Tags: Animals

Not Novelty Seeking

I was on a flight home from Frankfurt last week playing with one of the things Air Canada got right: its storehouse of movies you can watch for 8 solid hours. But rather than try to find a new first-run film I’d never seen, which all looked like lighter-than-air objects, fluffy and predictable, I did the opposite.

I went on the hunt for my favourite old movies, like Bonnie & Clyde and Catch Me If You Can and Dog Day Afternoon and Field of Dreams, Gladiator, and A Few Good Men. I didn’t want to see these faves in their entirety; I just wanted to see my favourite parts, the scenes whose action and dialogue will forever be imprinted in my brain.

Like when Bonnie and Clyde die in a hail of bullets.

When FBI agent Tom Hanks catches up to fake-pilot Leonardo di Caprio and says: “Nobody’s chasing you.”

When bank robber Al Pacino says: “Kiss me….When I’m being fucked, I like to get kissed.” 

When dreamer Kevin Costner hears: “If you build it, they will come.”

When gladiator Russell Crowe says: “My name is Maximus.”

And of course when Marine Colonel Jack Nicholson says to Tom Cruise: “You can’t handle the truth.”

I enjoyed my tour of great scenes from memorable movies enormously.

Rummaging around in these old scenes, and who I was when I first watched them, was new for me. It was much much more fun than trying to focus on the thin gruel of bot-like dialogue and stick-man actions in so many new films.

Air Apparent

Back in 2019 when newspapers were made of paper, I would take part in an annual ritual of disbelief: I’d turn the page of The Globe and Mail and there would be a full-page ad for Air Canada congratulating itself for being voted the Best Airline in North America.

I would quickly check to see if it was April 1st. Then I would read the small print to find out who gave them the award for four consecutive years from 2019 to 2022.

It’s a magazine called Global Traveler for “U.S.-based frequent, affluent travellers”. It claims the  average Global Traveler reader has a net worth of $2.8 million. Yes, Air Canada’s business class is….respectable. But the Best in all Classes in North America? Puleeeeze.

True, this was before Air Canada reduced its routes; slashed the value of Aeroplan Miles; made spontaneously cancelling flights a sunny-day activity; amped fares; admitted its Montreal-based CEO, Michael Rousseau, can’t speak French; saw customer complaints to Ottawa rise from 18,000 in 2020 to 30,000 in 2022, then 57,000 last year; fought to avoid offering refunds if a flight failed to take off; and claimed its own chatbot was “a separate legal entity that is responsible for its own actions;” before all this, Canadians had a love-hate relationship with our national airline.

Read on…

Women, enter stage left.

I hosted a RamsayTalk last week about AI.

Nothing new there. The world is awash in AI pundits, AI books, and AI doom and rapture.

What was new is that the speaker and author of AI Needs You, a big important book about AI, is a woman. Indeed, Verity Harding is the woman in the arena when it comes to tech’s latest save-the-world-end-the-world invention.

I asked her a couple of months ago who she would like to interview her from the stage, and instantly she said: Diana Fox Carney.

So there were 325 of us in the Bader Theatre last Wednesday watching two deeply expert and authoritative women discuss the prospects of an industry almost totally dominated by men.

Read on…


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