funny girl

well now this is the kind of email that can sprinkle glitter onto the final hours of a bleak week:

i am sad
no pamusement for me
i am not pamused
your blog is pamtastic
fills me with pamisfaction
you have such pamtitude & a pampensity for self-expression
but you pamstain from writing
is work making you pamturbed? pamtisocial?
dispambobulated? pamtagonistic?
or am i just pamboozled?
i simply need one wee pamazing post to get through
pammy please?

thanks superstar. update about the teetering sanity to follow later today. first, i need to circulate this article about bono and our wee campaign as far and wide as possible - clinging to it as some kind of fruit of some kind of labour.


benedict bono

everyone hearts bono these days. in addition to the motley crew of celebs clammoring onto his bandwagon for debt relief, i've recently come to understand the sheer insanity of the fan networks, both his and u2's. who knew?

we've got 10 months in which to kick some serious political ass with the big campaign. there's no fucking shortage of things to do - from outreach to mobilization to political action to mass marketing - it's seriously huge. and i'm not saying it can't be done. but i had not anticipated the shocking suckage of time and energy that the u2 tour would become for me. there are three stops in canada during the 2005 tour, and each of them is going to be pivotal for us. given that everyone and their dog thinks bono is an obvious supporter of their pet cause, the vancouver shows next week are likely to become a fucking circus, which means our 'legit' volunteer strategy has to be managed well. i am having to assure and reassure a guy from bono's org and a gal from tour management that everything's kosher and under control. meanwhile, there is a frenzy of ideas and keeners and stunts that seem to be percolating on the west coast. there's even some guy who's been in touch with bono's assistant's assistant to invite bono to attend a meeting where the amazing jean swanson will be speaking. not that i'm in the business of dream killing, but come on buddy.

anyways, we will mostly have nothing to do with most of the craziness, and everything will go smoothly. but still, i'm really itchy to have more time to do all the other fucking work, and wish the mythological figure of bono didn't require (or warrant) so much focus from us.

yes, of course he's cool. he slums it in the poorest neighbourhoods of the world, then turns around and rubs elbows with the economic elite. his calls get answered by untouchable politicians, and when he talks, people seem to really pay attention. so that's fucking great. i'm the last person to poo-poo the value of a famous face attached to a cause or issue.

but it's as if while i was in one of my depressive comas, the global left somehow collectively elected bono our very own pope. he's like the anti or counter-pope - the one doing what the 'real' one should actually be doing - zipping around the planet and knocking heads about the re-distribution of wealth and the crime of poverty. bono has become larger than life and is genuinely trying to make poverty issues achieve the same. his crusade is indeed biblical. but i guess what i struggle with is its impact.

there comes a point when you become so papal in a role that the very people you desire to sway are falling over themselves to be seen with you. and then what? you demonstrate sound analysis and great integrity, but are so single-focussed that you lack nuanced political instinct. so inevitably, you wind up dragged into political mire you just can't comprehend. bono, i think you know a lot, and i think you get that there's shit you don't get. but you're so over the top that you have to remain way the fuck out there. which is why we common folk anti-poverty activists end up having to send word to your 'people' - again - for you to please stop giving big smoochie kisses to the likes of paul martin. or at least stop doing it inside of our media markets. we're trying to make other points here, sir.

but i digress.

how dare i be so irreverent about the papacy in these historic days. the new pope - not quite the raging hippie we might have hoped for - is officially installed, what with the white smoke and all. a week to remember. he and his questionable political allies gots lots o' work to do, and we best all brace ourselves for some eye-stabbing wisdom from the big pulpit. i just hope our fearless leader, bono, has the kahunas to play some real hard ball. god help us.


over the top

i just heard on a promo spot that on this week's episode, "a chilling photo shoot sends one of america's top models over the edge".

sweet jeezus, that really puts things in perspective. everything's going to be ok.

crashing of waves

there are feminists who are big into tradition, old school, who see the rigidity that builds up over time as a layer of protection as a necessary thing. they would say i have a thing for believing in and giving space for women, more tolerance for what they see as deficits or irreverence in young women. the 2nd wave and 1st wave lack that tolerance - it's hard for them to tear down the old or move away from it in order to make room for what might come.

i happened upon this article while google image searching an old friend about a clash of feminist waves that happened at a conference a few years ago. i have long harboured frustrations about negotiating with other generations of feminists, so i got to thinking, what would i have said if i had been on that plenary floor? beloved women, if you hold onto something so tightly, it will not be able to breathe. women in my generation understand the inclination to hold on like hellfire and to protect it, but we can't. it's just not healthy for the life of her.

i suppose i'm part of the 3rd wave. i can't speak for my sistahs, but my feminism changes every day. it's not a thing. it's my marrow. inseparable from self. i don't know if life would be less hard without it, but at the same time, feminism is what drapes me in the purple. one day it is the source of all my angst, the next day it is my breath again.

to me, feminism is not a thing you wear or shout or protest about or choke down. i spend much time in fight mode with feminism - as much outwardly as internally. every day that i remain steadfast in self is another day when feminism lives deeper and deeper in there. our profs used to talk about putting on the feminist lens - i always thought, what the fuck are you talking about, lens?? if i had any, i'd put them in a box and ship them the fuck back. it's not life with a caption. it's life.

i've always sort of resented the hell out of feminism, but my most comfortable self is in its embrace. yet more often than not, i want to punch it in the fucking eye because i don't feel like it was a choice for me - never was. we happen upon it through any number of doors - rape, abortion, discrimination, poverty, or classroom, union, library, film. but ultimately, we know our voice and fire and fight will never be for naught, because it's all a part of an ongoing movement.

so i say to the foremothers, feminism is a strong woman. we should not want her to stand still. let her fall into the mosh pit and float on the hands of the funky grrlz who've bothered to show up. wise women of generations before mine, please know that if i could give back the shadow, cloud, and heaviness on the heart, i would. if i could go through all of this as a bumbling fumbling ditz who can't care and doesn't get it, i would. if i could give the feminism back, i most certainly would. but it is my essence and it is everywhere, and so i am grateful instead.

you built it for me and i do not take mine lightly. i wish you wouldn't either. cuz there's nothing light about it. and we have a lot of fucking work to do.


what the bleep do i know?

i smoked nearly a full pack of cigarettes yesterday. and it's not like i started at 6 am either. the pack was purchased at 2 pm and i was up til 4 am. so in 14 hours, i smoked 20 cigarettes. that's disgusting, to be sure. but something has been happening to me in the last couple of days. it's had to. influenced in some part by the turning of a season, i find myself succumbing to an almost giddiness about my situation - more amused than bemused, somehow, about the absurdity of it all. that i'm broke without a reliable source of income - laughable. that i'm without a partner or barely a part of any official urban tribe - hilarious. that i've been beaten into submission about the terms of a work contract that i'd like to abandon, on principle, but cannot, on account of my bank accounts being depleted and all - ridiculous. that the melted snow has revealed 2 yards and 2 driveways full of twigs, pine cones, other people's discarded crap, and a whole lot of disrepair - bawhaha. and don't even get me started about the unidentifiable foreign object mocking me from under the pool cover.

maybe i've flipped my lid and it's just delirium. maybe all of c's talk of peptides has actually rubbed off. but i'm definitely lighter. my period of mental gymnastics has somehow led me to this place of 'i can't give a good god damn' - and it feels ok.

also, through some quirk, a potent truth serum seems to be coursing through my veins. i'm confessing, uncorking, and confronting. i'm saying shit to people that's overdue (stoopid, scary, vulnerable shit, even). i'm even forcing truth onto myself. i need to get real, and not in the dr. phil sense of the word. i mean
for real about what i lack, what i want, and what to do.

despite the rambling lists of work tasks and domestic chores, i talked myself into blowing off everything yesterday. and today too, for that matter. if the bluezone was about struggling to get a grip, or even some kind of a hold, on my flailing shit, then this weekend found me making certain decisions that have to do with Letting Go. there is a mind-numbing soul-crushing amount of shit that's way out of my control right now, but a tiny bit that isn't. and i'm tired of being tired. really.

so yesterday, i smoked my fucking face off... as if to say Fuck You Problems, Fuck You Fear, Fuck You Paralysis,
Fuck You World. i have a long way to go to actually fix some of this shit, but i may as well flip the bird to what matters less and do some drunk-dialing in the meantime. oh, and quit smoking. for real.


dear nadia

nadia, here's why u bother me. as a singer, i find it extremely difficult to listen to someone force it. not that u don't have a decent voice - but it don't wanna live outside. it comes out like a tantruming baby, all kicking and screaming in a way that seems almost painful for u. not that a harsh voice is a bad one - i mean, artists like bonnie or stevie ain't smooth. neither is this other turner. but honey, your tone ain't harsh. it's passage is. it's so hard to watch u push out the sound, neck all a-bulging and face strained. if the sound don't wanna flow out naturally and the notes don't wanna hold, why you wanna sing girl? stop straining y'self. and us. but we loves da fro.


funny thing, fat

my reaction to kirstie alley and fat actress may indeed be delayed what with me having missed the debut episode and all, but as of this week, i have a word or two. in addition to having serious concerns about the long term medical ramifications of doing parody that hard, i can't help but wonder if the show - a festival of mockery - will only solidify her b-status in hollywood. sure, stars are turning up to do cameos and reception to the show has been warm. but can't u hear the sneered whisper snuck out of a big smiley mouth from one famous person to another in a standing ovation at the show's premier: "that poor woman is so fucked. funny for a minute, sad forever." pointing out that you're fat and that hollywood is a gigantic ass hole that only perpetuates unattainable stereotypes of female beauty does not get you gigs. roseanne notwithstanding, it hasn't worked for camryn manheim or margaret cho. and by the by, did it really work for roseanne? i mean, how long before we see her on the surreal life? but roseanne wasn't explicitly about her fat, she was about her class. so we somehow collectively let her get away with it. for awhile. but who will trust kirstie's motives? fat actress who can't get work creates her own project so that she can work, uses absurd body and shitty predicament to make statement? i dunno ... the sweat and plentiful tears of fat famous women who've undergone scathing scrutiny have, i regret to say, done nothing to advance fat acceptance - in the entertainment industry or anywhere else, for that fucking matter. carnie got gastric bypass and oprah's down to, like 140. thanks for the crusade.

it's not an automatic party among fat people when fat is on tv or in a movie. we don't bust into celebrations with champagne and streamers and cheetos and tubs of haagen-daas. even when they get it wrong - mostly always - is it still good? (don't even get me started on shallow hal). what about when something that isn't supposed to be about the fat becomes about the fat, like if i have to hear one more fucking time how courageous and phenomenal charlize theron was to get fat for monster, i'll off myself. did they give her an oscar out of sheer marvel for that? then there's bridget... chubby girl done good? or just another self-deprecating fattie regaling the world with her delightful hijinx. yes, hollywood, it really was amazing that renee went from fat to anorexic not once, but twice! remarkable commitment to the craft! i'm going to rip my own face off.

good luck, kirstie, with your show, future offers of serious roles, and attempt to change the world.

[too bad the show is styled by design graduates from the late 1300's. even wendy noticed the absence of taste - "maybe hollywood stylists never see fat people outside of renaissance fairs and think that we all dress like serving wenches and/or sit in ornate carved chairs?"]


what lies beneath

we had our big coming out to politicians this week for the campaign, in conjunction with a visit to ottawa by this guy (slightly less impressive than i'd expected, and shorter than i thought he'd be) whose poverty eradication strategies you might have read about recently in time. orchestrating the ever important wine and cheese shingdig for mps and senators, furnished warmly by a very gropey italian named tony, was stressful enough. but in that the un people had big ideas for big impact, i was tightly wound up in most of the jam-packed day. we all bonded over the joys of wrangling important people, though i was pleased with how well the members of my steering committee handled being handled - a rare treat.

as for what came out of the chaos, no media coverage but a blast of energy and ideas about pouring our campaign energy into a focussed window for july's g8 meeting (admittedly, our tactics won't be the most creative). and this week gave us the impetus to push hard. belinda liked what she heard this week and rose in the house to call for a firm timeline for 0.7 (an effort to deflect gossip about her budding romance with peter?). my own home girl, senator ray-ray - another conservative, no less - has a motion on 0.7 that will get debated on tuesday. there is momentum for this, and we're going to pounce on it.

all of this will require me to wrestle free from some of that tenacious grey. i've been under the covers again. the grey is in there, tickling the undersides. it's one thing to know it, quite another to get at it. rather like the ominous bump in the middle of my pool, an undecipherable shape under my pool cover. thanks to disappearing snow, i noticed it this morning. creepy. i know the pool was free of debris when i closed it last fall. so what the fuck is under there? as with other discomforting things underneath, i guess i'd rather remain in awe and daunted than demystified...


canuck pride

i just saw kd lang perform on the junos and i still have goosebumps. not only does she look positively beautiful, her voice is in stunning form. her rendition of leonard cohen's hallelujiah literally left me breathless. she followed it up with a moving tribute to our beloved, ailing neil young with helpless. i tell ya, given my fragile state these days, it was a real treat to be uplifted by one of the most gifted talents of our wee country.

and uplifted i'm being. this is actually an excellent broadcast. the genius of gord downey and the tragically hip has been appropriately acknowledged with an induction into the canadian music hall of fame. gord was suitably fucked up during their set tonight. feist, an artist i've been listening to incessantly since discovering her last year, sang and took best new artist. omigod do i ever fucking love k-os - his music just makes me feel better - thank god he's getting his props this year. and object of my affection and profound musical appreciation, sam roberts, looked simply delicious beamed in from down under... can't think of one single reason why we're not shacked up in love.

we have such fucking amazing music up here. i've always been so proud. tonight, i feel like the wide-eyed stage mom mouthing along like a moron at stage left. or the proud weeping mama of the offspring onto whom i have projected all my failed dreams. gawrsh, i'm mighty proud of any artist who puts a love for music above anything else, at any cost. ah, the courage the chase a musical dream. wish i had what it takes to chase mine.

disclaimer: as i type, i can hear kalan porter's performance from the tv in the other room. this in no way should taint or discredit this resounding endorsement of the high quality of canadian music. kalan was a momentary lapse of judgement, and for that, i'm certain i speak on behalf of all canadians when i say, we're sorry.


when life attacks

[this post contains graphic scenes of violence, foul language, and what some might consider piss poor taste. reader discretion is advised.]

for the second time in less than a year, my life has raped me up the ass. there i was, trying to quietly wind down from another tough day, when BAM - my life snuck up behind me, grabbed me by the shoulders and hair, threw me over the counter, and had its way with me. it was such a surprise attack that i had zero time to react, let alone defend myself. i was terrorized in unspeakable ways by my own life. i somehow managed to peel myself up off the kitchen floor, cry in the shower for three hours, then rocked in the fetal position all night and day. now i just feel bruised, ashamed, terrified. i'm considering filing a police report, but how the fuck can i go through that again? after what happened last summer when i reported the crime? ... i wouldn't wish that kinda hell on anyone. it was so fucking painful - more like an interrogation instead of an interview. i can still hear the shrill and accusatory sounds of those two acidic policemen.

whadaya mean you didn't see it coming?
isn't it true that you and the alleged perp are in a long term relationship?
are you sure you weren't asking for it?
but you like it rough, dontcha?
whadaya expect when you wear fishnets and stilettos?

i wound up not filing charges. a few weeks after that, my life and i reunited - it kept saying over and over again, "i'm sorry baby - i didn't mean to do that - you know i get a little angry sometimes, it don't mean i don't love you..." and just like last year, i find myself today going over the same crushing thoughts in my head: what did i do wrong? maybe i deserved it. maybe i made it happen. maybe i send out the wrong signals. all i know is that my life can be a brutal, spiteful, misogynistic fuck sometimes. but i have to believe it really loves me. that it's not soulless or out to get me. that somehow, we can work things out.