pain is the staff of life


Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on September 28, 2011

It’s official. Gaddafi is the new OBL (rip). He is no sooner thought to be in one place when he pops up somewhere else. Now they say he’s in S. Algeria. I guess he blends right in with his camel train and big black bedouin tent. I wonder how long this will go on? I guess as long as they need it to go on.

Last night before bed I read a first-hand account of what preceded the massacre in Beijing’s Tiananmen Sq. One Western journalist described seeing angry anti-government protesters (not peacenik students) tear the faces of 3 soldiers who had emerged from a tank. Then they smashed their skulls. I was reminded of what another journalist, this time in Hong Kong, had told us back in the 80s about the Vietnamese boat people in the harbour. He said if the Brits had not been there to protect them, the Chinese would have massacred them.


Brand new WTC

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on September 12, 2011

This is what it’s going to look like when it’s finished.

In the lead-up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, CBC broadcast a documentary on some of the victims trapped in the towers who had managed to call home either to tell their families that they loved them or to leave them messages to that effect. There were arrows with their names indicating where they were in the smoking mess. It was excrutiating to hear these poor souls voices over the footage knowing there was no way out for them.
My bro in law, an architect, asks “if the same size towers had been designed to lie horizontally with just the one exit would they have been built?” No. So why do they keep doing the same stupid thing? The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

RT, oil sands, Stephen Harper, Rufus and Martha Wainwright

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthanzo on September 7, 2011

Saw the wonderful Richard Thompson last night at the Corona Theatre. This may have been his first time playing a solo gig in Montreal. I confess I wanted to dance to many of his songs but didn’t want to be irreverent. The counterpoints and counter-rhythms he plays all the while singing are mind-boggling to behold, to behear. JoelZ joined him on violin for the encores. There were many many moments of great beauty and a dazzling show of dexterity from both of them. Back in the late 70s, Richard and Linda, then pregnant with Kami, came to Montreal with Joe Boyd and John Wood so that Kate and I could add our voices to songs on Sunny Vista. We did this at Son Quebec, a studio that Andre Perry built in an old synagogue on Amherst Sq. below Sherbrooke E. I can’t believe that was the last time he was here. He has a devoted audience in Montreal and I’m sure he’ll be back soon.

Much discussion today on NPR’s On Point about the proposed Keystone pipeline linking the Alberta Tar Sands with refineries in New Orleans. Two days ago heard an interview with a prof. from California talking about the difficulties establishing democratic institutions in oil-producing countries i.e. Iran, Russia, Iraq, Libya (…Canada?). He said because the governments make all their revenues from oil exports the people in these countries pay little or no tax (cut, cut) and as a result hold no sway with their governments. Oh oh.

There’s something from Wikileaks on about how Stephen Harper (looking a bit like John Edwards in this pic..) doesn’t like to travel. I sympathize with him, but as his job demands it, I suggest he go with someone like Rufus W.  a committed globetrotter who loves nothing better than to mingle with the the beautiful people, he’s one himself. Tomorrow he and Martha are singing for the Princess Grace Foundation in Monaco. Here’s a hot pic of Martha from the Telegraph UK and one of the venue with the Royal cage where the Grimaldis perch.