The Armchair Anarchist: Some are wise and some otherwise

Sorry, I can't help myself


+ Thawts and Reflexshins


+ An accidental birth does not mean an accidental life.

- The sky is not falling.

+ No one should ever allow the state to dictate his or her own conscience.

- Only when the past is gone does it seem real.

+ I always thought you had to know something before you could say something. I was wrong.

- To see love as more than varying degrees of obsession.

+ There is nothing to be gained by being petty.

- One should never wish another to do badly.

+ The writer is every character--the bad, the good, and the hopelessly in between.

- I have the American military to thank for my knowledge of world geography--Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan .

+ Elusive and mysterious, truth is the best of all there is.

+ We all think that what we are doing is important. I refuse to think that what I am doing is any more important than what anyone else is doing.

- Our lives are as fractured as a Cubist painting. Instead of friends, we watch Friends.

+ To be someone other than who I am--someone else, someone different.

- Of course, the sound bite is meant to mean everything and nothing at the same time.

+ Smaller classes make for bigger minds.

- Religion recognizes that someone else's child is as important as their own.

+ We're all from somewhere different, and yet the same. What's the fuss?

- Imagine how silly, if we considered hair color as we do skin colour. The blondies hating the gingers or the brunettes the snobs of the world.

+ Absolute morality? A man purposely turns on a red light but does not get caught. Another doesn't see a new No Turn sign and gets a ticket. They are both in the wrong, but who is guilty.


+ Econolies


+ I learned about feudalism in school. My mistake was to think feudalism was in the past.

- The Ten Commandments are not a moral code. They are a legal code designed to maintain ownership.

+ The "trickle-down" economy has created a pyramid of top-down wealth and bottom-up work.

- The world is broken--not in the sense of what one usually reads of global warming, green house gases, pollution, waste, but in how our world works. Today's slave is the modern worker, tied to a job with insufficient wages and a mountain of debt.

+ The zero-sum game = labour.


+ Polilies


+ Democracy Ha Ha: The rich make lots of money and pay no taxes. The poor make little and pay lots. There are many more poor and the sum of all their taxes adds up to a lot, which the politicians spend to ensure the rich stay rich. Democracy Ha Ha.

- Politics is more and more about economics instead of people--it is about the economics of the moneyed class.

+ Politicians think they are the social scientists of the world. Unfortunately, they are more social than scientist.

- Politics maintains the divisions between the majority and the minority, between the haves and the not haves.

+ The world does not owe us a living. And knowledge, it seems, does not translate into money, standing, or stability.

- News is biased towards the very lucky and the very unlucky. Comparing yourself one makes you feel depressed, cheated, even very unlucky. Sadly, compared to the other, the unfortunate, the underfed, the undernourished, the unlucky train crash victims in a daily diet of news, the rest of us feel lucky.


+ Tellielies


+ Television commercials and pop music are to be ignored at all costs.

- No commercials in the first half hour, 2 in the second, 4 in the third, every 5 minutes in the fourth. Red hots--get 'em while they're hot.

+ Why would anyone believe a salesman? A salesman sells.

- As the ad goes: "There are some things money can buy." Debt.


+ Simplelies


+ Owning more than what one needs is a failure not a success. It is a failure of the soul.

- Conflict is predicated on the belief that I am right and you are wrong or I am good and you are evil. We all want to be protagonists in the scariest of lives.

+ Global warfare does not follow from a cryptic prose. Indeed, what does it say about free will if we are predestined to global conflict in which the right are separated from the wrong?

- How to get to the top: happenings, incidents, machinations, performance art, flash mobbing.


+ Others


! [Bob Geldof] "The poor and the weak die-always." Sky News Dec 30 2003 (One on one with Adam Boulton)

! [Earl Blitzer] "A gold medal is a great thing. But if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it." John Candy in Cool Runnings.

! [Major Clipton] "Madness, madness." James Donald at the end of The Bridge over the River Kwai

! [F15 pilot on Airforce One] "God, I hope this works." (The pilot is about to fire on Airforce One so that the electronic counter measures will be deployed and the plane will jump--presumably because of Newton's third law--so that the president who has a gun to his head can overtake his attacker, all while the cabinet listens in on his mobile phone, which he had used to call the main White House switchboard.) Way to go Mister President (played by Harrison Ford). All that's missing is your cape.

! [Rubin Carter] "It is very important to transcend the places that hold us." (to Lazra during a jail visit) Denzel Washington in The Hurricane.

! [Helen Thomas] "There is nothing like an informed people" Al Jazeera Sep 20 2011 (on Riz Khan)

! [Helen Thomas] "That I should always ask" Al Jazeera Sep 20 2011 (on Riz Khan)


+ Songbirds


- In my TV Silence


I see the world through

my television window

Which takes me

by the moral hand

Showing me what's right,

and wrong

And who, unlike me, are

rich in filthy poordom

Poor in suits

and stinking Green

And what it means for me

To be so eloquent

in my TV silence


- Unlike All the Others


The night was right when I began

to say good bye to her

It was Flannery's or somewhere else

the same, elsewhere, anew

After 4, who knows, after 5, who cares

after 6, what was the question?

I remember how she came to me

stepping girly across the floor

Her drink in hand, her smile wide open

singing words like all the others

though, somehow, different, unlike all the others

her look, her glow, and my haha resultant stutters

Strange times in lover's worlds

when hearts collide like cars

and open and shut like banging doors

before the clock returns us back

to where we were before,

again, anew.

That night ended, again, as we began

like all the others.


- No more smoke


Visualize a future where you do not smoke. If you can then you will stop. To back up the willpower, get through one day without smoking. The next day is a repeat of the first. Do anything that one day--get up late, bathe longer, eat hundreds of carrots, go to three movies, go to bed early, anything except smoke FOR ONE DAY. Half of all smokers die from their habit and three-quarters want to quit. Imagine your future.


- Someone Else's History


What binds our actions? I do not believe in the march of time. I do not believe in the history of events. Oh sure, Jesus died, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, Napoleon and Hitler conquered best what has been conquered a thousand times. But so did a mother die in childbirth, untold billions more in the muck of poverty. Made by man, but not by history. Someone else's history. The ignorance of our failed ambitions.



+ Bias and Bewitched


1. prejudice


"Who says you know? I mean, you think the singers in videos are actually singing. It's lip-sinked. Okay?"


"Yeah, yeah. They're still singing. You can't fake that sort of thing."


We were at the Tortoise and The Hare, a month-old 90's retro club off Queen Street in the not-so-Petula Clark side of Toronto. It was early afternoon after a sluggish morn. The melting snow drip-dripped down the window. Spring was years away. There were others, mostly in twos like the Ark, sipping coffees, craning for another view. Smoke. We were holding hands under the table, Samantha and me. And fighting, sitcom-like as always-resolution half an hour away.


"You always say that."


I pound the physical,

I chew the intellectual,

I utter.


2. something wrong in the numbers


"Except this time it's for real," I told her. "We can't afford it, Sam. You have to get a job. Anything." She squeezed her hands tighter, her once gentle thumbs now digging into my palms. We were only a week behind in the rent. (I'd given the landlord the cheque on Friday, knowing we had until Monday before it would turn up NSF. I'd done it before-every use has its misuse.)


"Except this time it's for real," I told her again. "We have no money, Sam." Olivia Newton-John was now on the television in front of the same starving bodies as last week.


"Another latte?" the waitress asked. Save for an aftermath of swishing against the curb, the rain had stopped. Even the smoke had quieted. I stopped noticing the others.


I mingle, I merge, I mutter.

She does the same.

When the world (word?) is more important than the


The heart-What chance? What Chance?


3. an edge cut obliquely across the weave of a fabric


Her hands softened again; I was forgetting we'd been arguing. We hadn't been when we came. Arguing. Sam, her playful way of knowing everything would work out in the end. Totally irrational. And me. The one who took it on the chin when the world got through. I had stolen her from her mother.


After the news, a commercial. No more starving. Craving.


Coke: carbonated water, sugar/glucose-fructose, carmel colour, phosphoric acid, natural flavours, caffeine.

Pepsi: carbonated water, sugar/glucose-fructose, colour, phosphoric and citric acids, caffeine, flavours.


You tell me the difference?


4. the course of a bowl


And today, "what's more" it was the tone of my voice. I didn't use to raise my voice. Not before, when everything was new. Not the day we were wed. Not that sunny night (You know, the one of which poets speak?), when first we saw the outline of our souls together in the stars. When first we met.


Had I gone askew? Was I not the same anymore? Had I jigged instead of jagged? Was it me to set us back? To put her head and mine betwixt Mars that angry warrior and Venus naked crying? Again.








Perhaps, a horoscope would set us right. Sam found it beside the comics. "You're so like a so-and-so," she announced. "Always doing such-and-such."


"In the sluggish morn will you be slow.

In the early afternoon, when too much rain has dripped, shall you work through the troubles.

In THAT sunny night will there be much enchantment.

Today, know where not to go."


5. a steady voltage


"I liked the episode where Darren thinks he has a lucky charm in his pocket when it's just a screw-on top to a lampshade."


"Unh, huh." I was busy checking yesterday's scores.


"A lampshade," she mouthed, laughing.


"As if anyone couldn't tell Elizabeth Montgomery was a witch with all that goings on?"

"And Paul Lynde her crazy driving instructor Uncle. uncle?."

"Sam, we still can't pay the rent?"

"Why can't I remember his name. Uncle?."

"Sam? Sam?"


We had a song, a wine, a colour. A way of arguing. A way of ignoring the steadiness in each other. My love.


6. enchant or greatly delight


Before God no idea of art, before Freud no concept of self, before Hollywood no folly.


"Just the bill, please."


Two coffees,

One two lumps, no sugar, the other black

No twists.


7. cast a spell on


The Strange. The Magical.

Why not assume the real?

A twitch . to explain an itch.

Black or white? (to explain each other)

A bias to explain bewitched.