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why vick still makes me sick

it's not often that barack obama says something that makes me want to tell him to shut the hell up (especially compared to other people who've had his job), but this week when he defended convicted felon michael vick as deserving of a second chance, i'm pretty sure i felt myself vurp.

i'll reveal my bias up front here: i'm an animal lover to the point where crimes against animals often disturb and infuriate me more than those against people. like crimes perpetrated against children, i feel that the victimization of those least able to protect themselves and most vulnerable to adult human violence is degenerate in its most literal sense- such actions involve a regression in basic humanity. so to say that i have no sympathy with vick about the nature of his crimes is a gross understatement.

although i don't want to go over the details of the world of dogfighting (i'm trying to cut back on the number of anti-depressants i need to take), it's worth it to k…

Thanks for the memories... I think

so as many of you already know, i've been working on producing a film from a script that i wrote, along with my long-suffering partner dominic marceau, for the last, um, eternity. this has taken as long as it has because "normal" films take over a year from conception to release with huge teams of people working on each aspect of the project. when your team consists of two or three most times, things move just a wee bit slower.

but as we're creeping ever closer to the finish line, i'm finding time to do more things. like writing a diary of the actual filming process, which took place over six weeks on evenings and weekends, in the late summer of 2009.

that diary will be appearing on the conversion blog, but i'll also be repeating it here for those who don't want to have to weed through more than one of my web sites.

so, without further ado... here's the introductory piece to my filming diary:

I had this wonderful idea that, as we were filming Conversi…

pr0n addiction

i've been warned that the internet does this to everyone. at first, your tastes start out on the edgy side of normal and you get a little thrill from what's regularly available. but then the internet comes along and all of a sudden, the boundaries are shifting. all of a sudden, you start to see how limited your original world view was. there are a lot of things that can be done with your unique little kinks and the strange thing is that people are out there doing them. there's more than you ever imagined and now when you look back at those innocent whims you used to think of as fantasies, they just don't do it for you anymore.


now, to get excited, you need something that's bizarre, you need nails and wire and pain and danger. you need it to be wild to the point where you're not even certain you'll enjoy it anymore but at least it's new, it's weird, it's exciting, it's different. behold the power of the internet. behold the power of porn.



(to…

good luck getting a refund

since we're approaching the arbitrary point at which we choose to divide one orbit of the sun from another, it has reached that time when people are encouraged to reflect and to solidify plans for the year ahead. i don't buy into the second part of that- i believe in making resolutions when i'm ready, not at an appointed time. i do, however like taking a few moments when the western world is slowing down, to think about what i've learned in the preceeding months, because only by thinking about life's lessons can you hope to apply the knowledge they impart.

i'd like to say up front that 2010 blew like an old fuse: spectacularly and infuriatingly. seriously. i hated this year. i'm looking forward to kicking its arse out the door on the 31st and saying good riddance to bad rubbish. i'm not implying that there weren't good moments, but the bad so overwhelmingly squashed those moments that they are like isolated violas in the orchestra of the year's …

king of spamalot

amidst all the coverage of that other "explosion of stuff on the internet" story, you could have missed the tale that one diabolical mastermind who was caught and arrested in the united states made a court appearance this week.

i actually couldn't be happier to see this unfolding at the same time as the uproar over wikileaks because i think that the two form a fascinating yin and yang to understanding the internet and the point to which it has brought us. on the one hand we have... well, watch any newscast, look at any web site, listen to conversations around you and you'll know about what's happening on the one hand. (or scroll down. here)

on the other hand, we have the internet at its excessive, greedy, predatory, apolitical worst. for those not familiar with the case, 23 year old oleg nikolaenko is accused of running something called mega-d, which sounds like a dubious dietary supplement, but is actually a "zombie network" of 500,000 computers (how c…

it leaks for thee

i am just getting way too lazy in my early middle age. after surprising no one by writing about the death of peter christopherson (here's a link for those who are feeling too lazy to scroll down), i decided to scribble out some thoughts on the most over-analysed portmanteau in the world: wikileaks. if i didn't, i'd probably be the only person in the world who didn't offer an opinion, although i'd like to think that mine is a little better thought out than those who have called for the deaths of wikileaks informants and of the organisation's polarising leader, julian assange. (note: if these guys wore turbans instead of business suits, they'd be on an international watch list by now.)

while a quarter million documents might provide the media fodder for a year-long series of in-depth reports, the selected method of dealing with the story has been extraordinarily muddled. first, much of the reporting has centred on wikileaks itself and editor-in-chief julian …

i meant to say

this is probably the most predictable blog post i've written, but that doesn't especially worry me. after all, being predictable in certain respects points to consistency, stability, self-assurance. nothing too bad about that. and besides, i'm writing about something that has been a constant in my life for nearly twenty years.

as many of you already know, on november 24th, the world suffered a loss, unmarked by the vast majority, but tremendously important to a small, devoted group. peter christopherson, member of throbbing gristle, psychick tv, coil and several other music projects, passed away- peacefully but unexpectedly- in his sleep. his enormous influence in underground music can hardly be overstated and it is sad to think that such an important creative force has been stilled.

although his work was decidedly off the mainstream, "sleazy" found his way into more homes than most people realise. before becoming famous/ notorious as a musician, he was a designe…

in dreams...

i've always been interested in dreams. after all, this is where your mind does its cleanup of events and ideas without the distraction of the outside world. it may catalogue things directly, but, more often, it applies a sort of symbolist system that even its owner does not understand. and it's a powerful process. we've all woken up from an unpleasant dream that casts a shadow over the day, or been disappointed when we discover that the extraordinarily happy dream we were having is over. in fact, the process is powerful enough that the body has to heavily sedate itself- if you wake up suddenly during the night, you will quite often feel the after-effects of this sedation- to keep from acting out the scenes that it sees while dreaming.

sometimes, the question of why we dream what we do is easy to answer. if someone close to us is sick, it is fairly common to dream of them. if there's a lot of stress at work, that tends to carry over into the dream world as well. but the…

i am kissing you goodnight

i found this on my computer while doing one of my routine searches of writing so that i can make myself feel badly about everything i've left unfinished. i'm not sure if this is something i completed or not. it was, as far as i can tell, written in early to mid-july 2009 and i can't for the life of me figure out where it came from. in fact, other than the title seeming familiar, i have no idea what it is, what it was written about or what i intended to do with it. nor do i have any idea what i will do with it now that i've found it. so i'll put it here and hopefully that will remind me of its existence from time to time.

I am kissing you goodnight
Old sickness, or new,
Cool real and bathing my red eyes
Moon’s water reflection
Of anything I once believed I wanted,
Passed into boxes
And dying of neglect in their corners.

I slept last night with alligators
Kings of the black water
Unchanged in all memory,
Patrolling guards
Invincible and perfect;
Time gives all the armour need…

seven

i had a sort of a revelation this week. i think that early christians were really onto something. i've not become religious or started believing we are in the end of times, but i did have a thought that, among all the rhetoric, there's one thing they might have been doing right that everyone overlooks. i'm talking about the seven deadly sins. nowadays (and perhaps thenadays), these are thought of as the church's way of controlling and curbing the behaviour of members of its flock and as generally indicative of a restrictive, conservative, judgmental world view. however, looking at the sins, i think that the origin might have been quite different. Let's review the list for posterity:

wrath
greed
sloth
envy
lust
gluttony
pride

far from trying to establish limits on behviour on a random basis, selecting these as deadly sins- ones that further engender other sins- this seems like a list if traits to avoid because, frankly, people who exhibit them tend to be asshats. calling t…

a different sort of pumpkin carving contest

many of you may have seen these already, but i couldn't resist posting them. they're a wonderful mixture of being incredibly cute and frankly awe-inspiring (try biting into a pumpkin yourself and see how much fits in YOUR mouth). anyone who has ever been owned by a cat and watched them play with a ball will certainly be struck by the sense that they are watching a world in which they are suddenly like gulliver among the brobdingnagians. this first one actually shocked me not because of the kitty content but because, for the first time ever, it made me have a positive thought about wal-mart.



and there's more! i'm amazed at how lustily the cats dig into these, since raw pumpkin is something even a die-hard vegetarian would find difficult to swallow. (pun intentional, but not very good... that said, as the blandest of the gourds, pumpkin certainly does benefit from a bit of dressing up in order to be palatable.)

the most fascinating thing about this to me is that, for all …

thank you

i spend a lot of time here talking about things that trouble me, or that i flat out don't like. so every now and then, it's good to take a moment and doff the cap of appreciation towards someone who truly deserves it.

a couple of months back, i lost my preciouss iphone in the back of a cab. it was my own fault, 100%. i make no excuses. i wasn't as careful as i should have been and i paid the price. searches for the phone turned up nothing. i tried calling it, but i'd left it on vibrate, which i almost always do, so there was little chance it could be heard by anyone close by. this was bad enough, but there followed a more than month-long saga while i tried to get said phone replaced. i didn't plan on losing my phone the week the iphone 4 came out. i didn't even particularly want the new model, because i was perfeectly happy with what i had. i did end up, finally, getting the new model, because rogers simply couldn't find a 3gs that they were willing to sel…

Questions of Time

I think everyone faces this at some point or another, at least everyone who has some creative pursuit. Where can I find the time to do what it is that I love? I'm lucky, in that writing doesn't require a lot in terms of "extra" time. I don't need to buy materials (other than needing to replace my computer every so often). It can be done in the comfort of my own home, rather than requiring me to go to a studio or other external location. I am not forced to rely on others, because it is a solitary activity until I choose to share it. And still, I find myself struggling to find time to let the creative juices flow.

Of course, I find little windows of time, little moments here and there, sort of the way that we all find change underneath the sofa cushions. (I wouldn't be writing this now if I hadn't found such a nickel of time in my schedule.) But when we find the change in the sofa, while we might appreciate not not having to scrounge the house for bus fare …

sounds abound

this has been quite a week for shows. true, the advent of pop montreal generally brings with it at least a couple of things worth checking out (sometimes on the same night, such as last year's faust vs. diamanda galas debacle, thank you so much festival planners), but it's comparatively rare that i'll have three nights in a row where there are bands that draw me out of my little cocoon. in this case, it was a pretty divergent group as well, which is always welcome.

wednesday, 29.09.10:: download and guests @ cafe campus

this was a show i went into with mixed emotions. back in the day (the day in this case falling sometime around 1994), i thought the first download (and chunks of the second) was absolutely brilliant. unfortunately, i believe a lot of that brilliance emanated from the mind of dwayne goettel, who died shortly afterward. the fractured, multi-layered "furnace" is a difficult listen to this day because it confounds listener expectations, but, robbed of …

the why chromosome

i've been thinking about it and i've determined that the word "why", spoken on its own, in the form of a question, is the most dangerous word in the english language.

seriously, it's the one thing that, in a lot of circumstances, you are just NEVER supposed to say.

"for god so loved the world that he gave his only son" why?

"tonight's top story..." why?

"the city of _______ was ravaged by a hurricane" why?

these are broad examples, of course, ones that could head off in a thousand different directions. and the fact is that we could all choose one of these topics and discuss them at a comfortable distance. the real power of "why" comes when we turn it towards ourselves.

here's an exercise: go through your everyday activities, but each time you do something, expose yourself to the threat of the why.

i got up this morning and i made coffee. why? because i'm a freakin' addict, ok? (seriously, that's the best i…

avast ye scallliwags and buxom wenches!

today be international talk like a pirate day! to get yourselves in the spirit of the occasion (and spirits are well-suited to the occasion, matey), first find your pirate name:

http://online-generator.com/name-generator/pirate-name-generator.php

grub carolina crawhawk be mine. and don't you be forgettin' it or it'll be a quick visit from me cat o'nine tails to yer back, rapscallion.

and if ye be needin' more information on this fair day, ye needs be visitin' the official web site without delay:

http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html

so amuse yer friends and make strangers stare at you uncomfortably! talk the talk and find yer inner pirate! aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

grand entrances, grand exits

working on a film is just the latest thing that's made me aware of the importance of music in establishing mood, making a statement about what action is occurring, the people involved and the reaction that the viewer is supposed to have. Melding music with action gives you a great deal of control over how a viewer, any viewer, perceives a scene, because the music is an important cue to how s/he should interpret what is going on. (Try this at home: Find a scene from a movie and turn off the sound off. Pick two songs that are very different from one another and related, at least tangentially, to what is going on in the scene.)

now wouldn't it be fun if you could set a soundtrack to your own life, to let those around you know how they should interpret what's happening? people might react differently at work if they heard the death star theme playing when they came to talk to you. of course, it could also get kind of noisy, but since we're strictly in the realm of the imagi…

these boots were made for walking

most people are kind of surprised, given my penchant for skyscraper heels often augmented by a chunky platform, that one of my favourite activities is walking. seriously, i don't even need a place to go, i can just stroll out the door and motor, with no aim but burning off the excess energy that builds up if i don't manage to get outside for a little while every day.

even while at work, i try to take a few minutes for myself and at least take a brief stroll around the industrial park where my current office is located, just to clear my head and have a respite to think about things that are on my mind, rather than those that are necessarily on the collective workplace mind.

the fact is, when i'm stuck inside all day, because i'm too busy or because of weather, i tend to get edgy (edgier -ed.) and often grouchy (grouchier -ed.). i need to get rid of some of that pent up energy or lives may be lost. i guess i'm a little tightly wound...

there are lots of things to enjo…

dj kali @ katacombes 26.08.11

oops. my bad. this may be the first time in years i've done this, but i completely forgot, or at least neglected, to write down any of my play list from last thursday. it was sort of doomed from the outset, since i left the house without paper or pen. normally, i'd just record the set on my phone, but since i lost my phone earlier in the week, i couldn't do that either.

there was, of course, music from a lot of the usual suspects- see my precious play lists for details- as well as some additional extended fun, since the set was a full four hours rather than the customary two. and it was all the more fun because of the raunchy and ribald videos supplied by mr. dna. in fact, i've rarely felt as free to play what i wanted.

for those who were there, thanks very much, your presence is always appreciated. for those who couldn't make it, well, uh... i guess you'll never know what you missed...

stop the madness!

sure, i could just post this link (brought to us by dominic m) and have everyone make of it what they will, but this issue strikes me as being of too urgent a nature to be left without commentary.

so i'm going to say this and i'd like everyone to pay close attention : TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS.

i swear to cthulu, if i have to stare at one more panty line or estimate the depth of one more person's butt crack on the metro, i'm going to go postal. i'm not a fan of mass fashion as a rule, but after withstanding years of baggy pants, belly shirts, the resurgence of bell-bottoms, lumberjack shirts (yes, i was alive in the 90s) and any number of other atrocities, i have to draw a line in the spandex.

it's not merely the fact that i am routinely forced to count pubic hairs on the people around me. nor is it the fact that people of all shapes and sizes insist on wearing these things. to me, what is most infuriating about this is the fact that it's held up as fashion at al…

untitled

whenever i haven't had enough time to dedicate to creative pursuits and, as a consequence, feel my creative instincts have withered somewhat, that's when i write poetry. (also, when i'm "excitable" or "edgy" or any of those other words that serve as a code for "i have no attention span".) i find it's a way of getting myself writing without having to burden what i'm doing with too much structure.

of course today, i set myself the challenge of writing a poem with rhyme, which is something i've never done before (or at least, not as an adult). and below is what i ended up with.

the end result is a little too similar in sound to sylvia plath's "daddy". subject-wise and tone-wise it's different enough and it's not like she's the only person to use that rhyme scheme (and even then, she uses it irregularly), but my own admiration for that poem is strong enough and well-known enough that denying its influence woul…

a woman's right to shoes

many of you may have followed my adventure in shoes during the month of july already. for those who haven't, i've been participating in something called "everyday fluevog", something done for the john fluevog web site (see "where kate's money goes" link on the side), where they post a new photo every day of a footwear fan wearing a different pair of their own fluevogs.

this is obviously a bit of a challenge, since anyone wanting to do it needs to have at least 31 pairs of fluevog shoes. but, as many have already seen, i'm up to the challenge.

so i embarked, with my trusty photographer, on a month-long odyssey of capturing my fluevogs in action, thinking of all the different things that i do in them. you can see a full page of the results here.

of course, there are those who will find my self-indulgence positively sinful. after all, despite the constant exhortations to spend, we are programmed to think that spending on frivolities and spending on on…

rocky relations

one of the side effects of living with a film freak is that you occasionally end up getting sucked into things and then wondering what the heck you're doing. earlier today, i was suddenly shocked to find that i'd been sitting and watching a rocky weekend marathon while drinking my morning coffee and enjoying my bagel with cream cheese. a rocky marathon. what's worse, i was watching the end of rocky 3 (with mr. t channeling george foreman, years before they both ended up floggingcookware on the channels that don't have rocky marathons on the weekend). if they were going to follow the series, there was only one thing that could follow. i got up and showered.

however, when i returned from cleansing myself, there it was, waiting for me. rocky iv, in all its abominable glory.

i really shouldn't have to say that rocky iv is a bad movie. in fact, i shouldn't say that, because bad doesn't really do it justice. it's a terrible movie, whether taken as a whole or …