Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 30/10

Tomorrow is Canada Day, and it's always a good idea to sit and reflect on why this country is so awesome. I'm very proud to be a Canadian. I guess I don't know any different, but this is the country where I met my wife, where we had our baby, where I started in comedy and radio, and where all my friends and family are. We have a great health care system... it's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good, and if you don't think so, watch the Michael Moore film 'Sicko'.

We produce some of the best comedians, best music and best art in the world. Sure, our TV shows and movies still suck, but whatever. There is still so much untouched wilderness in Canada, it's mind-blowing. You can drive an hour from anywhere and be in total nature. I love that. All things considered, we have a pretty liberal-minded country, too. You can walk down the street smoking a joint, and you won't be thrown in jail for 15 years. Not that I do, of course, but some people do, I guess. We have fresh air, good food, cold beer and beautiful women. And if you travel around this amazing planet, you will see that Canada is held in pretty high esteem. Everyone wants to be Canadian. Well, I am, and I'm proud.

Happy Canada Day, everybody!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 29/10

Okay, I know I talked about this about a year ago, but I'm gonna talk about it again. One of the best live bands in the world is playing in Victoria tomorrow night. Nomeansno have been playing a unique style of jazz-punk for over thirty years now. I've seen these guys live at least like 15 or 20 times, and they never disappoint. They're from Victoria, but tour all over the world, and are HUGE in Europe. They're the kind of band where people who are fans are always trying to convert others. And that's what I'm doing now.

Listening to a Nomeansno record is great, but in order to truly appreciate them, you have to see them live. Now, if Jack Johnson is as hard as you like your music, then perhaps Nomeansno is not for you. But if you like hard-edged punk with intelligence, humour and style, not to mention bass lines that will melt your brain, then check out Nomeansno. So maybe I'll see you at Sugar nightclub tomorrow night... I'll be the 39-year old guy acting like an 18-year old punk.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 28/10

I'm not normally one to get on board with conspiracy theories. But there's one floating around right now, that kinda makes you think. I'm talking about the huge protests that took place in Toronto for the G-20 summit. There were thousands of people marching on the streets, and it was very peaceful. Until a group of yahoos started trouble by smashing windows and even torching a couple of police cars. Well, there are some people out there who think the police themselves were responsible for the violence. That's right, the theory is that dozens of protesters were actually undercover cops, or people hired by the cops, whose job was to create havoc.

Sounds crazy, right?

The term is 'agent provocateur', and it wouldn't be the first time this tactic has been used. The Quebec police have admitted that during some demonstrations three years ago, a group of protesters hurling rocks to try and incite a riot, were, in fact, undercover cops. So, why in the world would the police want to cause a riot?

Well, it's simple.

It accomplishes two very big things... firstly, it gives a black eye to the legitimate protesters, which sways public opinion, and makes the police look justified in shutting it all down. And secondly, it justifies to the public the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on security for these events.

Something to think about.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 25/10

Today was a big day in music history. First of all, of course, it was one year ago today that Michael Jackson died, one of those events where most people will remember where they were when they first heard. Also, on this day in 1988, Hillel Slovak, the guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, died of a heroin overdose. He was replaced by John Frusciante, who helped lead the band to super-stardom. Today is also George Michael's birthday, and the day the Beatles performed 'All You Need is Love' on live television.

And on this day in 1984, a weird little short guy from Minneapolis who called himself 'Prince', released a little album called 'Purple Rain'. That album was... HUGE!! You couldn't go anywhere for years without hearing it, and of course, he put out the Purple Rain movie, which was just as big. Prince was an interesting phenomenon, because although he was really flamboyant, and quite effeminite, he was the coolest guy in the world... women wanted to be with him, and men everywhere wanted to be him.

If you've never heard the entire Purple Rain album, I suggest you get your hands on it and give it a listen. It's a fantastic album and really stands the test of time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 24/10

As most of you know, I have a son who's a little over 2 years old. My wife and I try to read books with him every night, because, you know, it's important. I've noticed a few things about children's books.

First of all.... xylophones.

Xylophones get WAY too much attention in kids' alphabet books. I've maybe seen, I don't know, half a dozen xylophones in my entire life. But every children's book seems to think this is the first and only 'X' word my kid should be learning. There are also way too many zebras and violins.

And the other thing I've noticed is an unbelieveable number of friendly bears.

Little Bear, Paddington Bear, Rupert, The Berenstein Bears, Winnie the Pooh. Why so many friendly bears?
This is what we teach our kids... until the first time we take them camping, and then its... 'If you see a bear, don't go near it. Get away, because a bear will tear you in half. Bears are human-hunters... terrifying, hungry beasts that won't rest until they've licked your bones clean'.

'But enough about that, Billy, it's bedtime... do you want a story?'

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 23/10

It was on this day in 1993 that something happened that caused men around the world to simultaneously go 'Oh my dear God, No!!!' It was the day that Lorena Bobbitt, sick of being abused, cut off her husband's penis while he slept. She drove away, and threw the severed penis into a field. Police found it, packed it in ice, and it was re-attached to John Bobbitt.

It was an international story, and quickly became fodder for every comedian in the country.

Many people thought it stood as the ultimate revenge for a battered woman, and there was a feeling of empowerment for some. Many men started hiding their kitchen knives. As for John Bobbitt, he went on to try several careers. He started a band called 'The Severed Parts'... I'm not kidding... and then he did some porn movies and even became a minister of the Universal Life Church in Las Vegas.

Lorena was found not guilty due to insanity, and is now re-married with kids.

But 17 years later, I think we've lost sight of the real victim in all this.. and that's the poor cop who had to retrieve the penis in the field.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 21/10

I want to talk this morning about one of the best comedians this country ever produced. His name is Irwin Barker. Irwin was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer more than 3 years ago, and given a year to live.  He beat those odds, but sadly he passed away this morning. He was a writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the Rick Mercer Report, and was a national touring headliner. When I started doing comedy more than 10 years ago in Vancouver, Irwin was one of the few 'heavy hitters' who took the time to be friendly to me and give me advice. In fact, the first road gig I ever did was opening for him in Kelowna.

Irwin's comedy was clever, sharp and unmatched anywhere... He was one of the best joke writers in the business and a class act. He could talk for 15 minutes about his love for raisins and have people pissing themselves laughing. And although he very rarely swore, when he did it was the funniest thing ever. He had an unbelievable amount of material, so many hilarious one liners.

He'd say something like 'I bought a book called 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff', and on the way home I spilled coffee on it.... DAMN I hate when that happens'.

After he got diagnosed, Irwin Barker was very public about his fight with cancer, and the CBC did an amazing documentary about him called 'That's My Time'. He toured the country doing shows to raise money to fight the disease, all the time battling it himself.

So I just wanted to say... Irwin, you were deeply loved by every comic I know, and I know wherever you are now, it is a funnier place.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 18/10

Happy Birthday to Sir Paul McCartney, who turns 68 years old today. I've talked alot in the past about how great the Beatles are, so I won't bore you with that again. Paul McCartney is an interesting specimen. He is by far the most successful Beatle, still selling out huge stadiums, 40 years after the band broke up. It makes you wonder what John Lennon would be doing these days, if he was still alive. George Harrison, who died in 2001, was always my favourite Beatle. He was the 'quiet one', very spiritual, very low key, and with a wicked sense of humour. Ringo is still kicking around, but hasn't really done much. Paul McCartney, on the other hand, loves the spotlight. There's no denying his talent, and I still would like to see a Paul McCartney concert one day. But he's the one who has cashed in the most from the Beatles' legacy, both financially and personally. He's made some questionable business decisions in his time, when it comes to the Beatles' catalogue. It's really too bad that Lennon's not around anymore to keep the integrity in check. But, nonetheless, happy birthday Paul.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 17/10

I was driving around yesterday, and I happened to drive down Pandora Avenue, between Cook and Quadra. And my God, has it ever gotten bad down there. There were dozens of people hanging around... some were sleeping, others looked like they were making drug deals, and some guy was yelling at a girl. And then I saw a woman shooting up into her leg. What is going on down there? This is supposed to be Victoria, not the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. I remember when 'Our Place' first opened up about two years ago... I was at the opening, working as a reporter for the Q. They promised that their presence would not change the face of the neighbourhood.

How wrong they were.

It's like a war zone down there now. I would never, ever walk with my son through that. I feel really bad for the people who live in apartments around there, and especially the people who are trying to run a business down there. I guess the police probably like it, because it keeps most of the problems in one area, but man. I've heard one of the problems is that Our Place is only open from 7am til 5pm, but then why are there so many people out on the street during that time? Something needs to get done.

That area of downtown is quickly becoming Victoria's ghetto.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 16/10

So. a Manitoba review panel has decided the man who beheaded a passenger on a Greyhound bus two years ago should be allowed to take short, supervised walks around the mental facility he's in. They say this will give them an idea as to whether he might be ready to be re-integrated into society. I say, um... no. What does it take to keep these people locked up? I'm not sure exactly how the rules should be laid out, but I don't know... maybe if you CUT A STRANGER'S HEAD OFF, you should not be wandering around my neighbourhood. I'm all about giving people second chances, but sometimes you only get one chance. Like if you kill a total stranger for no reason, that would be an example.

No second chance.

I don't care how mentally ill you are. If it's so easy for someone like that to get better, then it's just as easy for them to snap again. It blows my mind that we're even close to releasing a guy who CUT SOMEONE'S HEAD OFF!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 15/10

You know, sometimes I seriously consider packing it all in, selling my stuff and moving my family to a communal farm in Europe somewhere. I feel real guilt sometimes about living in a society that favors consumption and waste over growth and conservation. A society where greed is rewarded and violence and humiliation is considered entertainment. I turn on the TV and all I see is plastic people doing plastic things, and then I walk outside and I see people trying to emulate that behaviour, because they think that is normal.

Well, it's not.

Mankind was meant to evolve... but we are de-evolving. We should be dancing naked in the garden of eden, and exploring the universe together. But instead we're killing the planet and we've become slaves to corporations who have convinced us we need more more more. I see people driving giant trucks, throwing their fast food wrappers on the highway, as they speed towards the shopping mall to buy another cellphone. This is not how it was supposed to be. Sometimes I really feel like giving up on the human race, and just saying 'Wake me when its over'.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 14/10

In 1951, ``Univac,'' the world's first commercial computer, was unveiled. Boy, have we ever come a long way. 'Univac' stood for 'UNIVersal Automatic Computer' The UNIVAC I used 5,200 vacuum tubes, weighed 13 metric tons, consumed 125 kW, and could perform about 1,905 operations per second running on a 2.25 MHz clock. The complete system occupied more than 35.5 m² of floor space. Unbelievable. The first computer I ever remember seeing was the Commodore VIC-20. That was the first compuer to sell more than a million units. It came with 5 KB of RAM. Five. Kilo. Bytes. It was soon surpassed by the Commodore 64, which had, you guessed it... 64 kilobytes of RAM. My wife and I recently bought a new i-Mac. It has 8 gigabytes of RAM. The first computer, the UNIVAC, would take up our entire house. Now our computer, which takes up the space of a few books, can do the job of about a million UNIVACS.

What a world.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 10/10

I just want to say welcome to Victoria to the thousands of sailors from all over the world who have landed on our shores. And of course, a salute to our Canadian navy, for celebrating their centennial.

Here are a few cool facts about our navy...

The Canadian Navy came into existence on May 4, 1910, when the Naval Service Act became law. Permission to add the prefix 'Royal' was granted by King George V in 1911. When the Second World War broke out, Canada had just 13 vessels: six destroyers four minesweepers, and three auxiliaries. By the end of the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Navy had grown to become one of the largest Allied navies with 434 commissioned vessels including cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and auxiliaries. Cadets attending the Royal Canadian Naval College at HMCS Royal Roads in Victoria, British Columbia, faced a mandatory plunge in the frigid ocean each morning. Up until the late 60's, women were forced to leave the service when they got married, and when they got pregnant until the mid-1970s.

We've come a long way since then... so, if you get a chance this weekend, head down to some of the celebrations happening around town for the Pacific Fleet Review and say thanks to a sailor.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 08/10

So, it looks like the anti-HST people are humming along quite nicely. They've got 15-percent of registered voters signed up in nearly all the ridings in BC. I've finally been noticing them around town alot more lately. They were set up outside the Save-On Foods Centre for the ZZ Top concert the other night. I hope they keep getting signatures right up until the deadline, in about a month. It will really be interesting to see what the provincial government does. Because, really, they don't have to do anything. But it seems to me if 15+ percent of registered voters sign the petition, it would be very foolish for the Liberals to ignore it.

It sure would be nice for once, to see the efforts of the people conquer the intentions of the government.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 07/10

There seems to be an awful lot of stabbings happening in our province lately. And alot of them involve young people. A girl was stabbed to death at a house part in Vancouver last month, then last week another teenage girl was killed at a party in Peachland. And then that 15-year old boy was stabbed to death on Douglas street on Thursday night.

That one is the most disturbing of all.

It looks like the culprit is a 39-year old man with mental health issues. And although the details are still coming out, it looks to be quite random. This is the kind of news story that really sends chills up your spine. And it makes you realize how precious life is. If, indeed, this poor kid was just waiting for the bus, and some guy who was having an 'episode' decided to kill him... well, that's about the scariest thing in the world. I mean, it was 8 o'clock at night, not the time you're usually ultra-aware of the people around you... not like 3 in the morning or something. My heart truly goes out to this young boy's family... it must be so hard to accept something like this, when there just isn't an explanation. We need better services for people with mental illness, but horrible things like this will still unfortunately happen.

Maybe just give your loved ones an extra long hug tonight.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 03/10

Okay, I've been putting this off for awhile, but it's self-promotion time. About three months ago, I got an email from this guy Sean, who owns IT Groove, a web company here in Victoria. He said he was a fan of the morning show, and he had seen me do comedy a couple times, but he couldn't find much about me online. He asked if I was interested in getting my own website. It's something I've been thinking about doing for years, but never got around to. So, now I have my own website. It's at and I think you should give it a gander. There's some video clips of my comedy, some photos, and a link to my 'Wrath of Lamb' blog, and other stuff. It's a work in progress, and there will be much more stuff on there in the future. I can't thank Sean and Darren at IT Groove enough, they really helped me with this thing, and were very patient with my endless questions and ineptitude. So, go to it's the new Facebook.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 02/10

Gary Coleman's family are trying to decide whether to hold a public or a private memorial service for him this weekend. He's the former child star who died last Friday after a brain hemorrhage. I have found myself strangely sad over his death. I think it's because he led such a tragic life, but one with so much potential. He was born with a congenital kidney disease, that kept him from growing at a normal rate. This is why he looked like a cute little kid, even into his adulthood. He was adopted at birth, and then became a huge child star in the very successful show 'Different Strokes'. He made millions, but his parents squandered it all. He ended up working as a security guard on film lots, and was the butt of many jokes along the way.

The man battled health problems all his life, and never got past his image as cute little Arnold Jackson. He became a tragic figure. In his prime, Gary Coleman was actually a really good comic actor, and I know he played a big part in my childhood, and other people my age. In fact, I have an autographed photo of him from 1981 somewhere. I should dig that up and keep it somewhere safe.

So, rest in peace, Gary Coleman. You deserved better.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wrath of Lamb June 01/10

If you have ever bought canned corned beef, you will have noticed something weird. For some reason, it comes with a little key that you need to open the can. It's the same with Spam or Spork. Why is canned meat the only thing that requires a key? And you can't use a regular can opener on it, because they make the can a square shape. So, why a key? Why does corned beef need a key? It's like you need some special privilege to enter the kingdom of processed meat. And sometimes, if you're not paying attention in the grocery store, you'll get a can that is missing the key. That is the worst. It's like buying Kraft Dinner with no cheese powder. It's useless. You can bash it, stab it, pry it, doesn't matter. You're not getting that corned beef-y goodness without a key. That's why I save my corned beef keys. I have them in a drawer, in case I come home with a keyless can. Because, God knows, I need my canned meat.