Saturday, September 27, 2014

Damn The Collective Good, And Labour Unions, And New Dealism Anyway!


Because, clearly, if you listen to the water heads, big muddy division, and the new dumb, the huge surge in unionism (and welfare queens buying caddies, and bike lanes, and universal healthcare, and public schools) are the main cause for the following:


Upshot: When you hear a screamer, club member and/or a Snooklandian bleating on about how giving people a fair shake and a fair wage is just too old fashioned to work, feel free to ask..."And just what the heckfire-in-a-hand-up-basket is so bad about 'old-fashioned' anyway?"
Graphical Source: Pavlina Tcherneva of Bard College via  Kevin Drum at MoJo....Tip O' The Toque to Mr. Electrico.


Last Week In Snookland...The Shrieking.


I didn't do it on purpose.

In fact, mostly, I was just so busy last week that I stayed away from the non-work, non-database portal-driven interwebz by accident.

As a result, day-by-day, an interesting thing started to happen.

Essentially, I really and truly noticed that I could feel my pre-internet brain coming back to life.


By Thursday I had even finished the Paul Auster book I bought back on our summer holidays when littler e. and I spent a luxurious hour or so rattling around in our favourite second-hand Berkeley bookstore while Bigger E. did her busking thing across the street in front of our old grocery store.


None of that meant that I could escape the caterwauling of the head Snooklandian entirely.

First it was a snippet on the radio of her almost gleefully (and politically expedient) announcing a desire to lock all the dungeon doors and throw away all of the keys on all of those terrible, evil bad people out there. This, of course, was executed in the wake of a terrible tragedy and it was clearly designed to attract the media herds (including national ones) in droves.

And then, yesterday, I heard her poo-pooing of the death of another herd of Sparkle Ponies when Petronas started making noises about the pulling out of the great LNG fantasy.



It is Saturday now.

And I've spent the early morning roaming the tubes.

So I'm back, I guess.

But I'm thinking of doing it in cycles.

Just like I do it with ice cream.


'Pre-Internet Brain'? you may be asking....Well, it's a Coupland thing...Smart-assed, sharp-eyed bastard...
By the way, for the record, I first read Microserfs, pretty much all in one all night go, back in the days when I really and truly did only use the interwebz for work...At that time I was lucky enough to be working in an American FedGov lab that was hooked directly into the backbone...
Regarding the dying off of the Sparkle Ponies...How come so few of the local water heads pontificating on the matter over the last newscyle or to have made it clear that Petronas is not the first to balk?


The Summertime Jukebox So Far.

...Bigger E and littler e, doing their Sister Act In Downtown Lotusland.

Sometimes A Sister Act Deserves A Call From Twenty Years Ago...

Home Is Where The Heart Of The Poetry Is...

Song for Mount Polley...

Train We Will Forever Ride, No Matter How Many Coaches Long...

Can purgatory be found lurking in the parking lot of a Super 8 motel?...

For My Friend Ian....

Will The Golden Era Never End....

Our Neil, Pocahontas and Thee...

Springsteen, Mashed Potatoes and Me...

When In Doubt Ask Yourself...What Would Danko Do?

What Canada Day Means to Me and Mine...

At The End of The (Busking) Day It's What Everybody Wants...

Vincent/Starry, Starry Night It's Not...

When Busking and French Immersion Collide...

Gram Goes To Goteborg...

The Still-Beating Heart Of Alt. Country...


Friday, September 26, 2014

Democracy Breaks Out Amongst...

...The Lawyers.


From the MoCo:

The governing members of the Law Society of British Columbia have decided to hold a binding referendum to determine the future of a faith-based law school at Trinity Western University.

The board members, who are known as benchers, voted on Friday morning to hold the referendum at the earliest possible date, with the results to be released by the end of October....

In other words, if I understand this correctly, the members will decide.

Imagine that!

And, in my opinion, this is about discrimination, not freedom of religion.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Summer Jukebox Tune #16....Calling Cards


Please note....Busy week...Thus, poli-blogging will be light for awhile...

Almost five years ago now, my two kids and I embarked on a 52 week long project we called 'Our Busking Year'.

It mostly consisted of us popping up at parks and various and sundry out of the way places to play our instruments and sing.

Like, say...This.

And then our oldest kid went away to school far away and became a real pro at the thing in subway stations and on downtown street corners in Montreal.

And at the same time our youngest kid became a dancer.

So, over the last couple of years I started playing on my own again, down in the basement.

But instead of just playing for myself and my four walls, I got some help from from some of you all and started making little lo-fi, slightly off-key recordings that have now been listened to over 900,000 times.

In fact, the listens outpace the page views around here by about two-to-one.

And no, I'm not making that up.


Our oldest kid is going to school back at home now.

And so she does her pro-thing mostly on downtown Lotusland's streets these days.

Sometimes I even play with her. And while I'm pretty sure my presence cuts into her earnings, I have passed the halfway point toward my new/old telecaster that I have my eye on.

But, more often these days, what with this endless summer that just may end on Monday and all, our oldest kid now goes out with the youngest kid so they can do their two things together.

It's a real honest-to-goddess 'Sister Act', with Bigger E doing the singing and strumming while littler e. puts down her hunk of TConnorsian plywood and makes like the Ms. Bojangles that she has become.

And I'm telling you, it's truly amazing with kids.

I mean, even when they are so close they can't help but to move away as they grow up and start doing their own thing.

Which, of course, is pretty much as it should be.

But still, I'm pretty sure that if you really try you can always be with them, in spirit at least, even when you are not right there in the thick of things.



Anybody who says Neko Case (including Neko Case herself ) is not a musical genius is flat out crazy.

For all kinds of reasons, that include way more than just the singing.

'Calling Cards' is a short little story song from her last album that could be about just about anything.

It turns out, however, that Ms. Case wrote the song about something very specific.

Specifically, it's a song about how she always keeps all her various and assorted sundry bandmates and musical collaborators in her heart no matter where she is and what she is doing.

Sound like something I was talking about up above?

Here's my version, sharped the way she does it and everything (which was a big stretch for me), but what the heckfire...

And I'm telling you....If I hear one more braindead report, question or comment about how there is a big rift among teachers after an 86-14 ratification vote...Well...I'm going to start screaming Proclaimers songs at the top of my lungs...Or some such thing.
And, yes, that is a reference to the Scottish 55-45 thing...


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thirty One Reasons Why The Trials And Tribulations of Mike Duffy May Help Force An Early Federal Election.



If the Duff-Master Flash gets his way and has an early trial, will it force Mr. Harper to resign as Scott Reid, writing for Postmedia, suggested the other day?


I think not.

Me, I'm more inclined to go along with Harvey O who thinks that the Duffy trial, along with the buoyant poll numbers for Trudeau II and a coming budget surplus built from a zillion tiny strips of flesh ripped from the backs of the middle class (which is my opinion not Mr. Oberfeld's, although he does acknowledge the strip mining of the UI gold deposits).


How will we know if the early call is coming.

Well, if the smear campaign directed at Mr. Trudeau cranks up in earnest before Halloween rather than early in the New Year I reckon that will be a sign to start taking early odds and placing your bets.

And, as for driving down the confirmed anti-CPS vote that is sure to come also?....Do not, for one second, ever forget that the Robo/Real-Call shenanigans did NOT begin in 2011....Thought of that on Friday as we dropped folks off at the Victoria Airport, and had to go through that post-Saanich Robocall Ground Zero deflector spin highway/multiple traffic circle exchange on the way back from a Memorial for C's Mom who passed away after a long and feisty (to say the least) life earlier this summer...She will be much missed by many...
And, ya, I do refuse to call it EI...Why?...Because it's insurance for the unemployed that we all pay into, that's why.


This Weekend In Snookland...Some Funds Are More Equal Than Others.


The HuffPo had the story up first...

A group of teachers who bought tickets to B.C. Liberal fundraiser say they were rejected from attending after concerns about “security,” and that they were unwanted because the social event was not about politics...


...Some teachers decided to fundraise enough to buy a table so they could meet face-to-face with Bing, the Liberal MLA for and his caucus colleagues, Scott Susin told The Huffington Post B.C. in an email.

“We had no intention of being militant or crazy, or anything like that. That was part of our strategy also, to debunk that myth about teachers, and at the end of the day, engage in meaningful dialogue,” said Susin, a teacher from Mission.

Melanie Harris, another teacher who had planned to attend Bing's event, said, “Perhaps if we left the politics behind we could see each other as people and find some common ground.”


Looks like the Snooklandians can both run away and  hide.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Music Very Well Expressed - Benjamin Booker


It's young Mr. Benjamin Booker and friends.

Very cool weird blues punk fusion.

If you wanna learn lots more about Mr. Booker and how he does his thing, Kott and Derogatis did a solid long form interview with him....Here.


This Day In Snookland...Random Rule.



According to Justine Hunter, writing today in the Globe, it would appear that the labour strife that paralyzed this Province for months and caused the parents and guardians of half a million kids to scramble around like chickens with their heads cut-off for the last three weeks was ended in one weekend because our fine Premier stumbled into a chance encounter thousands of miles away that led to drinks at the bar followed by a secret meeting at an Airport hotel.

This after everyone concerned, including the union leadership, had been pleading for the Premier to do something for weeks to help deal with the paralysis that was caused, in large part by her own government's actions (and inactions, not to mention propaganda and smear campaigns).


Clearly this is no longer just a 'Say Anything' premiership.

Now, based on the evidence at hand it also clear that it is also a 'Do Anything Whenever I Feel Like It' premiership.


Absolutely unbelievable.

And in the meantime the cacophony of the 'Band Of The Cronies' plays on.

And, yet...

Those that need our help most are still getting screwed over, royally, by Ms. Clark and her government.


Is it possible, do you think, that single disabled parents can't afford to drink in hotel bars?


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Teachers I Have Known...Mr. H.


Mr. H. was my Grade 12 biology teacher.

I honestly remember very little about what he taught us, which is weird given that I am now a card carrying cell biologist who does a little teaching on the side.

But I do remember how inspiring he was and how he could hold everybody's rapt attention, so much so that his classes were ones you DIDN'T want to end, even during the last period of sunny afternoons. 

I also remember his abiding sense of fairnness, which is a big deal when you are in highschool.

Anyway, Mr. H. was one of the few teachers I kept in touch with after I moved on to other things (I really wish I'd done more of that - I love it when I hear from the kids I've taught).

One of my proudest moments was when I sent him a paper I wrote, twenty years ago now, that helped, in a small way, start a field in the cell biological world called 'mechanotransduction'.

Good luck with your voting today teachers, no matter which way it goes!