Saturday, August 18, 2007

Garbage Strike is All Show Biz - Just Ask the PR Flaks who are Running the City's "Story"

With thanks to friend and commentor, Martino, we advise you to read all about the Wilcox Group, a major PR firm who are "managing" the City's version and the GVRD's version of the current labour disputes.
This is your tax money.

City Hall Strikes Out

Sam, the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Fixing, is going to re-write church history.

In one swell foop, he will instruct all the Houses of God flying all their various flags what their true roles are in life.

To begin with, he has now advised from On High, that religious buildings (whatever those are...structures made of sinew that can feel your pain?) are simply and only places to worship.

God forbid you should feed or clothe or house a poor person. To do that, he Hath Decreed, one church, cathedral, mosque, synagogue or revival tent would need take out a "social-service-use" permit.

Which mean that to continue doing what these institutions have been doing since time immemorial, they would be subject to the whims and insensitivities of some effing brain dead bureaucrat clerk typist.

This, with unblinking irony, he calls The Civil City.

This is one sick puppy.

City Hall Strikes Again

A half page ad in the Vancouver Sun does not come cheap.

Who paid for this ego-massage?

Why, you and I did, of course.

Who wrote it? A hired PR flak, of course.

"Fair. Balanced. Affordable."


Just get back to the bargaining table and conclude your business. Don't spend my money telling me what a good guy you are. I don't buy it and neither does anybody else.

Movie "Dolly" Should be Put in the Vaults

The film version of "Hello Dolly" is an execrable piece of work.

Using all of the same techniques that made her so warm and charming and winning in "Funny Girl," Barbra Streisand is cold and imperious, distant and a kind of ego-monster in "Dolly." The exact same thing happened to her in "Funny Lady," in which her delightful Fanny Brice was replaced by a shrill, cynical harridan.

The amazing thing about "Funny Girl" was that Streisand really was Fanny Brice. It's amazing to think that anyone else was ever considered for the role when it first appeared on Broadway. I've seen film footage of Brice recently and it's hard to tell where she ends and Streisand begins.

In "Dolly," all of the sparkle and lightheadedness that Carol Channing brought to the role, the droll off-handedness that Pearl Bailey offered are missing in action with Streisand.

Maybe it was the combination of Gene Kelly directing and her acting, maybe they hated each other, who is to know?

Michael Crawford, who later in life, was entirely resurrected as The Phantom of the Opera, is flat weird. He looks a good 20 years younger than Marianne McAndrew, who was terribly mis-cast as Irene Malloy. Tommy Tune looks like he's going to spit at any moment. Only Danny Lockin as Barnaby Tucker gets and hold our eye with his vigorous, gifted dancing and broad smile.

The worst moment of all - the most monstrous - the appearance of Louis Armstrong. Instead of simply letting this great, brilliant, one-of-a-kind performer do his thing (What more could we ask for?), Kelly and Streisand have her "scatting" and shadowing his every move and note. He hasn't a beat alone on camera during the number.

There is, however, one actor in this movie. His name is Walter Mathhau. He plays Horace Vandergelder and he's wonderful.

Streisand won a deserved Oscar for "Funny Girl," her first movie. The simple truth is that she was never better.

Next time, "Hello Dolly" comes on TV, go out for a walk. You'll feel better.