Polygonic

That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Glimpse this impossible future!

Brazil will not win another World Cup trophy until at least the year 2264. This is perhaps one of the lesser known predictions coming out of the Fifth Element, that much-heralded sci-fi cinematic setpiece which closed off the last century with a harrowing vision of our own distant future.

Hmm, you ask? Whuh?

I watched the film last night, for the first time in years and years. And I actually really enjoyed it this time, which I didn’t originally…. you obviously have to throw yourself fully into its mad kitsch and mindlessness. I even laughed at Chris Tucker, which makes me feel incredibly zen about the world.

And there I noticed it – a small detail that struck me as an attempted high-five to Brazilian football (soccer) gone horrifically wrong.

Bruce Willis does not keep a very tidy home. His one-bed flat in South Brooklyn is crowded out with an array of post-it notes, dirty clothes, magazines, Chinese food containers, rubbish and random photographs. And during one scene while he’s on the phone (to his taxi mechanic, or his mom, or someone he doesn’t much want to talk to), you can see a small Brazil football pennant hanging behind him. It looked rather like this:

My first thought being, wow, so the writers’ of the film like Brazil, and thought it would be cool if Bruce Willis’ hero character liked them too. Nice.

But then you notice that there are only four stars on the pennant. The example I posted above has five, as Brazil have now won five World Cups, their most recent in 2002. As of 1997, when Fifth Element came out, they’d won four.

So, what the Fifth Element is kind of suggesting is that, between 1997 and 2263, Brazil won’t have won another Cup, ever, at all, not one. That is Mega. Film. Madness.

Hum. Why am I blogging about this? Only because I scoured my Google application across the intraweb, and found not a single reference to this quirky anomaly. Considering how deeply interesting it is, that surprised me greatly.

That is all.

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Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blasphemy, paper tigers, and the Senate

Traditions of civil disobedience are responsible for democracy’s every last advance. This isn’t to overblow the consequence of Brigette DePape’s Senate protest, but it is to congratulate it. Canada’s going nowhere without the kind of gutsiness and strength-in-conviction she showed by stepping out like that.

I’ve been a bit amazed by some of the discourse I’ve read about it, leading me to realise that Sarah Palin and I agree profoundly on at least two things: 1) the mainstream media is, well, lame, and 2) it’s fun to ride in helicopters. Though I’ve never shot anything from one before.

Evan Solomon got the chance to interview Brigette DePape, and I found him extraordinarily defensive of the inviolable holiness of Senate and of Parliament. Democracy, that most ethereal and ungraspable of human endeavours, made real in towers of Parliamentary stone! Do not sully its grandeur with petty pranks, little Brigette! How dare you blaspheme in the very crucible of our sovereign liberty! Horrible girl!

Indeed, yes, quite. I’m less concerned about Senate having been violated by a 21-year old page with a paper stop sign, and rather more concerned about the abuses to our democratic institutions meted out by the Prime Minister himself. To use the Red Chamber, as he does, as a personal Infantry of Losers, failed MPs, sycophant journalists and barons of friendly enterprise, is to truly piss on the rug of our democracy. To politicise independent commissions, to rubbish their findings, to fire the civil servants who head them because they do not conform to the political agenda of the government – that is the proverbial Bird-Flipping in the face of institutional democracy that worries me more.

Even Elizabeth May tutted DePape, saying it was a protest in the wrong place and time. This is Elizabeth May we’re talking about, whose Green Party only ever achieved anything like mainstream status by standing on the shoulders of unpopular and untactful movements that came before it, which helped to slowly raise and then normalise public discussion around the environment, which slowly led to where they are today. Ordinary people, no matter how subservient they “ought” to be, speaking truth to power, fully cognizant of the personal sacrifice that involves. And the Green Party is tutting?

Anyone tutting and complaining that DePape showed a tactless contempt for Senate should slap themselves (with my eager assistance) until they sort out the none-too-subtle difference between contempt, and CONTEMPT.

Tragedy being, while she got fired for her “contemptuous” display, Harper got an expanded mandate and more power over our democratic institutions after his.

Filed under: Canada, Politics, , , , , , , ,

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