Near the Old Man of Storr, Scotland I took this in 2004

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour's Tonight

Earth Hour...

Tonight between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm we shall descend into darkness, or, at least less brightness, and use candles for the hour of less power.

In almost 4 hours we will take the plunge.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Happy Ending

Five days ago,  a little, adorable kitty with id tag and collar showed up at my house. It’s not normal or usual for a kitty to just leave their home, unless something is up.
For five days, my Mom and I have been trying to find out where the kitty lives, tirelessly. I spent hours on the phone yesterday calling the number on his city issued id tag. A few days earlier, when I first saw the kitty, curled up in a little circle in a pile of leaves at the back, I called the city from the number on his tag, to get told that cats wandering away “is just what cats do.” !!! I was livid. I know cats very well. I have lived with them my whole life. The idiot woman I spoke with at  Toronto Animal Services(TAS) refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong, hence the cat having run away.
I’ve left messages, not one person called me back. I’ve called the Humane Society, who only referred me back to Toronto Animal Services, as did the OSPCA.
Dead ends and frustration!
I had already dubbed kitty “Muffin”, if the need to keep him were to arise.
He’s been sleeping in the backyard. Two nights ago, as the weather turned ferocious, I could hear him screaming outside my window, breaking my heart, but I hoped he would know to go into the garage.
In the morning, when I went to feed our two outside garage girls: a mom and baby- both fixed ,by us btw, Muffin the Mewler was not there.
I figured he had returned home which I was told by the wholly unhelpful people at TAS, was one street away. Well, later in the day, who should appear, but Muffin the Mewler which is not his real name, but, it’s cuter.
Yes, the kitty had returned to our backyard for love and snacks. I tried to keep him out of the garage, but he was having none of it. He warded off the two girls with hisses, and then quickly turned to me for praises.
I tried to let him in to the warm Dogloo, but he had other plans, the garage.
Well, today, my mother decided to pick up where I had left off with trying to find his home.
After another series of calls, she finally made a breakthrough!
As I suspected, he was wearing dog id, because the family dog must have recently passed, which turned out to be a sad truth.
My mother had someone at TAS persist until she realized that the number they had listed for Muffin the Mewler’s mom was not current, so she looked up the address in the online 411 directory, and BINGO!
The mom was called, and within a few minutes called my mom back. Muffin's mom had been so frantic looking for her kitty, she was going to start postering today. We were going to poster the other day, but hadn’t got a photo of the all black kitty yet.
Muffin ran away Thursday, and their dog died Saturday. Muffin and the dog were best friends, so obviously Muffin’s grief was too much, and he left because he didn’t want to see his friend die.
When Muffin’s mom was told about his aggression towards the other cats, she was shocked!
Anyway, to end this saga, of grand proportions, Muffin’s mom was told she could come and get him and that he’s probably be in or around the garage.
He’s been gotten.
How do I know? He’s not here, but in his sweet, little ,loving place, a beautiful card and a pot of flowers, to say thank you for our finally  finding , and being able to contact the mother of Muffin and getting Muffin home.
I love happy cat tales:)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A great Speech!

Watch this great speech by Secretary General Ki-Moon Ban. Ignore the music, it gets a bit loud.
( Everyone calls him by his last name first, which is idiotic)
Mr. Ban is addressing the urgent need for universal human rights for queer people.
It's very powerful!


Two related things,
1) How disgusting that a man is able to murder a young boy, and not get charged with it.

The boy I'm referring to is Treyvon Martin, the 17 year old boy who was buying Skittles for his cousin, and is now dead, because a racist felt afraid of , what exactly? 

Every-fucking body wants a tan, but when another person has more colour to their skin, that's where the buck stops, or the bullet, it seems.

I can't even begin to imagine how the Martin's are feeling, maybe rage, furious anger, sick to  their stomachs.
My heart goes out to them.

We need to all mourn, this is not just a sad, sick day for the Martin's and the rest of their family, nor is it only an "issue" for people of colour, it's an issue for all of us, and remember , we all descended come from the same place, western Africa.

Ubuntu; my humanity is wrapped up in your humanity.

2) A book that needs to be read by all, The Book of Negroes by Canadian  man writer :  people, men, especially, always say "woman doctor", woman writer, etc., to that I say go back to your caves you man holes!
The book is a first-person narrative from a female protagonist about being born free and then her plight into slavery.
It's much like Roots only 
a) It hasn't been plagiarized, as Roots was.
b) The protagonist is female. She written with depth, sensitivity and respect for being female.
c) As painful as it is to read it is well researched and important.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Something Cute

My little kitten loves Tofurkey, and not just any flavour, but the hickory smoked slices.

 When I'm eating it,she pulls it out of my hands and inhales, then looks at me expectantly waiting for more Tofurkey. I've never met a cat who likes tofu/non-meat food.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women-It's our day

 Happy International Women's Day 2012!!!
Here's an excerpt of my a zine I used to write.

"In honour of heroic power, beautiful dykes, and the forceful fury of
words ripe w. pain, I give you American activist, lesbian and poet
Chrystos...This poem, Late Breakfast was one of the many poems I
selected as part of my ode to oppression  a la international women's
day 2000.

Late Breakfast

When they put blue ice in her mind
 when they took her name
burned her brain synapses
when they put her drooling in a chair
her hands like strangers
in her blue cotton pajama lap
when wet through the arms her
mind was lifted out with an electric pitchfork
when they stole her memory

traded her life for a rubber tongue depressor
when her  tangled hair
wore the mark of their machines
her black eyes erased blank
when I saw what
they did to her
because she was depressed
I practiced smiling (c) Chrystos,1995

Cuz all good (whatever the fuck that means!) "girls" ...are supposed
to be happy, supposed to
 want to be submissive, and feel ashamed for not
wanting to be like other "girls", for wanting to frown, yell, scream
and (gasp!), hate (cuz really, what female wants to be treated like an
equal...or even an adult. Cuz to the good ole boys in that elite
mutherfucking institution, known as The Club of  Patriarchy, or simply
The Patriarchy ---where mandatory   membership is forced on all people
who breathe. If you aren't male and man, white and heterosexual, then,
as a forced lifetime member, of The Club
you get treated to every form of abuse, verbal, physical,
emotional...on a regular, fairly consistent basis!

So, i do art and hope that it will always be treated with
respect...maybe respect isn't paying my bills, but if i have it, and
if it is therefore returned to me, I can sleep at night.

For March 8th 2002, we need to stop hating our selves....  write an
email to a multinational, like Shell Oil, for an example...who, in
part w. the Nigerian government were responsible for the death of,
among others, the male poet and outspoken activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa...
He was hanged to death becuz of his refusal to allow the government to continue it's murderous waste of the lives and land of the Ogoni peoples.
We have heard of Ken...becuz he was male...but what of all the
courageous women who are raped,killed, tortured, daily who's names we will never know????

And what of the Female Guerrillas in Mexico, The Zappatistas, fighting the corrupt government, rearing children, soldering---Daily!!! To protect who they are, as a people. They remain nameless, save for the moniker of so-and-so's wife,
Let's re-member: Anita Hill, for daring to raise her voice, Golda
Meir, for being strong as iron,Mary Daly, for being fucking awesome, and last on my list of females we need to always remember...queer sisters who have come out, and love and live as out in countries that kill you for how you choose to live your sexuality!!!

Make Art Not war...

Let's get active and reclaim our names, voices,history and the ground
we walk on.  Let's remember the names of our sisters and change the
rules everyday, all the time in the fucking despotic, putrid Club of

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Too Effing Cute!!

I found this at The Huffington Post. Not only is this wee video
heart-breakingly adorable, but it shows us/reminds us that kitties are wonderful parents; all babies need comforting snuggles from Mamma, and really apart from kitties being superior to us ,we're not so different from each other.

I love the way Mamma Cat pulls Tiny Baby Sleeping Kitten into her with her big paw, and cuddles Tiny Baby Sleeping Kitten into a tight snuggle. 
All better, no more bad dreams!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Paradigms of Hope

Ponder this: Mormons, the filthy cult that they are , have their own state in the United States, but Jewish People still have to defend the legitimacy of Israel belonging to Jewish people as their own nation-state. What the fuck is that!?

I was watching Jane Elliot's  social experimentation films online last night; her blue-eyed/brown-eyed action. Though I do agree with many of her points, one of her main points, seems to be to stay victimized. I found this surprising, especially because the impetus for her whole work was based on Dr. King, his teachings and his subsequent assassination. To quote the Reverend, 
 "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."

Blue-eyed people, in Jane Elliot's experiments become "minorities" and are treated as such, by her, and by the other participants, the brown eyed people. 

Her lesson is to show people ,the blue-eyed participants, who=  WASP, what being discriminated against for your skin colour feels like.

Wouldn't the next step in   evolution of consciousness be to give the brown-eyed people attending her workshops tools to overcome oppression; ways to help people feel ok about speaking up, or out, or just speaking at all?

Blue eyed people too should also be given tools to learn un-racist behavior, as well as  the morale breaking 'exercises' she uses.

Giving both groups tools  to deal with  and address oppression directly in such ways such as doing role-play scenarios based on the brown-eyed participants' daily experiences with oppression would help brown- eyed people feel empowered, instead of just saying, as one Black man said, in a workshop Elliot held in England, that he never goes to pick up his daughter because she is the only Black person at her school, and his subtext was he didn't want to cause problems, for his daughter, or for himself as a Black man living in a white-dominated society. Elliot said nothing,  she only listened to the man's story. 

Elliot was; therefore, also being complicit in his silence by not giving him courage to stand up and be counted, as it were. She allows people to retreat into the shadows because that's where they are comfortable. 

By not providing participants who are minorities, a word I hate,  with ways to feel strong, safe and seen, she has only unmasked a very small part of the problem, and has left the vulnerable group feeling even more exposed than before.

Elliot talks about how the word assimilate means to become the same as the dominant culture. Because most dominant cultures are WASP, most non-WASP cultures/groups assimilate into a white way of being.  Many participants at her workshops, who were of colour, talk about how they, like the man mentioned above,  have also assimilated to get along in the dominant culture.
Fine. Ok. And then what?  How are we, as a society progressing by continuing to do the same shit when we don't like doing it, it feels painful, it feels wrong?

This is where Elliot falls short in her social experiment. Instead of taking the workshops to an expansive level, she allows them to remain at  a victim level.

A few years ago, I went to see a play with my mom about Black crime in Toronto. That Summer was dubbed "The Summer of The Gun" by the media because our city had a lot of shootings.

 The play was in a community centre in a part of the city I'm not too fond of, but I went. The play ended with one of the characters getting shot dead, just like real life, which was what the actors/writers wanted, a play people could relate to. 

Following the play, the actors opened up a discussion with the audience. My mother tried to create a dialogue about the need for higher consciousness in the play;  and she posited, instead of having  had the character killed off, why hadn't they chosen a more hopeful, creative ending? She persisted with her thesis, by adding that had a more conscious ending been created,we all would have left with more hope, new tools, and a different paradigm.

The cast got defensive and said that my mother wasn't being realistic. The reality was Black people were killing each other..blah blah.
Same rhetoric. 'Keep it real'. Stay victimized, and don't create paradigms of hope.