Sunday, December 28, 2008




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good review of the 'New Bond'

I think Daniel Craig has much potential but I agree with Andy Cohen below that this new bond is just another action star. Not the James bond we've come to know and love.

"The spy who failed me

By Andrew Cohen [Ottawa Citizen] December 16, 2008

The Arctic is melting and the automakers are collapsing. Afghanistan is failing, malaria is rising and governments are fiddling.

Canada is last or near last in the world on the environment and in early childcare. We are not as competitive, productive or healthy as we were a generation ago. We may not win our traditional seat on the UN Security Council next year.

For all that, though, can we talk of James Bond? Can we ponder whether his demise reflects a world in free fall? Could they not have spared us his unfortunate makeover at the moment we need him most?

Flee to the multiplex to escape the bad news and you find no relief in Quantum of Solace, the 22nd Bond film. If you are looking for the James Bond you used to know -- like Christmases past -- good luck. You won't recognize him; if you do, you won't like him.

That's because James Bond has been reinvented. He hasn't heard that the greatest menace facing the world today is not Iran, Korea or al-Qaeda. It is his metamorphosis into a poster boy for 21st century angst, revenge, psychosis, even love.

Now he's a brooding, clinical killer who dispatches everyone who crosses him with wordless efficiency. He badly needs a course in anger management and sensitivity training.
Poor guy. They killed him to re-create him. He's the victim of identity theft. It's the end of everything for those who loved James Bond, whoever played him, as a paragon of elegance, brio, wit, savoir faire, grace, and detachment. Not to mention shaken martinis, creaseless dinner jackets, expanding wristwatches, exploding fountain pens and bountiful décolletage.
The remaking of James Bond began in Casino Royale. It wasn't just that Daniel Craig, who succeeded the superb Pierce Brosnan, was blonde rather than dark. We could live with that. It's that this Bond is without irony or humour. Worse, he's vulnerable.

Yes, vulnerable. James Bond has driven into walls and fallen through glass and leaped off dams. He has been seared, bruised, and gouged. But he has never been seriously hurt. In Casino Royale, Agent 007 is tied to a chair and tortured. He suffers. This isn't right.
Worse, he's hurt by a woman. Quantum of Solace is about avenging the death of his lover, Vesper Lynd, whom he lost in the last watery scene in Venice in Casino Royale. So he kills everyone in his way so successfully that his masters in London recall him.

For Bond, women have always been bedmates, not soulmates. This was how Ian Fleming saw the sexes when he wrote the stories in the 1950s.

Now women matter. Indeed, Bond is a monk with fashion sense, no longer a Lothario with a licence to kill. In Quantum of Solace, there is some hope for the normally voracious Bond when the fetching Agent Fields appears, but she doesn't last long.

Women are not the only problem with the new Bond.This James doesn't really care what he eats or drinks. It is incomprehensible that Daniel Craig would be able to order a Pinot Noir 1973 or choose the right fork to use with fish. Or know the seasonal run of the tides off Bangladesh or the history of the frescoes of every church in Sienna.

This is the élan that made James Bond. It was also exotica (sea to desert to forest to city), gadgetry (cars, cameras, attaché cases), villainy (odd, grotesque) and femininity (spies as sexpots).

Sure, Bond still looks good in a dinner jacket. There are cars in Quantum of Solace, as well as boats, trains and planes, and action in one scene after another. Presumably, this is the rush of adrenalin today's audiences want.

Years ago, they turned James into Jimmy and it diminished the franchise. Today, they have turned James Bond into Jason Bourne, and it has changed the franchise.
Today's Bond is troubled, consumed and obsessive, like Bourne. He is dark, lugubrious, mirthless. In his trilogy of thrillers, Jason Bourne is either searching for himself or running from himself.

But the problem with the new James Bond is more basic than that. Where is the eccentric, white-coated Q, or a worthy successor, to show an insouciant Bond the latest toys from his laboratory? Where is the Bond who could happily drive a tank through city streets with a Winged Victory lodged on its turret, or pilot a speedboat into the Thames, go under, come up, knot his tie, spit out a fish and keep driving?

Now, that was Bond!

As a child, James Bond enchanted us. Seeing From Russia With Love for the first time was a rite of passage. Today, Bond is so explicit -- violence, not sex -- that you can't bring a child under 13.

Ah, Bond. Quantum of Excess.

Andrew Cohen is the author of Extraordinary Canadians: Lester B. Pearson."

Monday, December 15, 2008


Things are not good today. Liz's grandmother passed away on sunday. Its not that it was unexpected but it is still a sad day.

There has also be an incident with a co-worker that I can't talk about. Just to say, keep a few good thoughts, positive mojo, and prayers that everything is ok.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008


So Ottawa's first major snow storm of the year hit yesterday (the system stretched from michigan diagonally up to cape breton and from northern NY state to Sudbury. This thing was huge. We got by my driveway measurements about 2 feet of snow. At least.

Making things worse the Ottawa Transit system is on stike. So given these two things I'm opting to work from home today.

Its a much nicer place to be than the office. But I am still getting work done when the system isn't booting me off.



Monday, December 08, 2008


Canada's government has gone loopy.

On the one hand you have the PM who refuses to give up power even though a majority of elected MPs were ready to form a government. Then you've got our Governal General who is letting the PM shut down parliament to retain power he is now has no legitimacy to weild.

As a result of this the leader of the opposition made a fool of himself trying to shore up support for the coalition with a video statement that looks like it was shot by a 5 year old with a cell phone and delivered 1 hr late to TV networks. As a result he has now resigned.

The coalition is now in jeopardy, the liberals are trying to get one of their leadership contenders 'appointed' interim leader with little regard for the other candidate. Truth be know I think I'd prefer Ignatieff to Rae but the point is that the liberals are becoming quite harper-esque in their pursuit to appoint a leader before the convention in May.

Politics in this country now seem beyond uncivil and risk become undemocratic and unconstitutional. Worse, no one seems to care provided the politicians stay far away from us. When will Canadians demand better of ALL their politicians.



Thursday, December 04, 2008


The GG has agreed to grant the request of the PM to prorogue parliament despite the fact that the house of commons has lost confidence in the government and despite the fact that they have formally agreed to govern as a coalition.

I really don't understand this. Rather than accepting the lack of confidence and a democratically elected coalition the GG has decided to allow the government to survive (despite no confidence), without democratic parliamentary proceedings.

So as a result we now have a government that consists of a cabinet, suspended parliament and an ignored offer to form a coalition (and keep parliament working) of democratically elected members.

This is not good. Jan 26th can't come soon enough. At that point we'll have another attempt at a coalition which I hope the GG will have the sense to accept this time, or the coalition will fall apart leading to harper continuing in aminorty situation or an election.

Time will tell but the GG made a bad call on this one.



Monday, December 01, 2008


Provided this coalition lasts at least 6 months and none of the coalition partners do anything to truly stupid things are looking up. Harper will finally be sent packing and maybe some common sense will return to running the country. Although that has yet to be seen. Still, its worth a shot after too many years of neo-con rule.