Saturday, April 30, 2011


From a Star article:

“Those here who remember the Liberal-NDP arrangement in the 1970s, remember how it took a generation to dig ourselves back out,” Harper said, referring to the minority government from 1972-74 led by then Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau with the support of David Lewis's New Democrats."

This is amazing to me. Here's a guy who was found in contempt of Parliament, and who has plunged Canada into 1970's-style defecits for uh, similar reasons, and he's asking people to remember 40 years ago how bad things were.

Except they weren't.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I said to someone a few days ago that what was happening in this federal election was starting to look a lot like Bob Rae's election in 1990.

It seems that this might actually be the case. I don't really know what to say except that nothing makes any sense! But maybe I should also say sorry for accusing Canadians of hating democracy, because their annoyance with politics seems to be turning into a desire to elect the one person who has been fairly positive during the campaign.

The question is whether or not Canadians actually know what the NDP stand for beyond "positivity". My guess is that, like Bob Rae in 1990, things could get very negative very quickly. But there's still a week left!

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Easter Tradition

For 10 years now...really wonderful stuff.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Canadians hate Democracy

At least that's how this reads to me. I mean, we have here a populace deeply frustrated and annoyed by elections. The fact that people have to go and spend 15 minutes voting seems to be such a terrible, difficult act, that they are prepared to reward the Conservatives for being in contempt of Parliament.

Ironically, it seems that their contempt reflects the contempt of enough Canadians to justify their re-election.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ich bin nur durch die Welt gerannt

I was reading the last act of Faust II today (again), and I think I finally get it. I mean, kind of. There is so much here that really got to me this time, maybe because I'm a year older today. And I feel little need to editorialize here, I will let Goethe again speak for himself.

After so many lines where it seems that Faust is this remote figure, whose motivations often seem strange, he says the following near the end, before he dies:

I have run through the world, grabbed at
My lusts and dragged them by the hair
And left them lying when I wanted more,
And what I escaped I let them go.
All I have done is lust and do
And want again and so stormed through
My life with power; at first mightily great
But wisely now, now I deliberate.
I know the round earth well enough
And what's beyond, the view of it's blocked off.
The man's a fool who ogles over there
And dreams his kind inhabit the upper air.
Let him stand still and look around him here,
This world speaks to the man who stands four-square.
Why wander off into eternity?
He makes the things he knows his property.
So let him journey through his earthly day;
However haunted, still go on his way,
Onwards, to happiness and torment,
And never satisfied by any moment.

(From the 2009 Penguin translation of Faust II by David Constantine)