Category Archives: Laws

RANT: You’re Stupid And We Know It, School Board

A six-year-old has been suspended for singing the words an LMFAO song: “I’m sexy and I know it.”

The school board thinks he should’ve known better.

You know what the six-year-old knows? That these people look like they’re having a LOT of fun when they’re bouncing around singing this song in the video. They’re cool, weird, neat performers with great hair, exciting lives, and they’re singing a super-catchy song that makes the six-year-old come to life when he sings the song too. And they were on top of the world because of it. That is what he knows.

Know what the adults on the schoolboard know? Better. They damned well know better than to suspend a six-year-old for mentioning the words to a ludicrous song by a campy band. And to call it sexual harrassment?

“Zero tolerance” laws are for a moronic people in a moronic world. We’re smarter than that. We know that not everything’s a crime. We know that kids tell lies, adults make mistakes, and shit happens. But we want to seem tough, strong, and like we’re in the moral right, and so we say HEY, ANY CONTRAVENTION OF THIS LAW, AND YOU’RE SCREWED, PAL.

So what happens? A kid gets suspended because he’s singing lyrics to a song he probably doesn’t even understand.

When I was a kid, I was 8 when I found an Elton John record with my brother at a yard sale. On it was “The Bitch is Back.” I didn’t understand the lyrics, but I loved the way it sounded when he sung the words, and I remember dancing around the room singing all summer long.

In grade 7, I loved the song “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It would be years before I’d understand it was about premature ejaculation, or even what “premature ejaculation” meant.

We can hear songs as kids and love the way they sound, but not have a clue what the premise is.

Even if the kid had any gleaning of this song’s meaning, to call it sexual harassment when he’s just emulating what’s in pop culture is a ridiculously hypocritical move.

I don’t want to live in a world where there are no shades of grey. We’re boring enough already, people.

Let’s get over ourselves and stop the stupidity. Zero tolerance makes zero sense. Look at cases on their merits, not just under the dimwitted light of asshat politicians who pass laws under the guise of looking tough on crime — because it’s we who pay the price, not actual bad guys.

STUPID PEOPLE win money for believing NUTELLA IS HEALTHY

Oh, you think that title’s politically incorrect? Well, then, buckle up.

I’m kinda pissed after reading the makers of Nutella, that incredibly addictive chocolate-hazelnut spread that pimps out a crepe like nobody’s business [shudder/twitch], are settling a lawsuit with consumers because people actually BELIEVED the commercials.

Nutella claimed their meal was part of a nutritional breakfast. You know, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, if it’s on whole-grain toast with a banana sliced on top, and a bowl of strawberries on the side, plus a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ and a shot of insulin.

Unfortunately, people didn’t grasp the “PART of a balanced diet” bit. Nor did they read the sugar content or the fact that North America’s lesser-than concoction of Nutella (Europe gets the REAL thing, we slum it) has PALM OIL.

See, I had this “holy SHIT, is THIS STUFF CRACK?” phase of Nutella addiction, and then, one day, I read the packaging. I saw the fat, the sodium, the sugar, the palm oil, and I thought “Whoa.” There was a really tasty Real Canadian Super generic version that had all CANOLA, not PALM, oil, and it was pretty good, so I switched for a month, but then I just realized I was eating too fucking much of it and I dropped it altogether.

Because I READ THE LABEL.

Some of us do that, you know. It happens. It’s RIGHT THERE. You don’t have to walk two blocks, catch a bus, and SOME of us have educated ourselves, or were taught in public schools, as to what the calorie count we’re after, how many grams of fat are bad, and so forth. I mean, I barely stumble through this stuff and YET I have an inkling of the right information, and even I was scared off by reading Nutella’s nutritional low-down. I mean, holy crap! There’s crack in them-thar jars, Batman! ask someone —  you just have to turn the jar over and READ THE LABEL.

But, no. People who don’t read labels, who don’t empower themselves, who are ignorant of any basic logic (sugar + nut butter + chocolate = not awesome for your ass) and believe commercials with violin instrumentals, they’re all being rewarded with $3 million of Nutella’s dough.

OH, THAT LOOKS HEALTHY. HOW COULD IT NOT BE? IT'S SO SMOOTH, SHINY, AND GLOOPY.

You know what? I call bullshit.

 

Fucking learn your stuff. Don’t trust advertisements. Be judicious. Empower yourself. Don’t be a victim.

This rewarding-people-for-not-caring thing, it’s just not cool. Apathy and ignorance are not excuses. They don’t deserve this.

There’s ZERO incentive to being a proactive, informed individual anymore. Society only rewards the opposite.

I’m fed up with it.

Here’s an idea. Let’s stop this “I don’t need to know because I can just sue them later” epidemic of STUPID in North America and totally change the game. If a manufacturer misleads you, and it’s not something like, say, a life-saving drug or something like a car’s safety where your life is literally on the line, you don’t keep the money from the lawsuit.

They’re really angry that chocolate spread is unhealthy? It’s FAT-FILLED NUTS and CHOCOLATE and SUGAR. Yeah, that’s a fucking surprise — unhealthy. Idiots!

No. They’re angry enough to sue? Great! Do so from a Good Samaritan, Kantist “for the greater good” standpoint, and I will applaud you — so long as the money paid by the offending party is distributed among relevant charities. (ie: Food banks.) NO MONEY FOR STUPIDHEADS.

Let’s STOP THE BLEEDING. Let’s not reward apathy. Let’s make ignorance less profitable. Let’s just try to be in it together, so we’re shutting down corporations for irresponsible behaviour, but we’re not being a part of the Cash Cow System that’s so detrimental to our civilization. Let’s start caring again.

You can’t fucking tell me you put a couple tablespoons of that chocolatey-hazelnutty crack-like concoction on bread and think “THIS TASTES SOOOOOOO HEALTHY.”

Jesus. It doesn’t taste like sawdust. Do. The. Math.

Fuck. I’m gonna start taking a parachute EVERYWHERE I GO, because society is going DOWN, man. Score one for the stupids.

No Nutella for ANYONE. EVER. Pass the whiskey.

Riot Report? Fuck the Report. Charge Someone.

This riot report business, man, I don’t know.

You want to know what it says? Go ask someone who cares.

Important facts are pretty simple: Here in Vancouver, we had us a little hockey riot. Everyone made a big deal about it, ‘cos it IS a big deal. We’re civil Canadians, we don’t do that shit. Want to do that shit? Hand in your Canadian passport at the door. You ain’t Canadian enough.

Well, cue the UK riots. That brought a lot of perspective to Vancouver folk.

All our hockey-riot hullabaloo passed — millions of dollars in damages, people injured, and all those things that come with mass destruction unleashed by drunk assholes — and not one charge has been laid. Not one.

In the Queen’s realm, not only have charges been laid, but people are already doing HARD time for their actions! Our riot was a couple months before theirs, and much easier to dissect, being all of 3.5 hours in Vancouver, versus four DAYS in the UK.

What happened in Canuckistan?

The same thing that always happens in North America, but that BC politicians have perfected.

The relevant happenstances get forgotten. All the players turned the riot chaos into a political free-for-all ‘cos there’s an election in five months. Next thing, everyone’s pointing fingers about whose fault the thing was.

Maybe these guys didn't burn this car, but they're celebrating it, so that makes them assholes too.

“I didn’t do it. You did it! It’s your fault! Hey, people, blame him! And, psst… vote for me!”

No. You know who fucking did it?

Assholes who got loaded and trashed our city. Young, angry, stupid people who deserve to be in jail, on probation, or doing civic service to atone.

It’s not THE MAYOR’S fault. The city wanted public parties and viewing in the streets. We were longing for the communal bliss of the Olympics, and a little recreating didn’t hurt.

More than 150,000 or so folks convened downtown to watch the games. They thought it was a good idea. Those who didn’t go down mumbled thoughts that Vancouver would riot no matter how the game transpired, because some folks just look for the excuse, but I didn’t hear many of them saying “don’t do the public showings,” because they figured riots would happen with or without public events.

Still, there were plenty of politicians and would-be candidates in the mix, wearing their jerseys, cheering like it was the best thing since Oprah handed out hams.

Public parties are an awesome photo op, it would seem. “I’m a good citizen! I like hockey too. Look, I bought a jersey!”

The riot ain’t the chief of police’s fault. Our fine officers stopped the riot without firing a weapon, without using rubber bullets, and when it was all said and done, the citizens were so impressed they literally wallpapered a department squad car with THANK-YOU notes.

When you cover your face, you know you're a thieving fuck and should be ashamed of yourself, so that makes these guys fucktards.

In 3.5 hours the riot was done and dusted, honey, ‘cos our boys & girls in blue ate their Wheaties before the shift.

The fault of the great Hockey Riot was simply people who wanted to kick the shit out of things because… who the fuck knows why, “BECAUSE”? Because they did.

Why doesn’t matter.

The problem we have here is, the citizens don’t CARE about the mayor or the cops, and antagonistic media DOESN’T GET IT. We don’t care about the politics! SHUT THE HELL UP. Stop sensationalizing! Contribute to the solution! PLEASE.

We understood what happened THAT DAY. We didn’t need any fucking inquiry. The increase in cops wasn’t enough, the confiscation of liquor wasn’t consistent enough, the ability to get alcohol downtown on the day of the game was a part of the problem, even with sales ending at noon. The sunny weather brought out even more people. We got it. It was booze, numbers, and shitheads. Pretty simple.

How do we prevent the next riot? Well, we don’t. It’s always a possibility. Our riot response just needs to improve even more. The response improvement from 1994 to 2011 was impressive. Continue that.

In the meantime, we want justice. We want these punk-ass bitches, many of whom were caught IN ACTION, to be punished!

And if they’re NOT punished, FIX THE GODDAMNED LAW so they can be charged NEXT time. Get us some fucking politicians in chambers who execute new legislation that makes it possible to prosecute for incitement and agitation when it’s not related to a political protests. Those get a different measuring stick.

Seriously, write a law that escalates punishment if in conjunction with civic celebrations. If a riot happens within a day of a sporting finals or major sporting event, or public celebration like The Symphony of Fire, have it be a charge of hooliganism.

Or something. My University of Phoenix correspondence law degree ain’t done yet, so let’s not make me think so hard. Write somethin’, lawmakers.

But stop the fucking finger-pointing. If leaders weren’t so damned afraid to bust out a dance in this province’s political scene, we might actually have progress happen and effect some real change. God knows we need it.

That’s fantasy thinking, there. Here, in Lotus Land, everyone’s prepared to play the blame game before the record even starts to spin.

I’m tired of it. Guess what? Most taxpayers are tired of it.

Assholes that are “the future” went out there and tore my city apart, assaulted my police officers, broke our hearts, AND THEY’RE GETTING AWAY WITH IT.

They’re on TAPE! We have photos! There are witnesses!

AND THEY’RE GETTING AWAY WITH IT.

I’ve never considered politics in British Columbia to be more pathetic than it is now, and any politician campaigning with “riot speak and blaming” as a major part of their platform will not get one damned bit of support, or a vote, from me.

It’s time to grow up, BC politicians. And grow a pair.

Shut up and solve some problems that need solving. Get these punk-asses charged and answering to society.

If these jerks can’t be prosecuted, then I want laws in place by June 1, 2012, that make it simple to lay charges and have them stick, when it comes to wanton sports-hooligan violence like this.

Because right now the legal system and political system in British Columbia is an embarrassment. An EMBARRASSMENT.

People wrecked our city. We know who to blame. Prosecuting them is just not brimming with enough political cachet.

Well, we, the people, we don’t need politics.

We want justice.

Now give it to us.

FILE UNDER “OBVIOUS”: Alcohol+Speed=Death

TV star Ryan Dunn is dead because he was a jackass.

Oh, sure, people are mourning his death, but not me. I’m mourning his incredible stupidity.

You see, he was legally drunk. He had twice the legal limit of booze in his system. Then he went driving at speeds up to 140mph. Tell me: How was he supposed to survive such stupidity? The odds were low the moment his keys hit the ignition.

All this “oh, it’s so sad” shit just pisses me off. Sorry, kids. Not me. He’s dead and we’re lucky it happened before he could kill many others.

Because that’s the reality of drinking and driving.

Your Choices Don’t Just Hurt You

25 years ago, when I was about 12, my mother got a phone call. “Did you see the news?” she was asked.

It was Mother’s Day. Her friend’s twin boys, 18 years old, were over and teasing their mom, having a great time for her special day. But she realized she’d never bought cream for the dessert coffee. She asked the boys to go to the store and pick up some cream.

Then she never saw them again.

That Mother’s Day eve, a drunk ran a light, T-boned her sons’ car at super-high speeds, killing both good-looking, star-athlete 18-year-old identical twin boys on impact before they’d ever cash in on their university scholarships.

She was never the same. She went from being a great community member and artist to someone who left town to live a reclusive artist’s life on the waterfront up coast. The last couple times I saw her, years after her sons’ death, you could read the tragedy in her face. She never left that sadness behind.

Friends Don’t Drive with Drunk Friends

That’s what excessive alcohol does behind the wheel.

I see friends drinking to excess and driving. I don’t ride with them. I worry about them, but I can’t change their choices.

They’re not drinking double the legal limit and driving 140mph in a Porsche, but it’s bad enough when it’s a big city like this and veering off a road at 80 k/hr can kill a crowd.

Ryan Dunn didn’t just kill himself, he killed a friend.

If you ride with drunk friends, you’re taking your life in your hands. Or, rather, you’re giving your life to someone who was probably too drunk to get the keys in the ignition correctly before starting the car.

Talk them out of driving. Tell them you won’t ride with them.

And if they choose to drive despite you saying you won’t ride with them, don’t change your mind. Your being in the car is even more of a distraction to an already-unfocused drunk.

Trusting your friend not to “hurt” you doesn’t mean you can trust them if they’re drinking and driving. Alcohol impairs judgment. It doesn’t only impair judgment if there’s no good friends involved.

After all, Dunn’s friend is just as dead as he is.

They died immediately of “crash and thermal trauma.” Thermal trauma means they burned to death.

Want to go that way?

Don’t drive with drunk friends.

My Anger is Justified, and I Don’t Apologize

No, Ryan Dunn’s death isn’t a tragedy, it’s stupidity. It was entirely preventable. If you can afford a Porsche, you can afford a cab.

Ryan Dunn's car. No, your car isn't indestructible. Think you can survive this? Don't drink and drive.

I get angry when I hear people die for stupid reasons. I get angry at the pain and loss that those left behind will endure.

If my anger and lack of boo-hoo about Dunn’s death, my story about my mom’s friend’s tragic Mother’s Day that made her childless, and my harsh words affect just one person’s future decisions, then that’s awesome.

Meanwhile, if you want to be pissed at me for calling it like it is, so “soon” after his death, then you’re a goof.

The fact is, if we wait until a “respectable” time has passed to call Ryan Dunn an idiot for dying an unnecessary death, then we lose the emotional impact his death can have on those who need a wake-up call.

So.

Ryan Dunn was a good-hearted, great-souled, wonderful man who was a jackass. He died needlessly.

Don’t be a jackass.

The Dark Lord versus Perez Hilton: Bullying

I never thought I’d type these words:

I’m with Lord Voldemort.

But there you have it.

On Twitter, I luckily caught the retweet of this pretty perfect comment of @Lord_Voldemort7’s tirade against the hypocrisy of PEREZ HILTON having the fucking audacity to lead a campaign against bullying, despite it being started by the well-intentioned Dan Savage.

I’ll let the Dark Lord have the floor:

Perez’ website is designed to ridicule & mock others. Whether it be a a smarmy comment, unoriginal nickname (kiki drunkst, Mischa Fartone, Slutty Cyrus etc) or a photoshopped picture with drool added; his posts garner attention through bullying. Currently Perez has made anti-bullying his pet project. He has gathered videos from celebrities & reiterated over & over the importance of putting an end to the very ridicule & comments that have made him “famous”. Additionally, celebrities have responded to his requests & made their own videos (many of them the celebrities that he mocks on a daily basis). Whether these videos are genuinely because the care about the cause or were created to gain favor with Perez is up to individual discretion. One thing is certain, creating these videos is simply the victims aiding the bully that terrorizes them. It’s Pettigrew all over again. (See what I did there? With the reference to the wizarding world? Yeah.)

In spite of my efforts for world domination, there still remains freedom of speech. He is entitled to say whatever he wants. However, to turn around & chastise others for writing “belittling, hateful comments” while calling teen celebrities promiscuous & other celebrities ugly or fat makes him a hypocrite.

I got chills when I read his rant, because this is how I’ve felt about the celebrity gossip world for years. I’ve hated it, I’ve ranted against it, and I love to see the sentiment shared by people who nail it to the wall.

The Dark Lord and I, in short, concur.

I don’t DO celebrity gossip. I don’t respect it, I don’t think it’s funny, and I don’t believe it’s a past-time. I think it’s an example of everything that’s wrong with today’s society.

I think anyone who’s ever been insulted, mocked, bullied, and hurt by others who enjoys spitefully tearing down public figures, yet cries out about the injustices they’ve supposedly suffered is a big fat h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e.

Making a passing comment is one thing, but making a career out of finding things to spite in other people is something I will never understand.

Living in that headspace? Daily? How can you hold such contempt for people? I don’t get it. I need to hope and believe that we’re better than that as a society.

Everybody hurts. Everybody gets betrayed. Everyone’s all alone in their head.

When it comes to celebrity, I don’t believe that getting famous suddenly makes you impervious to pain. I think it makes you a target.

But, hey, in today’s society, everyone’s spiteful of success. We celebrate it, then we throw darts at it.

The only thing more hypocritical than writing those gossip columns is when one lives and dies by reading their favourite trash-slinging daily, especially devouring the juicy bits, then goes about life pretending they’re Little Good Citizen. Seriously?

I don’t really get this whole “It Gets Better” crap coming from Perez Hilton’s site. I don’t. The Dark Lord points out an absolutely fantastic ethical paradox.

Somehow, it’s okay to be the completely cunty gay man who slams the shit out of everyone’s self-esteem, using “gay” epithets as insults, but if someone’s cruel to a gay teen, that’s the world’s most horrible crime?

I HAVE AN IDEA. LET’S NOT BE CRUEL TO ANYONE.

Bullying sucks. Belittling sucks. Mockery sucks. Laughing and pointing? Really sucks.

I always reserve the right to comment on clothing that’s way over the top. And, you know, toupees and comb-overs. A lot of other stuff, though, really crosses a lot of lines.

It’s really pretty simple, you know.

Would it hurt YOU if someone said that about you?

Then shut your fucking mouth.

My interpretation of the “Golden Rule”. Enjoy. Apply liberally.

I’ve been mocked, bullied, harassed, insulted, and betrayed. Not just 20 years ago, but even weeks ago. I live on Planet Earth in the Internet Age. Of course it’s happened recently.

I will not knowingly do it to others. I will not support websites who do it. I will never behave that way on my blog.

If you don’t see the hypocrisy in reading gossip sites and you’ve ever been hurt by a thing people have said about you, perhaps you need to rethink your behaviour.

You need to rethink your integrity and your ethics.

Really.

Hypocrisy isn’t less offensive just because you’re pleasant to talk to at cocktail parties.

But, hey, it gets better. Chin up.

My thoughts about “It Gets Better”?

I love Dan Savage and I know his heart is in the right place, and I know Dan speaks out often about all kinds of injustices — he’s awesome.

However: the Bullying Problem is bigger than dressing it in platitudes. Instead of saying “It gets better, chin up!” I’d rather see all these stars use their power and high-profile to get some motherfucking laws up in here.

Bullying needs to stop, and it needs to stop in administrative levels at schools and workplaces.

Platitudes won’t do a thing long-term, but I really hope the campaign does change some thinking on the ground right NOW. Still.

Less ain’t more here — time to petition congress, parliament, whoever the hell makes laws in YOUR world.

Gay teens have longattempted suicide, but now it’s apparently en vogue to make videos about it.

Laws, people.

LAWS will save lives. And education. Videos will just make people warm and fuzzy for three minutes. Get real. Make shit happen. Change this. Go to lawmakers. Be adamant.

For those so motivated, check the bottom of this page for a list for how to accomplish getting laws passed against bullying.

Pride Day in Vancouver

The Canadian government has been keeping its nose out of people’s bedrooms since 1969. Since then, any consenting adults could have any sex they like, provided the participants were of legal age, not dead, and not an animal. Basically.

From the Canadian Encyclopedia:

From Confederation to 1969, under Canada’s criminal law, homosexuality was punishable by up to 14 years in prison. In 1969 the law was amended by exempting from prosecution 2 consenting adults of at least 21 years of age who engaged in these “indecent acts” in private. Since then, the speed of social change in attitudes toward homosexuality has accelerated because of general tolerance (eg, for common-law couples and single parents) and organized gay liberation campaigns.

Many Canadians no longer consider homosexual acts “indecent.” At the time of the 1985 edition of this encyclopedia, one province and several cities had enacted laws against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. By 1996 the majority of Canadian provinces had legislated against discrimination, as is also the case in the internal rules of numerous public and private institutions ranging from churches to universities to Canada Post to major banks. The Canadian military have gone much further than the American military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. When the age of consent for vaginal and oral sex was lowered to 14 in the criminal code, consent for anal sex remained at 18, until a high court decided in 1995 that this distinction unlawfully discriminated against homosexuals.

Gay rights have taken a long time to evolve, despite that forward-thinking law. Vancouver, however, has been considered a very “pro-gay” city for a long, long time.

Some could argue there are aspects of the “noses out” policy that are lip-service more than reality, and cite examples like Little Sisters’ Bookstore’s epic legal battles to get materials across the border without being tapped with some vague obscenity legalities.

They’d be right, too.

But today we celebrate how far we’ve come, and we’ve come a long way, baby.

My best friend’s been out for 10 years now. Mostly out, anyhow. Mostly’s pretty good, when it involves his career and community services. The only people who don’t know would seem to be choosing ignorance, at this point.

And that still happens.

Tomorrow, we worry about that.

Tomorrow, we remember that there are places gays don’t marry, don’t get accepted, can’t live out loud, and have to fear repercussions for being themselves.

Tomorrow, we acknowledge the idiocy that is religious sanctimony that believes “gay” can be doctrined out of ungodly homosexuals.

Tomorrow, we remind ourselves that even in forward-living towns like Vancouver, gay-bashings happen, discrimination continues, and education needs improving.

Today’s about it being today. It’s about the fact a gay female judge can flirt with the girl contestants on a mainstream show like American Idol and it not won’t be a controversy. It’s about gay marriages gaining steam in America. It’s about men holding hands in the streets without being worried about the average person attacking or slandering them.

Today, it’s about the change we’ve seen, so that, tomorrow, when we’re daunted by how far is left to go, we can know it’s less a journey than it once was, and that’s something to take pride in.

Today, it’s also about being proud to be a Canadian, and living in a country that said, 41 years ago, that governments had no right to tell anyone who they could love.

That’s what today’s about.

Pride, baby.

Happy 10th, M, and anyone else who’s come out at work, with friends, or with family. Way to represent.