Fucking Up Young (Aging Hipster Rewind)


While your’s truly managed to make it out for The Dirty Nil at Fanshawe College last night (an effervescent performance, bee tee dubya), I neglected to take any pics. Which is a shame, considering all the half-ironic cock-rock posing that went down (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Oh, and I also drank PBR draught for the first time in several years.

ewwwwwwAt a certain point irony and masochism become entirely indistinguishable (a rhetorical juncture located somewhere in the small intestine from the sound of things).

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Around the Internets: Monday Jump-Off

Must-reading to keep you occupied while US legislators play Hot Potato with an extremely fragile global economy (because Teabaggers won’t be dissed by the Negro-in-Chief, natch):

Plutocrats at Work: How Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy (h/t Diane Ravitch)

Warning bells: Is US shutdown a brewing African-American revolt? (h/t)

Do Racial Issues Still Push Some Over the Edge?

A U.S. Default Seen as Catastrophe Dwarfing Lehman’s Fall (h/t)

Canadian spies targeted Brazil’s mines ministry: report

U.S. Military Operations Against al-Shabaab/al-Qaeda—and Who Exactly is Ikrima?

Hillary Clinton: It’s Not Her Turn

From Zulu to the ‘White Widow’, why do all African stories need a white face? (h/t blacklooks)

Still Insufficient: Child Care in Canada

Why the rebirth of manufacturing is bypassing Canada

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More Collateral Damage From USia’s Wars

Rest assured that the ongoing US government shutdown (or slimdown, if one prefers the wingnut parlance) won’t stop the prescription opiates overmedicated veterans are now hooked on post Iraq/Afghanistan from flowing like wine.

PS - it’s not just opiates.

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Abdul Haji: Hero. Muslim. BAMF.

Westgate Screencap

“I don’t feel like a hero at all. That girl who ran towards me is brave. That’s bravery.”

‘Hero’ is indeed an extraordinarily over/misused word these days. But despite his insistence to the contrary, Westgate Mall rescuer Abdul Haji deserves — no, embodies — the title.


Not only because he risked his life to save countless innocent civilians (including the especially iconic moment portrayed above) caught up in al-Shabaab’s deadly 4 day assault that began on September 21st, leaving at least 72 dead and scores injured and/or traumatized. Haji’s willingness to put his safety in further jeopardy by taking a public stand as a Muslim and ethnic Somali for tolerance and unity, despite the attempt to drive a destabilizing wedge between Muslims and non in Kenya, is a whole ‘nother level of courageous.

That said, the little girl is still without a doubt the baddest of ‘em all.

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So Who Are They Assigning Down The Hall Anyway?

David Gilmour

I’m not exactly keen to join in on the collective online WTFery re: heterosexual manly-man Canadian author and sessional University of Toronto lecturer David Gilmour’s steadfast refusal to allow girl germs and POC cooties to infect the pristine, middle-aged white male sterility of his syllabus. There have already been ample creative rejoinders (and demonstrations — Serious Heterosexual Literary Scholar Northrop Frye never had it so goddamn good) to fulfill even your wildest schadenfreude-fueled fantasies (this highly-sophisticated ‘Gilmour-penned’ Woolf bio is a particularly fine example). But I am undeniably curious about one thing Gilmour said in his insta-infamous over-the-shoulder with some icky giiirrrrrrlll (who was probably just trying to make a name for herself by accurately quoting what was said on the record, amirite guys?):

Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall.

“[I]f you want women writers go down the hall.”

Ok, well, not to cast aspersions upon Mr. Gilmour’s highly-selective passion for what Belle Waring recently dubbed ‘Important [sic] Male Novelists’ (if not his apparent inability to untangle it from the accumulated navel lint prior to entering a lecture hall), but, speaking for myself, anyway, I kinda sorta *do* want exposure to a variety of perspectives. Most people who aren’t 60-something upper-middle class straight white dudes nursing their sexual hang-ups like a bloated, neurotic teat (ie, the overwhelming majority of 1st and 3rd year undergrads) probably want that too. And it’s kinda sorta Gilmour’s ethical mandate as an educator to give students exactly that, rather than offering a guided tour of the fragile male ego (now with extra menstrual-pad munching).

Sure, Gilmour may genuinely cherish his life-long diet of mayonnaise sammiches on white with the crusts cut off, but that doesn’t mean everyone else has to indulge his demonstratively infantile palate. Therefore, as a public service to future students before they are forced to endure such a dreary literary diet, how about U of T offer a sample of what they are serving down the hall, this estrogen-saturated smorgasbord of women, Chinese and Friends of Dorothy that is so unappealing to David Gilmour’s narrow pedagogical appetite? I dunno ’bout the rest of the non-middle-aged upper-middle-class white guys out there, but this one is definitely starving for writers that don’t fit on the rote Important Male Novelist comfort food menu.

Indeed, as shocking as it may seem, some folks actually use higher education as a means to expand their horizons, as opposed to painting themselves into a safe, narrow corner of the same house that they’ve always lived in.

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A strange and bitter crop, indeed.

Quite possibly the most unfortunate lynching metaphor ever  (or so far this week, anyhow — bear in mind, it’s only Tuesday):

The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitchforks and their hangman nooses, and all that — sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.”

Yes, clearly AIG CEO Robert Benmosche was only a few comment threads away from becoming the Emmitt Till of financial plutocracy. And that’s not just whistlin’ ‘Dixie’ (or any whistlin’ at all, period. Natch).


Related: 2,400 reasons why Benmosche’s egregious criticism/genocide analogy was beyond inapt.

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Monday Metal: Atheist – Unquestionable Presence


I just– just–had one of those painfully awkward thirty-something moments when I realized that Atheist’s breakthrough sophomore full-length, Unquestionable Presence, is now a robust 22 years old (insert pimple-faced nostalgia featuring the requisite imagery of generic teenage wasteland, a life reduced to reverse-chronology disaster pr0n). That it sounds so fresh today only emphasizes just how ahead of its time this progressive jazz metal masterpiece truly was. Check it out after the cut, courtesy the fine folks at Seasons of Mist (h/t): Continue reading

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