As of this morning, Canadians have ceased to be employees of the mega-corporation of Canada Inc, headed by a secretive and oligarchical CEO who assured us every day that he was in control that we shouldn’t worry our little heads over things like rights and freedoms and should rather just do our jobs, set the economy on a pedestal, and be good, quiet little workers. Instead, with the swearing in of our twenty-third Prime Minister, I am happy to say that we are once again citizens of a rejuvenated country, led by a young man who’s outward objective seems to be restoring the notion of representative democracy, and the essential, core idea of that democracy: that power is borrowed from below, not bestowed from above. As citizens, we all once again have a powerful stake in the course and success of this country and we will pull ourselves back from the brink of the arrogance and uncertainty of that path that our previous, single-minded leader has taken us on for nearly a decade. Agree or not, and whatever the future may hold for us as a nation, it is a good day for hopeful government and open governance.
Finally. It’s nearly over. For better or worse, whether we begin another span of broken democracy or a renewed stretch of an uncertain but hopeful future, by the time many of us go to bed tonight we will have a solid idea of who our next federal government is. It has been a divisive and frustrating few months. Canada is as partisan and divided as I personally have ever known it to be — be that due to perception or reality I cannot say. But, as I write one last thing about this election, I do encourage everyone and anyone reading this to vote today, no matter who you support: I will also add one final opinion. In the eleven years we’ve lived in our house we have also lived in a riding that was taken for granted by the parties in charge. We never saw nor barely heard from our MLA nor our MP. They didn’t represent us, and I couldn’t tell you what they ever did for our riding or the people who lived there. As I was cutting my grass on weekend, at one point in the dwindling afternoon hours, both my sitting MLA and my MP-candidate of choice were standing on my street, and I having already voted, got to have a real conversation with someone who potentially could be my democratic representative in Ottawa. Maybe my perception is skewed. Maybe chance was smiling on me. Or maybe I’m cherry-picking evidence to support my own delusions. But deep down I think that there are still politicians who understand the point of a democracy: to be smart about ideas, to be engaged with the electorate, and to represent the people who make up this country. You may not like any of the leaders, but if that’s the case vote for someone who will represent you and not just be another backbench vote for a leader who doesn’t.
Twenty-Fifteen: I’m doing something I’d been putting off for far too long. I’ve gotten serious about reading, again. I’ve dusted off my paperbacks and charged up my Kindle. It has been a year to take the time to feed my poor television-adled brain with a selection of healthy, nourishing fiction. So, read on, little brain. Read on. We’ve been going Book to the Future!
I’ll admit that after finishing the last chapters of The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnson I spent some time googling the various characters, both real and otherwise, fictionalized in the novel. It was not only an attempt to draw out a few more tidbits of unmentioned facts from the internet about Joey Smallwood et al, but also a kind of reconciliation between the narrative license taken by the book and the reality upon which it was based. There was dabbling on both sides.
As a Canadian, it is a strange sort of thing to find our nations handful of compelling stories woven through our short and often politics-driven history. Karin has been watching via Netflix another bit of odd Canadiana, the “Murdoch Mysteries” an historical procedural cop drama set in late nineteenth century Toronto, and it’s not much of a contrast to compare my just-finished read to this television drama, if not in quality or substance then at least in spirit. Both enliven the prim and proper historical tales of Canada with a dose of something that wasn’t quite real.
I am not an avid reader of historical fiction, however, so I’m not experienced enough with the genre to glean if romancing the life story of a famous politician –while simultaneously driving an interesting if complex and fictional story of unrequited love through the center of it all– if that is standard practice for such things.
Throughout my reading of this book I often felt a blend of curiosity and perplexity at coming to terms with the dichotomy. Was the character himself not interesting enough? Is this a story of the people or are the people merely interesting set dressing for a much more complex story? Or, is historical fiction a kind of branch of fan fiction where admirers of the story (as defined by the originator) find a need to insert their own interpretation of the people, places and events into their own adjusted version of events? Any option is not a negative nor meant to shine ill-repute upon the story. It merely what it made me consider given the context and the subtext of the story.
On the other hand, I liked the story and would rate it a four out of five.
It was rich and nuanced. It danced across the curious inner narrative of a famous politician of whom I had (obviously) known some, but not known much. If he was half the character portrayed in the story, he would have be an amazing character to have seen in real life.
The other character of note is (of my own personal interpretation) one and the same: the unrequited love of his fictional life, Smallwood’s tumultuous relationship with his country-soon-province, Newfoundland, seems manifest in the fictional character of Fielding: She is a woman who seems to indifferently taunt him his whole life from afar, in person, or through print, she embodies the exaggerated stereotypes of the island, and she is the one through whom the layers of his heart, motivation, and soul are unwrapped and exposed as he becomes the leader destined by the facts of history. As a character she is a curious foil, but as a metaphor for Newfoundland she is simultaneously perplexing and beautiful, angry and embracing, untamably independent yet profoundly shaped by the world from which she was born into.
Ultimately, I found the The Colony of Unrequited Dreams to be an immensely readable story… as it quietly filled a deep crevasse in my patriotic heart of hearts. You should read it.
Oh, look… June! And there was something I was forgetting… ah, right: those thirty posts I write every year in June. That again. For the fifth year in a row I’m back to a month of daily blogging: each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be about something that I’ve:
Despite being born in Canada, at some level I think I still identify a bit as an immigrant. After all, our family has only really been in these parts, what, ninety or a hundred years at most? Most of those years I have not even been around for, and most of the ones for which I was I tend to take mostly for granted. I say that I still identify a bit as an immigrant because so often in this multicultural blend of nationalities, we are carefully prodded to tag ourselves with this idea of ancestry and defining where our grandparents or great-grandparents came from: I’m a little bit Dutch and a little bit German and a little bit Irish, all blended together into a well-established Canadian mutt. I don’t necessarily identify with any of those ancestral homelands, but occasionally we’re reminded that in the grand scheme of things we’re still newcomers, too.
And occasionally we’re reminded of not only the nature of this society in which we live, but the value it can hold for others who are not (yet) part of it.
This morning (and running into and through lunchtime) I had the honour of hanging out with our neighbors and friends who, at about 1 pm mountain standard time, crossed the finish line of a seven year long journey to Canadian Citizenship… a thing that I was handed without any extra effort whatsoever about a nanosecond after exiting the womb in the mid-seventies… a thing which they’ve worked for, planned for, moved for, queued for, and probably lost immeasurable quantities of sleep, opportunity, resources, and so many other things I would neither fathom nor fully appreciate.
We attended, we and some of their other friends who happened to work downtown and who could take a long lunch break to welcome the country’s newest members, along with a small auditorium of other onlookers and a hundred and twenty-two new Canadians.
It was a government affair, so of course there was queuing, paperwork, ceremony, waiting, speeches, formality, ringing iPhones, crying babies, and photo ops. But in the end it was all about little more than handing out a very tangible piece of legal paper… and something more ineffable known as national identity.
All-in-all it made me a little bit proud and a little bit patriotic, too.
January 14… and it went a little like this:
It was overcast when we woke up this morning: no alarms, no hard-and-fast schedule, and no grand plan. Just an overcast day, getting over to Epcot at some point in the morning, and enjoying it.
But we’re still here.
So, we went to Epcot. Epcot, and the World Showcase, that eclectic and seemingly random collection of national showcases ringing a lake. And as many times as I’ve been there this trip — running through four times and pasta in the park — I hadn’t actually used my ticket to go yet.
We were there pretty much when the park opened. We weren’t rushed, but we got there anyhow, and made our way onto a few rides: a couple spins on the Test Track, a couple flights on Soarin’, and a jittery and too-often-stopped trip through Spaceship Earth, the slow-moving, conveyor-belt-type ride that’s inside that iconic panelled sphere that sits at the gate of Epcot.
We were pretty much solo for most of the day. Claire, Karin and I made our way through a number of the national pavilions, sampling food from around the world: nothing too crazy, just favs that we can’t get most anywhere else in Disney World: German beer, curry-wurst, sushi, some French pastries, and… oh, yes… another turkey leg.
Karin and Claire played an interactive game where they were hunting for clues with a kind-of-cell-phone device that led them around a couple of the pavilions.
But the day wore on. It rained a little. And we needed a short break. We caught the bus back to the hotel for a bit of a siesta and a nap, but were back at the gate by half past six.
The second part of the day was a fancy dinner: Claire hung out with her aunt, uncle and cousins while Karin and I took the monorail to the Contemporary Hotel’s California Grill for a date-night dinner overlooking the Magic Kingdom, well-timed to catch the 8 pm fireworks. We had sushi, seafood, and some nice drinks.
The highlights of the day include:
1) A double-dip on Soarin’ when the ride attendant miscounted our seating and graciously offered us a second go without even having us leave our aisle. Two rides for the queue of one.
2) The monorail. As clumsy and inefficiently as the system is run (well, at least compared to riding the LRT back home and have recently spent some time in the New York subway system) I’ve always wanted to take a spin on this classic transit system.
3) The fireworks from afar: from the fifteenth floor of the Contemporary Hotel, our window-side seats for dinner gave us an awesome view of the show. They even dimmed the restaurant lights and played the audio program over the speakers.
Tomorrow should be a shorter day: but we do have a breakfast date with Mickey Mouse… or so the tour guide tells us.
A Ã‚â€œreloadedÃ‚â€ post is a quick-clipped summary of a bunch of small things from the past few days. I want to write them down, but I am either lacking in (a) details or (b) time. ThatÃ‚â€™s just how it goes sometimes. Enjoy.
My country is one hundred and forty-five years young today. This means (a) long weekend, and (b) hanging out with the family at a few fun events. Yesterday we escaped the heat in our new nearby movie theatre and took in the latest Pixar movie, Brave. This morning, following my run (see below) Karin and Claire met me at the legislature grounds and enjoyed a free pancake breakfast… until the epic rain started. We hid in the house for a couple hours and watched another movie. After lunch, Karin danced at the Mill Woods Canada Day show while Claire and I ate churros, visited a petting zoo (they had a buffalo!) and took in an inflatable obstacle course. On the way home, Karin dropped Claire and I off at the local convenience store where I enjoyed my celebratory post-race slurpee and Claire enjoyed her first ever dose of her dad’s beverage of choice… it was grape. The dog got a bath and a walk, and we made pizza together. And that was that… well, almost.
I’ve been talking and writing about it for a few weeks, the big day arrived at last and my running buds picked me up at my doorstep this morning so we could make our way downtown. The race started, we shot out of the gate, and hoofed it through the river valley at an awesome clip. My goal was an hour and thirty-five minutes. I obliterated that. Other than needing to stop for a bathroom break around the nine klick mark, the weather was perfect, the company splendid, and the energy high. I rolled across the finish line with a watch time of one hour and twenty-seven minutes (and change). For those lacking the math skills to compute, that is a pace of roughly 5:50 minutes/klick. Also, a good chunk faster than I ran the same race last year. I am elated. If I can keep that training pace for August, I might just break the two hour mark on my half-marathon… but no promises quite yet.
On the other end of the health spectrum, I thought I would note that — thanks to our awesome gardening skillz — we’ve been harvesting a bountiful crop of fresh mints this year. I say “mints” — plural — because we’ve been growing a coupe varieties. But what to do with fresh mint? Karin’s solution was to buy supplies and get busy mixing some home-made mojitos! So… before you feel sorry for me sitting home watching the Canada Day fireworks on television, you should know that what we’ve been enjoying is some awesome (and fresh) mojitos while doing so. Happy Canada Day!
Gripping fiercely to a hypothetical past of patriotic nostalgia, I offer a few meager glimpses into the efforts of this Canadian father to impart fragments of a culture less imported and more reflective of the stewardship my daughter, Claire, will one day inherit. I’m indoctrinating her in the Canadiana of her father’s past, and her own present, for her sake as a fourth-generation citizen of this diverse and amazing country.
It’s birling down, a-down white water…
Local folk band, Captain Tractor, once recorded a slightly tongue-in-cheek rendition of Wade Hemsworth’s infamously Canadian folk song, The Log Driver’s Waltz. I’m driving my daughter to daycare, that recording of the song blaring from the speakers while a four-year-old’s warbling voice fudges the words from the backseat. It’s the second time the song has played in the six minute trip between our house and the place where she’ll spend the day, and if I had my way I probably would have been listening to the news instead. But she has requested it, both plays, and I try and recall exactly just how I got to this point.
I refer to Captain Tractor‘s version as “tongue-in-cheek” because, those most familiar with the ballad-like lyrics of the original song, or in its more familiar National Film Board rendition, may recall that The Log Driver’s Waltz is, roughly, a story sung by a young and nameless frontier-town maiden side-stepping her parent’s request to woo “a doctor, a merchant, or lawyer” and instead pining for a dance with — and potential marriage to — the nimble and fleet-footed log driver she sees working the river. The Captain Tractor version is not sung by any maiden, but rather very much sung in a more ironic fashion by the husky voiced, lead male vocalist of the band, I assume, Chris Wynters. Claire loves it.
I must have been just barely younger than Claire is now when I started seeing on our old wood-cabinetted television, jammed between the proper television shows and children’s programming on the CBC, The Log Driver’s Waltz and other similar short vignettes produced by the National Film Board of Canada. In an age and political era I was too young to understand and can now only assume was still interested in defining national culture — than it now seems interested in regulating and punishing the institutions that foster such things — the late nineteen seventies and early eighties seems rife with the flotsam of these little cultural artifacts that now turn up in the strangest of references. Back at the founding of such media sharing sites as YouTube, Karin would seek out and occasionally dig up a copy of The Log Driver’s Waltz that would appear for quickly-dimishing durations, flouting copyrights and fiercely surviving in formats that seemed to have been ripped directly from some poor soul’s musty and dusty VHS collection. We’d play through it a few times over the following days, then watch it disappear from the net: “This video has been removed at the request of the copyright holder.” We would sigh, shake our heads at the seemingly-draconian protectionism by a not-for-profit org squirreling away bits of OUR culture and bits of OUR childhood, keeping from us those glimpses at moments and memories of our youth rammed between episodes of Mr. Dress-Up and The Friendly Giant. And then we’d forget about it for a few more months.
And who wouldn’t want to watch it? As new a vast range of self-proclaimed media gurus and international and independent humorists clamoured to clutter the web with segments of amateur video and fast-paced cultural tidbits, here was this clip from decades past that had not only captured a cultural zeitgeist thirty years early, but was kitch enough to fit in and yet possibly out-perform the short-lived memes of a second-by-second consumption culture. And it was from my youth… And it was from my country. It was a piece of Canadian history that had been viral in the minds of a nation for a generation, second to only a few other patriotic songs (and those either anthems, official or sung about good ol’ hockey games.) Ask any person you meet who lived through a bit of the Canadian eighties to hum a few bars of The Log Driver’s Waltz and you are unlike to be disappointed at the result. Then? Then… I don’t know how or recall quite when, but someone at the film board figured this out and freed the video to the net — or at least started an official web channel to share the vignette that had long-since seen play on more familiar airwaves. It no longer popped up between shows or emerged when we were least expecting it, but we could watch it again, extracting it and streaming it from forest of the millions of years worth of online video archive, those three fabulous minutes of nostalgia from our childhood years.
It was nothing so momentous as is worth describing. We were simply watching remembered clips on YouTube one recent evening, Claire sitting on my lap and pawing at the iPad’s screen unafraid of the random experience such arbitrary clicking my generate. And I recalled The Log Driver’s Waltz, performed a quick (if distracted by four-year-fingers) search, and clicked on the first result: We watched it five times before I was forced to submit to my better judgement and send her off to bath and bed.
At four-and-a-half years old, Claire doesn’t quite get the idea of nationality or cultural identity. She’s travelled a little bit, which helps, and anyone who has watched any quantity of kid’s programming in the last five years will know full well that a couple meagre hours a week in front of the screen will net the average sponge-like mind of a child more animal trivia, international facts and figures, alphabet and number drills, and other similar quasi-educational content to challenge a foot-thick deck of flash cards. All of this combined leaves her understanding in the vaguest of ways that she lives in a place called Canada — that may or may not end on the street corner by our house — in a city called Edmonton, and that people speak different languages if you get too far from home. She asks questions. She puzzles though ideas. And to see her father get excited about a piece of video with a catchy tune that he hints has something to do with this even more vague notion of a past before she was born, in a culture she still accepts at face value, as part of something that drizzles through notions of a practical identity she might someday try and claim… isn’t this a good thing in the mind of that kid?
Her father’s shows are long since gone. Favourite hosts of our youthful programming have passed, archived footage of their shows taped over thanks to once-expensive media costs and careless handling of momentary elements of something no one thought would one day have value. Claire watches a steady stream of her own future Canadiana nostalgia, memorizing episodes of Artzooka and Pirates: Adventures in Art punctuated by Patty, Sid and a variety of colourful and cultural puppets. We share this a little bit, but it doesn’t bridge so well between generations. No, not very well at all, not even… or, at least until one morning when we are driving to daycare and singing out the lyrics to a famous bit of Canadiana not because her dad remembers it from his own past but because a four-year-old has claimed it as hers.
“The Government of Canada is hosting a nationwide consultation on copyright modernization.” I spent a half and hour composing a (somewhat piecemeal, now that I re-read it) letter to the consultation process. I encourage everyone to add their two-cents, either formally or just via comment.
1. How do Canada\’s copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
I am a media developer and photographer. I support the Creative Commons model of sharing creative works and recently I have been using the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License to share everything I create for public consumption. I rely on this model because copyright in Canada does not afford content creators the ability to both open their creations to fair public use — which is why I create things — while simultaneously preventing others from financially benefiting from my efforts. This is the best model that supports my desire to both contribute to a public pool of engaging and entertaining content, while maintaining my own rights as their creator.
It is my firm conviction that what defines us in this modern age is our engagement with a wide array of many forms of entertainment. Consider the elements of all our lives that are defined by the songs we were listening to, the stories we heard, or the images we saw. Think of a new couple who dances their first dance at their wedding. Think of kids hearing stories before bed. Think of two teenagers holding hands during a movie. Think of the images all of us see in media and in print. These are cultural elements that define us as not only Canadians, but as human beings. And as such, our rights as individuals should be defined by our ability to freely and perpetually have access to these elements of our existence and shared experiences, regardless if they are digital or otherwise.
Unfortunately, not every individual can participate because as a society we have introduced a commercial element to this culture. It is a business. And thus some people have resorted to acquiring these elements of culture — songs, movies, books, etc — through means that are incompatible with that business. But these acquisitions are largely disconnected from the business of their actual distribution. Businesses talk of lost profits or missing revenues, but is there really such a thing? Where has it gone? Do businesses really suppose that those individuals copying content have such unlimited resources that money otherwise spent would be poured into paying for their content? Or is it more realistic to suppose that individuals generally have a fixed budget for entertainment, but that these budgets are unable to provide satisfactory access to this content? Of course, there are outliers and examples at the tips of the bell curve, but in general, as individuals, our ability to purchase and consume media has not kept up with the sheer quantity of it.
What then, is the role of the individual in copyright when the individuals needs and concerns are so incompatible with business.
2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time
Changes should be made that protect individuals over the needs of business. Canadians should not be under threat of corporate lawsuit simply for participation in the cultural gestalt that is Canada.
3. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
Copyright is essential, but the spirit of those laws should not leave individuals at the mercy of deep corporate pockets. Copyright has always been about — as stated — fostering creativity. Overt protection of copyrights through legal means should not allow copyright holders to sue people simply for consuming their content, and participating in the culture of Canada and the world. Rather, it should prevent other businesses from benefiting commercially from that content without formalized permission. I think corporations and societies should have a reduced role in copyright, particularly as far the individual is concerned. And as an example of how this might work I think a tiered level of copyright would help: when content is created, what if the creator had to choose between a commercial versus a non-commercial copyright? A non-commercial copyright might only be available to individuals and would protect them from many kinds of infringement, but a commercial copyright, available to businesses, corporations, international interests, and societies would only protect the content from commercial infringements, and any non-commercial violations — essentially friends sharing books, movies, songs, etc — would be considered protected rights of individuals and supporting the cultural diversity of Canada.
4. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
Simply, preserving commercial access to copyright, while finding a balance between the involvement of business interests and the cultural, individual rights of Canadians. Canadians should not be made to live in fear for the harmless act of participating in a cultural Canada that has become largely controlled by corporate interests.
5. What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?
To facilitate the needs of all, copyright should strive to belong absolutely and (for a fixed term) with the individual creator. When copyright becomes corporate asset we risk sell off of intellectual ideas. That said, when copyright is available in distinct layers between commercial and non-commercial, both business and international copyright holders would default to commercial rights thus protecting the individual citizens of Canada from both internal and cross-border prosecution, particularly in an age of seemingly border-less communications.
This is a dual issue: protecting business and protecting Canadians. Let’s keep them separate.
Perhaps you have been watching the news and have heard the rumours. The Government of Canada spiraling into the nether-regions of obscure democratic process and is standing on the brink of something rather historic. And no matter, from whichever side of that particular chasm of political upheaval you throw your tomatoes, the results are promising to be exciting.
So, fine. You are not a political junkie. You can’t be bothered to follow the musings of our small-stature democracy. Go read something else. What do you care that a fragile minority government gambled its fortunes on a minor political gambit, tossed the entire pot on a pair of tens, and the other three players and posing themselves to call the bluff? Huh?
But it is curious to see the arguments being rallied against this process. “It’s not democratic!” or “It’s a coup!” or “These are backroom deals!” Folks, this is democracy at its finest. Thirty eight percent of an underwhelming voter turnout chose the current government. This is how the other half (plus) replies to that, particularly when the other half is so fed up they actually decide to work together. Nice.
The result of sending a letter with your concerns about copyright to your member of parliament and various other influential ministers in federal government is NOT that they listen to your concerns, but rather that they put you on their mailing list and send you propaganda and notifications of exactly how they are ignoring your concerns. For those who don’t happen to be on that particular mailing list, a copy of a letter from my inbox a few minutes ago follows:
The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-61, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. The proposed legislation is a made-in-Canada approach that balances the needs of Canadian consumers and copyright owners, promoting culture, innovation and competition in the digital age.
What does Bill C-61 mean to Canadians?
Specifically, it includes measures that would:
– expressly allow you to record TV shows for later viewing; copy legally purchased music onto other devices, such as MP3 players or cell phones; make back-up copies of legally purchased books, newspapers, videocassettes and photographs onto devices you own; and limit the “statutory damages” a court could award for all private use copyright infringements;
– implement new rights and protections for copyright holders, tailored to the Internet, to encourage participation in the online economy, as well as stronger legal remedies to address Internet piracy;
– clarify the roles and responsibilities of Internet Service Providers related to the copyright content flowing over their network facilities; and
– provide photographers with the same rights as other creators.
What Bill C-61 does not do:
– it would not empower border agents to seize your iPod or laptop at border crossings, contrary to recent public speculation
What this Bill is not:
– it is not a mirror image of U.S. copyright laws. Our Bill is made-in-Canada with different exceptions for educators, consumers and others and brings us into line with more than 60 countries including Japan, France, Germany and Australia
Bill C-61 was introduced in the Commons on June 12, 2008 by Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister JosÃƒÂ©e Verner.
Hmm… methinks thar be a wee bit’o doublespeakin’ happenin’ herebouts. Now be the time to be talkin’ amongst yerselfs.
Update: I should have mentioned that there is a really good analysis on Michael Geist’s Blog everyone should check out.
About five years ago when we were living in the urban sprawl of Vancouver our apartment was burglarized. We were suddenly very alone and vulnerable. It wasn’t the stuff, so much. It was rotten-to-the-core feeling of being helpless and insignificant. It was the sleepless nights. It was waking up at all hours from any small noise in the hallway wondering if those footsteps would stop in front of our door. It was the haunting words of the police officer who, despite a fairly good lead on a suspect, was unable to assure us that much of anything could be done. And nothing ever was. Those who take have power over those who abide.
And it was right then that I decided a few things in my own life.
First, it was then that we decided we were done with Vancouver. True, property crime can (and does) happen anywhere, but the attitude that followed it seemed uniquely disturbing and accepting of it in Vancouver. It was a “join the club” type response, we received. Another cost of living expense that I was unwilling to pay.
Second, my faith in the politico-justice system took one of it’s first hard knocks. If I equate that faith to a metaphorical tripod, one could say that one of the legs had been kicked out. It was the start. It was the first stab at something I had held with absolute faith — and subsequent observations of the political and economic climate of the world have severely weakened the remaining two legs.
In the last few months I’ve been patiently observing the new proposed copyright legislation for Canada being pushed by the increasingly corporate theocracy we call our elected Federal government. And, after a long night of reading even more information yesterday evening, I think another of those legs on my so-called tripod of faith has finally given out.
I sent out ten letters this morning to various levels and branches of government. The core of that letter: “By supporting such legislation you are effectively supporting a form of digital prohibition and branding a generation of media consumers as criminals, letting the door swing wide for American-style litigation against individuals who are using the technology they already own, the media they have and will purchase, in ways that they are currently free to do.” Because in a world where I move my music to a computer or an iPod for lack of a portable CD player, record-delay television shows so I can spend time with my daughter and still have something resembling a normal life, back-up valuable media collections for personal peace of mind, blog in parody about passing fancies and topics of public concern, and enjoy numerous other digital conveniences and creative outlets for which I have paid and adapted my life, I am soon to be tagged a criminal for doing so.
Interpret the law how you will, but our rights are about to be throttled by a technologically illiterate ruling class who are essentially equating the life-altering impacts of a break-and-enter burglary with the act of recording a television show.
I’m standing on the one remaining leg, shaky and fragile, and if a single careless law is passed, all faith will be gone. I will be a criminal for simply existing, so I don’t see as it matters anymore. Revolution is at hand.
The sod arrived! It’s here! It’s lush! It’s soft and green! And it has been laid and watered! So, happy Canada Day and bring on the sunshine!
That’s right: we officially have GRASS!
Ryan and I spent yesterday moving through the processes of tilling, bulking, smoothing, and enriching the topsoil around our house. Finally, around six o’clock, three palettes of sod were delivered (excellent service and quality, I might add — so a shout out to Gem Sod in Ft. Saskatchewan by the way!) and we got to work laying it.
I’ll have photos in a few days. I took a thwack of pics — but as you might have noticed, I haven’t even posted all the Europe images yet! That thought in mind, two links: First, with a humble donation by your truly, acquired a photo gallery of his own and has uploaded a few hundred images. Check it out! Some good shots there — and he’s had time to complete it, too.
And I, yes finally, added another set from my collection: Berlin. (Correction: TWO albums today. Also, the long drive across Germany.) Click the thumbnail to visit.
This small collection highlights our last two nights of the tour and another brief stay in one of the (in my opinion) coolest cities in Europe: Berlin. And alas, not even the end of the pics: more to come.