Browsing Youtube, I watched a couple of edits of The Nightwatch, the 2004 video piece in which artist Francis Alÿs released a fox into the National Portrait Gallery after hours (with the gallery's permission) and filmed its explorations with the location's CCTV cameras. The work was intended to be a statement about surveillance (the National Portrait Gallery wasn't terribly worried about the fox doing any damage, but they were the only ones willing to let their security cameras be used, because they don't hide their presence from the public like many other institutions do), but for most viewers the real fascination is watching a wild animal in a very human-centric environment. 

Recently I've seen a video of a stag in a cathedral. I wasn't sure of the reason for its presence -- a church once harboured a lioness in during Hurricane Ike, just as flamingos were placed in one of the Miami zoo's public washroomsfor safety in Hurrican Andrew. There were two videos of the event on Youtube -- the one posted in 2015 and logically the original, or closer to the original, had no music dubbed over it, just a repetitive squeaking noise -- machinery? Subsequent searching revealed it to be a test shot for another video piece, Furtherance by Leonora Hamill; the making-of video is here. I suppose none of these animals were truly wild -- the stag was apparently named Chambord, the fox Bandit, and the lioness Shackle. I don't know if the flamingos had names.

Hyper-local news

 I made it through two job-screening interviews by telephone today, and have a face-to-face interview tomorrow for one of the jobs. I think I need to up my mess, though -- I was shaky and exhausted afterwards. Andrew's been under a lot of stress lately; everyone's been under a lot of stress lately, and I guess it's finally hitting me.

Applied for a side gig making up knitting samples; hope the kit for the test project arrives soon so I can at least work on something. Heard that Glad Day bookstore is starting a Monday-night knitting circle and I might take work to that.

Someone on Facebook last week asked about borrowing clothes for a play and I photographed and offered a few. They seemed interested, but I haven't heard further. Trying to decide whether or not to alter the garments in the meantime to look more 1940s in case they come back to me at the last moment with a yes.

Question -- I've been interested for a few years in 1940s headscarves, but I don't know if I can wear one in public with out looking like I'm ripping off Black style or Muslim headgear. Thoughts?

Going to another demo on Saturday.

Burning In Paradise

We've been watching old bootleg copies of Vengeance Unlimited by way of escapism, and Andrew dug up his copies of Michael Madsen's poems, which are exactly as gonzo as you'd expect them to be; he's really determined to be beater than Beat and noirer than noir.

The Read Thru

When you make a bad film, it's there
Like a big 250 ft. Herpe, with two
legs, and two arms and a big ugly
head always showing up when you
least expect it. Walking up
behind you; walking toward you,
with an "I'm gonna f*ck you up"
look on its face.

Everyone sees the damn things.

Over and over. Your friends, your
enemies, strangers. That's never true for the good films
you have, if there are some.


This big, swollen, red, festering
rotting 250 ft. pus vessel has
big feet, too. In a nightmare, they'll
be the last thing you see coming
down to smash your f**k**g head.

Sometimes, it's saying, "Hey, I'm not so bad."
But you know the truth.

Protest is the New Brunch

 CCCC came out to protest the anti-Islamophobia motion again, so Andrew and I went downtown for the counter-protest. The weather was less horrid than last time, but the crowd was smaller and more tense, with a lot of police between them and us. Meanwhile, the St. Patrick's Day parade moved along the other side of Nathan Phillips Square. 

We mostly chanted "No hate, No fear, Refugees are welcome here," and "Nazi Scum off our streets." Andrew didn't join in on the latter -- he still feels uncomfortable calling people nazis, even if, as I noted, the CCCC group contained the unusual combination of the JDL and the Soldiers of Odin; perhaps he felt "nazi" was too simple to describe that mix. I didn't argue with him. The remainder of the group looked like everyone I've ever seen browbeat a cashier with demands to speak to the manager, and that scared me more -- when we took a break for lunch, I kept glancing around the Eaton's Centre, wondering whether any of the people nearby had come from the rally, and whether anyone would recognize me and scream traitor! in the middle of the food court.

Shortly after we got back to the square, CCCC moved on, planning, I was told, to march down to Front Street. The police continued to escort them as they yelled about how we were threatening their freedom of speech. Andrew was tired, so we got on the subway and I didn't see whether they collided with the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

International Women's Day

 I think it's also supposed to be the Day Without a Woman protest today, but I'm currently between paying jobs*, and I have yet to determine if Andrew can manage on his own today. So my action will most likely to be to point out that like a lot of other women, I'm doing a lot of unpaid nursing and emotional labour.** 

* I did have an interview yesterday. We'll see if they get back to me.

** I also acknowledge that the protest is kind of problematic in itself given how many women really can't afford to lose a day's pay.

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 Finally got around to watching the latest Dr. Who the other day. The Return of Dr. Mysterio is actually a pretty good riff on superhero tropes, mainly the Clark Kent/Superman/Lois Lane relationship; but I was most interested by the return of Matt Lucas as a regular, mainly because his character, Nardole, is pinging all my "more than they seem to be" radar.

Nardole looks human, but has not aged in the 29-plus years that have elapsed in the story since we first met him (granted, he spent much of that time as a cyborg); he's quite capable of flying the TARDIS himself (albeit with a detour that led to his ruling 12th-century Constantinople for a while); and in the last scene he briefly drops his comical manner to assure the other characters, and by extension the audience, that the Doctor "will be all right -- I'll see to that" before switching his Laurel-and-Hardy grin back on and waving them a cheery farewell.

By all accounts, the decision to keep Lucas on wasn't planned from the beginning, but I'll be interested to see where this goes.

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Went to the counter-demo at Nathan Philips Square. I think the Anti-Muslim demo we were countering were over on the east side of the square. There were police (some in riot gear) standing guard near them, and our marshals were trying to keep us over at the other side, though I think some of the counter-demonstrators had gone over anyway, as there were some signs on the fringes of the their crowd that didn't seem to fit. I think their actual numbers were relatively small. Meanwhile we did keep edging closer to the centre of the square, following the sunbeams like a cat.

Feeling like a coward, though, because I didn't confront the guy I saw waiting for the bus at Queen/Roncesvalles on the way home, who was yelling racist stuff at a motorist, and then more general stuff at his own dog and at the bus driver. The driver did report him for animal cruelty though.

Pretty good Saturday

We went to an open house at a mosque downtown, where they gave us a tour of the building (originally built in 1940 as a bank), demonstrated calligraphy, and gave us assorted snacks including some very nice baklava.

Then we went with some friends to Tian An Cuisine, which serves dishes from the Jianxi province of China. Lots of chilli peppers, yet I didn't find the spiciness overwhelming as I usually do. Didn't try the frog's legs though.