Things For Which I Am Thankful


Well I begin 2009 with a gastric disorder best left undescribed in this public space. In some ways, I’m glad I got sick because it gave me the excuse I needed to stay home in bed, rather than feel compelled to brave the traditional cold of New Years Eve in Toronto. Before we begin my traditional Jan 1st post, lest get some links out of the way first.

Andoo sends us Five Drinking Myths That Can Kill You, while EK Hornbeck sends us this article about how successful Irish women are settling for loser men they would not have even noticed years earlier. As I’ve tried to explain to others: as a man, dating gets easier as we age; as a woman, I imagine it would get harder. From the article, I really need to meet this woman:

“I ironed his shirts, made him dinner, wore sexy lingerie, and alphabetised his porn collection.”

And while this quote is attributed to a woman, it can also describe some of my experiences and those of many of my single male friends:

“I’m sick of having to spend evenings listening to losers, paying for a meal I didn’t enjoy.”

But enough whining. Time for my traditional look back on the year past, and to make note of things I was thankful for. In no particular order…

My family. Yes, they drive me nuts, but they’re the only ones I have. As the youngest, I may one day be the last one, so I’d better appreciate them while they’re all still around.

Bittorrent. Torrent technology released me from my addiction to television, and thus to my vulnerability to advertising. With torrent technology, people took back control of their airwaves. We no longer need to watch a show when the broadcaster deems fit. We no longer need to sit through hours of pointless commercials. And we need no longer pay inflated fees for questionable content. The technology is also forcing companies to re-imagine business models for the new age, and that’s never a bad thing.

My websites. Yes, we’re on a technology trend. This blog continues to evolve, well into its 13th year. It’s now older than some of its readers! Joining the Deonandan.com family of sites were The Podium Online Magazine and Skiffy.ca. Coming in the new year will be a brand new online offering in the world of South Asian literature. I won’t spill the beans yet, but wait for the announcement! Also coming soon will be the relaunch of Deonandan.com, version 4.0.

The many women I dated. I even manage to squeak out a couple of brief, monogamous relationships this year! It’s nice to have my heterosexuality reaffirmed by an undeniable attraction to the ever more alluring qualities of the other sex. (I don’t use the term, “fairer gender.” Yecch.)

Barack Obama. Sure, ultimately he’s going to turn out to be just like every other American president, a servant of: big business, the inward-looking free market ideology, military pugilists, the Israel lobby and the Christian Right. But until those eventualities surface, I am enjoying the brief moments of hope. I never thought I’d see an American election that would drive me to tears of joy.

Canada. I hate patriotism and nationalism; I find that they are concepts that appeal to the thuggish and least wise amongst us. So when I say that I love and am thankful for my country, it’s not so much an expression of patriotism, but a realization that people can self-organize themselves in a thousand different ways; it’s thus remarkable that some have chosen to do so in a manner as accepting and comfortable as Canadians have. Other nations have different strengths and weaknesses. But there’s no denying that this particular immigrant boy would not have flourished had the nation of Canada not accepted his family 38 years ago. Thus I am grateful to be a citizen of Canada, and unless its political tone changes radically in coming years, intend to continue to dedicate my professional life to improving the quality of life here.

The University of Ottawa. For the first time ever, I am gainfully employed in a station that I enjoy with 100% of my being. I love being a university professor. Who knew I’d find a job I’d want to ride out to the end? While I do whine about them on occasion, I actually adore my students. I don’t have any children, thus I guess I extract a modicum of pride in seeing my students progress in their ventures.

Western science. Yes, it has failed us monstrously at times. Yes, science brought forth the nuclear age, global warming, the machine gun, CFCs, trans fats and crystal meth. But without Western science, perhaps 80% of us would not be alive today. The very existence of human civilization is founded upon the tenets of science. A more detailed post on this theme will be forthcoming.

George Bush. Yes, I’m grateful for George W. Bush this year. I’m thankful that he was not a tad cleverer than he is, lest he managed to fool the world just a tad longer into believing his cockamamy delusions. And I’m thankful to him for finally revealing the fragility of American liberty, allowing us to reconstruct it in a more humanistic and meaningful fashion. I’m further thankful for him for providing a polar example of all that I do not believe in. For there are few better opportunities to define oneself than when presented with that which one is not.

Is that enough? Feel free to add your own to the comments below.