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Winter mornings


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The scene that greets me every day so far this winter.

I can deal with winter when I’ve got this wonderful area around me.  There’s no buildings to block the view, lots of trees, and just enough light to help out.  I’ve got a few neighbours and from what I understand there’s two more trailers being put in between mine and my closest neighbour, which means it’ll feel much more like a community and neighbourhood.

And thank goodness I had my tripod this morning, or else all of my photos would be nothing but blurs from the amount of shaking my hands go through when I’m actively attempting to be steady.

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Fun, Life, photos, randomness

 

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Rape Culture; here we go again


I guess that I really shouldn’t be surprised that this comes up again.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s still clueless idiots who are too stupid to see the forest for the trees to realize the culture of rape, or better known as rape culture, is a pervasive and constant aspect of North American culture.  The two go hand in hand, really.  And it’s something I’ve talked about before.

And we see this in another area; comic books.  We have this very ingrained and stereotypical view of women who enjoy and read comics.  Women are questioned and grilled and forced to justify why they read comic books.  A woman walks into a comic book shop (for this shop, it may be her first time even though she’s an avid reader).  The men in that shop will automatically justify the reason why she’s there.  Say there’s ten men in the shop, chances are that only one will think “she’s here to pick up some comics or reserve a pull box for comics for the week”.  The rest will think she has either A) come in to meet her boyfriend B) come in to see if there’s some crappy indie comic C) has come into the wrong shop D) needs to get out of the rain/snow/wind and the shop was the closest.  There’s probably other automatic instances that come to mind, but for me those things are things I’ve actually thought of in the past.

Rape Culture is pervasive in every culture, Turn the Page, September 29, 2014

But here we are again because the conversation, or rather the demand, that Rape Culture’s existence be proven.  If someone needs proof that rape culture exists, then that someone lives in a dank, dark cave with their Fedora (Trilby) squarely placed on their head.  Or they’ve already chosen to ignore the evidence and live happily ignorant with blissful cognitive dissonance.

Rape Culture is demanding that women say yes to something when they really don’t want to because saying no may mean someone will die.

So now we have a new school shooting, based solely on the fact some guy couldn’t get laid, and I see men, boys, applaudin him, or if they’re not applauding him, they’re laying blame on women as a whole. Just like my sister’s friends did. Just like the boys in my Criminal Justice class did.

This isn’t something that’s rare. This isn’t something that never happens, or that a select group of men feel as if they are so entitled to women that saying no is not only the worst possible thing a woman can do, but is considered a form of “defence” when they commit a crime upon them (whether it be rape or murder-as-a-reaction-towards-rejection).

Girls are being killed for saying no to prom invites. Girls are being killed for saying no to men. They are creating an atmosphere where women are too scared to say no, and the worst part is? They are doing it intentionally. They want society to be that way, they want women to say yes entirely out of fear. Even the boys and men who aren’t showing up to schools with guns are saying; “Well, you know, I wouldn’t do that, but you have to admit that if she had just said yes …”

cry laugh feel love peace panic

Rape Culture is an invisible evil that only a select few are seeing.  For everyone else it’s business as usual.  It’s normal every day stuff.  But that’s slowly changing.

To point out and say that Rape Culture doesn’t exist is incredibly ignorant.  It means that you are willing to ignore the injustices in the world.  And that’s flat out wrong.

The evidence of Rape Culture existing is huge and it’s hard to ignore.  It’s worse than the white elephant in the room, because this elephant is a dying, rotting carcass and can’t be ignored for much longer.

Rape Culture is the constant policing of women’s clothing and bodies.  Those who wear religious garb are oppressed; those who wear short cut off shorts and midriff exposing shirts are sluts; those who wear more conservative attire are prudish; those who wear a lot of makeup are tramps.

Rape Culture is asking what the victim was doing and shifting blame from the abuser to the victim.  What was she doing in order to get raped?  When instead, the question should be, why did he rape her?

Rape Culture is Stubenville, when a young woman is raped, violated, urinated on, and video taped at a party and no one steps in to say “hey, this might not be a good idea”.  Rape Culture is the parents, the police, the judge, and the school system defending the two who committed the rape when all evidence said they did rape a young woman.

Rape Culture is defending a football coaching legend instead of letting an investigation go forward into allegations that he molested teenage boys.

Rape Culture is using terms like “bitch”, “cunt”, “pussy”, “don’t act like a girl” and equating weakness to being a woman.

Rape Culture is telling women to carry a gun when the one place that women are subject to rape is the military.

Rape Culture is being a video game and pop culture critic and getting rape and death threats because you don’t agree with how a game or movie is presented and how it presents women.

Rape Culture is being a First Nations woman and knowing that, not if, but when you get raped the chances of the accused being a white male are above 75%.

Rape Culture is an authority figure telling a young boy that he shouldn’t tell anyone because no one will believe him.

Rape Culture is being an NHL player tormented by memories of what happened at the hands of a head coach for a Western Hockey League team in Saskatchewan and taking years to come to terms with it.

Rape Culture is being more offended by a woman breast feeding her child than seeing the exposed breasts of a woman on the cover of a porno magazine.

Rape Culture is telling a little boy to stop crying and be a man, while telling a little girl to let it all out and that daddy’s here to protect her, instilling the attitude in boys that crying is bad, while instilling it’s okay for girls.

Rape Culture is looking at another nation and how they treat rape and saying it is barbaric while ignoring the rape that happens in their own country.

Rape Culture is a Roman Catholic priest who has become such a trusted authority figure that the public ignores the abuses he commits against young boys.

Rape Culture is a justice system that sentences someone found with a gram of weed for more jail time than a teacher who has abused and sexually assaulted dozens of children and teens.  A judicial system that believes two years less a day is fine.

Rape Culture is a woman who fires her weapon in the air to protect herself from her abusive partner and receives a life sentence for unlawfully discharging a weapon and is never allowed to use the Stand Your Ground defense.

Rape Culture is calling a woman a bitch or pushy when she’s being assertive, but a man is called a go getter.

Rape Culture is sitting there silently when someone says over xBox Live “we really raped those guys”.

Rape Culture is the culture we live in.  It is the normal, everyday things we face.  Most men don’t see it because we don’t live with it 24/7.

response to “Why I Think Modern Feminism Is Bullshit

If you don’t want to admit that these things exist, that they are a part of Rape Culture, then by all means, just admit that you’re against equality and progress.

But stand the fuck out of the way while everyone else tries to move forward.  We don’t mind leaving a few dinosaurs behind.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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It’s December 10th


I’m avoiding Christmas Carols like the plague.

Yeah, I know, it’s a very curmudgeonly attitude to have.  All this “Bah-humbug” around Christmas.  But there are reasons for this, I can assure you.

From 1989 to 1998 I worked in broadcasting.  Five years of that as an on air announcer.  Also known as a disc jockey.  I wanted to be Dr. Johnny Fever (WKRP In Cincinnati reference).  Needless to say, I became more akin to Les Nesman (one of my news jobs even had tape on the floor where walls would be).  But, that time while I was an on air announcer, there was many a Christmas of late night and weekend afternoons filled with multiple versions of Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin’ ‘Round the Christmas Tree, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, and various other Christmas songs which could work on Adult Contemporary, Hard Rock, or Country format radio.

I will admit, I loved Twisted Sister’s Christmas album, that was awesome.  But one can only take hearing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer before threatening bloody murder if the song comes up again for the 50th time in a day.

Many people might not know this, but the average length of time for a Christmas song for Adult Rock, Hard Rock or Country is about 2 minutes in length.  In an hour, that’s 30 songs.  With talking and commercials, maybe 20.  Keep in mind, this is late night and afternoon weekends.  Six hour shifts.

Which only got worse the closer to Christmas you got.

The format was as follows.  December 1 to December 7: One Christmas song per day.  December 8 to December 14: One Christmas song per shift.  December 15 to December 20: One Christmas song per hour.  December 21 to December 23: One Christmas song per quarter hour.  December 24 and December 25: No other songs except for Christmas songs exist, play nothing but Christmas songs.  December 26: Never play a Christmas song again.

For me, a lot of times I was the guy who had to work Christmas day.  Which meant an 8 hour shift, not a 6 hour shift like usual.

So, I have my reasons for my “bah-humbug” attitude with regard to Christmas songs.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2014 in Fun, Life, randomness

 

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The Miracle of Christmas


If you believe that the paintings in your local church that depict Christ as a white man, then you need to re-examine this.

Jesus Christ, born to a single mother, poor, and a father figure who’s only income was carpentry, was born in the Middle East.  A Jewish man born in the Middle East.  And, of course there are white Jews, there are thousands that live in Europe and North America.  But Christ was born before the famed Silk Road began taking merchandise from the Middle East to North Africa, India, China and even into Europe.  At this point, many Jews, Arabs, and North Africans began moving and settling in new regions.  This was done as well during the height of the Roman Empire, but often if anyone came back to the central location of the Empire, it would have been Rome, not the Middle East.

So if you’re miracle of Christmas is that Jesus Christ, a Jewish man born in the Middle east to a Jewish woman, is that he was white, then I have news for you friend.  You’re racist.

Jews in the Middle East, those who were born in that region all those thousands of years ago, are people of colour.  Even if they would have had relations with others, such as those of Arabic or North African or even Greek or Italian ancestry, they still are people of colour.

So trying to argue that Christ looked like some long haired version of Kenny Rogers or a young Chris Christopherson is complete bullshit.

You’re just a racist.  Unless you’re willing to learn.  If that’s the case, then there’s hope for ya.  If not, then you’re just a racist.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Mad Dogs and Englishmen


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“Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

~Rudyard Kipling, Gunga Din

With apologies to Kipling, the need to describe the word “mad” has come up as of late.

When I was a boy, my mother said something to me.  “People don’t get mad.  Dogs get mad.  People get angry.”  My mother is very well versed in the structure and word usage of English, and she is quite Victorian in her tastes, though from time to time when she does become quite angry, the Scottish in our family starts to come out.  But she’s got a very valid point regarding the word “mad”.

Mad is a word that has a connection to insanity.  And thanks to Kipling’s Gunga Din, the word can be equated to dogs.  Mad, or madness, equals insanity or rabid, as in what a dog goes through when inflicted with rabies.

And I’ve heard the word used in media outlets to describe the protestors in Ferguson and other areas of the States, if not in different parts of the world.  “Protestors are mad” some news reports say, and by doing so, they underline their own feelings about those who are protesting their for their rights to be recognized and for their lives to matter.  By equating those protestors with the word “mad”, media outlets are doing their best to have viewers who aren’t directly affected by the events in Ferguson to think of those protestors in one light.

Insane.  Inhuman.  Mad.  Dogs.

Darren Wilson, the officer who murdered teenager Mike Brown, has already helped dehumanize Brown by calling him “it” and describing him as demonic.  Which is a tradition used by those who ally themselves with extremist groups like the Klu Klux Klan.  They enjoy hearing the word “mad” to be used against the protestors, because the word itself dehumanizes them.  The mostly black protestors are, in their opinion, insane.  Inhuman.  No better than dogs.

The protestors are angry.  They’re frustrated.  And they’re furious.  But they aren’t mad.  Their reaction to the killing of Mike Brown, along with the killing of other black youth by police officers around the States (along with the assaults committed by the police against, essentially, children), is not something irrational.  It’s not something insane.  It is completely justifiable.  These are people fed up with the justice system that gives huge breaks to white people who break the law by murdering a black person (or other person of colour).  They are frustrated by a system that vilifies black teens who have been killed, who are victims of crime often committed by white men in authority, yet white criminals who kill numerous people in a shooting rampage are called quiet, an honourable student, and given the boy next door treatment.

The use of such words is coded language, make no mistake of that.  Calling the predominantly black protestors mad is not by accident.  It’s not even the “new” use of English.  It’s coded language to call them insane.  It’s coded language to dehumanize them, just as language has been used to dehumanize black and brown people for hundreds of years.

Of mad dogs and Englishmen indeed.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Before we start saying “That doesn’t happen here”


A lot of Canadians right now are looking at Ferguson and saying “thank God that doesn’t happen here”.  Stop saying that right now.  Because, in this country, we’ve got a history that may not involve African Canadians, but there is another group which does have a history of such conflicts.  And it dates back to before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

In more recent history, First Nations people in Canada have had clashes with the police as they protest to demand the same rights that every other Canadian has.

The Oka Crisis

Beginning July 11, 1990, a 78 day armed standoff took place near the town of Oka, Quebec.  Between Mohawk residents of Kanesatake, the Quebec provincial police, and the Canadian Armed Forces, Mohawk leaders demanded that developers stop a planned expansion of a golf course on land that had been disputed for over 300 years.  Deemed a sacred burial ground, Mohawk people began with peaceful barricades which were met with armed police and soldiers.

The Innu occupation and blockade of the Canadian Air Force/NATO base at Goose Bay, Labrador

Largely started by Innu women to challenge the further dispossession of their territories and the destruction of their land-based way of life by the military industrial complex’s encroachment onto the Innu peoples’ homeland of Nitassinan.

The Lubicon Cree struggle against oil and gas development on their traditional territories in present day Alberta

The Lubicon Cree have been struggling to protect a way of life threatened by intensified capitalist development on their homelands since at least 1939. Over the years, the community has engaged in a number of very public protests to get their message across, including a well-publicized boycott of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and the associated Glenbow Museum exhibit, The Spirit Sings.

First Nations blockades in British Columbia

Throughout the 1980s, First Nations in B.C. grew extremely frustrated with the painfully slow pace of the federal government’s comprehensive land claims process and the province’s racist refusal to recognize Aboriginal title within its its borders.  The result was a decade’s worth of very disruptive blockades, which at its height in 1990 were such a common occurrence that Vancouver newspapers felt the need to publish traffic advisories identifying delays caused by First Nation roadblocks in the province’s interior. Many of the blockades were able to halt resource extraction on Native land for protracted periods of time.

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake

By 1989, the Algonquins of Barrier Lake were embroiled in a struggle to stop clear-cut logging within their traditional territories in present day Quebec because these practices threatened their land and way of life. Under the leadership of customary chief, Jean-Maurice Matchewan, the community used blockades to successfully impede clear-cutting activities affecting their community.

The Temagami First Nation blockades of 1988 and 1989 in present-day Ontario.

The Temagami blockades were set up to protect their nation’s homeland from further encroachment by non-Native development. The blockades of 1988-89 were the most recent assertions of Temagami sovereignty in over a century-long struggle to protect the community’s right to land and freedom from colonial settlement and development.

To the more recent activities of the Idle No More protests, First Nations people in Canada have been met by armed police and military walls.  Go back further to 1885 when Louis Riel organized First Nation and Metis people against the federal government when land settled and farmed by Metis settlers was being taken away for the more European settlers the federal government was trying to get in the territory which would eventually become the Province of Saskatchewan.  Or years earlier, when Riel began his organized protests that helped usher in the Province of Manitoba.

We live in a country where Aboriginal women don’t grow up with the fear of if they are ever raped but when they are.  Aboriginal women suffer and massively disproportionate amount of violence, with the largest perpetrator of that violence being white men.  Called a silent genocide, Aboriginal women suffer the most of any violence that is inflicted against First Nation people.

Don’t get me wrong, we have a problem with an anti-black attitude in Canada as well.  Alberta has a high number of organized KKK.  In 1991, Leo Lachance was shot and killed by Carly Nerland outside a pawn shop in Prince Albert.  Nerland, a member of the KKK and lead of the Saskatchewan branch of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian Aryan Nation.  There have been white supremest groups in Canada identified with names like Heritage Front and Final Solution.

Almost one hundred years ago, in 1919 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Halifax Race Riots began as a group of drunk men with nothing better to do, and ended up with a two day charge of destruction.  The targets were mostly Chinese, Jewish, and black owned businesses.  Decades later in 1991, a similar event would happen as young black men believed they were targeted by a white bouncer who would not allow them to enter a night club in Halifax.

So we have this problem in Canada.  The main difference being it doesn’t happen as often.  But it does happen.  It may not be as extensive as what is going on in Ferguson right now, but it does happen.  We’re on the cusp of something like Ferguson happening in this country with First Nation people.  They have been frustrated ever since the Meeche Lake Accords excluded Aboriginal people.  They have been frustrated with the lack of protection and the lack of interest in solving the disappearances and murders of Aboriginal women.  There is also the racially charged attacks against those people who are identified as being of Middle Eastern ancestry.  Ever since 911, these attacks, whether considered verbal or physical, have happened in this country.

So do not look at Ferguson and say “thank God that doesn’t happen here”, because we’re not without blame for our own misgivings.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Stuff I’ve written, characters I’ve created


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Stuff I’ve written.  From clockwise top right:

  • Free Spirit II (Yolanda Morgan) – Ravenport
  • Yellow Jacket (Richard Hargrove) – The Heroic League
  • Pania Alow (The Pale Rider) – The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  • Lt. Senia Felix – Rocket Fox
  • Canadien (Jean Pierre Turgeon) – The Heroic League
  • Mannekin III (Elanor Tanaka) – The Heroic League
  • Johnathon Tiberius Walker – Canyons of Steel
  • Free Spirit I (Regina Morgan-Simms) – The Heroic League
  • Britannia (Col. Melanie Cooper) – The Heroic League
  • Shani Wennemein (The Black Mask) – The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  • Acadia (Michelle Villeneuve) – Flag on my Backpack
  • Canadienne (Dominique Turgeon) – Flag on my Backpack
  • Mannekin I (Donelda Stewart) – The Heroic League
  • Canad-ARMED (Ari) – The Heroic League

And here’s the downloads for each series.

Flag on my Backpack

Canyons of Steel

Rocket Fox/Swift Fox

Black Mask & Pale Rider

I’m still working on The Heroic League.  If anyone would like to purchase a copy of either Black Mask & Pale Rider or Canyons of Steel (which is a part of the Heroic League universe), this is how ya do it.

Lulu.com (where both books were published)

  1. Tim Holtorf Author Spotlight the front page store for my books on lulu.com.

Amazon.com (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.co.uk (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.ca (price not listed and currently out of stock)

  1. Canyons of Steel

Barnes & Noble (for the Nook)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

iTunes iBook store

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

Or, go to your local brick and mortar book store and request that they bring the book in.

 

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