Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too much charity begins at home

B.C. Poet Tim Lander has had his home declared an official 'nuisance' by the city of Nanaimo. Lander's been allowing the homeless to sleep on the floor of his house.

Obviously, there's more to the story than this. Still, this sounds like yet another case where our society's sense of values seem seriously out of whack. I guess this is what happens when one man tries to help address an impossibly huge problem.

And maybe I'm just feeling sensitive to this, as I still can't erase what I saw in my own driveway just the other morning: footprints in the snow around both of our cars, left by someone who appeared to have been looking for a place to sleep.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Power of Language

The people behind Oback Barama have hired themselves some darn smart writers. The slogan they've created for their candidate is one heckuva powerful mantra. Talk about three loaded words.

YES -- Now there's a positive message if ever there was one. No more 'no' to anything as a rallying cry. He's giving the people the opportunity to say 'yes.'

WE -- What word better unifies the people? There's no second-person 'you' in his slogan; this is all about working together.

CAN -- The choice of verb is the simplest of the many words that mean enablement, that signify potential.

Three little words, eight little letters... I expect we're going to be hearing this slogan a lot: Yes, we can.

If you close your eyes and listen to him saying it, you might even think for a minute that you're hearing Martin Luther King. Do you suppose that could be something the handlers have been working on too?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Josh Brolin as George Bush?

And Dubya at that? He'll have to do it with gesture and word. The actor who was a ringer, right down to the pointy chin, went and died way too soon. Yep, Heath Ledger.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Four Horsemen Project

As part of this year's PuSH Festival, Toronto's independent theatre company, Volcano, performed its tribute to the poets who in 1970 formed the sound poetry group, the Four Horsemen. The ensemble consisted of Paul Dutton, Steve McCaffery, Rafael Barreto-Rivera and bp nichol.

The festival performance, a combination of dance and vocal work, complemented by media projections, is built around bp nichol's two-and-a-half-minute 'pome poem' (definitely worth clicking on and listening to).

Choreographed by Kate Alton, the cast features Jennifer Dahl, Graham McKelvie, Naoko Murakoshi and Sarah Sanford. By turns, they had the audience laughing, gasping, humming along -- and best of all, thinking -- about what poetry is, what it can or should do, and about just how delightful pure sound can be.

Besides showing in Victoria and Vancouver, The Four Horsemen Project has been invited to Fringe Festivals in both Dublin and Edinburgh. Worth buying a ticket for when it comes around again, which it's bound to.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What is wrong with people?

And by people, I can only mean all of us.

There's the story of a woman on the freeway who stoppped, undressed herself and her niece and nephew, then picked up the kids and walked into traffic -- where all of them were killed.

When a woman, along with a four- and a five-year old stand beside the freeway in states of undress, why doesn't anyone stop and ask 'How can I help?'

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wintry supper

Potatoes and parsnips cooked slowly with sauerkraut. A batch of fresh chicken livers and tiny chicken hearts. Baked in the oven with onions and garlic, then broiled for a bit of brown.

Served with freshly made homous on the side. A salad of spinach and tomatoes, chunks of feta.

Comfort on a bitterly cold January night. Yes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The art of collage

The newest show at the local Arts Council Gallery is a series of collage works by Karen Kroeker. Here she is, offering an explanation of the origins and history of collage.

Many of Kroeker's works include an image of a woman who I thought might be Virginia Woolf. It turns out the figure is a depiction of herself which Kroeker keeps going back to. Karen offered some explanatory notes on the changing orientation of this figure in an article published in the Peace Arch News.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Poetry Boot Camp

I attended. I wrote. I survived.

Along with Liz Bachinsky, Clint Burnham, Jenn Farrell and Rob Hughes, I sat around a table covered in books and papers -- in the company of Toronto poet Stuart Ross. He led, cajoled, coerced and teased -- in other words, got us all looking at the page in fresh ways.

The only thing missing was an 'I survived PBC' T-shirt. Maybe next time, Stuart?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Winter golf, supremo!

Today was the day the PGA kicked off its season for 2008. Or, should that be 'teed off' its season? And last time I checked, both Weir and Ames were still holding places on the leader board.

Whichever, it was a day for golf at the loveliest of the local courses, Peace Portal.

A couple of birdies, a few bogeys, not quite enough pars. The only eagle was the one that flapped past from the trees on the 14th hole, though he was most impressive.

One of life's mysteries was also solved today: how do George's pants get so muddy when he plays? Besides using a towel to wipe off his clubs, it seems he's developed the habit of using his pantleg as well. Guess it's more convenient than going back to his golf bag each time...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Polar Bear Madness

When it comes to New Year's traditions in White Rock, there are those of us who do and those of us who watch. I prefer to stay bundled up and click photos of those who choose to jump into the water.

Still, this annual event is a great excuse for a walk on the beach (as if anyone needs an excuse) and a fun way to start off the new year.

Happy 2008!