Saturday, July 28, 2007

Upchuck the Kool-Aid

Today, for the first time in at least two years, I bought toothpaste that wasn't Colgate Total, which is, of course, the most advanced toothpaste for your superior oral health. I bought Arm & Hammer instead. I feel a little guilty.

Iraq Resistance

Here are some things regarding the Iraqi resistance to coalition troops I've come across that are blowing me away:

  • A post over at Lenin's Tomb makes it clear, using the coalition forces' own data, that there is no sectarian civil war going on in Iraq. Rather, there is a resistance movement in full force.

  • Here's an interview with Abduljabbar al Kubaysi, "influential political leader of the Iraqi resistance and secretary-general of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance (IPA)" that backs up the data that the vast majority of the violent attacks in Iraq by Iraqis is directed, not at each other, but at the coalition forces, their goal being to get the coalition forces out of Iraq.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Death to false banking

This is our bank teller.


In other news, our bank, the one where this dude used to work until he was promoted to his own little office at another branch, was robbed yesterday. If he had still been working at that branch there is no doubt that he would have taken care of the criminals, power of metal being what it is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh those crazy advertisers!

I just read this news story about an ad encouraging economic development in South Korea that uses a picture of the Calgary skyline. My first reaction was to think that the art director/designer who picked the photo didn't know what city it was and didn't think anyone else would know either. But the CEO of Calgary Economic Development thinks otherwise. Says he, "This is a testament to our city and what we're doing here." I wonder what the art director's boss had to say about the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Matt is not dead

Don't worry; Matt's appendix hasn't ruptured. He's not dead. He's actually feeling better. If he was dead, though, I think this would be a good picture to blow up really big and have framed and displayed at the funeral.

Pourquoi pas le latin ?

A letter to the editor in Le Devoir today that I was surprised to see. I thought I was the only one who was excited about the Latin rite.

Louison Ross, Terrebonne, le 16 juillet 2007

Le latin est de retour. Pourquoi pas? Un retour heureux. Qui n'aime pas ce chant céleste qu'est le grégorien? Pour la majorité qui ne comprend pas le latin, on pourra toujours recycler nos vieux missels. Ceux qui rouspètent sont-ils allés à l'église récemment? Qui a dit que les curés nous tourneraient le dos pour célébrer les offices religieux?

Il y a moult années, en tant que servant de messe, j'ai appris les réponses de la messe sans les comprendre. Ce n'est que par la suite que j'ai appris le latin. Pour bien des fidèles, participer à une messe en latin sera un heureux retour aux sources. Est-ce rétrograde qu'aimer le beau? Je ne crois pas. Et si la foi, c'est croire sans savoir, le vieux latin est de mise.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Kissed Anal Rape Goodbye

This is probably going to be a rant, so you can stop reading now if you're looking for an edifying read. I don't seem to know how to write any other way anymore. That's alright. I have no grand aspirations to be a writer. Why have a blog then, right? I don't know. Just to annoy myself, I suppose.

I will now speak of how my body ails me.

So I haven't been feeling too well lately. Lots of nausea and aching, dizziness and especially painful stomach discomfort/especially uncomfortable stomach pain, maux de tête, horrendous gas, and so much more!!!!!one!!!11!!!1

Today I went to the health clinic at school and was told that they don't accept walk-in patients after 11:30, so I could speak with a nurse or I could wait until tomorrow to see a doctor. I chose the former, nursely option, as I knew that if I went home I would not come back the next day. And I have an irrational [Or not. -- ed.] hatred of doctors. So the nurse saw me and we spoke of all and sundry and she told me that, if things aren't looking up by tomorrow, I should take a little stroll up the hill to the emergency room, as she feared I have an inflamed appendix, because of my symptoms [Enjoy them! -- ed.] and because it didn't hurt when she pushed down on my appendix area, but it hurt like a mudderbitch when she released her hand. So if I'm still feeling like crapola tomorrow I'll head over there to that-there 'merjinsee room.

That said, this is the song of the day:

The Groves of Lebanon by Appendix Out


He's singing Song of Songs. Or Canticle of Canticles. Or Song of Solomon. Or the Book Serving as Proof that Conservative Evangelicals Need Their Bibles Taken Away. Back in the day Christians interpreted that book as being about Mary and God. How weird and awesome is that?! Those folks...

This is the part where I as a middle-class white American male explain why feminists are doing it all wrong.

I read feminist blogs and feminist books and feminist articles by feminists from all over the feminist spectrum. Liberal feminism, ecofeminism, feminism by women of color, radical feminism, post-structuralist feminism, Marxist feminism, fun feminism, boring feminism, even some other ones that are neither fun nor boring. I don't really know why I do this. However, most of the time I find myself in agreement with the post-structuralists, women of color and Marxist feminists. They've got it going on. However, they're very often not the most boisterous of the various feminisms. More often than not it is the radical feminists who shout the loudest and get the most attention. How much of this is tied to the fact that radical feminists tend to be white middle-class women I can't say.

I find these white middle-class radical feminists to be very interesting. But before I get into that I'd like to say a word about conservative evangelicalism. Now, conservative evangelicals love to tell scary stories. Stories about people getting STDs from holding hands, stories about secret UN conspiracies, stories about people getting deep-fried in a lake of burning sulphur, stories about how the rhythms of devilish rock music gets your hips moving and makes you not be able to stop having sex with like everyone, stories about how meditation opens your mind up to the demons who turn you into a gay, exciting stories about the End of the World, stories about how listening to KISS will make you want to murder like everyone and have six hundred and sixty-six abortions, etc. These stories are really intricate, too. You can tell that these folks really delved into their satanic subjects and got the entire scoop. They want to know everything, and that in great detail. That's what I find so fascinating about the whole thing: conservative evangelicals are often totally and unhealthily obsessed with the thing they're supposed to be denouncing. They get off on those stories.

I got to thinking. I got to thinking, why, those sex-negative radical feminists are doing the same damn thing. Visit nearly any radical feminist blog and what is the topic up for discussion? Sex of course. All sex all the time at a radical feminist blog near you. That's all they talk about! In intricate and graphic detail, too, just like the evangelicals and their satanic things. For people who find that all sex is oppressive, they sure love talking about it. Scary stories of blowjobs, anal sex, rape, gang-bangs, porn, prostitution, and on and on, denounced over and over and over again, in scary amounts of graphic detail. This is obsession, on the reals. Middle-class white women getting off on horrific tales of forbidden sex. I find it all very disconcerting and pathetic. Soon the radical feminists will be putting together their own version of hell houses.

OK, that's all for now kids.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

!

"I don't like having a skull." - Danica

Hell yeah

I'm covered in moles. I'm going to live forever.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

iGoogle poetry

Something on Chelka's friend Amber's blog made me think that horoscopes would make really good poems if you just spaced them out all funny. So here's my horoscope poem for today:


Confronting an
                           emotional situation
                                                             today
          sounds like
          a
          smart idea,

but

                            be ready
              to turn down your volume
    so you don't come on

                                                  too strong.


On second thought, I think I have too much graphic design training in me to space out a poem like a poet instead of like a designer.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Nothing really

I feel really shitty, really down in the dumps. I started feeling ill yesterday, with some big thick fatigue. I would sleep for a few hours, sit up in bed, read a few pages of Marx until my eyelids weighed in at 350 pounds, slink back down under the blanket to sleep for a few hours, blink my eyes and feel confused, let the cat lick my head for a little bit, read the same few pages of Marx again, go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet for a half hour or so with my head in my hands, stagger back to bed, read the first couple chapters of a French translation of Song of Songs, sleep, &c., etc., et cetera, &/c., &ca., et caetera, and the rest.

I think I must have slept really hard and in a weird position last night because when I woke up there was a sharp pain in my shoulder that has not left me at all today. I can't hold my left arm above my waist for any amount of time without wincing. If I were an existentialist or a Tibetan Buddhist I could be grateful for the pain because it serves as a reminder of my creatureliness, my finitude, the fact that not very far off in the future I'll be food for worms. But I am not an existentialist nor a Tibetan Buddhist, so I've been loading up on the Ibuprofen, 'cause I'm a fucking American, that's why.

I wish my ears were dirtier than they are, because I really enjoy q-tipping. I, of course, live dangerously (remember: I'm a fucking American) by sticking those sons of bitches all the way into my ear canal, as far as they'll go. I'd go so far as to say that cleaning my ears is on a par with the joy I find in slipping on a brand new, virgin pair of tube socks, or scoring over 800 points in electronic yahtzee.

I'm really bad at math. This is not because I am incapable of mathematics, I've just never really taken the time to work at it. College algebra is the highest math course I've ever taken. I don't feel very good about this. I have an aching desire to spend a good chunk of time really focusing on it and it only. I'm thinking about taking a math class this fall just for the hell of it. That seems like such a comforting idea. No stupid and dumb words. Just numbers.

I'm confused about everything.

I used to pray the Rosary at least once a day. I would switch between praying it in English and praying it in French. When I was in Kansas City I would pray the Rosary once a week with Josh, saying the Hail Marys in between sips of cheap red wine. Once Kris called while he was drunk and crying and we prayed the Rosary and said the Creed over the phone, over and and over. I prayed using the cheap wooden Rosary I bought at a Catholic bookstore in Kansas City and he prayed with some wooden beads that a dying man had given him. Once I was invited to mass at a convent in Kansas City by a woman I worked with at the Kansas City Public Library who lived at the convent. Danica and I arrived early and we sat and prayed the Rosary with the sisters, using some cheap neon-colored plastic beads.

I haven't prayed the Rosary in months. I haven't prayed outside of a church in months. Most of the time I'm too lazy to go to church. Seems like everyone else in this city is, as well.

This guy is my favorite busker in Montreal.

He plays really fine seventies rock songs at the Guy-Concordia metro, which is right next to my school, so I get to see him quite often. I never seem to have any money on me when I see him, however. There's also a lanky guy with a bald head who plays old folk songs and slide guitar whom I really enjoy, but I don't see him very much anymore.

I'm ready for the snow to start falling already. I have no fond feelings for heat. Snow is still novel to me. I like to wear my big boots with my thick socks. I feel so comfy in my big green coat with the fur-lined hood. I especially like to smoke outside when it is snowing, except for the painfully frozen fingers.

I still feel pretty terrible right now. I feel like I have three bricks in my stomach, my entire body is one big ache, I can't get rid of the throbbing behind my eyes, the shooting pain is alive and well in my shoulder. You should feel really bad for me.

The new people who moved in above us are being really noisy, like they're having foot races and wrestling matches, moving thirteen beds around, playing basketball, jumping jacks, throwing babies, terrible at medicine ball...

I confess that I care more about this news story than this one.

Goodnight all.

MIL blog

I read this blog post today and it made me think of Matt's mom. I wish she had a blog. That would be a good one to read, I bet.

Gilles Deleuze: On Human Rights

I mean, we say "human rights", but in the end, that's a party line for intellectuals, and for odious intellectuals, and for intellectuals without any ideas of their own. Right off the bat, I've noticed that these declarations of human rights are never done by way of the people that are primarily concerned, the Armenian associations and communities, and so on. Their problem isn't human rights. What is it? (more)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Nostalgic feeling for lazy eyes

I'm missing my hetero lifemates very dearly today. Say hello to Jon.


And now say hello to Walter.


Hello Jon. Hello Walter.

They make me miss my beard, also.

Liberalism and "freedom"

Last night we went to MA's house and grilled some kebabs and sausages and drank beer with the crew. It was quite the lovely evening. At one point in the evening we were sitting around the little hibachi's smoldering coals (It's July! What's the deal with the weather?) and Danica and I were telling everyone about a bluegrass festival somewhere in Kansas that we had gone to because a friend of mine was playing and about how by the third day of said festival we were quite sick of hippies and it was mentioned that I hate hate hate hippies to which The Butler said that if he were to classify Danica and I he would say we were hippies. I said I hate hippies because they're liberals and I detest liberalism, and that I just can't comprehend said position. The Butler replied with a line that served to cement the lingering feeling I had that he and I are complete opposites when it comes to political, social and economic questions. He said: "Liberalism brings about true freedom."

Nah. Here's your liberal freedom:


Slums of Nairobi



Slums of Mumbai



Slum dwelling in Dhaka



Slum dwellings in Dhaka



Slums of Caracas



Slums of Rio de Janeiro

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Watch out, boys

Boom boom bah boom.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July in Canada

Today has been rainy and cool. In short, crappy weather for the 4th of July. Even if there were supposed to be fireworks tonight, they would have been rained out. Our inaugural use of the football helmet mini grill coincided with the heaviest rains of the day (and the best crash of thunder I've heard in this country yet, which caused me to pump my fist in the air and cry out, "WOOOO!"). The grilled corn was tasty if not local, as were the traditional Independence Day root beer floats, but it was just not the same spending the 4th of July indoors on a gray, rainy day.

So I spent the day researching Canadian brand presence. Actually, I didn't. But I did just come across this article on the CBC website that lists the top ten iconic Canadian brands. They are the following:

  1. Cirque du Soleil

  2. Ski-Doo

  3. CBC

  4. Roots

  5. Toronto Maple Leafs

  6. Montreal Canadians

  7. Calgary Stampede

  8. IMAX

  9. CN Tower

  10. Terry Fox


I'm not sure how accurate this list is, as the agency who compiled the list admits that these were "not necessarily the most valuable iconic brands, but were the special favourites of our panel." I guess as an American, and therefore an outsider, I shouldn't speculate on iconic Canadian brands. But as an American, and this being the 4th of July, I feel it is my patriotic duty to butt in and have my say. And my say is thus: I didn't know Ski-Doo, IMAX, and Roots were Canadian companies. Upon arriving in Montreal, I was in fact confused as to why all these Canadians had Roots logos all over everything when the US Olympic athletes had Roots logos on their outfits in Athens.

I have much to learn about Canada. But not today. Today is for stars and stripes! I'm going to see if I can find fireworks on TV.

Music for Fireworks Day

Animal Collective - Fireworks



Happy Fourth, mes amis.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Past and present residents of Tallahaseee and Woodville

Last night I dreamt that on August 1, Matt and I were moving into a house with his brother Dan. I think the house was in Tallahassee. It was certainly in a nasty hot climate like that. Where the garage door should have been was a giant screen door, and the space that should have been the garage was the living room. There was still a drive way leading up to the garage/living room though, and to the side of it there was a two-sided, somewhat rounded bookcase. We were only allowed to put our stuff on one side. The neighbors got the other. I was really not looking forward to this move, because I liked our current apartment better than this trashy house.

This is completely unrelated to the above paragraph. Danger Kitty has gotten so much nicer in his old age. He turned five a month and a half ago. He follows Matt around all the time just like always, but he's much more cuddly and insistant that Matt pet him. When I am home alone, Danger Kitty gets lonely after a while and come over to squeak at me and rub against my legs. It's nice to have a 20+ pound ball of fur wanting to love you.

Music for Tuesday: Club Q Edition

When I was about eleven years old I went to my first hardcore show at Coral Springs High School because my older brother worked for the sound and lighting company. They put together a weekly showcase of local bands called "Chaos". The first hardcore band I ever saw play was Strongarm. This was about 1993. This is what it sounded like:

Strongarm - Trials


The drummer from Strongarm ended up starting another band with some folks and they called themselves Shai Hulud, which, as we all know, is the worm from Dune. This is footage of Shai Hulud playing at Club Q, which is the place where I saw most of my shows growing up.

Shai Hulud - My Heart Bleeds the Darkest Blood


The guys from Strongarm also started up an emo band, getting a guy named Chris Carraba (who played guitar in a punk band called The Agency (I believe) at the time) to sing for them. All the Club Q girls loved him.

Further Seems Forever - Snowbirds and Townies


The singer from Shai Hulud, Chad Gilbert, teamed up with some guys and also started an emo band called A New Found Glory, though this time he played guitar instead of screaming. I went to their first show at Dad's Donuts. It was packed and actually a lot of fun. This video was filmed in my old hometown of Coral Springs, Florida.

A New Found Glory - Hit or Miss


That dude who sang for Further Seems Forever started playing by himself under the name Dashboard Confessional and got real popular doing it. I always thought he looked like that guy from 90210. I went to his first show at Club Q and left early because I was sick of all that wussy emo bullshit.

Dashboard Confessional


So there you go.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Edward Abbey rules

I read this quote on the 90% Emissions Reduction email list.
"One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."

From a speech that Edward Abbey gave in Colorado, which was published in High Country News in the 1970s or early 1980s under the title "Joy, Shipmates, Joy."

yumyum

Right now I am eating homemade yogurt made from local, organic milk topped with strawberry-rhubarb sauce made from local strawberries and rhubarb. This is the first time I've ever had rhubarb that I can remember and definitely the first time I've ever cooked with it. The sauce turned out sweeter than expected, and the yogurt turned out more sour than expected, so the mix is delicious. I hope you are enjoying fresh local produce wherever you are!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Something else

I ran across this comment by Marcus over at Is there no sin in it? and I think it pinpoints directly the reason for my ever-increasing disgust with much of what is called feminism these days, in that feminism so often seems to be merely capitalism and humanism by any other name. Without further ado:

You would almost think that feminism ended up as just another chapter in the ideological history of the capitalist imperative to squeeze maximal labor power out of each isolated individual. The dimensions of feminism that were communitarian are part of a forgotten radical past, and the dimensions that helped dissolve the bonds tying women to non-market committments are alive and well.

I think the ideas of “failure” and “success” should be understood as fetishized commodities as well. Conceived of as feeding yourself and your kids, keeping a roof over your head, etc. success has rarely been easier than it is here in the richest country in the history of the human race. Conceived of as winning status in a socially determined struggle, it’s tougher than ever.

Also, I think the obsession with “privilege” and “exploitation” is an odd set of lenses through which to view the world. It can itself be seen as part of an assimilation of all human interaction to an individualist contract model. A way of ripping aside the “sentimental veil”. Vigilantly excluding all possibilities of being exploited by others clears the field for us to exploit ourselves, in the name of “success”.

That was a conservative thing to say, but (unlike conservatives) I’m reasonably confident it was worse in 1920. Just not sure how much better it is today than it was in 1920…probably not as much better as it should be given our massive increase in wealth. Not sure how much our increasing number of vigilantly self-protective individuals has improved things.

Amen!