Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My imaginary meeting with George Orwell

Am i too old to have imaginary conversations with dead authors?

No matter what you think, I want to have a conversation with George Orwell and ask him all sorts of questions about the world I inhabit right now and his thoughts on Inuit in general. I would tell him, as little I know of the history of Inuit and the political meanderings we have been treading. From the philosophy of the western world to the philosophies of my Inuit ancestors, because philosophy is just a fancy word for worldly thoughts of people.

So, I imagine, I am smoking a cigarette with a pint of beer out on a patio with nineteen eighty four and animal farm by my side and I am listening to Neil Young on the stereo, because for some reason, I suspect that Orwell would like Neil Young. Anyways, it's my imagination. Imagine I am a chain smoking Inuk, with a du Marier always dangling from my lips and always talking through the corners of my mouth. As more beers I drink, the more I loose my inhibition to be polite, so I become much easier and not so awestruck to talk to Orwell.

"So, why did you have a pen name? Isn't your real name Eric Arthur Blair? And what are the benefits of having a pen name?"

He just shrugs and asks me why I am interested in him.

I tell him, and point to the books on the table, "I never had the chance to read your books until I was in my twenties, which is probably a good thing, because I approached them in a cautious way, because people kept telling me they're classics. To me classics are way over rated, each generation should choose there own classics. The books you wrote did have an effect on me though, I thought animal farm is very relevant to my current Inuit society, because we have been lead to believe certain things are acceptable, like extinguishing aboriginal rights, that one form of government is better, albeit if it is democratic or not."

"those are some great insights" he would tell me.

"thanks" i say, "that means a lot coming from you, Mr. Orwell."

"No problem, Tommy."

I'd say "can you call me Eskimo dude from now on, please, Mr. Orwell?"

"ok Eskimo dude."

"i have also been thinking", i blurt out, "that literature of any language is very important to the well being of a society because it asserts a sort of an intellectual property on a human experience that is unique. You see, Inuit have been left very little room to leave their thoughts. I have also been wondering how you approach literature?"

Orwell goes: "Literature is a way of expressing human emotions using different ideas to convey the immensity of human differences but to connect those differences and make them similarities. As i have wrote in one of my essays 'When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page. It is not necessarily the actual face of the writer.' i think that is how people should approach literature."

"thank you very much Mr. Orwell, i'll challenge you to a beer chugging contest."

Orwell happily accepts the challenge but learns very quickly that he cannot beat the Inuk who prefers to be called Eskimo dude in such a challenge!

this headache of mine

it throbs and i can feel it at my temples.
this headache of mine
it makes life not so simple
feels like i am just wasting time

o, this headache of mine
is it because i have long hair?
o, this headache of mine
am i dehydrated?
am i not emancipated?
am i just constipated?
o, this headache of mine
i ask you, do i need to eat more bread?

i have been sitting and have been laying down
but my mind keeps wandering through town
and now here i am looking for the perfect noun
but i love how my skin is brown
and that keeps me from getting a frown!

o this headache of mine
i wish there was a hot line
to inquire about this head pain
but i search in vain
can someone just please say "Ain!"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Making use of libraries

i have told people before that i don't like borrowing books, especially from a public library because i have an obsession of holding on to books. i love books and i love the smell of books and the creativity if provides to the mind. i can spend huge amounts of money on books and sometimes it feels like i have withdrawal from not having bought books in a while.

well, here i am at the iqaluit public library, after having chosen two books and now proceeding to write. while i was looking at the shelves and running my fingers through the Dewey decimal system and marveling who ever this Dewey was, i was struck with a thought that maybe to use the libraries is a much better economical and environmentally friendly way of consuming thoughts and knowledge.

so i have been visiting this library for a week now and amazingly there are people that are regular visitors and read regularly. you see, i have been biased all these years, maybe as an inuk, but more likely having had the luxury of books stores and southern high-mindedness, and always thought that not many people use nunavut's public libraries, but i have been proven wrong. or is it just iqaluit for its "cosmopolitan" attitudes and northern high-mindedness? when i went to Pang's library, i had opened books that actually had dust inside the pages, not only outside.

i was looking through the books and realized that the only way these "western" treasures can be kept open is by regularly using them and making sure that as many people use the facility. the more they're used the more books can be obtained.

anyways, i am saving money and paper and feeling very good about it