Alain Brosseau, all lives matter, August 21st 1989, Black lives matter, First hate crimes unit in Canada, homophobia, human rights, Murder on the Alexandria Bridge, Queer Bashing, racism, replace hate with love, sexism
Alain Brosseau, all lives matter, August 21st 1989, Black lives matter, First hate crimes unit in Canada, homophobia, human rights, Murder on the Alexandria Bridge, Queer Bashing, racism, replace hate with love, sexism
I’ve had it. Fully, completely, utterly and totally have had it up to here!
Had it? “Had it with what?” you might ask yourself.
To those that might need to run for a dictionary, in its simplest terms, it means treating another person as a thing or object. Add to this the word “sexual” and it takes on an even darker tone:
“Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person as an object of sexual pleasure without regard to their personality or dignity”. (source: Wikipedia)
Now, for those that aren’t aware, I’m a dyed in the wool Canuck. I pride myself that here in Canada, by law, all persons are equal under our charter of rights and freedoms. Yet, with all this red and white patriotism, we still aren’t living up to those ideals in 2015.
Case in point: this last Sunday, Shauna Hunt, a City TV reporter covering a soccer game endured something that’s become quite popular over the last little while. It’s the “game” of shouting “FHRITP” at female reporters covering sports events. For the uninitiated, “FHRITP” translates to F… her right in the P….
True North strong and free? Hello?
To her credit, she shamed the male hecklers on Twitter. When she asked these pigs what their mothers would think about them talking like this, one responded his mother would think it’s funny.
Well, apparently I’m not the only one that didn’t think it was funny. One of these brain trusts found himself dismissed from Hydro One, and the four offenders are being permanently banned from attending any other sporting events at the facility where these clowns are now immortalized on video for all of Canada to see.
This, sadly, is not an isolated event. Just the other day a young woman was given detention and suspended for one day for wearing a “provocative” dress to school, thus violating the schools dress code. This didn’t happen in Afghanistan or Pakistan. This happened in Moncton, New Brunswick at Harrison Trimble high school. They told her that her dress was “inappropriate” and a “sexual distraction” to the male students.
She did not take this lying down. Lauren Wiggins, on the cusp of her 18th birthday wrote the powers that be and stated: “If you are truly so concerned that a boy in this school will get distracted by my upper back and shoulders, then he needs to be sent home and practice self-control” She also posted her opinions to her Facebook page.
I guess my question to the rest of Canada is why any female in this day and age should still be battling this level of chauvinistic sexism. I was under the impression that all those Playtex-fuelled bonfires in the seventies paved the way for women to be regarded as human beings instead of objects of derision in our society.
Do I blame women for this? Well, yes and no.
I cannot, nor would I ever entertain the thought of blaming women for this form of discrimination. They’ve been the victims, and we need to be helping to make sure no one is ever treated this way. In saying this, though, women are also somewhat to blame for this misogynistic behavior.
Well, it’s simple. Some women tolerate it. And that’s as bad as turning a blind eye to it.
In the household I grew up in, if I had ever mistreated ANY female, you can bet I’d find my head shoved so far up my ass I’d never have witnessed another sunrise. It just wasn’t something anyone put up with, period. Yet, how many mothers that I’ve met in my time have sort of “dismissed” their son’s sexist notions as “boys will be boys”.
My response to this is “HELL NO”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is right up there with bullying and homophobia.
Generation after bloody generation of Y chromosome carrying male have created a subculture where rape is not only allowed, but often times celebrated. So much so that teenage girls are often driven to suicide to escape their male tormentors.
Mother’s aren’t the only one’s with some responsibility here. Fathers, when it’s a two parent opposite sex household, set the tone and the example for their sons and daughters.
In short; parents are both responsible to their charges, to teach them right from wrong. Yet so many think it’s perfectly OK for their boys to seek sexist or pornographic materials, and/or to allow their daughters to think they need “protecting” by/or from men. While I’m no parent, and I’m likely overreaching my boundaries here; in my estimation, it’s setting a dangerous precedent in the minds of their children/young adults, one that invariably comes with consequences.
Sometimes those consequences often are life altering, if not worse.
I could write for the next thirty pages on this, probably create a dissertation worthy of some very heated debates. The point I’m trying to make, simply, is that we need to start setting equal standards for both sexes, from the time their toddlers right on up until they leave the nest, so that when they become independent young adults, they treat their fellow persons with the respect and equality they are legally entitled to in this country.
It’s time for the “Old Boys Club” to stop with the “slut shaming”, and start being ashamed of themselves for even entertaining the thoughts and attitudes that are all too often associated with any member of the opposite sex. I mean, how many males have to walk around with that label, when a great deal of them are deserving, considering they’re the one’s doing the sleeping around, eh?
Women are the givers of life. Women can take pain no man could even conceive. Want proof? Let a man go into labour.
Women work harder and longer than most men, and almost always for lesser pay, and yet when they do achieve that so-called “equality”, more often than not, they’re considered “bitches”, even by their own female subordinates.
Well, to sum all this up, its HIGH TIME this great country of ours started taking real, tangible steps to permanently eradicating all levels of sexism and objectification at home, in the workplace, and in society, period.
It needs to start in that proverbial sandbox, and work its way up into the lives of all Canadians, both male and female.
Only then can you truly call yourself a Canadian.
Today, a fellow writer commented on a post I threw up (vomited would be more apt) onto Facebook about, well, a face, ironically.
You see, Renee Zellweger, our own Brigit Jones has, well…she’s morphed.
Morphed? How so, you, dear reader, may ask. To be blunt, she’s literally bought herself a new face. No, it’s not so much a bad facelift as it’s almost a face transplant. To be even more blunt, she looks like a different human being entirely. And my comments on this brought out a debate that got me thinking whilst I lathered, rinsed, repeated.
WHY THE HELL DO I CARE WHO’S FACE SHE’S WEARING! Seriously.
Kerry Hyatt is a gifted writer. She’s also one of the most intelligent women I know. She’s also beautifully intelligent. Listening to this woman (or reading) what she has to say always raises my I.Q a few points, and that’s not easily done, trust me.
She made a very sage observation that everyone made a huge fuss over Renee’s new look, and not a syllable found itself printed about her aging companion in the photo. Why? Well, first, it’s very possible it’s because he’s not as famous (if he’s famous at all). And most importantly, it’s also case in point here; he’s male.
With few exceptions, most people seem to focus on a woman’s fading beauty, and her need to desperately hold onto her youth, while a man can wither and decay, and no one bothers to pay any heed.
Is it the fault of the actress/singer/dancer etc?
Is it the fault of the media?
Is it the fault of the public?
Who’s business is it anyways?
The operative here is “business”. If an actress in Hollywood wishes to continue being considered for lucrative roles in film, she’s pressured to remain in a time capsule. On the flip side, if a man wishes to remain relevant, all he needs to do is let it all hang out.
How many James Bond movies have you watched with a twenty year old actor at the helm?
As Tracey Ullman once uttered “Unless you’re an Oscar winner in Hollywood past the age of 40, its slim pickings for an actress”.
Gena Rowlands once said to Teri Garr when she was white-hot back during her “Tootsie” period; “Wait until they write that your face has been ravaged by time”.
I’m betting Sean Connery or Harrison Ford never read such shit written in their reviews.
So, I guess what I’m writing here is less of a rebuttal to Kerry’s lament, and more of an apology for feeding into the ageist convention women continually suffer from, here, there, hell, everywhere, in one form or another.
For what it’s worth, even though I don’t agree with Renee’s decision to alter her appearance, ultimately, I’m not the one that has to look at it each morning. It’s her show, and if it’s made her feel better about herself, then you go girl!
What I would LIKE to point out here though is that I am as fed up as hell at women constantly feeling the need to rip apart their bodies to validate themselves to others as they get older. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I have no problem with a woman who gets “freshened up” because she genuinely feels better after it’s all said and done. For that matter, same for goes for any man. What I don’t cotton to is the ideology that a woman feels pressured to alter her appearance to remain viable in Hollywood. That is just as sad and as wrong as it gets, period.
So where does this end? Why do we place so much importance on youth?
I’m a 49-year-old man, struggling with his weight, and trying to appear relevant to people who could potentially be signing my paychecks. I truly do understand what the Renee’s of the world are going through. I do. Where I part company with her, and those like her is my decision to not alter my appearance.
It doesn’t make me better, it simply is my spin on aging, the end.
When I was approaching my 40’s, there was a man on TV hawking miracle cleaning supplies named Willy Mays. He was an attractive enough man, but I had noticed that over the years his hair (he sported a full beard and head of hair) became blacker and black until it seemed you could no longer see his face on the commercials. His beard and hair took on a “black hole” appearance, clearly the results of Grecian Formula 16.
I vowed I’d never look that foolish.
Well, I’m now pushing fifty, and as my hair turns kinky and silver, I can kind of understand why some men will put up with shoe polish coloured dyes. If you keep it younger, you keep yourself looking like you can still compete.
Are we in danger of going the way of Joan Rivers? Well, not really, because a woman is almost always subjected to a lot more discrimination and pressure than her male counterparts. I dunno, it’s almost as though her value is seemingly attached to her ovaries. That, and the lithe nature of her curves.
Anything less than Cosmo-perfecto = damaged beauty, and more often than not finds itself discarded.
In writing all of this, there is a movement in progress, one that gives me great hope for the future. It started with Kathy Bates years ago. You see, Kathy was a woman of size. And she never felt the need to apologize for it, either. Kathy let herself age, droop and jiggle. And Kathy continues to work, rather successfully I might add, in Hollywood.
Melissa McCarthy is another role model. She’s big, bold and beautiful, and comes as well without a single apology for who she is. And she’s box office. Where the Jennifer Anistons and Meryl Streeps of the world are raking in the bucks, Melissa is also cleaning up with most of her films, and is proving that looks ain’t everything.
Personally, I think Melissa is pretty as she is. And I hope she stays true to who she is today. But if she doesn’t, again, whose business is it anyway.
In closing, I’d like to leave you, dear reader, with a thought. It’s something you may or may not care to toss around in one of your quieter moments:
When you wake up and see yourself all baggy eyed in the mirror and think to yourself “self, maybe it’s time I had a little Botox party”; remember that you’re best foot forward is all that truly matters in this life. If it takes a fresher looking you to get there, then bring on the botulism.
Don’t ever let anyone bring you down for your decision. It’s your life.
To quote one more famous person here, and she sums it up beautifully; “If I want to wear my tits on my back, it’s no one’s business but my own”
She may never be able to turn back time, but Cher’s probably the one laughing the loudest at those that care more about her nips and tucks than her body of work.
I decided today to enjoy leisurely walk, basking in the early spring air as the sun caressed my cheeks. It was a perfect moment. The air was brisk, yet warm, and everything smelled so good. After a long, harsh winter, this respite was most welcome to myself, and most everyone around me.
Suddenly, the soundtrack of spring screeched to a halt, and I found myself ripped away from the blissful state I was in. For what was coming into view defied all logic.
She was 30-something.
She was walking her baby.
She was sporting what looked to be a strained black tensor bandage with a crop top.
I stupidly looked closer, and to my utter horror, I realized the crop top was not a crop at all. Rather, her size 20 body is painfully being squeezed into a size 8 legging.
The consequence to that single act was that her fashion choice did not give over enough textile to cover the muffin top that was merrily floating above the waistband of said pants…a lovely sight indeed.
I’ve heard of the “Ice Cream Cone Effect” from some television fashion police here and there over the years. That’s a condition where your hips to your ankles form the shape of a cone, and you on top are the scoops. It’s not a good look for anyone, male or female.
Well, this chick wasn’t just sporting the cone, but the entire 31 flavours at Baskin-Robbins. Hell, she looked as though she was channelling Ben and Jerry, Hagen Daas, and a truckload of Klondike bars.
Like some tragic accident, I could not look away. I stood amazed at the momentum all that flesh takes on when it’s mobile. It’s quite horrifying that I was seeing it encased in what is the machine washable equivalent of a can of Ronco brand spray on pants. Every crevice, every dimple, every little hair accented and pronounced beneath the Dancekin tights she tortured her lumpy frame into.
My eyes watered, my head swam, and as I momentarily stopped to process what I had just seen.
I then noticed I was travelling along with a pod of bipedal orcas. Yes, this look was fruitful, and like the pounds they packed into those outfits, these women were clearly multiplying in numbers before my eyes.
I quickly dropped all plans to eat…forever.
OK…as we all know, in the 1980’s, spandex inhabited pretty much every female closet in North America. For some, it was (then) a good thing. However, the ugly truth of the matter is, for others…not so much.
It’s the others that were the problem. And clearly, that problem is generational.
When leggings finally went the way of the mullet (took some a few extra years to finally let go of both), I was one of the most thankful people on earth. Between the damned “hockey hair”, and seeing larger than large wearing smaller than small, I truly wanted some elegance returning to people’s wardrobes. In some ways, I got my wish, thankfully.
Fast forward to 2011. Ankle boots came back into style, as did leg warmers and…*gulp*, leggings. Only this time, leggings look like jeans instead of jungle cat prints. And, with this confection, yoga pants also appeared.
After so many years of seeing guys and gals wearing pyjama bottoms while shopping for groceries, I was grateful for any change.
What some failed to realize is that NOTHING good ever came out trying to stuff ten pounds of potatoes into a two-pound sack. Nothing. Seams strain, blood vessels implode, circulation slows, and the population at large suffer hysterical blindness en-mass. It’s not pretty, and believe me when I say this, neither is the fashion statement.
For some clueless women, this new-to-them fashion advent heralded an era of tasteless delusion. And we, the general public, silently bear witness, tragically.
I can honestly tell you, my readers, that the cracks of large girls asses (or guys for that matter) being heinously exposed is never a welcome sight. The fact that it’s due to snug nature of their yoga pants and leggings does not a good first impression make.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a proper pair of fitted yoga pants. It’s when they fit like a compression sock pulled over a school bus that it gets ugly.
Worse still is taking in every last dimple that her voluminous ass has to offer; as if bronzed for all eternity in a mass of black spandex hell. It only serves weaken the stomach of the strongest among us.
Am I alone here? I think not.
There’s something to be said for restraint. Perhaps not compressing oneself into outfits that scream to the world that you’re encasing your hills and dales INSIDE of restraints might be, shall we say, taking the high road.
Girls, seriously. Dressing your body like a Pilates instructor when you’re in dire need of Pilates is as pathetic as a 50-year-old man with a fake tan, frosted hair and a skin-tight wife beater calling everyone “dude”. There is nothing sexy about either look.
Let’s face it; we all have different body types. Mine is a kind of furry colossus, so I’m not pointing fingers at anyone with weight issues.
Where I differ is that I NEVER parade any part of my Kewpie doll shape out on the promenade. For me, it’s a matter of modesty, but also out of respect for others.
People of size often find themselves reviled. I fully understand this, I make a point of never giving anyone any more ammunition than they already have.
Call me fat-ass…I earned it I suppose. But no one will ever point and laugh at me walking around in a Speedo. I have more respect for myself, and others, than that.
Despite my harsh judgement of exercise pants being ill-fitted to an un-exercised body, I think we’re all wonderful in our own way.
I feel the need here to state that I have NO issue with a large girl dressing herself to feel confident. None whatsoever. In fact, I love seeing a person of size, female or male, dressed with flair and a little sense of adventure.
Bold colours, great accessories, or just looking dapper; they all serve notice to haters that we, the plussers of the world, are strong, beautiful and worthy of respect. To some, it’s even a mother lode of eye candy.
It also serves to shatter that hateful stereotype that fat means ugly. Plus sized is perfect when it’s swathed in sophistication. It’s only ugly when it’s turned into a carnival of cottage cheese, camel toes and crack cleavage.
There are those out there that will utter “don’t like, don’t look”. OK, fair enough. How many train wrecks have you been consciously able to look away from.
Things that make you go HMMMMMM…
I don’t know of any woman who finds herself on the receiving end of a compliment when looking like a tsunami of cellulite in Daisy Dukes. Nor is a man likely to be commended for wearing jeans that ride so low that they bring into existence his own personal lunar eclipse.
All I want to do is slip a quarter in there just to see what comes out of the dispenser.
I think I’m going to start aimlessly wandering the downtown streets wearing my pyjama bottoms. Maybe I’ll run them through the sewing machine, so they’ll be sized incorrectly. I’ll do so just to show them my version of “what not to wear”.
I’ll deliberately lumber about with the crack of my asses hanging out for everyone see. You can bet I’ll make a point of throwing that hot mess into the faces of these clueless women (and men) just to see if it triggers any form of self-recognition within them.
Perhaps, in some alternate universe, they might just see themselves the way the rest of the world does. Miraculously, they’ll have that grand epiphany; suddenly wanting to dress their bodies instead of wearing tourniquet-inspired crap in an ill-conceived attempt to disguise them.
That, or they’ll keep on keeping on, no doubt someday finding themselves featured on “The People of Wal-Mart” website.
November 4, 1979 was the beginning of a seemingly normal day around the world. People went off to work, put a load of laundry into the dryer, read a book report in front of their classmates, in short; nothing remarkable.
Funny how quickly things can change. For, by the time this day was in full-swing, the world would be at the edge of their seats. Thus began what is now known as the Iran Hostage Crisis. Yet while these tense days produced a lot of frayed nerves, particularly for the US, a brilliant maneuver being executed, right under the noses of the Iranians that had stormed the embassy in the name of their Ayatollah. As it is now known, the Americans, with the help of the Canadian government pulled off a highly risky yet successful operation that has recently been brought to the silver screen, being appropriately titled Argo.
The Iranians want to sue Hollywood for this adaptation of events. In truth, Canadians have a much stronger case. For what Argo did to re-write our history feels criminal.
It seems odd, but when Chris Terrio penned his screenplay, based upon multiple sources, somewhere among the words and music, fiction found its way upon the silver screen. And within this revision of now historical fact, a myth was born.
Sadly, within that act of revision, the truth about what a truly high risk operation this was for all involved ended up becoming “America The Brave”, with their lowly neighbours to the north being all but completely edited out of not only this film adaptation, but history to those too young to know the truth.
As the accolades and the film’s director Ben Affleck worked the red carpet not too long ago, something seemed remiss. Where were the Canadians?
This is an affront to Ken Taylor and John Sheardown, their families, and every other Canadian (as well as one brave British citizen) working with the CIA at great personal risk to ensure a happy ending for everyone involved.
Being Canadian, we never sought out the wonderful thanks that we eventually received from our neighbours south of the border. And they did, indeed, thank us. To be fair, they are still thanking us. And, in light of Argo, those that lived through those times almost seem to be apologizing as they thank us. No thanks were ever necessary. What happened during the Iran Hostage Crisis is very typically Canadian. We simply asked if someone needed help, and rolled up our sleeves. It was never about personal glory, or smiling brightly for the cameras. It was simply Canadians being Canadians, trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
Yet, one can almost feel the contempt rise as we who remember read, over and over, how wonderful it was for dear Ben to direct such a stunning cinematic effort. How thoughtful of Mr. Affleck to breathe a quick thanks to Canada when grasping his golden statuette. Yet, for adults, too young to know what Argo really was, a generation that is spoon fed “real” hard-hitting news from the kings of yellow journalism at Fox, The Canadian Caper never existed. And in this one simple omission, history is forever changed.
Canadians cheered when we learned about this dangerous yet highly successful caper. We all exhaled gratefully upon learning that everyone was OK. Because we all knew it could have ended very differently. And to know that all these years later, the risks taken by these brave men and women have been permanently minimized, and to be truthful, almost wiped away, just to keep things moving on film is not only an insult to what they risked to help those in dire need, but is yet another example of Canadians being, as Alanis Morissette once penned “Under Rug Swept”.
And, as this story works its way through the video stores, and eventually on Netflix, more and more Americans will cheer as Captain Affleck out-foxes those dastardly Iranian devils almost single-handedly. But for those living up on the 49th parallel, we will keep on doing what we do best. Making a good thing better, and doing so without ever once asking for applause while doing it.
The True North strong and free; it means so much more than they will ever realize.
And…for those that want a bit more “reality” please have a read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Caper
Can somebody explain how rape can possibly ever be rationalized as being the victims fault?
A search through the soul of a moral man couldn’t possibly equate the words “no”, “stop”, “let me go” and “please don’t” to “yes”, “go ahead”, “restrain me big boy” or “yes, I want you too.”
How a woman’s dressed, how she comports herself in public, what have you, should never be misconstrued for “please do as you wish, no matter how much I fight back or object”. Travelling home on a bus most certainly should not invite being violated physically to the point of death.
It’s despicable that people, can state, even in jest, that being raped is in any way caused or aggravated by the victim in question.
On the rare occasions that a woman might actually decide to titillate and tease, and there are those that do, the second the word no leaves her lips, that’s the end of the interaction, period. You walk away, even if you’re hot and bothered. Under no circumstances does that sort of behaviour ever make physical violation OK.
We, as people, are all born into this world with essentially a blank slate. As we grow and develop, certain characteristics emerge. Some of us will be hard-wired to become type-a personalities. Others may end up demonstrating amazing physical dexterity. In short, we’re all products of our environment, as well as genetics.
But what in our DNA compels us to take life, or to become any sort of predator. Well, it’s a natural consensus to some that negative environment coupled with being “wired wrong” all aid in creating the sociopathic and amoral human beings that live among us. And we, the majority that are not part of that unfortunate minority, are always shocked when one of them demonstrates their complete lack of self-control and conscience. And we truly are within our rights to feel that way. For a rapist is as vile as a paedophile and a murderer. The damage they inflict is permanent, traumatizing and soul-destroying. There is no apology great enough, no act of contrition grand enough or a prison sentence long enough to return what is forever lost to the unfortunate soul at the receiving end of any such assault.
Yesterday, there was a mixed reaction of anger and gladness when the press announced that the bus driver in the India rape case committed suicide.
Considering the heinous nature of his role in this crime, it’s difficult to feel anything related to sympathy or sadness for his demise.
This man, a paid professional, never stopped for a second to think about the two victims he was forever scarring, or their families. And as it turns out, the world.
As a professional, the safety of these passengers was completely his responsibility. When a situation developed that put those two riders in jeopardy, he absolutely should have alerted the proper authorities, and intervened to stop the aggression. Instead, he helped aid in assault, rape, and as it turns out, murder. And in doing so, he’s as filthy an animal as the gang that started the situation moving tragically forward.
What shocked the world was when the defence lawyer blamed the now deceased woman for not being “a respectable lady”, and that if she had been, and deferred to her assailants as being “weaker” instead of resisting, that these animals would have then had the strength to resist attacking her.
There have also been a few loose quotes from men in India that have claimed it was her fault for travelling on a bus in the first place, as respectable women never leave their homestead.
So, if one was actually narrow-minded enough, they might be led to believe that in general, Indian men find themselves driven completely mad at the sight of a woman. And with this in mind, that madness compels them, when she dares to step outside of her homestead, to violently enact such atrocities, and that the act in question is completely her fault.
One also could say it’s time to grow the hell up boys!
Women are not playthings. They are the bringer of life. They nurture you when you are too young and defenceless to care for yourself. They wipe your tears when you fall. They clean your dirty underwear, and more often than not put up with your dirty attitudes.
Women are not born to be personal entertainment centres. They are not our underlings. They are the equal of any man, and must never be mistaken for anything less. To do so diminishes the male sex, and robs us all of decency and humanity.
It is time that men, across this great big world of ours, ALL started to take a good, close look at how we see the so-called “weaker” sex. And in doing so, it’s now also time to stop and think, long and hard, about putting the blame for our misogynistic attitudes upon the true culprit, ourselves. It certainly isn’t the fault of any woman.
If she chooses to walk down the street wearing nothing but electrical tape (I’d question her morality and sanity if she did, perhaps), that is her right. What is not the right of any man, seriously, is to put his hands upon her, in any way, shape or form, without direct verbal invitation. And, the second she puts the brakes on that interaction, right or wrong, you walk away!
Someday, with a little time and effort, perhaps, we, as men will get it right. But it has to start from the ground up.
Being a man is more than firing a gun, beating up an adversary, shaving or walking around with a furry six-pack. It’s a state of mind. It’s about having the fortitude to do the right thing, and to step up to the plate when you see the wrong thing unfolding before your eyes.
Those that cannot comprehend this are anything but men.
Respect. It’s a great concept. To those that are unfamiliar with the definition; this marvellous word is more than an Aretha Franklin tune. It’s a word that truly empowers a person. If you’re not grasping what’s being written here, you should Google it. And then, with a little more effort, walk towards your mirror take a long, hard look at yourself, and try to figure out how you can integrate this into your own psyche.
I think the man who finds he respects himself more often than not also discovers he respects those around him as well, without any qualification.
Food for thought.
What is it about society in general that leads us to elevate those that display something “extra”.
An educated guess is that when someone demonstrates a little less “ordinary” and a lot more “extraordinary”, as a rule, we roll out the proverbial band wagon, complete with red carpet and pedestal, all to adulate that little extra something our chosen deity promises to deliver unto us, the “huddled masses”, time and time again.
Yet, for reasons beyond logic, we’re all shocked and horrified when we suddenly wake up to the fact these idols we’ve raised beyond the stratosphere are anything but gods.
The view from way up there has to be amazing, yet terrifying, all at once.
Just like the mob that set out to destroy Dr. Frankenstein’s creation, we all mass together at the discovery, sporting pitchforks and torches, determined to rid the earth the abomination in question. And…when we set out to destroy, it’s an absolute that our target will be forever obliterated. Nothing less than total annihilation will suffice!
What continually surprises me though is that we, the idolaters, never seem to recognize that it is us, the mob to be, that blindly elevate the person, and yes, they are persons, as fallible and prone to ego as any one of us, upward and onward, towards those dizzying heights from which they will inevitably fall. And…make no mistake, it’s a long, hard fall!
We’re always so shocked when we discover that they’ve committed some moral offence. And equally shocking is how quickly we all seem to turn upon them, deriding every act as if they’ve committed sins so deeply unforgivable that God himself could never again look upon them.
Sadly, some of the offences are right up there in the shock department. And if it was a neighbour that had committed the act, we’d be just as shocked. Or would we.
Take Oscar Pistorious as an example. Alleged to have purported a crime of passion against his model girlfriend. We’re all out in droves, wielding judgement and scorn as our tools of destruction as he’s being processed for his new role as jailbird. He’s sobbing at every given photo-op, very likely due to both the realization that he’s just destroyed himself on pretty much every level, and that he’s taken a life during that unfortunate night of passionate insanity.
Now, had this been the “good” neighbour down the street, do you think for one second this heated act of criminality would have garnered both the attention and public outrage that Pistorious has engendered in all of us? Sure, those of us living on the block, and perhaps within that city would have felt some of the emotions we’re directing towards this fallen idol. But honestly, we’d not be as angry and let down.
But let’s be frank. WHY are we feeling let down. Does it have something to do with him, personally?
Although we all like to “think” we know something about Oscar, the truth is, we know very little. What we all saw was this seemingly nice guy that overcame incredible odds to do something no man has ever done before. And yes, we all cheered and took him into our hearts when we saw pictures in the media of him inspiring young amputees to follow his lead.
Kinda makes you feel like picking up a box full of kittens, just because!
And…his crime? Kinda makes you feel like he set that box of kittens on fire. And, here we all are, angry and filled with condemnation at the fact that this man dared to disappoint.
What we really need to be doing is examining ourselves a little more closely.
We, as a society, tend to embrace “image”. We all assume that a person filled with that much determination and moxy has to be filled with goodness as well. But, the sad reality is that people who have that much ambition are often ego-maniacal butt-wipes that would destroy anyone standing in their way. And more often than not, they’ll take full advantage of any given photo-op to try to mask the truth about who they are, all in an effort to keep themselves up there, way up there, for us to continue idolizing like tweenage girls at a Justin Beiber concert.
The truth about ambition is that you can never truly be “nice” if you want to win. You have to have “killer” built into your DNA. Now, we all like to think about the “Casey Goes To Bat” or “The Little Red Engine That Could” scenarios when we set out to worship the graven images we create, but the sad fact is that “nice” didn’t help Tiger Woods break through that proverbial gate in the “Old Boys Club” in golf.
In another reality, he’d have served drinks, or washed dishes in that same club.
Weren’t we all horrified to find out he was a class “A” douchebag? And, instead of feeling shocked when we learned his wife used a sand wedge to play the greens with his SUV, we cheered. Why? Because he dared to be the one thing he could never be in our eyes…a flawed human being.
When you’re a “good” person, and something insurmountably difficult occurs, it’s our nature as human beings to cheer when that smiling winner shows that little extra something, and overcomes the odds.
Lance Armstrong is the perfect example. Because of him, rubber bracelets were on everybody’s wrists. We all rooted for his Herculean efforts during those seven Tour Du France wins. He lost a testicle, but gained the world.
Then, right around the time the doping accusations reached a crescendo, Lance started showing his true colours. As it turns out, that “nice guy” was anything but. And pretty much everyone on this planet turned heel on the heel in question. But, what we should have asked ourselves was why did we fall for the hype? Why were we so horrified and shocked at the realization that Lance was a lying bully of a con man. Truly, he was right up there with the baby killers and Attila The Hun on the Hate-O-Meter.
We, as a society, are honestly much too focused on the art of building people into myths. It’s human nature to do so, considering the good vibe we all get from seeing a “hero” run down that challenge. In some way, it tends to spur us on within our own challenges. Nothing is wrong with wanting to emulate a chosen role model. However, in all honesty, we really need to stop expecting human beings to be anything but, no matter how “super” human they appear to us in the press.
Perhaps then, when they show up looking less than perfect before the media lenses, we, as a species, will simply turn the channel or the page. With that simple act, we can forego falling as far down as they, the worshipped, clearly have, and look into our own mirrors at a person that is truly deserving of a little self-applied pat on the back!
It’s a time of confusion in the land of the liquor-slicked snow trails.
All around us, there are specials on beer and liquor as we cruise the aisles at the local liquor store. Christmas is coming, and so is company. And the sad truth is that most of us end up wincing once we get to the cash to pay for our selections.
Take it all in, folks. It might be a very different scenario next year, both for your wallet, and where you go to buy your brewski’s!
We have a group, The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, that has decided the time has come to lobby for raising prices on alcoholic beverages.
Their reasoning is; with 26 percent of the Canadian population abusing alcohol, in raising prices at the local liquor and beer outlets, not to mention your friendly neighbourhood pubs, that these poor, addicted souls will suddenly see the light, and put down the shot glass.
Um…yah! And Santa is going to arrange with the credit card companies to give you a free Christmas this year too!
In the mix of all of this, our own Conservative Government has announced that it will seek to allow corner stores to sell spirits and beer in the near future. This declaration from one Tim Hudak has been a very long time in the making.
Quebec has had this privilege in place for eons now, and it’s proven to be a successful attempt for everyone involved. Surely, a little competition in Ontario being targeted towards the ruling LCBO outlets would be a good thing? It’d lower prices, and make available a choice that was never available in Ontario before.
But then…The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse will surely be up in arms over this. The governing body making this kind of announcement will surely drive up alcoholism across the country, making their already difficult task in educating the public as the dangers of alcoholism all that much more of a burden. And surely, there will be toddlers swiping “Blue Nun” wine into their pram when eyes are elsewhere, street people pouring into your local 7/11 for a fix or 12, what have you.
Now, I don’t mean to besmirch the good works of The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Alcoholism is a serious disease, and knowing that 5 percent of our population is abusing alcohol should never be taken lightly. But, in saying that, we’ve been down this road before.
For those that are unaware, once upon a time, another government decided that too many Canadians were smoking. So, to curb this epidemic, they jacked up the price of a pack of cigarettes to over the ten-dollar mark. But in doing so, they failed to realize at that time that for all their good intentions, they had effectively forced law-abiding Canadians to become black market criminals.
People that worked and paid taxes, citizens that had never even used a curse word even once in their life were suddenly buying much cheaper cigarettes on the sly. The problem became so wide-spread that the government found themselves forced to drastically lower the price of cigarettes per carton/pack to kill off the supply lines. In later years, they prosecuted the tobacco companies, and the coffin nail dealers, and in turn re-inflated the price of cigarettes.
But. And there is a but. Raising the prices didn’t stop the smokers. What did, to a small extent, was curtailing the available places a smoker could secure their fix. A great many people became fed up with standing practically in the middle of the road to get in that puff or two, and eventually quit. This author is among them.
Then again, there are those that became more defiant, and would gleefully take out a second mortgage just to raise their middle finger to the powers that be, all the while cheerfully puffing away.
What The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has also failed to take into account is that very dark period in American history known as “Prohibition”. People literally went blind drinking bad batches of bathtub gin, whilst some shady crime syndicates boated “Canadian Club” straight into Michigan for the parched masses.
Now, we all know it would never be that bad here in the Great White North. They’re not proposing we ban the sale and use of alcohol. However, they are trying to force their “love” down the throats of good Canadians. All this in hopes that people turn to a glass of Coca Cola instead of downing a few Molson and Labatts in their living rooms on Saturday night.
There is also the fact that the price of beer and liquor, not to mention wine, have all skyrocketed over the last few years. Alongside everything else being way more expensive in Canada than it is for our U.S counterparts, those of us that do not abuse alcohol find ourselves potentially forced to pay even more. They do this in hopes that they can bring down the numbers of those that do. The logic is just not there, no matter what way you look at it. Raising prices for a person suffering from alcohol addiction is only going to force them to turn to less “legal” means of securing the elixir they seek.
Which brings me back to Hudak’s proposal. In the past, there were governments that had entertained the idea of opening up limited sales of beer and wine in your local corner stores, but the backlash from various pressure groups have always caused them to bury the proposals. But if Hudak is as brave with his actions as he is with words, this proposal will end up becoming reality, thus making the sale of “refreshments” nice and easy for all involved. Well, in theory, that is.
If the Quebec model stands as the benchmark, the corner stores will only be stocking the cheapest brands of wine, and pricing them as if they were higher end. And beer would cost a pretty penny more than their own liquor control board, the SAQ.
So, without any lobbying whatsoever, The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse would have what they wanted in part. Now, that’s not to say that corner stores wouldn’t be doing good business. Au contraire. A person that’s too tanked to drive, or that ran out early on a case of suds, would pay the extra gladly for the convenience. And there are those that could care less if wine tasted like Kool Aid that would also enjoy being able to pick up a bottle for dinner on a Saturday night, thus avoiding the long lines at the LCBO here in Ontario.
All in all, it sounds pretty good on paper. The challenge would be to see if Tim Hudak has the stomach and the backbone to stand up to the pressure groups and naysayers, and then fight to see his vision become law.
I’d like to add one final thought to these current events. It does not take an addictive personality to make the choice to take a drink. But the second they make this choice, it becomes a challenge, sometimes an overwhelming challenge, to those that suffer from the ills of alcoholism. Making it harder to feed that addiction will not miraculously turn them into tea teetotalers. There are 12 steps involved in that, and no matter how high you try to force up the price of their poison, they are the ones to make that choice for themselves. No amount of good intentions will alter that choice in the slightest. You only need look at a drug or gambling addict to see the truth in my words.
God Bless, and Happy Holidays my friends.
Abortion, Abortion Clinic, Abortion Rights, Anti Abortion, Canadian Political Commentary, Conservative, Conservative party, Democracy, God, Linda Gibbons, Mary Wagner, Maurice Vellacott, Medals, Old Boys Club, Pro Choice, Pro Life, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Religious zealot, Saskatchewan Minister Vellacott, The Bible, Tories, Tory party
Yesterday, I had the unfortunate experience of reading an article that reported on the decision Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott had made in bestowing the Queen’s Jubilee Medal upon two convicts for their “good works.” He had made it clear that Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons, two convicted criminals, were to be rewarded for their “martyr-like” behaviour with bullying both staff and patients at their local abortion clinics, because he couldn’t give the awards to the victims of these people being targeted.
What this did was got me thinking about the political choice made by Canadians from coast to coast.
A couple of years ago, Canada told the ruling Liberal party that it grew weary of the corruption and nonsense that had plagued it for over a decade. This country did so by hauling the lying butts of said party out of Parliament, and by then putting Conservative hind ends into those seats.
It’s been a scary slide backwards ever since.
While the Liberals have fought to rebuild their party in the aftermath, the ruling Tories have slowly introduced their “hidden agenda” we all feared would someday come home to roost.
While I must admit I’ve been surprised by the Prime Minister’s adherence to his political promise not to reopen the abortion debate, members of his party have been hard at work building a new foundation for the cause. With an introduction to a proposed study to decide when life begins, to this latest move involving an MP giving convicted criminals medals for harassing unfortunate women in bad situations, it’s becoming clear that this particular agenda isn’t so hidden after all.
Now, from doing a small amount of research, the spirit of the “Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal” is to honour those that have given selflessly to their community. It’s purpose is to elevate persons that have overcome hardships, or made their community a better place to live in.
So…how does illegally walking into an abortion clinic and shoving ones personal mores down another’s throat improve the community. I’m admittedly confused. Well, according to a press release from Saskatchewan Minister Vellacott’s office, it’s been indicated he couldn’t present the award “to the victims of crime, because these baby victims are dead.” So, instead, he found it appropriate to give these medals to Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons, two criminals charged with publicly harassing both staff and patients at their area abortion clinics.
Now, I’m all for standing up for what you believe in. And I salute these two women for putting their money where their mouths are. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to do something, repeatedly, that you know will land you in the clink. However, what I take an exception to is what they are playing martyr for.
I’ve always maintained that NO man has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. And I find myself in an uncomfortable position, because instead of men, its women that are at the core of this issue. But, in stating this, it still stands firmly that whatever a woman chooses to do with her own body is between her and God. No other Canadian has the legal right to tell any woman she must carry an unwanted fetus to term, just to satisfy their personal morality.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The idea of a woman medically putting a potential child’s lights out is distasteful. But what I find a lot more difficult is the idea of a terrified young woman dying at the hands of some back alley butcher. Abortion rights became legal to prevent these types of tragedies from ever happening again in this country. I mean, who am I, and who are you to tell another what is right or wrong. Seriously.
Some may argue they are advocating for the unborn “child”. Ok, that’s all very well and good, but then, who’s going to take care of the child when it is born.
That’s yet another painful road to traverse. Sure, the baby came full circle, and is crying lustily in its nurses arms, but in the bed, looking towards that newborn is a young woman whose life is now in ruins, having to live with that sound resonating through her head and heart for the rest of her life. And add to that the idea that the baby was a product of a rape, or a terrible mistake when she trusted some smooth talking young man who only had his best interests at heart. Where is HIS responsibility in all this. And better yet, why should she have to bear that cross alone!
We could go back to a time where he found himself compelled to “do the right thing”, and what resulted almost always was a marriage made in hell. Child grows up in a hate-filled household, not wanted by either parent, at high risk to become an even worse parent to his own children down the road. I could go on and on with this.
The bottom line is, sometimes there are circumstances way beyond anything these people marching around with signs can fully comprehend. They would rather a child be forced upon an unwilling mother of 15, to be mired in unfathomable poverty, resented for simply being brought into this world. Or a growing reminder to a woman of a night of terror she had to endure at knife point. The point is, we don’t know what brought a woman to an abortion clinic. We only know that without this legal choice, and it is a choice, she would be forced into a much more dangerous situation, one which could take more than one life in the process.
Reproductive health is alive and well in Canada. Women give birth every single day to healthy, cherished little ones. And sometimes, women end that process, with deep regret, knowing that a child being brought into the world would not have their best start in life.
What truly saddens me as a Canadian resident living in a country so well-known for its human rights record is how inhumane some people are, all in the name of God. And to see that kind of criminal hatred rewarded quite frankly saddens me.
God is about love. It’s written in the Bible. It’s extolled to congregations by priests and ministers. So why then is God’s love forgotten when dealing with our fellow person. If a woman does something the “Old Boy’s Club” doesn’t agree with, I see anything but love coming her way.
It’s a fact that in a democratic society, there is always room for an opposing argument. But, what is wholly unacceptable is when hate finds its way to those with an opposing view.
So, I tip my hat to Maurice Vellacott, freedom fighter for the unborn. Your continued stance on rewarding hate and religious terrorism to those you see as “martyrs” just cements my strong detestation of your self-serving political and religious leanings.
I offer you my personal prayer, Mr. Vellacott.
I pray you never have a granddaughter in this kind of crisis. I’d hate to see the hell you’d put her through, if she was ever unfortunate enough to need to make a painful choice of her own.
May God bless you and your family, and may you someday see that you’re not the one having to live with the consequences you choose to inflict upon others, all in the name of “your” God.
May you someday see the God I know, one that has blessed free will to his children, and that loves, and more importantly, forgives them.