Wednesday, July 14, 2010

stained glass windows in almost every home.. or lace curtains

avenue St. Viateur... west of me..
Tomato plants doing well...
Parisian style architecture..

Bastille Day, July 14! Vive la revolution?

Took a walk down the Rue St. Viateur today. I once bought a dozen lovely fingertip towels nicely embroidered with the word " Viator" on them at a flea market. I still don't know what it means. But it must be some saint, right? Wait! I found out! Here's the story. And I'm staying on Avenue Querbes to boot, and Fr. Querbes is part of the St. Viator story! Will wonders never cease. There is nothing more interesting than the history puzzle once you get the pieces going...

The thing that really amazes me about this residential area of Montreal is that all the side streets are real neighborhoods, with every plant imaginable growing everywhere, creativity just pours out of every front yard and balcony, even the not so well heeled areas. Great use of space and old things. The markets, little corner markets, such quality! Cuts of meat you never even see at Whole Paycheck, much less your average grocery store in the states. I actually saw veal liver for sale today.. A first for me.. Adorable little squab like things to roast. It's just nice to see that's all.. That someone is doing such artful work. And the cafes! Always have people in them; men, women, couples, dogs. All day! Don't people work here? It's such a social scene, quite different from the states really. I've come to regard the states as rather grim in their everyday existence. Slog along... where's the joy... life sucks kind of vibe. I suppose young people in the states might not feel that way, but anyone over 30 certainly seems to. Pessimism rules... very unamerican!

So in case you're not already totally sick of the war on terra, I watched The Green Zone last night and was blown away by how very real they director made the war seem. The horror of "shock and awe" (was I ever more ashamed to be an American?) and the effect on the innocent Iraqi people was in full view. And the sham of it all, the hoax of WMD. A good flick. Wish we had more soldiers like the one Matt Damon plays, men like Pat Tillman who had the balls to speak up against what went on there.

Here's Ralph Nader's videoed tribute to historian Howard Zinn. As always, Ralph tells it like it is. Would that he could have been in the White House instead of the last three KIngs of Hubris.

Here's an amazing thing I saw on Book TV on c-span last weekend. This guy will blow your mind. His passion and deep commitment to calling to our attention what he believes is a vast transgression was impressive. He's an American Studies prof at Univ Hawaii and has written a book entitled Texas Tough about the rise of the prison system in the south. He claims "The South has reconstituted the social management system of slavery in the guise of the Southern prison system." And he makes some solid arguments to that effect. Click on the link and ont he right you'll see the option to WATCH his talk. Do it. You'll be amazed.

A few interesting numbers:

In 1950 there were 200,000 Americans in prison

By 2010 there were 200,000 women in prison in the US. (And the vast majority of the prison population is male.)

By 2008 1/100 US citizens were in prison. Isn't that like 3 million people? 1% of 300 mil?

He says: "We have more US citizens in jail than China does, and they have nearly four times our population."

"On any given day in the US there are 30,000 migrants in detention without any charges having been brought against them."

Food for thought? Does this not beg the question:


And here's something you might find interesting about orphans in the US: only about 15% of orphans are adopted by a relative. Over half a million kids in the US are under government care (this doesn't include street kids, for which there are no figures available); and about 120,000 of those are available for adoption. So why are americans headed to china for cute little girl babies? It seems, given the difficulty in getting any real numbers on it, the whole issue of orphans in the US is a closet issue no one wants to talk about, especially the anti choice crowd. Under the Bush Administration they stopped keeping stats on orphans. Another nasty little US failure swept neatly under the rug.

Take that, Ms. Knowitall NY agent.

Here's a real attention grabber from today's Harper's Weekly (and that twentysomething nouveau mysogynist I referred to days ago thought women's troubles were over):

"A Georgia man was arrested for holding his
mother hostage at gunpoint for six hours after she refused
to do his ironing."

By the way I've been here over two weeks, and I go out every day and walk, and I have counted exactly 6 fat people during that period. Everyone walks or rides bikes here. Cars are only for long distance driving, like out of town.

A final thought: Here's why Obama is NOT a standup guy: Cause he doesn't have the cajones or the strength of character to say to the same American people who elected him cause he vowed he'd end the war, "WMD was a hoax; we violated international laws and invaded that country on the basis of a lie, and now I'm pulling everybody out with sincere apologies to the Iraqi people and the people of the Middle East; oh, and we are no longer going to offer assistance of any kind to the Israelis until they stop all building in occupied land, evict those who have moved in those houses, and return to pre-1967 borders. Period. We've had enough. We got our own problems to deal with."

He's just another suit...

and I hate to say that cause I'm fond of a man in nice suit.

[wistfully...I sure wish I knew where I wanted to be...

Any ideas out there? bring em on...]

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