Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ugly People All Over The Country

We teach them to take their patriotism at second-hand; to shout with the largest crowd without examining into the right or wrong of the matter--exactly as boys under monarchies are taught and have always been taught. We teach them to regard as traitors, and hold in aversion and contempt, such as do not shout with the crowd, and so here in our democracy we are cheering a thing which of all things is most foreign to it and out of place--the delivery of our political conscience into somebody else's keeping. This is patriotism on the Russian plan.
 - Mark Twain

It's election time again in Canada. 

What a great moment to ponder not only about the broken promises of so many politicians, but even more so about the fact that the vast majority of voters don't remember (and don't care) what those unkept promises were. The best argument against democracy, said Winston Churchill, is a 5 minutes conversation with the average voter.

This year again, I will vote for 2 reasons: The first one is that I'd rather cast my vote for what I consider the best part of a bad choice (selecting the tallest midget) rather than trust the rest of the population to do it for me. The second and most important one is that it will give me the right to bitch for the next 4 years or so. Because if you don't even care to vote in a democracy, you don't have the right to complain. 

There's one thing that amazes me though and that is, in my opinion, a powerful testimony to the fact that our politicians are old timers stuck in the past (even the young ones) and that the voters are a bunch of sheep (I was about to say morons, but I'll keep it to myself): those damn blue, red and orange placards all over the country. 

My God! How low can we go? Ugly people's faces placarded from Newfoundland to Vancouver. All of them with fake smiles, lousy haircuts and cheap three-piece suits. Beyond the visual pollution and the insult to our intelligence, what a f**ing waste of money and unnecessary pollution.

Let me finish by quoting H.L. Menken:  « Democracy is also a form of religion ; it is the worship of jackals by jackasses. »

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clown Country

I am in the process of reading The Post-petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook by Albert Batès. There's a lot of interesting stuff in there, even if I don't agree with the author's vision of the World that I find a bit simplistic. But hey, I don't have half his credentials so who am I to judge?

I couldn't resit sharing this quote I found in the book: 

The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, yet its inhabitants are strikingly unhappy. Accordingly, we present to the rest of mankind, on a planet rife with suffering and tragedy, the spectacle of a clown civilization. Sustained on a clown diet rich in sugar and fat, we have developed a clown physignomy. We dress like clowns. We move about a landscape filled with cartoon buildings in clown-mobiles, absorbed in clownish activities. We fill our idle hours enjoying the canned antics of professional clowns. We perceive God to be an elderly comedian. Death, when we acknowledge it, is just another pratfall on the boob tube. “Bang! You’re dead!” – James Howard Kunstler, 2005

Oh, and for my fellow Canadians always looking for ways to laugh at the Americans (little kids always bitch about big boys - usually behind their backs), we're not  that better here than in the States.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Love Brigade in NYC Subway

Hats off to these guys.

I'm seriously thinking about buying a megaphone and having the same kind of fun every morning on the Montreal Subway.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Pirate Who Vowed to Save the Whales

When I was a kid, I dreamed, among other things, to someday be a modern day Captain Nemo that would hunt down and sink whaling ships and other criminals of the seas.

Well, while I was only dreaming, a gruff and brilliant sailor went ahead and did it - in spades.

The Gojira
Captain Paul Watson dedicated his life to save the whales and dolphins. He's no ordinary activist, and staging protests and signing petitions is not his forte. He is a man of action, driven by results.

In fact, he left Greenpeace 35 years ago because they were too soft and founded his own organization Sea Shepherd.

His life reads like a novel. He rammed whaling ships, was imprisoned, shot at, infiltrated criminal organizations, rubbed shoulders with movie stars and is at the helm of a fleet of black, fearsome ships sporting pirate flags.

Armed with a flair for media attention, a talent for fundraising and, most of all, an impressive list of accomplishments, he is raising an army of good pirates to help protect the sea creatures.

Basically, he does what governments should be doing - enforcing international law.

I strongly suggest you visit the Sea Shepherd Website and YouTube Channel and, if possible, support to the cause.

The wicked are always surprised to find that the good can be clever. – Marquis De Vauvenargues

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Secret of Success

Someone (I think it was Elbert Hubbard) once said: The secret of success is that there is no secret of success. 

I kinda agree. There are multiple factors involved in achieving a certain degree of success. The first one is being able to define success. That is where problems usually start.

But if you had to point out the most important success factor to be happy in life and succeed at anything you wanted, what would it be?

Here's my take: Surround yourself with great people. 

Corollary: Flush out all the negative people, the energy vampires, the one-person recessions, the amoral, the boring, the average and well, 99% of humanity. Stick with the 1% that matters.

It is impossible to fail in life if you're only surrounded by bright, talented, kind, curious, generous and happy people.

On the other hand, you only need one negative person to ruin your life.

In a previous post (It Doesn't Really Matter How Big Your Network Is), I talked about a network's depth vs its spread and stated that:

True wealth is the number of doors in the World where you can go knocking uninvited and crash on a sofa for the night.

But to attract great friends, you must yourself work hard to be the best friend you can be. This is the hardest part.


I just got back from a snowboarding trip in Fernie (BC) with awesome friends. Exceptional people endowed with a great attitude, hyperactive intellects, unbridled curiosity, a wonderful sense of humor and outstanding ethics. What could have been an average ski trip became an experience that I'll be happy to remember 10 years from now.

They provided the inspiration for this post. 

It's always the same thing. It doesn't matter where you're going. What matters is who's coming along for the ride.