Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Now THIS is a great idea!

I just came across the blog of the Monreal poet Meb (for Marie-Eve Bouchard), who has posted what she calls a cinemotscope--a nice play on words in French that translates roughly to "motion picture word filming." And there you have it, I have just given new meaning to the term "rough translation."

You can see her initial cinemotgraphic effort here, a haiku. I, for one, will be keeping an eye on this blog. She's reading tomorrow in Montreal with some other poets, including, my friend Maxianne Berger (who usually has the audience rolling in the aisles). Unfortunately, I am otherwise occupied, so I won't be able to go.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Here's to Norwegians

If you're Canadian or Norwegian, you probably already have heard this story about Olympic generosity, but I thought I'd post it here in honour of my Norwegian friend Shisa, whose lovely country I will be visiting this summer.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Finland vs. Sweden = Habs vs. Leafs

On Sunday, the Finns and the Swedes play for Olympic gold in men's hockey. And while no one would have predicted that Canada (or the US, for that matter) would be knocked out of the medal round altogether, there is still a Canadian connection to the gold-medal game (let's face it, there always is).

Sweden is captained by Mats Sundin, who also captains the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs. Finland is captained by Saku Koivu, who captains the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. Neither player has won a major tournament, whether it be the Stanley Cup, World Cup or Olympic gold. That will change for one of them on Sunday. Both men are veterans known for their blue-collar work ethic and white-collar scoring touch; both have gone through rough spots due to injury and/or illness (with Koivu beating cancer a few years back); both are very much deserving of a gold medal.

So for Canadian hockey fans, the Finland-Sweden match up essentially boils down to a Montreal-Toronto game, though to make it more realistic, it should be held about 12 hours earlier, on Saturday night rather than early Sunday morning.

As a Montrealer and Habs fan, I'm rooting for Finland. I think a gold medal would do wonders for Koivu's confidence and silence some of his critics, who say he doesn't have what it takes to captain a championship team. I've never believed it, and watching this Finnish team play during the Olympic tournament has only confirmed my feelings that Koivu's not at fault for the Canadien's recent woes. He simply needs a team that is willing to follow his lead; the Habs' current crop of over-paid whiners simply won't.

Go Habs--er... Finns--Go!.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

February 22, 2106

Ungainly as a rock-bound iguana,
my once sleek, bird-like body
sits rusting in a barren red field,
my ghost free to roam the open road,
terror of the empty earth.

Monday, February 13, 2006

My good friend Paula, kind soul, is handing out daisies. Unfortunately, Montreal is going through a relative cold snap, so all I have to offer is some St. Lawrence River ice.

Monday, February 06, 2006

This just in: same old same old

Stephen Harper was sworn in today as Canada's new PM. You remember Stephen, don't you? The guy who ran on a platform of accountability. The guy who--like all aspirants challenging a party that has been in power a while--made the most of the issues of government corruption and cronyism (as Cretien did so well in demolishing Mulroony's Conservatives in the 1988 campaign).

So what is the first thing he does as Canada's new head honcho? He appoints Michael Fortier Minister of Public Works, a portfolio that controls billions of dollars of Canadian taxpayers' dollars. Who is Michael Fortier, you ask? Why none other than Harper's co-chair in Quebec during his campaign to become Conservative party leader. What riding does he represent? Well, that's where Mr. Harper has some explaining to do. You see, Fortier didn't run in the last election. Our illustrious leader had to appoint him to the Senate so he could take on the porfolio. Isn't that the same Stephen Harper who said he'd never make a Senate appointment for purely political reasons?

But wait, there's more. Harper also appointed David Emerson as Minister of International Trade. At first glance, it looks like a great choice because Emerson is one of the few people in Harper's new cabinet who has any previous cabinet experience. But there's one small problem with this picture. Emerson's experience came as Minister of Industry in Paul Martin's cabinet, and last time I checked, Paul Martin was a Liberal PM. How is this possible, you ask? Simple. Emerson pulled a Stronach (in other words, he crossed the floor, defected, changed sides, turned traitor--you get the picture). Seems to me I remember a whole bunch of Conservatives making a whole lot of political hay (not to mention tasteless insults) when Belinda Stronach crossed the floor to join Martin's cabinet.

So, we have a public works minister wielding boatloads of our cash but who doesn't have to answer for it in the house because he's not elected, and we have an international trade minister who, after winning his seat as a Liberal in the last election and saying he would be a thorn in Harper's side, is now at Harper's side, but not exactly as a thorn. So much for making government more accountable and frowning on opportunism (or was that what they meant by "Standing up for Opportunity").

Throw in the fact that only six of the 27-member the cabinet are women (22 whole percent), and you have a fine first day as PM. Nice start Mr. Harper. Where do we go from here?