Friday, December 18, 2009

Xmas Caption Extravaganza

Marry Xmas, happy Hanukkah, rocking Festivus, etc.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In defense of bad words

I was called out yesterday for my use of the 'word' Douchtard in my blog post. The commenter was generally upset, they wrote:
"Have you ever met someone with Down Syndrome? If you do, call them a tard and see how it feels.
the term is not divorced from its original meaning...everyone knows what is intended when you say or print that."
At first I was taken aback. The post was in defense of the Truro and area gay community. The last thing I expected to read in the comments section was an attack on my use of Douchtard and how insensitive it is towards those with Down Syndrome. Quickly I shock it off. What the hell? This was political correctness run amok, I chalked it up to contextual bullshit and moved on. Sorta.

This morning I found a fantastic video a friend had sent me on Facebook. It put the whole Douchtard/Down Syndrome/Political Correctness thing into hilarious perspective (I have awesome friends). Check it out:

Big guffaws eh? I mean really. If there is no malice behind a word, despite the word's historical uses or meanings, how can that word itself be harmful? An example; I am doing the dishes, I have my iTunes blasting, my girlfriend walks into the kitchen, I am listening to Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, I look at her and say: "What's up up my nigger?", is this wrong? Am I a racist pig? I had been spitting Dre's lyrics for the last 10 minutes, I was messing, it was a joke, my girlfriend wasn't offended at all. No harm, no foul. CONTEXT!

Another example, for another of those words that you can't safely say in front of your mom. The worst word I know, aside from the 'N' word is cunt. Cunt is not a word that can be used loosely, it's the worst there is. It makes fuck seem like fiddle sticks. Only the Brits/Scots/Irish use cunt right (well as right as such a nasty word can be used). Yes the word is still vicious, it's weighty, it's powerful, it is like a slap in the face, SMACK! That said, when a Brit calls someone a cunt, they really aren't disparaging the female genitalia, they are basically calling someone an asshole, a total dick, a real motherfucker. Malice is implied, cunt is not a nice word, but in context, if you're just hanging with your mates, is it really all that wrong to call someone a fucking cunt? Rude, unrefined, yes, but again, no harm, no foul.

George Carlin said it best (as he does):

So there. I am sorry to those readers who get squeamish when reading certain words. I for one love curse words. I swear like a sailor. Say it with me; shit, fuck, Goddamn it. Stub your toe and then tell me that yelling one of those words isn't a wonderful release. The pain in that toe is instantly lessened with a loud curse, it's magic. So curse, to hell with repression, it's not healthy.

But where was I? Oh yes, I was called out for using Douchtard. A slang word that probably hasn't even registered in the Urban Dictionary yet (I will check, whatya know it has). This is my response to that calling out. I am not one that uses words to disrespect others. Especially those of special needs (is that the PC term now...???). Douchtard in my vernacular means asshole. A douchtard is someone usually in a position of power that does something incredibly dumb. Douchtard stays, it is part of this blog's shtick. Political correctness be damned.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Douchtard of the Week (Month, whoops): Bill Mills

In a week where the President sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, only to show up in Oslo and receive his (now ironic) Nobel Peace Prize. A week that saw Bill'O' renew his yearly war on Christmas. And week that saw Tiger Woods' life go splat! The competition was tight, there where some huge names in play, but I have to go with Bill Mills, the mayor of Truro for the win. Who? Truro, where the hell is that? The town of Truro, N.S. (note the douchy pic of Bill Mills on the town's website, he sure looks the part)

In what appears to be a huge upset, Bill Mills smoked the big named competition this week. Why? Read This: Truro considers closing gay 'pick-up spot' To paraphrase; Mills and the town council are thinking about closing a road to a park which is thought to be a gay pick up/make out spot. Basically the mayor wants to shut down lover's lane. Here is how he described the road in an interview with a local newspaper: "favourite pick-up spot for guys from all over the Maritime provinces. They go up and have a rendezvous and then they go into the woods and do their thing. It's been known for years and years and is becoming more and more of a problem,"(hat tip The Truro Daily News and

This from a man and a town council that would not allow a rainbow flag to be flown during gay pride festivities 2 years ago. Um, ya, there is a pattern of homophobia in the Truro town hall. Why the opposition to the flag? Well it turns out that Mr Mills could not agree to raise the flag as a Christian. Ah, that pesky church and state problem again. Oh Millsy, you poor, poor soul, how dare gay men make out in parks, how dare there be pride in a community, how dare they ask to fly a pretty flag. You win Millsy, you are my Douchtard of the Week. Proud? I hope so, you deserve it. Thanks to you, I am gonna gas up in Sackville. Truro is just too non-inclusive for a raging liberal like me.

Oh and hey, if Mills and the council do shut off the road to that hook up spot, I have an idea as to where these lovers can go to make out. I say if you lose lover's lane, why not hook up right on the steps of town hall? I am sure Mills will get a real kick out of that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What about Santa?

There is a natural order to the fall of childhood myths. The birds and the bees (when a man loves a woman, he sticks his...) are nothing. The Tooth Fairy (the biggest extortionist of the bunch) usually falls quickly. All it takes are a few forgotten teeth under pillows and an older sister who knows the truth and wham, yes Zach the Tooth Fairy is a sham. Does he still get 2 bucks a tooth, hell ya, so does his sister.

The Easter Bunny (the cutest of the bunch) often falls next. So if the Tooth Fairy isn't real, what about that bunny? It isn't hard to convince a kid about the ridiculousness of a bunny that hides candy and presents in everyone's house each spring... I mean come on, a bunny. Who does it think it is Santa? At least Santa has elves and reindeer on his side. Easter Bunny, pish. Chocolate eggs and cheap dollar store gifts will still be doled out every spring, the bunny can hang out with the fairy. His work is done.

Then one day it comes. The Santa myth is debunked. It happened in my house when sister decided to upset her younger brother by telling him that she was going to write a letter to Santa explaining all the bad things he had done that year. Yep, older sisters can be that vicious. Cue the waterworks, the no, No...NOes! Throw in an I am telling, a scream for mommy and ya, older sis knew she had gone too far. How was she going to appease her screaming brother...hmmm? "Zach, Zach, Zach, it doesn't matter, do you want to know why? Cuz Santa isn't real anyway." Yep, that is sure to stop a little boy from crying. Pure big sister genius. Cue (of course) even more waterworks, desperate wails, much stomping. The sky just fell. "Mommy!!!..." sniff, sniff, sniff " Santa real? Emily says Santa is like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Is this true? Why mommy? Why did you lie to me?" Valid questions. Heck as adults we try our best to at least believe in the spirit of Santa. The whole power of giving, yada, yada, the magic of the season. As to why we lie about Santa... how can you not? The bugger is everywhere from mid-October on. Everyone else does it. "Zach, Santa is a myth, kinda like the Easter Bunny." Blubber, blubber, sniff. "OK mommy, you will still get me presents, right? Even if I am bad sometimes?" How could we say no? Hell he will probably get more this year then ever. With or without Santa.

This of course brings us to how, or why we celebrate Christmas at all. My partner and I are non-believers. The birth of Christ is really not something we feel compelled to celebrate. There is nothing at all wrong with the few days off. We love the gatherings of family and friends. But is hypocritical not to abstain from the rampant consumerism, the promotion of myth and the gluttony of the season? What happens when Zach does the math, the one, plus one, plus one equals no God? What do we say then? Maybe we can revert his attention back to birds and the bees. Maybe a new Lego set. What would Ben Ten do?

Happy Holidays folks. Remember to be naughty and nice.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Early mornings on strange city buses (an excerpt from Plant)

How long am I going to stare at the ceiling? Is it really still dark outside? I wonder what time is it? 5:38 am. Jesus, did I sleep at all? I might as well get up, use the washroom, have a shower, get dressed, sort out how I am going to get to the Rockland Center for 9:00 am. Mike disappeared yesterday, he is no longer an option. I have about $3 in change, surely there is public transport. I hope to hell there aren't very many connections. The guy at the front desk will help me out, I hope.

Dried off, relieved, packed, gear on back, down the YMCA stairs. A quick look at my watch, 6:49 am, I have loads of time. The guy at the front desk looks surprised that there is anyone up and about this early.
“How you doing?” I ask.
“Good morning, can I help you?” He responds.
“Yep, first I'd like to check out, here is the room key.” Hand him the key.
“Great, thank you, I hope you enjoyed your stay with us." He hangs the key on the wall with others.
“Ya, it was great, thanks. Listen, I have to get to the Rockland Center, I was wondering if you knew if there was a bus or something that could get me from here, there?” (fingers crossed)
“Hmm, let me think. I think it is the number 4 that goes straight from here to there. I better look at the bus route to make sure... yep, the number 4 bus, it stops just up at the end the street every half hour or so. According to this schedule the next bus leaves at 7:25.” He passes me a bus schedule.
“Awesome, thanks so much.” Off I go!
“Your welcome, good luck eh.”

Out the door. Heavily weighted down by my own gear, I waddle up the street to the bus stop. Check watch, 7:12, light a smoke, wait. Shit, I forgot to ask the Y guy how much a bus ticket costs. It can't cost any more than 3 bucks, could it? I will have to ask the bus driver. The number 4 bus, right? Is that it? Nope that is the number 12. It's only 7:17, chill Joe, relax, hell light another smoke.

Here comes the bus. Change in hand.
“How are you? How much do I owe you?” I had that line well prepared in advance. I didn't even stutter.
“$2.50” The bus driver mumbles.
“Right, good. This bus takes me to the Rockland Center, eh?” (fingers crossed)
“Sure does.” Another mumble, barely heard him.
“Great, thanks.” Pick a spot, sit down.
Over-stuffed knapsack and dufflebag placed on two seats, sit beside them, watch for that mall like a hawk. You don't know Edmonton at all. Keep your eyes to the window. Don't blink.

Downtown Edmonton had come to life, it seems that Mike was right, there is a rush hour in Edmonton. The bus and I were in amongst it. We slowly inched our way out of the downtown core. I recognized the university area, Whyte Ave was around here somewhere. I bet we are getting close. We roll through an area of gas stations and strip malls. We will arrive soon. I can feel it. I am excited. It is really happening, adventure will ensue. There was no turning back now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well hello there winter

solidification - the process of becoming hard or solid by cooling or drying or crystallization

It's December 1st and wouldn't you know it, winter has arrived. I normally dislike winter. I know, I know how unCanadian, I might be asked to give up my toque, my skates and my hockey stick, but ya, I can usually do quite fine without 5 months of Arctic temperatures thank you very much. Not so much this year, seems that the arrival of my daughter Zoey has renewed my vigor for the harshest of the four seasons.

I noticed this renewed vigor as I (bundled in toque and scarf) walked to the elementary school to pick up the kids. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground, ice had formed in the puddles. Oh and brrr was it cold. Did the weather bring me down? Nope, it added a spring to my step. I was plugged in, the iPod was pumping out the funk, I was sliding on ice, I was watching my breath in the air, I was acting just like any other kid experiencing their first blast of winter. Hell, I think I might even have felt my first tinge of Xmas spirit. I think it was the Shriners' Xmas tree sale that was to blame for all that. What can I say, I am a sucker for big evergreen trees. The smell of them brings me instantly back to the Xmas excitement of my youth. I am stoked for the Holidays this year. It is Zoey's first, the magic is back. Ho Ho Ho.