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friday favourites 22.06.12

image of the week
guess what? it's a long weekend if you live in quebec! guess what else? next weekend is too! in a rather suspiciously well-timed coordination of dates, quebec's "national holiday" falls on june 24th, while canada's national holiday falls on july 1st, meaning that people who live in the province get two long weekends in a row every year at the beginning of summer. eat it world! we have days off!

oh, and has anyone ever thought to point out to people in quebec that their national holiday indicates that the province is a wee bit pagan? after all, the holiday of june 24th is "st. jean baptiste", which actually refers to the festival of john the baptist, supposedly born six months before jesus, around the time of the summer solstice. even to a casual observer, those are suspicious sounding dates to have as birthdays- i mean, they just happen to be born on the solstices? and the eastern orthodox church even observes a day nine months earlier- on the autumnal equinox- to celebrate the conception of john the baptist. on a side note, no matter how famous and influential i become, i do not ever want people celebrating a festival commemorating my parents doing it.

but whether you want to celebrate the newly arrived summer season or the suspiciously-timed birthday of a christian saint/ muslim prophet, it's nice to have a day off.

here are a few things that have made the solstice week more fun...

good news :: things i can't make up from around the internet


ever wanted to know what the hell song that was sampled in your new favourite song? there's an app for that. and i'm going to bring it to its knees.

turns out that one of the best things i've ever done for my health was the time i licked the floor in kindergarten on a dare. [linked via metafilter]

pittsburgh couple adopts friendly stray. friendly stray turns out to be pregnant. friendly stray has seven kittens. install web cam and cue the cuteness.

with the heat wave we've been experiencing in the last few days, i'll bet a lot of you gobbled ice cream, popsicles or some other frozen treat [in style has a recipe for cucumber-tequila pops i'm dying to try out]. and i'll bet you gave yourself brain freeze, didn't you? scientific american is here to explain the technicalities of what you did and to help you avoid it in the future.

goings on :: things you can [and should] participate in


if you're in montreal... why not fete st. john the baptist and one the city's leading indie record stores at the same time? join sound central for their annual st. jean barbeque sunday afternoon from 3 to 8! let's face it, john the baptist was a rebel and led a pretty alternative lifestyle. you just know that he would have patronised indie record stores.

and this wednesday sees the return of dj tyg to cagibi, so come on by for excellent sounds and excellent fare. i'll be weighing the benefits of being responsible so i'm not brain dead at work the next day vs. not having to stay sober enough to operate the dj equipment. please feel free to help me make a decision.

after a rather eventful week last week, that's actually all i know about in the coming week- anywhere. please feel free to share news of any events you know of!

musical notes


o paradis is an artist whose work i always enjoy, but which truly seems to come alive in the heat of summer. here's a short video of a cover of the gipsy kings' "caminado por la calle", available on the new album "personas" out on old europa cafe.



follow-up and shameless self-promotion


dj kali and mr. dna will be doing double duty this month, sharing the wheels of polymer with dj tyg for the monthly "post-punk night" at the casa del popolo. stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!

this week's most popular post was the review of a giorgio armani's summer collection. your interest is only serving to convince me that i need to track down some of the items that were sold out at my local counter, people!

and it turns out that reports of the sandusky defence team using histrionic personality disorder as an explanation for his behaviour were hysterically overstated. the trial ended and very late last night, sandusky was convicted of 45 charges out of 48.

and if you've been following "a definable moment in time", my ongoing fiction serial, the problems with the page "running out of space" have been addressed by creating a second page. you can still access all the older parts for those times when it becomes confusing. thanks very much to all who have been following along and if you have any thoughts as to where things are leading, i'd love to hear them!

kitteh of the week


you know what i found out this week that's totally incredible? cats only meow for people. when they talk to each other, they use different sorts of sounds, but the meow is actually something they reserve for you. so all those times you've insisted to people that your cats were trying to tell you something through their meows? you were totally correct. i have no idea how i didn't know this before.

in honour of that, here's an image of our two little chatterboxes. that myth that oriental breeds of cat are more talkative than others? confirmed.


i promise, there's nothing sinister going on here, despite what their expressions might imply.

this week's image of the week is a painting by henry fuseli [or johann heinrich fussli if you prefer], an english painter of swiss descent who had a penchant for the creepy and supernatural. this one is called "crazy kate". i'm trying to figure out whose palm i need to grease to be able to use it as my passport photo.

Comments

Martin Rouge said…
Heh. I dont get the St-Jean weekend off. I get to work it, which somewhat sucks, but I get holiday pay, so that's okay. And as for St-John himself, his cult originally rivaled Jesus, actually predated him, and his disappearance was due to political pressure. They also got Jesus's wife to disappear (Peter was a misogynistic prick), along with god's wife. Yeah, the whole monotheist thing was bull, it was more along the idea of Egyptian trinity, father-wife-son, which got mashed up as father-son-holy spirit...
Kate MacDonald said…
Well, holiday pay is still a nice way to celebrate. Besides, aren't you getting a holiday of your own soon?

The cult of St. John the Baptist is quite fascinating, because it does illustrate how intertwined with pagan traditions the early Christian religion was- and they were HAPPY about it to boot!

Many expurgated early Christian gospels made it clear that they believed their Messiah was actually helping to articulate the "pagan" (i.e. non-Roman) traditions of the poor and illiterate masses.

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

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 …

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…