DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society

Eclectic social commentary with a chuckle and maybe a sting in the tail

Good Friday: Lord Of The Dance

The Lord of the Dance

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped they stripped they hung me high
And they left me there on a cross to die!

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone
But I am the Dance and I still go on!

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the Life that’ll never, never die!
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in Me -
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(…lead you all in the Dance, said He!)

Sydney Carter

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Cannibals; Neither Fine Nor Young

Should you ever receive a dinner invitation from the Ali brothers, Mohammed Arif and Mohammed Farman, of Pakistan, give it a miss. Beg off pleading just about any excuse. A work commitment or family funeral, all bets are off. You see these two have just be re-arrested for the hideous offence of cannibalism.

Yes indeed these fine young cannibals have been behind bars before and for the very same offense. But that isn’t cannibalism, as no clear law on the eating of humans exists on the books in Pakistan. The brothers were in prison for two years having been found guilty of desecrating a dead body. The fact that they desecrated it into a casserole played no significant role in their sentence.

Much like makers of kimchi or borscht, the brothers would dig up their grub, haul it home and, well, Bob’s your dinner.

It seems the brothers are certainly odd, but not violent by nature, or perhaps they prefer leftovers, because they never killed their meals, opting instead to raid graves for take out. Much like makers of kimchi or borscht, the brothers would dig up their grub, haul it home and, well, Bob’s your dinner.

While the Ali brothers aren’t pleased to be going back behind bars – nor are their cell mates no doubt – they are looking forward to having plenty of time to put together another cookbook like the one the compiled during their first stint in prison titled Finger Food? Fingers Are Food

With favorites such as Leg of Pam, French Knee Soup, Head Cheese, Feet Loaf, Elbow Macaroni, Scalp Potatoes, Chicken Fingers, several spare rib recipes, and, of course Swedish Balls and Cock au Vin, the first volume was well received in the cannibal community

Okay, some of this is true, and some is just my imagination run amok, but what is certain is that the video below are not the Ali brothers!

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Hypoglycemia: Gimme That Snickers Bar!

snickers

Snickers Bar

A new study claims that blood sugar levels can be used to determine anger, particularly between spouses. The study points out, not in so many words, that when people’s blood sugar levels drop they become cranky.   The study focuses on the effect of low blood sugar on participants’ aggression towards their spouse. But they didn’t actually have these couples fast and then determine aggression levels based on arguments and scraps. Nope, they used those scientific gauges called voodoo dolls.

The researchers studied 107 married couples for three weeks. Each night, they measured the couples’ levels of the blood sugar glucose and asked each participant to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing his or her spouse. That was how the measured levels of aggression.

This was one of those articles that while I was reading it I had to check several times to see if it was left over from April Fool’s Day.

When I’m in the throes of a sugar count drop the only aggression I show is toward those who stand between me and a Snickers bar or jar of peanut butter.

Anyone who has ever encountered a hungry child is aware of the effect that has on his or her behaviour. It isn’t surprising that this holds true for adults.

As a sufferer of hypoglycemia I often experience low blood sugar. The immediate sensation is almost other-worldly: a combination of being drunk, dizzy, light-headed. Throw in a good old cold sweat and you can understand why this drop is often confused with anxiety attacks. When I’m in the throes of a sugar count drop the only aggression I show is toward those who stand between me and a Snickers bar or jar of peanut butter. Voodoo dolls would be safe, unless of course they were made of marzipan. However chocolate Easter bunnies are in definite danger.

That low blood sugar should make one crabby doesn’t surprise me, the fact that this aggression was measured by the number of pins in a voodoo doll does.

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Booby-Trapped Tea Cups

Welcome to Holy Week, the lead-up to Easter and the end of Lent. Good Catholic lad that I am I always give up coffee for lent. It doesn’t do anything spiritually for me, just gives me some ammunition to look down on others with disdain. Until, that is, I run into someone who has given up beer, now that’s truly the stuff of sainthood!

To fill the void I take to tea. Believe me, it’s not cheating; for my taste buds tea is no substitute for coffee. I’ve dropped into a couple of tea specialty places, but not being a connoisseur the mumbo-jumbo about tips and leaf placement on the stem is lost on me. I just want a cup of, as my late father, an inveterate tea drinker from his days in the navy during WW2 called it, slops!

20140414-103435.jpg

Non-booby-trapped cup

I prefer to go to my usual coffee shop – Second Cup – and have my tea there. But I had to ask them to stop booby-trapping my cup. For some reason the baristas, more adept at coffee than tea, would place the Earl Grey tea bag in the cup of hot water, then sneakily tie it to the cup handle. You see, when it comes to tea bags, I’m a squeezer. I expedite the process of steeping by smooshing the tea bag to get all the flavour out. I use a spoon or wooden stir-stick to effect this maneuver, then using the same implement I fling the spent tea bag into the trash.

Not thinking the bag was tethered to the cup, on more than one occasion I have hurled bag, stick and full cup of tea into the receptacle.

It has taken me almost all of the Lenten season to remember to ask them not to tie the bag and they have most kindly accommodated my lapsing memory.

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Happy Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

First World War Ring Stolen

Collins_Robbed_RingI came across an interesting article online about a piece of family history that was stolen. In 1916 Richard Collins died from a head wound suffered during the Battle of the Somme. His ring was cut from his finger and returned to his family with his other personal items. The ring was passed down and most recently was in the possession of his grandson.

On March 11, 2014 the grandson, who prefers not to be named, was robbed. The thief or thieves helping themselves to valuables and cash. Most of which can be replaced but the ring, of course, is a one-off. “It’s a link to my grandfather, who I never knew. It’s a very important piece of my family history.”

My advice is to photograph all your valuables just in case, as this helps with the insurance, and anything that is of great sentimental value should be kept in a safe deposit box.

We experienced a similar incident several years ago. We were burgled and lost a bunch of gold jewelery, one piece of which was a unique ring that was given to my significantly better half by her father who had recently passed away. If that wasn’t frustrating enough, the police assumed it was an inside job as it appears a key was used to gain entry to our apartment. Even more irksome the then janitor bragged to the fellow in our corner store about ‘finding a bunch of gold jewelery’ in a wall he was allegedly repairing.

We received a payment from our insurance company, but needless to say the personal aspect of the items can’t be replaced. My advice is to photograph all your valuables just in case, as this helps with the insurance, and anything that is of great sentimental value should be kept in a safe deposit box.

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Environment Canada Issues Odd Weather Statement

I’ve written before about the strange concept of Environment Canada issuing “Weather Statements”.  My bank sends me a monthly statement, and politicians are usually more than pleased to make a statement. And given people’s tendency to put off paying their bills, I can’t tell you how many Statements of Account I have sent as a friendly reminder. But all of these statements, with the possible exception of the politician’s, have some substance to them. They provide information. Today Environment Canada issued the “Special Weather Statement”  below.

Could they be any more vague? “Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions”. Should we be on the lookout for snow? Rain? Wind? Locusts?

weather alertIn fairness they did issue a more detailed alert a bit later – by the way, it will be rain, and not for two days.  But why put out such a strange alert in the first place?

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

On This Day: Tweets From History

Some Tweets that may have been sent on this day in history:

April 11, 1814 – Napoleon was forced to abdicate his throne. The allied European nations had marched into Paris on March 30, 1814. He was banished to the island of Elba.

April 11, 1966 – Frank Sinatra recorded “Strangers in the Night.”

April 11, 1979 Idi Amin was deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by Tanzanian forces seized control of the capital, Kampala.

Historic tweets

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

A Blind Man Running: An Ode To Being Average

This was his way of pointing out that while his work wasn’t perfect, any imperfections were so small as to be essentially unnoticeable. And more importantly, they weren’t going to be corrected, he was done!

When I embarked upon this blogging adventure some two years ago I had originally considered calling my blog “A blind man running“. But I thought better of it after doing a bit of Google research.

Not surprisingly when looking up ‘a blind man running’, Google returns numerous results related to actual blind men running. Sites about athletic endeavors by the sightless or near sightless are plentiful. But my blog was going to have nothing to do with aspiring Paralympians, so I thought it unfair to potentially mislead genuine researchers as well as not wanting to bury my blog in a veritable ocean of webpages.

The Blind Man Running that I was referring to comes from a saying my grandfather used to use. Whenever he would undertake any sort of do-it-yourself project, from painting a kitchen to fixing a lamp, once he was finished and imbibing in a cool beer while basking in the appreciation of his loving family members for a job well done he would say modestly, “Well, a blind man running won’t notice”. This was his way of pointing out that while his work wasn’t perfect, any imperfections were so small as to be essentially unnoticeable. And more importantly, they weren’t going to be corrected, he was done!

Average Symbol

Most of us are average

Needless to say a blind man, running or not, would be hard put to notice any mistakes in his or anyone’s work, the running part just added to the oddness of the expression.

I like to think of it as an ode to being average, being fallible, which, let’s face it, is a niche most of us fit into. There’s nothing wrong with being average in a global sense; most of us excel at one or maybe even a few things, and are rotten at others. Hence our overall state is one best called average.  Tiger Woods may well be the best golfer on the planet, but he may also be one of the worst skaters, or wallpaper hangers, or dog walkers. You win some, you lose some. It all balances out.

As statisticians like to joke about averages, if you stood with one foot in a pail of boiling water and the other foot in a pail of ice water, would you say that, on average, you were feeling just right?

So as my blog is all about average folks, often me, or the average man/woman’s take on things I initially thought the blind man running concept was appropriate. But sober second thought got the better of me.

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Quebec Voters Complete Two-Year Housecleaning Project

lapresse.ca

lapresse.ca

The Quebec electorate has shown just who is in charge, as should be the case in any democracy. Last night’s Liberal Party majority victory was the second step in a two-step process that started in September 2012.

At that time I pointed out that while the voters were supremely displeased with the Liberal Party, then under Premiere Jean Charest, they also weren’t exactly over the moon with Pauline Marois’ sovereignist Parti Quebecois.

So imagine this: the voters of Quebec held a huge GoToMeeting event in the autumn of 2012 and we came to the conclusion that the time for change had come. We agreed on a two-step process that began in September 2012 with an election to boot out Charest’s Liberal Party that was mired in accusations of corruption and growing student protests. However that left us only one viable option, the separatist Parti Quebecois, which was also less than ideal.

The message sent in 2012 was: Take a hike Mr. Charest, but don’t get too comfortable Madame Marois.

The message we sent was: Take a hike Mr. Charest, but don’t get too comfortable Madame Marois.

No worries, we’ll elect them with just a minority, meaning they won’t be able to enact into law any of their policies without co-opting another party to side with them. Within two frustrating years they will be chomping at the bit to form a majority and have their way, but probably will also have screwed-up enough that we can chuck them out and reinstate the Liberals, who by then will have a new leader.Think of it as a slap on the wrist, or in hockey terms a minor penalty.

Sure enough the PQ introduced a xenophobic Charter of Values, then called a snap election based on it, and then proceeded to run an inept campaign akin to something from the Keystone Kops. During the campaign’s 33 days the PQ was unable to shake-off the PQ=Referendum on sovereignty=political and economic instability harness.

Sure enough the PQ introduced a xenophobic Charter of Values, then called a snap election based on it, and then proceeded to run an inept campaign akin to something from the Keystone Kops.

Thus yesterday the other foot fell – step two – as the voters all but wiped-out the PQ in the process of returning to power the Liberal Party, now under the leadership of Philippe Couillard. The PQ made one mistake after another during the campaign, starting with miscalculating their popularity from the outset. Long a left-leaning party with strong union backing, the PQ’s slide began early in the campaign with the introduction of supposed superstar candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau, a media magnate and renowned union-buster (his companies have been responsible for 18 lock-outs to break unions). This move was met with a range of reactions, from raised eyebrows to outright derision from union leaders.

Things went from bad to worse for the PQ, ending with the total backfiring of their campaign and a Liberal majority government.  Marois’ place in history is looking bleak.

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

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