Bring Back the North Vancouver to Prince George Passenger Train

For anyone who loves train journeys, or knows how spectacular the landscape of British Columbia is, or loves the old gold rush history, or understands that small town economies are especially vulnerable and need all the help they can get, there’s a new online petition on Change dot org. Please sign and share widely, thanks very much. 🙂

rail map revised_2

https://www.change.org/p/premier-gov-bc-ca-bring-back-the-north-vancouver-to-prince-george-passenger-train

Advertisements

War for Dummies

Easy instructions for readers of all ages! Recommended by experts in the weapons trade! Non-fiction by I. R. Soul!

KEEP THOSE FIGHTER JETS IN THE AIR

Bombing campaigns are important. Withdrawing your fighter jets from the Middle East, as Canada plans to do with its six CF-18s, is a big, big mistake. There’s absolutely no truth to the rumour that the best way to lose control of your country’s fiscal autonomy is to buy in; contracts signed with the Military Industrial Complex come with reasonable payment terms. You can trust us, we’ve been honouring our commitment to upgrade our product lines for nearly 100 years.

BE SURE YOUR MEDIA IS ON SIDE

There’s no point in confusing the little people, keep the stories simple! They have been well trained in loss and revenge so be sure to hammer home any losses on our side. Ignore casualties on the other side, it’s best to pretend there aren’t any. Encourage simplistic thinking, the only two protagonists allowed are Us and Them. There’s a fringe movement of lunatics suggesting the equation ought to be We = Us + Them but that is dangerously naïve.

Continue reading

Book Review: Selfish, Shallow & Self Absorbed

Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids — edited by Meghan Daum

As Daum writes in the introduction, her “lack of desire to have children felt hardwired from birth, almost like sexual orientation or gender identity” and reading this rang my bell. From an early age I wasn’t interested in having children. Other girls would see babies and toddlers and dissolve into gushing and cooing; they’d rush in. I, on the other hand, would stand back, silent, bewilderingly unmoved and waiting for it to be over. The odd time—if I’m in the mood for trying to disguise my disinterest—I’ll try to engage with the baby or toddler by smiling or making funny faces or uttering unconvincing approximations of maternal glee, but most often I get the blank, cool-eyed response. You can’t fool the wee ones, they know an impostor when they see one.

Continue reading

Zoos and aquariums suck

So it’s time we stopped enslaving the animal kingdom and using and abusing animals for our own entertainment. These days zoos are all pimped-up in ersatz natural settings with visuals designed to camouflage the cage; aquariums flog the education justification and make whales, who are probably more intelligent than humans, do tricks. And don’t get me started about elephants in the circus.

dolphins

Recently I perused a photography blog which featured the author’s trips to zoos. The author enthused about how a gorilla made eye contact with him and how amazing that experience was. Sheesh, talk about being blind.

I was blinded, too, as so many of us have been.

Continue reading

Book Review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

non-fiction by Jon Ronson

A timely subject given the unmediated power of social media, a survey of some of the ways the shame monster breathes its foul breath upon our lives. The book is a quickie tour, though, so readers looking for a deep-end analysis are likely to be disappointed. Ronson’s reportage can be amusing, as in his description of himself as the “tweedy and owl-like” observer in a San Francisco Kink factory. I know that writing a book entails too much solitude and a lot of ass-numbing work so I guess it’s hard to blame the guy for slipping some kink tourism into the research budget. For all the good it did him, though, the sexual atmosphere must have overwhelmed because the tweedy owl’s observations about shame fell short of relevant.

Continue reading

Truth and Reconciliation

June Op-Ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

The Truth and Reconciliation commission just ended and now the government must follow through with its recommendations. Top of the list should be making it mandatory that the history of residential schools is taught in grade school curriculum.
Two weeks ago I was in a Fraser Valley classroom and the teacher asked the students (all non-Native), whose ages ranged from 19 to 25, if the history of residential schools should be taught in schools. Of the ten students, two said yes, eight said variations of no. “They get enough handouts already,” one student said and the rest agreed, parroting what they’ve heard many times before from people just as ignorant. Further discussion revealed the students had little or no actual knowledge of residential schools, let alone the horrors that occurred inside them or the terrible repercussions that ensued.

Continue reading

Stupid Hypocrisy

Lately I’m feeling disgust for my species; we’re a stupid species who fouls its nest and fouls the nest of every other living creature on earth.
Blind to our stupidity, we operate as if we’re the only species that matters. Just one example of countless examples: when people come back from their Caribbean holidays and tell me they’ve swum with dolphins. They always say how incredible it was and their oblivious cruelty makes me cringe. I think of the dolphins, the tragedy of their caged existence, how they must swim up to each new human that enters their cage hoping that maybe this will be a smart human who will set them free. It’s a glaring testimony to the dolphin’s superiority and intelligence that they don’t harm the stupid humans who enter their cage.

Continue reading