Monday, May 18, 2009

Lost weekend ramble

Ever have one of those weekends that just slips away? No gardening done, grass needs cutting, and it appears to be the Year of the Dandelion. Tried tackling those little nasties, and my trowel promptly snapped in two. And then there's the summer thesis push, and the basement in which one can no longer move easily. (The word "clutter" doesn't even come close. Try "midden.") And my poor dog, suffering from an inflamed pancreas, simply will not touch his new diet, but he insists on his 6:00 am walk just the same.

All of which is to say, proceed with caution. I'm not in the best of moods. Blogging is an excuse for procrastination, the cause of much guilt, a diversion: but this weekend, frankly, not even that time-eating activity is bringing much joy.

There's a pile-on at one of my favourite blogs: my longtime commenter Marky Mark is getting pummeled for no discernible reason, and the egregious "shlemazl" claims, of course, that it's all motivated by anti-Semitism, as is everything else in heaven and on earth. He lied so atrociously, in fact, that Marky went over there to chide him.

Earlier this weekend, that same twerp helpfully provided an anonymous inquirer at his place with my real name and a (made-up) bio, but has since deep-sixed that. I won't say he thought better of it, because "shlemazl" doesn't think better of anything or anyone. More likely he's worried that I might do something similar to him--a very well-founded fear, as it happens.

Meanwhile, the bloom is off the Engage rose, as what I thought was a good-faith exchange of interpretations of Seven Jewish Children resulted in a display of incoherent, mocking defensiveness that I had thought, in my innocence, was largely absent over there. I'm having a far better discussion b/c with one of the Engage moderators, and we might both emerge from the shadows to debate the topic of anti-Semitism here and/or at his place, but I'm giving the Engage combox a wide berth for the moment. There are far more enjoyable ways of wasting one's time--if I could only find them.

And then, of course, there's the news: a dismal backdrop to be sure. As I had predicted well before his election, Obama is being digested by the machine, and his substance reassembled. Now he's all for the Guantanamo kangaroo courts, settling for tying a small weight to one hairy leg, and he quails at showing the photographic proof of American mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. He doesn't want to investigate the previous administration's torture record, much less its apparent formulation of foreign policy by means of the sortes biblicae. He's pouring money and troops into the Afghan adventure, bailing out Big Business, and trying to be everybody's pal. No wonder all the conservatives have left is to challenge his choice of mustard.

Closer to home, though, the University of Saskatchewan has turned down a proposed racist endowment that reminded me immediately of the old Leonard Foundation scholarships. Good on the university for rejecting a "no Aboriginals need apply" fund. As the Globe & Mail points out, the claim by the flawed philanthropist that Aboriginal students are "basically taken care of" is a bit of a stretch. Only a small handful of the university's 4,148 scholarships--36 in all, total value $107,000--are reserved for Aboriginals.

But isn't even this "race-based," as surely as the proposed endowment? Before the cons sit down to dine on that, it's worth noting, as the editorialist does, that Aboriginals make up 18.9% of the 18-29-year-olds in Saskatchewan, but only 7.5% of the undergraduate population at the university. A small fund to encourage a grossly disadvantaged population to better itself is hardly the same as one that excludes it.

So, some good news among the bad, and now it's time to go buy a trowel if any place is open. We've had near-frost temperatures on top of everything else, so it's miserable outside, but I've declared war on the dandelion, and today, I hope, will be the day of reckoning.

UPDATE: It cost one three-figure speeding ticket to discover that Canadian Tire had run out of the super weed extractor I rushed out to buy on the recommendation of commenter "Catelli." Once I have the dandelions out, by good old-fashioned trowelling, I'll probably bury myself in my own garden. :(

No comments: