Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Queen's Christmas Message

As you may or may not know I have been dead for some time. Rather a long time in some respects, however from the perspective of infinity I have voyaged barely a heart beat from mortality. Heaven is rather nice.The company, with a few notable exceptions, is very white and bland, exactly the sort of people one would want to populate a place like this. The cucumber sandwiches are exquisite.

However, there are some oddities, some of whom I rather like. Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, a dear girl, with the most amazing dark eyes. There is this bald gnomish looking fellow Levesque hanging about the garden with a cigarette constantly burning at his mouth. He speaks French with the most dreadful accent. It sounds rather like he is chopping meat. He's rather clever and insouciant for a peasant.

Nevertheless, I am convinced there is a side door entrance to heaven, or perhaps these people get in through the coal chute.

Now, I want to speak primarily to the Empire, or what was the Empire and is now known as The Commonwealth. I rather think there are too many of you and I think you should do something about that. I address this specifically to my coloured subjects. Starvation, civil wars and this AIDs business do not appear to be doing the job. My wish is that you immediately institute a program of mass sterilization of females as, it seems, most of you would rather fornicate than go to church.

Now, I want you to pay attention. There is no email in heaven, nor is there a postal system. Prayers do not always work and when they do come through they are invariably of a frivolous nature. It is not my job to help you. I cannot cure your child of cancer. Have another child. I cannot extricate you from bankruptcy. Try St. Jude. Do not pester me with unanswerable questions such as, what is the meaning of life. Only a fool asks a question like that.

Goodbye until next year. Merry Christmas and may God be with you.

Victoria Regina

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Parkdale Liberation Front on Kyoto: The I Am A Joke Page

News Update: The Federal Government has announced Canada will bail on the Kyoto Agreement. The Government contends that the Kyoto is deeply flawed as it does not require emerging countries to do their fair share. 

New Feature

The I am a Joke Page

A certain politician walks into a bar and orders a beer. He looks over his shoulder and sees a billion Africans, most of whom are starving, many of whom are woman, often cradling babies with distended bellies.

A certain politician walks into a bar and orders a beer. He looks over his shoulder and sees a billion and a half Chinese, a billion Indians, half a billion SE Asians, two hundred million Pakistanis, eighty million Turks, all lined up outside their slums at the entrance to the Temple of  Western Greed.

A certain politician walks into a bar and orders a beer. He looks over his shoulder and sees that the snow on the Alps, the Rockies, Urals, the Andes have all melted, the water washed into the sea and the lands in the shadow of the great mountains reduced to desert. He sees the world wide mass of starving humanity on the move.

A certain politician walks into a bar and orders a beer. Instead of looking over his shoulder he looks at his reflection the mirror. He says to the mirror, I was just a shill for these guys. Mickey Mouse taps him on the arm and says to him, I know how you feel.

Peter Kent on climate change  (about 40 seconds.)

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Great White Mother Talks to Her Children

My dear children we have recently had tea with this Gitchee Manitou chap and he has been telling us all about these difficulties you have been having at somewhere called Attawapiskat. First of all we don't care for the name. We think, as a first order of business, that you need to come up with a new name for this place, something people can actually say with without sounding like their mouths are full of marbles. This habit of using unpronounceable Indian names just won't do. We suggest a name that promotes a positive attitude. Our suggestion is that you call it something light and friendly, like Happyville.

Now in that vein and moving forward there is nothing like a positive attitude to win the day over. Nothing beats a positive attitude.You can't go moping around, whining and complaining. People don't like to hear that sort of thing. It is much better to be bright and cheerful. A pleasant countenance will win you many more friends than a sullen frown, of that you can be well assured.

As you know from our previous Post drinking a little bit of your own urine every morning is the secret to a healthy complexion and a long life. We can't stress enough the efficacy of this practice. If you have trouble urinating in the morning it is quite alright to substitute the urine of a close relative or neighbour providing they are not Irish or Papists or both, as are most of those filthy sods.

Finally, my dear children, though things may look dark, remember every cloud has a silver lining. You should also thank the Lord your God that you are indeed not Irish, or at least so I am given to understand. There is no lower race on this earth than the Irish. Every man woman and child of them is a drunkard, a thief, a liar, and an idolater. They breed like rabbits. Kill one and before you can say Bob's your Uncle, three more pop up. Most disturbingly, they are unhygienic in the extreme. In short the Irish are a vile affront to all that is good and civilized.

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Pic courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy Toronto: Learn From the Pros

Joe Pennachetti wrote in his eviction notice: the City can no longer permit the appropriation of St. James Park by a relatively small group of people to the exclusion of all others wishing to use the park and to the detriment of those in the vicinity of the park. In addition, the current use of the park by Occupy Toronto  .  .  .  .  is causing damage to park  .  . .  .

Well, well!

Occupy Toronto has settled on about 3 acres of City parkland near the Toronto Financial District. One might say that its aims are somewhat diffuse however its direction is clearly aimed at corporate malpractice and governmental indifference.

Currently the forestry industry (a relatively small group of people) in collusion with the Provincial Government of Quebec is Occupying land in Northern Quebec the size of Belgium for the purpose of clear cutting timber. This Occupation will adversely, perhaps fatally affect the lives of the regions inhabitants. It will also damage, perhaps fatally, the region's ecosystem.

The forest industry (a relatively small group of people) in collusion with all levels of government Occupies land throughout Canada. Its clear cut logging practices are causing extensive damage to ecosystems, killing off habit and species, depriving people of their health, culture, livelihood and dignity.

Not so long ago the chemical industry (a relatively small group of people) Occupying portions of the city of Sarnia poisoned some people. It was called Minimata disease or mercury poisoning. The poisoning occurred through the contamination of food fish.

The Tar Sands of Alberta (owned by a relatively small group of people) Occupies an area larger than Great Britain. The Tar Sands, clear cut logging and other unsustainable or reckless business practices are depriving people of their health, their culture, livelihood and dignity.

Our governments don't seem to mind.

The tobacco industry (a relatively small group of people)  Occupies the leisure time of about 6 million Canadians. This Occupation is lethal.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Throughout the country relatively small groups of people in collusion with all levels of government Occupy our flesh, our minds, the land under our feet, the air we breath and the water we drink by emitting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of toxic substances into the environment.

Yeah, so:
At the end of the day where do I ride my bike?
Justice David Brown commenting on the Occupy Toronto movement.
Perhaps the Occupy Toronto movement needs to sit down with the men and women who rise every morning with a clear conscience and go forth to kill us and to maim and kill our environment. Often as not this relatively small group people make enormous profits for a relatively small group of people, say about 1% all told. Clearly they are getting away with it.

For further insight into the hypocrisy behind the City's decision to evict Occupy Toronto from St. James Park please read David Schneiderman's article in the Globe and Mail:

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

City Hall: The Inside Poop!


City Hall: The Inside Poop!

Chester the Silverback Gorilla interviews City of Toronto Councillor for Ward 7 Giorgio Mammoliti's Brain

Chester:       Sir, maybe I begin with a question from one of my wives?

GMB:          Sure. Ask away.

Chester:       It's about your plan to put a red light district on Toronto Islands, a part of the City that is
                    a popular destination for families with children.

GMB:          Listen, this is a great idea. It's an idea with wings. This is an idea with legs. This is an
                    idea that packs a punch. We're workin' on it. You wouldn't believe how hard we're
                    workin' on it. We're talkin' millions in revenue for the City, maybe build a few
                    playgrounds with the dough.

Chester:       The prostitutes themselves don't like the idea. They see it as an attempt to ghetto-ize the

GMB:          We're talkin' whores here. Who cares what they think!

Chester:       Nevertheless  .  .  .  .

GMB:          Wait a minute! Did you say wives?

Chester:       Yes sir. Great Ape males are polygamous.

GMB:          You are kidding me?

Chester:       No sir.

GMB:          Did you know polygamy is illegal in this country and in every other civilized country   that
                    I know of?

Chester:        I belonged to a species before I belonged to a country.

GMB:          That sounds like commie pinko talk to me.

Chester:       Notwithstanding  .  .  .  .

GMB:          Listen I could have you arrested. Maybe I will. I can tell you I'm going to be looking into
                    this. No way this City is going to support polygamy. We need to sell the Zoo. It's an
                    insult to women.

Chester:       Sir, if we might proceed with the interview!

GMB:          Look, no can do. There's this Lingerie Football game. I got free tickets from the mayor. I
                    know his niece turned chicken. You know those broads need to get with program.
                    Football is a contact sport. We'll do it later. Get in touch with my secretary. Ciao there
                    Chucky and by the way you want to beat on your chest please do it out in the hall. My  
                    secretary, as a woman that I respect,  is sensitive to loud noises.

Occupy Toronto Update:

Norm Kelly, City Councillor for Ward 40, Scarborough wants to clear out St. James Park. He was recently quoted in the media as saying that most Torontonians want them gone. TVFP did a quick Google search:

Pop of Toronto: 2,500,000
Signatories to a petition to remove Occupy from St. James: 32
Occupy Toronto Facebook likes: 14,759

as of 04/11/2011

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John Doyle defends satire:

Pics courtesy of Wiki

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Queen Victoria's Health & Beauty Tips for the Poor and the Irish

TVFP is pleased to welcome Queen Victoria as our new Lifestyle correspondent. Victoria Regina writes:

     We are an enthusiast. That means when we do something we do it with gusto. We are very modern in this as we find many people do things but do not do them with gusto and therefore they cannot be enthusiasts although they might say they are enthusiastic we think they dissemble. One must not dissemble. One must tell the truth.
     Now we have it on good authority that the poor do not always tell the truth. Everybody knows that the Irish are liars as well as laggards, drunkards, thieves and for the most part papist scum. This notwithstanding we feel it is our God given duty to uplift both the poor and the Irish.
     We do this not for one's self but for the Empire and the greater Glory of God, of Whom we can tell you runs a damn fine operation up here in Heaven, although Mary, the Mother of God Mary does try my patience on occasion. Those dreadful peasant sandals!
     Now, before we move on, the answer to your unspoken question is, you are absolutely right, there are no Irish in Heaven, not even Protestant Irish, thanks be to God and we have it on good authority that the Irish, whatever their stripe, are not well thought of in Hell.
     Now, are you paying attention? Good. One must always pay attention when something of importance is about to be told to you otherwise you'll remain stupid. One of the characteristics of the poor is that they are, invariably, stupid. The first step in overcoming poverty is to pay attention. There is no known cure for being Irish.
     The modern foundation of good health and a healthy complexion is one's own urine. This was confirmed to me in a conversation with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt with whom I share a personal affinity and a lovely view of eternity.
     Now, whilst on Earth, I drank a demi tasse of my own urine every morning. I do not recommend drinking one's urine during your menses as this will cloud the efficacy of the procedure. Thus it is necessary to husband one's urine. I recommend containers of the finest bone china.
     Now a little urine perhaps mixed with a drop of brandy or if brandy isn't available a sharp dry claret. After consuming one's own urine breath deeply four times. The number four is an efficacious number. As Saint Irenaeus himself said while all about him the godless Romans were butchering good and saintly Anglicans, there must be four Gospels because there are four corners of the Earth.
     Thank you and God Bless you.

TVFP on Occupy Toronto:

      It is now a week since the Occupy movement put its roots down in Canada. Everyone it seems has an informed opinion. As well we can hear the shrill cries: send in the yellow jackets and the janitorial squad and clean out the Saint James Park! We need to walk our dogs!
      TVFP is reminded of a parable from the Gospel of Thomas: The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like." He said to them, "It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky."

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Pic of Vickie courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

TVFP on Occupy Toronto / Mary Dowser on Don Juan

TVFP walked in the protest march to St. James Park and stood in the crowd as the event unfolded. He writes:

      The march was about two city blocks long. The crowd at St. James hovered around 2000 people. It was peaceable. For the most part everyone seemed at ease.
     Upon arrival at the park core elements were soon busy setting up tents, a first aid station and a food distribution centre. Everybody, it seemed was looking for, or meeting friends and comrades. Everybody had a camera. There were some speeches, predicable and encouraging.
     The yellow jackets kept a low profile at the corners of Adelaide and Church and Jarvis and King; no evidence of their black garbed counterparts from the dark side of police headquarters.
     The one odious moment that I witnessed occurred when Bob Rae showed up. He was loudly and I think appropriately heckled during his several interviews.
     So what did I make of it all? The Occupy Toronto movement, in its essence, is about people getting together and realizing that in solidarity they can move the agenda forward. The physical numbers are less important than we are led to believe. The established media, though out if force, have already been out flanked.
     As well the pundits have got it wrong, as have the experts and your locally elected creatures, when they say that the movement lacks focus, as if this were some sort of sales blitz or a military operation. The Occupy movements recognize that everything is broken. The issues are painfully evident, the agenda is mercilessly simple; end the suffering of our brothers and sisters, save the world!

Mary Dowser

The imaginatively fragrant Mary Dowser has written to TVFP:

     Don Juan is a Yaqui shaman. The Yaqui tribe is from Sonora in northern Mexico. Don Juan tells me that the Yaqui were never conquered by the Spanish.
     He has taken me through the peyote portal. We have walked together in the dream world. We go through as the rush kicks in. Oh, oh, I cry out.
     He shows me how it was. He takes me for a ride on the back of the Turtle. He introduces me to the tribes as they were in all their glory before the conquerors came.
     I see humanity streaming up from a hole in the ground. We eat maize cooked over a crackling fire. There are fire birds in the trees. He introduces me to Coyote.
      Coyote has stolen Farting Boy's asshole. Coyote, bad boy, has raped an old woman. That Coyote! He reminds me of someone.
      We move deeper into the north where I meet new gods and spirits. We have a tea made out of tree bark with Kitchi Manitou. The Great Manitou says to me, I made the world from a dream.
     I to him, I am in a dream now. He replies, the dream comes before truth. Is the truth for me Marie Driscoll?
     Don Juan and I come south again. We spend a little time with Quezacoatl, the red headed god. He is really a dragon. He tells me a joke.
     He says, there is a handsome man who is very poor and there is a rich widow who wants to marry him. The young man declines, saying to her, you are old. If you were older I'd be interested.
     Quezacoatl is full of laughter. I like him best of them all.
     These adventures leave me exhausted and I have not been as productive as I would have liked with my memoir, Notes from the Quick Fingers of a Championship Typist.
     No word from the Zapatistas. Perhaps it is but a vain wish to serve the revolution. My Spanish is improving although I do not like my instructor.
     Oppressive heat. Broken fan. There is a feral cat in my garden that I have given a little milk. I have named him Mighty Jack. He appears whenever he likes and mews at my window. Yesterday I had no milk for him and I felt his malevolence.
      I am out of sorts. I feel that I am drifting. I feel that I am marooned. There is a little wire in my ear that vibrates so finely that I do not notice it until I have stopped pacing in my room. Who is Marie Driscoll? Will I ever meet her again in the dream world?
     Mighty Jack is perched on the edge of the bird bath. I feel he is taunting me. I am a little bird. I should be away, but I cannot or Mighty Jack will eat me. I hate him. I bring him milk. I love him. In him I see all the violence of the world. I give him milk. I am feeding all the suffering that is in the world.
     Don Jaun is calling to me. There are flowers at the door. The jaguar, the beast is coming for me if I sleep. I must not sleep.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Important Announcement and Mary Dowser's Report from the Yucatan

The ever fragrant Mary Dowser has written to TVFP, but first we have an important announcement! After prolonged negotiations with Buckingham Palace TVFP has secured the Canadian rights to Queen Victoria's new column, Health & Beauty Tips for the Poor and the Irish. The the old girl's column will, we hope, become a regular feature, along with Charles the Silverback Gorilla's City Hall: the Inside Poop! As well coming soon, Charles interviews City of Toronto Councillor George Mammolliti's Brain!

For Posts involving the awesomely odoriferous Mary Dowser please see:

Ted's Kitchen 6/9/11
The Parkdale Liberation Front 7/3/11
The PLF: Commander Annie 7/10/11
The PLF: Asst Commander Tess 7/17/11
Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Parkdale Part I 7/31/11
Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Parkdale Part II 8/7/11
Giorgio Mammolliti's Brain 8/18/11
The Parkdale Liberation Front Lonely Hearts Club 9/4/11
Changes at The View 9/18/11

Mary Dowser writes to us from the Yucatan:

This is my dream from the last night. I wrote it down half asleep with the scent of the jaguar still upon me. My hand shook as I wrote and I have had difficulty deciphering the scrawl and entering it into the laptop computer. The child came to me in the dream. She was an old woman. Behind her were the smoldering remains of the conflagration that had taken away her City, the City of the Saint. She began to tell me her story. I am Marie Driscoll from County Cork. She was speaking in Gaelic, but somehow I understood. She was a ghostly figure, tiny, ephemeral, a faded yellow rose behind her left ear. I felt my blood run cold.

     Marie Driscoll was my name when I came out of Ireland in 1847. I came out of Cork on the coffin ship Ramses and we were almost two months crossing the ocean after some distress during a storm and then arrived in Canada and anchored off a place called Partridge Island which was close to land and a great city that was called Saint John and there by the City of the Saint we were to undergo the quarantine. I did not know whether I would live or die but my father and three brothers were dead before we were halfway across the ocean and my two sisters were dead of the fever after the first week in quarantine. There was just my Ma and me. Before that I lived near the village of Knockgraffon and grew up in sight of the great Motte that is like a hill and not mountain and made by the hands of men although who I cannot say and I was never told. I would not have come to the coffin ship Ramses but my mother hid me by the old wall that went back to the English who first enslaved us or so I was told. My father was after selling me to one of the Lord’s men as I have been cursed with uncommon beauty such was rarely seen in the village or in the pitiful hovels of mud where we lived our lives such as they were. Things were going poorly with us then, though not as bad as elsewhere I was told as we were not starving though there was blight again on the potatoes and we had no livestock to kill as our pig was stolen by a Blackfeet man my father said and the other was taken to pay the Lord’s taxes and we had but a few chickens and there was no work to be had on the roads that went nowhere and some if not all of us would starve before winter’s end and so to raise money I was to be sold to the Lord’s man. But my mother would not have it and she said we would take the Lord’s offer of passage and land and go away and so my mother brought me to the wall and I was hidden and I was a young girl and had just begun to leak blood out of the gash between my legs. As the moon rose over the Motte I saw the Manson brothers come out along the wall and it was strange to see them for they had been dead two years for they were sons of Blackfeet and I was told it was the sons of the Whiteboys and Levellers that killed them and others but I do not know for sure. I might have been afraid for I had never seen the dead before or the Aes Sidhe that are said to inhabit the Motte and other places, but I was not afraid because I knew the boys when they were alive and they never meant me any harm. They asked me to sing for them to ease the loneliness of the grave and I said I could not sing aloud for fear of being discovered but I would sing for them in my heart if I could. And so I did and sang for the two dead boys the few songs that I knew and it seemed to please them. I sang on and on and as I did other children came out of the graveyard and the graveyards for miles around and many of them I knew had died of the starvation and they were sad to look upon as I remember them them walking about the land as skeletons before ever they were dead and so I sang and soon there were many gathered around my hiding place and I sang to them in my heart. It was a cold night and I was hidden for another day and another night before my mother convinced my father to come to this land and I was not frightened nor truly cold because I had the dead children of Ireland to comfort me.

For a profile of yours truly and to sample and purchase my short stories please visit my website at

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Changes at The View & Mary Dowser Reports

The awesomely fragrant Mary Dowser.

Stories are important, stronger than truth!
                                                                                                   Friar Tuck

TVFP will be undergoing some changes. We are feeling a bit stagnated and in need of a cliche to explain everything. A change is as good as a rest! What does not change is change itself. You can lead a leopard to water but you can't change its spots. Hmm, I might have got that one wrong. Nevertheless, a change is in the air.

The Blog author (aka Ourself) is acknowledging the need to concentrate more fully on literary projects, including a new novel and marketing our short stories on-line. We will continue to contribute to the Blog, just not on a weekly basis. Fortunately the awesomely fragrant Mary Dowser (Ted's Kitchen, June 19 and Ernesto Guevara's vacation from Hell, August 7) has agreed to send periodic updates on her adventures.

Assistant Commander Steve

As well Assistant Commander Steve of the Parkdale Liberation Front has offered
to help with the occasional Post.

We will also see, we hope, various guest contributors. (As an aside we are currently in negotiations with, amongst others, Charles, the Toronto Zoo's Silverback gorilla, who we hope will host a series interviews to be entitled, City Hall, the Inside Poop!)

To date this Post, during its brief life, has received over a thousand page views. Thank you and thank you and you and you! It sure helps to know that we are not speaking to the abyss.

Mary Dowser writes:

      The Yucatan is a place I would choose to live were it not for the many complications in my life. Hugh Firmin once said to me that in the West we are addicted to Happiness while in the East it is Opium. Both are doomed to end in sadness. Of course he was speaking in and of a different time. Hugh was guilt ridden over his failure to answer the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. He was, poor man, in love the Consul's ex-wife Yvonne. Perhaps that is what drew us together, the shared sadness of unrequited love. I shall never know. He has faded from me now, as I knew he would.
      Merida is a busy city of almost a million souls. The Spanish here is uniquely accented and Mayan influences are abundantly in evidence. The climate is serene, although one is liable to get blown away by a hurricane or swamped by a tidal wave. Still, for now, it suits my restless spirit, to sojourn here, to stay for awhile. The Santa Anna is wonderful and there I buy whatever I need to sustain myself.
     I rise early, with the sun and bathe while my coffee steeps. There are birds in my small patio and I must learn their names. I wonder if they are like me restless and yet resting here awhile. What shall I write, I say to myself? I shall write what I shall write whether it be trite or bright or simply nothing at all. Perhaps there might be some small pearl of wisdom or some anecdote of interest. If so all the better for I fear that the worst sin of the writer is to be found boring.
      My purpose in stopping here is to learn Spanish. Hugh suggested it. My plan is eventually to continue on to Chiapas. I have written the EZLN, that is the Ej√©rcito Zapatista de Liberaci√≥n Nacional, to offer my extraordinary word processing skills to the revolution. I desperately await a favourable response. In the meantime I occupy myself with my Memoir (Notes from the Quick Fingers of a Championship Typist) in the morning, my Spanish lessons in the afternoon. I shop daily in the Santa Anna.
     In the evening a certain man by the name of Don Juan Matus sometimes comes to call and if he does not a bouquet of flowers appears at my door. On those nights a jaguar haunts the borders of my dream land. It is black as the deepest night and in its eyes I see all the suffering of the world.


Pic of Mary Dowser by TVFP
Pic of Assistant Commander Stever by TVFP

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jack Layton 1950 - 2011


When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.


(This image, which was originally posted to Flickr, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 02:27, 30 April 2011 (UTC) by Connormah (talk). )

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Parkdale Liberation Front

(I am, as ever, indebted to the always fragrant and ever resourceful Mary Dowser for the transcription of this conversation held on a park bench somewhere in Parkdale. Assistant Commander Steve is, of course, a pseudonym. He is in his mid-thirties, slim, athletic. His responses were spoken with a world weary wryness that I found appealing.)

"From a long term perspective it's  .  .  .  .  the people who are really powerful!"

Mao Zedong

TVFP:       Am I correct in assuming that Assistant Commander Steve is based on Subcomandante  Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation?

ACS:         Yeah, no. He's cool though! Seen the Nettie Wild doc. Awesome.

TVFP:        So who’s in charge? Presumably the Commander.

ACS:        Right. Annie.

TVFP:      Is it possible to speak to Annie?

ACS:       Well right now she’s got a bit of the G-20 blues. Her doctor just told her the arm didn't heal properly and they'll have to re-break and re-set it. She got kettled during a peaceful demonstration and when she objected one of the Bill Blair's Serve and Protect kiddies slashed her forearm with his night stick. I'm the default spokesperson for the PLF.

TVFP:      How did you arrive at the name? It sounds rather ominous.

ACS:       We were having pints over at the Cadillac after some tennis and then when the sun came  out we moved across the street for lunch on the patio at the Rhino. So that was the idea. Have some libations. Think of ways to get our share before the real GRAVY TRAIN leaves the station.

TVFP:      By the GRAVY TRAIN you mean over paid, lazy City workers.

ACS:        No. I mean the REAL GRAVY TRAIN.

TVFP:      Could you explain?

ACS:        It’s not about respect for the tax payer. That’s the scam, the shell game. The poll looks you in the eye, smiles and hands you the  means to impoverish yourself. Hello man, you've just joined the race to the bottom. You see it’s about the redistribution of wealth. The sixties and seventies in reverse. The money is gonna walk. In this case in a limo right up the 400. Private Benjamin as your neighbour. America, the new sweatshop capital of the world. There are people here can't wait to earn 8 bucks an hour, live in a third hand trailer, drink dirty water, watch their children grow up to be crackheads. That's where the Parkdale Liberation Front  comes in. Direct action. Siphon off some of the dough, keep it local. Improve the neighbourhood. Water slides for the kids. That sort of thing.

TVFP:       John F. Kennedy once said: those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

ACS:        That’s good. I like it. Who did he play for?

TVFP:       Do you have a manifesto?

ACS:        No, but we have some ideas that rock!

TVFP:      Would you care to share any of them?

ACS:        Car turnstiles on the Gardner Expressway. That was Annie’s idea. Hundreds  of
thousands of cars going through Parkdale every day. Direct action.

TVFP:       Car turnstiles?

ACS:        Awesome!

TVFP:      Charging how much?

ACS:        Buck a pop.

TVFP:      That would generate a lot of revenue.

ACS:        Except for queue jumpers. I hate queue jumpers. You jump the
queue. Ka-pow!  Paint ball splatter all over your windshield. Serves you right man!

TVFP:       So the PLF is prepared to take violent action.

ACS:        Yeah, even as we speak, we’re settin up a top secret water balloon factory!

(At this point in the conversation Assistant Commander Steve is interrupted by a call on his cell phone. It readily becomes apparent that he is talking to Commander Annie and that he is in some sort of trouble.)

ACS:        Okay, where were we?

TVFP:       You’re not really a revolutionary movement are you?

ACS:        You don’t think car turnstiles on the Gardner Expressway is revolutionary?

TVFP:       I suppose no more than collectivization or junk bonds.

(Note: I actually got it about 2AM and had a little chuckle as well as a sharp elbow from my transcription provider.)

ACS:        Right, got to go. Boss needs to be obeyed.

TVFP:      When’s the next meeting?

(Assistant Commander Steve laughs. He leaves the park bench, turns and shambles off and then begins to move at a faster pace. The dollar store toque comes off, the sunglasses go into the back pocket of his shorts. Then he is moving quickly, the long elegant lope of a distance runner. He turns and waves over his shoulder laughing and then kicks it up a notch. More to come on Assistant Commander Steve, Commander Annie and the Parkdale Liberation Front.)

Reseach assignment: Passport to Pimlico

Research assignment: A Place Called Chiapas

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homeless Shelter Part I

     This cosy little nook is right in the heart of downtown Toronto on University Avenue just north of Queen. It is on the east side of the street next to two Temples of Justice; Osgoode Hall and the Court House. It is just a stone’s throw from the local Seat of Democracy, Toronto City Hall. As well it is close to a Palace of Culture, aka the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, # 5 on Christopher Hume’s ugliest City buildings of the 21st century. It is just across the street from that Bastion of Wealth, The Canada Life Building.
     This functional homeless dwelling, with cardboard flooring, makes clever use of an existing structure, in this case a park bench, to create a rain and wind proof shelter. This is a cocoon that will stand up to Jack Frost. The blue tarp contrasts nicely with the sandstone exterior of the Court House. The conical shape of the structure creates a harmonious counterpoint to the negative space represented by the pedestrian sidewalk and the jarring verticals of the fire hydrant and garbage bin.
     Variation: a little further north, just south of Dundas, we have the opportune use of black plastic garbage bags and nylon twine. A very snug little niche.

     Variation: for a fair weather version of the above, behold a little corner above a stairwell, adjacent to the City’s great concrete icon of mediocrity, the CN Tower.

     Canada's homeless population is somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 people, while another 1.7 million residents struggle with "housing affordability issues," says an analysis of the latest research on shelter.

What country has the lowest percentage of homeless people?

- It has to be Alaska North and South Pole because it’s so cold over there that people must live indoors.

- I am not real sure but I read something the other day about this and it is either Norway or Sweden because of the Government plan of giveing everybody a way of life to the point to where no one is working, something like what “They” want to do here in the USA. If “they” support the many poor then it is the same as ruleing them, a dictatorship at the least, because “they” can tell you what to do, when to do it, and have to have no reason why. Freedom isn’t Free.

- .  .  .  .  homeless people would die off during the winter season in most part of Norway and Sweden. That would annually decrease the population of homeless people – like a culling of sorts. It’s not considered a nice thing to let people freeze to death so, being a bit well off, there are relatively strong institutions for taking care of the homeless in those countries. I would guess the Vatican is a safe bet at 0%.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Notes on an Apocalypse

     Christianity has always been, at its core, an Apocalyptic movement. Paul certainly expected to see the end of the world in his own time. When they lopped off his head in Rome circa 65 CE he probably felt a little cheated at missing the terrible, final confrontation with the anti-Christ; and the Rapture where the bones of the faithful rise out of the earth, surrounded by the Seraphim and Cherubim and Erelim and a host of trumpeting and do-wa angels as supernatural sinew, nerve and flesh bind bone to an individual soul and thus, whole and complete, the Chosen are each lifted up by Divine Power unto Heaven and Eternal Life.


     Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord!

1 Thessalonians 4 15:17


By God’s grace and tremendous mercy, He is giving us advanced warning as to what He is about to do. On Judgment Day, May 21st, 2011, this 5-month period of horrible torment will begin for all the inhabitants of the earth. It will be on May 21st that God will raise up all the dead that have ever died from their graves. Earthquakes will ravage the whole world as the earth will no longer conceal its dead (Isaiah 26:21). People who died as saved individuals will experience the resurrection of their bodies and immediately leave this world to forever be with the Lord. Those who died unsaved will be raised up as well, but only to have their lifeless bodies scattered about the face of all the earth. Death will be everywhere.

                                                                                                                      Harold Camping

But no sooner were these dire words spoken   .  .  .  .

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware

            Excerpt from: The Darkling Thrush
            Thomas Hardy


 Vasiliy Koren' (ca.1640 - early 1700s)

Judgement  bus by: Bart Everson

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Milky Way

      My son said, Dad, God turns on the streetlights. We were coming off a country road into a built up area around dark and the streetlights had just come on. He said it right away, look Dad! He might have been six years old. His Mother had made a wise decision to put him into a Catholic French immersion program where he experienced some great teachers and a little bit of religion. I guess he made some kind of a connection between God and light. I didn't dissuade him. You  know, really you can make a good theological argument for God turning on the streetlights. I remember the comment from the little fella because it came from that sacred place of childhood imagination.
     Out on the farm we could look up on a clear night and see the universe. Underneath the universe long distance planes etched fine lines north to south and all points of the compass. It was sort of like they were tickling the under belly of infinity. (And beyond!) The Kid and me standing on the back stoop on a clear night could see the great swath of stars and unseen worlds, (unseen except in the imagination) the cosmic footpath of light just around the corner at a few million light years. The Milky Way! Who really turned on those lights I wonder?

     In Parkdale the sky drifting over the sharp edged buildings isn’t much to look at. It’s kind of soupy at times, other times it's just plain washed out. In our Parkdalian version of the sky there’s not much up there to inspire you beyond the basic orbs. Maybe some guy in a light plane trailing a banner over the Sky Dome. Turbo props taking off from Billy Bishop. Once a year the CNE brings American made jets to town and scares the bejesus out of the local bird population. The Big Smoke including Parkdale is more about looking down, looking away, looking at your reflection in the plate glass. But that’s OK.  Parkdale has its own Milky Way to inspire a little bit of wonder. I mean if you've managed to hang on to a little of that sacred imagination!

     The Milky Way is a lane that runs parallel to Queen from Dufferin to Cowan, about two and a half City blocks. It’s a narrow passage with graffiti and tagging, ragged trees growing out of concrete, a concrete road, broken and in need of repair in places. The lane is a short cut option if you believe short cuts in the City actually get you anywhere faster. It's not much used during the day. After dark might be another question. In fact wait just a minute! Yikes! Suddenly, even as I write, a deadly night has fallen and it is filled with ominous portents of evil! OMG! What is happening?

     An oily mist oozes along the lane. Overhead staccato bursts of lightening are etched in a sky bruised yellow and purple. The air is sharp with the smell of ozone. There is a macabre pit-a-pat of hail on the slanted roofs. Ice pellets bounce in the lane like a army of fleeing marbles. A leprous looking rat skitters along a wall and dives through a chain-link fence. They come marching in, metallic green grey helmets, robed in sulphurous black. It's the  Samurai-Vader mob that has been plaguing the Milky Way. They are grim and determined. Whipped on by their relentless master they exude the stench of cruelty.
     With the Samurai-Vader mob The Way has suddenly fallen on hard times. The hail ebbs into the sewage drains. The lane is quiet and eerie. The mob taut and restless. Night has sunk into the deep pit of its own lurid propensity for evil. OMG. I can't believe this is happening! Is there no Way Out?Will the dark tide of lawlessness rule in Parkdale? Is there no one to show us The Way of Hope in The Milky Way
     But wait! Do I not hear the William Tell Overture? The ground shakes. A benevolent breeze wafts down the lane. What is this I see? Who is that riding to the rescue on a multicoloured Triceratops and wearing the Aluminum Helmet of Justice and the Golden Sword of Truth? Is that not the Silver Sceptre of Peace and Harmony? Perhaps all is not lost. Perhaps Hope has come to the The Milky Way after all! Who is that Kid?

Nunc adhibetur iocum

      Paddy, after a long day quaffing at his local, staggers into a Catholic Church. He enters a confessional booth and sits down. He doesn’t say a word, but manages a few pathetic groans. The Priest, impatient for the penitent to unburden himself of his sins, coughs a few times to get his attention. Paddy continues to groan. Finally, the Priest, out of patience, pounds three times on the wall. Paddy, annoyed, barks at the priest, shut up over there youse, there's no paper on this side either.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This Once Mighty Elm

     This tree might be 125 yrs old. It is just budding out and, as you can see, the graceful appearance of the Elm is projected through its branch structure. The tree would have been planted sometime in the 1880s. You could say it’s seen a lot of history. It’s safe to say it’s seen a more than a few governments come and ago.
     Now the Elm (Ulmus) thanks to Dutch Elm Disease is a tree in peril. Dutch Elm Disease (while a fungal infection transmitted by insects) is sort of like a flu or cholera epidemic in that a lot of people die, some don't and when they don't nobody knows why. This particular Parkdale tree is a survivor.
     Around about the time it was planted, probably by Scots immigrants (it's a non native variety I believe, Ulmus glabra, so an immigrant tree) the Metis and the Cree were stirring things up in Saskatchewan. After some initial victories the rebellion was put down. Louis Riel, a belated Father of Confederation, was hanged. John MacDonald and the Tories were in power. The building of the Transcontinental Railroad, and the judicial killing of M. Riel are to this day active metaphors in the psyche of our nation.
     That little Elm tree probably got off to a good start. Parkdale was a village in those days, sort of an independent bedroom community, with lots of posh houses. The Grand Trunk Railroad passed through the Village and if a passenger had business here he would have stayed at the Gladstone Hotel. The train station is gone, but the hotel is still around, newly recovered and gentrified.
     In 1889 the Village of Parkdale was subsumed by the City of Toronto. Wilfred Laurier was the Liberal PM. He was our first Quebcois PM and yikes, a Catholic! He sent the troops on a dopey unwinnable military adventure; South Africa and the Boer War. We lost about 224 soldiers in that one. So I guess we’re ahead in the dopey war department with the Afghan lark courtesy of both the Liberals and Conservatives. Now Laurier (like Progressive Conservative Brian Mulroney) was a free trader. It was known as Reciprocity back then. Robert Borden, the leader of the Tories, was the Made in Canada hero.
     Parkdale went through some tough times. It wasn’t such a great place to live after The War to end all Wars. There was the birth of the League of Nations, not to be confused with the League of Extraordinary Men but about as memorable. The Roaring Twenties came along. In those days greed was good, sort of like the 1980s. Another War to End All Wars. The war the Commies won unless you watch a lot of Hollywood movies.
     In August of 1945 my father was enroute in his Lancaster bomber from Europe to the Pacific theatre of operations. The Yanks dropped the bomb on Nagasaki and it was as bad as the British and Canadian fire bombing of Dresden. My Dad got drunk in Halifax, got de-mobbed in Calgary and married Margaret Mary, raised a family, voted Liberal all his life and believed that technology would save us from ourselves.
     Our little tree by then was a big vital specimen, easily towering over the houses. Saskatchewan was making some noise again. Tommy Douglas put an end to outhouses. He also went up against the Doctors. The Doctors threatened to move to Las Vegas or Reno. Tommy stared them down and went on to become the greatest Canadian.
     I voted for the NDP candidate Peggy Nash, who, as Joe Fiorito pointed out, showed up to all the Parkdalian meetings. In the last provincial election I voted for the NDP candidate Cheri di Novo. I last saw Ms. di Novo at the the George Wass memorial. I believe Ms. Nash and Ms. di Novo want what is best for Parkdale, for the Province and for the Nation. My difficulty is that I'm not sure they or their Party have a handle on the main problem..
     The Greens have mushroomed to one seat in the House of Commons and continued irrelevance. One has only imagine a room full of decapitated chickens to get a sense of things going down at Liberal and Bloc Headquarters. No help there. My sense is that we don't have decades but years to solve our main problem. So?
     The real story for me is this Elm tree; this great and lovely survivor, a benevolent witnesses to our neighbourhood’s and our nation’s journey. To me the Elm is, like the Nation, bigger than Stephen Harper and his obese local toady, Rob Ford. I worry about this particular Elm.
      I've read that some of these magnificent trees live 500 yrs.   It seems to me this tree, at 125 or thereabouts is old. This once mighty Elm has become old, perhaps before its time, and it seems ever so vulnerable. I worry that it will become, like the railroad and a dangling Louis Riel, a powerful image of our Nation.
     I worry that this old and vulnerable Elm is to become the last image of us, a defining metaphor, perhaps a cell phone movie on You Tube, the final blurred, shaky images, the chipper truck and its chain saws parked on Elm Grove Ave, orange safety cones, reams of yellow caution tape jumping in the wind as the dead limbs fall.
     That's the Main Problem.

# 7: A Parkdale Walk:

Joe Fiorito:
Doom and Gloom: re the Main Problem

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shocking Election News!!! The Rhinoceros Party of Canada Sees Red Running Shoes and Mounts a Nearly Blind Charge!!! Shocking Revelation (i) Jack Layton Imapled by Rub and Tug Scandal!!! Wife Denies Happy Ending!!! Shocking Revelation (ii): Stephen Harper was the Queen of Egypt in a Previous Lifetime!!!

Charlie McKenzie, ‘concierge’ of the Party as reported by the Globe and Mail in a new conference in 1988:
     ‘We cannot fool all of the people some of the time, or even some of the people all of the time, but if we can fool a majority of the people at election time, that’s the time we need.’
     It sounds like a description of a diagram from Stephen Harper’s election playbook.
     The RPC was formed in 1963 by Jacques Ferron. M. Ferron was an accomplished writer. He received the GG Award for his book Contes du pay incertain. Later he became a member of the Parti Quebecois. He was awarded the Prix Athanase-David by the Quebec Government in 1977. M. Ferron committed suicide in 1985 at the age of 64.
     Jacques Ferron took his inspiration for the RPC from Cacareco, a five year old female rhinoceros who was elected to city council in Sao Paulo Brazil through the mischievous intervention of a group of students. See the link below for more on Cacareco.
     The Rhinoceros Party is still around as you will see from the link at the bottom of the page. They are running 14 candidates in the May 2nd election, mostly in Quebec.

     Some pranks in the RPC platform over the years:

     Freedom of screech for Newfoundlanders.
     The Queen of Canada would be seated in Buckingham, Quebec.
     Rather than award money as prizes in the lottery winners to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.
     Replace chlorine in the water with steroids to make Canada the strongest country in the world.
     Abolish oil exploration as that oil is there to keep the earth rotating smoothly on its axis.
     Build one nuclear power plant per household, include monthly distributions of lead underwear to Canadians. Indoor lighting would then be provided by radioactive citizens.
     Bottle acid rain and export it.
     Repeal the law of gravity.
     Provide higher education by building taller schools.
     Institute English, French and Illiteracy as Canada's three official languages.
     Tear down the Rocky Mountains so that Albertans could see the Pacific sunset.
     Make Montreal the Venice of North America by damming the St. Lawrence River.
     Abolish the environment because it's too hard to keep clean and it takes up so much space.
     Annex the United States in order to eliminate foreign control of Canada's natural resources.
     Provide more parking in the Maritimes and create the world's largest parking lot by paving the Bay of Fundy and the province of Manitoba.
     Turn Montreal's Saint Catherine Street into the world's longest bowling alley.
     Make the Canadian climate more temperate by tapping into the natural resource of hot air in Ottawa.        
     Store nuclear waste in the Senate. After all, we've been storing political waste there for years.
     Adopt the British system of driving on the left; to be gradually phased in over five years with large trucks and tractors first, then buses, eventually including small cars and bicycles last.
     Force people to exhale into bags. Those bags would then be placed over photosynthetic plants, reducing the amount of CO2 we emit.
     Put the national debt on Visa.
     Paint Canada's coastal sea limits in watercolour so that Canadian fish would know where they were at all times.
     Ban guns and butter, since both kill.
     Change Canada's currency to bubble gum, so it could be inflated or deflated at will.
     Count the Thousand Islands to see if the Americans have stolen any.

The Rhinoceros Party of Canada:


Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday: Introducing Lady Carenza of the Lovely Body

     I have a set of very noisy birds in the trees along Noble Street. I would like to say they are a pleasant wake up call, but they’re not. They are as annoying as they are precious.
     There are the ubiquitous sirens; police, fire ambulance. Friday night about 200 people were dislodged from their apartment on Maple Lodge and all the sirens were in full voice.
     A streetcar rumbles past. The GO trains streak by. Car horns, barking dogs, obnoxious car alarms, wheezing and bellowing car audio systems, slamming doors, the whining of power tools, those birds trilling away in the midst of it all.
     There are the serious conversations that take place under my window that remind me of long ago discussions on the edge of the Tantramar Marsh at Mount Alison University; re:Charles Olson on Projective Verse, The Vietnam War, the War Measures Act, Universal Healthcare, Organic Gardening!
     Often the conversations under my window are scatological, incoherent, anguished, shrill, accompanied by the sound of breaking glass, evidence of lives broken open.
     I know it’s Sunday. I know it is precisely 10:30 AM because I can hear the bells from St. Mark’s Anglican Church over on Cowan Ave. In the midst of all the noise outside my window, once as week, on Sunday at 10:30 AM, the slow rhythmic song of tolling bells.
     It is like the mantra that in repetition silences, however briefly, the chattering monkeys.

     What would Easter Sunday be without a sermon. In that spirit here is THE NUN’S SERMON (written originally in Occitan.)

My lady Carenza of the lovely body,
Please offer your profound advice
And since you know what’s best, tell us precisely
What to do. You know. Your ways embody
All ways of women. Please say: shall I wed
Someone we know? Or stay a virgin? I’ve said
That would be good. But having kids – what for?
To me marriage seems a painful bore.

Lady Carenza, I’d like to have a man,
But what a penance when you have a clan
Of brats. Your tits hang halfway to the ground;
You belly is discomfited and round.

My lady Iselda and my lady Alais,
You have youth, beauty; your skin is a fresh colour.
And you know courtly manners, you have valour
Beyond all other women in your place.

Hear me. And for the best seed from a cod,
Marry the crown of knowledge, who is God.
And you will bear fruit in glorious sons,
Saving your chastity like married nuns.

My lady Iselda and my lady Alais,
Remember me and may my light transcend
All fears. Please ask the King of Glory,
When you enter heaven, to join us once again.

The picture is of a marble sculpture by the sculptor Paul Raphael Montfort

The Nuns Sermon is from the Gnostic Bible / edited by Barnstone / Meyers