Ilulissat, a town of 4500 people, is the hub for tourism in Greenland; it sits at 69 degrees north, 120 miles above the Arctic Circle.The tourists come to see the icebergs which surround Ilusissat in the summer months. English isn’t commonly understood, although the youth appear to know a word or two. There is a stark aspect to the town – water piping strapped to exposed bedrock, sled dogs tied up everywhere and a dusty sports field at the center. However it’s the surrounding ice and the light that draw all of the attention.
I was in the cold and bright of the far north over the past two weeks; instead of computer and ipod, I was consumed by constant daylight and the sound of ice collapsing into the sea.
It took time to accept that my electronic feed was gone and there was nothing else but the cold world all around.
Luis Bunuel wrote in his autobiography My Last Sigh, “Our imagination, and our dreams, are forever invading our memories; and since we are all apt to believe in the reality of our fantasies, we end up transforming our lies into truths.” Greenlandic explorer Knud Rasmussen reflected in his journals from the Fifth Thule Expedition, “Here on this lonely spit of land, weary men had toiled along the last stage of their mortal journey. Their tracks are not effaced, as long as others live to follow and carry them farther; their work lives as long as any region of the globe remains for men to find and conquer.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote in The Little Prince, “A geographer is too important to go wandering about. He never leaves his study. But he receives the explorers there. He questions them, and he writes down what they remember. And if the memories of one of the explorers seems interesting to him, then the geographer conducts an inquiry into that explorer’s moral character.” And finally Italo Svevo offered these musings from Zeno’s Conscience: “Simply, I believed I had made an important scientific discovery. I thought I had been called upon to complete the whole theory of psychological colors. My predecessors, Goethe and Schopenhauer, had never imagined what could have been achieved by deftly handling complementary colors.” “I should say that I spent my time sprawled on the sofa opposite my study window, from which I had a view of a stretch of sea and horizon.”
1. A writer at rest remains at rest and a writer in motion continues to write at a constant velocity until the force of the idea is zero. 2. An idea gives the writer force in the direction of the story arc and has magnitude directly proportional to the novel’s theme. 3. Whenever a character exerts a force on another character, the latter exerts a force of equal magnitude and opposite direction on the former, effecting tension.
I already knew that Mike Myers’ $60 million vanity project The Love Guru was bad, but having stumbled upon it on late-night cable, I forced myself to watch, because it features the Toronto Maple Leafs. There’s nothing good to note – despite cameos by John Oliver, Daniel Tosh and Stephen Colbert – except that it’s over in 87 minutes.The film came under attack for its boorish treatment of Hinduism, and while this is certainly true, it’s Myers’ parody of hockey that is most pathetic. Players assaulting coaches, elephants having sex on the ice and a penalty shot with one second to play that decides the Stanley Cup are just some of the insidious details that reduce the game to Myers’ poo-poo and pee-pee one-liners. Not that this really should matter, especially in light of the Mighty Ducks trilogy. The difference here is that the Disney Corporation never pretended to know anything about hockey, while Mike Myers is not only Canadian but also considers himself a die-hard fan. Fair restitution for this abomination would be a life-long ban for Myers if not from Canada than at least from attending games at the Air Canada Centre. Or he could at least pay the buy-out on Mike Komisarek.