Friday, September 19, 2003

Hurricane Isabel arrived today. The paper claimed she would arrive at 2:00 pm here in Southern Ontario. Isabelle was either incredibly early or she was incredibly late for her appointment because at 2:00 it was decidedly calm. The furious wind I witnessed this morning gave me the feeling that by the time Isabel arrived she'd be tossing little old ladies through the air. Isabel, you suck.

The last big hurricane to arrive was Hazel and she did significant damage to this area. My grandfather lost his nursery business to her when she swept through and killed all of his young trees. I'm sure he'd own a large business now if Hazel hadn't graced Ontario with her presence. He owned a greenhouse for a while after he "retired." I wish he still had that place, it made him so happy. Now all he can do is putter around Tillsonburg re-reading all the books in the local library.

I began reading Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" yesterday. I find the book most interesting. Perhaps I'll write an analysis of that book once I've read the entire thing. Black Thought, of the Roots, led me to the book in an interview in which he explained why he had named his 1999 album "Things Fall Apart." While the book follows the negative influence colonialism had on one village in Nigeria, the Roots' album explores the negative influence commercialism has had on hip hop. However, instead of dwelling on this influence, the Roots seek to move their artistry past all the negatives in the same way Chihua Achebe sought to revitalize the arts in Nigeria.

Oh, and a clarification. When I declare with pride that my last name is "den Boer," I'm not condoning the behaviour of the truly boorish boers of South African fame. Although they may be my distant cousins, I despise all they did to Africa. Perhaps you find it odd that I try to distance myself from the Afrikaaners when its a certainty that I had ancestors who engaged in behaviour which was just as horrible. Well, everyone has horrible ancestors somewhere down the line and I'm sure everyone who despises racism as much as I do would wish to distance themselves from the Nazi-sympathizing Apartheid regime.

On that note, Mandela was just recently removed from the U.S. list of terrorists. Thanks America! Now maybe Cheney can apologize for voting against Mandela's release. Not likely, Cheney claims he still would have voted the same way. Now he says the ANC has mellowed and Mandela has become an admirable man. Suddenly Mandela stopped being a terrorist and became a statesman. How convenient. Only the extreme right believes Mandela was ever a terrorist. Everyone else realizes he was a political prisoner. Inability to connect the repressive nature of Apartheid with ANC's freedom fighting . . . perhaps this has something to do with Cheney's immediate inability to connect today's terrorist with anything other than a hatred for freedom.

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