Thursday, November 15, 2007


I can't believe that I've written nothing here for a month! My apologies. Lots of stuff happening, too, literary, ecological – and illogical. I'll start with the last first. I thought the idea of tasers was that they could be used to subdue people in such a way that no harm would come to the person. Seems that there have been eighteen deaths in Canada occasioned by the use of tasers since 1999 when they were introduced. Today, a famous case of that use made the news internationally. The tale involves four policemen at the Vancouver airport, and the use of tasers on a passenger, who started acting up, and ended very down, i.e., permanently subdued, i.e., dead. Someone in the airport recorded the event on digicam, which he surrendered to police for their investigation. The police originally said they would return it, then said they couldn't but would give the owner a copy, then refused to do that because the matter was under investigation. The owner retained a lawyer in an effort to recover the tape, which was eventually handed over. The tape is currently on the CBC News website, as is a report of the event. 'Illogical' does not of course describe the event, just the disjoint between avowed and actual use of the tasers – and it's a deliberately understated characterization. Is it that we are now in a state of war at home – a 'shoot first and ask questions after' regime? Is it that our 'freedom' and 'security of person' are whimsical things, depending on whether the guy with the taser is trigger-happy when you and he encounter each other? Is it that we are unwilling to pay the price of freedom, that oft-iterated 'eternal vigilance', because we are too busy gassing our SUVs and driving off for our ski vacations? Or hopping on to planes to pursue the normal (ha-ha!) business of our lives, jet streams being an uglier source of pollution that the SUVs? Of course, when there's no longer any snow, nor any 'normal business,' it will serve us right. So segue to the ecological news, a further sign of impending apocalypse... BC salmon refusing to return upriver to spawn. I keep wondering at what point we quit fouling the environment. Perhaps only when we start falling dead in droves, and simply have no strength to do it any more? It wearies the spirit, and all for the sake of mammon! The literary news, I'm glad to report, is cause for cheering. Olive Senior's new collection of poetry, SHELL, was recently launched by Insomniac Press. I was happy to be reading read with her at a venue in St Catherine's on Tuesday night – perhaps I'll write more about that in due course. Today, I met with some great folks (Stephen Colella, ahdri zina mandiela, Allen MacInnis) at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People to talk about a workshop of my play, THE PIG FROM LOPINOT. Allen, who is Artistic Director at LKTYP, says it'll be on in the '08-'09 or '09-'10 season. It'll be great to see it when it happens, but the lead up so far has been a tremendous experience. Thanks so much, Allen, Stephen, Joan (Kivanda) and now ahdri. Start walking and taking the train and public transit, folks, if you love your children and grandchildren.


Jdid said...

well i duz be on the train every day but I dont know if that makes a difference.

we wont do anything about the environment until we are forced to. when the acid rain start eating through our umbrellas and the drinking water gets scarce then we will be cussing and complaining about who do this and why we didnt take a interest in it earlier.

FSJL said...

I'm with jdid on the environment (plus all the people who'll be chorusing 'we can't afford it!').

The taser-related deaths are the result of the constabulary being more willing to use the dratted things because they're 'non-lethal', when lethality is just a couple of steps away (weak hearts, stresses of other kinds, adding to whatever factors may already endanger the victim).

BTW, I live in Georgia* which is a 'stand-your-ground' state: if you think someone is threatening you you have a right to use lethal force against them. This is something that our local 'conservatives' have pushed because, allegedly, it will make the streets safer (or, at any rate, whiter).

You don't need to apologise for not posting, Pam. It's your blog, you get to post, or not post, as you feel the inclination.

*BTW, are you going to be down here in the future? I'm always on the lookout for people who could speak at my department's graduate seminar, and, if life spares, I'm probably be running it in about a year (the seminar, that is, not the department).

Jdid said...

ya fire de blog or what?
hope all is well. all the best for the season