Lots of passion this week. For starters I attended X-Fest at Fort Calgary. The venue is about 200m from my house so it couldn’t have worked out any better. I wandered over after lunch and caught Fun, Young the Giant, Silversun Pickups and Linkin Park. The big surprise was Fun. There was one song I knew of them from the radio and I don’t at all care for it. However, the rest of their set was enthralling. I dig the anthem style music. The full band vocal “Woe Ohs” reminded me of Of Monsters and Men. The lead singer has the biggest voice I’ve ever heard live and one of the touring members, Emily Moore, certainly captured my attention with her guitar, vocals, sexaphone, and general awesomeness. I was also thoroughly impressed with Linkin Park. The whole performance was tight as a drum. Chester both looked and sounded like a demon – very cool to watch. I also found out that LP is basically the Backstreet Boys of hard rock music. You may not actively listen to them but if you go to a concert you’ll know every song. The big let down was Silversun Pickups. They are currently one of my favourite bands and I’m sure they put on a great show but no one in the audience could hear any of it. The sound guy totally botched the mix. The bass was overwhelming and Brian’s vocals were non-existent. I also found myself constantly looking over my shoulder in order to dodge the limbs of constant crowd surfers.
The next morning I was up at 6am to head out to Canmore. I joined up with the U of C cross-country team for their training camp. I stayed two nights in the Banff Boundary Lodge as we went for runs and partied in Banff. We were joined by one of the members of the 8-man rowing team that tok Silver in London. He brought his medal to the bar, which I thought was a bit much. I vaguely remember wearing it a few times. Thanks to being “Iced” twice (ya…that’s still around) I got severely intoxicated. There was a Breathalyzer at the bar that anyone could use for a dollar. I blew 0.134. I don’t know if that’s “good” but I felt like I was at max capacity. That evening I had to share the futon with a gentleman I had never met. I woke up in the middle of the night to find him sharing my pillow. I laughed and rolled over. In the morning I found myself hovering on the far reaches of the mattress as my bed buddy was now lying on a diagonal. As the morning went on I began to rediscover some of my misdoings. As a recovery a few of us hiked up Johnston Canyon to the Ink Pots. It’s so beautiful it doesn’t even look real. See below.
Then it was back to Calgary to remount the hamster wheel. Several things bothered me almost instantly. Today while I was unpacking my van I put one of my equipment bags on the sidewalk. As I continued with other processes I saw an old lady come walking along. All that was required of her was to take perhaps 1 step on to the grass the lines every sidewalk every built. However, her eyes gave a concerned look as if to say “Holy fuck, what am I supposed to do now?” Step off the beaten path every once and a while grandma. I’ve never been in agreement with the whole respecting elders thing. I give respect where respect is due, regardless of age. I discovered long ago that just because someone is older than me does not mean that they automatically know more. In fact, often I find the case to be on the contrary. Old people can be stubborn in their outdated ways and disappointingly intolerant. For instance, one of my friends is a lesbian. She recently got engaged to another woman and couldn’t be happy. Her grandma on the other hand has taken to aggressive offence. She was raised in an environment of intolerance and has been unable to adopt the mentality of a more modern and enlightened time. This attitude does not deserve respect. It deserves scorn. Some young people behave the same way and they deserve scorn as well. My general thesis is that it is ok to judge people (whether for the positive or negative) as long as one does so on the basis of works and not status. This is the primary reason why I feel nothing positive towards the Royal Family and do not understand why anyone else does. This concludes Rant 1.
Another thing that got to me today was more religious paraphernalia. While I was driving home I saw in large block lettering across the back of a vehicle “I BELONG TO JESUS.” As per usual this instantly brought great discomfort to my being. I can think of no greater danger than blindly submitting to an invisible and unchanging ideology. From what I understand North Korea has a similar system of following orders from a dead man. If that bumper sticker had any other name on it perhaps more people would agree with me. I also saw a church sign a while ago that said “Daily exposure to the son prevents burning.” You can imagine what that did to me.
The previous mentality likely led to the next bit of propaganda I saw on a city bus not two vehicles in front of the first one I spoke of. It was a large poster promoting circumcision. The tone was set up as if to suggest that the baby wanted it and that parents are doing the right thing by allowing their child’s genitals to be mutilated. Again, because of the consistent perspective many people probably do not share my outrage. Well, try this scenario for a consciousness shift.
A new cult forms. It states that in order to demonstrate obedience to it’s leader all infants must have the tip of their index finger sliced off. As a slight distraction it also claims that by doing so it prevents the risk of an ingrown nail.
The public outcry would register on the Richter scale. Surely, we as a civilized, western nation can find a way to stop cutting baby’s dicks off. All of this reminded me of a great Steven Weinberg quote:
With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.
In other news, I recently had a conversation with Larry regarding the Trans-Rockies Run. We are in the preliminary stages of committing to the 6-day, 120mile run through the mountains of Colorado. In preparation for the event I did a 40 minute run today. My achilles tendon seems to be entirely healed and so I am now having fun envisioning what kind of running I can take on over the next year. I must admit that my recent 48km hike/run shed new light on what I might be able to do. It took the faint boundaries that I feel when sifting through my guide books and blew them to the horizon. It will be interesting to explore the reaches of my new liminality.