Category Archives: You Tell Me

Critiquing the Prose of Paul Bernardo

Hello

I’m the critic who liked Paul Bernardo’s fiction

calling it a ‘magnum opus from the mind of the criminally insane .

The greatest work of art from a serial killer since Charles Manson covered the Beatles’ Helter Skelter.’

Apparently I’m supposed to critique the artist not the art

as people have called me, ‘sick’ but not in the good way sick.

They have called me ‘perverted’

and ‘an enabler of evil’ and

‘somebody who would like Hitler’s paintings’

and I would if they were any good

good people can do bad stuff

just like bad people can do good stuff

so I don’t feel I need to retract my endorsement:

‘A great first novel from the laptop of one of Canada’s most horrible people. The best crime novel written from prison since The Sixteenth Round by Rubin Carter.’

Turns out putting your name to to the cover of a Paul Bernardo novel is a career killer. Now no one takes me seriously because I called the book, ‘the best work Bernardo has ever done.’ It’s true. It is.

It’s you who’s got the problem if you think he’s done better.

 

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I’m No Economist, But…

CB24 News reports: “Canadian dollar moves lower amid worries in Europe.”

Ok, I’m no economist, but, why is the Loonie getting screwed over by worries over in Europe?  (For all readers outside Canada, the ‘Loonie’ is the official name of the Canadian dollar. I live in a country that names its currency after a crazy person. The two dollar coin is of course called the ‘twonie’.  So, when you’re talking loonie twonie, you’re talking Canadian economics.)

And now I’m hearing that my loonies and twonies are getting shock treatment because of some European worries? Why should worries in Europe affect reality here in Canada? Can’t you see they’re making all this shit up? Like, is the whole goddamn work as fragile as that? Does the economy have the sensitivity of the Tao? I mean, ‘worries’ in Europe? We’re basing our well-being on the fears of foreigners? Holy Hannah harboring a hand grenade, the Bhutanese are feeling a might bit edgy- quick- lower the standard of living! What’s that? the Fijians are feeling a tad bit squeamish? Lock all doors! Lower the GDP!

Money is only as important as we choose to make it. I’m choosing to replace the importance of money with hugs. You want a coffee? That’s one hug. You wanna buy a house? That’s one million and three hundred thousand hugs. I’m telling you, an international currency based on the hug would bring world peace. You have governments trading hugs with each other. One American hug is worth one hundred Japanese hugs. That’s not racist, that’s just economics.

I know if I am the only one who thinks like this, I am crazy. But. If the majority thought like this, I am sane. I ask you, My Favorite Reader, to consider the hug as the new form of financial transaction.

What To Wear To The End Of The World Party

Did you know the world is ending on Dec. 21st? Hey, just ask a Mayan. Does anyone here know a Mayan? Has anyone ever met a Mayan? Why are we following their calendar? Do you own a Mayan watch? Is your network set to Mayan time? Who the fuck are these people? They scare the shit out of everyone saying the world is going to end in 2012, and then they don’t even have the common courtesy to stick around long enough to say: “Gotcha!” Where are these people? Oh, look, the Mayan civilization ended 500 years ago. They were off by 500 years.

They were a bit intense, though. These are people who took the heads off their opponents in a ballgame. Seriously, they played this game like soccer-racquetball with this rubber ball weighing about fifty pounds or some thing, and the losing team’s captain would be sacrificed, or maybe even the entire starting line and a couple cheerleaders. This does not promote the values of good sportsmanship and I’m betting not a lot of guys were lining up to be captain. And how do you hope to grow the sport when you keep killing the losers? Like, every game is literally sudden death.

And these are people who confused a bunch of dirty Spanish sailors as gods. They see these stinky men getting off ships after months at sea, all these greasy, scurvy, dirty unwashed Spanish sailors and they think: this is what god looks like. And these are people we’re following for end of the world advice? They can’t tell the difference between a god and a dirty sailor.

We’re so focused on the end of their calendar, but, why don’t we think of its start. According to the Aztec Calendar and Google, the world started on August 11, 3114 B.C. Who starts time in the middle of August? And did the Mayans not think there was an August 1oth that year? Cause, have you seen a Mayan calendar? Did you notice it’s round? It’s a circle? Circles don’t end you fools! They start again. But I end here. Good night and good morning.

The Glass May Be Half drunk, But I Am Fully Drunk

This is the part where I’m supposed to write words but if you see by the title I’m having a hard enough time just hitting the right keys on the keyboard. I keep having to go back and delete mistakes. Thank God for the little red line that goes under spelling mistakes, or this would read closer to now I;vfe takemn ofe th e dpll chrck ands o rthis is wht my wqriting loojjs likr.

See what we’re up against? See how with just the push of a button we can keep chaos at bay?

I’m curious what’s inside the mind of such a drunk birthday boy tonight. Throwing so much wine into this head is like pouring water down a well. I figure if I flood enough water down the well, it’s bound to spill up something. So far all it’s spat out is anticipation. Something’s coming.

Maybe I should have more wine. Cheers! Oh, that’s good, French. It’s hard to go wrong with French wine. Actually, that’s not true. Drink too much of the French, suddenly you’re surrendering everything faster than the French army. By surrender, I mean, faculties of speech, balance, vision. I can still type, though. Writing is always the last thing to go before I pass out. I think I’m lucky I’m a writer, not a French horn player. I imagine it must be extremely difficult to come home 2 a.m, drunk, and play the French horn.

If I was a painter, I’d have to get out all the paints and I’d have to set up the easel, prime the canvas, mix paints, it’s late, I’m drunk and now I gotta do chemistry?

Writing is a desperate act, reaching out my hands to the light of my laptop, scribbling, scratching, punching, fingering and crawling my way to the next page after page after page after page until it’s all out until my books speak volumes and I’m an echo of a haiku in a papery shell.

I’m going to let the last line live though I have no idea what it means. That’s the bottom line why I’m a writer, cause I’m lazy. I don’t feel lazy. I’m writing all the time. But what is writing essentially? Sitting on your ass. The only parts of my body that move are my fingers.

So, that’s it, I’m accusing myself of being lazy and I’m too tired to fight it. I’m going to say good night to you, my favorite reader, and Happy Birthday to me and fall asleep face first in this laptop.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Arrested For Poetry: The Conclusion

I’m so mad I could scream.  These words read as my scream in silence. Think of all the worst words you know and hear them screaming in your head, that’s how I feel right now.

Don’t write angry, don’t write angry, I try and calm myself.

I just got back from my trial. I was arrested for three crimes: 1) causing a disturbance on the TTC 2) obstructing proper authority, 3) failure to leave premises. Keep your sons and daughters away from me, I am bad ass.

This was back in January, when I was standing in Eglinton subway station giving out short stories and poetry. (check blog entries from Jan 22 and 24) I do this sometimes to give people something to read on the way home. I make no money from it, but, I’m rich in compliments. And questions from curious people wanting to know why I spend time in front of the subway handing out poems and short stories.

The cops were curious the day of my arrest. They had actually let me go before arresting me, telling me it was ok to keep handing them out, as long as I kept out of people’s way.

The only one who ever complained about it was the guy in the booth taking the money, who knocked on the glass and told the cops to get me gone. As I was leaving I made a comment that I was glad I could see their names on their uniforms unlike during the G20 when they had put the boots to so many protesters. That was when I got handcuffed.

Today was my day in court. My whole case rested on the fact that I wasn’t disturbing the peace, because the police themselves had told me it was alright to be there, and second, that there was no failure to leave premises, I was arrested for making the comment about police brutality.

But, when I got the chance to cross examine Constable Kwok, the arresting officer, (I do all my own cross examining. I went to the school of Boston Legal and Matlock) he answered he didn’t remember telling me that it was alright to stay there, and he couldn’t recall me making the comment about the G20. He either forgot or he was lying under oath.

I was found guilty on the obstructing proper authority and failure to leave the premises, but innocent of causing a disturbance, because, as the judge mentioned in his ruling, I’d been going there many times handing out my poems and stories without incident or complaint.

Punishment: $400 fine.

I feel like The Man won today and The Man’s a real bitch.

I don’t understand how I can be guilty of obstructing proper authority when I’m not guilty of causing a disturbance. See, obstructing proper authority translates here to mean I didn’t give the cops my ID when they asked. But, they only asked for it after they arrested me. If I’m not guilty of causing a disturbance, what are you arresting me for?

Excuse me while I go scream out the window.

Sex Like Baseball

In all of those moments, it’s not the orgasm I remember, but before the orgasm, the anticipation of it.

Like baseball happens between the action, my sexual nostalgia is filled with these sorts of innings. Have you ever tried to hold on to an orgasm, put it in the lyrics of a song, or, focus it into an object in your room, or, breathe it in as her perfume, something you can look at again, hear or smell again, something that will trigger that unbelievable feeling of coming before it all goes away? It doesn’t last very long, does it? And you can never recreate it, no matter how many times you close your eyes, breathe deep and try.

I wonder what life would be like if orgasms could last up to three and a half hours, the same length as watching an installment of The Lord of the Rings. Do you think we’d even need movies then? Do you think we’d ever go out, get jobs, remember to eat? I guess we’d have to. I guess if it lasted that long, like anything else, we’d get so used to it, sex would actually be less interesting, less exciting, and not having an orgasm would be the greatest feeling in the world because it’d be so fleeting.

I don’t know, it just seems like life is always turning us inside out, and here’s just one more example, the relationship between my sexual appetite and the orgasm, which I view as the main course and the dessert all thrown into one delicious dish.

But, the craziest thing is, it’s the appetizer that fills my memories.

Naming the UnNameable

What went on in the mind of a caveman before the use of language? How pure were their thoughts? It’s impossible to put words to their thoughts, because as soon as you do, you pollute them, distort them with meanings that they didn’t mean.

Still, I believe in the Tao, though I know it is not the Tao, but we have to call everything something, so we’ll call it the Tao; the Tao is so sensitive that even by calling it the Tao, you have changed the Tao forever. You’re stronger than you look.

Can you think of the The Scream by Edvard Munch? What do you think he’s screaming about?

What you thought says more about you than it does about Munch, fun, huh? You can totally lose yourself in a painting and by losing find yourself, if you’re brave enough to dive in head first. What do you think he was screaming about? Can you imagine Munch’s face as he painted it?

You know he reproduced the image over and over in paintings, lithographs, t-shirts, you name it. If you drive through the fjords of Norway, don’t be surprised when you see bumper stickers saying: I Brake For Screamers, with an image of Munch’s screamer on them.

Did you know The Scream is not only the National Painting of Norway, it is their National Anthem? Norwegians scream their National Anthem, so, they call it the National Scream. It’s very cathartic. You scream Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! until your voice hurts, then you sit down to watch a hockey game between the Gjoa Vikings and the Lillehammer Skiers. It’s a great Anthem because it recognizes that it’s ridiculous to put words to define an entire nation’s past present future.

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What if everything I’ve ever been has been leading up to now?

So that everything I ever am, ever was was as constant as the Tao.

And so I could erase all my sins if I just tried so how

can I tie a rock to my past and watch it drown?

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