Enter Stage Right hands out its monthly awards...

The June 1999 Earth is Flat Award

A celebration of the inane, insipid and asinine...

web posted: June 20, 1999

As you lie on the beach this summer soaking in sun and relaxing, we here at Enter Stage Right would like you to take the time to remember that Francophone golfers in Quebec are suffering and need your prayers.

It seems that Quebecois golfers, much like their counterparts across the world, are using English golf terms on the course. Although Quebec officially only speaks French, it seems that terms like birdie, putter and hook can be heard on golf courses across the province.

The Office de la langue francaise, Quebec's language cops, is fighting that shaming of the master race of Canada by promoting the use of French on golf courses...excuse me, that's parcours de golf. Quebec's guardians of the French language have been trying to persuade golfers to turf the game's English lexicon in favour of French terms. For example, Francophone should pass on the putter and come to grips with le fer droit (literally translated as straight iron).

"Five years ago, there weren't very many French words used on a golf course," agency spokesman Gerald Paquette said with no small sound of passion in his heart.

"It has changed a lot because teachers are increasingly using the French terms."

Yes, to make sure that Quebecois golfers only use the French language on le parcours de golf, the office has published a 26 page glossary of French golf terms on its Web site putting Quebec on the linguistic vanguard. Even golfers in France use English words like no. 1 iron (le bois numero un in Quebec).

The Office de la langue francaise has campaigned to have sports stores, equipment manufacturers and Francophone media use their terms. It has staged similar efforts in other areas such as food and aeronautics, with varying degrees of success. As part of its food campaign it tried to get Quebecers to say hamburgeois instead of hamburger, but no one bit.

Past failures, however, shouldn't dissuade the gestapos of language from saving Quebecois from their natural selves. As they do with billboards and shop signs (and even tombstones), the office could send around inspectors to make sure that golfers are only using the government approved lingo.

Free at last. Free at last.

web posted: June 6, 1999:

Many people have a moment in their lives which defines them as what they really are. Few, however, have had as many these moments as U.S. President Bill Clinton has.

I can still remember Democratic candidate for president Clinton excoriating President George Bush for continuing normal economic and political relations with the "Butchers of Beijing" after the massacre in Tiananmen Square, how he hounded him on the campaign trail for continuing to talk to men who killed so many brave students protesting for democracy. As much as I disliked him, I had to agree with Clinton, it was wrong for the United States to continue dealing with China without a hint of real protest.

That opposition to dealing with China -- or apparently accepting money from Chinese communist politicians and soldiers -- disappeared the day he strode into office and began showing himself for what he really is. It may have reached its apex last week.

During a week which saw China shutdown access to CNN so that its worker's paradise wasn't reminded of how great things really are came Clinton's announcement to the Congress on June 3 his decision to renew normal trade relations with China for another year.

Clinton justified the renewal saying it "will promote America's economic and security interests" despite recent tensions between the two nations.

"We pursue engagement with our eyes wide open, without illusions," Clinton said. "A policy of disengagement and confrontation would only strengthen those in China who oppose greater openness and freedom."

What was particularly disgusting about the announcement -- and Clinton himself -- was its timing. This scourge of those who would destroy human rights around the world, the man who bombed a modern European state until hundreds -- if not more -- of its innocent civilians were killed, the man who turns a blind eye to repression in Cuba, East Timor, Indonesia, Tibet, Vietnam, and many more other countries than I can care to remember, made his announcement at a significant time.

The announcement came on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the massacre.

Defining indeed.

web posted: May 31, 1999

Advocates of government funded art love to point to ancient Athens as an example as to why it is a proper use of money forcibly taken from people. Of course, they always fail to remember the government funded art of Nazi Germany, Communist Russia and China and they sound less than convincing when they try and defend American funded art like the unfortunately and accurately named Piss Christ which featured a picture of Jesus Christ inside of a urine filled jar.

Canada, I'm afraid, is no exception but here our government likes to follow the lead of Adolph Hitler and use money to promote art which exemplifies "Canadian culture", giving us endless episodes of Anne of Green Gables on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a -- you guessed it -- government owned broadcaster.

Of course, celebrating spunky pre-teen redheads from Atlantic Canada is innocuous when compared to some of the other "Canadian culture" our government has supported. Canadians are also lucky enough to have supported through their tax dollars the pornographic film Bubbles Galore, a movie which apparently was received the best film award at the FREAKZONE International Festival of Trash Cinema in France. High praise indeed.

Directed by Canadian Cynthia Roberts, Bubbles Galore features porn star Nina Hartley, who has appeared in more than 300 triple-X films. Hartley plays a "porn superstar who produces her own unique brand of adult entertainment," according to a synopsis of the movie, written by Roberts.

In the credits for Bubbles Galore, the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Telefilm Canada, and Ontario Film Development Corporation are credited for their "generous financial assistance" in funding "a feminist sex fantasy."

In promoting the movie on its web site, Roberts describes lesbian love scenes in the "wild and wonderful world" of Hartley, who is Bubbles Galore: "Bubbles is faced with the seemingly impossible task of training a leading lady who is not only inexperienced in the sex industry, but sex itself -- it seems Dory Drawers is a virgin.

"Bubbles decides to give Dory a hands-on crash course, not only in porno acting, but in sexual lovemaking."

So how much did this David Lean-esque journey into sexuality cost Canadians? A mere $127 000 in government funding.

Now that particular movie was funded and made three years ago and Heritage Minister Sheila Copps spent part of a week last month denouncing the whole mess. But while the grim Copps was decrying Bubbles Galore, reports spread about another pornographic movie which was only recently funded.

Yes, the Canada Council has agreed to fund production of a movie called The Girl Who Would Be King, a lesbian, drag-king adventure set to begin production in September.

Ilean Pietrobruno of Vancouver, who was awarded $60 000 to make the film, said that it was "a campy kind of thing" in which women in drag travel up and down the west coast of Canada "and search for treasure." When asked by a reporter what the "treasure" was, Pietrobruno laughed, and refused to answer.

The treasure in question that the drag-king pirate is seeking is her own vagina, according to one person who read the script.

Ancient Athens indeed...

The more Elizabeth Dole speaks, the more reasons Americans have to be glad that her husband Bob failed in his bid for the presidency back in 1996. While he himself would have been bad enough, giving her a guaranteed forum for four years would have been just as bad as listening to the droning of the current First Lady.

In a surprise move, Dole said last month that it is "wrong" to allow Americans to carry concealed weapons and that she supports mandatory safety locks on guns.

"I think police work is hard enough already. No one should make it harder. I think it's wrong to let people carry concealed weapons," Dole intoned in a speech.

Those comments were the latest in a series last month which saw her throw her support of various gun-control proposals.

She's made nearly her entire living working as a stooge for the government so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that she only wants more action against freedom. God help Americans if she wins the nomination.

The June 1999 Vinegar in Freedom Award

There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.

web posted: May 31, 1999

Despite what all the IBM commercials about e-commerce solutions suggest, it is the average person which has built and maintains the World Wide Web.

It is that average person who aped Gutenberg's revolution, but not on paper, rather they translated the faint electrical traces of their mind into electronic pulses. Those pulses take many forms on the web, whether images, words or sounds, but the common factor behind all of them is a passion to share something they have with the rest of the world.

Recently the web lost one a forum of those passions. Joel Miller closed shop on Real Mensch to build a new career as an Associate Editor with the well established WorldNetDaily.

Over the past few years Real Mensch -- and its predecessor Mensch -- was a clearing house for ideas. In that sense it was hardly unique since there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of magazines, journals, e-zines and pamphlets on the web which serve to promote a single or set of ideas.

Real Mensch was different from a lot of those efforts though, because it did its thing with style. It was humorous and -- though it was libertarian -- rarely wrong about the positions its writers took on the matters of the day, whether school vouchers or the war over Yugoslavia. Heck, they even ran a few of my pieces.

In an honest moment, I have to admit that I got more good ideas from Real Mensch than I did with most other magazines, even the big money efforts like Slate or Salon, whether it was on layout or what subjects to tackle and it was always nice when Miller contributed a suggestion for a path to explore.

Real Mensch will be missed!

Have someone you want considered for the Earth is Flat Award or the Vinegar in Freedom Award? Email ESR with your candidates!


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