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:
These are better days baby
These are better days it's true
These are better days
Better days are shining through
- Bruce Springsteen, "Better Days"
I witnessed the most incredible thing yesterday while watching the Super Bowl. And, no, I'm not talking about that fantastic 12-minute tour-de-force of a performance by The Boss at halftime (now that was a halftime show!!).
Nor am I talking about the game itself, which turned out to be pretty damn good.
In the room where fortune falls
On a day when chance is all
In the dark of this exile
I felt the grace of your smile
Honey you're my lucky day
- Bruce Springsteen, "My Lucky Day"
Lucky day indeed. Yesterday marked not only the release of Bruce Springsteen's new album, Working On A Dream, but also the release of Woody Allen's wonderful Vicky Cristina Barcelona on DVD. And it sure made for one heck of a terrific day for all us fans of great music and film.
As for the Bruce album, after six good listens I can now say with quite some certainty that Working On A Dream is one of his greatest albums of the past two decades, if not his whole career.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord...
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
Excerpts from Barack Obama's Inaugural Address, January 20th, 2009
Isn't it great to once again have such an articulate, intelligent, thoughtful, level-headed person in the White House? Someone who's not only an incredible inspiration to so many people, but someone who's also genuinely compassionate and empathetic.
- "There's no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail." - Oct. 4, 2001. George W. Bush, in Washington, D.C., remarking on a back-to-work plan after 9-11, though, of course, he just as easily could have been talking about his entire presidency.
Finally, more than two weeks into 2009, here they are: My Picks For The Best Music of 2008:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
1. Bob Dylan: "Tell Tale Signs"
Who would have thought that a collection of outtakes and alternate versions of previously released tracks from the years 1989-2006 would be this good and would sound so little like a compilation and so much like an incredibly coherent album? But it does. And it's not just good, it's the Best Album Of The Year... an album that just gets better and better with each listen. Proof to any doubters out there that Bob remains as relevant, essential and important as ever.
It's a full two weeks into the new year and I've finally assembled my list of the best films of the past year. It may be a bit late, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a list of 25 must-see new films; films that helped make this such a phenomenal year for a movie nut like myself.
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
Bob Dylan, "Blowin' In The Wind"
What's going on in Gaza right now is so incredibly tragic and unjust, not to mention unbelievably brutal and barbaric.
But I'm not here to discuss how it is we came to this horrific situation. No, that has been written about much more eloquently by others, people such as Avi Shlaim, an Oxford professor of international relations and an Israeli himself. I'd strongly recommend that everyone read his recent piece "How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe". It's a definite must-read for anyone wanting to really understand this conflict and the whole long, sordid tale of Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinian people.
Benny The Pontificator Strikes Again
That buffoon Benedict is at it once again, lashing out at gays in yet another hate-filled speech and declaring that civilization must be saved from the evil, destructive influence of homosexuality (read more here: Pope attacks blurring of gender, and here: Gay groups angry at Pope remarks).
Now that's a Christmas message we can all get behind, isn't it? A message of peace, love and joy. Yet another classic in a long line of greats, such as the one about the corrosive influence of premarital sex on society; the one concerning the evils of birth control, particularly condoms (even in AIDS-ravaged places such as sub-Saharan Africa); and let's not forget that oldie-but-goodie: the need to conquer and convert all heathens and infidels.
All you fans of "Touching The Untouchables" will be excited to see that the much-loved segment is finally back. Just in time for X'mas too! And this time we're discussing "Loving God".
"Loving God" may, in fact, be the guy's given name, but, like the Black Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake, I just want to know "where is the love?
You who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears
Bob Dylan, "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll"
The cops who brutally attacked newly-arrived immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007, tragically causing his death, will face absolutely no criminal charges. That's right, none.
A year ago when I wrote my sad and angry piece, "Kill, Duck and Cover: The RCMP Rant", I was outraged and sickened, but at least I knew that, with the video evidence the whole world had just seen, there would eventually be some sort of justice for Dziekanski and his heartbroken mother, Sofia Cisowski. But, sadly, I was wrong. There will be no justice. None whatsoever.