Thursday, November 05, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Those Dude's look like a lady, Kitimat closes its schools due to the flu and the timing of nursing cutbacks is questioned in the wake of the flu's arrival in the northwest, some of the items of note for Wednesday.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
MAKE WAY FOR THE MEN... WOMEN... UM... HUMANS-- Prince Rupert's Mz Judged competition is almost here as a collection of Prince Rupert's manly men take part in a parody of of sorts of beauty competitions, with proceed destined for the Transition House. The Wednesday Daily News provided some background on this Friday's competition as well as some bio material on the competitors.

Watson Island is on the market as the City of Prince Rupert offers up the Industrial site for a mere 13 million dollars. As we outlined on the blog yesterday, the city has purchased advertisements in the Daily News outlining the details of the property involved in the proposed sale, hopeful that it may attract a customer that is ready to develop the area. The paper provided some details on the proposed sale and a thought as to who might be the leading candidate to purchase the site.

The Sports section features a preview of the upcoming Old Timers Hockey tournament this weekend as well as reviews of minor hockey and figure skating from the weekend past.

(Daily News Archive Articles for November 4 )

CFTK TV 7 News
Kitimat Schools Closed Due to High Absentee Rate-- Concerns over a flu outbreak and rising absenteeism at Kitimat schools have resulted in the Coast Mountain School district suspending classes until next week as the community tries to slow down the spread of the flu virus (see article here)

CBC British Columbia, Daybreak North
Cutbacks in an outbreak-- The timing for cutbacks in nursing in the Northwest is never good, but they aren't particularly welcome with the current H1N1 outbreaks across the region, the CBC talks with the NDP MLA for Stikine, Doug Donaldson about the issue (listen to the interview here)

CBC British Columbia, Daybreak North
Bearing the torch-- The Olympic Flame has come and gone from Haida Gwaii and Daybreak North found out about the Olympic experience from torch bearer Alan Moore (listen to the interview here)

Daily News, Front page, headline story
Make way for the men... women... um... humans
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Prince Rupert’s Mz Judged competitors aren’t exactly the town’s best-looking women... Well, they aren’t exactly women, either.

But whatever they are, don’t call them drag. That will tee-off the event’s coordinator Grainne Barthe, who insists this isn’t just a romp-stomp mimicked version of Prince Rupert’s better half.

“They are men dressed as women, but drag queens know they are men whereas these guys aren’t supposed to let on,” explained Barthe.

Okay. But the reality is they are men and they are dressed as women and well… isn’t there some law against that? There must be some sort of social cannon that decries this kind of confusion of the genders, a rather peculiar event that seems to strike Prince Rupert once every six years.

There isn’t. And save for some sort of last minute declaration of sharia law by the Mayor, Prince Rupert will get to see members of the local RCMP, Fire Department, Prince Rupert Rampage hockey team and Mimmo Ciccone show that they in fact understand the fairer sex perhaps better than said sex understands themselves.

This Friday, starting at 7 p.m. in the Lester Centre, Mz Judged’s Grainne Barthe, host Rudy Kelly and director Chris Armstrong will present 20 men in dra… er… dress, featuring everything from an opening dance sequence, a talent competition, a swimsuit dust off and men awkwardly attempting to walk in high heels.

During their first rehearsal at the Tom Rooney, the men were already presenting the necessary attitude that they will need to perform at a diva-like level in order to win.

Make no mistake, that’s what these boys want to do.

Frank Pyde isn’t sure if he’s lucky or not yet, that he gets to compete. What the local dentist and head coach of the Rampage believes is that this can’t be much different from sending his captain Colt Stava (also one of the lovely ladies) over the boards for an important shift.

“I’m into this to win,” said Pyde who will perform as a musician for the first time. “I’ve got to finish at least top five.”

To do that the men must practice. So rumps were shaking, fingers were wagging and their necks were making that quick swivel that a confident woman is known so well for (and perhaps more than a few of the participants were previously aware of).

“Whatever we do, we do it as a team,” Ciccone shouted out encouragement, apparently unaware his other competitors planned not to show him that respect.

Ciccone said he was guilted into the event by Barthe after missing important Transition House meetings, but is looking forward to doing it now that he’s fully in.

“I’ve never worn heels before. I’m definitely nervous about this,” admitted Ciccone. But that was almost two weeks ago and he’d have lots of time to practice, right?

Optimism is central to Mz Judged’s purpose. The participants, many who have not only committed to dress as men their entire lives but have also never performed in any kind of show in front of a live audience before, are doing this for the right reasons.

Mz Judged is a charitable event raising funds for The North Coast Transition Society, one of the city’s most important social organizations. NCTS provides services to women and children survivors of violence.

At $20 for an advanced ticket (available at Cook’s Jewelers or $25 at the door on Friday), the audience can be sure that not only is their money going to a good cause, it will be full value for the dollar, even if some of the ideas during the rehearsal seemed wickedly, confusingly outrageous - such as Douglas Mackereth Jr’s bright moment.

“What if when the winner finds out he’s won and she pretended that she was crying and he screamed, “Oh my god, I can’t believe it!’?” he wondered out loud. The men nod their heads in agreement because it’s a good idea. But there are all sorts of treats that’ll be pulled out Friday night.

Mackereth isn’t afraid of the pressure of wearing pumps. Actually, he said he’s as cool as a North Coast morning.

“I feel pretty lucky about it,” said Mackereth, who said he got into the event because his wife asked him to do it.

Putting this all together is Armstrong, a man whose stature is considerably smaller than some of the pageant’s talent. It’s his job to hold their hands through the practice and make sure their timing gets right.

“For the most part it’s up to the men. From my end, it’s about providing the most instruction as possible,” said Armstrong, who carefully walked through the expected floor pattern the men must perform for the swimsuit portion.

Oh, that’s right. Not only will the audience see these men in dresses, but there is also the important eenie-meanie, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot bikini spot. The men must be able to walk and strut efficiently in their skimpiest.

If that isn’t a lovely enough thought to pull you out on a November evening…

See page 9 for contestant profiles.

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