saturday, january 26
I subscribe to the Globe and Mail but I don't read it cover to cover. After I read the comics, browse the "Review" section, and read the backpage of "Facts and Arguments", I don't have much time to actually read the paper before work. So I take short-cuts. I read the "Letters to the Editor" and I have taken to reading certain columnists regularly. Heather Mallick has a Saturday column in the Globe and I guess I would describe her column as an emotional response to the week's events. Sometimes this makes for an off-base column, but sometimes she's spot-on.

I think she's spot on this week:

The heart of darkness beats clear and steady in Guantanamo
Saturday, January 26, 2002 Page F6

friday, january 25
Ok, so I seem to use this blog for two things:
1) write mindless items too trite for the main show
2) preserve quotes culled from the web and (more importantly) from the newspapers I read.

Some quotes that I liked from Peter Gzowski tributes I been reading today. Gzowski, if you don't know, is considered the consumate Canadian radio host (or as one sad writer put it, "The Barbara Frum of radio".. yick!)

Remembering a Canadian original: He thought out loud for all of us
Friday, January 25, 2002 Page A1

He could sustain opposing ideas without having a nervous breakdown, which of course is the definition of a first-class mind. I can't remember ever hearing him take sides. He knew that trying to make up your mind was always a better story, and a more interesting trip, than simply presenting an intellectual arrival as a fait accompli....

The only other piece of advice he ever gave me summed up his entire approach to radio, and then some: "Think fast," he said, "but speak slowly." This he did like no one else on the radio, before or after, and I mean anywhere in the world.

Magnetic voice spoke right to usBy SANDRA MARTIN
From Friday's Globe and Mail

The notoriously reticent Alice Munro always found time to talk to Mr. Gzowksi whenever she had a new book of short stories out. Thursday she described being interviewed by Mr. Gzowski as "a lot like learning to swim. He held you up for as long as you needed it, so easily and gracefully and unobtrusively that it almost seemed as if he was learning to swim, too.

"Then at some moment, he let you go, let you take your own direction, trusted you to do it right."

I've never been a U2 fan. And ever since I read that they wrote their songs by cobbling together snippets of lyrics that they would make up individually (or was it ever since I was forced to see Rattle and Hum in the theatres?) I have had a serious ... how should I say it... a serious mistrust of the band.

I think David Plotz of Slate has articulated some of the reasons why U2 is not be trusted.

His diagnosis of U2's chronic vagueness reminded me of one of my favourite descriptions of the songs of Kurt Kobain written by Pursuit of Happiness lead singer, Moe Berg:
But to say that a lyricist is by definition a poet would ignore the reality of what popular music has become. Pop lyrics are Hallmark greetings at one end, and at the other random images onto which the audience can project their own meaning -- a style Kurt Cobain was so successful at

There's a pizza joint here in Windsor called SLICES and dammit I think they are something fine.

It's not just because they pass my pizza litmus test (real mushrooms instead of smelly canned ones) but their attention to detail is fab. First off, a large pizza with unlimited toppings costs $18. Not only do you not have to any pesky addition to figure out if you have enough change on hand so you can spring for artichoke hearts, but that the delivery guy is essentially guranteed a $2 tip every time.

And if you order a tasty (artichoke hearts, garlic, mushrooms, pepperoni) but boring looking pizza, they fob a bit of parsley on it to make it look perrrty. And when some pizza conglomerates put a little plastic "Barbie table" to keep the pizza box from sagging into the cheese, SLICES drops a roasted head of garlic in the centre for form and function!

Oh yeah, they're locally owned and they support local artists and events and they hire goths for pizza delivery guys.

This is all I wanted to say.

Oh yeah. If I start a band, I would name it "The Browbeaters".

Some months ago, I heard Better than Ezra being interviewed on Detroit radio and somehow the word 'browbeat' came up in conversation. There was a pause and then one of the band members piped up "It costs money to be browbeat in Windsor!"

saturday, january 19
In today's Globe and Mail, Michael Valpy starts off his "Public Good" in a ridiculous manner, but it does contain this quote from Ursula Franklin that I liked...

Ursula Franklin: The system 'has never worked'
Saturday, January 19, 2002 Page F6

"Just as there are universal laws of nature from which humanity cannot opt out, Franklin said, so there are universal laws of human affairs -- love, community, justice, peace, respect for each individual's worth...

They are not achieved, Franklin said, by putting resources into violence. They are achieved by realists such as Nelson Mandela, who, as she said, "fixed South Africa without bombing the smithereens out of people."

There are, as Mandela proved, things that work, she said. "Peace is not the absence of war but the absence of fear, which is the presence of justice.

"You can't use justice to promote it just for yourself, or promote peace just for yourself. It must be for all."

from the introduction to Karen Armstrong's Buddha
pg. xxvii

But the Buddha is also a challenge because he is more radical than most of us. There is a creeping new orthodoxy in modern society that is sometimes called "positive thinking". At its worst this habit of optimism allows us to bury our heads in the sand, deny the ubiquity of pain in ourselves and others, and to immure ourselves in a state of deliberate heartlessness to ensure our emotional survival. The Buddha would have little time for this. In his view, the spiritual life cannot begin until people allow themselves to be invaided by the reality of suffering, realize how fully it permeates our whole experience and feel pain of all other beings, even those whom we do not feel congenial.

tuesday, january 8

One more reason to hate the National Post: since November 28, 2001 the paper prints Bin Laden's personal horoscope every day.

Oh, yeah. And the new owners of the Southam newspaper chain censors their writers with more impunity than most.

wednesday, january 2
I'm not at work. I'm at home, sick, keeping motion at a minimum.

Now, I'm not alarmed that I'm sick. I work with the unwashed masses so it's bound to happen occasionally. Sometimes, I feel guily though that I do not spend much time thinking about my health. According to almost every women's magazine, I should be dedicated half my days fretting over health issues.

Bored and guilty, I checked out Dr. - as those sensible hippies at The Whole Earth Review seemed to love him and I knew his Eight Weeks to Optimum Health was a steady bestseller. And looky! You can read the eight week regime for free.

It was worse than I even imagined. It really is a regime.. and think about what pleasant things we talk about when we tend to use the word 'regime'. Dr. Weil prescribes a harsh eight week schedule in which you are to replace real food with vitamins and soy products, punctuated with the occasional fast and a sauna if you are good. The part that engaged me the most was the suggestion to to stop listening to news (so negative!) and start buying flowers (so pretty!). Dr. Weil asks for so much time to pursuit optimum health. Why does health have to be a part-time job?

So screw that! Check out the delights of Chowhound (as heard on NPR yesterday) instead!

Greetings and Salutations.
Do not be alarmed. This is only a test. Let's begin.

From today's Globe and Mail:
- Lynn Crosbie checks "Rolling Stone" for signs of erosion

- John MacLachlan Gray's column is an ambitious one day today. It touches on journalism, novel writing, modernism and ties it all together "in the wake of September 11" and it's surprisingly well done.

Finished the Lord of the Rings series yesterday. So it's back to Karen Armstrong's Buddha.

Look Ma! I'm blogging!





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