How exactly do you measure talent anyway?

“The most talented thing to come out of Stratford is Justin Bieber!!!”….

This /facepalm statement came via a chatroom I was in looking for information on how to beat a quest in Fallout New Vegas.   The question came up to the channel “So where’s everyone from?”.

I don’t know why I keep telling people I’m from Stratford Ontario because 90% of the time someone goes..”OMG!!!! DO YOU KNOW JUSTIN BEIBER??!!!”

Although the mischievous side of me often wants to say, “Why yes I do..”  just to see how far I can push things I’ve always said “No” and tried to change the subject.

In this case I guess the kid was a super-fan because they just wouldn’t stop asking questions.   Finally I typed, “Yeah,  sorry, not a fan.”

The resulting diatribe was actually pretty funny and I wish I would’ve logged it to share but alas, I didn’t expect hilarity to ensue on my quest to find out how to best get into Vault 34’s lower levels.

I did mention the cultural diversity of Stratford,  especially how the Stratford Festival draws big name actors every summer.   It was then that I was hit with the Bieber is the most talented comment.

Before I say more,  let me point out the following:

i) I do not hate Justin Bieber,  and,  as I’ve never met him I can’t even say that I dislike him…well wait….that changed when I saw what he wore to receive the Diamond Jubilee Medal….he was immediately inducted into my Douche Bag Hall of Fame.

ii)  I do not care for his music.  He has talent but IMO poor taste in music.   I find his music generic and his lyrics vapid (I don’t really care if he writes his own stuff or not)

iii)  I will admit that I am with music,  like I am with coffee.   A snob.

Music is religion to me.  It reaches me on a spiritual level.  I assign songs to different periods of my life (Blue Oyster Cult‘s Great Sun Jester,  Bob Marley’s Redemption Song),  I assign significant people songs that make me think of them (Dave Matthew’s Band  When the World Ends,   Florence and the Machine‘s What the Water Gave Me,  Burn Halo’s Dirty Little Girl,  even Garth Brook’s  The Dance,  to name but a few).
My point here is that I know music.   I know good music.  I have a very good ear for it (hit a wrong note, even as a single musician in a large orchestra, and I will hear it).

So let’s talk about talent.

I don’t think fame or music awards are any real measure of who is more talented than the other (unless we’re talking about marketing).

Case in point,  the cast of Perth County Player’s production of Godspell.   I have the privilege of doing the lighting for the show.   Last night,  opening night and my 5th viewing of the production I was sitting at the back of the theater at my lighting board and listening to a solo.   I thought about the talent that was up on the stage,  mostly from Stratford and pondered how to measure talent.

Here’s the thing…I think luck plays a huge part in fame.   You need talent to get noticed,  but the fact that you make millions doesn’t make you more talented than any of thousands out there.   I wondered how members of the cast would do if given the opportunity afforded Bieber.    Every member of the cast is far above average and a few are incredible.  I’m avoiding naming names,  but there are a few that have the voices for fame.   One of these talented folk has the powerful vocals to rival that of Florence Welch,  whom I consider my High Priestess of Music.    (heh, I’ll bet there are a couple of jaws that dropped at that comparison).

It is a truly amazing production.   Even after seeing it so many times I’m still enthralled.   It holds my attention for the complete run.  Remember that’s significant as I have ADHD and have problems sitting through an hour long tv show.

If you’re in the Stratford area between now and Saturday get a ticket and check it out.   You won’t regret it!   You can get tickets at Sinclair’s Pharmacy across from City Hall.   The production is in the City Hall theater.

This is my blog so I’m allowed to plug stuff shamelessly…..but every word here is the truth…this isn’t a marketing thing.

So in closing,   luck plays a huge role on the talented becoming famous.

That being said….does anyone have Usher’s number?   I’ve got some folks I think he should take a look at.


Gangsters Apparently Really Need Nipples….

“There is always concern with organized crime if you have complete full nudity and there’s other concerns if you don’t, so we made this change that is a compromising position,” -Donna Harpaur, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Alcohol and Gaming.

You really have to wonder if some politicians listen to themselves while they’re speaking.

By the above statement, quoted in an article on,  apparently all it takes to keep organized crime away is to make everyone wear pasties on their nipples.

I’m sure this is good news for law enforcement.  They will save a fortune as they give up their bullet proof vests and expensive fire power for a pair of pasties.  They can now just walk in,  rip their shirts open and mobsters will quake at the sight of sequin capped nipples.   Just slap the cuffs on and take `em away.

Having watched The Sopranos in its entirety,  I’m very familiar with OC,   So it is with some authority that I say that so long as men are willing to come watch women who are 99% naked, and spend money on over-priced beer and lap dances that women having to wear pasties while dancing isn’t really going to bother them.   I will point out there that I’m going by what I see on TV…I really have no idea what goes on in those places.

But hey,  I might be wrong,  after all I’m a mere hyper-intelligent computer programmer so in all modesty I imagine that a “Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Alcohol and Gaming” must be smarter than I.

So in that light I say…

If those dastardly criminals give you a hard time,  don’t hesitate to bring out the tassels!

RTOD: Why are there no bad ass songs about programmers?

While listening to 5 Finger Death Punch’s cover of Bad Company it occurs to me that there are lots of hardcore bad ass songs about bikers, soldiers, truckers, cowboys, rockers, hookers, to name but a few.

Why are there no awesome hardcore bad ass songs about computer programmers?

The Poppy: The Ultimate Pro-Peace Symbol

Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day (Photo credit: Lauren Cathy Turner)

As Remembrance Day approached I read several posts in various places that stated that the ceremonies honouring our war dead was glorifying violence.

This is one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever heard.   I’m presuming that people who believe this presume that we thousands who attend cenotaph ceremonies are in fact honouring those characters who have died in video games like Medal of Honor,  or ummm… Ms. Pacman.

Remembrance Day is not about the glorification of war.  It is about REMEMBERING the dead,  those that suffered the ultimate consequence of war.   An annual reminder that war sucks by way of listing off sons and daughters who have sacrificed everything so dipwads can go around talking about how an activity that reminds us of those sacrifices is glorifying death and destruction without anyone kicking in their door and explaining it to them at gunpoint….or whatever despots do when offended.

Yes, we honour the dead in these ceremonies.  But look at it this way…..if you are fighting in a war,  would you rather go home alive,  or in a box,  eventually only to be remembered on one day of the year?  We honour those who fell to give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy today.

It has been said that with our growing immigrant population that some have family who died fighting for the other side and therefore may object to the ceremonies.

I do not see how this is even relevant.   People are permitted to believe, and say,  whatever it is they want.    It is the sacrifices made that gave us this peace,  and maintain it.   No one who enjoys the freedoms of living in Canada has any right to denigrate in any way our Veterans,  or our Fallen,  it is because of them that you are free.

Those who think the poppy glorifies violence need to remember that it symbolizes the loss of life (real, flesh and blood lives),  and the horrors that armed conflict brings.

It is the ultimate pro-peace symbol as it should remind of us of the stark reality of war.



pt: Aviso de Troll en: Troll Warning
Here be Trolls! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who spends any time on tech forums are familiar of a long running feud between the loyal followers of various technology platforms.

Two recent pieces of news has brought these folks out in droves.   The release of Windows 8 and the news that the Samsung Galaxy 3 has outstripped the Apple iPhone in sales.  The first smart phone to do so since the iPhone was released.

These forums are filled with insults and derogatory language (“flames”) aimed at supporters of “enemy tech”.  I use the term enemy deliberately because these people operate with the ruthless loyalty of soldiers defending their cause on the battlefield.

Whether I  agree or disagree with these various posts has no effect on the impression I get from many of these forum trolls.

I wonder if they sit by their chosen tech and secretly,  in their heart of hearts regret their choice and secretly envy the other guy’s gear.

I believe it was Shakespeare who wrote,  “Methinks he doth protest too much!”