Father’s Day: A Day To Bash Dad

Mother’s Day is one of those sacred days where our mothers are nearly deified. We send cards, praise, flowers, gifts, poems, you name it. And it’s understandable; women carry us for 3/4 of a year, then bring us into this world. Then we torture them with nonstop crying (well, of course I didn’t!), late night feedings, and – oh yeah – we irreversibly change some of their bodies forever. For the last reason alone, they should be celebrated on their Special Day.

But for some moms, that isn’t enough.

This past Father’s Day weekend, the social networks were flooded with complimentary dedications to dads everywhere. I don’t mean “fathers”. I mean “DADS”. The guys who made their children feel safe. The guys who made it to recitals – or the ones who sadly missed them in order to take care of their families. The guys who showed up at games and almost got into a fist fight with the coach for benching their kid. These are the guys who laughed at their childrens’ stupid knock-knock jokes, the ones who busted their children smoking/drinking, but shared the cigarette/beer with them instead of screaming at them because he was just that cool.

The examples are endless.

But for some women who didn’t have such mates, they feel that they deserve both days. The father(s) of their child(ren) either took off, or was simply a loser to his family. (I suppose it’s redundant mentioning “men who run out on their families” and “losers” in the same sentence as they are one in the same.)

These women – who are, sadly, growing in number – took to the social networks this Father’s Day weekend to vent. One post literally said, “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE SINGLE MOMS IN THE WORLD”. Many others were just plain rude. But when I looked closer, I saw a pattern: NONE of these single mothers seemed to take accountability for their actions, and none seemed to consider or care about the impact such comments can have on their child(ren).

I’m willing to assume that most women understand the mechanics of human reproduction. Have unprotected sex with a douche bag, you just may end up with douche’s child(ren). But for one reason or another, his douche-ness didn’t stop her from saying “F*** it – let’s DO IT!” Some more than once. As is often the case with douche bags, they didn’t stick around, or stuck around to beat the crap out of the mother of his children – or worse, the children themselves. Then the moms of douche’s child(ren) decide that venting on social networks for their children and the world to see is the way to go. Bravo.

I have a secret: I get the feeling that it’s a human problem more than a gender problem. I know more than a few men who (knowingly, and therefore stupidly) involved themselves with evil incarnate – women who snoop through their children’s social network pages for info to use against their child’s father, or who simply delete their child’s father without the child’s knowledge or permission, or who deny the fathers of their child(ren) access to their child. Even on Father’s Day. Even by phone. Even if the child wants the contact. I know of a woman who’d actually gotten her daughter to lie to teachers about abuse her father supposedly inflicted on her.

Translation: people suck. PEOPLE suck. Not dads. Not moms. And just as there are great moms who deserve their day to celebrate the great job they did as parents, there are MANY great dads who deserve their day too.

So, ladies, you’ve got 364 days of the year when you can bash your ex. How about letting the REAL dads enjoy Father’s Day, free of reminders of a few of their peers who aren’t as great as they are. Otherwise.. well, you just come off sounding like a douche. Just like your ex.

I’ll leave you with a fun fact: the most collect calls of the year are made on – you guessed it! – Father’s Day.

Yep. The REAL dads have got it great.

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Marc Emery: “Martyr”, or “Fool”?

Marc Emery is a Canadian advocate for the legalization of marijuana. Having been a fixture in the pot world – and more recently, politics – for decades, he’s been referred to as the “Prince of Pot”.

Somewhat of a success story, he has made great money through his BC Marijuana Party Bookstore and Headquarters, most people like him (myself included), and he has a good-looking wife.

(WHAT?! I’m just saying.)

But then, he messed up: he sold pot seeds to Americans via his online business. At the request of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2005, the Vancouver Police raided his store, then arrested him. For extradition to the US.

I, for one, was disgusted. Since when did the Vancouver Police become the DEA lapdog? (My guess is that the RCMP – who are taken far more seriously here – told the DEA to go **** themselves.)

Despite numerous protests from around the world, Marc was extradited and is now serving 5 years in Washington state. Ironic, given the number of pot smokers there.

In a recent statement he issued through his impressively devoted wife, Jodie Emery, Marc said that he’s doing alright, getting rest and exercise, and observed that “most people here are Mexican and African-American” – in a state where the two races combined make up less than 12% of the population.

Some are now calling him a “political prisoner”.

(*Deeeeeeeeeep sigh.*)

You know who I think of when I think of political prisoners? I think of:

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima

Adolfo Fernandez Sainz

Mumia Abu Jamal

Cho Sung-hye

Nelson Mandela

NOT Marc Emery.

Regardless of my opinion on the subject, here’s my issue with Marc Emery’s fans take on things:

1) The US has enjoyed this antiquated – and very profitable – ‘war’ on drugs for decades.

2) They’ve made it clear that they don’t play fair and that they’ll destroy anyone who gets in the way of said cash-flow. (Too many over-thrown ‘dictators’ to name!)

3) Marc decided that he would go for it anyway. (Maybe he got bored by the lack of a real anti-drug enemy here in Canada??)

4) Marc is screwed now.

Come on, guy! How many DEA agents do you think grew up watching ‘Cheech and Chong’? Probably too many to count, right? But they STILL busted the original ‘Prince of Pot’, Tommy Chong!

The moral: Know the difference between a “martyr” and being a “fool”. And thank God you’re not “Mexican (or) African-American”. Or you’d REALLY be f***ed.

We’ll see you in 5, Marc. And if it’s any consolation, your wife’s a cutie.

(WHAT?! I’m just saying.)

For more info on Marc, his wife, his ‘plight’, or pot in general, go to:

http://www.cannabisculture.com/

OH, BABY!!! (Part One)

I’ve spent the past year jotting down ideas for blog posts, but ultimately not doing anything with them. Well, I’m back, baby! And I’ve got a few things on my mind.

Speaking of “baby”, am I alone in noticing a sudden explosion in the number of babies out there lately??? Or, more precisely, a sudden explosion in the number  of women having babies with partners they’ve known for less than a year? Women who have decided that “HOLY SH*T!!! I’m HOW OLD NOW??? I GOTTA JUMP ON THIS!!!”, as one recently put it?

There are a good number of them in the hood lately. One can imagine finding a list like this posted on their fridge:

1) Meet guy with pulse and job. (If he has a child, no problem. This means he’s open to children!)

2) Sell/get rid of everything, move in with guy within three months.

3) Get pregnant.

4) Talk constantly about impending motherhood and other “adult” subjects. (ie: “High taxation on the family”, “Montessori”, “Dr. Spock”…)

5) Post countless pictures of baby/embryo on social network(s) of choice.

Etc.

Back in the day, other women whispered about such women. (“Can you believe it? XYZ is PREGNANT! And it hasn’t even been that long!”) Now, many want to BE that woman. Getting to really know someone, then taking it to that next step just doesn’t work for their schedule, it seems.

I’m not standing on the pulpit, trying to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. Nor am I trying to dis women. But as they actually make the decision to become pregnant and/or keep the child, it stands to reason that this should be primarily about women. (Her body, her choice, yada, yada..)

Thinking about it now, their logic may be a product of where I live. Vancouver is infamous for its’ next to impossible dating scene, the ratio of women to men being something like 3:1. Great for the guys, not so great for the gals. Complicating matters is the fact that – according to many of my female friends – the guys here are crazy, and – according to many of my male friends – the women here are equally certifiable.

I suppose that it’s inevitable that they’d eventually hook up and make a baby. “Desperate times, desperate measures”, I suppose. But still.. I don’t get it. Maybe we should blame Demi for that baby bump pic that launched a billion copy-cats? At least she can say she was the first.

But what happens when they HAVE their babies? Honestly? Sometimes it can be downright ugly. (No, not the baby!!!)

(Stay tuned for Part Two!)

PotAYto/PotAWto. Twitter/Twatter.

Has it really come down to this? Have we officially become so attention-starved, so bored with our lives that we have to post every single thought that pops into our heads?

Are we really so lonely?

Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook have all but completely robbed us of our need to communicate with one another in real time and space. But now, we have Twitter. This new tool allows us to share whatever we’re thinking – no matter the banality of it.

Just had a sandwich you liked? Broke a nail? Bought a new shoe lace? Then send a “tweet” to one of your followers! These insipid fellow slaves of ‘hip, new, and pointless’ will gladly listen. Why? Because they’ve got nothing better to do – just like YOU! AND they know that you’ll listen to their mundane thoughts too!

And it’s all in real time! Yay!

The people usually drawn to this kind of thing are those who lack real people skills. They include those who insist on texting you instead of phoning you. (This is possibly because they KNOW that you just may answer the phone.) They also include those who have to be in the know. They need to feel like they are a part of everything that’s going on.

Seriously. How old are the people who actually participate in this activity? I can see why teens are into it. They believe that their lives are the culmination of “me! me! me!”, after all. But adults??? Supposedly SANE adults???

I can actually understand the merit that something like Facebook has. One can share aspects of their lives via text, photos, and videos with family (near/far), friends (past/present), and/or colleagues. But Twitter is an altogether new monster. It confirms how little we have going on in our lives. We’re so desperate to remain relevant that we dare not miss a chance to prove it.

Is it a coincidence that the root word of “twitter” is “twit”? Good thing they didn’t call it “Twatter”, hm?

Music Snobbery: The Last Form of Discrimination?

I came across a band’s blog post in which one of the core members blasted Nickelback for their song “Rock Star”.

In it, she seems to miss the irony in the song’s lyrics. Instead, she mourns over how “..Music used to be a tradition, a reason for communion, whether to be spiritually or culturally enriched, to celebrate and belong. And one day, when they invented the record, I guess, and music could me easily commodified and sold, something disappeared.”

She then asks, “..When did it all go to shit? When was a song as comical as ‘Rock Star’ meant to be taken seriously?” Answer: it hasn’t all gone to shit, nor was the song meant to be taken seriously.

Following her post, one person proudly shares a tale involving a young boy at his Christmas party.  Apparently the kid tried to play a Nickelback tune on a guitar until the host said “Guess you did not see the ‘NO NICKELBACK’ sign on the door when you came in”.

Charming.

Who knew that music snobbery could eclipse the meaning of Christmas? If a kid wants to play a corny Nickelback tune on the guitar, is it really that bad?

My question for the blogger is this: if “something disappeared.. when they invented the record.. and music could be easily commodified and sold”, then why should her band make another album? Aren’t they only adding to the problem of over-commodification by doing so?

Great band, but I wish they’d lighten up a bit. (And no, I’m not talking about Nickelback!)

Kutiman: The Next Generation of Music-making?

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written anything here. This is mostly because I’ve not been that effected by anything enough to write about it – until now.

Meet Ophir Kutiel, AKA: “Kutiman“. Essentially, he takes elements of people’s original YouTube videos and mashes them together into hauntingly beautiful compositions.

It not only took the guy less than two months to produce 7 songs for his compilation, but he makes it look so damned easy! Did I mention that he also does his own video editing???

If you haven’t heard any of this his stuff yet, check out his YouTube channel when you have time!

Published in: on March 14, 2009 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

“Calgon, take me away!”

The past couple of months have introduced a number of adventures in my life. One of them being marriage. (Thank you in advance for the well-wishes!) Another being television. (I accept your condolences in advance). I’ve avoided both like bad fish for a long time, but for vastly different reasons. Rather than getting all up close and personal though, I’d rather talk about tv.

I’d often found tv a bit too transparent (ie: dumbed-down in order to appeal to a wider range of people, or just plainly dumb). Most who enjoy television have told me that I “shouldn’t take it so seriously because it’s meant to be a form of escapism”. After years of blasting the medium without really giving it a chance to redeem itself, I decided that maybe I was being a bit too hard on it.

Besides, how could 50,000,000 Elvis fans be wrong?

I’m pleased to report that there are a few gems on the tube. “Mad Men” is a personal favorite at our place. You don’t know whether to fawn over the excellent writing or the incredible attention to detail in making this show feel like it’s truly been dropped out of the 1960s. I just really dig this show and can’t say enough nice things about it. Nuff said. But then shows like “Californication” had to come along and spoil the fun. On the surface, it seems like a goofy, fun little romp that promises to entertain you for 25 minutes. Instead, it crams every cliche and newly invented piece of hipster lingo in your face until you cry ‘uncle’.

But “Entourage“, for example, is a stupid show about stupid people, but at least it’s fun. (Despite his abrasive personality, who among us – male or female – wouldn’t want to be Ari Gold for a day? I rest my case.) And, despite its shamelessly sexist content (thank gawd!), it manages to do the impossible by drawing in a huge number of female viewers. It does so by not sucking up to female viewers. It’s a show for guys that women happen to watch.

Another show that I thought had potential but got lame pretty quickly is “Eli Stone”. My biggest problem with it – other than crap writing and annoying characters – is how it unabashedly wears its politics on its sleeve and everywhere else. I get it – you despise Bush and Co. But isn’t this supposed to be a form of escapism? And doesn’t escapism include escapism from politics?

See, the difference between a show like, say, “All in the Family” – a true classic – and “Californication” is not only in its delivery but in its intent. “AitF” reflected the times in a smart, direct way. One can watch its re-runs today, some 30-plus years later, and say “Wow. That was a crazy time! I can’t believe the things they used to say on tv!” Of course it looks dated today. Just as shows from the early 1990s look dated today. (“Fresh Prince” anyone?) Thirty years from now, they won’t be saying that about “Californication”. Instead, they may say something like “Wow. That was a crazy time! I can’t believe how stupid people were back then!”

Sadly they won’t be refering to the characters.

Listen, I get that television shows always have and perhaps always will try to include product placement and/or politics in its content. But the thing that bugs me is when I’m aware of these facts. If you’re going to invite me and others to ‘escape’ into your show, wouldn’t it also be swell if you didn’t remind me about what it is I’m escaping from? Hell, even David Duchovny validates my point, recently confessing to sex-addiction – just like his sex-addicted alter ego “Hank” in “Californication”! And just in time for Season 2!

WOW. Art really DOES imitate life sometimes. The cliche is complete.

“Now let’s hug it out bitch!”

“Ball of Confusion”

Okay. Two things:

1) I’m drinking right now with my partner and we’re reminiscing about the 80s.

2) “Ball of Confusion” is playing now.

This post may or may not make sense, but I’ll do my best. To the point, the present sucks.

I don’t mean this in the sense of “Man, I wish that there were more ‘Classic Synth Pop/80s Rock’ stations!” God forbid. (I ain’t THAT drunk!) No, I mean that I wonder what this current generation of kiddies will be reminiscing about when they’re my age?

Will they have an original equivalent of “Gone Daddy Gone”? or will they have a cover of it, along the lines of Gnarls Barkley’s version? Will they have an equivalent of “The Matrix”? or will they have a parody of it along the lines of “Starsky and Hutch”?

Or more importantly, will it even matter?

I’m not necessarily asking because I care, but rather because I have a perverted sense of curiosity about the future.

My opinion? They’ll have robots by that point that’ll know how to make a proper ‘China White’ shot – far better than I could ever.

And that’s good enough for me!

Published in: on June 8, 2008 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Why I doubt I’ll ever have children

It looks like the powers-that-be in Langley BC have officially lost their minds. And it’s over a single incident.

A couple of 15 year old boys sent lewd messages to a 12 year old girl on Facebook. They also sent pics of their wee-wees to her. She was delighted. All was well, until her idiot mother caught her innocent daughter online in the middle of the night. She was on – you guessed it – Facebook.

So mom loses it, does a bit of sleuthing (you go mom!), and discovers that the original exchange had taken place on school property during school hours! Well, what’s a mom to do, but call the school, demand that they remove access to the site for ALL schools in the district, and annoy the RCMP in to pursuing the matter with the boys’ parents.

This is reminiscent of another mother who caught her 11 year daughter sending and receiving lewd messages, this time via MSN instant messaging. The other party was an 18 year old baseball prospect for a US team. You know the drill: daughter played the ’tearful victim’ card, and mom flipped. (I’d ask where ’dad’ is in all of this, but that’s just wrong.)

The young man was jailed for “sexual coercion of a minor”, until it was discovered that the girl had told him she was 14. The conviction was over-turned on appeal, he went on to play ball in the US (something he wouldn’t have been able to do had he gotten a prison record), and the girl’s mother is probably looking for someone else to blame for why her daughter is on crack today.

I’m only half joking.

Back in the day, these situations would’ve been resolved in a really simple way: kick the kid’s ass. Not physically, but via serious groundings, loss of priviledges, that sort of thing. Then go to the parents of the boys in question and kick their asses. Again, not physically. (Actually, I think I would.) The point IS that there’s no need to make this into more than something that can be resolved between the parties involved.

But this is an era of zero accountability. And no one wants to get their hands dirty. Parents are taking their children out for Hallowe’en in their double-wide strollers (don’t want to give the angels an inferiority complex!), or just as soon as ’little precious’ can walk – even though they’ll have NO recollection of having gone.

These parents either spend more time on social-networking sites than their children, or are completely computer illiterate. The latter of the two couldn’t be bothered to actually check on little Jemma’s and Jayson’s online activities. This is the golden age for pervs, when luring a child from a chat room into reality is as easy as.. blaming somebody else for the crappy job at parenting that you’re doing.

No, there was no internet when I was growing up. But there were still threats and (most of) our parents equipped us as best they could without treating us like God incarnate. I have a newsflash, folks: your children, your special little clones are about as ’special’ and ’unique’ as everybody else’s children.

Think about that… although I already know that you’d rather not. And it’s for this reason and many others that I doubt I’ll ever have children. I care about them too much to bring my own into this world of moronic parents and future narcissists.

PLEASE – Just shut up and SING!

Even though I’ve visited this subject before, it keeps rearing its ugly head in one way or another. What else can I do but share?

There are some days when I miss the simplicity of the music world past. Before technology came and ‘changed’ everything forever. I’m not referring to the days before video officially killed the radio star. After all, video was initially meant to paint a picture to go along with the sound.

Yes, it is tragic that many artists who weren’t the best-looking failed to impress the first ‘Mtv Generation’. (Christopher Cross, anyone?) But that’s why community college exists: to offer hope to those who want a second chance in life.

Back in the flawed but brilliant 80s, most of what we knew about our favorite artists came from either teen magazines, music video programs, or word of mouth (ie: rumors). Today, it’s completely different.

Bands have their own websites/forums from where they can talk about anything and everything. These subjects have ranged from their favorite electoral candidate to their favorite cologne.

On the surface, it sounds like a great thing. But then there are those moments when you feel like it’s become more about the artist than the art. Sometimes I don’t care to know about your family or what you had for breakfast. I want to hear about your ART.

That’s the beauty of having more than one web page – one for your art and another for your mundanity.

PLEASE, just shut up and sing!

Even the Dixie Chicks got the point… eventually.