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Hats off to (Stephen) Harper

October 5, 2009

NEWS YOU CAN EWS: Apparently PM (more like BM) Harper was at some cultural event the other day and there was a piano at the place where the event was being held and he sat down at it and busted out a rendition of “With a Little Help from My Friends” with world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma. A journalism professor would look at that sentence and say: “Bah! Cheeky pun! Slang! No sources! No detail! Hyphenated epithets are so last year! All the polysyndeton makes me want to vomit! You’re going to fail my course if you don’t get your act together!” Then he’d realize he’d been too hard on me and revise his stance later on in the week: “Listen, you passed the second midterm, but I’m still not convinced that you Have What It Takes. Have you considered switching your major to creative writing? The world needs more blogs, dammit!” According to sources, Stephen Harper’s wife is some kind of cultural type person. One can only imagine what those two talk about late at night.

WIFE: Steve, that was amazing. But could you stop cutting the budgets of arts programs?

PM HARPER (lighting a cigarette): No.

Anyway, various horrifying Beatles-massacre-related images must have been in my head last night, and in addition there would have been residue from the solid 2.5 consecutive hours of Coronation Street I’d watched earlier in the day. It got all scrambled up into a dream in which, prior to the beginning of the action of the dream, I had murdered David Platt, a character from Coronation Street. Until recently, David Platt was a complete fucktard, and my actions would have been considered a boon (who doesn’t love an archaic noun first thing on a frosty Monday morning) to the community, but lately he has begun dating a lovely girl and putting in a 40-hour work week and treating his mother right. Everyone on the Street has forgiven David, so they probably wouldn’t appreciate my having killed him for reasons unknown, dismembered the corpse, and cooked it in order to reduce its weight. When the dream began, I was in the kitchen of my childhood home, putting bits of roasted corpse into a bag, which in turn I manoeuvred into a briefcase that I understood to be mine even though in reality I’ve never owned a briefcase and never will. Everyone knows I’ve been hauling around the same ratty little blue backpack since about 1999. I picked up the briefcase and told my mom I was just going across the street to the library, a detail I must have stolen from my real-life workplace, which is right across the hall from the university library. As I was about to toss the garbage bag into a dumpster, some lady walked up to a person standing near me and asked if he’d seen David Platt around here lately. And there I was with his remains in my hands. Ironyyyyy. The guilt of having committed murder was overwhelming, and the worst part was that although I knew I must have done it I had no memory of any of it. In my opinion, it’s totally not fair for a dream to allude to events that have occurred while the dreamer was still awake. I’m rattled now. Dream emotions should fly out of your head as soon as you awaken to the sweet musical stylings of your Virgin Mobile phone’s custom ringtone. Every day there are millions of people going around unsettled as a result of shit they’ve done or had done to them in dreams. Maybe Stephen Harper could use some of the siphoned arts money to discover a way to clarify the line between sleep and wakefulness. That thing is blurry as fuck sometimes.

Since weirdness seems to be the order of the day today, here’s another strange thing that we all know is true but never stop and really think about: we spend a third of our lives unconscious. A third of our time having dreams like the above. And then a fair number of waking hours puzzling out where the fuck they came from and being bothered by their aftereffects.

Maybe the Prime Minister of New Zealand is right: maybe the Matrix is real…

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