“Abracadabra!” bellowed Caesar, disintegrating every foe galloping hither, incensed jugglers keeling lengthwise, maddened Numidians on ponies quickly raising swords, thrusting underhanded, vexed, wary, xenophobes yelling “Zounds!”
Friday, November 15, 2019
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
I am sorry to have just learned of your father’s passing, a year and 10 days ago today.
I remember touring Leduc and riding down 46 Ave the summer before last on my motorbike, lamenting the status of what is now left of my parents' once-proud home (gulp). Your mom and dad were out front and I pulled up to the curb, unrecognizable with my loud bike and full-face and shield-tinted helmet. Still, your father came happily walking up to me to say hello. Even after I took off my helmet I still needed to tell him who I was - ha ha.
He was the same jolly, friendly and outgoing man I knew him to be from the day I first met him 40 years ago (gulp - the sequel). As I rode away from our brief chat, it felt good to know that at least some willowy tapestries still connect us to the whimsical days of youth. He is a good man.
Keith and I exchanged some news, but this part of his message (published here with his permission) really moved me. It was nice to know that people still remember Dad fondly, and nice to hear that Keith and his family are doing well. Over the last few years many people in my life have endured struggles of all kinds, but the ties of friendship and family help us all pull through. Thanks so much for the note, Keith.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Monday, November 11, 2019
Blogging made EBN redundant, though I do miss the little frills of desktop publishing - mostly the freedom of creating your own layouts.
Best of all, though, were the contributions from my friends. Now, that was fun; in a sense, I was the smallest-time editor ever. But I had a great time doing it.
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Friday, November 08, 2019
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Tuesday, November 05, 2019
Putters only. Mine is clutched tightly in my fist. No silly chicanes or cartoonish windmill arms will stop me from shooting nine straight holes-in-one.
It's hot. Teeth clenched. Sun beats down, mocking me. Grip sweaty. Hole out of focus. One simple bounce off the east boundary and I'm in. Just the right angle. Just the right amount of force.
I swing. Gently. But firmly. "Clack" goes the ball as it leaps forward, off my club. "Click" goes the ball as it caroms off the wooden boundary.
It's heading right for the hole. Simple. A child's game.
The ball hops over the hole, petulantly. Comes to rest against the back wall. My face turns red. I hurl the putter, screaming. It bends in half against a tree.
I fall to my knees.
It's beaten me.
Monday, November 04, 2019
Sunday, November 03, 2019
Saturday, November 02, 2019
Friday, November 01, 2019
When I watched Blade Runner 2049 in the theatre two years ago, I was profoundly moved by Denis Villeneuve's vision of Las Vegas, a sandblasted, orange-hued, radiation-scarred wasteland littered with the gigantic fallen idols of exploitative, runaway capitalist excess. Just as in Ridley Scott's original Blade Runner film, Villeneuve presents us with what some science fiction critics call a "crapsack world," one ruined by some kind of catastrophe, usually caused by humanity's shortsighted folly. In the case of the world of Blade Runner, the wildly overpopulated and perpetually rain-slicked dystopia of November 2019 (we know the date from the film's title card) is an environment so oppressive that the abused androids have more humanity than the actual humans in the film. If anything, the world of Decker and the Nexus androids has grown even more bleak by 2049, still a world divided between the rich elite and the exploited masses, human and manmade, kept in line by bread, circuses, and to perhaps a lesser extent the implied threat of quasi-fascist police violence. Both movies are gorgeous, thought-provoking, and ultimately heartbreaking. The films, together with the book, are a warning: this is the way the world is headed, if not in fine detail, then in general outcomes.
Now our timeline has caught up with that of the first Blade Runner film. It's November 2019, and while our world can't quite yet be called a dystopian crapsack, I wonder how it will look in 2049, or 2099. If we are very fortunate, the visions of Scott and Villeneuve and, of course, the visionary Philip K. Dick, will have scared just enough of us just enough to steer the ship of history on a better course.