Bulletin Archives

Jan 2002 - Dec 2002

Return to current bulletin.

Friday December 20, 2002

"The best line in tonight's live address from the most puissant Emperor George II to his lowly subjects was its first line: 'Tonight I want to discuss a grave threat to peace: America's determination to lead the world.' ...But then it turned out that he hadn't finished the sentence. Oh well." -Roderick T. Long

As I'm sure you all know, I'm a bit of an information junkie. I spend a lot of time surfing news sites and even lurking through political newsboards. An interesting board is called "Babble," and is run by the leftist webmag, Rabble.ca (the people who published the 2nd version of my Kashmir article). This isn't necessarily a plug for the website, but their board posters tend to be among the more literate and witty that I've found. Here are a couple of samples:

"...the USA is a socialist country for big corporations and rich people, and a capitalist country for the rest of us." -DrConway

"Government doesn't make people better. It just reins in their sh!ttier instincts - if they are sure to rein in its sh!ttier instincts. That's all we want." -Smith

While we're talking about quotes, I like this one from Joy Press of The Village Voice:

"'p.c.' was always just a caricature, a stick used by the right wing to batter the left with its own kindness."

Here is a great article listing the achievments of Iraqi civilization. It's about bloody time someone published such a list! Mark Steyn can kiss my stinky ass.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in DC is, in my opinion, essentially a Republican thinktank. With that in mind, they still provide some excellent and memorable quotes. I like this one from Anthony Cordesman. He's talking about the current penchant for "intellectuals" to salivate over the rebuilding of Iraq:

"Iraq cannot be treated as an intellectual playground for political scientists or ideologues, and must not be treated as if its people were a collection of white rats that could be pushed through a democratic maze by a bunch of benevolent US soldiers and NGOs."

As many of you know, Robert Fisk is one of my "heroes." (I don't have heroes, but there are courageous people whom I admire; Fisk is one of them.) His words these days are increasingly melancholy. Seems he's being beaten down by an increasingly retarded world. This is an excellent Fisk article about the current shocking trend of journalists becoming willing and overt tools of statist purpose.

On a somewhat similar note, William Pfaff writes in this article about the subtle effect of journalistic nomenclature on political purpose. Specifically, he demands that Western media and politicians cease depicting all of Islam as the enemy. Also a very timely article, though somewhat sloppily written.

I have my problems with Joseph Sobran. But he comes through with this quote:

"Who imagined, when [the USA's] army was bogged down in Vietnam, that it would go on to wage war (or “keep peace”), not long afterward, from Lebanon to Panama to Iraq to Serbia to Afghanistan and back to Iraq? Does anyone care to place a bet on where it will make future enemies?"

Let's end the political segment of today's bulletin with this eternally quotable snippet from John Kenneth Galbraith. It explains so much about the world:

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

I'm off to Toronto tonight, so this space might not be updated for another couple of weeks. You might want to check out my latest non-wrestling article. This one is about the life of Salman Rushdie. As always, my most recent columns and features can be found on my comment page. And please do take the time to visit my other website, the very exciting and erudite "magazine," The Podium.

I'll leave you with a quote about the latest disappointing Star Trek movie, this one from the always quotable Squire Edmund Wong:

"Let me just say, whatever technology aliens have, it always seems to come down to a knife fight.

Happy Holidays!

Monday December 16, 2002

"How unfashionable it is to champion the poor, who, if it weren't for their guest appearances on television during tornado season describing how their trailer parks have been decimated, could be a figment of the imagination dreamt up by communists. Or Canadians." -Bruce LaBruce

As promised, my photos from Malaysia are now posted! Click on"photos" on the menu to the left, and select "Malaysia." (Well, duhh.)

Saw the new Star Trek movie this weekend. How very very disappointing. Why? Why? Why do they insist on writing mediocre crap and wrapping $20 million worth of special effects around it? Can't they spend an extra hundred or two and write a better story?

My latest thing is downloading episodes of my favourite TV shows and watching them on my computer. The beauty of this format is that I get to avoid commercials in their entirety, and watch sequential shows in proper order. This only works for high calibre shows, like Stargate-SG1, though.

I've got nothing else to say today. I'll leave you with a quote from my favourite sex therapist, a woman with a rare, powerful and occasionally subtle kind of wisdom:

"Besides, if having sex in exchange for something is the definition of prostitution, there's a lot more whores in the world than are currently advertising." -Sasha

Friday December 13, 2002

"...in every democracy in the world, including ours: the slow slide toward authoritarianism. Democracy has always had a short life span." -Charley Reese

In many ways, Charley Reese is a crotchety addled old geezer with a knee-jerk Coulterian anti-liberal reflex. But on the topic of US foreign policy and on the histories of governments in general, he is often untouchable. Here's another quote from Mr. Reese:

"[Netanyahu and Sharon] foolishly believe that they can annihilate the Palestinians with brute force. This policy, and our unquestioning support for it, is what fuels hatred for the United States in the Arab world. Like it or not, that's the truth."

As always, I turn to Brother Margolis to be courageous enough to put world events into context. He's always worth a read, if only for his cantankerous style. This article is about the Bush junta's policy of "divide and conquer."

Speaking of everyone's favourite unelected President, there are increasingly more stories of Americans arrested or detained for dissension. Mind you, some of these cases are almost justified. This story is of a teenager forced to remove a T-shirt which showed a target on The Shrub's forehead. Hey, I thought Bush was pro-gun and pro-marksmanship?

And how about this story about a man imprisoned for making a "burning bush" comment in casual conversation? You know what these two stories have in common? Brainwashed tattletales who think "patriotism" means reporting all forms of dissent, even ones which clearly weren't meant as viable threats to the President.

Enough politics for today. Guess what I discovered? My book, Sweet Like Saltwater, is being taught in an Asian American course at Columbia University. The course's entire reading list can be found here. Cool.

Okay, I've been a lazy bum. I have uploaded all my photos from Malaysia, but have yet to organize and edit them. So you'll have to wait a couple of more days before you'll be seeing them here. Maybe by Sunday?

Sunday December 8, 2002

Okay, I'm back from Malaysia and still jet-lagged, so I've not a great deal to write about just yet. My latest wrestling column, penned from Borneo, is available here.

Stay tuned for pics and more articles soon...

Tuesday November 19, 2002

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Quite the telling quote, no? Sometimes those overwrought Founding Fathers sound downright prescient. In no particular order, here are some thoughts:

  • Apparently the current God-obsessed US government was employing the CIA to find Noah's Ark. Please remember that Hitler also spent state funds looking for religious relics. Sometimes the parallels scare me.
  • The US military used to perform radiation experiments on its citizens without their consent. We are to trust these people now?
  • In a sign of the times, the Visa corporation won a lawsuit against a guy who used the word "visa" in an unrelated endeavour. Apparently a corporate trademark carries more weight than an actual word in the dictionary. I'm going to go get a trademark on the word "the."
  • People keep emailing me to express their chagrin at the anti-Canada comments by that fat f@ck Jonah Goldberg. Let me say again: he ain't worth the time. He's an unemployable hack, and the word is that he got his job only as payback to his mother (Lucienne Goldberg) for her anti-Clinton crusade. Jonah's wife is also a speechwriter for John Ashcroft, which goes to show how in-bred and nepotistic the American far right really is.

I'm off to Malaysia on Thursday. I'll be visiting some HIV/AIDS and development agencies while there, though I am ostensibly on vacation. You'll all get a full report. While Canada has issued a warning to all its citizens travelling abroad, I wish to re-iterate that the biggest dangers to modern travellers, even in this age of terrorism, are unclean water and traffic. Having said that, as always, I maintain a file containing a final message to my family, in the event of my untimely demise. The file is encrypted, so don't bother poking around unless I really have met my maker.

I hope I'll have time to update the Bulletin before I leave. In case I don't.... see you in a couple of weeks!

Friday November 15, 2002

"Once again, Americans are scaring themselves silly over something they cannot control." -Alexander Rose, National Post

The above quote can be applied to oh so many things.

War with Iraq seems even more imminent. But why? Is it just oil? In this article, Brother Margolis talks about empire building in Mesopotamia, and the next target of US military might: Iran.

Did I tell you I saw Salman Rushdie speak at the National Press Club? Some days later, I also saw Leonard Nimoy at the same venue. I wanted to get them confused and ask Salman, "Mr. Rushdie, in episode #6, why did you wait so long before blasting through the Tholian web?" But I chickened out. While Rushdie was inspiring, Nimoy was vapid. One of the great joys of growing older is replacing your shallow role models of youth with great thinkers and doers: Rushdie for Nimoy.

Tonight I went to the book fair of the National Press Club. Unlike similar events in Canada, this one brings out power brokers and media heavyweights, and juxtaposes them with celebrity frivolity and general vapidness. It's an odd scene. We have Christopher Hitchens, George Will, Katherine Harris, Lisa Beamer, Tom Lehrer and Chris Matthews.... and Robert Guillaume... all hawking their books as if they were selling kebabs at a Cairo souk. It was a very telling reduction of power and influence to their threadbare commercial core. One author was even pushing pamphlets about her book at people lined up at the coat check! Very sad.

I'm off to Malaysia next week. Hopefully there won't be a travel advisory before then!

Friday November 8, 2002

"The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his advisors." -Congressman Peter Stark

Well, Canada has started down the road of stupidity, with the opening of a private hospital. A silly person once demanded to know what the harm was in letting someone who could afford it get their own privately-funded care. The lesson was learned the hard way in Britain, where a similar two-tiered approach was taken. Despite appeals to the better side of human nature, history has shown that when the middle and upper classes are allowed to deny their emotional investment in public welfare, their financial investment is next to wane. Canada's public health care system would quickly denude, as did England's state-run health and education systems when the same tack was taken.

The article linked above has a nice passionate quote from a health economist. But due to typical poor wording by the slovenly National Post writing staff (with the exception of my good friend Neil, of course), I'm not sure what side the economist is on!

Well, the Democrats screwed up their election bid and lost both Congress and the Senate to the War Party. Whatever. I'm sick of these people and their endless rhetoric --on both sides!

Apparently that bow-tied weasel Jonah Goldberg is about to declare in his right-wing Enquirer, The National Review, that Canada is no longer a serious country, essentially because Canada doesn't agree with every detail of US foreign policy. It was suggested that I consider this good fodder for a future op-ed. But I refuse to acknowlege Mr. Goldberg in any capacity, except here on my loser website. He's like the rest of us: looking for publicity, except he's a bigger dumb-ass than most.

Here's an unsurprising bit of news. Apparently young people are more likely than older people to support war. The article suggests it's because young people have been fed a diet of sanitized war and black-and-white political issues. They're buying the force-fed Republican view of a dichotomous world of Good vs. Evil. Odd how even professional wrestling has chosen to depict its 2-dimensional characters in shades of grey.

I don't believe for a second that so-called "young people" are uniformly stupid. Everytime I've addressed a school or university, I've been pleasantly surprised by how complex and plastic the mind of youth really is. However, I do believe that among stupid people, youth are overrepresented. Stupid people suck. Charley Reese puts it in context:

"Most Americans grossly underestimate how very dangerous stupid people can be."

Amen, brother. With all the election hooplah, the typically vapid and temporal press have dropped Iraq from their front pages. Let's get back to it for a second...

"Iraq is 'the tactical pivot,' as a recent presentation at the Pentagon put it, for re-mapping the Middle East on Israeli-American interests. Destabilization of other 'despotic regimes' will follow, according to plan... So the plan to attack Iraq was plotted six years ago by pro-Israelis who now hold key positions in the Pentagon." -Fedwa Wazwaz, St Paul Pioneer Press

This article describes how Iraqi ex-pats and British and US oil firms are already planning how best to divvy up Iraq's oil assets once the imperial expansion is concluded.

Now, when I quote these people, I do not mean to imply that I support or agree with all of their paranoid ramblings. But a lot of it does make sense.

Speaking of empire, Frank Bardacke of CounterPunch.org has a fascinating take on the nature of the emerging American empire. His whole essay can be found here. I particularly like this paragraph:

"...those who decide on American policy and those whose job it is to sell that policy to the American people and the world no longer feel a need to camouflage their intentions, to dress up their empire in more respectable clothes. American Empire and imperial ambition are currently respectable enough. They need no ideological cover. And that may turn out to be the longest lasting legacy of September 11."

With the idea of empire in mind, many otherwise unrelated foreign policy decisions seem to blend into a complete philosophy. (This is not to imply a conspiracy, you knuckleheads poised to write me hate mail, only a mindset which may or may not be overtly realized.) Stephen Peter Rosen of Harvard Magazine had this to say about the empire:

"...we are an indirect empire, to be sure, but an empire nonetheless. If this is correct, our goal is not combating a rival, but maintaining our imperial position, and maintaining imperial order."

On a completely unrelated note, remember that book of Indian folktales I was writing? Well I was recently contacted by someone putting on a play in New Hampshire based upon one of the tales. (Not upon my version, though.) She wanted some clarification on setting and history. Quite cool. A summary of the production, Wisdom For Sale, is here.

Remember, if you agree/disagree with anything I've written here or elsewhere, you are invited to submit your own take --in op-ed format-- for publication in The Podium.

Tuesday November 5, 2002

I'm getting fat again. I blame the weather. It's too cold to run. Or at least that's what I tell myself as I hit the snooze button and retreat under my warm covers.

The DC postal system continues to piss me the @#!$ off. I am now officially missing over $2000 in cheques from various clients, all of which were mailed months ago. Several submissions to publishers and agents have also gone astray. You know why US postal workers occasionally go nuts and kill people? It's because they're incompetent boobs!

The good news comes as a result of some bad news. Due to US immigration constantly harrassing foreigners of swarthy appearance and Muslim background, regardless of what passport they hold (shameful, shameful behaviour), Canada's greatest current novelist, Rohinton Mistry, has cancelled his US book tour. As a result, the Ottawa Citizen is rushing a shortened version of my racial profiling article to press this morning. It's the article that just won't die.

So go buy a copy and send it to my parents. They'll be so proud.

Tuesday October 28, 2002

"Americans have no idea of the extent of their government's mischief." -Gore Vidal, The Last Empire

Okay, let me get this straight. Iraq might be gathering resources to one day possibly construct a fabled "weapon of mass destruction", so Dubbya is rushing headlong into war with Saddam. North Korea openly admits to having a nuclear weapons program and our clueless leader decides that..... negotiation and diplomacy are the appropriate paths.

So what's the real difference between the two countries? Say it with me, boys and girls: OIL. That and North Korea is the fourth biggest military power in the world and bullies like Bush and Rumsfeld can't just push it around.

No one sets this confused mess straight better than Charly Reese in this column. On matters of US foreign policy, Reese should be required reading. This article is also particularly good.

The logic of Emperor George II continues to baffle. Let's see... he's seeking a UN Security Council resolution to fight Saddam, but if the Security Council doesn't give it to him, he'll go it alone and declare the UN to be "irrelevant." Oh yes, and why is he going to war with Saddam again? Because Saddam violated UN Security Council resolutions. Email me your flow charts, students.

As always, Brother Margolis gives the issue the appropriate treatment here.

No new personal news to report. This website has just changed URL forwarding services, however. Our previous provider, Namesecure, are a bunch of incompetent chimps who can't spell "customer service." So we've moved to Redirection.Net at a fraction of the price!

Hey, I'm looking for a palmtop word processor. If anyone has one to sell me (cheap), lemme know.

Friday October 25, 2002

"Unbelievable as it seems, there are in this world many who remain convinced that the Soviet communists were really no worse than say, the Republicans. It should be obvious that there is no comparison between the two - the communists for all their sins were at least effective. No one can accuse the Republicans of that." -Michael Peirce (who's usually quite the dumb-ass) LewRockwell.com

As a follow-up to my last bulletin post, this article discusses the logical rationale behind an American empire, namely the Pax Americana.

And here is an interesting and humourous look at Washington's "chickenhawks", those annoying war-mongering fools who ironically know nothing about war.

Joseph Sobran has always been an interesting writer, though I certainly don't support all of his opinions. In this article, he critizes the fundaments of war. It's worth a look.

While I'm quoting people, why not Woody Harrelson? I really hate it when entertainers take political stances (John Malkovich, I'm looking at you). But at least Woody backs up his words with actions. Unlike Malkovich, Woody doesn't make death threats and not take the time to elucidate his position. Here is a fun little article by Woody. Sure, the stance is backed by a sort of high-school level analysis, but at least he's trying.

Jimmy Carter finally won the Nobel Peace prize this year. No other surviving American President has even come close to his record of good works. However, it's important to remember than no one rises to his position without having wrestled and slept with the basest members of our civilization. Here is a list of Jimmy's failings. Never let it be said that my website is a pulpit for partisan politics! (Cool, alliteration.)

Here's some more good news. Canadian author Yann Martel won this year's Booker Prize for literature!

As I love to do, I'm going to end today's bulletin with a quote from champion of no-bullsh!t op-ed writing, Eric Margolis:

"The [Bali] bombing was a horrifying, cowardly act, but so is dropping 1,000-kg bombs on villages and apartment buildings."

Amen, Brother Margolis. Amen.

Monday October 21, 2002

"The strategy used to sell the Bush tax cut was simply to deny the facts - and to lash out at anyone who tried to point them out. And it's a strategy that, having worked there, is now being applied across the board." -Paul Krugman, NY Times

Got a lot of stuff to report today. First off, my article on the Beltway sniper was published this past Saturday in The Ottawa Citizen. That paper will also publish a shortened version of my racial profiling article.

I want to remind everyone that my newest short story appears in the current issue of Pagitica magazine. Also, my book (Sweet Like Saltwater) is being auctioned off in the regular fundraising drive of CKLN radio. If you've got some money you need to spend, go bid on it!

Check this out. It's a list of names for the new dumb-ass war against Iraq. Usually personal blogs are unabashedly fascist. It's nice to come across one or two that aren't. Speaking of the fascists, this piece of sh!t will make you want to vomit.

You know, when Sep/11 happened last year, a friend asked me what I thought it meant. I answered that the event would see either the solidification (i.e., unmasking) of the true American world empire, or it would signal the final obliteration of that extant empire. At the time, I suspected the latter, though recent international events suggest the former. It now seems that I was not alone in my original assessment. This article summarizes well the position that the US empire actually fell with the end of the Vietnam war.

On a mostly unrelated note, it seems that there was talk in Canada of starting a "United States day." Can you believe that? We Canadians really suck sometimes. What kind of loser country has a national day set aside for a foreign country? What with so many worthy domestic causes and triumphs gone unmarked. How about a Native Peoples day, or an Insulin day or a day commemorating Standard Time, the telephone or a host of other great Canadian accomplishments no one wants to remember? Of course, starting a "Canada day" has never and will never appear on any American public poll. This article gives the notion the treatment it deserves.

So Deonandan.Com is undergoing some great new changes. Come join me in the exclusive Deonandia chat room! Or send a free custom Ray Deonandan greeting card!

One last thing: my latest wrestling column is here. As usual, the wrestling columns get me a lot of hate mail. Yep, often wrestling fans deserve each other.

Tuesday October 15, 2002

My poor parents. I moved to Washington, DC, just days after terrorists dropped an airplane into the Pentagon. Then the "Maryland sniper" goes on the prowl, with many of his shootings occurring in the neighbourhoods around my office. And now, less than a week before my brother and his wife enjoy their honeymoon on the island of Bali, terrorists blow up a car bomb there, killing over 100 people. I guess there really isn't a safe place to be anymore.

Speaking of unsafeness and general weirdness, listen to this story. About 20 years ago, I was looking for unusual names to incorporate into my short stories, so took to mining my siblings'old highschool yearbooks. I came upon a singular name, "Aaron Dookie," which I thought was unique and memorable. I immediately used a version of that name in one of my short stories, and that story was eventually incorporated into my book, Sweet Like Saltwater. Though the years passed, the name Aaron Dookie, randomly picked from a dusty yearbook, never wandered from the back of my mind.

Last week, I read that Aaron Dookie had committed a murder-suicide. Yes, it's the same fellow.

On a completely different note, I want to talk about something that needs to be addressed. A few days ago, someone implied to me that since I am working in the USA, handsomely enjoying its fruits, I should be more circumspect in my criticism of its government. As you can imagine, the result was a shouting match on the streets of DC, 'cause this is not a sentiment I accept in any way, shape or fashion.

Let me say this: who do I need to be, and where do I need to work, before I am to be permitted to criticize this government? Is the price of stating my opinions to be indigence? Must I either quit my job or return to Canada before I can ethically voice my oppositions to the policies of George W. Bush? Is that really what "free speech" is supposed to mean in this country?

It was pointed out to me that when you live as a guest in a foreign country, it's good manners not to "insult" your host nation. But living in the USA is not like living in any other nation, like Namibia or Lichtenstein or even Canada. This nation is the world power. Its actions, even domestically, appreciably affect every human being on the planet. It is therefore reasonable for every person, regardless of nationality, profession and location, to harbour and voice an opinion on American policies. Heck, nationality has never stopped Americans from voicing opinions on the policies and lifestyles of other countries!

And no, in the verbiage of one individual, it is not "ironic" to be involved in US industry while criticizing US policy. Firstly, in this globalized era, no matter where I live and where I work, I am in some way involved in US industry; it's not ironic, it's unavoidable. Secondly, lifestyle is necessarily divorced from administration: criticizing the policies of the US government does not necessarily equate to criticizing the American people or the American way of life. Yes, everything is linked, but not so inextricably that elements cannot be discussed in isolation. To imply otherwise is to deny discoursive authority to all but a handful of privileged individuals.

Those who attempt to limit the "qualifications" for dissent actually limit the expanse of freedoms and rights for everyone. Don't put up with it. I sure don't.

On a similar topic, check out this article.

In completely unrelated news, you can access my racial profiling article directly at the India Currents website, and even leave commentary. Also, I've posted many many new photos. Do have a look.

Tuesday October 8, 2002

"America . . . now stands for what Rome stood for. Rome consistently supported the rich against the poor in all foreign communities that fell under her sway; and, since the poor, so far, have always and everywhere been far more numerous than the rich, Rome's policy made for inequality, for injustice, and for the least happiness of the greatest number." -Alfred Toynbee, 1967

Well I've had an interesting couple of days:

  • I'm continuing to work on the CSIH AIDS Project in Guyana. Pretty exciting stuff. If you'd like to take a look at our evolving website, you can see it here.
  • Saw Red Dragon. The 1986 Michael Mann version, Manhunter was muuuuch better.
  • Apparently I'm now mentoring a talented young teenage writer in Toronto. "Mentoring" to me has always conjured images of skulking about the Scottish moors, solving mysteries in fog-strewn castles.
  • My first new short story in a loooong time appears in this month's issue of Pagitica magazine. Pagitica is one of Canada's leading literary magazines.
  • Apparently, my article on racial profiling supposedly appears in this month's issue of India Currents magazine, though I haven't received my copy yet to confirm.
  • Also, my article on genetically modified foods appears in the upcoming newsletter of Strategic Health Innovations, Inc.
  • After a brief hiatus, my latest wrestling column is posted at 411Wrestling.com

That's a lot of stuff for one bulletin update, don't you think? Stay tuned, I'll be posting a lot of new photos soon....

There's a good article by Joseph Sobran, about President Bush's betray of the US constitution, here. And here is a story about yet another public servant branded "traitor" for his courageous anti-war, anti-empire stance.

"The hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist. McDonalds cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas...and the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps." -Thomas Friedman, New York Times

Wednesday October 2, 2002

Have I mentioned that EBay rocks? Thanks to it, this is the final photo I will ever take with my Eyemodule 2. Yes, I managed to sell both it and my PDA keyboard. The photo is of my spanking new Olympus D-510 camera, also bought on EBay.

This is the first photo taken on my new camera. It's me with short hair! Yeah, baby. (And that's my messy office and crooked smile.)

I'm back from deepest darkest Canadia. They let me back in, complete with a new work visa, so I'm relatively free of deportation for another year, assuming my political opinions don't attract the wrong attention.

That's all I have today. stay tuned!

Wednesday September 25, 2002

Ebay rocks. Response to my first items has been healthy. I'm considering selling more crap, I mean stuff. If you're looking for some Handspring apparati, do look at these:

"George W. Bush, the President of the United States, would like it to be known that he has read a book." -Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail

And we're off!

War fever grips this country and its ridiculous government. So much so, that hairjobs like Paula Zahn can besmirch the patriotism of a true hero like Scott Ritter. Read this. It's you and the other talking heads who've drunk the kool-aid, Paula, not Mr. Ritter. Ilana Mercer, who is usually a dumb-ass over at WorldNetDaily.com, at least got this one right:

"Judging from the bipartisan slobbering the president's moral preening has elicited, [Scott] Ritter's morals are like pearls before swine."

The war mongers continue to push toward Iraq, and the American and British public, with their heads up their asses, continue to drink the red-white-and-blue kool-aid. As always, Brother Margolis brings a poignant tongue to the table:

"Bush is determined to destroy a nation whose name he can't even pronounce."

We swim in a culture of idiocy that now infects our highest offices. The old adage, "those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it," is tangibly applicable to our current state. I don't need to make the obvious goose-stepping allusions to let you know where I'm going with this. Dennis Rahkonen of CommonDreams.org puts it this way:

"The crypto-fascism that's long been a hidden feature of the Right...has roared into the open."

Speaking of crypto-fascists, it's been a while since I've bashed Ann Coulter. Instead, I will let Dan Savage have the honours:

"We're all inept and nervous the first time we, say, use a condom, eat pussy, or release our bowels while squatting over Ann Coulter's face."

Enough ranting for today. I'm off to Toronto to get a new work visa. There's a non-trivial probability of getting deported. That would suck. On the plus side, though, it would mean I can belly-ache about the American government with even more gusto.

By the way, the site that hosts my wrestling column, 411Wrestling.Com, is now ranked as the 7,468th most visited site on the Web, accordng to Alexa.Com. That is very impressive. For comparisons, check out these rankings:

There you have it. Wrestling is almost as popular as political news, and is certainly more popular than some of the top alternative news sites. Don't know whether to cry or rejoice.

Thursday September 19, 2003

"The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists." -Ernest Hemmingway

Think about it.

Hey, if you're Canadian check out this link and look under "unclaimed balances." You might have money owing to you!

While we're talking about Canada, I am pleased that Globe and Mail columnist John McLachlan Gray has taken to task our country's cadre of parroting Bush sycophants:

"Clearly, there exist editors working for Canadian publications who will not be satisfied until Canadians are more pro-American than the Americans; and sadly, Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper are right in there."

I wrote to Mr. Gray to express my appreciation for his bold writing. His response:

"Thanks for taking the trouble to write. Usually when people send e-mail it's because they're mad at me."

I know what that's like, brother. I don't use the word "bold" lightly. (Heh heh... bold... lightly... heh heh.) In these weird times, the public is sinking to new levels of ignorance and cowardice. Courage these days amounts to stating the facts, as unpopular as they might be. I like this quote from Heather Wokusch:

"Who really is the biggest DICK? The 'leader' getting away with duping the public into war, or the public allowing the leader to get away with it?"

Still not convinced that the world (and parts of the USA in particular) is full of dumb-asses? Read this.

And in what will no doubt be the most underreported story of 2002, this link describes how the Bush administration was planning on attacking Iraq well before terrorists gave him something resembling an excuse. I wonder what would happen if Saddam not only let weapons inspectors back in, but abdicated and allowed local democratic processes to return... on the condition that no foreign oil interests would be allowed access to Iraqi oil reserves. How creative would the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice junta have to be to justify their war then? Trust me, they'd find a way.

On that note, I'm glad that a man as great and brave as Robert Fisk writes in sync with my own thoughts:

"Is that what is going on today - the preparation of a war to refloat the US economy?"

Master Fisk puts his finger on the infuriating arrogance and simplemindedness of the warmongers. It is a disgrace to modern Western civilization that men like Donald Rumsfeld have acquired so much power:

"When Mr Rumsfeld can claim so outrageously - as he did when asked for proof of Iraq's nuclear potential - that the 'absence of evidence doesn't mean the evidence of absence', we might as well end all moral debate."

Another consistently courageous writer, Tom Turnipseed of Commondreams.Org, has this to say:

"No wonder Bush the younger is so adamant about United States' citizens not being under the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction. 'Poppy', Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Dubya could all end up in the dock if justice were done."

I'll end this spiel with a final quote from the mighty Robert Fisk, who reminds us all why those in the media (even us lame underpaid freelancers) must continue to rant:

"My Israeli colleague Amira Haas once defined to me our job as journalists: 'to monitor the centers of power'. Never has it been so important for us to do just that. For if we fail, we will become the mouthpiece of power."

On a personal note, do check out my newest EBay auctions:

Monday September 16, 2002

I always get a kick out of this site.

This weekend I did the 34 mile BikeDC bicycle ride through some of the more scenic (and some of the less scenic) parts of downtown DC. Some parts were so rough, I thought we'd have to duck a rainfall of bullets. But we all lived, though my quads have seen better days.

I also saw the comedy concert film, Notorious C.H.O. Pretty funny, if you ignore the fairly banal preachy bits. I bring it up because Margaret Cho mirrored an observation I've made on many occasions: there's a strong concordance between Star Trek geeks, Renaissance fair geeks and geeks who go to bondage clubs. I have my own theories about why this is, but I won't expound on them here.

This past week, Canadian Prime Minister (and my pen pal) Jean Chretien made many of us proud by finally criticizing Western decadence and alluding to its role in our current state of global insecurity. Of course, the usual yahoos made the expected spurious logical leaps about how the P.M.'s comments are tantamount to supporting arguments of moral equivalence. But, for sheer entertainment value, I like this quote from Chris Sand of the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

"The wonderful thing about Canada and the United States is we probably have two of the most inarticulate leaders in the western world, so figuring out what either of them is trying to say is a challenge."

Meanwhile, here in DC, the steady march to genuine imperial monarchy continues. Quite pithy is this bit from the eminently quotable Mark Kingwell in his National Post column:

"Mr. Bush, now ignoring his father's former advisors, detaining prisoners at whim and looking to wage war without Congressional support, is in a position to teach Queen Elizabeth a thing or two about the joys of hereditary monarchy."

Why do I quote so much? Well, I'm not the first to sense an increasing unwillingness of traditional mainstream media to question the actions of the American government. Indeed, the media here seem intent on doing all they can to further federal agendas. When I see an opinion in print that mirrors my own, or that authoritatively contradicts the position of the loudest voices, I must record it. Many will scoff at my worry over what I see as the gradual degradation of free speech, but freedoms are historically taken from us in slow inconspicuous increments. Consider this insightful quote from Mark Hertsgaard of the London Guardian:

"We do not, thank God, have a state-owned or state-controlled press in the US. We do, however, have a state-friendly one."

Hertsgaard's full article is worth reading. You can find it here. Antonia Zerbisias of Toronto Star describes the marriage between the White House and mass media this way:

"You couldn't flip a channel on Sunday without catching one of the Bush bunch, including wife Laura, Powell, vice-president Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice, promoting an attack on Iraq as if they were actors flogging their latest project on Leno and Letterman."

I expect matters to get much worse before they even pretend to get better.

Wednesday September 11, 2002

Anything I say today will just get me into trouble. So on to the quotes!

"[On Sep 11 1987] Actor Lorne Greene, star of television's Bonanza and Battlestar Galactica, dies of pneumonia. Greene was 504 in dog years. -Rotten.Com

"Under Bush's 'leadership,' the U.S. Has become the kid who picks his nose in class. " -Maureen Farrell, Buzzflash.Com

"Not only are we being coerced into World War III, but at this very moment, unnamed souls are secretly locked away, the Army's drafted plans for civilian detention camps and there's a shadow government buzzing beneath our streets. And yet, we continue to ignore the oily elephant in the living room." -Maureen Farrell, Buzzflash.Com

"We knew someday America's empire would end. The end is at hand." -Alan Turin, LewRockwell.Com

Also in the interest in keeping me out of trouble on this particular day, here are some quotes about my wrestling column, from writer Joshua Grutman of 411Wrestling.Com:

"Raywat Deonandan has one of the coolest names in the history of cool names."

"Raywat Deonandan is the best writer on this site at the moment. Read him, and then send him feedback telling him that he's doing great work. When you don't respond to great writing, you make people think their writing isn't good. No Gimmick Required should win the best column award this year, and it sucks that you guys don't give a crap."

That be all, people.

Monday September 9, 2002

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

We have a new article up at The Podium. It's a review by Rolf Kanjilal of a book about the comedy phenomenon called Second City. Do check it out. Podium writers are not paid, but rather exert a great deal of effort producing very high quality articles simply for the satisfaction of being read. So have a read, and do consider sending Mr. Kanjilal some feedback.

Speaking of feedback, I'm still sorting through the reams of responses from my last wrestling column. And speaking of columns, my latest political column is scheduled to be published in next month's issue of California's esteemed India Currents Magazine.

To receive my new columns directly by email, please subscribe to my mailing list. This is not a scam. You will receive no offers for sex secrets or land in Nigeria.

I'm making gradual changes to this site. Do let me know if this is a good thing. Particularly, let me know if anyone actually looks at the video page. The latest change is to the links page, wherein I've added some more detail about my martial arts history.

It's been two months since I've started to use a statistics service to track this site's visitors. Here's what I've learned about which pages are accessed the most:

Rank July August
1st Bulletin 34.9% Bulletin 23.3%
2nd Resume 11.6% Commentary 12.4%
3rd S.L.SW. 9.3% Resume 10.9%
4th Deonandans 7.0% Downloads 10.3%
5th Commentary 5.8% Links 4.9%

Similarly, here are the top three pages visited at The Podium:

Rank July August
1st News 14.3 Review of Shree Ghatage's book 7.3%
2nd Letter from S. Patel 7.1% Racial profiling column 6.7%
3rd Letters 7.1% Kashmir column 6.2%

I don't exactly know yet what this information does for me, but give me time. And now the quotes!

"Liberal-minded people are often quite selective about their liberal-mindedness." -Sasha, Eye Magazine

"Do you like video games and the Internet? Do you have a complete lack of a social life? Actually, answering yes to question 1 would mean an affirmative for answer 2." -Joshua Grutman, 411Wrestling.Com

"As has been emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and by responsible leaders of former administrations and incumbent officeholders, there is no current danger to the United States from Baghdad." -Jimmy Carter

"My first wife and I were happy for 20 years. Then we met" - Jerry "The King" Lawler

"Cheney said that Iraq and its government have to go because there is evidence those folks don't like us. Well, you know, that kind of thing happens when your stated goal is the annihilation of somebody else's country." -Lew Rockwell

"The United States, in fact, is in a crisis of language. This is what it means to have a president who, proudly inarticulate, has no real understanding of the relationship between words and acts, between rhetoric and intention.' -James Carroll, Boston Globe

Thursday September 5, 2002

Have you read this site's disclaimer yet? Is this what we've come to?

The big news today is that The Podium is back up and running, after a great deal of online distress. Why the difficulties? Well, my second-level country-specific domain name is apparently quite a problem for the automated services of my registrar, Internic.ca, so it took much much effort to renew my ownership of the domain name and change the DNS entries for redirection. Blah Blah Blah. Bottom line is that the domain name podium.on.ca is mine for another two years, and after being dumped (without warning) by my original forwarding service (Namesecure.com, the bastards), I have a new cheaper redirection service, Redirection.Net. Hallelujah.

So now you can all read my new political column on the evils of racial profiling. It will be a feature essay in India Currents Magazine soon.

Also, my latest wrestling column is available. This one got a sh*tload of reader feedback!

While I'm bashing service providers, let's not forget my local cable provider, Starpower. Remember, these were the people who were continually screwing me over when I first moved here. Well, this time they disconnected all my services (phone, cable, Internet) when the neighbour moved out. Their chimp dispatcher wrote down the wrong address. A common problem easily fixed, right? Wrong. They ended up having no record of my ever having subscribed to their services, even though they still bill me. Idiots. Several phone hours later, everything is fixed, but of course I don't get compensated for their idiocy. Deregulation is not a panacaea, my friends

I'll save the political quotes for next time. Today you get a quote from my dear friend Natalia Aguiar. You see, her friend Cheryl had visited my website and had commented that since I've recently cut my long hair, the main photo is false advertising. Natalia responded to her with this email:

"Ray Deonandan is not here for your amusement. Ray Deonandan is here for my amusement."

Ta ta.

Tuesday August 27, 2002

The Podium is still down. This means you won't be able to access any of my archived articles, including those linked from the comment page and the resume page. As always, you can access those files indirectly by clicking here.

If all goes well, the original links will be operational again by the end of this week. In the mean time, please do sign up for my mailing list. It's the best way to get the most recent articles and announcements.

Now for the quotes:

"Rumsfeld should not be able to get away with substituting assertion for argument." -David Corn, Alternet

"If there's one thing American politicians do well, it's refuse to learn from experience." -Nicholas von Hoffman, New York Observer

"According to just war theory, three criteria determine whether going to war is justifiable: the cause must be just, the chances of success must be reasonable and the authority to wage war must be competent. None of these conditions can be met by the preemptive strike pl.aned aGeorge Hunsinger, Christian Century Magazine

"Bush, himself the most intellectually backward American president of my political lifetime, is surrounded by advisers whose bellicosity is exceeded only by their political, military and diplomatic illiteracy." -Gerald Kaufman, spokesman of Britain's Labour Party

"History is replete with hasty emergency legislation that we later came to regret-from the Alien and Sedition Acts to the detention camps for Japanese-Americans-and with abuses of the new powers years later by officials whose invocations of national security proved overblown or even fraudulent." -Stuart Talor Jr., Atlantic Online

"those who argue that the West must resist at all costs Islam's supposed intolerance are themselves breeding a dangerous new form of intolerance. " -Sasha Polakow-Suransky and Giuliana Chamedes, The American Prospect

"Of Christ's twelve Apostles, Judas alone proved to be a traitor. But if he had acquired power, he would have represented the other eleven Apostles as traitors." -Leon Trotsky

"Shouldn't we be having a vigorous debate about the oil politics fueling this conflict? After all, the five permanent member of the United Nations Security Council are all scrambling for economic control of Iraq's oil reserves." -Sean Gonsalves, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Whereas Al Qaeda is a threat to the lives of our citizens, Ashcroft has become a clear and present threat to our liberties." -Jonathan Turley, LA Times

"Why do so many conservatives - most of whom oppose abortion, the killing of human fetuses - so readily, even eagerly, favor war? Not just this or that war, but nearly every war?" -Joseph Sobran

"History gives the president ample reasons to believe that most hand-wringing punditry will turn into applause when the Pentagon begins its slaughter." -Norman Solomon, FAIR

"John Walker Lindh, a well-to-do white boy, went into the regular justice system and plea-bargained down to 20 years. Yasser Esam Hamdi, whose story is exactly like Lindh's, but has the wrong kind of name, was declared an 'enemy combatant' and is now sitting in a military oubliette." -Molly Ivins, Chicago Tribune

Here are some excerpts from a great article at Antiwar.com by Christopher Montgomery on that ass columnist Mark Steyn:

"the America Mark Steyn is asking us to love, is hardly that which would appeal to those who created the United States in the first place."

"Mark Steyn is a Canadian, and if that's troubling for him, he can get in touch with the INS and attempt to do something about it."

"[Mark Steyn's writings are] all pretty familiar stuff: slightly insecure, over-the-top Ameriophilia, leavened with a healthy quality of abuse for the rest of the world, or at least that portion of it not equally convinced of America's virtue."

"[Canadians Mark Steyn and Conrad Black] pump out their ...patriotism, for which country do they do so?"

Thursday August 22, 2002

Well, my dumbass URL forwarding service provider, Namesecure.Com, has decided to stop supporting country-specific domains. What this means is that The Podium --home to brilliant writing and the archival space for all my columns and reviews-- is temporarily homeless, due to its ".on.ca" domain suffix.

So, while I look for a new forwarding service, columns accessed from either The Podium or via my comment page will not be available. In the mean time, you can get to them indirectly by clicking here.

Notice on the left menu, there's now a mailing list option. Do click it.

A full bulletin update will be written once I fix the URL forwarding mess.

Friday August 16, 2002

Oh, man, I got rolfed last night. Very very cool.

My Kashmir article, which appeared last month in India Currents Magazine, has been altered and reproduced at Rabble.Ca. You can read the new version by clicking here.

The new version has been heavily edited, and I fear some of the nuances of my argument have been lost. This is in no way a criticism of the editor. After all, I signed off on the new version, so the responsibility is mine. Much of the reader feedback has been negative, due I think to some of the language in the new version. Oh well.

My latest wrestling column has resulted in absolutely zero reader mail! This is the first time this has happened to me! My fellow wrestling geeks, come back to me!

In other news, my birthday week was great! Andrew has pics posted already over at his website. Have a look quickly, 'cause he updates that page quite frequently.

And now the quotes:

"The District of Criminals have all of their pieces in place. They have eliminated the Bill Of Rights. They have eliminated the Posse Comitatus Act. The Executive has usurped the authority to rule alone. Now all they need is the manpower to enforce that rule. And it's waiting there. The time to stop the warmongers is NOW." -Robert Klassen

"Christian paranoia has become so mainstream that few see fit to remark on it anymore." -Michelle Goldberg, Salon, (reviewing the Left Behind books)

"Notice anything different about me? I've recently received my first colonic. It was quite an experience--one that must be related with the utmost care and consideration for the three parties involved. To wit, the colon hydrotherapist Jane Duryea, myself and, of course, my tender bunghole." -Mike Connor, Metroactive

"It's 2002. No man should have a pony tail. It's the mullets' big brother. " -black_dog (Rabble.Ca forum)

Monday August 12, 2002

It's August 12th --my 35th birthday! It's a birthday shared by Rosa Aguiar, the best damned hair stylist in Toronto, and the late Jon Donald, a fascinating spooky man. This is, I believe, the only year when I will be exactly one half the age of my beloved father. I could do the math and confirm that, but I don't wanna. I used to think Napoleon shared my birthday, but he, alas, was born August 15, so I cannot lay claim to having evolved my Napolean Complex from a fortuitous astronomical conformation.

Speaking of astronomy, the Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, as it does every year on my birthday.

On August 12 in 1898, the Spanish-American war ended. Today is also the birthday of Cecil B. DeMille, Cantinflas (that fey actor in Around the World in 80 Days), John Derek (from The Ten Commandments and Bo Derek fame), and tanned actor George Hamilton.

On the date and year of my birth, the following songs topped the charts: The Doors' "Light My Fire", the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love", The Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe."

On August 12, 1961, East Germany began construction of the Berlin Wall. In 1877, Edison invented the phonograph on this day. And in 1981, IBM released the world's first 16-bit personal computer.

Oh yes, as I'm sure you're all aware, yesterday was Hulk Hogan's birthday.

Now, Astrocenter pegs my horoscope for this special day as this:

Today you could feel like your psychic abilities are kicking in, Ray. You'll be able to sniff certain things in the air! You have always had good instincts, and today your intuition could be especially strong. Maybe you will get an idea for a great business plan. Or you could come up with the outline for a novel or screenplay. Whatever ideas pop into your head, take note of them today!

Hmmm, is it time to write that bestseller? You can read my weekly and yearly horoscope, also from Astrocenter, by clicking here.

I will end today's special birthday edition by wishing for world peace, happiness for all peoples and a lasting cure for chronic heartburn. Instead of a political quote, today you get a classic promo from the Macho Man Randy Savage (at the height of his lunacy):

"Ric Flair, The Macho Man says don't buy any unripe bananas! 'CAUSE YOU WON'T BE AROUND TO EAT 'EM!"

Speaking of wrestling, I have a new column over at 411Wrestling.Com. You can read it here. Oddly, I received no reader feedback for this one. Have my readers abandoned me?!

Thursday August 8, 2002

I'm feeling in a curmudgeonly mood, so I'm going to list some things I really hate about other people's emails:

  1. Using 'U' and 'R' to mean 'you' and 'are';
  2. Using aliases or otherwise anonymous email servers. (As policy, I do not communicate with people who wish to remain anonymous.)
  3. Inability to find the CAPS LOCK KEY.

Hey, this is fun! Let's not stop... Let's list some things I dislike about the way people speak:

  1. Using 'wassup' as an acceptable greeting;
  2. Not distinguishing between 'less' and 'fewer';
  3. Saying stupid cliched things, like "wanting the finer things in life." Puke!
  4. And the granddaddy of them all: Using the word 'like' as if it were a kind of punctuation.

Whew! That felt good.

This weekend, my buddies Andrew and John are coming to visit. Why, you ask? Well, my friend, it's my 35th birthday on Monday! And, just like every other year, the evening of the day of my birth will see a spectacular meteor shower

So I took an online IQ Test, just to see if I'm the genius my PR people (i.e., my parents) keep claiming. Well, I barely made the genius cut. But I suspect the test is actually a scam and the score is random. Try it yourself.

In an effort to undermine my newly minted genius status, I've been reading some crapfest books. Well, that's not fair: the books aren't crap, they just appeal to a larger demographic thus, by the assinine conventions of a classist society, are deemed anti-intellectual. I speak of Pure Dynamite by the greatest professional wrestler of the modern era, the Dynamite Kid. Also, I've been reading the two Uplift Trilogies, by David Brin. The latter truly are excellent rollicking science-fiction books, perfect for summer reading.

And while we're on an entertainment fix, I've also been ordering a lot of movies from Half.Com:

  • My Stepmother Is An Alien - that crappy 1988 Dan Akroyd movie, just because the divine Alyson Hannigan has a bit role. Yes, I know, my Hannigan obsession is becoming pathological, but a man needs a hobby, no?
  • The Filth And The Fury - suposedly a fantastic documentary about the Sex Pistols; can't wait to watch it.
  • The Best of Backyard Wrestling 2 - okay, I'm actually embarrassed about this one. It really is atrociously bad and stupid. In my defence, I ordered it because, as a "wrestling journalist," I'm expected to troll through the subculture. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • Lagaan - I'm really excited by this one. Lagaan was nominated for an Oscar last year, and is only the 2nd Indian film to have been so honoured.

Okay, enough film talk. I leave you with the quotes!

"Americans are also adroit at demanding love and loyalty from the rest of the world ('you're either with us or . . .'), but it tends to be mainly Canadians who get sucked into trying to provide them." -Rick Salutin, The Globe and Mail

"Americans are adroit at engineering pissing matches about patriotism." -Rick Salutin, The Globe and Mail

"The American public is sleep-walking toward a war with Iraq that it has been told is inevitable, and most of the U.S. mass media have sent their brains on holiday for the summer." -Gwynn Dyer, The Toronto Star

"We're going to become guilty, in my judgment, of being the greatest threat to the peace of the world. It's an ugly reality, and we Americans don't like to face up to it." -Senator Wayne Morse (1968)

"Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it." -George Monbiot

"A Defense Department advisory panel, headed by Richard Perle, has declared the world to be 'an immediate threat to American security' and has called for the United States to undertake an immediate preemptive strike against it." -Richard Cummings, LewRockwell.com

"The moral bankruptcy here ought to astound all who confront it, but then, the United States government abandoned the moral high ground a long time ago." -Ryan McMaken, LewRockwell.com

"The United States government has no right to force Pax Americana on the rest of us, or to unilaterally determine the fate of the world." -Tadatoshi Akiba, mayor of Hiroshima

"I believe that Iraq does not pose a threat to the US worthy of war. This conclusion is shared by many senior military officers." -Scott Ritter, former UN chief weapons inspector

Friday August 2, 2002

Gotta keep this short. I'm late for "work" and must still clean my apartment before my weekend houseguest arrives!

Next weekend is my birthday, so send me stuff!

The new web statistics software installed on this site appears to be working well. Not enough data yet to determine my most popular pages, though. However, current trends point to this page, the Sweet Like Saltwater page and the resume page being the most frequently visited.

Have you heard of this novel called Twelve, written by a 17-year old named Nick McDonnell? It's all the rave in the US fiction publishing industry. Here's the funny thing: famous names like Gertrude Stein and Hunter S. Thompson rave about it and its teenage author. Independent reviewers, however, bluntly say that it reads like it were written by a 17-year old. Why the discrepancy? Well, it seems McDonnell's father is the editor of Sports Illustrated; both Stein and Thompson are friends of his parents; and his own publisher is his godfather. How do you spell nepotism?

Is this sour grapes from me? Maybe. As one who has slogged it out for years in the lit-mag trenches to hone his skills and earn some respect from the industry, it bites to hear of some privileged kid --yes, Daddy is footing his bill to Yale, too-- who decides he wants to be a novelist, and can just call up a family friend to make it happen. I guess I wouldn't mind so much if the thing were truly brilliant. But by all objective accounts, it isn't.

Okay. Must run. I leave you with the quotes!

"...Bush&Co.'s 'war on terrorism' has morphed from finding and destroying those responsible for the 9/11 mass-murders to a worldwide campaign to install a Pax Americana, by force if necessary. In other words, neo-imperialism, reminiscent in many ways of the old Roman Empire or, closer to our own time, the British Empire. " -Bernard Weiner, Commondreams.Org

"We've learned that prior to September 11, the Bush Administration was negotiating with the Taliban about a pipeline desired by a U.S.-led energy consortium that would cross through Afghanistan. When the Taliban balked, the U.S. negotiators told them they either could accept a 'carpet of gold' or face a 'carpet of bombs.' The Taliban backed away from the deal and refused to hand over Osama bin Laden; shortly after the terror attacks of 9/11, the U.S. began bombing in Afghanistan." -Bernard Weiner, Commondreams.Org

"Porky Pig is Bret Hart." (Don't ask) -Eric Szulczewski, 411Wrestling.Com

"The voice Americans should be listening to is that of the closest thing the United States had to a noble Roman tribune - former president Dwight Eisenhower. As this great American and former general was leaving office, he warned his people that the gravest threat they faced was not from abroad but from their own military-industrial complex." -Eric Margolis, The Toronto Sun

"If Ann Coulter were a singer, she'd be Ethel Merman. Even her photos are blunt and loud." -Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times

"These people ran on responsibility, but as soon as you scratch them they go straight to blame." -Bill Clinton (on the Bush administration)

"The Christian Right is neither" -button on a knapsack in the subway.

Monday July 29, 2002

Man, am I getting fat. I've gained 5 pounds in the past 3 weeks, and I just ate a whole bag of potato chips! (Now, for some people, that's not a big deal, but I'm the guy who measures every teaspoon of fat that goes in his mouth!) For the sake of sanity, I'm attributing the weight gain to muscle mass, and don't you dare disagree!

I have a new wrestling column over at 411wrestling.com, so do have a look. And I'm still waiting for Alyson Hannigan to reply to my marriage proposals, so no progress on that front. (I'm kidding! I'm a kidder!)

For all those people who keep asking me late-breaking epidemiology questions I know nothing about, do check this site out before bothering me. Cool?

Okay, gotta run. You may note a new icon at the bottom of some of my pages. I'm testing a new web statistics service called Webstat. I'll let you know how it goes. And now to the quotes:

"Has there ever been a nation before in all of history so confident of the superiority of its cause and its power -- and so willing to dismissively consider the 'collateral damage' that its action would entail -- that it advertised for months in advance its bellicose intent? (One does come to mind, but I dare not mention it.)" -Hubert G. Locke, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"...if the rules of international relations have been changed so that we can go around ousting whichever governments we don't happen to like, we shall have to recognize that we are not the only ones who want to play this game. " -Hubert G. Locke, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"God, has no one in the Bush family ever read the Constitution?" -Charlie Reese, LewRockwell.com

"It never ceases to amaze me how white downtown Toronto remains, except maybe for the Richmond Street club scene on weekends, an unfortunate spectacle that is best ignored." -Bruce LaBruce, Eye Magazine

"In recent studies of voter (and non-voter) behaviour, activist critiques of democracy do not register. What studies do show is that the number of people who do not vote is strongly correlated with the number of people who are clueless." -Gregory Boyd Bell, This Magazine

Thursday July 25, 2002

Back from a great long weekend in New York City, and man is my apartment a mess!

My latest article is a feature commissioned by Strategic Health Innovations on the biometrics industry's appropriate road. You can read it here.

Also, a much expanded version of my kashmir article will be on the Rabble.ca website real soon. Of course, I'll let you know when.

Today's quote:

"When you start to think the lives of your fellow citizens are more important than anybody else's, you have become an ethnicity. It seems to be the essential nucleus of empire." -Ray Conlogue, The Globe and Mail

Friday July 19, 2002

I'm off to New York this weekend to do some family stuff. It's always a bit hair-raising when the entire Deonandan gene pool travels in the same vehicle, but what are you gonna do?

No breaking news, except to say that my Kashmir article has just been picked up by the Canadian left-wing website, rabble.ca, and will appear there sometime next week (with some Canadianized revisions). As always, all versions of all my articles are archived at The Podium.

Speaking of The Podium, there's a new article there by a new writer, a fellow named Michael Ashley. So do have a look, and feel free to respond to Michael directly or to The Podium via an article of your own.

I leave you with a quote:

"I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce." -J Edgar Hoover

Monday July 15, 2002

Hey there. My latest wrestling column is now available at 411wrestling.com. It's a lazy ass mailbag edition, but at least it plugs this website.

The mythic squash battles are back on, with ever consistent results.

No other big news to plug today. I'll be attending the NCHS data user's conference for the rest of this week, if you're looking for me in downtown DC. Fun? Wow!

Remember, my recent interview on CKLN radio can now be downloaded from this site.

As always, I leave you with some quotes:

"First off, anyone who needs art to put 9/11 into perspective is either a tiresome pseudo-intellectual or a halfwit. I mean, an artist can offer his perspective on the fragility of the human condition or the social mores of 18th-century Venice or the fact his little weenie won't get stiff any more but I'm not convinced we necessarily need him to elucidate something we all saw with our own eyes, and won't soon forget." -Scott Feschuk, The National Post

"There was a halting quality to George W. Bush's delivery of his Wall Street speech on corporate corruption, in contrast to his cool, U.S. marshal style when speaking of terrorism, cosmic evil and other things he knows nothing about. " -Rick Salutin, rabble.ca

"[George W. Bush:] born on third base but thinking he hit a triple." -Maureen Dowd, New York Times

"If we want Saudi princes to confront their society's hate-mongers, our own leaders should confront ours." -Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times

Tuesday July 9, 2002

I'm back! Visa woes have been cleared up. Yayyy!

New photos have been posted from my trips earlier this year to Monticello, Harper's Ferry and Gettysburg. Also, my feature essay on media coverage of the Kashmiri conflict is now the cover story of this month's issue of India Currents Magazine.

My interview on CKLN radio is now available for download. Just select "multimedia" and "CKLN.MP3" and follow the directions.

Wednesday July 3, 2002

I'm off to Toronto later today. Yes, I'm trying not to be in DC for the 4th of July ---for obvious reasons.

Dig this... this article is a good little summary of the modern nation of Guyana. Why do I include it? Because there's a whole paragraph about me! Okay, it's more about how I'm more Canadian than Guyanese, but I still get a whole paragraph!

Mind you, they got some facts wrong. I didn't win the Guyana Prize in 2001, but rather the "Guyana Prize for Best First Work" in 2000. Seemingly small detail, but I don't want to be stealing anyone else's thunder. (The 2000 winner of the true Guyana Prize was David Dabydeen, while no prize was awarded in 2001.)

My pre-recorded interview on CKLN radio aired yesterday. I didn't hear it, of course, but no one called to register their disgust or disappointment, so I'm assuming it went well. I'll try to get a digital version and set it up for download or streaming from this site.

My photos from Bermuda and California are now posted, so do have a look!

And now some more quotes:

"The only difference between Enron Corp.'s auditor and a burglar is an education and six-figure take-home pay. Likewise, the only difference between a corrupt African prime minister and a sleazy politician in a G8 country is millions in a Swiss bank account instead of in a campaign war chest or in a government contract to a supporter." -Diane Francis, The National Post

"True life embodying pleasure principle's noblest triumph/Over the cowering mendacity of bourgeois Christian civilisation." -Stereolab (Surrealchemist)

Saturday June 29, 2002

My latest wrestling column is now up at 411wrestling.com. It's all about charisma, and is perhaps the worst column I've ever written, as confirmed by at least one reader. I blame the concussion.

A better column, on the US coverage of the Kashmir conflict, is available via the commentary page. It will be a feature essay in the July issue of California's India Currents Magazine.

Speaking of California, I must thank my old highschool buddy and former roommate John Roxburgh for giving me a temporary home last weekend in his fancy house in San Francisco. John is now impressively the Vice Consul & Trade Commissioner at the Canadian consulate in SF. I'm trying to suck up here so he gets me a good biotech job one day.

I'd also like to thank Sonia Arrison for taking time out of her very busy schedule to show me about. By the way, according to this guy and this guy, Sonia is now officially a Libertarian "policy babe." Just don't become another Ann Coulter, Sonia.

Speaking of my favourite detestable right wing bitch, Ann has a new book out. God bless Salon's Charles Taylor for his scathing review. Here are some excerpts from Taylor's review:

  • "If you can read [Ann Coulter's] sentence coming from the Chyna of the far right and not wet your pants with laughter, you've got more control than I do."
  • "Debating [Ann Coulter] on her 'ideas' does about as much good as kicking a retarded puppy."
  • "[Ann] Coulter and her brood could benefit from a little conservative ideology themselves. Arguing with them is like paying attention to disobedient children. They should be treated like spoiled brats who mouth off. Put them over the knee, paddle their fannies, tell them to wipe that smirk off their face and to speak up only when they've learned something about the world."

My battles with the US State Department and the INS continue. Apparently no one can give me a straight answer about why the INS officials in Bermuda gave me a hard time. I guess in the history of NAFTA, no Canadian working in the USA has ever before visited Bermuda! So I'm off to Toronto next week to sort it out. Geez.

To reflect my current mood, here are some closing quotes:

  • "Americans are the world's luckiest teenagers, with the best car, the fattest allowance and the biggest line of brag, yet like all teenagers we're secretly afraid that someone is laughing at us. Here's a news flash. They are. " -Pat Morrison, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • "The United States is that unique and maybe unprecedented thing, an imperial power whose existence is predicated on denying its imperial status.' -Mark Kingwell, The National Post

Tuesday June 25, 2002

I'm back from California. Pics from there and Bermuda will be posted any day now, so do visit often to check. God knows I need the hits!

Speaking of needing hits, Andrew Currie's website has his take on my scooter accident in Bermuda, and his pics are posted!

I couldn't resist this quote:

"Poetry is not dead, but it is culturally insignificant. It's time we stopped trying to prop it up with cockamamie plans and funds and turned our official attention in the direction our cultural attention's been pointed for decades."
- Editorial from Eye Magazine

Damn you, esoteric poets!

Tuesday June 18, 2002

Well, I'm back from Bermuda. How was it, you ask? Let's see.... due to a scooter accident, I was rendered bruised and unconscious and came to with Andrew Currie's finger in my mouth. (He was checking to see if I'd swallowed my tongue, ya pervs.) Many X-rays and a CAT scan later, I was declared in perfect health.... but $2000 poorer due to Bermudian health care costs!

Being a dude who believes in being insured up to the hoo-ha, I'll probably get my $$ back. But the doctors insisted that my bruises and cuts be kept out of the sunlight and out of the water. No sun and water? Why the heck was I in Bermuda?

So I made it to the airport for my flight back to the USA, whereupon I was told by INS officials that my US work visa was now invalid because I attempted to re-entry the country from a non-NAFTA nation. @#!$! I must now re-apply at the Canadian border. Oh yay.

I made it back to my apartment in DC, where I decided to work off the stress by going for a nice long run. In my absence, the building dudes had fiddled with my lock, re-setting the safety and auto-lock mechanisms. Sure enough, the door locked behind me, so I was unable to re-enter my home after my run. Two hours and $25 later, I am back inside and seething.

So, after all this, would I go back to Bermuda? In a second, baby! Photos to come soon. And I'm off to California in the morning.

Friday June 14 2002

Yeah, baby, I'm off to Bermuda with Andrew Currie and Sean McLoughlin.

If I get swallowed by the Devil's Triangle, my last words (solely for my family) are here.

Sadly, I must also say goodbye to Neil Hrab, who is leaving DC to be a travel writer in Iran. He will be missed.

I'm go-ing to Ber-mu-da, I'm go-ing to Ber-mu-da, I'm go-ing to Ber-mu-da...

Monday June 10, 2002

Went to Monticello, VA, this weekend to see the home of Thomas Jefferson. It was pretty cool. The best part was the endless pointless trivia.... Jefferson was exactly 6'2" tall, while his bed was 6'2.5" long... who gives a f@ck?

Saw the Tyson-Lewis fight at a party attended largely by journalists and right-leaning young people, including at least one White House employee. What is it with conservatives under 25? Why must they be so unforgivingly sanctimonious and vicious? Everyone was booing Tyson, but a few were doing so not because Tyson's a jerk or a rapist, but because he's a communist (riiight) and a Muslim (double riiiight). Their vitriol made me an instant Tyson fan.

The same night, we attended mod/Britpop night at a club called The Black Cat. The music was excellent and the women delectable. So much good music restored my faith in the youth of America, or at least in those who don't work for the White House.

On the ride home, we saw something really interesting. At 2:30 AM, on Constitution Avenue (the part of town where you find the monuments), a car was careening at full tilt, weaving through traffic.... dragging a man along the side! The man was crouched by the driver's side, as if he were on a skateboard, but there was no board! Skid marks on the road were formed from the residue of his scorching running shoes.

We followed the car around a corner, where a police car had seemingly stopped it. But the dragged man was casually sauntering away from the scene. I didn't check to see if his shoes were smoking.

How do you spell "fleeing a bust any way you can"?

By the way, I wrote an op-ed concerning my take on the biased coverage of the Kashmir conflict in US newspapers. I'm still finding a home for it, but you can read it here.

Wednesday June 5, 2002

Geez, man, my Bermuda plans fell through today. No worries, I'm off to Palm Springs next week, then to San Francisco, and I'm working on a cheap flight to Malaysia for the Fall. Let's just hope that Asia is stil intact come November.

On that note, isn't it telling that, as millions are poised to die in a nuclear confrontation in South Asia, American newspapers still feature Chandra Levy on their front pages? And a White House spokesperson's initial reaction to the Indo-Pakistani tensions was concern over how it affected the Taliban-squashing in Afghanistan.

Today, for the first time since the last war, India and Pakistan exchanged artillery fire across the line of control. A million troops are amassed for battle, each brimming with fraternal hatred. Yet today's Washington Post headline concerned the endless kafuffle in Israel. I'm going to say it --are you ready?-- there's an element of racism here. Hundreds of dead Indians and Pakistanis, and potentially twelve million more vapourised, don't seem to matter as much as the handful in Israel, tragic as those events are. Americans' concern for the South Asian conflict, one that Emperor Bush himself helped exacerbate with his hamfisted meddling in local politics and his juvenile geopolitical stances, is limited to how it affects Pakistan's patrolling of the Afghan border. You just know that on a certain level, Western leaders (and citizens) are thinking, "Well, there are more than a billion of them people, so they can afford to lose a few million here or there."

Insert poor segue here.

Congratulations to Neil Klar and Laura Beth Falter for their sparkling wedding last week, where I was the Best Man (and they don't come any better.)

Wanna try something neat? Click here to see this page in "Redneck Dialect."

Sunday May 26, 2002

I saw Attack of the Clones again, not because it's that good, but rather because there's nothing else out there remotely interesting. More interestingly, I got to see it in an old-fashioned theatre in scenic Gettysburg, PA, with my friends Neil and Matt. Yes, we were doing the tourist thing, visiting famous local Civil War sites. This really is a lovely part of the country.

One interesting observation is the tendency for history to recall certain villainous individuals in heroic terms, depending on whether their causes proved triumphant. One such case is that of John Brown, whose disastrous raid on the federal armoury in Harper's Ferry (ostensibly to kickstart the abolitionist movement) is remembered in loving, patriotic tones. One cannot help but wonder if, by today's paranoid standards, John Brown should not instead be remembered as a terrorist in the mold of Osama and Arafat.

It's something to think about.

My latest wrestling column is posted at 411wrestling.com. In this one, I confess my desperate (but innocent) love for Alyson Hannigan (who plays Willow on Buffy The Vampire Slayer). It seems that the huge 411 audience agrees with me, since this article has garnered the most feedback of any of my submissions so far.

Speaking of desperate love, Ed "The Hitman" Wong and his beloved wife Meiling have produced a beautiful daughter named Madelaine. Of course, we at Deonandan.com wish the new family all the advantages and joys in the world, and silently recognize the end of the fabled and storied squash battles. Sigh.

Like the new look to the commentary page? The site will be undergoing some more aesthetic changes in days to come, so do stay tuned and do tell me what you think.

Wednesday May 22, 2002

Okay, let's talk about some light and fluffy stuff.

First off, I failed in my bid to get a ticket to the ritzy White House correspondents' dinner a couple of weeks back, but some friends attended. The bastards got to meet Ozzy Osbourne, Harrison Ford, Donald Rumsfeld and scores of other names worthy of dropping. I'll see if I can abscond with some photos to be posted here presently.

Yes, I saw Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. I loved it! There were some genuine stand-up-and-cheer scenes, which is all one requires from a Star Wars movie. As usual, brief reviews of this movie and others (including Spiderman) are available at The Podium.

As enjoyable as Star Wars was, it paled in comparison to the season finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which is perhaps the finest current television drama. Yes, the ending was predictable, but in a good way. Sometimes good stories should end in precisely the ways one expects them to end.

The series finale of The X-Files, on the other hand, was neither predictable nor enjoyable. Big pile of steaming crap.

And now the segue from the light and fluffy stuff to the dour and serious stuff.... Following in the steps of John Malkovich, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel has weighed in with a very biased take on the Middle East conflict. How tragic it is when such valuable moral capital gets compromised and squandered. Brandon Keim disassembles Wiesel's veneer of objectivity here.

As usual, here are some respectable current events quotes:

  • "The talent and skill of his music and Nugent's political knowledge are both evidence of a lifetime spent behind a guitar." -Will Fleet (The Signal)
  • "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." -H.L. Mencken
  • "Carter's humble decency is in sharp contrast to the bellicose, unilateralist George Bush administration, which is increasingly viewed abroad as the reborn Ugly Americans of the 1960s - men who combined missionary zeal with arrogance and ignorance. " -Eric Margolis (Toronto Sun)
  • "The president doesn't want anybody getting a free ride from the government without accepting the responsibility that comes with it. At least anybody who's not a CEO. " -Arianna Huffington (Los Angeles Times)
  • "Optimistic Europeans have clung to the illusion that September 11 would help Bush rediscover the rest of the world. If it has, then that world is to be called Texas." -Andrew Murray (Guardian of London)
  • "Bolton, Rice et al seem to regard themselves as masters of the universe, and show every sign of planning to implement their maximum global program before the US people gets the chance to elect anyone slightly more sensible. " -Andrew Murray (Guardian of London)

Wednesday May 15, 2002

It seems that American actor John Malkovich recently declared in an address to the Cambridge Union that he would like to shoot both journalist Robert Fisk and Scottish MP George Galloway.

I don't know much about Galloway, except that he has vocally expressed support for the Palestinian Authority. However, I do know a great deal about Robert Fisk. In my opinion, Fisk is the most courageous and fair-handed of Western correspondents in the Middle East. On more than one occasion, I have found needed solace in Fisk's wisdom, bravery, poignancy and razor-sharp analysis.

Fisk responds to Malkovich's unexplored declaration here.

In addition to this being yet another obvious case of strong unexamined American support for one Middle Eastern perspective, this is also just one more example of "entertainment credential" giving someone an undeserved platform. Has Mr. Malkovich done his own research in the region? Like Fisk, has John Malkovich logged countless weeks, months and years in refugee camps, being shot at, being beaten up by mobs while examining disputed scenarios in first person? How has Malkovich demonstrated his knowledge of the facts, and how has he convinced us of his passionate commitment to this particular political adventure? Clearly, he has not.

And yet Malkovich feels justified in calling for the death of someone whose sole crime is the danger-filled investigation of such situations.

Maybe Malkovich feels justified because he once played a soldier in a movie. After all, by American political standards, that qualifies him for the Presidency.

Monday May 13, 2002

How's this for the story of my life? My interview on CKLN radio, which was supposed to be broadcast on May 7, was cancelled because of technical failures. This was after I'd alerted everyone in the world to tune in, of course. Well, it looks like they'll try again on July 2nd.

You may recall that I'm supposed to be an expert in the epidemiological aspects of assisted reproduction. Well, it seems the Canadian government has finally got off its ass and has established the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada. Of course, I'm in a different country now, so this in no way improves my career prospects. #@$!&

My career prospects took a turn for the better recently, though. I now have a very small role to play in a very big AIDS intervention project in Guyana, run by the Canadian Society for International Health. Maybe this will be my path back into do-gooding.

Meanwhile, it seems my name is known to the good folks at the Encyclopaedia Britannica. How cool is that?

On a completely different note.... Apparently, some people are confused about the purposes of this website. One visitor even thought that I was a professional comedian trying to solicit gigs online! For the record, I may be funny looking, and my career is a joke, but I ain't no comic.

Here's a good quote:

"The problem, I think, is that Dubbaya thinks he's his dad, while he's acting like Dana Carvey playing his dad on SNL." -Eric Szulczewski (411wrestling.com)

Speaking of 411wrestling.com, my latest column is published there. Archived columns are always available via my commentary page.

And on an ego stroking note, I found myself quoted on the Algonquin College website. Specifically, they snatched this line from my first Ottawa Citizen column:

"The love affair between society and science nerds, which peaked during the days of Einstein and Oppenheimer, is apparently over."

Well I guess that's something.

April 29, 2002

What a dull life I lead. This was one of the loveliest weekends in some time in DC, and I spent it camped in front of my TV with remote controls in both fists. The local PBS affiliate shows complete Dr. Who serials every Saturday night! Man, I'm such a dork.

I made the mistake of visiting the website of my old high school. From there, I followed links to some old acquaintances. These individuals owned their own multimillion dollar companies, and one even sailed a boat around the world while on a scientific expedition.

Why do I mention this? Because, as a result, I feel even more boring and inadequate. Ecch. So if you feel the urge to email me and tell me how wonderful I am, don't let me stop you.

In other news, I sold another article to The Ottawa Citizen. That newspaper has one of the best freelance policies I've yet encountered! Ain't nothin' like newspapers that respect their writers.

Congratulations to Katie Sandusky and her husband Brian Panhuyzen on the birth of their son Lucas. Pics are available here.

Speaking of pics, I've finally posted some new ones over here. These include the long-awaited "goombahs from the midwest" series, as well as some miscellaneous images from Toronto and DC.

No new wrestling column yet. Guess I'm being lazy. Patience, Grasshoppa, patience...

April 22, 2002

As one of my readers commented, I'm on the road to becoming "King of the Net Dorks." Believe it or not, he meant it as a compliment. He was referring to my latest wrestling column.

I spent this weekend at a party at the Canadian embassy (for Canadian university alumni), followed by an even better event on a rooftop overlooking the FBI building. It was populated by Smithsonian scientists. It's one of the better things about living in DC: the high concentration of really interesting people. Anyway, it was a rare opportunity for me to mouth off about my left-leaning politics --a rare thing in this very conservative town.

So now I have to switch tracks and write a very pro-business article for a client. Oh, I'm such a whore.

April 14, 2002

My first sports entertainment column is now up at 411Wrestling.com. Archived columns are available via my commentary page.

My "performance" on CBC radio last year is now available online here, while the CBC's profile of me can be read here.

And my recent interview on Toronto's CKLN radio will be broadcast on May 7. You can listen to it online.

I have a new favourite news columnist: The Globe and Mail's Rick Salutin.

Meanwhile, final edits to my new novel are almost complete. Many thanks to Linda Morra, Adam Stevens, Sneh Aurora, Julia Lenardon and Justine Whelan for providing invaluable feedback during the novel's intermediate stages.

That's all for now. Keep reading The Podium!

April 10, 2002

Just got back from Ottawa where I spoke to an undergraduate English class at the U of O. These students were keen, bright, well informed and a genuine pleasure to be around. My faith in the youth of today has been restored. (Yes, I'm an old man.)

I've finally crossed that line between geek and dork. As you know, I am a proud fan of that mutant brand of entertainment we call "professional wrestling." Well, as of today I am a weekly columnist for one of the biggest pro wrestling websites in the world, 411wrestling.com. I will, of course, let the world know when my first column comes out.

As is my wont, I leave you with some quotes:

  • "MECCA, March 22, 2005 -- President Osama B. Laden today called for a 'regime change' in the United States, saying the military dictatorship led by unelected strongman George Walker Bush 'is an ever-present threat to world peace.'" - Chris Floyd (The Moscow Times)
  • "When destiny raises a base character by acts of great importance, it reveals his lack of substance." - Plutarch
  • re. WWF Raw: "It's like a Shakespearean tragedy. Unfortunately it was written by William's less-talented second-cousin, Jethro." -Scott Keith (TheSmarks.com)

April 3, 2002

Just got back from New York City. Since September 11, it seems the city is a tad more subdued. Obviously there are fewer tourists about. But people also seem generally more pleasant, and the city as a whole was a lot more fun to visit!

My flight took us over Ground Zero. From the air, it's an erie and awesome sight: a gigantic illuminated barren square, seemingly the size of all of Central Park! On the ground, the site is less erie, but no less impressive. While all the rubble has been cleared away, there are still the jagged remains of disembowled buildings on the site's periphery. Of course, the $2 million memorial light show, powerful enough to be seen on the moon, marks the spot. The lights look silly from afar, but close up they are quite powerful.

My eldest sister, a professor of political science, was also in New York, leading a delegation of undergrad students to the yearly "model UN." They were tossed out of the UN building, however, when the real Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the present upheaval in Israel.

On that note, I'll leave you with an unusual link. Interested in hearing the other side of this madness? This is a news service out of Jerusalem, with a decidedly pro-Palestinian bias: the Palestine Independent Media.

My article in The Ottawa Citizen can now be read here. I'm off to Ottawa to speak to an undergrad English class. Wish me luck!

March 23, 2002

Some random thoughts:

  • I can understand people mispelling "Deonandan", but for the last bloody time, there's no "e" in "Ray"!!
  • There's new material over there on The Podium --and this time it's not all written by me!
  • Here's a good quote:
    . . ."The lunatics have taken over the White House." -Alice Mahon, British MP
  • Here's another one, re the USA:
    . . ."...never has a nation squandered sympathy and moral advantage so quickly and with such wantonness." -Madeleine Bunting (London Guardian)
  • Oh, and why not one more:
    . . ."As far as I'm concerned, if you want to disprove evolution, just take a look at the slippery-slope descent of American presidents from Washington to Dubya. The Bushes appear to be as dangerously inbred as British royalty. If it keeps up, in another century we'll be ruled by monkeys. Monkeys with tiny, little rudimentary heads, with eyes set too close together." -Bob Wallace (LewRockwell.com)
  • Ray's back in the op-ed game. My latest article appears today in the Ottawa Citizen
  • Hey, Hulk Hogan is back in the WWF. Of course, I was forced to miss Wrestlemania 18 this past weekend, so I did not see the biggest damn match in pro wrestling history!
  • Speaking of pro wrestling, my favourite Internet wrestling columnist, Chris Hyatte, the innovator of a unique style of journalism, has finally returned from retirement!
  • Oh, here's one more quote. Why the heck not?:
    . . ."America has been scourged by terrorist attacks because of its often heavy-handed interventions abroad, not because Muslims hate democracy or McDonald's. The Saudis who staged kamikaze attacks on the U.S. did so because of the agony of Palestine and Iraq, and American domination of Saudi Arabia. Deeper U.S. involvement in Asia will likely mean more, not less, risk of terrorist attacks. " -Eric Margolis

Okay, I'm off to New York next weekend, then to Ottawa the weekend after. Why Ottawa, you ask? Well I'll be addressing an undergraduate English class at the University of Ottawa ...on the topic of the works of Deonandan, of course!

March 14, 2002

You know, I'm getting really tired of people saying to me, "You know professional wrestling is fake, don't you?" Grrrrr.

For once and for all, let me say, yes! I know it's "fake." Why is that supposed to affect whether or not one enjoys it? When you watch Star Trek, they're not really flying around in space, you know that right? And when you watch a performance of Hamlet, you do realize that the actor isn't really the Prince of Denmark, right? Are Star Trek and Hamlet fake? Does that affect how much you enjoy them? Sheesh.

March 11, 2002

I've got a new column up at Dooney's Cafe. Yes, we kissed and made up. As always, my columns are archived at The Podium. From now on, recent columns will also be available on my local commentary page.

I just came from the DC zoo. While watching the sea lions, I heard off to my left a grown man making sea lion noises. And off to my right was a 3 year old boy making gargling noises. It was a weird and intriguing symphony of the absurdly disgusting. It has encouraged me to acquire a portable recording device, so that in the future I might share such experiences with you, faithful reader.

You know what's cool? I can track the sales of my book, Sweet Like Saltwater, in international venues! In France and Germany, it's selling for 20 Euros, and 22 Euros in Belgium. Of course, after delivery costs, it's more like 50 Euros. On the other hand, it sells for mere pennies in American used bookstores. Boo sniff.

On the topic of that particular book, I finally got some sales figures from my publisher. It seems there have been 339 sales from July/1999 to June/2001. I know that sounds poor, but I've been told it's actually quite a respectable figure for a small press book like mine.

Speaking of books, the Ontario Arts Council has given me more bucks to put the finishing touches on the new novel. Ahh, sweet sweet arts councils.

Hey, remember that letter to the Prime Minister of Canada I wrote late last year? I forgot to report that the PM's office wrote back! Of course, it was pretty much a form letter, but at least it was signed... by the PM's staff member responsible for getting rid of nosy letter-writing citizens. If you're interested, here is the letter.

As always, I end this segment with a quote:

"When a nation's leaders flail about, indulging their fears and insecurities, desperately taking cover against bad things that might happen, they make those bad things all the more likely. " -James Carroll (The Boston Globe)

March 4, 2002

I just finished watching the movie Rushmore. Loved it. I'm also now in love with the movie's female lead, Olivia Williams. Yum.

Saw the most interesting thing on the subway the other day: a man who was paralyzed on his left side changed his clothes! No, it wasn't titillating, perverts. He changed his shirt, shoes and socks and put on a tie, all with one hand.... and on the subway! Fortunately, he didn't change his pants. I see the most fascinating things on the subway, like the time I witnessed an honest-to-goodness case of the blind leading the blind, as described in the Dec. 20, 1999, edition of my Bulletin. Speaking of weird and/or inappropriate subway activities, such things appear to be an epidemic here in DC.

In other news, I just purchased a new TV, after my old set went on the fritz this morning. For an hour there I actually contemplated not replacing it, and joining the elite set of TV abstainers. Then I snapped to my senses, remembering the hot copy of Rushmore in my hands.

Time for some more quotes, some from sources I usually disavow, but which are occasionally, and surprisingly, showing some reasonableness. Sorry for the vomitous colour scheme.

"The State doesn't say: 'send us your taxes so that we can enhance our power and pass out dough to our friends.' Instead, it says: 'taxes are the price you pay for civilization.'" -Lew Rockwell.
"[Professional Wrestling] is like watching The Three Stooges on steroids." -Ray Didinger (Philadelphia Daily News)
"[George W. Bush] separates himself from the global consensus based on his reading of U.S. interests alone - and his stance coincides with that of the oil industry, not with the real interests of the American people." -Richard B. Du Boff and Edward S. Herman (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"We are turning ourselves into the kind of deceitful, ruthless people whom Mr bin Laden imagines us to be." -Robert Fisk (The Indepdendent)
"The lunatics in the US government are going to start WWIII. And the public, currently absorbed with guys wearing make-up and dancing on ice-skates, is oblivious." -Bob Wallace (LewRockwell.com)
"There are two points of view.... One is American -- the belief that no person of goodwill could oppose the United States or doubt the justice of its cause after September 11. The second ...holds that America, in the shape of its president, is forfeiting all the moral credit it gained after the atrocities." -Ian Bell (Sunday Herald)
"The Bush administration has framed the security threat so broadly as to yield what every quasi-dictator craves - a state, seemingly, of permanent low-level warfare that frightens the citizenry and trumps dissent." -Robert Kuttner (The Boston Globe)
"The world now thinks the U.S. has lost its mind." -Madeleine Albright
"When terrorist mass murder and precedent-setting corporate crime invite debates of gender superiority... we're back to being fat 'n happy, otherwise known as schtupid. And, not impossibly, deserving of some of that bad ol' Middle Eastern contempt." -Kathleen Parker (Jewish World Review)

Feb 24, 2002

Well, now, I've never been one for "supporting my local sports team" 'cause, after all, when has my local sports team ever supported me? But I must admit to some guilty satisfaction after the Canadian men's Olympic hockey team kicked some gold medal American ass today, for no better reason that it helps to quiet the nauseating US jingoism that surrounds me. Ahhh, sweet sweet silence. (Yayy Canada.)

Feb 20, 2002

Okay, remember that roll of film I found in the dirt in front of the Smithsonian? Well, after investing $10 in developing costs, I find that it does not in fact show the second gunman on the grassy knoll, or Chandra Levy prancing about with a conspicuously armed Gary Conditt. Nope, it's just tourist shots of dumb-ass goombas from the Midwest. At least some of them are good-looking babes, so it's not a total bust. If you know these idiots, tell them I have their film.

Speaking of funny photos and stuff like that, this past weekend I was in Toronto where I attended the "Art of Stone" show at a local church. My favourite pieces were drawings by a girl named Salem, who I think is 7 years old or so. This sample is of Salem and her Dad, who looks very very gay. Kudos to Salem for dragging her Dad out of the closet, in church no less.

My resume and publicaton history have been updated. Nothing too Earth-shattering there. But the long-awaited latest installment of my video news reports has also been posted! Fun? Wow!

The whole "goombas from the midwest" collection will soon be posted in my photos section, along with some more selections by Salem and her gay Dad. So check back often! I need the hits!

Feb 11, 2002

Matt Vadum points out to me that I've been a bit irresponsible in characterizing the Confederacy as "racist." Perhaps he's right...perhaps. That's as close as I get to admitting I'm wrong on my website.

That steely-eyed bastion of free speech, The Podium, has been updated with some new material, so do have a look.

This weekend, I and my visiting friend Sean found an undeveloped roll of film lying in the dirt in front of the Smithsonian Institution (which is near to the Capitol building and the White House). I'm having it developed as we speak. Maybe it's just pics of fat tourists from Ohio.... or maybe it's photographic evidence of Gary Conditt strangling Chandra Levy! Stay tuned, loyal readers... And if you don't hear from me again, it means I'm hiding in suburban Arlington, trying to reach Gene Hackman on the phone...

I leave you with these important links. Want to submit an op-ed to a real newspaper (as opposed to the websites of variable quality who usually publish my crap)? Try these:

And if you get more success than me.... screw you, ungrateful swine! Kidding...I'm a kidder....

Feb 5, 2002

Let's start with the fun and happy stuff. The last couple of Monday nights, I've been playing trivia at Fado Irish Pub here in DC. There have been some great team names, including Axis of Weevils and The Nation of Quizzlam. Sadly, our team (Zen and the Art of Deep Throating) did not rise to the top of the heap, though we are making solid strides forward.

One of my old book reviews (this one of Eric Margolis's War At The Top of the World) has been reproduced on the Dooney's Cafe website. For several reasons which I shan't detail here, I don't think I'll be contributing any further material to that particular website.

Here are some more interesting links... The Meme Pool is a frequently updated list of links, ostensibly organized to celebrate memetic idea propagation, though I doubt the designers fully understand what that's supposed to mean.... Star Trek's Wil Wheaton has his own site, complete with everything except a bold declaration of his burgeoning homosexuality... Creepysites.com is a list of interesting web-based fictional journeys, for lack of a better description... This I don't know what to do with, The Southern Party is a revival of the racist Confederacy, but much of their foreign policy is in tune with my own! I am so confused...

After more thoroughly perusing his articles, I wish to retract my support for Chris Mooney. Seems he's just another precocious spoiled kid with more opinions than experiences.

And now the nasty stuff. Daily, I am more convinced that the present US Presidency is leading the world toward annihilation. This moralistic "good vs. evil" rhetoric, combined with a casual flouting of law, zero respect for the opinions of dissenters, and a terrifyingly simplistic world view ("axis of evil"?!!) are worrying enough. But when combined with the largest military build-up in 20 years, and with what the Boston Globe's Jim Carroll calls, "the puerile thrill of power, rampant moralism, and supreme arrogance", it amounts to a powderkeg watched over by drunken frat boys.

In a democracy, this should not be as great an issue as it is. The majority of reasonable voices always pulls extreme views more toward the middle. But this administration has gradually and convincingly quashed the acceptability of such controlling discourse, and has instead forcefully created a gelatinous worldview which meshes patriotism, war and corporate branding. Look at these anti-democratic quotes from high-ranked Bush lackies:

  • "All Americans must watch what they say" - White House spokesman Ari Fleisher
  • "Now is not the time for such divisive, destructive things as dialogue and debate" - Sen. John McCain
  • "[It is] urgent that all Americans be quiet, stop asking questions, accept the orders of authorities, and let us get on with the important work of defending liberty." - Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
  • "Now is not the time to allow simplistic, romantic notions of civil liberties and equal protection under the law to get in the way of our battle with the enemies of freedom." -Attorney General John Ashcroft

As Robert Scheer of the Los Angeles Times put it, "The president is drunk with the popularity that his war on terrorism has brought, and those sober Democrats and Republicans, who know better, are afraid to wrestle him for the keys to the budget before he drives off a cliff. "

Jan 29, 2002

Today's entry is about lunacy and antidotes to lunacy.

  • Antidote: George Monbiot, a left-leaning writer
  • Antidote: Chris Mooney, surprisingly a young dude
  • Lunacy: Jewish World Review, home of frightening world views
  • The queen of all lunatics: Ann Coulter and a dose of her "wisdom"
  • Lunacy: Ann's personal "mini-me", Michelle Malkin
  • Antidote:Antiwar.com, the name says it all
  • Antidote: 1bob, a send-up of the Net's most popular, and most nauseating, wrestling website
  • Lunacy:Auuuugh!!!
  • The ultimate antidote: respond to hawkish lunacy! Become a syndicated columnist by clicking here and here

Jan 25, 2002

It's been an interesting few days. First off, I have a new column at Dooney's Cafe. This one is sure to piss off my new American friends. Also, I recently returned from Toronto where I did a book reading/signing and a radio interview with CKLN. The interview will be broadcast in April, and will then be reproduced on this site.

I hope to have some big news for you in about 3 months. I don't want to jinx myself, so I'll keep it under wraps until then. That's all for now. Bye bye.

Jan 16, 2002

I continue to be amazed that the best news, and certainly the most balanced social commentary, is to be found online, and not via traditional sources, such as newspapers and television. ZMag is another excellent site for alternative world views. And here is a fine article on the racist definitions of "terrorism."

One more thing. The Podium now has a mobile edition! If you own a PDA and are an AvantGo subscriber (it's free, join!), simply select the "Create Channel" option and enter the following URL: http://users.starpower.net/iworm/podium/mobile.html. Set the "link depth" to 2, and preferably set the maximum storage to 200K, though 100K works in a pinch.

Jan 12, 2002

Some random musings:

  • I've recently discovered the political writings of Arianna Huffington
  • The shallow and disappointing egos of newspaper columnists have risen to the surface, with a continuing feud between right-wing half-brain Peter Worthington and an otherwise fascinating writer, Eric Margolis.
  • I really miss my favourite Internet wrestling columnist, Chris Hyatte. The irreverent Hyatte was a "persona" adopted by a completely anonymous and hilarious writer. Recently, he tired of the business and engineered his own "virtual death", complete with an executor and eulogizer.
  • Speaking of writers, this one has finally finished writing his new novel! It's with the test readers right now. As a tribute to a fellow novelist, here's a picture of its printed glory, complete with funding logos:
  • Here is a good article on the decline of free speech in America in the wake of Sep 11. There were a few others whose links I've lost. My favourite quote from one of them is, "On Sep 11 the world changed... except for Asia, Africa and large parts of Europe."
  • I just bought a Visorphone for my PDA, off ebay. Now I must find a GSM provider. I refuse to use Voicesteam, the recommended network, since they still owe me $250 from a previous transaction. I am starting to hate all American companies. (Um, except my employer, of course.)

New photos have been posted. Do have a look, and I'll talk to you soon (and see you in Toronto next week).

Jan 4, 2002

Ahh, sweet sweet sobriety. Pics from New Years will be posted real soon, so stay tuned. I have a new column available at Dooney's Cafe, as well as a whole new look to The Podium. And for the curious, here's the first glimpse of The New Ray, complete with much shorter hair:

Just a reminder: I'll be doing a book reading and signing at Toronto's Central Reference Library on the evening of Jan. 21, so come if you're in town! The link to the event is here. Also, CKLN radio station will be interviewing me at some point in the near future. Watch this space for details!

As you may have noticed, I've developed a recent interest in web-based news venues. I trust them more than traditional print media, and they sure make better reading. Here's a list of the more interesting ones:

Jan 1, 2002

Welcome to 2002. As is my tradition, I shall commit this first entry of the year to listing the things that were most influential in my life in 2001. Please do keep in mind that I am fall-flat-on-my-face monkey drunk as I write this.

I know everyone wants to talk about Sep 11 as one of the most important things in history, but let's get a grip. While tragic, those events will not bear the historical relevance of, say, Pearl Harbour. I think a more apt comparator is the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. But these days, whose memory goes back 23 years?

What are the most important things to Ray in 2001? Gentlemen, the envelope please...

4. Receiving a major grant from the Canada Arts Council, and subsequently finishing my novel. Okay, it's almost finished, with two chapters left to be written. But you get my drift.

3. Officially defending and being granted my f**king Ph.D. Seems like ancient history now, but the darn thing dominated my life for almost a decade.

2. Getting a job in DC and subsequently moving down here. This is doubly poignant for the atmosphere of war here in the empire's capital. Moving here has truly changed my life. To do so, I gave up the company of my large and beloved extended family, the comfort of a tight and complex social circle in Toronto, and a relationship with a girlfriend I respected and adored and gravely miss. I hope it's worth it!

1. Being the sentimental softy that I am, the most important thing in my life in 2001 was meeting, becoming involved with, and subsequently losing one very special young lady. She doesn't take well to publicity, so I'll leave her name off this site. But she brightened my life for an entire year. The darkness I now feel for her absence is in proportion to the light she brought to my life. Awww. I can only hope to one day meet a woman as complex and as wonderful as her. So for me, the year ends in a bittersweet fashion.

I've just come back from the black tie gala of the National Press Club in DC. What a waste of time and money! It was like paying to attend the wedding of someone you don't know, minus all the good-looking young single people. The only pluses were the company of my good friends Matt and Neil. It is also very telling that someone actually mistook me for one of the wait staff! Racist classist bastard.

As my drunkenness clears, I'm sure I'll regret writing all this emotional stuff. But while I've lost some important things this year, I'm thankful for some very valuable things that have remained in my life, most notably the love and support of my perfect family.

If you haven't read my Dec 31, 2001, entry, do check out the archives.