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Winter 2001 Volt reviews

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September 2001: 24 | 25 | 26 | 27

October: 1–2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 29 | 30 | 31

November: 1 | 2 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29

December: 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

January 2002: 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 10 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 21 | 22 | 24 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31

February: 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 11 | 12 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 25 | 26 | 27

March: 4 | 5 (with curious addendum) | 6 | 7| 14 | 18 | 19

September 2001

Monday 24

And... action!

Love the bitch-slapping in the new warning-of-upcoming-disembowelings. (Oh, by the way, did you think I would not notice the re-airing of that offending episode on July 4? Unlikely, honey.)

May I suggest you interview hapless Guy, haplessly stuck covering Our Diverse Communities™ for hapless, penny-ante, and in fact doomed Pridevision™?

(Is Guy back living with Marc?)

I miss Guy. And now, and now, I miss Chuck. (I’m sorry, Chuck, but the New Deal are actually overrated.)

I’m kind of looking forward to the Jewess-secretary schtick of Francine and Nadyne. However, the discerning eye will note that NKotB Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay wears the same shirt in last year’s signoff and in this year’s début. And I thought I didn’t have a thing to wear.

We might as well discuss some philosophy here. When the gang are acting out some skit or another, does it run through their heads that their audience is 17 years old or rather 28, like them? In the former case, you can rationalize it: “The kids’ll love it.” In the latter case, you have to... live it down.

Now answer this question anew assuming everyone in the skit is wearing a wig.

Interstitial Volt promos appear to be channelling MTV Video Awards interstitials from like 1990, which surpassed anything ostensibly surreal I had ever seen. Actual Amerikanski television series acted out actual scenes, suddenly and incongruously terminating in a sentence that introduced the next video category. I was agog and could not believe my eyes. But do I have it on tape? No.

Sonia fucking Vani my fucking arse. Girls like this are enough to turn me queer.

“Hervé Napoléon Jim” cannot hold a candle to nonce names like Nigel Incubator-Jones, Gervaise Brook-Hampster, and Oliver (“Not Dagenais”) St. John–Mollusc. But can we please super Bernard De Longlac’s name correctly? (It’s three words with three majuscules. Not unlike Luc De Larochellière. Am I a pansy for liking him or something?)

Good complexion on the new kid. Stay out of the sun and keep ’er that way. While the Tintin hair has got to go, Sylvain has chosen quite the worst solution to his greaseball problem and is not a model to emulate.

Tuesday 25

Mr. Natural Ottawa actually looks better in a shirt. This is the great collateral payoff of being built like a brick shithouse. However uncool they may be to Beastie Boys manqués, polo shirts are particularly effective at dropping them dead. (Not golf or tennis. Polo. And it’s gotta be a good one.) If, for example, you’re at a speaking engagement and wish to ensure that everyone in the audience stares slaveringly at you the whole time, wear an appropriately tight polo shirt, and indeed not anything you bought at Body Body Wear.

I thought “bodybuilding” was in fact haltérophilie?

Marc got “BSE” wrong in French. It’s not an epidemic, it’s an encephalopathy, and it turns your brain to sponge, hence encéphalopathie spongiforme bovine, an actual calque of the English. (It’s definitely not an epidemic. The number of cases hovers only in the hundreds worldwide. More people than that have tuberculosis on Staten Island.)

Pretend nonlinear art film with the kids racing through 2180, rue Yonge is actually good enough to get itself shown at the Power Plant. Try sending a tape down to Meyer.

Bowling Jean-Sébastien over at full speed in the hallway? Everyone’s fantasy, shurely?!

Beating the shit out of a still-greasy Sylvain with a stairwell door? I mean, metaphorically speaking I am so there.

And I mean the guitar. Honey.

OK. Veggieburgers. OK. Innis College cafeteria has an entire range, and one or two of them (invariably the costliest) are spectacularly flavourful and juicy.

The best part? One day they served me a real hamburger. I was a third of the way through it before the truth dawned on me. Gah.

Nice to see Yves-Étienne Massicotte back, more flatteringly lit this year. He was really unhappy in air, almost brentbamburyesque, the last time I bumped into him in the nabe. Indeed, I wonder if he and Brent would be happy together. Then again, Y.-É. isn’t Orientalist and tiny.

Wednesday 26

Are we to understand that Volt reruns will now be introduced with new material?

  • Videoclip: “Grammy Winners” de Funkstöring, quite likely the last “alternative” video selection we will see.

Thursday 27

Turning the Thursday video show into a Total Request Live manqué improperly cedes artistic control in the name of viewer service. Instead of a reasonable mix of crowd-pleasing nü-metal, a bunch of French bands more or less played because they have to be, and a minority of clips that display the good taste of the staff, now we’ll be subjected to nothing but the tyranny of teenage boys.

I don’t think so.

Videoclips today: “Sour” de Limp Bizkit; «Détruire» des Marmottes aplaties, with miserable captions; “Once Around the Block” de Badly Drawn Boy; “Three MCs and One DJ” des Garçons-Beastie, which I seem to recall watching on the miserably-“subtitled” DVD; “Sandwiches” des Detroit Grand Pubahs; «J’aime la musique” de Dany Brillant.


Monday 1 & Tuesday 2

Yet more metacinematicity from the Volt kids.

This was me failing to tape the Gémeaux, thereby failing to enjoy the manner in which Simon refused categorically to dress in the selfsame electric-blue tuxedos as the other XX-chromosome Voltistes.

Poor typographic simulacrum of CNN flags and crawls. What’s with the damn white borders?

By the way, protans will not be able to read your red type on a black ground. I’ll just let you look that up yourselves.

I believe it is not widely known that the raccoon-eyed, tweeked-out, previously-terminated careerist Mathieu Chantelois is hung reasonably well (pace Raoul). Like that’ll be enough to get him a job after exiting the loft. I suppose he could always work at Pridevision.

Wednesday 3

Our rerun of the week. Cooking via engine heat. Herr Müller changes a tire in the classiest possible way – wearing a fur coat. Mathieu as rue Ontario est driving instructrix. I’m sorry, but this is still one of the bestest segments ever. Danger Zone aime toujours Spécial Volt – but does this remain true of Brother Love Canal?

Production of road signs, with hideous Windows typography (tautological, shurely?!). I want me one of them 0 km/h signs.

Speaking of Steve “THE DIGGER” Diguer: Who would have thought him an unrepentant motorcyclist? How rugged. I personally have gone 100 mph on a motorcycle.

By the way, I still love the North Toronto manses in the backdrop of all these “location” shots. Eventually I’ll be able to ID the actual street. I think consultant is a false cognate, incidentally; Cf. conseiller.

Our closing bumperette of sunset at the beach, with Nadyne apparently puking her guts out, makes the Voltistes look much more unhappy than they actually must be.

  • Videoclip: “Get Get Down” de Paul Johnson.

Thursday 4

Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay’s red shirt is a bit hot on video today. With the cheekbones, however, he could do acceptable drag.

All videos much of the time. «Jeunesse perdue» de HMCF; “Evolution Revolution Love” de Tricky, which I think works reasonably well visually and just barely escapes bathos; «Tu dis mais ne sais pas» de Mickey 3D; «Boules à mittes» de Daniel accursed Boucher, with two Chyrons; “Romeo” de Basement Jaxx.

«Carole!» «Quoi?!» «Viens icitte!» «Quoi?!» «Viens icitte!»

Holy stinking Roquefort “BRIDE OF” Chucky Duchesne looks hot in his autumn wear. Gah! Whereas Guy, ostensibly equivalently homosexualist, looks like sackcloth and ashes.

Satan’s Pancartes of Signalisation. Bitch-slap that producer, Dano! But what is with the flood pants?

Friday 5

Gender issues in sport are under continual scrutiny, but certain truths are available, i.e., sometimes all-grrrl leagues are necessary and sometimes they are not. Cf. Chix with Stix.

And shouldn’t we have gotten someone from the CAAWS–ACAFS or even, heaven help us, WTSN on the show?

Monday 8

The “season” is one damned week old and already we’re running repeats?


Tuesday 9

Shamefully ill-prepared serial malapropisms from Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay.

Don’t be so goddamned half-arsed. If you don’t have a decent segment to run, (a) fire your producers and (b) play a raft of videos instead. I’m sure there’s some downtrodden hypercorrect French rap group that could use the airtime.

Sonia, despite herself, creates a factually substantive segment on counterfeiting, then fucks it completely up the arse. Let’s face it: Like so many other girls in the Canadian media, she was hired because she’s a girl, and the equally incompetent Canadian girls able to fire her arse wouldn’t dream of it.

Sylvain and Nadyne’s attempt to emulate the crasser members of the lower orders fails on several grounds. They’re too clean. The north-Toronto house is easily three times costlier and orders of magnitude “nicer” than a real vulgarian’s house; check Leslie south of Queen or anywhere on River. There are no disagreeable doomed mongrel children running around killing time until they grow up to clone their parents and grandparents and every other generation yea unto the Middle Ages.

«Trotter le monde avec Crystal et Monique» has got fucking legs.

  • Videoclip: «Les envies» de Tété.

Wednesday 10

The week’s repeat. Mathieu puts us to sleep on that selfsame topic. He’s not cut out to do sincere. (Note that this is a reversal of the previous opinion.)

Stoner at the Beach.

Stupid Volt tricks avec JS.

Sonia manages to interview the only male lifeguard who is simultaneously homely, out of shape, and heterosexualist.

  • Videoclip: “The Sound of the Big Babou” by the very handsome Laurent Garnier.

Thursday 11

All videos of oppressed, unsung, unduly-ignored French rappers all the time: «Ragga Dub» de Dubmatique; «Une couleur de plus au drapeau» de KDD; “Someone to Hate” de King Prawn; “Feel So Stupid” de Darwin’s Waiting Room; “Digital Love” de Daft Punk, undifferentiable from previous videos.

A raft of fausse pubs to little effect.

Monday 15

I might have the Monday and Tuesday shows reversed here. Gonna switch to a dedicated Volt tape from now on. And my second VCR is in the shop.

S. Lavigne looks marginally less feral with a shaven head.

A culturally-specific Bern De Longlac segment that, Voltistes will titter self-righteously to hear, eludes me almost entirely.

The bland countenance of Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay makes him look like a dozen fellas at once, none of whose names come to mind. He’s the Franco-Ontarian red-blooded-male equivalent of an interchangeable Hollywood starlet.

I do, however, marvel at the full head of hair. I wonder what that was ever like.

Stoner goes on a suspiciously Simonësque diatribe about the Gay Games. Fairness and accuracy in reporting newsflash, émission éducative: FOGG won’t be deciding who gets the Gaymes till October 27. Red van looks a bit hot on video here, and its tire tracks are visible on the lawn. I would have used a rake, or Sylvain’s Mohawk. (Great setting nonetheless.)

If ever there were call for a full-on Volt You Are There! snoop-cam reportage, it was all three of JS’s rally meets. Why don’t we have footage? Who, by the way, is his navigator, P.P. Sauvé? Enjoyed the metacinematic wrap-up (blind-date nightmare of the decade: Jean-Sébastien Busque), and Mathieu’s vicious glance at camera. Speaking of which:

Blind item: Which strapping, tall, silver-haired on-air personality spent unending minutes casting “Is that him? Is that him? Is that him?” glances toward the rear of the eetcarstray on this very day?

Good solid Internet “chronicle” from Marc “CREATIVE ON DEMAND” Bishop. And this time we explore sites that are at once hard to find and substantive rather than merely kooky. Of course, my own parody site is dead in the water.

  • Videoclip: «S’étend l’amer» de Projet Orange, of which there actually is a lot in the video, not to mention Volt’s own supers.

Tuesday 16

A reasonably strong show, with a killer highlight.

We are no longer sure that Mathieu sounds more butch in English. I suppose it is an indirect credit to his race that he can be a born-’n’-bred Ontarian and still speak with a French accent. Really, a triumph of multiculturalism. He’d fit in well in a land of half-arsed mongrels like New Brunswick Acadie .

Colonic irrigation with Nadyne, doing a Sarah Jessica Parker in L.A. Story. Now, this takes guts – much more so than manfully prepping Steve “THE DIGGER” Diguer for a tonsillectomy.

NEW STAIN-RELEASING FORMULA – I very nearly did a “High School Confidential” in my slightly-irregular Levi’s® jeans while staring open-mouthed at the loving fisheye closeup of – yes! – “BRIDE OF” Chucky in the car wash, what with the foam and all. Charles Duchesne, King Shit Cock of the Walk.

What is up with those forearms?

My question, however, is: I thought Chuck had no more the taste? One flashes back to Simon’s attempt to quit the show. Here Chucky could at least still be a producer behind the scenes, marking time while obliviously digging his tunes.

Yet another recycling segment with yet another anglophone.

Yet further animal cruelty, this time a fausse pub about a pig slaughterhouse. One assumes a fuck-you attitude is at work in the halls of Volt, where the entity addressed is me. Let’s see how far you get, kids.

Gogosses! With false-cognate translations! Yo, man, howcum you get free Clif Bars? I am still looking for the collectible toaster that burns a Hello Kitty into your bread.

  • Videoclip: «Nous mourrons tous pauvres» des Ordures ioniques (with captions, strangely).

Wednesday 17

Something to do with a rerun.

Masturbation month (yet again a reprise). Excellent setting for Simone’s mercifully-brief monologue on the logical inconsistencies of “morality.”

Krystle, c’est hard pour moi de te dire ceci!

Guy Gagnier: From Wienermobile to Pridevision. Next stop down the evolutionary ladder: The Chatroom.

Blow sausages out your ear, Herr Müller.

  • Videoclip: “Diagnosis” by the usually very acceptable and indeed doable Mocean Worker. Bit of a step backward in music (just another interchangeable drum-’n’-bass number) and visually (Orientalist motifs in counterculture are now merely culture, not counter).

Thursday 18

Some kind of video countdownette. «Miss Ecstasy» de Dumas, with typically shitty captions; “Balmes (A Better Life)” d’Ian Pooley and Esthero; “Crawling” de Linkin Park, with proper captions by the Caption Center; «Furia» de Mass Hysteria (or is that “Furia”?); “Sell Out” de Biohazard (not anthrax, shurely?!).

The new site is user-hostile. Apart from the fact that Shockwave 5 is in minority use, the whole site is inaccessible, to say nothing of the we’re-fucking-up-your-computer monitor-shake effect.

But one basic question: How bad must a site in order for a sophisticated, jaded Web authority like me to fervently wish for a Skip Intro link?

Monday 22

Cheating. Yes, fine, excellent.

Isabelle Pelletier. Who’s she? What’s she got to tell us about music that Nathalie couldn’t? I’d forking like to see her arms in a car wash. Not.

Do I have to be the one to point out that Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay never actually does make good on his promise to come up with a travail on the topic of the pharaohs during the episode?

Does this indicate that online cheating is less convenient than claimed, or merely that Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay is lousy at online cheating?

Or that the director, producer, journalist, and host all fell down on the job?

The Ti-Gars segment was highly culturally specific.

  • Videoclip: “Where’s Your Head At?” des perennial house favourites Basement Jaxx.

Tuesday 23

The question is not “Is Sonia nuts?” The actual question is “When will somebody fire Sonia?”

Isabel Bassett, time to do a Maggie Thatcher on somebody’s arse.

Even catamites aren’t hot on the so-called female condom despite its ability to handle man-sized mistreatment and indeed all the Crisco money can buy. Nonetheless, if I had a vag I wouldn’t want to be in the same room as one.

  • Videoclip: «Où tu vas[?]» d’Annie Dufresne.

Wednesday 24

A rerun. Mathieu, with the worst hair this side of a trailer park, accosts innocent Ottawans. Stupid Volt Tricks with JS.

Nice fresh Simone despite the fact the enclosing episode is a repeat. Good to see the kids getting south of St. Clair. Eventually they’ll learn this city has actual black people and fags who do not work in minority broadcasting.

Still loving “The Macarena.” Guy with an Ericofon.

  • Videoclip: «Tout le monde» de Manau. Remind me to tell you about the Géo issue I have featuring 20 pages on Brittany and multiple articles on local music, yet with no mention whatsoever of Manau.

Thursday 25

Day of the Dentist.

Still love the (fittingly?) ghoulish faux–Law & Order. Sexy racewalking “BRIDE OF” Chucky Duchesne stumbles across sexy Guy Gagnier, alone, out of sight, unconscious and face-down. Every chickenhawk’s fantasy, shurely?!

“Syperstylin’ ” de Groove Armada; “BEP Empire” des Black-Eyed Peas; «Fiers d’être neg’marrons» de Jacky et Ben J; “Do the Evolution” de Pearl Jam. As for «Radio Nº 1» d’Air, I did a complete Kraftwerk-Devo-Byrne (“Wild Wild Life” dolls, Sagmeister cover) here. It is the ultimate realization of the Wallpaper<asterisk> “totalitarian æsthetic,” as an editrix there guilelessly but honestly dubbed it, marred only by the tedious insertion of actual humans and artificial alien landscapes. Stick to your fucking guns.

Two words for yez, kids: Dirty Vegas. Strangely touching and powerful, also simple in retrospect (explaining its touching and powerful nature) and typographic.

Monday 29

Mathieu, please decide on which term for cantaloupe you’re gonna use. Note that there’s really only one, and cantaloupe ain’t it.

The verisimilitude of viciousness is almost there with Nadyne ’n’ Sylvain’s vulgarian couple. Their house remains too fancy. You notice Nadyne uses a few of the same vocal tricks with this vulgariantrix and with Crystal?

We seem to have found an antecedent to the Détect-o-Mo Volt segment. Yes, Les Souliers Volt, with a cast of characters whose names I really need to see written out. Not sure what I think of Simon in eyeliner.

I specifically remember the psychedelic Yellow Submarine–esque Cherry Blossom commercials. I also remember lying on the floor with speakers six inches from my ears listening to In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.

  • Videoclip: “Boiler” de Limp Bizkit. I hate him, but Fred Durst remains not unsexy. And I hate myself for that.

Tuesday 30

Crystal and Monique! The Patsy and Edina of Volt. Approval is advanced.

The ruby iMac really is the loveliest. Of course, I could not stand the idea of speakers and CD enclosure in any body colour because I sit there staring at it all day, which explains why I am one of the few males on the planet with a Girl Power.

Charles. He’s so adorable. And game.

  • Videoclip: “Tilt-a-Whirl” d’Insane Clown Posse, who, according to conventional wisdom, should be démodé post–9/11.

Wednesday 31

A rerun. We’re getting pretty tired of the Malabar segment, which has now run on a dozen episodes. Simone, yes. Extended haunted-house skit, fine.

  • Videoclip: “Sober” de Tool. “I am just a worthless liar. I am just an imbecile.” Yes! Also, it will be admitted, almost begrudgingly, that the self-flagellating overwrought angst-rock power ballad de l’instant, “It’s Been a While” de Stain[e]d, is a great release to bellow at the top of one’s lungs to the four walls.


Thursday 1

A countdown. Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay is trying too hard to be cute.

“Da Funk” de Daft Punk (English version, for no good reason, but still, the guy can act); «Un jour en France» de Noir Désir, still the bestest French band name ever; “Smooth Criminal” d’Alien Ant Farm.

Three jeezly videos?

And where is Dirty Vegas?

Friday 2

Simon’s not fooling anybody with his ersatz military sweater. Mine is the real thing. I have army fetishists occasionally chatting me up about it. Really must get the tiny hole rewoven before I’m tempted to wear it on TV.

Monday 5

Is there something in Mathieu’s left upper earlobe?

Here is the question. And the question is: Are you better off being a minority of no interest whatsoever in Canada’s biggest city (even the Poles are more important) or just one of millions of French-speakers in Canada’s second-biggest city? What kind of pond are you looking for here, and what size of fish are you?

If I had to listen to music as crappy as Simon and Sylvain’s choice of karaoke (not pronounced “carry Okie”) all the livelong day, even Sudbury would be looking pretty good.

Just how unendurably hot was it in Montreal? Maximally, it would appear.

Audio recording quality made it unnecessarily difficult to follow the report on map projections, an issue fascinating and important enough to merit inclusion on The West Wing. It truly is fascinating and important.

Security-cam coverage, though marred by incorrect typography (fake “computer” typefaces never work anywhere but the pages of a Letraset catalogue), is the second exhibition-quality experimental film Volt has produced this year. Has it occured to the Voltistes that they may have a talent here?

Oh, but we’re not done yet. A third contender comes up in the bumper for this inexplicable Acadian road trip.

By the way, Tracadie was just Tracadie when I was growing up, and meant nothing. Congruent with the French tradition whereby everything requires too many words to say, renaming the town Tracadie-Shylock, or whatever the hell it is, will not suddenly make this little burg matter in the slightest. It is certainly improper to hit up viewers of a public broadcaster to pay for some losers’ road trip. And it won’t even start will after this “season” of Volt is over and done with, will it?

  • Videoclip: «La pomme» de Projet Orange, still a good name for a band and another of the strange, bathetic, incongruous bilingual American French clips. Even Manau has made one. Also something to do with fake Chinese karaoke (not pronounced “carry Okie”).

Tuesday 6

The increasingly tedious and irrelevant Boris I can imagine in dramatic rectangular eyeglasses. It remains a crime against Nature to envision JS in equally dramatic rectangular eyeglasses.

Were these, by any chance, Simon’s very special eyeglasses?

Online («onliné»), shouldn’t we be using the word bavarder instead of chat, which can of course be read in rather a different way in the Queen’s French?

I am sorry, but «Trotter le monde avec Crystal et Monique» is absolutely killing. Certain taped segments might as well have been in the High German. Monique’s Jewess word order twice prompted a spontaneous and genuine wince.

  • Videoclip: “Days Go By” de Dirty Vegas. Yes, kids. Yes. Can I call ’em or what? First Funkstörung, now this. Two for two, honey. ¶ You realize there is a certain mythic truth to this nugget of world cinema, nu? I do seem to recall a documentary about a remote Australian aboriginal town where a white nurse worked for years. A long time after moving away, she felt homesick enough to fly all the way back to the town, keeping it a surprise. Except no one was surprised. They barely noticed her after touchdown. How come? “We sang you back. We needed you.”

Wednesday 7

Certainly the most boring repeat program in recent memory. And yes, we’re back at the karaoke bar, which still is not pronounced “carry Okie.”

Rose-petal congee, Herr Müller?

  • Videoclip: “Drag You Down” de Finger Eleven.

If anyone is interested, I should be at the Silver City Yonge & Eg on Wednesday the 14th at 10:00 for the launch of the MoPix system.

Thursday 8

Would the booth crew please stop putting up the captioning symbol before Volt? It’s wrong two ways:

  1. Volt is not captioned, and God help us if it ever is.
  2. TFO has no right to use NCI’s registered service mark.

Second session of root canal. Like I’m in any mood for well-trodden music videos.

Also, what did we read in the Œil hebdomadaire this week?

Not so, says Dano Spooner, a communications officer with the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office. Spooner says $12 million was budgeted for the standardized tests, including one-time costs she said she could not specify. She says $5 million to $7 million had been spent when the test was cancelled.

So much for working in Montreal following in the sequined footsteps of Marie Turgeon. Anyway, now we have proof of what we knew all along. Yes, Dano Spooner really is dumb enough to be a Tory.

Our videos this week? “Chop Suey” by the decidedly antimusical System of a Down; «Sexy Boy» d’Air, which I am definitely tired of; “Sandwiches” des Detroit Grand Poobahs, yet bloody again; «Le complexe du [des?] corn flakes» de M (Danger Zone aime Spécial V!); “Koochy” d’Armand Van Helden.

Excellent, rarely-seen fausse pub for la Gomme Volt.

Monday 12

Nadyne, who does seem quite bubbly and up, interviews some girl group who mistake ugliness for antisexism. I don’t get the inset Nadynes with headset.

Who is this kid they’ve got doing music “chronicles” this week? Louis-Étienne “NOT MASSICOTTE” Vigneault. One assumes the larking pot depicted sits below 2180, rue Yonge. He does at least seem capable of articulating the Queen’s French, always a value-adding feature on a francophone television network.

It did not escape notice that the kid with the best French reviewed nothing but French records. Maîtres chez nous, anyone?

JS and Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay pretend to be construction workers, with only one shovel and a toy one at that. What undoes the illusion? The lush North Toronto setting.

Look, OK? This experimental film thing. I am serious, just as I was serious about licensing William Portal segments. “BRIDE OF” Chucky Duchesne has already exhibited Détect-o-Mo Volt in various festivals. Tonight we have not one but two experimental vignettes back to back – a «Quand c’est pas rapport, c’est Volt» segment and the promo for the incomprehensible Tracadie road trip («L’avez-vous compris, notre concours? Parce que c’est peut-être un peu compliqué»). There are a few others in the library. Put a reel together and exhibit the fuckers at the Power Plant or YYZ or something.

I am perfectly serious.

  • Videoclip: “Sunrise” de Ratty, whoever that is. Techno music of this sort is all too bathhousësque. Trying too hard to do a “Karmacoma” here. And certainly this clip’s treatment of traversing from one world to another through a simple doorway is giving Peter Greenaway no cause for insomnia.

Tuesday 13

Relatively solid segment on the Leslie St. Spit, alias Tommy Thompson Park. I didn’t even know it was made of garbage. Why didn’t Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay drop by since he was in the neighbourhood?

One does note the careful avoidance of hearing Félix speaking English.

Love the completely narrow transcription–cum–disclaimer intro to «Polisses.» Really driving into the ground the joke, born in Satan’s Pancartes of Signalisation, of incomprehensible radio dispatchers. (Tommy Thompson Park, shurely?!) Kitchen has too many tchotchkes to be truly working-class, and beware: Just as JS is asking to burn his fucking fingers off, it is quite possible to induce positional asphyxia when you’ve got Sylvain face-down and hogtied on the floor. It is an uncommon but not impossible occurrence.

I will sincerely state that the «Polisses» episode is actually quite disturbing. The minutes of screaming and caterwauling simmer down too ominously, like someone ending up dead (Cf. Looking for Mr. Goodbar). I think it is quite a bit much.

What the hell is Marc “CREATIVE ON DEMAND” Bishop doing going to New Zealand? As soon as I landed in Oz, I wanted to come home.

Something about videogames, which remain juvenile.

I want one of those goddamned tuques to wear to the goddamned Black Eagle.

  • Videoclip: “I Will Survive” de Cäke, which is not quite as fabulous as I seemed to recall. The song nonetheless remains rich and evocative. If you disagree, you are objecting to the disco format rather than the song’s intrinsic qualities, which a divergent cover version like this one makes clear.

Wednesday 14

Not recorded because I was channel-surfing trying to spot myself on TV expounding on the Famous Players MoPix cinema launch (Cf.Accessible Cinema Rollouts”). No dice. Teddy Katz excerpted me on CBC Radio, but that hardly counts. Oh, well.

Of sole historical documentary interest is today’s videoclip: “B-Line” de Lamb.

Thursday 15

Good intro of Francine busting shit up. Investigations Volt fausse pub is still bizarrely queer. I miss Charles, including his calves.

All videos all the time: “What I Always Wanted” de Kittie; «Détruire» des Marmottes aplaties, with hideous captioning; “4tonmantis” d’Amon Tobin yet again; «Téléthargique» by Groovy Aardvark, the band we’re all expected to like; the rank Quebec separatist racism of «Gros zéro» de Yélo Molo. You seem to think I make this charge lightly.

Monday 19

Good effort with show on music videos. Franco-Boys need work, but faux clip (Cf. fausse pub) worked well. Croquet match was killer!

Who is our guest host tonight with the magnificent French, threatening to displace Jean-Marc Barr’s for lusciousness? Kevin ? Maxime.

Why do the Voltistes persist in interviewing Micah “Jewyes” Whateverhisnameis?

Why not interview Bruce LaBruce about videos?

Glad to see “BRIDE OF” Chucky back. Fu Manchu handlebar moustache ill-advised (didn’t we see this before?), as is black–hair-stache-shirt–on–black décor. Good dialogue with JS, which is what makes it with these “chronicles.” Rather unexpected to view DJ Focâle actually DJing, though the benefit of forearm coverage outweighed the surprise.

Perhaps Chuck should engage his own DJ night chez Buddies? Maybe he can persuade DJ James St. Bass to go out with me. (Does my beaten-up root-canaled tooth meet James’ requirements now?) Who looks sexier humping in 30-pound milk crates of LPs, DJ Focâle or DJ James?

Tuesday 20

The Cigarettes Are Sublime episode. Illegal to smoke in office buildings, shurely?!

«Mais c’est beaucoup plus hard-hitting et drôle,» affirme Marc in the Queen’s French.

Well, well, well. In tail-swallowing news (sword-swallowing, shurely?! – Ed.), we will soon cover Guy’s new homosexualist on-air personality job. Whose idea was that?

I wonder if he’s happy. I wonder that a lot.

«Carole!» «Quoi?!» «Viens icitte!» «Quoi?!» «Viens icitte!»

Shouldn’t we have moved «Cigarette» de Caféïne up a couple of days here?

Wednesday 21

A repeat. Asking staff about tits. Booth babes, again. This pseudo-intellectual Bruce LaBruce manqué in a tank top offering exegesis on some kind of experimental video manqué. (This one doesn’t work.)

  • Videoclip: “I See You, Baby” de Groove Armada.

Thursday 22

A perverse quasi-bilingual conceit for today’s episode of videos (this is not how I want to hear Mathieu speaking English), all too heavy on thudding mook rock. Read Chuck Klosterman.

“Deep Colours Bleed” de Systematic, with mundane captioning by NCI (am I the only one who remembers their superbly experimental work on the Violent Femmes’ “Machine”? – yes, apparently I am); «De héros à zéro» de Projet Orange; “Alive” de P.O.D.; “The Perfect Drug” de Nine Inch Nails, a bit of a blast from the past, and not at all triggered by today’s article on an absinthe manquée; «Cigarette» de Caféïne, with even more hideous captioning than we expect from déclassé Quebec.

Monday 26

I say stick with the colonic irrigations and don’t lower your standards any further. It was of course no surprise that J.-F., JS, and Sylvain are capable of belching. I had higher expectations of Charles, though I suppose, what with the Fu Manchu moustache, I was simply naïve.

Adored the «Trotter le monde avec Crystal et Monique» making-of music video. It would appear that Francine can dance. Really, only straight guys can’t. It’s a stereotype that holds true yea even for blacks.

We used to do biketrials on and through plastic slide tubes of the sort Isabelle uses as backdrop to deliver her entirely competent music “chronicle.” May I suggest lowering the volume of the ghettoblaster? (Yes, I still use that term. Oldschool!)

On third viewing (curled up on the floor during the first minutes of Monday, putting off going to bed), Stoner’s segment was much more dense and tightly-scripted than I’d thought. It has to do with the audio levels – it was simply hard to hear. The Franco Boyz music video remains well-realized.

So, no, Olivier Dagenais, it is not true that all I do is bitch.

  • Videoclip: “Click Click Boom” de Saliva. We’ve had quite enough mook nümetal for one year, I think. Volt isn’t merely reinforcing unsophistication, it is training viewers to be unsophisticated.

Tuesday 27

Almost droll with the police officers, but get some better uniforms! At least have those shirts taken in. What would that cost? Ten bucks each? Fix your damned ties.

Also, further evidence that not only can heteros not dance, they can’t even swing a single arm, canter, and salute in unison. Even the dullest customer-service representative nursing a Coors Light at Best Chest Night can manage that.

And the light is so unflattering – even worse than what I put up with here.

What is that tiny desk where J.-F. sits in the control room? He looks all hamstrung, minimized, and precarious. Nobody’s fantasy, shurely?!

«Me voici dans le cœur de la communauté gaie à Toronto.» You’re aware, of course, that this “community” (plural, shurely?! – Ed.) is a single laughable city block? It’s bigger in Montreal.

Pridevision isn’t the first queer network. Note that the current fagrag gossip column describes Guy Gagnier as “sexy” (and as “former host of the wild French youth show on TFO called Volt”). Fun fact: Daniel “VINCE CHIZ” Paquette’s handle on Manline is KISS. Look him up.

Note the crude white gyproc wall and armoured cable behind the faggy, déclassé faux-Moderne puce divan that pretends to be the perch for Shout’s twittering hostlets.

Antenne parabolique does not mean “satellite dish.” Want to do Radio Shack at Gerrard Scare so I can show you a parabolic antenna? Think rabbit ears.

It is not noted that Guy’s inexperience, and his history of being cowed in interviews (the threat of getting the shit beaten out of him left some scars), prompted a risible sequence of softball questions to Ken Ryker. Guy gave up a golden opportunity: A normal-sized cute Franco-Ontarian TV personality managed to pigeonhole a handsome blond porn star enormous in every body dimension and paralyze him in front of the camera. The man was terrified! That kind of vulnerability makes for good conversation.

Lots of smart questions come to mind: Did your body lead you into porn? Did porn pick you for your body? Is it really acting or performing? Do you feel trapped? (Obviously so, or he wouldn’t have begun shilling for lube out of desperation.) Why do so many gay-porn stars claim they are not in fact gay? (Joel Pokorny says he is merely “sexual.” Straight people never describe themselves as sexual. Straight people don’t even have “sexuality” or “sexual orientation” in the first place, just as whites don’t have “race” and men don’t have “gender.”) If you’re really sexually omnivorous, why do only gay porn? Are you working with what you’ve got, namely your looks and your body? Aren’t there other things you could do with looks and a body, like play sports? Is porn something to be ashamed of, if only many years later, as detractors claim? Your image is immortal; is it immortal in the right ways?

I could go on.

Not a lot of Shouting here at all, really.

One must be fearless in interviews. I know this the hard way – from acting all querulous, exactly as Guy did. I’ve also gotten into unending trouble for smart or simply cheeky questions. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say. I note that remaining Voltistes are rarely guilty of lobbing softballs.

Then there’s the issue that Rachel Giese seems incapable of holding down her high-profile careers for more than two years. I seem to recall her stewardship of the homosexualist film festival for the blink of an eye, which she later repudiated by stating she always knew she’d return to journalism. Really, Rachel? Doesn’t that mean you took the job under false pretenses?

Paul DeBoy is my kind of Pridevision personality. Only met him once. His T-shirt read right-to-left. “Funny, you don’t look Hebrew-speaking,” I told him, later to discover that he’s American. That explains why he has an actual personality and self-confidence. With my luck, I’ll never bump into him again. And if I do, he’ll talk to me in Hebrew.

Yes, friends, everything you suspect about me is true.

Is the tape still running? Let me check.

Right. Ottawa Mr. Leather. A rather self-limiting reckoning, like The Wit of Margaret Thatcher.

  • “Kiss and Run” de Richard Petit. (I can’t bring myself to use guillemets for a pure-English title.)

Wednesday 28

Look, you’ve got hundreds of episodes in the can. Why do we have to keep watching the same goddamned repeats over and over again?

Where the fuck are the Marie Turgeon shows? For fork sakes. As if TFO doesn’t really have rights to them.

«Les Frosted Flakes là?» Give it a fucking rest.

Thursday 29

Seems to be a compilation of music videos.

“Stay Together for the Kids” de Blink-182 (evidently Vitac is captioning Universal videos in the States now); “Blurry” de Puddle of Mudd and Lowercase Ds; “Romeo” de Basement Jaxx (it can’t be cultural appropriation – some of their best friends are “South Asian”!); «Tu dis mais ne sais pas» de Mickey 3D; «À ma place» d’Axel Bauer et Zazie, which could almost be a Canadian film with the lonely isolation in plastic bubbles.


Monday 3

All rally all the time. I think this approach is more honest than what we suffered through for two full years: Cover JS’s rally obsession as a news item rather than repeatedly indulging his fetish by permitting him to file stories on the topic. For better or worse, Moishe Znaimer and Gerald Hannon are right: Sometimes it helps a story for journalists to become a part of it.

JS should maybe buy the Half-Qwerty software (article) to assist him in computer usage while he is disabled. Actually, TVO has to buy it for JS to accommodate his disability.

Nonetheless, I still want more footage.

I was initially chuffed that half-time music “chronicler” Louis-Étienne “NOT MASSICOTTE” Vigneault, who has the standard excellent profile of the French, was capable of driving some old van or other while also delivering his music “chronicle,” proving that the “chronicle” was not scripted, in the way that money shots in straight porn prove that the phallus actually works. But the prosody was trite and formulaic, as if he learned it in J-school. A demerit point regretfully issued.

TVO-library experimental film still works.

How amusing to watch a consumerismo segment on headphones! Why, a golden opportunity to invite in “BRIDE OF” Chucky to model the Brezhnevian Koss überheadphones preferred by the intelligentsia squandered!

(And were those tears I saw staining the industrial broadloom carpet at 2180, rue Yonge when Charles suddenly realized he would not be permitted to interview his absolute heroes, Basement Jaxx?)

Technically, any headphone speaker the size of the ear canal is an earbud whether or not it is attached to an over-the-head frame. I personally kind of hate them, except in the winter when they work well under a headband.

It remains questionable in the extreme to induce viewers to contribute to a numbered bank account to fund a stunt for a broadcaster. It all sounds like organized crime. If TVO can’t afford to put these “Acadian” losers on the road itself, then shitcan the whole project. Yet again, this is the sort of thing that would get Volt in trouble if anyone in the outside world actually noticed, and no, dear friends, I’m not gonna blab.
  • Videoclip: “Where’s Your Head At?” des perennial house favourites Basement Jaxx. Gimmicky tune that fakes a hybrid of rock and dance, and boy, am I tired of the video.

Tuesday 4

Just one more revision, one more edit pass, and Mathieu’s stewardess monologue would be perfect. As it is, it’s a scream (Cf. fake funding caterwaul).

Bienvenue à bord d’un avion de Caca 3000. Why the hell are you on a plane of Caca 3000? Veuillez prendre une place. Nous sommes sur le point de partir.

Please shut up and sit on your [unintelligible, hermetic, mumbled Franco-Ontarian in-group slang].

Sous le siège devant vous se trouve un panneu rétractable que, si vous avez douze pièces à gaspiller, vous pouvez mettre un croissant puis un café dessus.

In front of you is a plate that when you would open and close the person in front of you will tell you to stop doing that.

Pour ceux d’entre vous qui ont encore de petits panneaux glissants devant votre fenêtre, ne les ouvrez pas; c’est pour cacher nos [unintelligible, hermetic, mumbled Franco-Ontarian in-group slang].

Those of you who still have a little sliding door in front of the window, don’t touch them; they will bust in your face.

Toutes sortes de petits pitons sont situés au-dessus de vous. Si vous posez sur celui du dessin d’un monsieur et d’une madame, ça, ça veut dire que vous avez besoin de secours.

Si vous n’avez pas besoin de secours puis que vous posez sur ces pitons-là, on va s’arranger pour que vous ayez besoin de secours.

Si l’avion est sur le point de s’écraser, pesez pas sur les petits pitons.

À peu près here is situated a bunch of pitons. If you feel like having air blasted on the top of your head for no reason, please press on the left button. Thank you. Have a pleasant flight.

Merci. Quand on s’écrase, garder la silence.

Wow. That took years off my life and I still did a shite job.

Planespotting. A slightly longer segment next time, please? And why did you pass up the golden opportunity to run the full version of Sloan’s “The Good in Everyone”?

If trainspotting translates as ferrovipathes, doesn’t planespotting translate as aérovipathes? But what the hell do I know?

It’s Howitzer, dear, not Howizter. And this from a fellow who complains his “media” pass misspells his name. Great idea, though, of reclaiming munitions boxes. Can I store my British military sweater là-dedans? And imagine the hours of fun kitties would enjoy shoving their cute little paws through those round gunholes. Actually, the look is very Martha Stewart; she would feed spools of grosgrain ribbon or rope through such holes.

I think the two-part segment on water treatment could have been three or four. Rather a lot of information there – and this is coming from someone who has watched half a dozen documentaries on the process and visited the ancient Toronto waterworks.

JS seems unaware of cellphone alphanumeric input methods, like Thumbscript and T9. Funny how often I can improve Volt segments. And anyway, everyone who’s serious about wireless snatchmail uses a Blackberry or, for black Americans, a “two-way.”

  • Videoclip: »Ich Will« von Rammstein. Good on yez for running a Nikitaesque terrorist/assassin video, though I wish to heck that Rammstein would lay off the slomo.

Wednesday 5

This week’s rerun, culled from an artificially limited breeding stock that excludes any turgeonist episode, as though she, a mere hired hand, wielded veto power: Guy (looking very skinny) with a martial artistrix. Tampons up the arse. An unalloyed disaster documented for posterity: Mathieu’s too-long hair dyed just the wrong colour, making him look even more French-trash than a small-town boy should. Disastrously misguided on so many levels. Thank heavens he moved to the big city, got a proper haircut, and smartened the fork up.

JS gets his hair cut. Thérèse, with her full lips, crawls onto the conference table.

  • Videoclip: The grating, subpar “Play Some D” de Brassy, preferred verucasaltesque “kewl” feminist band of the moment. Naturally, they can’t play worth shit (let alone play D worth shit), they’re ugly, and they can’t even manage an all-girl band. I hate feminist rock.

Thursday 6

I note that the new and allegedly improved but in fact inappropriately plug-in-dependent and inaccessible Volt site no longer lists the show’s two fan sites. In fact, the show might have more fan sites than just mine and Dagenais’. How would we know, exactly?

How very corporate. Or is it merely an oversight?

Something to do with grrrl videos. As though violence against women were more important than violence against anyone else. I wonder whatever happened to equality. Then we are faced with the next logical issue: Animal cruelty. I don’t exactly see Volt running “Vivisect VI” or “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven.”

“What It Feels Like for a Girl” de Madonna, who, as the lad on Too Much for Much so fairly observed, is a phenomenal silent-film actress. God help us when she opens her yap. By the way, Granny the Ol Kunt and Madonna are one and the same person here.

«Ton invitation» de Louise (not Mars) Attaque. «Ma liberté» de Mélanie Renaud. “Terror” de My Ruin (sure you didn’t switch title and artiste here?).

Superspecial Guy Gagnier Special!

I am gonna stop knocking Pridevision. They’re trying hard, they’re sinking cash into their own programming, they hired Paul DeBoy (and, unfortunately, Mathieu Chantelois), they’re the victim of outright discrimination by cablecos, and they’ve got the guts to charge a plausible monthly fee for their service ($7.95 – as with magazines, cover prices should actually cover the cost of getting you the product).

At any rate, So Gay TV incestuously featured a raft of Pridevision on-air personalities this week, including Volt’s own Guy Gagnier, who I am also gonna stop knocking. Feel free to hold me to both these promises.

At the end of another tawdry episode filled with disrobing Woody’s musclefags, viewers enjoyed a roundtable autobiographical discussion.

Mathieu: So, Guy, you have twenty seconds to impress us!

Fortunately for us all, Mathieu refrained from pronouncing “impress” as though it began with an h.

Guy [to himself]: Oh, fuck. [out loud] Sorry, I can’t swear, can I?

Mathieu: Of course you can swear.

Sandy Medeiros: We want to know about the fucking. Trust me.

Guy: Uh... OK. OK, how about going one evening from bedroom to bathroom, starting at the bar, finishing at the shower... five condoms later, and a few drinks later, and both were very, very happy. That good enough?

And while this story is recounted, Guy is seen to wear a blue hat.

Guy may be saddled with cuteness and he may have started out very young indeed, maturing before our very eyes on Volt, but let’s face facts: He is a man now.

You think I’m taking the piss here. I am not. It’s time to take Guy seriously.

Monday 10

Mathieu as Travesty, Version 2.0. Working much better than the Tony Pinto manqué, reduced as he is to cruising chicks in the 2180, rue Yonge commissary.

Astonishing chutzpah (a) to sashay up and down the “exurban” boulevards of Yonge and Eg and (b) to chat up actual girls. Remember, though: Like porn, comedy skits are eternal. They’ll be playing this one back at your fiftieth-anniversary party, at which you will finally retire as host of Volt. Marie will probably have her executive assistant Lois Pennycandy send over a card, maybe a Pot of Gold gift basket.

«Donne-moi un loser puis je vais te donner un loser qui pogne

«Donne-moi un loser puis je vais te donner un loser avec du style

  • Videoclip: “Frontier Psychiatrist” by the Avalanches (d. “Ol” Kuntz “+” Maguire), with pretty OK captioning by NCI. I’ve never seen such a fully-realized film inspired by and embodying dozens of samples, all the way down to individual sound effects. But what’s up with the Cowboy Curtis manqué? Value-adding feature: The Avalanches appear to be Australian.

Tuesday 11

Well-intentioned and informative but somewhat pained interview with the street drummer d00d who, despite his French surname, is an anglo. Seems to have been shot at about 5:00 at night. Early-winter sundowns are underrated, though given their depressing nature this is understandable.

«Pour parler de plus meilleur French»: First showing this week.

Steve “THE DIGGER” Diguer manfully rides out of the sunset (perhaps less underrated than I thought?) and into view to delectate on the topic of marriage as only a freelance downtown homosexualist could. I don’t see Charles doing this kind of thing. Steve Diguer: “Angel with a Lariat” for the 21st century.

Propaganda! Anne Clarke! OMIGOSH! I’m totally taken back to doing Garage in Montreal up to five nights a week, to no effect whatsoever.

By the way, who were those no-doubt-well-intentioned people repeatedly plugging brother love canal into my search function lo those several months ago?

I suspect it will occur to me several weeks from now just how audacious this music “chronicle” actually was. Can we get Steve on the show more often, please?

No, I’m not going to goddamned Vaseline again. I don’t fit in there, either, and do not give me this crap that I oughta.

I have this fixation. I see myself brandishing a Wahl® brand (brandishing a brand) hair clipper and slicing the ends off “BRIDE OF” Chucky’s Fu Manchu stache.

I am trying to wend my way through the impenetrable, inaccessible, inappropriately-newfangled, user-hostile Volt site to see if there’s a posted transcript of the chat session (that I couldn’t get into on first attempt at 18:54 hours, so what’s up with that?), but no go. The “Cette semaine à l’émission” section loads a translucent windoid. Yes, dear friends, I have every goddamned necessary plug-in. The idea of requiring a plug-in to view a Web site galls me. “Our audience is full of early adopters” my forking arse. I know this is Chucky’s baby, but it ain’t working. I do have some expertise here: Apart from writing a book and 200 Weblog items, I do go back 10 years online, which I can now prove. The case could be made that the old site was drab; the new one actually does not work and is at best a questionable design and technology choice given that TFO is a public broadcaster.

Of course, the site cost a lot and would incur an even greater cost in lost face to rebuild.

Very much liking the «Quand c’est pas rapport» interstices, by the way. Keep them coming. Cheap to film, yes?

  • Videoclip: «Gros tas (d’marde)» de Grimskunk (parentheses in original).

Wednesday 12

Rerun with some anomalous unilingual Francophone rappeurs in Ottawa.

Another rerun with Guy, looking good in a loose jacket, giving us in-depth five-minute coverage of swing. I will now concede that Colin James is looking better as he ages. This must not be confused for credibility.

How will Guy’s nasolabial crease age?

Then there’s the goddamned angioma and cyst on my forehead. I look like Jean-Claude frigging Van Damme crossed with an Indian arranged bride.


«Pour parler de plus meilleur French»: Second showing this week.

Further amazing chutzpah from Simon as he disrobes right at the corner of Yonge and Eg, though admittedly he is sheltered on both sides. Why didn’t the passing mom with stroller pay any heed? Obviously a lesbian.

Smurfing. The unnatural baby-blue skin colour of the Smurfs was what made it.

Where are all these rooftops the Voltistes use for urban-alienation fausse-pub settings actually situated?

MORE SWING! Will it ever end?

Squirrel Nut Zippers and their ilk are skiamorphic (Cf. in architecture), rather like Guy Maddin films.

  • Videoclip: “Three MCs and One DJ” des Garçons-Beastie, which I seem to recall seeing on an unreasonably recent émission.

Thursday 13

Our all-video show of the week: “Tainted Love” de Marilyn Manson with Caption Center–manqué captions (who the fuck?); «Furia» de Mass Hysteria, replicating the Christian music scene, in which every real band has a Christian analogue, here being a French Korn analogue; “Smash Sumthin’ ” de Redman; «Jeunesse perdue» de HCMF, showing just how fast captions can actually be, though blinkrate should never equal zero, as it errantly does here; “Back to School” des Deftones.

Simone, unable to leave well enough alone, reruns her piece on filthy restaurant tables. Simon’s vocabulary is underrated.

Friday 14

A really very enjoyable phone-in show with Stoner. So many of the characters on the show have got legs, don’t they? (Except Lucien and his «vache.»)

Wow. We’re fixing Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay’s car this weekend!

«J’étais super-fucké, man,» says our lead caller, then something about white trash. I am just trying to understand how many Franco-Ontarians do not descend from white trash. You’re like Maritimers. In fact, you are the Maritimers of Ontario, and we all came from dirt.

I feel rightly proud of the saturated intelligence (“You’re soaking in it!”) of this humble fan page now that I’ve seen just how goddamned fucking stupid Volt’s glue-sniffing, functionally-illiterate, Grade 3–repeating typical-white-trash teenaged viewership actually is.

Monday 17

I think it is a bit slipshod to say the least to pretend to research Christmas traditions via Web sites. Look up some fucking books. Then again, this is the glib Sonia Vani we’re talking about. The simplistic fake rolled Rs of this bint’s fortune-teller character indicate Vani’s low-class, derivative, casually xenophobic approach. (Obviously only foreigners trill their Rs. But how do we explain Guy Gagnier?)

Simon functions well with matching blond wig and fur coat.

JS and Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay run smack into the megahertz myth. Different processors have their own speed scales. How hot is 70°? Well, is that Celsius or Fahrenheit? How fast is 730 MHz? Well, is that Chip X or Chip Y?

I believe the converse of avantage is inconvénient. Désavantage is a false cognate, isn’t it?

Hmm. No music video today. I guess the Franco-Ontarian content of Konflit Dramatik will have to suffice.

Tuesday 18

«Salut, Bern!»

Good service piece on snapshot photos. Minor whoopsy: ISO technically does not stand for International Standards Organization (it should) but International Organization for Standardization. I know, I know. Also, film emulsions improved spectacularly in the ’90s; 400 and 800 ASA films show no noticeable grain even in enlargements and work essentially everywhere. 1600 ASA are even tolerable for small prints. 200 ASA isn’t better enough than 100 to be worth it. (Some films don’t even bother listing speed. 400/800 speeds are good enough that it isn’t an issue.)

Followup segment sometime later: Digital cameras.

Yucch with the fausse pub.

Marc returns from Middle-earth. But just how are we to order online Xmas gifts when (a) you need to be 18 to own a credit card and (b) it’ll never get here in time?

I would say the swarthy facepaint in the “Don’t plan to blow yourselves up in service of your people! Watch Volt!” segment is hard to defend. Whereas infanticidal centurions are not.

I don’t get why the show has to restrict cutesy Bernard De Longlac book-review segments to once a year, and, for that matter, to sword-’n’-sorcery escapist geek epics. Or does that correspond fairly to the staff’s true annual readership?

We now finally figure out that the kid with the excellent French is journalist/peacenik Maxime Donzel, evidently Belgian but apparently not boring.

One notes the complete cockup in over-shoulder cover-insetting in the second half of the segment.

Adored Nadyne’s plainly-evident boredom and thorough stupefaction-bordering disinterest in indulging Viggo Mortensen manqué Sylvain Lavigne’s Tolkien fetish. At least they didn’t drive there via a rally course.

Good punch recipe:

  • 3L cranberry juice (none of this cranberry “drink” nonsense)
  • 2 cans frozen raspberry juice
  • 1 can frozen cranberry juice, which I didn’t even know existed and will now have to buy
  • 3L raspberry ginger ale (Diet Cherry 7Up, shurely?!)
  • 2 packages frozen raspberries

Of course, if I prepared such a punch, it’d be all I’d drink for a month.

You do realize that Marth Stewart makes ice faces and severed ice hands out of masks and powderless latex gloves?

Wednesday 19

Listen, you told us you had new segments in the can showing Pères Noël beating the shit out of each other, and we want to see them. Produce!

Herr Müller, exteriorizing the phallic inadequacy complexes of Simon Garneau, shoves his hand into the carcass of a murdered bird.

Utterly tedious rerun segments for the rest of the show. And in what goddamned universe, even a universe as undifferentiated and tedious as Sonia Vani’s, (a) are household chores worthy of a segment and (b) do making breadcrumbs and depilling sweaters constitute widely-practiced tasks?

  • Videoclip: “Disposable Teens” de Marilyn Manson, a cheery Xmas clip proving once and for all he’d be nothing without Floria Sigismondi.

Thursday 20

Morally salubrious music videos all the time. «Hors d’œuvre» de Konflit Dramatik with almost acceptable captioning. (“Frontier Psychiatrist” captioning, on second and later viewings, stank. What do we forking expect from NCI?) “Price of Reality” d’Amen. «Le petit castor» de Yélo Molo, an absolute note-for-note clone of “On a Rope” de Rocket from the Crypt. Then again, one ska tune is as differentiable from another as, say, one Beijing native from another. «Anti-dépresseur» des Vulgaires machins. “Superstylin’ ” de Groove Armada, which barely qualifies as music.

January 2002

Monday 7

Yes, parody. Yes. Very nice. Yes.

Tuesday 8

Countdown to Sonia Exodus: One more blessed segment. Come, Armageddon, come!

And, as is typical of lame ducks, parting actions are more solid and sincere than work under tenure. Good exposition of certain uncomplicated forensic investigation methods.

I maintain, correctly, that canvassing viewers of a public-TV show to pay for a skit is improper and unethical in the extreme. It is self-evident. One more time: I’m not gonna blab, but somebody in the outside world is gonna find out, and shit is gonna hit the fan.

  • Videoclip: «La concubine de l’hémoglobine» de MC Solaar, whom one can pick out a mile away. He’s sort of post-human, don’t you think? rather like Björk.

Wednesday 9

Like I’m going to even bother reviewing this episode, easily on its tenth airing. How much contempt are you willing to show your audience? You’ve got hundreds of shows in the vault. There is no reason to serve up the same old episode twice, let alone five times as often.

Fuck Marie Turgeon.

Thursday 10

“A lesbian without a project is a menace to society”
– Scott Thompson

In this case, in-house Jewess Francine informs us of her Xmas project: Rearranging her sock drawer.

More onerous than thinking up story ideas for the nouvelle formulation Volt, shurely?!

All videos all the time, and finally, some fresh tofu: “Let’s Begin” de Bad Ronald, with adequate captions, attempting to milk that party-harmony vibe that never got Sublime very far, now, did it? (Love the “[DJ TURNTABLE ICON] where available” bug!) «Une impression» d’Akhenation, which is pretty solid. Of course, I may be saying that because I fancy one of the lads. “5 O’Clock’ des Mudmen, who I suppose are at least trying something they’re hoping will be novel. A deeper-voiced crooner is in order. (Phil Oakey is out of work, isn’t he?) «La France a peur» de Mickey 3D. “Feel So Stupid” de Darwin’s Waiting Room, disposable angst-rock balladeers of the millisecond.

Friday 11

The repeat of the day is much less relevant than the other news:

Superspecial Guy Gagnier Special –
The Special Edition!

Well, there I was sashaying out of the senior citizens’ Timothy’s on rue de l’Église after speed-reading the almost-content-free Esquire... when suddenly I espied the lovely and talented Guy Gagnier sitting at a table. In the cold. Wearing only a sweater. Editing some kind of script.

As usual, it takes two or three paces before sensory information store tells me what just happened. I bravely retraced my steps and introduced myself, living a cherished dream.

– Guy Gagnier.

– Yes?

I am Joe Clark.

A delightful conversation was had. Guy was pretty shocked to learn that my complaints about Pridevision (whom I have unilaterally elected to give a break, remember) amount to the following. Krystle, c’est hard pour moi de te dire ceci:

  • Do better research – print-journalism quality rather than television-journalism. (Specific example: The recurring lie of the gay dollar, conclusively debunked once and for all in Lee Badgett’s Money, Myths & Change.)
  • Buy better microphones with actual mikeflashes. You’re looking like a high-school video class – TV 101 goes queer.

Probably also get rid of the cooking shows. Beyond that, I am, strangely enough, a believer.

Guy’s a tad more disappointed with the current Volt generation than I. He remembers the good old days, when Marie Turgeon hadn’t done a total fucking Céline frigging Dion and demanded that none of her episodes ever air again. Tinpot dictatrix. No wonder she feels right at home in Montreal.

Guy seems to feel that, back in the day, Voltistes indulged goofiness while also using their heads. Something about Hugues getting tossed off a roof. I seemed to be unable to detect a difference between nouveau Volt and ancien Volt – of the era in which only two original shows are produced per week, at any rate.

Man, was the wind blowing hard. I had to go. My teeth were clattering.

Nonetheless, it’s nice to have met him. He’s much more formidable in person than his cutesy televisual appearance would suggest, and we are loving the eyebrows.

Since we’re on the topic, Volt could put me on the air again. As you well know, the SilverCity cinema across the road from TVO is the only one in the former city of Toronto with a MoPix system for captioning and description of first-run movies. They didn’t hire me, but I’m in tight with the Famous Players crew. Could be a good information segment.

Monday 14

A good, solid show, and that appraisal has nothing to do with the idea of butch Franco-boyz traipsing around in stilettos. Remember, that stuff is old hat with me. I mean, I half expect it.

Above all, don’t these “educational” skits demonstrate once and for all that walking in heels is much less difficult than is claimed? Damaging to the back and feet, yes, but not quite so hard.

Don’t you find it odd that the Bata Shoe Museum, with its excellent design sense, lacks a PR person who speaks French? Is this a global destination or not?

We should count our blessings. After Dano got rejected for that job, she sighed deeply to herself, opened a new batch of Oreos and signed on with the Tories.

Superbly fake and unrealistic obstacle course for our contestants. Put this level of thought into everything, kids. Answering the phone was the kicker.

Isabelle Pelletier is back doing the music “chronicle,” and has enough guts to deride records that merit derision. What does it say that I can ID every intersection captured by the accelerated camera in the superimposed backdrop? Does anyone remember Night Moves, the non-show that Global used to run overnight? It consisted entirely of the view from a camera riding shotgun through nighttime streets, accompanied by mood music. Superb.

Actually, not quite every intersection, but I can ID the main drags.

Hmm. The fausse pub decrying the forced sterilization of the Francophone poor of our beloved province may indicate deeper-seated psychoses. And how appropriate that Simon, hung like a Timbit, should act the part. Is there really a fear of genocide, or are you just ashamed of your country-bumpkin cousins?

Doesn’t that make you ashamed of yourselves? Remember, I’m from New Brunswick. I know we all come from dirt. I merely admit it.

Maxime seems to carry off an unlikely amalgam of baby-faced doughiness, pluperfect European French, and subtle but noticeable manliness. We Max.

Anyone notice (a) his profile and (b) his selvage?

Um, but should we perhaps have had two pairs of shoes on hand?

More content today, and fewer videos.

Tuesday 15

Yet again the craven self-rationalizations for the plainly improper venture of hitting up viewers to pay for a pair of Acadian hosers to sober up and drive some shitbox from one Tim Horton’s to another at someone else’s expense. Today’s excuse: Volt ain’t got no budget, so you’re gonna pay for it. Note the out-of-control, déclassé vulgarism of the phoner interviews with the hoser duo, who cannot produce a single sentence unsullied by anglicisms. (Then again, if that were the criterion....)

New Brunswick: The Mississippi of Canada, except in Mississippi at least everyone pretends to speak a single human language.

Finally we enjoy an acknowledgement from Marc that not everyone online has visual design skills – one tiny step removed from conceding that such are not actually necessary. How, by the way, are these “vanity sites” different from any other Weblog or topic-specific site online? I was not aware I was running a host of “vanity sites” until now. Do I get a free vanity mirror with that?

Marc Bishop and Cory Doctorow: Separated at Birth, or at least Separated at Bottle of Hair Dye?

Well, now we get to the mythmaking-bordering-on-propaganda. Félix “Says Relax” Tanguay replicates the ill-chosen journalistic path of interviewing Voltistes about tits and allows “BRIDE OF” Chucky Duchesne to spin the excesses of the Volt site. Introduced as an explanation of how one “makes an Internet site,” the segment actually amounted to “how one justifies the creation of a Flash site.” I smell a PR campaign here, rather like the hastily-prepared brochures and Web pages Nike and Reebok are forced to post to counter activist claims of Third World worker exploitation. Charles feels obliged to defend an unwieldy and overly complex site with less actual content than its predecessor that, moreover, simply will not function on anything less than state-of-the-art equipment, which TFO seems to believe is more widespread than it actually is.

Riddle me this: Even if 90% of viewers have Flash 5 installed on their systems, do they all have fast net connections? Loading the Volt site takes noticeable seconds (so noticeable it tells me to wait) even over DSL. How many high schools – in, say, Tracadie – have exactly the right equipment?

It will surprise dedicated readers to hear that I am not opposed to Flash. I am merely opposed to sites written entirely in Flash. I’m all about alternatives, and Flash 5 ain’t got them. (Flash 6 will.) There isn’t even a need to duplicate the Flash experience in HTML; rather, the Flash experience should be Flash-like and the HTML experience HTML-like. Nobody expects the Korean-dubbed version of Star Trek to be “equivalent” to the original. Combined Flash/HTML sites can quite readily provide the same information while offering different experiences.

How is this not clear, exactly?

Every Web developer makes choices. It would be excessively relativist to hold that every choice is equally good.

And curiously enough, the site does not even bother to work every single time on an absolutely state-of-the-art computer (an iMac 500 with oceans of RAM and every conceivable browser and plug-in) with the fastest residential net connection short of a T1. It’s noticeably slow even on a computer one step up the food chain, a G4 Cube under X. It’s not as though I don’t know what I’m talking about here, or I’m some kind of reactionary. I do actually get paid to diagnose site flaws of this sort. And if the new site’s so whiz-bang, howcum the discussion fora never seem to work, let alone in French? One notes the absence of a links page and the transcript from the first chat session.

By the way, frame in French is apparently image. I looked it up. And we loved the Tracadie-calibre Queen’s French: «On le scan. On le scan

Like an addled starlet sabotaging herself at the podium of an awards show, I looked on in horror as Charles dented his own online credibility by reiterating the long-discredited maxim that television and the net will become one and the same. Charles even made the risible claim that connection speeds are gonna increase to televisual levels. iMagic notwithstanding, that kind of bandwidth costs so very much to provide, let alone insert into millions of actual households via wire or antenna, that it stands to become only as common as home-theatre systems with 36″ screens.

He who fails to learn the lessons of the NUblog is condemned to repeat them.

Nonetheless, a multi-part segment (aired over a couple of weeks, say) on exactly how one assembles a Flash site would be educational. That’s half of what today’s segment was trying to do. The other half was dominated by ill-concealed apologia.

Ding-dong! At last we rid ourselves of Sonia Vani. Yet again, her final contributions were actually strong. In fact, today’s segment follows the hallowed heritage of Volt experimental filmmaking. I am not kidding. (Remember, I call it as I see it. Ask Guy.)

The callow ill-advisedness of Volt’s Tracadie boondoggle counterbalances itself through the show’s naked promotion of Sonia’s now-vacant job. “Think you can do better than us? Bring it on!” (My approach completely, at least with the book.) One might try ringing up several of Sonia’s previous interview subjects.

Solid, if self-evident, deconstruction of Bush’s own Dan Quayle “potatoe” moment. I am finally getting Bernard De Longlac’s newscast-ending desktop scribbling. Dennis Miller did it better, admittedly. It’s a standard trope of what is now a standard trope: The parody newscast.

  • Videoclip: “Alive” de POD.

Wednesday 16

I am just not going to bother even mentioning reruns anymore. I’m tired of being the only one to take them seriously, and even then only perfunctorily.

Thursday 17

A raft o’ music videos. »Sonne« von Rammstein (holy psychological projection!); «Ô Phaarmaciel» de Groovy Aardvark (a solid, acceptable punk song from the hypercorrect separatist darlings, or, more accurately, the darlings of hypercorrect separatists); «Tu m’manques» de la Chicane; «Sauvez cette étoile» de Saëz, being all Manic Street Preachers about it; “Astounded” de Bran Van 3000, which still sounds great in French.

Monday 21

Why Volt Desperately Needs Time-Lapse Photography: When taking the piss out of callers allegedly from the Gaspé (despite a suspiciously European-sounding accent) by nuking cod, one needs to actually follow the directions and nuke it for 2 ½ minutes. The flashing Error message was quite visible.

The Gaspé Peninsula: Even more forgotten than Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton, and the Queen Charlottes combined.

It’s getting to the point where pretty much any reportage starring as opposed to merely featuring Sylvain Lavigne will stink, and also last for hours and hours.

Still undead (“BRAINS...! BRAINS...!”) is Sonia Vani (brains? brains?). What an absurd liberal fantasy life she leads. You could fit all the men in Canada who wear actual makeup inside an airport shuttle bus, and all but five of them will be queer. Give me a fucking break. The inclusion of a self-declared heterosexualist gives the false impression that this “trend” of makeup on d00ds is something that is actually real among straight guys, which it is not.

Straight guys still won’t even stop wearing mullets, for fuck sakes. Jean-Sébastien Busque, even now, refuses to learn to dress, and despite free haircuts at a “hip” downtown “salon,” still looks like he just woke up in the recovery room of an emergency ward. His approach is, in fact, typical. As if guys like him are gonna use eyeshadow.

Get a grip, you lame-duck faghag. Of course, as far as she’s concerned, she’s a lamé duck, with a bright future in Canadian “journalism,” if we consider French-language television either of those.

The (apparently Lebanese) hetero, by the way, has a delicate look and a superb nose. You know, typical ethnic fashion-model look, not that “ethnics” get to be fashion models. Zoolander, in effect, is as much a form of exteriorized self-delusion as the film œuvre of Michael Douglas.

Cute music “chronicle” by “BRIDE OF” Chucky Duchesne. Please upgrade your browser and check back with us soon!

Puck-in-the-Eye Dept.: I thought we had learned from the bingo episode lo those several years ago that busting shit up onstage requires eye protection. (Remember the caméraman who got some shit in his eye and fell to the floor? I thought it was part of the show. Nope – real.) Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to get a chunk of LP between the eyes. Look on the bright side: Russell Crowe gets away with a prominent dermal mole in that location. It is unlikely to harm Mathieu’s career any more than the career itself will.

  • Videoclip: «Une couleur de plus au drapeau» de KDD.

Tuesday 22

Can we buy Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay a new shirt?

  • Videoclip: “Am I Wrong?” d’Étienne de Crecy, whoever that is.

Wednesday 23

But what I have to remember to do is not to nuke the Wednesday tape so that I might take note of the video shown that day.

Thursday 24

All clips: «Cocktail monotone» des Sequelles, doing a credible fake ’60s that does not pretend to be convincing; «Nous mourrons tous pauvres» des Ordures ioniques (still with captions, still strangely); «Miss Ecstasy» de Dumas; «Ragga Dub» de Dubmatique, another group we’re expected to like (a) to keep Quebec culture alive and (b) to disprove the plainly evident fact that Quebec is racist; “Second Wave” du Hermit, a good example of short filmmaking.

Oh, and here’s what the Globe had to say, immortalized here because that site’s URLs die faster than fish on a hook:

On another topic entirely, one advantage of a world full of different languages is that you can make bilingual puns.

When an English-speaker looks for word play in the name of U.S. President George W. Bush, he considers a few well-travelled paths: bird in the bush, bush league, beating around the bush. A French-speaker has other options.

Bernard De Longlac (a mock newscaster played by Mathieu Pichette, wearing a plastic, perfectly coiffed hairdo) delivers a satirical newscast on Volt, a show on TFO, the French-language network of TVOntario. Sunday night, he reflected on Bush’s recent encounter with an indigestible pretzel. (Bush quickly recovered, so everyone on TV is joking about it.)

Roughly translated, De Longlac said: The President of the United States, despite his name, has trouble controlling his mouth.

Bush, bouche. Obvious when you think of it, but first you have to think of it.

How in heavens did this fellow even learn that Volt exists, let alone watch this episode? I smell an informant.

Monday 28

Serious lack of rehearsal of the segment on etiquette of social introductions. Mathieu couldn’t keep a straight face, which merits an opprobrium I levy only rarely: Unprofessional.

Am I the only one who noticed that Nadyne is the very tallest human being on the entire set?

I like her, you know. I like my girls tall. The have to be competitive with guys in heels.

Superb reënactment of typical his-’n’-hers bickering by Nadyne and (a blessedly invisible offscreen) Sylvain. It’s even horribly accurate and really reeking of verisimilitude once Sylvain comes into view – and, to my enormous surprise, he looks good there. He may have a certain range. Whodathunkit?

One notes yet again the typical North Toronto apartment used as location.

And the hits keep on coming! The ’50s faux-Volt could have used slightly smarter set decoration and costumes, but was bravely low-key and cutting. And I didn’t even need to upgrade my browser to watch it!

Music is “chronicled” today by Isabelle Pelletier, whom we must now categorize as a Regular. Un déficient mentale: almost as appallingly insulting a French malapropism as sidaïque. It must be noted that Isabelle spent too much time reading out album contents. We pay you for opinions.

Totally super-fucking-impressive tune and vid from Michael Franti: “Rock the Nation” de Spearhead. He’s quite godlike, you know. Interviewed him, bumped into him at the U2 concert. He’s unimaginably tall. And I don’t particularly need an imagination when it comes to tall boys, who invariably are hung like a donut. What is up with that?

Tuesday 29

Again with the stolen NCI captioning icon at show opening.

It’s a farewell-to-Sonia episode.

Wow, man. Cosmic.

Wednesday 30

Videoclip: «Fiers d’être neg’marrons» de Jacky et Ben J. One assumes that is a term of disparagement use by or in reference to North Africans. I suppose I could Google it.

I do, however, miss Herr Müller and Rodrigue Dumoutier. I guess this means I miss Simon, whom I have come to appreciate more and more. I know he’s not entirely happy being “stuck” at Volt (my terminology, not his); he’s got enough skills to work somewhere else, but that would inevitably be in English, and he’s an entirely different being in that language.

Thursday 31

A relief after the thudding failure of Wednesday’s repeat episodes (as a whole): Music videos. “Take Me to the Disco” du Fantastic Plastic Machine (oh, cripes – now Volt does J-pop); “Virtually Insane” d’Anonymus (OMIGOSH it’s fabulous – speedmetal à la Front 242! MORE! MORE! MORE!); “Gran Manje” de Freeworm; “Weekend” des Black-Eyed Peas; “Someone to Hate” de King Prawn.

Excellent selection tonight: Avant-garde, enjoyable, not at all threatening to the illiterate redneck Francophone punters who are assumed to be the only audience and whom the show must never offend for any reason even though the staff, though spawned from those lower orders, has far more sophisticated tastes.

February 2002

Monday 04

Is it just me, or does Charles undergo an impossibly lyncanthropic beard growth in a matter of minutes? I smell a music “chronicle” taped weeks in advance (with no pushed barbe) and a Crash Course in Overwrought Avatar Chat (with heavily-pushed barbe) recorded three hours before showtime.

He’s still pretty good at it, you know. Why’d he ever stop? One respectfully submits this was a bad decision. I suspect, though, that what he really got tired of was the transformation of what used to be a leisure activity to a form of work: All of a sudden he had to listen to five albums a week, assemble viable but punishingly concise opinions about them, tape a segment, and then not even get to keep the records.

I can see where he’s coming from there.

Another dead-solid experimental film, deriving no doubt from the fertile crescent in the mind of its star, Simon. TVO’s hallways have never looked so cronenbergian, except of course in all the other films in this series.

Wait! We’ve got another one! Very Fatal Attraction/QaF with the warehouse lift.

Best use of lens flare since Close Encounters. Even though it isn’t actually bright (it’s jet black!), it still hurt my eyes. Must be the corona.

  • Videoclip: «Cigarette» de Caféïne, with nauseating captions.

Tuesday 05

Shocking drollery from Bernard De Longlac tonight. But quit picking on Chuck Labelle. When will the hurting stop?

More and more (“and more” – Captain Hollywood Project), Nadyne threatens to emulate the excesses of JS, who dollies up segments on personal peccadilloes (New Age therapies like foot massage, colonic irrigation, and yoga) in the guise of independently-devised Volt segments. Are the Voltistes that desperate for story ideas?

How amusing that Marc “CREATIVE ON DEMAND” Bishop plugs ChickClick today. He who fails to learn the lessons of the NUblog is condemned to repeat them. In all fairness, such analysis is too insider.

I do think Marc should be given longer segments. Pimping a couple of sites barely cuts it, really. Don’t you think? Give him twice the length but every two weeks, for example. (Isn’t he already a fortnightly? Shouldn’t I know that already?)

And of course Charles with his Nº 2 haircut, Nº2 beard, tight black shirt of T, and arms.

  • Videoclip: “Witness the Fitness” de Roots Manuva, an anomaly, with, as it turns out, captions.

Thursday 07

Videos, you ask? Yes. You always ask for videos.

“La Guitaristic House Organization” de Rinôçérôse; «S’étend l’amer» de Projet Orange; “Spiders” de System of a Down; «Señor Matanza» de Mano Negra; “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” de Morcheeba.

Notice how poorly the entire concept of online chat transfers to other media?

Monday 11

Missing in action. Have to catch it on the repeat. Missed it there, too. Oh, well.

Tuesday 12

Smart with the handing Mathieu a broken guitar neck (axe, shurely?!) before the real one.

Yes, some French ska girl group. Its own punchline, really. An interview that was obviously in the can forever.

Sylvain is again heavily indulged (acceptable unruly quasinegroid hairstyle) in his music “chronicle.” Noam Chomsky is not a musician. It would nonetheless be amusing to watch an Emergency Broadcasting Network–esque remix of his greatest hits. And by incredible coïncidence, Manufacturing Consent is on in French on Wednesday night!

Cristal et Monique! One’s prayers are answered. But imagine discussing San Francisco without homosexualists. Or a certain Quinn Martin production. Or, heaven help us, Tales of the City (francoconnection: Last two execrable series shot in unconvincing SanFran manqué Montreal!).

Sonia Vani: Still undead.

To contemplate Nadyne’s laying on a kiss is to contemplate Alison Janney doing the same.

  • Videoclip: «Kiss & Run» de Richard Petit.

Wednesday 13

Videoclip: «Où tu vas?» d’Annie Dufresne.

Thursday 14

All videos all the time, with added treacle. “Wow” de Caféïne, which appears to be in English; «C’est une chanson» des Frères à ch’val (sic), which, I am sorry, is still amusing (the actor, it must be pointed out, has red hair); “Days Go By” de Dirty Vegas, which, I am sorry, is still clever, but unfortunately I know every frame of it by now (whatever could he “not stop”?); “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” du Lighthouse Family, whoever the fork these adult-contemporary abominations might be.

Monday 18

Nadyne deserves relatively massive props for introducing her duct-tape segment (complete with real-life anecdote!), pimping a Web site (two – including Volt’s!), and quite intelligibly giving us the basic idea of just how easy it is to build a billfold out of duct tape (whose etymology she explains) – all in five minutes!

«C’est tout en pouces. Ce n’est pas en centimètres. Alors j’espère que ça ne va pas déranger personne à la maison.» Well, I never! Olivier Dagenais, you stop bugging Nadyne about the metric system this instant!

Oh, by the way, measurements in French (irrespective of unit) are given as number sur number and not par. That’s an anglicism – a first for Volt, shurely?!

Man, does Simon have something going with Natalie and the rich chestnutty hair blowing perpetually in the eyes. Needs tits, though, badly.

CARDIAC ARREST MOMENT: Anne Clarke! The second thrilling mention of her this year!

I like Simon more and more every day. Him and Joe Motiki and of course Marie fucking Turgeon. OMIGOSH but they’re Canadian treasures.

Where’s William Portal these days? Rodrigue Dumoutier? I keep asking these questions, but no one ever answers my cry in the wilderness. (“Letter from Lonzo... and he sounds lonely.”)

You are of course aware that the fausse pub with Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay Touretting with tongue-swallowing realism on the sidewalk is pretty much a recapitulation of “Just” by Radiohead?

OK segment, really an advertorial, on graffiti in Montreal. I couldn’t stop obsessing over the good strong upturned nose on the organizer d00d. Full head of hair, too. We need to keep Quebec in Canada for a reliable supply of uncut dark-haired lads.

(The fact that I’m not saying the same thing about, say, Mexico is of course proof positive of my RACISM.)

  • Videoclip: “Star Guitar” des Chemical Brothers, another trompe-l’œil de Michel Gondry. Had seen it (duct-tape-wallet-sized!) online, but it’s tremendously effective in true size. Take note of pacing and structure of music and how it relates to the mise-en-scène devices. Thuddingly literal? Yes, kind of, but saved completely by the artifice; bodies of water and rock and stone formations look like SimCity or a videogame for a reason. It’s a fantasy world, after all – The Prisoner goes techno, a rave at Epcot.

Tuesday 19

The Blind Date manqué featuring Crystal and Hervé-Napoléon was a failure at all times when anyone other than Crystal by herself was in frame. Regrettably enough.

Inventions segment with the new kid was too dopey. And who could possibly have imagined an even coarser French accent? He sounds country. More and more country each week, actually.

BingOpéra sounds like a smashing idea. Charles Duchesne in tights and a codpiece! I am so there.

(Bring the People’s Army getup for nostalgia.)

Internet security with Marc and his hipster dramatic rectilinear eyeglasses!

And no video today.

Wednesday 20

Videoclip: «Les envies» de Tété (really quite delightful: Peugeot 504 4ever!).

Thursday 21

Videos: “How Does It Make You Feel?” d’Air (partially self-captioning); “Too Bad” de Nickelback (Caption Center captioning, for some reason, but trite beyond words); «Paranoïa» de Vénus 3; “Clint Eastwood” des Gorillaz, with the brilliantly anomalous title (Cf. New Jersey); “Viðar vel til loftárása” de Sigur Rós (note the eth; there’s no d).

Jungians will be delighted to learn that “BRIDE OF” Chucky Duchesne enjoyed a cameo appearance in a dream the other night. Virtue remained intact. Chucky had to pick me up (possibly in the same car Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay cranks in his bumper) and schlep me somewhere. Distaste and outright resentment pinged offa him; he fucking hated me. So I deliberately ignored it and acted as sweet as possible, to no effect.

I do not remember where we were going. Uphill, though.

Monday 25

Fantastic 160-bpm techno remix of opening credits! The Chipmunks do Yonge & Eg!

Now, what are the odds that the coffee interview segment took place at that tediously correct but warm-coloured “fair coffee” house on Roncy?

Do us all a favour and cease using Arial (which isn’t even a typeface) onscreen.

Yes! Yes, it did take place at Alternative Grounds.

Where is Max these days?

LOUIS-ÉTIENNE VIGNEAULT LEARNS FROM HIS MISTAKES: Instead of merely giving us a retread of his last music “chronicle” (from behind the wheel), Voltistes rethink the whole enterprise. Policemens in surprisingly ill-fitting uniforms pull the fucker over and give him a body cavity search. I mean, you can never tell where the kids are stashing their MP3s these days.

But imagine a world in which Patricia Kaas actually makes a difference. Her name, after all, is synonymous with “cheese.”

Where is Max?

BRIDE OF” Chucky as hausfrau! I am so there.

  • Videoclip: “Ambient Death Music” de Pink Eye again.

And a strangely effective extro, with the new kid riding shotgun as Mathieu takes a dump.

Tuesday 26

Yes, my birthday.

SINKING SHIP?    First Sonia Vani, blessedly. (Actually, first Guy, Nathalie, and Marie.) But now, now – J.-F., we hardly knew ye. Yes, dear friends, Volt needs a new executive producer.

Who will step up to the plate? You’ve only got a week.

I still like the lighting from beneath the plexiglas table. Cozy. Futuristic. Chic.

Now we’ve got Mathieu’s mom involved in the quasi–Rock Machine scam to extort viewers into paying for hoser “Acadian” losers to drive across the country. Does the money buy their dope, too?

The entire damned show today felt like promos.

Here we go again with the repeated segments (on music videos). But that happened after the delightful re-enactment of Steven Bradbury’s spectacular gold-medal race, and just before another abomination by Sylvain Lavigne.

  • Videoclip: “Come On” des Headstones. You realize that, as little as six years ago, Hugh Dillon could boast unmatched stage presence and sex appeal? And he couldn’t shut up about plugging guys on the side. But no cuddling, please. “What a fag.” And in any event, this video is an Hard Core Logo manqué. Who played the role of Joe Dick (no relation) in Hard Core Logo? And wasn’t Billy Tallent the love of Joe’s life (no relation)? Didn’t Joe (no relation) in fact plug Billy years before, causing the rift that only heals itself lo unto the movie? Can you say metacinema? ¶ But let’s look at this another way: Wouldn’t you like to plug Callum Rennie?

Wednesday 27

Videoclip: «Détruire» des Marmottes aplaties, with miserable captions.


Monday 4

Another “studio visit” (Konflit Dramatik, anyone?), by le Chat. It could be worse. It could be Dubmatique. (Chuck Labelle, come on down!) I think the Cat’s hair has been overstraightened. Keep it up and you lose it.

Good commentary from Daniel Sadler, the music-video director. And Rob Heydon. Where in Toronto does one find metal backyard staircases to use as shooting locations? Micha Dahan again (new spelling? or did I flub retyping it?). Yet again. Over and over again. As though he’s the only director in the universe. How ironic that Daniel’s definition of a “good” video coïncides with the trite, overdone argument against videos: Monopolizing the visual imagination of the song.

Music “chronicle” with “Charlie,” looking ravishing in an entirely new way. It must be the lighting, but the alabaster hairless neck plays delightfully against the beard (the variegated beard: look it up). I’m cloning that style, by the way. I expect to end up looking moderately ridiculous. Among other things, I’m not as slim as “BRIDE OF” Chucky. Given that we’re of similar ages, what’s his secret? He seems reasonably happy. Well, I hope so, at any rate. Certainly reviewing only the genre of music he actually likes will do that.

Tuesday 5

APOCALYPSE FROG: Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the “journalist” job was in Ottawa, wasn’t it?

Do we infer that there was no one young enough and French enough in Ottawa to commit “journalism” for Volt? (I am merely assuming that age discrimination was rampant. Current Volt producers, bearded or not, could not now be hired as on-air staff, could they?)

So is this what happened? Did “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu (Chantelois) apply, make the cut, then announce, with all the lèse-majesté of a third-tier Canadian television personality, that no way would a man of his stature (we’ll get to the “stature” shortly) move to cold and second-rate Ottawa?

Is that what happened?

Why does the biggest anglophone city in Canada need another “journalist” while a large bilingual city does not? (I assume it’s a question of supply rather than managerial fiat. But it could be J.-F.’s parting shot for all I know.)

So now we have the raccoon-eyed social-climbing arriviste careerist tweekerboy “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu (Chantelois) on Volt. (No one has a less sincere smirk than this fella. He tries to compensate for his atrocious English through his smirk, which does nothing but make him look shifty and stoned.)

First Guy defects to PrideVision, then Volt raids PrideVision.

(“NOT THE REAL” Mathieu will, I trust, resign the PrideVision gig? Conflict of interest, shurely?!)

My fear here is, of course, that “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu will merely stick it out until something better comes along. While that is hardly a sure thing (remember, wasn’t it TVA who fired him in Montreal, or was it Quatre Saisons? French Toronto is a very small pond), it’s what holds close to his heart. Social-climbing arriviste careerist, remember.

I like his occasionally-fatuous bf unit, by the way (love the mangled ear!), but keep him the fork offa Volt. I did have a good chuckle at Félix “SAYS RELAX” Tanguay’s laying some ultraviolence on “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu. Gratuitous queerbashing, or everyone’s fantasy?

Now, remember, folks, remember: Whenever “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu gets too big for his britches, keep in mind that nude photographs of him are readily available. (Close-up seems to have disappeared.) While you’re saving up the money for prints, consider adopting the JPEG as your desktop pattern. Do keep in mind that the photographer is fully released.

Curious addendum: Why, suddenly the gang scans (for position only, shurely?!) of “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu (Chantelois) have disappeared from the Web, or from ready access, anyway. Surely only an X-Files–calibre conspiracist would see anything questionable about the timing here.

And isn’t it very odd indeed that Galleries 1, 2, 3, and 5 are still available, while Gallery 4, featuring fully-released photographs of Volt’s new “journalist,” comes back 404? But I dunno – can’t one buy actual fully-released prints at the O’Connor Gallery?

The other question then becomes: If one is proud of his nude photography, shouldn’t he promote it more? And if one is ashamed of it (or indifferent, but suspects people might hold it against him), shouldn’t he promote it more anyway? Just as an example, I always lead with my good and bad press. The only thing worse than being talked about, etc.

Oh, and by the way, Nadyne should submit her demo reel to MuchMoreMusic; they’re looking for a host.

I’m not sure there was enough actual content in the reportage on hybrid vehicles. One assumes Toyota and Honda had French-speaking staff available. I acknowledge that JS and Félix gave it a good try, though. I would set up a second segment where you do a road test. You realize, of course, that a Honda Insight or whatever it’s called lives each weekday in the parking lot of the Librairie Champlain? (The Insight’s max vehicle load is 300 pounds. You couldn’t put two hockey players and their golf clubs in that thing. The Prius, however you pronounce it, is an actual car. I’ve only seen three Prii, none of them actually running. Bill Maher bought one.)

  • Videoclip: “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” de Rufus Wainwright, perhaps in honour of the latest homosexualist Voltiste.

Wednesday 6

Videoclip: “Balmes <parenthesis>A Better Life</parenthesis>” d’Ian Pooley & Esthero.

Thursday 7

So it is exclusively revealed that “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu has been working there a month. It is also exclusively revealed (but not by this show) that “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu will continue throwing to porn on PrideVision. Conflict of interest, shurely?!

All videos all the time: “Motivation” by Sum-41 (I prefer the other pop-punk sellouts led by an ice-blond); «Furia» de Mass Hysteria yet again; “Playgirl” de Ladytron (another of the interchangeable mass of synth-pop bands with dreamy-voiced grrrl crooners); “Evolution Revolution Love” de Tricky (still pretty sharp); «Gros tas d[e] marde» de Grimskunk, unaccountably.

Thursday 14

Videos. Not that there’s anything else on this week of repeats. What is this, March break? Why does Volt get a break? It’s not as though there’s suddenly greater access to French-speaking student interview subjects during this time; they’re all out getting shitfaced and twiddling PlayStations till two in the morning.

“Information Contraband” de Money Mark; “Fresh” de Daft Punk (subtitles, somewhat lesser acting than “Da Funk”); “Stoopid Ass” de Grand Theft Auto (Volt human-resources policy in a nutshell, shurely?!); “Diamond” de Klint; «Hors d’œuvre» de Konflit Dramatik, with bilingual captions;

And how’s my Charles Duchesne Memorial Facial Hair coming along? Quite well, actually, and thanks for asking, but the black/grey combination cannot hold a candle to Charles’ black/brown. [SIGH]

BingOpéra: I am so there.

And who was that fellow I passed at the doorway of the St. Marc Spa the other night?

Current week

Monday 18

This “very special” episode of Volt, with very special guests Konflit Dramatik (again), worked reasonably well. I think we need more-frequent fashion reports, though. Mathieu, whose voice has finally returned to its normal register after shrieking over the fifty-dollar price tag on some kind of girl sandal, totally gets it right with the absurd backwater-’70s look of puffy-midriffed-cinched-under-the-tits girls’ blouses. And for a really tall chick, the tight clothes with jeanjacket work quite well on Nadyne. Why didn’t we have Max modeling here? What’s wrong with this picture?

Tuesday 19

Good solid reportage, using first-person sources that TV makes so easy yet so hard to get right, from Kanadian Independent Music Awards, and frankly, I love the kids’ shirts. (Nadyne: WISH THESE WERE BRAINS ¶ Sylvain: WISH I HAD HER BRAINS.) Although this bullshit of “It’s more of a do-it-yourself attitude” has never been true. Do what yourself? Compared to having whom do it? How is doing shitloads of work, almost certainly at lower quality than having an expert do it, superior to having the expert do it? (Take it from an expert.)

Mary Simon: “The toughest part is coming up with the kind of cash to do a really good album.” Exactly. That is why major labels are, regrettably enough, still necessary.

Sylvain is definitely improving. Maturity becomes him. And cripes is Nadyne ever a good hostess. MuchMoreMusic, here she comes!

Mitsou interview, “masterminded” at the cost of fricaseed vanishing brain cells by disagreeable pisher–arriviste “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu (Chantelois), had quite the right angle, I think. Somewhat greater verisimilitude (the exact right replica cowboy hat, for example) might have been in order. I certainly would have explored what it means to “edit” a fashion magazine, since (pace Diana Vreeland), such is not a particularly easy job. And how does she find the time to also be a “morning-show” hostess?

But bitch-slapping “NOT THE REAL” Mathieu (Chantelois)? One intellectual giant giving another what he deserves? Everyone’s fantasy, shurely?!

But can somebody please smack this bitch up, in a purely verbal and nonviolent way, of course? «Et puis j’arrive au Canada – justement, à Toronto – et puis ça était assez fou.» This of course is the «Je n’ai jamais visité le Canada» psychosis manifested by delusional separatists. What does it say on your passport again, Mitsou?

And by the way, what is the name of the province between Quebec and Nova Scotia? Give us the dictionary name, not the neologism employed at TFO.

And no video today. I do not include les Franco Boyz. Would you?

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