All of a sudden, I am interested in U.S. immigration policy!

I have been reading (during working hours, of course) a bunch of articles about the *huge* rally in Los Angeles last weekend. This one "Immigration, African Americans, and Race Discourse" was especially interesting, in that it treats immigration questions from a perspective than I had previously never considered.

A quote from the link posted above:

The proof that European immigration was devastating to blacks is that as soon as immigration was cut off by the First World War, it triggered a massive migration of blacks to cities in the North and West, resulting in the most significant economic advance since the abolition of slavery. The relationship between immigration and race caught the attention of the New Republic, which in 1916 printed an editorial under the caption: "The Superfluous Negro." The editorial began as follows: "The average Pole or Italian arriving at Ellis Island does not realize that he is the deadly foe of the native Negro . . . It is a silent conflict on a gigantic scale.


Joke from SpongeBob SquarePants' standup routine

"What do you call a vampire whose car has broken down 3 miles from a blood bank?"

"A cab."

Right now, I can't decide whether this is really, really funny, or very, very lame... This is a show that seems to appeal to sentients aged 1.5 (human years-- my nephew) to 5.5 (dog years-- me).

It has a different vibe than "the Simpsons" (which incidentally I used to love in, oh say, 1992, 10 YEARS AGO), with less talking and more physical gags. The hilarious shoutouts to alert, reality-based adults are almost continual.

Why adults are amused by SpongeBob is no mystery to me. The thing I ponder is what would a toddler find entertaining about SpongeBob?

It is entirely possible that the things I find annoying (for example, the sudden enlarging of the eyes for the sickening 40s disney-style cutesy-poo effect) are the exact things this child likes about SpongeBob. So I guess I shouldn't complain...

6 Months in...

And this #*$& replacement hip is still giving me a fair amount of pain. I certainly don't feel like I have a "new lease on life", which is the typical sort of reaction I hear from people that have had hip replacements.

Also, if you look closely at the x-ray, it appears the plastic "cup" that is the receiving end of my hip replacement is attached to my pelvic bone with a 2 " wood screw.

PS. Where are my genetilia!?! They should at least have some sort of shadowy form, shouldn't they? The fat in my inner thighs seem to come through ok, so WTF?



They still hire lighthouse keepers!

As you can see here, there is still at least eighteen positions available for this great job, even today, in this time of relentless, relentless automation. Addendum: I must admit that I hadn't read the job posting all the way to the end, and the requirement "Must be prepared to travel by helicopter and/or boat" gives me pause. That doesn't sound like a *real* lighthouse-keeping job. Helicopters, fer Wotan's sake?

In my early teens I thought this would be a great job (and my family mercilessly mocked me about this) because:
a) you get paid to live in a remote location next to a large body of water, probably some place picturesque, with an evocative name like "Cape Farewell", "Thunder Bay", or "Desolation Island".
b) The background soundtrack to your life would include sounds like foghorns, seagulls, distant ships' bells and crashing surf, rather than internal combustion engines, car horns, streetcar metal and people bellowing swear-words in Portugese.
c) you only have to deal with other humans once in a while, rather than ALL DAY LONG. That way, encounters with other humans are things to be cherished, rather than avoided.

I will modify this posting as thoughts slowly percolate into my conscious mind...


capitalism abolished
Capitalism abolished!

Today I took part in yet another "peace march" in downtown Toronto. While I believe that these sorts of things are a waste of time, especially when the main point of reference is the Iraqi occupation (which Canada is not, thus far, involved in), I still went because it was a sunny, relatively warm day and I find that involving myself in these events relieves, to a certain extent, that feeling of bitterness and cynicism that sometimes comes upon me.

As I had predicted would happen, a couple of times during the march I got "misty", as the Fonz would say.

Anyhoo, good exercise, more than enough vitamin D absorbed via sunlight, a warm feeling that perhaps humans in general aren't scum.

Maybe there is some value to these events after all!

Looking south along University Avenue towards the U.S. Consulate. (Addendum: photo credit Marta, again.)

Counter-demonstrators. A couple of dudes standing around, one waving a U.S. flag, the other wearing a U.S. flag as a cape.

Marta fighting the power.

One of Marta's artistic shots.

Marching along Yonge Street.

Marching along Yonge Street.

Who knew the Pakistani flag was so attractive? I sure didn't.


Serbian Takeout

A Bosnian colleague of mine ordered in Serbian takeout for a meeting that was held during lunch today. If I was a little more "on the ball", as my dad used to say, I would have had my digicam with me and could have taken some snaps.

As it is, all I can say is that the Ćevapi (minced meat rolls- apparently a speciality of Sarajevo) was very tasty. (I had hoped that others would agree to exchange different small portions of the various menu items present, so that I could have a taste of everything, but I was very much disappointed.)

Some colleagues even had the gall to complain that they received smaller portions than others (figure it out, niggah! Barbequed shrimp is going to be smaller in quantity compared to "minced meat" when both entrees are the same price!), but luckily the consensus amongst the team was that this was a great break from the dreary routine of pizza.


The Globe and Mail sucks, ok?

It was the paper I read growing up. I always despised the Toronto Star for its wishy-washy human interest stories and its weekend-edition 4 inch thick load of advertising bullshit.

This weekend, however, I came full circle. I wish I lived in Quebec because at least the Montreal Gazette would be available. Now, I will be forced to relax with the Star on weekends.

Why? It is the straws that broke the camel's back.

First, starting six months ago or so, the editorials start getting really annoying. Not in a "they don't agree with what I believe" sense of annoying, I am used to that. They have gotten annoying in that the narrative 'tone' of the editorials has adopted some sort of weird, reproving, "only a schoolchild couldn't understand" condescending vibe. I am not sure which wanker is responsible, but I suspect Marcus Gee.

Second, they fired Heather Mallick.

Third, as a buttress for the inane meanderings of narcissistic Leah McLaren, it appears that they have hired REBECCA ECKLER for a weekly column. Holy shit! These two whinging self-involved cows on the same page! It is like cold fusion all over again.

At least they aren't totally similar-- while Rebecca studiously records her post-partum angst from calgary, Leah can share with us her childless angst from toronto, or, occasionally, her "farm". (She is apparently a farmer, too, didn't you know?)