Thursday, March 26, 2015

When this happens on the steps of the Capitol of Salt Lake City, Utah, the most conservative place in America, I think the religious right should look within themselves and say,"I think we have lost this battle."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

modern love

Most of our communication technologies began as diminished substitutes for an impossible activity. We couldn’t always see one another face to face, so the telephone made it possible to keep in touch at a distance. One is not always home, so the answering machine made a kind of interaction possible without the person being near his phone. Online communication originated as a substitute for telephonic communication, which was considered, for whatever reasons, too burdensome or inconvenient. And then texting, which facilitated yet faster, and more mobile, messaging. These inventions were not created to be improvements upon face-to-face communication, but a declension of acceptable, if diminished, substitutes for it.
But then a funny thing happened: We began to prefer the diminished substitutes."
-Jonathan Safran Foer.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015


It's the Sundays that mark the week 
all else seems like work and the things that rule you
On this day you feel free
but with a sense of apprehension 
A cautious liberation

Our bonded willingness to shelve it all for love
or money
is the defining feature of our race
Never mind opposing thumbs
or a penchant for shiftlessness 
Eating and sleeping is king

Sundays have a sense of abandon 
when you say fuck it and turn on the TV
and smother everything in gravy
Maybe reflection of your existence 
in this instant is the thing
That thing
that everybody is talking about

Friday, March 20, 2015

Do owls exist?

" Do owls exist?

its been a busy month or so...just catching up now on reading and relaxing.  who are the two men standing below winnie churchill on your blog?

thanks for your indignance.  crazy crazy crazy world, eh? from where does all this fear arise?  i know the answer...but whoah....what a nutty place is this world.

look for true happiness inside;  it cannot be found externally.

peace my friend and freedom fighter.  i suppose that last sentence now has you and me on a list in several english speaking countries and banned from obtaining visas to go to the greatest country on earth.

how is fatherhood and painting? ..."


Hello, my friend,

Owls exist, though they are a rare sight, I reckon. I have only glimpsed a few in my life. One that stands out was in December 2006.
I remember the approximate date and could find the precise date if need be, because it was the night all the trees blew down on Prospect Point, in Stanley Park.

The wind was howling like I had never seen it. We were shooting a TV show in a graveyard in Maple Ridge and things were storming pretty good. Like, to the point when you say to yourself, "You should just get the fuck outta here", and then trees start to fall in the graveyard and the 1st AD calls a Force Majure, which is a French film term meaning 'Let's get the fuck outta here, we can't shoot any longer', for whatever reason. There are many French words in film because it started there and purists want to give the craft the proper respect that they think it deserves. Some directors say, "Coupé", instead of "Cut".
Anyways, after one of our big lights had fallen over and broken, and a number of trees had fallen, a large Bard Owl flew gracefully across the graveyard and landed in a tree just 15 meters from where I was standing.
The owl stared me down as it swayed back and forth in the tree in the wind. It was was such a striking and symbolic thing, the way the owl sat there, looking at me, in the graveyard, in the storm. I am not a superstitious man but it felt very much like an omen of sorts.

Busy times are good times, for all Doshas, but especially for Vata because Vata can really piss time away like no other. Believe me. We don't sit around much but time still slips through our fingers...

The two dudes in the pic are Kerouac and Ginsberg. They both had a massive influence on me and the fact that they were pals, is beyond cool.
I read On the Road in 1996 and it was a pivotal book for me. I read it aboard the Reef Raider, a 37 foot steel hulled longliner from Port Hardy, that I worked on as a Deckhand.
We were cod fishing, it was the dead of winter, and we were going North to an island just South of Prince Rupert.
There were icicles on the rigging and the deck of the boat was a solid sheet. It was about -20C with the wind chill. Ice was gathering on the stays and we would periodically go outside and chip away at the ice. The ice had to be removed from the rigging and the wheelhouse because the weight of it could make the boat top heavy and it could eventually flip over.

Kerouac seemed to dance and sing with words and it was a free flowing, prose-like writing that I had never before encountered.
The mystery and the talent and the sheer beauty of the writing have held me captive for years, I eventually read many other books written by him.
Desolation Angels and the Dharma Bums were very influential as well.

And I did a reprise of  America by Ginsberg, for a film school project. I used his words (without his permission, God rest his soul) and filmed an actress having a mental breakdown in front of the TV, while a different girl read the poem. It was shot in black sand white and it turned out pretty well, I think.
The film school was shite and they hated it. They kind of saw themselves as a mini MPAA, censoring what they didn't like. One of the administration members saw that I was editing some riot footage from the WTO protests on the school computer and demanded I remove it immediately. (In retrospect, they'd probably want some of that footage from one of the pivotal moments in late 20th century political events)

We also shot a film about a heroin addict and scored it (again, without permission) with Lou Reed's Heroin, and the school wanted nothing to do with it.
I watched the film a few years ago and it still stood up. Fuck 'em. Bean counters.
Anyways, the line "Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb", 20 seconds into the film didn't make them like it any more, that's for sure. Most people like their art to be a bit more tidy than that.

Yes, this world is crazy. But my life is mostly peaceful and I am thankful for that. I go for walks with Flynn every chance I get and my days are spent in a world of make believe. (I am working on a Disney show about all their characters)
I have found the most immense joy in sunrises and sunsets and the sound of birds chirping and singing early in the morning.

Fatherhood is the most magnificent thing ever. The boy has just walked (almost) into our lives and changed us forever. It is unthinkable, really. To realise you have that kind of pure love in your heart to give. It is the force that drives. It even gives creativity a whole new meaning, when you become a parent. 

The paintings are flowing from me and I indulge my creative side when I can etch out the time. My incredulousness for the way things are is my muse. 

Peace and Love

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sound of Silence (Art is a weapon but it's also food)

Compose yourself
a song is what you need
something to go on
like a clue
When out in the World
try to look your best
it is the one thing they will remember you for
that and all the times you didn't show up
The habits are hard to break
even the good ones
like the drive-thru 
and not saying anything
it's easy 
but dangerously unbalanced

The trick is to live, really
as simple as it sounds
it ain't easy being free
All the hours are spoken for
and each year another door
seems to close
another one opens
just pay attention
The song is still playing

It is all different now
working hard to not let down
the people who keep you up
and who abide by you
and let you through
the least you can do
is love honestly
Beware, time heals wounds
but rust never sleeps
and the promises we keep
find no purchase in the hollow sound of silence
so give more than that
Be more than that

Friday, March 13, 2015

some photos...

This is what my youth looked like. This is where the first kisses happened, the first beer was drank, the first part of the journey was taken, the same journey I am still on...

Bill C-51 continues to impress...

" Harper started off 2015 by claiming "jihadists" had "declared war" on Canada, later adding a line from the George W. Bush playbook: "They want to harm us because they hate our society and the values it represents." (One thing Harper and others have yet to address is why so-called "jihadists" have not declared war on democracies like Brazil, Argentina, or Costa Rica, which have similar "values," not to mention vibrant celebrations of hedonistic sexuality that might make ISIS cringe.)

Introducing C-51, Harper declared: "violent jihadism…is not a human right. It is an act of war, and our government's new legislation fully understands that difference." Even though one of the RCMP's own internal documents advises against using terms like "jihadism" and "Islamic terrorism" -- based on the understanding that "distorted and inflammatory linkages between Islam and terrorism" succeed only in "conflating terrorism with mainstream Islam, thereby casting all Muslims as terrorists or potential terrorists" -- Harper refuses to respect those cautions, going so far as to slanderously suggest that mosques are terrorism incubators.
The bill's introduction on a Friday afternoon was stage-managed to take advantage of a series of planned events:  the start of two terror-related trials the following Monday (the "B.C. pressure cooker" and the "Toronto Via Rail" plots) and the subsequent arrest of 25-year-old Awso Peshdary for allegedly helping young men travel overseas to fight in Syria. The Mounties held a press conference to report the arrest of Peshdary, who has been under surveillance for five years and posed no imminent threat, and also to suddenly announce two warrants for overseas fighters who have long been in the news. Taken together, things were perfectly timed to produce a cascading mirage that Canada was, as Harper said, under attack. "

-Matthew Behrens. Copyright 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

the walls are here again

and the believers run into the rain
crying and rejoicing
it is them who will inherit the Earth
choking up show rooms and pop charts
the good choice
is the one you make under duress
fear is the mother of all laws
fuel for fire
guns for hire

no longer a soft power

they are not listening as intently as they once were

the more conversations that are blocked

The rise and fall of all these civilisations has led us to this moment
a time when we can still rue the lack of jetpacks and a decent wifi connection
Never mind a connection of the heart or even with a stranger
All these ill-gotten plans, from so-called experts, have left it all kind of hanging
A good man doesn't know when to stand up and fight anymore
The good sense has left him through attrition of opinion
All those Saturday mornings with newspapers should have done you some good
We are all products of our environment and this time was no different

Small Vessel
(A miniature boat found in a medieval hoard in Derry, North Ireland

Like a gold-plated half-avocado
with a hatpin mast,
beansprout rudder,
oars as slender as dragonfly-torsos,
How fragile, our contraptions;
uninsurable storms!
What sail
Could we use?
A petal?

I trust in your arms. 

Copyright © 2008, Elise Partridge. Reprinted with permission of Stephen Partridge and the publisher, from Chameleon Hours by Elise Partridge (House of Anansi Press Inc., 2008).

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

down on the farm (lament for bill C-51)

The denial of individual freedom for us by us
we all stood in line to take it away
and when they look to us for answers we won't have any
other than some lame excuse for a reason
like we felt like we were afraid
we felt as if we were drowning
but there was no water to be found 

The bridges we spent generations building

were burned in a day
how quickly we forget
when it suits us and it suits us fine
to waste our time running from ourselves
Its what we do best

Just like all the rest but we think we are unique 

we are just like everyone else
with a credit card bill and a boss we hate
but we all hang in for a cabin on the lake
or at least a view
a peek-a-boo

When they ask why you gave the farm

you can tell them it was to save it

It was all you knew how to do.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The death of the right wing opinion? That is hilarious. We always hear about the left leaning media but it just isn't true. I would say that the media in this country is fairly balanced, compared with others. 
And the CBC? 10 of it's 12 board members are Conservative and the the Captain of the ship, Hubert La Croix, is a Conservative appointee. The fallacy of the Liberals loving the CBC is a lie, too. Some of the first, deepest cuts to CBC were made back in the 90s, by the Chretien administration.
To just dismiss Sun News and its pundits as right wing is is the vocal minority's attempt to seem like the underdog or the victim in this situation, it's an age old trick. 
I have plenty of right wing friends, who are intelligent, thoughtful, respectful people, just as I try to be. No, Sun News is spouting an ignorant, bigoted, shocking brand of television that even most Conservatives are turned off by.
It isn't the the signal of the death of a right wing voice in Canada, but the death of a hateful and loud voice, albeit small in numbers. I'm not against that. It's freedom of expression and speech. I don't have to tune into it though. And, as it turns out, neither do most Canadians.
There is some truth to the mandatory carriage argument but the numbers still don't add up. They didn't have the viewership.
There were a few good people on that network, most notably David Akin, who tried to espouse a gentler brand of Conservatism. 
Not to mention the 150 other people who worked for the network, that are now out of a job.
I'm sure Levant and crew will find a home somewhere. Ezra has all the earnings from his Ethical Oil empire to fall back on, if he can't make that website work.
Canadians are a very middle-of-the-road culture, therefore we like our politics and our media to reflect that. I'm sure if there were an ultra left leaning channel, where the views were just as hateful and slanted, would not be watched and tolerated by many Canadians either.