If The Blind Assassin was a layer cake, the layers would be the impossibility of true love, the inexorable destructive force of time, and chocolate. The frosting is pulp and newspaper. It's a remarkable novel, if only for the way Margaret Atwood weaves together three wildly different genres into a whole. There's the gentle comedy of old age about an old woman living a rather solitary existence in a small Southern Ontario town. There are her reminiscences of her life and family, an old-fashioned bildungsroman or family saga. Then there's a story about a doomed romance and pulp science fiction. Each on their own a very good book, but together form a great one. [more inside]
This week.... New Zealand Prime Minister John Key answers surprisingly candid questions on radio. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, unpopular for his reforms, courts controversy with an insensitive TV commercial. A Copenhagen zoo's decision to kill a healthy two-year-old giraffe and feed it to the lions is followed up by the decision to kill two lions and their cubs, and another zoo in Denmark dissected a lion in front of a crowd. LWT helpfully produced an honest commercial for Denmark's zoos. Main story: Canada has an election tomorrow (er, by now, two days ago -- Justin Trudeau won). Cameo appearance by Mike Myers! YouTube (15m) And Now: A Student Passes Out Listening To Steven Harper Speak. (Two students, actually.) Finally, in response to the epidemic of quote misattribution by political figures and generally on the internet, LWT created a website to generate random misquotes from historical figures, definitelyrealquotes.com. [more inside]
This week.... The Obama administration reaches a historic deal with Iran, but has difficulty selling it to Congress. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is in Russia to kick off preparations for the 2018 World Cup. Ashley Madison, a website that encourages and helps set up affairs between married people, was hacked and the responsible parties threaten to release records on their userbase. LWT produced a short message exhorting married citizens of Ottawa not to have affairs. Main story: The absurdity of mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the US. YouTube (15m) And Now: Unnecessary Full Disclosure. Ukraine threatens to blacklist Gérard Depardieu as a threat to their national security (Guardian) for a statement made last year at a film festival. Over the closing credits, LWT provides a brief slideshow of photos of Depardieu set to "cartoonishly French music." [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US torturing of detainees, upping the stakes against Jack Warner Season 2, Ep 17
This week: Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko warns Vladimir Putin likely to invade soon. Azerbaijan prepares to host the European Games, a new Olympics-style sporting festival, drawing closer scrutiny for their terrible human rights record. Canadian senators discovered to have spent over a million dollars of the government's money for things like golf and fishing trips, hockey tickets and holidays -- but spent $24 million to discover it. And Now: Newscasters Trying Not To Swear. The main story is on torture, American's attitudes and misconceptions regarding it, and how little has changed since we learned the CIA engaged in it, how it doesn't work, and why we seem to think that it does. LWT got Dame Helen Mirram to read key excerpts from it. YouTube (15m) And Now: Newscasters Not Trying Not TO Swear. And finally, an update on former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who responded (3m) to Oliver's Trinidad TV response (4m) to his video (7m). The "epic and dramatic music" in Warner's is Ash (3m), by The Secession.
The Book of Negroes: Episode 1 Season 1, Ep 1
CBC's production of Lawrence Hill's acclaimed epic novel begins by introducing 11-year old Aminata Diallo, just as she is stolen from her home in West Africa and forced into slavery. [more inside]
Stars is a band from Toronto, who have been making music together since 2000. Their seventh album was released in October 2014. In this episode, they talk about the inspiration for the phrase No One Is Lost, which is the title of this song as well as the album. And you’ll hear the original version of the chorus: one that they wrote, recorded, mixed, and finished but then, ended up changing completely. [more inside]
Strange Empire: The Hunting Party Season 1, Ep 1
A group of women heading for the Canadian border find themselves bereft of their menfolk and installed in Janestown, a prostitute settlement. [more inside]
Any interest in Strange Empire from the CBC? [more inside]
Orphan Black: Conditions of Existence First Watch Season 1, Ep 5
The women learn that they have monitors - people in their lives whose purpose it is to observe them. They then try to discover who the monitors are.
Orphan Black: Effects of External Conditions First Watch Season 1, Ep 4
Alison impersonates Sarah to help her with Kira while Sarah encounters the person responsible for the deaths of other clones.
Orphan Black: Variation Under Nature First Watch Season 1, Ep 3
Sarah meets Cosima, another lookalike. Cosima and Alison reveal to Sarah all that they know about what is happening with the lookalikes including that they are clones. As Beth, Sarah must investigate the death of the body she buried.
Orphan Black: Instinct First Watch Season 1, Ep 2
Sarah must pose as Katja to find a mysterious suitcase. As Sarah delves further into the mystery of her lookalikes, she meets Alison - another lookalike who may provide her with the answers she needs.
Orphan Black: Natural Selection First Watch Season 1, Ep 1
When Sarah Manning witnesses the suicide of Elizabeth Childs, a woman who looks just like her, Sarah arranges for Beth's body to be misidentified by her foster brother, Felix, as Sarah assumes Beth's identity. The plan is to clear out Beth's bank accounts, get her daughter Kira back, and run away to start a new life, but Sarah gets caught in a conspiracy about why she and Beth look alike and what led Beth to kill herself.
Continuum: The Dying Minutes Season 3, Ep 12
John Doe's revelations force Liber8 to regroup and its members to reconsider their mission. A new character, The Traveller, is introduced. Carlos pulls himself together. The Freelancers face a familiar enemy.
Continuum: 3 Minutes to Midnight Season 3, Ep 11
The pieces begin to come together: A direct attack from Liber8 puts John Doe and Kiera in danger. But now that John Doe has learned more about his past and future, his revelations could change everything.
Continuum: Revolutions Per Minute Season 3, Ep 10
A shocking discovery is made by Kiera, whose connection with the mysterious John Doe grows deeper. At the same time, her relationship with the Freelancers becomes more strained. Meanwhile, Alec crosses the Rubicon to protect his legacy.
Continuum: Minute of Silence Season 3, Ep 9
Someone is stealing cutting-edge technology and using it to commit crimes. A man wakes up in a Vancouver hospital with amnesia. The only name he remembers: "Kiera Cameron." [more inside]
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