Archive for April, 2009

Fluffy pornographic thoughts

Posted on April 30th, 2009 1 Comment

Alas, dear reader, I also have my slow days.

Aside from the production being shot across the street from me…

thebridge

…it’s been a drab day. It’s kinda soggy and April-y and it’s still that time of year when it’s better to stay indoors with a couple of kick-ass kung fu flicks and something nice and warm to drink. Or do something else to keep oneself warm. I certainly hope the cast and crew of  “The Bridge” brought their galoshes.

Hmmm. I guess I just broke news on that, didn’t I? It’s Canadian made so … that’s … always … something … isn’t … it? (face grimacing with discomfort). I’m hoping it’ll be good, let’s just leave it at that.

But what I really wanted to do was to go on a little excursion into the local news to do some skimming between the headlines. Of course, a link is presented to each story, but I’m pleased to summarize them all for you as well as to boil them down to their essential component in the true and neighbourly spirit of brevity. Also, so I have something to write.

National Post -> Flu fears halt travel plans for Some Canadian schools

Summary: This one time, at band camp, they cancelled our trip because of an outbreak. So the tuba player…

One word: mild.

Toronto Star -> Can 56 angry Tamils save one girl’s life?

Summary: Seriously? You could only find twenty Tamils? Did no one bother to look outside the window or, like, lift their head up when walking home? You’re here, they’re here. Jeez.

One word: seriously?

Toronto Sun -> This is prepared?

Summary: Durham region: memories of short-longs, “racing” pickups with flames down the sides, and the smell of freshly turned manure in the mornings. Here’s Port Perry. OH FUCK! THEY LET THINGS SLIP! THE VIRUS IS EVERYWHERE! PORT PERRY FUCKED US ALL! — Calm down, Michelle. Take a deep breath. Everythying’s going to be okay.

One word: chill

Globe and Mail -> Not just us: Cockatoos have rhythm too

Summary: Rhythmic spasms in avian species are the primary indicator of Avian Influenza. Look like Mexican parrots too!

One word: fluff

I know, it’s all fluff. But that’s okay, it’s a fluffy kind of day.

Now I’m going to retire to my fluffy pillow to think fluffy thoughts. Perhaps to masturbate. We’ll see where the evening takes us.

I suggest you do the same (take your pick); unless it’s sunny outside where you are, in which case get the hell outta here!

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

The Practical Gentleman’s Guide to Urban Insolence, no.3

Posted on April 29th, 2009 Be the first to comment

Huge bags. Large purses. Portly rucksacks. Plump portmanteaus.

They’re digging into my ribs, making inappropriate contact with my nether regions, and just generally making their unwieldy presence known.

The male version is usually a backpack filled to capacity with god-only-knows-what. It sticks out behind the wearer like a malignant growth, taking up twice the space that he normally would. It’s kind of like he’s carrying the grossly deformed embodiment of himself on his back. Every turn on a crowded streetcar positions the plump doppelganger in someone else’s way or worse, into their gut.

This can be especially problematic when sharp items stick out of the bag, like the protractor that kept threatening to pierce my stomach on the packed King streetcar.

Pointiness and space consumption: A serious threat.

The female equivalent involves the sidewalk portage of behemoth shoulder bags, often accompanied by small purses whose purpose, presumably, is to make the bearer more fashionable. Small purse: Yes. Huge cousin tagging along for the ride — to use the vernacular of the moment: Fail.

These tend often not to be dangerous so much as painfully annoying. Sitting face to face with a knock-off Ralph Lauren and getting the backhand from it when it’s owner reaches for her mobile (which is, of course, tiny), is not a nice feeling. Look, for a guy to get a mug full of any connotation of the word “bag” is unpleasant. For ladies on the receiving end, well, I’ll leave that one up to you.

So what’s the practical gentleman to do?

In this installment of the Guide, I offer three choices:

1. Tief or spill

This one’s rather simple. Since you’re already pressed into the bag, why not help yourself to some of its contents? If that sounds a bit risqué, perhaps simply leaving the zippers/buttons undone will provide a modicum of enjoyment as the target disembarks at the next stop. The aim here is to produce maximum spillage but only as the streetcar speeds away.

Does this sound a bit harsh? How about the sticky thing in the backpack that’s going to give me an unwelcome nipple piercing at the next set of lights? Tit for tat, say I: Curse at me all you want, you’re on the street!

2. Jerk ‘n laugh

For this one you need to come prepared with a short length of twine or sturdy string. Simply attach the bag (any likely spot will do; have fun with it!), to the nearest pole and prepare to hold your sides in uproarious laughter. I believe that with practice one could learn to judge the center of gravity on a bag well enough to cause consistently hilarious total-body wipeouts.

Be sure to get off at the same intended stop as the target: Curse me all you want, you’re in the streetcar!

3. The Stick of Justice

This requires even more equipment but it’s the thing that’s least likely to get you brutally beat up. Here we simply affix wide adhesive labels to the target’s baggage to warn others of the dangers you’ve experienced. Keep the message simple, to the point, and brief. Old stalwarts like “Wide Load” or “Baby on Board” are always a good first try.

Just ‘till you get the feel of it. Then feel free to improvise; “Ass” with an arrow pointing upward; “Ask me about child molestation” adorned with a stylized question mark; “Yes, it was me who farted”; “Contact torontocitylife.com to rent this space”; the sky’s the limit. Take that hat off and feel the wind in your hair; inspiration happens in the least likely of moments.

In this scenario the chance of an altercation occurs only when the target notices, or is notified of, your maneuver: Curse me all you want, you’re a rapist! (or whatever’s written on the tag)

Outstanding!

Really, the aim is to make our transit less baggy, and more people-y. The bag on the seat really isn’t a solution, either. I don’t see a transfer in that thing’s hand and it’s bigger than the fourteen-year-old sitting behind it. And don’t look me in the eyes and then go right back down to the book like you didn’t see me! God!

I’m sure there are much more creative solutions out there; I’m merely one punctured guy. The important thing is to exact generous retribution for insolence suffered. And also to laugh.

Filed under: B Sides

I am Tamil, hear me roar!

Posted on April 27th, 2009 2 Comments

The minority Tamil population of Sri Lanka is arguably the oldest of the island’s groups and, therefore, probably has the best claim to independence in the country these days. Unfortunately, they are also the minority in a land that was quickly populated by immigrants from the Indian mainland. Tamil leaders signed away some of the rights of their people back when talks between them and the Sinhalese (Sri Lanka’s current majority) leadership were still peaceful, but it’s hard to justify the treatment they’ve received in what is essentially their own country. The word “racism” is used quite often, if you need an idea of what I’m talking about.

Given these things and the clear danger to Sri Lanka’s civilian  Tamil population in the last remaining stronghold of the rebel Tigers army, I sincerely hope that the situation is resolved immediately, that media is allowed into the region, and help reaches the people in the path of the Sinhalese war machine right away. So far, the Tamil people have nothing but my sympathy and support.

Alas, the vast majority of the people who were demonstrating this morning  in front of the US embassy not only do not get my support, they get the thumb-behind-the-upper-teeth gesture. If there was a counter-demonstration, I’d wave a placard.

Here’s why:

Tiger flag

Those flags that they’re flying are Tamil Tiger flags. The chants that they’re chanting are in support of the Tigers. This is not a pro-Tamil/pro-peace rally, this is a gathering of  people supporting a terrorist group. And it’s not just the Canadian government’s bumbling bureaucracy that thinks so; numerous other governments, human rights groups, and NGOs don’t think too highly of the Tigers either. I’m talking things like murder, abduction, extortion, and use of child soldiers. They’re even widely renowned for coming up with the idea for modern suicide bombings.

Still, it’s not a far leap to see why the Tamil people feel that the Tigers are their liberators. Who else stood up for them in their time of need? The situation isn’t too dissimilar to that between Israel and Palestine with the Tigers playing the role of Hamas. Most Tamil civilians are stuck between them and the Sinhalese army in pretty much the same way.

The recent large exodus of civilians (about 150,000), from the region when the Sri Lankan army moved in suggests, quite heavily, that the population was being used as human shields. They weren’t sticking around to support the Tigers, they were being forced to stay where they were. Looking at the Tigers’ track record, this is not a surprise. We even felt their tender caress here in Toronto in their donation campaign.

So why are we being asked to support them? Why are their flags flying all throughout the demonstration?

The Tamils gathered on University Avenue this morning (and in greater numbers in the afternoon) were, literally, marching under a banner that directly espouses and supports violence, even down to the imagery used on the flag — two rifles with bayonets crossed in battle behind a charging tiger. Heavens!

The Tigers still have their claws in but there’s not much left to grip onto. At this time, there are still about 50,000 people inside the little north-eastern bit of Sri Lanka; I recall reading stories about tent cities. It can’t last much longer, and it shouldn’t have lasted this long.

I’m sure the Sri Lankan community here at home wants this thing to end as swiftly and sanely as possible. The Tigers aren’t the route to that solution. Dropping these military goons would make the cause a lot easier to get behind.

And maybe get a nicer flag too; one that doesn’t want to kill everyone in the crowd.

Filed under: Pictures, Why I'm Right