Sunday, September 25, 2005

Matt rocks (or folks)

I purchased the Matthew Good collection In A Coma a few days ago. I'm glad I have the standard greatest hits, as I don't have any of them MGB CD's on which to enjoy them. However, there are a bunch of perks to this packages as well. There is a second CD, with not only two MGB EPs, but also "Rooms", Matthew Good songs performed acoustically, pretty much with just him and his guitar.

I am really enjoying it. I've had a cold the previous week, and upon arriving home from work, very tired, I have been lying down and listening to Rooms. His voice is incredible on these recordings. I look forward not only to his concert at the Commodore on Nov 4, but also where his artistic direction will take him in the future.

I think he is someone to watch, as a very compelling singer and songwriter. It is easy to see that his songwriting has developed over the years. I have the feeling that he has much more potential is evident in what we have seen so far.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

"Hu Jintao, human rights now"

Went to a protest today. Hu Jintao, the president of China, was on an official visit to Canada. Hu was concluding the visit with a speech at a luncheon at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver.

There we numerous people outside the hotel, many protesting, and disappointingly, very disappointingly, very supporting Hu.

Some protestors were protesting China's continued occupation of Tibet. This was the most vocal group. Some protested China's threats of force against Taiwan. Yest others strenuously objected to China's human rights record at home, and asked for redress for the Tiennenmen Square Massacre of June 4, 1989. They were all united in an opposition to the Chinese government's history and continuation of human rights violations, and denial of said violations.

Others, as I indicated, continue to support Hu. What their motivation is I'm not sure. Maybe they buy the capitalist line that strong trade is the best antidote to human rights abuses. Maybe they buy the Chinese government's stated denial of all of the above. Only they can look into their hearts and answer that.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Say it ain't so

I read an article today by Heather Mallick of the Globe and Mail that revealed a lot about Canada. This is the country Heather loves, as I do as well, having been a life-long inhabitant.

However, recent behaviour exhibited by our federal government is very distrubing.

In the words of Heather,

And as Canada transforms itself into a nation that discards civil liberties and leaves Muslim prisoners starving themselves to death despite pleas from people like Alexandre Trudeau and their own guards, a country that has the permission of the Supreme Court to treat autistic children as waste products and a country that may well force me to hitchhike to Alberta for a speech this fall, I am starting to dislike this place.

read the full article here.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Third world within the first world

New Orleans is a disaster area right now. Yes, that's right, a major city in the wealthiest country in the world is in dire need of assistance. It is estimated that thousands have died. Probably just as many are missing.

And yes, it is a natural disaster that could not have been prevented. However, that does not excuse was in which man-made forces exacerbated the suffering. The vast majority of those stranded during the hurricane were poor and black. They were unable to leave. For one thing, it is criminal that poor people in large American cities are so disproportionately black. For another, the lack of US government help that was offered to help those stranded is appalling. It was too busy cleaning up Bush's mess in Iraq.

The result was looting and shooting. This was reminiscent of the LA riots of 1992, after the Rodney King verdict. Reminds me of the Tracy Chapman lyric

Give him drugs and give him candy
Anything to make him feel happy
And he won't ever come for us
But if he does
And if there's no one else around
Bang Bang Bang
He'll shoot us down

This is a wake up call to those who fail to address the causes that led to the human scope of this disaster. Is anybody listening?