Well I wasn't going to but Katie wanted one so..
Grumps was attended by Rosemary, Patrick, Irene, film-geek Mike Wood, Brent and myself. It was nice to see everyone again and meet Patrick and Brent, especially since Mike was the only one of the bunch I'd seen more recently than August. We took up a row +1 seat and made up more than a third of the audience but judging from the size of the audience aread they weren't expecting many more.
The topic had to do with politics and lying. The host was Jaymz Bee, the panel included the Hon. David Peterson, former premier of Ontario, Stevie Cameron and Trish Wood, journalists, and Jian.
Jian was introduced as "the leader" of Moxy Früvous, which raised a few eyebrows, and recieved a kiss from Jaymz which got a laugh. The discussion went well, very animated with lots of good points being brought up. You could see the lines being drawn though. The politician was accusing the media, the 2 journalists were accusing the politician and Jian's body language was pretty much screaming "I have something to say" (not that you can see that on-camera).
When he could get a word in edgewise, he brought up good points about the degree of lying, and how some lies were dangerous ("We're bombing Iraq to protect democracy") and some were not, how some lies had become "cultural protocol". He also called the media on not picking up on some of the bigger, more important lies. He took Trish Wood's defense of Jimmy Carter, and pointed out that Carter supported the Shah of Iran who was a brutal dictator. She then tried to defend Carter again. Weakly. (Maybe it's just because one of my Independent Studies in OAC was ON the Shah of Iran but I was sitting there going.. yeah whatever.)
All in all, I think it went off well as a discussion in general and Jian came off looking intelligent and fairly articulate. (Difficult as that is *g*) And uh, guys? He's aware of the Jian Scent thread. (visions of all sorts of improv bits at Windsor run through my head)
"Only Liberals lie."
"Lying is cool."
"If David Peterson said to me backstage "Hey, I really like your music" he'd probably be lying."
(Going by the CC on this part apologies if it's off)
"As the only non-politician or journalist on the panel, at least formally.."
"You make a lot of political statements in your music, I love it"
"Why thank-you Stevie" (picture the little suave/mocking grin)
"And I actually do love it"
"See I can't tell now, all this lying stuff and now I can't tell what's real.. and does she really like me or not?"
It was not what I expected. The Grumps experience was simply one surprise after another. Hell, even Jian's hair was a different colour.
I got to the studio a bit early and was led into a sort of hallway that was half-filled with metal chairs all lined up military-style along one of the walls. The walls themselves were high and made of concrete blocks which were painted a winter-sky gray. It was a scene somewhat reminiscent of my elementary school's hallways as I remember seeing them in kindergarten. (The school seems to have shrunk since that time.) Opposite the rows of chairs was a table with a coffee machine and styrofoam cups on it.
That was my first thought. My next one was what in the world had I gotten myself into this time? Where were the people? Where was the set?
It was not long before other people arrived who were equally disoriented, and that made for very good company. By the time the doors opened to admit us into the actual room in which Grumps would be taped, the audience had grown to twelve, five of whom were Fruvous fans.
What followed was a fascinating experience. We were evenly distributed on each side of the camera. Then we were coached in our applause. "Remember: each of you must make enough noise for five." There was even an applause conductor (of sorts) who told cued us. It was most amusing.
Finally, the show began.
This first show was about politics and lying. The discussion group was made up of the Honourable David Peterson (!), two journalists (whom I did not know) and one Frulad. From the start, Peterson was on the defensive, his theme being that politicians do not lie as much as people think they do (this was my general impression). The journalists attacked instantly, their response being essentially "Yeah, right." Jian seemed to be caught in the middle. I have to say that he was the most moderate of the bunch (if you ignore his "lying is cool" line which didn't fly).
Once the talk started it did not stop, even for commercials. I think it was the first time I ever saw Jian out-talked! No one could get their words out fast enough. It was a tense discussion. It was as though the speakers had each taken a corner of the same blanket and started to pull with equal force. In the end, no one won, nothing was resolved.
There were two shows recorded that night. Between tapings we audience members were served chinese food. Can't get better than that ;)
The second show began with a truly horrible poem. The subject of that show was Intelligence; the poem transcended stupidity. It was not even good stupidity. Alas. That first segment which included the poem had to be shot twice because the first reading went too long. An editor was called in to resolve the problem; she hacked out a stanza. Before the second reading the audience was counselled to laugh as though we had never heard this poem before. Unfortunately, I didn't laugh the first time.
This new discussion group was made up of two authors, a psychotherapist and a musician. I don't know what it was about the chair that Jian sat in, but it seemed that whoever sat there talked a lot with his hands. The psychotherapist had a lot of the same body language as Jian, though he lacked the humour.
While the first session was dominated by disagreement, this one was dominated by the opposite. There was a lot of patting on the back and easy self-promotion. At one point, someone made a deep comment of some kind or other which was followed by an "Mmm" of agreement from the other three speakers, which in turn was followed by a moment of satisfied silence. It was at that point I started to laugh. I was never the most respectful of people. Ah well.
It was an evening of new experiences. And it was a lot of fun. Not a bad combination
Some other tidbits from the performance include: