Where the Action Is

There is one thing that the kids want to know and that is: where the action is! This intrepid reporter (and his many informants) searched high and low for answers, but the nature of action is vague, its identity multifarious. For every cell, every atom, every thought, there is a proper action (and event). The talent is not to recognize one individual and absolute ACTION (a mythical transcendent and holy Action) but to train oneself to see all action, as it happens in the world. The pinnacle of this skill is to be at the centre of the action, to make the action happen. Then when someone asks where the action is, all fingers point to you.

There is action happening the world over. From Hermann Nitsch Aktion events in Austria to bargain bin Action Jackson tapes at your local video store. On Baffin Island, the action is in Pangnirtung. In Costa Rica, some action occurs around cafetoriums built by community development workers for the greater good. In Montreal, action happens at Saint Laurent and Prince Arthur but don’t get scam action from a Bob Marley singing dude who’ll cough blood and tell you a sad story about getting mugged by drug dealers. He’s a con man and only interested in his own action. Action should be shared throughout the village. The action in Minneapolis takes place in the student ghetto of Dinkeytown (which is an official place, I have a letter postmarked “Dinkeytown” to prove it!). In Holstein, Ontario, the bakery where my friend Shannon works is up there in the action stakes. Throughout small town Ontario (and elsewhere, I imagine), the action can be found at thrift stores that offer secondhand clothes without downtown “vintage” prices. There are even phantom thrift stores that appear infrequently and when they do open, they give away clothes for free. I went to one such free store in Bobcaygeon, Ontario. That was some heavy action.

There is undoubtedly some action in Los Angeles and if I wanted to know what it was I would phone my friend Elissa in the movie biz, because L.A. is a movie town. In Ottawa, the dinner action takes place at the Eurostar Restaurant where everyone gets called “darling” and if you’re lucky, the hostess will put you in a headlock. Watch out for the schwarma though, it makes you poopy. Speaking of which, the best washroom action the world over can be found in university toilets, specially if they are old university shitters with marbles walls and wooden stall doors. They are always clean and nobody will ask for student I.D. if you carry a knapsack. The worst bathroom action is in nightclubs and bars but I bet you knew that already.

The action in Minden, Ontario occurs around the Kinark Outdoor Centre. In Croatia, it happens on the beach (but this is only during the summer). One winter in Peterborough, Ontario, the action was in my apartment. That got a little intense after a while and I had to move out, back to Toronto where there are little pockets of action appearing everywhere; street corner run-into-old-friends action, cursing traffic jam action, music-in-the-park action, love action, book action and art action. There are art auctions but they aren’t the same thing ’cause you shouldn’t need money to get some action. Sometimes bus fare can be enough to get you to where the action is.

There is action in every field. To find out where it is, consult an expert. For universal action, ask your local astrophysicist. For shorthand action, ask an old skool secretary! For skateboard action, go to RAMPSTERDAM. For hot and sour soup action, go to Chinatown. For all-you-can-eat buffet action, ask my buddies Ron and Bruce. They’ll point you in the right direction. They’ll even tag along. On a good day, there’s nothing better than five dollar dinner action. Locate a number of these establishments and rotate your cheap food action through the week. You can also get free dinner action from friends but one doesn’t reveal sources for that action (everyone needs to find their own free meals).

Moral dilemmas will arise when you are faced with two types of action and are forced to decide between the two. There is no suitable quantitative or qualitative scale for measuring the righteousness of action. Sometimes it is best to close your eyes, play eenie-meenie-meinie-moe, and throw caution to the wind. A similar leap of faith is required when one makes the final step and confronts the no-action action. No-action requires great inner strength, belief in oneself, and immense positivity to create action where there is none. Only the adept can accomplish this task. Once you have reached this stage, you no longer need to know where the action is because you are action personified, THE ACTION IS YOU! I hope you’re happy.

Correspondents: Samantha Dickie, Eric Weissengruber, the Kipper Kids, Shannon McNally, Miroslav Kovacevik, Elissa McBride, Anne Robertson, Jeff Wall, Ron Cole, Bruce Cattle, Crazy Alice, Steve Kim, Amy Big Red Hair, Chuck, the Nicene Creeders.

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