Saturday, December 02, 2006

Life on Mars

CDs in Play: David Bowie, Hunky Dory. György Ligeti, Assorted Works.


Back by somewhat popular demand. Well I do have one opinion of politics these days and that the federal Liberals will loose the next election. Not just because they elected Stephane Dion, they have clearly demonstrated to the country that they are still a party bankrupt of ideas or the will to take the party in a different direction. The Liberal Party is an Ouroboros, caught in a vicious of cycle of aimlessness and repetition. It is so focused in on itself it has hardly noticed the changes in the country it purports to want to rule... errr, serve. I believe that this leadership race shows just how far off the fingers of the Liberal Party are from the National pulse. Of course, I have stated before, I could never see myself voting for the Grits so my observations are strictly those of an outsider to that party.
Dion really just seems like an extension of the Chretien regime. I am not anti-Quebec by any means, but I am not sure that what the Liberals really needed to do was elect yet another Federalist Quebecois politician into the leadership position. Michael Ignatieff would have been a suicidal choice, no doubt about that in my mind. He is self-contradictory and his views on accepting "lesser evils" to combat terrorism are unacceptable. The "lesser evils are fine when confined to the world of "24" but are are far from what this country is about. I never thought he aquitted himself well in interviews and his attempts at clearing up his controversial statements on the war in Iraq and his postion on the "mission" to Afghanistan just showed him uselessly twisting and turning like a toothless snake caught firmly by the end of its tail.
I think Bob Rae might have been able to breathe new life iunto the moribund Grit machine, but he carries no insignificant amount of baggage with him. As an unpopular ex-NDP premier of Ontario he could have been seen as a huge liability. Still, Conservative James Moore and others of his party have taken to boasting about they helped to knock Rae out of the race. Apparently, they considered him to be the only real threat to them in the Liberal leadership race. Probably the truth as Rae would have been the only one to have a clear vision that depatred from the reign of Chretien, Martin and their croonies.
Many Canadians support an NDP type of agenda, (aspects of it at any rate) they just don't seem to like the idea of the NDP actually being the ones to push it through. The Liberals were successful because they always paid attention to trends in Candaian society, (rise of the Reform Party) what policies were popular with the people (Universal Health Care) and then adjusted their platforms accordingly.
The NDP were gaining support for their stand on health care so the Liberals co-opted it into their platform. Trudeau may have believed in universal health care himself, but many in his party did not and were historically adverse to it when it was being championed by the likes of Tommy Douglas and the CCF. It should be noted that the Liberals aren't adverse to hanging a sharp right when public sentiment seems to be veering the wa, as they did when they apparently co-opted much of the Reform Party's platform into the Red Book of 1993.
Who knows, that maybe the best way to drive the NDP's agenda through is for them to co-opt the Liberal Party? That the Conservatives to work hard to knock out Rae says to me that they understand fully how divided Canada is on a policy level - that an NDPer at the tiller of the Liberal ship might just be what it takes to stem the neo-conservative agenda of Stephen Harper and his hero's in the Fraser Institute. I just wonder if Jack Layton and his crew are astute enough to take note of this?


I picked up Bowie's Hunky Dory. At one point I didn't really like the album all that much with the obvious exception of its more popular songs. (Changes, Queen Bitch, Life on Mars) Of late, however, it has been on my mind as much of it was used for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (an odd but beautifully meditative filmon mid-life crisis) and is the title of series that I am currently enjoying called, Life on Mars. It's a beautiful album that has, as a whole, taken some time to grow on me.
I also signed out a CD of the works of György Ligeti, whose works are widely known as the strange, creepy music used once Dave Bowman abandons ship in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. (and also The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut) He actually died on the 12th of June of this year. The Wikipedia write-up can tell you more about the man than I can, but his works are spectacular.


Blogger Thoth Harris said...

Magnus, as you well know, I am very depressed about the state of Canada these days, a good deal of which has to do with its politics, which are becoming even more frighteningly right-wing, mean-spirited, and sadistic than the Bush administration.

I don't think people will have very much faith in the Conservatives. The loss of lives in Afghanistan, the desire for Harper to send in more troops, the income trust controversy (or whatever it was called) has made people even more dour. But no one has protested. People seem to be more apathetic than ever. And the NDP and Liberal parties have been silent, have let bills pass through without even a 1 percent chance of bringing the government down, when there are more non-Conservative seats in the house than Cons. (Please don't call them Tories, Magnus, please)!

I think we're in for another set of minority governments, perhaps for the next ten or twenty years, sort of like Israel, Italy, and Germany. Not a happy or secure place, I think. But at least people's lessening faith in Canada and its stuff will bring the dollar down. That way, my Taiwan dollars will be worth more (imagine if instead of just paying back my remaining Visa balance and student loans, I am also able to buy a house on coastal B.C., Newfoundland, or on along the Great Lakes with no down payment in the next two years)? The question is, with an increasingly misanthropic face to our regime, the risk of terrorism, school shootings, etc. will be exponentially greater. I don't know what I expect, really. There could be an NDP goverment, but it won't be so radical and it will resemble Tony Blair's government, but with less emphasis on wholeheartedly supporting America's War on Terror.

I doubt if it'll be that dramatic. But you never know. After all, just four or five years ago, the CAD was worth 60 cents US.

03 December, 2006 02:30  
Blogger Thoth Harris said...

P.S. Check out Hans Zimmer's Black Hawk Down soundtrack.

It is surprising and entrancing. Better than the movie. Really moving and panic inducing...and many things. A mixture of Irish melodies, remix motifs, and, I imagine, Zimmer's own imaginary sonic version of an Arabic Somalia.

Although the movie isn't bad. Not as bad as I thought. I never thought Ridley Scott was a slouch. But a politic navvy and an opportunist...maybe. Still, it's not bad. I'll have to see it all the way through and not in a closed caption version on Taiwanese cable TV. And when I am not sleepy, tired as heck, and depressed nearly every day.

03 December, 2006 12:32  
Blogger Magnus said...

I don't believe that I ever called the new Conservatives Tories at any point?
I was watching CBC's Sunday show and a an interview with M. Dion - not at all a confidence inspiring event. The lack of oppostion to the government's performance could be spun in such a way to make it look like tacit approval for their policies.
Aserious look should be had into why the Conservatives were so affraid of squaring off against Bob Rae. I am not sure Layton is astute enough to make use of it.

03 December, 2006 19:48  

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