Archive for the ‘warm boots’ Category

McDonalds and royal twilight

January 9, 2009

I was continuing my bad habit of getting supper at the fast food places a couple blocks from my place. The round crunch of the compacted snow on the sidewalk was good. Edmonton makes such a quiet sound in the background, a little like white noise, like there’s some unusual ocean around the edge of everything. Then I looked up into deep purples and chaste, thick, pastel pinks. The whole sky above the snowy trees was royal. The whole horizon was dark blue violet, so much so that I couldn’t just stare. I had to look down half the time, like I was somehow rude.

Just a little peeping tom astonished by someone’s magic bosom.

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New Years Introduction

January 8, 2009

I think it’s a fair bet you’ve been writing a pretty good blog when people are reading two weeks after your last post : ) And score – a bra website spam comment too! I got stuck back home in Saskatchewan when my car wouldn’t start in the cold, and I just didn’t like the feel of trying to blog from the computer there. In any case I couldn’t be a very regular blogger if I tried… it’s just not like me – too drifty I guess.

This is a new introduction first because I never explained the title of this blog but more that I’m changing a couple things. As for the title, my dad told me once that General Wolfe was my great great great great uncle or so through a marriage. I used to want to paint Canada’s old flag, the red ensign, on my ’73 Dodge Polara and make like a good old Canuck boy. It means to me a love for Canada and our history and a bit of a rebel cry, not for going back but for moving forward in directions the self appointed progressives probably wouldn’t call progress. But it is : ) So that’s what this is – The General Wolfe, a vehicle for Canadian rebellion.

And what I’m changing – don’t pull a Barack Obama. The first introduction signalled a desire to wander the field of the culture battles. In search of places of common ground I thought I could hop on out of my trench and use my capacity to both empathetically understand both sides and rationally judge their validity. In fact, pretty much the same thing as Obama – who once said that his freindships with more rightwing or libertarian people enabled him to synthesize a middle ground. This is ironic because I don’t think much of that idea – that Obama seems to think he can find an absolute truth that will unify America. I had thought it would just mean packaging his far left principles as moderate but it seems that even hyperactive left wingers too have caught on that “unity” can mean combining opposing sets of worldviews in a way that does not do honour to either side.

Yet that’s similar to what I was doing. And whatever the value, wandering the cultural battlefield alone seems to have left me badly exposed. In elementary school I recall impassive lunch hours where the other kids would bug me and I’d almost hover up out of it. One day, the bravest thing I think I’ve ever seen – a girl told everyone to shutup, and said “he has feelings too”. I was more shocked than anyone… feelings? Me? I was completely not there. Over the years I realized that I didn’t want to live life so aloof of everything and that it was not humble to be like that but more proud than ordinary pride. So I returned to myself, but still without any normal defenses. There is a quote that speaks of a mind that questions everything and even risks questioning itself if it is not strong enough to bear the weight of its ignorance. I think I was close to that. The weight of my ignorance is a heavy burden. A few things –  finding out in a rude way that the fundamentalist church I grew up in isn’t right about everything at all (imagine a series of the people you grew up trusting and loving as God’s surefire appointed leaders getting up to the church camp pulpit and telling everyone that when they say nobody can pull pranks on engaged couples it’s exactly the same thing as Jesus saying that), dissatisfaction with parts of my conservative trench, the economic crisis which made easy ideologies of economic growth look groundless – these all left me with very little for foundation. I wanted to recreate one with my ability to be empathetic in the thick of things and rational outside of that. It led to this post, which may be brilliant… but also unfair. It’s unfair first to myself, which led to being unfair to others. It’s too much.

I wrote in ada drive about a feeling that is irrevocable. I find that it is, but it is not overwhelming. It has to do with what Mir said in her comment:

I think many organized thoughts ie; faith, government, modern economics are in a moment of truth right now…

My moment of truth came, and I come out with more than a hint of freefall to my outlook. It’s not downwards, but forwards. My once path of a pilgrim’s progress is let go, for I cannot handle being so near and needing something so much which my mind must question and doubt at the same time. Without a provided foundation and too small to ever know one or just where I’ll land, I’m off the straight and narrow and now skydiving through my timeline.

The one thing I won’t question is myself, and accepting the burden of my ignorance I don’t need to grasp for texture to replace my foundation. Instead I can trace my path to reach out for these things without desperation. I’ll always have my unknowing wistful slouch, I think, but already I can stand straight more easily because the unknowing is outside me. I won’t need to shoot down things that threaten an unprotected and doubted self – my freefall will be easier. I can’t go back into any trenches but I won’t wander the battlefield alone. I’ll get in a foxhole on the side and try to ease off on the big guns.

So that’s The General Wolfe – Canadian rebellion, and a freefall with warm boots, rubber bullets, and texture.

“Along the way, many a times, we had heart-burns but we did not burn those sexy bras!”

December 21, 2008

I was going to write a killer takedown of the coalition – and of Stephen Harper this weekend… but right now I want to post about feminism all day. I want to post my favorite feminist/pro-woman country songs and about the feminism101 site I’ve gotten links to. But what I just found was a “possibly related” link that’s definately related. These are the first posted comments by people who call themselves feminists from a post on Ultra Violet called The Many Faces of an Indian Feminist:

(*ed- and here the lad started protesting)

Standing up & saying it:

In an ideal world, Feminism wouldn’t exist. And all feminists should work towards that ideal state when a woman won’t have to depend on legal intervention or resort to bra-burning to get her proportionate share of this world.
~Abhishek Vanamali, 31, Marketing & IT Professional, Mumbai

I’ve been a feminist for a long time — since before I knew what the word meant. My parents had a huge role to play in my understanding of gender roles because they refused to subscribe to or support more conventional notions. Having grown up in a family where people were free to define themselves as people, not as male and female, I always find it odd when people do the latter. Being married to a feminist also brings a different perspective to the systemic ideas of gender structures!

~Aditya Sengupta, 29, IT Professional, Bangalore

I’m a feminist because equality is a universal aspiration and I believe in doing my share to bring it about.

~Amrita Rajan, 27, Writer, New York

Along the way, many a times, we had heart-burns but we did not burn those sexy bras! We simply stood our ground, tolerated when we could, ranted when we could not, loved foolishly and hated when spurned. For those of us who found the going too tough, we walked out, hearts bleeding but the spirit intact, all ready to start afresh.
~Batull Tavawala, 44, Corporate Social Responsibility Professional, Mumbai

Some people around think I should call myself a “humanist” or at least, not a feminist “because you love men and talk about the repercussions of a patriarchal society on men’s lives too.” Yes, I love men. And I care deeply about the different ways in which conditioning has been robbing men and women of various freedoms.
~Chandni Parekh, 25, Psychologist and Sexuality Educator, Mumbai

(more…)

Listening in on Kentville

December 16, 2008

Listening to AVR 97.7 on the internet… they have a facebook group with a great description:

AVR 97.7 FM is based in Kentville, Nova Scotia. AVR Network delivers today’s hottest Country music to listeners from Chester to Parrsboro and Mount Uniacke to the Yarmouth County line…

Chester, Parrsboro, Mount Uniacke… the Yarmouth County line? I’m guessing those were cherrypicked. I love it.

And I can’t believe I’ve never heard One More Girl before (Update: whatever you think of my musical taste here, there is no arguing with the Hairflip! on the right at 7:14! Also, see the “Wussy – in the studio” video in the related videos at the end. That is a cool song.)