Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Proposed Pipeline 

Earlier today a Toronto man proposed a pipeline that would lead directly from his sinuses to the sea. Hydrasense, maker of a popular netty pot, suggested the project could be completed by the spring. Environmentalists have criticized the proposal with a spokesperson from Greenpeace International saying, "We just don't know what kind of damage that amount of mucous could do to the environment and the fragile sea floor." Proponents have suggested that the project could in fact be good for the local ecosystem by creating an artificial reef capable of protecting shoreline species from the threat of rising coastal water levels. Other critics, including the water protection group WaterKeepers have called this thinking unproven and unlikely. "Have you seen how snot mixes with water? It will not form a reef or solid structure of any kind but will just make the water cloudy and gross." said a WaterKeepers representative. The President of the United States has argued for a barrier or wall around the man's nostrils though few believe he could find support for funding. Additionally, the man himself is worried such a barrier would only cause further blockages and lead to a worsening of the sinus pain and headache situation. For now, the man has decided to burrow beneath a lightweight comforter on his home sofa surrounded by a small berm consisting of used facial tissues. "I expect to die here", said the man, noting that he has consulted his lawyer about possible attempted murder charges being brought against the toddler believed to be at the centre of this current outbreak. Such charges are thought by legal experts as unprecedented and absurd. Indigenous groups have also said they would protest and block any type of pipeline construction. This is the eleventh day of the sinus impasse with no end in sight.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Black Heart Blues 

December can be an epic disaster of social events, over-eating, over-spending and over-extending. I found some relief when a couple of difficult projects were done and dusted, tucked away or sent off to the ether where they would no doubt die in the cold lonely space where neglected work dies. My calendar cleared up further when my volunteer commitments had been met and only one party was left. I took an evening to put up some Christmas decorations while playing a cheesy Christmas movie in the background (theme: when you’ve lost family, create your own etc) and I have to admit some seasonal warmth crept into my black heart.

Why the black heart? I’m not sure. It’s as though you’ve just discovered your hand has lost all sensation after driving a nail into it without noticing. That’s odd, you say to yourself, that should really have hurt. My job lately has been so soul-suckingly unsatisfying it has left me numb to whatever ridiculous thing happens next. The bleakness of the darkest November in 30 years certainly contributed. Meanwhile the hellscape of political machinations infecting our world is inescapable. I resolved to ignore it but no matter what, some kind of terrible news slips into your life like an unwanted guest.

I thought I could outrun that black heart but you don’t get far if you can only get around to running once every few days (see “work”). Maybe a good night’s sleep would do the trick but where did all the good nights go? I thought I could drink it away but that’s a bit of a cliché isn’t it? I thought the company of friends would take it away but you can only impose yourself on friends for so long. I sought out art only to find those unscrupulous thieves called artists not only have your number but they will call it and who answers that call? The black heart.

The black heart. That inky celphalopod who lurks and slips into any nook and cranny. That fairground funny mirror who reflects your own corrupt and morphed image of yourself. It’s a box, opaque to everyone else but transparent to yourself and it is disgusting, smelling of the rot of your own septic guts. Who are you? You voiceless director, making me your whipping boy, pressing my face in the mess that is my life. You are a spectral bully and if there is one thing I hate, it’s a bully. When you live in a time that venerates, celebrates, champions and elects bullies and their bullshit, it’s hard to see the bright side. There was a time I would have avoided typing that word but it’s too late for that now. We live in a golden age of bullshit. It is an era when that word went from unacceptable to the only way to describe the world.

I guess that’s a cynical view of the world, life and everything but that’s what the Black Heart does to you.


Seen in… November 

Band of Brothers, more like horde of hunks. Image via The Movie DB

The weather of November lends itself to the interior, as in the interior of your home watching your television. Despite a dark and murky November and typical busyness I was able to get to the cinema a few times and finish a few series I've wanted to watch for awhile.

Marvel’s Daredevil Season 3

Like another Marvel series, Punisher, this is a very well scripted and paced show with death and violence as its focus. Unlike Punisher where the main question is “Why shouldn’t I kill my enemy?”, Matthew Murdoch aka Daredevil struggles with defeat and the idea that a murder would be the easy way out.

Band of Brothers

Like Platoon for a different generation of actors, this HBO mini-series from 2001 feels contemporary and fresh like a wound that won’t heal. It’s the story of Easy Company, the group of American paratroopers that fought from Normandy and worked their way through the European theatre of World War II. We follow the company from their initial training and through their many perilous battles. As an American story, it sometimes flirts close to American jingoism, yet the reality of war, its tactics, its fears, its horrors, its boredom and its shock reminds us that it is a universally human and terrible thing. There are an incredible number of actors in this huge ensemble and many, who were unknowns at the time have gone on to fame and recognition. You might want to watch it with the open just to cure the itch of finding out the answer to “Where have I seen that actor before?”

Paddington was so fun they made another one. Image via The Movie DB

Paddington 2

I’m not even sure why I watched this. I wasn’t a particular Paddington fan as a kid and I didn’t see the point of making a feature length film of a little talking bear who had moved to London. Perhaps after watching so much grim and intolerably violent stuff I just wanted a relief. A break from blood and gore. A break from the depressing news cycle of racism, misogyny and hate that passes as politics today. Well, lo, a golden gleaming ganache appeared before me and without even asking if I needed it, I had already consumed it. This is one of those “all ages” films that plants itself in its own invented world of magic realism as Paddington’s adventure starts with a wish to buy his aunt a birthday present but winds up as a treasure hunt and jailbreak. You don’t need to really know anymore than that but rest assured if you let yourself slip into this movie like comfy slippers you’ll come out relaxed and revitalized just a little bit. Visually, it’s movie “hygge” and Hugh Grant is a surprise as a dastardly villain who shows more range in this one small role than in the last twenty years of his career.

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Friday, December 21, 2018


Here's to more cheers and less fear this year. Merry Christmas everyone!


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Book Launch 

It's that time of year and The Absurdly Quotidian Omnibus has landed. Has it "landed" or "launched"? "Book Launch" is an odd expression. Is it like a boat launch, struck by a bottle of champagne and pushed down a slip into the water? No. Is it like a rocket launch whereby a tin can packed with enough explosives to thrust it beyond the atmosphere? No. I guess the idea is that this thing, this collection of ideas illustrated in words and printed and bound is let loose upon the world. Will it take flight? Unlikely. Will it hold open doors? Definitely not heavy enough for that. Will it keep you company on the privy? Hopefully, if the author is lucky and if even luckier, it will sit comfortably on a shelf for years of posterity, a time capsule of sorts - though please refrain from burying it in the backyard for future generations to find.

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