Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Martin Luther King on Oppression

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
--Martin Luther King in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Newfy Truck Driver II

"I love bein' a trucker. I just drive and have fun all day, listen to music, play with the CB, talkin' to other truckers."

The queued up radio crackled, "Up ahead a click."

"Thanks, have a good one." He geared down - 21st to 16th - cruised by a white sparkly cop car.

"Never had a speeding ticket in my life. I love drivin' a truck."

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Barbara Kingsolver on Civilization's Illusions

"Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization."
--Barbara Kingsolver, in 'The Poisonwood Bible', 1999


Monday, December 19, 2005

Newfy Truck Driver - Our Last Ride

Our Nanaimo salvation - a 7---horsepower 120,000 tonne steroid-addicted caravan, driven by a wife-beater-mesh-cap-adorned paleface Newfy. Quiet at first, as he child-molester eyed Sadie. He felt sorry for my Nova Scotia roots.

"Yeah, I worked for a while in Halifax, haulin' fish from the docks. Shitty job. That's where there was the most suicides. Oh yeah, people kill themselves all the time jumpin' in front a transit trucks. I had 15 people jump in front a my truck in the 13 years I been drivin'. I remember every face.

"Five a those happened in Halifax. Now I make a point a drivin' in the passing lane; makes it harder for 'em to get in front a me. It's illegal but who gives a shit?

"Here it's mostly animals I have to worry about. Hit an elk last week - cost me $18,000 in damage. Those things are just the right height to fuck up your front end and smash your windshield with their antlers.

"I drive 14 hours a day, 6 days a week - so I hit about 5 deer a week. I own this truck so all those repairs come outta my pocket. I do okay though, $3,000 a week, not bad for deliverin' mail. I got a 5-year contract with Canada Post, renewable. Paid my house off in 3 years. But mostly, I sleep in my truck. S'okay though, no one at home anyway."

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Heathens are More Christian

Seems all the blogheads are blogging on the dude who may-or-may-not-have founded the Crips, and may-or-may-not-have murdered 3 people 24 years ago, judging by my recent use of the 'next blog' button.

I happened across several entries on this, and all happened to be in favour of him dying (and all happened to be from Americans). One guy, on the day leading up to the execution, said "the families of his victims will get closure tonight." What closure? And who is this blog-ninny-yahoo to know what the families of may-or-may-not-be his victims anyway will get tonight, or what they'll feel or what it's like to be them.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people put judgement on other people in vulnerable situations. Death Row is a vulnerable situation. The family of a murder victim is in a vulnerable situation. How quickly we the people of priviledge pass judgement. Particularly, and strangely I find, people who call themselves Christians.

But Christians they ain't, in fact Jesus would be ashamed of the association. What would Jesus do? Most likely he'd bust that dude's ass outta jail, take him to a whorehouse (but just for dinner), and write a letter to Arnie telling him he can get to heaven when he gives all his ill-gotten millions to Hurricane Carter.


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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Linda Tuhiwai Smith on Researchers

"Why do they always think by looking at us they will find the answers to our problems, why don't they look at themselves?"

Linda Tuhiwai Smith, in 'Decolonizing Methodologies', 1999


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Serenity by the Sea, August 2 2001

I can't believe I miss the people trap, the Big Sneeze, home of 5 million shoe-staring power walking Bay Street hustlers. I miss Mykeyz, my Death-of-Ladies-Man-Lawyer, Minister Swears, Ingrid Bergman my north-north magnetic crush, KK n Lodowne in the Loo, and of course You-Know-Who.

Laying concrete turns out to be an adequate withdrawal treatment, as long as you don't know what you're doing. The nanosecond a task becomes monotonous the cravings set in. Shit, I even miss XX right now.

"The Queen of the Netherlands, or some place, at 80, just learned to stand on her head," says Chera, Queen of Serentity by the Sea. Nurse Wratched on valium, prozac, and yoga. Same computer efficiency without the whip torture.

"Wow!" responds her King, "You know, just 15% of the global military budget would cope with all the world's environmental crises. It'll be a great day when education ids adequately funded and the army has to sell cookies to raise money for guns."

True dat cliche.

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Serenity is an asylum, for all its claims to be in tune with the land like some supra-eco-literate Walden, it tries like everyone else for absolute control, blasting creeks with concrete because the natural flow is painful aesthetically displeasing. "I'm okay with the use of concrete, but only if it doesn't change the natural shape of the rock. Don't put too much on." Multidirectional orders for the willing lackey.

The meals are killing me. My palate is a long-repressed virgin at the college res, ultra-stimulated with new nerve sensations in every pore - you never knew you had so many erogenous zones in one place! Nipple raped cows suffer for my flesh sins, if indirect. My stomach attacked by acids fatty grooving in my guts churning excremental absolution time after time, gastrointenstinal stress. Perscription addiction can't even save me.

Serene concentration camp with Nazi hours, yet free muscle liquidiation massage therapy and psyche straining clarification exercises.

But where are the answers?

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Susan Eckstein on community giving and personal prejudice

"So committed were many Colombans to the spirit of giving that they sometimes volunteered for group-sponsored causes that were at odds with their private views. The Italian American men who helped repair the Jewish temple, for example, could be heard among themselves mouthing anti-Semitic slurs. Giving to the community had a life of its own and Colombans were not to let their personal prejudices get in the way."

--Susan Eckstein, in 'Community as Gift-Giving: Collectivistic Roots of Volunteerism', 2001


Friday, December 02, 2005

Billy Bragg on love & football

"I feel like I've won the cup
every time that we make love
Forty-five minutes each way
at halftime I hear a brass band play"

--Billy Bragg, from 'The Boy Done Good', 1997


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Nanaimo Goddamn

Ed dropped us in hell - also known as Nanaimo BC - where you can't even buy a nanaimo bar. Second-hand two hours and no highway ride - we were so close to Victoria and a bed and shower we decided to buy into Buster's paradox, but as usual the legacy lasted for a four-hour wait. We managed to hitch a station wagon ride from an off-duty trucker to the other side of town, the side closest to Victoria. "You'll never get a lift to Victoria from downtown. People don't pick up hitch-hikers because they think they're prostitutes. I'll take you to a good spot."

The minivan hatchback halt-screeched right away, full of Quebec hippies. "You got room in there?"

"Parlez vous fracais?"

"Ah...oui. Est-que c'est-"

"Ahhh, you got any...um...mariJUana?"

"Oh. No, sorry."

"Ok, merci." Bullet departure.

"Well, at least we know people can stop here."

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