Archive for the ‘ Montréal ’ Category

QM isn’t deliberately trying to piss me off.

At least, I hope they’re not. But they are anyways.

I get it. We’re queer, so we need to support other minorities. At some point, though, you’re just ignoring the politics and actual circumstances of certain « oppressed minorities » in order to support them. There’s a strong a recent case of QM’s selective blindness which I’ll deal with here.

QM decided recently that they should support a group that is protesting the efforts by « Pink Money » to clean up the Village, to the detriment of the homeless living there. They pay some lip service to the fact that members of the transient community are drug addicts, and yes, they’re queer. However, the group goes off the deep end when they suggest that really, public sanitation isn’t so big a deal that urinating in an alley is a big problem, so why is it a misdemeanour? This was about the moment when I put palm to forehead and wondered why QM thought this was deserving of support, given the fact that this particular group seems to be focused mostly on continuing to support urban decay. That was when I realised what was seriously underlying the discussion here, a core misunderstanding of why things were happening the way they were. QM — and the group they were supporting — were ignoring the underlying malaise to suggest that no treatment was necessary in the first place, because these people are here. Incidentally, and entirely separately of this e-mail from QM, I’ve come to develop a new personal theory about endemic homelessness in Montréal, and notably the strange characteristics of the community here.

One of the defining aspects of a large section of the homeless community is that they’re tattooed, professionally pierced, and have post-punk haircuts, often with heavily dyed hair. To me, although the first two could easily have been acquired before becoming homeless, that last signifies a vast separation between interests and situation, what I’m coming to deem the Horse and Water problem. The adage goes, « You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. » I see this as an accurate depiction of the problem in Montréal, that there are support services available — most likely not quite sufficient, as they always are — but the people for whom they are provided do not care to use them, because their current situation fulfils their needs. Unfortunately, their current situation involves urban decay as a core feature; QM seems to ignore this reality and instead deem the homeless an oppressed minority with whom they must show solidarity. They really didn’t learn after the Queeriot debacle?

A survey of independent cafés, or maybe not.

I had a brilliant thought; I would survey the independent coffee shops around the Plateau area, see what options there are beyond Café Dépôt and Second Cup … maybe find a nice little place to enjoy a sandwich, or something. However, this may take a little more research first. Continue reading

On trouve de la vérité partout

En lisant Prochain épisode de Hubert AQUIN, j’ai lu un paragraphe d’un telle vérité que j’m’suis arrêté, et j’en ai lu peut être trois ou quatre fois encore:

La psychiatrie est la science du déséquilibre individuel encadré dans un société impeccable. Elle valorise le conformiste, celui qui s’intègre et non celui qui refuse ; elle glorifie tous les comportements d’obéissance civile et d’acceptation.

Je n’ai pas de grand-chose à dire au sujet de ça ; je crois que c’est assez vrai, et j’ai voulu simplement en montrer.

It’s all a puzzle.

Mathematics and I have a curious relationship.

I’m a very audiovisual-oriented thinker. If I can truly visualise a problem, I can solve it. This is where physics and I have problems, because there are too many specialised methods, and visualisation can break down fairly easily. On the other hand, equations arrange themselves in my mind, graphs plot in my head, and all of this just fits.

That’s not to say math is easy. Quite the contrary; as I’m writing this in my notebook, I’m avoiding working on my homework, so I can develop some peace of mind before taking up the project again. No, what happens is exhaustion — mental exhaustion and unfamiliar concepts forming a vile brew that corrupts everything I’m working on.

So I go away, leave it behind, do something else, calm down, break the pieces up and set them aside in my mind, where they fade out and leave only a few pure concepts to be explored once I have some time to really look and see what I need. My physics professor last semester said it well: « Go home, drink a beer, relax for a while, and then try it again. »

Now, he was talking about the midterm exam, which I was going to do horribly on because for whatever reason, physics is no longer the area where I have strong analytic skills. (Just as an aside, I do miss physics, but I think Mathematics is a more sure route to my interests, and my enjoyment.)

I look at this state of « blockedness » as a symptom of too much work; really, there is such a thing. After classes, the last thing I needed to do was start working immediately. Unfortunately, today, I did that, and I set back my homework by at least an hour, if not more.

Editorial post-script: I got back to the rez and promptly solved the two remaining problems in about an hour, tops. This is being typed and posted a few weeks later, because I’m a lazy bastard.

Solace overlooking the city

I’ve been telling myself I should climb Mont Royal for the past semester or so . . . I never seemed to have the time. So, instead, today, on a whim, I packed my water bottle and batteries for my camera, and went for a leisurely stroll up the glorified hill that I semi-mockingly call a mountain.

What struck me was the peacefulness of it all, the grand scope. Even with all the bustle of people, it was still calming and imposing. The mountain cares nothing for us; we are transient, it is lasting.

I may not worship, but I feel awe in a place of grandeur, and Nature is a far better craftsman than Man.

In motion

I’m on an airplane writing this, reading Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, and thinking about the Principles of Motion. Namely, it doesn’t feel like I’m moving. I can look out the window and see the traceries of light move past below, but I experience no sensation of motion. If someone had been asleep on the ground, and slept through taxi and takeoff, they could wake now and ask, When will the plane leave?, feeling perfectly secure in the knowledge that they were not moving.

Just a curiosity.

Looking back after a semester

Well. Let’s address the concepts from the previous post, even though it’s from 4 months ago, to the day (sort of). Yeah, the Caf sucks, and wow I want to have an apartment. Cooking! How I miss cooking. As for the book, well … it was disappointing. Really disappointing. Incredibly disappointing. Good, but still a disappointment.

I have returned to knitting, and therefore I am bringing knitting needles back to Canada with me, as well as enough yarn to knit four socks. Hooray. Somehow, I have renewed my interest in knitting socks, even though they are terribly slow. Perhaps because of that?

Powered by Qumana