Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G20 conclusion

It is Tuesday, after the weekend of the G8/G20 summits in Huntsville/Toronto. The people that are in charge of the clean up and explanation/spin departments are all in full give-er mode. The fence is being dismantled, which I guess is injecting some much needed cash, in the way of employment stimulus dollars into the local economy. After having to close or being forced to close or having their windows smashed by so-called anarchists, there are a lot of small business owners who are hurting. The federal government, the people who brought the bullshit magnet with them in the first place, who knew what would happen, are offering no compensation at all. In my opinion, which I offer whole heartedly, the government hired those fucking kids to kick in windows, left those police cruisers in the intersections, used police officers as fodder, intimidation tactics employed against activists and other actions that would make the most oppressive governments blush with envy.
The media were a weak link, as always, painting a repetitious and restricted picture that was wantonly filled by the new social media networks, true or false, messages and pictures were flowing out into the world, real time.
It allowed everyone to be involved in some way, to talk about what was happening and register their opinion. I noticed, on twitter, that most people do not like to receive direct messages. I guess they prefer to remain anonymous and yell from the tower. I do, too. It is always easier that way. I hate to be challenged. It makes me think hard about my opinion and whether or not it is based in emotion or fact.
People make outrageous and dangerous statements and then yell about freedom of speech when you call them out on it. Does freedom of speech allow for people to make ludicrous statements and expect no response? If your freedom of speech guarantees you the right to call peacefully assembled citizens filthy hippies, criminals, anarchists, etc., then I get to enjoy the same freedoms. If there are 25,000 people there and a hundred people start breaking glass, why are the 24,900 lumped in with the hundred? It has been happening forever. It is easy to tar everyone with the same brush when the majority of the population is asleep at the wheel. I know people care but the World Cup is on.
In addition to the broken windows, why were these nihilists running rampant in the streets with their sticks and rocks, when over a billion dollars had been spent on security?
The whole thing is pissing me off because it is the same old story and it never seems to change. Everyone ends up blaming the police or the protesters, while crooked governments draw up token agreements with mega corporations that are busy destroying the planet. They parade a 3 billion dollar pledge to an archaic maternal health initiative around the room like a poodle, while at the same time, pledging 18 billion dollars to fight the war in Afghanistan. Of course, the whole Afghan thing doesn't even come up in the lapdog media, because band-aids look better than bombs, especially to Canadians, who prefer to believe the military is still the benevolent, peacekeeping force that it was during Canada's golden years, the 60's and 70's. We want to think all that they are doing in Afghanistan is handing out school books to children.
Get a fucking clue, Canada, and start paying attention! We're not in Kansas, anymore, Toronto, so stop acting so indignant and aghast at the damage to your city. This happens every time these thugs meet to plan their next attack on our freedom.
Sure, there are masked rioters in the streets, trying to get the attention of the cameras, but at the same time, there are people who are masked behind closed doors and huddled in boardrooms that make decisions that may cause the next oil spill, war, destruction to the Earth, bank bailout, etc.
But that won't make the six o'clock news because there is a burning fucking police cruiser on the front page of any newspaper from Regina to Saskatoon. I am pretty sure the World cup was on the front page of most other dailies around the World.
                                   photo by colby

Strange light, all dappled and demure
Too shy to come out of your room
Too soon is when you thought you were old
Safety in numbers within calculations
Is the way you operate
You frustrate those who help you
We live here, we like it here
they say, as they run others out of town
Which leaves us with the land
and the heart and the death and taxes
The birds circle overhead.
The flowers are growing in the spring
The saltiness in the air soothes
And snaps you awake
It holds promise
Like a sunrise, children
And love.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Steal This Painting.

new painting. by Durko

Re: Letter to Japanese Government

I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Japan the other day, condemning their illegal whaling activities that directly contravene the IWC international moratorium on the killing of whales. I ranted on (as anyone who reads this blog knows that I occasionally do) about the shame of Japan, I said that I boycott anything Japanese and would actively spread the word of Japan's activities to anyone who would listen. 
to which they replied...

We acknowledge receipt of your message.  Best regards,  E-mail Team, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan

I am pretty fucking sure that they are going to cease the whale hunt right away. They seem pretty scared.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Some street art along Broadway in SoHo.

News Inc.

The news, as it is, is sadly and woefully inadequate. It presents itself as a packaged deal, 10 minutes of headlines, followed by 5 minutes of local news, 2 minutes of weather, 3 minutes of sports. Or you have the 24 hour news stations, who play the same shit clip over and over and speculate amongst themselves, with their pundits arguing passionately. It is no wonder any of us knows what the fuck is going on. Who do we believe? When scripted entertainment begins to pass itself off as truth, then we have a problem, Houston. 
There are G8 and G20 meetings in Toronto today, saturday and sunday.  All the world leaders fly into town like pre-revolution Royalty,  the servants and pomp and circumstance of King Henry the Eighth. A little out of touch with reality, it seems. Like the Empire with no clothes, these fools are in the streets, waving and smiling as if there were no bank bail-outs, no oil spill, no poverty, climate change or just general havoc that seems to be happening on planet Earth Inc. these days.
The lunatics have been left in charge of the asylum for far too long. Time for a lease renewal. 
The 'national' news, presented on CBC, is hosted by Peter Mansbridge, who is known to have attended a recent Bilderberg meeting, an even more secretive organization than the G8 or G20, and who, coincidentally is the media personality who is the face to report all the goings-on at the upcoming G8 and G20 meetings in Toronto, such as cars containing  jerry cans of gas, chainsaws, and bats. The same car that was being reported on all the American news channels as 'weapons laden'. Oh the hyperbole! I can't fucking stand it! This coming from a nation that sleeps with guns under their pillows and who have let an illegal war drag on for 7 years. I'm sure the 10,000 law enforcement, security and Armed forces personnel that are present at the summit can handle a 67 year old man with a can of gas and a bat. Turns out the old guy is just living outdoors, the gas, chainsaw, etc., just being part of his wilderness kit. The old guy probably didn't even know about the summit. The story ran on all the major networks like something substantial had actually happened because, hell, they better have something to tell the public they are charging for the $billion-plus security measures.
If only the old man with the chainsaw and gas had been Muslim. Then they could have gotten the mileage out of the story that they wanted. 
Then there was the security IT guy that they caught a couple of days ago. The dude was taunting police and sounds like a total tool that deserves a good smack for his stupidity, but in the meantime these incidents give law enforcement the license to exert more force toward the largely non-violent public. 
With skirmishes between police and protesters taking the spotlight, the reason people are protesting in the first place takes the back seat in the 'what bleeds, leads' news environment. 
Broken glass is not violence any more than destroying an entire ecosystem, such as the Athabasca in northern Alberta, is violence. A broken window at Starbucks isn't any more violent than forests and habitats being decimated for coffee plantations. Surely, a smashed window is a lot less damaging than the release of billions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico?
A broken window is a symbolic act against the powers that be. It is a harmless act and it makes up for all the lost business these cities sustain when they are forced to shut down due to apparent security concerns. At least there will be some contractor work available to inject a little cash into the local economy. I believe there is insurance for these types of mishaps. 
Meanwhile, they discover that Bernie Madoff has $9 billion stashed away for when he gets out of the joint early for good behavior. Of course he is on good behavior. He has probably paid off the entire pen to shut the hell up.
People are understandably upset about shit like this. And the oil spews into the gulf for over two months now, quickly becoming the biggest environmental catastrophe ever. Are there any summits on this yet? Are the kings and fucking queens putting their heads together, as they so religiously do when it comes to controlling the world's wealth? Beuller? 
And they wonder why they have to erect a security fence and hire an army every time they get together for their bourgiose orgy of self-masturbatory swashbuckling. 
Eventually they will have to have their meetings on an air craft carrier in the South Pacific, as more people figure out the world's problems are all being caused by a small group of elitist, cake-eating lizards. 
The best reason for the news to suck is so that these tycoons can remain at the top of their game. The easiest way to do this, of course, is to own the news, or at least the means to broadcast it. 
The boarded up windows at McDonald's makes for good pictures that a thousand words could never spin.    

dear mr. durke, 

with regard to your letter recently posted to us at imperial parking, i would like to take this opportunity spend more of your time replying to you in a cordial but absolutely useless manner that will ensure we still get our money.

while we appreciate that you chose to use our service, it is beyond our comprehension why all those people without mobile telephones don't spend more time in the mall shopping for these most important devices and anyone without a credit card shouldn't have a car anyway. at least they shouldn't be allowed in the downtown area or anywhere near vancouver for that matter, except maybe surrey.  so you see we have thoroughly thought out all possible scenarios and feel that our vast array of customer oriented services suits most of our clientele.  we are sorry if your grandmother experienced any difficulties.  we usually find it best to leave our grandmother in the home so these problems do not arise.

while it is, of course, up to you, if you wish to fight the ticket, you may as well save yourself the time and hassle as the courts are in our pockets, as is the vancouver sun and most of the tourist organisations in this great city and the best place on earth. ultimately, we will win, because we are bigger than you, and we will take away your money.  any larger protests on your part will most regrettably result in the royal corrupt mounted police at your door at 2am with sound cannons and tasers.

we hope you will enjoy using imperial parking again.  and we thank you for your custom.
please feel free to write to the undersigned again if you have any further questions.

mr. f. yu.
imperial parking - our service, your joy 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Letter to Imperial Parking;

To whom it may concern,
There are a few reasons why I am going to dispute these tickets. I feel like the 'system' you have in place at this lot is designed for complete failure. There were many people at this lot that were ticketed as they were all going to a wedding in Crab park. The park was rented from the city for this occasion. When the guests started to show up (there were 120 of them), there was mass confusion because You could only pay by credit card and to make matters worse, you can only pay by phone. As an added bonus, the system does not work for a blackberry because the keys do not work for the numbers. Some people did not have cell phones. Some people did not have credit cards. Some people did not speak English. Some people wasted half a very frustrating hour trying to make this asinine system work. Can you imagine my grandmother trying to figure this out. Then, when everyone gets back to find tickets on their windows, we are greeted with incompetency on a new level by your unknowledgeable and ill equipped staff. 
I do not know how many people at the lot that day paid this ridiculous citation, but I can assure you, I will be fighting these tickets if I have to take a week off work and get an attorney. What an absolute embarrassment when a two bit, amateur operation like this presents itself as a service to unwary guests. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I have the better Business Bureau, the Downtown Business Improvement Association, The Tourism Board, The Vancouver Tourism Authority, Vancouver City Hall and the Vancouver Sun on speed dial. And they all hate these kinds of stories, especially from a guy who loves this city and hates crap like this.
I await your response with patience and measured disdain.
 Tony Durke
The relativeness of a design depends on the key purpose of it, regardless of whether or not it is 'traditional' art or 'contemporary'. The usability of an object also defines the life of it, when an object can hold the distinction of being both function and fashion. Like a carving or paint, there are many ways to skin the creative cat.
Although my preference for the art world lies in the more abstract nature, I do appreciate a good portrait or an impressionist's landscape.
Graffiti of all types is respectable and makes for a more inspiring and creative world. I mean, Banksy, has made a movie, for Christ sakes.
Frank Lloyd Wright - zero, Ikea- one.
The number one gun in the run-up to make the winner
Not the functioning, failing masterpiece
that seemed to hold its own for just having shown up.
Sho 'nough, the cardboard was overlooked in a gesture of good faith.
Department store art is borne from its big box mother.
It is treachery that brought us here and it is treachery that will get us out.

Are you a Pelican or a Pelican't?

Does anyone else see the fucking irony here? 

IWC meeting in Morocco

The International Whaling Commission meets in Morocco and agrees to uphold 25 year old moratorium on whaling. Japan, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and St. Lucia continue whaling. This makes the Commission weak, at best and downright useless, at worst.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the Prize

The New York prize
is the size, of all your dreams
Walk with pride
and indifference
Until it matters
The most
It is the cost
of living here
Amongst the valleys
of classic glass, of stone
and taxes and taxis
The maximum you could think of
Is what we are made of
The heat never lets up
Even at night
The sweat runs from the brow
The distance is now
The time is here.

Eastern Promises

                                                           Dos Caminos Las Margeritas 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Encouragement, the truth shall set me free
Your words are the reason for my sanity
In this place of direct decisions
The course is made of undivided attention
that has been borne of careful orientation
and the very definition of precision
I'm on a mission of living
And receiving and giving
what I can for the cause
and the laws, of nature and nurture
It's the love that is the future
It is past mistakes that pave the path
to the next destination
here. now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

36 and counting...

Life rushes on, as usual. Sometimes I am astounded at how quickly everything whizzes by the window. I feel like a passenger sometimes, a voyeur, looking in on my own life as if it were someone else's. 
I am 36 now and it feels like I was turning twenty one just yesterday. Well, maybe not yesterday but it seems like a short time. Considering all that has happened along the way, it also seems like a very long time, I am almost weary, a traveler who has found refuge.
Grey Goose turned into grey hairs, the first day I saw them in the mirror was the first day of the pure understanding of my own immortality, if I had not learned from the premature deaths of others who had not been as lucky as me. Or just mistakes and regrets that come with them. 
The reasonableness of one who has watched the clock pass midnight more times than the one who has not.
We trade our emotion based conversations to talks of a more factual and understanding dialogue, eschewing walk-outs and lock outs for words and wisdom. 
The creative energy is acted upon at all times instead of believing you can only make art when you have the luxury of inspiration. If we all waited to be inspired, there wouldn't be a lot getting done.
Nature can play a crucial role in our lives, grounding us and giving us all education and respect that is needed for us to treat the Earth in due regard. 
We have lost this in our technologically advanced way of life that relies on chemicals for everything, plastic is the new black. 
We are completely and madly out of control as a species and we should slow down a bit and not build so many highways to hell. Organic vegetables are readily available almost anywhere, and there seems to be a slow food revolution taking place. For some. Those that aren't lined up at the Wendy's at 3AM, idling in their Escalade for 10 minutes, waiting for a pickle for their chicken burger. 
I know. I am getting old and I sound like an asshole who thinks he knows everything. It isn't that way at all. Well, maybe it is. I am 36 and counting...