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04/01 Direct Link
RECEIVED WISDOM


"I don't like to see other people getting beaten up on."

All shortages in Canada must be referred to as 'acute.'

"Free speech has its limits." - George Galloway

"She's just famous for being famous."

"I have nothing to feel guilty about."

"Barcelona is a fascinating mix of the old and the new."

"The problem is they're notoriously late."

"Things are always awkward on a first date."

"On the mean streets, life can get pretty raw."

"I'm completely powerless over my addiction!"

All lines are 'fine.'

"You know, we love getting mail from you."

"Turn perils into possibilities."
04/02 Direct Link
It's a grey the colour of the water that fills an overfilled ashtray left our in warm rain overnight, and it smells something like that, but also with a great stink of sulphur and shit; and it glistens dully like old leather, and around its cock there's crusty frizzy hair all tangled and falling, and its eyes are red and dead when not insane, and its cunt is wet and oozing a white goo that's flaky and scaly where it hits the asshole; and it slurps its tongue and sucks its yellow teeth; and I am one of its parasites.
04/03 Direct Link
published in the Globe and Mail April 3

Lawrence Martin yesterday wondered why the New Democratic Party was not benefitting from the economic turmoil, and he argued it was because the party did not have control of a major newspaper. However, as I see it, the NDP doesn't have to control a newspaper: what it should gain control over are the encyclopedias. That way they could erase all knowledge of the 200,000,000 or so the party's ideological pals murdered in the last century. While they're at it they could present Three Mile Island as way worse than Chernobyl.

John Skaife
04/04 Direct Link
LEONARDO THANKS BIRDS

Leonardo went to France to receive an award. It was for architecture, painting, design and alchemy. "He's a real renaissance man!" quipped some wag. The quip was quickly forgotten. (Just goes to show how timing in comedy is everything.)

He was called on to make a speech. Leonardo acted shy but finally he spoke.

He said, "I have to thank the birds."

(Gasps from the audience.)

"All I have done, all I will continue to do, comes from emulating birds. Birds are nothing if not resourceful. As I have tried to be."

He raised aloft the award.
04/05 Direct Link
20 Aug 1940

How did it come to this? Was it jealousy? Was it fear? What did I say?

I said to him once, "Come on, please let me sign some death warrants. Not many, just ten or twenty thousand. Why does Molotov get all the fun? Can't I satisfy one tenth of my bloodlust?"

No, the old crab wouldn't allow it. He wanted them all to kill himself! The pig, the glutton. Just because I was smarter than he was, just because he didn't understand I wanted

Someone's at the door. Where are my bodyguards? Oh for Christ's sake....
04/06 Direct Link
She's a cat. She will purr and she will scratch. She's a musical comedy. She will entertain and she'll include a sentimental song. She's a constellation.
She will come out at night and she'll leave in the morning.

She's an armchair
Meant to support your aching back.

She's a rebel rebel.
She will rev her hog and speed away through dust.

She's got a menagerie
And she brings out new pets every day.

She's fifty feet tall
But still her voice is soft.

She's everything at the other focus of the gyre
And the orbiting would make any man dizzy.
04/07 Direct Link
EXCLUSIVE: ARTIST STATES TRUTHFULLY REASON HE IS POOR

Why am I poor? That's a pretty good question. I guess I'm poor because I don't need money. What would I want money for? You think I'd be in good with my friends if I owned a house? They'd detest me totally. We're not supposed to sell out, see? and being successful is exactly the same as selling out, when you set the granularity to a particular scale. That's to say, artists, consumed with self-doubt as they are, will always find fault, especially in economics. And besides, lefty girls are so easy.
04/08 Direct Link
MOUSE: Let's play Cat and Mouse.
CAT: We don't have to play; we are.
MOUSE: But we can switch roles.
CAT: I smell a rat.
MOUSE: That hurts!
CAT: You're up to something.
MOUSE: Just want to play.
CAT: You've started already, haven't you?
MOUSE: En garde!
CAT: Ha ha.
MOUSE: C'mon, let me chase you a bit.
CAT: If I let you, won't I be the actor?
MOUSE: It's just a game.
CAT: What if you caught me?
MOUSE: I'd give you the laurels.
CAT: Win if I win, win if I lose?
MUSE [sic]: More than one way.
04/09 Direct Link
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04/10 Direct Link
RADIO

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have something special. The Zephyr Quartet performs what they call authentic performances. Tell the listening audience, sirs, what exactly is authentic performance?

FIRST VIOLIN: It's quite simple, really.

SECOND VIOLIN: You've heard of authentic instruments?

FIRST VIOLIN: Old instruments. You know?

ANNOUCEMENT: Yes.

'CELLO: Well, we're like that, but we go a bit further.

VIOLA: We don't practice beforehand.

ANNOUNCER: You don't practice?

FIRST VIOLIN: Yes. We're that authentic.

SECOND VIOLIN: No-one originally rehearsed Haydn, see?

'CELLO: And that's how we play!

FIRST VIOLIN: Okay, let's go. What tempo?

SECOND VIOLIN: Says largo.
04/11 Direct Link
TELEVISION

Your passport, please.

Call me 'comrade,' heh.

Is this your first visit to Cuba?

Yep. Looking forward to it.

Open your bags.

Open your bags. Comrade.

Very well, here you go.

Let us see, let us see. Clothing. Toiletries. Ah, what's this? Books?

Books for the people.

Why are you bringing these?

A friend of mine wanted to donate to the cause.

Animal Farm? The United States Constitution? The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.?

Sure. What of it?

These books are subversive, and banned.

What?

You heard me.

Bill gave them to me!

Come along. Your cell awaits.
04/12 Direct Link
FILMS MOST RECENTLY SEEN

1st Time
The Lives of Others
Sliver
Man on Wire
Once
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Captains Courageous
Butley
They Were Expendable

2nd Time
The Red Shoes
Steamboat Bill Jr.
Scenes From a Marriage
Crossfire
The Good Earth
Nights of Cabiria
Topkapi
Lady for a Day
Grand Illusion
La Strada
Le Million
L'avventura

3rd Time
Stagecoach
Adam's Rib
The General
The Deer Hunter
Whisky Galore!
My Darling Clementine
All Quiet on the Western Front
Gimme Shelter
The Thin Blue Line
Fanny and Alexander

More that 3rd Time
The Third Man
The Stunt Man
Rashomon
Rear Window
04/13 Direct Link
RECORDS MOST RECENTLY GOTTEN

Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Volumes 1-5
Solex - Solex Vs. the Hitmeister
Solex - Low Kick and Hard Bop
The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 11B
Dirty Three - Horse Songs
Swans - Children of God / World of Skin
The Residents - The River of Crime Episodes 1-5
The Mills Brothers - The Anthology 1931-1968
Steinski - What Does It All Mean?
Art of Field Recording Volume 2
Eraserhead
Curtis Mayfield - Curtis
Ornette Coleman - Change of the Century
Emperor - In the Nightside Eclipse
Gillian Welch - Revival
04/14 Direct Link
Books Recently Read

2666 by Roberto Boliño
Nana by Emile Zola
Pimp by Iceberg Slim
Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Boliño
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Boliño
Shakedown by Ezra Levant
Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis by Ugo Foscolo
No Nature by Gary Snyder
The Geography of the Imagination by Guy Davenport
Selected Poetry and Prose of John Dryden
The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek
The Recognitions by William Gaddis
Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare
A Night of Serious Drinking by René Daumal
True Crime: An American Anthology, edited by Harold Schechter
Birthday by Koji Suzuki
04/15 Direct Link
The teacher clapped her hands sharply.

"Class, I want to prepare you for something. A new student will be joining us today, a boy named Edmund Jones. He has a disability. He has a bomb in his head, and it could go off at any minute. I know you're all sensitive and serious when it comes to differences, and you'll do anything to make him feel welcome, but still I want you to be prepared to meet a boy who is, deep down, exactly like yourselves."

Edmund Jones came into the room, and he looked around. And his head exploded.
04/16 Direct Link
--(What the fuck am I doing here? Why did I come here? I hate the theatre, it's all so phony, especially these little things where you know the writer and you've met some of the actors. My God, they can barely speak the lines ... but who can blame them, the script is so bad, garbage in, garbage out! You call that a set? And this recorded music, what junk! Ah jeez, let it end! Thank God! It's over! I'll stand and applaud the falling curtain!)

--So, did you like my play?

--Like it? I loved it!
04/17 Direct Link
Helen,
Things are not going well here at work, not at all. It's starting to get to me. You know how it is since the accident; the whole team was dispersed to other places, all connected by the teleporters. We have to get on the teleporters way too often, very often anyway. And I'm starting to see that I, aside from waiting for them forever, I get off them and I look around and I can't remember where I came from or where I'm going! It's just a moment of total confusion, and it's followed by a kind of irritation.
04/18 Direct Link
Y.A. NOVELS


The World Above Me, by Stan L. Duffering

At about 200 pages, this novel is suitable to older teens. The autobiographical story of a young man named Phil who attempts to reunite his divorced parents through a rash and dangerous scheme. Nearly without flaw, though good-humoured throughout. Ages 16-17.


Wetlands, by Charlotte Roche

This novel of a middling length concerns a young woman's hospital stay and her attempts to reunite her parents. She remembers many significant events of her brief life, hastily sketched (just like in real life). Not without some flaws, including an unsatisying ending. Ages 14-15.
04/19 Direct Link
We were all sitting around the lunchroom after lunch. We were all tired even though we were barely halfway through the day. Bill said, "I worked for a roofer for two months years ago. Fuck, that was hard work. Summer. Hot." And Jim said, "I did housepainting like that. Huge houses." And I said, "I had to work in a stuffy office adding columns. I thought I was gonna die of something. Malaria or something." Bill said, "It was better than this." And Bill said, "I seem to have had more money back then." And I said, "It's all downhill."
04/20 Direct Link
I went into the cafeteria and there he was, with his weird pink boots and his weird pink hair. I went over and shoved myself against him. "Move over! You new here?" He said, "Yeah, why?" I said, "What's your story?" He told me. "So, you a fag?" I asked. He didn't answer so I said, "I'm a dyke. I fuck with everyone." A couple days later I saw him again and shoved him.

We both knew he was a fag. We got along great. We got high together pretty regularly, and fucked easy maybe once a month or so?
04/21 Direct Link
The doctor said to Consonant, "It's a Palindrome."

Vowel beamed. "A Palindrome!"

And Palindrome grew and grew, longer and longer, by symmetry.

Things were tough for Palindrome.

His past always looked exactly like his future, and his future exactly like his past.

He got married even though he knew how it would end.

Palindrome's children: boy, girl, boy, girl, boy.

He got younger as he got older. Poor Palindrome!

His wife said, "You're so duplicitous!"

"Maybe I'm dying."

Deathbed: "I'm looking forward to seeing you all again. Even in reverse. I'll see you again. Boy, girl, boy, girl, boy. Wife."
04/22 Direct Link
Diary this year so far.

I held the Christmas dinner here for the first time. The turkey I cooked was, all agreed, the best they'd ever had. (Follow The Joy of Cooking for turned roasted turkey and you're there.)

My father died the end of January. It hurt me more than I thought it would. I guess that means it hurt.

Mary and me got sick of my drinking 'bout the end of March. I cut down. Still cut.

Plans:

To Montreal, to deposit my father's ashes in a military graveyard.

To New York, for Sister Helen's anniversary.

Bala.

CB.
04/23 Direct Link
Last night, at about 2 a.m., I found a big pile of napthali in the middle of a courtyard. For those of you who don't know what napthali is, it's a luminescent white material of immeasurable value. Quite a find. The two people I was with didn't think it was anything important, but I knew. It was in a thick stack of thin sheets. I rifled through them to the final page. I took a sample to see with. Now it's day, and I don't have it any more. But I did have it, last night, at about 2 a.m.
04/24 Direct Link
I think I've been losing my mojo recently. I wish I knew where it's going. It's just draining away. I can't come up with good stuff, I'm not even dreaming right anymore. Maybe it's my brain falling out slowly or lobes that don't run right. Or maybe it's because there's a limited number of ideas in the world and I've come to the end of my allotment. Maybe I've fallen behind in my sleep, maybe that's the problem. It's all drudgery! Maybe it's all gone forever, and I won't get it back. Sigh! Thank God I still got my hokum.
04/25 Direct Link
Jane got a great idea one afternoon. It was about a great way to kill her husband.

She didn't like him much. Besides, it was a great idea you wouldn't want to pass on.

She went out and caught a rare disease. (She'd researched what it was, and how to cure it.)

Then she gave it to her husband.

He got sick, but Jane pretended it was something else entirely. She gave him the wrong pills and they harmed his liver.

Then some other pills did some other nasty stuff.

Jane's husband died, she was cured, and she got remarried.
04/26 Direct Link
NEWS OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD


MOTORCYCLE PARKED ACROSS STREET

A motorcycle is parked across the street, nearest to 580 Logan Avenue.

**

BOY WITH KNAPSACK HAS HAT

A boy with a hat and knapsack was spotted this evening on Logan Avenue.

**

LAWN DISRUPTION

Scaffolding is up outside a house on Logan Avenue. Raccoons should prepare for detours.

**

BLUE CAR SPOTTED CHASING SILVER CAR: LOGAN AVE.

A blue car was this evening seen chasing a silver car, or else they were merely going in the same direction.

**

MUSIC HEARD

Distant music was heard from the north, and went away.
04/27 Direct Link
PART ONE

I will not die, it will not kill me. How could I be killed by this? Well, there's plenty of ways I could be killed by this. I don't want to enumerate them all, it's all kind of foggy, I can't imagine it, but I can feel what it would feel like. Agh!

But ... I could be wrong. I mean, what's the worst that can happen? It's only bowling, after all. I could be humiliated. That's about it. I can sit quietly, and if I lose I lose. That's the worst of it. Settles it: I'll go.
04/28 Direct Link
PART TWO

I'll go, I'll go, but I'm not going to drink anything. I swear I'm not going to drink anything.

Shit, forgot my lipstick! No, here it is.

I haven't bowled in years! Oh well. I'll be cute.

But I won't drink.

Maybe just one or two bottles. Not much at all. Not enough to make bad things happen.

I don't want to fight.

It'd look weird if I didn't go. Control.

Control.

I don't even know who I'll be being cute to.

He never comes.

How high can you score in five-pin bowling?

**

Oh no. I'm pregnant.
04/29 Direct Link
Somebody banged on my windshield four and a half seconds ago.

It was obviously a madman.

I was feeling brave and kitteny.

I rolled down the window.

"Yes?"

He had a nicotine-stained beard. He said, "You rolled down your window."

"Sure. What's up?"

He looked around crazily. "You sure you wanna be seen talking to me?"

"Can't hurt."

He'd been drinking. "Are you gonna tell people?"

"Probably."

He was thin. "Do you have any change?"

I found a fiver. "Here you go."

He was taller than average. "Well, that's okay."

"Spend it where you want."

He was grateful. "Thank you."
04/30 Direct Link
BON MOTS


Journalism can be defined as literature sans morality.

There have always been more words than things.

Annihilation of Israel distracts President - New York Times, 12 August 2010

Governments don't grant rights. Governments merely want to take them away. Point this out too often and they will try to destroy you.

Is Islam in fact the stupidest religion ever?

That imagination can be turned on like a tap is an amazing discovery.

Happy that at my age I can still be shocked.

The Japanese write novels on cellphones.

Life is long and I have told all the jokes.