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11.13.2002 by Forrest, every Wednesday.

Yes folks, I've returned... For now... But things are getting a little crazy around here and I might just wind up ditching school to run ff and join the circus. So if there's no column next week, you'll know what happened.

Ernie Eves

Oh, so Mr. I'm-the-softhearted-tory Eves has decided that electricity privatisation and the ensuing high consumer prices need to be fixed with some good old-fashioned Soviet-style price controls. Is it just me or has he missed the whole point of privatisation? The point is that we re no longer pouring tax dollars into a poorly-managed provincial electricity utility. The low prices that we had up till now weren't the work of some magical superiority of government ownership: They were a lie, plain and simple. People who weren't using electricity were subsidising its price for the rest of us. Or rather we were all indirectly paying for it through higher taxes. Now that all of a sudden people have to pay the real cost, they whine. If they don't like the real cost of electricity, maybe they'll have to do things like – horror of horrors – be energy-efficient. Maybe they'll have to put in weatherstripping. Maybe they'll have to lose the air-conditioner. But they can put that off for the moment, thanks to the benevolence of Comrade Eves and his Workers Paradise.

Open-source software

I own Microsoft Office, well a stolen copy at least. But I don't use it anymore. Why? Openoffice, my friends. It's an office suite, originally developed by Sun (so you know it's quality). It's feature-packed, fast, fully Office-compatible (unlike Wordperfect it doesn't mangle documents when you convert) and works on most sorts of computers. What's more, it's FREE. I strongly encourage you all to download a copy (hell if you don't like it you can uninstall it). People have been saying for a while that open-source software was going to be the next big thing, but most of this stuff has been fluff until quite recently. This is free software that has gone big-time.

53 Liberal Backbenchers

Way to stick it the man! I've always wondered why political parties see something so evil about voting for an opposition motion – even if it's a good one. So it was nice to see a third of the Liberal Mps vote for that Alliance motion on electing committee chairs by secret ballot. It was even nicer to see the look on Jean Chrétien's face that lasted for the next week. One more chunk off his absolute power.

Bad Rock Music

I saw this band Whirlwind Heat open for MC Paul Barman, (who is my new hero by the way) and it was one of the more excruciating performances I've seen for a while. I am certainly in agreement with Sean's commentary of a few days ago; this “trend” of lo-fi slop/yell rock has gotten way out of hand. In fact it never should have happened in the first place. In scouring the earth for “real rock and roll”, record-company folk have forgotten that there is still good and bad “real rock and roll”, and attention to detail and quality are still important. I only feel sorry for the drummer, who seemed quite talented, but was stuck playing... I don't know what.

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