Sunday, April 26, 2009

VICTOR

Cbc Television, Sunday April 26, 8:00 p.m.

Victor is the story of the life of Victor Davis, the Canadian Olympic swim champion. It was written by and stars another Canadian Olympic swimming champion, Mark Lutz. Also in the film are Ron Lee (I finally learned his name) as Cliff, Victor's coach, and Dan Duran as the sports announcer.

This film tells the story of Victor's life, returning over and over to scenes of him in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run driver, the event that ended his life in 1989. I found this to be a compelling film, if a bit confusing due to the plot jumping around.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DELIVER US FROM EVIL

TVO, Wednesday April 22, 10:00 p.m.

Deliver Us From Evil is a documentary about a Catholic preest, Oliver O'Grady who molested boys and girls for thirty years and got away with it.

The documentary tells the stories of how he got close to some of his victims, and how all the higher-ups protected him, not taking serious action when they should have and moving him to different parishes. Though the story is a familiar one, this is an excellent documentary because it really lays the story out. It explains all parts of the story, and gives the non-Catholic insights into the Catholic mindset.

In fact, those insights were the thing I found most striking about this film. It explains how the Catholics are told to be "docile, obedient followers." It talks about how family's let the preest get close to them, letting him stay at their house on his days off (if he doesn't have any family within driving distance, of course.) This means that the children see the preest at church, at home and at school, which as one of the victims says in the film, "... as a Catholic, is your (whole) life."

The film also talks about the people's reliance on the preest. The Catholic church teaches that salvation is only through the Catholic church. Catholics see Communion as the most important thing. The preest has allmost this God-like status because he is the only one, according to church teaching with the power to turn the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. O'Grady says he would get people calling him up twice a day asking him things like, "What shall I have for dinner."

He said, "Whatever you like. You've had dinner before, you'll have dinner again."

I must say, this is the only part of the film were I feel any good feeling toward O'Grady in any way.

On the down side, I felt this film could have used far less descriptions of the specific acts O'Grady performed on those little boys and girls. I know the kinds of things those people do, and I don't need exact details. There are a few instances in the film when it is merited, like when one male victim describes being forced, but other than that the graphic descriptions are unnecissary.

Still, this film is a must-see for a good example of a pedophile preest, the hierarchy that protected him and the mindset of the people whose children were victims.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NEW AM 740 TORONTO ADS

I don't know about the new TV ads for Toronto's Am 740. They make it seem like the morning team talks mostly about themselves rather than presenting an entertaining morning show.

To see the ads, click the title of this post and follow the links.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

REPLY AWL

The Feb. 29-March 2 issue of USA Weekend contains an article on St. Joseph's Day, a Catholic observance. The article says, "legend has it, during a medieval drought and famine, Sicilians prayed to St. Joseph, the patron of workers and the guardian of family. When the famine subsided, they attributed it to the saint and promised to honor him each year with a feast."

So, rather than thanking God for relief from the drought and famine, they attributed it to a saint. The feast includes fava beans because tradition holds that fava beans are associated with good luck since they survived the drought. Luck and a supposedly Christian sect? It does not compute.

An article from the January 8, 2008 edition of the Jersey Journal contains a column saying that Girl Scout cookies should be banned. This is a humourous piece, but it isn't so far off from the way some people seriously think.

TILLY

Tonight I went to a dessert social that was a fundraiser for our local crisis pregnancy centre. The Quinte Youth Alliance put on the play Tilly, based on the novel of the same name by Frank Perreti.

The actors did an excellent job. They knew their lines perfectly and the performance went off without a hitch. The play tells a good story and has a message or two that needs to be heard.

The story is about Cathy Ross, a woman who goes to a funeral and sees a woman weeping at a grave with the name Tilly etched on the tombstone. The proverbial biscuit is dipped in the tea and all Cathy's memories come flooding back. Cathy and her husband Dan eventually learn that Tilly is the name of the baby Cathy aborted nine years earlier. The woman at the abortion clinic gave her a funeral.

While the performance and the basic story are good, I have a problem with some aspects of this story.

First and foremost, the plot is very underdeveloped. The novel itself is only 126 pages. The characters are not given time to develop and the reasons for why they did what they did are never clear. From a literary standpoint, it should have been a much longer novel, taking us back to when Cathy got pregnant and leading up to the time nine years in the future when the events of the novel take place. Additionally, Perreti should have devoted part of the novel to telling the back story of Anita Mendoza, the woman at the abortion clinic, as well as that of the woman at the funeral home.

Second, there are too many loose ends. It's never clear whether Cathy and Dan are Christians. Cathy mentions that she used to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to her kids when they were little. This would seem to indicate that she has been a Christian for a number of years, but if she was a Christian at the time she became pregnant with Tilly, why did she have the abortion? It's never explicitly stated what the Ross's spiritual standing is.

Also, Anita Mendoza is the woman who worked at the abortion clinic. She had her pastor perform the ceremony for Tilly. It's indicated, in the play at least, that Mendoza was a new Christian. If she was a Christian, why was she working at the abortion clinic? I assume that she had just recently become a Christian and was trying to get out of her job there, but whether this is the case or not is never made clear.

Cathy eventually discovers that Tilly and God have forgiven her for aborting Tilly, but whether Cathy becomes a Christian or not is never revealed. What happens to her? Does she go on to lead a Christian life?

Most importantly, we are never clearly told why Cathy aborted Tilly in the first place. After the play, the director of the crisis pregnancy centre said that in the novel, it said that Cathy and Dan didn't want to have any more children. However, from the reviews I've read on Amazon, this isn't made clear in the novel.

Third, the characters are not developed (because the plot is not developed.) As I said above, there needed to be a lot more of a back story.

On a positive note, the story does contain some messages that need to be heard, particularly that abortion hurts everybody. The woman feels guilty for years and the other people involved feel hurt by it, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SONG REVIEW: LOVE LETTER TO JAPAN: THE BIRD AND THE BEE

This is a catchy song which can be described as pop. However, it is not the crummy generic pop you hear on commercial radio. It has real lyrics. Also unlike commercial pop, it is neither sappy (the traditional lagoon moon June sort of thing) or dirty. It's just a catchy, honest love song.

Hear it here.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWYoIoqJURA

Friday, April 10, 2009

CRUMMIER AND CRUMMIER

I swear mainstream media gets crummier by the day.

Tuesday, I listened to the news on both Cjbq and 91x (the local college station.) In the weather forecast, both stations gave the weather for that day and that night, then said the weather would be getting warmer, reaching a high of nine on Saturday. It left me thinking, what horrible weather are we going to have between now and Saturday that they don't want to tell us about? Fortunately it's been nice since yesterday.

Today at 10:00, I went to listen to the news on Cjbq. The announcer said his name, gave a weather forecast, then gave the usual speel they have to give concerning the sponsor. The newscast then ended and I heard, "Merry Christmas from Cjbq."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CKRZ OHSWEKEN GOES OFF THE AIR

I just found out today that Ckrz-fm in Ohsweken went off the air a little over two months ago.

I first heard Ckrz when I was going to the school for the blind. At first, I thought it was stupid. Then, in my last year I developed a new appreciation for it as it showed me the culture of the Six Nations reserve. I had listened to it over the internet in the last couple of years and appreciated the eclectic music.