Wednesday, April 9, 2014

X vs Y: Are us Millennials REALLY functioning on the same level as our Parents decades ago?

Given my being bogged down with exams and term papers right now, I thought it might be a welcome change of pace if I presented something a little more positive and inspiring this time around.

People sometimes respond to my criticisms of my own generation with cliched maxims like, “Young people are no different today than what they were thirty years ago,” and “Teenagers are no dumber now than what they were when I was growing up.” Those are lovely sentiments on the surface, but I’m afraid that they are largely erroneous, and actually reek of the sort of mentality that one associates with defensive (and bad!) parents!

To defend my generationally self-deprecating side of the debate, I’m presenting here the profiles of seven amateur teenage artists from 25 to 30 years ago. These Artist-of-the-Month profiles were taken from issues of Art & Man, a defunct art appreciation magazine that was distributed in North American high-school art classes when my parents were growing up. I found these seven issues stashed away at my parents’ place a few weekends ago.

Please take a few minutes and explore the work and attitudes of these seven teenagers—keeping in mind that these people were developing their artistic character in one of the (supposedly) most hollow decades of the Twentieth Century, the 1980s!  in other words, these young people predate even the Grunge movement and Gen-X consciousness. In our current age of empty-headed ego and pointless “selfies”, how many high-school and college students do you know who are functioning on this creative level and with the same degrees of interest, maturity and devotion? Seriously. How many?

According to my search of the Internet, Ms Nevins is now a lawyer operating out of Miami, Florida. She still dabbles seriously in photography.  Some examples can be found on her Facebook page.

Mr Olivero might be the same Darren Olivero who now works as a creative consultant specializing in various installations and mixed media projects.  If so, his business’s official website can be found here.

Mr Sharff went on to become the architect he was studying to be.  This is his official website.

It’s not completely certain, but James Carr appears to be working as an architect out of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He graduated from Columbia University in 1986, and received a Masters degree in Architecture from MIT in 1994. 

I found Tom—or Thomas—on Facebook, a little grayer, but none the worse for wear.  He eventually graduated from Pratt Institute and owns and operates TF Design Works (formerly Frohnapfel Design). He still paints, and several abstract examples can be found at the TF Design Works website

Besides carrying on with her painting, Ms Veneman now works various roles at the University of Houston in Texas.  A recent interview with her can be found here.

It appears Ms Naylor (or McLaughlin) still resides in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.  She never pursued an artistic career, but she does have cute children at least.  She can be found here on Facebook.

Taken from the same old magazines, here are a few scenes from some actual American high-school art classes and field outings in the 1980s.  Note how the teenagers in question do not look like porn stars, gang-bangers and illiterate car thieves.  

Here are the covers of the seven issues of Art & Man from which Ive stolen the above profiles and article excerpts.  The older ones (1983-1985) were most likely my father’s; the 1987 issues were undoubtedly my mother's.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bombarded by Nonsense: Mumbling and Grumbling through February

It seems February is not only the shortest month but also the coldest and most miserable month in this province, traditionallyand this winter it’s certainly not proving to be any welcome exception. Snow, ice, freezing temperatures—arrgghh!! I relish a good healthy walk to campus, but this winter I find myself having no choice but to resort to buses and cabs on a relatively regular basis. When it’s not snow or freezing rain overhead, it’s ice and gunk underfoot. And what’s with all the wind—especially out in the central and northeast regions? Aren’t increased winds in this part of the country supposed to be one of the sure signs of global warming? At least Dr David Suzuki would have us believe so.

Although a mild patch—if not the early onset of spring—would be quite welcomed right now, I am not one to avoid the realities of season and location. I am not retreating to my well-heated bedroom, donning a two-piece bathing suit and sipping exotic drinks while The Beach Boys and Hawaiian steel-guitar music reverberate from the stereo. Summer is summer and winter is winter by my books. And my taste in music changes to suit the weather, with The Cure, Joy Division and the early Doors taking up long-term residence on my turntable and in my CD player this time of year. ’Tis the season to be gothy, I say. My father also recommends lots of classic ‘Kraut rock’ for the winter season. I can see his point. Despite opening with a song about hallucinating in the desert, Lonesome Crow, the Scorpions’ 1972 debut, does sound very cold, desolate and windy.

I mentioned that I’m not one to avoid reality. This is more than can be said for those MUN students who have been kicking up such a stink over computer-science professor John Shieh’s choice of topic for a recent assignment. Professor Shieh, so the story goes, asked his students to design a computer program to calculate whether or not a fictional rape victim named Heather was likely to commit suicide. “Several” of his students, apparently, took offense at the supposedly light handling of the dark subject matter, and subsequently contacted the oversized prepubescents that comprise MUN’s student union. The next thing you know, student union representative Candace Simms is tattling to the media and all hell breaks loose.

Candace Simms: shit disturber
Are young men and women at the post-secondary level today really this sensitive and sheltered? In our parents’ youth, controversial topics involving sex and violence were sometimes handled at the juniour-high level and even earlier. My father recalls his sixth-grade teacher dividing the class into two groups every other Friday afternoon and debating such topics as gun control. Keep in mind, this took place in the 1980-81 school year, a period in which the bullets were flying at everyone from John Lennon to President Reagan to Pope John Paul II. My mother remembers boys and girls being paired off in eighth grade and given an egg or doll to raise as their illegitimate child. Of course Professor Shieh was exhibiting questionable taste in presenting such an assignment topic to his class. But something tells me that if all of MUN’s professors avoided topics like rape and suicide in their classroom settings, whiny pretend-altruists would be complaining the other way, and screaming for them to be “relevant”. People like Candace Simms have a juvenile longing to be seen and heard for the sake of being seen and heard. Mentally and socially, Ms Simms is hopelessly stranded in middle school. An older friend of mine puts it best when she says, “Sometime during their first semester of university they discover trendy terms like ‘homophobic’ and ‘racially insensitive’, and from that time onward they do nothing but wreak havoc on campus by behaving like silly brainwashed children during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in 1960s Red China.”

As you probably know by now, after “consultations” with Mark Abrahams, the dean of the science faculty, Professor Shieh has since apologized for his ‘wrongdoing’ and has substituted another topic for the computer course assignment. Meanwhile, Candace Simms—as if every other professor was backing her into a corner with her undies down—is calling for all MUN instructors to receive mandatory sensitivity training at the campus’s Sexual Harassment Office (?!!!). After a little consideration, this might not be a bad idea, actually. The instructors might start by changing Candace Simms’s diaper and monitoring her television viewing.

Speaking of sex, I guess all of us good Canadians are supposed to be avoiding coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics like the plague right now. If we are to listen to the whiny, self-righteous alarmists—like Warren Kinsella—who can’t see the forest for the trees, it would be morally reprehensible of us not to. It appears that everybody’s favourite homophobe this side of Fidel Castro, President Vladimir Putin, has managed to push legislation through the Russian parliament that effectively outlaws the exposure of adolescents to “homosexual propaganda”, and even the Harper government is expressing its disapproval. Really....

Harper and Putin: Two of a kind
Since when have Stephen Harper and company given a damn about gay rights and the autonomy of youth sexuality? Remember, boys and girls, this is the government who voted against gay-marriage legislation and raised legal ages for nearly all aspects of intimacy in the name of “youth protection” (ha!). These people are bigoted assholes and sexually jealous hypocrites who secretly drool at the sight of young flesh. Please keep this in mind as we approach the 2015 federal election—especially if you are turning 18 and preparing to vote for the first time. In the meantime, continued good luck to the Canadian athletes competing in Sochi. At the time of my writing, Canada is in fourth place with the medal count standing at four gold, five silver and three bronze.

And speaking of legal ages, you may be interested to learn that Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal for adults since 2002, has become the first country to extend the right to die to children and adolescents. That’s right—terminally ill Belgians under 18 can now consent to euthanization provided it’s green-lighted by their parents. It’s too bad the Belgian government isn’t so eager to extend voting rights to its nation's youth. Meanwhile, here in Canada, it’s not even legal to help a 98-year-old cancer patient kill himself. Actually, I can see someone like Stephen Harper offering euthanasia to only people under 18 in this country. This way, the Conservative government could kill off a sizable chunk of the threatening youth population before they’re old enough to vote!

Jean Jacques De Gucht of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats
one of those who favoured the bill
Closer to home, the snivelling oppressive scumbags in the Dunderdale government have outlawed tanning beds for anyone under 19. Now, let me make one thing nice and clear: I would rather eat ten packs of extra-tar cigarettes per day than to be caught dead in a solarium. However, to each his own, and I find it more than a little hypocritical that the government will allow people as young as 16 to risk life and limb behind a wheel on the nation’s highways, yet they won’t allow people under 19 to get a suntan because eccentric idiots like Darryl Yetman of the Canadian Cancer Society doesn’t like it. Mr. Yetman and his kind are part of the problem, as opposed to part of the solution. It seems they’re quite adept at interfering with every aspect of society. They appear to have their hands and noses into everything—everything, that is, except actually discovering a cure for cancer. Open your eyes, people: young citizens of the province can even join the military at 17 and run the risk of leaving an arm in someone’s rice patty in the Far East—yet they cannot legally undergo an artificial suntan in their home province until they turn 19! Incredible. At least Vic Lawlor,the owner of seven tanning salons in the province, is speaking out against the hypocrisy and oppression—even if it sounds a bit financially self-serving coming from someone in his position.

Vic Lawlor: Greedy businessman or defender of oppressed youth?
Maybe a bit of both...
Such hypocrisy surrounding the discrepancies in legal ages is something I recently brought up on Facebook, after being “invited” to a discussion featuring Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party treasurer Jeff Marshall, who has drafted a resolution to make it Liberal party policy to lower the voting age to 16. I pointed out in a post on the event’s official Facebook page that “if we’re not mature enough to vote when we’re as old as 17, then why [is the criminal justice system] charging us with crimes six years before we’re old enough to legally vote for the moronic creeps who write the legislation we’re contravening? It’s basic oppression, and I’m quite militant about it.” I went on to state in a followup comment that “we won’t see any real changes along the lines of oppressive legal ages, I fear, until the windows start smashing, the rubber bullets start zinging, and the blood and brains start spilling onto the asphalt.” As a result, Kate White, some bureaucratic ninny from the MUN Liberals, responded with the following comment:

The MUN Liberals do not condone violence against politicians or the Canadian government as a means to political change. If you do not refrain from using violent language and threatening officials you will be removed from the page.”

Ha! Does she actually think I’m concerned about being dismissed from such a pathetic group whose existence is merely symbolic? The naivete simply astounds me! (On December 3rd, Ms White posted a link with the following admonishment on her Facebook wall: “Dear all make-up loving friends: go on this site now. You will die of happiness.” Now, if that doesn’t sound like the thoughts of a woman with devout sociopolitical convictions!) As long as groups like the MUN Liberals are obedient little line-toeing boys and girls, the oppressive system will perpetuate. If Kate White is so concerned about the plight of disenfranchised adolescents, she should learn how to operate a firearm—or at least throw a rock.

Youth political oppression aside, it looks like we’re going to have to settle for throwing snowballs, not rocks, for a considerable time yet. I’m going to be cozying up tonight in a rug with a cup of warm tea and a copy of Escape from Childhood—a book that someone like Candace Simms or Kate White could do well by reading. Now where did I put that Bauhaus CD....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Of Angels and Assholes: A brief Consideration of Nelson Mandela vis-à-vis his Canadian Counterparts

Considering as how Nelson Mandela’s funeral has just taken place, and the fact that I’ve finished my annoying yet pleasantly unimaginative exams for the semester, I thought it was only appropriate that I say a few words about the late South African leader, mentioning his relevance to us youth of contemporary North America in the process. In doing so, I’ll hopefully make clear to the reader where I stand on his legacy as a rebel and leader. Whenever presented with such a cultural figure and his or her detractors, it is always incumbent upon a person to ask oneself who are the proverbial angels and who are the proverbial assholes.

Yes, I believe Mandela was definitely a little too friendly with terrorism-espousing tyrants like Muammar Gaddafi. I also admit that Mandela’s socioeconomic leanings were a little too socialist in nature for my taste. But I must also try and remember that this was/is a third-world African nation in which he rose to power. In such an environment, ideologies must be grasped and adopted as one sees fit. Sometimes injecting elements of Marxism is the only logical approach to countering the tyrannical powers that be. The same can be said for rubbing shoulders with murderous dictators. Ironically, such a pragmatic approach is in itself rather socially Darwinistic.

As for him having been a ‘terrorist’, I should think that ‘saboteur’ would be a more accurate descriptive term. To those self-righteous hypocrites who called him on it—including Margaret Thatcher initially and at least one Canadian Alliance / Conservative MP here in Canada, Rob Anders (who maintains his bigoted, faux self-righteous position to this day)—I say, how would you like a minority of imperialistic Europeans leaving you and your native brethren to wallow disenfranchised in a shantytown? I believe that an action is either right or wrong, ultimately. However, I also believe that one’s situation must factor into any sound moral judgement. Historically, Mr Mandela will be correctly remembered as a freedom fighter. Someone like Mr Anders can already be indubitably seen as an ignorant asshole.

Aside from his long, arduous struggle for freedom, and overhauling of South Africa in general from within, I believe what I liked most about Nelson Mandela was his 1994 proposal to lower his country’s voting age from 18 to 14. This grabs me as the most revolutionary, logical and insightful of his largely forgotten ‘minor’ policies. At a time when ignorant and oppressive politicians here in Canada were raising the legal age for the likes of smoking and quitting school, and calling for tougher restrictive laws surrounding adolescent sexuality, Nelson Mandela was taking an inclusive approach to his nation’s youth. This is something that us Canadian youth of today can truly learn from. Of course, Mandela was more or less forced to change his wise position on the matter, and the voting age remains at the oppressive minimum of 18 years in South Africa; but youth around the world can still cite Mandela’s proposal as a wise example in conducting their own protests and acts of civil disobedience. Here in Canada, disenfranchised youth might start by refusing to attend school if they are not allowed participation in the next federal election. If that doesn’t draw adequate media attention and instigate legislative change, then they might try abducting a non-sympathetic politician, FLQ-style. For the record, I can think of several Conservative and former Canadian Alliance MPs who deserve to be stuffed into the trunk of a car....

Given his overall track record and perpetually relevant revolutionary ideas, it is quite clear that President Nelson ‘Mediba’ Mandela was an invaluable asset to South Africa and exemplary figure for the ages; and ultimately redeemed himself of any faults—real or perceived—that he demonstrated in the first half of his life. Therefore, when comparing him to someone like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I think it becomes pretty obvious who’s the angel and who’s the asshole.

For those who still participate in such dubious matters, try and have a powerfully festive holiday season, people....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

They Eat Pussy in Toronto, Don't They?

As bogged down as what I am these days in trifling, if not truly challenging, course work, I cannot resist it any longer: I must make the time and punch out a few words about some of the juicy silliness occurring around me in recent weeks.

First of all, let me just say that I was pleased to learn that Lisa Moore—arguably the province’s worst state-endorsed writer—lost out to another overrated say-nothing author at this year’s meaningless Giller Prize award. But wait—things actually go from bad to worse to just plain silly on the national literary front: it appears some young woman from New Zealand—complete with a heavy kiwi accent—has won the Governor General’s Award and the Man Booker Prize for her work of fiction. Apparently, Eleanor Catton was born in Canada almost thirty years ago and never set foot in this country again until it came time to pick up the prize money for her novel... about New Zealand. Priceless! I’m not sure if this is a case of Canadian political correctness being taken to a whole new level or a wonderful comment on home-reared talent! Either way, it’s unequivocally yummy.

A few days ago, just as I was about to submit an essay for a certain website, a news story began breaking about “ten Quebec teens facing child porn charges” after electronically sharing sleazy photos of their girlfriends. How can this be, I thought?!! After all, according to those perverted Harper Conservatives who relish prying into the private lives of us youth, teenagers are still merely children—not old enough to vote, drink beer or consent to sex. How can such ‘youngsters’ be charged for breaking laws that are supposed to be there to protect them in the first place? I mean, at 13 to 15 years of age, they’re simply not old enough to even know what ‘dicks’ and ‘pussies’ are, are they? Myself, I didn’t menstruate or even sprout a pubic hair until the exact date of my 18th birthday. Having recently turned 19, my mother is now teaching me how to spell ‘tampon’. In other words, isn’t this just a teensy bit hypocritical? 

It doesn’t matter to me if you’re 13 or 31. Anyone foolish enough—or mature enough, depending on how one looks at it—to transmit nude or sexually explicit photos of one’s self is asking for trouble of some sort. No sympathy from me. Furthermore, ten boys from Laval, Quebec alone is quite a high percentage, relatively speaking. It’s safe to say that underage porn is now as ubiquitous as marijuana usage—among so-called children themselves! Try closing those flood gates, Stephen Harper.

Speaking of sex and youth, would someone mind telling me the real reason why a report on the sexual exploitation of children (whatever constitutes a child these days, I’m not sure) in the province—complete with recommendations yet—has been officially kept from Terra Nova eyes for some two years? Is it because the bureaucrats’ definition of ‘exploitation’ is so broad that the government fears too large a segment of the population would feel targeted, thus defeating the purpose by reinterpreting the study as the work of elitists? It wouldn’t surprise me, given the singularly dubious examples from the courts cited by the CBC in their television coverage of this story. Is it because the government fears that too many of its own—police officers, social workers, the politicians themselves—might be fingered as sexual miscreants? This wouldn’t surprise me either—especially considering some of my father’s accounts of questionable activity among St John’s cops and youth workers in the late 1980s.

During his first year or two of university, my father associated fairly regularly with rock ’n’ rollers, burgeoning writers, truant teenaged vagrants and other bohemian types in the downtown area (there were one or two pubs in particular at the time which catered to such collective circles), and according to him a particular RNC officer would pay unofficial visits to 14-year-old hookers in the Pleasant St. area, and certain assigned social workers were known to take the same girls out on pub crawls, “looking for men”. One young girl was even known to call on the said Constabulary cop at the station, complete with her trademark black leather mini-skirt and red shoes on.

My father’s favourite story of such government-employee uncouthness stems from one summer night in 1989, when him and two friends were driving in the downtown area. After pulling them over for running a red light (which they hadn’t), an RNC officer detected the obvious reek of beer and Scotch whiskey. Despite the driver being most likely impaired, the officer sent them on their way with a laugh, on the grounds that they were “just a couple of young fellers cruising about downtown, lookin’ for a bit o’ pussy”. That anecdote set the tone for the officers of the day.

As for the question I rhetorically pondered in an earlier blog post, as to whether or not the three disgraced senators will be spending eternity in Hell (at least on a theoretical level), it appears that the prime minister and his whipped and bullied senate have foregone the usual process employing St Peter and company, and decided their eternal fate for them. Yes, Victoria, there is a God and his name is Stephen Harper. So it appears Senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau have all been sentenced to eternal damnation—without senatorial pay for the remainder of the current parliamentary session to boot. Of the three banished senators, Pamela Wallin has been the most outspoken for some reason. Maybe she feels she has the most to lose. Whatever the case, it is needless to say that she is not a happy camper.

Their journalistic careers and legacies completely in tatters, Duffy and Wallin in particular have been forced to fall hard in hopes of appeasing the Canadian public and taking the heat off Stephen Harper. One can only hope that the dismissed Nigel Wright will finally open his gob and implicate the prime minister like he deserves. I mean, no one in his or her right mind actually believes that Harper wasn’t aware of such underhanded maneuvers—if not actually orchestrating them, do they? [Intriguingly, the CBC has been reporting these past few hours that the RCMPs investigations indicate that Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy are seemingly guilty of criminal wrongdoing.  At the time of my writing, however, Dear Nigel still hasnt pointed a finger at Harper.]

Speaking of underhanded maneuvers, you know, I can’t help but wonder if there weren’t some dark machinations at work in this whole senate scandal from the get-go. Not just in regards to the senators’ ill-gotten gains and fudging of the travel fund facts, but going right back to the appointments of media celebrities like Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin in the first place. I’m sure the most paranoid of conspiracy theorists have thought so from day one—there have been distant rumblings; but undoubtedly some of the more levelheaded people out there have been thinking the same thoughts, if not choosing to voice them. Might Prime Minister Harper have been looking for a couple of celebrity dupes to bring attention to the Senate and its questionable continued existence when he appointed the likes of Duffy and Wallin? Could they have been picked to use as pawns in an intentionally induced scandal which would provide an excuse to open public debate on the Senate and ultimately lead to its abolition?  I cant help but consider the possibility sometimes late at night when Im sipping tea and digesting the TV news coverage.

Thanks in no small part to Toronto mayor Rob Ford and the media sensationalism of his shenanigans, the heat appears to be suddenly off the prime minister and his exploits, however.

Ah, Rob Ford. Mayor Rob Ford. Yes, he’s something of a sexist slob and a bit of a prurient homophobe, but there’s still something I admire about the jolly drunken fat-man in question. I think it’s his 1970s style, and his unwillingness to acquiesce to the ridiculous dogmas at either end of the political spectrum, Left or Right. Mayor Ford is an old-fashioned, no-nonsense, centre-focussed populist politician. This is unusual in the eyes of us so-called millennials and even Generation Xers, but it was actually the standard for western politicians only a half-century ago. Such a middle-ground stance is popular with neither of the two types who dominate all three levels of North American politics today. In other words, the usual far-right bunch despise him because he drinks and swears too much, doesn’t pray in public, and refrains from prying ambivalently into the romantic lives of gays and adolescents. Simultaneously, the usual far-left bunch despise him because he swills fast food as he pleases, doesn’t resort to silly euphemisms for fear of offending virgin ears, and refrains from paying symbolic lip service to the city’s gay community.

So exactly why do I increasingly like this (seemingly) outrageous man, you might ask? Well, in all honesty, I think it has far more to do with the asinine hypocrites who are unfairly dragging him over the coals than his asinine self.

Who the hell do these self-righteous Toronto city councillors and assholes in the media think they’re fooling, pretending to be offended—“Oh my God! the humanity!”—by his blunt and unaffected language?! (Read about it here.) Would they have us believe that they’ve never used such expressions as “eating pussy” before? Would they have us believe that their children have not yet encountered such slang? (If they’re aged ten or older and unfamiliar with expressions like “eating pussy”, I’d be a little concerned!) If they’re so morally incensed by such street talk, then why are they also so quick to celebrate the sexist, racist rantings of contemporary hip-hop acts and purchase such albums for their precious children? Mayor Ford can’t quote what some nosey nincompoop alleges he has said without being attacked by his faux-indignant fellow councillors, yet apparently it’s okay for his critics’ children to absorb lyrics like, “Yo, nigger bitch / Suck my cock”. Now, that’s unsettling.

And did anyone out there see that idiot from the CBC questioning the children and teens in Toronto, asking their opinions on the “bad influence” of Mayor Ford? I’m only 19 myself, so it was particularly disheartening and insulting to see this prig addressing young men and women in their teens as if they were toddlers, constantly referring to them as “kids”.

And with the exception of finance minister Jim Flaherty, his ‘friends’ in the federal Harper government have done a really good job of ignoring him, haven’t they! Now why doesn’t this surprise me! Stephen Harper is such a prick, in fact, that he’s managed to twist his response to the uproar into an attack on Justin Trudeau’s grass smoking!

Speaking of Justin Trudeau, isn’t it just a tad bit hypocritical, the way in which his supporters tend to play down his admitted marijuana use while condemning Mayor Ford for his crack-pipe puffing? I’m betting that if Fat Robbie knocked off substantial poundage and got himself a hair transplant and dye job, it would result in a considerably better showing in the polls. It’s all about image and phoney mystique, people. The shallow among us love their star quarterbacks from the college football team—even when they hire ringers for exams and participate in drunken belching contests. In other words, Mayor Ford needs to get back to his roots and stop being an adult.

I think what I like most about Rob Ford is his ability to upset the elitist status quo of precious latte-slurping Toronto. I’ve never lived in Toronto, but I’ve touched down there briefly on my journeys abroad. From my perspective, contemporary Toronto is all visage: a politically correct paradise as envisioned and devised by a minority of far-left lobbyists and their asinine operatives on city council. These ‘movers and shakers’ (Ha!), it seems, represent the beliefs and ideals of only fifteen to twenty percent of the city’s population at most. Over time, the alienated majority have become increasingly silent and apathetic. (My mother insists that it’s been this way for the past two decades or so. An older Torontonian cousin of mine assures me that today’s Toronto has very little in common with the Toronto of the 1960s, ’70s and much of the ’80s.) As the mayor has pointed out, the majority of Toronto’s population—including many of his fellow councillors—have at some time or another partaken of illicit drugs, committed adultery, driven drunk, etc. This is something his opposing councillors and other critics would deny until they’re blue in the face. Rob Ford provides an excellent opportunity for such phoney critics to condemn the sins they’ve secretly loved to act. And like the stake-burnings and lynchings of old, attacks on him draw attention away from the attackers and their own ‘transgressions’. So if his questionable behaviour tarnishes or completely obliterates Toronto’s false image, then I hope Mayor Ford stays put until the entire world sees plastic Toronto as the silliest place on the planet.

Of course, a non-seceding Mayor Ford will also mean a politically castrated Mayor Ford now that much of his power has been dubiously appropriated. In fact, as I write this, Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly is talking with CTV reporters on television, showing off his newly stolen administrative powers. The usurping imposter looks like a smug son of a bitch—and no doubt a typically inefficient do-nothing schmuck. I hope the Fords are already digging for dirt on him. If you’ve seen him buying illicit drugs, driving drunk or nailing hookers, please get in touch with the elected mayor’s office.

As for those councillors who turn their backs to the mayor, well, I guess they simply want to get fucked in the ass or something.

Lately I’ve been thinking: you know, it was this Mohamed Farah character—whose motives, judging from his comments to the CBC, are vague at best—who started this whole media feeding frenzy, when he showed an iphone video of the mayor smoking crack to the sniffer-dawgs from Gawker, who in turn futilely raised money online to buy said video. This gives me radical ideas....

Why don’t we attempt to set up a fund—through Gawker, Kickstarter or some other site—to raise money to offer as rewards to those people out there who can provide us damning information on the dubious behaviour, past and present, of our ‘favourite’ self-righteous Conservative politicians who interfere legislatively with our private lives? The financially fraudulent Mike Duffys and the cocaine- and alcohol-impaired Rahim Jaffers are just the tip of the Tory iceberg, I suspect. Think about it: photos of the prime minister smoking grass thirty years ago... wife-beating back-benchers who are “hands-on” in teaching their daughters the facts of life... a former minister of justice up to his nuts in some heroin-addled underaged hooker named Baby Lips....

Hmmmm... Yummy!

I think I’m going to mosey on over to Gawker and maybe have a little chat. Let’s get this show on the road, people!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

For a Lack of Rope and Coal Oil: My Take on MUN’s Anti-smoking Policies and what they tell us about their Implementers

It’s somewhat reassuring to know that most of MUN’s tobacco puffers are choosing to ignore the nefarious campus-wide smoking ban, and exercising their human right to defy sheer bigotry.  It pleases me to know that some people still value the freedoms for which past generations laid down their lives in trenches and on beaches.
Just recently, the CBC’s Here & Now—digging for dirt on what was obviously a slow news day—reported that the smoking ban is obviously not working; that the policy simply isn’t being enforced.  I guess that makes it official.  It isn’t gospel until the local wing of Canada’s middlebrow broadcaster confirms it as so.
According to the CBC’s report, it appears to be business as usual with tobacco on campus.  This is in keeping with my father’s assertion that most students and employees continued to smoke wherever they chose following the implementation of various anti-smoking policies throughout the late 1980s and 1990s.  In fact, my father insists that the only occasion he was ever badgered for smoking was one time in the Breezeway bar when he and some friends lit up during the wrong hours.  How utterly ironic!  To think that a drinking hole would be the primary focus of a smoking ban!  Maybe they should have lit up in the campus chapel.
Of course, Father and his friends later identified the Breezeway employee’s car and flattened all four of his tires.  Daddy was never one to suffer fools and oppression.  In subsequent years, whenever visiting the campus for research purposes, the only area in which he refrained from smoking was the QE II Library.
In fact, my father is now wondering how come smokers and sympathetic fellow students haven’t been having organized “smoke-ins” and maybe spray-painting a few walls and windows with suitable graffiti.  Both he and Mother (a non-smoker) have developed a great disdain for MUN’s governing body in light of such recent policy changes.  Needless to say, I wouldn’t advise touching them up for alumni donations.
To reiterate a Facebook comment of mine that also appeared on the NTV website:
“I’m afraid I may have to go begging for a student loan or find a wealthy benefactor if I want to continue at Memorial. For some time now, my parents have been threatening to pull me out of university on the grounds that it’s become a “playpen” for “overgrown infants”, and has more to do with contemporary dogmas and pointless vanity than what it does actual education. I fear this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. My parents insist that universities are places where professors and students sit around ashtrays, debating historical theories and philosophical positions. Anti-smoking policies, they say, have virtually nothing to do with health concerns, and are merely vain, elitist machinations that insure discrimination and subservience—on par with the ‘jim crow’ sections of old. I’m a non-smoker, but I’m inclined to agree with them. I have a feeling my second semester at MUN will prove to be my last.”
Thankfully, things worked out for me; my parents came through with the filthy lucre and I’m now back in class.  But that doesn’t change the situation on campus.  The powers that be are still targeting a minority based on subjugation desires disguised as health concerns.
In the context of the Here & Now ‘story’, MUN director of Health and Safety Sheila Miller was heard to state that Memorial is offering various stop-smoking programs as a means of accommodating the ban.
What makes Ms Miller think that all smokers want to accommodate her petty grievances and quit smoking?  In another lifetime, would Ms Miller have been trying to persuade African Americans to change their skin colour?  Like tobacco, African Americans were said to be non-hygienic and a threat to community health.  Would Ms Miller or others of her annoying ilk be willing to stop driving to accommodate my pet peeves, er, health concerns?  After all, I don’t drive, so why should I have to tolerate Ms Miller’s noisy motor and polluting tailpipe? 
Ms Miller would have us believe that she’s a veritable bastion of health concerns.  Yeah, right!   Because we all know that health fanatics like to carry that much weight around!  Maybe she should consider living up to her own title, and try knocking off a few pounds.  Judging from photos of her, Ms Miller looks about as health conscious as a sewer rat in a garbage dumpster.  Talk about an arrogant old hypocrite.  
To market, to market: MUN director Sheila Miller would have us believe shes the epitome of Health and Safety 
And if MUN starts enforcing this bigoted policy, what’s ultimately going to happen?  The smokers will start walking off campus and gathering in hordes on street corners in the area—until one of them gets struck by oncoming traffic.  Then, quite rightfully, the lawsuits will start pouring in.  I guess the desire for subjugation trumps logic—even in university matters.  Does anyone remember segregated colleges in the Deep South?
To waken people up to the truth, MUN smokers might consider copying the image below and posting it on doors, windows and billboards around campus:

In lieu of poster campaigns, another alternative to risking life and limb on the off-campus curb would be heading over to Ms Miller’s office for a smoke—anytime day or night.  It would also be easy to obtain the home addresses of advocates of smoker ostracism among MUN’s ruling elites.  Maybe all smokers out there should think about dropping by such properties for a cigarette every now and then.
So there you have it—my take on the ridiculous smoking ban and its dubious origins. I’ll conclude by saying that I certainly don’t wish to advocate smoking.  However, infringements on personal freedom can often be just as scary as any threats to one’s health.  

Thats not so yummy.  Try and have a nice day....

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ra Ra Rape! Saint Mary’s University Students Eagerly Awaiting Puberty!

Sis Boom Bah Humbug?

As anyone who’s watched the ‘frosh week’ video out of Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia should know by now, Y doesn’t always stand for a generation or the female genitalia. (Read the CBC's coverage here.)

No one should be surprised that the gang at Saint Mary’s like ’em ‘YOUNG’. The far-left and far-right policies adopted and legislated by our federal, provincial and even municipal governments over the past two decades or so have actually created this situation. So if the people in high places are shocked by rally chants promoting the sexual assault of minors, well, what in the name of Rehtaeh Parsons’s sleazy teenage tattoos did they expect?

Let me elaborate a little....

This incident can be easily interpreted as a quasi-reactionary statement. When lobbyists, governments and other ruling bodies prolong puberty via an illogically increased age of sexual consent, tobacco and alcohol restrictions, antiquated drug laws, etc, it is only reasonable to expect those effected to react accordingly. No one with an ounce of intelligence should have been shocked by this display, ridiculous as it was. What people are seeing is the behaviour that was once associated with 11- to 13-year olds being made manifest in those 17 to 23. When you whack the mole over the head, it merely pops up somewhere else.

Because of the prolonged childhood that is being mandated and legislated, college campuses and many high schools are becoming veritable pressure cookers—powder kegs of rage, booze, porno, libido and tobacco, just waiting to blow open. And then they wonder why school shootings have become such an indelible reality.

It’s interesting that the participants should reference sexual assault and underage girls in the same context, for the latter can actually be the cure for the former in some cases, so to speak. On a personal note, from about the age of 12 onward, my parents refused to let me date anyone who wasn’t an intelligent, respectable older student. They feared that the young boys my age were becoming simply too uncivilized and sexually violent, owing mainly to the aforementioned restrictions upon youth. Now I’m an 18-year-old young woman in my third semester at Memorial University, and I regret to announce that the prurience and sexual aggression are no longer exclusive to the high-school age level (or American campuses!). As I mentioned a few months ago on this blog, the campus is now crawling with ball-cap-wearing savages who think with their willies, and tattooed airheads who will acquiesce to any unwanted advances simply in order to look ‘cool’ and maintain their popularity status. Illegal or not, I wouldn’t be caught dead down in the campus tunnels at night without my revolver in my handbag.

Oh, the sheer poetry!  Cohen and Dylan must be jealous

And now the CBC are reporting that the president of the Saint Mary’s student union is apologizing and resigning as a result of this incident. Well, shame on him for caving in to hypocritical pressure! Unless he’s going back to sixth grade where him and his kind rightfully belong, Mr Jared Perry should indeed stay on in his office. We need him to remind us of just how wrong the policies of the past quarter-century have been. According to the same CBC news report, two other student leaders are facing “disciplinary action” as well. It’s lobbyists like the Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC) and politicians like Stephen Harper who should be apologizing and facing disciplinary action. They’ve helped create such cretins and shaped their reactionary attitudes.

As for the actual chant/song, my mother insists it’s only slightly more offensive than some of the official filth she was expected to recite and sing when she was a member of the Air and Sea Cadets back in the ’80s.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Clearing The Air with Smokescreens: My Thoughts on the Conservatives’ Condemnation of Justin Trudeau’s Pot Admission

Adore me, fellow Canadians! I am your Saviour, the Son of Pierre, and now devoted beatnik pot smoker!
(Image stolen from The Star)

Now let me make it clear from the start: I am no major fan of Justin Trudeau. In fact, I consider him to be rather goofy and Americanized in all the wrong ways. Like his father before him, he tends to ride on a crest of charisma rather than an agenda of well-defined policies. (Of course, this can be said of the federal Liberals in general in recent decades.) True, either Trudeau would be slightly less embarrassing to have in office than a Stephen Harper or a Kim Campbell; but Dear saintly Justin has never struck me as anyone ideologically sound or sociopolitically astute.

Having said that, I consider his recent admission of illicit marijuana use to be as refreshingly bold and honest as what it is pragmatically foolish. So when the likes of Peter MacKay says that Trudeau is setting “a poor example for Canadians, particularly young ones”, I take it as an indirect insult. Here’s the comment I left in the wake of the story at

“Peter McKay says that Justin Trudeau is setting a bad example for the youth of this country. That’s really rich coming from the new justice minister! Mr McKay’s party hasn’t been setting any sort of example at all for us young people of Canada—the Conservatives have been too busy attempting to jail and subjugate us with hideous new sex, drug, and internet downloading legislation. On top of that, we still can’t vote for the oppressive jerks who write the laws until we're 18!

“I know my history: Never has there been a government in Canada which has displayed such animosity towards the nation’s youth. I’ve turned 18 within the last year, and I can’t wait for the next federal election so I can help vote such bigoted scum out of office. I’m not a cannabis user, nor am I a particularly big fan of the Liberal Party, but give me Mr Trudeau any day over the anachronistic old duffers that currently rule over us.”

Wow!  Isn't he grunge!

Obviously, judging from the old photo that Rick Mercer posted to Twitter, Mr MacKay has not always been an exemplary pillar of sobriety and restraint for us youth of the nation. Of course, the argument has also been made—by former Reform/Alliance MP Stockwell Day, and others who regret their prolonged virginity and think the world is 15,000 years old—that Mr MacKay was doing nothing illegal by ‘bonging’ booze. That’s very true; but the same can be said of 18-year-old porn stars who ejaculate and urinate over each other’s mouth and face. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s hiding hypocrisy behind a wall of convenient legalities.

Occasionally, a story of Conservative indiscretion will break like a bubble to the surface. Accounts of Rahim Jaffer and his cocaine and drunk-driving charges, Maxime Bernier’s open briefcase and dubious biker-girlfriend, and—in the halcyon days of Reform/Alliance goodness—Jack Ramsay’s sexual assault of a Cree teen while serving as an RCMP officer in the late ’60s should immediately come to mind. A veneer of white-picket fences, ankle-length skirts and Sunday roast-beef dinners is maintained, nevertheless. The transgressors are passed off as regrettable yet inexplicable anomalies—like flash floods and unruly sasquatches. Still, when it comes to matters of drugs, sex and corruption, one cannot help but surmise that there’s so much more going on behind the scenes, behind closed doors. Methinks the horny, drunken old white man doth protest too much.

So how do we expose these perceived/closet perpetrators? What I propose we do is offer monetary rewards in exchange for any tip that leads to a criminal investigation of a Conservative MP or any of their associates, past or present. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If Harper Conservatives like former MP Vic Toews can envision instigating quasi witch hunts with his proposed internet surveillance scheme, then we can do the same. I wonder if we could launch such a project through Kickstarter or a similar website. The desire to see Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack brought in close to two-hundred grand at Gawker, keep in mind. We could even raise money by selling gag t-shirts emblazoned with, “I’m a Proud Canadian—of course I’m with the Child Pornographers!”

To quote Public Enemy, lets get it on.

Keep on toking, Mr Trudeau. Keep on dreaming about your 11-year-old daughters and granddaughters naked on a desert island, Harper Conservatives.