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Category Archives: Rants

Canada, Trudeau, and Syrian Refugees


It’s been an interesting if not harrowing week on the world stage.  One cannot ignore the attacks that happened in Paris and the subsequent reaction.  Especially toward refugees who are escaping the Middle East in fear for their lives.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that he thought it was realistic to help bring in 25,000 refugees into Canada.  But many are questioning this after the attacks.  One of the main concerns is whether or not terrorists will come along with those refugees.

Here’s some facts.

Authorities in France have discovered that the identities of those responsible are all European nationals.  Meaning, they already lived in different areas of Europe.  One might say “but why would Europeans do that” and the answer is simple.  Daesh (ISIL) is playing one side against the other.  They are hoping that incredible Islamaphobia will drive Muslims to the fold and commit acts of terror against the West because Daesh wants that.  They really want a holy war.  And we’re falling right into that, because Daesh is smart enough to know that they can play off of the fears of right wing Christian fundamentalists in the West.  All of the current talk going on in the United States right now about refugees, Daesh knew that was going to happen and counted on it to happen.

Since 9-11 over three quarters of a million immigrants have come to the United States and Canada.  The percentage of those who have committed terrorist attacks since then; Zero.  Not one immigrant of Middle Eastern origin has committed an act of terrorism since September 11, 2001.  Any and all attacks were from natural born Canadians and Americans.  And while there is evidence of one Middle Eastern American who did make an attack on an army base, he was born in the United States.  All other attacks that have happened since 9-11 on Canadian and American soil, and there have been hundreds, have all been committed by right wing Christian fundamentalists.  Many of those with white supremacist leanings.

Because refugees don’t want to come here.  They’d rather not be on the run.  They’d love to go back to their homes, but they can’t because Daesh is literally killing them.  Scenes like what happened in Germany, where thousands welcomed Syrian refugees with open arms strikes a blow to Daesh because they don’t want that seen.  They’d like nothing better than to see continued discrimination of Syrian refugees.  Because they hope that will drive them to Daesh.

As for the 25,000 refugees Canada will allow; we have 10 provinces and 3 territories.  Divided equally, that’s 1,923 people per region.  In Saskatchewan, there are five major cities (Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and Lloydminster), five secondary cities (North Battleford, Swift Current, Yorkton, Weyburn and Estavan), and several minor cities (such as Melfort, Humboldt, Melville and Kindersley).  Taking those cities into account, if you did the math that’s 137 people per city.

We need to welcome these people with open arms much in the way Germany did.  To send a message to Daesh that we aren’t going to fall into their trap.  That we aren’t going to help drive Syrians and Muslims to join Daesh and fulfill their wish of a holy war war which pits Muslims against the West.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Life, Opinion, randomness, Rants

 

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Please stop using my religion


Hi there.  This is something that I need to say to all those who consider themselves Christian.  Like me, many believe in an afterlife, that there is a saviour in Jesus Christ and he did some pretty cool things while on this Earth.

Unlike me, many of the Christians I speak of (you know who the fuck you are) deny scientific evidence of the age of the world, of climate change (which is never made mention of in the Bible at all), and continue to use Christ and his teachings as a way to denounce same sex marriage (hint: he never actually does say anything about same sex marriage).

Back in the day when Charles Darwin wrote on his theories of evolution, the book didn’t originally sell that well.  Mostly because it confused a lot of people, not because it had some outrageous theories.  The Church of England, when people began checking it out again, actually came forward and said “hey, this book is actually pretty good, and really describes a way that God created man, we think it’s awesome”.  So, the Church of England was pretty cool with the concept that man evolved from a lesser species to become what he and she is today.  What they couldn’t fuckin’ understand is that nature isn’t just oblivious to feelings or anything, but it’s actually pretty fuckin’ cruel.  Because nature has an IDGAF attitude about, well, everything.

The Bible’s not a scientific document.  If anything, it’s closer to an historical document (that’s been heavily edited over the centuries and with books removed because the religious establishment found them icky… I want a director’s cut of the Bible, really).

For those right-wing, Christian fascists who celebrate recently award Bigot of Honour medal by some dumb, fucking Republican racist shit bag, please indicate one section in the teachings of Christ where he said same sex marriage (or gay and lesbian relationships) is bad.  I’ll wait.  No really.

Bet you can’t find one, because Christ never said that shit.  As a matter of fact, Christ actually blesses a same sex relationship because the commitment that both men have for each other.  Christ thought it was cool that these two guys were so committed and so in love, so He said “You guys are cool, I’m honoured that you have such love for each other”.

Oh, but there you are, Christian fascists, pointing to Leviticus.  All the while forgetting that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross meant that was the last sacrifice for any Christian, and that all the old laws were nullified that’s to His death and His resurrection three days later.  Here’s 2 Corinthians 3:14 mutherfuckers!

However, their minds were hardened, for to this day the same veil is still there when they read the old covenant. Only in union with the Messiah is that veil removed.

See that shit!  That’s saying that only those who follow Christ’s teachings will realize that the old laws were no longer needed.  Christ’s sacrifice freed the people from following the laws set down in Leviticus.

Let’s move on.

A lotta you right-wing Christian bigots are claiming that your spiritual laws should outweigh the laws set down by Congress (in the States, and Parliament in Canada and the UK), or by the Supreme Court.  Meanwhile, completely forgetting something in the Constitution (for the States at least).

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

But wait!  There’s more!

There are two clauses which deal with freedom of religion.

The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.” Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of “blue laws” is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion.

This basically means the government can operate without having to worry about religious doctrine.  ‘Cause let’s face it, ya want religion in your government, then ask yourself which religion.  Catholic?  Anglican? Protestant?  Evangelical?  Presbyterian?  Apostolic?  Mormon?  Each denomination differs greatly from the other in many different ways.  It’s one reason why the Amish and some Mennonite colonies do not work for government institutions.  They also don’t push their religion on others (I’m lookin’ at you, Jehovah’s Witnesses).

The government even states that there is a separation of church and state.  Where religion will not interfere with the day to day running of the government.

Long post is long, but there’s a point to all of this.  And this is something directed at every right-wing Christian Evangelical Fundamentalist that’s out there.

STOP FUCKIN’ USING THE BIBLE LIKE YOU’D USE A BUFFET TABLE!  My religion doesn’t exist for your bigotry, so stop fuckin’ usin’ it like that!

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Life, Opinion, randomness, Rants

 

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The New Star Trek


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.

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It’s crap!

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.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in randomness, Rants

 

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Beta testing and customer service


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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.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Life, randomness, Rants

 

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The Way I See It – People of Colour In Fantasy Fiction


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.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in randomness, Rants, video

 

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Why we need them


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.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in randomness, Rants

 

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I like what boys like


See? Girls can be surfers. Or sharks, sure that too.

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.

How to survive anything

How to survive anything. These are not the Scholastic books you’re looking for. (Photo credit: toastforbrekkie)

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.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Life, randomness, Rants

 

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