Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Control Room

Tonight I was bored, had nothing to do. Decided to catch a movie with a friend. We went to The Control Room, a documentary about the television station Al Jazeera, the most watched channel in the Arab world, and their coverage of the Iraq war.

I have to say, I think this was a stronger film than Fahrenheit 9/11. It's not trying to tell you what to think, just keeps bringing up these intriguing questions. And for a station which is accused by the USA for being full of propaganda, they really do concern themselves with trying to show a balanced informed view. At one point an interviewer yells at the guy who brought on a bad guest because he's an American activist and doesn't have a balanced analysis, all he's saying is that America is bad. I also noticed that the film didn't milk the death of the Al Jazeera journalist, whereas Fahrenheit 9/11 really milked the American soldier's death. And still it had power.

Anyway, I have been remiss in updating my blog, I know. I'm bad, bad me. I will try to do better. I know people get disappointed when there's nothing new.

New is good.

The most indelible impression The Control Room has left on me is how the media is played during a war, and how this one relatively small station keeps trying to present the truth. Or should we say A Truth. I think there is an idea we have that it is still possible to present the truth without bias, but there is always a bias of course. Certain parts of a story mean more to one group of people than to others.

Until then, at least we can ask that there be diverse outlets for media around the world, making sure that as many angles get covered as possible.

And for those of you curious about Al Jazeera, it's coming to Canada relatively soon!

*** Special Lotto Update ***
So my last post I mentioned I sunk five bucks that I won on 6-49 into the Super 7 tickets to win the ten million jackpot. Well, I didn't win. But I did, sort of. I won two $2 plays by getting three numbers twice. And now the Super 7 jackpot has increased to 12 million. Oooh! So, well, I guess I will ride out these bizarre small wins in the hopes of striking it rich.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Lottery Ticket

One day at the store, hmm, thinking weird thoughts like usual, in line to buy a Coke. Yes I know they are a terrible corporation and drinking a coke is like drinking the blood of the oppressed indigenous people. Anyway, a little thought popped into my head. I should buy a lottery ticket, I might win the BIG jackpot.

So I bought a lottery ticket. And I put good energy into it and dreamed of all the things I could do if I won the lottery. I was making lists of charities and arts funding I could support, where I could travel, the house I would buy, no condos, not in this leaky condo city.

Well today I checked my ticket and I won, sort of. I got two numbers and the bonus number. Which means I have won either ten dollars or five dollars. So putting energy out into the universe does work, you just have to be specific about it. I realized that I had bought the wrong lotto ticket for the big jackpot anyway. I have to get the Super 7. 9 million dollars, oooh! So my new winnings are going straight back into lotto tickets. After all, it is only five bucks. Or is it ten bucks? Whatever.

Once I was on a roll with a coke promotion. I kept winning the free coke from the bottlecap insert. This went on for at least five cokes before my luck ran out. But hey, Free Coke!

Monday, July 19, 2004


Not a lot of things shock me ya know. I pretty much feel like I've seen it all, heard it all. I nearly got myself run over by a car a few months ago and that was quite shocking, but not the kind of shock I mean. I mean when someone does something/says something and you're just at a loss for words, it's so unexpected.

But a few days ago I was walking down the street with my friend Lynn, just chatting about all kinds of crap, when some ten year old girls came walking towards us. As they passed there was a lull in our conversation, so we could hear the girls quite well. The tallest one said "And then all the bitches and ho's said . . ." Shock! What ten year old girls could be bitches and ho's? And where did these bitches and ho's appear? Was it some other ten year old's birthday party? Were they smoking dro as well?

I feel old. Oh my god, from being all Grrlz! and doing so much work around ageism, now I too have got these dumb ideas of what children and teenagers are all about. I'm looking back with rose-tinted glasses, imagining a far less complex state of affairs for that horrendous coming of age we all go through. So many things are going on in a person's life at that age, issues of sexuality are starting to loom, you're trying to find independence and a voice, and grown ups keep trying to pen you in like they did when you were three, only with societal norms instead of a play pen. It's all so complicated. And you're body is transitioning into it's adult form, and aaaaaah! So then you're just working off some steam using some lingo you heard on an Eminem record "and then all the bitches and ho's said. . ." and you end up shocking some twenty-something bulldagger with tattoos and a red hanky sticking out of her pocket.

What a world!

Of course what you all want to know now is "What did all the bitches and ho's say anyway?"

I'm a terrible blogger. To tell you the truth I don't know, by then they had walked past us and I was still in shock.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Are we being decieved about our past?

Being aboriginal, I am subject to a lot of debate about when the hell I arrived in North America, how I arrived, and what kind of knowledge I would have had with me when I got here. It seems that when it comes to the history of people of colour, racism informs the limits to which archaelogy will allow our past to be known. Consider the wonder of the great pyramids, and the constant denial by people that Egyptians could have built them. Oh it must have been aliens. People of colour aren't THAT smart or that capable or that dedicated.

Personally I have a sneaking suspicion that institutions like the Smithsonian are either hiding artifacts from the Americas of great importance or have destroyed them outright. There is this strange desire to uphold the myth that the first foreigner to come to our shores was Christopher Columbus, the great and wonderful slave trader and gold grubbing spaniard. But there are stories of others, like Quezacoatyl, who was blonde and blue eyed and left the Aztecs by going overseas to the east. And of course the ruins of old viking settlements here in Canada.

I think that cultures from all over the world have been visiting the Americas for thousands of years, trading with us and building societies with us. Today I even read that there are some inscriptions on rocks in mesoamerican ruins which look like they come from the Shang dynasty. The person who translated them believes a huge flood of refugees from the fall of the Shang Dynasty came to the Americas and formed the Olmec civilization. I have also read several articles talking about Egyptian ruins found in the Grand Canyon.

I'm not quite sure why there is a suppression of this history. All I can figure is that it has something to do with colonialism. Partly wanting to deny that the first cultures of the Americas had highly intelligent societies operating here. I think the other part is that perhaps Christopher Columbus came with the knowledge that we WERE here, that we had gold, that we had huge numbers of people who could be used as slaves, that we had land which could be invaded. There's this lovely fairy tale people tell about him wanting to prove the earth was round, but I don't believe a word of it.

Anyway, I thought I would post some more links and let you make up your own mind. Some of the sites are a bit flakey, you kinda have to seperate the wheat from the chaff. But it's still some interesting stuff.

Top Ten Out of Place Artifacts Not all in the Americas, but interesting nevertheless.

The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone a stone bearing the ten commandments found in New Mexico and "pre-contact."

Cover-Up at the Smithsonian detailing the story of a body found in full armour which was assumed to have been taken to the Smithsonian and disappeared.

I'm not a deer!

More childhood memories. My gramma always tried to call me a dear when I was a little kid, and for some reason I took this really literally. "I'm not a deer!" I would wail, and she would say "Oh dear!" as she knew she offended me, and then I would get even more fussy, and cry out "I'm NOT a deer!" I don't know what kind of an insult that would be anyway, to call someone a deer.

The ungulate family features in yet another misinterpretation story from my past. On long road trips through the prairies (aren't all prairie road trips long?) when I could see nothing for miles except field after field of wheat, on occasion my my mother would say "hey, Thirza look, antelopes!" And I would peer out the window, searching searching the vastnessness, only to see tiny deer-like things. "Cantalopes!! I don't see any cantalopes!!" I was really hoping to see a field of round melons, and all my mother had to offer were small deer-like things.

Hmm, other ungulate stories. Well, when I lived in Montana for a year on Saturdays my mother used to pack me and my sister into the car with some food and we would drive out to the bison range. Modern urban Indians re-visiting our roots by driving through herds of bison. Buffalo I used to call them, until someone informed me it was actually Bison. We never hunted them or anything, although we did buy frozen bison burgers. When we had to leave Montana I was told I had to part with my extensive rock collection. My mother said it wasn't fair to take rock spirits so far away when they would just sit under my bed. So one day we drove out to the bison range, and I unrolled the window and one by one threw the rocks out so they could play with the bison. I still like the idea of my little rocks being nosed by a big hairy bison.

We also had a cookie mold that made cookies in the shape of bison.

Once I fed a deer by hand in Banff. Terrible I know, you shouldn't let wildlife get used to humans.

Which brings me to the wildlife around here. A couple of months ago I took a cab home from Stef's place and a big coyote ran right in front of it. I hadn't seen a coyote in this neighborhood before, but apparently they are here. Hopefully it is not hooked on crack, like everyone else in my neighborhood in those wee hours.

And last night I got off the bus and was almost chased home by a skunk!! EEEEE!! As I saw it's little black and white body scuttling around I had nightmare visions of having to call in sick to work because of being skunk-sprayed and needing to sit in a tub of tomato juice. Oh yuck!!!

Off topic now, I had this weird dream last night. In it I was walking with a friend and we came to this really old almost Aztec looking circular architectural complex, and I said "I've been here before. This is where they perform human sacrifices." And then some men showed up who were going to sacrifice us, and we had to run out of there as fast as we could, only I had to pee. But suddenly there were cages of chickens everywhere, and I couldn't pee because if I did I would pee on a chicken. And some of the chickens were half pig, and had pig snouts. Now WHAT THE HELL was that all about?

They say all dreams mean something, but sometimes all they mean is that you have to go run and pee, which is what I did when I woke up. No chickens were in my bathroom though.


Bush joking at the Radio and Television Correspondent's Dinner about his intelligence faliures

Lesbian Ostracism

I am secretly suspecting someone long ago lost my lesbian registration card and I will forever be shunned from the queer community. I'm not sure what it is about me, but through either my own social awkwardness or lesbian snottiness, I am always finding it a struggle to connect with other dykes when I go to queer events. Maybe I am not cool enough, they immediately think "Nerd!" and turn their backs. Or perhaps I am just very very very shy, and general dykely gruffness comes off as them being snobby to me. Or maybe they think I am the snobby one. It's hard to figure out.

Besides the Brownskirts mentioned two posts down, I find it a lot easier to be welcomed into aboriginal events. Usually there's the opening questions "who are your parents" and "what tribe are you from" and that sort of thing, and then it's sorted, and some belly laughs later you have a new friend. But with dykes you have to fuck your way into a social group, like little bonobos, or else I dunno, share blood? Slash up with each other? There's some secret handshake I don't have!! Even at leather parties, I could be friendly with everybody, but still the dykes gave me that damned snotty sneer.

Usually the girlfriends I've ended up with have had some of that fucked up lesbian ostracism too, often for being femme and not being identified as queer. And these were hot sexy women who kicked major ass and did a lot of work for the queer community. What is our problem as a lesbian community?

Maybe I am expecting too much. Maybe the fact that we're an oppressed minority who all have sex with each other isn't enough to form the basis for strong community bonds. Maybe we're too fucked up from fighting homophobic stares on the streets everyday, we do it to each other. Or maybe dykes are just snotty and that is that.

On the other hand, I do have some queer friends who are really nice and friendly and supportive. They are pure gold. I don't know what I would do without them. But please, somebody tell the rest of the dykes to get the sticks out of their asses and be a little more welcoming to their fellow homos. Who knows, the dyke you shunned today might turn out to be the lover of your dreams.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

My room's a mess and I want beans

This is gonna be one of them silly blogs. A blog that has no defined purpose. My room is a mess and I am procrastinating on cleaning it. I have been procrastinating for about a month now. It is getting difficult to walk to the door from my bed or my computer. The rat says something has to be done, or he's going to set fire to it. I don't blame him. It is awful in here.

I'm hungry. I want weiners and beans. It's my comfort food from growing up. What a great lunch. Mmm, weiners and beans!!! A friend of mine used to make fried baloney. Baloney is basically a flat uncooked hotdog.

Tonight is a show at Lick, Dance Magic Dance, brought to you by my lovely ex Tralala's Gaylord productions. So if you are a queer in Vancouver with nothing to do tonight and no where to go, come down to Lick, door opens at 9 and show starts at 10. It's 5 bucks to get in if you wear fantasy stuff, 8 bucks if you're like me and got nothing good to put on.

Okay, this was a silly post, except for my totally non-obligatory promo for the Gaylord event. Oh yeah, which brings me to my other point that my friend Stef made the other day. She was all "How come nobody ever leaves you comments? Is it that they can't leave a comment because it fucks up, or does nobody read your blog?" I have heard from at least four different people that they do read it. But it's true, there are no comments here really. Who does read this blog? I wonder. Ooooh, it's a mystery!!

Would the mystery readers please stand up, if only to prove Stef wrong?

Of course if you are shy don't feel obliged. And BTW, you don't need to be a fellow blogger to be able to leave a comment.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Brownskirts: Aboriginal Fascism

I've had a touch of the blahs these days. Things have gotten me down. Do you really want a list? Well, it's just the general state of the world. I recently read a vitriolic hate letter written by some american Native Youth Movement member to Redwire about their sex issue. It was so racist and homophobic, I am so tired of aboriginal people dumping shit on other aboriginal people about what is "traditional" and "honourable." Okay, so I don't think about my ancestors when I'm fucking (which I haven't much as of late anyway), on the other hand, why WOULD I think about my ancestors when I fuck? Ew!! My great grandfather was a war chief and a notorious horse thief, along with being a great medicine person. But I honestly don't believe that has anything to do with my sex life.

Besides that I don't think there is any one right way to be aboriginal. There seems to be this contingent of very vocal fascist Aboriginals who slam anyone who's mixed race, doesn't speak their language, is queer, etc etc. It seems to me to be very much rooted in a residential-skool-christian framework rather than an honest aboriginal culture. I remember growing up sitting with my Aunties (some of which were more like adopted Aunties) listening to them talk about sex. Oh my god, aboriginal women could put Peaches to shame! I find it tragic that one of the things we have lost is the celebratory approach to sexuality that many aboriginal cultures had. There is (in Canada anyway) a movement to bring back that kind of sexual discourse among aboriginals. The group show in which I was a part of, Exposed: Aesthetics of Aboriginal Erotic Art comes to mind.

Another example of the celebratory nature of sex that aboriginals had is the whole concept around two-spirited people, transgendered/gender-queer people who had a role as spiritual leaders in their communities. Besides being spiritual leaders, in the book The Spirit and the Flesh some anthropologists noticed that these people were also considered highly desireable. Nowadays you hear many brownskirts saying that queer and transgendered folk never existed in aboriginal society!! Besides being homophobic, this also smacks of colonialist brainwashing. Colonialists needed to destroy the positions of honour that two-spirited people inhabited in order to attack aboriginal culture's very foundations. To keep affirming these homophobic ideas is to keep affirming the colonialist mindset we have been duped into.

In fact my sister, who is severely mentally handicapped, was even the target of a brownskirt once who said that people like her never existed before the "white man" came.

Being half Scots has also put me in the bad books of the Brownskirts. Having been born a second generation halfbreed (people always ask me which one of my parents was white, I have to break it to them that they are both aboriginal) I'm automatically considered to have lost my culture. Nevermind that I've been going to sweats since I was a little kid, or that I was raised participating in aboriginal culture more than white culture. In fact all I know about being white is that I'm light, people don't hassle me in stores thinking I'm ripping something off, and I engage in a lot of pop culture. But who doesn't?

This drive for racial purity reminds me of the same party lines you hear from white power groups. Although some aboriginals think it's more noble for them to call for a purifying of the race than the KKK, I personally don't see a difference between the two groups. It's time for race discourse to accept the fact that race these days is becoming more convoluted. It is no longer a black/white/red/yellow kind of thing. Some people are halfbreeds, like Cher! Other people are even more mixed, think Tiger Woods. We'd like these people to pick a side out of some racist desire to keep the tribes from mixing, even after the fact we're so desperate to have someone deny a part of themselves just so we're not confused by them anymore.

Confusion is good. People can inhabit more than one race and still be fully engaged in the struggle for rights of aboriginal people. In fact, I encourage that. Someday I want to have babies. Being a dyke, I could choose more halfbreed sperm. Or maybe I will fall in love with someone from a different culture, and have a more mixed kid. Who knows? I'm fully embracing the possibilities, and whatever my child is, they will grow up with knowledge of all their different ancestors, whoever those ancestors may turn out to be.

I've been listening to a lot of Peaches lately. We need an aboriginal Peaches man! Anyway, for a bit of fun after this heavy article, go to her swearing typewriter at www.fatherfucker.net. And fuck up a storm for sexual freedom, esp. if you are of colour!

Brownskirts is a term coined by my mother which I have used w/out permission, I am calling her to thank her tonight. Thank you mommy!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Life with it's many moods

Nobody's ever asked me "So Thirza, what's it like living with a mood disorder?" I think it's one of those things only other people with mood disorders are interested in. People get very frusterated with those of us who have it. Growing up I was often told I was too sensitive and that I needed to overcome it. Nobody stopped to consider that perhaps my sensitivity was something I couldn't overcome, and that treating me with a bit of gentleness would be the best solution.

Today on the Skytrain coming home from work I was being the quiet observer of human behaviour that I am. Normally I wear a walkman to drown out people, but tonight I wasn't. Some guy was sitting with his female friend as she was putting on zit concealer. "You're really zitty." "That's a mean thing to say," she said, "I'm really self concious about it." "That's why I'm telling you," he said, "I'm helping you become less self concious. The more I say things to you the less it will bother you."

I sometimes wonder if this was the intention of many people around me when I was growing up. I was too sensitive, therefore I was subjected to some fairly harsh "teasing" and a lot of bullying at school. The end result was that I'm a super socially awkward adult, often running away from acquaintances when I run into them in public, hiding out at home on the internet, and being closer to animals than I am to people. I have no clue how to interact with people because people's interactions with me have so often crossed a line and I never learned how to draw boundaries and safety zones around myself in a more sophisticated way than staying home reading online journals.

For instance, I forgot to take my mood stabilizers this morning. A whole day at my call centre job being told off by people on the phone and my nerves were raw. Too late to take my pills, I nearly burst into tears twice over nothing.

And the mania?

Sometimes people don't even recognize hypomania, they just know someone's giddy and happy and it can really pass in society as just a happy-go-lucky person. But manic psychosis . . .

To be in a state of manic psychosis is like the most powerful, longest lasting ecstacy trip, filled with love and religious fervour and art, and fear. The paranoia wraps you up into a desperate world where your quicksilver brain is always reaching for a place to pull you out of samsara, the world of illusion that you realize reality is. And yet in realizing reality is an illusion, you trip into another illusion. I'm still trying to put together some language for myself to understand where I went when I flipped out. Reading what I wrote then makes no sense to me now, I think I'm too judgemental of it to be compassionate.

I think a lot of people are judgemental of psychosis. There is a lot of anger at the fact that a person has "lost their mind," as if they could control it.

Hmm. Well, that's what I've been thinking about anyway. I found a cool link that explains manic psychosis, and is very true to what my own psychotic episode was like, at Catching A Darkness: Glimpses of My Sister's Mania which is a really engrossing photo essay by Boris Dolin about his sister Jessica, who ended up committing suicide a few years after this essay was put online. I highly recommend you check it out.

I'm at a point now in my recovery from bipolar where although I know I've ended up with a tough lot in life, I'll be okay essentially. Once when I was a teenager at a queer youth group, I said "I guess the point is just to survive life." A friend told me "Nobody survives life." And it's true. We all have our own crosses to bear, no one burden is nobler than anothers. This just happens to be mine.