Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

31 July 2007

Quote O' the Day

"I don't want to satirize George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them."

--Tom Lehrer

Here's an interesting video. Words and music by care to guess?



Add a few frames of George Deux and Tom might get his wish.







Having Written Out My Blues in the Last Post

I'm gonna post a tune. I'd like to send this one out to a very good friend of mine, who's mopey and dopey today, and needs a kick in the pants from the sole person truly qualified to give it to him:

Myself, this one's for you!



Video by the grace of Bob--Colorado Bob. Who also has great video of the Wallflowers with Jordan Zevon doing "Lawyers, Guns, and Money". Go watch it.







Heartsore

I spoke at the post below of how the loss of a friendship can reduce me to rubble.

In a year spent in this Valley of the Sunshine of Life I have gathered perhaps three or four friendships I feel confident in. Perhaps I'm too selective; many potential friendships wither on the vine.

But some implode. And when they do, it hurts in a way nothing else quite does.

Shall we call her Mandela Warner? Mandy for short. I mentioned Mandy in an earlier post, without naming her. Words like "brilliant" and "luminous" were used. She's quite beautiful, and has a quirky sense of humour. I think she's a genius.

I had the opportunity and privilege of watching her light up the stage. I was ... I think "awed" might not be too strong a word. And a little envious. This woman is taking a career path that I was never bold enough to follow. There is no doubt we will see her in films within two years. I cannot convey to you the effect that interacting with her at any level had on me.

I can't.

I know because I've tried, and everyone seems to think I've got some sort of mid-life-crisis hard-on for a woman half my age. And I sure as hell wish that were the case. Pure lust is easy to deal with. Not so this strange ... whatever it is.

Mandy is a particularly accomplished writer and actor, and recently had a play produced at a local community theatre.

Now to refer to Winterfly's stage as "community theatre" is not to do it justice. It's a very professional facility, and the main source of theatrical entertainment for thousands. So getting a play onstage there is a significant acheivement.

Mme Metro and I attended opening night. How was the play, you ask? Well ... and there's the rub. If I am to be honest, and O Avid Fan can I be anything else? To my friends and Avid Fans, the truth always ... the word I'd use is "uneven."

The play began as a very funny farce. The word some people in the audience used was "relentless". The jokes were thick and fast, and some wished there'd been a bit more dramatic space between them. The characters were well-drawn, the cast was generally excellent, and the premise intriguing.

The second act ascended through farce into surrealism. The ending felt abrupt to me--as though having gotten the characters into an untenable situation, Mandy had had to find them a way out, deus ex machina.

However, let me be clear: I saw nothing in the play that was not admirable in some sense. And I never once questioned the value of the work, nor its right to be staged. It was brave and it was bold. Moreover, I caught glints of rich subtext. I'm not sure it was intended, but there were a couple of unifying threads that travelled brilliantly through the play.

So I enjoyed it. Remember that.

O Avid Fan, I am sometimes very stupid: Upon arriving home, I wrote to Mandy, including my opinion of the play. What I should have written was "I enjoyed the play. Congratulations on your achievement." Instead, I gave feedback. Honest and facilitative ... I thought.

I'll spare myself the embarrasment of quoting the drivel I wrote. What the hell was I thinking?

In the clear light a few days later the message sounded haughty, supercillious, and downright rude. But most of all, it was just totally inappropriate and wrong for the occasion.

After three days of cold silence I wrote an apology. It's now been over two weeks. Ladies and gentlemen, I think I've £µ©λed this one up for good and all.

I never thought this would become anything more than a pleasant friendship, but it's considerably less now. Worse yet, I have no idea why it matters; why a little bit of something good seems to have gone from my life.

Still. It hurts.

Update: Mme Metro, who has graciously and for the most part patiently nursed me through this with only minimal complaint, has pointed out that a 20-something who finds a near-fortysomething acting friendly toward her might be thinking "stalker". I could hope for such a simple misunderstanding.







30 July 2007

Interview Question Three

Continuing my remote interview with Azahar

3. What is your greatest fear?

I suppose I'd have to start with "success". Not that I fear success itself so much, but that I fear failure so much that I'll procrastinate, delay, and drag out the process of doing anything at all for as long as possible to avoid that final moment when the project is complete and must be judged a success or a failure.

For example, my Nash Metropolitan has been undergoing "restoration" for some fifteen years now, and has been running for less than half of that time. It sits in the garage waiting for my attention ... but it seems there's always something else I have to give my attention to first.

I think that's why I like acting. There's no possibility of delay. Taking on a role is as irrevocable as jumping from an airplane. Assuming you don't back out, you will one day find yourself blinking in the bright lights and wondering if there's anyone out there in the glare, watching you. And you'll give your best performance regardless.

Related fears:
Loss. I think it's related to the success thing. Loss = failure. I am particularly miserable about the violent loss of friendships--and I have a whole 'nother post coming about that.

Exposure: I always feel like a bit of a fraud, no matter how sincere, authoritative, or truthful I am. I feel that I throw up a screen of bull$#!7 to conceal that, with the net effect that I look guiltier than I actually am. Thus people suspect me of being a bit of a fraud, I feel like one, and the cycle continues ...


Worst everyday fear:
Air travel. I intensely dislike riding in airplanes. Partly because I took physics 101 from a man who started his professional career in the insurance industry.

Call me crazy if you like. But why the hell do they give us flotation vests instead of parachutes? The number of wide-bodies jets that have made successful landings on water is zero. Whereas when you thunder in from 23,000 feet you get about two minutes to appreciate the view expanding to fill the window. Minutes that could usefully be employed in getting the £µ©λ out of the plane, no? I'll be happy with air travel when every aircraft has gullwing fuselage and ejection seats. But until 230 screaming victims are more expensive than those features, we have to put up with tin cans, I guess.

But don't strap me into an aluminium tube, helpless to do anything, and tell me to "enjoy the flight".







26 July 2007

Interview Question Two

2. When did you realise that you had a talent for writing and what is it about writing that fascinates you?

I've always been a wordman--"better than a birdman," to quote the Lizard King. Ever since childhood I've been fascinated by words and the power they have. I wrote fiction and poetry through high school, and then abandoned it after my not-graduation. After all, who was going to pay me money to write? The army was a better idea ... so it seemed.

Fast-forward about fourteen years. After leaving the army, trucking, and failing engineering, I was signing out of the school. This called for a visit to my Technical Writing prof.

"You're leaving?" she asked sadly.
I affirmed that this was so.
"That's a shame," she said, "You were one of the best students I've had in ages."

The light didn't dawn right away. I signed out and left. But I mentioned her remark to Mum, who didn't quite slap me upside the head:
"Then be a writer!" she said through teeth I think she had been gritting for about a decade and a half.

Not certain of myself, and not without a little maternal prodding, I went to visit my prof again. After some discussion, she suggested a program at a college on the mainland. It was while attending that program that I met the woman who would eventually be sufficiently foolish to put up with me for the term of one of our natural lives.

My fascination with writing begins with nuance. How the same set of words or phrases, arranged differently, convey such different meanings--or the same one. My favourite English phrase is possibly "Homeward the ploughman wends his weary way," because you can rearrange it in a surprising number of ways:

Homeward the ploughman wends his weary way.
The ploughman wends homeward his weary way.
Wends the ploughman his weary homeward way.
The ploughman homeward wends his weary way.
The ploughman his weary way homeward wends.
His weary way wends the ploughman homeward.
His weary homeward way wends the ploughman.

And so on.

I enjoy and admire a great storyteller. A truly great story can transcend language. The simplicity of Stephen King makes his tales that much more gut-wrenching. Hardly a three-syllable word to be found in 'em.

On the other hand, the fancy, storied, multi-adverbéd tales of Kipling and Haggard are the bread and the meat, the warp and the woof, indeed the very pretzels and beer which have heretorfore propelled me through this mysterious gathering of linked threads that form the great glowing tapestry of creation.

A lousy story, written prettily enough, may also transcend its shortcomings, if only for a short time. Otherwise a hell of a lot of stuff would never get published. Except possibly on blogs.







Sad News

I posted a couple of days ago about my sister's husband's father.
He died yesterday.

Requisat in pace







25 July 2007

Internal Investigation: Blogger Interviews Blogger

Another meme floating around the blogonets is the "interview me" meme. Here's my interview, grace of Azahar. It's long, so I'll be posting it in sections. If you don't find it interesting, why not go visit her blog?

1. What is the most important 'crossroads' decision you've ever made? Did you choose well or do you find yourself wondering 'what if...' ?

The single most important decision of my life was returning to school. I flunked electronics engineering through an inability to absorb the math quickly enough. At that point I had several choices. At roughly $20 per hour the garbage/recycling career I spent summer 2001 on was looking pretty good. I had little savings and was already living in my parents' basement--at 31!

For reasons I'll explore below I applied to another school to study written communication. It is from that single choice that all good things in my life have followed: my new career, my move to the new hometown, even meeting my wife and getting married all had their genesis in that act.

It possibly the only decision in my life about which I never wonder where a better choice would have taken me.







23 July 2007

Quote O' The Day

"Don't get me wrong, you do get some nuts up here."

--Mike Molesworth

This, from a guy living in a concrete bunker in Idaho.
The "Survivalist Home," as advertised in north central Idaho newspapers, was built in 1998 on 21/2 acres and designed as a haven from nuclear fallout and roving bands of outlaws.

[...]

"You won't find another one like this up here."


Now here's where it gets really weird. First off, the guy was Catholic, at least at one time. Catholics aren't apocolyptic survivalists as a rule. We know we have it coming to us, and theoretically we'll be glad to go. Why would you want to hang around for the 7-year Tribulation when the altrnative is heaven?

But wait a minute:
He keeps 3 1/2 years worth of propane, food and supplies.

While the Bible warns of seven years of tribulation, only half that time will require self-sufficiency, he explained.

"The Bible says in the last 3 1/2 years, you won't be able to buy or sell anything."


So for the first 3 1/2, he figures Wal-Mart will be much the same, only the greeters will be armed?

Of course, the real reason for selling this extirpated construction is a little slower in emerging ...
After some prodding, Molesworth admitted that he got cross-wise with the Internal Revenue Service a few years back and ended up with a felony. Now, he can't legally have a firearm and that doesn't sit well.

"I'm leaving the country."


Or maybe not. He's also trying to dig up money to look after his aging mum. And the copy seems to read as if he's getting a bit tired of waiting for the promised Apocalypse.
"I've just been sitting here waiting to die, waiting for the bomb to hit," Molesworth said. "I'm going to go start doing something."


Thanks, Mr. Molesworth--you already did something to make your whole doomsday scenario possible when you voted the Bush-Cheney ticket the second time.

Thanks to Mon General, J.C. Christian.







22 July 2007

What Do You Call ...

Okay, so your wife's mum is your mother-in-law.
Your wife's sister is your sister in law.

What would you call the father of your sister's husband? Seems to me he's as much father-in-law as your wife's mother.

Whatever you'd call him, mine's dying of cancer. He had it for a couple of years and they fought it with chemo. Everyone seemed to think he was in remission. They will not give him chemo again. Today they sent him to a hospice in Montreal. My sister and her husband flew out on the redeye eastbound tonight.

If you're praying people, spare a thought for him tonight. If not, perhaps all that's left to wish for him is safe passage and a speedy one. I don't know what to wish for his son and my sister.







I Don't Recall Where I Got This



But I feel it's worth posting anyway.







20 July 2007

Upon Consideration

O Avid Fan, I struggle with perception.

I always wondered since a child whether the world I see through my eyes and experience through my other senses is the same as the one you do.

The simplest example of this disconnect is surely colour. Have you ever thought that perhaps we perceive colour completely differently?

That is, when presented with a visible wavelength of light that corresponds to what we refer to as "red", do you believe the colour you see is the same as the one I see?

As far as I can tell there is no way to know. If, when we both see the same wavelength of light, we agree to call it by the same name, then the colour I see could be the colour you call "blue". But if by convention we agree to refer to said colour as "red" then we can talk about "red" without ever noticing the difference.

In a similar vein I believe that I was perhaps born just a fraction too sober. We know that the human animal contains alcohol, and passes it through the bloodstream. We also know that human perception is altered by alcohol.

I believe that the level of natural alcohol present in a person's bloodstream varies between individuals. And that many of the most noteably depressed and "disagreeable" people were quite simply born a couple of drinks short.

So it is with myself. I believe that I am one of the unfortunates who is always short a drink or two. So that to attain the normal level of sobriety of the average person-in-the-street, I must imbide slightly.

That is: To become completely sober, I have to have a couple of drinks.

This evening I am bypassing sober in favour of more rarified territory.







A Deeply Flawed Quiz

Of course this is merely my opinion as an eminently obscure blogger, but the questionable methodology leaves me in grave doubt as to the validity of this test. Clearly the writer is projecting himself overmuch into the process. Although I rather liked the "scourge upon humanity" part.

I was directed thence by The Questionable Authority


Your Score: Haughty Intellectual


You are 85% Rational, 42% Extroverted, 42% Brutal, and 57% Arrogant.



You are the Haughty Intellectual. You are a very rational person, emphasizing logic over emotion, and you are also rather arrogant and self-aggrandizing. You probably think of yourself as an intellectual, and you would like everyone to know it. Not only that, but you also tend to look down on others, thinking yourself better than them. You could possibly have an unhealthy obsession with yourself as well, thus causing everyone to hate you for being such an elitist twat. On top of all that, you are also introverted and gentle. This means that you are just a quiet thinker who wants fame and recognition, in all likelihood. Like so many countless pseudo-intellectuals swarming around vacuous internet forums to discuss worthless political issues, your kind is a scourge upon humanity, blathering and blathering on and on about all kinds of boring crap. If your personality could be sculpted, the resulting piece would be Rodin's "The Thinker"--although I am absolutely positive that you are not nearly as muscular or naked as that statue. Rather lacking in emotion, introspective, gentle, and arrogant, you are most certainly a Haughty Intellectual! And, most likely, you will never achieve the recognition or fame you so desire! But no worries!


To put it less negatively:

1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.

2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.


Compatibility:

Your exact opposite is the Schoolyard Bully. (Bullies like to beat up nerds, after all.)

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Braggart, the Hand-Raiser, and the Robot.


*
The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on OkCupid Free Online Dating







19 July 2007

The Secret Ending to Harry Potter

As doubtless the entire universe knows by now, the last Harry Potter book has leaked out.

Every single page was photographed and posted online mere days before what may be the most anticipated book launch since the Gutenberg Bible. And I don't think anyone should link to a source of those pirated pages.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' surprise ending includes, apparently, the slow, agonizing death of the publisher's security chief. Which really doesn't come as much of a surprise. After all, they spent $20 mil keeping it under wraps.

But the real shocker is what happens to the boy wizard himself. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived to face down He Who Must Not Be Named (also known as Voldemort), undergoes a drastic tranformation.

For all those wondering whether Hermione was gettin' it Ron with Weasley, and if Harry would offer the powers of his staff with the knob on the end to Cho Chang or Ginny, there is bound to be diappointment.

I don't wish to blow the ending (a-hem), and for the sake of the children try not to let this one slip out (a-hemagain). But ...



It is clear from the picture that Harry has come to a new understanding of himself. He has embraced The Wizardly Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

Although I doubt we'll see any slashfic action, at least not until he clears up that nasty case of Hogwarts.

Via 30-Something







18 July 2007

Snakes on a Boat

Via Boingboing

Okay, so we all know that anyone who voted for Bush Number Two at any time is probably dangerously unstable. We know that the Republicans have become the most immoral, corrupt government that ever infested the ruins of America.

But what we keep getting told is that these are fringe behaviours. That a few arrant spouters of loony nonsense, a couple of paedophiles, torture-lovers, racists, xenophobes, Christian fascists, and whoremasters don't represent the true nature of the conservative movement. And it's true. The real thing is a $#!7load more scary:
I adjust and stiffly greet the first man I see. He is a judge, with the craggy self-important charm that slowly consumes any judge. He is from Canada, he declares (a little more apologetically), and is the founding president of "Canadians Against Suicide Bombing". Would there be many members of "Canadians for Suicide Bombing?" I ask. Dismayed, he suggests that yes, there would.

Johann Hari took a $1200 cruise, organized by the "National Review" and recorded the experience; so that you won't ever have to.

Subtitled "What Conservatives Say When They Think We Aren't Listening", the article gives an overview of how toxic concentrated "conservatism" is to human life and thought.

The unguarded moments are the prize. Eliminationist jargon spews from the mouths of starched American duchesses ("Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason"), Robert Bork says "We're doing an excellent job of killing them [in Iraq]," and the sole black man says "If the Ku Klux Klan supports equal rights, then God bless them."

If you value civil society and civilized discourse, go read the article.

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16 July 2007

Five Reasons Why I Blog

Azahar tagged me with this one.

1) I've always blogged my life. Even before there were blogs I would hold long conversations and arguments inside my head. When the conversations got too loud I'd take them outside. Blogging gets me fewer looks than wandering down the street shouting at myself under my breath.

2) I have a real interest in other people, which makes them uncomfortable. I want to talk to you about the stuff that makes you twitch, that touches you where you live, work, eat, sleep, and play. I want to know about your heartbreak, your triumph, your hangups and kinks. I wanna know where you get on and how you get off, and how hard.

I'm really not trying to be rude. I just want to learn what you make of this shared experience we call "life". Naturally this causes boundary issues. And of course since trust and openness are reciprocal, I can only reply in kind.

Blogging doesn't have boundary issues. I can initiate a conversation about barbeque, Barbie, or buggering badgers if I so please and it's entirely up to the Avid Fan or passer-by to enter the discussion. No subject is entirely taboo.

Try walking into the street and giving a five-minute talk about something so close to your heart that you've only ever told one or two people.

3) My friendships tend to be few and deep. Here at home in meatspace I'm only just starting to make acquaintances with whom I have enough in common to be comfortable socially. But online, those who have stumbled onto Metroblog are either real-world friends who came here to examine the inside of my head, or strangers attracted to the conversation and, let's face it, bikini-clad cuties. If you're here for that, by the way, let me give you a link ... uh. I had it on my desk a minute ago ... maybe it rolled behind the radiator? Too bad, that.

4) This is where I can let that little part of myself "run naked in the rain", to quote Pratchett. In the safety of relative anonymity (I know, nothing on the web is entirely anonymous) I can spew forth the wildest, the daftest, the most poignant crap I have. Mum isn't going to be here ... least I don't think she is. I can growl about God, piddle on Paris, and laugh at legalisms. In my head I sometimes refer to this sort of thing as literary masturbation. Like theatre, blogging is also greatly about the insecurity as well.

5) And in the end, ladies and gentlemen and those of you as yet undecided, it's also about you.

I'm a writer and theatrician. My work must have an audience. And for so long as there are still two Avid Fans left in the world I will continue to write.

For myself as well, of course; but this is a conversation, and requires listeners and respondents too. You do me much honour with your presence and in return I try to waltz at least as well as the bear.

If I was going to tag anyone with this I'd tag Stilletto Girl, Mme Metro, Aerchie, Frontier Former Editor, and Amanda.

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Because the Terrorists, In Fact, Have Already Won

"I just remember thinking, 'I just brought terror to someone under the American flag'."

Sergeant Timothy John Westphal, 31, of Denver, 18th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. In Tikrit on year-long tour beginning February 2004

Via The Independant

Jesus' General is the source.

Impeach. Now.







15 July 2007

Ho'ston, We Have A Problem

Can I get an editor here please?
NASA moved space shuttle Endeavour a step closer to liftoff without an essential part: the "u."

The spacecraft arrived at the its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, and officials welcomed it with a banner reading "Go Endeavor."

The shuttle's name, however, is spelled the British way, with a "u." It's named after the first ship commanded by 18th century British explorer James Cook.

Via Yahoo! News.

I suppose I shouldn't laugh at them. After all, it's English, not rocket science.







14 July 2007

The Nightmare is Over!

Raincoaster has slithered away to whatever non-euclidean space she came from, leaving nothing but a vague disquiet, a lingering and regrettably persistent smell best described as "cabbagy-seaweedy and that's all you want to know believe me", and a gapingly empty liquor cabinet.

Who knew a simple bell, book, and candle could be so effective?


Actually we were short on bells and candles; the former because apart from Mme's belly-dancing costume we just don't have many such things in the house, the latter because, we suspect, Raincoaster thought they tasted nice.

High Paisley went with, presumably to ensure compliance with the rather merciful restrictions set by the parole board. We feel that after what happened Raincoaster was lucky to escape town in one piece and unincarcerated, but the judge seemed to know her from somewhere. He kept forking the Evil Eye at her. So banishment rather than burning at the stake was really quite nice of him.

However, there is one dark cloud on the horizon. Raincoaster has threatened to return--Within the month!

We need lumber, nails, gunpowder ... Defend the refrigerator!







12 July 2007

My Moment

From XKCD, via Ærchie:

secrets.jpg







After a Moment: Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Right: Kitten in the left hand, skinning knife in the right ...

I posted this to be read after the post entitled "Moments". Because when the truth strikes close to home, I sometimes need to make a joke of it.

In other news, my home has been invaded by Raincoaster. I wouldn't mind, but the seaweedy smell she trails in her wake makes it difficult to enjoy a beer.

By means of diverse incantations (Mostly "Cold gin!" and "Want the bottle girl? Want the bottle? Okay girl, go on--geddit!") I managed to command the creature to fling herself upon the waters so the slime would wash off. Clearly this was ill-considered. I apologize to the ducks, and indeed to the Exxon corporation for what subsequently happened to their chemical plant, but the flames were quite pretty for a while and I feel that should be taken into consideration.

However, one intake-pipe cutting-open later, the desired effect was mostly acheived, although the critter did follow me home. Under instructions from Mme (who is deluded about the affection and loyalty of cats, so why should I expect her to understand the need for a firm hand when dealing with Raincoasters?) permitted it to burrow into the hot tub for a while to fortify self from the frigid thirty-five-degrees-celsius (one hundred or so in Heights of Faren) night. Because after all, if you don't keep 'em good and wet they get cold.

My friend, Avid Fan, and occasional commentator here at Metroblog, whom I shall refer to as High Paisley is also here, having arrived with the loftiest of aims, and I quote:

"To drink to excess."

End quote.

Since we here at the ol' Metroblog are all about helping people acheive their aims, particularly when vice and excess of any sort are involved, we have generously agreed to provide a certain amount of both booze and bail money. Of course, since it's unfair and foul manners to let one's guests drink one's cellar dry and not partake oneself, Mme and I were perforced to partake. The combination is having a lethal effect on local supplies of booze.

Alas, we all have our bears to cross.

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11 July 2007

Well I Can't Say I Wasn't Warned

Metro has travelled overseas on several occasions, and underseas more than once too. And in the course of such travel he has sometimes received wise advice regarding personal hygiene and such. "Don't drink the water", "Ask for clean sheets", and suchlike sentiments.

Alas, clearly I have followed these directions insufficiently well. Let me explain:

I went on holiday to a small island in the Pacific. Lest my Avid Fans (all three of them) jump to hasty conclustifications, let me state that there were no coconut trees, but the nice thing about Arbutus trees is that they shed their skin-like bark, rather than 10-lb lumps of fiber and milk.

While it is difficult or near-impossible to drink pina coladas from Arbutus bark, one is also unlikely to be concussed by it.

Present on this Island was a random assortment of the Metrofamilias Metroii including nieces, future niece/nephew, siblings, in-laws, and parents of various types.

Once a year, the parental generation awakens to a strange pull, beckoning them north from the rocky shores of Canada and sending them to the rocky shores of this other part of Canada. This year their descendants, some of whom have recently become the present generation of parents, joined them. For some three days there was fun, frolic, and lumpy sandcastles. On day four I returned to mainland Canada, where I spent the night.

O Avid Fan, I cannot fathom what I did wrong. I showered, I shaved. The sheets upon which I slept seemed reasonably clean. And as a precaution I had myself deloused before returning home.

Yet somehow, despite all my very best precautions, I have managed to return home with a dose of Raincoasters. I am deeply embarrassed. I will help the civil authorities burn down Vancouver on Friday as a precaution against regional infection.

One of the creatures has, in fact, taken up residence Chez Metro and no amount of gin has thus far shifted it. We have successfully managed to confine it in a spare bedroom. And while it slept we evacuated the house. But I fear the damage is done and the cats will have to be shaved and wear those little radar-dish collars for weeks. The exterminator said he was busy, but agreed to forward the case to the Men In Black for immediate attention when he heard what we were dealing with.

Mme Metro has been patient and understanding throughout. But in unguarded moments I can see the naked contempt in her face at my unfortunate condition.

Meantime I have a clever plan to lure the Raincoaster to a local body of water. It may perhaps decide to make this its home. Yes, I know the risk to the environment, but I feel it's all for the best really.

Whistles a few bars of "Born Free"

And in case it doesn't work out in the long term I am planting coconut trees on the shoreline.







04 July 2007

Another Freedom to Celebrate

Alan Johnson is released by the efforts of Hamas. Whom the Bushies hate so much that they subverted the fragile Palestinian democracy to try and oust them from power.

I generally think Hamas are dorks for their refusal to try for a two-state solution. But I also believe that they were democratically elected, and being so can change a radical party, I think. If softening your approach can get you more votes, and the trappings of power are still attractive, then you may just find a taste for negotiation rather than war. Of course the Bush administration stands out as a foul example of how that can go wrong, too. Anyone remember "compassionate conservatism"?

If Britain had continued to treat the IRA as criminals rather than a legitimate political force in Ireland, would there be peace in Ireland now?







Happy Independence Day

As the United States groans under the yoke of oppressors worse than any which existed in 1776, I salute the brave souls who are out there fighting them.

The bloggers too numerous to name, but including Spocko, General JC Christian and his Inner Frenchman, the Firedoglakers, Digby, Cliff Schecter, and so many other ordinary Americans, appalled at the theft of their birthright.

The broadcasters and reporters who put up with the demonization and death threats from Bush supporters in order to report and comment on the news both accurately and fairly.

The brave ordinary citizens who will not be cowed, who say "This president is wrong," without consideration of the consequences, to the people who are so blind or fearful, who have been so manipulated by this corrupt and dishonest gang of criminals that they would follow them into hell itself, and indeed will, unless steps are taken.

Here at Metroblog we will celebrate the right to free speech. If you believe in the Republic, if you love any democratic society foreign or domestic, then for the love of whatever you hold dear, watch these ten minutes of video.



Impeachment is the least that should be done. In fact, were I a less democratic, less compassionate, more Bush & Cheney-esque sort of person, I might wish for a competent assassin.

But I'm not. To do so would violate my belief in the mechanisms of civil society, and the democracy that supports it.

So I wish for a competent prosecutor, and for the rediscovery of the Democratic leadership's fortitude.

God save America.







03 July 2007

Hang Down Your Head, Republican

The "One law for all" party, against affirmative action, against immigrants' rights, against the Equal Rights Amendment ... and against justice.

I could use examples like Jose Padilla--detained without trial in subhuman conditions for five years. I could use Maher Arar. But let's stick with a rich white person who comitted no crime more serious than lying to an FBI agent.

Martha Stewart lied to an FBI investigation concerning allegations of insider trading (i.e. the kind Bush Pére and any other oil millionaire got rich on). She served nine months in prison to serve as an example.

I. Scooter Liddy--sorry, Libby (why do White House criminals all have initials, then names?) lied to an investigation about issues of national security--sorry, in the Republican lexicon "Homeland Security", or possibly "Fatherland Safety." You know, that sacred cow no-one who's not a traitor, commie, dirty hippie, Islamist or homo would ever question?

Libby gets no jail time. And I'm offering $500 US at two to one that George Dubya gives him a pardon right before he oils his way out of the White House.

Unless he's impeached.

How the hell can Americans watch their country being stripped of it's dignity and moral authority, and made to dance a grotesque cabaret burleque for the benefit of these plutocratic cretins any longer?

How can the party of Lincoln stand by so smugly with blood dripping down its chin and say this marionette, this mountebank, this manqué is fit to lead?

How can the "law and order" party condone a president and vice president comitted to the wholesale dismantling of every stroke of justice that made and makes the concept of America so important and valid in the world?

As far as I'm concerned, there's not a damn bit of difference to the average citizen between Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush. Except that Vlad might be innocent of the crimes he's accused of.

Where are the Democrats' balls? Where is their fortitude? Where is the will to say "This can not stand"?

Impeach, dammit!







01 July 2007

Happy Canada Day

Just wanted to say that. After all, if I'm going to be up at five on the long-weekend Sunday of our national holiday, I might as well do something useful.

What's appropriate for a Canada day post? I thought initially a tune called "Don't You Wish Your Country Was Cool Like Us?" would fit the bill, but no-one's written one yet.

So you get Stompin' Tom.



More Canadian than that, you won't find in a hurry. And now I must retire to consume our best-known export; and beer. Have a happy and peaceful Canada day.