Category Archives: Life is stranger than fiction
In his #SelfieClass: Writing 150: Writing and Critical Reasoning: Identity and Diversity, Mark Marino is looking to engage his first-year writing students into thinking more intensely about themselves and the world around them.
“Selfies provide a fun and deceptively trivial opportunity to consider how we represent ourselves, how we are read, and how those images circulate to form online communities,” he said.
One of the students’ first writing assignments poses the question: How do your selfies produce or obscure a sense of your identity? He then asks the students to choose five selfies of themselves and examine race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexuality and gender.
“Go anywhere in LA, and you’ll see rows of people tilting their heads and smiling into their phones,” Marino said. “They are communicating with their friends. But it’s not that simple.”
The selfie, he said, carries much more significance.
To Marino, selfie takers are “constructing an image of their identity — their gender, their ethnicity, their sexuality, their socioeconomic status.”
“Except that’s only half of the process because these photos then will be read, liked and favorited, and interpreted by others — based on their own expectations and experience,” he said. “Here we have the co-creation of identity wrapped up in a discrete act of networked communication.”
His students must maintain selfie journals and write blog posts, among other assignments. The class also teamed up with Miriam Posner, who teaches “Selfies, Snapchat, and Cyberbullies” at UCLA.
Blah, blah, blah…
Canada’s neo-con regime equates calls to boycott Israel with anti-Semitism; threatens to use ‘hate-crime’ legislation against organizations encouraging boycotts
The Harper government is signalling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.
Such a move could target a range of civil society organizations, from the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Quakers to campus protest groups and labour unions.
If carried out, it would be a remarkably aggressive tactic, and another measure of the Conservative government’s lockstep support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
While the federal government certainly has the authority to assign priorities, such as pursuing certain types of hate speech, to the RCMP, any resulting prosecution would require an assent from a provincial attorney general.
And it would almost certainly be challenged under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, civil liberties groups say.
The government’s intention was made clear in a response to inquiries from CBC News about statements by federal ministers of a “zero tolerance” approach to groups participating in a loose coalition called Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS), which was begun in 2006 at the request of Palestinian non-governmental organizations.
Asked to explain what zero tolerance means, and what is being done to enforce it, a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney replied, four days later, with a detailed list of Canada’s updated hate laws, noting that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of such laws “anywhere in the world.”
The BDS tactic has been far more successful for the Palestinians than armed struggle. And it has caught on internationally, angering Israel, which reckons boycotts could cost its economy hundreds of millions of dollars.
Just last month, 16 European foreign ministers denounced the “expansion of Israeli illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories,” demanding that any imported goods originating in the settlements be distinctly labeled.
But Canada, a country where the federal Liberal and NDP leaders also oppose BDS, appears to have lined up more strongly behind Israel than any other nation.
In January, Canada’s then foreign affairs minister, John Baird, signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Israeli authorities in Jerusalem, pledging to combat BDS.
It described the movement as “the new face of anti-Semitism.”
A few days later, at the UN, Canadian Public Security Minister Steven Blaney went much further.
He conflated boycotts of Israel with anti-Semitic hate speech and violence, including the deadly attacks that had just taken place in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket.
Blaney then said the government is taking a “zero tolerance” approach to BDS.
Coming as it did from the minister responsible for federal law enforcement, the speech alarmed groups that have, to varying degrees, supported boycotts, believing them an effective tool to bring about an end to Israel’s occupation and colonization of the West Bank, and its tight grip on Gaza.
Some of these groups had noted that the government changed the Criminal Code definition of hate speech last year, adding the criterion of “national origin” to race and religion.
This change could, they feared, effectively lump people who speak against Israel in with those who speak against Jews.
Micheal Vonn, a lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, says the expanded definition is clearly “a tool to go after critics of Israel.”
Canadian civil liberties groups maintain that boycotts are a long-recognized form of political expression, and therefore constitutionally protected.
In March, the Canadian Quakers wrote a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson, expressing concern about Blaney’s speech and protesting the label of anti-Semitism.
Nicholson’s response merely repeated the talking points first used by Blaney at the UN, and the government’s vow not to tolerate boycotts.
But in response to specific questions about what “zero tolerance” of BDS means, and how it will be enforced, Blaney aide Josee Sirois gave CBC News a much clearer picture of the government’s intent.
“I can tell you that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of laws against hate crime anywhere in the world,” wrote Sirois.
She highlighted what she termed “hate propaganda” provisions in the Criminal Code criminalizing the promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, and further noted that “identifiable group” now includes any section of the public distinguished by “among other characteristics, religion or national or ethnic origin.”
She also referred to Criminal Code provisions requiring that a judge consider hate, bias or prejudice when sentencing an offender.
“We will not allow hate crimes to undermine our way of life, which is based on diversity and inclusion,” she concluded.
So our ‘Conservative’ government wants to out-do progs in championing ‘diversity’, ‘inclusiveness’, and ‘hate crime’ legislation, which they are bent on using to attack freedom of speech, conflating opposition to Israel’s actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with anti-Semitism, wanting to show the world that they’re the Tribe’s biggest ‘Shabbos goy’.
I’m pretty much neutral on the Israel/Palestine issue, but that’s not the point; this is a breathtakingly audacious, arrogant, totalitarian attack on freedom of speech, and a smear against anyone who has legitimate issues with Israel’s policies. I’m not a big fan of leftists like Quakers or the United Church of Canada, etc., and I question the ultimate effectiveness of boycotts, but that’s besides the point; it’s a legitimate act, that people should, in a liberal democracy, be free to support and encourage. Israel doesn’t have any inherent ‘right’ to the world’s business; if countries and individuals decide to boycott them, there’s nothing wrong with that; it certainly isn’t necessarily motivated by hatred and bigotry – but so what if for some, it is? Apparently neo-cons are ready to join progs in punishing ‘thought-crimes’…
And it’s pretty stupid, too – this will not stand up in court; it’s sure to be overturned – and it will give the Liberals and NDP a big hammer to use against the government, from now till the next election.
Stupid and evil.
I’m tempted to vote Liberal or NDP next time around, rather than simply not voting as per my usual practice, just on principle, against this government, to try to hasten its demise.
*Update: They’re denying it…
“For more than 40 years of blazing feminist trails with determination and humor, and for her groundbreaking role inspiring generations the world over,” Miss Piggy is set to receive an important honor from the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
The Museum announced that Miss Piggy will be honored with the Sackler Center 2015 First Award, and will appear in conversation with Gloria Steinem, herself already an honoree, on June 4. Kermit the Frog is also scheduled to attend.
Previous recipients include Julie Taymor, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Anita F. Hill. Tickets to the private event are available for purchase.
When reached for comment, Miss Piggy only had this to say:
So, the woman who said that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, is going to give an award to a fictitious character, portrayed by a marionette…
We truly are living in transparodistic times, alas…
Winning comment goes to Arch:
Congratulations, Miss Piggy, your physical and emotional abuse, as well as your consistent control and emasculation of the passive, meek, beta, Kermit the Frog, embodies the feminist movement. Appropriate for a pig to be the face of the cause. Congrats again!
Hear, hear! :)
The Department of National Defence is in discussions with the Ottawa Police Service to provide police protection for unarmed ceremonial guards in the capital, CBC News has learned.
The discussions come nearly five months after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed while on honorary guard duty at the National War Memorial on Oct. 22.
National Defence is requesting two armed constables to guard the sentries at the memorial, and possibly two more to guard those at Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence. The constables would be armed with their standard-issue handguns.
Ottawa police Supt. Scott Nystedt said the talks are about providing security for the sentry program, which runs from April to November.
“The talks are underway for a paid duty contract for the Department of National Defence,” Nystedt said. “It hasn’t been signed and we’re working out the details.”
While the details of a potential agreement are still being negotiated, Nystedt said the officers would be paid by the Department of National Defence. The work would be considered overtime, and above and beyond their regular police duties, he said.
Col. Lionel Smith, who is responsible for the ceremonial guards, confirmed discussions are underway.
“We are always looking for measure to increase the safety and protection of our members,” Smith said.
The sentries are expected to return to their posts on April 9 after the winter break.
Ah, why have armed police guarding unarmed ceremonial guards?
When, as I said at the time, they could and should arm the unarmed guards!
Then, they could not only ACTUALLY guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but they could also quite handily defend themselves.
Or are we against our soldiers being able to do so, preferring to make them dependent on civilian police? Why?
Our rulers are getting increasingly stupid…
Just over a week before the steamy “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie opens on Valentine’s weekend, controversial founding pastor of the popular Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, Ed Young, says he will baptize copies of the book on which the movie is based, calling it a “perverted attempt to trap readers.”
“There is a cultural epidemic out there that is wrapped up in complete fantasy. The book, Fifty Shades of Grey, is a perverted attempt to trap readers and leads them to a misunderstanding of what intimacy and connection are all about,” said Young in a press statement Wednesday.
“It is a pathetic distortion of a more powerful reality about relationships. God is not anti-sex, and he isn’t grey when it comes to relationships. I want to wake people up to the reality that God’s purpose and plan for their lives is so much greater!” he added.
The megachurch pastor says he’ll be raising awareness about the perversion of Fifty Shades of Grey by baptizing copies of the book at locations in Dallas, Miami, Florida and London, England.
“The sad thing is that so many have fallen prey to what that book represents and have missed out on the truth that God has a better way and purpose for them. By baptizing the fantasy of that book and raising to life the reality of God’s plan, I want to show people that it comes down to one thing — fantasy vs. reality!” he continued.
No argument about the evil of 50SOG, he’s right about that. No argument that God intends much better things for His people.
But baptism is meant for people alone, and it signifies God’s acceptance and transformation of them, granting them new life; it is a sign and seal of the new covenant.
It’s not meant to be perverted by putting a book underwater, and bringing up something else (the Bible, perhaps?!), or whatever the hell it is he’s planning to do, in his sacrilegious, highly misguided act, abusing a sacrament for a show-biz-y gimmick.
Moreover, it could lead to confusion, that God is endorsing 50SOG. Is that what he intends to teach? If not, why do this? (Other than to generate publicity for himself and his ‘ministry’, of course.)
I can’t believe how stupid this so-called pastor is.
Churchian evanjellyfish fool!