Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The Tenants, January Blues, And Boobs

Suicide in the Box” is an incredibly depressing look at the effects of solitary confinement on the mentally ill.

Due to my moth-to-the-flame-ishness when it comes to the grisly, the Pickton serial murder case fascinates me. The story is becoming more and more terrible as they uncover DNA from women who were not on their original list of the missing.

I recently finished reading Bernard Malamud’s The Tenants. I feel like I have had several hours of my life stolen from me. It was one of those books where you can see from the outset that you are going to have difficulties with the style, or the characters, or the storyline, but you feel that once you have gotten through the first fifty pages, come hell or high water, you must finish it. Thanks to the powers that be that it was only 212 pages long. The two main characters in the story are a Jewish man Harry Lesser and an African-American man named Willie Spearmint. They are both writers squatting in an old building and trying to finish their manuscripts. Malamud took great pains to make every point he had to make about the difficulty of race relations in the United States painfully obvious. The storyline references it without being too plain, then Lesser has a couple of pages to think about it, and then Lesser and Willie have a confrontation to really drive the point home. If after all that you have still missed it, the whole thing is re-enacted over and over in a rising crescendo of violence until the last page, which is nothing but line upon line of the word “mercy” repeated. Oh, but wait, it’s not just about repetition; it’s also about being racist. I called out regularly to the Fiery One in intellectual pain when Malamud would refer to Willie as “the black” for the thousandth time, or when Malamud would describe Willie as having attacked Lesser “savagely” and as having eyes that “popped” from his head. Ouch. So, in closing, I finished it, it was terrible despite the claim on the cover that it is “a remarkable work of art”, and you should avoid it. Save what time you have to live for better things.

Marriages performed civilly outside the church are a legal matter, not religious, so what is the big deal if homosexuals want to enter into the same kind of legally binding union that is afforded heteros? Congrats, Quebec, on joining in with Ontario and British Columbia to fight for our secular rights!

And while I am on the subject of accepting homosexuality culturally, here are the Canadian and world same-sex rights timelines.

That’s it, Mr. Bush. Antagonize a country that we know has nuclear weapons.

This winter weather is really starting to get to me. I lean heavily toward the Seasonal-Affective-Disorder type of depression, and -40 degrees Celsius, which keeps me caged in this little apartment, does not help the situation. With nothing much else to do but finish the evilness known as The Tenants and nurse frostbite, I started thinking about the hollow spot left by depression and the ways in which we all try to fill it up. I don’t always recognize the depression, but I recognize the urge to fill up the hole. I fill this hole with books, beer, a new hair colour, cigarettes, trips to my hometown, movies, blogging, planning new projects that will remain unfinished, eating too much, avoiding food, television, buying new sweaters. Nothing fills the fucking hole. The only thing that can fill the hole is what makes the hole, and that is the changing of the season. It will happen. I know it, you know, we all know it, but the ass end of January makes it feel like this is the only way things are ever going to be.
I just read over that last paragraph. That sounds ghastly. I would like to assure you all that I am less an unending-deep-pit-of-despair type and more a mood-swings-both-up-and-down type. My wrists are not being slit as we speak, I am all out of rope, and I have misplaced that old bottle of Xanax, so don’t worry about me. I have things to look forward to. I have pictures to take, I have to go see the movie “Sylvia” tonight and have a drink with friends whom I love but rarely see, I have to nag the Fiery One into installing Photoshop, I have to commune with the rabbit otherwise known as Gordon, I have to dye my hair to a rich shade of dark brown, and I have to rustle up some cold medication to beat back the snot that is settling inside my head. I know that some of those things are on my list of things I use to fill up the hole, but they are also great diversions from the ass-end-of-January blues. It’s the 31st of January anyway, so today it ends, and tomorrow February begins, which is also an evil month, but it is oh so much closer to March, which is not entirely without its humanity.

I have a couple of questions regarding this Libya thing: what does the United States do with the nuclear weapons materials that are handed over to them? and, do we really want a world in which it is okay only for the United States to have all the materials for making nuclear weapons and no one else?

A harsh play about honour killings in Turkey is helping to educate the public there and hopefully effect some change.

It’s January, so the annual Bloggies are in full swing.

Read this blog about the 2004 United States presidential campaign coverage from the Columbia Journalism Review. It's got what you're looking for.

Ever wanted to confess something but had no one you could confess it to? Do it at group hug.

This is too much fun. Go to this site, hit the "use it" button, and paste in whatever text you want. It will decode it to reveal hidden messages. The section about my one-on-one meeting from my last entry revealed this message: the plan is ready we can go.

Aw, a baby dragon. How cute!

Fat is (or is becoming was) where it’s at for women in Mauritania.

I am honestly fresh out of things to write about. I could go on with a “Facts and Links” section, but I don’t think I’m in the mood for that. Oh, wait, maybe I am. I have just hit on an idea. Now bear with me:

Non-pornographic Boobs Facts and Links (these links are in bad taste and may still be inappropriate for work):
* In the past at Give Boobs, you were given the opportunity to help a college girl get breast implants. She has since achieved her goal, but the site is still kind of fun (in that silly, people are sad kind of way).
* You have all probably seen this already, but it’s worth a revisit to see how well you can tell the difference between Moobs or Boobs. I’m terrible at it.
* This is not exactly serious, but check out the history of boobs.
* Whoose Boobs – “America’s Number One Quiz Show”. (Warning: this site has audio).
* This blog is dedicated to news and stories about breast implants.
* “Boobs: An Owner’s Manual".
* British model, Jordan, seems to be having a difficult time in the jungle with her boobs.
* The use of silicone implants dates back to 1963.
* For some good boob facts, go here.
* Google is trying very hard to get Booble.com to cease and desist.

Doing Better, Waiting, And A Really Gross Dream

A Heads Up And Stupid Man Earrings