11:35 PM Comment0 Comments

I ran into a mob of zombies on my drive home the other day. They were just milling about in the street bumping into one another picking fights with their neighbours. A couple had even set up a little picnic table on the center-line and were having a zombie-style tea-party. What do they have in their tea? Two creams a teaspoon of lemon juice and of course a dash of human spinal fluid. Needless to say, I had a dilemma, what do you do when confronted by a seething mass of inhumanity in your car? Well having recently studied the driver's handbook I knew the answer to that age old question. Honk, accelerate and mow the Cerebral Masticators down being sure to implode as many semi-intact skulls as possible. My driving instructor would be proud. Sitting in the passenger seat was my father, visibly shocked at my display of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. It didn't help that he had his window rolled down and now had little bits of rancid putrefying flesh stuck in his hair. At least no disembodied limbs found their way in.

The rest of the drive was quite uneventful. We saw no more stray zombies, as they usually mass in these dense pockets blocking major roadways and thoroughfares, or clog of the lobbies of banks or the foyers of shopping malls but why am I telling you; you've all seen it for yourself. Unless you live in Battersea, but then, you couldn't tell the difference between a zombie and a human there. The sum-total of Kingston's zombie population was probably present at their road-side tea-party. If it turns out to be a popular location the city will have to put up a warning sign. Zombies 1 km ahead. Frankly, I'm just finding that zombies are becoming a nuisance in everyday life. Not a day goes by I'm not hassled by a zombie looking for brains. I can't imagine what it's like living in Montreal or NYC what with the gang-related organ-harvesting. I don't understand why people think its a good idea to cater to these zombie-folk. Zombie-folk, that just makes them sound quaint and friendly, like the Amish. Yeah that's right I just compared flesh-eating aberrations to the Amish.

Anyway, long story short, the zombies are getting out of hand and it begs the question; how long until they take over? Is the zombie apocalypse nigh? Will we learn to live in relative peace with these sub-human creatures who have defied the proverbial "Circle of Life"? We've already had to re-write the textbooks on this one. Will the zombie population reach a critical mass and take over, overwhelming our military forces? Really we should stop fighting each other and prepare for a war on death. But then we have all these human rights groups claiming that the zombies have intelligence beneath their instinctual ceaseless march for spinal fluid, and they're going to keep whining about kids with fire-crackers and baseball bats. For god's sake, if we don't do something soon, they'll kill us off or worse we'll become zombies. Just thank god they are the slow kind that are easy to take out with a sawn-off in one hand and some TNT in the other.

Anyway the point of this blog is in this article, you've got to love Canadian scientists. Zombie Take-over. As Philly-D put it, "Scientists in Canada apparently tired of trying to find a cure for AIDS decided, 'hey, let's find some mathematicians and figure out if the world would be over if zombies took over.'."

11:00 PM Comment0 Comments

This is my blog. It is now daily. I had no time to write today. So I am Writing this blog about my writer's block. It makes me sad. My old teacher would tell me I have "It"itis and would diagnose me with short sentences. He was weird like that. Everyone hated him but I liked him. He sang songs to the class. Like the one about eating worms. And to emphasize the point of indenting new paragraphs he hit a hammer against a can on the chalkboard which he called the "can of indentation." He had an unconventional teaching style. From his comedy, to the way he threw furniture at students when he had fits of rage. Once an idiotic student sprayed yogurt all over the room by hitting a yogurt tube against his desk, this was a desk-throwing moment. I had a good day, it was filled with goodies. And new people. And cleaning a bombshell of a garage. Never again, never again. That is without TNT in one hand and a lit match in the other.

10:24 PM Comment0 Comments

As I pick up the guitar, a rare occurrence being the only inept musician in my household (besides my father but he's never touched an instrument in his life), I think of what I want to learn to play (keep in mind I don't really know how to play guitar). I settle on "Keep on Rocking in the Free World" by Neil Young. Because it is easy, and it has a good meaning. As my fingers stumble along the frets and strings learning to play the simple chords (Em, D, C) in order and I hum the simple tune I discover that learning an instrument is what you make of it. The key is to play something familiar, and something that inspires.

I've been trying to learn my "first song" for a week or two now, and it seems I just pick the wrong songs. "Let it be" (The Beatles) "Anybody Else But You" (The Moldy Peaches) "Wonderwall" (Oasis). All of these songs were suggested to me, because they are EASY! And its true, they are, but they did not forge creativity and inspiration inside me. Playing these songs left me bored, to say the least, and I soon found that my regular guitar practice became infrequent. Something in Neil Young's song sparked interest in me though.

I'm not even a huge fan of Neil Young. Usually I find his folksy songs long, slow and draining. Maybe it is the eternal truth in the song, of the poverty and despair that strikes everywhere in society and the hope that Rock and Roll can bring in the darkness of the night. I found that it was that motivation that helped me learn the song. Even as I stumbled to make the simple switch from a D chord to a C chord the song told me that I was on my way. By the end of an hour of beating on the strings with a pick and my thumb and sore fingers (yeah I'm a coward), I was able to, with some inaccuracies, play through the first verse of the song and even sing it allowed.

With a few more practices under my belt, and hopefully a few lessons from my brother, I'll be able to play through the chorus and the whole song. The goal? Simple. To learn my first song. From there, anythings possible, no closed doors. I figure its the only barrier in learning an instrument, getting through that first song. If playing is a burden, or frustrating and unrewarding, you'll never learn, you have to enjoy it and you have to feel like you're accomplishing something (something I learned during my excruciating years of piano lessons). So I say to you, "Keep on Rocking in the Free World!"

10:22 AM Comment0 Comments

Last night, I went to see the movie District 9. It is difficult to formulate my thoughts on the movie as of yet. You can tell this from the reviews given by movie-goers and critics alike. Some love it and some hate it. Personally, I really liked it. District 9 is a first in many ways. It is the first alien thriller to have prolonged exposure of the alien species to humans, it is the first to have the aliens portrayed as the underdogs and it is the first to show the socio-political tensions between the clashing extraterrestrial civilizations. From the very beginning, with its documentary style that slowly fades to a traditional fiction movie, the story had me intrigued and I spent most of the movie with a curious, thoughtful look on my face.

District 9 is essentially a slum set up outside Johannesburg in South Africa to house an alien population the "Prawns" which has landed on Earth without the ability to go home. In this slum we see the typical shady activities of life in Johannesburg, in Prawn weapons dealing, inter-species prostitution and drug trafficking (in catfood). We also see various factions trying to discover the secret to operating the Prawn weaponry; government agencies such as the MNU through scientific means and Nigerian gangs through witchcraft. The government controlled slum creates a mood reminiscent of the apartheid era in South Africa with signs dictating where humans and non-humans are allowed to travel, do business, and live.

While humans try to exploit the Prawns for everything they can offer including flesh, the aliens attempt to carve out a niche and a living in the Johannesburg community while being suppressed by military agents and fought by angry human citizens. In ways South Africa was the perfect setting for this movie, as it is the most culturally, ethnically and racially diverse nation in the world and has long experienced racial tensions and bouts of xenophobic violence; foreigners are nothing new to South Africa. With that and South Africa's clash of tribal and modern civilization it is the perfect place for first contact.

If you go into the movie expecting Independence Day or Signs where the aliens are purely malicious and it is a struggle for human survival, you are not going to enjoy this movie. The best way to enjoy this movie is to go into it with absolutely no expectations and just take it in as you go. If you can't help but have expectations, expect slum politics and economics. Don't expect the humans to play the good guys because the movie brands humans as selfish and don't expect a heroic defeat of alien supremacy because the aliens are definitely the underdogs. District 9 is an atypical alien invasion movie. Because of this, I give it a 9 out of 10 for trying something completely different.

7:46 PM Comment0 Comments

Alright, so this is a random blog I wrote a while back on my Myspace, in fact the one and only blog. Except now its four times as long and much more, philosophical-like. Anyway background, I dropped a camera and for some reason had the thought, "I bet someone somewhere just dropped a camera as well, I wonder how often it happens?" Then I got to thinking that nothing we say, do, think or feel can truly be all that unique and protecting it thus is pointless.

I bet someone somewhere just dropped a camera. They were about to take a picture of their brother cheating on his wife and somewhere else the wife just slipped in the tub and is being rushed to the hospital with a broken neck. And the brother, upon dropping the camera, swears just loud enough that he was heard by the philandering couple; and the plant he's hiding behind in the lobby of the hotel has awfully bad coverage. As the cheating brother is about to look at the plant where his detective brother is hiding, his phone rings and he finds out about his wife's broken neck. After hearing this the woman with him is overwhelmed with guilt and runs to the bathroom for some unspecified reason, to cry. As the cheating brother looks the way of his secret lover instead of at the suspicious plant, the spying brother hastily picks up his camera and sneaks out the door hailing a taxi. The cheater is left alone and confused standing in the lobby wishing he'd made a better choice.

Did this actually happen? Will it happen again? Is someone somewhere dropping a camera right now? How often does it happen? How often does anything we do happen? Have you ever stopped to think, "Maybe someone somewhere is doing the exact same thing as me."? Is someone thinking about this as I am writing this? There are 6 billion of us in the world, how unique can our actions or words be? We think our actions, thoughts and emotional situations are unique, however, this cannot be true. There is always someone who could sympathize with our situation. Is this a comfort? Or is it unsettling? The brother in this story was compelled to cheat, but why? Was his wife not satisfying? Did he feel lonely? Was he an ass? Why was he so selfish to think that he was the only person who felt this way and that the only way to overcome it was to desert his wife? There are a lot of questions, and not many simple answers.

We are selfish and ignorant to claim that anything we do is unique to ourselves. Charles Darwin is attributed to the theory of evolution but millennia before in the 7th century BCE the Greek philosopher Aximandor proposed a theory with striking similarities and dozens more suggested it in centuries to come. What is the fuss about plagiarism? How can one person lay claim to an idea, ideas are not created, they simply exist in nature or in the human mind and grow through interaction with other people. We add to ideas based on what we have learned from other human beings. Is this plagiarism? Did Karl Marx really invent socialism? Should I cite his work when discussing his ideals? Or is the idea social equality one that is engraved in the basic human mind? Various welfare cultures throughout history would say so. As unsettling and pessimistic as this sounds it is true, yet for me, it is somewhat comforting. We are not alone, and by claiming and defending our uniqueness don't we isolate ourselves and stagnate in our progress like the brother in the story above?

It is a trying task to be unique. And in being unique you doom yourself to be static. Never changing, never improving, and as soon as you stop moving forward your purpose is gone. So recognize the difference between uniqueness and individuality; protectionism and independence. Throughout history, when cultures crossed with one another swapping ideas and knowledge, we saw culture and technology grow, excelling mankind. But when they sat at home protecting what they had, fearing their neighbors were out to steal from them we saw stagnation. So if you think I've raised some good points, steal them, please, I didn't make them up, it has been said before. Also if you think I'm full of shit, tell me. Why should I give a damn? Its progress, its a forming idea and it grows through criticism and argument. How did this go from dropping a camera to origin of ideas? Who will ever know. Tell me what you think. Do you ever stop to think, maybe someone somewhere is in the exact same situation?

8:53 AM Comment0 Comments

This is a true example of how sharks and humans can coexist. It is an inspiration to us all, not only did an Aussie fisherman, Arnold Pointer, save the life of a Great White Shark which he has since named Cindy, that grateful shark developed a deep affection for the fisherman which has lasted to this day. Wherever the fisherman goes Cindy follows and while some may call this stalking prey, the fisherman doesn't because when he stops the boat she allows him to pet her like a dolphin. The cold-blooded killer was finally tamed and all it took was mutual respect. Our only job as human beings is to look after nature, from the tame to the wild and the meek to the ferocious. Through this truly inspiring story, we can learn to get along with or at least respect the misunderstood shark.

9:56 AM Comment0 Comments

Shark Week just ended on the Discovery Channel. A week of vicious shark attacks and brutal maulings. And what purpose does this serve but to entertain males between the ages of 12 and 30, to permanently scar young children and to bore grown women? Absolutely nothing. Personally, I am sick of the fear-mongering sensationalist drivel the Discovery Channel airs in a (successful) attempt to get ratings. I would rather see a dolphin die caught in the discarded rings of a six-pack of Dr. Pepper, or some ladies old fish-net stockings, than have the Discovery Channel air another documentary tarnishing the good name of the Great White Shark. Soon we'll be calling them, "the EVIL BLOOD-RED GIANT-MAN-EATING-FISH-THINGIE!!!" I have swam on the beachs of *counts* TWO oceans in *counts* TWO countries and never once have I recieved an unprovoked attack from a shark. I mean that one time I did call him a stupid fish, so I guess you could say I deserved it.

Anyway, because I feel so strongly that sharks are truly innocent creatures with their good-standing in society tarnished by the likes of the Discovery Channel and Steven Spielberg, I declare tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12, 2009, annual Befriend a Shark Day, and call forth the first congress of the Friendly Shark Foundation, an organization bent on (no that sounds evil) DEDICATED TO bringing to light the more amiable qualities of sharks worldwide and educating the world on the plight of the shark (biggest run-on sentence EVER). Forget Discovery Channel's pathetic Shark Week, a tradition 22 years outdated, we will celebrate our own fantastic FRIENDLY SHARK WEEK and start a new and modern annual tradition to last a thousand years (or at least 3 more until the world ends)! For the rest of this week I will be posting stories about friendly sharks who cuddle with kittens (See above) and jump through hoops and play ball. We could all learn something from sharks. As a wise (and friendly) shark once said, "Fish are friends not food." And while I love me a good catfish, I'm just saying, don't eat your friends, also, if sharks are YOUR friend, don't soil their good name with lies look at the statistics, shark attacks are rare so stop fueling the rumours! More people kill people than sharks and thats a fact!

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