Dancers on a Plane by Jasper Johns

Once again, I feel compelled to address some claims made by the art critic Jonathan Jones at The Guardian.  This time, Jones has written a piece attacking Banksy.  This in itself is not the problem.  The problem is that the attack makes very little sense under close examination.

Here is the crux of Jones’s argument:

Some art can exist just as well in silence and obscurity as on the pages of newspapers. The Mona Lisa is always being talked about, but even if no one ever again concocted a headline about this roughly 510-year-old painting it would still be as great. The same is true of real modern art. A Jasper Johns painting of a network of diagonal marks surrounded by cutlery stuck to the frame, called Dancers On a Plane – currently in an exhibition at the Barbican – was just as real, vital and profound when…

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


The Canadian Muslim

Imagine for a second, that you walk into a Masjid for Salah, and the people look at you with a surprised look as though you are not supposed to be there.

Imagine that you show up to an MSA event for the first time, and one of the brothers approaches you to give YOU dawah.

Imagine you are with your Muslim friends and you bump into one of their parents for the first time and are greeted with a ‘Hi’. And when you give them Salam, they think it’s cute that you tried to learn.

For me, that’s real life.

For so many years I had trouble fitting in as a Muslim in the Muslim community. I would find myself regarded as a convert, or that weird child who seemed to have a lot of Muslim friends. After a while I began to find humor in the way Muslim people…

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Manic Muses

BrainDuring his last State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama briefly touched on the idea of the US Federal Government funding a program for a Brain Activity Map (BAM).  Basically, signals sent by every brain cell would be recorded so we can better understand the circuitry of human thoughts, feelings and emotions. (1)  The implications of successfully completing a project like this are enormous – from advances in everything from medicine to artificial intelligence (AI). The project is, supposedly, the next logical scientific progression for the US after the strides we made in cancer research in the 70’s and the human genome project of the 90’s.

Of course, instead of the President selling this program with examples of potential benefits to mankind, the message immediately became about the positive economic impact a program of BAM’s magnitude could have.  For example, for every dollar spent on the human genome project (on…

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


A Confederacy of Spinsters

Wedding-Diet-500x485There is great danger ahead. The bridal magazines warn of it and dress clerks speak of it in hushed, panicky tones, as though the barest mention can summon its cream-filled wrath. It is the monster they call fat and it’s the quickest way to ruin a wedding.

I know what you’re thinking. But, Grace, I’m happy with my size! Dr. Swoodilypooper fell in love with me just as I am, so why change now? Don’t ask me, dearest. Personally, I think you’re the bee’s knees and should stay as you are, but I do not make the wedding rules. If I did, there would be more elephant rides. Unfortunately, the wedding industry is against fun and your body. You are a bride, so you should lose weight. It’s in all the literature!

As soon as you get Facebook engaged, that paramount sign of commitment, you’re inundated with wedding ads…

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized



Deep in the oak woods, something stirs. Tiny creaks and crackles fill the spaces between the air with gossamer wisps of sound.The sap hidden beneath the crusty crackled skin of bark begins its upwards journey towards the wooden finger tips of the trees. The earth turns back towards the sun, and the unstoppable yearly process of growth and decay, turns the trees out of winter and into spring. But look a little deeper and this grand yearly cycle is nestled like a Russian doll within far greater, longer cycles of process and change.

Lightening is drawn inevitably, like a tragic star struck lover, towards the heartwood of oak. The bleached lightening struck branches gleam like bones, revealing the first step in the big process of decay from life.

Weakened by the heaven sent fury, the ground is littered with the fallen carcasses of limbs once swaying in the summer breeze…

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Joy and Woe

I have some fairly well-entrenched views when it comes to Mother’s Day, as in it should be celebrated, and let’s please be polite about it.

And I know we’re months away from the 2013 edition — May 12, take note! — but I want to give readers ample time to consider the handy-dandy flowchart I’ve compiled, which neatly answers the question: Should you buy the mother of your child/ren a Mother’s Day present?


This post brought to you in honour of all mothers everywhere, and this week’s writing challenge, image vs. text.

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Rambling with a Cantankerous Old Mule

I went to bed last night more than a little irritated and, to be honest, sad.

Since last week Thursday South Africa has been gripped by the story that Paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day. The “Twittersphere” and other social media is clogged with conspiracy theories, the media has been circling like vultures for days trying to pick up scraps, and there are too many inappropriate, gauche jokes about the incident to mention.

Ever since hearing about it I’ve had an uneasy feeling – which has just grown. Last year the nation was applauding the young double-amputee dubbed “The Blade Runner”. Today, it seems, most people believe him guilty of premeditated murder – based on hearsay, leaked police murmurs, social media rumours and a statement he gave at his bail hearing. Why the sudden, absolute turnaround?

Journalist Alita Steenkamp once described Pistorius…

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized