It’s taken me a while to really take a look at this updated Star Trek that J. J. Abrams has done, and I’ve come to a final realization.
Abrams Star Trek shows none of the progressive steps that Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman attempted to do with the different television series. Star Trek at one time took great strides to tell stories in a sci fi setting that mirrored the real world. The first black commanding officer with Ben Sisko. The first female captain with Janeway. The story about torture that was played out in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The stories about family as a whole.
The new Trek is gratuitous amounts of action, and with the latest installment, a lot of sexism it seems. The new female character spent more time in a bikini than actually in a uniform, played up mostly for perverted, junior high school like fan service if nothing else. And then, completely all male fan service. Because the character was viewed as an object, not a character. Not like Kirk or Picard or Sisko or Janeway have been in the past.
Abrams has managed to take a very storied universe and step it back to 1950′s ideology. Women aren’t characters in this universe; they’re just sex objects and we must be serviced by them. That was sarcasm, by the way. But Abrams has managed to take every aspect of ideology that Roddenberry and Berman attempted to bring forward, tear it all down and leave us with nothing but sensationalism. Let’s do this ’cause it’s cool and they did it in the original series but we’ll do it better.
I’m really not sure what this new series is, but it sure as hell isn’t Star Trek. It may look like it, there may be a lot of terminology used that was in Trek, but the characters and how they act are far from Trek. A lot of what we’ve come to know from Star Trek was tossed aside in this new offering. This brings me back to my complaint about rebooting a series. Why reboot it, when you can do something new? Why was it so important to recreate the crew of the Enterprise when you can just make something new that comes after Voyager, after the last Star Trek movie. Is it that risk factor that fans won’t go see it because it’s not familiar? Sorry, that’s a lame excuse. This is Star Trek, fans will go see it. The franchise is, more or less, mostly risk free.
So, let’s toss out progressive story arcs, showcasing different character types, expanding on an incredibly diverse universe. Let’s just make as much sensationalist stuff up that we can. Oh yeah, and call it a reboot and recast the original crew. Because that’s innovative. No, actually, it’s not. It’s just lazy.
I remember the glory days of Beta testing. You know, a new product would come out and you’d sign up to Beta test it, hoping to be one of the lucky few who have managed to make the list. Years ago, it was a prize to be cherished.
That’s changed a lot now, and while there are still the Beta lists of invites, Beta doesn’t exactly mean the same anymore. Companies now offer preorders which allow you to get in on the Beta testing of a product. I’ve Beta tested four games in the past few years, two I got in on merit of invite, two others I did preorder (one of which I really wanted to get, which was Guild Wars 2).Some might say I’m being hypocritical to complain about paying for something in order to be involved in it, and yes, I’ll admit the decisions to pay to Beta test were prompted by the aspect of monetary availability. I had the money, I wanted to try it out, so I paid.
But the problem with this comes from paying for something, which includes a pre-order, to try it out before the official launch. What if you think it stinks? You’ve just blown X amount of dollars in order to “try” something out. In some cases, name branding will help the product succeed. Knowing that a brand name that’s been trusted will help in the decision making. That has the adverse effect, as well. And it’s very confusing when it’s a trusted name brand that is being developed by a company who has a shoddy track record.
“I know it’s X game, and X game has always been cool, but it’s being made by Z company, and they’ve proven to be really shitty with development and customer service. So, do I sink money in order to play a really great franchise, all the while supporting a really crappy company?”
It’s a very complicated issue nowadays, considering how video game companies are pumping out products which just seem to be complete carbon copies of what’s been done before. And the consumer has this attitude that the video game companies don’t have any obligation to deliver anything to the players once they have your money. Well, yes, they do. They’re still a business and they still produce a product. When you give someone money to buy something, even if it’s digital, it’s still a product. There may not be a physical thing to hold in your hands, but you still did get something in the transaction. And to say it’s just the entertainment industry is nothing more than a cop out.
Consumers are now paying for the privilege (because, that’s what it is, a privilege) to join in during the Beta, and often, unless you’re really confident about the game or product, that’s like playing Russian roulette. For every one Beta test you get involved in that’s really good, there could be three or four that are just crap. And is it easy to get your money back from such a venture? Most often not. Sometimes a company will claim that the time you spent beta testing, is money to them. You, the consumer, basically rented time in the beta to play it.
Video game companies have really gone full bore with business attitudes that they are money making machines first and foremost (which, to be honest, all companies are), instead of trying to make a decent product and having good customer service to help out that product move along. There are cases where some products (in this case, video games) have gone by the way side, but let’s look at one in particular; Neverwinter Nights. Years after Bioware stopped production of the game, they still made a patch for it, and they still had servers and support for the game after that. Almost ten years after the game was launched, Bioware still supported it. And it wasn’t only until a couple of months ago that GameSpy, the company that ran the master servers for multiplayer aspects of Neverwinter Nights, finally shut those servers down. 11 years after the game was launched. That’s dedication to a product, that’s customer service. It helped that Neverwinter Nights had a massive community, but they also had a huge respect for that community.
Another example of excellent customer service and listening to the customers was the now defunct City of Heroes. CoX (as it was called) would often send out Beta invites for their expansions, never charging for it. Often, however, if you were playing the original game, there was a very good chance you would have gotten their expansions (City of Villains and Going Rogue). The team at Paragon Studios kept fans and players up to date on events, issue releases (patches or updates to the game were called Issues, like comic book issues), and a whole lot more, before NCSoft pulled the plug on Paragon (both the studio and the game). And if there was a problem in game, it was often handled fast. Paragon Studios and CoX was the fastest response time I’ve ever had with support problems, often times while I’m still attempting to find a solution on my own in game.
Those two previous examples seem to be the exception to the rule, as it now seems companies and development teams are less and less interested in customer service and more interested in pushing a product out.
I kinda went off on a tangent about the recent crap in fandoms regarding the appearance of a person of colour for the role of Lancelot, and using POC in fantasy in general (spoiler: there’s nothing wrong with it, so stop complaining). Also like to apologize for the grainy quality of the video, it appears I need to get a better quality webcam. Also, sorry, didn’t add links. I’m also quiet because it’s 10:00 at night and I don’t want to be a dick to my neighbours.
- Author Harrassed For Depicting Bisexual Arthur And Lancelot (lezgetreal.com)
- Is literature turning colour blind? (independent.co.uk)
- ‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 2 Adds Captain Hook, Lancelot, Mulan & More (screenrant.com)
I’m gonna go way more in-depth with this later, but just some words I wanted to get off my chest.
I never could understand this feeling by many in print media, film, and other entertainment mediums why it was always felt that a product was no good without a white, male (most often straight) hero type character to be somewhere in the franchise. Whether being the main focus or being the one who helps out the woman/person of colour/lgbtq person. And with women and lgbtq, the white male hero was there to dispense advice because hey, he’s white and male and only white males know what’s good for people (unless they happen to be gay, but sometimes that includes even if they are gay).
Those types of stories are dangerous. Because they can foster an identity in different genders and races that this is the truth.
Racism and sexism is prevalent in our society; we are not yet in a post racial society, we are not yet in a society of equality. There are still things that foster this air of inequality, such as the entertainment medium. Our social media today allows us to report on the latest book or the newest movie at break neck speed. It can also display our bigotry at such incredible speeds as well. One such thing is the response to a character in the Hunger Games being black, and most of the tweets said there’d be more sympathy if the character was white. Now that was around the movie. As I myself have read, the description of Rue (the character in question), pretty much solidified that she was black (or, darker skinned). The tweeting of the lack of sympathy showed the absolute apathy and bigotry toward African Americans (or African Canadians).
We need people of colour, women of colour, women, LGBTQ authors and we need characters of the same design. Because once those authors and those characters become more prevalent in our entertainment media, then we’ll be taking a step forward. There has to be more Gail Simone’s and Dwayne McDuffie’s of the world to help bring about new and interesting ideas. With this new world of social media, marketing should be a lot easier. We should be able to inundate different sites with information about new, positive story ideas.
Instead, we’re merely being given the same, tired old stories as though the well has dried up. When a new idea does come along, it’s the most damaging and racist thing ever seen. Two examples of this are 50 Shades of Grey and the Save The Pearls series. One series paints an entire culture in such a bad, stereotypical way, while the other attempts to use reverse racism, siting that white people will be the oppressed and down trodden of the future. Amazingly, the latter won’t happen because we humans have the tendency to evolve with climate changes. As I’ve read, the plot of the book is that due to environmental damage due to over mining, over drilling and pollution, whites can’t survive as well in the new world thanks to huge holes in the ozone layer. Or something to that affect. But seriously, the book without reading it is really racist as it tries to make whites look like an oppressed minority. Which is pure fantasy.
However, enough of that.
People of colour, women of colour, women and lgbtq creators have a lot of really good ideas. We should look closely at those ideas and take them into account, instead of just brushing them aside or complaining that “the quota was already filled” (which is another statement of bullshit). Maybe if we took a look at more of their ideas, we’d have a whole lot more original entertainment to keep us going, instead of rebooting or re-imagining the same crap, over and over again.
Aside from the flash back to 80s pop music (there was a plethora of tunes to choose from on this subject), the topic today involves gender tropes and stereotypes.
The media is huge in its attempt to solidify the gender stereotypes, the ones that state women should be demure, caring, fragile, pretty and basically stay in the kitchen. And it’s just as firm in its attempt to make sure that boys understand that they have to be strong, independent, adventurous and the bread winners of the family. There is no better example of this brain washing, or better way to start than at the preschool and elementary school ages. And Scholastic Books, publishers of books and distributors of many that I enjoyed as a child, has taken the steps to make sure this stereotype continues.
They’ve published a book called How To Survive Anything, with the twist that there is a book for boys and a book for girls. The boys book is rather humourous as it teaches how to survive some basic things like falling from a great height to what to do if you get a broken bone. Then it turns the corner to teach how to survive shark attacks, bear attacks, snake bites and other things of that nature (see what I did there?).
The girls only book is quite different. Nowhere in its pages will you find a how to in surviving a car crash, but you’ll find out how to survive a BFF cat fight. Or a fashion disaster. How about what to do if you’re suddenly famous? The book covers that too.
So, I guess the author firmly believes that when a girl finds herself in a situation against, oh, I don’t know, against a shark then the shark obviously looks at her and says…
“Sorry, you’re a girl. My bad. Not my natural food source. I’m gonna go over here now.”
Which is complete crap because sharks don’t do that (nor do snakes or lions or bears or anything else in nature that CAN KILL YOU).
But it goes a lot further than that as it’s a stigma to firmly entrench, to keep girls from being adventurous (or at least, telling girls just exactly what their adventures could be, like shopping!). Girls can grow up to be:
- Fighter pilots
- Police officers
- Trauma surgeons
- Large animal veterinarians
- Fire fighters
- Rock climbers
- Backwoods backpackers
- Sky divers
- Race car drivers
- Rally car drivers
- Auto mechanics
- Newspaper editors
- War zone television reporters
- Astronauts (or even cosmonauts)
- Submarine commanders
And yes, they could even be pretty. Girls can do anything. Books shouldn’t just do things like this and try and separate things into gender specifics. Because, heaven forbid that boys should need to know how to avoid a fashion disaster.
- Girl, 15, Has Close Encounter With Shark Off Catalina Coast (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
I come up against this saying many times at work when I deal with our older subscribers and customers. For a time, I used to just shrug my shoulders and think “yeah, I can see that”.
That saying is “I’m just an old man of (insert age here), I don’t know that fancy technology”. That excuse, and I suspect excuse would be better than a saying, but that excuse is absolute garbage. For me, that excuse became garbage when my father, my 70 year old father (saying how old he is out loud kinda scares me) bought a Fujitsu digital camera (better than mine, by the way) and a netbook, and then a three in one printer. And then they got a Hi-Def digital TV. I don’t even have a Hi-Def digital TV yet!
But saying “Oh, I’m just an old man” is crap! I know people ten, fifteen, even twenty years older than me who are well versed in several computer languages. Who have different electronic devices. Who even play MMO’s, for crying out loud!
There are some that might say “but Arthur Black, who happens to be one of your favourite humourists, he says he’s too old”. No no no. I must correct you there. Arthur Black has never once said he was too old for such devices. He’s actually written about such devices and their affects on the world (and him). He doesn’t use them because he’s too old. He doesn’t use them because he’s a luddite. There’s a difference.
We know the definition of “too old”. Here’s the definition of luddite. First, from Wikipedia:
The Luddites were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life. The movement was named after General Ned Ludd or King Ludd, a mythical figure who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest.
/ˈlʌdaɪt/ [luhd-ahyt] – noun
a member of any of various bands of workers in England (1811–16) organized to destroy manufacturing machinery, under the belief that its use diminished employment.
1805-15; after Ned Ludd, 18th-century Leicestershire worker who originated the idea
That would be a much more acceptable thing to say than just “I’m just an old (person)”. I just will not accept that. Unless you are infirm, or feeble, there is no excuse to learn some new piece of technology.
That is, of course, you happen to be a luddite.
Over the course of the last week, an interesting topic has circulated in the city of Saskatoon. Saskatoon has had a history of upstart sporting leagues dropping franchises into the city, and some have been successful (for a time) while others have been complete failures. The list is quite long and starts way back in the 1970s when Bill Hunter, hockey aficionado and promoter, bought the St. Louis Blues and tried moving them to Saskatoon. At the time the NHL board of governors voted against the move.
Since then there’s been the Continental Hockey League that never got off the ground. Basketball has come into the city in the form of the Saskatoon Slam, Saskatchewan Storm and the Saskatchewan Hawks. Baseball even made an appearance here, as several semi pro leagues tried starting up, all the while the Saskatoon Yellowjackets kept plugging away.
Now, the city, along with management of the Credit Union Centre which is home to the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, are trying to attract another league into the city. But this league is different than the others. While the others have all been male dominated sports, this is a female “sport”. Though many don’t want it, and others say why do we need it when we already have a proper women’s football team.
This “sport” is the Lingerie Football League. Women’s football where the players wear revealing uniforms and pads along with hockey helmets (not football helmets) with full face shields. Members of the Affiinity Credit Union, which has naming rights of the arena where the LFL team would play, are not happy.
There’s out cry that it’s nothing more than the sexualization and objectification of women. And I tend to agree with that side of things. Canadian University Press has already stated that this is the sexualization of violence, because football is, as Chris Schultz from TSN says, controlled and violent chaos.
Meanwhile, Saskatoon already has a women’s football team, and are champions of the 2011 Women’s Western Canadian Football League. The league consists of 7 teams, and other cities across the west are interested in starting teams. There has even been interest in Eastern Canada for an eastern league, and winners of east and west would play in a national championship game. To date, the teams include the afforementioned Valkyries, the Regina Riot, the Manitoba Fearless, the Winnipeg Wolf Pack, the Calgary Rage, the Lethbridge Steel, and the Edmonton Storm.
The Saskatoon Valkyries are a legitimate football team. They play full contact, observe the rules of the Canadian game (110 yard long fields, 65 yards wide, 12 players per side, three downs) and have a lot of fun doing it too. Maybe in the future development of women’s football programs can be looked at like the development of women’s hockey. Who knows, maybe in a few years there might be a women’s version of Canadian Inter-university Sport’s Vanier Cup.
But right now, any steps forward in progression thanks to groups like the Women’s Western Football League will only get set back thanks to groups like the Lingerie Football League.
- LFL comes to Credit Union Centre (cucsk.wordpress.com)
Or, in this case, years. As a part of a previous post (found here) which has garnered some … interest … here’s a quick video on the different calendars we’ve had in the world. I’d explain here, but, just watch the video. Take note, in the video it’s explained that the Romans used to have an eight day week. So the Beatles weren’t that far off*.
And here’s another video explaining it all. Or, at least explaining how much bunk the 2012 Mayan calendar ending in 2012.
I hope this brings about some insight as to the different lines of thought on how days, weeks, years, months, so on and so forth have changed over the thousands of years.
*And now, the Beatles.
I hear this a lot, that according to those who follow the Bible with extreme faith, that each word of the Bible is taken literally. A very good example is the number of days that God took to create heaven and Earth. Six, in fact. Resting on the seventh.
But what exactly is a day, according to Biblical terms. Days, months, years, weeks, hours, minutes… those are all human constructs. Time didn’t exist until someone decided that there were sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour. And twenty four hours in a day. And so on and so forth. When the solar system was created (I’ll leave it at solar system, because I don’t want to have more than one discussion at a time), according to the Bible it took six days. According to human thought, which is limited in it’s concepts, six days is one twenty four hour period six times. However, the concept of time hadn’t been fully thought of until much, much later. So, as far as anyone is concerned, a day could very well be something like the Jurassic Period. Or the Mesozoic Era.
Science shoots the theory of the Earth only being 4 or 6 thousand years old (or ten thousand at the outset) out of the water. The fact that we have proof that many civilizations existed thousands of years before what many fundamentalists believe is a contradiction. It’s a fact that humans migrated, built cities and civilizations almost one hundred thousand years ago.
But what if days, as described in the Bible, are in fact a period of a few million years? And what if, in fact, God’s resting on the sixth day is in fact what is happening now at this very point. We, meaning humans, were given the ability to think and even hypothesis on things like this, so why don’t we often do that instead of blindly follow something. Do you think we’ll just end up insulting God (which, quite frankly, I don’t think we as an insignificant species within the vast expanse of the universe)? I honestly don’t think we can.
I found this article at Tiger Beatdown. I’ve read a few articles from that site before, and it’s one of the places I go to (including STFUSexists over on tumblr) to educate myself regarding the differences in how men and women think (it’s honestly not that hard, merely asking for starters helps).
But it seems now there’s this very dangerous attitude that’s growing and growing. Maybe I just didn’t observe it before all that well, but it’s rather disturbing nonetheless. It also ties in quite nicely with what I talked about yesterday about Mary Sues. The example I used yesterday about taking the Batman origin and change it up for a woman with the only changes being gender, works in the real world as well.
There are masculine and feminine descriptors for people. What are considered the norm are stoic, rational, adventurous, investigative and more. On the other hand, descriptors such as sensitive, emotional, weak and others are focused on negative aspects of a person, and more often than not, related to women. However, if you take stoic or rational and tag them to a woman, they change. They become aggressive and threatening or mean. Because the previous words are often identified with men, while the latter words are identified with women.
That’s something we have to change, both in fiction and the real world. Maybe it starts in one, and moves to the other, but something needs to be done. It’s turning into a large amount of hatred from all corners. The author of the blog, Tiger Beatdown, goes onto say in her post that the amount of hate she’s received. The words are disgusting.
Trigger warning for violent and abusive language.
One of the messages she received, and are similar to ones I’ve seen friends of mine have received for speaking their mind, include; I will fuck your ass to death you filthy fucking whore, you’re only worth ….
I think that first one was most likely the worst, and I really won’t go into more. Needless to say, the messages received included threats of sexual violence, de-legitimizing intelligence, politics, and even gender, calling out as being mean, using name calling, and much more.
So, what kind of ignorance makes a person pick up their phone, send a tweet to someone they hardly know, or don’t know at all, and threatens them with rape. Or calls them a little girl. Or calls them stupid. Are we devolving as a society where we consider half the population as nothing more than sexual objects. And even less if they don’t fit into that frame?
I encourage people to check out Tiger Beatdown, there’s a lot of good stuff there. Same with STFUSexists. Steel thyself, however. There can be many topics which are discussed that are rage inducing. Not against the hosting site but against people that often make me scream “how can you think of doing that”.
This actually was posted originally on my tumblr blog, but I believe it bears repeating here. The discussion involves what exactly is a Mary Sue. There seems to be a huge double standard with regard to how they are perceived.
Male power fantasies, in essence, a strapping young lad, with chiseled good looks, unfailing wit and charm, and can do no wrong, seems to be considered the norm. Take those same qualities, however, and apply them to a female power fantasy (yes, they exist, women have power fantasies as well) and suddenly it becomes a Mary Sue. A trope. Even if one takes all the positives seen in someone who is feminine, translate those into how that person gains their incredible power, and it’s still seen as a trope or a Mary Sue. Take all the male aspects and use the positives to describe how he gains his abilities? Well, that’s just good writing.
Here’s a prime example that I shall pluck from the discussion. This was originally posted by adventuresofcomicbookgirl on tumblr, but I liked this one description she gave of a female character that many would call out as a Mary Sue.
So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.
The reactions would be, invariably, that the character is such a Mary Sue. However, if you look closely at the above description, adventuresofcomicbookgirl just finished describing the back story for Batman. For men, this is normal, to have these reaffirming power fantasies set before them, but for women, it’s not normal, and in many cases there are those who say such power fantasies are dangerous. Unhealthy. But why not, why can’t women have their own power fantasies, giving proper role models to young women and girls everywhere. They have just as much right to have such stories as the other half of the human population on the planet Earth do.
I actually got an email over a year ago, regarding the serial series I posted called Black Mask & Pale Rider. One of my characters, Pania, got called a Mary Sue. Which, at first I found hilarious, considering the fact that I’m a guy. And from what I am familiar with of the concept of Mary Sue is that such a character is similar to a self insertion. If I were to do that, then I’d be crafting a male character. But anyway, more to the point…
Pania Alow is quite feminine. She’s a singer and a dancer, and the latter she uses to help with her sword play. She comes from a family that is incredibly interested in discovering the history of a culture through their stories. Not to recreate them or write their own songs about them, but to simply learn about them. Pania herself tries very hard to view each person as a unique individual, though there are times she will formulate an opinion on face value. She’s a very attractive woman, curvy and sensuous, with a playful smile and a knowing look in her eyes. She likes fine fashion in her clothing, but attempts to mix it with practicality. She’s also a lesbian, and rather vocal about it, so much so that her partner in crime, Shani Wennemein, has to remind her of the stigma that people in 1863 Earth view on “oddities” they may find. Pania is a helpful person, sacrificing her own needs for the needs of others, more often than not.
There’s a great deal more to Pania than just that. But even with all of that, Pania ended up being called a Mary Sue. As if using that for an insult. Now that I’ve read this, though, the only response I can now come up with is sure. If Pania is viewed as a Mary Sue, what I would consider to be a positive role model for a young woman, then by all means. Pania is intelligent, understanding, helpful, attractive, not afraid of her sexuality, and eager to learn all she can. At the same time, she can be judgmental, quick to anger, sometimes headstrong, forcefully opinionated, and a bit of a tease. She has as many faults as she has positive abilities.
If those are qualities of a Mary Sue, then I guess they just happen to be.
- If you knew, Mary Sue, then you’d know why I feel blue (talesfromthemushroom.wordpress.com)
- Things I’ve learned about life and writing (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
I have my own tumblr and often I’ll see pictures crop up on my dash of some skinny white model wearing a Native American warbonnet as some hipster fashion statement. They aren’t. The warbonnets actually mean something, and a little research shows exactly what they were used for, and surprisingly, that there weren’t that many tribes that used the commonly seen warbonnet (that many hipsters decide to wear).
This first part of this post is a rant. My specific bitch is about white hipsters using traditional (or what appears to be traditionaal) Lakota Sioux warbonnets as fashion statements, and some even bemoaning that they aren’t Native American. Or worse, when called out on their appropriation, claim they have (most often) Cherokee ancestry. Which is bullshit, because there are more than one hundred tribes in North America, including Plains Indians, Pacific Coast Indians, Atlantic Coast Indians, Mexican Indians, and Gulf Indians. Many of those tribes were wiped out of existence thanks to the push to settle the west by both American colonists and British colonists in British North America, or what is now known as Canada. Large numbers of Dakota First Nation People were killed in this push. Look up Wounded Knee sometime. Many Dakota moved north, eventually settling in British North America, such as the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
Now the second part of this post. Time to educate some people about the Native American headdresses that they so seeming like to use as fashion statements. As well as those that might want to “dress up” as a Native American for Halloween. The thing that a lot of people don’t understand, these symbols, such as the warbonnet, are very sacred to many tribes.
You can find complete information here, but I’ll describe a good deal in this post.
This image is the most commonly known headdress, which is actually a Lakota Sioux war bonnet. In truth, most First Nation tribes never used headdresses like this. While these may be the best known headdresses, they are not the most commonly used and they weren’t the only style of headdress. Headdresses varied depending on the tribe or location.
These warbonnets were the most commonly seen headdresses in westerns both on television and the silver screen. However, these bonnets were only used by a dozen or so tribes in the Great Plains, such as the Sioux, Crow, Blackfeet, Cheyenne and Plains Cree.
These warbonnets were ceremonial regalia worn by chiefs and warriors, much like the regalia worn by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip is considered traditional for the British Monarchy. Also important, only men wore these warbonnets, though it is reported that some women in Plains tribes did go to war, and there were even some female chiefs, but they never wore these bonnets. Sometimes men would wear these warbonnets into battle, but most often they wore what is called a roach bonnet.
Roach bonnets were worn by warriors and dancers and like warbonnets, the porcupine hair roach is traditionally men’s headwear, not worn even by female warriors. These roach bonnets also varied from tribe to tribe, and in many tribes roaches were worn into battle, while more formal tribal headdresses like warbonnets, otter-fur turbans or gustowah caps, were worn to ceremonial events. Other tribes wore roach bonnets primarily as dance regalia or sports costume. While some men in different tribes would wear a roach bonnet, others might not and they were not seen as spirituality meaningful as warbonnets, though a boy earning the right to wear a roach for the first time was an important ceremony in some tribes.
The page includes many other headdresses, including buffalo bonnets, otter-fur turbans, Seminole cloth turbans and Iroquois gustoweh caps, and includes tribal headdresses for women.
At the FAQ at the bottom of the page it mentions places to buy headdresses and where to go to make your own, but there was something important there as well.
If you are not Native American but are just trying to make a headdress for an art project, we recommend making a beaded headband, since headbands do not have the same sacred meaning of many other Indian headdresses and do not require you to understand complex cultural traditions to create one properly. The book North American Indian Beadwork Patterns includes a nice pattern for beading a Native American headband.
- Tribalism as Pop Culture Phenomenon and the Perpetuation of Offensive American Indian Stereotypes (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
This could conceivably be done in a 31 Days of Ghosts type post, because it’s horrifying what some people’s stupidity will lead to.
Yes, that’s right! They’re coming after Halloween! With the constant cries of “War of Christmas” that the Christian right always states is true (which, is bullshit), they are now suggesting that this Halloween, give out Bibles to all the trick or treaters.
Okay, first. Halloween is a kids’ holiday. It’s not even a real holiday, like Christmas is. And yes, you could argue that Christmas is for kids, but Christmas is for the whole family. I also know that Halloween has it’s roots that go back to times before the middle ages when groups of people would go from house to help ward off evil spirits. Now, Halloween is a time for kids to go house to house and trick or treat. I do believe that in some areas if October 31 lands on a Sunday, then trick or treating is done on a Saturday. That’s fine, I really don’t have a problem with that at all.
It’s also a time when adults might go to costume parties at their offices or down to the local pub, or even get together and watch classic horror movies. Nothing as extravagant, however, as is Christmas.
Now, second of all, I believe I have mentioned before that I am a Christian. I also am of the belief that your faith is personal to you. If someone asks, that’s fine. I find it rude to talk to others and seemingly push your faith onto them. I don’t think there’s some tally for the number of people we convert to Christianity, but I do believe we get major points for trying to help our fellow man without question and without want for payment. So, by dumping Bibles into kids treat bags, this is sort of the reverse effect of the Jehovah Witnesses. Instead of them coming to our doors, we’d be going to theirs.
The common reaction will be “but children need to know about God”. I’m pretty sure if a child wants to know about God, then that child has all sorts of resources available to learn about Her. Their parents are also there to help them answer any questions that they might have. They don’t need outside influences pushing it onto them. So, as noble intentioned as this is, you probably could have done a lot more good by handing out toothbrushes and toothpaste instead of Bibles.
- Christians and Halloween (inklingsofreality.wordpress.com)
- It’s a holly jolly… Halloween (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Why Christians should not participate in Halloween: Part 1 (storygirlsblog.wordpress.com)
There’s a term that is often bandied about by the anti-choice (or pro-life crowd). That term is sanctity of life. They claim that abortion is wrong because all living beings have a right to life. Okay, I can sort of get behind that. But there’s something else that comes into play with the term.
If you are someone who claims the sanctity of life is all important, then here is a list of other things you need to get behind.
If you are in favour of the sanctity of life then:
- you will demand that the oppression committed upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ends now. You will demand that governments the world over impose sanctions against Israel in order to ensure that the Palestinian people are afforded their own sanctity of life.
- you will support social programs that keep the poor living a sustainable life. Programs that assist them in finding employment. Programs to ensure that they will have affordable access to Medicare.
- you will denounce the actions of large corporations that use sweat shop labour in order to sell products at bargain basement prices. Sweat shops that pay next to nothing, and who’s workers include women and children, with both often facing massive amounts of abuse.
- you will demand that the government stop any and all war efforts in the Middle East and begin to send humanitarian aid forces to teach, offer medical aid, and help grow food.
- you will demand that militant, right wing religious organizations (Christian and Muslim alike) be disbanded and their leaders set to trial for crimes against humanity.
- you will demand that women’s shelters be erected so that women who suffer from domestic violence, rape, harassment and other vicious and violent crimes have some place safe to go to.
- you will demand that the police take an active interest in policing everyone equally.
- you will demand that any woman who has been forced to give birth into poverty, will be given the proper aid to raise their child and ensure that child grows up healthy.
- you will demand a better justice system so that criminals can be rightly arrested, charged and convicted. And if there is a mistake, you will demand those who are innocent be set free.
- you will demand the end to the death penalty in all its forms, all over the world, because that is also an example of the oppression of sanctity of life.
Before I begin, let me first state that this photo originally was found at this flickr page. It’s meant to be artistic and symbolize something as it states in the description.
The photographer made the comment that it was the second roll of film, and it took forever to get the right photo and was pleased with the result. It also had this comment in italics.
I’ll open this book and blow the dust from these pages of desire and lust. I’ll search for a spell perfect for you… ‘Cause I need to get you enchanted with me too
It was art, so my opening preamble about this image really has nothing to do with what the artist was attempting to convey. I just know what my reaction upon seeing it was.
What I saw, before reading anything else or exploring the photographer’s flickr stream, was that I saw a burning book. And then came my abject horror. Anybody who knows me should also know I hate book burning with a passion. It’s not so much the act of getting rid of something unwanted, I get that. We have recycle programs for unwanted newspapers and even books. Often times there are too many books to be sold. Not everyone will buy a book, and therefore, the unwanted books have to go somewhere. Sometimes a library, sometimes a school, but often times they are recycled, or destroyed because there just isn’t any need for them.
Those are different than the more thought of uses for burning a book. Which is to destroy it for the sake of erasing the text printed on the pages. It’s a barbaric form of censorship. Censorship is something else I have a major problem with, because it’s such a fine line to walk. That’s something I’ll get into at another time. Book burning, however, is very much a violent way of showing disapproval of the printed word. We’ve seen it over the course of history, the most recent and famous of which has been in Nazi Germany, when books by Jewish authors, scholars and philosophers were destroyed in very public means. We’ve seen several more different scenarios as of late, shocking, but not the whole sale destruction as what took place during and before the Second World War.
One of those has been groups, mostly in the States and mostly by right wing fundamentalist Christian groups, that have burned books from the Harry Potter series. Really? Honestly? A children’s book? I can see, in their defense, why they would have come up with this notion. The book is about witches and wizards at a school, set somewhere in England. As it states in the Bible, witchcraft is a devilish thing. But what got me is that the book was accused of teach children witchcraft. So, I say again: really? If you believe that it’s not for your child, then don’t let your child read it. Oh, and if you have no children, then don’t get into the discussion. Parents need to read books with their child. Parenting isn’t something where you plop the child in front of the television and just hope for the best while feeding them, clothing them and sending them to school. I’ve known a good number of parents that have read the entire Harry Potter series with their children and made it a very wonderful experience.
I know the comparison with Twilight and Harry Potter is out there, really, I do. And I even know that there have been those who burned copies of Twilight in response to the burning of Harry Potter books. My disgust envelopes those people as well. Saying that burning a book is reprehensible, especially a book from a series you might like, then turning around and burning another book is hypocritical. It’s also not helping.
The other book which has seen it’s share of threats to help stoke the flames is not a fictional book, persay. It, like the Holy Bible, is a book which millions and millions of people follow faithfully. It’s called the Qu’ran. In this case, however, the burning of this book isn’t about reading to children. It’s all about religious intolerance. I will admit, religion is the motivator in the burning of Harry Potter books, but burning the Qu’ran is fueled with such a venomous hatred. The complete intolerance to a religion that those who accuse it of being the heart of terrorism are only acting on their own fears and misguided understanding. They say it’s an evil book, yet don’t even take the time to open it and read what it has to say. They’ll burn it without hesitation, unless so shamed by the rest of the world. What exactly would burning the Qu’ran do, except fuel the hatred and intolerance, and ignorance of a religion. Instead of learning what they can of the religion, most who suffer from the seemingly incurable disease of Islamophobia, will react with knee jerk assumptions and “popular opinion” of the time. These people don’t even try to take the opportunity to understand the religion, nor do they take the time to decipher between what is part of the religion and what is part of the culture from where the religion is practiced.
Book burning is a very vile form of censorship, that speaks to people that it’s okay to belittle ideas. It says “your work is reprehensible, therefore it must be destroyed”. Which can only develop a cycle that another group might find a work reprehensible. After all, what if a group so publicly stated they were going to burn a Bible. Think of the reaction there would be to that. There might even be those that would demand a call to arms and be willing to go to war.
Now, sit back and think for just a moment. Harry Potter fans may not band together in the face of such an insult, but do you not think for a minute that the reaction to the burning of the Bible would not be the very same reaction to the burning of the Qu’ran?
Amazing! Last week, a group of Saudi women activists started a Change.org petition calling on Saudi authorities to drop charges against Manal al-Sharif, a woman arrested for driving her own car. Days later, the charges were dropped!
Then, they launched a second petition calling on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speak out publicly for Saudi women’s right to drive. Clinton initially resisted, but after 20,000 Change.org members joined the call, she declared, “What these women are doing is brave, and what they are seeking is right,” at a major press conference.
Now, the same Saudi women are launching their biggest campaign yet: calling on car company Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until women have the right to drive. Please click here to sign their petition, then send this email to everyone you know.
Subaru markets heavily to women, especially in the U.S. and Europe — and has built up a progressive brand for itself. Yet the company still sells cars in Saudi Arabia, the only country on earth where women are prohibited from driving or even riding a bike.
(The ban is a huge impediment for women who are forbidden to drive to work, stores, or even a hospital. Many women can’t afford male drivers, and those that can are often harassed by them.)
The activists at Saudi Women for Driving tell us, “Manal was released, Mrs. Clinton spoke out, and some brave women have started driving in defiance of the ban. This is already the largest women’s rights movement in Saudi history and no one here knows what will happen next, but a big company like Subaru pulling out could help change our country forever. Help us do it!”
It’s simple: A massive campaign to push Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia — and the threat that they might leave — will put huge pressure on the Saudi royal family and shine a bright light on the “gender apartheid” in the country. It’s a chance for the company to live up to its brand and make a huge difference for nearly 13 million women.
Change.org members have already won more than 200 campaigns in 2011. Let’s win this one, too.
Click here to stand with Saudi women and ask Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until women win the right to drive:
We all do it. We all complain about the price of gas. I’ve done it. But even at it’s worst this year, I’ve never seen it peek at this worst of the worst. Here’s the most expensive places in Canada to buy gas. Stats were gathered by MJ Ervin & Associates and displayed at MSN Money.
Price per litre on June 14: 127.3
Last week’s price: 127.6
Change: – 0.3
Price per litre on June 14: 140.2
Last week’s price: 140.2
Change: No change
Price per litre on June 14: 139.0
Last week’s price: 141.0
Change: – 2.0
Price per litre on June 14: 135.1
Last week’s price: 133.4
Change: + 1.7
Price per litre on June 14: 131.0
Last week’s price: 131.1
Change: – 0.1
Price per litre on June 14: 131.2
Last week’s price: 132.2
Change: – 1.0
Price per litre on June 14: 130.3
Last week’s price: 131.5
Change: – 1.2
Price per litre on June 14: 129.0
Last week’s price: 128.5
Change: + 0.5
Price per litre on June 14: 129.0
Last week’s price: 128.7
Change: + 0.3
Price per litre on June 14: 129.0
Last week’s price: 128.6
Change: + 0.4
Price per litre on June 14: 126.9
Last week’s price: 127.6
Change: – 0.7
Price per litre on June 14: 126.9
Last week’s price: 131.9
Change: – 5.0
Price per litre on June 14: 126.8
Last week’s price: 127.5
Change: – 0.7
Price per litre on June 14: 126.2
Last week’s price: 125.3
Change: + 0.9
Price per litre on June 14: 123.9
Last week’s price: 127.5
Change: – 3.6
Price per litre on June 14: 117.8
Last week’s price: 120.8
Change: – 3.0
Price per litre on June 14: 113.9
Last week’s price: 116.9
Change: – 3.0
Price per litre on June 14: 109.4
Last week’s price: 111.5
Change: – 2.1
What we hold as important is amazing. How people in Europe differ from people in North America differ from people in Asia and so on and so on. Even within each of those continents and regions, there are geographical differences of what is important. As an example, in many States they hold the firm belief that they have the God given right to own a gun. Whereas in Canada, we consider it more a privilege. We don’t need guns, and we certainly don’t have a right to own them. That philosophy is not always viewed the same across the Great North Land.
Recently the world has taken notice as something dubbed the Arab Spring has flown across the middle east, into parts of Eastern Europe, and into areas of Northern Africa. Common citizens doing uncommon things, at least as we in the west would see it. Rising up against their own oppressive governments, toppling them, or forming a rag tag resistance, in the case of Libya. It is truly inspiring.
Riots have taken place in Canada, too. But there was no outcry from the majority of the citizens who did not vote for Stephen Harper‘s Conservatives. It was not a reaction to the same old same old budget that came down in the early days of June. It wasn’t even at a provincial level, as angry citizens got together to show their anger to the British Columbia government.
No, it wasn’t any of those things. Sadly, for some (not all) outside of Canada, the reaction to the recent riots in Vancouver will be “well, they are Canadians, and they are passionate about their hockey”. That’s right. The riots in Vancouver had everything to do with the Canucks loss to the Boston Bruins in game 7.
In Egypt, the people stood strong as they showed their dissatisfaction with a corrupt and oppressive regime. In Vancouver, the fans were pissed because Roberto Luongo wasn’t pulled after the second Bruins goal. In Tunisia, the people wanted their own say and equal representation in their own government. In Vancouver, they were mad because the Canucks came so close yet so far.
Here’s the differences between these two very different yet similar scenarios.
In the Middle East, people rioted, clashed with police, defied the government, because they want their lives and they want democracy and an end to corrupt government (ya know, the things we in the West SHOULD be doing). People are dying in the Middle East because they are opposing the government. In Vancouver, people are rioting because the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in 7 games. Sure, I was saddened when the Canucks lost. While I’m a Sens fan, I still hold a place in my heart for Vancouver. Being from Saskatchewan, I also know a lot about losing. I’m a Roughrider fan after all. But in the arena of sports, I’ve learned something very important. We may have lost the Grey Cup, or had a losing season (and by we, I mean the players who actually play, not me and the other armchair quarterbacks), but there’s always next year. The same holds true for the Canucks. Next year, just push it over the top. Look at the Pittsburgh Penguins a few years ago. They lost to Detroit one year and came back to win it all the next year.
For people in the Middle East, in the nations that their own citizens are standing up against their government, their police, their military and in some cases hired guns, there may not be a tomorrow let alone a next year.
Sadly, I don’t think it really would have mattered in Vancouver had the Canucks won or lost. It’s a feeling, and there’s no hard evidence, but I think that a small group of people were ready to stir up the pot no matter what went down. It still is a sad example of where our priorities will often lie.
- Analysis: Vancouver riots send league into dark off-season (reuters.com)
- Couple kissing in midst of Vancouver riot identified (ctv.ca)
- Vancouver Canucks fans riot after team loses NHL Cup against Boston Bruins (birminghamurbannews.wordpress.com)
- You: Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Memories of Vancouver Riots Will Not Fade Easily (bleacherreport.com)
- Of course the rioters were hockey fans (sports.nationalpost.com)
- You: Vancouver Riots 2011 Video: Watch Canucks Fans Rebel After Stanley Cup Loss (bleacherreport.com)
- Canucks Riot Kiss Photo Sparks Debate (patspapers.com)
- Vancouver Erupts in Riots After Canucks Loss (thebiglead.com)
- Vancouver- the Wild, Wild West (iomnibus.wordpress.com)
- Photos: Riots In Vancouver After Bruins Defeat The Canucks (wzlx.radio.com)
- Riots Overshadow Canucks Fans’ Game 7 Heartbreak (abcnews.go.com)
- Bruins Win, Vancouver Riots, Rest of Canada Vomits (aquantumofknowledge.wordpress.com)
- Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Memories of Vancouver Riots Will Not Fade Easily (football.rawsignal.com)
- Vancouver cleans up after riot (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- About That Vancouver Hockey Riot… (tammybruce.com)
- Georgialee Lang: Vancouver’s Shame (huffingtonpost.ca)
- Vancouver Riots Spoof Cements Vancouver’s Shame On YouTube…Forever (socialtimes.com)
- Vancouver top cop blames Stanley Cup riot on ‘anarchists’ (canada.com)
- Vancouver police deployment wasnt adequate to act as riot deterrent (theglobeandmail.com)
- The Arab Spring revolutions need time – and money (theglobeandmail.com)
- Arab-jewish Dialogue: Why? (desertpeace.wordpress.com)
- Where the Arab spring will end is anyone’s guess (guardian.co.uk)
27 dolphins were captured from the waters of the Solomon Islands — 2 have died so far. 25 remain in captivity, and the longer they stay there, the odds increase dramatically that they’ll die before they can be freed.
These dolphins have been taken from their natural habitat and held captive, their lives endangered by a hotel chain. Tell Resorts World that these dolphins should be free — not pent up in tanks to entertain guests.
The dolphin tank at the hotel in question (Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore) hasn’t even been built yet. Since half of all captured dolphins die within their first two years of captivity, it would seem that Resorts World simply captured more dolphins than necessary to see how many of them would still be around by the time they were needed.
In the wild, dolphins have a life expectancy of 45 years, and they can swim 40-100 miles a day. They spend half their time hunting for food, which is important for their mental stimulation.
In tanks, dolphins swim around in circles. They can’t hunt. They’re exposed to bacteria that have been known to cause blindness and death. We need to tell Resorts World to free the “Sentosa 25.”
Ric O’Barry used to train Flipper –– yes, that Flipper –– but he’s now a staunch anti-captivity activist. O’Barry wrote an open letter to the CEO of Resorts World Sentosa which read, “We know the people of Singapore love dolphins. Most Singaporeans would object to keeping dolphins in captivity if they knew the dangers to the dolphins and the horrific capture practices of the Solomon Islands and other dolphin capture countries.”
Here’s the good news: Resorts World is sensitive to public pressure. Two years ago, the company abandoned plans for a whale shark exhibit after community outcry. 25 dolphins are depending on us to achieve the same result today.
Please sign the petition to tell Resorts World Sentosa to free the 25 dolphins being held captive in the Philippines:
- Save the Saddest Dolphins (tonbak.wordpress.com)
- Save the saddest dolphins …Ricken Patel – Avaaz.org (ynative77.wordpress.com)
- Save the saddest dolphins ~ Sign a petition for their release back into the wild (ascendingearthbeings.wordpress.com)
- ACRES World’s Saddest Dolphin campaign has gone international with Azaav (otterman.wordpress.com)
It’s amazing what a lack of telecommunications can do to a person and a business.
Around 10:00 a.m. my place of work was suddenly without Internet. Then we discovered we were without long distance service. Our Intranet worked fine. But that’s an internal office network, so no worries there unless there’s a problem with our cabling, then we have to fix it. You know, all of us and our technical expertise combined. Let’s just say it’s a good thing there’s a computer shop across the street.
Me, in my paranoia, thought the worst; that Sasktel had cut us off. I took out my laptop and searched for the one security free wireless network I knew of, and connected to it. No such luck, there was no connection that way either.
It got worse, when we found out that cell phones couldn’t work either. Which was odd, because cell phones work over a different wireless service.
But here we were, no internet, no long distance phone calls, and no cellular service. As it turned out, there was no 3G cellular service. The reason being was a 64 pair cable was cut when someone was doing some heavy digging. Obviously, they didn’t pay attention to the SaskPower commercials and “call before you dig”. I’d go into details as to exactly what a 64 pair cable is, but I can’t research that right now. I have no internet, and there are no technical books which can describe that here.
Needless to say, we are without any connection to the outside world. Our world just became huge. Banks were without connection, which meant ABM’s were down. No one could use point of sale interact machines. Faxes were down. Internet was down. We don’t even have the old dial up BBMs to connect to anymore.
No twitter, no facebook, no tumblr, no wordpress. No checking news sites for the latest note worthy things. MMO’s are out. Bonus side, no one sending me damn farmville requests anymore. Or at least until Sasktel gets the cable fixed. Which, I was informed by one customer who came in, that repairing a 64 pair cable was usually a two day job. Better not be. I might start getting the bends if there was no communication to the outside world. I might have to drive to Saskatoon just to get my fix.
It’s Wednesday, June 8, 2011. 2:18 in the afternoon. Hopefully, I’ll be posting this up on Wednesday evening.
An interesting thought came to mind. I had to chuckle as I thought about it. If I can’t post this, I’ll just save the text file and email it to myself. Right, forgot. No Internet connection. It’s sort of like the power going out, and the first thing you think of when your computer monitor goes black is “maybe I’ll go watch TV”. Well, here’s hoping your TV is running on a backup generator, because if it isn’t, your TV screen will be as black as your computer monitor.
It’s interesting to think, as I now sit here in a communication vacuum. In a blackout, everything goes down, all power cut. This, I think is worse than that. The power’s on, which means I can still use my computer, so I can still do jobs that need to be done. But in some cases many of the tools that I use are now lost to me. Like clipart. We deal with a massive online house that holds a lot of clipart that we have access to at work. Can’t get access to it when the communication network has gone poof.
I was talking with some of my coworkers (okay, both of them) and mentioned that it’s a good thing this happened on a Wednesday, and not on a Tuesday. Tuesday’s for this to happen would be bad. Reason being, that’s when we upload our newspaper pages to get plated for their press run. We’d be able to finish the pages, sure, but uploading them would involve transferring everything to a flash drive, getting in the car and driving it up to our press. Our press happens to be two and a half hours north west of this present location, so I think you can see the problem. Needless to say, had this happened on a Tuesday, there would have been a lot of screaming. Followed by crying. More screaming. Then crying. And finally sobbing. It’s a lot like the many stages of denial. First anger, then sadness, then defiance, followed by negotiation, and lastly reluctant acknowledgment of the predicament.
All the usual thoughts have crossed my mind, all which point to how extremely dependent we have become on the Internet and a telecommunications system that we have. Thoughts like, “I wonder if this was what it was like fifteen years ago.” Which is kind of laughable, because I should know what it was like fifteen years ago. I was there. “This must have been what they had to deal with at the turn of the century.” First, by turn of the century, I would hope that means moving into the 20th Century, and not the 21st Century, because again, I was there. Second, even if the thought is what it was like in the early, early 1900s, we’re missing a lot of things than just the Internet and cell phone coverage. We still have computers, cars, planes, super sonic trains, and obviously, 2G networks which still seem to work.
I can’t even do small, stupid things that I sometimes am want to do, like look up the definition and history of some word or activity because my brain just says “I really need to know this right now”. Like parkour. Sadly, I’m currently left with only my Pocket Oxford Dictionary, which was printed in 1985. And definitions run from park to parkade to parky. Oh Oxford Dictionary, you have failed me. The only other book I have is a Roget’s II The New Thesaurus, which was printed in 1984. It doesn’t even have the word park, let alone parkour. And forget about the Dictionary of Saskatchewan Place Names. While handy and will easily tell me that the village of Kuroki was named after a Japanese diplomat, it will not tell me the history of parkour. The closest is Parkside, which is a village just south of Shellbrook and named after Parkside House, Yorkshire, England, which was the birthplace of settler J. R. Waterhouse.
The more useless information which has no bearing on your real life that you know, the better you are. Or maybe not. Did you know there is a Sleepy Hollow in Saskatchewan? The book doesn’t indicate whether this was named for the town in the Washington Irving poem.
But now I’m rambling. See what a total lack of telecommunication does to a person. Hopefully this won’t last much longer. Oh, look! Posters to do. At least I can print that off without the need for the Internet. Wait. They want clip art of a car. I shall now sigh heavily and hang my head, as yet another aspect of this modern age of telecommunication has come crumbling down.
All thanks to someone who forgot to call before they dug, and it’s now 3:00 p.m.
Twenty minutes later, telecommunications are fixed.
While reading the Saturday edition of the Star Phoenix, a short in brief caught my eye in the sports section. Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to the Sports In Brief because often there isn’t anything interesting that I would find. Not saying that isn’t the case for every reader. However, this one article drew in my attention.
Titled “Badminton delays ‘skirt rule’ intro” as I read I discovered that the Badminton World Federation is trying to introduce a new code of dress for female badminton players, requiring them to wear skirts or dresses at major tournaments in order to “ensure attractive presentation of badminton”. According to the article, this controversial rule will be introduced June 1.
You might ask why it’s controversial. Well, is there such a rule for male badminton players? Already the rule has been criticized, as some players have said it hampers their movement on the court and made them uncomfortable. This is a rule, however, and one which the head of the BWF hopes will make the sport more attractive. This means that simple skill of the player alone isn’t enough to make the sport attractive, female players have to be dressed up and objectified in order to draw in the crowds.
Players from China, Indonesia and India have been vocally against the rule, which allows players to continue to wear shorts as long as they are underneath the skirt. But what actual aspect of the sport does this help, outside of making something, in this case a female player, pretty? In hockey, helmets became mandatory in the mid 80′s, and subsequent equipment modifications have been made to help with the safety measures. Same in football, as new helmets and pads, along with face masks are always changing to make sure that the player’s safety is first and foremost in mind. Baseball has made changes, all to help make the sport, not the player, more exciting and dynamic. For all the regular viewer is concerned, they might be watching tennis or ping pong if they see a female player in a skirt. What about making equipment for the sport that helps the player, not hinders them.
Note in the above examples, in the male dominated sports, equipment changes were put in place to ensure the safety of the player. There have been a lot of changes over the decades in hockey, football and baseball. And I’m sure you could also find those for soccer as well. But for female sports, all changes that are made are designed to make the player more attractive for the viewer. Perhaps figure skating might be the only sport which takes into account the safety of the skater, but I haven’t researched that enough.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
- Where and when did badminton originate from (wiki.answers.com)
- World badminton pushes back women’s skirt rule to improve guidelines (telegraph.co.uk)
…Wattpad has decided that the latest episode of Black Bowhuntress: Blood of the Moon is in copywrite violation. Which, I don’t know how it could be, considering I’m the one who holds the copyright, as can be seen here. I’ll even summarize it here…
Blood of the Moon by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at taholtorf.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available athttp://taholtorf.wordpress.com/botm/.
Currently, by clicking the above link to view the latest episode, only fans of mine on Wattpad are able to read the story. So anyone who wishes to read the story, will also have to become a fan. Trust me, I’m not fishing to get fans, this is a huge annoyance to me, as I tried to find out what could possibly be considered a copyright violation in the latest episode, but none of the previous 17 episodes were flagged. I’ve already sent off a request to Wattpad asking for an explanation, and hopefully I’ll receive word on that sometime today.
At least Canyons of Steel is still available to read without becoming a fan, so that’s still up for all to read. If you want to read Black Bowhuntress: Blood of the Moon, just make sure you become a fan on Wattpad. Creating an account is easy, if you have facebook or twitter, you can even log in that way.
- Black Bowhuntress: Blood of the Moon – Prologue – TimHoltorf – lesbian romance superhero (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Wattpad HP TouchPad application to launch with the new tablet (teleread.com)
It’s me in my pink hat!
Which doesn’t fit…