Aug 23

Life is not a journey

I am living this right now.  How do I get off?

Alan Watts – Why Your Life Is Not A Journey from David Lindberg on Vimeo.

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Aug 18

No CPP for you

The Canadian government is raising taxes to help pay for CPP.

They don’t call it a tax, but it is.  Anytime a government takes money away from you it’s a tax. They can call it an investment but here is what is really going on.  The “Me” generation blew all their money, don’t have enough to retire on and are now expecting their kids and grandkids to help foot the bill.  This cartoon sums it up pretty nicely.

In the CBC article Neil MacDonald mentions the code of real estate in places like Toronto and Vancouver.  I don’t know too many young people who can afford to live in the city.  If you look at the entire system it is corrupt, or at least rotten.

The banks give out cheap loans to people to encourage them to invest in real estate, (2.45% interest is a cheap loan)

So the government is going to take a little more money from works, a little more money from employers and give it to whom?  Those who don’t do anything.  You can argue they’ve already paid their share into the system!  Then they shouldn’t need to take money from the working young.

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Aug 12

Random images

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Aug 08

Another landlord article

So there is another article regarding landlords and tenants and once again Toronto has sides with tenants without considering the greater issue. The article focuses on 500 Dawes Rd.which I have seen before and I must say looks like somewhere I would have lived as a student, but not someplace I would like to live now.  What bothers me about the article is the tenants complain about,

Bedbugs and elevator buttons covered in saliva are just two of the complaints about 500 Dawes Rd. But city bureaucrats might be backing away from the idea [of landlord licensing]

What bothers me about this is who do you think is spitting on the elevator?  The landlords?  No it’s the tenants, but given the current state of laws it is near impossible to evict a tenant.  I know that it is a downward spiral, but it is the same thing with a work environment.  If you do not allow for the adequate addressing of poor performance, then you cannot expect things to get better.

And bedbugs?  Who brings them in?  The landlord?  Again no.  People need to take responsibility for their own spaces. I had a roommate who got a kitten which ended up getting fleas.  I ended up having to rent a steam cleaner to get rid of the fleas. She paid me back, but I still had to deal with the hassle.

I am not suggesting that tenants should have to rent a cleaner and do the hallways but they should be cleaning their own spaces.  It is hard to feel sorry for them, when their own places are a mess.  When I was a kid my mother ingrained in me, “dust attracts mites, mites attract spiders”.

Now I like the idea of landlord licensing for any buildings over 5 suites. But I would also like to see rules set up to make it easier to get rid of those problem tenants, no one should have to put up with neighbours who spit on elevators or are filthy.

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Jul 04

Pride 2016

Pride 2016 has come and gone and it was a challenging one on a number of fronts.

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Obviously Orlando weighed heavily on everyone’s minds and there were numerous signs showing support.  The float in the picture above was empty… and later 49 marchers solemnly passed, each carrying a sign with the name of one of the victims.My favorite sign simply read, “Keep dancing Orlando”.  At 3 pm the Parade came to a planned stop and a moment of silence was observed.

On a more personal level pride is very important to Zuimei.  It could be that they don’t have a Pride parade in Tokyo, or that it’s because we met at pride, but ever since he started Touhenboku he has made a point of participating, celebrating and supporting pride every year.

Due to a snafu however his truck was sent along way before his group of people were.  As a result his group didn’t have water, t-shirt or bags to hand out. This was very disappointing to Zuimei since he really goes all in for this.  While other groups (like the banks) are handing out stickers, candy or beads, he hands out shirts and cloth bags.  He spent a considerable about of money on it and it was disappointing that someone f’d it up for him.

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Touhenboku Pride truck at the beginning of the parade

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Touhenboku group near the end of the parade

On the plus side, the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau joined pride as the first sitting PM to ever do so and Toronto Mayor John Tory returned to the tradition of joining pride since Rob Ford’s refusal to attend.

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PM Justin Trudeau and Mayor John Tory

The PM was also joined by Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, as well as Toronto Mayor John Tory. The security around them was tight to say the least.  The number of “marchers” with ear pieces and vests on was considerable.27966442442_b11f8ff66d_z

Pride ran into a bit of a situation when the Black Lives Matter group, who were granted an honoured group position halted the parade for over a half hour while demanding the Pride organizers sign an agreement.  Here is the list of their demands.Cmepp96XYAAklXg

Personally I am of two minds with this.  My initial reaction is “Fuck you! Go high-jack someone else’s parade!” They were given an honoured position and included and they threw it back in our face!  On the other hand…Gay pride which started with the Stonewall Riots was started by Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera two trans-gendered women of colour.  Along the way in out fight for equality we have left some of our brothers and sisters behind.  Perhaps is it a sign that we’ve made it when Pride has become part of the establishment.

I was talking with a friend today and mentioned how Pride had changed, even in the 14 years I had been attending. I remember my first pride seeing a float go by with someone in S&M gear whipping a guy with a hood on. Now, It was much more corporate; every bank has a float, even beer companies, and Pfizer are present.  There wasn’t much of sex in it anymore.  Maybe somewhere along the way we had lost our roots.

Some of the BLM demands I like and some I have issue with.  I love the idea of BQY funding, especially if it is a space in jeopard but I would throw this back and ask BLM_TO to also contribute, if not funds then time and support.  I feel like there was a lot of shouting about Black lives matter and the gay and trans support was an afterthought.  Number 6 is a must.  We must increase the representation of other communities.  Which makes me curious as to why American Sign Language is mentioned twice both in demand #4 and #7.  Is there someone in particular they are thinking of?

I completely disagree with number 8.  It’s been a long slow road from the raids of the bath houses to the chief of police, Mark Saunders, marching in the parade. I would like to see more inclusion, not less.

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Jun 16

Pride

I don’t normally go to PRIDE anymore. It was exciting the first few times I went, when I was younger and that part of sexuality was new to me.  When I first saw a muscle bear in chaps in real-life. (only seen it on the internet before that) Or the first transgendered person I met.  In fact, I met my husband at my first gay pride.

But as time went on I began to feel less and less connected with the gay community.  I don’t go to the village. I dislike bars. I have only seen one musical.  Honestly I don’t feel I have much in common with gay culture other than the fact I have sex with a man.

Pride became, in my mind, more of an excuse to party and an excuse for corporations to show their rainbow coloured support than to further the fight against inequality

My gay agenda is all about equality. I want to be able to have a life without constantly being defined by my sexual preference.

I am more concerned with paying my mortgage and whether or not I remember to buy eggs than I am with whatever it is gay culture is concerned about.  Honestly I had no idea what the hot topics of conversation were until last week.  I suppose in some sense means we must have made it since I don’t really need to fight for equality, we have it. It’s not something I need to think about anymore.

However, after what happened in Orlando it seems we still have a long way to go.

Caleb McGrew,Yosniel Delgado Giniebra

The shooter in this religious fueled rampage, who pledged allegiance to ISIS, was apparently upset that two men kissed in front of him. In fact a little research would seem to suggest he was a very confused individual with some serious self-loathing issues.  But attacks on gays is nothing new.  A quick search will turn up dozens, if not hundreds of incidents of LGBTQ2 individuals being assaulted.  What makes this one so shocking is the number of victims thanks to assault weaponry and the ties to a terrorist organization.

That same terrorist group, Daesh, has claimed that Toronto Pride is an excellent target.

Now I don’t know if they are trying to scare people away from pride, but if they are they clearly know nothing about gay history.  The first pride was a riot. In fact, it was a riot lead by a drag queen of color, and a transgendered woman.  At pride we celebrate the patrons of the Stonewall Inn, and that outrageous act of defiance.  We celebrate those who said “enough is enough” and kicked off the gay rights movement. Pride is equal parts celebration, protest and community building.

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Which that is why I will attend Pride this year with my husband. I will not cower in fear of hate-mongers.  I will not change who I am, or who I love. And I will support my community.

 

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