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friday favourites 09.09.11

yes, i missed a week with ff, but to be fair i was... well, actually, i have no excuse. but i'm being honest, so that makes me a better person, right? but never fear, i'm ready to talk about things that perked up my week this week. and, let's face it, if you've been watching any canadian or american news channels this week, you could probably do with a pick-me-up. i knew the anniversary coverage would be rough, but seriously, whose idea was it to release all of the recordings of people panicking and processing their imminent death this week? like we weren't going to be depressed enough thinking about what happened? if ever there was a week that the western world needed something to remind it that life can be fun, this is it. so here's what i ran to to get away from the onslaught of media misery...

finally! i've been waiting [im]patiently for months to be able to blog effectively from my phone. doing it through my browser has always been a pain in the ass, but up until this week, there was no blogger app for ios devices. now there is. i've just installed it and i think i'll be taking this weekend to get familiar with its possibilities. because you don't hear from me enough, people. now i can blog from restaurants, from bed, from bars when i probably shouldn't be anywhere near technology that allows me to communicate with other people [like my mouth]. i can blog from the shower. actually, scratch that. my phone warranty doesn't cover water damage. but anywhere else is fair game!!!

LOTS MORE AND THIS WEEK'S CAT PIC AFTER THE BREAK...



my tax dollars at work? the last time i got my passport, i had to get up at four in the morning, to get to the office in toronto by six, to get in the line for the day and hope that i got chosen before the cut off and i ended up having to take a half day vacation from work because i still didn't get there until noon. last week, i nonchalantly wandered into my local passport office in downtown montreal at about three in the afternoon and was in and out within twenty minutes. moreover, the time was very pleasant, because the people i dealt with were funny and relaxed and helpful. the last people i saw at a passport office were about one sneeze away from a shooting rampage and treated everyone like they were child-molesting al qaeda members. i realise that toronto is a bigger city, but the difference is kind of out of proportion. 

what was more shocking was that this morning, one week after my visit, my passport arrived. a week. now, the friendly gentleman who processed my application told me that it was past their "busy season" [i still don't get how documents that expire on your birthday can have a busy season unless everyone in canada gets knocked up at the same time] and i'd been told that two weeks was not beyond the realm of possibility in montreal, but this is shocking. actually, i take that back. it's a reassuring example of efficiency where there should be efficiency, but it's so rarely the case that we get what we deserve that it becomes shocking when it happens. so, yes, sometimes you do get the system you pay for. in some parts of the country. in this case.

fashion as art, art as fashion :: a lot of people are a fan of both, including georgina-m on polyvore. see her take on women's outfits inspired by famous works of art. she has multiple galleries of them, including links to purchase the items that are included in her montages. [of course, i suspect that very few people are actually going to be able to afford most of the pieces, but hey, perhaps you can use them as inspiration. or you can come up with your own art-inspired fashion...]


back to normal :: after a summer of having to go out of my way, my closest metro station finally reopened this week. in point of fact, there's another station nearby, but the stm really didn't do a great job of getting around the inconvenience, instituting a shuttle service that only went in one direction and that didn't even take people directly to the next station on the line. so it wasn't terribly inconvenient, but it's still nice to have things back the way they were. you can actually see me give a very brief "person on the street" comment to my local news here [select "september 6th newscast; story starts shortly before the six minute mark]. i'd like to point out that i was in the process of saying that i hadn't found it all that bad over the summer, but i guess that didn't really fit with their story.

i have to admit that i missed both the republican debate [i was at the caustic lounge, which was undoubtedly more fun] and obama's job speech [i know he can speak well, i don't need to have that confirmed], so i'm a little out of the loop on my politics this week. i likewise skipped watching prime minister stephen harper's interview on national security, although i did see some of the "highlights", including his plans to reintroduce more extreme [and, as anyone in the business of shipping or logistics will tell you, useless] measures that he was forced to phase out when he was in a minority situation. so looks like that spiffy new passport is going to give me new opportunities to stand in lines and have unskilled workers confiscate my body butter.

i don't want to end on a down note, though, so here's something that should make you feel better. whenever anyone asks me how i ended up with five cats, i'm going to show them this picture. they were just that irresistible...


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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.

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

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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 …

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…