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Showing posts from July, 2012

Chick Fil-A: Anti-gay?

So Chick Fil-A has found itself stuck on the wrong side of the cultural road. So says Miss Piggy, and you don't want to mess with her.
Canada doesn't have Chick Fil-A, just like Canada doesn't have Cracker Barrel, Bob Evan's, Sonic, What-A-Burger, or a host of other delicious fast food eateries. Canada does have gay marriage, and last I looked the sky's still up there. Much as I'd love to see more choice in the Canadian fast food outlet landscape (and grocery store, for that matter), I wouldn't want this at the expense of something as important as same-sex marriage.

The two are mutually exclusive, right?

Check out this letter, from the Mayor of Boston to the President of Chick Fil-A.
While I admire the spirit of this letter, I'm not so sure I agree with the, uh, letter of it. Do we really want to check the beliefs of all company executives against a Pre-Approved Beliefs List before we grant them permission to operate in our city? Think carefully before …


A year and a half ago, the Winter Olympics were held in my home country (albeit 4512 km (2803 miles) away from me.  (As information: the distance from the easternmost city in Canada -- St John's, NL -- to London, UK is only 3744 km (2326 miles). And St John's is 3172 km (1970 miles) from me. As the Arrogant Worms so memorably put it, Canada's Really Big.

("It isn't what you do with it, it is the size that counts...")

I have to confess I got sucked right into the maw of Olympic over-enthusiasm last time. In my defence, I was far from alone: hell, over eighty percent of this country watched Canada win the gold medal in men's hockey. It was something of a relief to stand up and be counted, to imitate the rah-rah U S A! U S A! patriotism we have seen so much of. And to be justified in doing it, as we won more gold medals than any host nation had ever won at a Winter Games.)

The Olympics are a spectacle, and spectacles are by definition mesmerizing. If they we…

"There will be no more professional writers"

I call bullshit.

There will always be professional writers. And musicians, and artists. Words are windows on other worlds, and they're not going away any time soon. Music is arguably as necessary to the human condition as food and water: babies who are so premature they can't even suck yet respond positively to music. And art is...well, as a poster that went around Facebook a few months back put it, 'EARTH without ART is just EH".

But you read the article linked above and it really does seem as if the sky is falling on any number of careers. There are an increasing number of people who seem to be willing to "work" for free, "paid" in popularity. Huffington Post, I'm led to believe, doesn't pay its contributors a red cent.  And it's not alone. Time was, whenever news happened, if you were lucky enough to have a camera on you--yes, you yowwens, "cameras" were once unitaskers that you had to remember to bring with you if you migh…

Near Misses

Every now and again I am confronted with evidence that the average human and I are wired differently. This month's evidence, fittingly, is in the latest issue of Wired magazine. It's not yet available online, so I will quote Ben Paynter:

...[N]ear misses aren't successes. They are indicators of near failure. And if the flaw is systemic, it requires only a small twist of fate for the next incident to result in disaster. Rather than celebrating then ignoring close calls, we should be learning from them and doing our very best to prevent their recurrence. But we often don't.
Post-Columbia...researchers at Georgetown's McDonagh School of Business...asked NASA employees and MBA students to rank different versions of a mission scenario. One described a highly successful project; the other project nearly self-destructed but was ultimately saved by a lucky break. Regardless, subjects ranked both missions as equally well done..."

I wouldn't rank them that way. Thoug…

Gunplay: A Spiritual Perspective

In the wake of the shootout in Scarborough yesterday, I'm going to break one of my ironclad current events blogging rules and speculate before all information is in, to wit:

I'm willing to bet that the perpetrators are black.

I could be wrong, of course...but I doubt it. We're not permitted to collect crime statistics based on race, because that would be (gasp) racist. Never mind that Jamaicans, Somalians, and assorted other melatonin-enhanced people have been shooting each other since time out of mind in the cores of countless cities, Toronto no exception. Unless you're the Harper government, the first step towards solving any problem is collecting reliable data on its scope. We can't do that, because it might offend a few people, and being offended is so much worse than being shot.

Obligatory disclaimer: I have nothing against black people, brown people, or green polka-dotted people...only people who don't play by the rules. And if it is found, as I suspect it …

Piracy, Again

First of all, and once again, apologies to my readers for the lack of fresh content. If it's any consolation, I have one e-friend averaging a post a month, another who hasn't posted at all in eight months, and another blog I follow that's been silent for well over a year now. Two of the three tweet pretty much constantly. I have tried Twitter--I've had an account for over a year now--and I don't understand the appeal at all. My thoughts resist being truncated into 140-character sound bites and those that don't go on my Facebook wall what exactly is the point?

Anyway. if you read the above thinking what a weirdo, you probably should bail now.

The Reddit thread concerned the ludicrous shipping/handling charges that U.S. companies inflict on Canadian customers. I mentioned the vast discrepancy between the price for Season 1 of Game of Thrones and the price...then detailed how I got around that. I sent a money order for the U.S. cos…