Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


Thinking Chaos, Thinking Fences

All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

15 January 2003

Ireland is the fantastic convergence of the parochial and the ultra-modern. While a small portion of it citizenry (the ones I know, mostly) are total digerati, the vast majority (and in particular the rural population) are still stuck somewhere in the mid-fifties. So, they haven't quite got this Internet thing down yet, particularly outside the technology industry.

This was brought home to me while I was walking home today. I saw a woman carrying a large paper bag on which was written Baggot Cleaners.ie Baggot, by the way, is a street. Anyhow, as anybody who's surfed the Web a bit knows, you can't have spaces in URLs like that. So, I expect the conversation between the bag printer (no doubt called O'Leary's and Sons) and the drycleaner went something like this:

DRYCLEANER: Right, so, we'd like the bags to say Baggot Cleaners dot IE.

PRINTER: Dot IE? What's that about now?

DRYCLEANER: I haven't the foggiest. My son's told me it's all the rage.

PRINTER: So, you want it to read D-O-T-I-E.

DRYCLEANER: Heaven's no, I want it to read dot. As in period. As in full stop. Then an I and an E. Okay so?

PRINTER: Jaysus, that's feckin' madness if you ask me.

DRYCLEANER: Can't stand in the way of progress you know.

PRINTER: Right. Ha ha ha.

DRYCLEARNER: Ha, ha, ha.  

11:41:29 PM    comment []

I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. I just sent somebody the link, so I thought I'd include it here, too. Daniel Hillis is a freakin' genius.

11:33:35 PM    comment []

I recently read that Canada may join the United States in a war against Iraq without the UN's endorsement! Man, I leave the country for a couple of years and everybody becomes a gun-toting expansionist! What the Reuters is wrong with the Canadian government?

As you can imagine, I'm somewhat chagrined. I dashed off the following letter to our honourable (I use the title ironically) Minister of Defence and my local MP, the unsinkable Hedy Fry. If you feel the same way, I encourage you to do likewise. It's hardly Johnsonian prose, but it's the thought that counts:

Dear Minister McCallum:

I'm deeply disappointed in the government for which I voted. I recently read where you indicated that Canada might become involved in a war on Iraq without United Nations endorsement. It shames me as a Canadian to think that we might take the same shameful path as our militant, moronic neighbours to the south.

While I'm wholeheartedly against a war in Iraq, I understand the realities of international politics and membership in the UN. That said, if our nation goes to war without UN backing, I will hold you responsible. Needless to say, I also won't be supporting the Liberal party in the next election.

While my current address is Irish, I'll be returning to my native Vancouver in a couple of months. I hope that I don't have to step off the plane and into an anti-war protest.

Darren Barefoot

11:32:28 PM    comment []

© Copyright 2003 Darren Barefoot.



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