the greatest american...
if you remember, awhile back there was a show on the cbc where canadians choose "the greatest canadian".
well, the americans bought the franchise and choose the "greatest american" on the discovery channel. interesting results...
the greatest american? in order, from greatest to least great,
Martin Luther King
George W. Bush
Franklin D. Roosevelt
the greatest canadian? to refresh your memories,
pierre eliott trudeau
sir frederick banting
lester b. pearson
sir john a. macdonald
alexander graham bell
first, the americans.
ronald reagan. you either love or hate the guy. to me he's just another run of the mill war mongering american president. ok, the berlin wall came down and the soviet empire cease to exist during his tenure. i argue that the reasoning behind these events were serendipitous. he spent the soviet into oblivion with massive unprecedented military spending. besides, the empire was already on the bubble as it was.
reaganomics never really worked. huge tax cuts for the rich and famous. however, there was no trickle down to da po' proletariats. his lasting legacy? an astronomical debt. funny a republican would preside over such a debt. history would repeat itself. someone named dubya reading at the moment?
oh, i forgot a lil' thing called the iran-contra affair. you remember the gipper's scheme of the illegally selling arms to iran (during their war with iraq) in order to fund a counter-revolutionary war in nicaragua. sort of what robin hood use to do with picnic baskets. now that was nasty.
i sneaked a peek at his biographical summary. the top item? he was the "great communicator". whoop-dee-ding. i'm good with pie charts, as well. some kind of personality cult goin' on here.
so he's the greatest american? c'mon... really.
ok, the rest. oprah winfrey? gimme a break. this one's a joke, right...? i rank her up with don cherry. elvis presley? this one's kind of a head scratcher. what he did as an entertainer has had much greater staying power than oprah...but still, does he belong in the top ten? another don cherry-type candidate.
george dubya? pffft... i think the saudi royal family had something to do with his inclusion... history will have fun with this dude.
bill clinton? he almost got a peace deal between the palestinians and israelis until the principals started getting wacked one by one. good try... otherwise, extreme partisanship in washington during his time essentially rendered his presidency impotent (ha!). nothing special...
george washington? that was so long ago... what did he do? anyone remember? oh, he was the first president? yah, ok... oh, i forgot he fought the british in the revolutionary war... definitely deserved higher ranking than the 2 previous characters. by the way, didn't he own slaves? doh...
benjamin franklin? he was the guy who nearly electrocuted himself flying a key attached a kite... personally, i'd rank all of the canadian scientists ahead of this guy. yes, he invented bifocals. lenscrafters probably sponsored his spot on the top 10.
martin luther king, jr.? the civil rights leader certainly done good for the bruthas. preached non-violence as a way to the promised land. i quiz my bro about the South. he's been to alabam many times. segregation is no more, at least officially (like i've said before, you just can't legislate away things like racism). be interesting if he was still alive.
abraham lincoln? freed the slaves. preserved the union (too bad it took a civil war to do it). gave a few nifty speeches. how cool was that? enuff said.
my choice for greatest american? it's a toss up between martin luther king and abraham lincoln. both were inspirational and visionaries, characteristics that are sorely lacking in the rest of the bunch. i'll lean a little towards lincoln... ronald reagan...pffft. too much crack down there.
even more eyeopening is the comparison between the canadian and american winners. tommy douglas (my choice) vs. ronald reagan? we're communists! ha! in that case, i'm proud to be a communist. there is no comparison between douglas and reagan...
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
well, i woke up this morning. the morning after the same sex marriage was made into law...
the sun was shining. the birds were chirping away. the neighborhood kids were out playing (and screaming at the top of their lungs as usual). their parents, i suspect were still obliviously happily or miserably married or maybe single. nothing out of the ordinary.
me? i felt ok. not anymore morally decayed than usual. i wasn't fearful of anything.
but i did feel happy that this debate was over. i was puzzled that it took so long to confirm a human right...
but was this debacle really over...?
i got dressed and jogged over to the library to return some cd's. through the neighbourhood, over macleod trail, and by the wal-mart. the canadian flags over the wal-mart were at half mast. interesting...did someone important die i thought? i should of dropped in to ask the MOD why the flags were down.
let's see wal-mart is american and owned by a pretty conservative family... it can't be about same sex marriage, eh? naw... i'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
this same sex marriage debate is not over...
legislation is good in principle, but it can't change people's biases, at least not overnight. it has nothing to do with gay people getting married. it has to do with hate of the gay people getting married.
canada prides itself with being a tolerant society, but there's a strong undercurrent of mistrust, ignorance, hate. i know it's there. every once in awhile it rears it's ugly head like this last little while with the same sex marriage "debate".
for all people who have felt it's wrath, today is a celebration. it's a small step towards equality for all and that's good...
Friday, June 24, 2005
i know many of my avid readers love oprah. in fact, i love oprah...
if you remember, about a week ago, a favourite guest of hers, tom cruise, was jumping around, like a monkey, on her set professing his love for some actress he had just met hours before.
well, little did i know, the show was really a battle between good and evil...
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
another sign of the times...
i took a brief gander at the west side today. i stood on the concrete bridge spanning (just barely) fish creek just west of the lrt bridge. i looked upstream and spotted the hulking steel skeleton of a bridge listing, like the titanic, in the latte coloured water. normally i can't see this bridge from my vantage point...
i heard the park manager say on the radio that users will not recognise the park once it's repaired. as a biology type, i find castastrophic natural events, like this flood, to be fascinating and not to be feared. nature will repair itself... however, saying that, i am still amazed by the extent of the damage.
the yappy dog...
i don't know how many of my avid readers are watchers of "the hour" with george stroumboulopoulos or "politics" on cbc newsworld. not many, i guess, but there's been controversy over "cybersquatters" taking over liberal mp don boudria's namesake web address (i think he was tardy in paying his annual fee to reserve the address). not so usual i guess; however, when you consider the "squatters" are a group who call themselves the "defend marriage coalition" it's funny (considering the originally didn't mention that it was the unofficial don boudria website). apparently, mr. boudria is pro-gay marriage.
confused already? check out www.donboudria.ca.
well, mr. boudria busted a gasket when he saw his new website.
jason kenney, my esteemed member of parliament, whom i have aptly nicknamed "the yappy dog" in previous posts, caught wind of mr. boudria's anger. he told don to chill out. no big deal, eh... liberals have done the same to conservatives previously...blah, blah, blah...
rick mercer, in turn, caught wind of mr. kenney's verbal diarrhea and promptly purchased the honourable member's namesake domain name and re-designed his website.
check out www.jasonkenny.org. it's hilarious...
bookmark www.rickmercer.blogspot.com if you haven't already. it's a keeper...
Monday, June 20, 2005
i gathered the strength to checkout the flood damage down in fish creek park. suffice to say, we, sub-fish creek bikers will be cut off from our northern neighbours for a long long long time...
shortcut to china...
what's happened to the beavers...?
no beavers here...
caution: logs crossing
caution: slow down for waves or bumps on the path?
reminds me of the slow boat i took on the mekong river...
that bikepath's like a rollie coaster ride, eh...
how romantic... pools of water, bubbling stream, lil' waterfalls, chunks of displaced bikepath asphalt, that guy fording the stream on his bike, the roar of fish creek nearby. man, this really is god's country...
this one's (Rosa woodsii) for mike (Homo sapiens). time to play a bit of "4 strong winds", "alberta bound", and "sweet city woman"...
Monday, June 13, 2005
3 girls abreast...
over the weekend i managed to pick up a couple of starbucks cups (regular price 15 dullah a piece) for a song of a deal at the "breast" yard sale ever. mmmm...sipping a coffee will never be the same again... (i also managed to snag a pristine dvd ("platoon"), and some cd's ("no doubt" and "tragically hip") for close to nothing!
if you've got some spare change or need a tax deduction for 2005 consider giving to the "walk for breasts"... see the sidebar for details.
onto other news...
looks like michael jackson's in the news again...
first the good news (for michael jackson), he was found not guilty on all charges. now the bad news, he's still michael jackson. ha!
the king of pop is at the very edge of a precipice, the proverbial abyss. best he get some real good advice and i don't mean from any of his present family members, or his extended entourage. he needs tough love from a someone like dr. phil.
i have alot of tolerance for eccentricity, but i offer him my advice: STOP BEING SO WEIRD. YOU'VE CREEPED US OUT FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS... but then, who am i to say?
the "fans" stationed outside the courthouse ought to get lives. it's surprising in an "advanced" society like america that first reflex is to get on tv by making a flimsy sign and standing "vigil". they celebrated like they won the 6/49. m'babies, let me tell you that mj is not the 6/49 jackpot. not even close...
by the way, i liked the idea of releasing a dove after each not guilty verdict. nice touch.
hell would have froze over, thawed, and froze over again before that jury or any jury would of found him guilty.
only in america does the jury gives a press conference after the verdict.
michael jackson will be back. better than ever... maybe in kazakhstan or afghanistan first.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
i was doing stuff today.
first, i found myself at the fish creek depot. the cue of recyclers went out the door. i hate going there. people usually snicker at me for some reason when i'm there. you see, i carry the empties in a large box. the box originally contained ultra attends. i wondering if them trailer park people are laughing at that.
second, i needed to buy dirt. so, i hoofed it over to golden acres garden centre by fish creek. the creek didn't swamp it with monsoon water. so, i was able to shop. did you know that they played canned bird chirping sounds there? how bizarre... i went up and down the aisles of tiny pots of plants. they had all kinds of plants from the 4 corners of the globe. i felt like i was at the zoo or in a giant terrarium.
third, i went over to the stupid store. i love the superstore. i love the self checkout. scanning the barcodes. hearing the beep of the scanner as i passed a 2 litre tub of nacho cheese over it reminded me of better times long ago. i chose to pay by credit card. one smooth stroke of the mastercard through the swiping machine... a flick of the wrist. ahhhh...i still got the rhythm...
fourth, i went to the cibc to buy a money order. my mum wants to remove a tree growing on top of "woo family" house in china (click here and look at photo #2). she's afraid that one it might fall and kill someone someday... she wrote the mayor of the village. it took 3 months for the guy to respond. 500 quay (chinese money) it's going to cost!!! that's 75.89 canadian dullah!!! she wanted a money order made out for 150 dullah!?! that's double... mum, are you trying to put the mayor's kids though college? yep. o' ways of the o' country never die...
fifth, i went over to my bro's house. he and the fam are in disney world... i'm takin' care of business in the meantime. they have a goldfish. i must keep it alive... i'm a good uncle...
sixth, i had to go to the home despot, i mean depot. i luv the home depot. they respect my ethnicity. well, they actually ignore me. i'm not paranoid. i need garden fertilizer. i don't believe in organically grown food. all food is organic. how can we eat something that is not chemically organic? i digress. i que up to pay for it. where do all these people come from? doesn't anyone work anymore? a chinese kid was at the till. i bet he liked scanning stuff, too... blah blah blah. thanx. cya later. as i'm walking out of the giant tent, a beautiful lily plant catches my eye. i must have it. this time there wasn't a que at the till. yeah!
the chinese kid quipped, "you back again chief?".
i stood there flabbergasted. i've never been called "chief" before.
i never felt better at a home depot.
a house boat is swamped in the okie-noggin lake by kelowna. apparently some smart person/people decided to jam on 61 people for the full moon submarine races. the boat goes down. a passenger dies.
i thought i was reading the news from india/bangladesh.
the captain of the boat deserves a darwin award...
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
spoil the ending, i can't. read on, my friends.
despite the warnings of my friend mike i watched star wars E1 and E2. it took a week to do it, but i got through it...all for the purpose of preparing for E3.
pros: nice, the music was. nice, natalie portman was... ewoks, there weren't.
cons: my friend glen gave me advice about making movies. one, don't use kids. two, don't use animals. very wise man, glen was. most irritating elements of E1? one, the kid playing darth vader (i'm not giving anything away am i?). two, jar jar binks (i know i'll get hate comments about his classification as an animal).
mmmm...that chancellor guy looked kind of familiar and i don't mean mr. burns, he looked...
poor, poor, poor, the dialogue was.
pros: rocked, yoda did. no ewoks, there were.
cons: that "ani" guy was really getting on my nerves. i hope he dies... what the hell does natalie portman see in that guy? there's hope for all of us...
poor, poor, poor, the dialogue continued.
waste 2 hours of my life, did i?
pros: ewoks there weren't. 5 seconds of jar jar binks. best of the "prequels", clearly it was. rocked again, did yoda. should of built the whole movie around him.
enjoyed the fighting scenes, i did. f.u.n., it was. graphics too busy, some say. not bad.
cons: anti-climatic. fighting scenes were excellent but the fact that E's 1,2, and 3 were prequels precludes any suspense intended. i sat there thinking yoda can't die. good fight darth and obi but you guys ain't gonna bite it. at least not yet... resist the evil sith lord, anakin must. weak man, he was...doh.
anakin skywalker was annoying again, did i mention?
dialogue problems continued. distracting, it was. good actors, george lucas had. mitigated by bad dialogue, they were. case in point, the relationship between the future darth vader (i hope this wasn't a spoiler) and his mentor obi-wan kenob. master, was who? was not even funny, the quips between them. even reduced to babbling, natalie portman was.
conclusion: the history of characters and their universe, the movie did explain, but do you really need this knowledge to enjoy the original trilogy? think so, i don't. could these prequels be a money grab by george lucas and 20th century fox, i thought? cynical, i am? not i. suckah, was i? mmm...maybe.
otherwise, listened to mike, i should.
episode 4, i can't wait.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
dr. atkins' version of hell.
michael jackson's version of hell.
hell for the rest of us.
caution: because of the graphic nature of this presentation, it is advised that you vacate all minors from the premises for its duration. the following contraindications (during or after viewing) have been observed: suicide, hemorrhagic fever, manic depressive syndrome, heart palpitations, narcosis of the optic nerves, vomiting, psychotic attraction towards sharp objects, convulsions, excessive consumption of alcohol, vertigo, megalomania, hives, hallucinations of a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel, severe depression, the urge to throw your computer monitor... if you exhibit any of these symptoms, immediately consult your family physician, lawyer, or local union musicologist.
And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey
Rest im Frieden, General Burkhalter.
i'm dying on the inside...
thought i'd leave the best till last. ok, here it goes:
enough already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! stop the rain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
what did i do, dear god, to deserve this???????? there hasn't been sunshine in a week!!!! i've become an albino.
stop the rain!!!!!!!!!!!!
i found myself staring out the window with a blank face for an hour this afternoon. damn the rain!!!!!!!!
how can people live in places like vancouver?
i'm not going to post a pic of the damn rain!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i don't feel better...
Saturday, June 04, 2005
"only a country that respects history, takes responsibility for history and wins over the trust of peoples in Asia and the world at large can take greater responsibilities in the international community." - chinese premier wen jiabao in new delhi, 12 April 2005.
fight da powah bruthas and sistas!