A former federal Tory cabinet minister from B.C. is calling on the Harper government to massively increase Canada’s refugee intake to relieve the crisis gripping Europe – or risk facing the wrath of Canadian voters in October.
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To grasp the power of the images of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, the Post looks at Thursday’s front pages around the world
The uncle of the three-year-old Syrian boy whose lifeless body has put a devastating human face on the Syrian refugee crisis has assailed Canada’s refugee process.
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Today, a photo from Turkey showing the body of a lifeless Syrian boy washed upon a beach became a symbolic image of the refugee plight.
This and that for your Thursday reading.
– Following up on this post, it was Terry Glavin who broke the story about refugee children dying after being refused admission into Canada. And the Guardian recognizes that the tragic image of Aylin Kurdi represents only a reminder of a a long-running human tragedy.
– Which is why Canada’s treatment of newcomers was already emerging as a significant issue – with Harsha Walia rightly slamming the Cons’ policy of jailing refugees and favouring temporary immigration. And Jason Kenney’s response was to offer spin which was readily debunked by his government’s own (Read more…)
Your news links for today:
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Here, condensing this post about the lessons the federal NDP can and should learn from past provincial elections.
For further reading…- Michelle Gagnon notes that one area where matters don’t seem to be in doubt is Quebec, where the NDP looks set to hold or even build on its 2011 wave. And with the NDP’s numbers looking strong in B.C. as well, that leaves Ontario as the largest piece of the puzzle which remains in substantial doubt.- Susan Delacourt comments on the ghosts looming over each of the federal parties. – Finally, John Ivison writes (Read more…)
Pollenize for iOS and Android can help you navigate the upcoming Canadian election. I’ve checked out the app and it’s a really great way to see where the parties stand on popular issues. I recommend Pollenize if you’re looking for an easy way to understand the election.
Pollenize is free so they can reach as many potential voters as possible. Let’s hope that Pollenize gets into the hands of every Canadian. An informed populace may help Canada avoid another Harper-led recision and ongoing destruction of the environment and Canada’s overall wellbeing.
Nonpartisan and tailored to young voters, Pollenize breaks down (Read more…)
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In the wake of Jeff Bezos’ much ballyhooed purchase of the Washington Post, pundits have inevitably returned to discussing the slow and painful death of traditional media outlets. While it is worth noting that news of the deaths of some of the big news institutions has been greatly exaggerated, it is true that journalism is […]
Andrew Coyne Wrote an interesting article, on which a number of people have commented, about the uncertainly that might prevail even after the election. Coyne, though he has sometimes been a rather mindless supporter of the Conservative government, has become enlightened enough to understand the depth of Harper’s duplicity. He has finally realized that this mentally disturbed, power obsessed Prime Minister might do almost anything to hold on to power including trying to form government even after an election loss, refusing to recall parliament, or pressuring the GG into calling another election.
Let me just say that I take Coyne’s (Read more…)
A Vancouver-area woman had been trying to sponsor three Syrian relatives — including her two young nephews — and their mother, who drowned off the Turkish coast.
As many of you know I took some time off from my blog, mainly for personal reasons, though I did keep up with current events. I blogged a bit during the 2014 Ontario provincial election, and then saved my strength for this coming federal contest. Fully prepared to continue in a relatively, non-partisan way, I was immediately broadsided by the NDP’s attack on the Liberals and Justin Trudeau, with the whole C-51 debacle. I expected things to die down, once common sense kicked in, and the media reminded Canadians that this was about two Canadian soldiers, killed on Canadian soil; (Read more…)
Illustrations by Joel Benjamin
If there’s one
thing that awakens my fear of aging and death, it’s a music festival that I’m
not attending. There’s the feeling of missing out on an eternal summer: photos
of beautiful people in their flower crowns, crop tops and fringe, evoking
feelings of first times and the wonder that comes from new makeouts with other
beautiful people, new drugs and seeing your favorite band live.
My own time
spent as a teenager at music festivals was not exactly idyllic like this.
Either I was not getting fucked up because it conflicted with my eating
disorder—I was afraid alcohol would make me fat and weed would give me the
munchies—or I got so fucked up that I ate everything, tried to make out with
not-beautiful people and then got dragged around in a black-out. I’m not really
good at having fun.
Yet, in spite of
this retrospective clarity about the way things really were, I still yearn to
go back. Perhaps it’s because I never experienced the fantasy of youth as I
imagine it should be. It’s like, I feel nostalgia for something that never
existed. Maybe it never exists for anyone like that, at least, not in the way
youth is made to look on blogs, Instagram, and in ads. Still, when I see photos
of people at music festivals, I feel an ache in my heart. Such is the nature of
This year, tired
of feeling FOMO, I decided to go to the FYF Festival in Los Angeles and perhaps
try to live out my fantasy. If nothing else, I thought I might at least see
some suffering amongst the younger festivalgoers up close—a line for the
port-o-potty, a bad shroom trip—something to debunk the grandiose fantasies
that cause me pain.
For the first
day of the festival I had a very special goth-youth-eternal summer-dream-makeout
outfit planned. Then I got my period, a week late, and the outfit didn’t fit. I
felt gross, and not feeling gross is crucial to my festival fantasy. I didn’t
go. I pretended my bed was FYF.
On the second
day, it took me 90 minutes to get into the entrance of the festival, because I
parked in the wrong place and have spatial issues. I was glad that I wasn’t on
acid or shrooms, because if I had been tripping I never would have navigated my
way in. I probably wouldn’t have made it out of the car.
Once inside the
gates, I was also glad that I didn’t have a crush with me. The language of big,
organized events can be embarrassing when you have to say certain words—like
“voucher”—out loud in front of a crush. Also, as I hurriedly made my way to one
of the stages, I felt self-conscious that I looked like I was “marching” to the
beat of the music. I felt like people were watching me (they weren’t) and tried
to walk on opposite beats.
But other people
weren’t so self-conscious. At Girlpool, I talked to Lev—one half of a
beautiful, 17-year-old festival-going pair.
“It’s just good
to be in the moment, not looking to the future, just embracing everything as it
is right now,” he said. He and Natalie, the other half of the pair, said they
were “sort of together.”
Natalie wore her
long, thrifted Goodwill floral dress, bleached-out hair and chewed off red
lipstick immaculately. She said she felt that “17 is a great time to be alive,
because you’re not close to old but you can do more stuff than when you’re 15.”
Good for her.
Some of my friends
were roaming around the festival, but I didn’t make an effort to find them. I
liked being alone. At one point, I sat on the ground in an outdoor area called
“The Woods” watching all the kids on molly dance as Leon Vynehall DJ’ed. I
became hypnotized by the sounds, also captivated by their different styles and
apparent happiness. I remember when I used to take ecstasy at clubs in my late
teens. Instead of dancing, I preferred to just recline in a big chair—particularly
when the ecstasy had heroin in it—not speaking, just watching and feeling. Back
then I always felt ashamed of going to events by myself, but now I don’t feel
like I have to defend it so much. Like, I’m more OK with being an introvert.
Score one for being old.
So are festivals
a good place for introverts? I talked to Chaz Bundick, known by his artist name
as Toro Y Moi, about this. He was wary.
just like being thrown into a giant social gathering, like, OK, hold your
breath, try to remember people’s names,” said Bundick. “I wanna do what I gotta
do here and then sort of go back to my hole, recluse back to wherever I came
from. I’m not much of a socialite. I’d rather hang out at a friend’s house or
my house than go to a bar.”
But he did have
fond memories of his first festival.
“The first time
I went to a music festival was in Columbia, South Carolina, and it was called
Fallout. It was about as South Carolina as you can imagine. Filter played,
Incubus played, not the most ideal bands, like I wasn’t really into those
bands, bands like Puddle of Mudd, that kind of stuff. But that was my first
time being in a crowd of people, smelling pot for the first time, seeing
crustpunks for the first time, people that I’d never seen being in high school
in the suburbs. That was definitely an amazing experience. And still to this
day I talk about it all the time.”
between Bundick’s experience of music festivals then and now made me wonder if
the ability to be totally swept up and captivated by these events is relegated
to novelty and youth.
At one point, I thought I
spotted a sullen teen—seated by the fry truck, dressed in all black with
heavily kohl-lined eyes (I would say “soft goth”), no older than 16,
sadly dipping a fry into some ketchup. Her name was Emily. But when I asked her
if she was having a good time, her pale face brightened with delight.
“Oh, yeah. It’s so
amazing! The vibe and the music. It’s the best environment to meet new people
because if you guys are listening to the same music it’s already something you
have in common. Live music is a whole different level of thing. It’s like… the
vibes. It’s soooooo raw.”
Emily said she had been to
four other festivals this summer, including Coachella. “It’s heaven,”
Then I asked her about romance, if she had ever
been to a festival and experienced love.
“Yeah, she said. “Last
night. I think he’s really cute. But I don’t know his name so I have him saved
in my phone as ‘blue shirt.'”
“Do you think you’ll ever
hear from him again?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said.
“He’s meeting up with me in ten minutes.”
The closest I
came to experiencing heaven for myself was at Nicholas Jaar in a seat high
above the crowd, in the dark, watching the people morph into swaying shadows,
then joyful ravers, then sort of like a Nazi Youth rally, waiting for their
next aural command. It was cool watching Jaar be the puppeteer of so many
I decided to go
down onto the dancefloor. In the heat of those bodies, I found this one gorgeous
boy and sort of danced my way over to him. He was early 20s, scruffy, wearing a
weird blazer, but otherwise perfect. I wanted to ask him to kiss me. I wanted
to be like, “Hi, can you just kiss me totally anonymously in the dark?” I
wanted to script the kiss, the way Jaar was commandeering the crowd: dance up against
him, maybe bump teeth or tongues to teeth. I felt that the anonymity would be
almost like a first kiss. Also, I would be emotionally safe, because we
wouldn’t exchange numbers and I wouldn’t have to wait for a text. It could be
the total fantasy. Then I saw he was with a girl. So I didn’t approach him
further. I felt stupid for thinking I wouldn’t have seemed creepy. I felt sad.
As I left the
arena, I was intercepted by a tweaker—about my age, probably—a white bro with
dreads. Never good. He tried to touch me—first on the shoulder, then the waist.
I kept walking and looked at my phone. He followed me.
He said, “Texting
texting texting texting texting.”
I said, “Get the
fuck away from me.”
It’s never the ones I want who follow me. Even when the follower in question is not a tweaking harasser, the reality of being pursued does not match my fantasies. Perhaps this is because I need distance to make things beautiful. Perhaps it’s because the adrenaline of want makes everything gleam a little shinier. As a fantasist, I am always the wanter, even when the fantasy involves being wanted. Such is the case with youth. It looks so delicious now that I want it. But back then I just wanted out.
So Sad Today is a never-ending existential crisis played out in 140 characters or less. Its anonymous author has struggled with consciousness since long before the creation of the Twitter feed in 2012, and has finally decided the time has come to project her anxieties on a larger screen, in the form of abiweekly column on this website.
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