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March 2000 Volt reviews

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  • Tuesday 01:
    • Dano hosts. It's a fashion episode, which they've done better.
    • Belt-sander racing with JS. No less ridiculous than riding bicycles up and down staircases.
    • Tricot-Volt ad again.
    • Guy wears du Château? Shock! Today he sports his tighty dragon long-sleeved T-shirt. Again. With a leather jacket. No, honey, everybody outta leather. Guy, keep your sandals on, though I actually think you have nice feet, which not all of us do.
    • [BITCH!] Dano and Guy don't have what it takes to be host, principally self-confidence and unerring fluency. The little pauses and not knowing what to do next for fractions of a second do add up, like tiny cellphone handover dropouts. Mathieu and Simon do have what it takes, as does a chick we no longer see on air – Mireille, I think (she's a Person Living with Colour™, if that helps; doesn't she work in TVO Online Production now?).
    • Finally we learn the name of the tall chick: Nadyne.
    • Oh, cripes: Parasailing with kites and skis. Acro-this! Acro-that!
    • Jean-Louis (if that is his real name) as counselor to suicidal Mathieu. ToxicoGoodHumourMan. Again with the mullet. The rescuing SWAT team would have been ever more fetching driving old Suburbans.
      • Videoclips: "Make Me Bad" de Korn (too late, kids); «L'impertinent» de Fabe.
  • Wednesday 02: A rerun.
    • Guy on Goths. His guest mangles the word "antidisestablishmentarian." Guy and his guest's emphasis was on being yourself. Well, if that were true, Goths wouldn't all look alike. They want to be different like everybody else. Indeed, Douglas Rushkoff and Daniel Richler have pegged goths much more aptly: The romanticization of death; willing to get picked on mercilessly at school to express these feelings of beauty.
    • Dano with Blur.
    • Herr Müller changes a tire. I feel like changing the channel.
      • Videoclips: "Coma White" de Marilyn Manson; «Sans rémission» de Fonky Family.
  • Friday 03: Another sexualité phone-in show. No, thanks. (Although Lyba's mealy-mouthed liberal nonanswer about homosexualism was a disgrace. If the question is "How do homosexuals have sex?" then actually answer it, using correct G-rated terminology.)
  • Monday 06:
    • Volt's own ideas for dissuasive cigarette packaging.
    • Guy with les Nouveaux prophètes. What's he wearing? A choker and a tank top!
    • Nathalie on music, particularly the Smashing Pumpkins, who remain entirely irrelevant. Imagine having so little taste as to consider them musical at all.
    • Where has Marc been with his Internet "chronicles," anyway?
    • More mushing and raccoon-fur hats. I don't think so.
    • Has the show really received complaints about certain presenters' lousy French?
    • The gag of phoning up JS's mom and administering a fake telemarketing survey was, bar none, the bestest single Volt segment. Why? Audacity. Good writing. (It takes work to accurately simulate telemarketingese, though admittedly each question would have a wider range of answers, and any pollster would tell you that questions must be of the form "Do you agree or disagree" or "Do you or do you not agree," always giving pro and con options in the question.) But most of all, what killed me was Mathieu's delivery, an absolute coup of sightreading, deadpan vocal control, and breathless pink-collar telemarketer dialect. I'm telling you, this fellow can act.
      • Videoclips: «Star» des Nouveaux prophètes (actually, a smart little film, with debauchery); "Fender Bender" de Kid Koala.
  • Tuesday 07:
    • Ivana Santilli playing video games! Only on TFO, kids.
    • Bernard De Longlac and Yvon Ailleurs on Pinochet. I note Guy's choker, and the undershirt (a tank top?) revealing chest stubble. One does rather like the wide shirt lapels and green blazer. However, hide the lavalier mike (that is the correct term, yes?) when he's brandishing the cherished prop.
    • Mathieu is sweet on Ivana "Not Trump" Santilli. One can tell from the twinkle in the eye. Full marks to Ivana for gamely sticking to French to the best of her ability. I would have fared much worse. And we can expect a French-language song on the next disc.
    • We're liking Mathieu's black T-shirt and plaid chemise. He's totally in love with Ivana. Totally. Will he phone her up and then hide under the bed when she walks boldly into the house intent on tickling him?
    • More fucking skiing. Will you knock it off already?
      • Videoclips: "Sun + Moon = Tomorrow" d'Ivana Santilli, which works, for some reason, and despite the slowed-down/sped-up framerates (though one does think of Sun Myung Moon and the doomed-from-the-start Korean brand of Sun-Moon-Star IBM clones); «5 heures du mat» d'Alliance Ethnik, straight offa French Kiss yesterday.
  • Wednesday 08:
    • A gogosse: Firing a marshmallow with a slingshot. Take that, Goliath.
    • JS admits having visited New Brunswick, where I really am quite sure he fit right in.
    • Orange-haired Mathieu aquaskiing. Ack!quaskiing, more like. We tire of ski-ski-ski-o-rama. Major zit on the forehead, too.
    • Dano now will present one segment on clothing per week. God help us all. This week: Windproof bloomers. Like winter cyclists aren't au courant with such gear already.
    • Guy does the Internet "chronicle" this week. We're liking the tousled hair (tousled all over, rather than combed into a central ridge like a Star Trek alien-from-a-kit), but are dubious about the combination of shorts and shirt and vest and sweater.
    • Simon complains of adults fourrering her over. Why weren't we shown the revenge fantasies?
    • Remember the complaints about the show's lousy French? Well, on today's show, we were treated to the following words in the Queen's English:
      1. slingshot
      2. marshmallow
      3. chat
      4. membership
      5. E-mail
      6. friendly
      How many of these have ready French equivalents? All except "chat," I should think, though we do give props to Guy for his use of salon for "chatroom."
      • Videoclips: «Ma génération» de STE and not Luc De Larochellière; «Pierpoljak,» reggae français, and gosh, he's ugly. We do like the singin'/dancin' ticket agentrixen/locals.
  • Thursday 09: A rerun.
    • Trust M. Bolduc to put Phentex to the test.
    • Dano on noise: "Shut up!"
    • «Êtes-vous un loser pathétique tout seul à la maison?» Get ye the Volt paint-on party, reminiscent of portable holes. A good idea, this.
    • Herr Müller on removing post-party stains. Why not just paint 'em over?
      • Videoclips: «Dérangement» de Groovy Aardvark, upcut into Dano's segment on noise almost convincingly; «Le 7e jour» de La Constellation (emphasis on la inexplicable).
  • Wednesday 15:
    • The team leaves for New Brunswick on Saturday. May God have mercy on their souls. Is it Guy and Mathieu, or whom?
    • La nuit sur l'étang with JS. It's a music festival, held in some kind of '70s-era bunker. Only certain French music is even worth thinking about, and none of this stuff seems to qualify. JS does, however, favour a band from New Brunswick, where he would fit in smashingly. I can already see him partyin' down au Cosmo in Moncton.
    • Life-alteringly spectacular promo for Le Hospital Passion. Gotta turn Le Hospital Passion into a free-standing special so it can lasso in one of them Geminis, if not Gémeaux.
    • Art embossed in computer chips. I was reading about something along these lines (actually, hand-dyed lithographs of schematics of chips) in Omni in 1978.
    • Eric profiles two Arctic explorers. What does the Arctic have to do with la vie franco-ontarienne? Could it have something to do with the explorers' speaking French?
    • A blague begs for M. Bolduc to speak. In true My Left Foot tradition, his voice frightens small children and sensitive anglophone adults. M. Bolduc in this guise resembles Donald Potts, one of the guises of Reginald Perrin in The Fall and Rise of. And we now know definitely who the actor is.
      • Videoclips: "The Anthem" de Sway & Tech, a form of cinema unto itself (one of those life-alteringly spectacular videos, like Zbigniew Rybczinski's "Imagine," that I will never see again); «Tu ne peux pas partir» de Caféïne.
  • Thursday 16:
    • A literally unbelievable fact: No one rang up to win Backstreet Boys tickets. No one. Can we infer that Volt attracts a better class of teenybopper?
    • Les Nouvelles avec Bernard De Longlac and Stéphane's ethnic stereotype. Keep this up and I file a complaint with the CRTC.
    • Œil hebdomadaire declares Guy and Dano, covering the Junos, to be "the best-dressed reporters[,] from TFO's Volt." We now see the evidence.
      • Dano scratches her head whilst introing the Junos segment, while Guy's in a good shirt and a vest. Dano, en piste, wears a lime-green frock with hot-pink gloving, while Guy styles in a boy-blue velveteen leisure suiting with glittery grey-blue veston.
      • Antoine de Sky, with tattooed arms. Guy gets to ask his big questions in the onanistic, heavily-corraled press conferences. A bit of a publicity stunt, what with the running jokes à propos de poutine. Leave well enough alone. Nose up Sarah McLachlan's snatch. "Great coat," dit-elle.
      • Is it true that les médias interviewed Dano and Guy?
    • Simon's info-tête-parlante. The Internet: Resistance is futile. But get your forking act in gear, Simon. E=mc2 is not read as «E égale mc deux.» It's «mc carré.» Why is it that Francophones, with their richly-inflected language with more morphemes than Tories at a bathhouse, cack out completely when faced with something as "complex" as a superscript?
    • The tickling skit again.
      • Videoclips: «Jugement dernier» de Sans Pression; «Le fil» de la Chicane.
  • Friday 17: Feu sacré on a young activist Turkess.
  • Monday 20: Francine Frydenberg pinch-hostesses.
    • «Mathieu à volonté»: Mathieu: All you can eat! A cult of personalities. "What is laughter?" Mathieu Pichette, private dick, asks and answers. One respondent out on the street actually knew who Mathieu Pichette was and pegged him.
    • François Louis, a role model for youth, particularly with his disco fetish, which I heartily support.
    • Satan's pancartes of signalisation again. Still works pretty well.
    • Guitare lessons with Tony Pinto times two (or, as Simon would say it, «iks deux»).
    • Ants. Yawn.
    • Mathieu as ToxicoGoodHumourMan again.
    By the way, Beatrice on the laughably pathetic excuse for a cop show The Beat – a kind of Brooklyn South manqué – is a dead ringer for Dano.
  • Monday 27: All Hospital Passion all the time, again.
  • Tuesday 28:
    • Mathieu has a sensuous voice today.
    • Les Nouvelles. Guy wears a garbage bag spewing out noodles. Yvon Ailleurs on the cult deaths in Uganda, wearing a suitcoat, which we've seen before, plus a white shirt buttoned to the neck.
    • Mathieu fucks up the title «Enfer et contre tous» three times in an interview with its directrix. He's just barely staying with the program. If this is the price to pay for a sensuous voice....
    • Dano on Guide to Canadian Universities 2000. She recaps the book, [BITCH!] representing the limit of her analytical skills. This segment is an all-out plug. Where's the educational value? Why does Dano continue to get away with this level of vacuousness?
    • Simone: The fakery of TV advertising. What they'll do to sell us something! Followed by a faux-advertisement, for Tricot-Volt again.
    • The gang is toting along some Ontario souvenirs for New Brunswickers. Since Toronto culturally colonized all other regions of the country save for the better part of Quebec over the last thirty years, this rather seems like the Romans bringing along laurel leaves for the Gauls.
      • Videoclips: "All the Small Things" de Blink-182 again; «49» de Monsieur Toad.
  • Wednesday 29:
    • Video games, presented in OLF-approved French. «Il y a un bon challenge là-dessus. [...] C'est peut-être pas dans mon cup of tea, comme on pourrait dire. [...] Prochain jeu – oh, my God! [...] Oh, my God! Watch out!»
    • The kids hit New Brunswick, or, in the official TFO Orwellianism, Acadie, for the Destruction Tour. A river of brown in Moncton; what do you expect? Pit stop at Tim Horton's, missing the chance to expose Ontarians to the real name for that chain: Horny Tim's. JS scores at a flea market – but why aren't they shopping at Frenchy's? Give the Silver Fox an handjob. Le Hospital Passion raids a New Brunswick school auditorium! «Tout est sous contrôle!»
  • Thursday 30: A rerun, as they usually are on Thursdays.
    • Captain Gravolt, appropriately, hangs out with pilots, with an anglophone gamely offering valet service/safety check.
    • Guy smashes a TV twice, evidently warming up for later destruction sprees. Will television and the net converge? Dano on WebTV – about as [BITCH!] disappointing, glancing, and underpowered as we expect from Dano.
    • Radio, however, works online, Guy says. Interlogues rather than internautes.
    • Guy's efforts to come off all tough and fierce don't work here. Overt fire and passion aren't his medium. Guy in a cardigan? Keith fucking Kocho and Dish It fucking Out, with that wooden fake of a hostess. Isn't it cute how she defines pot à feu for us?
      • Videoclips: «Feels» de Lili Fatale, inspired by Floria Sigismondi and Voivod "Astronomy Domine" (Cf. "Roman Polanski Tess"); «La furie et la foi» de Fonky Family.
  • Friday 31: A young comedian in El Salvador.

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