Archive for January, 2013

Some Old Poetry

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

The old computer from nineteen thirty something that I still have in my room is filled with a labyrinth of poetry, not to mention endless books and little nothing-stories that I’ve almost completely forgotten about. While wandering through the maze, I came across a poem I wrote about a year ago. Most of that old stuff is pretty terrible, but this one stuck out to me. I present to you…

The Forests

When I was young the village put me in the forest,
Turned their backs and said, “We wish you all the best”
They left me to live with the birds and the bees,
In the company of tall, wise trees
And I learned secrets that
They will never know.
The height of summer came with the whispering of rain,
The trees leaned in and murmured, “The wild beast is slain.”
Up where the river crashed down to the lake,
I went to look under the statues of the snakes
Where the beast was lying, her head on the ground
She was as still as a broken toy and making not a sound
The rushing water told me what they’d seen,
How the villagers came up, like monsters in a dream
And struck her down and left again,
With their torches and their guns.
So the next day at dawn I went down through the forest,
And into the village, I entered like a ghost
And was met with metal guns and killing iron fire
I said I knew what they had done,
And they said “You’re a liar!”
So I went back up and I talked to the trees,
And with groans and creaking moans they came to walk with me
And we went back to the village, as dusk fell swift and black
Under the opening eyes of stars, we went for the attack.
With shots like fireworks dancing in the dark
We brought down the villagers, and their village with them
And in the morning light which seeped red all around
Were the broken bodies lying on the ground
And back into the trees, they went with me
As the glow of our victory was swallowed like a dream.


Gregariously Awful Fan Art

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Hello to all fruit trucks passing by (note: obscure music reference), holes in the carpet, catnip mice, and bumps on the ceiling.
Well, it’s yet another ridiculously frigid day here in Onceabasementdogville. I got a call from the people who work in our co-op this morning, and the guy talked to me in French for a few minutes, before I had the chance to tell him I was only understanding twenty percent of what he was saying. What I got from the conversation was, ‘les toilettes sont geles’ and something about the heaters not working. So great. That’s awesome.
Anyway, so as I write this he’s in here poking around looking at the frozen toilets, or whatever.
I was going to talk about gregariously awful fan art. Yes, that’s right.
Well, you see, I draw sometimes. Nothing special. I draw dragons and guys with swords and vests and cool haircuts– I’m no master artist, but I am in some way talented, I do believe. Anyhow, I have an account on Instagram, and DeviantArt. What I find on both sites is that there’s a heckuva lot of fan art. Now what is fan art, exactly? Basically it’s a whole lot of teenagers scribbling out kissing characters from Japanese manga. Sometimes it can be pretty good– other times, it isn’t very good at all. Sometimes it’s so bad I want to run outside in the snow in my bare feet, hit my head against a tree, and scream at nothing in particular.
Like, for instance. The other day I was glancing at fan art for The Kane Chronicles. For no… particular reason. And what did I see? Well, for one, lots of kissing. Shudder. And what else? Lots. Of. ANUBIS.
Who’s Anubis? It’s actually a jackal-headed Egyptian god. But in this age, it’s been reinvented as a very dreamy hero from a kid’s series of books by Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson. And he’s SOOO dreamy that all the fourteen and fifteen year old girls just can’t help drawing him and putting him up on fan art sites. And that’s fine. On one level I enjoy staring at endless pictures of a dreamy death god. But on another level, it makes me want to scrape my brains out.
I was going to show you some examples of terrible fan art, but Instagram won’t let me steal its pictures. Jerks.
There’s actually little point to this blog post… in case you haven’t noticed. I feel like I need to vent about how bad fan art can be, and how ridiculous it is that there’s 586 thousand and something pictures of Naruto (a Japanese manga and anime) on Instagram all by, probably, teenagers, and most of them are pretty gregariously awful. The kissing. The KISSING! Yeeeauauuughgghhhhhh…
All right, let me just say this. Let me just– just listen. Okay? Just sit yourself down and listen to this.
In comparison to all those never-ending hordes of hormone-crazed fifteen year old girls, (the Hydes to my Jekyll), I feel oddly superior. I’m probably not, but it feels like it. I’m probably hopelessly conceited. But I don’t spend my time trying to think up the most painfully embarrassing drawing I can possibly create. I have healthier obessions. (I guess.)
My Healthier Obessions:
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation.
2. Collecting books.
3. Arcade Fire.
4. Baseball stats. (Joe Mauer hit .354…)
5. Dreamy death gods.
6. The openings to TV shows. I have the entire Avatar The Last Airbender opening down by heart. Even the punctuation…
‘Long ago, the four nations lived together in peace. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most… he vanished. A hundred years passed, and my brother and I discovered the new avatar, an airbender named Aang. Although Aang’s airbending skills are great, he still has a lot to learn before he’s ready to save anyone. But I believe… Aang can save the world.’

Wow, am I off topic or what? I’d better get out of here. ~Onceabasementdog

We’re Not Idle, Canada.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Last Friday the Mother and I went to the Idle No More protest in Ottawa. It was something to see. Thousands of people, mostly First Nations, walking right down the middle of the street right in front of the Parliament buildings. Drums were beating with a deep, rollicking energy; people shouted and whooped and waved flags. At the center of the sea of protestors were the chiefs– wearing headdresses and beating on drums and singing. I felt out of place (note: total whitey McGee here), but I still found myself standing, locked in amazement, at the edges, almost grasping the power of the situation, but maybe not completely. I would have loved to be right in the middle of them, hitting a drum, singing a booming, unforgettable call to war. It felt like war. Like a calm, collected war, marching with incredible composure past the towering buildings of Parliament, the center of Canada’s power made delightfully insignificant under the rolling beat of the First Nations’ drums. Thousands of them. Of us? I’m not sure.

Anyway, I got some great pictures. I would try to explain the energy of that crowd, but it’s something you had to have felt, I think. It wasn’t a frenetic, violent energy… it was so calm, so collected, so fantastic. What a way to stage a protest! I think the whole world should take a look at how First Nations fight the power. No bombs, no guns, no violence. Just drums and singing.

At the end of the day, I’m so glad I went, but I’m also frustrated and angry. Why do thousands of people have to assemble and walk right in front of Parliament to get our government’s attention? Why does it take that much? There’s been so many problems with the First Nations and our government. I won’t say I perfectly understand it all, but my somewhat ingnorant understanding is that Harper is a moron and the First Nations people have been treated very badly, not just recently, but apparently since Canada has been a country.

So what do we do about it? Well, I’d ship Harper off to a small island off the coast of Somewhere Really Far Away From Canada and Up North Possibly Past Antarctica– but I don’t think anybody could actually pull that off. What I really think needs to be done: Government, DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR FIRST NATIONS CITIZENS. And Regular People: Respect your fellow Canadians, even if they don’t look like you and are considerably better at staging protests than you are.
That’s what I think about this whole thing. Just do something already. Change the way things are, for the better. Come on, Canada– you can do it! I believe in you!

Yours truly, Onceabasementdog.

Idle No More.

I Do Like Dragons, However

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Hello to all bad Bruce Springsteen impersonations, people sitting on record players, diamond dogs, and fifteen year olds shamelessly stuck in the 1980s.

The other day I finally got my record player working IT’S FANTASTIC. We got it from my granddad a long time ago, but I could never figure out how to force it to make sounds. I figured it out, am very proud of myself, and now as I write this I’m listening to Bruce Springsteen. Why? Well, not because I LIKE Bruce Springsteen, but because somebody said the lead singer of Arcade Fire sings like him sometimes and I had to check for myself to see if this was true or not. Actually, Arcade Fire is about a billion and three times better than Bruce Springsteen, but don’t tell Bruce Springsteen I said that.

Anyway, it’s a lonely winter morning, and it’s very sunny and blue and snowy out there. I seem to be suffering from a particularly nasty bout of ADD today, because I keep forgetting what I’m writing about and turning to smile appreciatively at my record player, spinning on. Sometimes I’ve got attention problems, but don’t tell my old teachers, because they definitely never noticed.

So… what was I going to… oh yes, I’m reading this book. It’s called Eragon, and it’s about dragons. And a boy who rides a dragon. And evil sorcerers. While questionably original, it’s not that bad. There were moments when I felt like kicking it out the window, but all in all I’m enjoying it, even though I don’t love it. One of the main characters just died, and that is not cool, because I liked him more than I liked Eragon, whose perspective the book is written in. I don’t actually like Eragon– he’s annoying, and he talks like he’s forty, even though he’s supposed to be fifteen. He also keeps hurting himself. I’m kind of tired of hearing about his agony and slowly healing abrasions and cuts.

I mean, I really like dragons, but. I don’t like this book as much as I hoped I would. Dragons are fun, they’re enormous fire-breathing lizards, what more do you need, but Eragon is just so unoriginal that it grates on my nerves. The cities and towns all have these super-fantasy-style names, like for instance, Uru’baen, Ilia Feon, Doru Araeba, Farthen Dur, Carvahall. I’m sorry, how do I pronounce Uru’baen, exactly, and why must it have an apostrophe? What’s with fantasy names and apostrophes, anyway? Do they put them in there because it sounds foreign and unusual? Okay, I don’t need no apostrophes though, thanks.

I take back my meanness to Bruce Springsteen, that ‘I’m On Fire’ song is really good.

There is nothing else to say. I reccommend you check out Team Hunchback, my other blog, because it’s mildly amusing and pointless and absurd. The link’s in the post under this one. So, now I’ve got to watch my record player adoringly for a few hours.

Yours somewhat sincerely, (BRISINGR!), ~Onceabasementdog.