"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Burning stick meets burning stupid

Burning stick! Burning stick!U.S. citizen Wayne Gretzky lit the torch and we television viewers were treated to a couple of hours of modern dance and extremely impressive stage effects to mark the opening of the Vancouver games. Nicely done, though neither of my kids would believe kd Lange is a woman at first. I liked Shane Koyczan's poem, but he should have started working on his beard a little earlier or shaved. And apparently Canada was settled by tattooed fiddling Celtic barbarians - who knew?

Burning stupid! Burning stupid!

And here's a newsflash for "Blayze" the masked protestor who speaks to the press at the end of the video here: "The next level" of a peaceful protest is not smashing windows and trying to provoke the cops and it isn't "the perogative" of the some self-important douchebag in a black hoodie and bandana to make the sensible people who are trying to make a point in a civilized way look bad just because he thinks he's a revolutionary who is going to bring racist exploitive capitalism to knees by throwing newspaper boxes through shopfronts. Dude, your friends are not activists, they are assholes.
These stupid self-proclaimed anarchists should be aware that The Man has 15,000 troops at his beck and call, 15,000 cops, soldiers and rent-a-cops who would probably like nothing better than to have a quiet two weeks, but who aren't above knocking the crap out of a whole bunch of people who don't deserve it because of the anti-social antics of a few shit-for-brains who think smashing windows serves the cause of social justice.
And yes, I have heard the theories about agent provocateurs that are already making the rounds. Those taking part in the legitimate protests won't be lead astray by such people. If you are at a protest and someone starts talking about "getting" the cops, or starts picking stuff to throw, the best thing to do is tell them to cut it the hell out and grow the hell up. There is not a crowd of protesting civilians anywhere in the world that is going to win a street battle against prepared, trained and well-armed cops, so there is no point at all in starting a fight. And trying to provoke a response by the police so that the news cameras can get footage of the "true nature of the fascist oppressors' brutality" is idiotic and is going to get the wrong people hurt.
There are many legitimate complaints to be made about the Vancouver games and the Olympics in general, but smashing windows and putting bystanders in danger is not the way to make the statement that needs to be made.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Uke blogging - clone edition

Molly Lewis is so frickin' talented it takes two of her to perform this song

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Art in Edmonton

Okay, so I'm a gazillion miles away and can't go, but those of you who are in Edmonton (and you know who you are Shini, Chunklets et al) who drop by here on occasion would make me very happy if you were to take in a couple of fabulous art shows by an old internet pal of mine from way back in the my preblogging days of hanging out on the BBC's Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy site - especially on the "Should Chief Gordon Lightfoot reinstate the Saskatchewan Rhinosceros Hunt" thread.

Whatever way your tastes run, you'll have to admit the guy is very talented.

The shows will be held:

  • February 18 to March 20 at the VAAA gallery 10215, 112 st 3rd floor (reception Feb 18 7-9:30)
  • March 15 to April 3 at the Spruce Grove Art Gallery 420 King Street, Spruce Grove (reception March 20 1-4 pm.)
And if you go the the receptions and you meet the artist and tell him Rev.Paperboy sent you, you'll probably score a glass of wine and some cheese on a cracker or something, or a least a bewildered stare for the rest of the evening.


Taken from the Houston Chronicle's coverage of a Rick Perry-Sarah Palin rally on Superbowl Sunday

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And the pile on commences

Really, you'd think by now that the National Post, given its plummeting circulation, would shy away from going out of its way to offend roughly half the population. But clearly that is not the case. Now, after taking a potshot at Women's Studies in particular and feminism in general, they are backing water like a sculling crew approaching Niagara Falls. And I'm not the only one who noticed. Lots of others are now having a go and putting the boot in.

What war does

This story is beyond the mere garden variety child abuse nightmare tale. This is something that would not have happened the way it did if George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their gang of bloodthirsty ideologues had not decided to invade Iraq. This soldier pretty obviously has PTSD and will probably never be the same. And neither will the four-year-old daughter he waterboarded because she wouldn't say her ABCs.
And sorry to Gerard Alexander if I'm being condescending by pointing this out.
P.S. Gerard, when Obama says to a Republican congressman "That's factually just not true, and you know it's not true." That isn't condescending, it's what Driftglass so accurately described as "unsheathing three feet of Verdad" and using it to carve up the disingenuous, dissembling, mendacious, prevaricating opposition - you know, the lying douchebag Republicans.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Jesus saves, but Shutt scores on the rebound!

From the brain-dead goons who ape Christianity that brought you "God hates Fags" picket signs at military funerals, a new swan-dive into the the shallow end of the crazy pool.

Westboro Baptist, the group that puts the "mental" in "Fundementalist Christian" has decided to start picketing hockey games, because "God H8s Ur hockey!"

No, no, no. Admittedly, God hates the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that's understandable. God loves hockey and he's a Habs fan. Obviously, he's just been busy with other things lately.

I'd love to see Westboro Baptist ice a team against the Flying Fathers, or maybe just some old Flyers.

All in all, they're all just bricks in the wall

"When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could"

So many authoritarian nitwits, so little time to blog. This kid is probably lucky they didn't taser her when she started crying. Almost as disturbing is the reaction of America's least favorite conservative law professor and box-wine sommelier (as noted by Pandagon). Obviously, the teacher cannot ignore a student writing on their desk and must instill respect for the property of others blah blah blah, but I think handcuffing and arresting a12-year-old teaches another lesson - fear your teacher! Don't step out of line! fear school!

Way to put the "Pal" in "Principal" Ms. Grant! What do you do if the kids chew gum in class, waterboard them? I was a fairly well-behaved kid in school, and my high school shenannigans tended to the bizarre and comical, rather than the destructive, but if I had a principal like this running my school, there definitely would have been major problems. It may be that by completely overreacting and responding in a way that would be considered child abuse if a parent had done it, Principal Grant may have done 12-year-old Alexa a favor and taught her a lesson she won't soon forget. Not the lesson she intended, but a lesson nonetheless: The people in charge aren't here to help you. The people in charge will abuse you any chance they get. Property is more important than people to the people in charge. The people in charge are a vicious bunch of hysterical fools more intent on showing they are in charge at all costs than actually doing their jobs.
Twelve is pretty early to learn a lesson like that, but at least there is time for her sense of idealism and trust to grow back.
I don't mean to malign all teachers and school administrators, far from it. I think teaching is a noble profession and that teachers get too little respect, too little credit and too much blame in our society. The vast majority are hardworking,nurturing souls who care about the kids they are trying to educate. Hurrah for teachers.
That said, as in any profession, there are those who have gone into it for the wrong reasons, those who have been defeated by the challenges of the job and now just coast and most dangerous of all, those who abuse their authority. In teaching, as in the police, there is no one more dangerous than a petty tyrant. Bullies suck in any line of work, but one with a badge, gun and taser who has been given a licence to hassle people is dangerous, not only for the abuses of power they commit, but for the effect it has in undermining respect for the law and police.
The same is true of authoritarian principals, vice-principals, coaches and teachers who think that they are entitled to bully and abuse the children entrusted to their care. Not only do they traumatize the individual kids they "discipline," but they also destroy the trust of the other students and parents in the system. They teach kids not to ask questions, not to stand up for themselves, not to think independently. Ditto for those petty dictators who insist on enforcing ill-considered "zero-tolerance" policies to the absolute letter, even while completely ignoring the spirit of the rule. They teach kids that being tolerant, reasonable, flexible and even merciful is wrong and that the kid bringing a plastic butter knife in his lunch to spread cream cheese on his bagel has committed the same crime as a kid who brings a machine gun to class.
Principal Grant may think that by having a kid arrested and jailed for writing her desk that she is sending a message to the other kids that she and the school will not tolerate any misbehaviour, but the message the kids will take to heart is that if they are to be hung for a sheep, why not take the whole flock? If just writing on the desk gets you sent to jail, you might as well set fire to that sucker, and the classroom as well, since you are going to be treated the same way for any offense, no matter how small.