Nature, The Artiste

It's raining. Over the course of the past few minutes the light level went from comfortable-for-reading-don't-need-any-lights-on to holy-shit-where'd-the-sun-go? as a huge grey cloud moved overhead. Then the rain started coming down so quietly that it took me a few seconds to notice. The air was thick with raindrops, none of this couple-drops-a-second bullshit, but the individual drops were so small it felt more like falling mist at first. I've never seen that before.

Now it's a more normal storm, with thick drops and lightning and thunder and nothing but grey in all directions.

I was sitting with my laptop on the well-sheltered balcony, enjoying the cool air, but the wind picked up, so now I'm going to leave y'all inside with Pixie and go watch the rain fall.

I Think This Pretty Much Sums It Up

At The Primate Diaries via Pharyngula.



In Which I Learn That Spending My Days Undressed May Not Be So Wise After All

While washing my mug at 3:15 this afternoon, I all of a sudden heard the most awful piercing scream. At first I thought it was the pipes, and when turning the water off didn't make it stop, I turned to glare accusingly at my laptop, don't ask me why. Finally it twigged that this sounded alarmingly like the smoke detector, which I of course immediately glared at, until I realized that a) there was nothing in the apartment that could possibly be setting it off and b) there was a second tone sounding, almost as loud but slightly lower pitched, and sounding like it came from elsewhere in the building. Shit. It's not real, I told myself. Just a damned drill or something. I fancied I smelled smoke, but I knew that could be psychosomatic. Either way, it seemed that going out was unavoidable. Let it never again be said that one shouldn't leave one's clothing lying around. I was already wearing a sarong and slippers, and it took me but a split second to grab and put on the first top at hand (quelling irrational thoughts of "but it doesn't match!") In the time it took me to do that, I considered and rejected bringing my laptop, and remembered that my keys weren't in my purse. Fortunately they were in the first place I looked, so I grabbed them and my purse and headed out, locking the door behind me. In the hall there was no longer any question about the smoke.

Entering the stairwell, I joined a woman from the floor above me, also leaving the building. As we descended in silence, the smoke was getting thicker, and I was trying to remember what I had learned in school about what you do if the fire is between you and your exit. The only clear thought I had was "walking into fire = bad idea."* This continued until we reached the third floor landing, where we saw a woman sitting on the step, crying. She saw us and said "It's in my apartment. All my stuff is in there." "Okay," I replied, sympathetic sweetheart that I'm not, "we have to get out of the building. Come on." The other woman and I each took one of this woman's arms and coaxed her up and moving. Another floor down and another person, this one all panic-faced, asking "Where's the fire?" "It's on the third floor," I told her, "let's just get out of the building." This seemed to baffle her a bit, but she moved, and finally we were outside.

Everything is fine (except probably for that poor woman whose apartment it was), there was no damage to me or my place, and the fire fighters let us back in the building after about 25 minutes of watching first smoke, then water, pour out of a couple of third-floor windows. And that was my little adventure for today.

*While I know that fire alarms are designed to be rattling to get people moving, there's got to be some frequency/volume combination that has that effect without also seriously impeding cognitive function. Loud, high-pitched noises just make me stupid.

Racist Fuckheadery Alive and Well in Toronto

Warning to Toronto's Ward 7 residents. Your city councillor is a racist fuckhead. I heard on the CBC yesterday, I think on Here and Now, that Mammoliti wants to make bars' and clubs' liquor licenses contingent on a commitment from the owners/managers that they will not allow entrance to people wearing gang colours, or play gangster rap. Mammoliti's justification is that the music glorifies violence, specifically violence against women and cops*, and that it is therefore a legitimate question of safety.

The interviewer at least seemed to recognize the racist fuckheadery and challenged the councillor by a) pointing out that violence in clubs is bad for business, so club owners already take steps to discourage it by installing metal detectors and often banning gang colours of their own volition and b) asking the councillor if there was any evidence that listening to the type of music in question actually increases the incidence of violence. Mammoliti succeeded in avoiding this question, among others about whether the club owners themselves supported the new rules, and whether he was worried that this might constitute an unacceptable level of censorship.

At one point during the interview, Mammoliti showed his true colours by admitting that part of the point of the rule was that if clubs weren't allowed to play "music that glorifies guns and violence," then "those sorts of people" would be less likely to go to the clubs and cause problems. I kind of thought that everyone knew what "those sorts of people" meant, to the point that it had stopped being a useable euphemism for racist fuckheads who don't want to appear racist. Using that phrase in a discussion about rap music is about equivalent to using the phrase "money and the ethnic vote" in a discussion of Quebec elections, isn't it?

I have a question for Mr. Mammoliti. Sir, if you're so fucking worried about violence against women that you're willing to ban a music style to help prevent it, may we assume that you'll soon be banning The Beatles as well? After all a little glorification of stalking was not exactly uncommon in their lyrics, and stalking victims are often in serious danger from their stalkers. Or if we're talking generally dangerous, how about banning most American country music? I mean surely, in the long run, nationalistic pride and American exceptionallism are more dangerous than a few individuals with guns or knives, aren't they? Because, after all, this is about increasing safety, and not about keeping Black people out of bars, right?

Mr. Mammoliti, you're a racist fuckhead.

*Not usually a natural class



Children are officially fucking gross. If you don't agree with me then you clearly didn't spend your day doing end-of-year locker-clean-out.

Just, ew.