Nobody (especially me) could have believed it, but the Cubs won tonight in dominant fashion, and are...this is no joke...heading to the 2016 World Series.

Now read up on the musical legacy behind "Go Cubs Go". And now that you know all about the song, it's damned time that you sung it.


The Chicago Cubs quest to be the 2016 World Series Ch....Ch....Ch.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh man! I almost got through that whole thing with a straight face!

At 7pm today Mountain Standard Time, the Chicago Cubs will start their postseason campaign by hosting the San Francisco Giants.

Many Cubs fans are riding high right now. The Cubs finished the season with 103 wins, the most in all of Major League Baseball, and their .640 winning percentage beats the next highest (Texas and Washington, each of which had 95 wins) by .054...which is more than the gap between the .500 Kansas City Royals and the wild card Jays/Orioles. Their OPS was the third highest in the league, Kris Bryant was a top ten home run hitter, and four of their players are in the top 15 for on-base percentage. But the real story of the Cubs this year has been the pitching, not the hitting: Jake Arrieta allowed the lowest batting average in the majors this year, and three more Cubs pitchers are in the top ten. Three Cubs pitchers are in the top ten lowest WHIP in the league as well, with two Cubs pitchers taking the top two ERA spots in all of baseball this season. The Cubs can play a dominant game, no question about it.

Will they win the World Series?

[Editor's Note: Feynman and Coulter's Love Child is busy having another laughing and crying fit, so I'll assume the answer is no.]

Okay look. The Cubs are riding high. The last time they broke 100 wins was 1935...when they only played 154. Shockingly enough, that mark only ranks fifth in the all-time number of season wins (they won 116 in 1906 when they lost the World Series). But the Cubs have been here before. They won 97 games just last season, 97 in 2008, 96 in 1984, and 98 in 1945...when again a season was only 154 games. You might remember hearing something about a Cubs World Series run in 1945...most Cubs fans today weren't even born when that campaign went on, but it reverberates through history.

The Cubs lost the World Series because of a goddamned goat. We've remarked how weird it is that the Curse of the Goat remains to this day...but yet it remains. Every year, a Cubs season ends in heartbreak. The nature of the heartbreak changes year to year, but it doesn't ever go away. And I mean never.

In that 1984 season, the Cubs had their own "Bill Fucking Buckner Moment" when Cubs first baseman Leon Durham allowed San Diego's Carmelo Martínez easy hit to dribble through his knees and score a tying RBI that kicked off a Padres rally that eliminated the Cubs from the postseason. Third Edge of the Sword favourite James Loney hit a rare home run to give the Dodgers a 4-2 Game 1 lead...oh, it was a 2-0 game before he hit it. In 1969 the "black cat incident" jinxed the Cubs and started them on the road to a losing streak that cost them the pennant. The Cubs would go on to get swept after leading the National League with 97 wins. And every baseball fan knows about the 2003 Steve Bartman incident. But there's more to the Cubs heartbreak than the Billy Sianis incident that kept them from ever even seeing the World Series.

The Chicago Cubs lost the World Series in 1906 and then won in 1907 and 1908. They then played in the 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1945 World Series. They won a whopping eight games in those seven World Series. The worst of them was the 1935 Series where the Cubs blew a 3-2 lead in Game 6 and then coughed up a weak hit in the ninth inning over Billy Herman's glove. The Cubs had won 21 games straight in September and then lost when it really mattered.

Second to that had to be the 1932 World Series. You know that one....Babe Ruth gestured to the stands in Game 3 and then delivered on his promise. Despite having a lead in every game, the Cubs were swept in four. That was probably the second worst World Series game in Cubs history. The worst? Game 4 of the 1929 World Series where the Cubs had an 8-0 lead going into the bottom of the 7th...an hour later the score was 10-8 and the Cubs were out...including a routine fly ball dropped that turned into a 3-run inside-the-park home run.

So Cubs fans are going to be disappointed. There's no question of that. The bigger the hype for a Cubs season, the bigger the disappointment. And that's why every time you see younger Cubs fans getting excited, you'll see an older fan...not even necessarily that old, just more experienced...standing behind him and telling him to calm down.

You develop the callouses eventually. The Cubs are on top of the league. They are the favourites to win the NLDS, the NLCS, and the World Series.

They won't. They'll collapse. Somehow. Almost certainly before making it to the Series. It will be another chapter, it will be glorious, and it will be something nobody could expect. A routine fly ball in the sun. A routine bloop to first base. A cat in the dugout. A goat in the stands. An overly aggressive fan in the stands. A superstar calling the ball in a way never before seen in sports.

I'll be cheering on the Cubs for the next week. Maybe even the next two weeks.

But not three. I won't get overly excited. They're the Cubs.


This day in (blog) history

Do you miss Stephen Harper yet?

Who do we have to thank for this? Paul Martin. For one thing, as some will remember, the dollar was a relatively strong high 70s performer when he took power in 1993. By his departure in 2003 the dollar had dropped to historic lows. (This, incidently, is a major reason why 1995-2003 was also the drought of Canadian teams appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals). Martin's coup suddenly caused the dollar to shoot up in value, as Canadian currency was no longer under the control of a dangerous lunatic. Additionally, Martin's politiking skills were so poor that Stephen Harper was able to become Prime Minister, and I don't need to tell you how confident the world markets are in his leadership abilities. (Unless you're from Saskatchewan. I'll summarize. Tory good. Liberal bad).
Of note in the original post, already Ontario is happy that the low dollar is hiding their inefficient manufacturing sector.


The only bigger joke is pretending there are more than two (intransmutable) genders

I thought the Edmonton Fag Pride Parade was held in June...why are they having it now?

And yes, of course, this is a classic joke that works year after year.

And now a musical number reminding poofters that their sick lifestyle choices are the reason they have to get together every year to commiserate their pain.


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode 5x26 and 6x01 liveblog

In commemoration with the 50th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek, September 8th 1996, we here at Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Riverside, Iowa present a liveblog of the DS9 Season 5 finale "A Call to Arms" and the sixth season debut "A Time to Stand".

We'll start "A Call to Arms" at 11pm Eastern Standard Time, 8pm Pacific. "A Time to Stand" will start at midnight EST, 9pm Pacific.

Note: all times are in Mountain Standard Time

21:01: And we're off. Garak is showing Leeta and Rom wedding dresses. Compelling!

21:03: "It's two hankerchiefs and a loincloth!". Sometimes the non-Trek writing on this show sparkels. And who wants a Tellarite wedding dress?

21:04: "Any marriage where the female is allowed to speak and wear clothing is doomed to failure." Man, you gotta love Quark. It's a shame they pussified the Ferengi at the end of the series.

21:05: "Would you marry me?" Rom propositions Sisko in a rare Star Trek fagshenanigans gag. The scary music swells as a convoy leaves the wormhole bound for Cardassia. War is coming, kids.

21:06: Deep Space Nine really has an underappreciated theme song doesn't it? Obviously it can't hold a candle to the TNG theme since it was just a ripoff of the Jerry Goldsmith Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme. But DS9 is hopeful, brooding, often triumphant and apprehensive, and it never gets much respect. You can listen to 30 remixes and covers of the Voyager theme, but none for DS9. It's a shame.

21:08: It's worth noting that "A Call to Arms" is the only episode of Deep Space Nine that shares its title with a narrative piece on Babylon 5, specifically the fourth TNT movie where Sheridan and Garibaldi [rest in peace, Jerry Doyle... -ed] oversee the construction of the destroyer-class White Star. That episode features the legendary Tony Todd, who of course also plays Worf's brother.

21:10: Ben and Jake have a conversation about Jake being involved in the "Starfleet News Service", and Sisko doesn't like his public (or possibly private?) statements reported in the press. If this is a military press, then Sisko should already have some authority over what they publish. Later Jake will work for the Federation News Service, a civilian press organization which obviously wouldn't be subject to Starfleet oversight.

21:11: Everybody pay attention to this scene. It's a big and important scene, and not just because the geopolitical structure of the galaxy is being discussed. The Romulans have signed a nonaggression pact with The Dominion, which will ultimately lead in one of the greatest hours of television ever: "In the Pale Moonlight". There's a Tholian name-drop, which happened a lot in DS9 without payoff. We'd have to wait until Enterprise to see that.

21:12: Anyways, Sisko and Starfleet agree that they're losing the peace. Which means the Federation will mine the entrance to the wormhole.

21:15: If you think really hard about the minefield, you'll see that the science doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Each mine could have a replicator unit, but they need power to replicate other mines. This realistically wouldn't work scientifically, but all you need to know is magical technobabble means the mines will do the job your brain thinks they will. It also means that laying the mines will take a lot of time and tie up the Defiant while she has no cloaking device or shields.

21:16: Odo makes an excuse to see Kira: cutting off subspace traffic to prevent leaks. Seeing how Sisko basically just openly said on the bridge "Starfleet is preparing an armada to make a first strike on Dominion holdings in Cardassian territory" that is probably a good idea. The Odo-Kira relationship never sat well with me, and this is Odo being as he should be: cold and emotionless. Not sappy, even though René Auberjonois does that look so well.

21:20: Weyoun has arrived to threaten Sisko fairly blatently. Usually the Vorta are the classic nice-talking diplomats, but here Weyoun almost pounds his shoe on the table and cries "we will bury you!" Sisko doesn't give any quarter back either, and when Weyoun tries to "compromise" Sisko holds his ground. Weyoun tries his good cop routine again, of course, and gives a total bullshit reason for the military convoy. This is a great scene. Weyoun proposes civilian-only transport ships to cease the mining of the wormhole.

21:22: I enjoyed this scene more when you the viewer had to see through the subtext yourself. Unfortunately, as Penksy File notes, 90s audiences needed things spelled out though. After Weyoun leaves on "good terms" and Sisko explains to the senior staff that the entire last half of the conversation was a ruse. The minefield has to be finished within 16 hours.

21:24: Sisko asks Kira to meet with the Council of Ministers, so that he can persuade them to sign a nonaggression pact with the Dominion. He says Bajor must be kept safe, those were his orders in the first episode. Actually, his orders were to do everything short of violating the Prime Directive to get Bajor to join the Federation. Dude should learn to read better.

21:25: Remember what I said about the Odo-Kira romance? Double goes to the Garak-Ziyal romance. Robinson plays a great speech, but he's really a softie compared to the cold hearted bastard from "The Wire".

21:26: Rom and Leeta are married. This is still a horrible romance, but not as bad as those other two. Nog refers to the Dabo Girl as "Moogie" which is weird. Chase Masterson is 6 years older than Aron Einsenberg.

21:28: All Bajorans have left the station, Sisko has prepared his top secret program (which shouldn't need any computer prep time, but whatever), and Martok has the Dominion Fleet on sensors. Gul Dukat does his best 1989 Batman Joker gag and takes over the screen, making idle threats.

21:30: Already it's the "Federation News Service". Way to stay internally consistent, episode writers.

21:31: Garak is telling Odo about the events of "The Way of the Warrior" where he and Dukat fought side-by-side and Garak turned down the
opportunity to kill him.

21:32: I didn't remember this episode having so much family and relationship drama. The brothers Ferengi argue and then make up in the face of disaster.

21:33: Kira "officially" protests Starfleet still occupying Deep Space Nine, and then reports for duty. That's a lot of ships!

21:35: Dukat gives the game away, talking about how he plans to invade Bajor next. Weyoun will have none of that.

21:36: SHOTS FIRED! The Battle for Deep Space Nine has commenced. It's awfully hard to write about a bunch of effects shots, though at least Weyoun comes in to be shocked the Federation has developed shields the Dominion weapons cannot penetrate. Dukat references their science abilities, and then oddly enough brings up Sisko.

21:38: Martok saves the Defiant from Jem'Hadar warships so they can finish the mines. Dukat uses his knowledge of the station to tell the Dominion/Cardassian fleet to concentrate on a section of the docking ring, a move he stole from Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact. He penetrates the shields just as the last mine is deployed. The mines all activate and then cloak, which confuses me since I thought they weren't cloaking them.

21:39: Sisko gives up the ghost, Starfleet will evacuate the station. Spoiler warning: this will somehow be done very slowly without any tension.

21:41: Oh my God, another romance scene? This one between Dax and Worf. She kisses him when they should be evacuating the station, seeing how the Dominion has punched through the shields.

21:42: Sisko is explaining how important Deep Space Nine has been to him, and also how Starfleet has successfully destroyed Dominion shipyards. After his long-winded speech on a station apparently about to be destroyed/invaded, he beams aboard a (shieldless) Defiant and Starfleet evacuates DS9 along with...Garak. Somehow they let him on a warship.

21:43: The Defiant found time to dock in this mess? Both she and Martok's ship cloak and escape.

21:44: Kira welcomes the Dominion to Deep Space Nine and launches Sisko's secret program, which does to the computers on the station what the Goldeneye satellite did in the eponymous James Bond movie. Quark's, somehow, has lights despite Sisko's program. I don't know how that works.

21:45: Rom has gone back to work for his brother, and openly says that he's a Federation spy. He runs into Federation citizen Jake Sisko, who wants to stay in the warzone and report for the Federation and/or Starfleet news services.

21:46: Sisko is mad as hell about Jake, but he can't risk the ship to go back for him. Starfleet will regroup for a counterstrike while Dukat and Weyoun stride onto the promenade. Weyoun wants to remind everybody that the Federation probably won this round. Kira/Odo/Quark welcome the Dominion (and arrogant Cardassians) to Terok Nor, as Weyoun snivels.

21:47: Dukat has discovered...

(cue scary music)...

...Sisko's baseball. See you next year! Or, for the purposes of this liveblog, see you in about ten minutes.

22:02: "In memory of Brandon Tartikoff", the Paramount executive who green-lit The Next Generation in 1986.

22:03: We're still looking at scenes from the previous episode. Remember back when they had to do this?

22:04: "And now, the continuation". That's a phrase that only was said on Deep Space Nine. A battered Starfleet/Klingon task force retreats to safety while O'Brian complains.

22:05: Why is Garak still on the Defiant? Sure, he can "study star charts" but he's not Starfleet personnel. In fact, he's not even from the Cardassian military. He was an intelligence officer.

22:06: Is Bashir "showing off" by using his super-enhanced brain, or are the writers just being lazy? I'd say the latter. We already have Dax doing the Spock "recite the odds" thing, we don't need another one.

22:07: Speaking of Vulcans, Garak accuses Bashir of being one. These same arguments will be used by Bashir against the "Jack Pack" in "Statistical Probabilities" later this season.

22:08: "You get married the way you want" Dax says to Sisko. He will. Against Starfleet wishes.

22:09: Why is Bashir the only one who's dirty? Why is Sisko able to break the table? Opening credits...

22:12: "Permanent documentation file". I'm glad I don't live in the Star Trek universe, it seems like everybody has to record captain's logs and personal logs repeatedly. Odo made fun of that fact in one episode, apparently he's the only one in the universe.

22:13: The Bajorans are coming back! Weyoun has a vision of the station that sounded like what Sean Penn claimed pre-war Iraq was like. Kira wants the Bajoran security officers to be reinstated, and Weyoun is cool with it. Dukat refuses though. Weyoun promises the security guards will be reinstated...eventually.

22:14: Poor Weyoun. He's desperate to win Odo's affections. Try having a bumpy nose and a nice rack...

22:15: Weyoun kicks Damar out of the room and insists that Dukat consults him on future decisions. He doesn't like having to tell a Dominion ally "no".

22:17: Quark is trying to get the table-hogging Jem'Hadar soldiers in the spirit of the bar/casino, and it's just not working. They don't want holosuites, they don't want the dabo tables. I kept waiting for the "maybe Vorta are sex maniacs" talk from Leeta, I guess it's not in this episode.

22:19: "As occupations go, this one isn't that bad". Compared to the Cardassians running the station, Quark notes that Terok Nor used to be a worse place to be. There's no outward sign of problems on the station (other than no Bajoran security officers). Everything is clean and well behaved.

22:21: Hi Admiral Ross! While at Regula One Starbase, Sisko is relieved of command of the Defiant.

22:22: Hi Admiral Cartwright! Brock Peters has come back to the Star Trek franchise to yell at Sisko for not sending a fleet to rescue an 18 year old who dreams of being a journalist. I keep forgetting he was already in season four episodes.

22:24: Sisko Sr. says space is so big and infinite...so why can't all these galactic powers be happy with the territory they already have? Good line. Now he should ask why ships always meet along the same plane when meeting in space.

22:26: Jake tries to interview "Mr. Weyoun" for his articles, but Weyoun doesn't like Jake's biased reporting and "pejorative terminology" and therefore he has blocked transmission of Jake's articles. Weyoun insists that Jake will need a "more balanced" perspective if he wants his news reports to make it to Federation space. At least Jake isn't writing "Dominion propaganda" after receiving $150 million annually...

22:28: Starfleet is using the stolen Dominion destroyer to infiltrate Dominion space and destroy the Ketracel-white facilities. Nog and O'Brien discuss the issues with the ship: no chairs, no infirmary, no replicators, and no viewscreen.

22:30: They brought Garak on this mission too? The whole joy of Garak is when he's used in small doses. Without a viewscreen, only Sisko can see what it looks like outside with that eye-thingy.

22:31: How does the door in Sisko/Dukat's office know not to open because Dukat hasn't "dismissed" Kira yet? Dukat does the usual thing he does with Kira, trying to get on her good side so that he can get in that elusive "mother and daughter" screw. It also know when he steps in front of the door that he wants to block her rather than walk out through it.

22:34: Dukat figures that the worst thing in the galaxy is Cardassia as a "third rate power", and now he dreams of the Dominion turning the Alpha Quadrant (Bajor, Earth, all of it) to him, and naked Kira as a handy side dish. Now the door knows to open.

22:35: Sisko needed a shot to get over the headaches caused by the Jem'Hadar headsets, and Garak notes that Cardassians have been seen to use them. I think he just senses deep down inside that Gul Dukat is treating his baseball like the top from Inception

22:37: The USS Centaur has opened fire on them, and followed them across the border. Sisko uses baseball analogies and the weapons array to disable the ship. Unfortunately, the real Jem'Hadar are chasing after "Charlie", the Centaur's captain.

22:39: The Jem'Hadar are receiving their daily dose of the Ketracel White drug, and Dukat has finally combed the messy hair he used to try and seduce Kira. Dukat tries to figure out the specific hierarchy of the Dominion, and Weyoun insists that everybody serves the Founders. Odo (a Founder) arrives at Kira's behest to ask for his security services. Weyoun consents without the slightest hesitation...but then asks Odo to join Weyoun and Dukat on the Ruling Council.

22:41: Is Odo on the council a good idea? Dukat doesn't like it, so Odo thinks it will be good based on that alone. Kira is less sure, but Odo talks her into accepting it. She's scared that Odo on the council legitimizes the invasion.

22:42: Starfleet's Jem'Hadar destroyer watches a real destroyer load up on White, and then plans to repeat it themselves...and beam down a bomb.

22:43: As our heroes make the exchange, the base raises its shields. 90 seconds to go to warp or we're all dead.

22:45: Sisko's plan is to time their escape so that they pass the security net just as their bomb goes off...just like Bashir requests: 1.3 seconds before detonation. This is kind of tense.

22:46: Things didn't go as planned. The bomb went off ahead of schedule, and the ship is in one piece...mostly. Deflectors and navigation are down, and the warp engines are gone forever. That means a 17 year trip back to a starbase, which means they are...pretty close, since that means going less than lightspeed. Bashir should have really answered "56,312,092 years" or something.

22:47: And that's the episode...ends on a bit of a downer for a season opener, but then Season 6 will be that sort of season.


@emmaoulton @chescaleigh

Hey guess what? Free speech is a fundamental and inalienable human right.

But if somebody's speech is curtailed, cowardly left-wing cunt Franchesca Ramsey should be the first to suffer. After all, she doesn't believe in your free expression.

So punish her when she tries to exercise hers.

`emmaoulton Im in favour of imprisoning and/or executing chescaleigh to prevent her from speaking Everybody else gets FreeSpeech


Turnabout (Intruder) is Fair Play

I've been listening to the Pensky Podcasts discussing Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Earlier this year they reviewed "The Outcast" and I have posted a YouTube comment regarding the episode:

I'm gonna go with a -1 and say that I wish this episode didn't exist. Not only would I never watch it again, I was very uncomfortable while I watched the whole thing, and I think their treatment of it, while not overtly rage-worthy, it adds to the normalization of sodomy and the Homo Agenda that I find very pervasive in our society and I think that if things like this that sort of water down the sexual perversions than the repercussions of this kind of act, the act of you choosing an illegitimate lifestyle...I wish it didn't exist, I would never watch it again, and I wish they hadn't made it.

Where did I borrow that vicious invective from? Easy, from this earlier video in which one of the commenters used the same language to attack "rape culture" (which, as we all know, isn't really a problem).


Culinary discovery of the day

Yes, Virginia, that jar of peanut butter in the back of the fridge can go bad.

So much for my "whew, I'm not out of peanut butter my morning PB&J is saved."


35th Edmonton International Fringe Festival: That Was Then, This Is Fringe

(this post is "sticky" and will remain at the top until August 22nd. Scroll down for new content)

It's that time of year again, where the streets of Old Scona come alive with green onion cakes, lame busker shows, and 140 plays which promise to be edgy and counter-cultural (and at least 95 of them will contain one tired Donald Trump joke).

And that means it's also time for Third Edge of the Sword's annual collection of Fringe reviews, highlights, and photos.

Keep your eye on this page for the eleven days of the 2016 Fringe Festival as more and more content is loaded. You can also take a look at the content from the 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

And, naturally, it almost goes without saying at this point...

No fags.


2016 Edmonton Fringe: two plays with questionable politics

A couple years ago I opened up the Fringe by posting a list of plays I had no interest in seeing. While I'm not up to the same task this year, there are a couple of plays that are so boilerplate and ridiculous that they deserved to be made fun of.

The first, from Morgan Cranny (previously seen doing Jeff Who Lives At Home fan fiction [yes, this is an old joke -ed], is Vasily Djokavich: Russia's #1 State Approved Comedian. In the poster, you can even see a photo of Putin overlooking the depressed looking performer. Haha, how sad is a country that has state approved comedians and a narcissist as their leader. Oh, wait, that doesn't describe Russia in 2016. It describes Canada. A comedian named Mike Ward has been fined for being a non-state-approved comedian. This isn't a one-off-case either: comedian Guy Earle was also fined for his comedy. Now maybe Cranny-as-Vasily makes reference to these cases in the play, which would sort of help. However, its ridiculous to be continuing to make jokes about state enforcers denying the fundamental free speech rights in a far-off country when the same thing is happening on our very doorsteps. In fact, I'll bet you dollars-to-donuts that Cranny himself doesn't see a problem with Human Rights kangaroo courts forcing citizens to pay danegeld to people who's "right not to be offended" has been invaded. As a result, the play itself is entirely pointed the wrong direction. It should be at the same so-called "edgy" Fringe performers that Cranny cavorts with day and night.

Similarly, I was alerted to this play by a text message warning me that it's hateful towards Christianity (and that she had to walk out on it): Jesus Master Builder — A Divine Comedy. All I can say is that I can't wait for playwright Mark Allan Greene's followup next year: Mohammed the Mountain Mover - Koranilarious.

(click here to return to the 2016 Fringe portal page)

2016 Edmonton Fringe: Grounds review

At least they changed some of it this year.

One of the most interesting and ironic things about the Fringe grounds is for a festival whose plays are entirely anti-conservative, there's nothing in this universe more conservative than the layout of the Fringe grounds themselves. A couple weeks ago Martok and I were out on Whyte Ave for drinks just before the Fringe grounds were being setup, and he had great sport verbally describing the layout end-to-end. Ever since the year they had that "eco-carnival" I've been concerned with the incredible shrinking Fringe grounds, though Martok's complaint was that the grounds don't mix it up at all. (To be fair, his suggestion that we shut Whyte Avenue down for 12 days and expand the grounds to include the street itself is crazy and I want no part of it)

The taco in a bag stand? Exactly where he described it, along with the mini-donuts and the green onion cakes. That (Brown) Indian food place "Zarika" or whatever it's called is a few feet moved from its location last year. The same hippie bead places dot the landscape just north of the main only stage. The fences and barriers connecting the Orange Hall "line" with the walking path between the main only stage and south beer gardens are still illogically designed to create a massive bottleneck the moment more than one stroller is thrown into the mix. There are a couple food trucks north of the ATB Arts barns and the usual food "trailers" along Calgary Trail, and then Fat Franks is in front of the Walterdale. Bruce Jenner changes genders more often than the Fringe Festival changes its grounds layout.

Though they did make a couple notable changes this year. A whopping one of them is a reorganization. The rest are...wait for it...subtractions.

The north beer gardens has moved from its traditional spot to just north of the train tracks, and now you can sit next to trees but not under trees. Instead of getting some nice natural shade, instead you can do the same gag as the north beer garden: sit under a heavy (and noisy) tent if you want to avoid sun and/or rain, otherwise you're out in the sun almost the entire day. You get a bit of grass this way. I can't say I like it, though it's at least different. So what did they do with the old beer gardens area? Something cool? You should probably know better by now. They put the daily discount tent there, and a Subway food truck selling their lousy new Korean BBQ, and Telus has a mini-tent there, and...no, that's about it. They opened up some space and didn't do anything interesting with it. Maybe that will be next year?

There are some subtractions, of course, and I'm not sure if New Asian Village just chose not to take their traditional spot along Gateway Boulevard or if they were forced out. The "freak show" tent that was just north of the north beer gardens is definitely gone and that's definitely something the Fringe was responsible for. Don't tell me there weren't any bearded ladies available, one of them has been walking the grounds almost constantly.

So another year, another drop in the number of things to do and see at the Fringe grounds. I've already talked with one friend who, upon learning the Butter Chicken from New Asian Village is no longer available, decided to skip the Fringe this year. The site itself seems eerily reminiscent of the Republican Party in 2012: not wanting to rock the boat, they tepidly put forth a slightly smaller and more low key candidate than they tried the last time and hoped it would work better. And just like 2012, it didn't and left us with another four years of disaster. Say what you will about Trump, but he's the party swinging for the fences, being bold, and trying something different.

The Fringe Theatre Festival keeps telling us that's who they are. And then every year they give us the Fringe grounds equivalent of Mitt Romney.

(click here to return to the 2016 Fringe portal page)