Research in Motion in motion

by

Go to YahooFinance.com, type in “RIM” and hit “5 yrs” on the chart. What a slide, eh? Stock worth $140 a share in 2008 has recently traded as low as $7!

The story is too well-known to bother telling here. Suffice it to say that iPhone ate RIM’s lunch for them. And then when RIM was standing there going, “Hey! Who ate my lunch??” Samsung Galaxy sneaked up behind them and kicked RIM in the balls. Then Google Android knelt behind RIM and iPhone pushed RIM over. Nokia was too small to assist but stood watching and laughed.

It was a bad scene, man. Not as bad as when Netflix beat Blockbuster to death with a piece of firewood in a blind rage, but pretty bad.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel! Even though the BlackBerry smartphone hasn’t materially changed in five years, and even though you still can’t look anything up on the internet browser with it, and even though people almost laugh at BlackBerry’s remaining users, and even though all the Fortune500 companies are bailing on the “secure” BlackBerries for their employees, and even though morale plummeted at RIM to the point where internal emails revealed a prevailing corporate atmosphere of bleak defeatism and apathy, the stock has finally gone up!

Why? BB10! Yes, the much-vaunted iPhoneish “BlackBerry 10″ is fiiiinally being released! This is after the BB10 release was postponed so many times that most financial analysts were betting that RIM would be purchased by Motorola for its few patents and then disappear into the dustbin of corporate history.

Now, the stock is hardly the darling it was in 2007 but it did climb out of penny stock territory to a comparatively lofty $17 a share and has hovered in the mid-teens since!

We sat down with our favorite financial commentator, star stockbroker and racquetball enthusiast William A. Spaulding Patrick III (whom you may recall elucidated the potash craze for us some time back) to get the down-low. Yo.

We were nursing our second Shirley Temple at the Morton’s bar where we’d scheduled to meet by the time William finally sidled up- 15 minutes late. We were about to say hello but William immediately asked, “What do you think of my new tie? It’s Herm├Ęs. This pattern, here, this pattern is called ‘paisley.’”

We conceded that, yes, it was a pretty nice tie but that we were here for some advice on RIM.

William answered us while anxiously scanning the entire bar for anyone that might be important, then glanced down and jiggled his wrist to make sure “everyone” could see his Rolex.

“It’s not called RIM anymore, it’s called BlackBerry,” said Will, “‘Cause they, uh, make BlackBerries so they mine as well be called BlackBerry. Get it? I’ve got to go to the washroom, one sec.”

We’d had only a few bites of our calamari starter (delicious) when William returned, seeming suddenly quite agitated. He declined to join us on the calamari and just sat there for a minute chewing his lip and looking one-by-one at every person in the bar.

“Uh, so William?” we asked, “What’s your reco? Is RIM due for another long season in the sun or is this just a blip?”

William leaned in very close, and became very serious, and spoke very fast, “I’ve got every dollar I have in that sumbitch. And all my clients’ too. Buy as much as you can, this BB10 is gonna revolutionize the smartphone industry. As much as you can. Buy buy buy.”

“What in the heck is so great about BB10?”, we asked. “It looks alot like an iPhone from the pictures we’ve seen…”

William grinned and wiped his nose with his sleeve.

“It’s got something no other phone has. Something absolutely revolutionary,” he said, “this one feature makes it certain that the stock will be at $500 or more in not even a month’s time!”

Wow, we thought to ourselves, if William is right then one stood to make 50 times their money!

We had to ask: “William- what is this game changing feature?”

After a long glug from his double martini he looked around the bar for a bit, then whipped a gold Cross fountain pen out of his suit jacket and wrote something on the bar napkin that lay before him. Then he quickly folded it up and left it under his palm.

He looked around again – squinting for a moment with particular suspicion at the busboy – and then casually slid the folded napkin along the bar towards us. William put his finger to his lips. “Shhhhh,” he whispered ominously.

Though it seemed no one cared a whit about either of us or our RIM conversation as far as we could tell, we deferred to the expert and, with delicate care not to draw attention to ourselves, we unfolded our secret napkin-note. It read…

“BB10 has a touch screen.”

Touch screen was emphasized with three underlines.

We were a little confused.

“Will,” we whispered, “iPhone and Galaxy already have touchscreens.”

William’s face dropped.

“I, uh, I’ve got to return some videotapes,” he sputtered as he got up and ran out the door so fast he nearly bowled over some old lady in a fur coat.

We took another bite of our calamari and began to consider that maybe the paper could use a different financial commentator.

Assad on his Hitlerstache: “No Resemblance Whatsoever!”

by George Chapman

Bashar Al-Assad. A murderous dictator. Willing to massacre his own people in order to stay in power.

‘Dictator’? Wait- I thought those were extinct*? I mean, this IS the 90s, isn’t it??”

True, true- except, this is the Middle East. Middle of the East. Have you any idea what this means?

“Oh right- THAT place. …I thought Dubya liberated that place?”

No- despite the fact that several generals and political hacks repeated the phrase “not another Vietnam” like 40 times during the whole Iraq buzz-kill, Dubya kinda created a mini-Vietnam there for like five, six years. (Geez, remember??) Now bombs are going off like crazy but they don’t make the news so we’ll never know what kind of power base we left in that miasma called Iraq. …Saving for the fact that it’s an Iranian-friendly one…and for most of the 80s we paid Saddam to fight the Iranians….no matter! Surely tribalistic illiterates in huts the world over get Enlightenment Principles! This obviously transcends the centuries-old rule of realpolitik.

With regards to our efforts in Iraq, though, at the end of the day the popular thinking is that the ol’ hands-off theory was pretty much validated by the Arab Spring.

“Righhhht- but won’t ominous-sounding “political parties” like “The Moslem Brotherhoodstrong-arm most of those ‘Arab Spring‘, uh, elections?”

Well, uhhh, the democratic political process is sometimes complicated, ummm, sometimes you have to walk before you run, er, uhhh….

ANYWAY- to the matter at hand. Bashar Al-Assad. (His first name is Basher for Christ’s sake. I’m pretty sure that’s a dude that wields a mallet in like 7 video games.)

Now, to start, let’s be clear: we’re not gonna** get all bogged down in the political ramifications regarding Syria. Like how the good guys might very well become bad guys if Assad is ousted…or how long-ruling Assad and his cronies are Ba’athist – a pseudo-socialist, pan-Arab party the only other mandarin of which was the late Saddam Hussein…or the fact Assad leads a Shi’ite minority called “Allawite” that only calls 12% of the population followers vs. the 74% Sunni majority….or how Assadic Syria is an Iranian client state that benefits from Iranian oil-drenched cash to finance and house Hezbollah while buttressing its own regime…or how the Russians back it in the UN Security Council*** in order to have a customer for old Hinds and a sweet port into the Med via the ancient city of Tartus****….or how several of Assad’s key generals have defected of late but noone can flippin’ tell whether this will be enough.No. We’re here to address facial hair. That’s right. In a rare interview provided to Abe Froman (Abe told Assad he was 1/16 Jewish 1/3 Cherokee) on the dictator’s private presidential patio, we finally get an answer to this obvious case of doppelganger.

Imperial President and Protector of the Syrian Pe-;

“No no- you don’t have to bother with that nonsense

‘May I just call you Inheritor Warlord?*****”

“That would be more apt.”

‘First-off: how goes the struggle against the revolutionaries?;

Terrorists.”

Pardon me?’

Terrorists, not revolutionaries.”

‘But they are common citizenry for the most part. Staging a *revolution* against you. Does this not make them *revolutionaries*?

“They threaten and terrorize me. I am Syria. Therefore they terrorize Syria.”

‘Well I can’t argue with logic like that! Moving on…The Toronto Thymes has noticed you bear a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler?”

‘You guys are so euro-centric. No, I don’t think we look anything alike.’

“But the ‘stache, great warlord, the ‘stache!”

“IT’S IN STYLE HERE, ASSHOLE!”

>at this point several mortars exploded in the midst of the interview. Abe’s hummus and tonic smashed to the ground. Clearly the interview was at an end. Crouched under a plastic patio table with El-Basher, Abe had a rare opportunity to ask one last question.<

Inheritor Warlord- your wife demands Pier 1 but FedEx won’t deliver anymore. All your major cities are in jeopardy. You have tanks, planes and helicopters, yes, but Christ, most of the guys manning them don’t like you. The tide of defections by key commanders to the rebels’ side continues unabated. CAN YOU HANG ON??”

At this the great Inheritor Warlord struck a smoke and adjusted his tie. He stared at our brave correspondent for a moment and then uttered these momentous words…

‘Ahem…..how the fuck should I know?
______________________________________________________________________________________________
*the ASKER omits the continent of Africa, where 11-17 examples are usually “in play.” He does so not because he’s a racist but because most people omit Africa when they talk about the world-in-general.

**”going to

***a goofy uber-commitee of the UN, formed in the wake of WWII and composed only of the winners of WWII…so you have Putin‘s Russia with veto power over intervening on a dictator, or China weighing in on “human rights” issues. Pretty funny if t’weren’t true. (Britain and France are in this cool-kids-club too. Germany is left out (see photo inset.))

****pretty interesting. This city was once to the world what NY is today. …wiki it.

*****When the Bashar’s father died in 2000, Bashar was appointed leader of the Ba’ath Party and the Army, and was elected president unopposed in what the regime claimed to be a massive popular support (97.2% of the votes), after the Majlis Al Sha’ab (Parliament) swiftly voted to lower the minimum age for candidates from 40 to 34 (Assad’s age when he was elected). On 27 May 2007, Bashar was approved as president for another seven-year term, with the official result of 97.6% of the votes in a referendum without another candidate. [Wikipedia]

Most Coveted Automobiles Have No Balls

by

Ah, the automobile. The ultimate status symbol.* Whether it’s the nicest Integra in the poor-as-sh*t neighborhood or the nicest Ferrari in the rich-as-f*ck gated enclave, everyone wants their whip to be admired – if not generally – than at least by those in their peer group.

Don’t believe us?

97% of US car sales are financed, which is to say; 97% of people probably should have gotten a model more akin to a 3-year-old-Kia-under-50,000-miles if their oft-espoused “Cars are just to get from point A to point B” saying was actually something they believed in rather than just something they said to sound all sensible, prudent and un-materialistic.

Weird thing is, the most status-y of the status-symbol models have no balls.

“Huh?” you sputter. “But the fanciest cars always have the sickest engines!”

True, but still No.

Let’s explain…

Case I: The SUV

Nothing says “I have a lot of money” like a Range Rover SUV- specifically, the Supercharged top model version that boasts 510HP.* Preferably in white, just like in the rap videos.

“Wow…look at it…dripping with chrome. The dashboard submerged within rare oak and the seats hand-sewn with custom, creamy leather. So sleek…so stately. A subdued power. A kind of ferocious elegance. I…I……I want one.”

NO! Stop right there, friendo. Sure, it’s pretty. Granted. Tough to knock that body style. And 510HP? Very impressive. But slow down: It’s got no balls.

“No balls?”

NONE!

“510 horse? That sounds like a f*ckload of balls!”

No, palie, no. It’s a mirage. …Let’s put it this way: If a Chevy Tahoe hit that thing full on it would crumple like an effete British boarding school kid getting punched in the stomach by a large, black man from Detroit. Yes it would crumple and burn along with all the Holt Renfrew* shit in the trunk.

“Huh? But the very best model Tahoe only has 403 horse??”

OK, let’s put it another way: if a Chevy Tahoe hit that thing it would buckle like Orlando Bloom getting hit in the chest with a crowbar by Marshall Mathers. It would buckle and burn along with all the organic, gluten-free, hypo-alergenic Whole Foods groceries in the trunk.

“Ohhh…I think I’m getting it. What’s in my trunk? In the Tahoe??”

Sh*t from The Bay**. And normal groceries from a normal grocery store. And maybe an M16.

“Oh, I like that.”

Yeah, that’s right. You still get some oak on the dash, not-retardedly-chrome chrome wheels and leather seats to make you feel all warm inside, but not so much of that sh*t that you’re left driving a purse-with-wheels.

“Ah, nice.”

And get this…

“Yeah?”

…the Tahoe is what the Secret Service drives.

“Oooo.”

Check the grill, friend.

“Ahhhh…sick.”

Yeah, baby. And it isn’t stupid expensive. Half as much.

“I like that.”

Best part?

“Yeah?”

It’s got balls.**

“Ohhh, yes. Now I get it.”

Yes.

We knew that you would.

Now, let’s move on to the only other type of car a person ever really needs…

Case II: The Sports Car

We were wrong before: Nothing says “I have a lot of money” like a BENTLEY- specifically, the Bentley GT Continental.* Again: preferably in white, just like in the rap videos.

And again: the chrome, the oak, the leather- oh my! And the latest, best model? Boasts 592HP.

“Dude- that’s hitting concept car balls. Surely, you can’t again say…”

Oh, yes; yes we can. And we will. Even with near 600 horses under the hood. This thing…has no balls.

“What!?”

Let’s put it this way: If a Chevy Corvette ZR1 raced that thing it would be like Jim Brown sprinting against Piers Morgan.

“Yeah? What’s the horse on the Corvette? This is pretty important in the f*ckin’ sports car category- ya can’t just gloss over it like ya did before with the trucks!”

We agree: 638HP.

“OK, OK- more horses; but not by much. What’s the torque? I mean the Bentley has 479 ft-lb’s!”

604 ft-lb’s.

“Shit.”

Yeah, your giant status symbol would get mowed down by Detroit brawn worse than the British did at Bunker Hill.

“Yeah, I get it now.”

The ‘vette would smoke that ostentatious ‘tardmobile harder than Miller Genuine Draft smoked Amy Winehouse.****

“Look: I said ‘I get it,’ OK?!”

Hey baby:

It just. makes. sense.

Case III: The Minivan

No one covets a minivan. That’d be like comparing two turds.

A minivan says to the world “I have given up on life.”

And if you need space – a perfectly reasonable request – and seats for soccer practice and the occasional 3 AM dead hooker when the kids are asleep and so on and so on, well; refer back to Case 1!

_______________________________________________________________________________________
*Beyond Robb Report shit like motoryachts and whatnot. We’re talkin’ everyone here…I mean, what other possession do you parade around town more than your car?

**This is the uber-yuppie, premium department store of Canada. US readers: please sub in “Saks 5th Avenue.”

***US readers: ummm….JC Penney? But, ah, like back in the 80s when it was still reasonably nice? …Like the JC Penney Marty McFly would have gone to?? Yeah. Like that.

****too soon?

12 Year Old French Boy wins Best Picture Oscar

by

The French boy thanked Roman Polanski as an unceasing artistic inspiration.

The dog from Frasier was also among the overjoyed artists; however, by the time the Best Picture category was reached at the very end of the night he was so coked-up he barely knew where he was and couldn’t even distinguish that he’d won. (Note the picture, inset. Yes, so high he’d lost sense of where the audience even was.)

And yes, that is James Cromwell from Babe* waaay in the back there amidst all those Frenchmen.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
*and Babe II: Pig in the City

Kim Jong-Un Taking to Divinity Nicely

by George Chapman

Kim Jong-Un. A chubby, unremarkable manboy. He’s basically a carbon copy of the fat Korean kid everyone had in their class during at least one year of elementary school. You know, that guy John Kim? He really liked Super Mario Brothers?? Well this Kim is just like that Kim…except this Kim has just inherited the world’s last feudal kingdom. “This harmless half-wit?,” you say? “There must be some misunderstanding.”

Sadly, no. With his devilish daddy Kim Jong-Il gone, Kim Jong-Un is stuck as sole inheritor of the family business.

Indeed, his idyllic, simple life as the anonymous son of a “wealthy Korean businessman” at a Swiss boarding school is now permanently behind him.* The shy, stocky little chubbster – who once spent most of his time happily snacking and watching NBA games – has now been thrust into a swirling and potentially deadly world of intrigue, rivals, coteries, cliques and, worst of all, one where he is confronted daily with the obligation to make decisions that have geopolitical ramifications.

Kim soon found that his faultless knowledge of Michael Jordan‘s historical shooting stats would have been better replaced with a faultless knowledge of the Ming Jyap Brigade’s historical shooting stats, as far as his day-to-day responsibilities go.

Rumor has it that Kim is lucky enough to have a wisened, octogenarian Uncle playing the role of Cardinal Richelieu to Kim’s obese version of the famously naieve King Louis XIIIth

“Kim-San, while pretending to be on maneuvers, elements of the 105th Armored Division were planting mines on the DMZ in express violation of the Geneva Convention and have captured several UN peacekeepers that stumbled upon their operation. Shall we decapitate these rats immediately or do you have specific instructions as to the nature and extent of their suffering? What does the Great Leader desire??”

‘Ohhh, Unkauwww! I dauwno!! I jus’ ‘avin’ shum toastauw strudews enn’ warrtcheeng 1991 Burrz v. Wakeghws Finarrs auw Betamax ovah heeyah!! Shoot dem I guesssh…’**

“Your command is God’s spoken breathe, Kim-San.”

….

“Kim-San, General Kwon and several of his officers have been apprehended organizing a coup against your divine rule. Shall we decapitate these rats immediately or do you have specific instructions as to the nature and extent of their suffering? What does the Great Leader desire??”

‘Ohhh, Unkauwww! I dauwno!! I jus’ ‘avin’ shum Mirk Durrds enn’ warrtcheeng supah-funny neugh Amewikan pwogwam Wirr & Gwace auw ratest weaahw-pwojection beeeg skween ovah heeyah! Shoot dem I guesssh…’

“Your command is God’s spoken breathe, Kim-San.”

….

“Kim-San, a horde of peasants has robbed your divine commissary of many glorious pastries. They claim they are starving and have eaten all the soles of their shoes. Shall we decapitate these rats immediately or do you have specific instructions as to the nature and extent of their suffering? What does the Great Leader desire??

‘Ohhh, Unkauwww! I dauwno!! I jus’ ‘avin’ shum Oh Henwy’z enn’ warrtcheeng wearry, wearry twipy neugh Amewikan mooovie Nevah Endeeng Stowy ovah heeyah!! Hory sheet, dis so tweepy I hope eh’WEAWWY nevah enn’! Shoot dem I guesssh…’**

“Your command is God’s spoken breathe, Kim-San.”

….

…And despite the never-ending coups, assassination attempts, starvation riots and the whole global castigation thing, Kim has reportedly just discovered his father’s harem room.

So life is good.

____________________________________________________________________________________________
*classmates noted he was completely ordinary save for a tendency to be ferociously rude to the staff.

**the BBC has reported that Kim insists on speaking broken English to his retinue…so don’t even bother getting started on that racist slander email, mister! …More specifically, Kim insists on practicing his English at all times with his sycophantic staff in preparation for an operation to abduct Jennifer Aniston and make her his Eternal FRIEND (wink).