In other recent adventures:
A trip to Victoria, Mom in tow, to do a talk for the Provost’s office at UVic on race, gender, community work and writing. Performed with Ashok Mathur. We seem to be a regular dog and pony show these days. There is a small, but very attentive community of writers and thinkers there who really care about this stuff.
The next day, off to Toronto with David Chariandy for a conference on Dionne Brand. Wish I could parse some of the marvellous thinking I heard– shoulda blogged it sooner. What was really great was to see so many committed thinkers, writers, activists and artists in the room some of whom I haven’t seen in a decade. The way Dionne’s work– from the poetry to the NFB films to the novels– have moved and shaped people’s lives, is amazing, and it was really inspiring to see these many things taken up from so many quarters.
Last week, back in Vancouver, helped Brett Josef Grubisic celebrate the launch of his first novel The Age of Cities, which is the story of manuscript found in a hollowed out home economics textbook from the 1950s, concerning a young librarian’s discovery of gay subculture in the city.
This Wednesday, went to the Freddy Wood Theatre at UBC to hear Slavoj Zizek speaking about fear, terror, biotechnology, the troubling universality of capital and action/inaction in the current political moment. He ended on an odd note, suggesting that sometimes we need to do nothing as a way of resisting capital and war. That these things depend on our constant reaction. Much disgruntlement from the crowd on this– some due to misunderstanding. He wasn’t saying: don’t ever act; but rather, just stop and think. (Quoted Lenin: learn, learn, learn.) There was something oddly zen about the move. I’m all about thinking, choosing one’s battles, and judicious timing, but it seemed a strange place to end. Mulling still.
Other cool stuff in the past bit: A KSW reading by Hun Q. Tu and Reg Johanssen, The Parade of Lost Souls, and the Oddballs Hallowe’en Dance at the Wise Hall, where a very disturbing ghost of Jon Benet won the prize for creepiest costume.
This afternoon, I’m off to speak with Betsy Warland at a roundtable for the SFU Grad Conference, Sexing the Text.
Don’t forget, next Wednesday Arjun Appadurai is speaking at UBC. Also, that’s the night of the launch for the first Commodore book, Fred Booker’s Adventures in Debt Collection.