Friday, October 31, 2008

Where is God?

This evening, I had to take a movie back, and I ended up stocking up on the flipside. Among others, one of the movies I impulse-rented was The Bridge, a 2006 documentary on the phenomenon of suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The film maker staked out the bridge for ages, and actually recorded several abortive and successful suicides from the bridge. The victims are all known, and in four or five cases, their friends and families consented to be interviewed for the purposes of the film. One very dramatic sequence is told by a young man who actually jumped, realized at that moment he did not want to die, and managed to survive the fall; and though he has struggled with his illness since then, that realization changed his life.

At the end, the film mentions that 24 people committed suicide in 2004 by jumping from the, and lists their names and the dates upon which they died.

I had a friend in Texas in his mid-20s who was diagnosed in 2002 with a soft tissue sarcoma. He successfully fought it off and was in remission by the spring of 2003. But by October, with dread, he felt the same pains in his side. His second struggle was not successful, and he died in June, 2004, the same year as all these people. My friend yearned to live and suffered through pain I don't even want to imagine. And yet other people are driven to relinquish life so willingly.

Where is God in all of this? How can these diametrically-opposed poles possibly define the "plan" of a Being who cares for us above all? Say what you want; there's no getting around this. If God exists, He chose this for us, freely, in full knowledge and conscience.

One way or the other, God or no God, I think we're on our own.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

An open letter to the Mayor of Toronto

Warning: strong language.

Nothing's certain in a democracy, but I'm willing to bet Mayor Miller doesn't have this guy's vote. :) I'm not exactly sure what his problem is, but he obviously has issues. Not all of them political...

Accent sounds like Northern Ireland to me. Anyone know?

Monday, October 20, 2008


NEED $$$ FOR WEED, originally uploaded by Lone Primate.

Truth in advertising, I guess. I have a feeling this kind of approach will get you further on Queen Street than something cynical about food or a job or being a veteran (well, that's really more of a US thing than a Canadian approach), or any of that stuff. This fellow was sitting in a doorway only a few dozen steps away from The Friendly Stranger, a well-known head shop downtown.

I was reminded of the XTC song "The Smartest Monkeys" by this all-too-real instant.

Life on Queen Street

Life on Queen Street
Originally uploaded by Lone Primate
Just some interesting sights on Queen Street just a little bit west of University Avenue on an October Saturday.

Note to our American viewers: temperatures quoted are in Celsius and are ABOVE freezing. :)

Peace parade, Toronto

Peace parade, Toronto
Originally uploaded by Lone Primate
Peace parade on Bay Street, just north of College Street (parade southbound), seen from the Irish pub Pogue Mahone at 777 Bay Street, October 18, 2008. This came right out of nowhere while we were sitting there.

N.B.: "Indian army out of Kansas" and "stacked women for peace" are facetious comments. All the rest were real signs. :)