27 February 2007

Snow, Joe

Well, go figure. We have a snowstorm Sunday night, plus the stupid Academy Awards, and the Fictitious Reading Series gets one of its finest turnouts. Great readings, too, by Beatriz Hausner and Steve Venright. People were also very generous to the passed hat, and Charlie of This Ain't called across the room to ask if my sub-Terrain column was "working." That's the column in which I berate people who are cheapskates at PWYC lit events. I suspect there was no connection between column and lucrative hat. I think surrealism just draws out the big bucks.

Today I'm seriously considering braving the snowy roads to Buffalo once more (last time, I travelled three hours and barely got halfway there before I had to turn back). It's the final week of the Joe Brainard show at the university art gallery there. My last chance: maybe there won't be a Brainard exhibition within striking distance ever again.

It's sort of a weird thought setting foot into the United States of America, though. I've been watching the brilliant BBC World News increasingly, and becoming increasingly aware of what a blinkered, anaesthetized nation we've got clinging to our border. Just a few minutes of BBC news offers more varied perspectives and voices (actual Iraqis! women who aren't Condi Rice! brown people who aren't Condi Rice! socialists!) than a thousand hours of Wolf Blitzer/Anderson Cooper/Lou Dobbs.

CBC News falls somewhere in between the two extremes. CNN seems to target the lowest common denominator, and CBC the highest. Perhaps the actual populations of the two countries aren't all that different, and I shouldn't be judging a country by its cable newscasts. Except in Canada we're not brought up brainwashed into crowing that "we are the greatest nation on earth." We did elect Stephen Harper, though.

Over and out.


At February 27, 2007 1:41 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

whenever i live in the states, i think of when native american culture was at its zenith and how they believed the land didn't belong to anyone. how could it? it makes more sense than to think it belongs to the rich or the pentagon or the white house. that would scare me all the way to new zealand (which isn't a bad idea). i think you know what i mean though. there is a great keith jarrett album (2 cds) called "spirits"; he plays very little piano, mostly percussion and wind instruments; taps into cosmic vibrations around his home in new jersey (where he recorded it on cassette deck); travels back to the original earth long before the white man...perhaps, in a way, original surrealism. i love these recordings. this is how i think of america. although it's sometimes harder to see, it is still a spiritual place.


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