Hey there, David Isbister here. Every year’s end, I put together a bunch of things that inspired me, repulsed me, caused me to smile, or aggravated me. I call it THE HITS AND SHITS LIST. Hits are good. Shits are bad. Wherever possible, I will include links to further reading and vids so you can check it for yourself. This year’s is lengthy, so I shall present it to you in healthy chunks that are easy to chew. With your mind. MIND CHEW. Once all of the CHUNKS have been MIND CHEWED, I’ll put the entire giant list up, so your MIND can CHEW it in a new context. Now that you are familiar with the premise, here is today’s CHUNK:
HIT!! HIT!! HIT!!
MERCY FOR ANIMALS, and their expose of Canadian pork industries. It goes without saying that I would rather there was never any reason to investigate or secretly record the pork industry, ( or perhaps the fantasy that it not exist at all) so really this HIT is in response to a whole lot of SHIT.
A huge hit; deserving of much commendation to Mercy For Animals for their dedicated and tireless efforts in obtaining footage of the pork industry in Canada. How this highly subsidized and non-sustainable industry operates in Canada should be of strong public interest, and this proved that the industry’s archaic guidelines allow for systemic cruelty and lowered standards of safety. Credit is also due to CTV’s W5 for airing an adequately comprehensive account of this abuse and standing behind the footage.
Originally, the pork industry issued statements agreeing that the video depicts “standard practices and procedures that are within acceptable limits of the law.” This statement was in direct reference to the body slamming of piglets to “humanely euthanize” them, (left “humanely” to twitch and die slowly on the floor, or heaped into a shopping cart of other dead and dying piglets), the practice of castrating male piglets without any pain relief or precautions past restraining the animal, and the the use of farrowing crates which have been recognized in the UK and most of Europe as unnecessary, cruel, and posing health risks to animal and human. Now other pork boards like that of Ontario have been forced to take a stance that seems cautiously in favour of improved methods, or at least flowering up the language to dodge the heat. Other regulatory bodies like provincial veterinary councils are involved in reviewing and investigating, and even if some changes occur, they will likely not address the true costs of subsidizing this industry to seem even break with today’s feed prices and consumer desires. Ten pounds of plant based feed is necessary to produce just one pound of pork… Is that sustainable? Is the way we treat domestic barn animals ok? Watch and see what you think. But a warning - it’s real, graphic, and intense.
view the footage here
…shit… shit… shit…
THE GREATER VANCOUVER ZOO. I have been constantly vocal about my opposition to this piece of crap tourist trap. This year, I am ESPECIALLY incensed with them because of the THREE DEAD GIRAFFES IN ONE YEAR. But the zoo has long been a tumultuous and controversy-addled facility. Their arrogant keeping of desert species in a northern climate through warnings to stop for the sake of the animals, their stubborn rejection that they are ever to blame for these happenings- it makes me ill. Instead of babbling on here, please read my timeline of (Aldergrove) zoo incidents I have unhappily compiled over the years, and BOYCOTT THE ZOO.
(and the Vancouver Aquarium too.)
Various Music, TV, Mainstream Media
(Local music mentions, and News/Election media in the next installment)
HIT!! HIT!! HIT!!
MUSE, The Second Law: I am slightly cautious in calling this record a hit. A fair departure for the band, the record still showcases many of the elements Muse fans would be familiar with, but newer elements and nods to other modern influences punctuate this record with colour. Certain moments are a bit over the top, a bit awkward in a way, but it seems like Matthew Bellamy and company are still glorious, gifted musicians, but making some initial attempts at moving away from their bread and butter sound, and seeking some new territory.
GOTYE, Bronte: We all know the ubiquitous hit “Somebody I Used to Know,” but Gotye’s song about his dog is touching, bittersweet, and beautiful. This is the track in my opinion that is the true gem, with a super cute video. CHECK IT OUT.
OTHER AWESOME MUSIC IN 2012:
Serj Tankian, Harakiri.
Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…
Beach Boys, That’s Why God Made the Radio
Dwight Yoakam, A Heart Like Mine
Marilyn Manson, No Reflection (and don’t hate. He has brought back much of the delivery and feel of Mechanical Animals, and much of the record hearkens to Antichrist Superstar as well. Lots of the “star making” sound from his early days. If you like that, you’ll like this record.)
THE JEFF PROBST SHOW: I am not one for daytime TV (even though fiery judge Marilyn Milian has made an appearance in the HITS section in a previous year) but I just can’t help liking Jeff Probst’s show. His chipper doofiness mixed with his ability to ask what the average person is thinking makes his show a decent view, even though some of the subject matter seems to be reaching as he struggles as a newcomer to attract bigger name guests and find hot button topics. His “Guys on the Couch” segment, and his “Ambush Adventure” challenges show a direction and thoughtfulness not present in the usual drivel of Daytime TV. To be balanced, a few of his shows have been awful, with Jeff meandering through unfamiliar subject matter. These moments always are tempered by his forced smile and deferral to his wife who works on the show. And can I be honest? There are always cut shots to women in the studio audience who are FEROCIOUS HOT. Handsome fellas too! Check it out. If you like him on Survivor, you’ll like his take on the everyman interviewer.
OTHER TV HITS: Whale Wars, American Pickers, The Voice.
GUILTY PLEASURE: American Restorations, Storage Wars
…shit… shit… shit…
HONEY BOO BOO. When Jersey Shore and its stupid monoliths of douchebaggery shuffled from the airwaves, many of us must have breathed a collective sigh of relief, thinking that we’d stop hearing about stupid incessant bullshit that had no bearing, importance, or relevance to any REAL THING AT ALL. Sadly, a pint sized child beauty pageant contestant would come and prove us all capable of really so much less.
There are many reasons why this show is TOTAL SHIT. First, lavishing fame and an abundance of attention on a child that rewards and glorifies her mother’s obviously terrible choices shows more of the tragic, desperate, clamourous, and self-obsession we aspire to reach repeatedly in North America. Fame is valued even over an unhealthy child’s life. She has hilarious catch phrases, so it’s okay to be voyeurs in her inevitable journey to a troubled adulthood. Right? She is trashy, seems to be from a less educated background, and is alarmingly naive. This is a reason to watch in captivated horror as we all collectively feel better about our own plight. Right?
ALL OF THESE ARE ALSO TV SHITS: Swamp Hunters, Duck Dynasty, Hog Hunters, and all of the other shows featuring lowlife idiots killing or hunting something and scripting the most inane, intelligence insulting crap they can dredge up.
MUSIC: Other than MOST OF ALL MUSIC, haha- I was disappointed with the new Ben Folds Five record, especially since it had been so painfully long. The record sounded like them, somewhat, and had plenty of nerdy cool moments, but seemed to lack the indie tooth it used to bite with.
Part 3 tomorrow! Happy New Year!