Friday, April 1, 2011

april fools

Do you ever feel as though you're living in a far different world than the one you knew just a few years ago?

I remember when bankers were supposed to be the most conservative, sober, and law abiding of all of us, so naturally it comes as a shock when we hear about them doing things the rest of us would be slung in the clink for attempting. Lying to Congress, fudging mortgage records, front-running stock options on financial deals are just a few of the crimes I've read about and only one person, Bernie Madoff, has been charged and convicted. Meanwhile, judges in the US rule that evidence is not necessary to hold Guantanamo prisoners for the rest of their lives.

Another case that makes me believe I've stepped through the looking glass is the current situation with agri-business. When I was young the representatives of agricultural companies wore cheap suits and visited farmers once a year to sell seed and talk about tractors. Now we all know that Monsanto not only sells seed that is infertile so it can't be saved for the next planting but also sues organic farmers if any of their genetically modified products blow onto the organic farm next door. I actually had to read that one twice to see if I was understanding what's going on.

Ah yes, then there's nuclear power. Supposedly it's as safe as houses but that's only if you were fortunate enough to not have owned a house on Japan's west coast last month.

The problem with writing about any current current affairs is that there's no logical place to stop and, as you well know, one could drown in lists of atrocities. At a personal level the only answer to this stuff is for us to keep in mind the truths we know to be real. Bankers are supposed to be conservative, farmers are supposed to take care of the land, and nuclear power is far too dangerous in a society whose rulers can't see beyond the next election.

Meanwhile, spring arrived in Halifax a few days ago and stayed long enough for us to walk along the shore of the beach park without our coats on Wednesday and dressed similarly through the university neighborhoods yesterday. Today we're having the first April blizzard. Ah well. Our walk was shorter than usual so I came home to bake a loaf of bread (it's a bit flat but tastes fine) and get involved in another drawing I may be able to show you soon.

In the meanwhile I grabbed a picture of an idyllic springtime scene painted by my hero Rudi Hurzlmeier.  For a bit of further amusement to allay the news there's this:

They hate it when we laugh.


Lydia said...

Too bad they hate it when we laugh, because that is nothing but laughable...well, okay, pitiful, too.
I can see why that artist is your hero. What a marvelous painting for spring.
I fear you were not jesting in April Fool's silliness when you said that you had a blizzard today. That is a shame. Remember that spring will come. It is as inevitable as crooked bankers, evil ag reps, another nuclear power fiasco, and the printed word....... What say you? The printed word is in jeopardy? ah dear me

jams o donnell said...

SOmetimes I wonder if we are living in a sick parody world reality tv show for a pan galactic audience.

This seems to be the only reason for so many human actions!

Pagan Sphinx said...

I like the image - an artist I didn't know.

School was canceled today due to a heavy snowfall - about 3" - that made it slippery on the hill town roads. Right now it's just raining lightly. The forecast for next week sounds a lot more like spring.

fakebook - heh. :-)

Seraphine said...

the world has indeed changed. we have become a society without great ideas or thoughts.
sadly, realpolitik has replaced any notions of fairness.

marja-leena said...

A messed up world indeed, quite depressing really as it seems we are so helpless to change the way it's heading. It seems like we need another workers' revolution!

But your choice of such a delighftul painting is cheering, thank you! Looking forward to your latest, too, and wishing spring to be here to stay for us all. Here in Vancouver, we may get one or two nice days a week and I go mad trying to do the garden work, then it rains, no, pours again for days. Was it like that for you in Oregon? So when the weatherman did his April Fools on the forecast for today, I did some much-needed spring cleaning indoors and feel better for it. Just wish it would stay that way, eh.

Randal Graves said...


That comment, by the way is, trademarked. If it blows into any other comment fields, I will sue to the fullest extent of, but in full accordance with, the law.

susan said...

lydia - It's more like laughing to keep from crying these days. Fukushima continues to spew but the whole story has passed its 3 week sell-by date on the media.

Yes, we had snow yesterday and again today but winter's definitely losing its grip as the sun shines for longer every day.

jams - That idea really makes as much sense as any I've heard.

pagan sphinx - Rudi Hurzlmeier painted my original Crow avatar.

I hope your weather has cleared as ours is supposed to as well. Winter's been quite long enough for all of us.

fakebook :-)

sera - I make audible sighing sounds whenever I recall there were once great statesmen. Now there's no vision or plan.

marja-leena - There's not too much we can do other than keep up our work and provide what comfort we can. Far too many people are oblivious and prefer to be.

Yes, it was the same with tons of rain in springtime Portland. Strangely enough, it was usually worse on the weekends.

randal - Bwah!

So sue me and see where that gets you in the Canuck courts. Heh..

Francis Hunt said...

I sometimes feel we're living in an evil version of a Monty Python film.

And sometimes laughing is a survival mechanism - like Roberto Benigni in La vita è bella

Liberality said...

What kills me is that all this self centered and short sighted corruption going on in big business and our military industrial complex is driving life itself right over the cliff into extinction. Thinking about it for any length of time tends to send me straight down into a depressed funk.

Sorry you had a snowstorm to slow to process of spring's arrival. When it does finally arrive in full force, it will be that much sweeter.

okjimm said...

Spring in Halifax??? Well, it ain't happened here yet!!! and I am getting really upset about it!!!

gfid said...

what folks get away with... in cyberspace, in politics, infinitum..... lol! loved the lamebook. just went by a blog someone recommended as well written and informed and interesting..... it's just some guy who happens to be visiting south america talking about himself, who can't write much better than lamebook.... i think he used the phrase 'right now I" 77 times in a paragraph.

but i'm just jealous he's in buenos ares and i'm in northern alberta. sigh.

or maybe i'm setting the bar too high, comparing his writing to that of you and Crow.

susan said...

francis - It's sometimes difficult to conceive just how evil this film is. I wish there was a director to yell 'Cut!'.

liberality - At the most essential level resources, workers, and finance should be in harmony in order for sensible and progressive business. With finance actively chewing up the others you're correct in assuming a bad end.

The weather was a bit nicer today and I was delighted to see crocuses. I hope your spring is warming your spirits and limbs.

okjimm - I don't blame you. I've even been missing Portland's rain.

gfid - Around here we're convinced the geniuses who set this up left the stage some years ago. Now it's all coming to fruition and the second stringers don't have a clue what to do.

I'm jealous of the guy being in South America too. Why didn't anybody remind me it gets cold in Canada in the winter?

Thanks for the very sweet compliment. I'll pass it on to Crow who's far more erudite than me :-)

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Susan,
I trust you’re settling in well to your new environment.
I think it was inevitable the US administration was going to get caught up and become hostage to policies that duck some issues of fairness and equality - symptoms not necessarily confined to the institutions themselves.
To me it’s due mainly to culture; the pressures inherent in the huge amounts of campaign funding needed to be elected; to which elected official become hostage, the watering down of regulatory legislation, its abolition or in inappropriate overreaction to create legislation running to thousands of pages (you can’t legislate morality) but not least the paltry funding allocations to regulatory authorities unable to keep faith to their original charter.
My experience here with APRA (Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) is they left no stone unturned. An effective regulator in my view needs to be face to face and know what’s going on to ensure those who enjoy ‘lender of the last resort’ facilities such as afforded by the Reserve Bank and central banks elsewhere such as in the Fed in the USA , Bank of England/ European Central Bank/ People's Bank of China/ Bank of Japan and so on ) continue to operate at all times in a responsible manner to the public and to its customers. You can’t simply rely on legalization but rather you have to get your hands dirty! This is all about changing a countries culture which is very hard and takes much longer than most people realize.
Best wishes

Spadoman said...

I was here earlier on, but didn't have anything to say. I came back to see what you're up to and see this post and read it again. I'm having a hard time with all the crap going on with bankers, politicians, wars, workers rights and , and, and.....
I'm having a hard time finding a laugh. I'll get over it, but it's keeping me up at night and I don't like it. Luckily, I did get out onnmy motorcycle yesterday for a short ride, and today is suppose to be similar weather, in the 60's, sunny and dry. I tell you, the world on that bike is totally different. I guess it's my blessing.
When I saw that naked woman on the horse, I automatically knew it wasn't one of your drawings, no border :-)


susan said...

lindsay - We're quite comfortable, thanks. It's nice that Spring is finally here.

I agree with you completely about the problem with regulation in the US being largely a result of special interest groups representing very rich companies usurping the the government with bribery and the promise of lucrative positions afterward. The last two presidents have downsized and weakened the very agencies charged with protecting the system. I wish it weren't so because it takes a lot longer to build or rebuild something worthwhile than it does to destroy.

Best wishes to you too.

spadoman - I'm glad you stayed long enough to leave a note this time. I've been having a very hard time lately too with all you mentioned. I think for me the last straw was the Japanese nuclear disaster. The whole thing is bad enough but to makes things even worse they've been lying about just how destructive the situation continues to be. It's all very disheartening.

I'm glad you've been riding your bike. We've gone for very long walks in this lovely city every day and on the clear ones we've even driven along the south shore. Soon we'll be able to drive north of Halifax.

Thanks for the compliment of almost mistaking my work with Rudi's :-)

Seraphine said...

i wonder what your neighbors think of you making "audible sighing sounds" while crow's away? eh?

susan said...

sera - 'sigh'.. I do miss his wry humor. I'm sure the neighbors will like him and understand my winter ennui when he returns.