Birds, snakes and aeroplanes Monday August 11, 2008, 3 comments

At almost 4am on Sunday morning, I was woken up by what I first thought was incredibly close thunder. It startled me from a deep sleep, and I spent several minutes in a state of disorientation. Then it dawned on me that thunder doesn’t come in a series of individual bangs that sounded suspiciously like someone driving up and down the road firing a very large gun. Bang. Bang. Bang. Then the sirens from the police and fire trucks started. Terrorists? Fireworks? WTF? Turns out a Propane plant exploded about 8km (5 miles) from our house. Scary fireballs in the night sky, a sure sign the end is nigh.

We also got notice from our landlords that we’ll have to find a new place to live come the end of October. At least they gave us some notice. That plus relatively local 30-story-high conflagration straight from the pits of Hell itself equals writing on the wall, as far as I’m concerned.

Signs don’t need to be local. They don’t even need to be national. Not only are the Americans knee deep in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re apparently inches from the green light being given to invade Iran? I suspect the American people have reached some sort of saturation on war news, and it doesn’t even register with them any more.

Hell, more Americans die in traffic accidents every year than have ever been killed by terrorists, but you don’t see them rushing to sign away their civil liberties in order to insure that no bottle of Wild Turkey will be responsible for death on the highways. That’s the kind of apathy only Americans and house cats can register. The four horsemen are on their way, and nobody’s even going to put the kettle on.

Then there’s Russia and Georgia, who are still fighting over (and in) South Ossetia. Georgia has been strongly supported by the west, raising the spectre of the cold war all over again. While I think the West – and specifically the American’s – have unwisely written Russia off as a threat only in history, the whole thing smacks of the proxy battles fought in Korea and Vietnam during the Cold War. Chalk up another sign.

We wanted to go to the Taste of the Danforth on Saturday, but the weather was crap. We went anyway, and got torrentially rained on. On the upside, we had some pretty amazing Mexican food afterward (sort of ironic, given the Greek nature of the festival), and got to watch the incredibly bad(!) Starship Troopers 3. Surely that’s got to be another two signs of the Apocalypse?

Now we just need Canada to win a few Gold medals at the Olympics. Then I’d really worry.


Daniel Black Monday August 11, 2008

I seriously don’t understand the litany of Middle East incursions/conflagrations the U.S. administration is entering. Yes, it’s certainly <em>about</em> oil and other resources; but I don’t think it’s that simple. It’s certainly not politically viable, and yet….

A tangential theory is that Hollywood revenue is falling, now that we’re a generation or so away from justifiable Cold War paranoia, and so various Powers That Be need the Big Red Machine (and I’m not talking baseball) to rise and rumble. The whole Arab terrorist angle by itself doesn’t sell enough tickets, though, of course, as in the ’70s and ’80s, it’s still going to be a necessary ingredient.

However, and this isn’t rhetorical: is apathy so strongly cultural as to nearly define the American condition in exclusivity of the Canadian, British, French, or South African conditions? There’s no arguing that there exists apathy amid our ranks in the States; but is there a demonstrably higher proportion of such folks here as opposed to elsewhere, even so close as Canada? I’m curious to hear a bit more on that, if you’re in the mood.

Adrian Monday August 11, 2008

I blaspheme when I say that the only difference between Canadians and Americans are the colo(u)r of our money and the price of our healthcare.

Me Saturday August 16, 2008

I’ve never been a pro-USA person. I only moved here because a full-time position was not available for my husband in Canada. I want to move back to Canada and I have never felt more Canadian in my life prior to moving here. When we moved here I realized that our view of the United States as a whole country was very correct but have been relieved to learn that with the individual people I have met it is not the case. There are many people I know here who hate the war that Bush has gotten them into and who are deeply saddened and troubled with each development that is not leading to withdrawal and an end. There are also people demonstrating that “surrender is not an option” …. but hopefully the former’s voice will one day be heard.

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When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld


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