Archive for February, 2018

The Questionnaire, part 1

If there were an end-of-life questionnaire – and there might be! – here is how I would answer two questions:

Do you wish you were smarter? No. Intelligence did not make me happy. Getting older I have lost some and then some more, and have won eons of easygoing delight because of that. I always used to tell my therapists that I would give up a ton of IQ points for a little mental relief. That happened. Yay.

Do you wish you were kinder? Yes and No. I once told my late & beloved friend Kat Kosiancic that I hated hearing people say that they would have changed nothing in their lives if they had had the chance. Ugh! “There is never a good reason to be unkind,” I said. I quoted Henry James: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” My friend Kat was very kind and plain in her response: “Being unkind taught you about kindness in a way that you never could have learned about otherwise.”

And yet a long ways to go …

… certainly in my home province. From the CBC a few minutes ago:

B.C. Liberal MLA Mike Morris is under fire after comments he made in the legislature on Monday, suggesting that funding committed to Indigenous languages in the province would be better spent on policing resources.

The province announced $50 million in funding toward preserving and revitalizing Indigenous languages throughout the province in the NDP government’s budget last week. …

Morris is the former B.C. public safety minister and before entering politics spent 32 years in the RCMP.  …

“They’re sad comment from the Liberals, but it’s not surprising, and that’s the saddest part of it all,” said Bob Chamberlin, chief councillor for the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation and vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

Chamberlain said instead of attacking the funding for Indigenous languages, the investment should be applauded.

“It’s a way to save a vital component of our people, all the way across British Columbia,” he said.

“The fact that the MLA spoke about the alcoholism, the drug addiction and so on — and the need to take this money for better policing — it just perpetuates a negative stereotype that needs to be overcome.

“I think that he needs to do a lot more reading on the history of Canada and relationship to First Nations people.”

… and over in Saskatchewan as well …


A rich man dies

He hated Jews, he hated Catholics, he hated homosexuals, he favoured tyrants, and he tried to persuade Nixon to nuke North Vietnam. I believe his faith was real, though, unlike many of those who emulated him.


I loved hitch-hiking more than anything. More than sex, more than writing, more even than friendship. I knew that the next person I would see would be a stranger who would be open to communication, and that I would be on my way somewhere.



“Second-tier complaints”

A daily joy of mine – a true joy – is reading whatever Kristi Coulter has put on her FB wall. From yesterday:

Someone named Chad emailed to let me know “Enjoli” is all about First World Problems. Thank you for crawling out of your lean-to, watering your team of oxen and then walking barefoot from your shantytown to the nearest WiFi cafe to tap out this message on a donated TRS-80, Chad. Especially with your energy as depleted by scurvy as it is. [link added]

She adds:

The week after Enjoli came out I set up a Gmail filter that auto-deletes any mail containing “bitch,” “Nazi,” “cunt,” etc. Might be time to extend to “First World problems,” “whiny,” “privileged,” and the other second-tier complaints people have about me.

Something from today apropos my post below:

Dear “mass shootings are caused by violence in movies and video games” crowd: you do realize this is the era of globalization, right? You do know that people in other developed western countries are consuming many of the same movies and games we do in the US, correct? That the children aren’t out in the meadow playing hoop-and-stick and reciting psalms all day?

I just want to make sure you understand that, so that we can eliminate Violent Entertainment as a causation candidate in this, the most drawn-out and torturous A/B test in world fucking history.

Thanks. I’ll be here later on when you want to have the same conversation about secularism or single-parent families.

Kristi’s book of essays, Nothing Good Can Come from This, comes out this August. Everybody I know and kind of like will be getting one for Christmas.

The worst

This quote from King Lear is ever apt:

The worst is not. So long as we can say “This is the worst.”

The photographs of the United States president smiling and giving a thumb’s-up sign among hospital personnel and first-responders in Florida two days after the school massacre was literally nauseating.