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Archive for the ‘itstory’ Category

If you live in Canada, you’re probably familiar with that giant outlet store that boasts new items daily–from clothing to home furnishings to lead-laden childrens’ toys. On a recent visit to my local Winners, I stopped by the home furnishing section only to be horrified by the cheap colonialist bric-a-brac festooned on their even cheaper glass shelves. Is this some sick corporate joke? The irony of a company that distances itself from racist slave labour by dealing with sellers, rather than the actual making of clothes, propping up a sort of colonialist idealism and nostalgia (with all the racism and slavery given a rosy hue under the fluorescent lights of the store) is enough to make me cry, puke and laugh violently all at once. So remember folks, history was written by the “winners” and so too shall home decor be. Below are pictures I took of various offensive bric-a-brac at a Winners here in Toronto, in a very multi-ethnic neighbourhood.

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Rascist busts of what I suppose is an African slave in Western period costume. Notice the stereotypical accentuating of features and the clash with the ‘soft’ European/Western pastel hues of the costume.

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Here it was beside a very idealized, classicized bust of Mozart, icon of Western civilization (versus the savage slaves that ‘we’ civilized and tamed on the plantations). Are you convinced yet that conquest and domination are wonderful things of PROGRESS?

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Never mind that here in Canada, First Nations have worked hard to inform the public that they ARE NOT INDIANS for chrissakes. COLUMBUS MADE A FOOLISH ERROR, remember? But, alas, here we are again with the “redskin in a head-dress” again with certain features accentuated to make him look “authentic”. Fuck you, winners.

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Of course every wealthy colonialist needs his collection of African masks to prove he had a fruitful safari.

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And let’s not forget coffee: remember if it tastes good, it’s because of the “EUROPEAN BLEND”, not because of the slaves who toil to pick the beans. Don’t you feel like going to Kenya and commanding your own coffee plantation? You could look hot in a little safari outfit, just like Keira Knightly did in her Vanity Fair spread.

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Ahh, yet another fine colonialist sport, shooting elephants for their ivory and then making statues out of them. The utmost example of Man v. Nature. Bravo.

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And to bring it all back to a respectable English flavour, a bit of hunting today, sir?

Bravo, Winners, for making explicit your Colonialist tendencies of raping peoples’ human rights, and justifying it through racism and Western privilege of a ‘comfortable, stylish life’.

Below: More from Keira Knightley’s Vanity Fair spread for Vuitton. Doesn’t she look so pretty against the primitive backgrounds?
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This news is old but forgotten. I keep seeing ads for Bernstein’s diet clinics on TV and wonder what special forces it took to acquit him of attempted murder charges when all of the jewellry and Rolex watches were stashed in his home… I also wonder what kind of powerhouse lawyer he employed to get the Toronto Star to eventually take Bernstein’s name out of subsequent stories on the murder plot that you can read below…could it have been Edward Greenspan? How could he afford him? And what is up with the kidnapping of him and his wife where they were found stuffed in the trunk of a Mercedes-Benz several years later? I found these articles in the Star’s online archives. Googling Bernstein’s name gets you nothing more than “”Criminal Background checks”, so in all its glory, I’m posting some of the weird and criminal history behind Toronto’s very own Doctor Death. Enjoy the headline timeline (Only main articles published in full).
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Toronto doctor charged in contract murder plot:[FIN Edition]
John Duncanson Toronto Star. Toronto Star Toronto, Ont.:Jul 21, 1992. p. A1

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Kathy Lee Gifford: Patron Saint of Labouring Children

Don’t be fooled by Ronald McDonald House, WalMart Children’s Charities or other corporate children’s charities…it’s a front. Today is a reminder that our comfortable lifestyles come at the expense others’ childhoods. Here are some of the most popular offenders you might try and avoid…
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This is all gossip and rumours, and I swore I’d never contribute to the Paris publicity machine, but I can’t help myself today. It’s the heat. So here’s a little sump’n to make those grey skies cheer up. The indifference in the cop’s eyes (passenger seat) is what really makes it.

Let it be known that I think Paris Hilton looks like the Chicken Lady from Kids in the Hall.

Oh, and Nicole Richie looks like a busted Kevin McDonald. Damn! Kevin McDonald should have played her roles in the Simple Life when the two brats were feuding. No offense meant to Kevin McDonald.

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I’m a little bit Winston and a little bit O’Brien.

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Retro is always in. But in the past year, it’s been in in a very particular way. Doo-wop and 50s girls style defines musicians like Amy Winehouse (signature beehive) and the Pipettes (another female-fronted band); Christina Aguilera goes further, evoking the Company B style of the WWII era. I can’t help but feel, however, that in this era of Googlism, and complete lack of historical contexts off which to play, the irony of retro is now lost. Just because Winehouse says ‘fuck’ in her best Nina Simone impersonation, or just because the Pipettes look like they’re sassy chicks who say the other ‘f’ word (feminism), doesn’t make the parody subversive (not that they’re necessarily setting out to do so). In fact, I feel like this fake nostalgia we all have for poodle skirts and red lipstick is part of a seething, bubbling fascism that is a ‘no-no’ to discuss in the enlightened West… Thus I present my De-Evolution of Retro Style: A Descent into Fascism, Racism and Mysogyny, Again.

So the following are lyrics from Doris Day, Amy Winehouse and The Pipettes. They all confirm that notion that “boys will be boys” and, well…can’t live with them, can’t live without them…tee hee!

Read the lyrics to “A Guy is a Guy” by Doris Day (1951)

I walked down the street like a good girl should
He followed me down the street like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
So listen and I’ll tell you what this fella did to me

I walked to my house like a good girl should
He followed me to my house like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
So listen while I tell you what this fella did to me

I never saw the boy before
So nothin’ could be sillier
At closer range his face was strange
But his manner was familiar

So I walked up the stairs like a good girl should
He followed me up the stairs like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be

So listen and I’ll tell you what this fella did to me

I stepped to my door like a good girl should
He stopped at my door like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
So listen while I tell you what this fella did to me

He asked me for a good-night kiss
I said, “It’s still good day”
I would have told him more except
His lips got in the way

So I talked to my ma like a good girl should
And Ma talked to Pa like I knew she would
And they all agreed on a married life for me
The guy is my guy wherever he may be

So I walked down the aisle like a good girl should
He followed me down the aisle like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
And now you’ve heard the story of what someone did to me

And that’s what he did to me

Amy Winehouse’s

“What It Is About Men”

Understand once he was a family man
so surely I would never, ever go through it first hand
Emulate all the shit my mother hated
I can’t help but demostrate my Freudian fate
My alibi for taking your guy
history repeats itself, it fails to die
and animal agression is my downfall
I don’t care ’bout what you got I wanted all

It’s bricked up in my head, it’s shoved under my bed
and I question myself again: what is it ’bout men?
My destructive side has grown a mile wide
and I question myself again: what is it ’bout men?

I’m nurturing, I just wanna do my thing
and I’ll take the wrong man as naturally as I sing

and I’ll save my tears for uncovering my fears
for behavioural patters that stick over the years

It’s bricked up in my head, it’s shoved under my bed
and I question myself again: what is it ’bout men?
My destructive side has grown a mile wide
and I question myself again: what is it ’bout men?

Feminist Complaints, The Pipettes

Broke my heart, what a shame
Played the field, but all game
Your hands lingered for too long
Teasing touch was very strong

That night you left with her in tow
Contributing to my feminist woes

Feminist woe, feminist woe
For feminist cunts, feminist cunts, feminist cunts
Oh, oh, oh

Broke my heart, what a shame
Played away, but all game
That night you left with her in tow
Contributing to my feminist woes

Feminist woe, feminist woe
For feminist cunts, feminist cunts, feminist cunts
Oh, oh, oh

That night I knew that you had been untrue
So what? What? What can I do?

Broke my heart, what a shame
Played the field, but all game

He broke her heart

COPYCATS!

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beta

I miss the modern era.

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