Monday, August 31, 2009

Ever tried to convince someone that taking a step forward won't hurt them? Makes you mental, doesn't it? Just think how Obama must feel.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

O.K., I guess this is a message to Obama and the rest of the Democrats. You've got the votes. You've got the backing of anyone with an I.Q. above 4. You would go down in history as brilliant, compassionate, thoughtful. That's 3, right? So, to quote a running shoe campaign....just fucking do it! (O.K., that's not quite a direct quote, but...)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Preceded, of course, by, "No Pa...". Sounds kind of something from "The Waltons", doesn't it?

Missed last night - dang! But, oddly enough, for reasons that relate to this photograph. Sometimes things come together very, very slowly.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It may be over. The party, that is. Rats.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's still August, dammit! Fall is a long, long way away.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The 21st century has brought with it some fascinating phenomena.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ah, another day begins. Let's all commute!

By the way, is it me, or is Betsy McCaughey really a total moron? I mean, I saw her on Jon Stewart's show the other night and, well, not to be critical, but, well, she really did seem awfully stupid. Is this really the face of the opposition to healthcare reform? Illiterate, unthinking, illogical, paranoid nitwits? Really? People actually listen to what this woman says?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yep, another accidentally appropriate image. I'm off to a party this evening with a bunch of dancers. I don't.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Years ago there was a bumper sticker/general slogan going around - "What Would __ Do?" (or something like that). The reason for the "__" is that I can't actually remember the guy's name now. But, he was, as I recall, a big-wave surfer. That's a pass time that takes courage (and not a little craziness, it seems to me), and this guy was one of its leading practitioners. Apparently there wasn't a wave that he wouldn't try to ride. The exhortation contained in the slogan, then, is to face the challenge and go at it with everything you've got.

So, Democrats: "What Would Barney Do?"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ah, the world of hilarity. Apparently, the guy who writes the "Frommer's" guides (funnily enough, named Arthur Frommer) has attracted attention for suggesting that tourists take a miss on Arizona due to its citizens' propensity for armed intimidation. The mayor of Phoenix retorted that Phoenix " a great place to live and work". He omitted the fact that Arizona just passed a law saying that it's O.K. for gun-owners with legitimate (?!?) concealed-carry permits (I repeat - ?!!? and add WTF?!?!!?) to take their guns into bars. Oh, yeah. Just my kind of vacation paradise - a state full of drunks with guns. Yep, I'll be right along.

And it ain't just Arizona, folks. A friend of mine was at a big tango get-together down in Seattle recently. One of the guys hitting on her spent most of his conversational time telling her about how important it was for him and his fellow citizens to be armed against their government. He's doubtless still wondering why he hasn't heard from her.

America is a very, very scary country. And, sadly, only getting scarier.

In fact - Holy appropriate targeted advertising, Batman! - when I finished the original post for this, Blogger (a.k.a. Google) thought it appropriate to stick this ad on the wrap-up page. Ladies? Have you been looking for just the right handbag to hide that Glock you love so much? Well....

Motherfucker! That's just far more bizarre than anyone should be asked to deal with without access to major mind-altering pharmaceuticals. A nice Argentinian Malbec just isn't enough. Not by a long shot.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ironic, isn't it? No, not the car parked in front of two "No Parking" signs. The fact that that fact didn't hit me until just now - that's what's ironic. Any art critic worth his/her salt (assuming one would actually see this photograph and think it worthwhile to comment on) would surely expand upon the former irony. And I, of course, recognizing a good thing when I saw it (except, obviously, in the case of this photo's subject matter) would whole-heartedly go along with their analysis. Who cares what the a priori was when the a posteriori is so much better?

As for the lance-like shadow that disappears at the roof line and reappears in the rear passenger window...go for it. Didn't see that, either.

Really - I just liked the bland wall in contrast to the colour of the car. Which, of course, brings up the real irony: I'm colour blind. I have no sure idea just what colour either the wall or the car is.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Man, I wish I lived in Massachusetts. Why? Because then Barney Frank would be my man! In case you missed it (which means you and his interlocutor might have something in common), watch what happens when a man of integrity slams an idiot into the ground, hard. That he was as polite as he was to this nitwit is a testament to Mr. Frank's strength of character. Where are the other Democrats willing to stand up to these morons? Where's Obama? This is not the time to be polite, folks. The creeps are out there, working hard to scare the credulous into protesting against actions in their own best interests. Stop being nice! Start showing these people up for the cretins they are!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's hard to believe, but these "bent steel" benches are actually pretty comfortable. And, even harder to believe, Tom Cruise in "Tropic Thunder" (which, late, as usual, I just watched) was actually hilarious. The world is full of strange and miraculous wonders.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You're probably aware of this by now, but, just in case - I think human beings are very weird. This is a photograph of one of the trains on Vancouver's "Skytrain" (clever, huh?) system. They've been in operation for a number of years, and I'm certainly not knocking them. In fact, I think the Skytrain's great. As long as you're going where it goes, it's fantastic. The trouble is that it's still under-funded, and so doesn't really go all that many places.

Well, today we got a new one. Running from the airport to downtown. For opening day, rides were free. And this is where the "weird" comes in. People were lined up - hundreds of people! - to take a free ride. My bet, however, is that most of those people would never ride the train as part of their normal travels around the city. And, my other bet is that, once the 2010 Winter Olympics are over, funding for new Skytrain routes, routes that would have more practical utility, will disappear. This new one, as I said, runs directly from the airport ("Hello, visitors!") to downtown ("Will you be needing room service?"). For anyone actually trying to commute to work in Vancouver, it's pretty much useless.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another weekend come and gone. And I still have marking to do. Which, granted, I could have worked on today. Yep. I could have. That, however, would have required a heart harder than mine, resistant to the siren song of a camera.

How's that for nitwit hyperbole, huh?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aaaaand...we're back. As, it would seem, is the sunny weather. Which, obviously, isn't visible in this photo.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is a photo of the entrance/exit to a parking garage.

This is a photo of a lying, scum-sucking bitch. Now, I will, on occasion, use the phrase "scum-sucking". I will even use the adjective "lying". But, I must confess, I've never, ever, used the adjective "bitch". This, ladies and gentlemen, is a first. And you know what? That's the mildest adjective I could come up with to describe Elizabeth McCaughey.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ah, America just keeps getting crazier and crazier. Not to mention scarier and scarier. The place really does seem to have come totally off the rails over the past few months. And, frankly, I'm beginning to think this might be the best solution.

Meanwhile, this guy is one great photographer. Not to mention gutsy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Apparently the blinds are about to open. Could this mean curtains for Bush and Co.? Not that I'm holding my breath, mind you.

On the other hand, of course, there's the Republican approach to healthcare reform: "Just say 'No'".

And the magic continues: "Torture? You want torture? We've got you covered."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Just in case anyone thinks I'm picking exclusively on America with regard to health care, there's this. Yep. Our government is doing its level best to kill off socialized medicine, just like their role models in the States - the Republicans. Anything they can do to ensure that it doesn't work, they'll do. Then, of course, blame it on the idea that governments (you know, those folks elected by the people, for the people?) just can't actually do anything for the people. At least, not the non-rich people. For the rich they can do anything.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

And speaking of robots, how's China doing these days? Not terribly well, really. The notion of civil rights seems to be taking a very long time to take hold in the Middle Kingdom. To call up an expression from earlier this year (used in a very different...or not...context), you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig, and China's still run by thugs.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

An early start today, since I was reading the New York Times. The depressing news of America's descent into thuggery continues.

Speaking of which, I went to see "Public Enemies" today. Michael Mann, regardless of his other flaws, has an amazing eye. There are shots in this movie that will, to use an era-appropriate phrase, knock your socks off. The movie's a tad longer than it really ought to be (and, of course, "Hollywood-ized"), but...

And no one will notice any similarity between the interrogation tactics of the FBI in the movie, and the interrogation tactics promoted by the late, way-not-lamented Bush administration. Heck no.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I give up. America, for a little while there, seemed to be coming out of the terminal insanity of its years spent under the Republicans. Civility, intelligence, rational thought seemed to be once again the dominant forces acting on the body politic. No more. In fact, things are worse than ever. America has gone totally nuts. Or, at least, is on the verge of allowing itself to be taken over by total nuts. Obama's a Nazi! Obama's a communist! Obama's the devil! Not to mention he's Kenyan! Healthcare reform is a Communist plot! Fuck me! Is there absolutely no such thing as honour anymore among Republicans? Do none of those weasels have the guts to stand up to the lunatics promulgating this nonsense? Are they so afraid of losing votes that they'll allow any and all venality to pass unchallenged?

It's truly stunning how low the Republican party has sunk over the past few months. Let's face it, they'd already set records during the Bush era and before. I'm amazed that anyone can actually stomach the notion that these lying hypocrites are considered a national party, representing actual citizens. Frankly, I'd never want to meet the sort of person who would cast a vote for one of these weasels (and, trust me, I sincerely apologize to actual, four-footed weasels).

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Red. It's the new "in" colour. Really.

Don't you love political humour?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Just another night at the pumps. Me, sitting in a friend's car at one gas station, staring across the street at another. Does the world really need this? Or, an even thornier problem - how do you tell your Close Personal Associate that she really ought to dump the gas-guzzling 4-wheel-drive pig she's driving? Without, you know, provoking strife. Bill Clinton! I need Bill Clinton!

And, speaking of Bill (my favourite ex-president) - what a guy! Way to go Billy! (If anyone can imagine Dumbya doing something like this, well, please let me know what sort of wonder drug you're taking!)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Feel free to make any associations with the current state of America that you like. "Birthers", "Deathers", total screaming lunatics... Things were supposed to be getting better, not worse.

Monday, August 03, 2009

It's a photo inside a photo...or something like that. I'm sitting in a restaurant that's just out of frame to the left in the photo on the wall. The photo on the wall was, however, taken in 1939. The neighbourhood has changed, but not all that much. All of the buildings in the photograph are still here, only their contents have changed.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Some of you have seen this already, but, Bill Maher's comments on American health care are pretty darn to the point. Not to mention American corporate profiteering in general.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Have I mentioned that it's hot here? Very, very hot?

Went to see "50 Dead Men Walking" today. Very nicely done film. Fantastic acting (i.e. you couldn't tell). Great story. Scary story. All about being caught between a rock (the I.R.A.) and a hard place (the British Secret Service), and the charming fact that, for many of the years of "The Troubles" the two were working together. That's comforting, isn't it?

It's the story of a young, unemployed Catholic Irishman in Ulster - a pretty much terrible combination. A sure-fire ticket to unemployment and a life spent searching for a way to earn enough money to survive. Which often meant less-than-honest employment. Which pretty much inevitably led to contact with the I.R.A and the police. And, if you seemed to have brains or courage or both (or, sometimes, you were just stupid enough to do one lethal job), a job offer from one or the other or both.

A lot of innocent people died during those times. A lot of crooked thugs profited. A lot of psychopaths got to shoot people, blow them up, torture them, whatever, all in the name of duty to country. Exactly which country seems to have been pretty much irrelevant. Which, of course, is what you'd expect from psychopathic thugs.

Sadly, nobody got away untainted. Not even the ones who were trying to stop it all. Or at least to keep the innocent body count down. You really should go see this movie. It is, like I said, very well done.