Saturday, February 7, 2009


There have been six murders in Metro Vancouver this week.

Let's see now.

We have a Solicitor-General. We have an Attorney-General. We have a Mayor and Council. We have the Vancouver Police Department, the RCMP, the Coordinated Unit of Something and the Integrated Task Force of Something Else.

We have social workers, outreach workers, community developers, family counsellors, group therapists and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners, many of whom are Irish and Ukrainian.

We have school counsellors and Grief Counsellors, but no Good Grief! specialists.

We have drug court and we have native court.

We have parole and probation and healing circles and victim assistance and victim compensation.

My favorite recurring phrase in the reports of all this violence is "known to the police," as in, "We knew this scuzzbag dopehead criminal piece of dirt was doing all this dreadful stuff, but we just didn't really have the evidence or the case to bust his sorry ass before he started spraying auto-fire all over a shopping mall at noon."

What we don't have is the collective will to say, "No."

That just wouldn't be nice.


Last night I watched from beginning to end, Stanley Kubrick's singular, brilliant, stand-alone one-of-a-kind dark comedy, "Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."

Below you can watch Peter Sellers in two of the three roles he played in this masterwork, American President Merkin Muffley and Dr. Strangelove. As the President, he has on one side of him the great Canadian actor, Jack Creley, and on the other George C. Scott.

The closing line of the scene, and the movie, is hysterically bleakly funny and no matter how many times you see it, it surprises.

To see Sellers' third role as Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, you will have to rent the movie.

Then you will have the astonishing delight of watching Sterling Hayden as the completely insane Brigadier general Jack D. Ripper, obsessed with "the Ruskies taking control of our precious bodily fluids," or Keenan Wynn warning Sellers that if he is wrong he "will have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company!"

If you watch closely, you can also see the great James Earl Jones, he with the stentorian CNN voice, in a role almost without words.

This is a movie with lines like, "Gentleman, please! You cannot fight in the War Room!"

What a mad merry prankster Kubrick was.

What a great movie this is.