Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Nation Within a Nation...Uh Wha?

"Quebec is a nation within a united Canada" is just the latest description (or semantic game) that Harper spewed for how the 'distinct culture' fits into greater Canada. Unlike the Meech Lake Accord, which sought to include Quebec and repatriate the Canadian constitution thereby severing ties with mother Britain, this definition of Quebec is more to stir up the pot than it is to actually change any laws. Harper is meddling.

And apparently it's working. The squirrels are scurrying. Ken Dryden was against the whole thing, saying it will do more to hurt Canada than it will to help it and Conservative MP and intergovernmental affairs minister Micheal Chong even resigned because of it, saying that it didn't fit with his belief "in this great country of ours and" the "belie[f] in one nation undivided called Canada." The debate about Quebec's place is seemingly about the vision of Canada and where it is going in the future. It's something that scares Canadians. Even though Quebec separatism is almost impossible, it's always a threat and the whole reason there's an entire party, the Bloc, committed to achieving the nation inside the nation's goals over the first. "This is a fundamental principle for me," Chong continued, "not something on which I can or will compromise - not now, not ever. While I'm loyal to my party and to my leader, my first loyalty is to my country.."

Others argue that by acknowledging the distinctness of Quebec as it's own nation within a nation is simply admiting to reality -something we need to work towards to unify Canada more.

But what about the natives? They are, afterall, called "first nations". Are we just going to keep adding more and more "nations" based on ethnicity and language -the Irish, the German, the Indian, the Sri Lankan etc. so that everyone, quarter breed, royal blood, Scot and M├ętis can feel included?

My suspicion is that this is simply a strategic move by Harper to throw the Liberals into a scramble so that they trip over each other's feet and leave him standing as the most solid looking leader.

The irony in this is that by Gilles Duceppe accepting Harper's description of Quebec as "a nation within a united Canada" he is essentially admiting that Quebec is an inherent part of the greater nation and not seperate from it. Perhaps by acknowledging Quebec as a nation albeit a dependent one, it will finally drive the nail in the coffin of the whole Quebec separatist issue.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Unlock the Code

I know it's a little late for the buzz (especially with the movie now long out and all) but I finished reading The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown a few weeks ago. I was not able to put it down. I loved the suspense, the short chapters and all the action that unravels as Langdon and Sophie "princess" search down clues and artifacts in attempting to hunt down the holy grail.

There is so much information and conspiracy exposed about Opus Dei, biblical and mythological history, including speculation about Mary Magdalene being the royal blood through which the lineage of Jesus was passed, the sacred feminin, Heiros Gamos ceremonies, the fact that Isis and Osirus were both born on the same date that happens to be the modern day that we celebrate Christmas and the ways that Christianity has been protected or manipulated by emperors, gallery attendants, cults and Templars.

For example, look at these details and variations of Da Vinci's The Last Supper.

It is interesting amidst all the research that is currently going on about the Mona Lisa and how Leonardo Da Vinci designed these cryptex's like rubix cubes with information guarded by codes so that people were forced to prove worthiness in order to acquire the message.

I am told to read his other book Angels and Demons. In the meantime I found a 'quest' of trivia questions to be answered to unlock the code. If you're daring, click here and try it yourself.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekends, Repentence, Water and Hawks

It was a nice weekend. Saturday was a big day of work, leaving me feeling a little drained and then a little annoyed at having to return back to work after I had left because I forgot to sign myself out of msn. I would have given myself a swift kick in the face...but I'm not that flexible.

I was down on food so I popped by the supermarket as they were closing. They gave me a break and sold me some burgers and buns for $5 no tax. I went home and fired up the barbecue only to have it run out of propane. As a diversion, I started up a new movement in my modest kitchen called Salon Self. It involves hair remodeling at a low (or non-existent price). For my first client (me), I gave myself a mohawk. It celebrates the Iroquois in us all.

Apparently things are frustrating for others as well, for my friend Kittens a case in point but she vents it so well! Here is a snippet of her letter from the west where she recounts the perils of living without access to the most basic resource known to (wo)man and makes an important point about its preservation:

"I miss water. No, that's not emphatic enough, let me restate: I really f_cking miss water. For serious.

As the news savvy amongst you may already now, the White House administration has been meeting with religious leaders to discuss the end of times. In a related story, during the first week of my schooling at SFU, I lambasted the Campus Crusaders for Christ for trying to hook people to the JC by offering bottled water (as well as violent video games wherethe faithful to be got to pop multiple caps into someracially-stereotyped terrorist types. Nice sales pitch, I admit) During aforementioned lambasting, I asked the righteous followers what Jesus was going to do for the common man when all of the waste generated from privatized water industries leaked into the groundwater and contaminated the common source. What I learned this week. Never lose faith in the steadfast foresight of George W. Bush. Also, when the well is running dry, you may as well hitch your wagon to the Christ Coalition's God-mobile when they are clearly demonstrating wealth pertaining to this hot commodity/dwindling natural resource.

I miss water so much right now that I ate an orange that has beensitting in my backpack for one too many lectures because I wasthirsty.See, the deal is that the water is theoretically drinkable, you justhave to boil it... then cool it... and then try to ignore the factthat it is A)brown and B) doesn't taste so much like the fluid life source that I love so dearly. It tastes like a brew fit for the disbeliever.

In closing, I wish to make the following offerings: Firstly, to God. I am sorry. Please bring bottled water back to the grocery stores that are within a 90 minute radius of my house (a tour of them earlier today proved unfruitful and left me feeling like I wason the cusp of apocalyptic doom. Running out of water does that to me. Always has- note: childhood vacation to drumheller, also ended poorly.)Secondly, to my beloved friends. Repent your public water relying, aetheist ways and for the love of all that is holy, crack a bottle of your sacred liquid, be it Dasani, Evian or Aquafina (as deemed culturally appropriate by your respective religious affiliations). Fill up a nice, chilled, sparkly chalice, and think of me. Then thank your good graces that you live in the part of the country that isn'texperiencing record rainfall, resulting in lengthy power outages and water tainting.

Although, I should point out that I haven't lost my power yet... So I guess I must be doing something right. It's probably the SUV. I got a sneak peek at the Campus Crusaders for Christs lit for next semester'scampaign and I think the caption is:WWJD? Get behind the girl in the SUV who's listening to Britney Spears while sipping on a latte. All three bases covered. Partial doom averted.

Now to remain hydrated....I will leave you with this quote:Revelation 21:6, 7 "And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alphaand the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountainof the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomesshall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be Myson.' ( I think he's talking about me)"

I also celebrated a friend's birthday and did what Barrett's like to do on Sundays by going and playing open mic at my favorite spot where I busted out my baby, the Bellini, the accordion my parents found at a garage sale. My father also used to play accordion and handed his instrument down to me only for me to have it stolen back in highschool. So, with slight caution I played my own original song on the accordion, whereas usually I use the conventional guitar.

It snowed today. My head is cold.

Tonight my plan is to go see wonderful moviefilm Borat and rip it up with some training, work and social times for the rest of the week.

Something interesting I took notice of for the first time is the two words in one in:


Remember that when you are doubting yourself.

"Let's change history by writing it"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Borrowing from a Sense of Hope

"Be ready when opportunity comes. Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet." ~Roy D. Chapin Jr.

I don't believe in luck...unless by luck you mean that good things can happen without you expecting them...but I also believe that that is an implicit result of expecting better and making better choices for better results to manifest. I believe in the mystery of iniquity but I also believe that mystery is a miraculous feature of the universe designed to make life interesting and to ensure that there is a reason to have a good heart in and of itself.

This is the first year that I haven't been in school for nineteen years consecutively. It's been a challenge learning simply how to live, how to organize my own day, not to have a prescribed module of activity but it's also been a lot of fun. One thing that I've noticed is how clear every day seems, how much more on edge things are, how much more energized I am to live. I have my good days and bad days as ever yet both kinds seem to matter a little more as time goes on. There's less of it.

The reality of our Canadian economy, (and North America for the most part) is that so many of us our living in luxury and affluence but up to our ears in debt. How is that possible? It's like we have life out on loan. This is a wonderful country to live in if you want to live above your means. The average person is living with about an average of $7,000 of credit card debt. The scary thing is that is per credit card.

In some cases, winning the lottery or inheriting money may be a randomn factor that contributes to wealth but for most of us, our income depends on the kinds of opportunities we're willing to take and for those who have never had money, do you think they would be well trained at keeping it? First time millionaires are easily surprised by how easily they can blow it. For others struggling to get rich or die trying, they often succeed in the latter but only those with a solid plan and steady determination achieve the former. Fear motivates far too many other people to give up and failure is often the result of giving up at something you were this close at succeeding in.

As inflation spirals upwards and people find themselves working at Wal-Mart at the age of 65 (because no one ever taught them how to retire wealthy -they never had practice) it's important to learn how to take opportunity and share it with those that you care about. It's important to spread hope. We can make the world a better place. All it takes is realizing that there are options...and that you have a choice. The world doesn't owe it to you, you owe yourself to the world.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Municipal Elections

Our store has been taken hostage by a construction zone. Here I sit at work not serving the customer. I can't because there aren't any to be served -they are all scared of entering lest they be crushed to death by falling debris. But there are always risk-takers.

Today is also municipal election day which raises a point. Do we have too much government? Over-governmentalization? I'm proud to be living in the Royal city but taxes are so high and they keep getting higher!! The construction workers are fixing a road which isn't broken and I bet they are making more per hour to lazily sweep than I do (not that I'm working especially hard either). They are plowing the streets with their striation machine, filling cracks with quickcrete (I know the stuff because I used to work with it during my stint as a restoration worker). They've had one main street detoured and dug up for the whole summer up until now! (and there was never anything wrong with it).

Last week I woke up to the sound of an ear-piercing wood shredder chowing down on the trees outside my house. It seems that since one or two of the trees were starting to grow into the chain-linked fence they had to be cut down. Since when is it easier to cut down a tree than it is to build a fence? They also spent the better part of the week hacking off branches and making a mess of my street. So I got to wake up to the industrial music of noisy machinery at regular intervals.

By next month, I'm sure this city will find ways of spending a couple grand putting up lights and cellophane in the spirit of the season. Maybe a few reindeer...a Menorah. That kind of thing is actually worth it though. I'm not complaining, just leveling. I like strolling down the street at night and seeing that someone is managing the aesthetic details...but there is a limit.

I'm kind of desensitized to all the signs for municipal leaders now. There Rocco (which sounds like the name of someone who gets stuff done. What stuff? Who knows. Don't know much about him), the 'progressive' or the regressive to choose from and none of them are looking all too attractive. I regularly receive pamphlets in my door accusing one candidate of being fiscally irresponsible or for not being committed to values of development. The main slogan from the Karen Farbridge campaign is to "put Guelph back on track" but then another smear campaign accuses her of wasting over $16 million in taxpayer money. Meanwhile, Karen accuses the current leader, Kate Quarrie of unnecessarily shutting down our wet garbage processing facility and sending our garbage to be burnt in New York instead!

Regardless of who voters choose for their municipal leader today, I'm sick of all the excessive money going to city workers simply because those in power have the money to spend! Stop driving my business away with your disruptive business! Stop destroying in the name of productivity. And yes, let's get this city back on track but we can do that simply. We don't need to build a million new parking lots or draw up entirely new bus routes or even discover a new country. Kudos to those in politics because it's not an easy job. Please don't make it more complicated.

and VOTE!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Kate Bush -Song of the Day

Today's song is Army Dreamers by Kate Bush.

I was reminded how amazing Kate Bush is last night when I went over to Lucifer's house to watch cartoons, play accordion and listen to music. In terms of having ingenious ideas for songs she is the queen. She is highly imaginative while making reference to the real world -like her songs about death or about the man who developed a machine that could create rain and lightning. The music is classical and has her eccentric flavour to it. She's so eighties with her wild fashion styles too. And her six octave voice! It's insane!

So, this song is about how children are drafted into the army to fight and die despite the fact that they would be better off doing so many other things:
"He should have been a rock star but he didn't have money for a guitar. He should have been a politician but he didn't have money for a proper education..."

I think it's important to remember that while some of us enjoy safety, comfort and a good standard of living we do so at the expense of the poor, whose minds we manipulate to fight our wars for us.
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