July 08, 2012

Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012)

Veteran character actor Ernest Borgnine died today in Los Angeles of renal failure at the ripe old age of 95.

Like most 80s kids, I first saw Borgnine as the co-star of Airwolf. It was only in relatively recent years, when I've had the chance to watch more classic TV and cinema, that I discovered his best work: movies like The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, The Poseidon Adventure, and selected episodes of McHale's Navy. (He was also in Disney's The Black Hole, for which I have a fondness disproportional to its actual merits.)

95 is a ripe old age for a hard-working actor. Rest in peace, Ernest.

July 01, 2012

Come, all ye bold Canadians, to Canada Day

Happy Canada Day, mes amis. Today is Canada's 145th birthday. I'm actually writing this up on the evening of June 30, but if the weather is agreeable, then by the time you read this, I'll be downtown seeing the sights on and around Parliament Hill (and I'll be viewing this evening's fireworks from a friend's balcony).

Since I started this blog, it has been my tradition to give a brief history of a different Canadian patriotic song each July 1. I believe I hit the point last year where I had done the last song I knew. So I found myself at a bit of a loss this summer for new material.

However, at some point I realized, "Hey, wait a minute—this is 2012. It's the bicentennial year of the beginning of the War of 1812!" After all, surely a major war produced a patriotic song or two . . .