Monday, February 28, 2005
Friday, February 25, 2005
Loneliness makes you do funny things
I'm not sure why you called or why it is important to know whether or not I am ticklish. In fact, I don't really care why you called. I just think it is a distraction in my already busy day.
You seem to know something about me - which leads me to believe you are on the peripheral.
In my opinion, your time would be better used if you spent more time dealing with people in your life and less time calling people like me.
With respect to tickling someone, there are phone lines for that, too. I am sure someone who gets paid to talk to strangers about being tickled would accommodate.
In other words, don't call me again.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Dave Pollard and the Modern Day Romance
Romance novels are at once the most scorned and popular form of literature in the world, accounting for as much as 40% of total book sales in much of the world. The average romance reader (and writer) is female, ambitious, leads a very full and busy life, and has an above-average education and intelligence. The livelihood of some of the world's most critically-acclaimed (mostly male) authors depends on the revenue base generated from the sale of the remarkably diverse genre called 'romance', written by and bought overwhelmingly by women.
I have often written about the need for us to reduce human population to sustainable levels. Short of introduction (by nature or man) of a monstrous new technology to achieve that end, history suggests there is only one way that will happen: If, around the world, women achieve equal power to men. This is currently close to true in only one place: Scandinavia, which by every measure has achieved the highest and most egalitarian quality of life on the planet in modern history. It is nearly as true in Kerala, India, a matriarchal society with a standard of living (measured by health, longevity, low infant mortality, nutrition, equality of wealth, and low homelessness and poverty levels) comparable to that of the West at one sixtieth its level of per-capita consumption. Both societies have reached sustainable levels of population, while Kerala has also achieved sustainable levels of consumption. The one absolutely necessary key to achieving equal power for women is education. One of the best methods for learning is by listening to success stories, and modeling your behaviour on the examples that led to that success. And romance novels are the definitive success stories.
So romances are, in fact, subversive literature: They encourage women to be dissatisfied with inequality, and to set higher expectations for themselves, and they show them ways to achieve those expectations, largely by taming men and, in a way, usurping their power. Romances are arguably the only art form of any kind that portrays women as equal partners with men. Literature professor Mary Bly (a/k/a romance author Eloisa James) writes in this week's NYT that "romances actually validate female desire". and "reflect no more than what most of us hope for in daily life."
A fascinating read...highly recommended! I added my two cents to the comments section.
Monday, February 21, 2005
Hunter S. Thompson RIP
I don't mean this rhetorically, but what is it with writers committing suicide?
Friday, February 18, 2005
Don't Let Them Take Jason Off the Air...
For those of you unfamiliar with Fox's Arrested Development (and how sad is that?), there's been a lot of speculation around the impending demise of the series.
I am not a TV person - let me just put that disclaimer out there - but I am delightfully addicted to this show. Without it, I am left with the Simpsons as one of the only shows on worth watching.
Not only is the humor wickedly intelligent, Arrested Development's cast is superb. The show's both subtle and irreverent. For all you TV snobs out there, I dare you to not fall in love with this show.
When we first caught an episode, we immediately knew the program would be short lived - It's too smart. Every show that has some substance gets ripped off the air. There must be other pedantic, snooty 30-50 somethings out there who need to unwind with something other than Desperate Housewives or The Simple Life?
Join the cause. Demand smart programming. Keep Arrested Development on.
This is my public service announcement - Thank you and goodnight.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
What The Hell is He Thinking?!
Well, I've got a friend that uses what I call, "The Puppet Method" to meet single women in nightclubs. Here's how he does it:
First, you will need a hand puppet. You can buy them at your major toy stores such as Toys R Us.
Bring your hand puppet with you to a nightclub where there are lots of single ladies.
When you see a girl that you're attracted to, approach her and tap her on the shoulder lightly with your puppet and when she turns around raise your hand puppet towards her face and say something like this with your puppet, "Hi beautiful, would you like to dance with me?" Move your puppet up and down with your hand as you are saying your script just as if the puppet was really talking. And be sure to talk in a real silly voice.
What happens next? She's going to die laughing and think that you are so funny. Plus, you will make a very favorable impression on her because women love a guy with a sense of humor. And, of course, she will most likely dance with you.
I know this method of meeting single women seems a little silly, but try it. It works like a charm for my friend and it can work for you too.
This guy must be smoking crack. That, or he has been hit in the head (likely by said women) one too many times.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
They Hate Us. They Really Hate Us.
Why do they hate Toronto?
Our city is misunderstood. Canadians show no interest in claiming Toronto as their own, the way, say, Americans proudly take ownership of the Big Apple, or the French (as long as they are outside France) love Paris.
"Americans love to hate New York, but everybody has a New York story to tell. That's the beauty of it," observes Robert Racco, a graduate student at McGill's School of Urban Planning in Montreal, and a proud, if battered, Torontonian. "They visit New York in droves, and they keep talking about New York. It becomes their city, too."
It may be our own fault (and we'll return to this later) that Canadians don't share the same pride of ownership in their biggest city. We're just another city. It took close to $15 million to entice Larry Walker and his parents, Glena and Al, to Toronto. Other Canadians, lacking such incentive, don't bother.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
I will be writing a small chapter called Blogging 101, an overview of how to begin the blogging journey, so to speak.
There are some wonderful writers involved - each contributing an essay of their choosing.
In any event, this has created a lot of discussion about blogging and why people choose to participate. I believe "blogging" isn't as important as the type if dialogue the tool, itself, allows - one that focuses on the stories of individuals versus loose representations by organizations / large entities.
My question to you is this: Why do you blog?
You are the most universal mythical beast ever. Sightings of the unicorn have been reported from all over the world, even in modern times. Unicorns are pure and incorruptible. In China, unicorns symbolized gentleness, good will, and wisdom. Christianity links the unicorn with Christ. It is said that unicorns would only allow virgin girls to see them, let alone touch them. They were easily lured into fatal ambushes by a virgin with some poachers waiting for the unicorn in nearby bushes. A unicorn's horn was a highly prized possession, which was reputed to have great healing capabilities. With the touch of its horn, a unicorn could bring back a person who had been dead for several hours. But when separated from the unicorn's body, the magic was significantly reduced. The unicorn had the body of a horse, a unique spiraling horn, and a lion's tail. They were pure white in color.
What mythical beast best represents you? Take the quiz!
Friday, February 04, 2005
Total amount of music files on your computer:
120 or more
The CD you last bought?
Kelly Willis, What I Deserve
What is the last song you just listened to before reading this question?
Advance Cassette by Spoon
Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:
I Let Love In - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
The Ocean - Dar Williams
Mercedes - Joseph Arthur
Sometimes - James
Blackbird - The Beatles
Approximate number of books on your bookshelf or in your house:
The last book you bought:
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The last book you read (before the one you're reading now):
The Malaise of Modernity by Charles Taylor
Five books you've read more than once, or that means something to you, or you just really, really like (because I think it's too damn difficult to have a favorite book):
Bastard Out of Carlonia - Dorothy Allison
Two or Three Things I know for Sure - Dorothy Allison
Suspicious River - Laura Kasischke
Heavy Weight - Susan Bordo
Chalotte's Web - EB White