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odds and ends…

October 1, 2014

The sacred text of the Israelites – of the Old Testament – say that the Israelites were God’s chosen people.

But the sacred texts of the Aztecs, say that the Aztecs are God’s chosen people.

Who is right?

Who is wrong?


One day last week at my local cafe I came across three people of indeterminate Middle-Eastern orgins that I could not place. Two guys and a woman.

The woman holds centre court almost the entire time they share the space with me.

She has that Russell Peters talent for good-humored cultural self-mockery. She has her two friends in constant stitches. She makes fun of Islam, Christianity, gender politics, immigration – the list goes on.

Of course most of this humour – or what I can hear when she switches to English – is politically-incorrect, and dark – the best humor often is – and I won’t repeat any of it for a variety of reasons – but if I were a comic talent scout I would be right over there giving her my business card.

You try and google “female Middle Eastern comics”! There are none. She’d be a huge hit on the comedy scene.

A headliner at the Montreal Comedy Fest.

Of course, she’d get death threats from all over her homeland.

But that wouldn’t concern me.

I’m just a talent scout.

I’d say I was just doing my job.


Victoria Park - Halifax

Victoria Park – Halifax

How a little park, not 100’ wide and maybe 100 yards long can pack in so much natural magic has been one of the most pleasant surprises in coming to Halifax. Little Victoria Park, at the corner of South Park and Spring Garden is dense and rich far beyond its size.

Old city planners understood green space much better than we do today. Think of Central Park in New York. Riverdale Park in Toronto. And as little Victoria Park here in Halifax attests, you don’t have to be big, to be wonderful.

What do modern city-planners think of such things? They’d call an empty lot a park space if they could get away with it. In China they put up large screen videos of sunsets (because you can’t see the actual sunset for the pollution – and call it a parkspace).


So, the results of a big sex survey came out in Briton today and it seems that the Brits – already known for their lack of physical affection – are having even less of it (sex, that is) then their parents did.

But, if you look, Statistics Canada will tell you the same thing is happening here.

In our post-AIDS environmental apocalypse you-first, porn-for-everyone world, according to Stats Can young people are having ½ as much sex as my generation, and we were already down from my parents’ generation.

Being “asexual” is now one of the fastest growing sexual identity labels.

Not only are lots of people not having sex, they’re not even interested in it, and they’re not afraid to come out of the closet about it.

What a different world from when I was in my twenties. And I’m sure there are a variety of reasons for it. Increased urbanization and the resultant stress, pollution is killing sperm cells, estrogen is in all the water, obesity and a lower sex drive often go hand-in-hand, an older society, 24/7 porn (very bad 24/7 porn), did I mention the stress of modern living?

When the pill liberated sex from the old cultural mores of our grandparents everyone thought that we’d be free to be rabbits. And for a while the beaches (well the European and Australian beaches at least) were full of topless liberated women, people experimented with monogamy and communal living, and the Joy of Sex was a run-away middle class best seller.

But like art and architecture and beauty – we’ve fucked that up to. Woman have put their tops back on (a recent survey found that less than 2% of French women now go topless at the beach), used book stores can’t give the Joy of Sex away, and a Saturday night Netflix binge beats sex 9 times out of 10.

I suppose I will be the only one nostalgic for something others do not miss.

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