Saturday, 26 March 2011

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Well, I guess it's going to take more than two weeks to find my blog voice.  But my roaming around the blogosphere has cleared up a couple of issues with my blog.  First, because my interests are eclectic and unfocused the blog will have to be as well.  Second, the best blogs seem to be a combination of personal reflection, photographs and links to interesting articles, music and videos.  I'm going to try that out for a while.  It is still in keeping with the initial idea of posting based on what I've been thinking about.  Seth's graphic novel is currently unavailable to purchase new and the (somewhat reluctant) spring finds me outside more.  So much for my last post, then, as I'm currently feeling more forward-thinking than nostalgic.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


I just feel old and futile among the enthusiastic fools of the future.
                                                 Jack Kerouac, Selected Letters, Volume 1

I have been surfing - some may say 'creeping' - the blogosphere for the past week, using my lists of favourite movies, music and books to find like-minded bloggers.  Searching based on music and books brings up a wide variety of people; but I've found that my searches based on favourite movies tend to bring up a more homogeneous group - nostalgics.  Whether it's the clothing & decorating styles, the acting, the dialogue or the stories, these bloggers obviously prefer the past masterworks of film.  This makes sense for me.  While I've always sought out new music and books I tend not to like many new films.  I usually come to like current films only after they've been time-tested.  So it was interesting to tune in today to TV Ontario's show Big Ideas which featured University of Toronto professor Nick Mount's lecture on the graphic novelist Seth's 'It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken'.  The book is primarily about nostalgia for another, seemingly better time.  So I guess I know what I'll be up to this week - black and white movies and graphic novels.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

On The Inevitability of Somebody Coming To Ruin Everything

I have just finished reading The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World by Wade Davis - the book of his 2009 Massey Lectures.  In it he outlines what he feels we lose when indigenous cultures and languages disappear, lost to the relentless encroachment of the modern world.  I sympathize with the struggles of Amazonian tribes, Australian Aborigines and Pacific Northwest First Nations to hold off this onslaught but am left with the sad feeling of the inevitability of it all.  As tragic for the indigenous peoples of North America as 'First Contact' was, somebody from across the seas was eventually going to come.  I grew up thinking that progress was being made on almost every front - treaty rights, civil rights, women's rights, the environment etc - and that we wouldn't backslide.  But in the 1980s there was a 'reaction', which seemed to start with Reagonomics.  Now it no longer surprises me that there are people out there trying to roll back union rights; that our airwaves are filled with one-trick ponies whose solution to every problem is "reduce taxes";  and that Wall Street gamblers get away with privatizing profits and socializing losses.  The triumph of Social Darwinism?  Hopefully not.  Regardless, any First Nations community which can stop the next golf course or monster-home development being built gets my support.  And that's what I've been thinking about today.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Introduction: Wherein the Blogger Makes Some Intitial Comments on the Purpose of the Blog

This blog is intended to be a way for me to get down on virtual paper thoughts on what I've been reading and listening to, and observations on the world around me.  It's neither a diary nor me 'bearing witness'.  I'm just trying to achieve some level of information synthesis.  It took Mark Twain decades before he hit upon the 'right plan' for his Autobiography.  As I have lived a hundreth the life of Mark Twain, I hope to find my blog-voice in a couple of weeks.  But it will, like life, be a continual work in progress.  But a work for whom?  Primarily for me.  Still, I hope my 'followers' - most likely only my two children - find it an insight into how I mentally spend my days.  I have no journalistic compunction to be unbiased (or even appear to be).  But I want to be as accurate as possible in my references and to properly attribute them.  I think I'll use Wikipedia as my linking site of choice.  I don't want to be a shill for or but may need to use them occasionally for book references.