Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm b-a-a-a-c-k!

Ok, that may be self-evident if you're a regular visitor here! ;-)

But just thought I'd make the point and let you know that I've updated the archives at the Nash Holos website and am slowly getting back into my routine. Still a lot of mail and backlogged minutiae to slog through, but am working my way through it.

Lots of it is exciting stuff, too ... at least to me! And hopefully to NH listeners and readers of this blog.

Now I must get back to the salt mines, but do check out the website if you haven't already.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Orange film in Toronto this weekend

If you're planning to take in the Toronto Ukrainian Festival this Labour Day weekend, make sure to catch Damyan Kolodiy's documentary film Orange Chronicles.

Somewhat of a departure from other films analysing and dissecting the Orange Revolution, the focus of this one is the charisma and personal magnetism of Yulia Tymoshenko. The film has been likened to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 'Evita' and the film-maker to a Ukrainian-American Michael Moore, so it sounds like a film not to miss.

Information on the Orange Chronicles film, as well as DVD purchasing information, can be found here. (There is a link to a trailer but it didn't work for me. Maybe you'll have better luck.)

At any rate, if you're in the Toronto area you can see it in a theatre setting at the Festival. If I lived in the area, I'd be at both for sure! So if you live close by (lucky you!) do take it in ... and think of me! If you're so inclined, come back here and let the rest of us know how it went.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sense of decency missing in the media

This article illustrates the ugly side of the media industry.

The sister-in-law of a man believed to be the key suspect in the slaying of a B.C. principal says her kids feel like prisoners in their home because media are camping outside.

In an interview with radio station Red FM, Jas Cheema says Paul Cheema is staying with the family and that's making life difficult.

Paul Cheema is reportedly under police investigation in connection with his new wife Shemina Hirji's murder earlier this month -- just five days after the couple was married. ...

How sad for all of us that the media's focus is so much on death and disaster that they can't even wait until there is real news to report, and have to harrass people and disrupt lives in order to get their "scoop."

That article came out last month. Now, according to this article, the suspect has just been found dead.

Late Monday night, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr confirmed ... that a body had been found.

"We can say we have an individual who is deceased. We're not prepared at this time to offer a gender or offer a manner," Carr said.

So why not wait until they have something definitive to say? Yes, yes, "the public has a right to know." But I'm sure most of us can wait until there is actually something to know.

Let's hope the media hounds have enough decency to back off from this family now. Whether the guy did it or not, his relatives are innocent and deserve to be left alone to deal with their grief.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Song about global warming

This global warming song came out last month in anticipation of the Live Earth spectacle.

It's still relevant, as it carries a timeless message about the need for responsible stewardship of the earth.

The creator is our very own Stepan Pasicznyk, that crazy Irish-Ukrainian Brit who does all sort of weird and wonderful music. The soundtrack to this video is very peppy, has a more Acadian or Cajun sound than Ukrainian, but it's still catchy.

Між іншем, the original video he made had some great photos but there were copyright issues so he came up with a quite ingenius solution.

Check it out (here)!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Toronto Ukrainian Festival

Well, I'm back from Ontario, where I spent five incredible days at the Brantford Writer's Book Camp. It was organized by my wonderful writing mentor, Marsha Skrypuch, the awesome editor of Kobzar's Children. One of my fellow book campers was Natalia Buchok, who also contributed to the anthology.

The timing was little off, tho, as I would have loved to take in the Toronto Ukrainian Festival. Alas, on Labour Day weekend I will be here in Lotusland ... which isn't exactly a bad thing; however, there won't be any Ukrainian festivals happening here.

So, if you're in the area, make sure to check it out. It's the previous Bloor Village West festival, now relocated to the Toronto waterfront, and organized by the same folk so it's bound to be a blast.

Think of me as you're chowing down a plate of varenyky or taking in a stage show!

BBC bounced in Russia

Talk about turning the clock back:

An FM radio station in Moscow has informed the BBC's Russian Service that it will no longer carry the British broadcaster's programming. ...

At the end of 2006, the Moscow radio station Radio Arsenal stopped broadcasting the BBC's programming. And in the beginning of 2007, ... Radio Leningrad informed the BBC that local licensing authorities demanded that it remove the BBC's programming.

The BBC plans to appeal the decision with Russia's broadcasting authorities...
Full story here.

Ironically, a couple of years ago BBC's Canadian alter ego, RCI (Radio Canada International), drastically cut back its broadcasts to Ukraine, despite the growing demand for its services.

So much for government-run radio. Makes me wonder why services like RCI and the BBC insist on going to places where they're unwelcome and snub places like Ukraine, where they're actually wanted? Must be ideological, because it sure isn't logical.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Museum to victims of "orange revolution"

How ridiculous is this?

A museum devoted to the "victims" of the 2004 "orange revolution" will open in the east Ukrainian city of Lugansk [sic] August 20.

Organizers said the exposition would demonstrate the harmfulness of uprisings like the 2004 protests in the capital, Kiev [sic], and other cities, that swept the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko into the presidency of the ex-Soviet state. ...

There will ... be a stand addressing recent moves to restrict the use of the Russian language, still widely used in the country, especially in the industrial east and the Crimean Peninsula. A collection of poetry by Alexander Pushkin and Nikolai Nekrasov and a Russian language textbook will be placed in a glass case with a sign reading "Forbidden." ...

Nothing like hysterical over-reaction, eh? Hard not to regard this as typical of a formerly privileged class adjusting to the egalitarianism of democracy.

The museum ... is apparently designed as a counter to a museum to the "Soviet invasion," which opened in Kiev [sic] recently, a museum devoted to victims of Soviet totalitarianism, soon to open in Lvov [sic], western Ukraine...
A spokesman for [Yulia Tymoshenko said] that "orange" parties would not protest against the exposition: "What is there to protest against? Against absurdity?"

Indeed.