‘Volt’: The maudit anglophone fan page


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2003: October 1 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 1620 | 21 | 22 | 23

Thursday 1

I reserve the right not to bother with these cheapskate rerun shows.

Monday 6

International Teacher Day. Fred’s tiny line of a soul-patch manqué and off-cream blouson aren’t working, but his sparkling-white teeth are.

The chick on the student panel (all of whom speak adequate French for a change, even if two of them sound like FSL-speakers) looks shockingly like Mireille, the Volt financial advisorette.

And of course a French-language standby: The spelling test. Everyone makes mistakes. Génies en herbe or Les mots et les maux, anyone? If I could actually understand Nadia’s sentence – she should have run it to the camera one time fluently – I would have given it a go. By definition this isn’t the sort of thing you put up on a Web site. Except... as a sound file for transcription, which raises accessibility questions.

Also, who needs a padlock with a remote control (Laser Lock)? Especially when it’s hackable? (There’s no reason for that, by the way. Millions of combinations could be uniquely devised.)

Tuesday 7

I watched this show on first emission whilst lying near-comatose on the ill-named Heavenly Bed of the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, which Heavenly Bed had woken me up at 0440 hours that day. I was in town at a conference on Web accessibility with the feds. I found it rather circular to watch the French-language program from Toronto in the only large city in Ontario with a French-speaking population – where, in fact, two or possibly three Voltistes are actually from.

Then the phone rang and it was my gay-homunculus-bodybuilder-of-colour friend from 20 years ago. I twisted his arm, and he, his gay-homunculus-bodybuilder-engineer-from-Moncton boyfriend, and I went out for martinis (or moral equivalent [cranberry and soda]). I seem to recall falling asleep at some point, blacking out just after the first new instalment of le Gars du balcon, which, by the way, is already a classic of the running-gag genre.

Now that we see how nice Fred can look when we give him a wardrobe budget, it’s even more creditable that he’s willing to dress down in a wifebeater and act all stupid. If I were that skinny, I would be shy to reveal it. Then again, I’m a late-30s invert, and we always have to think before revealing what passes for our bodies. Straight guys just take their shirts off. Especially if they’re French. (You noticed Fred’s white culottes in the interstitials?)

Anyway, Frankie interviews some d00d who runs a Canadian rap magazine, Pound. No doubt it has appaling production values, doesn’t pay its writers, and reeks of mediocrity, being, as it is, Canadian.

Speaking of reeking: Nadia does the stinking rose. I rather like garlic myself, and garlic is itself an ancient word. I desperately want to try a credible all-vegetarian garlic soup.

The chick improbably named Dot Whitehouse (Mary’s daughter?) seems to combine Quebec avant-garde looks with solid, warm-hearted advice and an echt-anglo name.

On third trial, I finally understood what Ginette is saying in the Studio Météo promo. She’s got pretty big tits for a post-menopausal woman who never had her own family before her clock ran out.

Wednesday 8

By the time I got back home Wednesday night, I found that the power had been out briefly in my absence. All my VCRs are old, and the backup battery in the good one is dead, so when she goes out, she goes out. I seem to have today’s show but not the next day’s, as the power went out again for a moment or two. By the time I reprogrammed the deck, it was Friday.

Somebody needs an uninterruptible power supply. I’d be happy to start with curtains and a fresh coat of paint, though.

Word to whoever’s directing the episodes these days: When you do a tight shot of Fred, give us less neck and more fauxhawk.

Bif Naked’s French is appalling, but at the very least she’s straightedge, by her own attestation.

I like the Guys in Blue. You need to take it to a self-referential limit. Like surrounding them, THX 1138–style, with guys in green. Then greenscreen or bluescreen one set of them out of the picture. Can TFO swing that kind of wardrobe budget?

La Nuit sur l’étang. Who cares, really. And étang is such a strange word, apparently also ancient.

Internet “chronicle” with the new new kid, Martin “Not René” Simard.

Thursday 9

All music all the time. Love the Jewess’s PRIEZ POUR VOLT shirt.

“Smile[,] Empty Soul” by Bottom of a Bottle, which seems to be a lyric in that selfsame song. «Dieu se pique» by les Vulgaires machins (again).

Another airing of the fausse pub with Francine leaving what is obviously a commercial doorway, quite possibly located at Yonge & Eglinton, and not a residential one. Thrice.

«J’ai oublié» by Capitaine Révolte, with the completely-outdated raspy joual vocals and ancient instruments. What is this, Offenbach? Even one-hit wonder Manau beats the shit out of this.

“I Need More Love” by Robert Randolph and [the] Family Band is oddly Thomas Trio–esque.

“Boys and Girls” by Good Charlotte, whom I am embarrassed to say I find horribly, horribly catchy. And, Lord help me, the singer has a fauxhawk.

Actually, could Volt please assist me by posting somewhere a nice clear hi-res photo of Fred’s fauxhawk? There are almost no photographs of that hairstyle online. And few such hairstyles will be rich chocolate brown.

We’re like two or is it three weeks into the new “season” of Volt, and it’s working like a well-oiled machine. Good smart lovable kids onscreen, nonstupid topics so far, an innovation here and there, though not really much of that. I’m perfectly happy to be perfectly happy. I guess I don’t need much to rail against after all.

If something to rail against should come up, though....

And I guess I didn’t miss any of this week’s episodes.

Monday 13

Our opening segment on feng shui was a borefest and is, at root, superstitious bullshit. I suppose it made the show because the chick pushing it, who is far too young to understand any of this nonsense, speaks French.

I gave Crystals et Monique two goes and still didn’t think they were funny. Not wild about the new show opening, either, except the final wipe to the hideous title card.

Faux finishes with Renée. Very New Brunswick. How is this any different from sponge-painting? Oh, wait – the third example given uses an actual sponge that was formerly a living creature with a nervous system. If that’s my option, I’ll stick with institutional white.

Wow, how morbid! They get this nervous portly red-haired Francophone mortician in to give us a discourse on makeup for the dead. We’d need a real patient, though!

Tuesday 14

Chef Julien-Pierre Bain-Marie welcomes us, looking like Jean-François Porchez. (Who?) Honouring the French cultural heritage in Canada, we learn to cook poutine. I’d rather starve.

And then 15 interminable minutes of French-speaking Canadians of different backgrounds showcasing their plainly-prepared national dishes. Perogies, for heaven’s sake.

Three puny minutes of coverage of the graffiti festival?

The episode is saved, absolutely saved, by the viewer suggestion «Vous devriez fair un extraterrestre en G-string qui roule en skate.» And then the 15 most pleasing seconds of my day: A Voltiste in a green bodysuit and silver overlaid thong barely avoiding getting plastered by traffic on a quiet Yonge & Eg residential street.

That’s why I love the show.

Wednesday 15

What happened to this episode? I think I have erred somewhere.

Thursday 16

All videos all the time. I kind of like the plain interview format we’re using now. It demonstrates that the on-staff Jewess does her research.

“That’s OK” by Sowatt, who are so weird (what’s this about speaking English in Quebec City?) it took Francine a minute and a half of explanation to make them only slightly less obscure. “Saturday Morning” by those fatalists the Eels. (Loved Francine’s monologue on the circle of death around the singer. I should really look that up.)

Where is Jean-Louis Pecci when we need him? I suppose that’s a loaded question given one specific detail of history.

“Another Perfect Day” by American Hi-Fi (or, as it was Chyroned, “Another perfect day”: We capitalize important words in titles in English, kids). “Too Bad About Your Girl” by the Donnas, whom I rather like. “Revolution 909” by Daft Punk. Great selection for International Food Day, since it’s essentially a subtitled cooking video. A credible tomato sauce. Love the way it’s used narratively: Cop eats his mom’s spaghetti (cold?) and gets sauce over his shirt, which Klub Kidz™ notice when they get raided. Looks like a tracheotomy.

If the Michel Gondry retrospective is travelling the U.S., why doesn’t Volt launch its own? One gondryist video per day for a couple of weeks. Oh, and do please dig up “Loneliness” by DJ Tomcat, if only for the organs.

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

Well, time to finally transcribe my favourite Volt fausse pub, to the extent I am capable.

– Mike, pourquoi est-ce que tu me regardes comme ça pour? Mike, pourquoi es-tu comme ceci? Qu’est-ce qu’il y en a?

– Krystle, c’est hard pour moi de te dire ceci. Moi, je veux sortir avec toi. J’aime toi.

– Mike, de quoi tu parles de?

– Tu es ma printempts fleur, mon espoir, la une que je vis pour.

– Ben moi, j’aime pas toi back, OK?

– Wait une seconde. J’ai pas fini de... dipper.

– Mike, j’feel pas la même que toi. That’s all.

– Faut que je m’en vas then. Puis je viendrai pas back.

– Fine, then. Prend soins. Non! Stay icitte. Assis-toi. Mike, est-ce que quelqu’un a déjà dit à toi que tu ressembles à Roy Dupuis?

– Non.

– C’est vrai.

And then I flub the punchlines, even after 20 viewings. I’m FSL. What can I say.

One bumped into Steve “THE DIGGER” Diguer outside the Senior Citizen Timothy’s at 0200 the other night. No doubt within hours the contents of the conversation were relayed, perhaps accurately, to one or possibly more Voltistes.

Monday 20

Volt finally does a double-ender with its Ottawa office! In any event, Nadyne teaches us how to manipulate decorative gourds.

Shocking degree of truth in the comparison between figure-skateboarding, as we might as well call it now. I suppose the difference is that “le skate” is less gay.

Marc (Keelan-)Bishop is back from London? What the hell?! And what does he mean he was editor-in-chief of a magazine? Quickie advertorial on Illustrator, whose purpose here I don’t understand.

Tuesday 21

What is Fred wearing today? Some postmodern Western shirt from Value Village?

At any rate, it’s one of Volt’s regular sessions with doctors – this time, the malady is bad breath.

And – andVolt fails to miss an opportunity and does run the music...

Nosey is well and truly forgotten now!

I absolutely cannot watch that music video. I frigging cannot. Yikes! For some reason, the meaningless lyrics work well with the punchy pop-punk sound and sneering delivery.

OK, but why did Renée fail to document the fact that every over-the-counter mouthwash contains alcohol? Anyone remember the magazine advertisement of a martini glass and cocktail olive swimming in Scope?

Who is this Martin Simard and what qualifies him to “chronicle” the Web? I love the way he drops words like “anyway” and “dealer” (v.) into his French.

Wednesday 22

The Salads seem like a perfectly jolly pot-smoking, beer-chugging pop-ska-punk group. Who’s gonne be the first of the gang to do time? The first of the gang to die?

They’re fun enough. They could use a bit of meat on the bones, though, and perhaps additional sodomy.

Cola Volt! Simon in a kilt.

By the way, kids, isn’t Simon coming back to town for a segment or two?

Studio Météo has really the bestest pacing. Slow-slow-slow. Loved the Macintosh startup chime and canned IBM XT hard-drive SFX on the weather robot, which looks oddly like an LG all-in-one clothes washer.

Ginette merits her own T-shirt, if not her own show.

Frankie “chronicles” music. Why have two different people this week asked me if I have heard the new Outkast? And Iam has a new album? (Why can youse never play the correct Iam video?)

Brett Gurewitz worked on a French punk album?

Fred needs to re-grow his sideburns. Oh, but wait! That comes up a second later whilst interviewing le Nombre! They even, finally, have a French word for it: rouflaquette.

Thursday 23

Vidoclips. Today we’re crowded around the ruby iMac. I liked the interview format better – greater gravitas.

“Amsterdam” by Guster, with mildly-garbled captions (that occasional problem of characters added to ends of lines). «Men Malade Yo» by Muzion: Whatever. «Frotti-Frotta’ by a man with the worst handle in show business, Doc Gyneco. An artlessly overexposed, ill-entitled «Ça va brasser» by Swing, who do not. “Holes in You” by Konflit Dramatik, who continue not to matter in the slightest.

And some kind of cops-’n’-robbers fausse pub. We get these a lot, don’t we?

Monday 27

Well, Fred’s wearing his tragically-misguided cream long-sleeved T-shirt again. Isn’t that the colour of milky, adulterated ice-cream colours?

But the Guys in Blue have escaped the “exurban” Yonge & Eg gulag. Now they’ve made it all the way down to Queen St.! Now drive 15 minutes east and say hello. I can spot you from my window no · fucking · problem.

I’m ignoring this whole nonsense of the Night of the Pond. Who, in fact, cares?

Nadia interviews a trampolinist. I seem to recall a previous trampolining story. Today, this one deals with girls. I suppose it’s their turn.

Um. A Ouija board? The Morrissey song was better.

Then again, I have an anecdote there, too.

A strange discursion on the origin of Hallowe’en by a young Francophone who is hardly in a position of expertise. What’s this about covering up a mirror, also lighting it with candles?

It is superexclusively revealed by Fred that l’équipe made it to Zig’s, the fagbar in Sudbury. «Et J.S. n’a pas mal aimé Luc, le barman.» Pictures, people! I need pictures!

(Is that where poor beleagured Guy is working now?)

Tuesday 28

Wait. Did Fred cut the sleeves off his creamsicle jumper?

The pre-Hallowe’en episode, because TFO can’t spring for another show on the Friday. What’s Nadia doing wrapped in alumin(i)um foil, labeled “Meatloaf”?

Renée’s costume of a box whose sides reveal a fridge, a Lego brick, a Rubik’s cube, and a die was a winner. A bitch to get onto the streetcar, what with the inaccessible narrow doors and the staircases, but still. The matching laundry baskets work as a pair, but not singly. And the claimed politically-incorrect costume of the (pope!) tard in a chair is straight out of Brain Candy: Cancer Boy, anyone?

A lengthy presentation by le nouveau Frankie on Catholic methods of preparing the dead. Only the French would care.

Wednesday 29

A rerun-clip show. I think not.

Thursday 30

My eyebrows scraped the ceiling upon witnessing Francine in drag as le Gars du Balcon and Fred as Monique Goldbloom. Meta, and it takes guts!

“Golden Retriever” by Super Furry Animals.

But then they kill it by reverting to the (admittedly-preferred) interview format as their real selves, though still in drag. Go all the way, for heaven’s sake!

And what’s with the rerun of «La Bande 100 pareil ROCK»?

»Sonne« by Rammstein. “Gran Manje” by Freeworm, whoever or whatever they or or that is. «Paranoïa» by Vénus 3. “Ape Dos Mil” by Glassjaw, with destroyed captions – well beyond garbled.