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

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Nice to see this coming from an American, rather than a Canadian.

This is an article from a paper in Pittsburg.

"It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada"
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Pittsburg, PA Post-Gazette
You live next door to a clean-cut, quiet guy. He never plays loud music
or throws raucous parties. He doesn't gossip over the fence, just smiles
politely and offers you some tomatoes. His lawn is cared-for, his house is
neat as a pin and you get the feeling he doesn't always lock his front door.
He wears Dockers. You hardly know he's there.
And then one day you discover that he has pot in his basement, spends his
weekends at peace marches and that guy you've seen mowing the yard is his
Allow me to introduce Canada.
The Canadians are so quiet that you may have forgotten they're up there,
but they've been busy doing some surprising things. It's like discovering
that the mice you are dimly aware of in your attic have been building an
espresso machine.
Did you realize, for example, that our reliable little tag-along brother
never joined the Coalition of the Willing? Canada wasn't willing, as it
turns out, to join the fun in Iraq. I can only assume American diner menus
weren't angrily changed to include "freedom bacon," because nobody here eats
the stuff anyway.
And then there's the wild drug situation: Canadian doctors are authorized
to dispense medical marijuana. Parliament is considering legislation that
would not exactly legalize marijuana possession, as you may have heard, but
would reduce the penalty for possession of under 15 grams to a fine, like a
speeding ticket. This is to allow law enforcement to concentrate resources
on traffickers; if your garden is full of wasps, it's smarter to go for the
nest rather than trying to swat every individual bug. Or, in the United
States, bong.
Now, here's the part that I, as an American, can't understand. These poor
benighted pinkos are doing everything wrong. They have a drug problem:
Marijuana offenses have doubled since 1991. And Canada has strict gun
control laws, which means that the criminals must all be heavily armed, the
law-abiding civilians helpless and the government on the verge of a massive
confiscation campaign. (The laws have been in place since the '70s, but I'm
sure the government will get around to the confiscation eventually.) They
don't even have a death penalty!
And yet ... nationally, overall crime in Canada has been declining since
1991. Violent crimes fell 13 percent in 2002. Of course, there are still
crimes committed with guns -- brought in from the United States, which has
become the major illegal weapons supplier for all of North America -- but my
theory is that the surge in pot-smoking has rendered most criminals too
relaxed to commit violent crimes. They're probably more focused on
shoplifting boxes of Ho-Hos from convenience stores.
And then there's the most reckless move of all: Just last month, Canada
decided to allow and recognize same-sex marriages. Merciful moose, what can
they be thinking? Will there be married Mounties (they always get their
man!)? Dudley Do-Right was sweet on Nell, not Mel! We must be the only ones
who really care about families. Not enough to make sure they all have health
insurance, of course, but more than those libertines up north.
This sort of behavior is a clear and present danger to all our stereotypes
about Canada. It's supposed to be a cold, wholesome country of polite,
beer-drinking hockey players, not founded by freedom-fighters in a bloody
revolution but quietly assembled by loyalists and royalists more interested
in orderand good government than liberty and independence.
But if we are the rugged individualists, why do we spend so much of our
time trying to get everyone to march in lockstep? And if Canadians are so
reserved and moderate, why are they so progressive about letting people do
what they want to?
Canadians are, as a nation, less religious than we are, according to
polls. As a result, Canada's government isn't influenced by large,
well-organized religious groups and thus has more in common with those of
Scandinavia than those of the United States, or, say, Iran.
Canada signed the Kyoto global warming treaty, lets 19-year-olds drink,
has more of its population living in urban areas and accepts more immigrants
per capita than the United States.
These are all things we've been told will wreck our society. But I guess
Canadians are different, because theirs seems oddly sound.
Like teenagers, we fiercely idolize individual freedom but really demand
that everyone be the same. But the Canadians seem more adult -- more secure.
They aren't afraid of foreigners. They aren't afraid of homosexuality. Most
of all, they're not afraid of each other.
I wonder if America will ever be that cool.

Monday, August 25, 2003

The perfect song for both rainy days and sunny days is:

eensy weensy spider


ok, I take up this challenge with aplomb. I found Les' list a tad literal. Janis' Summertime always sounds wintry to me.

Steal my Sunshine - Len
Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly and the Family Stone
Long Hot Summer Night - Jimi Hendrix Experience

Rainy Day:
Rainy Day, Dream Away - Jimi Hendrix Experience
Riders on the Storm - Doors
The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin


Sunday, August 24, 2003

Right-o folks, a Woodshed Challenge. Les (Tokyo Blues) Coles is compiling a cd of the best summer songs and the best rainy day songs. The criterion is that the song must 'evoke summer' or 'the feeling of a rainy day'

so far we have:
In the summer time -Mungo Jerry
Summertime- Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the holding co.
Sunny Days - Lighthouse
Summer in the City -?@Lovin' spoonful
walking on sunshine - Katrina and the waves
Summer time blues - eddie cochran
we're here for a good time - trooper
dock of the bay - Otis Redding
Sunshine Superman - Donovan

Rainy day women #12&35 - Bob Dylan
Rain- Beatles
Stormy Weather- Lena Horne
Stormy Monday - Allman Bros
You are like a Hurricane - Neil Young
Looks like Rain - Buddy Guy
I'm fixing a hole - Beatles (sgt pepper)
Lousiana - Wild Magnolia
Rainy day people - gordon lightfoot
Rainy night in Georgia- Gladys Knight & the pips
Rain down on me - blue rodeo
Rain on the roof - lovin' spoonful