‘Volt’: The maudit anglophone fan page


2003: February 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 6 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27

Monday 3

Frankie butches up the joint by delivering his intro during a fit of interpretive dancing. I want to live forever! I want to learn how to fly (high!)!

School of Toronto Dance Theatre: Sounds like a bad translation from the Portuguese. Interestingly, while the instructor at the school is a male, few of the dancers are. Frankie at least has somewhere to go when he grows out of Volt (his being shitcanned seems unlikely, rank incompetence of the Mathieu “NUDIE SHOW” Chantelois variety being absent).

I suppose I’m being much meaner than necessary. I pride myself on saying exactly what I think in this little fan page. Well, Frankie has grown up a little. He can now utter complete sentences as though he means them and as though each word were not a complete surprise. I would say he still lacks personality for the simple reason that he lacks a personality, but functionally, or in terms of “production values,” he’s noticeably improved.

Craig Kielburger! On Volt! Just be careful, because he has a habit of prevailing in libel suits. He speaks reasonably good French, don’t you think? Good body language, indicating he actually can express himself and isn’t paralyzed with indecision about how to translate his English thoughts into English-word-order French. «Um,» however, is not a French word. And he clearly didn’t understand the question «Pourquoi tu t’en fou pas, Craig?» but Frankie – again with the improved hosting skills – realized this instantaneously and restated the question. Not bad.

Nonetheless, he’s quintessentially Volt subject-matter. His first appearance here?

Nadia Campbell’s Amateur Talent Hour. I suppose such is all we could expect from Ottawans. One d00d hosts a show on MusiquePlus, and the percussion group, while hideously derivative (how long ago did Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk take Broadway by storm?), is nonetheless sexy. Of course, that’s part of the formula (Cf. Tap Dogs).

Liking the slightly-overhead shot during closing – makes the primary colour look darker, more distant, and cozier.

Tuesday 4

Journalists for Human Rights. Well, you know I have to support that. Alexandra the guest’s recollections about the way of life in Africa seem consistent with what one of my friends told me. This of course excludes South Africa.

Ben Peterson of Journalists for Human Rights – but wait: Fred’s hat is ridiculous even by Quebec standards – is way too self-assured, also tall.

Renée and Frankie trade perfume tips, predictably. I assume tampons will be next.

There’s so much more to talk about in parfumerie. Where was all of it? Some, at least?

Wednesday 5

You’re kidding about this massively diphthongal wigga-rasta wannabe, right?

“Fuck les compromis.” Yes. Words to live by when you’re wearing some other race’s hairstyle, cap, and clothing.

(For the historical record, it’s Kali Roots.)

Looking forward to a rank trainwreck of Italian ethnic stereotypes in Badda-Bingo.

Donna Dedans de l’Entertainment: Her French grows ever worse, and I like it.

Reassuringly, Mathieu “WORKIN’ FOR THE WEEKEND” Chantelois has been consigned to the dustbin of history, with JS Peter-principled up to reviewing music-video DVDs. No mention of accessibility, of course – why would there be? The Beastie Boys discs are particularly appalling. I have them, of course. The blue and green colour schemes are, however, excellent. I suppose it figures that someone like JS would like that sort of thing. It’s just the complete lack of taste and the utter outdatedness: JS would still be an undernourished twangy slob in any decade from the 197os to present. What, if any, are the 21st-century features of Jean-Sébastien Busque? He’s French, but he has no taste or class.

I refer of course only to his personal style and physical presence. He’s quite effective on Volt, of course. Everyone’s gonna be all shocked anyway.

JS utters the second usage of the word “fuck” heard this week («Quand on regarde là, tu dis ‘La société de nos jours est fucké’»). He likes the One Giant Leap disc, and makes a good strong case for it.

I just want him to eat more, perhaps go to the gym or take up swimming or something, and dress for more than mere warmth.

Thursday 6

Music videos. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (loved his propaganda image-makeover film!). «On est là» by DJ Shortcut, an admittedly difficult captioning job. Then System of a Down’s “Chop Suey”; Serj Tankian looks almost as Armenian as I do in unflattering light. I think there was a segment or something between these videos – a «La Bande 100 pareil ROCK» repeat, actually. The Armenians need to take themselves more seriously and write more substantively. «Comatose» by Grimskunk, a crashing, overdramatic, self-indulgent bore even today.

OK, first question. Was Frankie Grisé a walk-on in an Aero commercial?

What happened to Monday and Tuesday? I think I flubbed them. In fact, I know I did. So I set one of the VCRs (I’m now up to three) for Saturday and Sunday. I’m assuming the Monday listed below is actually Monday.

Monday 10

«Le mec du balcon»? Elsewhere, Fred has quite the right body type for that kind of shirt and apron.

Not sure the segment on teaching table manners was well-handled. Incomprehensible.

Nadyne covers lip balms. We did that alreadytwice. I liked the other segment better, with the mostly-French-speaking dermatologist and JS’s declaration that, on certain very difficult days, he feels like kissing a stick of butter. He should probably just sit down and eat ’er.

Tuesday 11

I hope this is the right day. Now, what is Frankie doing wearing a faux military sweater? My military sweater is real. (British.)

Reasonable initial segment by Fred on depression. Loved the segment with Fred in his underwear and sox dissing depressives as lazy.

Fred’s rich thick wavy chestnut hair looks almost good in a fauxhawk.

Now, back with depression. Didn’t I see a documentary (on CTV, no less) running brain scans of before treatment and after? The physiological basis seems indisputable after this many decades of research. Yet still the kids were permitted to claim depression is psychosomatic. (“Psychological” is the word they used. Well, of course it is. But they meant “psychosomatic.”)

Looks like the Voltistes put some effort into this one. Fred’s reportage on, of all things, deodorant is interrupted by a Pythonesque detour by JS and a trumpet. I loved the parking-garage and stairway-vestibule segmentettes in particular.

Why does Fred merely look thin while JS looks emaciated and skinny?

Wednesday 12

I’m a week behind, kids. Working on another project.

Frankie’s gay little T-shirt today is a symphony of moiré. First time on TV?

The suspiciously perky YorkU professor (reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde in her salad days) reiterates pop-psychology maxims about the biological nature of sexual attraction. Are these experimentally verified, I wonder? Quite possibly. But do they apply to inverts? It’s not as though there is any evolutionary advantage for dykes to be attracted to child-bearing hips.

Now, look. If you’re gonna traffic in Italian stereotypes (Omertà, anyone?), at least do so in an interesting way. Full props to the hair, makeup, and costume design viewed in the morphing portraits of the “Badda-Bingo” pub. Has Fred ever, in his entire life, looked more fuckable? (I do not refer to his Gars du balcon guise.)

And here he is stuck in a city of anglos. How is Mathieu Pichette’s dog?

If the Voltistes don’t stuff it, could be a winner.

Now, with Félix being all funny and perusing le sex-shop, didn’t Volt lose a golden opportunity to cast sex-positive harlot-surrogate Acadian Renée Gallien as proprietress?

Harlequin Romances unobtainable in French in Toronto? Ever heard of the Web?

Thursday 13

Music videos. Staff favourites for Valentine’s, tellingly. “Set It Off” by Peaches, a thudding bore and thoroughgoing irrelevancy. What a surprise: Staff harlot-surrogate Renée Gallien betrays her monoculturalist New Brunswick roots and nominates the racist «Gros zéro» by Yélo Molo as her fave video. The French and their famous good taste.

Superb performance by Nadyne in «Portrait d’un ancien chum.» Now, Boris... he’s trying hard. Nadyne’s impatience and sarcasm are, as they say, note-perfect.

Félix nominates “You Were Right” by Badly[-]Drawn Boy, which is not unenjoyable.

And, inevitably, the retread known as JS (what century, decade, province, and city is the poor dear living in?) nominates “Alive” by les Garçons-Beastie. Can we please get him a nutritionist, if not a personal shopper?

Monday 17

Nadyne is hostess! As God intended!

Imagine the horror of the Voltistes’ tour of the North of Ontario. Didn’t all of them put quite a bit of time already into the task of getting as far away from semilingual hicks as possible?

Or am I projecting?

The simple idea of uttering a sentence, in all seriousness, beginning with «Demain nous serons au Sturgeon Falls» is enough to make one question his reason to live.

Fred has got to lose that hat. It isn’t even a toque.

Nadyne wastes time (it is indeed “la bullshit”) at the psychic fair.

Bra sizing. Everything’s tits and “fuckfriends” with Renée. Seems to be solid advice nonetheless.

Think you could get a proper bra in New Brunswick? Give me a break.

I seem to recall Nadia Campbell’s piece on real-life eXXXtreme-sports actors from a while ago. It was likely so uninteresting I opted not to log it.

Tuesday 18

You realize nothing was noteworthy until the first video?

Félix’s hair, which appears to be emulating the solar sail on an interplanetary craft, makes him look like he’s wearing a rug. So he explained batteries; next get him to explain induction, which is how generators work.

And that is it.

Thursday 20

Um... what happened to Wednesday?

Qu’est-ce qu’il y a de up avec ça?

A collection of music videoclips. “Halo” by Soil, with questionable captioning. «La journée molle» by Capitaine Révolte, again with the suedehead. Vaguely reminiscent, if only during instrumental break, of the Ordinaires; remember them? “Starsuckers, Inc.” by Nine Inch Nails. “Red Alert” by – inevitably – Basement Jaxx. «Gros tas (de marde)» by Grimskunk, whom we are of course duty-bound to like.

Monday 24

Beavertails! In Ottawa! And a black guy actually ate one! It’s thinly-veiled advertising, but the tone was well-handled. I kept getting confused between queue and cul, of course.

Renée Gallien teaches us how to pack for a five-day trip, somehow overlooking feminist sex-positive accoutrements like dildos. Liked her packing tips, though.

Why am I liking les Gars en bleu much more than le Gars du balcon? Why? Later in the show, back-to-back comparisons were actually possible! Takes guts to wear them suits.

We do seem to be running a repeat of Fred’s interview with les Ordures ioniques. Again.

Also, kids, I watched La Haine in the original untitled undubbed uncaptioned Verlan this week, and almost understood it. Of course, it is essentially a silent film anyway, despite the nonstop jabber.

We are not liking Frankie’s fake blind person. Though it is actually rather droll. Is that correct contracted Braille in the extro? (French Braille is different, you know, as are its contractions. You think, with 26 combinations, they transliterate letter-by-letter? Blind readers have better things to do than read individual letters.) Also, should anyone be interested, DAISY talking-book software can permit highlighter-style annotations in some cases.

The Badda-Bingo poster is fantastic! It’s ultra-téléroman.

Tuesday 25

Fuck me with the recap show.

However, over the years, it has occurred to me that TVO’s creaky analogue edit suites (yes, I know, you have a couple of non-linears now – I watched Warth’s presentation) make the recap shows’ genre of visual smashups rather difficult to put together. Our editors have to keep a month of shows in their heads.

Wednesday 26

So I turned 38. Fuck me.


Just how exactly am I missing an episode here?

Thursday 27

Videos. “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC: I don’t think so. «1990» by Jean Leloup. “Wonderwall” by Oasis. I got up from a nap and turned on the television, and this was playing. While full consciousness returned, the simplistic and whiny melodies worked at a subsconscious level and I replayed the song on the reel-to-reel deck of my mind (I am 38) for the rest of the week.

How many members of the Volt staff would ever disclose their ages?

«Tassez-vous d’là» by les Colocs.