Friday, May 19, 2006

Carol Off Joins As It Happens

I was very sad when I heard a while back that the CBC's Mary Lou Finlay was retiring, and thus leaving my favourite CBC Radio show, As It Happens. Since I started passivly listening to the program when I was in elementary school, I had grown accustomed to Mary Lou and her co-host Barbara Budd. I tend to be resistent to change in matters such as these, but was very pleased to read that Carol Off will be joining as Budd's new co-host come Labour Day. From what I have seen of Off on The National, I'm sure she will maintain the parts of AIH that listeners have come to expect.

What I love about AIH is their uncanny ability to mix hard-hitting interviews with much lighter, often bizarre stories from around the globe. I like variety in my news programming. For example, while they will keep me up-to-date on global politics, last week I heard an interview about a band of modern day German Robin Hoods who steal groceries and claim they plan to give them to children and the poor.

AIH and I got off to a bit of a rocky start. When I was 8 years old, I began taking fiddle lessons on Thursday evenings at 6:45. AIH airs at 6:30 - the very time Dad and I would get in the car to drive to my lesson. So, every Thursday I would hear the theme music and not much else. At that age, the music did not appeal to me, so I became disgruntled at having to listen to it every week. As I grew older, things changed. I would hear some more of the program on the drive home, and actually started listening to it and enjoying it. My fandom has reached a point where sometimes my friend Claire and I like to sing the theme music in the cafeteria. We are both CBC geeks.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Of Mullets and Men

Like most people, every time I see Tom Hanks lately, I can't help but ask myself, "What's up with his hair?"
During his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live this month, Hanks was asked this very question by an "audience member". Before seeing The Da Vinci Code, I was worried the 'do would distract me for the entire film.

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle has written a delightful article on the subject, based on the theory that Hanks's cut is a mullet or some close derivation thereof. Also, props to Hartlaub for pointing out that Kyle McLachlan is sporting a very similar coif, which I feel looks equally horrible on him as it does on Hanks.

This is saying something, as MacLachlan would generally be regarded as a more handsome man than Hanks, and even he can't pull of the bad hair. Let's compare, shall we?


Not Handsome:


Not Handsome:

Amusing as it is, I'm not so sure I buy the mullet conspiracy, at least with regard to Hanks. While he seems to be growing it out a bit more (as seen in the above photo), the screen captures available from The Da Vinci Code paint another picture of the haircut. I don't think it's as long in the back as Hartlaub would have us believe. CBC's Alison Gillmor dubs the 'do and "academic mullet", but I have never seen a university professor with hair like this. Even those one likes to think somewhat hip tend to keep their mane under control. Nevertheless, something is happening here that should not be ignored. Perhaps it's a less common aspect of the male mid-life crisis - both Hanks and MacLachlan are creeping up on 50. If this is the case, we can look forward to an eventual trimming of the locks. In the meantime, I call upon the men of Hollywood and the world to look upon the hairstyles of misters Hanks and MacLachlan and learn from this experience.