The F-Word, Manifested

In a period of angry frustration at his native Newfoundland – “… what cripples the vast majority of our culture and society here is the fact that we dont quite know what to be angry about. We never know where to throw the punch.” – and inspired by a
t-shirt f-ing the many icons of New York City, writer and performer Joel Thomas Hynes sat down to write his own.

The rest, as they say, is history: “… I got a little carried away. Suddenly I was writing a quilt. Maybe a sail for a boat. Maybe a manifesto.” His reworked piece wound up on stage, at a 2006 fundraiser for the Resource Centre for the Arts in St John’s. Recorded (but not broadcast) by the CBC – “And f*** the CBC for not having the nuts to put this on the radio,” reads the final line in the revised work – God Help Thee: A Manifesto first appeared in print, with an accompanying postscript, in the Fall 2008 issue of Riddle Fence, and later in Maisonneuve Magazine. Very little escapes Hynes’ expletive-laced wrath, which reads both as backlash against the idyllic quaintness of Newfoundland tourism campaigns, and ode to a place both home and heart.

In June 2011, Running the Goat Books and Broadsides published the manifesto in chapbook form in a limited edition of 375, which promptly sold out: hand typeset (an entertaining challenge, given the unprecedented number of “F”s and “k”s), letterpress printed, hand tinted and hand sewn.

Featuring impeccable wood engravings by Abigail Rorer, this perfectly packaged diatribe is now in its second printing and is available at Swipe for just $29.95 – plenty of f*** for your buck. (2011; 2nd printing 2012: Running the Goat Books and Broadsides; ISBN 9780986611322)

Word on the street is that the book’s profanity-decorated watermark-effect pages will soon be available in notebook form… We’ll keep you posted.

Oh, and if you like your swearing live, you can download an audio version of God Help Thee from the Rattling Books website.

Swipe Takes to the Botl

The botlfilter Personal Water Filter System, that is. Created by proudly Canadian company botl Inc., whose mission is to create environmentally responsible products and reduce plastic waste, the botlfilter system has joined the frontline of the tap-water revolution.

It’s small, simple, portable, and best of all, waste free. Just pop a filter bag inside the stainless steel case, drop it into your bottle of tap water, shake for 15 seconds, and drink happily away.

The filter bag (which is fully compostable and biodegradable) uses activated carbon from coconut shells to trap nasties such as chlorine, chloramines, lead, phenols, pesticides and detergents. Shaking the bottle speeds up the process. The filter case is made of North American stainless steel, with food-grade plastic caps. It’s dishwasher (or soap and water) safe, and infinitely reusable. On top of this, packaging is 100% recycled, recyclable and carbon neutral. The whole system meets NSF Standard 42 for chlorine, taste and odour reduction.

One filter bag produces up to a gallon (about 8 bottles) of tasty water: switch to a fresh bag every 1–3 days, depending how much water you guzzle.

One word to the wise: like most filters on the market, botlfilter is intended for use with municipal tap water, not to purify contaminated water or that from unknown sources. So resist the urge to fill your bottle from the nearest puddle (or even the nearest sparkling lake). Or if you must, don’t blame botl (or us) if you grow an extra head.

botlfilter Portable Water Filter Case, with 4 Filter Bags: $12.95
botlfilter Replacement Filter Bags, pack of 16: $12.95