Martin C. Winer

This is what happens when Martin gets tired of sending mass emails.

(Honest Title) Why Men Don’t Like Chick Flicks

(For those politically minded) Why Men Don’t Like Female Centric Films

(For those with a penchant for subtlety) Why Men Don’t like Baby Bird Films A Case Study : ‘Notting Hill’

1) Plot inconsistencies. The plot in all female centric movies seems to center around prolonging a certain romantic uncertainty. This is usually done at the expense of logic. There are two good examples of this in Notting Hill:

i) William (Hugh Grant) goes out in the morning to find a frenzy of Paparazzi outside his door. He knows this will upset his actress girlfriend Anna (Julia Roberts) but only mentions ‘don’t ask’ when she asks him what’s going on outside. He lets her walk outside and be confronted by the same Paparazzi. This, of course, upsets Anna who wrongly accuses him of summoning the Paparazzi and causes a ‘break up’. This, in turn, provides Hugh Grant a grand opportunity to apologize (despite his innocence), setting the female audience swooning and the male audience hurling.

ii) William goes on a movie set where Anna is being filmed where she greets him warmly and intimates that she’d consider getting back together. Unfortunately, she’s just in the middle of a shoot so she walks off to film a scene and William is provided with a headset to hear what is going on unbeknownst to Anna. While casually preparing for the scene, a fellow actor asks Anna: ‘Who was that rather difficult chap (referring to Grant) you were talking to on the way up?’ Anna replies: ‘Oh… no one… no one. Just some… guy from the past. I don’t know what he’s doing here. Bit of an awkward situation.’ Grant reacts negatively and leaves. When Grant asks her later as to why she would say such a thing, she dismisses it as: ‘You expect me to tell the truth about my life to the most indiscreet man in England?’ This is an example of terrible writing where the writers dig themselves out of a whole by floating to the top in syrup. Why didn’t she just answer the fellow actor with ‘He’s a friend’ and leave it at that? Why does Grant have to put up with such behaviour and accept such lame excuses? Of course, in tradition with all Grant films, he accepts the explanation and leads up to:

2) The grand apology. It seems a new trend in the effeminized America to have the leading male prancing around apologizing. In every Grant movie there is a huge apology where he apologizes to some horribly behaved woman to get her love. Watching Grant wince his eyes and beg forgiveness having committed no wrong, aside from his selection in screenplays, is like fingernails on the chalkboard for the male audience. Ross (from Friends) and Grant (in every movie) always apologize for no apparent reason, and in fact, often apologize for not apologizing. Perhaps the only real apology in such films should be an on screen cameo by the screenplay writers apologizing for overly syrupy content. Looking at the movie script:, Men apologize some 23 times compared to 8 times for their female counterparts. The male lead Grant apologizes some 12 times, compared to Julia Roberts apologizing a mere 3 times. Somewhere around the 10th apology, women in the audience are becoming enraptured while their male counterparts are wondering when the next episode in the Star Wars saga will premier so they can watch a movie where men can proudly wield their light sabers and offer no apology in so doing.

The Hippocratic Oath is often summarized by the idiom “do no harm”. Harm in turn may be caused by action or inaction. Inaction in its purest form is a courageous physician admitting “I don’t know” in response to a patient’s condition and through inaction avoiding making the condition worse.

So much for ideals: Regrettably inaction has taken a perverted form in medical research and practice. “Do no harm” has been mutated into “do not get sued”. What was once considered prudent in the best interests of the patient has become prudency in protection of the practice.

In 2007, Dr. Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Calgary reported that cheap and common chemical, Dichloroacetate (DCA) was effective in shrinking tumours in a wide variety of cancers in rats. Murine (rats,mice) trials have often not been transferrable to human treatments, but the research proved to be a ground shift in common theory about cancer. It turns out that mitochondria (energy producing organelles in the cell) are not damaged beyond repair in cancer cells – as was commonly held – but instead they were only dormant.

Mitochondria are key organelles in cancer prevention and treatment in that they are the ones which effect ‘aptopsis’. Aptopsis is the automatic destruction of cells in a cancerous or damaged state. The resurrection of mitochondria offers a new hope and direction in cancer research.

In the ensuing years, DCA was all but ignored by the pharmacy companies because of its one critical flaw: it can’t be patented. It has long been used for a rare mitochondrial disease in humans is chemically similar to common kitchen vinegar. It has documented side effects but they are orders of magnitudes milder than common chemotherapy agents. Its most noxious characteristic is that it is too common to be of interest to the pharmacy conglomerates.

Dr. Michelakis has left to scrape pans and beg for government funding, which he received. He was able to conduct a limited pre-trial which established that biologically, DCA operated the same way in humans as it did in rats. To run a full human trial will run anywhere from $100 million to $1 billion. Without a human trial, oncologists will not consider it in treatment of their patients… they would consider such an action a violation of their Hippocratic Oath.

The bar that great hospitals and care institutions are built upon is the ‘human trial’. As with all such dogmatic bars, they can be used to build fine institutions but can also be used as a crutch for shortsighted and timid caregivers. A highly expensive and comprehensive human trial makes sense in the world of big pharma with big bucks and big patents to protect their investments.

One might suspect that this paragraph following from the previous will be a call for public funding of DCA research. Indeed, exactly that is needed for DCA best understood and accepted. However, before a full human trial is run, an entire class of patients should get instant access to DCA without having to guess as to whether it will work for them.

Thankfully medical science has evolved far faster than the governing bureaucracies that oversee it. A new generation of Chemosensitivity/Chemoresistance (CR/CS) assay is available. With this test, a small piece of tumour is extracted and tested with various agents and combinations of agents. A report is produced detailing the most effective agents and/or combinations for the given patient.

The practice is gaining acceptance in various cancer specialty treatment centers across North America with encouraging results. Traditional chemotherapy is based upon ‘empiric therapy’ which is to say… a given cancer yielded an automatic commencement of specific chemotherapy, often quite toxic and perhaps unnecessary. CR/CS assays are now compatible with a wide variety of cancers offering doctors precious guidance in which course of treatments will work best. Patients and doctors no longer have to shoot in the dark when selecting the best course of treatment.

If you have the misfortune of a cancer diagnosis don’t expect to receive a CR/CS assay to see if DCA or other agents and combinations thereof are most effective for you; not without a fight at least. The cancer of profit based medicine has metastasized into and masqueraded itself as science and proper procedures.

If your doctor reaches for his/her textbook to find out which course of highly toxic chemotherapy you should be started on, take his/her hand in yours and reassure your doctor: “I know this is very difficult for you. I know I’m asking you to go outside the box and risk the ridicule of your peers. I’d like to ask for a CR/CS assay to test if DCA and other chemicals and combinations will work best for me. If the test doesn’t yield any results, we can still run the other chemotherapy as planned. No one will fault you for exhausting every possible avenue in my care.”

As difficult as it is for a cancer patient to shift focus from their own illness, they must come to realize that their doctors are also suffering from the cancer of profit based medicine. This methodological cancer impinges upon their ability to think freely and holistically about the patient in front of them. Only with the patients and doctors working in conjunction to deal with both cancers will we put into remission the sickness afflicting our medical research establishments. Patients now have it in their power to demand a return to innovation and caring in healthcare by judiciously rejecting healthcare based on legal prudence and avarice.

Further information:

February 1, 2013

Congratulations to Erum Hasan, whose submission “Her Life” was the third place winner of Good News Toronto’s 2012 True Story Contest — a creative non-fiction personal essay about “A Good Neighbour.”


Her Life

First apartment. First pangs of loneliness.

The Stewart Street abode was my sanctuary — and my insane asylum. All of me would be refracting off the walls with no other roommate, love, or family members to absorb my moods and tempers. Four cans of Coca-Cola rolled in the refrigerator. The superintendent often showed up uninvited, hoping to catch a glimpse of something or other. He had tattoos of swear words on his hands; I was scared of him. I knew he had been in my apartment while I was away. Things had moved. Toaster. Books. Underwear.

She was my neighbour. Blonde, petite, stylish Chanel eyeglasses. We smiled at each other. She mispronounced my name and called me “Harem.”  I felt too embarrassed to correct her. We crossed each other in the hallway and exchanged pleasantries. I can’t fully remember her name, but it was something traditional, like Patricia.

Patricia always looked put-together. Tight little cardigans, pearl studs; her hair in perfect chignons. She looked content. At night I would often hear music and voices oozing through the brick wall that separated our bedrooms.

One night, as I lay crying over a past love, I heard her laugh on the other side of the wall. It was a carefree tinkle-y kind of a laugh. I looked at my watch: 1:37 a.m. Someone was making her laugh at 1:37 a.m. I was jealous. I thought wryly about the wall separating us and the emotions it divided; laughter on one end, sobbing on the other. An emotional equilibrium of sorts.

I began to lust after her life. She had someone deliberately bringing laughter to her life.  What did I have? A job I didn’t like, a solitude that was eating me alive, a city at my feet that I was too afraid and lonely to discover

Then one day, she invited me in. “Harem,” she said, “I think the mailman accidentally left some of your mail in my mailbox. I have it up in my apartment. Why don’t you come over for tea?”

“Sure!” I said excitedly. I would finally enter the romanticized cove, imagined so many times.


The door swung open.


It stank. Three cats lazed languidly. Dust balls clung to the carpet. Clothes strewn on overused furniture. “We should hang out more often,” said Patricia. “I’m from out West, Harem, and don’t know anyone here.”

“But I heard people…and laughing?” I asked, confused.

“Oh that,” said Patricia. “I watch TV till the wee hours of the morning.”

The reverie disintegrated. A new Patricia emerged. Alone. With three cats. Wanting to befriend me. Laughing at her television as if it were a companion.

“Of course,” I replied. I wasn’t that lonely after all.

March 16, 2014

Mississauga’s own, Rose Streete has a vision of how she can improve not only her community but also the city as she vows to put an end to youth violence and increase community harmony.


Founder of the non-profit organization Mothers Anonymous, Rose Streete volunteers her time within the Greater Toronto Area to help residents re-think their current lifestyles surrounding violent behaviour by helping them with their communication skills to become better problem solvers.

Relying on community workers, health educators and volunteers, Mothers Anonymous provides skills training free of charge through interactive speeches, workshops and seminars. During her workshops, Rose successfully uses spoken-word poems, rap and even stand-up comedy to encourage dialogue and provide a platform where youth can sit down and re-evaluate their current beliefs.  Setting goals is also a big theme of her workshops.

“Our faults are also the framework for the rationale of our virtues,” Rose said. “I directly benefit from the work I do in communities because peace is a vital element of achieving a qualitative way of life, believing that we have a shared responsibility to our neighbours—who may be separated from us by mere doors, city, provincial or national borders—to treat them equitably and with unconditional positive regard.”

Rose’s strategies, which include digital storytelling and a sharing of different beliefs, help to bring about positive social change. Through sharing information with different people to understand where they’re coming from, better conflict resolution is attainable: the better you understand a person, the more you are willing to open up and resolve your conflict.

Rose Streete

Rose Streete is winner of the YMCA GTA Peace Medallion for her extensive work in the community.

“I promote and build peace through [the] theoretical and experiential understanding I have acquired from my constant interrogation and evaluation of the Roots of Youth Conflict,” Rose said about a report she studied, which sheds light on youth violence in society and how it can be resolved.

“There are two symbols for conflict: danger and opportunity, and my focus is on how to transform conflict into an opportunity rather than allowing it to transform into danger, which may lead conflict to turn into violence,” she said. “By instilling these peace-building skills in the youth during my workshops, they will become peace ambassadors and can share their strategies and knowledge with their peers, family and community.”

Rose’s community means the world to her and she in turn encourages people to help make their communities better places, no matter where they live.

“Rose works with young girls in the community, teaching them financial responsibility, and helps them with their social skills during her workshops,” said Rose’s friend Cecille Chin. “Rose helps with a lot of conflicts. She always tries to get to the root of every conflict before it turns to violence. If people have problems with the law she will try to help you get out of the situation. She offers community hours for high school students as well. All in all, she is very passionate in what she does.”

In 2013, Rose was bestowed with YMCA GTA Peace Medallion, an award given to remarkable individuals or groups who are taking action by inspiring others. The honour came as a surprise, but Rose says she is grateful for what she has achieved because it shows how far she has come in making a difference.

“The recognition was an unexpected outcome that I appreciate and marks a milestone in my life as it symbolizes that it is time for me to contribute more in order to provide the same support to many more residents in Peel Region and beyond.”

If you are in the Greater Toronto Area and are in the need of a motherly figure, Rose Streete is your hero.


Action Items

  1. If you would like to attend one of Rose Streete’s workshops, focus groups or seminars, visit her official website at You can also contact Rose at 416-833-7336 if you would like to speak with her one-on-one and start your path to turning your life around today!
  1. To learn more about the Roots of Youth Conflict, please visit
  1. If you would like to learn more about the YMCA GTA Peace Medallion, please visit

From the May 7, 2012 show:

Why do all your elderly middle aged bureaucrats have really hot spouses or girlfriends?

Why are all your skunks so date rape-y?

Why when you buy a baguette do you only get half a bag to put it in?  I mean bag is in the name?

Why do you put your most hunchbacked people in charge of ringing your heaviest bells

Do you really think your kids should be drinking wine?

Why do you have so much trouble walking against the wind?   How windy does it get there?

Gerard Depardieu.

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