Your Bi-Weekly Update #6

These updates seem to be getting further apart -- bi-weekly may well become monthly ere long. Be that as it may ...

1. You know a man's busy when he's a proud monarchist and finds himself at the office on Victoria Day rather than at home with his family, a cigar, and a libation to celebrate the occasion. I've got a big "guns and gangs" case in Toronto the next two weeks, then after that I'll be preparing for a preliminary inquiry on my first murder case as a defence lawyer in July -- so I'm afraid the posting here at Swords and Space may continue to be a little more sparse than I'd like. So please be patient and hopefully by the fall we'll be back to a four-per week posting cycle.

2. I was listening to the soundtrack to the HBO television adaptation of A Song of Rape and Murder A Song of Ice and Fire (a.k.a. Game of Thrones). It's a fantastic soundtrack and conveys a dark, yet at the same time more human and grander vision than what the books held. I'm tempted to get the first season on DVD, but on the other hand I know the nonsense that's to follow as they adapt A Clash of Kings et al. so why get "into" the start of it only to know bitter disappointment awaits? And if George Martin ever does finish his magnum opus, how much do you want to bet that it has some outrageously horrible ending such as that found in Mockingjay?

3. My very good friend Stephen Heiner recently bought the for me the first issue of the re-release of X-O Manowar. Never heard of it before he told me he'd purchased this for me while he was getting his own copy, but after he told me about it, it sounds right up my alley. A Visigoth in a suit of living armour (sounds like a cross between T-1000 and Spider Man's black suit) fighting against spider aliens? Sign me up. Gave me some ideas of my own to tinker with, too (I know, I know, I've got enough projects that I'm making little progress on without adding more).


Sophia's Favorite said...

As an American, of course, my first impulse is to say "Guns and gangs, in Toronto? But it's Canada!" But, with the exception of Japan (and not even entirely there), major cities the world over tend to have pretty high crime rates, irrespective of their nation's averages.

What's the urban crime like, demographically, in Canada? Here it's got a whole race-dimension (mostly just due to whose families have been screwed hardest by the welfare system), but I imagine that'd be less prominent in Canada, given its different racial history and makeup. Are Canada's street gangs something along the lines of urban (white) rednecks?

Nicholas D.C. Wansbutter said...

Well, Toronto actually has a fairly low crime rate, but with a population of 6 million in the Greater Toronto Area you're bound to have a bit of everything. I am not an expert in gang activity in Canada since it's never been an area I did a lot of work in.

That said, my impression from the cases I have done is that it's more organized crime type stuff rather than street gangs. In Western Canada there is a bit more street gangs -- mostly Natives off the horrible reserves where drug use, alcoholism, and physical/sexual abuse are rampant, and Somalis continuing the wars they were fighting in Africa before immigrating as refugees.

Sophia's Favorite said...

I'd actually wondered if Natives (of whom y'all have more than us, at least proportionally) might be a factor. I live 40 miles from the Navajo Rez, and they have similar problems there. As my dad, who's taught here for nearly 30 years, says, the Natives who are in trouble are the ones who've neither assimilated nor kept their traditions (many Navajos have), because they have no idea what they're supposed to do with themselves.

Young men who expect, and are expected, to get married, herd their wife's sheep, and smith silver, as Changing Woman and Talking God intended, don't commit many crimes. Neither do the ones who make their living as cable repairmen and go to a Baptist church every Sunday. It's the ones who don't really know or care much about the traditional lifestyle but vaguely resent white people and refuse to play by their rules, who get into trouble.

carmeljamaica said...

Monarchists always have a way of making my day. Especially when they put into daily practice the drinking of wine, smoking a pipe, and of course, celebrating Victoria Day, and other royal events.

Game of Thrones Season 1 was great, but as they head on for Season 2, it became quite complicated, and they try to deviate from what's in the book. They added, and subtracted scenes and characters. Sad to say, but I am disappointed with it.

Also, for a second, I thought you were referring to metal band, Manowar. I highly recommend the band. They have warrior/mythology-inspired themes which might be of interest to you.

Nicholas D.C. Wansbutter said...

@Sophia's Favourite: You've hit on the major problem in Canada -- the vast majority of natives in Canada "neither assimilated nor kept their traditions" due to an unfortunate sequence of events.

First there were the "Residential Schools" which all young native children were forced to attend. These schools were designed to assimilate them. Then about half-way through that process, political ideals in Canada changed and it was decided this was wrong. Unfortunately, their solution (immediately shutting-down all residential schools without providing any alternative) proved disastrous. It would have actually been the better course to let the residential schools finish their job once it was started. As it was, it was enough to wipe-out any connexion to native heritage without assimilating them. Hence the major problems.

@carmeljamaica: See my review of the Game of Thrones books to see why I don't want to get into the TV series: http://www.swordsandspace.com/2011/11/george-r-r-martins-game-of-thrones-4.html

I used to be a fan of some heavy metal, but I do not listen to it any more. I stick to classical music because it is much better for my soul and intellect, and in the end much more enjoyable.

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