Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama and His Mob

So, technically, I'm disqualified from this context. No biggie, I'm not too concerned about this. I'm writing this in hope that, perhaps, my idea will get out there; if it isn't out there already in someone else's words.

And yesterday, and today, millions of people are cheering, and blogging about the newly appointed President Obama.

I know nothing of his policies.

I don't know him personally.

From the few speeches and words I have heard though, I like him, and am even impressed. He sounds educated, humble, realistic, and strong. He is an excellent speaker, and I can see how he inspires so many.

I want to keep this short and concise. I don't want to bring up issues of policy, or race, or war, or economies, or the environment. I want to say, what I think is happening, and what is going to happen.

We have a mass of people, not all of them American, not all of them involved with the election of President Obama, but still feeling touched. We are constantly bombarded with the message that he will bring change. And I don't want to discuss that either. It seems however that his message of hope and change are overshadowing something else that I think forms a base for hope and change: responsibility.

And I see a strange sort of irony, in that people are praising President Obama and almost treating him like a hero, a saviour, a knight in shining armour. And I don't think it is a matter of whether or not he CAN be a hero, a saviour, or a knight in shining armour. I don't think he WANTS to be a hero, a saviour, or a knight in shining armour.

I think, and pardon my drama, that a good portion of people will come to his feet, and say "Change the world for us sir! Save the planet! Save America! Save us!" And if he is strong, and if he is honest, here is what I think his answer will be...

With little hesitation, with no coldness, but rather, a humble confidence, he will say "Save yourselves. Save each other."

And this is the responsibility I speak of. One man will not save our world, I hope only that he inspires the rest. He still must work with governors, and senators, and lobbyists, and corporate sponsors, and citizens; all of which who may be in his own nation, but others as well. He may be the first change, the first to act, but he cannot be the last, and he cannot be alone.

So after the President's reply, a few, maybe even all of the gathering will turn to each other, perhaps confused at first, but growing in their acceptance and understanding of his cryptic reply. And they will take responsibility, and they will make change.

But contrary to hope, and faith, I don't think this will last. The novelty will wear thin, people will return to selfish ways and means. People will revert to their seemingly natural state of laziness.

And the change we were supposed to bring about together, will not come. And the hope will die. And blame will need to be placed. And President Obama will become a martyr without a cause. A sacrifice to a Godless rabble (now THAT is drama!).

His followers will betray him, a story told so many times in history. And it is too bad really, because I think he is a good man.

And I hope this doesn't offend, and I don't want people to think that I'm rooting for his failure. I am not. But... I am a skeptic at heart, and faithless at best. What little hope I can muster, I'll send his way. Your way. Our way. Whatever...

I'm sure someone will say that he needs our faith, belief, and support to keep him going. That I should believe, and it's people like me that are what's wrong with the world, or that will hinder his presidency. Perhaps. But there are enough believers out there that he should continue to be successful, as long as you believe, regardless of my view.

Prove me wrong, or, prove me right. It's your responsibility now. And that's my point.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I don't usually like forwarded emails... This one is not bad, in a bang your chest kind of way. Enjoy:

British newspaper salutes Canada . . . this is a good read. It is funny howit took someone in England to put it into words... Sunday TelegraphArticle From today's UK wires:Salute to a brave and modest nation - Kevin Myers, 'The Sunday Telegraph'LONDON:

Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, probably almostno one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops aredeployed in the region.

And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of the world, asalways will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearlyeverything Canada ever does.. It seems that Canada's historic mission is tocome to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, andthen, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored.

Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall,waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, sherisks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers seriousinjuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes, there isCanada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped Glamorously cavortacross the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent withthe United States, and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two globalconflicts.

For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions:It seemed to be a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one,and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude itdeserved.

Yet it's purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom in two worldwars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of Canada'sentire population of seven million people served in the armed forces duringthe First World War, and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied victories of1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiersin the entire British order of battle.

Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, it'sunique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular Memory assomehow or other the work of the 'British.'

The Second World War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began the war witha half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the Atlanticagainst U-boat attack. More than 120 Canadian warships participated in theNormandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore onD-Day alone.

Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the fourth largestair force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublimeindifference as it had the previous time.

Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only if it wasnecessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in which the UnitedStates had clearly not participated - a touching scrupulousness which, ofcourse, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a separateCanadian identity.

So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywoodkeep their nationality - unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus MaryPickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner,Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter and DanAykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and ChristopherPlummer, British.

It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to beCanadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as amoose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find anytakers.

Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements ofits sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely unaware ofthem. The Canadians proudly say of themselves - and are unheard by anyoneelse - that 1% of the world's population has provided 10% of the world'speacekeeping forces.

Canadian soldiers in the past half century have been the greatestpeacekeepers on Earth - in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UNpeacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadianimagination was the sorry affair in Somalia, in which out-of-controlparatroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment was thendisbanded in disgrace - a uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for which,naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selflessfriendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan?

Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac, Canada repeatedly does honourable things forhonourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remainssomething of a figure of fun. It is the Canadian way, for which Canadiansshould be proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This past year moregrieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

Lest we forget.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Deleted Comments

I don't like it. I don't like it when people delete their comments. Why do they do it? What are you hiding, what are you ashamed of, guilty of, afraid of? What are you reconsidering?

When you leave a comment, it leaves a time and a date. That comment was for a certain time and date, a point that will never come again. You won't see that opportunity arise ever again. Don't turn back. Not here, of all places. Not on some punk student's blog. Of all the places to let go, let it be here. Say something honest.

Don't let the future put out the past.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A thing occurred the other day...

So... I'm waiting for class, minding my own business, just reading some flyers posted on a bulletin board outside my class. Actually, I was reading a pretty ridiculous one about starting a quiet violent revolution or some shit like that.

Anyways, I'm standing there, and this girl walks by, and says "Hi."

So, I turn to see who it is, and it's a stranger, someone I've never met before. So, reactively, and even if I thought about it, I'd probably still do this; but I give her a confused look.

So she says "I just wanted to say hi."

So, there's lots to go from here. Wanting to say hi... That's, an interesting phrase. And the more I think about it, the more I feel the same. Don't you ever just want to say hi to people? Everyone who walks by, just wish them a good afternoon or whatever?

*Side Story*

One day, I was in the brown lounge, and I had a box of crackers. It was a busy day, and lots of my friends were coming by, so I would offer them a cracker. The few friends that stook around started making fun of me for this. But this only spurred me on, and I started offering crackers to strangers. Not quite the same as wishing someone a good afternoon, but good enough.

Anyways... So, I reply with a casual "Hey. How's it going?"

So we get to talking, and apparently she's had a bad day, and that really brightened things up. I got her name and added her as a friend on facebook, cause, "That's what all the kids do these days, right?" Her words, not mine.

So why do I agree to this? It reminds me of myself. Or, an older me I suppose. In first year, I was sitting in this brown lounge, and a pretty blonde girl was eating a bag of chips. I asked her, "Would you give me a chip?" And she looked a little confused "Uh... Ok..." And I laugh and shake my head "No thanks. I just wanted to know if you'd give me one. I don't actually want one." And she was SO confused. Almost frustrated! She asked me, "What is this, some kind of experiment? You're a psych major aren't you?!"

Am I that predictable? Haha!! I laughed and replied that "I was just curious, that's all." Anyways, that girl's name was Ursina. Great gal, we actually were in the same Calculus class together. Good times. We still talk, but don't hang out as much as we should. She's a bio major, maybe going to Russia for grad school.

Anyways, this stranger that said hi to me the other day, reminded me of myself. A self that wasn't afraid to be, different. Just kinda goof and foolish and weird. But I mean, really, where else but Nipissing can you have that sort of uniqueness? At a bigger school in Toronto or the like, everything is jam packed with people and stuff taking up your time, it's just... Would you really have time to be an individual? Perhaps in a private sense, but, standing out can be counter productive. I don't get much work done when I'm talking to people passing by. I don't know... Something to chew on I suppose.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bad Habits: Eating off the floor II

So yeah, I'm at McDonald's today with my friend Melissa, getting some grease in me to help cure a hangover (I think that's a myth). Anyways, there is this family sitting across from us. And this lady drops one of her french fries. She bends over to pick it up, and her hand is almost there, then she stops, and shakes her head, and then goes back to her meal. Now... I don't know if it was a reaction to eat the fry, or if it was a reaction just to clean up, but it was there, and it was cool.

I'm a dork.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bad Habits: Eating off the floor

So... I Live at home, and am very fortunate to do so. My mother, like myself (nature-nurture debate anyone?), is a bit of a clean freak. So, we keep our house in good working order. Clean the shower regularly, do dishes right after dinner, and vacuum. Clean floors is very important in my home. It's nice to be able to walk around and not step on things. More importantly, it allows for fair use of the "Five Second Rule". You know, when you drop food on the floor, and it is still good for five seconds? I'm sure if I looked real hard I could find some studies that tell me that even on a regularly vacuumed and washed floor, five seconds is still too long. Regardless, I still eat the food I drop at home. I'm a messy eater too, so if I didn't practice this habit, I'd probably go hungry; not to mention it would dirty up my floor (see the cycle?).

Anyways... I'm walking through the halls of the university, just outside the neuroscience lab, and there's a french fry on the ground. Instinctively, I stopped, and bent my knees in anticipation of going down and fetching that fry up, saving it from the disgrace of not being eaten. Thank goodness I stopped myself. This is no knock on the custodial staff here, as they do good work, but the amount of traffic they have to deal with doesn't allow for them to keep the floors here safe for eating.

But could you imagine? Actually seeing someone do this? Eating something off of the floor, in public?! I'm damn near tempted to make it happen, cause that french fry looked damn tasty... It even had cheese on it! At least, I think it was cheese. It could've been dirt, or even squished potato cause someone stepped on it.

That's another thing... Who steps on a perfectly good french fry? What if someone really and truly wanted to eat it? Think of the joy and nutritional value that they essentially stole from some potentially needy individual... Ok, that might be a bit extreme. Hehehe...

As clean as I try to keep my environment, eating things off the floor has backfired. Sometimes, I bring chicken sandwiches into the lab and eat there (we're not supposed to eat in the lab), and one time I dropped a piece on the ground, and it was too big and tasty looking to leave behind. So... I ate it. I haven't felt the adverse effects physically, but I was ridiculed socially by my co-workers. I like barbequed chicken more than my co-workers though.

This other time, I was at home, eating clod-hoppers. Chocolate ones. Man, they were tasty. Anyways, I dropped on the floor, and it sorta tumbled away from me, out of sight. Not to let it go to waste, I go scrounging for it. I pick up what I thought was a clod-hopper. It looked like a clod-hopper, it even felt like clod-hopper, but brother, it ...

So, a little side note here... I wanted to say "but brother, it ain't no clod-hopper". But grammatically, that'd be incorrect. I need the past tense version of ain't. What the hell is that?! Weren't? Wasn't (too formal)? Wain't? Twas not (WAY too formal)? My friend just suggested "i'nt". ... My friend is an idiot. I think I'll go with weren't.

... but brother, it weren't no clod-hopper (yeah, that sounds right)!! It had this weird granule texture, almost like coffee grinds... It just wasn't pleasant.

Anyways, here's a link to an article by the Washington Post on the "Five Second Rule". There's lots of other blogs that come up if you google it too.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Psyc 3356 Design and Analysis

Ok, so, does anyone who reads this blog take that course (see title)?! I have tutorial hours Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9 AM, and I haven't gotten a single person showing up to them. Should I change them?! If anyone takes the course and has some feedback, hit me with a comment... Yo... *Wikee wikee* ... *Wikee wikee* ... *Wikee wikee* Small time. P-e-ace.