Saturday, July 31, 2004

He said Nigger!!!!

In response to Johnny M's post found below: There is an Indo-Canadian at my work who will refer to himself or 'his people' as brown. He says, "...oh, that's funny, cause we brown people do (this or that)..." and if I'm to say to him, 'brown people,' (and I have), he doesn't say anything. Like, I mean, in the spooky silent disconcerting sort of way. It's like he's allowed to say brown but I'm not. Similarly, African-Americans can run around calling themselves niggers, or like, Canadian First-Nations peoples call themselves Indians. This is what frustrates me, cause when you hang out with someone long enough, you start to talk like them, or at least inherit some of their sayings. When I hung out with these Aussie guys for a few days, I found myself starting to say 'mate', or 'petrol' instead of gas, or things like that. Now thats ok, cause they don't really mind, (not like the English girl I met yesterday...). But if I hang out with an African American who calls himself a nigger, and eventually one day I call him nigger, I'll feel really bad! As a friend he may not even care, but I will. Especially if there are other 'niggers' around, you know? And here's my point. I would love to see racism dissappear as much as the next guy, but I think the most important thing is to start with ourselves. If I look at myself and see a skinny white boy, I'm going to look at other people as 'NOT skinny white boy', and that is the starting point for racism. Niggers, brownies, mennonites, we all do it. We all separate ourselves from the others by labelling our own groups in seemingly derogatory ways. I think maybe this is the key to understanding racism, and the key to helping minimize it.

off to the races!

i've been wondering something lately about how to be a better white guy. no, i'm serious. but that brings me to my point.

i want nothing more than to see come to life the vision of martin luther king. but does that mean that we will all have to realize the validity of many races, or are we to see no races, only many people? is it better to see 1 color or many colors? if we could all succeed in seeing only 1 color, the "color" of humanity, perhaps that would eliminate racism, because there are no specific races. but that wouldn't necessarily eliminate the potential (likelihood?) of prejudice and bigotry, since the basis for those diseases is more than just race (e.g. class, height, general asthetic desirability, etc.).

but if it's better to see things as they are (i.e. multiple races, skin tones, etc.), than how do we destroy racism (which, of course, is a kind of bigotry)? i don't think, at all, that there is anything inappropriate in embracing our own ethnicity and what that represents in terms of culture and things, but when taken to extremes, this can also lead to conflict.

where is the greater benefit? i know people of various races, ethnicities, and cultures, and i'm always agonizing about how to refer to other people i know who are of the same race (e.g. talking to a black girl, i often don't know if she will be okay with me referring to her or another friend of mine, or some other person, as black). yeah, i know, i'm likely overthinking this, but you can probably tell by now that i overthink anything. comments are welcome.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

same bat time...

hey y'all.  if the amount of people using the comments section is any indication of how many read this thing, it's worse than i thought.  however, whether there's only one of you, or there's more, i just thought that i'd write a post to say i'm on vacation.  i've managed to write 2 posts while away (not including this one), but that's all i'm gonna manage until i get back.  thanks to those of you still tuning in...

the value of change

i'll do my best to keep this short.  values just aren't what they used to be.
here's where i'm coming from.  my wife just got back from a trip a few weeks back.  she took an airplane to get where she was going.  it just so happens that on the flight back home she was seated next to some guy.  we'll call him joe clueless.  this guy strikes up a conversation.  being the really polite woman that my wife is, she plays along.  apparently, this guy's just really lonely.  fine.  no problem here.
well, the conversation progresses and he discovers that this lovely lady is married.  conversation continues and nothing seems out of the ordinary.
then toward the end of the conversation, he writes his PHONE NUMBER down on a piece of paper and says, "if your husband wouldn't mind, i'd like to go for coffee with you some time."  he didn't say, "hey, you seem nice, i'd love to get together with you and YOUR HUSBAND some time."  this low-life suggested the idea of taking just my wife out.  what is this, Indecent Proposal?
i know you'll call me old school for saying this, so don't bother with it in the comments section, but where are the values and morals in today's society?!  i don't give two cents worth if this guy was well meaning (as my wife still believes).  as one of my favorite movie characters once said, "ain't the question!"  someone who asks a married woman out, by herself, even just on a coffee date, is a bottom feeder.  plain and simple.  and i know it's been happening for years, but when it happens to your wife you get some perspective on the situation.
you can say that the loosening of censorship rules in entertainment, or the way women dress today, is a sure sign that somebody flushed and we're on the way down, but a definite clue is when a guy finds out that a woman is married and still tries to score some private face time..."if your husband wouldn't mind..."...ugh...gagh...oh, i'm chokin on my own rage here!

Monday, July 19, 2004

ridiculous idol

lately i've become more and more sad about mainstream pop music.  for most of us, just the name "pop music" conjures images of bubble gum and pig tails (what?!).  is it just me or has it always been this manufactured?  and the record buying public are total sheep most of the time.
case in point: william hung.  for those of you who have no idea who this guy is, i'll tell you.  he tried out for that epitome of success in the american pop music industry, american idol.  it just so happens that the day he auditioned, there was no female judge to try and cushion the blow launched by the two male judges.  let's just say the two attending judges wouldn't have poured water on this guy if he was on fire.  i can say for sure that i have no argument there, poor old willie couldn't sing on key to save his dying mother.  and, like most american idol rejects, you figure you'll never hear from him again.
the problem (?) is, he was too damn likable.  so likable in fact that he got his own record contract.  a few months, and many record-company-sponsored singing lessons, later and he was no better than he started out being.  he can still make your ears bleed with the best of them.  but they put his voice on CD (to a few already established pop hits such as "she bangs" and "YMCA"), put his face on the cover, and put the package in record stores.  a few promotional appearances and the man is a star!
i don't care if people know he's a horrible singer and just buy the record for the novelty of it, it's still supporting the american record industry's latest experiment.  they've been putting out crap in the name of pop music for years (...celine dion...) and people have been eating it up with a shovel because the people with record contracts (for the most part) can sing on key.  so they figure, "hey, let's put out some just-plain-shite and see if those zombies will still buy it!"  well, guess what?  it worked.  in the first week alone that lovable chinese man's objectionable song collection sold 40,000 copies...40!!  thousand!!!
people, for the love of all that is good, THIS MUST END!

Monday, July 12, 2004

the mosquito problem

it's no secret that, the world over, winnipeg in famous for 2 things: cold and mosquitos. mind you, the two are mutually exclusive, so all year round we only have one thing or the other. fact is, if we ever had both (and theories of evolution suggest that we soon should), the province would implode and we'd all get sucked into a giant black hole. but i digress...

right now, it's summer. now, unlike most people, i hate summer. hate it. i could not possibly hate summer here more. but it's not just the heat. back yards are breeding grounds for some of the foulest, most carnivorous creatures ever invented (yes, i know that means "meat eaters" tell me that mosquitos aren't carnivorous with the huge chunks of flesh missing from my limbs at the end of every summer).

and it's always worse than you ever remember, this year in particular. you see, the city of winnipeg normally treats its citizens to rounds and rounds of anti-mosquito fogging. but this year, winnipeg's summer has been somewhat cooler, mainly at night (believe me, i couldn't be happier about that part). but this also means that city workers stopped fogging the city shortly before they arrived in my community!

they started fogging because it was getting hot, but then stopped because it was unnecessary to fog when the nights are so cool. believe you me, i think i actually heard a chorus of mosquito
cackling when they heard about this. they have actually formed unions because their numbers are so strong. and don't try the weaker repellant...oh no! they've developed a taste for it. some of them have actually evolved to the point where they carry knives and forks so as to more efficiently carve me up.

this just in: the minimum required amount of mosquitos that needed to be found in traps, before the city would begin fogging again, was 25. the "bug department" reported today that the most recent count was 135!

excuse me honey...i'm going to fill the bath tub with the strongest repellant i can find...and then i'm doing laps!!!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


hey folks, just a technical note. i've noticed recently that sometimes when you visit the blog, you'll get an error in loading the page. just hit "refresh" 3 or 4 times. whatever you do, don't give up hope. i'm not sure what the problem is, if it persists i'll contact blogger tech support. other new posts coming soon. here's a sneak peak: the mosquito problem, pop music, and much more!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

anti dog sweater

and speaking of dogs (see post below this one), do you know what i hate??? pet clothing!!! man, i cannot possibly tell you how much i HATE pet clothing.

what do i hate about pet clothing? where do i begin...see, i believe in the account of original sin. i believe that adam and eve were created naked, disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, and only then felt shame at their nakedness, thus deciding to don the first ever human fashions. animals, as far as i'm concerned, were not included in the mandate not to eat the forbidden fruit, nor did they eat it. they were designed the way they were designed for a reason.

sure, i'm guilty of dressing my dog up in one of MY sweaters and taking a picture just for kicks. but i would NEVER do so habitually. and i certainly don't condone clothing designed specifically for animals.

i can even pin-point the very moment in my life when this particular intolerance began to really develop (though its roots may have always been present). i was volunteering at an indoor skateboard park when a group had rented the place out. so the kids filed in, and then one of the chaperones comes in, dog under arm (i think it was a poodle or something). i kid you not, that damn dog was wearing A PARKA!!!

i had an immediate anger reflex. then, to provoke my rage even more, the woman with the jacketed dog looked at her friend and asked, "do you think it's warm enough in here to take his jacket off?" even just thinking about the incident, now, evokes a reaction in me that i can't put into words. i have no doubt that her intentions were good, but i don't care. this is inexcusable!

i am convinced that, had pets the cognition (a point of debate), they would feel and perhaps express humiliation at the presumption that they should take on the elements in the same fashion that humans do. for as long as i live, i will be anti dog sweater.