of the Pacific Tribune, a paper that then was put out by the Communist Party in Vancouver, I soon found myself collecting all of Phil Ochs albums. With the doc, some of the info on Phil the person was revealing to me,fun to hear some of the tunes again, often live footage. How his life ended had been a bit of a mystery, sadly I now know. Phil Ochs was a good showman, could organize concerts, and with his song on Vietnam and the demonstrations relating to "I declare The War Is Over" showed his love of the absurd.                                                                                                                       Last night (Wed Sept 14), in conjuction with the Sierra Club, the Oscar nominated doc, Gasland was shown. It is about the issue of "frakking" for natural gas in America. Dick Cheney is a factor, and it was disturbing to learn that he was much a Darth Vader to his nation's enviorment as he was with foriegn policy. To put it in a concise way, "frakking" is injecting lots of water and many many chemicals etc into rock shale formations to get at natural gas that would be difficult to do so so in conventional ways. Many Amercans from Appalachia to the mountain west have  felt the impact of this, and Dick Cheney led the charge that allowed oil and gas companies to become expempt for the Clean Air Act, and other postive environmental laws and agencies put in place by a President not often lauded as a reformer, Richard Nixon.  I highly reccomend watching this doc, hopefully you will find it a video store or the library. In the discussion that followed we learned that half of all the natural gas production in British Columbia is done by "frakking" and that large energy firms are being granted long term rights to the gigantic BC Hydro resovoir in Lake Willisoton.   Apparently our two Independent MLA's Vicki Huntingdon and Bob Simpson are calling for a public inquiry into the issue of "frakking" in our province. There is a lot of info on on "frakking" in articles written by Ben Parfit.   Using the BC Legislature website, you can find the addresses of key ministers and oppositon MLA's should you agree with such an inquiry, and in doing so helping our fellow British Columbians in the Peace River country.                                                                                                   Next Monday, again back to the 60s and 70s, with a showing of The Most Dangerous Man In America:Daniel Ellsberg. For those unfamiliar, he was the person who leaked the US govt study of the war in Vietnam, The Pentagon Papers. In a linked article from the UK paper The Guardian,found on the Movie Mondy website, Ellsberg states that the WikiLeaks are the Pentagon Papers of today.  Some of our governments need for secrecy is absurd. For example, the Canadian govt would not acknowledge the presence of our elite commando unit, Joint Task Force Two. A writer for the Ottawa Citizen was criticized by Canadian generals for writing articles that ferreted out the info on JTF2, ironically most of it was obtained legitametly from the UK Dept of Defense.                                                                                                             As stated above, Movie Monday is a gem for our city. Admission is by donation, the popcorn is fresh and the pop is cold. Put the Monday Night Football game on your VCR or PVR it and head out to the theatre at the Eric Martin Institue, adjacent to the Royal Jubilee Hospital. With the snacks, movie, and discussion after, you will have had a night that will give you lots of food for thought.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Rebelboy  says ---30---                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Second Place Is A Good Place

This past weekend, June 4th and 5th, Marty's Angelz, a 24 Hour Relay team composted of Salmon Kings Booster Club members, friends, and family joined 46 other teams as we all did our laps and other activites as we collectively raised $422,588 to allow disabled children to attend Camp Shawinigan, where as Cliff Lequesne and Ed Bain said on stage, "its not about disabilites, its about abilities." Garage sales, bake sales,bottle drives,raffle and couponbook sales,a car wash, and a Karoke Night and Silent Auction at Soprano's were all fundrasing ativites out team held.  When the announcement were made at the Relay's wrapup, our friendly archrivals, The Lightening Crickets were the champion fundrasing team, and our Marty's Angelz finished second. Not bad, considering the length of the SKings season, meaning we basically had a six and half week window for fundraisng.        With the Salmon Kings offically "ceasing operations". that means that the booster club will also wrap things up. But not quite---with the heart of a lioness, our President Jen Holmwood, backed up byteam co-captain Denis Harvey, the executive and the membership, we are keeping our 24 hour relay team, which you can now find on Facebook under Marty's Angelz 2012.   So over the coming months, when you get an email about donations or to buy a ticket to an event we may hold, please respond postively.  In the end, not matter if we finish first or second, everyone wins. Still it would be nice to be on top next year!!!                                                                                                                

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

VICTORY GOES TO THE BRAVE----boxing's decline and the sea dogs howl

This coming Saturday, May 28, HBO Canada (Ch 58) will be showing the tape delay of the WBC Light Heavyweight championship bout between title holder, Jean Pascal of Laval and the 46 yr old challenger, Bernard Hopkins. Last December they fought hard in what turned out to be a controversial majority draw.   Ten or more years ago, this bout would be widely talked about and every bar in town would be showing it. Last Sat, one would have had to have been lucky to find a bar that would have been showing the live pay per view package.   Boxing has been in decline for some time now, with MMA and UFC seemingly on tv all the time. Personally I have difficulty understanding the caged fights, especically when they are fighting on the ground---to me UFC seems more like a Roman gladiator spectacle than a skilled fight.   Growing up in the late 50s and early 60's, I was exposed to the tv Friday Night At The Fights, the newsreels at the movies that often showed highlight of the most recent fights, and took part in generational discussions where we argued who was better, Joe Louis or Mohammed Ali.  Now no one knows or seems to care who the Heavyweight champion of the world is. Something has been lost, yet the terminology of boxing is in everyday use.   They used to say that some of the best literature in the world was to found on the sports pages of the New York papers;boxing would have been a prominet part of that. Writers of the stature of Norman Mailer and Joyce Carol Oates are just two of the many writers who have produced great boxing literature.  On Saturday,May 28 I will sit down and watch the HBO card and dream of the glory days of the sport.                                                                            Over in Mississauga, the 93rd Memorial Cup tournament is taking place. Tonight, the Kooteany Ice are in "a do or die" situation, have to win and hope that they can get into a "tie-breaker game." Last night, the Saint John Sea Dogs, a team loaded with top prospects for the NHL draft, won a dramatic overtime over the OHL champion Owen Sound Attack. Jonathan Huberdeau's game winning rapid wrist shot makes me think that he will be the next Jamie Benn.  For you poolies out there, remember that name. Another player who made a splash at the Memorial Cup and is now a valuable hockey pool additon is Mike Richards.                                                                                      Kelly Cup wrapup----the Alaska Aces lost game 3 in Kalamzoo, but came back and last Saturday won the ECHL title. Former Salmon King Scott Howes was recognized for a great postseason by being named the 2011 ECHL playoff MVP.       Thats a wrap.