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Archive for March, 2011

I vote, each and every election. I don’t, however, vote for any of the major parties, the most ‘leftish’ of which is the New Democratic Party – a pretty standard social democratic outfit that gets the vote of the left simply because there’s no other viable option, and consistently steps further and further to the right in the vain hope that one day the bulk of Canadians will flock to them. This, contrary to all evidence here and around the world that such a strategy does nothing but shift the whole political debate to the right. So, no, I don’t vote NDP, instead casting my ballot each time for someone who may be marginal but at least speaks of an alternative, who at least takes positions, no matter how unpopular. Cause I don’t see my vote as a strategic tool in a limited system, but as a small but important opportunity to register, periodically, my values.

In my years of voting, though, I’ve made on exception to the above. When I’ve lived in her riding, and there’s been an election, I have always voted for Libby Davies. But not this time. (more…)

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Not the Best of Me

I’ve got a pretty good life, all told. In fact, I count myself just about the luckiest guy alive – good job, little work but tons of projects, lots of friends and dinner parties, a beautiful and amazing child, and a partner and lover so perfect for me she is literally the stuff my younger-years dreams were made of.  A home people like to visit, that is welcoming and open and often full of laughter, learning, support, love. It really is more than I have ever imagined possible, so full of everything I wanted and much I didn’t even know I wanted til it was shown to me, til it was made possible. I, least of anyone, has any reason to complain, to whine, to wallow in self-pity.

And yet, there it is. That hollow feeling, that boredom, that emotional blank space, that feeling of being entirely disinterested, disengaged. Been with me for the last couple of weeks, and I’m having a hard time shaking it. And an equally hard time making any sense out of why, why now, why for? (more…)

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All Kinds of Crazy

A hell of a week, I tell ya. Feels like there’s been all kinds of crazy swirling around me lately and while I myself am not directly implicated in all of it, it is fucking exhausting to deal with. I’m not about to out any individuals or any specific details here, but as a little sample of what’s going on: (more…)

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March 16 is of no particular significance to me. However, that is indeed the date today, and I am in need of a blog post. And so a little scan of the day in history, and I find there are things to remember and to celebrate, as there always are.

A few moments to remember, then, dealing with various interests of mine: books, radical left politics and heavy metal. (more…)

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Some time ago my brother and sister-in-law were up for a visit from their home in New York, and we sat in the living room bull-shitting about this and that. Not sure how the subject came up, but my sister-in-law joked to Megan, about me, “We call Brian the lazy brother”. Offended? No. Hurt? No. It was pretty awesome, actually. I am pretty much satisfied with my level of accomplishment, and actually pretty glad that I am not an all-out achievement-seeker. I like to rest. I like to lie back and laze. I like to lie in the bath and read books. And sometimes – often, actually – I like to sit on the couch at watch the walls for an hour or so at a time, doing and thinking absolutely nothing. (more…)

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“To be hopeful in bad times is not being foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of competition and cruelty but of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.” – Howard Zinn

So much promise and hope, and yet so much, still, of all the worst of us. That is, though, the stuff activism is made of, I suppose. While so much is so good, with many dear friends and promising small-scale commons, our little household has also been dealt with a whole lot of shit over the last year, as we came up against a hostile and profoundly aggressive radicalism that seems to be more interested in inventing ever more enemies for itself than in building alternative communities of solidarity, mutual aid and respect. (more…)

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I’m about to start reading Slavoj Zizek’s Living in the End Times. And as I look at it there on the side table, I filter through the news of the day, watching the devastation in Japan following its recent massive earthquake. The world changes, sometimes slowly, sometimes cataclysmically, and there seems no question to me that we are well into a dramatic geologic and ecological upheaval. (more…)

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