Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh, So The BP Oil Spill Is A Good Thing

Here we've been criticizing BP about the oil spill and how they've been handling it. But it seems we have just been ol' Negative Nellies and totally missing out on all the positives this spill has brought to the Gulf of Mexico and its animal residents.

I found this profound video from the purveyors of crucial news, UBC Comedy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And Now For Something Entirely Unrelated To The G20 & G8 Summits

Because after two days of blogging and writing about them, it is time for a break.

And more specifically, it is time for this. . .

This monumental and history making masterpiece is entitled, "Chris' Big Getaway". I am making the bold assumption that the 'Chris' in question is me, Christopher. Because you see, sometimes you can shorten Christopher into Chris (crazy, the tricks those name things can do). This beautifully profound piece of art was not crafted by me, but rather my close and dear friend Scott 'The Scott' Martin (who also happened to be the best man at my wedding, way back in the day). Take this any way you want, but this picture actually sums up our relationship and the reason we are friends rather nicely.

As you can see, not only am I present in this picture, but I'm also sporting the beloved tiara (because it isn't a day out unless I have my bling). Of course, I'm chilling with my best buds Jack Slater and Indy, as well as a pterodactyl that seems to have a really bad case of gas (to the point it gives new meaning to ring of fire). As you can see, I am leaving my favourite vacation spot Snake Mountain, but it looks like Skeletor wasn't in that day. So, we decided to get chased by some tanks instead (the next best thing, when you don't have a skeleton faced foe to play with).

You know, the more that I look at this picture, I realize this also sums up rather nicely exactly what my 6 year old self was hoping I'd be doing at age 32. He can now be content in knowing that it is at least forever captured in Photoshop form (Yes Tim, this is how Photoshop works). Of course, Jack Slater didn't exist when I was 6 years old, but we can always pretend that is the Terminator, which would explain how he got to ride a dinosaur since he is a time traveler. Because you know, this picture really needs logic and reason to help explain it, because plot holes is its biggest concern.

I hope your Tuesday was as action packed as mine. Or at least, the day experienced by the picture version of me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Now For The Other Side Of G20 Mayhem

Yesterday, I gave my verbal smackdown upon the thugs and psychopaths that masqueraded as protesters in Toronto on Saturday. My biggest issue was that I likely agreed with what they claimed their message was, but I was completely opposed to how they decided to execute their message. They may have claimed they were demonstrating their protest against Harper's seemingly constant decisions to diminish freedoms and democracy which accumulated recently with mandates passed for G20/G8, but instead, it screamed, 'I am 30 years old and I really need a babysitter!' But the fact is, there was peaceful protesters present in Toronto, and they did try to convey their message in a much more effective way.

Now, of course that video is a lot less sexy, even if you dress it in some lacy, black number. The fact is there was groups who recognized the value of demonstrating and protesting in a civil and peaceful way -- surprisingly enough, they didn't come off as Neanderthals or raging lunatics. It is unfortunate, the other maniac group completely overshadowed the work done by these folks.

The other big issue coming out of this weekend is the behaviour of the police towards some of the peaceful protesters. I'm sure anyone who has been following the events in Toronto to any small degree has heard about the mass amount of protesters arrested and the claims that the cops have been illegally enforcing their authority. Of course, you need to remember the tense situation that has been created due to the Black bloc thugs' redecorating of Toronto on Saturday, thus the cops are justifiably going to be on the edge. Though the arrest of people without any cause, or the attack of peaceful protesters is uncalled for. Of course, the argument would be this isn't happening, but rather distortion of facts and video, and instead, it is the criminals and violent protesters who are being rounded up. I do believe that even if it is happening, that a lot of it is being commanded by an authority that are a lot higher than the police officers, and it is just a matter of them following orders. Needless, to say, it appears we have a mess going on in Toronto, and many sides are not coming out of it looking too exemplar. It is one of those situations where blame can be thrown in quite a few directions, and was initially made pretty bad by edicts originally passed by the government.

Here is a video that makes you question exactly what type of authority the police are trying to push. Of course, it should be made clear that this is a 30 second video that not only lacks context, but is likely missing out some key triggers prior to this incident. It definitely makes you question what exactly is going on in Toronto, and are the peaceful protesters really getting their lawful right to protest.

Of course, I can blather on and on about this, but I am just an armchair quarterback who is enjoying the comfort of his office, which is over an hour car ride away from the events. I am not there, thus only see what the media and Youtube videos are allowing me. As I stated before, these videos often lack the context and are framed to show a certain view. This is why I believe this article by Steve Paikin is definitely worth a read, and it paints a story that is very disturbing.

In the end, I believe we have a really ugly situation on our hands. A situation that was partly created by the decision to have the G20 Summit in a heavily populated city, and a government that felt it needed to restrict some liberties and freedoms from the populace (though only temporarily). Then things were escalated because some thugs felt they needed to demonstrate their frustrations and message in the most asshated and destructive way possible. I really think that was probably the major catalyst for the possible overly stringent and aggressive tactics performed by some members of the police force. No matter what, this is a rather large black eye that will be hard to remove from the history of Toronto.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

G20 Protests: How Not to Bring Attention to a Cause

Downtown Toronto was not the place to be if you wanted a nice and relaxing Saturday. Though if you thought your diet was missing a little fire, brick and shattered glass, then Toronto was the perfect places to remedy that problem. Some would want to blame this mass chaos on 'protesters' but is this really protesting?

The average and reasonable human being who clicks on the news at 11pm and sees those type of actions, is not going to respond, 'Now, those there kids are fighting for a just and worthwhile cause that I want to support' but rather will likely think, 'Damn Thugs.' Because burning cop cars, smashing bricks through windows, attacking cameramen, and destroying innocent people's places of business are things that are done by inbred, Neanderthalic thugs. A person with a properly functioning brain rarely wants to support the causes and agendas of thugs.

The sad thing is some of the causes these folks are trying to fight for, are things that I would likely agree with and support. My issue is they decided to go about it in the most asshated fashion possible. Instead of garnering any kind of sympathy for their case, they decided to make themselves look like raging, vicious, self-centered psychopaths. And again, most tend to want to disassociate themselves from psychopaths. Especially from thugs who scream they want certain 'destructive' types away from their city, but then proceed to destroying said city. 'The government is ruining our streets and lands, and in protest, I am going to destroy them my self!'

It is incidents like this, that cause people to look at protests as vile and evil things. The problem is, what happened here was not a protest, but just a blatant act of savagery. Yes, these thugs thought they had an agenda and cause, but the thrashing of a storefront is not expressing any valid and clear message other than, 'I am a violent brute, who is scared of windows.'

Protests have worked in the past and have not caused unneeded violence and destruction. I'd like to invite these folks to pick up a textbook and read about the Velvet Revolution, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King. You will then read about protests that not only lacked chaos and violence upon the innocent, but actually brought about major change. These were protests about actual and real causes, and the non violent and peaceful protests actually lead to the change that was hoped for. History shows that protest can have love and peace implemented in them, and still be incredibly effective. Often, the peaceful protester is able to garner waves of sympathy and support because they aren't looking like a raging, lunatic. Actually, they usually are looking like victims or the oppressed. One of the huge turning points in the Civil Rights movement was when the police turned the high powered water hoses on the Civil Right marchers, who just happened to have a bunch of children on the front line. Martin Luther King and his supporters definitely looked like the good guys compared to those who were willing to knocked down innocent children. You could argue that putting children right at front, with the knowledge that there could be some possible harm, is a very manipulative tactic. The fact remains, they weren't doing anything wrong with their marching, and they were allowing police and government be left with having to implement the acts of violence (though, they could have chosen to just allow them to march too).

That is not what was witnessed on Saturday in Toronto. The thugs disguised as protesters implemented wanton acts of destruction and violence. You had protesters who were arguing that our nation is becoming a police state or that billions were being wasted on security. Then they proceeded to justify the need for security and a mass police presence by unleashing unwarranted attacks. Do you really think the store owners and their employees are really going to support the protesters after thugs damaged their source of livelihood? Or does anyone really think most citizens are going to be more willing to take up the protesters' causes after witnessing sheer anarchy? On this day, the government looked like the victim which is an example of an ineffective protest. Even sadder, most people are completely unaware of what any of the causes or agenda where, because all they witnessed was havoc.

This wasn't an example of why protesting is wrong, but rather, this was proof why some should pick up a textbook and learn some history before demonstrating to the world how much of an asshole they are.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Proof Girls and Boys Aren't Identical

Not that anyone has ever really argued that the two sexes are completely the same. There does seem to be a camp that feels most differences may be due to hegemony and societal expectations.

But this profound video may show evidence contrary to that belief.

And with that, I wish upon you the most spectacular of all Saturdays. I've got some non-bloggery writing to attend to.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Must Be The Lack of Keifer Sutherland

This video was originally posted at the laughfest known as College Humour in 2007. So, at least this is a video from this past decade rather than from a time when a portable phone was the size of my dog (and he is really hard to raise to my ear and doesn't have great reception). Anyway, this is a clip of what 24 would look like if it came out about 10 years earlier than it actually did. If you have a soul, you will laugh at least once (note: this previous statement may not apply to you).

Not ever watching 24 probably makes this video about as hilarious as yesterday's video if you never saw The Shining (so about as funny as a block of cheese -- delicious but cracks horrible jokes).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

And Stephen King Thought He Hated The Original

Today, I am showcasing yet another video that has been flailing about on the Web (does anyone who isn't currently living in 1998 even call it that anymore?) for probably 4 years or more now. By this point you may have forgot you watched it in between downloaded episodes of Robot Chicken, and thus it is my civic duty to deliver it again, so that you can laugh all over.

Of course, if you've never actually seen or heard of the film, "The Shining", then this entire parody trailer will be completely lost on you. Essentially, the film is based off Stephen King's third published novel and most definitely one of his best known. Stanley Kubrick directed this film, and Stephen King actually hated this movie since he felt it completely missed the point of his novel. Despite the fact the author of the book the film was based on hated it, it was largely loved by critics and cinephiles.

It is considered one of the scariest movies of all time, and basically, you can't call yourself a fan of horror without seeing this film at least once. It is a classic, and definitely a provider of nightmares.

For people completely oblivious to this classic film (and the even better novel), here is a quick and fairly spoiler free summary. Jack Torrance, a struggling alcoholic author, takes his family to the Overlook hotel, which is to be closed for the winter, to be the caretaker. He hopes to repair his deteriorating relationships with his wife and son, while also trying to complete the manuscript for his next novel. Since this is a horror story, things can't be that simple. It turns out the Overlook hotel is haunted, and at first tries to take over Jack's son Danny, but fails due to the powers he has (known as the Shining). So instead, the hotel focuses on taking over Jack and using him for its evil purposes. Scariness ensues for all.

This very well done (but fan made) trailer would give you a completely different impression of what type of story this would be. This version of the movie would probably be hated by Stephen King even more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summit's Adventures Part 2: Life After The Vet

"I went to the vet, and in exchange for my balls, all I got was this odd scarf!"

"Hey, why don't you have a neck ornament? Hmmm"

"Aha, one scoop of Cat Cone!"

"Sigh, life is tough being a Conehead."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summit's Adventures: Vet Edition

Summit occasionally has the urge to do a little

Usually more towards the human leg variety. Excluding my brother Lucas, this activity makes most people rather

So, today the vet will be doing some

This unfortunately will cause Summit

But I really hope this traumatic experience doesn't turn him into

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where I Once Again Resort To Other People's Thoughts

Today is going to be one of those times I refer you over to somebody else's blog for your daily enlightenment. Why? I have three big, profound, and life changing reasons (actually, they are none of those, but it sounds better this way). My first, is that I've got lots of things that need my attention today which include possible paid writing work and my big people job, thus can't spend too much time playing in the blog sandbox today. My second reason, is that you can only resort to puppy pictures so many times (partly, because I only have so many). My final reason, this blog post I'm referring you to is actually something many of you will probably find insightful and interesting.

I've sent you to John Scalzi's 'Whatever' blog in the past. And if that didn't turn you into a regular reader of his, then I am really not sure if we can be friends anymore. Though, it isn't like he really needs my endorsement to get him readers since he has about a trillion bajillion a day, while it's a banner day for me if I get 33 (actually, it's still a good day if I get 10 less than that). If you are not a regular reader of his, then you most likely missed his recent post about marriage (which also marked his 15th wedding anniversary -- so congrats!). But you will miss it no longer because I will zap you there right now!

Even though I only have 2 years of marriage under my belt, I do think the man gives some rather dandy advice. I do recognize that some people come with heaps of baggage and history, to the point where those 3 magic words don't hold much fairy dust anymore. I do think there is always the chance where they can become nothing more than empty words, such as during a time a marriage may be losing luster and shine. Of course, that is the main reason why he mentioned right at the start that a great marriage requires a lot of hard work. I can attest to that. I can also agree that all that hard work does pay off, and there is a reason my marriage is better now than it was at the very beginning (not to say it wasn't pretty damn spiffy then too). I think a combination of doing all the small and big things that are necessary for a healthy marriage, along with a regular dose of those 3 words can lead to a long and happy life together.

Anyway, enough of my verbiage since I want you to read his. And you better read it, because there might be a quiz later.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

But At Least It Is Easier to Spell Doctor and Lawyer

A friend on my twitter posted a link that lead me to this video on the TED website. TED (from what I could gather on their About page) is a non profit organization that is devoted to fostering innovative and fresh ideas among those in fields like entertainment, technology or design. This video is a tad shy of 20 minutes, which means it will take almost a quarter of your valuable hour, but I do think it is something worth watching.

I don't want to say too much about this video, since I'd like everyone to form their own thoughts on it (plus the more time you spend reading, the less likely you'll be willing to watch the video). I don't necessarily agree with everything brought up in this video, but I do believe there is some value in the message. I think the risk of completely following his message is that not all kids are going to thrive in this type of environment or method of raising (he doesn't insinuate that all will). It also seems a little more money driven than I'd like, but I do agree it is important that a child should understand the value of being able to mange their own funds. I also don't agree completely with his notion that having a 'regular' job is a bad thing (or even that an allowance is bad), because even if my kid becomes a successful entrepreneur, I want him to appreciate and understand what it is like to be a 'labourer'. If you've been an employee, I believe it makes you a little more empathetic to others in that spot, especially if you end up being their boss.

All in all, I definitely think this is a worthwhile video for any parent or 'some day to be' parent to check out. I am a big supporter of the notion of 'teaching my kid to fish' rather than 'give them a fish.' I really oppose parent strategies that overly shelter a child and don't allow them to make some decisions and give them the chance to make mistakes (of course, within a fairly safe and nurturing environment). In what would be no surprise to anyone, I definitely like the idea of encouraging my kids to come up with their own stories and attempt to foster their creativity. The best part of this video, is the idea of embracing, encouraging and investing in the strengths of your child, because I think we often concentrate on trying to improve what our kids are weak at rather than trying to allow the child to flourish in what they are good at. It is likely their strengths are what they enjoy thus are more likely to succeed in, thus will probably be along the lines of what they want to do their whole life. In the end, isn't the goal to have your child succeed and be happy?

Anyway, I've already typed way too much, and will probably save more in-depth thoughts for a future post. Check out the video and tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In Lieu of a Post, a Cute Puppy Picture

That would be Summit back in September, on his very first day at the Spicer house. Revel in his cute-tastic-ness. Though he is still very much the cuteness, but about 70 pounds heavier and several inches taller. But cute, he still corners the market on that.

It's been a delightful Saturday, and like all delightful Saturdays, it meant very minimal time at the computer, which meant even less time for blogging. But to help you cope with that pain, I'll give you another picture.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Swarley Moves Out

I came home from work today to see Swarley had packed all his bags, and was ready to return home after his one month plus visit at the Spicer household. I think Summit took Swarley's leaving the hardest, because he now doesn't have a cage to run circles around and whine at. Though after about 5 minutes, he remembered there was cat he could chase and drag across the kitchen floor any time he wanted.

To commemorate the end of Swarley's stay, I decided to work a 12 hour shift, then drink an ice cold beer on my porch while basking in the lovely summer evening with Emily, and I then topped things off with a rousing hour of Wii Sports Resort. I am sure such festivities would have made Swarley proud. Now, in his honour I will participate in his favourite of all past times, sleep.

Night, I hope your Friday was lovely, nifty and delicious.

Just in case you already have forgotten what Swarley looked like. . .

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh! So, That Is Why Twilight Is Popular!

I've never read Twilight. Okay, I've never read the entire book. Last year, when I was doing my placement in a Grade 6 classroom, I was actually introduced to Twilight by several swooning tween girls, who declared it the greatest literary accomplishment ever written by a human being (because Fincky the Funky Monkey still is the uncrowned king of any literary work written by something that breathes). Since they liked to spend countless hours pontificating about the dreaminess and sparkliness of Edward the hunky vampire, I thought it might be a smart idea to read up on this defining work of vampires in literary history. I got about halfway through the first chapter, decided to randomly skim other chapters to see if the style changed, and then closed the book in hopes of ending the torment I was self afflicting. Needless to say, it wasn't my favourite book of all the times, and I hope to never ever actually have to pick up another copy again. I don't like my vampires sparkly and I'd wager pretty big money that Bram Stoker would be on my side (luckily for my mortgage, we won't ever be able to confirm this). My issue was more than just how vampires were essentially neutered and became a symbol for the 'so hot he melts' bad boy, but rather pertained to how Stephenie Meyer wrote the story along with her pacing and character development. Of course, I know my criticisms don't mean much because I didn't read much more than 20 pages in total, and of course, there is the whole fact she's made a bajillion zillion more dollars than I've succeeded to do with my own writings (not that that fact devalues my own opinion of her particular brand of writing).

It does leave me in a spot, where I wondered why she was so successful. What it is that made girls flock to her books? Why is she the new face of YA fiction? And why did she feel the need to make vampires so uncool? Well, I finally found my answers. This article describes the reasons for the Twilight love with wonderful words and pretty pictures that finally gave me the understanding I've needed these last few years. Though I should warn you, that if you actually are a lover of all things Twilight, my sending you to this article might make you want to bite my neck or take off your shirt and sparkle (or however Twilight fans exact revenge).

While you are at this lovely site known as The Oatmeal, I want to direct your attention to How to Suck a Facebook, because mainly it made me giggle like a schoolgirl. And do those school girls ever giggle or something. Either way, it is funny, but may hit a little close to home for a few people.

Actually, if your humour is anywhere near mine (and if you have stuck with the blog this long, then you're either my wife or must be a semi-fan), then you should probably check out a lot of his comics. I find the rules of grammar to be educational and giggle-a-licious. So, let me do some real work and bother him for awhile over there.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where I Gush Over A Comic Strip

I've mentioned the greatness that is Winston Rowntree's web comic, Subnormality, before in a previous blog post. Even though I urged you to continually follow him, I have a sense that I haven't achieved full mind control over you yet, thus there is a chance you haven't regularly popped over there. This is a shame, because even though there is usually more words than pretty pictures, he definitely creates one of the best web comics around. His stuff is often quite witty and funny, but he almost always has a deep message that relates to social and political issues. It also helps that I often agree with that he has to say, but even if you don't, many of the comics can trigger some pretty riveting discussions. Speaking of reasons to constantly check his site and the riveting of discussions via his comics, I want to direct your attention to this specific strip. Go ahead, I'll be waiting here for when you get back.

I don't just want to reiterate what was perfectly stated in the comic, but I have to say that I absolutely loved this strip and it really resonated with me. There is obviously one really major message he was trying to convey at the end, but I felt there was a lot of powerful points throughout the piece.

The idea of 'steps' and it only takes the gradual addition of these symbolic blocks to eventually form a larger purpose is a very insightful notion. It is very easy to look at Nazi Germany or Rwanda genocide, and deem that all the people there were pure evil and that we would never follow such barbaric paths. I honestly believe the majority of people in this world are good people with honest intentions, but the reality is, under the wrong circumstances or the introduction of a misguided philosophy, then good people can do absolutely evil things. I am not saying that in some of the biggest atrocities in human history that there wasn't truly evil people that may have masterminded the despicable events, but I do believe that under different circumstances, many of those people would have been otherwise upstanding citizens. It is a general accumulation where a person starts accepting one idea passed to them, and then this leads to the acceptance of another and so on. As human beings, we naturally tend to flock to the masses and accept what is our society's hegemony.

It doesn't have to be all bleak, because it is rarely mentioned that it can actually have an opposite effect too. It only take small but consistent steps to make more positive societal norms and creeds. Of course. my definition of a better soceity may be very different than yours. In the end, the important part is making sure one is accepting of all people's freedoms, rights and beliefs, as long as these things are not directly harming a living person. This of course means you may not see your vision for a totalitarian state realized, where all must live in their Jenga built huts and mine for frog slime with the promise of state manufactured gruel for dinner (though free cream corn every 7th Thursday - yum!). The point is, there is the possibility for positive change, but it often needs to be done in steps and has to be a gradual process. Just like how the atrocities of Rwanda and Nazi Germany did not happen over night but rather over many, many, many years (and again, it was the slow acceptance of different beliefs and mindset that lead to final product).

I also like how the 'step' approach can apply to our personal life too. The two big things for me would be my marriage and my writing. I have goals and dreams that I want to reach with both, and I hope to achieve ultimate success in both. In each case, it is a matter of making small steps over time in order to build towards my main goals. For my marriage, it is a matter of remembering to do the the small things (like asking Emily how her day was or to make sure the trash doesn't become a living being), and gradually using them to build a stronger and better marriage. I'd say this approach is probably one of the reasons that my marriage has gotten better over the last two years.

For my writing, it is a matter of setting specific goals. At this point, my focus is just a matter of writing so many words each day. Then I will continue to focus on having a finished product to send out to several publishers. Eventually, I will have the goal of actually having that work accepted and being given that sweet, mortgage paying money. When I get to that point, I am sure I'll have new and exciting goals to aim for.

A lot of rambling for a web comic, but a web comic that I think is really a valuable read. A great message can come in any form. But now, I think I need to start taking real steps towards my bed because it is approaching midnight and I've been in the land of the living since 5:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A 'Get Him To The Greek' Review: Should You Get To The Cinema?

'Get Him to the Greek' is yet another film attached to Judd Apatow (producer for this movie) who has either produced or directed such popular comedic films as 'Anchorman', '40 Year Old Virgin', 'Knocked Up', 'Superbad' and 'Pineapple Express' to only name a few. This film is actually a spin off of another Judd Apatow produced comedy, 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'. If you have even heard of the above movies, then you have an idea the type of company 'Get Him to the Greek' is in, thus have an inkling of what to expect in this film.

Apatow has the reputation of delivering raunchy but sweet films, that often appeal to the male demographic but still have enough to offer his girlfriend when she is dragged along (as long as she can handle a healthy dose of profanity, potty humour and dirty jokes). Since this model has been a major hit at the box office, it had no chance of being altered or eliminated here. You should know what to expect when entering this film, but the question is, after so many movies does the formula still work and produce the laughs the audience is looking for?

The film focuses on eccentric rock star (is there any other kind?) Aldous Snow, played by Russell Brand, who was a supporting character in 'Finding Sarah Marshall'. Snow has hit a 3 year rough patch where his fame and success has faltered after the ill advised (in the storyline world but absolutely hilarious for the real world movie goer) 'African Child' music video/song/album, which has lead to him taking a rather large tumble off the proverbial wagon. Enter record company intern Aaron Green, played by Jonah Hill, who suggests they promote a comeback concert in an attempt to save the money losing record company. This leads to the main drive of the film, where Green is responsible for getting Snow to the Greek Theatre in LA. Since it wouldn't be much of a movie otherwise, Green runs into a lot of different and hilarious obstacles along the way of trying to get Aldous to his own concert.

'Greek' is yet another movie that would fall under the Bromance comedy that has been growing over the last few years, such as 'Superbad' and 'I Love You, Man'. Similar to those films, it has an underlying message which makes the film more than just a 'dumb comedy'. It deals with issues like acceptance, friendship, loyalty, and being true to one's self. The Green character is your average person, thus someone most audience members can relate to (Snow is for the all the rich and drugged up rock stars that attend movies). He is basically a good human being, that makes some major mistakes, which helps make him someone you can accept as real (which is important since almost everyone else, besides his girlfriend, are larger than life cartoons). The film's big focus is the devleoping relationship and acceptance between the two big opposites in Snow and Green (hence, being a Bromance).

The reality is, you aren't seeing this movie for its profound message (or its lack of one). You're paying this money to laugh and laugh until Diet Coke torpedoes from your nose. Though I can't promise the spraying of Diet Coke (especially if you drink Sprite), but I can say that I laughed at some point in almost every scene in this movie. Though I doubt I'll ever talk about any deeper meaning or powerful message in this film (because really, it isn't there to any large degree), but four days later, I still find myself giggling when remembering parts in the movie. It is a genuinely funny movie, that will make almost anyone laugh out loud. It contains a few moments that will likely go down as comedy classics. Of course, as I stated earlier, this isn't a family movie (I am pretty sure it is rated R) and if you like your humour clean then you're wasting your time. I went with Emily and two neighbours, and everyone left saying this was a very funny movie. The fact is, that is all you should be looking for in a film like this.

I don't want to provide any spoilers since the film is still in theatres and likely, many of you haven't seen it yet (but should, if 'Knocked Up' or '40 Year Old Virgin' is your type of comedy), but I wanted to focus on a few key aspects of the film. I know very little about Russell Brand ( I know he is huge overseas), but I have to say he does a marvelous job as the coked out of his mind rock star. He definitely plays a role that will remind you of a few rock icons, based off his mannerisms and performance. I've always enjoyed Jonah Hill in his other films, but I think, he does a great job as the leading man. I really think this will be the film that helps establish him as one of the next big leading comedy stars. His chemistry with Brand is very solid, and he does a great job as the relative straight man (or at least, being the 'common man'). The real shocker is the performance by P Diddy (yeah, that P Diddy). P Diddy is no where near my favourite recording artist, but he was without any dispute, the very best part of this movie. He is absolutely hilarious and plays his part exceptionally. I never would have thought he would be the highlight of a film, but he most definitely is here.

The question is, where does this film stand amongst other comedy classics? I wouldn't put it at the very top or even say, it is one of the very best of Apatow's films. The movie is very funny, and the actors play their roles solidly, and though there are some parts that will probably be deemed classics, the film as a whole will only be remembered as being pretty good. There are a few scenes that are a little too awkward and foolish. There is sometimes a sense that you've already seen this before. But you know what, who really cares? The film is still going to be the funniest movie this summer and will squeeze many laughs out of you throughout its running time. Isn't that the whole reason you watch a comedy? This is a high recommendation, and yet another success from Apatow and company.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How BP Handles Coffee Spills

I didn't make this, but I did laugh at it. That is basically the same thing, right? Plus this video is actually pretty relevant and not 5-20 years old like all the other videos I've posted here. I especially enjoy the facial expressions and mannerisms of 'bagel boy' throughout the video (though his crowning moment is at the very end of this laughtastic masterpiece).

If you like this video then be sure to check out a lot of other funny shenanigans at UBC Comedy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Top Ten Signs You Have World Cup Fever

10. When you take out the trash for Garbage Day, you drop the bag on your porch and then proceed to kick it to the curb. If the garbage reaches the curb, you then proceed to yell 'GOAL!' and do a dance on your porch. You've also likely left a lot of yummy ice cream containers and meat bones on your lawn for the resident raccoon to enjoy.

9. You beam with pride when someone calls you a hooligan.

8. When you wake up tomorrow morning, you will have the strong urge to call into work, and start making coughing noises while explaining to the secretary there is no way you can go into work today because you are too sick. She will then remark that something must be going around because your boss took the day off too.

7. If you're Canadian, you will have the strange desire to wave the flag and show national pride of a nation that you have never lived in, but once stayed there for 20 minutes during a flight stopover. If you aren't Canadian, then congratulations on actually having your country in the World Cup.

6. When it starts to rain, you feel it necessary to jump directly up and catch the raindrops with your head.

5. When someone asks you to pass something, you firmly plant one foot, then step out with your other foot while using both hand to toss the object directly over your head. This can turn out to be rather ugly when asked to pass bottles of beer or steak knives.

4. You get the impulse to chant 'Ole Ole' over and over again when in the company of over 4 people. If said company has not contracted the fever, then you should expect a prompt pummeling after about three seconds.

3. Somebody taps you on the shoulder, and your immediate instinct is to drop to the ground and huddle in a ball while clutching your knee.

2. If you get cut off while driving, you will proceed to catch up with the driver and then flash a red card in their direction.

1. When someone remarks that nobody in Canada will even bother watching the World Cup, you will inform them that more kids are enrolling into soccer leagues than any other sport in the country. Of course, you then will give them a bicycle kick to the head.

Enjoy the World Cup!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Spicer Family Add Yet Another

Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to introduce you to the newest addition to the Spicer family. . .

Yep, that there would be the black Wii. It is a little less 'alive' than previous additions like Summit, Crosby or Swarley, but he needs the same type of attention and he loves to be played with. Since the Spicer family is all about being welcoming, this evening has been dedicated to making sure Mr. Wii gets the proper playing time. On top of the Wii's arrival, it has been a rather fabulous Saturday where we did Saturday-like things such as laundry, eating party mix, partaking in window shopping, doing real shopping, inspecting rocks, and hiding candy trees in my pants. Yep, a pretty typical Saturday.

How was yours?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Writing Tips from an Actual Published Writer

It's going to be another day of 'resorting to a video rather than actually write something' at the blog. It's been a looooooooooong day in the cave disguised as an office space, and when my marathon of work comes to an official end, I'm going to head out to a movie with my beautiful, awesome wife and some neighbours that aren't too shabby either. This means I am not being allotted any time to write something substantial for the blog today. So, instead I am going to present to you a video of Ray Bradbury speaking on the importance of persistence in writing (as well as some other really key pieces of advice). I hope you have at least heard of Ray Bradbury, but if you haven't, he is one of the most prolific short story writers of this past century. He also has written a few novels, the most well known being The Martian Chronicles(which is actually a short story collection linked into a larger narrative), Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I'd say he would have something of worth to bring to the writer's advice table.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yet Another 'Funny' Video to Disguise My Lack of Written Words

This is another video that is a few years old (I stumbled upon it when I was still in University), but I think it's comedy gold. Or at least, good enough to distract you from the fact I am weasling myself out of having to write an actual post. Though I honestly was writing a 'real' post for today but it ended up being overly ambitious considering I also had possible paid writing work and big people work to do today as well. So, instead you can have funny moving pictures to entertain you, which you'll either find 'shoot milk from your nose' funny or 'this Christopher Spicer is a hideous human being to subject me to this' offensive. Either way, it saves me from having to use my brain to compose delicious and nutritious words.

A quick explanation of this video. It is essentially a parody of internet forums, which means if you have frequented forums to any degree then you'll totally get this video, and if you haven't done so then congratulations you are not a geek.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Our House Is A Zoo. . . Literally

Introducing the latest addition to the Spicer Zoo, you've read the blog about him but now it is time to see him. . .

(which may or may not be how you actually spell his name)

And now for the other esteemed members of the zoo. . .

Here is Crosby, who surprisingly is not eating or begging to be feed, but probably is dreaming about bacon grease.

And of course, it isn't a blog about my pets (or pets we're temporarily looking after) without a picture of the 85lb bundle of fun, Summit.

Speaking of Summit, here is his much anticipated rematch with Alf. Though at this point, the winner seems to be a foregone conclusion (pssst. . . its the one whose insides are not strung out across the floor)

Now, it is time for tonight's feature presentation, Freaky Friday: Animal Edition.

We conclude our tour of the zoo with a shot of Summit and his two best friends. These guys really hit it off with each other -- as in, they like to hit Summit in the face with their paws. Surprisingly enough, this is a picture where their favourite past time is not present, but rather, they almost seem civil with each other.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Day Brantford Bulldozes History

If you're not a fellow resident of Brantford then you can read about the major events happening in our downtown today here or here or here, but if you do live here, a quick jaunt downtown will subject you to what may go down as a very infamous moment in our city's history. Of course, I discussed what was happening and my own feelings of the possible repercussions on this blog before. Though these thoughts were before everything was official and unchangeable, but I'd say a big ol' wrecking ball through a wall is pretty unstoppable at this point. I’ve had several weeks to reflect upon and discuss with others about this event, and now that it is inevitably happening, I have some additional thoughts and views.

This is considered a very sad day for many who have been fighting hard to keep the block of buildings on the south side of Colborne street. One person put it best when they stated this isn't just a loss of historic landmarks, but rather destruction of stories (I'm paraphrasing, but his sentiment remains intact). I will never be able to take my future son or daughter downtown and point out what was once the office of Alexander Graham Bell, or the place where the seeds for Agnew-Surpass were planted, or a building that held one of the first grocery stores in Ontario, or a place that housed a man who played a huge part in the Great Western Railway and first telegraph line in Canada. These are stories that can give my (hypothetical) child, or any resident of Brantford, some pride in the part our city played in history. Though these stories and historic events are not erased, there physical reminders will forever be lost. I know I am being a little overly sentimental and nostalgic here. I am a storyteller and one who loves history, but I firmly believe it is important that we don't proactively try to forget our histories, and more importantly, not forget how stories have always shaped our culture and society. Though I understand that if these building where the derelict monstrosities claimed by some Brantford council members, then I would accept that their fate needed to be destruction, but the real tragedy is that was never the case.

I view one of the major issues in this whole debate is what has come off as dishonesty and deceit from some members of the council and this city. As I stated in my previous post, the reality is these building have not been condemned rat havens for the last 25 years like some would claim. There have been thriving businesses, and residents in many of those buildings. The only reason they aren't there now, is because they've been kicked out. A man lived 25 years in one of those buildings where he maintained a large garden, but is swiftly given the boot once his home is apparently been deemed unsalvageable. I am sure this news was a shock to him.

I don't believe any of those opposed to the demolition have ever said that all the buildings should remain how they are. It has been made quite clear that the buildings needed some work and renovations. There were definitely buildings that have remained empty or have a rather sordid recent history (such as drug use and prostitution). The problem has always been the ‘solution’ of completely blowing the whole place up. As I believe I stated in my last post about this, if you have a blemish on your nose then you are not going to cut off your entire face because you now believe it to be tainted and useless. I like my face and I am not ready for a full removal of it, instead I'll just take care of the small zit on my nose ( for the record, I don't chop my nose off either). The problem is, the complete destruction of the heritage buildings is outright extreme. All sides have always agreed something needed to be done, but it is the conclusion the city arrived to that has bothered detractors.

This actually leads to another outright lie by some members who have been trying to push the destruction of the buildings. Some have stated that they must be removed because not only have they’ve been dormant for years and years (an already established lie) but also that no one has showed any interest in doing something with them. I have it on good authority there has been interest in those buildings spanning several years. The arts community has continually expressed interest and given proposals for what they would like to do with the buildings. There has even been outside investors who have presented their own plans to purchase the buildings, and have included proposals for that exactly they want to do with them. But all have been ignored, to the point some council members fail to even remember these talks ever happened, and instead continue to claim the destruction was the only option since nothing can be done with them.

I think another key thing that should cause people to question the authenticity of some of those who want to bulldoze the buildings, is that fact they were willing to lose out on a sizeable grant from the federal government rather than have to have archeological, environmental and heritage surveys. I understand part of the issue would be the cost such assessments would accrue. Call me cynical to politics, but when has spending money ever been an issue for a politician? I am not saying that council members are being outright deceptive, but I am saying it is questionable that they want to give up a large amount of money, that could really help revitalize our downtown, especially since they claim the demolition is being done for the good of the downtown. Why give up money that would further aid in the apparent goal of making the downtown a better place? Shouldn't one want to do all they can to make sure this is the right choice? Such surveys would help to decide if not only if this is necessary, but if it is safe to actually do, yet it seems some have a bad case of tunnel vision.

In the end, it is a sad situation. You have a city that wants to be a 'Green Hub', yet tearing down 41 buildings isn't exactly the epitome of environmental consciousness. You have a downtown that was beginning to grow and improve, but now may be stuck with a heaping mass of rubble for a while. Yes, there is potential that the replacement will benefit the downtown, but it is just as likely this becomes yet another reason to avoid that part of the city. We have a city that likes to hold on to parts of its past like being known as the hometown of Wayne Gretzky or claiming to be the city of the telephone, yet it is eager to erase landmarks that stretch back to the Victorian age. The one thing that can't be argued, is this will be known as a big moment in the history of Brantford, but the outcome and repercussions of this event is still a long ways from being fully realized. I hope in the end, the cost of losing history and its stories turn out to be worth it, despite how unlikely that seems now.

Monday, June 07, 2010

And I Thought My Previous Landlord Was Bad

This is actually a few years old, and the majority of readers have probably already watched this a dozen of a dozen of times. But it is really funny, and worth at least showing here for the one person who has never seen it or for those who forgot this little gem. Of course, the main reason it is worth showing here today, is due to the fact I wouldn't be posting anything here otherwise. I've got a streak to maintain, you see.

Oh yeah, some may actually find this offensive. There, I warned you.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

I Tackled A Fudge Brownie Sundae , And Its Name Was Colossus

As you can tell by that handy time stamp at the bottom, it was yet another day spent away from my personal computer (or in the case today, from anything that resembled a computer -- including that spooky neighbour with a monitor for a head). Today was due to celebrating 2 years of the most awesome marriage known to mankind as if it was my anniversary day. Why would I devote this particular Sunday for such a cause? Well, that would be due to the fact the real life anniversary of two years of marriage awesomeness happens to be tomorrow, which is a Monday. Monday is a day that grown ups have to go to work, and it is also a day that I have to go to work too. So, Sunday was declared the day of celebratination (sort of like a celebration, but with slightly more ear wax), and oh was it ever that.

How did we go about with the merriment, glee and revelry? Well, the morning was spent on the phone with several customer service reps, because nothing says Happy Anniversary like wanting to pull out all your remaining hair due to insanity driven conversation (also they make you want to be insane). This most intimate and personal of days saw an afternoon spent talking to our neighbours, and proving that I am not always passive and relaxed especially when a 'real winner' of a man decides to drive on my lawn in front of my own eyes, then proceed to deny it to my face. Does the day before my real anniversary celebration sound like a wonderful time?

Well it was. Because even though we didn't do everything we had planned, we did spend the day together. We capped off this day with a romantic evening at 'the red meat heaven' known as The Keg. Where I surprisingly enough, had my self a rather healthy slab of beef steak. We also had crab, because nothing says love like two people sharing crabs. Oh, and I also met my match by confronting a large bowl of a dessert monster known as a fudge brownie sundae. After it was all said and done, my belly wanted to do an impersonation of the classic scene from the movie Alien(BURST!), which means I did myself some good eating.

It was an evening of supreme awesomeness, and a glorious anniversary that wasn't actually my anniversary day. It was a great way to spend some time with the most wondrous and beautiful lady that I have ever known, and definitely made me look forward to several more wonderful anniversaries. Though I've promised Emily that when we both have a free weekend that I want to get away to somewhere romantic to celebrate our 2 fantastic years with a bit more style and elegance. Since I've now mentioned it to the blogosphere, I believe I am now legally obligated to follow through (or face the wrath of a soggy noodle flogging).

So, my day was the goodness, and I hope yours was pretty nifty too.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Where's Spice-O?

Brantford. But I was in Toronto, and I wasn't hiding in a crowd while wearing a red and white striped shirt. But I did have a marvelous time with the in-laws, and as always when I am there, I had some wonderful eats. The day will go down as a most excellent one. Now, I will conclude this day by retreating to bed, because all good days end in a bed.

How was your day?

Friday, June 04, 2010

And Then They Do Something Stupid

Yesterday, I told my heartwarming tale of how several male customers showed a poor cashier compassion, patience and empathy. I mentioned how it reaffirmed my own optimism that people are generally good. Today, I am going to show something that may not take away from the goodness of people, but it shows that some may be lacking what we call 'the smarts'.

Here is a blog post from a blog that I know nothing about, but on this particular day they decided to discuss Facebook. The blog happened to have 'Facebook' and 'Login' in their title, which then meant if one googled those two words together, then it was fairly likely this page would be near the top of the list. Now, the blog post itself isn't anything particularly interesting (or it may be the most interesting thing ever -- but I still didn't really read it). The thing I want to draw your attention to is the comments section. There is 53 pages worth of comments, which would make you think this was a particular post that really got people discussing and debating about Facebook. Sadly, close to 50% (probably even more) are comments from people who are complaining they don't like the new Facebook and don't understand why they can't log in. The other 50% is posters laughing at the people who actually thought the article about Facebook, was actually Facebook.

Sigh. Sometimes people make my head hurt. Though at least it is good for a few chuckles. I am sure some of those people are actually just trolling or mocking the others, but it is quite headache inducing to realize, a lot of those comments are from people who are absolutely bewildered over what happened to their beloved Facebook.

Again, I say, 'Sigh.'

Thursday, June 03, 2010

My Reaffirmation People Are Good Moment

A little while ago, I was standing in line at a massive chain, retail store, and despite it being fairly busy, only one poor cashier was working up front. Due to the fact the store was heavily populated with customers at the time (it was around the period many people would be getting off work) and one cashier was trying to do check out, there was a long and quickly growing line. You could tell the poor girl was a little flustered with the craziness of having to handle all these people who wanted to get home as quickly as possible. In her hurried state, she forgot to give one customer his change before closing the till. Due to what I would assume is an anti-theft feature, the till could not be opened unless a purchase was made, or if one unlocked the till with the special. magical key (I'm not entirely sure if the key was actually magical).

The poor girl got even more flustered and nervous once she realized she did not give the customer his change. She continually apologized for her mistake, and promised she would try to remedy it quickly. The problem was, the person who had the ability to open the till was not currently in the store (may have been off fighting dragons in order to protect the magic key, but this was never confirmed). She then was constantly calling someone in the backroom, asking them to bring a key to the front so she could open the till. She did this while trying to check out the other customers (who all were using credit cards or debit, thus the till still couldn't be opened). I am not sure what they were doing in the backroom, but their way of helping her was calling for the lady -- who the girl told them had left store -- to go to the front to help the cashier. Maybe it was a magic intercom, where even those out of the store could hear its message? Does anyone remember a magical disembodied voice asking for Dianne to go to the front of the store?

Now, you may have noticed today's title was not, 'Crazy People in the Back Fail to Help Poor Cashier', that is because I was leaving out the very best part of this little tale. The whole time this poor girl was trying to take care of cusrtomers, and was continually apologizing to the man who she failed to give change to, the man who lacked change just patiently waited and continually assured her it was okay. He even told her that everyone makes mistakes, and she has no reason to feel bad for such an honest error. But he wasn't the only one, every customer that came to the till understood she was flustered, and gave her no problems for being a little slow.

Finally, it was my turn to pay for my items (for those who really want to know, it was milk -- oh so exciting!!!). Luckily, I had some cash on me, which meant that she no longer had to frantically call to the back (who may have been swallowed by the very dragon the missing lady was out hunting for), but instead, was finally able to open the till. She thanked me over and over, and then gave the money to the patient and now full of change customer -- who to his credit, again let her know it was no problem and she had no reason to apologize.

After my milk was paid for, I wished her a grand evening, and told her she was doing a great job and had no reason to be so stressed. She then started on about how she was just getting flustered because there were so many customers, and she made a mistake that slowed down the line. It was then that the next customer told her that it was only retail, and if any one had a problem waiting for a few seconds then they should be more forgiving and understanding, thus it was their problem. She seemed to feel better after that statement, and I decided my work there was done (I'm sort of like a real life superhero, really).

The thing that has stuck with me this whole time, is not that the cashier made the simple mistake of closing the till before delivering the change (in my days of manning the cash, I was guilty of that once or twice during a hectic time), but rather the fact all the customers acted in a very atpyical fashion (or at least, not in the way most would depict someone having to wait in a line for a long time while wanting to get home). Every single person was patient, and tried to encourage the rather obviously tired and frustrated cashier. I am sure everyone wanted to get through that line fast, but nobody demonstrated that feeling, because they probably knew it would only make the poor girl feel worse.

I am an eternal optmist and like to think. that deep down almost everyone is actually a fairly decent person. We understand that in order for community to work, that you need to treat others with empathy and respect. This was demionstrated in such a simple but powerful way in the store that day. It gave me hope for my fellow man (and woman). It reminds me that I need to always try to act as respectful and empathetic as possible when dealing with employees at stores. I am glad that the girl was treated like a human being, rather than some Server Bot (like the ones they employ at McDonalds).

I would be remiss if I did not note that all the people in the line at the time were men. I am not saying the situation would have been different if there were women in the line, but I am saying this rather patient line was full of men. I will leave you with this thought, many have said that there would be no war on our lands if the world was run by women, but I say that if women did rule the world, all the wars would be waged in retail stores.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Religion vs. Science Debate Rages On

I stumbled upon this video the other day, and was merely seconds away from erupting into a human volcano that spurted out white hot rage lava, but then I actually read who was the news source -- The Onion. Instead I watched the video with glee, and laughed so hard that milk shot out of my nose (which was odd because I hadn't drank any all day). Needless to say, I found this absolutely hilarious, and think it is a fantastic parody of some of the major debates raging on right now in North American classrooms (though it appears to be a much larger issue in the United States, at this point).

This video is likely to produce three type of responses: the milk shooting laughter type; the pronouncement of disgust because one is offended such a subject would be parodied type; or minutes of head scratching because one has no idea what the joke is type.

Or due to the fact my crystal ball is in the shop, an entirely different response that I did not foresee.

Christian Groups: Biblical Armageddon Must Be Taught Alongside Global Warming

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Religion And Politics Makes A Lethal Cocktail

Alright, alright, before you start formulating your counter argument or begin constructing your mail bombs for my house (quick reminder, I live in the Yukon wilderness -- amazing the wifi you get here), let me explain exactly what I mean and who I am specifically targeting. But first, let me draw your attention to this video clip from an episode of CBC's 'The National'.

I watched this clip several weeks ago, and I've seen it commented on by numerous blogs, forums and sites. I've been meaning to throw out my own views and thoughts, but never felt I had the right amount of time to properly compose them. Then I remembered that is just a really poor excuse for procrastinating, and deemed today the best time to do it before I forget what it was that inspired the 'rant-a-mania' in me in the first place.

First things first, despite my intentionally 'inciting the masses' like title, I don't necessarily have a problem with religious people being involved in politics. Actually, I think Jesus would probably have put in place some pretty great programs and do a lot of good for this country. But I also don't think he would have agreed with some of the political folks mentioned in this video. It is this particular brand of conservative Christianity that I believe would be damaging to this nation and force us to erase many years of progress.

It is interesting because I've read several Christian blogs that remarked how they think it is funny how certain groups are scared of the 'harmless Christians'. The blogs give the idea that Christians should be more vocal, and having them in power would do the country good. As I stated, I am in agreement the values that were preached by Jesus Christ would be very valuable and good for this nation, but I didn't really see a lot of those in the video. Jesus' teachings always seemed to lean towards the feeding of the poor or the not judging of others or the spreading of unconditional love, but again, I didn't really see those type of politics being talked about in that video.

There is a reason there has been a long held rule that church should be separated from state. It isn't because politicians or even the general public are a horde of heathens and god haters. The issue is politics is already a very complicated and mixed up business, and it really doesn't need to be blended with something that is even more complicated and mixed up. I know, that neither need to be this way, but the reality is that they are. The reality is that both also tend to have hidden agendas and ulterior motives (or at least in the case of religion, the institutions tend to). While I do agree that certain values (especially those constantly preached by religious icons like Jesus and Gandhi) should be implemented into politics, which would be a positive progression for how this country runs, I do not think all doctrines and teachings (more so, the interpretation of them) that come from certain religious texts have any place in government policy or laws.

The reality is, Canada is a 'tossed salad' of various religions, cultures and ethnicities. It is a place that is accepting to people from around the world. It is a place that at least provides the opportunity for harmony and unity among various groups. Canada's promotion of diversity has often been heralded and commended by many major global figures. It is one of the reasons it has often been declared one of the best countries to live in. The fact is, if you have a government run by one strong, conservative, fundamentalist religious group (no matter the religion or denomination) then you are putting a great risk on that diversity. If this groups believes their views and religion is correct, and that it has a place in governing policies, then your destined to destroy all the work done to create and promote diversity. When one sits back and thinks about this, I am pretty sure almost no one will say this is a good thing.

You can already see the threats against progress and liberty that is being imposed by a few of these figures. If these type of people continue to get power then you can bet your right thumb (or left if you already wagered the other in a failed bet) they will fight to have certain current rights be completely eliminated.

In the 60s, it was Pierre Trudeau who mentioned how the 'state had no place in the bedroom' thus leading to bills that decriminalized homosexuality and abortion, and allow things like divorce to be much easier. I realize each of these topics could be their entirely own blog posts, and today are still very controversial and debated subjects. The issue was that the government should not be invoking laws that infringe on people's rights, especially when those people are not doing something that is harming anyone else.

I've been married for almost 2 years, and my parents have been married for over 30 years. From my own personal observation, when gay marriage was allowed in Ontario, my parents' marriage was not affected or harmed in anyway. They weren't suddenly unmarried because another group was allowed to marry. I know from my own experience, that Emily and I did not burst into flames because we tried to get married in a province that allows gay marriage. Again, speaking personally, I absolutely love being married, and being able to make this commitment to my wife. So, why would I want to prevent anyone from that same joy and right?

I know abortion is probably an even messier topic than gay marriage. I know there are probably some who are fine (or even will promote) the right for homosexuals to marry but are fervently opposed to abortion. Even if you don't agree with abortion, I don't think it is right to have it outlawed. First of all, considering the fetus is occupying the woman's own body, she should be able to have some say in what to do with it. I think, there is an even bigger issue than that, which is the fact there is a lot less fatalities or severe injuries to women now that abortion has been legalized. Women are no longer going to seedy, unsanitary back alleys to have abortions or even worse, attempting to perform it themselves. This sort of reminds me of when the Catholic church was so opposed to sex education in high schools that taught more than just abstinence. Or the religious parent watch dog groups that tried to keep condoms or birth control out of schools. There seemed to be this magical belief that if they kept those horny kids from condoms or birth control, then they would have no choice but to refuse sex. It didn't really work out that way, and instead, we had a mass of teen pregnancies (which lead to lots of poor girls being kicked out of schools or being forced to have abortions to conceal their 'sin'). I am not saying we don't still have teen pregnancies, but I think, most would at least agree that only teaching abstinence is the epitome of ass-hat logic (as in, I am so dumb I wear an ass on my head). I think there is an obvious parallel between the two, and clear evidence that the strategy of elimination leads to worse consequences.

Among some of these conservative religious groups, there seems to be the mentality that 'we believe in freedom, as long as you do exactly what we believe.' The thing is, the world doesn't work that way. If you want to be heterosexual, 'pro-life, and remain married your entire life then that is totally awesome. I actually want to only have one marriage, which is with my wife (who is a lady), and stay committed to her my entire life, too. She is awesome and I don't plan on doing anything to wreck the sweet deal I have. But believing and following those things are completely different than imposing those beliefs on others. These groups that want the enforcement of anti-abortion or the delegalization of gay marriage, are being narrow-minded and selfish. It lacks empathy, and a complete unwillingness to see that people come from different backgrounds and situations. It may go against one's religious beliefs, but other than that, it isn't doing any harm to them -- but the laws they want to enforce would cause harm to specific people.

There was one other major piece from the video that is disturbing, and actually, way more scary than anything I addressed above. This is about the men in power who not only believe in the end times, but also feel that Canada must play a part in making it come together. This is also known as 'being batshit insane.' If you want to believe in Armageddon or the apocalypse or the rapture then go right ahead, that is totally fine with me. The problem is when you start making that part of your foreign policy or start dictating your political decisions by it. This would then start falling under the whole idea of self fulfilling prophecy. "I told you this was the end times, and this here nuclear bomb that I launched, which wiped out half the world proved me right. Now where is my flying chariot to get me out of here?" I know people personally who like reading about the end time prophecies and are very devout believers that it is about to happen, and this is fine as long as you keep those beliefs in places of worship or behind the closed doors of your home. It is eye poppingly scary when one starts dictating policies that will effect an entire nation or globe around this belief. I am personally just fine and dandy with my current living situation, and not in any rush for Earth destroying wars being waged due to some mislead belief of what it takes to make Jesus return.

I want to clarify, I have nothing wrong with Christians or any other religious people in government. But I want them to remember not all aspects of their faith and belief properly coincide with running a country. Especially a diverse and multicultural country that claims to be progressive and democratic. As I stated, I am all for the caring for the poor, demonstrating unconditional love, promoting peace, and not judging other people parts of Christianity that was preached by the founder. It is when religious agendas and fundamentalists beliefs start creeping in that I get a little more fearful of the possible future. Though in the end, I am an optimist, and I've got faith that the majority of this nation isn't quite ready for this lethal cocktail to be administered.