Monthly Archives: September 2009

Lasers? Did someone say lasers?

Nefarious and Cassie had lots of fun playing with the laser the Dave lent them.

Friday Night in High Park Village

You would think from this picture — Nefarious sitting on a couple of ripped out Fiero car seats in the driveway playing video games (and if you zoomed out you’d see my jacked up truck next to her) — that we are the epitome of white trash. In our defense, if it is needed, we were waiting for her friend to get home from school so we decided to take advantage of the last days of summer and go outside, her with her DS, and me with my netbook. When I had picked her up from school, we saw that the street just past her school was blocked off and there was a big ferris wheel and other rides set up — I’d totally forgotten, but this is the weekend of the Ukrainian Street Festival!

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Of course this became the plan for the evening.

To our surprise, the day wasn’t just rides and food. You can read all that after the break, but I want to share just one more picture on the front page — here’s Nefarious right before being serenaded by an Indian crooner belting out Tom Jones and Elvis hits. Anyway, more inside…

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(Continued)

Crazy 9/12 Lunatics

These videos are doing the rounds so maybe you’ve already seen them, but even though they’re lengthy they’re worth watching in full. The thing that really strikes me is not the strawman argument of “racism” (I don’t think most of these people are problematically racist), but the really incredibly levels of ignorance. It blows me away that people can have such bizarrely false ideas about the way America works, and it’s perhaps even more bizarre to me how contradictory everything is… contradictory from the views they held when Bush was in power, and even self-contradictory in a single statement, where for example all things “unamerican” are somehow equated as the same thing (Stalin, Hitler, Communist, Fascist, etc.), or aspects of socialism are OK (schools, medicare, the military) but others (caring for the sick as a basic right of citizenship) are not, without any apparent reasoning behind it. To say nothing of the incredible fear and even hatred of immigrants — I understand you don’t want to have people taking advantage of the system, but at the same time, civilized people don’t deny help, especially medical help, to others on the basis of where they were born. It’s all really upsetting and stunning fear-driven ignorance — it’s very sad, because these people, the majority of them not in the top economic bracket, are being lead down a path that’s really self-destructive and not in their best interest. I don’t like the idea of saving people from themselves, but if there are any people that need to be saved from themselves, it’s these misled and folks.

I really wonder about characters like Glenn Beck and Limbaugh and the other folks who drive this whole process. I think many of them are quite bright, and I am sure that they know they are telling outrageous lies and manipulating these fools… So I wonder what drives them, and how they feel about it. I have no idea if it’s as simple as they’re mercenaries, and they just don’t care because they make money off the process, or if they believe in the “direction” that they’re trying to push America in is correct or “good” (some sort of highly unequal wealth-based corporatocracy maybe), and they’re taking a “by any means necessary” stance on the whole thing, knowing they’re tricking stupid and fear-filled people, but believing that the end justifies the means. I don’t know… I certainly couldn’t do it.

If that’s not enough for you, there’s some “extras” at this URL. I really hope all of this madness ends soon, because if it escalates, it could easily take America into a very dark direction. The US media should be ashamed of itself for its utter failure in educating the public, and its advertising driven “journalism” that devotes a majority of its airtime to these lies that deserve to be dispelled with a quick history and civics lesson and then never spoken of again.

In lighter news, woo woo, I am very much looking forward to the new UFC Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights series that starts tonight. That will get my mind off all this tea bagger 9/12 kook madness. [Edit: Without giving you any spoilers, it did not disappoint, with one of the bloodiest fights they’ve aired… and you know I love blood!]

Survival of the Dead

Caitlin and I went and watched Romero’s Survival of the Dead and both (I think) enjoyed it quite a lot. I assume Caitlin enjoyed it because she’s out right now picking up stuff to make her costume for the next zombie walk. It’s a nice continuation of his Dead series, and as much as I like the comedic Return of the Living Dead series with it’s ahead-of-its-time (1993) body mod kink in part three, Romero has the best idea of what a zombie is, both culturally and “scientifically”. To quote Romero’s oft-quoted criticism of other zombie movies, “zombies don’t run!”. Anyway, if you like his movies, you’ll like this one — and it’s also a Western. I wasn’t sure if that would work or not, and it does have a silliness that he’s not known for, but all-in-all it works. The accents are a bit too much though.

Someone was commenting on some board I was reading that in the event of a real societal breakdown that we will have metaphorical “zombies”, because it won’t be long before there are crazies roaming the streets because an over-medicated populace is cut off from its drug supply — pain killers, anti-psychotic medication, tranquilizers, recreational drugs, and so on. I don’t know if that jumps you to the logical conclusion of “there will be zombies”, but I was thinking a fun movie could be made blending medication with zombies (not that there haven’t already been many “neurological plague” zombie-esque movies, and there certainly will be more). In O’Bannon’s view of zombies, being a zombie is a very painful condition, and the reason that zombies eat brains is not because of a need for sustenance, but because it relieves their pain.

I imagine a story line in which, as in real life today, an epidemic of chronic pain, often without a real explanation, is spreading throughout the Western world. Sufferers of chronic pain are — as much as they try to hide it — deranged from the pain, desperate for any solution, and willing to do anything to stop the pain. As the pain grows, and doctors reject their requests for drugs — made worse by a global war on terror that’s stopping opium production — and they become more desperate.

Perhaps it turns out that the pain is being caused by a microbial imbalance brought on by pollution, or something to that effect. It’s rumored that consuming the flesh — or better yet — brains of another person can fix this imbalance by absorbing the microbes in their tissue, and a morgue or hospital worker discovers this to be true, although only temporarily. Word of this spreads, and it is discovered that consuming fresh, or better yet, live meat is even more effective and not only stops the pain, but brings on a sort of ecstasy, accelerating the flesh eaters lust for brains and makes them more reckless, shameless, and devoid of morality in their consumption. However, in time — a fairly short time — doing this also erodes higher reasoning and brings on a colloidal silver type pallor, and the people’s pain becomes harder to satiate and the effect is briefer and briefer, and they become something closer and closer to the stereotypical image of a zombie.

Don’t worry, I’m not in enough pain yet to try it!

And don’t worry also, Romero is a better storyteller than I am!

The beach is still open

On this outrageously hot day, Glendyn joined me in taking the girls down to the beach, where they discovered that a section of the lake has been protected by a floating fence and has some sort of cleaning devices installed to keep it goose feces free. We weren’t expecting it, so they didn’t have their bathing suits, but the water was so inviting that they couldn’t resist going in with their dresses on, meeting up with another swimming girl who shared her snorkel and mask with them as they avoided the rocks being thrown at them by a chubby little Chinese boy (until I went and had some stern words with his parents). I always enjoy meeting people who lead interesting lives, so as the girls had their fun, I had a great time picking Glendyn’s brain about filmmaking, life in Australia, parenting, and more.

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Yesterday, in addition to the zombie walk (see the entry before this one for lots of pictures) we also made it, at least briefly, to the Junction Arts Fest. One of the regulars there is this guy who always brings his snakes and walks around. They’re very tame and calm, and he was happy to let Nefarious and Cassie touch them. This was the one we first saw him with, and later he returned with a different one as well as its faux tree “roost” which contained the skin that it had recently shed.

Later in the evening, after the march, we went to the park for some after dark playing, and I really think that Toronto may be getting cleaner from my time lying on the slide staring up at the night sky. I am quite certain that last year there were no stars to be seen, but these days when I lie there, I look up and I see at least fifty bright beautiful stars glittering above me. It’s a wonderful change. People should not live in a starless world.

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