Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mene, Mene, Tekel, u Pharsin

Mene, Mene, Tekel, u Pharsin

Twenty-five hundred years ago, Daniel knew what these words written by a dismembered hand on the wall of King Belshazzar’s castle meant. The king abruptly found out when he lost his life that very night. Babylon found out when the Persians sacked the city.
Even if this had only been a parable to illustrate what happens when you disregard the conventions of decent living, it would have been a powerful one. Unfortunately for the Babylonians, it was not. It was reality.
The Manitoba jackrabbit has a grazing territory of about a square mile, which it patrols against intruders. As the population increases which, given the prolificacy of rabbits, it does, the job of protecting its territory becomes more and more stressful. The poor rabbit runs his proverbial tail off to keep intruders out, and ultimately has a heart attack and dies. That too is a telling lesson. No less the Manitoba Swamp Shrew runs itself into fatal exhaustion protecting its property.
And what have we learned from these factual examples? Nothing, it seems. There is an obvious flaw in the human inner eye. It’s been clouded over by civilization. Our obsessive-compulsive drive for profits overrides any human consideration. The miners’ strike in South Africa is a prime example. The miners are demanding a fair wage and they know they’re in for trouble so they arm themselves for protection. The mine owners call the cops who mow the miners down with automatic weapons. Then the mine CEO tells the miners they’d better be back to work by Monday or risk being fired. I suppose he figures it’s better to be fired than be fired upon. He obviously hasn’t assessed the mindset of his miners.
Then there’s the Enbridge fiasco in Canada and the U.S. They want to cut a strip through Sioux Territory and continue on to the Gulf of Mexico. The Sioux say ‘Get off our land!’ But it’s perfectly safe say Enbridge who in the mean time have a couple of big pipe ruptures and resultant oil spills. Well then says Enbridge along with the Canadian Government; we’ll take it up to Kitimat. ‘Get off our land!’ say the native tribes in B.C. But it’s perfectly safe insist Enbridge who in the meantime have another pipe rupture. Suddenly China, which has a massive investment in the Alberta Oil Sands, shows up in the north with an icebreaker. Look at that – a Chinese icebreaker. What a coincidence! So you know where the pipeline is going next. I mean, how many Inuit are up there to stop it? Haha! Did you ever see a bunch of white guys get harpooned? Do they really think the Inuit are so stupid as to not notice what’s going on in their homeland?
But they keep trying. They don’t seem to notice the dissention their machinations are causing. Have they not seen what is happening in the Middle East? Have they not noticed the rumblings in their own nations? Have they not noticed that people have lost the fear of authority and are willing to take a bullet for the sake of their beliefs?
Mene, Mene, Tekel, u Pharsin. That is what is written on the walls of the rich and powerful. And it won’t be long before they are popping off like the jackrabbit or the Manitoba swamp shrew. At least that’s how it seems from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mamamamamamammary Glands

Mamamamamamammary Glands
Who’da thought I would be discussing mammary glands in this blog? Well not me, and that’s for sure. But somebody on facebook opened up the topic as a serious discussion and – well – I had to put in my two cents worth, along with everybody else. Seems it was a hot topic.
The piece on facebook featured two photographs, one of a woman feeding her baby, and the other of three well endowed bikini clad women. The argument was why was the woman in the act of feeding her baby considered socially unacceptable while the other three are considered desirable. Good question. It must be a guy thing.
In the first instance, just think of what would happen to people like Carnation Evaporated Milk if all these darned mothers started breast-feeding their babies. And what would happen to the health care business if our babies started growing up healthy? God forbid. And another thing, while we’re on the subject, the act of a small child suckling at it’s mother’s breast is reported to be a highly erotic feeling for the mother, perhaps a reward for the stretch marks the little buggers put all over her belly during her pregnancy. Probably puts a damper on those big hairy hands and faces trying to emulate what a baby does.
If I were a woman, I’d tell the men to kiss my ass and continue doing what comes naturally. Of course, that could be taken seriously and prompt a whole new fashion design reminiscent of Nick the Plumber. The women could put a little red beauty spot on each cheek like the Hindus do on their foreheads. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?
To address the picture of the three buxom bikini babes, this is another example of the misinterpretation of the laws of physics. I mean the fact that thirty – forty pounds of womanhood can stick straight out horizontally for any length of time is a miracle in itself. But just ask any big-busted granny how long that lasts! The only way to fix that is with Styrofoam. And on top of that, the added weight impacts directly on the woman’s back, encouraging a stooped posture. Well just check out the number of breast reductions being performed. That’ll tell you a thing or two.
See, the mistake we humans made goes back thousands of years when we were first emerging out of the trees. Human nature being what it is, we had to get into the savannahs to see what was there. The problem was that the grass was so tall, we couldn’t see what was in there, especially lions and tigers and other predators and creatures that liked to have us for lunch. Instead of being smart and retreating back to the trees, we stood up on our hind legs in order to see better. That still wasn’t good enough so we grew our legs longer. Well, that served well enough to evolve us into the hunters we became. The only problem was that we became unbalanced physically. So now, in order for the female breasts to hang down the way nature intended, they ended up in conflict with physics.
Mind you, if we’d gone back to four legged walking, women’s asses would have become the prominent feature, and we would now have the fashion issue I alluded to earlier. And the statement: ‘kiss my ass’ would have a whole new meaning. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Let the Games End

Let the Games End
Whew! I was getting to figure these games would never come to an end! The whole business is getting a trifle tiresome. Overkill, I guess. Now for heaven’s sake, they’re even agonizing over who will be the flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies.
I have a real problem with Canada’s whole position on the Olympics. Sure, there is some government funding available, but it falls far short of what’s needed to do the job properly. Each of the disciplines has to fight tooth and nail for every penny it can get its hands on and make do. And then, everything each athlete does is for the glory of Canada? That’s just so much malarkey. Do you really think these athletes would go through four years of the kind of grueling training they do just to distinguish Canada on behalf of their sport, especially given their pay scale? That’s just plain silly.
Let’s get a little bit real here. In the first place, these athletes love their particular sport. They go through all that training in order to be the best there is at it. In other words, its for the glory of the 1) athlete, and 2) the sport. They owe Canada or Canadians nothing. Canada and Canadians can be supportive by all means, and encouraging, without exacting a piece of the glory from the particular athlete, or even worse, punishing or disgracing him or her for failure.
Remember Ben Johnson in Seoul? He was the world’s fastest man AND HE WAS A CANADIAN! Then the shit hit the fan when he was disqualified in that doping scandal. Well – it turns out he wasn’t really Canadian after all. He was really a Jamaican. Shame on him. If that didn’t come back to bite us in the ass later, I don’t know what. We now find that the Jamaicans own the track. Had we, instead of pooh-poohing the whole Jamaican thing, had a look at how this has happened, we would know that in order to take ownership of athletics, we must give a little more. The Jamaicans have a different outlook on athletics than we do. By the time their children reach kindergarten or grade one at school, they already have propellers for legs. They are encouraged all through school by their teachers and have plenty of opportunity to compete. Not only that, but its nothing to fill a fifty thousand seat stadium to see these students perform. Moms, dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents are all there to see these athletes compete.
When’s the last time anything like that ever happened here in Canada? Probably when the Cree battled the Mohawks at lacrosse before any white man ever showed up. So you see, it isn’t the athletes who are or aren’t performing. They’re doing their job to the best of their ability. And if we want to ride on their backs, we’d better start to pony up and put our backs into it. Otherwise the glory should all go to the athletes. At least that’s how it looks from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

First Lady of the Olympics

The First Lady

A Tribute to Clara Hughes

What is the measure of man – or in this case - woman? It certainly isn’t the destination. That is only the goal. Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant. The real measure is how you undertake the journey to get to it. In that, Clara Hughes is a true champion, truly the first lady of the Olympics.
In the last Winter Olympics, I think Clara was skating in the 5,000-meter event when she won a silver medal. At the end of the race, she totally collapsed from exhaustion – I mean really collapsed. She arose, as in a dream and her victory shone all over her face. But it was not the victory you might think of. I mean, the silver medal was nice but that wasn’t it at all. It was the fact that she had commanded her mind, her spirit and her body to deliver up everything within her, leaving nothing behind – and had achieved it – that was the pinnacle of her achievement. ‘I am alive,’ she said, almost surprised.
Later, when she stood on the podium with Cindy Klassen, an equally accomplished and younger skater, the euphoria spread and Cindy, somewhat confused at first, couldn’t help but be swallowed up by it.
Then, just yesterday, after her cycling time trials ended in a fifth place finish; she had accomplished the same thing. She said with simple candor that she had given it her all, had emptied herself of everything she had, and was now satisfied. I take it to be the truth.
My children are all older than Clara, but I’ll tell you, she is a hero and role model for me. Every chance I get; I talk about her amazing spirit to my grandchildren as they pursue their dreams. Mind you, that doesn’t get me very far, but I try.
One of my grandsons plays football that way. When he was in high school I said to him, he should attack his school assignments the way he plays ball. Politely said, he just kind of laughed at me. Therein lies the rub. It’s the difference between doing what you love and loving what you do. There needn’t be a dividing line between the two.
Certainly Clara provides a model for us to demonstrate to our children of what they can accomplish, and the incredible rewards of the journey. We should pay attention, listen and learn from the first lady of life itself. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin’.