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Dead Wild Roses: Canada Day – Something To Be Proud Of.

“Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.”

-EMMA GOLDMAN, Anarchism and Other Essays

Celebrating Canada’s ‘nationhood’ seems a little trite and ephemeral to me. Woo, ethnic cleansing, woo cultural genocide and the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Queen City Ex Musical Ride

Here’s an advance preview, if a similar “musical ride” comes to Regina?

Kids expecting horses and music from RCMP Musical Ride treated to para-military violence. http://t.co/MSqET5fY0G pic.twitter.com/XHipX4zt4f

— CC (@canadiancynic) June 29, 2015

wmtc: what i’m reading: fallingwater rising, biography of a building

In the prologue to Fallingwater Rising: Frank Lloyd Wright, E. J. Kaufmann, and America’s Most Extraordinary House, author Franklin Toker writes, “Put this book down now if you can’t live without the old myths about Fallingwater. But take comfort in the fact that a Fallingwater history shorn of miracles can still be thrilling.”

Toker examines those old myths, and one by one, he uses his extensive and impeccable research to dismantle them. The truth, for me, was far more interesting.

I visited Fallingwater in 1999, and although I have a great interest in architecture and am captivated by (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Pelly Museum Fire

I was last in Pelly in 2007 and never got into the museum there.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/saskboy/18600893238&#8243; title=”Pelly Museum and caboose panorama 2007 by saskboy, on Flickr”><img src=”https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/527/18600893238_6793b30696_c.jpg&#8221; width=”800″ height=”295″ alt=”Pelly Museum and caboose panorama 2007″></a>

Today it lost that museum to a fire.

I also was outside it in 2006.

Scripturient: This week’s reading

Going Clear by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright is an expose of the Church of Scientology. Fascinating, scary stuff and it makes you want to keep looking back over your shoulder to see if someone is watching you. A great read, though, and a real eye-opener if you’ve ever wanted to know the inner workings […]

Bill Longstaff: The TRC report and the Langevin Bridge—what’s in a name?

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report has issued a damning condemnation of the Indian residential schools, referring to their history as “cultural genocide.” Reverberations are being felt across the country, including here in Calgary. For example, a question has risen about the Langevin Bridge and Langevin School, and whether or not they should be renamed.

They both honour Sir

Dead Wild Roses: Origins of Prostitution

Divide and conquer has always been an effective strategy. Applied against women, it has blossomed into one of tap roots of Foppression.

“The feminist historian, Gerda Lerner, showed that prostitution has not always existed. It first arose at the beginning of patriarchy, which was relatively recently in the long history of the human race. Prostitution began when men systematically seized control over women. One of the key ways they controlled women was to divide them into two groups: respectable women and prostitutes. Respectable women had to cover their heads and the prostitutes were not allowed to cover their heads (Read more…)

wmtc: truth and reconciliation, past and present: why this matters to all of us

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has just completed its week-long closing event in Ottawa. The Commission was part of the historic settlement between the Canadian Government and the survivors of the former Indian Residential Schools. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS). The Commission will document the truth of survivors, families, communities and anyone personally affected by the IRS experience.

This includes First Nations, Inuit and Métis former Indian Residential School students, their families, communities, the Churches, former school employees, Government and other Canadians.

I don’t know if this is (Read more…)

PostArctica: Buffy Sainte-Marie

“”You talk about all the foster home kids, some of those parents they grew up without parents. They never knew a parent. How were they supposed to know how a family works? What they learned was how to be a bullying nun, how to be a pedophile priest, that’s what they learned. That’s what we’ve been living with.””

Story here.

Dead Wild Roses: In Alberta, some things never change

Somewhat ironic, considering Rachel Notley said “spring is here” last night.

Filed under: Canada, History, Humour Tagged: #abvote, Irony, Spring

Bill Longstaff: Why the U.S. can’t solve its race problem

Is the Unites States a racist society? This is a question the nation wrestles with as one young black man after another is killed by the police. But the question may in a sense be irrelevant. The current turmoil may be due less to lingering racism than to the ignoring of history.

To explain, allow me, as this is Stanley Cup season, to use a hockey analogy. Let us assume we want to play a pick-up

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Count of Monte Cristo

Many of us grew up on the stories of Alexandre Dumas; from cartoons to comic books, TV series and movies. And, yes, books, albeit often abridged for the young market, with drawings of swordsmen, women in flowing dresses, and the court of kings. Swashbuckling adventures, romances with honour and swordfighting. We may not have always […]

PostArctica: Dillinger/Hitchcock/Lynch (The Woman In Red #2)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Written by God?

I don’t pay as much attention to American politics as I suppose I should, in part because despite the entertaining craziness of some of their politicians, the internal politics seldom affect Canadians, and also in part because the craziness not only baffles me – it scares me. But this week I paid attention when I […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Shakespeare Changed Everything

I have been reading an entertaining little book called How Shakespeare Changed Everything, which, as the title suggests, is about the pervasive influence the Bard has had on pretty much everything in our lives ever since he started putting quill to paper. Stephen Marche’s book was described in the NatPost as a, “sprightly, erudite sampling […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Saskatoon Riding the Coattails of History

Acknowledging that an important feature in Saskatoon was constructed by the government, then bragging that construction of a future valued feature (a wind turbine) was avoided by the government instead of an opportunity seized upon, is a repugnant attitude. People like Sandra are not leaving a better world for our children, and Stephen Harper’s grand-daughter.

It's Back To The Future for Harper's granddaughter! #cdnpoli @HarpersGDaughtr pic.twitter.com/9JDdd7EAWB

— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) April 22, 2015

Dead Wild Roses: Wealth Inequality – A Historical Problem.

There has always been a struggle by the people against the gratuitous accumulation of wealth and power. So the inequality we live with today is a problem that humanity has been grappling with since is inception. Tariq Ali explains how in this passage:

 

[…]

In Sparta in the third century BCE, a fissure developed between the ruling elite and ordinary people following the Peloponnesian Wars, and those who were ruled demanded change because the gap between rich and poor had become so huge it couldn’t be tolerated. A succession of radical monarchs, Agis IV, Cleomenes III and (Read more…)

wmtc: everything is political: bewitched and "george washington zapped here"

You may recall that my current comedy-before-bed TV sleep aid is a sitcom from my childhood: “Bewitched”. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying watching its ridiculous, predictable humour and sometimes surprising messaging. I was in the middle of the eighth and final season when Netflix pulled the show. (Argh!) But thanks to our amazing world of media, I was able to switch over to YouTube, viewed on TV via Roku.

In Season 8, episode 21 and 22, Bewitched recycles a template from an earlier episode. In Season 1, daffy Aunt Clara (played by Marion Lorne) mistakenly brings Ben Franklin into the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Forcing An Athiest to Practice Religion

Here’s what it can feel like to practice religion when you don’t believe in the common fantasy [AKA faith].

I knew from a young age that I didn’t see religion as a literal interpretation of moral code sent from God, but rather a human construct of what we (those writing holy books) wanted or imagined it to be. Being commanded to participate for years after in routine rituals is boring and felt like a giant waste of time/effort. The only consolation was that it was still time spent with family, and friends in the community sharing snacks and meals, (and (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: No Good Men Among The Living – Dispelling The Imperial Narrative

We tell ourselves the stories we need to hear. This is excerpt details American involvement in Afghanistan, but from a non-embedded reporters point of view and analysis.

 

“The central thesis of the American failure in Afghanistan — the one you’ll hear from politicians and pundits and even scholars — was succinctly propounded by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: “The war in Iraq drained resources from Afghanistan before things were under control.” In this view, the American invasion of Iraq became a crucial distraction from stabilization efforts in Afghanistan, and in the resulting security vacuum the (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: War On Drugs Still a Losing Battle

Why are drugs still illegal? I wrote a while ago about the success of Portugal, where all drugs were legalized, and the money previously used to enforce drug laws were instead used to fund social programs to help those with drug problems. Not only was Portugal’s drug abuse problem significantly reduced, but HIV and crime rates plummeted as well. It has been almost 15 years since Portugal started their non-prohibition experiment, with revolutionary results, and yet other countries still refuse to let go of their self-defeating War on Drugs.

I have recently read a fantastic interview with Johann Hari, on Sam (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Pompeii: Swords-and-Sandals Flop

As a film setting, the town of Pompeii in the first century CE is a lot like the deck of the Titanic in 1912: no amount of special effects or clever script writing is going to save it from the disaster awaiting. As a film, Pompeii has a lot of the former, but precious little of […]

Dead Wild Roses: Canadian Colonial Legacies – The Inconvenient Indian

We here in Canada often like to think of ourselves as the ‘good guys’. Our history somehow a few degrees shinier, more pristine than the the bloodstained record our American neighbours seem to bandy about with pride.

Like any colonial narrative though certain distortions are present and sometimes the distortions are encouraged. Let’s take a look at one incident in our history through the lens of Thomas King in his work The Inconvenient Indian – specifically about a land grant in 1717 by the French Crown of a parcel of land by the Ottawa River to the (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Bully Pulpit

“I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit!” US President Theodore Roosevelt uttered those words in office (reported in the February 27, 1909, issue of The Outlook magazine), coining the phrase ‘bully pulpit’ in referring to the presidency as an ideal platform from which to expound his […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Family, a Century Ago

The gentleman in the uniform on the right is William Gordon Pudney, Chief Petty Officer and engineer on the cruiser, Niobe, one of the earliest ship’s in Canada’s fledgling navy. William (Bill) was born in Canada, in 1893. He is perhaps in his early 20s in this undated photograph, taken a century or more ago, […]