Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Blogging & Philip Roth

I am new to Blogging, but not new to keeping a journal. In the last 10 years, I have written over 6000 pages, filling up 30 hardbound black books, the ones intended for artists to sketch in. I wanted acid-free paper. I wanted the words to last, to outlive my children and me. I can't say why, really.

Like many people, I have a built-in censor. And, now I wonder what the reaction will be when my descendants read them (if I haven't burned them by then). It worries me. Of course, there is the distinct possibility that my handwriting will be indecipherable.

I feel even more inclined to censor myself here, where anyone can read these words. Maybe I will relax after some time.

I am reading Philip Roth's Sabbath's Theater. This novel is not for everyone. It is sexually explicit, maybe deviant -- but not by my standards ;-) -- and very funny. Sabbath is a gargantuan character, and I can't but feel that I am reading a modern Rabelais. I rank Gargantua and Pantagruel as one of my all time favourite books. I am also reminded of The Confederacy of Dunces, perhaps because of the extreme nature of the protagonist. In both cases, these are larger than life individuals. Sabbath's Theater is a wild and entertaining book, but, despite the sex, it may not be erotic.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

"Hey Homo"

Is Sesame Street putting hidden messages in its CDs? Listen to Elmo and the Orchestra, and find out for yourself. Since my daughter adores this CD (which received the 2001 Grammy award for Musical Album for Children) I have heard it countless (and I mean countless) times. I am tired of it.

But, there is no longer any question in my mind that Big Bird says "Hey homo" when Elmo comes to visit. Just what is Sesame Street trying to do? Perhaps this is a response to all of those people who have long believed that this little red friend is a little gay friend.

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Monday, August 25, 2003


Milk (cow's milk, that is) has to be the most disgusting "food" ever. I haven't touched the stuff (or cheese, butter, ice cream, etc.) for four years, and I feel much better because of it. Think about it. This is the breast milk of a hairy 2000 pound animal! Why do we drink it? I think it comes down to marketing. The various dairy marketers would have you believe that milk is essential. Why should it be? Humans are the only species that drink milk as adults and, not only that, we drink the milk of animals. It makes no sense.

From Dr. Benjamin Spock:

"Cow's milk in the past has always been oversold as the perfect food, but we are now seeing that it isn't the perfect food at all and the government really shouldn't be behind any efforts to promote it as such."

Believe me, dairy marketers are lying, and nutritionists have been duped. Milk is bad for you. There are countless scientific articles attesting to that. Search Medline, if you don't believe me.

From Dr. Robert M. Kradjian:

"To my thinking, there is only one valid reason to drink or use milk products. That is just because we simply want to. Because we like it and because it has become part of our culture. Because we have become accustomed to its taste and texture. Because we like the way it slides down our throat. Because our parents did the very best they could for us and provided milk in our earliest training and conditioning. They taught us to like it. And then probably the very best reason is...ICE CREAM! I've heard it described, ...'to die for'."

I could rant about milk for days. I would be happy if we just stopped promoting it as a health food. It's not and it never has been.


Friday, August 22, 2003

Take a Survey

Someone wants to know what non-librarians think of libraries and librarians. Take the survey.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Ambient Ping

Last night, I attended the Ambient Ping's 4th Anniversary Special at the Nia Club @ C'est What? featuring ARC with Pholde and General Chaos Visuals. The combination of ARC and Pholde seemed to go well beyond "ambient" perhaps drifting into ambient mayhem, if there is such a thing as that.

Pholde uses scrap metal -- saw blades, files, angle iron, etc. -- to create a miasma of noise. This, against Baker's slightly Frippy guitar loops and some tribal rhythms kicked out of the drum kit, created a wall of intense, repetitive, and very compelling sound.

I was able to pick up a couple of CDs from the Ping Things boutique.

More great music is upcoming at the Ping, including Psychosomatic Climax Machine. Check out the schedule.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2003

It's been a while. Since my last post, we have put a new roof on the house, taken a vacation and had the kitchen torn apart (it is still in disarray). One room is about to get new drywall, plus some much needed electricity. Ah, yes, electricity. The blackout blacked out the last part of my vacation. We spent 41 hours and 10 minutes without power. I thought that they had forgotten us, until CBC mentioned our neighbourhood on the air. A flood in a transformer building (or something) extended our outage.

I admit that I have been watching Canadian Idol. I got hooked during the first episode. I couldn't believe that people with zero talent could attempt to pass themselves off as real singers. It was painful to watch and sometimes hilarious. For a brief moment, I felt that I could do better. Who knows?

Recently, I have read:

Oxygen, by Andrew Miller (excerpt)
Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man, by Joseph Heller (review)
Spadework, by Timothy Findley (interview)
Travels by Night, by Douglas Fetherling
Gone Indian, by Robert Kroetsch (essay)
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, by Javier Marias (review)


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