Friday, June 29, 2007

The Magic Number Eight

I was tagged by Chloe

We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I’m obsessive about windows. By 7pm when it starts to cool down outside they can be open but by 7am first thing they must be closed to shut out the heat for the day.

2. Being the only son of a cattle farmer, I was to take over the family business and be a herder. However, when I was about six my father asked me: “How old do you think you have to be before you start helping out around here?” “Seventy-five,” I responded. So there’s still a chance I’ll do it when I get to that age.

3. I’m lactose intolerant intolerant. In other words: I couldn’t live without milk. I have a love of cheeses including stilton, brie and havarti. Soy’s no substitute (although I do like chocolate soy milk too).

4. My career aspirations include: teacher, speech writer, novelist, poet, media relations director and musician. The jobs I’ve had in the past include: concierge, salesman, bus boy, cook, restoration technician, food sampler, career liaison, security guard, camp counselor, care giver, teacher’s assistant and call centre agent.

5. I absolutely hate it when others fail to screw the toothpaste cap back on the toothpaste.

6. As a child, I once lied on an eye test because I thought glasses looked cool and I wanted them. Instead of reading the letters that were there, I made up alternates, thinking this was a very clever way of pretending not to be able to see properly. However, my mother was my optometrist and, seeing through the act, told me my eyesight was perfect.

7. I tend to come off as very “mellow” to people. Sometimes I can be shy and choose to observe things rather than get tangled up in them but if you get me on certain topics I won’t shut up. I attribute this to having four sisters who were so busy and talkative that I had to wait my turn and think for awhile before I had a chance to speak. I compensated by getting out of the house, building forts and playing in the woods with my bow and arrow.

8. I like to spend sunny afternoons reading William Carlos Williams, playing the accordion and drinking green tea.

Cocaine Jesus

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Reckoning

She says it was nothing
And he won’t lie to her
It would be treason to switch tactics now
Though his pleasure has jaundice
Insides a sick mess of syphilis
So the fiery game of kiss and stay quiet has turned against him
After years of commissioned psychotherapy
He could have sworn they were sitting in opposite chairs
But he now realizes: she always had him in hers

Sold for a spear, then pierced with it,
He carries his frame like a recycled trash heap
Down a willowy road
Whistling through the cracks in his face

The irony of it is
That you never know until it is too late,
Then you know too much.
Your skull can still rattle in its cage
But then it becomes accustomed to that prison
This is why you have nothing to worry.
For soon enough, you will know nothing.

Until others have experienced that break neck poverty,
Traveled sudden dead ends
Witnessed the hollow infant eggshell eyes
And hearts too frail to flutter at the hint
Of issues too large to swallow
While they are starving
By his reckoning fault
Out by the badlands
At the sharp steel gates of despair
Many will walk around, oblivious, never even wondering:
What is the bitter taste of betrayal?

@Copyright Sir Barrett 2007


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

What Hamas calls “Justice”

So, Hamas has become the de facto government in the Gaza Strip after a bloody battle. These are scary times. It doesn't look very optimistic and of course Isreal is worried they will advance further into the West Bank (from which they have launched rocket attacks on innocent civilians in the past). A state of emergency has been called, aid money is starting to flow again as the West backs moderate Fatah Mahmoud Abbas as president of Palestine.

But as I was reading yesterday's article, I was disgusted by the typically radical propaganda Hamas spews. According to them, "justice" is:

  • Dragging Fatah hostages and shooting them in the streets, execution style
  • Cutting telephone lines, looting and vandalizing property so that hospitals have to operate without any electricity or blood
  • Using only bullets, grenades and rockets for discussions about Palestinian government
  • Theatening to turn violence against its own innocent civilians
  • Calling the taking over of Gaza by ski-masked gunmen “Gaza’s second liberation”
The first “liberation” would have been when Israel evacuated as ordered by ex prime minister Ariel Sharon. Others, reasonably, call this "liberation" a “real live horror movie.”

I gather that this is what Hamas considers to be "justice" after the following statement:

"We are telling our people that the past era has ended and will not return," Islam Shahawan, a spokesman for Hamas' militia, told Hamas radio. "The era of justice and Islamic rule have arrived." Apparently the era of grammatical justice still hasn’t.

News Reviews

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An Introduction to Kurt Vonnegut

So I just finished reading my first book by Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle" after hearing such raving reviews about the author who recently died.

My first reaction: WTF!!! (perplexed)

But, after reading further, the apocalypic scenes, absurdities and subtle social commentary grew on me. I even converted to the fictional religion of the islanders in the novel: Bokononism!

Here's an example of Bokononist philosophy taken from the book:

"Lion got to hunt,
Bird got to fly,
Man got to ask himself why? Why? Why?
Lion got to sleep,
Bird got to land,
Man got to tell himself he understand"


At first I wasn't used to the non-linear way in which the story unfolded and I was put off by the fact that every character seemed too eccentric to be true. It made me angry while at the same time the way the short chapters always ended in some sort of odd punchline made me laugh. However, as if to atone and give me what I deserve from beyond the grave, here I find a quote of Vonnegut's which addresses my very anger:

"Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae."

Thanks Kurt.

Although I haven't read "Man Without a Country" I have been thinking about global warming a lot lately, so I'll have to pick it up at some point or another, perhaps after reading "Slaughterhouse VII".

In the meantime, please let me know what you think about this author and his works.

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