Sunday, November 18, 2007

Images of Ron Paul and Brian Mulroney on the "New Loonie"


The meaning of your life, your novel, the sudden intimation of where you live and among whom you move-- can lead to almost frightening realizations, especially when a real event brings home what you have been trying to do for the past thirty years.

It took that poor Polish man being tasered and killed at Vancouver International Aiport to finally bring home to me what in hell was the meaning of my second novel, The Hat People. (Mounties wear hats?).

In The Hat People I had a character going through a similar experience not in Vancouver, but the Canada/ U.S. border at Niagara Falls.

Egad. What a flash.
And the first thing you want to do, is to tell somebody about your experience as an Eastern European writer on the Canadian experience.

We writers are such blabbermouths, we talk too much on other people's blogs and we have no patience.

I had to tell somebody about my almost vanished surreal novel whose time may have come at last.

Whom else to tell but poor ususpecting TomCat, who had his own problems about George Bush and the brutal officialdom that is now so much part of the American experience. He had, in a recent blog, blog, a report on
Federal agents raiding the headquarters of a group that produced illegal currency and putting it in circulation. The agents seizing gold, silver and two tons of copper coins featuring Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Oh what an opportunity for me.

I thought I'd put out a teaser (not taser!) on TomCat's blog.

Had to rekindle interest in my Hat People novel somehow.

So here is what I wrote in TomCat's blog:



TomCat,

I can't resist.

Your blog on eliminating the Federal Reserve has led me straight into the first chapter of my novel, The Hat People.

Numinosity.
Canadian Loonies.
I wrote my book in 1987, little realizine that I may as well have written it today, twenty years later. The great UFO convention in Toronto recently... And the Canadian "Loony" dollar coin that you cite. (And that poor Polish guy they tasered and killed at Vancouver International Airport).

Oh what the hell.
I'm pimping.

Here are a few paragraphs of my Hat People, finally published in l996.

I thought the book was prophetic, but the critics missed it.

Here we go with a bit of Chapter One of my The Hat People.


Chapter One

The year was rife with signs, entire series of strange occurrences and unlucky portents, events so ominous that the superstitious in Toronto's great European community took immediate alarm and even the less skittish native Protestants began to entertain secret misgivings.

On the westward commute, on the QEW to Hamilton, a new object had appeared in the heavens, an L-shaped chunk of what appeared to be a Corinthian column, larger than the moon and out of all proportion to earthly size. Hardly anyone noticed, in the lengthening days of February that an eclipse had occurred at about the same time, appearing to have the sun setting at five-thirty p.m. instead of a quarter to six.
Only on the eleven o'clock news did our commuters learn that the fiery column, replete with its lower chunk of plinth, was an unexplained phenomenon by the local observatory and someone must have been sleeping at the switch, since the accompanying eclipse hadn't been predicted either. A satellite did pick up the torus, and all agreed, that from some angles, it did look like a hat. Torontonians shrugged and waited for other events.

Something was happening to the money. The paper banknote seemed to change colour every day, while at the Royal Canadian Mint, die makers were already tooling up to turn old American-style quarters and dimes into huge coins resembling Mexican pesos.
Three Conservative political campaigns fell as they rose, giving Bay Street a shudder, and in one Ukrainian Catholic Church, the very pillar of a conservative people, a priest went mad. In the midst of high mass, when the great onion-topped cathedral was crowded to its very doors, the Reverend Moisei Papryka, leaped to the altar, and shouting blasphemies, proceeded to lay violent hands on the Sacred Host, understood by all to be the body and blood of Christ...

Well, well well.
Hoo dat callin'.

In my book, it was a bad time to be a Ukrainian Catholic in a secular Canadian society.
For thirty years, I thought I had erred in risking everything to write my Hat People.
And that is all that I will blurt for now, for it seems I made no mistake at all.
I am glad I wrote the book.
Suffered damnably, lost hair and teeth, but wrote the book.
I sincerely hope other people are luckier in their projects.
But the book, she is writ.
And I am glad.

39 comments:

Josie said...

Ivan, you were ahead of your time. Maybe your prescient?

That poor fellow's funeral was yesterday. In his sermon the Catholic priest said, "Why didn't the RCMP officers offer that poor fellow a glass of water, instead of tasering him? Where has our compassion gone>"

Indeed. I think we are all slowly going crazy.

Josie said...

I meant you're. But you knew that. Proofread, proofread, proofread.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

I was almost in the same shape in the city of Saltillo, Mexico.
I had been in two car accidents in Arkansas and hardly had any fenders left (Smoky and the Bandit?).
Two bangs on the head had left me half-crazy as I drove into Mexico.
Saltillo police showed up, checked my Ontario licence plate.
One of them walked over to my driver's side. "My friend, how are you," the sergeant had said in perfect English. He had extended his hand.
I explained that I was lost, really lost and accident weary. He helped me with directions as to where I wanted to go.
Nowhere was there a billy club, taser or a gun pulled.

Snalltown Mexican police are better than our own red serge boys?
...It was certainly true fifteen years ago.

ivan@cretivewriting.ca said...

Josie,

Never mind your typo.

There are typos aplenty in my blog above, as you can see. :)

Josie said...

Ivan, for the first time ever, I am ashamed to be Canadian. And I am ashamed of the RCMP. Read the following from the Canadian Press:

(CP) - Career bureaucrat William Elliott was sworn in as the 22nd commissioner of the RCMP during a private ceremony Monday, with a mandate to clean up a scandal-plagued administration almost overshadowed by his need to earn the respect of the rank and file.

Bullsh*t. Elliott didn't even give a statement when that man was tasered by those thug cops. He kept his silence, and then he gave some phony excuse as to why he kept his silence. I am so disgusted.

Is this another indication of how Canada is becoming Americanized? Have we absorbed, by osmosis, their paranoia after 9/11? I think so! How many acts of terrorism have there been on Canadian soil? How many have there been on American soil, for that matter? What the hell is happening to humanity?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

I don't know about your politics but our Stockwell Day as national security minister is starting to scare the daylights out of me.
It's not his fault, he inherited all this, but there's something
of Bush-speak in all this.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

p.s. to Josie,

I see you're being tagged all over.

I too am going to put up a sign.
"Don't tag me. Please."
My brain seems to have gone AWOL this weekend, and now FaceBook wants to play.
I read somewhere that all writers hate time-killing passtimes. Even when we are assonants.

JR's Thumbprints said...

DammitAlltoHell, I've got to make time to read "The Hat People." Perhaps when I'm on vacation I'll borrow someone's laptop. Wife says I'm not to blog though ... may be difficult.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

JR,
Flattered that you'd go to all that trouble.
There is a version of The Hat People out in Canadian libraries, but my typesetters have made such a mess of it that I'm embarrassed to have anybody order it through Library Interloan.
I think you can download pretty easily by clicking onto my template--The Hat People, just above..See?
Thanks for the interest.
...I've been writing that MuddaChinga of a book for the past forty years and still haven't got it right!

Shesawriter said...

Interesting that we have no patience, and ours is the one business where patience is a MUST. Maybe that's why we're all rubber room candidates.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tanya,

I am a rubber room candidate because by nature I am a reveller, carouser and drunk.
But I had to apply patience and discipline while working in journalism.
But the reveller and carouser finally caught up with me.
"Scrooge come to collect, Grasshopper. You no ant!"

the walking man said...

I am a rubber room candidate just because I am shit house rat crazy from trying to make sense of the world as it is opposed to how it was fifty years ago.

Josie to be honest I find that i am slightly offended at the Amercanized comment.

I don't give a rat's ass about political correctness but that statement in context makes it sound as if we are all gun toting thugs doing the dirtiest deeds in the world.

Yes America has lost world respect over the past seven years but we here have lost more of our constitutional rights and moved closer to a police state than you will ever know about.

The population has been silenced with a poor economy and worries over keeping roofs over our heads and food on the table.

You make it sound as if all Americans have lost our humanity yet you fail to realize how much the population of this country with a good heart still gives to the world in aid.

For example the US has 2 navy ships off the coast of Bangladesh right now with multiple tons of food and necessities waiting for permission to dock and off load the cargo.

Granted that is just stuff and money but it is stuff and money paid for by the American people without complaint.

Peace

mark

eric1313 said...

Time to mail/email that manuscript out to every publisher in the great white Canadian north, Ivan. Strike while the iron's hot and the senses of people are inflamed.

pink floyd said...

"Got to keep the loonies on the path"

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,
I have travelled all over the U.S. and found a reallly nice people.
Flush or broke, I was always treated, for some reason, like family.
A fifth-generation itinerant gyspy traveller finally set me straight.
"Simple," he had said. "You're white."
Gee, I hope it wasn't that simple.
In the poorest regions of Arkansas, I did find that most IGA managers were black...And it was the white guys on food stamps.
Wonderful America is indeed a land of contraditicions.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eric,
You have a brilliant, intuitive streak and you've been lucky enough to have had some good training.
Yes, now is the time.
But do you notice that just when the iron is hot, it seems to take all the willpower and focus in the world just to place the stamps on the envelope.
Last time I had a contract from a publisher my shop foreman had to set up the fax machine for me so I could mail the contract back.
This writing thing is so like a process of marital separation.
Simple things are almost impossible to do.
I guess it's the twenty year build-up, and when Hollywood finally comes, you are pole-axed and speechless.
But thanks for the support and encouragement.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

pink floyd.

Thanks. Yep. Put another brick in the wall.
Or, as in where I live, in the exurbs:
"All and all,
"You're just another shop in the Mall." :)

Josie said...

"Yes America has lost world respect over the past seven years but we here have lost more of our constitutional rights and moved closer to a police state than you will ever know about. Mark, that is precisely my point. If what happened at the Vancouver Airport doesn't indicate that Canada is becoming a police state, I don't know what does. If you could see America from the outside, the way the rest of the world does, you will realize that your country has become paranoid, with a knee-jerk reaction to everything. What the hell is Homeland Security all about? Even the name sounds fascist. And we, as your closest neighbors, are becoming infected with the same paranoia.

ivan@creativewritng.ca said...

You go, girl!

the walking man said...

Josie,
The term is not Americanized it should Buseneyized, a term for the administration running what a 30% approval rating?

Americans as a whole do not keep up with the fact that the dollar is almost fallen through the floor they only know it costs more now to pay for things like dairy products and imported goods like Canadian lumber, most don't know that Iraq war is costing the economy a billion+ a week, most don't know to look for suspicious packages, most don't know that starting next year you will need a passport to go to Canada or new federal ID card, most don't know that when the army is brought back from overseas that they will be battle hardened troops that very well may be called out to quell disturbances in the cities like Detroit because there may be riots because people can't find a place to live or afford food.

Homeland Security is just the beginning of the way to quell internal dissent and oppress the common citizen, especially with the legal warrantless wiretaps and the reading of e-mail passing between countries, most don't know this because even though they say nationally we only have a 4.6% unemployment rate that the 95.6% who are working most are barely making a living and they are usually doing the job of two people most are concerned with being able to make the necessary payments to keep food and shelter this is the new reality of most Americans as I see it here in an area with a 17% unemployment rate.

America has decimated the middle class at least here in Michigan which lost 8000 more manufacturing jobs in the last quarter and some, not all, but some are seeing the gap between the rich and the impoverished grow in leaps and bounds.

Yet though the administration is paranoid, the people are still kind and do what they can when they can for whomever they can, but the higher ups in most corporations and non-profits make sure they get theirs first before those the money was meant to help.

As a people we are not paranoid, we are wary, wary of anything that may bring another 9/11 but we don't fear it and I for one don't trust the government has the ability to stop it if it happens again.

We simply hoe that as individuals we are not caught like rats in a trap like the 2800 who died in the WTC or the trains in Spain, or the embassy' in Africa, or the USS Cole.

Yes Canada is our closest neighbor and I believe if some great disaster either man made or natural the American people through all of it's agencies would be the first to come to the aid of your nation.

We I believe are not paranoid, just sick and tired of this goddamned administration which manipulated the stealing of not one but two national elections. And then fucked up the entire world with the grab for riches and power

Give us time, usually in the entire length of our history we eventually get it right.

Peace

peace

peace

mark

Josie said...

Mark, I didn't say the American people were unkind. Goodness. Neither are the Canadian people unkind. You guys are our closest cousins. Family...! But you have to admit that your country is descending more and more into a county that resembles East Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall. Rent the movie "The Lives of Others". Americans are living that way now. I know people who are on the "no fly zone" in your country, for absolutely nothing. I know people who have had their books confiscated. Children's books!

I am not referring to the American people, referring to America the country, and Canada, the country. Our two countries are indeed becoming paranoid. And you know, there are folks in your country who actually support your administration and their philosophy.

I hope a Democrat gets elected, for your sakes, but it's not a "done deal" yet.

I honestly feel that if the Republicans get re-elected, it won't be long before you see tanks on Pennsylvania Avenue. The suppression will continue and continue. And Canada, much as I hate to admit it, is following suit. Monkey-see, monkey-do.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police killed an innocent man simply because he had a panic attack in an airport. They should have offered him aid, instead they killed him. That is very much a reflection of what is going on in the States, unfortunately, like it or not. But it has nothing to do with you folks.

We the people? You the people have to change it.

Josie said...

It has happened again.

Liz said...

You know it's all the Neocons marching all of us toward the New World order for their global domination and reducing everyone into slave class citizens as their ideal. Time to pillage many other countries (Africa) for their natural wealth.

Believe it or not, the "little man" in Oklahoma is well aware of what is going on. If another 9-11 occurs most believe the government is behind it.

Back in the 50s Eisenhower warned against the Military-Industrial complex. See what has happened?

The rich have their own private armies now (ie, Blackwater and many others). It's not much different than feudal times!

You've sparked an interesting discussion, Ivan! Yeah, history has a way of repeating, so it's a good time for The Hat People! ~Liz

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Years and years will pass and we will look back on this and other things and say, "This was the beginning". We are dangerous in the minds of those that are to protect us. When a shampoo bottle can not be taken aboard a flight or a child is forbidden to fly because of his name, or when we choose to batter someone because they do not understand or are different, then I suppose we are dangerous.

We have become a county of followers with no leaders left. Yadda, yadda, yadda! Are we that pathetic? Can I hear, "Hell yeah, I believe we are", it is either that or fear and fear is not different, it is just as pathetic especially when these are our countries and we are letting these fools take our freedons away one by one.

We love our countries, but we letting them become all controlling and far abusing. We do not want to take the blame for the problems that are all around us. But if the trith be known. We are just as much to blame as those in office. We put them there and so, "we made or beds and now we must lie inside them".

Trevor Record said...

Ha ha, I hadn't heard about the phony money thing. I feel sorry for the manufacturers, because unlike "real money", their "fake" silver dollars were had some "real" (material) value. Even if the US market crashes, those RonPaulBucks could at least have been melted down for the silver. (Also handy if some werewolves come around town).

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

You use facts to back up your statments, and so does Josie, though in a more circular way.

Are we having the War of l812 all over again?

Watch it, Josie will repeat history and go and burn down Detroit.
...But I don't think enough Indians will follow this time, (native people being the ones who last intimidated the Detroit garrison commander in, I think l814)...Our indigenous people are thoroughly pissed at us. We try to give them money, but the bureaucrats and the lawyers eat it right up...Indians so poor they haven't got a tipi to pipi.

Canada's problem right now is that we have a young Prime Minister so far up Dubya's backside that I think he's actually saying, "Am I hurting you, dear?"

...Trying to think outside the box: Canada is 400 years old if you count the original Newfoundlanders and Frenchmen.
In recent times, we Enslish-speakers have tried to be carbon-copy Americans, and that's a large part of the problem.
The French will just not let us get away with it! And that, I think, is good.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

I don't believe it!
Right in the middle of our discussion!
Young black guy this time. Totally innocent of anything deserving a taser hit. Another death by electrocution.
Too much maintenance for the chair?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Your point is especially well taken as you live not too far from the site of Oklahoma bombing.
They got you guys first.
And the authorities didn't take precautions, the intelligence agencies asleep. Or put to sleeep.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tara,

Right on the mark.

...But Mark might want to say more?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Trevor,

You are brilliant and funny.

Josie said...

"In recent times, we English-speakers have tried to be carbon-copy Americans, and that's a large part of the problem."

Ivan, when have we not been carbon-copy Americans? What is most of our culture made up of - music, art, theatre, movies, television? American culture...! And where do Canadians musicians, artists, actors, actresses go if they want to make a name for themselves? America! And then we get to hear and see them in American music, art, theatre, movies, television. The majority of Canadians live along the border with America. To all intents and purposes, we are American. So, it follows that whatever they do - we do it too. As Tara says, "when a shampoo bottle can not be taken aboard a flight or a child is forbidden to fly because of his name, or when we choose to batter someone because they do not understand or are different, then I suppose we are dangerous."

It's happening in Canada, because we mimic and parrot what happens south of the border. We always have, and we always will, no matter who our Prime Minister is. Separation from Quebec? Hogwash, we should try separating from America. We can't do it...!

ivan@ creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

Como respecto:

It might be a little more sophisticated than that if the Council of Foreign Relations has its way.
The Bushies want us to separate from Quebec so they can have their way with us.

ea monroe said...

Hey, Ivan, you might be interested in knowing, but on the Nightly News the other night there was a story about "American Refugees" in Canada. The Canadian Supreme Court refused to grant them political asylum.

And did you know that some of the 9-11 characters were right here in Norman. Oh yeah, they were hanging out at the local airport taking flight lessons.

Mohammed Atta was here. I saw him in Wallymart one day with three others in his party. I remember his eyes and his were not eyes anyone would want to look into.

Check out this link:
Oklahoma:Axis of Evil

http://www.infowars.com/articles/us/ok_axis_of_evil.htm

Interesting stuff.

Liz

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Holy Cow!
Or Holy Atta!

They got their wings in Oklahoma?

The plot thickens!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

If anybody else wants the pants scared off him or her over 911, check out
http://www.geocities.com/killtown/oddities.htm

TomCat said...

I've read this before. ;-)

http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

Cast your bread upon the waters, I say. :)

TomCat said...

Yea, and thou shalt have soggy bread!! ;-)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tomcat:

I heard this from a pulpit in Newfoundland:

"And the Lord said squeeze.
"And yea, they were squizzen." :)