Welcome to MikesAndDislikes, the home of rants and raves and traveling days.
The home of music, film, politics, culture, religion, justice and even, sometimes, Untouchables who must be touched.
Also the home of the legendary 3-year "Bob, Basketball and Beer" backpacking trip across Asia, featuring many a tale of adventure, excitement, great food and wonderful people.
So take a look around and please enjoy.
But, be forewarned, this sure ain't your mother's rants and raves site. Don't expect to agree with everything that you see.
Hell, expect to be offended at times.
But here's hoping you find more to Mike than Dislike.
MikesAndDislikes now on Twitter:
Follow all of my rants, raves, opinions and Tweets - each one short, succinct and sweet - here on Twitter:
Take a minute to vote in the latest MikesAndDislikes poll:
Then, if you haven't already, check out my own personal picks for the Biggest Dicks of The Decade: 2000-2009
#1. Pope Urban II, for having all married priests’ wives sold into slavery and their children abandoned (29%)
#2. Mohammed, for marrying a 6-year-old girl & then consummating the marriage when she became of consummating age (i.e. 9 years old) (28%)
#3. Abraham, for claiming to hear voices telling him to kill his son & then actually attempting to go through with it (19%)
#4. Socrates, Plato & Aristotle, for their daily erotic escapades with young boys (i.e. for their pedophilia) (13%)
#5. Martin Luther for his crazed antisemitic ravings & exhortations to violence, best sampled in his book "On the Jews & Their Lies" (4%)
To see the results of all previous polls, visit the POLL RESULTS PAGE
Check out my 53 most recent published pieces in The Georgia Straight newspaper:
April 8th, 2010: A goddess named Steve, a real-life Brian, and the unutterable V-word
February 19th, 2010: Fraudster Bertram Earl Jones and Canada's incredible shrinking justice system
February 5th, 2010: When women knew their place: Feminism, equality, and the National Post
January 22nd, 2010: Defeatist Democrats and the lethargic Left
January 6th, 2010: A look back at the biggest dicks of the decade
December 8th, 2009: Stephen Harper's saving grace: Canada, China, trade, and human rights
November 20th, 2009: Freakin' Fundamentalists: Stonings here, lashings there, misogyny everywhere
October 27th, 2009: It's about bloody time: Canadian support for monarchy drops dramatically
October 22nd, 2009: The Canadian justice system is so broken it's criminal
October 13th, 2009: We're number one: A positive take on Canada's dismal environmental record
September 29th, 2009: Fightback and counterattack: Vatican says church sex abuse of kids not really pedophilia
September 25th, 2009: Traditional Biblical Marriage Explained (by the great Betty Bowers)
September 20th, 2009: Bitter and bewildered: The sad plight of the disillusioned left-wing Canadian voter
September 4th, 2009: The baffling fight by ordinary Americans to defeat healthcare reform
July 31st, 2009: An ex-president like no other: Jimmy Carter, the passionate feminist
July 28th, 2009: Canadian Shona Holmes joins the great American healthcare debate
May 22nd, 2009: Freedom denied: The crushing of Sri Lanka's Tamils
March 24th, 2009: The Milk Rave: Harvey Milk, Homophobes, and Bigots
March 19th, 2009: How do you solve a problem like Pope Benny?
March 9th, 2009: Excommunicate this: The misogyny running wild rant
February 2nd, 2009: The Godless Super Bowl rant
January 20th, 2009: Bye bye buffoon: The final Bush rant
January 12th, 2009: Eight years of insanity: Bush, Israel, and the slow destruction of Palestine
December 13th, 2008: And injustice for all: Cops face no charges in death of Robert Dziekanski
December 4th, 2008: Canadian nationalism, brought to you by the letter “zed”
November 6th, 2008: The Love fest Continues: Sarah Palin on Africa, NAFTA and more
November 6th, 2008: Obama wins: The nightmare is almost over. So why am I crying?
November 3rd, 2008: A critical analysis of Republicans' love fest with ignorance
November 3rd, 2008: The Canadian media rant: Trashing the left and loving the right
October 28th, 2008: Pallin' around with Pinochet: Seeing the real McCain
October 15th, 2008: Thank you Quebec: The federal election rant (part 3)
October 15th, 2008: The Todd Snider "Peace Queer" rave
October 9th, 2008: Bob's Back: Tell Tale Signs of joy...and a complete lack of judgement
October 8th, 2008: Freedom fly: bottled horniness for the truly patriotic American
October 3rd, 2008: Reagan, Friedman, and McCain: now look at the cost of deregulation
September 19th, 2008: Federal election: What Canadians really want
September 19th, 2008: Federal election: What Canadians really need
September 5th, 2008: Republicans dig the fault lines that create America's great divides
August 10th, 2008: Driving Mr. Laden: The most hideous war crime of all
July 25, 2008: The IOC dictatorship: Let the Olympic muzzling begin
July 17, 2008: Why does Canada stay callous and cold to the fate of Omar Khadr?
July 14, 2008: Conservatism is just a sickness
June 30, 2008: Spain's triumph caps off weeks of attacking soccer at Euro 08
June 22, 2008: Take pity on the fans as the Dutch crash out of Euro 2008
And check out these six pieces on the OpEdNews.com site:
January 24th, 2010: Defeatist Democrats and The Lethargic Left
January 11th, 2010: A Look Back At The Biggest Dicks of The Decade
August 28th, 2009: Canada: Top Ten Things To Love and Hate
You can also see these four older pieces on Canadian Dimension Magazine's Blog:
January 20th, 2009: Bye Bye Buffoon: The Final Bush Rant
December 15th, 2008: And Injustice For All: Cops Face No Charges In Death of Robert Dziekanski
December 11th, 2008: The Canadian media rant: Trashing Naomi while lovin’ Mulroney
December 7th, 2008: The Nonsensical Nationalism Rant: A Nation Built On Zed
A Few Featured Rants and Raves:
When it comes to shrinking away from its responsibility, when it comes to providing exactly the opposite of what its name implies, when it comes to letting everyone down - not just the victims of crime but the entire population - nothing beats the good ol' Canadian justice system.
"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago"
- Warren Buffett
Remember when men went to work and women stayed at home with their abandoned dreams and bottles of Valium and sherry?
It's been quite an amazing decade for lovers of film. While Hollywood pumped out monstrosities like Transformers and G.I. Joe, real filmmakers continued to make both large and small masterpieces, both inside and, more often, outside the Hollywood system.
So, below are my picks for the best 100 films of the past 10 years. However, instead of one list I've decided to make five: 70 Best Films, 10 Best Comedies, 12 Best Documentaries, 5 Best Animated Films, and 3 Best Musicals.
I'm a loser, I'm a loser,
And I'm not what I appear to be
- The Beatles (written by John Lennon), "I'm A Loser"
Is it just me or are the Democrats a pathetic bunch of losers who are too spineless to stand up forcefully for anything they believe in?
My Picks For The Best Films of 2009... and late-2008
Ok, people, this year I'm making two separate lists. Rather than mixing the Best Films of 2009 together with all the great films that were released in late-2008 that I never had a chance to see before posting my Best Films of 2008 list, I'm simply dividing them into two different lists: "Best of 2009" and "Best of Late-2008".
And of course, as is the case every year, there are a few late-2009 releases that I have yet to see that could very well have made this list had I had a chance to see them, most prominently Up In The Air, A Serious Man, An Education, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, The White Ribbon, Broken Embraces, Bad Lieutenant, and Crazy Heart.
So, here they are, my picks for the best films of the past year:
TOP 15 FILMS OF 2009
It's been a pretty lousy decade in many ways (think George W. Bush, etc.), but, when it comes to music at least, it's been a great ten years.
From Bob Dylan's continued renaissance, to the emergence of Jack White as one of music's most inspired artists, to the revolutionary new sounds being created by the likes of M.I.A., to the hip hop genius of Jay-Z and Kanye West, it's sure been an exciting time to be a music fan.
So here they are, my picks for the best music of the last ten years:
What's with the whole "Top 10" thing anyway? What are we, pre-school kids counting on our fingers? Why not a Top 15? Because that's what I'm offering up here: My 15 favorite albums of the past year.
Even though, overall, 2009 wasn't the greatest year for music, there were still some terrific albums released.
Terrific albums, yes, BUT, unless I missed them, no classics. I mean, where was this year's Kala, or Modern Times, or Elephant, or East Nashville Skyline, or Is This It, or Late Registration, or Stankonia, or Heartbreaker, or Love and Theft, or Tell Tale Signs. If an all-time classic album was out there this year I'm pretty sure I didn't hear it.
That said, the year did produce some pretty damn great music. And so here, in no particular order, are MY PICKS FOR THE TOP 15 ALBUMS OF 2009:
One thing I think everyone can agree on is the fact that this past decade has had more than its fair share of dicks. While almost everyone can agree on the dickishness of certain slimy characters out there, certain others inexplicably have their passionate defenders.
To my mind, however, over the past ten years quintessential dickishness has been defined by a select few.
So here it is, my list of the Biggest Dicks of The Decade:
"None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free"
- Pearl S. Buck
During Prime Minister Stephen Harper's four-day trip to China last week he was hit with a non-stop barrage of sanctimonious scolding and chiding about how he has unwisely undermined Canada's relationship with China during his four years in power.
These public attacks came not just from the Chinese leadership and state-run media, but from the opposition parties back here in Canada as well, particularly the Liberals.
Now there's not much I respect about Stephen Harper, but his stand on China has been one issue where I believe he really deserves some genuine praise. While the rest of the western world has stumbled over itself to suck up to The People's Republic for trade and business purposes, Canada has retained a certain sense of dignity. Harper's refusal to kiss China's ass - when just about every other world leader has been doing nothing but - deserves some real respect in my books.
"I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented"
- Elie Weisel
The freakin' fundamentalists are at it again. This time in Somalia, where the stoning of women goes on unabated. This week it was a 20-year-old divorcee who, because she had a boyfriend, was stoned to death for "adultery" (yes, these wackos call it "adultery", even if a person is divorced). Last week it was a 33-year-old man who was stoned to death for adultery and his girlfriend is scheduled to be killed the same way once she gives birth. Last year these same fanatics killed/murdered a 13-year-old girl for "adultery" after she was gang-raped. And one thousand people turned up to cheer, or at least watch, her killing.
Yeah, I know Islam is really a religion of love and compassion and all that. Only problem is, like with all other religions, whenever the fundamentalists take power, it's anything but. Believe me, love and compassion rarely have anything to do with justice in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, the Taliban-controlled areas of Pakistan, and the parts of Nigeria that have introduced sharia law.