Saturday, October 31, 2009

oh the olympics, what fun.

today on the cbc there was a story about the olympic flame, which apparently reached victoria yesterday.

unfortunately for the flame, and the people running it, there were a lot of angry people there waiting for the flame to arrive.

hundreds of activists blocked the flame's route, forcing the torchbearers to be "packed into vehicles and moved around the demonstration."

the protesters were there to draw attention to a lot of shit that has been ignored since the olympics took over. things like aboriginal rights, environmental issues, poverty, infrastructure, you know, little things.

did the protests raise awareness? do protests ever raise awareness? probably not.

but, the most important question has yet to be answered:

"it's not certain if the flame remained lit during the unexpected detour."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

two year olds love to watch tv!

in the new york times today there was an article about a new study on how many hours kids watch tv.

it's not surprising that kids watch a lot of tv, but it was surprising that the kids who watched the most tv were only ages 2 to 5.

kids aged 2 to 5 watched more than 32 hours of television each week. that's like sitting in front of the tv and watching for a day and a half without stopping.

i get it, plop your kid in front of the tv for a few hours a week and it adds up, but 32 hours? that's insane. that's too much tv for a 2 year old. and what are they even watching?

when i was little i watched strawberry shortcake. i fucking LOVED that show. it was slow paced, but pretty, and the berry patch kids seemed like real kids.

it was cute. the theme song was about having a nice day with your nice friends, and you learned lessons.

strawberry shortcake, old school, was a farmer yo. she had to take care of those berry patches, because the best berries in the world don't just appear for nothing.

they also had to be careful, because the purple pie man always wanted to steal the berries for his pies. this taught kids about scary men who want something for nothing. in the wonderful world of strawberry short cake if you wanted to play hard, you had to work hard. it wasn't a perfect show, by any means, and there were definitely some questionable gender role lessons, but overall it was pretty good.

now there's a "new" strawberry shortcake who is "cool." she's tall and kind of skinny and she wears normal clothes. it's just not right. the theme song isn't very good and its just overall a stupid show.

i also used to love rainbow brite, which apparently is also getting a "makeover." there is no need to make her over! she single handedly defended the kingdom against murky and lurky and wore a sneaker/leg warmer combo. leave her alone!

so kids are watching more tv, and more crappier tv?

no wonder the world is fuct.

Monday, October 26, 2009

just one more.

well now i can't stop googling ads.

this one is great. it's like when you're at the beach trying to read your newspaper, and your woman won't stop bitching about something or other.

you just kill her, roll her up, stick her in a bag, and head on over to the gay bar to have a beer with your bros.

it's all about NOT being abused! i get it!

i stumbled upon this ad today:

whoever created this is genius. really. i mean, who else but a genius would think about using the fact that domestic abuse increases when women are pregnant as an AD for a website? sheer brilliance!

get it? its her BABY kicking her in the stomache, not her jealous, obsessive, abusive partner.

and our mothers are surprised when we tell them we like girls?

today i randomly remembered that one year for my birthday, my mom made a barbie doll birthday cake for me.

the theory behind the cake is that the skirt of the barbie dress is cake, and you just plop the barbie body into it and then make an icing dress.

it's kind of funny. it seems like such a normative girl thing, on the surface. but then i was thinking about how homoerotic it really is.

little girls like barbie, i guess. but apparently they also like eating a barbie's skirt off, then licking the icing bodice off of her.

it explains a lot.

the people doing this should probably stop.

today in the star they reported that "there's an alarming increase in the number of high-powered laser attacks on passenger jets and medical helicopters flying into GTA airspace, and police and transportation authorities aren't sure how to deal with it."

...what?! "high-powered laser attacks"? who the fuck is doing this?!

apparently unknown people have fired on planes and helicopters from various locations across the gta and so far there have been 28 attacks this year.

cliff rundle, a medical helicopter pilot, has had his helicopter beamed at three times and each time he was en route to the hospital with a critical patient. "it's distracting (and) it's a flight safety issue" he says.

umm, yeah. i think most normal human beings can understand that flashing a laser into the eyes of a pilot is probably an idiotic and dangerous thing to do. but people continue to do it.

a colleague of rundle's was beamed in the face and he suffered temporary retina damage and can't even fly anything for the next three months.

the green lasers used in these attacks are typically used to point out constellations and have a wave length "near the limit of the human eye's peak sensitivity."

this isn't the same as shining your laser pointer on the wall to confuse your cat, or into your neighbours bedroom window late at night to scare them.

this is a plane or a helicopter flying in the air. some pilots of reported being temporarily blinded by the lasers--like, hello, if your pilot is blind that's a really, really bad thing

whoever is shining lasers at planes and helicopters, maybe you could stop. maybe instead of pointing the lasers at planes you could use them to learn more about the constellations, you know, what they're intended for.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


on the huffington post today, i read about the most "ridiculous, wasteful consumer products ever".

however, they posted these:

clearly "handerpants: the underpants for your hands" are not a real product... get new fact checkers huffpost!

Friday, October 23, 2009

public option health care is stronger, slimmer, and hotter.

this commercial in favour of the public option for health care in the united states.

it's a pretty standard commercial, but it makes a pretty good point i think.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

guest blogger: "f.l.a.p.s FLOPS"

guest blogger molasses coady--captain molasses coady-- discusses the horror of his first martin singer encounter:

Until this week, I had no idea who Martin Singer was.

But in the past three days I’ve had an unexpected opportunity to get to know the newly appointed Dean of the newly created Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University. The good thing is that now I know who he is. The bad thing is that I really wish I didn’t.

My first occasion to encounter him was at the annual Anthropology lecture. A distinguished guest scholar from California had been brought in to present the lecture; there was a panel of discussants; a delicious spread of meat and veggie-tofu skewers outside the lecture hall; a moving introduction to the lecturer by one of her admiring colleagues...and a kick-off speech to the whole event provided by none other than Dean Singer.

Of course, first of all we got to wait for 45 minutes in a crowded, overheated room because Dean Singer was late. When he finally arrived, the event got underway. He got up and launched into his speech, wherein he barely mentioned at all the lecture that he was introducing. Instead, he spoke about how the department was being reviewed as part of a review of the operations of the whole new faculty; how he had identified several challenges that were endemic to this department; how he knew it was going to be tough for the professors to work through those challenges but that he was willing to help them; that if they worked through those challenges, then maybe the rest of the university and the world would see the value of their department; that even though many of them were nervous about the ongoing review, they should have faith that their department head was doing a great job trying to defend them.

It was quite honestly the weirdest speech I’ve ever heard; or at least, the first time I’ve heard somebody try to introduce a lecture by insulting the audience (with the exception of the occasional bad comic...which might have been the angle he was going for). And then, to add insult to injury, he announced that he had another urgent engagement (who has an “urgent engagement” at 8:00pm on a weeknight??) and took off. Without even appreciating the lecture he was “introducing”!

I think I felt most badly for the visiting lecturer...she had to stand behind him, embarrassed, while he berated and insulted her audience. And then she had to try to make them excited about mushrooms and the nature of time.

Grudgingly, I put him out of my mind and went back to my papers. Then two days later, I received a copy of a 4-page letter he sent to professors in the new faculty. In a rambling tirade wherein he refers to himself in the third person (delusions of kinghood?), invents such phrases as “post-merger fatigue” (huh? don’t you get fatigue from things that drag on, not *new* initiatives?), says that the “over-politicization of campus” has brought down faculty morale, and refers to the university budget as a “bail-out package” (oh...didn’t realize my paycheque was actually a bail-out package from my employer...are bail-out packages taxable I wonder?), his underlying goal seems to be to create a sense of crisis. But he accomplishes a number of more subtle messaging goals as well.

First, he repeatedly emphasizes that he’s a new and externally recruited dean – a hapless victim of circumstance, if you will - who therefore bears no responsibility for the budgetary and administrative problems the faculty faces. Fair enough – but the excessive managerialism, concentration of administrative authority, exclusion of faculty/student input and marginalization of the ‘liberal arts’ are all underlying causes for those problems, and are trends which are epitomized by his very appointment. So yes, actually his presence *is* responsible for these problems.

Secondly, he reassures faculty that he’s working closely with their departmental chairs/heads, and there’s no need for them to worry because they’ll figure things out and then tell the faculty what they need to do. In other words, the era of democratic administration in universities is over and there’s no need for faculty or students to get involved in the shaping of their university. In fact they won’t provide any opportunity for them to either – that’s why they now hold ‘managerial retreats’ instead of faculty-wide meetings or collegial decision-making processes.

Finally, he proposes (or rather, imposes) a three-pronged strategy which says that solving the budget shortfall must be the first priority, but that never fear – “rebuilding full-time faculty ranks” MUST be our third-highest priority!!! Which sounds inspiring, until you realize that in a three-pronged strategy, the third-highest priority is actually the lowest priority. So let’s rephrase that: Rebuilding full-time faculty ranks MUST be our LOWEST priority! Suddenly it sounds less inspiring.

Of course, there’s plenty else in the letter, which concludes with the cliche “...Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times” (ironic, when one considers that this is the Dean which university press releases lauded as one of the foremost scholars in Chinese history...until it turned out they were wrong and he wasn’t).

In closing, three points:

1) Nice to meet you Dr. Singer, actually in retrospect no it’s not and now I’m sick of you and please go away.

2) Please stop introducing departmental lectures by insulting your audience and embarrassing the university in front of strangers and PLEASE stop referring to yourself in the third person.

3) You want to fix York’s problems? Stop holding managerial retreats, instead organize public deliberative sessions for faculty/students, and LISTEN before you “propose”. More importantly, stand up and fight for your faculty – don’t be the sort of two-faced administrator who acts like he’s just the bearer of bad news and he really wants to be your friend, while blaming you for your own problems and not being willing to put his own neck on the line to defend the principles of the university which he claims to believe in.

well, i guess i fucked up.

thank jesus i read the huffington post this morning!!

this article, by jag carrao, outlines the five mistakes of dating that women make(and how to fix them).

it's really important that articles like this get written and published once every few years to remind women of why feminism has duped them and why they will be alone forever if they don't play by the rules.

and no one wants to be alone forever, bridget jones taught us that much.

women, like dogs, need to be trained to approach relationships properly. jag writes that "correcting the errors of your ways can be done with a bit of practice" and this is true. it's like how eff and i have been training harry the beagle. he used to think the front door was his, but after a few weeks(or months) of us asserting our right over the door it's ours again. alternatively, you'd be surprised what a little raw hot dog can do for beagle behaviour.

so, applying the same general "raw hot dog" strategy to women and relationships is bound to work.

jag also writes that the most common of dating mistakes stem from "underlying issues of self-esteem"

without further ado, the five mistakes women make in dating(because men don't make mistakes):

number one: don't approach him first.

we were ever tricked on this one! apparently "conventional dating advice... encourages women to flirt and even strike up a conversation." this is WRONG. do not even attempt to do this ladies, it is bad news.

you know why it's bad news? because if you approach him you shouldn't be surprised when down the road he won't commit to you because a "man may date and even marry a woman who approached him first, but there will likely be consequences later on." you need to let the mens approach you, because men will approach the girls they "really want."

don't worry, you can fix this problem.

jag's quick fix is that "if you talked to him first or even asked him out"(you silly girl), you can still TRY to "restore some of the feminine mystique" that you have up when you became the initiator.

you have to be more elusive and mysterious. less available. and if dude likes you he'll come after you. but for god's sake, do not try to initiate contact with a man again, you have to "please, trust the universe!"

ok, dating mistake number 2: acting overly chummy.

um, obviously. you don't want to be FRIENDS with this guy. don't talk to him about your life, what you're thinking, your day because that's "yuck!!" jag advises women not to do this because it makes you look "desperate and neurotic."

fix this, bitch! the more time you spend talking, the less time you have to list to what the man has to say--and that is what is truly important at this stage in your relationship.

dating mistake number three: accepting last minute dates

jag says that women need to show men that they're busy, have friends, deadlines, projects, and prospects. if you accept a "spontaneous" invite to hang out or go on a date then you're sending the wrong message.

you need to trick him into thinking you're a busy and fancy girl. because "fancy restaurants-like fancy girls-require reservations made well in advance."

to fix this situation you've gotten yourself into by agreeing to a last minute date, you have to immediately start adhering to the three day rule. if he doesn't call you three days in in advance then you have to say no to the date.

jag says it's important to make sure you're his "plan A" girl and not his "plan B" girl. this is true, because we all know that plan B is for sluts.

dating mistake number four: whirlwind romances.

jag uses the scariest person alive to exemplify this one: jennifer aniston. men fall in love quickly, but fall out of love just as fast. you might have fun going all out but his interest is definitely going to fizzle. like jennifer aniston, you will not be happy unless you have a constant partner. being rich and beautiful, having as much freedom as you could ever want, being able to travel, whatever. none of this matters unless you have a man to share it with. don't be jennifer aniston.

so to fix this you have to do a few things: don't see him more than once or twice a week, don't talk longer than ten minutes on the phone, don't open up or introduce him to your friends. if he wants to do any of things, well then "there's this arrangement called marriage.

and finally, mistake number five: wasting time

the relationship isn't going anywhere(which means you're not getting married) OR you're not out looking for love because you're getting over a "heartbreak." well fuck that shit, you need to shape up or ship out!

the only way to fix this is to "know what you want." want to get married to your long term boyfriend? set a time limit, and if he doesn't marry you, you need to leave him. if you're just wallowing in self pity after a break up, snap out of it! put an online profile up on the internets and spread the word that you're single. that's not desperate, it's proactive.

so there you have it, women of the world, all of the mistakes you're making. finding a partner shouldn't just be a casual thing, it demands scheduling, lies, manipulation, and careful long term strategic planning.

so take is seriously, if we can train our beagle you can most certainly train yourself to be an acceptable date.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

dear ladies: michael ignatieff is on your side and he will make everything alright again.

i actually laughed out loud when i read this today:

"liberal leader michael ignatieff is committing his party, if elected, to improve equal pay for women, launch a full-scale investigation of missing aboriginal women and establish a national program of day-care and early learning."

so if michael ignatieff is elected prime minister of canada in the next election he is going to just snap his fingers and do everything that feminist activists and politicians have been trying to do for decades? he's going to reverse the damage that stephen harper's conservatives have inflicted?

he's going to save the world yo!!!

maybe he realized that his charm isn't going to work on the ladies this time around.

call me a skeptic, but where was ignatieff when all of things he proposes to fix were implemented?

where was ignatieff's demand of a public apology when harper denied the existence of colonialism in canada? because, in case you didn't know, that has a hell of a lot to do with the "missing aboriginal women" ignatieff plans on investigating.

where was he when the conservatives tried to make it impossible for women to access the human rights commission to address pay equity concerns?

a national program of day care? so ignatieff is going to single handedly fix the day care problem? a problem that is still one of the biggest barriers for women with children who want to access education or employment?

when michael ignatieff criticized israeli apartheid week and didn't challenge jason kenney's decision to not allow george galloway to come into canada, did he realize that a lot of the organizers of the events were young women? did he realize that by participating in the attack on israeli apartheid events he was condoning the subsequent harassment of such women?? did he even think about how his actions affected women in both israel and palestine?

does he think women are stupid? that all he has to do to win is say "don't worry baby, ima fix these problems for you"? i don't know anybody who is that stupid.

here's what i think, i think that ignatieff should start pushing for these changes NOW. he doesn't need to be the prime minister of the country to stand for aboriginal women's rights or national day care. he doesn't need to be the prime minister to support pay equity.

so instead of holding all of these issues over women's heads to obtain their vote, why doesn't ignatieff prove to us now that he's worth our vote.

dear adam giambrone: want to be mayor of toronto? make my bus come on time.

so david miller is going to retire as mayor of the city of toronto. guess who wants to take his place?
adam giambrone, the chair of the TTC.

if you don't know, giambrone is really young. maybe he's too young to be the mayor.

i think there's only one way for him to prove that he can do the job and that's to make the buses run on schedule, once and for all.

as a york student i take the ttc a lot. like, a lot alot. and it's not just a subway ride--the commute is a subway, then bus. sometimes its a bus, subway, then bus again.

that's how it was yesterday. dupont bus east, subway north, york rocket bus to school. it's isn't pleasant but when everything is running on time it isn't horrible.

yesterday, nothing ran on time. specifically, the dupont bus didn't run on time. and you know what? the dupont bus NEVER runs on time. ask eff, she takes it every day to work and sometimes she's actually late for work because the bus is never on time.

either the dupont bus is late or it's so early that you miss it.

it was fifteen minutes late yesterday morning. when the bus is supposed to arrive at 10:32 am and you get to the bus stop more than five minutes early just to be safe, then it doesn't arrive for like twenty minutes there is something seriously wrong.

later on that night after some birthday celebrating with eff, i had to take the bathurst street car to the subway, then the ossington bus. usually i bike.

the bathurst street car was late. then, the ossington bus was late. not just a little bit late but seriously, seriously fucking late.

at like, midnight, when there is little to no traffic, why is the bus late? and like, half an hour late?

i actually ended up leaving the ossington station and walking up ossington to dupont, and the bus only went by when i reached dupont.

so, while i liked that giambrone tried to get the UPASS adopted, i'm not really that impressed with how the ttc runs. especially when it's so expensive.

so that's the challenge: make the ttc run on schedule, even close to the schedule, and that will prove that maybe you can run the city.

lesson: if you leave your mess long enough it will become a monster and try to eat you

maybe you've never seen a better monster before?

read more here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NO. no no no no no. no. please god no.

if rainbow brite were a real person, and she had facebook, her status would read: FML.

that's because the powers that be have decided that the time is ripe for a rainbow brite remake.

in true remake fashion they've decided to make her and her friends skinnier, taller, with pouty lips and big makeup-ey eyes.

even the horses look sluttier.

perez hilton aptly writes: "just what little girls need - another image they can't conform to!"

enough! no more remakes!!!

this is why you're fat

today at york, after waiting in like twenty minutes to buy a single pen, i waited in another line for another twenty minutes to get a coffee.

york is a big university. on any given day maybe there are 40'000 students just wandering around, going to class, getting coffee, and buying pens.

so it always baffles me that there is ONE lady working at the bookstore check out, and a lineup around the store. like, throw another person on cash please, there are 100 of us holding single pens.

or, at the new second cup. obviously there are going to be a lot of students buying a lot of coffee. so, maybe throw more people on the bar. maybe get another espresso machine? who knows, these are complicated problems with complicated solutions i'm sure.

so while i was waiting i saw a girl getting this huge drink. like 20oz easily, some iced chocolate whipped cream monstrosity covered in caramel sauce, chocolate powder, and some kind of chocolate drizzle. there wasn't even a lid big enough to contain that fucker.

and all i thought in my cranky head was : that's why you're fat and that's why i'm waiting in line so long-- so they could spend twenty minutes piling all of that shit(which is totally bad for you) in that cup for you to suck back.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"ho white", genious.

on boing boing this morning i read about an australian brewery that is using a version of snow white and the seven dwarves in its ad campaign.

here's where their marketing savvy comes in though: they renamed snow white "ho white" and have her lyingin bed with the dwarves.

apparently, disney is a little upset about it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

oh no, that's not "racism" at all

i just read this story from the associated press about a louisiana justice of the peace who refuses to issue marriage license to interracial couples.

he says it's not because he's racist, it's just because he(keith bardwell) doesn't "believe in mixing the races that way."

"that" way is the sex, which results in children sometimes. apparently he refuses to issue the marriage licenses because the couples might eventually have children.
after discussing the topic of interracial marriage with "blacks and whites", as well as "witnessing some interracial marriages" this dude has come to the conclusion that black and white societies don't accept interracial children and the marriages don't last very long.

so he just refuses to be a part of it.

and it isn't just one interracial couple, he asks everyone calling about a marriage license to identify if they are interracial or not. if they are, he says thanks but no thanks. he says this is "equal" treatment.

but he isn't racist. nooooo. he has "piles and piles of black friends."

and of his black friends he says: "they come to my home, i marry them, they use my bathroom. i treat them just like everyone else."

don't even try to use his bathroom if you're planning to have a little interracial baby eventually though. bitch will throw your ass out.

i'm pretty sure this is illegal and the aclu agrees. they've sent letters to the louisiana judiciary committee demanding that bardwell be sanctioned as well as investigated.

he should be. like what kind of crazy world does he live in where he thinks it's totally justified to do something like this?

guest blogger: i can stand for those who can't...why can't the ttc?"

guest blogger nai on the complete and total lack of real accessibility on the ttc

Living in Toronto for the last 6 or so years I, like many Torontonians, have relied heavily on the TTC. From getting to my job, friends houses, or wherever I choose to go I pay for them to transport me (hopefully safely) to and from my destination.

Notice how I used the phrase “Wherever I choose to go”. I say that because I didn’t realize until yesterday (Wednesday) that the choice was really only available to people with use of both of their legs. Of course, being a young somewhat fit woman, I don’t have to pay attention to where the wheelchair accessible stations are. I can choose to hop on and off the subway anywhere. The woman and child I met yesterday didn’t have that choice.

I chose to take the subway on my lunch break into the Annex to see what was happening. On my way back I met a woman with her daughter (who appeared to be about 12) with one leg in a cast and in a wheelchair. They got on northbound at Spadina station looking to go to Bathurst station. I, with the few other people actually listening, frowned and told her she was headed the wrong direction. This poor woman, which I was beginning to realize was at her wits end, went on to explain how she got on the subway at an accessible station but upon getting to St.George was shocked to discover that the elevator and the only barrier free access to the Bloor-Danforth track level was out of service. She was told by a TTC staffer to go to Spadina.

Now, that makes sense, right, so how did they miss it? I went to and investigated what could have happened: You can only get to the elevator at Spadina if you’re already on the side of the station that allows you to take the Bloor-Danforth subway. If you’re stuck on the North/South level then you’re basically STUCK on the subway. There is no barrier free (wheelchair) access to the subway on the Yonge/University/Spadina line from Spadina to Eglinton West Station, and then after that only at Downsview at the end of the line. Those are HUGE gaps if you only want to go to Dupont, or if you’re lost and need to change trains and head back in a different direction, not unlike this distraught woman and her cast-laden child.

What really frustrated me was when we got to St.Clair West Station, closest station to where I work, realizing just how dire their struggle to use the subway was. The three of us exited the train to find a narrow escalator and stairs everywhere. The only elevator in St.Clair W. is at the alternate Heath Street exit, and is on the non-paid side of the turnstiles. At this point, Momma is pissed, the kid in the wheelchair looks like she’s going to cry 10 times, and I’m almost going to be late for work. I ran up to this alternate exit to talk to the TTC fare collector in the booth about calling someone for assistance. He then went into one of those “I really don’t want to do anything about this, so I’ll make up some bullshit excuse in the hopes that you’ll leave me alone…” rants, or “We can’t be hauling people up and down stairs” which is what he actually said. Not any better. Long story short, the solution was me bear-hugging the child in the cast, and lifting her onto the escalator, mom carrying the wheelchair and bags behind us. Then I assisted her back into her chair at the top of the narrowest escalator EVER, and our good friend at the TTC “saved the day” by pushing a button that unlocks one of those glass doors in between the turnstiles. Really, we were failing at figuring out how to navigate those, anyway.

Where’s my outrage? Well, aside from the fact that of all the people who heard this woman’s story and I was the only one to help her once we got off the train, WHAT THE HELL, TTC?! For a while they ran this campaign, outlining how the hard work and selflessness of TTC employees really makes it “The Better Way”, so where was that in “We can’t be hauling people up and down stairs”? Where was the kinder way when I got the brush off while trying to help a woman and child I didn’t even know? And furthermore, how is the way going to get better if no one acknowledges the large problem with accessibility on our largest and only real inner-city transit system?

I know what you’re saying…what about Wheel-Trans? I’m not denying that system works, but sometimes the subway is the fastest way. Everyone should have a right to get on it. We pay enough in fares each year that maybe they could start trying to make every station accessible. Or at the LEAST post updates on the status of elevators in the accessible stations, and alternatives where they are out of service. Right now, if you need to take the subway you have to go to the website and find the right number to call to see whether the elevator you need to use is in service. They just updated their website for the first time since Windows 3.1, why couldn’t they have included a service update for elevators? They could fit it in underneath the “Metropass Hot Dealz” link or something.

I can’t really say that I was surprised by the indifference I was met with upon talking to that collector at St.Clair West station. I mean, his job’s so hard. He sits there and counts change all day. Gives out a token or two, takes a phone call when he’s at his busiest. The fact of the matter is, TTC collector in question, you work at one of the lowest traffic points on the TTC (Who else knows about the Heath Street entrance for St. Clair West, anyway? Not many people), and you couldn’t have been bothered to get off your ass for 15 minutes MOST to help us out? Why? Because you “can’t be hauling people up and down stairs”….but I could, because I’m not on the payroll, right? I can’t understand how you can see a woman and child who need help right in front of you, and do nothing?

It’s 2009. When is any of this going to change? It was a big enough fight, and took long enough to get stops announced on the subway and bus for the visually impaired. Maybe I’ll see total accessibility on the TTC by the time I’m wheelchair bound.

remember how margaret wente is a worthless fool?

margaret wente is one of those writers who seems to write whatever pops into her little head, then reads it over, and pretend she didn't just make that shit up out of nowhere.

last year she wrote a piece that defended dick pound(the man with most unfortunate name of all) after his famous statement: "we must not forget that 400 years ago, canada was a land of savages, with scarcely 10,000 inhabitants of european origin, while in china, we're talking about a 5,000-year-old civilization."(also, maybe rachel marsden is dick pound in drag? they're both obsessed with the olympics and they're both crazy racist freakshows! mystery solved.)

anyways, margaret wente is also a crazy racist freak show. when she defended pound's statement in the globe and mail she said this:

"claims about aboriginal contributions to civilization are also vastly overstated. did the Iroquois confederacy really influence the declaration of independence? sorry, no. do native medicinal herbs play an important role in modern drugs? no. yet, some leading intellectuals try to argue otherwise. the thesis of john ralston saul's new bestseller is that we are at root a métis civilization, even though he has no evidence to prove it. what is a métis civilization? that's not too clear, either. "

not only is she a liar, but as a writer for a major newspaper shouldn't they be fact checking her work?

ms. wente has a bachelors and a masters in english. this hardly qualifies her for such historical assertions. english majors study literature. somehow she got her wires crossed and thought she was a historian! silly margaret wente.. you have to actually read and study history and re-writings of history to understand history.

anyways, she's an idiot. but it's like every week she fires out a new idiotic piece of shit out of her mouth(not unlike the episode of south park where people start eating food through their asses so they can shit from their mouths--i imagine it makes the same noise when she writes something) and they just keep publishing her!!

in september she wrote a foul, foul piece about university life. actually, it's kind of libellous.

according to wente: "i went to university back in the golden age. our classes were small and many of our professors were creative and enthusiastic. they even marked our papers themselves. there was lots of scope for what is now known as “engagement.”"

unfortunately, due to class sizes and a decrease in quality of education, kids in school today are just getting the shaft, thinks wente.

"the universities say the problem is money. if only they had more of it, they could do a better job of educating undergraduates. there's just one catch. educating undergraduates is just about the last thing most professors want to do."

oh good. blame profs. what a novel thing to do, individual a systemic problem. don't look at how the university ACTUALLY spends its money, just blame it on the people who keep the university running.

professors are actually not teaching on purpose, wente says, because they get rewarded more for research.

"professors are rewarded not for turning out high-quality graduates, but for turning out books and papers – even if they are unread. this perverse system stubbornly persists, despite the fact that everyone knows it's absurd. of course some research, especially in the sciences and medicine, matters a great deal to the advancement of society. but a vast amount of it – especially in the humanities and social sciences – does not."

she hit it here, professors do have to do research. students who want to advance in university have to as well. but they didn't choose that kind of system--it's embedded in the corporatization of the university. but margaret wente is an idiot and doesn't do research. so she continues.

she moves onto TAs:

"last winter, when the teaching assistants went on strike at york university, the public was outraged – but for the wrong reasons. the real outrage was not that a tiny band of strikers could shut down the university for weeks"

ima stop here. if margaret wente had done so much as read her own newspaper during the strike she would know that we didn't shut the university down. the university administration made the decision to cancel classes during the strike--a foul move on their part. they could have decided to keep classes running and let students and profs cross the picket lines if they wanted. they denied students and profs that choice so they wouldn't look back when everyone realized the university could not run without the striking staff/students.

apparently as TAs, we "don't have time for mentoring" because we "have a miserable life."

anyone who has TAed knows this is bullshit. if you make time for it, you can mentor and it's one of the best things about TAing.

so on behalf of professors who love to teach, who are overwhelmed with ever increasing class sizes, who do their best to produce what they need to at the same time as they try to teach to the best of their ability, who understand why this is happening because they're in touch with the system and can see how it works, and on behalf of anyone with half a brain who does an ounce of research before they write something and send it out into the world to be read as fact i'd just like to send a huge fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you to margaret wente.

Friday, October 9, 2009

the globe and mail gets it...right?

rick groen of the globe and mail reviewed some stupid movie about stupid couples on a stupid retreat.

surprise, surprise: he hated it.

his review was basically like, "yeah, i hated it" but there was one really astute moment--which is rare in film reviews.

"i do, however, wish to dwell a little on the strip-down-to-your-undies scene, if only because it speaks volumes about the starkly different – some might say hypocritically different – aesthetic demands placed on the male and female principals in this flick. the actresses are kristin davis, malin akerman, kristin bell and kali hawk. each is fit, attractive, and looks mighty fetching in her undies, or a bikini, or the teensy frocks preferred by romantic comedies on vacation.

now consider the men: jason Bbateman, vince vaughn, jon favreau and faizon love. each is past his physical prime and, with the possible exception of bateman, palpably unfit; in fact, stripped down to their undies, they look like escalating balls of rotundity. if “fatty” were a latin noun, these guys could be its declension. does their appearance matter? clearly, appearance matters on the other side of the gender fence. so, c'mon boys, play fair: when the humour goes missing in action, and all that's left is exposed skin, at least give the poor audience some equal-opportunity ogling time.

you know what? we're jumping on this bandwagon.

everyone and their dog will be writing about this, but fuck it. we're going to write about it too.

and the nobel peace prize goes to....

barack obama!!

sure, he's great. he's an alright president and he knows how to pull out the rhetoric when he needs to.

this isn't a blog about why he shouldn't have gotten the prize, although there are a lot of reasons.

the point of this blog is that there are people in this world who do extraordinary and rare things that promote peace on a global and individual level. and the prize is a chance to recognize these people, who often face extreme danger in their work, for doing what they do.

like dr denis mukwege. dr. mukwege is basically the only gynecologist in the DRC who treats injuries resulting from rape-- and in a country where rape was an accepted and widespread tool of war, this isn't a small task.

as of october 2008, dr. mukwege had treated 21'000 women. he founded the panzi hospital.

this year is the 50th anniversary of china's official seizure of tibet, so a lot of people speculated that any one of a number of chinese dissidents would get the prize.

or maybe it could have been piedad cordoba, the leader of colombians for peace and a senator. colombians for peace facilitates negotiations between the government and the guerrilla groups.

afghanistan has been a pretty hot topic this year, and maybe if the world was as serious as it says it is about "helping women" in afghanistan they would have given the prize to sina samara, a human rights activist, leader of the afghanistant independent human rights commission, and is a U.N special envoy to darfur.

people like these don't ever expect any recognition beyond making people's lives better. that's what this prize should be about.

maybe, in a few years, obama will do something that really warrants the nobel but i think that probably right now he should say "thanks, but no thanks" and see that it travels to someone really deserving.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

finally, honesty!

it's funny because it's true.

you know what's wrong with the 2010 olympics? not enough white people!

remember how this morning you read that story about the hen rescue? and the tiny chicken sweaters for the rescued hens? and then you had your morning cry?

well its time for your 5:00 pm cry, and this one is sponsored by racism!

one of my lovely friends posted this article on her facebook: "vancouver's 2010 winter olympics are peddling a politically correct fantasy" written by a crazy lady named rachel marsden.

ms. marsden has a serious concern, so serious that i won't even paraphrase it for her:
"who is fighting to ensure that the immigrants of european descent are adequately represented at next year’s vancouver 2010 winter olympic games?"

indeed! who?!

there is no need to even think about any of the other issues that have been brought up by the 2010 olympics--like land rights, environmental degradation, super high costs for cleaning up the city and upgrading infrastructure, the costs of building an olympic village, the shipping out of the homeless, the increase in demand for the sex trade which inevitably rises in every city the olympics has ever been held in, the blatant consumerism, or that it pits nations against nations in an already unstable world.

none of that is really important.

marsden is angry because the people "who can be credited for turning the city from a giant wilderness into the budding metropolis of today" are just not getting props they deserve.

after all, canada was "pretty third-worldish until until the english, french, and various other europeans arrived and started planning and building infrastructure and government, and teaching the natives discipline, order, and capitalism. canada or the USA without european immigrants would look somewhat like africa."

if europeans had never come and taught the natives discipline, order, and capitalism there wouldn't BE any olympics yo!

and africa, as a rule, is generalized to mean one place and peoples--more convenient that way.

in order to celebrate the racist and colonial history that has given us the olympics(as well as the land we'll be holding the olympics on) we need to stop pretending that the peoples who lived here first were anything more than crazy savages who rolled around in their own filth.

marsden thinks that it's no "coincidence that the best countries in the world are either european or founded by europeans" because "european immigrants make things better" until they are "asked to leave, at which point everything usually descends back into chaos." and leave they do, without thanks of course.

i'm just going to assume that what she means when she says "european immigrants" is white folks.

so, she asks, what the hell are the vancouver olympics going to do to ensure the visibility of white folks' contributions to canada.

marsden is pissed because the logo for the games is just goddamned crazy: "some sort of native Indian stone carving resembling a bloke with massive oedema of the legs."

she's actually a little off here, the logo is an inukshuk... it's not exactly a carving. or, it's not a carving at all. they're man made stone landmarks-piled rocks, to be exact.

but enough of those "facts".

while "natives" were "carving away at such lovely things" the europeans were all building the world up, you know--making things civilized and awesome. but nooooo, noone remembers that.

the mascots for the games are "legendary native indian animals that could only ever exist only after a good toke-up of canadian weed."

yes, because such cultural aboriginal traditions have been dreamt up only recently, by crazy high indians who have taken over the international olympic committee and have been plotting for decades!

she says that if she took the quiz "which mascot are you?" she would be none of them because she's not some "native indian hallucination with a japanese name who resembles and asian cartoon character", she's "descended from the people who built [this] country."

actually, the mascots probably aren't that "authentic", so probably marsden would end up getting one of them as the quiz result because they--like her-- are a result of the exact same culture: white, racist, colonial culture.

eff said it right when she called marsden canada's ann coulter

marsden's cutting analysis doesn't stop at race and racism though, watch this video where she displays her smarts against andrea horwath on feminism starting at about 1:05 :

are you ready for your morning cry?

this morning i was reading the toronto star, which usually is a rag and has a lot to make fun of(well, specifically, a lot of rosie dimanno to make fun of).

but i actually read something so amazing: "how bald chickens help troubled kids"

about 43 battery hens were rescued from a southern ontario industrial hatchery. the hens weren't even rescued by animal rights activist but by a "middle man"-- somebody who worked at the hatchery(or at least that's what it sounds like).

the normal practise is to kill these hens after one year because they've already hit and passed their peak production age. they lay fewer eggs. these chickens were lucky because their cages--the battery, hence the name battery hen-- was in the middle row, so their liberator didn't have to lean down or reach up to pull them out of their cage.

the battery cages are the size of a microwave oven and when they arrived at the farm "they had never walked, or roosted, or flapped their wings."

according to cathal kelly "most of them have no feathers, their puckered skin rubbed raw against cage bars. the combs on the tops of their heads – the prime spot where a chicken releases body heat – cover their faces like hoods, overdeveloped because of the sweaty conditions inside the hatchery."

so these little hens were sent to cobble stone sanctuary, a farm outside of stratford, to start their new lives as free-ish birds.

free-ish because they've lived their lives in captivity and so adjusting to the outside world is a bit of a struggle for them. "at first, they huddled in the corners of shepherd's coop on shaky legs. they slept piled on top of each other or wedged into cat carriers." they're scared of just about everything and because they were missing so many feathers they were probably cold all of the time.

at least there's a quick solution for the cold problem: tiny chicken sweaters.

tiny, chicken, sweaters.

volunteers sewed little tiny chicken sweaters to keep the hens warm. as they adjust to their new lives, fed properly, are kept warm and safe, these little chickens are growing back their feathers and down.

this story is already pretty amazing on its own. but then there's this: christen shepard, the woman who runs the farm sanctuary, thought it would be a good idea to allow some children living in group home nearby to come visit the chickens as therapy.

there are four boys, 8-12, and they visit the chickens once a week. they are crown wards and according to the article cannot be identified in any way "lest their own families figure out where they are."

the thought behind the chicken therapy was that it would help teach the boys empathy but apparently they were naturals with the chickens, and they worry that the chickens are upset or that their sweaters are too tight. now the boys spend all week looking forward to their trip to visit the farm.

because there are 43 hens and the farm is operating at a deficit the majority of the birds will be adopted out, but the boys will get to choose one each and the four they choose will be permanent residents.

at the end of the article they describe how the chickens went outside their coop for the first time ever, all grass and sunshine:

"when you see a chicken in the sunshine ... stretching its wings out," says shepherd, "it's hard to deny a chicken that."

indeed. and why would you want to? probably now you should just wipe the tears out of your eyes and go to the cobble stone website (HERE) where they have information about donations and volunteering. maybe even consider adoptiong a little chicken and its little tiny chicken sweater.

just in case the picture of the little tiny sweater isn't enough for you, there's a video:

Monday, October 5, 2009

why, this isn't disgusting at all!

um, so this douche bag gets a commercial and the young girl he knocked up has to raise his baby in relative obscurity; taking the high road and staying out of the media spotlights?


ok, now there are REALLY no words.

so.. i expected this to be a joke. it's not.

it's not a joke... let that sink in....

"you're not that far to the right, you're right here by my side, you can harper me tonite, i've got a crush on harper."

Sunday, October 4, 2009


sometimes there are no words...

"hamburgers are gross!"...."i love hamburgers!"

you know what is gross? hamburgers.
you know why they're gross? ground beef.

in the new york times this morning they featured the story of a woman paralyzed from severe food poisoning. the food culprit? hamburger.

a children's dance teacher, stephanie smith thought she had a mild case of food poisoning. unfortunately that wasn't the case. smith's kidneys stopped working, she had such severe seizures that she would be knocked unconscious, and her seizures were so frequent that doctors had to put her in a coma for nine weeks. now she's paralyzed from the waist down.

"food poisoning" isn't an adequate term for what really happens when you eat bad food. strains of e-coli do horrible things to your body, like kill it. you're not just poisoned when you have an infection, you're dieing.

the funny thing about e coli is that people who eat meat(which i don't) always argue that you're just as likely to get it from vegetables as you are from meat. this is clearly a lie.

e coli from vegetables is from not washing them. e coli can be present in the fertilized soil (a by product of the meat industry) which the vegetables are grown in. also, people who handle the vegetables (picking them, packing them, etc) often have dirty hands from, you know, picking vegetables and stuff.

that tomato you eat didn't just magically lift out of the ground clean and ready to eat. it was grown in soil generally fertilized with manure. then it gets packed, stored, and shipped. once the tomatoes reach the grocery store more hands touch them. they can also come into contact with bacteria laden surfaces as well as meat products.

so, even if your tomato made it from the field to the store without any bacteria on it, maybe the dude stacking them in the produce aisle doesn't wash his hands after he uses the bathroom or after he touches the meat products, or the meat surfaces.

so washing your vegetables is an easy way to not die from eating them. but you can't wash meat.

you could, but it wouldn't do anything.
because you can't wash ground beef, you should be careful about where you buy it and how you eat it. according to the new york times, one piece of hamburger is "often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses" and even though random meat like this is extremely vulnerable to e coli contamination, "there is no federal requirement for grinders to test their ingredients for the pathogen."

this means that they get all of this sketchy meat from different sources, usually the cheapest sources possible, and grind it up without testing it. then they sell it to you and cross their fingers that you don't die or become paralyzed.

the best part about the new york times article is when it describes the kinds of meat used as "a mash-like product".

the hamburger that made smith sick had meat from nebraska, texas, uruguay, and south dakota.

it feels like if you're going to eat meat these days you have to be extra careful. like, maybe you need to buy a cow, raise it yourself, buy your own meat grinder and grind your own beef if you insist on eating hamburgers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

pure class over at the huffington post... pure class

we've all heard that roman polanksi is being extradited to the united states for a crime he's been on the run from. fair enough. you rape a 13 year old girl, eventually you get your comeuppance.

well, not according to joan z. shore over at huffington post.
in her article "polanki's arrest: shame on the swiss" shore, the cofounder of a women's equality group, says that americans should protest his extradition by "smashing [their] cuckoo clocks, pawning... Swiss watches, and banning Swiss cheese and chocolate. and let them yodel all they like."

oh my god, so witty. rape is SO funny and an opportunity to be hillaaaaaarious.

shore goes on to say that there is more to this "story":

"the 13-year old model "seduced" by Polanski had been thrust onto him by her mother, who wanted her in the movies. the girl was just a few weeks short of her 14th birthday, which was the age of consent in California. (it's probably 13 by now!) polanski was demonized by the press, convicted, and managed to flee, fearing a heavy sentence."

there are a few problems here. the girl wasn't "seduced", she testified that she'd been given champagne, quaalude, and had also asked polanski to stop several times. in the LAW that's not called seduction, you stupid bitch, it's SEXUAL ASSAULT.

and also, the age of consent in california was NOT 14 in 1977. it was 17. and it's not 13 now, it's 18.

polanksi was "demonized" in the press after details of the girls assault were made public, mainly because what he did was against the law and horrifying.

shore thinks its outrageous that polanski should be "hauled back" to the states to answer for his crime.

here is one of her reasons: she met polanski after he fled america, accompanying mike wallace for a sixty minutes interview with the director. but she and mike wallace were "utterly charmed by roman's sobriety and intelligence"

because rapists are never charming or intelligent. right shore? i'm sorry but has she never, ever read a single book about rapists, or taken a psychology class, or even read the fucking news?

ted bundy was described in TIME magazine as "handsome, cultured, and charming" and he received thousands of love letters while in jail. does that mean his crimes didn't matter? or that they weren't legally crimes? that peoples lives weren't destroyed?

shore wants to know why america "always get sidetracked by sex and scandal?"
so deep. what a deep and insightful comment about the nature of america and americans.

why oh why must america fulfill its obligatations to prosecute crimes? especially crimes involving sex? i mean, what's the point?

arresting polanski before "he was to receive an honorary award at a film festival" is "disgraceful", she writes.

because a famous and powerful movie director raping a 13 year old girl and then fleeing the country isn't symptomatic of a larger problem in the film industry at all. or in any media industry that utilizes the bodies of young girls. or in society.

it's also not problematic at all that because polanksi makes films, has won awards, and is rich he should be excused for raping a 13 year old girl.

as one astute commenter posted:

"Sure when Polanski was 42, he drugged, raped, and sodomized a 13 year old girl, but he's made three great movies. I could see bringing Polanski to justice if he was a mailman, or janitor, or if his movies were bad, but his movies are good, so he should get a pass so he can keep skiing, and drinking champagne. . Why be successful if you can't get away with things like raping a 13 year old?

If you rape a girl and go to jail, it's your fault that you weren't successful enough, and you have to take responsibility. That's what keeps me on the straight and narrow. Everytime I think about committing a robbery, murder, or raping someone, I do a reality check, and realize I'm not successful enough to get away with it. Being unsuccessful is a powerful deterrent to crime.

That's only fair. That's how life should work."

polanksi admitted to the rape. rape is a crime. criminals get punished. that's how the system works. you don't get to admit you're a rapist, then run away, make some award winning films, live abroad, and just get away with it.

so, joan shore, go nuts smashing your cuckoo clocks and tossing your swiss chocolate out the window.. i'm sure the 13 year old girls of the world will thank you some day.
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