Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Surprise Prize

as the first and only person to comment on clovers in the better part of two weeks,
CalamityJake receives a name-check and a blog-check.

go here. read his blog. he is a clever person. I particularly like his idea for a new team name for the redskins.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


why'd you put the keys upon the table?

I love system of a down. For some reason, they get lumped in with Korn, and My Chemical Romance as "music angst/hormone-fueled, dumb teenagers listen to." But this is a gross oversimplification.

For some background, where I went to school we had a "women's slavic chorus." These were nice, maybe slightly nerdy woman who dressed up in embroidered peasant tops and aprons and sang slavic folk songs. slavic music doesn't work the same way western music does. It doesn't give those big, round, sweet harmonies. There is this strident note to them which is electrically emotional and a little bit screetchy. This created enough cognitive dissonance with sweet folks songs about peasant girls to be amusing, however; this musical element is perfectly designed for metal.

The urgency that the strident slavic overtones bring to SOAD's music is amazing. They are able to capture the swirling emotions of frustration, righteous indignation, and the fever pitch of life which typifies but is not limited to adolescence with the need to overstate the point with shouting and swearing; their style says for them what traditional metal bands have to spell out in groan-inducing lyrics. They rule.

p.s. I saw a video clip of the white stripes playing "Jolene" which is my favorite dolly parton song. I am normally against reversing the gender of obviously gendered songs because it tends to destroy the message of the song, but this is an exception. Jack was able to promote the fury in the plaintive helplessness of the song which is normally masked in female country versions.

pps. if anyone is reading this blog and has thoughts about anything, I would love to hear them.



It's snowing again here.

I am boiling my turkey carcass.

I am studying satellite pictures of ice.

My new theory is that the video for "my humps" is actually very subtle irony and the black eyed peas are smarter than I am.

I am excited for "the inner ape" as well as zadie smith's new book (which I refuse to even think about until it is out in paperback--extortionists)

There is a townes van zandt movie playing at the winnipeg art movie house on friday. that should be fun.

My labmate has a theory that the quality of your graduate work is most successfully predicted by the total number of productive hours you spend at work on it. More than intelligence, institution, or anything else. I find that surprising, but quite possibly true. just maybe it is the best predictor of the success of everything.

Someone has to score in the 10th percentile of the GRE, but who is that? That seems sortof sad. At least for the SAT, there is a group of people who don't care or who are trying to qualify for athletics who occupy the low percentiles. But with the GRE, one assumes that everyone wants to be there. Perhaps it is due to greater specialization: humanities students tank the math, and their admissions officers don't care. and foreign math/science students tank the verbal and their admissions officers don't care. A victimless system. it's a nice vision anyway. The test has the appearance of a societal stratifier, but no one has to fail. Interesting.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


hammerin' nails and speaking in tongues

I fear that my internet presence is miserably meta-critical. What can I say? It is my one faculty that doesn't suffer much in the way of cultural relativism. Criticizing precisely and thoughtfully is the one true thing taught by college. It also happens to be totally absent of use in professional life in one's 20s/30s (unless you are a management consultant in which case you have other problems). So today's post will be about things I like:

1. I like the new york times. although I am aware that personal essay pieces are bit elitist, and the food section often makes things out of stuff I couldn't dream of buying, I think it is a great paper. I know it is fashionable to trash the times, but after a sojourn into slate, and wonkette, and rawstory, the times is full, and real, new beautifully written, with broad subject matter. It is great. It was in fact the inspiration for this post. It generates news rather than commenting on it.

2. I like thanksgiving. I just made a thanksgiving for my canadian compatriots up here. Their version is in October. I like food, I like a non-psuedo-religious holiday, I like being thankful for what I have. And making turkey isn't nearly as hard as our culture makes it out to be. (Maybe it was beginners luck.)

3. I like the bus. I like being able to read while I commute. I like that small swell of pride knowing I didn't drive. (I know that feeling is meaningless if the deluge of fossil fuels, but I don't care.)
3a. I like my bike, but not in the winter in winnepeg.

4. I like dairy queen blizzards. McFlurry:Blizzard in ice cream terms the same as it is meterological ones. small and weak by comparison.

5. I like talking to people who don't make me feel like I have to prove to them I am worthwhile.

6. I like hippies, but I don't think I am one anymore (or maybe ever was). I like the aura of optimism. I long for it.

7. I like the feeling when I finished a "good" book and I liked it. I didn't just read it because I thought it would make me smarter or more able to impress the people from point #5.

8. I like exercise, even vain, meaningless, stairclimber exercise, but not as much other kinds.

9. I like remembering that I am not alone.

10. I like the fact that this post is pretty lame, and I couldn't care less.
I am normally anti-meta-list-closing-bullet, but that really did pop into my head right after I typed in #9.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


know your enemy

hating new york is, like, a full-time job for me.

warning: long columns.

the first is a review dunkin' donuts expansion into NYC. It is interesting that the author ignores the fact that Dunkin' is clearly a Boston-based franchise and the enherent rivalry therein. The author sets up an idea about a cultural groundswell in opposition to starbucks, but then backs away from it because he has nothing to substantiate the idea. He mealymouths his way through the environmental downsides of lowest-common-denominator consumption, badmouths dunkin's food and generally expresses suspicion bordering on veiled horror about this bostonian invasion. Frankly I like the donuts a lot, but I am willing to concede on the breakfast sandwiches and bagels. Along the way he takes meaningless potshots at pretentious starbucks customers which ring a bit hollow. This article is ultimately unsatisfying, but offers a framework to view coffee marketing which is worth something

This one is just flat-out ridiculous. It's about private elementary school application. I think this has to be played up for the shock value. But the article does use the term "baby ivy" preschool with no explanation. Frankly I would have liked some. I admire that the advice is frank, but the very existance of the article is horrifying

My favorite part of this is that these articles were in the same magazine, use your triangulation skills to see if you can figure out who the target readership is.


give head, stop, breath/ straighten up, check your weave

hooray, news that is totally bonkers and relevant to my area of expertise!
and involves craigslist.

This woman is some kind of grad student who who is offering sexual favors to see the national zoo's panda. That's just funny. but it also raises bigger issues.

1. If she really has done months of research in asia on pandas, hasn't she seen one before? Doesn't this offer seem a bit extreme to catch a brief bovine viewing of an overexposed captive animal? Zoo sightings always rank below wild sightings in my mind.

1a. This is why biologists of non-charismatic species hate charismatic species biologists. They seem like crush-addled preteens. Do I really want to read this woman's science. Can she be objective? Will she give me a blowjob if I give her a good peer-review? There is a joke among marine bird biologists that marine mammal biologists are all blonde, leggy and dumb as rocks, because the beautiful, busty, doe-eyed girl is the one the established biologist will pick from the madding crowd as an intern.

2. is life really just a summation of experiences? That is a classic victorian concept (a victorianism is classically out-of-fashion), but one that seems relevant in this case and in our world at large. What is the ability to say you have seen a baby panda, or to know that you have, worth? Is you life meaningful if you do not? and are you willing to put it in the mouth to get there? Is a presidency also just an aggregation of experiences ( illicit sex in the white house) and does it not matter how we get to the desired ends (war in iraq). What makes a life well-lived? This is relevant to our departed compatriot of a few days ago.
Although this notion of life as a summation of experiences is attractive (I recall it being very resonant as a 9th grader in poetry class with laustintexas) it seems to have suffered a terrible perversion at the hands of a winner-take-all american society. An experience is not a box to be checked, but rather an internal sense or feeling. These previous examples all seem strange because they emphasize the act over the quality of the action. It would feel icky to see a panda knowing you had to give a BJ to do it. It would seem wrong to attempt to establish democracy in the middle east knowing you had to employ largescale deception ot make it happen. One does not imagine a Hardy heroine wishing for love simply so that she could retell it at a cocktail party, and certainly not wishing for love if it meant defiling his/her honor. What a knockout-mouse of a societal ideal stands before us currently.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


they give you this, but you paid for that

I hate the new harry potter movie. I have never seen or read any HP before; therefore, it can be assumed that I hate it for its own lack of merit rather than for a poor relationship to my "harry of the mind" or whatever.

1. it's racist and sexist. The two new schools, are you kidding me? Those swarthy men from the north who contain elements of Kossak, Viking, and Arab just happen to be dumb as paint. Despite his superior physiology, Krum stands no chance against our thin-featured hogwarts duo because of his insufficient cognative abilities. Somebody call Al Campanis, quick! And Hermione, our own version of natalie holloway will never truly fall for the racialized brute. She perfers that ugly anglo dullard, george.

The girls from the french school are equality groan-inducing. (Although their breast-and-nipple shaped hats are hysterical). The tri-wizard french girl finishes last in every contest because as we all know, girls can't do magic. She only exists to get into trouble so harry can demonstrate his moral fibre.

all the hogwarts students in their ethnic ballroom garb are silly. cho chung and the patels are perfectly normal adolescent girls, and then boom, its all saris and kimonos.

2. I am so over the "chosen boy battles lord of darkness" trope. I saw it in Matrix 3, I saw it in spiderman, and don't even get me started on Star Wars. The climatic battle was painful and boring. I was just hoping more owls will show up. And while we're at it, the thinly veiled metaphors for normal life that comprise science fiction as far as i can tell are cheap and stupid.

3. Hermione. I admit I was totally smitten with hermione. In my defence, I was diagnosed with a terminal case of "nerd envy" by a deadly serious princeton doctoral student as early as 2000. but I have taught 15 year olds, and as wise-eyed as they look, trust me, it is totally icky.

4. George. He has no redeeming qualities. I think he did his stanislavski work studying the bully with the preternaturally deep voice from king of the hill.

I love dumbledore.

Monday, November 21, 2005


it's better to burn out than to fade away

so this guy I didn't know died. He seems like a great guy. And if I died in Zambia trying a do a bit of good in the world, I would want people to know and to contemplate their own mortality and evaluate if they are doing the best they can. It is the least I can do. I will complain about the new Harry Potter another day.
memorial site:
his blog:

Friday, November 18, 2005


Academic Tigerbeat

I'm such a groupie, but why no chili peppers? have you seen the back cover headshot.


talk about blowing up the spot

An article that is nominally about the rising cost of community college actually turns out to be a national reminder that Harvard has an extension school and that harvard extension school isn't Harvard. In case you NY Times assholes were worried that your Harvard education's real-world clout was being diluted by fakirs.,we used the front page to prop it up.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


que tigre?

So who owes whom money on this one?

There are two things named le tigre

one is Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna's second band who plays at free anti-war shows with Ted Leo

The other is a polo-esque clothing company that claims to have been worn by Ronald Reagan But is also sponsoring meat-market contests on

Is this a joke? Did one of these entities create their ethos as the calculated opposite of the other? My brain is exploding.

and while I am at it, are free anti-war shows sweet, idealistic activities or completely ridiculous? I think pragmatically that they are ridiculous, but I do not want to come out publically against them for fear of the larger societally cynical ramifications of doing so.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I rope-a-dope
the evil with righteous
bobbin and weavin
and let the good get even

chuck d. "welcome to the terrordome"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


and an ambiguously gay child will lead them

As I was wasting last watching TV as I cooked food for the next 6 days (mustard chicken, and roast veggie pan....mmmm), Gil Grissom was doing that thing where he deadpans, "follow the physical evidence, the evidence doesn't lie." And that got me thinking about the what hole in ourselves CSI patches and has been patching for 6+years.

I firmly believe CSI acts as an antidote to all of the bullshit in the world. We are misled with great frequency. We have a White House that is the most renowned for truth-bending since Nixon, and we live in a society where Princeton sociology profs publish books called "On Bullshit." about the detrimental effects of bullshit vs. outright lies. In this swirl where nothing is concrete, the idea that there is order, truth, and retribution is seductive.

CSI uses the great moral unknown of modernity, technology, to lasso and hogtie the truth. Nobody wants to give un the internet, stem cell research, or GPS, but we do have a nagging sense thanks to Anthony Burgess and John Ashcroft that all this might be totally evil.
CSI lets us know that technology is there to help us. Fancy shit that only sortof exists supports the work of straight-shooters even in a town so corrupt as Las Vegas.

I am speaking specifically about the CSIs/NCIS. They use technology to entrap the villain. The Law&Order franchise is a much dirtier world filled with deals, cases lost in trial, and political meddling. While this may be realer, I live in that world and it is no fun. I do not find L&A nearly as appealing zonk-out fare.

So let's cut through the crap, Vaughn. Gil Grissom is Jesus. He is pure and untainted. And he will lead us to a better society which has been possible all the while within us.
N.B. Kansas:Jesus is an intellectual.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Where is Avril Incandenza when you need her?

My fabulous new alma mater (although the quality and quantity of alms provided are marginal) has a few sports teams. They like to refer to themselves as the University of Manitoba Bisons. (insert forehead-smack here). Check out our logo. There are 30,000 people at this University. How come no one said anything? I guess it is like that psychology phenomenon where if lots of people know someone is being hurt, no one does anything.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Hippie Dream

Last night I went to Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club for Neilfest. ( It was the 60th birthday of Neil Young (pride of Winnipeg); consequently, this bar organized local bands to play neil young songs all night. There is a band playing "Zuma" in its entirety tonight, but I am not going.

Highlights included Ted Allen's jangly "Homegrown," The Turnstiles's (presumably named for the "On The Beach" track) version of "Lookout Joe," and The Perpetrators ballistic take on "Welfare Mothers." "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" was not played for obvious hipster reasons.

It was really fun to see people celebrating the breadth of Neil Young's work instead of just the twee californian-harmony neil.

I don't normally enjoy live music. I usually find that about halfway through I am uncomfortable, tired, and want to leave. but I stayed till 2 am, went good and deaf because of it, and never seriously considered leaving early. (Why can't I ever remember my earplugs for shows?) I think the $3CAN/shot Jack Daniels helped.

Friday, November 11, 2005


I specialize in makin' all the girls get naked

so I was just wandering around, trying to avoid cleaning my data set, when I came across this article.
1. As a young person having taught in a middle school, I am conflicted about which side of the debate to come down on. I feel that I emerged from a sexualized youth relatively healthy, but I am open to the possibility that I really am on the other side of an accelerated contemporary teen sexuality that dwarfs the one I existed in. One has to wonder if they sky really is falling on self-respect, or if school administrators worry because that is what school administrators have been doing since time immemorial. When in doubt, blame the permissive boomer parents. Everybody's doing it.
2. How long will all things done on sept. 11 have a pall cast over them. (serious question, not irony.) There must be a statute of limitations, because I don't even know when pearl harbor day is (Dec 15?) or when Kennedy was shot (history buffs, don't chime in her), but I am sure people felt the same way about those events. I received some blackberry rhubarb jam from a bushpilot that was made on 9/11, 2000. (not even the same year). the jam was terrible, but I still gave it to the snow buntings, but I felt bad about it.

on the continued subject of young women making themselves naked, I hate this article. It exudes both snobbery and immaturity. But I suppose I live in that glass house and shouldn't throw stones.

Reading the previous article about her AA bikini got me thinking about how I feel about American Apparel. I guess it is nice that they nominally resist the trends towards really conspicuous sorts of consumption. but they stuff is still expensive as hell and sold downtown, and it feels like they are the same wolf dressed in sweat-shop-free logo-less hotpants. And the CEO is a creepy jerk.
But someone deserves some credit in their marketing department for being able to sell successfully to hipsters.


Thursday, November 10, 2005


Recursive Footnotes

I am literally reading my favorite book ever. I hope you have all experienced a piece of writing where it feels like the author is speaking directly to you. He/she is articulating the murky thoughts that percolate through you in a clear and clever manner. That used to be A Sand Country Almanac by Aldo Leopold. (I got to drive through the Sand Counties of Wisconsin on the way here which was very exciting). From splitting wood, to dancing woodcocks (they're birds, perv), to an overarching land ethic. This book is a winner. But who is content to find their favorite book at 15?

This current one is A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace. I had read Infinite Jest previously. In that, his authorly persona was that of overly-clever, self-involved jerk. It was an engaging book, but the author was someone who I did not want to meet. Each scene was written right to the point of debiliating boredom where I would put the book down in one more page, and then the scene would end.

This favored book is a piece of non-fiction with a broad scope which just happens to overlay perfectly wtih my own interests. Sports, movies, American Consumption, TV. It's fucking great. I go to be every night at 10. But I haven't been to sleep before 1am because I stay up reading. If only I liked papers about diving physiology so much.

When one declares one's favorite book to be by DFW, one shoulders an enormous cultural burden as hipster, elitist and general overeducated, under 30, anglo jerk. But I will wear whatever hairshirt necessary to join this order. It really is that good. I wish my speaking voice were his writing voice.

And I never miss a good opportunity to use "howling fantods" in conversation. With work, we could bring it to fixation in the population.

It should be noted that I never would have even known this book existed without springydog. She recommended it, as well as Inifite Jest, and generally serves as Clovers' official literary advisor.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Miracle Whips

Well, as I'm sure you all know, Fiddy has a new movie out creatively given the same title as his breakout album. (The Boondocks has had some brilliant comics about 50, but aaron mcGruder plays his archive close to the vest). Now after the critical establishment prostrated themselves before "8 Mile" and its fictionalized creation myth, what are these same critics to do when faced with the same movie only this time, it's curtis, not marshall, and the movie is even worse? This critic clearly hates the movie, but does not feel at liberty to pan it.

Discussions about Fiddy are never really about Fiddy, he acts metanymically for rap at large because he displays no uniqueness. He stands in for rather than out from his genre. He is literally a stereotype, and a wildly successful one at that. In one version of this theory, he plays the part and plays the game to perfection. In another, he is all that is bland and exploitative about rap.

I would be remiss if I past over the difficult racial tension that hangs this post. I know this is awkward territory. And trust me, I feel uncomfortable. Why do I bludgeon a conspicuously wealthy black man with accusations of cultural vapidity, when there are some many other talentless hacks, media whores, and legitamately evil happenings in the world? Good question. But in the post-9/11 era, we are supposed to say what we think and not waffle in moral relativism. (Or when I abandoned moral relativism does that mean the Republicans win?)

Ultimatley Snoop (darling of white hipsters everywhere) said it best: The game is to be sold, not to be told.,,347711,00.html And Fiddy, being Fiddy, took that literally. His new video game "50 cent: Bulletproof" is out in stores.

Monday, November 07, 2005


This Patti is spelled with an "I,"

I had an amazing revelation the other day. I listened to an entire David Bowie album and it blew my fucking mind. Has this ever happened to you? You listen to an album and you can't believe you went this long in your life without having a good understanding of this artist's work. It is like if you just listened to a Bob Dylan album for the first time at 25. I had only heard bowie on the radio on which he sounds sortof tinny and dated. Making it all the way through "Ziggy Stardust" allowed me a chance to immerse myself in glam, rather than bouncing off of it. Glam is a fantasy world. You can't let someone else tell you your dream. You have to be there to feel the emotional changes.
The last time this happened to me was with Patti Smith. If you only want to use one dollar to see if I am crazy, listen to "Pissing in a River" off of Radio Ethopia. Patti Smith with rip out your heart, burn down your house, and make it all seem like art. If you have missed out until now, get on it.


H5N1 Panda Fever

Apparently the frenzy over the baby panda at the national zoo has continued. Even spilling over to Fox news. what is this? The new disco? The world is coming to an end, let's all embrace a captive-bred baby mammal?
Besides, captive breeding is a complete fucking waste of time and money from a population genetics perspective. Captive breeding is not a substitute for habitat conservation. It only works to augment slow-growing populations or ones with minimum critical densities that can be viable in the wild in sufficent numbers. Are you listening, China? If you are still reading after that, I dug out a robin williams bit about captive bred pandas which was recorded before there were any captive bred pandas. Now between DC and San Diego it is almost passe, but here it is anyway:

Even the poor animals like Ling Ling the Panda,
she must mate, so you can build a wing on the Zoo.
They go to China, they anesthetize a Panda,
which is kinda redundant...
They bring him back to America and give him a name like Ping Pong.
When his Chinese name was Who Shu Ko Hu,
Bear with Balls of Steel.
They put him in a cage with Ling Ling, saying: "Go, mate!"
He looks at her like: "I would never fuck her!"
"That is one ugly Panda bitch."
"If you were Panda, you'd know that's the fucking ugliest Panda bitch."
I wouldn't have fuck her with a Koala's dick!
Fuck off!
I would rather lick my own balls, than fuck that Panda bitch!

(I had to put the whole piece in or you, too, would have had to wade through the script of his whole show like I did. who loves ya?)

if you still love baby pandas after all that, you can watch tai shan here or buy t-shirts here despite being bitter, I believe misdirected conservation dollars are better than no conservation dollars.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


hater in the house

So this blog was supposed to be to be named after the weakerthans song "one great city" whose chorus is "I hate Winnipeg;" however, some dillhole already had the url. Now, I am ok with getting scooped. It happens. But "Joel" only put up one post since March 2004. That's just wrong. It's wrong like the Eagles not recognizing T.O.'s 100th touchdown. It just disresepects the game. I suggest anyone with free time send "joel" some hatemail.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Panic on the streets of Carlysle

As if I didn't hate 50 Cent enough already...... I know 50 is a status quo rapper, bringing the same recycled Dre formula and gangster image, but does he have to support political status quo as well? Chuck D is vomiting in his retirement home. Even that statement falls short because flava flav has whored himself to MTV. Talib Kwali has jumped the shark. At least Will Smith is unabashedly derivative (and the party starter). But blaming rap is pointless. Looking to a widespread swath of conservatism in our country is more valid (and not just in red-states, you self-rigtheous assholes.)

The anglo, canadian announcer pronounced his name "Fiddy" as in, "oh, you know, fiddy is always controversial" in those sweet, neutral media tones. Do rappers really have the right to create inflections on their names that aren't proper? Well, Sade is a strong precedent so I should stop complaining.

It is difficult to be a cultural commentator when more and more I have no faith in the culture upon which I loved to enmesh myself for so long. Is it really so artful to be pepper a weblog with references to wide vertical and horizontal swaths of culture?

Ian Svenonius pointed out (not here that the artist has continually been a reflection of his patron class because ultimately art is sustained by the whim of consumption (much like conservation science, but I digress). He noted the shift from image of the Rock Star as entrepreneur forging has way with epic confidence to great heights of recognition and success while in reality being vaulted by a the approval of a centralized means of production and distribution. (That's right, the 60s were a lie.) He concludes that the rock star has given way to the DJ as our prevailing musical form. And DJs are nothing but samplers of culture. The ability to process and filter a wide variety of music and select the appropriate piece is the vaunted skill. I know access to the means of production is supposed to be democratic, but it creates an inherent stasis.

As Morrissey so wisely said,"Hang the DJ."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Alito's a dick, but he's going straight to the court. At least he is better qualified than Thomas.

Speaking of Thomas, given that he is a strict constructionist, according to his interpretation of the constitution, he shouldn't be a supreme court justice because he is only 7/8 of a man. Dumbass.

Did anyone else think the closed senate looked like a cheap stunt to maintain the momentum of the previous week for them dems? Can we fucking do anything right?

There was a bizarre ad hominem (ad feminem?) attack against Maureen Dowd in Slate. I guess everyone's private life is in play. I think Calista Flockhart should settle this whole debate about women who want families and careers.

Scalia and Cheney go duckhunting together? That's a scary mental picture......and really inappropriate professionally.

Also, the new Madonna sung "Hung Up" fuckin rocks. And I don't like electronica or madonna. Unfotunately there is way too much of her post-lourdes ass in the video. No thanks. Part of evolutionary ecology is the hardwiring of me not to want to fuck 50 year olds. Go read Desmond Morris' The Naked Ape, or at least the first half before you get bored with his pony's one trick.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Let's get retarded in ha!

That title tempts me to lay the wood to the black eyed peas, but that would be a little like making fun of the Raptors.
Speaking of Raptors, what better place to start a blog than with funny stuff about Canada.
1.People regard Toronto like it's NYC. Everyone thinks Torontoites are snobs, the media establishment is there, and consequently, the perception that there is so much art and culture there. Does this mean that feeling is universal? Every culture has regional inferiority complex/hatred of a particular location within it's borders. Someone ask the Kung San about this shit. This is a doctorate waitng to happen.
2. Poutine is available at Burger King
3. Sidney Crosby is on the cover of Reader's Digest
4.The whole country is pissed about "the soft wood lumber dispute" with the U.S. Americans don't even know what this is. (For the curious, it's an obscure byproduct of NAFTA which resulted in a corporate boondoggle for US lumber companies stymying competition from Canadian companies.)
5.I got turned back at the border for "insufficient proof of funds." I must have handed the agent my driver's licence that said "Joad" on it.


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