Political Junk

Poupoune just received and forwarded to me this rather “aMMusing” image (click to enlarge).

The image is funny, but I happen to be among those who doesn’t think that securing access to oil reserves is the ONLY motive behind the Bushites’ fixation on Saddam Hussein and Iraq. In fact, this CBC backgrounder does a good job at outlining how the whole Middle East question, including Iraq and the American policy towards it, predates by far the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the 1979 American hostage crisis in Iran, or Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait (a state Iraq has been eyeing for decades).

Interesting to note, don’t you think, how even Tony Blair’s enthusiasm towards a war has waned recently. Then again, is this really surprising considering that only one quarter or so of Britons favour an attack on Iraq, which suggests the citizens of that country have quite a bit in common with the people of France and Germany on this matter? Ordinary people all around the world are still waiting for concrete evidence instead of the propaganda which, by definition, is devoid of such evidence.

Yet British “intelligence” agencies are sticking to their guns. They’re still convinced there’s a problem. And Blix’s report to the UN today may be giving reinforcement for this position. In my view, a key bit of evidence that’s lacking is long-sighted historical context. A medical doctor can examine a patient and determine that he or she has cancer, but shouldn’t that doctor try to identify what caused the cancer so that it can be avoided in another person later?

Problematic in itself is the wording of the UN resolution that gave the green light to the latest round of weapons inspections. While I agree that it’s a bad idea to let Saddam Hussein have access to any weapon more sophisticated that sticks and rocks, the resolution reinforces a double standard whereby only nations on the same side as the current U.S. administration can be militarized. “Do as I say, not as I do” is the saying that comes immediately to mind, a position which, alas, is common to bullies who obtain compliance through fear rather than respect by good example.

Ah, Lacrimosa!

Melancholy: August in Victoria, PEI

Oh, my Poupoune! Oh, anyone who reads this! 🙂

Listen to Xiame’s “Stenia” as you read this. (mp3, 3.6 MB, 3:18)

August 18, 2001, 11 p.m. We just left The Glass House where I felt as if stones had been thrown, although this sentiment stemmed merely from the way in which our host is and lives. We’re now parked on the wharf at Victoria, Prince Edward Island. Both the wind and tide are high. Waves are lapping against the wharf and the beach in front of us. We’re alone on this wharf and we listen over and over to Xiame’s Stenia. I would cry if I could cry. Instead, no word is spoken; Xiame plays; the waves and wind are: a soft but almost tangible melancholy reigns. Summer is ending, and I am traversing to the other side of my 30s.

Then, of course, an uncouth Poupoune makes a spectacle of herself: She couldn’t wait to find a bush so, as we’re walking down a street called Water, she exclaims, “Oh my gawd I’ve got to pee!” And the next thing I know, I see a poupoune’s shorts getting wrapped around her knees as she crouches down on said Water Street, and soon I hear the waterworks. I damned near piss myself …but at least I manage to get to a bush before it’s too late.

By the way, a few days before, Poupoune had found this record in a remainders bin in Nowhere, New Brunswick for 99 cents. If you Google Xiame Canto d’Alma, you won’t find much about this group…

Des Tounes par Poupoune

As you know from the description on the right-hand margin, Poupoune not only holds an LL.B. but also a B.Mus. In 1998, she was commissioned by the Moncton-based dance troupe DansEncorps to compose music for a choreography which the troupe took as far as Europe.

Johanne Landry: OdaExcerpts from Poupoune’s Oda
(5.8 MB, mp3, 6:04)
© 1998, 2003 Johanne M. Landry

My Poupoune is very modest.

To appreciate, you have to understand the harsh conditions under which she recorded this album. When I first heard it, I thought there were a few acoustic instruments blended into the mix. There are none.

The Seductive Sound of Silence

I think I’ve prematurely turned into a cranky old bachelor. Even my sister thinks so. But the thing is, I love quiet. My next-door neighbour even asked me once if I’m ever home, because she never hears me. She was shocked to learn that I’m home a lot because I work here.

About 10 years ago when I would work at home, I would always have the radio on CBC. It was never too loud, but it was always on nonetheless. Now I can’t even stand having that. And if there’s one thing that drives me to distraction and makes me fume, it’s hearing my neighbours.

For instance, there’s the single mom and her three kids down the hall. She lets them use the hallway as some kind of playground, and that bugs me to no end. But that’s not all. They have a pet bird of some kind. I never hear that damned featured creature when they’re home, but when they’re out, it never shuts up. You can even hear it in the hallway one storey down. You can have a cat in this building but not a dog; I assume that’s because a dog tends to be noisier than a cat. However, chirpy birds shouldn’t be allowed either, in my not so humble opinion.

And then there’s the guy who lives in the apartment directly below me. Fortunately, he works in Europe and lives downstairs a total of maybe three months a year. But he’s one of the loudest men I’ve ever met. He just happens to be the kind of guy who has a booming voice and the most irritating dumb-ass laughter. Furthermore, he has a knack for surrounding himself with loud things: a cuckoo clock; a VW van which I’ve come to call the Mobile Blender; a pitoune (a different one each time he’s in town but one that invariably has a shrill voice since that’s obviously how he likes them), and so on. He’s also a musician and, when he’s living downstairs, he uses his apartment as a rehearsing studio. But probably what gets to me the most is that I can set my watch based on his habits. I have no problem with someone having a ritual of jerking off every afternoon between 3:00 and 5:00. I just don’t want to hear the slapping and moaning.

For me, not making too much noise is not only a case of liking silence; I also see it as a courtesy towards the other people who live in this building. So I think that’s why I get so shirty when other people don’t extend the same courtesy to me.