Countdown to Uganda

As the great Schiavo debate continues below, I just wanted to share with everyone a new review of my last book, this time in University of Toronto Quarterly. Let’s just say it wasn’t too flattering.

Meanwhile, I’ve managed to get almost all of my pending tasks completed! Yayyy! That means I can ship off to Europe this weekend for a few days of ostentatious tourism, followed by a lengthy flight to Uganda, whereupon I and two good buddies, Sean and Andrew, will trek through the jungle in search of the elusive and rare mountain gorilla, at which point we will feast upon its endangered flesh and claim its hide as our trophy, after engaging in some Abu Ghraib-style recreation, monkey-stylee.

Seriously, we are indeed trekking for gorillas in the Ugandan jungle. After paying our enormous permit, the government will provide us with a guide, a graduate student who records the gorillas’ doings (and possibly our doings –who knows what he is a student of?) and an armed guard. I ain’t kidding myself, though: if there’s any kind of trouble, I fully expect the guard to shoot one of us before he shoots the gorilla. The gorilla is way more valuable.

Euthanasia Is More Than Just Teenagers In Hong Kong

Don’t intend this to be the downer blog or the fundraiser blog, but for those interested, the Guyanese High Commission is holding a cultural show at Centrepointe Theatre in Nepean on April 23, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Proceeds will go to flood relief efforts, specifically to get schools back in working order. Call 613-235-7249 for tickets. Also, our NGO is hosting another fundraiser on April 30th for tsunami relief in Sri Lanka; this will be a $50 evening of dinner and entertainment. Details forthcoming.

It strikes me that my position on the Terri Schiavo affair has been too vague. I’ve discussed it as a a medical issue, a patients rights issue and as a political hypocrisy issue. But what do I think should actually be done? Well, to put it bluntly, it seems to me that the husband is no longer Terri’s de facto next-of-kin, having abdicated that role by starting another family with another woman. That should be the end of it, legally and ethically. The parents should be designated as the true next-of-kin, and whether she should live or die or be turned into a cyborg or given a new haircut should be their decision. Both the “santity of life” people and the “euthanasia, please!” people should both shut the hell up and let the true de facto family assume power of attorney, and get this bloody story off the front pages.

In other words, the issue to me is not one of whether she deserves to live or die, or whether she would want to live or die, or whether it’s more moral to let her live or die, or whether government should be involved in this process —rather, the only relevant question at hand is who is the appropriate guardian of her interests? Based solely upon the scant facts provided by the media, I fall on the side of granting the parents dominion over her interests.

"All You Can Eat" Is A Challenge, Not An Advertisement

I had lunch today at Mother Tuckers, one of those trough-style all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants. It was suggested that I should blog about the experience, as I fancy myself something of an expert on how to maximize your experience at such public fonts of excess. So, as a service to my public, I offer the following tips. Do keep in mind, however, that I am not an obese man. Nay, in fact I am quite fit and trim, proof that indulging in all-you-can-eat need not be an unhealthy affair. Rather, consider it more of a challenge than an advertisement. “All I can eat? I think not, sir!” (more…)

Happy Easter

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