Thursday, December 10, 2009

Don't Fear The Reaper

photo by Madrid-based photog, more info ici...

At the beginning of this decade, I was living in Victoria, BC and playing in a band called Ghosts that (at times) picked handily from various sources, mostly if my hand was involved. Things That Will Never Be, one song that popped into my head shortly after waking up, I initially attributed to a dream, but looking back, was more than likely the result of falling asleep with Hot Snakes' Automatic Midnight in my Discman...

During a semi-disastrous tour of Canada, we stopped at one of the numerous truck-stop gas-stations that, along with grain silos, amount to the Prairie's only contribution to Canadian architecture. Whereas in Ontario, the truck-stops mimic the stately pleasure domes of their southern counterparts in the United States, with showers, full-service diners & entertainment lounges, their Prairie counterparts prefer a shabby, one-level take on the rancher-style house. Such was the case with one in Saskatchewan where I, plopping down $10, bought Blue Oyster Cult's Greatest Hits. The long drive in the moonlight from then until Wawa was made all the better thanks to that, I think. And the hood-rat skate kids hanging out in Wawa's donut store parking lot who told us how rad the Warped Tour was gonna be.

It should be noted that Wawa is one of those very Canadian places - it's frustrating (the gas station closes at 11pm, so you have to stay at one of the over-priced motels), it's boring, and there's some sort of absurd giant thing, in this case a 28-foot statue of a Canadian Goose, that constitutes its only claim to distinction.

Okay, so I'm obviously bitter about Canada as a nation to drive across. I'd never make it as the Governor-General: I'd make sure that every official visit to some crappy rural town to dub their their cultural privation 'quintessentially Canadian' was thwarted. Young Canadians, if any of you are reading this, heed my warning: when some chipper young kid you went to school with, with more enthusiasm than wit, more studiousness than sarcasm, encourages you to drive across Canada before you hit up your first year of university, tell him to get lost. If you want adventure and excitement, the vast spaces and wasteland of Canada are not the place to find it. If, on the other hand, you are inspired by the Group of Seven painters: go with God.

Ghosts finally broke up this year, after an 8 year run, and, uh, one Canadian tour. It's a stupid, stupid country, my friends.

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