23 February 2015

Birds of Interest

You started as a writer for TV, and that is a group process, if I understand it right?

CK: It is, at least situation comedy writing in the US is in a group. I don't know about the dramas, I never did that, I think it might be more individual. But yeah, you sit in a room with a bunch of other comedy writers and you pitch jokes. The first job I got I didn't say a word for 6 weeks and every day I would go home and think that I was going to get fired that day. I was so scared and so shy and so inhibited-- I mean it's a competition, you know, because you are vying for the affection of your boss, who is your dad, really, in this situation. So it's really weird and some of those writers rooms are really scary. And you know, that older brother that you hate because your dad likes him more...

16 February 2015

The Ring of Gyges

"Two weeks later, the first week in October, and I am sitting in a copter. Five hours ago I was in Montreal, changing flights. Now, since I only had a fifteen minute transfer in Montreal and barely made my plane, I am torturing myself about whether my luggage was transferred. We will land in Hebron, Labrador. I have discovered that Labrador is part of the province of Newfoundland. I have already heard my first Newfie joke. In Hebron they still have the old-fashioned manhole covers that can be pried up with a crowbar, big round metal things. A Newfie is jumping up and down on the manhole cover saying, "Sixty-seven! Sixty-seven!" every time he jumps. A man visiting on business stops to stare and the Newfie beckons him over, explains that what he is doing is a way of relieving stress. (This is told with a Newfie accent, every sentence ends with, 'ay?') He tells the business man to try. The business man is not sure that he wants to, but slowly he is convinced to step on the manhole cover. He jumps into the air and says "Sixty-seven."The Newfie says that he's got to put more into it (ay,) really shout it out. So the business man jumps and shouts "Sixty-seven!" He finds it is kind of fun, so he jumps higher, shouting "Sixty-seven!" louder and louder, until he's red in the face and his long coat tails are flying. He jumps really high, shouts "Sixty-seven!" and the Newfie whisks the manhole cover off and the business man disappears into the manhole. Then the Newfie puts the cover back on and starts jumping up and down shouting, "Sixty-eight!"
I wonder what Baffies do to American Born Chinese."
-- Maureen F. McHugh, China Mountain Zhang

3 February 2015

Heritage Moment

"A PLOWED PILE OF MARCH-DEAD CITY SNOW AND ITS TRAPPINGS" by NSCAD painting professor Suzanne Funnell (1989), in the defunct smoking lounge of the Assiniboine car of the Via Rail Ocean Line  (HFX<–>MTL).