Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

Archive for the ‘1 – Substance’ Category

Canadian civil liberties question -OR- The consequences of going about one’s business during a global summit while wearing a forest-camo t-shirt

June 27, 2010

The context: What’s described below happened a few minutes ago (about 3:25–I’m writing this at about 3:50), as I was walking down Yonge on my way from the Queen streetcar to the Go Bus terminal at Union Station, intending to catch the 3:40 back to Markham. I’m wearing a forest-camo tee, new jean shorts, Blundstones […]

A systematic pretense of an inability to understand

May 25, 2010

This response by Popper to the Frankfurt School critique of his approach in The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology was recently posted to the philosophy sub-reddit, under the title “Could someone help me find an article by Karl Popper mocking the Frankfurt School?” (subtitled “It was posted here a few months ago and I believe […]

Hard things to look at, the poet as mystic, and Sachiko Murakami’s the Invisibility Exhibit

May 11, 2010

Last week for Influency we read Sachiko Murakami’s Governor General Award-shortlisted book The Invisibility Exhibit. The book is, as described by Jon Paul Fiorentino… …one woman’s fiercely intelligent response to one of society’s most tragic and pressing dilemmas. Murakami reveals and dismantles the rhetoric of the all-too-familiar missing woman narrative. The Invisibility Exhibit is an […]

Laughter & joy

April 28, 2010

2010 UPDATE: I originally posted this on July 16th of 2009, but am refreshing it for its relevance to the conversation at the Influency salon this week, spurred by Susan Holbrook’s Joy is So Exhausting, about the power dynamics of humour in poetry. I’ll elaborate on this suggested relevance in my response to her book, […]

Jacob McArthur Mooney’s “The New Layman’s Almanac”

April 28, 2010

Ben attempts poetry criticism, take 2. This week, “The New Layman’s Almanac” by Jacob McArthur Mooney (of Vox Populism fame). ~ Reading their work, seeing them, hearing them read, hearing them interact informally with each other and the class, I got a real sense of internal coherence from the two poets we’ve so far engaged […]

My first attempt at poetry criticism: Carmine Starnino’s “This Way Out”

April 21, 2010

So I registered for Margaret Christakos‘s 8th “Influency” poetry salon, which is a ways outside of my comfort zone (though it’s proven to be pretty great). The routine is that we read a recent book by a prominent contemporary Canadian poet per week. At the salon, that poet is presented and discussed in a lecture […]

Adorno explains Palin’s tactics, but Obama’s?

April 19, 2010

Under the subject line “Adorno explains how Palin is able to deploy such psychologically sophisticated tactics…”, I recently sent Andrew Sullivan the following quote: “The leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without […]

Don’t worry, I shake my baby all the time…

August 26, 2009

So I’m staying with a friend right now in New York while I try to get myself established. She however, has just taken off to visit her dad up in the Berkshires, leaving me responsible for her skittish but nevertheless lovely cat, Maggie. The problem is that I’m heading back for graduation tomorrow morning, and […]

I approve of District 9 (UPDATED, Spoilers)

August 21, 2009

It hurt, but in a good way. That is all. ~ UPDATE: A friend of mine posted a link to A.O. Scott’s review of the movie at the NYT, flagging it by saying “I thought this was great. But it’s not for the queasy.” What follows is the debate that ensued: DM: Really? I thought […]

Ever notice how people tend to “respond” to Jon Stewart right before he goes on vacation?

August 21, 2009

Case in point, O’Reilly last night: The Thursday-night show, taped before O’Reilly aired, was the last new Daily Show for three weeks. Articles 2 and 3. Jim Cramer’s March and May barbs at Jon Stewart (which in and of themselves sounded pathetic after Stewart so comprehensively handed him his ass) came conveniently on Thursdays as […]