For you, the dress code is casual.

Friday, November 26, 2004

The culprits.

The people who watch West Wing, apparently, and ironically, are the people who re-elected Bush. I think.

Consider this one commercial during a recent broadcast of the continually underwhelming and aging series: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by the National Dog Show, and a plug for the upcoming "A Christmas Carol: The MUSICAL."

I mean, what the hell is this? Isn't this your worst nightmare of the cliched way-too-domesticated and overly conservative mid-western American?

Or maybe I'm just a cynic. Either way, God help us.

self-imposed isolation

it's a very winter night in as much as a cool draft wafts in from the nearby window. i could close it, i suppose, but i like the mingled scents that trail the draft. leaves decomposing, rain evaporating as the night clears, that all-too-fresh smell that indicates the absolute onset of winter.

it's reassuring somehow, and seems to indicate to me precisely why i'm home on a friday evening. i have the advantage of knowing the week that's before me: a hockey game, a drunken binge of a staff party, a much-anticipated concert, a long week of work, with many things to do besides.

i'm looking forwards to it, though. i've had literally six weeks of isolation this autumn: a couple weeks spent recuperating from a motor crash, and another four (thus far) stuck on a malfunctioning knee. i don't really begrudge time spent alone, though, because i find myself entertaining.

when going through adversity of any kind, it sometimes means weaning off of your friends or family for a bit. people offer consolation and sympathy a little too readily, and encouragement too seldom. i find that their concern very easily becomes worry, and worry is often only the anticipation of the worst-case scenario. i believe in concern, but worry has only ever gotten me into trouble.

if i can't control their reactions to my challenges, i can at least control my exposure to those reactions, right? and i've made a few of those difficult choices this month. it's easier sometimes for me to get by on my margin of positivity than to draw on the mixed emotions of others.

so that leaves me at home tonight. i'm also at home just out of a desire to listen to the rain falling and because i have invested in an exceptional bottle of Shiraz. (you will, of course, note the first use of capitalization to this point.) a 2001 bottle cost all of an undervalued dollar more than the 2002. naturally, i splurged.

i don't think there's anything wrong with being alone and drinking a little too much wine now and again. this isn't some "let's get waxed!" sophomoric endeavour. it takes a long time to go down, but it's a worthy enough pursuit that i feel willing to commit the time it takes.

these rare nights of drinking a bottle of vino solo are very restorative for me. a conscious re-indication of my living my life on my terms, it rekindles my sense of manifest destiny. i usually spend these evenings writing, too, as i enjoy the pause and reflection it brings me.

the wine needs to be good, though. i don't try new wines on these nights unless i'm spending more than $20. usually, though, the familiar is more attractive. this line from an old matt broderick indie flick sums my thoughts on love & wine: "love is like politics: the incumbent usually wins."

a toast: oscar wilde said it better than anyone: "to love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance," so here's to romance.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Szechuan Scenarios

The American election still leaves a terribly sour taste in my mouth. There are a lot of folks in my age group who feel this same apprehension at the result of another Bush term and the largest Republican base of recent history, and not just because of the repercussions on this continent.

Thanks to Bush's thoughtless foreign policies and continual cries of "You're either with us or against us," American international influence is eroding at a pace faster than anyone could have imagined.

Lately, I've been hearing a lot about China and its slow creeping into the global consciousness as the world power of our immediate future. Obviously, China's already dominating the world stage, but there's so much more growth to come from them, and my generation will be dealing with the fallout.

The Yangtze River Dam project is something that will help redefine the world in terms of political power, despite only being a hydro power project. That dam will bring China into the modern age unlike any political shift we've ever seen.

I could blow smoke out of my ass and lay out some opinions about where it's all going, but I'm nervous about doing that, and not just because my pride's on the line if I'm wrong.

There are so many directions the world could go in with China at the world-power helm. Some of those directions leave me drenched in apprehension. But it's not entirely doom and gloom, since we live in our own disaffected microcosms most of the time. I still have concerns about any power taking centre stage when their human rights records are questionable at best.

As with anyone who's grown up under the spectre of the Cold War, China, the most communist power of them all, commandeering the world stage is a thought that's hard to wrap your head around..

The problem right now is that instead of China simply growing stronger and dominating, it's as though the U.S., on the flipside, is overreaching and underreading in its empirical approaches to its war on terror, resulting in that aforementioned erosion of regard. The danger this poses is that China may wind up largely unchecked as it assumes its seemingly imminent place on the podium.

Surprisingly, a lot of political commentators are saying "But they're not as bad as they used to be." What does a miniscule 10 years of softening your human rights stance really count for? After all, look at Russia. They're slowly seeming to be returning to censorship of the press, corrupt political practices, and the reknown industrial incompetence of the former Soviet Union.

Maybe I'll go throw darts at a George Bush photo and order in some Chinese food. Hmm. Honey-garlic chicken could do.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Is the blog...

...the aspiring writer's equivalent of a biological clock ticking?

[tick] [tock]

My, look at the time.

I've done this before, you know. I'm not [gasp] a virgin. My other blogs are things of the past, like any cheap sexual encounter.

Being old-fashioned, I feel I require a motivation to do this. If so, what is it? To further my plans for complete and utter world domination? To get therapy on the cheap? Because I have nothing better to do?

Who freakin' knows.

Writing is as solitary a task as they come, though, and blogs serve some pretty amazing functions for those of us on the hunt for the perfect expression, especially when it allows us to share our work with friends or field comments from the public.

Like I've said before, writing is like being a revolutionary. You can do it alone, but it sure as hell helps to have sympathisers.

This is bound to be a happy little land of both my rant and whimsy. Fuelled by my strong opinions and love for culture, this blog will be pretty varied in its scope. The only thing you can count on is my unwavering lack of subtlety.

I'm open to your (the public at large) comments, provided they're intelligent and respectful. I'm not a proponent of censorship, but I also don't believe in stupidity, so you do the math.