felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
CBC Radio Saturday-Morning Programming

You know, I've never been a heavy-metal fan in the slightest, but even I can tell that Brent Bambury talking about this stuff sounds like an old man trying to discuss drugs, using the "heppest" slang possible.

Oh well -- it's better than sex with pigeons, which was his opening topic.

Go is the worst program, bar none, on the CBC. And that includes Pearls of Wisdom (is that even still on anymore?) which might feature Jazz-Kletzmer-fusion yodellers from Senegal, or the vocalizations of giant singing yaks recorded on deteriorating wax cylinders.

David Wisdom had every recording the human race had ever made in digital form, hit shuffle every week, and called it a show. But even he never reached the 9th circle of atrocious -- beyond even Caïna, Antenora, Ptolomæa, and Judecca -- where are imprisoned, in Bamburia, traitors to taste.

No, I don't know why I listen to Go. It goes beyond my usual masochism. It's radio that should come with a safe word.


Walking to work this morning, I spotted what looked like a police car in colours I didn't recognize. Moving up to it I saw it belonged to Environment Canada, and confirmed (in a line of text on its side) that it existed to enforce environmental-protection laws.

Did I mention it came complete with a siren?

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm happy the government is taking such things seriously. But most eco-crimes are long-term, white-collar, and corporate. What do you need a sirened car for? Do polluters really run around with barrels of toxic waste like they do in Captain Planet?

Besides, where does the car go when the emergency is all around?

ETA: Coming home from work, the eco-emergency vehicle is still there. Must be a stake-out. Maybe someone's planning to steal the St-Lawrence River.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So, yeah -- I'm on my seventh consecutive day of work today (today at my twice-a-year moonlighting job, after six days at my regular) but I shall be home in time for the Yule party this evening.

Nowadays I'm mostly writing poetry in my scant spare time, and I'm already working on my re-write even before I get the copies of my novels back -- there's a lot of structure here to work on, and a lot is going to be cut out and recycled into future works. I want a less epic novel, with a more manageable scale.

Here's the scariest clock in the world. Want to cross-reference deaths from AIDS, species extinction, oil extraction, and forest loss all on a single page? Now you can! Just a little something in case your day isn't depressing enough.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Hearing John Baird's decision not to support Kyoto if the US doesn't sign on the grounds that it would disadvantage Canadian companies disturbed me.

reflections on the environment and the economy )
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I got back this morning from a small farm off the power grid in the regions of Ontario where the rural begins to bleed into wilderness. There was a gathering there of the Radical Faeries -- gay Neo-Pagans who work and sometimes live together communally on the land.

It was a marvellous weekend. The farm was beautiful -- most of its buildings were ancient, the land was overrun with green, and heated by wood stoves for which we had to prepare firewood -- and the hot water was also provided by a wood-burner. What little electricity there was, was provided by propane and solar cells. Water came from a hand-pump well.

At night, without the grid of streetlamps, all the stars were visible.

It was good practice for when ecological disaster destroys civilization and we all have to till the soil It was a wonderful experience for a city-boy like myself. I had a good time, and I collected all sorts of histories from the older gay hippies who ran the place, which was the main reason I went up there.


Jan. 31st, 2007 04:13 pm
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Holiday Wishes

I thought I'd wish an early Happy Imbolc to those who celebrate it. I actually got out to a public rit given by the McGill Pagan Society this time. It was a beautiful ceremony, focusing on environmentalism as its theme.

I need to work tomorrow, so I've been treating today as my holiday (though technically I could take it off, if I felt strongly about it). It's been an easy day. I wrote 2300 words, and got a little reading done, polishing up for my comprehensive in March. I also finished a draft of a poem.

I lit a candle this morning, and it's been burning, and it's been burning all day. I thought it was going to go out out hours ago.

Queer History

I think I've mentioned Robigalia, before -- the Roman festival celebrating the god of mildew, drain rust, and wheat rust. A very minor academic debate -- one on which the academic careers of people we've never heard of are no doubt riding -- seems to centre on whether the god Robigus/Robiga was a valiant defender against these things, or an evil deity of mildew who had to be propitiated.

Anyway, I came across a couple more references to this festival strangely becoming associated with male prostitutes, which just seems to suggest that the Romans were a very random people. Unless their male prostitutes suffered from drain rust and mildew.


It's been a kerfufflish month here in Quebec around the government policy of "reasonable accomodation."

"Reasonable accomodation" is the sensible idea that there should be some flexibility in government institutions dealing with people with other cultural backgrounds. It's been occasionally applied over-zealously -- I heard of one case of a man barred from prenatal care classes because some of the women there were uncomfortable with a man in the room.

Generally, though, it's been well used. No one's going to suffer because because parents with certain religious backgrounds want their children taken out of music classes.

However the backlash, lately, has been vicious. A police officer posted an anonymous anti-immigrant song on a website, and the tiny town of Hérouxville passed a declaration intended as a warning to would-be immigrants that trotted out every anti-Muslim stereotype in the book. The worst, though, is that CBC was reporting that a group of teachers are complaining that their Jewish and Muslim colleagues get paid religious holidays off.

'Course, the reason that Christian teachers don't get those days off is because the schools are already closed for Christian holidays you dumbasses! And you still get paid for Christmas holiday, and Easter break!

Meanwhile, federally, one of the worst environment ministers the Liberal Party ever produced (Stéphane Dion) is facing off against a man who once called Kyoto a "socialist scheme" (Stephen Harper), on the issue of the environment. It's greenwash like this that makes me glad I support a third-party candidate (virdisate?).
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
You know, I know lots of wonderful, open-minded Catholics. But the Catholic Church itself seems to be one giant machine for spewing evil. It was only a matter of time before they'd take a break from their homophobia, anti-safe-sex tirades, and sexist tirades, and rear their ugly head towards the environment:

"But in a speech to US Catholic business leaders, [Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, George] Pell said Western democracy was also suffering a crisis of confidence as evidenced by the decline in fertility rates. "Pagan emptiness" and Western fears of the uncontrollable forces of nature had contributed to "hysteric and extreme claims" about global warming.

'In the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.'"
There's definitely an emptiness here, but it's not a Pagan one.

Meanwhile, I was considering reading The Da Vinci Code. My experience with Harry Potter taught me not to snobbishly despise popular literature. Some things really are popular becuase they're genuinely good. Plus, I was familiar with the Holy Blood, Holy Grail conspiracy theory.

So I read excerpts. Mad albino monks? Who is this Dan Brown? Horace Walpole? And the French people talk like rejects from an Inspector Clousseau movie. I think this time, my snobbery has been confirmed :)
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

Interesting, it only took one week for a package to arrive for me from France. Not sure if that says complimentary things about the French postal system, the Canadian postal system, or both.

In related news, who's up for a game of Dungeons and Dragons. I think I've mentioned to all my old players I'd like to get together for a three-session game, to play my all time favourite module, Desert of Desolation. It'll take me about a week to upgrade it to third-edition.

I was thinking we'd start with new characters, but I know [livejournal.com profile] melting_penguin was eager to ressurect Galiah, and so I won't say no if someone else wants to bring in an old character. The starting level is going to be 5, by the way, so if anyone's ressurecting old characters, they'll have to be busted down a few levels.


Quebec politics, this time.

Here's a petition for Quebeckers to sign, urging the Charest government to put more lands aside for protection. Quebec is worse than the Canadian average for that -- while Quebec's ahead on social issues, we're disastrously behind on environmental ones.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] montrealais was on the radio today, and once again trounced the competition -- the only one who quote facts and figures on the spot. The Liberals brought out one of their biggest guns -- Marlene Jennings -- and she did well, but not as well as Matt :)

Meanwhile, Paul Martin is pretending to have a backbone. It's almost cute. Responding to words from the US ambassador that US's stance on Kyoto and Free Trade should not be election issues, Martin said, "I am not going to be dictated to as to the subjects that I should raise."

Funny. Anyone who's been watching politics since 1993 knows that Paul Martin first built a career as Finance Minister, then as Prime Minister, entirely on being dictated to by the US interests. He flip-flopped on free trade for that reason.

Meanwhile, Harper had to respond to a US editorial by an American far-rightwinger hoping Harper would get elected because he'd be "the most pro-American leader in the Western world." Harper notes in his letter that he has quite a few problems with the current US government, such as that they don't take free trade seriously enough -- in other words, they aren't right-wing enough in one area.

International politics. Oh well. Could be worse. China and Japan's relations are so frosty right now that the Chinese Premier would not loan the Japanese Prime Minister a pen. It doesn't get much worse than that, short of open warfare.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

Well, I took to the streets with thousands of others in ice cold-temperatures (oh, the irony) in support of the Kyoto Accord on global warming. Organizers were expecting only 15000, but Ken Hechtman, who's pretty much in a protest march every other week and has been for decades, says that he could see about 50000 to 60000 people, and parts of the march disappeared off the horizon at either end. All this in minus-4 degrees celsius and a bitter wind.

I marched as part of the NDP. The federal Green Party were there as well, and they kept trying to get in front of us. They're just pissed, I guess, because Greenpeace gave our party better marks than them for eco-policy, and that's supposed to be their one issue.

(Of course, Jack Layton's spent the last 20 years of his career fighting for alternative energies and ecologically clean cities, and the federal Greens have gone over to "eco-friendly business" models, so it's no surprise we're leaving them in the dust, as it were, on environmentalism.)

Oh, and on the subject of the election, the Conservatives keep tripping themselves up. First they re-opened the same-sex marriage debate, and then Harper couldn't bring himself to say he loved Canada (everyone knows love is the only thing that can destroy Harper). Today he announced he'd get tough on drugs, and would not decriminalize marijuana. Because, you know, the War on Drugs has really worked in the US...


I collected about 40 articles on Timothy Findley, and I have about 48 hours to become an expert on Carl Jung, or at least those aspects of Jung I need for my essay due on Thursday. Towards that end, I'm reading Alchemical Studies, which deals with the sorts of ideas Findley is working on.

I feel the same way about Jung's stuff as when I dabbled in it years ago -- it feels intuitively true. Like reading John Ralston Saul's stuff, it feels like I'm reading something I always felt, and could never articulate. I wish I had time to go over it properly.

I'd like to bring more Jung into English Lit. Every second critic I read talks about Freud as if he's prophet spouting truth, and Jung is a marvellous antidote. Besides, Findley is obsessed with Jung. Not only did he write a novel with Jung as a major character (Pilgrim), but Headhunter starts with a quote from Jung.


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