Sunday, January 23, 2005

But Somehow Not Surprised

* From the January 2005 issue of Toronto Life, specifically the David Macfarlane profile of David Miller (which Lynn Crosbie yesterday described as a "hot-oil massage"):

When the teachers and students of Lakefield voted for head boy, the results were by no means as predictable as they might seem to a retrospective observer now….. There were other candidates who appeared to have a more obvious claim to the position. But when the tally was made, Miller had won overwhelmingly."We were all somehow surprised," recalls his friend and former classmate Nick Lewis, now a Toronto investment banker, "but somehow not surprised."

Toronto Life employs many talented editors. How did that unquote slip past every last one of them?

* Remember last year, when Robert Fulford attacked Edward Greenspon’s Saturday ramblings? ("Greenspon’s ‘Letter from the Editor,’ which appears in a prominent position on Page Two, may be the most spectacular example in current Canadian journalism of a bad idea badly executed…. Editorial problems may excite him … but they’re no fun to read about. They’re dreary, even for people in the business.") Well, Greenspon has been MIA from the Globe for the last two Saturdays. I was somehow surprised to see that Greenspon decided to retreat, but somehow not surprised.

* A more serious MIA is the entire Review & Books section of the Saturday Post. I was somehow surprised to learn about the latest cost-cutting measure, but somehow not surprised. I am disappointed, not only because books editor Liza Cooperman was doing a great job, but because this means the Globe now has even less reason to innovate within the dreary little pages of LevinLand.

* Two articles about Bright Eyes in less than a week from Carl Wilson in the Globe. Wilson has a phenomenally sharp mind and an excellent blog. The repurposing seemed strange, since Carl is not someone to fax in his column. Granted, the article in Seven was a preview of the Bright Eyes show, while yesterday’s column was a reconsideration of the indier-than-thou economy of indie rock. So the articles were different but yet fairly similar. Still, I was somehow surprised to see this happen, but somehow not surprised.

* This is good, I mean really good Walrus-bashing. As critical as I am of the magazine, I was somehow surprised to see this happen, but somehow not surprised.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Does This Help?

I’m holding in my hand issue #12 of Trucker magazine (Winter 2003). Flip to page 44 and you’ll find an entire page devoted to the anti-manifesto of the Dark Movement. ("Dark Movement is more than anyone can imagine, it has no definition, rather only questions that can be asked of it…") The highlight of this jumble of napkin prose is "you be cool man-dingo" and "the soup is in the pudding."

I’m telling you all this, however, because on that very same page (44), Steve Adams (a.k.a Ogi), the self-proclaimed leader of Dark Movement, proceeds to explain his fascination with Val Kilmer. And you guessed it, there are four different photos of Val Kilmer graffiti. (Trucker magazine was a Toronto publication that I was involved with, a kinda of Vice-meets-Might that disappeared an issue later with unlucky #13.)

To be honest, Trucker ran plenty of spoofs and satirical articles. This, however, represents the founding document, such that it is, regarding the whole Val Kilmer tagging thing in Toronto. (In other words, it is the closest we might get to the truth of the matter.) In the Trucker article, the movement was so nascent that putting paper photocopies of his head on walls had yet to develop.

Unfortunately, Trucker is no longer online, but I can throw a PDF of the page in question onto if anyone wants proof I’m adding signal, not more noise to l'affair Kilmer. Bored reporters looking for the final word on the Kilmer business might want to give Daniel Borins a ring. Borins was one of the members of Trucker's design team, and the co-conspirator behind the infamous Art System. Ogi/Steve Adams was tightly connected to Art System and Borins championed the Dark Movement, as its empty pomo posturing was sympatico with his particular worldview.

(And yeah, I was busy for the last many weeks with school. I still am. Sorry for the silence. But don’t worry, Russell. You’re up next in the queue.)