–– Psst! –––
You know, I have never eaten at a Canadian restaurant. So I have never tasted Canadian food, having never traversed the 250 miles to the border. But I have grown, over time, to suspect that Canadian food is mostly doughnuts. And that hardly seems worth the drive.
I do get the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) here and it is mostly hockey games and doughnut advertisements.
And yes, I understand they also have fries with gravy on them. And doughnuts. But they are proud Canadian doughnuts, no doubt. They don’t call them doughnuts though. They call them “The circle of life.”
And they did name a city “Moose Jaw*” so I have to give them that. Do you have any idea what the per capita consumption of doughnuts is in Moose Jaw?
* I only know this because I have
a lot of albums by the Guess Who.
This only impresses Canadians.
I do love The Guess Who. And here is a webpage where you can download a live recording from 1974. Very nice!
by David Raffin
If a cartoonist draws Muhammad, he or she invariably will frame that drawing between four straight lines, a graphic representation of a box. Herein lies a problem: Nobody puts Muhammad in a box.
Muhammad in the Box was a toy popular in the fifties. You turned the crank and it played a tune. But Muhammad never popped out. Angry parents would take the toy to the manufacturer and complain. The manufacturer invariably told them that Muhammad does not “pop out.” Such would be unseemly.
Some asked if Muhammad was really in the box. Here the manufacturer had to be clever. He said that Muhammad was, in fact, simultaneously in the box and not in the box at the same time. Possibly with, or without, a cat. “Is he or isn’t he?” they would ask. And he would reply “It depends on whether you want him to be. Do you want him to be? Are you looking? What are your expectations? Would you know him if you saw him? Would you know him from Jack? Perhaps you and your questioning are really the issue here.”
In this way, while there was never a no-return policy, the lack of returns was assured.
Sometimes people would journey to the manufacturer and ask, “If Muhammad is in the box, what is he doing in there?” and associated questions like, “How did he come to be in the box, if that is where he is?” and “Is there possibly anyone else in there?” sometimes followed by “and how do they get along?” Occasionally a traveler looking for answers would become clever and ask, “Are we even talking about the same Muhammad? It is a very common name.”
The manufacturer would say, “No one knows” “It is matter for the scholars” “How is it any of your business?” “With the utmost hospitality, as is the custom” and “Look in your own heart.”
The fast food outlet Muhammad in the Box makes the best falafel, granted the locations are difficult to find. They neither advertise or have a logo. But their falafel is the best.
Falafel in Europe, an experience in hospitality
Falafel stands are fairly ubiquitous throughout the world. You can buy a falafel about as cheaply as a hashish brownie in Amsterdam. Once, when I was alone in the city, I stopped at a small falafel place. I was the only customer. Here I was witness to the famous Middle Eastern hospitality. Arabs are actually renowned for their hospitality. I can only say I was treated very well for a guy who walked into a place and only spent €4.50. It’s more expensive to eat at Burger King (they have them but that doesn’t mean you should eat there).
Have you ever gone to an Indian restaurant, eaten, then stood and shouted, “Are you telling me this is Pakistani food?” I have.
All I can say is — they take it graciously.
I understand the reticence of the Pakistani immigrants to name their resulting restaurants “Pakistani” and going instead with the more common “Indian.” I get it. No one knows what Pakistani food is. Rarely, if ever, do people outside of Pakistan declare “Honey, let’s eat Pakistani food tonight.” Come to think of it, they don’t say that in Pakistan either. I don’t think they commonly use the endearing nickname “honey.” I think most of them, being 70% Sunni Muslim, prefer the more common middle eastern term of endearment, “sohniye.” Wait. That’s just Punjabi for “beautiful girl.” There is a lot of interchange in endearment. But that is neither here nor there.
What it is — is culinary deception. When I go out for Indian food I don’t want Pakistani food foisted on me as Indian food; and I certainly don’t want Indian food foisted on me when I go searching for Pakistani food.
I tell you, that is as offensive as lacing mock apple pie with real apples.
via Marcy, world traveler
Adaptations to a Modern Age by Scott Steven Erickson
In the interest of disclosure, I sang in the background on some of the tracks on this album.
It is a fine album filled with many instruments, in motion.
It is unusual, like you. It has a song about bananas, which are filled with potassium, not unlike you.
Also, it has a beat and you can dance to it.
If this has not convinced you, you may listen below:
Let me tell you a story about Zebedy Colt, a man who lived four lives.
1. A child actor in the 1930s who appeared in major Hollywood productions.
2. A stage actor in Broadway theater.
3. An innovator in gay music, releasing an album in 1969 where he sang gay songs straight. Or straight songs gay. Depending on how you look at it.
4. A 1970s actor and director in mostly straight X-rated cinema.
His record was called “I’ll Sing For You.” It was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and is really quite good. It can be streamed from this site: Queer Music Heritage which also has more information.
Every day I am faced with an ethical dilemma.
I never look my mirror self in the eye. One of us is evil. It’s best not to know.
If I find that I am evil I may have to change my evil ways. As you can imagine, I have a lot of time, money, and effort invested in my evil ways and prefer to think of my ways not as evil but as reasonable and balanced, nay, even, if I may be so bold, necessary. Thus I prefer not to know.
If I find I am the evil one I may snap and decide to go all out on the evil front. There would be nothing to contain me. This precludes balance. Will the good me become more good as the evil me becomes more bad? Will this continue until the two universes rupture and split, destroying all? Or will the good version of myself drift inevitably and inextricably toward evil, becoming known as the dreaded lesser evil? Either outcome is one I choose to discourage.
If I am the good one I may have to spend the rest of my life challenging the work of my evil mirror universe self. This is a major time commitment, crossing two universes (that may have separate and disparate understandings of good and evil to boot) that I am not comfortable with at this time; and let’s be honest, I never will be. This may be evidence that I am the evil version of myself, a man who cannot be bothered to know the difference between good and evil– proving that apathy is the greatest evil. But, no, let us* say no more on that front. Yes, I have already forgotten it.
(* We, Me & I)
I have long been a Billy Bragg fan and his recent album is called Tooth & Nail.
Here is a video from SXSW of the song No One Knows Nothing Anymore:
And here is the full concert that was culled from:
Here’s The Beach is Free from his previous album Mr. Love & Justice:
An ancient philosopher best remembered as carrying a lamp in the day while claiming to be looking for an honest man.
He enjoyed mocking Alexander the Great, sabotaging the lectures of Socrates, and defacing currency (his father had been a coin minter). He “made it his life’s goal to challenge established customs and values.”
At one point he was captured by pirates and sold into slavery.
His philosophy later morphed, through his students, into Stoicism.
None of his writing survives.
This has been another exciting episode of “The Philosophers.”