Category Archives: Political

The Pool: That awkward moment

So I figured I’d try my hand at making more time for physical enjoyment. Fort McMurray has an awesome all inclusive multiplex facility with pools, gyms, indoor swimming areas, rock climbing you name it. My month is almost up and I have only used it three times.

Time is a factor. I never have enough of it. If I stopped listening and shut off the world entirely I might have an hour every second day to honour my body with some movement. I made some time the other day to try to ensure that my child learns better routines and hopefully does not have the same challenges someday. She really wanted to swim. What kid wouldn’t seeing that place? She had been to the complex twice already. Slides, wave pool splash pad and play place. I have to admit, I just was not feeling the parading around the pool half naked. I just was not feeling motivated into getting into my swim wear. I saw lots of others wearing clothes, so I figured I too could walk around the pool with her as she galloped through the place.

Everything was going fine. And then some girl in a Zumba fit ensemble comes over and informs me I need to go get a bathing suit on or my kid has to get out of the water. She was totally kicking us out. My daughter can swim. She has been swimming for years and recently at the end of the out door swim season, I allowed her to break free of the life jacket, a proud moment to say the least, for us both, when she passed her swimming tests. I am not about to drop her off at the pool and go have a work out. I am poolside. I am ready and willing to jump in if need be. I can’t believe this. I look on to the parents with kids in lessons, fully dressed and sigh. I spot about 8 or more paid and trained lifeguards, they are all in shorts and a tank tops or t-shirts, I kinda get annoyed with the woman. She maintains her stance, I need to get out or get swim wear on. I am in disbelief.

Seriously, what if I didn’t shave and couldn’t face the humility of my lack of maintenance. What if I had stretch marks and just don’t want to disrobe in public, what if I have bruises or scars of injuries I just don’t want to show. What if for religious reasons I could not disrobe. For the record, I was wearing flips flops black tights and a tunic. Also at no point had any employee at the complex ever told me I had to be in swim wear to accompany my child into the pool area. No one was about to even ask me if I’d be happy to jump in wearing whatever I had on for my child’s safety sake. Bathing suit or HWY. The lady repeated her position. I’m a ball of anxiety at this point.

I am like lady please – I’m not taking her out of her glory because you think I need to be naked and I don’t feel like having my naked body made public today. She was firm. Out of the clothes or out of the pool.

I tell my child to pay attention to what the lady is saying. I tell the lady to repeat to the kid what she is saying to me in a way that she understands what is happening. I was 100% convinced child would not believe me if I told her such a tale. The Zumba fit outfitted lady had to explain to the 6 year old what was happening. She could not. That’s how we know that it does not make sense. When it can’t be boilded down for the wee ones. The kid looks at the Zumba outfitted lady like she has 25 heads.

What? Mommy did not bring a swim suit so I have to get out of the pool? I have a swim suit. Do I have to get out too? The woman shows zero empathy. She never even says let this be a warning about the rules. I am sorry you were not informed. Safety. I get it. I was with her. I was right there and watching her closely and within a few feet of her pool side. She can swim. I thought it was okay because so many other people where there in clothing. But the fact that those were not the rules for us, and that I was wearing my clothes just really sucked on that particular day.

I just did not want to be half naked. I honestly have no major body issues. I have no awfulness to cover up and I might have even been somewhat shaved that day. I just did not feel like getting wet and full of chemicals and being on display in my swim wear. I wanted my kid to have fun and exercise and I saw a lot of other people in the area fully clothed so I assumed it was fine. I made a mistake, but did the employee honestly have to single us out and kick 2 out of 100 people out. Bad timing to make an example of your authority.

What really grinds my gears about this whole fiasco is that in this modern era I still live in a world where a woman tells another woman to strip down or get out. I am not a feminist, not any wave genre of feminist. But I’d be a total idiot to not be aware of the issues against women from multiple perspectives. I’ll save my political positioning for another post entirely. Lesson learned for me. No matter how modern, females still are going to be hating on other females. From now on, I am only frequenting the pool only with a spare pair of clothing. And if I see that woman again, I might just take a rip of the high dive if only just to say bitch please, I do not need a swim suit to get the f in the pool if need be.

I get the rules! Arm’s length. Let’s prevent drowning, yadda yadda. But why inflict this all on us this day, without even asking me to get my clothes wet.

When I was a kid my mother tossed me in the deep end not being in the pool age 7 or something without a swiming lesson to my name and said figure it out. Ya know what, I did.

I have been keeping my head above water ever since.

One love

 

This is a message I sent to someone I know very well but I share it with the world because it is a universal message.

One people, one world, one love.

Strength is admitting where you were weak. Courage is doing what you should even when it hurts or you are faced with fear. Faith is knowing the difference between destiny and choice. And love is strength, courage and faith. And loving (and forgiving) and having understanding for your enemies and those who wrong you is divine. Stop avoiding your inner self,  (face hurt and fear and move forward). Be strong, courageous and faithful and loving and don’t just tell yourself you are. Show it to everyone you encounter. Positive thoughts, actions and words. (We all have the power to do great things for ourselves and humanity- we all just need the conviction to get out of our own way).

Be smart, brave and kind in this world people. It’s not always easy, but one love.

Let’s Talk About Sex

Sex is without a doubt a biological instinct- the drive in the almighty mating game. Sex for much of human existence has been about reproduction at its fundamental core, although this epistemic is definitely being expanded by individuals who have certain obstacles to navigate sex in this regard. For people who engage with partners capable to reproduce, all fantasy and fluff from Cosmo and other mainstream media aside about sexy this, and sexy that, sex and subsequently birth control have one thing, in common, and it’s pretty unsexy, but pretty darn cute if you ask me. That one thing is babies. Even when Salt and Pepper talk about sex it ends in baby. Sex and babies just generally go together.

Any recovering Catholics should promptly go to a corner and cower jut saying.  Birth control is just an option, in making sex not equal babies and one that does not always work, (love ya kiddo- happy you beat the odds!). Sex and babies these days for women really is just a choice. But I’m overwhelmed with this all today. Babies. The miracle of life! The sheer awesomeness of creation!  Its topical two fold I welcome a new baby into my family, my very first lovely little lady niece. I am so happy. But also feeling a big case of the, this is a big deal reminder because last week  I had a doctor’s appointment because I am considering being fixed, spaded or neutered, if you will- (see above brackets, plus I was a tube baby- I know it’s somewhat flexible by fate).  Some kids are meant to be here so be it, but if you can prevent one unplanned, that’s spectacular right?

For many reasons fixing myself seems to be a fiscally responsible and medically sound option. Let’s face it this puma is not getting any younger. Pushing 30 in less than 5-10.  Hello- goodbye, youth! Who has energy for small children late in life and careers? The cost of livng has exloided who can afford more than one solo and also having a child already, I understand that parenting requires a lot more than love, it’s the real deal. You need to be smart, brave and kind 24/7 to be a parent. There are no guarantees you will not have to do it alone, for all of some part of it. So all you mamas and papas and mamas and papas need to be put on those big girl panties.  Being a real parent means no I in us, and no me in we. It’s also not a dress rehearsal.

My doctor points out that I am not hard to look at during my consultatin and that I may find a partner who wants children. I hate hearing this. Like shut the F up. Of course this thought lingers a little longer than it should. If I am thinking get me out of this room before he proceeds to say my odds for finding the best partner to mate with should be targeted to someone not as good looking as myself to increase my odds of not being a single parent twice. I wish I recorded this convo, and that I had a barf bag. I make up an exucse why I have to go but will book my appointment on the way out. The convo me remember when I was still grieving, a very fine looking doctor that was interested in me, asked me if I wanted more children after tracking me down to secure a lunch date. I was sort of shocked he was so forward on the issue. And at the end of a lunch date. My response at the time was along the lines of the lines of I guess I could consider it for the right person. This sentiment is sort of haunting me now. Leave it to to the dam male doctors to talk about babies like they have any real empathy for this condition. All this baby and birth control talk, I just feel baby bombarded.

Maybe it does not matter about the what ifs, maybe I just do what feels sound right now, and maybe any partners I’m with in the future can accept not planting a seed. I don’t have a committed partner at the moment, I’m finishing my masters and re-launching my career pot graduate studies and I’m super motivated to live every day. This is my time to get going, the first 5 years have been dedicated to my daughter.  I am ready to help her grow up and not need me as much so I can make our way in the world.

Hurm. Life. Reproductive rights. Choices. Chance and fate. Figuring out the odds.

An article about making sense of the millennial

http://www.halifaxchamber.com/files/04/04/PeopleStrategyGenerationsMake_Meaning_of_the_Millennial.pdf

Google Yourself – You might find a media article you never did an interview for

I admit. I do it. I Google myself. Here is what I found. I think they snacked a radio interview I did with the Hawk. I don’t recall talking to that news medium. And I would know I was working as both a reporter and a Co-op person then.

Gotta love lazy journalism. 

My published quote: 

“This is a great announcement for St FX. Our students will have more opportunity to work in more diverse sectors,” says Ashley Kowalewski, St. FX co-op adviser. “It also puts our post-graduates in the position where employers may retain them as employees. In addition, it will help retain our educated students with a year of professional experience in the region.”

What I may have actually said, ” This is a great announcement for all Co-op students in the province, who will have more access to diverse work terms. As well it will help to position the region to better retain students recruited to NS as part of the future work force.” 

http://www.ngnews.ca/News/Local/2011-02-17/article-2251141/Province-announces-new-funding-for-university-coop-student-jobs/1

Protest Sign in Tatamagouche

No Fracking Way

Sign Tatamagouche NS Farmers market.

No Frackin Way.

Fracking. What is all of the fuss about? Well it’s a method of resource extraction. It uses copious amounts of water. It is deemed to contaminate water tables and create sink holes in areas where this form of resource extraction is conducted. No big deal. Right? Wrong.

Here is Tatamagouche, people are saying frig right off to fracking in the area. People are vocal and against the efforts in this rural Nova Scotia neck of the woods.

I think they have a point. I think we should all be concerned about this. I’m not going to dooms day anyone here but when you mess around with mother nature she can mess back. Be aware and concerned about what is going on in your back yard.

Check out the frackin tracker for Canada and US (http://canadians.org/water/issues/fracking/index.html)

Here is a Fracking song  worth a listen- http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/nofrackingway. I am not saying I support this organization. The song is an interesting piece. I agree songs have powerful abilities to get people on the peace train.

Give a Frack!

Fracking is no friend to H20.

Fracking is a growing concern among people educated about its risks.

Fracking is expanding in almost every province across Canada.

Fracking is f*cking with the earth’s crust

Fracking is like asking earthquake anyone?

HEY FRACKERS—-PLEASE NOT ON OUR Land.

Sink NS and Tsunami? No thanks.

Just frack off Fracking! You are definitely not Lovely Tell Your Mother.

You are what you eat

Watch this. MONSANTO is of interest. Just saying. http://www.nfb.ca/film/monsanto-trailer/

Mobilizing Power of Media

I started this post the day the lights went out on Wikipedia in protest to SOPA- Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA – Protect Internet Privacy Act. These were two proposed US legislation intended to ‘protect’ copy right material online, which was defeated by the end of the week. In my opinion largely related to the mass outcry by corporate bodies and the general public protesting against the proposed changes. If this bill passed it would have meant that the next 14 year old girl that posts a video that uses her favorite pop song on a vacation photo slide show makes us all criminals and would shut down YouTube entirely.  I don’t think we can affect the architectural structure of the Internet drastically, its becomes ingrained into our way of life, we need to be able to freely ‘surf’ the Internet to use it to its maximum potential to share information, recourses, and connect with our communities. A blog post that I read which was posted to FaceBook by the CBC The Hour host George Strombolopolos written by blogger Slashgear, which breaks down into laments terms SOPA and PIPA to say, “these two bills…are amongst the most dangerous pieces of legislature ever to be written up for passage by the United States government in regards to innovation and the free market on a global scale,” so in other words they are opening a big can of worms, (Slashgear, 2011).

“There is little debate over the fact that institutions of mass media teaches us about citizenship, community, and love, but there is little agreement as to just how much it causes us to act or determines what we might hope for or what we might fail at,” (Jackson, Nielsen, Hsu, 2011, p. 8). The institutions of mass media, I feel that they teach us about mass culture, mass production, and thus decreased individualism, and also isolate us from our traditional communities, while also forming new communities, offering a cultural narrative of the times and also sharing more information than ever before. I can see why a lot of theory related to media and mass communication is either negative or positive, with not too much in the middle.

Taking the ‘us’ and ‘we’ that the authors refer to is the idea of the public. This quote also alludes to the notion of the public sphere, so where the people come together to collaborate, discuss and debate.  This notion of the public sphere was first coined by Jurgen Habermas, in the 18th century and was generally an ideology that represented society and its laws and regulations and governing of anything else concerning public good (Jackson, Hsu, Nielsen 2011, p. 32).  When we think of critical social discourse or social change it is to speak of the public and the public sphere the citizen’s abilities to come together and challenge the status quo. The new technologies are definitely shifting the power dynamic of mass media where any average citizen can report, blog, or engage with media institutions but the power lies in the numbers.

Cornelius Castoriadis believed that institutions of media are created by contradicting forces, creating the new, and repeating what has already been done and viewed media communications through a sociological lens, (Jackson, Nielsen, Hsu, 2011). Castoriadis was a scholar turned economist, turned pseudo political, societal and psychoanalytic writer, who started a revolution in the 40’s and whose work is somewhat under recognized in communications theory extensively, (Castoriadis Biography, 2011). I feel he is relevant in discussions of the meaning and impact of mass media because he was writing in precarious times comparable to the turbulence together between classes and relates to my feelings and reactions to mass media and its theories which are of binary opposites, sort of like painting the lines between the love-hate relationship with the power of persuasion so to speak. I honestly have a profound respect and appreciation for institutions of mass media because like them or love them they are a link between PR and publics. I’m not trying to be completely pessimistic in assuming a critical view but the more I study in the field, and the more knowledge I have about politics and modern society, the more I question the overall moral obligations and ethical considerations that have often been lacking in PR in regard to greater public good.

Occupy movement which stands against corporate greed as a fundamental principle was like a hurricane gathering strength through media coverage- so using the same frameworks of communication that they protest to gather strength. An in both new and traditional means, but yet part of what many of them stood for was gripping distain for rich and powerful (aka like the media institutions). Again the contradictory forces are at play.  I mean I can’t really unpack this entirely this after all is just my reflections, a whole dissertation could be written on this but it supports my belief that in today’s society the public and media are unquestionably intertwined, in love or hate.

My tweet summed up my feelings on this in 140 characters or less; ‘They created mass consumption and enforced it on us- when we produce mass sharing and learning they try to take it away,” in response to SOPA and PIPA and blackouts last week. I am glad that a united front by the public worked- if only until next year. It shows me that people who care can make a difference. If something like SOPA and PIPA return again next year and are passed in the US, Canada and the UK could be next.  If we are not all on the same page about the free future of the internet, I think that a big part of a modern democratic society fails. We have to keep control over the mobilizing power of the media as a general public, that means Internet as is.

Gender – decisions, desires, and the power of persuasion.

I heart the CBC. I don’t care how much it makes me look old. I can’t even lie. CBC for life.

This morning listening to Under the Influence series by Terry O’Reilly Men are from Sears- Women are from Bloomingdales cracks me up, but it also really brings about some pretty epic questions; Is the way that men and women shop really linked to biological and evolutionary traits?Is the world economy really driven by women who hold the buying power (even if the men statistically are the bigger bread winners) who shop an estimated 8 years of their life?

On the first question, it makes sense to assume that biological and evolutionary traits affect many major decisions both men and women make (related to career choices, selection of mates, etc). But shopping? Really… is that why girls go out and purchase gifts for their mate light years ahead of the men? Is that why retail stores cater to women? Are women groomed to enjoy shopping by their mothers and reinforced to make it a national past time by shows like Sex in the City and What Not to Wear? Are guys then groomed to make more tactical shopping decisions…like what’s the better gas mileage when vehicle shopping, and which Tec gadget is the best bang for the buck?

Ok let’s assume this 8 years of the life spent shopping by women is true (I like how Terry’s parents totally attack this fact at the end of the episode via voice mail- maybe that tibit was not so lovelytellyour mother Terry), but yes it might be possible, we have to feed, clothe and provide for ourselves and our families- but I wonder how much of the money and time do we spend on essentials versus extras… if we educate more women about the power of influence and persuasion on her buying decisions (say with respect to ecofriendly cleaners, and more socially responsible companies) can we then try to make a better society?  I mean I hear a lot of men bashing on the side of women who say they run the world…but if we control the buying power… then maybe this is just a big fallacy and a way to point blame at the opposite gender for the mucky state of the world.

I don’t want to shop at Sears or Bloomingdales from listening or writting on this series, and I hope you don’t either, but I definitely have a lot of thinking to do that the role of gender plays on our decisions, desires, and the power of persuasion and I hope you do also.

http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/1447825254/ID=2185811921

Search : Under the Influence