Saturday, 31 October 2009


Stir the pot and look within,
A time to bring the last crops in,
Play the shadows as they grow,
From dark of Samhain to still of snow,
And deep inside each woman's soul,
The mysteries of the cauldron roll,
And warmed by blood of sacred earth,
Sleep and silence bring rebirth.


But the picture's Witch Hazel.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Qu'est-ce que c'est?

This is my friend Bozo5. In my opinion, this is the BEST Hallowe'en costume EVER!!!! I love it. And yes, I got Bozo's permission before posting - which he gave, but I have to share any revenue generated :)

Today is, it seems, at least in the UK, Equal Pay Day. What this means is that, since the average hourly rate of women's pay compared to men's is 17.1% less, 30th October is the day after which, women work for free.

At work, children came in costume for Hallowe'en Howl today, as did the adults. Mostly the girls were going to be witches or dead cheerleaders. (sic) One girl with a long, blonde wig was going to be Hannah Montana, this, I told her, was truly scary. The programmes all overran, since the children and adults were all hyper.

Taking Whisky for his teatime walk, exactly as Sleepy had pointed out, I could hear another dog owner calling, 'Whisky, Whisky, Whisky,' as I walked towards him. His dog, Toby, a beautiful Scottie, seemed to be wearing a raincoat, except, not as one might expect, a tartan, but rather, Burberry.
I will say no more.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Scary quote from six-year old girl at one of today's Halloween Howls - 'Children are baby ghosts!'

Dog walking is a sort of encoded socialising. You see certain dogs and their humans. I think it may be different for me than for others, could be the same. Some dog owners allow their poochies to sort of air kiss with Whisky. They remember Whisky because he looks like an ewok. We talk about dog stuff, stuff that doesn't even remotely interest me. What interests me is people, the people behind the dog. And yet, I don't really want to talk to them in any depth. The dog air-kiss is an encoding because it allows you to swap a few sentences on the level of cocktail party banter and then move off before it gets awkward.

And so to the opposite of dog. God. Yes, even though it's mid-week, I have been thinking about God.
Coincidentally, Raymond touched on something I had been thinking about in a recent post.

Why, I was wondering, do we need religion? Marx said that it is the opium of the people and I think he didn't just mean that the establishment uses it to dope us into submission and non-thinking, but that we also develop an addiction for it.
What do people get from it?
Some people need to feel that there is a supreme being watching over us, others, that there is substantiation for their ethical system. I think some people like the outward pouring of religious feelings, I personally like the inward, the spiritual, the centring it gives me.

Why do we need to believe in God?
Like Raymond, I have studied Philosophy, it was my subsidiary subject for my first degree. And I taught it to A-Level for twelve years. One of the papers on the A-Level syllabus was 'Arguments for the Existence of God', which led us to question why this was important.
I felt it was important because the idea of God underpinned several ethical systems, some of the arguments about the nature of our own existence and some accounts of how we gain knowledge - Epistemology. We also looked at Freedom, Law and Authority - another paper on the syllabus, and many political ideas cannot be considered without considering notions of God and whether God has actual existence.

I do think that we create God in our own image. That doesn't mean I don't think that God has existence, but that our perception is altered according to our needs and experiences. But then it is in the nature of that which contains all perfections, to become all things to all beings.

And if you like dogs, you might consider Anubis, although not a god for the faint-hearted. Anubis protected the dead, brought them to the afterlife and weighed their hearts. A soul with a light heart would be allowed to proceed, a heavy one would be destroyed. Hopefully recycled. And indeed, Anubis' head is black like the colour of rotting flesh and the fertile and thus life-giving river Nile.
Through death we come to new rebirth.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Whisky, the Poo and the Blustery Day

Yesterday was a seriously blustery day. This seemed to please Whisky. Taking him out with a view to a poo, he instead wanted to lean into the wind, enjoying the feeling of his fur being blown back, and he chased every leaf he could - and there are a lot of leaves out there. Had I had the foresight to take my camera, I could have taken the iconic Canadian photo, dog gambolling amongst red maple leaves.
Oh well.

Turmeric has been found to fight certain types of cancer cells, I always add it to hummus, and Kev always adds it to soups.
It's not found in Peshwari naan, but I just wanted to mention that, as in mmmm...Peshwari naan. Turns out Bozo and I both miss being able to get that.

A definition that has been bothering me, in the way that it tickles away somewhere in your brain, until finally you take it out and scratch it properly.
A couple of times, a friend has mentioned a colleague to me, whom he has described as 'absolutely brilliant, but arrogant'. Try as I might, I can't square this. How can she be arrogant if she is absolutely brilliant? It's one of those mind games.
To be arrogant is to have an exaggerated sense of one's own skills or importance. This must mean that she thinks she is even more brilliant than she actually is. To make that judgement call, my friend must be more brilliant even than her, in which case, could he be being arrogant to think that, and if so, we need someone even more brilliant than him and so on. It's a never-ending ladder of brilliance.

Sleepy sent me this post about artificial virginity. It's a great post and says it all, but I think my favourite line is,
"If a $30 item that leaks fake blood violates your faith so profoundly that you must ban it, then what you have isn't really a faith. It's a fetish. And your fetish won't survive globalization."
But I also liked,
"Just don't ask God to protect your sick craving for wedding-night blood. She can't and won't."
Nicely done.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Saying Grace

Weird, I know, I guess I was 14 and in France and the world seems to have been somewhat...sloping. And b&w. But the good news is, it's up the right way now and in colour and the clothes are better.

My French pen-friend sent me this.

Sunday again, and food for thought. Visiting vicar.
This week, I was comfortable whilst the older worshippers shivered - it seems the heat had been mistakenly turned off after the 8.30 service.
The Sunday service leaflet has a picture on the front - a woodcut I would say - of a man kneeling before Jesus, his jaw thrust forward, partly covered by Jesus's oversized hand. I asked a couple of people what they thought the man was doing to Jesus, but I was careful who I asked, so not too many people were offended.

On 'Modern Family', the dad asked his son's partner whether, if they were in a bar, and the Righteous Brothers came on, he would find him attractive.
The son rolled his eyes and said to his dad,
'Please stop. You're really close to ruining gay for me.'

Friday, 23 October 2009


Remember the Andrex puppy? So cute, taking the toilet roll and unravelling it adorably throughout the house?
Well it's not adorable or cute when your puppy does that! It's just flipping annoying.

Something else that is annoying is those round e-mails you get that swear to be real answers given in exams, but then show that they can't be.
I received one today that claimed to be genuine answers to GCSE exams set in Wiltshire, UK. Because of course, Wiltshire has its own examination board. Not.
There are then questions that couldn't have been set in any subject actually examined at GCSE and at a level usually associated with Key Stage 2.
But no biggie.
All I'm saying is, if you don't know what you're talking about, don't talk.

So the UK is in the grip of a massive postal strike.
Since being here, I have blogged about missing the sound of the post plopping onto the carpet in the morning, and particularly the Saturday morning post. But now, I guess I have gotten used to it.

A few years back, I would have agreed with Anthony Powell that books do furnish a room, I would have said how delightful it was to receive something by mail and that there was nothing like reading the paper on a Sunday morning.

On my birthday, I received many birthday wishes and greetings from around the world, er..or more, various parts of Europe and North America, via the blog, Facebook, e-mail and of course, telephone, but only two actual cards, and the fact is - I was glad of it. I am pleased to have reached this point. The physical post now annoys me, as do paper newspapers. And I am greatly looking forward to getting one of those e-readers.
Things have changed.

Perhaps a lot of people don't think the same way about the postal system as they used to. Maybe Parcel Force is what it's all about now. And perhaps the postal system is signing its own death warrant.
And maybe it's not actually true that 'plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.'
Maybe, sometimes, the more it changes, the more it actually...well...changes.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Et voilà.

The new slugs performed perfectly. And I have dew worms masquerading as earthworms, no-one has called me on that one yet. Today, a girl told me that they had learnt that slugs and worms were girls and boys at the same time, but they weren't lesbians. Hmmm, if I were that kid's teacher, I'd want to follow that one up to find out what she was thinking, but then not everyone cares.

My new assistant cycles to work from Vancouver. She's an experienced and skilful cyclist, but every trip gives her the impression that it's just a matter of time before something happens to her. Drivers are so oblivious, or again, simply don't care.
Yesterday, during Kevin's ten minute cycle to work, he was almost killed five times.
This is immoral. Cyclists are the good ones, why should they have to put up with the general disrespect of motorists?

I'm loving the limited edition Billy bookcases that Ikea have brought out to celebrate 30 years of the bookcase that any of us could have designed but weren't given a workstation at Ikea's HQ to do so. Sadly, I have not a square inch to put them. I think it would be a tiny bit unreasonable to expect Kevin to buy a bigger house just to put bookcases that we don't actually need in.
Still, *sigh*, it's good to yearn.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Another weekend and a day bite the dust. Yesterday we were suffering from a dearth of slugs - I'd have made do with any kind of slug frankly, and in fact I did. I found one leopard slug in our compost bin and one small European one in the otherwise empty banana slug tank at work. Sadly, the Leopard slug will eat other slugs, so the two had to be introduced at the last possible moment.
And then today - we went across to the east side of the Park - which is not actually joined to the west side, and there were banana slugs aplenty, all coming out to greet us. They had a jolly party in an old ice-cream container before being shut into a pumpkin, ready to make their acting debut tomorrow.
Enough slug-talk already.

It's not easy being green - mainly because the green make-up bottle was clogged up. I had to teach my new assistant how to put make-up on, and I've had to do that before. Amazing how many young men and women have no idea how to apply basic slap. Or...not amazing really, more worrying that I do.

I was rather pleased - perhaps a little too pleased, that a boy in the front row kept saying,
'I'm scared,'
'Good,' said I.

Yes, Witch Hazel is back.
As well she should be.

Meetings, I hate meetings, did I mention that before? I'm sure Philip Larkin must have written a poem about how they frack you up.

Amusing, although not for the other passengers, that a flight from Spain to Edinburgh, was delayed because some twat had their mobile phone switched on whilst on the runway and then lost it somewhere in an air vent. The plane sat on the runway for three hours - about twice the length of time the flight would have taken - whilst the plane was partially dismantled. The plane couldn't take off with a mobile device that was switched on. Personally, I think the passenger responsible should have been made to sit through the flight with a dunce's cap on, or one of those big foam hands you get from Canadian Football games, angled down and pointing to them.

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Meek

One thing I wonder about a lot is, why the meek shall inherit the Earth. I mean, obviously they'll be the last ones standing, but do they have any integrity, so I suppose what I'm asking is, why should they inherit the Earth?

Here's the thing. I don't think people really get what it means to be a peacemaker. Blessed are the peacemakers, right?
But that doesn't mean that we should all back off all the time. In fact really, if you back off instead of challenging what needs to be challenged, you're just being pathetic, you're enabling the wicked, allowing a bad status quo to continue, and god knows they had some bad tracks. Or...they had A bad track and just played it many times.

I know, a red herring of my own creation.

But think of this. Sometimes, some people say stuff they know will wind you up...just to wind you up. Now the smug and terminally lazy will say, 'oh, they know how to push your buttons,' ok, but then, still, you can't let it pass, because otherwise you give the message that it doesn't matter. And it always does. And if you think about it, people who deliberately wind other people up - well, that's kind of, at best, insanity, at worst, anti-social behaviour, and yes, I do see it that way round, because in general, people can't help their insanity.

This past week or so, I have heard of some amazing examples of women challenging things that were wrong. If they hadn't challenged those things, they would still be wrong. It goes from the personal to the global.
And Peace cannot be made until wrongs have been righted.

Last week, a friend sent me a piece of writing by a woman who was questioning something in her life, and asking why she let it continue. She draws a beautiful analogy,
" oyster is an organism that defends itself by excreting a substance to protect itself against the sand of its spawning bed. The more sand in the oyster, the more chemical the oyster produces until finally, after layer upon layer of gel, the sand turns into a pearl. And the oyster itself becomes for valuable in the process."

An oyster can never produce a pearl without responding to the challenge of the sand, the irritation.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Rain, torrential, beautiful, soil-drenching rain. It was raining first thing when I took Whisky out, and it was raining when I got home and took him out again. Just before the sun set there was a magnificent rainbow. Then Whisky and I went out in the dark. Life is just a series of walkies.

Scanning through the Guardian's website, I came across an offer for a trip to the Belgian Christmas markets, 5 days for 265. Why did this make the diodes somewhere in my head light up?
There was always something special about that autumn trip to the French hypermarket, Christmas is coming type of thing, like the smell of onions being pickled, pudding spices being added.
And there was the promise of the German Christmas markets. I mean, the promise of even more christmasness. How exciting, light spilling out somewhere into dark streets, bustling vendors selling interesting wares, Stollen, little tree decorations. Dickensian Christmases.
Another way of spending more money in order to spend more money on top of the overspending we already do.

And thinking of Christmas, does anyone know what Frankincense and Myrrh smell like? It's just that on Bones, Agent Booth sniffed a corpse - a mummy - and said, 'smells like Christmas,' because it smelt of Frankincense and Myrrh. I'm thinking more Cinnamon and Cloves really.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Michael Bublé and the Feminists

Business as usual. The 'Native Plants' programme. I ask the kids if they know the name of the local First Nations band who live in Richmond and the south part of Vancouver. (The Musqueam).
The teacher tries to prompt them,
'Begins with M,' she says, 'mmmm..., we did it in class, mmmm...'
Finally, a boy puts up his hand and says,
'Ooh, ooh, Michael Bublé,'

There is a very perceptive article on the Graun's website about inequality in the world of the Arts, including Fine Art. The article is well-written and insightful, but as ever, trolls and general cretins make comments. As one more intelligent commentator on the F-Word blog remarks,

"My favourite comment...

'If you look for mysogyny everywhere, you will find it'

yes. yes you will find something if it's there...


Yes indeed. Not difficult to find something that is not only there, but ubiquitous.

In the ongoing fight for inclusive language at my church, one of the things that is occasionally said, when the chips are down and everyone is just exhausted from the fight, is, 'Well, eventually they (the misogynists) will all die and then things will be better.' And then someone uncheers us further by pointing out that there are many younger women who use sexist language and who think it doesn't matter, or who think that the feminist fight has been won.

But that doesn't mean that all younger people think that way.

I'm very proud of my own daughter on that score. She's neither half-hearted about it, nor is she the sort of woman feminists are often portrayed as, a frumpish stay-at-home eternal spinster. And she challenges me, and at the same time listens to me, which I value beyond measure.
My niece also fights the good fight, and even my five year-old granddaughter Holly, who was recently heard telling someone that she and her sister were, 'not guys'.
And in between, via the Feministing website, I have found this blog for teenage feminists.

On Saturday, I sold cranberries alongside a young man who gave chapter and verse on inclusive language, and he was totally on board about it.
All of which is fantastic stuff.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Give Pres A Chance (Guest Post)

This is a response from Alex, to my comments about Obambi being given the Nobel Peace prize.

Obambi winning the Nobel Peace Prize must have been one massive PR headache. On one hand Obambi hasn’t quite managed to do anything yet, and Obambi would recognise that. On the other hand whilst turning the peace prize down would have of course seemed rude and obnoxious (that you know better than a committee designed for this purpose) but it would show the world he wasn’t quite that serious about nuclear disarmament – and that’s what we care about isn’t it? That Bambi is serious, that he hopes to live up to his promises.
Apparently not, apparently we are far too suspicious and easy to condemn a man willing to accept a prize he hardly solicited in the first place. It seems plenty of journalists and well I guess – any Tom, Dick or Sally with a computer that can blast their opinion online - has used that voice to hide behind anonymous virtual doors and tell him he is not only not worthy, but wrong to accept the award. Personally, this doesn’t sound like a very intellectual or enlightened standpoint. It goes to show that Bambi is leading the way, the good way for a country ready to pounce on anything that could possibly be construed as a mistake.
There seem to be two types of winner for the Nobel Peace Prize, one that we all recognise being the life time achievement type – Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, but there are only so many of those people – the other type of award goes to the people who are making significant attempts to change the world, people trying to make peace in Northern Ireland for example, it took a few Peace Prizes awarded to that cause until something came of it. The Nobel committee are clearly putting faith in Obambi, hoping instead of backing down on certain reforms, as it could be said he has on medical reforms (perhaps because of the unfounded amount of criticism he has received), he won’t back down, instead he will see this as incentive – appealing to the very moral side of Obambi that he won’t continue to back down on more incredibly important reforms.

In a way the Nobel Peace Prize committee are trying to change the future by encouraging Obambi – a very powerful man in a very powerful country. However, unfortunately America is also a very suspicious country – especially of Europeans. But what are they afraid of? I’m pretty sure it’s not still the 50s and America has somewhat recovered from the Red Scare – so that we can safely assume that Obambi is not, as he has been bizarrely called, a communist. Perhaps he is showing a reciprocation of respect – which we in Europe are showing him. Obambi means a lot to the world outside America (it exists, shocking), he has become this bastion of hope – something a world apart from the Bush days, which made a near laughing stock of American Politics.
Yes, there is justifiable criticism – that he hasn’t actually achieved much yet – but if he manages to do even half the things he has promised he will have more than earned his place in those first types of winners. Isn’t hope a form of peace?

I refuse to believe I am the only optimist but unfortunately it has become clear people have chosen something as wonderful as the Nobel peace prize and turned it into something damning. It would seem people love to slander – personally I refuse to be part of that mass, that mass that would rather see someone fail. I just hope America can get over it, see it as the positive thing it was supposed to be and support a man so thoroughly interested in supporting America.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Clichéd City

Enough of the fascinating body parts.

This is Thanksgiving weekend. I'm not sure which day is Thanksgiving exactly, the day off is Monday, but the church service is tomorrow, and at the end of the day, it is a church festival. 'Thanksgiving' - who else would we be giving thanks to?

Well, one suggestion might be Obambi, a god amongst people it seems. He has won the Nobel Peace prize just for existing and being a solid bloke.
This is how we used to play it in schools, praise kids for everything - walking through the door without punching it, turning up at all to the classroom, not swearing for two minutes, and the theory was that you'll raise their self-esteem and eventually they'll start to behave better.
Except that you would have to have one teacher per child to really make the malarkey work.
And I'm surprised he accepted it - not a humble man. Which is fine, humility is much over-rated in my book, but then probably a pre-requisite for peace-making.

City as cliché, an interesting thought. Earlier on today, an author, talking on the radio about her latest book, described LA as a clichéd city. I kept thinking about that. I have only passed through it, so, I probably rubbed shoulders with the most clichéd part of it there is, and yes, noise, heat, palm trees, laid-back guards with very big firearms. I dunno, LA is talked about and depicted so much on TV, often actually filmed here in Vancouver.
"LA's fine, the sun shines, most ' the time, and the feeling is laid back, palm trees grow, rents are low, but you know, I keep thinking 'bout making my way back."
Population of about 3 million more than London, yet I don't think of London as a cliché.
But LA - I can see it.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


Red blood cells.

Yesterday morning, I was interrupted whilst preparing for the morning's programme. My colleague wanted me to go out to speak to two German people who needed help but who spoke no English.
It turned out they only needed help understanding what my colleague had asked them, which...she hadn't filled me in on.

A boy in the class told me he knew I was from England because of my accent and because I speak English.

Three Rivers - another new medical drama. Medical, Law, Police. We're so predictable, the viewing public. This one wasn't annoying, but it also wasn't particularly engaging, except that it had Shane from the L-Word in it.

The pumpkins are coming. They are everywhere, it's like a scary movie, but with large, bright orange squashes that at some point become grinning faces, then grinning faces lit from the inside.

In Ottawa, Muslim groups have been lobbying to get the Burqa and Niqab banned because they contravene public safety, marginalise women, and have no basis in Islam.
Rock and roll!

Glee, I have decided, is a programme about women. The lead man, who, we are told, is cute, but is actually rather bizarre-looking, is a complete cretin. Jane Lynch continues to out-everything everyone, even the weird, psychotic woman has more personality than any of the male characters, and the other loony, the cretin's wife, is becoming seriously interesting as a character.
That said, the boys' Glee-club rendition of Bon Jovi's 'It's my Life' last night was jaw-droppingly brilliant.

By contrast, the characters in 'Modern Family' are well-drawn and funny and at one and the same time, stereotyped and subtle.

Elsewhere in BC, (as in not here) the snow has started. We are being reminded to get snow tyres, even for driving to Whistler. This is frustrating, since we could have to wait a long time for our snow - if it comes at all. We are being threatened with el Nino this year.

At work, I have invented 'Planet Smart'. It's just a rip-off of the electricity company's 'Power Smart' ads on TV really, but it's to help the kids remember to turn off lights and so on. It'll catch on, seriously, it will.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


If I had an ounce of creativity in me, I'd sign up to do a segment of the Star Wars uncut movie, where fans from around the globe, re-make a fifteen second section of the film in the manner of their choosing. Mine would have Whisky as Chewbacca and Laurence as Luke Skywalker, dressed in his karate gear.

My friend went to visit an imprisoned Russian on Saturday morning. It is an self-imposed imprisonment, you could say.
The man in question has been in our local news for some time now, he has been living and working in the country for a number of years now, but on an extended work visa. His son has grown up and attended school here and thinks of himself as Canadian. When the couple decided to apply for Permanent Residence, the woman and son were granted it, but the man was turned down because he was at one time a member of the KGB. In order to avoid deportation, he has taken refuge in a church, and there he must stay, because should he leave, that will be the end.

And the churches wonder how long their sanctuary status will be allowed. Their employees can be sacked for their sexual preference, or harassed and insulted without redress for being female, because religion it seems, is beyond the law. How ironic if, instead of the homophobia or the misogyny being dealt with first, they should lose their right to offer sanctuary.

Another friend, who went back to her country of birth earlier in the summer, to testify against her father who had abused her and her sisters as a child, heard recently that her 81 year-old father had been sentenced to six years in prison. An incredible result considering that two of the four sisters testified for him. But he had lied to the judge, painting a picture of a happy, united family, when in fact, three of the children had been estranged from him for 35 years. My friend's sister, who was in court for the sentencing, said that he appeared, cocky and arrogant, not expecting for a second that he would not be walking out of the courthouse a free man. In fact, given his age, he'll probably never again be a free man. Shucks.

Funny, leads me back to thinking about Polanski. All the people, famous people trying to excuse him for abusing a minor, trying to cover up, just like my friend's two sisters, only writ large.
How people want to sweep it under the carpet.

Btw, blood vessels emerging from the optic nerve.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Colour and Confusion

These are neurons - although not mine, so far as I know.

St. Francis of Assisi, best known for his role as Dr. Doolittle in the film of the same name, had his day today. Yes, 4th October is when churches welcome everyone's pets in to pee on the floor and be blessed.
So, Whisky went to church, and got blessed, he also got admired. A lot. And he dug up earth outside in the church grounds until I decided it was probably not a good idea to be digging in the earth in church grounds.
Whisky has now doubled in size since we got him, no longer resembling a Guinea Pig, but rather a small dog.
In church, someone other than the vicar, made up a new chapter of Genesis, in which God - still as sexist as ever, invented dogs to be the constant companion of Adam (yep) and to reflect God in Adam's eyes, and would therefore be called 'dog' - God backwards, natch - owing to the fact that they had run out of names. All dogs are he.

Ok, so that was the afternoon service.

This morning, a visiting vicar kept referring to God as 'he' in his sermon. I asked him afterwards if he thought God was white. He told me that God was all that we are. Good answer, and I'm not male, so is God not male then? Of course not. So why the 'he's then? Good point. The visiting vicar was incredibly receptive and apologetic, and in fact works tirelessly for equality in the church, which I believed, owing to the fact that he was black.

Now this whole black thing, is in fact...getting weird. The visiting vicar didn't look black. At all. He looked completely white but he sounded black. And I was later told that he had suffered incredible discrimination because of his colour.

Then there's Obambi. Someone I know asked a friend the other day, how it has been decided that Obama is black, after all, he is half black and half white, so who decided he was black? Well, to be fair, he does look black....ish.
So it is rather confusing.

Anyway, back to the morning service.
The visiting white, black vicar received the criticism well, but the director of music didn't.
The people who do the prayers and music have been told they must use inclusive language. The music director thinks this is an irrelevance, bizarrely in my opinion, since he has two daughters and a wife.
He transgressed and I called him on it. He said it was because he was Chinese.
English is his third language,
'But you speak it very well,' said I,
'But in Chinese, you cannot tell the difference between the words for he and she,'
'So...that's great isn't it, no gender differentiation?'
'No, there is, the two words just sound the same when said aloud,'
'Ah, fascinating, however the service is in English,'
'But you need to know where I'm coming from,'
'And now I do, and you speak English very well, so I'm sure you know when you're using a word that means one specific gender,'
'It was hard for me to come to Canada and learn English and French and German and Spanish,'
'Yes indeed, unnecessarily confusing really, however, back to the English, if you are unsure about the word, feel free to run it by any of us,'
'But you know, worship is about love and joy,'
'Certainly, but it is important how we express that,'
'You can fire me if you want, but I am here because I love God,'
'Well I can't fire you actually, but I wouldn't want to anyway, you're a good musical director, but you need to use inclusive language,'

Eesh, by the end of it, I was sure he understood my point, but what I wasn't sure of, was whether the upshot would be that he'd come on board or resign.
Either way.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Third Wave

Rumour has it that the city of Vancouver will be dealing with its homeless problem shortly before the Olympics - that's to say that they will conveniently disappear. The skating events will be here in Richmond, but, as any City Councillor will tell you, there are no homeless in Richmond, so no problem there.

In a totally unrelated matter, the Olympic athletes are to be decked out in specially designed schmutter with a big black 'C' on it, and a Maple Leaf. By an amazing coincidence, and to the chagrin of every other political party, the Conservative party's logo is a big blue 'C' with a Maple Leaf.

A presenter on the radio suggested that VanOC could kill two birds with one stone - as it were - by dressing the homeless in leftover athletics gear. Tidy 'em up a bit, in a corporate sort of way.

And in an actually unrelated issue, I use that word deliberately, if I want to become a third wave feminist, I'm going to have to get my groove on pretty damn quickly. Apparently it involves the politics of menstruation. I can't see me wearing my menstrual blood as lipstick, I'm more of a subtle pink shade of lippie type of person.
Still, I'm both appalled and fascinated at the same time. Mesmerised even. I SO want to be a third wave feminist, but what if the politics of menstruation has given me the old body swerve by the time I get with the programme?