Archive for April, 2006

It Took This Long?

April 25, 2006

Man Sues Employer For Hours Worked Sleeping
(Toronto Moon)
Updated: 2006-04-12 09:36

In a case being called the first of it’s kind by legal experts, a design firm employee, has sued his employer for time spent dreaming about work. Ruben Valetta, 33, who works as a graphic designer has sued Toronto-based Raw Silk Design, for the hours he has worked in his dreams—a case of work-life balance gone awry, he claims.

Filing a suit with the Ontario Court of Justice, Valetta and his representation are asking to be awarded the same hourly wage he receives in his actual job.

“I work all day for these people, then come home and dream about the job all night, why shouldn’t I be paid for those (hours) too?” Valetta told the Toronto Moon.

Attorney Apollo Devinia claims the suit has no grounds: “Mr. Valetta will first of all need to prove he dreams about his work, and if that could be proven he would need a record of exactly how many hours he works every night. It is my understanding that dreams are usually quite short in duration.”

This is the first time an employee has attempted to receive compensation for time spent working in a dream state

Raw Silk Design declined to comment on the suit.

The Mountain

April 19, 2006

I now understand the parable told in the Far East which states: first the mountain is a mountain, then the mountain is not a mountain, then it is again.

The parable had always confused me; I could understand the mountain not being a mountain anymore, but why would it then become a mountain again?

There is no sense in explaining how or why I now understand this, except to say that I believe I do.

I realize now that this parable has to be understood on your own and cannot be explained for you, so I can’t help anyone else much, except to state it in a different way which might add a clue:

first the mountain is a mountain, then the mountain is not a mountain, then it is a mountain again, then the mountain is not a mountain again, then it is, then it isn’t once again, but soon is a mountain again, et cetera and et cetera and et cetera . . .

Sometimes

April 18, 2006

Good things DO happen.

Observations On A Sportsgame From An Outsider

April 7, 2006

I don’t like sports. Never have. In elementary school I was the kid who tried to play outfield as far out as possible to avoid the other children. Sportsmanship and camaraderie were not my strong points. Some would claim they still aren’t.

It was this person who journeyed into the ‘old ball game’ stadium yesterday to witness the ritual which is modern baseball. Armed with a submarine sandwich and lots of beer, Big Mama and I sat down behind home-plate and tried to stir up feelings of team pride. It was the third game of the season; the first having been won, and the second lost.

First, I was disappointed that nobody was chanting “Hey, batter batter batter batter . . . ” – this is what I was most looking forward to. Response: drink beer.

Second, I noticed the storm-troopers all over the stadium; in the stands, near the refreshment areas, on the field, everywhere. I felt like I was in 1937 Berlin. These same ‘police’ were gone by the fifth inning – apparently if terrorism is going to occur at a game it’s going to occur at the start of the game. Which, of course, makes complete and utter sense. Hail Eris. Response? Drink beer.

Third, I noticed that the actual game of baseball itself is like some intricately mathematical ritualistic dance that I was only vaguely privy to the inner workings of. Much like a square dance, they dosey-doe around each other every few minutes, and all seem to know what position they should end up in, but none of them bow or curtsey. Bowing and curtseying would make the whole ritual quite charming I think. Response: drink beer.

Fourth, I noticed the heckling. From all corners of the stands would float the jeering and booing of the fans, for both the visiting team, and for certain members of the home team. Sometimes just the name of the player would be called out in mocking tones, other times the standard boo (but no hisses that I heard – quite a disappointment), and then other times actual shouts of “YOU SUCK!” or “CHECK HIS BAT FOR CORK!” or “I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER!” – this was my favourite part of the entire experience, so maybe those who claim sportsmanship and camaraderie still aren’t my suit are correct. I didn’t partake in the heckling, mostly because I didn’t know any of the players, but I certainly enjoyed it. My response? Still more beer.

And fifth I noticed that beer, and all other refreshments are ridiculously overpriced. One would be lead to believe that popcorn was contraband in this country. I don’t care what kind of beer it is, twenty three dollars for a small paper cup full of suds is too much. Response: take a small sip of beer. Nurse the bitch.

Would I go again? Yes, but I would drink it up before going in the next time.

Oh, and, we won.

To Bee, Or Not To Bee

April 6, 2006

Specialization is for insects. You are not a worker, you are not a drone. You can do more than place prong A in slot B.

You are not a ‘consumer’, you are a person. You are also not a ‘tax-payer’, you are a person.

If your job is keeping you awake at night THERE IS A PROBLEM.

Work to live, not the other way around. Insects live to work.

YOU are NOT an insect – are you?

3 Mini-Reviews

April 4, 2006

What, you were expecting FIVE? Being locked down to five is like being locked down to logic – it gets stale after a while. Besides, you create the Law Of Fives yourself; but surely you knew that already – right?

I had been trying to write reviews for a few movies recently, and seem to keep stalling – so, I have decided to write up all three in smaller formats.

Each of these films deals with varying levels of reality, a subject I am most fascinated with. If you view any of these movies (or have viewed in the past) and either agree with me, or disagree with me, please leave some comments, I would be interested to read what you have to say.

For simplicity I am going to present the reviews in chronological order:

1) THREE WOMEN (1977) Shelly Duvall, Sissy Spacek – Obviously influenced by Bergman’s “Persona” this Robert Altman film is a strange and disturbing look at what makes up identity, and the nature of extreme loneliness. Sissy Spacek plays Pink, a young woman who has just moved to the small desert town, and gets a job taking care of old people. She is trained on the job by Millie (Shelly Duvall) who is obsessed with dating, magazines, and recipes which are filed by how long they take to cook. Pink’s name is also Mildred, and soon she begins to idolize Millie, for reasons unknown. At a critical point midway through the film the two seem to switch identities, as confusing for Millie as it is for us. From there, the film only grows more bizarre, and to reveal any more about the plot would be criminal. This film would be interesting to watch back to back with Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive”

2) SHOCK TREATMENT (1981) Jessica Harper, Cliff DeYoung – Originally intended as a sequel to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, this film is much more bizarre, and to me is much more interesting. Whereas “Rocky Horror” was a standard musical-play-to-musical-film, Shock Treatment is entirely its own creation, and could only exist as a film. In this film everyone lives inside the television studio including stars, staff, executives, even the audience. Brad and Janet Majors are contestants on a game show, and when the prize end up being Brad trucked off to the local soap opera mental hospital all notions of reality are thrown out the window. People talk to the doctors and nurses both as if they are indeed actors, but also as if they were actual doctors and nurses. A comment about how all we care about now is celebrity and television? A comment that our lives are full of enough drama without television? Possibly both. On top of all these levels of confusion and insanity the actors speak to each other in riddles and cryptic one-liners giving the feeling none of the characters are actually speaking to each other, just speaking. I love this movie.

3) ANGUISH (1987) Zelda Rubenstein, Michael Lerner – I only saw this film recently, but it is fantastic. Levels of reality are the main theme of this film, as it first hooks you in with the story of a man who is constantly hypnotized by his strange mother to kill people and collect their eyeballs, then shifts the level of reality to two teenage girls sitting in a movie theatre watching what we had been witnessing up on the screen. As the hypnotized son begins to murder people in a movie theatre something strangely similar starts to transpire in the theatre with the two teenage girls. Toward the end we get a hint of another level of reality intruding. Strange, disturbing, and genuinely original. To watch this film in a theatre full of people would place it in yet another level of reality.