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collective soul

“It’s ten years later and still I haven’t a clue” – Collective Soul.

It’s ten years after the last referendum.

The PQ, energized by several years in opposition, is electing new leadership and is gearing up for a post-election victory referendum. We could be less than two years away from the next battle to save Canada.

Where the hell are all the federalists?

The sovereignty movement is ready. Student groups, unions, youth groups, political groups, artists and musicians and businesspeople and rabble-rousers and just about everyone else on the separatist side are organizing. They’re fundraising. They’re unifying. They’re strategizing. They’re recruiting volunteers and getting ready for the fight.

And on the federalist side? Well, we have Michaelle Jean, our new Governer-General, who seems 99% separatist anyway. Besides, nobody cares about her, unless they’re trying to use her to discredit the Canadian government.

The point is, there’s nobody left to fight. There are less Jean Charest fans in Quebec than there are Korn fans in a nursing home. The Federal government is weakened, devoid of any true leadership, and handcuffed thanks to the Sponsorship Scandal.

Grassroots organizations such as Alliance Quebec are so destroyed as to be nonexistent. Only a dozen people showed up to a federalist “rally” downtown last week to commemorate the massive 1995 unity rally that many say saved Canada at the eleventh hour.

I did a Google search looking for websites, citizens’ groups, hell, even a weekly Federalist poker game. Nothing. Nada. Zip. The few links I did find were woefully out of date and mostly defunct. Even the Quebec Liberal Party can’t be bothered to spend two words on federalism on its website (though they were sure to remind us to turn our clocks back this weekend).

And outside of Quebec? The situation is even bleaker. An alarmingly high percentage of Canadians have a “good riddance” sentiment toward Quebec. If they held another unity rally, would anyone come?

It seems incredible to think that only a couple of years ago, we thought Quebec had moved past sovereignty, that it was no longer a “big deal”, and that the threat of another referendum was as laughable as the threat of a hurricane coming to wipe out half of New Orleans. Well, we all know how that turned out.

See, the thing is, I’m not content to sit back and watch my country face the brink of destruction yet again. I value it too much. I happen to think that being Canadian is a pretty wonderful thing… and that keeping this country together is worth fighting for. And if I’m right, there are an awful lot of people out there who feel the same way.

We need initiatives. We need to get organized. We need ideas. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly trust Charest, or whoever his successor will be, to take care of it all for us. I’m thinking it’s time for us ordinary Canadian federalists to get up and do something.

So, at risk of sounding like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off… “Anyone? Anyone?”

If you’re a federalist and you’re proud of it, clap your hands. Better yet, post a comment here if you want to get involved. Post your ideas. And watch this site for news in the coming days.

It’s the SWIK No Campaign, to be launched right here, real soon. Keep it locked to this station.

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This blog meme is floating around asking people to go here, find the top 100 songs from the year they graduated high school, and list them crossing out those you hated and underlining the ones you really liked.

Most of mine, not too surprisingly, are cross-outs; songs that do well on the charts rarely appeal to me. Especially by 1997, when all the early-to-mid 90s good music was over. But here goes:

1. Candle In The Wind 1997, Elton John – I liked the original but the remake in the wake of Princess Diana’s death was cheap and exploitive.
2. Foolish Games / You Were Meant For Me, Jewel
3. I’ll Be Missing You, Puff Daddy and Faith Evans – this was when he was still called “Puff Daddy” and was just discovering how filthy-rich you can make it in the music biz by ripping off someone else’s work. At least Elton John (see #1) was only plagiarizing himself.
4. Un-Break My Heart, Toni Braxton
5. Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down, Puff Daddy
6. I Believe I Can Fly, R. Kelly
7. Don’t Let Go (Love), En Vogue
8. Return Of The Mack, Mark Morrison
9. How Do I Live, LeAnn Rimes
10. Wannabe, Spice Girls
– I actually had a whole website at the time dedicated to my hatred of the Spice Girls… and of the Backstreet Boys (see #11).
11. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), Backstreet Boys
12. MMMBop, Hanson
– a classic SNL skit defined “torture” as being forced to listen to this repeatedly.
13. For You I Will, Monica
14. You Make Me Wanna…, Usher

15. Bitch, Meredith Brooks – Yep, that’s me
16. Nobody Keith Sweat
17. Semi-Charmed Life, Third Eye Blind
18. Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik
19. Hard To Say I’m Sorry, Az Yet Featuring Peter Cetera
20. Mo Money Mo Problems, Notorious B.I.G.

21. The Freshmen, Verve Pipe
22. I Want You, Savage Garden
23. No Diggity, BLACKstreet Featuring Dr. Dre
24. I Belong To You (Every Time I See Your Face), Rome
25. Hypnotize, Notorious B.I.G.
26. Every Time I Close My Eyes, Babyface
27. In My Bed, Dru Hill
28. Say You’ll Be There, Spice Girls
29. Do You Know (What It Takes), Robyn
30. 4 Seasons Of Loneliness, Boyz II Men
31. G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T., Changing Faces
32. Honey, Mariah Carey
33. I Believe In You And Me, Whitney Houston
34. Da’ Dip, Freaknasty
35. 2 Become 1, Spice Girls

36. All For You, Sister Hazel
37. Cupid, 112
38. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?, Paula Cole
39. Sunny Came Home, Shawn Colvin – this won the Grammy that year if I recall correctly; I still can’t figure out why, cause it’s fairly mediocre
40. It’s Your Love, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
41. Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit, Gina G
42. Mouth, Merril Bainbridge
43. All Cried Out, Allure Featuring 112
44. I’m Still In Love With You, New Edition
45. Invisible Man, 98 Degrees
46. Not Tonight, Lil’ Kim
47. Look Into My Eyes, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
48. Get It Together, 702
49. All By Myself, Celine Dion
50. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, Celine Dion
– it’s all coming back to me just how much I can’t stand Celine Dion
51. My Love Is The Shhh!, Somethin’ For The People
52. Where Do You Go, No Mercy
53. I Finally Found Someone, Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams
– normally I like Bryan Adams but come on
54. I’ll Be, Foxy Brown Featuring Jay-Z
55. If It Makes You Happy, Sheryl Crow
56. Never Make A Promise, Dru Hill
57. When You Love A Woman, Journey
58. Up Jumps Da Boogie, Magoo And Timbaland
59. I Don’t Want To / I Love Me Some Him, Toni Braxton

60. Everyday Is A Winding Road, Sheryl Crow
61. Cold Rock A Party, Mc Lyte
62. Pony, Ginuwine

63. Building A Mystery, Sarah McLachlan – I’m a fan but this isn’t one of my fave songs
64. I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis
65. Your Woman, White Town
66. C U When U Get There, Coolio

67. Change The World, Eric Clapton
68. My Baby Daddy, B-Rock and The Bizz
69. Tubthumping, Chumbawamba
– gave Hanson a run for their money for most annoyingly awful song of the year.
70. Gotham City, R. Kelly
71. Last Night, Az Yet
72. ESPN Presents The Jock Jam, Various Artists
73. Big Daddy, Heavy D
74. What About Us, Total
75. Smile, Scarface
76. What’s On Tonight, Montell Jordan

77. Secret Garden, Bruce Springsteen
78. The One I Gave My Heart, w Aaliyah
79. Fly Like An Eagle, Seal
80. No Time, Lil’ Kim
81. Naked Eye, Luscious Jackson
82. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix), Los Del Rio
– was this the remake? I remember the Macarena being earlier than 1997.
83. On and On, Erykah Badu
84. Don’t Wanna Be A Player, Joe
85. I Shot The Sheriff, Warren G
86. You Should Be Mine (Don’t Waste Your Time), Brian McKnight Featuring Mase
87. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Madonna
88. Someone, SWV
89. Go The Distance, Michael Bolton
90. One More Time, Real McCoy
91. Butta Love, Next
92. Coco Jamboo, Mr. President
93. Twisted, Keith Sweat
94. Barbie Girl, Aqua

95. When You’re Gone / Free To Decide, Cranberries
96. Let Me Clear My Throat, DJ Kool
97. I Like It, Blackout Allstars
98. You’re Makin’ Me High / Let It Flow, Toni Braxton
99. You Must Love Me, Madonna
100. Let It Go, Ray J

As I suspected, that’s 85 strikeouts on a list of 100 songs. Of those I didn’t strike, I was generously indifferent in several cases and only found two I could tentatively underline; even those were a stretch.

I move that 1997 be nominated the worst year in music history.

Update: On second thought, there was plenty of excellent music in 1997. None of it made the charts, though. But I was having a very good music year in my personal history then. I attended my first three Collective Soul concerts that year, for example. The problem wasn’t with the music, it was with the charts. That’s my theory.

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Random musings from New York

06.27.2005

Business trips, as a rule, are not much fun. You don’t usually get any time to appreciate the place you go to, and all you generally see of it is the inside of some conference room someplace. This time I was in New York for 4 days, so I set out to make them as […]

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Things have a way of working out

06.20.2005

A business trip this week to New York just so happens to coincide with a Collective Soul NYC tour date. Sometimes, Murphy takes a nap.

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Excuse me while I revert into obsessed fan mode

05.08.2005

COLLECTIVE SOUL ROCKS!!! Ok, I’m feeling better now. (Pun intended). I need to interrupt regularly scheduled programing to rave about tonight’s Collective Soul concert at the Metropolis. There is no other band that I know of that brings so much sheer energy to the stage. I’ve been blown away every one of the six previous […]

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Collective Fix

12.03.2004

Special thanks to Radio-Energie for hosting Ed Roland and Joel Kosche from Collective Soul for an hour-long live acoustic set in studio… and for picking my name as a winner of tickets to attend. It was my first Collective Soul fix in over 4 years, and I don’t think I realized how much I missed […]

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Red-letter music day

11.16.2004

Collective Soul’s first studio release in 4 years, Youth, was released today. The band ain’t the same without Ross. But Joel does a decent fill-in job and this is a solid musical achievement for the guys after their hiatus and split with their record label. Also, Live released their greatest hits CD/DVD, Awake.

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