C51 Passed. Oh Brother, You Are So Big.

  Well it is all over folks. Warm up the bus. Just go home and take all our anti-C51 “propaganda” with you. Leave no trace. We knew it was going to happen all along. It is just fist bumps and cold beers for the conservatives and liberals now. Enjoy doing keg stands on our dime. Enjoy looking at our twitter feeds. Enjoy zerberting Mulcair’s bare belly.

  Who the hell wanted this damn bill? I haven’t seen any schmos with poster boards stating that they would like this thing passed. I haven’t witnessed very many pro C51 supporters bickering on the television. When I did, they were conservatives, the kind that aren’t ready to admit that they may have overstayed their welcome. Or they were liberals who will do anything for a vote. Anything! Take this moment to think of something you would like to see a liberal do. Yes, even that!

  Many of us felt safe already. Don’t you feel safer though? No, I feel like a citizen with the power to arrest me and make me disappear is on the other side of this monitor reading this as I write. Wondering if I should be flagged and the answer to that is no, I am really not that interesting.

  “Boss he says he isn’t interesting, but he is speaking his opinion on the government. Is this post spicy enough to merit more snooping?”

  “List him as an apple fritter. Seems spicy, but it is just cinnamon and nutmeg. Nothing on the Scoville Scale.”

  Look Trudeau, I know your party was decimated during the last federal election. I can appreciate your party’s new and more moderate approach. This however is leaned way over the conservative side of the fence. This is vote pandering and is also driven a wedge between your old supporters and the ones you are trying to get. Honestly, the vote was 183 to 96. Your party didn’t even pretend to feign interest in the other direction. You just outright voted in favor!

  You said you would amend the bill if your party won. If your party won? So you have thrown us under the bus in hopes that your party wins! The same party that was annihilated during the last federal election after calling a no confidence! The same party that lost the one before that one and the one before that one! You sir, have a gambling problem!

  However, you might have unwittingly done the most noble thing you could have done. Played the part of a sacrificial lamb. Did you just cause vote splitting between liberals and conservatives? Pulling your party more towards the right to leave plenty of distinction that the NDP is the only major party for those that lean left?

  Here is a joke for the voting booth. What is the difference between a conservative and liberal? Conservatives spy on your facebook, while liberals spy on your twitter.

Another Article, Another Print Books Are Dead Headline. Part Two: Elf Boobs and Bastard Swords.

(Continued From)

  When you woke up, you were older and more sentient. You knew everything, particularly what you liked. Elf boobs and bastard swords! You had started reading Choose Your Own Adventures and Goosebumps. Started hanging out with the twins, maybe the Majeres, could have been Sweet Valley High. Damnit if both sets of twins didn’t have a lot of books. All of which looked great on your shelves. The Majeres were all about big muscles and bad attitudes. Regardless if you were the suavest wearer of braces and Z. Cavaricci’s on the planet, the minute the ladies saw those books, you were stonewalled. Something your parents knew all along. Which is why they kept buying you all those Dragonlance books. They were nothing if not the last line of defence in protecting your perpetual virginity.

  You moved out. Maybe you went to college, maybe your parents were crushing your rock n’roll dreams, maybe you just moved out. Either way, there was probably a box of books you took with you. A box that taught you to lift the legs and not with the back. In that new place, your first place away from your parents, nothing felt right. There was too much empty space. Then you unloaded the box onto your shelf and you felt better. Heck, you were home.

  You had roommates who also brought their heavy boxes of books. The weird kid who brought Pratchett, the gothyish kid who brought all the Ann Rice, the english major who brought a lot of shit you had never heard of. You all started trading and swapping. Learning about other works and worlds you had never heard of.

  Maybe you met the one and started to cohabitate. You started getting more money and a burning desire to live with less roommates. Either way, you got more books. Now you had more than one box, but you had it under control because you knew to lift with your legs. “Fahkenbok!” You breathlessly grunt through clenched teeth as you try desperately to not have your spine unravel as you carry the final and heaviest box up the stairs.

  Years pass. You had to downsize or had so many books you were running out of space. Reading is a hard thing to give up, so you get an e-reader. Maybe you held onto your books, at least some of them. You could still always pick up the rare print book. The one that completes your collection. There is always the library, which is like the best bookstore on earth. It’s like shop lifting, but with a return policy. Besides, how many of those damn Dragonlance books do you really need to own? Are you quoting from them? Referencing them in relation to dealing with issues in your own life?  Unless you have a sword, the ability to cast fireball, or know a real life hill dwarf, you may have issues practically applying such problem solving methods.

(Continued)

Another Article, Another Print Books Are Dead Headline. Part One: The Cynic and The Fox.

 Oh fuck me, here we go again, for the umpteenth time. I am sorry for the opening, but there is just no other way around it. Another article by somebody forcing someone to write something they don’t want to. Quota is quota. Got mouths to feed! What better way to kick start an article than to become an authority and declare something near death. Like vinyl, painting, or trans fat and the people that eat it. However, this article was about print books.

  I am sure we have all seen articles like this. The ones that are waving goodbye to print books while adjusting the e-reader’s settings to look more like paper. In my opinion, Jane Austen is more sepia than umber and Clancy is soul sucking black against pupil nuking white. I am not some hermetical luddite who doesn’t own a few e-books. I have many and I enjoy reading on my tablet. I am just really tired of reading about the impending doom of print books by death dealing epubs. Yes, I know I don’t have to read the articles, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I thrive on frustration and disappointment. And this isn’t about me, this is about books. Real, honest to google books made of paper.

  “Children’s books on a tablet?” I ask while I wipe down my whiskey soaked bar with what appears to be an old grimey rag. “Well that sounds like fun.” I answer as I ring out my whiskey drenched rag, revealing that it is magical and turns whiskey into sarcasm. Punctuating my sentence. Allowing my bar to be thoroughly soaked once more. Albeit this time in sarcasm.

  I can see how some children’s books could use the tablet and amp up the interactive experience. Going places books couldn’t go before. A few traditional kid’s books on the old tablet couldn’t hurt either I guess. It could be fun and I sincerely mean that, but there is something important we are missing, something vital.

  Don’t you remember being a kid? You had books on your bookshelf, they were big and small. Some fat, some tall. You got a lot from your grandmother and some from the bookstore in the mall. You loved them equally though, one, two, three and all.

  They looked great on your shelf. You would get excited just by looking at them and thinking about all the wonderful worlds and characters they contained. You’d grab a book that was half your size, hugging it in both arms and drag it to your designated adult reader. Drop it on the ground, pitch it up on the couch. They would give in and let you pick one more book from your pile before bed. Remember that paper smell? Remember the feeling of the paper as you would turn the pages? Crackle crackle, oh the sound. Remember drifting off to sleep?

 (Continued)

Introverts and the Extroverts Who Say They Are.

  I am not an introvert. I am okay with admitting that. Pretty sure people who have met me know that already. I am mostly outgoing, boisterous, and above all else, hilarious. Alright, the last one has a tendency to not always be true, but I try. Constantly. Much to my friend’s and captive co-worker’s chagrine. I talk a lot, I generally introduce myself to people, and I almost always have a story. Huge groups of people aren’t my thing. Meeting new people all the time wears me out. Generally I don’t get in situations where I have to do that. I may not be the most extroverted of extroverts, but I am one.

 In recent years I have noticed a trend on the rise. Many of my extroverted kind – when it comes up in conversation – are saying, “I’m an introvert.” Why? It is cool to be an introvert! As introverts are perceived as being thoughtful and artsy. The cool quiet people that have their shit together and get shit done. Although those perceptions aren’t always true. I’ve known a few wallflowers that have quietly imploded from not having their shit together. I am also aware of a few silent types that, given the right conditions, can go on like a parrot vaccinated with a victrola needle. Some of them may just be really tired after.

  Introverts seem to get shit done because they aren’t necessarily seen standing around flappin’ their gums, doing funny dances that include gyrating hips, fist pumps, and squawking. They probably aren’t pulling pranks and coming up with funny nicknames to replace the funny nicknames they made up the day before. However they can do all of these things, there isn’t a hard rule. This isn’t pre-third edition Dungeons & Dragons. Your dwarf can be paladin or a mage.

  After a day of work, I am tired. I have worked hard and have extroverted. As I have gotten older I have found it more draining. I have never felt like going down to the club or local meat market. I may feel like going out to the pub, but only to be around people I already know. Mostly, I prefer to stay at home and read and write. Be in the company of my wife and dogs. I have had enough of being an extrovert for the day. I need to recharge my batteries and I do it by going into hermit mode. This does not make me an introvert, I am sure there are some hermits in the woods that would throw the best parties. Which is probably why they have been exiled in the first place.

   Due to having two categories to fall under, it seems a bit too black and white and causes some confusion. Many seem to treat it as a true or false question. Where true is tied to extrovertism and if one does one thing associated with introverts, the answer is false. Meaning that said person is an introvert. Which may not be the correct prognosis. It isn’t necessarily the average of what one does. Energy is also a factor. Whether activities and actions are invigorating or exhausting. Both answers are fine and both may not always be true at all times for the same person. As one ages, they may find that they need to recharge more than before. Which may be why they are picking more energy conserving and energizing activities. The kind that are stereotypically associated with introverts. In the end, just because one goes home tired and chooses to stay in and read doesn’t make them an introvert. It may just mean they talk too damn much!

Ten Years Later, The Queen, and There And Back Again One Thousand Times.

  Three days in a row, a trilogy! This past week has been filled with landmark life events. Well, as long as you are using the standard North American method of starting the week on Sunday and not Monday. If you are in Europe or a hipster, it was the last day of last week and the first two of this one. Doesn’t sound as awesome does it?

  As of Sunday,I have been living in Canada for ten years. Thinking back a decade ago, I can’t remember exactly what time I arrived. It was around midnight and I wonder had I been a minute or two in either direction would this only be two days and not a trilogy.

   On Monday, my wife and I woke up dark and early and went to my citizenship ceremony. I wore my red flannel shirt. I think I was smiling almost the entire time. You see, somewhere around second grade, I mean grade two, I became enamored with Canada and began to think that Canadians were bad ass. I don’t know what I read or saw. There was some character from Canada and they were awesome. No, it wasn’t Wolverine, it might have been a G.I. Joe. During the ceremony I would think back to that pudgy kid. Sure we didn’t set out to do this when we had moved here, but here we were becoming, at least, half bad asses. Then I remembered we lived in the biggest city in the warmest province. One-eigth bad asses it is.

  The judge entered the room and kept spoke briefly about the history of Canada and affirmed our responsibilities as Canadian. I swore allegiance to the Queen and sang the national anthem. Afterward, my wife bought me an apple fritter from Cartem’s Donutery and a fantastic local craft beer.  A friend at work bought a Nugent-Hopkins officially licensed street hockey stick and had the flag draped over my chair.

    Tuesday was the final landmark. With my morning run I completed one thousand kilometers. That is recorded kilometers. Not included are the kilometers where my phone died and I out ran from a pack of bear zombies. Grammar police please note that is bear, not bare. Which would have been equally terrifying.

I’m Sorry, I Can’t Be Your Friend Anymore.

  That is a heavy sentiment. Regardless if it is conveyed through words or actions. Someone has done something to emotionally distress someone else. The end of a relationship. For whatever reason, these people can no longer cohabitate or interact. Hopefully, they were diligent in getting their loaned out belongings back. This is a life altering event, that should not be taken lightly or done in haste. So, why the hell do people do it on social media so easily?

  Every now and then on facebook, you may see a post in your feed. Someone is cleaning house. Getting rid of noninteractive friends. They may keep you, if you reply to the post and let them know you still care. Perhaps they don’t even announce it, you don’t even get a chance, and at some indiscernible point in the future you discover that you have been dumped. Why? It takes effort to unfriend people. Furthermore, it can cause the dumped to feel rejected or feel that they have done something wrong.

  I believe the main reason is the perceived line that some draw between internet life and real life. I suppose these are the kind of people that still have active yahoo accounts and type in hotmail.com in order to be redirected to outlook.com. It is an outdated view that has been widely accepted throughout the last twenty years. It needs to stop.

  There is no line! There hasn’t been one for a long time. What is facebook, if not one of the best examples of this. This platform has augmented our daily interactions and communications. A majority of facebook friends are actually people we have met in real life. Sure, some are more acquaintances than friends and some haven’t been seen in person in over a decade, but does that matter? Facebook’s algorithms help tailor your feeds. Unless you are constantly interacting with someone’s profile by clicking it or corresponding, they will eventually go away. If they aren’t going away fast enough, you can manually tailor them.

  If someone shared a link on urban falconry, you can opt to see fewer posts on the subject. If someone constantly posts NSFW images that you definitely want to see later, you can hide these posts from your feed. If you just are completely tired of someone, just unfollow them, you can still be friends. So when the need arises, you can still easily get in touch with one another. Just because they are annoying on social media does not necessarily mean they are annoying in person. When you are with them in person, do you listen to everything they say? When they start talking about the impact that My Little Pony has had on Obama’s Foreign Policy, do you actually listen? You probably tune them out, not unfriend them.

  I somehow doubt that back in the, eighteen whatevers, when the phone was in it infancy, that there was such a perceived line, between real life and the new form of communication. I doubt that Orville Reginald Moorehead would request the operator connect him to Hoobajoob Joe Brown Johnson III and once connected say, “I am sorry good fellow, I can no longer be your phone friend as I have far too many. See you in real life at the pub!”

  There is no divide between internet life and real life. If you do weird stuff on the internet, you are doing weird stuff in real life, that goes through the internet and ends up in someone else’s real life. The sooner society accepts that, the better. Quit unfriending people, unless they have truly wronged you! You both have over four hundred friends. You do not interact with one another. You are not on each others radar. Although, someday you might be and how awkward will having to re-friend be?