Saturday, 27 September 2008

Scary Sarah

There once was a pretty pit bull,  
Whose makeover was a bit dull:
On her leash she couldn't breathe,
And when they pulled out all her teeth,
She looked downright pitiful.


The Year of Oh! Oh!: When America was Recessed.

The death of an empire may not be pretty to watch, but it sure is entertaining. Remember those USA Today weather maps that showed the continental states towering above Mexico and Canada? That's how too many Yanks unconsciously view their ever-ascendant heaven-ordained city on a hill of hype. Now it seems the map should be inverted. Sitting on the border in placid but predictable Canada we have to peer downward to watch the land of the greedy sinking daily lower and lower into the home of the depraved. Truly a political enactment of the grand canyon itself. The grand ditch of George W Bush. Awesome are the landmarks of history! And the wonder of it all is that they still don't get it. America as we have known it is gone. Forever. All that's left are the bluster and armament and of course the gospel. Not the Gospel in the Bible, but the one called Manifest Destiny and Monroe Doctrine and life, liberty and the pursuit of Capital gains, all summed up in the esoteric creed called Bushism or neoliberalism. Neo-liberalism spawned Paleo-America -(remember Rumsfeld's "Old Europe?")-  which now lies broken backed and crippled after the crash of 08 and the catastrophe of 06 and the debacle of 03 and the smackdown of 01. All traced inexorably back to the fatal election of 00. 

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Flash: Newsweek Fathers a Tarbaby!

Newsweek mag's just had a long and tedious try at rationalizing the National Enquirer and its dubious fit for mainstream media. Like Brer Rabbit berating the insolent tar baby, the more our genteel journalists try to distance themselves from the tong-held tabloids, the more stuck they get. They still can't get over how they had their noses rubbed in the Edwards' scoop. Or shall we say, even after having their refined spectacles wiped in the competition's spit, they still can't distinguish the bogus cloud of "civic duty," as their hack calls it, from the fog of their own hypocrisy. The entire piece recalls  the old distinction between porn and erotica: each just a low class/ high class version of the other. It also recalls Freud's discussion of the primary process or id, "Wo Es war, soll Ich werden."  That is to say, Where the tabloid was, the mainstream will be. Now what could be more primary or core-concsciousness than the National Enquirer?
        Newsweek and its exalted peers were caught in flagrante on this one and now they're trying to justify their laggardness and bias as true professionalism. But the writing's on the wall for Newsweek and all the other inbred establishment journals out there. And that writing says one thing to the old media: no more walls
      These decorous lords of the fourth estate balk at exposing a lousy little ass like Edwards, "Father of the Year"(I kid you not!) and fraud of the century, but absolutely revel in attacking any conservative politician who stumbles into public scrutiny. In today's internet world, however, any attempt to "mediate" the news or throw up an arbitrary wall of insulation around the "indiscreet" story will be undercut by players who are ready to go where the story goes without a lot of fake qualms over "responsibility" and "respectability," code for looking out for one's own. 
      Truth is a gem in a pile of horse shit and our lordships don't want to sully their discreetly gloved fingers trying to pick it out. Much better to add to the pile with some of their own - until they get caught with their pants down!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Getting a Line on #159

159. Arsoev Sadul Severyanovich, was born in 1950 He was killed in the bombardment of the city. Place of burial unknown. This is one of the hundreds of names compiled by Osettian authorities, victims of the Georgian aggression of the previous week. This one in particular caught my eye only because he was born the same year as me. Is that so terribly significant, you may ask?  Well, in a way it is. The guy was just as old as me, living as quiet and unobtrusive life as I, no doubt, thinking of his health, his income and family and friends when one morning out of the blue a shell bursts in upon him and he dies, probably not even understanding what has happened. And all because a mad little man named Saakashvili decided to act on a sinister impulse to exert control over people who have no desire to be controlled by him. Could I imagine such a brutal end to my own life? Given the way the USA is acting today, like a vast, monstrous exaggeration of its puppet state of Georgia, the prospect of Canadians one day awaking to a bombshell breakfast from the south is becoming less and less a fantasy and more and more a fore-ordained nightmare. We're all Osettians now.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A Walk Before Bedtime

Out walking, as is my custom, in front of my apartment block tonight around 11:30 pm. My back was killing me after trying some heavy lifting last thursday and I realized I needed to walk if it was going to heal up. I was half way through my second circuit when a white unmarked car with a rack of white lights at the back rolled up beside me. The driver was silently giving me the once over - not to say the twice and thrice over. I made a hands out gesture of "well?" and he motored away to the cull de sac, turned around and sat there in the street. Still eyeing me as I came nearer, the shadowy driver said nothing. So I said: "Well, can I help you? What's the problem? I walk hear all the time." He rolled his window down and asked me what was wrong. "You're obviously looking me over for some reason, " I said. "I'm walking out here. I come out here all the time." He explained that he was investigating a crime that had been committed in the vicinity. He sounded a little offended that I wasn't happy to be a possible suspect, so I simply said, "OK, I'm sorry," and walked on. I'm apologizing to him! Far be it from me to impede an RCMP investigation. I walked around his vehicle keeping to the looping sidewalk and continued back down the street going toward my apartment. He drove off going east at the T that connects my street to the main drag. I walked to the south loop and turned back northward, now on the original side of my street, starting loop number three. (Each loop, as I had discovered by pacing it out one night, equalled one half kilometre.)  Before I had reached the intersection of that T again, white car was back, turning north once again and driving all the way into the far apartment parking area before coming out to resume his former position in the middle of the road. Once again I was under observation. This time the driver exits the car, reiterates the story about a break-in somewhere on the other side of the park area to the immediate west and asks me to identify myself.  I am not carrying any documentation, just my keys and a flashlight, the latter article being my only defense against the bears that roam the area at night. My name, address and date of birth I freely give him. He asks me If I had ever had any "contact with the police." I wasn't quite sure what he meant by this and so I tell him "not that I can remember." I did once call the police in 1995, about some vandals in my apartment in North Vancouver, but I don't think that's what he had in mind. Once again I start walking away. I make the loop again and am coming back toward the car when he confronts me yet again. He advises me that a police dog will soon be in the area trying to hunt down the felon and if I'm out here walking around my scent might... He doesn't finish telling me exactly what "my scent" will do to his investigation. He suddenly asks  if I drive, have a license. Yes, I tell him. He's waiting for the woman at the base to verify I am who I say I am but somehow she's not able to do it. He asks me three times for my name and address. Another car, this one black, rolls up. The driver also gets out and approaches us. My back is really starting to pain me now, standing there in the night air. How many times do I have to tell them my address? I ask. The first policeman begins to admonish me, telling me that I wasn't really being very cooperative when he first approached me. I could hardly refrain from laughing at this. I could have asked the guy to distinguish, if he could, between cooperation and submission or between investigation and intimidation. Somehow these people are programmed to go over the line. Somehow we're wired to oppose them. What is it? My face or my fate that predisposes me to mistrust them?
        Finally the woman's voice is heard verifying my address match with DL records. Seems she misspelled my name. Oh well, that's all right then. Ha, ha, well well... Then Black Car informs me that their suspect was wearing a hoodie just like mine, so you see..." Certainly, I see that wearing one of the most common articles of attire entails an extended impostion on my time and patience. Quite honestly, had I in fact been their "man," would I have been out casually walking about the area after my crime? And suppose I, thief and liar, and had indeed put up a feigned casualness at the first contact with White Car, why would I still have been there, still walking, when he returned some five minutes later? Give me a break!
       White Car then advised me to get inside in case the search dog bit me or his handler arrested me.(!) "Hope your back is OK." Away I go at last, no longer under the cloud of doubt and suspicion... my back starting to feel better... but as I enter my apartment block, Black Car comes racing past, its driver staring up at me, still observing, still distrusting, still hunting. The investigation continues...