Friday, July 28, 2006


Recently a good friend of mine wrote a great blog about the pedophile political party in the Netherlands getting enough votes to qualify for government funding. Its ridiculous but inevitable in today’s world. But a seemingly random guy commented on his blog. I wanted to know who this guy was and when I clicked to his blog it was all about how he was a pedophile and how he was trying to create ‘rational’ discussion on the topic. I guess everything ends up on the internet eventually. Sickening.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Average Parisian’s View of Muslims

Almost every morning I take the bus out to Kanata with this guy who recently moved here from France. He currently lives down the road from me so we are usually catching the same buses and transferring at the same stop. He always sort of stood out and I am convinced that it is because his clothes are way more stylish than anybody else on the bus. Its something you notice with Europeans and Montréalers.
I just happened to start talking to him one time after chasing and failing to get a bus to stop for us. We had 15 minutes to kill until the next bus came.
Over the past few months we have talked on and off and got to know each other quite well. Two weeks ago when the Lebanon vs Israel war was just starting again we started talking about muslims and our respective views on them. Personally I find the media and governments (mostly the media) paints things too black and white. For instance, on TV they are showing all the Lebanese Canadians coming back with all these horror stories of bombing raids and dieing children. They are trying to shock people into thinking the government is doing nothing while condoning Isreal’s indiscriminate killing of innocent people. On the other hand the government really isn’t in any position to do anything because they have no military and therefore no presence. Also, Israel’s goal is not to kill Lebanon but the Hezbollah government in Lebanon. And it was the Hezbollah who started this and brought it upon themselves. They broke the uneasy ceasefire in the first place. Really all the blame should be on them. But that doesn’t really give Israel the right to kill innocent civilians. It is all too complicated an issue that stretches back decades, even centuries and it can’t be solved in a little known blog entry.
But getting back to my point which was the average Parisian’s view of muslims. When he started talking about muslims I was almost shocked at his non-canadian views. He spoke with such force of his distaste of muslims that I was thinking it was racist. He said ‘That is the typical Canadian’s world view and it will be Canada’s downfall’ when I pointed it out. I told him that I have worked with very devout muslims and found them to be very good people. He said that was maybe 0.0001% of them. He went on to explain that in Paris, like the rest of Europe, muslims were slowly taking over. The attitude they exude is that they own the country and they are above the laws of the land. Ordinary rules were written for ordinary people. They are slowly pervading every part of the country because the residents originally had the attitude that Canadians have now. Nobody wants to be perceived as racist, nobody wants to not let immigrants from specific countries in.
He said that the younger generation (my generation) is finally getting sick of being pushed around. They are realizing that their freedoms are being taken away from them by immigrants who refuse to even learn their new countries language. This newfound patriotism is what led to the riots in Paris last year. The angst between the two sides is bringing out violence on both sides. Is this the future of Canada? Other immigrants (Indian, Italian, Asian) all assimilate to a degree and even if they don’t they don’t try to take over their new country. It is only muslims, pushed by their violent and aggressive religion who are told explicitly to go out and conquer the world. And it is in a totally different sense than the Christian mandate.So what are we supposed to do? Reject them? Fight them? Not let them in? I don’t know but its something I will definitely look out for when I am in Paris next spring the Lord willing.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Life of Pi

I just finished reading 'The Life of Pi' by Yann Martel. It was a good book and hard to put down but the ending is still bugging me. If anybody else out there in bloggerland read the book please could you tell me what you think happened at the end. Was the entire story with the tiger made up? This will bug me every time I think about that book. On the other hand it was a very entertaining read and I recommend it.
Currently I am reading a book called 'Great Streets'. It discusses what makes a good street and which streets of the world are the greatest. My favourite street in the book so far is Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona. It’s probably because it has so many of Antonio Gaudi’s buildings on it. He even did some lamp stands and mosaics on the sidewalks. Why can’t North America have any streets like that? I will definitely have to check it out when I go there.
The other interesting thing the book mentioned is that the Champs Elysees in Paris (probably the most famous street in the world) is lacking and although it once was a great street, it is taking a turn for the worse. Either way, I want to see it anyway.
The last great book I just finished is by one of my favourite authors, Philip K. Dick and is called ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’. It is more commonly known, to those who have seen the movie, Blade Runner. A fantastic book and one of the few movies I actually own. So I watched it right away.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The creation of a thousand forests is in one Acorn

My new band of the week is The Acorn. I found out about them from a CBC radio program called Fuse. The program airs once a week on Wednesday night. It hosts a variety of artists, some famous (by Canadian standards) and some not so famous. The artists are paired up and music is made. Some of the more well known artists to play were Ron Sexsmith, Hawksley Workman, Rufus Wainwright and Stephen Fearing. Most of the shows are live at the studios here in Ottawa and the tickets are free.The Acorn, an indie band from the Ottawa Valley, was teamed up with two top classical orchestra players playing a chello and violin I believe. I tried to get tickets, was too late, and ended up not even catching the show on the radio. But I did some research online and downloaded their Live at Royal Albert Hall disc off their website. Download it for yourself here. It is definitely a decent indiepop disc and supposedly the new disc is quite a bit better. I am going to check it out for sure. These guys could be going places......

Monday, July 24, 2006


Click this link to find out what nationallity you are with respect to the Zidane affair.
Funny stuff.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bluesfest is No Joke

When I heard the Ottawa Bluesfest was starting up again for the year all I really heard was that Great Big Sea was playing. Don't get me wrong, they are cool, but not worth 30 bucks. Then I picked up a paper at the bus stop and it showed all the bands playing on just the main stage. It turns out that the event spans three weekends and two weeks. There are 5 stages throughout downtown showcasing somewhere around 75 bands. And they aren't your usual Canadian bands playing in front of unenthusiastic old people. Just a glance at the schedule brought to my attention The Stills, Matt Mays, Sam Roberts, Blue Rodeo, Live and closing out the show on the final Saturday is one of my favorite bands, Wilco. I didn't even know there where more Wilco fans in Ottawa. And this is only on the main stage. If you wander around to the other stages you could catch Broken Social, Feist, Malajube, Wintersleep, Fiery Furnaces, Metric, The New Pornographers, The Acorn, Controller.Controller and Torngat. This weekend is going to be the biggest night of concerts for Ottawa and I am not going to be there because I will be camping. Oh well, next year I am going to have to plan a little better. A pass for the entire time is just over 100 bucks which seems decent.Yup, definitely going to have to plan better.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What an End to the World Cup!

Can you believe what Zidane did?!?
Unreal! How can you headbutt a guy in the chest? First off, who does that? Second, who does that in the world cup final when you will probably never play in one again.
He must have been paid off by the mob.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Music Switch

Last week the battery on my MP3 player died and I did more than switch the battery. I switched the music too. I tend to leave music on if I like it and I really liked it so I had no real reason to change it. But I was getting new cds and the best way to get into them is to listen on the bus. So I switched from Iron & Wine, Belle & Sebastien, The Shins, Wilco and The Libertines to some more mainstream pop from the likes of Richard Ashcroft, Mark Knopfler & EmmyLou Harris, Stephen Fearing and because I could resist, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Has it improved my busride? No. But what has improved my busride is construction which now forces the bus to drive closer to my work.
As a side note, Wilco is closing out the Ottawa Bluesfest on the main stage this year and I am going to be missing it because of a camping trip. Oh well. Maybe they will be back next year.