Sunday, January 17, 2010


I will be posting my blog all through the next week (except tomorrow, Jan. 18th, whicj will be difficult bordering on impossible) but, because I will not have my computer hooked up to my Shaw cable, I cannot email each day as usual.

For those of you who cannot get through a day without A Little Berner in the Night (And you are legion! Both of you!), please bookmark the url and check in:

The email version should resume next Saturday, January 23d, if my psychiatrist decides that am ready again for human contact.

It'll be touch and go, for sure.

The Force Barks Back

Al Arsenault is a film director/producer with Odd Squad Productions Society and was a 27-year veteran with the V.P.D., upon his retirement in May 2006. He does not share the popular views on addiction and crime issues and he does not suffer fools gladly.

Hi David,

This news re the continuing status of the SIS is very distressing indeed. As I say, the rich get treatment and the poor get harm reduction. Why cannot all these learned researchers from the “Center of Excrements” come up with just even one single simple graph from the late ‘80’s to present showing the rate of change of OD deaths or drug-related infections that would prove their point of the efficacy of the SIS? Because that plotted line would skyrocket from a few % to the current astronomical levels. And yet they call it a success and the public is again mislead. This is nothing but shameful idealism leaning towards legalization passing itself off as legitimate research under a false banner of compassion. David you are so right on this issue of delivering real treatment instead of this sham of so-called Harm Reduction. All of the addicts in recovery know this. The active users do know what’s best for them- shooting galleries and free drugs leading to legalization. As you so well know, that is how the fiendish drug addict mind works. Some of the Harm Reductionists who know little about the dope simple brain, do not know that they are being mislead by the likes of drug users such as Dean Wilson, while the others are no doubt in the legalization camp, so they are merely letting the drug users suck in the public by making them believe that it is the right thing to do for them. As kind and compassionate parents, we shouldn’t give kids what they want (candy), rather we should provide them what they need (nutritious food). These addicts are being Band-Aided to death. Thank you for speaking out against this travesty.


Guest Blogger, Beth McArthur

Friday, January 15, 2010

Team Jeff or Team Colin?

For those of you waking up in cold sweats, madly humming "Somebody Else", and driving your friends buggy with obsessive musings on the Jeff Bridges versus Colin Firth Best Actor of 2009 dilemma, take heart. You are not alone. The bags under my eyes are heavier than Mariah Carey's weekend totes. For days, I've agonized over this predicament at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 am. Call me a kook. That's just how I am. I embrace movies and fairness with equal fervour. The outcome of this thespian horse race matters to me.

The trouble is, both men are excellent. Both performances raise the status of the men's films to "Ooooh, baby!" from merely "Oh yeah."

I saw Firth's movie, A Single Man, first. Throughout, my heart bled buckets at his repressed, anguished performance as a grieving gay college professor. Afterwards, I sobbed for 45 minutes until globs of black mascara dotted my ultra suede loveseat. With hand on heart, I declared to friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers in movie line-ups that Firth would surely win the Oscar. But then, it struck me. Doesn't Firth always seem stricken in his movie and television roles? He was stricken in Pride and Prejudice. He was stricken in Bridget Jones's Diary. Was his performance here that great a stretch, acting-wise, after all? Maybe he looks stricken when he's buying toilet paper.

Then I saw Crazy Heart, a riveting character study about a drunken, brilliant, sensitive country singer played by an irrepressible Bridges. I chortled, held my breath, gasped, tapped my toes, wanted to run my fingers through his character's Kris Kristofferson-y hair as much as I wanted to flee from his puke spittle. I now felt 100% certain that Bridges was the guy to beat. He sang the songs himself, man. His character felt more real than Firth's somehow. His lovable loser was more recognizable, more tangible. You could sense his flabby, physical heft. You could smell this dude. Firth, on the other hand, seemed pristine: a Ken doll slowly crumbling.

The Golden Globe is one award that might go to Colin instead of Jeff at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's big wing ding this Sunday, January 17. That's because the 49-year-old Firth's a Brit and foreign journalists are voters. But the Oscar will likely go to Jeff in March. The guy's as American as apple pie.

It was after almost a week of angst that I finally realized for me it all boils down to: who will most appreciate an Oscar? Which man will be happier, and look happier, to win an Academy Award? And which man's win will delight the gleaming audience to the rafters? The answer to all these questions is, of course, Jeff Bridges.

I want to see Jeff Bridges's big handsome, 60-year-old face light up, his cheeks dimple, and those crinkly baby blues sparkle. I want to see an extreme close-up of beautiful Susan Geston, Bridges's wife of over 30 years, crying in the audience, followed by a slow pan to brother Beau, also weeping. I want Jeff to thank his late father Lloyd Bridges in his Oscar acceptance speech. I want Jeff to say "far out" or "right on" for the boomers watching. I want the entire Kodak Theater audience to rise as one to celebrate this American son, a man who's given and given and given, goddamnit, to movie goers and TV audiences for over 40 years without once donning a reindeer sweater.


Update as of January 16th: Jeff Bridges won the Critics Choice Award for Best Actor the evening of January 15th. He will host the Grammys 2010 on January 31st.

Of course, the lovely irony is that Robert Duvall, who won a much-deserved Oscar for his role as a broken, alcoholic country singer in the great Horton Foote story, Tender Mercies, is co-starring in Bridges' new film.

We Can Dream, Can't We?