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Life as a Bassterd...

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Boycott government funded "arts"

I truly believe in the importance of the arts. I encourage my kids to learn music and enjoy music, theatre and other “cultural” activities. However, I do not think the government should be involved in the creation, funding or any other aspect of controlling arts and culture. Arts should be a natural reflection of the culture. If it is ‘propped’ up by government grants and funding, it is not a true reflection. Government grants and funding may also adversely influence art and culture, at the very least there is an influence, whether benign or not, that the government should not be involved in. The Government should reflect the culture, not create it.


If an artist can’t create are without public grants, then that art is not necessarily wanted by the public or even needed. Grants are handed out to artists to create demos, movies etc. If the public wanted these items, they would support them with there expendable income. It is not up to the government to decide that public money should be used to finance a private endeavour that may or may not be wanted by the public. If I don’t want your art, I should not have to pay for it through my taxes.


Lack of Government funding has been portrayed by the media, all of which in some ways uses and possibly misuses government grants, as being ultra right wing and ‘evil’. The fact is that Government funding can’t help but dictate the art and culture created. Culture funding and control is actually the most right wing you can get! If you accept these grants you are relinquishing your freedom. But, you probably don’t really want your freedom anyway. An artist of integrity would never accept a grant to commission a painting or piece of art from a private interest group that promotes hatred or some evils against society that the artists does not agree with. Yet, artists submit applications and ‘try out’ to get some of this free money from a Government they apparently have a severe distaste for. It is hypocritical. If you can’t afford to make your movie, don’t make it, feed your kids instead.


The Soviet Union funded its culture, as does China, the old Iraq, Iran, Cuba etc. When these governments control and fund the culture it is labelled as propaganda and wrong. When our government, doesn’t, it is tagged with the same labels.


If the art created cannot stand on its own, is not wanted by the Canadian public, then it is not a reflection of our culture. If this means no art, then, we have to accept that that is our culture! Maybe we wouldn’t hear the Tragically Hip every two minutes on the radio, maybe no one would see the National Ballet of Canada, and maybe our Canadian broadcaster or programs would not be part of our lives. But maybe they shouldn’t be, and maybe we don’t really want them, or maybe, just maybe they would survive without all of this government help. The cry for grants from the arts committee is a admission of inferiority to those who do not need or seek grants. When I take a grant I am saying, what I create is inferior, and not needed by anyone else.


If all the funding for demo CDs, tours for Canadian artists and other such things were shifted towards health care, greening the economy or other things that may be of value,  maybe our culture would reflect this, and not glorified bar band rock and toques.


I truly hope the next time Chantal Kreviazek, fresh off a War Child promo, sits down and opens up her arts grant isn’t bothered by the fact that that money could have been used to provide medicine to a sick kid in Winnipeg.


Be astute and knowledgeable consumers and boycott all art created with Government grants! Support real artists, who sacrifice their own money – not yours!



Posted by Bastard Boy at 2:53 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 2 October 2008 2:54 PM EDT

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

three years

I guess I have had nothing to say in a while. I had a second kid in November 2005.  I won the 2006 Special Olympics Coach of the year award. I am expecting another kid in July 2007. I bought a mini-van. More to come – you lucky monkeys….


Posted by Bastard Boy at 2:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007 2:53 PM EDT

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Everyday, whether you were up to 2 am to watch someone hit a homerun, or you were lucky enough to hit your head on a pillow at 9 pm, you wake up tired. Hurtling towards my prison at 100 km/h several hundred others surround me with their gloom and doom. I don’t wear a chain around my neck, not one made of steel at least. Mine is a polyester cotton blend reminder that I am not free nor will I ever be. A slave of my own doing maybe, or that’s what I am taught to believe. My warden is also my salvation. My captor is my provider. My guard is my only means of escape. My dependence is solidified by my desire to be independent. Freedom is only attainable through constriction. As hour after hour slowly go by my being is beaten, destroyed and shredded. At 5 pm all are dead. Human but lacking humanity. Like the rest I fight and push and shove to return to my only escape. My Nirvana. My Eden. My Oasis. It is in these few hours, minutes or seconds that the destruction ceases. My escape is tormented by outside forces. Messages from beyond my walls, words and numbers reminding me of my slavery. The dreaded responsibility of breathing, eating and shiting. The destruction continues, even in my igloo. But there is a moment. Before the homerun. Before the early sleep. This moment is the resurrection, the reconstruction of the destroyed self. It is the moment, luck would have it last for moments. It is the reason for the voluntary incarceration. The moment is air, food, water. It is. The destruction is a memory.

Posted by Bastard Boy at 4:49 PM EDT

Friday, 21 October 2005

I got a wish list sixty pages long. There ain’t one thing on it I can remember. My miserable self looks for the anger and sometimes finds the negative cancer instead. Whatever man, I’m just wondering where all the screaming chicks are. Yesterday I woke up and it was already three days from now. Time freakin flies I tell you sho nuff. I got a weight on my shoulders, and a wind beneath my wings that keeps me hovering in a state of nothingness. I think I’m a nice guy, but I fight my being and end up doing not nice things. Who cares about the dirty ones anyways? I’ll tell you, their moms (except for the junkies). If you’re wonderin just what the fuck is going on here, you are not alone. Who decided that you were more important than the guy next to you? You judge me for what I do or don’t do, but don’t care to know why I do or don’t do it. The motivation is where the rationalization occurs. The intent of the event is what is the cement. Don’t tell me what I need to do, what I need to think about, what you would do in my ass licking shoes. I’m ok with my choice, I chose for more than what I see in a mirror, and that is how I get through these fuck ass days. You can’t be me, so don’t try. Everyone has it better than me, and I have it better than everyone. Jealousy, keeping up with the Jonses, who the fuck are the Jonses anyways? Know your motivation. Only the decrepit can ever know the joy of not being decrepit. Love your misery accordingly. And remember one thing my lovely miserable sheep – the grass is ALWAYS greener when it rains.

Posted by Bastard Boy at 3:39 PM EDT

Tuesday, 11 October 2005

We sometimes refer to a day as being perfect because the sun is shinning. Sometime at the end of an event such as a wedding or Christmas, we will refer to the day as being perfect. A trip to Disneyland, or a day at the beach, will often result in a perfect day. But I prefer the one’s that sneak up on you. The cold and rainy day spent in the basement watching movies, building giant unknown some-things with Mega Blocks, ordering a pizza and proclaiming it a pizza party. Setting-up the hotwheels race track and seeing which cars can survive the double looper or simply lying on the ground and getting trampled by dogs, cats and two legged animals as they run amuck. These days aren’t planned, they don’t require tickets, long drives, expensive souvenirs or over priced ice cream treats. They are perfectly simple and I think we need more of them.

Posted by Bastard Boy at 12:26 PM EDT

Monday, 11 July 2005

6 months
Six months ago the world was very different. I was lamenting the financial struggles of a man trying to do right by his family, but falling a little short in the bringin home the bacon category. I was looking forward to a great Christmas, which was delivered by a 14 month old, who now delivers a kind of Christmas to me everyday. I had no idea about the roller coaster ride of the last six months was in the making, from the lowest of lows to a sense of relief (after three years of stress!), it has been an eventful 2005 – and promises to be more so as we speed off to 2006.

Let us begin. January my grandmother died. She was 96. No one was surprised, but I was devastated – let’s leave it at that. I went to see Motley Crue in February, had the basement finished. I got a piano. I bought a bike seat for the boy and we go on bike rides whenever the weather is good. I was able to pull some additional coin out of my employers in April, which is nice. Skinbone is right about me, I need to relax, and even with some added dollars I am way more paranoid about bills, mortgages and debts than he will ever be, but I would like to think I am getting better. I will have to ask Skinbone if he’s noticed a difference…
We went to Montreal in May and California in June, without a single aching in my heart. This was the first big vacation for wife, kid and bassterd – and yes we went to Disneyland. We hit the Big Apple in July, and realised my dream – my son’s first ball game was to be at the mecca.
I have already bought my son’s birthday gifts, and am well on the way for Christmas. Will have a second kid to spoil come November, and as this Bassterds family gets bigger and bigger, I have to say it is pretty damn cool.

Peace out you dirty pigs.

Posted by Bastard Boy at 4:39 PM EDT

Thursday, 11 November 2004

Random thoughts
It's been a few weeks since I last posted, it seems like a lot has happened since then. So in chronological order here is what I have been up to (or what I remember anyways!).

October 25: I went to see Social Distortion. It's been 7 yrs since they had an album, probably a little longer since I last saw them. Their guitarist died of a brain aneurysm a few years back and Mike Ness had been doing some solo stuff. Mike looks old, gained a chunk of weight, but man oh man can he perform. It's great to see your heroes pull it off. What an amazing show.

October 31: My son dressed up like a Lion for his first trick or treating experience. The first costume we bought was too small (he made a pretty cute skunk I must say). Mom exchanged it for a ladybug outfit...I nixed that idea! So we picked up an elephant costume, that fit, but the nose hung over his face and he did not like that one bit. Thus, the Lion outfit it was. We went around the nay'hood and he loved it! Watching this little Lion running up and down the street was pretty funny. Good times, good candy, I gotta good kid.

November 3: That asshole won. Idiots.

November 11: that's today. Mom got a job. She works evenings at wal-mart. I am a failure. All we want is to raise our kid, at home, with his mom. It's crazy but the amount of grief my wife gets for that decision is unbelievable. She is the best care-giver he can get, and he is simply our favourite thing in the world. Mom is pretty amazing taking a low paying, low ego, low esteem building job so that she can spend her days with her son. I hate that she has to, but money makes this world grind to a halt. I'm looking, we don't need that much more, but it ain't easy. If you want your stuff at wal-mart rung in by a University Graduate, with oodles of publishing experience, fantastic management skills, and a great ability to manage projects - go see my wife humble herself for the sake our son. Boy does she ever love him.

Posted by Bastard Boy at 4:32 PM EST

Monday, 25 October 2004

My Son is One
On October 20, 2004 my son turned one. We went to his favourite restaurant (The Manadarin) and he had a great time. On Sunday we had our family over (both blood related and not) to celebrate our boys first birthday. Once again the little guy had a great time.

In this lat year since he was born, my son has learned to roll over, sit-up, eat, drink from a cup, clap his hands, shake his head, look up and down, crawl, walk, stand up, run, climb stairs (up & down), say 'dada', point to birds & airplanes, he has seen the statue of liberty, went on a boat ride on Lake Ramsay, visited la belle province, visited both the bronx and bowmanville zoo, picked a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch, gone swimming, ran the bases, shot a basket, through a ball (left-handed too!), and many many more things. He has seen a lot, and learned a lot too.

I've seen a lot this year as well, and learned a few things as well. The best thing I learned was to smile.

Thanks son,

Posted by Bastard Boy at 9:49 AM EDT

Tuesday, 14 September 2004

Theatre of the Parking Lot
Every morning I park my car in the Clarkson GO parking lot. This is a busy lot with each and every space being used, plus people parking in lane ways, on lawns, in clearly indicated no-parking zones and on gravel lots. GO transit decided to pave one of the gravel lots, this lot has at least 50 spaces. In the summer GO usage is down, and parking is widely available, it is only the truly lazy who need to be one or two rows closer to the tracks that end up parking in no park zones, the rest find a spot with ease. GO transit notified Clarkson users in June that they would be paving the gravel lot. Makes sense, take advantage of the lower volumes of July and August, and have a well marked lot ready for the fall. Construction began in late August. On September 6, GO train users volumes went back to normal, and the commuters faced their 10 month parking spot battle once again. Some expecting that parking would be less of a struggle were shocked to see that where once stood a gravel lot, now stood... a barricade! It appears that paving over gravel is quite the extensive project, and the `new' lot is not quite ready yet. When one looks to see what progress has been made over the last few weeks, it appears a lot of work has gone into building a barrier of re-enforced steel that will keep all out of the future lot. At this pace it appears that the lot will be completed by next June, just in time to accommodate the lighter traffic.

Yesterday I parked my car in a clearly marked parking spot. I simply pulled in between the two bright yellow lines, put my car in 1st gear, pulled the emergency break and turned off the ignition. I did not think this was any great feat or accomplishment, but as I sat in my car awaiting the next train my fellow commuters who struggled to perform the simple act of parking entertained me.

Our first performer was a woman who decided to go the wrong way down a one-way lane. She then pulled her car into an empty spot, this should be the end of the story. The Miss, who felt secure and safe in her oversized GMC Envoy, opened her door and noticed that she was over the yellow lines. This realization caused her to back out of the spot and re-align herself. Attempt one failed, as did two through five, it was the sixth attempt that seemed to satisfy her, but alas, upon getting out of the car and reviewing her parking job, she decided she was now too close to the car on the other side. Back in the car she went, but this time her readjustments were deemed sufficient after only two attempts. The Miss then squeezed out of her car, careful not to bang the van that just pulled in beside her.

It was the driver of this van who would perform the second act. This individual is a known parking mishap, as I have witnessed his pull-in, reverse, turn left, turn right, pull in again routine on several occasions. Much like his neighbour to the north of him, his original pull-in caused him some stress, thus he performed the now expected ritual. Upon completion of his `dance' he added a new step to his routine that I had not witnessed before. It seems he pulled to close to his neighbour to the south, so that he could not open his door to get out, but our parking lot champion is resourceful and decided to go through the side door of his van instead. Remarkable performance.

At this time I began my walk to the tracks and witnessed the following: An individual stopped his car in a lane way and simply left it, another individual bumped an illegally parked car as he was manoeuvring his way through the lot, another individual apparently failed to put their emergency break on and was now bumper to bumper with the car across the lane way in front of him and finally a women parked her car illegally, blocking traffic and then got upset with the other drivers who were honking at her to move her car out of the way. I could go on, but my train was pulling in.

Let me tell you about people jockeying for seats on a crowded GO train...

Posted by Bastard Boy at 1:03 PM EDT

Thursday, 9 September 2004

A love story (of sorts)
It was pretty damn funny if you ask me. The guys name was John, he was dating this girl named Aquarius. You guessed it, but you're a little wrong. Yes, Aquarius was a hippie child vegetarian feminist, with a butch dike haircut, heavy girl, who wore overalls and birkenstocks. But she had a sense of humour and was pretty cool. John, well, he's a train wreck of a human being. Maybe 110 pounds, five foot four, some weird major wavy hairdo, sometimes a beard, took philosophy and liked to think of himself as a sensitive, tortured, self-pitying kind of guy, a great boyfriend for a hippie child vegetarian feminist, with a butch dike haircut, heavy girl, who wore overalls and Birkenstocks, but who wasn't a lesbo. He was the nice guy, who, if he didn't constantly tell you how nice he was, you wouldn't know it. When he asked "how are you" he really wanted to know. Not because he cared, but more so he could be that guy to "talk" to when you had a problem. His sensitivity would guide you through the rough times and all that crap. Girls liked a friend. Some of us saw through it.
Here is where the funny stuff happens, funny because I was just an observer, not too attached to either John or Aquarius, and being a cold heartless ass that I am, was able to see through the possible hurt and only see how damn funny it was. I wasn't alone.
A group of us went to Montreal for the long-weekend (I think it was the May 2-4 - the unofficial name for Victoria Day, called that because it is usually around May 24th). Going to Montreal was a normal thing. My girlfriend had relatives there, we enjoyed the bars and waterfront and usually had a good time that consisted of drinking Laurentian on patios and buying 1 litre beer bottles from the nearest corner store. The weekend would be highlighted by a trip to either Dunn's, Schwartzes or Ben's for some smoked meat and cheesecake. On this particular trip we were meeting with three girls who were coming back from a camping trip out east. All three packed in a VW golf, with all that camping gear. Only Sarah, Simone and Jane could pull that off. Sarah was a road warrior who in three short years put over 400,000 kms on that car. The car would see trips to Thunder Bay all the way to Austin, Texas, and a million coffee shops in-between. Simone and Jane were more than willing passengers.
My girlfriend Sue, Mike, Chuck and I hopped into Sue's civic to make the very familiar trip. The usual ride to the belle province. The usual, "do we stop at the Big Apple?" - with the usual, "let's stop on the way home", knowing that we will be too tired to do so. Meanwhile, John, who has befriended Sarah, Simone & Jane (they all work together) has decided that he and Aquarius will also make the trip to Montreal as well. John has also recently professed his love for Simone, who, being sane has no desire to reciprocate. This un-returned love is a touchy subject between John and his girlfriend Aquarius. Yes, she knows, as John has told her. Something to do with honesty, exposing his emotional state yada yada yada. John is still trying to be the nice guy, even though he's a bigger ass than I am.
So my car and the love mobile filled with John and Aquarius arrives late Friday afternoon, Sarah, Jane and Simone are expected later. We grab our 1 litre beers and hang out in the hotel room. Aquarius and John join us.
John of course is a musician, but not a musician who plays music and has a good time rockin out and stuff. No he is a serious musician, that bleeds his emotions into each song and thinks that everyone else wants to be blessed with his songs of inner turmoil and suffering. Yeah, the goof brought his guitar.
So as we are all getting a good buzz from our beers and hotel air conditioning, John decided to pull out that guitar and play. Starts off okay, sticking to some blues numbers, and he's pretty damn good. But just as I begin to think that this guy isn't a complete nut job he decides to sing a song he wrote, a love song. The room is silent. Sue, Chuck and I look on in horror, as Aquarius sits calmly in her chair. As John croons his song about a love that would not be, about a love that is being denied him, about the wonders of this great woman, her beauty, her kindness, her extraordinary impact on his life, we all get a little bit more and more uncomfortable. Aquarius's exterior calmness is slowly turning - betraying the internal anger. It is obvious whom this song is about, and she ain't in the room right now. The song continues and I think to myself, the only thing that could make it worse is if he... oh my god... did I hear that correctly? way, no one in the world would do that...I can not believe it. I look around the room for some confirmation that my ears are not deceiving me. Mike is trying not to laugh, he must have heard that too. Sue has left the room in a hurry with her hand over mouth, my ears seem to be working fine. Chuck has absolutely no expression, nor has he ever. Aquarius is starring at John with a look of pure hatred, embarrassment and she is ready to kill. The chorus to John's emotionally wrought love song is sung over and over again. The chorus, and the presumed name of the song is a name. A girls name. The name of a girl who is not in the room. The chorus goes something like "and I love SIMONE, Simone, Simone, Simone". What a moron.
The room is silent at the end of the song (except for Mike's stifled laughs), and John and Aquarius leave the room. By Saturday they have left the hotel. Somewhere along the 401 between Montreal and Toronto Aquarius kicks John out her car. John makes it home by Monday.
That's my story about John.

As you can guess John and Aquarius broke up. John still leeched onto Sarah, Jane and Simone, and surprise! never did hook up with Simone. He soon fell in love with some other girl, who really understood him. Aquarius, who on the Tuesday after that long-weekend decided to never date men again, and is happily involved with a very famous centrefold who has a thing for vegetarian, butch dike haircut feminists.

Posted by Bastard Boy at 4:35 PM EDT

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