Archive for January, 2007

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Something is wrong.

January 30, 2007

Pretty sure this isn’t the Google logo. Can’t really find anything explaining why this is happening. It is only in Firefox and it is at google.ca. If anyone knows anything let me in on it. Thanks.

Weird Google

UPDATE: I cleared my cache and cookies and low and behold Google was back. Someone had figured out how to get my cache to recognize the Google logo as something else. Or else something weird happened in Firefox. I prefer the first one though. It’s pretty ingenious.

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Men and Feminism

January 25, 2007

Well based on the response “Feminists you can stop now” got from Noel Heikkinen’s blog and podcast and Shrinkingisaac.com I feel compelled to say a few things.
The Suffragettes were extremely important. Women should have been allowed and in fact had a right to vote. Fighting for job equality, this as well was and is important. Shared role in the governance of nations and corporations, it only makes sense considering every nation, with the possible exception of China, has a population that is half male half female.

I need to look more closely at feminism, I’m loosely a student of history but not in the same depth I would like to be at 5 years from now, or when I’m old and retiring. I’m also young and male, My memory begins sometime in the early nineties, so I haven’t witnessed a world where women are barred from universities or jobs because they are women. I also do come from the church and if asked would consider my denomination Anglican. At our parish Chris King (A man) is our rector the assistant rector is Lyn Youll (A woman). My family has always been in churches that allow women to have leadership roles, save one which we left because it didn’t. My parents didn’t want their sons or daughter growing up in a misogynistic environment . Speaking of my family both my parents ran a postproduction company as partners and equals. Why do I say all this? Because neither the way I was raised nor my faith has anything to do with my dissatisfaction with where feminism is today. Curious? Read on.

I wrote “feminists you can stop now” in anger, I was noting the trend both among Hollywood starlets and girls I know to espouse feminist ideals while dressing provocatively. The thought occurred to me that maybe it was time for feminism to shift it’s sights from what part men play in equality and onto the questioning of what part image played in equality and inequality. I don’t want to get too far into clothing again as Noel Heikkinen deals with the issue better than I did from what I see as a 1 Corinthian 8:9-13 principle.

I’ll tell one story to illustrate where some of this anger comes from. I was around the age of 9. My father had taken my brother and I to Stand in the Gap, a Promise Keepers rally in Washington DC. A group of what I suspect were probably radical feminists, I didn’t talk to them being quite young, had taken it upon themselves to protest this event (an event calling men to be better husbands, citizens, and fathers) by walking around the Washington Mall, where the event was held, topless. This engraved the idea of feminists linking their ideals to their sexuality in my mind. Do I believe this represents all feminists? No, I believe most women today would see themselves as feminists in the positive history of the suffragettes and those who fought and are fighting for equality. However as one of the comments at Noel Heikkinen’s blog mentions in reference to the apparent support feminist groups have of pornography,

“it seems quite self-contradictory to me to be railing against men looking at women as objects and yet railing for the forms of media which have no small influence in causing men to view them that way.”

I think it is time that feminism look not just at men but also to themselves to understand the role image takes. And, as another commenter suggested, maybe even to join with groups like Amnesty International to get the voices of women who are actually suffering persecution heard. Iran comes to mind.

Feminism began and continued as a needed movement. Justice is or should be blind to race or sex. My hope was to shift the focus off of men alone and onto a shared responsibility. Unfortunately I did go about showing this the wrong way by not making it clear enough in the original post. I don’t claim to be a genius, and I probably would have done well to write this post and “Feminists, you can stop now” together.

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Tagged! or better yet: A reason to talk about ME!

January 23, 2007

So I’ve been tagged twice now, by my Dad and by Chris Budlong. I was trying to find five things people don’t know about me but most of those things are boring. So here are two things you probably didn’t know about me and six questions. It’s like a tagging bonus round.

The first thing you probably didn’t know about me is that I celtic danced. That’s right, Riverdance style dancing. It was a lot of fun, and as I learned when I did jazz dancing before it, there is an awesome girl to guy ratio (if you’re a guy). However I soon realized that for all the girls there are, the fact that you’re dancing as well doesn’t seem to increase your attractiveness to them. Thus ended one of the many hobbies I had.

The second is that I was a model. I even got to be in a commercial, unfortunately it never aired. We moved to Winnipeg shortly thereafter and I let it slide. I’ve been thinking about getting back into it though preferably to act, which means a decision to return to Toronto for my schooling.

1) What’s the most fun work you’ve ever done, and why?

I thought the whole point of work was that it wasn’t fun. In that case I haven’t really done a whole lot of it. If work is paid labor than I have to say working at Ride for Sight was pretty awesome. It feels great to be a part of something greater that is helping people. I worked with good people and had a rewarding time there. The surprisingly most boring work I’ve done is modeling/acting. The auditions were cool but when I finally landed a gig it was mostly waiting for the one scene they needed me in and the rest of time just waiting back stage. Don’t get me wrong it was cool, just not that great. Actually now that I think about it, stocking shelves from midnight to eight in Winterpeg was the most boring work I’ve done.

2) A. Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did?

There are a lot of things (IE dancing) that I gave up because I wasn’t strong enough to deal with the teasing they invoked, I regret giving up those. If I could go back to the younger me I’d tell him that people tease for two reasons, (a) they’re morons (b) they’re jealous, and that he will be better in the future for having stuck to them. Unfortunately he already had my Mom and he ignored her, bad move.

B. Name one thing you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting it off?

I just got an eyebrow ring, I’d always wanted one of those. The next thing on the list is skydiving…

3) A. What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why?

Drums, It would be sweet to be a one man rock band seeing as I already am pretty good at guitar and bass, and can find my way up and down a keyboard. You can hear my band here

I think learning to skydive before actually doing it would probably be a good idea too. Today I watched a plane fly by, I’d like to learn to fly one of those as well.

B. If you could take a class/workshop/apprentice from anyone in the world living or dead, who would it be and what would you hope to learn?

Jesus, and not because he was the greatest teacher ever. But because I’m very much a Thomas, I’d love to see him and just be able to know without the clouds of millenia clouding my sight. After Jesus, to be able to share a pint with The Edge and just talk about guitars, have him show me some stuff, and play around with his billions of effects would be amazing.

4) A. What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you?

It’s more like three letters. A.D.D. , following that I’d hope loyal and trustworthy.

B. Now list two more words you wish described you…

Good looking or clear skinned

5) What are your top three passions? (can be current or past, work, hobbies, or causes)

Guitar and music, Reading (just about anything), history (I love biographies but I’ll read anything). I know I need to get Jesus back up onto this top three, but to put him there now would be dishonest.


6) Write–and answer–one more question that YOU would ask someone

“It seems like most days people get up and there is really no reason not to just stop living, give up, or accept defeat, why don’t you?” There have been times in my life where it has only been the fear of hell or the grace of God. These days it is because I’m getting more and more curious about what lies on the earthly road ahead. I can’t wait to see what the future brings. Even though I’ve seen my share of rough times recently I don’t think for a minute that there aren’t going to be cool times to match and beat the lowest of them.

So now you know a bit about me, I guess if you wanted more you could always hit the about button to the right of this post.

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Coming this week.

January 21, 2007

All I can say is that I’m pretty pumped for the next seven to ten days of television.  Starting tonight is Battlestar Galactica which is probably the best sci fi show I’ve seen, right up there with Firefly in terms of goodness though not hilariousness.  Heroes comes back tomorrow which is the show of the year as far as I’m concerned.  Heroes is a great story that I think fills the dream most guys have, of discovering a superpower.  And finally House, that hysterical yet increasingly predictable doctor, starts the following Tuesday.  I don’t watch much TV but these shows are great, check ’em out.

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Is it any wonder I’m tired?

January 20, 2007

Sick and tired that is. I’m not one for politics in general but I have to say that I’m borderline hating the Liberals. I’m not quite sure what it is. Sure they’ve stolen millions of dollars (Maybe even billions if we ever hear where all the money for the gun registry went) from the Canadian people. Sure they’ve been dishonest and openly insulted our closest ally and trading partner (that would be the US). But maybe it has to do mostly with their sense of entitlement. I just read the Toronto Stars (first mistake) coverage of Dion’s unveiling of his caucus. Between the reporter/columnists slant and what Dion was saying I was insulted. According to Dion, “We have a government that is very far right and out of touch with most Canadians”. First, I think it is insulting that right has become an insult in Canadian politics. I happen to be further right than the Conservative party which still puts me in agreement with much of what the NDP has to say about the environment. But more importantly is the idea that the Conservatives are out of touch with most Canadians. This is what gets me going. Are the Liberals so quick to forget that they stole from the Canadian people, not just money, but our trust too. What really scares me though is that Canadians themselves may be quick to forget as well. I just hope Stephen Harper works well with the NDP in terms of revamping the Conservative environmental strategy. They need their support. Winston Churchill said that “if you are under 30 and a conservative you have no heart and if you are over 30 and a liberal you have no brain”. I’m only 20, I guess I’ve had my heart stolen from me.

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Anberlin

January 18, 2007

I’m listening to the new Godspeed EP by Anberlin, their prerelease for the upcoming album Cities.  All I can say is I’m excited.  I think this upcoming CD has the potential to be their best yet.  This EP is great.  The song “Godspeed” is an amazing rock song that defies categorization.  It’s got great riffs and hooks, it’s fast, with a great melody.  The guitars are awesome with a solo that’s half classic rock half shred.  The song “Haunting” is a striking power ballad that surprised me repeatedly.  Anberlin is a great band.  Stephen Christian’s voice is amazing, Joseph Milligan is a great guitar player, and the rest of the band is solid as well.

You can download the Godspeed EP off of iTunes or wait for Cities to drop February 20th.

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Feminists, you can stop now.

January 15, 2007

And by that I mean you can stop yelling at men. I know it seems that the world is unfairly skewed our way. It actually is. However this has ceased to be mens fault. Either start yelling at the women who decide to dress like sluts. Or stop dressing like one yourself.

Every time I hear about girls going to a pimps and hoes party, or some such thing that involves guys remaining modestly, if garishly, dressed while the girls dress like they stopped buying clothes after hitting kindergarden, I get mad. Every time I see a girl walking around in public wearing less than she probably should, I stare, then I get mad.

Why am I mad? it could be because that these pimps and hoes parties normally take place at university or at the earliest late high school. These institutions are the bastions of liberal thought, yet girls are taught the paradoxical idea that somehow a liberal view of sexuality and using the fact that men find women more attractive than women find men can somehow be balanced with women being mens equals. If you are willing to dress the way men want you to dress and fall into the stereotype that other women have fought and are fighting against you have lost your right to criticize the unbalanced nature of the world as it stands right now.

Or maybe it is because it is false to say that men are pigs for staring at you, and than to dress yourself provocatively. There is a constant fight for the idea of a “woman”. A woman can complain as often as she wants that men have over-sexualized their view of women. However until women start to take responsibility for how they dress and how they present their image en masse you can’t fault men. “But men design and sell the clothes”, Don’t buy them. “But that means not buying any clothes, they’re all designed that way”, not necessarily, maybe look a little harder. I know a number of women who manage to dress attractively without overly emphasizing their womanly features for lack of a better term. How hard do they have to look to do that, I don’t know, I don’t shop for women, I rarely shop for myself.

I can see some of you saying that this is an unfair comment, how can we judge people based on what they wear. However I think it is fair to say that we judge people if they dress like a punk, or a skater, or have an eyebrow piercing. Are these judgments fair? Maybe not, but you know what you are getting yourself into when you decide to make these things a part of your appearance. There are still enough women dressing in an inappropriate fashion that I feel these comments are merited.

There is a certain irony that the women’s lib thing really took off in the sixties right about the same time that this overtly sexualized image started becoming popular. It is almost as if there has been a fight over what woman means and what her place in the world is since then. I think the best thing for feminists to do is to shift their sights off the evils of men and start closely analyzing their role in equality. At least the role image plays in mens perception of women.

UPDATE: This should be read in conjunction with Men and Feminism; an improvement in tone.