Ink & Paper

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A mishmash of ideas sent my way in the past few days.

First, from Ink & Paper's correspondent in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a piece of creative writing/social commentary:

Rumor has it that there is going to be a smurf movie out soon. I just thought I would put my two cents into what I think the story should be about. Neil Fairbairn

The children, I mean smurfs, were all having a smurfing good time laughing and singing their traditional songs. Little did they know that the Americans, I mean Gargamel, had manufactured enough bombs to wipe out these children, I mean smurfs, a thousand times over. Unbelievably one of the smurfs survived the attacks. He later became a terrorist, and the Americans, I mean Gargamel, could not understand how such an evil man could exist. Gargamel spent the rest of his life trying to kill this smurf terrorist and others like him but he never succeeded.

And from the Doomsday Article of the Month, link provided by the Glorious Mr. T, who subtley asked: "Handmaid's Tale anyone?" Indeed.

Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."

According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.

Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.

Continue being scared by this article here.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:14 AM ~~ 1 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Friday, October 14, 2005


A mood of tension and anticipation settled over Iraq on Friday as people across the country prepared to vote on the nation's draft constitution. The general quiet throughout the day was punctuated by a few incidents of violence. At dawn, a bomb detonated at the Baghdad headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni prominent group that had announced earlier this week that it was supporting the constitution, though no one was wounded. In the oil city of Kirkuk, a car bomb exploded by a restaurant in a Kurdish neighborhood, wounding four people and destroying five cars Across the Tigris, an equally impassioned scene played out, as the imam of Abu Hanifa mosque, a Sunni Arab stronghold, exhorted worshipers to reject the document, whose passage is crucial for the American-backed political process to move forward.

As the sermon ended, hundreds of worshipers poured into the streets to denounce those few Sunni Arab politicians who had announced this week that they were supporting the constitution. Iraqi policemen surrounded the crowd and blocked off the streets.

"I haven't read the constitution because it is devoted to sectarianism, denominationalism and the break-up of Iraq through American and Israeli instructions," said Othman Raheem, 40, a mechanic taking part in the protest. "I'm going to vote against this odious constitution with a no." But even with the passage, the future of the American enterprise in Iraq faces immense challenges.

For one thing, the constitution on which Iraqis will be voting is open to the prospect of far-reaching amendments and does not address the thorniest political issues dividing Shiites, Kurds and Sunni Arabs, such as the division of powers between the central and regional governments and the allocation of oil resources and revenues.

As of right now, Friday night, pretty much all of the major news outlets have a story or three devoted to this constitutional vote in Iraq. From a political point of view this vote is important, as it will either give a vote of confidence to the US administration if all goes well, or it will further underscore the chaos that is synonymous with the war on terror. Time will tell.

This war has been largely about politics, as I suppose most wars are. And/or religion, I suppose. But the focus on politics is to admit that the average Iraqi really doesn't matter too much. The average Iraqi is still experiencing frequent power outages in Baghdad, dirty water, and a lack of functioning sewers. The average Iraqi in Baghdad is terrified of going outside, with some coffin makers saying this past month was the best ever in a business sense.

So as we watch for the results of the referendum on this drive-thru constitution we will be largely overlooking the facts that define the everyday life of Iraqis. Reports are suggesting that Iraq is slipping further and further into anarchy and the results of this constitution referendum, be they good or bad, will likely do little in the near future to stifle the insurgency, an insurgency fueled largely by Sunni Muslims who are scared (rightfully) of being the "have-not" group in the country, a distant third behind the majority Shia and the northern Kurdish population. A piece of political paper getting approved, if that is the case, really won't stop the car bombings and the suicide bombers.

This war is such a TV war. It isn't at all about the people, the civilians who are dying by the hundreds. It is nothing more than a battle for poll numbers. Political jockeying while innocents shit in buckets and dodge bullets. That's progress?

Do you know how much the life of an innocent Iraqi civilian is? $2500 US. An article in the October 14 edition of the San Francisco Gate described how the US troops are so jumpy that they often shoot first and ask forgiveness later, when it becomes clear that the father of three wasn't a suicide bomber. After it becomes apparent that it was another shooting 'accident', the commander of the soldiers has the unenviable task of trying to ease the relatives pain by handing them an envelop of $2500.

That is the toll of this war. This is the price we will have to pay ten years down the road when a generation of scarred Iraqi children come of age in a shattered, religiously volatile country. The sham of this war is the fact that while major media reports on this constitutional vote and politicians ready their back slapping arms, mothers and wives are handed a measly $2500 for the accidental deaths of their sons and husbands.

$2500 US. That's ten, maybe twelve, iPods. You know, music to drown out the sounds of chaos and bombs. Of course, you would need a functioning electrical grid to charge them. A minor inconvenience, wouldn't you say?

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 8:23 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Quote of the day:

"Just a little toke once in a while?"

Although I'm sure most of you stopped at a grey SEE magazine box sometime today to pick up the latest issue with my CBC article in it, I'm also sure that no one actually did it, despite their claims.

So here is the link so that you don't have to actually physically walk anywhere. Not because I am nice, but because I want you to read the damn article. So read it. Now.

I'll be selling signed copies of the article for an affordable 5 easy installments of $199.99. Plus tax.

Just kidding, I don't even know how much they are paying me. Or how I go about getting paid. I suppose I should look into that, hey?

I hate
The Apprentice with Donald "There is a dead rabbit on my head" Trump. Mainly because Megan is watching it now, but more because the losers that want to be someone think they can do it by calling Trump "sir" and kissing ass. Losers.

This is why I would be a good reality TV contestant. Not that I would ever try out, but if I wandered onto the set and was cast onto the show, man, would that be a ratings bonanza. Jay telling Donald to "stick it, I'm doing it my way" makes for good TV.

God I hate reality TV.

Jay's Inappropriate Comment of the Day that Pissed Megan Off Royally:

(Upon seeing a van parked crookedly in a handicapped zone, and then seeing the handicapped ID tag upside down on the dashboard)

Man he must really be handicapped."

Apparently that was too far. So says Megan. I'm pretty sure you all smiled. You're no better than me!

Actually, you are. I'm an asshole.

No comments on the new blog design? Why don't I just write my blogs on a napkin and glue them onto pigeons? Would that be better? Huh?
Would it?????


Oh, and the quote of the day? It belongs to Fr. Mike McCaffery, the priest who is officiating our wedding. He was asking Megan if she had any drug issues that cause trouble for the marriage. Not often you hear that from a priest.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:05 PM ~~ 6 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."
-- Henry Beston, circa 1925
"The best friend man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son, or daughter, that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and good name may become traitors to their faith. The money a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only to be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.

"When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

"If fortune drives his master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies,. And when that last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there, by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even in death."
--Senator George Graham Vest, speaking to a jury about Old Drum, shot in 1869.


A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:48 PM ~~ 3 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Oh. Dang. This. Will. Piss. You. Off.

Big Time.

A compilation of some (older) footage of Ann Coulter, the blond right wing gadfly, and Tucker Carlson of CNN slamming Canada. As mentioned, it is a little older, but focus not on the issues they are discussing but the tone of arrogance coming from Coulter and Carlson.

Canada invaded by Norway? What?


A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 5:05 PM ~~ 6 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Ooooh. New blog design. I was tired of the old style, thought that it looked boring. That is to say, I thought it looked like this. Yea, eww is right.

Plus I'm at home with the sniffles today, so I figured that I might try to do something productive besides watching endless episodes of Trading Spaces. Mind you, now I have to disinfect my laptop.

I'll post more later. Right now I need some orange juice.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 1:19 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 8:33 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Well, despite what all my ex-girlfriends say, I'm apparently not a complete failure.

I sent an article in to SEE Magazine yesterday. Actually it was a blog post that needed some editing, but I sent it in anyway. They called me today and apparently are going to run it in this weeks edition of Edmonton's free entertainment and arts newspaper.

I even get paid for it. How much I have no idea, but they are supposed to email me the details. The article is a 1100 word analysis of why the CBC is crucial to Canada and why it needs to adapt to continue to be relevant.

You'll be able to pick it up at any one of the hundreds of grey SEE magazine boxes scattered throughout Edmonton this upcoming Thursday. For those of you who don't live in Edmonton, I'll provide the link once it becomes available.

So that was my highlight of the day. Pick it up this Thursday and if you hate it, send them a letter. I love hate mail.

May even try to parlay this into something more regular, we'll see.

Oh and the Yankees lost and are done for the season. That makes me happy, mainly because the Yankees are the about as scary as this guy.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:12 PM ~~ 8 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Monday, October 10, 2005

I was honored to hear the first finished copy of Leaving Juneau's yet-to-be-released album yesterday. I must say it sounds pretty freaking good, much more layered and professionally done than Jeff's earlier bank sierra. Better music, better musicianship including orchestral melodies, cellos, harmonicas, and vocals. And yet it remains honest and authentic. All around, a winner. And remember that I usually think Jeff is two hairs short of a donkey's ass.

You can check out some sample songs here. And as always you can find out new info on the band, including upcoming show dates, on Jeff's blog.

Bravo lil' bro, bravo.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:22 AM ~~ 4 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Living History

It is 1034pm on Thursday night and I am watching the History Channel, a documentary about the waning days of World War I and the division of Europe. I am partial to this type of documentary, as 20th century history fascinates me, especially in regard to the two major world wars.

I know that most people don't bother to think about how the wars of the past, especially in Europe, have shaped the modern world that we live in. From the ever-expanding and inclusive European Union as a balance to the US economic and military might to the struggle in the Middle East to find a peaceful solution and mediation to Israel's creation and existence to the media-drenched ideal of a noble war, the echoes of WWI and II continue on. I know that most people don't really care that the struggle for western influence in the Middle East is nothing more than a continuation of imperialistic endeavors in areas of economic and strategic importance.

The most regrettable aspect of war is the constant permeation of death, both immediate and gradual, coupled together with the ideal behind necessary sacrifice. The dead laid bare on a muddy field contrasted with the image of a battered yet triumphant soldier returning home. The twitching, mentally-destroyed WWI solider contrasted with the rare ability to "let the past be." We have learned to accept death as a necessity of battle, to accept battle as a necessity of life in these modern times. This is an attitude that has grown into a marketing strategy since the end of WWII and allows us to tolerate modern day bloodbaths as something resembling normal.

All that suffering and so few of us realize the enormity of the two World Wars, how their results and echoes have directly shaped the world that we live in today. More to the point, we tend to look at the world wars, when we do bother to look at them, as history, something passed and gone. We often assign history to the past, not realizing that history is never solid and never a finished product. It is fluid, slipping from one decade into another, carrying itself into new situations and molding itself into the fabric of modern society.

The US military dead will, before Christmas most likely, pass the 2,000 mark in Iraq, an emotionally significant number that will surely garner much media attention. This modern day war, a war started in March of 2003, has permeated much of our lives for the past two and a half years and has been treated to a remarkably supportive environment, at least until recent times.

We are living in history, ladies and gentlemen. The events of the past 4 years are perhaps as influential to the 21st century as the world wars were to the 20th century. We are in the midst of a remarkable shift in modern history, as we see the reigning superpower struggling to maintain its pedestal. We are watching and living through the early stages of what will prove to be the echoes that ramble on through the decades to come.

It would be nothing more than an ignorant failure to realize the future implications of this current escapade in the Middle East, the end result being the increased and lasting influence among oil-rich governments for years to come. To suggest that this portion of the history pie ought to be a small one is failing to acknowledge the importance of Middle Eastern oil in the years to come, years that will directly factor into the quality of life that we enjoy in the west.

We are watching history unfold before us, much like our grandparents did throughout the great wars. And while I have little doubt that this modern war will have as great an impact on the years to come as the world wars did, I fear that too few people are aware of their place, their country's place, in the world of today. We can, after all, turn off the TVs and relegate the war to a mere soundbite instead of the geopolitical energy battle that it represents.

It is now 1106pm and the History Channel is broadcasting a show about a battle in Britain that took place in the 1640s. And while I know that the immediate future of humanity will be shaped by what will be printed on tomorrow's front page, I also know that the battle being waged today will eventually be nothing more than a footnote in the dusty pages of history, discussed among amateur historians and occasionally given a poor time slot on cable TV.

And while we make noise about today, realize too that such noise will eventually be forgotten, dismissed as new wars and new tragedies accumulate over the decades and centuries to come. While we may be the stones of today, seemingly unmovable and unalterable, we do quietly acknowledge the fact that as time and wind pass us by, we will be reduced to mere sand on the shore of a vast lake of history, whose individual incidents ebb and flow with relevance and insignificance. That isn't to say that we should trivialize the wars of modern times, but it is a nod to the fact that no matter how much noise we make, history and the passage of time will eventually render us irrelevant.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:17 AM ~~ 1 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Looks like Jay is back in cyberspace, after a week of feeling super disconnected from the world and my loyal bloggies. I love how it takes a week for Shaw to get out here and takes 10 minutes for them to fix the problem. Oh well, such is customer service nowadays. I'll post more soon. Thanks for coming back.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:15 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


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