Saturday, November 26, 2016

ariel's north dakota pipeline


The North Dakota Pipeline activists must shut down one of their camps by December 5th. For some, it will be a last stand.

I put this video together mixing creative commons clips, videos of the pipeline protesters, and Ariel Pink's Haunter Graffiti's Revolution's a Lie. I wanted it to portray the helplessness those that are fighting the pipeline must be feeling.

If you want to support the movement Check out: nodaplsolidarity.org/

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

something about canada

There are many people, who are talking about moving to Canada. I subtly share links like this one for Cape Breton, Canada (link cleverly named cbiftrumpwins.com). I also try to explain that it is not as simple as jumping in a car and crossing borders. There are visas and nationalism to consider. Also, one should be prepared for the issue of taxation. Until a person renounces American citizenship, they are still legally responsible for U.S. taxes. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, "...nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Loonies aside (a loonie is a Canadian dollar), if I decided to move to Canada I would choose Hans Island.

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
This barren hunk of rock is less than a square foot mile and is nestled halfway between Canada and Greenland. It is uninhabited and otherwise uninteresting...except for one thing. The Canadian and Danish governments have been fighting over this arctic paradise for around eighty years..

In 1933, the island was deemed Danish territory by the not-so-Permanent Court of International Justice of the League of Nations. This League of Nations disbanded and was later replaced by the United Nations. The issue of who legally had claim to Hans Island fell in the...in-between (pun, intended).

Apparently, hostilities were revived in 1984 when Denmark's Minister of Greenland Affairs planted a flag on the island. To further the slight, a bottle of brandy and a note that read, "Welcome to the Danish Island" was left behind. This started what is known as, "the whiskey wars".

Arbitrarily, the Canadian military visits the island to change the Danish flag to their own. They leave a bottle of whiskey and a note that reads, "Welcome to Canada". Eventually, the Danish return to replace these with their own flag, booze and message. 

A Danish website called freehansisland.com reviews the affects of this war. A few of my favorites are;
  • No humans have lived on Hans Island since Canada first occupied it.
  • The landscape of Hans Island has been barren, to say the least, since Canada first occupied it.
  • The Danish navy has suffered no casualties in the struggle for Hans Island. Canadian losses are unknown, but are at least equal, possibly higher.
  • Despite claiming ownership, Canada provides no medical or social services to any of the inhabitants of Hans Island.
My final thoughts are wrapped up in this comic from my half-assed google search. Enjoy!

Photo Courtesy: satwcomic.com/epic-battle

Sunday, November 20, 2016

punk 57

Do you ever read a book and somewhere along the way things go terribly wrong? For me, that is what happened with the book Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas.


You might be asking yourself, "Why did you you read a book by Penelope Douglas? You hated the last book you read by her? You even wrote a review stating the reasons.

The answer is simple, I have this (soon to be altered) habit of NOT paying attention to the author name when I pick up a book.

I did not see the similarities between this Punk 57 and Corrupt until much later. Both stories have a bunch of high schoolers acting petty and living very adult lives. Though in Punk 57, it did not bother me within the context of the story.

This plot revolves around Misha and Ryen, two penpals taat have sent letters for years because of a gender specific name mixup. After these years of connection Misha's letters stop sending Ryen into a private tailspin. She doesn't know that Misha is going through a tailspin of his own .This is where the story begins to fail for me.

Misha decides to enroll in Ryen's school as Mason Laurent. With the magics of money he falsifies his documents. Near the end of the story, you find out his justifications for this. But they seem rushed, confused, and implausible. It would have made more sense if Misha was forced in someway to finish high school. Or maybe even have a mystery where he had to hide his identity to find answers. Or perhaps it could have been that Misha had a breakdown, was struggling with mental illness or drug addiction and returned to school as part of his treatment. Or anything else to have his presence actually viable.

Ryen is not a loveable character. That is needed in the story. She has to be written that way, so that the reader hopes that Misha can get through to her. The reader is meant to be frustrated with her and demand (like Misha does) that she be the person underneath it all. They have this in their shared character flaws. Misha is misguided and angry. His actions are propelled by his fears. This is what truly connected them.

I would complain about this story not actually being about young people. Though I cannot judge, as I lived a very free life as a teenager. I also could complain about Misha and Ryen wanting to keep their relationship anonymous. But, again I have my own long term anonymous relationships. I could complain about the gratuitous sex. Then again, it made a weird kind of sense to me. People that are angry and confused often act on their more animalistic drives. My complaint is that A LOT of the book felt like an afterthought -- the "punk" side story, the ending, some of the character choices...which are all important parts of the book. 

The sad part? I would have loved the book if it were executed better.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

the day after

It is no secret that I am not a Trump supporter. As can be seen by my July post, Trump is a goon. I have tried to write something many times about my feelings on the results. Instead, I will share something that one of my bestfriends wrote. (Thanks Brian).
Hey rational America. Things are looking fairly grim for the next four years. People that have an image of a United States that is in economic peril, social anarchy, and under bombardment from outsiders have elected a charlatan. Someone that rallied them together in a furor by feeding into their fears. 
Now we're here in this situation. That has left you feeling the same dread that they felt, albeit with a different source. You're now worried that the country is heading in the wrong direction like they did. You can't believe that someone that doesn't share your values and paradigm is making decisions for you. It's nerve-wracking to be sure. 
Know that many millions share your same outlook. That we'll take steps backwards but that we can go forward again in the future. You'll need to fight for that though. You'll need to be less complacent with the media's presentation to you. You'll need to see the other side's perspective despite how it may seem skewed to you. You'll need to organize. You will need to make the change.
This comes from a person who has always had opposing political views from me. We have spent years engaging in political discourse and this has been the first time we have agreed. 

I wonder how our futures will continue to unfold.