Comparing Fears

I wrote this over at Reinvented just now:

How could you miss the nuclear fear? Terrorism has nothing on the propect of Leonid unleashing the 17 warheads aimed at your home town and making it a plateau of black glass to the horizon. Folks have been blowing up stuff and civilians since at least Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent 100 years ago. How much is what has happened in the last few years really new? I still fear the rusting hulks of the Soviet nuclear fleet at Murmansk, Vlaidivostok and Kaliningrad far more than the guys play acting the very bad Bond script. [That is what I am starting to worry about quite seriously…how long will it take for the war on terror to be over if there are no more 9/11’s? How does it end?]

I wrote it in response to two statements [thread here] which quite surprised me:

  • …who needs nuclear fear when we have terrorism (by a mid-20s person); and
  • I missed the Cold War and nuclear fear too — totally passed me by (by a late 30s person).

I found these points of view not so much unexpected as they are pervasive so much as bizzare in their utter focus on the history of the very recent. Far greater threats to the western world were almost commonplace throughout the 20th century, even just the last third I lived through. Are we now so sphincter-locked that we forget…forget how to be defiant and get on with it all when we were able to do so faced with far greater risks and fears?

I am not suggesting that either the threat or the fear isn’t real but I cannot shake the feeling I immediately had on that day watching the TV as so many died – this is like a very bad and very ugly Bond film script. There is something in the shallow dimensionality of where we are now [which I do think is largely unrelated to Bush or Iraq] that makes me feel there are new gaps showing in the culture… but I cannot say where they are or what they say about us.

Stinky Roo and Tijuana Bibles, Too

I live right inside radio when I listen…

Marshall McLuhan, 1964

Radio,
like beer and soccer, is totally immersive. As Ian illustrates this
morning
, the seduction of the immersive can lead to strange places and
thoughts. Indeed, as M.McL. went on to say,

Anybody who wants to moralize about radio has to
dump Gandhi and Hitler into the same pot.

One of my favorite
programs is Weekend
Mornings
from CBC in the Maritimes
. Like Brent, the
music is eclectic, though, perhaps, they might not play the Tijuana Bibles, whose members dress like Stong
Bad. Band member Super Destructor and I exchanged emails last night as I bought
a CD via paypal:

Me:

Thanks Super Destructor,

Money sent.

That’s great. Brent Bambury was all over your music the other day on his
drive home show [CBC Ottawa afternoons] and said you were the greatest thing
since something…something like the Stampeders…and that is something.

He played a cut or two and I am sure going to whistle your tunes while at the
workplace.

I am just so happy being able to write someone by the name of Super
Destructor I want this email to last forever. I’ll probably do a review on my
website (10,000 visits last month) [Ed.: you are always in my
thoughts
]and you can come over there and brag me up. That’d be great.

Super Destructor:

thx for the kind words amigo. there’s a reason
europe keeps bringing us back for tours – forget about the masks and how we
look, just LISTEN – we have good songs! our next cd Fists Of Fury is gonna
smoke, we got 10 songs recorded, 5 more to go! pkg’ll be sent our mon or tues, i
have some other mail to go out…

adios,

SuperD.

The band’s name refers to slang for Mexican ’60’s
porn and their get up and names are a respectful homage to the
contemporaneous Mexican wrestling scene, cousins to Atlantic Grand Prix
Wrestling of ATV
of the 70’s and my love, the Cuban Assassin. Apartment
Wrestling
, their first CD will be mine soon.  Driving Mexicali
sounds.  Zounds.

The host of Weekend Mornings is Stan Carew, who our daughter at 3
dubbed Stinky Roo. The music is a bit corny and comfortable and aimed at seniors
laying in bed drinking tea and contemplating a tumble mostly without the
bibles. Stan and the crew play with the conventions of radio,
sometimes sounding a little like an old time dance hall live broadcast,
sometimes like Orsen Wells toying as a teen.

Playing with the knobs all around.

Group photos

My pals at silverorange had a great time with Sloan on the weekend in Toronto all arranged by Chip. I saw this picture in green this morning and was pretty envious but watching a lunar eclipse with my kids was a close second for a weekend night.

Chip drummed!
Chip is in the back left not on skateboard

The picture reminded me of other group photos in my life, often from that same early- mid-twenties age, people who are now professionals in distant cities or countries or lost to contact. The sometimes well haired Ian maintains the art well. Here is one of mine from 1987 at the Truro Ponderosa Steakhouse – as opposed to the Truro Ponderosa beverage room.

All hungover.
JP is at back left on skateboard

Haimy is in Japan, Maddy in California, a BC dentist, two Ontario doctors, a cardiac nurse, a municipal clerk, a hospital pharmacist, three I have know idea, me and Smed. Grouping is good.

Midtown Tavern, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Midtown Tavern, R.I.P. David Swick has the whole story in Halifax Daily News.

A city that prides itself on its heritage, and a legendary tavern whose days are numbered. Sounds like a match made in tippling heaven. Operators of the Midtown Tavern in downtown Halifax have applied to the city to tear the old place down, to be replaced by a new drinking spot in a 20-storey hotel. Chances are good that this will actually happen. Times have changed. Even 10 years ago, the Midtown was hot, hot, hot. But plain decor and basic food are no longer the key to success.

“We still serve a tonne of food [Ed.: Dave, even I don’t think Mr. Grant was thinking metric], but no one’s drinking anymore,” says Eric Grant, one of two sons of longtime owner Doug Grant. “We used to break even with the food and make money on the beer. You can’t do that if people don’t drink. If you won the lottery tomorrow and told me you wanted to open a tavern, I’d say you were crazy.”

Doug Grant, now 78, has told his kids they can do what they want, Eric said. So they worked with a developer to create a plan, and are now taking calls from hotel chains, with an eye to putting a fancy new bar at the base of 20 storeys of rooms. Rather than unceremoniously destroy the Midtown, tourism and heritage officials might consider picking it up and moving it. Plunked down somewhere else in town, it could become a curious attraction. Here, after all, is a tavern that did not change for decades — and stayed enormously popular through almost all of that time.

We’ll never see its like again.

Boiled dinner, two and juice. Even in my Halifax time, 1981 to 1992, you passed through the Midtown on your way to other bars, the Deck or the Seahorse. Now it would be a stop or more likely a walk by on the way to Rogues Roost. It wasn’t the same after Jerry moved on a long time ago. He held the place open for us on a blizzardy Friday night.

Around 1984, I saw an oil painting of the Midtown jazzy on a rainy evening for $400.00. I kick my own arse thinking about not buying it. I had steak and egg and two and juice there before seeing Gretzky play for Canada ona Saturday afternoon in September 1983 against the Czeckoslovaks with Hasek either in goal or on the bench as a kid. I think I have had a beer with three-quarters of my best friends in that bar.

Times Change in Halifax

Two and juice, Jerry!
Midtown Tavern, R.I.P.

David Swick has the whole story in Halifax Daily News:

A city that prides itself on its heritage, and a legendary tavern whose days are numbered. Sounds like a match made in tippling heaven. Operators of the Midtown Tavern in downtown Halifax have applied to the city to tear the old place down, to be replaced by a new drinking spot in a 20-storey hotel. Chances are good that this will actually happen. Times have changed. Even 10 years ago, the Midtown was hot, hot, hot. But plain decor and basic food are no longer the key to success.

“We still serve a tonne of food [Ed.: Dave, even I don’t think Mr. Grant was thinking metric], but no one’s drinking anymore,” says Eric Grant, one of two sons of longtime owner Doug Grant. “We used to break even with
the food and make money on the beer. You can’t do that if people don’t drink. If you won the lottery tomorrow and told me you wanted to open a tavern, I’d say you were crazy.”

Doug Grant, now 78, has told his kids they can do what they want, Eric said. So they worked with a developer to create a plan, and are now taking calls from
hotel chains, with an eye to putting a fancy new bar at the base of 20 storeys of rooms. Rather than unceremoniously destroy the Midtown, tourism and heritage
officials might consider picking it up and moving it. Plunked down somewhere else in town, it could become a curious attraction. Here, after all, is a tavern that did not change for decades — and stayed enormously popular through almost all of that time.

We’ll never see its like again.

Boiled dinner, two and juice. Even in my Halifax time, 1981
to 1992, you passed through the Midtown on your way to other bars, the Deck or the Seahorse. Now it would be a stop or more likely a walk by on the way to Rogues Roost. It wasn’t the same after Jerry moved on a long time ago. He held the place open for us on a blizzardy Friday night.

Around 1984, I saw an oil painting of the Midtown jazzy on a rainy evening for $400.00. I kick my own arse thinking about not buying it. I had steak and egg and two and juice there before seeing Gretzky play for Canada ona Saturday afternoon in September 1983 against the Czeckoslovaks with Hasek either in goal or on the bench as a kid. I think I have had a beer with three-quarters of my best friends in that bar.

Lunch Options

End of month passed, weekend away, payday a couple of days away – the cupboard is bare.   Why do I balk at taking cheerios for lunch?   Given the options are dehydrated borsche, wasabi-covered chickpeas, a kilo of saurkraut and a tablespoon of blue cheese, you’d think I’d be going with the cheerios.

The Tree

The Tree of Knowledge, that is.

Why can’t we have the following components of the internet put together today:

  • open source collaboration
  • creating a central web application which
  • uses RSS aggregation
  • to search by keyword
  • to report on everything available on the internet
  • and file it in publicly available space
  • classified according to an taxonomy of all understanding cascading from the general to specific in every field.

Add open source blogging tools available free with RSS feeds and all writers can pour what is known into the system by writing on their own pages. An automated global wiki.   The indexed internet, the free digital usable useful library.

Essay on weblogs

This is a good discussion of the phenomena of weblogs/PWPs, care of Rob1 (via right).

[I’ll have to think about this given the stats and relative adoption rates compared to ham radio.]

Later: I congratulate Rob1.

This is the best statement of where weblogs are today that I have read. It does not backaway from either the overriding hobby aspect as well as its placement on a continuum that reaches at least into the early 90’s as opposed to a new phenomena created by current players.

I am interested in the co-mingling of weblogs and open source and how idea sharing – especially outside of the realms of technology and science – can facilitate the expansion of the uncommoditized world. I remain unsure of the point of aggregation other than that we now can as I see them as a buffer to meaning and community rather than a tool for these. The noise is too great, the opportunity to receive too limited to go beyond superficiality.

I am suspicious of anything calling itself a “tipping point” as I have gone though too many “paradigm shifts” which were little more than a consultant creating a new word. Also, it is not structurally democratic external to itself, given the digital divide(s), however much participants believe themselves a new democractic thing – too much great man theory for that.

I am looking for the unified tool of RSS – not my interests but all interests indexed, an eBay of ideas where I can find any interest discussed in increatingly detailed sub-groups of further detail – a usenet without active participation drawing on content from feeds from open source platform blogs made available to everyone. Is that there yet? It is too much to ask for?

Later Later: The author, Andrew2, is now linked right.