Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Archive for June 2009

The final word on MJ

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All right, take it easy and sit back… I’m about to give you some news that you’re probably aware of unless you’ve been in a mescaline stupor or have been brutally and violently kidnapped. Here it is: Michael Jackson, the King of Pop and performer of such hits and as “Heal the World” and “Scream” has been pronounced dead from cardiac arrest OK…let that sink in.

Unfortunately, the first thing that most people (and me included) thought of when news of MJ’s unexpected death came about is that he was accused of child molestation. We all jumped to the obviously negative and arguably more publicized aspects of his life. I believe this is unfair to the spirit of the King’s existence and is hypocritical of all us because we all know, deep down, that at at least one point in our lives we really loved and listened to his music.

Let’s first attack the elephant in the room. Michael Jackson was accused on more than one occasion of child rape. He was trialed, but never convicted. He admitted to sleeping in the same bed with children, but it was never proven that he molested a minor. Whether he is guilty of these horrendous crimes is very much up for debate. Many people since these allegations came about in the early 90s, and more recently over the last few days, have expressed their devout conviction that MJ is, in fact, a child rapist. However, these people don’t seem to hate him for it like they would a regular suspected pedophile. I believe this is because we find it ironically entertaining that Michael Jackson could be a child rapist. How many jokes have been made about Wacko Jacko and little boys’ penises? If he did actually sexually abuse a young boy isn’t it a tad insensitive to make a joke out of it? Of course I’m as guilty as all of you for laughing at those numerous puns about peepees and “Beat it.” However, there is very little evidence for the common man to support the stance that MJ was a pedophile, nevertheless, we are all entitled to our opinions and I don’t dismiss the probability that the King of Pop could have molested children.

Although, to pay Peter to kill Paul I’m going to through shit at the fan and say that just because you’re mentally ill or significantly space-cadet-weird that doesn’t mean you would want to rape a child. Michael Jackson was defiantly messed but I would give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he did not commit the crimes he was accused of just because he was odd. MJ did not have a childhood; he was brutally abused as child and the rigors of fame would be grueling on anyone. It is not improbable that the King attempted to relive his childhood in his adult live. This would explain sleepovers with children and the Neverland Range. To us this shit is weird, but to someone that has been dramatized and abused this would not seem to be inappropriate behaviour.

Why we all watched so closely the horrendous accusations made against MJ in the later part of his career is due to contemporary society’s obsession with celebrityism. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. OJ Simpson was popular only in some circles, yet because he might have murdered someone we fucking gobbled that shit up. Every one of us grew up on Michael Jackson. He was the biggest thing in the world in the early nineties. To have this man accused of doing something horrible is like sweet chocolate cake to the masses. It could not be more perfect that one of the biggest names in music, or entertainment in general, could be at the very least mentally disturbed or at the very worst a pedophile. Consequently, he may be more remembered for is image in the public eye in recent years than for the music he produced when we were young.


There is a reason why Thriller is the biggest selling album of all time: it’s fucking fantastic. Every track, especially the classics, are remarkably catchy and impeccably mixed and produced by Michael and the great Quincy Jones. Also, the video for “Thriller” scared the shit out of us as kids and blew open the door for music videos to come. Michael Jackson, himself, would become the most influential person in pop music for the last quarter of the 20th century and up till now. A plethora of top 40 hits since the King was big have been modeled off him. Even currently, where would Timberlake or Kanye West be without MJ? These artists, along with many others took more than a few pages from the Great One’s book.

I am certain that many of you couldn’t agree with me more. All of us like his music. He was weird, no doubt, but that doesn’t make his music any less sick. If he were definitely a pedophile than I would question if we should honour his music.  In reality only Michael and the kids that accused him know what really happened.  It is suffice to say that the tabloids and TV news drew their own conclusions.

The media loved portraying him as a reclusive, timid, nutcase. However, some of the samples the news latched to weren’t as harmful as we were meant to believe. When MJ held his baby out the window, many of us busted a tabloid nut. He gave us what we wanted – an aspect of his private life; in this case, his child – and we made it into something to add to the pile of things we love/hate about the King. He obviously wasn’t going to drop the kid, everyone’s father throws their invent child in the air for fun. And the interview that Brit had with MJ a few years back was less than an in-depth conversation about music and dance moves but an attempt to garner ratings and profit through splicing hours of footage to portray MJ as a purely insane and odd figure. It goes without saying that the King of Pop was disturbed and strange but that does not necessarily mean he is automatically a pedophile. But when many of us saw him climbing that tree we all drew the ignorant conclusion that if he is messed up enough to think he is a child than he is messed up enough to have sex with a child.

What does give me pause is that a young boy was able to describe MJ’s penis to a tee. I don’t just find this disturbing because it means Michael could have behaved inappropriately but because it puts the image of Michael Jackson’s penis is my mind.  And to call a spade a spade, I don’t know how accurately I could even describe my own penis or presumably any penis I would have witnessed while being sexual abused. In less MJ has a very unique genitalia than this is somewhat a moot point.

I know that a lot you are getting sick of hearing about Michael Jackson and quite frankly, I am as well. So maybe you shouldn’t have read this blog, or in protest you should try turning off the TV, but I hope you’re reminded of how sick his music was and that only in the court of law can someone be convicted of a crime not on TV news or tabloid papers.  Regardless of whether the King of Pop was a horrible human being or not we all got a great kick out of him. If he did rape little children, than a quite many comedians and disk jockeys have benefited from those kids’ unfortunate abuse. It is sad if MJ is innocent because we’ll remember him for being guilty and it is even sadder if he is actually guilty because we’ve laughed at so many MJ/pedophile jokes. However, this humble blogger that grew up on the King of Pop is not afraid to admit that his shit was awesome. I would hope that there is some semblance of society’s gross intake of pop culture that allows for a differentia between strangeness and pedophilia and public image and talent.  



Written by shanedantimo

June 29, 2009 at 1:03 am

Driving – besides reproduction and paying taxes it is the most important thing a human being must do.

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As many of you are so weirdly enthusiastically aware I do not drive a car, nor am I able to. I am without a driver’s licence. Not for any medical, biological, religious or ethical reason do I not have my class G2 or above Ontario driver’s licence. I’m just too lazy or apathetic towards the idea of getting my licence at this point my life, never mind actually owning a vehicle. The reason I’m bringing this up is because this fact does not bother me all that much, but it seems to really vex and confuse – even annoy – people that I can’t legally drive a car. I don’t know why but I’ve actually had people seem angry with me for not getting my licence. And not because I’m dependent on them in anyway it is just the simple idea of me not driving a car that seems to get under some people’s skin.

Of course, it’s not like I’m sixteen and everyone is getting their licence with me the only one not. That’s obviously long passed (I just turned twenty-four years of age). And I’m in no-way mooching rides off people left and right. I usually take the bus or carpool with someone to work (providing gas money, of course) and walk or bus to class. If I’m going out and someone’s driving I’ll hop in the fucking car, however when I go out I usually get intoxicated enough to be unable to operate a vehicle if I had the means. So it’s not like I call people to give me a ride to buy beer or go to the grocery store – there are other ways of getting to these places outside of sitting in a car by one’s self.

And, yes, I admit there will be a time when I must take on the responsibility of owning and driving a vehicle regularly, among other duties. But right now I can get by fine walking/busing/getting rides with the lifestyle I lead.

What I just find so astonishing is that at least sixty percent of the time I tell someone I don’t have a licence I am met with uptight bewildered anxiety.

            “Wouh, wouh, wouh! You DON’T have your licence?!”

And then, like a kid finding out where babies come from, they ask me the obvious question:

            “So what do you do???”

            And I say, “I actually offer blow-jobs to drivers on the street to take me three blocks at a time…what the fuck do you think I do?!”

Has anyone heard of using his or her feet to go to the corner store? Or, god-forbid, walking to work? What is fucked up is that these types of things have become absurd to so many people. I actually get an intolerable amount of pity from many acquaintances, family and friends alike for using any form of transportation besides the motor vehicle.  People I barely know will pull over at bus stops and offer me a ride while talking to me like I’m selling sexual services or panhandling to feed my children.  It is like the people that take the bus are the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth, Orwellian proles, who can’t understand the concept of garages and gas stations and shouldn’t even be allowed to vote. We’re all not prostitutes and crackheads on the bus; most of us are just like you. I know that after you kindly people drop me off at my destination (to which I’ve arrived at significantly early because you pulled me from the horridness of the bus stop) you probably think: “poor fucking bastard, I wonder who puts his clothes on in the morning.”

But what really taps my ass is the genuine anger I get from people for not getting my licence, the intense pressure to get my licence, and the idea that if I don’t get it it’s like I’m having unprotected sex with many partners even though I’ve been tested HIV positive.

People are always saying to me: “you have to get it!”  Really? I have to?! I must?? Is there a time limit? I’m already 24, what if I make to 30 years of age without getting it? Do roadside assistance people track me down and slit my throat? Is there something I’m missing? Does everyone who passes his or her G2 instantly get a heroin injection and receive oral sex simultaneously?

I find it increasingly confusing that so many people are so concerned with how I get to work or school. When I tell people I walked 45 minutes to school everyday for 8 months, some of them, literally, shit their pants (I’ve smelt it). The idea of taking one and a half hours out your day to walk is some fucked up shit to a lot of people. And I agree that is a lot time to just spend walking and fighting the elements (although a lot of it was walking on campus, through the hallways – it’s about 30 minutes on the road). But don’t you see the benefits of using your legs? You know the treadmill at your 50/month membership gym? What you’re doing on that is called “cardio,” it’s an exercise people use to stay healthy and keep their weight down. What’s really interesting is that you can actually walk, and run in fact, in areas other than gyms. Also, believe it or not, it’s actually still free to walk on the sidewalk as of June 2009. 

I love how the same people that go to the gym everyday, and I think it’s great that a lot people want to stay healthy, but so many people will spend several minutes idling their engine trying to look for a parking space 1 minute away from an entrance rather than park in a clearly free space that is a voyage of 5 minutes from their destination. A little more exercise won’t hurt.

I want to also mention once again that the time factor doesn’t necessarily play much of a part in the counter to my present rant. I know a lot of you have places to go, people to see, cheques to cash and sex to have. But a lot of us, me included, spend 80 per cent of our free time reading stupid blogs, watching viral videos and playing online poker. Don’t piss on my shoe and tell me it’s raining, if you don’t have time to walk anywhere than why did you DVR the Intervention marathons on an A&E.?

Many of my eco-friendly readers have probably noticed that I haven’t brought up the most apocalyptic anti-driving argument – the environment. Let truth be told, there is already so much being written and done about needless driving and industrial sloth that I’m not going to broach the subject at this time. Furthermore this is not an anti-driving blog this is a pro-choice or anti-weird-reactions-to-not-driving blog. 

The fact of the matter is that I’m 24 years old and if I haven’t gotten my licence now and without any significant changes to my day-to-day life I won’t be getting it anytime soon. Consequently a lot of you are going to have to take a deep breath and let the sheer shock of knowing someone who doesn’t drive sink in and accept it as fact just like we’ve all had to accept the cold hard truth that Princess Diana is dead and Wayne Gretzky has been traded to LA.

Written by shanedantimo

June 22, 2009 at 12:36 am

Everyone who bought Bud Light Lime this weekend has wasted his or her money and is now dumber for having drank it

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It has come to my rather naïvely surprised attention that all the Liquor Stores and Beer Stores in the Greater Hamilton Area sold out of the new-to-Canada Bud Light Lime this past weekend. Wow, that is quite impressive, especially considering the beer is $12.25 for a six-pack and OVER $40 dollars for a two-four. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that it probably wasn’t the taste or a unique advertising campaign that led to the new beer’s smash hit sales. It is this blogger’s educated opinion that most of you bought the aforementioned brew out of complete novelty appeal and nothing more what-so-ever. The beer is new and so it appears to the non-thinking human being to be something different and unique. This, in turn, leads product zombies to furnish the economy by buying a beer that is probably not much better than anything else on the Liquor/Beer Store menu and is obviously much more expensive than many other decent beverages that are fully capable of getting you equally as intoxicated. This Bud Light Lime fiasco is just but an example of the mass stupidity that consumers willingly contribute to on a day-to-day basis. It has been going on since time immemorial. Just ask the guy who thought to bottle water and sell it on the open market.

A lot of you are probably either thinking or going to comment: “Shane, I bought Bud Light Lime this weekend. It was really good and I got a six-pack, so I only spent like twelve bucks.” My response to that is – shame on you. First off, spending over $12 on a six-pack is bullshit expensive. I treated myself this weekend and spend $10.50 on six CANS (there is little more beer in cans actually) of Busch Light and had the time of my fucking life. And if we are going to talk about taste I’ll take the Pepsi Challenge to that Bud Light novelty shit and I’ll bet my post-secondary education that it isn’t worth the over $13 in price it cost to a buy a two-four of Lakeport’s Brava with a fucking lime in it. And I know Brava is scraping the bottom of the barrel but that is besides the point because for decades people have already been drinking Bud Light Lime before it was even created and sold in stores – it’s called fucking Corona! You know that light-tasting thin beer with the lime wedge in it that people have been drinking at bars and the cottage for decades? It is a Mexican beer known as Corona, that I guarun-fucking-tee taste very similar to Bud Light Lime.

Also, if I may…even if you truly, absolutely, somehow convince yourself that Bud Light Lime is actually your preference and you honestly enjoy it more than most beers; it is suffice to say that if you drink more than a six-pack who gives a shit what it tastes like? I love to savor Stella Artois and Heineken but who can afford that shit? We all know that after six or seven drinks you would ingest rainwater with diet ginger ale if it got you buzzed. I gave up on buying anything outside of discount beers years ago. And I assume most of the people that invaded the LCs and Beer Stores this weekend to pick up BLL were probably around the age where they would have student debt and very little income. But you all made the conscious decision to be duped by the mega-corporations and their advertising campaign and spend your hard-earned and much-needed money on a bottle and not a beer.

Of course this isn’t the first time people have bought things to follow a trend and it surely won’t be the last. I roll my eyes when I see anyone with a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Why is Smirnoff so popular? In less you’re James Bond, vodka is more or less vodka. Now, I’m not 007 but I like to think I know a little bit about liquor. And I am going to let you all in on a little secret: you know that whole wall of relatively equally priced vodka brands in the liquor store? (whispering) They all taste pretty much the same…and if you drink enough of any brand of vodka you’ll fuck or fight anything that moves.

My message to those of you that bought or were thinking of buying something because of what is on the label or how popular it is, think this: is there something cheaper and is there similar products? We live in a liberal capitalist democracy and this humble blogger still believes we have the freedom of choice.

Written by shanedantimo

June 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm