Tuesday, August 29, 2006

God Preserves the Ignorant

I remember one day after school one of my sister's claimed they had learned something fascinating. The muscles of the esophagous can work against gravity when swallowing food. To prove this my sister was going to chew something, stand on her head and have the esophagous work the morsel of food into her stomach. My mom's first reaction was, "I don't really like that idea. Won't you choke?" My sister reassured her and my mom simply shrugged and said, "Oh well, God preserves the ignorant."

It's a phrase that always stuck with me and a few sisters later, I still think of it when I see someone doing something particularly dim witted. And a dark part of me watches in fascination hoping that maybe this time God wouldn't preserve the ignorant.

So this weekend after going to a Greggscellent restaurant with Viv and Jon (Garde Manger, I highly recommend it. Owned by one of the stars of the show Instant Star) We went down to the area around Palais Des Congres where Viv said we absolutely had to see this fountain that spews out fire.


It's a beautfiul work of art called La Joute and apparently it's been in the area since 2003 and I've never seen it. So we got there at about 9:30 and the fire is supposed to start at 10. So we wait around, people start gathering around waiting for the fire. Before the fire there's a mist cycle. Grates all over the park release mist, sometimes so thick you can't see where you're going.

As 10 pm approached I found myself questionning the wisdom of having a live fire in a park. Doesn't seem entirely safe. It does however seem very espensive. Jon tells me the sewers in Montreal are a mess! Have you noticed how the streets often flood when we get a lot of rain? Oh well, who cares about the Bubonic Plague that may result from poor drainage.. Let the Ninja turtles worry about that. We have a flaming fountain in town!!

And as the minutes passed we kind of backed away from the fountain. Others did not. By about ten minutes to 10 a bunch of gangly punk kids showed up, some smoking weed. I imagine they were looking for a place to light up their crack pipes.

Phil the pothead: "Hey guys, do you have a light?"
Craig the heroine addict: "No... But we could go light it up at the Joute!"

Already drunk, one guy kicks off his shoes and decides to have a dip. This idiot is walking around in a fountain that's about to start shooting fire at 10 at night! There was a security guard who came out (obviously this man had a moustache) and began making the place secure. He sees the guy in the fountain and starts going, "Hey.. Hey, Hey.... HeyHeyHeyHey... Hey..Hey.. HeyHeyHey." for about a minute. The punk didn't look like he wanted to leave.

Now there was this evil part of me that really wanted to see this guy catch fire. I'm sorry to admit it. But it would have just made my day to see this work of art burst into flames with this simpleton roving around in it. "I'm not going anywhere, eff you security guard! King Kong ain't got s**t on meaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"

I don't think I would have done anything to help him. "I don't know art, but I know what I like!"

But as my mom said. God preserves the ignorant. Perhaps the security guard, not liking the crowd decided to interrupt the fire show. At 10:20 there was no fire, no mist... Jon and I went around pressing buttons. (there are buttons in the park, maybe one turned on the fire?). Then Jon went to the building across the street where the security guard retreated to. He pressed the button to the intercom.

Jon: "Where's the fire???"
Security guard: "11pm."
Jon: "What hapenned to the one at 10pm??"
Security guard: "11 pm!!!"

And that was that. We looked up in the building and I kid you not, there was someone in the office apparently lying down on what looked like a bed and covering up with a sheet. Was the security guard getting some action up there instead of turning on the fire? What a world. We went home and vowed to return to the Joute one day..

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Musings about the late and great General Tao

I'm very indecisive. Especially when it comes to ordering food. As a result instead of actually picking up the phone and ordering Chinese food, I decided to ask Droopy about the origin of the phrase, General Tao.

Masta says:
I like how it's General Tao's chicken.
I really wish I knew what was behind that phrase.
was he some guy?
Is it some white person who made this up?

Vrej says:
"The dish is unknown in China
It is unclear how the dish came to bear the name of the 19th-century Chinese war hero General Zuo Zongtang. Around 1974, Hunan and Szechuan food were introduced to New York City. General Tso's Chicken was an example of this new style.

Peng's Restaurant located on East 44th Street claims that it was the first restaurant in New York City to serve General Tso's chicken. Since the dish (and cuisine) were new, Chef Peng made it their house specialty, in spite of the dish's commonplace ingredients."

Masta says:
alright... well...
I think I was happier in my ignorance.
I could make stuff up.

Vrej says:
Tao made it up on the battlefield one day
Vrej says:
when he had limited ingredients
but many starving men
his troop's chef made a bad round of chicken balls and thusly lost his head to Tao's blade
tao's wife, the only person who could talk straight to him, yelled at him

Mrs Tao: "what will the men eat?"
Tao: "chicken"
Mrs Tao:"and who will make it? ...you?"
Tao: "Yes."

using the same blade with which he beheaded the chef, Tao prepared the now famous Gen. Tao chicken
to this day, the sauce on general tao is said to contain a hint of blood, to remind all those who eat it that bad cooking is punishable by death

Masta says:
More hungry than happy.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Galloway: "The Violence Will Go On!"

I almost NEVER put political commentary on my blog. I find it somewhat audacious and maybe innapropriate that I should say anything especially on this blog. But whatever trouble this might cause, I thought I should put it up anyway. What really inspired me, besides my buddy who's very political is something I heard on a television church service. The pastor was telling the story of a woman named Ruth who lived in a time when the jews were being persecuted.

Here's a link to the sermon. http://www.hourofpower.org/booklets/bookletdetail.cfm?ArticleID=4489. It's long but here's the most important excerpt from the sermon by Dr. Schuller.

"Now let me give you a little background. Esther is a Jew. She is queen to King Xerxes of Persia who was by all accounts the strongest king of his day and remained so until Alexander the Great overcame that empire. She became the queen and one of the prime ministers came along and decided that they were going to exterminate all the Jews. Can you believe it? There have been numerous times throughout history where people have tried to exterminate the people of God and this is one more time. The queen has kept her identity secret; nobody knows she is a Jew, except for her cousin Mordecai. So now she has an opportunity to put her life on the line and save her race or remain silent and hope that somehow, someway she can keep her identity a secret. "

I think the part that really struck me was the bible verse,
‘do not think because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain in silence at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place and you and your father's family will perish. (Esther 4:12-17)

What this says to me is, in matters of importance, when people are dying and suffering it is important to speak up. We're complacent because we're in the "King's House", up here in North America. But when injustice takes place it touches all of us. Now that our government has become as bigotted and immoral as the American government, how long will it be before we start suffering the consequences that they have? I have a friend who's extended family is mourning the death of a son in Lebanon. Whether he's Jewish, Lebansese, Arab, Black.... He was robbed of his life for no good reason.

So I think it would be irresponsible not to say something. Our leaders are engaged in an illegal and immoral war. Here they have an opportunity to show love and compassion and be worthy of the God they supposedly believe in, worthy of our progenitors and ancestors who all suffered at the hands of unjust people at some point, regardless of their background, jewish, black, arab, whatever... But apparently they will not rise up to this challenge, they will not fight for peace but rather continue this insane invasion, and continue to propagate, hatred, bigotry and murder. Have we learned nothing?

What a disgrace it would be to the human race if future generations couldn't learn to have compassion for the thousands who are dying in the middle east at the whims of greedy politicians and religious fanatics. I don't want to get into a long rant because "those in the know", already have their opinions and those who are already prejudiced will not want to have any kind of rational discourse. But I do think this video is VERY IMPORTANT!!! So I posted it for better or worse. If anyone has comments to make, please no hate, no name calling. Keep it tasteful. Also, if you're interested go to Rez's blog. He's far more informed than I am and has a few articles on the subject.