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It's easy to call Philip Seymour Hoffman a tortured artist -- a picture that's been painted in recent posthumous tributes by Vogue, The New Yorker and Esquire -- and to feed the myth that addiction belongs to creative geniuses and the derelict and no one in between. He has a great body of work -- an Oscar, even. But calling him a tortured artist also makes it sound like he was a man so purposely obsessed with his art that he willing sacrificed his well-being for it instead of what he really was: an addict who sometimes let his disease get the better of him, both the man and the artist.
The other day I was perusing my Facebook feed when an article about "smoking alcohol" grabbed my attention.The article went on about all the hazards involved and even included a list of dangers that the inhalation of alcohol can cause, but I didn't care, because it claimed that huffing booze vapor does not give you a hangover. My dream had come true.
07/02/2013 12:33 EDT
This weekend, after years of fighting for the right to be seen and heard, thousands of people took to Yonge St. in the largest Trans March of all time. This wasn't the largest Trans March in Canada--this was the largest Trans March in the world. Ever. In every meaningful sense, June 28th, 2013 was a watershed moment in Trans history. So, why has almost no one heard anything about it? The answer is Pride. Not the biblical kind of pride, but rather the corporatized, heavily branded "McPride" that is the reality of modern, gay-for-pay, event planners. Perhaps this explains why Pride Festival Organizers are tongue-tied when it comes to gushing about this moment in Trans history.
07/02/2013 05:07 EDT
After going to a party a 15-year-old girl from Nova Scotia was "dragged outside" by several boys and performed oral sex on one of them, while another filmed it all happening. Since April, the federal and provincial government have been taking steps to make amendments to the law so these situations don't happen again. But are they being enacted quickly enough?
06/14/2013 08:08 EDT
Yesterday, news broke that the FBI raided the home of Deric Lostutter in April. Deric is most famously known as KYAnonymous, the Anonymous operative who leaked a video where the young men who were later convicted of raping an unconscious teenager girl in Steubenville, Ohio were bragging about what they did in a disgustingly proud manner.
06/07/2013 05:22 EDT
Canadian-style liquor store setups are exceedingly rare. There are almost no countries that require you to purchase spirits in the manner that we are accustomed to. In Communist China, it's a free-for-all. Almost nobody does it like we do, Canada. We're an outlier. We're a weirdo.
05/17/2013 07:53 EDT
Montreal's recently self-identified foodies will finally get to enjoy the opportunity to stand in line for twenty minutes to pay $9 for a pork belly sandwich, thus catching up with the rest of Western civilization in realizing the ineffable and irreplaceable gastronomic qualities of "something that was in truck at some point."
05/03/2013 12:32 EDT
Sunday, April 14th marked ten years since the night I was raped. I'd been dreading that bizarre anniversary like the plague. I didn't really understand what I was supposed to do or how I was supposed to feel. So what did I end up doing on my "anniversary"? My boyfriend made bacon pancakes, we went to the mall, watched TV... So really it was like any other Sunday, although this time I was hyperaware of my gratefulness for every moment of it. I mourn for Rehtaeh Parsons, Audrie Pott, and all the other girls who did not have that same luxury. We need to realize that rape is a crime and stop making excuses for criminals. If we don't we are going to continue to disappoint countless young women to death.
04/17/2013 08:26 EDT
In the days following the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons -- the teenage girl from Halifax who committed suicide after being gang raped, photographed, and harassed -- the hacktivist group Anonymous is playing a game of chicken with the authorities in Nova Scotia.I spoke with a member of Anonymous who is directly involved with the operation to bring Rehtaeh's rapists to justice, in order to get a better handle on their motivations.
04/12/2013 02:31 EDT
We're still left with the question of why the RCMP failed Rehtaeh Parsons, the 17-year-old who recently commit suicide after being allegedly raped and bullied. Something seems seriously amiss when photographic evidence of a rape is considered not useful, especially when the investigating officers tell the victim and their family they believe the rape happened. We can discuss cyber-bullying all we want, but perhaps it would have lessened, or even stopped, had the boys who raped, and ultimately were the cause of her social torture, were arrested. We don't have systems in place to stop cyber-bullying yet, but we do have institutions to bring justice to those who commit crimes. Especially when it comes to a rape that happens in real life
04/11/2013 12:05 EDT
Believe it or not, Big Shiny Tunes 2 is the third best selling album in Canadian history, and this December it will be celebrating its Super Sweet 16th Birthday. After remembering the greatness of this musical milestone, I decided to dust off my copy of the album and see how each track holds up to the incredibly high standards of music in 2013. And so, it begins.
02/27/2013 12:51 EST
I don't understand why we can't just let ourselves be what we are: a weird little country with issues. Like Belgium or Switzerland or something. That's a great thing to be! It makes people curious. It would fit us so much better. Just a funny, comfortable nation that happens to have national debates about things like cereal box fonts. Why do we need to be the sort of place whose flag is featured on beer shirts? I don't know if the world really loves Canadians. I'm not about to get wasted and tell it that. But we haven't pissed it off that much -- not yet. We're kind of under the radar, you know, arguing about street signs and putting gravy on things. It could be worse.
02/27/2013 04:18 EST
Earlier this month, Nicole Doucet was brought in front of the Supreme Court of Canada after she tried to have her allegedly abusive ex-husband, Michael Ryan, killed. She hired a hitman to do the job for $25,000, but unfortunately for Nicole and fortunately for Michael, the assassin turned out to be an undercover RCMP officer. Despite that, Nicole was ultimately absolved by the Supreme Court of Canada.
01/30/2013 08:37 EST
Despite the grand conspiracy pushed forth by Toronto's anti-high school football illuminati, Rob Ford the World's Greatest Mayor is keeping his job. Sure, Rob Ford may be an angry drunken high school football coach who also just happens to be the mayor, but he's our angry drunken football coach. If you're not one for performance comedy, we can kind of understand why you might be upset about Big Dawg Rob's return, but here at VICE, we would like to to welcome the gravy man back with open arms.
01/25/2013 12:22 EST
As military strikes between Israel and Gaza continued with the deaths of 11 Palestinian civilians on Sunday, a complicated Internet battlefront has appeared. There is an unprecedentedly transparent wave of social media propaganda by both sides.
11/19/2012 05:43 EST
Despite worldwide publicity and campaigning, the approach to actually solving the sexual harassment epidemic in Egypt has sadly been a pretty apathetic one, with police giving less than a gram of shit about the situation, leaving street perverts to grope away until their hands are content. It's perhaps no surprise that anti-harassment groups in Cairo have gone vigilante, taking what's left of the law into their own hands and patrolling the streets to fight the harassment epidemic themselves. I spoke to Muhammad Taimoor, leader and founder of the campaign, about their controversial tactics during the festival.
11/15/2012 05:31 EST
On Monday, Montreal's hapless, shaky, angry, and white-haired mayor, Gérald Tremblay, resigned in disgrace. It's no big surprise, really. Gérald had been fighting corruption allegations for years, always claiming that he knew nothing about any corruption seeping into Montreal's municipal politics. Even the most casual city observer would call utter bullshit on that. The mayor's position really became untenable last week when a former top aide, Martin Dumont, dished the goods in front of the Charbonneau Commission, which has been overturning dirty rocks to uncover the filthy world of Montreal's construction contracts.
11/08/2012 08:22 EST
In a move that comes with an unsettling brand of legislative style, tongue-in-cheek humor, the Canadian government passed a bill on Halloween that aims to outlaw masked protestors during riots or "unlawful assemblies." In a way, it's not surprising. Canada has had a tricky few years for riots and protest related carnage. Evidently, this catch-all legislation that sets out to ban masks from any protest that the government or the police designate as illegal, is an imprecise knee-jerk reaction to the growing problem of violent protests in Canada.
11/02/2012 05:23 EDT
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