Friday, July 23, 2010

Suck On This!

Call me old fashioned – but vampires are not supposed to be sexy. They are the walking undead for Christ sakes! They live in coffins, are impeccably dressed in aristocratic threads, speak in foreign accents, drink blood and have breath that smells like a sack of assholes. This is the type of old school vampire that was popularized by famous vamps as Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price and the like.

In other words they were deadly and to be avoided.

Vampires have always been a popular icon in local folklore it’s true, as history has a long fascination with the vampire. For example, in ancient times, the ‘callicantzaros,’ a Greek vampire, had long fingernails and would attack only around Christmastime, using its long nails to tear people to pieces. The Sumerians had similar stories about vampire-like creatures and blood-sucking demons. And, shit, Transylvania itself has practically made itself the vampire capital of the world. Underlying all these stories is the belief that vampire-like creatures are soulless, and in some cases, mindless killers.

And of course, who can forget the grim profiles of some of histories most vicious, heinous carnivores such as Vlad the Impaler (the real life Dracula), Countess Elisabeth Bathory, Rasputin, the Highgate Vampire, or Arnaud Paole. These were not people you were exactly interested in meeting or, heavens forbid, establishing any relationship with. If you saw them coming, you ran and hid – not ask for an autograph. They were complete and utter psycho wing nuts with an endless appetite for human blood and wrecking havoc.

The vampire usually is seen as a metaphor for the dark side of humans: our greed, lust, obsession, predatory natures, desire for eternal life, the tragic quality of being boxed in by fate. On another level, the vampire has the qualities of the dark rebel, the outcast, the ultimate opponent of the established order and the daylight world. Trapped in a half- world between the living and the dead, the vampire carries the tragic qualities of an outsider who does not fit in, a situation that many people can identify with.

But lately, we’ve been identifying just a little too much I’d say.

To say that ‘vampires are trendy’ is the understatement of the year. Fast forward to the early 90’s and we encounter a very different type of vampire. Now they market energy drinks (‘Vamp: for when the sun goes down’), record top selling pop albums, operate entire Facebook fans pages, Tweet on their iPhones, and - while in Muppet form – even teach our children to count to five. Shit, lately, your average vampire has become pretty, fashionably hip, technologically savvy, and struggles with teen angst. Vampires have turned into more of a moody, Gap-shopping douche bag if you ask me. They are now more warm and fuzzy and deal with all the typical struggles of adolescence. They are now more likely to be contemplating their deep rooted issues of acceptance and belonging than they are of stalking and manipulating human prey.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula was replaced with the cast from Twilight.

Personally, I blame the writers of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. The character of Angel from the this show emerges as a template of the contemporary vampire. As a once super-bad vampire, Angel spent the preceding decades spreading death, hatred and destruction across the world. But when the gypsy curse forced his human soul to return to his vampire body, Angel regains his conscience and spends most the Buffy series attempting to atone for his many sins. With the emergence of this new Emo-type vampire, our beloved monster seems have become truly defanged, appearing like a victim destined to do good. In other words, he became a pussy as far as vampires go.

Perhaps, we could add the vampires Edward Cullen (of the ‘Twilight’ series) and Mick St. John (of ‘Moonlight’) to this category? We should ask ourselves this question: are these reformed characters really vampires – the predatory creatures who have epitomized depravity, perverse sexuality and moral corruption for more than two millennia – the creatures we have come to fear, loath and love?

I say abso-fucking-lutely not!

This has prompted me then to create this list of rules for vampires in order to be clear about what it takes to be the old school type of vampire that we all used to recognize and fear.

1) Vampires are not romantic or sexy.

Sure, they are sensuous beasts. Feeding on the blood of wanton virgins in the middle of the night n’ all, but they certainly did not “date” as it were. They do not venture out in last season’s corduroy jacket and they don’t give a flying bat shit about what you are doing Friday night unless you’re planning a midnight strolls through the graveyard.

2) Vampires are not warm and fuzzy.

When Dracula spoke about children, he was referring to wolves and their howls. "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make." He is not a warm and cuddly vampire with paternal instincts and dressed in a woolly Cosby sweater. He is syrupy in his charm and poise perhaps, but he full well knows the destruction that lies ahead.

3) Vampires do not have feelings.

We now have new vampires; ones with feelings. Edward Cullin in ‘Twilight’; he's moody and darkly brooding but he lives a respectable life with his vampire family. He feels bad about sucking the life out of humans, so he channels his vampirism to animal flesh. He even jokes, "We think of ourselves as vegetarians." Horseshit! Vampires are cold, calculating killing machines. The last thing any real vampire would do is spill their guts to a shrink about how difficult it is to be a vampire.

4) Vampires do not fight werewolves.

Forget what you saw in ‘Underground’. Vampires and werewolves do not, nor never had, any ongoing battles or conflicts. Besides, we all know that werewolves don’t really exist.

5) Vampires are not mere outcasts seeking our acceptance.

The vampires in ‘True Blood’, thanks to a Japanese scientist's invention of synthetic blood; have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. Humans are no longer on the menu. There is no such thing as a friendly vegan vampire. You either drink the blood, or you do not drink the blood. And if you do not drink the blood you are not a vampire – period. These new models of morally conscious vampires who condemn and refuse human blood are pussies and not worthy of their implied “Vampdom”. Real vampires do not give a shit about you or what you think of them and want only one thing – your blood.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Personality Type: Jackass

I just completed a personality survey at work this afternoon in an effort to provide my current boss with some further insight into what kind of employee I am exactly. This way, he will supposedly have a leg up on what it takes to successfully develop me professionally – or some other bullshit like that. Personally, I think this is just another concentrated effort by Corporate America to find out in advance which one of us employees are the loaded weapons ready to go off in the cafeteria with a deer rifle early one Monday morning.

Now I know what you’re saying, “But Terry is the TITS! Why should he have to take a personality test? He’s the man!” And I agree as - typically – I hate this survey nonsense too. But then again, who doesn’t love filling out the odd meaningless survey about themselves? It’s just one of those secret guilty pleasures we all indulge in once in a while like Cheese Whiz, Infomercials, or Michael Bolton albums .

It’s not often I ever find any real substance in these surveys but, every now and again, they seem to hit the nail right on the head and prophecy something so profoundly specific that you have to wonder if witchcraft is involved. Maybe it somehow determined in its formularized summary analysis of you; something no one else could have known. Something, like, the fact that you are apt to trim your nose hair in public, or that you like to be spanked by a midget dressed in a French maids outfit with a slice Montreal smoked meat – whatever. It’s like it just knows! And this work personality survey this afternoon was very similar in that it just seemed to define my very character to the letter.

It was almost creepy.

It was evident from the get go that this survey was different. The questions it poised were vastly different and more introspective than of the other personality surveys I’ve taken in the past. Some of the questions were so deep and detailed that my head was absolutely swimming after dwelling and contemplating them for too long. They seemed as if I should be required to have a degree in Shinto philosophy or a black belt in Post-Modern Psychology, or something, just to be able to even answer the damn questions.

You always value justice over mercy (yes/no)
You often think about humankind and its destiny (yes/no)
You often contemplate about the complexity of life (yes/no)
You are more interested in a general idea than in the details of its realization (yes/no)

Really? I don’t know exactly. But let me meditate on it over coffee and muffins and I’ll get back to before lunch.

I’m as useless as a bucket or armpits at answering these types of questions. I’m not one to really explore my soft and spongy emotional side very often, so throwing these types of self-exploration questions at me first thing in the morning is like expecting to teach String Theory to a mackerel. The most I spend thinking about destiny or the future is while watching the advertisements for the new Fall television line up.

Some questions were just downright weird:

You feel involved when watching TV soaps (yes/no)

Yeah, there’s something every man wants to admit to. Oh sure, I tear up at just the mere opening notes to ‘The Young & the Restless’. What does this have to do with my professional maturity exactly? How does this serve to accurately pigeonhole me into a particular classification of functional society? Why not just ask me if I find Judge Judy hot for all the relevance it provides?

Some questions were obviously intended to gauge my emotional stability.

You trust reason rather than feelings (yes/no)
Your actions are frequently influenced by emotions (yes/no)
You frequently and easily express your feelings and emotions (yes/no)

No guy like talking about his feelings – or, at least, no real man anyway. I get flooded with paranoia about what the answers to these emotionally based questions will tell about me. The last thing that any man wants to hear is that he is a total SpongeBob Gaypants. I purposely refuse to answer these questions as they tend to make me upset enough that I need to take an extra break to go have a quick cry in the office ‘Quiet Room’. That might just be the final push I need to go register for a gun license.

Some questions are just outright impossible to answer outright.

It's difficult to get you excited (yes/no)

Well, that’s totally subjective isn’t it? It depends on what we’re talking about here right? I may sleep through an entire parade of dancing semi-nude calendar girls outside my window, but then work my way through an entire box of breakfast cereal just to get to the plastic toy at the bottom. Who knows? It entirely depends on the day. You may as well as me:

What is the sound of one hand clapping? (yes/no)

So what were the results of this survey that was so bang on? Apparently, I am a classic “Provider”. Who knew?

“Providers take it upon themselves to insure the health and welfare of those in their care, but they are also the most sociable of all the Guardians, and thus are the great nurturers of social institutions such as schools, churches, social clubs, and civic groups.”

Great. The same could be said about John Wayne Gacy.

Providers are very likely more than ten percent of the population and this is fortunate for the rest of us, because friendly social service is a key to their nature. Wherever they go, Providers happily give their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, and that social functions are a success.”

See how fucking awesome I am? I’m a regular Mother Theresa.

“Highly cooperative themselves, Providers are skilled in maintaining teamwork among their helpers, and are also tireless in their attention to the details of furnishing goods and services. They make excellent chairpersons in charge of dances, banquets, class reunions, charity fund-raisers, and the like.”

You mean I missed my big chance to make a lucrative career of proctoring school dances? Well, there’s a total missed opportunity. If as long as they mean “skilled in maintaining teamwork” as, carrying a big stick and not being afraid to use it dole out the odd random beat down – then I agree.

“They are without peer as masters of ceremonies, able to speak publicly with ease and confidence. And they are outstanding hosts or hostesses, knowing everyone by name, and seemingly aware of what everyone's been doing. Providers love to entertain, and are always concerned about the needs of their guests, wanting to make sure that all are involved and provided for.”

Okay, as much as I appreciate knowing this, it also just made me throw up in my mouth a little.

“Providers are extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, which makes them perhaps the most sympathetic of all the types, but which also leaves them somewhat self-conscious, that is, highly sensitive to what others think of them. ”

Sensitive? Sympathetic? Self-conscious? Caring what others think? Clearly the makers of this online survey were not familiar with any of the work of yours truly. But I guess no survey is ever completely 100% accurate, is it?

“Friendly, outgoing, neighborly - in a word, Providers are gregarious, so much so that they can become restless when isolated from people. They love to talk with others, and will often strike up a conversation with strangers and chat pleasantly about any topic that comes to mind.”

Oh yeah, I’m totally a people person.

And lastly, “Providers are loving and affectionate and need to be loved in return.”


Interestingly enough, among the celebrity Providers listed were Ray Kroc, Dave Thomas and J.C. Penney, Desi Arnaz, Elvis Stojko, Sally Field, Leonard "Bones" McCoy, and Donald Duck.

I don’t know how to take this exactly. What does it say when two fast moguls, a schizophrenic actress, a gay figure skater and a dull-witted cartoon foul with anger management issues are listed as those with strong similarities to you? And the doctor on Star Trek…Bones…really?

In retrospect, I’m not sure how much I really identify myself with this survey. As flattering as it is all intended to be, maybe – sometimes – a knight in shining armor just turns out to be just another retard in tin foil.

Survey here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Welcome to Canada!"

(The following post has been taken largely from the article “Woman claims she was strip-searched, mocked by border agents”, appearing in the St. Catharines Standard, July 20th, 2012. In actuality, I find this situation to be completely deplorable, embarrassing, and totally disgraceful…but, hey, I gotta be me at the end of the day)

While relaxing yesterday evening with some cocktails down by the pool, I was delighted to discover an article in my local newspaper that absolutely warmed the cockles of this cold, empty shell that is my heart. Yes, life was certainly good at Chez Tigerrabbit yesterday.

I was instantly sucked in when I first read the headline “Woman claims she was strip-searched, mocked by border agents”, and I figured it had something to do with another example of paranoid, power hungry Americans wreaking vengeance on us poor, innocent Canadians; as we all know how the Americans have such a hate on for all things Canuck anyway. First it’s the baby seal outcry controversy, then the whole Great Goose Holocaust only a few days ago. It’s like every time we turn around the Americans are taking an opportunity to hassle us. We’re like their ugly, retarded step-sister or something.

But no more! I was delighted to learn that the actual perpetrator’s of said “strip-search and mockery” was actually the Canadian border customs officers. And to this, I say: BRAV-fucking-O! It’s high time we stood our ground and gave a little what for in return. We do “Stand on guard for thee”, after all, right?

As it turns out, Shileen Flynn, 29, had already “missed one flight and lost her luggage when she says she found herself in a room at the Vancouver airport, naked and squatting, while two crude border agents strip-searched her”. Bear in mind that this was only days after a suspected al-Quida member tried to ignite an explosive device aboard a Detroit-bound flight in December of 2009. Flynn was on her way to Palma de Mallorca, Spain from Seattle to begin her new job as a public relations officer.

Whatever, she was “a day behind schedule, having missed her flight from the U.S. the night before, and had to catch the next plane to Germany to she could catch a flight to Spain to start work the next morning. And somewhere along the way, the airline lost her luggage”. Yeah, yeah, whatever sweetheart. Sounds like a likely story for a potential terrorist threat if you ask me.

So, anyway, as she was talking to her mom on a pay phone she is approached by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer who asks to speak with her. No doubt to question her about whom she was just making plans to eradicate world peace with over the phone. Hey, we may be good natured and kind, but we’re definitely not going to fall for that whole “I’m talking to my mother” routine.

The officer proceeds to ask Flynn where she was travelling and why she was using a pay phone. Flynn was then asked to remove her sunglasses so that the officer could, no doubt, see the whites of her eyes. Now, you don’t have to sit through a zillion Clint Eastwood movies to know that that’s, like, the cardinal rule of homeland security, right?

To this, Flynn flagrantly defied this instruction by pushing her sunglasses back down her nose again after flipping the officer a defiant glance. Strike two, bitch. The officer became aggressive and proceeded to search her carry-on luggage. No luggage, pay phone, sunglasses…all that’s missing from this profile is a bandolier of plastic explosive and a one way ticket to Mecca.

So after more questions and a royal sniffing over by the customs search dog, Flynn was detained and strip-searched by two more female CBSA officers. Flynn was made to “bend over a table, open her legs and cough.” Now we’re talking. Who knows what Flynn might have been concealing or attempting to smuggle into our peaceful home and native land. Weapons of Mass Destruction, secret microfilm, national security secrets, or just leftover ping pong balls - who knows for sure? Better safe than sorry.

In fact, CBSA issued an explanation after its initial investigation into the incident that effectively said: “that a strip search can be conducted if an officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has secreted contraband on or about their body, as long as a senior officer approves the search, and the suspect is informed of their rights”. Too fucking right! It’s not like this type of thing is unthinkable or has never happened in the States or anything, is it? Shit, if this had occurred in the states there would be pictures circulating around now of Flynn strapped into a saddle and nipple clips while being ridden around by a customs officer giving the ‘thumbs up’ sign a la Gitmo.

Maybe Flynn should just consider herself lucky.

The Flynn’s are still pursuing the incident and demanding further investigations be made into the whole debacle. Personally, I think this is just a simple case of giving a little harassment back to our over-bearing, meddling, goose-killing neighbors to the south. How does it feel, you Yankee bitches?

So in response to this whole event I will only further say: “AND STAY OUT!”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"It's wiiiiiiiitchcraft...."

According to a recent story released by CNN today, child witchcraft allegations are significantly increasing in parts of Africa, as thousands of children have been attacked, beaten or killed.

Witches? Really? I thought witchcraft went out with the Eagles.

Anyway, not only are children being physically assaulted, but they face significant emotional and psychological trauma from the exclusion and hatred that comes with being branded as a witch by one’s own family or community. Well, duh! That kind of goes without saying, doesn’t it?

The accused children are mostly boys, ages 8 to 14 years of age with orphans, street children, albinos, and disabled – particularly, those suffering from autism or Down’s syndrome - as the most at risk, said the United Nations Children's Fund in its report. Oh great, so it’s not bad enough that you’re an albino orphan living on the streets of poorest, darkest Africa but now you also have to content with allegations of being a witch? Beautiful! And here I thought not being voted Prom King was the end of the world as I knew it.

Imagine those additions to the popular Sinatra tune:

“Those emaciated fingers through my bleached blonde hair
That blank come hither stare
That strips my common sense bare
It’s witchcraft”

To make matters worse, the public have taken to performing exorcisms on these unfortunate children in an effort to “cleanse” them of their witchery; often enlisting the aid of the community preacher or religious leader. Such exorcisms include the pouring petrol into the children's eyes or ears, and forcing them to swallow various substances. These exorcisms can cost up to USD$250. Hell, I’m in the wrong business! Two hundred and fifty smackers for the easy 20 minute job of pouring gasoline into the face of a hungry child?

Can you say “Ka-ching?!” Easy money!

It just sounds like something I might expect from any fraternity hazing stunt or something. Booze – petrol; potatoe – potato.

A report from UNICEF identifies four categories of child witchcraft. The first is children accused of acts of witchcraft. The second is children who have been killed or exorcized because their bodies have been inhabited by demons. The third involves albino children, and the fourth concerns babies who have been born with complications or whose labors were abnormal or difficult.

As I see it, this is just another example of the never-ending depths of human stupidity. Which, by the way, brings up another valid question of where did all the money go exactly that we channeled into Africa for education? Clearly, it has hasn’t reached its intended target has it? Or are accredited African universities now offering “Witchcraft 101” courses as part of their undergraduate curricula’s?

So where’s Bob Geldof now?

The countries worst affected by this trend are Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria. In many parts of these countries, albino children are killed so that their body parts may be harvested. I wonder how much the going rate is for Albino soufflé anyway.

“Mmm, albino soufflé …”

Many cultures practicing indigenous religions believe that the hair, skin, eyes and limbs of albino children have magical powers. In other words, witchcraft is a lucrative industry in its own right ... making putting an end to it and protecting children from their own communities difficult. Just the other day, my mother was asking for a nice African albino child pendant for her charm bracelet for Christmas.

Anyhoo, the tension of poverty across most of African communities has delivered the opportunity for this terrible phenomenon of abuse, murder, and exploitation of thousands of children and their mostly illiterate parents or guardians; in the name of Christianity. So, let me get this straight: they’re poor so they’re blaming it on the disabled children? What Christian sense does that make? If you’re going to blame or accuse anyone of witchcraft, I’d recommend blaming those for whom this doesn’t seem to be a problem – namely the rich and the beautiful. To me, they’d be the more likely candidate for making deals with the devil. I know if I was ever going to take up witchcraft, I probably put it to better use than making me homeless and disfigured. Shit, I’d suddenly be transformed into Brad Pitt and driving around in a gold plated limousine…but that’s just me I guess.

My point is; I’d have higher aspirations than maintaining my fair complexion.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Lohan Lowdown

Okay, I need to get something off my chest here.

Former child diva, Lindsay Lohan, has checked herself into a plush Los Angeles “sober lifestyle house” this week in an effort to thwart her pending 90 day jail stint as the result of violating her past DUI infraction. So another spoiled rotten “celebutante” is on the skids…whoopee shit, right? And I agree for the record.

Typically this is something I wouldn’t give a second consideration to, however, upon a little investigation into this acclaimed “sober living” house I was somewhat shocked to learn that the place reads more like a four star vacation resort than it does a rehab center. So what does this say about her actual intentions to clean up and get her act together exactly?

The name alone “Pickford Lofts”, just screams swanky from the get go. Certainly not the type of place you’d expect any real healing to take place. Each loft boasts a large living room with a flat-screen HD cable and DVD player, a sofa, two recliners, coffee & end tables, wireless high-speed Internet access. If she gets a bit peckish she can hone her culinary skills in a fully stocked kitchen with refrigerator and double-sink. Later, she can relax and dwell on her predicament in organized meditation classes and 12-step support meetings. Sounds pretty awful, right? To this effect, she can burn off the anxiety of dealing of her issues in a fully equipped gym and recreational facility. Geez, that’s brutal.

Shit, the place sounds like Hugh Hefner’s rumpus room for Christ sake!

So how does this in any way indicate that she has turned over a new leaf and is intending to better herself towards a more mature, responsible lifestyle? It more sounds to me like she’s just going away on vacation for a little while until the whole courtroom drama unfolds and the public eye turns itself to the next binge-drinking Hollywood idiot savant stupid enough to go for a tipsy joyride down Rodeo Drive.

In other words, she’s going to learn absolutely nothing. Clearly, here is a perfect example of somebody who should have been on the receiving end of an epic spanking – the likes of which hasn’t been seen nor recorded since Jesus’ fateful jaunt down the Via Dolorosa. Hell, it’s not too late! Maybe a public doling out of corporal punishment will help her put things in proper perspective, not a brief layover in a trendy Fantasyland that most homeless and destitute people would sacrifice their eye teeth to visit, even if for only an hour.

I say, if she really wants to do some penitence and turn her life around she should be completely stripped of her celebrity status and, say, spend the next few weeks working as my maid scrubbing my bathroom, cleaning out my kitty litter and taking out my trash. Forget the frou-frou lifestyle, I’ll whip some sense into the girl and see to it that she learns a thing or two about responsibility through good ‘ol fashion humility and hard work. If she even so much as looks at another bottle of booze she’ll break down into fits of uncontrollable panic attacks a la Clockwork Orange.

Trust me!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Avian Holocaust

I laughed off the whole Minuteman controversy as just Americans being your typical, low-brow paranoid Americans, but now they have gone too far. It seems now that the crazy Yanks have targeted us Canucks in a far more aggressive way. Namely, an outright attack aimed directly at the flocks of Canada Geese currently making their home in Brooklyn, NY.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have recently hunted down and killed hundreds of Canada geese in a bid to improve airline security, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

“Airline security”? Are you fucking kidding me? Since when has a Canada goose ever attempted to board a passenger plane with plastic explosives strapped to it's chest? But apparently, a large flock of Canada geese slammed head-on into a US Airways jetliner shortly after it took off from New York's LaGuardia airport in January 2009, forcing it to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Umm, birds flying in the air? The heck you say! The winged bastards – let’s kill them all!

What kind of logic is that? After all, who has more right to be in the air; us or the geese? It’s not like the geese purposefully planned and carried out a heinous attack on the jetliner, is it? They were probably just innocently flying around looking for the nearest Tim Hortons.

As a result, wildlife officials and biologists descended on the park, herded the geese into crates and took them to a nearby building where they were gassed, USDA spokeswoman Carol A. Bannerman told the Times.

Does this sound familiar? It’s a total avian Holocaust! Did we learn nothing from World War II? And, oddly enough, aviation safety is not even listed among the many problems — accumulation of droppings, fouling of recreational areas, attacks on humans — that can "quickly develop as bird numbers increase," according to a USDA fact sheet.

If you ask me, it just sounds as if someone just has it out for the poor geese. I’m surprised then that they also didn’t strip them of their citizenship and force them to wear colored symbols on their clothes to immediately identify them as an inferior. What next? Where does it stop? Are the Yanks going to target the Florida snowbirds next? And where is Sir Paul McCartney now anyway? Is he protesting the mass euthanasia of these defenseless Canada geese or is he still crawling around on an iceberg somewhere in the St. Lawrence trying to save the seals?

It’s like the birds have become the scapegoat for the 30,000 or so lost lives in 9/11. The Americans never got Osama bin Laden but they did manage to bag themselves a couple thousand Canada Geese.

“Job well done, guys! Mission Accomplished”

Don’t they have more important things to concern themselves with anyway like – oh, I don’t know - say, capping oil leaks in the Gulf, or should they just kill all the fish for getting in the way of the underwater restoration efforts?