A Plea to Vladimir Putin on Behalf of Uncle Bogdan

Dear Vlad the Hubris,

After the recent pardons of the Arctic 30, Khodorovsky and the Pussy Riot Heroes, it is clear that there is nothing that you cannot do. Your power is immense and unimpeachable.

I implore you then, to have the unfair ban imposed by the local Kennebec Falls Legion against Uncle Bogdan from competing in the New Year cribbage tournament declared null and void. As you know, it was imposed by jealous factions of the Dothraki and Romulan coalition jealous of Uncle Bogdan’s skill in pegging.

Only you, Great Vlad the Flatulent, can nullify this great injustice done to the man often called “Twenty Nine” by his skill in achieving perfect hands.

The Golden Age of Television is now

Forget I LOVE LUCY, Milton Berle and The Twilight Zone. The Golden Age of Television is now. There have never been more high-quality TV shows available as there are now: Homeland, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Treme, Friday Night LIghts, Mad Men, The Wire; not only are these shows full of great storylines and characters with good production values, the way we are able to access them has changed the nature of TV dramatically. We no longer have to wait weeks or months for the whims of some TV executive to schedule them. Now, we can download them and watch them in sequence over the course of several days or weeks, an experience making them much more like extended movies than traditional TV shows.

Surprise! A Worthy Man of Steel

I went into this movie with very low expectations. None of the Superman movies made throughout the years have been any good at all. I remember going to the very first Superman with my sister decades ago and trying to talk her into leaving after only a half hour, something I had never even thought about doing at that age.
This version is good; very good. No one has matched Margot Kidder as Lois Lane yet, but it excels everywhere else.

By the way, if you haven’t seen it, watch An Education. Fantastic movie.

Here, Pussy Pussy!

How wonderful to see Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina walking around as free women!

Not a surprise, however, as Ioseb Besarionis dze Jugashvili Putin….oops, I mean Vlad the Impaler Putin… tries desperately to whitewash his authoritarian state prior to Sochi. And the ladies only had two months left to serve …. except in modern Russian The Putin can simply tack on extra years whenever he feels like it … a la Khodorovsky.

Watching these cats prowl defiantly out of jail and immediately start clawing gave me both a frisson of admiration and fear. Watch out, ladies. Might be time to withdraw the claws a little bit or the Big Bad Bear will simply sit on you and crush you.



Let’s get this out of the way. CBC doesn’t deserve to keep the hockey broadcast right in Canada. Their on-air-product has been so inferior to TSN for years now that the only argument –one that that I was prepared to make until recently — is that they broadcast free-to-air. I strongly believe every Canadian should have the right the watch our national game without having to subscribe to a paid cable package. All Canadians from coast to coast to coast to coast deserve to watch our game without having to subscribe to a pay-for-fee package. It is that important to our national identity. There is probably nothing as important to maintaining our national identity as this. Nothing. Even keeping the CBC itself.

However…however… with the exception of Ron McLean, Andy Petrillo and Kelly Hrudy the CBC’s on-air talent is so inferior to the competition it’s not even an argument. I sometimes wonder if Bob Cole and I are even watching the same game, he gets the on-ice action so completely wrong. When on-air talent is past their ability to keep up with the game, it is time to let them go. Hello Harry Neale. While I hear Don Cherry is a nice man personally, I feel the same about his on-air pronouncements. His between-periods pontifications are as much a personal advertisement as it is hockey commentary. Can you say World Wrestling Association? As for production values, if there is game simulcast on an American channel, since the 2000 Olympics, I’ve chosen the American option, something I would have heretofore held as heretical. NBC broadcasts leave CBC in the dust, never mind the other Canadian cable options.

This morning, overseas, I heard an editorial from the BBC on the lawsuit that several NHL players are filing against the NHL for failure to protect them from concussions. The BBC got it so terribly, completely wrong it was laughable. Unfortunately, as long as Don Cherry keeps being the face of hockey in Canada, they will continue to keep doing so. So long CBC (and Don), and good riddance. I just wish the alternative was broadcast free-to-air.