Rebel Matters Encore – Episode142 – Balalaika Breakfast

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:00 pm Leave a comment
A balalaika

A balalaika

 

Special K and Ninja meet Charlie at the St. Lawrence Market.  Ninja waits for the balalaika player to begin and it seems like it will never happen. Special K and Charlie entreat Ninja to spare you this visit but Ninja maintains that every moment is a podcast moment.  They help Charlie choose hors d’oeurves for an evening soiree. Ninja concludes that the world is full of Eleanor Rigbys.

 

Eleanor Rigby by Mary Ann Farley

Eleanor Rigby by Mary Ann Farley

Listen below to Balalaika Breakfast   (35mb 15m19s)

Categories: Art, Humour, Podcast

Rebel Matters 230 – Do You Eat the Stickers Off Your Fruit?!

Friday, January 17, 2020 9:42 pm Leave a comment
I don't always drop my phone in the toilet, but when I do I put it in a bowl of rice

I don’t always drop my phone in the toilet, but when I do I put it in a bowl of rice

Listen to this episode (25mb 10m38s)

 

I read Life Hacks by Keith Brandon so that you don’t have to. There are 1000 so-called life hacks in this book. I share my review that is more of a rant against misinformation that Brandon is guilty of shamelessly spreading.

Extra Info you may want to know:

Link for hack number 317: “Daytime naps help to improve your memory and cut the risk of heart disease” can be found at ynquiz.com.

Link to my new favourite podcast:  Were you raised by wolves?

Link to the YouTube playlist builder:  https://www.youtube.com/disco

Despite the disclaimer that the author and publisher accept no responsibility for misadventure caused by following any of these hacks, this reader thinks that it is extremely irresponsible and unethical to publish this book without rigorous fact checking. There is no excuse for propagating false, incomplete, or misleading information. And the author shouldn’t be profiting from it. If he wanted to maximize his credibility, citing sources and proof would have helped. Save your money and time and skip this one altogether.

I cross-posted this review to https://www.goodreads.com/ so you can also see it there.  If you are interested in connecting with me on goodreads, my site on it at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1169678-ninja

 

 

Categories: Ethics, Humour, Podcast, Review

Rebel Matters 229 – A Last Halloween Hurrah

Thursday, October 31, 2019 2:52 pm Leave a comment
Mummy Over Portico with a sign that says Beware! Enter At Your Own Risk.

Did I Say “street” in the Podcast? I Meant Avenue.

This week Special K and I, by chance, happened upon an apartment building that was top to bottom inside and out done up with colourful and original Halloween decorations.   Debbie Andrews and Gary Smith have been doing up the building at 88 Bernard Avenue in Toronto for thirty-five years. This year was the last time they would be doing it.    Every year they have had hundreds of children and adults visit their haunted building.   They bring home buckets and pillowcases full of candy after being scared in all manner of ghastly goulish ghostly ways.

Now they are on to smaller but no doubt better things.   They are leaving the building and moving out to a smaller town in the province.   Debbie says they won’t be doing this ever again but I say never say never.    Have a listen to the interview I did with her about the joys the last thirty-five have given her and the neighbourhood.

Listen here (17m44s 42mb)

Things mentioned you may not be familiar with:

Union Station: Toronto’s main train Station

Community Service Hours: High School Students in Ontario have to accumulate a minimum of 40 community service hours of approved types in order to graduate.

Also there is no such movie I can find that is called What a Wonderful Nightmare.

 

A Fake Deceased Tenant

A Deceased Tenant

 

Climbing Skeletons with L E D Lights

Climbing Skeletons

 

Scarecrow with Pumpkin Head

Nightmare before Christmas

Categories: Art, Halloween, Humour, Podcast

Rebel Matters 228 – One. Two. Three. Four. The Future’s What We’re Asking For.

Friday, October 25, 2019 12:25 pm 1 comment
Skolstrejk for Klimatet

School Strike for Climate

 

On Friday, September 27, 2019, Special K and I participated in the Climate Strike.   We headed down to Queen’s Park, home of the Ontario legislature, to take part in the rally and march.    I spoke to a number of interesting people about their thoughts on the Climate Crisis.   Jagmeet Singh, leader of the nation’s New Democratic Party (NDP),  calls it the Climate Crisis and I think it is apt.  If we don’t take action, I am not sure what the future holds.   In this episode we debrief on the strike and I share audio of the people I interviewed or otherwise talked with.   Enjoy.

Listen here (74mb 31m26s):

 

Rebel Matters 227 – A Century of Remembrance

Monday, November 12, 2018 10:47 pm Leave a comment

 

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Old City Hall Toronto – Nov 11 2018

 

 

November 11, 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the war dubbed as the war to end all wars.   In honour of the Armistice, Special K and I went down to what we, in Toronto, call the old city hall, where the Cenotaph, one of our war memorials, was erected in 1925.  In this country, more than two generations have lived in a time of peace and have no first hand knowledge of the realities and horrors of war.  What would another world war look like?  In the face of some 14, 000 nuclear weapons spread over nine countries, one deployed bomb would almost certainly result in the deployment of many others, decimating the world population and ending civilization as we know it today.  Sobering.   So I think it is important to reflect on the sacrifices made by others and past generations to mitgate the ravages of military confrontation.

 

During breakast at a local cafe, Special K and I had a chance meeting with a woman who was from Sweden.  We struck up a conversation with her and found out she had never experienced a Remembrance day event.   We invited her to join us and I think we may have overwhelmed her with our non-stop anecdotes of Canadian history and military efforts.

This Sunday November 11, at the Cenotaph, we observed the customary two minutes of silence at 11:00am followed by poem recited in English, Oji-Cree, and French,  a thought provoking address by our Mayor,  and a reading of the poem In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae in 1915.  

Have a listen to my sound scene audio of an historic remembrance day.

Part of the program is reproduced here:

Committment to Remember (read in English, Obi-Cree, and French)

They were young, as we were young,
They served, giving freely of themselves.
To them we pledge, amid the winds of time,
To carry their torch and never forget.
We will remember them.

Address by Mayor John Tory

Hymn to Freedom

When every heart joins every heart and
Together years for liberty,
That’s when we’ll all be free.
When every hand joins every hand and
Together moulds our destiny,
That’s when we’ll all be free.
Any hour any day, the time soon will come
When men will live in dignity,
That’s when we’ll all be free.
When every man joins in our song and
Together singing harmony,
That’s when we’ll all be free.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Here’s the audio

 

IMG_2833

War courtesy of: Jamison491
Barking, crying and other sounds of human suffering courtesy of: http://soundbible.com
Photos:  Mine

Rebel Matters 226 – The Thoughtful and Disturbing Artwork of Rebecca Belmore

Monday, November 5, 2018 7:47 pm Leave a comment
IMG_4304

Fringe 2008 – Rebecca Belmore

 

In 2008 Rebecca Belmore created piece of art called Fringe.    It’s a photograph of a woman, reclining, her back to us.   Sown into her back are fringes, hanging down, some red, some white.  You might see these on the bottom of a skirt for instance.  The scar running the length of her back is obvious and disturbing.    She says of this work:

As an Indigenous woman, my female body speaks for itself. Some people interpret the image of this reclining figure as a cadaver. However, to me it is a wound that is on the mend. It wasn’t self-inflicted, but nonetheless, it is bearable. She can sustain it. So it is a very simple scenario: she will get up and go on, but she will carry that mark with her. She will turn her back on the atrocities inflicted upon her body and find resilience in the future. The Indigenous female body is the politicized body, the historical body. It’s the body that doesn’t disappear.

The Canadian Encylopedia says this about her:

Increasingly recognized as one of the most important artists of her generation, Rebecca Belmore’s performances, videos, sculptures, and photographs starkly confront the ongoing history of oppression of Indigenous peoples in Canada…

Rebecca Belmore was raised in a large Anishinabe family in Upsala, Ontario. She left her small hometown to attend high school in neighbouring Thunder Bay. During the summer, Belmore migrated northwest to spend time with her maternal grandmother — who maintained a traditional lifestyle of trapping and fishing and spoke only her native Ojibwa — in the Anishinabe district of Sioux Lookout.

Ostracized as an Indigenous woman in a largely white high school, Belmore dropped out in her midteens to work a number of odd jobs before deciding to complete her secondary education. Upon returning for her final year, she befriended the high school art teacher who encouraged her to submit a drawing to a local competition where she won first prize. Buoyed by the positive response, the following year Belmore enrolled at the Ontario College of Art (OCA) to pursue a degree in Experimental Arts; she remained in the program from 1984 to 1987…

In 2005, Belmore was chosen as the first Indigenous woman to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale. The piece she produced for the show — a two-and-a-half-minute video loop back-projected on a curtain of flowing water in the darkened room of the Canada pavilion [called Fountain] — took her over a year and half to complete. The video depicts the artist frantically filling buckets of water from the Strait of Georgia and throwing its contents…at the screen.

 

And she said this about her art in 2008:

Part of my interest in making art is to provoke a viewer to think about certain issues. And I do that through creating images that may, on first sight appear to be – hopefully!- beautiful. But when you look closer you may see something that’s a little out of sync with that beauty. That’s where I hope to get people to think about the image they’re looking at.

 

IMG_4303

At Pelican Falls  2017 – Rebecca Belmore

I saw Facing the Monumental, which featured these and more pieces by Rebecca Belmore on Aug 5, 2018 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.    Here is the audio of my experience with her works.

 

 

Find out more about Belmore at:

http://www.rebeccabelmore.com/home.html

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/rebeccabelmore/

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/rebecca-belmore

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Belmore

http://www.gallerieswest.ca/magazine/stories/facing-the-monumental/

https://ago.ca/exhibitions/rebecca-belmore-facing-monumental

 

 

Rebel Matters 225 – Don’t Trust Steve Lazarides

Monday, August 6, 2018 3:35 pm Leave a comment

 

IMG_3991

Don’t Fall For It

Rebel Matters 225 (47mb 25:42)

 

I am an avid and passionate art appreciator.  If there is a genre or artist I like that’s being shown in my city (or anywhere I’m visiting), I’m in.   But I should have known better in this case.   I should have realized and read the fine print. I should have paid attention when posters read “unauthorized”.  As soon as I stepped into the Banksy Exhibit in Toronto, I saw it right away.   The so called 80 original pieces, were mostly photographs of Banksy attributed works taken in various cities.  At worst they were photographs of other people’s photographs.   There were very few original pieces.   I dutifully went through the spaces in the warehouse wondering whether anyone else was feeling the way I was.  Special K was feeling the same way.  So was Drag-On.   I asked Drag-On.  She didn’t want to talk about it in public.  I wanted to spread the word that we were all being ripped off.    Forty-four hard-earned dollars to see how an opportunist exploits someone else’s art for profit.   Well maybe it was partly my experience at the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. That was massively well attended and disappointing for many who wanted more time in her infinity rooms.  Now there’s someone who got the last laugh.  But that’s for an entirely different podcast.   Then there is the question of the theft of a piece of the art just three days before the opening.  Some are reporting that it was a hoax.  A publicity stunt to entice people into the show.  Well I don’t know. All I know is that I wasn’t expecting mounted photographs out of context.

I wonder if he is just using Toronto to see if it’s viable to take it elsewhere.  I guess we’ll find out at the end of the summer. This is just a money grab by Steve Lazarides,  So, please don’t waste your money if this hits your town.  Stay away.   Here is my sound scene audio of our visit to the event and how we reacted to it.   Enjoy or rather buyer beware.

People’s Names I forgot:  Samuel L. Jackson

Details I left out:   Everything I saw at the Banksy exhibit you can easily find, for just the price of your data provider, on the internet.

Titles of this show that ended up in the Bit Bucket

  • Human Beings are Radically Flawed.
  • The Gorillas are Already in Charge.
  • I’ve been owned

 

Here’s the link again:

IMG_3971

 

Categories: Art, Ethics, Podcast, Review