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Showing posts from April, 2012

John

My apologies to Anne Hopf. I made myself cry, writing this. It still had to be written.  Please forgive me.


You won't hear me use the word 'evil' very often. It's a loaded word, a nasty word; intractable. People of sound mind do not do anything they consider to be "evil', even if we might think so. Their "evil" acts, upon closer inspection, arise out of a narrow view of the world and an overemphasis on the self. And as for people who are not of sound mind, is their "evil" really their fault? The law says no, and so does anyone concerned with higher outcomes than simple revenge.

Which is not to say I do not believe in evil: I do. I just reserve the label for perversions to which no other word could apply.

Like cancer.

Cancer is evil.  It's evil because it is the backwards of what it is to live. (And if you spell 'live' backwards...)
Life is mindful growth. Cancer, in its mindless growth, attacks, breaks down, consumes, destroys, …

Keys (Profanity Alert)

So the first thing you should know about me is that I have a streak of paranoia.

For good reason. I can lose anything, and I can do it in the blink of an eye.
Like this one time, at band camp in residence, first year university. I went off to class--I still did that in first year, I hadn't discovered the Internet yet--only to realize halfway there that I had forgotten a required textbook. No idea why it was required...the prof was just going to read it aloud to us, and I could read it myself a hell of a lot faster in my dorm room. But again: first year. I had a lot to learn about so-called "higher" education.
I digress.
So I went back to my dorm room, unlocked my door, opened it up, threw my keys on my bed, retrieved the textbook, and then spent twenty minutes looking for the keys I HAD JUST HAD IN MY DAMN HAND. By the time I found them, class was half over and I said screw it.

I've lost all manner of things. Only one wallet, surprisingly, but I have lost loose bills…

Perfect Connections, Perfect Isolation

The Atlantic this month is asking the question: Does Facebook make us lonely?

They start off with the story of Yvette Vickers: tragic, all-too-common tale in which a person dies alone and is not missed or discovered for months or years. Note that while her only 'connections' had been with distant fans in distant places, they all appear to have been by telephone. Facebook makes no appearance save by analogy: like hers, our connections have grown 'broader but shallower'.

I've written myself about the paradox of constant (and incessant) "sharing" in a world where we're increasingly alone. Foursquare will tell you where I am (if, that is, I'm stupid enough to broadcast the fact my house is ripe for any passing burglars); Twitter will give you a stuttering commentary on the minutiae of my existence; watch Youtube and you can even get the video.

And then there's the colossus that is Facebook. Vast beyond imagining (2.7 billion likes/comments a day),…

SCREW YOU! A Game Of Peak Oil

How do kids say it today? *headdesk* *facepalm*

You read things like this and that's the only rational reaction.

Forbes, a magazine for the one percent if there ever was one (its motto is actually "the capitalist tool"; I will refrain from comment) has published a piece basically stating that Peak Oil is a myth and we can all relax. To support this ludicrous assertion, they note that fields containing up to a billion barrels of oil equivalent are still being found, most recently in East Africa.
A billion barrels, eh? That's a whole hell of a lot. It'd supply the world for almost an entire month. Then what? On to the next month, I guess.

Are we really at a point where we're bragging about the prospect of living month to month?

And nothing is said about the fact that the majority of these new finds are unconventional. Oh, it's mentioned, but in a positive context, as if to say 'look how innovative we are'. Innovative? More like desperate.


Unconventi…

Romance

Let it be known that I am not a conventionally romantic soul. It's something I occasionally lambaste myself for: really, Ken, you should buy Eva flowers/have dinner by candlelight/at least know the colour of the eyes you gaze into. Want to know how I proposed? I didn't. She announced 'we're getting a ring today' and that's what we did; she even picked it out.

I can sense the recoil from the female half of my audience. I'm either going to mollify some of you or more likely send you running away screaming with my defence:

1) The flowers. "Here's a symbol of my love for you. It needs dirt to grow; it grows even better if you shit on it; and at least in our house, it'll be dead in a week." Not exactly the message I want to send.

2) Dinner by candlelight.

Apparently I am entirely too pragmatic about food. After some twelve years, my darling wife will still ask me what I want for supper. She will sometimes do this at eight in the morning. I...DO…

Of Politics, Odours and Soap

Caveat: I have not read the book discussed in the column I am about to link.

Get a load of this.  Seems conservatives understand liberals, but liberals don't understand conservatives.

The difference between liberals and conservatives, argues psychology professor Jonathan Haidt, is simple: the liberal moral prism reflects three values (caring for the weak, fairness, and liberty). Conservatives supposedly share these views, but also value loyalty, respect for authority, and sanctity.

Interesting, but overgeneralized. I can tell you that, as a liberal, I value loyalty highly and that I respect the authorities that I recognize. Those would be the ones who (a) know something about what they purport to have authority over and (b) do not exercise their authority arbitrarily and without restraint.

Actually, come to think of it, I don't hold with blind loyalty either. Staying loyal to something just because 'it's always been that way' or because 'daddy told me to' -…

Guess I'm Human, After All

...at least a little bit.

Little crushes.

I've had little crushes since time out of mind...all the way back to grade three, when I played kissing tag with a gaggle of girls. I still remember the four mainstays fondly: Laura, Sonia, Anna, Catherine. Truth be told, especially Laura. With all the ardency a nine-year-old could muster, I announced to my parents that I loved that girl. Which didn't stop me from kissing the other three whenever I could. And it didn't stop her from kissing my friend and partner-in-tag at the time, Gordon. I never felt so much as a twinge of jealousy at that, either.

I'm convinced that my grade three experiences set the tone for my love life later on. Well, those and my subsequent experiences from grade four on. I moved between third and fourth grade, and got glasses, and went in an eyeblink from prepubescent hunk of desirable manflesh to get the hell away from me you geek! That culture shock continued to bitch-slap me around for way too many y…

Be Careful What You Wish For

"With the popularity of gas-guzzling SUVs and other land barges, I'm amazed at consumers' surprise and anger at increased gas prices...I support much higher taxes -- doubling the price of gas would be a good start -- that would put an end to this waste of an irreplaceable resource."
--Raymond Perrin, Ottawa, as published in yesterday's Globe and Mail


A-plus for sentiment, Ray ol' pal, but an F for thoughtlessness.

Gas is now sitting at around $1.35 a liter here in Waterloo Region. That's $5.10 a U.S. gallon. Last I looked it's $1.46/L (~$5.52/gallon) in Montreal and even higher in Vancouver.

These prices are dirt-cheap by European standards, of course. But they remain considerably higher than U.S. retails. Only in California are prices even remotely comparable. This is a source of endless consternation in Canada, given that we supply the United States with approximately half of its oil.

Taxes are the main culprit after initial costs. Which begs the que…

Nothing to write about

Nihil est, inquis, quod scribam. At hoc ipsum scribe, nihil esse quod scribas...
You say you have nothing to write about. Well, you can at least write about having nothing to write about...
---Pliny the Younger


There's a reason this blog has gone largely dark over the last month or two. I will tell you of that reason when I can, and I will tell you here, and I hope you will understand when I do.

------------

Actually, there are several reasons I'm not writing as much as I used to, aside from the overarching one I'd rather not discuss at the moment. One of my founts of blogspiration has run dry. The contract I signed when I got my new job last September prohibits me from saying anything negative about it on any social media platform. And so I'm afraid to even say anything positive lest it be misconstrued.

There's also this sneaking sense that whatever I set out to say, I've said it all before. Several times, actually: I've been writing here since May of '0…

Leafs Exhumation 2011-2012

I haven't embarked on a player-by-player synopsis of the Toronto Maple Leafs for many years. It's a monumental undertaking for a blog entry that will be read by few and appreciated by fewer. But I'm going to do it this year, because this team is at a crossroads. It's a crossroads in the depths of blackest night, with a cemetery kitty-corner to a charnel house.  Dawn seems to be a long way off, if it ever comes at all, and worse, the players don't know which way to turn.

I haven't seen rage from the fan base like this since the early nineties. I'm told by someone who was there that one patron ripped his Leafs jersey off and threw it to the ice the other night, near the end of the 7-1 drubbing by Philadelphia. Doubtless many other fans have considered doing the same, and this die-hard fan wouldn't exactly blame them. It has been said countless times (and often by me)  that Leaf fans are among the most impatient in all of sport. That's not exactly true…

Going Moldy....

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