Friday, October 31, 2008

Latest night out on the town

This week is Atlantic Fashion Week in Halifax, but last week was the Pop Explosion, and Paul, Eva and I went out to see Josh Ritter. Apparently, it was his birthday. Paul ran into Josh in one of his trip to the bathroom, and reports that he is a real nice guy and a gentleman. We all had a great time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bush and Capernwray

Is the only thing worth talking about politics these days? Well, no, as I was reminded by two dear apolitical friends in the past week. And yet, I sit down to write this new blog entry about politics, again (I'm sorry). As the Americans approach a historic decision, I sit and watch with unpardonable interest. I feel the guilt one feels after showing interest against ones will in the headlines that greet you in the grocery store aisle. "Angelina: she cheated on him! Jamie Lynn Spears, pregnant again!" - it is terrible to be temporarily entertained by such voyeuristic filth, and why are these people worth caring about? Because they are arguably talented? I wish I didn't care to sneak a peek at the American election. After all, both candidates will manipulate facts to make their opponent look bad, they will both capitalize on insignificant circumstantial flaws to draw broad conclusions about the others capacities. If elected, both would produce similar policies, they will both break promises, to deal with the unavoidable recession. They would both disappoint us. They will both fail the international community. But I think one thing that gives me some closure is that President Bush is universally put down, loathed and considered a handicap to the Republican campaign. It is a pejorative, to be said to be "the same as Bush" ... finally, this view enters the public domain! Eight years too late, and that is the tragedy. And my evil mind rejoices, because I will never forget November 2004, when one of our guest lectures at Capernwray, in England, asked the auditorium of 170 people, 100 of whom were American, "How many are voting for Kerry?" and NO ONE raised their hand. I think he then asked the students of other nationalities to raise their hands if they WOULD vote for Kerry if they could, and there were dozens of arms in the air. And I remember seeing the American's mail-in ballots arriving in our little cubby holes, and the temptation to destroy their irresponsible choices was enormous. I fought with people during that month, verbal sparring. I held my tongue an equal amount, but it killed. Obviously, my debates always ended with me being hurt because there were just so many of them, they were bound to exhaust me and overpower me. Election day I barely left my room. People were gloating, gloating... "Bush won" ... it was too terrible. I was depressed for a week afterwards. Maybe two weeks. It was my darkest week at that school. I couldn't believe that the world was in for four more years. I was unconsolable. But NOW! Now I feel much better. And I wonder how many of those that were smug after Bush's win are voting for Obama this year? I wonder, because it would just make me feel so vindicated if they were. Acknowledging ... "we were wrong" ... if Obama wins, does that rescue Americans, in our mind? Should we forgive them?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

After weeks of seeing this link pop up on my friends Facebook accounts or MSN signatures, I actually checked it out, and it is brilliant! Not only does it contain a lot of useful information about the Canadian election today, but the interface is delightful to use. It integrates poll data, platform analysis, informed predictions, a message board, and interactive map, postal code look-up and more: and it is effortless to use. Effortless! I think this is what websites should work like. If you are voting in Canada today, I strongly suggest you check this site out FIRST. The idea behind it is to not split the anti-conservative vote. In my riding, I am perfectly justified in voting NDP, but in Ontario it is a tougher choice. So vote smart!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Norman Mailer- from his personal letters, 1950-1999

". . . It’s a peculiar thing about being a radical—the years go by and lo and behold there comes a time when the phone calls don’t come in any longer from one’s more elevated social friends. I think simply that one’s become a luxury to have as a friend, and unless they care for you very much—which none of my social friends do—you just slowly are dropped from the orbits of their circulation." "I don’t care if people call me a radical, a rebel, a red, a revolutionary, an outsider, an outlaw, a Bolshevik, an anarchist, a nihilist, or even a left conservative, but please don’t ever call me a liberal." "the Republicans are a psychotic monstrosity. On the one hand, they’re God, flag, and family—although few of them would know Jesus Christ if he were standing at the next urinal pissing along with them—and an astonishing number never served in the armed forces nor heard a bullet, and being politicians, they cheat like jackrabbits on their wives and families. But all right, what’s the use of being a politician if you can’t make a living at being a hypocrite? The point is: the Republican Party is schizophrenic: on the one hand, they are, as I say, for God, flag and family, but on the other, they are for the unbridled expansion of capitalism, and thereby leave out something that might still be important to you which is that Jesus, like Karl Marx, thought money leaches out all other values. Indeed, it does. If the whole country is going to pot, and it certainly is, I think you could graph the decline not only in morals, but in a sense of social éclat and social standards—I think you could plot the decline right next to the rise of the Dow Jones—the higher the Dow, the lower the standards. Money destroys all other values. I can even respect the right wing Republicans for holding to a few standards, as they do, but they never take on capitalism which, unbridled, is the worst scourge of human value that we have right now. There may have been a time when Communism was a worse scourge, but now we’re the leaders, and I suggest you consider living with the notion that the party of your choice is paralyzed in its moral centers."