Our neighbors to the north are trying to bring the heat on us. When I was up in Montreal two weeks ago, I did hear the usual “mine is bigger” argument going on in the lobby of the Opus Hotel, as a Canadian went on and on and on about healthcare. The day before, a bit of channel surfing brought me to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, talking about how Canada had fared better than the United States through the worldwide financial crisis. Now, the Canadians are saying that the U.S. has to do a better job of managing its financial system, because when Americans sneeze, the rest of the world blames us for giving them a cold.
I love Montreal. I’ve had a fantastic time every time I’ve gone. And, I’m a big fan of Canada. I enjoyed Toronto, Quebec, other parts Ontario and, of course, Montreal. Winnipeg sucked, but that’s life.
Even more than I love Canada, though, Canadians love me. I don’t know what it is, but Canadians have always taken to me, especially down here in the United States. I won’t name names, but there are plenty. Since discovering this, I thought about hunting for proof of my position, but hunting wasn’t necessary. I’ve gotten a lot of play in the Canadian press, including coverage in the Toronto Sun and Globe and Mail.
It’s been a few months since I’ve hit the road, and I’m starting to feel the effects. For my work on Gadling, I’ve been relying on other news stories for reblog fodder, and my ol’ standby sites just aren’t delivering. It’s been pretty slow – which wouldn’t be a problem if I’d had some travel under my belt. Fortunately, I have a trip to Montreal coming on Thursday, so new material is only a few days away.
This small situation, limited to me, could indicate a future problem in the blogging world, though. As most blogs still rely heavily on reblogging to fill their pages, the decline of the traditional media space will put more pressure on people like me to originate content. Coming up with new stuff requires a significant commitment of time and resources, which would turn the existing blog business model on its head. Bloggers at sites across the market know this and are reacting to it, but a solution will take time.
I’m now famous in Canada! Read todays issue of the Globe and Mail to get my perspective on corporate meeting policies (I know, fun stuff). You can read the article right now, or keep reading here to get the backstory, particularly as to why Canadians love me.
This post has everything you could possibly want: corporate meetings in Nebraska, newspapers and a quote from me. Even though it’s only 2/3 of a story (Canadian, after all), it’s still far sexier than that bit about Jenna Haze and Belladonna wanting to double up on me.
While you’re up there, go grab a hot dog. They have decent dogs at the pool hall (there aren’t any pool tables there any more, just hot dogs) on St Denis. That’s exactly what I’m doing in the picture.
With fall coming, you probably think it will be cold as hell up there. You’d be absolutely wrong. Don’t think; let me do that for you. It’s beautiful up there well into October and probably into November. The air is nice and crisp.
Well, there must be somebody to blame. This time, it seems more like LaGuardia’s fault than Delta’s.
[a considerable amount of time elapses]
Someone’s gotten his shit together. I’m back in Manhattan and happy. The flight home was a pain in the ass. The flight wasn’t able to land in New York, because there was too much traffic. So, we had to circle until we were too low on fuel. The plane was sent to Baltimore, where we waited until some sort of “hold” on LaGuardia was lifted. At least the cab ride back into the city was easy.
It’s starting to feel like, whatever I do, I get screwed on the flight. Montreal was the exception … the only exception.
I spent the drive home from Philly lecturing a friend of mine about the need to write every day if you want to do it for a living. It’s true. He and I are something of a support group for each other, necessary in this line of work. We get together from time to time to discuss leads with magazine, kick around ideas and generally bitch about how little respect writers get. Yeah, it’s true.
Well, for all my lecturing, I realized that I haven’t done much writing lately … and day job doesn’t count. I mean the interesting stuff: hunting for a story, putting the screws to reluctant sources, hashing out an idea, finally putting pen to paper. Sure, I’ve been busy, but that’s no excuse. I need to make more time to write.
So, I got some writing done last night. My article on Montreal is finally coming together; I hope to have it submitted by tomorrow. Also, I filed my Saatchi magazine story on Richard Prince. I felt like I’d covered some ground, and I felt great. It didn’t matter that I’d passed on two hours of sleep; I didn’t need it anyway.
You have to do this stuff every day if you want to get good at it. If you want to stay good at it, it takes even more effort. It’s funny that pain is rewarded with more pain, but I guess I dig it.
No, it has nothing to do with kimchee or Jinro soju. 7 Days is an indie flick that I saw screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal last weekend. The flick was extremely intense, packed with the sort of psychological violence only seen on the Korean peninsula or in Joe Gallant-directed porn films. I absolutely love it and recommend it highly. Check out the trailer below.
[More on the Fantasia International Film Festival after the video]
Fantasia is a kick-ass fest, focusing on horror, anguish and the disturbed. There is plenty of variety, from Quebecois animated shorts to U.S., Canadian and Asian horror. Quite simply, there’s something for everybody.
The festival just wrapped up a few days ago, but every year it spans most of July. This is a real fest, not the commercialized Sundance, Tribeca or Cannes affairs. At Fantasia, the movies are the main event. So, if you’re looking for a reason to go to Montreal next summer, you just found it.