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Spring 2001 Volt reviews

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June 2001: 1 | 6 | 7 | 11: Infiltration special! | 13

May: 2 | 3 | 9 | 10 | 16 | 17 | 23 | 24 | 30 | 31

April: 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26

March: 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29

March 2001

Tuesday 20

By the way, both today’s show and yesterday’s were marked as repeats. But they were original. Wee booboo there. Less rally, more continuity.

JS attempts to scale a small square of pavement covered in ice. Uh, newsflash: The old Python sketch with Graham Chapman struggling to reach a bus stop within the hour beat the shite outta this half-arsed variant, jazzed up as it was by discursions to don and doff quilted jackets.

We recall Guy and Dano’s being dubbed the best-dressed reporters at the Junos. Who do they send this time? Allison Janney and a half-dead Chris Cornell.

Loved the admission from the pussies in Kittie that they didn’t have a fucking clue how to behave. Do they ever?

Marc “CREATIVE ON DEMAND” Bishop falls right into my trap this week. «On devrait faire toute une émission en anglicismes. Tout à faire, comme début à la fin.»

How would that differ from any other Internet “chronicle,” exactly? This week’s Queen’s French includes:

  1. prendre des searchs sur les bands
  2. des gens... qui runnent des stations de radio

Although the jacket and blue shirt were quite becoming this week. Shave the lower lip, though. And don’t believe the hype: Quebecor owns Canoe.

Mathieu fails to listen to Nadyne’s useful explication of the Ides of March. Memories of his yelp at the «$50!» cost of a pair of flats under the reign of Dano. After he was told once before.

“Juno? Jewyes.” I smell another “I Am” parody coming down the pike. God help us all. (Seigneur!)

Wednesday 21

A rerun.

Talk about cheap: Interviewing staff about tits. Fer Chrissakes. You think TFO and its outdated Web browsers are the only Francophones in this burg?

And just what the hell does Boris know about tits, anyway?

And someone please verbally bitch-slap the dated 1970s feminist academic (“Take that, honey”) who equates breasts with life and with death. Gosh, you could say that about a range of body parts. And I guarantee it never occurs to real women, even recent mothers newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

I believe I more thoroughly understand Volt’s obsession with animal cruelty. It appears to originate with Simon – unconnected, clearly, to his frequent complaints about being saddled with a pin dick. Today sausages, previously a turkey. What do we make of this?

  • Videoclip: “Lady” de Modjo. Really quite successful in a harmonykorinesque way. Sticks with you. Particularly brilliant shower scenes. Can you tell there’s more than one? Took me three viewings. It’s that good. Redefines the shower scene the way Gus Van Sant forever reconfigured the love scene in Good Will Hunting.

Thursday 22

Musique non-stop. Loved the repeat of the fake TVO funding caterwaul. «C’est très important de dépenser de l’argent. C’est bon pour la communauté, et c’est bon pour notre culture franco-ontarienne. Le plus on a l’impression d’avoir de l’argent, le plus on en dépense, le plus on a l’impression d’en avoir, et le plus notre estime de nous augmente, et de cette façon, nous remplissons notre mandat de télévision éducative.» (Still shocked by the dark density of Charles’ goatee.)

Videoclips: “Sandwiches” des Detroit Grand Pubahs (anomalous as ever); «Le ciel est vide» des Vulgaires machins; “Shadows of Ourselves” de Thievery Corporation; «Les gens» de Lofofora, whose fluffy, quasi-girly name clashes with hardcore; “I Did It” de Dave Matthews, still as charismatic as a movie star despite the trite cliché he’s peddling as an original song.

Friday 23


Monday 26

Nadyne engages in hostessing. She’s not bad. Sonia, however, remains a blot on the Toronto cityscape.

“Bride of” Chucky Duchesne was looking dead gorgeous today, with (yet again) the grippable, veinous neck, brownish well-trimmed hair. I am no longer undecided about his chocolate-brown shirt. It’s quite fetching.

Nadyne is authentically enthusiastic holding up her half of the music “chronicle.” You know perfectly well that I’ve liked every host from Marie Turgeon forward, but when it comes to Nadyne, is it possible that a Star Is Born? Get her out of pseudojournalism and into hostessing.

Charles is so handsome. He’s the kind of fellow whom fat girls look at and sigh and mutter to themselves “All the good ones are gay.”

I think it’s also the gentle personality. (What is that like?)


More dumb-arse antics from JS. That’s twice now he’s almost gotten himself cooked. It’s an unreasonable risk. With a reel dominated by stupid Volt tricks and rally segments, and with an inveterate disheveledness permissible only on the rue Ontario est axis, JS is gonna be stuck at Volt for life.

  • Videoclip: “Bakardi Slang” de Kardinal Offishall.

Tuesday 27

Not a bad skit on April Fool’s. Was that Kevin as the nelly firstborn son?

Marc “CREATIVE ON DEMAND” Bishop heists from Metafilter and hosts a mail-improbable-objects-to-Volt contest. Problems: It’s probably illegal, and mailing a goldfish to a post-office box (!) defeats the purpose Someone’s gotta be there to receive the prize!

Obvious candidates:

  1. a tire iron
  2. a bag of white powder
  3. a cleaver
  4. a pair of chaps
  5. a VCR remote control
  6. a 7" single
  7. a roll of packing tape
  8. a flowerpot
  9. an empty Loblaws shopping bag
  10. a valid municipal transit pass
  11. a Tetra Pak of something or other, like soymilk or mango juice
  12. a Tetra Pak of something or other, but with biohazard decals applied to the top and bottom closures
  13. an apparently used razor
  14. keys without a War Amps tag
  15. a rolled-up poster secured with a ribbon but no tube
  16. a pot lid
  17. three to five old Macintosh mice whose ADB cables are knotted together
  18. a box of nails
  19. a Playboy centrefold, stapled at one corner so it can be pried open and gawked at
  20. a Black Inches centrefold in the same state
  21. a snowglobe
  22. a canister of brake fluid
  23. a glowstick (activated; attached severed hand optional)
  24. a severed hand
  25. a small Lego sculpture
  26. a binder containing handwritten papers
  27. a bottle of Testor model paint

It must be noted that Marc has finally gotten with the fucking program and is using Explorer instead of Netscape. Finally: A man who bitches about ugly Web sites now has a way to see them the way they were intended. Check those tooltips, Marc!

I was seen to stagger around the house doubled over in laughter after Matthew’s jumping into the frame in the final milliseconds of the fausse pub for la barre Nak. Almost offsets the distastefulness of seeing Sylvain in his underwear. Again.

I seethed with rage at the absurd insult to the intelligence known as Sonia Vani’s sorceress/fortune-tellertrix skit. Just what do I have to do to get her fired? Stop! In the name of Volt!

  • Videoclip: “Take It to Da House” de Trick Daddy.

Wednesday 28

A rerun, in which – hey! – we hear Mathieu speaking English! But it was in Ottawa, so does it count?

There isn’t a French word for Clydesdale? When I hear the word “Clydesdale,” I take out my revolver think of strapping, towering, 230-pound men. Invariably, they’re bottoms.

Did a very young Guy feel a tad dirty for shilling for the Wienermobile? Certainly I’d feel dirty if I had that haircut.

Eating bugs! Simon will do anything. Unlimited suffering for his art.

Who’s this Stéphanie Allaire chick, who strikes me as broadly acceptable?

  • Videoclip: “Bingo Bango” de Basement Jaxx. Time to stock up on some more goddamn videos, kids?

Thursday 29

Video hit parade. Still with the too-fake enthusiasm and prosody chez Francine. Just speak normally. Don’t go changin’ to try and please me. Be yourself.

“Between Angels & Insects” de Papa Roach (aren’t insects delicious?); «J’pète les plombs» de Disiz la peste (¿qué?); «C’est moi qui regne» de Big Sugar; “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” de Morcheeba; “Sure Thing” de Saint Germain.

A kid takes the time to write in with fulsome praise and asks for a video by Daft Punk. Which you don’t have. ¿Qué? They’re a French band, they do kewl music, they were reviewed on the show just this week. WTF?

Francine did a lousy job explaining that the correspondent, Francis, lost twice: He didn’t get his video played and the prize pack named in his honour went to someone else.

On second thought, go changin’.


Monday 2

I think the loose-neck-T-shirt look is not apropos for Nadyne, being so tall and what with the weight of the lavalier mike.

I gather I am something of an ultramaroon for failing to realize until now, this very late point in our economic history, that DJ Focâle really means DJ Fuck-All? (Rather like Mark’s Work Wearhouse calling itself La Ouerâsse in Quebec?)

I see we’re trying new shit with Le Hospital Passion. The surprising thing is how well it’s all working. If TVO is an all-analogue editing “environment,” how did we manage the strange video effects? Perhaps we’re using TVO’s maiden digital camera. I dunno.

Further advantage of hospital scrubs: Revealing the chest hair of DJ Fuck-All. So why is Mathieu hiding his under a tight-necked T-shirt?

The last time I heard “rumba” pronounced to rhyme with “rheumatism” was in Shall We Dance? and there we enjoyed the excuse of Japanese syllabation.

Granted, chocolate-brown shirtings are now approved on “Bride of” Chucky, but not two weeks in a row. Are you a French homosexualist or not?

He’s still pretty good. It must be noted that “Um” as a pause utterance is English, not French. Marc does it, too. So do second-language learners. It’s a dead giveaway: Even if you have good vocab and pronunciation, your “um” will stand alongside your wardrobe as a clear signal you’re anglo. Ever notice how many high-school students Volt interviews who do the same thing?

*Who* *gives* a *fuck* about the APCM? Quit turning it into some kind of jihad or litmus test. All week we hear about this. JS is right: There isn’t enough of a talent base to warrant an awards ceremony. Next they’ll do a Boogie Nights and hand out statues for microdetailed pseudocategories like Best Franco-Ontarian Cock.

And you can quote me on that.

  • Videoclip: “Once Around the Block” de Badly-Drawn Boy.

Hey, lucky fifth caller! You win a videogame and a compact disc!

Tuesday 3

Only notable contents: Intelligent redhead (listed as Éric Moncrieff, but I dispute the accent) in wearable-computers segment. At least he takes care of himself. The real reason to hate geeks? They’re slobs.

  • Videoclip: “Play Some D” de Brassy.

Wednesday 4

A repeat. Dano does Blur. (Who’s the male interview voice? Steve Diguer?)

Bowel movements with... Dano!

Didn’t Simone run a piece the other month concerning filthy restaurant tables? Now it’s filthy axilla. Man, she should know.

Wow. After all these years of harbouring secret desires, I finally find a show sharing my own obscure interest. Yes, my heart swells with gratitude to watch what is otherwise surpassingly rare – coverage of rallying.

  • Videoclip: «Tanné» de Richard Petit.

Thursday 5

Live! from a frigid Mexican beach, whose resemblance to the foot of Woodbine Ave. is purely coincidental.

Francine makes up for slighting a viewer named Francis by playing his request, “One More Time” de Daft Punk, with spoken intro and super. Super, Francine. I’m glad I have some impact. (This and a Funkstörung video.)

“My Way” de Limp Bizkit, unaccountably; «Gros Zéro» de Yélo Molo, that racist tripe; «Silicone» de Daniel fucking Boucher.

Friday 6

Missed this one. Thought it was a sexualism phone-in. But apparently the topic of conversation was APCM, and *who* *gives* a *fuck*?

Monday 9

What’s with the Alien Nation glyphs on Mathieu’s “long-sleeved T-shirt” today?

The wrap-up of foregoing Hospital Passion episodes, while hardly of Soap Opera Digest calibre, proved that it is possible to milk the same jokes dozens of times under the guise of not having enough of a budget.

Loved the “Bride of” Chucky Jack-in-the-Box. (Not suggestive of his nighttime activities, shurely?!)

Parlant duquel, Charles is attempting a total Tom Ford in his wardrobe today, what with the dark V-neck T-shirt so tight that only a French homosexualist could get away with it. I surprise myself with my mixed feelings about the exposed chest and forearm hair.

And where – and where – are the triceps?

Keep dissing that redundant Quebec nationalist pop, Charles! That’s what we’re paying you for!

This band South, by the way, sounds like the Manic Street Preachers It’s OK to Like. Yes?

JS’s gogosse this week was oppressively educational. All the same, I loved watching JS and Mathieu shoot the trainee with fire extinguishers. Where do I sign?

  • Videoclip: “Twist Druma” de Leo Cesari, which augurs well early on: Pizzicato Five meets Rob Zombie meets Dimitri from Paris meets Deee-Lite. Turns into a kind of Cibo Matto manqué, with PAL-conversion artifacts.

Tuesday 10

JS is sick once again. Quite a good little segment on the way kids identify with products. Not exactly virgin territory, but adequately handled.

Didn’t you love the skinhead-in-training who could name every marque of automobile? Sounds like me at his age. (He missed Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Seat, Fiat, Renault, Citroën, Kia, Hyundai, Daewoo, Samsung, Ssangyong, Holden, Mitsubishi, Lexus, Infiniti, and of course Zil and Lada.)

The so-called postal contest is a bust so far. Toilet rolls? I could’ve come up with something more original when I was eight. And these are sposta be teenagers watching this. Maybe if the prizes had been announced, let alone attractive (free French kiss from Marc?), things might have improved.

Reasonably accomplished and indeed rather impressive reportage from Nadyne (unquestionably the rising star of Volt) on some kind of bilingualism conference or other. Loved it when Carla Collins choked on her French!

And then the next day...

Wednesday 11

...we enjoy a repeat of Guy managing to dig up some very self-aware New Brunswick kids all too happy to take the piss out of their friends’ lousy French. And indeed, Guy does roll his Rs. I said so before. (Didn’t I? Can’t locate it at present. Accursed HTML.)

Adventures in belt-sander rallying racing.

Stick insect Dano Spooner has the gall to put together a segment on body image set at St. Lawrence Market, a temple of foodstuffs. QTF? Loved the laughable French rendered in English word order by the oily-skinned teenage informants.

  • Videoclip: «La plume» de Louise Attaque.

Thursday 12

Francine and Nadyne, having jetted in from balmy Mexico, now teeter-totter at some playground, no doubt handy to Yonge and Eg.

Videoclips: “Rose Rouge” de Saint Germain; «Calvaire» de la Chicane (so retrogressively echt-Québécois it’s an insult, as Mathieu has pointed out before), and the singer even looks like an unreconstructed inbred rural Quebec redneck; “Thin Line Between Raw and Jiggy” de Dice Raw; “Souljas” de Master P; “Sunset” de Fatboy Slim.

Monday 16

Sonia reaffirms her unending cluelessness and yawning vacuum of journalistic acumen by interviewing some fag (from Ottawa) as a pretended segment on homosexualism, as though such actually merits a segment.

What do I have to do to get her fired?

Good discussion between “Bride of” Chucky and Mathieu this week, which, for the thousandth time, works swimmingly as a review format. Even Nadyne and Simon are good at it.

I felt sorry for Mathieu. Who would want to get kissed, let alone Frenched, by a filthy Chris Cornell analogue?

I miss Guy. And would have paid money to watch him kiss Charles. So would half the female viewing audience, and a small number of guys, but only if their credit cards could not be traced.

Had a good chuckle at the gall of the pretentious twat who rang in and bitched out the Voltistes’ French. In English. I figure I can get away with it because of the degrees of distance – print vs. speech, online vs. television, real-time vs. weekly recap. But if you’re gonna call up a French television program and complain about their French, cover your arse.

Nadyne of course has a point. The Voltistes speak Canadian French. But Canadian French is available in more than one flavour, as we can discern from the accents encountered on the show. Compare Jean-Louis, Guy, Kevin, and, God help us all, JS. (He really is the problem.) Certain details could elicit legitimate complaints. But griping that the Voltistes aren’t actually speaking French is a non-starter. (I am, after all, a linguist.)

God help this twat if she ever tries to decode African French! She’ll be joining the Parti Québécois before sundown.

But – wait for it! – the team proves the caller’s point by writing CD’s on the whiteboard at show’s end. Apart from the commonness and ill-advisedness of this habit, the so-called grocer’s apostrophe is wrong in English and is unknown in French. Get the cat out of here!

  • Videoclip: “Shit on You” de D-12.

Tuesday 17

Naked News. Were you aware that the Czechs did this first? Quite by accident, I saw a tiny snippet on a monitor over a reporter’s shoulder on Médias. Happened to be male. For weather reports, the “presenter” starts out nude and dresses to the level of clothing appropriate for the day’s weather. In this case, it was a Spandex unitard. On a skinhead with a superb physique, glowing pristine complexion, very significant intact hardware indeed, and more charisma than a movie star. Vaguely shocking. The power, not the premise.

Oh, and here we go again with the interviewing staffmembers. But JS turned this miserably malapropist idea on its head by proving the Voltistes’ ignorance of current events.

I thought we weren’t allowed to show any kind of nudity at 6:30. Disembowelings, yes. But nudity?

Give the postal-contest prize to the kid with the 8-track. Bonus! Free French kiss from Sylvain.

Hawksley Workman is quite evidently smart. The scarf, however, is ill-advised. Truman Capote he ain’t.

  • Videoclip: «Le nombril» de Nancy Dumais.

Wednesday 18

This week’s rerun. Guy visits Moncton. To paraphrase King Lou on Organized Rhyme’s “Check the OR,” wait till you try getting out.

You know what really brought me back? The admixture of shockingly depraved ugly cunts and a few well-put-together handsome boys. That’s pretty much how things work out in New Brunswick.

Spot the fag in the reportage. Or plural, if we include Guy. Hint: He’s hangin’ with the ugly cunts. Loser.

«C’est quoi ton style?» «Unique,» the spectacularly ugly cunt with red dreads responds instantaneously. “Unique style” is, after all, a cliché.

  • Videoclip: “Weekend” de Black-Eyed Peas, which I am tired of.

Thursday 19

A music-video eXXXtravaganza. “Clint Eastwood” des Gorillaz; “Tilt-a-Whirl” d’Insane Clown Posse, who, I am relieved to report, are far away and at no risk of beating the shit out of Guy.

«Sheila, ch’us là» de Loco Locass. «Dondaine» de Mes Aïeux. «La manivelle» de (up the) Wazoo.

Friday 20

A phone-in show, with insufficient preparation, that boiled down to “Fat girls are mistreated!” Wow.

I would suggest looking up a Globe and Mail story on David E. Kelley’s psychosis of body image in the actresses he casts. (Calista Flockhart is an idoru.) Then think again about the “breakthrough” of casting noted fatty Camryn Manheim in The Practice. She’s there to prove the point asserted by every other actress in the œuvre of David E. Kelley.

It must be pointed out that I received an ICQ this week from some young lad who considers Mathieu the hottest thing on Canadian TV since Callum Rennie. That’s a bit much: Callum is tall, has a body, and kissed Don McKellar on camera. But it’s the thought that counts.

It must further be pointed out that Mathieu starred in a dream this week. Keep your shirts on: Everyone in the dream did. It was apparently autumn and Mathieu, for some reason, was chaperoning schoolchildren on a field trip, which, for some other reason, ended up at my house. (House.) Mathieu sat down beside me on the stairwell heading to the basement. I noticed his brown leather backpack (with narrow straps) and navy bomber jacket. He complained wearily about something or other in English. It was vaguely reminiscent of the chumminess I enjoyed while getting shitfaced on sushi last week with Jeff. The difference? I expect Mathieu to be nothing short of frosty, borderline hateful and insulting, should I ever meet him.

I see Mathieu as willing to squander goodwill. It is presumed that my complaint signifies broad-based disapproval of the program and everyone on it. Like fuck. I am by definition your biggest fan. (What has Olivier Dagenais done for you lately? I update this site every single week. It has attracted 8,080 hits, which is not bad for a Franco-Ontarian youth show and a site written in the other language that receives no publicity.)

My sole objections: Occasional stupidity; JS’s French; abuse of animals, who cannot sign consent forms; and Sonia Vani.

The rest, really, is gravy.

Monday 23

I do not understand the “season” structure of Volt. How can it be ending just as the Amerikanski networks are leading up to Sweeps Week™? And why do we still see original “content” all summer?

In any event, perhaps a timely death is in order if what we’ll be stuck with is as appalling as this week’s Hospital Passion.

Please, Sonia! Don’t force wee vegetarianistrixen to speak French! They don’t have the stamina.

Best-kept secret about “Bride of” Chucky Duchesne: Dimples!

Charles, back to the future this week, struggled with sandpapermouth. Could it be because he’s quitting? One notes the undertones of smugness in the way he admitted it. A sort of “Reviewing CDs for Volt wasn’t a good fit for me anymore.”

Bring back Nathalie!

I dunno. The Voltistes deserve to be happy. They cannot be happy forever at Volt. But their horizons are limited. I would like to be able to offer advice, but I keep drawing blanks.

Still, I have enough faith in Charles to be certain that he will not end up like that snob homunculus Brent Bambury, too-loudly cohosting a third-tier Hollywood-backscratcher and, come the weekend, trolling the Barn for young Japanese guys to fuck him. (Why, of all the musical artistes he interviewed on Midday, did Brent insist on meeting Hugh Dillon off-set and while wearing a tight shirt? Could it be because of Dillon’s charisma and widely-published taste for rough, loveless sodomizing?)

No, Charles will never end up in that gutter.

It should be noted that “Bran Van 3000” sounds great in French, but trite (think Let’s Active; think Kajagoogoo; think LaTour) in English.

  • Videoclip: “Beautiful Strange” (sic) de Bedrock.

Tuesday 24

Who was the redhead production assistant out on-site with JS making “popcorn”? (Not maïs éclaté, shurely?!)

After her star turn as hostess a fortnight ago, I have come to appreciate Nadyne even more. And I pretty much liked her from the beginning. If Mathieu ever gets tired of hosting, we know whom to promote.

OMIGOSH! The secret prehistory of Voltistes is revealed in superexclusive clips from late in the previous century! And I almost missed it twice. How incriminating. But heck. You should’ve heard me hosting a radio show in 1984. You could not possibly imagine the show’s topic.

Priceless! Priceless the nagging by the moms on the telephone!

No videoclip today.

Wednesday 25

Rerun of the week. Killer Harlequin Romances fausse pub. It is of course understood that Simon can act.

Adrenaline rushes as an entire topic of discourse. And who’s one of the guests? A Voltiste!

Dano is and was a complete ditz.

  • Videoclip: “Grammy Winners” de Funkstörung.

Thursday 26

OK, OK, OK. “Electroconfusion” de Smoother, with shitty fucking captions by Comprehensive fucking Distributors; “Stan” d’Eminem; «Mona Lisa» de Sons of Freedom Sendiva; “4tonmantis” d’Amon Tobin; possibly more, for all I know.

Just a mininote of cautionette. If we’re gonna rerun this season’s episodes in strict, mindless chronological order, why are we even bothering to pretend? Just pack it in completely on Monday and Tuesday. We’d all rather see some vintage Volts in that time slot. Bring back Marie Turgeon!

And Laurent Garnier is coming to town this month. I strongly suggest lining up an interview. Put it in the can for later use.


Wednesday 2

All videos all the time. Good to see JS is keeping busy. I guess.

“Drag You Down” de Finger Eleven; “Let’s Go All the Way” d’Insane Clown Posse for some godforsaken reason; «Oh chérie» de Caféïne; «Tout le monde» de Manau (yes); «Angela» de Saïan Supa Crew.

Thursday 3

A rerun. The kind of rerun we can tolerate.

So where is it on my tape?

Wednesday 9

The only interesting rerun of the week. Masturbation month. Then mountain biking, conspicuously ignoring biketrials, which JS himself would later cover. (And who was his guest?)

JS continues his plumbing of working-class déclassé depths with a scathing reportage on Kraft Dinner.

A Christer Named Simone.

  • Videoclip: “Do the Evolution” de Pearl Jam.

Thursday 10

Videos. By God, we’ve got videos. What we don’t got is Guy, or, soon, Charles.

Just who the fuck am I gonna look at?

Yes, I know. Mathieu. Yes. I know.

“Moto Psycho” de Megadeth (for some reason; you had damn well better be playing Tool); «Le vie est laide» de Jean Leloup (more experimentation, à la Fahrenheit 451, and it still works; he’s good, this cat); «L’homme 7:00 up» (sic) des Respectables, rakin’ it in with their new (and entirely unforeseen) 7Up advert licensing; “Shadows of Ourselves” de Thievery Corporation (not a favourite of “Bride of” Chucky Duchesne, shurely?!); “Dead Things” d’Emiliana Torrini, latest in a small but growing œuvre of rotoscoped videos (“Take On Me,” “Said & Done,” “Shadrach”; and of course the forthcoming Waking Life, among other films).

Wednesday 16

Tape is fucked.

And this would be the week in which Volt reruns the episode on which I appeared. Yes, dear friends, I was the leader of the biketrials kidz on the Wednesday show. Not-unsexmachinelike, wasn’t I?

I have unfucked the tape. Yes, sports fans, there I am out committing trialsin with my former biketrials club. Oh, those kids!

Here is the source of my shame: I have forgotten the names of many of my former charges.

It is only now noticed that I am Chyroned as:

Joe Clark
Rock & Attard Place

Um... that was Rock & a Hard Place, friends. A simple unintentional error, shurely.

Also today: Simone’s fabulous music video, whose title I have not bothered to jot down. Oh, all right, I’ll rewind: «Allô, je suis femme.» We still desperately need a lyric sheet, or, God help us, captioning.

A segment, unaccountably strong despite being hosted by Dano, on the origins of denim. Kind of a hot number as informant, for that matter.

Guy does video dating. Nope! No, hold it. It’s the Reluctant Hero editrix dissing a teen trading-card game. Predictably. Next we’ll be asking her about girl power.

I now have begun to entertain the possibility that the infamous «Je suis gai» segment cowritten by Charles and Guy merely featured Guy as actor rather than confessor. You kids love pulling the wool over my eyes.

  • Videoclip: “Jump & Shout” de Basment Jaxx.

In other news, picture my surprise to find myself sitting behind Yves-Étienne Massicotte on the eetcarstray recently. His limpid, full-lipped appearance on television disappears altogether in the flesh. Bet you didn’t know he is a tall, broad-shouldered, salt-N-pepa-haired strapping hunk of a man. And quite genuinely shy.

Given the disparity between his aged, lined appearance on TV and his true handsome self, imagine the irony of his reading Le portrait de Dorian Gray en route to work!

I hope he’s not unhappy living among the anglo infidels here. He looked unhappy. Imagine inhabiting a city where absolutely no one gets your name right on the first go.

Thursday 17

A sequence of music videoclips. “Natural One” de Folk Implosion; “B-Line” de Lamb; “Hey[,] Boy, Hey[,] Girl” des Chemical Brothers; “Windowlicker” d’Aphex Twin (I counted the bleeps: 85! and that’s just before the music hits); “I See You[,] Baby” de Groove Armada.

Today is the day for dropped commas, clearly. I blame AOL.

Wednesday 23

It’s hard to use the word “rerun” in these show reviews now, isn’t it? Every show from Monday to Wednesday is a rerun. But the only reruns of interest are the ancien régime reruns, like this one.

JS manages to find a French-speaking tough girl with a mullet who works in drug enforcement at Pearson. JS is almost credible in his fur coat and wig. There’s a female archetype for every male Volt reporter!

Then Guy manages to doll himself up in masculine attire long enough to learn all about fingerprints. Both very informative segments with relaxed informants. You’d think that the putatively educational segments on Volt would be ever so boring in the shadow of goose disembowelings, homosexualist full-tongue kissing, and masturbation advice, but it ain’t necessarily so.

Gosh, Guy was young then. But really, weren’t we all?

(Still rather tall, though.)

Yes! William Portal! I am telling you, these segments have resale potential. Today: Search agents.

JS indulges another of his fascinations and recapitulates the incestuousness of oldschool Volt informant-selection criteria by interviewing his brother on the topic of bicycle tourism. Yes, write what you know. Yes, OK, I know. But this is getting ridiculous.

(You could hear the angels singing as JS turned the pages of the Wheels section of the Star this weekend only to find a story on rallying leaping out to bite him.)

“Bride of” Chucky Duchesne is not quite credible as Dano’s gf. She, however, is credible as Chucky’s beard.

How much longer do we have to wait to witness Chucky dolled up as a centurion again? Work those calves, Chuck!

Getting a lot of stray caption characters in this show, including a whole row in red.

  • Videoclip: «Un million d’années» de Niagara.

Thursday 24

All cover versions all the time, with one exception. “Sweet Dreams” de Marilyn Manson; “I Will Survive” (lyrically a total stunner even to this day, but I am a disco apologist) de Cake, who apparently are raving heterosexualists despite all indications; “Work It Out” de Brassy; “You Spin Me Round” des Nerds; «Ces soirées-là» de Yannick, itself my absolute favourite French name (and that is the only permissible spelling – none of this Yanic barbarism).

That godforsaken Weekend at Bernie’s manqué yet bloody again. Demented costumes in this week’s Simone segment, that christer. They work, unaccountably. And a real house for a location shoot, a refreshing change from the unpainted walls and stick furniture of the impoverished-twentysomething uptown one-bedrooms.

Wednesday 30

Yesterday’s Volt today.

Guy Gagnier, presumed practicing homosexualist, investigates chastity. “Waiting until you get married to have sex.” OK. What about queers? I guess they stay chaste forever. And that is, of course, what these people want. “Live a chaste lifestyle.” There’s that word again. “Procreation,” the guy says. Spoken like a true virgin. Up yours, honey.

Y.-É. Massicotte: Still lookin’ good.

Back to our originally-scheduled programming: Who’s the d00d who persuades Nadyne to pull off her T-shirt? And what’s with the moaning?

Guy Gagnier: Still lookin’ good.

Imagine a Volt without Dano Spooner. An unattainable reality? No! Finally we live it!

Beautiful hair colour on the white chick among the informants on chastity. Quite articulate, these kids. Howcum you can’t find a smart crowd like this for every segment? (Degree of fluency in French varies noticeably even within this cohort.)

Actually, now that he’s half a world away, the qualities of Guy’s French are even more poignant. He can really sell a line.

Do you think he’s happy? Notice how often I ask questions like that? What is going on? The book isn’t turning me into a hermetic, shadowy lycanthrope, is it?

Is the Pope Catholic? Is Mathieu Pichette dripping with sarcasm?

I wonder about l’homme Mathieu. How will he comport himself should I bump into him at, say, the Yonge-’n’-Eg Chapters? I expect to be icily greeted at best. I’faith, I want to engage in Dion chante Plamondon karaoke with him. He can render the Diane Dufresne–style «Oxygène» and I’ll do the faggy Céline version.

Actually, howcum you kids don’t organize Volt theme or fan nights in various cities? Could be inexpensive.

Vaguely elucidating segment on Joey Niceforo the international operatic megastar, presaging his Volt star turn. Does the fact that he’s a big lad have anything to do with being able to project?

  • Videoclip: “Souljas” de Master P.

Thursday 31

Are you saying there will be no Volt reruns whatsoever this summer? WTF?

All videos all the time. In this case, antique videos. “Drug Against War” de KMFDM; «L’amour nous saoule» de Coléoptère; “One More [accursed] Time” de Daft Punk; “Ratamahatta” de Sepultura; “Stinkfist” de Tool (inexplicable).

Yet again, I note that the Weekend at Bernie’s–manqué sketch is in shockingly poor taste, while the ostensibly similar Law & Order/Homicide manqué appeals with its black humour. Why the difference?


Friday 1

I did not fail to note the knowing acknowledgement of a caller named Olivier. Not Dagenais, shurely?!

The fake police uniforms are too fake. Spend some money there. Is that Kevin or whatever his name is as Mathieu’s... partner? Or Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay?

No. Not Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay. But he looks smart, this kid, and can obviously select a shirt in the morning, and can comb his hair, and likely knows how to cook more than Kraft Dinner.

Simon: «Moi, je pense qu’il y a une couple de personnes qui nous ont niaisés, juste plus intélligemment, c’est tout.» I’ll take that as a compliment.

Wednesday 6

Nitro-burning RetroVolt!

Rerun of the MP3 show. Jim fuckhead Carroll. As if. William Portal is, however, reliable as ever.

It is quite clear that these Wednesday reruns are reëdited from a range of previous shows. I knew this already, but I didn’t want anyone up at “2180” thinking they were pulling the wool over.

It remains hilarious, however, to hear Dano pull a Tsubouchi and advocate bartering with Sporting Life on a snowboard. “Like, I saw it for 85 bucks on the Web, man.” “Like, the Web doesn’t have to pay rent here, man.”

  • Videoclip: “Voices” de Disturbed.

Thursday 7

All videos for the last time. «Le mobilier» de Rinôçérôse (Tyler Brûlé, come on down!); “The Sound of the Big Babou” by the very acceptable Laurent Garnier (where’s the interview, kids?); “Beautiful Strange” de Bedrock; “Get Get Down” de Paul Johnson; “Diagnosis,” more accurately entitled “Disappointment,” de Mocean Worker.

And that is it.

An amusing note

The lovely and talented Mr. Guy Gagnier wrote in recently. He confirms happiness.

Monday 11: Infiltration special!

On this day, I had a rendez-vous with an esteemed colleague (I sincerely mean that: I hold him in esteem) at TVO Nouveaux médias. I wondered for days if I ought to drop by upstairs.

In other words, I wondered if I should infiltrate Volt.

I was pretty much shitting bricks. It is assumed I am at best respected in the halls of Volt, but more often either greeted with bafflement or actively resented. I believe it is not appreciated just how damn much I love the show and the kids.

The Woman’s Intuition was telling me that nobody would be there. Summer off and so on. I screwed up my courage, took deep breaths, and hoped my heartrate would decrease to something less akin to a hummingbird’s. I wandered the sixth floor and eventually passed the tacky public-servant office of J.-F. While the tackiness is not his fault, he nonetheless confirmed my impression of him in the span of a glance. Call me prejudiced.

I passed the control room, the size of a closet. Walking into the eerily quiet production pit (the sound-deadening insulation makes the place surreally calm), I viewed a sea of empty desks and deactivated iMacs. And Sylvain Lavigne, as greasy as ever.

I stopped, surveyed the landscape, nodded at Sylvain, and left.

The quasi-postcoital sashay up Yonge St. I had hoped for took on a melancholy air, as if I had just been dumped by a bf, not that I particularly know the feeling. I felt left down, vulnerable, a song from Walking Wounded come to life.

I guess it was not to be. And my cover is now blown, so I might as well divulge my original plan, since I can't be using it in the future: I was to walk up to the pit, wait until I was noticed, and calmly state “At St. Charles, there are gigantic tomato plants.”

JS might recognize me at this point, but whether he did or not, next I would declare “I am Joe Clark.” Merriment would then begin, or J.-F. would speed-dial Ingrid McKhool.

I was further abashed in having glimpsed Charles Duchesne on the fourth floor on first entering “2180.” Despite having met him before, I averted my eyes and felt all embarrassed. Looking very fit and trim (I thought of his «chum»), Charles ignored me, sat down, and immediately plopped on his oldschool Koss headphones – the Soviet-looking model with the cruel metal headband and the horizontal foam pad an inch above the ear.

Fine. To heck with it.

Wednesday 13

JS goes parasailing. Far up in the sky, liberated from the shackles of the earth, JS enjoys a superior view of the nearby rally course. Go, Mitsubishi!

Tell what’s-her-face that “rickshaw” is not pronounced with a schwa at the end. It does not rhyme with “pizza.” Cf. NASA/Nassau, perennial dead giveaway of semiliterates.

The dumpy-loser rickshaw runner depicted today is a lower form of life compared to the decidedly oddball but memorable alabaster-skinned shirtless football-player type, incongruously wearing a tam, seen flowing with sweat this week. The impossible combination of thick back muscles (every one of which I can name) and abs that aren’t merely defined but gigantic, taking up visible volume, was yet trumped when he happened across a black guy alongside a new parked Impala. Our negroid friend just happened to hold a football.

There's the guy,” the black man said to our sexmachine, who pulled to a halt and immediately did the little-body-language thing inviting our negroid friend to toss him the ball. (What a cliché. “Hey, son. Wanna go toss the ball?” “Da-a-a-d. Mom and I are making tarte tatin.”) This ball-tossing continued for minutes.

Shortly our man was seen to mosey down the street dragging his rickshaw. A sky-high model type cast her eyes in his direction. (Shockingly tanned, also hairy and solid, forearms [keep the alabaster skin in mind], and very strong legs. One of the few straight guys with an arse, not that he knows what to do with it. Tiny strip of red hair between his tits, not that it counts.) I’m thinking, This guy must be on the team at Bishop’s. If he had any sense, the fucker would be over on Church St. Then again, Starbucks fags are too busy modeling their tank tops and Hickman catheters, while Suction Cup fags have to scrounge deep inside the Goodwill couch, stiff leather vest flapping against flabby triceps, to put the money together for a small coffee.

Guy recaps Keith Haring. We seem to recall seeing this rerun only recently. “He set up his own Pop Shop,” some dumb chick tells us. She says it as though a “pop shop” is a generic term, like “head shop.”

Quite enjoying “La pause pipi de Bingo et Rigolo.” Why can’t we watch the old bingo episodes? Assuming the goddess Marie will wave her magic fucking wand and authorize the retransmission of footage TVO owns?

  • Videoclip: «Cheval de fer» d’Okoumé, which does rather stick with you. Is this Offenbach done properly for the 21st century?

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