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do you as a canadian care ALOT about politics.???


dimafleck: the living legend.
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it seems like south of the border politicical issues are everywhere....anyone you speak with, any channel you turn on.... BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ ETC...

and i think it is important that the american people care alot about their politics....

however, as a canadian, i really don't pay alot of attention, nor do i feel i really have to. i think thats what kinda cool about being canadian... i vote, i know my political views, i know more or less what is going on in my city, my provence, and my country.... but i really don't care to much....

do u know what i mean??

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I imagine or hope a lot of you watch the Daily Show, maybe you know 'Back in Black' Lewis Black's weekly rant. So on the bus this morning to work I am laughing out loud reading this article (oddly enough written by Heather Mallick who I didn't know was that hip or funny) about rage and I guess American politics. I thought it spoke maybe to what you were getting at. Rub rub scrub scrub.

Does this sound like anyone you know?

"The character I portray, this guy who is frustrated to the point of nausea, that character carries a lot of people through. They may not get what I'm saying but they get the fact that I'm frustrated."

A comic for the rage age

Audiences scream with laughter listening to one of standup Lewis Black's rants. Then they turn to each other and say, 'He's right'

By HEATHER MALLICK

Monday, September 27, 2004

Few things give us the measure of our times more than what we're finding funny. Whatever has us bent double with laughter is our stance and we stick to it until the next stance comes along.

Lewis Black is the funniest and most important comedian in North America today because his stance is rage, and that's what we want and need right now.

Once there was a man named Lenny Bruce, who said "Take away the right to say 'fu©k' and you take away the right to say 'fu©k the government.' " He got in trouble. Comedians don't get in trouble any more. Instead, they're our shrinks.

Black, appearing at Toronto's Winter Garden Theatre on Friday, is Lenny Bruce's heir. He rages, not just against the machine or the government or corporations or the way we all haul little bottles of water around the city with us all day as if we lived in the Sudan, but against everything that is stupid.

You may well have seen Black on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he does a weekly rant. But this isn't where he does his best work. You need to watch or hear him build his routine through an hour-long standup on his HBO specials or on his two CDs, The White Album and The End of the Universe.

As you can imagine, he has a bloated, misshapen, stupid target everywhere he looks. Just like us then. When Black loses it on-stage, the audience is screeching hysterically and then they turn to each other, eyes streaming, and say, "He's right."

"Americans are angry. I have proof of that. My career has skyrocketed in the last six years," Black says in a phone interview.

"I've been running around the country for 18 years and I feel there's a real anger out there [now]. It's just that they have no voice for it."

It doesn't seem to matter where he performs and whether the audience tends to be Republican or Democrat. They all respond to what Black has called the delirium of modern life.

"The character I portray, this guy who is frustrated to the point of nausea, that character carries a lot of people through. They may not get what I'm saying but they get the fact that I'm frustrated." And so are they.

Extreme Republicans are not new, Black says. They're just better at getting their message out now. "There's part of America that feels nauseated. But a big part of America just ignores it because they feel clubbed to death like baby seals." The big news channels will soon be offering 120 hours of non-stop news every day, a lot of it with news strips running simultaneously on-screen. "There is a constant barrage of information that you've got to sift through. It's numbing." With even The New York Times confessing to having fallen asleep during the Iraq war, Americans have no reliable filter, so it's no surprise they turn to The Daily Show, which offers "fake news" that's faster, brainier, better than the so-called "real news."

He makes the most judicious use of the word "fu©k" of any comedian working. He does an odd thing with the letter u, narrowing his eyes and pronouncing "delusion" as "de-leew-sion," thus making him one of the few standup comics who gets more value out of vowels than plosive k's and t's. The word magically drips with contempt. He does a rising and lowering inflection on the last words of sentences that exudes menace. And at his moments of greatest indignation, he does a stuttering buh-buh-buh that takes the place of saying "This is so vile that I cannot find the words."

The catalyst will be, oh, former Tyco chief Dennis Kozlowski's $16,000 umbrella stand. Or it might be such Halliburton cash haulage to Dick Cheney's bunker that it makes Richard Nixon's secret CREEP campaign fund look like funny money.

There is not a great deal of specifically political humour in his standup, necessarily, it's just that finance and daily life are now so wrapped up with politics, whether it's Washington, national or worldwide. Black, referring to the domino theory (if the U.S. didn't attack North Vietnam, other nations would turn Communist like dominoes falling) that dragged the U.S. into the Vietnam quagmire, calls the Iraq war the "anti-domino theory" (if we don't attack Iraq, all Muslim nations won't come to hate us and use terrorism against us). "Boy, that's going to work well," Black says. "It's crackerjack material."

But he also has a lot to say about things like milk. Who knew that the industrial trajectory (the explosion of pointless milk products) from the "moo-cow milk" we remember as children to today's Milk World with "lactose-intolerant milk" -- it's anti-milk milk! -- would shoot so high?

And without giving away anything, "rinse rinse scrub scrub" are the funniest words Lewis Black, and possibly anyone, has ever spoken.

The stance curves over the decades: Mother-in-law jokes gave way to Cheech and Chong and then Andrew Dice Clay. At one point, Saturday Night Live was considered cutting edge, then Dumb and Dumber. Black's humour is highly intelligent. Does he think of himself as a comedian for smart people?

"I never have. People say, 'Are they going to get this stuff?' And all you've got to do is explain. A lot of my jokes are just setups saying, okay, there's this and this and this and you just simplify it."

He said once that he had watched Robin Williams on an HBO special talking about cunnilingus. "You know, I was shocked," Black said, touchingly. What bothers him is when he sees a comic with enormous self-confidence and lousy material. It was his realization that he had great material and simply had to build the confidence to match it that allowed him to find his place.

Black, a playwright, attended the Yale School of Drama, but is a fantastic success while not working in the theatre. Instead, Black, who is fiftysomething and single, spends almost all his time on the road doing standup. He has odd things on his résumé -- he was in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters and on Homicide: Life on the Street. For some reason, he appeared on Hardball, one of those Fox yelly shows, last year with arch-hater Ann Coulter, whom he wishes would just shut up.

Black had one moment on his most recent HBO special last month when he gently suggested that Americans who blustered that they live in the greatest country on Earth might want to visit other countries before they say that. Other countries might be "giving away great sh!t."

"Like Canada," he said. "They give you health insurance."

This implies that he may be able to answer the question that mystifies many Canadians: Why would, as appears to be the coming thing, a Wal-Mart shelf-stacker vote for Bush on Nov. 2?

"[Republicans] say, you screw with us and we're gonna come and punch your lights out, and for a Wal-Mart stacker, it comes down to security. And the other thing is, the room that every American thinks they're going to get in, the big rich room where everyone does really well. That's got room for 150 seats and somehow they've sold the bill of goods that the room is larger and everybody is going to get in that room. And then they find out it's not true."

And then they'll get angry?

Yes, he says. "If they're going to elect him again, why don't you just add three more zeros to my income? He's like the chauffeur driving the audience for me."

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i get what you're saying dima, but my feeling is that everytime i read or see something about whats going on down south of the border, bush/iraq/kerry, etc... yeah, sure they're talking, but no one seems to actually be saying anything... i keep reading and hearing the same 5 or 6 buzzwords with different filler... its actually more annoying than anything... SAY SOMETHING!!!! you know?

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I watch the Daily Show, daily. It's a riot... and it's so dead on most of the time!

I think it's a shame that more Canadians don't pay more attention to Canadian politics, but I guess a lot of the issues, while important, aren't as sexy as gay marriage or legalizing marijuana. Right now, the Americans are putting pressure on the Canadian government to sign an agreement for the diversion of vast amounts of water from the Great Lakes to the US - a move which could have dire environmental results in the long-run - but no one seems to care.

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America is a vast and wondrous land where the modus operandi is "Well if you're not sure then sue someone".

Among other great exports America gave birth to contemporary investigative journalism, including the exposé and the helicopter chase.

There's also an election coming up. My point? Well, my point is Guigsy's point I guess. Americans are always up in arms about everything but they can't be willed to make the conscious step to change it except for personal gain.

Canadians are similiar in not taking action on things, we're just less vocal about our dislikes or contention. Fortunately this is fairly balanced by a left-leaning and fairly complacement government.

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you should all check out lewis black's hbo comedy special it's playing on TMN right now. i've been able to download other HBO specials in mp3 form from the net, so go look for it. i swear you won't regret it. i watched the first bit of it and thought, how can this guy be so angry? when i was finished i said "because we're surrounded by idiots!" the man understands my frustrations.

canadians = apathetic

good politics = passion

completely opposite ends of the spectrum

edited to add : personally i really value civic duty and fulfilling the civil responsibility each of us has. We should all be interested in how our communities are run, and how we as canadians interact with the world. unfortunately most people don't realize the effects that they're actions have (good or bad really)

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i care very much about politics. i try to live by the credo that the personal is political. i feel that many of my actions are political statements. i have made my choices through sound logical thinking supported by the research of many sources. i am in no way apathetic. i feel that if i do as much as i can to support my political opinions than i have actually made a difference. i mean, i get to swim in water that is not polluted with ecoli and i know that i am helping to keep it that way because i am vegan.

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you know what I find depressing about politics these days?? Is that the voter has been dumbed down, the information they receive from mass-media is diluted, or better yet defragmented... I mean, why do we preach that freedom is democracy, and we don't teach our students the power and significance of their vote?? Why do we people focus on voting for the "leader" like some fu©king popularity contest??!! It has nothing to do with the "spokesperson!" The Prime Minister or even the President, have virtually zero influence on domestic and foreign policies. We should be teaching students/ potential and registered voters the philosophy of the parties, what they stand for... And I don't mean the fu©king bullshit empty promises that follow this pole and that, I mean, the actual philosophy of conservatism, liberalism, socialism, and then educate prospective voters to choose the philosophy that best represents their interests.

Instead, you get mis-informed, or partially informed voters that believe, Repulicans have a better economic track record. Or Republicans have a better security track record... I swear, the media suffers from Amnesia. When was the last time the Canadian dollar was at 0.75 dollars U.S.?

Or when was the last time 4 thousand people were killed in a terrorist attack??

Keep the voters dumb, ill informed, and let them decide what is best for their interests on defragmented information--it seems to work for the Conservatives.

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you know what I find depressing about politics these days?? Is that the voter has been dumbed down, the information they receive from mass-media is diluted, or better yet defragmented... I mean, why do we preach that freedom is democracy, and we don't teach our students the power and significance of their vote?? Why do we people focus on voting for the "leader" like some fu©king popularity contest??!! It has nothing to do with the "spokesperson!" The Prime Minister or even the President, have virtually zero influence on domestic and foreign policies. We should be teaching students/ potential and registered voters the philosophy of the parties, what they stand for... And I don't mean the fu©king bullshit empty promises that follow this pole and that, I mean, the actual philosophy of conservatism, liberalism, socialism, and then educate prospective voters to choose the philosophy that best represents their interests.

Instead, you get mis-informed, or partially informed voters that believe, Repulicans have a better economic track record. Or Republicans have a better security track record... I swear, the media suffers from Amnesia. When was the last time the Canadian dollar was at 0.75 dollars U.S.?

Or when was the last time 4 thousand people were killed in a terrorist attack??

Keep the voters dumb, ill informed, and let them decide what is best for their interests on defragmented information....

My favourite example was Bush's acceptance address, where he praised Reagan, then spoke of the evil Saddam Hussein and his use of WMD... I am aware of the fact that Saddam used those weapons during Reagan's presidency, and not only did the U.S. do absolutely nothing to stop him, they were selling weapons to him at that time. (And to go even further, they were also selling weapons to Iran, whom Saddam was using the WMDs against... Politics, or should I say Capitalism, its all about the $$$$$... Democracy is an ideal that is not truly practiced in these parts.

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