August 30, 2010

Comedy Networking.




I now have about 40 stand up comedians as friends on my Facebook page, thanks to the likes of Kyle Kinane and Blaine Capatch.  The best shit is never on the fan pages.  Facebook has become a whole new world in the past week.

Now how do I convince them to get me free tickets to their Burbank shows?

August 27, 2010

Restoring Honor Rally. So He Says.

Glenn Beck is holding an "iconic" rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on 08.28... the anniversary of Martin Lther King's "I have a dream" speech.
Iconic.
He claims it is coincidence, boasting "This is a moment, quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement."

I don't get it.  Glenn Beck has never really expressed the kind of integrated peaceful values King has spoken of.

Perhaps he is announcing his retirement?
;)

http://www.glennbeck.com/828/

August 21, 2010

Kyle Kinane is Amazing. My Comic of the Week, for sure.

Kyle Kinane: It's Saturday, so go ahead and listen to "Ditty" by Paperboy. At your age, nobody cares anymore anyway.
 
 
 

August 20, 2010

I Miss Dating. I'm Not Even Kidding.





"Knock knock... who's there... PEAS."

(By the way, you can turn the music off on the cassette tape to the right.  Click "OFF" in the top right hand corner.  Otherwise it is just useless.)

August 19, 2010

Mike "I Dye My Hair Blonde At 54" Sobel.





He was on location at the Fringe and they asked him about the Fried Oreos. 
You could clearly see the banner behind him, 'Fried bananas, Fried Oreos, Elephant Ears!' 

He looked around befuddled and BLONDE.
They cut away and reported on something unrelated.

The next time they came back to him, his arms were full of cotton candy and kettle corn.

The female anchor looked exhausted.
Mike Sobel looked pleased with himself.

"I couldn't find the Oreos, but I got your some appetizers...", he cooed.
"Mike, the Oreo stand is right behi-"
"So here you go!!  What a good start to your diet, eh?!"
"I'm not on a die-"
"These bags are heavy!"
he exclaimed, as he dropped them on the ground.


Fuck. Me.

Holy Smokes.

I woke up this morning and the sky was campfire grey. 
The smoke was thick enough that you could taste it on your tongue.





"Is there a forest fire somewhere around Edmonton?", Greg asked.

I immediately hit the local news site and discovered that no, it wasn't near us.
It was from the fires in BC.  The RAGING fires in BC.




I know it may be my BC-born heart sinking, but that poor province has been riddled with fires for the last ten years.  Those poor people.  And so many of them are elderly in the interior.  I hope their health doesn't suffer too much. 

Not that having your family evacuated and your house burnt to the ground is much better.

Consider this post my shout out to British Columbians.
Stay thirsty, my friends.



http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/fire+smoke+polluting+Alberta/3418419/story.html

August 15, 2010

Dan Quayle's Son is Running for Office.

 Remember Dan Quayle?  Here's a refresher:

"I have made good judgments in the Past. I have made good judgments in the Future."
 
  
"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."
 
 
"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."
 
 
"The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make."
 
  
"We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward."
 
 "One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'."


I could go on, but I think you see my point.
But rest assured, his son is here to continue the legacy no one thought was even remotely necessary...

Dr. Laura Schlesinger's "Nigger" Rant. (Will someone take her mic away, please?)





SCHLESSINGER: Jade, welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Dr. Laura.
SCHLESSINGER: Hi.
CALLER: I'm having an issue with my husband where I'm starting to grow very resentful of him. I'm black, and he's white. We've been around some of his friends and family members who start making racist comments as if I'm not there or if I'm not black. And my husband ignores those comments, and it hurts my feelings. And he acts like –
SCHLESSINGER: Well, can you give me an example of a racist comment? 'Cause sometimes people are hypersensitive. So tell me what's — give me two good examples of racist comments.
CALLER: OK. Last night — good example — we had a neighbor come over, and this neighbor — when every time he comes over, it's always a black comment. It's, "Oh, well, how do you black people like doing this?" And, "Do black people really like doing that?" And for a long time, I would ignore it. But last night, I got to the point where it –
SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist.
CALLER: Well, the stereotype –
SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist. No, I think that –
CALLER: [unintelligible]
SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no. I think that's — well, listen, without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black. Didn't matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing. You gotta know that. That's not a surprise. Not everything that somebody says — we had friends over the other day; we got about 35 people here — the guys who were gonna start playing basketball. I was going to go out and play basketball. My bodyguard and my dear friend is a black man. And I said, "White men can't jump; I want you on my team." That was racist? That was funny.
CALLER: How about the N-word? So, the N-word's been thrown around –
SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nig*er, nig*er, nig*er.
CALLER: That isn't –
SCHLESSINGER: I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it's affectionate. It's very confusing. Don't hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don't go away.
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I'll be right back.
After taking a commercial break, Schlessinger resumed her discussion with the caller:
SCHLESSINGER: I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger, talking to Jade. What did you think about during the break, by the way?
CALLER: I was a little caught back by the N-word that you spewed out, I have to be honest with you. But my point is, race relations –
SCHLESSINGER: Oh, then I guess you don't watch HBO or listen to any black comedians.
CALLER: But that doesn't make it right. I mean, race is a [unintelligible] –
SCHLESSINGER: My dear, my dear –
CALLER: — since Obama's been in office –
SCHLESSINGER: — the point I'm trying to make –
CALLER: — racism has come to another level that's unacceptable.
SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. We've got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that's hilarious.
CALLER: But I think, honestly, because there's more white people afraid of a black man taking over the nation.
SCHLESSINGER: They're afraid.
CALLER: If you want to be honest about it [unintelligible]
SCHLESSINGER: Dear, they voted him in. Only 12 percent of the population's black. Whites voted him in.
CALLER: It was the younger generation that did it. It wasn't the older white people who did it.
SCHLESSINGER: Oh, OK.
CALLER: It was the younger generation –
SCHLESSINGER: All right. All right.
CALLER: — that did it.
SCHLESSINGER: Chip on your shoulder. I can't do much about that.
CALLER: It's not like that.
SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. I think you have too much sensitivity –
CALLER: So it's OK to say "nig*er"?
SCHLESSINGER: — and not enough sense of humor.
CALLER: It's OK to say that word?
SCHLESSINGER: It depends how it's said.
CALLER: Is it OK to say that word? Is it ever OK to say that word?
SCHLESSINGER: It's — it depends how it's said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it's OK.
CALLER: But you're not black. They're not black. My husband is white.
SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I see. So, a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can't do much about that.
CALLER: I can't believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the "nig*er" word, and I hope everybody heard it.
SCHLESSINGER: I didn't spew out the "nig*er" word.
CALLER: You said, "Nig*er, nig*er, nig*er."
SCHLESSINGER: Right, I said that's what you hear.
CALLER: Everybody heard it.
SCHLESSINGER: Yes, they did.
CALLER: I hope everybody heard it.
SCHLESSINGER: They did, and I'll say it again –
CALLER: So what makes it OK for you to say the word?
SCHLESSINGER: — nig*er, nig*er, nig*er is what you hear on HB –
CALLER: So what makes it –
SCHLESSINGER: Why don't you let me finish a sentence?
CALLER: OK.
SCHLESSINGER: Don't take things out of context. Don't double N — NAACP me. Tape the –
CALLER: I know what the NAACP –
SCHLESSINGER: Leave them in context.
CALLER: I know what the N-word means and I know it came from a white person. And I know the white person made it bad.
SCHLESSINGER: All right. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Can't have this argument. You know what? If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race. If you're going to marry out of your race, people are going to say, "OK, what do blacks think? What do whites think? What do Jews think? What do Catholics think?" Of course there isn't a one-think per se. But in general there's "think."
And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think — and it's really distressting [sic] and disturbing. And to put it in its context, she said the N-word, and I said, on HBO, listening to black comics, you hear "nigger, nigger, nigger." I didn't call anybody a nigger. Nice try, Jade. Actually, sucky try.
Need a sense of humor, sense of humor — and answer the question. When somebody says, "What do blacks think?" say, "This is what I think. This is what I read that if you take a poll the majority of blacks think this." Answer the question and discuss the issue. It's like we can't discuss anything without saying there's -isms?
We have to be able to discuss these things. We're people — goodness gracious me. Ah — hypersensitivity, OK, which is being bred by black activists. I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don't get it. Yes, I do. It's all about power. I do get it. It's all about power and that's sad because what should be in power is not power or righteousness to do good — that should be the greatest power.

August 10, 2010

August 9, 2010

Morning Coffee and Eazy-E.

Another Monday.
Another BEAUTIFUL Monday.






  And I wasn't kidding about the Eazy-E.

Be Kind.


You can know yourself to be generous, 
but unless you do something which displays generosity, 
you have nothing but a concept. 
You can know yourself to be kind, 
but unless you do someone a kindness,
you have nothing but an idea about yourself.










August 6, 2010

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech.

Last month, Erica Goldson graduated as valedictorian of Coxsackie-Athens High School. Instead of using her graduation speech to celebrate the triumph of her victory, the school, and the teachers that made it happen, she channeled her inner Ivan Illich and de-constructed the logic of a valedictorian and the whole educational system.

 



Erica originally posted her full speech on Sign of the Times, and without need for editing or cutting, here's the speech in its entirety:

Here I stand 

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, "If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years . ." The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then?" Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years." "But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?" asked the student. "Thirty years," replied the Master. "But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student. "At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?" Replied the Master, "When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path." 

This is the dilemma I've faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective. 

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn't you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible. 

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer - not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition - a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared. 

John Taylor Gatto, a retired school teacher and activist critical of compulsory schooling, asserts, "We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness - curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don't do that." Between these cinderblock walls, we are all expected to be the same. We are trained to ace every standardized test, and those who deviate and see light through a different lens are worthless to the scheme of public education, and therefore viewed with contempt. 

H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not "to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States." 

To illustrate this idea, doesn't it perturb you to learn about the idea of "critical thinking." Is there really such a thing as "uncritically thinking?" To think is to process information in order to form an opinion. But if we are not critical when processing this information, are we really thinking? Or are we mindlessly accepting other opinions as truth? 

This was happening to me, and if it wasn't for the rare occurrence of an avant-garde tenth grade English teacher, Donna Bryan, who allowed me to open my mind and ask questions before accepting textbook doctrine, I would have been doomed. I am now enlightened, but my mind still feels disabled. I must retrain myself and constantly remember how insane this ostensibly sane place really is. 

And now here I am in a world guided by fear, a world suppressing the uniqueness that lies inside each of us, a world where we can either acquiesce to the inhuman nonsense of corporatism and materialism or insist on change. We are not enlivened by an educational system that clandestinely sets us up for jobs that could be automated, for work that need not be done, for enslavement without fervency for meaningful achievement. We have no choices in life when money is our motivational force. Our motivational force ought to be passion, but this is lost from the moment we step into a system that trains us, rather than inspires us. 

We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special, so aren't we all deserving of something better, of using our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity, for rumination rather than stagnation? We are not here to get a degree, to then get a job, so we can consume industry-approved placation after placation. There is more, and more still. 

The saddest part is that the majority of students don't have the opportunity to reflect as I did. The majority of students are put through the same brainwashing techniques in order to create a complacent labor force working in the interests of large corporations and secretive government, and worst of all, they are completely unaware of it. I will never be able to turn back these 18 years. I can't run away to another country with an education system meant to enlighten rather than condition. This part of my life is over, and I want to make sure that no other child will have his or her potential suppressed by powers meant to exploit and control. We are human beings. We are thinkers, dreamers, explorers, artists, writers, engineers. We are anything we want to be - but only if we have an educational system that supports us rather than holds us down. A tree can grow, but only if its roots are given a healthy foundation. 

For those of you out there that must continue to sit in desks and yield to the authoritarian ideologies of instructors, do not be disheartened. You still have the opportunity to stand up, ask questions, be critical, and create your own perspective. Demand a setting that will provide you with intellectual capabilities that allow you to expand your mind instead of directing it. Demand that you be interested in class. Demand that the excuse, "You have to learn this for the test" is not good enough for you. Education is an excellent tool, if used properly, but focus more on learning rather than getting good grades. 

For those of you that work within the system that I am condemning, I do not mean to insult; I intend to motivate. You have the power to change the incompetencies of this system. I know that you did not become a teacher or administrator to see your students bored. You cannot accept the authority of the governing bodies that tell you what to teach, how to teach it, and that you will be punished if you do not comply. Our potential is at stake. 

For those of you that are now leaving this establishment, I say, do not forget what went on in these classrooms. Do not abandon those that come after you. We are the new future and we are not going to let tradition stand. We will break down the walls of corruption to let a garden of knowledge grow throughout America. Once educated properly, we will have the power to do anything, and best of all, we will only use that power for good, for we will be cultivated and wise. We will not accept anything at face value. We will ask questions, and we will demand truth. 

So, here I stand. I am not standing here as valedictorian by myself. I was molded by my environment, by all of my peers who are sitting here watching me. I couldn't have accomplished this without all of you. It was all of you who truly made me the person I am today. It was all of you who were my competition, yet my backbone. In that way, we are all valedictorians. 

I am now supposed to say farewell to this institution, those who maintain it, and those who stand with me and behind me, but I hope this farewell is more of a "see you later" when we are all working together to rear a pedagogic movement. But first, let's go get those pieces of paper that tell us that we're smart enough to do so!

"If you are, at first, lonely... be patient."

The amount you care about your job is proportional to the believability of the excuse for not going.



While my excuses began as believable dental and doctor appointments, as the agency I worked for went from a thriving business with over forty clients to trading while insolvent, I realised nobody cared if I was absent or what reasons I gave.
As there were no clients, when I did attend, I spent most of the day playing a game called 'Staring at the wall wondering what happy people are doing' and answering calls by pretending I was a confused Cantonese woman.
In a last ditch effort to keep the few remaining clients we had, we invited them to join us at a charity dinner to buy musical instruments for starving children. The dinner started normally, with Thomas, the business owner, talking about his hair and a staff member leaving in tears after being accused of stealing, but went downhill from there. By the fifth scotch, the entire table, including the Managing Director of McDonald's, sat in embarrassed silence as Thomas cried while telling a story about how, when he was twelve, his dog Trevor had died of testicular cancer. By scotch ten, Thomas had vomited onto the leg of one client and perforated another's arm with a fork while flamboyantly telling a story about his experience in a Phuket brothel.

I didn't bother giving an excuse for not turning up to work the next day. 

 

http://www.27bslash6.com/9to5.html

 

August 3, 2010

Arcade Fire: Suburbs. Out Today.




Do yourselves a favour.

The Instability of Working for a Small Company.

I received this email yesterday morning:

"Sheena

I regret to inform you that due to internal reorganization, the position of Representative, Northern Alberta, has been eliminated.

Therefore, effect immediately, we are terminating our relationship.

You will be receiving a cheque for one month’s compensation.

I will call you."

Shit.
Really??
They JUST created my position in January.  I established relationships with clients all over the northern Alberta area.  I am more upset by the fact that all of the retailers and specialists may be left with no liaison now that I am gone.
I realize that nothing is ever a waste, but it really feels like it sometimes.
Like NOW, for instance.

I fell asleep last night not unsure of a future position somewhere, but again I am left wondering what the hell I want to do with myself.  Where do I want to go?  After numerous arm rubs, I passed out and was bombarded with dreams of moving, and past jobs, and buildings being burnt to the ground.
Of course that may have been from watching 5 episodes of Weeds Season 3 before bed, but STILL.



This morning I was awoken with a tray of coffee and eggs... my love had brought me breakfast in bed.  He had a handful of resumes and was ready to rush out and get a job and save the day.  Little did he know, he had already saved the day by bringing me fresh coffee.
A few minutes into my day, the phone rang.  Graham from Optimum Health had been so upset at my dismissal he immediately contacted John Biggs about finding me a position with their company.

I wasn't even out of bed, let alone out of my pajamas.

I had decided last night I was not going to let this setback become my stumbling block and that I was going to breathe and let the universe unfold as it always does... beautifully.



I had no idea it would happen so fast.

August 1, 2010

Today's DayMaker:

Having downloaded the new Scissor Sisters album the weekend I'm going to Play.
Kizmet.

Than to start again....

I found a little plot of land in the garden of Eden,
it was dirt and dirt is all the same.
I tilled it with my two hands and I called it my very own.
There was no one to dispute my claim.

The wandering eye that I have caught
is as hot as a wandering sun,
but I will want for nothing more in this garden
than to start again.

In the hardening of every new heart as one
we broke ourselves
in the war of what is created and what we design.
But both in equal parts are welcome to come along;
I'm inviting everyone.

Farewell to loves that I have known,
even the muddiest of waters run.
Tell me what is meant by sitting alone in a garden,
Seceded from the union in the season of the sun..?

LiveJournal.

My LiveJournal account (http://arbitral.livejournal.com) was opened in 2002, if I remember correctly.
I had come back from Victoria with a pocket full of fortunes and a heart full of regret.
Being the one voted most likely to weep over a boy than whip his ass, I commenced the drawn out process of wading through my sorrows and drafting up some resolution.

This went on for years.

While some of it was happy, most of it was my way of working through issues.  There were moments of drama and sap and anger and resentment, punctuated by some comments from others who found their way to my page (some not so welcomed, but ultimately appreciated).  People who knew me only through my journal must have thought me suicidal.  But the release and safe place to manage my confusion was not just a luxury, but a necessity if I was to find my peace at that time in my life.

It worked.  I think.

But after a few years, I began to ignore it for I did not really require the release from my life.  In fact, I was immersed in the bliss of it all like never before, and writing the days events just felt ridiculous, as it distracted me from the awesome stuff that was happening, almost constantly.  I started to fall into the much more social and interactive world of Facebook and that suited my pace.  It still does.  But there was a nagging feeling that I "should" be writing more often, and it hung around like a friend from high school who still thinks it's 1995.  It was time to break it off.

But I don't want to stop having a place to write.
I just don't need a place to "work through" issues anymore.
I have found new ways to do that.

So here I am.  My big idea was to cease the withered rendezvous with my LiveJournal and begin anew.  Begin a place that was not so rife with history and not so deadened with past sadness and remorse.  A place for bright memories and enlightened reflections.

Will I keep up the writing?
Who the hell knows.
But I certainly like the idea of knowing if I have the inclination, the wee blog is here.
Like Arbitrary Comfort before him, In the War Between will hang back, look longingly at my wasted time, and ask for my attention.

But this is attention I won't so much mind paying.