Saturday, June 30, 2007

A few notes about the events unfolding...

- I was just joking about the car bomber trying to disrupt Canada Day celebrations in London. But then comes news that there was a second car bomb ready to go and parked on Cockspur Street (see map), which is where Canada House and Trafalgar Square, where Sam Roberts and K'Naan and others played a free Canada Day concert last night, are located.

Experts believe, however, that the target for that second foiled car bomb was people fleeing from the first foiled bomb:
"It appears that the bombers' original aim was to have the first bomb go off on Haymarket and the second bomb go off in Cockspur Street just as the emergency vehicles are arriving," said Mr. Beaver, describing a crowd-funnelling technique that has become popular in Iraq. "It would have been a scene of complete carnage and mayhem."
How utterly terrible.

- One of my favourite old Onion headlines is Car Bomber Given Shittiest Possible Car. I had always assumed there was an element of truth to it, but apparently you shouldn't judge a VBIED - a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device - by its make and model. The two unexploded car bombs in London were Mercedes (Mercedeses?) and the one that was rammed into Glasgow airport this afternoon was a Jeep Cherokee. Blue, green and green if you're interested in the esoterica, as I am (though likely only because I find it comforting to focus on the details rather than comtemplating the larger picture).

- The first car bomb was parked outside a nightclub called Tiger Tiger. While we shouldn't jump to conclusions, this is usually one of the calling cards of Islamist terror. Why? Because radicals view nightclubs as a symbol of Western decadence. As one plotter of another thwarted attack put it, "[N]o one can put their hands up and say they are innocent ... those slags dancing around." Charming.

Anyway, because of this, I find it rather ironic that Thursday's carbombing attempt was foiled because of London's decadent binge-drinking culture:
The first car bomb was spotted by an ambulance crew coming to the aid of a young woman who had consumed too many drinks at the Tiger Tiger nightclub on Haymarket, a major boulevard in central London. The attendants noticed a parked Mercedes filling with smoke or fumes and the crew called the bomb squad.
So, yes: young men and women of London, go out and drink too much tonight, proud in the knowledge that you are on the frontlines of fighting terror. At least, that's what I'm telling myself as I nurse a hangover from a decadent night out last night...

Friday, June 29, 2007

Three things...

1. Hey, over on the Guardian arts blog, I'm discussing how many of the 1000 films to see before you die list I've seen. I think I should get extra points for having sat through the entire Cremaster Cycle…

2. Funny thing about that quixotic newscaster who refused to lead with the Paris Hilton story. She's Mika Brzezinski, daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's realist national security adviser and a McGill University grad.

3. Is it possible that car bomb was intended to scare us off from the Canada Day festivities in Trafalgar Square tonight? I say no/non to terror! I'm heading down there right now to watch K'Naan and there ain't nobody gonna stop me…

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Pain and the Itch.

It's great. Well, it's funny and cutting and exactly what Royal Court audiences should see, says I. Bruce Norris: a playwright who I want to read/see more of. Unfortunate name, yes, but I'm a guy named Kelly.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

When the cats are away at Glastonbury…

The Canadian sub stays in London and rounds up the stories about Aerosmith, the Who and Tokio Hotel in the tabloids.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Description, prediction.

This week, Paul Potts wins Britain's Got Talent.

Next fall, Adele Fitler wins American Idol.

This joke would have been funny, like, two weeks ago. Maybe not even then.
Stunned into yawning.

If you're not bored of the Rings, why not check out my Guardian-Arts-Blog thoughts on the London production of the Most Expensive Musical of All Time, which opened last night.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bob Barker in the diner with the onion rings.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Who spoiled the Sopranos?

My latest contribution to the Guardian Arts Blog is about the perils of being a Sopranos fan outside of North America. (The blog now includes a picture of me looking fornlorn. And check out my mad photoshop skillz on that pic!)

Also, if you were to go back in time two days and pick up a copy of the Globe and Mail, you would find my interview with Rufus Wainwright. It's not online, so time to roll up your sleeves and get into that recycle bin, Ma.

Actual blog posts on the way: A visit to the North of England, and my miffled thoughts on the final episode of the Sops. I'm sure all 12 of you who still read this blog are waiting with bated breath.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Leah McLaren pops up in the funniest places...

Like the New York Observer, in an article entitled "My Book Deal Ruined My Life": "[Y]ou start to think, ‘Oh God, this is a complete piece of shit that couldn’t be published—nobody is going to read it.’ But then you have a sandwich and go, ‘I am a genius and I’m going to win the Booker Prize.’"

In other news, St Vincent is today's The Awesome. I've spent the weekend with "Marry Me" in my head." (Even better live, so friends in Montreal and Toronto why not go to La Sala Rossa or the Horseshoe Tavern in July?)

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Drowsy Chaperone in London.

It's a hit with most of the critics. I prefer the majority of the Broadway cast, I do, but nonetheless am still a big fan of the show...