Sunday, September 29, 2019

F is for Freddie

Finally watched the Bohemian Rhapsody film last night. That song will always carry new freight now when I hear it. The lyrics harken to poignant moments of Freddie (Bulsara) Mercury’s life and death; moments both preceding its composition and those it foreshadows.

I didn’t feel like I’d gotten to know Mercury a whole lot upon receiving the film, but then, perhaps he was just difficult for anyone to know. Where I am forced to judge the writing, direction and acting is in the lack of depth in the remaining characters of the band Queen. They spent enough time on camera to have deserved more research. I felt their blandness very noticeably held the film back.

Nevertheless the production accomplished much. I was moved to significant emotion and the climactic Live Aid scenes were delightful and inspiring, so long as you look at it from the context of Freddie’s story.

The actual Live Aid operation, perhaps too ambitious by some accounting, was deeply flawed in its long roster of technological shortcomings, a deluge of petty controversies and the sinister fact that most of the money was embezzled by government for guns.

But I loved it for two reasons: Queen’s performance which is more recognized than any as the greatest live rock performance ever, and the way that it dragged global responsibility for feeding humanity onto the consciousness of people everywhere. So much that first world governments are now compelled by the peoples they occupy to keep it on the political radar. They brought about a new and improved normal.

As I contemplated the Freddie Mercury story I was unusually caught up in the matter of drive and determination. Stories of famous people so often reveal an intense motivation. I find it fascinating at this time when I am decidedly unmotivated. What fires them up? One could surmise many things of egoic nature; things probably not even healthy. Meanwhile I am so close to giving up my big dreams; my big goals. This as my view of my society and my perception of its tolerance for me continue to plummet. I have become terminally lethargic, both from an absence of motivation and - and this may sound strange but - peace. My inner contentment with life itself and my place in the universe dulls any sense of alarm as my weight, and a few other things, continue to climb out of control.

Right now the only productive things I do, I do out of commitment to my employers and volunteer employers, to my mom (more on that later), and to my dietitian and counselor. I struggle to perform the most basic and paltry life functions so as not to disappoint them. Internally I’m at the top of the world by North America’s deplorable standards while logistically I think this may be at rock-bottom.

“Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters.”--Freddy Mercury (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

E is for Elite

Here we are on the rez. We have the leading goal scorer in Ontario Jr. B. He’s only 19 in a league of 17-to-21-year-olds. Our goalie is either the best or narrowly second-best in the league depending how you interpret the statistics. And he’s only 18. They are both too good for this league; destined to be surrendered to our Jr. A affiliate team next year almost certainly.

Our opponents are up two games to nil in the best-of-five conference finals. We are finally facing elimination after a great run. Our opponents have the game in their blood, some would say. They are loaded with a dozen 21-year-olds. The bulk of our squad are teens. We have a handful of 20-year-olds and one 21-year-old who we picked up at the trade deadline from a failing opposing team because he’s a class act; a young man of substance who deserves one last playoff run. And the guys here love him like family and did so at once because that’s just who they are.

Our affiliate team is going to the Junior A finals. We have not withheld players from them. Our stars are where they are for legitimate reasons. Our opponents have an affiliate too. Right in the same community. But theirs is not going to the finals. No one has pondered, at least not aloud, if their stars are here legitimately or not, and I’m not asking now. It doesn’t matter.

We’re up 3-to-2 on the scoreboard but I think we all know this is temporary illusion and we do not have any such momentum. We have the same fine tools as our opponents but not the same confidence. We have four gears to their five.

By the second intermission we are well down on the scoreboard and a lot of proud Scooterville parents are making peace with things, or else just resigning.

The players emerge for the third and final period. Our boys of August. It is still July but they will always be the boys of August to me though they will not play on that calendar. What you do and who you are, are two different things. August is who they are. They are that quality. No one can possibly doubt that.

I slip into the vacated dressing room and out the back door. I am parked right there. I load the two cases of bottles into the big cooler and then the ice. And I add a bottle of root beer for the VP; an abstainer. There’s enough for two per player and one per attending staff. I don’t give a shit about the government and their rules. This is family. This is the least we can do. I intend to be anonymous about it but if shit flies I will happily take the blame and probably do it again next year if, like this year, it’s the right thing to do.

God the sucker is heavy but I drag it through the door and into the dressing room where suddenly our star scorer is present and readying to shower. So much for the Santa routine. I’m busted.

“You’re ejected? What did you do?”

“I gave the refs some advice.”

I think for a second and nod. “Fair enough,” I say gently and head back toward the floor to give him his space and to watch the game. Not to work it though. Just to watch. And really take it in. There is still joy to be had. When will I see two such fine teams again? “Oh and have a beer,” I say over my shoulder.


The third period goes well for both teams. No land-slides. And it’s over. I’ve never elected to participate in the handshake all year but now I go. I have things to say. I praise what few of our players I have the chance to while the new guy holds things up with long embraces. Most of these players have known each other most of their young lives. This team is home grown. But it’s the new guy who garners their immediate concern. He’s 21 and this was his last shot.

In the dressing room I usually visit briefly and just inside the door where I study the brick wall while listening to what the coach has to say and who gets passed The Hammer.

Tonight I am looking and listening to a surprising silence. A few have grabbed a beer already and no one on the staff has said a word about it.

The coach speaks. He speaks well and is kind and full of praise but keeps it real. This team was designed to win it all and no one pretends otherwise. Still we have made Scooterville history and that will have to be enough for now. Coach opens the opportunity for others. The VP speaks with his back to me. He speaks from a historical perspective and I am impressed to hear his voice breaking. I put a hand firmly on his shoulder. Most staff pass on the opportunity. Of course I do not. I speak truthfully:

“It’s been two decades since I was last involved in lacrosse. I did not see many Junior B games back then. I was not a fan of the B game back then.

“When I came out to see you guys, you blew me away. I had no idea… It has been such a joyful experience watching you guys play lacrosse. Everyone in this room - and I mean everyone! No exceptions - has left me breathless at least once this year from something you did on the floor. Left me in a state of wonder. It’s been such a joy; such a thrill. I’m real grateful you all took me along on this ride. Thank you.”

I’m sorry they did not get what they wanted and worked so hard for, and made sacrifice for, so I don’t tell them how I, on the other hand, received everything I could have asked for. And thanks to them. They made me fall in love with this game again.

I had no choice but to write about the experience, but I deemed it unfit for publication. Too personal a perspective. Too sentimental. The players might feel it an invasion.

It sat on my computer a couple days until I knew that the piece, or some version of it, needed to be on the web site, at least for posterity. I gave it a solid edit: toned it down; eased in a little subtlety, and slipped it onto the web site with no links from social media. My two main media associates with the club were informed, and being coincidentally the last two team officials likely to tolerate sentimentality, they made perfect gatekeepers. If they wanted to plug it online then it had to be safe to do so.

They did.

Here’s the article. It’s brief. I hope you give it a look. Because I’m proud of these guys:

Saturday, August 10, 2019

D is for Defeat

I pick up Grandpa Munster and take him out for coffee. He seems to have given up shaving for good now. More significantly he has given up thinking that Detective Biff or the Faux Counsellor will ever let him graduate from his 810 supervision orders. He has come to peace with that, and the fact that he will never fight these renewals in court even though he can’t lose. No judge would ever support the ongoing renewal of these temporary orders under Gramps’ condition but that doesn’t matter. He is too intimidated to stand up to those who he views as his oppressors, and is afraid they will lie to get their way and that the judge will believe them and not he.

I am actually fine with this. I think it’s the best outcome. The orders do not get in the way of the ersatz lifestyle he is saddled with. It just means he will have to continue with the faux counselling sessions every week or two even though he finds it unpleasant and sometimes predatory.

It’s better than life behind bars, which at one time was a likely fate.

It’s good to finally put this behind us and move on.

Friday, August 09, 2019

C is for Combustion

LTC (Long Time Companion) does not cook much, and in his improved state of health he has been working very hard at renovations to his former rental house he intends to sell (or maybe rent out again?). The kitchen at his home-home has become more of a construction office. And it was there that he unloaded an armful of boxed light-fixtures onto the stove top.

Later he fed his dogs their meds encased in cheese and left the wrapper beside the stove top. It's a gas stove. Some of you may already see where this is going.

He left the house. One or both dogs would have immediately went for the cheese wrapper. Whether they succeeded or not they did succeed in knocking a stove dial into the on range.

The boxes would have gone up in flames immediately; kitchen cupboards soon following.

When it was done the house looked like something from a horror movie. I tried not to look in any direction I didn’t have to but I had to see where I was going. The flames had been contained to the first floor but the smoke was devastating at level two. Sadly the four-year-old dobie was terrified of the smoke alarm and had fled to that second floor. The younger dog was very clever; went to the only open window (cracked about 4 inches), stuck her nose through and survived. God knows what went through her mind.

LTC got a phone call and rushed home to find firemen working on the poor boy-dog, with oxygen mask and CPR. They couldn’t save him.

LTC is doing very well, all things considered. Some of his friends have reached out to me for updates and advice. I have suggested we try to keep him a little busy over the next six to eight months, while he lives at the rental with the surviving pup. Distraction is his best coping tool and it is too late in life I think, given his particular hurdles, to try to teach him other ways.

So a week after the fire we got together for a game night with some of his finest pals at the home of Uncensored Family where teens, mom, ex-boyfriend, grandma, LTC and myself had a good time with my Red Herring game - and not the family-friendly edition either. We aim to make a monthly habit of it.

Love you Halo.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

B is for Brocrastination

Okay that was a cheat. But B is for bed-ridden, blurry-eyed and.... Bengals.

Bengals as in Bengal tigers - as in the Jr. B lacrosse team that landed in the middle of my life about the time I disappeared from blog world, and swept me away.

An old pal - we'll call him - LaxMasterMind has quietly become an internationally elite lacrosse GM and coach in the fifteen years since we were associates with the Chiefs Jr A team. Oh wait - I blogged about this two years ago.

Long story short: I was dragged out of my Total Lacrosse Retreat by LMM with the news of a local Jr B team which he was basically running and which I did not even know about (this community has spawned previous junior lacrosse enterprises over the years which emigrated to nearby communities). I saw a game, was amazed at the new elevated caliber of Jr B lacrosse, felt inspired to write about it, but was at a complete loss how to do so. One: I have changed so much in the intervening years and competition, winning and losing have become so very uninspiring compared to such higher-evolved things - like creativity for instance, and generosity, which are for me important elements of lacrosse. And two: I was no longer an insider. I knew nothing of the current lacrosse community and its peoples. How would I write as an outsider?

Fast forward April 2019 and LMM speaks up again: the team is looking to fill new exec positions including Director Marketing and Media Relations. I seize on that one. It's my way back in. I take it on faith that I will find a way to write about it. And god knows I should have the time for it given the 101 important projects I've been blissfully ignoring (B is for blissful ignorance).

"I'll be your director media marketing," I type back after literally about 20 seconds of deliberation. I was intentionally bold. Take it or leave it.

He took it.

The task I took on for myself; the goal, is enormously ambitious. The work I cut out for myself is potentially endless. And I admit I don't know how to accomplish the goal, if indeed it's possible. But I trust in finding useful components and pursuing them on faith that they will be part of the final solution. More on all this some other time.

Was I crazy to take this on given I can't keep up with anything currently? Here's my weird rationalization: To take on a world of work which is unlike most of my current work in that there are tight schedules and outside stakeholders, which means I will be properly motivated to Get It Done, which may be just the thing to re-teach me a proper work ethic. When the season ends in a few months I can move my new work ethic and apply it to my own works.

Well that time is now.

So I'm back.

I say that I am here to stay. Fingers crossed.

And by here I mean blog world, yes, but I mean much more. I want to really be here. Being present again. Being productive. Making a difference. Being the person I should be instead of the loser I have been for the last year and a half.

This morning I arose after 6 hours of sleep (not bad! though sleep remains a critical Needs Improvement Area) picked up Chess Champ, met up with The Healer, journeyed to Station One former fire-house turned cafe and there met Sweetproserpina and the Ponderer for a joyful write-in. Here I am. The Ponderer's partner is beating her cancer. The Healer's mate has finally become employed again by a college where I worked for awhile. And Chess Champ has finally released some writing to the semi-public sphere. A big step. I really look forward to finally giving him a read. Given sleep and eye problems I have not really read for this year and a half. Another Needs Improvement Area.

Continuous improvement. Every day. Am I back? It would be nice if I were back.

Love Fwig

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

A is for Abominations

Welcome to A-to-Z of stuff what is wrong with my life. There's surely no good reason to read it.

Look, I'm not making a judgement call here. I'm not saying I like poodles or that I don't like them. I'm just stating a fact: Neither God nor Darwin ever came up with the poodle. It's a human creation. It's an abomination of nature. And frankly I'm not convinced it's even a dog.

If it quacks like a duck it's a duck... right?

So if it barks like a dog it's a dog?

What if it doesn't bark like a dog but screeches like a turkey being inexpertly slain on Christmas day?

... Well then it's a poodle. A toy size one I mean. Bigger poodles bark sort of like authentic dogs in my interpretation.

I feel bad saying this because when I'm not a miserable dysfunctional sleepless wreck because of constant yapping and yapping and yapping and mother-of-god fuck-you-shift-worker YAPPING, they're kind of cute and I'm almost charmed at their eager attention as they imagine I am a big walking pile of dog food and attack me with their little tongues of doom.

The thing is: I can't complain. Not until I do all the things in my own power to give myself the best chances for successful sleep. I have to deal with sleep apnea, changing shifts preventing stable sleep schedules, daylight, allergy symptoms, occasional neck and back pain, habitual sleep procrastination: each of these problems invites a long list of strategies. I believe in cleaning up your own back yard before complaining about your neighbor's yard (not everyone does). But if I ever get all my own sleep to-do lists caught up and the poodle princesses remain the only thing keeping me awake... then I'll have something to say.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Theme Reveal: April A to Z!

Oh what fun... it's April A-to-Z time. When you say to yourself you will blog every day (26 days actually) and hit every letter of the alphabet... A is for Apple... B is for Bugger Me, It's Day Three and I'm already behind...

I normally start dealing with this on March 1st and get some stuff prepared ahead of time (and then still usually fail to make it to Z). Not so this year. I didn't know until three minutes ago that I would be participating this year. But I accidentally went to facebook while browsing (a place I have almost no interest in anymore) and ran smack into an A-to-Z theme reveal post and thought "Hey, I should just do an A-to-Z on stuff that's wrong with my life! What could be easier than that?" The material is everywhere!

Theme revealed.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Flylady speaks to me

Flylady sends me eight emails per day telling me to get off my ass and clean my home. Not usually in those precise words. Just now she told me to clean out my bedroom because my bedroom is the heart of my home! It is not a graveyard! It is the place where my babies were conceived.

It is the place where my babies were conceived, people! Flylady says so!

I think she's talking about my fictional characters. Those dear children of mine who I have ignored lately.

I recently made significant progress. I actually cleared the bedroom floor (well, most of it) and so I now have the space to actually work in the room sorting stuff out according to their destinations: dump, thrift store, salvage guy, specific friends, the circles community...

This is good news. I have much need to get this bedroom/office restoration project finished ASAP.

More soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Nadajingen Tasm, known simply as “Nadji” by all associates, was raised by single mother Gardina Tasm in the port city of Memoch on planet Karadras of the Sol Cluster. This was formerly a town known primarily for the Federated Core Systems (FCS) military outpost it supported but in just a decade had burgeoned into a mining and prospecting city following reports of major Hecatyz presence in the surrounding region; prospects which have yet to fully live up to their billing.

Gardina and Nadajingen lived in the absence of a father or other relatives except for an Aunt Allie and Uncle Merc who lived “in the country”; a tiny village called Nightshade to which Nadji had never been. His absent father was “just some miner” he’d been told. Gardina refused to elaborate.

His aunt and uncle always made a great fuss over him on their visits which became less and less frequent with time. Aunt Allie always departed with a tear in her eye.

In early childhood Nadji made two friends he was fond of, both human but his mother was fast to reprimand him and insist that he only associate with other Hjalme. He was expected to be polite with all aliens but never to get involved with them.

When he tried to maintain their friendship in secret, Gardina found out about these transgressions immediately and he was severely disciplined on each occasion and before long these friendships were severed.

Nadji harboured two secret desires: to become an off-world explorer (and as such to join a prestigious local scouting academy affiliated with the military base) and secondly: to find out his father’s identity. He spoke of these desires only to his best friend, a Hjalme boy naturally, named Titov, but at once Gardina found out and firmly cautioned him against these ideas. Nadji was angry with Titov for revealing his secrets which Titov firmly denied doing. There was a spat and a cold period but their friendship recovered.

Nadji constantly researched other planets; especially the early exploration and development of new worlds. Where these pursuits turned up in school curricula he scored fantastic marks but he did poorly in most other academic areas which he found boring.

Gardina had almost no social life outside of the visits from Merc and Allie. She worked part time in a munitions factory and doted on Nadji with a love which seemed more severe and intentional than in typical highly-emotionalized Hjalme mother-child relations.

Nadji was shocked when he was invited to apply, and further, was accepted, at the local FCS Scouting Academy. He’d been certain he lacked the grades, and Gardina the money, for this to be possible, and that his race, despite its significant prevalence in Memoch and urban Karadras generally, might be a hurdle in the eyes of FCS officials. And yet he was accepted. There he befriended another human and insisted they keep quiet about their bond and at once Gardina found out and objected. To Nadji, her powers of information gathering were becoming almost alarming.

Nadji’s grades improved at the academy as his interests and knack for research widened in scope.

When the news reported the disappearance of radical Hjalme religious leader Alhoya Alcana, Nagji delved deep into the story, employing standard news sources as well as underground channels which he’d developed a knack for infiltrating. He learned a number of interesting things:

The extreme nature of Alcana’s quasi-religion which was claimed by some to possess a partially secretive agenda proclaiming that only one intelligent race must exist in the universe; that race being Hjalme.

Another Hjalme disappearance occurred on the same day: that of an underground militia leader known as “the Skuggharon.”  

Claims that the Skuggharon’s real name was Mercerodat Alcana, that he and Alhoya were formerly married, and that they’d produced a son named Largo Alcana whose whereabouts has never been known.

Claims that the Starlight Brigade, whose presence on Karadras had grown significantly in the last two years, were behind these two coordinated abductions.

Upon studying images of Alhoya Alcana, Nadji was haunted: She looked so much like his aunt Allie they could be the same person.

Nadji slipped away from the academy and returned home where Gardina cited contagious illness and would not leave her bedroom for two days, demanding she be left alone. Nadji, through the bedroom door, insisted he was worried about her and insisted they get help for her. “Let us call Aunt and Uncle,” he said, carefully playing his cards. “If you will not tell me how to reach them I will find out myself!”

She replied that Allie and Merc had only been friends and they’d lost touch, and that the titles “aunt” and “uncle” had merely been a show of respect.

Further investigative research revealed that Gardina was not employed at the munitions factory and that she and himself only existed in local records but neither of their identities existed at higher governmental levels. And as for Allie and Merc, there was no village in Karadras known officially or colloquially as Nightshade.

One week before graduation Nadji, armed with the skills they’d taught him, fled the academy and confronted the woman who raised him: “Am I Largo Alcana?” he said. “Son of Alhoya and Mercerodat?” She displayed incredulity; claimed this to be nonsense. “Then I will see you again one day, Mother, and I hope you will tell me the truth.”

Nadji packed his bags and went to work with Titov who had dropped out of the academy earlier and now performed scouting services by private contract. Their client, he soon learned, were a branch of Waller’s Pirates and Titov was an official member.

Nadji worked for Titov casually in a specialized form of piracy: the locating and acquisition of rare materials from remote environments, until the time came to confirm his own membership in the band, but there, armed with experience and a growing list of contacts, he broke out on his own, with the goal of becoming an elite independent provider of information and rare objects.

His most important contact was a dealer by the name of Cyril Ozzyter who brought him into the Black Market fold and eventually introduced him to Lionel Lomax, adviser to a prestigious underworld family, who hired Nadji on recommendation, was impressed with his work, and opened up to him a wider, more lucrative field of clients.

And there the adventure begins!

I've been charged to create a character for the "Skyward" RPG campaign my pal will soon be running. It takes place in the future obviously. Our "Dungeons & Dragons" group is expanding; my D&D "Minerva" campaign will run concurrently with this one. I will be the Dungeon Master for some sessions and a player for others. I look forward to this variety and to seeing one of my young gang engage in the art of game mastering! 

Friday, February 08, 2019

Roller coasters and merry-go-rounds

Ooh, I wouldn’t do that, I thought. No, I wouldn’t do that either... Mmm… I wouldn’t say that... This is too linear and yet unclear….

She had sent me the draft, looking for an honest opinion. Would an honest opinion be possible? The 6-minute oral memoir performance was scheduled for this evening! If there are too many problems with the draft there wouldn’t be time to fix them all. In that case, better to down-play concerns? No sense worrying someone about that which cannot be fixed.

When it comes to storytelling, whether I am on the telling or receiving end, I am firmly in the subtlety camp. Not necessarily on the blog, mind you. When people send me tell-not-show writing, wanting my feedback, I am at a loss. I barely remember my tell-reading days. I can no longer really identify what works and what doesn’t. I eventually tell tellers, "Look: You have to find someone else to beta read for you; someone who gets your style. I’m not in that camp!" So my feedback did not seem to me very useful at all.

I also have no experience at six-minute memoirs (though I was approached by the event organizer last night about my possible future involvement, which indeed interests me as I have always been a natural with public speaking, even when I was a shy, awkward, teenage introvert. Which is rather mysterious I know. I was always instinctively more comfortable talking to an audience than to an individual. Weird is all I can say.

So my friend gets up and reads her piece. And I am completely hooked. The words have not been changed dramatically that I detect. And yes, I would have done it differently, but what she has done, now that it comes from her own mouth, with her own precise tones and inflections, well damn… it’s perfect!

She speaks of her roller coaster love life past, and the merry-go-round that is her stable new relationship. Like a pro, she carries the metaphor through to the inspiring end. I was hugely moved. I was in tears for six minutes. So much panic she had seemed to endure and why? She had it nailed! But what deep courage she needed in order to go through with it, both for obvious reasons and also for “political” ones. Meanwhile I continue to put off the stand-up comedy workshop even though I have several routines prepared because… well, what if I’m not funny?

I write this at the Espresso bar in Little Italy, a block from the Eloquent Potter’s home and looking forward to a major dinner-and-drink binge before he departs for Vietnam for another three month tour. This will be the last before he relocates permanently. I am armed with beer, wine, bread, cheese and a bouquet of flowers. The florists all hugged me; yes hugged me! - when I told them my friend would be leaving permanently! “Oh you must be broken-hearted!” they said. This is riotously funny. I guess when a man buys another man flowers they assume they can only be a gay couple!. It is such a warm moment for them that I just smile and tell them I will be fine! I do nothing to correct them nor to mislead them further.

The potter has made great strides learning a ridiculously difficult language and planning a new business and new life abroad, in a beautiful ancient culture.

I was once extraordinarily courageous. Then I became largely a chicken-shit again; just a wiser one. Today I am in awe of the courage of my sweet friends.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Racial dialogue and freedom of speech

So I just watched the documentary Alt. Right: The Age of Rage and got my first half-decent look at slithery citizens of Trump’s America Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor.  

The film could be claimed a simple forum for both sides of a race debate to state their case and that any failure to do so reflects on the them and not the filmmakers. But the project does strike me as a lightweight Michael Moore-ian effort where white-supremacists are cozened to and frankly look bad, but without overtly hanging themselves (humorously or otherwise), and where intelligent logical examinations of the material are noticeably missing; where a whole lot of unqualified opinions and groundless generalization suffices instead - and not just from the uptightie whities but from outspoken and unmasked black antifa (anti-fascist) champion (and potential martyr in my nervous opinion) Daryle Lamont Jenkins.

Jenkins’ mandate is to publicly oppose these speakers by leading rallies and counter-demonstrations and to publicly out alt-right supporters who depend on anonymity in order to keep their jobs and reputations. It’s called doxxing and its applicable targets are somewhat few in number given the nebulous nature of this so-called “movement”; a term in question given the great bulk of their apparent followers being unidentifiable in terms of their precise beliefs or motivations. Many, when cornered, appear to be more or less trolls, looking for dumbass entertainment as escape from lives they are too dull-minded to make meaning of, or, likewise, needing to unleash bottled rage in any direction someone will legitimize for them.

It’s hard to know what to make of the film’s two lead cretins. Almost certainly the film-makers are not entirely sympathetic to them and I wonder how intelligent they might have seemed pre-edit. Almost everything coming out of their mouths on-screen is dull-minded rhetoric, delusional ambition or childish baiting of their “opposition”; a mysterious entity known by the sadly-confused (including the U.S. president) as the “Alt. Left.”

There is of course, no such thing whatsoever as “alt. left” except as a keyboard button. Anti-racism and anti-violence are hallmark qualities of the entire left in their millions - which is why 99.9% of first world institutions espouse these values.

Richard Spencer, the dude who famously took the video-taped street-side sucker-punch, according to the (however possibly limited) film’s evidence amounts to an isolationist; a protector of white culture who claims that America must draw a line down the middle, offer the darkies whichever coast they prefer, and then relocate 150 million-or-so citizens (less however many millions die in the inevitable civil war I presume). The arguments against this, if you can possibly keep a straight face, could fill a library and I have more useful things to get to before this post becomes epic.

Author (self-published rather obviously) and American Renaissance online magazine founder Jared Taylor (per same proviso) appears as an intellectual pursuer of racial consciousness; a race realist; a white-advocate (and thankfully not anti-Semitic by the way). Neither express outward hate of non-whites but do publicly demonstrate disrespect with various degrees of subtlety.

At the core of my interest is the call of these and other such characters, including a pearly-white university freshman who virtually cried on my shoulder over the dilemma, is their denial of free speech with regards to addressing audiences, or booking academic meetings on issues which challenge, or potentially challenge, our traditional observances of racial, gender or other equalities. (I must confess that every time someone mentions free speech I immediately scan the horizon in hopes of swift alien abduction and begin stifling yawns. Much like political correctness I never find the phrase muttered in any coherent context.)

In terms of public speaking and free speech, there are some very important considerations in my opinion:
The origin of the right to free speech is the right to question your government or church without being prosecuted by them (An ideal which Bush Junior clearly began dismantling by the way).

What you freely speak is still ethically and morally bound to you. You are not protected from consequences of what you do or say.

Various rights are always bumping into one another and are subject to priority. There are other rights in this society which are not trumped by the right to free speech. For one, parties have the right to choose who they allow on the stages they own or are charged to govern and the right to choose who to listen to. Thus if you want to freely speak beyond your own bedroom it requires greater and greater levels of cooperation. Lack of cooperation does not necessarily amount to denial of your rights. You are not the centre of the universe.

People also have the right to life and as such, to defend it. When lawyer and Whack-Job o’ the Century (and self-tortured closeted homosexual almost certainly), Matt McLaughlin, tried proposing a California bill in which homosexuals should be arbitrarily “shot with bullets in the head or else killed by any convenient method” it was obvious to me that this very action was a legitimate attempt at causing death and that no gay Californian could be blamed for being terrified at this and could effectively interpret his life endangered and thus if he chose to kill McLaughlin it could only be considered self-defense and such a plea should be easily converted by any competent defense lawyer.

My point is that if non-whites, or any targeted group, can only interpret that a public speech can only manifest widespread motives for the de-valuing of their life then they are in danger and their instincts will know it and produce some degree of panic, lucid or otherwise. If you make this happen for people then it’s inevitable you will meet urgent opposition and whether we label that opposition legally justified or not is not very compelling. It’s inevitable. There is such a thing as natural law and natural justice.

So the question becomes: does your speech qualify as an attack? You either believe it does not or you rationalize and choose to claim that it does not. But then, if your aims are legitimate then who is your legitimate audience?

I actually would take an interest in reasonably discussing the natural phenomena of tribalism and its role in making our species successful, and its relevance in today’s society. I would happily provide a forum for discussion to “racial consciousness” or “race realism” were it in my power. And by the way, I would go on to point out how natural tribal instinct does not make racism legitimate but rather it is an example of our morbid domination instinct which made us “winners” but which we must evolve away from before it inevitably causes our self-destruction. Not that this is much of a motivator with regards to my own personal behaviour by the way. I am generally organically kind and respectful for the most part and feel a great fondness for most life forms with skunks and biting black flies among the few exceptions. I would delight in making those fuckers extinct.

But it seems I’m a pretty small minority in terms of that open-mindedness. It seems evident to me that the great majority of kind, empathetic people have no interest in opening up this troublesome dialogue likely due in some large part to their own repressed doubt, as witnessed by the social norm where nice guy leaders define racism to the masses in completely inaccurate terms, almost Santa Clausian which are very palatable to the average citizen but do not enlighten anyone and do not actually help the problem beyond potentially shaming outward racists into keeping their mouths shut. I can’t imagine that a minority of people; intellectuals or whatnot with a healthy interest in these subjects, would be at all inclined toward attending these kinds of public speeches. The potential perils outweigh the potential benefit. And indeed these speeches which I have glimpsed inevitably contain telltale tidbits aimed at delighting haters. Obviously they know where their audience is coming from and depend on their numbers to give them status.

When you know that your speech is going to be largely attended by, and supported by, aggressive bigots (because with or without your explicit endorsement you are the only public voice saying anything close to what they want to hear), then you have espoused their interests and can expect no discernment from them when you are judged, and so free speech has become irrelevant on the matter. You have limited your access to whatever dreary places your audience governs. You have made the wrong friends and thus made the wrong enemies, regardless how evil you are in your heart, or not.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Five super-shocking unexpected facts!

So I push the unlock button on my key fob but I don’t hear any faint clicking in response. Usually this means I’ve absent-mindedly tried to use it on the front door of the house instead of on my car but not this time. This time I did in fact point it at the relevant target and the car door opened when I tried, so it must have worked but quietly so. Right?

Wrong. I almost started cluing in when I tried to squeeze my ass into the driver’s seat and it wouldn’t fit.

I discovered that the driver seat had been moved all the way forward. This is odd because it’s an electronic control. I fingered the button to try to correct it while wondering what sort of electrical weirdness could possibly have caused this to happen on its own.

A while back I gave Long Time Companion a boost and he crossed the terminal connections. Since then the beast has suffered a bevy of off-and-on electrical glitches including lights not working for various durations.

The button wasn’t making the seat move so I tried putting the key into the ignition to access battery power but lo and behold - I had no ignition cylinder any more. It was missing, and being the eagle-eyed Sherlock Holmes that I am, I was finally starting to suspect foul play.

It seemed none of my paltry possessions were missing nor were there signs of forced entry, however it’s a very easy car to jimmy; I know. Apparently though, it might not be the easiest model to successfully hot wire. Or maybe this particular thief was a special brand of idiot. Or maybe LTC’s electrical bamboozlement had inadvertently thrown a monkey wrench into the beast’s stealability and he actually did me a favour!

And now as a public service I present:


ONE: The most ancient jalopies on the street are generally the least valuable cars on the street. This will negatively affect your profit.

TWO: Due to some peculiar as-yet-understood phenomena, there is evidence of a firm link between personal income and personal purchasing power, which fairly reliably results in fact number three:

THREE: The oldest car on the street is likely owned by the poorest dude on the street.

FOUR: Poor dudes do not make the gamble of buying insurance premiums against theft or vandalism because: A) they are least able to afford it and: B) they don’t expect thieves to target the least valuable car on the street. This is for much the same reason you don’t expect a shoplifter to infiltrate a liquor store for the purpose of pocketing a ten-dollar bottle of Alcool.

and finally FIVE: When you steal or vandalize the oldest jalopy on the street you are generally doing the worst possible damage to the victims who have the least capacity to cope with it, and will suffer the most. In other words, you’re not Robin Hood. You’re kind of the opposite of Robin Hood. You’re basically just a horrible person. Thanks for everything.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Bill 66 update: Good news

“Thanks to public outcry” Ford has apparently yanked Schedule 10 from the bill. That’s the specific legislation which was to allow corporations to shit all over the Green Belt and Clean Water acts in the events these spectacularly rare tidbits of sanity threatened profits, which, granted, is only about 101% likely at any given moment,

So if you acted, congrats on your victory!

Of course if this is anything like every other similar event in the recent history of slimy Canadian politics, they’ll just slip the same atrocious corporate concessions into some other bill and work harder to keep it a secret and they’ll do this again and again until it squeaks through, while the people of Canada, some of the dearest hopeless impotent little darlings on the globe, bend over and take it!

Yeah I’m having a really rough morning. Sorry…

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A little crack

At Poetry Corner last night - okay it’s not called Poetry Corner but it’s a very friendly, fun and supportive monthly gathering where folks share their poetry and any other creative efforts. Okay: At "Poetry Corner" I shared my finished Red Herring game.

Ivan the Tolerable taught us a bit about the accordion and then on his own very snazzy one he wheezed out the Godfather theme and some other Italian ditty, much to the gleeful approval of Papa Italiano who then shared this little brain-buster:

that that is is that that is not is not that that is is not that that is not is that it it is  

This is supposedly a perfectly valid paragraph if you insert the correct punctuation. Most people take a few minutes to figure it out if at all!

Soul Man made some much-appreciated magic with a couple classic Spanish guitar pieces, Math Teacher shared her watercolours and a couple “passing” spectators were prompted to share their favourite travel story as a contribution.

Cradle Man was in rare form this night, rarely given to his almost-permanent compulsive stereotypic (rocking) motion. He sang entirely unique covers to a couple 80’s tunes in his favourite single tone and pitch and his very special fluctuating time signature! I personally love these joyful train wrecks!

The Native’s Wife managed to get us all on our feet to sing and dance a native song. I have no idea what it meant but hey, it was a new experience! I shall have to find out more about it.

The Lonely Lumberjack and his poetry were the impetus behind this creative tradition many years ago now and besides Soul Man, it’s most steady participant. And it was through Poetry Corner, which he himself invited me to, when he was a tenant, and myself a guard, at the local correction centre, that I became associated with this charitable community before eventually becoming a volunteer.

This night we learned that he had stayed home with illness. So someone dug out their speaker-phone-cell-o-phone-machine and we called him up as Soul Man strummed a flexible intro… and as soon as he answered, we launched into song:

When the night has come and the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me...

I don't ever sing at these or other community events except on the rare occasion I present one of my own songs on my own guitar, but this night I made an exception and joined in. We sang it complete while through the phone we heard old Mr. Lumberjack whistling along with us!

Oh and if you want the answer to the riddle above, here it is:

That that is, is.
That that is not, is not.
That that is, is not that that is not.
Is that it?
It is.

It’s an exercise to illustrate the importance of ambiguity and punctuation.

At the close of the session Soul Man reported his conversation with the gruff, taciturn and oft-cantankerous Lonely Lumberjack who confessed that he was deeply touched by our musical sneak attack and even surrendered a tear in his eye!

Every once in a while a little crack appears and his little old heart emits a ray of light.

And now here's a special treat:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

#90: Letting go

…And speaking of the Eagles: When their silver-tongued drummer, Don Henley finally broke out on his own he made a decent splash with 82 debut solo album I Can’t Stand Still and its viciously critical singles Dirty Laundry and Johnny Can’t Read; condemnations of America’s media culture and education system respectively.

But then came pop/rock music’s Mecca year; 1984, and his hit-loaded second album (still a great fave of mine) Building the Perfect Beast which fully thrust Henley from the shadows of the drum kit into the pop spotlight and more fame then he was necessarily comfortable with, thanks largely to MTV’s second ever Video Of The Year for this track:

By Don Henley and Mike Campbell
1984, USA

The themes here are consistent with so many of Henley’s big songs: the passage of time; aging; reflection. While it’s largely regarded a love song; a longing for an ex-lover, which is supported by the Boys of Summer original context: the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team who broke the hearts of so many fans by moving to Los Angeles, I interpret the narrator’s actual intentions to be clouded and undecided. “I should just let it go but…”

Henley insists he really did see a Deadhead (Grateful Dead) bumper sticker on a Cadillac; a prime example of selling out with age. And while I can find no consolidation on this: I believe the rather blatant use of a drum machine by a celebrated manual drummer is an intentional reference to that theme along with the absurdly-lifeless drumming style of the little boy in the video; clearly a young-Henley representation.  

Peak: #5, Billboard Top 100 and #1, Billboard Top Rock Tracks.