Hawley is a writer of narrative nonfiction. His books are
highly eclectic. He has written about 16th-century East Asian history,
19th-century Korean-American relations, Olympic sprinting and land
speed racing and a circus elephant named Topsy who was electrocuted in
1903. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
|TAKING THE HUNGER OUT OF HUNGER STRIKINGJanuary 9, 2013
Chief Teresa Spence approaches the one-month mark in her highly
publicized hunger strike on Parliament Hill, observers are starting to
take note of how healthy and vigorous she continues to look, her cheeks
round and dappled, her double chin full. How is this possible, pundits
are asking, on a diet reportedly confined to fish broth and moose soup?
Wagon Foods, makers of canned soups and stews and the popular Raging
Grizzly line of beef jerky products, has provided the answer. In a
press conference earlier this week, Chuck Wagon CEO Willis Rank
revealed that the fish soup upon which Chief Spence has been subsisting
is in fact Chuck Wagon Seafood Gumbo Supreme, advertised as “So Thick
and Hearty You Can Eat It With a Fork.”
And the moose soup Chief
Spence consumes by way of variation? “Why, that’s our own Chuck Wagon
Moose ‘n More in the 18 ounce can,” says Rank. “We’ve been delivering
it to Chief Spence by the case.”
The revelation has market gurus
taking notice. According to Ray Bloom of the marketing firm Sell Like
Hell Inc., “This is something really new. The corporate sponsorship of
hunger strikes has never been tried before but we foresee great
Sell Like Hell Inc. is behind the hunger strike camp
set up on Tuesday at Queen’s Park by high school teacher and political
activist Ringstead Moore. Moore has vowed that, unless he is granted a
meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty, he will continue his hunger
strike “to the end.”
Moore’s hunger strike is being sponsored by
Feed Lot Products, a competitor of Chuck Wagon Foods in the canned
soups and stews market. Moore has reportedly signed an exclusive
agreement with Feed Lot to subsist solely on the company’s Chicken ‘n
Sweet Pumpkin Curry and its Beef 'n Mushroom Stroganoff for the
duration of his hunger strike. The contract also stipulates that any
meeting Moore agrees to with Premier McGuinty must include a meal at
which the two may be photographed consuming a Feed Lot product.
Copyright © 2013 Samuel Hawley
A PLEDGE TO END GENDER-BASED VIOLENCEDecember 11, 2012
just read in the newspaper that December 10 was the last day of the “16
Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.” The campaign was intended to
“raise awareness of gender-based violence, to influence commitments to
change, and to invite all community members to pledge their commitments
Alas, I missed the campaign. But I can still pledge
my commitment in writing, can’t I? So here goes: I pledge to leave my
shillelagh at home for the rest of the year. I will not carry it about
as I prowl the town. I will not use it to bonk unsuspecting females,
gays or trans-gender individuals on the head as they walk down the
street, nor will I belabor them with my stout hobnail boots.
There, that feels better.
THOMAS EDISON ON GOD AND THE OCCUPY MOVEMENTJanuary 6, 2012
I've been reading up on Thomas Edison as part of some research for a book proposal. Here are a few interesting things that he said.
When asked if he believed in God:
"Oh yes. I think all scientific men do that. Or, rather, they don't believe it, they know it. It is for the masses to believe. The scientist knows." ("Wizard Edison at Home," New York World, Nov. 17, 1889)
On our place in the cosmos:
a wonderfully small idea mankind has of the Almighty. My impression is
that he has made unchangeable laws to govern this and billions of other
worlds and that he has forgotten even the existence of this little mote
of ours ages ago. Why can’t man follow up and practice the teachings of
his own conscience, mind his business, and not obtrude his purposely
created finite mind in affairs that will be attended to without any
volunteered advice." (Thomas Edison diary, July 21, 1885, Thomas A.
Edison Papers, Special Collections Series, doc. number TAEM 90:3)
On the vilification of capitalists:
Sunday Herald, learned of John Roach’s failure. Am sorry. He has been
pursued with great malignity by newspapers and others, from ignorance I
think. Americans ought to be proud of Roach who started in life as a
day laborer and became a giant of industry and the greatest shipbuilder
in the United States, employing thousands of men and feeding
innumerable families. What has he now for this 40 years of incessant
work and worry. People who hound such men as these I would invent a
special Hades. I would stricken them with the chronic sciatic neuralgia
and cause them to wander forever stark naked within the artic circle."
(Thomas Edison diary, July 19, 1885, Thomas A. Edison Papers, Special
Collections Series, doc. number TAEM 90:3)
THE ABRAMS BROTHERSAugust 26, 2011
a shot of the Abrams Brothers of Kingston, Ontario, performing on
August 21, 2011 at Snow Road Station north of Highway 7. That's
James on the fiddle (he's just out of high school; starting Queen's U.
in Sept.), his older brother John on the guitar (starting 2nd year at
Queen's, majoring in English and film studies), and cousin Eli at the
right on bass. These guys are young but they've been performing for a
decade and it shows: They're great.. If you don't know about them yet, stop by their website here and check out their cover of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" on Youtube here. Note:
Their live performances of this song are even better now, two years
later--better than Coldplay's original, in my opinion. The energy
they bring to it will blow you away. They have a bunch of original
songs too on their new album, Northern Redemption. I particularly like "While You Sleep," written by Chris Brown of Wolfe Island, who also produced Northern Redemption.
Watch these young guys. They're going places.
INSIDE NORTH KOREAAugust 4, 2011
Here is a link to a series of photos in The Atlantic
magazine that were taken earlier this year by AP photographer David
Guttenfelder. There is nothing in the way of poverty in
them--almost everything Guttenfelder was allowed to photograph appears
to have been orchestrated by his NORK handlers. The images nevertheless
have a otherworldly strangeness about them and are definitely worth
SMASH THE GANG OF GLOBAL WARMING DENIERS!July 31, 2011
LAUNCH OF "HAWLEY'S CASTLE"
July 28, 2011
I've rechristened this section of my cyberspace home "Hawley's
Castle" with the intention of doing more regular blogging. We'll see
how it goes.
AMERICAN COALITION OF THE LAZY
Lazy. The label has been
used for centuries to deride those afflicted with a handicap and to
deny them their rights. So says Bill Shank, chairman of the American
Coalition of the Lazy, or AMCOL, a national organization lobbying
laziness classified as a special disability qualifying for enhanced
is not a lifestyle
choice,” says Shank. “It’s the way we were born and we can’t just snap
fingers and change. It’s society that has to change. That’s why AMCOL
founded: to push for the stigmatizing and the discrimination to end. We
coming out of the closet in record numbers, and we’re saying, ‘We’re
we’re lazy and we’re proud.’ Americans have to deal with it. Americans
stop beating us down and give us our fair share.”
all about fairness,”
agrees AMCOL community organizer Tyler Weems. “We have members barely
by on their welfare checks. In the black community, young women
multiple children out of wedlock and through such enterprise increase
welfare payments and achieve a better standard of living. But
for us, our
blocks us from this avenue of advancement. We are too lazy to raise
And so we are forced to get by on what the government gives us, which
is not nearly enough. It only pays for rent and food and utilities and
few little extras. What about annual holidays? What about eating out,
big-screen TVs, prostitutes, trips to the casino? We are denied these
basic human rights
simply because we are lazy.”
recently, AMCOL moved into the national spotlight last year with Lazy
marches in LA, Sacramento and San Francisco. These were followed by a
event at UC Berkeley, with all classes cancelled so that students could
loll about. A Lazy Pride Sleep-In
promote unity is scheduled for Oceanside later
this week. The event is being
organized by AMCOL’s Hispanic wing.
says Weems, who places the organization’s numbers at over five million.
however, that this is a rough estimate only. “We don’t actually keep
membership records,” he says. “But I can tell you that our numbers are
growing. I am hearing from people all over the country who are coming
the closet to celebrate their laziness and to demand their fair share.”
construction since early 2008, should further enhance the
organization's exposure. It
slated for completion in 2015.
fight for fair
treatment for the energy-challenged, as some preferred to be called,
shifted to Capitol Hill. In a surprise move on Monday that has rocked Washington
Jeannette Snorky (D-Cal) and Abel Smellie (D-NY) have stepped forward
a bill to add laziness to the Congress Disability Act, the
so-called Snorky-Smellie Amendment.
Snorky when contacted for comment. “Fairness and equality. Diversity.
chicken in every pot,”
an encouraging sign,”
says AMCOL chairman Bill Shank. “And we are tremendously grateful to
and Snorky. But it’s just a first step. Next we need to push for
welfare payments. It’s going to be a dogfight. The right-wingers are
going to get up to their old partisan tricks.
But we are on the side of right.
We will prevail.”
Copyright © 2011 Samuel Hawley
WHY YES. . .
February 14, 2011
. . . I did just have my hair done.
DUNG HOTEL. . .
February 14, 2011
. . . the place to
Chi Minh City.
MONKEYS MAKE FIRE?
February 13, 2011
a trip to Ubud on
I made several visits to the “Monkey Forest” at
the south end
of town to watch the Balinese macaques. They are a delightfully
grabbing visitor’s bags and water bottles, chasing one another about,
into a little pond and sneaking up on each other underwater.
second visit to the Monkey Forest
I wandered away from the central area where most people congregate and
on a somewhat more subdued troop of macaques that particularly caught
interest. A number of them were fooling around with stones they had
clutching them in their arms, scraping them back and forth on the
walkway and tapping them against each other. It was curious behavior
have since learned has been identified as “stone play” by researchers
macaques in Japan—the
same macaques that have learned from one another to wash their food and
hot springs in winter.
this group of Ubud
macaques, however, was one young fellow whose behavior seemed to be
just play. He sat on the ground by himself, holding one stone in his
he tapped it repeatedly with another. Positioned on the lower stone,
beside the point on it he where was striking, was a bit of dry grass
held in place with his foot. I don’t know much about wilderness
skills, but it looked exactly like he was trying to start a fire by
two stones together to send sparks into tinder. He kept this up for
minutes, stopping occasionally to reposition the grass. Then he carried
stones to a new spot, picked up a bit of dried leaf, positioned it on
stone in exactly the same manner and began to tap again.
This monkey tapped without
let-up for the entire thirty minutes that I watched him from no more
feet away, and was always careful to hold some dried grass or leaf
impact point between his two stones. If this behavior catches on—and
young monkey nearby was doing the same thing, but more clumsily and
tinder—someday an Ubud macaque may just figure out how to make fire!
SOME OF THE OLDER
INHABITANTS OF THE MONKEY FOREST. . .
February 13, 2011
. . .
are admittedly jaded.
February 13, 2011
Sinatra said: "My
kind of town. . ."
AN ALIEN ABDUCTEE IN
February 13, 2011
summer of 2007 my
wife and I spent a memorable vacation in Vietnam
that included a week on Phu Quoc island in the South
China Sea. Now, we’ve traveled in Asia
quite a bit and have had the pleasure of meeting a variety of
people, locals and expats alike. Awaiting us on Phu Quoc, however, was
very special indeed.
scene was set at our
hotel, the Tropicana Resort, at the end of a perpetually flooded lane
negotiated by wading. Then there was the Gop Gio Restaurant down the
“grilled kangaroo,” “deep fried sea horse,” “drilled vegetable,” and
this faded into the
background, however, the morning when an elderly Australian of French
extraction wandered into the Tropicana’s restaurant from his place down
beach. He was married to a Vietnamese woman and lived on Phu Quoc, and
frequented the Tropicana in search of chess partners. In the course of
wide-ranging conversations I learned that he had taken up residence on
some years previously to escape the hounding of fans of a book he had
about some sort of prophecy. I assumed he was spinning a tale, and so
press him for more information. At our final meeting, however, he made
of writing down his name, “Michel Desmarquet,” on a scrap of paper,
the enigmatic word “Thiaoouba.” “Look it up on the internet,” he said.
don’t tell anyone I’m here!”
wife and I left Phu Quoc
wondering about Michel. He was likeable, not a blow-hard, and we wanted
believe him. But surely his claim of being a popular author in hiding
good to be true. Upon returning to Seoul
and Googling his name and “Thiaoouba,” however, we discovered that what
was not just true, but only the beginning of a truly fantastic tale.
June 26, 1987, Michel
was taken by aliens from his home in Australia
to their luminous world
of Thiaoouba, a category nine planet, the most superior category of
civilization in our galaxy. During his nine-day visit the Thiaooubans,
led by an
individual named Thao, instructed Michel on all manner of subjects: how
Earth was populated 1.35 million years ago by beings from the planet
Bakaratini; how the pyramids are actually devices for communicating
cosmos; how other planets have destroyed themselves by technology run
how the theory of evolution is wrong; and many other things.
of the Thiaooubans, Michel began writing a book about his experiences
being returned to the Earth. It was published six years later as Abduction to
the Ninth Planet, later reissued under the title Thiaoouba Prophecy.
It is a
premier alien abduction account salted with a compelling amount of
detail. The length of a Thiaoouban year, we learn, is 333 days, divided
periods known as karses; Michel’s weight on Thiaoouba was 47 kg. as
70 kg. on Earth; Thiaooubans wear clothes that match the color of their
they subsist on a drink called hydromel, a half glass every two days;
toilets that vaporize waste as it exits the body, a device that Michel
would zap his privates.
however, is more
than just an extra-terrestrial travelogue. It is a guide for the
as Michel describes it, lays ahead for us humans, from our current
category one civilization, the “category of sorrow,” to a paradisiacal
nine world such as enjoyed by the Thiaooubans. It is a journey toward
enlightenment that the Thiaooubans, through Michel, want to teach us
take. Indeed, they have been trying to teach us for thousands of years:
according to Michel, Jesus was a Thiaoouban—who incidentally lies
rest, as they say, is
history. Abduction to
the Ninth Planet became an international bestseller,
into Spanish, Greek, Japanese, German, Russian, and several other
Thiaoouba grew into something of a New Age religion. Fans began
more information—and Michel began to feel the pressures of fame.
the late 1990s, he turned his back on everything, rejecting the
that his book, which condemns materialism, had ironically brought him.
turned over everything to a proxy and retired to Phu Quoc, where he
am I spilling the beans
on Michel’s whereabouts after he told me not to reveal his location?
was the one thing Michel may not have been entirely truthful about. I
discovered on the internet a three-part interview he has done for
the cameras overlooking that same beach where I met him last summer.
seems, had been sending out feelers on that scrap of paper he gave me.
creator of the Thiaoouba Prophecy is ready to be found.
Copyright © 2008
KOREA WELCOMES THE WORLD
February 13, 2011
BLACK MOLES, CORNS AND
February 13, 2011
having my black moles, corns and liver spots tended at astonishing
reasonable prices, it was time to explore Kuala Lumpur's