Wednesday, 28 September 2011

QQ : NUMBER TEN - September 28, 2011



It's the technology, stupid!  Social unrest is teetering on the edge of possibility as we confront the reality. There are no jobs because there are no jobs to do. Call your cable company, speak to a computer, do your banking with a computer, buy your next gadget on Amazon, order your groceries online, diagnose yourself, wank, friend, poke, design, consult and sell. All this without interacting with a single human animal.
We don't need us any more.


Is it just me? Or is Zuckerface committing the ultimate destructive strike against everything that makes us human?
Monotheism reflects the miraculous reality of our uniqueness. We have lost our uniqueness. We have become one with Zuckerface and his holistic agenda.

Until Zuckerface came along our unique quality was the last gasp of humanity. Now, our every keystroke belongs to him to use at his will. We are no longer unique individuals. We are trendsetters, viralists, fans, bloggers, posters, groups, twits, sharers, taggers, pokers and publishers, working as uncompensated slaves for the ultimate Antichrist.
Art is dead. Long live Zuckerface.


And then there's his henchman Park Shaunster, who speaks of "culture".
One day someone will 'splain it to him. Zuckerface and Shaunster, a match made in hell.

May they live long and prosper as they rule their Galactic empire. Where is Darth Vader when we need him?


The oldest written documents of which we are aware, are around four thousand years old. Computer hard drives will ultimately fail in less than four thousand weeks.
Does that mean that, as we burn the books and store our QWERTY tappings in the cloud, that all of human history will be lost?

Cuneiform scratchings on stone tablets seems to be a better way to go.


I never thought of myself as an anti - technology guy. I am not. Technology is neutral.
Frank Gehry has embraced 3D  software used in the aerospace industry to design his beautiful buildings. It's organic rib and bones stuff used in the design of Boeing jets and the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. Gehry's buildings would not exist without this software and his utilization of it.

But, he is the only artist that I can think of, who has made an innovative cultural statement utilizing the possibilities that technology can provide.


"Innovative cultural statement" Now, there's a concept!
Who are the true innovators of our era? Only history will decide. In 50 years, what cultural statements from our time will endure?  Will our grandchildren listen to Lady Gaga? Will our grandchildren watch old episodes of Dancing With The Stars and laugh at the Jackass movies?


It seems to me that sometimes a peak of excellence is reached, and then a door closes.

Bach endures for a reason. He reached a peak of artistic immortality surpassing everything that did, or could follow. He is constantly rediscovered, by Glenn Gould, by Pablo Casals and young piano students of every era that has followed.

Something similar occurred when Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington took up the baton and created the ultimate American music of a quality that never was, and can never be again. They swung!


Albert Einstein told us that time and space could bend. Nature does not move in straight lines. However, our mortality would presume a straight conceptual line from birth to death. There are no curves except for the quality that we give to that line. If all we have is the quality that we can bring to our absolute trajectory, then we have a responsibility to acknowledge that as fact.

Unfortunately, societies throughout history have embraced the concept of life after death, which gives them an excuse, a way out, a reason to pass on the ultimate responsibility of giving quality to that line between life and death.

Although space and time can bend, Einstein did not postulate that either were infinite. He is said to have been uncertain about the concept of infinity. Perhaps the universe does in fact have a beginning, middle and end.

How dramatic!


There are three words that continue to fascinate me:



We share our life experience through our stories. Our stories have beginnings, middles and ends. They take the form of novels, plays, movies, phone conversations, emails, songs, poems and chats. What did you do today? How was school? Guess who I saw at the market? How are you?

Stories reflect our lives, our human-ness and our social interaction. Stories can be real, fictional, engaging and irrelevant.

But ultimately all that we have, on our straight line that can bend, is our story.
Our story can be expressed in a song, a building, a spaceship or a piece of software. But after we are gone, all that remains is a story. It can be the story of an old soldier, who retells the battle worn tale of past glory. Or it can be the musical story told by Bach, the visual story left by Pablo Picasso or the iconic human tragedy as unveiled by Shakespeare as true today as they all were in times past.

We should tell good stories. At least, that is what I teach my song writing students.


If beginning, middle and end are universal absolutes, then where does that leave Bachman - Palin Overjive and their fundamentalist agenda.
Tell you children that Santa (orium) is not real, and that White Perry, the Texan executioner, is really Perry White, Superman’s boss at the Daily Planet.

Bring on the rapture!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

QQ : NUMBER NINE - September 22, 2011


QQ = 10 :      BODY AND SOUL

                      The duet with Tony Bennet is touching. More so, to see Tony, so masterful, so
                      in control and so at ease. What a great song!
                      Amy Winehouse - so sad.
                      But then again, check Billie Holiday do the same tune, for real in another time,   
                      another dimension and another sad.

QQ = 9 :        TORONTO

                       I thought Toronto and I were lovers once. Perhaps it was just a brief
                       affair, even a one night stand for a year or two. Although Toronto has
                       shown me some kindness and consideration, I have fallen out of love.

                       Every now and then, on a summer's night, on a patio, a glimmer of
                       warmth returns, just for an instant, but then its gone, back to another
                       time when Toronto was “Toronto the good.”  It is good no more.   

QQ = 8 :         HARPER, HUDAK & FORD

                       Canada deserves 'em.
                       We are not American. In America, there is a concept called “oversight.”
                       In Canada we do not confront our demons. We do the British thing. We
                       sweep the dirt under the rug and pretend it isn't there.
                       We hide our SARS, our OMB, our filthy air, our police corruption and our
                       corporate monopolies under the cultural veneer of “Nice”. We're all just
                       nice people getting along. If you think that the Tea Party has some
                       extreme positions, wait and wonder what mischief H.H. & F will get up to

QQ = 7 :         OH, OH CANADA

                       We are the Tar sands
                       We are Asbestos
                       We give you SARS and Walkerton and even MS
                       We wait for surgeons
                       We jail our Indians
                       Our peaceful right to assemble, just an arbitrary notion

                        We are Canadian

QQ = 6 :         URBAN DESIGN

                       St Clair Avenue Toronto. A multitude of failure upon failure upon failure.
                       Did anything go right? Traffic snarls, cyclists risk their lives, nowhere to
                       park, businesses going under and traffic lights uncoordinated.

                       It must have been designed by Daniel Libeskind. I think he has a grudge
                       against this city and is terrorizing it using “ugly and impractical” as a

                       Or, he is leading a new revolution in architecture and design where form
                       and function are separate but equal. A sort of design apartheid.

                       I could go on, and I will. What the hell is Toronto International Airport
                       Terminal 4 doing at the corner of Dundas and McCaul? Even Gehry doesn’t
                       get this town.
QQ = 5 :         GREECE

                       I am told that a public servant can, if he chooses, retire at age 45.
                       Perhaps, taxing the rich is not the only solution.

QQ = 4 :          NAFTA

                        I guess music and musicians were excluded. They are such a threat.
                        Free trade without melody is rough trade

QQ = 3 :          CULTURE

                        What on earth is the ghost of Andy Warhol doing in Nashville TN?
QQ = 2 :          HEALTH

                         Mad wheat disease as a result of genetic modification. When Monsanto
                         fucks with our daily bread, we have a problem.     

QQ = 1 :         THERE WAS A TIME

                        Ray Charles and Quincy 1961. “Genius Plus Soul = Jazz”  changed my life.    
                        The organ solo on“One Mint Julep” is iconic. Check it out.

Monday, 12 September 2011

QQ : NUMBER EIGHT - September 12, 2011


QQ = 10 :     USPS

                     Why do I care about the United States Postal Service? 

                     The Bankruptcy of the USPS, follows closely on the heels of the
                     decimation of:
                     the recorded music business
                     the printed book
                     network television and television news
                     personal customer service
                     retail showrooms
                     a diminution of human vocal communication with the ascendance of QERTY  
                     and much more

                     Technology is neutral, or is it?

QQ = 9 :       QUALITY

                      I'm thinking of starting a second blog on the subject of Quality.
                      Qapek's Quality Quotient or QQQ.
                      I am troubled by the relationship of Technology to Quality.

                      As a result of technological 'advances' we are witness to the destruction of:         
                      the recorded music business
                      the printed book
                      network television and television news.
                      personal customer service
                      retail showrooms
                      a diminution of human vocal communication with the ascendance of QERTY  
                      and much more

                      Does the replacement have a quality equivalent?

                      Is UPS a better quality service than USPS?

                      Does Charlie Parker with strings, recorded in 1949
                      have a 2011 quality equivalent?

                      Does the physical interface of printed bound paper with hand and                                    
                      eye have a quality dimension that transcends that of an ipad?

                      Did NBC's Kraft Television Theater, or the original Twilight Zone
                      Series have a dimension of quality that has never been reproduced?
                      Is QWERTY the ultimate form of communication?
                      Was Orson Wells an aberration?
QQ = 8 :        TECHNOLOGY

                        What would Mozart do with ProTools?  Would he tweet?
                        What would Ansel Adams do with photoshop? Would he IM?
                        What would Homer do with Micrsoft Word? Would he “poke” me
                        What would Leonardo Davinci do with CAD? Would he access the


                        The London riots were reported to have been be coordinated
                        via social media.
                        The Egyptian spring was reported to have been coordinated via
                        social media.
                        Justin Bieber is said to have given birth to a career via a viral
                        response on social media.

                        So there we have it. 
                        The quality of twitter and facebook has given us:

                       Anarchy in London
                       Anarchy and continuing chaos in Egypt
                       and of course, Justin Bieber.

                       Technology is neutral, or is it?
                       Face-twit-me and I'll qwerty back at yah

QQ = 6 :         COPYRIGHT        

                        A Thesaurus for a new age:

                        Aggregate, Share, Link, Rip
                        Synonyms for Steal, Rob, Plagiarize, Thieve

                       Huffington, Drudge, Fox and Google, wherfore art though News?
QQ = 5 :          FAIR AND BALANCED 

 When pondering the concept of quality, it occurs to me that the culture that emanates from the fair and balanced network is one that demands it's pound of flesh in a destructive ever dogmatic anti science, anti intellectual agenda. It is interesting to ponder the meaning of the word “culture” in its relationship to the concept of “growth”. That is in contrast to the word “conservative” with its implication of keeping the status quo and the resulting lack of growth.

Innovation  is imperative. Without innovation, we invite the dark age.
Innovation requires education, freedom of speech, freedom of expression
freedom of the press, and economic support.
QQ = 4 :            INNOVATION

                           The definition of the word innovation is associated with the concept of positive change. What an epiphanic concept! Change that moves us forward.
The very word implies quality. Change is change. It requires no quality.              However “innovation” requires a positive forward movement.
This is a profound concept that is far removed from current culture.

We suffer greatly from our lack of comprehension of this concept.
Resistance to true innovation is a conservative stance. A historical irony is the position of the Roman inquisition regarding Galileo's postulating Heliocentrism.
They would only support it as a possibility.
Sounds eerily like Rick Perry. “Evolution, a theory that's out there”.  1615 meets 2011.

QQ = 3 :             CULTURE            

                       Is culture the exclusive domain of the economically privileged?
                       Can the poor innovate, paint, write and compose music?
                       Of course they can and they do.. 
QQ = 2 :            PHILANTHROPY       

                              In my next life I will be a philanthropist. However I will not
                              focus on cures, shelter and nutrition. Others will.
                              Rather I will supply the needy with paint, canvas
                              audio and video media tools and all means of artistic

QQ = 1 :              THERE WAS A TIME
                             Artie Shaw....a consummate man's man, musician's musician,                
                             curmudgeon's curmudgeon, and artists artist.
                             Listen to "Begin the Beguine," and weep.

                             He was not a nice man.
                             Neither was Beethoven.
                             Neither were Picasso, Hemmingway or Frank Lloyd Wright

                             Do we require our cultural icons to be “nice”?  

Monday, 5 September 2011

QQ : NUMBER SEVEN - September 5 2011


QQ = 10 :   IRENE

                    The Kenyan Muslim in the White House in a satanic agreement with
                     the Intelligent Designer, conjured up Irene, a CAT 1 hurricane of historical size.
                     All this to divert the masses from his evil agenda of providing health care to
                     children, green energy and clean water and air. Shame on him and his environmental
                     power grab.He is now controlling the climate.

                     Next thing, he’ll take guns away from our cold dead hands and compromise
                     with the dark force on everything he believes in.
                     What’s a little ozone?

                     Evil exists.

QQ = 9 :      HALLELUJAH

                      I cannot genuflect one more time before the musical icon of Leonard Cohen’s
                     “Hallelujah”  without questioning the man’s rhymes.

                      I knew yah
                      Do yah
                      Through yah
                      Outdrew yah

                      What would Cole Porter or Ira Gershwin say?
                      “S’Wonderful”...      or    .... “Anything Goes”?                 
QQ = 8 :        LABOR DAY

                       When we focus on issues and try to prioritize, it helps to get a sense of
                       proportion. Once we have that, we can then direct our energies to where there
                       will be more value and get more bang for our buck.

                       In the case of the continuing economic crisis in the United States, clearly
                       it is the fault of the teachers and their all powerful unions. Get rid of them and all    
                       will be OK.
                       Unionism is clearly anti American. What is all this 40 hour work week
                       nonsense? Minimum wage? Feudalism rules! We don’t need child labor laws. 
                       Let them work! And safety and environmental guidelines; they are intrusive     
                       In fact, get the government out of the education business altogether.
                       Let the market  rule! Charles Dickens described the Utopia that will bring
                       America back. “Please Sir, I want some more”. USPS be damned!

                       While we are at it, privatize the FAA. Let them sleep if they want to.
                       Who needs government watching the sky?         .

QQ = 7 :       PALESTINE   

                       In the case of the balance of world power, continuing terrorism and the quest
                       for peace and freedom, we must abandon our focus on the following less
                       important issues in favor of those issues that are politically expedient:

                       Rather focus on traditional scapegoats that are easy targets, and easy to identify.

                       None of the following deserve our attention until the primary issue is resolved.
                       Forget about the Rwandan Genocide. We turned our backs
                       Forget about the mass graves in Bosnia, not our concern.
                       Forget about the killing fields of Cambodia.
                       The slaughter of Greeks and Armenians under Ottoman rule is old news.
                       Thirty thousand gun related killings annually in the USA is a fundamental right.
NATIVE AMERICANS                                                          invaded, conquered slaughtered
FIRST NATION CANADIANS                                             invaded, conquered slaughtered
INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS                                           invaded, conquered slaughtered
SHIA SAUDIS                                                                        subjects of apartheid
PAKISTANI HINDUS                                                           subjects of apartheid                                                                                                   
CZECH ROMA                                                                       subjects of apartheid
TURKISH KURDS                                                                  subjects of apartheid                                                                                                                                                
HOMOSEXUALS IN ALL OF ARAB MIDDLE EAST     criminalized, jailed murdered
TIBETANS IN CHINA                                                            invaded, conquered slaughtered
NORTH KOREA, BURMA, HAITI,                                      regimes of abject evil
SOMALIA SYRIA  and IRAN                                               regimes of abject evil
WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS                            criminalized world wide
AL QAEDA                                                                              gang bangers, murderers.
The UN must act immediately!

Supply Hamas with WOMD’s as a first step.
Tear down that wall Mr.Netanyahu!

Make sure that Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt hang on to their apartheid policies
regarding Palestinian undesirables. Keep them in concentration camps and on no account let them into Egypt out of Gaza. Who knows what would happen? Egyptian spring, my ass.

Those Arabic members of the Israeli Parliament, Israeli/Arab Judges, Israeli/Arab Public servants, Israeli/Arab Army Generals, Israeli/Arab Foreign Service personnel and Israeli/Arab cultural institutions are clear indications of Israeli intransigence.

Screw world hunger, global warming, Persian imperialism, Korean insanity and institutionalized rape.

I am not a card carrying Zionist. However, as a committed News junkie and political observer, the obsession of the left with it’s focus on this singular issue above all others, is more than mystifying and troubling.

More troubling is Israel’s unholy alliance with the radical right and their fanatical religious zealots who’s motivation is all about Revelation and Rapture.

Perhaps those pesky Semites should just stop mixing the blood of Christian babies in their Matzoh. Send them back where they came from. Bring on the end times!  J'accuse!


QQ = 6 :             LIBYAN REBELS      

                            Lawrence of Arabia was a cartographer. He drew some lines in the sand.
                            and a few gang leaders were designated as Kings. Maybe he is to blame.
                            This nonsense continues across the top of the African continent.
QQ = 5 :             OIL       

                            Thirty years ago, on a trip to Melbourne, most taxi cabs had dual fuel
                            engines. A regular gasoline engine, plus a propane tank in the trunk.You
                            could seamlessly switch from one to the other.

                            In 2011, the prospect is swept aside with claims of lack of developed   
                            technology and impractical expense.
                            It’s not easy being green.

                            Tar sands oh tar sands
                            Are you just  sleight of hand
                            Mobil, Exxon it’s a Shell game
                            Profit’s the name, with gain your aim.
QQ = 4 :             ENVIRONMENT

                             Australia is one big quarry. Its economic miracle is shear luck.
                             Canada is one big quarry  Its economic miracle is shear luck. 
                             The stuff in the ground is causing unforgivable environmental damage
                             at extraordinary cost.   

                             Who will pay?
QQ = 3 :              NINE ELEVEN            

Lorenz Hart, before 9/11 was a number.
I’ll take Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island too, it's lovely going through the zoo

It's very fancy on old Delaney Street, you know.

The subway charms us so, when balmy breezes blow to and fro.

And tell me what street compares with Mott street in July,

Sweet push carts gently gliding by

The great big city's a wondrous toy, just made for a girl and boy.

I'll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy.  
QQ = 2 :                9/11             

Ground Zero...........a perimeter walk I’ll never forget.

                                 Canada loves New York

The event was only weeks after the 9/11 tradgedy.The idea began in Toronto with Canadian Senator Jerry Grafstein and a group of supporters. With Mayor Rudolf GiulianiĆ­s assistance overwhelming numbers of Canadians gathered together in the heart of Manhattan Over twenty-six thousand paId their respects. Canadians responded.

QQ = 1 :                IX/XI

Canada loves New York, December 1st 2001   

Murray McLaughlin dedicated an original song called "Morning After Blues" to Giuliani.

"Got to laugh again, got to find a way,
Got to light the lights and sing and dance the night away,"

he sang as the audience wiped their tears.