Monday, April 30, 2007

Capitol hill thrills

So I managed to claw my way off the island last Friday, April 20 for a trip to Ottawa, both the political epicenter of the country as well as the nation’s capital for hideous, domestic, pastel blouses, sports tees and sensible haircuts. Not being a fourteen year-old Green Day fan anymore, it wasn’t until I strolled up to Capitol Hill that the significance of the date dawned on me. A throng of shifty-eyed adolescents wearing baggy cargo and listening to atrocious 90’s rave music congregated on the grass in front of the stoic government headquarters, pipes and bongs in hand, reminding me that, not only was it four-twenty, but it was almost 4:20. Naturally, I giggled and squealed in mirth.

As I stood there, I briefly wondered whether Stephen Harper was gazing out his office window, waiting to punch the clock, roll home and skin up a joint for the first hot weather of the year. The answer is, of course, not bloody likely. In fact, I’d bet my procreative faculties that the Prime Minister hasn’t even had the chance to fail to inhale, regardless of recent allegations that the government has been charging an arm and a leg for medicinal marijuana (for which, by the way, research funding has been cut to the tune of $4 million). No, the Doors of Perception are safely rusted shut for this gentleman.

That got me to thinking about other cultural landmarks which happen around that traditionally-mild weekend, and how they relate to our pal Steve (can I call you Steve?). Earth Day’s a touchy subject to any politician, particularly one who once called Kyoto a “socialist scheme” in his call-to-arms for “our campaign to block the job-killing, economy-destroying Kyoto accord.” Especially when recent polls indicate that the environment has surpassed even healthcare in the average Canadian’s itinerary of concerns. Damn, I guess last weekend was kind of a Conservative Kryptonite. Well, maybe Steve was up there worrying about whether voters detest him for not being a tree-hugging stoner. Again, not bloody likely. In fact, I’d go pounds to pennies that he’s feelin’ pretty damn good about his shot at reelection, given the recent rise of support for the similarly-aligned ADQ back in Quebec.

On top of all that, I thought, Steve’s got a mean hard-on for arts cutbacks. Gulp. Just then, as I looked down in the grass below me in dismay, I saw a jettisoned wood pipe lying on the ground, laden with a bowl of fresh ganja. I try to stay away from weed these days, but, damn, I thought, as the pulsing beat of pre-millennial trance rumbled the grass underfoot, better smoke that shit while I can.

Things to look forward to before Steve guts the arts:

Rumor has it that French techno kingpin Mr. Oizo might make an appearance at this year’s Mutek Festival. Piknic Electronik starts back up on May 20 with a crazy lineup for the summer. Air will be at Metropolis on May 6 and LCD Soundsystem are due back on May 9 at Spectum. Orchestral electro phenomenon !!! will be at Les Saints on May 18 and Datarock hit La Tulipe on June 3 with CSS and Bonde Do Role.

Art, weed and nature: the pillars of society.