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friday favourites :: 26.08.11

well, we lost jack layton this week and there's a hurricane bearing down on the east coast that looks set to inflict some serious damage, so this truly isn't the best week to think of favourites. on the other hand, as i sit here at my desk, observing a sky so grey and dreary, i realise that it's probably one of those times when thinking of the things that help boost your spirits is that much more important. so think of something that made you smile this week and join me for a quick look at the things that kept my chin up...

wiki works :: further to my comments on christie blatchford, the national post and why the media was so quick to condemn jack layton [original, post-election observations here], it does please me to know that the sports writer-turned-political-commentator won't find it so easy to put that debacle behind her. some thoughtful person saw fit to edit her wikipedia entry to include mention of the controversy over her remarks. the system works. [others have not been so kind.]

MORE FAVOURITES AND THE CAT PIC OF THE WEEK AFTER THE BREAK...



going underground :: i am a big supporter of public transit. although i can and often have driven, i strongly prefer to get around without one. unfortunately, this apparently puts me in a significant minority in canada, despite the fact that our population is hugely skewed towards urban centres. i do consider myself lucky to live in a city that puts more effort into getting its population from a to b than most. while it's far from perfect, montreal's system is vastly superior to those in the two other cities i've called home [halifax and toronto]. and the jewel in its proverbial crown is its metro [subway to the rest of you] system.

and i'm glad to see that i'm not alone in my admiration. matt mclaughlin has created "montreal by metro"/ "metro de montreal", a web site dedicated to the system, including its complete history, user information, statistics [i actually used his information to select which metro station we should shoot scenes from "conversion" in and it served me well] and about the metro's art and architecture. unlike almost every other system in the western world, where metro stations are built on two or three set plans, each one of montreal's stations is unique and features work from world-renown artists. [if you'd like to have a look, you can see a little photography project i did, taking pictures of every station on the system here, here and here.]

hint :: less crayons, more therapy
you laughed, admit it :: ok, i realise that this is going to result in me losing every single friend i have who is also a parent, but in my defense, i'd like to say that 1. i know my art was at least as bad as this [and still is]; 2. i'm probably just working out some of the issues i had with kids when i was one and most of them picked on me mercilessly [as opposed to now, when the internet allows me to hide behind a carefully crafted persona that's comfortable making cracks about her awkward past]; and 3. i am certain that all of you have been presented with a piece of your child's art and wondered what the hell was going through their little heads. so lighten up already. [of course, if you did like it, you should also check out the original for this sort of site "i am better than your kids".]

that about does it for this week's high points. feel free to share some of your own in the interests of raising the overall level of happy in the universe. i do hope that the threats of imminent tornado death are overstated, since the world really doesn't need more bad news this week.

i'll leave you with a quick shot of the one kind of computer pop-up i've learned to love. i swear, he does this all the time.


Comments

Biba said…
I wouldn't mind this kind of pop-ups either :)

as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …