Monday, October 24, 2005

The Fall



Black clouds linger in a darkened sky as chill air infiltrates a crack in the window sill. Already the threat of Winter has forced the Sun into hiding. The hours of light are dwindling, leaving behind nothing but gloom. In the streets and in the parks the crowds have dwindled. Instead they seek shelter behind closed doors, comforted by forced heat and false light. Spirits drop, tempers flare, a vast portion of humanity seems destined to surrender to depression early this year. Spring fever fades and the thin line between love and hate becomes even more indistinct. Tis the beginning of the time where many become pensive and withdrawn, retreating to their homes with a good book to wait it out, while others simply seem content to become louder and more offensive - As though somehow by railing in frustration at everyone and everything will somehow chase away the seasonal blues.

Some welcome the arrival of Autumn; the coming of The Fall.

It's a magical, seasonal wake up call that all will not remain sunshine and roses forever. All good things come to and end. It is inevitable. Those overly jovial constructs, with their contrived happiness and freakishly unfounded faith in the underlying good will of the world begin to fail. The mundane act of scraping the morning frost from their windshield seems to take its toll. It becomes difficult for them to muster the energy required to maintain their lighthearted jubilance.

The Fall of springtime lovers.
The Fall of the frivolous frolicking.
The Fall of flirting and dreams of the future.

Eyes still partially closed as they dwell too long on the past, regrets of what they have lost, or what they could have had. A desperate need to cling to fleeting memories and trivial emotions. A futile struggle against nature and a disgraceful refusal to let it die.

Oh, certainly some will be far more successful than others. They will manage to resuscitate some moment of happiness and try to relive it. Continue to breathe life into it for as long as possible and stubbornly refusing to let go. Until, at last, it twists in to some lifeless and tormented mockery of its former glory. Foul and tainted.

Everything comes to an end.

And the sooner that you let it -

The sooner it can be reborn.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Miasmatic



It was December 11th, 2004. I was babbling incoherently about whatever came to mind and happened to mention something about concern over the impending doom hanging over our head that is the Avian Bird Flu. And chicken heart transplants. Surprisingly I went largely ignored.

Oh, but now that The WHO in collusion with the CDC have decided that it may be a pandemic waiting to happen, suddenly the world sits up and takes notice. H5N1 is the enemy. We must fight it. Sixty deaths is simply atrocious.

Chinanery. A deep desire to not appears as bloody useless with this looming nightmare as with other recent disasters of nature. However, I must note that the UN had requested $175 million to combat and hopefully eliminate the threat a little over two years ago (They went largely ignored as well).


"To stop it from spreading to humans, we have to stop it in birds."

- Health Secretary Mike Leavitt

They received an entire $30 million. Rather than invest in a solution to the problem the governments opted instead to invest in anti-flu medications to give us all the wonderful illusion of preparedness. No money to be made from mass hysteria and fear mongering if the threat is wiped out. (Speaking of... How goes the hunt in Iraq? All those pesky terrorist been brought to justice yet?)

Italy for instance decided to spend somewhere around $40 million on vaccines rather than attempt to squash this little flu bug before it got rolling. The US $100 million. Belgium considers setting aside a billion dollars to produce and distribute medication. The result? Half of the Italian popluation could possibly be vaccinated should the need arise. The US could effectively treat about 1% of its population. Bankers in Belgium still debate the cost/return ratio.

I wonder which 1% of the population they plan on distributing the vaccine to? Or who holds the rights to the miracle medications they are purchasing. And who is most highly at risk? My completely uneducated bet goes on poor people who live in squallor and will be unable to afford or otherwise procure protection (Being at risk that is, not holding the rights). The disease has rampaged about Asia for what? Five years? Didn't hear much about it then. Now that it has reached Europe? Hmmm, they can afford medication in large quantities.

I became curious. Who would be in charge of dealing with this catastrophe should it make its way to our shores once more?

More you may ask? Surely we haven't seen evidence of the Avian Bird Flu in North America?

Well, technically it would appear there has not yet been a noted case of the H5N1 version of the disease. However there have been a few documented cases of H5N2 recorded within Canada and the US. The problem was identified and quickly eliminated. On August 17th, 2004 the last of the virus was eradicated from Texas and the US was once again pronounced safe. But just in case the organization known as the Department of Health and Human Services began working on plans should another case erupt. Which was to be expected. They are, after all, the primary federal agency responsible for health and medical emergency planning, preparation, response, and recovery. Currently they seem to have concluded that should the new version of the disease break out it would result in the deaths of between 200,000 and 1.9 million people.

Yet government officals call for military intervention. Quarantines and resricted travel. They also point out that it only falls upon the HHS to deal with until it is declared an incident of national significance at which time they bring in the most highly trained of disaster relief personnel - The Department of Homeland Security.

Fabulous. Death by disease knocking at my door and I'm going to be detained while someone rifles through my luggage looking for a pair of contraban tweezers.

I can only pray that Dr. Yusef Fischer may, at this very moment, be striving diligently to find a cure for this malicious malady.

In the meantime may I make a few suggestions?

Clean out the bird cage. Bad things thrive in filth.
Avoid playing with sickly birds.
Quit petting your beloved budgie.

The consequences could be severe.

And should you observe anyone inhaling any sort of powdered substance, assume it is Zanamivir.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Vis Mortua Vs. The Bubble of Babble.

(Warning: Dated Material Enclosed. Open Immediately)

Ahh, the mnemonic mysteries of music.

It has the wonderful ability to whisk you away; back to a simpler, happier time. Allows you to fall back in time and relive some indelible memory of your youth. A sentimental sojourn into history. One song is all it takes and suddenly you are there.

No bills to pay, no job to concern yourself with, no worries.

Any money you managed to procure need not be budgeted. You could feel free to indulge yourself however you saw fit. Dreams were fulfilled by collecting the most coveted CD's (Actually back then they came in the form of cassette tapes. I won't bother explaining this inferior product design), a twisted preoccupation with books (A geek then. Still a geek now), and the rapture inducing slurpee.

Time; however, is a malignant beast. Pernicious. One that slowly eats away at the childlike zest for life and slowly drags you towards your grim, inevitable fate.

A lifetime avoiding all things austere and ascetic and a severe preoccupation with the sybaritic and epicurean has begun to take it toll. Each day the struggle gets harder. Yet there is no option but to try. And achieve:

Paedomorphic senescence.

Aye, ya skint bastard standing all self important, filled with unreal rectitude. How do you like me now?

You gaze into a mirror and are startled by the exsanguious cadaver that peers back. Has it really come to this? Have you really degenerated so far as to become nothing but a stringed corpse awaiting rigor mortis?

Not yet. There are still a few tricks left. Elan Vitai - The force is still strong. The flame of life still burns bright. Still hot enough to...

Ignite the passions,
Cauterize the wounds,
Cremate the evidence,
and maybe even heat up a small cup of tea.


But enough tip toeing through the maelstrom of my mind. I'm off to Hang out with Halo Jones.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Enter the Somnambulist


Twisting, turning, writhing in the darkness. A moderately disturbing feeling lurking in the back of your mind keeps you from the much needed slumber. Sleep has eluded you for a week and left your senses skewed. Still there, but without a doubt they are slightly off kilter. Life continues to play out as a bizarre cinematic drama. A dramatic experience in which you have been placed in slow motion. A five-second time delay occurs before your mind processes the data. Except for those erratic moments when the pace speeds up, your mind races to keep up, and your heart flutters in confusion. Even more distressing you realize that you despise the feeling that you aren't in control. That somehow your thoughts and your movements have conspired in some dark pact to avoid obeying your will. You momentarily consider beating yourself into submission. Or perhaps drinking until you pass out. But then you realize that is exactly what they want. For you to sleep, to relinquish complete control so that they can go about fulfilling their devious desires without your interference.
No.

Sleep is not an option.

Obviously.

B.C. to spend $7 Million on Meth. Fairly liberal stance, even for
British Columbia, but hey, may turn out to be their most lucrative investment in a few decades.


So, being the fool that I am I decided to try and order Chinese Delivery Online. 1:20 minutes passed and still no food. So much for the computerized estimate of 30 - 40 minutes. It would seem my initial attempt at hassle-free sustenance is a failure. I called. No record of the order. Big surprise.

"Wait 45 minutes and we will have it to you."

Fabulous.

And it seems the price went up $0.50 for my troubles. It's possible this little episode may annoy me. In about five minutes. Forty minutes before the food arrives.

But that was all last night and today the struggle begins again. Upon awakening you go through the habitual motions that begin the day. The morning shower, and the morning coffee. Pulling open the door to venture forth to work and tripping over an oversized Sunday edition of the local newspaper. The elevator ride down to the parkade. The realization that it is an absolutely detestable type day. Overcast and gloomy, a light drizzle of rain, the air uncomfortably chilled, simply a miserable day with no readily apparent redeeming quality. A wry smile reaches your lips as you realize the weather may be an appropriate metaphor.

For what?

Pay attention.

To what?

Shut. Up.

You've grown weary of the listless melancholy that seems to have insidiously enveloped your life. You vow to break free. Starting now.

Right now?

Yes. Now.

You sure? Wouldn't want to rush into anything like that too quickly. Consider the big picture. Perhaps you should wait until you've had the morning Chai?

Bastard. I hate it when you're right.

You vow to break free.

Starting in a few minutes.
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