Saturday, September 27, 2008

My stomach, my eyes and my brain are all unsettled right now. I couldn't understand why, so I have systematically begun to go through possibilities. Typical sources of stress are usually: Christmas- Easily dismissed because I have informed my whole family that I don't want/won't be buying gifts this year, and I booked the ticket to fly to Ontario yesterday. With Muddy, so I can't be stressed out about what to do with the dog. But: We don't have a crate big enough for him anymore, and he isn't trained to feel comfortable inside one. So maybe I am worried about this? I don't think it can be the whole reason. The rats- Katie has them right now, and yes, I am worried about them, and about what to do with them over Christmas while I am gone. Possible fragment source of residual uneasiness. Schoolwork- Always present. I tried to calm my sense of unease by going through my course calender and writing down my upcoming deadlines. Nothing big for another weeks and a half. But this led me to discover a large source of my unexplainable feeling of worry: I haven't had any grades back from any of my profs so far this year, except for one lousy news quiz. How is this possible? Are all my courses so end-loaded that I am going to die come the last weeks of November? I try to force myself to get things done early, but then the monstruos quantity of things that will eventually have to get done overwhelm me, and I don't know which one to concentrate on now, when nothing is urgent. The Gazette: It is pretty much proving to be exactly what I thought it would be, and although I exist in a constant state of catch-up, with impossible to prove suspicions that everybody talks about me negatively behind my back, I don't quite care enough to change anything drastically right now. I have more important concerns. Politics: Maybe, maybe. Oh, this is pointless, I still can't put my finger on it and I am sick enough of the computer already without spending frivolous minutes on it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ordinary folk and the arts

This was written by Margaret Atwood:

"On Tuesday [Prime Minister Stephen Harper] told us that some group called “ordinary people” didn't care about something called “the arts.” His idea of “the arts” is a bunch of rich people gathering at galas whining about their grants. Well, I can count the number of moderately rich writers who live in Canada on the fingers of one hand: I'm one of them, and I'm no Warren Buffett. I don't whine about my grants because I don't get any grants. I whine about other grants - grants for young people, that may help them to turn into me, and thus pay to the federal and provincial governments the kinds of taxes I pay, and cover off the salaries of such as Mr. Harper. In fact, less than 10 per cent of writers actually make a living by their writing, however modest that living may be. They have other jobs. But people write, and want to write, and pack into creative writing classes, because they love this activity – not because they think they'll be millionaires.

Every single one of those people is an “ordinary person.” Mr. Harper's idea of an ordinary person is that of an envious hater without a scrap of artistic talent or creativity or curiosity, and no appreciation for anything that's attractive or beautiful. My idea of an ordinary person is quite different. Human beings are creative by nature. For millenniums we have been putting our creativity into our cultures - cultures with unique languages, architecture, religious ceremonies, dances, music, furnishings, textiles, clothing and special cuisines. “Ordinary people” pack into the cheap seats at concerts and fill theatres where operas are brought to them live. The total attendance for “the arts” in Canada in fact exceeds that for sports events. “The arts” are not a “niche interest.” They are part of being human."

Read the whole article here while it is still up (the Globe and Mail takes the articles down after a few days).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The World on Wednesday

Maybe it is my fault for not paying close enough attention, but don't you think this possibility should have been wider publicized, just in case?
I feel like I was cheated out of my right to walk around yesterday charged with sentimentality, with a newfound appreciation for the smallest leaf, the simplest scent of perfume in the air, the heat of another human being's body.  News casts should have popped up as a separate window in every website visited (nobody watches TV anymore, so the "Breaking News!" scenario probably wouldn't do much to spread the awareness). 
Ok, so it is Wednesday now, and we have survived. I just feel let down because I never knew I was in danger -- real danger. I'm kinda glad we all lived, Earth, because yesterday was NOT a worthy end-to-the-world. 
And what of those kooks that are butting in to your thoughts right now, and reminding you to live EVERY day as if it were your last! 
Well, they should have gone ahead and invented a big bang machine. Done something practical to spread their saccharine tripe.
Maybe all these Swiss scientists ARE the live-every-day kooks. What they are really after is imbuing the rest of the world with an impending feeling of doom, in hopes of radically energizing social and personal change. 
Thank you, Switzerland!