Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Strange Dreams and Evil Queens

I think my body is signalling me of physiological changes in my sleep. I've had dreams lately of being physically ruined and then waking up so relieved I hug myself. I've had dreams of chipped teeth, of losing hair, of amputations, all gruesome and initiative of mental frenzy. I haven't looked at a dream dictionary but those are always so vague anyways I feel no loss.

First I shall explain that my friend Yusuf has dabbled in witchcraft before so I think my memory was playing on a recent impression from a conversation we've had and perhaps the experience of almost choking on the fumes of a photograph that I refused to partake in burning as part of a black magic ceremony. Black magic is bad because everything you wish negatively of someone comes back to you threefold. So I've heard. So if you're considering dabbling in the black magic, beware. He's read my tarrot cards and we used to have seances with ouija boards that we'd make in the summer for fun. I never took it too seriously but I found it amusing once when a ghost named "Hek" told me to fuck off because I asked him how he commited suicide. Touchy subject, I guess.

Last night I dreamt that I got a cut on my hands. Yusuf's sister (who I've never met) put a curse on me and what resulted was that my hands dried up and the holes enlargened. I could actually peer inside my hands to realize that they had hollowed out. I looked in the holes on my wrists and hands to see what looked like cardboard and dry white tendons. It was very disgusting. I became hysteric and wondered what the hell was going on. Later in the dream though, the holes sealed up and looked like the hole I have in my arm from a nail that entred accidentally in real life. It is but a small pink dot of a scar. Perhaps this is simply a dream about my healing.

The next dream was unrelated but shocked me similarly. I felt deeply threatened by the two men standing in front of me in a driveway. I felt that one was dangerous and malicious while the other was nice and unimposing although he could get me in trouble with what he knew and somehow he had allegiance to the other fat dangerous man. My quick solution was to punch them both in the head and knock them out. In dreams I always panick and my hands don't move as fast as I want them to. The strike was in slow motion, but somehow I managed to knock one out then extinguish the surprised face of the other just as he noticed my treachery. The next thing I did was pick the bodies up on my back and carry them like a fireman would off to a park. I had to hide them under a tree. As I was walking I was thinking and worrying that I didn't have any paper. I wanted to write "I'm sorry" and put it in the pocket of the man I felt was weak and merely a victim of the circumstances. For some reason, I felt like neither of them could know whatever it was I was keeping secret. The weak man started waking and I felt like a brute as I beat him again and again in fear to make him unconscious. The dream ended before I had a chance to make my note of apology. Well, I'm sorry but you are just a figment of my imagination so let's call it even.

This has made me think of the debate Freud initiated about the unconscious and dreams being ego-driven. In our dreams we can act out things we never would in real life but not feel the pangs of regret because there's an argument that our super-ego or our better sense is impaired. However, I even thought I was being less than human (the idea of humans as sacred is also argued against in "The Fall of Adam") in my dream and I regretted what I did. Perhaps I was still rewarding my ego by acting out regret thinking: "oh, aren't I an ethical man? I have to beat people out of necessity but poor me, I feel bad about it." Perhaps that attitude gratifies my ego while the actions serve the purposes of the id. I can only speculate. This is what is unclear about humanity: are we inherently altruistic or anomic? Is there even an inherent human trait? I don't know. I'm excited though that my dreams are starting to give me such excitement and horror again these days. I will try to track them more closely.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Soak my feet with nurturing

Now that I've started working again, but school isn't any less hectic (it just seems like it) I've been feeling a bit of a drain on whatever that other mysterious part of my life is. Was it musing? My left-brain? Was it wasting time? I haven't played my guitar in the last week. Very disappointed. Is it being self-absorbed? I feel all organized and determined and hell I'm going to be financially ok and I have a chance to "get out" but I need a new study topic. The women that come to the bar have nice cleavage and the music is pacifying but that just puts me to sleep at night, it doesn't give me dreams. I'm feeling a little drained of my creative juices. Where are the stories? Where are the wild adventures through swamp-land, seducing gypsies, riding crocodiles, talking to birds through telekenesis wearing the breeze and breathing in only pure desire? Maybe that's not the only thing I'm looking for but I guess I just need to think about things. I don't know if anyone reads this but give me suggestions if you feel so bold. All I want is a little suggestion, direction. There must be an idea out there.

I'm scared to think I lost the extra time for my boredom because "boredom is the dream-bird that hatches ingenuity" -Walter Benjamine

Yah, thanx guys, you're right. It's not good to wish for boredom. It'll come to me, but only when it's the right time.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

stay up til 5AM drawing a stewpid picture after work Posted by Hello
see more stewpidity

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What Wellness Really Means

I just went to a lecture on the whole health issue tonight from an alternative medical professional, Dr. Bryan Lawrence, B.Sc., D.C. I had no idea what I was getting into with the chiropractor but I was happy to find out.

He attributes all health problems mostly to emotional and chemical factors, with a miniscule attribution to physical causes. These are sometimes complications stemming back to causes far in history. It can even start at birth in a hospital. Consider that women are laid on a bed, forced to work against gravity. When that doesn't work, the doctor administers forceps "big pliers" to the undeveloped cranium of the baby, putting up to 110 pounds of pressure on the neck as they're pulling away. One would suspect this would leave some trauma within the nervous systems memory. When that doesn't work, they perform a C-section. It affirmed my conviction that everything is a web that has a ripple effect. If you bottle up tension, it's bound to show up later, and "even cancer has intelligence." (Lawrence)

How the nervous system works as a circuit is that when the spinal cord has internal pressure due to 'tortion', the twisting that causes bone misplacement and tension on the nerves. This affects the patterns that the nervous system initiates, and physical conditions become chronic. Cell regeneration used to meet the demand of cell degeneration poorly adapts to create new cells that aren't as good as the ones they're replacing.

We've all heard at some point that we get an entirely new body every seven years. You get a new heart every 6 months or so. If causes often are emotional, what does that say about our ability to recover from a broken heart?

The problem with mainstream medicine is that when you medicate the body to deal with the symptom, the body figures it doesn't need to deal with the cause. You might get rid of symptoms of cancer by radiating cell-killing waves at the body, but you've waged war with the entire body. You still haven't stopped the cause of disease. Dr. Lawrence said that 50% of heart-attacks have no symptoms other than death.

Some people get pains in their old war wounds at strange times. Sometimes the body relives old injuries years later just because it is dealing with the problem. A bummy knee might become more manageable because it's ignored, but the body is like an onion, and as you strip away the layers, you either get to a core that is regenerating or degenerating. There are no other categories for what mainstream medicine puts into thousands of labels for diseases and disorders.

The body has its own frequency. It's like an instrument. The neck and the lumbar region should correspond, but sometimes they sing out of tune. Every vertebrae is connected to the parasympathic nervous system that spans out over the entire body. What Dr. Lawrence does is specialize in identifying tension and releasing it from specific spots. It's very precise. There's always a window to the nervous system. The pressure he applies is no more than you'd feel comfortable with by applying your thumb to your closed eye-socket. This relaxes and allows the body to adjust to itself. One touch and the patient demonstrated that he had to be left for at least four minutes because his deeper breathing was activated and he had an irresistible compulsion to move, adjusting his body to the new-found comfort. Dr. Lawrence explained that that one touch will affect the body for the next 48 hours.

The patient in question apparently came in six months ago because his posture was horrendous, he had limited movement, he had very little strength, he couldn't see farther than six metres ahead, he had constant migraines, he had been taking blood pressure medication as well as two other medications including Vilox that have been taken off the market since because they cause more problems then they cure. He was paying a fortune and he honestly thought he was going to die. He said that for a year he vomited every day. He spent more time hugging the toilet then his wife, and he loves his wife. He had no hope, except one last try: He went off all medication except the blood pressure medication which he's still going to stop. His migranes were relieved within the first week, he's regained eye-sight, and he has as much strength as he did when he was 30 (he's 40-something) working 14 hour shifts as a delivery man. He still needs adjustments but from hearing him tell his story, I was surprised that I wasn't in complete disbelief.

It was interesting and relevant because I've been reading Edward Tenner's "Why Things Bite Back" which outlines medical history (as well as other issues affecting civilization) and talks about how the things we try to prevent and cure have revenge effects which in many cases are worse than the problem in the first place. An example is how bacteria are more resistant to antiobiotics because of humanity's interventions. If a patient is given insulin, the pancrease may feel it's unneeded and contribute to diabetes. There are also positive revenge effects like the fact that WWI and WWII especially, increased the medical professions ability to deal with emergency situations quickly. In the first war, the majority died from infection during the times when amputation was popular. Now, because biotechnology and communication is so advanced, professionals can study and predict new mutations in RNA strands to annually release influenza vaccines. The scene is complicating as we type.

The encouraging idea in all this is that our physiology, whether it be made up of mind stuff or material stuff or spiritual stuff has an (divine) intelligence of its own. It registers its likes and dislikes and adapts to what it thinks it needs. Sometimes it copes poorly by tensing up and self-annihilating, but I believe that even a mentality in itself can have a ripple-effect the way medicine does, but very different. This gives credence to the idea that our bodies and minds are directly connected. Islam acknowledges that there is an order to things and that when things are contributing to creation and balance they are contributing to Islam. I think this is the same idea with many different conceptions of God. I know that people in situations that are intertwined with the circumstances of their lives, their influences, their environment may not have an easy solution to their unrest but having hope, and this is key, really does have a direct result.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Robert Downey Jr on Oprah: Is Punishing Crimes against the Self Justifiable?

Robert Downey Jr. see article was a guest on Oprah today. He was talking about what it was like in jail, his struggle with addiction and his future plans.

I used to feel queasy about watching her show because on the superficial, I was suspicious that it was just a venue for her ego-trip, sending one message while thinking another. However, I'm getting into the feel-goodness of it more and more. Personally, I shouldn't be so judgemental of the rich. Status shouldn't affect the personality of a person. It's just that when I see Oprah giving away cars to her audience, I think to myself cynically: "yeah, easy for her".

The other week though, I saw Oprah do a show on the huge problem of health service neglect to young Ethiopian mothers who suffer from fissures and are made to be outcasts as a result. These young girls are damaged by labour, leak urine and are treated like wasted goods. Their husbands reject them and won't live in their stench. A charitable and benevolent doctor came on to explain how she can perform a surgery to patch the hole in their uterine lining and repair them. She gives the girls and new dress and they go back to their lives, changed. In a lot of cases their damage was caused by them getting pregnant at alarmingly young ages. This woman is somewhere in her eighties and thinks of the girls as daughters. She'll need someone to replace her though.

Robert Downey seems like he's doing well. He was smiling, making jokes, and there was reviews of him. An example is when he went on Saturday Night Live (on parole) to make fun of himself "getting his medication from his pharmacist" with a picture of him taking a box from a burly unshaven man. I don't remember what drug he was jailed for but I thought it was cocaine. He was succesful but whether it was drugs or the law that did him in, I don't know.

On the topic of cocaine, on Dave Chappelle's "Killing them Softly" he expressed his surprise at the fact that George Bush admitted to snorting it: "now that may be ok for Mayor but..." So many prominent figures have tried drugs and yet they lead successful lives. Would they be better off in their lives if they were "brought to justice" as Bush is wont to say? Canada has major problem with presciption drugs and people medicating themselves recreationally. If it can't regulate legal drug use, is that much more of a problem than high school kids smoking a joint?

Back to Oprah: the touching moments were when his fiance came on the show and you could actually see the love. Oprah commented that she gave Downey a "real kiss", not one of those half-assed pecks familiar lovers give to each other before they go out the door.

He talked about his healthy addiction to martial arts: "the main purpose of it is to promote spiritual warriordom" and made other jokes later when he was swimming around in the box of letters that watchers sent to Oprah: "This is good, clean fun. I forgot: this is acceptable." He has a new CD coming out today? featuring song #2: "In love with a broken heart" with his surprisingly good voice (though not my style). Oprah and him looked chummy by the end of the show and she sounded sincere when she said "good luck with your life". It's good to see people admitting who they are and who they want to be. Downey, when talking about how he grew up in a generation that wanted to be "cool" said he knows now that he's not cool, nor does he want to be. Well, that's courageous to say. He may not be "cool" but I think he's a good guy.

Monday, November 22, 2004

first snow of the year for the wolves Posted by Hello

Profile Photo

Saturday, November 20, 2004

This is how I might look if I looked how I felt. I started my new job last night at the Flying Dog, dealing with many drunkards and cougars while admiring the gargoyles. My manager got punched in the face by an embittered girl and so we had to stay for a little meeting til 3:30AM for him to vent. Stupidly of me (but typical) I didn't got to sleep until about 5:30AM, I just got wrapped up watching Dave Chappelle. I love that guy.

I gave blood this morning at 11:15 after confirming that no I haven't had sex with men since 1977 (and before that presuming I can't have sex before I'm born), no I haven't traded sex or drugs for money, no I don't have AIDS, no, look, there aren't needle marks, I'm not heroine junkie, no I haven't lived in Nigeria and a handful of other places between certain times and no I don't take any medication for malaria, blood declotters, syphilis etc.

I was just chillin letting the blood flow in. Isn't it so dark in the tube? It's not oxidized. I was squinting at the tv, unable to read the silent caption when a nurse looked over at me: "you look so impressed" she said sarcastically. It's because I'm tired I explained. Really, it's because I always look like a coma patient anyways. My pulse is good, my diastolic pressure is 120/70 which is good (a little low but close to text book examples). I asked the nurse if people with high blood pressure can give blood faster, as if it was a race. No, it depends on the size of their veins. I drink so much coffee I'd be suspicious my level of hydration contributed to it taking 11minutes to get half a litre.

I got in during a lull and the nurses didn't mind. They needed a break. They were talking about getting their fix from chocolate how they have "those days" as women (emotional I presumed). They joked about having enough for each nurse's hips, a subtle complaint against the bodily cost of their hungre cravings. I say go on girl, build that pelvis! Wide hips are luscious. From my side-long angle I watched their third chakra move back and forth. I got some OJ and went on with things.

Now I have to create an ad for coconuts as an exercise. Our teacher wants three pictures of coconuts and a caption. Like, he wants the things that grow on trees, not just anything else that you might call coconuts because of their shape. Our class had some confusion over that. It showed in the kinds of web searches they were doing. For captions I don't feel clever right now. Should I use: "The milky melons that all can enjoy"? How about: "Cocowhat?...It's Coconut!" I don't know. I'll have to see what I can accomplish before going to work. My arm better not wuss out. I need to carry those bins.Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Carolyn Parrish gets the Boot

Carolyn Parrish was not kicked out of caucus because of one of her outrageous statements this time. It wasn't cause she said she "hates" "those damn Americans" or even because she conjured up the image of Bush as "war-like", it's because she's going onto the media and I think Paul Martin is pissing his pants, intimidated. He wants to be god of control because he hasn't had it since election day. He'll stand up to her and even dismantle what the democratic arena should look like: a safe place to debate, if it means threatening the security and cohesion of parliament.

His job is already a hard job. Some wonder how a minority Liberal government is going to work anyways. They have the right to wonder. This Hour Has 22 Minutes is a wonderfully farcical show with good old Rick Mercer from Newfoundland and thank goodness for it. I wonder what the reasons are for Parrish not to be able to play a character, even if it so closely resembles the critical character she's played in parliament. It's bad PR I guess. It's controversy. Canadian politics aren't used to it. It just shows bad sportsmanship not to play the game with her. Paul's sounding grouchy. We should be a cheerier place.

Unfortunately, I understand why perhaps it's not such a good decision for Parrish to be a politician AND a movie star since the implications of her message are not explicit. Paul Martin lost his patience after she went on the show and stomped on the Bush Doll. That would make any Prime Minister who's main objective right now seems to be patching up US-Canada relations. I admire Parish when many cannot stand her because she lived with a level of freedom to express her perhaps eccentric, perhaps honest point-of-view. She did keep getting elected (3 times into her riding) and so I don't know that the government should have to impose it's regulations on how a message is delivered. "The medium is the message" said Marshal McLuhan, and so I think if you limit how someone can say what they want to say by kicking them out of politics, you're censoring WHAT they say, and I don't agree with that. Martin's idea that her actions are an expression of her being anti-caucus or whatever are seemingly a contradiction of the circumstances of her being a part of it. Even though many agree with her on her stand, they are suckers for politeness and having a low profile so they're too scaredy-pants to condone her.

I haven't even seen the This Hour has 22 Minutes episode, but I will definitely get on it.

view Jeff's blog

Heteroglossic Nightmares and Slippery Grammar

Someone told me that apparently I write "color" but I disagree. I currently have a staff of 168 people scanning all my writing to make sure that I spelled colour in the English and Canadian spelling version of the word and that's a lie. No, I'm pretty sure though that I've always been taught and have written it in this way. However, being in the middle of an increasingly globalized world, slangs and dialects and different ways of speaking can infiltrate into your psyche and you can adopt logics and systems of thinking without even knowing it. We've all seen people go off to another country and come back without there accent: they robbed you eh? Well, you got something off the residents too. If I did write "color" in one case, it would probably be for this reason.

I think I write "colour" but for "realize" vs. "realise" I use whatever key is closer at the time on my keyboard. Actually, I usually use "realize" more often because that's what's in my Canadian dictionary and I like the "iiiiizzzzzz" sound. Like the Outkast song "Roses" when he's like: "then realizzzzzzze that reeeeeeal guyzzzzzz like real down to Mars girlzzzzzz yea weeeell" I say eyez too for this reason, although I write it as "eyes". Man, this is a crazy language. It would be wrong for me to write my name with three "r"'s but I put up with two. Perhaps it's right for some. Maybe for you. I dare you to secretely write it on a napkin somewhere.

There are a lot of cases where the way people talk actually makes a lot more logical sense to me than my language does even though I refuse to speak a proper, consistent, and sound language. I cannot physically do it anyways. On the other hand, language that's taken for granted actually means a lot less then we give it credit. I cannot always be literal. As soon as I walk in and stub my toe on the leg of the table, I'm not sure if I've had an accident with furniture or collided into a body part. People think before they speak. I just do it like Nike. For example: I say "hey, look, see how the man walks down the road?" Someone migt respond: "yeah, that man walk". For a second, there might seem to be an agreement in his affirmation "yeah" but is this gentleman/fine lady disagreeing with me by affirming something else, that the man "walk"???? Are they starting a verbal battle? Why did I say the man "walks"? They could ask. Am I not pluralizing the man? Should the subject not be "men" if I wanna talk plurals instead if they walks? "They walks down the street" seems rational because there are more than one person, so walks with has an 's' right? No the English that I speak and write has strange spellings too.

Why isn't the word "lime" spelled lyme, it rhymes with rhyme? I think my clock talks. It waches me up and then I wock to school. I struggle my braynes trying to figer owt the propper reesun 4 all this. It's just rules. It's interesting to see how the rules change though as people break them. A significant influence to spelling is msn and the manual labor involved in writing sentences to make them shorter. Did you notice that I didn't write "labour"? So, there's wtf, btw, jk, etc (what the f+ck, by the way, just kidding etc.) and there are many others. It's interesting. I encourage everyone to ponder. hmmmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Tale of the Skeletons in the Closet

The princess and I poised upright on our heaths, but deep in our breast what lies underneath?
-dark secrets and sorrow and ill memories wrapped. This; all regrets and misgivings: trapped.
I, the stunned Prince stand a little on edge, at an 80 degree angle upon that there ledge. My stomach is turning from lies I have said, from vulgar words and wrong actions and the life I have led. I, not a king but a man with some pain, have filed it away to cover the stain. Though what may leak through when there comes the hard rains? I know not, I must speak, here comes my word:

i have skeletons in my closet
i just checked on them yesterday,
they were still there.
piling up. Just staying there.
sounding like quiet

they don't move. What happens to them my dear knight?

knight: they have to decay.

there's no other way to get rid of them?
I have lived with them now so long.
There is no way to just make them gone?
They are always the kind of guest you don't want to let your friends meet.
though maybe you should, perhaps if you could,
because you never invited them, but you let them in.

there are no skeletons. none but underground. can we not leave them, where they were found? of course, there are some in my closet as well. of course, but what of them?

why don't they scare you? isn't it crass? should we continue with snakes in our grass? Or should we be taken by madness or lust, corrupted by past things, hardened like crust?

they are not snakes and you are not free. these are the past things, but lasting to be. you can confront them. you know you will, but what you must do now is swallow the pill.

If only it were so.
For weeks I ignored them.
No one said anything.
i couldn't talk.
i thought they would be angry. but the pill the pill,-
what i can't swallow is that these are my own ills.
perhaps i should engage them directly.
after all, they were conceived by my will, I grant.

and they are filled with human weakness, by us infused. it is bad hosting for them to refuse. you must dress them nicely, and show them out. perhaps they will change what they're all about.

now I tire and this story has weighted my fingers. lethargy makes my point saunter and linger. i feel old and decayed, like the skeletons in my closet. maybe in thought i can make one deposit: may the skeletons not haunt me tonight. i will be fearless.

i'll sleep with my skeletons. they too could use the rest

generously you will greet them in your temporary death

then i can soften their bones, as sleep wisks away their brittleness

you help us by making the skeletons gentle in our minds. they are faded blurry images of the pins and needles now blunted. with time washing like a flurry of forgetfulness, the night crosses its arms. goodnight sweet princess, we will close our eyes, and let the skeletons sleep.

and so, the skeletons curl up in their bed, the Prince and the Princess lie with their dead. the skeletons unnoticed in the dark and the din, though they had lived with them when they came in. i now watch post and close the closet door. what's to be seen can be nothing more.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Smiley Bob realizes that he's not the most attractive man out there and that the world isn't perfect. He even knows that although I would have done a better job with my right hand, he was created with my left. This is what makes him look like he has shards of glass sticking out of his face. It doesn't phase him. He smiles. He knows from psychology lessons that a smile acts physiologically to make the mind believe in happiness. Take his example. Smile. Posted by Hello

I'm such a Canuck eh?

I feel that because some readers think I am American, I need to make a small announcement:
Although I do get confused sometimes about what country I live in and often whine about my neighbor, I am Canadian. (I sympathize with Americans who think I should get my fat nose out of their country's issues, but I choose not to do anything about it).

We are the country who relies on our Southerners for trade and whether it be fortunate or unfortunate, we mimic many of their habits and cultural perceptions of things. I'd like to think we compliment them or entertain them by giving them comedians like Jim Carrey or actresses like Jennifer Lilly but Ace Ventura is getting old and those from Detroit probably know Canada more as a place to get drunk when you're 19 and scope out some fine women.

We have a lot of freshwater, maple syrup, squirrels and "three founding nations" (The natives who found first and the English and French who stole) but I look to the US for their juicy events and antics because they have the attention of most of the world.
I watched the American Music Awards and was dissappointed that Outkast didn't win. Snoop was awesome, Alicia Keyes was great and Usher had his moves and gestures down. The one thing that surprised me is that Americans seem to really like country music. Can someone explain this to me? I mean, we have our very own Shania Twain but I guess I just never understand the infatuation with country. I didn't think her popularity was due to her music either.

Anyways, I just thought that needed to be clarified. I'm the same old regular Barrett, just distinctly Canadian.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

David Suzuki Acknowledges Science

In an article from David Suzuki's Science Matters entitled "Some understanding of science vital for leadership" (October 29, 2004) he writes about how science is probably the most influential force of knowledge within the world we live today, since so many innovations call for a technical scientific background. I just wanted to quote one point he made as an answer to his own question which hits the nail on the head in terms of why we should be rethinking the importance of environmental issues for national policy:

"Can a thoughtful and informed decision be made on any of these issues [stem cell research, intelligent computers, depletion of marine fishes, cloning, space research, global warming, toxic pollution, clearcut logging, nuclear power, species extinction, genetic engineering, fish farms, nanotechnology] without a knowledge of science?

Look at our political leaders. How scientifically literate is Ralph Klein or George W. Bush? Both disagree with the vast majority of climatologists who say global warming is happening and represents a huge threat to humanity. Listen to Alberta's Minister of the Environment, Lorne Taylor: "...we have to have a healthy economy in order to have a clean environment." By that inversion of reality, he demonstrates an utter ignorance of the world on which we depend. If our economy is inherently polluting and destructive, then we will never have a healthy environment or healthy citizens."

The idea that the world will just work if we have the same mentality as Lorne Taylor is in my mind, fueled by a denial. We have to remember that the price of any given sale adjusts according to the demand for resources, which adjusts according to how much we have. We better be pretty damn precise in our calculations. You can sell the earth's environment to hell, but where is your investment supposed to come from?

The other thing that I agree with him later in the article about is that the decision whether to join America in it's missile defense system demands some expertise in science. Exactly how are this satellite-guided missile system going to operate and how will it be DEFENDING us? A thinking system cannot easily be tested for all hypothetical situations. It's the kind of decision I wouldn't just go and make on a whim even though I'm inclined to just say NO THANK YOU!


Filed under Heros

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Night of Light: old friends reunite

So I had a gathering of old friends and friendly souls last night. After years of being parted, it's good to see that everyone can come together. Jeff, Kim, Nicole, Justin, Nick and Chris came out. We feasted upon cheesecake and nacho dip, sipped the red, looked at pictures of Germany and highschool. I even played guitar in my straw and plaster insulated basement before things unravelled and the hot tub became the place to be. Nicole is now a PR person, Chris is a cop, and various others are doing various things. About those who weren't there: Josh was supposed to come with Lasha, where were you guys? You missed out. Dave Campbell is a drag queen. We all saw that coming in highschool, good that the closet is opened. Notable mentions went out to Aaron Weibe for the memory of gym class when the lights would go out and everyone would scream: "Aaron Weibe...Get your $%@#$%!!!" and Conrad in music class. Wow, Conrad was a stoic. Now he's working for Amnesty International! What a drive that guy has. Two people are married that we know of. Everyone else's lives will just be assumed to be boring because we haven't heard anything. Boy did my head hurt this morning! My brain couldn't get air so I made repetitive trips for water, stretched my neck and listened to the crunching. Justin somehow made it to work this morning to care for his quadrapelegic client. My alarm was set for pm instead of am so I guess someone's internal clock went off to seem lucky at the right time. My dad came home from the Royal Winter Fair today and now I have a new job to start this Thursday. Last night was a christening in a way because it was the first time I've really had people over here since I moved back. I hope it can be arranged again. It was worth it.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Dog is ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I'm glad I called the guy with the dog back. Apparently they just found him after a day and a half. He's recovering with a broken paw. I didn't think I had seen any blood. It's good I didn't completely plow him. He's a fighter. I'm glad I'm not a killer.
Peace dogs,

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

When you get hit by a van, you don't come back

I think I killed a dog today. It's ironic that the closure to my last blog was 'peace dawgs'. It wasn't first-degree murder or anything but as I was driving home a man with two dogs was standing by the road. One of the dogs looked like it was coming out on the street but then it stopped so I kept proceeding a little slower. Apparently the man had his own dog on a leash but not the other one because it wasn't his. In fact it was an escaped dog.

Just as I was going by it suddenly ran out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and turned the wheel but smack! It felt like it hit the bumper and made quite nasty sound. I was like "oh, shit!" I don't know, it might have gone under the front tire! In a flash it was gone! I pulled over and got out. It had ran away and the guardian was after it. I followed him and looked with him over the field where it went. I was shocked and they were shocked and him and another man were talking. I asked about the dog and they didn't realize who I was until I said "I tried to stop but..." "Oh, you're the one who hit the dog." "Yeah." The truth sank into the air. In the distance we saw a black figure dart in and out of the long grass. "There it is!" said the one man.

I ran around looking for it and whistling everywhere but I couldn't figure out where it went. It just disappeared. The man explained that the owner was sleeping and he was just taking the dog out to play with his but said two cars before mine almost hit the dog. He said the dog yelped and may have gone under the wheel, blood was coming from his mouth (even though there wasn't any on the road or my tire) so maybe I ran over its head. I don't know. The man was fairly loopy but kept telling me it wasn't my fault and he was just glad I had no damage done. He was pretty sure about one thing: the dog wouldn't go chasing rabbits with a broken jaw or at least it wouldn't be able to eat them if it caught them. Sometimes strange ideas stand out when your mind is in shock. He was about to cry. He said that maybe he could call the humane society and they would come and look with their helicopters. Does the humane society own helicopters?

It was a confusing and strange situation but then he saw someone he knew who with disabilities across the street. He called to him: "Hey! Come here! I need your help!" The kid maybe thought he was joking or something because he just smiled warmly, waved back and started walking away. The man ran after him screaming: "No wait! Come back I need your help" but then another van rolled up and the kid got in and was driven away promptly. I didn't know what to do really except tell him to go home and call the humane society. I got his number and told him I'd call if I saw the dog again. We stood there and waited there idly for closure but ultimately I just had to go home. After confirming more to himself than to tell me, he said several times that "it's all we can do." He took his huskie on its way. I think the thing that really sucked is that he knew he had to go tell the owner that his dog just got hit. As I was driving I thought I saw it again in a field so I pulled in but it was just a really ugly wild cat. No luck.

I felt bad but I didn't feel guilty because it was strange how it darted out at me just as I was coming up. Cars are dangerous. Maybe it was suicidal. Anyways, it was a pretty tough dog so I hope it's still out there running around. If not, hopefully it is chasing tires in a better place.

Just a whatever blah day

Today I basically just went to school, felt a little beaten-up about my assignment which was "too promotional" and not journalistic enough but I socked through the day. My parents actually gave me a good talk and it helped. I had to write a news release about our College's Security Services and even though I've never really liked the police that I've come across in the past (when I was a bad-ass teen) I gained a lot of respect for their job because they have to assuage the public regardless of how neurotic their demands might seem. Imagine some woman whining about how her husband is a good-for-nothing piece of trash for example. Maybe she's emotionally abused and it's what she's used to hearing about herself. Maybe he beats their children. Perhaps she goes missing the next week. Then you take those things seriously. My friend says that people expect Police to be everything from "your financial planner, marriage counselor, teen counselor" etc. It's true. That's what these "good mommies and daddies of society" get to put up with. It's a little unerving that they have guns but I guess billyclubs are out of style since the NWO came in. Many of them don't like that either. It's a liability to be packin. Anyways, now I gotta hit the sack. Too tired to say much of importance now.
peace dawgs,

Monday, November 08, 2004

US grip Fallujah, we lose grasp of Reality

When I read the news, I have this sense that while it's telling me the content of what's happening in the world, it is also propagating the manner in which the world chooses to believe things are. Context always depends on a base of reception, which is it's own context. I feel like while news is talking about America's "propaganda war", it is at the same time FIGHTING that war almost against it's own will. I respect journalists because their job is to be objective and report things as they are. The tragedy is that they often have unrealiable sources that feed them information that they are in no position to objectively authorize, so they've gotta take short-cuts. I think that it is this ACCIDENTAL deception (ignorance?) that perpetuates war and famine and disease upon this god-help-us earth.

Here's an example from the Associated press. I've highlighted words that may demonstrate my point of view because certain words in sentences seem to eat away at the validity of the rest of the words in that sentence when you read into what they could mean. Take Rumsfelt' s quotes. I will try to translate what I think they mean:

1: "“You cannot have a country that is free and democratic and respectful of all the people in the country if you have safe havens for people who go around chopping people’s heads off,” Rumsfeld said Monday in a briefing at the Pentagon."

translation: if anyone is safe in their own homes they could have the opportunity to chop off someone's head. That is why we cannot have a free and democratic country or respect anyone in Iraq.
This is based on my assumption that: People are usually safe with others in their own homes until they get their heads get chopped off

What else might the news be saying?:

2: "The bulk of the defenders are believed to be Sunni Muslims from the Fallujah area, but they also include an unknown number of militants from other countries, including followers of Jordan terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It’s unclear whether al-Zarqawi is still in the city; Sunni clerics insist he never was. His followers have been blamed for deadly bombings and the slayings of foreign hostages."

translation: We don't know where the heck Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is. We don't even know how many other countries are involved either. We conducted an interview and found that most repondents from the area disagreed with the assertion that al-Zarqawi might be in the city which was the standard justification for the attack in the first place. Since we can't find him we'll attack anyone else who is there on the basis that they're his followers, even though he might have never gone to Fallujah.

3: "Commanders estimate about 3,000 insurgents are dug in their positions in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad. The vast majority of the civilian population of some 300,000 is believed to have fled, the U.S. military said."

While families and terrorists are all mingling together underground, Commanders would like to think that they are dealing mostly with terrorists, not civilians, so that they can shoot anything that moves. However, it would be quite convenient at this point, to know who is who because anyone in that situation would want to build a bomb shelter, not just "insurgents".

"Insurgent defenses are believed strongest in the Jolan neighborhood, a poor district in the heart of Fallujah. Sunni guerrillas also control other cities north and west of Baghdad. They are distinct from the Shiite Muslim followers of firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who launched an uprising throughout southern Iraq and parts of Baghdad earlier this year."

translation: no translation available

"At the same time, the U.S. military will be fighting a propaganda war, NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reported from Washington. The reason U.S. and Iraqi troops started by seizing Fallujah’s general hospital was to stop the insurgents from inflating the numbers of civilians who were being killed or wounded." Source: The Associated Press

I agree with Jim except that the U.S. is already fighting the propaganda. No use of "will" necessary. The rest I translate as:
Coalition forces want anyone who is injured in the area to die. While it would be difficult to filter wounded terrorists and civilians, -I mean, afterall, everyone is red when they're bleeding to death,- they cannot allow anyone, including any civilians that are killed in the crossfire, to recover. Clinton bombed the Al-Shifa plant, Reagan worked over the "soft" targets with automatic weapons. Think of this simply as a continuation of a tradition.


Filed under News Reviews

Howard Tells about his Tour

Hello there this is Howard Wayword,

I realize it has been quite a lengthy respite that you've had from my ramblings. That's because I put away my palm pilot for a time and took an opportunity to catch up on travel. I realized that Canada has quite a wealth of little towns and places to see.

I started off my trip in Niagra Falls but it was getting cold and too many malnourished people kept asking me for change for the slot machines. I went to Ottawa and sat in on some parliamentary meetings. Paul Martin kept looking at me entreatingly to finish off his sentences but I did not appreciate this lack of initiative on his part so I simply looked away. I have given him my honest advice over the years and even enjoyed many conversations with his wife but after he disregarded me when I cautioned him against dividing parliament and taking his temper out on Mr. Chretien, we have drifted apart. I wanted to bring in my pitbull to demonstrate the high quality of breeding, but I wisely left it with the dog-sitter. The bloc Quebecois was very sombre and quiet. I didn't see Jean Charest either. The mounties weren't very chatty and the wind was picking up there so I knew that the snow was coming. I thought I should move on.

There wasn't much to report about Cornwall except the lack of corn. The agribionics industry has been developing a new kernel with a unique resistence to termites but since this isn't much of a problem to farmers it hasn't entred the market. I did notice a dandy man with a feather in his hat idly walking the streets, drunk. I told him that octoberfest was over and moved on.

In Montreal I noticed that many people don't speak English the way most people do. I was told over and over that I am so "jenesaisquoi" which I found charming at first but then I came to the point where I enjoyed looking at the young girls with their plentiful display of chest area rather then engaging in a conversation with them that neither of us could understand. When I found myself inside a bar instead of the "Chateaux" that was advertised on the sign, a small woman started giggling and lifting her skirt at me. Because of her forcefulness, I suffered her futile kisses and senseless talk. I gave her a $20 which I meant to use as a simple gesture of good faith and riddance, I told her to behave but she promptly took it and walked to the another young man and jumped into his lap!

These people are apparently the descendents of France and the Native Indians that once roamed our "native land". Some of them are also the descendents of Englishmen who were seduced by French women at some point and told not to pass their "bastard language" on to their children. I was educated about the fact that Natives don't pay certain taxes in this country and some of them promote a simple way of life, making original artworks and wonderful music. One of them took me for a "workshop" to make a drum which I was quite greatful for. I went to Old Quebec and walked that historic region where Montcalm and Wolfe died so patriotically. In memory of them but moreso to express the feeling working up in my breast, I beat my drum and marched on heartily.

From there I felt quite tired out. I had been traveling for a week or so by then, I thought it was a good time to turn around and head back towards Ontario. A trucker picked me up and drove us back to Kingston while I slept. I woke with some discomfort as this ruffian shook me with his stinky hands. I called him a rogue, gathered my things and left his vehicle. I decided it was better to use public trasportation so I seeked out the mighty greyhound and then went straight to my favorite attraction, Toronto.

The first thing I did in Toronto was debate whether I should go to the green room or the red room. I love colours. I couldn't decide and my shoes were getting worn so I went shopping for boots in the Eaton centre. There are so many people and so many different things happening these days. One might wonder how you play the piano without any hands but I saw it for the first time. A innovative man was performing a jazz-tune with the stumps of his arms. I gave him the thumbs up which is so popular with the youth these days. Back to the boots, I have a feeling that the snow is going to be quite excessive this year so I wanted hightops. A salesperson helped me with a pair of Kodiaks that I found quite smart but I didn't want to get them at half off because I liked the fact that they were hightops. This angred the young woman and she even breached her duty as an aide to the public by insulting me. Ultimately I couldn't meet her conditions so I went over to Athletes World and bought myself a new pair of red converse shoes. This was a diversion to ease my mind but I later realized my rash stupidity. I will eventually need to get some boots. I gave my old shoes to a vagabond but he simply looked me up and down and then spit in them.

I suppose the most exciting thing was running into Tania from E-talk daily on the street. She is a great host and a wonderful reporter on the events of Celebrities and pop icons. Of course she noticed me right away, broke away from her bodyguards and gave me a warm hug. She's interested in doing some exposé on me called "a day in the life of Howard". I of course told her that although I love her as a friend I do not feel comfortable yet being on television shows and speaking directly with the public. I would feel guilty if I were to compete with Madonna and Jude Law for people's attention. I told her: "You know Tania, you are a fine young lady. I admire your zeal and just between you and I you are the only reason why I would ever watch the show, but really, Barrett gives me all the space I need to send my message. If he ever dies, god forbid, I will go on E-talk daily and you can follow me around the country with your cameras. However, I like to speak for myself." She was a little taken aback but I think the girl understands me and realizes I'm not like most celebrities that she comes across. She sensibly replied with a reminder that flatters me much: "Ok, well, you know we all think you're hot." Which I do, so it's no loss.

Now I return to my place of birth, Pickering. On the hill by Dillingham road is where my mother laid down her load. It is in the cemetary nearby where she rests, God bless her and keep her. It is because of her that I can find out about the world and all it's fancies. I will take some time now to think about my trip.

Until next time,
Yours in all senses,

Filed under Howard Wayword

Sunday, November 07, 2004


I had a crazy weekend and now I'm all drained. I won't even try to chronologize the events. Just add together alcohol, travel, sleeplessness, visits, accidental foot-stamping, the empty threat of being thrown through a window as a result and fortuitously coming across someone named "Scottie" three days in a row after months of your friends entertaining themselves by driving down the street screaming in the highest voice possible: "SCOOOOOOOTTIE???" and watching the confused heads turn.

I've never met someone by this name but apparently they started using it after they met a girl who is much more upbeat then the average person on speed is. My friend who was present when we found this actual person with the name confronted him and told him he was glad to have found him because he had "been looking everywhere for [him]". Scottie, I think, was pleased to be found but the little guy admitted there was something about the whole situation that went right over his head.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Desk-side chat with my sis: Scotch and Hippies

Just talked to my sister Celine who is in Scotland doing her Masters of Public Health Research. I guess we feel somewhat similarly down about the state of the world after that roller-coaster ride in which we thought Kerry might prevail.

She says she’s been getting involved in the Whiskey Society there which is a very serious affliation to the people who are in it. They gather once every two weeks to sample some of the different areas whiskeys. Glennfiddich is pretty standard there but there are a whole variety with flavours like caramel, vanilla, mutton-fat, sour, sweet etc. She likes the Speyside whiskeys because she thinks they’re the sweetest of the four Scottish regions. Scotch isn’t called “Scotch” there because it’s all made in Scotland so it’s just “whiskey”. Upon that realization my skin tingled with the idea that I was less ignorant and more cultured now.

It’s a social event but it is also kind of a profession whereby participants use their taste charts that outline the whole spectrum of taste. They are encouraged to talk about the unique flavors of each kind and train their buds for specificity and precision.

We got onto the topic of whiskey as we were discussing the British diet and how it’s shite. They eat a lot of digestible cookies, some that have caramel layers underneath the chocolate which she loves and attributes to pure “genius”. “The Brits have the worst diet” she claims which is convenient for her since if someone starts talking about vitamins or anything remotely healthy she just derogatorily calls them a “f$#kin hippy!”

Apparently there’s quite a rivalry between loggers and hippies in Vancouver where she spent several years living the Western life. They’re like jealous lovers, each wanting to capture the soul or claim the body of the woods. She said that she knew a real right-wing logger jerk who owned a common bumper sticker with the words “Hey hippy! Think fast!” Hippies seem to get picked on more than anyone else these days. It’s like no one took them seriously after ’69 if they were ever taken seriously at all. We’ve seen what happens to protesters these days. They get pepper-sprayed like R Kelly allegedly was on the tour with Jay-Z. You can imagine what kind of situation accompanies a caption like “Hey Hippy, Think fast!”, or if not, you’re just not thinking narrow-mindedly enough or with the expected level of disdain for the dreaded, pot-smoking peace-lovers.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

horn to horn, tooth to tooth, people going to the voting booth

There is this girl I know who is seemingly so sweet and caring. I was asking her friend questions, trying to figure out her stance on issues based on the surprising fact that she's a Bush supporter. Is she the Bush type of Christian too? I asked. She didn't understand what that was supposed to mean. Therefore I tried, based on my impressions of his behaviour and my opinion of how I feel about his spiritual strain, to clarify my question:

"like, does she think that abortion is evil and that cloning research is evil and that Iraq is evil and that world opinion is wrong and that ultimately you just have to trust God and he will prove to you that only you are right and that it is your duty to destroy everything else?"

She basically said "yea"


I wrote a Kantian essay once about how a universal law could be interpreted to absolutely outlaw the consideration of abortion based on the importance of human life above and beyond all considerations of how to maintain it conveniently. Kant was all about the value of virtue in and of itself and not because it was looking for a reward. Still, that doesn't even give me the right to say it's wrong for others. How do I know what their perceptions are telling them about the state of things to tell them what's the most fair to the greatest amount of people at that specific time (and Arthur Mill kind of concern). I've never met them but for me it's absolutely wrong to have to wait for more than ten minutes for someone to put their shoes on. Who am I to tell them what to do with a life-form growing on their body?

Going out and seeking enemies to kill is different though. That's what the war seemed like in the first place. War on terrorism? Who drilled that into our heads so long that it curiously doesn't even sound like a paradox anymore? I feel like it's unnecessary provocation, and it's moving on very sloppily, in the wrong direction, with no main purpose whatsoever. The quote: "This is a war that will last weeks, not months" makes me laugh WHILE I'm shaking my head. (Who said that anyways? I remember it from way back). So I guess this all comes down to whatever. I'm bummed that it looks at this point like good ol George will win and we'll have another four years of field trips to the zoo and back but I can't understand it. I hope at least that if it is him, he's actually elected this time. Then the democratic process can take care of itself.

Well, Bush and Kerry
Good luck to you boys, let the least worse man win!

A Pain to Abstain and Regain...Ones Pain-killer

I got confused reading the news today, so I wrote the reporter:

Mrs. XYZ,
Just wondering about the story you ran today on page B2 of todays KW Record about how a 64 year old man smoked pot to deal with the pain that he has in his leg. I got confused about the ambiguous status of his "alcoholism" because you stated that he hasn't touched alcohol for a long time yet he's a self-declared "alcoholic" which is his reason for refusing to take pills.

I know that alcoholism shows itself in many forms but I was just curious as to what your own definition of alcoholism is: is it simply the addiction to alcohol? Is it chronic abuse of alcohol? Is it the urge to drink even in cases when people are disciplined enough not to satisfy that urge? If so, do alcoholics ever "recover"? Do you think it is logical to refuse medication because of how it conflicts with alcoholism even though you don't drink alcohol? Do you think there's weight behind Mr.Fidlers claim that at least for him, pills "mess" with his head? These are a lot of questions but they just point to the fact that "alcoholism" seems to be a very confusing concept these days.

It's a big issue for public health to know how different drugs, both medical and recreational interact and produce reactions in different individuals. I'm not asking you to interpret Mr.Fidlers stance on this. I'm more interested in the way you strategically laid out the message in your article and that's why I'm asking. I'm a PR student and I'm interested in how the media thinks so there's another reason you sparked my interest. Anyways, I thought it was well written. Keep it up!
Barrett Cressman

This article blew away my definition of alcoholism. I mean, you're an "alcoholic" who doesn't drink, and a man with a bad leg who won't take pills because they "mess" with your head, what do you do? To the average mind you're a walking paradox. I think he should be allowed to grow his own pot and smoke it. It's a shame he had to be led away in handcuffs. He's free now but potless and his neighbours probably think he's a thug. He said he would just "grin and bear it". We'll see. Maybe after all he'll turn to the really hard stuff: tylenol.

zombies and nymphos

Last night I originally thought I wanted to see a horror movie. Dawn of the Dead, I thought. I ended up going to see a hilariously scary movie, or a terrifyingly romantic movie "Shaun of the Dead". Its about Shaun, who has a rather annoying but amusing friend who always apologizes for himself. For doing what? "Oh dude! That smells bad!!!" His girlfriend splits up with him for this reason, and the fact that he's a poor planner, it's their anniversary, he has no better place to go then the regular old pub, the Winchester. As zombies start showing up, Shaun hardly notices, the world is usually so disorganized anyways. The humour is perfect and the metaphor of zombies as a state of mind or a group of people you just want to avoid shines through. There were some very touching scenes about relationships and it was quite gory as well. At one point the nerdy friend of the girlfriend's alliance is feasted on and ripped apart for an elongated period of time.

Today seems very strange. I haven't noticed any moaning -sexy or deadly, but everyone is either breaking down and tired or hyper and nymphonic. We have an assignment in print class called "coconuts" so obviously the first thing people started to do was download picture of women with giant breasts wrapped around the trunks of coconut trees. Dolly is accused of having an affair with a father and Andrew, on the computer next to me cannot get the picture entitled "cameltoe" off of his destop. I'll just say that the picture isn't of a desert animal. Nim is stressed because projects aren't working out and Andreea is a good and disciplined Christian girl as usual. (haha, she says girlfriends should discipline boyfriends because "they need it"). Apparently this means that boys should never be allowed to go into a hot tub with strange girls.

We all did very well in our presentation yesterday, doing our schtick on the service sector in the form of "the Apprentice". The girls came up with the idea (with a little help from a little tasedan sister) and they intertwined the information right into the pres. Our teacher liked it and she even incorporated our concept of labour productivity measures into her proposal to have so much garden space for her business planted by a specific time.

I had what I call a "VS" this morning. I went to bed before 2am for the first time in awhile last night but I had to fight with myself to get up and go to my print and design class -even later than I was supposed to at 9:30am. I tried to get up, but then I pushed myself back in the bed. I asked for mercy but I felt obstinant. It was a violent struggle. Thank god I'm here and in semi-good health. I could have been a zombie.
Who Links Here