Friday, April 30, 2010

My daily piss off

My partner is a doula. Eight months ago she gave birth to my daughter Zoey. It was an unassisted homebirth. I caught her, I cut the cord, I cleaned up the placenta. So yes, we are progressive parents. Breastfeeding, breastfeeding is normal, it's how Zoey gets 95% of her food. She is healthy, she is happy. Why then does Facebook consider pictures of nursing babies offensive? (link) Why do they refuse to allow nursing baby photos on their site? Were they all bottle feed growing up in Silicon Valley? Have they secret boob fetishes?  Only the truly disturbed are uncomfortable when a mother feeds their baby. The simple solution, avert your eyes, pervs!

But it gets better. Facebook is hard on moms, but soft on hate groups. Like the group that is 'praying' for president Obama's death. (link) A million deranged rednecks are allowed to spout racially charged hate, but a mom is not allowed to show a side shot of her boob, with a baby suckling it...??? Has the world gone mad? Free speech is different than hate speech, at least where I come from . So hey Zuckerberg , go deal with the issues you have with your mother, and her boobs, then get off your ass and ban hate groups from Facebook. Show some class, grow up Facebook!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

And so it begins...

"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." ~Louis L'Amour

I woke up with a shot. Literally. There was a shotgun in camp, one meant to be used as last ditch protection from bears, not as a vicious method of waking everyone up. BANG! That's how my morning began. Then as if the fired shot wasn't brutal enough, Tex decided to bellow, in all his faux authority. “IT'S TIME TO GET UP! LET'S GO! WAKE UP!” Ouf, it was going to be that sort of day.

I looked around my tent, it was was barely daylight, my eyes still blurred with sleep. Socks, then pants, t-shirt, then sweater... boots, FUCK, I left them outside last night. Please, please, pray God, it didn't rain last night. Unzip the tent, feel around, grab one boot, bring it into the tent, stick hand in it, cold, but not wet. Phew. It would have sucked to have had wet feet all day. I lucked out, this time.

Boots on, tent zipped back up, I walked into the bush and had a long morning piss. Stretched, cracked my neck, yawned, rubbed my eyes, I made my way sluggishly towards the mess tent.

The frost was thick, some of it still hung in the air. The sky, however, was blue above the morning mist. It was going to be a nice day. Still, people have no business being up this early. 6:30 am is an ungodly hour, the proof is in all the vacant faces. Yawn.

A cigarette already lit, I made a beeline towards the coffee urn. I figured it was the best place to hangout. My body was not awake enough to pang for an omelet or French toast. Caffeine, however, I always have a pang for that lovely stuff, even the horribly grainy stuff that I am drinking right now. Coffee so bad that you need to floss after drinking it. Famous only for its ability to keep you regular. When was the last time I had a shit? Have I had shit in Alberta yet? YIKES!

The mess tent began to fill up. Some people ate, but most just stood around looking for instruction. The only staff member in the tent was Tex. He was trying, but hopelessly failing to show some 'goddamned rookie' how to start a fire in the airtight. It was obvious that Tex was not an experienced fire starter. I debated stepping in and showing Tex up, but thought better of it. Tex was doing a fine job embarrassing himself, he didn't need my help.

I poured another coffee, walked towards the kitchen tent. Might as well put some food in my belly. I grabbed some scrabbled eggs and a coupla pieces of French toast. Reentered the mess tent, looked around, spotted Sheldon, Ed, and Leeann (tried not to wonder how her night went). I walked towards them and sat down.

"Morning folks.” I say, stuffing my mouth with scrabbled eggs. They really could use more salt. “Pass the salt,” I say in Ed's direction. He passes the salt my way. “Thanks.” I liberally season my rubbery scrambled eggs.

How'd you sleep?” Sheldon asks, ever-friendly, such is his lot.

"Alright, I didn't much like the way they woke us up though. That probably took 10 years off my life.” The French toast was no better, even with too much syrup.

"I am going to bring that up with Dean as soon as I see him. There was no need for that.” Ed said, anger in his eyes. He was not a happy camper.

"Still no sign of any staff members except for Tex, and I am not sure if that poor bastard sleeps.” I say. I don't dislike Tex, I swear. I will grow to love him.

"Maybe the rest of them have learned to sleep through gunshots.” Ed was still steamed.

"Nah, they are staff, they figure that they are privileged, they will sleep as long as possible. Fuckers.” These early mornings do nothing for my mood.

"Maybe they are having a meeting.” Says Leeann. TURNCOAT! She is on their side now.

Derek was the next staff member to enter the mess tent. He had a plate of food, he sat by us, rather than at the empty staff table.

"Peoples.” He nodded. There were various return nods, a few mumbled hi's.

"What the fuck was up with that gunshot?” Asked Ed.

"I dunno? I guess that's how Marco likes to wake people up. I will talk to him about it. There has to be a safer, gentler way to get folks up in the morning.” Derek picked at his plate, obviously disappointed with its content.

"There has to be, that was a horrible way to wake up.” Ed was cooling down, he was almost back to his normal, goofy self.

"It won't happen again.” Derek abandoned his breakfast, stood up, dumped his nearly full plate into the garbage can next to him, and lit a smoke.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today in parenting

Yes I am also a parent, hell I am almost uber, what with the stay at home dad thing. I have yet to read my kids Rand, but they are well versed in Orwell's Animal Farm. So yes, it is in around 'bed time' in these parts; this comic pretty much sums up the whole process, enjoy:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today's cool thing:

I have been negligent, I have allowed the NAD to get dusty, and stale. I've been playing with ideas on how to keep a steady flow of content, with limited time and effort. Today's cool thing is one of those ideas. Any hoot, enjoy Ryan, an Oscar winning short film, one that shows the dark side of the creative process. Cheers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Glenn Beck loves him some gay, handcapped, black women, who are immigrants

Is there no limit to this clown's absurdity? In the real news world, not the faux, er, Fox News world, this asshole would have been fired years ago. But no, it seems that logic, research and good taste will forever be drowned out by the screams coming from the bully pulpit.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Blind loyalty,
or mad nationalism, perhaps.
Civic cockiness?
Ballsy togetherness?
Us vs. Them.
We're number one!
Go Team Go!
All is fair in love and war.
You're not part of the collective we,
it is you therefore, that I abhor.
Pride in country,
emboldened by one's culture.
Walls are built.
Allies and Enemies.
We the good,
our philosophies pure.
We the strong,
we the brave.
Anthems written,
which celebrate our greatness.
Flags waved,
colours worn.
The true North strong and free.
Please stand,
remove your caps,
a little respect, please.
Or something like that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The System

Bike rides, long spring walks, red wine and a quiet house, add a little Walt Whitman and a touch Robert M. Pirsig, and yes, I have been thinking. I am in a poetic, but philosophically political mood. What else is new? I know, I know, but damn it, bare with me, I am on to something, I have words I need to spit.

First some humour. For those that dislike randy, nsfw comedy, or for those that are in position of power, or control, you all might wanna surf elsewhere. It's gonna get loud and rude, LIKE A BOSS!

But I promised Whitman and Pirsig, not Rogen and Samburg. Patience, I am taking a stab at understanding the 'system' I am hunting down 'the MAN'. To do this I might need to appeal to its most base instincts, Rogen and Samburg are great bait for that trap.

See, a big ballsy video, and I have your attention now, don't I? Don't I?

It works every time, we are all so easily distracted, we are as bad as a moths to light. Bonk, bonk, drool...where's the remote?

A bit like how a sloppy health care bill, one significant more because of its promoters than its content, is still a victory for the 'good guys', er well the Democrats, or the Left, or anyway somewhere in there progressive thinking won versus conservative thinking. The nerd finally stood up and punched the rich basterdly bully in the face. Big beautiful distraction, David finally wins!

But Joe, how can Obama be the nerd and bully at the same time? How can he be the good guy and the bad guy all at once?

Drill baby, drill! Yes, that was what the Obama Administration did as an encore. A switch so rapidly from left to right, that many of us that were paying attention were flung across the room ...SMACK!

So maybe Obama is 'the MAN'...??? Bought and paid for, the perfect spokesman for the corporation, or secret society, or gay ass all boys club, or whatever the cool kids call it nowadays. He certainly has a high profile gig. As romantic as some of us were in the early days, the days when he was a candidate, in the days before he joined the club, we all knew, deep down, that he would become one of them if he won. It's was unavoidable. He just got the biggest promotion of them all... he is no longer middle management, he now has the keys to the corporate bathroom, hell he has the keys to the whole damned House.

Forget it, Obama isn't 'the MAN', similarly the Pope is not the human representative of 'God'. Figure heads, mouthpieces, leaders of large organizations, sure, but still very human, and therefore as flawed as the rest of us. No matter their intellect, their wisdom or the perceived piety of the offices they hold, they are one of us, they are our representatives, they work for us. Funny how easy it is to turn it all on its head. They work for votes, donations and prayers. Sucks to be them, I hear that gold is where the money is.

Now I am not American, hell I am not even a Catholic (wait, I was Baptized, does that count? Never know, I might feel the need to recant it all in the end), and yes, I am well aware of the fact that 'the MAN' is not necessarily an American, or shock of shocks a Catholic (I am betting on a French Muslim, you know for the irony in it).I will go so far as to say that there isn't a 'MAN' or (for my sisters) a 'WOMAN', the 'system' is too large, such a mess, that it is inconceivable that there could be one person behind the wheel.

But surely it isn't all chaos?

Well of course not, there is a 'system', there is a messy power structure, there are borders, and cultures, and races and religions. The 'system' is merely a putrid stew, whose ingredients include: half-assed ideas, mixed with failed, failing, or ill-conceived mini-systems, all nicely seasoned with pinches of cultural indifference, religious strife, sexism, racism, hate, barbarism, violence and garlic, always add garlic.

Now some Pirsig (I promised you I would):

But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There is so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.
~ Robert M. Pirsig

Neither Obama, corporate head office, nor even the pope can be blamed for the 'system'. The 'system' is the battered and frayed play toy of the rich and powerful. It is there to distract the ambitious, there to add meaning to the vile lives of the greedy, the power hungry, the sociopathic. But control? There is no controlling the 'system'. There are tricks, winning streaks, lots of cash and prizes, but the 'system' will eat its own without notice. There is a certain nobility, a mad bravery in blindly jumping into the vortex, the black hole that is the 'system', the promise of fame, fortune and power are hard to resist. All one needs to do is forfeit their soul, and who needs a soul nowadays? So go ahead climb that extra rung if you dare. We will all be there at the bottom of the ladder, waiting to catch you if you fall.

But if the 'system' is so corrupt, and so wrong, how do we change it? Can it be changed? Is the whole blessed thing too big, too ingrained, to fix? Yes, of course, in the grand scale of things, Goliath always wins. Goliath has all the power, and all the resources. He controls the message. The trick is to win the little battles. The victories at home. The battle for your heart and your mind, can still be fought, and won, one tiny victory at a time. The fight will never end, the 'system' will bring the battle to you everyday, every waking hour. And remember the 'system' will win most of the time. But don't view this as personal failure, nope, remember, the game is rigged, like a video lottery machine, you are going to lose 9 times out of 10. The best we can do is put a band-aid on our wounded egos and jump back in the ring. The trick is to get back on the horse, dust oneself off. Always maintain dignity and pride, learn, constantly expand personal wisdom, be prepared for constant fight.

Finally some Whitman,

Piety and conformity to them that like,
Peace, obesity, allegiance, to them that like,
I am he who tauntingly compels men, women, nations,
Crying, Leap from your seats and contend for your lives!
~ Walt Whitman

Thank you. That is all for now.

Saturday, April 3, 2010