Monday, January 30

pipelines, violins, politicians, and love...

Anyone else find Obama’s SOTU mostly really good to listen to this year? I mean except for the saber rattling and nationalistic hoopla that seems to be mandatory for Western leaders? The man and his handlers have a gift for hearing the tone of the zeitgeist, even if I don’t really believe for a second that his banker friends will be letting him do much about any of that social equity and taxation of the rich stuff. He at least makes it sound like it would be a cool thing to see him doing.

Here in Canada, we have no charismatic leadership, sincere or not. We just have lying, cheating, heartless bastards that are about as exciting as dead fish. I hear what you're thinking, but really, I'm being kind. Our PM can’t even bring himself to tell us that he plans on completely gutting the social safety net that our country has been lauded for over the last fifty years; he goes to Davos and an economic summit, as far away as possible from the citizens he’s supposed to serve, to do it. I swear, this is karma for laughing at the US-ians for electing Dubya…

Western Canada has two pipeline disasters in the works. Readers below the 49th will have heard of the Keystone XL pipeline. It was nice of Obama to say “no, for now”. I wish he’d have just said, “no”. We also have the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in the works. While the Keystone is supposed to run North to South, from Alberta’s tar sands to Texas, the Northern Gateway is slated to run East to West, from Alberta’s tar sands, through the Rocky Mountains, and then across northern BC and some of the most pristine temperate rain forests in the world, to Terrace. From there, giant tankers would have to navigate some of the most treacherous inlets and moving sandbars and tides in the world to get out into the Pacific. Sounds smart, yeah? Here’s the thing about tankers and pipelines: Spills aren’t a matter of if, but when.

Could somebody explain why we aren’t fast-tracking alternative energy? Oh yeah, it doesn’t make the rich richer fast enough. And there’s all that start-up lag. Who cares about pristine anything, right? There's profit to be had.

And in Washington, DC, one of the best violinists in the world can play one of the hardest and most beautiful pieces ever written on one of the most exquisite violins in existence and get $32 bucks and a thousand blank faces for his effort. Kudos to the folk who were present enough to stop for a second and smell the damned roses.

And then there’s love. Love that makes people smile. And cry. That makes them scream in rage and weak in the knees. That offers hope to the hopeless and makes the selfish quake with fear. Someone I know said some cool stuff about it over here. Go tell here she doesn’t know poetry when in smacks her in the face. Or when she writes it.

There are plenty of things worth getting worked up over, but I find myself constantly trying to remember why I get worked up, what my reason is. An over-developed sense of injustice does it for me to start, but it's not enough to be offended. Anger is temporary and ultimately self-defeating. Love has to be the foundation: love for the next generation; love for our human potential; love of our selves and the legacy we're leaving; love of our fellow humans and the rest of the motley crew of flora and fauna and such that we happen to share this ball of dirt with. Love keeps the tanks fullish, yeah?

P.S. Here’s a piece on Keystone XL that Giulietta Nardone wrote for the Widwest Daily News.

P.P.S. Because it was playing as I wrote this, and because it seems apropos, from my “songs for the end of the world” playlist. (Not that I think it'll happen soon, but yeah, I have one of those…)

P.P.P.S I swore, I swore, I swore I was going to keep this short... #facepalmheadshake