mlbright's shared items

M-L's occasional ramblings.

Monday, February 26, 2007


There are 2 songs that never cease to be played in elevators, shops and malls all over Toronto:

"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
"Closing Time" by Semisonic

I absolutely hate these 2 songs and I wish I would never hear them again. That is, however, an impossibility. Have I put unpleasant sounds into your head? Sorry: go and listen to your favorite music to save yourself from meltdown. If you can't remember the songs (because there's no way you haven't heard them), consider yourself lucky.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I'm watching the Oscars: I'm in a pool this year and so far I'm doing very well. Ellen DeGeneres is hilarious.


According to this study, I've got the IQ (or attention span) of a total stoner. I've read about another study that came to a similar conclusion, I think. It was slashdotted.

Le Penis presents his plan

The Martyloo writing process is as follows: 1) Martyloo gets an idea that might bloggable or thinks of a story worth telling. 2) Martyloo imagines how he might write this on a blog. 3) Martyloo fails to string two words together on his expensive computer and wallows in his abject failure to a) express himself and b) use and contribute to the hinterweb he so loves.

Well time to cut the crap and just point to the story, when it can't be created.

I've been following the French presidential race in some detail for a long time. Some find it intolerable but I find the Sarko vs. Ségo battle to be fascinating. More so than in Canada, it seems like politics is a more passionate and meaningful activity in France, probably because the state has a more important role in society than in the overwhelming majority of the anglophone world.

Ségo and Sarko are 2 candidates that are popular in a rock star sort of way. Populist and/or popular depending your point of view, I suppose. I've read Sarkozy's book, Ségolène Royal's Paris-Match interview, discussed politics with a highly ranked French civil servant (my aunt, who worked for Ségo a few years ago), read countless articles on,, blogs. I've come to some important conclusions for myself , and I will share them with you.

There is an economic crisis in France. The current social safety net is completely unsustainable, and it is degrading. Whatever cash Ségolène Royal pulls out of her ass isn't going to save it. In fact, I think Ségo doesn't have cash up her ass: it's her head. She hasn't even costed her grand plans to alleviate the suffering of the masses. When I was in France a couple of months ago, I saw trailer parks so appalling they made Sunnyvale look like the Jardin du Luxembourg. Ségo will do nothing to change this. Nicolas Sarkozy is much more honest about the severity of the problem, and is much more realistic about its solutions. This is difficult for die-hard socialists to swallow, just like it's difficult for them to accept that France is part of a global capitalist trade system that still provides livelihood for most of its citizens.

Then there is Le Pen, who recently explained his presidential campaign platform. He is a disgrace, an embarrassment and would be a disaster for France. Why is he still on the scene? It has been well argued, and it makes complete sense to me, that the huge dick that is Le Pen could only garner so many votes in France if right-wing reforms have had absolutely no chance of being implemented. Let me explain.

France is a socialist country. For Canadians, imagine Jack Layton being the leader of Canada: that's an appropriate parallel. For Americans, there's simply no possible comparison. On a global political spectrum, Sarko is economically a red liberal. If he were to be elected, there is no way that the social safety net would be dismantled, as his opponents want everyone to believe. That's like saying that Hilary Clinton would nationalize the American automotive industry: it's not going to happen. Similarly, Le Pen will never get elected.

What has happened is that all the financial and economic reforms that occurred during the 1990s in the rest of Europe and in Canada (remember the Liberals balancing the budget?) never happened in France. The socialist promise of happiness for all was never delivered, and sensible economic reforms were systematically buried. This is the kind of environment where Le Pen and extremists thrive: they present themselves as a radical departure from a paralyzed and broken system.

Luckily, more sensible politicians exist on the right today: Nicolas Sarkozy and François Bayrou. Unfortunately, if you are a leftist, the options are awful.

That's it in a nutshell. You heard it here. Not first, but still here.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The new Kevin Costner

Nicholas Cage has become the new Kevin Costner: everything he does is crap.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Shins

I didn't post in the entire month of January 2007. This is a record low, even though my three readers probably haven't noticed since I don't post frequently anyway.

Much has happened since 2006. I went to France before Christmas with Lemon. We had a smashing time. I hoped to post about our adventures, but so far I only have pictures, a few notes and a old Michelin map with our Parisian touristic footprint. Something to Google map.

Most of my blog post ideas fall by the wayside as I daydream at work: I can't access Blogger and quickly upload them as any serious blogger would.


As you know, I'm not up to date on most things pop culture these days, but
I've listened to the new album by The Shins, entitled "Wincing the
night away". It's quite smashing. Think of The Smiths, slightly more
pop, much less self-indulgent.

If there's anything better out there right now, I welcome your recommendations.