“People are people so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully? So we’re different colours and we’re different creeds and different people have different needs. It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong. I never even met you so what could I have done? I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man. Help me understand…” ~Depeche Mode
How can we assume that by birth, or race, or religion some people are somehow less? It’s easy. Just make sweeping generalizations.
Drunken Indians. Stupid blondes. Lazy fat people. Violent black people. Muslim terrorists. Nerds all grow up to be millionaires. People with Autism don’t have empathy. All rich people are greedy and unfeeling. All poor people are lazy and want a handout. If you’re depressed you just need to cheer up. Everyone can beat cancer if they fight hard enough. Fibromyalgia is just another word of lazy. People with anxiety just aren’t trying to get over it. And on and on.
I can’t understand why you could automatically like or dislike someone, love or hate someone just because of their: colour, height, weight, religion, bank balance, celebrity status, education, ancestry, culture, etc.
People are people. You should feel the way you do because each person has earned what you feel for them, as an individual.
We need less arguing and letting ourselves be distracted from real issues.
Tolerance isn’t over-rated, it’s just withering away from lack of use.
Imagine a school with no playground, but with a cemetery. It sounds like something out of a horror story. It is.
Schools are about: learning, growth, safety. Aboriginal Residential Schools were just named schools to hide an ugly truth, they wanted to kill the Indian in the child.
Children torn from their families and physically, emotionally, and even sexually abused. Not given proper medical care or nutrition. Used for research and experiments.
This cultural genocide was not only government sanctioned, but paid for by taxpayers.
Generations flayed at the altar of religious and government depravity, because they not only lived on coveted land, but they had the audacity to worship a different Creator, speak different languages, have different customs, and a different skin colour.
At least 6000 children never made it back to their families. Approximately twice the number that died on 9/11. The odds of dying in residential schools in Canada was about the same odds of a soldier dying in WWII.
Many who returned home felt those who died were lucky.
So damaged, they passed that damage along.
How do we reconcile this? Broken systems still abound, half of children in foster care in Canada are Aboriginal; over 40% of water for indigenous populations is high risk; suicide rates are skyrocketing; Aboriginal students get 30% less funding than non-Aboriginal students…yet there’s billions in lapsed funding, arguing, corruption, prejudice, and endless political games.
We like to think horrifying residential schools, workhouses, orphanages can only be found in the pages of a Dickens novel. I wish I could pretend everything has changed since the times of the horrifying details in The Truth and Reconciliation Report and Nicholas Nickleby (recently watched 2002 adaptation with Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Nathan Lane, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Plummer and a veritable who’s who of UK film, by the by, quite decent). Yet each day, children around the world are: abused, neglected, sold as slaves, used as child soldiers, tortured, and raped. If we close our eyes, can we pretend it’s all fixed? It’s not.
The world is looking more and more like Disney’s Fantasia where the Sorcerer’s Apprentice/Mickey Mouse tries to find a solution without doing the right things. Everything gets out of control, all the problems multiply, and get poured back in.
No matter the intentions, we need to face the truth, too many children and adults aren’t being treated well and don’t have enough.
They look to the future and see darkness instead of dreams. That needs to change.
Looking out my window last night, into the dark, still night as I always do before bed, you know, as everyone does to make sure there are no zombies, aliens, purges, or other issues, I noticed a new menace!
This was a foe I’d met before.
Sneaky and untimely, it had arrived.
On the surface it was bright, sparkly and gave the street a contemporary Currier and Ives appearance, but I knew it for what it was!
Snowmg, this was too soon.
I thought, Oh Hell Snow!
The only dashing I wanted to do was down to the park to play some tennis or to take a long walk, in shoes.
No jingling. No jangling. No turtledoves or French hens.
No lords leaping or otherwise.
No fat man with a hidden address going on my roof. What is with Christmas anyway? Having children sit on some strangers’ lap and tell him the thing they want most in the world so he can break into their house, eat their food, drink their beverages, leave them gifts after watching them sleep. That’s just freaky.
I don’t want wassail or fruitcake, wait, it’s cold, I’ll take the wassail, but not the wassailers, too early.
4 cups apple cider, or apple juice, or 6 cored apples & 4 tbsp. sugar, honey, or maple syrup (or a combination depending how sweet a tooth you have)
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups water
4 sticks of cinnamon or 1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. Cloves, ginger, nutmeg (or not)
All the ingredients in a large pot, on low for 6-8 hrs; all day in a slow cooker.
Add wine or brandy or rum for adults.
Orange slices and cranberries for decoration.
Snow is not a signal to start Christmas cheer yet. No shopping and definitely no fa la laing. No singing loud for all the world to hear. Signed, The Grinch.
I was enjoying other people’s posts on snow, then it got real. How can I originally be from near Sudbury and still be this traumatized by snow? No idea.
Fine. Bring it on.
Polar Vortex. Snowmageddon. Snownado. Snowzilla.
Snow wars. Snow conflict. Snowpocalypse.
Quietus snowus. Snow-nihilation.
Snowreaper. The oncoming snowstorm.
Just know that I will grumble. I will say, How about this snow? Brrr, it’s cold and the classic, Is there more snow than last year?
Snow there, Mother Nature, snow there!
Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking,
Socrates, Bach, da Vinci, Mozart,
Darwin, Tesla, Kepler, Galileo,
Newton, Van Gogh, Pythagoras,
Bell, Homer (obviously not Simpson),
Shakespeare, Hippocrates, Marie Curie,
Gandhi, Edison, Kant, Plato, Banting,
High IQs or gifted in immeasurable ways?
Does a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) =
success, fame, fortune, or happiness?
Does having high IQ matter if you can’t use it effectively?
Traditional definitions of intelligence can be restrictive, but thankfully, that thought process is being widely challenged.
The world is now all about: smartphones, smart cards, smart bombs, smart TVs, smart water, smart cars, hmmm, does this sound like we might be overcompensating? Is our stuff getting smarter than us, and does that matter?
I had to know, what is Beyond IQ, so being a nosy parker, I read the book of the same name by Garth Sundem (Three Rivers Press). Countless MacGyver references and quizzes later – I didn’t include my scores, I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad also, I, umm, forgot to keep them, and a dog randomly came into my house and ate them, but I assure you they would’ve made Stephen Hawking so totally jealous. This entertaining and enlightening book vividly highlights how practical intelligence can be even more important than standard or analytical intelligence, but then why are we so obsessed with knowing everyone’s IQ?
There’s even a new CBC show, Canada’s Smartest Person, loosely based on Harvard professor and psychologist Howard Gardner’s absorbing 1983 book, Frames of Mind (Fontana Press) where Gardner outlines his theory of multiple intelligences. Obviously they didn’t waste time on politicians, if they’re intelligent most of them are hiding it well. Gardner and others have suggested our abilities, aptitudes, skills, and even quirks make us intelligent in a way that can’t be measured on a standardized test.
We know negative factors can lower our intelligence so can adding positive factors make us smarter? It’s worth a try.
Still don’t know all the answers, but I’m going with this, intelligence shouldn’t be measured in how smart you can be on a test, but about how you can use your smarts. By Jove, I think I’ve got it!
Here in Canada we have Thanksgiving in October, weeks before Halloween…go figure.
A few things I know and things I’m thankful for, including but not limited to:
1. Happiness can be…a smile, a furry friend, snowflakes dancing against the darkness, absorbing books, family, friends, a movie that makes you laugh and cry, a TV show where you can’t wait for the next episode, a cozy bed, chocolate melting on your tongue, a slow dance, walking in the Fall and more.
2. Those who believe in fate or faith should never look both ways or check an expiry date.
3. Fear is more contagious than any disease and stronger than an army.
4. People make choices. How you feel about those choices or the consequences has little or no bearing. Really.
5. The Earth will still be here in one form or another after we’re gone.6. Everyone has their own window on the world, with it’s own screen. You can’t make someone see through your screen and it’s impossible to see through theirs.
7. You can’t walk away from yourself the way you walk away from other people. If you’re going to stay, play nice.
8. Truth can be painful and can take you places you may not wish to go. Go anyway.
9. Even the most basic beliefs about reality aren’t true alone, our thinking makes them true in our experience. Hopefully this isn’t true about zombies.
10. We forget. Our mind is designed to remember and to forget, but too often we forget when someone has been there for us or not. Don’t forget.
I’m thankful my son makes me laugh and vice versa.
Thankful for family, friends, and virtual friends.
Thankful for things that keep my weary mind amused.
Thankful for what I’ve had, what I’ve lost, what I might have.
Thankful I know enough to be thankful.
I’m not going to wax poetic about Leonard Cohen, he can do that himself, through his music.
These are the 5 of his songs I love:
1. Everybody Knows (made famous in Pump Up the Volume). To me, an echoing voice of many generations, still calling vainly through the haze of lies and corruption.
2. First We Take Manhattan. This song got in my head and has never left; such unprocessed intensity it thrashes around still begging for answers.
3. Hallelujah. First heard in my teen angst years and can sometimes evoke a tear or two as the truth struggles through. Hundreds of versions later, my favs remain by: Jeff Buckley, John Cale, and Mr. Cohen, sorry Bono, yours sucked. Long before Shrek, this was classic.
4. Who By Fire. A prayer by another other name. I might just be reading into this, but I always felt it was about atonement, an expiational yearning, of sorts.
5. Avalanche. Evocative articulation about depression.
I don’t dislike the rest of Cohen’s work, it just doesn’t affect me the way the aforementioned songs do. I’ve seen him in concert several times, I even sat with him once many years ago, in a group. I felt questions bubbling up, but rarely spoke; being a writer and pedantic poet I found myself enjoying just listening to one so exquisitely arcane.
I’m always interested to see what others read into this abstruse artist. There are so many interpretations of his work. I dove into the book, Leonard Cohen and Philosophy: Various Positions, edited by Jason Holt (Open Court), from the Popular Culture and Philosophy series with a keenness that was repaid in full by cool and thought-provoking scrutiny of Cohen’s creations. I revisited some of his songs, to hear what these philosophers had heard. I still didn’t always hear it, but I thank them for their considered analysis. After many decades of listening to Mr. Cohen I realize that reconciling what people say and what they do may remain an eternal mystery…doesn’t mean I have to quit trying.