Thursday, July 24, 2014

Appalling Apollo Art

45 years ago this week, Apollo 11 made its historic voyage to the moon. A couple of decades after that, I drew and coloured this. I think it speaks for itself, but thankfully in space no one can hear you scream. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bacon Bullets

The only conservative thing about me is my palate, often to my detriment. But today, joining Doug, Pete and Ellen for lunch at Taste of Edmonton, I decided to try something new: Bacon Bullets from Sabor Divine. Bacon is hardly daring, but I was wary of its presentation: wrapped in dates stuffed with cheese. I abhor dates, but for reasons I don't understand I decided to - literally - bite the bullet.

Superb. Bacon is tasty enough, and I love cheese, but the date added a sweet tang that somehow enhanced both the cheese and the bacon. To use an exhausted but appropriate metaphor, each bite caused a gunpowder-like explosion of flavour in my mouth. Biting the bullet never tasted so good. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Manitoba Woods and the Banana Republic

This morning I woke up laughing because of a dream.

I was Indiana Jones' new sidekick. Harrison Ford was a young man in his twenties, while I was a teenager. We were struggling to cling to an out-of-control stagecoach while being chased by Max Von Sydow and a trio of thugs. We couldn't outpace them because they were riding in an open trailer hitched to the stagecoach.

There was an open crate of bananas on top of the stagecoach. My job was to peel them, then hand the fruit to Jones, who flung each peeled banana at the villains. One banana slapped Max Von Sydow right in the face, and when he opened his mouth to scream, Indiana flung another banana that went right down his throat, making him cough and gag.

That's when I woke up, laughing and laughing and awakening Sylvia. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

What if Everyone Had the Right to Vote in Every Constituency?

In our system of parliamentary democracy, each of us votes for a candidate who will represent us in the House of Commons. Voters are clumped together by geography, and our collective wisdom (or passion, or ignorance) sends one candidate to Ottawa.

Unless we're lucky enough to live in the riding represented by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Leader of the Third Party or a cabinet minister, we might not even know the name of our Member of Parliament, unless we're particularly politically engaged.

The current system also assumes that we're selfish, that we have an interest only in our particular island of humanity, the few thousand people we share some neighbourhoods with.

But as a citizen, I'm interested in the welfare of every Canadian, whether they live on the west side of Edmonton, on the shores of the Arctic ocean, in one of our great metropolises or a small prairie town. I'd like everyone to have the best representation possible.

I might feel, for example that the NDP's Linda Duncan is the best choice for Edmonton Strathcona and Liberal Kent Hehr the best for Calgary Centre. I might even feel there's a good Conservative candidate out there somewhere who would make solid contributions in the House of Commons.

If everyone had the right to vote in every constituency, we'd all get the chance to vote directly for the eventual Prime Minister. In fact, you could vote for any combination of Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau - all of them or none, if you feel that the other candidates in their respective ridings would make better MPs.

Of course few Canadians have the patience to research three hundred and eight individual races, and many would vote straight Liberal, straight Conservative, straight New Democrat, Bloc, Green or even Marxist-Leninist. It would be a chaotic, messy, infuriating system.

But if everyone took it seriously...if everyone had a personal stake in every corner of the country...well.

I wonder what would happen? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

An Unwatched Pot Can Boil Over

Remember, when browsing through the library of much more interesting posts on The Earliad, ensure that you haven't left more important matters unattended!