Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How to piss off ALL your constituents in 2 easy steps, by Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP

Wrzesnewskyj on Sunday:
When asked if he were in favour of Hezbollah being taken off the terror list, Etobicoke Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj said: "Yes, I would be."

He likened the situation in the Middle East to Northern Ireland, where "if there wasn't the possibility for London to negotiate with the IRA, you'd still have bombings."

"Hezbollah has a political wing, they have members of parliament, they have two cabinet ministers," Wrzesnewskyj said. "You want to encourage politicians in this military organization so that the centre of gravity shifts to them."
Brave, sensible words. The words of a realist with an understanding of the power shift in Lebanon that has taken hold in the midst of Israel's ruthless, yet ultimately impotent, response to the abduction of two of its soldiers.

Well, not so fast. Here's Wrzesnewskyj on Monday:
Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj has denied reports he said Hezbollah should be taken off Canada's terrorist list.
"I've said all along that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and will continue to be," Wrzesnewskyj said. "Where I have difficulty is with the legislation that says a group on the list cannot be communicated with."
And they called Kerry a flip-flopper. Free advice to you Borys: when the CBC has you on camera right at the top of their newshour, don't bother trying to deny what we clearly heard you say. Next time, just shut your yap if you're not ready to stand behind what comes out of it.

Leave that crap to the governing party.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Philip Iverson (1965 - 2006)

Philip Iverson was a terrific artist. I had the pleasure of moving him and several dozen of his 8’ by 4’ works on two occasions since first making his acquaintance some five years ago. Here were these unframed behemoths splintering as we brought them down four tight flights of stairs. “Oh, pshaw. Don’t worry about that,” he’d say, handling his own works with no more care than one would show a discarded toy.

Philip was a kind and confident man in those days, undeterred by the occasional seizures he suffered from. He’d been diagnosed as epileptic originally, before the tumors started appearing. His creative process was itself not unlike a controlled seizure (at least, so I am told, for I never had a chance to watch him at work). One hot summer day, he and his wife joined us at my parents' house for a swim. I don’t think anyone has ever enjoyed that pool as much as Philip did: diving, splashing, and executing cannonballs with abandon. He was such a kid, getting everything he could out of the moment.

He was a good friend, too. A fan of celtic music, he would make a point of attending my sad little acoustic gigs, and he would play the bodhran at jam sessions down at Hurley's Irish Pub (no one had the heart to tell him his rhythm was lacking – he was obviously having so much fun). Philip was an accomplished and celebrated artist, but was ever humble and supportive of whatever slim talents others had. I will miss him, as I already have been for some time; such was the toll of the cancer that was eating his brain away, bit by bit over the last two years.

Goodbye Philip. I hope wherever you are, you’re having as much fun as that day at the pool. You deserve no less.

Family will receive condolences on Friday, August 18, 2006 from 3 to 7 p.m. at le Centre funeraire Cote des Neiges, 4525 Cote des Neiges Rd, Montreal, QC. (514) 342-8000. Interior parking. Donations can be made to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery - Philip Iverson Memorial Fund (Fredericton, New Brunswick).

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Post-script (Aug. 21):Thanks for the comments, all. It was a warm-hearted, secular service and it ended in a bit of an Irish wake. Some of those closest to Philip had some charming anecdotes to recount, like the time he started sawing his pieces in half to make them fit in the trailer when heading off to his first Toronto exhibit. And how he never even off-handedly mentioned to the others in the Irish jam sessions that he was an artist. How honest and unassuming he was right up to the end. I held back tears listening to Philip's father speak. I will never get used to seeing the utter anguish of a parent who has lost a child.

For those who want to browse through some more of the Iverson porfolio, you can check out the site he put up here.

Is the U.S.A.'s Post-9/11 Bubble Bursting?

Amazing - as CathiefromCanada points out: something has changed if a twit like George Will is finally realizing what anyone with a marginal understanding of history and war concluded years ago: that terrorism is a law-enforcement issue that won't go away by bombings/invasions. I guess the warmongering all came out of Bushco's "9/11 changed everything" mentality, which conveniently set out to deny the viability of any historical context to today's world. Can the U.S.A. finally start to get over it? Dare we begin to hope that 9/11 might soon be put into proper perspective?

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