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Elephants, and Pirates, and Thieves, Oh My

July 7, 2010

When as a boy I was taken to see
A three ring show of marvellous delights.
And each ring dazzled the caprice in me:
By the jocund delights of scary frights,
The whimsical wily whit in clown fights,
And the dazzling walk of the elephants’,
Whose sombre stroll filled us with delights.
Then when commanded they rose to a stance,
And there the smallest elephant was made to dance.

That’s the opening for a long poem I wrote a ways back. An illustrator friend and I are working it out to turn it into a kids’ poem. Here’s the problem: it rhymes. And I can’t stop rhyming. Or making things fit. Yes, it is Spenserian. All 25 stanzas are Spenserian and that makes it trite and silly.

There’s also another issue with the content of all my creative writing, well poems in fact. I keep wanting to tell stories. I wrote a poem yesterday about pirates and a crashed ship. I have no idea why. It’s defeating.

So, I tried my hand at some free verse and all I got was sounds of cars and hammers on roofs, and kids running around. All very concrete stuff because I was sitting outside having my senses assaulted. And now I’ve decided to read the news and see what’s going on. Maybe that’s why when I put things together it comes out in pirates and elephants.

Lindsay Lohan is going to jail and the “Barefoot Burglar” has eluded police for two years.  Lindsay Lohan isn’t even relevant and the press treat her with more coverage than BP oil. What’s going on with the BP oil spill anyways? Who cares? Lindsay Lohan is going back to jail.

She needs to hook up with the “Barefoot Burglar.” That kleptomaniac might be a genius, and if he kept a blog I’d be reading it regularly. He’s out there stealing airplanes, landing in the Bahamas, and stealing yachts.

Nothing to do with any of that is Stanley Park in Vancouver. It was once the home to a Coast Salish village named Xwayxway. The Squamish FN wanted to rename the park, but got shut down. Well, Stanley Park is known as Stanley Park, and to keep tourists interested there is an awesome replica First Nations village of Xwayxway. The link doesn’t mention any of the history of the park, or key features, or even what tribal influences it contains. There’s nothing at all about the actual park!

The linked article goes into great detail as to why Ottawa will not change the name of the park. I don’t know where the papers find these journalists, but I guess actually reporting anything would be too hard. It’s much easier to quote a press release from Ottawa. And is Stockwell Day still around or relevant?!

This is a fun quote thanking the government for standing up to those pesky natives and asserting Lord Stanley’s dominion.

Hurray for Stockwell Day, James Moore and certainly, Prime Minster Stephen Harper and the federal government for their unshakable and principled leadership on this matter.

Umm, on to bigger and better things. You say tomato, I say shut the fuck up. I’m sure the Squamish First Nation are happy with their condo building project that will give them some financial clout.

Bill C-24 amends the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act to allow First Nations the right to develop commercial real estate on reserves. Thanks to Bill C-24 the FN folks over in Vancouver will get to build on their own land because the federal government approves of it.
A quick primer on FN issues: First Nations are under federal jurisdiction. That’s why real estate, education, and infrastructure are a clusterfuck and sovereignty is a good thing.
Sovereignty will protect against such horrific things as an $800 million dollar mine on Xeni Gwet’in First Nation’s land that will drain Fish Lake and convert it into an industrial waste site for toxic materials ( I feel sick just reading this).  David Ebner of the Globe and Mail reported:

In a rare move, a federal review panel concluded late Friday that the proposed mine by Taseko Mines Ltd. will have “significant adverse environmental effects,” specifically on fish, lakes and first nations use of the land. A final decision will be made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet.

Elsewhere in the news:

British Columbians cannot afford to let Enbridge bring the devastation of the BP oil spill to their coast. That’s the message a delegation of B.C. First Nations is bringing back from the Gulf of Mexico today, after a four-day tour of the Gulf Coast area affected by the BP oil spill. Marketwire

Taking Action For First Nations Post-Secondary Education: Access, Opportunity, And Outcomes – Discussion Paper, I found in my inbox and linked the site. My own education was paid for by my band, so I see definite need for this education funding to continue. It’s not a hand out but a hand up. Or as my sister colourfully responded to our non-First Nations neighbour who asked about our “free” education:

It aint free motherfucker when it’s stolen from you!

I’m getting too long for this short blog that was supposed to be about writing. So the last thing in my inbox is the link to U of T’s writer in residence Cherie Dimaline.

In conclusion, I think I know why I write about pirates, captured elephants forced to perform, and thieves. The world is full of them. Which one are you?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rowan permalink
    July 7, 2010 6:17 pm

    I hate that barefoot burglar kid.

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