pop culture jamming

lingering tears from this afternoon's mini meltdown having to do with feeling that the campaign has deteriorated into a comedy of errors and feeling my poorly-asserted boundaries are being disrespected were just now turned into tears of hysterical laughter thanks to the brilliantly-timed recommendation of this link by adam.

ever wonder what the shining would be like re-spun and re-soundtracked and more compatible with a typical movie formula? me neither. but thank christ somebody did. the music from shawshank redemption was funny, but when the intro to solsbury hill started up, i damn near pissed myself. jesus.

on having black friends

i was just re-reading a draft of a script i'm preparing for the foot canvassers who are campaigning for us in this municipal election. i was surprised to see that i had suggested they refer to "other important tissues in the platform". my candidate would, i think, be concerned that we are publicizing his sensitive tissues. reminds me of a time i helped a friend with her resume which ended up indicating to a number of potential employers that she had vast experience in pubic relations.

but never mind that for now.

if someone feels the need to utter i have black people who are friends, then their black friends should bolt. it's hard to decide what is more worth my concern: the fact that someone actually said that, or that his black friends haven't figured out how big of a shithead they're hanging with. any of his friends in their right mind should bolt, actually.

haven't a lot of us become super wary of defensive "ists" (racists, sexists) clawing their way back to credibility with comments like NO i'm not! why heck, i've got those kinds of friends, i know people who are that. it's embarassing. for not far beneath that transparent cover is often the dangerous and sad mind of a dumb-ass. there are few things worse than a dumb-ass with big opinions and a big mouth.

i wish i could say i'm shocked and outraged. but i'm barely even surprised about all the mailloux nonsense. on the other hand, what the fuck year is it again? oh, so it's not the 1800's? ok, that's straightened out. so then why do we have to listen to some bearded white guy talk about the inferiority of black people's iq's?

there are people who get all foamy at the mouth about free speech and all that, who wish civil libertarians (aka, we normal people) would just chill the fuck out and let people speak their minds. there is free speech - opinion, dialogue - and then there is bullcrap. those kinds of minds have no business talking shit, let alone on mainstream radio. have you ever noticed the mountains of free speech that anyone can access underground? there's a reason they call it underground - it's beneath most of us. and there's plenty of room down there for mailloux and millions of other cuckoos. i'm not talking about alternative radio and other alt media, i'm talking about the objectionable underground media. inhabited by people society considers creepy and/or dangerous. those folks are pushing all kinds of envelopes, not to the right or to the left, just way over the fucking edge. i'm thinking mailloux should pump up the volume à la christian slater from a basement studio. that, or he should just fuck right off. because people who achieve a dr. phil -like popularity in a savvy place like quebec have a big responsibility to be reasoned and unprejudiced.

mainstream radio is reserved for the non-racist type of broadcaster, is it not? or at least the people who can fake it well. unless, of course, you count those fanatical religious radio stations. if i want to hear questionable, nay offensive, blather that dances around racism, misogyny, poor-bashing, or even directly advocates the assassinationof a south american leader, why i could just turn to one of those (it's a multi-faith community of broadcasters that is sometimes known to spout racist and classist junk in the form of religious dogma, so why name a specific one here? we all know who they are and how quickly blood can start oozing out one's ears when one happens upon one of their mind-numbing radio broadcasts).

i remember a hundred years ago during a university student council election i was involved with, a certain preppy white boy was trying to defend himself against allegations that he was - gasp - a homophobe. he actually said, into a microphone, that no he wasn't, that his mom had a gay friend, and that his family had that gay friend "for dinner" many times. nervous 19 year old idiot frat boy, or scary guy thirsting for some chianti and fava beans? hmm ...


my great escape

even in the midst of bouncing a simpleton anti-feminist out of this thread of the tea room, miss vicky and her webgeek came out last night to watch me and the band do a gig. a gig, i might say, that most of us apparently did not feel at all like attending. thankfully, our moods were significantly lifted due in no small part to the gaggle of drunken newfoundlanders and a girls-gone-wild crew of three equally inebriated gals. i'm pretty sure the music had something to do with it too. it always does. it occurs to me how fucking fortunate i am to have found this outlet for myself. still not sure where the musical experiment is heading, but i'm sure noticing how useful (dare i say, healthy) it is to belt out motown and r&b on a semi-regular basis. gigs and rehearsals provide a necessary bungee cord out of my day-to-day shyte, and there i go all feet tied and head first, a-bouncin' and free fallin' on my great escape from this head/heart o'mine. distractions are usually a good thing. mine is great.


i know not

i know why i was invited at the last minute to attend the national symposium and agm of this organization. it was supposed to be as sort of an on-site support staff - which really amounted to gopher and minute-taker. fine by me, can't refuse anything that pays at this point, dignity be damned. but i think it was really to put me smack dab in the middle of some stimulating conversation with some inspiring women to make me think again about myself and my role within all that.

i know why being at that meeting was emotional for me. the room was chock full of incredible women from all over the country, many of whom i didn't know, but a handful of whom are of profound importance to me. these are women i hardly see, some i never thought i'd see again, what with canada's mind-blowing vast geography and also on account of my limited engagement with the women's movement as of late. i actually thanked some of them, women who at one point or another have had a significant impact on who i am, as a feminist, as an activist, as a woman. i knew not that my time regina would be that. but it felt right and so i did it. i'm thinking maybe i'm about to die or something, because talking to women like that almost felt like some sorta step on my own version of those famous 12. no amends, per se, but an expression of gratitude... in a way i suspect too few young feminists do... to the wise women who have walked before and left some kind of personal imprint on my heart.

i know why i love home. it was sure nice to see my beloved big sky, breathe prairie air, cuss at all the pick-up drivers hogging the urban streets. it's a whole 'nother scene over there, replete with cowboy hats, chewing tabacco, slower-moving time, dust, bad fonts. i especially enjoyed the unforgettable attitude of a crusty hotel worker who, when asked for the third time to put our welcome message on the hotel promo board, shrugged his shoulders all irritated-like and said "i don't have any french letters". i really really love where i'm from.

i know not why i am not in bed after such a whirlwind and rather sleepless week.

i know not why i am this disappointed that marty did not get chosen to be lead singer of inxs. i know not why mark burnett needed to give martha an apprentice show or why i can't stop listening to my new copy of beauty and the beat, especially lust to love. i know not why julie chen gets on my nerves so bad but jeff probst doesn't.


blame brian

omigod somebody stop me. i just set myself up on flickr. i'm fucking around on a photo site at 5 am and i don't even take pictures. i don't even have a camera. more importantly, how is it that my sleep schedule could get even worse? obviously, i've got problems.

for this ill-timed lapse of cyber-judgement, i blame brian entirely. after deciding to stop working awhile ago, i went and got all caught up in his gallery. again. what a great photographer. but helloooo? could you stop uploading new images please?? wasn't enough, apparently, to woo us with the initial magical slideshow of your glorious global adventure. enough already. fuck.

may i just say that in this woozy late-night/early-morning mental state and with my eyes all a-gooey, lucky that flickr was so easy to navigate. was impressed with how luddite-friendly it all was. one minute i'm begrudgingly trying to sign up in order to post a comment to a brian pic, next thing i know i'm uploading from a cd of cuba pictures.

ok why am i still up and on this computer? sweet jeezus, i need help.

sept 12th, already?

people across the free world commemorated yesterday in a myriad of ways, lots of ceremonies with flags and prayers. for me and my bandmates, the auspicious date was marked by a lacklustre gig delivered to half a dozen drunks at a very dead rainbow room. but all was not lost: i got to test drive my lead vocals on 2 new tunes, and during a rousing rendition of midnight hour, kevin actually ushered that annoying flower lady to the stage and bought roses for me and christina, which he handed over while belting out the last verse.

the campaign i'm managing is picking up steam [official launch = 26th]. i haven't had anything to do with a municipal campaign in nearly 10 years, and i'm liking it. the issues are closer to home and you get reminded of how any sort of tangible change is actually within reach at the local level. as hectic as it will be, i'm beginning to realize that this election experience will be really good for me. how this campaign is vastly different than any ndp campaign i've worked with in a long long time:

- a candidate i actually like
- a candidate i actually respect
- people who actually respect me, or fake it really well
- a team that is actually functional and productive

how this campaign experience is vastly different than most ndp campaigns in quebec:

- a group of more than a dozen volunteers
- a budget of more than a couple of thousand dollars
- credibility that doesn't require justification
- a shot at an actual victory

it's after 1 am and 24 degrees. the weather network says it "feels like" 30. and it really fucking does - i'm actually sweating. can't believe it's the second week of september and i'm torn at this hour between watching the daily show or stretching out in the backyard to stare at the butter-coloured half moon. decisions.

i suppose i'll choose jon stewart. his show is, after all, a lifeline to sanity on this crazy planet. not to mention that tonight marks the start of his "evolution schmevolution" week. star gazing can wait a mere half hour. and anyways, lots of time left before i usually hit the hay.


trees and apples

no commentary, just a quote that speaks for itself. i'm a few days late with this one, but still.

"so many of the people in the area here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

barbara bush on katrina survivors in the houston astrodome
radio interview, 5 sept 05


katrina & god, my ass

i just posted a comment in response to this guy's commentary regarding katrina. holy shit, did that guy make me mad. i had felt reasonably reasonable regarding katrina matters. but then i guess i hit a wall and ended up in some kind of celine dion emota-spaz [worth watching].

hate his suggestion that there's too much posturing and finger pointing. like so many others, he points out the looting and other bad behaviour as a demonstration of the "true face of Modern Man." as if that has anything to do with anything. overall, he wondered where on earth is the grace. myself, i consider it a shocking lack of grace that caused this fuckery in the first place.

people want to believe – in order to remain more comfortable – that these things are of nature and are compelled by forces we cannot understand. it happened with last year’s tsunami, and it happens all the time – hoisting out god when there’s too much nasty shit to contend with.

it was a fucking hurricane people: we know them, name them, and track them all the livelong day. we are rich and smart and powerful and have at our disposal the most sophisticated machinery, technology and intellectual capacity to make things smooth and safe all the fucking time. i can get the temperature and weather conditions for my city updated every fucking hour on the internet, so it’s not that big a leap that a few things went awry down there. so let’s start talking hard about this shit.

there are only 2 ways to play this: god and politics. in the us, god is trotted out only when convenient. this is not that fucking complicated: only when it suits does america separate the two. some suggest that katrina not be made political, or at least not yet – these are the same ones who feign anger about the separation of church and state but who relish the manipulation of the political out it provides. like now.

it’s the same ongoing festival of hypocrisy down there. people upset by the politicking & exploiting of katrina for political gain are the same ones who trot out god every 5 fucking minutes for their own purposes. oh really, no one is to blame? this was purely an act of god? are you fucking kidding? if you want to talk about god here, you best be prepared to go all the way. if it was indeed god’s will that katrina decimate a region and leave millions to languish, why do you think that was?

ok, i’ll just say it: katrina may very well be the penultimate in karmic retribution. oh sure, even karma can fuck up once in awhile, and katrina did devastate too many of the wrong people. but then again, perhaps that was part of her point.

people who would rather the whole world pray instead of rage are likely the same ones who took one look at that flight manual and whispered, “gosh, it’s written in arabic.” i mean, how long until the cia and department of homeland security announce finding links from the katrina source directly to a cave in rural afghanistan?

leave it to an indignant american to overstate that america is not the only bastion of hypocrisy and not “alone in its disease”. funny that gets said now. we’ll hold the entire planet to an absurd standard so long as it suits our agenda, but during a time of crisis and glaring culpability, it’s gosh guys, guess we’re not perfect. but hey, neither the fuck are you, so there!

americans are going to have to understand, you get what you pay for. you bought shitty leadership that turned you against the world. while you’re wondering why the world hates you back, you re-elect him. there’s a reason why half the globe is probably thrilled about katrina. some are dancing because it saves them a suicide bomber, yes. but mostly, i think people are sick of the suffering inflicted by america, and the superiority with which it is exacted. i think we are profoundly saddened by the pain there, but can’t help our inherent taste for retribution. now THAT is nobody’s fault: this whole thing was political long before the twin towers fell (which, by the way, we knew about before it happened too).

the planet is on fire, everyone’s up in arms or carrying arms, america is sinking, ray nagin is losing his mind, and everyone else is just utterly sick of the bullshit. an entire region of the states is covered in toxic water. a few looters are stealing the attention when meanwhile, back at the stench-filled stadiums, girls are getting raped in the bathrooms.

that karma is one crazy son of a bitch.


clarifying katrina

there are lots of photos like this one on flickr and elsewhere that tell the disturbing stories. most of what we need to know comes from beyond the news, and i've scanned more than my share of reports. there is no denying that new orleans, along with many communities in the gulf region, has sunk. my recent post might have seemed callous. i chalk up the seeming insensitivity to a late-night bitterness that resides at a whole 'nother level, nowhere near bourbon street.

ranting about bush and betrayal and hypocrisy and the sheer shittiness of things should not minimize the gravity of it all. it is precisely because of the calamity of what's going on down there that the blood boils this hot.

it's not just about the big idiot in the oval office. it's about a country that consistently rams its supremacy down the global throat, yet continues to demonstrate total disregard, if not disdain, for it's own citizens. in the case of katrina and her pre-decessors, if People In Charge weren't so fucking busy hating the rest of the world, they might learn a thing or two about disaster management from even a great enemy.

i also hate that bright fighters get called upon to be Voices of Reason amidst the politi-crap of punditry. the brilliant barack obama suggested this week that it's not a coincidence so many people of colour were "left behind", but not a conspiracy either. he said that what happened in the southern usa happens all over the world: poor and vulnerable people get hit the hardest in a natural disaster. to which i say FUCKING NONSENSE. when poor and vulnerable people "get hit" - in this case, swept away, lose possessions, float through waste and corpses until help swings by, go hungry, get trapped in arenas - it's because we allow it to happen. i don't give a shit how anyone tries to spin it, when people die under those circumstances in a developed country - especially that one - it's because we let them. period.

the damage down there will take years to mend. it may not have been preventable, but the human misery sure was, and i hope we'll be asking why for a long time.

meme: 5 things

oops, memed by miss vicky a few days ago. too many favourite toys and records and moments with friends to draw from, so i have opted to recall more touchy-feely things (shocking, i know). though let it be known i can reminisce with the best of them about the joy of my lite-brite or the go-go's.

5 things i miss from my childhood

neil: having conversations with my little brother about his hot wheels collection, transformers, or the art of getting to level 5 in donkey kong... not about relationship hell, financial fears, dad's ailing health, or mortgages.

mrs. sandercock's piano: i swear to god that was her name, my piano teacher for something like ten years. her house had such a strange smell, her face was terribly unkind, and all the other rooms in her house were creepy, but the time i spent with that funny looking old lady with the bad hair at the piano in her music room were special. countless hours of old school tough-as-nails music training were still the best escapes of my life.

silky and snoopy: those two rabbits were like my frigging babies. i doted on them and showered them with affection and lobbied on their behalf and would have committed murder for their happiness. i'm sure they had a good life in their insulated castles and the enormous carnival that was our backyard. that is, until one winter while we were away - they were left in the care of my uncaring uncle who let them out for a brief romp in the snow and then totally forgot about them. i still hate him for that, and am still haunted by the thought of how those bunnies became petsicles. the horror.

the gap: i have always been an overly sensitive gal, and was even then. i always knew i was different, that lots out there is very unfair, that people are mean, that so much in the world is just not quite right, but there was still a kind of space between me and all that. the thing about chronology and maturity is that the distance between me and all that gets shorter and shorter, if there at all. which brings me to ...

not knowing any better: i'm not saying my childhood was blissful and smooth. not by any means. but i'm glad all that shit didn't rob me completely of my innocence. there was still the bubble that felt safe (sure, the adult version can be manufactured and installed for temporary security, but ain't the same as the bubble automatically included with childhood). i have grown less hopeful, extraverted, and gutsy because i know too much. i miss the naivite that makes kids take risks, uncalculated ones, unknowingly. i miss youthful fearlessness, not the conjured up mantra-driven version of today.


the american way

recovering from a katrina-soaked week. mesmorized by how all the cutting edge meteorological technology in the world couldn't provide enough advance warning to gets shit organized. layers of bureaucratic infrastructure couldn't provide ample emergency preparedness. once katrina struck, everyone was like 'duh, er, wha da fuck happind?'. "despair and lawlessness" is how everyone and their dog is describing katrina's aftermath. since when do all the news agencies get together and agree to a tag line for an event?

i'm mesmorized at how the top superpower can fortify its borders from intruders and its moral superiority from all those threatening foreign madmen, but can't establish coping measures in a region that has witnessed a few weather disasters before. intricate layers of local, county, state and federal bureaucracies can't coordinate their way out of a paper bag. i damn near pulled off my face when, as the death toll climbed somewhere over 100, people actually made comparisons to the tsunami that wiped out near 120,000 people in several countries (over there). jeezus.

but i'm also thankful. i'm thankful that it only took a couple of days before people - too bad they happen to be black - started to point big loud fingers at the question of race. we all know that two days after 9-11, you'd have been shot for raising any sort of enlightened questions about what's really going on. i'm thankful for the talk about the colour of who's bearing the brunt, and for the congressional black caucus for getting all up in bush's face. i'm thankful to those who are daring to explain the inextricable relationship between race and class. oh geez, so black people make up 57% of the new orleans population and something like one-third of new orleans residents live below the poverty line? ... hmmm.

big thanks to new orleans mayor ray nagin for
losing it on the radio with such refreshing shit as "get off your asses" and "we authorize 8 billion dollars to go to iraq, liquity quick ... you mean to tell me that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need [here]?"

just another gong show down there. tragic, yes. but also ridiculous. america never ceases to amaze me - too busy fighting fake wars and stomping bully boots all over the planet to properly tend to the backyard. then when anything happens there, it's the event of the fucking century. the american way is one of hypocrisy. narrow-minded and beligerent protection of its so-called way of life, but not its people.

skewed political priorities and sheer incompetence are to blame for katrina's impact being this bad. so my heart - sincerely - goes out to the victims, along with this invitation: when you find what's left of your shit, come on up here. there's tons of space, and when mother nature freaks on us, it's usually just snow - everything freezes for awhile, but shit doesn't float away.