Archive for April, 2008

No Answer for a Dancer

As a response to my previous stripper post here are the lyrics to the Consolidated song No Answer for a Dancer.

(Image from Artists Direct web site)

If you’re not familiar with the band Consolidated, they are/were, perhaps, the most political and liberal of all bands ever, and I’m – probably – not just spewing hyperbole either. For a young idealist in the late 80’s and into the 90’s, though, they were gods of opinion.

I tried to find a video of the song, but the search was futile. Instead here’s a video of their song, America Number One:

This song, I think, captures the issues with the sex industry, and the problems of taking away that option from those who choose to participate.

This is the thing about pornography. If all parties involved are agreeable and are involved without coercion, then it should be fine, right? The problem is, coercion isn’t just blatant, nor is it just subtle. It’s inherent in society. It’s inherent in the drive for more money and plastic frivolity and uselessness.

It was after the show, I’m loading out the van

it could’ve been anywhere but in this case atlanta

a woman walks up while I’m packing

she says have you got a minute

I say yeah just a second

how are you did you enjoy the show

she said I did but I still have a question though

some of your remarks were confusing

especially the ones about pornography and prostitution

now let me understand this

that for women and children this is violence

well I appreciate the messages you’re giving

but I happen to dance for a living

and I want to know why you want to be my voice

taking away that which should be my choice

to seek gainful employment even it it means giving dirty old men enjoyement

now exploitation of anyone is wrong I agree

but this doesn’t apply to me

I’ve never been harassed while I work

and my bottom line’s phat

now sir can you deal with that

you could already call this a situation

this debate’s insane but I was on the spot

so I had to try to explain

her points were intelligent and simple

and I’m already feeling like Mr. guilty white liberal

just try to be sensitive

don’t act like I have any advice to give

let me make it clear I support you

in a man’s world a woman does what she’s got to

if this is your profession your sexual expression

your internalized oppression

I won’t doubt you

my only problem is with a society

that forces women into sexual commodities

where a third of all women are known to be sexually abused

before they’re grown

most raped most homeless and addicted

if this job were described to you

would you have picked it

average age fourteen yes obscene

made to look aroused by pain

children being raped with guns and knives

that’s not speech but the taking of innocent’s lives

if you happen to be the exception that’s cool

but let’s consider the overwhelming rule

we parted ways with no resolution

you can go back and forth and never find a solution

the only point I wanted to make to her

is while all the liberals and pornographers decide where the line

between porn and erotica is

this is what prostitution really is

a question of censorship alright

of women’s and children’s rights

and there’s no first amendment protection

for those unable to raise an objection

if they weren’t silenced they’d sound an alarm

and we’d all know the difference between speech and harm

you want to mutilate youself on film

that’s your choice

but can we protect those without a voice

I’d never get your face

I just don’t want you to end up like Linda Lovelace

the bottom line is I’m a man

and I listen to you because I could never understand

I haven’t got shit tosay

but if I don’t say anything

how long will it be this way

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April 30, 2008 at 12:57 am 2 comments

Toronto’s Strip Club Industry in Trouble? Oh, no!!!

The once vaunted and educationally-stimulating occupation of stripper is becoming an endangered career choice for sexy-babes from across the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). In a shocking expose on the state of the stripping industry the Toronto Star has uncovered the sordid truth; strip clubs in Toronto are in trouble.

I was deeply saddened by this news.

Apparently the stripping business isn’t as lucrative as it once was, having to compete with all things internet. The number of registered strippers has dropped to 1,254 from 2,834 in 1998. The ladies aren’t able to make as much money providing Gentlemen Of Culture with dancing lessons. Naked dancing lessons. Usually in the gentleman’s lap.

(I’m very offended by this picture!)

Although I haven’t been to a Toronto strip club in over fifteen or so years, I have fond memories of visiting bastions of Toronto culture, such as Zanzibar and Caddy’s, as a youngster.

I made it to my first strip club when I was seventeen years old. It was a different time back then. Kids in my day only stabbed each other once, not multiple times, and if you had to shoot somebody you made sure you hit your target, rather than shooting randomly into a crowd and hoping to hit the person you intended.

It was in Quebec City during Winter Carnival. A friend, Marcus, and I were separated from the rest of our group during a high-school ‘skiing’ vacation. We wandered the streets of Old Quebec when, suddenly, we came across the entry to ‘Le Balzac’, which had pictures of half-naked women in the windows.

(Here’s one for the ladies. You can thank me later.)

Did we dare go in? Age of majority in Quebec was 18, so we were close to being legal, but we would have to rely on the good graces of the bouncer. Then we remembered an old saying: ‘When in Old Quebec, standing in front of Le Balzac, do as the Quebecois would do‘.

We decided the Quebecois would go into Le Balzac and have a beer or two and watch strippers. It ended up being four or five beers and we spent the entire evening in the joint. In retrospect it was a pretty stupid waste of time, but at the time it was great. Naked chicks ruled!

(Is this dog a stripper? Are you excited by the possibility, sicko?)

It was a grand evening, ending with my friend propositioning one of the strippers, being turned down, and then us being asked to leave by the bouncers.

That was the true story. The story that we told our friends when we made it back to the hotel was that we were invited into the secret stripper-room where strippers would perform weird and interesting acts of debauchery. If they liked you.

All of our friends, of course, wanted to visit Le Balzac first thing the next day. Eventually we had to fess up, but we had them going for most of the day.

We all went to Le Balzac again anyway, secret room or no.

And that’s my stripper story. Sure, my friends and I continued to go to strip joints afterwards, but it’s never the same as the first time.

While I was living in Eugene, one of my female co-workers liked to go to strip clubs and invited me to join her one day after work. I hadn’t been since college, about ten-years in the past at that point, and the prospect of going with a woman was too intriguing to pass up, so we went. Honestly it was a hell of a lot more fun going with a woman than with a bunch of horny teenagers.

Would I go to a strip club today? Honestly, I don’t have any desire to go to one. Besides the ethical issues, strip clubs are all flash and no substance. I would go again under the right conditions, with the right friends, who have the right attitude about it, but it’s not something that’s on any to-do list of mine.

Besides, there’s always the internet.

April 28, 2008 at 9:45 pm 12 comments

Funny Stuff

I can only imagine if Hitler had been a Leafs fan.

April 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm 4 comments

Why?

Tomorrow is Earth Day, as if you didn’t know.

I consider myself to be pretty aware and concerned about all things Earth. I love the Earth. I love hiking and exploring my little part of the Earth. I’m concerned about the effects that civilization is having on the health of the Earth. I worry about drinking water. I worry about desertification. I worry about endangered species.

Without the Earth, what would I have?

I went to university to study Environmental Science. I didn’t leave university with a Environmental Science degree – which in retrospect was a really stupid call on my part – but at the time my decisions to constantly change my major and not really have anything resembling a plan for the future or some kind of job prospect or something remotely as intelligent as a plan of any type for what to do after graduation seemed like a good idea while I was still in school. Things, I figured, would fall into place.

In a way, I suppose, things did fall into place. Most of my adult work has involved science/environment/education in some way. This includes volunteer activities.

So, you’d think that I’d be right on board with all things environmental and global warmingy.

While most indications are that the Earth is warming up, I find it hard to wade through all the minutiae of the subject to come to a clear picture about the why or how. Chances are nobody really knows what the ‘clear picture’ is. Scientists like to say things with iron-fisted confidence, but science has been proven wrong, on occasion.

Why is the world warming up? It’s pretty naive to poo-poo humanities contribution to the event, but as individuals and as a species we are very myopic and quick to jump on impressive looking band-wagons.

Even with all our investigative tools and brain power we are still only privy to a very small chunk of the world picture. We live for a brief, insignificant poof of time and then we are gone. We rely on the words and deeds of our ancestors to help us gain a slightly more broad picture of the world. We use tools to study and analyze the world and its environment for thousands and millions of years into the past.

And yet, no matter what some people claim, scientists are just as clueless about the world as a four-year old trying to make sense of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.

The problem is that most initiatives have as much political motivation as they have good intentions. Scientists are not immune to these pressures.

Check out this article from the Canadian Free Press about why Global Warming isn’t actually happening. The article by Alan Caruba has it’s own political motivations behind it, but makes some interesting points. The most important of which is that as well intentioned the crust of the environmental movement may be, they rely on propaganda as much as anyone else. As much as I’m pro-environment and anti-capitalist, I agree. Most people are not motivated by self-sacrifice for no personal gain.

Caruba made an interesting statement, “Science has confirmed that the Earth’s average temperature has, since 1998, turned demonstrably cooler.” This goes against typical thinking today that the Earth’s average temperature is warming. I found this intriguing, so I emailed the authour to ask for a source for this statement. He responded with a link to this article.

I will admit that the name of the site, Capitalism Magazine, made me automatically suspicious. There is a standard dividing-line with environmentalists on one side and capitalists on the other. The article also doesn’t mention that the Earth is cooling, but relates ideas as to why global warming is less human induced and more a part of the Earth’s natural cycle.

Although I can appreciate some of the things that Mr. Caruba states in his article and on his web site, I still do not have confirmation about much of the information he purports to be fact. I want to know what the source is for the statement he made, and which I quoted above.

I also question the sensibility of ignoring the impact of humans on the environment. I would rather be wrong about global warming and other human-induced impacts and yet still work towards a positive, livable society, rather than be right and just ignore it.

The funniest thing about proponents for each side of the issue is that they both claim to have thousands of scientists backing their opinions. The sad thing is that this is most likely true, each side probably does have thousands of scientists willing to go to battle for it.

I think we should all reflect on what is important to us. What is purpose? What is the point of ‘having’ rather than ‘doing’? Why should we even care what happens to the world?

Even if Earth Day is some socialist driven, brain washing event, it’s a better option than the alternative – brainwashing people into believing that everything is perfectly fine. “Move along people. Nothing to see here,” as Officer Barbrady would say.

I’d would prefer to spend the day in contemplation of the wonderful natural bounty of the Earth, rather than spend the day in a mall in contemplation of all the colourful and useless items for sale.

April 21, 2008 at 11:14 pm 2 comments

Oregon Vs. Ontario

Although both territories each have two O’s in their name, they have more differences than similarities. For the most part I think that Oregon kicks Ontario’s ass when it comes to natural beauty, but there is one element that Ontario has that Oregon is lacking in. It’s actually more of an east vs. west thing more than a particularly Ontario/Oregon distinction.

Here is a picture from each area. The first picture is from Oregon’s Fort Rock. The second picture is from Ontario’s Petroglyphs Provincial Park. Each has an element that is particular to the province/state.

Can you spot the difference?

If not, here’s a hint. It’s something that photographers, when taking landscape shots, will often photoshop into the photo to make it more dynamic.

*** Just a note. I’ve decreased the quality of the photos – dont’ want to use up all the free photo space WordPress provides us.

April 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm 2 comments

Canadian Television: Just For Laughs Gags

You may be aware of the annual Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. If you’re not, then what the hell is wrong with you? It’s a major event attracting the world’s biggest comedians.

A half-hour television show has spun off from the festival, called Just For Laughs Gags. This show is a series of hidden camera gags that a crew pulls off on the streets of Montreal. The shows producers let the camera do all the talking; we don’t hear anything that’s said between the actors and those being gagged.

I think this is a great way to present this show. Here’s an example, one of the best gags I think I’ve seen from the show:

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the show has a distinctly Canadian feel about it. It’s somehow different than other hidden-camera gag shows I’ve seen.

What do you think about it? If you’re Canadian, does it have a Canadian feel for you? If you’re not Canadian, does the show relate with your opinion on Canada and Canadians?

April 18, 2008 at 11:53 pm 6 comments

Canadian Salty: Ketchup Chips

As we all know, a sugary snack is not the only snacking option. Sometimes instead of sweetness a hungry person feels in the mood for something salty. One of the most popular salty snacks is the potato chip.

(Who is this fine looking fella? Why, it’s Slim Chipley, just stopping by Canadian Fermentation to say ‘hello’.)

Chips come in a variety of flavours. The basic option is the ‘regular’ variety, which is a thin slab of potato fried or baked, and then salted with the salt of a thousand Salt Lakes. Regular chips are good, but not great. Most people who eat potato chips will eat regular chips, so it’s a good option to have available at parties, club meetings and satanic rituals.

(Ketchup chips usually come in red coloured packaging, connoting that ketchup chips are evil)

One flavouring of chip that you can’t find in America, but is readily available in Canada is the ketchup potato chip. This is a very Canadian treat. I can only surmise that the reason it isn’t sold in America is due to the undistinguished palate of the average American potato chip eater.

Now, you might be thinking something like, ‘Why can’t I just take a bottle of ketchup and a bag of regular chips and mix them together and make my own ketchup chips?”

The quick answer is, “You can!”

A slightly longer answer is, “It’s just not the same.”

Ketchup chips manufactured by snack-food conglomerates have a ketchupy flavour that isn’t exactly the same as the taste of ketchup from a bottle. Manufactured ketchup potato chips are very tasty in that addicting can’t-just-have-one-must-eat-the-whole-bag-or-I-might-die type of way.

Another reason not to make your own ketchup chips is to avoid excessive mess. If you pour a bottle of ketchup over regular potato chips you end up with a soggy mass of ketchup covered chips that you might as well eat with a spoon rather than your fingers.

Manufactured ketchup chips are easily accessible to the casual snacker and can be picked up between the fingers and the thumb with only minor mess considerations.

(This is what store-bought ketchup chips look like.)

(This is what happens when you make your own ketchup chips)

You can eat manufactured ketchup chips with equal ease whether you are jogging or sitting on your couch watching T.V. If you make your own ketchup chips it is not wise to go jogging with them, although you can eat them while watching T.V.

Summary: Ketchup chips, for good or for evil, are a naturally occurring Canadian snack that cannot be found in the United States. You can pour a bottle of ketchup over your regular chips, but you’ll end up looking like an idiot. Americans can buy ketchup chips in Canada and bring them back into America to snack upon or sell on the black market. Canadians can buy ketchup chips, much like they can buy weed or hookers, and eat or use them legally – at least in parts of Canada.

Enjoy your ketchup chips.

April 18, 2008 at 12:01 am 24 comments

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