Up, Down, Nothing much.
If you are in Toronto, please consider attending this important event - details here: Hungry for Climate Leadership.
A candle-lit vigil of hope and solidarity, on the longest night of the year (in so many ways); at the Constituency Office of Peter Kent (sleveen), Canada's Minister of the Environment:
7600 Yonge Street, Thornhill.
(not the 7600 in Richmond Hill).
(Why not straight in front of his house, I wonder? Doesn't he live there somewhere?)
Wednesday December 21, 4:00 to 6:30 PM. Rallying at Yonge & Steeles (a 20 minute walk away) at 3:30 PM.
(You can't get there by TTC apparently. If I find a way I will post it here.)
Elizabeth May has her moments: She doesn't call Peter Kent the P.O.S. he really is - but she doesn't tell us how much she likes him either, at least not this time (and I am grateful for that).
In this press conference she several times hits the shiny little nail right on its shiny little head:
- the original at CBC 30 minutes (better sound quality),
- posted by the Green Party as part 1 & part 2 (not so much).
And in this post: Kyoto withdrawal: There must be a political price to be paid.
Looks like Barack Obama has caved in / is caving in / will cave in / might cave in / might not cave in ... on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Bloomberg: "... Republicans fell short on efforts to force the permitting of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline ..."
Globe: "... would require Mr. Obama to decide within 60 days whether to grant a permit for the pipeline. But the legislation also allows Mr. Obama to decide not to do so ..."
NYT: maybe so ... maybe not ...
And more of the same nonsense equivocation from McKibben & Meisel (with exaggerated emotional overtones worthy of a basketball). At least they have stopped spouting, "WE WON! WE WON!" and I for one am grateful for small mercies.
Just have to wait and see. (But we don't like waiting, do we?)
AT A BLACKBIRD
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
The blackbird must be flying.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.
|Could be way misleading, what with Obama and 'blackbird' and pictures of a young black woman mixed up into it and all. Oh well.|
Can't be helped; or could have been maybe but wasn't; suffice to say it's about what the 1% or the 99% (or whoever the fuck they are) are not stopping doing anytime soon. Makes me want to hear Caetano's Terra or here or here.
Photographs of Geli Forlefac from Kwesi Abbensetts.
Nothing needs to be said here about eighth blackbird, or very little - their website is one of the few I've seen that actually works, both comprehensive and intuitive. The notes that follow are just reminders to myself:
• Tim Munro, flutes (Molly Barth to 2006)
• Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets
• Yvonne Lam, violin & viola (Matt Albert to 2011)
• Nicholas Photinos, cello
• Matthew Duvall, percussion+
• Lisa Kaplan, piano
- Round Nut Tool
- thirteen ways
- strange imaginary animals
- Double Sextet • 2x5
- On a Wire • QED: Engaging Richard Feynman
- Lonely Motel: Music from Slide
None of their music shows up on the pirate sites, not much on YouTube either - and downloads are only available in the US, so ...
Reading Empire of illusion, the end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle from 2009.
Why thirteen pages of wrestling up-front? I thought I had taken the point after a page or two. And the writing often seems so ... all-over-the-place, tendentious (is that the word?) ...
That said (and nevertheless), parts of this book are making me take long uncomfortable looks at myself.
The little piece of lyric from eighth blackbird's 'addiction': "one too many unchecked fantasies / one too many unchallenged assumptions /one too many unexamined beliefs /and you slide into addiction ..." which I found as I was finishing up the last post - seems to be a harmonic convergence.
And what comes around seems to go around too (or something) - this review of three Orwell biographies turned up in the free section of the LRB: Reach-Me-Down Romantic, which (going around yet once more) also touches on Christopher Hitchens (though the review is dated 2003 it seems to acknowledge Hitchens' recent death - ambiguity is good I guess).
I read some of this on Gutenberg Australia: Fifty Orwell Essays, particularly 'The Lion and the Unicorn' mentioned at the end of the review.
Depressing ... I hadn't realized that he was given to such concluding sentences as, "I believe in England, and I believe that we shall go forward." Oh well.
That's it; running out of candles.
I did find a bakery this week with a woman there (one of the owners) who both knows how to make bread and run the slicing machine (unlike the wage-slaves at Weston's & Cob's Bread respectively), and she was not in a hurry; and the bread is about half the price. And with croissants. A TTC ride away, but I like riding on streetcars - I was smiling the whole way back carrying my weekly supply of bread.
Something to look forward to on Sundays.
( ... hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain ...)
An interesting survey from the Globe: Poll: C’mon, be honest: Answer these highly personal, somewhat inappropriate questions posted on the 16th, response as of the 18th here (but the wankers haven't said how many responded and have not published the geographical & age stats, yet - 'stay tuned' they say).
Responses to December 19th:
1. In 2011, were you more stressed or less stressed than you were the year before?
|Way more stressed||27%|
|A little more stressed||27%|
|About the same||23%|
|A little less stressed||16%|
|Much less stressed. Who can complain about 2011?||7%|
2. What's the biggest stress in your life?
|The current political climate||7%|
|My love life||9%|
|What I'm going to cook tonight||5%|
3. How many Facebook friends do you have?
|50 or fewer||19%|
|51 to 150||18%|
|151 to 250||11%|
|251 to 400||10%|
|More than 400||7%|
|None: Facebook is for chumps||36%|
4. How many of those friends would you tell if you had a serious health problem?
|5 or fewer||40%|
|Up to 25||20%|
|More than 25||5%|
|Everyone would know. I'd post it on Facebook||1%|
|I told you I’m not on Facebook||26%|
5. How much household debt (including your mortgage) do you have?
|None. I'm in the black, baby||38%|
|Less than $150,000||32%|
|Between $150,000 and $300,000||18%|
|Between $300,000 and $500,000||8%|
|More than $500,000||4%|
6. Is that more or less than last year?
|A lot more. I've racked up at least another $50,000||6%|
|A little more. I've added on another $1,000-$50,000||12%|
|About the same||25%|
|A little less. I paid off up to $ 50,000||25%|
|A lot less. I paid off more than $ 50,000||5%|
|Let me repeat: I’m in the black, baby||26%|
7. How many servings of vegetables do you eat a day?
|Do chips count? I don't eat vegetables regularly||8%|
|One to two servings||51%|
|Three to five servings||35%|
|More than five servings. Just call me Popeye||6%|
8. How much chocolate do you eat a day?
|I don't eat chocolate most days||62%|
|Less than half a chocolate bar||27%|
|Up to one chocolate bar (or the equivalent)||8%|
|One chocolate bar and another chocolate snack||1%|
|As much as I can get my hands on||2%|
9. Did you sext this year, either as a sender or receiver of text, video or photos?
|Yes. What’s the harm?||19%|
|No. I’d be mortified||63%|
|I don't know what sexting is||18%|
10. Do you know anyone who did?
|I'm not saying||8%|
11. Which of the following did you do as a parent over the past year (check all that apply)?
|I lied to my kids||12%|
|I bribed them||14%|
|I swore in front of them||24%|
|I spanked them||4%|
|I ate their Halloween candy||17%|
|None. I'm a perfect parent||4%|
|I don’t have young kids||67%|
12. Which of these foods should be banned (check all that apply)?
|Shark fin soup||61%|
|KFC's Double Down sandwich||40%|
|McDonald's Happy Meals||25%|
|None. I don't believe in food bans||27%|
13. Who is your favourite royal?
|Harry (of course!)||10%|
|Will (of course!)||8%|
|Elizabeth (of course!)||17%|
|Kate (of course!)||17%|
|Does Pippa Middleton count?||13%|
|Abolish the monarchy||36%|
14. Whose death this year affected you the most?
15. What resolution do you really want to commit to this year?
|Save more money||14%|
|Have a better sex life||12%|
|Get a better job||9%|
|Be nicer to friends and family||10%|
|I'm not making any||28%|
16. How much cash do you have on you right now?
|None. I've always got my debit card||14%|
|Less than $20||22%|
|Less than $100||37%|
|$500 or more||5%|
17. Did you join a gym this year?
18. When was the last time you worked out?
|Within the past three months||10%|
|Within the past six months||7%|
|I didn't work out at all in 2011||19%|
19. When was the last time you had a physical?
|Within the past six months||25%|
|Within the past year||29%|
|Within the past five years||26%|
|It's been more than five years||11%|
|I've never had one||8%|
20. What's your secret vice?
|Stealing office supplies||1%|
|I'm not telling||31%|
21. Are you feeling hopeful about 2012?
22. What are you most hopeful about?
|The current political climate||2%|
|My love life||12%|
|What I'm cooking tonight||4%|
|I told you I'm not||14%|
Ah ... another systematic information twister discovered: Pain in the ass formatting tables - so I pasted the responses into a .jpg with Paint, which .jpg was long and skinny (300 x 5,000 pixels or so); uploaded the .jpg, all done! Wrong! Google sets a maximum dimension on photographs (I guess) of 1,600 pixels, so it was not legible.