twangy box aka Rowena

Oldfud version: Allegra’s not writing fiction so she’s playing music instead. It’s annoying, but ok.

 

I buy new instruments to encourage me to hear music differently and write songs.

It’s working.

The twangy box now has a number of tunes to go with it.

One is “Form a Line (a protest song)”

One is “Elder Funeral Song”

One is “Horseback Song” <—- newest as of last night

One is “At the Aerie” <—- oldest – started working on it as soon as I got Rowena

One is a new version of an old instrumental “Grieg”

One is “I’m too cheerful for my pants”

 

The damned thing is virtually impossible to tune and the frets are in the wrong places. I shall check with a luthier. But I don’t care. When it’s close to being in tune, it’s a remarkably plangent and docile instrument and it doesn’t hurt me to play it. Otto, unfortunately, is putting my shoulder out of kilter when I play, and guitars are approaching impossible.

 

IP yip yip

Look at me, all brave. Stealing the IP of Kenan Malik. Or is this the property of the New York Times? Gosh, it’s so hard to tell who owns what these days. Anyway, below is a defence of cultural appropriation typed by Kenan Malik. By the time I’m done, my blood pressure will be up twenty points and I’ll look like an idiot in public, but I suspect I’ll look less idiotic than Kenan Malik. For this witless motherfucker has done the classic, classic, classic bait and switch on the topic. He says we’re all richer for cultural mixing. He’s wrong. Having your cultural markers stolen for profit makes somebody richer, and wanting to prevent that is not gatekeeping, it’s survival. He says that all cultural practices are up for grabs because anything else may prevent the privileged from having compassion for the underprivileged, which is a narrow case of special pleading aka bullshit. And he skates by colonialism as if it isn’t the SINGLE BIGGEST ISSUE facing all content creators these days; it’s the issue that palimpsest-wise underlies his argument, and he avoids it the way a cab driver just doesn’t see you when he’s booking off shift.

LONDON — It is just as well that I’m a writer, not an editor. Were I editing a newspaper or magazine, I might soon be out of a job. For this is an essay in defense of cultural appropriation.

yeah, well fuck you. You start out from a position of privilege and you want more.

In Canada last month, three editors lost their jobs after making such a defense.

yeah, well fuck you. They were unprofessional, racist and FUCKING STUPID <<<<<<—– the way elites never get how fragile their blessed state is ——-> and gloriosky, they lost their jobs.

The controversy began when Hal Niedzviecki,

A man with a history of racism and stiffing writers, oh yes. …. gosh, is this a trend? A trans woman of colour told me he stiffed her for solicited writing. It wasn’t much money, but honey, when a first nations content creator thinks she’s selling me something I FUCKING PAY FOR IT. SO … right off the top, a racist asshole with holes in his pockets is represented as being ‘besieged’ ‘beleaguered’ and ‘besmirched’ for having a problematic opinion in public. Will Robinson is getting the danger page from his puckering butthole at this point, at least in the universe I inhabit.

editor of Write, the magazine of the Canadian Writers’ Union, penned an editorial defending the right of white authors to create characters from minority or indigenous backgrounds. Within days, a social media backlash forced him to resign. The Writers’ Union issued an apology for an article that its Equity Task Force claimed “re-entrenches the deeply racist assumptions” held about art.

OKAY LET’S JUST STOP RIGHT HERE. What Mr. Malik, administering his homeopathically weak smackdown of this ‘defence of racist writers for getting shit wrong’ aka ‘horrible censorship event’ fails to mention is ANYTHING LIKE CONTEXT. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. Okay, let’s go again. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. He could have put his feelings in his blog. He could have penned it for another publication. That would have been gruesome, but in the era of Doubledown Douchenozzledom, Racist Edition, he used a position of privilege to kick the living snot out of the people who were being represented in the mag. Gosh, folks, you should have seen my twitter feed when this all went down. Indigenous activists and writers were foaming, and justifiably so. Niedzviecki knew up front he was going to get shit, and for the first little while he laughed at the shit he got. Then he went OH SHIT, which is what you do when that college kid “just for a lark” smirk gets wiped off your face by real life.

Another editor, Jonathan Kay, of The Walrus magazine,

A man who, ha ha, is well known as being a Joseph Boyden supporter (another riproaring case of mighty whitey, writing himself into native history with his very well reviewed (by whites) book “Orenda”). He only writes about native issues to talk about how racist natives are, let’s just skip all the decolonializing reasons Mohawk peoples might want to get white people off their land on Canada’s dime. Here’s the link. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/jonathan-kay-the-one-place-in-canada-where-racism-is-still-tolerated-native-reserves. Now that’s not inflammatory at all. He could be talking about any kind of racism that happens in Canada. He could talk about how the city of Thunder Bay has more racially motivated hate crimes per capita than any other place in Canada; the hate crimes are overwhelmingly committed by white people on FN people. But the most racist place in Canada is a reserve. No hon, the most racist places in Canada are not reserves. They’re prisons. But I’ll stick the ‘and in conclusion, fuck you’ pin in that for the time being. WHY IN THE EVERLOVING FUCK would we want to take this asshole seriously about race issues, SPECIFICALLY about First Nations. The multiple appropriations of land, language, people, culture have no emotional content for him; FN are just getting upset because they’re special snowflakes. No hon, you’re the special snowflake, thinking Canada is 150 years old and that makes the First Nations 150 years old too. This kind of racism I call “Measuring the universe with a tapeline the same size and shape as you.” It’s another example of “I’m not racist but we should talk about how all injuns are alcoholic jailbirds,” but tidier… prettier… publishable by the Capitalist Choir of Discordant Twaddle responsible for the National Post.

was also compelled to step down after tweeting his support for Mr. Niedzviecki. Meanwhile, the broadcaster CBC moved Steve Ladurantaye, managing editor of its flagship news program The National, to a different post, similarly for an “unacceptable tweet” about the controversy.

I don’t suppose you’d care to guess what format this unacceptable tweetstorm took. A whole bunch of well-known, well-connected, mostly white writers and journalists, gathered ’round their beleaguered fellow lickspittle to mock the people who took offence and to pledge money for a “Cultural appropriation” writer’s prize. Steve was up for giving $500 but one thing I know about these folks is that they’re faster to pledge cash than cough it up, so I can well believe the fucker was kidding and I’ll give him my brightest and shiniest hall pass for that.

It’s not just editors who have to tread carefully. Last year, the novelist Lionel Shriver generated a worldwide storm after defending cultural appropriation in an address to the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Mr. Malik fails to provide the context, again. Shriver played the clueless and hectoring old white guy (surprise, she’s an American woman) in front of a group of people who mostly thought she was right on. Strangely, indigenous people and people of colour in the audience were horrified, oh puhleez. Them coloured folks and their identity politics, getting all mad about sombreros and such. They didn’t find her arguments about how white people should have unfettered access to all cultural traditions (so they can get the last word in, steer the narrative, drown out indigenous voices and get the fat stacks) convincing, mostly because saying that you mean well when you’re handing out the cultural equivalent of smallpox blankets just doesn’t go down as smoothly as it did two hundred years ago, who knew. Of course fiction is ‘fake’ Shriver but that doesn’t meant it isn’t real, and representation matters if the people being represented are being lied to and about

even more than when you get it right.

Earlier this year, controversy erupted when New York’s Whitney Museum picked for its Biennial Exhibition Dana Schutz’s painting of the mutilated corpse of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American murdered by two white men in Mississippi in 1955. Many objected to a white painter like Ms. Schutz depicting such a traumatic moment in black history. The British artist Hannah Black organized a petition to have the work destroyed.

I would have been happy with the painting not being publicly displayed, but I’ve read Hannah’s letter and I understand where she’s coming from.

Other works of art have been destroyed. The sculptor Sam Durant’s piece “Scaffold,” honoring 38 Native Americans executed in 1862 in Minneapolis, was recently being assembled in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. But after protests from indigenous activists that Mr. Durant was appropriating their history, the artist dismantled his own work, and made its wood available to be burned in a Dakota Sioux ceremony.

Which is a fine response. Works of art are destroyed by their creators all the time. I’ve torched my own shit, and why not, it was shit and it was mine.

What is cultural appropriation, and why is it so controversial? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines it as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.” This can include the “unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”

It’s not just the permission. It’s the context. It’s the taking as if the act of taking ‘makes you native’ or ‘makes you black’ or ‘honours the traditions’ when it patently, replicably and reliably does not.

Appropriation suggests theft, and a process analogous to the seizure of land or artifacts. In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one, and in inhabiting a culture, one finds the tools for reaching out to other cultures.

But the messy interaction is one-sided. Members of the dominant culture, with law, language, media and custom on their side, interact with the traditions of indigenous and creolized and ancient cultures from a mixture of fear, hatred, stark envy and jealousy, and call it art. Sure art’s theft; but it should also be thought made visible, and the thinking that’s made visible is DOMINANT CULTURE CAN STEAL ANYTHING IT LIKES AND IF YOU COMPLAIN you’re WHINY LITTLE BASTARDS WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND THE BROAD SWEEP OF 2500 YEARS OF COLONIAL HISTORY. Urk.

Critics of cultural appropriation insist that they are opposed not to cultural engagement, but to racism. They want to protect marginalized cultures and ensure that such cultures speak for themselves, not simply be seen through the eyes of more privileged groups.

The tone here is like Saruman chiding Gandalf in The Two Towers. To be chastised is one thing. To be told that your feelings are going to go in a big stew of rhetoric and come out normalized and standardized… part of the dominant culture, acceptable…. yeesh.

Certainly, cultural engagement does not take place on a level playing field. Racism and inequality shape the ways in which people imagine others. Yet it is difficult to see how creating gated cultures helps promote social justice.

Everything is mine to steal and my theft promotes social justice. Fucking breathtaking, isn’t it? Nobody creates a gated culture to start out with, but it may end up that way if anything you leave lying around gets stolen by white assholes – who tell you they’re doing you a favour by popularizing your cultural ideals, and then laugh in your face when you want to get paid. He wrote more, but since I don’t want to quote any more from this masterwork of spineless sucking up to thieves and monsters, I’ll just take my blood pressure off someplace else now. Okay, last questions. Why do members of the dominant culture have so little going on in their own minds that they must appropriate someone else’s marginalized culture in the first place? What failure of imagination is this, and why does Malik get so exercised in its defence?

today’s non-events

Got into a beatdown with a bunch of one of the most self-righteous pot activists (like there’s another fucking kind) on twitter today.

Come ON I smoke, but I don’t smoke and blow smoke in the faces of the allergic and the elderly, and they’re announcing it’s their RIGHT, because this is VANCOUVER, home of TOLERANCE. Yeah I’ll believe that when Canada gives back the unceded lands, you unregenerate failure of logic. I’m like a homophobe for harshing their mellow. Srsly. Got accused of equivalency to homophobia for objecting to people dousing the entire west end in pot smoke for their stupid fucking 420 festival (which leaves heaps of trash mounded everywhere and they’re all cryface because they didn’t get a fucking permit.) F*ck me!

I realized that when you put asterisks in f*cking swearwords you’re putting a leedle asshole right in the meedle of the word and since when you’re swearing there’s usually an asshole involved, it’s mesmerizingly poifect.

I love Buster, he’s an amazing cat. And he loves me too, I know it. I don’t think Miss Margot cares if I live or die, but Buster does.

My latest piece of fanfic smut has more than five hundred likes (it’s cute and hot, so there)

I’ve written a BDSM scene in the same ‘verse but I’m not happy with it yet. I had to put in about 200 words about how the scene is ‘necessary but non-consensual’ which kinda blows (or not!) since scenes need consent if they’re to resonate with me writing, at all. So it’s like “We’ve talked about this – I hate it when you want me (and need me) to top you but I’m s’posed to read your mind – and topping when you’re angry at your partner is a bad bad bad idea” followed by “Do what ya gotta, man, just hit me really hard.” Oh, and there are minor children in the house while this sh*t’s going down, just to make it even more like real life, and our heroes must deal with the domestic consequences of Daddies fighting. I LOVE A CHALLENGE. After all, continuing to have interesting sex after kids *is* a continuing challenge in real life. People want carefree smut? they can look elsewhere; to me smut always has a cost. Who bears it depends on who’s being responsible, or not.

Not that anybody wants to know, but I’m really not into any of those behaviours in real life. Nagging at volume is sort of where I max out, ask any of my exes.

Continuing to have the poly life discussion with someone. It’s painful. Really painful. I feel like I have my nose up again a particularly interesting window. I can smell bread baking. But no. G*ddamned heteronormative uncommunicative bushwah (on their end, not mine.) But at the same time there’s NO F*CKING POINT to becoming an elder if you don’t understand that real life takes time, opportunities for growth don’t wait, and if you don’t consider who’s going to be impacted by your decisions, your years, your grey hairs and and your learning means squat. I am still 22 in some corner of my persona, for my enthusiasms still have all the joy of my youth; I just can’t write everyone affected by my behaviour out of the script any more. I do from time to time, but not all the time.

Fortunately, since I’m pushing 60 with a broom, I can contemplate my greed like the gorram caged bear that it is. Still here, but not running the show.

Katie is still having a rough time and she and Alex are both sick again.

I am not having a rough time. I feel pretty good, all things considered. I have another two weeks of full time work. If that changes, I’ll deal with it. I actually have a plan to deal with it that I think will make almost everyone happy, at least temporarily.

Rogue One is a fucking fantastic movie. Getting eaten by Disney was the best thing that ever happened to the franchise.

Now to check if my money transfer has come through.

I’ll have you know I cleaned the housekeeping office

I scraped dried coffee blerg, elderly scotch tape and who the hell knows what off many surfaces tonight.  Nobody will notice but me, and that makes me happy.

 

Hello, new bingo card, based on my writing….

 

Yesterday the whole fam damily, less Jeff, went to Edmonds pool and frolicked.  I only had two hours sleep at the time so I stayed in the hot tub – every time I got out I was chilled TO THE BONE.  Alex is a complete joy. Paul was still thinking about his happy family time at 10 pm and texted me to give him a lift.  I AM SO LUCKY AMONG MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY I feel set among stars.

I literally just slept 12 hours

Which is kind of inconvenient. But I’m fighting a bug again, I think, and my dry right eye is saying THANK YOU because it is experiencing no sensation of pain or abrasion and opened without being stuck shut, like most other mornings.

I also slept through every chance to make arrangements for the evening’s entertainment or the possibility of being sociable with my brother, which I’m not impressed with.

I must now be vewwy quiet, and go to my list of things I can accomplish by being quiet.

Okay: so yesterday I promised to, in a literary sense, and in a literary sense only, kick Konrad Yakabuski, a crypto-racist hack working for a variety of mangy sheets but currently the Groan and Wail (aka Mop and Pail, Goad and Flail) in his equally crypto goolies.

The first paragraph is the establishing shot.  “I’ve been away so my vision’s clearer.” That’s the premise, the tone, the “I’ve seen things you’d never understand” crap.

No, your vision hasn’t cleared, Mr. Oblivious Child of White Settlers.  (And with that name, he’s *likely* counting among his ancestors the first Polish migrants to Canada, although I can’t prove it.) All you’re describing is how you couldn’t truly see where you were when you left, and centre your dislocation as somehow important, upon your return.

Mentioning the barren British homeliness of downtown Toronto is supposed to carry some freight of humour, but alas it does not. All it tells me is that he doesn’t know that it was ANOTHER colonized people, the Scots masons who fucking built downtown Toronto, who built that ugliness, under the watchful direction of (mostly) Brits. SO IN THE FIRST FUCKING PARAGRAPH…. drum roll please!

He’s clueless about the colonial history of Toronto after the FN were pushed off.  But does he wisely see his ignorance and make with the hard pass?

No he does not. He continues to draw a fine paycheque for his purulent emissions.

As a journalist, belonging has never been my main aspiration in life.

Putting aside that every great journalist who ever lived, of whatever stripe, puts themselves squarely among the human family. Perhaps that means never having a settled home but that’s not the same as not feeling like you belong to the human family. He doesn’t actually say what his main aspiration is, which is funny. It certainly isn’t the discovery and sharing of truth….

Then he says, and what complete and utter bullshit,

Real journalists typically take pride in shunning all labels, attachments, causes and collectivisms.

Just in case you think I’m being a little harsh by calling this bullshit, let me walk you down memory lane with a list of Canadian journalists, and I ask you to frame them against this remarkable statement and see how well they fit in his stunted neoliberal construction.

Pierre Berton.

Stevie Cameron

Barbara Frum

Victor Malarek

Well shit bag, they don’t.  They were all supremely opinionated and attached themselves TO PLENTY of causes and collectivisms, to wrassle Yak’s fucking red-baiting bullshit phrase into some kind of context. And those are the WHITE journalists I pulled out of my ass. What award winning FN journos like the ones at Windspeaker might have to say on the subject makes for bitterly amused speculation on my part.

Then, the classic line:

We are chroniclers of, rather than participants in, the society around us.

RILLY?

He doesn’t vote? have a cell phone with awesome apps on it? he doesn’t drive?  He has a twitter account, f’Chrissakes. Maybe he has a mortgage, or lives in a rental, rather than a tent under a highway.  He eats in restaurants and consequently uses the sewer system… one hopes.  IT’S EXACTLY THIS ATTITUDE, that he can separate himself from the herd with words (by talking about his calling as if he was pulled aside by the Jesus of Journalism on the Highway to Better Circulation) that allows him to believe the things he does. He calls himself a chronicler rather than a participant because he’s calling out what he perceives as his superiority.

waaaaal. All it does for me is tell me that he doesn’t see where his words are pointing.

Let’s pause for a moment. How does Allegra separate herself from the herd with words? Am I not guilty of the same white wordy masturbatory bs?

Sure. But I am a member of the human family, all of it. And I am a student of history. All of it. And I love my country. Not all of it, because some of it is structurally sexist, racist, colonial and a teensy bit fascist. But I’ve had to ask myself if I would take up arms for the conception I have of Canada, which is not a flag or a collection of laws but of a group of people who share a home, and the answer is, yes. This is a hard thing for me to say in public given how anti-colonial I can be, but it’s true, and I won’t linger over the dissonance I feel about it.

I am separate from other people because I occupy a frail, non-neurotypical body which preselects many of the things I like and hate for me.  But I’m just like everyone else, EXCEPT in how I think and speak and act. I breathe, I came from two parents, I’m going to die, I try to find love and acceptance and avoid pain and loneliness, I eat & excrete, I consume goods and services, I make things, I destroy things, I try to communicate.

In my separation from others I wish to maintain an egalitarian world view; a compassionate world view; a self-inclusive world view; and a world view as passionately committed to the destruction of capitalism as firmly as I am currently entangled in its fractal tentacles.

So yeah, I was a bit pissed at the use of the word collectivism. It’s a goddamned dog whistle – “I am anti-communist.”  Fuck yeah, you’re by extraction Polish and living in Canada, go figure. But more subtly, he’s saying that he’s clueless about how he participates in the Collective that is the Capitalist Posse, protecting everything that the Globe and Mail’s owners, subscribers and advertisers hold dear. Less subtly he’s saying that journalists who are overt about their causes AREN’T AS GOOD AS HIM. So he wants a fucking medal for being racist in public in the service of capitalism, but he doesn’t want to draw too much attention to that.  The fellation takes place in private, I guess.

Okay full marks to him, now I think of it. Most Canadians wouldn’t get the freight of the word collectivism.

Then he makes his concession.

Still, not even journalists can escape their genes, childhoods, experiences or environments – everything that determines who we are.

Oh boy.  He’s just plain folks, folks.

Our identities are never fixed, but subject to constant redefinition. In 2013, the Canadian part of my identity needed some refreshment and refinement. I found both in Joseph Boyden’s novel The Orenda, a haunting story of blood and belonging set amid the 17th-century Iroquois Wars.

HARD STOP. Joseph Boyden, who won awards for the above noted novel, has discovered a native ancestor and wishes to be Métis.

He isn’t.  Didn’t hear me? HE ISN’T.

There are shitpiles of settler whites with native ancestry in this country. I’m related to them on both sides of the family.

My tribe is Scythian, just in case you were wondering; they liked warrior women, weed, deer, horses and travel, and that’s good enough for me. (Merely trying to point out how white people claiming tribal affiliations is clueless newage bs.)

I am not shameless, stupid, venal and greedy enough to want to claim any FN of Turtle Island as my own, and most important of all, I have no FN grannie, no aunties, no uncles, no nieces, no nephews; no land; no language; I also have no UNRECOGNIZED TOXIC RESERVOIR OF GUILT, SHAME AND DENIAL that makes me want to drain it by claiming an experience THAT IS NOT MINE. If you don’t have a First Nations family willing to claim you, you aren’t FN. It’s that fucking simple, folks.

Joseph Boyden doesn’t have a FN family. Therefore….

BUT HE WANTS TO BE. And because he’s white, we should let him. That is the underlying support for Yak’s contention that we should stop ‘lynching’ him.

Note that the link says lynch and the headline’s been changed.

NOTE IT. It’s important. It shows the Globe and Mail knows it fucked up, but not enough to change the URL too.

Meanwhile, in twitterland, the pixels are practically catching fire over in the fabulous network of indigeneity. Joseph Boyden is ONLY BEING SUPPORTED by FN people with a long, long history of toxic sexism, slur campaigns, greed for federal cash and faux reconciliation.  Not one credible First Nations spokesperson supports Boyden in his claims to be indigenous. He’s Grey Owl for the Trump Era.

Then Yak goes on to describe how the indigenous awakening was important for the Canadian identity.

Riiiight.

Nice indians are good for the Canadian identity.  Noisy, university trained, angry, pushy, sophisticated, technically savvy, passionate life livers and givers standing up for the 600 plus nations and languages that white people keep trying to develop off the face of the earth, not so good for Yak’s construction of the modern Canadian identity.

Native life must be interpreted by white people to be real.

I used to believe it too.

Sorry Yak. Once you make the connection, as I have, over the internet, with real native activists; hear their voices; have private conversations with them; get scolded (in my case repeatedly) by them for not hearing, not thinking, not listening, not ‘getting it’, you can’t use language the way Yak uses it.

The rest of the article is shite so I won’t quote from it.

He uses the two words identity politics a lot.

If, as I suspect he is, he came from the Polish enclave in northeastern Ontario, I’d like to ask him a question.

How would you feel if every other kind of white person who lives in that part of the world pushed you off your land because you were Polish? Would you indulge in identity politics then?

The First Nations are NATIONS.  They practice ‘identity politics’ which is a dog whistle for ‘coloured folks being uppity’ and ‘faggots being uppity’ and ‘trans being uppity’ and ‘anybody who doesn’t identify as a temporarily embarrassed millionaire being uppity’ because they have the THREE QUALIFYING FACTORS of NATIONHOOD. Land, people and language. Sure, their governance is screwed up in many places BUT WHOSE FAULT IS THAT? The Government of Canada, acting for all of us.

Yak wants to reduce the nations of Turtle Island to ‘Canadians’ and then bag at them for not being good Canadians. THEY AREN’T FUCKING CANADIANS. They have to live with the laws and the racism and the ‘can’t you deal with being a conquered people’ bs, but they aren’t Canadians. They can have a Canadian passport, but that’s because they don’t have an alternative if they want to, you know, live in the world, travel on business or to see rellies or for pleasure, like human people do.

So read the rest of the editorial with that in mind.

Yak, you are too clueless to live in this world you’re so far above.

Alex the wondergrand

I got to see Alex yesterday at his momma’s house (Katie is doing very well) and he smiled his face off to see me. Then I gave him my three pound barbell (after all, it SAYS Alex on the side) and he started lifting, bro, which was hilarious, (good form too, even funnier) and then he rolled it all over the floor and then he started dropping the sumbitch, more than once, and this look came over his face – every parent knows it – and after some kind and pleasant voiced persuasion (his mother doesn’t yell at him unless it’s life or death and Alex is more compliant than any child his age I’ve known, as he really really wants to keep his mother happy) Alex went back to rolling it across the floor.  He has learned to say ‘antenna’ which is very sweet.

He has crossed some kind of developmental barrier which allows him to consider things rather than assuming that it’s bad and he should proceed immediately to a-wailin’ and a-grizzlin’.  He didn’t even come close to even thinking about crying the entire time I was there.  The last month has also been amazing in terms of language development. It’s very clear that he understands virtually everything that’s said to him and his speech is becoming clear enough to understand.  I was out of the room and he was toddler-arguing with his mother so I called are you grumpy Alex? and he said, just like a teenager would, No!

No sign of being interested in toilet training.  For this summer camping trips were invented.

He played for a very long time with my Cat Alone app. BUG! BUDAFY!

“DO YOU WANT THE FINGER ALEX” is actually a question appropriate to the game. (If he presses on the magic finger that appears it vibrates and buzzes.)

No pictures. I have memories of a sunny faced toddler running like a fool all over his apartment while issuing sticky kisses and high fives. This from last summer, Prismafied, will have to do.

a6dcd43cc4dff27b966d73367516e858resNet7_4

There were castor bean and nightshade plants on the walk back to the car.  New West, it’ll kill ya.

Ray Donovan was awesome, Dark Matter was okay I guess (fave continues to be 5, played by Jodelle Ferland), Killjoys is ramping up with great scripts and performances and then Keith and Paul came over yesterday to watch the Sugar episode of Addicted to Pleasure, and that was very nice.

Ghostbusters is still on at the International Village Cineplex. I should have gone last night but whatever.

I bought a battery backup for my phone (since you can’t actually replace the battery on a One S, god strake them in thayre tendre partes) and then, in a sudden blinding flash of You Know the MacBook is Doomed Since the Interior goes to 84 degrees C every time you run video and components will inevitably blow you fool! I purchased a replacement in the form of a MacBook Air, from London Thugs. I backed up the old one, Time machined the new one, everything took an hour and worked perfectly (except having to enter brOJeff’s ludicrously lengthy wifi password three times, o well) and now I have a computer with twice the power, half the weight, three times the storage and a much faster video processor. Everything I need to work transferred over without difficulty including Scrivener and Finale, the two really big ones for creative work. I’d like to publicly thank Jeff for providing the backup drive.  All part of adulting….

No I can’t afford it.  But I definitely can’t afford not to, so there you go.

 

I really like a .38

It’s a .38 special for me, thanks.  Fits my hand and my accuracy is good.  Menfolks had fun too.  65 bucks poorer, I emerged.

Today I have a 30 year old child.  WITAF???

Dallas.  Black mens’ names.  Grief and rage.

This is what I’m doing about it.

  1.  Here is How To Make a Police Complaint in BC.
  2.  I (time will tell) gave money to BLM:Van
  3.  I am not forgetting that EVEN THOUGH Canada still has a ‘racial problem’ regarding black people, (most seriously in Toronto and Nova Scotia, but definitely elsewhere) first and foremost settlers have a FIRST NATIONS racial problem, and so I continue my anti-racism work around Land:Language:People which is my short form construction of the work that needs to happen for a more equitable and intelligent sharing of the land we call home with the peoples who lived here first. (The number of FN activists who want all settlers (‘whites’) gone is vanishingly small compared to those who want to kill the Indian Act, formalize their borders and do something about clean water, sound education and health care for their peoples.)
  4. My antiracism work is being quoted and passed around on social media.  I don’t even care if it’s attributed to me if it helps push the peanut.
  5. I am calling out famous white people on social media when they say something racist, while owning my involvement/complicity with racial systems and institutions. One finger points forward, the other three point back.
  6. I’m leaving racist family members out of this work.  It’s mostly for me, and other people who want to pry the lid off their unwitting selves.  I make no excuses and I take comfort in what POC activists have said to me on the subject of having racist relatives. Intersectionality has many dead ends.
  7. I don’t drag my poor dead ex-husband to any street parties hoping for anti-racism cookies.  It’s just a variant of the “some of my best friends…” argument and did I mention he’s dead? Since he can’t defend himself or me, I’ll leave him in the peace of his grave, and spare his bereaved family the notion that some white clownbag married to one of their relatives 30 odd years ago is trying to score points from prior association with him. This will be the last time I mention him in this context, since I prefer to think of him listening to art rock and writing poetry and being settled in a chair with cats draped all over him and making wry comments, than sighing heavily while delivering Negroes 101, as he was forced to do many times during our brief (2 year) marriage.

the wonders of Qatar

A man has been arrested for entering Qatar with (and candidly, this is really hard to believe) in excess of 12 kilos of bacon packed in his ass. I’m not going to link to the site, but it shows a picture of the customs officials standing in front of the packaged bacon like it was a pile of seized cocaine. Also, it looks like 4 kilos of bacon to me, but what do I know.

He was selected for special inspection because he appeared ‘nervous and sweaty’. I am amazed he wasn’t ‘ruptured and lifeless’.

In other news the World Health Organization advises you to avoid any bacon which might make it onto the Qatari black market.

I’ve been here since noon

In a couple of minutes they’ll call the flight and I’ll find out if I’ve been sitting here like a fucking idiot for no good reason for the last day. Fort St John is not a fun place to fly to on passes.  PAUL WANTS TO TAKE THE SKYTRAIN HOME.  On April 4.  With no Compass card. My feelings are simple.  He can do what he likes, although with no Compass card he’s not likely to get far, as I laboriously explained to him.  I’m going home in a cab; it’s hours after my normal bedtime and I have hours to go before somebody offers up a bed for me.

later….

Home.  What a fucking waste of a day.  Three flights came and went and I’m not going to FSJ unless somebody pays for my return flight.

Some man was shot dead a few blocks from here.  I don’t think I want to live on this planet any more.

 

 

Deleted Chipper

Chipper, if you’re reading this, quit sending emails.  Talk to your friends.  Quit reminding me how lonely you are by sending detailed lists of how fucked up I am.  It’s quite as crazy as it sounds, so stop. Remember you yelling into the phone at the American Express telemarketers?  While Paul and I had to listen?  Yeah.  I’m asking you to stop in a much quieter voice.

For the rest of you poor sods, some of whom have known her longer than I have:

I have very regretfully had to delete her user ID, as she’s threatened to use it as a soap box to announce my failings to the world (as if I don’t already do that in double handsful on a reg’lar basis, but whatevs.) She has her own blog, that she pays for, that belongs to her. But I’ve had to take that off my sidebar, at no loss to her.  She’s never gotten a single booking referred from this website or she would have phoned me to tell me.

I have happy memories, and I’m going to hang on to them, because they are part of the family lore.

I’d say that one of my issues is setting boundaries, but now that I’m post menopausal and feeling my calling and surrounded by a working model of adult friendship, I’m learning how to do that.  What I experienced was abuse, and nobody else ESPECIALLY NOT THE ABUSER gets to call it civil discourse and gracious hospitality.  If she wants to try to talk me out of how she abused me by sending abusive emails, that’s heading over to the place where the judge gets to make the call, and I don’t want to go there. She said it was very convenient for me that Paul witnessed most of the yelling.  Yes, being yelled at while there was a witness was er, convenient.  Definitely convenient.  That’s the word I’d use.

I should not have visited her while she was sick.  But colds go away. Boundaries stay in place.  I should have rented a cabin and left her to yell at her house (she does that a lot.)

And maybe I was depressed when I went, but I really don’t feel that way now.  I have communed with the spirits, I have walked in the woods, and I feel like helping someone who has helped me. I’m going to help Paul with his Restorative Justice talk, and then I’m going to start writing again on Monday, since I’ve had a nice long, weird, horrible, exciting, heartening and thought-provoking break, and on Tuesday I’ll spend part of my grandson’s first birthday with him, and I’m going to paint a picture of the dream I had, where I was climbing Moore’s Falls.  I will practice my mandolin and cook for my household and try out Terry’s cookie recipe which is so good I could DIE. I will write down more songs, and keep adding to the book of kind words (wrote some more in Cornwall), and prep Theo for surgery (not really but almost.)

I will check in with the editrix of awesomesauce and make a list of friends to call. I’ll do my taxes, although not before I put them off some more. I will continue to live a satisfactory life and when life hands me difficulties and worries, I’ll have friends and family who trust me, and who reciprocate my love and care and trust and appreciation with deeds of shining worth. And words spoken at a conversational volume, because candidly, that was the best thing about going to Cornwall and then getting back to town.

Facepalm

Yesterday evening I tol’ my brO that I was marking up the margins of Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, what mOm loaned me.

She was okay with it, just like I expected, but when he learned of my gaffe Jeff looked at me like I’d produced a minute long Giardia fart with bean and beer top notes.

Keith gets it next.  Hope he doesn’t mind my markups.

My response to a post about a gun being marketed with a bible verse on it (this in Floriduh, natch):

And the arm has got a hand
in it’s habitual place
these days you understand
why it ends up on my face
You’ll say something indefensible
and in the worst of taste
and that is why my hand
will end up on my face

Facepalm facepalm facepalm

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected head of the Labour party in the UK.  He is being decried with tweets like this ARRANT HORSE MANURE coming from David Cameron’s office.

The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.

Only connect

People who have been asshats to me over the last ten years are going to get a reminder of Anne Lamott’s blessed line “…if people wanted me to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”  Best part of all? They dislike me so much they won’t read what I wrote, and they’re so narcissistic they wouldn’t recognize themselves even if they did.  Sweet revenge, sweet revenge, without fail.

My goodbye to a dogooder organization

All my outrage leaked away when I realized most white activists care more about dead male lions killed by dentists than dead First Nations women killed by cops.  I need to get away from social media and get my moral bearings for a while.  There can be no more important issues than how we treat each other in our daily lives, and whose lives need our love and care most.  I don’t trust the opinions of your organization on what is important any more.  Thank you for your work.

One thing leads to another

I googled ‘writing in bed’ and got this. (This because Jeff is, if not appalled, then somewhat perturbed that I do most of my writing in bed.) From there I googled “Death of George Orwell” and from there I got the wikipedia article (bien sûr) about Eric Blair.  From there I got this.  And the first paragraph of the third chapter nearly made me croak with laughter.  Vermicular progression!!! I shall be quoting that in my novel if I don’t watch out.

The opening poem is a corker, too.  Every fucking elected Republican in the States and elected (debatable) Conservative in Canada should read it.