serving up a safer world
Who says the Canadian Senate is useless? Earlier this month they self-organized to participate in the Canadian Landmine Foundation's Second Annual fundraising Night Of A Thousand Dinners. If they can do it, you gotta bet you can, too. On or around December 5, volunteer to host a dinner anywhere you like and ask your guests to donate in return. Register at www.1000dinners.com, but don't expect a job for life out of it.
national egos Could someone tell those National Post editors that freedom is not a synonym for narcissism? If you can't answer yes to this rhetorical question posed on page one last weekend -- Is it entirely necessary that police stop drivers at random for Breathalyzer tests? -- you need a shrink, not, as the editors fantasize, a movement.
root of the problem
George Bush is having problems with his friends, what with bin Laden probably in Pakistan and hissupport posse high up in Saudi Arabia. Here in Canada, Bush has inspired Rooting Out Evil (www.rootingoutevil.org) to join the weapons inspection bandwagon. Thing is, their international team of inspectors is demanding immediate access to any site in the U.S., including all presidential compounds. They say they're just responding to Bush's own guidelines on rogue-state status: possible nuclear stockpiles, violation of UN due process, refusal to sign onto international treaties and the illegitimate holding of state power.
mo better mo
Legendary rock venue the El Mocambo resurfaces this week. In a bizarrely ironic twist, Yvonne Matsell has been named the club's new booker. Matsell was the booker for Ted's Wrecking Yard, which was briefly slated to be the home of former El Mo booker Dan Burke's El Mocambo Productions after Ted's went bankrupt. She won't be taking control until January, but the club will host independently organized events starting this week. Promoter Ian Guthrie, whose Building Blocks techno party hits the Elmo Friday (November 29), likes what he sees. "It's a beautiful space now, totally renovated -- you wouldn't recognize it," he says.
PEN Canada is making Edward Albee, playwright, 2002 Tony Award winner and writers' rights crusader, the centrepiece of its major fundraiser Friday (November 29). Albee, who's been monitoring state censorship for over 20 years, warns, "As soon as our government proclaimed that you're either with us or against us, artists and writers began to shut up. People don't realize that the thing about civil rights is, once they're eroded you don't get them back." Feel free to get him talking. His PEN appearance is a wide-open Q&A.