We now return you to the world of investor panic and the New American Socialism, already in progress...
... from what little evidence we have on early humans,
it seems graffiti has been a civic issue
since just about forever.
long before there were enough Greeks
with enough time on their hands
to talk about things like civics with each other,
humans were leaving hand prints,
making their mark, saying "i'm here".
when i look at images of the paintings
that have been found on walls,
the petroglyphs carved into huge stone.
the shapes and lines don't seem all that remote...
it's like they are "humanly familiar",
even if it is impossible for me
to decode the stories in them...
although sometimes i think i get it.
i mean hey... maybe these are interstellar tags.
you never know...
i've lived in a city for much of my life,
and i don't drive a car....
between walking the dogs three times a day,
going to the store,
and sometimes even going for a walk
just me, for the pleasure of a walk,
because the sky is so blue,
or the air's that special fresh kind
of clean and sweet
after a couple of days of rain
it adds up to a lot of looking around the neighbourhood
in a week
or a month
-- a particularly useful thing to do
when you live in here, as it's very likely
there's been changes even on the streets
you think you know,
if you haven't been back to a street for 6months,
things will be gone, and something new in their place.
probably a coffee bar
or one of those places that does nails.
so i see a lot of tags and graff,
and i really like it.
these are every bit as humanly familiar
as their predecessors in the caves,
and some of these i actually can decode
so they're talking to me.
sometimes witty, sometimes not,
sometimes pictures, sometimes words,
sometimes just shapes and colours
i love the zooming in the lines of a good tag.
and i always have to read the whole story
if it's there...
and the fact that it's been something humans do
for so long, and that it's such an individualized expression
of a person, makes it seem to me
that this urge to make one's mark is very primal,
part of the essence of being human.
i get the same feeling planting herbs and flowers
in the garden... this sense of connection to
the people back through the years who have
planted these same seeds on another spring day.
with the same hopes...
stay tuned for more on this....
There's a lot of nasty ways to shuffle off this mortal coil.
There's also some that are just kind of ridiculous. If nothing else, perhaps these brief tales can be a good reminder not to take oneself too seriously, and make it clearer that it's how we live that counts...
because you never know...when the Grim Reaper turns up beside you, he just might look a lot like Bozo.
Chrysippus, a Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunken donkey attempt to eat figs.
The Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on him, mistaking his bald head for a stone.
The Greek mathematician and philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered by a mob by having her skin ripped off with sharp sea-shells and what remained of her was burned.
Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace was stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse. He was hanged, drawn and quartered—strangled by hanging but released while still alive, emasculated, eviscerated and his bowels burnt before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts.
William Henry Harrison the 9th President of the United States, died of pneumonia one month after delivering his two-hour inauguration speech in cold weather without an overcoat.
French president Felix Faure died of a stroke while receiving oral sex in his office.
Jack Daniel, founder of the Tennessee bourbon distillery, died of blood poisoning six years after receiving a toe injury when he kicked his safe in anger at being unable to remember its combination code.
Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of accidental strangulation and a broken neck when her scarf caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.
In March 1981, Carl McCunn, a nature photographer, paid a bush pilot to drop him at a remote lake near the Coleen River in Alaska to photograph wildlife, but had not arranged for the pilot to pick him up again in August. Rather than starve, McCunn shot himself in the head. His body was found in February 1982.
Garry Hoy, a Toronto lawyer, fell to his death after he threw himself through the glass wall on the 24th floor of the Toronto Dominion Centre in order to prove the glass was "unbreakable."
2005: 28-year-old South Korean Lee Seung Seop, collapsed of fatigue and died after playing Starcraft for almost 50 consecutive hours in an Internet cafe.
Living away from the big city inevitably brings one closer to nature. Now, when I'm up at night writing, or walking around with the camera, I can hear the sound of coyotes and owls.
It's a welcome change from sirens, construction machines, traffic and police helicopters at low altitudes.
I think this new sonic nightscape is also related to the abundance of bunnies in this area. Seems people have set many pet ones free, and in the early evenings one can see them everywhere... which if I was a Mama coyote or an owl would suit me tickety-boo too.
`Who are you?' said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
as the days get incredibly short and nights get very long, long, long on the days before the winter solstice, one thing i'm always thankful for is the coloured lights that people put up... sometimes i do straight documentary photographs of what i think is one of the more beautiful folk arts of our era, some mights take an altogether different flight...
… if you admit you know nothing, you have a blueprint for a breakthrough.
Just because the cat had kittens in the oven,
that don’t make’em biscuits.
Nova Scotia folk wisdom
I just think you Westerners should take over this country if you are so smart.
Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister
There are few, if any, Canadian men
that have never spelled their name
in a snow bank.
Douglas Coupland, writer
Canada was built on dead beavers.
Margaret Atwood, writer
Man can now fly in the air like a bird,
swim under the ocean like a fish,
he can burrow into the ground like a mole.
Now if only he could walk the earth like a man,
this would be paradise.
Tommy Douglas, United Church minister and Member of Parliament
"If some countries have too much history,
we have too much geography".
W.L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister
Canada is the only country in the world
that knows how to live without an identity.
Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
Jim Carey, actor
There's something romantic about being Canadian. We're a relatively unpopulated, somewhat civilized and clean and resourceful country.
I always push the fact that I'm Canadian.
k.d. Lang, singer
Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.
Sir John A. MacDonald, Ist Prime minister
Canadians can be radical, but they must be radical in their own peculiar way, and that way must be in harmony with our national traditions and ideals.
Agnes MacPhail, (1890-1954) First woman elected to the Canadian Parliament
If you’re not annoying somebody,
you’re not really alive.
Margaret Atwood, writer
Never retract, never explain, never apologize –
get the thing done and let them howl!
Nellie McClung Canadian feminist, Member of parliament
Freedom includes the right to say
what others may object to and resent…
The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant
of strong and provocative words.
John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister
Violence is the quest for identity.
When identity disappears with technological innovation,
violence is the natural recourse.
Marshall McLuhan, 1970.
I never have gone to the James Bay;
I never go to it; I never shall.
But somehow I'd feel lonely without it."
World War III is a guerrilla information war
with no division between military and civilian participation."
All things conspire to make us one.
Gwendolyn MacEwen, poet
Politics is the science which teaches people
to care for each other.
William Lyon MacKenzie, printer, publisher, revolutionary 1837
Animation is not the art of drawings that move,
but the art of movements that are drawn.
What happens between each frame is more important
than what happens on each frame.
Animation, therefore, is that art
of manipulating the invisible.
Norman McLaren, National Film Board of Canada animator
For the first time in human history
we have enough power, energy, and ability
to program the entire human environment
as a work of art.
Marshall McLuhan 1966
Our conventional response to all media,
namely that it is how they are used that counts,
is the numb stance of the technological idiot.
Marshall McLuhan 1964
The new electronic interdependence recreates
the world in the image
of a global village.
Marshall McLuhan 1967
The dinosaur didn't know it was extinct either.
Marshall McLuhan 1967
Canada appears content to become a second-tier
socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly
about its economy and social services
to mask its second-rate status.
Stephen Harper, Politician, Conservative Party leader
The climate of Manitoba consists of seven months
of Arctic weather and five months of cold weather.
Settler's Guide to the North-West (1882)
How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake,
a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?
Jacques Plante, goalie
"I skate to where the puck is going to be,
Is it comforting or disturbing
to learn how consistently humans
run to the same pattern
He who steals a belt buckle pays with his life. He who steals a state gets to be a feudal lord.
Chuang-Tzu 300 BCE est
What is the crime of robbing a bank
next to the crime of owning one?
Bertolt Brecht circa 1930
Some will rob you with a six gun
And some with a fountain pen...
Woody Guthrie circa 1930
The worst crime is faking it.
Kurt Cobain 1990s
And who are the greater criminals--
those who sell the instruments of death,
or those who buy them and use them?
Robert Emmet Sherwood
Successful crime is dignified
with the name of virtue;
the good become the slaves
of the impious;
might makes right;
fear silences the power
of the law.
Behind every great fortune,
there is a crime.
Honore de Balzac