Open Sources Guelph - August 24, 2017


This seems about right. If there's one image to sum up the Trump presidency, let it be a picture of the man himself staring at the eclipsed sun despite literally hundreds of thousands of warnings to do the exact opposite. As for the show, this week on Open Sources Guelph we'll talk about Trump's not-new war policy, refugee concerns from the moderate to the alt-right in Quebec, and we'll welcome to the show, for the first time, another Liberal Member of Parliament. 

This Thursday, August 24, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Afghan Shrug. Hoping to change the subject from a very, very bad week, President Donald Trump went to Fort Myer in Virginia to announce a new policy for the war in Afghanistan that was very much like the old policy except without numbers, deadlines, benchmarks, and possibly war with Pakistan (?). Trump was more than a little vocal in the past about pulling out of Afghanistan completely, but in this bold flip-flop he's now declared that the U.S. is in it to win it. Still, can we say that almost 16 years into this war is there any end in sight? On top of that, what's behind Trump's sudden change of heart in terms of war policy? Have the globalists won (as some recently fired people might say)?

2) Mean Wolf. A duet of problems in Quebec last week saw the province struggle with the incredible influx of refugees, mostly Haitian, across the southern border taxing local resources, while a demonstration in Quebec City by the far-right group La Meute (or "The Wolfpack") threatened a repeat of the events in Charlottesville. It was a stark reminder that Canada is not immune from some of the white supremacy toxins we're seeing in America, which is weird because the problems those groups are sweating in Quebec are very much caused by the same sentiments being uttered in the United States. We'll dig into the Catch-22, and talk about how Canada's dealing with the refugee crisis, and how we're dealing with our own racist ideologues.

3) Gabbin' with Marwan. This week, we welcome to the show Marwan Tabbara, the Member of Parliament for Kitchener South-Hespeler. At 32 years old, the Lebanese-born Tabbara is one of the younger people in the Liberal caucus, and he was one of a number of new Liberal faces that came to represent Waterloo Region after the 2015 Federal Election. We'll talk to Tabbara about what's going on in his backyard, and we'll get his insight on the latest in federal matters including the refugee crisis in Quebec, trade issues, the economy, and what the government's got on tap for the fall session including (maybe) help for struggling media and new election rules.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - August 24, 2017


This week's episode of End Credits is going to be sick. Big sick! In the last days of summer as we try to find something to get excited about, we'll review the wonderful new romantic comedy The Big Sick. And speaking of comedy, we spend the first half of the show trying to remember if there's anything good from this summer, and it turns out there just might be. 

This Thursday, August 24, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Tim Phillips and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Summer is a Pity. That was a rough one. The usual fanfare of the summer movie season, and all its blockbuster offerings, seemed to come more to a fizzle, but there were a few notable exceptions. To begin with this week, we'll use one of our last summer shows to talk about the best movies that have come out over the last couple of months, and they cover a wide-range of offerings including heist flicks, documentaries, bio-dramas, wonder women and galactic guardians. Adam, Tim, and Peter will each give their Top 3 of the Summer of 2017.

2) REVIEW: The Big Sick (2017). Based on the real-life love story of Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, the couple wrote the script for the fictionalized account of their romance. Nanjiani plays a version of himself, a struggling stand-up comic in Chicago who unexpectedly finds a love match in Emily played by Zoe Kazan, a therapist in training. When Emily gets sick and is put in a medically-induced coma, "Kumail" has to sort out his feelings, deal with his strict Pakistani family, help Emily's parents through the most difficult time in their lives, and figure out the relationship he didn't know he wanted. It's the best romantic comedy you've seen in a while!

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #93 - Scott Thomson, Guelph Jazz Festival Artistic Director


September is coming, and everything will get back to normal. Then again September starts with one of the biggest cultural events of the year: the Guelph Jazz Festival. Now in its 23rd year, the Jazz Fest is getting ready again to fill the downtown core with the finest improvised and creative music from across Canada and around the globe, but this year, things might sound a little bit different.

This week on the Guelph Politicast, I'm joined by Scott Thomson, the new artistic director of the Jazz Festival. 2017 is his first time programming the five-day line-up, following in the footsteps of Ajay Heble who was the founding artistic director of the festival. Those are some big shoes to fill considering the Jazz Fest's reputation locally and globally as a stage for the best, most eclectic jazz you can hear in any one place.

Thomson is a musician by trade. He plays the trombone, and that brass has put him in contact with a lot of great Canadian and international musicians over the years including Lori Freedman, William Parker, Roscoe Mitchell, Han Bennink and Anthony Braxton. He's one of the founders of the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto, or AIM, which was formed to support performance opportunities, education, and outreach within the creative and improvised music scene, and he was the founder and director of Somewhere There, an influential venue for innovative jazz. So he's got the right background, and on top of that, he's a proud Gryphon from the class of '94.

So on this week's podcast, Thomson and I talk about how he got from his days at CFRU and the U of G to becoming the artistic head of the Guelph Jazz Festival. We also talk about his musical experience, what the job of artistic director means, and how he plans to set himself, and the festival, apart from what's come before under Heble. We also talk about how to get into the Jazz Festival as a jazz novice, and what he's looking forward to with this year's festival.

So let's see what the jazz is all about with this week's Guelph Politicast!

The Guelph Jazz Festival takes place from September 13 to 17. You can find schedules, artist information, and Thomson's podcast about the festival over at the Jazz Fest website by clicking here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.


Open Sources Guelph - August 17, 2017


So what did you do last weekend? Chances are you neither stood for, or against, Nazism and white supremacy, but on this week's edition of Open Sources Guelph, we will look at someplace that's change the face, or perhaps revealed the face, of modern America this past Saturday in Virginia. We will dedicate some overtime to that subject this week, and then we will talk about why it's hard out there to be Conservative in Ontario right now, and what an east coast newspaper's going to do now that a very long-term strike is over. 

This Thursday, August 17, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Progressive Inconsistency. With less than a year to go before the provincial election, the Ontario Progressive Conservative party is getting its slate of candidates together to take on Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals. Or at least they should be, but it seems like they're too busy fighting themselves right now. There are allegations of ballot stuffing in Hamilton and Ottawa, and executive members in Newmarket quit en masse in protest of their own nominating process. Here in Guelph, one of four people up for the PC candidacy quit because he didn't like what's going on in his own party, which begs the question: What is going on with the PCs? Former Guelph PC nominee Thomas Mooney will join us. 

2) Strike Off! After over a year-and-a-half on strike, the workers of the Chronicle Herald are heading back to work. Well, not all of them. Of the original 61 reporters, editors, photographers, columnists and support staff when the strike began, only 52 remain, but not all of them still have a job with the paper; 25 are returning to the newsroom, one is going to the Cape Breton Post and 26 are being laid off. Is this the deal these workers wanted when they hit the picket line almost two years ago? Unlikely, but was it worth it? That is the question that will persist going forward, and that's the question we'll tackle this week on the show.

3) Charlottesville. It was a long time coming... The resurgent white nationalist movement that's been gaining steam in the last couple of years held a demonstration in the Virginia town over the fact that a Robert E. Lee statue was about to be removed. The inevitable clash with anti-racist protestors led to an even more startling event in the death of Heather Heyer, an Ohio man a little too infatuated with the losing side of World War II allegedly ran over her and 19 others. To top it all off, President Donald Trump did next to nothing to counter the hatred, and then he blamed the media for making a big deal out of it. So there's an awful lot to explore, and we're going to spend the first half of the show exploring it.

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - August 17, 2017


For the next couple of weeks on End Credits, we're going to play catch-up on some indie hits from the summer, and we're starting with the vexingly unconventional haunted house drama A Ghost Story, which will surely generate some strong opinions from the panel. In the news, we'll talk about how the House of Mouse is considering its next phase of global domination, whether Judd Apatow has the answer to solve movie comedy, and whether Titanic remains unsinkable after almost two decades. 

This Thursday, August 17, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Jenna Gare, and guest host Ian Rodgers will discuss:

1) Streaming Solo. The Walt Disney Company surprised everyone - movie fans and Wall Street analysts alike - when they announced that come 2019 they will be breaking ranks with Netflix and starting their own streaming video site with classic hits and original material. It's kind of a big deal, not just because a major media company is abandoning the internet's biggest distribution platform, but because, if successful, who's to say that every media company isn't going to start their own streaming site? Is Disney making a good business decision, and are we going to have to end up bundling streaming services like cable packages?

2) Unfunny Times. There have been some big hits this summer, but you may have noticed that none of them fall into the comedy genre. There have been some big swings - BaywatchRough NightSnatched - but the closest thing to a smash success is the indie hit The Big Sick, which was produced by Judd Apatow who, coincidentally, thinks he knows what's wrong with the state of modern comedy. Hint: It's the studios' fault. Still, might Apatow have a point? Do the current executives at the major Hollywood production houses have the patience to make a big crowd-pleasing comedy anymore?

3) Raise the Titanic. As part of their "1997 Week" series,  the AV Club posed the thesis: "There may never be a hit like Titanic ever again." They could be right. Aside from James Cameron's own follow-up, Avatar, most of the biggest hits of the last 20 years have been sequels or continuations of franchises like Star Wars: The Force AwakensJurassic World and The Dark Knight. Those are big movies, like Titanic was big, but Titanic was a terribly earnest romantic drama featuring two young up-and-comers and a host of character actors reliving a historical disaster with no aliens, dinosaurs or superheroes in sight. Was Titanic truly the last of its kind?

REVIEW: A Ghost Story (2017). David Lowrey seeks to put you in the so-called shoes of a ghost in the (literally) haunting melodrama, A Ghost Story. Casey Affleck plays a man who dies tragically in a car crash and returns to the land of the living as a sheet-cover spectre to haunt the home he shared with his partner, Rooney Mara. As time passes by in fits and starts, Affleck's ghost must discover the meaning or life or something as he "lives" through an endless cycle in the same spot for all time. This will obviously be a spoiler-filled discussion, so be aware of that before you listen.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #92 - Robert Routledge, U of G Student Life


Brace yourselves, Back to School is coming. In about three weeks, the summertime quiet of Guelph will give way to the hustle and bustle from a suddenly swelled student population as 20,000 undergrads come to the city to continue their education or initiate it, and Student Life will be there to help welcome them.

This week on the show, the pod welcomes Robert Routledge, Manager of the Student Transition Office at the University of Guelph Student Life, to the show. While the whole of the university is preparing for the imminent arrival of its undergrad population, a lot of the ongoing support for those students falls to Student Life. They offer a wide variety of services to help cover all aspects of student life: from academics to extracurriculars to renters rights.

There is an extra 'X' factor though going into the new school year, at least at the University of Guelph. You'll recall that there were several instances of students taking their own lives last year at the U of G, and you better believe that the people at Student Life have that fact on their mind for this fall. This is a not an insignificant portion of my conversation with Routledge, but we also look behind the scenes at what Student Life is doing right now, and how they address the variety of issues currently facing students at the university.

So on this week's Guelph Politicast, we talk about the world of possibilities and challenges at the University of Guelph, and how the Student Life office helps address both. See you in September!

***A quick disclosure: Robert Routledge is a Patron of Guelph Politico, and has donated to the website. I emailed Student Life asking for a representative to discuss this topic with, and it was Routledge who was available. So, now you know.

To learn more about Student Life and their services, you can visit their website here. A reminder that Move-In day is on Saturday this year, Saturday September 2, and as consequence, Gordon Street between College and Stone will likely be closed for most of the day. Stay tuned for those details.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.


Open Sources Guelph - August 10, 2017


This may be a shortened work week, but the length of Open Sources Guelph stays exactly the same. This week, we'll welcome back out local provincial representative to the show and talk to her about all the things going on at Queens Park, and the countdown to next year's election. In news, we'll look at another election, the one to find a new NDP leader, and we'll talk about a new develop in Syria and ask, are there any good guys left there? 

This Thursday, August 10, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Orange Gush. It's getting close to crunch time for the four remaining candidates in the NDP leadership race, as the window to buy a membership and vote in this October's leadership convention closes in just a couple of weeks. So how are things shaping up? Since last time we talked about this, the race has lost Peter Julian; his support had to go somewhere and, well, late-comer to the race Jagmeet Singh seems to have pulled into the lead. Money talks, and Singh's got it right now, but Nikki Ashton, Charlie Angus and Guy Caron are not out yet, so why is this race still not making more noise? Is the NDP too nice?

2) Can't Be Worse. "Everyone in Syria is bad now." That insight comes from Carla Del Ponte, one of the three-member commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria. She just quit after five years because it "does absolutely nothing." And Del Ponte was not some dyed in the wool optimist either. She's investigated war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia too, but apparently things are so bad in Syria after six years of civil war, one of the people in that specialize in war crimes is now admitting that the country is a lost cause. If that's true, what do we do? And if it's not, who's left that can be trusted?

3) Liz Laments. It's been a while since we've had our local MPP in studio with us, and this may be the last time before Ontarians go to the polls on June 7, but we'll welcome back Liz Sandals to the show this week as we talk about a variety of topics concerning the latest provincial matters. Since we were last joined by Sandals, she's traded positions in the cabinet, helped announce a lot of good money in infrastructure and other investment coming to Guelph, and got into a wee bit of trouble talking about what kind of people do (and don't) take the GO Train. We'll talk about all that with Sandals, and try to suss out her plans for 2018, and maybe try one more time to get her on Twitter...

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - August 10, 2017


This week on End Credits, we go dark. It's a very bad world out there sometimes, and we don't just mean pseudo-post-apocalyptic universes where magic cowboys chase the sorcerer Satan across the multiverse. Yes, we are reviewing The Dark Tower this week, but we'll also be talking about the latest digital robbery in Hollywood, how that little film festival down the 401 is shaping up this year, and why a trailer for a certain movie coming out this year might make us wish we were dead...

This Thursday, August 10, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Tim Phillips and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Hack Mentality. Following closely after several compromising computer attacks in Hollywood, the latest victim is HBO, the premium cable channel that's home to currently the biggest hit in television, Game of Thrones. The hackers claim to have gotten their hands on a lot of sensitive material, including details on upcoming episodes of Thrones, but so far all they've done is released episodes of low-rated fair Ballers and Room 104. But seriously, what's the point of this attack, was it for the "lulz" or is something more sinister afoot?

2) TIFF Top Shape? The line-up for this year's Toronto International Film Festival has been released, and this year's festival will open not with a remake of a remake, but with the bio-pic about a bitter sports rivalry, Borg/McEnroe. It's part of a move to streamline the festival this year in a very competitive atmosphere that sees other fests in Telluride, Venice and New York nipping at Toronto's heels to be the one that sets up the yearly Oscar race. So is TIFF too focused on status to not bother to do what it's supposed to do, which is highlight great movies, (especially the Canadian ones)?

3 ) Death Glitch. Last week, the new trailer for Death Wish was released, a remake of the 1974 film that starred Charles Bronson and will now feature Bruce Willis as a Chicago doctor avenging his family from a group of ethnic criminal stereotypes. If you watch the trailer, and think it has a tin ear, you're probably right. Not only is the world of 2017 a far cry from the 1970s sociologically-speaking, let alone the fact that violet crime is continually going down, but as directed by Eli Roth, this movie is bound to be exploitative according to all his worst instincts. But is Death Wish going to be the alt-right fantasy people are worried about?

REVIEW: The Dark Tower (2017). Stephen King's epic book series finally makes its way to the big screen in this adaptation of the western/horror/fantasy/adventure. Jake, an 11-year-old New Yorker, is plagued by visions of a Man in Black, a Dark Tower, and the Gunslinger, a knight of yore pledged to defend the Tower and kill the Man in Black. To Jake's surprise, he isn't crazy and his visions are real, as he finds a porthole to another world that leads him to the Gunslinger and a mission to save all realities from the MiB, including his own. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey co-star in this long-awaited franchise wannabe.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #91 - The Open Sources Guelph 2017 Interviews


This week on the Guelph Politicast, we're doing a bottle episode for another show entirely. If you don't listen to Open Sources Guelph (and why wouldn't you, you can find it on the same podcast channel as the Guelph Politicast), this is your chance to get a taste of what we offer every Thursday at 5 pm on CFRU. 

So why highlight the good work of Open Sources? Well, I think we do an important service on that show. In Guelph, there aren't many places where you can get local politicians, or visiting politicians, to sit down for half-an-hour and talk about all the latest happenings in their respective levels of government. Yes, you can read an article where you can get a politician's thoughts on a specific issue, but to hear their voice, and know their grander background thoughts on a wide-variety of issues is just as valuable. 

So on this week's podcast, you will hear from about half-a-dozen people including city councillors Phil Allt, Cathy Downer, Dan Gibson, Mike Salisbury, and Andy Van Hellemond, as well as Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield, Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong, and, in a deleted scene from last week's interview, Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen. 

If you'd like to listen to the full version of any of these interviews, you can find them on the "Past Guests" page of the Open Sources website. Coming up we will have Guelph MPP Liz Sandals on this Thursday's show, and Kitchener South-Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara will join us on August 24. You can listen to Open Sources live every Thursday at 5 pm on CFRU. 

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.


Open Sources Guelph - August 3, 2017


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we're going green. For the first half anyway. We'll have an interview with a not-so-well known but now very influential Green Party politician, and no, it's not Mike Schreiner. (He was on a few weeks ago.) Speaking of green though, we will dig into a contentious environmental and legal issue, and talk about why it's so darn hard for our prime minister to stop having his picture taken...

This Thursday, August 3, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Olsen Wins. Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner became the first local candidate to be made official for the 2018 Provincial Election last weekend, and he was joined by a special guest, someone who knows first hand what it takes for a Green Party politician to win provincially: Adam Olsen. Olsen is the MLA for B.C.'s Saanich North and the Islands, one of three Green MLAs to be elected in the new, combined NDP/Green B.C. government. In a wide-ranging discussion, we talk to Olsen about political circumstances, the current mood in British Columbia, and whether or not the electorate is too cynical to buy what the Green Party is selling.

2) Line 9 Blind Side. This time Goliath won as the Supreme Court sided with the lower courts and the National Energy Board in saying that they didn't have to consult with the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation while pursuing their desire to alter the flow of their Line 9 pipeline. Legally, the NEB and Enbridge may have done everything right, but what about the greater moral standing? In Justin Trudeau's Canada, we were promised that the perspectives and rights of Canada's First Nations would be given more deference, but this is not the message we're getting. Whatever happened to "Sunny Ways"?

3) Rolling Moan. It happened again. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau getting overwhelmingly positive international media attention, this time on the cover of Rolling Stone. Admit it, there's a bit of civic pride there. In the wake of what's going on in the White House daily (hourly), Canada looks like a well-oiled machine that runs on neoliberal awesome-sauce, but we Canadians know better. We know that Canada has its issues and its problems, and some of us are cynically fed up with seeing this halo plastered over Justin's head by people that don't get that. So what about it? Are Canadians too cynical, or are our foreign brethren too honorific of the man with the socks of many assorted patterns?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and at 5 pm on Thursday.


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