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April 30, 2003

Don't Become The Thing You Hated

Reviewing the pitiful contents of this site some nine months after conception, it's plain to see I've written way too much about Destroyer.

Having said that, I spent the last week with 'Don't Become The Thing You Hated' on repeat, and I'm in love with it: 'Don't become the thing you hated, suns rise and suns go down again, open your Strathcona doors, let him in/and you let him in... Don't become the thing you hated.' How's that for simple? The only thing that's only said once is the thing about the sun rising and going down and opening Strathcona doors, (Strathcona being the nicest neighbourhood in Couverton, albeit in a frightening heroin-nightmarish sort of way). The title he says repeatedly right off the bat and again at the end, and he repeats 'let him in' in the middle, career/korea style, until you're sure he's yelling out "Letterman!" - a disturbing reminder of how wrong things can go, even for the best of us.

I remember a friend of my Dad's as a kid had something like this going on. I said to him once, "You're a big fan of Peter Gabriel, right?" and he said, "I'm actually more like obsessed with Peter Gabriel," and I thought: But aren't you actually more like in your thirties? Isn't this kind of rock-star obsession-thing supposed be left in highschool? You mean it doesn't go away?!

So, I heard recently from a friend about the show Destroyer played on the day America invaded Iraq. They closed with 'Thief': 'You take back the curse but the world just gets worse as you wonder about how someone can become so fat and so proud off the damage they've done - man the damage was fun... a house is a home, hotels made of skin and bone hold us, father figures continue to scold us, avuncular at best in a church of new things, he traded the records for rings, as I sat back and watched what I thought would ensue not ensue... hospitals overflow with sinners embittered and pissed - dead ringers for men whose whereabouts should not be known, or be missed... no failed revolts no plot from the inside could contend with the prospects or trend toward being discovered before our time with upwards of thirty songs all about women and children whose lives will come second to mine... you take back the curse but the girl just gets every rip-off artist to paint a picture of the world at war when the world was not at war/when the world was not at war/when the world was not at war/when the world was not at war.'

What's scary, it turns out - and I realized this only just now, while typing it out - I had this entire song memorized from start to finish! (I got probs).

For those who don't know it, it's a pretty, quiet, accoustic number, but it amps up at the end with the final phrase. A packed house, people went nuts, and were left hollering "Encore" until they realized that was it. "When the world was not at war"-- as closers go, it's tough to top that, circa March 17. I mean, I never want to hear encores anymore, and I generally wait with pseudo-patience for whatever band I'm watching to finish their set from the moment it starts, but if I had been there I'm sure I would have been yelling for an encore too. Shit, if I had been there, all this might even have merited writing about...

Ok, I now promise not to mention Destroyer again until October, or some time in there.

Posted by at 02:20 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 28, 2003

Trista

I'm not sure why, but I think I also love Trista.

(Sorry, no recollection of where this link came from. Nor do I know why I'm posting it. I think I'm posting it so I can stop looking at it in my "Favourites" section. I haven't looked at it since I stored it there, which was at least two weeks ago, and I don't know what I was thinking at the time... What's there to say, really? A healthy minute of smiling, topped off by a good ten second giggle. Enjoy!)

Posted by at 01:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Iraq and Beyond

Like everyone else in the last week or two, I have fallen in love with Stuart Hughes' blog.

(via reverse cowgirl.)

Posted by at 12:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Young and Sexy

Meesoo Lee's magical video (for Young and Sexy's 'Scott').

Their new album is apparently 98% recorded.

Good news!

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April 21, 2003

Fisk

A spooky little piece (via 13Labs)

Posted by at 11:54 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 15, 2003

Theft

Interesting week-old Wired piece. I picture Sean-Paul Kelley looking just like Michael J. Fox's character in "The Secret Of My Success," but then that's a stupid thing to say, as Michael J. Fox's characters all look more or less the same-- we can agree on this, can't we?

I mean to say, Kelley stole stuff to get some attention, so he could get some sources, just like M.J.F. stole an office to get himself a job, (and offered that meaningful and pertinent question, "You can't get a job unless you have experience and you can't get any experience unless you have a job so... I mean, c'mon Doc, what am I supposed to do?" or something like that, as I recall it.)

I came at all this via Textism, (Ah, Comedy - April 11, which links to this Washington Post article), having failed to realize from Kelley's site he'd done anything wrong.

I don't know how wrong what he did was. I'd say "pretty wrong". But it wasn't as stupid as, say, lifting "Intellectual property is theft" from Dean Allen and hoping to get away with it - a subversive, if humiliatingly short-sighted act of thievery if ever there was one.

It's one of the better tag-lines I've come across. Anyone who would contemplate lifting it deserves to be called a 'fucktard'-- a term which, BTW, I'll be employing liberally from now on, having covered my ass in the source-citing department.

Posted by at 10:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 14, 2003

The Italian Job

I haven't seen The Italian Job, and now I don't think I need to, even though I have it on good word it's the greatest movie of all time.

It just watched the re-make-- preview for the re-make, I mean, starring the three finest actors of our generation.

It was pretty good, I have to say. I was happy they pulled off the heist, stunned when they were betrayed, thrilled when they created the traffic jam, and it was cool watching Marky Mark punch Ed Norton in the face.

All things considered, I give it a nine.

Posted by at 02:33 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 13, 2003

2020, this afternoon

An Iraqi named George Bush, 17 years old, drop dead handsome, roaming the streets of Baghdad on a Saturday afternoon with some friends. He strikes up conversation with a vacationing French Canadian couple in their mid-fifties, who use their motion-picture camera-watches to record something about what it means to be in modern-day Iraq on Liberation Day.

George speaks with mixed emotions about the invasion that started weeks before his birth. He has many reservations about what took place during the occupation, but he can't deny his admiration for America, evident both in his fashion sense and his cultural knowledge. The French Canadians giggle when he admits that the more English he learns, the less happy he feels about his name. "For my parents he is a great man, because he liberated them - but they don't speak English. When I read about what he was like, I have to tell my parents, this guy's pretty stupid, you know?"

At some point it will come out the couple is Canadian. There will be a brief silence, an exchange of glances, and Dougy, 15, confused, oily-skinned, angry, and disturbed by what he's witnessing in his parents' three dimensional home-movie-viewing chamber, will turn to his father and say, "How could you have been against it Dad? I mean why didn't you want to help?"

"Well, you have to understand, for starters," Doug's father will say, not knowing where any of this will go, "when the Towers fell, America went into Afghanistan - sure, in order to take out the training camps - and people supported that - but also they had an agenda-- they had a pipeline to build. We sat at home watching footage of vegetable farmers being decapitated and citizens becoming every bit as enraged and frightened as they were in the West except more so because they had nothing, and they still have nothing-- it's the same now as it was then for Christ's sake!-- America never gave them a cent. So for them to turn around and say, you know, we're going to do it all over again, and this time to a country that by all accounts was actually complying with inspectors-- it was a grave thing. Like, why on earth would we do this-- break up the UN to pick on a brute?"

"Maybe just because he was brutalizing his people".

But that wasn't the given reason! And Doug's father will have a feeling like his head is melting, 'My own son hates me,' he'll tell himself, and it will come to him, quietly, the memory of his own father, who stood so proudly against his parents on the Vietnam War, and then came out with equal conviction (against his own children) in favour of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was, it seemed, being proven by history to be every bit the progressive he imagined himself. And secretly, he will think it: I've been wrong my whole life for taking issue with America. I've been surpassed by a 15 year old intellectual midget barely able to sit through the news, who has somehow arrived on the right side of history, the side that would openly attack governments that oppress their people, even and especially if it meant using force-- and why shouldn't they?

Of course, this feeling will pass momentarily, thinking of those callous and powerful men, lusting for war while keeping their children far from the battlefield; and, of course, of the tragic events of March 20th, and the inevitable reprisals they would spawn. He will think of America as reckless and dangerously out-of-control, even just moments after having grasped the genius of its ambition. And while wondering what his own father's stance might have been, he will hear his son yelling at him: "You know, if the world had listened to people like you there'd still be torture in Iraq and we'd never have taken Korea or even tried to democratize the Middle East, and we certainly wouldn't be trying to help the people of the far east who you claim to care so much about! So why don't you try to think about the violence caused by people like you who don't ever take a stand against anything and turn a blind eye to everything so that you won't ever have to fight?" And with this Doug will storm out of the house, slamming the door behind him, spraying the front window with the fumes from his build-it-yourself flying motor-scooter.

His wife will ignore the conflict, precisely, he will think, because of her suspicion that much of her husband's anti-war stance was generated by his love for her. She will have good reason to think this, as they had, after all, met at a protest, and there was little doubt he had said things that summer that had more to do with winning her attention than speaking any particular truth. This seemed okay though, as his love for his wife, like his belief in peace, had remained strong, even if both disappeared on occasion, and for stretches of months at a time.
Then, with Yeats' "The worst are full of passion and intensity and the best lack all conviction" in mind, he will put away the footage of the 17 year old Iraqi by the name of George Bush, and wander out to his garden to look for signs of Spring.

Posted by at 01:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 10, 2003

Yesterday

Interesting, in light of this, that Rummy should convey such open contempt for the foreign press on tv yesterday afternoon. Evidently it must have been quite the piss off to be the definitive ass-kicker in this invasion, and have others focussing on the reasons behind the ass-kicking, instead of the victory at hand.

So thrilled is Rummy about the prospect of truth winning out he plainly agrees with Sullivan who agrees with Hentoff that anyone who dared oppose unilateral U.S. invasion should by now be feeling downright bad about their selves.

While there's plenty of room for guilt, what frightens me is the idea that, encouraged by how fast Baghdad fell, the Administration might carry on their mighty way without pausing for thought.

If force produces counter-force - and history shows as much - Saddam's regime (if not Saddam himself,) was destined to know the wrath of his own people. By speeding that process along - and coming up with a range of somewhat whimsical reasons for doing so in the process - we've made temporary friends out of a fraction of the population in Iraq, but we've also set a precedent that oh wait, I'm repeating myself. I should just be happy that Iraqis are partying peacefully in the streets of Baghdad with the Marines. And I am happy about this-- truly.

Still, a lot of people have been talking about WWIV. Some of these people are just jumping on a band-wagon and trying to convince everyone real casually that they were ahead of the parade on this one. Like when in fuck did The Cold War become known as WWIII? As a kid, I knew about The Cold War, but it was a very different thing from WWIII. WWIV was something that could not happen until after WWIII was over with, and WWIII was not The fucking Cold War. WWIII is when I get my midnight chopper ride to the North Pole with my friends and immediate family in tow while mushroom clouds bloom up behind us in the distance. After that goes down - and not a moment sooner - I'll be ready to hear about WWIV.

Posted by at 12:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 07, 2003

Sally

At Yahoo! Chess there's a whole range of options: you can play blitz games, speed games or slow games, with people who do or do not wish to "chat". There's also an icon just right of the board that offers dozens of images to chose from as a means of representing yourself to your opponent. You can be male or female, young or old, bald, bispectacled, red or blue, purple, and, er, quasi-monstrous-looking - 'devilish' is the word, I suppose-- with or without ball-cap.

For the most part, I've ignored this icon, but it's power came to my attention a while back when I was in the "social room" and I realized I had selected the young-girl-with-pony-tail icon, leading the man I was up against, (bald, glasses, white beard,) to think he was playing a young girl. He underwent a great fit of kindness and warmth so arrestingly out of context with my experience at Yahoo! Chess I could barely think how to respond.

Tilting back and forth between our two icons, I realized the sort of banter that was expected. I assumed a friendly, free-flowing and fun-loving type of humility as he made helpful suggestions that enabled me to stay in the game. At some point I said "Thanks for the tip," and added "And I mean that by the way (so many sarcasmos play here)" or something to that effect, and I do believe he started to fall a bit in love.

Miraculously, I pulled off a victory with something like eight seconds left on my clock (he had 4 minutes and change). My plan worked out, a killing spree took place, I toppled and forked his front guard, nailed his king to the wall. My heart was palpitating by the end as I'd pretty much resigned to the notion I was going to lose. He congratulated me sincerely, and asked where I was from. I believe I wrote "Toronto, Canada" and then "You?" And it came back "Washington D.C.".

I'm sure much has been written about the quasi-erotic nature of silence that goes on in these "on-line chat rooms". For a whole minute or so neither of us could think what to type. I bet he was impressed by my freckles and my bangs and my twin pony-tails, in awe of the speed with which I was capable of typing, the comprehensive ass-kicking I was able to administer; my precociousness; the great maturity of my temperament. Surely we were mindful of the chasm between our two countries, the potential for conflict here was hard to ignore, but fortunately being a twelve year old girl safely exempted me from any political speak. In fact, it exempted me from every unpleasant aspect of on-line chess I've come across so far, so I'm keeping my 12-year-old-girl-status for all future games. People are friendlier, gentler, more eager to play with me, more supportive, and way easier to impress.

I'll kill them all!

Posted by at 03:27 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 04, 2003

The Time Traveling Stock Broker

Curious.

Posted by at 09:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

This Snow...

Just isn't right. It's the 4th of April-- I shouldn't have to break my back shoveling the walk and it should not be freezing outside!

What the fuck is going on?! I'm freaking out over here! If this weather were a person I would have tired of reasoning with it by now - I'd have given up. I'd be in the process of smashing it in the face, wrestling it to the ground, tearing it limb from limb. Sars, too. I would gladly punch Sars in the face, karate chop its neck - even if it were only a dumb-ass looking kid. Frankly, I'm ready to take the fight to the whole Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Poindexter, Ridge, Bush, Rice, Hussein Administration - the whole stinking lot of'm all at once along with Aaron Brown - who has to remind himself not to look happy while introducing footage of children in Hospital! - and the whole cast of American Idol too - judges and singers alike. I'll make special time for the guy kicked off the show this week for beating up his sister... Beating up your sister! Shame on you! Shame! Shame! Shame! I'll kill you!

Other things I would beat up if they were people: the wart on the underside of my left foot; top ten lists that have Two Towers in the "number one" spot; the campaign to boycott France; SUVs - (what would a list of modern frustration be without them?); internet connections that stop working on a bi-weekly basis for a dozen hours at a time always when you need them most; America - not the government - cause I said that already - and certainly not the people - as they're the finest dudes around-- but the fragrance. America the fragrance could stand a good punch in the teeth. Also I would like to take the fight to lists like this, which pop up sporadically at every other blog I visit on a semi-regular basis, and which should be smashed in the face because of the anger they generate and the cravings for retribution they cause, (and also because lists like this are resilient and nothing can stop them).

And James Woods.

That stupid fuck.

No - I'm kidding. I could never.

Posted by at 08:59 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

April 02, 2003

Wishful Thinking In The War On Thugs

Since this war began I've been going to raed (though not lately), Hector, the agonist, the onion, other shit, and, you know, reading the Globe, wondering about this guy's chances; watching CBC. I've been watching Counterspin on a close to nightly basis, always flipping over to CNN during commercial breaks to compare and contrast. That's about it: those are my credentials for what I'm about to say...

I know for many Canada will go down in history as a pansy for 'failing to endorse regime change', but I've never felt more proud of my country. I'm terrified by America, but I nonetheless try to see the good in what they are doing, even tho I realize there may not be a lot of good in it. I want to offer my utterly uninformed predictions which are based upon my most optimistic and wishful thinking.

They are as follows:

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the Republican Guard will vanish or surrender (something that is already underway). It might be more sensible to predict that the war will go on without end until street-fighting in Baghdad starts sending home thousands of 20 year olds in bodybags, but I'm thinking it'll end suddenly, and sooner than the cynics predict, like, say, within a month. The Bush Administration will say "See, I told you so," in spite of the fact that they have done more to recruit suicide bombers and bring them to American shores than the most far-reaching of Usama's rallying cries.

Saddam, who apparently spent "Gulf War I" driving around Bag-daddy (tv's phrase) in a Winnebago, will unleash some deadly nerve agents during the siege, but due to difficult-to-predict weather patterns, the weapons will mostly only kill his own army and a few more hundred of his own people (who he would have ended up killing anyway). He will then go missing, and unfunny cartoons will feature him and Usama in a heart-shaped bathtub at Niagra Falls gazing lovingly into one another's eyes.

Shortly after his disappearance from the capital, it will be speculated by one Ari Fliesher that Saddam was taken out in the blaze that engulfed a relatively finite portion of civilian Iraq. Locating his body amidst the carnage will be painted as "a lot to expect". With this, "the democratization of Iraq" will begin.

Due to the vast amounts of oil that Iraq harbours, the US will actually make good on its word. They'll lift sanctions and use oil profits to feed the masses ("instead of building more palaces", the Administration will happily report). This kind of change might just be brought about radically, and more quickly than anyone ever dreamed possible. In spite of this, the Iraqi people won't like having Tommy Franks as their leader, and the resistance-- consisting of those most fixated on sex with those fabled 72 virgins-- will continue to apply pressure to get the US out of their country. Amidst the tumult, the newly imposed US model will start to strengthen their economy, and the rest of the Arab world will see the light. They will no longer concentrate their envy solely at Israel, and they will be hard pressed to avoid seeing that what has worked for the Jews can work for them too. The US gambit will pay off, and Arab citizens will take to the streets demanding to be Shocked and Awed. (Or is this type of speculation in too-poor taste?)

It will be revealed that there are no chemical/biological warheads in Iraq. Blue prints for such a warhead however, will be found amongst the ruins by one Special Forces unit, most likely shortly after having been planted by another.

Of course - and I'm going out on yet another limb here - watching CNN, and seeing how the attack on Bagdad is going, I couldn't help but notice US troops were arriving from the North, the South, and the West, which seems to me to suggest they'll be pressuring some to escape into Iran. So, you know, God forbid that I am right and this war does end soon, Americans might think doing the same thing in Iran (to further "route out terror", of course), or, you know, to renovate Syria, or reprimand Turkey, might not be such a bad idea. I hope to high heaven Bush cuts his losses and gets out, but some might say with all the troops they've amassed now is as good a time as any to conquer the world.

On a different note, I want to say that picture of the NY Yankees cap with the bird shit on it that was used to promote the Blue Jays' season-opener was NOT offensive. It was offensive when the Canadian anthem was booed south of the border the day after friendly fire killed Canadian troops in what-was-that-place-called-again?-- but a little Blue-Jay shit on a baseball cap is just typically inane jock humour. Loosen up! Personally, I don't see why anthems should even be sung at sporting events, but if they are, Americans should learn to accept a little booing as (a small part of) the price you pay for invading a sovereign nation. I hate to say this, but there's going to be a lot more booing (and from within the confines of the country) as Bush continues to scar soldiers while cutting military pensions, especially in light of shit like this and this (brought to my attention by the one and only Mareek!)

And lastly, tell me if you think I'm making too much of this please, but I think one clear lesson to come out of this is as follows: When a dope (Bush) is running against a statesman (Gore), and it's neck and neck, and you are the leader of one of that country's allies (say for the sake of agrument you're Tony Blair), it is wise to remain impartial. If anything, you should see that you aren't swaying voters anyway, and come out strong in favour of the dope. Reason being that if the dope's maladroit brother isn't able to fix the election, you can always tell the statesman that you were only covering your ass on the off chance that he was. A statesman will probably understand this. A retarded man from Texas who is constantly paralyzed with fear about his inability to reach the end of a properly-constructed sentence, on the other hand, will probably send Irwin Stelzer to your office to tell you that your country is about to get sold off for parts unless you do exactly as you're told. In this sense, I pity Blair, as I don't think he has much say. Were he to listen to the millions who gather on a weekly basis in his streets to protest his participation in this profound act of US hubris, his people would only end up being shafted economically by the States in a far more substantial way than any death-loving fundamentalist could ever bring about. Which doesn't mean I'm a fan or anything.

Anyway, here's to hoping that the US and British troops are not vulnerable in their rears. And here's to hoping that there's an end to violence in sight, and that Bush's plan is just crazy enough to work. Reading articles like this all the way to the end, one is reminded about how difficult and indeed unlikely Bush's success is in the face of Hamas and the like, but at the moment, contemplating the alternative to immediate US triumph is just too horrific for words.

Posted by at 07:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack