Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Clark versus Kent

With the recent resignation of Gordon Campbell (quote on quote the most hated premier in history) due to the unpopular HST tax that was implemented on July 1st 2010, British Columbia seems to be breathing a sigh of relief. Myself included. Yet, are the politicians who are in the running to replace him that much better? My favorite comment thus far with the announcement that Christy Clark will be running for Liberal leadership is "Campbell-flage comes in many colors." Clark, a failed politician (she resigned in 2005 after most notably going into hiding as deputy minister while Campbell was being charged in Hawaii with drinking and driving), and radio talk show host is being slammed as a supporter of Campbell. Perhaps slammed isn't the best word to use in this context. Hey Clark, the fact that you are openly vocalizing what a great job you think Campbell did loses you my vote, if I even decide to care enough to vote for the Liberal leadership after the past year. 

In her announcement that she is running for Liberal leadership Clark held nothing back "He (Campbell) deserves our gratitude to the incredible effort he has put in." Oh really? He deserves our gratitude for lying to our faces about the implementation of the HST? For pulling the plug on arts funding leaving many non-profit institutions with little notice or idea how they will replace the thousands of dollars of funding they have lost? Sure lets replace Campbell with his lackey. Granted she is the only candidate to not be a part of Campbell's recent government and therefore not party to his horrendous decision making, but if that is enough to win her popular support I may as well just pack my bags and leave this province before things get worse. If that is even possible. 

(My seven month old nephew has just arrived home for the holidays. He is in a little Christmas onesie and saying the word dada. Perhaps one thing Clark has gotten right is that there should always be time for family). 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Poetry is [not] dead

I never thought that I would be the type of person who would start a blog. I loathe blogs. Here I am, however, with my first blog post. Enjoy.

My brother Ian is currently sitting next to me on the couch. He has a stack of paper in his hand which consists of this epic poem he has written. It is my belief that this form of poetry is dead. I hate to admit that any type of poetry, no matter what the form, could be dead, but I also never thought I would start a blog. It's hard enough these days to get people of our generation to read any type of poetry let alone a poem that is about the length of Paradise Lost. At a Leonard Cohen concert last year I was the youngest person there, outstripped in age by at least twenty years. The rest of the concert goers couldn't even believe that I had heard of Leonard Cohen at all. I left the concert elated from the experience and heart broken for the dying art form.

The pages of Ian's poem are torn, the paper is grubby and he chews on his pen. He's contemplating. He tells me that this is how he will revive the epic poem. "It will be an arduous task," he declares "but this is how it will be done." If only I had his conviction. If only I had his belief, his utter belief, that he will indeed become a success.

When I was an undergrad at UBC I went to a workshop titled "How to make a living as a Poet." The answer was a resounding "You can't." Poetry is dead isn't it? If I were Ian I would have already abandoned the pages of the poem to the recycle bin. Given up in disgust. Blamed the arts cuts and Gordon Campbell for making a career in the arts so bloody hard. He's still writing though and therefore so shall I.