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Showing posts from May, 2014

I Deal In Ideals

Heather Mallick of the Toronto Star has written an article--actually, most of the Star's Insight section for today--that hurt to read. It's not available online as of yet, or I'd link to it, but let me give a summary. Because Canada's laws are about to change regarding prostitution, Mallick took a trip across Europe to see how various countries there deal with sex work and sex workers. What she found changed her mind about prostitution and it's caused me to question my beliefs on...quite a lot of things.

She believed, before she embarked on this trip, that sex work was, or at least could be, a job like any other. That legalization would offer some protection for women whom our society has chosen to marginalize. She found otherwise. In Germany, one brothel has flat rate specials, anything goes, and German net forums are flooded with complaints that the women there are "unfit for use" after a few hours. None of the many women she interviewed, in three count…

"Impure Thoughts"

Administrivia: my next economic post will be forthcoming in a couple of days. Or not. My aunt-in-law (is that a thing? Screw it, my aunt) provided me with an article that inadvertently activated a time machine, carrying me back to

THE TIME MACHINE: WESTMINSTER S.S., LONDON, ONTARIO, MAY 1989

Her name is Danielle, and right now she's the most enthralling thing in my universe.

I don't rank my crushes--I'm really not that good at the kind of advanced math that would take--but if I did, she'd be at the top of the second tier. That's to say, on days when Darlene hasn't favoured me with any attention at all, Danielle's among the first people my ever-restless brain turns to.
This particular crush is a little more...physical...than most of them. That's because Danielle is one of those misunderstood, thoroughly wonderful women who are free with their affections. She doesn't think twice about doling out hugs and pecks (and her hugs are the number-1 hugs of s…

Poor

There are, by and large, two parts of our economy that are still functional. The tippity-top is going great guns, of course...they engineer it that way. The stock market is nosing around all-time highs. The price of admission to this market--in an example of truly side-splitting irony, it's called a "share"--well, some of them are five or six hundred bucks apiece, and if you call up the guardians at the gates and ask to buy just one "share", you'll be laughed into another dimension. For most of us down here in the sweatshops, five or six hundred bucks is a non-trivial amount of money. For more than a few of us, it's more than we earn in a week's work (and that's not even mentioning the countries where five hundred bucks is an above-average ANNUAL income).
As much as we need to talk about those countries, let's focus on ours for now. As I said, if you're monied, you're doing well, and the more monied you are, the better you're doi…

Every Day is Mother's Day

I have three mothers.  Besides my Mom, there's my stepmom, Heather, and my mother-in-law, Anne. All three of them put a high value on their privacy, and so this paean to motherhood probably going to come off sounding a little generic. It shouldn't. These three women are anything but ordinary...even among mothers, who tend to be a cut above the ordinary themselves.

Circumstances prohibit my seeing any of the three of them near as often as I should. (I'm known as the invisible son-in-law; to my shame, I'm also an invisible son and stepson.) But I carry the three of them with me through my life, and I'm so very grateful for that.

The three of them, each in their way, are strong and resilient beyond my ability to describe. That strength can be intimidating, viewed at a distance. They do not live life in the passive mode; they are actors, fully conscious and competent. But again, each in their way, they embody compassion, not just cold competence. They are strong, yes, …

Dream A Little Dream...

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream."--Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

In the last week, I've

spent three days and two nights in Australia with a friend;suddenly grown fifteen inches and found myself in the seventh game of an NBA playoff series;found myself on a beach somewhere, being stung to death by dozens of jellyfish;decided I wanted to become a tax accountant, got myself accredited, found a job and got myself immediately fired for showing up to work naked. Well, I was wearing a tie. It wasn't knotted in an appropriate place (I was told), but the knot was impeccable. Dreams are weird.
Ever had a scorchingly hot quadruple-x-rated dream starring somebody you're actually repulsed by in real life? That's one of the world's little nonplussing experiences. If you're a guy, you wake up in a puddle of gelatinous horror, trying mightily …

WiFi in the Wild

I'm on vacation right now. And I've been glued to this computer even more than I usually am.

My French  IV class has been cancelled due to lack of interest--only four people enrolled, and I was one of 'em. I thought this might happen, as many of my French III classmates expressed serious misgivings about the intersession class, which was supposed to be a twice-a-week affair over eight weeks (as opposed to the three classes I've been through so far, which were Tuesday nights only).

Me, I'd go all day five days a week if it would get me fluent faster. As it is, by the time my fall course starts up, I'll probably have finished all the exercises in the textbook. I'll have to, just so I don't forget what I've learned already.

WiFi hotspots are coming to Canada's national parks.

Your reaction to this probably depends on your age. I've written before about wifi at Disney World and the reaction to its coming, which boiled down to "it's about…

Sterling the Pot

There has been a surprising amount of misinformation cloaked in righteous indignation concerning Donald Sterling, the soon-to-be-ex owner of the L.A. Clippers and what widespread published reports would have you believe is his cruel and unusual punishment for uttering a stunningly inappropriate, racist comment.
The one thing everyone does seem to agree on is that Sterling is a jerk. I don't usually make light of cancer, but reports that this man is suffering from prostate cancer seem rather fitting. After all, consensus is he's a giant inflamed asshole.
But since when is being a jerk illegal? I mean, even if you aspire to be a veritable robford, surely getting fined two and a half large and being banned for life/forced to sell your team is a tad...harsh? And doesn't the U.S. believe in free speech?  There's this thing called the First Amendment, isn't there? This was a private conversation, illegally recorded, we're told. How can you be punished for saying some…

Going Moldy....

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