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friday favourites 27.07.12

image of the week
are we all still tingly from watching the olympic opening ceremonies? you know what was even better than watching the opening ceremonies? reading the bbc live text feed. all of it typed out in perfectly prim, objective bbc style, bit by bit. it was probably the most addictive, surreal thing that i've ever read. also, i left work during the letter "b" and arrived home for "s". that choice of letters is 100% honest and completely accidental and i happen to think that the whole "blooming flower of flames" thing was pretty breathtaking, so for once i'm not being cynical. seriously. i'm not being cynical. also, hats off to the queen, who showed that one of the world's most public figures can still surprise the people from time to time and it doesn't need to involve a sex tape.

i have to admit that i'm not a summer olympics fan. i do always fall in love with the winter olympics, because the competition does seem to be more broad and because about a third of the sports make me holler "why the hell would anyone even try to do that?" the summer olympics seem kind of staid by comparison. of course, i found out today that there is a delegation of non-affiliated athletes, which seems to be a giant thumbed nose at the very concept of the olympics, so while i wish my canadian compatriots the best, i think that insanity dictates i cheer for team independent.

as an aside, i have noticed that as i age, my opinion on the attractiveness of athletes is subtly changing. when i was a teen, that look used to scream "jock", which made them repulsive. a couple of decades later, i have to say that i look at a lot of those young faces and think "healthy", which suddenly seems pretty nice.

anyway, here's a few decidedly non-olympic things that made me smile this week...

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


hey, did you hear the one about the host of the puppet show on the christian television network who had a computer full of violent child porn and wanted to kidnap, violate and eat one of the youngsters in his congregation?

how about the one about how the institution of marriage is threatened by barrier-smashing women astronauts who stay in monogamous relationships for almost three decades?

or the old joke about the scientist who wanted to prove that you could replace the damaged portions of a human heart by building a jellyfish out of rat cells?

and i'm sure you're tired of hearing about the former republican state senator who wondered why the hell those pussies in the colorado theatre didn't man up and charge the guy with all the automatic weapons.

to quote darrell sheets from storage wars, the moon must've been in retrofit or something this week, because damn. that's some serious weirdness!

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


if you're in montreal... i'd like to apologise to you for forgetting to mention the most exciting thing happening last week, which was more like space's favourite stand-up comedian patton oswalt doing a show here as part of the "just for laughs" comedy festival. this is why i'm not a very good community bulletin board. however...

if you're in toronto... and you have a sweet tooth for the electro sounds, you should check out the third in a series of events by the united electronic audio workers of toronto. live bands and dj's abound, including a dj set by jairus khan, also known as the most memorable moment at the 2012 kinetik festival or "guy with industrial strength balls".

if you're in fort lauderdale... you'd be mad not to check out an evening with john waters! seriously, i'm stupidly envious of you.

of course if you're in montreal... you have no excuse! come and join us for the caustic lounge this coming wednesday. celebrate the festival of lugh, or just the changing of the month. the point is that you probably deserve to celebrate something, and there's no better time to do that than in the middle of the work week.

musical notes


this week, i learned that the difference between thinking about new music and having new music is about two beer. that's the little push extra that gets me from "i think this might be interesting" to "i will not remember buying this until i'm perplexed by its arrival in my mailbox". which is how you end up with atmospheric little gems like this in the mail:



follow-up and shameless self-promotion


a number of people re-posted/ retweeted my ponderings about the gun control debate that really needs to happen in the united states. thanks very much. i'm always immensely flattered when someone thinks enough of what i post here to call it to other people's attention. i was actually thinking that that one might garner me some hate mail, but nothing so far. which is funny, because i've actually been more sharply criticised for way more innocuous things i've said.

as i mentioned earlier, the caustic lounge is happening this week, so we do hope to see you there [there being cagibi, on the corner of st. laurent and st. viateur] for cider, sammiches and sounds.

kitteh of the week


as those who follow me on twitter may have noticed, this week marked the third birthday [approximate] of our beautiful brother and sister combo, seth and julia. one of the things that always strikes me about them is that people seem to be able to tell- without hearing anything about them in advance- that they're siblings. i have always been of the opinion that there was an actual resemblance, but i know i'm crazy. it really solidified for me when a woman i used to work with saw a picture of them on my phone and said "they're really brother and sister, right?" she had no doubt at all in her mind about said family resemblance. what do you think? can you see it?



thanks very much for reading and for making this one of the busiest weeks ever on more like space! you rock my world!!!

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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.

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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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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 …