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Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Rorschach Language (for Gregory)

The band width rehabilitation:
a hand with palm leaves left the grapes
heaving. The grave egg
felt the sighing wasteland
bereaved. The landscape
is filled with goats
eating away soil-preserving
vegetation; get away at a space station;
this total recall never stops
like bad aspirin on convenience store shelves,
or in gas stations.

Feel the hand
of invisible vitaes, humours of the yet vitreous sand
settling down the bristle highway;
hustle the gristle off a chicken bone
in a vice, bursts forth, the marrow, a whistling
is heard, a train beckoning forth movement, the music
of regular repetitions; travel, the whip-poor-will's wail
makes the will flag, flap, brazen
over the sublime curve of lizards head,
tasting the air,
one-stop shopping for oxygen; the bar
that didn't take off; the ticket
that never exploded hampered our progress:
pilgrims bearing grim tidings and pilfered
plates, leaving no crumb of the milk and cookies
unturned, an unearned dollar is time wasted,
the representatives of submersion wield an
ace-in-the-hole; they fire the ancient
coercion, stoke the chimney.
No key to need a door above desire
hovering, the numina of unwarranted silence.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Rorschach Language (for Gregory)

The absent-minded pen wreckons
shenanigans past due when a rainbow stretches
across the meadow,
a cross, a gaul, gothic enclosure, an apse that's a trap.

By traipsing, I meant positively the end of bored, part
of enigmatic processes of transformation
on your finger-tips, but now reach for your tongue,
to speak the punching fist
gut-punchers playing whist
lining up, about to embark on Red Rover
renovated on a darned onco-mice hair welcome
mat, come well, tame the impulse;
across meadows a porcine thing squeals into hollow
nooks and crannies, appearing to expand beyond every
possible comprehension, a damper dew of
consequences, bound to daub paint on horse-hair.

The doggeral in its lair wrests meaning out of your mind.

If my foot fell asleep while I wrote this poem,
would there be enough of you in it to claim it as your own?

Let's paint images of each other on the inside of each other's
eyelids. Not much for chums and romance, a ton of humungous
cameros throttling the mustard gas memorandom, as buzzardly
as random victims carry on victorious, we will sail away.

Before lewd layaways, laissez-faire time cushions,
we forgot how to fashion mitres, for mights, weights, and what-have-you?
a scepter of suspicion. conscience: If I were to put all of humanitee
on a pedestle, they would all fall under my pestle,
and I would grind their love out, some way, some day,
and even judgement shall be suspended
as the charms take effect. Arms will stand out of harm's way.
A medallion of home whispers the demos
to remonstrate on piers about the departure of monstrocities
and friends yet unattained,
they sing a hymn to you, back in the world of reference,
I'm having a good time. I strive for the good, or everyone thinks they do.
Things that are. The do that is. The is that does.
But my good, trespass as it will on its own disavowed lawn,
will dispense with showy lustre.

It will strive towards you, where two faces meet,
a vase holds a white and pink rose.

The you that knows, and that won the snow.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Entropic Sublime

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blog Thank Yous.

The Invisible Truth was featured on this website: http://www.publicbroadcasting.ca/archive/2007_07_01_archive.html

where you can learn more about arts, politics, and policy in Canada.

Thank you as well to my readers in Reston, Virginia. Don't think I haven't noticed your loyalty.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Windows to the Soul
After William Carlos Williams

To stay put
and let the world
travel through you;

to grieve the loss of love
as if life itself slipped
like sand
through your fingertips
during a grave silence;

to smell the burning leaves aching
into the sky;

to feel the sea creeping
through tickled toes;

to taste the freshly baked bread
rising from chimneys
of the corner bakery;

to watch sand, thrown
in ovens red hot and congealing,
spindled around pokers,
into blown glass;

to hear sparrows calling
each other through tree
skeletons;

to see the world
through
multicoloured
kaleidoscope glasses;

this is what it
must be like
to watch the sun rise
from the highest
landlocked point in your
hometown.

by Trevor Cunnington

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A dove feather's will.

She sits in her own world, alone on the brink,

held aloft by a dove feather, will.


Satin wraps a form that bellies inner strength.

For being alone demands unimaginable skill.


Her passion's unadmired, leaving dust in the air,

If only for a moment, there was someone else there.


Her beauty deserves more than darkness' kiss;

An unfettered heart laid bare.


Born in Fountain Inn, SC on Sept. 29, 1965, Frank
Blakely started artistic endeavors at the age of 4
when his mom made him draw a rose. He has been a
photographer, painter, author and poet; baker,
police officer,waiter and marketing director.
He lives now in Dallas, Tx, looking for the
love of his life.


Monday, June 25, 2007

New Canadian Poetry: Night and Day

Night and Day
by I.B. Iskov

A whole city of night
sprouts arms in all directions.
In the private landscape
stark and windswept,
hidden, light surfaces.

With the certainty of gravity
slices of sound
signal in the blue velvet,
anchor my senses.

I float in the gray cradle
with a feeling of lightness
as if my shadow could breathe,
I am free.

My feet follow long shades of caution
this craving for connection,
this desire for shine
rises with the sun,
transports my dream into the concrete.

In this noisy neighbourhood
I want to believe something,
trace the curve of clouds,
scratch beneath their surface,
fly beyond my vision,
be a star in daylight.

I.B. (Bunny) Iskov is the Founder of The Ontario Poetry Society. She is also the Literary Judge for Early Harvest, sponsored by Vaughan Public Libraries. Her work has been featured in many fine literary journals and anthologies, including Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Surface & Symbol, Henry's Creature - Poems and Stories of the Automobile (Black Moss Press) and in North America Maple. She has several published poetry collections. Bunny is currently working on her second full collection of poems. She is married and lives in Thornhill, Ontario in a lovely two story house on a dead end street.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

A New Chapter for The Invisible Truth

I've been in a little rut for writing lately. I know that a good cure for Writer's Block is to read. Then it struck me. If I opened this blog up as a platform for other writers to get some exposure, I would be reading good stuff, and getting unpublished good stuff out there for people like you to read. It's a win-win situation. I don't have to come up with as much content, I give other writer's exposure, and you get the variety of a literary journal rather than Trevor, Trevor, Trevor. Know that if you return, you will meet some new writers' quality material. It will spice things up around here.

P.S. Happy Pride Week everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Geography of Colour

The Capital of NOW is Aquamarine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just an idea for your neighbourhood park.




These city streets hover in a brown
grunge, hanging over the horizon, baby long the curse
gardens hung out in gorgeous azeleas
elora grand currents, bedside perched on a bluff

deserted pedestrian walkways
where there should, according to all common sense,
be a plethora of movement
waves of brown as the earth turns, whip-like
crowds throng, and they play the theremin
of each others' gesticulations.

The absent ones dance on the weekends
in an alcohol insect cloud,
buzzing in ear, the dowels of perturbation
no word-style is taboo,
present still in the bamboo harvest.
Artisanal trampolines.

Just an idea for your neighbourhood park.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Strange Customs


Parlour games recuperated the runoff, avoiding radiation from the metal detectors and Geiger hooligans tonight. To night, the ambassadors dedicated madrigals featuring bassoon solos to level-headed stock traders who have decided to let money into the country unhampered. Strange customs for the ne’er do well’s contumely exit.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Descartes, Reconsidered

"I think, therefore I am"

or

"I have an image, therfore I am?"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The out-of-control desire to win.

There is a big difference between being competitive and harbouring an out-of-control desire to win. Many people confuse the two. If you have a healthy competitive spirit, you can recognize where competition is appropriate and behave with a certain amount of decorum (that in sports we would call sportsmanship, but I prefer the word decorum as it is gender neutral, all PC paranoia aside). When you start to look at everything in your life as some kind of game that is won or lost, then you have sunk from healthy competition and you have been devoured by the out-of-control desire to win. Cheating is symptomatic of this desire, but not the only symptom. You can play by the rules all the time and still let this desire get the best of you.

I see this a lot on internet message boards, where people will pull all kinds of (psyche)logical trickery in order to appear to win debates. People trained in philosophy will accuse their opponents of obscure fallacies that might indeed be operational in the opponent's argument, but nevertheless their opponent is erring in the right. There is nothing so irksome as people who use these tricks thinking that because they can point such deficiencies out, they are right, which is sometimes not the case. And because they can point out such deficiencies out, people are more prone to call them right. When they are arguing for the wrong side, this kind of rightness so often devolves into evil. Also, using words in debates to attack the other person's credibility, words such as "ideology," "sophistry," or "rhetoric" in a pejorative sense is also a fairly contemptible tactic, as "ideology" and "rhetoric" are totalizing words like "nature." In other words, there is nothing said that exists outside of their realm of influence, including the words of the person using them pejoratively. While you can attack someone's argument for being too divorced from the practices of everyday life, in other words, too abstract, the sophists had a world view that goes beyond just playing with words to throw your opponent off their logic thread. Using the word "sophistry" pejoratively does an injustice to this world view. The fallacy people use the most that degrades everyone involved in the argument is the ad hominem fallacy: attacking the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself.

The out-of-control desire to win functions in interpersonal relationships as well. How many friendships or sexual relationships have ended or been damaged because of this desire? It manifests itself in a need to always control the way things happen. For instance, you have a friend who will only call you if you call them first, or will only enter into a social engagement if you go to their house, their "home field" so-to-speak. While this is not necessarily a desire to win, it exhibits evidence of a similar power dynamic. Balance is lost. Another example would be two lovers, involved in an ongoing argument that always seems to result in one or the other feeling disheartened and desolate. Love is not a game though, and neither is friendship. This desire, and the self's loss of control over the desire (expressed through a desire to control) is a major malaise of our society.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Death is something they made up to make you productive.


Death is something they made up to make you productive. A body is a community as it is also part of a community. Irritation from oyster self? Yeah, that's right, Alchemy. Every irritant that enters the bounds of the oyster’s self becomes a part of a pearl. Use the enemy's weapons wisely, and once your liquid mortality has seeped into the molecular arrangement of your Whole Self, which has in turn returned to earth, never the body in casket.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thought for the Day


The crux of solving a problem is first to invent a problem that needs to be solved.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dancing the Demons Out

La Guitare

I am the head held high, the invasion
of aspirations to become part of the world, to
catch up with its spinning; I will the mysticism
of movement, the self-love of grace, the lovesick
bliss of moons too subtle to behold; I move
not only bodies, but souls, the emotions
in them kicking and straining to the sound
of fingers sea-sawing across ore dredged
up from the earth and stretched into strings
that sing into the anti-matter of the universe and draw
out its anti. The air
holds the memory of each of our positions
for a moment before it disappears
into the warm sheath of metabolism. I am the pleasure
given unto people by the empty body
of trees sacrificed to the health of a community, the dark
cloud spreading around the head
of the player, on which we can dance
to remember the reasons we are.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Joys of Bureaucracy


This is a still relevant re-post.



The Ontario government has started a pilot project of installing new smart meters that tell you how much electricity you use for activities such as laundering clothes, showering, and lighting so that you can reduce your electricity usage and therefore save yourself money. Their established targets are to have 800, 000 smart meters installed by December 31, 2007, and to have all residents using them by December 31, 2010. This plan also serves the purpose of bailing the Ontario government out because they have not planned out our increasing electricity needs enough. To their credit, they have stuck to certain goals of shutting down coal-burning generators, but they have not sufficiently planned to replace the lost megawatts. Investing more heavily in nuclear is an idea that has been bandied about, but really, who wants radioactive waste that takes tens of thousands of years to become harmless in their backyards?

To count myself among the fans of wind-generators (pun intended) is an honour, but there are naysayers who say they are eyesores. How can such a clean energy source delivered by such elegant structures be so maligned? The lines of a contemporary windmill are understated, and they are rounded rather than squared; as such, they contrast beautifully with the sharp corners of the modern citiscape. In large urban areas, skyscrapers form natural wind tunnels that might be areas ripe for smaller windmills, attached to the sides of buildings. Engineers should grab their Cray supercomputers and do some feasibility studies and cost-benefit analysis. The aesthetic eyesore argument is more of a parody of the NIMBY perspective, rather than a legitimate expression of it. The nuclear waste NIMBY argument is far more persuasive.

There are those bleeding hearts who worry about the birds who fly into the blades of windmills and die. Thousands of birds a year already die by flying into skyscrapers. To deny the value of birds in and of themselves as life forms, their value to people to brighten the visual and sonic atmosphere, and their value as key links in the food chains or threads in food webs that compose ecosystems is foolish. But what is worse: a few hundred birds dying per year, or billions of birds, people, and other animals suffering from air pollution caused by coal or gas-burning generators?

The concept of smart meters - another ingredient in the recipe of living sustainably - is sound, yet they have only made this meters available to the people involved in the pilot project. Therefore, those of us who already understand the benefits, both personal and environmental, of such meters, cannot get them because of this bureaucratic procedure. If this is what they mean by snail's pace, I'm looking for a solar-powered shell.
posted by Trevor_Cunnington @ 9:58 AM 0 comments

Monday, May 07, 2007

Thought for the Day, Coming Soon to a T-Shirt near you

If you think the world is full of assholes, try to be 3-ply toilet paper.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rules governing the Road to Success: Part 1

1. Always read the last page of a contract first. People who write contracts often put contractees in pressure situations to read the contract quickly. They put the stuff that you will like least at the end in the hopes that you will not finish reading the entire contract and sign it with partial knowledge.

2. Learn to deliver information that you know people won't like with a smile. It is more difficult to take issue with a smiling fool than a hesitant person who makes disclaimers like nurses before they "drop the needle"

3. Find novel ways to promote yourself. A couple strategies I have found novel: putting stickers on $2 coins, putting cardboard flyers in the leaves of hedges in park settings.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Canada: why do you ignore me so?

Well, I received another rejection letter. This time it was Oolichan books rejecting my collection of villanellies, saying that it was "creative and well-executed, but not suitable for our roster." This sounds like most of the rejections that presses hand out. Not one editorial comment. I know that they have many submissions to wade through, but if they cannot martial the voluntary resources of literature-lovers to create time for the editorial board to make substantive responses to writers' submissions, then it's on them that writers like me are not getting published and overhyped writers like Atwood, Ondaatje, Martel are monopolizing the literary market. This is not to say that these writers are not worthy of their success, but it is to say that there is lots of raw talent not being published because of various forms of nepotism.

I get hits from all over the world on my blog: Finland, China, Japan, Korea, Spain, England, Slovenia, Germany. I think I have more readers in China than in Canada.

I am a gold mine waiting to happen. What publisher is going to get the privilege of publishing my first book?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Kyoto: took yo' toy!




The Canadian Government recently released a study of the costs of following through with Canada’s plan to accomodate the Kyoto Protocol. It said that such an act would cause the economy to shrink by 4.2 percent, equal to the recession in the early eighties. Well, this is ridiculous. First of all, the long-term costs of NOT accomodating the Protocol are greater than the inverse because much of Vancouver will be underwater within a few decades if we don’t implement the Protocol. Second, the study did not take the economic growth aspects of rallying around the Kyoto Protocol. My brother-in-law, who works at a fibreglass plant said recently that Fibrelaminations, a company I also used to work for, is starting to quote prices on wind-generator blades.

His company, should the Kyoto Protocol be followed to the letter, stands to gain from a business point of view because the taxes proposed to limit greenhouse emissions will increase the interest in greener forms of energy production such as the wind. Harper, an Albertan, and his government are looking to protect the economic growth promised by the oil sands. Ironically, it was Conservative Brian Mulroney who privatized Petro-Canada, which was previously a Crown corporation. Had Petro-Canada not been privatized, the government of Canada would be able to cut taxes even more than Stephen Harper has done.

Furthermore, the cost of greenhouse emissions on the health care system, largely unknown and unstudied, could undo any economic benefits that failing to live up to the Kyoto Protocol might bring.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mass Murder and the Modern Age


There's lots of renewed interest in Hitchcock lately, perhaps the best filmmaker to never win an Oscar. You have Disturbia, a scarcely veiled remake of the master's Rear Window; you have Fracture which uses Hitchcock as a touchpoint in its marketing strategy (it is a suspense/thriller "in the tradition of Hitchcock"); and you have Vacancy a new "motel horror," a genre crowned by Psycho. I was thinking of doing work on Hitchcock for my PhD dissertation, but I'm reconsidering; he does have a whole academic industry picking him to pieces. Does this industry really need another gadfly growing up from maggot status in the master's corpse, oops, I mean corpus!

On the other hand, there are those people who were in the Hitchcock discussion group that I exiled myself from. Their analysis seemed so wishy-washy that it instilled me with a will to show them how it's really done. The discussion group was more like a cult; say a word against the moderator or his acolytes, and consider yourself hen-pecked. No thanks. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I want to pursue Hitchcock because he is eminently worthy of a creative and thorough eye and ear, such as mine are. Too many film scholars are epigones of epigones. I could complain, or I could make my own contribution; I think I would prefer to choose the latter.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Humbling Experience


I submitted a partial manuscript to the legendary Coach House Press yesterday. It is a confusing place. I've passed it a few times, and I seemed to remember there being a door that opened onto bp nichol lane. Well, was I ever wrong. I walked around to the back, and at first found nothing but a tree and a door that didn't look much like a front door to a press. I returned to bp nichol lane, and saw someone working the presses through the window. I motioned to him, and he opened what was kind of like a door, but not really. I asked him about who made the decisions about which manuscripts get published. He didn't know, and he told me to go up front to find out.

No one was in "the front." There was a typeset office, and a crowded little compartment housing books and a computer that could have been an office had anyone occupied it. There was a narrow stairway leading upstairs, but I wasn't sure whether there was anything up there besides a bathroom. I looked around a bit, picked up a business card, and frantically tried to remember what the building looked like from the outside. Was there an extensive second floor? Finally I bit the bullet and ascended the stairs. I was stopped near the top by a fresh, earnest-faced woman named Alannah. I asked her about the protocols for submitting manuscripts, and suddenly I felt like a teenager again, approaching someone I'm crushing on. It wasn't her so much as Coach House Press itself. Their legacy is a little intimidating, I have to admit. I mean, bp nichol, Christian Bok, Darren Werschler-Henry, and Steve McCaffrey. Yikes!

Thankfully, Allanah cut to the chase and asked for the manuscript. I felt a little sheepish because I had only put my snail mail address on my cover letter, and they prefer to reply via email. But that's one of the advantages of going in person: you can compensate for such deficiencies by simply writing your email address on the cover letter.

When I think about it, I have manuscripts more appropriate for CHP than the one I handed over, but it's the project that has the most momentum for me right now. Yes, it's the collaboration with terminus' own Cecile Carriere.

You should check out Coach House's Websites, because they publish great books.
http://www.chbooks.com/

Friday, March 30, 2007

Portable Brains


One thing I've noticed since I've returned from Korea, is the difference between the favorite doo-dads and gadgets here and there. You walk onto a subway in Korea, and 9 and a half out of 10 people are playing with their cellphones. You are basically a freak if you don't have a cellphone in Korea. They start early too! My seven year old students already had cellphones and were savvy with them. In public, they aren't necessarily talking to anyone or pretending to (like people here do); they play games, listen to music, watch tv, or send text messages on or with their phones. The rate of their text input is astonishing!


Here, cellphones are popular, but not ubiquitous like they are in Korea. Here, MP3 players are the gizmo of choice. I've been noticing that almost everyone who rides the rocket in Toronto has an MP3 player. I wonder how many are listening to music, and how many are listening to E-books. I gave an E-book a try once, but I didn't get into it. I like the book-object; I like turning pages. I wonder what this says about our respective cultures...?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!


Please click on the google ads at the top of this page. Thanks!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Paris meets Toronto


I am currently working on a book project with an artist in Paris named Cecile Carriere (sorry Cecile, I know how to do accents in Word, but not in the blog editor). I am writing poems that interpret or narrate her drawings. Her drawings are amazing; they call to mind the etchings of Goya or the drawings of Edvard Munch and/or Otto Dix. Although the grotesque appears frequently as thematic in her work, I don't think she is as bogged down by the despair or the madness communicated through some of these artists' work. Here is the poem I wrote for the drawing displayed to the left. To see more of her drawings, you can view her online gallery at

http://www.terminus1525.ca/studio/view/3967

Lecture

Some listen; some write; some wear the stripes of a vacant braille, an unrecognized memory; some pucker their lips to taste the words they spoke only moments before the spokes of the mind wheel found their simian wrench. When the book opens, the forearm becomes a birdperch, and words fly off the fingers like harpy eagles, looking for heavy prey. We wear language like a veil, a cloven braille that gallops through our manacled eyes. The hand can hold but matter while the ears can catch the wisdom that flies from the distance and lands on our wrinkled consciousness, parietal.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Science Project



I did this a few months ago, but I forgot to tell you all about it. I grew a bunch of Urea crystals in a cup. I actually tried to grow them on a piece of paper with a Christmas Tree on it to make them look like snowflakes, but they just grew like wildfire on the cup. Urea, if you don't know, is an ingredient of pee.

You might say EWWWWWWWWWWWW, but wait and consider. What makes pee gross? I would argue that it is the smell that makes pee gross. What is it in pee that makes it smell? It is the ammonia. Urea is just a salt. It doesn't smell. Therefore, urea itself is not yucky.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

LOVE LIFE, THIS PAIRING LIFE

I hold this promissary note
next to my heart, and the moment
I stopped expressing my love for you
a string of cursed pearls rolled
around my neck and
throttled.

I forgot your name.
I try to forgive myself, but to give
you have to have.

I have nothing but this empty shell
that used to sound
like the sea.

The cursed moment lies on
it's belly and stretches muscles
beyond their limits.

Please come back and let my love
live, bring into fruition
the mad shattering bliss
that leaves no me left.

Names fall like leaves,
blow into the tunnel of my mind,
echo there for a time, then leave.

Why did your name depart,
so dearly I clung to it, and found
rose blooms rather than brambles?

I look at the promissary note.
It is not in my language.
How do I know it promises
my love?

I will love you with the seeds
of my love for the unspeakable,
and if the cherry tree dies,

I apologize.

Come what brambles may,
hold on.

Hold on.

You are the only thing
worth considering right now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The South Korean Travel Agent Consortium.


Publish
Travel Agent: To reserve a flight for March 7th, you need to pay three days beforehand.
Me: I can't I get paid on the 5th, and the earliest I can come to your office in Seoul is on the 6th.
Travel Agent: Fax me a statement that you will pay us, and send us a photocopy or photograph your credit card.
Me: OK. (I faxed them the statement and credit card photos, and heard nothing back, so I thought everything was full steam ahead)

I emailed them on March 3 or 4 and asked for directions to their office so I could come pay them. They emailed me back saying they had cancelled my reservation.
I called them on March 5 to protest. They offered to make another reservation for a much more expensive price. I complained vigorously that they were being totally unprofessional. No where in their written communication with me did they reiterate the 3-day rule. I'm human; I don't remember every thing every one tells me. They never contacted me after I said when I could pay them via fax, saying that it wouldn't work out because of the "3-day rule." Then, when they offer me a new reservation, they say I can pay 2 days before! I was getting the feeling Iwas being screwed, so I just refused to deal with them anymore after asking to speak to their supervisor, and she responded that she was the supervisor.

I call another travel agency and make a reservation for a better price. They give me directions to their agency. They told me it was in the Korean Exchange Bank Building in Itaewon, where I wrote this blog from. There are four travel agencies in the building, none of which I have ever contacted before! Unfortunately, I had written their phone number down wrong, and I couldn't call them in time to pay for this reservation. Yet another one cancelled. The next day I called them, and they said they were in a different area. They said I must have been confused. I asked them if they recorded their phone conversations, because if they did, then they would know that an agent I spoke to from their agency gave me directions to the wrong place!!!!! She promised to help me if I called back in half an hour. When I did, she said I must have spoken to the other travel agency (I don't think I did). Why would the other travel agency give me directions to a third travel agency I'd never contacted?!!! She said I must have been confused. I WAS. I'm sick of being lied to by travel agents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I ended up getting a reservation for 3 days later than I originally wanted to leave, and I had to pay $250 more than originally planned. At least I got some good pics from the plane!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Kim Jong-Il: Lovable Troll?

Kim Jong-Il recently endeavored to make his successor a collective leadership rather than the hereditary passing on of the reins of North Korea.

Japan has recently launched a 4th spy satellite to keep an eye on North Korea.

North Korea has agreed to suspend its operations to develop nuclear arms, and South Korea has undertook to offer them aid.

South Korea is due to take over wartime operations control of its armed forces by March 15, 2012. Since the 1950's this control was under the United States Armed Forces' jurisdiction.

Documentaries have reported the stringent restrictions on interactions with foreigners in North Korea: that it is actually illegal to speak with foreigners. Such documentaries show hordes of people in the subway of Pyongyang passing the camera without looking up. How is this different from any other city in the world though? They then show people scrounging around in a field and comment on the widespread starvation in the country to spread the image of communism as impoverished. Yet these shots might just be of people gardening. Apparently, North Korea has a specially trained "elect few" who communicate with the outside world. If outsiders are only allowed to speak to the "elect few" who only speak in propaganda (of course), how does the rest of the world know about the quality of life for the average North Korean? It is also illegal in certain states in America to have oral sex, and in South Korea it is illegal to have an affair. Laws and their enforcement do not occupy a map with a scale of 1:1. How genuine is this portrayal of the country as a hermetically sealed dictatorship?

Is Korean unification on the horizon? Despite the suspicion with which the North is regarded, reports and surveys have revealed the general level of happiness in that country as higher than that in America. And while the cult of personality might mandate the idolization of Kim Jong Il, I have no doubt that many, many Koreans genuinely love and admire him. Can the Americans say the same of George Bush? I've never met an American who loved George Bush. This certainly does not mean they are not out there. But what does the difference between how these two leaders are regarded by their people say about the world? Perhaps hatred is cool. Perhaps loving your leaders is unfashionable. Perhaps the hegemony the United States wields derives its power more from hatred than Christian love. Many critics of Kim Jong Il say little of his actual actions and dwell more on his "troll"-like appearance. Who cares about what people do anymore, as long as they look cool, powerful, and strong doing it, right? HMMMMMMMMM!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Testing, Testing 1,2

Time sits still
Waits




For rhythm

to set in, cut off, tables
shrinking in measurements minuscule
motes flurry like seconds in
sitting composure on plates, ready
to be eaten.
The wait staff jostle each other and laugh.
This room where
while meets forever, or until wines and dines
during, this
restaurant where
the busboy’s name is then.
No rush orders here, where
the hunter parts reeds
to shoot ducks,
but hits deer instead. Venison in vein,
gristle, and marrow.
Tomorrow need not fear that it
never knows; sorrow; it has yesterday’s
20/20 foresight.
Time sits still
Waits




For rhythm

to set in, cut off, tables shrinking in measurements minuscule motes flurry like seconds in sitting composure on plates, ready to be eaten. The wait staff jostle each other and laugh. This room where while meets forever, or until wines and dines during, this restaurant where the busboy’s name is then. No rush orders here, where the hunter parts reeds to shoot ducks, but hits deer instead. Venison in vein, gristle, and marrow. Tomorrow need not fear that it never knows; it has yesterday’s 20/20 foresight.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

There are four main erections.

My kindergarten students are memorizing a short speech for their graduation ceremony. I'm having them all be numbers and explain what things characteristically come in that number. For example, the kid who is "being" number four says "My name is four. There are four wheels on a car. There are four walls in a room. There are four main directions." Well, I'll be damned if today he didn't say "There are four main erections." I had to stop myself from laughing.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I've got my I's on you.



This photograph was inspired by one of my students. I gave them a recent assignment to draw their favourite room of the house, and he drew the "eyebathroom." This drawing, while poorly executed, was conceptually bold. He drew a bathtub full of eyeballs, eyeballs coming out of the faucet in the sink, and eyes around the toilet seat. While I could draw lots of Freudian innuendoes out of this, I think it's just surreally funny. Sure, he might have reverse primal scene anxieties, and he could be stuck in the anal stage of development. Or he could be the reincarnation of Victor Brauner. Or he could be a kid with a overactive imagination and a sense of the dramatic and shocking.

I love kids...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Revenge of the flatulence.

I have a student in one of my classes who always makes fun of the other students or me when any of us fart. She seems to have radar-reinforced olfactory nerves or something, because she knows who farts when. I myself can never tell who it is when it's not me. Well, today she let loose a couple stinkers of the silent, but violent variety in the classroom. The poor girl was mortified. She buried her head in her arms on top of her desk, and she actually started crying. GEEZ. No one made fun of her though... except one other student who commented on the ordeal to me in a whisper and a giggle.

On another issue entirely, I heard Bush ordered another 21 000 some odd troops for the war in Iraq. That's old news already, but the video games that simulate war in the middle east the military designed and then deployed into the public to recruit people who might have got an inkling that real war might be like a video game, seem to be working. There's still enough people that either think that the war is justified or that war would just be cool to participate in to keep the war going. I'm reminded of newsreels of Iraq War #1 with Bush Sr where the public witnessed the reverse effect of a real war becoming like a video game, pixellated in our living rooms as smart bombs that err as much as the humans that make them blew up military targets (and some civilian ones they neglected to show).

When are they going to make smart fart bombs? I know. That's course and callous of me to make a joke like that, but in a world where torture is justified by invoking paranoia about national security, sometimes laughter is therapeutic.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Conservative Jewish Organization accepts homosexuality.




I was chatting to a friend online today, and he told me that the Conservative Jews accepted gay relationships as an alternate life choice. The reform Jewish movement accepted gay relationships years ago. He also told me that Canada voted down the recent proposal to revoke the legalization of gay marriages. I think that this move was good both from a human rights perspective and from an economic perspective.

There are only a handful of countries where gay marriage is legal. Such countries I would expect to attract gay immigrants. I would also expect that many of these gay immigrants would have a higher average standard of living than their heterosexual counterparts. Rich people often wield the privilege of deviating from behavioral norms (such as not marrying) because they can do so while being considered "eccentric." Poor people who deviate from behavioural norms are usually just considered "crazy." None of this is based on fact; they are merely my perceptions.

Attracting a group of people who might be variously excluded from legitimate institutions (such as marriage) in their home countries who enjoy a higher than average income (again, this is a vague suspicion unsupported by evidence) level increases their buying power and stimulates the economy in general.

Just some idle speculation...
Is idleness the mother of invention (oh yeah, it's necessity), or is it really the father of evil?