don’t talk to me about mondays

This week’s Monday Movie at Andrew’s will be Vanilla Sky.

For those less inclined to sit through two hours of delusion for the hot chick, but who also want to get out of the damned house, this week’s Vancouver Poetry Slam will be featuring the Mighty Mike McGee, funniest poet alive!!

Me, I’m going to the movie night, but only because I’m broke.

finally the desaturated sky has blown away

100 X 100: 100 rooms, each 100 square feet in size – photographs of residents in their flats in Hong Kong’s oldest public housing estate.

Nicole rented a documentary on human created spaces, called Manufactured Landscapes, that we watched over at Andrew’s with Brett. It opens with a long slow pan through an immense Chinese factory that never seems to end, as if it’s a trick result of careful editing instead of a simple uncut dolly shot. When seen from above, the factory floor looks like an illusion – it is impossible to see the other end. The distance closes down into a perfect figure of perspective, the rows of workers shutting down into a single horizon line, as if the curvature of the earth might be trapped inside with them. The next shot reels you on as the opening sequence, an outdoor file of all the company’s employees, each in a hot yellow shirt, lining up in boxes, twenty people square, stretches for as far as the eye can see. Again it doesn’t look real, there’s simply too many people, too much uniformity. Our first instinct was almost denial.

A Canadian film, inspired by the surreal visuals that mining inflicts into the earth, it presents a silently analytical framework for assessing the awe-threatening disparities that people are capable of spreading across countries, (or even regions), without care for the environment. It combines, without saying so, both economic and social variables, and refers in particular to the marked differences in consumption that mark developing countries. China and India especially, where the economic attributes create living standards unthinkable here, where industry is being created haphazardly, in situations almost bronze age, with computer chips being recycled by grandmothers who separate the precious flakes of metal from their plastic components by beating them with rocks or where barefoot men dismember gigantic ships using hand-woven rope and swim laughing through the raw oil sludge left in the bottom of the tanks. It was inspiring, terrifying, and close enough to touch. I have never been a “scared for our children” sort, but I felt, somehow, that a lot of the people pictured should be.

Has anyone heard of a follow-up to Robert Newman’s History of Oil? It seemed so important when it came out, but I haven’t heard anything. I would rather it weren’t swallowed by apathy.

EDIT: I’ve just created a syndication feed for his site: robnewman

“There is no such thing as innapropriate weather, just innappropriate clothing”

The Commercial Drivefest is today, a car-free festival that runs from 1st Ave to Venables, with live music, DJ’s, street vendors, and performers taking over the streets, from approx noon to 6pm.

“Due to popular demand, the peculiar and magnificent Commercial Drive Festival is now evolving into Car-Free Commercial Drive Days — TWO of them! This represents a huge shift in civic consciousness…it will not be long before the ‘hood, the City, the entire planet recognizes the massive potential for global salvation and FREE FUN that Car-Free streets represent. Hallelujah.

Please help us reclaim the street, and start creating the urban paradise we know is possible.”

schedule of events

with no life saver

A compelling alternate history of chinese science-fiction.

Writing as the domestic occult, dead by tired hands, a packet of matches at my feet acting as a story seed. Once when I was young, I took a pack and lit them one by one and dropped them off the side of a bridge into a dark creek below. Somewhere in Canada. Somewhere I can’t remember next to a trailer park. The flame from the matches was suffocating, bright stars that glittered, reflections swallowed. There was a rope under the bridge that boys in long shorts would swing off in the day, splashing and hollering. Blonde then, it must have been a very long time ago. I could only just look over the rails if I stood on the bare tips of my toes. Summer. Maybe it never happened. I can believe it never happened. A cardboard story from a cardboard muse.

Paprika mp3’s.

I bought a father’s gift today for the first time in my life, for Michael‘s dad Stephen. We found him two dreadful silk ties, a sweet green one that looked as if it had been knit and a scarlet one, terribly classic, almost too hard on the eyes, and colour-matching happy-face atom bomb boxer shorts. We were going hard on tradition, biting back irony with just enough class for it to be flattering. Michael is going to write in the card something like, “To our beloved dictator-for-life, may you rule in good health forever. We love you. Signed, your dutiful citizens, M & J.” My adoption is escalating.

An untrained farmer in China has been making home-made robots.