• As summer ominously approaches for another year and I listen as always to weather reporters proclaim its glory, I am reminded of a rant provided by myself during my radio days at SETH/FM. I have just taken an ear peak at it, and I can confirm that my words then are as true now (if not truer, considering global warming) as the day they were born.

    Since first publishing that rant, I have received many threats (from the sun), and I have feared for my skin’s life. And so I have long resisted re-releasing my resistance material on the internet. However, I recently heard a caller into The Bill Good Show (CKNW) who brilliantly and entertainingly made her own complaints about weather reporters who insist upon decrying rain as though it is a catastrophe. In this age of natural disasters, she asked, “Does it have to be scorching hot for people to be satisfied?” I was delighted by this rare expression of sun resistance in our sun-obsessed culture. Bill, however – who is ordinarily a reasonable man – merely chuckled and called her “grumpy”. Really, would you refer to Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and other oppression opposers as simply being in a bad mood? 😉

    Thus, in defense of my sun-resister-sister, for the first time on the internet, I offer you now the transcript of Seth’s Editorial Rant, “The Sun Burns”:

    I’ve been doing a little bit of research on journalism and what I’ve learned is that journalists are expected, nay, obligated to be impartial in their journaling.  You’ll notice, for instance, when Bob Newsanchor reads the news, he says, “Today Jean Chrétien was named Prime Minister of Canada.  He does not, however, say, “Yippee, I’m glad to see that my favourite guy, J.C., got the job!”

    It is, therefore, with great confusion that I notice that one species of journalist – the weather journalist – seems to believe that they are immune to the rules of journalism; you will notice, that is, that the weather journalist believes he or she has the right to tell us whether the weather news is good or bad.  When the day is to be rain-shining, we are told that it is to be “a miserable day,” while when the day is to be sun-pouring, “it will be beautiful.”  Now I for one hate the sun, always have, and so when I hear that the weather is to be, quote, “nice,” I immediately get both my rain jacket and my singing voice on so that I can get out and do some singing in the rain.*  For 24 years, that has been my habit, and for 24 years I have been disappointed as I discover that, instead of some lovely rain, that ugly yellow disc, that I like to call the burning ball of fire, is out to play.

    *Now, of course, I am being facetious: I know that all weather people revere the sun like we can’t live without it, but I wonder what gives the weather people the right to expect me to worship that same weather that they do?

    As someone who likes overcast best, I feel persecuted for my beliefs.  Sometimes a passing stranger will comment to me, “What nice weather we’re having.” To which I sometimes reply, “What nice weather?! All I can see is a burning ball of fire which is giving me cancer, is causing me to squint, and is making you, kind stranger, sweat like an ice cube in an oven convention!”  To which the stranger will reply, “Oh, come now, we can’t complain about the heat; after all, when it was raining, we all wished for the sun to come out.”  To which I reply, “But I didn’t complain about the rain; in fact I was out there singing in it.”  To which the stranger will reply, “How dare you prefer the rain to the sun! You have no right to live!”

    Needless to say, being a rain fan is not an easy life to live in this country of sun-o-centrics.  Indeed, I often find myself hiding my rain preferences just to protect myself from an anti-rain lecture.  But, on the rainy side, or as the sun-o-files would say, on “the bright side,” by pretending to be a sun-o-file to avoid being discriminated against, I have been able to infiltrate some conversations of sunners, and what I’ve discovered is that many sunners have latent feelings of sun hating.  “What a beautiful day,” they’ll say out loud for the sun to hear, but then they’ll mutter under their breath, “Gosh it sure is hot,” “I’m exhausted,” “I need some water,” and so on.

    Such words are calls for help.  The fact is, most people are terrified to come out of the rain closet.  You see, when it comes to weather, Canada is much more a cult than a country.  We have, that is, been brainwashed to believe that we must love and adore the sun.  Who is to blame for the brainwashing?  Why, the aforementioned weather reporters, of course.  Those quirky folks with wacky ties who stand in front of weather maps pretending to know how to interpret the weather.  Yes, it is they who tell us that sun is good, rain is bad.  It is they who have forced upon our society this one-dimensional image of weather beauty.  And it is they who must be stopped.

    We must stand up and tell the weather reporters that we will no longer allow them to tell us what weather we should like and what weather we should dislike.  I’m not asking the weathermen and women to enjoy a good overcast day, I’m just asking they that don’t infringe upon my right to enjoy it.  I’m just asking that, like all other journalists, they report what they see, not what they think.

    Well put, previous Seth! Well put, indeed.

    Portal to my update on this rant.

  • As we reach the eve of Christmas this year
    I ask you to lay down your holiday sneer

    I realize that some environmentalists may have a legitimate beef with our annual holiday upgrade in consuming products, but, aside from that inconvenient gaggle of apocolapse-alerters, I’m not sure why so many seem to talk of resenting the commercial aspect of Christmas.

    We live in a world where things come in handy, but at Christmas participants don’t look for these items for ourselves (well, we don’t set out to anyway), but instead we spend time thinking about our favourite people and then trying to find a thing or two that that may not normally buy for themselves, but which they may nevertheless enjoy. And so, various entrepreneurs, big and small, lineup to provide locations for us to set our annual scavenger hunt. I have no quibble with such service with a profit.

    I’m told that the results are rather healthy for the economy, too, as retailers apparently can acquire up to 40% of their yearly profit from the pleasin’ season. Given the world’s current financial troubles, maybe that’s a good thing? (Although, once again, if David Suzuki or Peter Singer want to blog me down that I’m missing the greater ethical point, I will bow to their greater brains.)

    Meanwhile, on a social level, where I think the collective Bah-hum-bug crowd is really directing most of their disapproval, I will admit that I find Christmas shopping in the malls to be fun. And I’m someone who hates shopping like a slow-walker in my way! As I walked through congested nostrils of the Megatron Mall today, I felt a sense of cultural community: we were all in it together. And, in a town where we normally don’t like to look each other in the eye too often, we strangers smiled at each other like we were old friends. In fact, I was even patient with the slow-walkers – apparently late-minute gift-collecting is one habitat in which all speed of walkers can co-exist peacefully. If there was stress in the air, I didn’t smell it; and if my random acts of smiling were annoying anyone, they didn’t frown so.

    So Merry Christmas (Eve) shopping, everyone, and a happy new sneer!

  • You may remember from my chippy post, “THE CHIPS WILL BE DOWN“, that I along, with my like-initialed sister, entered a commercial writing contest to complete the script for a Doritos’ advertisement.

    Strangely, none of S.McDonough’s entries made it to the final 14, so the above link no longer offers access to our profound entires and instead will take you only to those who must have used flavour-based hypnosis to get to the commercial-writing championship.

    For posterity, then, I offer you my failed attempts (you’ll have to plead with my sister to acquire hers)…

    THE BACK STORY:

    So, you may recall (or simply visit the above link to learn) that the completed portion of the commercial takes us to “Doritos’ Research Facility” where the two chip makers (Onion Rings N’ Ketchup vs Buffalo Wings N’ Ranch) are called to the dark and elegant, witch-looking Flavour Master so that she can inspect their chip creations, which are held in dark vs light mechanical containers. The Flavour Master receives, from a robotic arm, a sample of each brand. She likes them both, but notes there can only be one selection. A scary wind swirls in the room, and the commercial goes dark awaiting its conclusion. The contest makers then tell us that one of the two chip flavours must be destroyed (taken off the shelves forever), while the victorious brand will make a go at chip fame and fortune.

    Thus, hopeful writers such as myself were offered to write up to two conclusions for the advert – one with each of the chip-makers prevailing. So, with epic stories as my muse, I decided to continue the commercial’s theme of light vs dark, utilizing its standard metaphorical translation (good vs bad) to create the following two masterpieces (limited by the contest’s oppressive 400 character limit)…

    THE DARK VICTORY

    Flavour Master summons a robotic vacuum tube from above.

    “Wait!” Onion Man yells. “Can’t we have both?”

    Everyone smirks.

    FM glares: “You question my taste?” She directs the vacuum over his head; he drops his chips in fear.

    “Wait!” Wing Man yells. He hands Onion Man the chips: “Now he’s ready.”

    FM smiles. The vacuum swallows Onion Man & chips. FM beckons Wing Man & chips with a curl of her finger.

    THE LIGHT TOUCH

    Flavour Master summons a robotic chair. “Sit!” she commands.

    Wing Man pops his chip bag in Onion Man’s eyes and then dives for the seat.

    FM glares at Wing Man: “You sacrifice your creation for your life?”

    Wing Man is terrified: “So that I can make more!”

    FM shakes her head: “No you won’t.” The chair closes on him like a venus flytrap. A new back grows from the seat.

    “Sit,” FM smiles at Onion Man.

    THE ENDS

  • Many years ago, I decided to try online dating. I assumed that it would be a place that one could get to know another person through electronic conversation better than they could in, say, a bar or a club where music tends to overpower the human voice.

    As it turned out, I was quite right that one could communicate with words instead of gestures online, but I was startled to discover that many women were shy about saying anything unique about themselves, and instead would simply state that they “loved to laugh” or “live life to the fullest”. In spite of the popularity of these claims, I found them to be surprisingly empty. How many people, after all, don’t enjoy a good laugh now and then, and who among us isn’t hoping for a life that’s full to the brim with fun stuff? Thus, rather nobly, I decided to sacrifice my own profile by turning it into a profile-makeover column wherein I ever-so-helpfully offered suggestions to people for how they might describe themselves beyond cliches so that prospective suitors could get a distinguishing sense of them.

    Predictably, few people responded to my efforts, but I nevertheless felt that I was doing my part for the greater good of the online dating community.

    Finally, one day, I received a reply from a woman who said she liked my profile a lot. After brief e-mail correspondence, she asked me to call her. I did so and soon after found myself on a date, which was so unusual in its results that it provoked the cultivation of my dating motto: “Don’t worry too much about a date in advance – it’ll either be a good date or a good story”.

    I don’t want to give away which of those two categories this particular date fell into, but I will say that, nearly a decade later, I’ve entered it into CBC’s Bad Date Story Contest.

    If you’re interested to learn the details, my story, which begins from the above-mentioned phone call, can be found here.

    Note: given the CBC contest is now closed, you are invited to share, via comments here, any bad date tales that you think could have topped mine on the CBC charts.

  • Dear, SethBlogs (and Sister Site) Fans:

    You knew all this free blog reading was too good to be true! I now have something to ask of you:

    My sister Sorrel (of JamColouredGlasses rival blog fame) and I have both entered the Doritos’ “Write the End” Contest, wherein they would like their customers to supply endings to a commercial already in progress.

    The candidates will be voted until they have 14 finalists. From these, their professional commercial makers will select a winning commercial ending. They will then make that commercial conclusion, paying off the writer with $25,000.

    I intend S.McDonough to be the winner, but unfortunately, we’re not the only contestants, so we need your votes!

    Check out (and vote for?) our entries below: you can vote for as many entries as you like once per day.

    Seth’s Entry A

    Seth’s Entry B

    Sorrel’s Entry

    Thanks for your immediate voting on this matter!
    SethBlogs

    UPDATE!
    These links now take you to the finalists… see “THE CHIPS WILL BE DOWN: A SETHBLOGS UPDATE” for a discussion of whether the S.McDonough entries made it there.

  • As singletons are surrounded by the coupling behaviours of others today, many will call in a hitman to help them with their own romantic hopes. Yes, today is the busiest day of the year for the world’s leading magical matchmaker, Cupid.

    In spite of this rather obvious lineup for the legendary love doctor’s services, millions hope against Cupid’s finite arrow supply that their request will get through to him today. So I’d like to make a heart-felt suggestion to those feeling pressured by card company commercials to find a card partner: why not try Cupid another day?

    You may be surprised to discover there are days of the year that Cupid is actually bored for customers and so will resort to random matchmaking (ever wonder why your best friend is dating that jerk? – yup, that, was just Cupid playing romantic roulette). Indeed, you may be surprised by the great bargains you can get on the Cupid’s non-busy days. Consider…

    April 30th: this is the day in Canada that taxes are due. Few people seek out a date to fill out their taxes, so for much of that day Cupid just flies around without a target in his dosier.

    December 26th: Whereas lots of people hope to have a date for the hug-based holidays, Boxing Day is about stuff! Few people care if they have date for the lineup at their favourite store, so give Cupid call!

    February 15th-28th: Those who don’t find a date on Valentine’s often feel that fate has forsaken them, and so they spend a least a couple weeks renouncing their interest in romance, and so it’s slow time to be Cupid.

    Labour Day (and the week that follows): This is the first week back a school and the start of the new TV season and so it is a time of year, more than even New Year’s week, that people feel they are getting a fresh start on their existence, and so they delude themselves into thinking they don’t need romance. It’s such a slow time for Cupid that he often spends the week target-shooting at celebreties (which is why so many of them, poor kids, can’t keep a marriage).

    If none of these dates appeals to you, then, by all means, apply for Cupid-services on Valentine’s Day, but here are two tips to get in Cupid’s line of fire on this busy day…

    Be vague: if you get too picky with Cupid (asking for someone who’s “smart, funny, likes hiking by day, and curling up on the coach by night”, etc), he has to spend his busy time looking for that delightful person you have defined in mind. But, if you’re nice and general (“human, reads SethBlogs, has never been murdered” etc), then Cupid can just find a crowd of people, shoot your arrow in, and you’ll have a match!

    Or be very specific: if your itemize your list of requirements precisely enough (ordering someone “smart, but not too smart, vegetarian, but not vegan, disagrees with SethBlogs on the evils of escalator standing”, etc) then, if, by chance, Cupid meets up with such a person, he’ll have only you to fire at them. It’s a risk because Cupid may not come across your nuanced mate, but if he does, do I sense love at first vegetarian bite?

    That is all. Now go out there and break a heart!

  • A certain self of mine asked me to plug his work in the relatively new hockey magazine “Pucklife” (currently it’s a solely online production). My self’s article is a collection of entertaining hockey quotes, whose context the writer daftly explains for all levels of hockey understanding.

    To look at the magazine, click here: and to view my article, push forward two pages, and zoom in on the “QuipsRipsBlips” feature.

    Go quotes, go!

  • I’m pleased to announce that I’ve recently made my debut performance as a cartoon blog character in the most recent episode of JamColouredGlasses (the official sister site of SethBlogs). It’s just a cameo appearance, and I play myself, but I’m rather pleased with my crossover performance.

    And, yes, I realize, that there are many cartoon actors who are more talented than me, who could have taken on this roll, yet I got to jump the casting queue because of my blogging fame.

    However, in my defence: I was playing myself in this cartoon, so I like to think I provided a performance that was at least comparable to the “trained” cartoon actors.

    But I leave that to your judgment.

    In the meantime, I have so many more creative avenues I’d like to explore: what should I do next? I’m thinking maybe a sing-along-blogging career!

  • Congratulations from the New Year’s Regret Collection Agency! You may already be the winner of a brand new year! Your N.Y.R.C.A. agent will collect your regrets on your way into your new set of four seasons. We appreciate your business, and hope you will consider us again this year.

    As you begin on this new year’s worth of existence, you will be bombarded by “feel good,” pressured-packed propaganda that speaks of a fresh slate on which you can imprint any new life that you’d like. But we at the N.Y.R.C.A. would like to remind you that New Year’s resolutions are just mean-spirited criticisms meant to change you and your naturally-earned habits.

    Instead, why not simply be yourself and once again pay us your regrets at the end of next year?

    Happy Nearly New Year: we have agents standing by to take your call.

  • As the year draws to a Claus,
    Let us hold a reindeer’s paws.

    Ask not how much Santa’s gift did cost,
    But instead: does it make your heart defrost?

    (If that doesn’t work, go back to the cost thing. 😉 )

    Merry Christmas Eve!
    Setha Blogs

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