Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Friends and Neighbours

I made the mistake of stopping by a neighbour's front porch the other day.

Soon we were discussing books.

I talked about the two books I reviewed here on Sunday.

Soon we were talking about the imperial itch and how so many nation states have destroyed and subjugated so many others in the most awful and violent and terminal ways.

All of this was...well, neighbourly, until the following emerged.

"And now, of course, the Hebrews, are doing exactly the same thing to the Palestinians," said my neighbour.

Our friendship, such as it is, was saved by my cell phone ringing.

I was distracted and then taken away by the urgency of the call.

Of course, this unfortunate moment has stayed with me.

The Hebrews.

Not the Israelis.

That would be the 7 Million Israelis who are living on a narrow strip of land surrounded by 100 million others who wish them dead, who have sworn for more than half a century now to kill them all and remove them from the region, who have tried exactly that numerous times.

Make no mistake, Israel has done some god-awful dreadful things.

No excuses.

Meanwhile, Arabs and Jews work and worship side by side in Israel and Arabs are significantly represented in Parliament.

And Israel - not the Hebrews - continues to live under bombardments and the constant threat of annihilation...of promised and sworn and dedicated annihilation.

But my dear old lovely gardening neighbour in the leafy sleepy sanctuary of West Point Grey has the "Hebrews" down as world criminals and murderers.

Safety and spare time are wonderful bounties and much to be enjoyed.


The Canadian Booksellers Association wants Canada to reject Amazon from opening a distribution centre here.

The Canadian Booksellers Association is mostly Heather Reisman, as in Heather's Picks, as in Chapters/Indigo.

This is the leviathan that ate your neighbourhood independent book store with the support and backing of her millionaire husband.

In place of some one you once knew and could talk with about books, you are now faced with a Costco/Home Depot/Safeway book buying experience.

Which is why I buy most of my books from the few remaining little stores that exist - and from Amazon.com.

You know why I buy from Amazon.com?

It's cheaper and faster and more pleasant.

Search, click, buy.

Less than a week later, the book's in my mailbox.

It's interesting to watch Heather kvetch.

The problems of the Canadian book writing, publishing and selling businesses will not be resolved by keeping Amazon out of the dominion.


Playgrounds, the environment, adult sports and adult arts and culture are OUT.

The Evergreen Line - with no money to fund it - is IN.

The suits at the Board of Trade lunch are cheering madly.

Life Under Campbell continues at a healthy pace.

A Certain Smile

Gary Mason has written an interesting piece today about the Mayor of Vancouver.

He calls Gregor Robertson "Mr. Happy."

That's funny.

Was it intended?

Many of us unrelenting adolescents call a certain favorite part of our anatomy by the same name.

Casting that consideration but momentarily aside, Mason advises us that Robertson is aiming higher.

That is, higher personal and professional and civic goals.

There is no question that the G Man is a nice fellow and he has a nice smile.

Hey - it's a start.

Justice Way Delayed

The Air India perjury trial has stopped before it's begun.

It is alleged that a juror had made a remark that another member considered to suggest racial bias.

The judge had no choice but to dismiss group one and fund group two.

Question: Is this a tactic by the bombers and their friends?