Monday, October 31, 2005

A poem to remember Rosa Parks:

A Colored Child at the Carnival

by Langston Hughes

Where is the Jim Crow section
On this merry-go-round,
Mister, cause I want a ride?
Down South where I come from
White and colored
Can't sit side by side.
Down South on the train
There's a Jim Crow car.
On the bus we're put on the back--
But there ain't no back
To a merry-go round!
Where's the horse
For a kid's that black?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I forgot to add Chris Crookall to my list of linked blogs. So, welcome Chris and I will come to your Bible Study, eventually.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

You may have noticed that my list of linked blogs is growing.

The first addition: Jono and Janice Barnhoorn. Jono and Janice are Redeemer alumni who taught English in Korea (South, if you must know) and have returned to Canada (via B.C.) where Jono is studying linguistics (kind of like someone I know). These are my peeps (peeps is the new lingo the kids are using nowadays to represent their "people." I'm just trying to say that these are my "people.)

The second addition is Cousin Rod and Cousin Becky Snoek (nee Barnhoorn) . . . I always wanted to do that . . . Cousin Rod and Cousin Becky are teaching English in Japan where they blend in quite well what with their blonde and flame red hair. "Hai Wakamarisu," whatever that means.

The third addition is Todd Guthrie who I lived with last year is probably the best Halo player in the world, but that's okay because I'm better at Morrowind. Todd Guthrie has cleverly named himself Tresneaky. The people I lived with last year are all very clever . . . Scott with his hippie hair and admirable self control, Phil with his acrobatic sandal-tossing, Daryl with his stumpot (sp?), me with Boerishbwoy, Aaron with his clever "Picturegy" blog and now Todd with his cleverly titled blog. Hey Todd! You don't have to write an entry every day, eh?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

grrrr, lost another brilliant post to the gaping greedy jaws of the evil black-hole forces of the internet. Grrrrrr.

Too bad.
Just Don't Do It
The other day (by other day I mean some random day about six months ago) I was watching a documentary on the the clash between city bylaw officers and citizens in some random American city. At one point, a tow truck driver was hooking up the cables to begin to tow away an illegally parked car when an irate owner drunkenly stumbled out of the nearby bar.
"I can't believe this," said the drunken man (I'm paraphrasing, of course, for although my memory is remarkable, it is not that good), "this is a Nazi city we live in."
The tow truck driver just smiled and continued to do his thing.
"You hear me, you're a Nazi," he said to the tow truck driver who was black and would definitely have met a gruesome end at the hands of the Nazis. I grinded my teeth in annoyance.
Recently, Robert Mugabe stood before the U.N. and compared President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair to Hitler and Mussolini. I suppose Bush would be Hitler and Blair would be Mussolini, but the comparison breaks down pretty quickly from there, considering that Hitler was devilishly smart and Bush, while earnestly sincere, is a mere puppet. Hitler was also a captivating orator while Bush can barely read his teleprompter. Most importantly, Bush, while being a slightly corrupt ideologue, is a man whose sins and shortcomings pale to insignificance when compared to the loathsome and murderous evil wrought by Hitler.
Like teeth being scraped slowly across a chalkboard, the comparison of simple every-day annoyances to one of the greatest evils of twentieth century grates on my nerves.
Was your professor slightly reticent with his marking? He's a marking Nazi. Does your boss give a lecture every time you go slightly over the alloted break time? He's a break Nazi. Did the meter maid give you a ticket? She's Hitler.
National Socialism was responsible for the outbreak of a war that killed over 50 million men, women and children. Hitler presided over one of the worst genocides in history, arguably the worst genocide of history, the deliberate killing of six million Jews. National Socialism gutted and raped Europe and its totalitarian regime brutally repressed any who objected. Hitler wanted to reshape the world according to his abominable racist vision and he would have murdered millions more if he had been given the opportunity.
Bush, while misguided, is no Hitler. I would argue that this is one clear case where it is better to have a notoriously inept and misguided leader with good intentions than a notoriously capable and wicked leader with dark and loathsome intentions. I would fight to live in a corrupt democracy any time any place rather than live under a Hitler-style dictatorship.
When you compare your stubborn landlord to Hitler or the Nazis you are, in all actuality, saying that demands for pre-authorized cheques can be morally equated with mass genocide, mass destruction, and mass repression. That isn't funny. Hitler deserves better. If you're going to compare him to anyone, compare him to, say, Chairman Mao, Iosef Stalin, Pol Pot, or even Kim Jong-Il. Let's be serious because we all know that Hitler wouldn't have just refused to cash your cheque without a photo-id at your local bank, he would have also stolen your account, all of your possessions, and would have slowly killed you, your family, and all of your pets if you dared to oppose him.
Just don't do it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Welcome to the Blogosmos, Picturegy.

I was going to get right into what I had to say but then my breath was taken away by the brilliance of my title. I'll repeat it for those who missed it "Welcome to the Blogosmos, Picturegy." At first glance this title seems rather plain and ordinary, perhaps even confounding but let me explain to you why this title should be nominated for the Pulitzer (assuming they hand them out for brilliant blog titles and assuming further that there is some electronic gadget which allows the Pulitzer people to give the award to a few inanimate letters deep in the caverns of the internet.)
First of all, I have replaced the common reference to the entire blogging world - blogosphere - with a much better, much snappier replacement - blogosmos. Let's just say that the word "blogosphere," if we want to be etymologically correct, should only refer to the gaseous region above a blog. This region does not exist and, therefore, has no need to be labelled. If we seriously wanted to talk about the entire blogging world we would say something like the "blog-a-terre" (which sounds stupid and just a little bit French.)
Blogosmos, on the other hand, comes from the grand fastening of the words blog and kosmos together. Blog originated in 1998 as a grand fastening of the words web and log while kosmos is the Greek word for universe. Therefore, instead of welcoming Picturgy to the non-existant gaseous region above the blogs, I am welcoming him to the blog universe.
The second bit of brilliance in this title I am not responsible for. No, the second bit belongs entirely to Aaron Gysbers. Aaron, has taken the word "picture" and his last name, Gysbers, and grandly fastened them together into the word "picturegy." Aaron has a fondness for photographs (hence the use of the word picture) and (here's the bit that will make you see Gysber's true brilliance) he likes to be referred to as a "guy without spurs." Picture + Gy - sbers = Picturegy.
Welcome, Aaron, welcome.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I was just helping my wife with her homework for her female studies class and I came across this poem while I was helping her research sex tourism in Thailand. Tragic.

With No Immediate Cause
by Ntozake Shange

Every 3 minutes a woman is beaten,
every 5 minutes a woman is raped,
every 10 minutes a little girl is molested
ever 3 minutes, every 5 minutes, every 10 minutes . . . every day

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Spice Rack

So, the other day I found a spice rack. A nice solid wooden structure with a beautiful dark brown finish and room enough for a large variety of spices. With this spice rack, I reckoned, I could probably hold enough spices to cook a diverse group of dishes that would satisfy all the possible cultural groups that appeared at my table as guests. I could prepare tasty well-spiced meals for Italians, Indonesians, Japanese, Persians, Pakistanis, Greeks, Jamaicans, East Africans, West Africans, South Africans, North Africans, Arabs, and even have enough room for the gruelling epicurean demands of Dutch guests . . . well, ok, I'd have the sprinkle of salt that the Dutch occasionally dash upon their potatoes.

Excited, I brought the spice rack home to show my beautiful wife.

"What is that?" she demanded.

"A spice rack, " I said, surprised by the hard edge in her voice.

"We already have a spice rack," she stated increduously.

"Yes," I admitted, "but this one is bigger." Actually, I only said "yes" the part about "this one is bigger" I kept in my head.

"We don't need a spice rack," she said, her hand on her hip.

"Yeah," my enthusiasm was drowning in her logic, "but we could use this to store other things."

"Like what?" she asked.

"Uh," my mind worked - cd's? No, too big. - soup cans? No, we don't eat much soup. - Figurines? No, we don't have figurines that small. Something! Yes, that's it!, "We could find something to put on it."

"Where did you find that thing?" her beautiful brown eyes tearing the spice rack apart as if it was personally responsible for the invention of menstruating.

"I found it," I shrugged.


I had found it in the dumpster at work. I imagined that if I told her that this was the case she would not only throw it off the balcony, but me as well. This, despite the facts that I had wiped it down with industrial paper towel and that the thing had been nestled snuggly on a clean-looking piece of cardboard. Women, however, do not understand this sort of thing. All they hear is the word "dumpster" and they immediately associate that word with all the nasty stinky rotting disgusting smells that they had witnessed when rushing past dumpsters to wash their hands. Because, you know, women are always washing their hands (with both soap and water!)

"You know," I said, "I found it."

"Take it back to where it came from," she said, her voice implying that the spice rack had ascended to earth from the dark depths of hell itself.

Frankly, I was a little hurt. After all, this was a nice solid wooden structure with a beautiful dark brown finish and I had found it and had not paid a dime for it! "Don't you think it's nice, though?"

"No," her eyes had shown more mercy towards my worn and rancid-smelling work boots.

"Fine," I muttered, "I'll . . . I'll . . . " I sighed, how could I? "I'll throw it out."

"Good, because it is not coming into this apartment," she turned and went inside.

I looked at the beautiful spice rack one last time, said my goodbye and reluctantly placed it beside our recycling bin.

When garbage day came, I somehow forgot to place the spice rack with the rest of the trash. And so the spice rack stands proudly and beautifully on our metal balcony awaiting its day of redemption.

Do not worry, my spice rack, your day will come, your day will come. I just need a plan.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I simply love political cartoons. I love the exaggerated features, the ridiculous statements, the parody, the irony, and the art. I can look at a political cartoon that I completely disagree with and laugh because the artist has done such a good job in rendering his idea of how stupid a situation is. The cartoon on the right is by Nick Anderson, the 2005 Pullitzer Prize Winner. His art speaks for itself . . . The cartoon on the left is by Matt Davies. Enjoy!
Piet Harsevoort has published a review of "Run Lola Run" on his blog (it appears in this month's Crown). I've never seen the movie, but I am pretty intent on seeing it now. Thanks for sharing, Piet, and I look forward to the future reviews.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


When I first arrived in Gatineau (the city formerly named as Hull) I managed to misplace myself on the twisting roads of this fine Québec city. On the way home from work I decided to avoid the busy Maisonneuve thoroughfare by turning left on Papineau. I thought I might get through to St. Laurent ( the 4th century martyr patron saint of librarians, brewers, paupers, students and cooks who gave all the churches money to the poor before the Romans could steal it) by turning left onto St. Jacques (Ledoyen, priest martyred during the French Revolution). This was an incredibly dwarse decision, considering that I actually needed to turn right. I corrected my mistake and made my way to St. Laurent (which might actually refer to a Laurentius or his brother Laurentinus who were martyred in the third century in Carthage) I thought it would be quicker to get to St. Redempteur (Thomas Rodriguez de Cunha martyred by Muslims in 1638 somewhere in Malaysia) by turning onto St. Hyacinthe (which could refer to a soldier martyred in Rome in AD 120, to Emporer Trajan's chamberlain who starved to death rather than eat meat offered to idols, to a man was killed after he cut down a tree dedicated to an idol somewhere in north-west Turkey, to an apostle to Poland who famously carried a crucifix and statue of Mary safely away during an attack on his monastery, to a man who was martyred with St. Alexander and St. Tiburtius in AD 690 in Italy, to the servant of St. Philip whom he was martyred with, to a man martyred in southern Italy alongside St. Quintus, St. Felician, and St. Lucian, to a missionary beheaded in Vietnam in 1773, to a Dominican priest who was burned alive in 1622 in Nagasaki Japan, or to a noblewoman who humbled herself and served the aged poor in Italy in the early seventeenth century.) Unfortunately, St. Hyacynthe was a dead end, so I turned right onto St. Henri (which probably refers to St. Henricus Gallus of Albano who was a French bishop and cardinal in the twelfth century). I decided to turn back onto St. Laurent. I looked to my left as I travelled a long and saw that St. Florent (which probably refers to a French deacon beheaded by barbarians in AD 451 in Rheims) also ended in a dead end. I finally found my way northwards and turned left onto St. Étienne (which is the French version of St. Stephen who, you may know, was the first Christian martyr) and then right onto St. Hélene (the mother of Emporer Constantine the great who supposedly found the relics of the true cross). After twisting on a few more streets I found myself on Sacré Coeur which I followed to St. Redempteur and past St. Joseph (the father of Jesus and the patron saint of Canada) and to my house.

Who deh?