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When funny isn’t enough

I have few things I hold sacred. The stance that the Canadiens are empirically better than the Leafs is one. That Schwarts’ smoked meat is overrated is another. That comedy reserves the right to be offensive and vulgar and crass is near the top of the list. Unfortunately, too many people out there confuse vulgarity and offensiveness with mean-spiritedness, or racism or misogyny.

So I feel compelled to defend The Onion’s right to call a 9 year old girl a cunt.

Yes, that sounds horrible (for those who are not plugged into Twitters tempest-in-a-teapot machine, the satire site sent out a tweet saying “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right?” Wallis is the 9-year old Oscar nominee from Beasts of the Southern Wild).

It’s not a disgusting word (I hold the stance that collections of letters cannot innately be horrible – if the word “country” doesn’t make you feel like you have the vapours, why do you suddenly get pale when the o, r and y are removed? But I digress). The meaning behind is disgusting, though. But that’s the important distinction – the INTENT behind calling someone a cunt is what’s hurtful. Without that intent, it’s just letters on a page, or vibrations through the air. It’s nothing.

So of course, calling a 9 year old a cunt is pretty horrible. The intent is to degrade and insult in a clearly anti-woman way.

Except it’s not. At least, not in this case.

The Onion is a satire site. And unfortunately, most people have decided that because seeing a child’s name next to the word “cunt” is so shocking, there is no distinction to be made between taking something literally, or realizing the irony behind a statement.

(Note: for those of you who got their ideas about irony from Alanis Morisette, here is a clip that I think might help you understand that irony is not “a glass fly in your chardonnay.” Ethan Hawke is smart as well as dreamy!)

The Onion was trying to be funny. Anyone who isn’t prominently featured on Literally Unbelievable knows this. So what’s funny about calling a 9 year old a cunt?

Well, nothing. Unless you don’t mean it. Unless that 9 year old is obviously adorable, talented and amazing. Which Wallis is.

See, the punchline is unspoken. The punchline is that absolutely nobody in their right mind could think this kid is a cunt. That idea is ridiculous! It’s such a stupid notion that it makes me want to laugh.

See what I did there?

The Onion was not calling this kid names. It was cracking a joke about the absurdity of calling her a name.

Of course, as Tommy Lee Jones (who lost at the Oscars, because he’s a sourpuss and not a hilarious and badass German bounty hunter) told us in Men in Black, “A person is smart. People are stupid.” And as a result we have people literally threatening to kick The Onion’s ass.

Heh. A vegetable with an ass. I think we can all agree that’s funny.

In which I unite Palestinians and Zionists, by both agreeing I’m an idiot

I really don’t want to write about this. It’s going to get all the wrong people pissed off at me for all the wrong reasons. People who are looking for a reason to get inflamed, and aren’t afraid to look as petty and stupid as they accuse the other side of being. Anger can be addictive – I know this all too well. It’s the reason that I stuck with watching Lost during the total shitshow that was the second season (ultimately paid off. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – the third season finale was one of the finest hours of television ever produced. But I digress).

So let’s get down to it. I’m here, you’re here, we’re ready to hate each other real good over the interwebs.

Let’s talk about Israel and Palestine.

Now, I feel the need to provide a few bona fides here. I am a Zionist; in the traditional sense of the word: I believe in the validity and importance of a state based on a Jewish identity. That’s it.

I’ve identified myself as such in public in the past, and had one notable putz immediately accuse me in public of “Supporting the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people to create a pure Jewish state.” See what I said about some people being addicted to anger?

Now, as one side prepares to post angry comments, I also support the creation of  Palestinian state. Unlike some fellow Zionists who exist on the extreme right, I don’t deny Palestinian nationhood. I support their supporter’s right to Israel Apartheid Week (though I disagree with the principles behind it, it is their right to proclaim such beliefs). I think that expansion of settlements in the territories is ridiculous. I think that collective punishment, which even the most ardent Israel supporter must acknowledge takes place, is morally and legally abhorrent.

These views have gotten me in trouble before. So, since both sides think I’m a moron, I have no choice but to conclude that I’m right. I use the same logic when I argue that neither Michael Jordan nor Lebron James is the best basketball player of all time, but rather Mugsy Bogues, an argument based in no small part on the fact that I find it amazing a man of his stature became a star in the NBA and also his last name is fun to say.

So right now, I’m not arguing for one side being “right” or “wrong” in the current mess in Gaza. In fact, the fact that so many people think in such terms is exactly what is wrong with the discourse surrounding the Middle East.

It’s not sports teams. There is no “winner” or “loser” in a multi-generational, hugely destructive conflict that has cost lives and treasure for almost 70 years. It is not a  baseball game – it’s not even that one insane World Series All-Star Game where Bud Selig decided “Screw this, I’m cranky and tired and I want to go home so we’re all winners. Hurray!”

The fact is, I don’t know who is right or wrong. I think both sides are both. And I don’t know who started it. I don’t really care, to tell you the truth.

So this is not an argument from me. It’s a plea. The kind that usually falls on deaf ears once the people stop calling me a fascist or a traitor or whatever else they want to call me. I’m fine being called such things by people who use the terms “turn the territories into a parking lot” on one side and people who support Hamas despite denouncing their buddies in the Syrian government on the other. Both sides are dumb.

So here’s the plea. Realize that this is a complex issue. Realize that there are so many factors that go behind the simple “Jews vs. Arabs” reductionism. Realize that this is about people who want to feel secure in their homes, but also about paranoia after years of bombs on commuter buses. Realize that this is about institutionalized distrust. Realize that this is about a democratic system to insane, that political parties of two people can occasionally hold the decision making power in their hands, and if they are so inclined, can use that power in petty, short-sighted ways. Realize that this is about water rights, and demographics, and that almost all the concerns on both sides are legitimate. Realize that despite some nuts in the government and downright bad people who do bad things in the military, most Israelis are decent people. Realize that the same holds true when you cross the border into Gaza and West Bank.

Realize that the problems of this conflict are local, but assholes are an international epidemic.

Realize that on both sides, there are people. Blood, flesh, bone. Realize that no matter what political stance you take, shrapnel tears you apart just the same.

Realize that words matter. How the world talks about this conflict will go a long way towards establishing how it is resolved.

Realize that there will be many douchebags who will hate this article. Then realize, hey I don’t have to be one of them.

On the last Twitter fight I will ever engage in (until the next one)

Timing is a funny thing.

Sometimes it works for you. Sometimes it’s against you. Most of the time, it seems neutral. As a wise man once said “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.”

So it goes that just a few days after (stupidly) engaging in a Twitter war about the role that the mainstream press and campus media that isn’t CUTV has played in covering the student strikes here in Montreal, it was announced that Postmedia would be cutting a substantial amount of reporting and editorial positions, including 23 at The Montreal Gazette, a newspaper that I have freelanced for.

I admire a lot of people at The Gazette. Peggy Curran, a longtime writer, was nothing but kind and encouraging to a terrified Current Affairs editor at The Link last year, tweeting support (in case some of my readers are a bit slow, that Current Affairs editor was me). Michelle Richardson and Basem Boshra, both editors I’ve written for, have helped me become a better writer and reporter, and just the fact that they bought stories based on ideas I came up with convinced me that I would be able to at least survive as a freelancer, and thus gave up on my hobo aspirations. I’d like to believe the riding-the-rails industry’s loss was journalism’s gain, and if it is, those two are a big reason why.

When I got into journalism, one of my dreams was to write for The Gazette, and maybe work there one day as full-time reporter. While one goal is accomplished, it looks more and more unlikely that the second will ever happen.

This is basically a long-winded way of saying that I’m dreading to find out who will no longer be working there. Contrary to what some people believe, I think The Gazette is a quality newspaper, and as the sole Anglophone daily newspaper in Montreal, operates in an environment that not many people take the time to appreciate.

I guess what I just took 345 words to say can be summed much more succinctly in a mere two:

This sucks.

In any case, I’d like to clarify something for the kind of people out there who would criticize student journalists for wanting to work in the mainstream media. I never thought I’d have to make an argument about “indie” vs “mainstream” that didn’t somehow involve Sonic Youth, but here we go.

The so-called mainstream is where most people get their news. Places like the Montreal Media Co-op and The Dominion do absolutely amazing work. I have nothing but respect for them, and I hope to one day pitch stories their way (quite frankly, the standard of excellence at both those outlets can be intimidating, and is part of the reason I have never pitched to them before). But they are by their very design niche newspapers. And there is nothing wrong with that. The media landscape is big enough for both. And freelancers should not be swayed that working for either is wrong or immoral, or that one is better than the other.

There are other points I would like to make about some of the criticism I’ve received, but quite frankly, mama told me that if I didn’t have something nice to say, I should shut the hell up. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Sadness and the City

Today has been a weird day.

I got up, expecting to go about my usual routine (eat bagel, drink coffee, read cracked.com and put off getting down to business for a few hours, etc…), and instead found myself invited to appear on Russia Today to discuss #ggi and #manifencours (yeah, at this point I’m just going to talk about the strike in Twitter-speak out of convenience).

While I think I came off as a blathering idiot, it did get me focused enough to finish writing a piece on what we’ve been seeing the introduction of Bill 78. I’ve actually been trying to get this all down since Sunday, but after about three sentences, I gave up. Since then, I’ve been afraid that if I try to write about my thoughts on #ggi, I’ll just curl up into the fetal position and start sobbing in frustration.

So I’ll start with the obvious:

The actions of a few members of the SPVM and SQ are terrifying. Bill 78 was a bad move. Lighting fires in the middle of St. Denis and Ontario is a bad thing. So is arresting 500 people, many of whom are probably innocent of whatever they’re being charged with.

That wasn’t so hard.

It seems that in the eyes of many, there is an “us or them” mentality. There’s very little room for nuance – either you support the students, or you don’t. Is it really so hard to say that while the students have legitimate grievances about tuition, about how the police handle the protests, and about how the government has dealt with the entire situation, it does not excuse some of the tactics they are using? The onus is on the student organizations to police these marches. They have to prevent property damage, fires and any other form of violence. It’s not only morally right, it’s good strategy: it puts the government in a bad light if a peaceful protest is shut down by the cops. It gives them the public image upper hand.

On Saturday, I was shocked to see actual bonfires being lit on the crowded corner of St. Denis and Ontario. Actually, shocked isn’t the right word. It made me downright sad. Sad that it had come to this. Sad that some people felt the need to ugly up a beautiful part of our city to make their point. Sad that people cheered them on.

Over the next few nights, I was sad again. Sad at mass arrests. Sad at how much zest one cop seemed to take at swinging her baton at me and another reporter. Sad at how an SQ officer pushed a woman much smaller than himself over with little to no provocation. Sad at how an innocent bystander was clubbed in the leg for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sad that reporters have to resort to tweeting an an SPVM public relations officer to avoid being arrested, even after they’ve shown credentials.

I’m tired of being sad, and I think the rest of the public is right there with me. This is a war that will be fought on the public relations battle ground. And right now, with the cops, government and students receiving bad press, they’ll all need to get a lot savvier if they want to come out of this without any more scars.

Eternal Sunshine of the Stupidly Optimistic Mind

There is nothing I can say about Bill 78 that hasn’t been said.

If I have any American, Asian, South American, Australian or European readers, or Canadians who don’t pay attention to Quebec, or Quebecers who have been living with wolves in the wilderness for the past few months, here’s the background.

Students have been striking for several months. Some protests have gotten violent, but most have been peaceful. The violence has by and large been caused by asshole anarchists. Now, the Quebec government has passed Bill 78, a piece of legislation that both suspends the Winter and Summer terms of universities and colleges, and also places severe restrictions on the rights of people who engage in protest. Those limits include forcing protesters to announce their intent to police 8 hours in advance, if it’s a group of 50 25 50 or more (the original bill had that number at 10). The police are given the power to alter the protester’s route at any time.

The bill, in essence, puts the onus on student group leaders to maintain order during a protest. It also may be a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of assembly.

The reasons why this bill is a bad idea, and possibly even unconstitutional, have been written about extensively elsewhere by people much smarter than myself. Just check the hashtag #loi78 on Twitter, and I’m sure you’ll find something educational to read.

Me, being a stupidly persistent optimist, am going to look at the slim, almost invisible silver lining to this.

There has been a lot of ugly things said by both sides during the tuition debate. One side accuses the students of being lazy, not wanting to pay their fair share, of being a spoiled generation of brats. The other says the older generation is out of touch, fascistic, selfish, undemocratic. It has, in many ways, divided the province. It’s very hard to take a neutral stance. There have been many cleavages: along language lines, generational lines, even a split among those with “valuable” degrees (engineering, finance, etc…) and “useless” ones (arts degrees, mostly).

I’m hoping this bill gives us cause to find common ground.

Civil liberties concern everyone. Once they start eroding, everyone suffers. We might disagree with each other, but the right to (peacefully) disagree is what makes Canada and other democratic countries great. You have the right to piss me off. That’s a beautiful thing.

I can only hope that when the protests against Bill 78 start, students are joined by people opposed to their cause. When one group is forced to shut up, everybody loses.

Vegas

I’ve sat down to write this little entry, which I’d hoped would encapsulate everything amazing and terrible about the Las Vegas I saw over four days in early May, and I had a sudden, illuminating, terrifying realization: I don’t remember much. Rather than entertaining stories and insights, the only words in my head are Holy shit. I probably should have taken notes.

It’s hard to hold a pen and notepad when you have a rum and diet coke in either hand (I’m health conscious even when I’m getting blotto, which I guess says a lot about my personality type). Or when you need your digits to hit the “Maximum Credits” button on a Wheel of Fortune themed slot machine. Or when you’re walking down the Strip, trying not to bump into the wife-beater and backwards-hat wearing douchebags, the families taking their kids out in strollers for a walk through a casino at 3 am, the gaggles of 20-something girls clutching each other, trying to retain some semblance of class despite every indication that they are shitfaced and ready to puke mid-giggle.

So I’m going to go based on the few memories I know are accurate, a few I may have exaggerated, and one or two that might be entirely made up. In retrospect, it’s probably fitting that I was plastered off rum for most of the time there, as good old HST, author of The Rum Diary, also wrote the definitive account of self-destruction and analysis of why Vegas is so necessary to the continued existence of American illusions.

This is my story. I hope it’s true.

 

There are some people who understand Las Vegas, but I am not one of them.

Despite most tourists only staying on one street the entire time they’re there, it can be a hard city to navigate. The geography is easy. It’s the people that are hard to read.

The guy sitting at the blackjack table with me at the Planet Hollywood casino, skin tanned to a nice leathery sheen, keeps his cigarettes and stack of $25 chips constantly at the ready. He’s betting four of those chips at a time, $100 a hand at a table where the minimum is $15. This guy, he’s making kissy sounds to the short, ageless Asian dealer named Gem whenever she deals him a winning hand. They’re wet kisses, the kind that seem kind of obscene, especially coming from a man his age. It’s patronizing, sexist. He keeps his lips wet with the bottle of Miller Genuine Draft that he’s getting refills of, and the moist sound they make when he smacks them together result in a wave of nausea for a few seconds each time he does it. Gem flirts back, clearly hoping to pick up a few bucks in tips even if this man keeps losing at his current rate.

I never catch his name, but this guy, he understands Las Vegas. The two gawky guys to my left, jabbering at each other in what seems to be Chinese, losing hand after hand with silent despair, they’re like me. I don’t think they get it either.

Sometimes what you win isn’t in money, but I don’t know what the guy making kissy noises was winning. He seemed happy though.

Scratch that. I think I know what he’s getting. Some context might be important, but remember this point, we’re coming back to it.

 

There are seven of us, and we are in Vegas for Light Fair 2012. I assume this is the name of the event, though I will never step foot in the trade show. My roommate Daniel will, because he is a purveyor of lights, and has come specifically for this event, while the rest of us were just looking for an excuse to drink and gamble for four days. My friend Jonny will go, because he told Dan he would go with him. Neither of them seems to be sure if there’s a reason for him to attend beyond that. But there is a very good reason for Jonny not to attend, and that is because like the other five of us who are not Daniel, he got drunk the night before. Shitfaced, even. But that is not important. The important thing is that Daniel meets a former coworker of his, who sums up Las Vegas in a way I cannot beat.

“Las Vegas,” he apparently told Daniel, “is both the best place in the world and the worst at the same time.”

I told you it was a pretty good way of summing it up.

 

On our first morning, the seven of us headed to a rock bar inside the hotel, sat on the sunny terrace and drank ourselves some breakfast. Coffee with large sums of Irish Cream, silver and golden bulls filled with a sweet and sour, high octane blue lemonade, and in one case, a large beer.

Our waitress, clearly enjoying watching the tourists do stupid things at an early hour chats us up. The conversation turns to things you cannot do in Vegas.

“Pretty much anything goes,” she says. “Even if the cops do stop you, you can probably talk your way out of it.”

“Just don’t kill anybody.”

We won’t. Unless Joe Pesci and his brother appear in a cornfield, but this seems unlikely.

The next night, I see a large patrol of police, walking the Strip. Keeping the peace. They are followed by a reality television show camera crew.

Let’s just say that serving and protecting is just one of their priorities.

Anyway. The point is, there is a laissez faire attitude to everything. There is no morality, there are barely any laws, there is only what you can get away with.

That brings us back to our creepy friend at the blackjack table. Want to make inappropriate sexual gestures at a blackjack dealer? Feel free. You’re paying for the privilege after all.

This is all to say that Las Vegas is not a place filled with fear and loathing anymore. The truth is, there is nothing to fear. You are safer from bad people in Las Vegas than anywhere else. The mobsters and con men you see in Vegas movies from year’s past are all just nostalgic memories, to be evoked whenever the chance to profit off them  appears. The cops may be reality TV stars, but the bouncers and security are very real, and they work for the Gods that rule the city like… um, Gods: the dealers, pit bosses, managers and owners for whom Vegas really exists.

You’re only in danger from yourself, and your inability to control your vices. Everything else is just gravy. The hotels make sure of that.

If it were up to the hotels, you would never fear anything again. Loathing would be a distant memory. All emotions would be, except the desire to stay another night, put another dollar in, and have another drink.

Not that I’m complaining. In small doses, it’s pretty goddam awesome. Las Vegas is necessary. It’s America’s overgrown id, and if they (and by extension us here in Canada) did not have it, I’m not sure what would happen. Anarchy, maybe.

Vegas is a representation of everything we want to be, and everything we’re horrified to become.

Vegas is the best place and the worst place in the world. Even for those who live there.

Cae in point. I’m absolutely ripped, it’s 2 am, and I’m talking to a slots attendant. He came down to Vegas to work and be near his Dad. There’s a lot of work to be had, a lot of money to be made, but this guy, he’s young, and he’s sick of it.

“I can see myself going up the coast. Maybe to Portland.”

He presses the little bug in his ear tighter, listens to the dispatcher at the other end of the radio, and starts to walk off. He turns to me and says “I really hate living here.”

As with all things that happen in that one bright spot of desert where anything goes, I think this happened, but I can’t prove it.

When reporting on hockey, can people just make up their minds?

I’m not going to talk about Marc Bergevin’s hiring as the new GM of the Montreal Canadiens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge hockey fan, but that’s all I am. I’ve never played at a level above house league. I have no idea what the inner workings of an NHL dressing room are. I’ve never covered sports, except a couple of Concordia Stingers games, and let’s face it, a game summary is barely reporting. I know almost nothing about what Bergevin’s jobs as a scout, executive or assistant GM for the Chicago Blackhawks involved.

So I’m not really in a position to say whether this guy is going to be awesome, or if he’s going to be a catastrophe. All I know is, the way that management and coaching changes in professional sports are generally covered by the media are hilariously contrary.

Take Bergevin. Apparently, he was somewhat of a prankster during his time in the NHL. Great, he’s got a sense of humour, seems like a nice guy, I’d like to grab a beer with him sometime. But that’s become the major net positive of his hiring, the key to the whole narrative that is being constructed. Don’t believe me? Read this. And this. And this. Three different outlets, and they all mention Bergevin’s reputation as a prankster. So, the guy likes putting shaving cream in people’s shoes. What does that have to do with being able to judge talent?

This isn’t a shot at Bergevin, this is a complaint about how these things get covered, because it happens every single time someone gets a high profile job in sports. The media focuses on one particular personality trait, and then writes about how that trait is a positive. Hell, we saw that with Bergevin’s predecessor, Pierre Gauthier two years ago. My memory might be slipping, but at the time, Gauthier’s quiet and secretive nature were hailed as positives. As people clammered for him to be (rightfully) shitcanned, those attributes were cited as the reason why the Habs sucked so badly this year.

So is it better to be mercurial? Jovial? Homicidal? Does that stuff really matter?

You can spin a person’s personality traits however you want. But trying to base predictions of a hockey team’s success on the ability of a General Manager to take a joke? That’s not good news writing.

A Few Thoughts on #GGI

I recently told a friend that I was relieved my time at The Link was over, because the student strikes currently ongoing throughout Quebec would no longer be my beat. She told me that as a journalist (and former Editor in Chief of The Link), she was still excited to cover the subject, even though she’d worked on hardly anything but that for months.

It got me thinking that the reason I’m sick of the subject isn’t because it’s not fascinating: obviously, when you’ve got thousands of people in the streets, the story isn’t going to be boring. It’s become a bit of a running joke with some friends that we enjoy covering riots because of the great exercise, and the undeniable thrill of having flashbangs tossed at you (the other part of that running joke is that I’m too pretty for jail, but I’m sure I’ll write more about my arrest last year in another post in which I’ll pretend to be way more grizzled than I think I have any right to claim to be). So it’s not the stupidity of the little violence going on that’s frustrating, but that there is essentially no real dialogue ongoing. You’re either on one side or the other, and covering a topic for months on end where both sides are repeating the same stuff is tedious. It’s even more tedious when the audience has already picked their positions, and aren’t going to move.

Obviously, there’s more than two stances you can take on the strikes. It’s not limited to “We demand free education, and will stand for nothing else, and the streets will burn until we get it” on one extreme, and “All the strikers are stupid, ungracious, violent psychopaths who should be shot as soon as they put on their red squares in the morning.” There’s tons of of positions in the middle, such as supporting a freeze, supporting a lower tuition hike, understanding what the strikers are saying but not agreeing with them, etc… My argument is that as always, the people on the extremes are the most vocal, and dealing with people like that makes me want to do yoga so I can get limber enough to kick myself in the face repeatedly.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. But when you speak to someone from CLASSE, you get told that the hikes are class warfare. No mention of the complexities of the public debt situation in Quebec. They’ll tell you that the corporate tax rate is low in Quebec (which is true), but you don’t get anything on what the effects of raising it might be. It’s a complex issue, but they’ve narrowed it down to being a war on the poor, not just in effect, but in intent. And I don’t think anybody agrees that Jean Charest and Line Beauchamp are sitting around in their offices, texting “Lol, skrew the lower clas” to each other.

Not that the extreme on the other side is any better. I’ll occasionally take a gander at the Concordia Students Against the Strike Facebook page. While they haven’t gotten much media attention, I do think the general tone is somewhat (remember, I said somewhat) accurate in representing the tone of many students who oppose the strikes. There’s a lot of name calling, a lot of really vile stuff said on that page. Almost nobody expresses so much as an understand for even the ideals of the strikers, let alone their goals or tactics.

With stances like these, how can there be dialogue, let alone understanding, or God forbid, compromise?

So the strikes will continue. Maybe the Liberals will continue offering concessions. Maybe not. All I know is, I have no desire to pitch stories about the topic anymore, unless they’re only tangentially related (and I am working on one about some of the effects the protests have had on vital services, but more on that another time…).

My hat is off to anybody who can still get a journalistic hard-on for this story. But please, for the love of all that is holy, try and say something new.

A new blog, and a few ideas I’m working on

Well, hello.

For those of you who know me or my work, hi. How are you? I’m well, all things considered. Well, I’ve had a bit of a cough for a few days. And I’m tragically single the last time I checked. And while I’ve finished the core courses for a degree I’ve been labouring on for four years, that degree is in journalism, so I’m perfecting my technique at tying my possessions into a rag at the end of a stick, because being a hobo seems more profitable than being a reporter.

Speaking of that degree, since I began studying journalism, my professors have hammered three words at me and my classmates and fellow unemployment recipients: blog/social media. Well, I spend a ton of time on Facebook and tweet all kinds of stuff, both informative and silly. So I decided it was time to fulfil the second part of that mantra and start a blog.

Ok, that was the boring part. I felt this needed a bit of an introduction, so there you have it. But I hear your cries. “Here we are now (at your blog). Entertain us!.”

Well, my Nirvana quoting friends, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts on things I’m working on right now. I’m shipping off to Las Vegas in a week, and before I go, I’ll be filing stories on two rock and roll bands in the Montreal area that are unique in that every show will see them play with upwards of 50 singers. Yes, it’s a feature on rock and punk karaoke in Montreal for the Montreal Gazette.

Remember that Montreal Baseball Project that was announced a few weeks ago? They want to bring a professional team back to this city. Only one problem: our baseball stadium is an out of the way eyesore that is universally loathed. So where will this team play? That will be running on OpenFile.ca.

There’s a few other things, but I’m not here to brag (maybe a bit. I am pretty awesome, after all). I’d like to end with a request though. I’ll be using this blog to muse about story ideas a lot. If you’re reading and you think I’m full of shit, feel free to call me out. But also, tell me what you think is interesting. News media is not a one way street anymore – it’s a conversation. As I ramble on about the stupid things that interest me, tell me if they interest you too, and why.

Alright, I’ve gotten preachy enough. I look forward to sharing more thoughts/coming home drunk and rambling about why I hate dubstep at 4 am.