Thursday, February 14, 2008

Weekend Chasers

Couple things you might enjoy:

This is a video cut from an Australian TV show called Chaser's War on Everything. The show is a young, edgy Candid Camera/Punk'd, guys pulling stunts on both ordinary folks and authority figures. Last year the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Group (APEC) met in Sydney. APEC consists of 21 member countries with borders on the Pacific (so Australia, China, Russia, but also Mexico, the U.S., Canada.)
Like other organizations supporting globalization of workforce, it's drawn considerable ire from those who oppose such efforts. What's more, the event tied up a lot of the city, in part because President Bush was in attendance.
So, as a joke, Chaser's War drove a fleet of limos posed as the Canadian delegation (there was no Canadian delegation) to the compound where the leaders were staying, to see how close they could get to where George Bush was staying.

It turns out, they were able to get all the way in. (The fact that one of the guys in one of the limos was dressed as Osama bin Laden strangely never got noticed.)

The group got in a lot of trouble for the stunt; I understand they also earned enormous ratings.

The other thing is a poem from Garrison Keillor's NPR broadcast the Writer's Almanac:

All That Is Glorious Around Us
(title of an exhibit on The Hudson River School)

is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled
overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day
of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car,
160,000 miles, still running just fine. Or later,
sitting in a café warmed by the steam
from white chicken chili, two cups of dark coffee,
watching the red and gold leaves race down the street,
confetti from autumn's bright parade. And I think
of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days
she has now, how we never think about the glories
of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs,
simple as the journey of water over a rock. It is the nature
of stone / to be satisfied / writes Mary Oliver, It is the nature
of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down
a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape
boundless behind it. But everything glorious is around
us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain's
bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement,
where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening
street, this radiant world.

Barbara Crooker

Have a great weekend.