I woke up to pounding on my door

Increasing numbers of ‘terror suspects’ are being arrested on the basis of online and CCTV surveillance data. Authorities claim they act in the public interest, but does this intense surveillance keep us safer?

Update: I posted this yesterday. This morning I woke up still waist-deep in a dream. I’ve been dreaming more vividly in the last year or so than I think I ever have before in my life, and loving every second of it — actively looking forward to dreaming when I go to bed — in no small part because of the uncharacteristically (for me) frequent and rousing sexy dreamtimes.

But this dream this morning wasn’t just very sexy, at least in the third act. Though it early-on involved a lot of semirandom JamesBonding, with action sequences and exotic locales and ladies aplenty, the final segment of went like so: it had Been Revealed To Me By Those In The Know that Facebook and other social media sites that encourage you to frame and tag faces in photos with people’s names were feeding that data into government databases. You know, For Nefarious Purposes.

To the rescue! Sadly, swinging into action to right this wrong didn’t end up being all that exciting, though. Sitting in front of a computer is something I do too much of when I’m awake. In the dream, I heroically reopened my long-dormant Facebook account and started tagging faces with random, amusing-to-me names. The high point, just before I woke up, was tagging a picture of Stephen Harper with the name Whoopi Goldberg.

Small victories, I guess.


2053 nuclear detonations, 53 years. Lunacy.

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in
reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving
how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel!
in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the
world! The paragon of animals!

Here’s a palate cleanser, though, which goes some way towards making me feel that the Obvious Ironic Quote above is maybe not so ironic after all.


Musical Years

I’m coming up on 50 years old. Well, it’s a couple of years off still, but the corner is definitely in sight. Music remains something that makes my life better, and somehow, even though I still love to revisit a lot of the stuff I listened to during my formative rock and roll years, I still take great pleasure in finding new things to love. Music is the fuel for some chamber of my heart, some mutant ventricle that only pumps when it gets that fuel.

Rock and/or roll has lost its cultural heft and sweaty eldritch power to fire up much of the deranged, half-human youth of today, sadly (a situation ably traced in this recent, many-part opus on Grantland called the Winner’s History of Rock and Roll, which I highly recommend [Part 1: Led Zeppelin, Part 2: Kiss, Part 3: Bon Jovi, Part 4: Aerosmith, Part 5: Metallica, Part 6: Linkin Park, Part 7: The Black Keys]), but it’s far from dead, and there is still a lot of rock music coming out — little to none of which gets heard by the Greater PopCulturaltariat these days — which just fills me to the brim with feels.

One of the bands I’ve discovered in relatively recent times is The Rural Alberta Advantage. I have no idea how well-known they are, but they are Canadian (hooray!), so my guess is: maybe not so much, outside of Canada at least.
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I think of Dean Moriarty

…so in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all the rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty, I think of Dean Moriarty.

A Poetry Break brought to you by the fine people in the AudioVisual Division of Wonderchicken Industries