on getting evicted

on my drive home from seattle this afternoon i thought about what i was
going to post to my journal when i returned – some observations about
my trip, ideas passed onto me by a friend of mine, a report of the
show….
but when i walked in my door, there was a sealed envelope on the floor
– shoved through the door in my absence.

after months of no information, rumours, and outright lies from my
rental company, they have finally put this apartment (and all the other
rentals in the building) up for sale.
of course, it wasn’t the building owner (a government agency – BC
Housing), or the rental company who deigned to tell us – but the
realtors who are selling the place – in a note that informs me when the
viewing times will be and that i can call them to inquire about
purchasing my home. of course they will do the utmost to ensure minimal
disruption of my privacy but they would like me to stay away during the
viewings. – thanks… wouldn’t want to upset the happy purchasers
tromping around looking for a bargain (which they likely won’t find
here).

i knew it was coming, and i will call to inquire about the list price
(we were told we would get first purchasing option but that seems to
have gone out the window) – but it seems as though i will be evicted
sometime before september with a month’s rent paid for moving expenses.

now begins the soul search about where i want to live – stay in the
‘hood or look for greeneer pastures? a house off the drive or trailer
on a plot of land? oh – the big questions go around and around – but
can’t be answered until i figure a few more things out….

will write about my trip south later (after a shower…)

morning passages

i’m just about to leave for the trip south and thought i would post this passage that i found online a few days ago. i don’t know what work it originally comes from – but it is attributed to hesse

“once again I love deeply everything at home, because I have to leave it. tomorrow I will love other roofs, other cottages. I won’t leave my heart behind me, as they say in love letters. no, I am going to carry it with me over the mountains, because I need it, always. I am a nomad, not a farmer. I am an adorer of the unfaithful, the changing, the fantastic. I don’t care to secure my love to one bare place on this earth. I believe that what we love is only a symbol. whenever our love becomes too attached to one thing, one faith, one virtue, then I become suspicious.”

–>hesse

and also, because it is related to themes of love and misplaced need – i have included my favourite derrick jensen passage here as well from A Language Older Than Words

“I know that beneath the fear and hatred, beneath the urge to control and destroy, far beneath the scarred shells that protect and define us, people are good.

Deep down our needs are simple: apart from food, shelter, and clothing there are the needs to love and be loved, for community, to be open to the world at large and for it to be open to us, to affect and be affected, to understand and be understood, to hear and be heard, to accept and be accepted. it is only when we fear that these needs won’t be met that we grasp at them, and in the grasping lose and chance of satisfying them. Love controlled is not love; just as sex demanded is rape and acceptance expected is subservience.

But if we fear, then demand we must, for to fear these needs will not be met is to fear for our lives as surely as if our lack of love and acceptance were instead the absence of food and water. With these deep needs unsatisfied we waste away, shrivel and die as from hunger or thirst. We die, but we go on surviving. The search for that which should have been there all along continues, but we can no longer receive it, nor even recognize it.”

more thoughts on these later…..

talk about out of touch

in response to an Amnesty International report condemning the US for stripping global citizens of their rights under the guise of the war on terror – White House spokesman Scott McClellan had this to say:

“My response is that the war on terrorism has resulted in the liberation of 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the protection of their rights,” McClellan said. “People in those countries did not have the kinds of protections that we’re used to in the United States, and now they do.”

of course, if we just look carefuly we can see how protected the iraqi and afghani people are now that the US has been in there destroying their infrastructure and looting their resources. hooray for human rights!

ok – enough ranting – it’s been one of those days.

explain this one……

ok – i’m confused about this. i just had a meeting with a union rep from another union representing federal government employees in my workplace. in the course of a discussion about collective bargaining, we started talking about the upcoming election and how that might impact the outcome for our agreement.

so – this other rep starts going on about not electing the liberals again and how we have to support stephen harper and the conservative party! this is a party that has been quite vocal about wanting to shred the federal public service and fire us all.

i said to my fellow rep words to that effect – it is counter-intuitive for us as reps to want to see a party come to power that would fire a great many of our members – to which he said “fine, let them gut the federal service”.

bottom line is – the members of our unions pay a lot of dues money to have us defend their jobs, not encourage a newly elected government to fire them.

time and time again, working class folks vote and even argue against their own interests (it gets pretty funny in a government office to hear the conservative types go on about wanting to see big government cut – as long as it’s not their jobs… i wonder whose jobs they think should be cut?)

is it just that people believe everything their newspaper tells them? or is it some sort of internalized self-loathing borne out of the social myth that those who don’t make it rich just never tried hard enough?

thursday afternoon quandry…..

what is going on down there?

my friend at laughingmeme.org writes that he is coming to see my band play at Folklife (in Seattle) tomorrow). interestingly he writes “Rumor has it this might be their last visit to Evil Empire for a while” which i don’t recall saying – but he likely picked that up from the tenor of the discussion we had about it overall.

you see, i play radical folk music with decent lefty folks who have decent lefty politics and thus, when we talk about the band plans, politics are never far out of the discussion. last year and this, our annual trip to seattle has been the subject of some debate as the bodies continue to pile up in the middle east and the US agressively pusues its own agenda at the expense of every other region of the world. in a 13-year period, the US has killed 5-6% of the Iraqi population, and left their soil permanently contaminated with depleted uranium ensuring that their capacity to reproduce is forever stunted. the photographs and video flooding out of the POW prisons over the past month put even more striking images to the brutality of the invasion.

so the question this year, as it was last – is – do we want to spend time in a place such as this? just how complicit are a people in what its government does? how complicit are we as Canadians in this whole mess (Afghanistan and the war on terror involvement)? how do we fight back?

because it’s not just that american soldiers are torturing people in other countries – this is something we have known for a long time either explicitly or implicitly over the decades – but the reaction of the people at home that is so frightening. for the past month, we have had to bear witness to mainstream commentators asking the questions of children such as – “why are we spending so much time on this torture-stuff, and not as much on the Nick Berg beheading?”, or “why are we focused so much on the bad things our soldiers are doing and not the good?”

why indeed.

first of all these commentators know better than anyone that corporate media leads with what bleeds and if that is extreme torture video then CNN wants to be the first to make a buck off it. secondly, “good works” being done by soldiers are questionable since the good work they point to seems to be things like restoring the water supplies they destroyed in the first place – so the good works are only in the context of the nasty pummeling they have already given. if i break your arm and then set it in a cast – is that a good work all around? does my setting the arm in the cast mitigate the fact i intentionally broke it in the first place?

and to the Nick Berg comments – the difference between the beheading and and what’s happened at Abu Grahib is quite clearly the difference between a force that is part of systemic law and order and is supposed to be accountable, and one that is not and has no pretentions of being. besides which, the it is unlikely Nick Berg was killed by Al Queda, or beheaded live on videotape and one beheading just does not compare to the murder of hundreds of thousands of children through sanctions and warfare. no, it’s not the same and no, it should not be given the same attention as Abu Grahib.

to top all of this off is the ongoing self-obsession with everything internal that citizens of the US don’t seem to shake – it just strikes me as somewhat absurd that in the middle of out and out war atrocities people are finding time to write letters to sex-columnnists attacking them for saying that obesity is unhealthy (this apparently is oppressive), and “launching the child-sized hummer to promote oil-consumption to the under-5 set.

so – yeah – this was the tenor of our discussion. of course we are playing tomorrow at folklife (broad street lawn stage 8:00), and it might be our last trip to the US for awhile especially if they start fingerprinting all visitors
to the country. last year, as this we decided the best thing for us to do is come to the show, say what we think, and encourage people dance to tunes that oppose the war and other global abuses. three of my band-mates are leaving as soon as the show is over and heading straight back for the border. some of us will stay a little longer with my excellent friends at the emma goldman finishing school – glad to know that not everyone in babylon is recklessly building the tower, and that some of them are actively trying to tear it down.

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