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:
Whether you've been following the sad, tragic tale of Robert Dziekanski's brutal death at the hands of those four RCMP officers at Vancouver International Airport back in October 2007 or you're simply concerned about police brutality in general, you absolutely have to watch Terry Milewski's fantastic piece that aired earlier this week on CBC's flagship nightly news program, "The National" (see link below).
Specifically, everyone needs to see the interviews with Tunney Moriarty and Al Clarke, two retired RCMP officers who have a combined 61 years on the force between them. We're talking about two people who spent most of their working lives serving in the RCMP, but who now feel so incensed by the Dziekanski case and, particularly, the way it's been handled by the force that they feel they have no other choice but to speak out and speak up. And have they ever! These guys are a real inspiration.
Something rather strange happened to my son on the way to bed the other night. Something quite peculiar and somewhat disturbing.
Imagine, if you will, the story of Bambi, the same story of the cute little deer and his friends that we all loved so much growing up. Imagine the book, not the movie. But imagine it with one small-but-significant change from the version you knew as a child. Specifically, imagine a final page that literally shows Bambi being served up as a delicious-looking venison steak.
Now imagine that this ending is not intended to be sad in any way. In fact, it's supposed to be happy... and rather mouth-watering. Well, you've now got an idea of the Japanese bedtime story my son was exposed to just the other night.
"I'm a man with a mission in two or three editions"
- Elvis Costello, "Everyday I Write the Book"
The best talk show ever. That's what I'd call Elvis Costello's new one-hour weekly show, "Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...", the first episode of which finally aired here in Canada over the weekend.
I know I said in an earlier piece that "Vagina Power", the show hosted by Alexyss K. Tylor and her mom, was the greatest talk show on TV, but what I really meant was that it was the most hilarious and bizarre talk show ever made, while Elvis' show is the most fascinating, at least for anyone who's a serious music fan.
One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride
- U2, "Pride (In The Name of Love)"
By now I'd hope that everyone has seen Gus Van Sant's magnificent film Milk, about the life and death of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in American history. And if you have seen the film then you know what a truly brilliant piece of filmmaking it is. I finally saw it the other day, after it had been released on DVD, and I found both the film and Sean Penn's performance in it to be absolutely enthralling.
How do you solve a problem like Benny
How do you catch an ideologue and pin him down
How do you find a word that means Benny
Small-minded, doctrinaire, a clown?
- Mr. Rodgers and MC Hammerstein, "Benny"
Ok, Benny The Pontificator is at it again and this time he's pontificating on how it'd be way better to die of AIDS than to ever even consider using a condom. He even went as far as to state that condoms "can actually increase the problem of AIDS". And he said all this on a trip this week to AIDS-ravaged sub-Saharan Africa. Seriously.
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and
Our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our woman
Why we rape our woman
Do we hate our woman?
- 2Pac (Tupac Shakur), "Keep Ya Head Up"
As if you needed any more proof. But here it is anyway, two more stories demonstrating once more (and once and for all) the joy of tradition, the jubilation of superstition and, most of all, the glory - and glorious compassion - of organized religion.
Oh, and not to forget the awesome ability of men to take their beloved misogyny and sexism and make it an integral part of just about every major religion worldwide.
"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
Yet another disturbing story involving sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has just come to light. This one straight out of Southern India and including all of the standard elements we've come to expect, such as the attempted cover-up and a complete lack of compassion for the victims.
According to the story in the British newspaper The Independent, a former nun named Sister Jesme has written a book detailing the illicit sex, habitual abuse, threats, downright cruelty and outright rape that, it seems, is a regular part of life for a nun in the Church, at least in that part of the world. A Church spokesman has even admitted as much (read on).
I finally saw Slumdog Millionaire this week and, man, was it ever good!
The story of an orphaned kid from the slums of Mumbai (Bombay) who gets a chance to win both a fortune on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" and the love of the girl of his dreams, the film is obviously a bit of an unlikely fairy tale. But it's a fairy tale deeply anchored in the gritty, depressing reality of India's millions of desperately poor slum dwellers.
We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place,
'cause girl, there's a better life... for me and you
The Animals, "We Gotta Get out of This Place"
Don’t Mess With The Prairie Folk
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in recent days it’s that you should never mess with the prairie folk, not unless you're willing to face the dreaded Saskatuan sarcasm mechanism.
Here’s how it all went down:
This past week, after the main Neil Young fan site, Neil Young News/Thrasher’s Wheat, put up an excerpt from an old piece of mine called Talkin' Prairie Triangle of Inspiration (A.K.A. Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell Make Their Great Escape) a backlash of sorts occurred, one initiated and led by a few of those afore-mentioned good folk out on the prairie... and all of a sudden I found myself facing a barrage of bitter, angry, sarcasm. Yes, words of indignation were unceremoniously being spewed in my general direction. And I literally unleashed a monster.
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Leonard Cohen, "Everybody Knows"
Cowards. That's the one word that continuously comes to mind when I hear about these out-of-control cops and their tasers.
There have been numerous cases of these weapons being unleashed on harmless victims in recent years, but I think two cases in particular highlight just how cowardly some police have become.