Friday, December 30, 2005

Canadian SF Article

I've put up my Locus article over at A Small Drop of Ink. Feel free to drop by and read it.

Friday 10 (Tired Version)

Early Morning Rain - Jerusalem Ridge
How to Make Gravy - Paul Kelly
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
Joh - Four Men and a Dog
Fisherman's Blues - The Waterboys
The Logical Song - Supertramp
When Will You Come Back Home? - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
All This Time - Sting
One Step Over the Line - John Hiatt and Rosanne Cash with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Better Now - Collective Soul

Today I worked from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm, much of it out walking two different routes. So I listened to boatloads of music, and built my legs up to powerful pistons of iron in the process.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

December 20, 1932

I was an ordinary mother in 1932
My husband out of work and more worries here than food
I was weary with asking the man for relief
Feeling like a beggar, being treated like a thief

A large part of my walk at work last week was downtown. Lots of businesses, lawyer's offices, and two missions. Each day at the Good Shepherd there stood a line of men and women, holding themselves against the cold as best they could, waiting for the doors to open so they could head inside for some warmth and a simple meal.

So when word of a protest started going round
I bundled my boys for the long walk downtown
And bless them, they didn't make a peep about the cold
One was only 5, the other 9 years old

I saw no children standing in line, but of course this was downtown. A short distance away there are streets where suburbia has vacated the realm a long time ago, and where children live with their families in a situation most of us are unfamiliar with.

We were good people, gathered in the square
It wasn't ease and comfort had driven us there

Tonight we took the kids for a ride to see the lights in the local version of Candy Cane Lane. Ahead of us there was was a stretch limo, its passengers invisible behind the tinted windows.

Well the air was almost festive with Christmas trees in view
But as we moved to leave the square and march the Avenue
A sound I'd never heard before turned my heart to lead
The sound of a billy club cracking open heads

Every year for Christmas, BC Premier Gordon Campbell is lucky enough to be able to go to Hawaii for a family Christmas holiday. Hawaii, of course, is where Campbell was busted for drunk driving, and where he paid $913 in fines and fees while not admitting to doing anything wrong.

Well I'd always taught my sons we were safe around police
But when they charged on horses, I dragged us off the street
It made me so angry they'd endanger children too
In silencing the voices of 1932

In British Columbia, 84,317 people used a food bank in March 2004, an increase of 16% in one year. Almost 8,000 more children needed emergency food in 2004 than in 2003, an increase of 41.7%."

(Chorus)We were good people, gathered in the square
It wasn't ease and comfort had driven us there
But they treated us like criminals for showing our despair
Oh I remember well this Bloody Tuesday

From the same link as above: "
People are now relying on food banks for their total source of nourishment because the money is used for other basic living expenses. Also, in order to continue to qualify for welfare, people are required to complete endless paperwork and reporting. It has created an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust and many low-income people are becoming more depressed and desperate. When you lose hope, you lose the will to survive. "

Where was the government who wouldn't let us starve?
Who wouldn't take the farmer's land, who knew we worked so hard
We, the people, were just scraping by for our daily bread
We had voted for the cowards and away they turned their heads

Recently a volunteer manning a Sally Ann kettle on Vancouver Island stole the kettle and blamed it on others.
"We're not so much angry as we are saddened," said someone from the Salvation Army. "Someone that desperate needs help."

Now I've read it in the paper, this supposed "Hunger March"
Was the scheme of Reds, they said, our hunger was a farce
Well I don't care what they say, for me it did ring true
An ordinary mother in 1932

December 19, 1932. Ten thousand Albertans gather in downtown Edmonton for a march to the Legislature, a march to demand better working conditions and better pay—and for the bosses and politicians to do something about the poverty and desperation engulfing a province in the throes of the Great Depression. Young communists. Labour party members. Families. Farmers. Factory workers. After making speeches declaring their intentions and tactics to be peaceful, the marchers turned west onto Jasper Avenue; there, the Hunger March was met by police. Storming the crowd on horseback, police cut a swath with their billy clubs, the bones and skulls of ordinary people breaking the trajectory of police truncheons. The official records say 29 were arrested. Countless others were injured."

Song lyrics from "We Were Good People" by Maria Dunn with help from a letter by William Dolinsky, from the 2004 CD of the same name.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Beer Not Kids

Rick Mercer
, in answer to the silly little firestorm over the 25 bucks a week on beer has started a petition to protect Canada's sacred relationship with beer. I hope all right (and left)-thinking folk will sign it.

Friday Falls on a Saturday This Week

Work is crazy busy this time of year, and all week I had to wake up at 5:30 to get in for a 6:30 start. Not so bad in and of itself, except that all that walking and carrying has helped to wear me down. All of which is said to note why I haven't been posting, and why I forgot to do my Friday Random Ten yesterday. Anyhow, here it is:

Madeleine's Song - Paul Kelly
Take the "A" Train - Mel Torme
Boneyard Tree - The Watchmen
Baby Ran - 54-40
Bring Back Your Love to Me - John Hiatt
The Pretty Place - Paul Kelly
Adios Lounge - Thelonius Monster with Tom Waits
Long View - Green Day
Hotel California - The Eagles
Red River Rising - James Keelaghan

Bonus Track: Because Elaine once mentioned that she would prefer these lists give her links to actual, you know, music, a little later on Mike Doughty's killer tune Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well came on. Doughty used to be with Soul Coughing (a group I know of, but I don't know them, if you know what I mean. Y'know?). Anyhow, I'll be seeking out his album when I go to Edmonton for Christmas. All a direct result of him offering a non-DRM version of his tune online.

Friday, December 09, 2005

If It's Friday This Must Be Music

Today's Random Ten:

Life's What You Make It - Talk Talk
This Fire - Franz Ferdinand
Ain't Never Been Nuthin' For Me in This World - Thelonius Monster
Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears For Fears
Red Rain - Peter Gabriel
Last Night in the World - Bruce Cockburn
Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
Blue Sky Mine - Midnight Oil
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
An Honest Mistake - The Bravery

Friday, December 02, 2005

A Few Trips Around the Block

I know I probably said something about mostly writing longer screeds and not doing that whole buncha-little-links thing, but there are some excellent sites out there worthy of your attention:

The first is Olduvai George, a natural history illustration blog by artist Carl Buell.

Here is a trip across the solar system, where each pixel represents 1000km.

Eye Level is a blog produced by the Smithsonian Art Museum, and is a great journey through the world and the history of fine art.

is a blog of books, of book illustrations, of what the host calls "Visual Materia Obscura."

Treehugger is a central location for finding all the green products you could possibly think of, and many that you likely never would, and ways to get them.

Hassenpfeffer, by Canadian SF author Ed Willett, is a blog that links to all sorts of science stories.

Late Addition: Tris McCall reviews Christmas music and does so with bite and a wee bit of nasty language, so watch out. From the review of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," it says "[t]he carol notable for explicity thematizing how aggressive the act of caroling is. Demanding figgy pudding and then refusing to stop singing until the claim is filled -- that's supposed to be fun. Yeah, sure. This kind of street harassment will get you a couple of hard months at Rikers."

Another Friday, Another 10 Random iPod Tunes

Advice For the Young at Heart - Tears For Fears
Nightingale Song - Toad the Wet Sprocket
Spaceship Superstar - Prism
Lay Lady Lay - Bob Dylan
Ironing Maiden - Peatbog Faeries
Madeleine's Song - Paul Kelly
Violet Eyes - Meat Puppets
You Don't Love Me Yet - Vulgar Boatmen
Stereo - The Watchmen
You Ain't Going Nowhere - The Nitty Gritty Dirt band with Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn

The Peatbog Faeries are a techno-celt group from the Isle of Skye that we picked up when in Scotland. The tune by the Vulgar Boatmen is one of my top 20 of all time songs. The Paul Kelly song is one of the most wonderful tunes about being a father that you will ever hear. And the last song was written by Dylan, which goes well with Dylan hisself on this list.

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